Saturday, May 31, 2008
So anyways…I had another un-date. Only this one didn’t go very well. The Oncologist picked me up in a cab and we went to the restaurant, which is known for often being elbow-to-asshole. After waiting a half hour for our table (because apparently reservations are just a cute little formality there) we were seated in an area devoid of any celebrities so I was forced to focus my attention on him. Things went downhill from there.
I didn’t really know The Oncologist when I agreed to have dinner with him. I’d only met him casually in a large group of people back in Manhattan. Now, one-on-one, it was clear that we didn’t have a damn thing in common. Plus he wouldn’t stop staring at my tits. Prince Charming, he was not. He was uneasy, unfunny, and he actually made me uncomfortable. It took me five (count 'em, five) glasses of wine just to get through dinner and dessert. If he made one more blonde joke I was going to choke him. It’s sad when you can see a guy is trying his hardest, and then you realize Corky from “Life Goes On” probably has better game.
Boy am I glad I didn’t tell him about the blog.
So it turns out, un-dates can suck just as bad as real dates can. But if this were a real date six months ago, I would have laughed at his lame punchlines, responded to his creepy come-ons, and lead him on so he’d ask me out again. Thanks to The Celibacy Project, and some of my recent epiphanies, the new-and-improved Allie Dating Persona takes no prisoners. I was completely myself. I didn’t force anything. I was polite, but I wasn’t laying it on thick the way I used to. And although I didn’t have fun, I still felt good, because I was being honest with myself. If he calls again, I’ll be honest with him, too. I’m done wasting my time on situations that clearly aren’t right for me. And I’m still convinced that one day, Mr. Right will take me on my dream date to Gibson’s….and we’ll sit next to Posh and David Beckham. And Brad and Angie will be there. And they'll only serve tofu that night. Hey, I said “dream date.”
Friday, May 30, 2008
If you read this but don’t actually know me, I can tell you this much: I work in the marketing department for an international brand. And on Wednesday, my company came together with the folks at Playboy to film an episode of “The Girls Next Door.”
For those of you that don’t watch crappy reality TV (bless your hearts) the show is about the lives of Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends. Holly Madison, pictured with me above, is his “main squeeze,” and I had the opportunity to meet her at the taping. She was a very sweet person, and a pleasure to work with. But I couldn’t help but look at her in awe. After all, she’s only two years older than me, and she regularly (claims to) sleep with an 82-year-old man. His balls have got to look like a Shar-Pei.
Now I’ve admitted here to dating guys that were a quite a bit older than me. And I’ve never had a problem with that, age is just a number, to a certain extent. But the man was born in 1926. If I’m doing the math right (and I might not be, I suck at math) he was already 53 when Holly was born. So what in the world could they possibly have to talk about besides plastic surgery and the merits of disrobing in a magazine?
I’m not trying to be holier than thou here. Like I’ve said, the Renegade Millionaire is 23 years older than me, and we get along just fine. But shouldn’t there be some sort of cut-off where the old guy/young girl thing starts to look a little ridiculous? I guess not.
When RM and I were in New York and Las Vegas, nobody seemed to give our situation a second thought. But when he came to Chicago to visit me, that wasn’t exactly the case. Here in the Midwest we are a very practical people. And it’s just not realistic for a man and a girl to overcome such a huge age difference. You see, we’re big on the concept of family ‘round these parts. So how could a relationship like that possibly lead to having children when he’ll be ready to retire by the time his kids are in grade school? I’m not saying this mindset is right, but it is what it is. And when I’ve dated older guys, I’ve dealt with the fallout. I wonder if Holly deals with any fallout.
Is it that, because Hugh’s a multi-multi-millionaire, this is okay? Perhaps even expected? If an older woman dates a younger guy, they call her a “Cougar.” Most guys call Hugh Hefner “God.” So I guess it’s just yet another double standard that exists in our class-obsessed culture. And who am I to argue with that? If you work hard, and make a lot of money, you get to bang a chick 1/3 your age. To the victors go the spoils, I suppose.
An older guy that I once spent time with put it this way: “You’re only as old as you feel….and, failing that, you’re only as old as the girls you feel.” Cheers to you, Mr. Hefner. You are officially the oldest 29-year-old (barely) alive.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Introducing the “un-date.” It’s this little thing I’ve discovered. I go out for dinner, coffee, or drinks with a member of the opposite sex, and instead of spending the entire time speaking in innuendo and looking at one another suggestively, we actually get to know each other. That’s some crazy shit, no?
Yesterday, I had an un-date with a boy that goes to film school in LA. I met him at a Christmas party, and this week he stopped in Chicago on his way back from Cannes. We grabbed some coffee and sat outside a Starbucks, sharing our views about the world. And at the end of our time together, he hugged me. That was it. He didn’t invite me back to his place or invite himself up to mine. He didn’t tempt me to leave with him by promising a nightcap. Hell he didn’t even kiss me on the cheek. We hung out, talked about life, and then we went our separate ways.
So this is how people really get to know each other? Interesting.
I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been on a date that didn’t end in the sack before. But dating has always seemed like such a preamble to just that. I let the guy get to know me, but only as much as I wanted him to know, and I played by "The Rules," believing that doing so would almost always ensure a second date. I've never not been asked on a second date, I shit you not. But I think that is a problem in and of itself.
When I was a “Rules Girl,” I wasn’t really myself on dates. At least not in the way that I can be on these un-dates. Back then, it was very easy to slip into the habit of conforming to the desires of the guy I was with. That’s why my friends used to call me The Great Accommodator. With that second date dangling in front of me like a carrot (or, in some cases, two carats) I became a “Yes Woman.” Granted, I’ve never been much of a “No Woman.” But I found myself becoming what someone else wanted me to be. And once you start doing that, it’s really difficult to stop. Because the longer you’re with someone who thinks they know you (but really has no idea) the more you get caught up in a constructed reality. So the Second Date Syndrome became a symptom of my Accommodating Disease. And now I think I’ve found the cure: hanging out with a guy and being totally and completely myself. It doesn’t matter to me if I don’t get asked on a second un-date because I haven’t beat myself up trying to be the girl he wants me to be in the first place. So maybe when I start seeing boys romantically again, if I treat my dates like I do these un-dates, I’ll have a lower return rate, but a higher overall satisfaction level.
Huh. Un-dates. A couple less cocktails, a lot less flirting, and a lot more dignity. I’ll be damned.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I am an only child. I spend at least three out of my five weekdays in an office entirely by myself. It’s not like I’m not used to being on my own. But now without a steady stream of dates to fill up my week, or a boyfriend to hang out with every night, I’ve become my own best friend. And that’s fine, I think I’m pretty cool…but I never knew it was possible to actually be sick of yourself. I mean, seriously. Have you ever allowed yourself to get lost in your own thoughts for 24 hours straight? Some pretty weird shit comes out. For instance, I have only recently realized that I really, really don’t like people who jog on the sidewalk. I have no actual justification for this, they just annoy the crap out of me. Do you really have to rub it in that I decided to sleep an extra hour instead of going to the gym this morning, dude? Furthermore, do I really have to stare at the outline of your bouncing nutsack so that you can feel more aerodynamic in bike shorts? Since I no longer spend my seven block walk to work texting Poor Bastard, I find myself cursing out total strangers for no other reason than they’re healthier than me. So I guess I’m becoming a lonely, bitter bitch. Awesome. Is it July yet?
I have something terribly embarrassing to admit. And this is coming from the girl who divulges the secrets of her raunchy past on a daily basis. Ready? Here goes…
I went to bed at 8:30pm last night.
What the Hell has happened to me?
Okay, to be fair, I did meet my friend MC for happy hour yesterday, where I had two glasses of wine and great conversation. But then I went home. There was nothing good on TV or even on TiVo. I had already read my daily allotment of “The Game,” and because that book is slowly eating my soul I can’t bring myself to get through any more of it than I have to. I didn’t even feel like writing, for once. So I took a Tylenol PM and went to sleep. At eight freaking thirty. It’s like I’m a shell of the Allie I once was…but at least I have the bed to myself and I woke up feeling refreshed. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I LOVE SEX. And I haven’t enjoyed that activity in almost sixty freaking days. Yeah, I know, cue the violins and get a telethon going. I’m not going to receive a lot of sympathy here. But that used to be my “thing,” and now my “thing” is going to bed alone at 8:30. The fact that I can still masturbate is my one saving grace at this point…but there are only so many times you can sit on your hand until it goes numb and then diddle yourself before the novelty wears off. And here’s the truly messed up part: it’s not just the penetration, or even the foreplay, that I miss. What I miss most is the human contact of any kind, even just cuddling and kissing. Honestly, I have gone through phases of my life when I was vehemently anti-cuddling (mostly back in the day when I used to think I could fuck like a man) but right now, I would kill for a good spooning. I can masturbate all day long, but I cannot spoon myself. It’s physically impossible. I think all scientists should just quit with the whole “curing cancer” bit and focus on that for a while. This is a pressing need that’s not getting nearly enough national attention, people. Fuck AIDS, I’m starting a new crusade. Let’s work on curing boredom, loneliness, and horniness. Or I could just suck it up and wait 35 more days. I mean, I guess ten hours of sleep every night won’t kill me and nobody’s ever actually died of boredom.
