Disempowering Marital Sex: Two Divorced Women Reawaken
Two years into Sam’s seven-year marriage, she started hating having sex with her now-ex-husband. Sex became something she ‘got over with’ to keep the peace and keep him happy. And he wanted it a lot – every day, if not twice, even though she was oftentimes pregnant, nursing, or up at night with babies/toddlers.
On the flip side, while she was being emotionally bullied/guilted into having sex, another close girlfriend, Tara was being sexually rejected by her husband time and time again.
For years, I heard them talk and make excuses/placations for their husbands’ behaviours. They resolutely hung onto their marriages, telling themselves they were happy, that this ‘phase’ would pass, that there were more important things in a marriage than sex, etc etc. They marvelled at how different their situations were – they were at opposite ends of the spectrum: Sam wanted ‘way less,’ Tara wanted ‘way more.’ But one huge commonality existed between them: both were being disempowered by their sex lives:
By Sam handing over her body to her then-husband like it was a plate of chicken, she was handing over her personal power. By not refusing to say ‘no’ when she didn’t want sex, she was squashing her voice, teaching herself her voice was less important than his, AND she was detaching from her body, a raw and honest extension of her Spiritual Self.
By Tara being sexually backhanded by her ex – whether it was after a wonderful evening out, after a night of cuddling on the couch, or during a seduction scene she had carefully dressed for, she, too, had handed over her personal power. His ongoing rejection translated into, “You’re not desirable – as a woman or a person.”
Now my girlfriends are both divorcing. And clearly, they’ve realized they have healing to do around their sexuality. Thus, they have given themselves permission to explore themselves, their identities, AND their bodies: through sexuality, sensuality and even ‘promiscuity.‘ They’re attempting to do this from a higher place, that is, from the perspective that each sexual experience they carefully choose can teach them something about themselves, life, and/or men. They examine how their sexuality ripples into other aspects of their lives. For example, their ability or non-ability to vocalize what they want, and how they deal with selfish/bad lovers. They are exploring new physical pleasures/fantasies, and ‘owning’ their orgasms and pleasure instead of making them strictly contingent upon one man’s love or one man’s sexual prowess. Truly, their sexual Selves seem like a metaphor for who they are and who they hope to ‘grow into’ in all areas of their lives…
What do you think? Can a woman’s sexuality act as a catatlyst for personal growth after divorce? Did your marital sex disempower you, and your divorce bring new sexual awakenings?