Why are we whispering?

On Saturday night I went clubbing, with a group of girls. Unfortunately, the club was not busy. The dance floor was pretty empty. The music was great, but it was pretty niche.

After saying goodbye to my friends, I was faffing about with the Uber app outside the club, when I thought I want to get off with someone!

There hadn’t been even one available bachelor in the club. Every guy was already in a couple.

The club has two separate nights on a Saturday – the Indie night, which has great music but lately has been pretty empty, and then ‘Club de Fromage’, which is always packed but has very cheesy music.

I went into Club de Fromage.

A guy started chatting to me, and long story short, I went home with him. I didn’t actually fancy him that much, but he seemed pleasant and was a really good kisser. I was just beginning to shop around on the dance floor when he chatted to me, and I got carried away, even though I didn’t really fancy him.

When he asked me back to his, I made it clear that nothing sexual could happen because it was my period. (I have a serious head/heart divide when it comes to sex. Or a head/loin divide. I just wrote about how I’m gagging for some sex, and just a few days later, I’m like “no thank you”. I think if I’d fancied him properly and had done my bikini line, I would’ve circumnavigated the menstrual barrier.)

He said he was completely fine with no sex, he was happy just to “kiss and snuggle.”

I weighed this up, on the edge of the dance floor.


  • I like kissing A LOT and he is a good kisser
  • I’ve really missed spooning
  • I’m enjoying his conversation
  • an Uber to mine would be really expensive
  • my front door key has been playing up and I can’t be bothered to faff around with that at 3am


  • he used the word “snuggle”
  • I don’t fancy his face
  • he might still try to shag me
  • he might be a rapist or murderer

But the key thing is really annoying. I decided to go back with him. I checked a few times he really was fine with me coming back and not having sex, but he said he just wanted to hang out with me.

At 5am when he was snoring incredibly loudly and I was absolutely dying for a glass of water, I would’ve given anything to be in my own bed.

The next morning, I left his flat at about 9am, after we had a whispered conversation for about half an hour.

I wasn’t sure why we were whispering, but he really didn’t want his flatmate to know he had brought a girl home. His flatmate is a girl too. I wondered if there was something going on with them.

We discussed our jobs. My voice occasionally increased to a normal talking volume, but he kept really maintaining the whispering.

“I’m a management consultant.” He whispered.

“What does that actually mean?” I whispered back. He explained he helps ‘various corporate entities’ save money. When I pressed him on this, it turned out they usually ‘save money’ by sacking people.

“Do they get replaced by robots?” I whispered.

“Sometimes.” He replied seriously.

I explained my job, and he told me his brother is having CBT. After hesitating, he added his brother has recently gone to prison, and is having CBT there. We discussed this, for a while.

I whispered “it must be really stressful for all of your family.”

Why are we whispering?

I felt really unattractive when I looked in his bathroom mirror.

I was incredibly dehydrated and thirsty after all the alcohol, and this always makes my smile grooves and eye crinkles much more deeply etched. He was only 27, and I’m sure I looked about a decade older than I had last night.

The night before, he had annoyed me a bit by bringing a bottle of expensive water to bed, but not giving me my own glass. I kept waking up, with a sandpaper dry mouth, and tiptoeing round to his side of the bed to swig more water, while he snored. At one point, I felt my way through the blackness to the bathroom and drank from the bathroom tap for a full five minutes.

We said goodbye and did compliment each other’s kissing styles but didn’t exchange numbers, and I walked to the tube. I bought a cup of tea on the way, and by the time I reached the station, I felt quite good about my appearance again.

It was probably because I was clearly doing a walk of shame and was quite provocatively dressed for a Sunday morning, but I seemed to be getting a few smiles from guys, which really cheered me up.

Then, on the train platform, a random guy asked me if he could come home with me (I said no).

Then, on top of all this positive feedback, I got a text from a guy I haven’t seen for years, saying “Doing my annual check to see how you are.”

I’ll try to explain who he is, as quickly as possible.

In 2011, my friend Faith had a Hallowe’en party. She had just moved into a new flat with her boyfriend. The two guys from the flat above, came to her party.

Let’s call them James, the cheery One and Tim, the Sensitive One.

