Saturday, January 26, 2008

Ever Wish You Could Just Get USED UP?

The other day while driving to work I heard this song on the radio...



Since I was a little girl, I have had an affinity for this song. I can remember riding to school with my mother, brother, and sister and Bill Withers would come on the radio singing this song and I would sing along at the top of my lungs inside my head (as I have never been blessed with singing ablility my family members were not having me singing out loud outside my head in the car). Thinking back to those days, I don't believe I even knew what he was singing about, but I loved this song.

Well, as I drove myself to work the other day listening to this same song on the radio (and singing out loud outside my head ;) I can assure you that I knew EXACTLY what Mr. Withers was singing about and it was then that I knew that once again I had a problem...

My problem is that I miss sex...A lot!

Finding myself quite unexpectedly single yet again, I am living without sex, yet again. Not being a woman who sees casual sex as a viable option for herself for more reasons than I want to expound upon here in this post, this is simply the way things are. It is what it is. I accept that.

However...

Upon hearing Mr. Withers' soulful rendition of Use Me, I found myself fantasizing. Now don't get too excited because there will be no sharing of any good fantasies in this space..."get real people", my Mother reads this blog! What I was going to say was that I found myself wondering "What if I were a different kind of woman? What if I could get past my necessity to feel an emotional connection with a guy before feeling comfortable about sexual connections? What would it be like to be that woman?"

Right about now, the idea of "getting used up" is not such a bad thing; at least not on the surface! The idea of being more cavalier in my sexual attitudes on the other hand is driven by a deeper, underlying fear that I have felt more often than I care to acknowledge. I find myself wondering sometimes if this is an irrational fear or if it is one that other women share with me. When I consider the number of times since I first became sexually active that I have found myself for extended periods of time experiencing what I call "self-imposed celibacy" I sometimes become anxious. My anxiety revolves around the fear of one day finding that while living in one of these periods of self-imposed celibacy, my desire to have sex at all will have vanished or that I might one day find that what was optimistically expected to be just a little while has turned into the rest of my sexual lifetime. Maybe other women don't worry about this at all, but I am primarily a long-range planner and as such find it virtually impossible not to consider the long-term ramifications of most any action I take.

I know women to whom these very things have happened. I know women who are still what I consider to be young sexually speaking, who have lived without sex for decades, even scores of years during which they should have been at their sexual peak and enjoying great quantities (and if truly blessed) great quality of sex. During a time when they should be blissfully enjoying the joys of sex that come with the maturity and self-assurance that increasing age brings, these still sexually young, attractive women are seemingly standing on the sidelines and allowing their sexual primes to pass them by simply because they are not half of a committed coupledom. This seems to be especially true of many single, black women between the ages of 35 and 65. Take a moment and think about it...think of the girlfriends, co-workers, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and great-aunts in your life...I bet you too know at least one and probably more than one black woman who somehow found herself single between the ages of 35 to 45 years of age and never again having seriously connected romantically with a man remained single and without sex for the remainder of her life.

How the hell does that happen?! I don't know about you, but I don't hear of many men in this age group going for decades without sex and if on occasion I do hear of accounts where this has happened to a man, believe me you, it is an isolated occurrence. So I ask you, "Why is this such a common fact of life for so many black women?"

We all know there are many answers to this question, from the way most of us were raised, to our attempts to protect our reputations, to a fear of HIV/AIDS and other achronyms, no one has to outline for us the underlying causes of so many wasted sexual lifetimes; however, does anyone besides me wonder why this is allowed to be, and what we as black women can do differently to avoid the same fate as so many of our predecessors? Why don't our male contemporaries seem to be faced with this eventuality and how is it that they seem to be getting plenty...are they for some reason unbeknownst to me, not susceptible to the same sexual tragedies that we are? Can someone tell me how can I be down if this is the case? Or, are we black women drinking the proverbial kool-aid and in actuality brothers aren't getting any more sex than we are? Wouldn't that be terrible...finding out that NONE of us are getting any?

I don't know the answers, and most of these questions are rhetorical at best. There are no easy answers, but from where I stand as a soon to be 43 year old, single, black woman who is not getting any I will say this much...

"I will not go softly into that good night!"

