Enter my first real boyfriend. We started as friends. Over time I noticed that I was attracted to him though he wasn't the norm for me. He was a large, dreadlocked black man which was a huge no-no in my part of Texas. But we shrugged off the cold stares and hateful comments. He was a sophomore, older and wiser. Once he admitted that he had a thing for me, we carefully began feeling our way around a relationship. I was absolutely terrified because I knew that he had had sex before. I had to take Valerian root - a natural sedative - just to spend time with him. I was nauseated any time I was with him alone because I didn't know what was coming.
One night, while we were feeling each other out, quite literally, I felt something in no-man's land. I immediately jerked to attention and told him that nothing could happen and he told me to relax, it was only his thumb. Maybe a minute or two of cringing discomfort later he said, "I guess I should carve my name in your heart".
"What?" I asked.
"We just made love," he replied ever so sweetly.
That was it. That was my first time. I didn't even know that it happened. Now, because I felt that I had to stay with him because he was now "the one", after about a month of making him keep his distance I decided to let him be my teacher. He took that on with great joy. For the next four years, on and off, he taught me everything I know about sex. He was a wonderful, spiritual teacher and I was an eager student.
From that introduction came what was very nearly an addiction to sex. I cheated on every boyfriend I had because if an opportunity came along, I was not about to turn it down. I relished each guy as an important life experience. They made my life richer or taught me that looks didn't equal capability in bed. And from 19-25, sensuality was a defining aspect of my persona. I exuded it, as I was told by so many.
Fast forward to now...
I haven't had sex in probably a year or so, and a year and a half before that, but I don't miss it. I'm no longer sensual in any way. I let myself go, gained weight, lost my self-confidence. And now I have an actual physical reaction to the thought of having sex with my husband. I literally shudder. I don't think that it has anything to do with Patrick. He is a kind man and we are getting along spectacularly. I know that I am doing a grave disservice to our marriage by not having sex with him. There are so many possibilities for why I don't. We have spent our entire marriage trying to figure out why one or the other didn't want to have sex. In the beginning, say...the first five years, I wanted it and he didn't. And now, he wants it and I don't.
Now I have to figure out why. Just the intro to this topic has gotten rather long, so I will continue later with some of my rationalizations. In the meantime, have any of you ever gone for long periods without desire? Did you have a valid reason or was it a social drought? How do you feel about sexuality as a defining feature of yourself?