A wise woman once advised me, that once you’ve gone long enough without it, the craving passes. I didn’t believe it at the time, but now that it is approaching two years since I’ve been in a sexual relationship, I’m thinking it may be so.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice. It’s not like I’ve sworn of it or anything. I think about it now and then, warmly and wistfully. But as with any pleasurable sensation, there is a huge difference between fully appreciating the moment, and living in anticipation of the next hit.
It is a curious sense of vague relief and release – a lightness that I never thought possible, back when sex seemed to be the most desirable of desires and the ultimate act of self-validation. It is a bit disconcerting to be free from that familiar gnawing ache, that grasping need. It is also interesting for me now at this pivotal time of life, as menopause approaches and my societal value as a perpetuator of the species fades. The whiff of fecundity is no longer honey to the bees, and my own sense of bodily urgency wanes in response.
But the flip-side of craving is aversion. I’m a little gun-shy, avoiding the possibility, fearing that if (when) I go there again the appetite will be re-awakened, with all its attachments and neuroses trailing behind on poodle feet and tiny jewelled leashes. And the wheel will spin round again, as it does. May I know what to do, whatever (ahem) arises.