When No Strings Attached Stops Feeling Like a Natalie Portman Film
Relationships with sex friends, where there's no expectation other than regular and available orgasms with some chit chat in between, appear to be a popular deal. People want them, but not many have them. Why?
Well here's the "duh" part.
Who wouldn't want access to great sex at any time of the day/night with someone who already "gets" you but doesn't have plans to "get" you an engagement ring or a trip to meet the parents?
As columnist Sam Phillips described in her Q&A with a multicultural and multi-trendy crowd, nearly everyone will raise his or her hand at the inquiry, "Would you like a no strings attached relationship?"
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But the hands fall when followed up with, "How many of you have one?"
What happens when your strings-free main ho or go-to guy meets someone he or she feels is worth sexual exclusivity? The feeling of rejection - one that should be expected and discussed in healthy no strings attached (NSA) relationships - is inevitable, as is the disappointment that the easy sex is over.
Then the curiosity rolls in.
"What does this other person have that I don't? Why doesn't she think I'm worth the exclusivity, even though I told her I don't want it? Wait - do I want it? Fuck, I need a drink and a blowjob."
I'm still skeptical of the whole monogamy thing. Some argue it's an innate necessity for the continuation of a species - specifically our own - while others remind us that most animals are not monogamous for that exact reason.
Monogamy could simply be a social construct developed by a morally conscious culture. Hard to say one way or the other, as the belief seems to ebb and flow with our own evolving emotions and opinions on the subject.
If you had asked me two years ago if monogamy was a myth, I'd have been more apt to argue in that theory's favor. But if you had hit me up in early 2010 after I had become infatuated with a gentleman (before, of course, he took the chance to ruthlessly break my heart) I'd have made just as clear a case for why wanting to be with one person can make sense.
And as my sexual appetites and personal needs have evolved even more since, it's still unclear if I or the rest of us really are supposed to mate with one other human for the rest of our lives. Even if it does mean we might get better grades.
But I've had an NSA relationship (briefly put on pause while I spent time with the above-mentioned
waste of space young man) for more than a year with a man I call my Plumber. He's been mentioned a few times. Like here, here and here.
We've known each other for a decade and actually dated for a long time. But as we grew into adults a clear divide followed suit, and the relationship had to end. Not because our feelings were gone, but because they were no longer enough to keep us together while we (or I) figured ourselves out as single citizens of Los Angeles.
But a couple of years later we encountered what most exes end up dealing with at one point or another - what happens if we still fuck sometimes?
That opportunity didn't arise as expected - at alcohol-fueled parties, on lonely nights near the phone, while late-night sexting. The Plumber and I were hanging out as usual, in sweatpants watching Robot Chicken, when it occurred to us that it might work.
And after we talked about it, and what might go down if one of us meets someone special, we banged. And it worked.
The friendship remained even after the day I told him I had met someone new, and the NSA-ship picked right up where we left off once the sting from the breakup with that someone subsided. It still felt natural.
But the Plumber's a catch and I knew sometime soon some chick would notice. Today's that day.
The sinking feeling in my stomach is not from the loss of the lay or even the jealousy one might expect to feel toward the other chick. (Though it's not a fun thought passing on that thick penis and skilled mouth to the next gal.)
It may be called a No Strings Attached relationship, but it's unavoidable to have at least a few thin threads connecting the two of you. There's a sense of ownership, knowing that you're the only sex friend he/she has.
It's a fucked up form of monogamy - we can rail whoever we want, but at the end of the day we'd rather come home to the person who already knows where to lick and how hard.
Even when you do it right - without the movie plot lingering in your mind as you wait for the rainy city night when one of you (or both) realize you're ACTUALLY in love with each other and meant to be forever and ever - it's not easy.
The NSA relationship can end at any minute and you have to make sure you haven't kept any extraneous eggs in that basket. He might bring her a bouquet of carrots because he knows how much she loves beta carotene, and she might give him regular foot massages despite her podophobia (cuz she knows he loves it). But that doesn't mean they're falling in love.
But what if he feels something and doesn't want to say anything for fear of rejection or ruining a good thing? What if she secretly wishes to try something serious but doesn't want to scare him away from the friendship?
And what happens when you aren't sure how you feel, but you've just been slapped in the face by the reality that at some point he's not going to be there for you anymore?
Yeah, good questions. I'll let you know when I figure that out.
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