So, it was my 5th date with the Great Scot. After a shaky start, because of some dramas he had experienced that day, we had an absolutely brilliant night.
I was thinking things like
- why am I dating anyone else? This guy is all I’m looking for
- why was I ever so hung up on my ex? This guy is so much better!
He was so lovely, I didn’t even feel embarrassed I accidentally served us raw salmon to eat. After enjoying each other’s company loads, we had fabulous sex, and I had just given him some oral to complete the set.
Then it all started to go downhill.
I was really pleased with the oral because he seemed to really enjoy it. I think it’s the thing I’m best at, but circumcised men don’t seem to like my style so much. I’ve found the guys I’ve slept with who were circumcised gave less positive feedback about my oral.
I think my moves are quite gentle and intricate and there can be reduced sensitivity if the man has been circumcised, so maybe they prefer something a bit firmer and more assertive.
It’s a shame, because three guys have said it’s the best blow job they’ve ever had. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet (when clearly I’m more interested in blowing other people’s trumpets) but I get the impression I’m really fucking good at oral. I think I’ve remembered and committed to memory everything I ever read in magazines about oral, and every instruction a boy has ever given me, plus, I seem to be able to do something with my throat, a bit like how a snake dislocates its jaw to swallow its prey.
A few months ago, I went out for dinner with my friend and we talked about sex and I talked her through my exact blow job technique. I assumed she had forgotten about that conversation as we were quite drunk, but then, the other day, she told me she had been giving her husband some oral and he said “why do you keep stopping?”
She said “I’m trying to remember what Dater Analysis said to do next!”
Apparently it all went down very well. So well, that this time, when she said she was meeting me for dinner, he said “ooh, ask her about this other sexual problem we’ve been having!”
I love the idea of being an official Sexpert.
The Scot seems to be circumcised and he didn’t seem that swept away when I briefly gave him oral the first time, so I was relieved this time round, because he seemed to really be enjoying it. He gave a lot of encouragement that seemed mostly involuntary.
So I felt pretty pleased with myself.
Then, after he’d completed the transaction, he just lay there with his eyes closed for ages.
At first, I took this as a reflection of how much he enjoyed it. But then it went on for a really long time. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I started feeling insecure and vulnerable. A few minutes earlier we were doing such incredibly intimate things to each other, and I felt so close to him. Now it felt like he wasn’t really there. The portcullis had come down.
And even if I hadn’t felt vulnerable, I would’ve felt bored quite quickly, lying in bed with someone who wasn’t talking to me. He wasn’t asleep, he was just lying there.
After a really good orgasm, my head can feel like a snow globe that has been shaken up and I struggle to string a sentence together, so I could sort of relate to it. However, for me, when I’m like that, I’m holding the other person tightly while I wait for the Windows 7 of my brain to install updates and then restart, whereas he wasn’t touching me.
I’ve read that women’s sex drives are like ovens, whereas men’s are like microwaves, and I do think there’s something in that. Supposedly women take longer to warm up and then longer to cool down, whereas men can go from 0 to 60 quite quickly and then be ready to move on to the next thing straight afterwards.
One way I like to let the intimacy and closeness come down gradually, after sex, is talking about the sex. I like talking about what bits I enjoyed, like you might reflect on your favourite bits of a lovely day out, in the car home.
It’s a bit like the way they show a football match on TV. They don’t just start the coverage from the moment of the first whistle, and then the second the final whistle blows, the credits go up and then Coronation Street is on – there’s a build-up beforehand, and then a warm-down afterwards.
The bit at the start, when they go to a studio and some ex-footballers sit around a table, talking about which players are off sick, and whether it’s going to be a 4-4-2 formation, and why this match is actually very important, that’s like the foreplay.
And at the end, when they talk about whether it was a fair result, and whether referee made good decisions or not, and which players fell over, that’s like the cuddling.
