Problematic Petting: An Inquiry into Why I Often Pounce on Gentlemen

Sex is something I really don’t understand too hot. You never know where the hell you are. I keep making these sex rules for myself, and then I break them right away

–The Catcher in the Rye


I often feel bad for certain gentlemen who have received the over-excited, yet loving forces of my quasi-suffocation. One can’t say they weren’t in on it too. I may have assumed we were both in the money, wanting each others’ touch if not complete annihilation. Perhaps I don’t feel bad, because it is possible the opposite party was equally joyed with their natural feelings. Either this or mine gave no room for reasonable contemplation.

This report was prompted by the disturbing realization that the number* of [we’ll call them] pounces I engaged in in the past two years has markedly increased. The disturbance I feel is not necessarily attributed to being branded “slut” or even “suddenly experimental college girl” (another brand I find unsettling). I am more concerned with the “feedback” I’ve gathered: the emotional discomfort, the bottomless confusion, the heightened self-awareness as I began to witness my pathetic flirting and/or pouncing on boys who were, if not anything but analogous to my preferences, just plain weird.

Moreover, I am on a quest in search of genuine motivation. Looking back at certain enigmatic actions and inauthentic connections which were, for some reason, forced into existence, I’m just wondering about the reasons. Why? I have become conscious of a strange, over-powering inner self which quite literally peer pressures me into taking uncomfortable or unsettling actions. I inquire to myself…am I pathetic? Sad? Desperate? Overwhelmingly narcissistic? Simply “turned on?” A walking Id? Genetically imbalanced? Emotionally imbalanced? Severely media-motivated, albeit subconsciously? Perhaps just extremely confused?

Herewith, my investigation…


“Student,” or studente in its Latin root, I recently learned means “to be eager.” There is no better word to adequately describe me.  You could sometimes call me  academia’s angel. Stacks of books are to be devoured, authors and great works trudged through with excitement and aggression. This eagerness of course becomes problematic, since however “studente” I am, I can’t really focus passionately on one thing at a time. I want the next book after this book, I want to know about that author too, I need to discover why everyone is so obsessed with Dostoevsky—NOW—although I should probably finish The Road first since I already started it (but never mind I’m just going to go and buy Dostoevsky). There’s always more to get, more to take in, not enough time, and not enough future to wait for when the “more” for which I am eager will arrive.

This studente-ness seems to pour itself into life’s other realms, and somewhat frightfully so. The drive to devour Great Book # Whatever is identical to the drive to devour Cookie Dough Piece # We Won’t Say as well as Cute Boy # This is Starting to Get Obnoxious. Anxiety ensues as I am off-put by how much my eager nature has done me more wrong than right. Books remain unfinished, cookie dough-centricity readily develops, and boys become the central focus—if not defining aspect—of my existence. Although my excitable self can be seen as “admirable” in some arenas (we’ll say the academic one), I imagine myself a child, stumbling through that pit of colorful plastic balls. Making it out is seemingly ideal, however sometimes it’s just too much fun in there, getting all caught up in your giddiness. (Also, I think I’m comforted by the fact that I can still act somewhat infantile and it can be regarded as “cute”). One must finally make way out of this bizarre monstrosity of a KidZone, albeit a slightly disappointing venture.

Juliet at her balcony is an oft-used metaphor for what we (females) are lacking in our day and age. “No one is romantic any more,” are heard sound bites, the boys don’t “come to us.” When I get to the bottom of it however, I cannot claim this position nor the desire for this position. I feel more like the bull-faced aggressor, ready to horn the damsel I supposedly wish to be out of my hot-blooded way. In this sense, then, I am gendered male.

Yea, but, I can (sadly) say that the majority of these pounces were individuals I was not entirely eager for. There were no guitar shredders, not any have-to-have-it-now dream boats, no Eminem look-alikes; just people I wasn’t that into. Moreover, I’ve had my share of sitting-slightly-close-on-couch moments wherein I felt overwhelmingly and intensely afraid of the pressure to pounce—and this was not imposed by the boy next to me. How could I be eager for something I wasn’t exactly eager for? Taking on the gendered male identity, one could argue, in conjunction with my studente nature, that I was just really excited and thus did not care with whom I would exercise my thirst.

But also—there have been sitting-close-on-couch moments with those for whom I wasn’t exactly hot-blooded, but graciously charmed. In short, I liked them, and that seemed to be enough; but I still felt insanely provoked to pounce with kitten-like aggression. And this proved to be uncomfortable, like I ruined any sort of innocent magic between two individuals conjoined in sparks because of…because of what?

Alas, the question still remains: is all I really want sex?

One could disregard any psycho-analytic advancements and simply stick to the good ol’ “I’m a mammal”  argument (which usually ceases to become a logical argument). We could focus solely on Head, Heart, and Loins. So then this: am I simply aiming for pure, hedonistic pleasure from which I can deride a sense of  21st century female falsity, my Sex & the Cityian fist in the air? Yea! I’m a free, sexual being!

Confused on this subject, I decided to inquire the male party one night before an inevitable tryst. He did not have much to contribute, or he may have been sufficiently freaked out, as I assume no other cute short-skirt he’s taken home brought up any Darwinian ideas en route to bedroom. He was also boring.*

(*what was I thinking?)


 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING MAJOR (name forgotten or—err—omitted) and ABSENT-MINDED GIRL walk to her apartment discussing evolutionary impulses

  GIRL: So are you trying to spread your seed or something?

GUY: Um…what?

