Misadventures in Adult Toyland

Posted in Masturbation, Sex toys with tags , , , on April 14, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Because I’m deeply introspective and struggle with depression, sometimes I can get bogged down with what is happening in my head and heart and this blog can get to be, frankly, a bit of a bummer for the reader. I always want to be authentic here, but I’m going to try harder to balance the darkness with levity when I’m struggling through something. So while I work on healing, here’s a funny story about trying to buy a vibrator…

My Lelo vibrator stopped working long, long ago. This wasn’t a crisis to me, because I’ve never had a problem with…ahem…self-love that doesn’t involve battery operated gadgets. Sure, they’re fun, but I know how to get the job done without them. My lover, however, seemed to think this was a tragedy. So I went online and tried to find one, reading reviews and pros and cons. I felt bogged down by the choices, so I always ended up frustrated, without making a purchase.

When he and I planned a trip together, I thought it might be fun to have a toy, so I decided to go to our local adult store and look over the selections, in person, and finally make a decision.

Flaw #1 in my plan: There’s a family BBQ restaurant right next door to the shop (what genius came up with THAT plan??). I inadvertently timed my trip to coincide with lunchtime, on Sunday, after church lets out. So, there are the nicely dressed families waiting outside the restaurant. There’s me, walking past them all, to go into the sex shop.

No worries. I’m a strong, proud woman who isn’t ashamed of her sexuality. I held my head high and went straight past them.

Flaw #2 in my plan: Thinking that seeing the vibrators in person would make it easier to choose. I gather up lingerie and massage oil for my trip, then head to the back of the store. On my way I pass the porn section, in which there are several furtive looking men browsing and casting sideways glances at me.

I’m proud and strong and not ashamed of my sexuality, remember? I ignore them.

The wall of vibrators is intimidating and I’m momentarily frozen by the sheer number of choices. It’s like trying to decide on yogurt at the grocery store–there are too many to pick from! Should I go with the thrusting rabbit? The bullet style? Long? Short? Rotating shaft?

Flaw #3 in my plan: Coming up with the brilliant idea to ask for help from the sales clerk. I quietly ask her if there is a style of vibrator that is more popular or a bestseller. She perkily says, “Want to come on a journey with me?”

She leads me back to the vibrator section, where behind me a man is looking at butt plugs, and begins to loudly rattle off the pros and cons.

“The rabbits aren’t actually that great, because they put too much pressure on the clit, which can get too sensitive. Do you like it the rotating shaft feature?” I murmur something incoherent. She continues, “What about length? Girth? What’s your preference? Oh…these are really popular right now. They have several different speeds and it has a butterfly feature for the clit, which doesn’t apply so much pressure, only pleasure.”

Butt plug man has now turned around, giving his full attention to her spiel. On the inside I am chanting my mantra: I am a strong woman who is not ashamed of my sexuality. I grab the one she was pointing at off the shelf and say, “I’ll take this one.” Not only am I relieved to make a decision, but I’m hoping this will halt the tide of words that seem to keep coming out of her mouth.

I follow her past porno men and butt plug man, up to the front counter so I can pay and then quickly leave. She says, “I always like to check to make sure it works”, while pulling batteries out of a box. Meanwhile, a much older man comes in with what looks like a return and stands behind me, waiting for service.

She proceeds to pull my chosen vibrator out of its box and put in batteries, checking every feature. Twice. She looks at me when she’s done and I nod, randomly thinking this is like the sex toy version of nodding approval for the sommelier when he pours your wine. I’m feeling a mix of mortification and hysterical amusement. I breathe a sigh of relief as she puts it back in the box. Out of the corner of my eye I see one of the porno guys join the older guy in line behind me. I whip out my credit card and hand it to her.

She takes it, then pauses. “Do you have toy cleaner?”

“Uhm…no? I just thought I’d use a gentle soap.”

She shakes her head emphatically. “No, no. That will tear up your toy. Let me get you some.”

She walks away to get the cleaner and I look resolutely ahead.

Strong woman. Not ashamed of my sexuality.

I ignore the 3rd man who has joined the growing line behind me, waiting to check out. I’m pretty sure it’s butt plug man.

She returns, triumphantly waving the foam cleaner,  and proceeds to give me a quick lesson on how to clean the toy.

“Great. Thanks.” I push my credit card back across the counter at her. She takes it, then looks up at me again.

“Wait. Batteries. Do you have batteries? After all, you don’t want to get it home, pull this baby out and suddenly realize you don’t have batteries.”

