I have always enjoyed sex. That may not be a shocking admission in 1974. Even in this age, however, many would find it startling to hear it from a woman of my years. Yet, for a woman born when Victoria reigned to say how much she relishes sex, and to speak it out loud with neither blushes nor shame? That is shocking. Or it would be were any of my more strait-laced relatives or contemporaries still alive to be shocked.
Women of my generation were expected to squeeze our eyes shut, do our duty to Queen and country and produce an heir and a spare. We were expected to tolerate sex as necessary to the perpetuation of our lineage and to the survival of the Empire. We were not expected to savor it. We were absolutely not expected to seek it out — within a marriage or, worse, outside of it.
Sexual mores loosened up after the First War, of course, but I had not waited. I was nearing my forties by then and was already in possession of a past that no amount of smelling salts could have successfully revived Grandmama had she learned about it. I had a body, albeit an unshapely one, and I saw no reason why I should not extract from it as much pleasure as it could offer me. Nor did I see any reason to limit myself to men of my own class…or to men at all, come to think of it.
Although I choose to name no names here, it is not out of any sense of modesty or to protect my reputation or that of anyone else. Why should I do either when I have had no hesitation, in casual conversation, to name certain names in the past? But setting those names in ink on a page is a different matter altogether. When I list past paramours to a current lover, I have made the choice as to what is told to whom. Fortunately, my lovers have been gentlemen or gentlewomen enough to limit their gossip. Yet, despite the fact that these pages are not being written to be read, I cannot control who might ultimately view them. So I shall choose an uncharacteristic discretion.
And orgasms? If a woman of my era admitted to having had one, if she were shameless enough to utter the word, that woman was viewed as little better than the most common of prostitutes. How ironic that Victoria should today be seen as the primmest, most prudish and most humorless of monarchs...of women. I do not believe it. Not for an instant. Any woman who bore as many children as Victoria did clearly loved snogging, even as she was said to hate pregnancy. Had she so desired, she could have barred Albert from her bed once she had produced a male heir, which she did with her second child. She was Queen, after all. Instead, she chose to keep the royal bed bouncing and went on to produce an unwieldy total of nine offspring. I am willing to wager that Victoria was not the sort to “shut her eyes and think of England.” I am willing to wager that she enjoyed her monarchical romps. I am willing to wager that whether or not she ever spoke the word, she, too, enjoyed her orgasms.
I have manifestly enjoyed mine through seventy years and a good score or more of able partners. Had Jeremy been unable to match if not surpass the prowess of his predecessors, I could not have married him, regardless of his other attributes, however admirable. For a man with so little experience of women before me, Jeremy is surprisingly adept and pleasingly passionate. Frankly, if I didn’t fear that it would give him a heart attack, I would choose to die in bed with him, in mid-orgasm. I cannot imagine a more satisfying end. Can you?
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish