sex diaries

The Medical Worker Making Out at a Subway Station

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a woman juggling her job as an essential worker with online dates: 27, single, Brooklyn.


12 a.m. I can hear my roommate down the hall having sex with her new guy. I don’t hear them for very long, but it’s enough to make me horny. I roll over onto my stomach and start masturbating. I come pretty quickly imagining sex with A.

9 a.m. I work in the medical field and have a rotating schedule. It’s my weekend off, so I enjoy sleeping in a little. I have a message from A finally responding to my invitation to go to the museum with me today. He can’t make it, and there are no attempts to schedule another date. I know in my head that our short-lived fling has fizzled out and I will likely not hear from him again.

11 a.m. I’m still lying in bed, feeling disappointed about A. We met online. He was the first man I had gone out with following my breakup with J, whom I had dated for two years. I was nervous for the first date and took a  shot of whiskey before meeting him at a bar down the street from me. We were outside in covered seating with a heater. Snow was falling and so was I. A was impossibly kind and attentive. He walked me home and before we were even on my block, I found myself excitedly inviting him over. We shared a bottle of wine and soon he was leading me to my own bedroom.  We were solidly drunk, and the sex was deliciously hot. My inhibitions were on the floor. He asked me to describe the last man I had fantasized about. I breathlessly told him about a trainer at my gym while he fingered me. Other highlights from this encounter included me sticking my finger up his butt, him asking me if I wanted to “submit to his cock” (spoiler alert – I said “yes”), and calling him “daddy” while he fucked me. I don’t cringe when I think about how open and vulnerable the sex was with this man I had just met four hours ago – it was hot.

3 p.m. It’s raining but I decide to take my daily park walk anyways. I need the fresh air and need to get A out of my head. We had only gone on a few dates, but I had found myself really excited about him. He was older and I had really enjoyed our conversations and chemistry. But we both ended up drinking a lot on all of our dates, so it was difficult to tell if I had actual feelings for him or if I was just rebounding from J, which is why I had attempted to initiate a day date at the museum to investigate further, sans alcohol. I call my work friend S, and we review the  situation. We agree that A doesn’t really seem interested anymore and I shouldn’t have put all my eggs in one basket. If A wants to see me again, he has my number. I delete our text thread from my phone.

9 p.m. Early to bed tonight. I’ve been late to work a lot lately and am trying to fix that. Somehow, I end up not falling asleep until past midnight anyways.


9 a.m. I work an essential job and have still gone into work every day during COVID. It’s been exhausting but I appreciate that I’ve been able to keep my normal routine and am still able to  socialize at work. At first, I did envy people that can just roll out of bed and clock into work from home, but that envy dissipated after a few months when all of my friends started to complain about going stir-crazy.

1 p.m. I take my lunch break and head to the track near my work.

1:30 p.m. I clock about 1.5 miles jogging while listening to some dating podcasts. Most of the ones I listen to are created by young people living in NYC and it feels like I’m just listening to my friends talk about our dating woes.

8:00 p.m. I’m in my living room watching The Bachelor with my roommates. I’m not too  invested in the show myself, but I like being around my roommates. I moved into our Brooklyn apartment back in August, when they needed to fill an open room. I was leaving a mildly toxic roommate situation in Manhattan and moving in with them has positively impacted my life. They are both genuinely great people.


11 a.m. I am messaging with a new guy from Hinge – K, who is a grad student at Columbia. I have gotten super into chess lately (thank you, Queen’s Gambit) and have a flirty prompt on my profile about playing. K’s first message? “e4”. How could I resist? We set up a chess date for tomorrow night in Williamsburg. We exchange numbers so we can take communication off the app.

3 p.m. Just got off a conference call with my supervisors. We are incredibly short-staffed and backlogged at work. It’s extremely stressful. The outcome of the call was essentially them saying  “we know we can’t ask you to work harder because you are already working so hard but…work  harder.” Sometimes I feel like banging my head against my desk.

6:30 p.m. Fitness class with S in Williamsburg. The gym has been doing socially distanced/COVID-safe classes for months and it’s been a real lifesaver for my mental  health.

10:00 p.m. I can hear our new neighbors having sex while I lay in bed. At first, I innocently thought that they were just moving furniture around some nights, but I finally realized they were fucking after hearing some loud moaning and that the bed was squeaking and the frame was banging against the wall. Good for them.


