Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jenna: Things I Used To Hate

Everybody has something they don't like about themselves. Whether it comes down to a character flaw, a tendency towards inaction, or a bad habit that you can't seem to break...the feeling of hating something about yourself is a very common human experience. I like to think that I learn from all of the experiences I have, good, bad, and ugly. That every time I make a mistake or less than respectable choice based on a whim or impulse, I acknowledge and accept it, knowing I won't make the same mistake again. I think we all like to believe in this process of emotional evolution for ourselves, but that doesn't always make it true. There are certain things that I will never do again, for sure. I'll never stay in an unhealthy relationship that makes me feel like shit, causes me to lie to friends, or be a watered down version of myself in order to please someone else. But aside from a few big no no lessons I've learned well, I've come to accept that, at this point in my life, there are some things about me that are simple true. And I can go on hating and judging myself for them, thinking that maybe with enough self-flagellation, I'll change...or I can accept these things for what they are and get on with it already.

I have an active libido. I like having sex. I like it a lot. Being perpetually single, this creates something of a dilemma. I'm not promiscuous either (I value my physical health above all else), but to me, being single has never meant being celibate. I know there are people out there who consider sex a sacred act, only to be shared with someone with whom you have deep, meaningful affection for...and that's totally fine for them. I've realized, it doesn't work for me. Its not that I'm not looking to meaningfully connect, I'm just a little impatient and need to get my rocks off every once in awhile regardless of my relationship status.

This is where old habits die hard. I leave myself open to all the opportunities the world has to offer, but usually tend to have a gentleman caller on the side. Call it what you will: A Johnny, a booty call, a fuck buddy, a friend with benefits...a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. About as sweet as a familiar, safe, attractive individual whose one and only function is to pleasure you once or twice a month. The guy in question, for me, is often someone I've gone out with a few times with whom I had immediate physical chemistry, but not much past that. I used to feel very, very guilty about this. Thinking that the reason I let it happen was because I didn't respect myself or lacked will power or dignity or some combination thereof. There was a time in my life when I would try to force relationship chemistry to try to validate and make myself feel better about the dirty part, but it doesn't work that way and I'm over it now. Is it ideal? Clearly not. Is it a convenience that keeps me sane and happy, while allowing me a firm emotional distance from my romping? Absolutely. I've learned to stop hating/judging myself for this aspect of my world that isn't shifting and making a sincere peace with it, regardless of what society at large may think.

Of course there are negative consequences for engaging in "bad" habits and I'm not pretending I'm not aware of them. My preference for casual sex (even with one constant and familiar partner) affects the way I treat having sex in general. I look at it as a shared pleasurable experience, but not necessarily as something super special that I should make someone wait for to prove a point about my chastity. I think that game is silly and if I decide I think you're worthwhile after getting to know you, I think its ridiculous to wait on principle, alone. And I know that this can impact the level of respect men have for women in a new relationship. Guys like girls who are dainty and demure and being perceived as 'easy' can end things before they really get to begin. Having sex with a guy too soon or just coming off like I would be willing to has definitely worked against me in the past. But the way I figure it now is that if I've learned to stop playing games and respect myself for who I am, others should do the same. And if they don't, good riddance. The kind of person with whom I eventually have that meaningful kind of where you cry at the end or some shit, will not be the one who goes running for the door because I gave it up before a month had passed.

Besides, as far as bad habits go, it could be much worse. And I've definitely gotten over hating myself for it. I am what I am. Love it or leave it.

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