“Slow down,” my beloved reminds me as I get frantic, thinking about all the things I have to do—anxiety filling my lungs, thick like dread.
I sit next to him on a lime-green couch just before sunset, as he strokes my long hair lovingly.
One by one, my muscles melt into a sea of calm—and hell, that’s a gem-like rarity for me.
He looks at me for a long time. For a moment, I get shy and hide behind the drapes of my eyelids, and then…
And then I am ready to meet his gaze again.
There is heat glowing between us, the kind that is gentle—bubbling—rather than boiling.
We are not in a rush to crash into each other so we can feel something.
No, because we aren’t numb. Our hearts are tender—ready for love, slightly scared of love, searching, desperate, and thirsty for something that means something more.
We’re looking for the full body yeses; the soulful, luxurious hell yeahs. Not the yeses murmured half-heartedly in a defeated attempt to please the other, or just hurry things along and not really be there.
That isn’t the fullness of love. Or sex. That’s the exhausted, sticky pain of not showing up. Of not knowing where our boundaries are. And we want something different—something imperfect and exquisite and delicious.
So, we are slowing it all down to savor each other. To see each other. To be as present as possible.
Our love is not all loud noises and bright sounds. It is quieter, slower, closer to the earth. It crawls like fog and covers the world around us in the sweet mystery woven into every aspect of life.
We breathe together.
It is not just a quick, hungry breath—it is an entire goddamn experience. Cool oxygen rushing in, warm air escaping through parted lips, and the way you smile at me; how I respond in a grin that reaches all the way up to my eyes.
When we slow down, moments become masterpieces. The illusion of time shatters as he walks his fingers up and down my spine.
Words become unnecessary, and all is spoken through the landscapes of our bodies, our breaths, our hearts, our eyes. Touch prevails. It opens intriguing doors to fresh experiences and healing we never dreamed of before.
I stroke his arms and press my palms gently on his neck. He shivers and pulls me closer as I bury my face in his chest, then meet his gaze with tenderness and a good measure of spicy desire.
He caresses my lower lip, sending sensations down to my toes.
I am blasted so gently—into my body. I am so here.
And to my sweet surprise, there is a sea of pleasure to taste—textures and colors and meanings contained in the subtle magic of his hands on my waist.
Tonight, we are not in a rush to push our bodies against each other.
Tonight, we don’t even kiss. But we are transfixed by one another, by all there is to feel.
“Slow down,” he reminds me.
This is the biggest teaching of my life. The most difficult thing to learn of all. I used to move at a thousand miles an hour, thoughts swirling like tornadoes, as I dragged my body around each day without any inclination to check in with myself. This led to so much pain. I shudder as I recall memories that still sting and wounds that haven’t healed quite yet.
Learning to respect and listen to my body has taken the better part of my life.
So when I do slow down, it’s a gift. I feast on it like nectar.
Sensations like never before ripple through me.
I cry because it feels so good. I cry because I feel so much. I cry because I am safe.
“Slow down,” he reminds me, with softness blooming in his eyes.
Seconds expand into hours. We embrace each other with an elegant thirst that makes us remember who we are and what really matters.
We sit still, bodies draped across each other ’til I point to the bright globe of the full moon, as he cranes his neck to gaze with me. Moonlight spills in the window onto our faces, like the juice from a thick, golden peach.
Then, touch transforms back into talking—laughing, revealing our doubts and uncertainties, the craziness of our families, our hopes and long-lost dreams.
We listen to every word. We get to know each other, again and again. Repeatedly. Because there is always more to learn about our lovers—and we don’t want to forget that.
The mystery never ends. It is constantly fading and reappearing, like stars in the sky. It is forever unraveling in the quivers of our lips and trembles of our hearts, in our tears, sh*tty days, and learning how to show up for ourselves and each other.
This dance between us—it is hard to pin down in strings of sentences.
I like that.
It is best captured in the language of swaying sensations that gush through us like ocean currents when our bodies are next to each other.
It’s how we hear songs of anticipation hanging heavy in the air like honeysuckle, accompanied by the promise of rain that is coming soon.
But not yet.
It builds and builds and builds…
There is no rush. There is so much time to enjoy each other. Isn’t that lovely?
We die to the past, to how we’ve done things with others before—to quick, disembodied sex and hollow kisses that weren’t supposed to mean anything.
We’re too tenderhearted for that.
We want to feel it all. To really be here.
I smile as our lips are mere millimeters from meeting, thinking what a great honor it is to know another.
To hold and behold them.
To see and be seen.
To taste all that’s contained in a touch.
In this, we grasp the exquisite depths of love.
It is a subtle ecstasy.
We are reborn.
Shaky and joyous, he reminds me in a late-night whisper, seconds from sleep, with his hands in my hair, “Slow down.”
So I do.