I frantically snatch a package of batteries off the tiny hooks near the front counter and throw them up there (sex toy impulse shopping?).

She nods her approval and finally, finally, rings up my purchases. I take a deep breath and take my bag, walking past the line of waiting customers (all men) and then past the Sunday after-church lunch group, finally getting into my car.

Next time, I’m buying my sex toys online.

 

 

 

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Struggles

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

This will be brief.

Soon, I plan to post a funny, light-hearted blog. It will make you laugh, I promise.

Tonight, I am too laden–with grief, with anger, with loss.

I met with a new therapist today, to try to cope. I like him, quite a lot. Still, it’s exhausting and hard.

Tonight, I feel too heavy. My sadness is too strong to be light or funny or inspirational. This is MY honesty. Tonight sucks and I’m adrift in grief, anger and longing.

I hope tomorrow will be better.

Sisterhood and Bravery

Posted in intuition, love, Relationships, self-esteem with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

This week has been so different from how I’d planned it. After all, a week with no children and no work is a rare occurrence, so I was imagining between my plans and the plans with my lover, it would be a week of relaxation and bliss.

Instead, it’s been a week of processing and grieving. The silver lining is it was a week free from my usual responsibilities, so I was able to attend to my own emotional and physical needs.

That punched-in-the-stomach shock and grief has softened to an ache, although the anger is still strong. I’ve had time to look back over 15 months and place conversations and interactions into context and it makes me want to smash things. I’ve also realized that beneath all of that there is a thread of shame…how did I not see the truth? Why did I believe excuses and misdirection? How could he not love me? Was I not worthy of love? Did I not inspire love? The trigger effect of finding out the truth shook me. All the insecurities and fears I’ve struggled with for over a decade reared their ugly heads and I immediately called a therapist and made an appointment, because I had brief thoughts of “I can’t do this again. I can’t deal with this pain. I’m not strong enough.”

Fuck. That.

I CAN do this. I have to get through the heartbreak and anger and to the other side, but I refuse to let this leave me emotionally devastated and feeling like I did something wrong by falling in love with someone.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty I can take away from this. It’s the same basic message–trust my instincts. Don’t allow red flags to be explained away, rationalized or covered up. Speak my truth, even if it means giving up something I desire.

I’m brave and strong. It takes courage to love someone and not everyone is capable of it. I loved and I expressed that love, bravely and honestly. Instead of feeling shame that I loved someone and it didn’t work out (again), at least I took the risk of loving. I took the risk of being vulnerable. I opened myself up and I WILL NOT take on the guilt of his actions by thinking they somehow reflect on my worth. That’s on him.

I know he cared for me. I wish he hadn’t made the choices he did. But those are about him, not me. I will miss him like hell, no matter how angry I am, but one of the things that I believed about our relationship, that it was honest and open, wasn’t true. Trust is broken and trust was very much something that was required to make things work the way they did. This is the first time, ever, that a relationship has ended and I feel no compulsion to go back to him or try to make it work. Not because I don’t still love him. Not because I don’t think about him or miss him. But because the discovery crumbled the foundation and broke what was special.

And this week…thank god for the women in my life. My mother, who talked me through some of the pain and has continued to be there for me all week. My best friend, who listened to me stumble through the story, spilling out my sadness and rage without ever once saying “I told you so” and who made me laugh at the ludicrousness of the situation. My dear sister-in-law who said all the right things.  Other female friends who were angry along with me and muttered curses on aspects of his physical being that made me laugh through my tears. All of the women in my life who had my back and were a support to me this week as I struggled my way through the worst of it, who wrapped the mantle of sisterhood around me and helped to prop me up. They knew the things to say that none of the guys in my life–father, brother, friends–would know to say.

Thank you for being my sisters. Thank you for being part of my life.

Tonight my children come home and tomorrow I go back to work. This week of crying as I needed to and being able to take care of myself will allow me to put on a brave face and face life as I return to my normal schedule and responsibilities. I know in time this pain will continue to ease. I know eventually I’ll be able to forgive him and move on, hopefully finding someone new when I’m ready.

Because I’m brave enough and strong enough to be willing to love and risk and be vulnerable, even after heartbreak.

 

 

 

 

The Muscle Memory of Grief

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 7, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

It’s been a year since I last posted. During that time, I’ve been involved with a smart, witty, sexy, intuitive guy. That relationship came to an end, by my choice, after a glaring omission came to light. I won’t go into the details, because frankly, I’m not sure I’m up to doing the tell-all stories of the rise and fall of my relationships anymore. It’s too painful. It feels too vulnerable, for him and for me.

