WARNING. This love letter, written exactly a century ago, could be considered explicit. Should that sort of thing offend you, scroll no further and move on. On the other hand, for the unoffended, this missive can be found in the book, Letters of Note: Sex.
Distinguished American painter Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz wrote more than 5,000 letters to each other during their thirty-year relationship. The love affair began in 1917, shortly after they met; Stieglitz, despite already being married, was smitten. By the 1920s they were both at the top of their professions—she as an innovative artist, he as a photographer and promoter of art, O’Keeffe’s included—and as their bond deepened, their letters intensified. This one was penned exactly 100 years ago, on 16th May 1922, two years before they married.
May 16, 1922
Dearest I love you—
I am on my back—wanting to be spread wide apart—waiting for you—to die with the sense of you—the pleasure of you—the sensuousness of you touching the sensuousness of me—All my body— all of me is waiting for you to touch the center of me with the center of you—
I got up—a moment after writing the last page—walked round the room—found the other pages of my letter to you—looked out the window—
Dearest—my body is simply crazy with wanting you—If you don’t come tomorrow—I don’t see how I can wait for you—I wonder if your body wants mine the way mine wants yours—the kisses—the hotness—the wetness—all melting together—the being held so tight that it hurts—the strangle and struggle—the release that moans and groans and the quickly drawn breath—the reaching of something in the whole body for the center of heaven—the relaxing to prolong the pleasure that goes through every inch of one’s body—one’s center touched—repeatedly with that center that goes into one’s center with such madness pushing and pounding and beating at the middle of one’s soul till it is satisfied—the ring about the opening to one’s center begins to contract and one becomes gradually a limp thing—hot—wet—relieved— satisfied—and your smooth wet little pinkness lies beside me—all in a limp dampness—both unconscious in his release—for a moment—then pale little smiles at one another—
When I feel how your touching my body—getting into my body—has given all of me to you—all of you to me as much as one human being can get into and feel another of another—I wonder if there is any difference in body—and spirit—soul and mind—aren’t they all one and the same thing—
I seem to feel my body very intensely this morning—so much so that I wonder if there is anything else to me—It’s my body that wants you and it seems to be the only thought or desire that I have—It even seems to be my only memory of you—two bodies that have fused—have touched with completeness at both ends making a complete circuit—making them one—a circle that nothing can break—You have given me—the circle of the most painfully intense pleasure—most pleasurably intense pain—The circle with two centers—each touching the other—The mathematical impossibility of the situation is probably nature’s reason for the particularly keen pleasure she affords when the mathematically impossible happens—
I must work—I’m in such a state that I could write about this all day—
Does it tell you how wildly hungry every inch of me is for you—even my toes. It’s no use to say it’s my soul crying for you—I know good and well that it is my body—my blood—my flesh—even my bones seem to cry for you—hunger for you—
I can see why she moved to New Mexico. She'd never get a thing done if she'd stayed.
Now that's a love letter, no holds barred, tell it like it is in its naked truth. Much like her painting, personal, bold and brave, and ultimately very beautiful.