Sex, Celibacy and That Wonderful Thing in the Middle

Something someone said the other day made me think about the different perspectives on sexuality. I was able to think about it more while driving to work in my car. It’s the blessing of routine that I already know where I’m going, what lane to be in and when, that allows my mind the luxury of drifting into deep thought.

My girlfriends, growing up, were preoccupied with relationships. They had to be in one, had to have “a man”, “a boyfriend”. Once they were old enough to have babies, they started having babies. I marveled at how set they were on being female, which probably sounds like an odd thing to say, but that’s exactly how I saw it. ‘Here is this glorious world laid out before you, with places and faces you’ve never seen, and you want to have babies in this small town, and with any guy who’ll have you? Incredible.’ I was set on the single life and personal pursuits. Art, affairs, travels, adventure! I did fall in love and then marry, but it was not what it seemed.

I made “sexual conquests” a priority in my life because I find people interesting. Well, I find men interesting. Most folks who know me know I did not do scenes with women in the industry. I did one scene, one of the last of my career, but it was super lame just because I insisted that it be super lame.  I just don’t find women to be very interesting. Maybe because I’m female and I’m constantly bored by my femaleness. Whatever the reason, men seemed easier to talk to, easier to understand, and so I romanticized myself as a Sally Bowles from the musical Cabaret – a maneater flitting from conquest to conquest with no intention of love, just the lifelong romance of adventure and self-discovery.

Though I fell in love and actually married the man I fell for, he broke my heart within the first two months of marriage because he didn’t like my jealousy.  I had switched my thinking to accommodate a relationship the way I thought they were supposed to be once you committed to one person. He told me that I could be better than that and laid out examples of how infidelity might happen and why I shouldn’t be jealous. It is the curious and tricky thing about words and messages, that a person can say something, but you and I hear completely different things because we are different, and so we inevitably process things differently. I think he was sincerely laying out the “worse case scenario” option and how he didn’t want even something like infidelity to kill our relationship somewhere down the line, but I heard, “I’m going to sleep with other women, and I don’t want you to mind.” I cried in my hurt and then realized something. The hurt instantly faded from my face. “So, that goes for me, too? I can sleep with other people and you won’t be jealous?” “Yes,” and then he went back into his pious explanations for why and how, only the “good reasons” for doing that, basically. I didn’t hear him. I’m good with well-established rules in my day-to-day. Yes, I can do this. No, I can’t do that… At that moment, I really didn’t acknowledge his existence anymore. In my mind, I was not in a relationship. I instantly reverted right back to what I had been. A seeker of adventure.

It was our demise. That and really bad communication. I slept with a lot of men in the following years, and I enjoyed the intimacy and experience greatly. Each person represented a new doorway and therefore, a new look into myself. I learned something from even the unpleasant experiences because I didn’t take it all too personally. It was never so much about the sex as it was about, ‘I like you, you like me, let’s see if we like conversation without words.’ In work and in life, I had to like the person before I tried them on. Early work was hit or miss, but after that I always picked my scene partners. I did find, finally, that sex is just too intimate an experience for someone like me to share with too many people, because someone’s emotions always get engaged and I’m very sensitive (even if I would like to think I’m not), but I understand the thinking behind it. It seems to me that women who do view sex as an interesting way of communicating, and even go one step further to make a living at it, are… well, I say they’re men trapped in women’s bodies, the way some gay men are women trapped in men’s bodies. They think about sex the way a lot of men do, as something interesting but also disconnected from feeling and not necessarily requiring the forever of commitment to be enjoyable. Truth is, I consider myself a gay man trapped in a woman’s body, but don’t tell anyone I said that. It’s a little embarrassing to explain to strangers. Not everyone is as fun and quirky as we are.

I’ve always been interested in higher learning, too, so after all of this, I finally understand celibacy. In the search for higher learning, sex gets in the way. It takes a lot of quiet introspection to find a calm place in the mind. It makes it difficult to find the time, let alone the calm, when your attention is split because you are emotionally engaged with someone beyond just a casual acquaintance. Friendships aren’t necessarily too demanding (depending on how dependent your friends are upon you and visa versa), but having sexual ties entangles the emotions, and it is this stickiness (in both respects), that can make it challenging to ever find a calm place to call home in the catacombs of the heart and mind. We can never make someone we love understand us completely, it’s just not possible. Also, I think serious relationships breed a fracture of the personality. We are a whole person and then we split into two people when we are in a perpetual sexual relationship. We start to think for the other person or persons instead of just for ourselves. Sex impedes higher learning because it creates too much mental and emotional noise.

