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Dear Lyric Seal,
Sometimes I cry when I come. I really really adore my new boyfriend, but I don’t want to give the impression that I am experiencing sadness every time we have sex on this supremely deep level, or that I’m wounded or pathetic or something. It’s like I’ll be coming really loud, and all of a sudden I’m sobbing. What should I do? What can I tell him? What can I tell myself? — O. Baby
The Challenges and Joys of Long-Distance Relationships
Satisfaction, Long-Distance Love, and Introducing Consent
[jump] O. Baby!
First of all, really clever name, damn. Second of all, don’t ever change. Whether or not you are conscious of experiencing sadness every time you have sex with your boyfriend on a deep emotional level, your body is making deep, beautiful use of those orgasms, and that’s a really good thing. Crying is a form of release. Crying is a cleanser, like sweating and peeing. Unlike sweating and peeing, however, we are not socialized to see crying as a normal human function that could and should happen every day, and certainly not in front of other people — unless you’ve been mortally wounded or have another really good reason. Coming is also a natural, healing release — pleasurable, and both calming and invigorating. Since you might also pee a little, or sweat a little, when you come, might it also be really reasonable to cry? You’re expelling effort! You’re letting things go! You are a superhero! You have a lot to hold, and in order to hold so much you have to make room, so make room! Yes, you might have some intense emotions that you are processing on any given day, and maybe you haven’t had a chance to really process them, or let yourself cry if you need to. If you’re peeing, you need to. If you’re sweating, you need to. If you’re crying, you to need to, too. And if you’re coming, well that’s just wonderful, isn’t it?
Unless your boyfriend is worried about your tears, I don’t think you need to reassure him or explain. If he adores you as much as you adore him, he’s probably grateful that you feel safe enough to cry with him, no matter what it’s about, and that your body is working that hard to make room, and let him in. Well done.
If you continue to feel concerned, it’s not unreasonable to begin journaling about how you felt in your body and your heart prior to sex and after sex. In general, it’s a really good idea to do body and heart check-ins every day. Come back if you have more questions after doing this a few weeks. End remember: It’s okay to cry.
Sometimes I feel like wherever I am touched I have to explain. I want to be touched and not feel like I have to explain what is being touched. I don’t know what is being touched. — Anonymous
In the spirit of your inquiry, I would like to try not naming you, but simply let you be. Thank you for asking this sort of question. I vibrate with empathy at its nebulousness.
What or who compels you to explain? If it is society, a former caretaker or authority figure, or your inner mean older sibling, let them go. I struggle myself with the desire or compulsion to explain, to analyze the reasons for my responses to things, or the names of parts of myself.
Names can be comforting, but they can also be caging, and can reveal themselves to be instantly imprecise once they are uttered aloud.
Try meditating with the feeling of being touched. Does it feel good? How would you like this mysterious part of you to be touched? Is it your partner that asks you to explain? Would they happen to hear more of a “how” than a “what”? Every part of you has a right to be touched in exactly the way you would like it to be touched, without being named or defined.
My hand might be a hand, but does it have to be called a hand in order for you to ask, “May I hold this tightly, please?” Concentrate on the how, the when, the how much, the for how long, rather than the what. Let your body be. You don’t have to explain. It is possible still for you to be understood. It is all right to not know what is being touched right now, but for you still to want it to be touched anyway. I have been sweet to many things for which I did know their current or proper names. Those who are worthy of touching you will wait for the time when they can let the name alight on their tongues. For now, you are allowed to use other parts of language and communication to get what you want and need for the places that have not yet been named.