2015: A year of women and friendship
In the years before 2015, I had a lot of friends. I had friends I drank with, friends to go shopping with, friends to study with, friends to have lunch with; friends, to me, had different purposes. I had so many friends, yet none at all. These people, these friends, they filled my life and took up my time but were not really mine. They were never truly there for me. I was never truly theirs. I was searching in too many places, that is clear now, I was looking for intimacy — I still am. January 2015 offered a rude awakening. Lets say, it didn’t start well. I entered the new year drunk, drugged (not of my own doing) and having had sex with an anonymous man. How I met him — I am not sure. I cant even recall the colour of his hair. All I know is that he of a strong build and “looks” tall, said my mum as I lay naked and inebriated in her bed in the early morning of January 1 2015. I knew I had to get my life together. I knew that I needed people; people who loved me, who ‘got’ me and more than anything I needed to love myself.
The answer, my salvation, came in the form of my house mate — a friend. I had been living with her for one year, yet the true potential of our relationship had never been grasped. On the outset we are different, yet on the inside strangely similar. She is fake-tan, elegance, fitness and beautiful. I am pale, insecure, lazy and fairly average. We both enjoy lavish meals, good wine and finer things. We both want to sleep with Ryan Gosling in “Place Beyond The Pines”, yet she would marry Bradley Cooper and I prefer Dane DeHaan. She is Prosecco and SW6, I am beer and E1. While our differences are notable, we overlap. Our preferences and interests intertwine, they are not defined, instead they borrow from one another. So, on some days we drank red wine and ate ice cream. On others we slugged beer and spilled our dirtiest secrets. I could do nothing and everything with her. I shared everything with her. I fell in love.
Intimacy is so vital for my friendships, as it is for most people. However, I become attached, unhealthily so — addicted. I want to be the only one, even though I know this isn’t realistic. Now, after we have graduated, become adults, and a whole six months has passed, she has moved back home and we seldom talk. We still love each other, we are still best friends; but I have to seek intimacy elsewhere. I work everyday, and the people — friends — I have there I love, but in a different way. We are intimate, from 9–5, and then I go home and nothing. I have come to realise I seek friendship and intimacy in males, more so than females, but the connections are looser, the intimacy isn’t the same. Is it because I am straight and somehow programmed to think this should lead to something sexual? Or is it because, female intimacy is simply different, it gives me different feelings — the understanding, the closeness, the ability to say nothing yet everything — I need it. It isn’t sexual, in the past I have at-most kissed my female friends; from a yes-no question with a yes-no answer: no, I don’t want to lick their pussy. Emotional closeness is enough. They are enough. It is what I crave. However, these close and explosive friendships seldom enter my life. I love and become invested, I want to message them everyday, I want them to be there for me and I want to be there for them.
Conversely I have many male friendships. I need them, but just now and again, and for completely different reasons. Even now, writing this, I am not sure what I get from male intimacy, but I know it is not sex. And I also know, no matter what, I will be the substitute. I am and never will be the first port of call. If there is a problem, they go to another guy, another male. Me? I am not needed. Often, I don’t offer what they truly need. Not like female friendships. They need me, I need them.
December 2015: one female friendship has disintegrated. We don’t need one another in the same ways we used to. My other female friendship (the girl I used to live with) is still strong, but not present. She is not around — physically. However, I know if she was, we would be the same. It is distance, it has driven a wedge between us. I need intimacy. Sure, I have sex. I have friendships. I love my male friends. However, I miss intimacy. I miss female intimacy. I miss someone just ‘getting’ me, I miss sharing everything, I miss not being judged, I miss talking explicitly about sex and not worrying that it is sexual. My male friends get turned on when I talk about porn or blowjobs, it turns our friendship into a different thing, it enters a new realm — briefly. With female friends, we talk about blowjobs like we talk about the gym or donkeys. It isn’t sexual.
The true matter of fact is I love women. I used to pride myself on being ‘one of the boys’. And yes, I have more male friends than female friends, but I need my female friendships more. They give me more. They make me more. Whatever ‘more’ is, I am that. 2015 has been a year of women, for me, I have realised how much I need other women, I have realised I am a woman, I have realised how important and rare my friendships are with women. 2016, I hope, will be the year I fall in love again.
This piece was inspired by an essay written by Kim Brooks on The Cut.