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不是我选择了禁欲,而是欲望放弃了我

更新时间:2015-11-8 10:58:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

On Tinder, Off Sex
不是我选择了禁欲,而是欲望放弃了我

When I called my health clinic last month to refill the birth-control pill prescription I have had for 10 years, I was put on the line with a doctor — not my normal gynecologist — who began asking questions about my health.

上个月,我给卫生所打电话,想再开点避孕药。十年来,我一直服用避孕药。他们把电话转给了一个医生,他不是我固定联系的那位妇科医生,他开始询问我的健康情况。

“It says on your form that you’re interested in both men and women but that you do not use alternative forms of birth control outside of the pill,” he said.

“你的表格上说,你对男人和女人都感兴趣,但你不采用避孕药之外的其他避孕措施,”他说。

“That’s correct,” I said. To pre-empt a safe-sex lecture, I told him I hadn’t had sex in two years, so it was really a moot point.

“没错,”我说。我可不想让他给我上安全性教育课,所以我告诉他,我已经两年没有性生活了,所以真的无所谓。

“So you’re secondary abstaining then,” he said, surely making note of this somewhere in my records.

“那你就属于二级禁欲,”他说。他肯定在我档案的某个地方记下了这一点。

“Well, I think ‘accidental abstaining’ is more appropriate,” I said jokingly, attempting to maintain some dignity in this conversation with a man I likely would never meet who seemed to view me as some kind of morally reformed or seriously disturbed woman in my mid-20s.

“呃,我觉得说成‘意外禁欲’更合适,”我开玩笑说。我想在这次谈话中挽回一点尊严。我很可能永远见不到这位医生,他似乎以为我是那种在道德上改过自新或者心理上严重失常的20多岁女人。

After we hung up, I Googled “secondary abstaining” and learned that it refers to someone who is sexually experienced but has chosen to no longer be sexually active, usually for reasons relating to religious faith, unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

打完电话后,我在谷歌上搜索“二级禁欲”,发现它指的是有过性经验但是选择不再进行性生活的人,通常是出于宗教信仰、意外怀孕或性传播疾病等原因。

I am without faith in almost all respects, I have never been pregnant, nor have I had any STD’s. I have never stopped desiring sex and I have never identified as asexual. In fact, I frequently want to have sex with people, but I simply do not.

我几乎在所有方面都没有信仰,我从未怀孕过,也没有任何性传播疾病。我从未停止渴望性爱,也从未失去性欲。实际上,我经常想做爱,只是没做而已。

I’m “secondary” in a lot of things these days: secondary vegetarian, secondary sober, secondary nonsmoker. But here is how my secondary abstaining departs from my secondary everything else.

如今,我在很多事情上都成了“二级”:二级素食者、二级戒酒者、二级戒烟者。但是,二级禁欲和其他那些“二级”不一样。

I quit eating meat because I developed a deeper concern for the environment. I quit smoking because it’s bad for you. I quit drinking because I have a problem with alcohol. But I never actually quit having sex. Sex just stopped being a thing that happened in my life.

我不再吃肉是因为我更加忧虑环境。我不再抽烟是因为它对身体不好。我不再喝酒是因为我对酒精过敏。但我从没想过禁欲。性爱只是不再出现在我生活里而已。

My most recent sexual experience was two years ago in a barn in Kentucky with a photographer I had met in Ohio eight days before. I was temporarily living on a farm in Independence the day he drove from Columbus to spend the afternoon with me.

我上一次做爱是在两年前。我在俄亥俄州认识了一个摄影师,八天后我们在肯塔基州的一个谷仓里做爱。当时我在独立城(Independence)的一个农场里小住,他开车从哥伦布市过来和我共度那个下午。

I bought a bottle of Larceny bourbon the night before in preparation and had consumed half before he arrived. I had never had sober sex with a new partner, and I wasn’t about to start with a guy I barely knew.

头天晚上,我买了一瓶Larceny波本威士忌。他到之前,我已经喝了半瓶。我从未在清醒状态下与新性伴侣做爱,我也不打算为这个我刚认识的男人破例。

I know many people are adept at this sleeping-with-strangers thing. I have never known how to do this. I have never known how to go from, “So what’s your name?” to having you in my bed or me in your bed or us in the back of a car in the parking lot of a Target.

我知道很多人在和陌生人做爱这件事上得心应手。但我从来都不知道该怎么做。我也不知道怎么从“你叫什么名字”发展到你在我床上或者我在你床上或者我们在塔吉特百货公司(Target)停车场的汽车后座上。

The photographer and I had sex twice, in one evening. It was everything television and film tells me sex should be: Spontaneous. Unhesitating. In an exotic (read: not domestic) location.

