As I lay in bed on the morning of New Year’s Day, I realized that I am 8 days away from six months of no sex (I did the math). I laughed at this, because I remember how difficult the first six months were when I started “My Year Without Sex” and now it just kind of happened without my noticing. I thought about joining Tinder, just to find a “friends with benefits” situation, but even that was met with a big NOPE by the voices that control my brain. It seems that 2016 will be the year of the Cat Nun.
What has led to this self-imposed pseudo-accidental celibacy?
Well, let me tell you! It is self-esteem. But, how is that a thing? Shouldn’t that help your dating life? NOPE. I did all this amazing work on myself and feel self-assured, confident and worthy… and now I have no sex life. For most of my life, I was only worth what a man would give me. I my self-esteem was measured by whether a man was attracted to me or if I could get him to sleep with me. Now, I don’t need that validation. In fact, I don’t need a man (or woman) at all. I’m happy on my own until I meet someone who can match me in my new-found power. Hence, the barren wasteland that is now my love life – I’m still searching.
(I wish someone had told me this would be a thing three years ago, there were a bunch of people I would have loved to sleep with during that time! Jokes… kind of…)
For my group therapy intensive in November, we had to bring in a song that describes where we are at in our process. My choice was Holding Out For A Hero by Bonnie Tyler:
I need a hero; I don’t have room in my life for anything less. So what exactly does this man look like?
He is a man who can match my strength, instead of being intimidated by it. A man who can meet me at my most grounded and confident. It’s a man who is not afraid to take a look at himself and expose his vulnerability. He is a man that will share the good and bad in his life without making me responsible for it. A man who owns his choices and moves confidently through his life in the direction of his passions. A man who can say how he feels honestly. A man who doesn’t hide, even the parts he may not like himself. A man who doesn’t need me to make his life better, but wants me, because I do make his life better. A man who doesn’t shy away from my bigness, but instead can meet me with his own. So far, it’s been hard to find.
My friends tell me that I’m looking for a unicorn. I say that’s why I’ve become a Cat Nun. This doesn’t mean that I’ve closed myself off to the possibility of a relationship. In fact, shortly after making this declaration (hours later), a man that I have been secretly-not-so-secretly in love with opened his heart to me (which messed me up for many weeks afterwards). He’s not in a place to acknowledge his feelings, but he did show me what a unicorn looked like. He taught me they are out there and I can find one. I just need to be patient. That’s my challenge for 2016 – patience.
Some friends have suggested “toning it down” at the start of a relationship in order to avoid scaring a man away. To this I responded, if he scares so easily, it’s not going to work. I spent many years diminishing myself for the sake of a partner and I’ve come too far to do it again, even a little. No one should ever have to be less than they are for a relationship. That is a relationship destined for failure. I won’t be part of one. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that alone is better than almost right.
I don’t know what the future holds. I hope that one day I will have sex again. From what I remember, I really like it. It’s pretty awesome, actually. But, then there is the part of me that knows I’m worth something, my body is worth something, and I don’t want to give that away to just anyone. I want whoever it is I sleep with to actually see me. To see how special I am, because chances are, if I’m willing to have sex with them, it’s because I see how special they are, too. I can’t have it be empty anymore. I need something more. That’s why I’m holding out for a hero.
It’s going to take a superman to sweep me off my feet. ;)