Sex vs. Love

Part I: Sex is Sex

The first time I had sex I was high on ecstasy, on a High School trip to Washington D.C. I removed my pants (though not my Nirvana T-shirt) to the sound of her chuckling (always a good start) at my “tiny little girl legs.” This was my first time using ecstasy, and we all got caught by the trip administrator the next day. Needless to say, right out of the gate sex and love were separate in my psyche. I never understood why people needed to “be in love” to have sex. After all, I’m certainly not in love with my left hand.

“But isn’t sex better when you are emotionally invested?” my friend asked me, hoping to get the Lloyd Dobler John Cusack answer instead of the Rob Gordon one.

The truth is that sex, for me, does not depend on love. Some of the best sex I ever had was emotionless, and some of the worst was with someone I loved deeply. There is no great mystery to this, it’s simply biology. The reason why the sex I had with Carol was better than with Bernice was because Carol was prettier. And she knew Yoga.

I am obsessed with sex which, I am told, is standard for most men and as such see little reason to limit my sexual encounters simply because my date or I find each other spiritually repugnant.

“You sure you want to go home?” I slur at 2am on a loud Manhattan street.
“How did you think it went?” She asks, with a frown.
“Terribly, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have sex,” I reply.

Part II: The Drinking Conundrum

Despite being the social lubricant, alcohol has the nasty flaw of also being a truth serum. I never minded this setback because it meant that I would get more honest as the night went on, and therefore would have nothing to apologize for later. There is no need to worry about deceiving my date or tricking her into something she wasn’t fully prepared for.

“I do believe I mentioned earlier that I was bad in bed and haven’t washed my linens since the Clinton Administration.”

However, the folly with alcohol is that unlike actual truth serum the person sitting across the table interrogating you (yes, I view most modern dates as an interrogation) has also ingested it. Suddenly that awkward comment about how your mother knits all your sweaters is dwarfed by a full and graphic description of the birth of her firstborn son. You panic, realizing the entire experience has become a race between your erection and the horrible things your date is saying.

However what really takes a Tonya Harding (these references aren’t dated at all) lead pipe to the knee of my chance at a night of sexual congress, is my date saying just one word.

Love.

Part III: I believe that love isn’t the answer.

I have been in love, and I have said it readily to those I love. I have never said it when I was not absolutely certain that person felt the same way. So when on a particular drunken outing, my date suggested that not only did she think she “could grow to love me” but that she knew “I felt the same way” I was, for possibly the first time in my life, at a loss for words. I had been out on one previous date with her that had not involved heavy drinking. This one had, and I was blindsided. I looked desperately for a date-ejection button, capable off rocketing me through the roof of the bar and several blocks away to safety. There wasn’t one.

“I’m gonna go have a cigarette.” I said, remembering her hatred for smoke, and hoping to get three minutes to come up with an exit strategy.
“I’ll join you.” She said, to my dismayed surprise.

I was almost done smoking before I realized that I hadn’t said anything in well over three minutes, and that she had spent that entire time staring at me. I kept trying to think of the way to start the first sentence. I needed to explain this bluntly, yet without hurting her feelings.

“Well, you see… it’s still…. too early for that?” was a top contender, but somehow still seemed to leave the door open to wide.
“You realize what you just said was insane?” was a good second choice but perhaps too blunt.

I finally settled on:
“I appreciate the sentiment, but I think we should take a huge step back and maybe just be friends for a while.” Not my best work, but I had run out of time.

She stared at my puzzled, before uttering “Oh, you don’t believe in love, do you?”
“No, that’s not true,” I explained. “I very much believe in love, I just don’t share the current sentiment.”
“Do you still wanna have sex tonight?” she asked hopefully.

“No, now that you love me it just wouldn’t be any fun.”
I guess true love does conquer all, unfortunately.

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