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 in London introduces her girlfriend to some new things (and keeps flirting with women around town): 47, in a relationship, London.
8 a.m. I’m on deadline, so I wake up at a decent hour today. I’m an American journalist living in London. I cover everything from sports to the arts.
10 a.m. I’m here thinking about my new relationship while I should be staying focused. Although I am a lesbian, I haven’t had a relationship that lasted more than four years (defying that cliché U-Haul joke that is a constant when a lesbian goes out on a second date). I felt relief when I discovered I was gay at age 22 because it took off the pressure to get married — then the gays fought for marriage and every lesbian I know got hitched and pregnant. I’ve always found that boring!
I’m in an eight-month relationship with a newly minted queer woman (I am her first same-sex anything) and it’s mostly good. I am very attracted to her, but I worry that we don’t have sex enough to keep her satisfied. What can I say? I’m not a guy. Nor do I especially like that masculine quality. Also I work a lot.
5 p.m. Freelance life affords plenty of time for a daytime wank, which I’m doing right now.
7 p.m. Evening call with my brother who lives in another country. He is also gay. We talk about secure love versus passionate love. Both are ideal if you can find it. I still want that all-consuming, “can’t get enough of you or your body,” heart-aching love and sex that I had with my first lesbian relationship, though. That was 24 years ago.
8 p.m. Meet up with my girlfriend, M. We have three proseccos at the cinema, where we see She Said.
10 p.m. Come home and watch the first L Word. It was groundbreaking to me as a young lesbian in 2004, but M was 16 back then, straight and living in Eastern Europe. She has “culture gaps,” as she likes to call them, meaning she knows most but not all American and German culture. After a while, we head to bed.
10 a.m. Awake, mildly hungover, and sleepy.
12 p.m. M puts on the radio as I make more morning tea. We listen to BBC 6 on Sunday — a routine. When I come back with my tea, she asks if I made her green tea. I didn’t, but she didn’t ask.
2 p.m. We play-fight about the tea. This leads to foreplay. Back in bed, we start kissing, and she runs her vagina against my leg. My boxers and T-shirt come off and I do my signature move, which is a slow slide up against all of M while I am on top of her. Skin on skin is the best feeling in the world to me — very intimate, and I love to feel her chest against mine. M is a good five inches taller than me, so I am usually on top. This is the reality of lesbian sex.
I am M’s first girlfriend, so I call the shots usually. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what she is doing. We do some scissoring, and then I start touching her. She is not a G-spot woman; she likes her clit massaged. I’m good at that, but M has used a vibrator for years, and no human hand can rumble like that, so eventually we pull out my toy, and she comes. She is blessed with female ejaculation, which is messy but fun.
4 p.m. “Shit, it’s 4 p.m.,” M says. “Lesbian sex is a time killer,” I reply. It is. Those three-minute fucks in a bathroom stall on The L Word are totally fiction. Plus a bathroom stall? Gross.
7 p.m. We watch a few more episodes and call it a night. She is sleeping over.
10 a.m. Trying to get my assignments in and stir up some new ones — such is freelance life. A constant grind. But I can’t complain.
2 p.m. M and I meet friends at the freezing cold King’s Cross Christmas Market. They have kids who are cute but seem to take up all of the mom’s time. I honestly don’t know how couples live through kids.
5 p.m. On our drive home, M confirms she also doesn’t want kids (even though she’s a nanny, by the way). Thank God.
7 p.m. We head to a bar to meet M’s lesbian-couple friends. They don’t have children, which is a relief. They don’t want them, either.
9 p.m. I like her friends. However, M has told them everything about our relationship, including that I have a tendency to drink to excess sometimes. It’s true. I was sober for eight years until I took a 2019 trip to Uzbekistan — if you didn’t drink vodka there, you were crazy. But I can’t keep drinking like this because hangovers kill me. One of M’s friends, the one who had an alcoholic abusive dad, watches my every move while we’re at the bar. I know we’ll argue about this later.
Midnight: Another pub. A snowball fight. Then home to sleep, too tired for any drama or sex.
8 a.m. A light hangover and then comes the argument. It’s not M I have an issue with, it’s the friend, but we fight a bit about it — her oversharing and making me feeling judged — and then it’s okay. Nothing serious. She brings me a coffee, and that’s the end of it.
10 a.m. We agree that the friend is just overprotective of my girlfriend, and that’s not a bad thing.
