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New York’s Sex Diaries series asks anonymous city dwellers to record a week in their sex lives — with comic, tragic, often sexy, and always revealing results. This week, a virgin catches a glimpse of Anna Wintour and goes to the Cock: 28, gay, single, West Village.
8:48 a.m. There’s human years, there’s dog years, and there’s gay years. You’re only good-looking and in shape for so long, and then it all goes downhill, or so they say. I’ve never totally subscribed to this: I’m 28 and a virgin. If I’m going downhill, I’m treating this like the steepest drop on a roller coaster: exciting, but also super-aware that death is closer than ever. I’m buying coffee at the place with a cute barista who looks like Oscar Isaac. He has an accent.
8:50 a.m. I ask him where he’s from and promptly realize he never had an accent — I just so badly want him to be Oscar Isaac. The only word I remember from high-school Spanish: puta. I think I can win him over with this.
10:14 a.m. It’s as if the gay gods conjured a high-school-level fantasy in which the quarterback asks for a rubdown after the big game: In the lobby at work, I catch myself standing next to Nyle DiMarco, part-time model, full-time dreamboat. He is handsome and tan, and I look like him if you sucked all the air out then replaced it with sand. Witnessed an awkward moment when another bystander tried to talk to him. Nyle, who is deaf, gave the perfect expression of “I can’t hear you” and “I’m gorgeous and don’t need to, Puta.”
3:37 p.m. I work for a glossy magazine. On my floor, there’s a cute guy who works in the finance department. Have a feeling he’s not into me. He always looks at me the way you look at a person who starts running on the treadmill minutes after you’ve started and still leaves before you’re done. Like, Really, that’s it? I expected more.
7:49 p.m. At the gym. Spotted a handsome actor from Hilary Duff’s show that only I seem to watch. I’ve been wanting to introduce myself for at least a year. I’m doing it. It’s happening. I look terrible though. A lot of people can sweat gracefully but I am not one of them. My face is so shiny you can see your own reflection in it.
7:56 p.m. I said, “Have a good nun.” I introduced myself. He was polite. I tried to say “have a good one” And I also tried to say have a good night. So instead, I said, have a good nun. Maybe he runs a failing convent and knows a rebel nun like Sister Mary Clarence and this is all making sense to him. Or maybe, I really need to develop better conversational closing statements.
11:32 p.m. FaceTimed with this guy I met in London back in November. All we do is fight. The distance is tough. I’ve only cried twice in five years. The last time was when Rue died in The Hunger Games. This is a close third. He knows I’m inexperienced and tries to use this to justify treating me any which way. He wears the pants; I’m wearing a wet sock, at best.
10:42 a.m. Anna Wintour sighting near work. She’s stunning. I wish I could pull off wearing sunglasses all day without someone thinking I’ve lost track of my seeing eye dog.
1:16 p.m. Got into giant argument with the cute finance guy over a big project. He’s mad because he hates being told he’s wrong. I can’t be mad at anyone. A friend once called me the golden retriever of people because it doesn’t matter if you’re a stranger — I’ll warm up to you in the hopes of a head rub.
1:30 p.m. M guy in London is dating two other people and likes to remind me of it because he’s a big fan of “honesty.” I’m trying to build my own roster, but it’s slim pickings. I’m like a JV team looking for anyone who’s willing to join; on the downside, we’re not very good, but on the upside, it’s noncompetitive and we have snacks.
Overall, my dating life has been sparse — I’d like to think it’s because I focus so much on work. It’s true, to an extent. I definitely knew I wanted to work hard and have professional success, but I forgot to fall in love at some point. I think it’s because I’m so terrified of rejection I can’t fathom putting myself through it.
6:56 p.m. Strolling along Seventh Avenue and see Andy Cohen, walking his dog with his handsome young boyfriend. I take one glance and look away; they seem in love. Felt like I was invading an intimate moment between them, which I normally would intrude upon with no shame, but I don’t know how to approach good-looking people unless they work behind a bar and have a happy-hour menu. I’m not even close to shy but approaching a complete stranger is fairly high on my list of things I’d rather not try.
9:02 p.m. Going through my phone on the subway and find an old text exchange between a guy I “dated” my freshman year in college. He said he’d break up with his boyfriend, but never did. Then I Google “necessary fiber intake for gay sex” and am promptly disappointed. Did you know you have to consume an incredible amount of fiber in order for your “movements” to pass easily post-sex? Me neither.
11:05 a.m. I injured my back a week ago by trying to lift heavier than I could. I’ve been walking around with a slight hunch, which must add to the overall appeal. London texts me: How’s your day? I don’t respond.
London is the only person I’ve ever told that I’m a virgin. His response was nicer than I would have ever imagined; he called me “amazing,” in fact. But now he knows I wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt him by sleeping with someone else. That’s the biggest dating mistake I’ve ever made — admitting that I’m committed when he hasn’t decided that himself.
