Monday, November 2, 2009

On Getting Laid


[image: http://www.la2day.com/files]

Confession: when I am NOT in a relationship I am just way too focused on having sex. With as many women as possible. All the time. As in every waking hour.

THE SLEEZY ASSHOLE
For the record, I can't quite claim to be the sleezy asshole who constantly lies to chicks in order to hide the fact that I'm sleeping with other chicks. Been there done that. It's an unmanageable, exhausting experience I don't care to repeat.

Nope. I'm the type of sleezy asshole who comes clean with just how much of a sleezy asshole I am. If I am sleeping with you it's because I have sat you down and had The Talk:

“Yes, making love to you was amazing”
“No, I'm not dating anyone right now”
“Yes, I would love to come by again tomorrow”
“BUT no, I don't want anything serious”
“AND yes, I will probably sleep with other chicks.”

The Talk: Scenario A
“Not a problem? Great! See you tomorrow”

The Talk: Scenario B
“Not into it? That's totally cool. I really had a great time. It was nice meeting you.”

TAKING A BREAK
Recently, after a rather serious downward spiral in my personal life, I decided to shelve The Talk for a while. The bottom line is that I have a sneaking suspicion that tons of meaningless sexual escapades would actually undermine some of the progress I have made in other aspects of my life.

Over the past year and a half I have found a certain kind of peace that I never knew was possible. It's a fledgling kind of peace, always struggling to solidify and define itself. Always striving to teach me that I am more than just a piece of paper, more than just a career, more than just a bank account, more than just a selfish asshole. This is a peace that is meaningful to me and I want to protect it any way I can.

This is not to say that I'm completely retiring The Talk. Old habits die hard. But I do think it's important to take some time to figure out how I can live my life without being consumed by something as fleeting and meaningless as getting laid.

33 comments:

Meg said...

I don't think that makes you a sleezy asshole at all. A sleezy asshole would be dishonest. He'd tell the woman whatever he needed to to get into her pants and then take it all back the next day - or worse, give her the silent treatment while she, with a hopeful heart, waits for him to call.

According to what you've said, you've been honest about your intentions. And, while I don't think it's wise health-wise to sleep around so much, I don't make any moral judgments about it so long as you're being honest. What two consenting adults want to do with each other is their business.

But yes, there is still drama. Sex is emotional. Intense emotions lead to drama. Sometimes in life you want the drama - and in that respect, "meaningless sex" isn't really all that meaningless. It fills a need. But then sometimes you don't want the drama. Sometimes you find that you don't need the drama anymore. I think that's a good thing, even if it leads to what some would call a more "boring" life.

But then that's a huge part of "voluntary simplicity", isn't it? Finding pleasure and even adventure in what others would call a "boring" life?

Susanne said...

I thought this is a funny post. Thank God: Jack is still a human being and not an enlightened ascetic Buddha! Last sentence triggered me: "...how I can live my life without being consumed by something as fleeting and meaningless as getting laid". I would think: if getting laid has a meaning and isn't fleeting, you're not being consumed by it.

I think if you read your own posts, you will see: you write your own answers.

Grtz,


Susanne

Brett said...

There's nothing wrong with wanting sex. As long as you don't lie to yourself and tell yourself that it's just physical... I mean, I guess it could be, but I couldn't be attracted to someone based solely on a shell.

That said, sometimes sex is a connection without love. It's lust. It's chemistry, whatever... but it feels good.

Ruthie said...

Yep, pretty sleezy if you ask me. Since you're craving meaning in your life.. glad you're rethinking it.

LAS said...

Wow. There's a lot more to this story that's unwritten, I think.

For what it's worth, promiscuity is not a cure for psychic ills. If you're using sex to find something that needs to come from within, you'll ultimately feel empty.

But when it is what it is, sex is a pretty good way to spend a day.

frugal zeitgeist said...

Two thumbs up for sex. For me, sex is better in the context of of a loving relationship, but uncomplicated sex has its place as well.

Having said that, I think the time for The Talk is before the first time, not after. Better to get everything out in the open and just enjoy it for what it is, instead of running the risk of one person anticipating something more.

