“My sex life is not dependent on my love life.”—”Marcia,” quirkyslut
How does sex fit into the quirkyalone picture? Put another way, how do we deal with the fact that we can go months, or even years, outside of a committed romantic relationship, while still being human (with wants and needs!)? In decades past, women who failed to marry were assumed to be lacking a sex drive. By now, however, it should be clear that there is no link between being single (or quirkyalone) and being celibate.
It’s impossible to make a generalization about the sexual behavior of all quirkyalones. Some people live happily without sex for months and years. (Often when you don’t have sex for a while, you eventually forget what all the fuss was about.) Some people recycle exes. Some people develop friends-with-benefits relationships. Some master the art of solo sex.
Sometimes we are single, and we do want action with another human being. Then what happens? The quirkyalone puts on a new pair of sunglasses, a new outlook on life, a new attitude. We call that new lens “Le Quirkyslut.”
Quirkyslut is a term of personal empowerment and independence. It underscores the point that you don’t need to be in a serious, long-term relationship to explore your sexuality. Sleeping with someone you’ve only recently met or making out with a stranger on a trip to Japan doesn’t make you a slut; it makes you a quirkyslut, one who continues to have high standards for a romantic relationship, but is more flexible for a Saturday (or even Tuesday) night encounter
Now, it’s tricky to call someone a slut. Some people don’t respond well to this bold language, but the point is that we can reinvent words to take the sting out of them. The quirkyslut doesn’t use sex to snare men or to boost her self-esteem, but because she or he wants to explore and have fun, to experience the bodily pleasures available to us. She is unashamed of her sensuality and unabashed about going for what she wants.
Full-time quirkysluts may need sex on a regular basis. They start to twitch if they go without for several months or even several days. (See Samantha Jones of Sex and the City and Blanche Devereaux of The Golden Girls.) Full-time quirkyalones are usually able to weather life without sex for a while. But then, they might enter a quirkyslut phase. The world becomes a much more sensual place, and sex takes on greater importance. The quirkyslut comes in waves (pun totally intended) for most of us, as we go back and forth between quirkyalone, quirkyslut, quirkyalone. One week being alone and chaste is wonderful. The next week, the exact opposite is true. We want to make out with three people in line at the post office.
The quirkyslut often emerges during travel. We’re not talking about participating in sexually exploitative tourism, but rather, referring to the fact that when we depart from our daily routines we are likely to find ourselves in a more liminal, sexually expressive state. With little chance of running into a new partner at the local café the following day, we feel, shall we say, more liberated. It’s much cleaner to hook up with someone in a foreign city, or even across the state line, than to have a one-night stand in your own bedroom, where your partner sees the actual you and leaves the residue of his or her existence in your life. A new environment gives you the permission to be someone else, and desires that would not ordinarily even be contemplated may be quite easily indulged.
Continued in Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics by Sasha Cagen