Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How many is too many?

So when we were in our teens our parents told us to keep our legs crossed and to call them if a guy got too fresh.  We were told that we would surely get pregnant, die of an STD or god forbid, get a reputation, if we so much as french kissed a boy.  And being the good girl I was, I heeded that warning.  Plus my Flock of Seagulls haircut, that I now think my mother encouraged, helped to keep the boys at bay.

In our 20's we were told that if we gave the milk away for free, the men would not buy the cow.  Which is an attractive way of equating our 20-something fragile egos to bovines.  If we slept around in our 20's, the guys would not call the next day.  There were rules.  Rules of dating (dammit there was even a book).  We were not to sleep with a man on the first or even second date.  If we wanted to keep the man around, clearly we had to withhold sex.  The theory being that if you gave the guys sex, they would leave.  The logic?  Not sure.  The 20's were a stressful time sexually.  You want to have fun but you are told you shouldn't or you will never get married.  Once again, I adhered, as best I could.

In our 30's some of us are married or settled down in some way.  So sexually we are suffering through repetition, possibly kids and thus exhaustion, stress of marriage, responsibility and changes in focus.  So while many of us remain in love with our spouses, we may not feel the same sexual pull or desires as we once did.  And if we do have the same desires, life may get in the way of sex.

Then comes the divorce.

So now in our 40's and single, what about the sex?  Suddenly single with a raging libido, what is a girl to do?  At first, the rules from our 20's clog our minds, making us feel as if we can't have sex when we want to and with whom we would like to.  But then as a 40- something woman, we come to realize there are a whole new set of rules.  In our 20's we would be considered easy should we have slept with a man on the first date. As a 40-something we are considered powerful, independent and lucky by our married friends if we sleep with a man on the first date.

So up comes the word 'slut'.  Considered a kiss of death in our 20's, a horror of infidelity in our 30's, it is a badge of honor in our 40's.  A single woman in her 40's can sleep with as many men as she wants, as often as she wants and in any position she wants and all she hears is accolades.  Her other single friends are hopeful some of that sexual energy will rub off.  Her married friends live vicariously through her, wanting graphic details and blow by blow descriptions (yes, pun intended).

So is there such  a thing as too much sex?  With so many available men, so many varieties to chose from and such freedom to do with them as she pleases, should a single woman in 40's put a limit on how many men she sleeps with?  Should she cap her sexual desires to adhere to some rules she was given in her 20's?  Never in my life have I ever dated two men at the same time.  Not that I wouldn't have, it just never happened.  And yet in my 40's it seems impossible not to have men overlap in the dating world.

In my 40's I find myself with several suitors.  And the freedom I feel to explore these men and what they have to offer me is intoxicating.  Each one offering something different, something unique.  And what is surprising is that in my 40's I feel good about my sexual identity, my sexual confidence.  So how many is too many?  Is there a limit on how many men one should sleep with?  Or should I heed the advice of my friends and have fun? 

The guilt of my 20's has disappeared, the sexual peak of my 40's in full swing.  I shall embrace it while I continue my dating quest.  I shall be happy.  I shall have fun.  Because after all, I am single and 43.

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