Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sex, Sensuality and Sadness

I accidentally posted this on Saturday, the wrong day!! Sorry Taryn!

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. Thank you for being honest enough, open enough, and brave enough to post this. I've had many of the same thoughts and feelings but been too afraid to blog about them...mainly cause my mother in law reads my blog,and pretty much her whole church congregation too, but also because it seems taboo in the widow world to want sex.

  2. Lump in my throat on this one. I want to pass a long something I read and experienced since my husband died.

    It was from a book about sex and sensuality. It talked about the fear people have after divorce...of being intimate with someone for the first time. All the self talk and fear in their both their heads....male and female. It also talked about how as soon as you touch one another and are close, how the thoughts shift immediately, to wow that feels good, she smells good, I like this, etc. etc. (for both) the newness of a new person is exciting and the mind fills with so much new stimulus it can't think about anything else but the experience at hand. And one of the better things in this book a fact: that the sixth time you have sex with a partner is when it gets good. It takes that long for learning about the body, defenses to crumble, etc. Every step on this journey for the new parts is huge. But in a way I think we amplify it some how with our perspective of what we thought things were supposed to be. It will be such a regular thing I get hung up on and you'd think it was life or death the way my psyche reacts. Keep breathing, keep stepping, stay safe physically, but venture out emotionally. Love to you.

  3. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, like Brooke says, "for being open and brave"... DAMN, I miss it, too!!

  4. Dear Anonymous, Thank you for that information. It's so true!! For me once I was in another's embrace it was like a drug, a really good drug. Now all I need to do is find someone to have sex with 6 time!

  5. Kim, thank you so much for writing this. Your courage is evident by the mere fact you put these words on a page. I've have been trying for a very long time to write about this part of my journey, but can't seem to find the words or fear my words will make me look unflattering...not just my physical body feels that way, but even trying to express it feels that way. It is such a complex issue that seems so simple at moments, but is so difficult to bring to fruition. I wish there were more open forums to discuss this because I think it's a huge hurdle. I sit here, I live everyday, just hoping that maybe one more being in the universe may find me attractive again...
    thanks again for your courage.

  6. Thank you so much for posting this. I agree with the comment above, it takes great courage for you to state what I think we all think in this journey. I do not believe that the average person thinks of this facet when they think of widows. Sex is one of the things that I miss the most. I crave it but it is not something that you can share with the everyday person. Being intimate with someone you love and truly loves you back is priceless. There was no pressure and no worries - just love. ~sigh~

    "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."
    ~I loved the way you said this! It is so true! I too am just trying to figure out how to live back in the "real" world again. (((hugs)))

  7. Thanks for being truthful. I crave the touch of a man and the skin to skin feeling. This is supposed to be the "best time" in my life, yet it's not. It's been a long enough and the thought of being with another man still concerns me. Damn. I never expected my life to be like this.

  8. In the forth kinda confused me are you being sarcastic and saying what people what to hear from us? So does that mean I'm a shitty widow?

  9. Interesting post. I am 54 and have been with the same man since I was 25, and am heading toward 18 months out. Still can't imagine being intimate with someone else. Not so much because I'm self conscious, but because of the deep intimacy that makes it all so safe with ones' husband. Also, I'm not in an emotional place where I could handle a one night stand after being a wife and mother for 28 years, I would feel weird if it wasn't in the context of a relationship. Call me old fashioned. I think I'd have to really protect myself emotionally.

  10. I miss being touched and held, but can't imagine being with anyone other than my husband. I would very much love to be found attractive by someone else - but that's not likely to happen at the size I am now, and if I was, I wouldn't be ready to do anything about it yet. It's all so scary. Even 3 years out.

  11. Thank you so much for this post. I'm only 6 months on this journey but my husband was sick for 3 years with his cancer so sex is so far off on the horizon I don't even know if I remember how! We were married for 35 years and he was my one and only from the age of 18 so the thought of another man in my life doesn't seem possible.

    It's so good to know that my fears are very normal and that when the time is right I may be able to open to another relationship.
    I think it's very brave of you to venture out emotionally. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Well said Kim!!!! I'm not even remotely close to being ready to be with another man and am not sure if I will be. But your concerns have crossed my mind many times. And I do miss the physical closeness of another person. Especially when "people say to me, your young, smart, funny and pretty (all questionable traits in my mind) you will meet someone else". In my mind I'm like, no way!!! How does one even get there????

  13. a beautiful post....

