I had a writer's block for over 40 years.
As a child and into my early teens I wrote poems and stories and little plays. They weren't great, but they were better I suppose than what most kids were churning out. My mother was accused of writing the poems for me.
Then adolescence settled in and the writing stopped cold. Oh, I could write parodies of songs ("I've got the Danish Blues, Gorgonzola on my mind..."), along with heated letters and e-mails to people who had done me wrong. But no more poetry.
It bothered me that I couldn't write. I felt as if something had been stolen from me. I added it to other evidence that I hadn't "fulfilled my potential."
Perpetual perimenopause eventually changed all that. Oh, it took over a decade of assorted strange symptoms, massive rages, fears of a heart attack, and losing access to most of my vocabulary. And for better or worse, I was one of that small percentage of women who, rather than losing their sex drive, become an overflowing cauldron of boiling, insatiable desire. I'd drool over the young male asses striding ahead of me and, like Dr. Strangelove, fight to maintain control of my hand, which wanted to slide up and down the beckoning crack between their cheeks. I couldn't keep my eye off crotches. I'd stare at women's breasts on the Metro. I really have a thing for breasts so can appreciate the philosopher's fixation on my nipples. (I lucked out and got my mother's protruding nipples. My sister will never forgive me.)
Skip ahead a decade or so, out of the miserable second marriage, past a bizarre hurtful relationship of sorts where the sex was great but the guy had even more issues than my cat Marko, past falling in love with that guy's supposedly ex-girlfriend and a brief attempt at trying to keep the balls of all three relationships in the air. By Spring of 2006 there was no one and I was dangerously horny and beyond blocking out my fantasies of being tied down and whipped, fantasies that dated back to maybe my pre-teen years when, life-long masturbator that I was, I had no idea of what I was really after when I imagined being chased through the woods and tied to a tree.
With a mixture of shame and excitement, I started poking around craigslist, where again and again I was drawn to posts about spanking. There really isn't much creativity in most of those posts, but to me it was brand new and made me crazy. I wrote back to one or two guys, but couldn't get what I was after.
That fall I came across a post that offered a very nice bit of erotic writing and invited other contributions in return. I thought "gee, I should be able to do that" and sitting there in my office tried to force something out. Nothing.
Suddenly, like a devoured box of erotic prunes, a flood of hormones replaced every drop of blood in my body. I was possessed with desire. I could barely keep from locking the door, laying down on the industrial carpet, and insinuating my hand down my slacks and into my soggy utilitarian cotton underpants.
Instead, I wrote. Or rather, a poem emerged, bursting forth fully-formed from my ensorcelled brain. Except for the fact that I wasn't actually wearing a skirt and didn't paw my breasts, it is a factual representation of what happened.
And that was it. The dam had crumbled.
I did write a few more poems that fall, enough to know that whatever had been holding me back was now gone. When I came to think about it, I wasn't really surprised. Perimenopause is adolescence in reverse, with the same unpredictable storms of unchained and confused hormones, and, for me at least, the same gripping fits of fury that, with sympathy for my parents, I recognized from my teen years.
Thus ended my writer's block. But the floodgates didn't really open until the philosopher came into my life and changed everything.