As of early 2015 I’ve been living in a social system that is totally unique to my entire life’s experience: No Males. Not even one. It’s not that I haven’t been dating, fucking, exchanging texts with long distance friends. I simply don’t have any dudes to ring up and go hang. Not only is the absence of the manfriend new, but the presence of a girlfriend, or any female whatsoever, is something I’ve never had as an adult. So needless to say - things feel a bit askew. And dating is worse than ever.
Though I have published a file about what I envision my Perfect Relationship to look like I have never really expanded on how I would like to exist with everyone else in my circle. How I’d like to have any circle at all. It feels as if the older I get the more shut off everyone is to the idea of a platonic relationship. Of course - I love finally having women in my life that I can connect to, because for a really long time I felt like I was alone in my predilections and view of the world - but no one can be balanced or have a rational take on what goes on around us if you don’t actually get acquainted with the experiences of both sexes. And not just your own boyfriend who speaks to you with a boyfriend filter. Because let’s be honest - there’s a fucking boyfriend filter.
I spent ages 6 through 14 in a locker room with 12 boys who started off too young to even know what a filter was. For those 8 years the team was compiled of mainly the same roster and I formed 12 different relationships that covered 12 of my most basic needs that I have recently realized no single man will ever live up to. I had Chuck Holt, my music friend, with whom I shared favorite bands and albums, new film soundtracks and devised movie scenes set to particular songs. He was also pretty brilliant and ended up being the person I missed the most once I moved on to a women’s team and the guys all shipped off to boarding school. I think he ended up playing guitar professionally, instrumental Jazz, he always loved Charlie Hunter. I had my goofy friends, Mark Coleman and Rob Everett, a fucking tag team of comedy bits pestering me with punch lines and teaching me silly songs about chickens and wordplay. One of the jokers in particular, Greg Christoph, got really close. He was both always down to fuck around and oddly emotional, talking to me about my own drama with boys in my private life, connecting, however carefully, to an underlying sensitivity. A couple of guys I carpooled with taught me everything I needed to know about the Alpha Beta relationship. Kurt picked on Doug constantly. He was an outright bully, but the two were best of friends. Doug’s devotion was undying, and Kurt really loved the guy. I got in on this teasing as sort of a sidekick from time to time, maybe just to feel accepted, or I really liked teasing and felt safe not being the main perpetrator. Finally there was Jimmy Gordon. Fucking Jimmy. I remember when I was 9 years old and walked in on him drawing a diagram of the 69 position on our locker room chalkboard. He had way too much information way too early. He’s both the primary reason why I feel comfortable with my sexuality and why I just can’t take men seriously when they try to impress me. His best tactic was jumping up on the bench and dropping his pants every time I’d walk into the room. Or whispering in the back of the car to suck his balls baby, no don’t bite, while he slumped down, arms behind the seat, eyes rolled to the back of his head. He tried everything without actually trying - the boy was just a fucking perv. And even if those guys happened to jerk off for their first time after I started changing in little black spandex instead of baggy shorts everyone knew the boundaries. We were all Best Buds. We protected each other. I was the bruiser of the group, having hit puberty way before my teammates I was bigger and stronger and was used as the enforcer. Any time a snarky opponent would mouth off to our bench or a winger would get too many shots off my coach would send me out to deck the prick. Because of this I was the victim of a lot of foul play. But the wagons circled. One time when I was cross checked from behind in front of our own net a full on brawl broke out. Greg was the first to jump in and when it all calmed down he excitedly bragged “I punched that guy! Did you see me punch the guy?!”
I don’t need men fighting for me anymore. I probably didn’t need Greg fighting for me either. But I do need someone to share music with, someone to make me laugh, someone who can talk to me about other men, someone I can intellectually connect with. Someone whose balls I can actually suck. I need to be part of a group dynamic, be a social animal, feel like I’m part of a community. When I moved to Chicago in 2007 I quickly reestablished this lifestyle, hooking up with a couple of high school friends and integrating into their boy’s club. Over the years it changed shape and size, shifting to hold different members and suddenly reforming all together. I gathered up all I could get from each man, unique in their own weird ways. At the same time I stole an acquaintance from a lifelong girlfriend who had just met him in medical school. He became my Chuck. We got really close. While he had a girlfriend and I fucked around the city for two years we maintained an actual honest platonic relationship. It wasn’t until we had sex that everything crashed, burned, and we bailed on each other. Permanently. Because I can’t handle the fucking pressure of sex and all out intimacy in one. And I frankly don’t see how everyone else can.
