Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

lonely in a crowd

In the military people talk about getting out, how stupid the management is, and above all sex. They say Eskimos have 17 worlds for snow. People in the military may have only one word for sex (it starts with F and ends in K and isn’t firetruck) but they talk about it like Eskimos talk about snow. They talk about good sex, bad sex, fun sex, sad sex, clean sex, dirty sex (they sort of specialize in that…), angry sex, happy sex. Sex alone, sex with one friend, sex with many friends sequentially, sex with many friends simultaneously. They talk about methods of sex, techniques, tools, toys, and what in a more innocent time was called marital aids. They talk about pictures of sex, magazines about sex, videos about sex, books about sex, DVDs about sex. They trade all of these things back and forth between themselves, just as they trade ideas about them.
I have to ponder things that I don’t feel comfortable hearing about or it tears me up inside, so I try to think about why all these conversations bother me, and I stumble into the fact that 10 years ago these conversations would have been exactly the sort of thing I wanted to hear and know. Strange to be bothered by a certain presentation of facts (for it is the presentation and not the facts that bugs me) that would have delighted me not so very long ago.
If a man may be called a slut (usually men are not called that, even if the moniker fits) then I always thought of myself as a slut. I was always willing to sleep with someone I didn’t care about at all. However, I never did, and I never understood why. I had ample opportunity and several bold faced offers. Sometimes with beautiful strangers, sometimes with friends, and something in me always recoiled with horror at the thought. For a long time I blamed this fear of losing my virginity (heck, you only have it once) but after I lost my virginity, I still felt that way, so that couldn’t be it. I wondered if was a conservative Christian up bringing, but I’ve dropped all the baggage I know of that is being conservative merely for the sake of being conservative, and I still feel that way. I considered the idea that I really loved these girls and I wanted to be “part of the solution” and not “part of the problem”. I think that is basically crap. Some of those girls I really did love, some of them I didn’t even like. But always the answer that came when it was time to do the deed was “Ewwwwww! NO!” In fact not only sex, but even sexual behavior like kissing, making out, etc. just sort of creeped me out.
Through the lens of what I know now, my teen years look even stranger. I surrounded myself with females, many of whom had serious social and emotional problems. I obsessed about them. I fantasized about them. I knew the company of my hand probably more than was really healthy. I looked at more internet porn than anyone really should. I would pray every night for girl. Someone to hold, to kiss, to know. I was desperately, pathetically, emptily lonely. Sex, intimacy, and even the plain warmth of the human touch were my constant disfiguring hunger.
And through all that, the first girl I held hands with and put my arm around, I broke up with.
Why? She really wanted me to hold her. Nothing serious, mind you, just hold her a bit. I though I wanted too, so I would put my arm around her. Touching her didn’t make me feel happy. Nor did it make me feel guilty for “leading her to sin”. It DID did obviously arouse me, which was absolutely mortifying, though she never noticed. It made me feel a little panicky. Above all it made me feel a sort of emptiness, a sort of “I weighted 16 years for this?” coldness.
I decided to fake it till I made it. Every night we would sit on the park bench that overlooked the pool. It was regular routine: sit down, put arm around her, be totally humiliated by my erection, etc. Gradually the panicky feeling went away and the cold, dead feeling got stronger.
She wanted to get serious (we had known each other for 14 of my 16 years on earth), and the more serious she wanted to get the worse I felt. And I didn’t know why I felt so awful. Wasn’t this what I wanted? What I’d prayed for?
I broke up with her. Badly. It turns out that there is sort of an art to breaking up with girl and having her think its her idea. I must have missed that class. Anywho, my budding sexuality continued on in that fashion for several years. Always with the touching came that empty feeling. Why? Wasn’t I a slut? Wasn’t I willing to sleep with someone I didn’t even care about? I know my heart, so I knew I would. But I never did.
The other day one of the guys at work asked me if I planned on cheating on my wife when I got deployed. I feel like a honest question deserves an honest answer so I said,
“Well, I won’t stand up on a soap box and say ‘I’ll never do that!’ because thats asking for trouble. Saying ‘Never’ is a mistake because then let your guard down. But I will say its very unlikely. One, girls don’t really go for me like they do other guys so I don’t have to say no as often as other guys might. Two, I’ve really got to have things spelled out for me to even know a girl is looking for sex, and women have usually moved onto to greener fields by the time I even know whats up. Three, the kind of woman who will just walk up to me and say ‘I want you for sex’ isn’t the kind of girl that anybody wants anyway”
Now, I knew this answer wasn’t quite right, but I had to think about. The answer really surprised me. I might be tempted to sleep with someone I don’t care about, BUT I can’t sleep with someone who doesn’t care about me. AND since a woman who cares about me wouldn’t ask me to cheat on my wife, it keeps me out of a lot of trouble. Upon further reflection it made a lot of sense, actually. I don’t even like to shake hands with someone unless I really feel like it. When I pretend to give a damn, and that pretending requires me to touch someone it makes me feel dead and fake. Even shaking hands with a pastor at a church that I visit makes me feel really lousy.
So thats it. The whole I-thought-I-was-a-slut-but-how-come-I-never-really-got-laid problem. Now I can hear all the meaningless sex talk at work and know that (praise God) I’m not wired for that. Its strangely calming. I’ve always wondered with the kind of thoughts that make up a day in my head why I am able to be faithful to my wife. Well, simply, the grace of God, both in the “here’s some grace, kid” sense and most recently revealed to me the “I made you, your brain and your gonads, this how I wired it all together” sense.

August 8, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I don’t know what to say. That’s very interesting and good for you, don’t seem to cut it. You really opened yourself up and while I appreciate realness immensely it is a bit raw and takes me by surprise when someone actually is totally real. I do appreciate your insights and openness.

    Comment by CC | August 9, 2007 | Reply

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