I've been celibate for the last few years. Most of the time it's been voluntary. It was impossible for me to get laid without getting tangled up in a relationship, so I am careful about whom I get into bed with. Or that's the story I tell myself; I still have the desire to liason with beautiful women, but then tell myself they must be complicated and instead of dancing the mating game, I walk away without expressing attraction.

Recently I've felt an inner shift regarding this matter. It's the strangest sensation: have you ever intuited a behavioural change without actually testing it? That's how I feel now, a certainty that I will be able to manage my own feelings and expectations in a casual sexual relationship. So I'm more open to it.

But, as often happens, when you become open to an experience, life has a way of playing practical jokes on you. Two of them:

Last weekend I went to a concert in a dance hall, here in Victoria. There was a long line-up outside the venue, so I stood in the cold awaiting for people to enter. It was a halloween party, so everyone was dressed up in costumes (except me, tourist!). A beautiful tall blonde girl dressed in a pink jumpsuit as ski barbie arrived with her troll-dressed boy-friend and lined up behind me. When it was time to enter the venue, they passed in front of me because I fumbled finding my tickets. The lady apologized that they would go in first, I waved my hand, don't worry.

Once inside we would cross paths with each other and exchange flirty glances and smiles, and when it was late into the concert the lady appeared next to me, we danced together sexily. She went low, stumbled and fell on her bum. I asked her if she was drunk. She assented. I asked her where her friend was, "he left already". Well, you have another friend here, I winked at her. She giggled. Where are you from? Everywhere, she answered. Her accent and manner of speech reminded me of björk, so I assumed Iceland.

We parted ways on the dance floor, later she would came back to say that she was leaving. I asked who was taking her, she said a taxi. Oh stay a little longer, we'll figure it out later, I told her as I danced close to her. We indulged in a little sexy dance. I asked if she needed anything, she said "love". "Ohhhh that's wonderful" I said, and embraced her and we relaxed into a long hug.

Then she said she wanted a beer, so we went to the bar. The bartender refused to serve her, and then a security guard came and said that the taxi was waiting for her outside. Then it hit me: it was the staff that called the taxi because she was too drunk. I looked at her closely and saw that her gaze was kind of lost and her motions uncoordinated, and I realized it was not right to take her home. Instead of giving her a beer, I filled a large glass with water and told her to drink it to avoid the worst of the hangover. I told her I would stay, the security guard then escorted her outside to get her on the taxi.

Yesterday I went to ecstatic dance. While dancing I exchanged looks and moves at a distance with a sporty young woman. It was fun and sexy. After a while I saw the woman approach a strong tall man and grab him by the arm, as if to pull him with her to dance. The man refused and yanked his arm. She insisted. He was next to (or with) a woman, so he hugged her. The sporty woman danced around them as if nothing had happened but I could sense her disappointment. The couple who were hugging then went to sit in a corner, and after speaking some words to each other, the man said goodbye and left before the event was over.

Trying to make sense of the situation, my best guess is that they had been romantically involved before, not anymore, and the guy was at the event with a new romantic liason. There was an unsuccessful attempt at luring her former partner away from his new girlfriend.

I think it is an instinctive social reaction because immediately after being rejected, I felt a jolt: "now is the time to make a move", but I refused, it felt wrong to pick the rebound. She would probably use me to make her ex jealous, and I was willing to take her vengeance all the way to bed. In essence an emotional manipulation which would end up badly for everyone except myself.

After a moment collecting herself, the sporty lady stopped dancing and sat down to meditate, and she would do so until the end of the event.

I experience these events and I think: I can't be sure I'm doing the right thing. But there will be never be certainty. In some cases it will be right to get into bed with the drunk woman, or to pick up the rebound from a rejected woman. In any case, I'm amused life presents these moral conundrums just as I become open to casual sex. It's tantalizing and teasing me.