sex diaries

The Woman Tired of Living in an RV With Her Boyfriend

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a woman trying not to get too annoyed with her boyfriend while they’re (mostly) stuck inside an RV: 35, in a relationship, Kentucky.


9:00 a.m. I woke up at 3 a.m., again, and was up for at least two hours. I’ve been having a really hard time with the coronavirus. Not necessarily worried about myself but for my family. I lost my mom to suicide seven years ago, which was incredibly difficult, and while I know it’s unlikely that my dad will get sick and end up needing care, it is possible.

11:00 a.m. I decide to go for a short run while my fiancé, J, is on a work call. He’s in tech and works for himself and is always really busy despite our lifestyle. I worked in social work prior to this and am now just trying to enjoy the outdoors and life in general. We’re sitting in the parking lot of a rest stop in Kentucky, where we spent the night.

For the past year, we’ve been traveling around the country in a school bus we converted into an RV, leaving NYC behind us to explore the rest of the country. Together we live in a 98-square-foot space, and now we’re isolating in a 98-square-foot space. Throughout the past year, there have been a lot of amazing times, and a ton of stress along the way, and now we have a new source of stress, the ’Rona.

1:00 p.m. Still waiting for his meetings to end so we can get a few hours of rock climbing in before it starts raining tomorrow.

2:00 p.m. We get up on the wall! I love watching the way his body moves. Out here it’s so easy to forget the ways the world is falling apart around us. It’s just us and a slow, steady climb up the rock face. His muscles ripple with each move. After nearly four years together, I can forget how attractive and muscular he is. I’m just so used to seeing his nerdy side. But then he takes off his clothes and I am reminded of his Adonis body.

Despite this, our sex life on the road has stalled. We have sex, but it seems pretty lazy after all this time. But with nothing else to do during this period of self-distancing, maybe we can start getting a little more creative again.

When we first started dating, he would tie me up, tease me — it was really hot. But it hasn’t happened for a long time. On my end, I guess I could pull out his strap-on, but I usually just feel like a prop when we do that. Maybe it’s the lack of personal connection.

7:00 p.m. We pull into Cracker Barrel for the evening, for the free parking. Who knew bus life was so glamorous? Staying at campgrounds gets pricey. This isn’t as nice, but we have to cut corners somewhere.

8:00 p.m. Finish dinner and then cuddle with each other and our cat before falling asleep. My body aches and my mind feels clear and centered after climbing — until he tries for sex. Despite being turned on earlier while watching his climb, I push him away. We’ve been a bit short and crabby with each other, which is a surefire libido-killer.


7:30 a.m. I wake up in bed alone. J got up early to start working. I love having this time in the morning to myself, even if he’s sitting three feet away from me; an empty bed has become such a luxury.

12:00 p.m. After driving to our new home for the next week (a campground in the forest) I start feeling guilty for turning him down last night and the desire to feel close pushes me to ask if we can have gentle, slow sex. He happily agrees. We move to the bed and he gently kisses and caresses my breasts and stomach. Teasing me on his way down. I have a hard time focusing on the sensation and staying in the moment, but I try to gently push my concentration back to him and stay in my body. He gets me off with his tongue before he starts teasing me with his dick. He has an amazing dick, big while not being overwhelming, the perfect shape. Reminds me that I should go down on him soon. We have sex, and I get off three times.

5:00 p.m. I go for a run. I bought a running watch a few weeks ago and decided to start running/training as something to do during quarantine. I love the way my mind feels after a mile or so, especially while running through the trees. It’s easy to forget what’s going on in NYC when I’m surrounded by nothing but nature.

7:30 p.m. J makes us homemade tamales and salad. I’m so thankful that I have a partner who likes to cook. Even in quarantine, we’re able to eat well. We watch some TV and fall asleep.


8:00 a.m. Wake up and look at the news — it’s scary. On our end, not much has changed for us; we’re used to it just being the two of us.

12:00 p.m. The campground’s almost empty, so we feel relatively safe from the virus. We have a month’s supply of food, water purification systems, and run on solar. All our “survivalist prepping” has really come in handy. Despite all of that, I still feel really isolated and anxious.

2:00 p.m. My brother and I text about how stupid our parents are being. They refuse to stay at home despite being high-risk. My anxiety shoots up. My brother’s now refusing to go over there. He’d been stopping by a few times a week to drink a beer in the yard, six feet away from my dad. He’s tired of dealing with it. They won’t listen to either of us.

