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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Learning About My Own Sexuality

Jojo wrote an impassioned plea in a comment about my "realizing" that I'd finally recovered from the mental and emotional and sexual impacts of my hysterectomy almost five years ago:

"Numb and miserable. I know that feeling. How, swan? How did you find the path? What did others try to tell you that you couldn't hear? I am listening because I so need to find the path to sexiness again. I am too young to have lost it but it is so hard to overcome drastic body changes that come as the result of surgery. Teach me!!!"

I don't know what I have to teach here, or how I might go about that teaching.  Still, I remember that same plea echoing in my head for all these years, and I remember the desperate wish that someone could tell me what I so clearly did not know.  I do not feel up to the task, but I also feel that sharing what I've learned is important -- especially if it might help someone else.  What I have, mostly, is a narrative of the subtle shifts in my thinking and my perceptions.  Most of what has evolved for me has crept in slowly.  Very little of this has been fast, or earth shaking, or even entirely noticeable in the event.

The beginning for me was simply time.  It took me a long time to heal and regain physical wellness following my surgery.  Corollary issues including anemia knocked me down, and my recovery was much longer than I anticipated.  Six months after the surgery, I was "healed" from the surgical wounds, but far from well.  I was weak, tired, worn out, and with a real lack of vitality.  Because I didn't anticipate all of that, I was impatient.  I desperately wanted the promised benefits of my surgery, and it did not materialize as promised.  I grieved what had been lost.  I mourned for the woman that I would have been if I hadn't been the woman I was.  I grieved.  I mourned.  I was inconsolable.  I don't think there is any way to speed up that initial process of physical healing, and I believe that each one will grieve as they must.  I have wondered if it would have been different if I'd been forewarned, but I imagine that the individual reactions are so unique and so varied, that there was no way to predict my particular set of responses.  I needed time.  Lots of it, and looking back, I don't think there would have been a single thing that would have made that passage go more quickly.    

Following the immediate recovery phase, I entered into a long, long, long period that was characterized by anger.  I was angry with my surgeon.  I was angry with Tom.  I was angry with every still sexually whole woman in the world.  Mostly, I was angry with my own body.  I felt betrayed by my body.  I hated what had happened to me, and it seemed to me that the root and beginning place of the harms I'd suffered was, in the most immediate sense, my own female anatomy.  My rages burned so brightly, searing all my relationships -- and then turning itself back on me.  In the end, I was the one that I blamed.  It has taken me a very long time to come to some sort of forgiveness and compassion for myself in all of this.  Now, five years later, I am coming to hold myself with some gentleness and softness and kindness -- I do not forgive quickly it would seem.  That forgiveness and compassion, as it turns out, has been critical to my path through the darkness.  

When I thought about my body, after the surgery, the image that I held in my mind, was of a dark, dingy, dirty basement; filled with cobwebs; lit by bare bulbs; broken pipes hanging from brackets...  A dismal and empty space.  I have been certain that my insides were somehow like that mental basement space -- empty, broken, dark, dismal and ugly.  Nevermind that doctors assured me that it was all secure, healed, and quite healthy, I was sure that my female anatomy was a cobwebby mess.  It has taken me years to begin to envision something other than that dark basement.  I've had to clear it out and envision something new and remodel and redecorate (metaphorically, of course).  I've needed to work some sort of mental feng shui transformation on my inner space, and when I began to get that I could choose to "see" something sweeter in my mind, things began to change.

Surgery changed my body in profound ways.  The visible scars were not significant, but the internal changes were enormous.  The hormonal sunset, brought on by the removal of my ovaries, was devastating and utterly irreversible.  I'd never realized how much of the sensation of an orgasm was a function of contractions of the uterine muscles.  Damage to nerves during the removal of my uterus, limited the sensitivity of my vaginal wall.    The vaginal lining began to thin, and my natural lubrication began to dry up.  In the months right after the surgery, I was anxious to be able to resume sexual activity -- and then when I got that medical clearance, nothing happened.  Nothing.  My responses were just gone.  I was still interested in sex; still hungry for sex; still horny as hell -- but I couldn't achieve orgasm.  I'd get all hot and bothered and then my lady parts would just lay there, inert.  

Tom found the very best medical people; found a specialist in women's sexual health -- and He was a fierce advocate with the doctors we saw.  I endured months and months of testing and a complicated scheme of hormone therapies.  Nothing worked.  My migraine headaches got worse than they had ever been before, but my sexual response was just as absent.  

I wanted Him to fix things for me.  I wanted Him to work some sort of magic and restore my sex life.  I was convinced -- utterly certain, that there was some thing He could do; some trick that He ought to know; some sexual alchemy that He would pull out of the hat for me.  When that did not happen, I blamed Him.  Not directly, not openly, not in so many words, but just as surely.  I imagined that what I needed was a "real" lover -- that fabled prince charming who would touch me just so; play with me just right; charm the orgasms right out of my recalcitrant body.  It wasn't that He was unwilling.  I know, with a sure certainty, that Tom would have done anything I wanted sexually.  He was more than willing to do whatever would work to help me find my way back.  If I could have told Him exactly where to touch; exactly how hard and how fast -- then He' d have been delighted to take care of things.  The problem was that I had no idea.  I was lost, with no map to my own body -- and I desperately wanted someone to guide me home to myself.  It turns out that I was that guide ... I just didn't know it in the beginning.  When everything was said and done, I had to be responsible for my own sexual pleasure.  I had to do the exploring.  I had to learn what felt good ... and what didn't.  I had to listen to my own stories and fantasies, and I had to give myself permission to indulge and enjoy the pleasures that only I could stir up in my loins.  I figured out, finally, that all sexual pleasure is good.  I stopped ranking and rating the various sensations and experiences.  I learned to enjoy my enjoyment.  If I managed an orgasm during good old fashioned boy-girl sex with Tom, then that was something to celebrate.  If I worked my way to an orgasm in the dead of the night, using my trusty Wahl vibrator, that was good too.  If, in the middle of a spanking, I can catch on and ride it out to that delicious, lusty, writhing hunger, then good for me.  I've gotten greedy about sex; demanding about sex; serious about sex.  What I took for granted, before my surgery, I now know to be a pure gift, given for some undefined bit of time.  I thought I'd hit my end point, and I was wrong.  I do not intend to waste any of the good times that I may have left to me.

