sex diaries

The Restaurant Publicist Wondering If Her New Man Is Toxic

Photo-Illustration: by Marylu Herrera

New York Magazine’s Sex Diaries series asks anonymous city dwellers to record a week in their sex lives — with comic, tragic, often sexy, and always revealing results. The column, which began in 2007, is the basis of a new docuseries on HBO.

This week, a woman worries that the finance guy she’s seeing has a bad reputation: 28, single, Brooklyn.


7:20 a.m. It’s Saturday morning. I wake up in M’s bed very, VERY hungover. He’s still asleep. We’re both naked. I feel like dog shit. We went out until 4 a.m., so I was hoping we’d at least sleep later than this. M will probably sleep a few more hours. Men can always sleep.

9 a.m. I’ve showered and made myself a coffee with his fancy coffee machine and am lying on the couch trying to remember our fight last night. We’ve only been dating about a month, but there are already red flags with M, and they all came to a head.

We went to an engagement party for M’s best friend, where more than one girl came over to me and said something like, “Watch out, he’s an asshole.” I had about 45 glasses of Champagne and a couple shots or who knows what. Then I remember picking a fight with M in front of his friends. He was embarrassed, and I’m sure he’s going to wake up, think I’m a psycho bitch, and end things.

11 a.m. He’s still not awake. I decide to get my things and take the subway home. I’m bored, hungover, and anxious.

2 p.m. I’m home in my Brooklyn apartment (M lives in the city). I feel only slightly less hungover. I push through it by ordering an eggplant parm sub and watching the new season of Vanderpump.

4 p.m. M texts that he just woke up. This strikes me as somewhat insane, but I guess he got a full 12 hours of sleep. Good for him? He doesn’t mention the fight and our texts are brief. I consider it a good sign that he’s texting me at all, but have very little brain power to analyze much more.

5 p.m. Attempt to clean my little studio apartment.

8 p.m. Get into bed and instantly fall asleep.


10 a.m. Meet a few girlfriends I haven’t seen in a while for brunch. We’re all in various situation-ships. I tell them I think I blew things with the guy I’ve been seeing.

They ask for more details. I tell them: So, we met online a month ago. He kind of love bombed me, and we started hanging out and having sex a few times a week. He’s a 29-year-old finance guy, so of course there are issues around him going out a lot (with and without me), and the fact that his friends like drugs (I don’t), but the biggest issue is that everywhere we go, he seems to have an ex, or someone he banged, or someone he ghosted. Of course, he’s going to know people at an engagement party, but it happens at every bar or party. There’s always a girl he’s avoiding or giving him the stink eye, or, worse, telling me to watch my back. It’s messing with me because I really like him!

Noon. The million-dollar question comes up: “Why do you even like this guy?” Of course, the physical and sexual attraction is really strong, but also I think he’s funny and sweet. The girls roll their eyes at this.

3 p.m. I spend the day at home trying to figure out if M is worth all this anxiety. He’s texted me twice today to see if we’re hanging out tonight — there’s a bar-trivia thing happening that he’s mentioned before. I guess he doesn’t remember fighting. Either that or he’s choosing to move on from it.

5 p.m. I tell M that it’s Sunday night and I can’t drink because of work tomorrow, but we can meet up for dinner or he can come over. He says it’s a tough call but he’s going with the bar-trivia night.

9 p.m. I go to bed thinking this guy is probably a lost cause.


 7:30 a.m. Up and showering for work. I do PR for a restaurant group that’s based all over the country. It’s a great job and I love my boss. I actually went to culinary school, so I’m more into the food side of things than the PR, but I have the right skill set to merge the two.

Noon. My mom is in the city to have lunch with me. She lives in upstate New York, where I’m from. I love taking her to one of our restaurants because it’s free — which she can’t get over — and we eat really well. I grew up without a lot of money, so it’s nice to spoil my mom a little!

1 p.m. I tell her about M, and she says I should listen to all those other women and cut him loose. She feels pretty strongly about it. She’s been married three times and doesn’t want me to make the same mistakes she did.

5 p.m. I leave work feeling like I’m done with M. My mom’s opinion really matters to me, so her words resonate.

7 p.m. M texts that he wants to come over and bring me dinner. I’ve already eaten, but I say he can come over. We should talk, one way or another.

9 p.m. He’s here and we are not talking. We are fucking like crazy! We fuck in the kitchen, on my bed, in the shower. He comes twice and I’ve come a few more times than that. Our bodies are super in sync. We both say it’s the best sex we’ve ever had.

10 p.m. As M packs up to go back to his place, I tell him we need to talk. Unexpectedly, I start to cry. The tears just come. He looks concerned. I tell him I’m just emotional from all the sex. (It’s true; I often cry from coming really hard! It’s not that I’m sad, it’s just the intensity.) Anyway, I say it doesn’t have to be tonight, but soon I want to talk about our relationship and where it’s going. I keep it vague. I don’t want to say good-bye to him tonight. Not after all the great sex, which honestly, made me feel so good on so many levels. I don’t want it to end yet.


9 a.m. I’m at work. In a weird mood. Not sure how to feel about last night.

