My final therapist is Peggy, a charming old lady Jungian psychologist working out of her garage, she likes to move chairs around and have me talk to them, pretend that I am chatting to myself as a little girl. Karl and I do a few weeks of couples counseling with her first, but after awhile Peggy is afraid she is getting into conflict of interest territory and asks Karl to find another therapist. I stay with Peggy, she helps me in the rough times ahead and I am in her debt.
My difficulties are bittersweet since they arise from my sexual awakening, which is simultaneously exhilarating and a source of despair. I am in my 40’s and have been in the closet forever, not only in the closet but unaware that there is a closet and a room, a world, beyond it. At least gay people understand that gay culture exists although they are cut off from it, I don’t even know that.
This is my problem, I am an ignorant sexual submissive in a vanilla world and have been convinced that I am frigid and crazy because only power exchange dynamics arouse me, and those don’t exist for me outside of literature. I have filled my fantasies with the Marquis de Sade and Story Of O but looked in vain for a real life counterpart.
Let me tell you about an incident, illustrative of my lack of self-awareness. It happens early on when Karl stars in a local amateur production of Kiss Me Kate, the year’s Fourth of July musical. The play’s underlying theme is the power dynamic between the leading lady and man, in the finale Karl must wrestle his co-star across his lap and spank her, the act which famously tames the shrew.
When Karl first finds out about this scene, he is taken aback and hesitates to perform it, and I am shocked too, it is such an anti-feminist, chauvinist performance, promotes violence against women, you know. We talk about it serious like but eventually agree that it is a period piece, based on Shakespeare, has wonderful music, and so we will overlook the rest.
I watch Karl in one rehearsal and then in another and another, and I become, no other phrase to describe it, an enraptured cat in heat. Far from being my usual passive self when it comes to initiating sex I am so hot that touching Karl’s arm is maddeningly sensual. I watch all three nights of the play. Karl’s sister and family are staying with us that weekend so we don’t have much privacy but I pull Karl into every available corner to fuck until he is exhausted and disturbed because he doesn’t understand why I am different and I can’t explain, I have no idea either.
After a few weeks my frenetic passion subsides and we drift back into unsatisfactory but familiar territory, I am back to being frigid and crazy, everything else just a momentary aberration.