'I’m Only Going To Have Sex With One Person For The Rest Of My Life. And That’s Fine.'
The Debrief: Later this year I'm going to stand up in front of my friends and family and promise to forsake all other penises. And I'm surprisingly ok about it...
It seems strange that when you meet your last ever new penis, you don’t know that it’s the final one. You go off on your third date, hopes high, hair clean, condom next to your phone in the zippy bit of your handbag. And you drink a lot of red wine, and you laugh, and you kiss a lot, and you sprint back to the flat of whoever lives the nearest, and you’re so desperate to get at each other that you don’t even manage to take all your clothes off. There’s no slowness, no reverence. I look back now and wonder why a banner and balloons didn’t descent from the ceiling. At the very least, my boyfriend’s penis could have been wearing a small, pointy party hat. Not for penetration purposes, but as a way of marking the occasion.
It’s been almost three years and heaven knows how many condoms and early mornings and late afternoons and hotel rooms and sofa spoonings and groans and giggles and abortive attempts with nipple clamps (in theory very, very sexy. In practise, I just can’t keep a straight face). And this Summer he asked a question and I said yes and now we’re talking to caterers about how much it costs to serve pie and mash to 130 people. Come October, I am going to stand up in front of all the people we love and promise to love him forever, and forsake all other penises.
Marriage doesn’t mean monogamy, or sexual fidelity, for everyone (even when I told my boyfriend I was writing about this, he looked at me and said ‘Well, you never know! We could go through a swinging phase.’) But I think it does for me and him. I’ve given it some thought, and I’m very excited about it.
At the beginning of my twenties, I was just out of my first relationship and convinced that I had a lot of shagging to do. As a young, newly single woman, I put out like I thought it might earn me Boots Advantage points. Most of the time, it was fun. I loved sex, flirting, and the feeling of freedom that came from leaping about with my knickers in the air shouting ‘Hello! You’re nice! Let’s DOOOOOOOO IT!’ like Lord Flashheart in Blackadder.
There would be the horrible subsequent stand off where I’d wait for a text from someone I didn’t even fancy that much, so I’d at least think I was still attractive and desirable. They usually didn’t.
But it wasn’t a perfect system. I had to have quite a lot of sex with a lot of different people in order to work out what, and who, I wasn’t into. It turns out that it’s not like The Goldfinch, where you have to stay with it and wait for it to get good, and if you don’t love it you’re clearly not clever and sophisticated enough. It was Emperor’s No Clothes shagging, where I was so frightened of angering the Kings that I would praise their sexual skills even if they were going at me like I was an unopenable jar of mayonnaise and they were desperate to make a tuna sandwich. The idea of being a sexy single lady on an erotic fact finding mission made me feel confident. Being hit on by hot guys helped too. But sometimes, going out into the cold on a Saturday morning in unsuitable shoes and hoping I had enough battery on my phone to find the nearest tube station, I’d think ‘I don’t feel good. I don’t love this.’ And there would be the horrible subsequent stand off where I’d wait for a text from someone I didn’t even fancy that much, so I’d at least think I was still attractive and desirable. They usually didn’t.
However, I’d meet people, fall in like with them, we’d date, we’d break up - and every time I went out into the world again as a single lady, I would have learned something. Trial and error taught me that you don’t have to get naked with absolutely everyone who expresses an interest in seeing your tits. That it’s worth working up a base level of confidence that helps you to be happy in your own company, and you aren’t going to learn anything you don’t already know by having sex with someone who might be called Matt or Martin behind Inferno’s in Clapham. That said, the happier I felt by myself, the better my sex life became. I have a lot of awesome memories from my single days. I definitely wouldn’t do anything differently, but I don’t think I need to do any of it again.
I have a lot of awesome memories from my single days. I definitely wouldn’t do anything differently, but I don’t think I need to do any of it again.
Because if anything is massively underrated in the pantheon of boning, it’s sex with someone you love - and falling for someone who makes every day into a Beyonce song, even the ones where you’ve stubbed your toe and poured coffee down the front of your pyjamas before 8AM and your pitches can’t get you arrested and everyone at the gym is a dick and the boiler suddenly starts weeping. I’ve been naked with people who made me feel like I was weightlifting, aware of every part of my body straining and quivering, while I focused on the end result. I need to be with someone who makes me feel like I’m dancing - not caring what movements or mad noises I’m making because I’m lost in the joy of the moment and I want to stay lost forever.
I know that I’m committing to my boyfriend in sickness and in health, and I’m not solely signing up for the amazing sex - life happens, people become ill, one of us might lose our genitals in a whaling accident. Realistically, I can only do my best and hope it works out - and there’s a chance that one day he might meet someone else. (For example, someone can eat their avocado on toast without getting some if it on their forehead.) But I’m excited to try, and to do everything I can to help us keep the promise that we’re going to make to each other. If being married to my boyfriend is as good as being his girlfriend, I don’t think I’ll miss the new penises.
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Picture: Ada Hamza
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