pointed toes

not a euphemism

In ALL, JUDY BLUME MOMENTS by Stephanie Klein49 Comments

I can’t have an orgasm unless I’m able to point my toes.  The whole sex railed up against a wall bit is a total ruse.  It might make for some nice foreplay, but eventually, I halt all action and demand we find the bed.  I’ve also never understood sex in the pool or shower or bathtub.  Basically, I’m anti-water-sex, though I’m pretty sure that’s where I experimented when I was younger, using the power of a faucet.

This past weekend, I was up early, getting my cook on (not a euphemism).  I made beef bourguignon, farfalle in a saffron cream sauce, split pea soup, and a perfectly seared piece of Chilean sea bass, all from scratch.  I love my kitchen, and make no mistake, it’s my kitchen even though Phil does his share of cooking *though mostly he grills outside.  But come Saturday morning–or was it Sunday?  My weeks and days are a blur now–Phil walked through my kitchen holding a bathrobe.  He was making his way to our fancy shmancy spa room. 

"I’m going to take a steam," he said the way someone says, "I’m going to take a steam."  "And then maybe hop into the sauna." 

"Oooh, can I come?"  (Also not a euphemism).  Usually Phil refuses to share a shower with me, which has been hard for me not to take personally.  I mean, that’s what couples do, at least in the beginning.  They shower together, washing each other,with some wet kissing maybe.  And then always there’s the slippery soap, and soaping up certain obvious parts. A caboose grab here and there for good measure, certainly.  But he’s never allowed for it (I take longer; someone always ends up cold, water always ends up in your eyes, then you need to wipe them but fear your hands have shampoo on them).  But our spa bathroom really does have a steam room in it, complete with two shower heads and a bench, so I was hoping he’d reconsider.

"Sure, you can come."  I was excited.

I turned my burner flame to low and joined him for a steam, where one of us got off, and the other of us got an IOU while my pot of soup burned.  And that’s what it’s become.  A bedroom, or shower, full of burnt-out IOUs.  "And it’s not fair," he says, "the way you keep count."  He now owes me three orgasms.  I can name each and every time he has and I haven’t.  There was no point in his trying, and he did make some effort (effort meaning he put his hand on it).  Don’t men realize that women need mental stimulation?  I mean, drum up some scenario, some role-playing or something.  "What scenario do you need to drum up?  We’re in a steam room as it is."  Then talk to me, tell me you saw me over by the pool and got hard and followed me into the steam room.  Pretend. 

A man can get excited from visual stimulation, from my shaking hands with it.  I need more.  I can’t climax unless I’m horizontal, but why rob him of a steamy thrill?  It wasn’t about me, in that moment, and I was absolutely fine with that.  But I still absolutely do keep count.  I guess part of me wishes I didn’t have to, that he’d come to me the way I come to him, and he’d just want to please me without anything in return. Which would mean more than just rubbing me to climax.  It would mean role-playing or some kind of verbal stimulation where he’s active, commanding me what to do, like in the movie Secretary

I have a few books on my bookshelf, books with "activity suggestions" that I sometimes wish he’d pick up and try.  And truth be told, it wouldn’t kill me to try to spice things up either.  I mean, you really have no place in complaining unless you yourself are trying.  But… I’m lazy and just wish he’d do it first.  I know our sex life might come to a complete halt once the babies are in our home, but it doesn’t have to.  I hate thinking that he’s off in some room masturbating when he can be with me, instead.  And I know it shouldn’t be an "instead" kind of thing, but in my head, the idea that he’s off "wasting it" when I’m so in want of it… makes me think in a series of "insteads."  And maybe he prefers it that way, alone, so he doesn’t live in fear of tallying up a higher score on my list of "you owe me."    


  1. Do you talk to him and share your needs with him the way you share them on your blog? Do you communicate with each other about what you want from sex?