This might be painful actually. I sometimes wonder if my life would’ve played out completely differently, if I hadn’t gone to that party.

I got chatting to James. He asked me if I’d come straight from work. I hadn’t – I was dressed as Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood in her waitress uniform.

James was very friendly and fun. He has a sunny, cheery demeanour. He was really good at putting people at ease. As I got to know him, I found out he always bought things for the homeless guy who stood outside his local Sainsburys. He had hundreds of friends.

That night, he introduced me to Tim, who was much quieter, and more alternative. Tim worked in a shop, but he also had set up a website where he reviewed new music, and it was becoming really successful. Bands gave him free tickets so he would write about them.

We went up to their flat, and someone got a guitar out and we all sang Radiohead songs. A few hours later I was really sick in their bathroom.

I started hanging out with those lads most weekends. We got on really well. They were both single. I wasn’t – I was with Balthazar, who I’d been with for 4 years.

For many months, I had been saying to Balthazar that I wished we spent more time together, plus some other things, but he just didn’t seem to take it seriously.

Meeting these two guys made me realise I hadn’t been happy for a while.

I really fancied Tim, the sensitive one.

I broke up with Balthazar, and one of the reasons was to be with Tim.

The thing is, I really should’ve checked Tim liked me first. He didn’t. I was so concerned with doing everything right and not cheating, I didn’t even check. I didn’t want to even hint to Tim that I might like him, until I was a free agent.

I must have massively misread the situation, or maybe he changed his mind. I said it was irrelevant because the main thing was that things weren’t right with Balthazar, because if they were, I wouldn’t have fancied Tim

As soon as we broke up, Balthazar said all the things I had needed to hear for months, but I felt like it was too late. I don’t know why. (Spoiler: I now think we would’ve got back together if he hadn’t devastatingly died shortly after that.)

After I broke up with Balthazar, I had nowhere to live for a few weeks, so I stayed with different friends each night, and some nights I stayed in the guys’ flat.

One night, a few weeks before Balthazar died, James and I went to a house party together. When I woke up the next morning, we were both naked.

Fuck, I think we slept together. 

I think James might’ve actually liked me the whole time. I got on really well with him, maybe better than with Tim, the Sensitive One. However, I felt more drawn to Tim because we had more in common.

Tim and I liked the same music and books, and had deep and meaningful conversations about having low self esteem and things (although he was lukewarm with me as soon as I became single).

I always had fun with James, and he could be really kind and supportive, but I wasn’t sure we were on exactly the same wavelength. One time, I went round and they were watching Black Mirror, which Tim and I really loved. James said “I think it’s set in the future, but I don’t get it.”

I told James that it was actually Tim that I fancied, but he didn’t seem that bothered. We carried on hanging out together, and sometimes doing sexual things.

We never actually had full sex. I was a total mess after I broke up with Balthazar. I felt guilty about sleeping with someone else, and every time James tried to put it in, it hurt too much so I’d just do stuff to him instead. I’m sure he did stuff to me too, but I can’t remember it. I think I was too distracted to complete the transaction.

One time, Faith was having a Christmas party. I was going to get some of my clothes from Balthazar’s house first, which was always emotional.

I crashed my car on the way. I wasn’t hurt but was shaken up. Balthazar was really kind to me, but when I left our old house, I didn’t feel like going to Faith’s Christmas party and being with strangers, so I went up to see James instead. He was really caring and came out to check the damage to my car.

I had a cup of tea and we watched Countryfile together. Somehow we both realised we were really turned on. It was my period, and after the car crash I didn’t feel like having bloody menstrual sex, but I gave him oral. Then I went down to the party at Faith’s.

The Countryfile Blowjob always comes up in conversation with James, because he felt really guilty that I gave him oral after crashing my car, but I’m pretty sure it was my idea.

Anyway, after a while, he got together with this Lithuanian girl. He was still friendly to me but it fizzled out. Then Balthazar died, and he was really nice about it, whereas Tim seemed more awkward with me than ever.

In the summer of 2012, we went through a phase of having quite graphic chats on Facebook messenger. I felt really bad towards his girlfriend, but I was a total mess and making poor choices.

