Dating Blogger Amy: “The Real Stuff”

[If you like this column and would like to receive an email each week upon its publication, send an email to with "Amy's blog" in the subject line.] “I always think in the beginning of a relationship the guy … Read More

By / February 27, 2007

[If you like this column and would like to receive an email each week upon its publication, send an email to with "Amy's blog" in the subject line.]

“I always think in the beginning of a relationship the guy is just using me for sex,” I told my therapist. “Always?” “Yes, always. In every relationship I’ve had”—a total of three, the shortest numbering fifteen months, excluding whatever it is I’m doing now with Spaniard—“this crosses my mind, like, two or three months in.” “Huh,” Ther furrowed her brow and looked harder at me. I’ve discussed this with my girlfriends. “Every girl thinks that. It’s fine. It’s totally normal. You’ll get over it,” an older and wiser girlfriend told me. “Really?” I asked. “Yes. It’s fine. Totally normal,” she reassured me. I thought nothing more of it until my therapist forced me—as she usually does—to analyze this feeling. Yes, evidently enough girls believe this for the thought to be labeled “normal.” But, I learned, it’s certainly not fine that we “all” have it. I was having it about Spaniard. Yes, it occurred mostly fleetingly and I easily let myself not analyze it by thinking, “We’re not very serious anyway and I like having sex with him so it’s fine.” But we’re more serious than I allow myself to believe. I know this for one because I insisted on waiting before I would have sex with him. In fact, I wouldn’t even let him up to my apartment until date no. 4 or 5. At which point he expected it and I was all, “What do you think I am, some floozy?” He didn’t care about waiting. He was and continues to be supremely respectful when it comes to pillow time. It took a lot of will power to fend off for so long because he’s fucking hot and sexy and accented, but I managed to wait a nice long time. Which brings to mind something else that seriously bothers me: A girl who I shared a dorm room with one summer once said, “If you really like somebody, wait as long as you can.” This is a great idea. But it makes no sense. Why wait as long as you can with a person you really like when you’ve had one night stands with people who you not only don’t give a shit about but disgust you to your core? Yet when someone comes along you actually like, your instinct is to wait, wait, and wait some more? There’s no way to rationalize this, but this is how a lot of women are. Which leads me think, why wait? If you find yourself in bed with a hot man with an accent go for it and enjoy yourself. But I endorse The Wait because I know if I really liked somebody I’d wait. I also know, I’ll never have anymore one- to three-night stands. Because looking back on those few instances, unless the guy was Brat Pitt’s hot rival, I shudder. So wait, unless the guy is Brad Pitt’s hot rival and you don’t like socializing with him nearly as much as looking at him. This will ensure that a) you won’t have sexual encounters that will make you feel like walking through a car wash when you think about them later in life and b) you won’t give yourself away to someone who doesn’t deserve it. In sum: if you really like somebody, wait. You’ll build a deeper emotional bond and the sex will be that much more amazing when you finally have it; and if you don’t really like somebody but they rival Brad Pitt’s hotness and kiss well, have a one- to three-night stand and look back on it with pleasure. It follows that if you don’t like somebody don't have sex with him. If you can’t decide if you really like somebody, then you don’t like him enough for him to deserve to have sex with you.
And ladies: use a condom! I personally don’t keep condoms: Why should I make it easy for a guy to have sex with me? If someone wants to have sex with me, he needs to have condoms. If someone wants to have sex with me at my house, he needs to bring condoms over. No condoms=no sex. If you’re the type of girl who carries condoms in your pocket book, I don’t understand you, and I’d suggest you indulge in the power of Making Them Work for It. But still, safety first, so carry what you will. So when we come to the point where we’re having sex regularly with one person, why do we always feel like we’re being used if we’ve followed the rules, the sex is amazing, Partner deserves it, and Brings His Own Condoms? I should add by “amazing” I mean both partners are equally satisfied and it feels like heaven. My therapist offered, as usual, a wise explanation. Here’s an abridged version of my session: Ther: Do you really think that’s true, that he’s using you for sex? Me: I don’t know. I guess. Ther: Thinking about how he treats you, does his behavior toward you indicate he only spends time with you so he can have sex with you? Me: Well… Noooooo… No I don’t think