    Instead of wondering and wishing and tallying and "insteading" yourself to death, poor woman, why don't you just talk about it and let him know what turns you on? If he doesn't make the effort, or try to meet at least some of your needs some of the time, then what is really going on there?

    Forgive me if you two communicate about this already, but the scenario you describe just sounds like a recipe for unfulfillment.

    Don't feel guilty about tallying or complaining or make it about your own lack of trying to "spice things up." But now do something about it — talk! You each deserve to have your needs met. Why isn't that happening?

  2. I am confused. Don't the babies live in your home?

    FROM STEPHANIE: Yes. This post is in the category Past Tense, meaning, I wrote this back when the babies were still in the hospital. I chose to post it now because, well, I know a lot of people who can relate to the push and pull in their own relationships and within themselves.

  3. I am sure you're finding it more difficult now with them home. I can't remember, did you watch the HBO series which sadly just ended called "Tell Me You Love Me"? Issues along these lines were a big part of the show.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I love the show. And yeah, it's all about communication. Well, not all. It starts with communication, then willingness gets involved, then a give and take, push and pull. I think Phil and I will forever be in the phase of our relationship where we struggle for power.

  4. Sounds pretty steamy to me! I get regular offers to be massaged in front of our fireplace & things get even hotter. I'm more a fan of sex with heat, not sex in water. You mentioned you made split pea soup. I made some as well, it was absolutely delish.. from Nigella's 'Feast' cookbook.

  5. Oh. Ok. So your babies were in the nicu and you were recovering from an emergency c-section delivering twins and you have 1.) the energy to cook all that fancy schmancy stuuf 2. )the desire to cook all that fancy scmancy stuff, 3.) space in your brain/memory to remember that your husband OWES you an orgasm.
    4.) Desire or energy for a role-play.

    I remain confused…

  6. The best part of life post-divorce is that I found a man who LOVES to get me off. He esp. adores going downtown for 30 minutes at a clip. Imean, he lives for it! Every woman should have that.

  7. Once upon a time Jewish men & women went to the community baths/steam roosm on the Lower East Side. They called it going to have a "shvitz," and it was often the only opportunity to bathe because many tenements had no running water. My point, other than showing off my knowledge about early 20th century Jews in America? Something about now Jewish men & women have their shvitz in their own homes and the death of communal activities and some other shit like that, but I lost the thread. Hope you're getting lots of high quality sexy sexy.

  8. Thank you for saying it. Sex in showers is crap. Awkward, shit leverage and really, with all that to worry about (and that someone doesn't crack a head on a tile…) who can really enjoy the experience? And in a hot tub- water gets in there and spoils the..fun. No thanks. I laughed at the tallying thing. I know it is not good to marinate in resentment but come on, after more than once or twice you're going to keep track. It's hard not to take personally.

  9. Maryanna, I agree. Stephanie, I would love a post on how the hell you are able to maintain such a separate place from trauma. If my babies were in the NICU, I would be in the fetal position every minute that I was not with them. I would eat to live, and probably barely that. How you desired to cook, or to have sex, is just…astounding. You must be a real pro at compartmentalizing.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Until you're in a position, you don't know how you'll handle it. You can certainly guess, can assume, but you don't know for sure. If we spent all night with the kids, and had great news that they were simply in the feeding and growing stage of things, there's nothing to be upset about. We were eager to have the babies home. They were there for eight weeks. Some days were good days, where we did our normal happy things. Others were fetal position days.

  10. There's always that age-old adage that comes into play: "Men are like microwaves & women are like ovens." I definitely think that your way of 'keeping score' is a bit cold, but you have the right idea. Each partner deserves pleasure in the relationship. You should seek to please him in ways that you may not find so fun (for you, sex other places than the bed), and then definitely maintain that he should do the same for you.

    …I guess this pretty much goes along with your post now, but maybe if you made the "IOU" sense less immediate and a little more sexily-termed, the pressure wouldn't be on his head to get you off, but more excitably towards his OTHER head.