When I used to live with my ex-boyfriend, and he’d spend whole afternoons watching back to back football matches, if I walked through the living room and saw Gary Lineker and his friends in the studio, talking, I’d say “is this the foreplay or the cuddling?” so I could get an idea how long it would be before the football was over, and I could put something more erudite on the TV.
And it caught on – sometimes on a weekday evening match, my ex would say “I’ll just watch the cuddling and then I’ll come to bed.”
So, I thought some good, post-match analysis would help us both warm down from the intimacy of when I had his penis in my mouth, a few moments earlier.
So I said “I liked it when you were fucking me from behind.”
He opened his eyes and said “I don’t really like talking dirty afterwards.”
I wasn’t talking dirty, I was just being specific about what we did.
Embarrassment briefly clouded across my face.
Then he said “och, don’t look sad! Please don’t look sad.”
He apologised and put his arm around me, and I said it was fine. Things kind of normalled out and we got back on track.
We lay in bed talking for hours. A bit later, I said “sorry I got insecure earlier.” (I shouldn’t have apologised for my feelings.)
He said “no, it was a dick move what I said. I just didn’t know what to say.”
I said “I think it’s just easy to feel insecure in these early stages, when you’re still getting to know each other.”
Eventually we went to sleep, and everything was lovely. We spooned a lot and it felt so bloody good. I was lying with my back to him while he held me. I put my arm behind me to touch him, but obviously couldn’t see what I was doing. He moved his head into my hand and then said “sorry, I was being like a dog that wants to be stroked.”
So, that was all pretty perfect, apart from the blow job aftermath, and I thought that could be addressed with a well-timed chat in the future, especially with my football metaphor.
Then, at about 4am, I woke up and he was wide awake, freaking out. He couldn’t sleep and was panicking. He couldn’t keep still, his legs wouldn’t stop moving.
I already knew he had sleep problems. He told me on our second date that he has asthma and it gets bad at night and stops him sleeping. Then, he cancelled our 3rd date because he hadn’t slept, and texted me ahead of the rescheduled 3rd date saying he might not be on form because he hadn’t slept.
That night, he kept saying “I can’t stop my thoughts racing!”
He told me about how he always used to sleep well, then, a few years ago, he didn’t sleep for 4 days right before Christmas and went a bit mad. Now, he seems terrified of the night and not being able to sleep. He told me he and his ex-girlfriend had to sleep in separate rooms because his sleep was so bad.
I was half-asleep but just listened and gave him hugs, and after a while, he seemed to calm down.
He said that usually he sleeps with the light on, and has an episode of something playing in the background, to stop his thoughts racing. I said “do whatever you need to do, I’ll probably sleep through it.”
“How are you now, is it a hot mess in your head, because of all this?” He asked.
“No, I just hope you’re OK.” I said. I turned over to go back to sleep, and said sleepily “when I’m not half-asleep, we can talk about some things that might help.”
He slightly bristled when I said that, so I quickly added “obviously, if there was an easy answer, you would found it already, but I know some things that might help.”
I had lots of ideas of things that would help his sleep, because I work with people with insomnia and know a lot about sleep. I realised from his reaction, that he was in that space where someone doesn’t want to have their problem anymore, but they aren’t ready to hear solutions yet.
At work, people have usually already done that journey before they see me, but it’s a hard one. Before that, people can be really invested in the way they’re currently coping, even if it isn’t really working, so when alternatives get suggested, they can be a bit defensive.
Sometimes it’s part of a sunk-costs idea – if someone has had years of pain because of a problem, and you say “oh, well if you just do xyz, it’ll get a lot better”, there’s something really uncomfortable about accepting that it could be true, because it means all those years of pain were not necessary.
With people with insomnia, they often say “I’ve tried everything.” However, the research shows that people with insomnia have the best knowledge of sleep management techniques, but are the worst at implementing them.