I will rage against the dying of the light! I intend to do whatever is in my powers to find that special guy with whom I can establish the kind of connection I require to comfortably, willingly, and enthusiastically enter once again into a sexual relationship with total abandonment. I will find him by using

ANY MEANS NECESSARY
from having my Grandma do the quintessential "fix-up" to trying my luck on the internet. Whatever I have to do, I do not intend to "wake up" one day 10, 20, or 30 years from now on the brink of my 53rd, 63rd, or 73rd birthday and realize that since my "self-imposed celibacy" began I have not had sex for more years than the number of years I was having it before said self-imposed celibacy began. I am an attractive, desirable, intelligent, liberated, black woman who happily admits that she loves, LOVES, LOVES sex; and as such, I say to the world right here, right now

I will not quit until I find my someone special and the two of us can keep on using each other until ...

somebody gets used up!
Of course I mean that in the best possible way ;-)

Tell 'em what I'm talkin' bout D'angelo!


20 comments:

G. Cornelius said...

Nice post...And I love that song too...

Stay strong sistah...And why you have to hit us with the D'angelo at the end? =(

Great talent down the drain...

I'll keep you posted

Mega Rich said...

Ok, I got halfway through this long post (I returned to finish it) and decided to just comment. Believe it or not I have often wondered how women just stop having sex. I remember thinking about Coretta Scott-King and how she never remarried. She was always a pretty woman, so I know it wasn't because men weren't attracted. Well, some of them could have been intimidated, but that's another issue. But I digress. Women, as it seems do have an uncanny ability to go without. My aunt moved to Florida to live with my Grandmother the last decade of her life and she had a boyfriend (he wanted to marry her, but she wouldn't marry him) who actually moved from California with her and I remember her talking about she didn't have time to be thinking about laying up -- that was his issue. I also, remember a fellow blogger relaying how her mother said she divorced because she tired of the responsibilities of the marriage bed.

I must admit, after being married for 12 years, sex does not drive me like it did when I was single, but I'm far from the point of being over it -- far!

But as far as why men don't fall to that and women do is because we are able separate the emotions that go with sex and just enjoy it as a fulfilling act. Women want to be in love to have sex, that is not always the case with men. Don't get me wrong, sex is better with the woman you love, a lot better, but most men would rather get their rocks off than be looking at 10/20 years of celibacy -- that is unless he is doing it for spiritual reasons, which I can totally get with.

Sharon said...

@ g. cornelius:

Thanks for stopping thru, and for the encouragement. I'm managing so far, but just wanting to keep myself mindful of the fact that the objective is definitely not to get stuck in a this rut :)

@ mega rich:

I am so pleased by the fact that you decided to comment. I feel you on the differences btwn how the brothas and sistas view sex, and I will admit that I definitely fall into that characterization though I will say that I don't feel the need for a life-long committment to become sexually involved though having gotten to know more than a person's nickname is nice...lol!

I think the thing that floors me most is how insidious this phenomenon seems to be. Its like many of these women seem to have undergone a "Rip Van Winkle"-like experience where they went to take a nap and woke up a hundred years later and found life had left them behind. Hmmmmmmm.....

chele said...

I know what you're talking about. There was a time in my life when I was able to detach emotionally and do my thang ... but after a period of time it can leave you feeling kind of empty so I had to stop that. But I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of living a sexless life.

BloggersDelight said...

Thank you Sharon for visiting our corner of the blog-world. We are Delighted that you reached out to us and have joined our contributors.

CapCity said...

Gurllll...don't get me started - ditto what chele said - i don't WANT a sexless life - but i don't want a Booty-Call existence either ... what to DO what to DOO???

Thanx for joining my CapChaLuv movement, too Sharon! I LOVE that letter u shared! AND Black folk nevah think we need therapy - when we need it more than EVAH (tho' i'll admit finding good therapy is tricky)! ;-)

I see u live in St. Louie - so, I hope to meet u on Feb. 23rd!!

DJ Diva said...

Girl..stop debating...get yours! LOL

You know DJ had to keep it real.

I'm a Christian and all of that but I'm human. I know that before Scribe there was about a year of back and forth over the sex issue. I was even celibate for longer than a summer. Wha I learned was sometimes you can hold back emotions and sometimes you can't...that's part of the risk.

