sex diaries

The Graphic Designer Who Hates Making the First Move

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a woman who thinks she’s ready for a life partner, or at least a real relationship: 22, single, Long Island.


5:25 a.m. I wake up and hit snooze on my alarm twice before getting out of bed. I like to wake up super early to work out so that when I get home after work, I don’t feel guilty for getting stoned and sitting on my ass for six hours. It also helps me focus and have energy for the day.

7 a.m. One hour of yoga with weights, all at home. I miss the gym so much, but I’m proud of the fact that I’ve pushed myself to work out hard from home basically every day over the last year.

I get in the shower and listen to an episode of my favorite podcast. One of the hosts talks about their relationship with their LP (life partner) and I think about how I want a life partner, too.

8:30 a.m. I decide to get high before heading into work on the train. Before the pandemic, I smoked a lot, but now I smoke every day. I’m a super high-functioning stoner — or so I tell myself. On my commute, I get bored and blast music and take too many selfies.

12 p.m. I’m having a productive day. I’m an assistant at a graphic design studio. This is my first job out of college and I like it, but it’s a little administrative-y. Mostly I write contracts and check in with the bosses and put away design samples.

1 p.m. I get a text from a guy I matched with on Hinge awhile ago. We texted and FaceTimed after we matched, made plans, but then I realized I wasn’t interested and told him so. He acted really weird about it, which further solidified why I wasn’t interested, and now he’s reaching out again. Get a clue, dude. His text says “hello there.” I don’t reply and delete the conversation right away.

5:40 p.m. I leave work and get stoned again. I try FaceTiming a few friends but no one picks up, which leaves me feeling kind of sad. I listen to podcasts in the meantime, as if that’s a replacement for socializing.

9 p.m. Swiping through girl Tinder. I’ve only been with a girl once and it was kind of clumsy, but not in a bad way. We got locked in her room while her roommate was having a party. The idea of being with a girl really turns me on, so sometimes I swipe and match just to feel something. I could easily make a move and ask one of them out, but something is holding me back.

12 a.m. I look at porn on Reddit and then pass out.


5:30 a.m. Back at it. This time I do a few MadFit workout videos. These used to seem so easy before I tried them, but now every time I do them I’m so sore the next day.

7:30 a.m. I watch an episode of Shrill while eating breakfast and drinking tea. I just started this show and I love it. We’ve all been with the asshole character Ryan, the guy you keep going back to even though he makes you feel like shit. About a month ago, I finally broke that pattern with my “Ryan,” except unfortunately, my brain won’t quite let him go.

2 p.m. Boring, regular day at the design studio. Lots of samples. Lots of putting away.

4 p.m. I start talking to this guy Wyatt on Hinge. I need someone who likes chatting and complaining and is empathetic to stomach issues.

6 p.m. I’m home and FaceTime my best friend before making dinner, watching more Shrill and going to bed.


12 p.m. Wyatt and I have been talking for so long we’ve now reached the subject of houseplants. I hate chatting for too long on apps. I don’t need a pen pal. I could ask him out myself, but I really want someone to take the lead and I want to be pursued. I stay in the conversation because it’s not totally dying and also I told my therapist I would try harder to develop connections and get to know potential partners. I started therapy a few months ago. I’ve always been pretty anxious, and I have some more recent family events to deal with.

5:45 p.m. I fill up my car with gas on the way home from work. I always feel hot filling my car up with gas. It’s so butch yet femme.

9 p.m. I match with a guy named Jake who I’ve matched with before. He’s really cute but looks like a fuckboy. Maybe I’ll message him closer to the weekend. As far as COVID precautions go, I wear a mask in public and on dates, and am not going to any parties with more than ten people. During the height of the pandemic, I was barely seeing anyone and occasionally saw my friends outside their apartments. But now that I’ve been to a couple of bars here and there, I’m a little looser about it.


8 a.m. I decide to drive to work today and bring my laundry so I can take it to my mom’s house afterward and do it there. We’ll get sushi for dinner tonight too.

1:30 p.m. I watch “Everything Jack Harlow Eats in a Day” on Harper’s Bazaar’s YouTube channel while eating lunch and immediately have a crush. I proceed to watch his “10 Essentials” on GQ’s channel. He’s so cute.

5:45 p.m. I go for a walk after work and talk to my friend Taylor. Taylor and I have an interesting relationship. Before the pandemic, we would hang out once in a while and I knew he had a crush on me, but he never made a move. It was probably because he couldn’t really figure out my vibe toward him, which is fair because I was never sure if I liked him as more than a friend. Then, a week into the pandemic when no one was really sure what was going on, Taylor and I were texting, kind of arguing, and the next thing I knew, he was at my apartment and we were having sex. It was kind of insane and happened really fast. After that, the pandemic hit for real, Taylor moved back home, and I realized how much I really liked him. Now, I kick myself for not realizing sooner how great our relationship could have been if I hadn’t been so scared about being intimate in that way.

