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Naked? After 40?
I met my ex when I was 19 and was with him until I was in my forties. When we split, getting naked with a new guy seemed impossible. Since the birth of my third daughter, my entire wardrobe has been carefully curated to camouflage my jelly belly. If I was ever going to have sex again, it seemed inevitable that I would have to expose my squishy secret.
The one thing we had
Sex was the one consistently good thing in my marriage and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After months…and months…of celibacy, I began to worry that I’d never have sex again, until I finally met someone who seemed like a prospect. He was 10 years older and absolutely enamored with me. He loved to take me out and told me how proud he felt to be seen with me. This new relationship was the complete opposite of the last several years of my marriage and felt good. But still…sex with someone new? In my forties? With this tummy?
That’s not to say I hated my body, but I definitely liked it better when my dress size was in the single digits. Plus, like lots of other women, my divorce left me feeling more than a little insecure about myself. I personally think women of all sizes are beautiful, but it was always much easier for me to see that beauty in others rather than in myself. I knew I should stop comparing my forty-something body to my twenty-something body, but I just couldn’t.
Ready to get back in the saddle
Mr. New Guy was exceptionally patient and left it to me to decide when I was ready. After several weeks of dating and late night makeouts, I was consumed with the idea of having sex. I felt like a horny teenager – it was nearly all that I could think about. Chubby tummy be damned; I was going to have sex again. One night, after a couple glasses of wine, I grabbed his hand and led him to the bedroom.
Mr. New Guy had been divorced a bit longer than I had, and he’d been with other women. He also knew that I hadn’t been with anyone since my divorce and I think that made both of us nervous. I insisted we keep the lights off to ensure that he wouldn’t see anything jigging that wasn’t supposed to jiggle. We quickly got naked and down to business.
Having sex for the first time in a long time
I wish I could say that first time was earth-shatteringly good for me. It wasn’t bad, just…weird. The act was also understandably quick, given we’d both been waiting for what seemed like an eternity. I think I was so worried about whether or not he would like it that I didn’t really let myself enjoy it. Fortunately, while my ex was stone cold silent during climax, Mr. New Guy was unabashedly LOUD. After my initial shock, I felt somewhat reassured that maybe I had a chance at a decent sex life again.
Keeping the lights on
Over time, we both got more comfortable and the sex kept getting better. After he got a prescription for the famous little blue pills, the sex got REALLY good. Now, the lights could stay on even though I was still hiding my belly under the sheet.
Feeling good again
After a couple of years (yes, it really took me that long), I got up from bed one morning to get a glass of water and didn’t bother putting on a robe. As I walked back toward him lying in bed, he told me to stop. I stood in front of him completely naked, sunlight streaming through the window, fully exposed.
He said, “Look at you. You are absolutely perfect. There is not one thing that I would change about you.”
By this time, I was nearly 50 years old and far from perfect. It took me a long time to get there, but in that moment I felt confident and sexy. The beauty that I could see in other women of all shapes and sizes was reflected in his eyes and I could finally see it for myself.
You can do it
I wish that every person could feel comfortable in their own skin without validation from a man. I know many who do and I applaud and admire you. But for those of you who are afraid to have sex after divorce, especially after a long marriage, don’t be. Remember, it’s not about him – it’s about you! It’s about all you’ve gone through to get this point where you feel ready for intimacy and worthy of pleasure – because you are. If you need to keep the lights off for awhile, that’s okay, but don’t let insecurity keep you having a good roll in the hay. I promise your new partner won’t care and wouldn’t know your “trouble spots” even if you pointed them out. I say cue the Barry White music and get it on!
Looking to expand your repertoire? Frenchie has some great ideas.