Let’s Treat Sex Like Breakfast |Nonfiction|
My breakfast preferences have evolved.
I used to buy boxes of Reese’s Puffs, Lucky Charms, and Fruity Pebbles. They’d last about 48 hours. Fruity Pebbles left a waxy gum between my teeth; this did not deter me.
Now I like iced coffee with heavy whipping cream. Sometimes almonds. I also really like steel cut oats with enough cinnamon to be biting.
Today I avoid sugary cereals because they make me feel sick. My body and I are talking better. I think that back then it was trying to tell me that Reese’s Puffs and Fruity Pebbles were bad for me. I didn’t listen. I hear my body better now. We’re communicating. I’m learning how to give it the breakfast it wants.
For a long time, I thought my sex script was simple:
Act 1: Have sex for first the time, feel like Valkyrie.
Act 2: Lose Valkyrie status due to boyfriend breaking up with me the day after the sex.
Act 3: Go on quest to separate sex and emotions to take back Valkyrie status.
Act 4: Have great sex, no emotional connection, Valkyrie status achieved.
Act 5: No clue how to build emotions back into sex.
5 Steps. Simple rules. Sex means emotional vulnerability. Taking out the emotional vulnerability makes it easier and more fun. It also provides a nice “fuck you,” to my Catholic upbringing, (and the people who tell me women aren’t capable of one-night stands.)
That script is how I made sense of my sexual history. But when I sat down to write about all my sexual experiences I noticed the script I was using was inaccurate. I didn’t just want the ability to separate emotions from sex, I wanted access to more than one kind of sex.
I want cinnamon oatmeal, and I want intense, meaningful sex where I cry because I feel fearless, authentic, and safe. I want bacon, and I want ridiculous sex where I try new things, fail, and laugh without stopping. I want iced coffee, and the ability to have hot, thoughtless sex where animal instincts take over and I don’t control a god damned thing.
I’ll tell you a story.
Isaac and I fell in love in undergrad and then he moved to Austin, TX. We tried long-distance, we failed, we broke up. When I graduated, I decided to move to Austin. I moved for lots of reasons, but a re-kindling with Isaac was definitely a part of it.
A few weeks in, he and I are in my new apartment playing strip poker and I am shirtless and on top of him.
He chooses this moment to say, “I should probably tell you I’m not interested in a relationship.”
I blink. “Yes. You should tell me that. Because now the sex we’re about to have will be way different.”
And I flipped my head into one-night-stand mode. All the work I did learning how to have different types of sex allowed me to have a one-night-stand with a man I loved.
And the next day I drove him home and felt sad that we couldn’t make a relationship work. The fact that we couldn’t “work” had absolutely nothing to do with the sex. There was no resentment or anger. There was pride. He was honest and authentic and so was I. Because of that, we got to have a great time.
The mourning got to be separate from the great time.
I don’t understand why the world wants me to believe this is not possible. What do we gain? What do we gain by teaching that there’s only one type of sex, and it happens in marriage, and we’re not going to tell you what it looks like? That’s like handing me a breakfast burrito and telling me to eat it without seeing what’s inside.
Well, I live in Austin, Texas, and we have the best breakfast burritos on the planet. We’ve got chorizo and steak tips and sixty kinds of salsa. And I don’t put anything into my mouth without looking at it first.
E. C. Kelly has an M.A. in Liberal Arts, which is a fancy way of saying she’s studied teaching, acting, and creative writing a lot. What motivates her writing is the queer kid born to an unaccepting family. She wants to reach that kid.