9:00 p.m. We eat dinner, watch TV, and try not to disturb the cat too much when getting in and out of bed. She’s such a princess.


7:00 a.m. I wake up annoyed with J, not an unusual feeling when space is at such a premium. Doesn’t help that I was up again at 4 a.m. ruminating.

Sharing 98 square feet with your partner, with only a curtain for privacy when going to the bathroom, can get a little old. Don’t get me wrong, I want to keep going, but it can also be hard on us, particularly when trying to keep up a sexual relationship. As Esther Perel says, desire needs mystery, and there’s no mystery in a confined space. We know everything about each other, even down to our bowel movements. We do keep our masturbatory habits private, so I guess that’s the little bit of mystery that we get for ourselves. I’ll take out my vibrator after he falls asleep and get myself off, usually thinking about someone else and some sort of power dynamic.

1:00 p.m. After lunch, when we continue our bickering, I go for a long walk by myself and start to think about our relationship. In the past, I’ve played with the idea of trying to open it up, but after spending so much time single and dating in NYC, the thought of entering that world again fills me with dread. Not to mention the amount of time and emotional energy that goes into dating new people. Maybe an affair would be easier.

8:00 p.m. We drink a little too much while having a virtual game night with our friends in L.A. It was worth it, except I found myself wishing that A wasn’t involved. One of my friends is a dominatrix in L.A. I’ve been her vanilla voyeur a few times. Which was fun and insightful and a great way to make some extra cash. I basically just had to step into a role and act disgusted when she dominated her clients.


9:15 a.m. I don’t know if J gets more annoying when he drinks or if I just get more annoyed when I drink. Maybe I’m just tired of not having a door I can close. I lay in bed and play on my phone, just to not have to get up and interact with him.

11:30 a.m. I try to make lunch, but we’re incredibly annoyed with each other, snapping and bickering all morning. I hate that this has become a thing the past few days. But it’s hard to break this cycle.

2:00 p.m. I realize we need to have sex. That usually clears the air; neither of us are “secretly” masturbating, so that may be part of the problem. I know that I often turn him down when he starts to come on to me. For some reason it’s my immediate response. But I don’t want to be that kind of partner, so I’m trying to say yes or be the one who initiates it. I always enjoy it when we do have sex, so there’s really no reason for me to push him away. I’ll suggest we fuck tonight. I know it’s not the hottest way to approach sex, but relationships take work.

4:30 p.m. I go outside to do a quick yoga workout and a couple mile run.

6:00 p.m. I tell him we need to have sex. We do so while trying not to disturb the cat, which means we are relegated to one side of the bed and not a lot of movement. Still enjoyable.

7:00 p.m. Stress levels are down, and I’m back to enjoying his company. He’s cooking for me and I’m laying in bed with a lazy smile on my face. Texting my friends back in NYC. A lot of them are working on the front lines, which I worry about. But there’s not a lot I can do except be there for them. Listen to them and hold space.


10:00 a.m. After a quiet morning, I go for a run. I’m struggling today, but I’m proud of myself for getting out the door anyways.

1:00 p.m. We talk about the sex last night and how fun it was. He hints at wanting to fuck again, but I dont want to disturb the cat. I know it’s stupid. Instead, he sits me down on the passenger seat at the front of the bus. Steps out the bus doors and leans down over the seat to tease me with his tongue. I start to shudder and he enters me, standing above me. Again, I’m surprised by his muscular body. I ask him to turn me over and do me from behind. It feels animalistic and raw. He finishes and we go about our day.

3:00 p.m. It’s laundry time in the sink, he takes care of it, and we both hang it up in the sun to dry. I feel like I’m living in Little House on the Prairie, except the gender roles are more relaxed.

8:00 p.m. We watch The Fast and the Furious while FaceTiming with my brother and turn it into a drinking game. Don’t love how much drinking we’re doing these days, but we all have to deal with this somehow.


9:00 a.m. I wake up after an amazingly restful sleep, aided by three times my normal dosage of Ativan. I’m trying not to rely on it too much, but these are special circumstances. As long as I don’t take it every day, I think I’ll be okay.

2:15 p.m. It’s finally warmed up outside, so I decide to get out to do some strength-training exercises. It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so I need to soak up as much outside/alone time as possible. I don’t feel like exercising, but there’s not really much else going on.

7:00 p.m. We drink wine and sake while eating tamales and watching John Oliver. This is about the level of news I can manage today.

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The Woman Tired of Living in an RV With Her Boyfriend