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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sex(less) Singlution

The comments to my last post about the crush-I-wish-I-didn't have were fascinating. Some people said "Go do him!" and others said "Don't feel bad about physical attraction" and others said "yes, non-committed sex is hard for me also" and everyone pretty much said: "Do what is right for you, there is no shame in that!"

Last week, I already knew that my crush/admirer is not a man who has one night stands. I knew that if I were to sleep with him, it would be a big deal to him and it would be the beginning of a relationship. 

And while I didn't know if I wanted a relationship, I did know that I found him attractive and fascinating. 

And then today, he cleared everything up on another walk around the lake: He simply took sex off the table. 

This attractive, intelligent, perceptive person hasn't had sex in 18 years. 

I almost fell down. I almost fell down and died right there on the lake trail. My body would have been run over by a couple bikers and then stampeded by a booty bootcamp group from the YMCA and then scattered by a stroller brigade. 

There is nothing wrong with NOT having sex. I used to live in Utah and I see the value in chastity. There is nothing wrong WITH having sex either. I was raised near the epicenter of free love and I understand the value of sharing. I, personally, am not convinced that monogamy is right nor am I enamoured with polyamory either. I am sure that each person has to work this out within themselves and follow their own convictions and desires.

But to not have sex for the same amount of time in which a baby grows into an adult? I was stunned. I was overwhelmed. I mean, I'm just on sex hiatus. I'm just taking a short break until I figure it all out, until I meet someone worth humping.

So is he.

To be perfectly honest (and I kinda hate saying this because I hate to perpetuate certain stereotypes), most of the sexual relationships I've had have been hurtful. I always thought that my partner valued me for more than just a good roll in the hay. He didn't. I thought we were friends and that we were there for each other outside of the bedroom. We weren't and he wasn't. Before I was Singlutionary, I always thought that we were on some kind of road-to-forever which would save me from my sadder self.

I've never had a sex partner who really valued me for who I am, for all my qualities or even took the time to get to know me. They saw me as a thing, a toy, an accessory.

My admirer says getting to know a person is simple and clear when sex is removed from the picture. 

In a way, I think he is right. For me, his admiration has been healing because I always sensed that he was interested in ALL of me. He admires and values me not because he thinks I'm hot (although he does) but because of who I am and what I do with my life and where I am going and what I enjoy and value. He enjoys our small-but-growing friendship. And so do I.

And this all gives me space to continue to be Singlutionary, sex free. For now, at least.

And in the meantime, I can enjoy this friendship, enjoy being myself and enjoy being admired for myself, plain and simple. I like that. I'm not sure I'll like it in another 18 years, or even 18 months, but for now, its perfect.

Singlutionary sex is going to be different for everyone. It depends, in part, on where you've been, where you're going and who you are. I am not advocating for 18 years of abstinence but if 18 years of abstinence makes you a better Singlutionary, I'm all for it.


The Peach Tart said...

Great thought provoking post as always. I think it's neat actually to take sex off the table to get to know each other in a deep way without that. It's kind of like courting in the old days. There is a great book about Jane Austen and dating that a friend recommends about courting.

Stevi said...

Interesting...I love that you lived in Utah. Utah pride! Tell people that we are not all polygamist and wacko. ha.

This guy sounds awesome. Hope he really is you deserve it!

bobbyboy said...

Good, this post kind of made me feel normal about myself because as most know, I believe in being friends first. And if the respect, romance and honest communication is there, then possibly something more.

We all have our choices to make in life and if we're not happy with ourselves at some point, we may want to revisit our choices.

Good insight! :)

Clever Elsie said...

This guy sounds awesome! Not even so much because he took sex off the table but because he obviously values who you are as a person! It's wonderful to have someone like that in your life, whether it's as a friend or something more. He must have some really interesting perspectives on sex and relationships, too, if he's been waiting 18 years...

The Singlutionary said...

Peach Tart:

To be honest, I still can't get over my thinking that: there must be something wrong with someone who can go 18 years without sex. But I am enjoying interacting with my abstinent admirer BECAUSE I know that sex isn't an option. It is kinda more old fashioned. Well, its also kinda like high school when you're "not ready" and all innocent. I missed out on that experience in my teens so in a way it feels very youthful to me.

Stevi: Yes, Utah pride! Haha. I try and tell everyone that Utah isn't full of nutjobs with 6 wives. But then I also have to tell them that I was the token liberal in Provo and someone had to write a paper on the death penalty so they came to talk to me because they needed someone to explain to them why liberals think it is wrong. I thought it was hilarious that these people I didn't know somehow knew that there was a liberal in their midsts. Obviously, in Provo, I was the wacko!

Bobbyboy: Thanks! You know, I never thought of myself this way, but I think that I also need to be friends first. This is why dating doesn't work for me. I can't decide if I want to flirt with someone if I don't know them. Attractiveness has more to do with a connection and with the individual than with a hot bod or nice eyes. I just never thought I was the friends-first type. I guess I just never gave myself a chance to try it since high school. Also, I think our culture doesn't really support being friends first. We want to partner everyone off so badly, there isn't time for a slow friendly courtship.

Elsie:Yeah. He does have interesting perspective on sex and relationship. So far its been a lot to digest and its hard for me to wrap my mind around it. I find it funny that I would have a hard time comprehending relationship type stuff and some computer-nerd-type can run circles around me. Humph. Not all is as it seems after all. Its nice to have someone willing to challenge my perceptions.

Special K said...

I think it matters if you feel a physical pull to him, and after 18 years of not being intimate, your mind appears to be compensating for your feelings. You, my friend, should TRUST yourself. He sounds perfectly likeable, in your mental representation of him. But what does your belly say? Trust or Fear...that might be the core thing here. I know it is for me!