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  • Writer's pictureJessica Childs

That Time I Said "NO" to Sex (Part 1)

One night, I was sitting across from my partner in a hot tub playing footsies across the jets. The sky was clear and the stars...they are always magical. Orienting to the vastness of the universe has a way of putting me in my place. I feel alive and clear and powerful when I face my own finite smallness in time and space. And when I am so well situated in my body, my senses naturally come online. I feel my animal self not as a separate part, but integral. And that whole experience makes me crave sex. I was so in my own juicy virility at that moment.

So I said to my partner with strong eye contact and a slight tilt of my head, exposing my jugular in a playful posture of seduction, "I wish we weren't in this hot tub right now because sex in hot tubs is soooo not fun." Oh boy! The juiciness in my body, the look I was throwing - I was putting it out there with such clarity and commitment to what comes next. So you can only imagine how hard I fell from there. Now you are thinking:

"What???? They rejected you?"

I know, right?????

But nope. Very much the contrary. It wasn't them, it was me.

The moment my partner picked up what I threw down and reflected that desire back to me, my entire nervous system recoiled and backtracked all of its virility and juiciness until I had retreated so far that I no longer felt my body, the stars, myself...none of it. It all happened so fast! And instead of arousal, my body tensed up and all there was was an image blasted fullscreen in my mind. The image was of a young Sandra Bullock in a tight minidress and high heels, hair down, makeup on and she was being pulled by both wrists back and forth by nameless, faceless male bodies. She was standing up, but it's like her muscles had no tone and she was just this loose body that had lost itself and given up amongst the assumed power and desire of these men.

Fuuuuckkkkk...some version of this experience had happened to me every single time anyone looked at me with desire for as long as I can remember. A sudden jolt that made me feel like a deer in the headlights. I was conditioned to override that internal experience and...just smile. To just lean in and cover it up with closeness...with cute little desirable diving into the kiss, the touch. It will pass soon. I just need to push it down, ignore it....breathe, push myself to connect down into my body. Feel my pussy more. Yes. Concentrate. Focus. Get over it.

But tonight something powerful finally dared to form these questions in my mind: What is sex for if not for me? If I don't like this...why am I doing it? Who can I be other than the dissociated Sandra Bullock that I have been socialized and conditioned to be?

(For the record, I love Sandra Bullock movies. I do not know her personally and I have no idea who she is as a person. I do know that if that image connects with me, she is a phenomenal actress to be able to portray something that stuck, something that forced me to see something profound in myself. So Sandra, if you are reading this...I honor you, you goddess)

BRAVERY. It is brave to tell someone the truth of what is happening to you on the inside. It is so hard. It is at least 26 years hard. I am certain that since I was at least 20, this has been happening in some way or another. Could be more, but on this night, with this partner and in what had become this intense feeling in my body, I finally paused long enough to say it.

"When you heard my invitation and you looked at me with

excitement and desire, I felt threat in my body. I can't do this."

Phew. Wow. That's not all I said, there was a whole lot of conversation (and silence) about how I felt....and how hurt my partner was by my feeling all of that in response to THEIR arousal. They reported that it felt like they were doing something wrong. Something horribly wrong. Hearing how I was affected by just a glimpse of their turn-on, they wanted to shrink back inside their own shame spiral. Of course they did. How could they not? And just like I needed them to hear my vulnerability in that moment, my truth, I also was called on to hear theirs... hear how much it challenged their self-worth and rightness, how they didn't know if they could ever recover from their blow, how they were lied to about how sex worked and the fear that they were never going to be touched again...their hurt.

And this, my dear readers, is how intimacy works. It is a space of vulnerability that sometimes feels like the ground is shifting underneath your feet and that the whole thing is about to implode. I'm going to leave you hanging here, because that's how it felt to me. Like I had leapt off a cliff..raw, vulnerable, unsure if my sex life would survive. Stay tuned! Next week I intend to elaborate on what happened next.... (hint: it gets much much sexier:)

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Nov 05, 2023

Oh Jessica I am so right there with you guys. This is the reality f my 30 year old marriage. I probaby should wait for part two but I am so empathetic of your partner. There is no way to express both sides of the equation. The “high” of knowing you turn someone one and the excitment of how and wathing her get aroused and orgasm. Knowing you truly pleasured her. At the same time the shame frustraction and fear of knowing you are nothing more than a dirty old man in her eyes who only wants her for sex is so beyond disgusting again there is no words to explain the in the gutter feeling I feel. It tr…

Dec 18, 2023
Replying to

Read round two. So much empathy to you both. Been in those shoes way more than I like to remember after 30 years of marriage and experiencing only one person it is still there. Sex has to be the biggest paradox ever. Women are expected to be trim sexy have the hourglass figure and even dress sexy on many occasions yet when they are or do, they are criticized and socially rejected. Why can't women embrace all the power that all the amazing parts of a female body has to offer, they truly are the most powerful energy in nature and the most beautiful and amazing. Envelop and explore all the joyful juicy things it has to offer without g…

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