He lets out a chuckle, flecked with slight fear. The thunder rolls   like a Garth Brooks music video, as if to be on some kind of naturalistic queue.

 GIRL:Oh—haha-I mean do you think you are just here because of your ingrained mammalian impulses or are you functioning from some other–

GUY: Haha—girl I don’t know what you’re talking about. ‘Member like I told you earlier? “D’s for degrees!”?

The girl despondently looks off into the cloudy distance as the darkness falls over an otherwise innocent night. The trees look like fucking monsters, although that may have been the pale ale finally working its way into the system.

 They then escape the rain and fall rag-dollishly indoors.



 So are my motivations engrossed in hedonism? Are we indeed functioning from these spread-my-seed/gather-my-resources evolutionary concepts? I find myself knowingly giggling when Woody Allen says to his pseudo-intellectual wife: “Why must you always reduce my sexual urges to psycho-analytic categories?”  However I chuckle with the the same knowing as Miranda exclaims to Steve at the end of their honeymoon-romp: “Steve! I can’t have any more sex! I have a brain!”

However many books and studies may prove evidence to these biological ideas, I still believe there is more within me beyond my strictly primal instincts. I balk at the conclusion which points to the unconscious desire for adequate spawn and household as the reasoning for my pounces. I must trudge deeper. I think I have to, since comments like “D’s for degrees!” and bathroom wall decor like Jenna Jameson on a motorcycle provoke me to move on to the next caveman with “higher” tastes


We can possibly blame the greater portion of this sexual disablement on narcissism, or the scary frontier that is the female psyche; the learned (but when?!) pages of the Female Desirability Instructional Manual (Must be sexy, must be sexy, must be sexy…). I often deny that I am truly narcissistic, although this very denial may be great grounds for narcissism.Ido indeed ravenously crave the attention of another, often suffering beyond measure when that attention is not received, when my worth is not blatantly established in another’s gaze (pathetic, yes, but I swear it’s as if I read that desirability manual in the womb so whatever).

[No, I’m serious about this. It’s haunting—possessing almost. Another (hazy) memory from night with would-rather-forget chemical engineering major was how often he kept saying how “sexy” I was. It was what I was waiting for, the end towards which I was ultimately striving, and yet ironically, the only emotion it elicited was one of extreme discomfort and, oddly, loneliness.]

Is this Freudian or Lacanian or something having to do with my deeply-ridden psychology? Or am I just psychotic? Am I stuck in an id-like vortex as a needing, wanting, drooling infantile who just needs to be desired, loved, seen?  Am I desperate to be fondled because it would then successfully indicate another’s desire for me which would then indicate a false feeling of love which would then indicate happiness and love I can finally feel within? Is there no hope for womankind, or is it just me who is undoubtedly pitiful in this regard ?

Let us pause for a correlative study.  How do trysts, affections, and/or attentions causally effect my self-worth and feeling of “prettiness” (which again, ultimately implies self-worth)?

Here is the somewhat forced pounce, evoking an uncomfortable sensation most likely for all parties involved:

This next graph clearly expresses causality,  perhaps providing some answers in regards to my motivations:

Although we can maybe infer causality with the need-to-be-desired to pouncing, the main deduction I can make from these models is simply confusion, existential mugginess and a thirst for the return of innocence and simplicity. Alas, I’m Holden Caulfield, finding shelter in the barren subway station, curling up to myself and wondering about home, if it is someplace I can still wonder about.

Maybe I just really need to wait for someone who I really care about—someone who I really like, right? Because, you know, it is awful nice being with someone you can be comfortable with—someone you need not completely stress you look Absolutely Desirable for. You know you really like them—even love them. There’s no confusion. And if you’re feeling all hedonistic and eager and driven, then you can easily confide in your lovely fellow hedonist without fear that you are starting to bear resemblance to swine.

Then again, I cannot predict the future (see above Catcher in the Rye quote)** Perhaps it’s better to not make rules for yourself, to not lay down some sex and desirability law and just take what comes (forgive the pun,ugh). I’ll hopefully realize what I truly desire and stop rebelling against old laws and conditioned behaviors or push people away because of some new “powerful” ideology I am straining to stay true to. In that moment, I’ll know if it feels right or not.  I’ll be able to be there with someone—and myself—genuinely.

Maybe it’s just finally time to listen to what you actually want. Even though, at the end of the day, you still have no fucking clue.



*Just as an “I swear I’m not a complete soiled dove” disclaimer, this number is not extremely high, nor is it too astonishing in regards to my life span or age or character or whatever. It just increased at an alarming rate in a short amount of time, and thus, as any behavioral psychologist would argue, was in desperate need to be properly examined. The amount of “proper” examination which took place in this essay is undoubtedly debatable.

**And sometimes–like that time there was some cute guy who used “son” when addressing friends literally picked me up off of the street and yes I went home with him because I genuinely thought he was cute–you just kind of are into someone and you just kind of want to pounce on them. It’s not too complicated, nor should it be overly-analyzed as you having problems (over-analyzing being one of those problems).


Cynthia Robinson is a writer. Hire her to write for your, like, cool shit and check her out online.


2 thoughts on “Problematic Petting: An Inquiry into Why I Often Pounce on Gentlemen

  1. Pingback: Problematic Petting: Falling Asleep With a 5am Turkey Sandwich, Pt. I « RASCALmagazine

  2. Pingback: INTERVIEW — The Palmer Squares Prove it’s Hip to be Square (Or Maybe They Just DGAF) « RASCALmagazine

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