Not yet, at least.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Of course.....I could just opt not to say anything about him at all, but then I would find myself torn. You see, my mother calls the blog “theatre,” but I don’t like that assessment. Sure, some days, I’ll start writing and while I’m doing that something will happen that challenges my celibacy but does not fit the post, so I leave it out. Sometimes I have a specific point I’m trying to make, and so I’d rather stick to the script and see it through. Besides, I almost always get around to writing about what actually happened sooner or later.
But I really try not to make this theatre, because that doesn’t serve anyone’s purposes. Not yours, because you’re in it to hear the whole truth and certainly not mine, because in allowing myself to not tell the whole truth I’m also denying myself the chance to work through it. And if I’m not doing that, then this becomes “an exercise in futility,” which is what Mind Fucker called it when I didn’t initially write about what really happened that night with New Guy.
So I decided to write the truth about this dude, knowing full well he’s going to read it. Because at the end of the day, this is a three-month soul-searching project that exists mostly for my own benefit, and if guys can't take that, perhaps I’m not meant to meet anyone right now. To be honest, every day I seem to learn something new about myself so I’m finding it difficult to pin down just who Allie is. How in the world could I get to know someone and figure out if we’re compatible when I’m not entirely sure about myself at the moment?
Okay, enough of the mental masturbation (that’s like what Mind Fucker does to me, only I’m doing it to myself.) So I went to a Housewarming/Memorial Day/Excuse-to-make-gooey-blender-drinks Party on Sunday. I work with the host and her ex-boyfriend showed up (they’re still friends - it’s a complicated story that would require its own post, if not its own blog) and he brought along a cute, smart, and witty friend that we’re going to call Hot Doctor. I’ve never dated a doctor before. My friend JH does almost exclusively. But somehow I’ve never met one despite the fact I find the whole “life-saving” thing rather sexy. Hot Doctor and I hit it off and we spent a good portion of the party talking. My celibacy, and my writing about it, had already come up so as we “flirted” he was aware that I used to have a lot of sex. And that I had since stopped having sex. That didn’t seem to discourage him, which I suppose (at first) was a good sign. However, as we kept talking, I started to go through the history of the blog in my mind, wondering how he was going to react to "The Ten And A Half Commandments," "My Sugar Daddy Phase," or, especially, “The List.”
But as I was inwardly groaning about that, he said something that made me feel like perhaps none of this mattered.
At one point he tried a tactic I hadn’t heard yet: he challenged my writing prowess by saying a truly talented author could just hook up with him and still write an entertaining, but fictional, account of sticking with the celibacy.
I give him 9 out of 10 points for originality on that one. But that’s when I decided the following: Sure he hadn’t read my blog yet. But if and when he does, and he thinks it’s a well-written joke, then that’s a deal-breaker. I can’t say I’m sure what’s going to happen when I’m out of the blogosphere and into the dating pool again but I know this time in my life will inevitably come up in conversation. More likely than not the next dude I end up with will have to read it eventually. And if he can read it without being disgusted, well then that’s half the battle. But it’s only half. I also need him to respect why I did this and what it means about me as a person. When this is all over with, I will never, ever sleep with somebody who has the nerve to call this blog “silly” (are you listening, MF?) because no matter how funny it may be at times, soul-searching is something I take seriously. It would be disrespectful to myself to go back to sleeping with guys who don’t respect me. And if you’re going to respect me, then you’re going to respect The Celibacy Project.
Hey, I think I feel a new Ten And A Half Commandments coming on….
So I suppose I’m putting quite a challenge to the Hot Doctor now. First he has to read the blog in its entirety and not hate it (or me for writing it.) Then he needs to realize that what he said about me hooking up with him and just lying about in the blog was wrong and antithetical to what I’m trying to accomplish. Then he has to show he respects my end goal and let me finish The Celibacy Project in peace. Yeah, that’s a pretty tall order.
I guess that’s why I said I’m not ready to meet anyone at the moment. It’s just not fair to get to know a guy I could date until I’ve seen this thing through.
I am right in the middle of a life-changing experience. When it’s all over, I think I’m going to have a much better sense of who I am and what I want (even if it turns out I just want to keep boning casually, at least I’ll know that I tried something different.) Whoever that person turns out to be, I feel that I’m really going to like her. But until that happens, I can’t put anyone else in a position where they could like me until I do first.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
My Happily Married Friend is the same age as me; I’ve known her since elementary school but we lost touch in college (thank you, MySpace.) So while she was there for some of my more promiscuous high school days, she wasn’t able to witness my wild sorority girl years. If I were her, I’d be thankful. I was a lot to handle (and defend) during that time. It’s amazing RK has lasted as long as she has, although I think that I’ve always made her feel better about her own life choices could have something to do with that.
MHMF and I had lunch at a restaurant called The Buffalo, which is near where we grew up, since whenever I see her I insist upon fabricating such nostalgia. For some reason, sitting down with an old friend in a place I haven’t seen in years allows me to mentally regress back to a simpler, less self-aware time in my life. Of course, that didn’t last long because before our appetizers were even served we were already discussing The Celibacy Project. She's a fan, so I let her in on some behind-the-scenes scoop.
After I’d given her the rundown on who everybody really is and what happens when I’m not blogging, I asked her about married life. She smiled and told me it was good. I believe her – I think she found a really special guy. But I also believed her when she followed that up by telling me that it could get a little boring.
Please note: she did not say she was bored, but rather that married life had the propensity to be not-so-exciting. I mean, duh. Sure it’s a lot more entertaining to live a life like mine. I’ve met a sitcom star while the stand-up comedian I was dating did a set at Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City. I’ve been taken out by a first-round draft pick NFL player who wore, I swear to God, Air Force Ones with gold-tipped laces. Were these dates the farthest things from boring? You bet your sweet ass they were. But now she’s got a husband that loves her, a home in the suburbs and an adorable puppy…and I’ve got a blog about overcoming my inner whore. And, to be honest, "exciting" is that last word I would use to describe what it feels like to wait on the results of an STD test (which reminds me, THANK YOU GOD.) So I think it’s safe to say, the grass really is greener on the other side. And you always want what you can’t have.
In her case, that’s a tear of wild nights without the certainty of someone waiting at home for you. In my case, that’s the knowledge that the man I’m in love with doesn’t want to be with anyone else and wants me to himself. But you know what? She needs someone like me to appreciate what she has and I need someone like her to appreciate what I want. And while we might have chosen different paths, it’s amazing that those roads can still occasionaly intersect and then they divide the terrain together. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t go back and do things differently even if I could (no regrets, remember?) but that doesn’t mean I can’t understand where I’d be right now if I had. It gives me something to look forward to. And thanks to this slutty little blog, I’m actually a lot happier with who I am now then I’ve been in a really long time. So while I value what My Happily Married Friend has, and I love to keep in touch with her to hear about it, suprisingly enough, I also wouldn't trade it for what I've got.
I guess the grass can only be “greener” if you compare it to something else. On it’s own, it can still be pretty green.
Friday, May 23, 2008
The book’s author, Neil Strauss, is extremely talented. I have to give him that. He admits that in his work covering bands like Motley Crue and Marilyn Manson, he never seemed to get laid despite his close relationship with, and proximity to, the rich and famous. So when his editor suggested he read something he’d never heard of called “The How-To-Lay-Girls-Guide,” suddenly he became aware of an entire culture of men devoted to perfecting the art of seducing women into casual sexual encounters. As he introduces us to some of the foremost experts within this community (such as the main character, a pud named Mystery) we find that these are not Brad Pitt look-alikes, or even just millionaires that aged well. Most of them are unsuspecting, marginally-attractive guys that understand the way into a woman’s panties is a straight shot through her head. And boy, do they fuck the shit out of these poor girls’ heads before getting anywhere near their vaginas. For example…
The following concept seems sort of obvious, in retrospect. But when I first read about it, I got nauseous thinking about how simply it could be applied and how easily it could (and has) worked on me. It’s called the “neg.” Here is its exact definition as listed in the book’s handy-dandy glossary:
NEG – noun: an ambiguous statement or seemingly accidental insult delivered to a beautiful woman a pickup artist has just met, with the intent of actively demonstrating to her (or her friends) a lack of interest in her. For example: “Those are nice nails; are they real?” 2. Verb: to actively demonstrate a lack of interest in a beautiful woman by making an ambiguous statement, insulting her in a way that appears accidental, or offering constructive criticism.
In context, Mystery teaches his disciples to employ this tactic to make the prettiest girl in the group (also referred to as “the target”) feel self-conscious in a way that will make her strive for the approval of the guy who slighted her. Other examples of negs include “you kinda have man hands,” “you blink a lot,” or my personal favorite: “tell her ‘it’s so cute. Your nose wiggles when you laugh.’ Then get her friends to notice and laugh about it.”
