What I Learned From A Year-Long Dry Spell

What I Learned From A Year-Long Dry Spell ©iStock/tzahiV

I just got laid! Actually, I got laid a week and a half ago. So exciting, right? After a year of absolutely no action, I finally got the urge to sleep with someone again — after being kissed in the most amazing way possible by a French guy I met in Paris, Claude. Claude the French man who screwed the life back into me. After that whole year sans intimacy, it was exactly what I needed. Now that I’ve ended such a long dry spell, I’ve realized a few things:

  1. Sleeping with someone is like riding a bike. Totally like riding a bike. It’s like you think you’re going to forget, but once you start, it totally comes back to you — and really fast, which was quite a relief.
  2. Surprisingly, your lady bits don’t grow over. Having never gone more than three months without any action, around the six-month mark, I just sort of assumed my bits were going to not only close up shop, but grow over, but nope! It’s still in working order.
  3. Sometimes taking a break from something you love is a good idea. I was never embarrassed by the fact that I hadn’t had it in a year. Hell, I even wrote about it. I couldn’t be embarrassed by having not gotten laid because I knew I could, if I wanted to, but after being cheated on by my husband, I just couldn’t handle it. It wasn’t a decision I made to not have any action, but rather a decision my brain, heart and body made together to turn me off from the whole thing. That aside, it really made me appreciate it in a way that I probably haven’t appreciated it in a long time.
  4. I’m capable of feeling attractive after all. Because of that lack of interest in intimacy, thanks to my ex, I haven’t felt hot in a long time. Too long. But as I rolled around in bed with Claude, I finally felt hot again and it felt amazing.
  5. How I missed kissing. Honestly, I never really loved the way my husband kissed. He was great in bed, but we had completely different kissing styles and that always frustrated me. But Claude and I, on the other hand, had the exact same kissing style and it felt amazing to make-out with him — before, during, and after the act.
  6. How I missed cuddling. I am not a cuddler. I am a cold-hearted woman who, when faced with cuddling, recoils and all but has a panic attack. Or at least that’s what I always thought. But after a whole year of not having anyone in my bed or, more specifically, lying on top of me, I realized I love to cuddle. I want to cuddle. I need to cuddle.
  7. I still don’t like downtown action. I’m one of those women who does NOT like receiving it. I enjoy giving it, but receiving it? No thank you. It makes me feel too vulnerable and, honestly, it’s boring even when it’s “good.” When Claude went down on me, I thought maybe the me who was deprived would finally enjoy it, but that’s not what happened. I’m still a woman who will always pass on receiving any downtown action.
  8. You should never push yourself if you’re not feeling it. As I realized when I had a failed one-night stand months ago, you can’t push yourself into sleeping with someone. You either feel it or you don’t. I’m not sure what I was trying to prove (maybe that I could have it, just like my husband who was his mistress so easily?), when I tried to have it with that guy back in November, but I know now it doesn’t fix things. If you’re not feeling it, then you need to walk away.
  9. I’ve still got it. I thought I’d be awkward and shy when I finally slept with someone again, but that was far from the case. Not only was it just like riding a bike, but I was easily able to slip back into the confident woman I’d always been during it.
  10. Just because I can sleep with someone again doesn’t mean I’m ready for a relationship. Since I regard being cheating on as the ultimate betrayal, I know I still have a lot of work to do before I can date again. I’m excited that I can have it again and not freak out or feel disgusted by it, but getting to a point where I can date again is going to take a lot longer. Like, way longer. Like, check in with me in a year or two kind of longer.
  11. Life without intimacy is far from tragic. I realize we seem to think that people who aren’t having it are somehow sad or missing out, hence the phrase, “She really needs to get laid,” but that’s not the truth. Just because you don’t have intimacy in life doesn’t mean you’re missing out. If anything, you’re avoiding unnecessary drama, along with any pregnancy or STI scares. Also, getting yourself there, in all its wonder, always does the trick. It’s also, unlike sleeping with someone, a sure thing. So making someone feel bad for not having slept with someone in a while is ridiculous; they’re probably reaching that sweet spot more than those with super active lives.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.