-PP said...

I agree with this not making you a sleezy asshole. If you intentionally made someone think you were into them beyond sex (and you weren't) then you'd be a sleezy asshole. I'm kind of going through a similar point in my life as far a sex and relationships are concerned - I want sex but no strings attached. All that matters is that you're honest.

And I don't think this requires a talk either. You can generally tell if someone wants more. If that's the case you probably shouldn't sleep with that person. And if you do decide to sleep with him/her anyway, you should "have the talk" in that instance.

Fonk said...

Between this and the "I Need A Drink" post, I have to wonder, is there a Little Jack on the way?

That's mostly a rhetorical question, as it's speculative and I'm sure you wouldn't want to broadcast that here, or else you already would have. The combination of posts just has me wondering...

Krista said...

I dont think its sleezy. I too think 'The Talk' is something to be put out there before the shack-up but At least your honest with them in what you want out of it. Doesnt lead them on like what most men do.

Its a sexual world. Plenty of babies and diseases to show for it lol. On an animalistic view its a part of nature. Its humans that put emotion and meaning to the simple act of repoduction. Im currently living in Europe and they've got a very different view on sex. They arent uptight about it like in the states. They grow up with it more out in the open (i was flipping through a german news paper and on the cover was a naked stripper in an article) so its not as dramatic like in the states. Its like making out for them lol in a nutshell.

I say do what makes you happy. If unrelationship romps work for you as long your safe and smart about it theres no harm in it. If you feel it doesnt make you a good person then change.

Anonymous said...

I am a woman. And I completely agree with Meg. There is nothing sleazy about the honest approach.

(except, I don't even see why sleeping around is bad health-wise, as long as you use adequate protection).

Sex is never meaningless. It's a powerful drive, one of the deepest in our psyche. We try to control it, we assign conditions to it (relationship's good, promiscuity's bad), and it simply doesn't work this way.

I myself have wanted and seeked casual no-string sex for some time, letting people know exactly what the terms were. Eventually, I realized I was not enjoying it. So I stopped - not because I saw anything wrong with it, but only because it wasn't filling the need as much as I hoped it would.

And that's just a part of self-discovery and growth.

Ingrid

Meg said...

@Anonymous


"(except, I don't even see why sleeping around is bad health-wise, as long as you use adequate protection)."

What do you consider "adequate protection"? Condoms do not protect 100%. Even when used, and used correctly from start to finish, and they don't break, they leave a lot of areas exposed. Moreover, you can spread a lot of nasty bugs just by kissing.

I'm not saying it's not worth the risk, of course. But that's up to him or whomever.

Anonymous said...

Jack -

You sound like either a healthy young man, or a guy with a sex addition. Wow, funny how close those two descriptors are! Which are you, Jack?

At any rate, sleeping around may satisfy one's sex drive (for the moment), but it doesn't satisfy the basic human emotion we all seek and need for happiness - and that is love. And love doesn't come from sleeping with every woman who consents. And I agree with Meg about the protection issue. Safe sex is not always safe.

Maybe all this urge for sex is a way of deceiving yourself for what you really want - to be loved, appreciated and cared for by someone who really matters. Stray sex may be a good diversion, but in the end, where does it get you? Just some thoughts based on my experiences.

J.

Helene said...

Ruthie, I'm glad to see that there is at least one person willing to stand out from the crowd of "honnesty" buffers.

-PP said...

Helene: It has nothing to do with "honesty buffers". It's merely a different viewpoint from yours. Ten months ago I would have thought it was sleezy as well. Until then I had only slept with two guys, both of whom I was with for several years. But after my last breakup I started craving sex without relationships and for the first time in my life didn't see anything wrong with it. It's fine that you and Ruthie don't agree (I was in your shoes once), but it doesn't mean we are not being honest. Anyhow, I respect your opinion - just clarifying the honesty part.

Helene said...

PP:
Granted, all you say is true. Even this is true: "but it doesn't mean we are not being honest." Yes, I think all the posters and the blog owner are being shiningly "honest." But my point was quite other. An honesty buffer is a person who keeps on buffing up their "honesty" as a metal shield that shows their high morality ranking. It's the things you are all being so honest about that I'm referring to. And there too, we can all agree to disagree.

