Sex and the Ivy

Quotables: Not Tonight Dear, I Have a Thesis

Filed under: Quotables — Elle February 27, 2008 @ 3:03 am

Me: So, would you like to have sex?

Boy Who Has A Thesis Due: Now is … not a good time.

Me: When’s a good time?

Boy: Can I get back to you on this later?

Me: Sure. When?

Boy: March 20th.

Would I Date Me?

Filed under: Dating/Relationships, Friendship — Elle February 26, 2008 @ 4:54 am

The more attention a woman gets, the more stigma is attached to her. There are plenty of famous men with few detractors; there are virtually no famous women without tons of them. Girls who write sex blogs (or dating columns or anything that remotely relates to matters of the heart or pussy) come with extra helpings of stigma. I admit: if I were a guy, I would have some major reservations about dating me. Who wants their girlfriend’s Google search results to include the type of stuff mine does?

My friends and I had a little debate the other night. They (and a lot of people) think that any guy who “deserves” me, who is “perfect for me”, etc. wouldn’t care about the blog or my questionable reputation or any of that stuff. But I think that the weirdness surrounding me is a bit too much for just about anyone to handle upfront. I don’t think that guys who stop calling or who write me off are assholes because they’re freaked out by my very public persona. I simply think that the unconventional aspects of my life — things that have taken a long time for me to be comfortable with — would be difficult for any new acquaintance to get used to, most of all a romantic interest.

To me, it doesn’t make sense to simply say that the perfect guy for me wouldn’t care about things like this, because he should care. I’d be concerned if he didn’t! My daily life and interactions are far from normal, and if someone is going to get involved with me, I’d be worried if he didn’t care about the ramifications of my blog on our relationships. If one of my girlfriends started dating my male equivalent, I’d certainly caution her to be wary too. In fact, in my experience with guys, there is a fine line between being supportive after becoming fully informed of my circumstances and being … weirdly into fame. There are a ton of guys who fall into the latter category, are completely gung-ho about the blog, specifically request to be blogged about, and pretty much eliminate themselves from romantic contention by displaying an unhealthy obsession with obtaining their fifteen minutes.

The more I debated this matter with my friends; the more irritated I got with them. They thought I was being pessimistic about my options. “You don’t know what it’s like!” I said. “People get freaked out. That doesn’t make them bad people or less worthy.” They pointed out a recent example of a guy who was fantastic about it all, who didn’t judge me, who was understanding and patient. If he existed, then everyone who couldn’t do the same as he did simply didn’t deserve me in their minds. But I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think it’s fair to expect that same unreasonable standard of absolute open-mindedness from all men when I only found it in one — and not even one I explored romantic possibility with. Maybe he wouldn’t have been able to handle it after all in the end. “But isn’t love supposed to be rare?” asked Tara. “How many guys do you expect to find? There will only be a few people for anyone.” My point, though, is that a lot of times, I don’t make it past first dates or initial meetings with people, and that’s what’s annoying. I’m not after true, all-consuming love. I’m after … whatever it is people do in college when they’re young and undecided.

I’m quickly finding that this is a game I’m walking into with a major handicap. That sucks, but it doesn’t do much good to blame others. “They can’t help it,” I told Tara. “My life is not normal and any reasonable person should be fairly freaked out.” Maybe I was feeling pessimistic because I just saw Julia and I was starting to think that New York really wasn’t any more forgiving a place (or less of a bubble) than Harvard. “There’s no one who could be expected to handle it. It’s just too much, ” she said to me over brunch. “It’s too much to ask for from someone you just met.” I had to agree. Sure, it sucks that I’m not given a chance to demonstrate that I’m kind and loving and selfless and all those adjectives my friends offer up, but my god, we’re talking about guys I’ve just gotten to know. I’m not going to fault people for being rightfully apprehensive, for wanting to back away slowly from this seeming mess of a girl.

And honestly? It’s hard to be with me, almost as hard as it is to be me. Relationships are difficult enough as they are, but loving me means figuring out how to negotiate between the public and the private, between my habitual neediness and my spurts of defiant independence. There are subtle cues that take forever to learn, that some guys — even the ones I fall hard for — will simply never become familiar with.

My friends have been with me through this whole crazy journey, and they know. They know they shouldn’t take it personally when I don’t want to be touched because I’m anxious (like last night) or feel out of the loop when I blog about something I haven’t first told them. They don’t get freaked out when people recognize me at parties or offended when I leave parties because I’m freaked out. They no longer get surprised or even excited about the crazy shit that comes up, because unless I’m damn excited myself — and visibly so — there’s nothing more irritating than someone else getting ridiculously amped up on my behalf. It’s taken a long time and a lot of improvisation but they know the proper reactions to things, know when and how much to push me (and when not to), and know that my best coping mechanism for when shit gets especially bad is to just resolve stuff on my own. They know I will go to them if I really need to, that otherwise, they won’t get very far by prodding. All of these things, especially the last, are hard to learn, even harder to accept.

