“It’s Not About the Fucking Women”

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I heard them fucking in the room next to me and I wanted to smother them to death but I also wanted to kill myself.

My friend was fucking another friend of ours who I’d been crushing on for forever but never did anything about. Because most of the feelings I’ve held around sex have been shame.

So I felt this ball of rage boil up inside of me and this contempt and anger and self-hatred engulf me.

I couldn’t sleep, so I just heard them fuck on the squeaky, broken couch outside of my friend’s bedroom in a shitty Ikea-apartment.

The more and more I listened, the more I felt broken inside, too.

And then I started to overanalyze my thoughts and my fears and my deep, dark insecurities.

Later, I came to the realization that most of these insecurities weren’t about how many women I had in my life or my how many friends or how much money I was making because none of that shit really mattered.

They were about me.

My deep-seated insecurities.

My first sexual interaction happened with a girl who was a few years older than me, I think when I was 11 or 12 or something.

And I say “interaction” but it was a trauma.

She’d paid me $20 to stand in front of her in the corner of my room and kinda rub my dick around.

And that got her off because she was as deranged as everybody else in the world. The only difference was that she owned it.

That left me scarred for years until, recently, I talked to my therapist about it. I told him that it had a greater impact on my self-esteem and my fears around performance than I’d ever admit.

My therapist asked me, “how does it feel to talk about this right now?” and I told him, “shitty. Really shitty.”

My next sexual interaction was in 8th grade with a unicorn.

(And I say unicorn offensively: she was black and a Jew.)

We were playing around with each other on the couch when I pointed down to my dick and realized that it was growing.

I pulled it above my waistband and moments later she was going down on me in my friend’s basement.

And the funny/horrible/ridiculous part of it is that my friend was sitting there right next to me with a pillow as our makeshift divider.

And so, until that point, my sexual experiences had been far too public and traumatic for normal eyes.

That was the last time I’d hooked up with anyone until my freshman year of college.

That was for the better.

The lies we tell ourselves.

We were going around the room playing never have I ever. 

And it was almost my turn and my palms started to clam-up. Because the topic of conversation had turned to sex.

I was thinking of what direction I might be able to take it in. I wanted to avoid admitting to the rest of the populace there that I had, in fact, never had sex with anyone. 

And that I had a lot of shame surrounding that shit.

I couldn’t come up with anything so I lied.

Until I was 25, I lied to everyone.

I couldn’t keep my stories straight.

Side note: this article is part of a 5-day series on dealing with heartbreak and jealousy in relationships. Click here to get immediate access to that series.

“Yeah, yeah, there was this girl over the summer who I had sex with,” but nobody believed me.

I was never a very convincing liar around those things.

And so, over the years, I found my friend’s and enemies around me get laid and I couldn’t help but feel like a total fucking loser.

The trap of defining yourself by your sexual inquisitions was never anything that I’d taken the time to actually question.

And so, female friends and male friends alike all had those shitty sexcapades.

I felt like I’d missed the boat.

The years kept ticking by 19, 20, 21, etc.

During the day, I projected this happy, jovial personality. Someone who was as awkward as they were funny.

And who women adored but that I found difficult in actually accepting.

At night, I was insecure, uncomfortable in party situations and aloof to the advances of women.

I had no fucking idea which way was up.

So I spent most of my time in the realm of avoidance. Drinking to excess, beyond the point of comprehension and blacking out on the regular.

Waking up the next morning questioning everything about my life.

And the deep, dark thoughts of depression and suicide took up long-term stay in my mind.

“I need a girlfriend.”

I was joking with my friend, hungover one morning, senior year of college that, “I could use a girlfriend.”

Somebody to take care of me, to rub my belly when I ate too much Little Ceasar’s and to dress me when I couldn’t stand-up straight which was too often to count.

“Nah, dude, you don’t need one of those,” he said.

“Just do your own thing, man.”

He was right. My delusions of grandeur were just that.

I’d remain disillusioned for the next 3 or 4 years.

But if I’d started listening to his advice then I would’ve spent less and less time and energy on trying to find a lover. 

And more time on learning to be an awesome fucking person. 

What happens when you move.

It wasn’t until I turned about 25 and realized, I have no fucking friends here. What the fuck am I doing?!?

I was sitting on the floor in my beautiful apartment in Denver because we hadn’t gotten a couch yet. There was a handle of cheap whiskey next to me and I was feeling this intense loneliness.

What the fuck did I just do? I thought to myself.

A few of my friends back in New York called me that day, but I mostly felt deeply alone and lost, then.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened.

(A mystical faerie climbed through my window and showed me a better way of living. Just kidding.)

But I do know that, over the next few months and years, I started to focus more and more on a few things in my life:

A.) Eating healthier.

B.) Working out daily.

C.) Socializing with more people and finding communities of people who I love to hang out with.

D.) Getting outside and having fun.

E.) Drinking less alcohol.

And holy shit, guess what fucking happened? 

I started to feel more confident, attracted great people with less effort and generally felt happier.

And then I built a social circle.

And then I started pursuing work I loved.

And then, at some fucking point, I found an amazing partner (or a few).

What my friend told me a few years earlier finally held some stock in my mind:

“Just do your own thing, man,” as we split hits from a small bowl and watch another episode of Party Down.

It’s never about the thing.

I thought that when I had sex for the first time that my deep-seated insecurities around relationships and performance would go away.

They didn’t.

They won’t.

More often than not, we peg our own self-worth on the realization of something

When the better question we should be asking ourselves is, why do I actually want this thing? 

And if we ask the question why a handful of times we’ll come to an unfulfilling conclusion.

It’s almost always never about the fucking thing. 

You see men in the world of pick-up and you think, these guys are so successful with women, they must be so confident. 

And the ironic thing is that they’ve developed that skill set of seducing women out of toxicity.

A toxic relationship with themselves.

And so, it wasn’t about building relationships and having sex. Not even close.

Instead, it was about avoiding the real question of: why do I hate myself so much?

And then you get to the bottom of it and you discover that your upbringing, the way your parents treated you or a fucked up relationship with a sibling did it.

Or something else.

And you keep digging some more.

Then the depression and sadness and existential questions set in.

And you realize that everything external you’ve been chasing could’ve been shortcutted if you’d just asked, why, why, why? a few times.

What’s your number?

I have friends who are chasing an infinite amount of money.

They want to have so much that they can walk into a car dealership with a briefcase full of cash, buy a half-dozen cars and leave with a Fuck You kinda smile on their faces and enough money left over to hit the strip-club. Other friends who need to get married tomorrow.

Other friends who need to get married tomorrow.

They’re always in relationships because they’re looking for the one. 

And others who can’t stop having sex with anything with two legs and a brain and a Tinder account.

They have numbers.

Some of them, they’re $20 million.

Others, 100 men (or women).

I do, too.

My number is 20, this year.

I want to ask 20 women out.

I wrote that down somewhere.

Because that scares me.

I hate dating. I hate asking people out. I generally deplore human interaction. (Kinda, but not.)

But the reality is, if I’d asked myself why, why, why enough times I’d realize that I don’t have to ask 20 people out.

That I’d benefit much more from doing uncomfortable things (at least for me) like talking to women in bars or at coffee shops.

Or learning to love myself and spend less time and energy defining myself by something I’ll never stop chasing. (Which is, well, women.)

In the meantime, I’ll keep chasing that number.

I’m already more than halfway there.

What happens when I get to 20?

I’ll find something else to set my sights on.

And I’ll never be happy.

Not until I realize that it’s not about the fucking women.

Or the money.

Or the relationship(s).

It’s about you.