This week, a woman struggling during the pandemic while awaiting the dopamine kick of dick pics: 29, Single, Bay Area
8:00 a.m. I wake up sore, my room still smelling like sweat and sex. I’ve been riding out the coronavirus basically alone since March. But at the beginning of August I decided to expand my bubble to include my friend with benefits, Joe. We have been hooking up since November of last year, pandemic hiatus notwithstanding, and we stayed in touch during lockdown via infrequent sexting. We’ve seen each other a few times since the beginning of the month, including last night, and are still making up for lost time. Strands of my hair are crunchy with some horrendous combination of sweat, spit, and come, and my mouth tastes faintly like vomit — the aftermath of a particularly enthusiastic face fucking.
10:00 a.m. I finally drag my ass out of bed, strip my well-dirtied sheets, and stiffly climb into the shower. I work in higher ed, and while working from home is a mixed bag, I’m thankful that I won’t have to creatively dress for the office this week to hide the patchwork of bite marks and bruises on my neck, shoulders, and wrists. (Joe and I are both into kink, and I am a fairly traditional submissive.)
3:00 p.m. I’m reading on the couch when my phone buzzes. One week ago, in a fit of anxiety, I posted on FetLife that I was looking for a Dom to play with over the phone. I’ve done this a few times before, usually when I’m in desperate need of attention and validation. My inbox gets flooded with gross messages from 65-year-old men in Florida calling me “princess” and “little girl.” I usually ignore most of them, but just seeing all the notifications is enough to make my brain produce a minute amount of dopamine. Recently, a guy named Harry sent me a message which was refreshingly without cringe, so I gave him my info and we’ve been texting nonstop since.
4:30 p.m. I’m in the kitchen, figuring out dinner, but mostly being distracted by texts from Harry. In addition to being kinky, he is also pretty charming and fun to talk to. While there’s obviously been a lot of horny sexting, we also have been talking about our vanilla lives and interests and I’ve been surprised by how compatible we seem to be. It’s dumb, but I can feel myself developing a little crush.
5:30 a.m. My alarm goes off, but I lay in bed for an extra minute. Harry’s a time zone ahead of me and he texted while I was asleep. I scroll through the messages on my lock screen and feel a stupid, giddy smile form on my face. My dream partner has always been someone who sends me long texts detailing their thoughts on the respective merits and deficiencies of potential Vice-Presidential nominees, followed immediately by, “I can’t stop thinking about all the different ways I want to eat that needy little cunt of yours, slut.”
5:45 a.m. I finally make myself get out of bed and dress to go for one of my pathetic attempts at a run.
6:50 a.m. I cut a mile off my run so I’d have time to masturbate before logging into work. Face in the pillows, vibrator on my clit, listening to the audio clip that Harry sent me last night of him jerking off and moaning my name. I imagine that he’s pinning me down with a hand on the back of my neck and fucking me from behind, using me to get himself off, totally indifferent to whether I come or not. I orgasm in about 30 seconds flat; I guess I could have run that last mile after all.
5:00 p.m. Today was not one of my more productive days — between my general pandemic malaise and fighting the urge to constantly check my phone to see what new filth Harry texted (mostly pictures of his shockingly beautiful cock).
6:00 a.m. Another miserable run. Sometimes I fantasize about tripping and breaking an ankle so I have an excuse to not exercise for a few months.
12:00 p.m. Due to geographic distance, I haven’t seen anyone in my family since Christmas last year, so when my mother texts me “I hope you know how much I love and miss you,” I start ugly crying. I want to go home to visit my parents so badly but I’m terrified I’ll get them sick. Fuck, I am so depressed.
2:45 p.m. I’ve been crying intermittently as I scroll through spreadsheets all afternoon. Suddenly, Joe texts. He is not a particularly scintillating conversationalist via text, which is probably part of the reason we didn’t sext more during lockdown, but at this point I’m desperate for a distraction. We make plans to hang out at the end of the week.
Once that’s done, he asks how everything is going. I tell him truthfully that it’s been pretty shit, and jokingly warn him there’s a not insignificant chance I’ll cry on him when we hang out. He replies, “That’s okay. You can cry if you need to. I’m happy to lend you a shoulder,” which sets off another round of tears. The Joe situation is … complicated. We agreed when we first hooked up that neither of us wanted anything serious, plus his life is a bit of a mess right now. But then he says cute, emotionally available shit and I start to forget all the reasons I don’t want to catch feelings.
6:00 p.m. I haven’t heard much from Harry today, aside from a generic, “Slammed with meetings today, so won’t be able to talk much. Have a good day!” I am slightly disappointed; I’ve quickly become accustomed to getting dick pics on request.