And you wonder why I hate this freaking book?
Now before I go all femi-nazi on you all, allow me to use a phrase I’ve used many times before: you can’t rape the willing. According to Strauss, the power of the pickup artist is his ability to give “women the fantasy they never thought they’d experience.” And I’ve certainly been there before. I just never thought I’ve been led there in such a manipulative way. Now, I realize that perhaps I have. And that’s fine, we ALL play games. Here’s the part that hurts. I think I was played by somebody I really, really cared about. Not The Ex and not Poor Bastard, a guy that came in between who I’m still not ready to talk about much here.
Specifically, one time when we were together, we played the “guess the number game.” I thought of a number and he guessed it. Innocent enough, but when he guessed right we both acted impressed. We even referenced it several times throughout the remainder of our relationship.
Then I get to the following sentence in “Chapter 5” of “Step Two”:
“I showed Elonova an ESP trick Mystery had taught me earlier that evening, in which I guessed a number she was thinking between one and ten (hint: it’s almost always seven) and she clapped her hands together gleefully.”
Oh. My. God. Was I that fucking dumb? Was I that obedient? Was I that predictable? He guessed seven, and I had thought seven. I played right into his stupid hand and actually made something out of the fact that we were so psychically connected.
I didn’t just hate the book anymore, I hated myself when I read that.
Okay, guys play games just like I’ve played games. I can accept that. But to be duped by a guy I had actually convinced myself that I liked? One of the few I’ve ever let anywhere near my heart? NEVER AGAIN. I am now on my guard. Want to guess my number? Nice try, I’ve been there. Want to playfully insult me in front of my friends? Back off buddy, I’m not sleeping with you. Perhaps I’m being overly cautious here, but maybe I’ve just been under-cautious in the past. Post-Project Allie has got a brand new bag. And I’m happy about that, I suppose. Disillusioned….but happy that in the future I won’t readily accept every bullshit line and tactic used on me by dudes that have read this book (or are just inherently good at what it teaches.)
By the way, Mind Fucker, I know you’re a “natural” at this. And when I’m back on the market and able to fool around again I have two words for you: bring it.
Like my friend ZW said, “Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. So you’ll come out even…uh, sorta.” Even, perhaps. But never the same.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Now I didn’t ask her, but I should have: just what the hell is so funny? Are you laughing because it’s me, Allie B, declaring that I need to take some time off from sex? Or are you laughing at the fact that my declaring it implies I’ve had so much sex that to stop having it would require a dramatically noticeable change in my habits?
I’m not sure what she would have answered to that and if I had to guess, I don’t think I could. I find a bit of amusement in both aspects of this, actually. Maybe that’s just me. I can understand how to anyone else it could seem laughable that I felt a need to tell everyone I know that I’m not having sex for three months. Oh yeah, and then I also felt the need to put it on the Internet so that everyone they knew could hear about it every day. Wow. When I say it like that it actually sounds pretty messed up. Or funny. We’ll go with funny.
At the same time, I know there’s also an entertainment value to the fact that I’m a girl that has no problem telling it like it is. And when I say “it” I mean “my sluttin’ around days.” See? That’s kind of humorous, so maybe that’s what she was laughing at.
There are a couple conservative people that I’ve asked to read the site and when they do, I always get the same observation. “It’s very well-written,” they’ll say, “but very, very personal.” Isn’t that a backhanded compliment?
But of course, that just what I’m asking for if I encourage someone to read my blog who isn’t cool with this type of stuff. Some people like to mix sex and the Internet, some don’t. Some people don’t even like talking about sex in conversations with friends or even their partners! Clearly I’m not, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be, that person. Still I respect that a lot of people will never want to hear about The Celibacy Project and, if they had to, they would not agree with it.
However….even a conservative person who believes in limited discussion of, and participation in, sex has to be at least a little bit intrigued (maybe disgusted, but still interested) by a seemingly intelligent girl that’s willing to put this out there for the unknown masses in the name of salvation. And conservative people can have a sense of humor, too. I know at least three Republicans I can name that make me laugh. I bet they think this is funny. I wonder if my doctor is a Republican…
Okay, one last thing. I’ve been seeing Dr. C. for five years. She knows my sexual history. And today, when I was on my way to the appointment, I was giddy like a kid who got a copy of the test before he had to take it. I was definitely going to ace this one. Once we started talking, we got to the list of questions they go through every time. I prepared myself for the one I wanted to hear:
“Are you sexually active?”
Yeah, I actually said it like that. It’s been ten years since I’ve used that answer.
She stopped, turned, looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. And that meant more to me than her laughing did, anyways.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
For the most part, however, I’ve stayed away from some of the most divisive topics that could enter into a discussion of sex, namely politics and religion. You can’t talk about either of those without pissing somebody off. But I’ve never been one to back down just to avoid ruffling feathers, so today I want to discuss religion and what, if anything, it’s had to do with my own decisions and experiences in the past.
I was inspired to do so by an article my friend MC sent me. It was in the New York Times and it talked about an event that’s becoming more popular in the Evangelical Christian community called a “Purity Ball.” A Purity Ball is a formal dance attended by fathers and their daughters that promotes virginity until marriage for teenage girls. So I guess it’s like prom, except nobody tries to spike the punch, everybody has to bring their dad as their date, and all of the attendees publicly announce that nobody’s getting laid afterwards. Good times.
Now let’s get my own spiritual history out of the way. My father was a hippie and my mother was a disco queen. When they had a child in 1981, they decided that neither would impose their own religious beliefs on their offspring. Instead, they wanted to let me make that choice for myself when I was ready. Mom was raised Catholic in the parochial school system until she got to high school. Dad had a Bar Mitzvah but that’s about as far as he took his faith in Judaism. When I was little, they literally told me that it was up to me to look at both religions, and any others I found interesting, then select the best fit for me. So instead of Hebrew school or CCD classes, I was left to my own devices. I was without the moral guidelines instilled by such teachings until much later in life. And by the time I finally chose to embrace my “Jewish Side” in college, I was past the point where any religion’s stance on pre-marital sex could have an effect on things I’d already done. When I lost my virginity to Skater Boy in high school, never once did the thought of whether or not I should “do it” before I got married cross my mind.
[Ed. Note: Can you imagine if I would have chosen Catholicism after the fact? That would have been the world’s longest confession, followed by a thousand Hail Mary’s, probably making it the second largest amount of time I would have ever spent on my knees. Moving on…]
Perhaps if I had been baptized and confirmed, I might have taken to that whole idea of “abstinence.” Then none of the things that inspired me to write this blog would have ever happened. But that becomes a nature vs. nurture argument. You can bring a girl to Jesus, but you can’t make her drink (the wine.) Furthermore, a young woman I know who I thought to be somewhat conservative once told me “hey, I went to Catholic school for twelve years, it’s like a breeding ground for wildness!” So maybe that doesn’t matter afterall, as perhaps most Jewish, Cathololic, Muslim, Buddhist and even Scientology girls aren’t always the best poster children for chastity.
In the article MC sent me, it says studies have actually shown “that most teenagers who say they will remain abstinent, like those at the ball, end up having sex before marriage, and they are far less likely to use condoms than their peers.” So “no sex” turns into “unsafe sex.” That’s a little disheartening. At least I’ve always been a firm believer in condoms, even if I never had to make a choice between my faith and my sexuality. For the record, I don’t have the patience to get into a discussion right now about an organization that condemns both birth control and abortion. All I will say about that is oy vey.
While it’s nice that I’ve found myself involved in a religion that regards sex as a naturally and potentially beneficial bodily function, I guess that taking first communion would not have had any bearing on the decisions I would’ve made anyways. Of course, that’s not why I selected Judaism as my spirituality of choice. But I can’t say (given my questionable life history) the fact that Jews don't believe in Hell didn’t have anything to do with it, either.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
It has always served me well to keep these friends tucked away all over the country. RK and JK are here, of course, because you need to have some alibis close by. But CK is in Tampa, AT is in San Diego, JH is in D.C. and EC is three hours away in Champaign, Illinois. It’s nice to have friends who you can go visit that live in interesting places, and I also see it as being similar to why they don’t let Bush and Cheney travel together on Air Force One. If, Heaven forbid, the terrorists ever took down one of the aforementioned cities, there would still be friends around who know where I keep The List and can dispose of it should anything happen to me. Lord knows, I don’t need my parents finding that literature in the event of my untimely demise. And don’t even get me started on the shit they’d discover in my nightstand; I’ve seen adult websites that carry a smaller and less varied sex toy inventory than I do.
So anyways, the reason I’m telling you this is that, up until recently, these are generally the people I chose to share my intimate secrets with. But now that I’m pulling all of the skeletons out of my closet and making them dance for you here, obviously that’s changed a little bit. Certainly before it gets to you, a lot of this information still passes through the six of them to be (over)analyzed in that special way that only girls can. But now, I have to say that I’m really glad it’s getting to all of you eventually, because lately I’ve been told by several people who read it that it’s actually helped them to examine their own lives.
