I discovered how necessary thoughtful touch was for me, years ago.
There I was with the one, more than willing and ready.
Y’all know what I mean.
I straddled irritation and held back the desire to beg.
I was losing my mind.
What was the hold up? Why was he torturing me?
I did my best to keep my cool.
There was no begging out loud.
I was not a punk.
I mean–I was not a punk until he whispered, “May I?”
What was this feeling that now overwhelmed me?
I moved my legs so that I could bring him closer but he refused to budge until I verbally consented.
To date, there was nothing more fun than saying “yes” on that day. Consequently, I had also never felt more powerful than in that moment.
Honestly, before he asked I was already certain. But, with those two words and that question, he affirmed for me that I had complete control and say-so over what happens to my body and what got to enter it. The experience of reiterating for him that I meant for him to be exactly where he laid, was empowering and it was a moment that I didn’t even know I needed.
I reminiscence on that moment now,
because giving consent still makes me feel powerful, thought of, and seen. Asking for my consent is the best act of service. Making sure that consent is given always means purposeful touch is not far behind, and I love touch that keeps both of us in mind. It gets me there. So many people, generalizations, stereotypes, and hate have access to this body on a daily basis. I’m surrounded by an ever-rising number of Black men hoteps, refusals to “say her name,” justifications of rape, and the general discomfort and fear of being a Black woman in America. I’m exhausted of it all. And so I look forward and welcome moments when I can take some of that power back.
So while I continue to work on inner-healing and changing the negative narrative I’ve internalized within myself. I will own that I need purposeful and thoughtful touch 24/7. Does this mean that quickies will continue to fail at being as quick as they’re supposed to be? Will being hugged never feel as complete as when they include shoulder and forehead kisses? Who knows? But, I’ll continue to take peace where it is given and offered.