Half Empty, Since 1998

Is casual sex a myth or reality? One man ponders the possibilities.

A Society Advancement?

Johnathan Drake. February 14th, 2000

So I walk into one of my local pubs, go belly-up, as I’ll do. My bartender buddy spots me from across the bar, makes his way to the cooler, pops the cap off a soon-to-be-mine Miller Lite, and slides it in my direction. ‘So whattya got,’ I ask Bartender Homer (ok, his real name is Jim. But when I later told him that his story was part of my inspiration for this offering, he said, “call me Homer: it’ll be our code word.” Whatever you say, Homer. Bartenders: they’re a breed unto themselves.)

I go in to tug on a few and swap stories with Homer a few nights a week. We have a pretty good rapport going about our interactions with the fairer sex. So he ponders for a moment, and then his eyes light up. He cautiously looks around as if he has the ultimate in dish he’s ready to lay on me. “I bagged the waitress on Saturday night,” he says coolly. Nice work, Homer. Hat’s off.

But then my mind quickly goes to work. That can’t be all. Come on. ‘So now she’s stalking you, right?’ Not at all, he replies. Seems they had a talk. ‘Wait a minute – a talk before the act? Actually communicating with the girl about the potential of the moment? You mean, you actually gave it some thought?’

According to Homer, the two came to a mutual understanding before the illicit act occurred: no commitment, no obvious or hidden meaning, just fun sex. I know, I had my pull-this-leg-and-it-plays-jingle-bells mind’s eye going, so I decide to watch the two interact. And you know what, he may have something here. Granted, it’s only been two days since the ordeal, but I sense no underlying desire in either of them. She’s not checking him out across the bar as she works; he’s not flirting with her during his brief not-so-busy moments. Basically, if he hadn’t opened his yap, I never woulda guessed that it happened.

The exception or the rule? Well, then I started to think (Shut up. It happens). Maybe this is real – maybe in today’s society of constant communication between man and woman, two people could actually be on the same wavelength in regards to sex. In fact, maybe this is the future of sex. The next sexual revolution, if you will. We have sex to satisfy a need, and then go back to our normal lives.

But who am I kidding? As quickly pointed out by my girlfriend (well, actually she’s not officially my girlfriend. She was once; we kinda took a break, now we’re kinda back on. But I’m getting ahead of myself – believe me, that’s a story for a completely separate writing adventure), sex is a crazy beast that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Never is it the case where two people can be exactly at the same place mentally – before, during or after sex. And she’s got a good point. We all come from different backgrounds, experiences and adventures in the great game between the sheets. How do we know what the potential partner is bringing to the table? And I’m not talking skill here; I’m talking baggage. We never know just how much shit there is until that can of worms (or should I say, THE worm) has been exposed.

So now I’m in a quandary – half the people I talk to have a firm belief in casual sex, half say no way. I’ve got two movie lines running thru my head that represent both sides of the fence. One is Billy Crystal’s character in When Harry Met Sally: “I’m not saying it doesn’t mean anything, but why does it have to mean everything?” And the other is Fatal Instinct (you could pick any line from that movie, but I choose this one): “I won’t be ignored, Dan.” Both movies, in a round-about way, deal with the idea of casual sex. One line represents a distant, detached and uncaring schmo, while the other represents a goose-bump producing, scare-the-shit-outa-me stalker. Isn’t there a happy medium between pure apathy and “I must own you”? I guess I just find it hard to believe that in today’s society of knowledge, communication and experimentation, that people can’t have sex just for sex’s sake.

But then again, really, why should I stay awake at night wondering if we as a society have really advanced, if indeed the notion of casual sex can be considered an advance? Because truth be told, while I’d love to have casual sex be the distinction of our generation – that we have developed a society of pure pleasure without consequence – the real representation of our genre is why I want casual sex to work in the first place: SELFISHNESS. I cloak my rant as a casual sex rally cry for society, when in fact all I really care about is my own egotistical needs. Yes, you guessed it . I just wanna easier way to get laid. Is that so wrong? Well, if it is, then, dammit, I don’t wanna be right.