Wow. Really? You mean I’m not the only one who goes through all of this crap? Fuckin’ A!
No, seriously. I mean, I figured that since I have SO many experiences that certainly a couple of them had to mirror those of others. But still, it’s very gratifying to know that when I get dreamy-eyed and talk about my first time, or discuss the difficulty in letting go of a human security blanket, some of you are right there with me. Last week, my friend SD e-mailed me and said “your blog is making me find out some things about myself. You’re actually helping more than yourself.” And he’s over forty! Then yesterday, CC sent me a message that included the following, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:
“The unique thing your blog has allowed, is not only for you to open up and work through the quarter-life crisis via a public forum, but also for the readers (or maybe just me) to work through similar thoughts by feeling validated that someone else is experiencing the same things…Your real gift as a writer, in my opinion, is that you’ve begun to write in a way that is honest with yourself and thus allows both friends and strangers to feel like we too are headed in the right direction…though we don’t have a freaking clue where that direction will take us.”
Not to toot my horn – oh fuck it, all I can do it toot my own anything these days – but in a little over a month I’ve had 2,669 (haha) unique visitors access this blog 4,967 times. Over half of those readers have been back at least once or twice to follow my progress. Yesterday was a big day for The Celibacy Project, but I don’t have anything particularly enlightening to declare about myself and the state of my sexuality today. So instead, I just wanted to say this again: thank you so much for reading along, you guys. I’m glad I’ve let you into what’s becoming one big ass Circle of Trust because you make waking up, not having sex, and writing about it almost every day worth it.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Now without getting into the reasons why PB was with Criss Angel (long story short: he knows people) let’s just say I was certain that he was going to use the opportunity to garner something I would find interesting: Britney Dirt. As I’ve alluded to here I am COMPLETELY infatuated with the tarnished pop star and it’s no secret that something went down between her and Angel just before her Titanic-esque VMA's performance last year which, true story, I threw up immediately after watching. Whether it was nerves or food poisoning, I’m still not entirely sure, but my friends all bore witness to me pacing the floor like an overbearing stage mom in the moments leading up to her disastrous (and perhaps vomit-inducing) “comeback” performance. Oh Brit, why must you test my love? It’s getting awfully lonely out here on this limb by myself.
So anyways…because Poor Bastard knows how much I adore Britney, there was no doubt in my mind that he was going to ask Angel for some stories he could repeat to me later. I was also sure these weren’t about to be sent to me via text last night. Oh no, those would necessitate at least a phone conversation or perhaps even several. PB knew I would hang on his every word of behind-the-scenes gossip. As I was explaining this to my girlfriends, RK caught on quickly. “He’s just doing this to have something to talk to you about,” she said. And, of course, she was correct. But when she followed that by asking “How much longer can you keep this up?” I realized it was time to put an end to these shenanigans.
So this morning, I sent him an e-mail:
Dear PB –
We have been broken up since the beginning of April but this isn’t the break that I initially wanted or needed. While I truly appreciate your friendship and everything you’ve done for me both when we were together and when we were not, I cannot do this anymore. On Friday night, I could see in your eyes that you want more than I will ever be able to give you. And though I know you don’t like to hear it, the sad truth of the matter is we are never going to be a couple again. I’m sorry.
Moving forward, I think it’s best that we simply don’t contact one another for a while. I know this will be difficult for us, we’ve grown very used to relying on each other for emotional support and even entertainment throughout the day. I cannot say that I will not miss your silly texts that always made me smile. But if I’m going to be totally honest with myself, and you, those texts are the last thing I need right now. I’m trying to be on my own, without any semblance of a boyfriend or a relationship. At the moment, you’re basically a boyfriend to me, but without any of the fringe physical benefits, and that’s certainly not fair to you. I think I need to be out of your life in order for you to move on. So again, while I cannot thank you enough for all of the strength and stability you’ve provided in my life, now I need to do this on my own. I will always care about you. Just not in the way you would like me to. And like I said, for that I am very, very sorry.
The truth is, my relationship with Poor Bastard was sort of (okay, not sort of, IT WAS) a rebound from the situation I was in before. That one didn’t end well. But I knew PB wasn’t going to hurt me like the guy before him did so I allowed myself to get caught up in a relationship that I didn’t really want to be a part of. Then, when I broke up with him and declared celibacy, he became a band-aid on my singleness. I’m simply not used to not having a guy to turn to, lean on, or flirt with (though, to be fair, I’ve really tried to avoid going down that route with him since we broke up) and PB seemed more than happy to fulfill those roles even without the “boyfriend” status. He just wanted to be a part of my life. So I let him, even though I was doing us both more harm than good. It’s like the break-up never really took. And now it has to.
Thus I finally took care of business and now we enter a new phase of The Celibacy Project: actual, honest-to-God, no-boyfriend, nobody-sending-me-flowers, no-one-to-call-before-I-go-to-bed, it’s now-or-never loneliness. And I think I’m finally ready for it. It’s not going to be easy, but very little about this unique time in my life ever is.
So I finally ripped off the band-aid. I’m actually nervous, but I know I’ll be okay and that in the long run I’m better off without him (just as he’s better off without me.) If there’s one thing Britney’s taught me about, it’s the ability to survive whatever life throws at you by summoning one’s own strength, courage and sanity and surrounding yourself with good people devoid of ulterior motives.
And if there’s two things she’s taught me about, it’s that we shall overcome, and that I should seriously lay off the Cheetos.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
This book is sick, sick, sick. I can’t fault guys for wanting to get laid, but Jesus Tapdancing Christ! Are women really so easy to bed that all it takes is a applying a simple procedure, like sex is a math equation and we’re just the X Factor?
After only four chapters, I wanted to text Mind Fucker to get his reaction to my own initial reactions, but since my head was already ten different kinds of fucked up, I went the safe route and sent a text to The Renegade Millionaire instead. Here’s how that conversation progressed:
AB: Oh my God, RM, I’m reading this book called “The Game.” I’m only four chapters in and it’s making me hate guys and lose faith in humanity. Seriously.
RM: I’ve read it. Way too much work. Most guys do not employ such contrived tactics. Some do, however. We all have our own style (good or bad) and we don’t usually change it. But know: most men are pigs.
AB: That’s it. I’m going to die alone.
RM: No, just with a pig. C’mon Allie. Besides me, of course, you didn’t know this? You think all those guys were upstanding, straightforward and in it for your mind?
AB: No! But I thought I was playing them right back. Now I want to find the right guy, without games. This book makes it sound like all guys just want to play them! I’m finally ready to stop the insanity and it turns out it’s all insanity. What happened to love? I’m joining a convent.
RM: Slow down Sister Mary Alice! Here’s the deal. You have yet to meet the kind of guy you are looking for. Bars and clubs have drunks and sluts. That’s not where he is, is it? Change your pattern. Not having sex is a start but quit doing the same other things and hope for a different outcome. Also, for the first time in your slutty life you are truly open to love. Now you might actually see it with a clear head and heart when it comes strolling by.
He was right.
AB: Ok, I have crawled back in from the ledge. Lack of human contact does strange things to a person. I feel like I just had a Mr. Hyde moment. Who are you? Where am I? Thanks, as always, RM. By the way…call me slutty again and the next time I see you I’ll kick you in your old-but-surprisingly-taut balls.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell is she still talking to him much less going to dinner with him at Bin 36 tonight? Well, okay, now you’re thinking that because I’ve been too embarrassed to tell you about our dinner plans until today.
But here’s what happened. Since I broke up with PB he’s become the cartoon character with a constant rain cloud over his head. One bad thing after another keeps happening to him and I swear to God, these are LEGITIMATE THINGS. It’s like I freaking cursed him.
First his best friend’s soon-to-be-ex-wife called his parents, yes his parents, and told them PB was responsible for her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s substance-abuse problem, which just got him kicked off his Major League Baseball team. I can assure you this was never the case. She’s just being the gold-digging bitch that she is and trying to take the blame for this off herself so she can walk away with more money in her divorce settlement. For the record, I do not insult other women like that unless I really, really believe in what I’m saying. She’s just not a nice person. And PB didn’t deserve that.
Then, because Poor Bastard really is a sweet, sweet guy, he’s been paying off his ex-wife’s credit card bills since he divorced her, and he knows she can’t afford it. When I met him he thought he had taken care of it all, but then wouldn’t you know it? He gets a call from another debt collector, this time for $7,000. Perhaps I should buy him dinner tonight.
Most recently, he dislocated his shoulder. PB used to be a PGA golfer. But he screwed up his shoulder and didn’t take care of it properly, and now it’s all messed up. He can still kick ass at golf, but he hardly plays anymore because it just messes him up more. By the way, when he went to get his shoulder relocated or whatever, it took twelve tries, and the doctor said it was one of the worst situations like that he’s ever seen. The entire area wasn’t black and blue…it was just black. I know this because he sent a picture of it to my cell phone.
