he said / she said
He Said / She Said
SEX. That tiny little word has been saddled with so much implication that serves only to complicate it impossibly and make it almost seem like more trouble than it’s worth. I know that biologically there are reasons why men and women react differently to sex, procreation, and all, however, it’s only been in recent years that we’ve added so much emotional value and importance to it. It really is just a basic human function and necessity like anything else we do to make our lives run more smoothly. I think of it more as a recreational sport, and we all know that sports are entirely necessary in order to maintain our bodies in optimal condition.
A glass of wine can really help to unwind after a long, stressful day, but sex is just as effective, if not more so. It has rejuvenating properties and releases all sorts of happy drugs into our brains. Combine sex with wine and you have the recipe for a perfect evening. That is, of course, only if that sex doesn’t come with a million questions, anxieties, deceptions, misinterpretations, promises, and, worst of all, emotions.
When you have feelings for someone, it distorts the sex. It’s no longer about the moment of pleasure and truly enjoying each other. There is no freedom in the act itself because it shackles you with implied promises and imposed expectations, attributing ideas and emotions to the other person to satisfy our own emotional needs.
So that’s how we come to the fuck buddy arrangement – everyone gets what they want, and we all go home happy. In that moment, everything is perfect. There are no lies or consequences to consider that could spoil the moment. Erica Jong put it perfectly in her acclaimed best seller Fear of Flying. “The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not ‘taking’ and the woman is not ‘giving.’ No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn.”
However, the fuck buddy arrangement can be much like navigating a minefield. It may seem simpler than a traditional relationship, but due to its forbidden nature, the rules are much murkier and can therefore be harder to navigate.
I’ve had a few years of experience with this topic, and yet I’m often still confused as to the rules and boundaries of the same.
In the past, however, it was much more difficult, as I had no point of reference and the concept was new to me. For example, I am by nature a bit cold and reserved. However, when it came to my sex partners, I tended to be downright mean and cruel. Why? My reasoning used to be that that way it would be tougher for an emotional bond to be cemented. Needless to say, it wasn’t a surefire technique and resulted in unnecessarily hurt feelings.
Another problem I had was deciding how much time I should spend with them. Was it supposed to be a wham-bam-thank-you-man (yes, I know the saying is wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, but since I’m the “ma’am” in this scenario I felt that “man” was the way to go), or was it more acceptable to spend time with them, talking and laughing? How about cuddling? I’m not a cuddler by nature, and the common conception is that men don’t like it. So was it ok for me to stick to my side of the bed after the fact? And how about sleepovers? Did that create a more intimate environment for our encounters? Because that would really ruin what I was going for.
Deciding how often I should see someone was also a problem for me. I didn’t want to see them too often because then they might think I was getting too attached or they might actually be getting too attached themselves. Both would create a problem for me. However, I couldn’t always expect them to make the first move. Then they might think that I was at their disposition, my needs and desires would be pushed to the side, and it would cease to be mutually gratifying.
All this over-thinking is exhausting and makes it far too calculating, which in turn makes it harder to enjoy.
I can’t claim I have it all figured out yet, but I think I’ve come to a point where the over-thinking has died down a bit. I can enjoy it a lot more without the constant nagging question of, “Is this the right way to do it?” I’ve learned that everybody is different, and therefore every encounter will be different as well. There isn’t a specific playbook which will guarantee anything, so it’s really just a matter of playing it by ear.
Right now that means going with the flow. When possible I take time to talk and laugh with him. It makes me more comfortable around him when it’s a fun and playful experience, a friendly interaction as opposed to a back alley business deal. But I try not to get into deep personal discussions because that might create a too-intimate moment that crosses my personal boundaries. Knowing exactly where that line is, though, can require a bit of thought, and I don’t always nail it.
I used to be strongly adverse to cuddling, and while I’m still not a complete fan, these days it doesn’t cause me to run screaming from the room. Nor does it wind me up into a tight ball of tension anymore. So if he is comfortable, I can go with it for a bit. As to the sleepover question, well, I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. I must admit that mostly I prefer to sleep alone in my own bed. But recently it’s happened that he has spent the night with me or I with him, and so far it hasn’t created a problem for me. I don’t think it’s creating a more intimate atmosphere than I want, and so until it starts being a problem for either of us, I think I’ll keep doing it.
