No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Love my Woman's Body

I masturbate. There, I've admitted it.

In case you hadn't heard, May is National Masturbation Month. Go ahead, spill that seed while you still can.

I am a living, breathing middle-aged woman. I am a grandmother (photos immediately foisted upon any who breathe even a whiff of a request, so be careful). I feel. I appreciate my mind, which is keen. I appreciate my spirit, which is open and willing. I appreciate my senses, which allow me to interact with the world. I appreciate my body, which is a marvel of chemical engineering, whether by design or chance.
I have been aware of my sexuality since about the age of five. By that I mean aware of myself as a sexual creature, not aware of the fact I am a lesbian. That came much later. I spent a number of years single while raising my son. I've been single for the past two years which has been the greatest gift I've yet given myself. As a healthy woman who loves sex, of course I masturbate.

In recent months, I've taken to sometimes crying after orgasm. There have been reasons for this sadness, primarily the loss of my dad, who passed away in March, one month to the day before the birth of my grandson.
God's irony is sometimes hard to bear. I have been in private psychotherapy for almost two years. The progress I've made, especially since Dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December, has been difficult and painful. I've identified some of the feelings associated with those tears...grief that it took my father's illness and death to help me get to a place where such intense feeling is possible, fear that I'll never be able to share these overwhelming emotions with someone rather than as a solo pursuit. Not fear that I'll "never meet Ms. Right," whoever she is, but fear that the emotional block would always prevent my sharing this wonder that is my body fully with another woman.

Last night what rose to the surface was shame. I remembered my mother being distressed by her mother having to remind me repeatedly to, "keep your hands out of your Mary Jane." Why "Mary Jane?" I have no idea. We certainly weren't using the word "vagina" back in 1962. I remembered peeing my pants when I was going to visit a friend when I was about 7 or 8. The friend wasn't home and I "couldn't" walk up to a stranger's door and ask to use the bathroom even though, even in Camden, NJ that still would have been possible in 1964. So I went down an alley about five blocks from home and peed my pants. That made me cry because I was ashamed. It also felt nice, in ways I didn't fully understand, and the feeling of pleasure filled me with shame.

I remembered sitting on my left foot at my desk in fourth grade. If I sat just right, I could rock a little bit on the heel of my corrective shoes and it felt really nice. My shoes were to correct a condition known as Pigeon Toes. My toes pointed, quite a bit, in toward each other. The legs were casted for 6 months followed by years and years of corrective footwear. They were hideously ugly, of course. They looked like the saddle shoes but were either all white or a solid, dull, brick red. I always got the red. I think I was too 'dirty' for the white. The shoes did straighten my feet out and their hard soles and heels had other, more interesting uses.

I would gently and as subtly as a 10 year-old can muster, rock and rock. The teacher, Miss Lickfield (yes, that was her real name), hated me. I was the 'new' kid from the 'city,' so I was considered a tough, undisciplined troublemaker, though I was scared shitless. Miss Lickfield used to wear spiked heels. If your foot was in the aisle as she walked around the room during class, she would grind her heel into your toe. My toes were ground more times than I deserved, in my opinion. I wonder now if it was because Miss Lickfield knew what I was doing as I sat on my left shoe. Was Miss Lickfield doing the same thing behind her desk? She wasn't unattractive, our Miss Lickfield. She was slender, probably in her early forties, able to wear spiked heels, beehive hairdo, never married. I heard later she was dismissed a few years after our class trudged through. Eventually, her bizarre behavior could no longer be ignored. Too late for me, though.

I cried last night for all the family shit and cultural shit that made me feel shame for something so beautiful for far too long. I cried because I ever tried to hold back that flood of feelings for fear it would engulf me and wash me away forever. I cried that little children are ever told to keep their hands off their bodies. Even though it made me a little uncomfortable (and made him very uncomfortable), I told Mike when he was young that he could touch himself but he needed to do it in the privacy of his room. Then I tried really hard to respect his privacy as he grew up. Except for the incident of the condoms on prom night, I was pretty faithful to that promise. I hope my grandson will be given the freedom to love his body. I hope he will be taught to respect his body and everyone else's. It's a lesson I wish I'd learned long ago.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I went to so many great sites on my cruise this evening. I've made some additions to my links on MadMom and Mutt, if you're interested. The best of the wonderful things I saw tonight was at
Brutal Women. My post would be remiss if I didn't point you in the direction of the beautiful, powerful women who grace the home page. Check out the photos at the bottom...incredible, strong, gorgeous women.


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