So as all of this stuff keeps happening, I can’t bring myself to stop talking to him. I’ve explained to him, many, many times that I’m in a different place now and I don’t see us ever getting back together. And he tells me he understands and that he just wants to be friends. But somehow, I don’t believe him.
Because while all of this shit’s been hitting the fan, he’s turned into Super PB. My friend SW told me about this phenomenon when I broke up with The Ex, because he did the exact same thing. The Super version of your ex takes inventory of everything that could possibly be responsible for the breakup, whether you’ve mentioned it or not, and then does the complete opposite in an attempt to win you back. For instance, I tried to get him to read when we were dating, but he quickly lost interest. In Harry freaking Potter. Now Super PB’s practically giving me weekly book reports about Lord Voldemort. Also, PB is a big guy (I have this strange things for bigger dudes that we’ll have to get into some other time) and now he’s been going to the gym every day, in spite of the bum shoulder. I wouldn't want him to lose weight even if we were still together!
I get the feeling he thinks that it’s these adjustments he’s making to his life that are keeping me around, when really it’s because I feel so bad about the things in his life he can’t change that I can’t bring myself to completely extricate myself from it.
I am a terrible person.
But he just makes me feel so terrible for him.
So yeah, we’re going to dinner again. I know I’m going to have to put an end to this eventually, but I’d like to see him get his life back on track first. And, in a twisted sort of way, this might be to his benefit because in turning into Super PB, he is actually bettering his life. In the last month, when he isn’t busy braving a total shit storm, he’s been seeing a trainer, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist about his arm. He’s started giving golf lessons again (which he likes) and he’s signed up for his first PGA Tournament (which he loves) in four years. He’s vowed to take care of his shoulder and get back in the game. That’s got to be a good, thing, right?
Ugh. I don’t know. Once again, I have no idea what I’m doing.
But I guess that’s how I ended up here, writing this blog to work through things. Some of you probably think I’m doing the right thing, and some of you probably think I’m evil. But at the end of the day, I really only answer to myself. What I do doesn’t actually affect your life, so it’s not like I can ask you to back me up on this one. At least I’m finally calling the situation out for what it really is, rather than giving another review about a book on relationships or talking about getting drunk again. Now I just have to figure out what the hell I’m going to do about it.
Happy Friday Everyone.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
To her credit, she’s doing a damn good job of handling it all. She actually said to me “I wasn’t ready for this,” but when she spoke those words she did so without the slightest hint of regret. Still…as adorable as her daughter is, this whole situation scares the absolute shit out of me. Here I am, at 27, just starting to maybe, possibly, figure out who I am. At 25, she pretty much needed to have that part figured out, since she's complicated the scenario by adding “wife” and “mother” to her psychological inventory.
Right now I should probably tell you that I have little to no experience with children. I’m an only child so there were never any kid brothers or sisters running around. I was never a big fan of babysitting. I didn’t have any younger cousins that lived nearby until I was about twelve, and by that point I had little interest in, and perhaps even a bit of contempt for, the infants that were inevitably going to get a cut of Grandma’s Birthday Money Fund.
So last night was sort of a new experience for me when I stopped by the condo where she lives with her husband. The place pretty much looks like a baby war zone; think Sarajevo with stuffed animals. For such a little thing, the girl sure does have a lot of crap. Like I said, I’ve never been one to fawn over kids. Thus when Baby’s Daddy offered to let me hold her I pretty much responded “Uh………okay. How do I do that?” He put this wiggly little creature in my arms and immediately started to laugh. He called to his wife and pointed out that of every woman who has held the baby so far, I definitely looked the most uncomfortable and out of place. He said some guys even seemed more at ease than I did. I told him to shut the hell up or I’d drop his kid. Just kidding. I didn’t say that, but I was so scared to death that I might accidentally do so that I held onto that thing like I do my Gucci purse on the subway.
She yawned and looked up at me with her big, blue eyes and, I’m not sure whether or not Mama B saw this, but I swear to God my own eyes got a little wet. I don’t know why. I’m still trying to figure it out. Maybe it’s because in seeing their little nuclear family function, I realized how far away I am from anything resembling that situation. In a way, that’s a good thing. About 9 months ago, not long after The Ex, I dated a guy that I call Gatsby, mostly because he likes to have big parties at his VERY big house, like the character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. And at 38, my Gatsby had an audibly ticking biological clock. Though we didn’t date for very long, we definitely talked about what we each wanted in the future and he, plain and simple, wanted lots of kids. He came from a big family and that was just how they did things. But I couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around that at the time. Sure he was an awesome guy, we had a lot of fun together, I loved his house, and I loved his parties. But if he was in the market for a baby vessel, then I was definitely not the girl for him. Of course, at the time that made me wonder…would I ever be that girl?
I think that I want kids someday. I don’t know that for sure, but I feel that with the right guy, I’m going to want to have his babies. In watching Mama B and Baby’s Daddy work together, you could tell their seven-and-a-half year dating history certainly helped the cohesiveness of the parenting partnership. So that just further convinces me that when I do finally settle down with someone and start procreating, I better make damn sure it’s with the right person and that I’m in it for the long haul. I believe that if I had gone that route with The Ex or, God forbid, Poor Bastard, I would’ve ended up with a form of postpartum depression so terrible they could’ve named it after me. So until I’m absolutely, positively sure I’ve found the one whose kid I’m willing to carry around inside of my body for awhile, I’m going to do everything in my power to remain without child. My current state of abstinence is certainly a good start.
Mama B’s baby is cute as hell and I’m so happy it’s working out for her. To have a husband she loves and a beautiful child to show for it is a wonderful thing that I really do hope I get to experience someday. But when that little mouth let out the world’s biggest scream last night, I have to admit that it just made me want to pick up condoms and/or get a hysterectomy as soon as The Celibacy Project ends, if not sooner.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
All douche comments aside, I am trying to go into this with an open mind. If us girls can have “The Rules” (full title: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right) then certainly guys can have “The Game,” (full title: “Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.”) Wow. A “secret society” of "pickup artists," you say? And all this time I thought they just called them “frat houses.”
Immediately, it’s easy to see the very basic differences between what men and women seem to think they want. If there were a book for women on how to consciously pick up men for sex, it could pretty much be called “Have A Vagina.” Similarly, I doubt there are very many books out there teaching men how to find a woman willing to take that diamond ring off their hands. Most women want to get married. Most men want to have sex. That’s why we watch romantic comedies while you guys prefer yourselves some good, hardcore porn.
Since I claim to be a pro-sex feminist (sort of the black sheep of the Women’s Rights Movement) I am certainly not the kind of gal to deny a man’s right to sexualize pretty much everything. I think a lot of men are just wired that way; on this very blog I’ve acknowledged their evolutionary drive to plant a lot of seeds. But even being the appreciator of all things sexual that I am, I couldn’t help but balk at the Table of Contents. Ladies, I’ll spare you the nearly 40 bucks with tax and just reprint them here:
Step One: Select A Target
Step Two: Approach And Open
Step Three: Demonstrate Value
Step Four: Disarm The Obstacles
Step Five: Isolate The Target
Step Six: Create An Emotional Connection
Step Seven: Extract To A Seduction Location
Step Eight: Pump Buying Temperature [Ed. Note: what the hell does that even mean??]
Step Nine: Make A Physical Connection
Step Ten: Blast Last-Minute Resistance
Step Eleven: Manage Expectations
The damn thing even comes with a glossary. Is this really it? Is this how every guy treats a conquest, whether or not he needs a book to teach him how to do it? I turned to a man that always tells it like it is – Mind Fucker – who’s got enough game to fill an unabridged dictionary. He said “guys with confidence/good rap get laid – no exceptions. ‘The Game’ is merely a framework or toolbox, if you will, for guys with no money, looks, personality, etc.” Like most of the things he says, I found that rather intriguing. Mind Fucker, and both of the guys who recommended this book to me, are three dudes who do not have a problem getting laid. Hell, I’ve even messed around with two of them. Okay, maybe that’s not the best example. But these are guys that don’t need the actual advice, they all just found it somewhat entertaining.
Well I’m not in it for the entertainment value (though I will say the first few pages are pretty well-written.) I’m in it to break down the different ways guys have broken me down over the years. I want to understand how boys know just the right amount of bullshit to throw in my direction. Then maybe, just maybe, when The Celibacy Project is over, I’ll actually be able to fend it off. Since I’ve expressed several times now that I’m starting to think an actual relationship might be nice when this experiment has ended, I don’t think it’s MY rules that I need to concern myself with so much anymore. I think it’s time I also started to factor in the major importance of THEIR game. MS and ZW, you did me a very big favor by recommending I pick up this book. You also might have done a disservice to men in general, all of whom just became a little less likely to find out how good I really am (hint: amazing.)
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
When SB and I met in high school, he sat across from me in psychology class. Actually, he rarely sat there because he usually got kicked out for being a smart ass. Since I’m a bit of a smart ass myself (not sure if you’ve picked up on that) but was also a well-behaved student, I was intrigued by his ability to speak his mind, even when our teacher threatened him with detention. I’m pretty sure SB might have even sworn at him once and I’m not gonna lie, that was hot.
