Three kinds of sex
I apprenticed for a year to a sommelier. He was very popular in the neighborhood, and many of our customers would invite him to go drinking with them after hours. "Come to this new wine bar," they'd urge him. "They have amazing wine, you'll love it."
He was an incredible sommelier. He loved wine, and he taught me a great deal. All day the wine salespeople rolled their bottles in and out of the shop in little suitcases. I'd taste wines at his side, as he decided which were worthy of space on our shelves. In the summers we'd spit it into the rosebushes. I learned to taste the difference between balanced and inelegant acidity and alcohol levels, to measure how long a finish lasted on my tongue. I learned to name primary and secondary varietal descriptors - he taught me the difference between rose and violet, between leather and barnyard, between wet leaves and iodide. Together we tasted some of the best, most expensive wines from all over the planet, and what made them what they were. He loved teaching me about what he loved. It was my first taste of professional expertise.
When my sommelier would get those after-work wine-tasting offers, he'd sigh and roll his eyes. He'd say, "Just meet me at the brewery."
I have discovered that there are three kinds of sex.
There is sex work, in which the major source of joy to me is the flow state I experience during hyper-focus onto the other person's needs.
There is relationship sex, in which I take joy from my union with my partner.
There is also sex-as-hobby, under which category a lot of people derive their identity by participating in things like sex parties. These I am sure I will enjoy after I have retired. But for now, when I come home, despite the fact that I know that I am quite capable of stepping back into a thousand or so dollars of lingerie, high heels, and full makeup to go to a party where I could gather a circle of men and their partners around me and go down on my knees to take great pleasure in blowing each and every one of them in turn to completion, I'd rather drink a beer.
Unless you want to take me.
Photo by the Rare Bird