Saturday, July 09, 2005

Stand up for your love privileges. I am angry that people treat love and sex as a right, an entitlement. They take it for granted that they are attractive, loveable people and that they deserve to find someone wonderful to fuck. They wear their attractiveness like an old jumper and don't even cherish it; and they are fussy and dismissive of the people who are attracted to them. I'm sick of people moaning about not getting laid and counting how long it's been; and then when they do get laid, they're not even grateful. They're moaning about the person they're sleeping with not being 'right' in some relatively small and insignificant way, and how they're going to ditch them and find someone better. Because, you know, they deserve better.

I, by contrast, feel that love and sex are privileges. I feel privileged when someone wants to sleep with me, and I treat their proposition as something rare and precious, because I know what it's like never to be liked back. Whenever I tell some guy I like him, he demotes me to friendship. Yes, it's a demotion - despite all the blah-blah about the 'value' of friendship, that's not what I wanted from them. And it doesn't make me feel valuable at all - instead it makes me feel cheap, like all I am is a resource for uncomplicated and entertaining company. Here, I would like to insert the exclusive A Wild Young Under-Whimsy sex diagram.

This diagram illustrates my belief that attraction is a fleeting thing. It grows rapidly from the point of first getting to know the other person. But as you become more intimate and spend more time together, this attraction quickly wanes and is replaced by a platonic affection. This is because people like mystery. It makes the other person seem much sexier when you don't know the boring details of their life and must concentrate on visceral things - the way they laugh; some perfume they wear; their dancing style. Here is where I usually shoot myself in the foot, because I don't believe in this mystery bullshit, plus I am disadvantaged because my personality is the most attractive thing about me. Thus, my relationships quickly descend to the dreaded just friends point. I remember how bitter I was about this last year.

It's hard actually to identify the dreaded just friends 'point' at the moment you reach it. It's more a retrospective thing, where you realise, "It would just be really weird and uncomfortable if we were to kiss." And the problem with unrequited crushes is that the person with the crush equates the increased intimacy with increased likelihood of getting it on. The exact opposite is true - the other person is busily descending towards the dreaded just friends point. So my rule of thumb is if I haven't got together with someone within a few months of getting to know them, it is never going to happen and there is no point humiliating myself by trying to force the situation.

I realise that some people may be thinking to themselves right now, "But what about ______ and ______? They were friends for ages before they got together!" My theory is that for some reason, these two people were always attracted to each other, but something got in the way - they already had partners; it was a bad time in their life; they lived far apart; they were housemates. In this case, their 'friendship' is basically a surrogate relationship - a drawn-out courting that only really kicks into the pattern described in my diagram once the obstacles are removed.

Friends do sometimes get it on. So I've done up another diagram that illustrates how this usually works.

Why does it 'get weird'? Because the pattern is wrong. As Billy Crystal explains in When Harry Met Sally:
It's just like, most of the time you go to bed with someone and then she tells you all her stories, you tell her your stories, but with Sally and me we'd already heard each other's stories, so once we went to bed, we didn't know what we were supposed to do, you know?...I don't know, maybe you get to a certain point in a relationship where it's just too late to have sex, you know?
I didn't really intend for this to descend into a spastic When Mel Met Nobody post. My point is that you simply cannot assume you are sexy and lovable - instead you have to realise how random and fortunate it is to find someone. I feel like I'm the only person who realises this. You should pick one or the other. If you're always picking up, then you shouldn't act all surprised that you've managed to pick up some duds. And if nobody you like ever seems to like you back, then when you miraculously do get some action you should shut the fuck up and enjoy it.

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