I watched him get dressed, slowly and confidently, lingering on the hardwood floor, one foot at a time. I found it odd and rather interesting that he put his socks on before his pants. He was careful about his movements, making sure to say sweet things to Lucy while peering around my room, this new place he hadn’t given much thought to in the twilight hours before. His blonde hair that was oily to the touch and thicker than I expected for a mid -30s man, moved loosely as he put himself together. Even as he got dressed, he watched my every slight movement: the way I draped the sheet gently across my hips, the way I curled my hair with my hand, tying up my long, tangled locks behind me in a messy bun. Our eyes met a few times and our lips couldn’t help but curl, thinking of the intensity we shared just a few moments before, and now we were awkwardly exchanging niceties with a stranger we just met, and yet, whose body we could still taste.
I hadn’t slept with him, even though I wanted to.
He was every bit sexy as I could imagine a man to be. He didn’t ask permission but he remembered to say those things that yes, are probably untrue, but still make me comfortable getting naked with a person I sincerely don’t know. He checked off all of the boxes I needed to check — tall, intelligent, well-paid, ambitious and inviting. From the time he boldly bought be a drink seconds after seeing me to the way he grabbed my waist in the cab, I was intrigued enough to let him do more than enough.
But as I laid there, wondering if I should have gone all the way and trying my best not to reach for his lips in my sunlight-drenched room at 10 am, I wondered where my heart was.
Lindsay just a few years ago would have never let someone come home with her. She would have doubted her wholesomeness, felt a void of goodness and secretly thought that welcoming sin into your life — and well, your bedroom– was prescription for continued relationship distress. She would have thought her wife material was ruined, her body tainted and that if she wasn’t madly in love with someone, he shouldn’t have the privilege of exploring her.
I’ll admit it, for a long time, I thought hook-ups, one-night-stands and drunken encounters of the sexual kind were tawdry. Wrong. Misleading. Dangerous.
But as I watched the tall Canadian with a nice chest and better arms, and a smile that seeps into your skin, I felt pride. Power. I had confidence that even if this person wasn’t someone I hear from or better yet, wanted to hear from, this night was what I wanted. It was what I craved and what I conquered. To be an independent woman, you need not hold yourself up on a pedestal if that pedestal keeps you from doing what you want. Maybe one less make out isn’t exactly deprivation, but if you always say no to your desires, how will you ever figure out what you want to say yes to? Most of the women I admire the most aren’t exactly Pollyannas – they are bold and vivacious, full of opinions and decisions that they don’t make excuses for. They come and they go, they waltz through life on their own timetable and schedule and they let themselves feel. And explore. Make mistakes and get dirty. Be who they are without wondering who cares or who will judge. Sex isn’t morally wrong, it’s biologically needed. They get that.
And more importantly, they own it.
There’s nothing wrong with having a sleepover with someone you’re attracted to and there shouldn’t be a pressure to sleep with – or not sleep with – them. There is no right or wrong answer, no choice that’ll outline the rest of your pending relationships or how your romantic love will be blessed by the heavens or damned by hell. I’ve seen relationships blossom from what was meant to be a one-time thing, and I’ve felt a certain, addicting rush from having a heavy makeout session with someone with a last name I don’t remember. I have friends who said “I love you” in the first week of knowing someone and others who took six weeks to have sex, and their relationships are equally as strong and well, equally as healthy, too.
But before they found those men, before they made a home with a guy they love to lay with – they liberated themselves first. They forgave themselves for having urges and they acted on them instead. They let go of the brainwashing and the shaming, the principles of what a “good girl” should be, and instead became the woman they wanted to become. A woman that yes, is a sexual creature. That’s full of everything a man’s full of (or mostly, anyway). That has passion and desires, that isn’t afraid of doing whatever it is that she feels comfortable with, whatever it is that makes her happy, satisfied and hungry.
I did hear from that mysterious man and he did propose a friends-with-benefits type of relationship. I had that with Mr. Possibility before it became more, and then with Mr. Smith for a period of time. I took home a guy last year who turned into a month-long sleepover, and I try to be a little freer when I’m on vacation and can let myself go in more ways than one. But with this particular guy, I wasn’t as interested in playing the booty-call card (because I kind of felt like I could like him for more), so I declined.
And that choice, that singular text message that wasn’t half as hot as the night we shared, made me feel powerful, yet again. It helped me get the spring in my step, the flirtatious attitude and hopeful spirit back in my heart and in my eyes. There’s something about not judging yourself – and indulging yourself – that makes you feel sexier than anything else.
Or maybe it’s the orgasm? Maybe it’s both. And maybe I like it.