Confessions of An Ex-Sex Kitten

Jamie Reidy shares the story of a reformed sex kitten.

I don’t read oprah.com often. But I might need to start.

Lisa Dierbeck lays herself bare in this oprah.com essay.

Now, as a reformed tramp at 40, I look back at my wild ways and wonder what planet I was on. I have more respect for sex, its hazards and surprises.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend from high school over drinks during the holidays ten years ago. Lamenting her monogamous habits back then, she said, “I wish I’d been sluttier.” Uh, I think I speak for all the guys when I say, we do too.

Ms. Dierbeck continues:

Whatever happens, having sex with someone changes you….I didn’t always think this. For a long time, I saw sex without strings as the key to independence.

But she was not happy.

It took me many years to figure out that I wasn’t who I was pretending to be… I wore my sexuality like a protective suit of armor. My swaggering bravado was a put-on… I led a rather sad, disconnected life — until I mustered up the courage to let my guard down.

Do you know anyone like that?

Photo by:  doom_sellers

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About Jamie Reidy

Jamie Reidy is a former U.S. Army officer turned little blue pill pusher turned author. His first book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of A Viagra Salesman"
served as the basis for the movie "Love and Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Jamie is currently writing his new book, "Game On: One Fanatic's Fantastic, Foolish and Futile Attempt to Attend 365 Sporting Events in 365 Days." He discovered his latest story featured on Good Men Project - "Hope Shoots and Scores" - on Day 39 of his crazy journey.

Comments

  1. Sounds like the female counterpart to the involuntarily celibate male.

  2. I think a lot of younger women/girls don’t feel incontrol of their own sexuality because of all the messages they get. So some girls control it through over sexual/sex kitten bravado. Then there are other girls who withdraw competely, even gain weight, wear baggy clothes so as to not be seen as sexual. But I like the story because it shows that just because your out and about proclaiming your sexuality to the world, doesn’t mean what your doing is completely healthy. It’s a very individaul thing.

    Jamie, not a fan of the picture. Of course, the girl in the pictures is beautiful, which seems to support more of the sensationlism of the article and the sex instead of what Lisa is actually saying, but I would have liked to see a picture of Lisa her self instead of a 20 year old Maxim model. Just my two cents on that note.

    • Some guy says:

      I think we exchanged some comments on another article the other day. And reading this one immediately brought that one to mind.

      I wanted to apologize if anything I wrote came across as nasty. I’ve been in a generally foul mood. And if any of that ended up in your lap… it shouldn’t have. I’m sorry.

      What struck me about this one was that I married the sex kitten before she reformed. Which would be the source of much of my recent foul mood.

      I do agree, sexuality is a very individual thing. How the individual changes over time… ugh. Though, in fairness, I suppose we all change in different ways.

    • There are also young women who like and understand their own sexuality. These women can engage in either casual sex, serial monogamy, or abstinence as an empowered choice. I think that these women broadly correlate with the 70-80% of women who haven’t experienced sexual violence.

      We should focus on; preventing rape and child abuse, and helping the survivors heal. Not on changing the broader culture to make it safe for survivors.

  3. Maybe a lot of those early experiences are what passes for sex education in our culture. So the good in that is… remediation?

  4. We all have regrets, so let’s remove those from the equation. Then let’s take out sexuality too. What you have here then is someone who lacked self-awareness. Who didn’t have any sort of introspection until they had sufficient hindsight. The issue here isn’t too much sex or not enough. The issue is knowing yourself.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I agree. That life didn’t work for her over the long-term.

      I have no reason to doubt that she feels regret and some disillusionment about her past and now understands herself better. She had a conception of herself that wasn’t really true, and she realized later that she wasn’t getting her needs met. She actually had some clue to this already, given how she always felt when she left the hookup guy’s apartment. She admits that she’s a romantic at heart and that her heart had desires that were not getting fulfilled.

      But, to go from that moment of individual clarity to make generalizations to cover all forms of sex and romance for everyone? Bit of a stretch.

      Besides, I think she has to admit she was getting SOMETHING from those activities. There must have been some sort of short-term positive. I find it hard to believe it was 100% regretful…..

  5. Noah Brand says:

    I think a lot of the problem is that we have these ugly leftover ideas about sex. The virgin/whore dichotomy, the myth that men are always horny and women aren’t, these terrible, fake roles that real people keep trying to fit themselves into. Even Jamie falls into this trap, when he jokes “I think I speak for all the guys” in favor of girls being sluttier. Well, no, obviously he doesn’t, he isn’t speaking for gay guys, or low-libido guys, or guys who are really into monogamy or saving themselves for marriage, or tons of other guys. But it’s just so easy to make the joke, so easy to perpetuate another old stereotype. It’s built into our conceptual vocabulary on a very deep level.