I lose friends. Constantly. When a male BFF starts dating someone. Or we fuck and things get weird. And inevitably in those big guy groups one by one they drop out as soon as a primary woman enters their lives. It’s not a total drop - they get to have boy’s night every once in a while. But it just doesn’t seem fair. To either person. I don’t want to feel like I have to be everything, meet every single need, be both the best friend and the lover, the reason and the passion, the simplicity and the complex, the home and the vacation and every little hobby and influence and idea and interest for just one man. Just the same I don’t want only one man to be all of those things for me. Because that man just doesn’t exist. It’s impossible. In order to find him I’d have to compromise some of my hobbies, influences, ideas and interests, sacrifice a few all together. Call me selfish but my main priority is to live my life to its fullest potential. That can’t mean closing it off to just one person. Maybe sexually I am monogamous. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my days with several long-term fucks. Perhaps it would be ideal to meld the best connection that I have with the actual fucking. But it can’t possibly mean dropping every other connection that I have. I won’t do it. People are too valuable. I value the fuck out of people.
What has been so devastating to me is that I lost the last valuable person that I connected with because he coupled up with someone new. I honestly didn’t mind the period when we stopped officially dating and only spent weeknights together while he likely fucked other women on Fridays and Saturdays. Sometimes he’d call me on his latenight walks home from the bar and drunkenly recap, not even intending to come over. Everyone in my life was outraged at this set-up, claiming unfairness, that he was treating me horribly, that we had to make a decision. I don’t know if I was influenced by them or even by what I’ve been conditioned to believe my entire life - that this is a decision we have to make. I was tortured by it. I harassed the shit out of him. He was rightfully confused and unsure about my claims - I waffled constantly. Because I probably knew that I didn’t need all or nothing despite my demands for it. I was perfectly content every time we saw each other. Really - overwhelmed with happiness. Sex or no sex, romance or not, pants or no pants while we’re watching movies on the couch. I write endlessly about him, wrought with feelings of unfairness that I’ve lost him to another woman that I can’t possibly believe is fulfilling all of his needs. In reality I couldn’t meet all of his needs either. Why we chose to torture ourselves over the planning and unplanning of a romantic relationship seems so incredibly stupid now. Why not just give each other what we gave before the sex? I can go back, can’t you? If we fall into fucking, who cares? We know it’s just lust, not commitment. Life is not so rigid. Relationships cannot be this defined. Our needs are fluid our entire lives, how can we demand so much of others with so much certainty. With absolute permanence.
I hear a lot of people say that relationships, commitments, marriages, take a lot of work. Fuck that shit. You’re working so hard because of all the goddam pressure you’re putting on each other. Because you are the only two people living in your world. Because it’s unnatural for humans to live only by the influence and connection to one other human so shit gets really messy. Of course under that expectation you’re constantly cleaning up those messes and conflict and arguments over misunderstandings. Or you’re numbing it completely and it all falls apart in one fiery disaster after five years. No one is everything and no one is nothing. We are each something very different and in some cases particularly special to one another. In my years as a hockey player I had everything. Not from just Chuck, or just Greg, or only Mark, Rob or Kurt and Doug. Not even all from that sex fiend Jimmy Gordon. I had everything because I had everyone. And I’ve finally stopped caring about what my family, friends, and community pressures me into believing - I’d never ask a single person to be 12 men in one. I’m only one woman myself. And I’m not dealing with the type of girlfriend filter I’d have to install for that combination of all 12 specificities. Really, fuck that shit! What would we have left to talk about? Bagels? The dog? Watering plants? Putting the toilet paper in over or under?? It needs to be over by the way, you assholes. Under is just insane. But I don’t have these discussions, because I have my own life, with however many people I choose, and it’s a hell of a lot more interesting than arguing over the most convenient way to wipe your own ass. Please. Put a filter on that shit and come meet me for a drink. You deserve it. I deserve it. We all deserve to have everything.