Like A Virgin, Again

One of the few bright promises sustaining me while trudging through a divorce is Sex With a Stranger. I haven’t had it yet, nor do I see any immediate prospects, but I’m keeping the faith that it is out there. It’s been 27 years since I’ve had it, and I seem to think about it, a lot. In preparation, I’ve even started kegeling again at all red lights and TV commercials. Four pregnancies and four babies; so much fitness to achieve in so little time.

Here’s the awkward part of my fantasy life: it suffers from arrested development.

I imagine making intense eye contact across a crowded room and then feeling the obsessive anticipation that he’ll come find me. There would be, of course, hours of kissing and swollen lips after. After the frenzy of our first touch, we would grab and tear at each other’s clothes and I would be conquered. (I mean that in a feminist way, of course.) We would linger over the discovery of each other’s body, naked before open windows that let the sunlight dapple us and the light breeze caress us. Clearly I’ve stolen the inner life of one of my teenaged daughters.

I remember a scene from Terms of Endearment where Aurora, Shirley McLain’s character, prepares for sex with Jack Nicholson’s Astronaut and she’s fussing around her room dimming lights and draping her body in a diaphanous peignoir. There’s no sunlight, hell there’s no light at all when she’s finished. When I first saw the movie, I thought it was a very good idea to hide any body over 45. Now I realize that I am an Aurora. Today, showing someone my whole kit, without intravenous drugs, could kill me. And while I’m on the topic of i.v.’s, I suspect I’ll want sedation when I see what the guys in my dating demo look like without their khakis, too. A little paunch won’t trouble me, much, but man breasts or that white stuff that builds in the corners of older guys’ mouths are deal breakers. The only young people who have those conditions are transgender candidates or on antipsychotics.

In my twenties, I had a Girlfriend, Marcie, who was dating a famous and great looking movie star who must have been about forty. She told me, “It’s not so bad if you’re on top of an old guy, but if he’s on top, his whole face looks like it’s melting on you.” What does that mean for my breasts and belly? Help, Aurora! You know what I’m talking about, too. Have you ever taken a yoga class with mirrors and caught a glimpse of your upside down face during a forward bed? I have, and now, if I drop something, I bend from the knees rather than the waist to pick it up.

I am trapped in a 25 year-old’s fantasy with a body thirty years her senior. And oh, what a busy and physically challenging three decades it has been. At my stage of life, is there even time for foreplay. Or maybe there’s up to three hours of it if his erectile dysfunction drug goes wrong. Or maybe he’ll need three hours of intercourse…oh but the brain reels at the thought. And speaking of those little blue pills, should I just assume all the guys my age who are seducing women my age (there must be two or three, at least!) are taking them? Call me crazy or perhaps naïve on this one point, but do guys feel horny before they take the pill, or is the whole experience just another pharmaceutical experience for my generation? Well, gee, that is romantic, isn’t it? I just hope my potential partner takes it in secret rather than leaving it on the bedside table with a glass of water. Taking his top denture out and putting it in the glass of water would be a bigger turn on.

One thing that is consistent in all my fantasies is that none of the guys I conjure at those red lights and commercials has a face. I’m not anywhere near the point of wanting to get to know someone on an emotionally intimate level. That takes way too long, and familiarity can lead to contempt way before I climax. I just need to break the ice in a spectacular way and get it out of the way. Perhaps now is the time to check out Craig’s List for the first time in my life. Let’s see; Masseur, Under Thirty-Five, Good Hands…

Vicki Iovine – Girlfriends' Guides