When I was a kid, we used to listen to a broadcaster named Paul Harvey who had a daily vignette called ‘The Rest of the Story.’ In his vignettes, he would share the back story or a handful of other details that painted a broader picture of some important story of the day. Today we have ‘The Rest of the Story’ about my Sex Surge.
When we talk about my Sex Surge, clients want to know how each of our stories match up- what feelings I had, what decisions I made, what happened between me and my husband. Each of our stories is at once a journey for ourselves and a map for others. Part of why I am sharing this today is as a map for myself. It’s been more than five years since I both let go of and fell harder for my FF (‘Fuckable Friend’ or ‘Forbidden Fruit’) and I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m ready to move on. Not that I’m abandoning this work, just that my story is over and I want to leave it in 2017.
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So. I knew my FF for a relatively short time. We worked together for about 14 months and I’m not sure when the crush developed, but it did. I tried to keep it professional, but I was entranced by him and I acted like it. I did some truly 7th grade shit. I must have asked him out 15 times. Liked things he was into. And, most telling, made myself very small – intellectually, emotionally – just so he would be comfortable around me. [FYI, ladies: dumb mistake; don’t do it. ]
I left the company we worked at, but kept in contact with him for six months or so afterwards. It was about this time and I knew I was getting so attracted to him that I would do something epically stupid- and so I left our friendship. Cold turkey. Sent him an explanatory email in late 2012, said ‘never contact me again,’ and he didn’t.
I also left him because it was increasingly clear that I wasn’t doing what was right for my deepest soul. I had to ask some serious questions of my heart and soul and the answer was always to stay with my husband. My husband, actual feminist, did make it clear to me, though- I could have an affair, I was free to choose that. But if I did, our marriage was over. I knew who I wanted to hold me on my death bed- my husband. Leaving the FF was a clear, if painful, choice.
Now, I know that the choice of whether to stay or go is not always so clear. I know that sometimes an affair is a necessary tool in figuring one’s shit out. I know that an affair can help a marriage sometimes. I know that an affair can eject us out of a shitty marriage. I know that an affair can meet sexual needs when a partner is uninterested or incapacitated. I accept affairs because sometimes they are the best answer to a difficult, complicated, or disappointing situation. It’s why I teach a class about them- because I know affairs from the inside now and they are always about figuring ourselves out (and we can’t fault ourselves for that).
After I let my FF go, I spent a lot of years in unrequited ‘love.’ He stalked me on Facebook, Pinterest, and this website (leaving comments and evidence that he’d been there), so it was hard to actually let go because he was still there…still connected in this weird way.
Because he poked around my websites so much, I could see what was happening in his life. He ended up having an affair in April of 2015. He left his marriage and married his own FF. (Which, is the one and only thing I will judge people about- he never did his emotional work on his marriage and why he needed an affair. He was purely selfish. He never tried to figure things out, get help for his marriage, or try to meet his needs in other ways.)
He pokes around my social media to this day. Turns out, he’s also an asshole, so I feel very glad we never had a deeper connection. He can barely take care of his kids, he doesn’t really know what he wants, can’t make a decision to save his life, and can’t learn from his own mistakes. Which, basically, is the complete opposite of my entire value set. So- sometimes Life knows exactly what it’s doing when we don’t get what we want.
What happened with me, though?
I went crazy for a few years, trying to understand how to fight my desire for someone else and also yield to it. It was a rollercoaster of desire, frustration, personal development, confusion, and inching my way forward into stability and clarity.
I undertook sensuality as a spiritual practice. And learned some stuff about the yogic spirituality of tantra. Learned a lot about making sex very satisfying for everybody involved (or just me!).
I worked on making my marriage better. I have a really good marriage to start with, but I needed some things I wasn’t getting- so we figured that out.
I danced a lot. A lot. In my bedroom, at a club, in a bellydancing class. It all helped dissipate the energy so I could think more clearly.
Meditation was a great help for dealing with both the Sex Surge and the letting go.
I wrote a fair amount of erotica.
I learned how to fall out of love with someone. Even though I didn’t really ‘love’ him, the feelings were deep and I learned how to extricate myself from them.
I decided that I was in control of my life, my body, and my sexual expression- and I could do what I wanted, with my values as a guide. I also spent a good amount of time feeling like the victim of things. It was all valid and useful.
I nourished myself on anything that felt satisfying. I sought out experiences to fulfill every sense so that I could have all the ‘sex’ and sensuality I wanted.
Mostly, I learned to ask the questions that helped me figure out what I most wanted and then supported myself in heading towards those things, living towards those things, so that my life would be as open, sexy, and meaningful as I wanted it to be.
Things aren’t perfect, of course. The connection within my marriage still needs re-shuffling once in a while. I stumble in how I handle my desire for sensual expression- but I get up a lot quicker after I fall. Our sex is changing due to early peri-menopause symptoms. But, overall, I feel really good about my marriage, getting my sexual and sensual needs met, and getting through the Sex Surge as well as I could. I am proud of both my insights and mistakes now.
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So, the rest of the story is that I let go of my FF but also fell further for him. And then I learned to completely let it go and heal from the pain and confusion. All the while learning, in my own halting way, how to express myself sexually, get my sensual needs met, enjoy living in this body full of sexy energy, and hold on to a marriage I want. It’s been a long ass 5 years. And what I’m ready to release, by way of telling you all this, is the frustration, discomfort, confusion, and shame I’ve carried around because of this story. It’s here, it’s my life, it’s done, and I’m ready to share it because the story is finished. And I’m ready to write new chapters.
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Do you need help with your out Sex Surge journey? Need to talk about the FF or the affair option? Need to just get some ideas for how to not feel like a teenage boy on a daily basis? Come hang with me in a ‘One-Time Consult’– we’ll chat, laugh, and get this stuff figured out so you can have some solid answers and not feel so overwhelmed.