Taylor now has had a girlfriend, but we still talk occasionally and have both recognized how profound our relationship is. We’ve talked in the past about how we’ll have sex again when he’s single. I don’t feel like a threat to his relationship, though, and we’re not emotionally cheating at all, either. We’re friends first and have a lot of respect and care for one another. It’s one of the few relationships in my life I feel confident and solid about.

7 p.m. I pick up the sushi and arrive at my mom’s, and make a pit stop to get high. My mom knows I smoke weed and has no problem with it, other than she hates the smell.

7:30 p.m. My mom loves to share her sex and dating life with me. Sometimes I hate to hear about it and other times I listen like I would for a friend. We’ve always had a friendship-like relationship, and I’m mostly okay about those boundaries being crossed.


11 a.m. I am so happy it’s Friday. Work feels slow today even though there is a lot to do.

2 p.m. I scroll Instagram, Twitter, and a couple blogs for several hours before getting any real work done.

5 p.m. I get a text from a guy we’ll call Grad School Guy. We hooked up about a month ago and I left feeling so indifferent about it, which ultimately made me feel sad. I hate when guys say, “Want to hang out?” when what they mean is, “Want to have sex?” If I’m coming over expecting to hang out and you’re hanging out just to get sex, it leaves me feeling used and like the whole thing was a transaction. I wish people would clearly communicate what they want.

8 p.m. Grad School Guy tells me his great-aunt died and that’s why he’s been bad at texting. I tell him I’m sorry about his aunt and don’t ask any further questions or follow up about making plans. I don’t care to waste my time just to potentially get hurt.


10 a.m. I love the weekends but sometimes I wake up on Saturday mornings feeling kind of sad and anxious.

11 a.m. I channel the energy into deep-cleaning my apartment in a sports bra and boxers while blasting Drake. It’s cathartic.

1 p.m. I post an ab selfie on my Instagram story and get a few people’s attention. Never the intent but always a welcome bonus. A friend from high school has been in my DMs for years and he replies with “Abs!” and the fire emoji. I think he’s cute and wish he’d just make the move and ask me out. I don’t get it.

3:30 p.m. After cleaning my apartment and eating lunch, I finally head out for a long walk. I text my friend Jamie, who’s also my weed plug, to see if I can come over and buy some. I cross my fingers and Jamie says yes. I am so happy to get more weed. And to see Jamie, of course.

4:45 p.m. I’m at Jamie’s smoking a J and talking about her sex life. People love to talk about their sex and relationship lives with me and I love to hear it. I just wish I had the sex/relationship life I want, too. I think I need a real relationship, though. I’ve never been in a relationship, nor have I had a consistent hookup, and my lack of experience sometimes makes me feel insecure.

6 p.m. I walk to the Asian market to pick up some Pocky, rice crackers, kimchi, and seaweed to make kimbap with the tuna salad I have at home.

9 p.m. Dinner was really tasty and definitely going to be a new staple. I watch Atlanta on FX and masturbate to some weird porn before bed. I haven’t been horny in so long and mostly just masturbate because it’s healthy.


7 a.m. I’m up way too early for a Sunday. I try to go back to sleep but can’t, so I get up and take my time starting my day.

12 p.m. I text my friend to see if he wants to do yoga in his living room and he says yes. I throw my mat on my back and hop on my bike. My tires are hopelessly flat and the ride is tough, but I make it there. He’ll pump them up for me before I leave.

We smoke a bowl before we do a yoga video together. His living room feels like being back in the studio and it makes me miss doing yoga around a bunch of people.

2 p.m. I get stoned again before virtual therapy. My therapist is amazing. We talk about how I tend to police myself from living the life I want to live and she’s right. I don’t do things because of anxiety, but the fact of the matter is that I’m very extroverted and love to be spontaneous. The whole reason this came up was because I told her about how a friend of mine offhandedly asked me to come to L.A. with him and I said no because I had to work and couldn’t afford it. Meanwhile, I got a new piercing last week for the same price as a ticket. I’m going to seriously book a trip out there soon and not just hypothesize about it.

6:30 p.m. Taking my therapist’s advice, I meet my friends at a bar and get an overpriced margarita and then a tequila soda at the next bar. They’re way drunker than I am since they were bar-hopping all day, but I still have a lot of fun, especially once the weed pen gets passed around.

9 p.m. My friend and I share a joint before heading home and I feel really happy. I might have a terrible hangover at work tomorrow but I don’t care, this was worth it. Anything involving friends is always worth it.

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The Graphic Designer Who Hates Making the First Move