5:30 a.m. My alarm goes off but I can’t seem to make myself get out of bed. I reread an old favorite romance novel on my Kindle, idly rubbing my clit during the sex scenes, but not really trying to make myself cum.
7:45 a.m. No Zoom meetings today, so I normally wouldn’t bother with showering, but I have my weekly therapy appointment at noon and I feel like I need to look at least semi-functional. I shower and get dressed, putting on a real bra with underwire. That’s as much effort as I’m capable of making these days.
12:50 p.m. Why is crying in therapy so much more satisfying than crying on your own? I feel exhausted and empty, but in a good way — like a painful abscess has been drained. We spent today talking about my issues around relationships, like we do pretty much every session.
5:00 p.m. Finally done with work, and I reach for my weed pen immediately. I got nervous about how much weed I was consuming during quarantine, so I cut back from my daily use. Now I only let myself smoke after particularly rough therapy sessions, and today’s qualifies. I get super-stoned, turn on Selling Sunset, and let my brain shut down for the night.
6:00 a.m. More running.
7:30 a.m. I get out of the shower a little ahead of schedule, so I play around taking some nudes. One pic turns out particularly hot, so I send it to both Harry and Joe. I get a read notification from Harry a few minutes later, but no response.
11:00 a.m. Joe replies to my nude with a heart eyes emoji and “You’re gorgeous.” His job entails working late nights sometimes, so he gets a pass for the delay. I tell him I’m looking forward to seeing him later this week.
3:30 p.m. I keep checking my phone, pathetically wanting to believe there’s been some error with the app’s notifications and I’ve missed Harry’s response. Who leaves a nude on read? I can feel irrational anxiety swell that I’ve done something wrong and he’s mad at me, even though I know logically that’s not true.
7:00 p.m. Nothing from Harry. It’s been two days since he’s texted. I’m not sure why I’m taking his obvious ghosting so personally; it’s something I’ve both done and been on the receiving end of dozens of times before. I should just block him and be done with it but I can’t shake the humiliating hope that he’ll message me again.
5:45 a.m. I have an excuse to skip my run today since Joe is coming over tonight. I take a long, lazy shower to exfoliate and shave, then moisturize my whole body with a lotion he’s mentioned liking the scent of before.
11:30 a.m. Joe texts, “Hey! We still on for tonight?” and I confirm our plans, telling him I’ll leave the door unlocked so he can come right in. That’s always been something that turns me on, although I’m not sure why. I think it’s a little bit of a home-intruder fantasy mixed up with wanting to be domestic and intimate with someone? It’d be fun to tease out in therapy, but I’ve got bigger questions to unpack there.
5:00 p.m. Joe texts again, “Having a shitty day. Don’t think I’ll have the energy for sex tonight. That okay, or do you want to postpone?” I ask him if he’d rather come over tomorrow instead, and he happily agrees.
8:00 a.m. Running!
8:00 p.m. Joe comes straight over from work and lets himself into my apartment. He joins me on the couch and I turn on a movie. The opening credits haven’t even finished, and we’re already making out. Not with any real urgency, the sort of deep, lazy kissing that can last for hours. We finally stop after about 20 minutes and I curl up against him. Something I love about Joe is how tactile he is: As we watch the movie, he runs his fingers through my hair, kisses the top of my head and rubs his thumb in the cup of my palm as we hold hands. It’s bliss.
9:45 p.m. The movie ends, and we’re making out again, a little more urgently this time. I’ve always had a soft spot for dry humping, so when Joe pulls me on his lap, grips my hips and helps me start to ride him through the layers of our clothes, I’m more than happy to play along. I know this can’t be anything more than a tease for him, but he patiently watches me, rubbing his hands over my fully clothed body, and lets me grind against him until I cum. To thank him, I get on my knees and give him as good of a blowjob as I’m capable of, which is to say an excellent one.
I feel myself drifting into subspace, sort of a dreamy, disassociated state where the world falls away and all that matters is pleasing the person I’m serving. It feels like you’re floating, while also being deeply aware of the physical sensations in your body. It’s rare for me to achieve subspace without being in a full, immersive kink scene.
10:30 p.m. We cuddle for a bit longer, sort of dozing. An alert notification from Joe’s phone jolts both of us awake, and I get up to get water from the kitchen to hint that I’m ready for him to leave. When I come back into the living room, he’s putting on his shoes. I kiss Joe good night at the door, and tell him I’ll talk to him later. I go to bed alone. As I’m about to fall asleep, my phone lights up with a notification. The needy, pathetic part of my brain hopes it’s Harry. It’s Joe, texting me, “Tonight was nice. See you soon?”
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