“What good is there to say about sex? The whole topic is a one disaster after the next.
I make one exception. If you add party drugs into the mix, and you’re at the world’s greatest party (say, Burning Man), and you want to fuck someone, it can be fun. I’ll give you that. But the drugs come first; they are primary. It’s probably better to fuck someone you don’t know, even though the sex might be hotter if you fuck someone you’re in love with. No one judges you much for who you fuck at Burning Man, and no one has to know either. It can be a cute-as-get-out 31-year old Greek demon from Los Angeles, and your campmates can meet the gentleman who escorted the princess home from across the playa. You can get some laughs out of that. But don’t be surprised when the little Mafioso is gone, forever, in the morning, no matter how hard he had to work to get you.
That’s the problem with sex. Men will do anything to get it, and as soon as we give it to them, we make ourselves vulnerable. Let me put that more personally. Some men would go to some deal of trouble to fuck me, and if they get through to me, I’m vulnerable. I hate being vulnerable. I want to be loved for who I am, and having sex with someone—especially if I really like him—just makes that impossible. He’s going to abandon me eventually, and with that I’m dragged into all the accompanying and highly disruptive drama.
Give me a reason. Just give me a reason.
Then there’s the whole status thing. Am I fucking someone who’s in my league? What league am I in anyway? I make a middle class salary at a regular job that I might lose at anytime, things being the way they are. I have experienced too little stability in my life, and less than enough reassurance. I have more assets than debt, but it’s a bit of a wash in the long run, when I understand that I won’t have enough money to retire. I have self doubts and insecurities. I have issues. Anyone who gets close to me will soon enough see me for what I am—a scared and desperate little girl, who soon enough will be an old woman.
No one wants to experience that. Even I doubt it’s worth it. I think about suicide enough to know how difficult it is to live with me. No one is going to stick around. He’ll leave. And so will that guy and that guy too. They will all leave me, and I will say it’s on me: I am the agent.
So I don’t flirt. I don’t dare dream about finding someone to love. I don’t think about sex. If I need an orgasm, I give myself one. If someone comes on to me, I deflect it. I’m unavailable. I’m sex negative.
I think about what I might be missing. Then I think about the consequences. The answer remains no.
Just a few weeks ago, a married man—let’s call him John—propositioned me. John and his wife are in an open relationship. We were at a party in the countryside near a river. He asked me if I wanted to go with him down to the river. I said yes, and I knew where it was going. I had sensed his interest in a previous encounter. To be congenial and to get it over with, I went with him down to the river. It was dark and you could hear the water rushing. I said, “It seems like you want to get next to me.”
He was standing very close. He said, “I have been thinking it would be fun to kiss you.”
Then I had to explain that I am sex negative, and that in any case I don’t mess around with married men, no matter what agreement they may have with their wives. I’m old fashioned that way, I explained. What’s in it for me?
He was cool about it but I could tell I bruised his ego. I tried to soften the blow by asking about his life and engaging in small talk. Then we went back to the campfire and my friend Paul asked me if I’d gone down to the river with John. I told him, “Yes, I went to the river with him, but I said ‘no.’” “It’s none of my business,” said Paul. “I’m telling you anyway,” I replied.
I explained to Paul my philosophy about being sex negative, and he said I was missing out. I said, “It’s harder than I thought it would be, but it’s possible.”
So I don’t have anything good to say about sex—unless you inject party drugs into the story. For that I might make an exception. But really, I just want to be high. Any sexual encounter is secondary or tertiary, or just plain irrelevant. Even then I’m typically sorry, eventually, if I participated in sex. I can blame it on the drugs, not that it matters or that blame is useful. I don’t use drugs very often anymore. I save them for special occasions. That’s because my ex-therapist called me a drug addict; that’s why she’s my ex-therapist. But even someone like me needs to feel joy once in a while. Otherwise some night I’ll take too many sedatives, on purpose by accident, and never wake up. In that case I don’t want to think about the most recent man I had sex with, or any of the men before that. It’s too painful. I want to see a bright spot of light between my eyebrows glowing white as I fall asleep. As I fade, so should all the consequences of making myself vulnerable, and all that I have failed.”