Boner-watch and jizz-watch 

The morning after our 2nd date, the Bearded South African Man (BSAM) texted me, just a few minutes after leaving my flat.

BSAM 2nd date text

I find this screenshot hilarious – I think it perfectly captures a date that has gone well.

Over the next week, we were in touch quite a lot by text. He texted me a few times saying he couldn’t stop thinking about having sex with me, which was nice.

For our 3rd date, we agreed he would come to mine for drinks and a pizza.

He still planned to cook me dinner soon – in fact, he had been practising and sent me a photo of his dry-run Spaghetti Bolognese. However, my flatmate was away and it was a good opportunity to hang out at mine, with the place to ourselves.

I walked to meet him at the station, and noted my stomach didn’t feel perfect. I don’t know if it was nerves or too many Smints, but it felt quite bloated and tender.

He got off the train and waved to me across the platform. I thought his wave was slightly camp but sweet.

We hugged and walked back to my flat. We went into the kitchen and he kissed me.

He thought he was getting a cold, so he had bought lemon and ginger teabags, and some fresh lemon and root ginger. I wasn’t sure what I made of that, but I think I admired how well-prepared he was. He got started with his cold-prevention kit, and I put the pizza on and made a salad.

I had worried a bit about the music. I knew music was important to both of us, but I had the impression we didn’t have quite the same taste. Although we both like alternative Indie, I thought his taste was a bit heavier than mine.

I had uneasily prepared a tentative playlist that I hoped was in the middle of the venn diagram of our tastes.

We sat on my sofa with our pizza, and some drinks, and listened to the playlist. We had a really fun evening. I think we literally talked about music and nothing else for at least an hour and a half. The playlist went down a lot better than expected. When each song ended, the conversation would pause while we saw what song was next.

Eventually, we moved on to other topics. We talked about South Africa and how he feels about the UK.

We were getting on well. I enjoyed the game of Sofa Chess we played; we started out sitting quite far away from each other. As the night progressed, he tried to casually inch his way closer to me so we could touch each other.

He complimented my body again. Although it was nice, I did start to think it would be nice if he complimented something from the neck up, like my face or even personality.

This time I had done quite thorough hair removal. I was sitting cross-legged on the sofa and his hand gradually went up my jeans and stroked my bare leg.

“Oh! A shave has occurred.” He said.

“Yes.” I replied.

He went on to tell me a story about a girl he once stopped dating, because she stopped shaving her armpits. He probably should’ve known, from my feminism and also my hairiness on our second date, that this story wasn’t going to be a massive crowd-pleaser. Never mind.

He asked for the Wifi password, and the router is my bedroom, so we went in there. As we got up, he said “I’ve never met anyone like you before.”

I decided to take that as a compliment.

Now that we had broken the Physical Contact Barrier, we decided to carry on listening to music in my room.

We lay on the bed and I stroked his spine and back for ages, as we listened to a tune he had put on. We were both almost falling asleep.

When the song ended, he got up to go the bathroom, and sleepily said “Lovely woman.”

When he came back, we moved on to the Sex Section of the night.

This was where it started to go downhill.

It wasn’t that the sex went badly, or we stopped getting on. It was difficult to put my finger on.

But somehow, by the morning, I wasn’t feeling great about him. I had bought sausages so I could make sausage sandwiches for breakfast, but when Sunday morning came round, I thought I do not want to make this guy a sausage sandwich.

It’s so unusual to have such strong feelings of not wanting to make someone a sausage sandwich. I didn’t know why I felt like that.

He left, un-sausaged, and things were officially fine. We planned to have dinner at his place, next weekend, for the long-awaited spaghetti bolognese.

He got dressed and I got up to say goodbye. I nearly went to the front door with him naked, as I knew the flat was empty. Thankfully, I decided to put my dressing gown on at the last minute, because my flatmate, Joe, his best friend, and best friend’s boyfriend all burst into the living room as we were saying goodbye.

After he’d gone, I tried to figure out what had gone wrong, and why my feelings had shifted.

Firstly, I realised I like my sex to consist of discrete sessions, with clearly demarcated periods of non-sex in between. That night, as soon clothes were removed, we seemed to be in a constant state of half-sex, until he left. I definitely like affection in between units of sex, but I felt like my sex organs were constantly being mauled.

If I’m in the middle of a hilarious anecdote, even if I’m naked, I kind of want the other person to be listening with rapt attention, not suddenly disappearing under the duvet to put my breasts in their mouth (also, if you’re sucking anything so hard that it’s making me wince, I’m probably not enjoying it).

I wondered about this – it hasn’t really come up before. I like sex, so why should I dislike a continuous session of several hours of it?

I suppose one thing I like about sex is the peaks and troughs. Even if we’ve already done it once, there’s always the nice moment when you’ve been chatting or asleep, and then there’s a pause, and maybe your eyes meet, and you wonder Is he… is his hand… YES it is! Great! 

