Naked & Not Afraid.  By KC Roth

Naked & Not Afraid. By KC Roth

. 5 min read

One writer bares all for a relatable tale of regaining one’s self and sexuality, reinstating the all- important lesson that endings bring brave new beginnings.

“What do you mean you can’t come skinny dipping with us?”

I went to more spiritual retreats, yoga retreats, meditation retreats, and self-improvement seminars in my 30’s than any one woman could digest. I’m sure I gave very reasonable explanations for this at the time…but let’s call it what it was: I was running away from my life every chance I got.

This particular “festival” was in Cancun and, naturally, the attendees were all “AMAZING people up to BIG THINGS.”

I found myself on the beach with a not-quite-famous sex educator and she was rallying the crowd to strip down and jump in. I was a no…make that a hell no.

When this glorious creature of oozing sensuality asked me why not, my answer seemed obvious…

“I can’t. I am a mother.”

But what was actually true? Because I’m not ashamed of my body. I like being naked.

I was telling myself the mother of all lies: Sex? Sexiness? No, that was behind me.

My body? To be appropriately covered up.

Me? Do I even matter anymore?

And anyway, who, pray tell, would want to see me naked?

See, my sex life was over. And I was good with that.

Intimacy had become a major problem in my marriage. Because, at some point along the way, I got the icks.

Meaning: My husband gave me the icks.

Oh, he was fine with his clothes on, but everything about having sex with him was…ick. His tongue was too hot. Even his smell made me cringe. And if he tried to go down on me, I’d wiggle away and just insist he finish what he needed to finish and oh, don’t worry about me. (Ick!)

I told myself: That part of my life was over. In the past. Done. Complete.

I was 36. But whatever.

Telling your husband you’re not attracted to him anymore would be a very, very brave thing to do.

So no, I didn’t do that.

I just faked it. Made excuses. Played the “mom card.” Until one morning, after an evening of watching a spider crawl across the ceiling while making grocery lists in my head while he thump, thump, thumped away on my far away body, I googled:

“How do I tell my husband he sucks in bed?”

And walked away. Left that computer screen open.

Perhaps that was not the kindest way to approach such a topic, and at the time I would have sworn I didn’t mean to…

But didn’t I…mean to? Well, whether I meant to or not, that poor man learned his wife thought he sucked in bed from a computer screen.

Anyhoo. That went over great. Fucking. Great.

But the truth was out. So, Gods be praised, we decided we were going to fix this problem. Fix my body. Fix my libido. Fix my vagina.

I went to another retreat, where the women sat in a circle and “revealed” our lady parts to each other. We tried ohming (orgasmic meditation--a revelation, you should try it--although the founder turned out to be a cult leader, but I digress). We hired coaches, therapists and sex educators.

Nope. The icks remained. (I mean, unless I was just the right amount of drunk.)

Then we decided, together, that maybe the answer was some highly orchestrated non- monogamy. And invited some friends, a couple, our ridiculously good-looking neighbors on vacation. (I kid you not, these were two Amazonian-Adonis-Athena humans living in suburbia.) To Key West. Over Halloween weekend. (Yes. It was Fantasy Fest. If you don’t know… Google it. You’re welcome.)

Also, I feel it’s important to note: I’d been fantasizing about this particular neighbor man for years… That he’d find me alone in a barn, throw me down on a bale of hay and… Oh. Right. Sex is behind me. Sex is behind me. Sex is OVER.

And then, there in Key West, on a balcony watching the innocent revelers in their leather gags, leashes and chains…he kissed me. (Apparently, similar thoughts had been going around, or were contagious, or something.)

And that lie? The big one? Shattered into a thousand shards of life-as-I-knew-it destroying magic. Because my body…my vagina…my desire? Not dead. Not gone. Not behind me.


One kiss and the jig was up. A few hours later, tangled up in a hammock, my leather pants purchased for the occasion ripped down the back seam, and my life was never going to be the same.

(Full disclosure: There was fun being had by the other parties in this equation. So, I’m not as totally awful of a person as this might sound. Maybe?)

So then why am I telling you this?

Because sex matters. We want to make it not matter, because we are mothers or fathers or wives or husbands. Because we have responsibilities and obligations and roles to play. And because…it seems real.

Of course, sometimes there’s a heartbreaking truth to acknowledge: While we may lie to ourselves about it, our hearts and souls and bodies won’t.

I’ve come to believe that my body, this body, this me…that has danced, and made babies, and dashed through airports to catch flights? She deserves ecstasy. Deserves to be naked. To be adored. Worshipped. Licked. Caressed. And thumped (delightfully so, of course).

I know you’re wondering, that encounter? It turned into a thing, which turned into a train wreck. So, I don’t recommend that particular “path”. But still, in my case, while I’m not proud of all that, I can’t say I have regrets. The affair ended. The marriage ended. But was it worth it? Yes.


And BTW, a few years later, new me met a new love. Happy bodies all around. My sex life was not over. Is. Not. Over.

Neither is yours.

Thankfully, I don’t need to run away anymore. But I’m pretty sure, if I were back at that retreat, on that beach, with all those glorious creatures, I’d be among the first naked.

But I wouldn’t dive in with everyone else. I’d tiptoe in…one centimeter at a time.

Because that is what my body loves.

Take me back to The Crush Letter No 38

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?

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