The day I realised I was in love with someone was also the day I realised I did have boundaries - after all - when it comes to sex. We all do. Physically and emotionally. It just took me a while to realise not only what limits exist for me, but that they are necessary. A few years ago, I was working eighty plus hours a week for up to a month straight
without break. When I was finally bestowed those precious days off, escape was my priority. I wanted to get as far away from my reality as time and money could afford. So, one day, I spent four hours on a bus to an oceanside town where my brother was currently
residing and working with some old friends of mine, including one who is also… my ex. In my real life, I was trying to navigate a long-distance dating scenario with someone I had grown very fond of. Nothing had been made official or exclusive, mainly because
we weren’t sure if we were ever going to see each other again. Yet, just a few weeks prior, I took a plane to another province at his invitation to sit on the back of his motorbike as we rode through the mountains. I dismissed my effort as a yearning for spontaneity
and adventure. That’s also what I thought brought me to the restaurant that day where my ex worked, located in a place truly beautiful and wild and to which I’d never been previously. After catching up, we ended up at our mutual friends’ house for some post-work drinks. Tipsy, I threatened to “fight” my younger brother, a teasing remark meant to reignite some dormant sibling playfulness. I threw a couple of soft punches, but was quickly tussled into submission. Later in the night, I found my tongue down my ex’s throat. And, walking alone together down the dimly-lit street, his hand up my dress. Then, in his bed, having sex, he asked me if could get rougher. His grip tightened around my throat; I asked for more. He scratched, cutting deeper, into my scalp; I asked for more.
He punched me in the face. And I asked for less. I wasn’t hurt - though my eyes were watering and my anxiety surfacing - but I did have the unmistaken feeling that a line had been crossed. Rough play was a major part of our sexual history and it was something
we both enjoyed and felt comfortable with, always coupled with repeated and enthusiastic consent, just like it had been thus far that night. But a punch landed differently. For me, a punch was reserved for light-hearted wrestling matches with my brother. For me, a punch sat a little too closely to sexual violence for my liking, echoed the suffering of fellow women in abusive circumstances. And, for me, a punch marked the furthest I had ever gone - and would like to go - in sex. He respected my request and apologised.
The next day, I said good-bye to my ex, knowing it was the last time I would ever see him and that any attachment I still carried had been buried. With that burial came the realisation that I loved that other person in my life and I wanted to be with him -
only him - on any future days off.
That was a beautiful story! Truth! I always talk about boundaries with my lovers. I like to know how far I can go with them, what they like, and also feel better when they know what I will and won’t do. It’s not much that I won’t do, but I have PTSD from almost being snuffed out with a pillow years ago, so I don’t like bondage, which is funny because I’m so down for everything else.
I thought your story was well written and concise as it drove home your whole point you were making in the beginning. …and yes, I love to be hit, but only by the man I love who knows how hard and when to do it. ;)