Have you ever asked yourself if a relationship is all about sex? If not for the sex, would there be anything left? If there is no sex, can there be a relationship?
Mack and I got together today at my place for the first time since he moved out. Two weeks ago tomorrow. Which means we haven’t had sex in two weeks. Yes, we fooled around in the car exactly one week after he moved out. But today, he came to my place, where we lived together. The key difference between car sex and home sex is the level of intent. Sitting in a car and making out and fooling around like teenagers is lacking in intent. You just sort of fall into it. But when you meet at home, where there’s a bed and you’re alone, well then you know the potential for makeup sex is very real. And so the level of intent is much greater. And if you have sex under those circumstances, you mean it.
When Mack and I made plans to get together today, I honestly did not know if he would allow himself to make love to me. He said we were going to talk. And so I thought maybe he would keep me on ice today and make me continue to think about what I’d done. What we’d done. I thought he’d continue to make us think good and hard about where we’ve been and where we’re going. The thing is, that’s all I’ve been thinking about for the past two weeks. But if Mack was intent on keeping my at arm’s length, there was nothing I could do about it.
He was to arrive at 2:00 p.m. At 1:55 I was standing in the hallway looking stealthily through the peephole: far enough away that my eyeball wasn’t visible from the other side, but I could see any darkened figure approaching. At 2:09 my cell phone pings. Mack has sent me a text message: “I’m on my way.” It seems prudent to abandon my post at the peephole. I go upstairs, pet the kitties. Pace. At 2:30, I begin peeking out the blinds from the bedroom upstairs. More cat-petting. At 2:35, the cat perks up her ears and looks toward the street below. She loves Mack, and so I know he’s walking up the drive.
Sure enough, the doorbell rings seconds later. I open the door, and there he is, on the landing. I let him in and we embrace. He holds me for a nice long time. A good sign. Yes, I’m watching for signs; hypervigilant. Does he still want me? Is he here to call the whole thing off? We sit down on the sofa and he picks through my latest blog, intent on reprimanding me for something I’d written. But his arms are around me. A good sign. We continue this exercise in distance and restraint. But then suddenly we’re kissing, I’m moaning, my shirt is off, my mouth is envying his penis, and the world is back on its axis.
We go upstairs. To the bedroom. The sex is passionate, hungry, desperate. It was everything it used to be when we fell in love. Everything it used to be before we lived together for weeks. We found our way back to the place we’d been before everything fell apart.
With this lovemaking, had we gone backward, or sideways? I don’t think either of us cared. At that moment, we were where we both ached to be, regardless of how we got there. We have a chance. All is not lost. This love is not destined for the dungheap of all our failed relationships. The sex is alive. Our passion is as big as it’s ever been. And to my thinking, our lovemaking today was better than it’s ever been. (Okay, bondage night is a close second.) Afterward, we lay there in each other’s arms, talking, crying (okay, I’m crying, he’s not), laughing. Laughing. I had missed laughing with Mack. If there’s one thing Mack does as well as he makes love, it’s that he makes me laugh. That’s the top two things on my list of what I want in a man, checked off. And it bothered me that he slurped his coffee? Made noises with his mouth when he slept that sounded like he was going down on me? What is wrong with me? Why was I complaining?
Well, it’s all about the frog. Which I explained to Mack today. I’ve lived alone my entire life. And suddenly, after two months of dating, I lived with Mack. I was like the frog thrown into the pot of boiling water. And I wanted the fuck out. But if Mack had put me into a pot of tepid water, and slowly turned the heat up, I would have been all cozy, and been perfectly content to stay in the pot. Mack thought that was a lovely metaphor. “Except the frog dies,” he said. “Everybody dies sometime,” I said. And we laughed. God, I love laughing with Mack.
Can sex heal? Yes, judging by my experience today, I think it can.