It’s about last night, dear.

Thank you.

I know it was one of those strange nights that gives you doubt and makes you wonder if everything is okay. I want to assure you again that yes, everything is okay. In fact, my love, I believe it is more okay than it’s been since we first got together almost 16 years ago.

I know you wanted me to enjoy the sex, and I know that the way you know I’m enjoying it is because you’ve made me have an orgasm. That’s been the litmus test for so long of what makes “good sex” that it’s hard to let go of.

I want to let you know that I want to let go of that. Not orgasm. Hell, I love orgasms. I love it when you make my eyes roll back in my head. I love it when you’ve got me so wet that I have to sleep on a towel. I love it when I come so hard that I can’t remember my own name, or yours, and have to yell for God.

Here’s hoping if the kids hear us, they think I’m just praying.

I’m getting older, and things are changing. We both know that. And over the course of the last year, I’ve learned an awful lot about how it works. I know myself well enough to know when an orgasm just isn’t going to happen for me.

We spent a lot of years with me telling you “no.” Of being mad when it wouldn’t happen, or refusing to even start because I knew there would be “nothing in it for me.”

I’m ashamed of thinking that, even of feeling it, although I know in part it wasn’t all my fault and a lot of it was depression making me feel distant and selfish. I’m sorry that you’re conditioned now into thinking that if it’s just not going to happen for me that I don’t want you to touch me at all.

I’m sick about what depression did to our intimate life. I try not to make up for it so much as I want to make you see that we have a new normal, and not fall back into old patterns. I will keep telling you and showing as long and as often as it takes. I promise you that.

Last night was wonderful. I know you were tired and your back hurt. I appreciate you doing all the things that over the course of 16 years you know that I love, and suggesting positions that are always sure-fire winners for me. It was hard to tell you that no, it’s just not working. Not because of anything you did, or didn’t do, but because at the moment, my body doesn’t have what it takes to get me there. I will soon enough, just not last night.

I know there were no fireworks. But I loved making love to you anyway.

I loved being beside you with our bodies close together in our shared bed. I never feel more safe or more loved as when your arms are around me. I love when you run your fingers through my hair and pull me close for a kiss, the ones that say “I love you,” and then turn into the kind that say “I need you. I want you.”

I loved feeling you move inside me, of feeling our bodies joined and connected. It feels good in a way that’s not just genital. I feel it in my heart and in my soul. There’s nothing between us in that moment, and it’s beautiful.

I loved stretching out beside you and putting my hands on you, knowing how you like me to touch you. I loved watching your face as you lay back and instead of insisting that you could make me come, you surrendered to me, allowing me to do that for you. I watched the pleasure play out across your face, and it brought me so much joy to feel your whole body respond to me.

There were no fireworks last night. But the love that we shared and the way we shared it–openly, honestly, and with all our hearts, thrilled me more than any orgasm could have. Last night was no great explosion of passion. It was more like adding fuel to a comforting fire that we keep burning all the time. I’m glad those flames never went out. I’m glad you kept those coals protected and glowing all those years. I love falling asleep in your arms again, and waking up to your soft kiss on my bare shoulder as you leave for work. I love being your wife.

I’m reminded this morning of the lines of a song:

“There’s a fire softly burning, supper’s on the stove, but it’s the light in your eyes that keeps me warm.”

I love you.

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