Suffice it to say that it sucked and I’m once again getting to remember what grief over a lost lover feels like.

It’s been a long time since I felt it. Not really since the politician’s son have I had to cope with swimming in such an intense mixed sea of emotions. No matter how many years it’s been, the actual ache in my heart and the fatigue in my body remembers it well.

I had an overnight trip planned the next day to a favorite spot. After spending the entire night after he left weeping, sleepless and ill with the emotional pain, I decided to keep my plans. I cried the whole drive, then managed to calm down at various points throughout the day, even experience brief moments of joy, only to relapse into tears. I cried in my Jacuzzi tub. I cried while talking to my best friend on the phone, while sipping a bourbon cocktail at a local brewery. I cried on the phone updating my mother on my plans for the week and that I would NOT be out of town with my lover later on that week as planned. Sometimes I just found myself staring numbly out a window.

I have vacillated between intense anger, sadness and compassion, then back again. There were brief moments between when I felt calm and clear-headed, even felt joy at something I saw. Then I would get that hard, sucker-punch of grief again and feel like doubling over. I don’t know how other people process grief, but for me, it’s so intense that I would do almost anything to escape the onslaught of pure feeling that invades me.

I’ve never loved gently. It would seem this is no exception.

Knowing that he won’t be a part of my life hurts like hell. Knowing without a doubt that I was never going to be the part of his life that I’d hoped we’d have a chance to grow into and that I didn’t have the full information I thought I was acting on, makes this the only decision possible.

I’m going to try so fucking hard to not let this color the 15 months we had together, which were amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so accepted for who I am. I know that I’ve never felt so turned on mentally and physically. I felt like I could tell him everything and he actually remembered and cared about events in my life, tiny details others might miss. Every time we were together felt alive and amazing. I allowed that to let me rationalize staying, despite the things I very much wanted and wasn’t getting. I didn’t want to walk away, told myself that a beautiful and intense 25% was better than a tepid 100%. And without the revelation I didn’t have all the information, there had been omissions, I might have gone on that way for a very, very long time. Perhaps this is what I needed to walk away, stop rationalizing, finally admit I’ve spent many of the last 15 months feeling lonely, wondering why we weren’t getting closer. Still, the revelation doesn’t mean it wasn’t amazing , intense and made me so happy every single time it felt like a drug I couldn’t get enough of.

It just means I’m angry. I feel deceived. I feel loss.

I want to remember the beauty and not let it be tainted. I’m going to remember that after things fell apart that night, he stayed and held me as I wept and didn’t leave. I’m going to hold onto the kisses he gave me and the way he wrapped his arms around me, sitting with me, even thought it would have been easier to leave once I’d told him I was over. Surely that means something? I’m trying to let it act as a balm to my very broken heart and bruised ego, which is calling me a fool and telling me I should have known all along. I’m trying to not let anger assign the villain role to anyone.

I’m riding the wave of emotions and reminding myself this too shall pass. I took the risk of loving someone; sometimes risk means failure. It doesn’t make me stupid, just human. It feels almost unbearable right now, but even though it’s been a long time since I was here, this isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this. I survived then and I’ll survive now. Self-care, self-care, self-care…my in-remission depression is twitching and now I have to work to regain equilibrium.

Compassion. Love. For him and for myself. As a piece of metal art I ended up buying says, “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.”

May I emerge from this with hope for the future, more wisdom and new wings.

 

 

 

 

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2015 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

I’ve been MIA for quite a long time now, while I’ve deal with an incredibly stressful legal situation (which is still pending). As my blog has come under scrutiny and been used as a form of attack, I’ve had very mixed feelings about posting. My ability to post freely and honestly is very hindered right now, which saddens me. Yet I’ve had to face the reality that my children are the most important thing in my life and if my blog is being used against me in connection with my children, to any degree, it doesn’t matter how ridiculous, banal or off-base the reasons are. They exist and I must acknowledge them.

That being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about love and all the nuances can exist. I used to believe that loving someone meant that you ended up with that person if they loved you back. If you didn’t end up with them, it was because something was wrong or they just didn’t love you enough. I took it personally. Since then, my view of love has expanded considerably.

I’ve learned that it’s possible to love someone and have them love you, yet realize they’re willing to walk away for things they want more. And it’s probably for the best if they do, because they love the you that dresses pretty and goes with them to great restaurant, is totally flexible with their crazy schedule because you only see each other once a week. Children, conflicting schedules and priorities would grind that love down until there was nothing left.