  14. Thank you for your post, I am almost 3 months out.. My husband of 17 years passed away suddenly, I am in my mid 30's and am finding that I am craving sex & intimacy, we had a very active sex life. I feel like a bad person for wanting to be with someone, but yet can't shake these animistic feelings.

    1. Your postng really hit home with me, because my husband died 2 years ago when he was 37 years old and I'm having similar feelings.

  15. 4 months ago, lost my love suddenly, unexpectedly. Out of the blue, a really dynamic, interesting man has been writing me, emailing me. He finds me attractive which totally blows my mind bc I thought my husband was the only one that crazy. Anyway, I find that I am afraid to talk to this man. I am afraid I am just projecting everything I loved about my husband onto him. Setting him up for failure. We live rather far apart, so it isn't likely to ever result in anything physical, but I find that just talking to him, even about my loss, puts a smile on my face. I do miss being held, being touched, being chased around the house when I walk through in my bra looking for the laundry basket, lol!
    My husband always found me attractive, he loved everything about me. He loved me when I could not love myself.
    So by even considering that another man might feel the same way is so foreign to me. It has been 14 years since I have even really thought about intimacy. It just was a normal part of my life that I miss terribly.
    What a journey this is indeed....

  16. 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.
    - I love what you said here. It's exactly how I feel. I'm 8 months out, and I've been having these feelings for a couple of months now. It's scary, confusing, and it riddles me with guilt. But it's there....

    1. Yes!! " It’s about the desire to be desirable". On point!

  17. OMG, I am so glad that I am not the only one who hasbeen feeling this way! IT has been 7 months since my husband passed away, married for almost 25 years and having had a great sex life, except for the year or so previous to his passing as he was so sick. So it has been quite a while since being intimate and sexual. I do miss that very much but I was denying it until a week ago a male friend made a pass at me. I was in shock but shook it off and of course told him to get lost! That's when all my feelings surfaced. I was not interested in that person at all but ot made me realize that I missed and craved the intimacy of my husband and the feeling of actually having sex! Then I was feeling so guilty about even feeling that way. I think I have had every emotion hit me this past week that can happen and I think it really hit home that he is not comng back... I also had the feeling that perhaps no one will find me attractive either, although I am not wanting someone else other than my husband! I was also thinking that I was the only one with these feelings and that I was a bad widow. I don't know how to handle these feelings at all. I guess it is just part of getting back into the real world without my husband now but it sure is nice to know that others feel this way too and that I am not just loosing my mind.

    1. Oh boy am I there too. Similar but 40 years with 15 years disabilities on his side, just a big hug from a very old friends and all my sexual felings flooded in, had to sublimate last few yesrs. All the emotions of loss have triggered with a vengeance, so sad,

  18. WOW, I was feeling this way recently.Had the heart to face the world but the reality came in like a wave crashing. This speaks volumes!!! Thank You, keep on posting this will help others as it has helped me...

  19. I am 52. My husband died suddenly 18 months ago after 22 years of marriage. We were sexually matched and it was just getting better now that the children were older and out more. Passion on tap - just lovely and fun. Now that everything legally has been sorted out and all those "firsts" have passed I find myself longing for male company, the fun, the laughter, the intamacy. Not sure I am ready for a full on relationship but really want to be held and desired. The body is frustrated, the mind is cautious and the heart is waiting for the car crash. But now that I am older and wiser I know how hurtful rejection can be and am I strong enough to handle it? I think I am going to just take a deep breath and jump. Nothing can hurt as much as the last 18 months and I think I am allowed a bit of fun. x Oh so confused.

  20. I lost my boyfriend 3 years ago in April. He had cancer. I was 32 then. Few months later people started to comfort me that I am young and there is someone out there who will love me again... It hurt me - how can they not understand that I will never find someone else again?! I will never love again. I will probably never have sex again.
    But... I met someone 7 months ago. A very special someone. I am happy with him and yet, today, I feel this overwhelming sadness. Because at this time in April 3 years ago He was dying. I still sometimes feel the guilt of being happy and enjoying my life again. There is guilt of not missing him anymore...

  21. I lost my husband 2 years and 4 months ago. I recently have ventured into the dating world and it is scary as hell!! I re-connected with an old high school friend/boyfriend which seemed great at first. We'd always been very attracted to one another but never had slept together. I pursued him more from a physical stand point. He has been single close to twenty years, married once and in a couple long term relationships.
    The sex was great but emotionally I was not prepared for his distancing himself from me. I couldn't separate the sex from emotional intimacy. He is not in a position to be involved intensely in a relationship, which I truly believe. I feel crushed and stupid!! We've agreed to go back to being friends but it is very awkward. I hate feeling vulnerable, as there is also a sense of deeply missing my husband again. Not sure if that's a way to cope or what… Will never put myself in this situation again!

