The Jungle of Having Single Sex

When my mother decided it was time to have the “talk” about where babies come from – she steered away from an actual discussion completely. Instead, she handed me a book, told me to read it, and should I have any questions, she’d be happy to answer them. So, I laid on the grass in the middle of a Carolina summer as a rather inquisitive 10 year old, read every last word on every last page, and the only confusion I had was quite simple.

“Mom, he puts it there?” I asked. “Yes, sweetie,” she replied. “But why would anyone want to do that?” I doubted, and she reassured me, “It is a natural thing. You’ll see.”

And so, I did.

Being a single gal in the city, as your versions of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte will tell you, also means being a woman with needs. And as much as we’d like to cross our legs, pat our lips, and say with intent we don’t think about such naughty things – the truth of the matter is sometimes we really want to have mind-blowing, no questions-asked or excuses-made…sex. Perhaps girls just wanna have fun, but sometimes, we just wanna have sex, too.

But for many women, myself included, there may not be such a thing as “no strings attached.” Try as we may (with the encouragement of our good friends tequila and vodka) to be nonchalant sexual vixens, there’s something about exposing ourselves emotionally and physically that makes us leech onto the partner watching. There are some Samantha’s out there who have the ability to be more casual about the whole she-bang, but even the Sammie’s get their heart (or pride) damaged a bit from time-to-time.

I’m not sure if it’s due to the journey, me growing up, or just the reality of an “adult” relationship – but Mr. Possibility is the first man who I’ve been able to sleep with and not let my emotions get the best of me. Admittedly, there are definitely some feelings there – or I would have never cared about  his explorations overseas – but when we made the move from platonic to sexual, instead of thinking “Oh my God, if I never hear from him again, my number just went up for nothing! What have I done? Does he actually really care about me or was it just sex?” – I realized that regardless if anything ever came to be with us, I enjoyed an experience. And if he never called me back, I’d promptly write him off as a dick (no pun intended), move on with my life, and have at least a great New York sex story to tell my friends.

Now, I’m not suggesting we all run around our respective cities (countries or small towns) and spread our legs to any man who is intrigued – but why do we always hold ourselves back from encounters because we’re afraid of a walk of shame that may never lead to a walk in the park? If we’re friends with someone, if we know someone well enough, if we trust them, and we see potential for something more – shouldn’t we see if the connection is in every area? Or maybe if we don’t even see possibility in romance, but the chance for a raving romp, why don’t we allow ourselves to act upon it? Why can’t we decide not only what we want in a relationship, celebrate our singleness and sexuality, but also give ourselves enough credit to demand incredible sex (instead of lack luster). Maybe even more importantly –  why can’t we excuse ourselves for having desires that are totally normal and dare I say it, healthy.

There seems to be this thin line between taking up for ourselves, choosing our independence, and our dignity, and giving ourselves enough freedom and forgiveness to discover those sides we keep hidden away – for fear it won’t look good or we’re feel awful in the post-orgasm haze. I mean, in an earlier post, I talked about how my mild make out session with Mr. Unavailable made me feel a tad bit dirty and entirely guilty for something that’s not even really…bad.

Am I, or was I, placing a double standard on myself? I had wants and I fulfilled them, so why should that be something to be ashamed of? Do we think that men are the only ones who are brave enough to navigate the jungle of having single sex?

Yesterday, I went on a photo shoot for my magazine at a new modern, luxury bowling alley in the city (yeah, believe it) – and each room represented a different part of New York. Some of the cover shots were in the “Times Square” room which featured neon-lights that read “Pussycat” and a red curtain. The idea was to have the business owner straddling the two lanes, holding two bowling balls, with the lights lit behind him.

To get the lighting accurate, the photographer asked me to pose in the frame until she got it right. Of course, because it said “pussycat” and with my last name, she asked me to act like an animal and be sexy, just for fun. So in my red sweater dress, I posed, clawed, and made seductive faces, and we both giggled as she went through the raw footage. As I was watching the slideshow of photos, I realized: sometimes it just feels good to be sexy. To own, to define, to take pride in the fact that you’re a sexual creature.

