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The Divorced Flight Attendant Wary of the Pilot Cliché

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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 divorced flight attendant unsure why she can’t stop acting like a girlfriend: 27, straight, Forest Hills.


6 a.m. Briefly woken up by a roommate leaving the apartment for work. There’s so many of us I can’t keep track. But here’s the thing: Everyone is a flight attendant or a pilot, so even though we sleep in bunk beds and have no closet space, there’s never more than two people home at the same time. It’s an okay arrangement — no privacy but it keeps rent low.

10 a.m. I meet a friend who’s also a flight attendant at a local coffee shop. We met working a trip to Madrid and bonded instantly since we were both getting divorced. Now she’s settled down again, while I’m pretty far from it. I got married way too young and I’m in no hurry to do it again. Telling my ex I didn’t love him anymore was, by far, the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I was under the fantasy that I’d release us both from a loveless marriage and he’d thank me for making him see the light, but, alas, he hates me. We were together for six years; I undid it in one conversation that took a half-hour.

2:15 p.m. Coffee turned into lunch, lunch into a shopping trip. I’m flying to Dublin and going out with a cute, butt-chinned English guy I see once or twice a month when I’m there, so I buy a lacy thong at Victoria’s Secret and text him a picture of it. The thong was on sale for $5 — I used to spend a lot of money on lingerie, but what’s the point?

8 p.m. Checking in at the airport and spot a good friend just coming back from a trip. He is a gorgeous Italian with a sexy beard, the only flight attendant I’ve ever slept with. Thank god I actually put some makeup on.

We flirted for a full year before anything happened — I was married when we met, but he was my first post-divorce hookup. I was really nervous about sleeping with someone new after all that time. What if I was weird or bad at sex and just didn’t know it? Sure, I had to down a whole bottle of wine at dinner, but I surprised myself with how calm I was when he took my hand and guided us to his room. Didn’t even think about my ex at any point — I was too busy enjoying sex for the first time in a good while.

10 p.m. Chicken, pasta, or salad? Coffee, tea, water? Some guy rolls his eyes at me when I ask him how he takes his coffee. “Same as 40 minutes ago,” he says. “Right, because there aren’t another 200 people onboard,” I want to tell him. But I just smile and remind myself I’ll be in Ireland by the end of this. After the dinner service is done, we exchange passenger stories while we put things away: 23C is cute, 37H is an asshole, 16B asked for coconut milk for her coffee, the whole row at 42 needs to be cut off, they’re drunk already.

11:45 p.m. I have an hour break where I can sleep, but instead I go online. Italian Flight Attendant texted me with a screenshot of his schedule and now he wants mine, to see when we’re both in the same city. We make plans to hang out when I get back from Dublin; he doesn’t live in New York, but he’ll be in midtown for a night. He tells me I have three minutes to send him a sexy picture. I go in the lav, unbutton my dress, and work my angles the best I can given the tight space. He snaps me back a picture of his hard-on. We keep sexting until my break is over. I didn’t even close my eyes. Worth it.


10:30 a.m. Walk into my room in Dublin — this is by far the nicest hotel I stay at, ever. I thought I’d be dead tired, but I’m kind of getting my second wind. I go out for breakfast in the neighborhood.

Noon Walking around a bit and fall in love approximately ten times. The accents. I can’t help it.

1 p.m. Nap time. Second winds come with brutal comedowns. How long have I been awake for?

5:30 p.m. I slept for longer than I intended — rookie mistake, now I’ll stay up all night. Butt Chin is meeting me after work and to get ready, I take a luxuriously long bath in the marble bathtub and exfoliate, shave, and moisturize my entire body.

7 p.m. Butt Chin knocks. We make out some and I really want to be fucked right then and there, but he insists on dinner and drinks first. He always does.

9:30 p.m. I’m several pints in, more than enough to get me drunk. I get handsy with Butt Chin at the pub. “English people are not into PDA,” he tells me. I laugh and tell him we are not in England, but he doesn’t cave. We decide to go back to the hotel.

10 p.m. Finally. We have sex on the couch. I bring my vibrator out and he seems taken aback at first but quickly shifts to enthusiasm. I make myself come while he fucks me with my legs on his shoulders, then I finish him off with a blow job. When we’re done, we cuddle, naked, until he falls asleep.

11:45 p.m. I still haven’t fallen asleep and can’t stop thinking. Butt Chin is acting more and more like my boyfriend, but I don’t really want to date him. He’s been asking when I’m going to visit for longer than a work layover and I’ve been stalling. This is a perfect arrangement: Come to a fancy hotel I don’t pay for, get drunk, get fucked, fall asleep. Why is it not enough? Or am I wrong for not liking him more?


8:15 a.m. Wake-up call. Ouch. I slept four hours.

8:30 a.m. I need to get in the shower, but Butt Chin beats me to it. I hop in with him and we give each other hurried hand jobs between shampoos. It feels very teenager-y, in a really good way.

9:15 a.m. Transportation to the airport is here. I put on my sunglasses and attempt to sleep, but one of the crew members smirks and tells everyone how he saw me at the pub last night, “in good company.” Now everyone is asking. I try to be a good sport and pretend their banter is fun.

