I came home from my date with Daniel feeling pretty optimistic. I got home just before 1am and my friend, who was visiting London, was still awake, so it was great, making toast and dissecting the evening with her.
Daniel had asked me to text and confirm I had got home safely, so I did, and we were exchanging a few nice messages as I got the sofabed out (my friend was sleeping in my room). Then, just as I was pretty much turning the light off, suddenly we were having text-sex. I think I said something like “it was nice when we kissed on the tube, anyway, good night!” or similar, and suddenly he had replied with “I would have fucked you against that wall.” Then, without waiting for the green light, he sent me a stream of graphic messages about what he would have done, step by step. My inbox was flooded (in more ways than one).
Overall, I liked it and was definitely into it, but a few things struck me; firstly, I think every time I’ve had text sex before, there’s been a bit more warning from them, and a bit more invitation from me. I’ve known what’s about to happen. Often, there’s a very British warm-up, like “shall we have text sex? If you’re sure, OK, this is a bit embarrassing but, OK! I would like to put my hand on your breast, sorry, if this isn’t what you had in mind…”.
Secondly, most of what he said was very sexy, but a couple of times I thought ‘OK, might need to pull you up on that if we have sex in person!’. My main issue was when he said “you beg me stop, claiming falsely that you can’t take anymore, but I continue”. I thought ‘hey, if one of us wants to stop, WE STOP. Consent. Watch some Laci Green videos.’
Also, he said something about biting my buttock and “sucking your flesh down to my throat”. On reflection, I think he mentioned his throat to convey how hard he would suck, but I pictured him literally biting off a piece of my flesh and swallowing it, which I wasn’t 100% on board with.
The next day, my first doubts started to creep in. I was walking back from Sainsbury (finally my appetite had come back and I was ravenous) when he texted me saying “ask me a question. Something real.”
(He kind of reminded me of this guy from the new BBC show Fleabag:)
I thought about what to ask him. On the date, he said he was ‘wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia’ so I was tempted to ask what the right diagnosis was. But then I texted him saying “I was tempted to ask you something about your mental health, but I’m conscious that I don’t want you to be sort of defined by your mental health in my head, so I’d like to get to know the other aspects of you more first.” Then I asked him a question about something he started to say on the date, but got interrupted.
He replied with a really long message about his mental health. My heart sank a bit, but in fairness, he was only answering my question (it turned out the thing he was going to say was about his mental health. Of course it was).
We spent all of Sunday texting each other while I watched TV and started working on a handbag I was sewing. The text conversation was largely good, talking about things we were both interested in, the previous night, asking each other questions.
At one point I started watching the TV show ‘Naked Attraction’ (which later prompted me to get an ill-advised Brazilian wax. If you haven’t seen Naked Attraction, imagine that Blind Date with Cilla Black has been recreated in a post-apocalyptic hell.) There were six naked women in the studio, and they had all had Brazilian waxes. One might have had a landing strip, but the others had not one pubic hair between them.
A combination of my feminist principles, having very sensitive skin that reacts badly to any hair removal and laziness means that I usually sport a full, 1970s bush. The men I’ve been out with have always seemed fine with this, but it occurred to me that I wasn’t sure of Daniel’s stance on hair removal. I texted him about the TV show and said my opinion.
He replied saying he gets waxed in that area!
He said a ‘grumpy Polish woman’ waxes him now, but previously he and his ex-girlfriend used to go to the same waxing lady. Apparently she was very good, so he was disappointed he had to stop because he and his girlfriend split up. This irrationally pissed me off for several reasons.
- he said “it actually doesn’t hurt as much as people say”. YES IT FUCKING DOES.
- I don’t why but the idea of him and his ex-girlfriend trotting to the salon together really pissed me off. When he asked for her beautician’s number, why hadn’t his girlfriend said that neither of them were getting waxed because it’s all expensive, painful, body-shaming bollocks?
- He said “I like getting waxed. I like the fact I’m vulnerable in that moment”. GET A FUCKING GRIP MATE.
I sent him some crabby texts about the patriarchy and then apologised as I do think my level of annoyance was unreasonable.
Over the next week, we texted each other a lot. We half-arranged we would meet up again that Saturday. I kept going back and forth between still really liking him, being pretty certain I didn’t want to see him again, and thinking ‘OK, we could at least have some sex, even if he’s not The One’.
Things were already starting to feel quite unequal between us, in that he said a lot about his mental health and problems, and he knew very little about mine, even when I tried to talk about it.
At one point, he was texting me something about past relationships, and I replied with a bit about mine, including that I had an ex-boyfriend who died. His reply was just a monologue about how he doesn’t know if he’s been in love, and he didn’t even acknowledge what I had said.
There was a lot of text sex that week. Some of it was great, some of it wasn’t.
“Which woods?” I think it shows how much I was into it.
And then this happened.
My reaction was:
- What the fuck?
- What the actual fuck?
- OK, firstly, you know I’m a feminist. Do you think ‘you feel girlish, overpowered by a strong male’ and ‘being reminded of being so small, dependent’ and ‘giving away all responsibility for your happiness’ is going to press my buttons? KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
- ‘Giving away all your security… feeling ecstasy in giving away everything’ reminded me that I don’t have contents insurance
- ‘To go back to something pure, something unsullied. Returning’. a) what? and b) I AM NOT SULLIED.
I wasn’t sure if he was a nice guy who had mistakenly read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and thought it was a documentary, or if these messages revealed that he was actually terrifying.
That night he asked me what I wanted to happen between us, and I said I would like to be friends and found him attractive, but didn’t think we should have a relationship, and explained why. He sent a nice message back, thanking me for being honest. He had said on his profile he ‘wasn’t looking for any thing serious’ so I assumed this was fine with him.
We were still supposed to be meeting that Saturday. On Saturday morning, we spoke on the phone about what was happening. I said I was still up for a coffee or something, and I did want to be friends, but reiterated what I said in my text. He said he liked me but didn’t think it would work just being friends.
We spoke for a few minutes and agreed we wouldn’t meet up that day, but might some other time. Then we had more of a general chat.
I was so close to wrapping things up with him. But I really enjoyed speaking to him on the phone.