And even my patient friends don’t get it right 100% of the time. Our debate is a good example. They love me and so naturally, they want me to be happy. They think that I deserve nothing less than a person who fully accepts me as I am, but they don’t want to recognize that total acceptance — at least initially — is hard to come by with a reputation like mine. When it came to this debate, I wasn’t budging on my position. Like Julia said, “It’s just too much.” I’m not going to fault people for having perfectly valid responses to my freaky deaky life. And even though I’m certain my friends know one of my pet peeves is when others adopt common rhetoric (”Anyone who doesn’t give you a chance does not deserve you”) for my uncommon situation (sex blogging), they couldn’t help but do it anyway. They didn’t want to see me blaming myself and my choices for my bad luck in love. So what I thought was a realistic outlook, they viewed as overly pessimistic.

But I’m not saying that I’m never going to find someone. It’s just going to be much, much harder. And instead of dismissing everyone who doesn’t immediately accept me as someone who’s not worth my time, I should probably take a long look at the previous year and determine if my blog is worth the trouble.

Spreading Legs Does Not A Sexpert Make

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elle February 19, 2008 @ 6:28 pm

Contrary to what the recent Newsweek piece says, I don’t really consider myself an “authority on sex” nor am I a “self-appointed poster girl for what could be called a group of brainy girls gone wild”. My friends will attest that I’ve never proclaimed my expertise on the topic. In fact, I’m more of a case study on what NOT to do in relationships and in the bedroom. Longtime readers know that this website features plenty more debacles and mistakes and embarrassing episodes than it does advice or optimistic bullshit. It’s about what I do with my life not what anyone else should do with theirs. I don’t mind living and learning, but frankly, I would never advise anyone to follow in my example.

If you asked, I wouldn’t even know how to describe what being a sexpert would entail. Writing a lot about sex? Having a lot of sex? Maybe I’m only a sexpert in the sense that I have something to say about the subject period, since there’s a fairly limited population of folks who are willing to go on the record about going down.

I had a fairly lengthy interview with the writer of the Newsweek piece. She asked a lot of questions and I gave her a lot of opinionated responses, none of which made the article. Maybe that’s why I came off as an “authority on sex”. After all, I have strong feelings about the state of love and sex at Harvard, … but then again so do a lot of my friends. That doesn’t make them sexperts and it doesn’t make me one either.

Quotables: It’s Cocaine, Not Charisma

Filed under: Quotables — Elle February 18, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

Mark: “There’s something about you that’s very magnetic. I’ve only seen it in one or two other people that I’ve met. Like of course you’re attractive, and cute, and funny, and all that good stuff, but there’s something about you that draws people in, keeps people interested, and keeps people coming back.”
Me: “I sound like a drug dealer.”

A Valentine’s Day Reflection

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elle February 13, 2008 @ 11:25 pm

Special occasions tend to make me reflective, even more so than the typical person since I am naturally introspective (i.e. self-obsessed). My birthday, for example, serves as a reminder of the embarrassing difference between my mental and physical age. New Year’s always makes me feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in the previous twelve months. Chinese New Year, on the other hand, reminds my mother that I’ve accomplished nothing in the previous twelve months. And then there’s Valentine’s Day.

I’m not going to rant about how depressing this holiday is for singles. There’s enough whining on that subject. Sure, it sucks to be alone. But what sucks even more? Being in the company of douchebags! Whenever I think that singledom is lame, I just try to reflect the times I was lucky enough to be in male company:

* President’s Day weekend (nearly a year ago) in a hotel room in midtown Manhattan with my friend’s boyfriend who propositioned me and asked me to keep the hookup (which didn’t happen) a secret

* Spring Break in Philadelphia with the guy who later posted naked photos of me on the Internet in some weird fit of rage provoked by my refusal to answer his IMs, phone calls, text messages, or voicemails

* April at Harvard with a guy who — whoops! — turned out to be dating my friend. Minor detail he left out from our date.

* New York last summer with multiple men who 1) also had girlfriends, 2) said they’d call but unsurprisingly didn’t, or 3) acted like the frat boys I thought I left behind in Cambridge.

* Junior fall at Harvard with way too many of my sophomore year hookups. It was like sleeping with Lena’s Greatest Hits Collection. Except more self-hating, less best-selling the second time around.

* December on the phone with Mark whose girlfriend contacted me Christmas night to tell me that my orgasmic phone calls were being made to the man she’d been dating for over a year.

Last Valentine’s, I was at my favorite Indian restaurant with platonic guy friend Nick, my steady Wednesday dinner date. He was in a relationship; I was kind of seeing someone. We were both away from our significant others, braving a rainstorm in Cambridge to make it to the promised rendezvous. The only thing tonight has in common with that night is the weather. I’m alone — again, and worse for wear, but still alive. V-Day to some, D-Day to others, Valentine’s to me is much more complicated than whether I get flowers, an orgasm or neither. I survived the previous 365 days without a STD or institutionalization. So I may go to bed alone on Valentine’s tomorrow, but I guarantee that it’ll be a deep slumber. At this point, love is just about the only thing that could keep me from falling asleep at night.

Next Page >>>