Sunday, May 16, 2010

Learning How to Lust

At Bar Mitzvahzilla's Bar Mitzvah

When my ex-husband and I walked into our marriage counselor's office in early 1988, the counselor quickly figured out our problem. Was it that we were sitting apart from each other? That there were no random touches or fleeting glances of intimacy? That we fought repeatedly and with unalleviated hatred?

She guessed our problem quickly. She asked us about sex.

We looked at each other like we were ten-year-olds. Sex?

Yes, sex, she said. How much sex do you have?

We hemmed and hawed our way into a lie - maybe once every two weeks or so. Yes, that was it. We nodded. Our first and only agreement in what would end up being ten months of marriage counseling.

In 1988 we actually had sex once the entire year.

I knew I was supposed to have sex. I was 28, for goodness sakes. And married. Married people were supposed to have sex. And I was raised in the seventies, a time period when virginity wasn't a prized asset, it was more like a barrier between myself and my full life as a woman.

The only problem was that before I met my ex-husband every time I tried to experience life as a "full woman" I erred. Used and dumped. Waiting by the phone. Dating guys who wanted me but whom I didn't want. Choosing guys for all the wrong reasons all the time.

Finally I met my ex-husband and he became my refuge. Not much in the sex department, but still. He called. He didn't use me. He would be there - like a Gila Monster, he'd be there clamped onto me.

How hard is it to leave a marriage when you've run from the sexual side of life, when you're afraid that you don't stack up, that maybe something about you just isn't good enough to have someone call and be there?  Someone normal?

I wasn't trampy after my divorce. I'd already been through my trampy phase. I was all tramped out. But I knew I needed a guy with a little oomph, some drive, some lust. I wasn't planning on laying alone and untouched on my side of the bed for the rest of my life as I had been during my first marriage.

So lust? Got it. Troublesome husband in the middle of the night? Got it. Passionate kisses out of sight of the kids but getting caught anyway? Got it. A husband who never let himself come second to crying babies, babies parked in our room, children coming to sleep in our room? Got all that.

A relationship that's strong enough, romantic enough, and, yes, lustful enough, that one day when the kids dash off to college, hopefully we'll remember why we're married.

This post is part of Momalom's Five for Ten series and the fourth topic - Lust. Click on over and join the community!


  1. whoa.
    I needed to read this today.

    Thank you.

  2. I feel like lust really is an important part of marriage, who we are and keeping the spice in it all. And like you said - if we keep it up it'll last 'til after the kids leave, when we really have time for fun ;)

  3. One time in a year? Ouch. Obviously, he just didn't have what it took to appreciate you in that department.

    I love the part about refusing to play second-fiddle to a squalling/needy kid--and the part about the stolen kisses. My husband steals them all the's nice.

  4. Oh you give me great hope! I never had the trampy stage before the marriage. I don't really want it, but after 13 years of being alone I'd like what you're describing!! Nice.

  5. Thank you for this piece, Linda. Reading Corinne's piece yesterday and yours this morning, I am reminded that there's nothing risque about celebrating lust in a committed relationship. I was raised not to really talk about sex and sexual passion, but these essays are helping me remember that lust should be part of the deal in a relationship - so why not celebrate it?

    I'm so glad you've found a man who appreciates you and everything you have to offer. You certainly deserve it!

    (Beautiful photo, by the way!)

  6. I think how you feel about someone determines whether there is lust or not in the relationship. It is not that some people have the ability to lust after another person and others do not, we all have it, we just have to be with the right person. Once we find them then to keep those fires burning we have to work at the relationship and make time for one another. Sounds like you found your perfect guy second time around for sure. As always a very honest and heartfelt post.

  7. Love this (and love that photo - you guys look great!). It sounds like you have a fantastic relationship with your husband. I could relate to a lot of this, having had a past passionless marriage and now a very fulfilling one. Nice to hear that we're not the only ones with babies in the room and kids coming in all night long..... maddening but won't last forever either - yin and yang.

  8. Ha! Trampy stage. Yep, I think we all have to go through that in our own way.

    What a great marriage (the second one) with a man who just can't get enough of you.

    You know what I'm thinking, as I read these posts about lust? That it's contagious, and that's such a great thing. What's more lusty than someone lusting after you?!

