“Want to come to my sex toy party?”  ~Kelsey

A little over a year ago, I joined a local women’s only fitness studio where I’ve been working out regularly ever since.  I love the atmosphere at the gym and all the women I’ve met, many of whom I now count as friends and enjoy spending time with outside of the studio.

Kelsey is a 23 years young woman who has just moved into her first apartment with her first serious boyfriend.  They are presently in that stage of life where their entry level jobs haven’t begun to infiltrate their free time.  They grocery shop together and cook together while enjoying glasses of wine and engaging in deep conversations about life.  They have sex all the time and nowhere in the background is a child yelling out, “I’m done pooping, can you help me wipe my butt!?”

It’s a young romance.  The kind that I think only exists for the very young….when the world is still viewed through rose colored glasses and grown-up life hasn’t yet made you weary.  When you love with a heart that hasn’t yet been broken, in a relationship that hasn’t yet been tested.

When you swear that it will always be this way….that you will always be just as flexible and creative at 40 as you are at 23….and that you will never be one of those couples who forego sexy lingerie and various other props for a half-hearted romp in the sack, because adulting, or parenting, or both, has run you the fuck over.

“It’ll be fun!”  Kelsey insisted to those of us who didn’t jump at the offer.  “You don’t have to buy anything, but maybe you’ll find something fun to add even more spice to your sex life!”

Personally, I think adding “spice” might mean different things to different people.  For example, my idea of a spicy night, may sometimes include a rare dinner out, alone, to the local wing joint where we’ll eat our weight in spicy wings and then go home and go promptly to bed.

Or, a late afternoon quickie on those rare occasions a doctor’s appointment, or something of the like, brings my husband home from work before the kids get out of school.  We get it out of the way early and then I don’t have to feel bad about wanting to go to bed at 8:00pm to binge watch Netflix.

It might not sound very romantic and you might assume this means our sex life has run out of gas, but that’s not the case.  It’s just that our day-to-day reality is very different from the early days of our marriage when we had far more energy and far more time.

Of course, I believe that romance and passionate love can exist at all stages of life, I just think time, age and life’s various experiences alter the way it looks.  You begin to learn that intimacy isn’t only found between the sheets, but in a variety of milestones and moments as you build a life together.  You work harder to stay connected and you find new ways to connect.

These days, spontaneity requires careful planning and romance goes beyond bouquets, candlelit dinners and a riding crop.  My husband is almost sure to get laid if I come home and find he’s done a few loads of laundry, or made an unrequested run to the grocery store for the essentials, or suggested I take an afternoon for myself.

And yes, we do still put in the effort to spice it up in the way the magazines and these parties suggest we should, but I won’t elaborate on that….it’s private.  Also, the people who read this and know us, don’t deserve the visual.

What I will say though, is that if I’m being honest, I’m far more likely to use a tub of Creme Brûlée Body Soufflé as a topping on my Ben & Jerry’s, than on a nipple.  For one, it’s got to be messy and sticky and I barely have the time to take one shower a day, let alone two.  Secondly, the prospect of adding more laundry to the pile has a way of killing the mood.

So, I politely declined the invitation, explaining that I wasn’t likely to buy anything.  That I would just end up drinking her wine, eating all of her good cheese and saying things like, “Hey, do you happen to have a non-habit forming, mild sedative in that latex bag of toys that I could occasionally slip my husband when he’s feeling frisky and I’m feeling like a Southern Charm marathon?”

She understood.  Probably because she remembered a recent conversation between myself and another woman at the gym regarding a Dutch Oven.  Let’s just say this woman and I had very different opinions regarding the definition of a Dutch Oven.

Anyway, I will not be telling my husband about the invitation.  Because, he’s a man.  Which means he will passionately encourage me to go and spend with abandon.  Then, he’ll want to try it all out the moment I get home.  I, on the other hand, will be sleepy from too much wine and stopped up from too much cheese…. and I’d hate to be a tease.

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