Everything is sex to me.
My best friend who sleeps over at my place every other weekend definitely wants to fuck me … I think. Or is the way we look at each other and touch each other purely platonic? I’m pretty sure all besties grind on each other and cuddle up at night. And maybe I’m reading too deeply into the sexy snaps we send back and forth.
I mean … I wouldn’t be surprised. When it comes to thinking people want to sleep with me, my track record isn’t the best. I’ve been wrong before. But to me, everything is sex. My brain can’t help but to create a blanket of sexual tension in nearly every relationship that I have, it’s a default setting. Maybe it’s a way of keeping my life interesting, or maybe it’s just my internal desire of wanting to be sexually sought-after that makes me think this way. Either way it tends to get me into trouble. The feelings that ensue always seem to disrupt my emotional stability. Those feelings that you thought you healed from slyly come back time and time again. I’ve written about putting those feelings aside in the past … hell sometimes, when I’m in my bag, I take a glance at the articles I’ve written to help me move the fuck on. But nothing really prepared me for what happened last weekend. The boy that can do no wrong in my eyes slept over. He was in my bed for the whole night. Him and my best friend. But the strangest thing about it? … I didn’t feel anything.
Although one can argue that my romantic feelings for him have yet to subside, I will say that the night was dreamlike — sleeping on our sides with him as the little spoon, him holding my arm tightly to his tummy as if it were his first child that he would protect with his life. I almost wanted to cry. Even as the big spoon I felt as if I were the little one being watched over and safeguarded. But this night, no matter how intimate it seems, doesn’t change the fact that we are friends. Only friends. In fact, he has a whole girlfriend who quite literally gave him her blessing to sleep over with me and my bestie.
Anyways … the point is that all three of us slept together and that was it. No sex. No involuntary tingling sensations from my body. I didn’t even sense any sexual tension; it was just two women and one man in a bed sleeping together soundly, and I liked it. We spent the night drinking, spinning, and frolicking around Ithaca. We watched clips of The Office, and we chased each other around for no reason. The night lasted forever, and when we finally fell I was in the middle, my two friends on each side of me, my best friend’s leg locked tightly around mine and my arm draped around my other friend’s body. In that moment, and even in the morning after, I understood that not every situation has to be sexual — you can straight up just sleep with your friends with no insinuations, no benefits. I recommend that, in fact. Everybody should sleep with their friends! Train yourself to hug, kiss and sleep with people without binding each action to eroticism. Send nudes. Live a little.
It helps to see things through a non-sexual lens. You no longer believe that the compliment that you have “nice hair” means that he’s still into you, and you don’t think that a smile is an invitation to sleep with her. It’s worth changing your perspective, it may not only help the healing process of being in contact with your former lovers, but also your future love interests. The embarrassment that comes in tandem with wrongly assuming someone wants to make out with you subsides, because all of sudden everything means nothing. The “signs” aren’t signs at all. And you can go to sleep in peace as you develop the superpower to separate friends from your possible lovers as easily as you can tell the difference between night and day.
Helpless Lover Girl is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dopamine Overdose runs monthly this semester. Sex on Thursday runs every Thursday this semester.