I was having a conversation with a friend a while back and they brought up the notion of a mutual friend of ours being ‘noted for their promiscuity’, I didn’t disagree. In an email conversation later something was said in reference to this same friend that I misunderstood as refering to me. To be honest it was an easy misunderstanding to make, however it did get me thinking.
I don’t think that by any stretch of the imagination anyone could call me promiscuous at this point in my life. I wonder if some people might call me promiscuous. I will happily kiss and snuggle pretty much anyone I like, I have two boyfriends and a lover all of whom I have a reasonably active sex life with. (Lets not debate right now the activity of my libido). I would say that with none of them am I engaging in casual sex. Thats not to say that I intend to settle down and have kids with each of them (just to show the extremes of the situation), but lets talk about my definitions of casual sex and lets have some honesty for once. I would also claim that there are very few of my friends enjoying casual sex. The point is that a lot of my definitions as regards sex seem a little out of sync with other peoples. I define casual sex quite differently from, it appears, the majority of other people.
I got to uni and discovered quite how easy it was to get laid. Casual sex was, for me, about going out and meeting someone with whom there was a flicker of chemistry and just going with the moment. I came to uni with a boyfriend in a supposedly monogamous relationship. To my eternal shame I rationalised that sex without ties wasn’t the same as cheating on him, after all, these people I was shagging were all about the moment, it was kind of like dancing, just with clothes off (or more often moved strategically aside). It should be pointed out that my boyfriend at the time was at university in London and we met up twice a term for a weekend long shag-fest (as well as both living in the Green County during the holidays) until he split up with me.
In my head the fact that was obsessively careful about condoms (I can still count the number of men I’ve shagged sans condom on the fingers of one hand) and visiting the GUM clinic in time to get the results before spending the weekend with him, counted as some form of fidelity. So that was my first year, as a result I equate casual sex with not necessarily knowing the other persons name, having sex in alleyways, loos and all manner of other unsavory places. Casual sex, for me, is about taking the moment to it’s logical conclusion and then moving on to the next moment.
Some people seem to think that casual sex is any sex that doesn’t appear to be ‘going anywhere’. But then these people seem to have particular destinations in mind for where sex should take you rather than any particular appreciation for the moment of sex itself, for the golden colours it contains. I like sex. I liked a lot of the sex that I had down the alley from the Shagga or behind South End Stores on campus. Sure, ultimately it was meaningless but thats if you see the meaning of sex extending to beyond the moment of it. The beginning of my second year at uni I was single and suddenly faced with the fact that I had cheated on my boyfriend, that I was a liar and dishonest – unsurprisingly I wasn’t too happy with myself. I had pretended that I had come to uni and cured myself of any lasting unhappinesses that existed back in Royston Vasey, eternal thanks to BBM, MoT, Cuddles, the Naiad, Cornish Bloke, Lighting Guy and Scottish Heather for appearing when they did. But especially BBM because he viewed what I was doing as unhealthy. Sure existing moment to moment is fine but people, humans, need souls (in his view and mine) and souls are about forming bonds of love that exist for more than just a moment.
I still appreciate momentary bonds. I emphatically thank the third Blue Eyes for opening my eyes to the real possibilities of In Love (and all that that entails) for a moment. I still like the fragmentary and passing nature of existence. But, souls are about those ties that keep going and about building them piece by piece, day by day. I cannot think of anyone enjoying casual sex at the moment because most of the people I count as friends are building bonds that last more than a few minutes, sure maybe those bonds last a week, a day, for some months or only every so often when the people in question really need a shag. But they are spider-lights nonetheless and I respect them as such. Spiderlights are not always thick and heavy, and some days you can look at the threads people are stringing up and wonder at how they don’t weigh down more than they do. So, no, I don’t know anyone of my friends who are regularly engaging in casual sex.
