Sometimes I think we’re just a generation of self-proclaimed Carrie Bradshaw wanna-bes: writing publicly about our sex lives and relationships because not only does it help us create a network of support, (which, if only for a day or two in a comment thread, normalizes our issues) but kicks away any shame we may still have lingering simply by publishing our thoughts out loud. Women of my age grew up on Bradshaw. Maybe this is why we write like we do? Thinking out loud and questioning our relationships in real time? Will my baby sister’s generation be more of a Hannah Horvath kind? One piece embedded in both stories is that every good female writer needs a freak in her life who’s going to be a total dick then maybe come around (and around): a Big or an Adam. The ’98 archetype of a boyfriend verses the 2014 version.
As Yasi likes to say, in my early twenties I lived my life like a lesbian: after the first fuck both my boyfriend and I were both calling up the U-Haul. You know what sucks about moving in with a boyfriend? Moving out. The number of times I packed and unpacked my vinyl. I just can’t get those days back, man. And that original Wipers poster? It’s gone. But that’s young divorce. Fighting over an original Wipers posters you and your boyfriend inherited together.
Simone De Beauvoir and Jean Paul Satre were a power couple blueprint way ahead of their time. They got together in 1929, never married, but remained in an open union for 51 years. It’s even been said that they refused to share a home, or at least they kept separate living spaces to retreat to. “The comradeship that welded our lives together made a superfluous mockery of any other bond we might have forged for ourselves,” de Beauvoir said in “The Prime of Life”.
The unfortunate truth to most of my early move-ins was financial: we were both broke ass mother fuckers. I’m sure most of your move-ins had a similar logic behind them. The older I get the more I value my own space and my own life. My independence. My ability to finance my life without splitting the bills with a boyfriend. There was once a time when sleeping alone in my apartment without my boyfriend left me tossing and turning all night. I can’t even remember that feeling anymore.
And now, I am in a relationship again after a long time being single. I have writer’s block and I am blaming him.
I think it was so easy to write about my sex life when I was single because my single life was a really self-satisfying joke. The space between my legs was simply a place used for gathering material for my columns. It is much easier to write about the bad fisting, the coked out mishaps and the dirty condoms stuck in the shower drain then to actually sit down and pen something about a person I like talking to when sober. The only difference here is respect. When I was going after men at blitzkrieg speed, I didn’t really respect my targets. I mean, in what world does one actually respect another human being if they are referring to that person as a “target”?
Photo by Mandy Lyn
A different satisfaction comes from being single as opposed to being with a partner who is not only your friend but your “lover”. One is not better than the other. Being single means relying only on yourself and having complete control over your emotional state. Once you let someone else into your life, beyond just fucking, I mean, really let someone in, you run the risk that comes with that trust. Suddenly another person has invaded. You become somewhat responsible for one another’s feelings. You invest. You have the power to love each other, to hurt each other. I tip-toe cautiously. Swan diving is for naive 20-somethings.
So, maybe I have no stories that I am willing to share these days. No man to throw under the bus for the sake of my own articles. However, I’m happy with the man I got. I don’t want to expose my boyfriend (even though I did accidentally post a photo of his dick on Instagram) plus, I’m too busy enjoying this to reflect on it yet. When it all starts to go to shit, I’m sure I’ll have a novel worth of analysis ready to go, but until that day comes, I’m totally OK with writer’s block being a trade off for the killer sex and companionship.
– Mish Way