I met the fabulous guy I’m currently dating at a party. My third party of this particular (Thursday) night, actually. Pizza and beer with the girls in the Village, followed by karaoke in Koreatown, all to prepare for a work party I wasn’t too excited about. The work party ended up being wilder than expected, and, to my surprise, I discovered a cute co-worker I had never noticed before. He was hanging out near the dance floor, and, as the 90s rap mix blasted, I realized this white boy from Wisconsin was rapping along to every word. And not just the overplayed top 40 hits. Wu Tang. Method Man. I was smitten.
So we started to chat, and spent the rest of the night joking, dancing, and eventually making out. I took him home with me, and here’s the part I’ll never tell my mother: I slept with him. Then, I let him sleep over. He found me on Facebook on Friday, and asked me out on Saturday. Several months later, we’re planning our first vacation, and have yet to hit any major obstacles.
The part that would really kill my mom is that all my relationships have started this way. Well, sometimes I meet the individual in question more than three hours before sleeping with them. And I’m not always three screwdrivers in when I meet them. That said, I’ve never hesitated to hook up with someone I was into, and it’s always worked out surprisingly well, despite the fact that everything we’ve ever been told emphatically assures us that happy endings never follow from, well, happy endings.
Here’s my two cents.
Have you played The Numbers Game? That’s when your significant other (SO) asks you how many people you’ve slept with. It is a dangerous game.
But even more dangerous than the game itself is the advice sex expert Tracey Cox offers women on the subject:
Keep your mouth zipped even if nothing else has been: by putting a number on your sexual history you’re removing the emotion and the circumstances.
And don’t kid yourself: if you do blurt out a figure to your boyfriend, you will be judged – and not necessarily by the same rules he judges himself on.
Even if he’s slept with 300, your three will be two too many.
I think it’s dangerous advice for two main reasons: 1. it wanders into slut-shaming territory and 2. it promotes lying to your partner. Let’s take a look at the first point.
Dear Beloved dah Readers,
I was thrilled to contribute a short story of erotica to Vixely’s latest iBook. Download your copy here and enjoy the free excerpt below. I drew my inspiration from a sexy, grimy, skinny hipster DJ I once met on a hot night in Brooklyn. Bon voyage…
In the hot end-days of summer, I went to a friend’s barbecue in Cobble Hill. She lived two blocks off the beaten Smith Street track of punk-chic clothing boutiques, trendy taco joints and charming old-school edifices, like the semi-dilapidated cinema I cried in once while watching UP.
I was feeling over life, and over myself. I’d been working late every night, attempting to set a new standard of diligence that would maybe inspire my boss to maybe fight for the raise I definitely, desperately needed. I wasn’t sleeping well, and I couldn’t drag myself to the gym. Ever.
This exhaustion and malaise was all my fault, but I couldn’t see any way out of it. It was only getting worse. I couldn’t stand in line at Starbucks without gripping my fists, almost losing my shit at every person standing between me and my morning latte. I needed a change of pace.
So, I had hauled myself out of bed on that Sunday afternoon. As I walked over to the barbecue, I cursed the missed opportunity to toss, turn and try to sleep the day away, but I was also pleased with myself for going out in sunlight. I was ready for any distraction from my day-to-day.
The grass in my friend’s backyard was tall and dry, itchy on my legs as I stood among her two dozen friends. Flies buzzed everywhere, but it was too humid to swat at them, except when they settled en masse on the picnic table of food. Still, the urban grassland ambiance beat the gray refrigerated cubicle where I spent most of my waking hours. I felt warm, slick with sweat, and it enlivened me a little. My sense of crushing lethargy was lifting.
I heard him before I saw him, focused as I was on downing scoopfuls of guacamole.
He was spouting commentary on Marx: “Communism has never truly failed, because it was never truly tried.”
I glanced sidelong his direction.
There is a show on Lifetime called Preachers’ Daughters in which three seemingly average teenage girls are spotlighted specifically regarding their family’s relationships to sexual relations. I admittedly have not seen the show, I have just read this article about the three featured girls, but I have some things to say.
I hate to cuddle. In relationships I’m a hugger not a cuddler. Is that weird? Do I get my lady card revoked? What’s the obsession with cuddling, anyway? Who placed such a high premium on being interlocked with someone else for such a long time?
I’d like to find the first person who was like “Hey, let’s just lay here and hold each other,” yank them aside by the ear and tell them they’ve ruined everything for people like me, who place an importance on personal space.
Cuddling is awful. Unless we’re about to freeze to death or tandem sky-diving I don’t want to be attached to someone else for longer than 60 seconds, tops.
The weekend after my 19th birthday the guy I had been consistently hooking up with for about eight months asked me to spend the weekend at his house because his parents were out of town. So I did. It lasted one night. In the early morning hours of Saturday morning I got dressed and left quietly. I called my mom crying. I felt like I had somehow failed as a person because I just wanted to go sleep in my own bed, in my own space.
The guy was furious and ranted about how my stealth departure made him feel rejected. I tried to explain that I just like my own space but he wasn’t buying it, and for a while, I didn’t believe myself either.