11 a.m. My friend Layla texts that she matched with M on Bumble. She says it as a “LOL,” but it stings. I stopped all online dating after I met M. I was so happy to take a break from the swiping. I never asked him if he was still online, though. It’s only been a month, so I don’t have a right to be pissed, I guess. It’s just shitty to think about.

2 p.m. M texts that last night was so fun and that I’m so hot and he’s really happy he’s seeing me. How do men know exactly when to reel you back in?

5 p.m. We have a menu-tasting event tonight at one of our properties. I run home via the subway to change and pull myself together a bit. It’s a nice night in the city.

7 p.m. Arrive at the restaurant with my hair done and makeup on. I feel pretty. It’s nice to do my thing, professionally, and not think about my stupid dating life.

10 p.m. I’m home in bed, and since I never texted M back, I write him that I want to talk tomorrow. I write, “No drama, but we should talk.”


7 a.m. I wake up, check my phone, and see that M wrote back he’s happy to talk and will make time when it’s convenient for me. I’m somewhat touched that he takes it so seriously. If I add up everything we’ve done together in the last month, he’s truly never wronged me. He’s been honest and attentive, and he’s trying to be good … I can tell. Is it fair to ditch him because of the voices in my head, or the voices of other women, or the voice of my mother? I’m very conflicted.

10 a.m. We make a dinner plan for tomorrow night. He tells me to pick any restaurant I want and he’ll set it up. He must know it’s do-or-die time. I pick an impossible reservation at a place I’m dying to try. Let’s see what he can do …

2 p.m. He got the reservation. Damn. How am I supposed to dump him now? He better hope one of his girls is not at this restaurant.

6 p.m. I’m going out to dinner with some friends. They’re all a bit older, from my last job, and some are married or have kids. I want to get their opinions on all of this.

Most of them say I need to relax, enjoy my time with M, and see how it plays out. It’s funny how the more “mature” friends have such a different perspective. Honestly, most of them are just jealous that I’m getting such great dick.

10 p.m. In bed, I text M that I want to see his cock. He sends a dick pic. We’ve never done this before. He says he wants to see my tits. I send him the best I can do (I have no boobs). I touch myself, come, and text him that I just orgasmed to his picture. The ladies from dinner convinced me to have some fun with M and not be so worried and uptight.  For tonight, at least, their advice worked.


9 a.m. I’m trying to figure out how to get my work done and also get something new to wear tonight.

11:30 a.m. I escape the office to walk to H&M. Sometimes they have cute stuff! I get a new pair of wide-leg pants and a cute crop top.

3 p.m. I’m feeling anxious about dinner. Where do I want the conversation to go? Am I ending things or not? My anxiety has me running in and out of the bathroom. Luckily no one notices.

6 p.m. I get home just in time to shower, blow-dry my hair, and put on my new outfit. I give myself a little pep talk in the mirror. The gist is that I should enjoy myself tonight, stay calm, not drink too much, but definitely engage in some real talk with him about his past, how uncomfortable I am that he’s seemingly slept with so many women who now hate him, and just ask him to explain it to me in a truthful way. I can reassess after I hear his side of it all.

7:30 p.m. M is waiting outside the restaurant for me. He’s on his very best behavior. I sense he’s worried that I’m about to dump him. We kiss hello on the lips, hold hands, and walk in. I’m already pretty turned on by him. This is going to be hard.

8 p.m. As we drink our first glass of wine, I say everything I practiced to him. He is totally open to having this conversation. It’s not met with any hostility. We end up talking about how he’s admittedly been a bit of a fuckboy. He has no excuse other than he’s been enjoying himself now that he’s finally succeeding at work and loving life in the city (after a hard childhood) and partying a bit too hard. But he admits all of that is getting old. He says he wants to focus on building something with me. He seems genuine when he says he’s falling for me and would love it if I’d let him in more and try to forget what other people have to say about “us.” It’s a really great talk.

9 p.m. The food and service are seriously amazing. We’re having a great time. We order dessert and one more cocktail each. Now that we’ve had the talk, I’m letting myself get a bit tipsy.

10 p.m. We’re back at his place. He’s holding me in his arms while we lay on his bed. We’re kissing and fooling around, but we’re both wasted and I’m personally a bit drained. We don’t have sex. We just fall asleep holding each other.


6 a.m. His alarm goes off because he has to be at work early today. He pulls me toward him in bed and we have quick sex. I don’t have an orgasm, but I enjoy how intimate it feels, and he’s so affectionate toward me. It’s like he’s holding me tighter than he ever has before.

8 a.m. I take the subway home to get fresh clothes for work.

10 a.m. Get to work a little late, but I’m definitely smiling.

1 p.m. Flowers arrive from M to my desk at work. A beautiful bouquet of roses. The note says, “Last night was great.”

4 p.m. I call my mom while getting some air after a meeting. I told her I’m going to move forward with M. She’s supportive, but I sense her concern. I don’t love this sense of “raining on my parade,” but I guess it’s a good thing that she’ll be there to keep me on my toes.

7 p.m. At home, I cook myself dinner and put on some music. I’m feeling hopeful and maybe even a little bit — this is embarrassing to say — lovestruck.

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The Restaurant Publicist Wondering If Her New Man Is Toxic