I’m not sure where I stand on friends-with-benefits, no-strings attached relationships, or the notion that women (and some men) can be careless about sex without getting their feelings hurt. And if Mr. Possibility would have turned his back on me or if I felt like I was used for sex, I know I would have felt cheap and disposable. I may never be a seductress who can prance on the top of bars or flutter from one bed to another without blinking an eye – but I’m also not ashamed of my desires to be pleasured. Part of love, after all, is making love.

Men may be typically labeled bachelors and players, while women are called sluts and fluseys when sex is a hobby for them outside of a relationship or marriage – and both sexes may be judged for their decisions to come and to go. But it isn’t about what other people think or what’s acceptable or unacceptable.

It’s about what we think. And we get to decide how to associate sex and self-image as individuals. Sex is act-by-act, and each time we knock boots, it’s a case-by-case situation – no generalizations apply. The reasons for guilt or the negative tags tied to doing-the-deed without careful consideration, are usually not from the outside world (because they don’t know about our adventures unless we tell them). Those feelings are based off the pressure and the stigmas we place on ourselves. So on the journey of learning to love who we are – why don’t we give ourselves some more liberty?

Because sometimes, even if we get hurt or we lose a little confidence, if we trust ourselves, our gut, and our instincts (not a guy, not the world), then we know that no matter what we do, we can be certain we did what was best for us at that particular moment.

And the rest of it – be damned.

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30 thoughts on “The Jungle of Having Single Sex

  1. This is one area of extreme black and white for me. Sometimes you do have to explore to undersatnd your own limits, but now I know mine. To me, sex is for committed relationships only. And to me, that means marriage. The thing is, we all want a mind-blowing sex life. But in order to feel completely safe exposing ourselves this way to a human being and really be able to let go, the trust with our partner is essential. For a woman to experience orgasm, she has to truly be able to just let herself go. You can’t do this truly without the security. It’s like when you bungee jump off a bridge (not that I have). The thing that allows you to take that plunge into the deep is that you are tethered by a very small piece of rope or whatnot, but you are tethered. You can stretch your arms out and just fall. If you didn’t have that security, you could fall, but you would be bracing yourself for the thump at the end. We do all have sexual needs, but we also have the choice as to how we get those fulfilled. I choose security. Yeah, it sucks sometimes to not have those needs met whenever I get the urge, but I am not an animal. I can exert self-control. And when I finally do get to “let go,” I will have the ability to truly do that.

    • Thanks so much for always commenting. And you’re right, sex is sometimes about security. But for me, personally, it doesn’t always have to be. It is nice to accept that.

    • I have to say, although it is extreme black and white for you, you don’t know what others need. How can you say that for a woman to experience orgasms she needs to let herself go and can only do that in the security of a marriage? I personally don’t have sex with someone unless I am in love with them, but in no way do I think other people can’t get off if they aren’t in love. I admire the loveaddict for saying that she has the ability to have casual sex. I have wanted to be able to do that many times in my life, however, I feel the pressures from my Catholic background. Although I am in no way a virgin, I am not exactly a seasoned veteran either. I am not trying to change your mind or tell you that I don’t admire your convictions, because I do; I am simply saying that you can’t understand what other people experience during sex because, as mentioned above, it is a case-by-case scenario. Be proud that you are waiting until marriage, but don’t knock others for being an “animal” as you called it. It is a primal urge to have sex, and if people want to act on those urges or not, then that is their choice. And sometimes people fall without bracing themselves. Yes, it is painful, but through the pain, we realize what truly matters. The way to have casual sex is to only be looking for what you want and to satisfy your needs. If you start bringing the other person into the equation, that is when you start having the self doubt. So save it for marriage if that is what you believe. But don’t judge others for their experiences.

