sex diaries

This Week’s Sex Diary: The Grad Student With a ‘Praise Kink’

Photo-Illustration: Marylu Herrera

In this week’s story, a woman crushes on her co-worker and wonders when her hookup will ask her on a date: 22, single, New York.


10 a.m. Wake up at my parents’ house in Jersey. We just got back from a family trip. I tried snowboarding for the first time and fell so many times that my ass is covered in bruises.

2 p.m. Head back home to Brooklyn. I live with one of my best friends, Carla. When she gets home we give each other a big hug.

3 p.m. Consider texting Ryan that I’m back. We met at my local bar and have been hooking up for the past few weeks. We’re both bartenders in the city. He’s kind of quiet, but takes charge in bed and likes rougher sex. I find it very hot.

6 p.m. As I’m heading to work I decide to text Ryan to say we should do something this week. We’ve mostly been going home together at the end of the night to hook up but I want to open the door for a date. He texts back pretty quickly and says he’s working a lot but that he’ll figure something out. Nice.

9 p.m. Work is fine. I’m in grad school studying music, but I’m taking some time off right now. Anyway, I have a few shifts a week here to pay the bills, even when school’s in session. The work is pretty easy and I’m close with most of my co-workers; I’m even crushing on a few.

10 p.m. Make plans to meet my friend Allie at my local bar after work. It’s a popular spot for people in the service industry — there’s a jukebox, a pool table, and cheap drinks.

11 p.m. Walk into the bar and Ryan is already there. He also comes here after his shift. He smiles and I wave and we spend the night flirting and playing pool. Allie calls it a night, but I’m so horny there’s no way I’m going home alone.

4 a.m. They’re kicking us out of the bar and Ryan offers to escort me home. We both know what that means.

4:30 a.m. Back at my place we both immediately start undressing. He notices the bruises on my ass and kisses them. He tells me I’m beautiful, which I love. I have a praise kink — I love compliments. The first time Ryan and I hooked up, while we were fucking, he described in detail what he had noticed about me when we first met — how much he loved my smile, my body, my hair. It really turned me on.


11 a.m. Wake up and make coffee. I don’t have any plans for the day except for work this evening. Ryan doesn’t have any plans either so we spend the morning kissing and cuddling.

12 p.m. I’m not usually into morning sex, but Ryan starts fingering me, and then pulls me on top. Usually I can only come from oral sex, but it doesn’t take long for me to finish with this.

2:30 p.m. Ryan and I go to breakfast nearby. He doesn’t offer to pay, which makes me think he sees this as just a hookup? I’m not sure what the vibes are.

5 p.m. Ryan finally leaves and I jump in the shower and get ready for work.

7 p.m. My co-worker Mike is on my shift today. I have a huge crush on him. I get the feeling it’s slightly reciprocated — he’s always flirting and negging me. I love it. He’s a musician and has a girlfriend, but they recently opened up their relationship because she got a new job and they’re now long distance. I’d never sleep with a co-worker — too much drama — but I fantasize about fucking Mike all the time.

12:00 a.m. Make a pit stop at my usual bar to see who’s around, but leave after one drink and a game of pool.


2 p.m. Wow, okay, just woke up. I guess my body needed it?

4 p.m. Slow day. Eat some leftovers and try to read. Then I scroll Instagram and think about my love life. I haven’t had a serious boyfriend since my freshman year of college. I don’t really mind — I like sex and not every hookup needs to be romantic. That said, I’m open to a real relationship.

9 p.m. I’m the only girl on staff tonight, so I text Mike and complain about being all alone. He says “I’ll swing by and even it out.” He stops by with some cookies. I’m charmed. He sticks around through the shift, chatting with me.

12 a.m. Mike walks me to the subway. We hug good-bye, but nothing else happens. Back home, I pull out my vibrator; both Mike and Ryan feature in my fantasies.


9 a.m. Early dentist appointment. The dentist keeps asking about my post-grad plans, which stresses me out. It’s my final semester and I have no idea what my plans are when I graduate.

3 p.m. Read and send some long overdue emails related to school.

8 p.m. Carla and I make dinner, get high, and re-watch some episodes of The Bear.

