I’m posting today as part of the Sex Positivity Blog Hop created by Grace Duncan. The idea behind it is for romance authors to share positive views about sex, as opposed to the negative views presented so often in the media and in our culture. I’m a story-teller, so I prefer to discuss things like this as they relate to me personally, as part of the story of my life, rather than in the abstract. And I’ll use kittens to illustrate my points, because… well, they’re cute.
To see the other stops on the blog hop, go here.
I’ve always had a very casual attitude toward sex—it’s fun and I enjoy it, but I’ve never connected it to love. Love is how I feel about a very select few people in my life, including my husband, of course. But sex? I’ve had a lot of it. Some of it was with friends, and some was with people I didn’t know. I’ve tried nearly every position I can think of, and quite a few kinks. Some of it was special, some of it was incredibly hot, some of it was awful. But only when it was with someone I cared about deeply did it have any emotional power.
I’m not saying this is the way everybody should feel about sex, but it’s the way I’m wired. Love is love, and sex is for fun.
It surprised me to learn, as I grew older, that some people found me disgusting because of this. One of the most hurtful things that happened to me when I was dating was when I was on a second date with a man I was very attracted to. We ended up back at my apartment, making out passionately on my bed. I assumed this meant we would be having sex soon, so I joked, “I’ll warn you—I’m easy!”
He jerked away and said in a disgusted voice, “I’m not!” Then he left, and I never saw him again. All calls to his number went unanswered.
I ran into more men like this over the years—men who initially found me attractive, but quickly dumped me when they found out I’d had a lot of sex in the past. I was now “damaged goods.” And because they saw me as worthless—certainly not as someone they could have a relationship with—to offer to have sex with them seemed to insult them. “How dare you think I would stoop to having sex with someone like you?”
Once, when I went to look at an apartment, the landlord accosted me, pulling me into a dark room and yanking down my pants. I didn’t want it—I was dating someone, at the time, and I found this man to be repulsive—so I struggled to get free of him, and ended up fleeing with one hand pulling my pants up as I ran. I told my boyfriend about it that night, and he responded by sneering at me and saying, “That figures. What did you do to encourage him?”
So, needless to say, by the time I met Erich, I was used to people thinking I was a “slut.” It wasn’t so much that I thought badly of myself for my sexual history, but I was convinced I’d given up whatever chance I might have had for a permanent relationship.
Thank God for Erich. Our first “date” was more of a geeky study group for two. We were both interested in Old Norse, the language spoken by the Vikings, so we met at my apartment to go over some lessons. When we got tired of that, we ended up making out. I came onto him, and he didn’t play hard to get or act offended. He acted as if he was lucky to have found me. And I quickly realized I was lucky to have found him.
We’ve been together for thirteen years now. We’ll be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary this week, in fact. During this time, Erich has always enjoyed hearing about the sexual antics I used to get up to in my youth. He hadn’t been quite so adventuresome himself. But whenever I mention how men used to make me feel there was something “tainted” about me for being so experienced, he pulls me into his arms and laughs. “Then they missed out,” he tells me. “I love hearing your stories. I think they’re hot.”
So I may not be the type of guy every man wants to marry. But that doesn’t matter anymore, because Erich wanted to marry me.
I wrote about some of this, fictionalized, in my novel Screwups. What happened to Danny isn’t true—not for me, at least, though sadly it does happen to some high school students. Some have committed suicide over it. But his feelings of being sleazy and not good enough to be Jake’s boyfriend—of having screwed up his life—I understood all too well. And many of the events that occur in the dorm really did happen to me, though of course I’ve inserted my fictional characters into them. Eaton House did in fact have nude pizza parties, people chasing each other through the dorm naked, and residents posing nude in the lounge for art students.
One thing I left out of the novel was the time I streaked the dorm covered head to toe in nothing but marshmallow fluff.
Ah… good times….
To buy a copy of Screwups, look for it at Dreamspinner Press or Amazon.