I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of my loss-of-virginity story. Here it is in a nutshell: I called a friend and proposed to him that we have sex. We had sex.
It was definitely anticlimactic, kind of like if I met Elton John and he was wearing wire rims and all we did was eat pizza. I wanted it to be anticlimactic. After years of thinking only about sex–after imagining eight ways from Sunday what it would actually feel like–I just wanted someone to put it in me for crying out loud. My friend kindly performed this service. Sure, it was awkward, but it was more of a funny awkward than a pathetic, flailing awkward that haunts you for years.
It was also the start of a good habit, which is having sex with friends.
I’m not going to talk a big game about how much I need sex. It’s not like if I don’t have it within a certain time frame I curl up into a ball and start convulsing. My vagina is not the Station 3 Computer on Lost. In the hierarchy of human needs, sex is well below air, drink, and food, and it’s probably below companionship. But it’s there somewhere.
Nobody needs to be in a relationship to have sex these days, but lots of people think you need to have an attraction. If I were attached to the idea of having sex with someone I was really attracted to, I probably wouldn’t have much sex. Attraction is rare. It takes a while to build up. Furthermore, attraction is incredibly stupid. The guy in your brain who controls it is some higher-up’s deadbeat son. You can be attracted to someone you can’t talk to and who ultimately sucks, just because of some weird thing they do with their hands. You can be attracted to someone who has had unprotected sex with 800 people.
But you know your friends’ sexual histories pretty well. You don’t feel gross afterward, because there isn’t that voice welling up from your biological core telling you you’re an idiot for swapping genes with this asshole. You don’t have to not call them the next day, and you don’t have to call them, either. The sex isn’t usually that passionate (although it can be really sweet), but passion is a real time suck, anyway. Sometimes sex is just a practical matter.
There is only one rule for sleeping with friends: you have to be sure that it could never work. And that should be a mantra: “It could never work.”
Make sure you shake on it.