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Things You’ll Learn About Love & Sex at 33

When it comes to love and sex, being 33 is both totally weird and awesome.

On one hand, your hormones are raging and you want to have as much sex as possible. However, after a decade of bad decisions in your 20′s you’re now way more selective about who you sleep with…well, sort of. Most days you want to have sex with everyone and no one all at all the same time.

You’ll tell yourself that marriage isn’t really on your mind, but that it would be nice to meet someone that you could actually settle down with. However, some days you’ll catch yourself saying stuff like,  “At this point I don’t even care about finding ONE, I’d be happy to meet someone who is nice and reasonably normal that I can have regular, good, sex with.”

(gorgeous photo found via Keiko Lynn)

Your Pinterest account reveals your true feelings though. Amongst boards devoted to home decor, lingerie and whimsical vintage imagery, lurks one called “Creepy Imaginary Wedding” where you pin to your hearts content all things nuptial related. For someone who is always saying she isn’t even sure whether she believes in marriage, you sure do know what you want. (FYI, you’re thinking a classic, old school Hollywood vibe, bright fuchsia flower arrangments, a modern multi-cultural menu, somewhere like the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. It will be hip and quirky, but still very classic and you’ll wear something Reem Accra or Elie Saab -ish obviously. Your groom will look elegant and handsome and won’t be wearing wrap-around sunglasses)

You spend more time than you’d like to admit wondering what your future dates will find more off-putting: The Creepy Imaginary Wedding, your professional relationship with Joe the Intern or the fact that you write about your vagina on the internet. You decide to stop worrying about it and instead just own it. After all, someone who doesn’t accept you for who you really are isn’t worth your time.

You’ll have good sex, “Okay-ish” sex and sex that is so bad it’s comical. More often than not you’ll have sex with yourself. You’ll come to the conclusion that you can go without sex for a long time, however going without an orgasm is another story. Your collection of sex toys will grow exponentially to the point where you start to run into storage issues.

When you get the urge for actual human contact, you’ll date people.

You’ll meet a 40-something single dad, whom your attraction to defies logic. However, when you go to have sex, you’ll be reminded that some people will use ridiculous excuses to get out of using condoms. He’ll insist that instead of using a condom, you should “just trust him.” This will also remind you of something you learned in your 20’s: that anyone who uses the line “just trust me!” should absolutely not be trusted. Later you watch an episode of Portlandia and determine that this guy must liken himself to be some sort of “pull out king” – albeit, a rather unsuccessful one: he has three kids.

When you confront this dude about his questionable safe sex practices, he’s uncomfortable. Shortly thereafter he dumps you via text message, claiming that “his kid is sick and he needs space.” However, you and your friends suspect it’s really because you called him out on his shit.

You’ll also meet a 30-something guy who is cute and intelligent whom you’ll enjoy fun, booze filled nights of intellectual sparing with. However, when you go over to his house for the first time you’ll discover he lives in one of the messiest apartments you’ve seen since Freshman year in University. Despite there being very little furniture, every surface seems to be covered in… something. There’s half eaten food next to the bed and when you go into the bathroom, you can’t use the toilet paper because it appears to be going mouldy. It’s actually impressive in it’s disorderliness. It feels like a living, breathing museum exhibit dedicated to guys apartments that you remember from your early 20’s. However, when he asks you to stay over and you realize there’s crumbs stuck to your body, you decide intellectual sparring or not, this will never work.

These guys will be dubbed “Throwback Guys” because they remind you of a by-gone era. Whether it’s playing the “condom tug-a-war” or removing pizza crumbs from your ass-crack, you’ll declare Murtaugh style, “I’m too old for all of this shit!”

You’ll also meet lots of great guys who are kind, smart and have their shit together, but more often than not you won’t have any sexual chemistry with them – and you know in your heart how important this is. Whether a relationship is casual or serious you won’t settle for anything less than butterflies.

When your friends ask you what kind of guy who are looking for you sum it up briefly:

“Someone who is creative, ambitious and has a big heart.  Someone who can laugh at life and who would feel just at home at a hip hop show as they would at a black tie event. Someone who appreciates good food, takes care of their health and gives a crap about the world around them. Someone who would never wear shorts to a funeral or think that taking a shirtless mirror selfie  is a good idea.


Your friends will nod in approval adding, “That doesn’t sound like anyone we know.”

While on your quest to find that big-hearted-ambitious-hip-hop-loving-foodie you’ll learn a lot about dating. For example, that it’s never advisable while dating in a city that is predominantly White and Asian, to bring up the fact that most of the guys you dated in your 20’s were Black. This revelation will prompt a litany of questions and comments from the people you date, ranging from the annoyingly predictable and kind of racist (“I guess once you go Black, you do go back!”) to the utterly perplexing (“I’ve never spoken to a black person.” Wait, what?!)

“So, is it true?” they’ll ask.
“Is what true?”
“You know….”
“Yes, we liked the same music”

If you fail to shut down this conversation with a witty comment, they’ll keep probing you and there’s a very good chance you’ll spend an evening discussing (in cringe worthy detail) the penises of guys you’d rather not think about – guys you dated so long ago that they now seem like strangers. This will be done over a $40 bottle of wine and some very good osso bucco. It will make you want to slam your head against the table, while crying out to the heavens, “But the Osso Bucco! I just want to enjoy the Osso Bucco!”

Your friends will start to get pregnant in mind-boggling rapid succession. You’ll consider buying baby cards in bulk. You’re happy for your friends (and oh my god, your friends make good looking babies!) but you’ll also relish your freedom. Biological clock be damned! The older you get, the more you understand the reality of having kids and how you’re perfectly OK being childless at this point in your life. What fuels your daydreams & your goals, what you’re really obsessed with, is writing and travelling the world.

You’ll become more self-assured and confident in your own abilities than ever before. People used to describe you as “sweet” and “full of potential.” Now you hear people use adjectives like “driven”, “confident”, “motivated” and “go-getter” when talking about you. A date tells you that he thinks you’re both impressive and intimidating. You decide to embrace all of it.

You’ll make a promise to yourself to stop hating on your body because it wastes so, so, so, much time. Time you could be writing, creating, dreaming and planning. Instead, you’ll focus your energy on  staying healthy and being active, with the understanding that life is short and sometimes you just have to eat the god damn cupcake.  

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