What I didn’t say to you when you asked, this morning, in bed.
When you asked what I need from relationships.
When we discussed you asking me if any men had contacted me lately.
When you voiced your hurt that instead of hearing you, that I was making it your problem.
I finally heard you. I heard the hurt, and fear, and longing. I heard what you wanted and needed to hear, from me. You want to love me fearlessly, yet cannot in the unknowing of what I am still seeking. Of what I may be yearning for, hoping for, dreaming about. Of how much I adore you, my choice of lover at a time where I was famished for good loving. Of the places you’ve taken me, sexually, beyond what I ever dared to hope for, yet knew with unwavering faith existed. Of the trust and love you’ve ignited in me, fanned the flames of desire and passion until we could literally have burned the house down. You’ve taught me about vulnerability and confidence, asking for and taking what I want, receiving my lovers wants, communication and boundaries. You’ve introduced me to tantra, and all that goes with it. You’ve shown me all the different types of orgasms that are possible, and how many I can have (a mind-blowingly large amount, in case you’re interested). We created a rating system for the hours per session, and what they meant — excellent for 0–3 hours, exceptional for 3–6 hours, and epic for 6+, which we managed more than a few times, especially in the beginning when both of us were starving for sex, emaciated with our longing of what could be. You’ve taught me to embrace the wet, soggy sheets that are a result of my copious ejaculations, and to expect your ejaculation to signal the end of our lovemaking (especially as you don’t often ejaculate). You’ve surprised me with an orgasm at a look and the sound of your voice. You’ve taught me to revel in all the emotions that arise during sex, the laughter and the tears, and how they are all another type of release. You’ve taught me, who is so experienced and adept at reflexology, how to identify and work through the reflexology points inside of me. You’ve shown me how safe intimacy can be, and consequently how it overflows from your sexuality into all other areas of our lives. You’ve obliterated any unkindness I ever had towards my body with your loving ministrations. You are better, and so, so far beyond what I had hoped and dreamed about for myself.
And yet, I cannot say what I suspect you’d like me to say; that I don’t need other men. Not their company, not their attention, not the opportunities I imagine they are linked to. I can say, with assurance, that I do not need them sexually. I am ridiculously terrified of sexually transmitted infections — that alone would be enough of a deterrent. And I am already so well and truly satisfied in that arena. So what is it I’m still seeking? Money? Security? Ambition? The taste of something …more, or different? A nicer car, clothes, house? If I’m not answering you, it is only because I don’t fucking know. I know plenty of people, women and men, who are stuck in their relationships because they are financially safe. Is it shallow of me to admit that part of my initial attraction to you, in all the time we’ve known each other, was for how you used to live — mostly retired with the ability to come and go as you pleased, and the time and resources to study and play at will? Do I hear what an enormous, insensitive and spoiled brat I sound like? Do you understand why I cannot answer you, even in our most intimate and safest of times?
What I hear you asking, wanting, needing, is my declaration of commitment. To us, to the work we are doing together, to YOU. What I’m feeling is panic. If I choose you, I feel like I have to stop imagining a different life, and be happy with the one I have. To accept that I may not ever drive a nicer car, or have the kind of holidays I think I want, or the freedom I imagine I crave. I know it is not up to you to provide me with these things, that there is nothing stopping me from achieving all of this on my own, but what else can it be? I read my own words, and speak to all sorts of people, and know that most people would kill to be in my shoes, to be having the sublime experiences that we share, yet here I am with the nerve to pout and say it is not enough?
That is why I can’t answer you. I am ashamed at myself for my thoughts and feelings. I’ve become so comfortable in the way you care for me; in your relentless support of me.
I can’t answer you because I love you and simultaneously want to let you go.