Instead of Getting Under Someone Else, I Needed to Love Myself

The first time I attempted to make love after my husband left me, I had a panic attack.

I’d met a really attractive guy on Tinder. Too young to date, but maybe just right to bang some self-esteem back into me.

I’ll never know if it was cruel timing or divine intervention that I found myself single for the first time in ten years with an injury to my backside (use your imagination) that would cause me to be completely unable to have sex for 8 months.

At a time when it would have been splendid to run around seeking validation by riding every hot guy in West Hollywood like the mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch, sexually, my body felt completely out of order. My soul was doing almost as well.

There’s nothing like actual damage to your sexual parts to make you feel like “damaged goods” during a divorce.

Still, I needed this. I wanted to get “back in the saddle,” so to speak. It was, to put it plainly, a devastating nightmare. My ex was probably bonking the young ballet dancer he left me for about 20 times a day. It had only been a few months since I’d had sex, but it felt like years since I’d done it with someone who actually wanted to do it with me.

Reticently, I explained to Too Young Tinder Dude that we could hook up, but my butt was out of order. That was fine with him.

Too Young Tinder Dude was sweet and willing to take his chances with my broken butt, but I think he got more than he bargained for with my broken heart.

If confidence is sexy, I was anything but.

I think I managed to get through the small-talk without crying into my cabernet, and I probably only mentioned my ex or the homewrecker a zillion times before we made it to his bedroom.

Like every guy when we think we’re going to get laid, I had worn my favorite pair of underwear. It didn’t matter though, nor did it matter that I was in the greatest shape of my life (knowing that you’re competing with a young twink for your husband’s heart will do that).

Still, it was like a sad tug-of-war for him to get those Diesel briefs off of me. It might have been sexy had I not been so terrified of being naked in front of him.

I managed to enjoy him just a little before the part of me that wanted to be intimate with him and the part of me that desperately wanted to hide myself from him collided. It was the kind of collision that causes a warm front and a cold front to create a tornado.

I trembled with anxiety as I realized that I had absolutely no confidence left, and then another sad reality hit me: you cannot make love without the main ingredient: love.

It had been months since I’d made love and only time would tell how long it would be before I’d be able to do it again, with the same magic and intensity only a soul connection can create. The same magic I assumed…I knew…was not lacking in my husband’s life the way it was in mine. I lay there naked, flaccid, and devastated, knowing I had a mountain of healing to do.

I apologetically explained to Too Young Tinder Dude that I wasn’t ready for this, and hurried into my lonely Uber. I made my way home and crawled into bed where I wept softly as I remembered when sex was beautiful, effortless, and even spiritual.

After that embarassing disaster, I decided I needed to wait until my ass was back in working order before I could feel anything like sexy. That meant 8 months of loneliness.

I spent those months digging into my soul and calling upon every ounce of strength I had to make it through each night. I realized that, when love goes wrong, it always hits us in the places we most needed to heal. Those months of not being able to look to men or sex to take away my pain gave me space to do the deep spiritual work I sorely needed.

Today, I’m taking the sex stuff slow. Sex is a gift that I give myself and my partner. It’s no longer something I need to prove to myself that I deserve having oxygen in my lungs. In fact, the more I need it, the more I know I need to check in with myself and find out what my inner-being is really searching for.

I’m not afraid to trust in love because I am grounded in myself and I’m no longer a match to charmers eager to use me as ego-fuel. I haven’t found love yet, but I’m ready to be ready for it. When the time comes, I’m confident I’ll find a sexy cowboy and save plenty of horses.

Lucas Bane helps gay men heal from divorce and traumatic breakups. Click here to join my brand spanking new FaceBook group, The Joy of Ex. Meet like-minded LGBTQ individuals and learn to thrive post-breakup.

I help people “feel better” by teaching them to FEEL…better.