Promiscuity Changed My Life

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I want to share one of my Life-Changing Moments inspired by:

THE MOMENT: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous & Obscure

In my mid-20s I went through a promiscuous phase. It wasn’t quite Pamela Des Barres’ I’m With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie. But it also wasn’t Gidget. I’d been raised in a strict Christian religion and was flipping the bird at dogmatic morality.

I was floundering. Letting my hormones take the lead in my interactions with men. I was either adding a notch to my belt and moving on, or allowing a physical relationship to turn into a long-term affair based on nothing but pheromones.  I was also a struggling actress at the time, auditioning for beer commercials in a bikini with a parrot who kept jumping on my head and pooping in my hair.  Or reading for “Office Temp 1″ on L.A. Law.  “Mr. Kuzak, it’s that Forrester woman on the line again!  The one who gave you the anal probe!”

I wasn’t having much success. Basically bombing in love and life.  I was in New York visiting friends when I decided to go to the NYU campus one day.  I had a notepad and pen with me.  I had this idea I should start writing material for myself to perform even though I’d never written a play or dialogue before.  I grabbed a cafeteria tray, got myself milk and chocolate cake, sat down and just wrote the first words that came to mind.  A voice emerged from my pen that slapped me awake.  Her name was Maureen and this is what she said…

“Sex…is basically a confusin’ fuckin’ issue. By its very nature. I mean there’s sex for sex, there’s sex for power, for money, for food even…whatever. What it is in its basic primal form is two bodies fittin’ together much like a nut and a bolt.

And there’s nothin’ pure about sex. In my experience, there’s never been a purity about it. Let’s say you meet some new guy, eyes lock across the room, verbal foreplay…whatever. You both know you want it, you know, he knows, it’s there. But you, I mean me as the woman in this situation thinks, ‘But do I want more than sex? Do I want him to like me? Do I want to be seen as a human being in this situation? Do I want him to hear the words comin’ outa my mouth and actually grasp the fuckin’ meaning? Or do I just want him in me? Just him…in…me. Sweat, moan, come…good-bye, thank you, please leave ’cause I can’t stand lookin’ in your eyes no more. Can’t stand it ’cause I see nothin’. No, don’t be nice, you hypocrite, just leave so I can wash my sheets and my body and brush my fuckin’ teeth.’

Okay, I got sidetracked. But me, the female in this horrific unnatural situation is thinkin’ all these things. Let’s say I want him to like me, so I decide I gotta wait. I can’t give myself too soon ’cause it’ll kill it. He won’t like me, he’ll just see me as this object to screw. But then I get pissed off. I mean where does this guy get off thinkin’ I’m some cheap tramp for puttin’ out the first night when he’s takin’ what I’m givin’? I mean, what’s that make him? I’m no women’s libber or nothin’ but it don’t seem fair. It sucks.

So I get pissed off thinkin’ all these things and I think, you know, ‘Fuck him!’

…and so…I do.

And I’m up on top of him humpin’ away, eyes closed tight, just tryin’ to feel him in me, just tryin’ to get somethin’ from him, some sorta pleasure when all of a sudden…it’s over. All that huge energy just gone like Benedict Arnold nowhere to be found. And there I am bare-assed and lonely.

One time, after, when I’m craving that shower, just hot water on my body, him gone please. Well this guy is layin’ on me all spent and everything and I’m thinkin’, ‘Would he roll off for Chrissakes,’ when I feel his fingers real gentle on my eyelids, real soft, just barely touching. And then he kisses each eye, just once and tears slide out onto my cheeks. I couldn’t stop ‘em, I didn’t know they were comin’ from me. And he says, ‘Just be sweet little girl, just gentle down,’ like I’m a horse or a creature a nature or somethin’.

That was the only time my heart hurt a little, this burning achy pain way down deep, let me know somethin’ was sliding right by me. Somethin’ I couldn’t reach…couldn’t get to. I wanted to…but I just couldn’t get to it….

…but that wasn’t sex.”

Writing those unexpected words on paper, coming from a voice so different than my own ended my period of promiscuity. The words opened the door to becoming a writer, a woman, a wife and a mother.

Life can change on a dime.

self-esteem, casual sex,

I would tell that young, smiling girl, “Every little thing’s gonna be alright!”

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21 comments

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  1. Deborah Stambler
    Deborah Stambler 8 February, 2012, 09:26

    Oh man. This is a good piece. The promiscuous period. Thank god it ends and thank god it exists. And thank you for your honesty. I’m so glad you picked up chocolate cake, milk and a pen.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2012, 10:11

      I think next time that’s what we should eat!

      Reply this comment
      • Deborah Stambler
        Deborah Stambler 8 February, 2012, 22:02

        Next time–definitely chocolate cake. As Richard E. Grant said in Withnail and I–“I want cake and fine wine! The finest wines known to humanity!”

        Reply this comment
        • Shannon
          Shannon Author 9 February, 2012, 10:03

          Now if I’d had a little wine with me it might’ve been a novel instead of just a monologue!

          Reply this comment
  2. Ciaran
    Ciaran 8 February, 2012, 09:49

    I am imagining a thick slice of chocolate cake and an interesting pen. Purple ink maybe. Or maybe that was my pen? Oh that phase. I’d like to think we wore it well. Great piece of writing! So great that you saved it, and got yourself like that.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2012, 10:11

      That monologue actually segued into a play called “But That Wasn’t Sex,” that was produced on stage and led to me getting into UCLA. No experience is wasted apparently. Thanks for reading Miss Ciaran.

      Reply this comment
  3. Kim Tracy Prince
    Kim Tracy Prince 8 February, 2012, 12:46

    Goes to show ya. Paper and pen are still very useful. Very cool.

    Reply this comment
  4. laura filipowicz
    laura filipowicz 8 February, 2012, 13:17

    Woah. pretty dam cool :) and I love chocolate cake lol :) it is like magic right? :)

    Reply this comment
  5. Desiree Eaglin
    Desiree Eaglin 8 February, 2012, 13:18

    I love your stories, reading your blog is a pleasure. Seriously!

    Reply this comment
  6. Caryn B
    Caryn B 8 February, 2012, 14:00

    Wow you are a fabulous writer…so glad you shared so boldly and uncensored : )

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 8 February, 2012, 14:10

      Thanks Caryn. Fortunately most of my family already saw the play so this shouldn’t surprise anyone. Unpleasantly. I hope.

      Reply this comment
  7. natalie
    natalie 8 February, 2012, 23:49

    SIMPLY AMAZING!!!!

    Reply this comment
  8. kelly
    kelly 9 February, 2012, 09:49

    loved reading about YOUR life changing moment. makes me wonder what was mine?

    Reply this comment
  9. GirltoMom- Heidi
    GirltoMom- Heidi 11 February, 2012, 13:54

    Really good fucking writing!

    Reply this comment
  10. Alexandra
    Alexandra 16 February, 2012, 09:01

    THIS is the kind of blogging I love to land on.

    What a pleasure to click over here and find this.

    GOOD GOOD GOOD book type stuff, Shannon.

    True, real, and NO ONE else can tell it..it’s yours.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 16 February, 2012, 10:23

      Thank my liege. Hey, are you going to BlogHer in NY this year?? Would love to have a drink contigo!

      Reply this comment

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