He grabbed me by the waist kissed me deeply—the first time anyone had done so in years. At first, I tensed, startled by the touch. But my reservations melted as his hands wandered over my body. After ten hot minutes of making out, I scurried into my bed alone, giddy like a pre-teen girl who just had her first kiss and terrified like, well, a recent divorcee who hadn’t been touched in a very long time. Underneath all of the weirdness and terror, I also felt something powerful: desire.
Two weeks later, we met again and had sex for the first time. At first, it was scary, but he was a passionate and intense partner. That began a three-month-long affair of intimate sex, and countless nights talking until the sun came up. Turns out, I wasn’t asexual after all. But that doesn’t mean it was a healthy attachment—we both had serious challenges that we were not properly addressing. We eventually parted ways as friends but for those few months, he was exactly what I needed. Sexually, I felt alive again. And that made me feel like myself again.
My family and friends noticed an instant change. Multiple people asked, “What the hell happened to you?” marveling at my new, positive attitude. Truthfully, the answer was that I was finally getting laid. I felt beautiful. Wanted. Needed.
Other lingering questions from my celibacy still hung over me like a cloud about to burst into a rainstorm. Was I attracted to women? Should I look into sleeping with multiple partners? I probably need to have a one night stand, right? I had fantasized about all of the former over the years—my pornography preferences often included women over men and sometimes involved group sex. The universe had given me unexpected singledom, I reasoned. The chance to explore other sides of my sexuality had arrived.
Shortly after, I reconnected with an old friend while on a trip for work. Towards the end of the trip, she and a man she had been seeing ended up with me and a bottle of whiskey in a hot tub, winding down from a hurried week of meetings.
Over the course of our conversation, they had been inching closer towards each other. At some point, she lifted her hand and beckoned towards me, inviting me to their corner of the whirlpool. I thought, “Why not?” and floated over. I remember feeling someone’s hands—I couldn’t tell whose—making their way up my thighs and between my legs. Soon, we were a mess of hands and limbs, kissing each other and casually passing the bottle around. We ended up back in my hotel room, where my friend and I mainly had sex—my first time with a woman—while her date mostly watched. After she and I finished, I asked him to have sex with just me. I realized in that moment that while I appreciated and enjoyed having sex with a woman, at the end of the day, it’s men that really get me going.
That encounter ended a years-long question about my sexuality—I enjoyed having sex with women but I only wanted to date men.
Not long after, I met the man who would become my first serious boyfriend since my divorce. This brought up a fear I hadn’t yet tackled: The thought that deep down I was afraid of intimacy. I wondered if I had lost my sexual appetite for my ex-husband precisely because we were so emotionally close—was I just too mentally shattered to have a healthy sex life within an intimate relationship?
As the months with my new boyfriend wore on, it became clear that we were building a killer sexual connection. I remember one time during sex giggling and laughing into each others’ bodies, whispering with limited breath how much fun we were having. Our sex was on point—so satisfying, excited and connected. It only got better over time as our emotional and physical connection deepened.