When people say making love, it really freaks me out. It’s like the way some people feel about the word moist. It’s uncomfortable, doesn’t sit well on my tongue. And to be honest, I’m not really sure when I made this discovery.
It could have been through literature. Television. Torrid stories from my classmates, when I was still just waiting to be kissed for the first time, wondering why I cringed when the first boy I really felt warm, fuzzy, maybe-this-is-forever feelings for touched me, told me we weren’t having sex, we were making love. And I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.
I thought we were going to fuck, what’s love got to do it with it?
I guess it’s contradictory considering I’m a poet and I drown myself in metaphors. I’m a walking thesaurus for words that sound more romantic. I like serendipity, the way it almost sounds like singing in my mouth. I should melt at the words making love.
But they make me queasy instead.
I never did feel comfortable with arms holding me. Never did like Nicholas Sparks, and I used to think it was something wrong with me. That when my high school boyfriend surprised me with a fancy dinner and took me dancing under the stars as we listened to Frank Sinatra, my favorite part of that night was when we played some random video game with a title I can’t even remember anymore.
It’s this feminine stereotype. This box we place women. That we should like cuddling and expect flowers. Force-fed this knight in shining armor complex, Prince charming syndrome. But I have always been the one to save myself.
I have never been a damsel in distress. Maybe I like coming to my own rescue too much.
I have learned how to love me better than anybody else can.
So maybe I make love every time I choose to get out of bed. Every time I choose to expose bruises to the world, offer my heart as collateral. I make love when someone spits venom in my face, hands me a plate of hatred, and I give them back kindness.
I make love when I care about someone enough to dry my sweaty palms and hold their hand because I know they like it even if most of the time, I don’t.
I have no interest in calling penetration love.
Love has penetrated me enough times to know you hurt something over and over again and it will callus over. Scabs form. Skin grows. It doesn’t feel much eventually. Phantom limbs, like an appendix, why the fuck are we even born with them anymore? We do fine without them.
So please, do not whisper sweet nothings. They can be dipped in honey but they are still nothings. Like this word,love, that is losing meaning. Maybe I never found the definition with my body tangled in someone.
I will not ask you to make love to me. I will say, “Fuck me.” I will say, “Do you wanna have sex?” I will say some awkward innuendo. But if I ever tell you make love to me, you have to do it with a different body part.