Thursday, May 21, 2009

the one where I discuss (complain about?) dating and sex and objectification and everything personal

Woohoo! It seems that I'm wholly OUT of break up/rebound territory. Not bothered much by the ole BC any more these days. Except yesterday, when I drove past a black Jeep Cherokee and I think the driver and I made eye contact. And the driver had a square shaped head, nice lips, and black nerdy glasses. I almost threw up, but thank goodness I had to shift into 3rd and didn't have time to get all dramatic.

Helen and I recently noticed that single-ness becomes me. I am happy and healthy. I seem to think that I like relationships better, but when I'm actually WITH someone, I turn into a wreck; self denial, weeping when I fear it's OVER, manic happy episodes when things are good. With someone, I tend to drink too much, miss too much work, and ignore my other friends. It's awful, really.

But dating is a miserable pain in the ass. Let me tell you. I've not really jumped back into that pool yet, just texting with a few people, wetting my feet, so to speak. And you know, I wouldn't even bother, except that I really do want to believe in the whole "falling in love" thing. And if you want a dating relationship to go well, I've learned you must take it a little slower than you'd like and postpone sex until you've defined the relationship. Both of those things are NOT things I'd prefer to do (I'm terribly impulsive), that's just what I've discovered through all my, uh, research.

And I declared late last Dec, after B and I broke it off for good, that I was done done DONE with casual sex (because of the health risk, not because of the psychological implications). And then I was in a monogamous relationship again (which made me miserable) for a while, and now single and wishing I'd not said I was done with casual sex, because if I'm also not getting into a relationship, that's pretty much the same thing as saying I'm done with sex altogether. See? This is a moebius strip conundrum all the way! Argh.

Now, I want to add that my anthropologist friend (who I "have some history with") is in town, petitioning for a bit of my time, and casual is the agenda. It's not very well hidden. Actually, it's completely blatant. There never was much pretense with him. And the kinds of things he says in text are so crazy and outrageous, part of me wants to slap him. But he can back it up, let me tell you. And my brain likes the banter, anyways.

But wait, didn't I say I was DONE with all of that?

So my questions are:

are men who pursue women for sex instead of relationships OBJECTIFYING them?

is objectification actually wrong if it's consensual?

is it any more forgivable if the man is wonderful, brilliant, and considerate?

is it any better considering that I've always happily enough walked away from the affairs in the past?

what if it turns out I can't fall in love without it being a disaster, anyways?

If I can't have what you have... a hand to hold, a compadre, a partner in crime, a yang to my yin... can't I at least have the hot (knocking over lamps and chairs and tall piles of books) sex?


Memarie Lane said...

It's not objectification if they're up front about it, and sometimes a relationship will grow in spite of it. That's exactly how Brad and I hooked up, and look at us now. ;)

Anonymous said...

You can have all of those things, you just haven't found the right person yet.

If sex is all you want, then a casual relationship makes sense. If you want more, then you need to date and evaluate potential mates based upon what you want. You are in full control of your life, and the relationships you have.

Great sex is the least important criterion if you are looking for a relationship. It can be learned, and it can be taught. As anyone with experience knows, great sex varies by the person you are with, everyone is different. It is far more important to find someone you would actually want to spend time with, and then explore sexuality together.

The key to learn while dating, as you have pointed out, is self-denial at first. Slow down, take a chance to survey the scene. This doesn't mean that one cannot be impulsive, but that fun must be balanced by evaluation. Dating is not about getting into a relationship, it is about figuring out whether you want to get into a relationship with that person. Look for red flags, especially at first. Just about everyone lies when dating, it's human nature. The key is picking out the nasty lies from the white lies, and looking to discover inconsistencies. If it helps, assume that everyone you date might be a Cylon. ;-)

There are plenty of excellent people out there.