Sex and spice and everything nice

Feeling my way to love

Christiana White
Dec 6, 2019 · 4 min read
Photo by Michael Prewett on Unsplash

Lately, birthing a new story has been like doing the same with an actual baby. Long, laborious, impossible. Every time I think I can, I shy away. I become frozen with trepidation, overcome by a kind of foggy confusion.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what I write. The important thing is to write.

I read an article today, an interview with a new, young Swedish writer. She said, “I fear most that I’m never going to be able to write again. You never really know. But then writing itself gives you the ability to write.”

I need to remember this. This bears repeating. I need to remember this.

Writing gives birth to writing.

One thing that’s frozen me lately is something I read on Medium about how no one wants to read our journal entries. Our pieces should be polished. We should know what we want to say and deliver it nicely wrapped in service to that goal.

What if the writing I’m attracted to IS the meandering type, where the writer seems to be feeling his or her way along? Writing to discover?

One of my problems is that I seem to have everything and nothing to write about, at once.

I have a hard time collecting things into a coherent whole. Writing the story, I guess you would say. Maybe I write to find out what I want or need to write.

The truth is, I have so much material.

And so little.

Writing sparks my material, makes it come alive.

Not writing dulls it until it’s pablum.

The act of writing itself is what makes my life come alive to me. And hopefully to others.

Even if it doesn’t succeed in injecting sufficient color to keep the interest of the general reader, it’s still important to ME to write. Just to write.

I’m in a wine bar on Grand Avenue in Oakland called Ordinaire. I have a somewhat fraught relationship with this wine bar, but the wifi is good, and it’s across the street from my hair dresser, Daniel, with whom I have an appointment in seven minutes.

My daughter, who is 18, is at school still. She has an event with her tennis team tonight. I will pick her up; I have promised.

I changed my reservation for dinner at Enoteca Molinari on College Avenue from 5:45 to 7, and I switched the men out too. One lover for another.

Because that is my prerogative.

If I’m going to be people’s lover instead of their girlfriend, I get to call the shots. I like it that way.

It’s not really what I want, of course.

I saw “Brittany Runs a Marathon” last night on Amazon Prime. It gave me pause. In the movie, Brittany has little self-esteem and lives her life like that. A conversation with her doctor rouses her from drug- and alcohol-fueled somnambulance, and she begins to run to rescue her health.

As Brittany begins to look and feel better, her self-esteem improves. Toward the end of the movie, she ends her affair with the man she’s been sleeping with, in order to re-set the parameters of the relationship. To make him recognize her as a real girlfriend, with the potential for a real relationship.

She pushes the boy away so he can value her differently.

I want this too. Of course I do.

Ultimately, I want a “relationship.”

But, the mere fact that I embrace that word with quotation marks shows my discomfort and cynicism.

Do I, or do I not, want a relationship?

Do I, or do I not, want a lover?

Do I, or do I not, want multiple lovers?

Do I, or do I not, believe there is a moral code when it comes to these things?

Do I, or do I not, believe this moral code applies to me?

Do I, or do I not, care?

As usual, I am all over the map.

After years of being “good,” and waiting for “Mr. Right,” I realized that with my sexuality ebbing away, I’d better reclaim it and fast if I wanted to enjoy myself before true old age comes.

When I did jump back (with great joy) into my sensuality, I was delighted to discover I could still feel sexy. I still WAS sexy. That was a great relief.

The truth is, sex is different in menopause.

But, my desire is not greatly diminished. I’m as kinky and extreme as ever in my fantasies. My body is still responsive.

I have a dependence on lubricant. But I like lubricant. It has a different texture, and it’s a lot of fun.

I still want to be sensual, sexual. I still want to enjoy physical intimacy.

I still want what I always wanted: a real relationship. A man to depend on. And one who can depend on me. Something we can deepen. Someone I can trust to be there for me, to “have my back,” as they say. Someone whose back I can have too.

The trouble is, I seem to be still doing work in this area.

I wish it were different.

I have deeply troubling and conflicted emotions around my ex-, my B., who suffers from mental illness. When I am weak, I believe I caused his illness. I believe I am forever beholden to him. I take care of him, and believe I always will. I take this responsibility seriously.

I was born to an alcoholic who passed me into the arms of a series of nannies from birth and have commensurate connection issues.

At the same time, I’m confident I’ve come a long way.

I’ve also grown more discerning. I’ve learned about my weaknesses, and honed the attributes I’m looking for in a partner. I’m also more familiar with my intuition, and more trusting of it. I’m waiting, biding my time.

And keeping my sexuality alive.

And, what is the matter with that?

Christiana White

Written by

I write personal essays about food, travel, love, loss — the viscera of life. Currently at work on a memoir. Visit me at ChristianaWhite.com.

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