But does that mean you stop? Not to me. You don't strike me as someone to let disappointment stop her from achieving her ultimate goal in anything in life. Even your name speaks to your character! No one is promised 2morrow. Enjoy life while you have it. And sex is def a part of life.

Do you. And use somebody's blank up LOL ;)

CapCity said...

Hey again, Sharon - i wanted to comment on your fiction piece - but don't want to join Vox;-)...i can't really speak FOR men - but I do listen to a LOT of Men - even if they believe otherwise;-). So, that's my suggestion - listen to conversations around u. I think your piece is cool - but does sound a lot like a woman to me. That's why I don't really like a lot of the male romance novelists I've read - they're trying to sound like what they "THINK" women sound like or want to hear...KEEP doin' it, Sis! I'm not EVEN a pro - I just read a LOT & eavesdrop a LOT;-). OH! Great book: Stephen King's "On Writing."

LadyLee said...

Oh my, Oldgirl, you Microphone Queen, you SCARE me... you sound like you fiending like a junkie, about to jump off the roof.

DON'T JUMP. LOL!!!!!

You scare me for a moment here. As if you say that a life without sex is a tragic life. I know that isn't what you mean. But I understand. My coworker's aunt died when she was in her late 90's, damn near 100 years old... and had never had sex. Of course, we were aghast at such. I'd never heard of that, and honestly can't imagine it. Would have loved to sit down with her and had a convo about that, because that is just wild. But I am sure this woman lived a very full life. Very full, nowhere near tragic.

You know my thoughts on the subject, as we have spoken about it often and we have a mutual respect for each other views, so I won't repeat them here. My big thing is that my decision is for ME and for me only. Do what you gotta do for you. Ain't nothing but mutual mad respect between us, mayne!

I am very suprised that I have been given grief by guys that I am interested in just because I won't "do the do". It's hilarious how someone thinks they can talk your panties off, lol. I must admit, I am one of those who can't separate my emotions from the act and just do it... I think that MegaRich said it best above: Men "...are able separate the emotions that go with sex and just enjoy it as a fulfilling act." I think that is the gist of it. Most women can't do that. My reasons are more spiritual than not, but I am CONSTANTLY thinking about consequences. I really don't feel like worrying about contracting ish I don't want, or getting pregnant, or dealing with some trifling relationship just for the sake of a good lay. And then i am a bit crazy- you know, that "crazy" type, that might get a sip of liquor after not having alcohol for years, then going out and robbing a liquor store. LOL!

But, as we have discusssed, if the relationship was a committed one, well... don't know what I would do or how strong I could be. And I ain't kicking down doors to find out.

I told a dude last summer, "You know, the only reason I would have you around is for sexual purposes only", to which he got excited and was down for that. I told him that that would be jacked up on my part... you know how I feel about ulterior motives and shady agendas... Didn't want to "use" him like that.

Maybe I will send him your way, lol.

I've blogged enough in your comment section. I'm sure that's okay since you hijack my comment section from time to time! But here, take your mike back, Microphone Queen...

Anyway... Don't hurt yourself, Oldgirl. Hope you find what you are looking for:)

Sharon said...

@ Chele and CapCity:
You both are feeling me I think. This post is not about being horny today (though I admit I often am horny today ;) but about not wanting to wake up one day to find I have lived a sexless life for the last 20, 30, 40 years... This is a reality many women like us face and I just wondered if anyone besides me ever worries about it...thanks for letting me know I am not alone!

P.S. @ CapCity2: Thanks so much for the feedback...it is much appreciated and will definitely be taken to heart.

@ DJ Diva and that OG Ladylee:
Two of my four oldest blog BFFs and you both seemed to think I need or want permission to "get my freak on"...lol! Now y'all know me better than that, first of all I said this,

"Not being a woman who sees casual sex as a viable option for herself..."

which means I am NOT looking for the proverbial booty call; and second of all y'all know that what Ms. Just Write Now wants, she is totally capable of getting so horniness is NOT my problem (in this here moment that is...HAHAHA).

Though I thought I had already said it all, in the interest of clarity I will say this:

I simply wanted to express some thoughts about a situation that few of the women I know personally who are facing the same "risk" ever speak of. Sex of an immediate nature is not what I seek, I only wish to be cognizant enough of the possibility of this type of existence becoming my reality, that I will avoid it!

