I hadn't seen my friend Dave in a while, so I was happy to run into him last
Sunday at a brunch in Bernal Heights.
He was chewing on a bagel thoughtfully, gazing out into space. We were
chatting about the porch underneath us being filled with dry rot when he
blurted out, "I think this whole promiscuity thing has come full circle."
Now, Dave is an attractive guy. Funny, warm, dark hair, good job, drives a
black Miata. Loves his mother. Devoted to his sister. Takes his nieces and
nephews on trips. In other words, a catch.
But today he looked tired. Depressed even.
"Long night?" I asked.
"For instance, I really think that women feel okay about sleeping around
again. One night stands, picking people up in clubs, and never seeing them
"Really," I said.
"No, no. I'm serious. Listen." He sat up straighter. "I don't want to sleep
around anymore. I don't want to trick a woman into sleeping with me. I want
to find Ms. Right. I want to settle down, maybe have a kid, have someone to
plan vacations with. But it doesn't seem like women want that anymore."
"What do they want?" I asked.
"I think these women that I meet, the ones in their late 20s and 30s, really
like to just have the one-nighter. I don't think they're interested in me as a
person. They don't want to have breakfast in the morning. They don't want to
plan to get together later in the day. They just want to go home. And they
say, 'I'll call you.'"
"And they don't."
"No, of course not. Whenever anyone says 'I'll call you' in that deliberately vague, suggestive way, you know you'll never hear from them again. I ought to know, I've said it a million times." He took a savage bite of his bagel.
"Well, look, Dave," I said. "Maybe you need to use sex to get love. It's not
such a bad way to go. Try it."
Dave whined, "But Courtney, flip the coin over. That would imply that women
are now using love to get sex. And that's just not the case! They're using me,
you see? They don't even TRY to make a pretense of being driven by love. It's
just sex, sex, sex! What's happened to you women, anyway?"
"I don't know what to tell you, Dave." He looked so unhappy. "Don't take this the wrong way. It's just... well... if we want companionship, we can always
get on the Internet."
He looked aghast.
"And if we want sex," I continued, "well, there are any number of men who
seem to be accommodating in that area."
I thought for a minute. "And then there's sperm banks, and gay men friends
who are all too happy to lend a little --"
Dave held up a hand. "Spare me. Please." He sighed. Brushing his hands on his pants, he stood up. "I think I'm going to go home and take a nap. And wait by
"Don't be upset," I called to him as he walked to his Miata. "It's good to be an old-fashioned guy. Besides," I said, "maybe promiscuity will go full circle