My (Post-Divorce) Sex Bucket List
Have you created a bucket list for your life yet? That list of the things you want to do before you die? Climb a mountain? Write a book? Visit Machu Picchu? Learn to speak Russian?
My divorce was finalized one year ago. I have had a full year to explore my post-divorce sexuality and have found myself creating my own personal bucket list of sex. What, you might ask, was the sexual encounter that made me realize I needed a list? I will tell you.
It was sex with two different men in one week. Ooooh. Radical, right? Maybe it is not that radical under today’s standards. Please, however, consider the context. I was a virgin when I got married at 23; I had one sexual partner for nearly two decades. Thus, sex with another human being, and not a vibrator, is novel. Sex with two men in one week, well, that was monumental. How liberating to get in-touch with my sexual self. What a tremendous feeling of satisfaction to realize that I can explore new boundaries. It is both satisfying and empowering to have identified what I want for my sex life.
Why not create a bucket list of sex for yourself? Probably you have a list drafted in your thoughts and fantasies. How about making it official by writing it down? Your list can include activities, people, and places that you hope to integrate into your sexuality and sex life. The list could be updated, revised, and expanded as sexual wants change and grow.
In the nature of full disclosure and to titillate you into creating your own list, I am sharing a few items from my bucket list items in no particular order:
___X__A one-night stand*
___X__Sex with two partners in the same week
___X__A weekend sexual romp at a bed-and-breakfast in the wine country
______ Practicing Orgasmic Meditation with a partner
______ Wearing a toy, beneath my skirt, controlled by a partner from across the room at a public event
______ To acknowledge to someone in my family that I write erotica
______ A second weekend with the stud from Calgary*
______ Sex with a man who will allow me to penetrate him in a way that he likes
______ Sex on the balcony of a white stucco hotel in Greece overlooking the Mediterranean
______ Getting a man to kiss the backside of my knees, one of my most sensitive spots, while he fills me inside.
* Okay, full-disclosure, the one-night stand turned into two nights. Does that still make it a one-night stand? And that weekend was with the stud from Calgary. Maybe he appears twice on this list because he was the very first man I had taken home from a bar and had sex with all night long. After a full night of climaxing, and then another full night of climaxing, you might be able to imagine why he makes this list more than once. Sigh.
There are items that will never make my list because they are wholly undesirable, like sex with my ex-husband. Other items won’t make the list because they are impractical, like sex with my very first boyfriend who is married to a wonderful man named Todd. Still other items I aspire to add to my bucket list. Those items include things like a threesome with a hot red-headed woman and orgy sex. Wow. Who knows, maybe they will make it on the list as the list evolves. I know that my personal bucket list is not complete.
If you haven’t considered creating a sexual bucket list, I recommend considering it. A few tips to help you get started:
1) Think about possible people, places, and things. Your items can be physical, emotional, or cerebral. Don’t limit yourself as you create the list. Allow your imagination to wander, include items that feel good to you. You can pare it down once you have thought of many possibilities.
2) Remember, it is just a list. Not a reality. You might consider placing aside any shame or guilt as you create the list. The goal is to better understand your sexual self and explore your desires, not meant to chastise you for having any specific sexual desire.
3) The list doesn’t care about your size or shape or upbringing or ability or gender or race or religion.
4) Your bucket list is yours alone. We all vary in our desires and boundaries. You needn’t share your list with anyone, unless you want to. Be thoughtful about exposing this intimate part of yourself with others. There may be a benefit to keeping the list private. Or to sharing. Only you can know what is best for you.
5) You probably will not have control over every item. You may have to find a partner to join you in enacting any one item. Who knows, maybe the partner you are with or someone you meet, will have their own bucket list. You can share in checking items off of both lists!
6) Your list can change. You can add or delete or modify items over time as sexual needs change. Expect that your understanding of your sexual self will expand and grow over time.
It might be that you can share this list with a partner. Or maybe your relationship doesn’t work quite that way. In my former relationship, I was shamed into thinking that sex outside of the missionary position was “wrong. Imagine how that narrowed my bucket list to only a few items. I reflect on that and see how much harm it did to compare my sexual desires to an external rubric (my ex-husband’s limited perspective on sexuality) rather than to explore my own personal internal sense of what “fits for me.
Attaching words like “right or “wrong to any item on your list or to any possible item is limiting and invites judgment, which is a precursor to shame. Instead, try to think about things that “fit for me now or “doesn’t fit for me now. Even a simple shift in language or perspective can provide the freedom to create a list within your own personal context that avoids moral judgment.
One goal of creating a bucket list, however mild or exotic that list might be, is to provide an opportunity to think of our sexual identities in the same way we contemplate career identities or relational identities. Our sexuality is another aspect of our identities, in which we can experience both successes and struggles. Creating a list, similar to a general life bucket list, allows us to set goals and experience a sense of accomplishment when we achieve those goals. We all deserve to acknowledge the multiple identities with which we identify, and to feel satisfaction when we reach a milestone.
Recently, I have found myself sharing the fact that I have this bucket list of sex with men I am dating. There are many reasons why. First, part of me wants to learn earlier in the relationship how they envision sex and sexuality. Would they judge or humiliate me if I exposed my sexual self to them? Do they have limits with their sexuality, such that a basic conversation about better understanding wants and desires, let alone sharing a list item, makes them squirm? If we are approaching a sexual relationship or having a sexual relationship, are they able to talk about sex in addition to engage in sexual activity? Answers to those questions help me better understand the context of the relationship and anticipate sexual outcomes.
Second, many potential partners are turned on by confidence. Confidence in any form, e.g. in one’s body or work, is sexy. The same seems to be true about sexual confidence. Partners are often attracted to a person who openly explores sexuality in a way that is respectful of the persons involved and respectful of the highly-sensitive nature of the subject matter. It doesn’t have to be a one-hour conversation, but sharing even a few brief thoughts can break the ice and show one’s sexual confidence without baring it all.
Finally, for me personally, little bits of sharing are helping me overcome the years of shame I had associated with sexuality. An introductory conversation about sexuality with partners allows me the opportunity to overcome my personal sex hang-ups. It is helping me to normalize that part of myself that was pathologized by others for a long time. Tremendous freedom has come from being close to people who embrace, rather than demean, my sexual self.
How would it feel in your relationship if your partner came to you and said “here are a few items on my sexual bucket list, things that I get turned on thinking about doing with you! I hope that you have a relationship that would invite sexual sharing. If you don’t have that kind of relationship, it might still be helpful for you to understand and prioritize what you would like for yourself. If you do have that kind of relationship¦ well, why are you still reading? Get to that list!
By creating a list, it is my hope that, like me, you will better understand yourself and feel more sexual confidence. I encourage you to embrace your sexuality and your incredibly sexy self!