When I was 24, you'd never hear me say "please fuck me" while in the throws of passion. The words would be screaming in my brain but somehow never make it out my mouth. I remember 12 years ago, when I was 22, lying next to a guy I was hot for - my whole body aching to jump him - and not being able to initiate sex.
I mentioned to him a few days later how I'd been really horny, and I'll always remember his response.
"You can call and tell me other things that are going in your day, so why leave out that you're horny and want to have sex?"
Why, indeed? Maybe because I was shy and paralyzed by the idea of rejection. Plus, somehow I thought girls weren't supposed to let on that they wanted and enjoyed sex.
Slowly, I began to test out being bolder. I still feared that he would feel threatened, laugh at me or be turned off completely if I took the initiative. Instead, he not only encouraged me to let out my desire, but actively drew it out.
There were times after foreplay that we'd both be hot for it, but instead of pouncing on me he'd tempt me to play the seductress and will him further into the den of temptation. I became more sexually assertive.
Don't get me wrong - I always liked sex. I just didn't know how much I was missing by holding back. I'd heard that women hit their sexual prime in their mid-30s. This always seemed odd to me, given the hormone-induced state that caused me to give it up for the first time at 17. When you're a horny teen, you figure getting it off equals good sex.
I only started to come into my own in my mid-20s. That included mastering the language of lust. It was communication that helped me get to the next level.
So many sexual words seemed crude to me because of the derogatory way people use them. But at the same time, telling my lover that I wanted him to lick me "down there" just wasn't doing it for me. What to call my most private of parts?
"Vagina" always seemed too clinical to me. The only time a woman should use this word during sex is if she's role-playing and the good doctor is giving her a thorough examination. But the word "pussy" is a put-down, as in "don't be such a pussy." And "cunt" is a four-letter word describing someone worse than a bitch or an asshole.
But I soon realized that getting what I wanted from my partner involved being specific. For me, true sexual freedom would not be mine until I could say what I really meant and stop pussyfooting around.
I searched out other words for a woman's sweet spot, and there are a lot of them. Yet somehow I couldn't see myself saying, "Come into my garden" or "I want you to touch my sister." This left too much up for interpretation. I wanted a more direct approach.
I tested out the word "pussy," and it became a wet and wonderful part of my sexual vocabulary. It was totally different from when a stranger in a club told me he wanted to lick my pussy. Ick. Trust me, context is everything.
However, finding my sexual voice was just the tip of the iceberg. I discovered that talking dirty really turned me on. It really gets my juices flowing to tell my lover how much I love it when he strokes my hot, hungry, insatiable pussy while we're in the act.
This soon led to dirty talk even when we weren't getting it on. At a certain time of night on the phone there's only so much you can say about politics, work and family before the conversation drifts to lighter subjects like "Are you naked under your covers?"
I soon found phone sex was a great outlet that tided me over until the intimate sessions. Listening to him talk about all the nasty things he'd do to me if I were right there right now was always enough to send me over the climatic edge. It also built up the anticipation for the next time we'd meet.
This naturally led to talk of fantasies like picking up a stranger in a bar and taking him home or showing up for a job interview in a miniskirt and no panties to land the job, no matter what.
I'm not the kind of girl who'd actually do these things. However, I am the kinda woman who, after a night out with my man, takes him home, pretends we hooked up at the club and fucks him senseless all night long. I like to act out different sides of my sexual identity.
I dress up in thongs and lace panties not just for men, but because it makes me feel sexy even when no one is looking. Part of sex and sexuality is about letting it all hang out without letting your hang-ups get in the way, expressing the desire to be consumed, loved, wanted, held, touched, pleasured.
At 34, I've discovered that self-confidence is one sexy asset that looks good on any woman.
Kay Cee is a pseudonym.