I’m not going to lie, I forget his name.
Robert? It was something super common and started with an R, so let’s go with Robert. He was in the Navy and had a lot of tattoos, many he had gotten while intoxicated and in foreign ports. He was handsome, and felt a little dangerous. Normally, he would not have been the type of man I was attracted to, but in that moment, he was exactly what I needed.
I met Robert on some online dating site, I forget which, and it’s not important. What is important is that he was the first man in the sea (no pun intended) of absolutely disgusting people I had been navigating through who didn’t seem so bad. Dating sites killed my faith in humanity for a while (they still do). We hit it off, and after a few days of talking we decided to meet up for iced coffees on a balmy summer evening.
That same night, we had sex.
I never saw him again.
Robert wasn’t a bad person, but he wasn’t the kind of person that I saw a future beyond a night in my bed with. For the record, we had planned to see each other again, and that evening I sat around for three hours waiting for him to text me back and he never did.
He stood me up, but quite frankly, I didn’t really care. I got what I wanted from him.
Before meeting Robert, I hadn’t had sex in four years.
For the most part, it was by choice. The last person I was with in an even remotely sexual capacity had been a friend, and I’d gotten much more attached than I had meant to. Before him, I’d been with someone who was less than faithful, and the man before that had been my first love. For about three years, I’d willingly given my heart to just about anyone who wanted a piece of it, and had no idea who I was anymore. I’d really never been the type of person to define themselves by their relationship status, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I was still grieving the end of my first serious, adult relationship, which at that point had ended about two years previous.
I needed to relearn who I was, become comfortable in my own skin and in my solitude again.
So I did.
For about three and a half years I got more in touch with who I was than I probably has at any other point in my life. I moved out of my parents’ home, moved closer to the city, forged stronger and better relationships with my friends, pursued my interests and hobbies, and spent a lot of time by myself. It was fantastic. I had missed the person who I used to be, so to get in touch with myself and rediscover all of the things about myself that I loved was amazing. I really was a better person for it. I didn’t miss dating at all.
But… it was around that time where I began to miss being with someone. Even if it was just something physical. I wasn’t sure that I wanted a relationship with anyone, I was very much enjoying being by myself. What I did want was some sex.
I’d stayed away from online dating for years. I’d met my last boyfriend (the one who was less than faithful) through a dating site, which sort of left a bad taste about the whole experience in my mouth. And while I was keen on dating someone I met in person or through friends, it wasn’t really happening. I didn’t want to date any of my friends, or any of my friends’ friends. Plus, I was reluctant to sleep with a friend or anyone I was relatively close to again.
So, the plethora of internet dating sites I went!
Things with Robert happened in a locked bedroom with my roommate in the living room (hating me, I’m sure). I don’t remember much of the details, other than it felt good, and more importantly, I felt good afterward. I wasn’t filled with any sort of regret, and though he’d told me that he would be in touch, I didn’t care if he meant it or just said it because it was a thing that people say to one another after casual sex. I was sort of relieved that it didn’t go any further. I really didn’t want a relationship, I just had an itch that needed scratching. He helped me take care of it.
This was back in 2012, and life was beginning to get really awesome for me then. I began to travel more, embrace uncertainty, and do things because I wanted to. I coloured my hair some fun colours, I got on a plane for the first time in my life (and didn’t claw anyone’s eyes out). My decision to have a one night stand gave me a new sense of freedom, because it was all of my own doing, that night with him kick started this crazy notion that if I wanted something, that I should go after it earnestly instead of sitting idle.
Sex? Get it. Funky coloured hair? Get it! Travelling? GET IT.
A lot of my life up until that point had been spent wanting things, but thinking that they were things bestowed upon other people. Not that I didn’t think that I was worthy of them or anything like that, and I certainly wasn’t inactive in my own life, but I had once been a lot more content to let things come to me instead of making things happen.
Well, fuck that.
Seeking out sex with no strings attached was the first in a long line of things that I did that made me feel good, were what I wanted, and what I needed in my life. Suddenly, I stopped waiting for things that I wanted to happen to me, or to fall into my lap, I began seeking them out.
It has proved to be fruitful thus far. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.