1 p.m. A heavy snow is falling, the kind you never get in London. M is up and at work; I am ready for a nap.
5 p.m. Bit of work hell because one of my magazines is closing three issues in one week so we can have two weeks off. I devote the rest of the night to getting things done.
9 p.m. Still working. Eyes are heavy. Will fall asleep soon. M is at her place tonight.
10 a.m. Wake up and meet lesbian friends for breakfast. They are hungover and do two shots of Baileys to kill the hangover, and I join them just for fun. They’re happy to hear I’m happy with M, but I try not to be hypocritical and overshare too much.
1 p.m. Back home, I saddle up at my computer. I forgot that I also have a 3,000-word story due on Iraq, from which I just returned a few weeks ago.
2 p.m. I turn on Formula 1 while I work. Usually I listen to music, but BBC 6 has been playing rubbish lately.
3 p.m. M texts. She is going out with her German friend to see Die Hard. She didn’t know it was a “Christmas movie.” As she said, culture gaps from her Eastern European childhood. I’m charmed by them all.
5:30 p.m. I pull out my vibrator and open a new window. I look for gay porn, and about three minutes later, the job is done. One of my other secrets that no one knows is that I can’t come when having sex with someone else — aside from one time in my 20s. I usually fake orgasm. I don’t know if this has to do with my Catholic upbringing, my extreme self-consciousness, my preference for vibrators, or what. I haven’t even talked about it with any of my therapists. But I hate the idea of someone getting bored and tired and wondering when I am going to be done while they fuck me. When I feel like I’ve had enough, I make the noise and gestures, and that’s it. No one has ever questioned it. Maybe I should have tried acting as a profession.
8 p.m. I call my girlfriend to say good night. Then I read in bed for a bit.
10 a.m. Back to work. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is: When you’re freelance, deadlines are deadlines.
2 p.m. M comes over. I’m still working.
4 p.m. We put on BBC 3, the classical channel. I jokingly ask her if she has always been this “weird,” as in a 37-year-old opera savant and theater kid who bangs on about My Neighbor Totoro at the Barbican. She says “No!” like a defensive little kid. We are flirting, it’s sweet.
7 p.m. M plays me some Hey, Polish pop band she used to listen in the ’90s. This makes me laugh hysterically. Only when M talks or sings do I think of her as actually being from another country — and a former communist one at that. We fight a lot about money.
12 a.m. I finally finish the first third of my story and call it a day. M is fast asleep.
9 a.m. M wakes up and kisses me good-bye. The kids M nannies for are in private school and on winter break now, so no opportunity to fool around in the morning. During the school year, she doesn’t have to be to the house until at least noon, so we can have sex in the morning, which is nice.
10 a.m. We are headed to Morocco for Christmas — no family obligations for either of us this year. I can’t wait. I’m therefore putting my place on Airbnb, which is a pain in the ass but worth it.
2 p.m. I finally drag my shit and M’s shit and the cat to her place. She lives in a house owned by a trust-fund baby who is an utter nightmare. There is always drama about her (she comes from a famous and dysfunctional family), the planet (she is an environmental activist in Extinction Rebellion), or the house (no shoes on the staircase!). I am too old for this shit. It’s too bad because the house is pretty cool and Hackney is the Brooklyn of London, I suppose.
3 p.m. Go to a specialty-magazine shop run by a very cute Scottish lesbian to shill for this special tennis journal I write for. That I volunteered to help get it on stands in the U.K. is my fault, but it’s still ridiculous. Still, I get to flirt with the store owner.
I was once with someone I cheated on pretty regularly (with a French real-estate agent), but we weren’t having sex, so I think it was kind of fair. I had actually never cheated before. Once you open that can of worms, does it ever shut? I had a little fling over the summer with a 34-year-old South African tennis player who was 34, but that was really just kissing (I think — I’d had about six pints). M and I have talked about what would happen if we wanted to sleep with someone else. She said she would not leave me if I kissed someone. Each of us has our “celebrity passes” though. Hers is Gillian Anderson. Mine is Carey Mulligan. Carey, if you are listening and are ready to trade Mumford’s guitar for my typewriter, look me up.
8 p.m. Head to Camden for dinner with M. She is going to fret about something before our trip to Morocco on Saturday and probably see a shopping bag and hint that I am a spendthrift (leftover communist culture), but she is still the big spoon to my little one.
11 p.m. I head to bed for the night and put Saturday Night Live on the iPad. Time to just snuggle.