But what about promiscuity? To me being promiscuous doesn’t necessarily equate with having casual sex, it can equate with having many lovers and also with moving between them with relative speed. Promiscuity is about not worrying, not not careing, but not worrying. Equally though promiscuity isn’t necessarily about having no connections. A promiscuious person who is happy with themselves probably has a good idea of who they are and who they’re sleeping with and how and all the rest of it. Sometimes people seem to use promiscuous as an alternative term for unscrupulous or someone who is damaging to themselves sexually. I disagree. Promiscuous is simply about sleeping with a number of people that seems either a bit more than the norm (whatever that is) or moving between lovers with speed/ease.
I guess my life affects my definitions of promiscuity and casual sex, but I refuse to believe that my experience is that varied from the average. Certain things I find myself defending that people seem not to believe, for example that if sex is all you want be you a guy or a girl you can go out and get it because sex is there for the taking, just go dancing. Maybe it helps if you’re a girl but I doubt it. I’m not so attractive that I’m irresistable, I’m not so sexually talented that people can’t help but go to bed with me ergo anyone who wants just to get laid can. This leads me on to my second point, being attractive to people is secondarily about appearance, mostly it’s about attitude. I’m an average looking, fairly geeky girl with no sense of style from the Green County, whos first love is reading and writing. I’ve been in love seven times, I’ve had many lovers who remain precious to me, friends coming out of my ears and been involved in a million wonderful human soap operas. Attraction, physical or otherwise is about attitude otherwise my life makes no sense.
I think the reason that I’m writing this blog entry is partially to defend my experience as being not that unusual. It bothers me, as I’ve documented before, that people seem to see me as special. Archangel’s catalyst theory, the Jellicle Cat’s sexion jokes, even Manly Viking’s very complimentary notion that I’m some sort of inspiration reminiscent of dreams and fairy tales. I notice that my ideas, my thoughts are at variance with the prevailing ones and yeah that means that the experiences I have had which have led me to these thoughts and conclusions are different but anyone could have had them, they are not born of me solely, just the way the world works. Also, not all of my experiences have been positive, I worry when people see my as inspirational or whatever because althought anyone could have done everything I have I’d rather somethings no one else does. That period of just going with the moment with anyone, that period means I have no idea of how many people I’ve had sex with. I’ll say that again, I have no idea how many people I’ve had sex with, I’ve got a rough estimate based around term dates etc. but that just gives me a ballpark figure. I have no idea how I came out of that period of my life without so much as a coldsore. I’ve been to the GUM clinic more than I can count and *touches wood* never had anything. There are things that I did because for all I like to pretend that as soon as I got out of the Green County I got well again I wasn’t. Getting out was good for me but the moment I start telling anyone, ‘oh yes, I’m fine now,’ thats when it comes back and in a million insidious ways.
People have said to me that they’d like to live in MishWorld. I’ve invited people to come along for the ride. The thing is that MishWorld is great in a lot of ways, (I’m alive and breathing – what else does anyone need?) but some of its foundations I’d rather people skirted. MishWorld can be yours too, it’s not some product of utter weirdness, its about adopting the best attitude for you, but its not about the things I do or have done. Leave those things alone. It’s about finding out how to smile each day and how to love and I still live moment to moment. But I want people to love themselves, I don’t want to be an inspiration or seen as being some catalyst for events in other people’s lives. Everyone can be a catalyst, everyone can do this. Everyone can do this without having first fucked up as much as I have in the past. Everyone can do this without those dodgy foundations. Just, stop thinking that promiscuity and casual sex are hard and fast things. Stop putting things in boxes and look for the spider-lights. Every person, every event, every moment has it’s own significance, its own magic and specialness and without that the world is harsh and that makes the boxing people too harsh as well. The world is too wonderful to be harsh to her.
It comes down to a choice really, either everything is sacred or nothing is and there is no moderation in that. There are no half measures, and everyone’s moments are just as beautiful as mine (more so really because to me theirs are new and exciting).
I think I may have lost a certain amount of sense part way through this entry. Sorry about that if you’re still reading. I guess I don’t like people putting other people in boxes or defining people by one thing and one alone. There, a conclusion, thats gotta be good right?!