“I don’t expect my love affairs to last too long
Never fool myself that my dreams will come true
Being used to trouble I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it. Wouldn’t you?”
“Another Suitcase In Another Hall” Lyrics by Tim Rice
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, and have been since it’s inception- you’ll know that 5 years ago I engaged in a “Manbbatical”. I wrote a few times a week what it was like to go on a dong-diet. A break from dating and all sexual activity. (Yes, I was allowed to masturbate. It wasn’t a project to punish myself; it was an exercise in learning.) The problem was that during that stunt-fiction experiment, I was BOY-CRAZY. I started off because I was tired of choosing the wrong men (for me) and the self-immolation of constant heartbreak and defeat. Throughout the venture, I fell deeply in love with a man that I began dating soon after the assignment was done. Once again, my heart cracked into pieces and I felt as though I had leaned nothing throughout my year of abstinence.
If you’ve read my blog posts recently, it’s no secret that throughout the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 was an extremely difficult time for me. I’m slowly turning this ship around but it’s taken a toll on my spirit, body and mind. You would also know that approximately ten months ago, my heart was ripped out of my chest, badly beaten, chewed up, spit-out and stomped on again. This wasn’t the cause of my demise, but it certainly made for the perfect storm.
It’s important to know that right before I met the man who ravaged my heart, I was getting D on the regular and was very sexually active. I was trying new things, figuring out my kinks, indulged in a polyamorous relationship, and trying to satisfy my insatiable sexual appetite. The man who I eventually fell in love with is in almost all ways, perfect. Apparently not for me, but whoever gets to spend their life with him will be one lucky lady. My desire for him has waned, and in my style, we have become very close friends. I’ve often been known to compare my getting over him to Odysseus’s return to Ithaca. I am nothing if not dramatic. Finally, I am over him. I love him with every fiber of my being, but not in a romantic way.
The quickest way I know of to get over someone is to sleep with someone else. I’m sure therapists everywhere are shaking their heads in dismay but the distraction, flattery and the weight of a man on top of me always seems to ease the grief- at least for a moment. Here’s the rub (no pun intended): I haven’t felt sexually inclined (even to MASTURBATE!) in MONTHS. I last got laid in June 2015. If you know me at all (or read my blog), you’ll know that this may as well be an eternity for me. I quite literally have zero sexual desire. I haven’t even MADE-OUT with ANYONE in close to 10 months! The last time I masturbated was a few months ago and it was only to induce a late period and it felt like a chore. I think I actually rolled my eyes while I had a sad excuse of an orgasm. (Not the first time I’ve done this, but certainly the first time by myself.) It’s as if I have no brain-space for romance, flirtation, or physical affection. I live in a city of six million people. I see “hot dudes” everyday. (Do you follow @hotdudesreading or @menandcoffee on Insta? A LOT of them are from Toronto... Just saying'.) I used to have a mini-collection of men that I could call if I wanted some action. There may still be some in that group, but I can’t bring myself to even think about it.
Before you ask me if perhaps it’s the side effects of the cocktail of drugs that I ingest daily for my illness- I should tell you that I’ve been on this exact same prescription before and never had this reaction. The good news is, I still get bikini-waxes (just in case, and you’re welcome) yet have resigned myself to wearing granny-underwear and a sensible bra since I know deep down no one is getting near my bing-bang for a while.
Here’s the thing. I don’t feel like anything is missing in my life. While I’ve spent most of my sexually active years pining, wishing and fantasizing about men, there is now a giant gap in my brain. This is actually great news (to me) and the exact result of what I had so intently wanted throughout my MANBBATICAL. I honestly have the time and emotional capacity to focus on making myself a better person, not basing my self-worth on a man’s opinion of who I am, or who they think/want me to be. I have time to get work done. My mind isn’t clouded by romantic fantasies and sexual desire. People always say that love comes into your life when you’re not looking for it. This should make me hopeful but instead it annoys me. I’m not looking for it, because I don’t want it. I’m not ready for it. For (genuinely) the first time in my life, I’m enjoying being single in a completely different way. It doesn’t scare me, it brings me hope. Ironically, my heart feels lighter and more open than it has in decades. I seem to have an irretrievable concupiscence for bullshit- which believe me- used to be my jam.
If you haven’t spoken to me in a while, or sort-of know me… you probably don’t believe that I’m being truly honest in this post. I assure you, I am. I’m not saying I don’t miss sex. I’m just saying it rarely enters my mind, unless to remind me that it still exists and people out there have and love it.
Obviously this is a major turning point in my life. I’m focusing on staying sober, I have several irons in the fire concerning work, I have a fruitful social-life, I remain extremely close to my family and (this sounds SOOOO lame, but…) I’m really getting to know who I AM AS A PERSON. A woman who doesn’t mask her emotions behind booze/drugs, men, food, work… Just me. The essential core of what makes me ME. Maybe someday, someone will love me for that. Much more importantly, maybe I will love myself for that.
“They say that you can’t truly love someone else unless you love yourself. Untrue: I’ve always hated myself and I’ve had HUNDREDS of relationships…”-Claire Brosseau