After two weeks apart, my man is less than an hour away.
I have to break the bad news before he gets here. I dial his cell and when he picks up, I blurt it out quickly, like pulling off a bandage.
“I have not one, but two cold sores on my lower lip.”
“Oh no,” he says.
“It sucks,” I say.
“Well, actually, no, it doesn’t suck.”
We share a disappointed laugh. We both know this translates to no kissing and no oral sex.
Our sexy reunion has just suffered a serious blow, or lack thereof.
But my kayaker has been flirting with the Colorado River for the past twelve days. He’s mastered the art of going with the flow.
When he is above me, inside me, our foreheads touch instead of our lips. My third eye is pressed against his. His brown eyes gaze down into mine with the intensity of a raptor.
I can feel the presence, the power, of the river in him. The two of them are flowing into me, between my thighs, between my brows. A confluence.
My eyes want to close, pause, and shy away from the intensity.
I won’t let them.
I meet my man and the river head on and press my forehead even harder to his. I bring my blue irises mere millimeters from his that shimmer green with her at this proximity.
They move slowly, rhythmically, into me.
I feel like I could drown as my breath starts coming in short gasps.
My body starts to quiver, arching my spine and driving them even deeper.
There is no stopping it this time.
My eyes roll back, like a breaking wave, under fluttering lids.
Explore the intensity of sustained eye contact while you are making love.
My man and I are bunking up ski-bum style with our friend D.K. in a hotel room in Stanley, Idaho. Given the sleeping accommodations, we won’t be having sex. We are here to satisfying our lust for back country skiing.
Skiing in the Sawtooth Mountains has the extra bonus of a natural hot springs down the road from our hotel. The three of us just fit into the metal vat that captures the gushing hot mineral water that flows out from the river bank.
As the guys strategize about tomorrow’s ski route, my attention pivots as if I’ve been tapped on the shoulder. I turn to face the Salmon River and find myself captivated by her winterness. She is flowing wide and flat here in town, a dark slate blue. She is white with chunks of ice instead of rapids.
Usually my kayaker is the one seduced by the river. But right now he is totally captivated by skiing this new mountain range.
So she’s set her sights on me.
It makes no sense at all to leave this tub of hot water and journey out in the zero degree twilight towards her icy flow.
But I guess I’m a fool for her in any season because I do.
I’ve been allowing January lately, healing an over-pronated ankle and surrendering to pizza, naps and my not-so-sexy self. As I step across rocks beside this ice-choked river, perfectly warm inside my steaming bare skin, I feel sexier than I have in weeks.
I move towards some shallow, rock-lined pools and dip my toes in like Goldilocks. I find one that is just right and lie belly down beside the river. My pubis nestles into a mound of warm pebbles, my sinuses fill with the deep-earth scent of the spring. I dangle my hand in the river and flirt back, splashing her on my cheeks, lips and chest to cool my lobster red skin.
I roll like an otter and lie on my back. Algae pools at the juncture of my thighs and floats around my nipples. I catch some between my fingers and anoint my forehead. I place a smooth warm stone on my sternum as I drizzle a handful of hot sand around my breasts.
I lie, suspended, like the crescent moon that floats in and out of the clouds above me.
The final lines of one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems, Five A.M. in the Pinewoods, come to mind:
so this is how you swim inward
so this is how you flow outward
so this is how you pray
Check out the poetry collections by Mary Oliver. New and Selected Poems was my first love and has the poem Five A.M. in the Pinewoods
Our wedding rings were never sexy.
Oh we tried, we really did.
My muses live in jagged white peaks. My man gets off on kayaking whitewater. We both love to backcountry ski.
So we incorporated the theme of mountains and rivers into our wedding vows and the design of our rings.
Our quirky jeweler, whom my man described as having too much fun in the sixties, never got it right. But the rings were passed around and blessed by everyone at our wedding, so we wore them for what they represented until all the inlaid river jade fell out, making the engraved mountains look like they’d been strip mined.
Now that I am flirting at writer’s conferences and doing sexy surveys in bars, I thought it might be a good idea to have a ring on my left hand.
Besides, I need to be more specific with my intention. The mountain and river theme of the old rings worked, I suppose. Right now we live in the Blue Mountains right by the Grande Ronde River. But these mountains get more rain than snow and the river isn’t exactly known for its whitewater.
I’d seen some cool rings on display at the Pike Place Market when we were in Seattle last spring for my first erotica reading at the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. At the time I was too tired from partying all night to inquire seriously about anything, so I grabbed one of the artist’s business cards.
