Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

My day as a stripper

Apologies to my regular readers who checked in over the weekend to see ... the same essay! ... but this was the weekend I forayed into stripping. I spent most of the weekend gloved and on the street in front of my house, instead of bare-handed and blogging away inside.

Nice weather for it, luckily enough. I had plenty of company between the stoop-set across the street, chatty passersby, and an older Muslim lady who perched on my porch to watch for quite a while. Since my neighbors are indistinguishable from cats when streetside curiosities are concerned, I made many new acquaintances, male and female.

A few things I’ve learned along the way: stripping is hard work. And time-consuming, at that. The stripper has to really penetrate the wood, so full-on immersion is ideal. Unfortunately, however, I do not have or know of these “stripper vats” I keep hearing about from friends. So, I kept taking the wood in and out of the stripper only to discover more time was necessary. Considering the mess it makes, and the discovery of not two but three layers to be removed, this has been an involved process.

But after two arduous afternoons at it, the wood is almost back to its original naked state. One guy at Lowe’s guessed it might be birch. In any case, I can hardly wait till the stripping part is done and I get to actually stain my desk. Until then I’m sure the fumes will provide many a strange dream (we may have sidewalks and street-parking, but there ain’t many garages in Brooklyn, hence the desk gets stored inside).

Thoughts on i-relating
Though I’ve been focused on stripping this weekend, readers mused on the nature of internet relationships. One friend writes:
I have been feeling like there is this Internet “intimacy” that is created by posting personal information about ourselves. This is of course created while simultaneously learning personal things about others, both friend and foe.

This intimacy is often very intense and may seem real, but I have found that more often than not you are meeting the “representative” of the person you are interacting with. This is kind of like when you go on a first date with someone—both you and they are on best behavior. Both of you may be presenting the person you’d like to be, but when it comes down to it, we all have past experiences, expectations, egos and pain that often cloud who we really are (or would like to be.) This combination of things is who we wind up being in this moment.

Interestingly enough, one of the only ways to get past the representative, and, ultimately, past the pain, ego and expectation, is to spend time with your friend, spouse, lover, or family member and work through it together.

The Internet and its IM, e-mail, ICQ, AOL, dating, porn, etc, are creating perpetual first dates for most everyone involved. Ironically, I used to see the Internet as a way of staying connected with people and getting to know them better (aside from its powerful tools of research and consumerism). I found, after a time, that I did not really know these people that I considered “friends” any better, and I had, in fact grown quite disillusioned as to who they really were. (These illusions were conveniently shattered upon spending some actual time with these people.)

The result?

I have removed myself from as many forms of Internet intimacy as possible. I have disassociated myself from those “friends” who turned out not to be friends at all. Most importantly, I have focused on making the relationships that I have more meaningful and genuine.

This still includes the occasional email... ;)
Thoughts? Disagreements? Use the comment feature to talk back. More stories from Anna Broadway’s sordid love life coming soon, plus thoughts on the meaning of “Dancing Queen.” Don’t forget to recommend your favorite song for inclusion!

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