By this point, I was pretty much your stereotypical cheerleader: blonde, blue-eyed, and sporting a very short (but school-sanctioned) skirt on Fridays. He, on the other hand, had shaggy red hair and wore tie-dyed t-shirts and hemp necklaces. But despite our outward differences, we seemed to get along, proving what’s inside a person is just as important to the attraction as the outside features. Though, to be fair, I thought he was totally cute, even if he didn’t play football.
We’d make eyes at each other in class (when he was actually there) but neither one of us seemed able to believe that the other was interested. So when he finally asked me for my number, the anticipation had built up to the point that I was actually shaking as I wrote it down.
Our initial phone conversations lasted hours, and it became clear we had stumbled upon something special. On our first date, he took me to China Town for dinner at a restaurant called The Mandar-Inn, but somehow got us so lost that we ended up in the middle of Cabrini Green. I could tell he was embarrassed, but he tried to laugh it off. In fact, we both ended up laughing about it and we still do now when we occasionally keep in touch.
When we finally made it to the restaurant that night, and we couldn’t stop holding hands over the table or even break eye contact, something inside of me somehow knew he was going to be the one I gave my virginity to.
It didn’t happen that night, of course (keep in mind that’s when sex was still a really big deal to me) rather we waited several more months until I was ready. That was what he wanted. He had already gotten his whole “virginity thing” out of the way, and he used his experiences to bring out my sexual side. He patiently showed me the merits of receiving pleasure, when in the past I had really only given it.
When he went on a trip to New Mexico he brought me back a most unusual souvenir. It was a vibrator. At first I was disappointed, because I had asked for a dreamcatcher, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be the only 17-year-old I knew with her very own sex toy. Though I was skeptical, when we finally tried it out, it didn’t take long for me to become a true believer. Obviously. And once I became accustomed to the idea of penetration, we decided it was time to go all the way.
I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter experience. His parents were out of town so I lied to my own and said I was staying at a girlfriend's. When he got home from work that night, he made me dinner, we had a glass of wine, and that’s when I got nervous. But he cared about me so much that he wanted to make my first time as special and painless as possible. We went to his bedroom, where there were candles lit and a Dave Matthews CD quietly playing in the background (shut up, it was 1998.) He kissed me softly and things progressed slowly until the moment itself, which to be perfectly honest, did not feel that great. Fortunately, it didn’t last very long (hey even an experienced guy can get a little too excited sometimes) and when it ended I remember thinking to myself “I’m a woman now.” It sounds stupid, but that’s how I felt. Then, as soon as he was ready, we tried again, only this time it was much better. All of our fooling around, plus the help of our battery-operated friend, had taught my body how to build to a climax. So the very second time I had intercourse, I had an orgasm. And that, my friends, is why I love sex.
I bet with the colorful history I’ve alluded to, you were probably expecting a gangbang in Cancun with an entire Mariachi Band. Not so much. Believe me, I’ve done some crazy things in my day, but I don’t tend to remember the little details about them the way I do about that night. I’m probably better off that way, come to think of it. I’m not kidding, I’ve done some craaaazy shit.
But to have that “first time” story, I feel lucky. For so many girls I know, it took years for them to enjoy sex. I was blessed to have a partner who wouldn’t stand for anything less than mutual satisfaction. At the same time, I suppose I was cursed by this, because learning to appreciate sex so early probably has something to do with why I’ve had so much of it since. Over the years, however, my motivations have certainly changed, and because of that I haven’t had nearly enough sex that meant as much to me as it did that night. But as I look forward to ending my celibacy, I can’t help but wax sentimental on how nice it would be to feel that way again.
So I owe Skater Boy a thank you for making my first experience one that I never want to forget. If it weren’t for him, it might have been years before I learned how to make sex work for me. Then again, if it weren’t for him, I might have spent every night at home studying instead of fucking, eventually curing cancer or winning a Nobel Peace Prize. Nevertheless, he was both a wonderful teacher and boyfriend. He introduced me to romance, vibrators and orgasms. And for that, he deserves his own Nobel Prize...if only they have one for sexual achievement.
Monday, May 12, 2008
She brings up a good point. I know that some of the boys who read this blog have been victims of my addiction to “The Rules.” In fact, since first reading them in 2001, I’ve been one of their biggest proponents. When girls I know are having problems with the boys they like that seem to stem from their own inability to hold back, my first suggestion is that they go out and buy themselves a copy. I should’ve asked the book's authors about a profit-sharing plan or, at the very least, a PR fee, a long time ago. In fact, I’ve literally bought at least ten copies of them just to give to friends that I thought should use them. So yes, in a way, I suppose it’s a little strange that I finally went on record and copped to employing them.
However…the reason I did that is because I really don’t believe in them anymore. I’ve been using them for seven years and guess what? I’m still single. I’ve been told the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. So that’s why I’m now practicing the ancient art of celibacy and attempting to look at sex and relationships in an entirely new way.
But still, my friend is right, I did sell myself out a bit. I also sold out every girl to whom I’ve ever extolled the virtues of “The Rules.” So today, I’ve going to make amends for that by telling you ladies about something that boys do.
The following was explained to me in the strictest of confidence by a guy that I dated who is a consummate Alpha Male. While I’m not saying every guy does this (just as not every girl uses “The Rules” or even their own versions like the “AB/CK Rules”) I am sure he’s neither the first nor the last guy to exercise these tactics. By the way, he made me promise never to tell anyone where I heard this for fear that he’d have his Man Card revoked if other guys found out. But since that dude then broke my heart, and I wouldn’t care if he got his manhood, much less his Man Card, removed, I have no problem passing on the information. Plus, it’s actually pretty funny. So here it is:
When girls are out in a group, and there’s alcohol involved, certain archetypes inevitably emerge. When a group of guys wants to approach this group, they need to determine which girls are playing which parts and then divide and conquer. First, they must identify who embodies the role of “The Mother Hen.” She’s the one who is the most responsible, and often the least inebriated, so therefore accountable for keeping the flock together. Sometimes, she’s also the least likely to hook up anyways, so one of the boys (aka: The Wingman) must “take one for the team,” by distracting her with entertaining conversation, and perhaps more alcohol. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the “The Wounded Duck.” She’s the one that looks like one more shot will put her over the edge. Other common traits of TWD include eyes that can’t seem to focus and consistent use of the phrase “Oh my God, I am soooo drunk.” A lot of times, the guy who manned up and took out TMH last time will have first dibs on her this time around.
The rest of the chicks fall somewhere in between, but are all considerably easier to apprehend once TMH is properly occupied by TWM. So the guys will literally have a conversation in which they devise a battle plan and determine their points of attack. If all goes well and they all do what they’re supposed to, everyone ends up getting laid. Mission accomplished.
Crazy, right? I thought so, too. But when he told me this I thought back to some of our Girls’ Nights Out and realized this actually might have occurred. I think it goes without saying that I’ve never been The Mother Hen type, but I have certainly spent my fair share of evenings playing the part of The Wounded Duck. And in the future, now that I know that makes me easy pickings to a group of predatory dudes, I’ll certainly be more careful in an effort to keep my celibacy in tact.
So that, my dear girlfriend, was for you and all the other gals that read this blog. While it’s highly situational and doesn’t necessarily have the millions of believers that made “The Rules” a bestseller, it certainly gives you something to think about.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Last night was an epic clusterfuck of drunken retardedness.
Yeah, I think that sums it up rather nicely.
We started off at the Pontiac Café for “Rockstar Karaoke” which is karaoke but with a live band playing the music. This was a celebration of my friend TM’s birthday and/or a ZBT reunion, I’m still not sure which. Rockstar Karaoke is a lot like American Idol except everyone is drunk and for the most part untalented. After hearing a bunch of assholes (I mean my friends) destroy perfectly good songs, we went to Lumen where I ran into The Playboy, one of the guys I dated between The Ex and Poor Bastard. He, like so many before him, tried to chip away at my resolve, but a free drink is a free drink, so I thanked him for it and moved on. Then I made a graceful (read: stumbling) exit and had the bright idea to go to yet another bar. In the basement of the dungeon that is Stone Lotus I ran into Hot Dude, who wanted nothing to do with me this time. I think after the whole “boner-in-my-back” incident last month, he’s decided I’m a cock tease. Woo-hoo! I have never, ever been considered a cock tease before. At this point the memories start to get a little fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure my best friend RK managed to find me belly-to-the-bar, drinking bottled water. That could’ve been the best decision I made all night. The second best decision was then immediately getting in a cab and going home. According to my Blackberry, I had a brief text conversation with the Renegade Millionaire, which is fair game because A. He lives 2,000 miles away and B. He’s a big supporter of the cause, so rather than flirting we sent each other Meatloaf lyrics. I can’t make this shit up, people. This morning I woke up next to a bowl of noodles I don’t remember making (I should probably call my friends at Dominos and let them know I’m okay) and a business card in my wallet from some guy named Ronald that I couldn’t pick out of a line-up if you paid me.
