It happened again. Another “This was a mistake,” text. I’ve gotten ‘em all: “I’m embarrassed about what we did…,” “… it felt right at the time,” or my personal favorite, “We were better off friends.” What inspires these texts? The same thing every time, just with a slightly different (yet totally the same) response. They are all from people that I’ve hooked up with that are already in relationships.
I know it’s wrong. I know I shouldn’t even be talking to them. Why pursue something that is bound to end badly? Why purposely hurt other people? Why suffer the heartache time and again? Honestly, I don’t know.
Of course there’s one obvious reason: I’m involving myself with people that aren’t emotionally available so that I won’t have to be emotionally available. I know this because of Freud or the movie Kinsey or the show Masters of Sex, any one of
‘em really. But like, that’s too simple a reason for it to be the only one.
If you think about it, which I probably should more often, it’s really all comes down to greed.
I do it because I can. This doesn’t make it right, but for some reason I’m attracted to these people, and for that reason I pursue them. Instead of stopping myself, I go right ahead with the communication, caution to the wind. I’m not proud of this, but I’m also not ashamed.
Of course the old adage, “We become our parents,” could certainly apply to me. But Dad was a serial cheater, putting every male cast member of Mad Men to shame. He could charm anybody, and apparently that included their pants — maybe that’s where the phrase comes from. My mom tolerated it as long as she could, but eventually they divorced. He went on to marry multiple women and father countless children. We no longer speak.
As I got older I got fatter, but also funnier. I was the typical fat, funny kid that used humor to mask insecurities. It worked. I was popular, had a lot of friends, even got laid every now and then. At least that’s what I tell people now.
Calling my juvenile sexual experiences “laid” is too liberal. Even though I had lost my virginity at 14, I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 18. In that span of time I let “straight” men abuse my insecurities masked as confidence. It was the, “It’s not gay if we don’t kiss,” mentality. Giving a blowjob to a guy was nothing, or a handjob, sometimes even letting them fuck me. Some might call that slutty, but others could look at it as consensual rape. Whatever it was, it was available to me and feeling a need for some kind of a connection, I took it.
I lost the weight as an adult and grew confident. I dated here and there, but nothing stuck. I had a rich sexual life at times, never taken advantage as I was in my youth, but still no real deep connection.
The landscape seems different now that I’m 32. Many of my friends are in stable relationships, some even married. That’s not to say there aren’t a ton of us that are single, but certainly not like in my 20s. The major difference between then and now: technology has only intensified the necessity of my greed.
The communication of sexuality has become so advanced, yet also primitive, that much of our initial exposure of someone comes from swiping “Hot” or “Not” and hoping it’s a match. It’s as if sex is instantaneous, without remorse or consideration. My dad is probably using Tinder as you read this.
As a kid I never imagined myself married. I assumed I’d be a comedian or a writer (done), and I figured I’d have a kid someday (fingers crossed), but never married. It’s not that I’ve ever been against it, it just was never part of my outlook. Could this be the reason that I pursue emotionally unavailable partners? Maybe.
Part of me hopes that I’m just a product of the times, a result of sexual liberation working out it’s kinks (sometimes literally — looking at you, weird married food fetish guy). Maybe the way I live my life is the future of sexuality. Was monogamy all that special anyway?
But another part of me acknowledges that I’m a great big dickhead and should stop this behavior immediately. Then again, if I and everyone like me does stop, then that will cut into the business of apps like Tinder, Grindr, OkCupid, and they certainly don’t want that, do they?
Greed, in more ways than one, really does fuel every facet of society… including our libidos.