And BTW Jack, to repeat a question you asked me once, 'do you understand the meaning of irony?'

PurestGreen said...

There is a book called The Ethical Slut which may be useful to you. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's not wrong to want uncomplicated sex, but I also agree with one of the previous commenters that the time for a version of "The Talk" is beforehand, not afterwards. That way, there (hopefully) would be fewer opportunities for misunderstanding...

Jack said...

@Meg,

“But yes, there is still drama. Sex is emotional. Intense emotions lead to drama. Sometimes in life you want the drama - and in that respect, "meaningless sex" isn't really all that meaningless. It fills a need. But then sometimes you don't want the drama. Sometimes you find that you don't need the drama anymore.”

I totally thank you for your perspective and appreciate it. I think the problem is that more than just occasinally, being honest about having meaningless sexual escapades with a consenting person only works on paper. Sometimes drama is inevitable and that's when the protective cloak of “honesty” loses its stripes.

Still, nothing is ever really drama-free: marriage, relationships, being single, etc...all things considered, the honesty-sleezy-asshole routine has served me well.

@Susanne,

“I would think: if getting laid has a meaning and isn't fleeting, you're not being consumed by it.”

Well put and right on point. I think I have been at that point before, usually when in a good relationship and occasionally as a single person. The trick is to be able to be single and still find meaning in being alone.

@Brett,

“There's nothing wrong with wanting sex. As long as you don't lie to yourself and tell yourself that it's just physical... I mean, I guess it could be, but I couldn't be attracted to someone based solely on a shell.”

I think there might be a very clear divergence here based on gender. I find that I can be attracted to someone just based on looks farily easily. As you said later on in your comment, sometimes sex is just lust. For me, that has been the safest way to navigate being single.

Jack said...

@Ruthie,

I totally agree.

@LAS,

“For what it's worth, promiscuity is not a cure for psychic ills. If you're using sex to find something that needs to come from within, you'll ultimately feel empty. But when it is what it is, sex is a pretty good way to spend a day.”

Love this analysis. You are right on point, and not just in the objective sense. I definitely think there is a part of me that uses sex as a proxy for something essential (intimacy, love, adventure, ego, etc...) and I've had my share of empty nights. On the other hand, I've spent plenty of good days, and nights, having sex. :)

@Frugal,

“Having said that, I think the time for The Talk is before the first time, not after. Better to get everything out in the open and just enjoy it for what it is, instead of running the risk of one person anticipating something more.”

I agree with you, with the following qualification. Quite often, the first time I sleep with women when I am single is actually the very first time I meet them. I'm not sure it is necessary to tell a women who is clearly interested in a one-night-stand that I don't want anything meaningful to happen between us.

Women like that (as well as men like me) generally form a self-selected population that, at it's core, is already suspicious of commitment and meaningful relationships, whatever the reason.

Jack said...

@PP,

I prefer the “talk” approach because I am always pretty much up front about things. If things are clear from the start, there is less uncertainty and less of a chance that feelings will be hurt.

@Fonk,

“Between this and the "I Need A Drink" post, I have to wonder, is there a Little Jack on the way?”

No. Way. :) Let's just say that someone I care about is no longer in my life the way they used to be. They are wonderful in so many ways. But I can't be in a relationship right now. I just can't. That realization led to this post.

@Krista,

“I say do what makes you happy. If unrelationship romps work for you as long your safe and smart about it theres no harm in it. If you feel it doesnt make you a good person then change.”

See my response to Meg, LAS and others above. As for your partial comment above, I will say that I am actively looking for an alternative way to be single. One that is more in line with my emerging values and that makes sense to who I am inside. Precisely because it doesn't really make me feel good as a person.

Jack said...

@Ingrid,

“Sex is never meaningless. It's a powerful drive, one of the deepest in our psyche. We try to control it, we assign conditions to it (relationship's good, promiscuity's bad), and it simply doesn't work this way.”

