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The Editor Who Thinks Dating Is Easier Outside New York

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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 25-year-old magazine editor trying but failing to stay off Grindr: gay, single, Crown Heights.

DAY ONE

7:15 am Awake with my first alarm, which is a miracle. I’m trying to get back on my morning gym routine, but today is tough, since I’m still recovering from a boozy weekend trip with my friends. I’m exhausted.

8:24 a.m. I’m at the gym and hate-listening to Taylor Swift to get through 20 minutes on the StairMaster. Fuck.

10:05 a.m. My energy levels perk up at my job, which is at a magazine. My boss is out, so I can take the morning slower than usual. The weekend trip was exactly what I needed to mentally reset, except for the fact that it miiiiight have reignited an old crush on Sean, one of my close — and very straight — friends. It’s a total cliché, but he was my first crush post-coming out in college, where we were both communications majors upstate, and now that he’s moved to the city, I shouldn’t be surprised at history repeating itself. Sean drunkenly told me he loves me (platonically, obv) on the trip, which just set me back a few years. Then again, this could be good for my unofficial New Year’s resolution to be less of a slut …

6:43 p.m. I forgot I had plans to get drinks with an old co-worker after work, but here I am. We’re near Wall Street, which is a surprisingly fertile area for hookups. Ignoring my resolution, I check Grindr while my friend is in the bathroom — but no dice.

10:25 p.m. Careful what you wish for. I’m home, in bed, and Grindr is popping — this time, with two guys from my past: One is a hookup-turned-kinda-friend, and the other is currently saved in my contacts under “Fucking Dick.” Turns out, my weekend and inappropriate crush have made me a little desperate … I try starting something with both of them. Nothing pans out, so I shower and go to bed without getting off.

DAY TWO

10:30 a.m. I’m in a meeting and my co-worker shows me an unfairly adorable Insta of her cousin and his boyfriend. They live in the South, where I secretly think it’s easier to meet and date people (I feel this way about anywhere outside of NYC). Even the Republican suburb that I’m from in Southern California is filled with gays coupling together left and right. Over the weekend, a friend tried telling me everyone here needs to get off their apps and “just talk to people.” She might be right, but she also lives in the South.

12:06 p.m. I text Connor to say hi. Connor is … complicated. We met three and a half years ago on Grindr (surprise!), and we’ve been hooking up on and off since. He’s hands down the best sex of my life, but he also has a girlfriend. So.

4:16 p.m. Our texts take a sexy turn. He’s going through some family stuff, which I tried being receptive to, but I can’t help it. Whatever we have going on, it doesn’t include feelings or friendship.

5:09 p.m. My efforts pay off in the form of a grainy video Connor sends me from his bathroom at home, shot from under his ass while he comes. I watch it at my desk — volume muted, natch — before getting assigned a project that keeps me in the office two hours past when I usually go home. Karma.

9:05 p.m. Connor texts again to tell me he’s been “practicing” with a toy. I don’t respond, but it sets the tone for my night.

9:23 p.m. I open Grindr and message a cute guy, who also happens to be the closest to me. His display name says “Bottom.” Sold.

10:10 p.m. Bottom gets to my apartment and I realize he has an accent (Polish, which I guess correctly; he’s not the first Polish guy I’ve slept with). He kisses me and from there, I move things along quickly because I don’t know when my roommates are coming home. Just as I grab his ass, I get the sudden compulsion to ask him what his name is. “Mark,” he tells me.

10:21 p.m. Well, that’s done. Three minutes into fucking him, Mark is finishing hands-free across his chest. It’s flattering, but he also decides he’s the only one getting off tonight. I send him on his way, but not before kissing him at the door — something I do out of a sense of obligation, not necessarily desire. Whatever, I’m working through it. I get myself off in bed before moving to the kitchen to finish some work.

DAY THREE

10 a.m. Bagel Wednesday in the office. Fuck yeah.

11:15 a.m. I message Sean, asking him if he wants to watch a movie this weekend. He already has plans to see it with his cousin. Fine, I’ll watch it by myself.

1:52 p.m. Connor texts, asking if I watched his video again. This is the most proactive he’s been in a while, which leads me to think there may be an IRL meeting on the horizon. He has to “figure out his schedule,” which I take to mean “figure out the girlfriend situation.” I feel bad for a moment before I remind myself it’s not my problem.

3:10 p.m. Mike texts me. He’s another unsaved number from the apps, but we’ve been talking continuously and I think I like him inasmuch as you can like someone you’ve only talked to for a very short period of time. Then again, I’ve also done this before and been disappointed when the guy I never bothered to save to my contacts ends up ghosting me. But Mike is sweet and he’s asking about my cat. I think he goes to church.

6:32 p.m. Mike likes football. I don’t have the heart to tell him I don’t.

DAY FOUR

1:22 p.m. Connor asks me about his video again, which, okay, it’s not fucking Casablanca. But this is good; we’re definitely fucking soon.

6:15 p.m. Like clockwork, my mom calls as I leave the office. We talk pretty regularly, usually as I’m walking to the subway. Most days, I can tell her what’s on my mind. Not today, though. Today I’m just thinking about how I’m about to go see a movie by myself, which I’d be fine with if it weren’t for the fact that I’d rather be watching it with a certain boy. (I just know we’d have a lot to talk about afterward, okay?)

