A dark grey yoga mat, with a cork block, grey-and-white bolster pillow, and folded white blanket stacked at one end

A dark grey yoga mat, with a cork block, grey-and-white bolster pillow, and folded white blanket stacked at one end


 
Okay. So… practice makes perfect, right? Or at least practice makes easier.
This whole post technically could have been put under “S” in the sense of “S is for Scheduling”, but TBH I’ve already written the “R” post and I’d like to get that up sooner, rather than later. So I decided I’d talk about this under “Q” and I’m hoping you just go with me on it.
 
Basically, I have had a LOT of resistance, over the years, to the idea of Scheduled Sex. Slightly for the usual reason of “But it’s not spontaaaaaaaaaaaaaaneous!!!” and somewhat more because I just… I spend a lot of time camped out on the Planes Of Desolation, sort of preemptively disappointed about a thing not actually happening, and the fewer opportunities I give myself – the logic goes – to end up in that place, the better. (More on that, probably, in a second). But mostly I’ve been resistant to the idea of Scheduled Sex because I have tended to react to it with: “But that’s makes sex, which I want to want, which I want to enjoy, it makes is another ‘chore’, it makes it work“.
 
So. The “This becomes a chore” thing and the “preemptive disappointment” thing are both pretty linked up, and I’m going to try to talk about that for a minute.
Quite a while ago – like… probably late in 2016? – when I was getting some life-coaching around both coming back to my body and getting it through my head that my sexually desiring my partners did not, in and of itself, make me a terrible monster, my coach gave me an assignment. Which was to ask my partner (which-ever partner I saw in person next, because YAY poly-aware practitioners) to do a specific thing to me that would feel physically pleasurable.
At this point, I don’t remember if it was supposed to be something specifically sexual, but certainly physically pleasurable. And, frankly, this is me. I’m either going to turn into a sleepy bunny or I’m going to get turned on, if someone is doing something physically pleasurable to me. So, like… 50/50 it was going to happen regardless.
Anyway. I did my assignment. And it felt like a BIG emotional risk. Even though my partner was like “Yeah, I’ll totally do that!” and was quite enthusiastic about it. It still felt like a HUGE ask, I was scared to say it out loud, the whole thing. But the hardest part, it turned out, was getting through the hour or two between making my request and actually receiving The Thing. It was so hard to hold onto hope. To not just get bogged down in “Oh, never mind, let’s not bother”. Which, itself, is kind of equal parts “I don’t want to be a burden” AND “I’m afraid of being rejected (and I’m so SURE that I’m going to be rejected that) I should just let my person off the hook”.
Which.
My partners are grown-ups with autonomy, and like… maybe I should give them the opportunity to make those decisions themselves? Even if those decisions do end up confirming my particular fears on occasion, I can’t just go around presuming to decide that for them, right?
(Okay, yes, easier said than done, but this is still a thing).
 
So one element of “Scheduling Sex turns sex into One More Thing on the To-Do List” is that, if I know I’m asking for Sex Stuff to happen, then I need to keep myself in a state of vulnerability (Why, yes, I am still reading a LOT of Brene Brown, why do you ask?) which, all by itself, is exhausting. Hope and curiosity are vulnerable states. They’re positive states. But they’re vulnerable. And – much like confidence – they are like muscles that you need to engage if you don’t want them to atrophy. Which sort of ties into the “quantity” aspect of the subject-line for this post. More on that in a bit.
 
Another element of the idea of Scheduled Sex Being Work is just that, if this is something that’s on the calendar, then it’s, like, it’s something I have to psyche myself up for, and I need to Find My Turn-On, and be ready to do all the things, and… there’s a LOT in here, for me, that’s (STILL – ye gods) looking as sex as a kind of a scripted thing. Like I have to be READY to do heavy breathing and make noise and know in advance what I want and be able to see all the pieces on the board – which… trust-falling with a partner, much like trust-falling with the universe, means letting them do their thing rather than trying to preemptively account for all of the possible things they might do. Sex is not a chess match, no matter what Broadway musicals have to say about it.
 
Anyway. Fast-forward to some time last year, when I wash chatting with a partner about long distance relationships. She commented that LDRs are basically the ultimate in Schedule Sex and I made a joke that turned out to be kind of an Aha Moment.
I said that, if schedule sex was like making a commitment to go to a yoga class once a week, then long-distance visits are like going to an ashram.
 
Which ended up being a really helpful way to think about it.
Back when I was going to regular yoga classes, they were “work” – in that they involved remembering to get my gear together and get out the door on time, and then pushing my body a little while I was there – but they were “work” that I looked forward to. They were something I wanted to do and that I got excited about. AND the actual yoga was something that I got better at as I went along. Like, don’t get me wrong, I’m still dreadful at Downward Dog, but my arms are stronger now, and at least I know it’s okay to bend my knees. Or just do Child’s Pose instead, if my shoulder aren’t up to it that day.
 
Which is kind of what I’m getting at with the “Quality and Quantity” title.
Like, I know this series is kind of all over the place and the posts tend to reflect how I’m feeling on a given day, as much as they reflect where I’m at on this particular quest (see what I did thar?) and – bonus thing I realize (or re-realized?) all of yesterday – how well I’m treating my own body, at any given time, too[1].
But like I said. Hope and curiosity – and playfulness, too – are like muscles and you have to work them to build them up if you want to be able to do anything with them for long periods of time.
Like with Downward Dog, when I first started doing yoga, I would leave the studio and feel like a wet noodle for then next day and a half. Now I can do 30-second poses (which tend to incorporate a lot of yoga poses AND tend, in my case, to involve putting a lot of weight on my arms) for an hour and a half and then just get on with my life.
I can ask a partner to do a thing now and, while four years ago I would have just been like “I should just give up” (and I do still get those feelings, don’t get me wrong), it’s a lot easier to do the asking, it’s a lot easier accept it without going into some sort of Terrible Shame Spiral for having asked, if a given partner’s not into it or changes their mind later on.
I’m finding that it’s easier to go to yoga (and “go to yoga”) every week, if I stick to it and keep going, even if my muscles are aching a little.

~*~

Notice Pleasure: Her hip under my tongue. Sleeping in as long as I want, cocooned in soft, warm blankets. Kisses. Back rubs. Shared showers. Her hands in my hair. Playing “May I / Will You” long distance. Brushing my fingertips over my arms, my legs. Dancing.

 
Cheers,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] Seriously. I have some messed up habits, that include getting really mad at myself when I need things (and, yeah, I get where this is coming from. Some really mean part of my brain is yelling at me to stop needing things – like food and water type things – because “People Who Need Things get thrown away like garbage, so if I need thing, I must be garbage and/or am in danger of being thrown away, and do we want that?? No?? Then stop needing things!” Because I am clearly a genius. But – wow, you’ll never guess! – if I actually access what I need (a sandwich, a glass of water, a foot rub from a partner), I have a much easier time being in my skin and noticing pleasurable things. So that’s a thing.