. . . Have you ever wondered what motivates you to have sex?
As far as dilemmas go, being an overly AND overtly AND over-the-top sexually charged woman in her 40’s doesn’t appear to be all that noteworthy. I can hear the voices now:
Who gives a shit if your “number” resembles infinity?
Oh, so having myriad sexual partners is a problem now?
Sure as hell hope you’re not going to ask for any sympathy . . . .
And, while those perspectives are legitimate, they do not address the other very legitimate reasons many people choose to write about their sex lives on the Internet. On some level it’s about showing off—why else do you think Facebook is so popular?—but it’s also a place to grapple with some very real questions about human sexuality in a very personal way.
The thing that’s getting me all tied up in knots lately is my motivation behind some of my sexual behaviors. Why is it, for example, I’m putting a lot of time and emotional energy into arranging a three-way with Bad Boy Abercrombie and his Smoking Hot Roommate when what I claim I really want is a boyfriend? What do I hope to gain from scrolling through and responding to many Craigslist “casual encounter” ads night in and night out? Why is it so easy to turn on the sexual charm, but I can barely keep an age-appropriate man’s attention over cocktails if I’m not trying to sleep with him? Why did I wake up in a stranger’s hotel room this morning?
Am I becoming addicted to sex?
My friends call it “being in a stage.” They ask questions about where I am in my sexual spectrum and when I’m going to go back to just being normal. Of course, they acknowledge that women of a certain age are in their sexual prime, but being in your prime AND acting out your fantasies are two entirely different scenarios. They’ve jokingly hinted at having an intervention—and just like any joke like that, on some level they sure as hell mean it. And because I know they would worry, I keep my big mouth shut. Just as we all shelter our parents from our world in our teens, I highly monitor what I tell even my closest friends.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this push for a lot of sex a lot of the time with a lot of men has something to do with being in a midlife crisis. As I’ve been known to say from time to time when I’m pretty buzzed and feeling sorry for myself: “I used to be pretty damn pretty.” I know, you really hate me now, but this fear of losing one’s looks and being alone is scary as hell. Oh sure, you have so much to offer—your looks are only a small piece of it. I agree that is true for many, many women, but we still have to get our toe in the door. Besides, the real rub is getting used to not receiving much attention anymore. Going from being able to command a room with your presence to being nearly invisible takes some getting used to. Being a sexually charged beacon turns that light switch of adoration from men right back on.
With a wink and a knowing grin, I refer to my casual dalliances as proclivities. They have become a part of who I am even though I’m second guessing how sane OR healthy OR reasonable enjoying many lovers actually can be for me. If I give it up, then I won’t have the crazy nights filled with passion and lust. If I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll probably run into a dangerous sort reminiscent of Diane Keaton’s Mr. Goodbar. If I tone it down . . . .
And that’s where the word “addiction” seeps in and takes hold. I don’t know a single alcoholic who wouldn’t prefer moderation over completely denying him or herself of alcohol forever. They just can’t only have one. If I do have a problem with sex, and I really need help, then just having 4-5 regular lovers with a stray thrown in once a month for good measure would not be something I could actually do. Rather, I would probably have to remain celibate as I worked through these pretty apparent issues with a therapist without health insurance and be miserable in the process.
And, just like when I go without drinking for a month or two, I go back to it not because I want a drink necessarily, but because I’m bored to tears. My crazy, mixed-up full-of-sex life is a shitload of fun.
If I’m not fucking, what the hell would I do with my time?