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Q: Dear Laurie,
What the heck is up with college guys wanting to be friends with benefits? So, okay, are they really telling me: yeah, you're good enough to screw, but date? Nooo way! I've gotten worlds of excuses: I like you, but I'm not IN LOVE with you; I just don't trust women (that's a good one, like it doesn't take trust to sleep with someone: "Sure, I had an AIDs test, you?")...
On the other hand, I've been thinking about my own role in this. I seem to have a problem with getting sexual too soon in dating situations and maybe making sex the only focal point. I can't even have full conversations with men anymore without them becoming sexual. How do I keep myself reigned in and my mind out of the gutter? And furthermore, why is it that I can't be interesting to people unless I'm sexual? And I know I need to learn, because what guy is going to want to be romantic with a woman who's solely sexual?! By the way, I'm not. I do have other interests. I think.
Portrays herself poorly
A: Dear Portrays Poorly,
I have been completely bored by the garden variety Qs I've received lately. And, while your Q didn't set my keyboard on fire, it did pique my interest because it shows (place digitally-remastered cloud formation worthy of fundamentalist religiosity here) SELF-AWARENESS, ie "I've been thinking about my own role in this." You can't see me but I am down, DOWN on my knees I say, thanking the god I don't believe in for sending me a questioner who has the evolved-enough brain stem to ask herself how she can possibly be contributing to her current state as objectified sex kitten status. Hallelujah. Praise the .5% of the human race just like her.
I'll answer the easy question first which makes me want to take back my earlier "evolved-enough brain stem" comment: "What the heck is up with college guys wanting to be friends with benefits?" What the heck is up? I'll tell you what the heck is up (and then please don't ask again). Guys, college or otherwise, want to be friends with benefits because 1) like a John Deere multi crop seeder they are powerfully driven to plant, plant, plant, and, 2) as you have proven, because they can. May we please move on before I drive a stake through my eye or fall asleep or fall asleep driving a stake through my eye?
Onto the juicy part. Portrays Poorly writes, "I seem to have a problem with getting sexual too soon and making sex the focal point. I can't even have full conversations with men anymore without them becoming sexual." Wow, it is amazing she knows she's doing this-half the battle. Makes me want to give her a big hug.wait, no, that would make the conversation sexual. And supposedly I'm here to help, damn. Ok, ix-nay on the ug-hay. I'll just type something very catchy, very hip, but very non-physical/non-sexual. How about: kudos to you-dos. Moving on.
PP: "Why can't I be interesting to people unless I'm sexual?" Uhm, because you're not interesting? No, just kidding. I think it's because for whatever reason (cough, abuse) you've sexualized your male interactions, gotten positive feedback from them (sproing!) which has reinforced the behavior, no matter how poorly the behavior is serving you. Lather, rinse, repeat-stick a stake through my eye and go night night.
PP: "I know I need to learn, because what guy is going to want to be romantic with a woman who's solely sexual?!" What indeed-place Jeopardy music here. It's true, after a (good, long) while all-sex-all-the-time becomes a bore. You need to be able to converse vertically. And, as you've said, there's that whole Madonna (the Virgin, not the singer)/Whore thing with men (ie, screw vs. date) and who/what they choose for wedded bliss and mother of their children as opposed to road side bang. It gets very complicated. Besides, since time immemorial men have paid good money for the solely sexual woman. Unless you see a bow-chica-bow-bow future for yourself let's leave that to the professionals, hmm?
The Short Answer: Life is long and sex as a sole activity is not enough to keep one occupied, day in, day out, while slogging thought eighty plus years of oxygen exchange. Besides that, sexual prowess doesn't look so great on a resume. You say you have other interests.you think. What might those interests be? How are you pursuing them? Because that is the key-developing self-esteem and a stronger identity through other areas of accomplishment. It will be difficult at first. Your knee-jerk reaction will be to fall (on your) back, on what works, but resist the urge (literally) and explore new ways of being with yourself as well as others. Heck yeah!
Lovingly&logically yours, Laurie