Apparently some of you aren’t happy even when I skip to the end of my story. So from now on, you’ll get what you get 🙂
Leo paced back and forth between my living room and kitchen while he spoke. He was clearly uncomfortable. He drank water constantly.
He started with a statement about how he was raised to be the one who was strong and couldn’t be vulnerable. I wasn’t sure where he was going, but it was just the intro.
He told me he is not the person he was 20 years ago, or even 5. He gave me some examples of things that are different – it isn’t bullshit. Without my prompting, he described his growth mindset, a need to keep getting better and to change. And while I was somewhat cynical at this point, I reminded myself I had never really told him how important it was in a partner.
He went on to say the one area he hasn’t ever really tackled is his sexuality, and his ability to be completely open about it with someone he cared about.
Giggling nervously, he said “don’t worry I’m not gay”. I replied evenly, “it would be fine if you were.”
He told me he knows he fucked up with me, he wasn’t open with me, and he has nothing to lose since he already lost me. He said he was ready to open up.
“Ann, I REALLY love sex.”
“Ummm, okay Leo. So do I.”
He went on, over an extended discussion, to explain just how much. Nothing ruffled me in the least. He told me he’d only had sex with two women before his divorce and when he became single, he made up for lost time. In a huge way. If ever I had worried about telling him he was #100, I worried no more. In the last 8-ish years he’s had sex with 3 women a month on average.
No, that’s not a typo.
Hundreds of women. Even during his long-distance, 18-month long relationship. According to him they were both cheating and never discussed it. So I told him he was #100. He didn’t flinch.
I challenged him on why, if he was so sex focused, he didn’t bring his Viagra on our vacation.
“Oh but Ann, I did bring it. I was chewing them like crazy and they didn’t work. My head was a mess. I couldn’t perform and didn’t know how to talk about it.”
I gave him shit. I told him it would have been much better for him to have been honest then leaving me perplexed and pissed off because I thought we weren’t on the same page. He was chagrined.
He told me I was supposed to be one of his monthly conquests. He wasn’t looking for anything more than casual sex when he met me, and then he actually started to like me, a lot. He explained he was worried had he told me how important sex was to him, or did some of the things he wanted to do, I would think he was deviant or only interested in sex.
I called bullshit on that. I said, incredulously, “I told you I was beaten on a St. Andrew’s Cross in a sex club and how much I love sex and you didn’t think you could be open with me?!”
I reminded myself that being open is how I am. If anything, I have to consciously avoid over sharing. So while it seems odd he couldn’t be open with me even when I have created the right conditions for it, for Leo it’s still difficult.
I asked him about a moment during one time we had sex – I saw for a few seconds a more aggressive, sexual man, losing himself in what he was doing, and it was very sexy. He knew what I was referring to and explained he’d for a moment what he called “angry sex”. Meaning, he wasn’t having “relationship” sex. He went on to explain he has trouble reconciling respecting and caring for a woman, and being able to have more aggressive, creative sex.
In other words, because of how much he likes me, he can’t fuck me the way I want.
We twisted and turned along the discussion path. It seemed inconceivable to me (and I told him as such) that he hadn’t even tried the things I’d asked him to do. Doggy style. Leverage the big mirror on our vacation. Flirt over text. Bottom line is, he was holding himself back.
We discussed his ED issues. I told him he was ridiculous for thinking at 47 he was “too young” for it to happen. He knows his weight plays a role and is committed to continuing to shed the extra pounds.
I told him he was a shitty communicator, and he agreed with me. He said he wants to do better.
I believed him.
I know I’m missing threads of our long conversation, but we went round and round these topics, him telling me things, me asking questions, challenging him on some things he said, him trying to reconcile his words and actions. But eventually, it came time for me to think about what, if anything, I was going to do with this new information.
Image from the 1955 movie “Stella”