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Sex. Everybody wants it (apparently)

by Andi the Photographer

Sex.

Sex, sex, sex.

Everybody wants it (apparently).

I find myself in another place, having not had any for over 2 years. With the big 40 on the horizon, and a lot of therapy, I spend a lot of time thinking back. Possibly because it’s a lot easier than looking forward. That void of the unknown, unwritten, without any idea of how I want to live it. How I can live it. Maybe looking back can help me to look forward. Maybe then I can get some insight. Maybe then I can write again. Trying to write a romance script when you feel so fucked up about love and sex possibly contributes to writers block, or should that be a reluctance to write. Maybe if I get all of this out I can start to write again. For it to feel less terrifying.

So. Sex. 25 years of it. And yet I’d say that I’ve never been in love. Not how I’ve come to understand and think about love now anyways.  14 and on a one night stand. That was my yard stick for love at one point. We didn’t have sex. But stuff happened. I was 14 and he was 26. I was in a bar with some friends and I saw him. I thought he was beautiful, and yet I’ve never been able to remember his face. That disappeared from my mind the day after. But I can still remember the smell of his aftershave. The way his stubble felt against my face. The black jeans and his belt. How is jumper felt to the touch. All of this, I can close my eyes and remember, but his face, no. I should say now that we didn’t have sex, not penetrative sex anyway. Depends on your definition I guess, but I’ve never counted oral as sex. And he didn’t know I was 14. I should also make that one clear. Or my real name. I was 19, and with an alias I can’t even remember. I did that a lot, used fake names, especially with men. I met him in a bar, and we drank, danced, and then made out against the wall of the bar. 5 of us went back to my friends flat. Her dad was away and she had keys. So me, him, his mate and my 2 mates all balled into a taxi and went back to hers. Then he and I spent a night alone in a room together. The next day they left. And that was that. No phone numbers shared, no “see you again”, and as I said, he didn’t even know my real name (although I suspect he found out soon after they left, my friends had stayed up chatting with his mate and had let my cat out of the bag, as well as my age, I think).

I was never upset about what had happened, because I’d wanted it to happen, all of it. And I had no issue with never seeing him again. For me, it was perfect. For that one night I could be absolutely as I was, my parents or brother would never know, my friends kept quiet so no-one at school knew. He saw the bruises but didn’t ask questions, and once he was gone he never could. I didn’t have to fake who I was. And that to me was love. I guess it still is. Being absolutely as you are with another person. No guilt or shame, no compromise, no fear, no let down.

The rest of the 25 years, not quite so perfect.

Losing my virginity at 16 in the 20 minutes we had between my parents leaving for work and me having to get to college. We’d been together 2 weeks. It was not “special” but then I didn’t want it to be. I never wanted romance, or that magical first time. I saw it as something that needed to be dealt with as quickly as possible to get it out of the way. The there wouldn’t be any pressure about a boyfriend being “the one” so it would be special.

The guys I now can’t remember. Or never wanted to remember.

The guys who ended up being around for a bit because they thought sex meant something, so a one-night stand turned into a relationship.

The drunken escapades.

The drugged up escapades.

They never meant anything. But often would come with a feeling of shame afterwards. I was a girl, I wasn’t meant to be like this.

So the guys I had no interest in became relationships. Some of them as short as they needed to be. Some longer than they should have been. One led to my daughter. Only to be fair, I did like him a bit, at some point anyway. But love? Probably not. I said it. I thought I felt it. But I don’t think I ever felt completely comfortable with him. When we got together, he was in my social circle, and he just started hanging around at my flat and smoking pot. I thought he was into my house mate. But one night of gin and tonics later (it’s the tonic that glows under UV light, now you don’t need to drink about 4 pints of it to work that one out for yourself, you’re welcome!), and there we were, a couple. I was in a pretty shitty place at the time, being in recovery from another breakdown, and repeating another year of uni. So I guess it felt good. But we were always completely different people. We just happened to both smoke a lot of weed and knew the same people.

And then the sex. It started out pretty good, then just got stale. I think the last time we had sex it was more of a submission, a way to avoid a conversation about how broken I felt our relationship was, so for a few minutes, I allowed him to climb on top of me and do what he needed to do. I felt nothing. I remember the smell of booze on his breath. After he had rolled over and gone to sleep I got up and went downstairs. Allowed myself the briefest of cries. Then planned what I was going to do the next day with our daughter. Within a year, our relationship was over and my daughter and I were living with my parents. The man who felt he could “allow” me to do the things in life I wanted to do, was no longer in control. I went a bit nuts.

Andi
Photographer and writer
Official Photographer for Jenny Raven Biography
Meet Andi HERE.

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