  22. I lost my husband 14 months ago after 27 years of marriage. My husband was disabled and it has probably been more than 5 years since we had sex. I started dating a man I met online about 1 month ago. We started slow for the first 2 dates, but by the 3rd date just being touched and kissed created an intense sexual desire. If he was not such a gentleman, I would have given into sex because of this intense desire. I like this man very much and do not want to risk my budding romance by having sex too soon. I am also starting to get very scared because I feel I am falling for him and he may break my heart. I am not sure how I will handle this so close to my grief.

  23. I am so glad I am not alone!!!!!! This was brave and honest and I have wanted to write something like this but am afraid. And I'm so glad I found this. Thank you for husband died a little over two months ago. Since his diagnosis almost three years ago, our love life was a tiny blip in an ocean of stress and fear and chemo and fight. I know it is too soon to want someone, but I do. And I feel like it will always be too soon, so what the hell...and then I feel ashamed and scared.

  24. Thank you for your post. I lost my wife about 5 months ago and just recently I had our 25th Anniversary alone. She was ill for some time before her death and sex didn't happen, but the companionship and friendship continued. I didn't see others during our illness and haven't been with anyone since her death.

    For Men too it can be a time of sadness, uncertainty, not knowing what to do. I'll be honest, as I have been watching some online sex, but thinking consciously about her. That she will never know the joy of passion ever again. I would like to become more social and look for some new friends. But there are excuses I make which means I'm not ready yet. The body does want to go on living though the heart is reluctant. I'm 53 and in that middle-age in-between period of still young enough to desire a woman's passion, but not really desiring a long-term relationship and possible re-marriage.

    Love does take mentioned the 6th sexual encounter to really feel comfortable. For a woman that is going through the same thing, please be good to yourself. Don't add pressure to your world as you are coming back out into the world. Our recovery is like any other and it is one day at a time. It is very natural and normal to be with another for sex and sensuality and your desire to be with someone of quality who respects you is important when you are 25, 50 or 75 years old. As Kim says we need to find our sensuality. When we are ready, there are great mature people out there who want to find their sensuality as well.

  25. Thanks for great posts. I'm a man who lost the love of my life very tragically. Its been two months on and women pursue me but the thought of being with them is repulsive yet I am thinking of sex often. We were in our mid thirties so the urges are very much there but I can't see that any woman will ever measure up. Oh boy, it really sucks..

  26. Wow there are so many out there like me.

    I lost my husband 2 years ago. We are fairly young. He died at the age of 23 I was 21. I'm not 23 and even though I have dealt with the enticingly grief to a certain extent I am very sexually frustrated! I think about sex everyday. What I miss most is the beautiful erotic sex I had with him that I feel no other man can offer. We were sexually perfect for one another , he was my first.

    So many men have came Into my life after him but it never escalated to even a kiss. I got to know them for a while then cut them off. I was searching for a euphoric click or connection like that of my late husband. But I didn't feel it ... Until this year that is.

    I don't know how to describe it but a man that looked and seemed to be everything I would never want reeled me in. We talk on the phone until 6am and sexually we click. We have not had sex yet but the way he handles me nd kisses me is on point. There was a day were it was getting hot and heated and we almost had sex but I stopped myself because I didn't want to give him my body if I didn't know he's the one. He is 100000% ready to be in a serious committed relationship with me but I am 1000000% confused about this whole situation.

    I have also cut him off and I'm on my break now and I'm still praying and confused why I allowed him to get that close to me but no one else. Is it my loneliness kicking in or is he the one ? ...

    What I really want to do is have hot passionate sex with him anytime I want with no strings attached but that would never be okay with him he will get too attached more than he already is with me, and I just don't think I'm ready for all that.

    I need help.

    Good luck everyone !

    I feel your pain times a million

  27. Hello everyone. I am in my early 30's and I lost my husband suddenly to Cancer. I miss him so much , it has only been 2 months but I am sexually frustrated. I always loved the fact that we had a sensual, healthy, and giving sex life. He catered to me and I catered to him. Now I am alone.. No more married life. I pray that it gets easier. Good luck all !!!

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