A couple of weeks ago, me and the ladies attempted to class up a sweaty NYC Saturday by busting out our very best English afternoon tea. There were scones, there were cherry bakewells, finger sandwiches, fondant fancies and actually, absolutely no tea but there was a lot of Pimms so we were sort of still on track. But switching out a cup of earl grey for a bucket of booze at two in the afternoon meant that tongues were looser than they might have been.
Anyway, several beverages in, one of our friends announced that she had a male friend coming to visit for a while and that said male friend was in his thirties, single, over six feet tall and very nice. Immediately, we transformed from six slightly tipsy ladies into a pack of rabid dogs. Could she show us a photo? Why was he single? Why didn’t she want to date him? Did he have all his own teeth? What was wrong with him? Once we had thoroughly checked out the Facebook profile and established that he was in fact a viable candidate for shenanigans, suddenly, we had a problem. Ignoring the fact that none of us had met this man and that we had absolutely no idea as to whether or not he would even be slightly interested in a single one of us, there was very nearly an outbreak of fisticuffs over who got first dibs on him and since we are, as previously established, a classy old bunch, it was decided that first dibs be given to the girl who had gone longest without getting lucky. Of course, this was when the fun started.
Given my undeclared status with my Gentleman Caller, I was immediately out of the game, as was another of the girls since she’d just hooked up with a hot British boy of her own and didn’t need to import a new one. Obviously the friend who was pimping him out wasn’t interested which left three ladies. One hadn’t dated in a while but had a couple of friends-with-benefits situations and which put her to the back of the line. Down to two, it transpired that neither of these beautiful, smart, successful, funny and interesting women had done it with a boy IN A YEAR. After much discussion of their vaginas sealing up and the possibility of revirginization, we sort of forgot about the available man (this will almost definitely come back to bite us on the arse) and moved on to trying to work out how often is normal?
When I first met my English ex, we were at it like rabbits. I don’t know if it’s because it was still a novelty or just because we were so broke that we couldn’t afford to do much else but before too long, the excitement wore off and I was faking sleep, sweating like a bastard in my buttoned-up-to-the-chin PJs to avoid having to put out. For the longest time, I thought I just wasn’t that into sex. The more I talked to friends who were also in long-term relationships, it didn’t seem that weird, disappointing yes but not really weird. It wasn’t until we broke up and I started dating that I realized sex wasn’t a fortnightly chore to be endured while thinking about what to make for dinner and developing acting skills that could have nabbed me a leading role in the West End. And this was where sod’s law kicked in – when I had a readily available penis in the house, I didn’t want it. As soon as I was cock-less, it was a much more pressing concern.
As we’ve discussed before, I’ve never been much for a one night stand or even regular casual encounters. I’m too neurotic, too lazy and entirely appropriately concerned with my personal and sexual safety to go around hopping on the every available peen that comes my way and so, when I’m not in a relationship, the answer to ‘how often is normal?’ is NEVER. While debating it over cucumber sandwiches, the girls were totally split – three of us on the ‘no random sex please, we’re British’ side of the fence and three of us on the ‘ooh, why thank you, I would love to have a little go on your penis, thanks ever so.’ And as far as I can tell, this didn’t make any of us slags or frigid or nymphos or anything other than grown women with differing sexual appetites. What a revelatory concept.
I like to think we’re all pretty smart people here and we all realize there’s no such thing as normal when it comes to getting it on. Whether you’re single or seeing someone, there is always going to be ebb and flow in sexytimes. What’s good for the goose might be good for the gander, unless the gander is on her period or the goose has had a really hard week at work. What’s normal when you first meet won’t be normal in ten years and what’s normal when you’re on holiday, half-cut and wandering around in your knickers won’t be normal on that May bank holiday when you’re sweating like a bastard during a freak heatwave but you’ve got to go to Ikea because your mother-in-law is coming to stay and you’ve got to buy a new sofabed.
The Gentleman Caller once told me about a theory that says if a couple puts a penny in a jar every time they have sex in the first year of their relationship and then takes one out each time they have sex after the first anniversary, they’ll never empty the jar. Now I wish I’d started a jar a year ago* There’s no way around the fact that sex becomes less of a priority in a relationship after a while, life has a horrible tendency to get in the way of the fun stuff but I’d like to think that over the course of a few years, I’d see the bottom of that jar. The only thing I know for sure is that if you‘re pretending to be asleep when your boyfriend walks into the bedroom so you don’t have to do it, you’ve probably got a bigger problem to address in your relationship, because that ladies and gents, is certainly not normal.
*We would need to standardize jar size though. All systems are flawed and I am anal retentive.http://0