July 30, 2010 2 Comments
Last year a fella I don’t speak to anymore accused me, rather zealously, of being a sex addict (amazingly, that is not why we stopped speaking). So far my life doesn’t look like anything that would show up on an episode of Intervention, so I begged to differ. I haven’t yet bankrupted myself or put myself in physical danger to have sex, so I think I’m doing alright. But an accusation like that, if you’re me, makes you think. That’s, in part, because I always take the opinions of others too seriously (don’t all bloggers?). I had to admit though, that the other part of the reason his accusation rankled so much was because I was feeling a certain level of conflict around the sex I was having already. When I had a good long think about it, I decided to take a break from sex, just to see if I could, because I did feel like the sex I was having had an edge of compulsion about it. I made a deal with myself that I could have sex again whenever I wanted to, but it had to be due to actual horniness and not because of anger, boredom or loneliness.
The break I took wasn’t terribly difficult after the initial terror of having to be celibate; I haven’t gone more than about a month without sex since I became sexually active seven years ago, so the whole idea of going without was kinda scary. After that initial period of time, I realized that I was never that horny (likely because I’m on the pill). In fact, I concluded that the lion’s share of the sex I’ve had in the past four years or so has probably been entirely about anger, boredom or loneliness. I don’t drink a lot because I can’t handle it, I didn’t touch weed until the ripe old age of 30 and I go without it for pretty long periods of time. Sex and food are my drugs of choice. The forty pounds I’ve put in the past four years is a pretty good indicator of my compulsion around food. And the sex, well that’s what this post is all about.
When I splashed onto the casual sex scene seven years ago it was probably not ideal timing. I had just left church, faith, flock and the first man I’d really felt anything for had just dumped me. I was on the verge of clinical depression for about two or three months. I basically had sex to fuck all the pain away. Even though I was pretty crazy for a while, the casual sex I was having was just that—entirely casual. I wasn’t emotionally invested in anyone and pretty quickly I settled into trying to find a boyfriend. But that didn’t work out so well (two boyfriends pulled disappearing acts rather than actually breaking up), and all those MSN chat rooms and sites like Adult Friend Finder were still bookmarked on my computer waiting for me. So I jumped back into the ring. After three years of this, give or take, a pattern developed. I’d try to date for a while and that wouldn’t work out and I’d just go back to having sex. Sex became my consolation prize for the relationship I couldn’t seem to make happen.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t made some valiant efforts at dating. People who can’t understand why I’m not in a relationship assume that I put more energy into fucking than I do dating. Not so much. When a fuck buddy is working well, it’s no work at all for me. Dating is like being in a chain gang in comparison. I’ve tried every site you’ve tried: Plenty of Fish, Lava Life, Yahoo Personals back in the day, CraigsList (where I tend to have the most success—it draws out the literate in the pack) and a bevy of others you’ve never heard of. I even swallowed the vomit in my mouth over their advertising and tried eHarmony. I’ve paid super big bucks and used LifeMates (avoid if you are not Caucasian). I bought the popular book (at the time) The Surrendered Single and spent weeks walking around smiling at random men and handing out my number. It never got me a date—just a lot of awkward moments with guys who were utterly disinterested. At one point I was on three different dating sites and on a date every weekend. I had a plan to go on a date every week for an entire year. You get the point. I have made a great deal of effort to date. And for whatever reason I have been thwarted. I’m sure the problem lies with me blah, blah, blah, but for the moment I have no idea what makes the opposite sex entirely immune to me.
I’m kinda done with being single and as my friends get married and have babies and generally set up their nuclear families, it gets harder and harder to ignore how much I want to have a partner. I think that has a lot to do with why my sexual relationships have become more intense (for me) over the past few years. The consolation prize has to get better and better to stand in for what I actually want. Unfortunately, it seems to become self-perpetuating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to date, but I think my efforts have become less and less hopeful. And it gets increasingly easier to just go back to having sex so that I don’t feel lonely.
This doesn’t even take into account the biological clock ticking loudly in my ear. Lately, I’m finding babies a whole hell of a lot cuter than I’ve found them in past. I get that babies grow up into annoying teenagers and then angsty bank-account-destroying university students, but it doesn’t make the desire to see what a mini-me would look like any less compelling. I’ve got six, maybe eight years until I stop having the choice to have kids of my own without it meaning a lot of risks I don’t want to ponder. That’s not really a lot of time when there’s no relationship on the horizon. I don’t know for sure that I want children—I just know that I want the choice and I don’t want to have to make that choice ten minutes into a long term relationship.
A while ago I decided I’d have to stop having fuck buddies if I was ever going to deal with my issues around loneliness and stop being compulsive about sex. So, in anticipation of cutting off my present fuck buddy, I got a cat—which was an utter disaster. She was an adorable kitty but Viv and I had to part ways within two weeks because I’ve come to enjoy sleeping in my 34 years and she wasn’t really into allowing that. I also realized that no cat was going to make me feel less lonely—no cat is that damn powerful. Instead, she became yet another obligation and I managed to start resenting her within a week. Back to the Humane Society she went and I had just rented a cat for two weeks to the tune of about $350.00. Lesson learned.
This particular downside of casual sex is far more specific to me than the problems I brought up in my last post. However, I can imagine that there are some women for whom sex is their drug of choice, whatever it is that they’re avoiding feeling. If you’re one of those women, hopefully my admission of guilt makes you feel like you can fess up—at least to yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it, but awareness is always better than a lack thereof. Admittedly, awareness of an issue over a long period of time can only turn out two ways though—you deal or you go back to being unaware.
At the moment I don’t even know what this new found awareness means for me. So far all I’ve figured out is that I have to get rid of my present fuck buddy. Unless of course, he pledges undying love. But given my track record, the odds are kinda stacked against me. And on that depressing note, ‘till next time.