Sex After Leaving My Wife for a Man

Sonja Semion on heterosexual sex after lesbian sex

There is a framed photo in my father’s house from my brother’s wedding. My brother and his wife are in the middle. My father posing beside his newly married son. I am standing behind my father. Directly behind me is my ex-wife. 

It’s one of those pictures that you can’t get rid of just because a person is gone from the family. But the photo is filled with questions. Very queer questions that someone might ask if they had just met me. That is if they met me, my husband, and our daughter

I met my now-husband at the end of my previous marriage. I started out my teenage sexual journey with men, but I had been with women exclusively for 15 years. I had barely thought about men during this time, but the moment I saw my now-husband, I was struck by an attraction so deep it felt primal. The passion for one another was so strong that we moved in together before the ink on my divorce papers had fully dried. The switch from woman to man confused many people in my life, but not me. I just knew in that way that those of us who are lucky enough to know, know.  

Still, despite the deep longing I felt for him, after being with women for so long, there were some things to get used to. 

Like the first time we kissed. In that moment, I was taken not so much by his lips as by his touch. A woman’s touch, even on the far end of the gender spectrum, is soft even when it is strong. My now-husband’s hands carried mass as he pulled me close to him. 

Sex with him followed suit. Being penetrated took some practice (as surprising as it is to many who have not experienced lesbian sex outside of porn, strap-ons are not a daily event), but it was worth it. Becoming reacquainted with hetero cisgender sex offered me the opportunity to find pleasure in surrender. When I relax the need to control, the sweetness of vulnerability steps in. I am most beautiful in this space; I become a seductress inviting him to experience the softness of my body. This process is not fast, and it must be built upon the foundation of my pleasure. I love this dance, yet I wrestle with his masculine overtness overtaking my feminine subtlety. This is the work of a woman in a heterosexual relationship – to maintain her receptivity without losing herself to his directness.  

There’s another big difference: Because women have the potential to be limitless in our ability to climax, sex with women is like a languorous walk down a country road, one that leads to a gently flowing river where a boat waits for the next part of the journey. But a man has one chance to climax. My husband practices retaining his orgasm to elongate our time together, but his physiology ultimately bookends our couplings. Sex now is like a well-produced film — tension builds toward a point of resolution. Knowing that it will be over eases the anxiety that can accompany this state of heightened energy. Tension with my female lovers was a non-linear process that could go on for days. Both are loads of fun.

As I am in the grip of this tension, there is the need to ask for what I want. Being with women is slightly easier in this regard due to the expertise that comes with shared anatomy. But even the most cliterate men need some coaching on how to treat the delicate flower between my legs. To voice my desires – concretely, specifically – to someone who does not have a pussy requires a surprising amount of courage. It’s amazing how words catch in my throat or I pause, wondering if he will feel slighted if I give him direction. But I’ve learned to make it part of the experience. I am not a general yelling out commands, but a hostess creating opportunity for expanded enjoyment.

The same goes for me. I don’t have a penis, so I must ask what one likes. Heterosexual sex is a blind meeting of opposites, but when my husband and I find the deepest connection, there is no separation between us. Neither is entering nor receiving. There is just one, united in bliss.

Now that I am married to a man, the nature of my pansexuality is obscured. So there is always a moment of surprise when I tell people that I used to be with women. Often, a person will ask if I have a preference. The truth is this: As much as I can generalize between sex with men and sex with women, my connection to every partner has been unique. I have found that each person’s approach to sex is reflective of our individual personalities – it is shaped by life experiences and expressed in amazingly different ways.

Sex goes far beyond parts. In its higher form, it is a dynamic relationship of the primordial feminine and masculine energies that exist in everybody in different amounts. The balance of feminine and masculine within us is fluid, advancing and retreating in response to what and who is around us. This creates endless depth in our ability to connect with others, in bed or out. So much is possible when we are brave enough to turn away from fixed ideas about sex and gender and turn toward our true, boundless nature.

Society feels most comfortable when we choose sides, but I like wading through the grey, not just in my relationships, but in all parts of life. Here I have found a perspective that is expansive, limitless, one that destroys the illusion that I can label anything firm ground. Anyone who wants to love me fully has to be willing to accept that I cannot choose sides. Lucky me, I have found someone who is that brave. 


Illustration by Bee Illustrates / @beeillustrates


Submissions for my ‘Sex After’ series are still open – please get in touch if you would like to share your story

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