Sex and the Ivy

This is a Still Frame

Filed under: Dating/Relationships, Men — Elle November 29, 2007 @ 3:50 am

(Warning: stream-of-consciousness ahead)

I always accuse my best friend Jason (JB) of not paying attention to me during our conversations. He has a bad habit of fixating on his laptop or the TV or whatever screen is present while I’m blathering on about my crisis of the moment. So after a long Thanksgiving absence, part of our “catch-up” consisted of me making him name all the guys I’m currently interested in or who are interested in me. This was a test. In fact, it was a lot like a pop quiz issued a couple weeks after midterms, just when you’re getting comfortable, starting to skip class again, and letting your guard down. I wanted to make sure he was taking notes.

Apparently, he was, because he passed with flying colors. Initially, Jason reacted to my challenge with a look of horror and said in a panicked voice, “That’s not fair. You’re single now and there are so many!”. But once he started naming guys, he was on a roll. New Yorkers, Californians, boys across the River, boys across the Atlantic, Jason knew them all. Despite my hoes in different area codes, he got locations, ethnicities, occupations, even back stories right. After he listed my six current flirtations, Jason gloated, “See? I told you I listen.” I had to admit: I was kind of impressed.

So was he … with my lengthy list, that is. I guess six guys at present sound like a lot, but not really when you factor in distance (an issue with most of them) or level of interest (from “sorta flirting after one sorta date” to “blowing up my inbox”) or you know, actual relationship feasibility (none). The ones I want the most are the ones I can’t have. The ones who like me are the ones I crave least. And besides, I’m really digging the single, remember? So much so, in fact, that loving my space lately means long-distance romance is what stands the best chance if I were to choose right this moment who I wanted. It’s like getting all the emotional perks of a relationship but being able to keep your life intact. (This is probably a very unhealthy approach to take.)

Perhaps this is just a personal observation, but love and sex tend to come in waves. There are periods when I am so desperately sexually frustrated that I start to eye everyone: waiters, men on the subway, professors, friends’s fathers (okay, just Tara’s). And then there are weird phases, usually brought on over the course of a single weekend or trip, when I’m inundated with interest and it’s hard to keep track of just who I need to call back or have a date with or you know, actually like. This is one of those weird phases.

That being said, I haven’t actually gotten a ton of action since my third year at Harvard has started. I’m sick of being disappointed so I basically stopped hooking up. I decided that I’d much rather wake up alone and well-rested rather than with company and still not orgasmic. Besides, the fling of summer was older and astoundingly hot (had to be to break my abstinence streak) and after we hooked up following my long series of immature city-dwelling 19-year-olds, I just stopped putting up with college guys and antics (there are only two out of my six-man list). I’ve never been particularly fond of boys my age any how, but my tolerance for them has now dissipated completely. They don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t ask for directions, and they hardly have any sense of hook-up etiquette. I’m not even going to try here. And that across-the-board dismissal applies just as much to out-of-college guys still using the tricks they acquired in frat houses and a copy of The Game. You’re 24. I don’t think so, sugar.

So, who am I sleeping with? Well, no one really. I can’t even remember the last time I had sex, and when I say I can’t remember, I mean it was over a month ago but I was literally so drunk I have no recollection. (But that was the only freshman-esque random hookup this year, I swear!) Discounting that, I’ve had sex exactly four times since September and every time with someone I’d previously been with. It is telling that I am three months into this term and I’ve mostly been recycling. So you see, junior year is basically sophomore year with less sex and less booze. Boo-ring!

But I don’t think I’d have it any other way. I like things calm and slow. I think my therapist likes it this way too. No more guys with girlfriends (mostly), no more crazy exes (again, mostly), no more popping Plan B like candy (even though it’s yum). The worst part of this utter singleness is the lack of sex, and as I said before, even that I’m willing to forgo if only because no sex is preferable to bad sex. Still, this snapshotting my love life in this rare moment of non-infatuation, total boredom, and apathy has got me thinking: 1) why do my options suck, and 2) who the hell AM I willing to get serious with? Probable answers: 1) I write a “sex blog”, hello, and 2) no one short of the idealized, empathetic tech geek who I write about in aforementioned blog but who doesn’t actually exist. Um, should probably work on infusing my “ideal man” with a hint of feasibility. Oh, and revamping my Google search results obvs.

But I digress. Maybe this is a good thing. Since I have an uncanny knack for finding Mr. Wrong, perhaps what I need to do is stop looking and let Mr. Right (more like Mr. Right Now) find me himself. My historically atrocious taste in men makes leaving it up to everyone but me the best strategy. While rereading an old entry on my blog, I stumbled upon this comment a reader left:

“A friend of a friend once got more or less the following advice from her mental health professional: ‘Based on your relationship history, you should treat the mere fact that you are attracted to someone as a huge red flag.’” -MWR

Yep, sounds about right. And when taking that into consideration, it really does put a different spin on things, a different spin on my list of six. In fact, you know what? Suddenly, it’s become abundantly clear who I want vs. who is worth wanting, and the guys who seemed oh-so-intriguing when I started writing this entry are just starting to look like assholes.