So I did it. Went on a hot date with one of my lady loves and saw the movie. On the mega screen.
I have read the books. All three. I enjoyed them. I’m not going to get all deep and meaningful about literary merit or how they were one book made into three so you’d have to buy them all or how annoying Ana is or unrealistic Christian is or any of that. I may have even devoured them, like a bad cliché.
I liked the movie. Once again not for the amazing characters, cinematography or whatever else you are supposed to review movies for. I liked that he took her in a kickass helicopter for their first date to check out the red room of pain. I am into helicopters. Maybe into the red room of pain. Please stop reading now if you are in some way related to me.
The bit that found terribly hard to cope with about the movie was that IN CASE YOU HAVE BEEN IN A CAVE, I HAVE BEEN ON GAP YEAR FOR AROUND 378 DAYS. Or something. My lady love did the math because I’m not focussing on the math, but in the context of soft (lady friendly) porn it was kinda hard not to consider the math. Which is a fairly large number. More than 3 centuries.
Some one asked me a few weeks ago about how I coped with gap year, and I took it as a very deep question about the emotional side of gap year, which is all about giving yourself time and space to figure out what you need before adding any kind of relationship or flirtation to the equation. I coped with that fine. But seeing as the person who asked me that question was a guy and in general guys tend to be fairly literal, I’m wondering if it was actually about how I coped without no physical intimacy during that time? Honestly I coped with that fine too, but I don’t intend to cope with that forever and the unfortunate thing about ending gap year and then going to see soft porn is that you remember the math. Or possibly men’s naked chests, lip biting, forceful lust and GAHHHHHHH, I can not continue.
So this is what I experienced during the year of the gap.
At first, when you are used to sharing your bed with someone, the bed feels very big and empty. I found going to bed possibly the hardest and most lonely thing to do. So I downloaded some annoying meditations to lull me to sleep and brought kickass new bed linen (I have a THING with bed linen) and rearranged my bedroom and wrote and in general found ways to not feel like bed was lonely.
After a while, bed feels like a haven. I slept better than I had for a really long time, and I have totally girly bed linen, and read more and enjoy the time in there on my own. I guess because I know it’s not forever, and that sometimes a little time and space makes room for magic.
At first, when you are used to touching someone and kissing someone and having regular, pretty great sex with someone you do notice that it is gone. It can be even more confronting when you know they are already doing that with someone else. But, when you are really hurt and heartbroken I will honestly say that I don’t think finding someone new to scratch the physical itch works because although you might find satisfaction on a physical level, underneath that you are still hurt. I don’t know for sure because I didn’t try it, but I was pretty sure that humouring the guy on the plane would not have made me feel better. Not even just a tiny bit. Sorry to disappoint.
After a while, when you have put sex aside, you don’t physically crave it the same. It doesn’t mean you couldn’t or you wouldn’t if the perfect hypothetical guy turned up to help you with that. Funnily enough I wrote a blog about the hypothetical guy (I got the term from the TV show Offspring where Nina and Billie coined the phrase ‘hypothetical guy’ for the hypothetical opportunity that could arise by which Nina would consider a one night stand after the death of her husband and having her first child. She had a list of traits for such a guy, including that he would just be passing through town, not know anyone she knew, disappear into mist afterwards all that realistic stuff). I didn’t post it because I wasn’t actually hoping he’d come along. Which he didn’t. Of course. Once again, I digress.
So here’s the thing about Fifty Shades of Grey.
Go see it when you have someone you can talk to about that. I have had the funniest conversation with some of my other lady loves over the last few weeks, based on their reviews of the movie. I kinda know who’s up for what, who’s pushing the boundaries on their own comfort zone, and in general that many women that I know would be suitably impressed by a helicopter ride and riding Christian Grey. Oops, did I say that? It is not the woman that you know that I know, just some other one.
And if watching that or talking about it opens up some possibility for you and you’re all down with it, and into exploring it, go for it. Intimacy is actually about having conversations with the person you love about stuff that matters to you, so you can share yourself and get to know them. Even if you’ve been together for 10 years. Especially if you’ve been together for 10 years. And if it means talking about sex, rough sex, bondage and all things red room of pain, why not? It doesn’t mean you are straight up saying you want the flogger.
Just be open and honest and true, even if it means you have to tell the world that maybe, just maybe, after 378 days and some soft porn it might be time to close off the year of the gap. Literally.
GAHHHHHH (that’s me gagging after saying that out loud!)