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The Drive Home
A Self-Help Therapy Session on Four Wheels
No matter the circumstances, it’s on the drive home we all contemplate our lives and our actions. Whether we are married, dating, having an affair, or met someone new at the coffee shop—we rationalize, hypothesize, and generalize the encounter.
Did I smile enough?
What did they mean by… ?
Why did I say that?
Did I do the right thing?
Will I see them again?
I remember the drive home after the first time my husband and I had sex. We had spent months chatting back and forth, building the desire to be together. After it finally happened, the drive home was over two hours—giving me time to think about everything. I was on cloud nine as I went over every detail of our rendezvous. I thought about every kiss, every touch, and every word we spoke that afternoon.
Although there was a time for regret with a few of my sexual encounters, that begs the question of why I didn’t feel that regret beforehand. Which brings me to a rarely used colloquial: pregret. This term is used to describe the feeling of regretting something you're about to do. e.g. “I know I’m going to regret this but… what the hell, why not?” We scarcely, if ever, truly listen to that part of our internal (or external) dialogue. However, I’ve learned over the years that regret is not a meaningful feeling unless there is knowledge to be gained. To me, the knowledge gained through experience far outweighs any temporary feelings I am experiencing.
Everything looks so clear in the rearview mirror, doesn’t it?
When I write articles for Sex Demystified, I always include personal experiences in order to make the story relatable. It’s not simply doing research to substantiate the topic at hand, but to learn more about my own sex and sexuality along the way. In all my sexual encounters, I relied on my own instincts on whether or not to engage. From my deflowering to the infidelities, I simply did what I wanted at the time. I discovered afterwards, the drive home provided me time to decompress and contemplate the decisions I made hours before—and to formulate an excuse for my absence.
We Reason By Analogy
One of my favorite literary genres are biographies. It rarely matters whose I’m reading, but it varies from old Hollywood movie stars to influential woman who have made their mark in history. I love learning about the experiences that molded them into the person they became. It helps me understand why they made certain decisions in the course of their lives.
From day to day, we hope we make the right choices when faced with a variety of life’s challenges. We don’t know how they’ll turn out, but naturally we are optimistic the decisions we make will be in our favor. When I think about the biography that would be written about me, I wonder if there is a lesson to be learned for those reading through the pages. Would the reader be able to relate? Can they see themselves in my story?
I certainly hope so.
With that said, this new series of articles will share those sexual encounters in detail. When I reflect on my sexual history (which started thirty-three years ago) there are many experiences that I questioned, some that leave me apathetic, and a few I wouldn’t mind doing again. I have move passed the regret phase as it’s ancient history that can’t be changed anyway.
As we take the drive home, my goal is to understand the decisions I made and perhaps you might connect the experiences into your own life.
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