How To Be A Perfectly Outrageous Wench
I have a variety of friends, many of them younger. They come from all races, and creeds, and all sorts of orientation. They gravitate to me because I am warm, friendly, and accepting. But back when I was doing a combination or poetry and stand-up in a college setting, I realized I needed to establish my identity with an audience who was literally young enough to be my children.
The first time I stepped on the stage, you could see them go sort of stiff and wary. MOM was there. But I wasn’t their mother. And if I was to connect with them at all, I needed to mow that down, PDQ. So I took the mic in my hand, looked out at them in that small packed venue and said…
“This is an important public service announcement.
I AM NOT YOUR FUCKING MOTHER.”
There was a stunned moment of silence. Then they roared.
It became my tag line, and it never failed.
I was going more for mere shock value. If I were to deal honestly with my audience, I couldn’t afford them to be suffering from cognitive dissonance. My chubby form, my graying hair, my library lady glasses all screamed a different persona than my truest self.
And I was going to be reading to them from my life. I have been a catholic school girl, a rebel, a college student, a fag hag, a lover, a wife, a mom, a poet, a fast food worker, a librarian, an advocate for the disabled. I have been piss poor in a world that hates you for poverty. I have been disabled, re-abled, and nine sorts of broken, and I really can’t afford to talk to people who don’t like who I am, or how I got to be me.
And by the way, I am also a multi-orgasmic, CIS splendid wench over 50, who sees no need to hide my enjoyment of sexuality, and actually is pretty happy about celebrating it. I am also selective about those I share that bounty with, so unless you have reason to actually believe I want to go Goddess mode with you, please keep it in your pants, out of my face, and we will get along.
Wow. That actually felt good.
I will write about it here, when the mood takes me. Partly because it gives me happiness. Partly because menopause is a son of a bitch, and reclaiming your sensual and sexual identity when your body shuts down the baby making function is an absolute nightmare. There is astonishingly little written about it. OB GYN’s seem to be utterly clueless. (I went through five. All of them sort of shrugged , but had zero answers for me.)
So I feel compelled to share the experience of getting from point A to point B. Perhaps it will help other women find their new selves. But it needs to be out there. Our sexuality doesn’t go away because we stop making babies. It changes…but dammit, we can reinvent our bliss.
When menopause hit me, I was a bit terrified.
I enjoyed being a woman. I loved sex, and orgasms. I was curious and engaged between the sheets. And I had half convinced myself it was mind over matter. And the universe looked at me, and said “Oh REALLY little girl?” In an instant, all my smart ass bravado vanished with the first hot flash.
You heard about them. You read about them. But nothing prepares you for the instant your hormones hijack your body…and take you as hostage.
It was creepy, unsettling, and the clarion call for horrors to come.
I was out shopping with my daughter, took a step into the store, and it hit me. I stopped walking, trying to absorb the weirdness. My internal thermostat went from normal to flash furnace and I sucked breath. My daughter put her hand on my back, and yanked it back.
“Mom…you are BURNING!”
Indeed I was. And something else happened, nearly as abruptly. My skin changed. My nerves deadened. I had always enjoyed my skin, and its level or response, not just to sexual touch, but sensual stimulus. I became aware that my nipples went FLAT. No response to touch, cold. Nada.
And it took a few weeks, but I also notice that the fire down below was freaking OUT. Worse…it resisted every effort on my part to rekindle. You get used to your own body. You know how you respond to stimulus, and pleasure. You know the thoughts that make you juicy, dammit.
So being the pro-active, modern wench I am, I made an appointment with my Gyno, and made a list of concerns. Why did my lower parts feel like they were suddenly full of slowly drying cement? Why were my nipples dead? How long would I be like this? When would I get back to being me?
Answer:” Well…maybe never. There’s no way to tell.”
Are you SHITTING me?
But no…he was serious. Apparently menopause was a strange dark place. They had stopped giving women hormones by that time, and he had no answers for me. “Time would tell.” Fun fact. You know how they say every pregnancy is different? And you know how no two women react the same way to touch? There is a reason for that. NO TWO WOMEN ARE ALIKE. We have different levels of everything. And there is nothing like menopause to bring that lesson home, quite painfully.
I went to other doctors. Four more, to be exact.
They all said the same thing. Menopause was unpredictable.
So…I researched. There is precious little on the topic. Lots of websites written by the clueless, or the predatory. Black cohosh. (Which to be fair does help with hot flashes) Artichokes. All sorts of stuff. None of it helpful.
I began my own science project. And dear god, it sucked. Imagine touching yourself, and feeling…nothing? That lovely wet you once took for granted now a vast Sahara of numb? But every few weeks, I would try. For months, nothing happened.
Then one night…the tiniest little something. Not pleasure. But…not godawful. It was hard to call it progress. But it was something.
So…upward and onward.
The difficult part of this telling. Sometimes it just HURT. But I just couldn’t give up who I had been that easily. I came to understand that while I did not respond in the same way, response was possible. I had a new body…new skin. And I had to learn what it liked.
THAT dear friends, was quite the trick. It’s normal to fall back on the familiar. But that route was gone. Time to figure out a detour. Different fantasy. Different pressures. And one night, it almost worked. But instead of the accustomed orgasm,…fucking OUCH. It hurt. And not in a good way.
Regroup. Consider the data. It had been months since those muscles worked correctly. Reluctantly, I tried again. Another ouch. But…not as bad. More weeks. Inching a bit closer. Finally it stopped hurting. And it was ok, just…lacking.
And one night, I spoke to an old friend. He was a brilliant, sexy creature I had not spoken to since my strange journey began. We were not being sexual…but something in his voice…and I felt stuff abruptly wake the hell UP. My faulty parts sprang awake, and suddenly I was a damned woman again.
Not who I had been. Not better. Not worse.
But alive, and functional.
So I spared my blushes, and wrote about this. Too many women just give up…and that is a shame. I get it. There is no map. There is no coordinates. You are literally dropped in the middle of nowhere by your body…and no one can help you find your way.
It is worth it. This is Survivor, the Solo Match.
I wish you all the luck in the world. White light and healing on your journey. Find out not who you were…but who you are in your new skin. No one can do this but you.
I’ll be here, cheering you on.