Sitting here naked on the edge of my bed, feeling defeated after a hard day. Glancing around I look for someone or something to grab onto, to fix this feeling. But it’s only me in the room. Unconsciously I reach up to trace the lines along my forehead with one finger – all the way across and back.
These lines are etched into my skin from years spent under the Kenyan sun, and with the touch of a finger I am instantly there again. A young wife and mother, excited by all that was new – yet struggling to make sense of the struggle. I take a deep breath, and sit in that story, going back and forth over the lines that I notice every time I look in the mirror. They are a part of me now, just as much as my Kenyan stories are.
My fingers slide down over my eyes travelling the contours of my face. I end up resting on the softness of my lips and my mouth opens slightly in response. I know this touch. I’ve felt it before from someone else’s hands. I touch my lips harder – almost tugging at them, thinking of frantic kisses and soft, yet hard bites. Another deep breath, sound escaping from my lips at the memories of those stories.
Sliding farther down, past my neck, I take time to enjoy my shoulders. They are strong and the hard curves feel good against the softness of my fingers. I am reminded of my strength even when I feel defeated. Taking a few breaths I relish stories of pushing physical limits, carrying babies, and picking myself up off the floor. With several deep breaths I let these stories resonate before moving on.
My finger brushes past my right nipple causing it to lift and harden against my touch. I fed all of my 5 children with these breasts and the stories run like photographs in my mind. Tiny mouths, feeding children born from my body and from the body of another mama, squirrel sounds, pain, frustration and unbelievable connection. I take a deep breath for the gift of life then continue on.
Leading down to my stomach my touch switches from one finger to five. This is the area of my body that I have been the hardest on. It holds reminders of what went “wrong” in childbirth, my painful diastasis and my vanity. I touch my stomach over and over as a way of asking forgiveness for the years of unacceptance. My scars are me too and this touch reminds me of that. Another deep breath and my hands go farther down still.
Gliding my fingers onto my hips feels like pure joy. Leaning back onto my bed, still naked, I use my full hands to explore them. Learning to listen to and allow the movement to flow from my hips has been a huge source of pleasure for me. Rubbing my hips I begin to move them slowly in small then bigger circles – enjoying what feels like an intimate dance with myself. I see stories of learning to dance as an adult, of pushing my limits and of movement during sex. Breathing deeply again I’m starting to feel alive.
Letting my hands lead the way I end up with both of them between my legs. This is my favourite spot. I am still alone but no longer feeling at all defeated. What I feel is hope, desire and anticipation. I am made up of many stories and some are easier to relive than others, but they are all a part of me. Breathing deeply, moving my hips, touching my pussy – this is who I am. My womanhood, the root of my pleasure. I take my time allowing my hands to be my lover. How could I have forgotten? No matter where I am, who I am with, or how I am feeling – with touch, my hands will always bring me back to myself. Faster my hips move, deeper I breathe, sounds escaping my lips. I dance to the music of my stories and as the crescendo builds, my orgasm builds too. When I finally let go the release is like a slide show playing all of my stories at once with each one just as important as the other.
My lines show my joy and struggle, my lips are pure lust, my shoulders are my strength, my breasts are my mothering, my stomach is my shame, my hips my freedom and my sexuality brings them all together. My touch brings me home to myself.