OK, this is going to be about sex. Let just put that out there. But keep your pants on, it isn’t a Penthouse Letter.
When we are teenagers—or even pre-teens, especially nowadays—we need to figure out sex. Do we want to do it? Who would we do it with? What exactly are we willing to do? We make our own rules and discover our limits…and then rewrite our rules as we learn, experiment, and age.
I made–what I considered then to be–huge mistakes concerning sex when I was a teenager. I’ve since realized…who gives a fuck?! Seriously, whether I did it at 16 or not, lost it to a guy I barely knew or a long-term boyfriend, had a one night stand, or was a bad lay; I didn’t ruin my life. My angst over my actions was more detrimental than anything I actually did, or didn’t do.
After we make our rules, break our rules, and change our rules; new ones are often placed upon us. We end up in a serious relationship or marriage and there are certain expectations. And if we choose not to go with the usual expectations, we determine with our partner(s) certain boundaries that work for our relationship.
So what happens if we never had those limits imposed on us, or suddenly find ourselves single again (as I did) and have to refigure how we’re going to navigate these waters? I don’t have the same hang-ups I did when I was younger. Nor the same emotional needs. But I do have the same insecurities. And uncertainties. I guess I need to remember that whole angst vs. actions thing.
Now I’m a grown woman and have to figure out sex again. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Shouldn’t this be easier than when I was sixteen? And what exactly happened to Dr. Ruth; why isn’t she around now that I need her again?!
I guess the foundational question is what do you want from sex? What is sex for in your life at this point? It provides pleasure that’s obvious enough, and for many that’s all it needs to do. But sex can be more than that. Its an amazing opportunity to become closer to another person: to have an….intimacy… with someone else that simply can’t be gained any other way.
For most men, sex is how they feel love (and feel loved). It’s central to our feeling of self worth. I’m not sure its exactly the same for women. Not that they don’t enjoy sex, or that it doesn’t give them a sense of being loved and desired; but it seems to me that women tend to do a better job of not confusing love with sex. They are after all different, though sometimes related things.
I guess my take is: if you want sex just so you can get laid-great. If you want sex only as a part of a romantic relationship-great. If you want sex to be something that you save for that special someone-great. In the final analysis, sex really isn’t an end unto itself, rather its a vehicle to help you find pleasure, fulfillment and happiness….hopefully on your terms.
That’s the whole point. I don’t know what I want.
Well…I guess the answer is to keep trying things until you find a place where you’re comfortable.
BTW Dr Ruth is still doing her thing:
I guess I’d add one thing. When I was about 25 or so I adopted a rule for my…um…assignations. I knew that at the end of the day I wanted to be married, have children and so on. I certainly wasn’t looking to get married at the time, but someday I wanted to wind up there. With that in mind, I’d review potential lovers…there really isn’t much point in a one night stand with someone who can only be a one night stand. It meant forgoing some opportunities, but it also help avoid some minefields and hurt feelings.
Perhaps the way to look at things is to figure out where you want to be at age 80, and work backwards from there.
The thing is, I did that for 40. I figured out where I wanted to be and worked toward that. But now absolutely nothing is as planned. (Also, I can TOTALLY think of points in a one night stand.)
LOL …well yes….but you know what I mean. It’s about not setting yourself to fail. Just because 40 didn’t work out the way you hoped doesn’t mean 45…or 85 won’t. Visualize where you want to be at the end of the day and move toward that.
There will be lots of detours, dead ends and outright mistakes along the way, but at least you’re in the game with a plan instead of sitting on the sidelines wondering what the hell happened.
For me, making plans hasn’t worked out. I’m just going to go with it…which also means no failing and no sidelines.
Well, it hasn’t exactly worked out for me either. Maybe you’re on to something here.
I AM the smart one, ya know.
Does that make me the pretty one?
Nope, I’m the pretty one too. Duh.
Actually, that goes without saying. 😉