Some of the lyrics from Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” have been running through my head in the past few days.
In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along
I was married for half of forever, and since my divorce, my lovers have been helping me to heal so much of the sexual damage that happened in my relationship with my ex-husband. Yet at the same time, my lovers create new wounds for me to heal as well. Sometimes I wonder if sexual relationships aren’t just dams with leaks: You constantly shove your fingers in the holes (ahem) to stop the leaks, but new ones spurt instead.
One of the largest “holes” in my ex-marriage was cunnilingus. Despite my love of giving fellatio, my ex was not one to return the favor. Before we were married, he went down on me once and declared that he didn’t like the way I tasted. After that, he only ever performed oral when I would desperately request it every few years or so when I couldn’t hold off the cravings any longer. Finally, once we got a marriage therapist involved, my ex began to go down on me much more regularly. Yet despite that change, those painful words from more than a decade before still hurt, knowing that he didn’t like how I tasted.
After my divorce, I went through several lovers who refused to go down on me on general principle. I was beginning to suspect men claimed to love performing cunnilingus only to rope women into bed. After we were sexually active, one claimed it was “too intimate” for a man to go down on a woman but that it was nowhere near as intimate for a woman to go down on a man. Of course, I didn’t pull the “you have to give head to get head” line on them because that would have only punished me more!
Then I found a partner who truly did love giving me oral sex. He was a welcome change. It was also very healing. We had a conversation one night wherein I disclosed my ex-husband’s disgust with the way I tasted, and my lover looked at me like I was crazy. He said that of all the women in his recent memory, I tasted the best. Whether he was telling the truth or not (and I believe he was being truthful), those words were incredibly healing for me. To finally have someone make me feel like I wasn’t some kind of horrible freak in this area was so helpful in boosting my confidence about my sexuality.
Yet as is often the case, this lover of mine spent his time with me healing my issues around oral, but he created new cracks in my dam, hurting me in ways my previous partners had not. Eventually our relationship could no longer handle those cracks, and we ended things between us. As I moved on the next man, I knew it would be to heal more of the wounds from lovers past yet I also knew that the new man in my life would leave another set of wounds, too.