Something that frustrates me
They came to church this week--married two weeks. I watched as she returned his adoring glance. They sat close together, making certain that every decently possible part of their bodies could be in contact. They arose in turn, confessing undying love, secure in the fact that they were meant for each other, looking forward to the rest of their lives...and each declared the sweetness of coming together pure and untainted, expressing physical love for the first time--no comparisons, no regrets, no need to forgive...
Something angry twisted inside me. I felt the same frantic, gnawing feeling in my stomach that was present as a teen, when well-meaning instructors told us to save our purity for one who would do the same. How could they possibly know that at 13 years of age, I knew more about the perversions and violent possibilities of sex than they had ever imagined. Purity was not even a distant dream.
My spouse remained clean as instructed. But instead of the promised reciprocal, he received me. No joyful celebratory union for him. No sweetly beautiful virgin bride. Just second-hand merchandise who could fill a book with knowledge about sex positions, anal sex, oral sex, and how to use sex to hurt...icing the cake, of course, would be fun trivia about lesbian sex, but I didn't see how that could be remotely interesting to him.
In a gesture I could never comfortably imitate, I watched her cuddle against his side and briefly touch her lips to his neck. Unable to stop watching, I wondered how it would feel to come together in a blinding flash--no fear, no remorse, no self-loathing. My desperately active brain visualized them cuddled together in the loving afterglow--no tears for this beautiful couple. Imagination forced me to see them ecstatically entwined without fear or hesitation, and I felt dreadfully cheated. And today, after years of practice, when I know there is nothing to hurt me, I am still afraid...
I have heard sexual interaction described as a basic need, simple and pure. I am aware of the purpose it serves as it binds couples together and provides cathartic tension release. I know of its potential procreative power.
I also know of terrifying sexual violence. I have felt its savage power tear me from the inside. I have felt violated in places that should have been exclusively my own. And there are times when I am too tired, too sad, and too weak to reconcile the fact that those acts are unrelated to the loving touches offered by the one I love.
I watched that couple...I listened to their innocent words...and I wept, not because they touched my heart, but because there is no more beauty to be found in me and I am forever broken, used up, and lost.