3:00 p.m. A friend from college invites me to drinks with her boyfriend. I’m such a fantastic third wheel that couples actually seek me out. I engage both parties, I settle fights, and I allow them their privacy when need be.
7:02 p.m. London texts. U ok?
8:42 p.m. Meeting with my college friend at a bar in Brooklyn. She and her boyfriend are gorgeous, smart, and funny; meanwhile, I had a nosebleed at the gym today because I accidentally punched myself. I ask her boyfriend about the last time he was single. Never, he tells me. “I’ve been in a relationship from 20 until 38, never been single for more than a month,” he says with a smile. I make myself stop after one drink and go home early.
6:17 a.m. Sitting out on my stoop — I can never sleep after I drink, even just one. I live alone and have for about six years. At one point during college, I had eight roommates; now I bask in the loneliness. Rent is worse, but privacy is worth it. New York is as perfect as it is isolating at this hour.
9:21 a.m. I attended a small Catholic school as a kid. We had exactly one sex-ed class in fifth grade that featured a video made in the ’80s that made sex look like an infomercial for an ab wheel I’d never use. I decide to look at a gay subreddit for sex tips. Douching sounds scary. What if I’m never clean?
2:15 p.m. Lunch with a friend from my first job out of college. She’s brilliant and successful; jury’s still out on me, unless your definition of success entails number of Chobanis consumed in an hour.
8:00 p.m. Finally watching Get Out.
8:14 p.m. London texts me. He’s frantic and in trouble, he says. He thinks he’s taken some kind of drug that’s not reacting well with him. I FaceTime him. He’s depressed. He’s spiraling. I sit and stay on the phone with him until he’s better. He’s losing his mind. I’m doing everything I can from across an ocean to console him.
9:07 p.m. Holy Shit. Allison Williams, you conniving she-devil.
10:17 a.m. Ran into my cute neighbor reading his mail. One night I thought it would be a great, drunk idea to write a note telling 6H that he’s sexy and to call me (but I didn’t actually include my number). For years, I’ve felt he knows it was me, but I’m too embarrassed to cop to it. He tried to talk to me, which I promptly ran to the front door to avoid. I become as paralyzed as a dog during thunder with even the slightest idea of reciprocation.
10:19 a.m. Forgot my umbrella, then run into my neighbor again and avoid eye contact. Now I’m just rude. Sorry, neighbor. Hope you read this.
1:17 p.m. London’s feeling better. I text him. He’s going on a date tonight. I try to be excited for him, but fail to be convincing.
7:42 p.m. Passing out early. Vanderpump Rules is on. Tom and Katie are in a fight. “Your dick doesn’t even work,” Katie yells. “My dick works great,” Tom responds with his voice wavering, hoping it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3:32 p.m. Woke up late. Definitely have the flu. Can barely move. I tell London. He seems unconcerned.
8:32 p.m. I’m reading our first texts to one another. Lots of I miss you. When we first met, it was just days after a breakup for me. I’d only dated that guy for a month or so, but it felt jarring because everything about our short time together felt right. I’ve learned to trust my gut a lot less.
During my second date with London, I remember us lying on his bed. He wanted sex; I just wanted intimacy. He told me how lonely he was in London. He hadn’t made friends. He wasn’t making enough money. He was alone. And I was, too. So we lay there, speechless, in what could have been an incredibly close moment, but what was actually two people who couldn’t have been further away from each other. We were two lonely people who needed each other that night, but it turns out we didn’t need each other much longer than that.
10:15 p.m. I send London a text: I’m hurt. I’m not sure I can keep doing this.
10:22 p.m. Google “Should I keep doing this?”
9:32 a.m. It wasn’t the flu, it was food poisoning. This is my body’s way of rejecting everything I’ve put into it over the past week, emotionally and physically.
1:15 p.m. I grab a late lunch with my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were 7, and he’s in town for a week. He knows me better than most. We talk about school and work and sometimes, we talk about the past.
When I was 9, a group of boys our year surrounded me on the playground. I remember two kids distinctly pulling my arm and forcing it on themselves. They were seeing how far they could push me. It was one experience, but it lived on. My school was small, and my nightmare was this one kid who was desperate for acceptance. My best friend wishes he’d noticed more so he could’ve stopped it. I’ve come to terms with what happened. I won’t be the one living with having done something like that, but my bullies will be — and that’s a tough realization for them to live through every morning.
8:32 p.m. I’m at a bar called the Cock on a weekday. The name speaks for itself. On my third drink. London finally responds to my text, the equivalent of k.
9:10 p.m. I walk home. It’s freezing. I’m drunk on cheap vodka, which is the best kind of vodka. Fleetwood Mac comes on Spotify and it’s “Dreams” and I know thunder only happens when it’s raining … and Stevie sings me all the way home.
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