  11. I thought I was the only one who needs to be horizontal, and preferably comfortable (ie, in a bed). Glad I'm not the only one. My husband calls that "vanilla". I call it "knowing my body".

    Though, here's no way in hell my husband would ever be able to get hard knowing I left the stove on.

  12. and now do you think – I hope he goes in there for a masturbation cos that means I can get my much needed sleep without having to give a blow job or some such thing first!

  13. I always believed a part of me was a little judgmental. It's something I've strived, proactively and very consciously, to work on. I don't want to be the kind of person that can dare to presume how others should think and feel and act.

    And then I read comments from people like Estee and Maryanna and I realize I'm really not so bad.

    Thank you.

  14. Just curious… does the "power struggle" preclude your happiness with each other? Do you still get what you need out of the relationship, or does the big ol' "PS" prevent you from feeling heard and emotionally supported?

    I've been there, so I'm always curious how couples work through it differently.

  15. i'm certainly not anti-water sex but i damn sure can't get mine either. i need my position in the bed or some flat surface and i need to be in a mental place that welcomes all that pleasure. i wish i wasn't that high maintenance but i know that my body likes! and please, who doesn't keep count!? we'll go in stretches. like we're busy and working so 4 days pass by…then we have the weekend off and go to town 4 times in 24 hours! (we were both 3/4 in case anyone was wondering ;)

    i think a light hearted chat about your need to even the score should occur (ya know…in between all that parenting and working and cooking and day-to-day bs) and if you both endure the power struggle maybe this is one area where by god you can let him toss your cookies!

    (wishing you some wins/ties in the near future)

  16. I wish I could love taking a shower with my boyfriend but it's just not happening. I'm always afraid that I'm going to slip and it turns into something goofy and I end up laughing which he interprets as my laughing AT him and not the situation.
    As for being romantic during times of crises, it's a relief and release to be close to someone you love. Of course, the mind is still racing, but it's the intimacy that matters and it's a way to find solace. All of these elements are important.

  17. I don't mind the shower at all….unless I'm in a hurry and have to go to work or something. And I don't believe in keeping score of "you owe me." What's the point? I think every moment I share with my husband should be enjoyed, whether he/I orgasm(s) or not. Just my opinion.

  18. The way it goes chez nous is: If I don't get off, then neither does he. It's not a point-scoring thing so much as our mutual sense of fair play. But every couple is different. One thing I have found, though, is that sex begets sex (heh), as in the more you have it, the more you want it.

  19. My husband is always trying to jump in the shower with me and it drives me crazy. Not to get into details, but let's just say he's quite a bit taller than me and the logistics don't really work out. I'm mostly left grasping desperately for some ledge to hang on to, terrified we're both going to slip and crack our heads open. And as for pools/hot tubs… do men not understand how the female body is set up? Are we supposed to enjoy being pumped full of chlorinated water? I'm not a "only in the bedroom" purist, but I do prefer a flat, dry surface.

  20. Thank you for responding how you did, to the comments made above, regarding 'how could you, and I would be.'
    I won't take up a lot of space on your blog, about my own situation, but it always amazes me of how people say they will handle a certain situation, or try to make you feel guilt over how you handled something. You stated it plainly, like I have many times in my past to people, Until you are in that position, you simply do not know how you would handle it. You can assume, but you can not know for sure.

    By the way, I keep track too. I wish I didn't have the need to, and I wish I could make my mind forget it, but I can't.