In regards to how often I visit my man-friend and/or friends, well, that depends on my mood. I worry less about what he thinks because I think we both are very well aware of our arrangement and that neither of us are looking for anything else. The frequency of the visits has no hidden meaning whatsoever. So if I’m feeling it, I’ll ask him to come over even if I might have already seen him once that week.
What I do stress about, however, are little things such as compliments. I’m not talking about complimenting his sexual prowess, I’m referring to compliments on looks or personality or more personal stuff like that. Yes, I know, it sounds absurd. I feel ridiculous just saying it, but sometimes when I get a compliment I’m not sure how to respond, so I laugh. Am I supposed to give compliments as well? Or is that too emotionally supportive, as my good friend Mila Kunis said in the movie Friends With Benefits? I don’t want to unwittingly cross any invisible lines and turn this into something emotional, so I still feel a little uncomfortable with words. I can laugh and joke with the best of them, but when it turns to something a little more personal about me I freeze.
Another thing that is causing me a bit of anxiety is the fact that I don’t feel very confident at the moment. It does occupy my thoughts more than I’d like to admit. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older that is making this an issue for me, they seem to be getting younger and younger and more and more beautiful, and therefore I feel uncomfortable when I’m naked. This doesn’t make sense in my mind because since we’re just fuck buddies I probably do have to impress with my knowledge of the Kama Sutra but I shouldn’t have to impress him with my good looks. Or should I? I don’t know, I’m confused again.
Either way I’m enjoying it. Having him want me in that moment without pretention or agenda is liberating in a before-unimaginable way. For the moment, I’m lost in him, expecting nothing but his hands on my body and his tongue in my mouth and the wholeness that comes from the orgasmic release. It’s intimate in that we are both very present in the moment, giving it our full attention, being consumed by desire. You can let go completely because you know that this is all there is. There’s no room for jealously either. I’m not expecting fidelity – he’s not mine, and I’m not his. There is nothing to claim. Yehuda Berg once said, “It is not possible to possess anything. It is the idea of possession that lies at the heart of all fear, war, and conflict.” And if you think about it, most of our relationship woes can be traced back to the need to possess the other person.
In time, my needs or desires may change, and I’m working on being open to that possibility. But for now, this is satisfying, and it works for me. There are those who say my life must be empty and unsatisfying because I don’t have love in my life, but I strongly disagree. My life is full of loving friends and family who bring me happiness and fulfillment. For those times when I need a little recreational sport in my life, I know just who to call.
I don’t like thinking.
Thinking about things is like going to the doctor or the mechanic – you just end up being in a whole lot of trouble that you were perfectly fine with before.
My friend, Decent Lady, says that the reason I get into so much trouble in the first place is because of my not thinking things through.
I guess I’m screwed either way.
Still, thinking is a chore and one that I prefer to forego whenever I can afford myself the luxury.
It’s not that I can’t think; I am perfectly capable of putting two and two together (as you can see if you are beginning to feel entertainment welling up inside of you as you read this. Plus I know how to use a semicolon). It’s just that it seems like everyone around me is doing so much thinking already. And the more they think, the less fun they are.
I can think, but I prefer to balance out equations, not add more equation. I have a brother who I know almost better than anyone. Early in life, he decided he would like to be the smart one. He’s great at it. So there was already a smart one in our family. We didn’t need two smart ones; we needed an absent-minded, hell-raising, bright neon party animal. And that’s what we got.
It may be different for you, but when I think, I delve into the world of the horrible, scheming person that I could be. Thinking is all burden, manipulation, and struggle. I honestly believe that I am a much better person when I don’t think.
Instead, I figure.
Figures are surface thinkings that seem almost magically self-intuitive. I believe they are the super computer of your mind skimming the newspaper of the inner recesses of your brain and giving you just the headlines only, just the bare bones of what you need to know.
That’s what I figure anyway.
For instance, instead of thinking that the Miami Heat has one of the top two-guards in the league, a Big Three who can easily threaten over 20 points each per game, a point guard with a 40 percent three-pointer shot, and a deep roster to round things out, I figure that the Heat is a kick ass team.
I figure that potato chips go best with football, that shoes better be comfortable or I ain’t wearing them, that I can make the shot with just a hair of a headstart, that chicks in red dresses look hot, and that Arnold Schwarzenegger is awesome.
I also don’t like tossing and turning over the future (or present or past) of my relationships.
As far as Wynter is concerned, I figure that she and I are pretty much on the same page.
And I figure that we’ll do just fine.
We’ll figure it out.