Life is funny sometimes. By funny, what I actually mean is life can suck my dick sometimes.
I’ll spare you the details of my entire long history with women and try to put it succinctly. For a long time, I was a shy, shy nerd with low self-esteem. The idea that people could be attracted to me was foreign. Some time over the past few years, this changed dramatically. Both my experience and level of comfort with women skyrocketed. I started to realize that a lot of the things about me I thought were pretty normal are not. I’m smart, conscientious, I care a great deal about consent and communication, and I’m significantly better at communicating in relationships than most people are. The past few years in discovering my good traits in terms of relationships have been kind of like the few years before them were in discovering my good traits as a worker.
You remember when you were little and you saw people with jobs as these Mature Adult Responsiblepants People? People who clearly have All Their Shit Together because they have Fucking Jobs, dammit. Then one day you start having jobs and you realize that most of the people you thought were Jobly McProfessionalpants types actually have no idea what the fuck they’re doing? You realize that having basic care and common sense are actually rare and marketable skills? That’s how it was for me, anyway. Just recently, I was told that a cover letter I wrote was a significant part of the reason I was hired for something, which was awesome, but also strange. I’d thought that cover letter was just okay. I’d had no idea that coherent, readable sentences were so scarce that what I thought of as a decently-written cover letter was a prime selling point. In some ways that’s how I’ve felt when discovering my good qualities in relationships. As much as it’s been a process of learning to give myself credit for the ways I’m a good partner, it’s also been a process of realizing that a lot of people set the bar pretty low.
In any event, I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress over the last few years in terms of being comfortable talking to people I’m attracted to, and expressing my attraction. This has had the mostly awesome benefit of discovering that actually quite a lot of the people I’m attracted to are attracted to me, too. Thinking just over the last few months, I’ve had a lot of really awesome conversations where a mutual attraction was discovered. Life being complex, most of them haven’t turned into relationships or sexypants adventures, but even just sharing a revelation of mutual attraction can be pretty awesome in and of itself. That said, there is a deeply frustrating side of this revelation as well.
Given the choice, I probably wouldn’t opt for fun sexytimes with everybody I happen to have a mutual attraction with even if I had the option to (I am Yenis the Penis King, marvelous me, I get to fuck everything that I see!). Life is complex, feelings are complex, people are complex. Too much complex is bad. In spite of that, given the issues I’m dealing with where my back is concerned, it is deeply frustrating that I’m more or less physically incapable of opting for fun sexytimes with anyone at all. I spent half my life digging myself out of the low self-esteem and various other issues that so often prevent the young and inexperienced from having awesome, satisfying sex lives. Now that I’ve, in many ways, arrived on the other side of that I Can’t. Fucking. Fuck.
This is also a chance to pervert that “Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink”, line, in case you were wondering.
In spite of all of the above, the revelation of my own attractiveness remains awesome as well as frustrating. In addition, I can’t deny that doing the CBT exercises is helping me recognize that I might be a decent enough human being that I actually merit the respect people seem to have for me. It’s not impossible I’ll come out of this one of those, “I had to hit rock bottom to really turn my life around”, people. Here’s hoping, right?