Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Okay, I might’ve gotten a tad carried away with the Salt-n-Pepa lyrics, but we are going to talk about sex. Moms, dads, other relatives, or random people who would rather clutch pearls, consider yourselves forewarned. It’s not going to get graphic, but it is coming. Yarr, there be sex talk.
I’ve been mulling this over a bit lately, and my decision to write was cemented at a concert last night. I went with one of my loveliest friends, where we were joined by a few other people she knew. I had met one of them before, and on our way inside she requested that I ‘please don’t sleep with him.’ I reassured her that since I’m dating half the city right now, it wouldn’t be an issue. It was, nevertheless, hilarious. And if we’re being totally honest, not unwarranted. Another friend reminded me my attitudes towards sexuality and dating are atypical (not normal were her exact words) while I was discussing my, erm, busy week over dinner. It puts me in a slightly odd position (pun absolutely intended) as to exactly when I let people know just how not normal I am.
I’ve never been much for rules. I have tried the whole ‘don’t sleep with someone until x number of dates’ (both self-imposed and at the behest of friends who kindly scaled it down to a more Steph-appropriate number from their own 14 fucking date minimum) and failed abysmally. Rules like that are horseshit anyway. I don’t want to play keep-away with my vagina in order to trick a guy into dating me. If that’s what it takes to get that guy, then he’s not the guy for me.
That being said, I don’t (always) just fall into bed with someone. There have been guys I’ve dated for quite a while before nekkid time, and others still where it didn’t happen at all. I’ve slept with strangers, I’ve wound up in bed with friends, and I’ve said no to people who I thought would be a sure thing until the moment happened (or didn’t, as it were). There are none I would take back (although a few I would not revisit if the opportunity arose); I am perfectly content with my choices. However, the past does have an undeniable impact on the present.
I’m not one to hide who I am. I don’t shy away from my nerdy tendencies, my shitty taste in music, my unabashed love for horror. I don’t try to fool people into thinking I’m taller/thinner/younger than I am. But when it comes to my sexuality, there’s still a hesitation there, despite my efforts to the contrary.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been burned in the past. One ex, upon learning about some of my ‘Single Steph’ behaviour, pouted that it was something he wouldn’t get to experience with me. Nor was he the first (or, I suspect, the last) to pull this quasi guilt trip. It didn’t work (and surprisingly, neither did we). Sex is situational by its very nature, and there may be some things that are comfortable in one set of circumstances that aren’t in another. My favourite editor/advisor/human (and guest writer) Holly summed it up perfectly: Get the fuck over it. A yes once isn’t a forever yes to a person, position, or act; it’s really quite simple.
Simple or not, it became such a common response that I decided I would no longer be really open with people until quite far in the relationship lest they think that by mere mention it was automatically on the table. That wasn’t a very realistic decision in the long term.
My other concern, so to speak, is that once someone learns I’m a relatively open, sexual person, that’s all I am. While I accept being jokingly called a Samantha, and the ‘trysexual’ label that comes with that, Sex and the City this is not. We as humans are far too complex to be boiled down to a simple archetype. Yes, I am a sexual being, but I am more than that. I’m a friend, a sister, a lover, a writer, a person. Sometimes I worry that message gets lost. I don’t want to mislead someone, or be untrue to who I really am, but I also don’t want to end up with the human equivalent of a dog humping my leg every five seconds because he thinks I’m ‘that kind of girl.’
Obviously none of this is enough to cause me to change my behaviour or attitude towards sex. I sleep just fine at night (alone or otherwise), and as always I look for the humour in things. In fact, when I found out that Nutmeg and one of the couples used to be next-door-neighbours, all I could think of was how I should invent a game called Six Degrees of My Vagina. I could make a whole bunch of terrible Kevin Bacon jokes, but instead I will leave you with that. Sometimes even I like to leave a little something to the imagination.