Thoughts, stories, and ideas from a late-to-the-Internet 30-something that truly believes we’re all in this shit together.
Past 4ever Yung Entries
Being Mad Online™
A Successful Day
The Politics of Talking About Politics
The Summer of This Content
Nothing Dies/Something Mourns
Making Yourself at Home
4ever Yung by yung costanza
What to do when your romantic life is in a rebuilding year
Writing about sex, or in this case the absence of sex, is tough because it feels like a surefire way to guarantee I will never have sex again. It’s not particularly embarrassing to admit to a dry spell, but it’s difficult not to get too defensive about it. Even as I write this I feel the need to inform you I am at the very least somewhere between “pretty adequate” and “very good” at sex. But while my not-so-voluntary celibacy might indicate some kind of personal deficiency, I’m not too concerned with that. Honestly, I was enjoying having sex regularly and now that I, once again, am not, I don’t know what to make of the situation or what I should be doing about it.
The importance of having sex in your life depends largely on your appetite, but if you’ve had even a single positive sexual experience, you are likely to notice its prolonged absence. Like money, sex is only something you truly appreciate when you don’t have it. Lacking both at the moment I can say I’d happily take either right now. But who wouldn’t, right? Saying “I like sex” is like saying water (or something else) is wet.
As much as we talk about it, sex is a secret that can’t be told with just words. It requires you share a lot of your unseen self. And that’s why I think casual sex often turns into something more than casual no matter how much we try. Sharing that part of yourself, sharing your desires free of inhibitions, requires something a little bit more than attraction. It requires compatibility to some degree. It definitely requires a measure of trust.
And I think I fall into these slumps, if I may be so crass and disrespectful to sex to compare it to baseball, because it’s just not that easy to get to that point with someone. Part of it is personal effort. You ever see MTV’s Daria play volleyball? That is approximately my effort level a lot of the time. And when my effort is better than that there’s still a long way from Point A to Point Sex. I have to meet somebody, get to know her, see if there’s mutual attraction, fight off the ghosts of curves and failed relationships past, then...it’s been so long I honestly don’t even remember all the steps. And this isn’t at all a complaint about the effort involved in meeting somebody and having good sex or, if we can together suspend our disbelief in minor miracles, a good relationship. I much enjoy the process. Even a first date is a nice reminder I’m not as terrible as I sometimes believe myself to be. It’s fun getting to know somebody. And when you actually have a decent connection, the sex is usually fantastic. It’s just not a simple or quick process. And it shouldn’t be. But since I can’t be and never will be the dude who talks to someone for 20 minutes and then takes them back to my place where we get undressed under under the watchful eye of my President Obama cutout, I guess I’m just left with “Trusting the Process.” Yes I admit it, my romantic life is in a rebuilding year.
So to the original question: what do I make of my situation and what, if anything, do I do about it? A long, cold, solitary winter is not a unique condition, but clearly this is enough of a “thing” for me that I’m here writing about it. Loneliness is a factor, sure. The combination of stress and the lack of distraction unemployment brings is certainly at play as well. But more than anything else, I think sex and connection with another person serves important functions that stand apart from the other aspects of our lives. Having an intimate connection with another person is a relief. When other parts of your life aren’t working, when you’re stressed, when you feel like you’re losing and everything is going wrong, you at least have this really special and important thing with someone that’s going right. And while this is not all about sex, maybe not even mostly, sex is an important part of the equation. It means that, at least in some way, you trust somebody and they trust you back. And whether temporarily or for longer, that’s an important and reassuring exchange.
But thankfully, sex isn’t everything (I say dejectedly, to myself, to my penis). Time spent not having sex has been spent interviewing for jobs with more and more grim desperation, learning how to DJ, writing more regularly, and making just enough money doing some of these things to keep the wi-fi on. All isn’t lost! And I’m still in these streets, but sex is not the only thing I’m on this earth to do. In both my personal and professional life, finding out what I am on this earth to do is extremely important to me right now. So I try to keep perspective. I concede sex would still be nice.
And while I write this about myself, maybe you can relate. If you can’t, keep fucking my pal, I’m happy for you. But if you do relate, and you’re taking these physically and emotionally lean times personally, I’ll try to leave you with hopeful message: anything worth doing isn’t easy. Putting yourself out there is worth doing. Taking a chance on other people is worth doing. Pursuing good, fulfilling sexual relationships is worth doing. And while it can feel like there’s something wrong with you, with the people around you, or with your circumstances, keep working on being your best self and trust in yourself. You owe yourself your own support. You’re worthy of your own support.
And who knows? Maybe we’ll all be fucking again soon.