"Those men help me. They're healers. They have nothing to do with my husband or my monogamy." He looked skeptical. I felt the blush. "Would you like me to explain?"
"This I'd love to hear," he said. "I'm curious."
Figuring he probably knew anyway, I told him that I'd been sexually bored and stuck, as most people are after nearly thirty years with the same person. I admitted that I'd been a flammable mix of pent-up energy, unnamable yearning and absolute commitment to my marriage vows. I refused to cheat so I found what I considered a sensible solution. "All those other men you see in the cards are therapists, Sacred Intimates who use one-way touch to release sexual energy. They helped me find my erotic core and tap into desire. It's made me feel integrated and whole. Happy, really. My husband knows and he's fine with what I do. He's secure in our marriage. And while my kids don't know exactly what I am up to—they say I've never been easier to be around. It's true, I don't pick and nag at my children and husband anymore. Now that I am finally taking care of myself in the deepest of ways, the little things that used to bother me are now completely unimportant. That makes for a happier family! I swear—even my cooking is better!"
We stood up and shook hands. "You're a lucky woman. Your husband is an unusual man," the tarot reader said to my retreating back. Suddenly I wasn't in a New Moon state of mind. I felt defensive and angry. I snaked my way back to my friend wondering what was it about women owning their sexuality that felt threatening. Why, after so many 'liberated' years, are we still saddled with the myth that women only want emotionally connected sex; or that desire must come wrapped in love. It was old, untrue and unfair.
Tarot guy was right. My husband was amazing. My husband was tolerant. But Tarot guy only had part of the picture. He assumed, like so many others I've talked with, that if I was unhappy with my connubial sex, surely I was in an unhappy marriage. I wasn't. I loved my partner and the life we built together. But it would be pointless to deny that I felt arousal that had nothing to do with him. My sexuality was part of my core, its embedded in human nature. Based on emerging research, it's increasingly clear that women are deep wells of untapped sexual desire and energy. Was it really incomprehensible that by purposefully, intentionally connecting with that innate aspect of myself, I might be doing a good thing for my relationship and my family?
My husband got it. In fact he was and continues to be the direct beneficiary of my sexual awakening. Instead of a chronically cranky sparring partner, Gavin has a life partner who tends more towards good vibes even in bad times. And while the kids don't know what's up, they love this new version of their mother who is full of laughter and joy.