When you’re in a constant state of half-sex, it takes a lot of the excitement away. There’s no sexy anticipation or build-up. It’s more like seriously, again? Or Of course he’s pressing that against me, yet again. 

Another issue is that I definitely like things being done at the much gentler end of the spectrum. Maybe my skin is particularly sensitive or I have a lot of nerve endings in relevant places, but even at the best of times, people tend to do things a bit hard. At least if you have clear periods of rest, things can recover and return to their usual shape, before the next session. However, if something is being mauled continuously for several hours, it hurts even more.

Another issue, related to the continuousness of the sex, was safety. On our second date, BSAM told me he has herpes.

On this 3rd date, at one point we went from just talking, to him lifting me into a position where our genitals were touching. I suddenly realised I could actually catch herpes that way. You can catch herpes from skin to skin contact, such as dry-humping.

If the sex sessions are clearly defined, it’s easier to keep on top of sexual health safety. You know that when you’re having sex, you’re using the appropriate contraception, and when you’re not, you’re not.

This leads to my second issue with him. I don’t think he cares enough about whether I catch herpes from him. He told he had already given it to two other women. He told me things were safe that I know are not. When he talked about safe sex, he said he definitely hadn’t been conscientious enough in the past (including since diagnosis).

At the time, my response was a lighthearted “oh, that’s naughty!”, like if someone told me they weren’t having their Five-a-Day pieces of fruit and veg, or having more than the recommended units of alcohol. But actually, this is a very different thing. This is being responsible for someone else’s health. If I’m with someone with an STI, I want them to do everything within their control to make sure I don’t get it.

When I was with the Whippersnapper, who also had it, I knew if we had sex, there was small risk I would catch herpes, even if we did everything we could. I felt OK about that risk, and if I caught it, I wouldn’t blame him because I would’ve known I had made an educated choice about the risk. I also knew he would absolutely devastated if I caught it.

With BSAM, if I caught herpes from him, and had to spend the rest of the my life having the Herpes Conversation with future partners, and possibly being rejected by them, and I knew he could’ve done more to stop me catching it, I’m not sure I could ever totally forgive him.

I think both his attitude to passing on herpes, and the constant sex, both made me feel like he didn’t 100% respect my body.

Also, in that vein, on our second date, I told him I don’t like any fiddling about with my anus during sex. I said “I must not have many nerves there – I find it distracting at best.” However, that night, during the sex I suddenly felt some fingers snuffling around there, which I wasn’t thrilled about.

The final thing that made the sex less enjoyable, was his anxiety.

He is on antidepressants, and throughout the sex, he was worried about his ability to maintain an erection and his ability to come, because of the medication.

From my job, I know that what works for insomnia, can also work for problems with erections and orgasms. They are all bodily functions that people worry about. They are things that are kind of within your control, but indirectly, not directly. They are also things where the state of worrying about it, is fundamentally incompatible with the state of achieving it.

Being asleep is being at the very extreme end of the relaxation spectrum. Every time you worry about not being asleep yet, you’re moving yourself away from the sleep end of spectrum, and towards the awake, alert, anxious end. Trying not to sleep can actually take the pressure off, and help you sleep.

I think the same can be true for orgasms. Lots of times I’ve been having nice sex but conscious it’s been ages and I haven’t come yet, and started worrying. The second I’ve thought Actually, maybe I just won’t come this time. Never mind, it actually starts to happen.

Being worried about not coming moves you further away from coming. I think trying not to come can help you come.

Anyway, I knew he was worrying about his erection throughout the sex, which probably made it worse, and also struggling to come.

I’m not sure I’ve ever slept with anyone who didn’t have a bit of boner-related anxiety at some point – it’s not the end of the world.

But it meant the continuous sex and mauling, which would have annoyed me anyway, had a slightly frenzied quality to it.

I felt like he treated my breasts like sexual stress balls.

When I talked to my flatmate, Joe, the next day, he said “Oh no, he was on boner-watch! Nothing gets rid of an erection like being on boner-watch.”

“Yes! And he was really worried about coming too. Nothing gets rid of an orgasm like being on jizz-watch.”

On top of all of this, the other thing that reduced my enjoyment of our 3rd date was my own bodily function concerns. My tender stomach didn’t get better. In the night I woke up with stomach pains. It felt like period pains, but in a digestive zone rather than a reproductive one. I knew it was trapped wind, that wanted to come out.

I lay there, using every fibre of my concentration and strength to keep my anus clamped as tightly shut as I could, to stop any noises or gases escaping.

I dread to think what might have crept out when I was asleep.

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5 thoughts on “Boner-watch and jizz-watch 

  1. Your writing is thoroughly entertaining. I was laughing that you sent him on his way sausage-less the morning after…and that you were mortified some gas may have escaped in your sleep.

    In all seriousness, though, I too would have been upset about his inability to please you, as well as his carelessness in potentially spreading herpes. Ugh.

    Like

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