Then, he suddenly deleted me on Facebook. A few months later, he deleted his whole profile.

A few years later, after I had moved to London, I discovered the ‘Filtered messages’ box on Facebook. It seemed like James had created a really basic Facebook account and every so often, he would send me a message asking if I was still alive or just saying hello. I never saw them because they went into my ‘Filtered messages’ inbox, which I didn’t know about.

In the last one, he had included his number. I didn’t see it until about a year after he sent it, but I sent him a text saying ‘yes, I’m still alive!’

Now, every so often, we chat on WhatsApp. It starts out friendly, and tends to end with him trying to get me to send a naked photo. I’ll say “are you still with your girlfriend?” He’ll say “yes” and I’ll say “then no.”

I think he’s basically a really nice guy but sometimes his sex drive is stronger than his moral compass. I’ve got the impression he is generally happy with his girlfriend but there are some sexual issues.

I also believe he really cared about me when we were friends. Like, one time I was in the kitchen with Tim, after I broke up with Balthazar. I said I wasn’t having anything to eat as I wasn’t hungry and Tim said “James is worried you haven’t been eating lately.”

(I’ve had no contact with Tim since 2012 by the way).

Anyway, yesterday morning, James sent me a message, and we had a chat while I was on the train home.

As we chatted, it felt different to previous times.

He said something in passing about seeing me. This was new. I said “how’s it going with the Mrs?”

He told me they sleep in separate rooms now and changed the subject.

After a while, he said “hey, we’ve been chatting for 30 minutes now and you haven’t told me off yet!”

I replied “that’s because you haven’t asked for a photo of my breasts.”

Then he sent me a photo. Of his son.

I knew they’d had a baby actually. I had seen it on social media somewhere, ages ago.

Last time we chatted, I knew, but he didn’t tell me, and I didn’t say I knew. I think I was more off with him because it was even more wrong to try and sext me when he had a baby.

Now his kid was one and a half years old.

I told him his son was super-cute.

I felt sad for them that it wasn’t working out, especially now they had a kid.

We talked about his son and things for a bit. After a while, we went stopped chatting, but he said “feel free to message me if you’re bored.”

Again, this was new. Normally it ends more like:

Me: “I’m not sexting you if you’ve got a girlfriend.”

Him: “OK, see you next year.”

I guess normally, when he contacts me, he’s just horny, but this time, maybe he was lonely too.

Something about it weirdly gave me a nice feeling, although I truly would prefer it if he and his girlfriend were happy.

But, basically, we were only friends for a few months, and only did sexual things a handful of times. Hasn’t seen me for 5-6 years. We had no contact at all for about 3 years, when I wasn’t receiving his Facebook messages, and yet he hasn’t forgotten me. Sometimes we’re not in touch for ages, but somehow he still orbits past me, every so often.

It could be that I’m one of many obliging girls from his past, who he cycles between when he fancies some sexting to spice up a wank, but it doesn’t feel like that. And I haven’t spiced up his wank since 2012.

It feels like I was special to him, and that’s nice. I haven’t felt special for ages.


7 thoughts on “Why are we whispering?

  1. So sad… and tragic in a way that reminds me of my love life. 😦 It seems like guys from my past occasionally come out of the woodwork at the most inopportune times.

    This story of James reminds me of my friendship with Daniel. We hung out all the time when I was 25. One drunken night we ended up sleeping together. It never happened again. Then, I moved away.

    A couple years later, he called me and during the conversation repeatedly wondered aloud why we’d never dated. He then said, “Why don’t we get married?”

    WTF?! He had moved to San Diego; I had recently moved to San Francisco. I was dating Mars at the time and knew it could actually go somewhere. I told Daniel I was sad to hear him ask that because it was ‘too little, too late’.

    Guys only seem to want to be with me once I’m no longer available. :-/

    As for James, don’t think twice about him! Yes, he is probably really lonely but he made his choices. Just remember: You’re not in his life anymore for a reason.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. All right, Ms. Da, it must be asked:

    Is the name actually “Club de Fromage,” or is that your own coinage to depict the lactic soundscape?

    Also, well done in not allowing your “gagging for some sex” condition to supercede personal standards and tastes. And, in a state of ensozzlement, no less!💫


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