The Dragon Awakens

At 43 I hardly expected to have a sexual awakening. I actually anticipated that by now I’d be downright boring. However, this latest relationship debacle — basically a sexless marriage for five years (together for eight) — has me craving carnal knowledge. The dragon is now awake and there is no sending her away now. She’s definitely breathing fire and flying high.

Oh don’t worry dear reader, as a child of the 80s, I know all about being careful. But I do feel freer and more open than I have in my entire life. There is something beautiful about embracing your sexuality and not holding back. Even though there are times I still fight against the orgasm. Why do I do that? Is it because I don’t feel like I have the right? That I’m not deserving? Or is it because I want it to last forever? Over and over. Again.

The thing is that as women we are taught that we are not supposed to enjoy sex or even want it. Think about it. There are at least three books you can find in the bookstore right now on “how to talk to your teenage daughter about sex” also known as: The dangers of girls embracing their sexuality. Try to find a single book that talks the same way about boys. Go ahead. I dare you.

Women (aka “good girls”) are supposed to hide our sexuality, hide our need for sexual pleasure and satisfaction. When 50 Shades came out and everyone was like “OMG this is so anti-feminist.” I kind of wanted to scream the opposite. I mean it was/is consensual. She wanted it (and not in a rapey way — in an “I’m in control and I choose to surrender” way). (And Christian Grey — seriously who wouldn’t? Sorry not sorry.) I get the whole, “I don’t want to be in charge any more” phenomenon. I have to be in charge in every part of my life — motherhood, in the classroom, in leadership roles within associations. I have to be twice as in charge as men in academia. I have to have my shit together and Lord forbid if I show any cleavage while doing it. I’m not permitted to cry or show any sign of weakness. To submit is to allow men in academia to stab you in the soft spot where the dragon’s heart can be found. And no one slays the dragon. It just can’t happen. Not if you want to get ahead and be taken seriously. So you stay composed, poised, and in control at all times.

No wonder we want to be bossed a bit in the bedroom. Pull my hair. Grab my throat. Leave bruises on my hips. Push me down. Whatever it takes for me to release this crazy need to always be poised and in complete control. Let me turn all of it over to you so that I can just let it all go and surrender over and over and over until I’m exhausted and spent. Go ahead. Criticize. Tell me it’s a rape fantasy. It’s not. As long as I decide to go willingly. As long as I trust you. Hand you the keys to my OCD tendencies to control everything. Every outcome. Every moment. Every orgasm. Every earthquake between my legs. And maybe my quiet “yes sir” helps you too . . . because it gives you the illusion that you are indeed in control. It helps you feel less threatened by my powerfulness at work (in society) — in the meetings, at the podium, in the classroom, in journal articles, at association meetings.

Either way, I win. I am the dragon.

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