Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When It's Just Sex...

Last week I had the good fortune to watch the first season of the Showtime series, Weeds. I'm a huge fan of the star, Mary Louise Parker, and I like Kevin Nealon as the ridiculous pot-smoking town councilman.

Some of the show's characters fall into bed with each other at the drop of the hat, which makes for great drama and even greater comedy. I'm crazy about this show and its wry observations about people who keep up with the Joneses.

While I'm confident that Weeds won't spark an epidemic of widows entering the marijuana trade, I do wonder if showing strangers enjoying sex on a car hood encourages viewers to give it a try. I once heard a story about a woman who said her entire perspective on sex changed after watching Sex and the City. Now she sleeps with everybody.

Which, I guess, is fine if she avoids pregnancy and disease, and if she knows from the outset that what she's doing is having sex. She's not actually dating. She's not getting to know anybody.

A very attractive newscaster once told me she used to get into such disappointing situations with men because she kept "confusing feelings below the waist for feelings of the heart."

I understand that. Women are conditioned to believe that it's okay for men to have tons of sex whenever--and with whomever--they want. Women who engage in such behavior, we're told, are sluts. So some women rationalize having slept with a guy by telling themselves they love him.

This usually results in confusion, self-loathing, and an obsession for a guy who's just not worth it. If you find yourself in this situation, eliminate the drama. Tell yourself the truth. You don't love the guy, and he probably doesn't love you. Don't harbor expectations.

Sex causes angst for men, too. A good-looking, well-employed guy complains that every girl he goes out with suffers from paranoia. "Each and every one of them refuses to believe I'm seeing her and only her. They're convinced I bang everything that isn't nailed down."

He can't get a relationship off the ground, which is what he truly wants. He's frustrated and disappointed.

The thing is, he always gets into bed too early with women, and it's difficult to build a relationship on sex. Face it; if you sleep with somebody on the first or second date, he's going to assume you sleep around. And you're going to assume he does, too.

Now you have a dilemma: You haven't established trust between you, so how can you determine if Backseat Bob would make a decent friend, let alone a loyal, loving, fun, supportive boyfriend? How do you know the dude won't be exposed as a pedophile on Dateline?

Are there exceptions? Yeah. A good friend of mine once slept with a guy after leaving a bar with him and a bottle of borrowed Korbel. They've been married for 18 years and have three kids.

But she's the only person I've ever known to pull it off. The rest of us are better off remaining vertical for longer periods.