I already had a good idea of what was happening for him. I think when he goes to bed, he’s terrified of not sleeping, so he starts producing adrenaline, which causes some symptoms like a tight chest and breathing changes. Then, he thinks he’s having asthma symptoms, so he uses his inhaler, which relaxes his airways but also speeds up his heart rate and makes him more anxious and awake. And all the things he’s doing to stop his mind racing are the worst things he could do, like having an episode of something on and the light on.
Anyway, I went back to sleep and so did he.
In the morning, he was being very morose and kept talking about how bad he felt because he hadn’t slept. He was scared of going into work that day, and had a headache.
I don’t mind people needing help, because everybody does. I like helping people feel better, if I can. But what’s difficult, is being around people who need help, but can’t or won’t accept it. I was beginning to worry he might be like that.
On the other hand, there have been times he’s quietly done exactly what I’ve suggested (e.g. I mentioned some antihistamines that have helped me and then he bought them, as asthma and allergies are related) and he has been good at offering me help back, like with my eating.
So, the next morning, I was quiet. I was thinking a lot about all of this.
We went downstairs for breakfast. I didn’t really want anything, but he seemed concerned I did eat. He made me a poached egg, which was really nice. He seemed to perk up in the kitchen, and it felt more fun again.
I was meeting a friend for Sunday lunch, and the Scot was working at 5pm. I think he was a bit disappointed we couldn’t spend more time together before his work. He was talking about whether we had time to go for a walk together, and I think he’d already looked into some nice places we could go.
I did text my friend asking if we could meet later, but we were only able to push back the time by an hour. The Scot and I agreed we’d go for a quick walk, then it started snowing heavily, so we didn’t.
When we got back into his bedroom, he seemed to go a bit morose again. I went for a shower.
When I got back, he was lying on his bed, reading things on his phone. He wasn’t completely ignoring me, as he kept reading things out loud to me, but he wasn’t engaging as much as I would’ve liked. I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I pranced around the room naked for an unnecessary amount time, hoping some sex might help.
Eventually I stood in front of him, naked, with my hand on my hip, saying “what would you like to do now?” and he got the hint.
He did a lot to me, which was great. He is so generous and skilled. Then, it seemed like he wanted more oral, rather than penetrative sex, so I did that for him. I loved how into it he was.
This time, when he’d completed the transaction and was lying there, I said “open your eyes” and he did, and it was better.
However, I still felt a bit weird about how the whole morning was going. He went back to reading and was still not really talking to me much, so I decided to go. I wasn’t sure if he wanted me there.
It was about 1pm when I said I was going.
He said, a bit sadly “I thought you didn’t need to go until 1.30pm.” I thought that was quite sweet, and it made me think he did want me there after all.
We went down to the hallway, and while I was putting my coat and shoes on, he was talking very animatedly about objects in his hallway, which I found very sweet.
We kissed goodbye, and I noted his beard really tasted of my vagina, which I liked, but decided not to bring up.
It had been snowing quite heavily and he kept offering me household objects I could use to clear the snow off my car, but I said no, even though I kind of did want some help.
When I got into my car, I sat with my face in my hands for a few moments.
How did it go from being so good to being so weird?
On reflection, he’d had a very strange 1-2 days, with his work problems, his sister’s partner going missing and all the interviews at the charity.
He had said “it made me think, ‘why was I so whiny a week ago, when I still had job security and my sister’s partner wasn’t missing?'”
One of the things I like about him, is how incredibly intuitive and perceptive he is. Like, I made myself a cup of tea in the morning, but it wasn’t very nice because the tea bags were really old. He said “how’s your tea?”
I said “OK thanks!”. I even believed myself.
He said “the inflection at the end gave it away. Are the teabags not OK?”
When we talked about my eating, he said “I’m worried about it. You always have a slight look of anguish right before you eat.”
If he can pick up those things, he could definitely pick it up when I was staring mournfully out of the window, thinking how much of a problem is his sleep stuff going to be for me?
Plus, he clearly wanted us to do stuff together that day, and was disappointed I couldn’t.
Maybe he was being distant with me, because I was being distant with him, and it became a vicious circle.