Whenever I meet a new man, I’ve noticed they always imply I’m a slut.
This does not mean they are horrible mysogynistic arseholes. What they seem to be trying to ascertain with comments such as,
“I bet you know a lot of guys”, or “I’m sure you’ve dated a few people”, or the stellar, “your blog makes you sound like a huge slag”, is whether they have competition. Or not.
The truth is, I am the least slutty person I know. I’m talking numbers here. I mean I wonder what I’ve been doing with my time, frankly.
But I don’t actually tell guys this, because, well, how do you say to someone, “I don’t do this usually” without sounding like a giant cliche? And how do you let someone know you are not a slut, without sounding like you’re about to present them with a Jonas Brothers-embossed virginity ring? And what the hell is wrong with being a slut anyway? I wish I could be one, at least for a year maybe. So I’d know for sure I’d lived.
As my father said on the phone today, “do things before you’re old and decrepit”. Granted, he was referencing my desire to climb Kilimanjaro and also said, “watch out for the lions”, but I got his point.
The way of casual dating is well-paved for sluttiness. I mean, you can get away with sleeping around. A lot. But maybe my Britishness is indelible, like writing in a stick of rock. I find it very difficult to fathom some of these dating rules. Like how do you negotiate sex with someone you want to date seriously? Like I said in the beginning of this blog, it’s never been an issue for me back home. I mean, if you like each other, you go with it and they’ll maybe end up being your boyfriend. Mainly because if they’re seeing someone else, they know your friends will bludgeon them to death.
I know one thing not to do if you have rules and you’re heading towards sex. Do not wait until you’re naked to tell a guy you’re shy of sharing. As a guy friend of mine told me over lunch recently:
“We will say yes at that point and not even feel bad that we’re lying.”
I personally advocate either a) Not having sex with that person until you like each other enough to say so b) Just go ahead and have fun and if you connect and it’s meant to happen, it will.
So why aren’t I more slutty anyway? God knows, I live in the city of arguably the most beautiful people in the world. I mean the other day, just pulling up at the intersection of Santa Monica and Fairfax, I passed three supermodels in their cars (one female, two male), all idly being stunning and smugly aware of the fact. When you think that, say, the top 1% lookswise in any class in any given year of any American High School, moves to Hollywood to be ‘discovered’, that’s a lot of pretty people. Obviously most of those end up in porn, but what the hey, they still look good.
And it’s not just looks either. There’s this brilliant scene in Californication where David’s Duchovny’s whinging novelist is locked in jail on a DUI charge, busy lamenting ever leaving his beloved New York. He’s interuppted by a random grizzled man who tells him,
“Oh you complainers, shut the fuck up. There’s a higher concentration of raw talent here than anywhere else in the world. See that guy there (points to a deranged wino, with his arse hanging out of his jeans), that’s one of the best guitar players of all time.”
As for me not testing much of the goods on offer, I’ve thought about this and have decided it was most eloquently put by my friend Dave as we slurped noodles at Pho on La Cienega last week:
“You don’t like anybody” he said.
I just always think, when you know, you know, so don’t pretend. My problem is, even when I do really like someone, they would never know it because I would rather leap off a building than say so.
What I have learned so far from this learning-to-date blog experience is that:
a) Lots of people are nice and generous and friendly.
b) Some people are beyond stupid and patronizing.
c) I still know within 30 seconds, actually five seconds, if I am interested.
d) Nothing has changed.
I am though, as a result of this blog, less likely now to tell a guy to ‘eff off’ right away. Not so Friday night at Jones Bar, when I shouted ‘bye bye’ at some guy who just didn’t know when to stop interuppting with commentary on our overheard girlie conversation. But I blame that on three vodkas and recent events.
Recent events being I was asked out by a friend and it scared me. Then I got annoyed with myself for that.
Then there was another someone I liked in a way that made all the previous wondering and questioning and perusing fall into sharp relief. But it didn’t work out.
Anyway, if one wants an actual relationship, it’s true that it’s kind of a sticky trap to wait to tell a guy when you’re already in his bed and he’s just thinking about the fun stuff. Not fair on the guy and stupid if you’re the one wanting monogamy.
But then, do you really want to bring that up over the breadsticks?
I personally have issues saying anything very much up front. I think it just ruins the romance, in the same way that going on formal dates seems way too stilted for me.
But not laying out your terms, your rules of engagement, can badly bite a person on the arse at this ‘free love’ point in history. If you really know what you want, you should probably be brave and put it out there in the beginning.
When I think about what I want, what my own terms would be, all I can ever come up with is what Joni Mitchell once sang. Like her ‘Free Man in Paris’, I want to feel “unfettered and alive.”
Better book that plane ticket then.