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The Difference Between Being Horny And Using Sex To Fill A Void

What does it mean to be turned on?

It's to endlessly desire. It's to irrepressibly covet something with an uncompromising ferocity. It's to desperately want to feel the seductive, crushing weight of another human being on top of your body so fiercely that you would do almost anything to attain it.

Personally, I'm a sex-positive force of girl nature, who totally, fully, unabashedly believes that each and every human being is rich with an absolute birthright to (consensually) f*ck whomever they want to f*ck, whenever the f*ck they please.

I've had sex for a wide range of reasons, one of which is that I've teamed with relentless, passionate desire.

But I've also had sex to fill the heaps of (emotional) gaping holes that peppered the roadmap of my past. I've used sex as a drug. As a temporary high. A fleeting feel-good during times when I was deeply dissatisfied with my life.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between feeling outrageously horny and feeling generally dissatisfied. The feelings are truly quite similar.

Because when you're dissatisfied with your life, you have an unstoppable craving, a rigorous wanting, a dire yearning for something greater. You WANT with such intensity that you would go to drastic measures to get your dirty little fingers on it.

Horniness and dissatisfaction don't sound that different, now do they, kittens?

I noticed this connection when I was a young waif sifting through my very early 20s, working a dismal job I sorely loathed — the kind of job that requires a uniform, which is soul-scorching to the self-expressive fashionista.

Every morning, I was forced to adhere a stifling black pencil skirt to the circumference of my hips. It was so tight and stiff. I had to take tiny little steps to get anywhere (which, in hindsight, serves as the perfect reflection of how I felt at the time).

I would wake up and twist my aching, prematurely aging feet into the same pair of black, patent leather, viciously painful three-inch pleather pumps and trek three long, arduous train rides to a high-end luxury department store.

For 10 hours a day, six days per week, I melted beneath the harsh fluorescent light of a cosmetics aisle and sold people sh*t they didn't need for a whopping eight dollars an hour.

At the end of my shift, I would hobble back to the train with broken, deformed feet from the bitter combination of forced heels and staunch marble floor (I have a sexy smattering of spider veins to prove it).

I know I was lucky to have a JOB — this much is true. And I know it wasn't the worst job in the world, either.

But still, it wasn't fulfilling or challenging or exciting to me. And due to a lack of “traditional education” (I bear no four-year degree), I felt I was trapped in a career that just wasn't me.

My shiny, bright future was quickly beginning to look bleak as f*ck.

Not only that, but I was stuck in the thick, quicksand mud of a creative rut. I'm a creator, even in my most raw and sordid moments.

However, at this point in my existence, I was void of an ounce of inspiration, and I was desperate to sink my teeth into an artistic project of sorts. But I was so drained and depressed and depleted that I didn't have the wherewithal to begin.

I smoked cigarettes endlessly, had a sh*t diet made up of protein bars and energy drinks and vehemently hated the girl I saw gazing back at me in the bathroom mirror.

I felt like an ugly creature, a mundane girl, a mediocre entity, a disposable damsel. It was the era of a widely unsatisfied Zara.

Ironically, this was also the exact time I was my most epically horny, when I craved back-scratching, pull your-hair-out-of-your-head, screaming-with-passion, tie-me-the-f*ck-up, make-me-FEEL-SOMETHING SEX.

I wasn't going around screwing everyone under the ethereally golden California sun. No, that wasn't the case at all. But I was hell-bent with a need for sex, and I spoke ad nauseam about how acutely I wanted it.

Even sleep was no refuge, for all I dreamt about was sex, sex and more sex.

And if I found a partner I was madly attracted to and could remotely stand speaking with for more than 10 minutes, I was sexually insatiable to her.

I'm a master of manipulating myself into believing whatever I want to believe, and I dutifully convinced myself that my powerful libido made me superior to my peers, so I hid behind a mask of false sexual liberation.

I was having lots of sex because I was more uh, “sexually evolved,” you know?

But no matter how much sex I had, no matter how much I attempted to fill the voids in my life, I still felt like an empty vessel floating purposelessly through a starless stratosphere.

Then, somehow, one day, I woke up and found myself gazing into the beautiful, soft morning sun, thinking, “Sh*t, I'm sort of maybe, happy. Well, this is new.”

I'm not sure when or where the great shift happened, but sometime around the blur of 26, the vague pieces of my life began to crystalize in my frame of vision.

The broken bits started to fall into place. After years being of feeling like a defeated robot working a sales job I hated, I acquired a meaningful job working closely with people and making an impact in the world at large.

I started to feel kind of good about myself. It didn't hurt when I fell headfirst in the soft arms of real, genuine love.

And I started to like the girl staring back at me in the mirror. We became friends.

While my sex drive remained sky-high, it was different. I was no longer a heathen desperately seeking validation and fulfillment and purpose through the art of the sexual encounter anymore. I started to have sex because I wanted to have sex.

And it felt different. Because I was different.

When I was using sex as my drug, it worked like a drug. A drug distracts you from feeling the bad feels.

A drug makes you feel high and elated in the moment, and then leaves you feeling emptier than you ever thought possible. A drug numbs the pain at first and then exacerbates the brutal hurt when the dreaded, harrowing comedown sets in.

Drugs stop you from examining what's really going wrong in your life and make you feel nothing but confused and murky and lost.

And most of all, drugs take a hammer to your self-confidence and make you feel like you can't live with them or without them.

Addiction comes in many forms, and substances are just one of the many ways we run away from ourselves.

Until I confronted my demons and made proactive changes to my life, sex was my addiction. I used it as a tool for personal fulfillment, as a Band-Aid to the emotional scars.

But using sex as a filler doesn't work. Because the only person who can really fill you is you.

Trust me when I promise that no amount of earth-shattering sex will stave off the brutal pangs of loneliness.

No amount of faceless f*cking will remedy the fact that you feel loveless. And no amount of steamy sexual encounters beneath twisted sheets will make you feel beautiful if you don't feel beautiful inside.

You have to search for all these things within. No outside source, whether it be drugs, sex, boyfriends, girlfriends, work or that exclusive designer handbag, will make you feel whole.

Those things should just be icing on the cake, pretty little add-ons that you indulge in and enjoy, but never depend on to sustain you.

Now, I don't use sex to feel “pretty.” I don't use sex to feel “loved.” I don't use sex to feel less “lonely.” Most importantly, I don't use sex because I want to feel something. And sex is better than ever.

There is truly no better sex than sex that is pure and free of a hidden agenda. That's the real, hair-pulling, delirious, so-hot-you-can-hardly-handle-it, total-and-utter-ecstasy sex that all of us deserve to be having.

And guess what? Unlike drugs, there is no pesky comedown, no hollow pits of withdrawal when you're f*cking for the right reasons.

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Zara Barrie

Staff Writer

Zara Barrie is a senior writer for Elite Daily. She's consumed by style, sexuality, women, words, fashion and feelings. She identifies as a "mascara lesbian" and lives beyond her means on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Zara Barrie is a senior writer for Elite Daily. She's consumed by style, sexuality, women, words, fashion and feelings. She identifies as a "mascara lesbian" and lives beyond her means on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

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