  21. Hi Stephanie,

    I just want to say that I think it takes a lot of guts to post as honestly and raw-ly (sorry if not a word) as you do. I'm like, wo! you go girl! =)

  22. No keeping score in this household. Each and every time we go to make out his intentions are only the best of. If I do not 'make it' on occasion he tries extra hard next time. Win win ;)

  23. I hear ya on the horizontal part. It would be lovely to just be able to get off no matter what position I'm in, but life isn't a porno flick – I'm just grateful that I CAN get off…

  24. i think i got really unlucky, i have never managed to make a boyfriend understand that if i'm not done and he is, he should at least offer to do something about it, instead of say, well, next time,honey!I mean, of course guys get off so much easier, what am I doing wrong? mind, I do have nicely voiced my concerns, but I don't want to be a nagging live in gf………………..that was me venting, sorry,love the blog, always read it never post, guess it really hit home

  25. Sex in the tub has caused me some yeast infections (the water can contain bacteria or something), not very sexy.
    With my last boyfriend the sex was grrreat at first, but after 2 months he started to climax too soon – in the beginning there were IOUs, but after a while it became too painful a reminder for him and I lost count… It never got better, and he refused to go to sex counseling. I had to learn how to just enjoy sex and not focus on the orgasm that much… NOT easy. But I really loved him. After years there were still times that I felt like strangling him after sex as it was 'so not fair!'. His awkward feelings about his performance were actually a reason why he broke up with me – which really pissed me off as I had done my best for 3 years to be loving and all 'don't worry about it honey'.

    Only 3 behind sounds great to me.

  26. as an expectant mom, i could only chuckle at the "no wasting" comment, which was how i referred to my boyfriend's masturbating when we were trying to get pregnant.

  27. I feel like I've read this post before, but I don't remember when.

    I do remember, though, that it is Thanksgiving in two days and I did not want to the one to forget to wish you and your family a very happy and fun filled Thanksgiving. May it be filled with fantastic food and the warm love of friends and family.

  28. Stephanie–sorry to post an unrelated question on this post, but I'm hoping for a recommendation. I like to journal–currently I rotate between writing long-hand and typing and then just keeping wherever. It's a mess. I want a journal writing software program. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you!

  29. I don't understand why people give you such a hard time for sharing–I find it fun to read and love that you share so openly. Water sex pretty much sucks for us girls as we try to put on the sexy/steamy/they do this in the movies so why am I struggling face! I love your blog and really get annoyed when people send you mean comments. What's the fun in that? The judgmental types really need to keep it to themselves and have fun with your work! I love it!

  30. "Piggy Backing" on Laura…..I not sure I understand my "getting off" someone elses responsibility. Come on ladies, it's a mind thing. I've been married 18 years and in the begining there were alot of "i didn't get mine", but I was young, didn't know my body, didn't know my mind. I have very few of those types of days now and honestly it has nothing to do with my husband. It has everything to do with where i am. Think About It!!!!!

  31. I'm not married, but I've been in enough long-term relationships to also not understand the IOU business.

    Sometimes he wants it more than you do, so you let him have his way with you and that, in itself, can be completely enjoyable. Other times, you're in the mood and he isn't … I'd like to think it all evens out in the end.

    But then, it'll never even out. For most women – every single one of my girlfriends, at least – it's much harder to actually reach the point of orgasm. I'm pretty sure there's a shitload of research out there to back this up.

    So expecting your mate to please you 100% of the time, to have to work *that* hard at it, sounds exhausting for both of you.

    Why make it that difficult?

  32. Just wondering…are you cooking/hosting this Thanksgiving?? I would love to hear what wonderful recipes you have mulling around.

    I am as big a holiday fanatic as you, and I have to say, have never looked forward to the season more than this year. It will be my first one in New York City as a "grown up" since I just graduated in May, and I can't wait to go all out!

  33. Laura, Instead of expecting your mate to please you 100% of the time and to work *that* hard at it – to the point of exhaustion, why not join in and help? Fun for both of you, and then it's not so "difficult". Just a suggestion.

  34. Sometimes I feel like I have to be the aggressor in the bedroom. Like, I need to figure out some "new" thing/position/way to get it on.

    Def understand.

  35. Have you ever tried standing under the water, spreading your cookie lips and allowing the water to beat down on your clit?
    Phil can watch and assist, ya know, slap your ass….talk dirty…give a few fingers, licks and sucks.

    just a suggestion

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