We all know those guys I'm talking about: commanding, charming, confident. Or, in other words, dangerous. But, why is it that when we sleep with them, we can never seem to fully let go and enjoy ourselves?
Is it our own improbable expectation to blame, or could it be that subconsciously, we're holding out hope to somehow change their minds when they incessantly insist they're married to staying single?
When push comes to shove, if the person we choose to sleep with is ultimately out of reach, although we might maintain the belief that the sex is amazing, the climax of our story will always be dismal at best… if it comes at all.
Immediately following my college graduation, I accepted a position as head hostess of a local chain restaurant.
Perpetual eye rolling became a pillar of my mundane job responsibilities, which included escorting guests to their crumb-encrusted booths, while unlawfully shoveling warm bread down my throat during rushes.
Looking back, the only influential outcome of the six months spent there was being introduced to my sexual counterpart, Gabe.
Good, bad or indifferent, Gabe and I possessed chemistry so unexplainable that to this day, I cannot begin to fully comprehend. We locked eyes, exchanged a few words and mutually decided then and there we were having sex. And, so, it began.
Now, men such as this tend to have similar traits, which make them so f*cking irresistible. Modern psychology deems this personality structure "The Dark Triad" -- a panty-dropping trifecta of narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.
This is essentially cool, manipulative, self-serving douchebags who are unapologetically vain and internally wired toward short-term mating patterns. In a nutshell, they're almost always well-dressed and good with their tongues, but not in the way that matters most.
Gabe embodied this lethal combination to a tee — a pharmaceutical salesman, shamelessly self-actualized and merciless in his desire to have me. Not only was I powerless, I was also incapable of reaching an orgasm... like so many times before him. And, for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why.
Despite this troubling fact, I continued to see Gabe. The sex was as “mind-blowing” as I had experienced up until that point, and I sustained the optimism that if I could only get a little deeper, see him a little clearer, make him want me a little bit harder, I'd eventually allow for the release I so desperately craved.
One night, searching for intimacy, I admitted this haunting truth to Gabe: In my entire life, no man has been able to take me all the way home. And, in my feeble, yet classified attempt to get closer, I soon learned I had uttered the one dirty statement he didn't care to hear.
Instead of embrace, reassurance and an increased perseverance to achieve, I received a lecture on the tragic effects of insecurity and a psychiatrist recommendation. Obviously, I was the problem.
If true intimacy is what we seek, it doesn't take long to discover that sex is an inadequate substitute.
I used to pride myself on being a “difficult girl to please,” until I found myself at 22, recently graduated and no closer to the life I had imagined. I was no closer to opening my heart and letting someone take a look inside. I was no closer to genuine intimacy. I was desired and I was sought after, but I was unconditionally lonely.
While there may certainly be a psychological component to this ideology, the idea that there is something mentally or physically wrong with you holds about as much credibility as an "As Seen On TV" store.
The truth is, if you're more focused on trying to pinpoint what you mean to a person than enjoying your present moments with him or her, it's pretty apparent you're engaging in an act that's doing more harm than good.
Relying on others to boost our senses of self-esteem when, for whatever reason, it decides to fly south for the winter, is a toxic habit we should resolve ourselves to eliminate immediately.
The older we grow, the more unmistakable it is that sex and intimacy are surprisingly not inextricably linked. The more guarded we evolve to be due to life's inevitable disappointments, the less accepting we become of the idea that the two entities aren't mutually exclusive.
Sex does not equate to intimacy, and despite what we're programmed to believe, it never has.
Our culture has progressed past the premise that sex is evil, dangerous (if you act responsibly, of course) and, above all else, remotely significant. But, intimacy is something so real that not even we, ass-backwards Millennials, can strip it of its vigor.
Arriving at the realization that I wasn't alone in my inability to dismiss my own thoughts and surrender completely during sex was easy.
Recognizing I was merely distracting myself from the vulnerabilities of intimacy by consistently choosing sexual partners who had no real interest in pleasing me at all was a much larger load to swallow. And, by relinquishing what I thought I wanted, I gained what I needed most.
In cherry-picking the “dangerous” guy, we unknowingly and indisputably play it safe. By allowing these players to continue scoring while we ask for nothing in return, we diminish our individual value. By choosing to prove ourselves to another person, we lose sight of who we truly are.
And, in substituting our desire for intimacy with sex, we opt out of the game completely and sit on the sidelines of our own lives, foolishly awaiting a Grand Slam to find us.