As I rapidly approach the 2 month mark of not having sex, two women who know me pretty well (my therapist and my band mate) have asked if I am seeing a new man when I tell them that I am having so much fun with my life right now.
The answer is no. I’m not sure if I should feel proud or sad when I think that people who are close to me typically only see me this happy when I’m really interested in someone. Their guesses were not off-base, given my track-record and inability to keep my heart off my sleeve.
The last time I had sex was on the 4th of July. I cried afterwards, instead of peeing like every sexually active woman knows is the smart idea. I got a UTI, and we broke up a few weeks after.
Despite this being the longest dry-spell I’ve had in a while, I’m not super ready to jump back on that particular horse.
I feel like I’m at a weird juncture in my sexual journey. A few days ago I found a Google doc from college with an inconspicuous name where I have a list of the people I have had sex with. Several of my lady friends had these where we recorded for posterity the names of our conquests (partners is too generous of a word for the way we treated the boys we slept with back then. We weren’t always the nicest to them, although whether this was because they also treated us horribly, or because we were just mean will take another 5 years of introspection to reveal).
I really wish I hadn’t started this document when I was 22, because I don’t want to know anymore. I feel a sort of Catholic/evangelical slut-shame-y way towards my own “number,” even though I would never judge a friend and would discourage someone who felt the same way. All of these were people I wanted to have sex with at the time, all were consensual and most were positive. I should probably still destroy it, in case I try to run for president (and for those who are wondering what the number is, it is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS).
A month ago, I was looking for a person the opposite of my ex to sleep with: tall, skeletal, tattooed, smoker, bearded or all of the above. But lately, I’ve been savoring celibacy. It’s not that I’m saving the first fuck for someone special or anything corny like that, but just for when the timing feels right.
And that time doesn’t feel like now. Right now, it’s enough for me to spend an hour talking to an attractive man for work. It’s enough to get a drunk affectionate text from an old friend who still wants to make out with me. It’s enough for me to stand in the dark, shoulders pressed together with a cute man, watching a show and talking shop, with no intention of making a move. Flirting via text and standing real close can’t get you pregnant or give you chlamydia. Proximity is as thrilling as promiscuity, as is the ability to go home at the end of the night, get in my own bed, kiss my cat and throw my dirty clothes on the floor, all alone.
At some point getting attention from an attractive person will not be enough, and I will be ready to start dating in earnest. And let’s be honest, I would not turn down a sexually-charged hug or the excitement of kissing someone for the first time, that feeling of the mutual acknowledgement of interest (or intoxication, even). But for now, I will gain satisfaction in luxuriating alone in a lazy Sunday, eating eggs with my roommates, drinking too much coffee, with no need to go anywhere, or even move, and trust that another person will come into the picture when it’s time.