Very true. You can cloak “meaningless” sex with all the honesty you want, with all the logical rules you find appropriate and you will still find emotions seeping through your fingers. Not all the time, but enough that it can get complicated. To have sex is to play with fire.

@Meg,

“What do you consider "adequate protection"? Condoms do not protect 100%. Even when used, and used correctly from start to finish, and they don't break, they leave a lot of areas exposed. Moreover, you can spread a lot of nasty bugs just by kissing.”

This is true as well. Maybe that's why monogamy might have a legit leg-up on promiscuity.

@Helene,

Wasn't quite sure what you meant by “honesty buffers” so I took the definition you used in your follow-up comment at face value:

“An honesty buffer is a person who keeps on buffing up their "honesty" as a metal shield that shows their high morality ranking.”

If I understand this correctly, you are suggesting that I (or even some of the commenters on this blog) are attempting to reinforce some sort of morality by hanging their hats on the fact that a person is “honest” about their intentions.

If this is the case, I can say that I'm not sure I fall into this category. FIRST, as I mention above, I don't think the “honest” approach of the The Talk is always viable or trouble-free. Second, to choose to be "honest" in this context is not a “moral” choice. In fact, the primary reason I like The Talk is that it frees me from all that lying, cheating bullshit people use to have sex. It's about convenience. If it's a shield, it is one that shields me from drama, as much as one can be shielded when you are dealing with sex and human emotions.

Jack said...

@PP,

I'm not sure I understand the whole “honesty buffer” concept as you are characterizing it, particularly after Helene's explanation in her follow-up comment. I do agree with what you are saying though. Crave away...until you stop craving and do something else. That's the beauty about life and being able to make choices.

@Helene,

Are you a native English speaker? If you aren't I have a feeling some of the nuances of your comment are being lost. My best guess is that you might be against promiscuity in general terms. If that's the case, then I guess we can agree to disagree, which is a perspective you seem to embrace.

“And BTW Jack, to repeat a question you asked me once, 'do you understand the meaning of irony?'”

Once again, not quite sure what you are referring to. What, in particularly, do you find ironic? Do repost if you get a chance.

@PurestGreen,

I can only imagine what that might be about. :)

Anonymous said...

Jack

In reading your responses, this one really touched me--

@Fonk,

"No. Way. :) Let's just say that someone I care about is no longer in my life the way they used to be. They are wonderful in so many ways. But I can't be in a relationship right now. I just can't. That realization led to this post."

I hear a lot of hurt with your being so adamant about not being in a relationship right now. I know there are lots of reasons why relationship timing does not work out. But I wonder if you work out that part of your life, the rest may fall into place? Good luck with this and all that you are doing.

J.

Mek said...

I would just maybe add the the list of things that you are more than: you are more than who you sleep with. Maybe this is what you mean when you say that you are more than a selfish asshole - I'm not sure.

I think that sex for sex's sake, with a person who is on the same page as you, is a perfectly lovely way to spend your time. But if the pursuit of new sex with new people is what's driving you, well, I can understand how that could feel all-consuming.

Finally, as someone who had a period of indiscriminate sex with lots of people, I think it is okay to *not* engage in the talk sometimes. I think that, if some guy had volunteered to me, after one night, that he definitely was not interested in anything serious, I would have thought that perhaps he needed to calm down, because nobody was talking about anything serious in the first place. Like you said, if you are meeting women who are up for sex upon the first happenstance meeting with you, probably they are going into that experience with their eyes open.

I've been reading for a while - thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

Re: condoms, safety, risk

In theory, do I fully agree that there is no such thing as safe sex? Yes. There is always risk.

But... I've actually spent several years working part time as a mid-/high-end escort/prostitute. Tested every 3 months. Never caught anything. Even my blood test for herpes came back clean. Same with several friends and acquaintances I know in the profession.

Do I understand that my experiences - and those around me - are anecdotal and do not represent a valid statistical sample? Yes. But I've also read a New Zealand study on registered escorts, where their STD rates were about the same as the general population. Whereas the number of partners would be of a totally different magnitude.

