I have a theory about the male libido. It's called the Brita Theory. It isn't that complicated.
Every guy's libido is like a pitcher of water constantly leaking with time. When he has sex -- when he releases -- the Brita fills. Nobody is ever completely full, and near depletion can explain the insanity behind some of our most horrible crimes.
The catch is, every man's pitcher empties at a different rate. We all get addicted to sex in a way. We get used to having it at certain intervals and when we don't, withdrawal occurs. We get irritable, the world hurts more and it suddenly feels like jeans stop fitting.
I know guys who tell me they need sex once a week at least. Other guys, three times per week. These are usually relationship guys. I think they're piggishly selfish.
My Brita filter gets pretty low after a month. Not that I won't refill before then, but I don't need to. That's the main difference here – between want and need.
Part of being a guy is the fact that there is no such thing as overflow. But when you're scraping bottom, it isn't difficult to fall into the traps of the insatiably insane.
We have another always-fluctuating Brita. In this pitcher is something that goes by many different names. Take your pick. Closeness. Sameness. Comfort. Commitment. Familiarity. Yeah, familiarity. Maybe that's the best word for it. It's how much of the same old shit a man can take before he falls into the traps of the insatiably insane.
This Brita works inversely to the Sex Brita. We start off with nothing there, wanting to not be so damn dry. You meet someone. And it fills and fills and fills until you're with that person all hours of the day and she's even outside the shitter door and shit, why can't you find a second to breathe?
Then, it overflows. I think this can explain the insanity behind some of our most horrible crimes.
I also imagine that maintaining a pleasant, rewarding relationship with a member of the opposite sex requires careful managing of both of these scales. Keeping them both at equal levels feels like both an ideal goal and an impossible dream because each Brita leaks and fills at different speeds. Not only between people, but within them.
My sex Brita isn't fully dry for around 30 days. My commitment Brita can overflow in a week.
Most of the women I date tend to wrestle with polar opposite scales. It may just be because I find the needy ones. I'm like a spider web to the emotionally disturbed.
Either way, you see the struggle.
If you can't even balance the two desires in yourself, how are you supposed to line them up in healthy tandem with somebody else's? Am I the only one who feels this is a fool's errand? If I'm not, then why do the rest of us spend so much damn time crying over the latest somebody to spark our fire, then sizzle away?
The only logical emotion to feel after things end is disappointment. And that disappointment needs to be grounded not in yourself, but in a chemical imbalance you need to know you had little control over in the first place.
I started thinking about all this after a few things happened this week. First, I met a girl. She got to me. She got to me so bad that she made me think about all my past other girls, about how they were all so damn wrong for me. How could I have known all of them now that I know her?
Then, she left, for good, because she has a brain and self-respect. I wasn't bitter; I was disappointed. It felt like severe disappointment.
And for the first time in a long time, I asked myself this question: How long would I have stayed if she hadn't left?
Then, I read an interesting thought from Elite Daily writer and my sometimes half-muse Sheena Sharma, who once kissed me in a cab and said I couldn't tell anybody. Sheena and I don't agree on everything, but what she wrote here gave me some serious hope that either a) the message is starting to cross gender lines or b) maybe chicks are starting to figure us out:
No matter how nice you are, how long you stick around, how good you are at sexing him to sleep, you can't change his mind. I used to sex mine to sleep so good that he fell asleep in 12-hour post-sex coma. I even cooked for him sometimes, but none of that was enough to get him to stay.
She's so right.
This plays into the Brita theories. Because while the Sex Brita can be refilled, while it can fluctuate, the Commitment Brita, the Space Brita, cannot be emptied.
Once it hits a certain point of no return, the water just adds. It floods over everything until it spills, and then it floods some more. We either drown in it or feel it building in our lungs and leave.
Once we make the decision to leave, there is very little else we can do if we have the balls for it. A lot of people don't, and they call themselves “happily married.”
I've always gotten out of relationships, or half-relationships, or flings, whatever, because I couldn't stay in them anymore. I enjoy the casual nature of things. I know my levels. I know what I can handle. I simply can't handle anything past that, in the same way I simply can't write this column in a pool of piranhas. I flatly cannot.
Girls are still always asking me to stay. I tell them I can't anymore. They don't seem to get it. They seem to interpret the word “can't” as “don't want to.”
Of course I want to. You're nice and sometimes you cook and you sex me to sleep. But every instinct is telling me not to. It's pushing at my eyes, my ears, my head and my heart.
I want sex. But I need to breathe. Remember the difference?
So, "stay"? I simply can't.
“Stay, please” is usually the response to "can't." But their response should really be “Why?” Instead, it's “Stay, please. Just stay tonight.”
There is, of course, no worse way to get someone to come back. No worse way than this.