Not Tonight or Not Ever?

28 Jan

By now it’s evident that I have strong thoughts about sex and the role it plays in relationships. I can’t speak confidently on the role of sex as part of the fem-lib movement or other similar movements, as I don’t want to speak with such a lack of education (book recs being accepted though!). But we’re more liberal about sex, we’re more adventurous and carefree. I don’t intend to comment on the sanctity of sex (as I don’t particularly feel strongly about it) but it should be noted that the socially accepted norm has shifted from waiting until marriage to the three date rule.

Anyways, the point of this preamble is to discuss a very important topic that relates to us. Us who? We’re in our 20s, living in an urban environment with active social lives and even more active professional lives. We are probably dating and not thinking about moving in with someone, yet.

My friend Mackenzie has been dating this guy, James, for a few months now. She’s introduced him to her friends and is attempting to incorporate him into our bigger social circle. They live within the district, not too far away from each other and both work really hard. I asked her how often they see each other. She says they spend on average three nights together a week.

They haven’t had sex in a couple of weeks. He’s just too tired, she got back too late, they fell asleep watching a movie. There are plenty of reasons. And I get it; sexual drive is certainly not constant across individuals. But what happens when there’s ZERO desire to just get on top of someone and fool around, given that precedent was set differently? There’s a dynamic shift in the relationship.

I guess the thought is that there are a couple of primary components to the relationship I’m stereotyping: the friendship and the romance (by the way google defines romance as “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love” – I’ll be ignoring the definition of love at this point). Traditionally, we look (though perhaps without realizing it) for a friend in a partner but who makes us excited “in the biblical sense” or whatever. These components are not always or usually balanced: one will dominate the other. Personally, I let the romantic component play the primary role, and usually don’t let the friendship ever develop.

Like my friend Mackenzie, I’ve now been seeing a guy for a few months. I’ve kept him much more in the fringe of my social circle than Mackenzie did with James, mostly because I don’t know how to incorporate the two, but also because I am not particularly keen on the idea of him being everywhere my friends and I are.

I’ve started to notice that a couple of times, I’ve thought consciously “ugh” when making sleepover plans. I have a theory. Because of the time we’ve been spending together and because we’ve been getting to know each other better, the friendship component is starting to develop and compete with the romantic component. It’s also becoming apparent that if we were just friends, we wouldn’t be friends.

But I refuse to have a sexless sleepover. One: because I like sex. But two: because it keeps the sex from taking a backseat to friendship. I mean, in the end, the sex is still good, once we get around to it. I like to think that I have fabulous, strong, lasting relationships with my friends and therefore, I don’t want or need another friend. I want a lover that can provide what my friends can’t: intimacy, romance, and sex.

And so, as long as I have my 20-something stamina and my family pack of rubbers, I’ll be making it work every. single. time. Because if I’m going to end up with another friendship and occasional sex, I’d rather not have to also share a bed with that person.

Cold-hearted? Yes. Do I care? No.

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