Up until my mid 30’s all of my sexual experiences were with people I was in committed relationships with, except for one passionate island fling while studying abroad in college. My friends were going through various stages of thier sexual exploration and while I could listen in non-judgement and enjoy the tea I could never relate to the casual sexual experience. The thought of someone I barely knew, touching my body, putting thier mouth on me or just being intimate with me grossed me out. With new people came new smells, new hygiene habits, new sexual styles, new expectations, new dynamics and I just really wasn’t ready for any of it. This was before phrases like “hoe phase” and “hot girl summer” entered the cultural lexicon. I enjoyed sex but couldn’t see it as a standalone thing, for me it came attached to some sort of intention to be together.

This was never an issue until my first relationship post-divorce was coming to an end. I felt like my sexuality had been invigorated through this relationship. I knew the relationship needed to be over but I didn’t want to let go of this newfound appreciation for the great sex and delightful orgasms I was having. The idea of simply filling this need with another whole person who I would have to acclimate to felt impossible. I remember my nail tech saying “ sex is just sex, find a new lover and move on”.  But I couldn’t. So I kept having sex with this man out of convenience and comfort even though our relationship was over. It felt safe and familiar and satisfying. It also caused things to get messy which was when I had to reevaluate. Sure our interactions were safe and comfortable but it made things weird when we weren’t having sex and in hindsight it was foolish of me to think that this was a good setup.

 Luckily, I was moving to Austin so that situation remedied itself. But now there was a new issue. It’s not like I was  running around consumed with sex, after all I was busy laying the foundation for  a whole new life for myself and my daughter, but after a few months it occurred to be that I didn’t want to be celibate.I also wasn’t trying to get into anything serious with anyone before I had established myself in this new city. So what was a girl to do?

I made up my mind to give a casual sexual encounter a try. Lots of women I knew and respected did it all the time, so it couldn’t be that bad. I decided that if I was gonna do this, I was gonna commit. I got myself dressed up and went out with the intention of “hooking up”. I created a whole character in my mind. Grown ass woman, fresh to the city, going out to look for a man capable of satisfying her desires and nothing more. In my mind, I was in a sex and the city episode. This was so different from what I was used to that I had to set the scene and insert myself in it to make it work. I wore a big floppy hat, skinny jeans and high boots. I thought I looked mature and classy. I definitely wanted to attract the right kind of person. Austin is already a young city and college town so I wanted my look to weed out the young riff raff. 

Well I weeded out the riff raff but no such luck on the young part. I didn’t yet know that in Austin unless you are going to a specified “grown event” that everyone will be on the younger side. At 35 I was in the cougar zone for sure. I did meet a nice looking  young man on the dance floor. His attire and the way he got hyped for 90’s R&B led me to believe he was a little older. We shared a drink and several dances and some light conversation. His energy felt good to me and  then my moment arrived.

 It was very important to me that I was the one to proposition him and not the other way around. I was in the role of seductress and he needed to know that I was calling the shots. I asked him if he wanted to come back to my place and he looked surprised at my forwardness as he responded with a yes. 

On the way to my place I kept thinking, what if this is wack?  What if I did all of this just to receive some wack ass sex and could’ve saved myself the trouble.The sex was nice. It wasn’t mindblowing but it was  enjoyable and more importantly than that, I liked him. I didn’t want anything more from him than what I was getting but I could tell that he would be cool to kick it with beyond the bedroom. He left early the next morning and I was shocked when I found myself thinking.. I hope he calls me! 

That wasn’t supposed to be the deal, I wasn’t supposed to care one way or the other, I was supposed to get the D, prove to myself that sex could just be sex, and allow the glow of sexual satisfaction to shine on my life for a little bit. Now I was turning into a little bitch (oooo I hope he calls me). That’s how I saw it. Ew.

I had told my bestie about him and said I kinda liked him but I wasn’t looking at him as a “potential”. Secretly I really was. We even gave him a nickname “ The Vegan”. It’s rare to come across vegan black men and for whatever reason that made me like him more, even though I’m not a vegan myself. He didn’t call or text me that day…. or the next day. I was settling into the reality that I had gotten exactly what I’d asked for so I was gonna have to let go of this desire to speak again. It was what it was. About 30 minutes later I got a knock on the door. It’s a delivery man with flowers. Vegan had sent flowers to my apartment. The card said something like “ I enjoyed my time with you the other night, thank you”. That was better than a call or text. It was very grown-up and thoughtful,  especially for a man in his mid-twenties. 

Vegan and I hooked up once more before he rekindled a relationship with his long term girlfriend who he was on a “break” from. The interesting thing was, the more we got to know each other I realized that while he was mad cool he wasn’t the guy for me. As much as I liked him I realized it wasn’t in a romantic way. We remained friends and are still cool to this day. I realize that getting flowers after a one night stand isn’t the norm but something about that experience made me feel divinely supported. It felt like Spirit said “See it’s ok… you tried this, it got a little dicey and you were confronted with feeling a need for validation that you didn’t expect to feel but ultimately your discernment wasn’t off and you managed to get your initial need met. Pay attention to the fact the fact that you maybe aren’t as savage as you thought you were.”  Ouch. It was a learning experience for sure.

That experience played a major part in me grasping the understanding that my sexuality belonged to me. It challenged a number of beliefs I wasn’t even aware that I held.

1. The only expression of my sexuality was the physical act of sex.

2. Sex was something I “gave “ to a man to solidify a commitment.

3. I must always be the prey, never the hunter.

4. I could not enjoy sex without deep emotional attachment.

5. If I wasn’t in a relationship, I didn’t have the right to advocate for my sexual satisfaction.

Changing these beliefs is what really helped me step into my power. I was already a confident woman but this new notion of my sexuality as something that belonged completely to me and having the power to choose IF I shared it, and on what terms, brought me to the next level of understanding myself and my feminine power.

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