And this is precisely why I haven’t had it in years.
I haven’t taken a vow of celibacy, and I’m clearly not saving it for marriage (I’ve already been married – and divorced – twice, so that ship has sailed). I’ve been on my own – yes, I do mean in the ‘Biblical sense’ – for seven and a half years. Simply because I’ve decided that, outside of a relationship, I’m not interested in having sex.
The reason is simple – I love great sex, and I can only have that if I’ve arrived at a level of intimacy with the other person. Intimacy is what makes good sex great. If food is analogous to sex, then I prefer proper, healthy, gourmet meals to fast food. One night stands and other forms of ‘casual sex’ are sexual fast food meals – they fill a certain purpose, but the effect wears off really quickly. Then I’m left feeling very empty. Intimate sex is a gourmet meal – satisfying, fulfilling on more than one level, really enjoyable and best shared with someone who appreciates fine dining. Maybe I’m alone in this (though I doubt it), but I never fancy fast food, and I never fancy a quick fumble with a stranger or acquaintance, either.
Intimacy is arrived at when you spend quality time with the other person, when you feel you know them – and they know you. Intimacy is feeling safe and vulnerable with a person. It’s being open and honest with the other person about who you are, knowing that they are doing the same. That, sadly, cannot be achieved in the course of an evening – or even several evenings. Intimacy is both an investment and the return on that investment.
Interestingly, while I get very crabby when I’m in a relationship and not getting any sex, I find that I’ve become used to living without it. A bit like giving up sugar in your tea for Lent – I loved it when I had it, and giving it up was hard, but now that it’s been given up, I’m happy enough without it.
Occasionally, when talking to friends, I am grateful that I don’t have to negotiate bedroom etiquette: Who sleeps on which side of the bed; who sleeps in the wet patch; who puts on the condom; worrying about unwanted pregnancies; worrying about STDs; worrying because you haven’t managed to make it for a wax this week etc. etc. etc.
More seriously, I don’t need to be concerned with a man having a ‘sleep-over’ and being gone before my kids are up.
I miss sex, but I’d rather do without it altogether than have unfulfilling sex with people I hardly know. Maybe if I’m still a born again virgin in another year or two I might revise that statement; but for now, I’m happy enough to wait.