She was a virgin. So was he. Spring had sent daffodils and crocuses bursting skyward with their brilliant colors celebrating yet another season of sensual delights.
Amidst the buzz and beauty of the season, what was once a very loyal friendship, seemed to be veering into the as yet uncharted territory of sexual ardor.
But again, they were virgins and really had NO idea what they might be getting into.
His passion was overwhelming him. The mere scent of her caused his brain to lose all perspective. All he could think about was how much he wanted to merge with her. Yet all his attempts to woo her, were awkward at best and mostly comical.
In fact, his intentions were so confusing, she thought her best friend was simply initiating another game. So like the good sport she was, she would do her best to dance with his advances in a playful way.
He wanted more. He didn’t know what more he wanted. He just knew he wanted more. So he pressed on.
During their “play,” he would find ways to get on top of her. That confused her further but she didn’t complain. Instead she showed off her agility by out maneuvering his advances.
Then something shifted inside of her. She felt compelled to stay still while he was on top of her. Her brain flooded with hormones and she began to feel desires she had never felt before.
His breath became deep and labored. He was moving on top of her. What was this new game, she wondered? Why did she feel so many powerful urges and sensations coursing through her?
Then it happened.
He entered her. It wasn’t shocking at first. In fact it felt good. But the longer he stayed inside of her and the further inside of her he went, the more intense her emotions became.
Suddenly she could tolerate it no longer. She abruptly and unceremoniously broke his embrace causing his member to pull out of her.
What she did next was shocking for everyone present.
She ran over to the woman she trusted most. She took the woman by her shoulders, positioned her face about three inches from the woman’s face, looked deep into her eyes and screamed.
It wasn’t an easily interpreted scream. In fact, calling it a scream might not be accurate. Let’s call it an emotional outburst that was extremely loud. It seemed to carry excitement, fear and some curiosity. And there was more. Was it that sudden insight into the sexual terrain that has made the eyes of many virgins go wide?
She seemed to say, what just happened? Why do I feel all these feelings? What does it mean? Her gaze seemed to ask the woman to answer all of this and more.
But the woman was unprepared to answer even one of those questions. She had been taught that sex for dogs is mundane and meaningless. Coming face to face with this female dog’s emotional response to her first sexual experience, was shocking for the woman. The woman was speechless.
That woman was me. And the young, virgin female was my beautiful German Shepherd Shekhina.
Shekhina was a very special being. Her coat, the color of coal, felt like silk when I ran my fingers through it. And her personality was intense. Many people were taken aback by her energetic presence. Shekhina’s gaze was powerful, as if she were looking deep into your soul.
One woman told me, “That dog has a human soul.” I knew what she meant.
Only two years old, Shekhina had grown up with my Blanco, an older but very much neutered German Shepherd. They made quite a beautiful pair. She was black as night and he was white as snow. Shekhina was not fixed, so she went into estrus a couple times a year. When she did, Blanco came alive with intense sexual desire.
The fact that he no longer had testicles didn’t seem to deter his desire one bit. But he most certainly couldn’t cause Shekhina to become pregnant. For that reason, I never attempted to stop their sex play. You could say that I let nature take its course. I prefer to think I didn’t interfere with their romance.
When the sexual bond formed between Blanco and Shekhina, things changed between them. For instance, even when she was not in heat, they hated to be separated from each other. Their reunions, even after short separations, were characterized by profuse tongue kissing.
And Blanco proved to be a very jealous lover. Shekhina was courted by a handsome dog who lived next door. Once Blanco spied Shekhina kissing the neighbor dog through our fence. I don’t know why people think dogs have short memories. They don’t.
Blanco never forgot that kiss and about six months later, we ran into Shekhina’s suitor during our afternoon walk. Blanco took after the unlucky male dog, chasing him about a half mile. They were soon out of sight so I don’t know exactly what transpired, but while I occasionally saw the dog from afar, he never returned to court Shekhina.
It would be an understatement to say that the sexual connection Blanco and Shekhina shared surprised me. I, like so many people, had heard doggie sex referred to as “mating.” But the word mating sure didn’t describe the depth of what I witnessed.
Each morning Shekhina was in heat, Blanco would awake with a high-pitched squeal for joy. Then they would both beg to be let out of our mountain cabin. Of course I assumed they wanted to go to the bathroom and run around our three acres of fenced forest. But instead, they wanted to start having sex. Immediately.
