In answer to Linda Hill’s Just Jot It January Sex:
Celia had always had a love/hate relationship with sex. Being Catholic and all, you know.
It was hard to explain to people, who either laughed it off or gave her moral lessons.
Either way, when it happened, she wished she’d never spoken out. So she ended up not talking about it, leaving friends and acquaintances to believe her a prude. She could never win.
She hated her first time; maybe it wasn’t the right moment. In fact she knew it wasn’t; she’d only done it because it was her way to rebel against every rule and principles she’d grown up with. She’d always obeyed every rule; she needed to break some. And this one seemed like the mother of all rules. Don’t ask Celia why. She doesn’t know.
With the right partner she ended up enjoying it… a lot. She loved it; she loved what she felt, she loved what she made her partner feel. But she hated that she wasn’t doing it to have children. It was after all the purpose of it, wasn’t it? So love/hate and guilt.
She married the man of her life, the partner who made her love sex. The partner who made her feel perfect despite her imperfection. And so Celia could enjoy the act of love while attempting to have children. No more guilt. But neither did the children come.
A year went by… then two; then came their five year anniversary. People started asking questions. Her siblings had children of their own and she was the oldest. She didn’t answer. She knew. She’d known since their second year anniversary. She was sterile. So the docs said. And though she wasn’t ready yet to give up, she had to face the truth. But guilt was there every time she fell asleep on her husband’s shoulder. She should have been sated and happy; instead, that failure to conceive haunted her. Wasn’t marriage meant to have children? Was it not one of her duties as a wife? Catholic guilt that, but she couldn’t get rid of it.
They had thought of adopting; in fact, they even applied once. Too precarious situation was the answer: two self-employed people couldn’t adopt. Nothing guaranteed that they’d have a sufficient income to support children. No one ever forbade unemployed individuals to have children, but two reasonably successful artists couldn’t have one. They didn’t fulfill expectations even to adopt abroad. So it was that ten years into their marriage, without children, Celia hated to love sex.
Image by J’Naia