The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you,
Not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.
Having dated women from all kinds of cultures and of all kinds of colours, I’d say I have a fairly decent grasp of the female psyche.
But really, what was God(dess) thinking when (s)he created Spanish women?
They are a kind of bewitching and bewildering amalgam of Jessica Rabbit and Pocahontas. Yet far from being cartoon characters they seem to make every kernel of reality expand and pop with bittersweet intensity.
Having lived in Spain for six years, I came first to respect, then revile, and finally to revere what is known as Latin blood. The character of Carmen in the opera of the same name epitomises the archetypal hot-blooded Spanish femme fatale. Carmen famously sings to her captivated suitors, “Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame.”
Whether bird or angel or falling star, is it truly for us to try to tame the insurgency of love? Is it not better to surrender and be tamed by love?
An untamed Spanish woman is unquestionably moreish (and questionably Moorish)—so delicious and devilish that it is all too easy to eat yourself to death.
Then, who knows where you could end up: it could be heaven, in the realm of the goddess Venus who created Latinas in her own image; or maybe hell, with the god of broken hearts, keeping misery company.
Whenever my Spanish girlfriend would give her tempestuous temperament free rein she would look contemptuously down at my feet, as if I had stood in something foul smelling, then flick her eyes up to mine, toss her dark mane of hair and simply declare in her molasses monotone, “I’m Spanish baby.”
That simple sentence, spoken like a paean, became her standard reason for the unreasonable, her stock excuse for the inexcusable, and her defiant slogan of suffrage.
Smarter than your average bear, blessed with a voluptuous figure she referred to as “La guitarra de España,” (the Spanish guitar) and with a wicked sense of humour, from the moment she became aware of her gravitational pull on men she became a kind of subspecies of leopardess—an irresistible and insatiable man-eater.
Her father, a retired señor, was beginning to doubt and despair that any man could handle his ravenous and equally ravishing daughter. In fact, her father’s doubt became her badge of honour. On occasion, she would declare with her trademark withering look, “No one man can handle me!”
This declaration of independence was always followed by a hot-headed tossing of her dark locks and occasionally a flamenco inspired foot stamp. So for this reason, and others no doubt, she had been enthusiastically polyamorous since her sexual awakening in her mid-teens.
But at 32, and wanting to start a conventional family, she realised her continued free-loving lifestyle was limiting her chances. So, she reasoned, why not take a chance on monogamy? But the real question was, could a leopardess, with a compulsive taste for the chase, change her spots?
So that’s when I entered her life, let’s call her Sophia to save blushes, libels, and lawsuits. Joking aside, she’s read this article and given her generous seal of approval. Still a cool cat.
Being an old-school kind of English guy, and an equally old-school Tantrika, 12 years her senior, for our first date I invited Sophia to breakfast with me.
We met at a rustic café with tables shaded from the Spanish sun by orange trees. I hoped the romantic setting would encourage a second date for lunch, a third for dinner, and finally a fourth where we would fall, like stuffed Romans, into bed with an equally chubby Cupid.
But Sophia had other ideas. After breakfast and a Spanish kiss, (much the same as a French kiss but with extra chillies) I said, “That was really nice. You want to have lunch here next week?”
Sophia looked confused, possibly insulted, I couldn’t quite tell. “No!” she replied, “I’ve never had a black boy before, what I want is you.” (More hot chillies.) I hadn’t been called a black boy for 20 years—I kinda liked it. Thank God political correctness has yet to reach Balearic Spain.
So we drove the 15 minutes to her little white-walled house in el campo, (the countryside) and, as the cheesy novels say in 50 shades of gratuitous grey, we made mad, passionate love.
After, lying in her bed in a delicate delirium, she declared in her soulful Spanish accent (an accent that could strip the clothes off a mannequin), “Papi, now we can have lunch.”
And so it went on, week after week, month after month: sex and food, sex and the beach, sex and blissful sleep. Her invitation to satisfy her insatiable appetites became a long running and rewarding joke, “So, Papi, let’s play Spanish guitar.” My very own J-Lo, booty and all, and far more than a booty call.
When I first met Sophia she was midway through attending a Tantra course, partly in an effort to focus her fiery sense of self, and partly to contain her Vesuvian sexual energy.
One evening, excited to try out a new technique she’d learned in Tantra class, she rushed home, and without even a hola she declared, “We have to try something new. Take off your clothes!” The volcano was smouldering, the ground was trembling beneath my feet; I recognised her simmering symptoms.
