07/06/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Do You Trust Your Body or Your Mind?

Part 6 of a serial, "Sex Love Enlightenment." Previously: The chemistry was so intense that I opened the door to Billy again. Click here to read past installments.

Some of you have been asking why, after dismissing Billy twice, I went back for more. Why did I cave, when I knew with every fiber of my being that it was unhealthy? From this point on, the story is not about how "bad" Billy was but how addicted, how hooked I was. It's as if the gods were swinging me by the feet, bashing my head into a wall, saying, "You want to get free of this? We're gonna hit you with our best shot. It will hurt so much you'll never want to do this again."

May it be so...

The day after Billy visited me in Boulder was Valentine's Day. He called and asked if he could bring me lunch and anything else I needed. I said the dimmer in my kitchen was broken. "I'll pick one up," he said. "I can fix anything electrical." He added, "I'm supposed to have a date for the opening of the film festival tonight, but it's snowing and my date won't drive in the snow. Are you free, if she can't make it?"

"I wish I could go, but I can't sit up for two hours without pain."

He arrived bearing chicken soup and a bouquet of red roses for V-day. He replaced the broken dimmer in five minutes, and as I watched him fix it with ease and assurance, I had a repeat of the couch moment at the Grizzly Rose.

After lunch we sat down in two cozy, overstuffed swivel chairs in my living room. "What are we doing here?" he asked.

"Good question. I'm feeling a strong connection with you now, and maybe it's too late," I said. "If I hadn't broken my collar bone, I would have driven down to see you and who knows where we'd be now."

He nodded, saying he felt the same connection. "It's confusing. After you said no to me, I set up dates with three other women in Boulder that I met online. Now, there's good news and bad news. I met the first woman this morning and..." He wrinkled his nose. "No chemistry."

"And the bad news?" I asked.

"My second date - the one for tonight - won't drive in the snow. But..." He smiled sheepishly. "It's stopped snowing."

The irony was that we'd switched positions. For months, he'd wanted to date me exclusively and I'd put him off. Now, I was ready to go for it and he had three in the air besides me and wanted to get to know them all.

So off he went to the festival, and the next day, he called and asked if he could bring lunch again. I was working on a TV script, so he went shopping and without consulting me, chose things I love: ravioli with goat cheese and asparagus, flourless chocolate cake and a bottle of champagne. Sipping it, we settled into the same cozy chairs again and the electricity was mighty.

He said his date the night before "went well. Better than I expected."

I asked what her name is. Maybe I know her.

Kitten Rourke.

"Kitten?!" I said. "Sounds like a stripper."

"She's a lawyer, and writes mystery novels."

I fell silent.

"Don't shut down," he said. "Keep talking with me."

"It feels like you're running a competition, and I'm not up for that," I said. "I prefer to date one person at a time."

"So do I," he said. "But things are changing so fast." He'd thought I was a cold bitch who was jerking him around and just seeing him to break up in person.

Do you think that now? I asked.


I'd thought he was nuts, angry, too much trouble. But the past couple days, he'd been easy-going, willing to talk honestly about anything, and he challenged me when I fell quiet. I like being challenged, and we were constantly laughing. The laughter and honesty felt intimate and was maddeningly arousing.

He said he wasn't sleeping with any of the women, and wouldn't do that with more than one at a time.

So pick one of us, I suggested. But he wasn't ready to do that. "I didn't expect to have this pressure on me to make a choice this weekend. I just came here for a vacation and to date some women."

Hours went by, we ended up in the bedroom, listening to music, and discovered we have exactly the same taste - he knows every song on my ipod. I thought: he's witty, playful and sexy, oh Lord. How often do I have a chance to connect with a guy who's smart, verbal - and with whom the chemistry is so intense? And... I'm ashamed to admit this but... it did pass through my mind that if I slept with Billy now it would be a preemptive strike.

What sealed the deal was this: I've been learning, more and more, to trust the body. It's usually wiser than the mind. You can tell if something's right for you by the way your body feels. If you leave a situation and your body feels upset, pay attention. With Billy, though, my body felt wonderful.

Later, when he was acting like a complete shit, one of the spiritual teachers who'd advised me to trust the body asked, "What was your knowing at the time?"

My knowing was: danger.

She nodded. "In this one area, when it comes to sex and relationships, I'd go with your knowing instead of the body."

But by the end of that Valentine's Day, the body had won. I was lying on my bed, wearing the shoulder brace, trying not to move because I was afraid of jostling the broken parts of my collar bone that were trying to fuse. Billy had his clothes off, but I kept on my blouse on because the bruises on my chest were turning black, purple and green.

For a month I'd been telling Bill the Good, who took care of me after my ski wreck, not to hug or touch me, and now the other Billy was inside me. And it was a perfect fit: easy, natural, wonderful.

He kept asking if it was good. (Is there a man out there who doesn't ask that?)

"It was the best first time I can remember," I said, adding that I have a family history of Alzheimer's. He strutted around, holding up the first finger of each hand and joking, "I'm number one. I'm number one!"

We had so much fun, laughing at and with each other and talking intimately and being as sensual as one can be with a broken clavicle. I hadn't felt like this for eight years, since my breakup with a man who, until this moment, had been the gold standard for love and sexual bliss.

"Do you realize," Billy said, "that we've made two connections here? One in the living room and a different one in the bedroom? And how rare it is to have both?"

Yes, I said. To connect with someone intellectually and physically is indeed rare. It's like... Eros could be knocking on the door. (I stole the line from Ellen Burstyn)

He nodded, then looked around the room. "I feel like it may be knocking on three doors. I've set up dates with the two other women I met online."

So much for the preemptive strike. I said if he makes love with any of them, "I need you to tell me, and we won't do this anymore."

"Absolutely. Agreed."

Keep calm, I told myself. Life is short. Enjoy the moment, don't get hung up on what might happen next. If it's meant to be, it will work out.


Please leave a comment. Would you trust the body or the mind or one's inner "knowing?" Can you separate sex from the desire for love and commitment?

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