He does not want to sleep with me. It’s been three weeks and nothing. Not just nothing—I mean the complete absence of sexuality in an awkward, platonic way. We go out to dinner several nights a week and we kiss, hug, and hold hands in public. I’ve met most of his friends at this point and we’ve even spent nights together. And yet, nothing. I have tried every trick in the book to get him to seal the deal—I’ve smooched and even fondled him. And yet Matt remands steadfast and as abstinent as a priest.But here’s the thing. I happen to know that Matt has slept with most of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the Lower East Side and a good portion off Philadelphia. Matt has bedded models, socialites, hipsters, aging party girls, 19-year-old scenesters and trust funders who are going through transitional periods waiting for real careers to take off. I know all of these facts because he and his attractive tortured artist routine managed to nab two of my girlfriends who were more then willing to divulge all details of his sex life. “He is one of the slimiest guys I have ever met,” my friend Jen said. “Don’t date him. You’ll regret it.”
In all, he’s slept with 150 women. If you ask him why he has decided to fornicate (besides obvious reasons) with most of the Tri-State area, he simple states that sex, much like drinking, is a recreational activity that can be enjoyed all the time with anyone.
With all of this you would think he would be chomping at the bit to get in my pants. Yet quite the opposite is happening. I can’t put my finger on the phenomenon that is taking place. I have never had to make the first move, especially when it comes to sex. Usually when there is a sexual standoff, I initiate it. I am the type of girl who keeps my legs glued together and my morals constantly in check.
My puritan ways go so far that I can tell you everyone I have slept with in chronological order. The thought of sleeping with random men creeps me out and invokes an “eww” factor I can’t shake. Being vigilant in the fight against intercourse comes surprisingly easy for me. My mother is a nurse. Growing up in California I was slightly and morbidly obsessed with flipping through the pages of medical textbooks. Also, I’m sure it does not help that my mom once drew me a chart about promiscuity that haunts me to this day. The chart mostly consisted of me finding a partner who has slept with everyone in the whole world leaving me to die alone pregnant and STD-ridden. I do not blame her for her crusade of abstinence. I have probably dodged many bullets and heartache because of all her vigilant efforts.
As a 26-year-old African-American woman who has lived in Queens for three years, I have never had a one-night stand. To be honest, a man has never asked me to come home with him. Suave men make me nervous, and usually have me running in the other direction. Someone once told me, “If he says all the right things to you then he is saying them to everyone.” But I realize that I have listened to other people’s credos all of my life and have found myself safely tucked away in a makeshift womb. Yes, some guys are a**holes, jerks and morons. But that’s too easy. It takes two not to tango, doesn’t it?
As Matt and I were lying in bed, I made one last-ditch effort to conquer him. I kissed his neck and gently traced my fingers around his thighs. He looked at me and smiled as he politely moved my hand. With disbelief and shock in my eyes, I finally mustered up the courage to ask Matt why he could sleep with every thing that moves but can’t have sex with me. I told him how crappy it made me feel that maybe I was not his type and he was playing a game. I ambushed him with every insecurity I was feeling towards not only him, but also about myself. Was I not pretty enough? Or tall enough? Or small enough? Maybe he had some weird intimacy issues that only allowed him to climax if he had no attachments? When I was finally done with my verbal attack, I found Matt looking slightly amused.
“I thought it was pretty evident.” Matt said. “I like you. It’s different—I can’t just sleep with you.”
“You like me?” I asked with a hint of sarcasm.
“Yup. I’ve had a crush on you for a while. But don’t tell anyone — it contradicts my whole ‘I’m awesome and don’t care about s**t’ thing I got going. I don’t want to disappoint you. I just think we should take it slow. Give it some time.”
On my way home, I thought about what he had said. Why was I in such a rush to sleep with him? I had asked men on countless occasions to give me time and now I was unable to reciprocate the same simple task. I was acting like the men I couldn’t stand.
At this point, Matt and I have still not had sex. And that’s what makes me feel like I’m something different to him.