Thursday, January 25, 2007

Formal Sex


Valentine's Day is creeping up and I've got a Valentine all lined up who goes by the name of Ketel One. Or maybe I'll class it up and cozy up to a bottle of cheap champagne.

No pity, it's my own fault. A guy friend once asked me why I was single. I paused and rifled through the remnants of my past relationships. Was it my moodiness? My short temper? My overlarge feet? No, it's because I want to be. Most single women could have somebody if they wanted, if they really wanted. It's not that I'm so great, it's that generally I'm no worse than anyone else and there are lots of men looking just as hard as women are to find someone they actually like.

Right now, I could probably fashion someone I'm dating into a Valentine if I tried. He's attractive, funny, smart, and treats me well. Except, I made a fatal mistake and let it get too physical too fast. I'm a proponent of doing what you feel when it feels right (Lemontangos knows of what I speak), except there are times when it isn't so much what you feel as it is the unholy progression of things you find yourself unable to stop. Sex creates a sense of intimacy where there once was none. Sometimes you create the real intimacy before the sex and other times you fill in the gaps later during meandering conversations about what cartoons you loved as a kid and why you secretly think Soul Plane is the height of comic cinema. But what if you feel like you missed that window of opportunity or it's rapidly closing and you're not sure how to pry it open? Do you even bother or do you accept the awkwardness of false intimacy and admit that it is nothing more than a physical relationship?

When it comes to sex, I can pretend that I'm completely liberated and see it solely as the expression of a physical need. Only, I think I'd be underplaying my hand. Casual sex is a misnomer for me. In the midst of it and afterwards, nothing much about it feels casual. Sex requires more than just your body. It can be good without real intimacy, but sex with it is always better. A session between the sheets is nice and sometimes necessary, but nothing compares with waking up and seeing a face that you want nothing more than to cover in kisses. I'll drink a whole bottle of champagne (even the good stuff) to finding that again.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Attraction and Attracted


I don't like to think of myself as a shallow person. I want to believe that I am more concerned with who people are than what they look like or what their occupation is. New York is built for tell me what you do and who you know. This city can sometimes feel like its made up of worlds you only gain entrance to when you know just the way to knock and the right password to give. I never wanted and never thought I gave into the idea of VIP.

At dinner a couple of months ago, one of my guy friends declared himself--declared himself not interested in only being my friend. When someone mentions his name, I can easily talk about how great he is, how much I love him. He is a creative encouragement and at his best a true confidante. But, he has never inspired romantic thoughts in me. Sure, the combination of liquor and a man drought may have caused my vision to get a little hazy, but clarity always came before any real mistakes were made. In the last few weeks, he has insisted that there is something between us. He is sure that I'm afraid it would be great, so I shy away from actually pursuing it. I dismiss him when he says this, and yet there is something there I can't name. The only word I can come up with is attraction and I usually preface that word with "strange" or "weird."

So why if there is an attraction and we are such good friends, do I deny him even the chance of being taken seriously as a romantic option? Apparently, I'm shallow. I might be attracted, but I don't find him attractive. I always believed that I liked what I liked. I did not look for the approval of my friends and not even my family. Some never passed the test of either. Who cared about that when he made me laugh and smile and exuded whatever sexiness I had found in him? Only, I've never really been put to the test about looks. Some may have been more attractive than others, but no one would have found any of them UNattractive.

It's more than just attractiveness that keeps me from this friend. We would never work out for a lot of reasons, but could there be men I pass by who, if not always from the outside, could be great for me? The shameful truth is I want someone who makes me look good. I lust after beautiful bags, not for their beauty alone and not for their price tag, but because I want that to have that beauty for myself, to make me feel beautiful. We work to form lives that fit our vision for ourselves and who we would like to be, from handbags to whom we choose to date. If a woman comments on my purse or on my man, I get a little ego boost. I beam with pride to say that's mine. Meanwhile, my male friend now has a girlfriend and I think I see in her unadulterated pride to call him her man. On the other hand, I can comfort myself with all those very attractive men who didn't work out.

We all make our choices.