“Either my libido is dead for good…or I’m a lesbian and I still don’t know it.”
The conversation with myself had been ongoing for a couple of days. It was my attempt to find a logical explanation for the fact that I’d been celibate for almost two years and the thought of having sex with a man didn’t turn me on and instead was vaguely unpleasant.
In the past months, since my divorce finalized, my friend Rosa had taken me under her wing to teach me the secrets of Single Life, and kept encouraging me to sign up for online dating. But I was dragging my feet. I vaguely remembered saying once that I wanted a man in my life—but currently I couldn’t remember what for. Was it for company? For that, I had my children. Was it for emotional support? I had my friends.
Wait. For sex?
Maybe having sex was like eating. When a patient is severely deprived of calories, he or she enters “starvation mode.” The body triggers a miraculous sequence of enzymatic reactions. Metabolism slows down, storage sources are tapped into, and the patient no longer feels hunger —That’s how anorexic patients and malnourished kids can survive beyond cadaveric thin status.
I was now on sex starvation mode. I had lost my appetite completely.
Maybe I’d never had an appetite before. People without taste buds, or with access to only bad-tasting food still have to eat to survive. I still didn’t know it, but for me in the past sex had been anything but tasty.
Again. Maybe I was a lesbian. Maybe I didn’t really like men and my previous crushes in the past had been fueled by society’s pressure. I hoped not. It wasn’t that I judged lesbians, but I did see the idea of potentially being one as rather inconvenient. I was barely getting used to explain to my conservative family that I had given up in my marriage of over a decade and signed up for the “morally questionable life” of being a single woman in her thirties. Now on top of that, potentially having to explain that I could be a lesbian would really push me another nudge out of my comfort zone. Especially considering that there were a few homophobic people in my life. No, that could not slide well.
Yet, nothing would’ve surprised me at that point. After all, never in my life I would’ve imagined I’d end up as “A Divorced Woman.” That mythical, quasi-demonic being—a threat to society and marriages everywhere—people in my Catholic family whispered about with fear when I was growing up. Compared to the horror of being a divorced woman, being a lesbian was barely a notch above.
I was still musing over those theories that morning when I arrived at the hospital to see my first consult of the day. I sat in front of a computer in a workstation, in one of those uncomfortable office chairs with a weird back angle the hospital provides—they want to make sure you don’t hug a seat for too long. I read over the electronic records, putting myself up-to-date with the history.
Thirty-three year old man with no previous medical history presents with an upper extremity venous thrombosis (a blood clot in an arm vein), apparently associated with excessive weight lifting. I immediately remembered a lesson from medical school: sometimes that could be caused by an anatomical variant where the seventh cervical vertebra is wider than typical, causing a compression of the neck and arm veins when weightlifting. Interesting. Worth ordering an x-ray.
Armed with this piece of information, I knocked on the patient’s room door, announced myself and, without waiting for an answer as usual, walked in.
And my jaw hit the floor.
The patient, the body builder, was sitting in bed—shirtless.
The way the memory returns is the image of my eyes bulging out of their orbits and then springing out three feet away, like in a cartoon.
He was the most perfect male anatomy specimen I’d seen live in my life. Bulky pectoral muscles, bursting deltoids and biceps, wide shoulders tapering down to a narrow muscular waist, carved with muscle ridges. The popular term for his abdomen would have been “a six pack.” I knew better than that. I could’ve taught an anatomy lesson showing the different fascia bands of the abdominal recti muscles—grooved in the middle by the “linea alba”—and the turn around of the abdominal transverse muscles causing that V in the upper hip.
He was breathtakingly beautiful. A Greek marble statue on the flesh. An underwear model having jumped out of the ad…BUT STRAIGHT! YES! I could tell he was straight! By that time I’d finally managed to peel off my eyes from his torso to his good-looking tanned face, and met a pair of honey colored eyes gazing at me approvingly.
I knew that look. It was the look I got every day from male patients, from middle-aged to octogenarian. A mixture of “I would definitely bang that” with “Shit! Is that really the doctor? I better behave.”
A part of me that had been deeply asleep—nearly comatose—suddenly jerked and jumped off an imaginary napping cot.
The way I think about it now is of someone wearing scrubs standing in front of my so-called dead libido, holding the plates of an electrical defibrillator and yelling “Clear!” Then shooting an electric discharge into my libido’s heart, making it convulse in the bed. And then the monitor showing the EKG tracing of the heart spike again. And then the code-team cheering, “We did it! The libido has a pulse! It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!!!”
I heard a symphonic chorus sing in the background. Tenor and sopranos angels were singing a harmonic song, and the lyrics were “Yes! I AM NOT A LESBIAN!!! I DO LIKE MEN!”
My mouthwatering, brain mushing, leg weakening, womb tightening mesmerizing feeling lasted a glorious forty-five seconds.
Then he opened his mouth.
And he spoke—or so he thought.
Even before the first sentence was completed, I already knew it: He was just as brainless as he was beautiful.
In the words my mother would’ve said: “He was as dumb as a wart on the leg of an Ox.”
The magic disappeared instantly.
Besides reaffirming my sexual preference, that day I learned something about myself: No matter how gloriously gorgeous looking a man was, I couldn’t be turned on by him if his brain was mostly composed of motor neurons. I needed a man intelligent enough to be able to sustain a conversation. It was that simple.
I finished my evaluation, recommended three months of blood thinners and then a repeat arm ultrasound, and I never saw him again.
I walked out of the hospital feeling more triumphant than disappointed. I had a new piece of information about myself that I’d always knew on the theory but now knew on the practice. I cared more about brains than about looks.
Mister Ox-leg-wart, your Royal Hotness. Wherever you are— and I doubt you’re reading this because I’m not even sure you can read—I want to send a heart-felt Thank you. I ‘ll forever be in debt with you. I have no doubt you were sent to my life that day as part of that plot being manufactured in heaven to put me in the path of self-discovery in order to find love. Thank you for confirming to me that excess beauty can never compensate for a lack of substance.
Thank you for moving me one step farther from the stigma of being the woman who was all theory and no practice.
And thank you for planting in my brain the seed of the question: “May be I do want to find a man, after all!”
And guess what.
Before the end of that year I had found the love of my life. The man who did to my brain and my heart what Mister Ox-leg-wart, his Royal Hotness did to my eyes. Oh, and who, by the way— thank God— also looked pretty good with his shirt off. I’m now happily married to him.
How was I so lucky to find him?
Well, that’s another story.
Stay tuned for more.
like all the sexless in the boondocks stories, this is a (caricaturized) real story
Thank God I hung in there until I met my Soulmate-husband. A hot muscular torso with no wits could’ve never made me happy— I believe in Love that’s a connection of the minds and the souls and not only the bodies.
That’s why I write the type of Romance I write. There you’ll find a blend of my silly sense of humor and my serious commitment to share with the world what Real Love looks like. Beyond infatuation, beyond hormonal chemistry.
To check my books, click here.
To catch up with previous Sexless in The Boondocks stories, click here.
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