When Carolyn Moor asked me to write this column for Modern Widows Club, I hesitated momentarily, as anyone might. I thought about what a taboo subject our feminine sexuality can be especially to “the good girls.” We either over exploit our feminine sex in ways that can be degrading to our species or we hide behind a wall of denial, pretending that sex is not important or integrated into who we are as “modern women.” As a modern widow however, the wall crumbles to the ground in our pending desire to satisfy what are very physical needs driven by a lack of emotional intimacy that we are accustomed to receiving from our relationship.
What I noticed immediately was how much the maleness of my husband grounded the feminine energies of our home. Having two daughters, I had taken for granted the balance that Richard brought to the family. I also missed the daily nuances of relationship and the intimacy those small things provided. The times when you are both laughing through toothpaste standing at the vanity sink. The moments when your feet touch at night; the snoring. (I sure never thought about missing that!) Our sex life when my husband was alive was a natural extension of our marriage, and there was an ebb and flow to our sex life, and it was mutually nourishing and compatible. It didn’t take me long after he died to realize the dilemma I was facing. It was the first Valentine’s Day about ten weeks after he passed, when it completely hit me in the face. I was visiting Rich and Yvonne, sitting at the foot of the chair they were sitting in together, and I began to cry in frustration that it was Valentine’s Day and people were sending me chocolate. I said, “I can’t believe that people think chocolate is going to satisfy my needs!” We laughed at this, but I looked at them and continued with my next question as I whined, “What am I going to do about sex?” They didn’t have an answer and neither did I.
Truth is, I hadn’t touched myself in years and everything I knew about my body at 43, I had learned with my husband. To top it off, post traumatic stress and a very profound spiritual awakening was creating a well of energy that was settling right in my yoni. (And it wasn’t a good feeling without having some relief.)
About four months later, a girlfriend (as my birthday gift) took me to a store called “Sweet Vibrations.” I had never been in a sexual enhancement store like this before, and we were getting some serious giggles as we walked through the isles of “pleasure toys.” I was so naïve, I actually had to ask the sales person how “the butterfly” worked. Ladies, let me tell you that this was the best birthday gift I’ve ever received, and it gave me the physical relief I was searching for. On another note, learning how to please my body on my own, kept me from exposing myself to random sexual encounters that I wasn’t prepared for emotionally. And, while I had encountered my first lover after my husband in the safety of a very long distance friendship, it felt far too early for me to really consider “dating” and the emotional entanglements that could ensue.
Next month, I’ll be sharing my views on how to begin assessing your readiness for a healing relationship and to know when the right time to begin dating.
Woman to woman, Kristine Carlson
Author of Heartbroken Open