      • Hi Megan,
        Thanks for commenting on my comment. Sometimes I have a way of saying things that isn’t always clear. I don’t mean that a woman can’t have an orgasm unless she’s married. Of course she can. But it is easier to have one when you can let go of your inhibitions, and if you don’t feel safe, how can you do that? You bring up some other interesting points, though. Of course, these are my beliefs and opinions and everyone needs to come to their own conclusion. I also think sex should be a selfless act. If you are focused on what you are getting, this is another way of trying to keep control and focus on your own experience. And I think that’s why so many people have an unsatisfying sex life. It’s a fact that they do, because I read/hear about it all the time. If you wanted to have a great orgasm, you might as well sit in a room by yourself and get off because who better than yourself knows what makes you feel good? When you bring another person into the equation, you HAVE to think about two people’s emotions and feelings. Those that don’t . . . well I won’t say what I think because you will say I am being judgmental and maybe I am. Some would call it discernment. How can you have sex with someone and not bring the other person into the equation? Casual sex is an illusion. Sex is a deep experience between two people that transcends body and spirit into soul states of being. Those that think they are being casual are lying to themselves. It just stays down and comes out in other ways later. And that’s how I see it. I make no apologies for that. And, by the way, I truly wasn’t calling other people animals. That was directly related to myself. All I was saying there was that I have a choice as to what I participate in. Just because I want to have sex doesn’t mean I have to have it. Love addicts unite!

    • I feel judged, reading both your comments.

      I’m not religious (I’m cool with Jesus, not Christians.), so I don’t share your beliefs. I see your viewpoint, and I don’t mean to say it’s not a valid opinion. It’s good that you have sat down with yourself to figure out what you want and the conditions underwhich to get it.

      But Sex is Sex. Let’s all be clear on this.

      The experience is what you make it be. It can be the chaste for-procreation-only sex, or it can be let’s-experiement-with-rope sex, or let’s-christen-the-whole-damn-house! sex, or “I’m so in love with you, I must have you as close as possble” anything in-between.

      Did you know that people used to think orgasms were visions sent from God?

  2. I sadly cannot actually comment on this post as I have a strict rule about kissing and telling. But it does provide some good insight to how a girl thinks about sex. Good stuff.

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  4. I thought this was a great post, and was a very accurate representation about how you can feel one way about sex most of the time, but every now and then it doesn’t hurt you to try a different view point.

  5. Lindsay, wonderful post. I had a feeling after reading the header that this was going to rouse up some feelings out of your readers ;)

    In the past, I was guilty of judging others who chose to sleep around. But, as I’ve gotten older I learned to try and have an open mind. We are all our own person…and we need to treat each other as such. I think it’s so important for guys and gals to figure out exactly what sex does mean to them, and how they choose to treat it personally. I think (in the realm of sex) if being a Samantha makes you happy, then be a Samantha (just be safe for your body’s sake)! If you’re opposite, in between…then so be it. Just know that if you end up with feelings quite contrary of what you first anticipated, that you need to deal with the consequences of those feelings…and take them into consideration the next time.

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  22. i am so happy i came across this post …..similar thots were going in my head too… i am currently single , after my bf of 3 years broke off with me (cuz he wanted 2 sleep with other females and he left there is no love left between us if is having such thots also it had become one of those long distance relationship). Anyway so 10 months after the breakup i met this guy in a friend’s wedding & we found we like each other. Since he was also going out of country for a job in 2 months , i did not let myself fall in love…also though we spoke for 2 months (didn’t meet ) i never felt love for him and realized he wasn’t my type exactly. But i was hugely attracted to him. the day he was boarding the flight he came to meet me…and i could feel the electric tension between us,..i was dying to touch , kiss, and hug him…and we ended up sleeping wid each other. The point here is , I don’t want any long term relationship with him cuz I know we r not compatible & what we felt was attraction. I am happy I did it with him (my first ever no strings attached sex) and it was good, it was fun and i really enjoyed after forced celibacy of 11 months. He was considerate and caring and even said he loves me , which was funny cuz I am sure he doesn’t. So in all I realized i am not cut out for plain one night stands …i need some bit of emotional connect but it is definitely a 2 edged sword.

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