Being a single sister in her 20’s and 30’s can be on the difficult side (and this was the case even before Steve Harvey and his 12 button suits butted in). And, while unattached ladies certainly aren’t a monolith, we tend to have some ups and downs in common. One of the biggest sources of frustration for the single girl comes in the bedroom.

Let’s talk about sex, baby!

What becomes of the woman who loves sex, but doesn’t love a man at the moment? I’ve never been one to subscribe to the notion that only women in relationships should be able to get laid. Sex is one of the greatest pleasures this life has to offer us, and I don’t feel I should be sitting around waiting to get to chose to get broken off.

Talking to a few of my girlfriends lately has revealed that while most of us are interested in finding long-term romance, there’s also a carnal urge that being single can leave neglected. “Yeah, I want to find someone to love,” my Uptown sister friend mused over a round of margaritas, “but I really just want some sex and companionship right about now.” My Brooklyn sister chimed in: “I want to have sex. A lot of it. I don’t have a man and I’m not going to sleep with multiple guys just to get laid consistently. Why is it so hard to find a dude to hook up with a few times a week and chill with?”

You have two incredibly different schools of thought from the men folk about heat-seeking single girls: one that applauds and celebrates a woman’s right to get it in (some of these fellas are forward thinkers, while others just appreciate the access to unattached sex it can bring them); the other is more traditional and can be quite Judgey McJudgerton about the whole thing. The globalization of feminism (that big F-word most Black women run from like rain after a fresh wrap set) has not eradicated the “virgin/whore” dynamic that unfortunately informs how much of the world sees female sexuality. Even men who’ve had ‘more black chicks between their sheets than Essence’ tend to have unsavory opinions about ladies who make the choice to have sex outside the parameters of a relationship. Viva la double standard.

While I do eschew the notion that I’m supposed to wear a mental chastity belt while the man who will pose next to me in my Jet Magazine wedding photo is getting it in at the punany buffet as we speak, I do sometimes yield to the fear that Mr. Right Now might block the path to Mr. Right. What if you catch feelings (yes, even us G’s catch feelings sometimes…I mean, I don’t…but some people do…I hear)? What if you get so comfortable with your part-time loving that you stop looking for the real thing? What if you get preg…wait, they have condoms and multiple sorts of birth control to prevent that (had to sneak a “message” moment in there somehow).

Beyond that, these casual sex friendships are often times just as difficult to navigate as traditional courtship. Lacking the pretense of romance, fellas don’t bring the respect to the table that’s needed to make something like this work. They also don’t seem to grasp the fact that if a woman likes sleeping with you, she very well might want to do it often (especially if she’s not sleeping with only you). Brothers tend to mistake this desire for constant sex with the intention of trapping him into a relationship. It seems like you have to state very plainly “I just want to f*ck you and be your friend,” or else they’ll start getting the “Oh, I think she likes me” hives. Because, as you know, nothing could possibly be worse for a young, single man than the possibility of being in a relationship with one woman (*insert eye roll*).

For all my liberation, I feel like a single woman cliché in a lot of ways; I have a cat, a freezer full of Smart Ones and a drawer full of batteries. Don’t get me wrong- I have a life that I love (I’ve come to realize you can’t write about being single without emphasizing this nowadays) and some deliciously debaucherous tales under my belt. But I have to admit that this life is a bit sweeter when I’m enjoying the pleasures of constant sheet twisting. Am I alone here?

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  • monica

    Great article. I’m a newly single 28 year old and I have to say I tried the whole ‘just sex’ thing and #fail lol I think for some women who have been in long term relationships, the ‘just sex’ thing is a bit hard–youre so used to being w/ someone you actually have feelings for. Nonetheless, when I tried the ‘just sex’ thing I found it to be liberating and enjoyable..but again I know me and I’m not programmed to just have sex w/o I save the drama and keep the batteries close by lol. So to me it comes down to knowing yourself and being honest (and disciplined lol).

    And on another note- I live in chicago. Big city but a small town feel..everybody knows everybody and everyone can be kind of cliquey. So my fear has and continues to be that if I sleep w/ a guy I have to be careful- he may have slept w/ someone in my circle so there’s that awkwardness, or I may have a crush on a guy who happens to be one his closest boys *ehem* lol so yea–another reason why I’m seriously considering guys outside my race–the Black men in chicago all know each other it seems lol

  • Hope

    I tried that just sex thing with a friend. It lasted four years because he fell in love. I tried it during college as well. That one did not appreciate being used just for sex. Yes, you read it right. I am at a point where that situation… having a Friend With Benefits… would be ideal. It just does not work for me. I have found that when you give men exactly what they think they want, they want to lock it down. So, I am on sabbatical from men; my shower head is my friend!