A few weeks ago she made me a ring.
I feel like a new bride, the way I keep looking down at my hand and twirling the band around my finger. The thick silver is textured like wild grass, the kind that sticks between my toes when I am dancing under the influence of a June full moon.
It embodies the wild, raw beauty of the earth, which is ultimately sexy for me and exactly what I need more of this year.
With this ring...
May I manifest more kisses, like the flirtatious splash of the river on my lips as we paddle our raft through a rapid.
May I create more caresses, like the brush of fresh snow between my thighs as I lunge into a telemark turn.
May I experience the swell of a warm ocean seducing me back to my salty self.
This ring is just going to get better with age as the patina sets in.
May it be the same for me.
What are you adorning yourself with this year? Be intentional about it.
If you are craving the seduction of the earth, check out my reed ring artist Kristin Schwartz at Silver Cherry.
If you thirst for flow, or you are trying, like me, to manifest a beach adventure, adorn yourself with some beach glass jewelry from Green Waves Glass. Nancy Koerber designs cool necklaces and bracelets for men and women.
Feel free to share the links to your favorite jewelry artists in the comments section.
My man wraps around me from behind, his heat warming my back like a bonfire. His kisses are as soft as flannel at the nape of my neck, his touch a warm wave flowing over my hip.
I’m somewhere between sleep, dream and sex, one of my favorite places to be.
Spooned together like this beneath the cool darkness of a Winter Solstice morning, I love the feeling of being in front of him.
Usually I don’t.
I’ve been following his lead for nine years now, down whitewater rivers and up snowy peaks. He is the experienced outdoor guide. I’m the perpetual non-paying client.
He tries to encourage me to go first: guide our raft through a rapid or take the first shot down an avalanche chute. I do, on occasion, but honestly I’m a wimp and my fear of drowning in a rapid or suffocating under an avalanche keep me tucked behind.
But lately life feels steep in a way we aren’t used to. There’s this threat of drowning spiritually if we don’t make a move. But moving involves risk and the stakes seem so much higher now than they did when we were twenty or even thirty and could just say, We’re outta here, throw everything in the truck and spend the winter skiing the Tetons and eating Top Ramen.
We’ve been stressed, anxious, and wrestling with the night crazies.
It’s my turn to guide.
I’m the one with the skills for this kind of terrain. Yoga. Meditation. Journaling. Reading books by John Welwood on conscious relationships that help me unravel the dynamic that has me snapping and him retreating.
As his hand floats across my belly and up my sternum I feel like the bust of one of those women carved in the front of a ship, taking the breaking waves on her breasts, keeping the North Star in sight.
His hand descends and I feel tremors of anticipation as his touch nears the moist juncture of my thighs. When his arm floats around my waist and slides me up tight against him, I have another image:
We are on top of a snowy mountain, both of us on one pair of telemark skis. I am in front, and he is melded behind, our knees ready to bend in unison as we look down a steep, untracked slope. His heart beats fast behind mine, ready to plunge.
His hand reaches down and cups my pubic bone. His thumb brushes across my clit, as light as champagne powder.
I put one of my hands on top of his and hold it there, savoring the stillness, the perfection of the moment. When our breath, our heartbeats, synchronize and slow, I reach back and guide the hardness of him up against my softness.
The inhalation is sudden, simultaneous, as I take him deep.
We lean straight down the fall line and turn, turn, turn.
Check out John Welwood and his books on conscious relationships.
The irony of writing this blog is that I’m spending more time sitting at my computer, which for me is the antithesis of sensuous.
So this morning I’ve decided the best way to blog me sexy is to go out for a run.
But twenty minutes into it, I realize that even though I am in the heart of beautiful canyon with some groovin’ tunes playing on my I-pod, mentally I’m still at my computer.
I close my eyes and reel myself in, grounding my awareness in my feet as they rhythmically hit the earth. I tune in to the warmth of the rising sun on my back.
When I open my eyes, I notice a dark figure running out in front of me. Her ponytail sways from side-to-side just like mine.
I lift my hand to wave just as she does the same. She’s kind of cute in a dark, mysterious way. She looks rather serious though, so I raise my other hand and sway both arms overhead to the music. I can’t see her smile but I know it’s there as she mimics and flows right along with me.
I add my hips and she is good, matching my every move. I bounce from foot to foot, shimmy my shoulders, and giggle as the two of us boogie up the canyon trail.
This is way more fun than re-writing the same paragraph over and over in my head as I drag my body uphill.
This blog has me flirting with my own shadow now. I’m either losing it or really on to something.