Labels are not my favorite thing. They irritate me in clothes and in life. I was never one to adhere to the heteronormative ideal, even as a child. I wore what I wanted, played how I wanted, and loved who I wanted.
I did most of it in secret.
But labels have a purpose and for the purpose of this piece, I identify as pansexual. Essentially, I love the person, regardless of gender or sexuality. I have had relationships with men and women, separately and together. Most of the women I dated were either bisexual or pansexual.
Until I meet Mara.
In the good old days, when you could still post personal ads on Craigslist, I had an ad looking for a woman. I was married to my second husband at the time; we were in an open relationship. He was often absent and at the time, I didn’t “feel” the men.
I wasn’t looking for a connection either; I wanted a real connection.
I wanted something that would evolve into a long term relationship. After sifting through cam girls, bots, and men, I came across an email that showed great promise.
Mara was only a few months younger than me and lived about two hours away. She taught literature at a local community college, loved classic rock, and rode a Harley.
In my announcement, I explained my situation in detail. I have always been upfront and upfront about my intentions. I was surprised that she answered, but Mara never cared that I liked sex with men as well as women.
Mara had never been with a man, but being intimate with her was unlike anything I had experienced with a woman before or since.
There was an intimacy present from the start that I still can’t explain. We both have body image issues, so there was innocence, almost shyness.
She took her time with me and I with her, exploring each other’s bodies with tenderness. I remember thinking that I would never touch such soft skin and wondering how it was possible that a woman who spent so much time under the rays of the beating sun could feel like lambskin.
She smelled of sunshine and sunflowers and tasted of raindrops and moonlight and a hint of the ocean, always.
His touch was like soft kisses down my spine, making me shiver with anticipation.
Stolen kisses in the toilet, because why not? Two women going to the toilets are expected.
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She wasn’t my first love, and I wasn’t either, but we behaved as if we were.
She forever has a piece of my heart and I hope I have a piece of hers too. In the end, I couldn’t give her what she wanted and we broke up.
My time with Mara is one of my fondest and warmest memories.
Demeter Delune is an educator who writes about sexuality, love and relationships.
This article was originally published on Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.
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