  6. Jamie Reidy says:

    Erin, I don’t have the rights to any pics of Lisa, so I chose that one.

    Noah, by “all the guys,” I merely meant my friends in that crowd. I should’ve been more specific. But, I feel pretty comfortable speaking for those guys.

  7. Terence Manuel says:

    Ms. Dierbeck is wrong. She is making a lot of generalizations and inferences.

    She states, “Sex is complicated.” Wrong. Only in America is it complicated. In the rest of the world, even many socially conservative countries and cultures, it is rather simple. In reality, sex is a biological need.
    However, in America we have stood sex on its head.

    Also, we have too many non-orgasmic women. Too many women simply do not understand their own sexuality and bodies. Too many men do not know how to please a woman. Women need to speak up about what they want, how they want it, and when they want it.

    In this tech dominated society where we are experiencing the lost art of conversation, what does one really expect? People text, email, blog…..However, this de-socialization has led to a failure of human beings to connect. Just look at the growth of online dating.

    Personally, I have never met a stranger. I talk to everyone. Sometimes women think i am creepy and weird. But, I do get laid quite often and do not have problems getting women. I just don’t get the online dating thingy. It is like having to go to brothel to get sex.

    I just love these people who have whored it up. Suddenly, they are now romantics. It is like the serial killers and mass murderers who have now found God and Jesus while in prison.

    Sorry, but I think her views on this are way off. Frankly, I find them worthless and lacking in credibility.

    • Samantha lee says:

      how can someone speaking of their own lives, their own decisions, and their own lessons learnt about themselves be ‘wrong?’…. is it simply because you don’t agree that she is wrong about herself.?

      • Terence Manuel says:

        “As a society, we’ve tried to simplify things by separating physical pleasure from emotional attachment. At the same time, we’ve started to confuse sexiness with physical perfection.”

        She is obviously NOT just speaking of her OWN lessons.

        She entitled to feel as she does. However, she is NOT entitled to speak for me.

        Clearly, physical please CAN and indeed IS often separate from emotional attachment. Why look at Ivy League educated highly paid call girls. How do explain that? What about the women who work at the brothels in Nevada? They just love sex and want to get paid for it.

        • I suspect the Nevada prostitutes love the money more than the sex.

          • I suspect it’s difficult to know that unless you’ve spoken to them. Some might be doing it for money. Some might be doing it because they love sex and might as well have a job they like. Maybe some aren’t just doing it for money or sex, but like having flexible hours, or whatever.

  8. John Gocek says:

    Too many people seem to despise in some subtle or even overt way, the people they have had sex with or perhaps did not have sex with (father, mother?). There is a lot of self hate and unhealthy motivations in most people I meet today who have to wrestle with intimacy, child raising and family relationship problems. As we all get older. Sleeping around at any age does not make it better.

  9. I don’t wish I had been sluttier but I do wish I had been more willing to put myself out there even more sexually. It would have prevented me from going through a lot of what I’m dealing with now. If only we could turn back the hands of time (yes I’m sure someone would say something to the effect of “but its just sex”, no its more than just sex).

    Even at the cost of possibly doing it for sake of fullfilling the “stereotypical horndog male” role I do wish I had been more sexually active in my younger days.

    • What would that cost be? What’s wrong with that “horndog male” role? Why should we be looked down upon for wanting something like that?

      • What would that cost be? What’s wrong with that “horndog male” role? Why should we be looked down upon for wanting something like that?
        The problem with the “horndog male” role isn’t the role itself but the why behind fulfilling it. By all means if a given guy wants to have a sex life that fits that bill because that is the type of sex life he wants then he should go out and do it and there is nothing wrong with. I’m not one of those hypocrites that will say that women shouldn’t be bound by rules when it comes to sex in one breath but then say that men should be bound in the next.

        What I’m talking about is whether I would want that type of sex life for myself because its what I wants or because that’s what other people want me to have because I’m a guy.

        I’m working pretty hard now to determine which parts of the established male role I actually want to partake of. What I’m saying is if I had been sexually active younger in life that would be another thing I would have to think though.

        • I can’t claim to speak for everyone out there, but I don’t devote much thought to the sex lives of my friends. Except, i’ll admit, in those instances where you find yourself thinking, “You really need to get laid.” I mean to say, I don’t “want” them to have any particular sort of sex life. Just go and be happy and have fun. However suits you. And I don’t think they’re too concerned about my sex life.

          But maybe it’s different in different groups of friends. I don’t know.

    • Terence Manuel says:

      @Danny…I know how your feel. I waited until age 22 to have sex. I was and still a very conservative man. I married at age 36 and had only a few sexual partners in between.

