you sleep with someone, your body makes a promise whether you
do or not."
~ Julie (Cameron Diaz) in the movie Vanilla Sky
high school there was a clear delineation between what was Sex
and what was Not. We knew this because we all listened to Meatloaf's
eight minute make-out song “Paradise by the Dashboard Light."
Under the music and under our moans, the baseball commentator
made it perfectly clear that he may have gotten in a few gropes,
but that the home run Just Wasn't Gonna Happen.
We all knew,
in some hereditary sort of way, that kissing was first base;
above the belt was second, and below, third. Intercourse, of
course, was the home run. My friends didn't ask me whether my
experience was fulfilling emotionally, they asked me if I made
the home run. They wanted to know if I had Had Sex (intercourse)
or Didn't (anything else). And they weren't asking about anal
sex, oral sex, or God knows what other orifice sex. They were
talking about good old missionary vaginal sex.
even sexually unsophisticated adults know there's a whole world
between licking your lips for the first kiss and taking a drag
from the post-coital cigarette. Even as a foolish teenager,
us gals should have been asking not whether you fucked (which
was nice) but whether you came (which was real nice). Much easier
for guys, since they get one with the other by definition.
I'm scuba diving in the waters of D/s, things have gotten a
bit more complex. In the beginning, I had some confusing moments
describing my relationships to my friends. I didn't actually
have intercourse with some of my partners, so did they count
as lovers? By Meatloaf's assessment, I guess they didn't, but
then my partner Bailey offered another option. He suggested
I reframe how I defined sex, making love, and BDSM play. I ended
up with a bunch of lists which kind of suggests I had gobs of
lovers. Compared to some, I suppose I have, but from my perspective,
I've never really had as much sex as I wanted, no matter how
you define it.
On the love
side, there's the list of men I loved who didn't love me (unrequited
love). There's the men I didn't love, who loved me (a totally
different list, unfortunately). There's the list of Real Lovers,
guys I loved, who loved me back (a much shorter list).
On the sex
side, there are the lovers, most of whom I didn't love, a few
of whom I did, and some one-night-stands for color. There are
one or two threesomes and a couple with women. There's the BDSM
play with sex, and the BDSM play without sex, not to mention
the BDSM play with love, and without.
was the moment when Miguel kissed me after the fair, with lips
tasting of maple cotton candy, and made me want to get on my
knees, right there in the parking lot. But the kiss was all
I got; I never saw the guy again. Does it have to be an overt
dominant act to count? Or is it enough that he took me there,
even in a moment which melted as fast as cotton candy on my
taught me that my body is a temple. She was talking in terms
of eating a lot of whole wheat bread, I'm guessing, but I think
she also believed that when you made love, there was a holy
blending of the body and spirit. Being of the eastern way of
spirituality, I believe the mind, body and soul are one. My
friend Elizabeth says the same thing, that when you have sex,
there's an elemental and entwining exchange of energy at the
spiritual level which remains long after the physical act is
she's right, as long as it's "making love" we're talking
about here. I've had mind-bogglingly good sex with guys I knew,
and with some I barely knew. I've had lovers for years I never
loved, but who I had a darn fine time with. I've made love with
a few who loved me back, and who may not have been the fuck
of all time, but who had something magic.
all those same permutations for my D/s partners. Only with Moby
did our souls meet on the love, sex, and D/s levels. It was
more than just an exchange of magic; it was the most astounding
experience of my life. The rough thing about having had a soulmate
like him is that it's a hard act to follow. I've been to the
gourmet eight-course meal, with a different wine for each course.
I've had the dessert afterward, a dark chocolate cake melting
on my fork and in my mouth. How will I go back to fast food?
those reasons I'm generally celibate these days. I haven't been
able to reconcile fuck-buddies with the gourmet meal. Maybe
I've been spoiled forever. This watershed changed my mind about
sex and love, and I can only hope I'll find it like that again.
I might not, but I hope I never regret it.
I also realized
that it's not about which list you put your relationship on.
I know a lot of scene people who only do sexually oriented play,
others who only don't. A lot of them seem to think the label
is important in itself; as if being a purist was a point of
pride. I read about how in Mexico there is still a strong cultural
value on virginity in young girls (why not young boys?). So
the girls have oral sex, anal sex, God knows what other kind
of sex. Somehow, because they don't have vaginal sex, they're
still virgins. It's the Bill Clinton definition of sex, the
one that everyone except Bill knew was bullshit.
about which orifice you use so you can pretend you aren't having
sex. It's not even about whether you actually have intercourse
involving a penis and vagina, or whether you use your tongue
and their ass. It's not whether you actually tied someone to
the bed and flogged them, or if you just whispered it in their
how you want, but the erotic tension is in there somewhere,
a strand as delicate as a filament or as powerful as a cable.
Even so, it's only partly about the sex. What it's really about
is intimacy, which covers all those lists and whatever new ones
I come up with.
I tell you I don't do casual play, it's not just about whether
I want to go to first base, second base, or whatever. It's really
about the next time I go play baseball of any kind, it'll be
the kind where I can feel his presence even before he touches
me. The kind where my heart rests softly in his arms. Where
I can give up my power for a little while or longer, even if
it's only as long as an eight minute make-out song.
Sadie is a BDSM columnist and edits SCENEsubmissions, a free
e-newsletter for the New England area and beyond. She is the
founder and leader (1999 - 2001) of Rose & Thorn, Vermont's
first BDSM group. Comments, compliments and complaints, as well
as requests for reprinting can be addressed to her at SensuousSadie@aol.com
or visit her website at www.sensuoussadie.com. Sadie believes
the universe is abundant, and that sharing information freely
is part of this abundance, so she allows reprints of her writing
in most venues.