so. I guess, yeah, he likes me for other reasons. Ther: So why do you think people use you for sex? Me: Well, because it’s like, he comes over and that’s what we do. That’s the focus of our encounters if it’s cold outside and I’m too lazy to go out and stuff, you know? And then the other day he said some things that bothered me. (And of course I had sex with him anyway.) I think he’s getting too comfortable. Ther: What do you mean he’s getting too comfortable? Me: He’s just not trying as hard? He’s not as attentive as he used to be. Ther: If you’re not satisfied with the way he’s treating you, you have to tell him. Rather than telling yourself the story that ‘he’s too comfortable’, you have to tell him what you want. You don’t know what he’s thinking. You have to teach him how you want to be treated. How do you want him to treat you? Me: Well he’s not as careful as he used to be, I guess? He needs to be more careful with what he says to me. Like he made a couple comments that bothered me the other day. Ther: Like what? Me: Well he was playing with my [new] bangs and he pushed them to the side and he says ‘See, girls look like boys when they do their hair like this.’ And I told him ‘Don’t say stuff like that to girls, that’s rude.’ Ther: And what did he say? Me: He said he wasn’t talking about me he was talking about all girls. Which I guess made it better? But then he said something worse later. We were in my bed and he’s playing with my bangs again and he’s like you have a beautiful face. You don’t need bangs to cover it up—
Ther: So he doesn’t like bangs. So what? Me: No, I don’t care if he doesn’t like my hair. I did it for me and I love it. But it gets worse. He says, ‘See, someone like Jen, she has a good body but an ugly face. She can have bangs.’ And I said, ‘Excuse me? Don’t talk about my friends like that.’ Ther: And how did it make you feel when he said that? Me: I don’t know. Ther: Sit with it a minute. Me: [Sits with it for five minutes] I don’t know. I was just upset. Ther: Ok. But what exactly was it—was it jealousy? Anger? Sadness? Me: [Sits with it for another five minutes.] I don’t know. Ther: When those kinds of things come up, see if you can pinpoint what you’re feeling. Did you tell Spaniard how it made you feel? Me: Well yeah, I made him explain himself until I was satisfied with his explanation. Ther: What did he say? Me: I told him when he says stuff like that it sounds like he’s checking out my friends and he said, ‘If I say something like that it doesn’t mean anything. If Brooke Shields was your friend I’d say, “Brook Shields is hot” but that doesn’t mean anything. I am not checking her out. But if she walks right in front of me I am not blind either.’ Ther: Well, it was a provocative comment that he made, and you had a right to be upset. You had a right to an explanation. Me: Yeah. And then after he explained himself he knew I wasn’t satisfied and he’s like, 'What are you thinking? I know you’re thinking something'. He always tells me I never tell him what I’m feeling. Ther: Do you agree? Me: Well, yeah, I don’t tell him how I’m feeling because I don’t want things to get too emotional. Ther: Why don’t you want things to get too emotional? Me: Well like, with Evil A and the circumstances under which we got together it was just constantly really emotional, especially in the beginning, and I was crying all the time, and I thought it was passionate but it was really just bad. Ther: Well being emotional isn’t always bad. Emotions are just feelings. You can tell someone about your feelings without it being bad. Me: Yeah. Ther: And I can understand why you always think people are using you for sex if you hide your feelings from them. If people aren’t able to get close to you because they don’t know how you’re feeling, you’re unable to create an emotional connection. And then what is there aside from the sex? Me: Yeah, that’s a good point. Ther: If you just don’t say anything, you’re not giving him the real stuff. You have to give him the real stuff and see what he does with it. That’s what really counts. I made an agreement with Ther that I would tell Spaniard how I felt. I would give him The Real Stuff. Before The Real Stuff convo, I told my gay friend Mez about the offenses. “Don’t call him,” Mez said. “That will make him think about it.” No, I thought. I can’t play games this time. We all do it and shit just falls apart. I had to know what would happen if I were honest and didn’t play games. So I gave Spaniard The Real Stuff. It worked. He completely redeemed himself. The things he said to me made me realize how amazing he is and that sharing feelings really isn’t as scary as I had made it out to be. I feel closer to him and I like him so much more. And all the time I’ve spent with him has been that much more amazing since. So remember, The Real Stuff works! I paid for it so you didn’t have to. Related:

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