Dear Women, Please Do Whatever It Takes to Stay Open.
I had a man write to me about a month ago. He was irritated that he was now feeling judged for dating much younger women, whereas in the past it had been fine.
There was a lot that triggered me about what he wrote, but one thing he said rang absolutely true. “Younger women are usually less shut down.” Yes. Heard.
When I was 14, my best friend was a woman in her 40’s, named Linda. I met her in a clothing shop where she was working. You could see her belly in the tight clothes she wore without an ounce of shame. She bubbled over with joy like shaken tonic water. We fell in love with each other immediately.
Within our friendship, Linda taught me many things. She taught me that women masturbate. She offered me some of my first experiences of love. And she showed me that even when you are hurt by men, you can still believe in magic, romance, and put in 100% effort every time you feel a spark.
She was the only woman I had met beyond 40 who didn’t speak of men like they were the lesser sex and an all-around disappointment. She made treats for her dates. She dressed up. She spoke about them with hope and exuberance. And I made a silent promise to myself, I would be like that as I got older, no matter what.
A lot has happened to me since then. I buried my first husband at 21 after he shot himself in the head and wrote a note blaming me for his suicide. I’ve had a surgery in my most intimate parts. I’ve been disappointed, a lot. And I now have a much bigger capacity for love that most men can’t meet. I can feel the changing culture pressing in. The weight of my sorrow, and the frustration inspired by my longing.
I understand now why so many women protect themselves by shutting down their sex and their hearts.
But dear women, please don’t shut down.
I have done ridiculous and radical things to stay open. Thrown food. Pushed. Slapped. Sobbed. Stuffed Twinkies in my mouth with a stranger at midnight. Done tons of therapy. Rode on a motorcycle through a graveyard with a teenager I was dating. Lived all over the world. Questioned myself every day where I was holding back. And expressed my disappointment and joy until I was empty again.
To their credit, some of the most scared and defensive men have been generous in meeting me.
I had a friend sleep on the beach alone and wake up at dawn yelling and throwing mud after a breakup. She smeared dirt on her body, rolled in it, and sobbed.
A week after my husband killed himself, I sat on the floor of our house and could feel there were two choices. Let the pain destroy me and be reborn with more courage, or defend against it for the rest of my life. Break, or break open.
We face those choices on a lesser scale every day.
Dear women, do what it takes to stay open. If not for the potential of love in your life, do it… because you fucking love yourself.
Isis Leeor is an award-winning author and lover of buttery croissants. She is trained in Body Psychotherapy, Tantra, dance, certified in Thought Pattern Management, Thai Massage, Quantum Touch, and is a graduate of the Knightsbridge Institute of Hypnotherapy and NLP. Her new venture, Feral Female, is an answer to the question 12 years of working with over 1,000 women worldwide has illuminated: how do we live as the full, voraciously alive women we truly are, in a society that is not quite ready for us?