I just had sex every day for a year, and I didn't tell you about it.
But I did video tape it, so check it out -> here!
I wasn't even sure I was going to go into it, but here we are. *pats the empty space on the couch*
It was the email that never made the emails, mostly because it was the kind of truth that stung a little too much.
May 22nd, 2012to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Hey, could you list 5 things you love about my body?to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Butt hair face lips cleavage.to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Whoa, slow down Casanova, I'm about to end up pregnant, don't get so descriptive.to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Well to be honest, I haven't seen you totally naked in years.
The fact is, I am horrible at intimacy. I come from a family of non-huggers and I sometimes hate my body, so yeah, recipe for Temple Grandin hug machine. My husband is gorgeous and very, very sexy, but the issues we were having in the sack were all me. I could not shut my insecurity off, and sex quickly became a really anxiety-inducing experience that went one of two ways.
1. I avoided it, because it was hot and stressful hiding my body under two comforters and a snowsuit in the dark and instead ran a diversion play. I have cramps. I have too many deadlines. Gigi is too scared to sleep alone let's bring her in the bed with us. Yeah, I used a 4-year-old as the most adorable cock-block ever. You can't be in sex mode after reading three Fancy Nancy books, you just can't.
2. I tried to explain to him why I was self conscious, and then he asked why him telling me how pretty I was wasn't enough for me to get over it, and I felt like a horrible, horrible asshole.
So after a lot of crying and shrimp curry, I came up with the plan to have sex every day for a year, barring any medical problems or logistical issues, and he seemed to be pretty okay with it. I wish it could say it was a profound decision, but the truth is, I was getting worried he was losing interest because I acted uninterested out of insecurity, and he was getting nervous about me saying things like, how awesome do separate bedrooms sound!?
(Spoiler alert: I still vote separate bedrooms, but he's a snorer and sleep chewer who is vehemently against the color mint and my need for body pillows.)
We figured if we focused on intimacy, eventually it'd rekindle all the things we spent sevenish post-birth years back burner'ing out of sheer exhaustion and raging insecurity. This is the same way I got over my fear of eating oysters and driving in the snow. You just make yourself do it until you don't notice it feels like mucus or like you don't know how to control a motor vehicle. You make yourself do it until it becomes a place of comfort and safety. You make yourself do it until suddenly, you love it.
Now I can't speak for Andy, except to say he had a really good time, but for me, a year of sex became less about getting my sex on, and more about getting my brain to stop being an asshole when I took all my clothes off.
It started off pretty rough. I felt like I was always preparing for sex; Whore's Bath & Sink Shaving Badge #5: UNLOCKED. It got to the end of the day, and as I hunched over the sink washing my face, praying for cold sheets and sleep, I'd realize I still had the whole love-making thing to do, and it was like, awesome, another daily chore.
But then it stopped being a chore, and became the moment of the day where I was most at peace. Where I could have an actual conversation with my husband and know he was listening to me and not secretly watching television or elbow deep in Lego assembly.
I told a few friends, and they reacted pretty much the same way, oh I could never do that. And I totally get it, but I actually learned a lot about myself between the sheets.
It's not you, it's me. Stop being weird about it.
So I disliked my stomach. My thighs. How I looked laying flat on my back. A myriad of irrational things, really, and I'd have the same conversation with Andy about it, telling him I'm self conscious and I just don't feel sexy, and then he'd spend 10 minutes telling me how gorgeous I am, and then another 30 minutes pouting and being hurt that it wasn't enough to make me change my mind. So on top of feeling insecure, I felt like a jerk. That needed to stop. I needed to explain to him that him seeing me that way is great, but unless I saw it too, it didn't count. I mean, at least if he expected me to be an active participant and not just a hole laying on the mattress. It took a lot of talking to make him realize that me not feeling sexy was not an attack on him, and him being hurt about it only made me feel worse. I wanted to enjoy sex, too. And the key for me being able to enjoy it is feeling confident and gorgeous, and that was a me journey, not a him journey, though having a cheerleader on the sidelines was a plus.
We quickly learned, confident Brittany sex is way better.
Pretty panties make me happy.
It's no secret that I love fashion and playing dress up, but I found that when I was at home in mom/wife/muggle/couch mode, I was opting for ease. And that's fine. Seriously, I am not some bitch here telling you to wear heels to the grocery store or pants to school pick up when you aren't even getting out of the car and it's a total waste of clean pants. But one day I was getting dressed for an outside wedding shower in 90 degree heat, and decided to forgo shapewear for regular underwear, when I realized the only underwear I owned was either ratty maternity underwear or cheap 99 cent briefs I grabbed at the end of a Walmart aisle to get me through my period week. No wonder I didn't feel sexy, I had the undergarments of an incontinent nursing home patient.
So I went to Cacique and stocked up on 5 for $25 panties. Some were plain and some were lacy, and when I wore them they looked so pretty across my hips. I'd even find myself walking from my closet to the bathroom wearing them, a stark contract to the primal run I did covered in a towel with my spanx shoved into a ball of clothes in my hands when I thought Andy wasn't paying attention.
I went back to buy more underwear, and even some cute lingerie that I tried on in the store and sent photos of to Andy at work. Needless to say, he was excited, but it was more than that. The effort I put into wearing the cute panties, even if they were under a pair of jeans or sweat shorts, made me feel insanely gorgeous, and my brain needed that.
I am my own sex advocate.
I like being on my knees and I'm not an inside climaxer, I'm an outside climaxer. I do like oral sex, but I don't like having my nipples touched, because they are numb. I also hate having breath on my neck because I am extremely ticklish, and then I get goosebumps and my leg hair grows in too fast. Please stop doing that.
All that? I had to work on being okay saying all that out loud, and get over the idea that I was being a selfish, demanding nympho. I deserve good sex as much as he does, and instead of waiting around for him to figure it out, which is totally unfair to guys by the way, I had to find my voice and use it.
Coincidentally, it was a major turn on. Who knew?
Now what, nympho?
We're not hell-bent on doing it every day anymore, but we definitely make more of an effort, and it helped us be a lot more open with each other. I mean, if you have "ball shaving" as a monthly google calendar alert, it's safe to say you're comfortable talking about almost anything.
August 5th, 2013to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Alright man take two, five things you love about my body.to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Only 5? I'd pick the curve of your waist between your boobs and your butt, the spot on your wrist where you dab perfume, your hair when you take it down in the morning, the really soft skin between your boobs, and all the freckles on your arms and shoulders.to: firstname.lastname@example.org from: email@example.com
Weird, those are my 5 favorite things, too. We have similar tastes in body parts, I should show you my freezer collection sometime.
Follow Brittany Gibbons on Twitter: www.twitter.com/brittanyherself