I haven’t had sex in more than six months.
That’s a pretty f*cking hellacious dry spell—one that is testing me to my very sexual core. It’s getting to the point where I could call my pornography knowledge “encyclopedic.”
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Why haven’t I had sex in such a long time?
I wish it was for some noble reason or due to some moral belief I have (“I gave up sex for Lent, but I’m still, you know, finding myself.) But the truth is, it’s mostly because I’ve been in a slump where I haven’t been seeking out female companionship with the same urgency and #thirstiness as usual.
This isn’t my first dry spell, either. I don’t look like Channing Tatum, and I’ve been mostly single since mid-2008. So you could say I’ve learned how to deal with periods of sexual dormancy and drought.
And you know what?
It’s not the worst thing in the world! Like most challenges in life, there are silver linings if you look hard enough.
In most cases, it’s considered a real d*ck move to have sex with someone and then not spend the night. Sometimes, there’s a no-sleepover agreement, which is pretty rad, but that’s the exception to the rule. I can’t be alone in preferring to sleep alone most of the time, especially if it’s a work night. Nothing is worse than going to your job exhausted because you didn’t get any sleep (since you couldn’t flip to the cool side of the pillow without waking the person you’re sharing a bed with...and their body heat made you sweat persistently and uncomfortably way past the witching hour).
It might seem vaguely depressing to go to your annual checkup and say that it won’t be necessary to include an STD test with your blood work—but it’s also kind of refreshing. You don’t have that tiny sense of panic you sometimes get after having sex, even if you’re doing it safely, where you’re like, “But what if the condom broke or it wasn’t adequately covering my parts? Or what if there’s this new crazy STD I don’t even know about that penetrates latex and OH MY GOD AM I PATIENT ZERO AM I GOING TO DIE?”
I lied earlier when I said there was nothing worse than being kept up all night by the person you’re sleeping next to. Actually, there’s nothing worse than staying up all night while you think about what could happen to your life in the event of an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong—babies are great, and I love my niece more than I ever thought I could love a tiny human who behaves like a maniac most of the time. But that doesn’t mean I want my own because I did something stupid during a sexual encounter. I once (drunkenly) had sex with a woman who, the next morning, asked me if the condom had broken. She said she thought we’d had a conversation about it but that she may have dreamt it. I didn’t recall any such conversation, and I hadn’t been that drunk—but the seed of paranoia had been planted. When her period didn’t come the first day she expected it, I almost had a nervous breakdown.
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What I’m saying is that 100 percent knowledge that you’re not on the verge of becoming a parent is literally nothing to f*ck with.
When you’re in the midst of a dry run, you’re much more likely to resort to pornography (or, I don’t know, Fifty Shades of Grey). And this isn’t entirely negative. I like to think that you can learn a lot of techniques from porn that can help make you a better sexual partner. It’s akin to how football players watch hours of game footage to learn about the game, which ultimately makes them better more adept sexual partners. I’ve personally learned a lot about oral sex from porn, and I’m not afraid to admit it.
Sex, like pretty much anything, can be taken for granted when you’re getting it regularly. And you only realize this whenever you, you know, stop getting it. Time without sex serves to get you really excited for the time when, goodness willing, you’ll get to have sex again. Wild, crazy, passionate, fulfilling sex. Or making love. Maybe both, if you’re really lucky.
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If you find yourself in the middle of a sex draught, hang in there. It will end someday, and even if it doesn’t—at least it won't kill you. Take Charles Bukowski’s quote to heart:
“Sex is interesting, but it’s not totally important. I mean, it’s not even as important (physically) as excretion. A man can go 70 years without a piece of *ss, but he can die in a week without a bowel movement.”
So, yeah. I guess it’s all in how you look at it, you know?