Secrets — we all have them. You might be hiding the fact that you still pray for Paula to come back to American Idol, that you own a Stanford sweatshirt (yeah, right, “your cousin who went there bought it for you back in the day”) or even that you believe Yoshua. Whatever the case may be, you have one — or many.
There’s a particular kind of case, however, that would only be fitting for this column. It’s the kind that’s dirty, often an addiction, and usually devoid of respect for another person (or many people).
The secret fuck buddy.
You know what I’m talking about. That person you get with every now and then, or every other day. That person you don’t tell anybody (or maybe just your best friend) about for whatever reasons you may have. That person you clearly don’t want to associate with yet can’t help but end up in bed with.
It might be an ex. Or someone else’s ex. It might be someone your friends don’t approve of or someone you know they wouldn’t because of social politics. It could be a relationship with a current professor, GSI, boss or other inappropriate situation. Hell, you know what your sitch is.
Either way, here you are, having encounters with this person and then hiding them, only showing up at his or her place when it’s dark outside, or meeting in a spot away from your usual world or whatever other tactics you have.
Why is it that we hide these relationships? While the teacher-student, boss-employee and such others are obviously inappropriate, what about the dude or chick down the street who you met through a friend or in a class? What is it that we are afraid of? The judgment of others? The hassle of their mockery? Their disgust with our actions? Are we afraid to expose a part of ourselves — presumably the part that actually enjoys that secret fuck buddy’s company and body?
What, in our minds, doesn’t make it OK for the world (all right, our friends and social scene) to know that every so often we strip down and get dirty with that person?
I’ve had my fair share of these. I’ve kept encounters secret. I’ve kept entire sexual relationships secret.
Some were encounters with an ex with whom the post-breakup situation had turned into a veritable roller coaster of drama, complete with screaming matches, coldness, attitude and indifference and punctuated by episodic, hot and heavy encounters. I suppose I kept those to myself because I had deemed myself grown-up enough to deal with the emotional turmoil on my own without judgment and concern from my friends. Or perhaps it was because I knew I was perpetuating the drama.
Some were a few encounters with another ex (of sorts) whom I had long hated and saw as a terrible person for the way he had treated me.
Here, I suppose the hiding was because of the shame of having lost my dignity by sleeping with him.
And then there is that one fuck buddy. That one guy I hook up with semiregularly and of whom only a couple of friends are aware. Even then, many details are spared. The guy I sometimes grab coffee with (there is an actual nonsexual friendship going on too) when the courage is high enough whom I only sometimes glance around to make sure there are no familiar faces. He’s the guy who lives in my neighborhood but to whose bed I only venture once the sun has set and leave before it has risen. The guy who is obviously attractive (why else would I risk our friendship?), intelligent (political discussions often preface the shedding of clothes), good at what he does (I still keep coming back for more) and a kind soul (hurting my feelings is always a concern of his).
Somehow, I’ve always kept that relationship discreet. Believe it or not, I am quite a private person when it comes to my romantic and sexual affiliations, and this one has been kept at an even deeper level of secrecy than usual.
I could probably say that I’m not sure why it has been that way and that I see no plausible explanation — not even a glimmer of one. But that would also probably be a lie — I’m sure I can find one faster than I could type it up in this column.
Yet it will not appear on this page. Why? Because it would mean an admission to myself of the notso-pretty sides of my personality. It would mean an admission that I may be quite shallow, concerned with social judgment, concerned with appearances or whatever else is going on (well, more than the “permissible” level in our little college society). So I will continue on with the status quo, attempting to hopefully dignify these relations a bit more when I see him on campus or receive a text.
Dirty little secrets: Many of us have them. While it may be an ugly truth about the social realm in which we live, the fact of the matter is that they exist. Ugly, but real.