我和那个摄影师一晚上做了两次爱。完全是电视电影上说的那种性爱:自然而然。毫不犹豫。在不同寻常的地点(就是不在室内的意思)。

It was on a wooden bench swing near a river in the trees behind the barn. And then it was in the barn, in the summer heat and humidity.

第一次是在谷仓后面河边树林里的一个木凳秋千上,第二次是在谷仓里。当时正值湿热的夏季。

Afterward, we walked hand in hand down the main road leading to town, giggling while we watched the fireflies appear and disappear around us in the fading daylight. It was romance and whirlwind. It was sweat and sweet.

之后,我们手牵手沿着大路往小镇上走,笑呵呵地看着暮色中的萤火虫在我们周围忽隐忽现。这场性爱既浪漫又热烈,既有大汗淋漓,又有温馨甜蜜。

That last morning in Kentucky, I woke at 6 a.m. to the soft sound of rain and the tinny sound of Bon Iver floating from his cellphone speakers.

在肯塔基的最后一个早上,我早上6点醒来,听见窗外温柔的雨声,也听见他手机扬声器里传来美好冬季乐团(Bon Iver)尖细的歌声。

He photographed me while I packed my clothes, and I remember him telling me that airports are romantic because they’re where people come to understand what they feel about each other.

我整理行装时,他给我拍照。我记得他说机场很浪漫,因为在那里人们开始感受到彼此之间的感情。

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to have sex since then. It wasn’t one of those bowl-you-over summer romances. It was what it was. Fun. Invigorating. Kind. But we lived 3,000 miles apart, and I was still heartbroken from my previous relationship.

从那以后,我并不是不想做爱。它并不是那种让你难以自拔的夏日恋情。它就那样:有趣,刺激,美好。但是,我们相隔3000英里,而且上一段恋情仍令我心碎。

If I were to update the definition of “secondary abstaining” I discovered through my Google search, I would add the following to the list of reasons someone may stop having sex: failed relationship, broken heart and being cheated on after a near proposal by the man you spent your whole life loving.

如果我能对谷歌中“二级禁欲”的定义进行升级的话,我会加上下面这些原因:失恋,心碎,你全心爱着的男人在几乎跟你求婚之后和别人偷情。

Maybe this is where faith comes in. Maybe my secondary abstinence isn’t in allegiance to God but to my own broken heart and the fear that seems to produce a kind of magnetic repellant whenever I come close to someone I desire.

这或许跟信仰也有关系。也许我的二级禁欲不是出于对上帝的忠诚,而是因为我自己的心碎和恐惧——每当我与心仪对象接近时,这种恐惧就会衍生出排斥力。

My friends don’t seem to understand my secondary abstinence. They ask if I’ve had sex yet.

朋友们似乎不能理解我的二级禁欲。他们问我是否还有性生活。

“How can you go so long?” they ask. “I can’t imagine.”

“你怎么能这么久都不做爱?”他们问,“简直不可以思议。”

They say: “You have to lower your standards.” “Go to the bar more.” “Join a dating website.” “Make really good eye contact.” “Get rid of your hang-ups.” “Be more open.” “Stop being afraid.”

他们说:“你不要太挑了。”“多去酒吧。”“去交友网站看看。”“跟人家好好地进行目光接触。”“忘了过去的烦恼吧。”“放开点。”“不要害怕。”

“It’s just sex,” they say. “You have to stop refusing to sleep with people just because you don’t immediately want to marry them.”

“就是做爱而已,”他们说,“你不能仅仅因为你没打算马上跟人家结婚就拒绝做爱。”

My secondary abstinence is the wallflower type: sitting quietly on the couch at the party making everyone else feel a bit more awkward for having a good time.

我的二级禁欲是壁花型的:参加派对时安静地坐在沙发上,搞得其他人也都有点尴尬,不能好好玩。

Every night that I go to a concert or a party, every day that I walk around the neighborhood, I find my secondary abstinence trailing me like a sad ghost or an unwanted dog.

晚上去听音乐会或参加派对时,白天在附近散步时,我都觉得二级禁欲像悲伤的幽灵或流浪狗一样跟着我。

It’s not as if I haven’t tried to move on from this phase of my life. I joined Tinder. I sat in my friend’s apartment, punctuating our conversation with questions like, “Who is supposed to write to whom on this thing?” and “Why do so many guys have photos with tigers? Do you have a photo with a tiger?”

我也想跨过人生的这个阶段。我开始用Tinder。我坐在朋友的公寓里,我们的对话经常被这样的问题打断:“在这上面,谁应该先给谁发消息?”“为什么这么多男人的照片都是和老虎合影?你有和老虎合影的照片吗?”

