I knew I was done having sex after a couple of thrusts into the last time I had sex. It was a very deliberate farewell fuck with my ex-boyfriend a few hours before my one-way flight back home. In the middle of wondering whether or not my carry-on bag would fit in the overhead compartment, my entire sex life suddenly flashed before my eyes. It was brief.
I had met the man inside of me a year before this moment. I'd just turned 21, and after considering my friends' impressive advancements, I was panicking that I might be a virgin long enough for TLC to give me a reality TV show. I was waiting around for the perfect moment, with the perfect man, on the perfect fireside Tempurpedic mattress. Instead, there was "Tom," in late June, on a cot in the guest bedroom of my second cousin's apartment. Tom was a nice, good guy whose biggest appeal to me was that he thought my YouTube videos were funny. We met by chance in a New York City bar, he asked me to be his girlfriend two weeks later, and I gave him my virginity the next day.
We liked the same movies and made each other laugh, but the real lifeblood of our relationship was sex. We eventually moved in together with high hopes of advancing our careers in the city. Instead, we had endless disillusioned, drunken sex until we ran out of money. As I was being half-heartedly throttled by Tom for the last time, I promised myself I would never let my loins derail my life again: I was done with sex.
My friends laughed at me initially. It was still funny to them at six months, but became depressing at nine, and inconceivable at a year. By 18-months, I was expected to admit my allegiance to a secretive anti-sex cult. Now that I've passed the two-year mark, nobody knows what to do with me. I've had people send me to the demisexuality resource center, suggest I review tumblr identity indexes and take pseudo-scientific orientation quizzes, but none of them change the one big lesson I came away with after having sex: I believe it is counterproductive to success.
I found it exhausting, a time-wasting activity not worth the effort.
I'm not talking here about the act itself. It's the whole ritual of soft-lit selfies and brainless banter surrounding it that, for me, ticks away too many of the precious minutes we've been allotted on this planet. The collective brainpower we dedicate towards securing sex, thinking about sex, and watching sex on HBO could be better spent elsewhere. It occupies so much mental space.
By pushing all the work and time and energy I was giving sex to the margins, I was able to better concentrate on Me. I know that sounds like a very Oprah thing to say, but hear me out: without the distraction of sex, I gained perspective on what mattered most. I began regularly meeting with a therapist I could trust, and she even convinced me to go back on the antidepressants I stopped taking months earlier (in order to, you guessed it, enjoy sex more). I saved up money working at a stable corporate gig, explored new hobbies and side hustles and got my head together enough to quit my dreadful nine-to-five and become the occasional Black Ann Coulter of VICE, among other things.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it. But I don't miss it badly. And certainly not enough to devote the energy it required. The truth is, I'm happier not having to think about it.
But mistakes happen: I twice made the error of engaging in faraway cyber flings with people I knew I'd never meet in real life. Each time, I thought I could glean some neat dick pics and self validation. Instead, I would wake up cyber-dickmatized from a month-long stupor, feeling groggy and fatigued from trying to impress a stranger with my expertly curated SnapChats. I would also feel ashamed that I let a penis distract me from my hustle. But I learned a valuable lesson: even pretend-sex doesn't preserve enough emotional energy to be efficient.
Whenever the temptation to dirty up my life path with sex appears, I quickly wash it away with memories of the one time I accidentally watched an episode of Inside Amy Schumer. I am of the belief that Schumer is on a one-woman crusade to make sex seem as unappealing as possible to me, and I thank her for it.
I don't plan on being sexless forever. Once I'm happy with my personal and professional progress, I may let myself get distracted. Ideally, though, that transition would accompany a ring. My therapist tells me that I have an "All or Nothing" mentality which is not healthy, and she is correct. But I respect myself for having the balls to be crazy enough to say no to sex in the prime years of my life in hopes that someday, somehow, a big and well-earned payload awaits.
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