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.