So yeah, it was that kind of night.
Friday, May 9, 2008
But something as simple as communicating via text, phone, or even e-mail for that matter, takes on a whole new dynamic when there’s sexuality involved. Let’s be honest, when boys and girls interact, it becomes a game. But every game has to have rules. So where do we turn to for these?
Well I’m about to sell out my gender (sorry ladies) by telling you that there’s actually a book called “The Rules.” My copy is seven years old now. It’s been dog-eared, highlighted, and lent out numerous times.
Unfortunately, “The Rules” can seem a tad misogynistic, and might even set women back a hundred years with credos like “Rule #5: Don’t call him and rarely return his calls” and “Rule #7: Don’t accept a Saturday night date after a Wednesday.” But when The Ex and I broke up and I suddenly found myself back in the dating world, I used them as a refresher course as to how to play the game. Then when a guy I refer to as The Billionaire expressed interest in me, and I sort of felt out of my comfort zone, I followed them to the letter. I figured, why not?
I never initiated a text conversation and I always let him have the last word. I patiently waited for him to ask me on a date, which he finally did. Slowly, things progressed just the way the book said it would, until – gasp – I broke down and gave him head (hey that’s my go-to move.) In doing so, I totally broke “Rule #9: How to Act on Dates 1, 2, and 3.” And once you break "The Rules," you can’t go back and start over, it’s an all-or-nothing practice.
As it turned out, The Billionaire and I were better off as friends and I still see him from time to time in that capacity. I’m glad I never slept with him (at least I followed Rule #15: Don’t rush into sex) because it’s easier for us to maintain a congenial relationship without that awkward “we’ve seen each other completely naked” tension.
So while The Rules have their merits if you’re willing to banish your libido, I’ve found that a modified version devised by myself and my friend CK works best for me. The AB/CK Rules mostly have to do with the practice of text-flirting, something that didn’t even exist as an issue when “The Rules” were first written in 1996.
Here are some examples:
When a guy you like sends you a text, we call that “having the ball.” That means the power is momentarily on your side and how you decide to use it could have a butterfly effect on the entire interaction. We try to hold on to the ball for as long as we can (a power play, if you will) until we’ve come up with the perfect response. Then we throw the ball back, and immediately call each other for moral support, counting the minutes until it’s returned to our side of the court. We have a strict policy against double-texting (i.e., sending a second text before the first one has been answered) because that implies desperation. We respect – and expect – that texts without questions in them will not always be answered. Yes, I know this all sounds ridiculous to some of you guys. But girls, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So the AB/CK Rules seem to work, or at least we’ve convinced ourselves they do, and that’s good enough to keep us going and keep us sane.
However, a book that I’ve mentioned here called “Better Single Than Sorry,” says you should never start playing those games to begin with. Jen Schefft is the author, she of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette fame. She won the heart of millionaire Andrew Firestone but then dumped him. As The Bachelorette she turned down the proposals of not one, but two hotties. And then she dated Chicago’s nightlife impresario Billy Dec. Clearly, the girl knows how to pick 'em.
In her book, my friend Jen (I’ve only met her once but I like to call her my friend) writes:
“Whenever I’ve tried to follow one of those play-hard-to-get rules….instead of ending up with a boyfriend, I’m left with a massive headache.”
“There is a lot be said for not forcing yourself on someone. Think about it: If a man calls you a millions times and you don’t call him back, there is a reason. When that happens to me, I cringe every time his name pops up on my phone or e-mail. Reverse the situation and ask yourself, Do you want to be that girl he’s cringing at?”
“When I’m in the getting-to-know-you stage, I go with what feels right and I don’t stress about it. I want to be myself. Even more important, I just want to be…Always remember, that as a confident woman, you don’t need to play games. Be happy with you and everything else will fall into place.”
My friend Jen makes some good points. In the beginning of any relationship, it’s good to believe that less is more when it comes to communication. It can be kind of exciting to wait for the boy you like to text you, and if you actually called or e-mailed him every time you really wanted to, you’d look like a stalker. Moreover, some guys get turned off by girls that play hard to get in such an obvious manner. A boy’s ego is a powerful but fragile thing, and if he thinks you’re not interested (say by not calling him and rarely returning his calls) he goes into self-preservation mode and will move on in effort to save face.
Finally, if you’re always playing the game, or following “The Rules,” then you don’t get a real sense of what the relationship is actually about. Jen says:
“[When] my friends end up falling in love…There is zero game playing. Neither party is worried about doing or saying the right thing. You’re acting completely like yourself. You give that person as much time and attention as you want; your actions are not calculated. All the usual dating nonsense – like trying to figure out what it means when he says ‘Bye’ as opposed to ‘Talk to you later’ – doesn’t get in the way.”
The truth is, we no longer live in the age when it’s inappropriate for a woman to call a man or ask him out. However, a little demureness never hurt anyone either, and by waiting for the guy to initiate the situation, you know he’s doing it because he wants to, not because he felt bad turning you down. So I’ve decided to abandon “The Rules” when I start dating again. If I find someone with whom I can communicate openly and who doesn’t make me want to play games, well then I just might be onto something. But that doesn’t mean I’m never going to wait a few minutes before texting him back. That gives me time to think, and it makes him want it more. After all, in the dating world, guys already have two balls. So as a girl, sometimes it’s good to hold onto one.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The one I’m currently plowing through is called “Be Honest, You’re Not That Into Him Either,” and it was written by a sex therapist named Dr. Ian Kerner. It’s actually pretty funny. He talks a lot about sex (my long-lost friend), breaking down the emotional and biological reasons as to why women and men internalize it differently.
In light of my admission yesterday that I keep a list (and a rather long one, at that) of all the people I’ve been with, that got me thinking. One reason I’ve had so many partners, with so few regrets, is because I think I can fuck like a man. By that, I mean I can seemingly separate my mind from my body and allow the latter to enjoy getting it on without the former getting in the way. I’m not saying I don’t have morals or a conscience, or anything like that. But compared to some women I know, I find it much easier to have sex with someone without forming an attachment to them. Or do I?
According to Dr. Kerner, my attempts to treat sex as merely a physical act are in direct conflict with my biological makeup. Apparently, us humans produce a hormone called “oxytocin,” and when released, this shit can actually make you experience feelings of bonding with the person you just slept with. Both men and women have it, but here’s where it gets more complicated: the female orgasm can bring it out and when it does, it makes us want to cuddle. It doesn’t always affect men the same way. Sometimes, it can just make them sleepy. Ain’t that a bitch? Talk about the true battle of the sexes...
I don’t think I have to tell you that with sex, getting off isn’t always guaranteed. However, it’s usually more likely to happen for a man than it is for a woman. If you consider the act of intercourse itself, it can only begin when the guy is ready (as indicated by his shit-eating grin and the boner he keeps poking you with) and it has to end when that erection is gone. A lot of the time, it’s his climax that makes the little guy turn into an even littler guy. For women, however, the big finish is a lot more elusive; it takes practice, patience and communication to make it happen. So when we do finally have an orgasm, and we get a hit of that sweet oxytocin, we automatically feel a sense of attachment to the person who gave it to us. So if I’m reading this right, our bodies make us to want to be in a relationship with the person who just fulfilled our needs. Guess I never got that memo. Or perhaps I did but it went straight to my spam folder.
But if that’s the case, why is it possible for guys to just love ‘em and leave ‘em so easily? That’s where our evolutionary traits come into play. Says Dr. Kerner:
“Men, so the theory goes, are driven to spread their seed to as many willing recipients as possible and are thus biologically inclined to be promiscuous…Women, ostensibly seeking to further the race, search for a single, strong, provider. Sex, under the female scenario, is more a means to an end.”
For us, it’s not just about the orgasm. It’s also supposed to be about closeness and an emotional connection. So what the hell happened to me, then?
Warning: there’s an Allie B. Epiphany approaching.
I guess that all this time I might have been deluding myself just a tad. When I say goodbye to a man I’ve been intimate with, in the back of my mind I think I’ll never hear from him again and I tell myself that’s okay. My best friend RK has a mantra: “hope for the best, expect the worst. That way you won’t be disappointed.” So with respect to that maxim, I convince myself I don’t care, and after awhile I buy into my own bullshit. But the truth is, if I stopped to think about it, there have definitely been times when I have cared, I just refused to admit it. By denying myself the attachment that my very own hormones want me to desire, I’ve racked up a lot of experiences absent of the emotions that makes sex the incredible thing that it is.
Now I don’t mean to get all philosophical on your asses, but in pondering the question “why are we here?” the only answer I can think of is love. When you’re in love, and I mean the real thing, not just lust coupled with a sense of excitement, there is no feeling greater than existing in that state…except perhaps having an orgasm with the person you’re in love with.
