Still Sorting Out those Marys



Jules Joseph Lefebvre’s “Mary Magdalene in the Cave” (1876)

I was raised Catholic, and within that faith, really only had two female role models – Mary the Virgin Mother of Christ, or Mary the Magdalene, who at the time, we were taught was a whore who repented her evil ways, to be accepted by Jesus and his posse.
Though I loved the idea of the nurturing mother figure with the first, I always thought the latter was kind of a bad ass, and her story really resonated with me. I especially like the mental picture of her washing Christ’s feet with her inky ribbons of hair. Yum.
I love sex. I have since my very first and inappropriately older boyfriend showed me the ropes. I love it, and crave it, but I won’t just have it for the sake of having it. I’m selective about my partners, and they are usually the types of people I feel really relaxed around. The types I can just cut loose with and be myself with, and not worry about the fact that I’m not in perfect shape, and am sometimes really goofy and clumsy. When I find someone like that, and we’re physically compatible (which I equate to great kissing, and a love of their personal scent, and that desire to be in close proximity) it’s on. It’s a safe assumption that if we’re together, that’s what I’m thinking about, and that’s where I’d like things to lead. I’m not subtle about that either.
Now, I feel like I’m constantly reading about how women don’t initiate sex enough, and men always feel like they have to fight, or beg, and it’s discouraging and frustrating and so I figure my enthusiastic approach is probably a welcome change of pace, but in discussing sex and sexuality with a friend, I discovered this can be off-putting.
Really. Really?
Do I have a seriously over-inflated ego? Perhaps a warped idea of the dynamic between men and women? Do I maybe have a problem that I’m in denial about?
Is it unrealistic for me to want to be devoured, and really have to fight off the enthusiasm of a lover? (And yes, I DO know this won’t happen every day.)
I was told that “sometimes a guy likes to work for it”.
As we know, my brain has been switched off, but now it appears to be in overdrive because I’ve been ruminating over that one all day long.
I can only guess it means that a man likes to feel like he’s inspired the desire for sex in a woman because of something he’s said or done, and that it took some effort to make that happen. I suppose it means that knowing a woman is ready to get into it more or less from the time she sees you isn’t as exciting.
It still takes work though. Just because I’d like to get naked and twisted up together doesn’t mean I don’t want to go through the motions of getting to “that place”.
Should we pretend shyness? Innocence? Indifference? Do you want to convince us that we should let you have at us? Do you want to coax us into relinquishing power? Do you want me to bat my eyelashes and smile up at you coyly?
Sometimes I really feel I need to own my sexuality and be proud to embrace it since so many women haven’t been able to throughout history.
Perhaps it’s a better idea to enjoy the physical, and be grateful for it. Perhaps it’s better to be glad that I’m grinning at you like the Cheshire cat because I’ve wanted to be alone with you all day long. If you want to work, you can work at getting to know me, getting into my heart and soul, because at this point, that’s going to be a hell of a lot harder I think.

Rule number 4 for the Fortress: Every corner will be awash in sensuality.

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