My mom in general is finally okay with me being gay, but I still don’t feel like I can talk to her about dating and crushing and whatever. Once, I asked her how she and my dad would react if I brought home a boy and she stuttered through a non-response for a full minute. So that’s that.

7:30 p.m. I’m in a movie theater with Shake Shack hidden in my bag, alone.

7:45 p.m. Thanks to a certain app, I get a blow-job offer from someone in the area. But the movie’s about to start and I already know I’m heading straight home after. Not for the first time this week, I contemplate deleting Grindr.

DAY FIVE

7:50 a.m. I wake up to a text from Mike, which is … nice. His schedule is such that he falls asleep before me, but he always starts the day by picking up last night’s conversation.

11:09 a.m. I’m working when my phone buzzes. It’s a finance dude who’s blown me once before. He has access to his friend’s apartment nearby and this time, he wants to fuck. My calendar is empty … not that I wouldn’t have moved things around anyway.

12:15 p.m. Finance Dude needs me there on time — quickie rules and all — and I oblige. His friend’s bedroom has huge north-facing windows, and I focus on the unobstructed view of Midtown as I fuck him from behind.

2:17 p.m. Buzz. As expected, Connor has free time this weekend. We decide on tomorrow, 1 p.m., my place.

4:40 p.m. Mike and I are having a steady back and forth over text, which I feel really good about. He leaves work around 4, which means he’s already at a bar, drinking and waiting for friends.

I have a tendency of oversharing once I decide I like someone. I’m trying to rein it in with Mike, rather than scare him off with the usual “I like you” and “you’re so great to talk to” I lob at guys as soon as they start paying the tiniest bit of attention to me. We’ve struck a nice balance of light teasing, without word vomiting on my part. But I’ve found out he also loved Britney Spears while growing up, so he’s making it hard.

8:12 p.m. A friend asks me to come out and go dancing at some gay party tonight. The thing is, Friday night is my time to decompress from a long week; I’ve never been able to understand people who go from work, to dinner, to maybe home, to bar hopping until early in the morning. The other thing is, I’m already in comfy clothes on my couch, so that’s not happening.

DAY SIX

11:09 a.m. I wake up, shower, and immediately get to tidying the apartment. By some miracle, one of my roommates is at her parents’ for the weekend and the other is at some guy’s she’s seeing. One day, I’ll be able to call someone “that guy I’m seeing.” But today — the day I’m fucking some girl’s boyfriend — is not that day.

12:50 p.m. Connor texts to let me know he’s running late because he forgot his gloves at home. Before I can check just how cold it is outside, he follows up with: “I think I’m just nervous.” It’s cute.

1:23 p.m. Goddamn, Connor is hot. He’s 30, which is admittedly as old as I’ve ever gone, but he makes me consider making it a regular thing because wow, he knows what he’s doing. We make out for a while — a treat, compared to 20-somethings who’d prefer a peck or two before getting straight to it.

1:30 p.m. He eats me out like it’s an Olympic sport.

1:50 p.m. I get him off with only my fingers inside him. He needs a bit to recover, so we chat. We don’t really dwell on his family issues, but he tells me about his new job and how he’s thinking about getting a pet. It’s weird to think our lives won’t ever really intersect beyond this, but still, I let my mind wander.

2:40 p.m. Connor kisses me at the door on his way out, and it’s sweeter than it needs to be. Probably won’t see him again for months.

7 p.m. Not going out tonight either, which I’m okay with. Instead, friends are coming over to watch movies and order Indian food. Sean arrives and goes straight for the beer in my fridge. I decide it was the rush of a drunken weekend away that made me think I liked him again. He’s in a precarious situation, anyway: His long-time girlfriend just broke up with him (again) fairly recently.

10:20 p.m. Still, I snuggle closer to Sean on the couch as the second movie starts. I can’t help it.

DAY SEVEN

9:27 a.m. I can never sleep in on Sundays. My body has made it a rule. I cuddle with my cat for an hour, letting her purr against my side as I scroll through Instagram and every other app. Not Grindr, though; I tend to stay off for a few days after a really good lay.

11 a.m. Because he can’t seem to understand boundaries or the concept of a personal life on the weekend, my boss texts me about an email he sent last night. The email can wait until I’m back on the clock; I ignore him and decide today is going to be a cleaning day.

2:30 p.m. I’ve cleaned the bathroom, the kitchen, the litter box, and the living room. I debate really committing and tackling my room next, but I end up on the couch, weed pen in hand.

4 p.m. Fine, I’m on Grindr. I have no excuse, other than I’m kinda high and it’s something to do. Plus, the episode of Black Mirror I’m watching is bleak as fuck, and I need to look away. I tell myself I’m not actually angling to hook up with anyone, so it’s okay.

4:34 p.m. Mike saves me from myself in a big way. He asks when I’m free to hang out. We decide on meeting in exactly a week, during the day when the stakes are lower — or so I tell myself.

8:30 p.m. I’m showered and in bed much earlier than intended. I have a doctor’s appointment this week: just a routine checkup and an HIV/STD test, which will (hopefully) allay latent anxiety that comes roaring to life after weeks like the one I’ve just had. My mind starts extrapolating different hypothetical scenarios from different hypothetical results, so I pull open a book and start reading.

9:07 p.m. Mike sends me a selfie from a bar he’s at. My initial thought  is “cute!” but I put down my book and think of something less … eager. I’m playing the long game here.

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The Editor Who Thinks Dating Is Easier Outside New York