Hello and welcome to my magical little forest. I’m so glad to have you join me.
My name is Yael and in my forties, I’m finally trying to unearth the wild wolf that lives within me. Like a good little girl, I hid her away most of my life, trying so hard to follow conventional paths.
But those efforts got me nowhere. Just before I turned 40, the man that I thought was my life partner left me for a woman half my age. My entire world crumbled in just one moment.
I’ve decided to do something radical: I will no longer be working to improve myself.
No more endlessly trying to cut out sugar so that maybe I’ll finally lose this chub around my middle. No more self-help books. No more constantly analyzing the circumstances, decisions, and struggles in my life to determine where I fucked up and how I can stop fucking up.
I’m done. I’ve had enough.
I am about to turn 45, and after a lifetime of diligent effort to improve myself, I still have not achieved most of the things I so long for. …
Something happened that I didn’t expect would happen when I hit my forties: I wanted to become a little bit more of a slut.
First of all, let me emphasize here that I use the word slut because I’m one of those women who finds empowerment in it. In general, I define a slut as someone who pursues her own sexual fulfillment without hesitation — in the context of her choosing. That doesn’t mean she necessarily has a lot of partners, mind you, which is the traditional definition of the word. …
Oh, and vulva. This concerns you, too. Let me start again:
Yes, I just wrote that. It feels a little weird and also entirely necessary. Clearly, we haven’t talked much, and we got into a bit of a mess recently. I think we need to do a better job of getting on the same page here.
Can we start with a better way to address you? I mean, I know you’re two different parts, the specific two who are seemingly throwing a tantrum down there, so I want to be clear, respectful, and specific, but also, in many ways, you…
I shaved my legs before having sex recently. There. I admit it.
No one will care that I just said this. All the open-minded women here will support me in making this decision because it’s my body and my choice. (Thank you.)
But the thing is: I didn’t shave my legs because it was “my choice.” I mean, yes, I chose to pick up that razor and go to town on those hairy calves, but the reason I chose to shave is I’ve been made to feel ashamed of my legs when I don’t shave.
I have never “worn them…
“Good morning!” I waved to the man near the side of the road as I walked by. He looked to be in his mid-70s and was wearing a flannel shirt, jeans, and a baseball cap — pretty typical rancher gear out here.
“Wow, you’re walking fast,” he commented.
It was nearly noon and I was just finishing my daily walk along a beautiful, deserted country road behind my house. I didn’t think I was particularly fast that day, as tired as I was, but I went along with it and told him I was trying to keep my heart rate…
Two summers ago, about six months into my freelance career, I was in a financial freefall. I couldn’t figure out what to do and was spending 50 hours a week writing pitches that went lost or ignored. I’d spent my career in the education and nonprofit sector, despite my interest in writing and photography, and without a portfolio of published articles and those all-important connections, I had nothing to help me get a foot in the door.
I knew I had to pivot, and pivot fast, but I didn’t know how. Traditional options were just not working.
One day that…
When my ex walked away from our 7-year relationship, I was convinced it was my fault. In fact, I happily took full responsibility for everything. And I mean everything.
It seemed entirely reasonable. I’ve always noticed that there’s a point in a relationship where both people decide to move forward. That point where things are forever changed, regardless of how everything turns out. That point where you are no longer friends or acquaintances, but two people exploring sex or love or both.
When I distill a relationship back down to that moment, I always find that there’s no other option…
“So what brings you back so soon?”
I squirm in my seat. My legs are crossed. I can feel the unforgiving fabric of my jeans cutting into my vulva. “I am… I’m burning down there. It’s like someone poured acid down my pants.” My face is so hot, I feel like I’m going to pass out.
How am I supposed to say, “I’ve got herpes”?
Itching? Jesus. Yes. Of course. I can’t sleep at night. Between the burning and itching, I feel like my vagina and vulva are slowly trying to kill me.
“Yes,” I say. “It’s not…
During a recent sexual encounter, I noticed that when I became anxious about how long it was taking me to reach orgasm (a long-standing problem for me, regardless of how patient a lover appears to be), I started mentally reaching for one of my go-to, get-me-off-right-now fantasies: my taboo stepfather fantasy.
Instead of climbing toward a climax, I suddenly got lost in a trail of critical thoughts, wondering why I was playing out this well-worn fantasy yet again when I had such an enjoyable experience right there in front of me. Granted, it has always been challenging for me to…