It’s a trade off, I suppose. On the one hand, you can’t know the joy of having children, but on the other, you don’t have to feel the horrible pain of losing one, or the mind-numbing torture of not knowing where they are when they run off and don’t tell you where they’re going. I can see how a life dedicated to higher learning can be enjoyable, yet it kills me, how even a principle that simply thought out can get convoluted. A priest and nun’s life is about celibacy in the search for high learning, but it’s so formal and decorated and dressed in family honor and expectation – the “one-way ticket into heaven” pass – that it appears to take all the joy out of choosing a life like that. That somehow you’re not allowed to have any fun just because you’re not making babies. That and the fact that it’s wrapped up in a lot of unprovable “truths”, but I guess that goes without saying.

I hope I don’t have to know celibacy because right now I’m in a monogamous relationship and it’s wonderful. There’s nothing like being with someone that “fits” you. Having sex for my job made sex a very mechanical process, so I had to go through a period of dropping the theatrics in order to find the spontaneity. It was too easy to follow the programmed direction in my head, I had to stop and remember that no cameras were present. That I could relax that part and enjoy the moment more. A life of rules is good with the right person. It’s taken a long time to find him, but now I know that this kind of situation is the reason to be with just one person. Anything that isn’t natural, anything that’s too compromised and “forced” will fall apart. In that case it is better to just live and see what happens. No one showed me any of this, I had to discover it on my own. The best part is he doesn’t feel that he has to understand me completely, nor do I feel like I have to understand him completely, so long as we understand the most important things. No roommates, jealousy is a good thing, cuddling is, of course, tantamount to any future success… And I can say with absolute certainty, “Doug honey, if this doesn’t work, I will definitely become celibate. It’s the final frontier and it’s the highest compliment I can pay to you because there’s just no way it gets better than this. ” 😀

– Julie Meadows

31030cookie-checkSex, Celibacy and That Wonderful Thing in the Middle

Sex, Celibacy and That Wonderful Thing in the Middle

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7 Responses

  1. interesting post. i could count a couple lines i’m probably going to have to memorize. i really hope celibacy isn’t the final frontier though. it seems lonely. i can’t figure out if celibate people are highly evolved intellectually or just retarded.

  2. Great post Julie.:)
    I hope you had a good Christmas!
    It is an interesting post…

    Backspace — I am celibate by choice, simply because I have been wounded emotionally by men, and needtime to heal, but until I meet the right person, I am not going to sleep with just anyone for the sake of it. I am neither retarded not highly “evolved” intellectually, just a normal person. No offence taken though. 🙂
    I have the rest of my life to find someone ( I am 34).

    I like the way you wrote this Julie, some good points about people being different. Wouldn’t it be good if we could all accept the differences in each other? That is what makes this life so unique. None of us are the same. A boring place it would be if we were!

    Liked the post about PSK as well!


  3. LMAO! There are probably several different reasons any one person can choose to be celibate. I have ruined some pretty great friendships by naïvely sleeping with my friends. It changes things. I hope celibacy is not the final frontier for you either, BackSpace. I’m sure it’s not. 😀

    Actually, I thought about you, Angel, and our mutual friend, Mandy, when I wrote this. Sex, for him, is like drinking, for me. It’s not good for him at all. And your reasons are commendable. I know damn well that if I lived in my hometown in Texas I would be celibate simply from lack of desirable choices. 😛

  4. Hey Julie~
    I sent you an email yesterday just to check in with you and see how Christmas went etc…
    Uh oh, you have got me intrigued about Mandy now…:0
    He was playing the Roxy (or is it Club Vodka?) this last Saturday night.

  5. He played at the Roxy and I didn’t know about it. In fact, I think he might have sent a text or an e-mail, but I couldn’t find it. I think I gave him the e-mail address I never use and that’s why I keep missing his shows. That and he plays really late.

    I sent you an email explaining, but I think I’m set on posting the story I wrote about him. It’s a pretty good story. I wrote it in 2004, so it’s a bit feral, but it’s entertaining, nonetheless.

    Christmas was good, thank you for asking. 🙂

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