I was in a longterm relationship that had grown stale. It was not that we stopped loving one another, but we had lost our way.
Our conversations were terse, the intimacy was nonexistent, and our sex life was on the shelf (complete with cobwebs and a whole lotta dust). I was not happy with the way things were, but I was not willing to be “the one” to fix it.
I should add that he was more than willing to have sex. In fact he wanted to, all the time. But I was angry, about nothing in particular, and that anger was making me brittle.
I was on edge. Tension had taken up residence in my neck, back, and shoulders. Irritation was my default setting. Pleasure was past tense. Clarity was on an extended vacation. And my focus was all over the place. I was struggling to get things done and the ends were not meeting.
My business was not generating consistent income. I was spending way too much time in my head. I was paying very little attention to what I was consuming (mind, body, and spirit). And to top it off I was dehydrated. (side note: water is important for clarity)
I was starving in every area of my life, but more than that my skin was famished. I longed to be touched. I was craving physical connection. But because I was completely disconnected from my body, the craving appeared as an appetite for chocolate.
I was eating chocolate all the time. Where I would normally eat one square, I was eating 3 or 4. I would sneak a piece, only to return to the fridge for another within minutes.
My body was trying to get my attention, but I was too committed to withholding my love; which translated into my withholding sex. But here’s where it got tricky… it turns out I was not withholding love + sex from my partner. I was withholding love + sex from myself.
I was punishing myself for choosing angst over pleasure. I was penalizing me for allowing disinterest, dissatisfaction, and disconnection to settle into the bones of this relationship. I was mad at me for participating in a tug-o-war that would produce no winner.
This was not about him, it was about me.
It wasn’t so much that I was not having sex with him, but I was not having sex with me either.
Self pleasure was off the menu. I was no longer stroking my vulva or admiring my pussy in the mirror. My daily breast massage turned into routine moisturizing, because I had ceased to feel sensation in my breasts. I was slowly severing the connection between me and ME; all in the name of pulling away from him.
It took months to realize that my body was offline. I zombied through my life for a long time before it registered that my desire was absent.
My skin was dry and crackly. My nails began to splinter. And my hair was lackluster.
The “aha”moment arrived while I was coaching a woman through the exact same issue. The dots connected perfectly. I could see her shit, because it looked like mine. I was able to lead her back home to herself because myself had been pleading me to return home to me.
Withholding love is common, we all do it, albeit unconsciously (most of the time). And in romantic relationships withholding love often becomes withholding sex. And because we are creative souls we become crafty in the way we withhold. We often disguise it as fatigue and stress. We conceal it in illness and physical discomfort. We make up stories about having too much on our plates and maxed out mental capacity.
But the truth is sex is important. Sex decreases fatigue and stress. Sex boosts your immune system. It alleviates pain and discomfort. Sex makes moods better and increases energy. Sexual healing is real.
So when you hit a bump in your relationship, don’t take sex off the menu, if at all possible, and it’s almost always possible.
One of the reasons that us women folk withhold sex is because we want to stay mad. The truth is… if you have sex during a period of disagreement, you are more likely to forgive and let it go. Because sex is often a salve for wounded feelings. As women, we know this. We know it very well. And so we pull away, often when we are being called to lean in. Because not doing it means that we can stew in our pistivity a little bit longer.
But over time the pattern of withholding becomes corrosive – trust me.
So if, for whatever reason, you think it necessary to pause sex with your partner… please do not pause sex with yourself. I implore you to keep the lines of sexual communication open with you, no matter what.
Self pleasure is vital to your emotional and physical health. And keep in mind, self pleasure is not just about masturbation. Your entire body is wired for sensation. Self pleasure can look anyway you want it to look.
Maintaining your connection with youself should always be the focal point of your life. Because self-love is the foundation from which all other relationships are built.
This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VI!
To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page between today and 11pm PST March 11th.
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