As Lent has officially begun and people left and right are cutting out their most favorite things in life for the next forty days and nights, I have been thinking a lot about temptation.
Though Rose often tells me I would make a “good Catholic” because I come from a long line of them and I am great at feeling guilty and leading a chaste lifestyle—due more to circumstance than to any hope of virtue—I am not religious and completely comfortable being unholy. However, I am still curious as to why people do the things they do in the name of religion.
Regardless, this is not a post about my questioning of the ins and outs of faith, but rather one that explores the most basic of thoughts: to give or not give into what one desires?
Last night I watched Last Tango in Paris. I first watched this film in my undergraduate thesis class on melodramatic film. After that, I was hooked. There was something so freeing about this story of two people who have an anonymous love affair where neither knows anything about the other, including their names. Sure, with an NC-17 rating there is sex up the wazoo, but the underlying stories of the two characters Paul and Jeanne are captivating and the fact that they return to each other, despite a great age difference and combustible emotions, time and time again even more so.
Plus, Marlon Brando is incredibly sexy in his post-Streetcar, pre-fat, still alive days.
I was inspired to watch the movie after receiving another email from Mr. Big. We “met” on a dating website about a year and a half ago when I was in the stressful mode of writing my graduate thesis (jeez, I sound like such a nerdy academic with all the thesis talk, but that’s how it’s happened). Since then, he has found me on another dating site and continued to contact me a couple of times a year. We have yet to actually have any one-on-one interaction in person.
He is incredibly good-looking with dark hair, light eyes, and a build that rivals the Brawny Man. And he lives up to his pictures. He once recommended a local hot spot that Rose and I went to and within five minutes of walking in the door, I spotted Big looking handsome at a table with some friends. Before we had been there an hour, he was gone. I assume he never saw me.
While Big may seem like the perfect mate, there is a catch: he’s made it very clear to me that he’s looking for a friend with benefits. Though his various profiles have said otherwise, in all of our emails he has indicated that the only thing on his over-30 mind is a no-strings-attached, sex à la carte arrangement.
He gave me his number years ago; I’ve never used it and eventually deleted it. I have also made it clear to him that I am looking for something much more than just sex.
And thus the temptation comes in.
A part of me is completely turned off by Big’s constant quest for casual sex. The thing is, I really don’t want to be just another girl who can randomly have sex with complete strangers. As much as I may want a fairy tale, my life is not a romantic comedy and I know that I cannot be intimate with someone without feelings developing. It’s just not how I roll.
But then there is the other side of me… let’s call it the horny teenager within. She wants to climb that man like Mount Everest and see if he lives up to his talk. It has been a long, long, long, long time since I’ve had a little waka-waka. Ok, maybe not that epic, but in my frame of mind—and my vagina’s—it’s been a while.
For no reason other than wanting to protect myself from another broken heart, I have abstained from sexual relations for a period of time that would be shocking to most people my age. Forty days and nights ain’t got nothing on me! And the thing is, I’m super proud that I have looked temptation in the face in the heat of the moment and said no. I love that I can proudly say, “Thank goodness I never had sex with him!” when one of my potential conquests proves himself to be completely unworthy.
So, I decided to take the high road once again. I told Mr. Big that I wanted more than what he was offering. A good-looking guy like him shouldn’t have any problems getting someone to have sex with him and I even tried to give him some sage advice on how to get it.
Then I gave him my number.