Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sex, Sensuality and Sadness

Sex. I’ve been thinking about it lately.
And I really miss it. I miss the animal-ness of having another sweaty body pressed down against mine, the sounds, the smell.

I miss being openly desired, I miss teasing, I miss all the foreplay that comes before. I miss being sexy. I miss being a sensual woman.

And I find myself unsure if I even know how to be sensual outside of him.

I know I don’t have to be. After all I’m a widow. Good widows don’t crave sex. Good widows don’t take about that need. Good widows move forward but do so looking back and sighing. Good widows leave their best years behind them, and walk bravely into the future. Good widows don’t talk about their “toys” either.

Sometime when people ask me how I’m doing I want to say, in a pleasant soft voice with a sweet smile, “I’m horny as hell and really want to get laid.”

I’m a shitty “good” widow.

But it’s not just about the sex. It’s about the desire to be desirable. It’s about having a man openly want me, it’s about my wanting him back.

It’s about being sensual and here is where I struggle. For all of our sex, for all the times we made love, I can’t say that I was ever sensual, I mean really, really comfortable enough to be sensual with Art.

And I’m scared.
Art’s death has splayed me open…. I am raw to the touch, to any emotional breeze. And in a weird way I feel the fool. Foolish for laying there letting anyone see me.

And yet in the fear strangely comes courage and the desire to use my second chance to embrace what I have always wanted to be but been too afraid to try.

It’s the bravery I turn into Sensuality here in Cancun. I love the word, it captures it’s meaning in its pronunciation.

I have dared myself to practice being sensual this whole trip. And in doing so I try to see my body the way Art did: beautiful, soft, curvy and expressive. It’s difficult to ignore the familiar, mean, internal messages. “Your thighs are too big. You have too much cellulite. And good Lord, whatever you do don’t lean over! Your three child stomach skin will hang down like elephant ears.”

My sensuality fights to stay present, in front of me.

On the beach, I study other woman from other places like Brazil and Atlanta. I watch them move in tiny bathing suits with bellies and thighs and bosoms that are the complete opposite of the waif thin I think I should be. And I watch the sensuality float around them, magnifying their sexiness.

I want that. I want to dip myself in it. I want to be amplified. I want to see what Art saw in my body. He didn’t see the stretch marks, cellulite, the wrinkled belly, or the saggy small breasts.

All he saw in that single minded male way was a woman, who he loved with breast that were just right, with a belly that was curvy in all the right places, soft, expressive and holy delicious to look at, to kiss, to stroke.

With those thoughts, Sadness creeps in. There is a man on this trip that I’m interested in. It will be a one night stand. And suddenly standing next to this man, I am lost, not sure how to do this or even if I want to. I am scared I will do something “wrong.” I am still splayed open. I feel unattractive and needy and fuck….vulnerable.

It is here that I see for now, I am trapped between my dead husband and a world that is out there. A world I see and occasionally venture into but for most of the time it waits for me to figure out how I want to engage in it.

And with that, the sensuality is gone. I am a widow. A scared, lost, confused widow. Not sure what to do or how to do it.

I've been here before. I'll figure it out.


  1. I think I flunked the "good widow" test.
    Oh well .... I can deal with that.
    : )

  2. I so agree with you, I have started to date and it is dam hard! Been on Match. Eighty percent are looking for Athletic and toned. Most are not! It angers me, because my husband loved me a few extra pounds or not, no makeup to hide wrinkles. I do still feel desirable and sexy-but where is the one who see it too! I want to say F---- those other idiots who aren't really looking for a real relationship, but just a booty call! It does make you feel bad about how you look. But then I remember waiting for my husband to show up and he did and was worth every tear shed! Every bad feeling felt! Being with someone who loved me as I was the best reward in the end! He showed me how to feel sensual and that I was! So I remain hopeful, someone can make me feel that again!

  3. Wow! Brave post. Excellent topic that is not talked about much. I can sure identify....

  4. Incredible Post! To dare to say the truth. I am so amazed at the honesty of the people who post on this blog. Who absolutely don't shun from the truth, the stare you in the eye and not look away truth of what it is like to be a widow.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for writing this post.

    I have struggled so much with the perceived judgment of others and even worse all of the limitations I keep putting on myself because now I am a WIDOW and that is how loud it sounds in my head.

