Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Don't Buy the Cow if You Ain't Tried the Milk

So I was having a chat with a another friend int he same boat as me: over thirty, single and giving up hope of meeting a single over-thirty guy who isn't single for a good reason.* She has found one, and of course he has his issues--wildly insecure etc, etc. They've been dating two months, and she tells me, woefully, that the sex is not...er...stellar. And you know what I thought? I though to myself, hooo boy, there's the best reason ever to not be coy and 'wait for the xth date'.

I get a lot of flak for my whole go-with-the-flow approach to sex and dating--if I had a dollar for every time someone has sternly told me 'MinCat, if you want to make this work, you have to NOT SLEEP WITH HIM. TILL THE 5TH DATE!' (Or whateverth date.) I'd have enough money to visit the Light of my Life every year. Apparently, if you sleep with a guy fast, he doesn't respect you. He is no longer interested in getting to know you. You won't have a chance to get him to emotionally bond with you before you give him what is, of course, his ultimate goal, and then he'll leave cos he has it. Or he won't value this precious gift you've given him.

No, really.
All this might hold true for when you're twenty-five, or sleeping with a twenty-five-year-old, but really, I've found they have very little bearing on things at the point I'm at.

For starters, I have, by this time, had enough sex to know I like it, it's important, and it's highly unlikely I'll be happy in a relationship that involves mediocre sex. This might have something to do with having been single so long and in the market, playing that field etc, etc, but whatever the cause, it is a fact. Yes I will dump someone if the sex is bad. So I'd much rather know right off, instead of waiting till *I* am emotionally bonded with the guy and won't be able to walk away.

Second, since sex is so much fun, if you go one one date with someone boring, you can still get away from the experience with some good sex under your belt, as it were. And, believe me, when you get to where I am, you go on a lot of first dates with boring guys. And since you don't have a nice steady partner squirelled away, it's nice to get laid once in a while.

Third, if this guy is a child enough to think that all you're good for is sex, how exactly is withholding it going to do anything more reinforce a really stupid power equation? Because yes, I do think that using sex to manipulate someone, or as a weapon, is a terrible thing. It's one thing to not be able to engage with a partner sexually because you have problems, but to actually say yes I'd like to but I won't until you do what I want is really fucked up. (har har, see what I did there?)

Fourth, sex is not some precious gift that I will only bestow on the knight who deserves it. That's rubbish. Are you telling me that women don't enjoy sex? That we only do it cos men like it and that's how we hold them in thrall? All I gotta say is, honey, if that's your life, go find some other man to sleep with--you've got a lemon. Women can, do and should enjoy sex. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being like that, and there is nothing wrong with having sex with a guy because you enjoy it and you want to, right now, even though it's only the second date.

Fifth, men are not sex-craving automatons! Plenty of men want relationships--okay, maybe not at thirty, but then those guys often want friendship with sex on the side, cuddling, dinner, etc. Men also want women in their lives they can have sex with but can also go have dinner with. It's complete bullshit to stick them in that hole where all they want is sex. Of course, there are guys who do disrespect a woman for putting out, or really do only want one thing, but look at it this way, at least you're not emotionally invested when he walks away! (See #1 above.) Would you want to be with that kind of guy in the first place? Take the sex and leave!

All this aside, I do really think that we seem obsessed with playing this dating game by some severely twisted rules. We spend hours pretending to feel what we don't, and then are upset when people don't get how we really feel. We put tons of effort into going after what we don't want, because it's not kosher to want what we want. There's so much shit going on and it simply complicates life so much that it can so easily ruin one of the best things life has to offer--sex! So, yeah, Don't tie yourself into knots about the number of hours you have spent in socially-dictated acceptable situation with someone. If you want to jump him, jump him. Just use condoms.

*Really, they all are. Some have been screwed over by some girl and can't get past it. Some have mommy issues. Some don't want commitment. Some are just strange. Some are super picky. None of these is good or bad, they just are. 

On Dan Savage this morning:
Yes, Dan, thereare still plenty of straight guys out there who are put off by women who go "too fast," and oral sex on the first date is typically perceived as too fast. It's part of a misogynist mind-set, IMHO, that says women who are too sexually assertive are not "relationship material." Or maybe it's some ancient male fear of the insatiable nympho who will drain his male power by overwhelming him sexually. Or, more generously, maybe these men think going too fast just speaks to poor judgment (although straight men rarely apply that logic to themselves). Whatever the cause, I've experienced it myself, and I found the solution to be to date more sex-positive feminist men who take responsibility for their half of the pacing. I've found that feminist men actually appreciate women who are sexually assertive, while many non-feminist men are happy to accept the attentions of sexually assertive women while at the same time harboring contempt for us.

Friday, September 14, 2012

In the Immortal Words of Mick Jagger...

For someone who has only heard about three songs by the Rolling Stones, and has always thought Mr J is repulsive rather than attractive, it is rather ironic that he has become my guru. Well, maybe not my guru so much as his song has become my mantra.

Because, you see, you CAN'T always get what you want.

So the thing is, you know how people always walk around under the belief that, while bad things happen, they don't happen to me? It may not be a conscious belief--in fact it rarely is--but on some level, while we know bad things do happen, we think we will escape, even if they happen to the ones we love the most. 'There but for the grace of God...'

A corollary of this seems to be the equally strong belief that we get what we want, as long as we are patient or proactive, depending on the school of thought. 

But very little observation will quickly reveal that neither of these is true! People often get shafted by the universe, and very many kind and deserving people just never get what they want. Sometimes you get something else and realize it is, also in the immortal words of Mr J, it's what you need. Sometimes you realize you didn't really want it after all, whether you get it or not. But enough times, you want it and you don't get it, no matter what you do. 

And yet, somehow, we seem incapable of actually accepting this fact. 

Someone has to be in that group. Maybe one of those someones is me. And before there is a chorus of of course nots, let me say that this is not an emotional melodramatic statement. It's just a statement. And just as we will never know we won't get what we want, we never know we will either. The problem only comes in when our belief is pushing us in the direction of thinking yes it will happen, because then we are always in a state of pre-excitement, which just means we get disappointed too much. And then, when we think we won't get it, we are in a state of pre-disappointment, and that's really hard to deal with too. The important thing I guess is to just accept that sometimes people just don't get what they deserve. Accepting that I think has really helped me turn the corner on the horror of the past six months. I might actually be emerging from the hole for reals this time ladies and gents--two weeks meltdown free...touch wood =)