Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the princess of a town called bitter. (I'm not really bitter, I swear!)
I initially started this blog post nearly a month ago. It was all about friendship and boundaries and interpersonal relationships. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Then my life really did get flipped, turned upside down. (Hyperbole? Maybe. But just go with it.) I realized, however, that writing about all those things was not going to make me feel any better, as my mind grapes were in overdrive. For the past six months my mind has been a well of self-doubt; the kind of crippling, all-consuming, walking-around-on-eggshells sort of self-doubt that seems to bleed into everything you do. It's been a month since the big bang and time has afforded me a bit of perspective. And you know what I realized? That self doubt wasn't mine to carry. I was shouldering someone else's fears in the name of... love? Companionship? Friendship? Who knows. What I do know is that for all of my bitching and whining and bemoaning my station in life, I discovered I am a relatively well-adjusted adult capable of adult relationships, emotions, conversations, and sex. I stick up for myself. When something (or someone) hurts me or threatens me or just doesn't feel right, I let others know. I am my best and sometimes ONLY advocate, and if sticking up for myself makes me appear needy and possessive (or bitchy and overbearing), well, that's just, like, you're opinion, man.
Now on to the real reason for this post: Sex
Someone very wise once said when the sex is good, it's 10% of a relationship and when the sex is bad, it's 90% of a relationship. But what if the sex is just NONEXISTENT? Like, robotic, perfunctory, let's-just-get-this-over-with kinda sex? Sex like that has a way of fucking with one's mind, forcing one to internalize all that rejection and indifference in a way that is indeed crippling. There is nothing so demeaning and demoralizing as when a lover withholds intimacy and physical interaction. But what if that withholding is out of fear? Does that make it easier to swallow? Does knowing that your partner is consumed by a fear of sex and intimacy make it easier to externalize (rather than internalize) that fear?
Why? Because without sex and sexual intimacy a sexual relationship becomes a sort of weird, twisted "friendship" where one party is getting their needs met emotionally and intellectually (because apparently the physical need is nonexistent), and the other party is left scrambling for ANY sort of attention. And scrambling for attention is so unbecoming...
Sex is an incredibly important and integral part of any intimate partnership and sexual intimacy is kinda the most awesome part of being in a committed relationship. It is a safe place for both parties to really just be themselves, no pretense, no expectation, no guile. Sex can be empowering and awesome. It's fantastic after a great week, and comforting after a shitty week. It's fun and silly and erotic and messy and emotional. And when it's missing it's like a giant gaping hole that sucks out all the good along with it.
So here I am, single again, but so very relieved to be out from under someone else's fears and insecurities. I suppose each failed relationship is really just a learning opportunity, and this one is no different. So what did I learn? I think my father said it best: "You don't put up with that shit."