    I KNOW that wanting touch, to be loved, to be sensual and sexual and that raw animal need of human connection is NORMAL - but it seems like it is only okay if you are not WIDOWED.

    A wise person said to me "you can hold joy and grief in the same heart" if that is true . . . can we not have desire and grief as well.

    I have always been someone who desired sex and my husband and I had a wonderful and passionate intimate relationship. Now he is gone - the loss of his physical attentions and charm and the way he knew exactly how my body would respond - leaves me feeling - no one will ever know me that way again.

    But - I want someone to know me that way.

    There is no place in the world I can say that but here.

    Splayed open is the perfect description of the rawness of this place and the fear it presents when you want to trust your instincts and let others in to your heart, into that place where the sensual you is waiting. . .

    How do we do it -
    and not fear the constant criticism of the BAD WIDOW acquaintances and inner voice?

    You are amazing Kim - so f***ing brave!

  5. Thank you Kim, I'm five months into this widow thing, and I miss all of those things you talked about, especially someone finding me beautiful and sexy the way I am. I know at this point I'm no where close to being with another man, and I often wonder if I'll be able to be open to someone else again. Thank goodness for the handheld shower head!

  6. Thank you so much for you post. I am so happy that you have met someone you might CONSIDER to be interested in! I miss all those things too and at 22 months out have not met one person to remotely CONSIDER if only in my mind. It is so good to know that there are many of us struggling with this issue and that it is normal:( My shower head helps to but can't compensate for the lack of human touch.

  7. Thank you for this post. I appreciate your frankness and honesty. I'm in much the same place, trying to reclaim my sensuality, still feeling raw and lost and vulnerable. It's f*cking hard. It's good to know I'm not alone in this.

  8. Splayed open. OMG, that's it!! It is nearing 6 mos since my husband of 29 years died:( I cannot ever imagine having another man touch me, I feel I will always be "the widow". I would sell my soul for a hug. God, this is an awful and lonely place. Your honesty rocks. Thank you so much for your honesty.

  9. I started dating my LH when I was 14, married him at 19 and he died 7 weeks ago when I was 52. No matter how old we got, no matter how long we were married or how much weight I gained or lost, Rick always said he only saw me the way I was when we got married. When I was 19. No one will EVER see me like that again and I'll miss that confidence and trust that being together a long time gave me. The confidence that DID allow me to be a sensual person, but probably won't ever be again.

    1. I lost my wife 2 month ago at 55, I always saw her the way she was when she was 17. I told her she was sexy a few days before she died. She said "you're lying", but I think she still believed I meant it. She was such a wonderful person. The good do die young.

  10. If those things are how a good widow acts then I have yet to meet a "good" widow! I am with Janine...I flunked and so have all my widow friends! I hope you find peace with your sexuality soon.

  11. Widow!
    What a word. Been one for
    3 years 4 months 25 days today.
    Married 27 years 2 months.
    Lost I am. Miss my better half so much .
    Want to feel good but I know never can see me with a man again . Want. To but scared I would compare which not fair to any one
    Good not me but I keep trying.

  12. Older Male Anonymous
    Widow or widower , we look for the same things .I am lucky .
    Stopped the mixers ,only dated widows sucessfully married 15 to 20 years or more .Not and easy arena to find .Every area of the country has some sort of access,usually in line. Had to miss similar things that I did .I said miss NOT want ! Missing and finding sure helps. Slow and careful . Kids had to like her . After our first year of dating ,we married . We both thank God for finding each other . Can't believe how compatible we are . Patience , patience !

  13. 3 months since my husband death. but 12 months since I had sex...How I miss the way he would make me feel....He loved me no matter what size,mood, and mind-state. Now, I find myself craving sex...just like you. I finding the urge to change myself (body), wearing sexy nighties, & wanting a man (like him)... I want a soft kiss on my neck....but Im not ready...I know that...but when will I be? (that's the real question)

  14. Almost 11 years a Widow. I miss the closeness my husband and I shared. I have dated some. It has not worked out. Missing the human touch is a terrible way to live. I feel I have failed at being a Widow because I do not adjust. I pray to God to help me accept living the rest of my life alone. Splayed open is the perfect description.