Grace in Troubled Times

A couple weeks ago, I caught a nasty flu bug. I don’t usually get sick, but this was nasty. I actually, literally lost my voice. Josh came over and took care of me during the worst of it. It was difficult for me to let him see me sick. I am quite vain, I will admit it. It’s hard for me to let a lover see me without certain trappings. With Josh, I am generally all made up and wearing beautiful lingerie. I enjoy the preparations for our dates, and I find dressing up deeply erotic. So when he offered to come over and bring me food when I was sick, I was very nervous. I had dirty dishes in the sink, hadn’t showered and was wearing old pajamas. I know that following my divorce, I kept my lovers at a safe emotional distance in order to keep myself from being hurt again, and I don’t want to continue that pattern. So I let him come over and take care of me. It was a beautiful experience to be cared for by a lover when I was ill. He was so kind and warm and accepting of me, even without the trappings and the glitz. 

 A week later, I was starting to feel better, but still dealing with a lingering cough. Chris was in town, and she wanted to get together for coffee to talk. Always tough after a breakup, but the talk went well, and, although difficult, was very cathartic for me. I got home around midnight.

That day, I had been having plumbing problems, which I had been trying to remedy with a mixture of plunging and baking soda and vinegar. Nothing was working. I was going to call my landlord in the morning if the toilet still wasn’t working. Of course, by morning, my place was flooding. I put all my art work up on my dresser and desk and called the landlord and let him know what was going on. Pretty soon, my cat and I were taking refuge on my futon watching the water rise to six inches. I was texting Josh, who was supposed to come over for a romantic evening, and letting him know that, due to flooding, we may have to change our plans for the night. He cheered me up with text messages joking about being stuck on a bed with nothing but a water dish, a bowl of cat food and a cat, who must be looking very tasty at this point. I texted back that the cat is my family and she would be safe until dinner time. 

 My landlords arrived, and of course, my place is full of sexual instruction books and thigh high boots and other such trappings of unrepentant whoredom. Thankfully I had my strap-on and dildoes hidden in my nightstand, but I often just have those lying around too. Thank god I had done my dishes, but jaysus, it was awkward. I haven’t disclosed the nature of my profession to my landlords, and I am in no hurry to do so. I’m proud of my work, but it is so heavily stigmatized, and the last thing I need is for them to scrutinize me for traces of drug addiction and illicit activities on the rental property. I pushed those thoughts aside as they combed through my house. After all, they can’t evict me for having sex books and thigh high boots. The suite above mine was vacant, and the new tenants were not moving in until Sunday. They offered the vacant suite for me to stay in while they fixed the suite. So the cat and I went upstairs and I spent the day lying on the floor with a pillow and blanket, napping and cuddling with the cat. It was very sweet. I felt gratitude for having a roof over my head, and that my cat and I were safe. It was my day to volunteer, but I called them and told them what happened, and they, of course, told me not to worry about coming in. My supervisor invited me to stay at her house. Then my Tantric teacher invited me to stay at his place. Then John texted and invited the cat and I to stay at his place. He said he would come and get me as soon as he was finished work. I accepted, thinking that it sucked that he would have to see me unsexy again, but very comforted by his offer. 

 He came to get me and gave me a big hug. It was the first time I was at his apartment. He cooked me dinner, and we spent the rest of the evening in bed having mind-blowing sex. Actually, we had mind-blowing sex before and after dinner. All in all, it was the perfect remedy for a crazy day of natural disasters. 

 The next day, we started talking. Of course, we’re both very interested in sexuality, and that is a big part of our relationship, so that’s what we talked about for a lot of the day. I told him about my experiences with a local tantric masseur I hired a couple of times for an erotic massage. He listened to me describe my experience with great interest and admiration. Then he mentioned that he had considered doing that work himself. I encouraged him to pursue it, saying that we need more people dedicated to working with people around their sexuality. That seemed the perfect time to tell him about my work. We were both lying on the couch on opposite ends, facing each other. 

 “That’s the sort of work I do,” I said. 

“What do you do?”

“I am a sacred prostitute. I help people work through their sexual issues and explore their sexuality. I do a lot of kinky stuff, primarily domination, as well as regular stuff.” 

 He nodded, seeming completely unfazed by this information. 

 Over the weekend, I realized that my disclosing the nature of my work actually brought us closer. Although he had never promised exclusivity, he was more open with me at this point about his other lovers. I had always assumed he had others, but hadn’t been that eager to find out… not because it would bother me, but because I didn’t consider it any of my business unless he wanted to tell me. Knowing that he has others takes a lot of pressure off of me. I know that he will not expect monogamy from me, which is comforting.   I felt myself falling for him a little more that weekend. 

 It was a risk to tell him while I was out of a place to stay, but it seemed right, and it turned out very well. Since then, I have grown much more comfortable in this relationship. I don’t know what form it will take over the next several months, but I am very grateful to have this wonderful man in my life. In fact, that weekend, as my apartment flooded, I felt such gratitude for everyone who offered assistance. I have a strong community. I am loved. I am valued. It is deeply fulfilling to know that there are people in my life who will care for me even when I am messy, bedraggled, and my life is a disaster. 

 As for the flood, there was no damage to any of my belongings. The suite has been repaired. My landlords are impressed by how calm I was and how nice I was to them while the water was rising. I still have a place to live. Sometimes these messy moments in time bring us closer to the people in our lives and give us surprising but ever so valuable insight. 

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