I have always loved talking about sex with my girlfriends. As teenagers, burdened with the unbearable shame of our virginity, we would whisper longingly to each other of our desires and fears. Posters of impossibly pretty young men were worshipped with the intense adoration that is the realm of the adolescent girl, the symbols of our unfulfilled appetites. Sexuality burned so hot and bright within us, a paralysing flame that flared at the brush of a hand, the catch of an eye, a leg pressed tight against yours on a crowded bus. We would talk of sex as though of some magical deity, something to be yearned for and worshipped, and that yet seemed too strange and too wonderful to ever truly reach. But one by one, my friends sailed off into the land of slick skin and trembling knees, returning with a glitter in their eyes and smile on their lips. How we clamoured for their stories, those of us left on the virgin shore. We would squeeze shut our eyes as we listened, allowing the waves of their words to colour our imaginations, to flesh out the bones of our own inexperience.
And then, one day, my own ship sailed too. Suddenly the conversations with my girlfriends were transformed. The mildewing curtain was raised to reveal a cacophony of colour, noise and swinging chandeliers. Now I had something to bring to the table. Now I had context. We would talk late into the night, our faces lit by candles as we smoked and drank red wine in my student apartment, our eyes widening with amusement, lust, jealousy, pity. We would laugh, amazed at the indignity of the human body, and groan softly with eyes closed as we recalled a lover of particular artistry. We would catch men (and women) like butterflies in a net, and pin their vibrant wings into our memories, memories that could be slid out and revealed for the pleasure of our friends. We would dissect these memories, ruthlessly laying bare all for examination and throaty laughter, opening the soft red core of our sexual selves for our mutual delight.
Now that I am in my thirties, and married, these discussions have evolved once more. We have begun, slowly, to pull a cloak of secrecy around our sex lives. No longer do we smash open truths on the kitchen table, bottle in hand, and gesture for everyone to look inside. Walls are being gently built around each camp, to protect the privacy of a relationship, or to protect the privacy of the self. Stories are shared, but with a cautious glint in the eye, the more unsavoury facts quietly locked away in a cupboard. We present each other with shining, glossy tales of stamina and rose scented sheets, tied neatly up with a pink ribbon and placed carefully before us, ready to be whipped quickly away.
The purpose of this section of the blog is to once again rekindle the raw storytelling of sexuality, with each post being a tale told to me by a friend of a sexual experience. All the tales will be anonymous, and the aim is not to provide a shimmering array of erotica but rather to seek the true nature of our sexual lives, both fair and foul.
Look for your weekly sensual fix on Friday evening, kittens.