I should know, because I’ve also loved someone deeply, for years, only to have that love chipped away until there was nothing there but dust and an ever-growing antipathy.

I’ve loved someone who loved me back just enough to keep me hoping, only to have them shatter me and leave me to put myself back together.

I’ve loved someone, then hated them, then loved them, then hated them, then let enough time pass to break the cycle so that the love could be transfigured into something that was healthy, even if it meant friendship instead of romance.

I’ve recently felt the flicker of…something…for someone and had to work my way through the fact that despite feeling physically, emotionally and psychologically drawn into their orbit in a delicious, dizzying pull of desire, to attempt anything beyond what currently exists between us could kill the high and breed resentment at our ill-matched long-term goals. Sometimes you can feel things for someone and realize they are just that: feelings. You don’t have to do anything with them, just enjoy them and be willing to recognize they aren’t static and very likely may change.

Do I dream of finding a love like the one I wished for when I was younger? Of course. But at 41 I’m less quick to turn away from love that doesn’t check all the boxes, because I’m all too aware that life passes quickly, so you should drink up every single drop of joy, desire, friendship and love you can find.

Cynicism and A Wounded Man

Posted in breakups, broken men, Dating, wounded men with tags , , , on January 3, 2015 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

So, my last two-month long mini “relationship” has come to an end. This one started with very high hopes and a lot of excitement. It’s ended with me feeling tired, a bit cynical and sad. Not heartbroken by any means, but battle-weary when it comes to dating. This is the closest I’ve felt to something that might turn into a real relationship in quite awhile, so I had hopes that I was off the market.

It was not to be.

It started so fantastically: Smart, sensitive, perceptive, funny guy I had a lot in common with. Our first date went from dinner, to movie, to drinks. Seven hours and it didn’t feel like enough at the end of the evening. We had similar life views. We liked the same movies and books. He said things that awed me with their perception and honesty. Within two and a half weeks we saw each other seven times, which is unprecedented for me. He asked me to be exclusive before three weeks was up and I felt nervous. Despite really, really liking him, I’ve learned to be cautious. He seemed ready to throw caution to the wind and jump headlong into a relationship. I wasn’t at the same place. There was something that kept tickling the back of my mind, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

As things progressed, he continued to push for more of a relationship. It felt good having someone to talk to at the end of the day, hold hands with as we walked, cuddle with at the end of the date. I let myself dream, but I didn’t completely let down my guard. He sent me a message saying “What do I do if I’m falling for you?” My reply? “Keep being who you are and be patient with me.” We’d discussed that I’d been hurt before and that I just needed things to unfold slowly so I could start to relax into the relationship.

Then comes the night where I was finally able to identify what had been triggering my warning systems. While trying, unsuccessfully, to be intimate, he breaks down on me. As I wipe away his tears and listen to him talk about not having felt as though he deserved love for years, I realized what the problem was. Despite being a smart, charming, successful guy who I had chosen to be with over all others, that’s not who he saw when he looked in the mirror. He’d developed a significant weight problem he was still battling. He’d been a geek growing up and the specter of that geeky kid that was bullied and mocked still haunted him. He had very little relationship experience and had only chosen to date within the last few months. Inside this perceptive, awesome man there lived a fat, geeky boy who hadn’t quite grown up and realized his potential. I felt heartbroken for him as I tried to comfort him, but also disturbed at the level of emotion over the situation. I also realized this wasn’t a single occurrence of performance issues; this was a deep issue that he needed to work through.

As I’m lying there, naked, all thoughts of sex completely squelched, he tells me he might need to make a career change that would relocate him out of state.

What. The. Fuck.

This is the man who has pursued me, hard, for two months. Who has talked about the strong possibility he sees of a future between us and how lucky he feels to have me in his life. Within a span of 30 minutes, the walls I’d started to let down slowly were rebuilt higher than before. I told him that if he planned to relocate, that changed things for me significantly and I would need to think things over. Leaving his house I felt exhausted emotionally.

I didn’t hear from him for four days. We’d planned to spend a day and night together over the holidays, watching movies, drinking wine, making love and just being together. I now felt sick at that prospect, because I knew that for me, it was over. I didn’t want to break up with him right before Christmas, but nor could I spend 24 hours with him while these things rolled around in my head.  I contacted him the day before we were supposed to get together to talk and let him  know I thought we should postpone. When I questioned why he hadn’t gotten in touch, he said he didn’t know what to say. Another strike: Disappearing acts leave me cold. We agreed to get together when the holidays were over and talk and exchange our Christmas gifts. He apologizes for not communicating and promises he won’t do it again.

