Ozy Frantz has had a lot of sex. But right now, watching cartoons and eating Cheerios on the couch sounds more appealing. So what?
I’ve proudly identified as a slut since I lost my virginity in a one-night stand. My sexual identity is the stuff of porn films and horrified columns about The Kids Hooking Up These Days. I’m attracted to people of all genders, my sex quite often results in red marks and bruises the next day, and I have multiple partners who all know about each other and occasionally play Dungeons & Dragons together. I’ve wandered naked through a party with hundreds of attendees, flirted with men nearly twice my age, and had sex with someone three hours after meeting him. I am in every way a perfect libertine.
And sex bores me.
Oh, sex is fine while I’m having it. It’s still a pleasant activity often resulting in orgasm. As activities go it ranks as somewhat more enjoyable than doing the dishes and somewhat less enjoyable than eating frosting directly from the tub. If one of my partners wants to have sex with me and I’m not too busy then I’ll have sex and enjoy it perfectly well.
But when I think about sex when I’m not having it, the whole business just seems vaguely unpleasant and a bit of a waste of time. I mean, orgasms are nice, I guess. Floggings are cool. But really, it’s just a lot of work, isn’t it? All that figuring out who’s free and horny and negotiating your kinks and exploring each other’s bodies and blah. Sometimes you have to travel to get to your sex partner! Couldn’t I find something better to do with that time? Wouldn’t it be easier to just skip to the cuddles part?
It reminds me of the time, about two years ago, I stopped reading fanfiction. For eight years, fandom was a huge part of my life: reading fic, commenting on fic, writing meta about fic, and of course the perennial arguing about fic. Most of my social life was fanfic; most of what I read and watched was either fanfic, canon necessary to understand a fanfic, or recommended to me by a fanfic friend. And one day I just kind of…stopped. It wasn’t interesting anymore. Now I read fic when people link me to it and enjoy it well enough, but I don’t care enough to seek it out, much less write it.
Similarly, sex—getting it, having it, thinking about it—has been a huge part of my life for years. I originally got into feminism through thinking about sex; I’d literally click on the “sex” tag on any blog and read it before I read anything else. And of course my number of sex partners has already, at the age of 20, put me above the lifetime median for American women. I like sex!
Or, well, I did. Now I’ve stopped looking for new porn, preferring to read and reread a few favorites. I’ve stopped inventing new fantasies; I’ve been using the same one every time I masturbated for the past year with no particular boredom. Cybersex only interests me on an intellectual level. I’ve acquired a set of wonderful and supportive poly relationships, some of the best I’ve had in my entire life, that happen to contain very little sex. I’ve stopped really having crushes. I’ve let my fuckbuddy relationships lapse, because sex is far too unappetizing a prospect to bother with texting them to arrange a meetup. Fundamentally, my brain doesn’t care about sex anymore.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to stop caring about sex forever. That is silly; I barely know what identity I’m going to have next week, much less for the rest of my life. But the fact that it might change in the future doesn’t invalidate my experience now, which is: Sex? Meh. What’s on TV?
The problem with not caring about sex is that it is far more inconvenient than not caring about fanfic. For one thing, I don’t have any kind of instinctive drive telling me to read fanfic, while my genitals regularly make it known that it has been an awfully long time since we’ve had sex and maybe I ought to have some. It is an odd sensation to have part of one’s body intensely desiring what one’s brain finds faintly disgusting. I kind of wish I had an asexuality button I could turn on until I felt like being interested in sex again.
The other problem is that sex, unlike fanfic, is a major political issue. I can’t help feeling like I’m kind of letting the side down. I’m a pansexual who isn’t particularly interested in sex with my girlfriend; maybe I really am making my sexuality up, like all the heterosexist assholes say. Maybe it’s true that if you have too much sex you’ll get bored and have to find more and more thrilling sex in order to “spice it up”—with all my kink and casual sex, I’ve burned out my ability to feel sexual pleasure before I even graduate college. I know it’s not true, intellectually, but emotionally I feel like I’m proving all the stereotypes right.
We’re supposed to be proud of our sluthood, you know? We’re liberated! We’re empowered! We’re fucking our way to freedom! I have a dozen books on my shelf about ending slut-shaming and reclaiming your sexuality and fighting the patriarchy by embracing sexual pleasure. It’s a bit much to be all “I’m a proud ethical slut, I believe in sexual freedom and liberation and positivity, I’m queer and poly and kinky, but I’d really rather watch cartoons than screw anybody. Sorry. At least I give great cuddles?”
But you know what? I would rather watch cartoons. I’m happy with rare sex (well, except for my traitorous genitals). My partners don’t mind the arrangement. And I don’t see why it’s anybody else’s business.
In fact, I’d say that my newfound prudery is itself a political issue. If sexual freedom means casual sex, means lots of partners, means having sex every day, means BDSM, means porn, means having sex at all…it’s not sexual freedom. It’s just the same old repressive bullshit wearing red lipstick and fuck-me boots. It doesn’t count as sexual liberation unless you also have the freedom to say “it’s not my thing.”
People are different, and people have different preferences, and no preference is wrong as long as it’s safe, emotionally healthy, honest, and consensual.
And guess what is all of the above? My decision to eat Cheerios in sweatpants instead.
Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary; and blogs at No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz?