I am going through a breakup. Not just breaking up with my partner, but breaking up with the idea that I need a partner. I remember the first day that I knew that it needed to be done, I also remember every day after that I didn’t end it. I thought that I, someone who breathes vibrant emotional availability more readily than air, could find solace in a complacent and minimized existence. Mmm. No.
I had put the small tester bottle of Aprés Delight on his bedside table, hoping that it would send us over the edge, from sex to making love. The sex was already great, but I longed for more. I longed to be touched so delicately and with such untamable passion that my lover’s confused desire would erupt into flame and we would melt into each other’s naked bodies.
Before we dripped the oil into his hands, he hesitated. When I asked the matter, his response was “I’m scared.” I wanted to say, “You should be scared. You should curl up in fear knowing the immensity of strength, grit, passion and power that rests between these legs. You are about to meet a sexual glow that runs so deep that it has plated my veins in gold.”
Instead, I laughed coyly and pumped the oil onto his fingertips.
Every morning I would roll over and look at the small bottle, nestled inside of an abandoned candle. The bottle served as a constant reminder that there was no salve (or CBD intimacy oil) that could breathe love and deep connection into a relationship based on sex and over-accomodation.
After the split, I eventually got my oil back, wrapped in lingerie inside the pocket of my rain jacket. I was running through the Swiss Alps when I pulled apart my jacket zipper and found red lace and the small vial of oil. Not only was this the first day of a seven day running trip, I was also with a group of strangers, inadvertently proclaiming “well, this is what I’m into.”
I carried the half empty bottle with me throughout Europe, reflecting regularly on just how single I was. Some days I would see the Aprés Delight bottle and burst into tears, grieving a love that I thought would be my last.
As the days went on and I returned to the states, the bottle took on another meaning. I took it out of my luggage and placed it on my bedside table. The first time I tried to masturbate it felt nearly impossible. Eventually I came and then promptly began weeping. I tried again a few days later and then a few days after that. Slowly, the oil on my bedside table became a magnificent reminder of just how single I am. I get to make my own plans and live in a world that is scheduled around me and my needs. Masturbate before work? You know it. Self-pleasure after a long, sweaty run? Hell yes! Through masturbation, I was able to take back my sexual agency and power and rebuild a relationship with myself that wasn’t focused on sex, but on the love, connection and celebration that I’d been looking for in a partner.
My person will come. But in the meantime, my life inside and outside of the bedroom is fire - alive, inspiring and riddled with radical self-love and acceptance. Yes, there are days where I falter. But when I roll over in bed and see that bottle of Aprés Delight, I am reminded that I’ve got this and that there is no one else I’d rather be with right now. So drip that oil onto your fingertips and explore yourself in exactly the ways that you need. Make the noises and the faces that you’d otherwise hide from your partner and relish in the power of just how single you are.