The Single, Carnal Female: The Bewildering Sex Life Of A 20-Something Woman Today

by Rachel Smethurst

Being single and female can be hard. For this demographic, this may seem a little obscure, so let me explain further. One of the top reasons it is so difficult to live the single life as a female is having to decide when, and with whom, to have sex. So, if you are a single woman and have a pulse, then the following three options for sexual satisfaction are at your disposal, each of them uniquely unappealing:

Option 1: Sex with strangers

Most people would choose to have emotional sex, with the rare occasion, like post-breakup or a sex bender, where an emotionless sexual escapade sounds grand. Although, when you’re single, having someone for the sole purpose of quenching your sexual appetite, with no strings attached, can seem quite appealing. For this type of encounter there cannot be any emotions involved, and the only surefire way to avoid these dreaded emotions during sex is to pick a partner that you don’t know.

In short, pick a stranger. While this option seems like a quick and easy fix to a complicated problem, the ramifications of turning this fantasy into reality are not as appealing. Before making the dive into unadulterated anonymous fun, the strategy seems perfect. Get in, get yours, and get out. Unfortunately, when you realize that your one-time partner wants you to get out as much as you planned to disappear mysteriously into the shadows, your fantasy crumbles and reality crashes in.

Instead of coming home feeling empowered and sexually appeased, you leave feeling empty. If you’re lucky, you got a couple hours of physical intimacy, but the boot kicking you out the door leaves you feeling emotionally bruised. Being brutally aware that someone just blatantly used you, just as you wanted to use him (as a nameless toy for personal pleasure) leaves you wanting more. Wanting something, and someone, more substantial than a superficial solo-purpose encounter. Option one is like a bandage that falls off the day after you put it on.

Option 2: Sex with acquaintances

Sex with acquaintances is a little more complicated in comparison to your one-night stand with a random person. Sometimes it can be hard to even realize this is the type of relationship you are in. You all know this exchange as ‘friends with benefits’ or casually dating. In this situation, you know with whom you are sleeping with, and ideally, you enjoy their company and view them as a reliable source of sexual satiation.

On paper, for females who are not in a relationship, this is the next best thing. However, it is immediately complicated by the fact that these men usually are not looking for anything more than a good time and good sex, sans commitment. Worst-case scenario, you are a regular booty call. Best-case scenario, he takes you out and you can appropriately define the relationship as casual dating. Regardless of his approach, he makes his end goal poignantly clear: sex.

His avoidance of a legitimate relationship translates to his overly acute radar for identifying dependence. You say anything that insinuates you want something more from him than his aesthetics and sexual talents, and he’s suddenly MIA. Let’s face it: prolonged exposure to someone who you can hold a conversation with, who you find visually attractive and have adequate sex with, puts you at high risk for developing feelings. Feelings with an FOB are like a knife to the throat of this relationship. If you develop feelings, he’s 100 percent out. This man is no longer the reliable solution you once thought him to be. After this type of ‘breakup’ you are left with the same negative feelings of a legitimate breakup, with the added nicety of knowing he only kept you around for one thing: the booty.

Option 3: Celibacy

Now that we have covered why one-night stands are to be avoided and FOBs are a wolf in sheep’s clothing, we are left with the last and final option: celibacy. You rely on you, yourself, and your right hand. This option not only works for some women but is also the ideal. They find this option liberating and freeing due to its self-sufficient independency. In all honesty, it can be emotionally freeing not to have to take into consideration someone else’s needs and wants, or to have rely on a partner in any capacity.

By focusing only on yourself, you open the door for males entering your life in a purposeful and beneficial way. You can rest assured that when a guy pays attention to you, and when you pay attention to him, the purpose runs deeper than quenching his sexual desires. That being said, depending on the frequency of your relationships and interim length between them, this problem can invoke feelings of loneliness.

This is because not all intimacy can be fulfilled by emotional connections with friends and family and self-cultivated orgasms. We are human. We crave physical touch, a physical connection that comes with a non-platonic relationship.Being celibate creates a void that you can choose whether or not you pay attention to, but be warned the void is there. The longer you go without intimate physical contact, the more likely you are to have negative feelings associated with your independency.

You long for the touch of another, the butterflies in your stomach become increasingly wild as you reminisce about what it feels like, and you can feel yourself drowning in helplessness. This irrepressible craving makes celibacy as unattractive as the other options. As with casual sex, you are left feeling unsatisfied and intensely craving something you don’t have.

In a day in age with an increasing frequency of men choosing sexual freedom over romantic security, females are in a tough spot. All of the options for sexual satisfaction at our disposal are temporary solutions to a deprived need that is innately human. We seek emotional and physical connections, but men take away the ability to have real physical intimacy. Waiting for a relationship to indulge in sex is a viable and desirable option for some, but for others, we are put in this lose-lose conundrum with how to go about satisfying our sexual appetites. The answer is that there is no answer. Women have to find out what works for them and strike a balance between satisfying sexual urges and coveting a real, substantial connection with a partner.

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