Think of it as planning for my future ladies ;)

Ali's Zay said...

I wrote a long-ass comment and Blooger lost it :-(
I'm not feeling well so I wont try to rewrite it. Please accept my invitation to visit my personal blog at http://LoversA.blogspot.com

And about your desire to purchase two books... I have a gift for you. Please call me to claim it. 866-230-5692. If I dont answer, just leave a message with your contact info.

Peace and Love

Ali's Zay

Nikki said...

I hope to be sexin' until I can't sex no more...........but with someone who loves me for me. I can't just give the love below to any ol' body. I'd prefer to be in a relationship. But that's just me.

Sharon said...

@ ali's zay:
Feel better soon! One of these days I am going to put a hit out on blogger for its insatiable appetite for words...knowing it ate YOUR words considering how much I know I would have loved reading them, TODAY JUST MIGHT BE THAT DAY!

@ nikke of the Infinite Ink:
I hear you loud and clear my sister and here's to the both of us successfully willing exactly that which you speak into existence!

LadyLee said...

Okay, I do understand where you coming from... The whole "worry" thing has me a bit discombobulated, as this is the first time I've seen in print someone going 20, 30, 40 years with out doing the thizzle. (I'm still tripping that you know women like that... Uh, I don't. Or maybe they just don't talk about it).

I didn't see this as you needing permission to get your freak on. (As if you'd ask!!). I saw it as a concern of sorts. Oldgirl, please stay in faith and kick fear to the curb! I see you doint that towards the end of your post, but man, don't concentrate on that 20, 30, 40 year ish.

And I was silently hoping you wouldn't go give up your goodies up to Pookie on the corner. (USE ME, POOKIE!!LOL!!)

You say... "I only wish to be cognizant enough of the possibility of this type of existence becoming my reality..."

Uh, I guess I can't relate. I just ain't that cognizant. It's sort of like in college when you felt like you were messing up one of your classes, and you felt like you'd NEVER get out of college. Like your life was over.

But we see that wasn't the case. You graduated and moved on, and became successful. Woulda been a shame if you just accepted the fact that you wouldn't get out of college, and just dropped out.

(Yeah, that's a STUPID example, but you know what I mean).

Same with this. You will meet someone who provides what you need. I will meet someone who provides what I need. Yes, tomorrow's never promised, but if we live to see tomorrow, there's hope for what tomorrow can bring.

I like what Nikki said above: I hope to be sexin' until I can't sex no more...........but with someone who loves me for me. I can't just give the love below to any ol' body. That is something I totally agree with, which is the opposite of what I was like in my 20's. (I was such an educated ho back then. Goodness.) If more women thought like that, cherishing their "goods", saving it for a relationship, and not getting all desperate, then "going without" wouldn't be such an eyesore... whether it's going without for a day or 50 long years.

But I feel you, Oldgirl. I see much faith kicking in here:)

And, uh, I expect to hear something interesting from you in the future (you know what I'm talking about)

*LadyLee ducking as Sharon hurls her high heel shoe*

Nikki said...

@LadyLee: I've been there, done that. I've been involved with a couple of guys that I didn't take time to even let the relationship develop and I slept with him, which was against my better judgment. I don't ever want to be that way again. If we're not in a committed relationship, it's not going down!

CapCity said...

Me again;-)...not sure if this'll help ya, Sharon - but it's interesting. At the very least it verifies that u are not alone (but in my case misery does NOT love company ... i find myself hanging w/ couples now so I can LEARN!!). ANYway here's the info. I came back to give ya:

Soul Mates - a film

Ali's Zay said...

