sex diaries

This Week’s Sex Diary: The Woman Who Has Sex for the First Time in 17 Years

Illustration: Marylu E. Herrera

In this week’s sex diary, a woman is ghosted by an unemployed banker, orders a crotchless bodysuit, and ends a lengthy dry spell: 43, single, Miami.

DAY ONE

9:30 a.m. I wake up to the sound of my mom knocking on my door. She wants to hang out and watch another episode of Monk. I tell her to come on in. At the moment, I’m an unemployed attorney, so it’s not like I have work on my plate.

9:45 a.m. Breakfast with my mom. She moved in with me two years ago when my father went to memory care for advanced Alzheimer’s. When I tell people I am 43 and I live with my mother, I always tell them about my dad. That way, I come off as a caring and sensitive daughter and not a weirdo in some sort of Grey Gardens situation.

11:15 a.m. Standing naked on the scale in the doctor’s office. These past few years, I lost more than 70 pounds — a combination of strength training, cardio, and weight-loss meds. It was a lot of work, and I still want to lose some more, but I look pretty good. My doctor (we’re friends) is lecturing me: “You did not work this hard to lose this much weight just to sit at home with your mother watching TV on the weekend.” She encourages me to get out there and date. Ugh, she’s right!

12:45 p.m. I take my doctor’s advice and make a profile on Bumble. It’s so annoying to build. I set my preferences to men between the ages of 37 and 50. Then I start scrolling, which is also annoying.

1:30 p.m. Oh wait — some of these men are kind of hot …

7:15 p.m. I’ve been chatting with a cute guy. He is tall and in finance, but he recently lost his job and is having a bad week. He says, “Would you like to come over and cheer me up tomorrow?” I hear my doctor’s voice in my head, urging me to put myself out there. I agree to meet him tomorrow.

9:20 p.m. Watching TV with my mom. Old habits die hard.

10 p.m. Still texting this Bumble guy. I decide to be transparent: I tell him it’s been a very long time since I’ve had sex. He’s sweet about it. He says he’ll be “gentle and respectful.”

DAY TWO

7:10 a.m. Wake up early, freaking out a bit. Am I really going to meet this guy tonight? I haven’t been on a date in ages, and I haven’t had sex in 17 years! I know that sounds nuts, but I’ve had a lot of health problems the past few decades, and they resulted in a lot of weight gain. At one point in my 30s, I lost it all — and then I gained it all back and only recently started losing it again. Basically, it’s been a roller coaster, and my self-esteem has been far too fragile to meet men. I’m getting more comfortable, but I’m still very self-conscious about my body. This is all to say, Am I really going to let a guy see me naked tonight?

10:40 a.m. Working on my cover letter for job applications. I’ve been doing random legal work on a contract basis since losing my job a few years ago. I had a lot of money saved, so I’ve been able to keep myself afloat, but I need something more regular.

11 a.m. The unemployed banker texts me to say good morning. Kind of sweet. Maybe I will at least kiss him tonight.

2:15 p.m. Been texting with the banker all day. I ask where he wants to meet later, and he says to come straight to his place because it’s the weekend and all the bars in the area will be packed. I am not that naïve, but screw it. I agree.

7 p.m. In the shower. I was going to shave my legs but decided against it. This way I will not allow myself to go too far. After I dry off, I get dressed. I decide on a black miniskirt with tights and long boots paired with a cropped T-shirt. Is that too slutty? Whatever!

8 p.m. Get dinner with a friend before my date. I drink two strawberry daiquiris to calm my nerves.

9:30 p.m. Uber to his building, and the doorman sends me up to the 30th floor. He’s waiting for me when I get off. Ooh, he has some nice arms. Also, he seems quite drunk.

10:15 p.m. We are standing at his kitchen counter. The apartment is nice, and it has a great view, but the vibes are off — like, he’s pitching me his business idea. I didn’t see this coming? I am so confused. Was all that flirty texting just a ruse to get me to invest in his start-up? He’s also a really bad salesperson — he keeps losing track and starting over.

10:30 p.m. I decide to throw him a bone and put all the Shark Tank episodes I’ve watched with my mom to good use. I ask meaningful questions about his product’s distribution channels, cost per unit, and retail price. I tell him, “Those are some good margins,” and he brightens.

11:30 p.m. While he uses the bathroom, I go to the couch. He comes back, and we cuddle a bit, and he invites me to go to the bedroom. I agree.

11:45 p.m. Damn it — why didn’t I shave my legs?! He begins to touch me and talk dirty, which is fun at first but quickly starts to sound like a drunken biology lesson. We start having sex, and all I can think is, I can’t wait to text all my friends later and prove to them I am not asexual!

12:30 a.m. Dry spell is officially broken! It wasn’t exactly amazing, but it was nice enough. I thought I’d be more emotional about this. I just feel reopened? No pun intended.

