Sex and dat­ing in the rear-view

Si­mon Wil­liamson lives with his hus­band in het­eronor­ma­tively-as­sim­ila­tive fash­ion in Athens, af­ter a year of sur­viv­ing ru­ral Ge­or­gia.

GA Voice - - Outspoken - By Si­mon Wil­liamson

Dat­ing was my worst thing. I love my hus­band very much, but I am also grate­ful at the prospect of never hav­ing to go on an­other first date again. From peo­ple who ar­rived with their brother, to those who wore socks with flip-flops, en­sur­ing my legs stayed to­gether like they were ce­mented shut, to those who got par­tic­u­larly ham­mered and drooled on me—the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence of get­ting to know some­one through the tor­tur­ous medium of small talk, which has to be fil­tered through lit­tle ob­sta­cle cour­ses made up of con­tem­po­rary con­ver­sa­tion guide­lines—is less en­tic­ing than Rick San­to­rum in a bikini.

The in­ter­net made this process some­what more bear­able, with the abil­ity to see some de­tails about a prospec­tive date be­fore hav­ing to deal with con­ver­sa­tion, and it was an av­enue I used be­fore I ended up meet­ing the man who is now my hus­band, Mike. But meet­ing him hap­pened in a man­ner most peo­ple tell you doesn’t re­sult in spouses. We met in a skanky bar through mu­tual friends, drank our­selves into obliv­ion and went home to­gether, wak­ing up with var­i­ous parts of our anatomies clothed, to the point that it was dif­fi­cult to recre­ate the lost parts of our mem­o­ries.

On our first real date a few weeks later, he proved to me he could burp the en­tire al­pha­bet, and I told him I shared a flat with a gang­ster. We laughed at some­one in the restau­rant who fell over, and then we both ad­mit­ted we were ob­sessed with Dis­ney movies—the chil­dren’s kind—and sang the songs to each other. There was ab­so­lutely noth­ing cool or suave about the oc­ca­sion (for god’s sake, I was in shorts and he was in flannel), but there was a lot of gen­uine truth telling. I don’t know how re­la­tion­ships are sup­posed to be­gin—as you can tell, I hate the tra­di­tional song and dance that ac­com­pa­nies meet­ing new peo­ple—but if they all be­gan as sim­ply as my first date went, I’ll be happy for the young ‘uns who still have to go through it.

There are many rea­sons my hus­band and I work well as a cou­ple, one of which is ex­ten­sive his­to­ries, which I don’t want to get too far into as my mother reads this pa­per. To use a eu­phemism, Mike and I both made our twen­ties count, which means we had a lot of prac­tice both phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally, and were pretty good at both by the time we got to­gether.

I have never dis­counted emo­tional ma­tu­rity, and the im­por­tance of de­cent sex in my re­la­tion­ships. Al­though the com­mon wis­dom will tell you that a car­nal night is not re­ally the most de­sir­able be­gin­ning to a re­la­tion­ship, ours was, be­cause we were both grown up enough and ex­pe­ri­enced enough to be able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the real feel­ings from the knee-jerk ones.

My point here isn’t to ad­vise any­one what a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship is sup­posed to be like, or how it is sup­posed to start. But there is a lot to be said for us­ing your god given tal­ents when you’re twenty—horni­ness and stamina—and for au­then­tic­ity.

If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t have spent Sun­day af­ter­noon “co-spousally” per­form­ing Un­der The Sea in my un­der­wear for three unim­pressed dogs, six years into cou­ple­dom.

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