We arrived in bed, arms around each other and legs entangled. I was thinking about sex and thinking we would make love. My husband then said something, in an almost lamenting voice, asking why he was the one that always initiated sex. His voice wasn’t a total whine, and maybe not even a whine, but it was definitely a lament.
I was taken aback by it. He had never voiced that before, ever once in 20 years, and it startled me. I knew this to be an almost universal complaint of men, at least stereotypically, and it had never applied to me. And on top of that I thought it just wasn’t true. I could remember the last two weeks and the three times we had had sex; I had been the one that initiated things each time. I had given him an inviting wink, or an extra-long suggestive kiss. In that moment I was truly confident that it had been me that started things the last few times, and indignant that he was saying he always did.
I started to protest. To point out why this was untrue. I began to recount the details that would counter his conclusion. He wasn’t always the one that initiated it – ‘let’s set the record straight.’
As my mouth started the protest, my mind skimmed forward to what would or could unfold in the next ten minutes. There would be a back-and-forth discussion of what each of us thought had happened. I would listen to him, and he would listen to me. Chances are we would actually hear each other. There was a small chance we would be triggered and emotions flare, but probably not. It wasn’t a horrible way to spend ten minutes, but it wasn’t what I wanted. At the end it looked like we had understanding, but there wasn’t much juice in that view. We certainly weren’t having sex. Going that route looked flat to me in comparison to where I’d wanted to go.
The aha came to me in a flash… We could go in a different direction.
The aha came to me in a flash. Underneath his lament was his desire to have sex. He liked sex. The invitation to debate the truth and set the record straight was not the direction I actually wanted to go and in that flash I knew it wasn’t his either. We could go in a different direction.
I stopped talking and reached for him. I kissed his lips with passion and made a sound that indicated pleasure. We skipped the conversation and went toward what we wanted more. In that moment I made a choice to go in the direction of sex. I did not go in the direction of deciding who was right. I also didn’t go in the direction of understanding more about the psyche of my husband. I chose sexual union with my partner. I jumped tracks – from being on a train running in one direction I leapt onto a line that was obviously going to a different destination.
It has been 5 to 6 years since that experience and the aha of going towards what I want stays with me. I share it with you so that if you are in a moment that is going in a direction that feels automatic and natural to you, and yet it is not taking you any closer to what you actually want, you can jump. Jump off that line and onto a line that takes you to what the core part of you desires.
What women truly desire has yet to be taken seriously in this world – let’s make sure we, ourselves, take what we want seriously.