I feel like I’ve written about this before but it’s a topic that comes to my mind again–whether or not sex really can be casual. I have always been notorious for falling for guys that I sleep with regardless of the quality of the sex, length of time knowing the person, and my attraction to the person. I definitely would not say I fall in love–that is reserved for special circumstances but I tend to become enamored with the person and want more than just that physical contact–I want hearts and flowers as EL James would say. I know that sex and love and relationships are all separate entities, especially for guys but am I so crazy for wanting something more than a hook up? I think my unconscious decision to want more with these men stems from some underlying sense of guilt I have for sleeping with a guy who hasn’t wined and dined me much or at all yet. It is this guilt that I am annoyed with. I shouldn’t feel ashamed of engaging in consensual safe sex but for some reason I do.
We are socially constructed when we are young women to believe that we should wait until marriage or wait until we are in love. As we grow older it is just more about waiting until he’s taken us out on a certain inconsequential number of dates. I understand waiting to get to know the person of course and almost always I do, as you never know what this person is capable of or really truly like and before you are ready to be intimate with them you must know enough about them to be comfortable with them–plus the sex is way better when you wait a bit. But, that being said, I have to defend the concept of having sex without strings attached. Sex is a release, a cathartic, exciting, amazing experience and to deny yourself that pleasure simply because you are not in a relationship and fear societal retribution should you engage in love-less, meaningless sex would be a shame.
I am fortunate enough to have grown up with a family that never raised me to think sex was bad. Sure they wanted their daughter to wait until she was in love and as old as possible but my mother always answered my questions and was a realist about teenage relationships. She’d rather give me the safe sex lecture than the no sex one, knowing it would make me less likely to get pregnant or get an STD. I also am blessed to have great friends whom I can talk to about my sex life openly with as I often have questions. My friends also ask me for advice and this permission to speak freely and honestly is helpful to all of us and critical to our lives. I may be a self-proclaimed sexpert but having not actually had a wild amount of sexual experience I still have quite a lot to learn especially as social norms and perceptions evolve.
Well, the reason why I’ve begun thinking about this causal sex conundrum again is because I think I’ve finally achieved that level. I can now have sex with a guy that I am attracted to but not desire the hearts and flowers of a relationship. Of course I really want to be in a relationship and with each passing year the biological clock I never thought I had slowly begins to tick with more tenacity. However, I have grown wise enough to realize that not every person I am attracted to and have sex with is right for me or capable of the future I need. So should I really remain abstinent in hopes of finding a man who is suitable, growing more sexually frustrated by the minute, or should I enjoy engaging in intimate relations with a man who I’m attracted to and have known for some time who is mutually looking for this non-committal hook-up with me? Is it wrong of me? Should I feel cheap and guilty?
I suppose there is no real right answer as to how I should feel and that is totally up to me and my morals and ultimately I am conflicted. The part of me that wants love and a relationship feels cheapened and guilty. I have been made to believe that I need to be wined and dined first and to give myself away for free is devaluing myself. On the other hand there is this part of me that knows I don’t want a relationship with this guy I randomly hook up with and neither does he, we just want to feel good for a little while and merely help each other do that. I saw this guy last night as we were supposed to have an actual date for once but he bailed last minute for some familial obligations. He called me after and I wound up going to his house. It was in his shower this morning that I realized, I’m ok with just casual sex with him. He would never give me hearts and flowers, he won’t even hold me after we have sex or let me wear his cloths to sleep more comfortably. He really has no idea how to treat a woman and for some reason all this doesn’t really bother me that much because I just don’t want a relationship with him. Maybe if he did all of those things I would have a different opinion but he just can’t give me what I need or want to so I resign to hooking up with him when I have needs that he can meet.
The sex is good and fun and I have grown rather comfortable with him but I also realized this week that I don’t really know him very well. I have known him for almost a year but I know nothing about him other than what he does for work, who his brother is, and his age. I don’t know about his family, his likes and dislikes, his goals…and perhaps that’s why I’m detached from him. We’ve never once had a remotely deep conversation. I don’t even know if he has goals and that’s a deal breaker for me. I am a little confused as to why he actual wanted to take me out for a drink this time and was honestly looking forward to some conversation with him–to get to know a little about him, but I guess that was never meant to be. I feel as though I should feel cheap or used or guilty for hooking up with him last night but I just don’t. Maybe it’s that I’m tired from going to bed so late or perhaps I’m just jaded from years of bad relationships and unfulfilling hookups but casual sex just doesn’t seem to bother me any more. I really just wonder, is this progress or retrogression? Is this something I should be pleased with or concerned about?