So I’m home alone while my partner is gone for the week, dog sitting for his parents. I had just reheated some pasta for my dinner and wanted to put something on that wasn’t going to need a big emotional investment from me, so I went to comedies on Prime and ended up selecting No Strings Attached.
It came out in 2011 around the same time as Friends With Benefits and I remember people complaining at the time that the two were very similar. I have seen the latter but never the former before so I figured why not (my rigatoni carbonara was delicious by the way!).
Fun fact (if you, like me, are easily pleased sometimes), Ashton Kutcher stars in No Strings Attached and Mila Kunis starred in Friends With Benefits, two competiting films released in the same year with the same premise.. and now they are married, to eachother!
Ok.. maybe not fun per say.. but, potentially noteworthy.
It was a fairly typical storyline.. two friends decide to get physical with the promise that there would be ‘no strings attached’, if anyone ‘caught feels’ as the kids might say, they would simply stop doing it. Now, if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s fairly obvious that in this sort of movie that arrangement doesn’t work out in the end.
But, there’s a montage (obviously) of them meeting to sate their carnal desires, at all times of the day and night: sneaking off to the disabled toilet at the hospital (one of them is a doctor), middle of the night meet up’s at their apartments, there’s a shower stall, an operating room.. meeting in a car park and getting straight to it in the backseat of the car.
All very passionate, not a lot of talking. They meet up, get it on, and go their seperate ways.. and this got me thinking. Do people really do that? Do people have purely physical relationships or involvements where they are both ready for action simply upon seeing eachother time and time again, no awkwardness, no talking, no romance, no pretense.. just pure sexual exploration and fulfilment?
I’m certainly not judging it if they do, it’s just not something I have ever experienced, or heard real people talk about you know? I’d be lying if I said I was never temped to go home with an attractive stranger, or take a friendship to a more physical level like that.. but I never did it.
Trigger Warning: I’m going to be really honest here, apologies if it upsets anyone.
I have experienced sexual trauma, and although I tried to pretend it didn’t exist or affect my life in any way, it very clearly had an impact on my ability to experience intimacy. Emotional intimacy was terrifying enough for me and I struggled with that for years (and still do now but at least I know that, and have sought therapy for my trauma) so a lot of the time physical imtimacy was a big no go for me.
Sure, I had my fair share of drunken smooches on nights out but I never really let it get any further, those barriers would slam down around me pretty quickly, though I was never really honest about why I backed off or how I was feeling.. no way could my brain handle that.
I’ve talked about it with some of my friends before, some of them have had one night stands, or tried/had a friends with benefits kind of arrangement, some people are completely against the idea of casual sex.. each to their own is my personal opinion. It’s not always a happy ending but it’s rare that they’ve actually regretted it, it was a bit of fun.. or something they thought would be fun and then they stopped when it wasn’t, no hard feelings (or some hard feelings depending on who stopped it).
I’m not really a big fan of the different ways Hollywood has represented women over the years, we’re damsels in distress, we’re cold and unfeeling, we just need a man to come along and love us blah blah blah. I think men and women both can be equally interested or uninterested in sex, and it shouldn’t be shameful for anyone. If you want to go out and explore and be open, then do it!
Have I daydreamed about it? Sure. Do I wish I had opened up and experienced some of these things.. maybe, I couldn’t say for sure. I know I’m happy with my relationship now and I wouldn’t want to change it, so if I could go back in time and deal with my shit, go out and enjoy some of those things a bit more.. I wouldn’t be where I am now, but I’d hope that if I did.. I’d be happy with my stories.
If you found any of this interesting or feel like sharing your own thoughts and/ or experiences please let me know, I’d love to chat about it!
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