My sexual orientation isn’t sexual.
Neither is my Love’s.
I can find a man aesthetically or intellectually interesting. But I’ve never felt an emotional or sexual attraction to a man.
From an early age, I appreciated the aesthetics of women and was emotionally attracted to them. I was too young for it to be sexual.
I didn’t have a sexual desire for anyone, man or woman, before I met my Love. I had dreams and waking fantasies of women. They were chaste – being close, talking, holding hands, perhaps kissing or snuggling. No sex, however broadly defined.
Maybe it was just that I had never even held hands with or kissed a woman, and my imagination was too impoverished to supply a sexual context.
But I don’t think so. I wasn’t ignorant. I had sex with men in high school and college.
My Love suggests that aesthetic, physical, intellectual and emotional attraction are, for us, logically prior to sexual attraction. We can’t have a sexual interest without aesthetic appreciation, physical attraction, intellectual engagement and emotional passion.
Perhaps that’s why the (relatively limited) sexual activity that we’ve had has been so explosive for both of us.
I am in my mid-30s. When I was in high school and college, I tried to sublimate my yearning for women by having sex with men. That sex, all of it, was tawdry and degrading. It had no meaning for them; its only meaning for me was disgust. I loathed it even as I went back to it, trying to exorcise the grave depravity of wanting to love a woman.
My Love is in her late 30s. When she met me, her entire sexual experience consisted of having her breasts fondled by a respectful high school boyfriend, and cuddling and having her breasts fondled by a college boyfriend. It was not meaningless – she had affection for both. But she had no desire. It was mechanical and unerotic.
Calling us babes in the woods laughably overstates our lesbian experience.
When my Love first touched my cheek, I almost fainted. Pricks of light danced in my eyes. When she first touched my breast, I stopped breathing. I am certain that my heart stopped. Until that moment, I had been an unemotional woman. Then, I wept in ecstasy at the simple warmth of her palm through my shirt and bra.
When I first touched her breast, she crushed me so hard into herself that I struggled to breathe. Was the scream I heard an actual scream – hers or mine – or the rush of blood in my brain?