Resolutions for a new year
I previously mentioned how one of my inspirations for My Sex Project was Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Throughout her project, Gretchen used each month to focus on one theme. For example, January was Boost Energy, February, Remember Love.
Within that, she chose resolutions to keep which would support each month’s theme: Go to sleep earlier, exercise better, quit nagging, fight right. Sometimes these resolutions were big like March’s Enjoy the fun of failure and sometimes they were small like April’s Sing in the mornings. I liked this idea and thought of creating my own sex resolutions. So one night, a few months ago, I tried to figure out what those might be.
I sat on my couch and thought hard. What am I missing from my sex life? I drank a cup of mango juice and thought harder. What do I need to work on in my sex life? I reheated my Indian leftovers. What do I want more of? I reheated the rest of the naan. What do I want less of? I took a shit. I remembered my friend telling me about some sexy movie I needed to watch. I texted him asking for the name. “Hitchcock’s North by Northwest” he said. “It’s crazy hot.”
I found the movie and shelled out the $3 hoping for inspiration. Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint certainly oozed a special kind of chemistry:
Eve: How do I know you aren't a murderer?
Roger: You don't.
Eve: Maybe you're planning to murder me right here tonight?
Roger: Shall I?
Eve: Please do.
Crazy hot, yes, but now I was just crazy horny. My mission for the night moved further into the distance as my focus went towards Who can I sext? As I searched my phone, Amazon Prime snuck up on me and started playing another sexy movie - Disobedience. Well, after that, I couldn’t come up with a single, manageable resolution that didn’t involve either foreign spies or Orthodox Jews. This was going nowhere.
I’ve been pretty good about questioning my likes and dislikes with sex and generally ‘keeping in touch’ with my body so I was frustrated with my inability to come up with clear, simple resolutions. Frustrated but not surprised. I’ve never been someone who could quickly and easily list off defining qualities about myself. My heroes, my mottos, my goals, I mean, even my favorite music. Like my sexuality, music is such an important part of my life and yet when someone asks me what I like listening to, I get exhausted thinking about a response. I open Spotify and show them my latest, varied playlist. “Here. This.”
During these moments I think of Ann from cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model. Random reference, I know but at Ann’s elimination, the judges grilled her on basic simple ‘things’, desperate to discover what inspired her.
Judges: Who’s your favorite actress?
Ann: I don’t have one.
Judges: Who’s your favorite singer?
Ann: I just listen to all types.
Tyra: Maybe that’s the problem. Because you’re not pulling from inspiration.
Dammit Ann! Gwyneth Paltrow, Celine Dion...say anyone! Despite the ridiculousness of the judges’ exercise, I sympathized with her. There was something inside Ann that she didn’t yet know how to express or where it came from or what it even meant and ultimately that got her eliminated. Well that and competitor turned Housewife, Eva Pigford’s ability to bring in higher ratings. But basically, You don’t know yourself well enough. Bye bye. Pack your bags.
Now that it was a new year (and not just a random Tuesday), I thought maybe I should try again. Would the beginning of 2019 make thinking of resolutions an easier process?
Hours and two seasons deep into FX’s The Americans later...nope. Thinking of sexual resolutions was kinda impossible when 1) Philip and Elizabeth Jennings kept murdering people and 2) I had no idea what my sexual future looked like. It’s hard to define ‘resolutions’ I want for my sex life when each experience is going to prove itself to be completely unique from the next. Consider my various distractions: The sultry, almost disturbing dialogue of North by Northwest. The forbidden nature of the lovemaking in Disobedience. The deep connection shared by Elizabeth and Philip in their long ‘What did we just do?’ stares. Each moment sexy to me for their own very sexy, very unique reason. I can’t force the feelings, the smells, the tastes that will surround the moment right then and there. A promise to Talk dirty or Stare intensely into my partner’s eyes is pointless when I just don’t know. I can’t force it. Perhaps not a ‘sex resolution’, but a way of life, is to keep discovering, keep learning, keep becoming the most me I can be based on what I am given.
I thought about what Tyra said regarding Ann’s treatment of modeling: “I don’t think she thinks it’s about hard work. I don’t think she thinks it has anything to do with any type of research.” Well here I am. This is my research. Happy new year.
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