In my last post, masturbation, I spoke about my asexual upbringing. I lived on a farm. Everything was about reproduction but sex was not allowed. Rather, enjoying sex was not allowed. At least for the teenagers. The adults. I have no idea. At the time when I made choices about my education and earlier jobs I felt I was following the expected path. Get a university degree, get a good job. My mother is a control freak. For all of my life, including my life as an adult she did her best to be in charge of the decisions I made and to keep me in the mould she had determined made a ‘good daughter’. I could probably write a book about the ways she tried to manipulate me.
The education and the job led me to a place a six hour drive away. In hindsight it probably wasn’t far enough. Despite the distance she still tried to influence all of my choices and so the stupid Catholic, abstinence based ideas about sex continued to haunt me. My true sexual nature and my upbringing continued to wrestle with each other for a very long time. In some ways they still do. My current feelings about my ‘number’ are testimony to that.
But I lucked out. I met Mr Jones. Sex was a feature of our relationship very early on and the way that he encouraged me to express my sexuality was exactly what I needed. I had found a person who encouraged me to dress and act sexy instead of shaming me for it. He encouraged me to be nude and be proud of my body. Cheeky nude photos in the outdoors were a feature of our relationship from the beginning. When children came along our sex life struggled. Actually our marriage struggled. There was a man I almost had an affair with and then a long dark time of guilt.
But we made it through. And then we opened our marriage. The journey through the opening up has not been without its problems but together we have worked through it because we both knew that it was right for us. Our journey has always come back to a simple touch stone. What the other person needs and how we can make that work for us.
When I started writing this piece I was thinking that the thing I was most grateful for was my open marriage. But as I wrote I realised it went deeper than that. The thing I am most grateful for is Mr Jones.