I haven’t had sex since December 2016, so seven months. I’m currently tied for the longest break I have taken from it in the 11 years that I’ve been sexually active. Both times that I stopped have been because of a feeling. I started because of a thought and I didn’t understand what I was doing. I thought that I was behind the pack being an eighteen year old virgin, and any potential boyfriend would laugh at my immaturity in the matter, so I got to it. A impatient response to an insecure thought. I’m definitely a late bloomer when it comes to feelings. I only started connecting sex and feelings within the past year or so.
I treated it more like a sport than anything and did not even have a glimmer of a thought that it could be something else. I didn’t understand what I was doing beyond the process of the act. When I was in high school, I told myself I didn’t do it because of my reputation, my family’s reputation, pregnancy, God, STDs, etc. By the time I was moving out of my parents’ house and finally taking the opportunity to rebel, I resented all these reasons enough to cut them off completely and lose my virginity to someone I didn’t care about in a very planned, unemotional, and quick way. It meant nothing. It lasted about 20 seconds, if it even really happened. I didn’t know, he had to tell me. I felt nothing.
I never took the time to dive deep into my mind and realize that the actual reason I wasn’t having sex was because I didn’t want to. When I became sexually active, I got addicted. I was addicted. My first impression of sex, other than liking it, was just that it was another thing to do. I started reading Cosmo and watching porn at this age as well, taking notes to make sure that no one could accuse me of being inexperienced. I wanted to be so wonderful at it that whoever I was with would never leave because I was the best. I thought that way about most things.
I stayed in my first sexual relationship for too long because even though I hadn’t connected with the emotional side yet, everything I had ever known told me to keep my numbers low. I didn’t want to have sex with a lot of people, but I was so emotionally immature that the relationship I was in was completely toxic. There are a few more years of toxic relationships and decent ones in there before I decided to take my first break. I met a boy that I got feelings for and I waited seven months until I saw him again. I wasn’t interested in anyone else. I took this as me feeling so much for him, but I wonder if this again was simply because I didn’t want to have sex. I had opportunities, but I really did not care at all.
That relationship lasted two years before I had to go figure out myself. That boyfriend and I told each other we were in love, but I still didn’t connect the emotions with the act. This leads us to years of doing it for sport, pretending to do it for sport when I was secretly praying that someone would miraculously fall in love with me and save me from myself, having some weird situations that were neither, and completely losing myself. I found someone to save me, but it was tumultuous, extremely emotional, reluctant and once again, toxic. I did have a feeling for him though and it gave me all the hope in the world, when before this situation I had no hope at all.
It gave me hope because I felt like I had ruined myself. That the accumulation of my sins was too great, innocence lost, fallen from grace and the like, but being able to feel the love I did for him showed me a part of myself that I didn’t know existed. The innocent, sensitive being inside me that had hidden away in fear for so long. For as toxic as it was, the whole situation taught me so much and I’m changed for the better because of it. It was the first time I connected the feeling to the act. I had never experienced that before and I became addicted. I didn’t understand. The last time I had sex with this person, the love was gone and I felt it. To the untrained eye everything was the same, but the love was gone. I don’t want to feel that again.
Sex is the same thing over and over again. It is birth control, pumping yourself full of hormones, risking pregnancy, STDs, having to convince somebody to put on a freaking condom, pretending you don’t care, pretending you don’t care that they don’t care, not caring, getting a reputation, chasing your next high, shaving, being cute, making things more complicated, occupying your brain space with yet another unnecessary vice, trying trying trying trying trying trying trying, validation validation validation validation, competition, seeking approval, people moving on, thinking about that person and your heart being broken. However bleak that may seem, I do not intend it to be negative. That is my experience with sex as I saw it before. I wouldn’t take anything back and I understand that everything is a constant learning experience, and now I can proceed with my new knowledge.
I’m realizing that sex is not a recreational activity, as the world likes to market it. It is not a necessity either. We won’t die without it. I honestly wonder if we are only meant to have sex when we are attempting to procreate. If every type of contraception known to man ceased to exist and the world was left to only having unprotected sex or masturbating, would we rise to the occasion and slow down our habits? Or would we start building islands in the ocean for our millions upon millions of offspring and keep putting bandages on our mistakes instead of dealing with them ourselves and learning from them?