Thursday, January 17, 2013
While listening to NPR a couple of weeks back I caught an interesting topic on the program ‘Tell Me More’. The segment covered the subject of abstinence and how the panel of 30-somethings were handling life without sex. For the panel (all women) their reasons were of the typical nature - the desire to meet prince charming, be swept off their feet, get married, have children and live happily ever after. Basically it centered around a moral choice. At least one guest also mentioned the desire to explore a professional career before entering a marriage or family situation. I was a bit surprised that there were other people waiting so late.
You see… I always thought that I was an anomaly. And for the most part I still feel that way, but I am not as odd as I thought. I am 39 and abstinent. Have been all my life. The reasons for me? Well, I would like to say that I have some sort of moral standard that has kept me abstinent, like retired NBA Star A.C. Green. But that’s probably not it. While my morals may be a part of the reason, it isn’t the primary reason for my situation. Believe me, if the right opportunity would have presented itself over the last 20+ years, I would have taken it. But it never materialized.
For me, it’s a combination of things that have kept me abstinent. Mainly it has to do with a lack of access. In other words, I pretty much avoid places like nightclubs, and big social events. Even if I engaged in social activities more often it would not make much of a difference. I have never even asked a woman for a phone number or made an approach to request a date in my adult life. I don’t exude the kind of cockiness, or aggressiveness that men often need to have these days.. (the aggressiveness women say they hate but that many of them really like and see as confidence on a subconscious level). I have always been too cool for that. I have never been in favor of putting myself in a position to get shot down. But I think it’s more of a pride thing. The idea of chasing women gives me a headache... it's just not in my blood.
Well, I must be ugly then? Nope… not the case either. I almost wish it were the case, then I would have a better excuse. But I am an average to maybe a little above average looking man. Although I have always hated the way that I look. I have always wished that I looked like a young Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. But I’m not a bad looking guy. People would often call me Carlton from the 'Fresh Prince' back when that show was on. But I never thought I looked anything like Alfonso Ribeiro (although I wouldn't mind having his money & his women).
I am slightly socially awkward, but it's not too bad for me. I get stressed in social situations where I am around a lot of people who I don’t know. This stresses me out tremendously. This is why certain social situations that would be enjoyable and relaxing to some people, are draining and stressful…basically like work for me. But I am pretty cool though and can navigate my way through anything. I am able to flip a switch that allows me to work a room and flow pretty much like normal. I could at least find a small group of people and flow just fine with them. So basically, if you saw me in a large social situation (mixer), you probably wouldn’t know that I am stressed out or that it is taxing for me to be there unless I told you. I’m better in one on one situations or with small groups of people who I know.
I believe that the main issue is my lack of income. It always seems to go back to that issue. I have had the misfortune of being stuck in a lot of less than stellar jobs. Since men are often defined & rated by women and by society, based on what they do, my work and income situation has been a confidence killer. In the world of dating and relationships… even sex, money drives everything.
Health has something to do with this too… I have always been scared to death of disease. I am a little picky too. I could probably go to some nightclub (I really really hate bars and nightclubs by the way) and pick up a chick….. But she probably wouldn’t be the kind of woman who I would really want. I wouldn’t want someone who would come home with me from a bar or nightclub. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I am a little old fashioned. But I would rather be in a steady dating situation first… with someone of a certain standard…who is worthy. I would really prefer a long-term situation. That’s the ideal scenario. But it has been fleeting. (Not that I have been looking hard). For the past 15 years I have not been focused on dating… I have been focused on trying to secure the kind of employment and financial future required to attract a mate. That hasn’t worked out exactly as planned either. So now I’m stuck questioning everything that I have been doing. Meanwhile, I see acquaintances (I don’t even want to call them acquaintances) bragging about how good their sex lives are and how many young women are throwing themselves at them. It’s frustrating because these guys aren’t worth a dime… yet the women line up to be with them. Even my acquaintances and relatives on the higher end of the food chain… have no problem in the dating and intimacy department. So I would be lying if I said this situation doesn’t piss me off. Women are typically looking for buttholes for boyfriends... badboys/thugs, "players", or men who are financially well-off. It's harder to meet women & date when you don't fit into any of these boxes.
But being celibate or abstinent has its benefits. I like the peace of mind of not having to worry about STD’s. I like the freedom of not having to worry about dating anyone right now… I hate the whole dating ritual. Trying to impress someone and watching every little move I make is taxing work.
But then again… I would eventually like a family at some point. Family has its perks and benefits too. When (if) I do reach a point where I can date again (depends on money and job situation…unfortunately this is what it’s all about)… I am not sure what to tell my date. Do I mention the V word? Or do I make up some elaborate story about the women I have been intimate with?