Everything I Didn’t Know

Issue #36

By Vivienne Arkell

…could have filled volumes. Pages, pages and more pages of what Bill and I didn’t share together would outnumber the few positive memories.

I didn’t know our vows wouldn’t make things stronger. Ten years in to our relationship, full of loyalty and dedication, I married Bill – the man who worshipped me. Constantly indulging in island vacations, fancy restaurants and fabulous careers for both of us, we enjoyed fruits of the good life. But this glamorous lifestyle kept me distracted from some underlying truths. Was I actually in love with the man? Or just the idea. Was either of us self-aware or together sexually close? I wondered why commitment didn’t bond us tighter when time came to deepen our intimacy; neither of us knew where to go or how to get there.

How could I know that I would tire of love uninspired? I met Bill, the eccentric writer, when I was barely of drinking age and still in design school. As I was smitten with skinny, long haired rockers, Bill wasn’t my visual type. But he had a playful spirit, came well recommended by a close friend, and was the first man to ever ask me on a dinner date. The wild parties we went to were full of older, successful people just like Bill: musicians, models, designers, managers, producers, a lawyer and a chef. Most of his clan fawned over me incessantly and made me feel like a princess who had hit the jackpot. No one would ever understand getting tired of being admired – but I was not sexually desired.

I didn’t know that long term relationships often continued to exist without sex. Yes he kissed me on the forehead and patted my bottom, but we rarely discussed our waning sex life or my reciprocal lack of desire. Where did my impulsive sex drive go? Once upon a time, sex was the only thing we thought about when we saw each other. Now it had drifted into something done only on vacation or birthdays, or by obligation. There were no kids in the house to use as an excuse. Bill only read history books and sci-fi. I only read magazines such as Interior Design, Vogue, Bon Appetit and House and Garden. No one ever talked about sex; and when I bemoaned the lack of even his desire, friends and family said it’s natural for a middle aged man. Be happy you have a partner.

Had I reconnected with my sensuality sooner, I could have brought some consciousness to sexual energy before a new man, Gary, awakened it. I might have been able to save my marriage before it was too late. Maybe use my intense creativity for mindful connections and love-making, instead of expressly for my career.

I was fairly promiscuous in high school, but I didn’t know how to turn hormonal sex into monogamous loving sex. We were quite busy in bed during our early years together, yet we never discussed my infrequent orgasms or any new techniques. Hell, I was certainly always available and willing. Who knew I wasn’t at full potential and, after 20 years, yet to taste truly gourmet sex.

I didn’t know that I too could introduce fantasy into the bedroom. Bill had Penthouse magazine that he would peruse while I stroked him to climax. Why did I conjure up only one single naughty scenario, originating from my teen years, during infrequent masturbation sessions only when I was away from home?

Why don’t enough women reflect on their sexuality and sensuality? We are intelligent, but not often sexually intelligent. Many of us don’t know what we are missing, until it’s too late. I wish I knew earlier what I know now – to choose enlightenment and sensual awakening before the ink dries. Luckily, I know so much more now and I’m still learning and sharing while continuing on this fabulous journey of sensual pleasure.


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