Tell me more and then some.
The way that you feel and then
When you told me that old sweet story
And you’re through, start right in again
I’ve made that old mistake
Know the awful ache
Of a heart that’s been double-crossed
The waiting’s been so long
Hard to believe in
If I’ve missed by guess, happiness is lost.
Billie Holiday

When I tell people I am planning for an extended period of involuntary celibacy, they laugh. They think I’m kidding. It sounds like I’m planning an extended holiday from sex. In today’s sexually saturated world surely there isn’t a person alive, much less a woman, who couldn’t get some anytime she wanted if she tried. Anyone, that is, except me. Now this is nothing new to most men, apparently. Over the years, I have had more male friends regale with tales of striking out. Philip Roth has made a career chronicling the sexual exploits and frustrations of men. The same can be said of Miller, Mailer, Updike, Allen, Cheever, Bukowski, and countless others. Recently, The New Yorker reviewed a Web series called Lonely and Horny. The premise is as follows, “each episodes runs between eight and ten minutes, and, within that span, tells the small story about Ruby’s increasingly desperate, and aggressively pathetic attempts to score with women. Ruby is enrolled in a ‘The Game’ style pickup-artist course taught by Josh… who appears to find his own class despicable.” Wow. Sign me up.

Where the Lonely and Horny for women? Trust me, we get lonely and we certainly get horny. Where’s the story of the young woman who’s invited along on dates where the couple insists she’s not a third wheel? Or the one where the older, prettier sister sets a young woman up on blind dates with men who agree solely so they can get closer to her older, prettier sister? Tell me the story of the young woman who set up a profile on only to get three responses and one date in two years. I got it, how about the one where the guy tells her she’d better change her mind about children, and fast, or “you’re gonna be alone for the rest of your life”. Then  there’s the you should grow out your hair, unless “you want to be alone for the rest of your life.” Or I may have to fuck you from behind because you look like a guy. Then there’s maybe you shouldn’t be such a  bitch or “do you want to be alone for the rest of you life?” Where’s the show where the heroine gets a phone call at 2AM from her codependent friend whose date has just literally run away from her, abandoning her somewhere in Brooklyn. Where’s the one about young woman sitting in the bar watching the men flirt with her friends as they ignore her completely. How about the one where the middle-aged divorcee watches middle-aged men flirt with young women and ignore her completely. That one where guys tell her she’s too good for them, where’s that show? Where the show where the guys tell her she’s the Yankees and guys are bush league?

Our modern, echo-chamber media is full of brash, ballsy women who do what they want, who they want, when they want. Single life is complex and complicated and personally and sexually rich, and sometimes it’s lonely. To that I say, huzzah! It’s about time! Women I know being represented fairly and without judgment on screen in shows like Inside Amy Schumer, Girls, Broad City, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Mindy Project, and others. In these women I see my brilliant feminist friends making our way in the world. But I don’t see feminist me. I couldn’t get laid if I tried. Perhaps now, so soon after the divorce, is not the time to plunge headlong into sex. It’s only been six months, after all, and he still takes up a great deal of space in my brain. But that doesn’t keep me from wanting what I want when I want it. He treated me like shit for nearly a decade and yet he finds someone. She’s nice. He seems happy. He gets what he wants. What goes around does not come around for him.

People tell me it’s too soon. I need time to heal. They tell me stories of how they found someone better the second time around. They tell me of five-year dry spells. Or that someone will come along when I least expect it, when I’m not looking, when I’ve given up. That once he takes leave of my head, those qualities that attract other people will emerge resplendent. I hope that is true. I want that to be true. But if experience has taught me anything it’s that I’m not sure I’ve ever had those qualities straight men find attractive. At best I am an acquired taste. That the best I can hope for is, as Warren Zevon put it, a life of Splendid Isolation, where “I don’t need no one”. That I am going to spend the rest of my life being “awesome” a “rockstar” a virginal object of veneration revered for her wit, wisdom, independence, fearlessness, badassedness and not a deeply sensual, loving, passionate woman. I want a man who thinks I’m intelligent and sexy. I want a man who isn’t put off my my fierce independence. I want a man with some fucking table manners. I want a man who appreciates good hygiene. Think those two are funny? You should meet my ex. I want a man who will do what I say and fuck me into next month. I want a man who will be mine. I want a grown-ass man. There’s more and more and then some, but not here. Not now.

I want more and then some
Oh how you feel
And then you done told me
about a million times
How much you love me
And then you’re through
Start back in again
I’ve made the same mistake
I know the awful ache
Of a little heart that’s been double-crossed.
The waiting’s been so long, so long
It’s hard to be believing
I thought I missed my guess
I thought that happisness for me was lost”
Nina Simone

I’m in for an extended period of involuntary celibacy.


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