Single and loving it. Except... I miss the in-between-the-sheets workout. So now what?
July 26, 2008 5:52 PM   Subscribe

Single and loving it. Except... I miss the in-between-the-sheets workout. So now what?

So I've been single for a couple of months, and, for the time being and the foreseeable future, I'm going to stick to that status. However, I miss having sex. The actual sex part of sex, touching and being touched in a skin on skin way, the sexy talk, the endorphin release and all that jazz. "Why," I hear you say, "have yourself a steamy one-night stand and be done with it." Yeah. Well, I've only had one one-night stand before - and it was with a friend, at a wedding (after, after!), and I've known him for some 16 years and it was one of those I-just-know-it'll-happen-one-day type situations. Anyway, it was the only time I slept with someone only once. The sex wasn't even that great (we were a bit drunk, it being the wedding of a mutual friend and the free booze and all that), and the next few days I felt... like I'd had like a "flash relationship", like it had started and finished on the same night, and it was weird and slightly uncomfortable, and not because of unmet expectations or anything. He called me about a week later in one of those "is everything ok with you since we've... you know", and it was. It's been about two years since, by the way.

Another thing is, I tend to get into relationships even if at first I think I'm just getting some action. I think this has to do with sleeping with friends/acquaintances as opposed to some random (albeit hot) guy I've just met. As Ali G. once said, "If you ain't careful, sex can lead to some terrible fings: herpes, squat rot, or even worse: somefing called "a relationship."" I think it also might have something to do with the fact that most guys, faced with a chick who's not following them around begging for a relationship in turn find out that's exactly what they want, but that's a whole 'nother issue. One thing's for sure: I don't want that right now. But then of course, as you might have gotten already, at the same time I can't really invision picking up random guys I don't even know, not because I think it's morally objectionable but rather because it's not my thing, I'm a low profile individual that way and in the end it just may be I don't really feel like getting in the sack with someone I don't know at all, for various reasons. I mean, I don't want to feel weird about having a strange guy in my bed or waking up in his. I'm not into online dating either. Nor am I into those group-hugging deals. I have close friends and family I can hug, fortunately.

Here comes the question: have you ever felt like this? What did you do? Did you have a (or more) one-night stand or did you find yourself a no-strings-attached sexual friendship? No? Did you put off sex until you wanted a relationship again? Did you spend a hefty sum at a sex shop on those toys you'd always wanted to try? Did you get a day at the SPA with a relaxing massage to make up for the lack of touching? How do/did you cope? In what ways does that relate to the way you feel/think about/rationalize one-night stands and no-strings-attached relationships?

For context, I'm of the female persuasion, 30, good looking (as in, getting a guy into bed isn't the difficulty here at all), I masturbate regularly. I'm not including a throwaway e-mail because of the nature of this post - I mean, posting something about one-night stands and then giving out an e-mail just sounds wrong. So sorry Jessamyn, if it ends up meaning bothering you.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

have you ever felt like this?

Yes. I think it's common for people who prefer relationship-sex but who are single to be not all that excited about one night stands.

What did you do?

I have tried the one night stand thing and it just doesn't work for me. The sex isn't as good, I end up all worried about STDs even if there's no rational reason to, and I have a lot of trouble making the clean separation between sex and romance that it seems like one needs to in order to have great no-strings-attached sex.

So I did without, the last time I was single. I got my physical contact from having some friends who are very physically affectionate, getting the occasional massage (the new age kind, not the happy ending kind), and all the flirting and dating and so on that I wanted. It's not a good substitute for sex, but then nothing really is.

At times it was lonely, and I really, really missed the full-body contact that comes with a sexual relationship. And I was kind of jealous of friends who are really good at one night stands and having no strings attached sex -- they were able to have their fun and let the emotional issues run off like water off a duck's back. Eventually I met someone with whom I really clicked, and things were great.

Had it been a longer stretch of singleness, maybe I would have relaxed off my no one night stands rule (or perhaps started having one night stands and started a relationship that way). I think there is a real difference between a couple of months to reconnect with yourself and maybe find someone great, and the idea of a multi-year intentional dry spell.
posted by Forktine at 6:07 PM on July 26, 2008

I've been single for almost all of my adult life, and looking back I realize that whenever I could I would have some male friend or ex with whom I would have an ongoing "friends with benefits" deal. This isn't without its pitfalls either, of course. One of you can get more attached than the other, and of course when one of you gets into a real relationship with a third party the arrangement has to be cancelled. Or one of you could be getting enough from the friend with benefits that it prevents him or her from making an effort to get into a proper romantic relationship.

But I'd take it over one night stands any day. You get ongoing and relatively health risk free great sex and affection with someone who cares about you, in the context of a good relationship, even if said relationship isn't all fireworks and roses.

So if you've got an attractive, single male friend or ex in your social circle, think about asking them to, um, give you an extended benefits package.
posted by orange swan at 6:27 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Expand your idea of what a relationship is and is not, because it's not that you don't want a relationship, you just want a low maintenance one with no strings attached. That should be a easy thing to arrange as long as you're upfront about you want and are willing to end the relationship should it go further.

On preview: What orange swan said.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:31 PM on July 26, 2008

You're being way too neurotic about this, there's nothing wrong with three month relationships. Remember, all long term relationships start as short-term relationships, so you can wait as long as you want to pull the trigger on actually liking someone. Bonus: this also means that you don't have to sleep with anonymous people, which if you think about it, is really pretty far removed from having a relationship. It ain't one or the other!

