[I take you as the personification of evil, as the destroyer of the soul, as the maharanee of the night. Tack your womb up on my wall, so that I may remember you. We must get going.] Tomorrow, tomorrow…
September , 1938
Villa Seurat, Paris
— Henry Miller, from Tropic of Capricorn (via the-final-sentence)
Being female and single in London is becoming arduous to deal with. Meeting men on Tinder for example, it’s obvious what I’m there for, I don’t think a love story will blossom from a one night stand with someone I just met, and drunkenly hooking up with friends shouldn’t change the dynamic of a friendship if both parties know where they stand.
I have started to feel a slight backlash about being open with my sexuality and knowing something for what it is. Over the past year I have had a lot of bad experiences with men I am casually dating, in a strange double standard that I can‘t quite understand, from the guy who called me derogatory names (a skank if you were wondering, whilst he was inside me and totally not in a talk dirty way) when I’d go round in the early hours to sleep with him, to a friend being not so friendly when it came to sex with me. It seems I bring out the worst types of behaviour in men who otherwise wouldn’t treat a woman in this way.
I’ve been really battling with it being a problem within me, that I will sleep with men who on the most part treat me appallingly or continually tell me they don’t want anything more with me. It’s almost I project to these men that I’m not worth much more.
Every single ‘fling’ without exception, the next girl they get with becomes a serious relationship. I used to joke that I’d become men’s ‘one before the one’, watching ex’s and previous partners settling down, getting married and even having kids, directly after dating me but as I get older that joke is becoming less funny.
The narrative is always the same with these men, they’re ‘obsessed’, ‘can’t stop thinking about’ me, ‘need to get you out of my system’. They always need to see me that instant, and I’m not deluded to not realise that it’s for their own sexual gratification, but I am beginning to wonder if my own gratification is being fulfilled. I’m not sure what I’m getting out of these encounters anymore. The causal nature of the sex means it’s less inhibited so there is usually a lot of experimentation which I am more than open to and really enjoy but it’s the afterwards that leaves me feeling a little cold.
I am at a considerably exploritative (is that a word?) stage of my sexuality and it’s something I really want to explore fully but I wish I could turn off the feelings of worthlessness and guilt I end up with. I thought I had met someone I could explore these desires with, without the pressure of a relationship, but again he wanted more with someone else.
I sometimes think I’ve made the mistake of not having enough boundaries and being too available. I don’t necessarily want a monogamous relationship, as with everything I am open to it, but it’s not my main priority. Perhaps the experimental side of me (in sex, drugs, etc) is a sustainable lifestyle for me but not for others, who really just want to try something a couple of times before retreating back to their comfort zones and norm. I like the excitement, the anticipation and to some level the fear of my lifestyle and I’m quite perturbed that I’m dealing with so much doubt and angst over who I am.
There is always a nagging thought at the back of my mind that my drinking is completely out of control. As I reach ever closer to my 28th birthday, I’m constantly plagued with the notion that it’s now or never to take some sort of responsibility for myself before being the drunk party girl consumes my identity forever.
There are at least 320 mornings of the year (shamefully not exaggerating) where I wake up after another heavy night piecing fragmented memories back together, hesitatively looking at my phone to see which man I have embarrassingly forced wasted lust upon (which ultimately makes them run for the hills, it is no wonder I am single), wondering whom I have to apologise to, empty my wallet of bar receipts, pleading from within that I haven’t bought yet another £80 round of shots and stare down at the numerous and always unexplained bruises that are dotted up and down my body in various stages of colouring.
Often these mornings I wake up with someone I forgot I went to bed with, usually friends which gets complicated but I shrug it off quickly and pretend it hasn’t phased me or men who have obviously drunk too much as well and know me well enough to know I’ll be in the same state at 2.30am in the morning.
After significant binges I get the existential crisis’s and have a few days off, but I get physical withdrawal symptoms, the dull headache, the sugar cravings, the irritated skin and decide it’s probably ok for me to go for a drink. There will be many who completely understand how amazing the first drink after a break, however small, feels. For me it’s almost like my personality has been turned back up to 11, and the narcissistic level of feeling invincible slowly returns. I am fully aware that that statement sounds like addiction, but I don’t believe I am an addict, just lack the concept of moderation, but then isn’t the 1st step acknowledging and admitting you are powerless over alcohol and life has become unmanageable?
I really want more for myself and my life. I dread to think the amount of offers and opportunities I have passed up because I’ve decided that a going out to get wasted would be better. I’ve killed amazing relationships with people by putting my excessive behaviour before them. I don’t regret my choices, I own my decisions, but there is a little sadness within and a sense of what if?
With alcohol stupidly comes drugs and it isn’t uncommon to have keys thrust in my face with bumps of white powder or hovering over toilet seats in grotty pub bathrooms with a friend snorting lines through a straw but I don’t think it’s really that unusual, to me it seems like a very normal picture, especially in London, definitely in New York.
I want to change, and try something different, and my lifestyle is really the only thing holding me back. It holds me back financially, as I’m stuck in debt from funding my 7 nights out a week habit. It holds me back in relationships with people as it is impossible to have a deeper connection with someone out of their mind most of the time and who has a tendency to flare up and become indignant and uncontrollable.
I wonder what life is like not at the bottom of a bottle, maybe it’s about time for an experiment in abstinence.