Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Defined By Restraint

It's been an interesting week.  I am dealing with the things that come along with dating someone new.  I am going through all of the fun and scary things that come with the possibility of a relationship after years of dating with no plans of monogamy.  This week has also been about creating.  Dating isn't the only thing I do and, in this case, relationship prep isn't the only thing going on.  I just (moments ago) pulled down my gallery show.  It was up for a week and, like my prospective dance with monogamy, it's been both exciting and scary.  Though this week has been full of new things that frighten me, it's times like this that really make you feel the real, tangible and organic joys and sorrows of living. The willingness to be frightened and step to the edge to take risks is what propels us forward in life.  It's the way I, personally, move myself in life.  I have always been more into creation than consumption, more into exploration than restraint.

After this long week of internal struggle and growth, I woke up this morning to a tweet that I found oddly surprising.  It shouldn't have surprised me.  It is based on a notion that I have become highly used to and very well versed in.  It's a language I do not speak, but I have heard it spoken enough to understand it.  The tweet was from a woman I follow.  She is generally bitter and angry.  She makes comments about people's appearances a lot.  I find her to be entertaining at times.  And I find her tweets, like many others (including my own) to reveal more about who she wants to be than who she is.  I think this is the joy of being able to curate our lives on social networking sites.  We paint the picture of who we want to be and that is the presentation we give the world. I say "we," because I do it too.  I am my closest contact with the curation of self via the internet.

Anyway, sorry ... the tweet said "A female who has had a one night stand with a stranger is a slut..." Then, it was followed by another tweet that said "And men are slut (sic) too...but it looks way worse for a female." This woman went on to ask if any of her followers had had a one night stand.  I answered that I had.  She asked a few questions and I answered.  I wasn't angry or upset.  I just didn't have a problem owning it and I was curious what route she might take.  It was fine.  She said she could never do it.  Then I used it as an opportunity to plug my blog.  It was no big deal, but ...

The incident made me think.  What is it that makes people put others in a category based on their actions? Is there a safety in being able to categorize a group of people and in being able to say "I am not in that group?"  Women who have one night stands are sluts.  I don't have one night stands.  I am not a slut. It's like an inside out ....  I don't get it, but I think it's a part of this system women have fallen into.  A system used to lift themselves on the shoulders of their fellow women, by labeling them 'lesser women.'  It's not possible to be on the moral high-ground, if there is no one below.  I don't know what to make of it.  It doesn't sadden me anymore.  It doesn't make me feel as though I am the lesser.  In my world, there is no lesser or greater.  The women that see themselves as morally superior for the orgasms they aren't having, or for the partners they have refused appear to me as standing on an island I don't want to enter.  I don't have the need to climb up this imaginary ladder on the shoulders of others.  I like having sex and I know other women that enjoy it too.  I also know women that are happy in their relationships.  I know women who have had 2 partners or 1 partner and I have never felt the need to soar to a level that would allow me to look down on people.  We are all just different.  Respect for oneself is something that happens in the deep dark loneliness of night.  When there is no one else to which you can compare yourself.  It's about how you feel about you.

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About Me

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I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
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