We exchange a few texts over the next few days. Then…silence. At this point, I’m just tired of being in limbo. I want someone who knows who they are and what they want out of life and that clearly isn’t him. I want someone who doesn’t run from bumps in a relationship and who can talk about the hard stuff. While I think he has potential with this, he’s got a lot of work to do, as evidenced by his silence. It stretches out for a week and I let it.

Then comes the email. It was pretty formulaic: I might move, I’ve got work I need to do on myself, you’re a great woman, I’d like to be friends, we probably shouldn’t date anymore…yada, yada, yada. I felt relief, sadness and annoyance. Relief that I didn’t have to say it, sadness at the potential lost and knowing I’d have to get back in the dating pool and annoyance that he couldn’t even step up enough to tell me face-to-face. I didn’t answer the email, but I did sit down and immediately write him a letter.I mailed it yesterday, along with his already wrapped Christmas gift and the books he’d loaned me.

Since then he’s “liked” my posts on Facebook, then defriended me. I reactivated my dating profile and apparently he did as well, because he viewed my profile.So much for him waiting to do some more psychological healing before dating. So much for being friends.

It never fails to amaze me how quickly things can change, how erratically people can behave when it comes to dating and how much people can mislead themselves and others in their pursuit of love.

So, another one bites the dust and I’m back to dating. In fact, I have a date for tonight, less than 24 hours after I’m officially single. Hope springs eternal, right? Trying to not get jaded and cynical to the point where I can’t allow myself to be vulnerable with someone, but experiences like this make it challenging.

To the wounded men of the world: May you heal, may you find peace and may you stay far, far away from me.

Box of Darkness

Posted in box of darkness, new years, resolutions, wild with tags , , , on January 2, 2015 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ~ Mary Oliver

I’ve been reading the book “Wild”, the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who hiked 1000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. After watching the film, I was curious to see how the book compared.

So far, I’ve wept several times already and I’m only a third of the way through. There are passages where I feel like my heart is being squeezed because of the depth of empathy I feel for this woman. At first reading, one might easily think we have little in common. After the sudden death of her mother and the scattering of her family, she descends into a blur of meaningless sex and heroin that end up costing her marriage, a marriage she wasn’t even certain she wanted, despite the love she felt for her husband. She ends up on the PCT trail in a poorly thought out quest to regain the woman she once was.

In my own way, I have experienced extreme loss. In the year after my divorce and my complete descent into despair,I lost myself in a haze of alcohol. I was so desperate to fill the hole in my heart and to validate my own existence, I sought love in places where only my flesh was desired. I was frantic, simultaneously,  for both numbness and to feel anything other than the searing grief I felt almost constantly.

Slowly, the grief began to ease and I started to find my way back to a life that involved more than simply trying to survive my own emotions. There have been times over the years I’ve stumbled on my ascent, but I have steadily continued to move forward. Now the loss and grief I had to fight my way out of is still part of me, like a scar or an old injury that aches on emotionally rainy days, but it’s no longer active. It definitely flares from time to time, usually when I don’t protect my interaction and allow myself to be lulled into old traps.

If I’ve learned anything from my time in darkness, it’s I can survive. Just as Cheryl Strayed convinced herself to put one foot in front of another on the trail by convincing herself she was the toughest person in the world, so I’ve managed to continue climbing. I have survived darkness and I will continue to overcome any obstacle thrown at me. Yet I’ve reached a point where finally, I feel I can do more than simply overcome. This year, I plan to do far more than simply survive!

My resolutions for the new year:

  • Celebrate beauty
  • Seek out more joy every single day.
  • Strengthen my body
  • Accept things as they are, rather than wishing things were different
  • Believe that I deserve more and seek out the best for myself
  • Work on letting go of my fear of being a bad parent and focus on accepting my children for who they are and loving them unconditionally
  • Respect myself
  • Stand up for myself
  • Be compassionate with myself
  • Allow myself to feel my feelings without judgment, then let go of them
  • Stop wanting people in my life to be different. Longing for people to be who I’d like them to be, or treat me differently than they do, causes me tremendous anxiety and sadness. Recognize the truth of them, forgive them, release them from my life. As many times as it takes.

I wish everyone a joyous and beautiful new year, filled with love and magic!