Dear Sharon,

Your post is one of those posts that just won’t let me sleep until I comment. I’m supposed to be resting and trying to sleep so I can get back to work tomorrow, but I won’t be able to sleep until I share some insight with you. Let’s start with an assumption I feel comfortable making just from reading your post: You are a sexually healthy woman. I define sexual health as “a positive and open attitude towards sex, physical intimacy, and one’s body.” This is fundamental to answering the question that you ask about the difference between men and women. While you clearly state your desire to share a close emotional bond with whoever you physically bond with, your question is rooted firmly in sex. I certainly don’t need to tell you the difference between intimacy and sex, but recognizing the difference is very important to understanding my answer.
Here’s the VERY short version. The average man will continue to have sex for as long as he’s able to achieve orgasm. While I’m generalizing, that essentially reduces the problem to one of biology and opportunity. Orgasms are an incredible motivator! But you already know this, your post expresses this beyond any doubt. What you may not know is that a staggering percentage of women (including sexually active women) have never had an orgasm. My personal estimate is somewhere between 25 and 35%. That’s at least one in 4 and possibly 1 in 3!!! Don’t believe me? Try this test. Ask your female friends to describe what their last orgasm FELT like and take the time to really listen. A few women will perk up right away, their faces will brighten, and they will enthusiastically describe a plausible variation of what you yourself know an orgasm to feels like. Many will get stuck on the mechanics of what they were doing (the sexual position, the quality of the sex toy, etc.) and will get a little frustrated when you ask “but how did it FEEL?” and give answer that you know are just plain wrong. Or generic answers like “I don’t know... it just felt good.” And some will simply refuse to answer. At that point, you will start to wonder...
The sad truth is that the women who stay celibate were not enjoying sex when they were having it. Being celibate is actually a relief to them because they no longer have to “submit” to the drudgery of sexual intercourse. These women are NOT sexually healthy. Now here’s the flip side of that: These women desperately crave INTIMACY. But their fear of sex is so strong that they pass up on many opportunities to enter into relationships with potentially good men, simply because they know that the “cost” will be sex.
The good news is you have nothing to worry about. Your fears are based on comparing yourself (a sweet, red delicious apple,) with sexually unhealthy women (biter oranges.)

PLEASE NOTE: this has been the VERY short answer and it’s full of generalizations. Nonetheless, it’s based on many years of research and scores of interviews with women of all ages. Should you, or any reader, desire greater clarification, I’d be happy to provide it. If there is enough interest in the topic, I could even do a post with greater depth and detail. If it’s not obvious, let me state it plainly: this is a topic that I’m extremely passionate about.

Peace and Love,
Ali’s Zay (LoversA.blogspot.com)

PS: I’m also 42 years old :-)

Ali's Zay said...

CORRECTION:

I stated that “The average man will continue to have sex for as long as he’s able to achieve orgasm”

That should read: “The average person will continue to have sex for as long as they are able to achieve orgasm”

The point being that there is very little or no difference between the frequency of sexual activity in men and women, once you make sure the women in your group are able to achieve orgasm. This is especially true with adults 40 and older because younger men do have a “tendency” to be more promiscuous than younger women. But even then, the difference is not that great.

Alis' Zay

Sharon said...

The good news is you have nothing to worry about. Your fears are based on comparing yourself (a sweet, red delicious apple,) with sexually unhealthy women (biter oranges.)

- Thank you...that is salve for my soul and I believe I can go to sleep now ;)

So many amazing points you make here and on some level, I know what you say to be true; but I don't think I can ever make you understand how fantastically reassuring it is to hear someone else say (read:write) these things that I know to be true out loud!

Please, please, please continue this discussion at your place and feel free to repost it here as well as I too have a passion for this subject matter and believe that we need to have more open dialogue about these issues if ever we are to come to a better understanding of the issues that are forcing us, black men and black women, ever further apart.

Thanks so much for reconsidering and re-writing what the Blogger Monster ate earlier as it was as satisfying to my apetite as your earlier comment most likely was to Bloggers!

BTW, congrats on your engagement, I hope it was as beautiful as you and your gorgeous daughter hoped it would be when you planned it. I know without knowing you all, that yours is a blessed family!

RPM said...

I know enough of myself to know that sex for me is linked to some sort of emotional connection or bond. There have been times when wished it wasn't. Times when I was interacting with someone that physically and intellectually "spoke" to me, but for some reason, that emotional nudge that critical thing I need to dive in, just wasn't there.

I swing both ways. Sometimes thinking a more relaxed approach to sex would certainly make for more stories to chuckle about makes me wish I was a bit less introspective about the entire thing. But then I interact with so many who have had a more relaxed approach, and they seem as melancholic as I in their desire for something, deeper.

Awesome, awesome post Sharon.