Submitted by megan on Wed, 07/05/2006 - 17:19
One thing I am learning from being single is patience.
A little context. I believe, along with the authors of The Ethical Slut, that by and large North Americans (I don’t know enough about other cultures to judge) tend to operate in a starvation economy with regards to love. And I’m including sex in there. So if we find love, we hold on to it tightly and sometimes fearfully, thinking that if we ever let go, or if we ever try to share it, our love will disappear and we’ll never find it again because there is not enough of it in this world to go around. Or if we do find it again, it won’t be for a long long time. Of course there are people who work completely outside that framework, as well as people for whom the system works just fine. I think the starvation economy still works as a general assumption, however.
And it's not an insane assumption, I don’t think, considering the time constraints that everyone I know is under. There just isn’t all the time in the world, and time is an adjunct to love in many ways. As I get older, too, I find myself not clicking with nearly as many people. More set in my ways, more in tune with what I like and don’t, less tolerant of bullshit, more realistic and less prone to idealize bad behaviour away, more demanding in what I want from a lover, from sex itself. If there isn’t that sub-physical connection with someone, if it’s just two bodies rubbing together, it’s damn near not worth the effort. Those lovers are not going to make me feel blurry and deliciously, physically and psychically exhausted when we’re done. That’s what I want from sex.
The starvation economy framework is also not an insane assumption on a personal level. The last time I got out of a serious long-term relationship, I was celibate for a year. Not by conscious choice, either, though I certainly needed the space to recover, and so perhaps subconsciously pushed my life that way. I certainly didn’t experience it as a conscious choice at the time.
I like to believe that we don’t have to live as if there isn’t enough love to go around. I like to believe that’s wrong, even if it’s not crazy. I like to believe that love multiplies and feeds on itself. The more you love, the more love comes back to you. The more you open your grasp, the more likely someone is to just lie steady in your palm. This is also not an insane assumption, based on my own experience.
All very well and good to think that the more you love, blah blah blah. That doesn’t change the fact I’m not getting laid. And no one is beating down my door to fuck me, that's for sure.
The realization a couple weeks ago that I may have to go for a long time before I have really good, really connected sex again made me feel clawing choking desperate. Like I had to immediately search and snuffle around for the barest of flirtations to scheme on and dig my fingers into and push and grasp at. Who could I line up, who might want to get me naked? Ugh. It was an awful, fixated feeling, and I felt pricked by it from every direction.
I’ve come out of the worst of it now, breathing through the panic each time my brain says “No one will ever want to fuck you again.” A silly thought, but still a thought. I breathe breathe breathe and think, “Meh, what happens, happens. It’ll be okay.” Patience will give me time to listen to my gut, to get to know people, to judge how they’ll treat me before I weave my life (or my legs) all through theirs.
What I decided just last night is that this time ‘round, conscious celibacy is a good choice. It removes the suffocation of feeling like no sex = no air. Makes the absence my choice instead of my failing.
And so, tonight I will go home and wear my “I am sexy just for me” t-shirt around the house, try my hand at solitaire, and fuck everyone else. Or not.