  9. You've got the gift my dear. You write about yourself so intimately and yet so easily. I admire your talent. And learn from your words.

    Thanks for being there.

  10. I can't remember the last time I had a passionate kiss. YOU HEAR THAT HUSBAND OVER THERE, MAKING LUNCH FOR THE KIDS??

  11. Love this, Linda! What a beautiful couple and it sounds like you have a wonderful marriage this time around.

    Where I grew up, sex was so taboo. I mean, it was implied you had sex if you were married, but there always seemed to be this attitude that it was not to be enjoyed. Somehow, deep down, I knew this was not right. It took me thirty years to overcome my shame of enjoying sex, but it is liberating. And, I agree with the previous commenter, the lust is contagious. Hubbie and I went through a dry spell last year- we were BOTH exhausted and then, suddenly, this past fall, I decided that wasn't the kind of relationship I wanted and at first I had to make a mental decision to have sex, but lust begets more lust and it quickly turned into exactly what I wanted- the passionate kisses stolen quickly around the corner, the quickie while the kids are at the neighbor's house, the sultry glances... I love it!

  12. Rock on, sistah (and great photo)! I'm going to go grab my hubby right now and lay one on him!

  13. This was a great story. It is important to have that connection in your marriage. I love the line about the passionate kisses. You convey intimate details about your life, but do it in a classy way.

    I am over from Momalom. Thanks.

  14. Sex keeps the relationship fire alive and it sounds like yours is burning. Awesome! Its so so depressing to hear about couples not having sex after kids and it thrills me to have the lust topic lighting the fire for people. You are starting a movement I think.

  15. Linds, This hits me. It's so raw and honest and yet so practically written. How wonderful that you were able to find the love--and the lust--of your life.

  16. I think that we get different things from different people. Maybe your ex helped you heal in the trust department, maybe it helped you come to terms with the loss of your dad. Sometimes someone nice who we are able to sleep next to, albeit without lust, maybe even because of the lack of lust, helps heal something and then frees us to become fully involved in the lusty realm where you now so happily dwell.

    In any event, I really enjoyed this post and the lusty, loving, happy way in which you share it.

  17. As a teenager I decided to save myself for marriage. I ensured I saved myself for marriage by purposely dating boys I wasn't physically attracted to. I was intellectually attracted to them, but that was it.
    I met my husband while waiting to go on a date.
    I saw him coming. It was in Ft. Bragg. I still remember what he was wearing..tight jeans, a t shirt and a sheepskin jacket with a collar. He was tall (6'5) and had curly brown hair and grey eyes.
    Lust at first sight.
    Three months later I suggested I was 'ready'.
    I've been ready ever since...17 years and counting...and boy am I glad I married a man that I not only had intellectual admiration for, but a man whose rear end still commands my most sincere and humble admiration.

  18. Yes, when the kids and the diapers and the college savings funds are all gone, will the relationship still be there? Will the lust?? That's the big question, and one that takes hard work (no pun intended!) to ensure the answer to. =>

  19. Hi

    I believe that lust is an important part of marriage, who keeps the spice in it.


  20. Sounds like #2 was just what you needed! I am stuck in a relationship where the fire has gone out and know I need to make a move - either drag him to the bedroom or go off in another direction. When the lust is gone it's hard to get it back. I am happy for you...

  21. I love your honesty. And you are one very fortunate woman. I know that gulf in the quiet bed all too well.

    Let's hear it for lust!

  22. I read this when you first posted it and wasn't sure what to say. I thought it was brave of you for putting it out there. I guess I am really glad that you feel confident in yourself and your marriage and that you got it right the second time around. Sometimes you have to get it wrong (the first time) in order to appreciate it when it is right. That seems wrong somehow, but it is true.

    Anyway, I stopped by (again) because I left you something on my blog. I hope you like it!

  23. It's amazing what two well matched people can do for each other, no?

    And how amazing it is when we can recognize it, value it, enjoy it!

    Here's to you and hubby and a lifetime of more stolen kisses, a lifetime of love!

  24. You are a delight! OMG...what a delight! You are so honest and with such compassion, you are a joy to behold. I know I am not old enough to have a daughter your age, however whenever I come here and read, I want to adopt you.

  25. Linda, I love this piece. My husband and I BOTH refuse to allow children to interrupt our passion. It is a big reason why our marriage is so strong.