Also, I learned something about myself the last time I was single, and it was that the more confident and "OK with being single" I was, the less I had to worry about the scary parts of hooking up. Women would be more mature, self-assured and generally not wanting to fuck their own shit up either.
posted by rhizome at 7:08 PM on July 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

get a full body massage (no, not an erotic massage. just a massage sort of massage) every once in a while, if you can afford it. all that contact can do wonders as far as getting rid of the touch-starved feeling.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:42 PM on July 26, 2008

Massage, lots of non-sexual hugs with friends and quality self-loving.

During my last period of situational celibacy I opened this cheesily named book Unleashing the sex goddess in every woman and began to practise its suggestions. It was not only fun, but I found myself not yearning for another's sensual touch so much because I was making such sensuous and intimate love with myself. And, of course, when I did enter another intimate relationship I brought a lot more self-knowledge and skill to our fun and loving.
posted by Kerasia at 9:51 PM on July 26, 2008

Depending on how alt you are, consider finding yourself a couple with whom you could go and play. You can date the couple a little bit first, make sure they aren't too crazy. Then, go do it. Repeat as often as you like. I doubt you're going to decide that somebody is "the one" if they're already married to another of your sex partners.
posted by Netzapper at 11:06 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well...where do you live? Wanna meet up for coffee sometime?

I don't really mean that, because I'm in a committed relationship, and I understand that metafilter ain't for picking up chicks, but as a male who's been in your position, it's just that easy. I know you're low-key; so am I. But being low-key doesn't mean you can't tactfully (or tactlessly, in my case :) ) tell others who you are and what you want.

Okay, and that's a vast oversimplification, but not really. The real trick of it is, you meet people. I don't know about you, but I live in a major urban area, and I meet all kinds of people every day, even being as low-key as I am. I only have a few bars I like to go to, and if I do out it's more to see a show than anything else. Imagine me, though, last night, clomping around on my crutches at the bar street near my place, wearing my old Mug Root Beer t-shirt, with my shaved head and jeans I patched myself (the girlfriend runs a clothing business out of our apartment), sweating my ass off because, y'know, it's Beijing in the summertime, and here my sorry-looking ass clomps up the stairs onto the porch of my "local" and a quartet of foreign students goes "what are the odds of two people on crutches in the same bar?" Well I turn around and I says to 'em, I says, "Pretty good, actually, I mean, when you think about what people who are recuperating are doing with themselves other than sitting around the house, y'know? There's probably a pretty good probability that you'll see more injured people at a bar than anywhere else." We strike up a conversation, they're pretty cool, but the kicker is that not only are they friendly and fun, they're gorgeous. Two guys, two girls, and Beautiful freakin' people. Well, one of the guys took my phone number, and we're gonna hang out next weekend.

Then upstairs, I run into the Finns again. Well, I met one of them...what...3 years ago in Hong Kong? Well he has 6 Finnish friends, all of whom are very friendly and keen to party the fuck out of Saturday night. We played a game of pool with my crutches. Oh yes, some of the Finns were women. It goes without saying that Finnish women? Hot.

This is in the space of an hour.

Now, that said, you may not have crutches to make you a conversation piece, but I'm sure you've got a digital camera. I'm sure you've got hobbies, I'm sure you like some quirky bands (me? God damn I love me some Jawbox theirlyricsaresodeep). The point is no matter how low-key, shy, or mind-numbingly boring you think you are, there's something about you that at least some of the people you meet every day will find interesting. You probably consciously know this, so be confident about it and have conversations with strangers. Keep an open mind about the people you meet. A lot of them will be interesting and wonderful, and the creeps, well, preen them out. All stuff you know.

But the 2nd part of my answer is yes I have felt like that ALL THE TIME. God, since I was 12. Sex rules. I must have it. Being in this relationship, I pretty much have that taken care of for now, but let's say I didn't. I'd still have met about 6 women last night who could be potential mates. You meet 'em, you watch to see if there's an interest, if they're available, and if they are, hey, why not? Sex is just part of what we do, and I'll tell you this to: when I've had a good one night stand, I've wanted to see that person again. Most of the time because I like the sex. Christ's sake, go out, have some one night stands, and once you've got some experience with them, reevaluate if that's something you want, or if some of them could become your friends with benefits. Y'know?

Mostly the solution to this problem just comes with opening yourself up to the overtures of others, and making a few yourself. Expect that the sex will be good, enjoy the process of meeting people, and you will definitely, definitely not be missing skin-on-skin for long.
posted by saysthis at 9:17 AM on July 27, 2008 [4 favorites]

What Forktine said. Unfortunately, if you're into the connection & emotional content of sex, then there isn't really anything that can substitute for it - one night stands etc end up feeling like a paltry substitute for what you actually want, not unlike carob or tofu in place of chocolate or a steak.

Frustratingly, I can't suggest much other than getting your own rocks off enough that you aren't constantly distracted by horniness, and being on the lookout for physical activities that are sensual without being sexual - therapeutic massages, swimming, lazing about on the lawn in the sun, dancing...

Hm, not the worst idea in the world: learn to tango! Women often find that horseriding can be a lot of fun, too.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:47 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

« Older Consumer Reports worth subscribing to?   |   Should I cancel my health insurance and invest the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.