Okay, let’s talk about sex, babies.
More specifically, casual sex, and the ups and downs of sexual detachment. Let’s begin with riding around in Porsche’s with boys…
I met this guy at Queen Street Warehouse, which is this dive bar I worked at a few years ago. We were friends, and would go out frequently, but I didn’t really think much of him romantically throughout this time. It was always us with our large group of friends, partying almost every night, and having the fucking time of our lives.
One night, he and I were out at our usual spot, which that summer was Odd Thomas, and we were wasted. What else is new. We left the group before last call (which was a rarity back them) and went by my house afterwards, I think to get drugs, but I can’t be too sure. We ended hooking up, clumsily, noisily and sloppily. My roommate and I made jokes about this encounter for a year because he was so loud. The next day, I woke up shocked to find him still there, and wanting to get breakfast together. It was strange to me because I never let anyone sleepover in my bed, but he was my friend so I wasn’t too bothered by it. No, really – I would normally call a cab for the guy while he was in the bathroom; I was the ultimate fuckboy. We went to get some food, and I started to feel awkward, so I picked up a shift at Warehouse and quickly departed before I could entertain any actual conversation. That night, he picked me up from work in his mom’s Porsche, and slept over again.
And this is how I ended up in the most random relationship ever.
See, Mom’s-Porsche-Guy (or MPG for short) and I were (and still are) completely different people. He’s a people-pleasing, loud, WASP-type. I am not. He would be everyone’s best friend to their faces, but then complain to me about them afterwards. He desperately wanted to be a part of the scene, so I introduced him to all my friends.
We spent most of our free time together, but he seldom spoke of anything on a personal level. Regardless, we had a lot of fun together, and it made the small things that he would share, mean more to me. The thing about this relationship is that we sort of just assimilated into each others lives and it became something, but nothing meaningful. We were best friends, enjoying each others company and sex, but it wasn’t some great love story. He picked up me all the time from wherever I was, and slept over regularly…I even stayed at his mom’s place one weekend. So, on paper, yes, in actions, a couple, but in reality, it was just a facade. We were both comfortable, and I think in a city where being genuine is scarce, it felt like something more real than it was.
We were having sex to create a relationship, or sex to hide the fact that there wasn’t much there. Regardless, there was no progression, no real emotional connection, only a plateau to which we reached throughout the months we dated.
We soon found ourselves infected by the current epidemic sweeping the streets of Toronto: a pseudo-relationship. It looks a relationship, and acts like a relationship, but you two are not boyfriend-girlfriend, and you’re not doing things to further yourselves or your lives together. Perhaps you do want the best for one another, but nothing you do actually supports or furthers the individual you’re with.
I’ve encountered this within my own experiences, as well as people close to me over the years. Why are we so afraid of relationships? Or even prefacing these interactions with honest feelings. We’re all out here either attempting to detach, or failing to make real connections. Most people in our age group would rather catch an STD before they catch feelings.
I want to pause here to clarify something, I am not condemning casual sex, by any means. If it feels right to you, and it is in line with what you and the other person (yes, there’s another person’s feelings you should probably consider here, too) want, by all means, get yours. The issue becomes when one person says “I only want sex”, and the other hears, “I want a relationship”. I believe that there can be a separation of intimacy, and sex. I also believe that in order for this to be possible, you need to be able to have intimacy in other areas of your life. You can’t keep everything inside forever, and by attempting to do so, you’re isolating yourself, and leaving yourself incapable of sharing yourself at all.
Getting back to detachment, I am certainly no stranger to it. I used to be the girl who couldn’t even look you in the eyes when we had sex. Probably still cant, I’ll do some research and let you know. I was in a serious relationship for four years and hated when he said “I love you” during sex, because it felt like an obligation to me. That could be because of my own thoughts and experiences on intimacy and sex, but I feel as if it is a prevalent standpoint these days. You cannot force detachment though. Just because you rationalize something, does not mean you stop feeling it. I would try and talk myself into (and I most certainly have) purely physical relationships. The ones where I’d sit, sifting through texts, deciphering each message that showed even a shred of what I could convince myself were real emotions. The ones with instant meaningless gratification, the ones that really had nothing there but UberEats and strong sexual chemistry. Meanwhile, I’d be so swept away in my stupid feelings that I’d be lighting up brighter than girl’s highlight on Queen St. when the guy I was “casually seeing” would text me.
