In praise of delayed gratification

Two women holding hands at beach, rear viewBY LISA GRANITE

Two years.

That’s how long it had been since I last had sex.

A two-year dry spell would drive any dyke to desperation, and I passed desperate months ago.

So when I first saw my future wife across the proverbial smoky bar and thought “Wow, she’s gorgeous,” the cynic in me questioned my judgment. It was dark. I’d had a couple of drinks. Maybe she wasn’t really that cute. And if she was? She was probably one of the crazy ones.

We’ve all been there at some point, right? Where you meet a really hot chick, have a blissful couple of weeks and then, boom. She drops the crazy on us.

I’m no exception. I drifted from one likely prospect to the next, and those first heady weeks of discovery invariably gave way to discovering we weren’t at all compatible. I couldn’t figure out why I kept getting involved with women who seemed so amazing at first but in retrospect were so completely wrong for me (and I completely wrong for them).

Being prone to even more processing that the average lesbian, I finally realized what was happening: it was all that wonderful sex! Soon as I was attracted to someone, I was jumping into bed with her because — well, why wouldn’t I? It had taken me long enough to come out and I wanted to enjoy every minute of it. But getting tangled up in someone’s arms and legs was keeping me from even noticing her obvious red flags, let alone heeding the impending warning. Flags? What flags? I don’t see any flags. Then I’d be in the middle of a fight I didn’t understand and wondering once again what happened.

That realization was the start of that dry spell. Which was utterly terrible. I mean, nobody wants to go two years without sex. But I was tired of drama and wanted to make sure that the next time I went into a relationship, it was with both eyes open. No more sex-tinted glasses for me.

Obviously, I did wind up talking to my wife that night. She really was gorgeous, and funny, and smart, and all the things I wanted in a partner. But isn’t everyone perfect the first night you meet?

In our next few dates, we joked about how all the hot chicks we’d been with were crazy and we were just waiting for the other to bring the drama. I’m not quite sure who suggested it first, but there it was, the obvious solution: we’d hold off on getting physical — at least until we felt reasonably sure that the other wasn’t crazy.

So we didn’t jump into bed. We dated. For about two months.

Seems kind of precious, doesn’t it? More the kind of thing you’d find suggested for straight women trying to “get your man to propose” rather than something a pair of freewheeling lesbians ought to try. And there were more than a few nights when I wanted to toss the idea altogether.

But it was also oddly freeing. We spent entirely too much time talking, planned surprise outings with the sole purpose of delighting the other, and we met and hung out with each other’s friends — instead of disappearing from our respective social circles for a month. The more I learned about her, the safer I felt in being completely myself around her. Postponing sex just uncomplicated things in some beautiful and unexpected ways.

And when we finally stopped postponing it? Well, we’d had two months of foreplay, so you do the math.

That dry spell was quickly a distant memory.

2 Responses to “In praise of delayed gratification”

  1. FROM: Alexandra

    “DATING” is a lost art form. I LOVE the “courting process”…. the “slow burn” is delicious…. succulent. I LOVE it, and has led to a much deeper satisfaction with, and appreciation of, the lady I’m with for awhile. Even if we part ways before we have ever gotten to the “delayed gratification”, somehow, I… we…. don’t seem to have missed that so much, because we’ve actually enjoyed the “courting process” and getting to really KNOW each other. I have made some lasting friendships, rather than “former girlfriends” that were nothing more than a one-night-stand, or a weekend-stand. There is something in that courting process, DATING, that is so very enjoyable and satisfying. I highly recommend it.

  2. Bethany

    Amen to this.

    I’m starting the process to consider dating again and find the idea of getting to know someone first to be sexier than bed-hopping.

    Thank you for this insight that’s typically ignored.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)