Sunday, October 12, 2008

on NOT having sex.

EDIT: Re-reading this, it's terribly scatter-brained. Ah well. I assume you've all come to expect nothing less from me, right?

Obviously, I spend a lot of time talking, thinking, and writing about sex. It's something I enjoy doing - Foucault would most certainly peg me as one of those people convinced that discussing sex is taboo and by doing so I'm being subversive, though I don't necessarily think that. (Maybe because I've spent too much time reading Foucault...) But I haven't gotten laid recently. Which, I actually believe, given everything that's happened lately, is a good thing. Although it does make it a little difficult to maintain a sex blog. Or so it would seem through my lack of posts with any kind of substance. I'm reminded of a scene in the final season of Sex and the City, when Carrie thinks her column is being cancelled:

(To Samantha) These are troubled times, my friend... People with REAL jobs are unemployed - this is not a good time to be whipped cream!... I'm not getting laid, so I'm getting laid off!

But here's the thing. By NOT having sex as of late, I've actually had a little more time to clear my head and, ironically, think about sex. Perhaps more in the relationship sense. I suppose it's an unintentional consequence, but I think, for the time being, I'm done with one-night stands. I'm not about to say that I've suddenly become monogamous or anything like that, but I think I'm going to stick to sleeping with people I know. I've been talking/emailing with friends, and especially those at home have expressed some really serious concern that I'm going to get hurt if I open myself up right now, being vulnerable and what not.

I've received emails and messages from a few friends, and recently had a conversation with P about all this. I have a hard time trusting people, especially here. I'm hesitant to do so, because I first assume that everyone doesn't like me. I know, that doesn't speak well of my self-esteem, but that's my default. I either assume that people actively dislike me or simply don't notice me. Which, yes, is why I was so taken aback when this happened. But as I was talking to P about it, he mentioned that it sounded like my pessimism was starting to border on paranoia. And I think he has a point. I always feel like I need to prove to people that I'm not a bitch, that I'm actually smart and worth spending time with. The paranoia aspect is perhaps most prevalent in regards to my fellow program-mates here. I went out this weekend and ended up running into most of them who were on the pre-semester seminar with me. I ended up talking to one of the guys, who reminds me of an old friend who royally fucked me over, emotionally, and he asked me several times why I don't come out with he and his friends (the seminar-mates). I told him, first and foremost, that it's because they don't invite me. But I also pointed out that more importantly, I feel out of place in the group. I feel like they don't like me and that I'm the weird, quiet, "curvy" girl who everyone thinks is kind of a bitch. He insisted that he's never heard anyone speak badly about me. That people, when they found out about Kirsten through the grapevine, were amazed at how well I was handling it, felt bad for not knowing... And that even before, though, they wanted me to come out with them on the weekends and didn't know why I didn't.

I'm hesitant to believe him, because I think it all sounds like just telling me what I want to hear (or what he assumes I want to hear). But talking with P about it the next day, I was able to step away a little bit and analyze that thought process. I'm actually incapable of believing he was being honest. I have so convinced myself that people here hate me that I can't even fathom any other option. I think that's officially paranoid. And I don't think I like it much.

So I'm going to try to do something about it. I still don't think I'll be going out with giant groups of Americans, but this weekend, I experimented with letting people in, just a little bit, and I was incredibly richly rewarded. In fact, there's a chance I'm crushing on someone here in the program (woah!) a little bit... But I'm holding off on writing about it because I really, really don't want to jinx anything. But hopefully expect a post soon gushing about how all that is going and how calm I feel around him and who he reminds me of and how he's different at the same time.

And now, in an effort to bring this full-circle... I think the crushing might have a little bit to do with this renewed drive to NOT have sex. It's a strange effect, in my opinion, because usually when I start liking someone, the first thing I want to do is jump their bones. The idea that I just want to spend time with this guy, want more hugs, want more late-night conversations, is something new for me. At least in recent memory. It's not exactly that I'm saving myself for him or anything like that, but maybe I'm realizing THAT is what I need right now more than a quick lay. Which is also kind of a mindfuck. My mind is getting fucked a lot lately. But basically, to those of you who were/are/have been worried... I promise, I'm proceeding with caution. Maybe a little too much, sometimes - something even P agreed with me on. (And, of course, I trust P more than just about anyone in the world and he knows me, in all seriousness, better than I know myself.)

In closing, and in an effort to put people's concerns at ease, I smiled this weekend. A lot. I wasn't quite so up in my head. I still find it rather difficult to get images of Kirsten out of my head, and I'm absolutely still processing, but I think I might have really realized that I am allowed to be happy, even while mourning. And maybe it's sinking in that I KNOW she would want me to make the best of this experience. As a good friend back in New York (and my only outside friend who personally knew Kirsten) told me, Kirsten would kick my ass if I went home now.

"Sometimes it all still feels like a mass of dots. But more and more these days, I feel like we're all connected. And it's beautiful... and funny... and good."
(Bonus points to anyone who can name where that quote is from. WITHOUT imdb'ing it!)


Anonymous said...

no comments so far. I guess your title "not having sex" is not sexy ;-)

Merlin said...

I'd disagree with anonymous. I find it difficult to enjoy sex unless I have an emotional connection with my partner. People are different, but I suspect you will find sex more satisfying once you have developed a level of affection and trust.

Amalthea said...

Hehehe, as if I can make fun of YOU for scatter-brained-ness!

You know... this is sort of the place I was in but didn't know it before SP. Too fragile to have a dangerous connection... and yet, I needed one. I'm incredibly proud of you for working through to remember how Kirsten would feel about you souring your experience over her, yay!

I'm reminded of what I just recently said to you. People don't usually bother to say nice things if they don't mean them. A common group thing too is that if they feel you reject/judge them, then they won't be reaching out to you. Aloofness or separateness can lead to that intangible cycle perpetuating. They feel rejected by you and you in turn by them. So no one reaches out and life goes on. It's only exacerbated by them not knowing you but knowing something terrible happened to you, it makes it harder to know what to say or how to treat you. Good luck overcoming... yourself! :)

Kisses and support from a fellow dot!

Roland Hulme said...

Although I only know you via the blogosphere, it seems SO unlikely that people wouldn't like you. If you talk anything like you write, you're warm, open and fascinating.

Although our self esteem always gives us a tough time. I'd love to be able to look in a mirror and see the REAL me instead of the insecurity ridden version my subconcious makes me see.

Wilhelmina said...

"I first assume that everyone doesn't like me. I know, that doesn't speak well of my self-esteem, but that's my default. I either assume that people actively dislike me or simply don't notice me."

Hmm. I do exactly the same thing. Or I assume people are only being nice because they want something from me. Takes me a long time to trust/believe people even after they *tell* me that they like me or care about me, or act in ways that show they do. But then my reasons for being like that have more to do with me and less to do with other people.

I've found once I get to know the people in question better, I can usually feel who the genuine ones are...

It can be terribly hard to take the first step and let people in, so it's great that you're doing that =)