      My rule was no never date or have sex with a woman who was not worthy of being my wife. So, I never engaged in casual sex not do I today. I have been divorced for nearly two years after a 10+ yr sexless marriage. Sexually, my marriage was a HUGE disappointment. Lots of wasted years.

      Today, while I am not “slutting it up”, I am more open and aggressive sexually. I enjoy a friends with benefits situation. I cannot have sex with a woman whom I do not have friendship. I do not long for any type of intimate connection…….Sex is not about intimacy for me. Been there, tried that, and done that with married with disastrous emotional results.

      The author, in my view, simply engaged in excessive and dysfunctional behavior. Now, at 40 she wants to speak for everyone about sex.

      Sex is fun, pleasureful, giving, biological…..It is all those things and more. The author (Ms. Dierbeck) simply cannot speak for all. Each person has to determine just what it means to him or her.

  10. Don Draper says:

    If you happen to believe that humans are the only beings created “in the image of God” and that we are the only living creatures with souls…then we have an answer.

    There’s no such thing as “casual sex.” The sex act is purposefully intense…it means SOMETHING! I happen to believe that when you partake in sex with another, in essence, you are giving a portion of your “soul” to another. That can’t be casual…that’s serious. I have met a good many people who have had dozens of sexual partners. Most of them are dealing with various forms of guilt and regret. I personally believe they are dealing with that part of their soul that is missing — because they’ve given it away…and you don’t get it back. I’ve never met anyone who told me they wish they had partaken in MORE casual sex.

    I hear people all the time who long for their “soul mate” and I believe that is synonymous with their ONE TRUE sexual partner. We think we want “sex” – but what we want is “intimacy.” Sex is intimacy’s counterfeit…it’s fooled a lot of people and and if you have enough sex w/o intimacy, does indeed, make us feel “slutty” in the end.

    • Terence Manuel says:

      “There’s no such thing as “casual sex.” The sex act is purposefully intense…it means SOMETHING! I happen to believe that when you partake in sex with another, in essence, you are giving a portion of your “soul” to another. That can’t be casual…that’s serious.”

      How can you really say this goes for everyone? Not everyone wants intimacy. People want to connect with other humans, period. Again, here in America we have just made this out to be far more complicated.

      “I have met a good many people who have had dozens of sexual partners. Most of them are dealing with various forms of guilt and regret.”

      How about those of us who have had a paucity of sexual partners, been married and are dealing with guilt, regret? I feeling that marriage and committed relationships are just a fraud. They are prescriptions for sexual deprivation and anguish.

      There are indeed two sides to this issue. I guess a rich and wealthy person can feel guilt and regret. But a poor person cannot? The poor person can feel the pain of lack and deprivation as well.

      Ms. Dierbeck is like a drug user who overindulges and then after 20 yrs of this behavior wants to say smoking weed at any level is just so horrible. She speaks for her own dysfunctional self, IMO.

      • Don Draper says:

        @Terrence…I believe there is a primal side to all humans that does, in fact, only wants sex, even without intimacy. It’s the natural instict of procreation…dogs and cats have that, too.

        However, I believe that normally developed humans, want much more. If there are humans who truly want no more than to commit the sex act, without emotional attachments, and that is ALL they want, they are second cousins to rapists, and have pathological issues. Mature and “whole” humans want their partners to know them through and through, and STILL, love them, flaws and all…that’s intimacy. That’s what makes humans different than dogs. If you disagree, then we’ll agree to disagree.

        • Terence Manuel says:

          @Don Draper….We must agree to disagree.

        • Rape is not about “committing a sex act.” Rape is not caused by people just wanting to get off. People who seek out and enjoy casual sex are not almost rapists. Relating casual sex to rape is ignorant and repugnant, regardless of whether or not you think casual sex is immoral and unromantic. I hope you reexamine your views before you tell a rape victim that what happened to them was almost the same as a random hookup.

          • wellokaythen says:

            I had that same reaction. Rapes and one-night stands are second cousins?

            I’d also point out that there are plenty of rapists who convince themselves that what they’re doing is “deep” and “meaningful” and “passionately in love” while they’re committing rape. Especially if the rapist is not a stranger to the victim.

          • I kind of figured that someone who referred to it as “the sex act,” i.e. a singular thing, probably wasn’t so qualified to make such sweeping generalizations.

      • Don Draper says:

        I retract my previous statement. Perhaps there is such a thing as casual sex…it’s called masturbation.

        • wellokaythen says:

          Nope, I fall deeply in love with myself every time, and I can’t stop thinking about myself and whether or not I like me…. : – )

  11. wellokaythen says:

    I’m curious what would have happened if she looked back on her life and felt very few regrets about her sexual experiences. If she said casual sex can be great sometimes, for example, or if she didn’t refer to herself as a reformed sex kitten but maybe a former sex kitten. Would that kind of article EVER show up on oprah.com?

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