07/ 09/ 2008
There’s something to be said for boyfriend-sex. By boyfriend-sex, I mean the familiar, affectionate, uninhibited sex you can only have with someone who knows you like that.
I’ve heard way too many times that women have different chemical responses to sex (releases oxytocin, which brings out our loving, caring sides) and that, if we’re capable of having casual encounters like men (for whom oxytocin is suppressed after sex), it’s because we’re forcing our bodies to fight our nature. I believe that this may be true; but I don’t believe that means that some pious form of monogamy is the only answer.
We’re talking about biology here, right? And biologically, I’m pretty sure my body doesn’t know the difference between sex with a marriage certificate or an “official” status or not. What it does, though, is crave the affection that comes with monogamous unions. And the more I think about it, the more I think this is possible to achieve for single girls, even without fighting their natural instincts–and that’s by having boyfriend-style sex, with all the right elements of a great night with a boyfriend, without the baggage of actual-boyfriend sex.
Cuddling doesn’t necessarily equal commitment.
The elements, a.k.a. five steps to a fun, functional morning after with an un-boyfriend and not feeling like a ho:
1. You’ve done it before. And not just once before, during a discovery period after your first few dates, but you know pretty much where all his tattoos and birthmarks are and vice versa. You’re not worried about being naked in front of him. He knows how to tell when you’re in the mood to have it rough, and definitely how to make you finish. Of course, this also obviously means you didn’t just meet this person.
2. You like him. Not romantically, but you like this person’s personality. Awkward silence doesn’t fall as soon as the deed is done, because you have conversation chemistry.
3. He stays the night. This is crucial, I think. A lot of men are afraid to stay the night because they know it sends the wrong signal to many women, or the other way around. But for women who understand the difference between boyfriend-sex and boyfriends, staying the night is preferable. Not having to get dressed and to say awkward goodbyes makes a huge difference. And it’s nice to wake up with the guy and go for another round. It’s nice to have a lazier, more relaxed goodbye after the sun has come out and hormone levels have returned to normal.
4. He leaves by noon. The timing of course isn’t so concrete, but it’d be a mistake to let him laze around for the entire day. If a boundary isn’t set at the most natural point, it will never be set, and you’ll enter weird borderline boyfriend territory. Morning sex and maybe breakfast/brunch is as far as you should let it get before inviting him to leave and come again some time “soon” (that’s a subjective soon; more on this in #5). Once he’s gone, you have a whole day to enjoy your rejuvenated state of mind, be productive, and get on with your single routine.
5. It’s not routine. When he leaves, both should have an understanding that it may or may not happen again. I wouldn’t recommend inviting him back on consecutive nights, or on any predictable regular basis, because people get too comfortable with routines, and severely UNcomfortable when those routines or expectations are eventually broken. Don’t follow this step, and don’t be surprised at your or his reaction when one of you starts getting preoccupied on your set sex night.
See? Casual encounters don’t have to be quick and dirty. But we must still be careful and wary because it’s really difficult to tell whether our partners are crazy or not. The problem these days is that so many people out there are crazy and because of wavelength or boundary issues most of these arrangements end in drama because someone oversteps their boundaries or misreads the situation to be something more. And therein lies the argument for friends with benefits, and ex-sex; because friends and exes are sometimes the closest we can get to boyfriend-sex without misinterpretation.
It’s not that complicated, really. Women aren’t as obsessed with commitment as we’re stereotyped to be, but sex is definitely psychological as well as physical for us. So guys: get over yourselves; we need boyfriend-sex, not boyfriends.