I learned the hard way.
I recently had to give my Fuck Buddy the boot. It’s been almost 7 years since we first started...er...f*ck buddying. For the most part we had a pretty good run of it. It was low drama, we got along, the sex was good. No, great.
*pauses to think wistfully of the sex*
But something happened recently. We took a turn. The sex part was less frequent. Sure, this was still oral and orgasms had by all. But the actual intercourse wasn’t happening. Instead we spent a lot of time ... talking. And cuddling. That’s all well and good. But it wasn’t … real.
In the light of day, when we were apart, I wasn’t seeing that consideration or tenderness.
There was no talking about our private thoughts and fears and day to day goings on. Out of bed, we were pretty much strangers. He’d text and I’d ignore him, I’d text and he’d brush me off. We rarely planned our little trysts. They were typically last minute. He’d shoot me a text at midnight or I’d send him one at one am. There was no structure. But when we’d get together, you’d think we were boyfriend and girlfriend. No. We were just playing those roles. Pretending. The thing is, it’s really easy to get used to that.
Having a relationship like that in your life when, at the same time, you’re out there looking for something more substantive complicates things. You start to grow accustomed to his face, so to speak. You become complacent about your search for true love. Especially if you’ve had a string of bad first dates or just heard that your ex was now getting married and moving to London. Now those four hours of bliss and emotional intimacy is safe. Safer than going on another dinner date not knowing where you stand.
That’s the thing about Fuck Buddy relationships that ultimately make them frustrating for me.
They aren’t real relationships, no matter how much they might resemble ones in the moments pre and post climax. There’s this feeling of sadness I’d have when my FB would leave. That’s not healthy. That’s a sign that I’m longing for more. Just not with him.
So, with great sadness and a little feeling of smug satisfaction that I cut ties first, I ended things. Via text. You know, because I like to keep it classy. One of my 2010 Resolutions was no more Fuck Buddy. Friends With Benefits? Maybe, since those relationships actually involve a relationship of sorts. But I’m not sure those are any better for me, either.
Yes, the idea of great sex is certainly appealing. And I have no doubt I will weaken and give in to my more primal urges. I tell myself I’m "okay" with being the "extra" or "just for sex." As long as I don’t think about it too deeply, I am. But when I sit and really examine the situation, I feel really ... disappointed in myself. It’s this idea that I’m allowing these men to believe they are getting over on me. That I am willingly giving up my control in the situation, while telling myself I don’t mind, just for sex. That’s what unsettles me about these relationships.
That I have to lie to myself.
Maybe it doesn’t affect others the same. But for those who say it doesn’t, that they can shut everything off and not feel anything, I wonder if they’re so numb inside that they don’t even know how it’s affecting them. Or that they seek these relationships because they are safe and contained. I can say, honestly, that I think all both of these options have applied to me. Sorry, but I’m calling bullshit on anyone who says that they’ve never experienced or wondered any of this while engaging in a no strings relationship.
Yes, I think it’s delusional to believe these relationships are mutually beneficial. They just aren’t most of the time. At least not for women. Women find a great lover and we hold on to them because we know their value. The idea of going on some sexual safari just to find one guy who isn’t crazy, isn’t taken, is well endowed (another reason why this search becomes tricky) and who gets us off is exhausting and a tad scary.
Guys? They’ll just go have sex. Good sex to them is different than good sex to women. Men are pretty easy to please and often times don’t consider the repercussions (unless the woman is clearly bat shit crazy). Women … we’re a little more … high maintenance in that area.
There’s another point that confuses me.
Is the sex worth suspending your disbelief and common sense? Because..people lie. We all do it. And we’re more likely to do it to someone we don’t care about or to which we feel obligated. That’s a lot to consider and doesn’t, by my definition, sound very “no strings.”
And here’s where I’m at. Torn between feeling like I “deserve” sexual satisfaction and worrying that casual sex will only serve to keep me further from what I ultimately want – a committed relationship. I don’t have an issue with going with out.
I’ve had long, long dry spells. I don’t feel Like I “need” to get laid. But I do “need” that affection and contact. That really was the only reason I kept things up with my FB for as long as I did. We haven’t had actual intercourse in months. And that never bothered me, because the affection and the comfort part was what I really wanted anyway. I’m basically choosing to date in 2010 without a parachute aka something to cushion the fall.
That’s a little terrifying for me. But I know I want more. I want something real, that’s as real at 10am as it is at 2am. Sticking with my FB was not going to help me achieve that goal. I stayed with him as long as I did, I think, because I was too afraid to date without a safety net. Sure, I always said to friends that I wanted a relationship. I’m not so sure I actually meant it until recently.
There’s a song title I’m using for an upcoming piece It’s called No Myth, based on the Michael Penn song. The tune, told from a man’s perspective, is about a woman who sort of flits through life, dating and sleeping with man after man, never settling down with any of them for whatever reason.
What if I were Romeo in black jeans?/What if I was Heathcliff? It’s no myth/Maybe she’s just looking for someone to dance with.
Maybe she’s just looking for someone to dance with.
Translation: Maybe the reason why she can never find what she wants is because she doesn’t know what she wants. Or does, but is afraid of it. I guess what it all comes down to is this. In order to find someone worthy of you, that fits, you have to know what you really want and decide to white knuckle it until you get it.
This means not allowing yourself to get side tracked or deluding yourself. We all like a little fun here and there and have the right to pursue that fun. We all love the idea of having options. But continue to rely on this idea of endless supply of possibilities and you will find yourself, like the cheese, standing alone.
Now, maybe that’s okay by you. (Though , if it were, I don’t think you’d have read this far.) Perhaps you are perfectly content with your life as a swinging single. More power to you. But don’t let this fear of looking weak prevent you from being honest with yourself about what it is you truly want.
It’s funny. Women will casually and freely announce that they’re just looking to get laid and will go and do so. For some reason, that’s considered empowering. Yet admitting that you’d like to have a partner or that you feel life would be that much better if you had someone to share it with for some reason is frowned upon and makes us look needy or desperate.
Don’t buy into that.
Because if you tell yourself that too often and for too long, you’ll start to believe it, and then everybody you attract will bring with them that same kind of fear. The only way to find what you’re looking for is to first be honest with yourself about what that is. And then sticking to that game plan.
Nobody is saying you can’t break loose every so often. But F-Buddies are like pretzels. You can’t stop at just one. And pretty soon you’ll have a string of lovers in your wake because you’ve spent so much time hiding behind or settling for that, that you won’t know what you want anymore.