What’s the Problem with Promiscuity?
Earlier today I’ve been looking at my old photo albums from about 7-8 years ago. Then I was in my twenties and just started working in a summer resort called Sunnybeach. I remember the very first time I went out with the other girls from work. We went into the club and immediately at least 10 men looked at us. We were all young and beautiful, dressed up, hair done, make up, high heels and sexy clothing. This is how I looked as well, this is how I wanted to look, the way I wanted to be, the impression I wanted to leave, the confidence I wanted to show. And this very first night out I realized that actually is not that difficult to get men’s attention. It was in fact so easy, I just needed to look at the guy I liked and innocently smile and usually 2 minutes later he was already getting me a drink and asking me about my name. It was so easy to feel important, to feel someone who men like, to feel worth, to feel beautiful, to feel unique, to feel powerful over men, to gain control and just have every guy I want to like me. This is who I wanted to be, the way I wanted to be. And I was very good at that. Anytime I felt lonely or didn’t want to go home to my room alone I could just go out and find someone nice to feel like who I wanted to be. Not that I slept will all these guys I met, but I knew I could do it if I wanted to do so. So I had control and power over them. All I needed was my looks and a smile. So simple. With some of them I just played like an actress, flirting and teasing, dancing and smiling, having a good time and then just leaving without saying a word. It was my game, my decision, my call to say if I have sex with them or no. And most of the times I didn’t sleep with them at the end. I was in control, I decided what to do. And they were in my power. With some of them I did it but the whole thing was just a passionate illusion for the night.
Now I am thinking about this time of my life. Is this something to be ashamed of, a bad part of my biography? And most importantly why did I do these things, why was I this way?
About 2 years ago I shared my secret about the childhood sexual abuse with another person for the very first time. I met someone who I knew I could tell it all and not be ashamed of it, and not be scared of his reaction, and just be completely honest because I knew he would not judge me. He was a survivor, too. And he knew pretty well what I was talking about because he’s been there, too.
And since that day when I first said it out loud so many things changed for me. I learned not to be ashamed and not to be afraid to look for answers. I learned to look for solutions instead of drowning deeper in my past. And now I am looking for that answer, why was I this way with men? What made me do it? What made me think this way? May be if I understand my reasons this will help me heal and become who I want to be now.
What did that promiscuity brought me? What did those men give me?
First of all I knew that “tonight I don’t have to be sad and lonely.” I knew that tonight is going to be an escape from my world of pain and tears. I could just feel close to someone, even just for tonight. I knew that I won’t wake up alone as always. I knew that tonight someone will tell me how beautiful I am, how lovely he feels with me, even sometimes I got to hear the words “I’m in love with you,” of course on their side that all was just to bring me home with them at the end. And I knew their motives but I didn’t care. If they could make me feel pretty, wanted, loved I didn’t care if this was just an illusion, a dream that ended the very next morning. And through the night I didn’t have to feel sad, I didn’t have to face my memories, my fears and my desperation. Next morning it was all again the same. And then I just jumped from someone’s hotel room and ran to work, where I was too busy to feel bad. So at work I was again saved from the memories and the pain. And then again-the night. Sometimes I was too tired, physically and emotionally to do another “romantic tour,” so I stayed in my place and was again the same scared, not confident and sad person, who’s trying to fall asleep. And every time I skipped going out I was sorry. I felt like I am missing something, like I am not where I should be, not the way I should be. I didn’t want to be alone. It’s so simple.
Being with men made me feel powerful too. I knew I am in control and everything depends on me. I can go and have sex with that guy, or I can just go home if I want to. This time it was my choice. Not like when I was a child. Then I didn’t have this choice. Then I even didn’t know what sex was,but I was forced to experience it. Then I could not say “no” because I even didn’t realize what that was. Telling anyone even didn’t come to my mind. I felt somehow dirty, I felt that my innocence is gone,and I didn’t want anyone to know about this. I was a child and had no control over what was happening to me and somehow the abuser made me do it again and again for a long time.And this fact that I experienced sex so early, when I wasn’t supposed to even know about it. Well this brought me all the troubles I had later. And also the troubles with men.
Why do I say troubles with men when I could get whoever I want? The answer is simple – I was just looking for love in all the wrong places. I wasn’t actually looking for an one-night stand, but for someone I can feel close to. I wanted to be needed, wanted, loved. I wanted to be important. I wanted not to be alone again. I wanted to matter something for somebody. I wanted to fall asleep beside someone, to feel warm, to feel safe, to feel not ashamed or scared any more. This is what I was looking for-love, affection and tenderness. Somehow I never got to get what I wanted really. Because in the morning the fairytale was over. I remember once when I was so drunk and I told the guy I was going home with: ”Pretend that we are a couple tonight.” I wanted him to be the dream that I so much needed. I wanted him to be my saviour, my friend, my lover and my special someone. Even for that night. But this is the answer, why I was never happy. Because this was just for the night, this was an illusion and nothing more. This was not real. This was like a movie script, which was going to end in the morning.
The other reason why I did this was because my very first sex experience with men was at the age of 7 or 8. So I was convinced that I have to experience it a different way.The way I wanted, and if I wanted. I wanted to somehow replace the memories with nice ones. I wanted when I think about sex, to remember not the abuser in my childhood but a real love-making, something beautiful and tender, something amazing, something which I am free willing to do, not something I was forced to do.
The truth is when we experience this type of abuse so early in our life our understanding and perceptions about sex, love-making and passion are messed up. We find it difficult to make a difference. We find it difficult to find what we’re looking for. And the memories keep coming back, making everything harder to accept, making us want more and more of this escape, of this illusion in which we are safe, wanted, loved, happy and in control.
My promiscuous years are long gone by now.And I realize that there must be real love and closeness. There must be love-making instead of emotionless, empty sex-nights. And being with someone is really something which could be amazing, which could be beautiful and romantic, tender and passionate instead of hurtful or fake.