So while casual sex can be fun, and I’ve certainly had my fair share of climaxes as a result of it, I’ve been doing myself a disservice by mentally distancing myself from my partners after the act. I’ve been so adamant about protecting my heart that I’ve built up walls my mind and body are constantly trying to break through. Don’t get me wrong, a one-night stand with a David Beckham look-alike can be fulfilling in it’s own right. That’s a challenge that results in instant gratification. And sometimes, everyone needs that. But wouldn’t I rather wait to have sex with the David Beckham look-alike that cares about me as much as I want to let myself care about him?
Ugh. This is making my brain hurt. But so it goes here in Celibate World. I guess three months without sex really gives you a chance to think about all the nuances of intercourse without actually having it. I’m not saying that when this is all over, I’m never going to have casual sex again. It’s sort of a part of adult, single life and sometimes, you just want to bone. But thanks to Dr. Kerner, I know that as hard as I may try, it’s impossible to really cut off my heart from my vagina. So I think instead of protecting myself from getting hurt by a one-night stand, I should try protecting myself from the one-night stands for a little while. Unless, of course, David Beckham calls.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I keep a list.
Perhaps it’s a testament to my latent Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or maybe I do it because I feel a need to keep track of my numbers. But the truth is, since high school, I’ve kept a list of everyone I’ve ever hooked up with – numbered, named, and coded – briefly detailing each hookup.
Crazy right? Perhaps. Although I’m not the only girl I know who does it. But of those that do, let’s be honest, my list is probably one of the most extensive. I’m certainly not ashamed to admit that. But I’m also not going to give you actual figures, so don’t even ask. That’s on a need-to-know-basis and it’s something I don’t think the blogosphere really needs to know. I will, however, give you an idea of what it entails since I’m aware that some of you who read this are actually on it. Betcha you’d like to see it. Not a chance. I keep that shit well-hidden. I’m promiscuously organized, but I’m not an idiot.
I started it in high school with boys that I did nothing more than kiss. This began when I was fourteen, with an inept exchange of saliva while watching The Lion King in his parents’ basement. Yeah, I know. So innocent and so cheesy. Those were the days.
But kissing doesn’t have a code so on the first page the only symbol that gets utilized is a “!!” That says I told the boy I loved him, and that I really meant it, or at least as much as I could at the time. A single “!” just means I told him I loved him. Oh c’mon, you know you’ve done that, too.
On page two you’ll find some “*'s” which represent a Clintonian interpretation of sex. By then I was sixteen and I happened to find something I was good at, so that kept my virginity in tact. That goes on for another page until we get to my very “first,” which earned him an underline under his name. We’ll call him Skater Boy and he was the polar opposite of the guys I usually dated in high school. He didn’t play football, he didn’t hang out with my friends. He even had a tattoo and pierced tongue, quite taboo for a high school student in 1998. Nobody could understand how we ended up together, but in a way that just made me like him more. Sometimes, opposites really do attract, and I’m still glad we "did it." There’s also a “!!” by his name because we dated for eight wonderful puppy love-filled months.
After that came my first long-term relationship, one that lasted three years, spanning high school and some college. Now that was a boy who earned his “!!” too, as well as his “*’s” and quite a few underlines. He’s married with a kid now, and I’m actually happy for him, but I will never stop loving his memory. Sigh.
When that ended, things got….well……rather punctuated. What follows are pages (and pages, and even more pages) of short-term relationships interspersed with a healthy amount of hookups. No matter how insignificant or brief, they’re on The List, both first and last names, when I can remember them. For some, I had to use a few descriptive words like “Pete (Guy on Cruise)” or "Chris (The Bartender in San Franciso)," to put it in context and help jog my memory. But they’re all on there, every last one, from the first person I kissed to the last guy I slept with. It’s a veritable who’s-who on the red carpet leading to my vagina. Take that, E! News Live.
Now I know this might seem strange to a lot of people, that I would take the time to keep my own sexual census. But it’s something that’s allowed me to remain in control of my hypersexuality because at least I know exactly what I’ve done. I’m sure plenty of people, some with a less varied history than mine, can’t come up with an exact number of how many partners they’ve had. I can. I don’t leave things out, because I don’t feel a need to. I don’t have regrets…well actually, I have one, but that’s fodder for an entire post of it’s own. Besides that, each one of the inventoried situations is something I knowingly entered with the intention of enjoying myself. And, for the most part, I did.
Today, I’m glad I have The List because it’s currently allowing me to look back, reminisce, and realize just where (and with who) I've been. Now that I’m taking time off to decide how I want my dating and sex life to proceed in the future, it is crucial that I recognize just how little curiosity I have left when it comes to these matters. I've conquered quite a bit of terrority. At the same time, in comparing “!’s” to “!!’s” I have learned the “!’s” weren’t really worth the time or effort, and maybe some of the “*’s” and the underlines (while fun) weren’t really, either. Of course, a few of these, no matter how brief and meaningless, will always serve as noteworthy highlights in this tome. I’ll never forget you Oli (The English Guy), Joe (From California) or Mike (the Delta Tau Delta Butterface.) Cheers. This Bud’s for you.
Come July, as I move forward with The List, I hope the chapters start to get a little shorter. I know the first guy I sleep with post-The Celibacy Project probably won’t be the guy I marry, but what if he is? Then I suppose I will just have to make him the conclusion to my story and retire The List to a safety deposit box where he'll never find it. In Fort Knox.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I’ve dated a couple of quite older men, which may or may not come as a surprise to you. My senses of humor and perception have rather adult foundations and I’ve always been very mature for my age. So when I was 22, and picked up by a guy who was 36, even my mother wasn’t surprised, though she certainly wasn’t pleased.
The Surfer lived in Orange County (of course he did) and I met him on a layover at an airport bar (of course I did.) At the time, I was a senior in college and accustomed to boys that had to ask their parents for money so we could go on a date. But The Surfer was successful, at the top of his game and, as I have since realized, looking for a trophy wife. I wasn’t really sure what that entailed, but he certainly did have a nice house and I thought I looked good in his Ferrari. Plus, there was something to be said for having those new, deluxe experiences that were so unfamiliar to me. Drinking Dom Perignon on a carriage ride through downtown Chicago. Flying first class into LAX and sitting next to D-list celebrities. Of course, he was getting something in return, he had a cute 22-year-old to parade up and down Pacific Coast Highway. But he was good-looking, so it was a mutually beneficial relationship, with just a hint of financial power dynamics present.
Later on, when all was said and done between The Ex and me, I found myself back in the Sugar Baby game. Only this time, my motivations were far less pure and a lot more cynical, perhaps even predatory. The Ex, though not a bad person by any means, was very, very cheap. For instance, for the last nine months of our relationship he never once took me out to dinner because he “couldn’t afford it.” But that didn’t stop him from running up tabs at Elephant and Castle after work with his colleagues twice a week. So he was selectively frugal, and he selected me get screwed in that deal. Suddenly, the trophy wife thing started to look a whole lot more attractive. However the problem with that is the more an older man is willing to spoil you, the more likely it is he’s using his money to compensate for other things. And a lot of times, these deficiencies fall under an aesthetic, or even an anatomical, category. So then dating rich, older men started to make me feel a little bit like a courtesan. For those of you that aren’t up on your 16th-century terminology, I’ll save you the trouble of Googling that one: it means hooker. Moving on…
All of that changed that day I met the Renegade Millionaire. He was the oldest guy I’ve ever dated, at 23 years my senior when I was 26. But he was also one of the smartest, sexiest, funniest guys I’ve ever known. Our paths crossed under unusual circumstances in New York City last fall. Then he ended up flying back to Chicago with me to catch a Cubs’ Playoffs game. A few months later, we did Vegas, and we sure did do it in style; VIP all the way, from the high rollers tables to the strip clubs. I’ll never forget when he walked me into the Gucci store and let me pick out whichever handbag I wanted. But the difference between the Renegade Millionaire and the Sugar Daddy-types before him was that we had a genuine connection. I wasn’t just his arm candy and he wasn’t just my meal ticket. We had real conversations about life and love, art and music, politics and philosophy. If there wasn’t such an age difference (not to mention he lives in Seattle) I feel we could have even had a relationship. And to be honest, though I have no way of proving this, I think without his millions I still would have liked being with him.
But alas, I’ll never know that for sure. At least I hope not, as far as his security and happiness are concerned. What I do know is that I was, and always will be, grateful to have him in my life. Because the truth is, Sugar Daddies will come and go, depending on my age and their marital status. But a true friend and lover, millionaire or otherwise, even one that’s about to turn 50, will always have a place in my heart.
The bottom line, and what I’m trying to say is, after having what I’ve had with the Renegade Millionaire, I can no longer fuck older guys just for their money. Not in good faith, at least, and that seems like something I’m aspiring to have in the backdrop of my life these days. I can, however, continue to fuck older guys that have money (hey I’m not about to relegate myself to slumming it here) just as long as I find their personality far more attractive than I do their tax bracket. If you’re reading this, RM, and I know you are: thank you for teaching me that lesson….and for the purse.