Why I’m now seeking intimacy over casual sex.

(I am completely aware that this title probably makes me sound like a middle aged woman.)

There’s something weirdly pleasurable about seeing a past fling in the street. It’s like waiting on that second sneeze that never comes. It happened today and I couldn’t help but think ‘I wonder if he still wants to fuck?’ Then I got to thinking about our ‘night together’ and how laced with awkwardness it was; how we fumbled around in the dark like drunk monkeys; how he kissed like a two-year-old on meth – lots of drool.

I make comic remarks about my sex life all the time. Some of them are quite revolting, some are pretty funny, but if I’m being honest I do carry a certain disdain towards sex – despite craving it sometimes. I’ve always had a dour approach to intercourse. I always found that it was better in my head (during masturbation) than it ever was in real life. Probably because when it is just ‘me’ I didn’t have to endure the anxiety that comes before/during and-sometimes-after the act itself. Whether or not this was down to me being sexually assaulted in the past, or just my overwhelming disappointment in life and crippling anxiety, I don’t know.

Every time I look back at past sexual encounters I’m always smacked in the face with feelings of achy loneliness and sticky nostalgia. I struggle to recall more than a handful of ‘intimate’ moments that didn’t leave me feeling anything other than overly exposed and unsatisfied. It always seems theatrical to me, like I am just going through the motions, waiting on the ‘happy ending.’ I have enjoyed sex, and sexual acts and even though mostly I’m left feeling disappointed, I have to admit it has been a massive contribution to establishing a real sense of identity for me, as well as a tool that’s helped me grow in confidence.

There was a period of my life where I hated my body. During this time, I would keep as many items of clothing on during sex as possible. Do you know how much of a turn off that is for most guys? Refusing to remove anything that isn’t your underwear. I once had sex wearing a hoody and denim jacket. Yes, it was very uncomfortable. My keys and phone kept falling out the pockets. When we changed positions half the contents of my wallet splattered across his bed. But the more I hooked up with different guys, or got the offer too, the more I realised guys did, and do, find me attractive. This helped me conquer my body issues. I’m still not asking artists to paint me naked, but it’s a lot better than it was.

Massive personal growth comes from a series of tiny-sometimes-traumatising-and-often-humiliating moments, rather than one big bang. Exploring my sexuality and discovering aspects of myself through intercourse has definitely contributed a few of those shocking moments. Each one of them, even though not always favourable, is always worth preserving I think. I’ll never be ashamed of sex, or talking about it, or the people I’ve been with. But that lure of having it ‘on tap’ is fast fading.

If I feel a spark with someone then even them looking at me sends my heart racing, so anything sexual with them causes immediate romantic attachment. Which would be fine if they were wanting more, but they aren’t. There are in the same position as me. They are after a quick fling and you’re kidding yourself if you think you can have sex with someone you know you could easily start falling for without getting attached. And then where are you left? I’ll tell you where: between a rock and a hard…place. You either pretend the feelings aren’t there, just so you can continue sleeping together. Or you can, like I always do, tell them you have feelings for them and watch as their texts become blunter, their touch becomes colder and their lives become busier. So busy that they don’t have time to see you.

When the aforementioned happens it is possibly the worst feeling ever. You’re paranoid, you feel used; you feel ugly and that you aren’t good enough. So, with that said, and recently experienced, I’ve realised that it isn’t always ‘fun’ for people like me. It’s made me realise that I want more; I want intimacy. I want to wake up the next day and spend the day together, making stupid jokes; I want to cuddle and dish out affection. I want to be able to look disgusting when I wake up without fear of judgement, rather than having to sneak off and shower/brush my teeth/fix my hair before they wake up (yes, I have done that.)

I feel it’s very easy to fall into the snare trap of wanting something you can’t have. And once you’re in that trap it is so hard to get out off – well, it is for me anyway – and these casual flings quite often land me in that situation. Letting go isn’t something that comes very natural to me. That’s why I want someone that I don’t have to let go; someone that wants to stay. Someone that isn’t going to play games, because as much as I’d like to I can’t make something that means nothing, mean something. And if one thing is for sure it is this: The only human constant is the abjuration of personal responsibility. No question about it, we have all been in situations that we could have handled in a better way. I certainly know I have., but more often than not it is easier to plead ignorance or cut the person out, rather than admit you fucked up and that yeah, you perhaps didn’t take their feelings into account. I want to spare myself the pain and guilt that is born from this in the future.

I’m past having to suffer through the awkwardness that is the pre-sex ritual with a stranger or casual acquaintance. Is he a top or bottom? Is it okay if I put my hand there? Sometimes taking down the guy’s trousers off felt like a Russian Roulette – particularly if I agreed to bottom.  The intensity before ‘it’ starts feels as though it lasts for hours. During this stage I often found myself scanning the room making nonlinear observations and commenting on them with ridiculous brevity in a feeble attempt to calm my nerves. I am bad at ‘small talk.’

Sure sometimes you hit the jackpot and it turned out to be good encounter, but because of the way I am wired it very rarely resulted in that. I’ve had my fun, but I’ve had my fair share of hurt and disappointed too. I no longer want to fool around, not unless it’s heading in a serious direction.



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