Going over your life with twenty-twenty hindsight sometimes leads to astounding revelations. And yes, they often appear at the most unexpected moments. I have one such example in my life. Well, there are probably more, but one that came to mind when I read this week’s prompt. It is a somewhat funny story. How could a theatre-workshop lead to me breaking up my relationship and moving out?
I was living with my boyfriend at the time, this was roughly between 2004 – 2009. We didn’t have an intense love-relationship. He even confessed later that it more an act of convenience that we moved in together than an act of love. Which was fine, really. I needed stability. I had been very miserable living on my own, and my previous relationship had been anything but stable.
We were an okay team together, both working and studying. Without sex. And no, that wasn’t because of me. My boyfriend just didn’t seem to have any interest in sex. Our first few days together, we had loads of sex, but it soon dwindled to nothing.
Scrap the Pill
Because we never had sex anyway, I quit taking the contraceptive pill. I disliked the idea of subjecting my body to harmful hormones when there was no need. This is an essential detail in this story because I’m convinced it contributed to what happened next.
A local theatre group advertised with free workshops, which also doubled as pre-auditions for their performance later in the year. Since I had always been a great fan of theatre, I quickly signed up.
I loved it. It was terrific to be acting again, as I had done earlier in high-school. The first scenes I had trouble moving and placing my body, after having only done reading and writing activities during the years before. It was an extra dimension I had forgotten.
One night we practised a love-scene. I don’t really remember what the scene was, just that it was something romantic: close and personal. We had to team up in pairs. Since there was no one for me to team up with, the director took me on.
I must have looked so uncomfortable because he kept asking me if I was okay with it, that I didn’t have to do it if I didn’t want to. Oh, I didn’t mind. I loved being in his arms. He was around my age, not really my type, but not bad to look at. And it clicked:
I can still be with other men. I can still be attractive to other men. Even now that I have gained weight, there will be men who are attracted to me.
That’s it. That was my pivotal moment. Over the years, I had lost so much confidence. First, in my gaslighting relationship and now in my sexless relationship, I had lost sight of this particular detail.
My acting was probably horrible in that scene. And yes, I had a crush on this director-guy for a short while, but he really wasn’t my type. I did join this theatre group and stayed with them for the next two, two and a half years.
My view of the world changed. I didn’t need to stay with my boyfriend. It was like my heart exploded. Suddenly, I wanted more. I craved for everything sexual. I needed BDSM back into my life. I wanted to be able to masturbate freely again.
So, in small steps, I started to set things in motion. I thought about it for a long time. I considered my next move. Literally, as in, I needed to find a house to stay in. I broke up with my boyfriend, which he took quite calmly. He had seen it coming. In the end, we were little more than a brother and sister living together.
A couple months later I found a small apartment and moved out. It was so liberating. The first time I was alone in my new house, I masturbated in the shower, just because I was able to. This was my house. I could finally explore everything sexual again.
I chatted online with many men until finally meeting my now-husband.
I was a thousand times happier and more ‘me’ than I had been with my previous partner. And looking back, I can all trace it back to that one night of theatre rehearsal. Funny how things can unravel. That was definitely not what I had in mind when I signed up for the workshops, but I’m glad it did work out this way.