8:00 a.m. I wake up late, scramble to get ready and fly out the door. One of the plus sides of working in the medical field and having a mask over your face is not really having to put much effort into what you look like.

1:00 p.m. I’m walking around the track on my lunch break, talking to my dad on the phone. We share dating stories and offer advice to each other. We don’t have the conventional father daughter relationship. My mom died when I was twelve and it took a serious toll on both of us. We were estranged for a time when I was in college but had reconnected over the years. I would define our relationship as more of a unique friendship.

7:45 p.m. My travel chess board and I meet K at a bar in Williamsburg. We play a slow game of chess, making the occasional move in between sips of beer and swapping of stories. I like him but can’t tell if I want to fuck him. He ends up winning the match.

11:00 p.m. K and I walk to the subway together. As we’re parting ways, we both lower  our masks and go in for a kiss. It turns into a brief but steamy make out that had me  moaning with his hand on my ass (albeit through my thick jacket). Still – it felt good to be touched.


11:00 a.m. It’s my day off and I take my time getting out of bed. I scroll through Instagram and see that my ex has reposted a story from a girl that he has been spending time with. My heart pings with sadness briefly, but the jealousy doesn’t last. We had been long distance for some time and just ultimately were not a match. I want him to be happy.

12:00 p.m. I take a walk around the park and listen to some music to try to refocus myself. For so long, I had always made other people a priority, but now that I am single for the first time in  NYC, I’m attempting to redirect all of my attention to myself and towards what I want to do. I’m learning to be selfish with my time and trying to figure out what I want my life to look like.

1:30 p.m. I grab a smoothie and then go putz around the bookstore. Since my mom died, I always loved being in a bookstore. My dad would drive us there most weekends, and we would stay for hours. It’s quiet, you are not obligated to talk to anyone, and there are just so many stories there to drown out your own.

8:00 p.m. I start my nightly skincare routine. I’ve gotten really into skincare during COVID, doing a deep dive into research and experimenting with different products. It’s been a nice way to wind down the days. Plus, if COVID is going to take away one of my hot years, I need to preserve my face.


10:00 a.m. My aunt texts me that my grandparents are going to get their first vaccines soon! I have not seen any family member in almost a year. My grandparents have been so careful and I am extremely grateful that they are in good health. My job reminds me  constantly that not everyone is so lucky.

2:00 p.m. I check in on a conversation I had been having on Hinge. The guy has messaged me 7 times in a row before I could respond. I decided that it was a little much for me and I don’t message him back. Another guy had asked me for my Instagram handle. That’s been a recurring theme on the apps. I’m not sure if they ask just to make sure they aren’t being catfished. I give him my Instagram profile, even though I know we’re just going to end up following each other and never speaking again (this has happened three times already!).

7:30 p.m. S is driving us home from our fitness class. I am tempted to text A to see if he wants to grab a drink soon because I am craving a connection… and sex. S and I talk it out and I decide against it. I’m a serial monogamist at heart and can’t even try to fool myself into thinking that I’m down for casual hookups.

11:00 p.m. I’m naked in bed. This is relatively new for me. I always sleep naked with a partner but never by myself. I would always feel too exposed, too vulnerable. But I read that it is good for health and overall sleep quality.


8:30 a.m. It’s my weekend to work and my commute is quieter than it is during the week. Pre pandemic, I didn’t really like to work on the weekends, because I always felt like I was missing out on something. It’s been easier during COVID, since no one is really able to do anything anyways.

4:00 p.m. I leave work and enjoy the sun on my face as I walk to the subway. I think about how I want my life to go. I love my job, but unfortunately, I deal with a lot of death and it takes a toll. I’m not sure how long I can stay in this field, but I’m also unsure of what else I would do.

6:00 p.m. FaceTime date with my best friend D, who I had met in a random roommate situation when I lived in Boston. We talk about COVID (of course), dating, exes, and our plans for a trip once the world has gone back to “normal.”

9 p.m. Laying in bed thinking. What will that “normal” even look like? Will there soon be a day where we don’t come across or even think of the word “pandemic”? I’m excited to experience that kind of New York City.

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The Medical Worker Making Out at a Subway Station