9 p.m. Finally at home in bed, I go to sleep fantasizing about Italian Flight Attendant and our meeting tomorrow.


11 a.m. I wake up, make coffee, and head straight out without a clear goal in mind. I LOVE being off during the week and working weekends. Going to a museum on a random weekday morning makes me feel like my life is a vacation.

1 p.m. I send Butt Chin pictures of the city. He wants to come visit. Even though I don’t want to be serious with him, I can’t stop talking to him like a girlfriend and I don’t know why. “Because flirting and having sex is fun,” I tell myself, pushing the uncomfortable thoughts away.

I’ve been single for less than six months — the longest I’ve ever gone between relationships since my first boyfriend when I was 12. I’m not a person afraid of being alone with her thoughts, but clearly I should give some thinking to the reasons I always need a man. And I will. Another time.

6 p.m. Italian Flight Attendant texts me — his flight is delayed and he won’t make it to the hotel until close to midnight, but he can call the front desk if I want to go earlier. I don’t want to go all the way home, shower in a shared bathroom, and then back to the city. I accept his offer.

6:30 p.m. The change of plans means I need to go shopping, though. I don’t want to see him in the clothes I’ve been wearing while out and about all day. I’m close to H&M; I go there and quickly get new underwear, a casual T-shirt, a miniskirt, and, at the last second, exchange tights for thigh-high stockings.

8 p.m. I’m in the room and have a delicious four hours to kill. Being a flight attendant has been my job since I graduated college six years ago, so I’m used to being in hotels by myself — but looking out the window and seeing New York makes it fun and new.

9 p.m. The hotel TV lets you sign in to your Netflix. I watch The Great British Baking Show wrapped in my towel. Everyone is so nice to each other.

10:30 p.m. I track Italian Flight Attendant’s flight — he’s about to land. I play one more episode with the intention of getting dressed right after, but fall asleep. So much for the new stockings.

11:45 p.m. I wake up with his fingers lightly tracing my shoulders. Italian Flight Attendant is hot, but he’s also funny and a good friend. I’m genuinely happy to hang out.

Midnight Okay, guess we’ll hang out after. He goes down on me for like, an eternity. I come on his face and am begging him to fuck me, but he keeps going, and I keep coming. Are these multiple orgasms? Is orgasming multiple times the same as multiple orgasms? I make a mental note to look it up.


8:30 a.m. We’re up early because he has to leave for work. I love how there’s zero awkwardness — we can talk about our lives like actual friends.

11 a.m. Text from a cute young pilot I sat next to on a plane ride home last week. Super cliché, I know, and it annoys me, but what am I gonna do? These are the people I meet. I tried downloading Tinder and branching out, but it bored me to death.

11:30 a.m. Getting dressed to leave the hotel, and the pilot and I are still texting. He hasn’t straight-up asked me out yet, but we’re definitely flirting.

1:30 p.m. I’m home. I don’t feel like doing anything other than lounging around. All my friends are working and I have a sex hangover — my favorite type.

11 p.m. I go to bed but can’t sleep, so I masturbate while rereading the best sexts from Italian Flight Attendant. Works like a charm: I always pass out the second I come.


7 a.m. I wake up to a gorgeous sunrise picture from the pilot. I like him.

8 a.m. Get dressed to go to work. Today I’m doing a turn — it means that I fly somewhere and then back to New York on the same day. I don’t do it often, and it feels weird not carrying my bag to the airport.

3:15 p.m. Working the second and last flight of the day, Miami to New York. A very cute passenger is, I think, flirting. Or maybe he’s just being polite.

4:30 p.m. No, he’s definitely flirting. He got up from his seat to ask for a drink and stayed back here talking. We talk until I get too busy and then he goes back to his seat. Most of my friends have hooked up or gone on dates with passengers. I never have, but I definitely would with him.

6 p.m. We land in New York and Cute Passenger hands me his card with a smile as he walks away. He thanked every crew member in the airplane. What a class act. I usually throw away the cards without looking, but I save his.

8:30 p.m. Butt Chin texts. He’s drunk. He sends me heart emoji. Oh my.

11:30 p.m. Pilot finally asks me out. Well, sort of — we make plans to hang out in three weeks, the first day we both have off. I love my not-nine-to-five schedule, but it makes planning anything insanely difficult.


1 p.m. Today I don’t work and stayed in bed all morning. I love staying in bed.

5 p.m. I haven’t left the house, changed out of my pj’s, or showered. I’m not depressed; I just like staying in. When your job is to make small talk with 250 people locked in a tube eight hours at a time, you cherish quietness.

6:30 p.m. Italian Flight Attendant texts me. He wants to see me again. We work on our schedules for a bit and manage to get on the same trip, to Madrid next week. He proposed Dublin, which I had to laugh about.

7 p.m. One of my good friends texts that she’s unexpectedly off work (she works nights) so we make spontaneous plans to watch Mean Girls and eat 7-Eleven pizza. Wild night!

Midnight I’m back home. Tomorrow I work and I want to do laundry before bed. I empty my uniform pockets and find Cute Passenger’s card. I had completely forgotten about him. Is it too late to text? I don’t care. He answers right away. Why did it take me so long to be single?!

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The Divorced Flight Attendant Wary of the Pilot Cliché