The worst lie ever told is that you will have the best sex with someone you love. I often wonder whether the person who said this first was an extremely romantic virgin. Or someone who had just got their heartbroken and needed a poetic way to say, “my new partner is better cause he actually loves me”. But maybe they were simply someone who unlike myself, never got the life fucked out of them by a total idiot. I think lies like these are the sort we tell ourselves when we’re afraid. And I think the person who said this first knew the shit they were about to start.
One of the most incredible things to me will always be how my body can respond to something my brain absolutely refuses to. How people can have intense chemical connections that often last longer than the ones that feel magical – even spiritual. I’m pretty sure the person who told that lie about sex needing love is also the type to write think pieces about how the internet ruined the sanctity of dating (as if sanctity and dating could even be used in the same sentence). I think a lot of this confusion stems from believing that dating is something more than navigating extremely shitty territory-something more than hanging out in a dangerous neighborhood. On a good day you find a starbucks, on a bad day you get robbed.
The belief that things have to be perfect to produce something incredible is a belief rooted in fear and straight up delusion. I recently overheard a woman say, “nothing good can come from that” during a conversation about tinder. And I couldn’t believe how strong her emphasis on the word nothing was. Nothing good? Like, at all? I thought about this for days and came to the conclusion that some of us are painfully disconnected from ourselves. So disconnected we don’t even realize we’ve been measuring pleasure by someone else’s standards. Yes sex is amazing when you’re in love. But everything is amazing when you’re in love. Everything is warm and weird and so special that you spend every day waiting for a piano to fall from the sky and land on your head. It truly is a special kind of wonderful. It just isn’t the only kind of wonderful.
The kinds of people we meet in a lifetime are an assortment of wonderful and fucked up. And each interaction serves as an opportunity to bring us closer to ourselves. Like that girl you abruptly stopped speaking to (just like someone once did to you) she helped you understand how silence is a language of its own. Or the one you still daydream about waking up next to (although it’s been years since you stopped speaking) they taught you that love is a fire that burns painfully fucking slow. Or that guy who responded “ok” the time you wrote him a really deep message about your feelings. He taught you not to bleed feelings onto strangers (some people just can’t handle it). And that awful guy who said ‘you were too fat for me anyway’, he showed you the depths of anger some people carry with them. He taught you that it has nothing to do with you.
The reality is that there are a million reasons as to why we fuck the people we do. Sometimes they’re powerful and alluring people who we hope can sexually transmit their most attractive qualities. Sometimes it’s because they’re mean, so we sleep with them hoping to fix some shit we didn’t even break. And in the spirit of believing that love makes everything better, we tell ourselves that our love is all they need to be decent (it’s not). Sometimes it’s because they’re the nicest fucking person we’ve ever met. They care for the world and literally every person in it and we just couldn’t think of a better way to show them how much we appreciate their existence. Sometimes we’re just drunk with horniness (or tequila) and we become really sweaty versions of ourselves in dark rooms. Sometimes we hate ourselves for this, but sometimes we don’t.
What most “dating in your 20s” think pieces leave out are the parts that tell you how sex is really the best when you know yourself. When you know what you like, when you feel comfortable talking about what you don’t. That the most attractive part about dating is not where or how you met, but feeling secure in your decisions. That when you stop saying “I’m sorry” when you mean “go fuck yourself”, you discover the strength to go after the things you want. These are the things that go beyond the superficial dating laws created by strangers. These are the things that show every person around you how hard you’ve worked to have a solid relationship with yourself.
Giving dating advice is often just as stupid as dating. The only advice worth taking is to know that you deserve an orgasm just as much as you deserve to be happy. And that every single one of us is fumbling around for the sake of finding a cure for what hurts, so please don’t think you’re the only one.
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