Day 51 of 66 Days of No Sex
I’m 75% done with the challenge and from this vantage point, 66 days without sex seems like child’s play. The first four weeks were the hardest in terms of temptation, but now I feel like I could go a year or even a few years without sex. I think it’s more about adapting to a new lifestyle than sex itself.
Giving up sex is like giving up blueberry PopTarts—when I don’t actively think about not having it, it’s easy. But the second I taste that hard sugary icing and dry crust, I’m already thinking about the next time I’ll tear open a silver pouch of my favorite kind of processed crack.
I haven’t so much as kissed anyone in the past 51 days. Without any romantic activity, the only guys I see regularly are my coworkers and pre-existing group of friends. I’ve had a handful of dreams about male colleagues, and I must say, I’m pretty proud of my self-control even in Fantasyland.
Dream Connie and a coworker were on a tropical trip. Sun was hot, sand between our toes, throwing glances in the cool Caribbean shade.
We were kissing and I looked up at him.
“We can hook up a little bit,” I said, “but I can’t have sex with you.”
He said that was fine, and I went into work the next day with an unfounded appreciation for his soft lips and respect for women’s boundaries.
I told my work best friend about the dream, to which he replied: “Oh no, is he on the list too now?”
We give each other a hard time about our dating antics. At the peak of our Roaming Wild days, we made a bet that the other person would be the first to marry. Loser pays a month of the winner’s mortgage (neither of us are close to buying). He has a girlfriend now, so I’m really rooting for them to work out.
My best friend at work is a guy. My best friend in life is also a guy.
I’ve always tended toward male company, but haven’t been able to articulate why. I used to say girls were catty, but it’s the drama I hate, and I’ve found plenty of girl friends who avoid that like the plague.
I found some clarity this weekend after comparing my interactions with two distinct friend groups: 3 girls on Friday vs. 2 guys on Saturday.
I realized I like hanging out with guys more because roasting one another is a cornerstone of male friendships.
Nothing is nicer than a merciless verbal takedown of someone you love in the name of good fun—I live for the mix of embarrassment and amusement on a friend’s face when I get ‘em good. The clap of a high five after I’ve kicked someone right where it hurts, a one-liner as scathing as it is true. It’s what I imagine a baby’s laughter sounds like to people who like babies.
It’s easier for me to break the ice with guys because it feels natural for me to shit on people or joke about something crude. I feel in my element, without the need to soften my words or brighten my demeanor.
It’s harder with girls.
My female friendships are primarily based on emotional support and validation, and while I have plenty of hilarious girl friends, rarely are we the butt of our jokes. By contrast, my guy friends can offer just as much thoughtful conversation and consolation, so it makes sense why I prefer the more dynamic relationships.
I just can’t imagine walking into a room of girls and openly addressing the density and/or promiscuity of their respective mothers. It’s probably a character flaw that I think that’s ever okay, really.
In all seriousness, it comes down to comfort level. The best friendships are when you don’t have to try to be yourself.
I’m various levels of myself with a lot of people—I’m most myself with a few.
To be fair, preferring guy friends is also a control thing, at least among those outside my inner circle. At the end of the day, if my personality falls short, a guy friend who is somewhat attracted to me has more of a reason to stick around than a girl friend. A sick, but true assessment.
Good Charlotte put it best when they said, “Boys will laugh at girls when they’re not funny.”
Attraction has a way of blinding us from the vices. It’s the same social buffer that ushers two mildly compatible people into a relationship, and greases the squeaks long enough for them to drive miles into the sunset before realizing it’s actually an engine problem.
Maybe it’s a fear of abandonment, but I like knowing someone else has a stronger inclination to hang out with me than vice versa. I like power, especially the power of choice.
I harbor a deep resentment toward appearance-based attraction, though I’m guilty of it. I most dislike when people can’t be honest about their motivators.
Me stroking the stubble of a guy whose personality and face I once loved: “If we didn’t look the way we did, we probably wouldn’t be here.”
I respect that he agreed with me.
I grabbed lunch with the guy I asked out last week—“asked out” in a very literal sense. There was no implication it was a date, just food between friends. His reciprocated interest would have tipped the scale in my favor, but when he showed up 15 minutes late in a graphic T carrying a stuffed backpack, I was sure it wasn’t a date.
We ordered brunch plates at a newly opened tap house in the Seaport, more of a mountain cabin transplant with dark chairs, thick wooden beams, and soft gold lanterns along on the wall.
I was comfortable talking to him about work and places and politics. I didn’t feel jitters, as I did with guys online, but maybe because we were grounded with mutual friends and there was no pressure for things to “work out.”
Our interactions were not put to a test, no checklist of qualities to make it to the next round. We had already accepted each other as people. We were friends.
It still feels wrong to say I like him because I don’t think I know him well enough.
I want to separate who he actually is from who I think could be in my life.
As the waitress kept checking in on us, I was a bit disappointed about how I had no effect on him. I’m not sure what I expected to happen, what an indication would have looked like.
But that’s one of the things I liked most about him, how unnecessary I feel to who he is as a person. I hope he doesn’t need me, or anyone for that matter.
The first time we made eye contact was at a happy hour. We saw each other from across the room, and before we had talked or even introduced ourselves, I sensed it. He’s fond of me, I thought.
Looking at him now across the table, I didn’t sense attraction, and I haven’t seen it since we first met. Attraction is how drawn you are to someone. Chemistry is what actually happens when you interact.
I think a lot of people are willing to overlook chemistry when both have agreed to stay attracted.
My ease in being around him made me question whether I actually liked him as more than a friend, or if I was chasing his attraction. He has a great smile when he laughs.
We left the restaurant and as we were walking to the T, I knew it wasn’t just friends because I thought I wouldn’t mind holding his hand.