Sex and Love

How My View Changed Over Time

Remember the one or two guys in high school that seemed to get all the girls. I wasn’t one of them. I was always a heart on my sleeve kind of guy and had a crush on a girl in high school that lasted a few years. I didn’t date other girls even if they were interested because if it wasn’t going to last I didn’t see the point. Because of this I never had a high school romance and was a late bloomer when it came to sex, love and relationships. At a young age I decided I was going to wait till I found the right person to lose my virginity to.

My first real ‘make out session’ was when I was 17, with a beautiful girl I met on schoolies. We spent around 4 days together, in a trip that was my first week away from home. After the first day I started feeling a connection. The kind you see in the movies when you were a kid but don’t understand till it happens to you.

When we started seeing each other a couple of years after our first meeting, we had a conversation about why we didn’t sleep together when we were younger. I told her I’d never been in that position before and had no idea what to do.  It was the truth; I was petrified and ended up missing an opportunity for something I’d been waiting for. Someone special to share my first time with.

When I turned 18 I started clubbing regularly. That first year, I failed miserably at attracting anyone from fairer sex and my self-worth was low.  Doing what most other people in my position did, I started researching how to approach woman. The tips helped with meaningless hook-ups which I was extremely pleased with.  I went from a year of not hooking up with anyone, to hooking up with 2-3 girls a night. I had the act down pat, but it was just that. An act. It was a version of myself that didn’t convey my true personality, but it seemed to work. Even though my virginity stayed intact, I was still extremely satisfied that I was getting the attention I’d always wanted and felt like I was making up for lost time.

After a year of random hook-ups, I hit the ripe old age of 20. I decided enough was enough and lost my virginity to a girl I met at a club the week prior. I’d grown sick of being the only virgin in my group and felt like I was falling behind in life. I later realised it wasn’t a race, and am still torn as to whether or not I regret my decision. I learnt a valuable lesson, but didn’t share my first time with someone special. Throughout this time, I was still haunted about the fact I didn’t make a move on the girl from schoolies. I always thought of her as ‘the one that got away’.

A couple of months after my birthday, I got a text from my friend telling me ‘the one that got away’ was single again. That text changed my life. I contacted her and we organised a time to catch up. We walked and talked for what seemed like no time at all, but when we finally looked at the clock we discovered it was midnight. The connection I remembered we had was still there and the conversation, comfortability with each other and way the time passed proved it.  I knew I had to see her again.

A few hard months of sorting out our feelings, figuring out what we meant to each other and what we wanted to mean to each other passed.  During those months, I felt many emotions for the first time and didn’t understand how to interpret them or what the meant. After an intense few months we decided to take our relationship to the next level and commit to each other. I was in my first committed relationship.  The relationship was incredible, passionate and loving, but could go from perfect to heartbreaking quickly. First love. It’s a funny thing.

Fast forward close to 2 years and we couldn’t resolve our issues. Being my first relationship, I hadn’t dealt with a break up before. Early on I felt relief because our relationship got toxic, but then the feelings of emptiness and sadness crept in I had a really tough time.

We never fell out of love, and kept in touch for a few months which made it harder. After those first few months we decided to cut contact, at least for the short term.

It took me about 5 months to feel ready to start seeing other people. When the time came, I remember going out with the aim to find a girl and take her home. I did meet someone that night, but we only exchanged numbers and I slept alone. Over the next 6 months, this girl and I grew extremely close and had an unofficial relationship.

There was a definite connection but I couldn’t understand the concept of feeling the feelings I had for my ex, so it never progressed further. We were helped each other through a hard time in our lives, and occasionally slept together, but most of our time was spent walking, talking and enjoying each other’s company. We remained friends even after the intimacy stopped, because why throw away a good friendship! They’re hard to find.

After not meeting anyone in months, I cracked and downloaded tinder (that “hook up” app). I had the attitude that I was going to sleep with lots of people and have some wild experiences and enjoy being young, as so many older men told me to do prior to my first relationship. It was a juvenile way to try and deal with my problems and as I soon found out, didn’t provide any satisfaction.

After some time on tinder, I went from no success to enough success to know that sleeping with people without a connection wasn’t for me. The defining moment was when I was driving home feeling disgusted with myself. I felt empty and sad and was missing the companionship and closeness that sex used to symbolise. The idea of sex and intimate contact with people, and what it represents changed for me after experiencing first love.

The act that had previously worked for me was now not one I could use. I’d been loved for my uniqueness, and loved someone for theirs. Every time I’d find myself in a situation where a one night, purely physical relationship could have been an option, I found myself not allowing it to lead there.

I was still going to bars trying to meet people, but with the intention of finding someone that I could have an intelligent, deep conversation with and connect with, and seeing where it went from there. After getting countless phone numbers, only a handful converted in to dates, only 2 of which I was interested in seeing again. They turned out not to share my enthusiasm, but I was adamant that I would not revert back to sleeping with someone I didn’t have a connection with.

My outlook on intimacy and sex changed over the past couple of years, and that change goes like this. Prior to my first love, it was enjoyable to sleep with random people. The physical contact was enough to satisfy my ego and physical needs. During the relationship it was a way of expressing my love and trust to my girlfriend; something special we shared together. After the relationship, I tried to revert back to thinking how I did prior to my relationship. All that did was lower my self-worth and I realised that wasn’t the answer either.

Fast forward 6 months and here I am today. First love, and the ending end of that relationship have changed how I see intimacy, and who I can be intimate with. It showed me how special and precious it is, and that every shared moment with someone you have a connection with should be cherished. Because of this, I’ve stopped sleeping with people for physical pleasure and have reserved intimacy for when there is a person is right. The waiting game can get lonely, but I see myself in a much better light for not compromising my beliefs.  It also makes it that much more magical when someone to share it with comes in to your life.

It’s been just over a year and half since the end of my first relationship. I now see my relationship with my ex as a memory, and even though I’ll always have spot for her in my life and heart and can see the things about her that I fell in love with, I have learned to just let it be. This was an important step for me to take, as now I have a spot in my life for my possible next partner.

I recently had an extremely deep connection with an incredible woman I met at a festival. We spent a lot of time together in a short period of time, but never slept together; however, we laid passionately intertwined while we slept.  For me, this was more fulfilling than having meaningless sex with an infinite number people.

This is something I never thought I’d think when I was younger, but I’m glad I do. I didn’t try and push for more because I knew she was leaving and it would have made it that much harder to say goodbye. Even though we didn’t sleep together, I like to think that the possibility it could have is enough, and if we see each other in the future, it would be worth the wait. If not, it just confirmed the fact that intimacy, whether it’s cuddling or a non-sexual expression of love, is so much more satisfying than meaningless sex.


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