But that didn’t make me okay with a relationship that was half-in, half-out.
Which brings us to the guy who actually owns a Porsche. He and I met through my friend and the guy she was dating. We all went out for dinner one night, and when I first met him, there wasn’t much there. Throughout the night, the more we talked, he revealed himself to be wildly charming and intelligent, and I was sold. We all went back to his condo after dinner, and my best friend and her boyfriend took to the spare bedroom. He offered me his bed for the night and he’d take the couch, but I declined. Cue my on-again-off-again bootycall messaging me, (another guy I had feelings for at the time, but obviously settled for the sex), and he was definitely where I wanted to be because it seemed easiest. Sex over emotions, right? I told Owns-A-Porsche (OAP for short) that I had to go to my sister’s house to watch her kids, so he sent me in an uber to my bootycall. Win.
Later that night, I came back to OAP’s place, because he had given me a key and insisted that I come back, and passed I out on the couch. When I woke up, we hung out all day, he kissed me, and I was so hooked. We had so much in common, and spoke for ever about, politics, art, life experiences, and he seemed to truly understand me.
Waiting for the shoe to drop? Because here it comes…
In classic fuck-up fashion, I then find out that, he and his girlfriend were not broken up, so that put a damper on things. But, I was so tragically wrapped up in him, and from everything he told me about her—I just knew they weren’t right for each other and that it should have been us.
There was something about the things he would say that made me come back to him constantly. I was so desperate for someone to understand me, and not shy away from my demons, that I allowed myself to enter into a relationship that was unbecoming of my soul. I cheated myself out of a real connection, and he cheated on his girlfriend with me. I didn’t see the wrong here because he would tell me that she was doing the same; that she was a gold-digger. He told me that I had all the potential in the world, and she didn’t, so he had to help her. Its funny, right? That, that was ultimately his reason for staying with her. He told me she needed him. But that wasn’t true, he needed an escape, and I looked like a vacation. The point here is, I’ve allowed sex to be a supplement for an actual emotional connection before. More than a connection, I’ve allowed sex to be the relationship rather than having the relationship I deserve. I know how it feels to think you love someone, maybe you truly do love them, and instead have sex be your life raft in their sea. I’ve white-knuckled certain relationships that I should have let go. I’ve allowed myself to think, if we have this, we surely have something.
In both of these instances, I had sex to keep a connection, and sex to create one. This is the problem when you’re substituting what you want, for what you’ll settle for. I am a very sex-positive person, but if you’re using someone for sex or using sex to keep someone, it is not benefiting you, and is no longer “casual”. Again, I am in no way condemning casual sex; do it, get it, enjoy it! But make sure you aren’t either pushing your emotions, or the emotions of someone else, aside while you’re doing so.
Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Don’t be afraid to get hurt in this way. We prioritize fucking over falling in love, all too often. I am no stranger to the idea that emotional pain is far worse than the physical, but this type of detachment leads to the demise of our inner selves. I’ve maintained detachment to avoid the possible emotional bruising of a poor-ending relationship, and yet, it only causes more pain. You realize you’re starving yourself, and at the first opportunity you have for some sort of connection, or what you believe to be a connection, you gorge yourself. This is not healthy.
Love and leave pieces of you with others – you’ll get them back, I promise. Don’t be afraid to show love, give love, receive love, wherever and whenever possible.
When you lay with someone, you become their equal. So with whatever path you choose to take in your life, at least have a baseline of respect for yourself and the person you’re entering into this with. If there’s something that I’ve learned through my mistakes, it’s that sleeping with someone for all the wrong reasons will never make you feel right afterwards.
Don’t trade in your emotions for a good time.
Don’t insist on something out of comfortability, or loneliness.
Be uncomfortable, be alone.
This is where and when you grow the most.
Most importantly, do not be afraid to connect to someone. Even if it doesn’t end well, it served a purpose. If you loved someone at a point in time, you can love another again.
Who knows, maybe you’ll even love yourself.