Friday, July 2, 2010

Not Just A Number

I've got a slightly shocking revelation for you tonight: Barring the time in high school when we played drunken Spin the Bottle, I have only ever kissed the same men I've had sex with. This also means I have only ever fooled around with, hooked up with, and awkwardly groped in the dark while intoxicated the same men I've had sex with. While this may seem ridiculously old-fashioned, it's just what works best for me. I'm notoriously picky. (However, this does not mean that I still don't end up with men who are more likely to give me herpes than jewelry.)

A lot of my friends will say, "I really wish I haven't slept with as many people as I have," or "I really wish I could remember the name of the guy who I made out with for three hours in the bathroom at that party," and for the most part, I really don't feel like I'm missing out on those sentiments. I find it fascinating how women can always tell you the EXACT number of men they're slept with; do men keep track of it, too? Once, when asked by a friend how many people I assumed the guy I was seeing had slept with, I responded, "My guess is about 50, but let's go on the conservative side with around 30." She was shocked. I was serious. (I have no idea if men actually count like this. Could someone enlighten me?) But regardless of how other people work, I've always made my choices based on lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of thinking. Lots of time thinking about who I am and what I want and what I need. Lots of time weighing pros and cons and doing the fieldwork to see if it was worth it. And in a few cases, split-second reacting.

Once, I was seeing this guy who had had a thing for me for awhile. I wasn't sure how I felt about him, but I figured it couldn't hurt to "try him on for size" like you would a dress you liked the looks of or a pair of jeans. On paper, he was great for me so I assumed I could make it work--literally, FORCE it to work--, but in person, things were strained. He was doing his damndest, though he didn't realize, just as many don't, that I'll never do drunk what I won't do sober, and I felt like I deserved to make a good Yankee go of it (the motto of my life, it seems,) but it just wasn't...right. I ended up sleeping with someone else who I had been warned off of a million and three times while he and I were still technically dating, and it was my fling that blind-sided me. I wasn't expecting much. In fact, I wasn't expecting anything past one night that I could pretend never happened. What I planned for was bragging rights; the ability to say, "See that gorgeous man? I tapped that." What I didn't plan for was falling for the one person I never could have seen coming. I could never have foreseen what happened afterward, the abrupt flip in the compass rose of my love-life from north to south. There was absolutely no forcing of anything-- there was just raw, unavoidable, undeniable connection. It ended up being one of the most fulfilling and enlightening relationships of my life. And every time I saw the "perfect on paper" guy I passed (screwed?) over, I breathed a sigh of relief. (And um, to him, I'm sorry? But not really?)

So, this is what I have to say to you as the moral of the story: Be picky. Don't feel like just because someone is into you that you're obligated to also be into them or owe them anything. Girls seem to fall into this trap a lot, and it pains me to see it happen. Don't worry-- if there's one thing I can assure you, it's that the last time you got laid will not be the last time you ever get laid. You're still young. There's lots of guys out there. You've got years. Unless you're 82, it isn't the end. (And even if you are 82, it may not even be the end then.) Dry spells are as annoying as fuck, but they won't kill you. You can hang in there until you find someone who you're thrilled about, not someone who is thrilled to get into your pants and you're just complacent about. Sex is sex is sex, but it ain't the best unless there's something more to it.

Times like these are when I find myself doing things like trying to find my A.) feelings, B.) pride, C.) social graces, and D.) amusement at the bottom of a pint of Phish Food. I've even been steering clear of magazine racks lately just because looking at photos of couples actually gives me the blues. And it's not because I want to be in one. It's because I don't know what I actually do want. Whatever it may be, I can tell you what it isn't-- settling. I'm done settling, and I hope you are, too.


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