|By Amy Alkon|
Captain hookup & I.C.U. nakedQ: This guy I’m having a casual thing with is quick-witted, is droll, and makes me laugh hard, and I just LOVE having sex with him. Afterward, however, he pretty much ignores me until we hook up again, not answering texts from me for weeks at a time. Although I see him consulting his phone constantly, he didn’t even text back “Sorry, busy” to my text inviting him over to watch the moon from my yard because it was so peaceful. I get that we’re not dating and that he wants his freedom, so I try not to call him names in my mind. But, then he turns up again, and I have a blast and get obsessed with the whole experience of him. I think I could be happy if he’d just reply to my texts and show me some attention that goes beyond the bed. Just a simple connection. Since I can’t insist on that, I guess I need help putting what I have into perspective so I can stop yearning and craving so much.
A: You want to believe you and he are on the same page. Yet here you are, basically asking him, “Come lie under the moon with me and listen to my heart beating” while he’s summing up what you two have with some well-known verse. No, nothing mushy from Shakespeare. That line on an unassembled moving box: “Insert tab A into slot B.”
The policewymyn of gender neutrality have led many women to believe they can do anything a man can do. While you don’t need a penis to bang out a memo that lights a fire under the sales staff, there’s one pretty surefire way to have an emotionally easier time having casual sex, and that’s by becoming a man.
Because it’s in women’s genetic interest to get men to commit to more than an hour of sexercise, many women seem to be neurochemically driven to feel clingy after sex. During sex, the hormone oxytocin, which has been associated with emotional bonding, is released in both men and women, but in most men, their far greater amount of testosterone gives it a beat-down. This disparity may lead to a conflict of interest — or rather, a conflict of lack of interest like you’re experiencing. But because you’d rather have this guy’s sex scraps than nothing, you’re all “Yeah, cool, no strings” while chasing him with a lasso and trying to forget that his favorite thing to do after sex is grab his shoes and clothes and sneak out of your house.
Even if you typically have the ability to keep things casual, it’s likely to be impaired if you choose poorly — if the man you’re having sex with is more Mr. Awesome than just Mr. Awesome In Bed. The clue that you can’t put this current thing into perspective is your inability to tell him, “Hey, text me back, because it bugs me when you don’t.” That’s surely what you’d do, no problem, if a friend had you on ignore. If you can’t accept what he’s not willing to give, you need to get out — and approach casual sex a little more realistically in the future. While being successful in love is about finding the right person, being successful in casual sex is usually about finding the somewhat wrong person — one who is decent in bed but inspires you to think post-coital flowery thoughts like “Umm…don’t you have somewhere to be?”
Q: My boyfriend’s mother has been in the hospital for several weeks. She is slowly progressing but still isn’t doing well. He’s been spending his days with her, but tomorrow is our anniversary, and he wants us to have sex while his brother stays with her. He says it will be a stress reliever for him, but I just don’t feel right about it, given his mother’s condition.
A: Sex with your boyfriend will not cause negative health consequences for his mother, with some grim-faced doctor coming in to break the news: “We were giving you six months to live, ma’am, but after what your son must’ve done with his girlfriend last night, we’re scaling you back to three weeks.” When somebody’s seriously ill and somebody you care about is caring for them, it can seem disrespectful to behave with anything but somber reserve. The reality is, that’s probably the last thing either one of them needs. What they lack is the stuff that makes life normal — the relatively trivial things they did and talked about back when the only doctor they encountered daily was Dr Pepper. In other words, you’ll help your boyfriend support his mother by supporting him in the way he wants — and not by engaging in some really mind-blowing sitting around with long faces thinking deeply solemn thoughts.