Jojo, I don't know what, if any of that, you can use.  I do know that your story and your challenges are different than mine.  I hope that there may be some bits there that you can use for your own benefit.  All the best ~~



  1. I think too that sue's work in psycho-therapy and last, but not least, her recent soul retrieval each contributed to setting the stage for this wonderful recovery. Honey it is fabulous to have (both the old and new you) with me again/now.



    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.

  2. Anonymous2:47 PM

    Hello Swan,

    I found your blog earlier on today through a link on another individual’s site, and having read a couple of your latest postings it was this particular one that caught my thoughts and froze my eyes to the content.

    Serendipity is strange in the way it weaves its way into our life; sometimes it is blatantly obvious that it is exerting its influence and yet at other moments its full effect isn’t appreciated until some time later. Today was one of those blatantly obvious incidents as I read your posting.

    Quite recently I have been sifting and sorting though old paper journals, rambles scribbled on bits of paper and any other method employed by me in the past to keep thoughts and ideas, dreams and hopes. Such moments can require quite a bit of emotional energy as moving back and forth through time as you re-read such thoughts can leave you feeling unsettled in some ways.

    Quite recently a very dear friend of mine started to write online once again and I had a similar conversation with her about going through old journals and how it causes such a deep level of internal reflection. I cannot help but wonder if we have actually made progress in our life when we read thoughts written some time ago that still have a sharp resonance within us. Does that show we haven’t healed or achieved when some of those issues are still there? It’s a question that continues to echo.

    My personal journey in life has given rise to sexual issues which I feel I still haven’t resolved despite my best efforts both physically and mentally. I have probably spent months just thinking about it and wondering how to manage/live with things that cannot be changed, and when I read this posting today I was deeply struck by the mirrored thoughts created from your own experiences. It actually goes much further than that because what your posting reflected back in that mirror was a clarity I could not see—or refused to recognise—with my own eyes when I looked into my own feelings; it was as though seeing someone else talking of similar thoughts sharpened the image in some way……..made it harder for me to ignore.

    I figured a while ago that there are no easy answers and there is no template to follow to find any answers either; you only have time and the hope that some event will present itself in order to allow some healing to take place. The feelings of emptiness and inadequacy are at times so claustrophobically unbearable, but maybe the key really is to try and live with the good experiences you have and to take what joy you can in the ways that you are able. I still feel that is far short of what I would wish for and try hard not to feel envy in others when sexual subjects are raised, but at the end of the day such paths of thought are all consuming if allowed to take hold and have to be resisited. As you so clearly say, maybe it is all little shifts and micro-advancements over a long period of time that finally makes the difference.

    Thank you for sharing this piece and for being part of my serendipity today.


    1. Hello AngelicEmbrace, and welcome. I am a bit overwhelmed and awed by this comment -- it feels like you and I have walked similar paths, and I do know how very difficult that can be. So, in the first instance, I am sorry for what you have lost...

      I never intended to lay out a template or a roadmap for anyone else to use in recovering from this kind of personal, intimate loss. I only hoped to say that I'd been through the process and come out somewhere that is different from what was, but good.

      I don't know what the details of your story are, and all of us have stories that are uniquely our own, but I do think that it takes lots of time. I also think that, at least for me, it took professionals who were skilled in helping me walk through my various issues and roadblocks. I am pretty sure I would not have arrived here on my own.

      I hope you will keep visiting, and I wish you better and better days ahead.


  3. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Thank you for your warm welcome to me and it was a genuine and natural response to want to write. Having been touched by your words it would have somehow felt wrong not to have shared my own thoughts with you, although I apologize if it was a little overwhelming as I would not have wished that. Perhaps the subject matter touched my own emotions and that was reflected in my writing.

    Whilst I have had a path to follow which has had many stepping stones of complexities and difficult decisions (as many people do), I recognise and am humbled on many occasions to see that I have been very fortunate to have navigated them and reached the stage of my life that I have. I have had some lovely people to help me along the way and I hope to stay hold of those people who are still in my life for as long as I possibly can.

    Your posting offered hope in the possibility of one day reaching a greater stage of acceptance and rejuvenation and that hope is so important to keep in focus and in the light. I remember coming across a quote that said the following: “Hope is patience with the lamp lit”. That is just so true.

    I will be back to visit you again, Swan, as if I may say so you have such a beautiful way of writing with a flow that gently carries you along with it.

    Kind wishes

    P.S. I am so sorry if you have ended up with multiple copies of my reply, Swan.…….I seem to be able to post today so cannot resist trying once again.


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