It was a normal weekend, or so I thought: I watered the rhododendrons, phoned Karen about our brunch plans, broke in my new hair chopsticks, and caught up on House Hunters International. I was oblivious to what was awaiting me in the sensuous shadows.
And then, out of the blue, I got an email from my college friend Dana about D’Angelo’s new album Black Messiah. My jaw dropped, my cheeks flushed, and my thighs relaxed. I hadn’t felt this way since his 2000 release Voodoo. Why? Because it was the last time I’d had an orgasm.
I remember that cold February morning when I first heard Voodoo. It was his sophomore release, and I was a sophomore in college, releasing orgasms all over my dorm room bed. The gospel harmonies and smooth vocals coaxed pelvic explosions out of me that I hadn’t felt since 1995’s Brown Sugar. Sure, this second record only got three stars from Rolling Stone, but it got five stars from my vulva. What can I say? Something about hearing D’Angelo’s music for the first time makes me come.
In the intervening years, I was barren of orgasms. I got close when it seemed like Ne-Yo was going to be “a thing,” but it was all butterfly flutters, and zero crushing waves of pleasure. I lived a sad, dry, buttoned-up life for 15 long years. The future seemed bleak.
But as soon as I hit play on Black Messiah, I knew exactly what was to come: me, alone in my bathroom, several times.
From the first sweet note of “Ain’t That Easy,” my body began to feel rapturous pleasure I haven’t felt since the first time I heard “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”. The raw power of D’Angelo’s voice carried me through painful memories of Frank leaving me for the Walgreens Photo woman, my cat Milo’s passing, and the large amount of money I’ve wasted on “healing rocks” in the new millennium.
By the time “Sugah Daddy” came on, I was already deeply nestled in the couch; socks off, sipping on a sensual goblet of Merlot. I finally felt sexy again, remembering how free I felt in college, the music festivals, the reefer, and the laissez-faire attitude toward sex. The past 15 years were nothing but disappointment: Plenty of Fish proved to be a wasteland of John Lennon-worshipping, inattentive lovers. Greg from work was always down, but he just couldn’t pleasure me. Nobody could. Nobody but one man and his magical music of sexual awakening.
When “Prayer” came on, I was full-on laying on the ground, my hair a mess of curls, a strong surge of moon-powered womanhood coursing through my veins. After realizing I had waited 15 years for this long-awaited album, I quietly whispered to myself, “It was all worth it.” I said a tiny prayer to D’Angelo for lifting my inhibitions and reviving my long-gone sex drive.
“I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!” I yelled. I quickly released a laugh coming from deep within me; I felt young, fertile. Fucking anything was possible. By the time his last track, “Another Life” started, I thought, “You’re right, D’Angelo, this really IS another life.”
Thank you D’Angelo, for releasing your album, and my orgasm. Thank you.