I left the city. Not living in the city makes me feel less relevant… less important. Although Atlanta is dear to my heart, it simply wasn’t worth the premium in times like these. So I took my talents further south and have started fresh in a much smaller town. Moving to the country, starting remote grad school, and building my business Sex Talk from scratch has been a transition to remember.
Everything here is different. I’m moving slower just like my environment, but work and school still demand every drop of my energy in each of my days. Two months here and I’d yet to go for a stroll around my new city to get lost in its uncertainty and discover its hidden treasures, so yesterday I took it upon myself to do so during my trip to the post office. I felt like a tourist as I navigated what felt like a foreign land. I’ve never been good with directions. I walked around the same block several times before luckily finding a man behind a building and asking him if he knew where the post office was. This is the post office, he said. We both chuckled at my oblivion. The beautiful and large marble building I’d sworn couldn’t be it was indeed, it.
The inside was just as beautiful as the out. Infinitely high ceilings, mailboxes for walls, and floors that reeked of history. Everyday facilities are so grand in towns that no one has ever heard of. I quickly soaked up the scene before making my way towards rope railings and “Stand Here” floor stickers with memos of “Thanks for standing 6 feet apart”. A woman wearing a mask walks past me. Fuck, I left my mask at home. Instantly I felt like a shitty person but I opted to go straight to the counter as if this were the entrance to the trendiest club in town and I was a Very Important Person.
I waited for a few moments before tapping the bell for assistance. To my relief, a man also not wearing a mask came rushing from the back. He seemed stressed, but he was kind. We chatted back and forth about my being new to the area and his being short-staffed since the pandemic began. I gathered that he mustn't have had much of a break today and this was an opportunity for him to slow down and connect with someone. I enjoyed his warmth on this late summer day.
Before leaving, I decided I needed to add a business name to my new P.O. box.
“Sure, what’s the name?”, he asked.
“Sex Talk,” I said, looking at the form to make sure he got it right.
“What was that?”
“Sex Talk,” I said again, this time looking him in the eyes and smiling. “It’s my new business. I created a card game to help couples discuss intimacy in a fun and easy way.”
He shook his head smiling while writing it down. His face then lit up and his entire energy changed. “That’s amazing,” he said. He then propped his foot up underneath the counter. “Ya know… I’m a nice guy. I’m a really nice guy.” And I already knew that I was about to be flooded with intimate details from his life.
“I’m divorced twice,” he explained. “I was married to my last wife for 6 years. She had 4 kids before me. We got along great. But... we never fucked.” He was bewildered. I could tell he was dying to talk to someone about this.
“Well how important is sex to you?”, I asked. “And was it ever difficult or uncomfortable to bring this up to your ex-wife?”
As he was beginning to answer and I was beginning to explain the science behind women and their libidos after having kids, another customer walked up behind me so we decided to finish our conversation the next time I stopped in.
I left the post office feeling flattered yet confused. I was thankful he felt comfortable sharing personal details of his life with me but I wondered if I was the first person he’d opened up to or the 100th. I wondered if any of those possibly 100 people were his ex-wife. Even after divorcing, it was clear that their lack of sex remained a mystery to him, so I was curious about what communication between them was really like. Did he struggle to effectively express his concerns or did she struggle to help him understand her needs? Was it the other way around or neither? Had the ex-wife attempted to enhance their sexual compatibility but later gave up? Was their mismatch in sexual desire of a low priority or was it ultimately the reason why they divorced?
I thought about sexual communication skills and my own shortcomings in the matter. I thought about my own complexities, including the intricacies of my body and the things that make me tick, and the complexities of previous partners. I thought about myself and past lovers as tourists on new land ---- sometimes fueled by the newness, and other times wishing for familiar grounds. I thought about how easy it can be to get lost. I thought about how easy it can be to give up. I reflected on ways I could better communicate my sexuality to another. Should I use my words? Should I use my words and my hands? Maybe I should provide a road map of some sort, rather than let them navigate blindly.
But then I thought that maybe it’s as simple as just going slow — taking the time to stroll, allowing exploration to consume, and willingly getting lost in another’s home. The best things in life take time. A masterpiece isn’t made overnight. Great food isn’t instant. Earth itself is billions of years old. Existence takes it time with things that matter the most.
Now more than ever, as we’re all forced to reflect on what’s most important in life, there is a growing awareness of the desperate need for the human race to slow the fuck down.
Whenever I ask the question of how important sex is, most people will say it’s very important. Many will say that they are very sexual and that sexual pleasure matters greatly to them. However, many people are skipping the conversations; many people feel lost; many people aren’t giving directions. If sex is sO iMpOrTaNt, then why are we not carving out the necessary time to discuss it?
Sex is one of those subjects that everyone is dying to talk about but very few people have the guts. We rush through it, racing to get to the finish line, just like we do with everything else in life. But when you go slow, you’re able to savor the magic. You're able to see the journey for what it is. You’re able to go deeper. For many of us, much of that slowing down looks like lengthy discussion before ever getting physical. It looks like diving deep into our desires, fears, beliefs, aspirations, expectations, and insecurities. It looks like showing up ready to learn and evolve, rather than arriving with pretension. It looks like taking our time when forming new connections, especially the most intimate ones. And my new card game was birthed with all of this in mind.
I’d been worried about moving out of the city. People in small southern towns have a reputation for being close minded, religious, or just plain dumb. But we’re not dumb; we just move slower, and I think that’s something we could all benefit from doing more of in our lives.