The package comes monthly in a plain black box and when I saw it on my porch last week I have to confess it made me really sad. You see, now that I walked out on my man and the toxicity that was happening there, I am a bit conflicted about Adore Me, the lingerie of the month club that has provided me with exquisite, lovely, reasonably priced sexy attire for several months now. They even pay shipping for unlimited exchanges until the sizing is just right.
The title is cute and even though I no longer have someone else to “adore me,” I think maybe it could be empowering to do that for myself. Another side of me believes it would probably make sense to just cancel the damn membership, but at the same time, hope springs eternal, as they say. Although I am pretty confident by the time I have sufficiently pieced my heart back together to show anyone but myself any of these bras and panties and teddies, A) I know I will have a huge stockpile and B) I hope to God by that time to be too thin to fit in any of it… Like I said hope springs eternal.
But it got me to thinking about one thing I truly miss about the breakup– (Warning: this may be TMI for some of you) and that is the great, occasionally even mind-blowing, sex. In my almost 49 years, I had never felt that intense, soul-connecting, OMG-I would-do-anything-for-you kind of passion.
I had never been big on lingerie in the past, not even fancy panties or anything. But when my ex made it abundantly clear how sexy he thought I was it gave me such wonderful confidence. He not only enjoyed my curvy shape, he reveled in it, gloried in it. Anyone who has ever struggled with their weight and/or body image knows what a huge deal this is, no pun intended! It made me bolder, loving, and sometimes I even felt like the femme fatale for once in my life
In the last five years my hormones have also been aligned in a way they never have before and I have been more sexually attuned than I can ever remember. Lingerie, “fun” DVDs, toys … I was never that uninhibited, but the combination of being truly in love with someone and my pre-menopausal hormones had me positively humming. So now what?
I’m not going to go out and get laid just for the heck of it. First of all, it’s not safe, and secondly, I do have standards, and thirdly, I know what a self-esteem killer it can be to sleep with someone you don’t really care about. Hello? Calling my teens and 20s? If I know anything about myself, it is that I am firmly a relationship person. Another option some would say, hmm how to put this delicately? is to “help myself.” But until I can do that without prompting another round of gut-wrenching crying, I have given up on that for the time being.
There have been long abstinence times in my history, like when my ex-husband was fighting in Iraq, for example, so I know I will survive Really, it’s only been seven weeks, Holly- calm yourself, citizen! Maybe what I need to think about is why this seems so important to me to be desired. All these years of keeping the secret inside that I never felt good enough would disappear for a little while whenever I felt validated by some attractive man’s attention. But guess what? A 49-year-old woman, even a relatively cute and cool one, is virtually invisible to most men these days. They are looking for younger partners or someone to cook and clean and go live in the country and go fishing with them and out on their ATVs.
In fact, I know dozens of lovely, amazing and smart women virtually ignored by the opposite sex.
It probably sounds shallow to talk so much about looks, but hell, look at how our entire culture makes us feel about it. Standards for women’s beauty are impossibly high, and we spend millions on cosmetics, fashion, Botox, even plastic surgery to continue the dream of a youthful image. What does it all mean, really? Does being attractive give us wisdom, compassion or character? Of course not. I guess I am also equating looking good with sex, when there is really no correlation. As Bette Midler once wryly put it, “Ugly girls have vaginas, too.”
On the other hand, there is no denying that regular good sex had a positive effect on my physical, mental and emotional self, even my energy and strength. Was it the love that made it so good, or was part of it just “scratching an itch?” Is it immoral of me to think about sex for sex’s sake? I am liberated – hey, I watched Sex and the City. But am I sufficiently mature and intact that I could do no-strings-attached and walk away without emotional repercussions?
If I’m honest with myself, my answer is probably no. After all, in my heart I do believe that lovemaking should ideally be the exquisite and endearing expression of caring between two people who will be there for one another in the morning – and beyond. Anything else cheapens it.
So, I guess I will bide my time, not worry about shaving my legs for now, focus on personal growth, find my mojo and learn to love myself. For now, I’ll take on the sometimes thankless task. I’ll rise to the challenge. I will Adore Me.