everything changed

The Best Sex Of My Life Came After My Divorce

I finally spoke up about what I wanted and didn’t hold back.

The Divorce Issue

I remember the heaviness of shame even though it was thirty years ago. I whispered into my college boyfriend’s ear, “That feels good,” and he laughed while we were having sex. I remember feeling so embarrassed as he was someone I loved and trusted.

The next morning, he looked at me and said, “You were really drunk last night, huh? You were a little wild.”

I was humiliated. The laugh, the assumption I was drunk (I wasn’t), being shamed for something that felt natural and sexy.

I brushed it off; the relationship was still new, and he was the first man I’d ever slept with. I didn’t have a lot of experience, but I knew that I couldn’t entirely be myself with him while we were intimate. And that he thought I was too much in the bedroom.

After that, I kept quiet during sex for decades. I muffled every moan, and I never dared say anything if it wasn’t working for me. I got married, and we had a passion for the first few years, but not the kind where I was in control. Then, after being married for ten years and feeling like our sex life was getting stale, I tried a little dirty talk with my then-husband. He didn’t shame me like my ex-boyfriend, but he was surprised and not at all responsive. Did my aggression put him off?

I knew deep down I wanted and craved more in my intimate life. But I felt like I was repeatedly being told I had to keep that part of myself hidden because I was too much. I wondered if my urges for sexy talk and sharing what I liked in the bedroom were wrong. From my viewpoint men get to talk about whatever they want openly and part of everyday conversation to the point of crudeness. They are very vocal about masturbating, fantasizing about threesomes, and needing certain things in the bedroom.

My marriage ended ten years later, and after my divorce, I decided enough was enough. I wanted to have great sex where I had the power. I wanted to say what I wanted and didn’t want, and most of all, I wanted a man who could handle all of that.

And guess what happened when I spoke up with the confidence of a 40-something woman? I found everything I wanted in the bedroom. Not once, but many times over. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve slept with a lot of men since my divorce. The experiences have been liberating. I’ve had the best sex of my life because I am very clear about what I want.

Even before I have sex with a man, I tell them what I want and need. I do this without hesitation or embarrassment when I feel the relationship will move to the bedroom. The way I see it, why wait until you’re in the moment to see if you're compatible? I have conversations early and often so we know where each other stands. Talking about it before we have sex also takes some of the anxiousness and nervousness away.

The funny thing is, since my divorce, I haven’t had any bad sex. Not even once. Why was I ok with being entirely submissive for decades? If only I had been brave enough to be who I am sooner.

When I spoke up and advocated for myself, I’ve had nothing but delicious, mind-blowing sex with men who wanted to please me. Now, I’m not saying every session is perfect and long, and I have an orgasm every time. But I am saying I’m connecting with men intimately who know who I am and what I’m looking for when it comes to sex. And they are totally up for it and match my energy.

No, sex isn’t everything. But when you’re having unsatisfying sex, it feels like everything.

Talking about my wants and needs in the bedroom has been empowering. And it’s also made me speak up about things I want in other areas of my life. So, if you’re a woman and not asking for what you need because you think it will hurt your sex life, take it from me: it’s about to get so much better.

Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.