I was talking to a girlfriend of mine about the awesome sex she was having with her hot new boyfriend. She was having a great time telling me about what a great lover he was, and her face just lit up. She stopped and said to me, giggling, “You are the only girlfriend I ever had that talks about sex. I love it.” That’s not the first time anyone has ever said that to me. Why don’t we talk about sex? It’s one thing we all do, or, if we’re not doing it, we wish we were. I’m not talking about making fun of somebody or talking about it in a negative or destructive way. We are sexual beings. Why not normalize it?
When you are single, sex is an event. Of course, in some marriages, that’s the case, too, but that’s a blog for another day. It’s not that simple to just roll over and ask for what you need. For those of you who are newly single or you married folks that are curious about how single people ‘get it on’ these days, here’s a primer. I think of four key things when I start deciding how to get my sexual needs met. The big one is whether or not I want to get another person involved. If I don’t, the decision is very simple. Make the time. Just do it. I just learned that this month is National Masturbation Month, and this week is International Clitoris Awareness Week. Both of these are for good causes, but, of course, it’s kind of fun to make a big sexual deal about it. The safest, easiest, best value when getting your sexual needs met as a single is playing solitaire.
NOTE: I actually know from experience that married people masturbate, too, so don’t think this is a singles only event. Anyway, if you make the decision that you are ready to make sex a couples’ event rather than playing solitaire, it gets infinitely more complicated.
If I decide to get someone else involved, I look at 3 very important factors. They are ease of access, the risk factors and the value proposition. So, on each of the categories below, I’ve listed my thoughts on that. I have to say that my ideas on sex have changed in the last few years. And, it’s none of your business how they’ve changed. But, the culture has changed, and the danger of having sex has exponentially increased. With any person you sleep with, you sleep with all of the sexual partners they ever slept with, all of the ones they slept with, and it could go on and on. And, there is just no one good answer. You have to decide for yourself what you can tolerate and enjoy.
Primer on Getting Sexual Needs Met as a Single Girl
This is the primary game-changer from dating as a young woman and now. And, it’s a huge game-changer. In seconds, you can meet someone on Facebook and be having virtual sex with someone you don’t know. And, if you’re not into that, you’d better know that men will be asking for it and you’d better know how to slow it down or stop it if you don’t want it. It’s a very common approach to singles’ sex. I signed up for Skype, and I naively opened up my account so that people could search for me. Within minutes, my computer was pinging like crazy with requests to Skype from men I didn’t know. I was like, WTF? I had to make my profile private because it wouldn’t stop. Today, you can text videos, pictures and audio over the phone. If you want it, you have 24 hour access to virtual sex. If a guy asks you to FaceTime…..he’s probably not wanting to look at your face. And, as far as falling in love this way….yeah…I don’t think so.
Ease of access: Easy, easy, easy. Just ask somebody you know or find a stranger online.
Risk Factors: Men share those pics. Don’t believe them when they say they delete them. I’ve seen guys look at their phone and share them right in front of me. No health risks unless you move it to in person contact. If you are doing this with somebody that is married, you are very….very….very.… likely to get busted. I can’t tell you how many people I know get busted online.
Value Proposition: Technology is free to download. Airtime is free.
This is another use of technology, but the screening factor is a little higher. And, I say a little on purpose. Ever hear that country song about how this guy takes on a different persona online? Well, that’s not unusual. Many of the online dating profiles are just guys looking for virtual sex. They aren’t really looking for a relationship. Others are married. Some aren’t even guys. Again, screening is paramount. Use email for a bit, meet them in person, and, unless you are just looking for a quick hook-up, take time to get to know them. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard. But, I’ve heard just as many wonderful stories of people meeting the love of their lives online. Basically, this is just a way to meet people. What you do with it afterwards, is your business and at your own risk.
Ease of Access: Easy. Just write a profile.
Risk Factors: Anytime you start meeting people in person, the risk goes up exponentially. Be safe with meeting people and, especially, with sex. The health and safety risks are high and are sometimes with you for life. That being said, I’ve never had an issue, and I’ve been online dating for a long time.
Value Proposition: It is more likely to be a good experience if you pay for a subscription to a service. You’ll meet more people. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I have met at least 100 men. Many have become friends. That, in itself, is worth the price of membership.
Getting into a Committed Relationship
What a concept? You could actually get a boyfriend. I used to think this was my preferred method of getting my needs met until I saw what was available. I know there are plenty of nice guys out there. The problem is that I don’t always want to deal with the baggage that comes with them. I’ve dated a lot of different kinds of men in the last couple of years. With my past experiences, and my wits about me, I just haven’t found anybody yet that I want to date exclusively. After spending over 17 years in committed relationships, I’m kind of enjoying my freedom. If I find somebody that makes it worth giving that up, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But, I can’t control whether or not I meet somebody, so it’s up to fate on that. And, I don’t want to waste a lot of time counting on something that may never happen.
An alternative to this is getting into a committed relationship but having separate lifestyles. You could be friends with benefits or you could just be in a long-distance or casual committed relationship with no intention of ever having shared housing. That’s kind of the best of both worlds in my opinion.
Ease of Access: Difficult to Impossible
Risk Factors: Safety risks are minimized here as I would actually get to know the person and their background.
Value Proposition: I see it as a high value proposition based on the fact that a good relationship might meet a lot of core needs. But, it’s a low value proposition if the relationship fails at this point in my life. Time is valuable.
Sharks are what I called married men. In my 12 years experience of being single, there are plenty of married men looking for partners or companions. There are entire websites dedicated to married dating. If you are single, expect that you will run into them. You will meet them on dating sites, online, on Facebook, and in person. They say one out of five divorces now are directly caused by meeting people on Facebook. These sharks are swimming around watching you to see if you are trustworthy, if you’re interested and if you dare. Some will tell you that they are married. Others will lie, lie, lie. Just know your bottom line on that. Some women think it’s great because it’s no strings-attached sex. Others see it as the riskiest pool of men out there. I’ve seen those relationships work out, and I’ve seen them crash and burn. And, if technology is included in the mix, it’s probably the easiest way to get busted.
Ease of Access: Easy
Risk Factors: Hurting other people is the biggest risk factor. There’s also a spiritual/moral dilemma you need to consider. The relationship is based on dishonesty from the get-go.
Value Proposition: All I can say is the cost can be really, really high or really low, depending on you and what you want.
I’m pretty cautious, but I’ve ventured out a bit here and there to get my sexual needs met. I asked several friends about what they do. A couple have gentlemen callers that they see on occasion. Others have long-distance relationships that suit their needs. Others just do without and play solitaire. One thing is for sure, we still have the desire and the need for sex. And, these days, I don’t think singles are missing out in that area. We just may have to be a little more creative in our definition of sex.