Standards and Truths: Observations on Love, Sex, and Pleasure
by Kathryn Throckmorton
I thought I was doing it in college. I never would have done it otherwise. ďDoing itĒ and ďdone itĒ here having two different meanings. I went through quite a few partners in my undergrad days, all in the mistaken belief that I was simply being in touch with my sexuality, expressing it, having my fun while I still could and being a modern woman. I didnít need a committed relationship to have a good roll in the hay, and I certainly wasnít going to follow motherís advice to save it: I was no prude, please.
But somewhere along the line, those one-night encounters started ringing a bit hollow. Like so: see hot guy at bar/frat party/other gathering, flirt, drink, go back to his place, knock a few crazy boots, make awkward small talk before falling into an awkward sleep, dress quickly the next morning and make an awkward retreat, saying we should do this again but knowing it would be a freak of the natural order if we did. Right there: between boots and awkward, was the crash. The high of flirting and being flirted with, the excitement of going back to his place and the fun of the act itself, dropped suddenly, and I was left feeling more than a little used. As time went on, that crash came faster and stronger.
My poor head finally made the switch over about a year ago. I started hitting the gym regularly, and along with shedding a few pounds, I found the confidence that had lain dormant in me all along. I realized that I was smart, beautiful, funny, charming, all those things, and I didnít need sex from a frat boy to validate that. I knew it, the same way I know my own name, and for the first time I was willing to argue for it.
What I thought I was celebrating for so long Ė my body, sex, being a strong, confident woman Ė I was abusing. If Iím the priestess of my own temple, why was I letting everyone in instead of only those truly worthy? Which is not to say that I slept with men I didnít find attractive, but good looks arenít all that make the man, and after time I saw that every Adonis who crossed my path shouldnít necessarily be granted access to the inner sanctum.
Itís called having standards, ladies. Standards which are non-negotiable, even if Mr. Hot Guy of the Year offers to buy you a drink before his girlfriend gets back from the bathroom. We all have different ideas of what hits the mark, qualifications for those allowed to enter the temple. For example, in my world, the key goes to a man who is funny, smart, well-educated (or with the desire to become so), open-minded, compassionate, genuine, broad shouldered, tattooed, and short or shaved hair. These things donít always go together in an exact cocktail, but you get the idea. And there are others as well, I couldnít name them here, but when they show up, itís like meeting an old friend for the first time: everything clicks.
Itís the difference between flirting with someone just because he started flirting with you, or striking up a conversation with the person youíve really had your eye on all night; going out with someone just because they called or having the guts to spend a night at home; breaking down and calling a willing ex or breaking out the Jack Rabbit and going it alone. Of course those things are scary at first, but only because we still think of them as last resorts, because somehow it doesnít measure up to enjoy your own company when you have the option of getting dinner and a good time.
There is still a stigma in society today, a double standard. If youíre not having sex thereís something wrong with you, but have too much of it and youíre a slut. The girls who are afraid to go into adult toy stores are prudes, but itís not submissive enough to be in touch with our inherent female sexuality. Now, Iím not going to go all neo-feminist on anyone, but really, letís embrace our sensuality, the fact that we all like to have sex, we think about it and buy toys to do it when weíre alone, and thereís nothing wrong with occasionally just needing to get laid. It kills me when I see women who are too insecure or embarrassed to speak openly about their own sensuality, as though it was something dirty or wrong. What I was trying to do in college, and what I think Iíve finally got a handle on now, is to recognize my sexual side, embrace and enjoy it, but cherish it as well. Iím a hell of a lot better than how I used to treat myself, and Iíd wager so are a lot of other women out there.
There will always be men who are willing to sleep with you, date you, bring you home to meet mom. So thereís no reason to waste time on the losers when you could be holding the bar a little bit higher. Itís up to each one of us to decide who the losers are, of course, but the point is, itís not the worst thing in the world to spend a night at home with a pint of ice cream or a trusty toy instead of hooking up with someone just for the sake of doing it. Let them line up at the gates, only the chosen shall pass.
copyright 2007 www.scarletgirl.com
Katie Throckmorton is an author and romance consultant who has been one of Scarletís girls since May 2007, and is loving it more every day! The products are fun and classy, and she is excited to share them all with the women she knows and meets through Scarlet Girl. She is also a regular contributor to Scarletís Letter and the archive of articles on www.scarletgirl.com.
Katieís favorite items Ė at the moment Ė are Jennaís Velvet Jewels in pink, the Jack Rabbit Vibe (always a classic), and the Hot and Heavenly Massage Oils.
Katie is always booking shows in the San Jose, CA area, but is also willing to travel up the peninsula and to the East Bay, and even San Francisco if she is needed there.