Bet ya didn't think I was gonna say that!
Well, there is. For instance, I have recently learned that if I am too direct with men about wanting sex, and wanting it to be casual. For as much as certain men say they want a casual thing, they also seem to want me to be somewhat romantic with them in order to stir up the sexual tension.
But this is not something one can pull out of one's ass. This chemistry, this sexual energy either happens or it doesn't. There are plenty of people I will have sex with, but there are far fewer with whom there will be that spark. It is not that I am not attracted to these people, it is just that there is not that electricity that happens with some people that you meet. That's just the world. I didn't make it.
So where do you go from there, when the person(s) you are casually having sex with want you to act like there is some kind of unexplainable chemistry between you? I guess it depends on the type of person you are, but for me, I just can't fake that shit. It takes way too much energy and frankly, if I put myself in the position where I feel like I need to fake sexual chemistry just to get laid, I am going to be expecting a pay off which not many people will be able to deliver.
The thing is, there isn't a lot written about this stuff. Sure, there is The Ethical Slut, and a lot of what Dan Savage says about casual sex rings true with me, but it feels different to me when I am sitting next to someone who is telling me that he can't get excited about casual sex if I don't behave as if there is more there than there is.
The good news, depending on how you look at it, is that this is like anything else. I mean, you take the sex out of the equation and you're in yet another situation where someone is asking you to be different so they will feel more comfortable. It is the most ridiculous request to entertain in any context, but it happens all the time, in overt and subliminal ways, and if you are not careful, you could find yourself behaving in ways you would never dream of, just to make other people more comfortable.
It is the same when people tell me I am too manly, too hairy, too hippy, whatever. I never set out to be everyone's cup of tea, and it is off putting for people to expect me to be different so they can be more comfortable with me. Even more so when I don't spot it until I am in the middle of doing something I wouldn't normally do just so someone else can feel better about me.
The secret to my happiness is knowing that I don't need other people to feel good about me. Even if it does mean I might get laid.
Tthis kind of thing can be tricky to handle, so I have a list of responses Iuse when I find myself in a situation where I am asked to be different for the sake of someone else's comfort. The list goes from most extreme to least extreme. When someone asks me to alter my behavior, weight, personality or what have you in order to make them feel more comfortable, I simply say on of these many responses, depending on the situation and the individual:
- Fuck off.
- I would do what you are asking if I was you, but lucky for me, I am not, so, no.
- It is interesting that you think I give a shit what you think. I don't.
- Do you realize that you are asking me to alter my (behavior, appearance, demeanor) so that you will feel more comfortable?
- I hope you are more forgiving of yourself than you are of me.
- I am sure you didn't mean to insult me by asking me to behave differently than I would naturally, so I am going to point it out to you so you don't make that mistake again.
- Hey, it hurts my feelings when you ask me to be different than I am. This is who I am, and if you don't like it, you can go.
- You crack me up! You do an amazing impersonation of an intollerant dipshit!! Oh my gosh, have you ever thought of being a stand-up comedian?
That last one might come off as overly-sarcastic, but I find in these situations that this is the type of thing that works. The real point of this is to illustrate that it helps to have a list of things you can say to people who are incapable of accepting you as you are. Having these types of responses handy will do two things:
- It will help you feel ready for when this happens to you, so when it does, you can handle it in a cool, calm manner, not like the angry person that might come out when someone is ridiculous enough to expect you to change for them.
- It sends you the signal that you are fine just the way you are. When you create your very own list of responses to use when someone is expecting you to alter yourself in order to make them feel more comfortable, you are telling yourself, in many different ways, that you are great just the way you are. The more you tell yourself that, the better you feel, and the easier it will be to recognize when others are expecting you to change.
The best relationships are the ones in which you can be yourself, in which you can grow and improve. They are with people who accept you the way you are, are honest enough to tell you what they see, and compassionate enough to allow you to be who you are, even if it is shitty some of the time.
Practicing this with yourself, on yourself, will help you stand strong when the world wants to change you. Accepting and loving yourself just the way you are will condition you to expect that from others, and help you feel okay about not wanting the people who need you to change.
Life is too short to change your demeanor for another person. Your energy is too precious to waste trying to be someone else. Your energy is meant to be spent discovering, not covering, who you are.