Following up from our last discussion on intimacy disorders with renowned expert Robert Weiss, we ask about the forces potentially impacting intimacy disorders today, including technology and a prevalent “hook-up culture” among Gen Y women and men. It has been argued that today’s hook-up culture may actually be good for women as an extension of our greater rights and freedoms, but that with it comes the complications of living in a “post-dating world,” as well as the frustration from encountering lingering social stigmas against women enjoying nontraditional romantic relationships. As Robert explains, technology has lifted many of the barriers to intimacy disorders, particularly for men, and that women are increasingly able to compartmentalize or forestall their intimate needs while they focus on other aspects of their life.
Dating & Hookup: What has contributed to the greater prevalence of intimacy disorders in our society today?
Robert Weiss (RW): Pathology is not arrived at because something is available. Just because alcohol is available doesn’t mean everyone will become an alcoholic. I have people who worry that the availability of porn from a young age will make men dysfunctional, and that the ready accessibility of casual relationships is going to turn us into a society of sex addicts. That’s not the case.
Have you ever woken up the morning after a one-night stand and wondered, “What was I thinking?!”
I certainly did in my younger days. Today, I have the wisdom of some twenty years in my back pocket. With that, here’s the very best advice I have — and some of my colleagues have shared — on how to make those one-night stands work for you.
First, know that one-night stands are a common part of early adulthood. They’re a great way to let off a little steam, hook up with a hot guy, and expand your sexual repertoire. But they can also be land mines for low self-esteem, shame and judgment.
The way to avoid any negative ramifications from casual hook-ups is to be clear about what you want and why before you engage with someone. Here are 6 things you can do (or not do) to make a fling fun rather than awful.
Part two of our discussions with renowned expert Robert Weiss on intimacy disorders and their prevalence today particularly among women. We’ve asked him what can women do to help prevent them from suffering from intimacy disorders and how they can foster healthy relationships?
RW: 1. Maintain close relationships with female friends. Women need to make it a priority to develop and maintain their close relationships with their female friends. I see women (and men, but especially women) do best when they have close social and intimate relationships with friends or “sisters,” if you will, who know them well, and who help them make decisions. It’s the women who see other women as competition or who treat their female friends as a means to an end that I worry about. Healthy women have deep and enduring relationships with other women. In fact, a big part of treatment for women is getting them to bond with other women, and to use that as a primary (and healthy) way of getting their emotional needs met. Think about Sex and the City; one of the reasons we loved that show was the women relied on each other, becoming a type of family that involved women being very close and sharing everything. Those are the relationships that keep women sane. It also reduces longing if women are single, and it makes them more willing to tolerate turning down the wrong guy because they don’t feel so alone.
My clients want to have relationships, but they also want to be 100% certain that they won’t get hurt. For emotional self-protection, they tend to seek situations that offer controllable intimacy, which is an oxymoron. Emotional intensity, over which you can feel some control, is not the same as genuine closeness. Being vulnerable enough to allow yourself to be fully known creates the potential for true intimacy. But this also comes with some risk. People who use sex and romantic intensity as substitutes for intimacy often find themselves feeling more empty and unfulfilled with each new relationship or sexual partner. The people I treat are highly vulnerable to rejection and perceived abandonment and are therefore afraid of not having emotional control over an intimate partner. Sadly, they fear the very emotional risks required to deeply and intimately bond, and will settle for short term, intensity-based experiences, which often leave them feeling more alone then when they started.
Meet Robert Weiss, one of the leading experts in sexual disorders and addiction, Founder of The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles and Director of Sexual Disorders Services at The Ranch Treatment Center in Tennessee. Robert has devoted his life to understanding intimacy disorders and treats men and women who suffer from a range intimacy issues, including sex addiction and abuse, as well as love addiction, which is most common in women, and even dysfunction related to men’s viewership of porn. Intimacy disorders have been on the rise, particularly as a result of technology and dating in the digital age. We recently spoke with Robert as part of a three-part series to learn more about intimacy disorders, understand the symptoms in women versus men and to help women form and maintain healthy relationships throughout their lives.
Gretchen Molannen, 39, suffered for 16 years from persistent genital arousal disorder which left her incapable of living a normal life. She was so constantly stimulated that she could not hold down even the most menial jobs, and she could not engage in sexual relations with another person because it made her symptoms worse.
The Tampa Bay Times covered her story, and the day after the piece ran online, Molannen was found dead in her home from apparent suicide, leaving behind this message:
Would you ever mile high? Sounds so WILD!!! But then, the last time I was in an airplane bathroom I could barely bring myself even to touch anything, so. Maybe bring some sanitizing wipes and get a little drunk?
So you’re a woman living in the world. Want a latte in the morning? The possibilities are endless. Are you not so thrilled with your hormonal birth control? Change it up to any number of other options! Not sure what to be for Halloween? Well, there’s at least, like, 17 different kinds of sexy.
Point being: in every area of our lives, we expect to have choices. We expect the world to offer us the kind of interwoven complexity that we feel inherent in ourselves. It’s not about what’s good, bad or better; it’s about what’s best for ME.
Except when it comes to sex. An appraisal of the flurry of recent articles about women’s sexual choices gives the clear impression that when it comes to sex, YOU have TWO OPTIONS. You can hook up. Or you can forswear all carnal activities.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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