This is not the first time I’ve talked about casual sex, or grey area relationships. As you’ll recall, I hate the term casual when applied to sex. It’s a dumb word. Here is a definition from Merrium Webster dot com:
(1) : feeling or showing little concern : nonchalant <acasual approach to cooking> (2) : lacking a high degree of interest or devotion <casual sports fans> <casual readers>(3) : done without serious intent or commitment
Now, clearly, when people talk about casual sex, they are using the term in the third sense. But even then, I think its not right. I mean, you shouldn’t be having littler concern for the person you’re sexing. That’s rude. And you should have some degree or interest and devotion, at least to their bodies. I don’t like the word ‘serious’ either, cause that seems like something quiet and not fun, two things which sex should definitely not be. But you should have intent and commitment to creating that one singular experience. Right? Ok well I guess I made my point about the word casual, so just an FYI from now on I’ll be calling sex that isn’t occurring in a monogamous relationship uncommitted.
Ok, so onto the actual subject, which is that this past Friday I rode a bus off the island, through the gross state of Jersey and into my home state of Delaware (Diamond State, First State, no sales tax). I rode the bus home with a friend, we’ll call him Mr Busy. Mr Busy and I covered a lot of topics, as the ride ended up being three hours. Mostly we were discussing love and sex because, well, obviously those are everyone’s favorite topic. Mr Busy, like myself, is into grey area relationships. Which, I asserted and he agreed, are harder to navigate than traditional boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Mr Busy has broken a few hearts in the past and is now trying to be honest with girls that he sees (quote unquote). Furthermore, he thinks that being honest is all you can do, and after that the other person is on their own. This is where I, politely, disagree.
The thing is, sex isn’t really ever without emotions. Just because you are a person who can have sex without being head over heels or monogamous doesn’t mean that their aren’t emotions flying around the room. When two people get naked together, what happens next can be surprising, out of the blue, over the top, out of control or just plain bizarre. I think (slash have learned from personal experience) that one conversation about limitations and perimeters isn’t enough. Because if you keep getting naked with a person that you even kind of like, shit is gonna go down. People are complicated, changing moment to moment, and if you keep putting yourself in that vulnerable situation then you assume at least a little responsibility for your partner’s emotions and well being. It’s not enough to just say ‘I’m too busy/hurt/sad/over it to be in a relationship, so this is just gonna stay casual‘. A one time scenario is different (though I still argue not emotionless), but a repeated encounter does mean that you agree to be considerate of the other person and their feelings. And sex does tend to lead to at least some kind of emotional situation, especially if you enjoy the other person even a little.
But I think it’s totally not even that big of a deal people! I mean, if you don’t wanna be in monogamous relationships that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you have to be a robot. It doesn’t mean there aren’t shades of grey. So why not take responsibility for your partner, have repeated conversations, and acknowledge that even in an uncommitted relationship there is always a possibility that someone can get hurt. Even a stranger has the opportunity to hurt you. I think its not emotions we need to avoid, but rather dishonesty with our partners, and even more with ourselves. Denial is not just a river in Egypt (boom boom, chang!) but it’s also the quickest way to cut off something that may be promising. Sex doesn’t require commitment or monogamy or promises or even a first name if thats how you roll. But it doesn’t mean that situations can’t evolve. It doesn’t mean people won’t surprise you. And no matter where in grey-land you and your lover currently reside, I believe very seriously that sex does require, above all else, consideration and responsibility.
Here’s a song that speaks my heart a little bit, about grey areas, by a dope chick and it’s a dope video.