I asked my friend how to tactfully respond to my most recent Tinder message from a man named Dakota who teaches yoga and doesn’t have a tiger in his photo. I found the profile of a man whose name is probably Matt and told him I’m new to this Tinder thing and asked him how it works.

我问朋友怎么巧妙地回复Tinder上的最新消息,它来自一个名叫Dakota的男人,他是瑜伽教练,他的照片上没有老虎。我还发现一个很可能叫Matt的男人,我对他说,我刚开始用Tinder,问他怎么用。

“You match with a bunch of people, no one ever messages each other, and no one ever has sex,” he responded.

“它把你和很多人配对,你和这些人都没联系过,也没发生过性关系,”他回复说。

That seemed unlikely to me, but he was all the way down in Long Beach, Calif., anyway, which is too far to drive for sex, so I cut my losses and we unmatched each other.

在我看来,这有点不可思议,不过他住在加利福尼亚州长滩市,要开车去做爱也太远了,所以我们趁早收手,取消了配对。

When a friend recently asked me, “Why do you think you never have sex?” I fell back on all the clichés. I told her: “I just want to focus on myself for a while.” “I’m afraid of getting hurt.” “Strangers are gross.” “I want to be in love first.” “I don’t have time to meet people.” “Los Angeles is impossible.”

前不久,一个朋友问我,“你觉得自己为什么一直没有做爱?”我用各种陈词滥调回答她。我说:“我只是想重点关注自己一段时间。”“我害怕受伤。”“陌生人很讨厌。”“我想先恋爱。”“我没时间去认识人。”“在洛杉矶是找不到合适的了。”

But I’m not sure I believe any of these reasons apply to me. I’ve focused on myself my whole life. I’m worried about getting hurt, but no more than most. Some strangers are smoking hot. What is love anyway? I have plenty of time. Los Angeles is full of men and women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, and those men and women populate every restaurant and yoga class and dog park in my life.

但是我觉得这些都不是真正的原因。我一直都关注自己。我是害怕受伤,但谁都害怕。有些陌生人性感得不得了。到底什么是爱情?我有大把时间。洛杉矶有各种体型、个头和背景的男女,我去的餐厅、瑜伽班和遛狗公园里到处都是形形色色的人。

There is a woman I sometimes love, a death penalty investigator too fresh out of a breakup from the woman who broke her heart.

有一段时间,我爱上了一个女人。她是死刑调查员。不过她刚和一个女人分手,还很伤心。

There is a man I sometimes love, a writer and lead singer in a hard-core punk band, who constantly declares, “I don’t have sex,” and “I don’t do love,” in the same moment that he sways closer to my face, nearly but not quite giving one of us the opportunity to make a move.

我也爱上过一个男人。他是一个硬核朋克乐队的词曲作者和主唱。他不断宣称,“我不做爱”,“我不恋爱”,不过他一边说着一边往我脸上靠,不过还不够打动人,谁也没能采取行动。

The man I sometimes love tells me, “Love is a leaky boat.” The woman I sometimes love tells me the blooming jasmine in Los Angeles reminds her of walking to school in Egypt as a teenager. And in her head she is somewhere far away from here, from us. We don’t have sex, but we have intimacy. It’s not that I’m choosing to abstain from sex in these situations, but that sex seems to be choosing to abstain from me.

我爱过的那个男人说,“爱是一艘漏水的船。”我爱过的那个女人说,洛杉矶盛开的茉莉让她想起了少年时在埃及走路上学的感觉。她的思绪不在我这儿,飘在远方。我们没有做爱,但我们有过亲密接触。在所有这些交往中,不是我选择禁欲,而是欲望选择放弃我。

In my imagination, the sex I have with each of them when I’m riding my bike home from work or when I’m stuck in traffic on the freeway or when I’m otherwise far away from myself is epic. It is all dark rooms and brick walls. Aggressive and gentle. It is the kind of sex that makes a person fall in love instantaneously.

在骑车下班回家的时候,或者堵在高速路上的时候,或者在我因为其他原因神游的时候,我想像过跟他们每个人做爱的史诗般的情景。都是在阴暗的砖墙房间里,都是既轰轰烈烈又柔情似水。都是那种会让你突然坠入爱河的性爱。

Except we never have sex. And we never fall in love. We fall into almost love and then life takes us away from each other. And without that memory of skin against skin to connect us across distance and time, we become, once again, strangers.

只不过我们从未做过爱,也从未陷入爱河。我们差点爱上彼此,但是生活又把我们分开了。因为没有肌肤之亲的记忆,也就缺乏穿越时空的联系,所以我们再次沦为陌路。

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