My Tantra training, many years earlier, was somewhat different.
I had been taught that seduction began with a simple kindness, a kindness that is cultivated, endures, and never ends.
I had also been taught that female sexual energy was like a tortoise and male sexual energy was like a hare. I had been taught to patiently train the haring hare to walk instead of run, to take in the view, to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, and allow the tortoise to come first, (and second and third) and only then to allow the hare’s sprinter’s instinct loose with a burst of athletic sexual energy.
So with that in mind, as Sophia warmed olive oil with a sprig of wild rosemary on the stove, I lit some candles, put on the mantra music she liked, drew the curtains, and picked flowers from the scented garden in the Mediterranean twilight.
When I came back with my little bouquet, Sophia was posing casually, naturally, and naked—something like a Gauguin painting. She took my handful of flowers and scattered the purple petals on a white cotton beach blanket she had laid out on the floor.
Undressing me she pulled me down onto the pillows and purple petals. She picked up a glass apothecary bottle, shaped like a small wine decanter but filled with warm, rosemary-scented olive oil, and for 10 heavenly minutes she massaged my entire body, with what felt like syrup and sunshine.
Then we traded places, and I was equally happy to indulge one of my favourite fantasies, exploring her dune-like curves with hands and eyes and lips.
But before too long, and interrupting my indulgence, Mount Sophia erupted, “I can’t wait any longer, I want you inside me!” This was more a reflection of her pent up impatience than it was of my sensual massage skills.
With us both covered in warm olive oil and blotted bougainvillea petals, we slipped under, over, and into each other like mating seals—no doubt with the same excruciating coital noises to match.
With so much oil on my hands I kept losing my grip on her humpbacked hips, and each time we attempted to move to a new position our fingers slipped through each other, like squirming squid. In our struggles we had somehow metamorphosed into an eight-limbed, writhing thing, a flailing kraken of seafaring myth and nautical nightmares.
Meanwhile, inside her, I was so well-greased that my member felt almost dismembered—I could barely feel a thing. I may as well have been wearing a snakeskin condom.
Finally (finally!) we finished our dreadful duet of love and lay side by side in a sweaty, oily mire, panting for breath. A minute passed in silent wonder as we processed our bizarre performance, and at last Sophia enquired wickedly, “How was it for you, Papi?”
“Awful,” I replied without hesitation. “Let’s not do that again.”
“No,” she agreed, “I have something with butter I want to try next time.” And with that we both laughed until tears rolled from our eyes.
And so it went on, week after week, month after month: sex on a deserted beach, sex in the crystalline sea, sex in the ancient shade of an olive tree, a exhilarating odyssey of Tantric trials and tribulations.
Sophia’s younger Tantric desires drove her to a kind of coital Olympic games, compelling her to try out the A-Z of sexual positions: The Lotus, The Broken Flute, The Queen of Heaven, and regularly, seductively, attempting to stick a buttered finger up my arse, because apparently there was an erogenous zone there that would change my life forever. Butter or no butter, love goddess or not, I had no interest in anything going where the sun don’t shine.
Meanwhile, my more traditional Tantric passions guided me more toward deeper emotional intimacy through the everyday acts of love that make the act of lovemaking a bridge between the earthly mundane and the ecstatic spirit. Each ordinary action was elevated to magic by the motivation of selflessness, so that every dress washed, every meal cooked, and every tree cut for firewood became a dedication to love, a common-law consecration of the sacred masculine and feminine.
For two years, we danced ecstatically between our two worlds—the younger and the older, the physical and the spiritual, Mars and Venus—but the cosmic commute that first challenged and inspired us eventually tired us, and we fell, fearfully, out of each other’s orbits.
Occasionally, I still look up at the night sky and see her bright world and wonder if she at that moment is looking back at mine. What keeps me from leaping up into the heavens and taking flight is the hard-gained knowledge that even angels can become intoxicated by love, and in that sublime delirium do grave damage to the very things they adore.
So now, when I’m stargazing and marvelling at the sulfuric beauty of Venus, I consciously keep my feet firmly on the ground, rather than succumbing to the seductions of the Queen of Heaven—knowing that sometimes the healthiest love is to love from afar.
Author: Arun-Eden Lewis
Image: Caique Silva/Unsplash
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Copy/Social Editor: Nicole Cameron