1 a.m. After cuddling some more on the couch and a failed attempt at a second round, I decide to leave. He offers me what he claims is his “favorite sweatshirt” to wear home to keep me warm. He says he’ll want it back soon, and I assume it’s his excuse to see me again.

DAY THREE

11:45 a.m. He texted me! Hooray! He asks how I’m feeling and whether I had fun. He admits he’s “hung-over AF.”

1 p.m. He texted again! This time about wanting to get his sweatshirt back. I guess that means he wants to see me again.

5 p.m. I finally text him back and ask if he’s feeling better.

7 p.m. No response.

9:45 p.m. Still no response. Oh God, he thinks I am a heinous troll. No man will ever love me. Thank God my mom is here to watch TV. I’m so depressed I agree to watch her favorite, Monk.

10:22 p.m. Monk is actually pretty clever and well written.

DAY FOUR

8:15 a.m. Still no word. I comfort myself with such thoughts as Maybe he died and Who cares? He is an unemployed jerk.

8:30 a.m. Ugh, I care.

1:15 p.m. Seriously — why hasn’t he texted me back? I text every single one of my male friends asking their thoughts. They’re not very helpful. My friend Mike says, “If he ghosts you, can I have the sweatshirt?”

6 p.m. I know this guy is a stupid jerk, but I can’t stop thinking about his gorgeous arms. Plus I did like his apartment. I decide to abandon my last scraps of dignity and text him …

9 p.m. I’ve been mulling over what to text him for, like, three hours now. I can’t bring myself to say anything dirty or remotely sexy, so I go with guilt. I say, “I will leave your sweatshirt at your front desk later this week.” He immediately responds, “Oh God, stop. I wasn’t feeling well.” Then we text a bit, and he says we will get together soon and that he’ll text me tomorrow. We’ll see about that.

DAY FIVE

10:15 a.m. I wake up optimistic that I am at least going to have sex with this man again.

12 p.m. I do some online lingerie shopping. A friend suggested I invest in a crotchless bodysuit for my next hot date. Everything is so expensive, so I go to Amazon for a dupe.

2:30 p.m. Maybe when my bodysuit arrives, I’ll take a few sexy photos.

6 p.m. Ugh, I still have not heard from him. Oh God, this really is a ghosting situation! It’s starting to sink in …

9 p.m. Go to bed feeling sad and wistful. I tell myself there will be others.

DAY SIX

8:30 a.m. My suit is here! I love Amazon Prime, but I don’t understand how I got this so quickly. Do they just have warehouses full of crotchless bodysuits all over the country?

10 a.m. The suit is a bit tricky to navigate, but I manage to put it on. Hmmm, it doesn’t exactly look like the photos. There is zero support for my boobs, and the crotch is so crotchless there’s barely any material down there. Ugh. Stupid Amazon.

11 a.m. I try to take some pics, but it’s a disaster. There must be some way to salvage this thing! I know it only cost $29, but this is crazy. It’s not a real garment. I try putting a bra underneath and setting up some nice lighting, but it’s still not working out.

11:30 a.m. Wow. There was nothing wrong with the bodysuit. I had it on upside down. And backward. Jesus Christ.

3 p.m. I scroll Bumble to take my mind off things. I match with a nice guy named Jake who asks me to dinner tonight. I tell myself I won’t have sex with him, but I am shaving my legs just in case.

8:25 p.m. Dinner with Jake. He is very sweet but quiet. I am having a good time, probably because I am doing all the talking and I think I am funny. I try to ask him some questions. I quickly realize that the only thing that gets Jake excited is talking about his nieces and nephews. This guy must really want kids. Did he not notice my bio? It says, “I’m 43 and I do not want kids.”

9 p.m. We’re on dessert, and now he is straight up talking about how badly he wants to be a dad.

10:45 p.m. Well, that was not a great date. And still not a peep from the banker.

11 p.m. Back to scrolling on Bumble. I exchange numbers and start texting a 50-year-old divorcé with a black belt in jujitsu. After, like, five minutes, he starts to sext and tells me he has a leg fetish. Then he sends me a dick pic. Ugh. I block him.

DAY SEVEN

8:30 a.m. I wake up thinking about the gross dick pic and banker guy.

11:30 a.m. Well, it’s official. It’s been several days. What a jackass. I decide to throw away the stupid sweatshirt. The problem is that it has an American-flag print on it, and I’m worried it’s some kind of fine to throw those in the trash. Ugh. I can’t believe this.

4:45 p.m. Take a long walk and treat myself to an iced latte and Google how to dispose of American flag.

5 p.m. I surreptitiously dump the sweatshirt down one of my building’s trash chutes.

8:30 p.m. I’m watching Seinfeld with my mom and scrolling Bumble. I wonder when I will have sex again.

9 p.m. Ooh, this guy I just matched with is kind of cute …

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The Woman Who Has Sex for the First Time in 17 Years