As the result, I am not convinced that responsible promiscuity truly represents such a health hazard.

The issues of personal and emotional fulfillment are a totally different animal though.

Ingrid

Debbi said...

Point 1: Honesty is never sleazy. When it comes to potential relationships, it's always the best policy. Which brings me to . . .

Point 2: Sometimes when people say they want uncomplicated sex, they're not being honest with themselves. Sex (for good or ill) has a way of complicating things, even between people who never intended it to. Feelings may develop on one person's part, despite their best efforts to keep the sex part casual. When those feelings are one-sided, things can get really ugly.

breathethenexhale said...

Our bodies were meant to be used for pleasure. Men and women alike! =)

Kate said...

You are worth more than this. You are worth more than sharing yourself with just anybody. Why are you so willing to give your body, for a temporary distraction and thrill, but not really connect with anyone? Maybe you should try celibacy for a period of time and see what happens.

Linda said...

Wanting to have sex all the time, having multiple partners and no-strings-attached talks is not being a sleazy asshole - it's being single :).

However, the above can be slightly distracting, so taking a break from it now and then is a good (but sometimes frustrating) idea in my view. Let us know how it's working out!

Jack said...

@Anonymous,

Good point, although, not sure how easy that might be when you just meet someone randomly and ¨relationships¨ are the furthest thing from anyone´s mind.

@J,

¨I know there are lots of reasons why relationship timing does not work out. But I wonder if you work out that part of your life, the rest may fall into place?¨

I think that´s a fantastic point. But in some ways its irrelevant. If I am not ready to be in a relationship then I might be in the land of the ¨talk¨. If I find someone I want to be with the ¨talk¨ is unnecessary.

@Mek,

¨I think that, if some guy had volunteered to me, after one night, that he definitely was not interested in anything serious, I would have thought that perhaps he needed to calm down, because nobody was talking about anything serious in the first place. Like you said, if you are meeting women who are up for sex upon the first happenstance meeting with you, probably they are going into that experience with their eyes open.¨

That´s what I was trying to get at. But the bottom line is that I feel that this behavior, while it has its place, is taken to an extreme when I am in that mindframe. Hence the time out.

Jack said...

@Ingrid,

¨As the result, I am not convinced that responsible promiscuity truly represents such a health hazard.¨

Thanks for the input. I honestly have not basis for comparison and would just assume the opposite. But I would probably throw your comment up against the advice of any health professional.

@Debbi,

¨Sometimes when people say they want uncomplicated sex, they're not being honest with themselves. Sex (for good or ill) has a way of complicating things, even between people who never intended it to. Feelings may develop on one person's part, despite their best efforts to keep the sex part casual. When those feelings are one-sided, things can get really ugly.¨

Precisely why this whole ¨talk¨ thing is never fullproof and why issues always come up. Good point.

@breathethenexhale,

Could not agree more.

Jack said...

@kate,

¨Why are you so willing to give your body, for a temporary distraction and thrill, but not really connect with anyone?¨

Because it is easier, and safer emotionally, than the alternative during certain periods.

@Linda,

¨Wanting to have sex all the time, having multiple partners and no-strings-attached talks is not being a sleazy asshole - it's being single :).

However, the above can be slightly distracting, so taking a break from it now and then is a good (but sometimes frustrating) idea in my view.¨

It´s where I was when I wrote this. A break is good for pretty much everything. Haven´t taken a break like this in years. Decades even.

Anonymous said...

Jack: How sad for you. You sound like a sex-addicted Peter Pan. What makes us human is our ability to control our animalistic instincts and commit to a longterm LOVING sexual relationship. Being "polyamorous" is base, juvenile and solopsistic. Meanwhile, as a physician I can promise I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of HPV, HIV, Chlamydia and Herpes-ridden patients (most faithful condom users) with broken bodies and crushed hearts. There is NO SUCH THING as 'safe sex.' In your quest for 'simplicity' I really pray for a conversion of your heart, body and spirit -- thast God would open you up to a faith life, and in so doing make you a person of honor who might one day be an honorable and faithful husband to a good and loving wife!! Blessings to you in your travels.