It is hard to navigate modern-day relationships as we struggle with sex and intimacy when we are not physically present with our partners.
The image of two bodies played in her mind. There was a desperation for a warm end, muscles taut and pushed to the limit, somewhere she had almost reached, and then with another push, finally, she was there, still breathing fast, hearts pounding, and then she saw his head finally grounded on the pillow beside her.
Yes, this was her last birthday celebration sex, a year back. With champagne and soft jazz, it had been the best gift.
Now they had got used to online sex as work took him to other countries. Nobody really gets used to eating food without salt. Everyone adapts to what they have and does the best possible they can. But sometimes sleeping alone at night, one does think deeply about what one could still have and does not have because of so many factors.
Lack of availability and morals supersede raw desires. Thereafter, even the mediocre little satisfaction from online sex goes up in the air. There is no distance that kills the desires of the flesh.
Yes, even for us women, let me be truthful. Distance adds to the desire.
Now and then, Trina thought about what everyone thinks but never admits openly or even shares with friends.
How would it be? A quick and surgical betrayal, like fast food during a diet but between the sheets, only needed were half a dozen functional minutes, task accomplished, animal desire satisfied, body and brain at peace, and with this out of the way, she would focus better on work. Sounds simple enough, she told herself.
But we know, it’s never so simple.
The problem was and continues to be, is that one thing is love, quite another is the body. She loved her boyfriend, but she loved herself too. This year he had been travelling more than usual. She was a passionate woman, and he was never around. Only thirty-two, her hormones were raging. To think only men, have sexual desires, is such a myth.
Trina and Arjun had been steady now for 8 years. Never wanting to marry or live together, they enjoyed a great life. An amazing chemistry and same professions had brought them together occasionally and they had been happy. Except when he was away for more than a month or two. That separation was hard to handle.
Her mind wandered. How does he deal with it? In a hotel, by himself, what did he do?
Guys and girls, do it for themselves, but what about the touch and feel factor? Did he think of her? She thought of him all the time.
Now it was five months, and she was buckling under work pressure. Even the phone sex was dwindling, there was no release at all. Her girlfriends were there for emotional support. They were much married with young children and had too many pressures. They had never understood her choices. Even so, they were always there for her.
She still felt lonely without Arjun. Sometimes she found herself thinking that even a woman could do the job. Why did she need a man at all? Arjun was being insensitive to her needs for tenderness and understanding.
He could be more communicative, a little more loving on the phone and try to cut short his trips occasionally. Trina missed their conversations and his presence.
She picked up her cell phone and tried to call via WhatsApp. It rang and rang. She tried again and nothing. She was frustrated with the situation and really needed to talk to her lover stuck in another country, in a different time zone. But there was no answer. She knew it was an odd hour for him, but she suffered, thinking that perhaps someone else was living her life with him.
Anything was possible. A strong person, not usually given to insecurities, she had never felt his absence as much as she felt on her birthday. The kiss, the touch were big joys, which come from relationships after all.
Arjun, her sensitive, passionate lover, was rather strange. He was sensitive to her whenever in town. But the moment he was away on work, she was out of his mind. He was focussed only on his own challenges and lived in the moment. Initially she pointed it out to him, and he responded positively.
But as time flew, they became more comfortable with each other and his tender, loving quotient reduced to taking her for granted. Many times, he was not even available on the mobile phone. He would respond the next day, or the day after. By that time, her moment of anxiety was over, and she clammed up.
A chartered accountant by profession, she had always been very practical. But she was not blind to his self-oriented behaviour. He had not replied to the e-mail in which she had even sent him several sexy mood pictures to remind him. Now. he did not answer her call. Trina’s mind was in a terrible muddle.
Still with her cell phone in hand, she went into Tinder to refresh her eyes. Long distance relationships survive like this, she thought to herself. Life continues, everything is available at every corner. So, why not? She was on the edge. She knew that it was up to her to act within or out of limits. Should she let go of her self-imposed rules of fidelity?
He never asked her or shared what he did whenever he was away. But when they were together, things were perfect. That had always confused her. She avoided asking him too many questions, fearing that it would irritate him.
Love is a decision, but sex is something that happens. When one is vulnerable and feels like a victim, one does not see where one is going. But Trina knew what she wanted and did not care what anyone thought about her. Her strength had always been her ability to deal with a situation on her own terms.
How she wished, it was possible to have a birthday fling, just to have a physical release and give that boost to her ego.
She wondered, “Would it have any impact on our out of gas, long distance relationship?”
And then she saw them, dozens of flowers, cake with a card and a bottle of champagne delivered to her doorstep. For a moment, she was flushed with a feeling of love for Arjun. She was expecting a surprise visit. It was a home delivery. There was no call and no tender sweet nothings were whispered. Everything was done professionally, she almost felt like a client. She cut her cake and popped the bubbly.
As the bubbles flattened, so did her expectation. Alone on her birthday night, she drank and wept till dawn.
The phone rang at 4am.
It would be him with his lame excuses of being busy. By now, her boyfriend had gone too far from her heart.
She decided to start a new conversation with herself. Lovers would come and go.
It was time to be her own best friend.
Image Source: Bonobology.com
Bindiya is a linguist, works at a diplomatic mission, is a wife, a mother, an
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