The recent transition from inserting my card into the machine at the store to simply tapping it came with a mountain of personal revelations, but mostly about my sexuality.
The pause I used to experience after inserting my card – waiting to either be prompted for my PIN and reflexively ask the cashier if they like working there, to both our dismay – always lasted for what seemed like hours. But with tapping, it was so simple, so quick. No PIN needed, no obligations, no commitment – I was out of the store before my brain even registered how much I had just spent on artisan cheese. I wished that other aspects of my life could be just as carefree.
Tapping to pay served as a much-needed reminder that I didn’t need to sacrifice safety and security in my interactions for the sake of getting the hell out of there. I could feel secure in an exchange and I could avoid further humiliating myself by bombarding a stranger with off-putting lines of questioning. I could have it both ways.
This got me thinking: If shopping could feel this easy, freeing, and empowering, then why couldn’t the rest of my life? Specifically, why couldn’t I find the same liberation in the noncommittal, fleeting interactions of my sex life?
As someone not currently interested in a long-term relationship, but still interested in having sex, the “tap don’t insert” philosophy completely reshaped the way I viewed casual sex. Sex could still be mutually enjoyable and intimate and fun, even if it wasn’t within the parameters of a long-term relationship or engaged in with the underlying expectation of one.
Because, for me, when it comes to my interactions – both sexual and grocery-store – “inserting” means commitment, a long-term engagement; “tapping” means casual, a mutual understanding of a brief exchange; and “swiping” means some fucked up, kinky, depraved shit that I haven’t even thought about since 2015 and won’t be getting into now.
Upon integrating this emotionally “touch-free” mentality into my dating life, I found the results to be instantaneous. The long pause I now avoided at the checkout counter became seamlessly integrated into my sexual affairs. For me, casual sex no longer had to involve lingering too long at someone’s apartment, unsure if I should stay or go. Now, I was in and out before he even had the chance to say, “You forgot your receipt!”
I’m now able to indulge in casual sex that makes me feel both liberated and inundated with a renewed sense of agency over my own life, all while granting me the ability to nurture my relationship with my own sexuality.
I will never let my fears or inhibitions dictate how I live my life in the future, and I certainly won’t go back to swiping my card to pay. I’m not the perverted individual I used to be.