The Mystery of Intimacy

This marital intimacy stuff is not the work of straight lines.  It’s not A + B = C. And yet, we forge ahead because there is no “behind” to return to.

Seeking sex, I force myself to turn to the next activity in the Art of Sexual Ecstasy. We are now in the chapter entitled, Skills for Enhancing Intimacy.

But it is already 8:30 pm and these activities are not only psychologically demanding, but time consuming. “Allow at least an hour per person,” the author suggests.

Once again, I toss the book aside, only to pick it up again and tell my husband to blindfold himself while I go gather “sensory awakening” materials.

We don’t have grapes or chocolate mints so I substitute thin apple slices and chocolate sauce along with summer’s wild blackberries drenched in brandy and maple syrup.

Although I am cynical, the creative planner in me is engaged and she allows me to provide my husband with an hour of music, touch, taste, sound and smell–after which I am to whisper words of love into alternating ears before removing his blindfold.

It is painful for me to witness how hard it is to speak these words.

When the ritual is complete, my husbands face is awash in gratitude and I feel like crap.  Where am I?  Where is my heart connection to this man I claim to love?

Casey tells me that he almost cried three times, and although the initial sex drive that prompted this act is now completely diminished, I initiate making love, exploring yet another delightful dance of sexual expression together.

After orgasm, I feel Casey disconnect, completely– unsure of himself, unable to keep his heart so wide open in the depth of his own vunerability.

In the face of my own heightened sensitivity, I am hurt and angry.  And the night ends badly.  We turn away from each other,  disoriented and afraid in this new place we claim to want.

WTF! I think.  Is this the gift of intimacy?

But when the next afternoon roles around, Casey moves toward my face for a kiss, and we sense a unspoken softening that wasn’t there before. It reminds me of the Rumi poem~

How should spring bring forth
a garden on hard stone?
Become earth, that you may
grow flowers of many colors.
For you have been heart-breaking rock.
Once for the sake of experiment,
be earth
.

And I realize, that although none of these activities directly provides the jewel of intimacy we are seeking, in some mysterious way, they do seem to loosen the hardened soil of our relationship.

It’s easy to throw up our hands and feel hopeless in the face of so many stones between us– especially since we hadn’t known they were there until this journey of deeper intimacy had begun.

When evening falls and Casey eagerly asks if I’d like to be on the receiving end of last night’s ritual, I offer a strong, “No.”

And yet, I realize that I will eventually surrender to a softer “Yes,” before we make love again.

Kelly Salasin

To follow this journey of marital intimacy from the most recent postings, click the links below.

82 Pages till Sex

Baba Yaga Love

Sex (from the Empty Nest Diary)

On 19 Years of Marriage

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