By Sarah Fawcett – Powes
Self-suffiency comes in many forms, the most important of which is emotional. But when you’re a serial monogamist, like I used to be, it can be difficult to achieve. If you have to constantly rely on someone else to make you happy, you’ll never be truly autonomous. Spending a significant period of time as a single woman is essential for female empowerment and independence – and is just an important life skill to tuck under your belt. Once you’ve reached emotional self-sufficiency, you can conquer the realm of sex with unnecessary complications. Which brings me to the issue at hand: backsliding.
“New Girl” may have been the first show to coin the term, but its characters are certainly not the first people to demonstrate this disastrous behavior. We’ve all been there. You break up with a significant other, for relatively good and logical reasons, but find that you can’t replace the quality of sex from your old relationship fast enough to meet your ridiculously high instant gratification standards with new flings. What’s a horny girl with limited resources to do for maximum sexual satisfaction with minimal mental, emotional, and physical exertion? You rack your brain for possible solutions to your very urgent, and in your mind, probable life threatening dilemma. But no matter how hard you brainstorm, your imagination keeps taking you back to your most recent and decent sexual encounter: your ex.
So you take a slight step back onto memory lane and start fooling around with your old flame. You call them up, get what you came for (literally). Wam. Bam. Thank you, ma’am. And peace out.
Afterwards, on your glorious walk of shame back to your apartment, you think you’ve managed to accomplish the impossible, have sex with an ex, no strings attached? Wrong!
I broke up with my boyfriend over 6six months ago for one very logical reason: he’s an asshole. But the sex was so mind-blowing, I couldn’t get him out of my head. He lives five minutes away from me and we have the same schedule. He’s a waiter, I’m a hostess. (I find that the restaurant industry conveniently provides the perfect window of opportunity for sexual deviance.) I weighed the pros and cons, but came to the conclusion that all this added up to the perfect bootycall. We’re comfortable around each other, already know how to hit the right spots, and have no emotions left to complicate things. Quick. Dirty. Done. So why did he stay overnight and attempt post-sex spooning instead of picking up his shit and leaving? Good fucking question. I thought we were on the same page, which reads, “I want you, I just don’t want to be with you.” Simple enough. But nope, it never is. The problem with backsliding is that the purely physical intentions of the initiate are often one-sided and unreciprocated by the person being used for their sexual prowess. For all the backslider newbies, let me break this down into simple definitions. The initiate is the person making the bootycall. The recipient, is the person being called to action. Now, at the time of the bootycall, the initiate is completely over the romantic relationship and is only reaching out to the recipient for one reason: sex. Nothing more. On the other hand, the recipient has not emotionally moved on from the relationship. But the initiate does not share her version of harsh reality with the recipient so as not to risk the possibility of guaranteed rejection. As a result, the recipient of the bootycall believes that he or she still has a chance to salvage the relationship with the initiate. The repercussions of this omission are immense and the consequences even worse.
If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m the initiate. My ex is the recipient.
So now he’s calling me, texting me. Asking me to have dinner, to watch a movie, to hang out with him. Not bootycall hours, mind you (which, in my opinion, fall between 11pm-2am), but actual normal people hours. And I only oblige him these meetings because I know how to manipulate my way from the dinner table into the bedroom. What can I say? Girls are ninjas. But I can only fool him for so long. And let the countdown to verbal explosion commence.
One night, I come over, and right as the clothes start melting off, he says those magic words that instantly kill my buzz, “We need to talk.” No, no, we don’t. Don’t ruin a good thing with words and feelings and emotions and the very reason why we’re only having sex and not in a relationship.
“I want to get back together.” There it is, the six words that the initiate never plans on hearing, never takes into consideration because we’re too fucking selfish to even contemplate that the person we’re using as our sexual plaything might actually want something else in return.
I had a choice to make. I could lie. I could tell him that I want to get back together, too. I could lay out all the cliches romantic comedies feed us as ammunition to repair broken relationships. But I wouldn’t just be lying to him, I’d be lying to myself. And being the selfish princess that I am, self-deception would be positively unbearable.
So I tell him the truth. I tell him that I don’t want to get back together. That reviving our relationship never entered my mind. I break his heart. Again. And what could have gradually turned into a decent friendship between two former lovers is now a minefield of sex, lies, and deceit. Sort of like Las Vegas, with all the guilt and none of the glamour.
Backsliding. A good idea in theory. A novel idea on paper. But in reality, a complete and utter clusterfuck.