Sometimes I wish I was a virgin. OK, maybe that’s going too far, but lately I’ve been feeling like the sluttiest girl in New York, or at least whatever room I happen to be in. It’s not because I’m ashamed of my sexual past — I truly believe that everyone I’ve slept with, from one night-stands to relationships to threesomes, has made me who I am today.But it’s one thing for me to feel that way about my hookup history, and it’s another to have been documenting it for the last few years. The fact that anyone I meet, once I give them my name, can Google me and read about my exes and flings, makes for a very uneven getting-to-know-you period. Most people have a history of some sort, but we don’t always share every detail, at least not right away.
Even in New York City, it’s tough to meet someone who doesn’t know anyone you know. I’ve lived here for 12 years, and I go out a lot, in various social groups. Plus, I’ve been single for most of those years. Chances are, if we play six degrees of me, a random guy at a bar is likely to know someone I’ve at least made out with.
Earlier this year, I made out with a friend of mine I’d had a crush on for two years. It was as hot as I’d thought it would be, even though that’s all that happened. Afterward, we went for food, and he started telling a story … about his friend whom I had a threesome with (which he knew about because he was there when the three of us went home together). I also used to date his good friend. All of a sudden, I felt like I wanted to disappear. I knew if we were to date, I’d run into those two guys on a regular basis, which is not exactly on my list of favorite things.
When I meet someone new, I want to know everything about them. I get swept away in their life, their world, and everyone who’s come (ha-ha) before them fades into the background of my mind. I don’t forget my previous love(r)s, I just don’t fixate on them. I may not be a virgin, but I feel giddy and excited and nervous when I’m with someone new. What I worry about is that I won’t be given the chance to get to that point because I’ve documented so much of my life online, in columns and blogs.
Perhaps the solution is to date another writer, someone who’s equally as revealing. I tried that this year, and it was unnerving, not because I read about the other person’s previous bedroom conquests, but because I got too far inside his head on paper, before we’d truly known each other. I found out that he had a fear of sex, which, aside from its own set of complications, was a lot to take in.
It’s one thing to smile a little to yourself as you stand in a bookstore and run your fingers over the name of someone you’ve bedded or whisper to your friend at a party about your mutual friend who you were once fuck buddies with, but it’s another to be constantly reminded that you’ve gotten around.
I don’t regret sleeping with the people that I have (though many I wouldn’t repeat). You learn from bad sex, missed communication, broken hearts, ignoring red flags. But at 33, I’m looking for different stuff from my dates than I was at 23, or even 31. That’s the part that’s hardest to convey to Google. I loved feeling open and carefree enough to say yes to a woman who propositioned me for a threesome via email, or having dirty hotel sex with my porn director friend, or hooking up with a hot Costa Rican stranger in the Atlanta airport when we were both stranded there overnight, but I don’t want those to be the only things someone new remembers about me.
I will probably always write about my personal life to some degree, because it helps me figure out my own emotions and capture moments that matter to me. But I’m not looking for some wild erotic adventure or to stay out all night being crazy anymore. I want to find someone to settle down and have babies with, without having to disown or apologize for who I’ve been or what I’ve done. Is that so much to ask for?