A Concise Manual for Navigating Relationship Land in Oakland

The reason the title’s funny is because nobody in Oakland is ever in a relationship. 

Yesterday, an out of towner remarked on one of my typically ruthless sexual conversations with, “People out here just aren’t into relationships! I had been fucking this girl for three months and she was all like, ‘You are *not* my boyfriend.’ I was like, damn! People out here really don’t do relationships!”

Yes. It’s true. It seems that out here, being in a relationship is one of those things that most people have on their bucket list, and after naively dating someone for 1-3 years in their late teens or early twenties, they cross “being in a relationship” off their bucket list and never look back. There’s something about the tacit fuckemall culture of Oakland that makes it so you can basically just fuck as many people as you want all the time without the fear of waking up one day and realizing, “Oh shit, I have a boyfriend now.”

We’re progressive. We have lovers, not husbands, and every sexual situation we get ourselves into is marred with the sense that all good things eventually come to an end. Rather than entangling ourselves in emotionally draining, financially codependent, physically unstimulating relationships that end in drama, despair, and the ungodly terror of figuring out who gets to keep the dogs, we forgo all the moving in together and meeting each others’ parents by submitting to the highly efficient, socially fluid interaction of exchanging numbers, bumping uglies and walking away. 

Maybe there’s something about California and having seen the dissolution of everybody’s dreams and marriages that makes this purported “hook up culture” so vibrant and appealing. Sure, there are some sticks in the mud out there that would just label all of us “sluts” and then bemoan our obvious, indefatigable daddy issues, but I like to think of it as more of a creative solution that, at the end of the day, makes everybody happier and megalaid. Come on! Sex is so great!

It’s not that we’re incapable of having functional relationships. Actually, we’re highly capable of having functional relationships. We have many friends of both genders who fulfill that place in our heart that yearns for long term, consistent, trustworthy, fun human companionship. Rather than plugging up that hole with another vapid romantic relationship, we opt to pursue platonic friendships in lieu of that. And for any of you assholes out there that might claim the sex isn’t that good – well, you’re wrong. The sex in Oakland is on average pretty good, albeit at times drunken and sloppy. When you’re fucking 4 different dudes on a weekly rotation, you have to be able to throw down in the sack lest you risk losing a lover or a two. 

What’s the point of being in a romantic relationship anyways? After a couple months the sex gets boring, the girls just lie there and the moaning becomes rote, as does the formulaic missionary~doggy style sexual routine. The blow jobs become less enthusiastic and less frequent, and all for what? Unless you’re trying to get pregnant (oh hell no!) or if your end game is to get that guy to financially support you and pay for everything while you dick around on the Internet and eat Cheez-its, then, meh, who needs a boyfriend? (Or girlfriend, this blog swings both ways.)

It’s all very French, in my opinion, and this Puritanical subscription to the notion of marriage as the ne plus ultra of one’s existence on this planet is just a fallacy that commercials for Swiffer Wet and Downy toilet paper perpetuate via bright colors and sneaky marketing campaigns. Fuck all that. 

So here we are, out in Oakland, fucking whatever we please. Sure, it’s possible that maybe if you’ve been fucking the same person exclusively for 6-12 months then maybe what you’re doing could qualify as a relationship, but, just so everybody knows, there’s no need to be hasty here, folks. Nobody out here in Oakland is looking for a boyfriend, ergo just fuck as you please and maybe, after a year or so has passed, and you’ve only been fucking that one person for months and months now, then maybe, just maybe, the timing for saying something like, “Huh, I only fuck you” will be right. Otherwise, shit is gonna come off as pathetic. 

So, fuck away, Oakland! You have a reputation to uphold, oh, and also, don’t forget to be drunk all the god damn time, you dirty, disgusting little city.

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