I checked on them every few hours to see if they wanted to eat or take a walk. The answer was the same every time. After a quick and very happy hello, they would resume their sex play.
Blanco never achieved full penetration because every time he came close, Shekhina would stop him. Often that meant she would literally flip around yanking his penis out of her vulva, and then swat him across his face with her front paw. Rebuffed and in pain, Blanco would stand there panting and looking deflated.
Soon Shekhina would put her vulva in his face. Blanco would try to resist her overtures, turning his head from side to side while attempting to walk away from her. But her scent would prove too tempting and soon he would start licking her vulva with enthusiasm. This was the sex that Shekhina preferred from Blanco: cunnilingus.
Eventually Blanco would mount her. Shekhina would allow him to penetrate her for a minute or two. And then the dance would repeat itself. She would pull away and then slap him, only to, a few minutes later, begin shoving her vulva in his face. He would resist but become overcome with desire and on and on over and over again for the entire day.
As a sexologist, I am quite familiar with tantra as it applies to humans. Deep breathing plays a central role. Breathing can raise kundalini creating a powerful surge in energy. It’s common for human practitioners of tantra to extoll the mastery required to sustain sexual activity without ejaculation. Some tantric masters boast of sexual engagement that lasts for hours. The musician Sting, once quipped that he was able to sustain tantric sex for up to seven hours. Since then, he has backed away from that claim, explaining that seven hours includes dinner and a movie.
But let’s go with those seven hours. Maybe someone is doing that? My idea of a meaningful merging with my beloved is 3 to 5 hours. But I am here to tell you that Blanco and Shekhina far exceeded that. Try 12 hours. And they only stopped because it got dark and I wouldn’t let them have sex in the house.
I wondered about their evident enthusiasm for sexual pleasure. Was what I was seeing actually akin to human sex? Was what they were doing more like what we humans experience than I had thought possible?
Certainly Blanco engaged in a tremendous amount of deep breathing. To my trained eyes, it looked very tantric. Given that he never ejaculated and yet they engaged this sex play for days, I began to refer to both of my German Shepherds as tantric dogs. I was watching them breathe their way to ecstasy for most of the day, taking no breaks for food or walks. I was astounded. They were ecstatic.
Shekhina lived another two years. On one of our walks through the forest, she took off through the trees despite my pleas for her to stop. Blanco and I eventually discovered her broken and bleeding body by the side of a road not far from us. She had been hit by a passing vehicle, but was still alive. I loaded her into my truck and drove the hour and half to the nearest veterinarian hospital. Blanco seemed oblivious to her peril and this was one of those moments when I was tempted to see him as “just a dog.”
When the veterinary technician came out to tell me that Shekhina had died, I was devastated. I demanded that they get back in there and save my baby. But she truly was dead and there was no saving her. Holding her lifeless body in my arms and sobbing into her fur, I wondered how I was ever going to explain her death to Blanco. I decided to rub some of her blood on my hand. Perhaps the smell of her blood would tell the story for him?
I returned to my truck where Blanco was waiting in the back. As I held up my bloody hand to his nose, I told him how sorry I was that we couldn’t save Shekhina. And then he did something utterly unexpected. Rather than continue to face me, he turned his back on me and faced the hospital door. The scream that emerged from him will forever haunt me. It was the most grief stricken sound I have ever heard.
Blanco and I shared a long journey with our grief. He refused to eat for days. He wouldn’t play with other dogs for months. I would often see him outside just staring into space. I was also inconsolable for a long time. Eventually the grief began to subside and both Blanco and I would know happiness again.
This year marks thirteen years since Shekhina died. Blanco has since passed on too. I like to think they have found each other on the other side. One thing I know for certain, both Blanco and Shekhina have a special place in my heart and always will.
Blanco and Shekhina taught me so much. From them I learned that the dogs we share our lives with, can be far more complex than we give them credit for. They have emotional lives. They feel love. And they can grieve as deeply as any human.
Many times Shekhina struggled to share something with me — something that I was too dense to understand. It often seemed to me that her biggest frustration in life was her inability to speak. To make her point, she would resort to various tactics.
For instance, sometimes while I was at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, I would turn to see her standing on her hind feet, with her front paws on the kitchen counter. Her head would be turned toward mine as her gaze drilled into my soul.
Like the day she lost her virginity, I had the distinct feeling that there was something that she wanted me to know. But what was it?
I could guess. I could speculate. I could intuit. But I was never entirely sure.
That question continues to haunt me to this day.