Monday November 30th 2020

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Madame K is an international woman of mystery and writer of erotic fiction, who is eternally in search of the perfect mojito and the perfect orgasm, preferably at the same time. She fights for a world in which every woman can embrace their sexuality with honesty, humour, and oodles of enjoyment. This is not a sex health column, this is a sex mental health column.

I’ve just had goodbye sex.

Not break up sex, that’s a topic for another day, just goodbye sex. Just intense, joyously miserable ‘I don’t know when I’ll see you again and I love you completely and I want you to feel that right now’ sex. Being in a relationship with a man who lives on another continent, I have this kind of sex a lot.

It falls into a whole category of reaffirming sex. You know when you’ve been to a funeral and you need to get drunk and have rampant sex with a very very distant cousin who’s not hideous? Or had a horrible day and just need to slam the front door open and throw your loved one up against the wall? What we are acting on in these situations is a desperate need to feel that you are alive and loved; or at the very least alive and somewhat attractive. Sex is a powerful force, as you well know (If you don’t, you’re doing it wrong). As comedy sits on the knife edge of tragedy, sex sits on the knife edge of death. We enter another state, we commune briefly with the Gods and laugh in their faces. We flaunt our very fleshiness, our humanity.

Goodbye sex says the things we cannot say with words. This is the kind of sex that those who live in a reckless haze of one night stands and short term casualties in the war of love will never know. You can only have goodbye sex if you are secure in the knowledge that you are truly loved, and it is not a finality. It holds the promise of life, of a future, within its folds. We are saying “I join with you”; this is the Old Testament kind of sex, the consummation, the consumption. It is a marking of territory, it is the giving and receiving of a gift, it is a lament, it is a desperate clinging together. This, more than any other kind of sex, is the “cold and broken Hallelujah” of which so many sing.

This is the sex where you cannot let go afterwards. Where the anticlimax comes just seconds after the climax. Where you hope and pray your body has said what your mind cannot, and it ends in desperate kisses from numb mouths, as you part in a sea of mumbled truths and an untangling of limbs and lives, and stand hopelessly and helplessly and intensely alone.

But don’t feel too sorry for me. You see, being in a relationship with a man who lives on another continent, I also have hello sex a lot.

4 Comments for “Parting is such sweet sorrow”

  • Nikki says:

    I know this type of sex very well, my husband works offshore leaving me for up to 3 months at a time, it is difinitely a good bye that words cannot express, it offers a feeling of safety that you will be back with your loved one soon and a memory of that love that has to keep you going for the next few months and when he gets back hello sex is just as intense. It is like being on honeymoon of sorts!

    • Beth says:

      I hear you Nikki – this was the case with my husband and I for a long time. I have often said that saying hello is the sweetest part of saying goodbye :).

  • Erica says:

    I enjoyed this read. Hello and goodbye sex as described brings back the true romanticism when soldiers went off to war or people had to travel longer for business with that added ‘fear’ of perhaps never seeing each other again. Or is it just Hollywood dressing up the goodbye and hello sex? 🙂


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