10 p.m. My friend who works at my local bar texts me that Ryan is there. She’s been sleeping with some other regulars so we like to exchange stories and gossip. I tell her to let me know if he talks to any other girls. She said she’s keeping an eye on him, which makes me laugh.


10:30 a.m. Wake up, make coffee, do the Wordle.

12 p.m. Get a text from this guy Jason to confirm our coffee date later today. We matched on Hinge and the banter was decent. He says he’s looking forward to it. Meh. Dating apps and app dates usually suck.

2 p.m. The idea of a coffee date is extremely unsexy, so I text Jason to see if he’s open to switching it to drinks in the evening. He’s down.

6:30 p.m. Solo movie date to see All of Us Strangers.

9 p.m. Date time! Jason is cute but I can tell he’s a little nervous and we don’t have much in common. I also forgot that this bar was cash only, and he didn’t have any, so I paid. Not a dealbreaker, but I like to be treated.

10:30 p.m. Bumped into some acquaintances who are way more exciting than Jason. They invite me to go out later tonight. I don’t want to bring Jason. Need to figure out how to get rid of this guy.

11 p.m. I text Allie. I tell her that I need an excuse to leave, so she spams my phone with texts and calls and I tell Jason that she locked herself out of her apartment and I’m the only one with keys. I feel bad about the lie but I’d much rather be hanging out with my friends.

11:30 p.m. Allie, Carla, and I meet my other friends at a new club in Williamsburg. We all get drunk and dance for a few hours. I haven’t been out dancing in a while and it’s nice to be here with my friends having a good time.

2:30 a.m. Crash at Allie’s.


9:30 a.m. Bagel run with Allie. Bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel with salt, pepper, and ketchup (sorry!).

12 p.m. I’m cat-sitting in downtown Brooklyn for a couple nights. The cat is super sweet and her owner lets me stay at her place while she’s gone.

3 p.m. I try to nap for a bit since I have plans tonight. Mike is playing a gig downtown and I agreed to stop by — he’s a guitarist and is playing in his friend’s indie-rock band.

7 p.m. Getting ready to leave. Mike usually sees me in work-appropriate outfits but I’m feeling sexy so I put on a miniskirt (and some tights because it’s cold).

7:30 p.m. Show up to the venue. I’m alone so I sit at the bar and some men buy me a frozen margarita. It turns out they’re Mike’s friends. He comes and we all hangout for a bit. His friends are cool and Mike looks hot. He hugs me before the show; it’s just a hug but the tension is there. Ugh. I know if we weren’t co-workers this would be a no-brainer.

9 p.m. Head to my local spot for some games of pool and run into Ryan. He’s with other friends so we don’t talk much, but we exchange some glances and subtle touches.

11 p.m. Mike texts and thanks me for coming to his gig and mentions that a few of his friends asked about me. Good. I love getting hit on!

1 a.m. Ryan heads out but I stick around and spend the night talking to other regulars and flirting with the bartender, Felix. He’s tried to ask me out before but he’s ten years my senior, which isn’t my vibe. I still like the attention, though.

3 a.m. Call it a night and head home.


11 a.m. Wake up, have some coffee, and do some reading. I’m reading Lolita. What can I say?

2 p.m. I have a date today with another Hinge match. I text to confirm. Not really excited though.

3:30 p.m. He’s nice and easier to talk to than Jason, but he’s a chain-smoker, which is kind of a turn-off for me.

8 p.m. At work with Mike and get a text from Ryan. I tell him I’m cat-sitting at someone’s apartment, but he’s welcome to come over later.

1 a.m. Ryan shows up. I can’t believe I’m about to have sex in someone else’s apartment. I feel a little conflicted but the thought of having the space to ourselves turns me on.

3 a.m. We climb into bed and kick the cat out. Ryan kisses me all over as he takes off my clothes. I can get a little shy, but he makes me feel comfortable and I like teasing him. I bite his neck and arms until they bruise. I want him to think of me when he sees them later.

4 a.m. In bed with Ryan, just chatting. I ask if he wants to go see Saltburn together. It’s time we had a real date. He says “sure.”

5 a.m. Bedtime. We fall asleep in each other’s arms.

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The Grad Student With a ‘Praise Kink’