Updated: Jan 17, 2022
After Divinity School, I spent a year in a convent in Greece. By the time I left, I had worked to quiet my erotic energy so much that I was a bit lost. I didn’t even feel like a woman anymore, just a being in space.
The inner quiet that had been delicious, at times, in the convent felt more like a blank space of nothingness when I re-entered regular life. I was dull and depressed. That warm feeling that had helped me know where to go next was gone. I realized that my erotic part had helped me to navigate the world.
My friends were concerned. They missed my eros and my naughtiness.
Also, through baptism, my virginity had been renewed, and I was taking it very seriously.
Practically everyone I met knew about my newfound virginity because I was in that awkward post-convent state where all my social skills had been stripped away. I was the over-sharing lady at dinner parties, mentioning casually across the table that my virginity had been renewed through baptism.
“Huh,” I remember someone saying at one of those parties, “Is that a good thing?”
One night, a new friend took me out dancing. As he twirled me, I suddenly felt a tiny spark of eros wake up in me.
“I’m a woman,” I told him over and over on the drive home.
"I know," he replied, confused.
That night, I told him that he could do whatever he wanted with me from here—I pointed to my wrist—to here—I pointed to the inside of my elbow. He spent the next three hours touching my inner forearm.
Within the boundaries that were set, an entire pleasure world opened up. And we were both strangely proud of ourselves for the experiment.
There are boundaries that close things off and boundaries that open up whole new areas of exploration.
Here’s an experiment: Try narrowing the focus and notice what opens up. Choose one part of your body or your lover’s body and spend 20 minutes totally dedicated to making love to that part. Pretend you are an alien who makes love only by touching the palm of a hand or an ear. Let yourself be lost in the exploration. Take turns with your partner.
Let your attention narrow so that you can find a new world in a tiny patch of skin.
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Photo: Adrien King on Unsplash