“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers[.]”
– William Shakespeare, Henry V (4.3.62)
I could blame this on the weather but mostly the blame goes to having a day that isn’t break-neck busy on the wards and in the Surgical ICU. One of my partners decided to seek out my wise counsel on his love life. I always appreciate giving a woman’s perspective on such matters and this occasion was no different. My partners are all men save one who is a gay woman (occupational hazard having men around me professionally) most in their late 40s and late 50s. This is the stuff that many women often want to impart to the men in their lives, trust me on this!
My practice partner is currently unmarried having been married twice before. He is in his late 50s currently dating a woman who is in her late 20s. I understand the attraction in terms of physical attractiveness, she’s a beautiful blonde, but mentally, I would say that she’s not on the same “playing field” as he is. Certainly, mental compatibility is not much of an issue for him which is why I love him to death but often find myself cast in the role of wise sister who readily gives an opinion.
“Why did you tell this young woman that you were seeking marriage?”, I asked. “You know that you are not interested in marrying her so just tell her what you want.” “Being truthful is very sexy and compelling even if you two are not on the same page.” “In the end, you may reach a great understanding that meets both of your needs,” I explain. You are far more established and far more experienced in worldly matters, certainly in relationships. If all you want is sex, then be honest with her.
Now I am a woman who has plenty of estrogen on board. I have a very healthy interest in sex which doesn’t mean that I am looking to bed every man that crosses my path. I am far more selective than that. My estrogen levels mean that I enjoy sex as a mean of communication with a partner who shares that mutual enjoyment/closeness/communication. I am not looking for a “boner” that points to the ceiling, as I explained to my astonished partner. I am not looking to be as he would say, “having my brains f–ked out”. He looked at me a bit puzzled. “Don’t all women enjoy being conquered?”, he asked.
I enjoy a mutual closeness, mutual exploration of that which is the person that I choose to share myself with. I seek to enjoy getting to know him on a physical level, a mutual pleasurable exploration which doesn’t mean that I am seeking solely what I enjoyed and what was enjoyed by many including me in my 20s and 30s.
Today, I seek intimacy, enjoyment of a bit of a spiritual and physical closeness on whatever terms that we define for ourselves. This, for me, is the essence of that physical closeness that comes within a deep relationship with that other that I give. It’s mental and physical. It can be the touch of a hand, the embrace at the right time, the sharing of something affirming and wonderful with an awesome and admirable person that is that is sexy for me. This isn’t penile/vaginal sex as defined in the movies and books, something deeper and more than wonderful.
I heard him lament that he would kill to have the prowess that he enjoyed in his earlier years with this young woman but that’s not the case. I said that if the communication and honesty are high between them, that prowess will not matter but the closeness and intimacy will matter. Most women, regardless of age, want to be appreciated for who and what they are, not an object to be “f–ked”. If all we sought were orgasms, most of us, and I am no exception, can achieve that release easily if the man knows how to truly appreciate our needs.
Ah, the look on his face was priceless but he gained new understanding into the nature of women from me, no less. I explained that sexual pleasure for us is far more mental than physical though the physical is closely connected to the mental. When I encounter an honest, heroic man, who is free to give himself to me on all levels, it’s far sexier than that “boner” that points to the ceiling. That’s a fundamental difference between my brother in surgery and me; perhaps the fundamental difference between most women and men. I just love educating this wonderful man in my life, whom I admire infinitely as he is truly wonderful. Still, the man who gets my heart, and that is no one so far, is more complex than a “boner”.