I had a really good Saturday night out, the other day.
I was supposed to have a date I was lukewarm about, but then, that afternoon, one of the friends I go clubbing with texted me.
She really wanted to go out as things had just ended with a guy. I was more keen to go out with her than my lukewarm date, so I rescheduled him.
So, first my friend and I went to a pub and had a good chat and a drink, then we went to a club on Tottenham Court Road (the Borderline).
As we walked towards the entrance, I was thrilled when the bouncer asked us for ID, as it’s my 34th birthday soon. However, when we got up closer (and presumably he saw our wizened faces more clearly) he seemed to lose interest. He barely looked at my driving licence as we walked past.
“Excuse me, you didn’t really look at my driving licence properly?” I said. “Would you like to see it again?”
“It’s OK – the fact you had ID was the main thing.” He said. He was probably thinking “… and you clearly haven’t been underage for about 15 years.”
When we got inside, we were delighted to hear the music was good. Also, the ratio of men to women was about 5:1. Unlike other indie nights we’ve been to, it wasn’t dead, and it wasn’t full of teenagers.
It seemed like we’d definitely be able to get off with people if we wanted. The lack of women meant we were getting a lot of attention.
Before long, a man came over and said he liked my handbag. I proudly told him I had made it and showed him the lining, which I’m particularly proud of.
I didn’t fancy him, but since he was complimenting my bag, I thought hmm maybe…
Until we got onto where we’re from. I said I was from the Westcountry. He said “isn’t everyone from there inbred?”
I shot him a death stare and he scuttled away.
I had a proper look around the dance floor to see who I liked best. I noticed a lovely, slim, handsome Asian man and tried to establish some eye contact but he wasn’t responding.
We had a good dance. And a good drink. My memories of the night get hazy, but I remember the Slim Asian man’s gang of friends ended up dancing right next to us.
One of his friends started chatting to me. Apparently we were talking about ages – how old we were and things like that. I probably told him the driving licence non-story from earlier. We were trying to guess people’s ages, and he said “what about my friend – how old do you think he is?” and introduced the slim Asian man.
Within a few minutes, he was dismayed to see the slim Asian man and I were kissing.
I can’t remember what happened next but apparently the Slim Asian man’s friend despondently went off to the bar, but when he came back, the Slim Asian Man and I were just standing looking in opposite directions, not talking or anything.
I think we both just lost interest but I can’t remember.
I think I went and danced somewhere else for a bit. I chatted to an Irish guy in a leather jacket who was the man I fancied most all night, but I was disappointed when he suddenly said “it’s been a joy meeting you”, kissed me on the cheek and shot off.
I vaguely remember towards the end of the night, the Handbag-insult guy came back over and said “I’m really sorry I said people from the Westcountry are inbred.”
I laughed and said “that’s OK.”
I also vaguely remember Irish Leather Jacket walking back towards me, but then swooping away at the last minute, because he realised I was with someone else.
The next thing I properly remember, I was sitting at a table, chatting to the friend of the Slim Asian Man. I was really enjoying chatting to him.
I generally fancy skinny guys who look like they need a good Shepherd’s Pie, but this guy was a bit sturdier. He was tall and had a slightly Celtic vibe, with pale skin, subtle freckles, blue eyes and brown hair that was not ginger but not a million miles away from red. He was wearing a white shirt and jeans and a rather ostentatious watch. The thing I fancied most about him, was his confident, but not arrogant, demeanour.
He actually looked a bit like my ex-boyfriend who died, which was weird.
I had my last counselling session the day before. One of the themes has been my pattern of dating vulnerable guys who need looking after. In the last session we talked about how I can make sure I’m not in Therapist Mode with my next guy.
I fell at the first hurdle with this guy, as I remember drawing a social anxiety formulation on the back of a menu and talking to him very animatedly about it.
I can’t remember how that came about because, as I said, he seemed pretty confident but in a nice, humble way. Maybe he said he used to have social anxiety.
I remember us talking about the fact he was 29 (ie slightly younger than me). He said he liked older women.
“Do you have Mum issues?” I asked.
When it seemed like we might kiss, he said “I really don’t think I should, because you were kissing my friend earlier.”
Apparently I said something airily about how, if you’re looking at a menu, you might want to try a different things before settling on your favourite meal.
I remember him telling me he hadn’t dated or had sex for ages because he’d had an operation on his knee, which seemed to have quite an impact on his life for several months.
I think I offered to reintroduce him to the world of sex. This was out of character for me – it would have been only the second time I slept with someone the same night that I met them. Either I really liked him, or I was really drunk.
We agreed to go home together. He lived in south London. He was keen for me to go back to his, but I wanted him to come to mine for two reasons; I knew I had plans in central London at lunch time the next day, and I wanted to have a shower first at my own place. I also really wanted a cup of tea and he told me he didn’t have any milk at his house.
So, we agreed to get an Uber to mine.
This is when it all started to go downhill.
He just could not stop making grumpy remarks about having to come all the way back to my place.
I do live right on the very outskirts of London. I tell everyone I still live in London, but actually, it’s just, very slightly outside the border a London borough. However, it’s very quick to get back into central London by train.
He kept making sarcastic remarks about having to go all the way to where I live. I know he was joking, and we had had banter all night, but we hadn’t even left central London yet when I said “look, nobody forced you to come home with me.”
I was so annoyed, I wasn’t even worried about the effect this obvious tension was having on my Uber rating.
We gradually sat further and further away from each other in the car.
It didn’t help that the driver was stressed out because there were a lot of road closures on the way home, which seemed to give my guest more material for sarcastic remarks about the inconvenience of the journey.
I can’t even remember any examples of what he said, but by the time we got to my front door, I was thinking I cannot have sex with this man. I HATE HIM!!
As I unsuccessfully tried to unlock my troublesome front door, he said he was desperate for the toilet, which increased the overall discomfort of the night a few more per cent.
However, he did seem impressed when I licked my front door key and then the lock opened the straight away, the next time.
“Wow! Did that open because you licked it?” He said.
“I don’t know, sometimes that works.” I said.
Somehow, a bit of saliva seems to lubricate the mechanism.
(I know it’s not great from an infection control point of view, as I share that front door with about 12 other people.)
We got inside, he went to the toilet and I made cups of tea for us. Just when I thought I couldn’t hate him anymore, he criticised the amount of milk I put in his cup.
What am I going to do?
I really didn’t want to have sex with him. I wasn’t even sure it was possible. I felt so pissed off, I couldn’t imagine my vagina would oil itself up enough function properly.
However, he had come all the way home with me to have sex. So far, the bit he was annoyed about was having to come all the way to mine. How annoyed would he be if I rescinded the sex?
I know that, from a consent point of view, you can withdraw consent and change your mind at any time. However, I vaguely remembered I had been the one who initially pushed for the sex. He hadn’t even wanted to kiss me, since I had already kissed his friend.
I weighed up what was worse out of having sex with someone I hate, and how awkward I’d feel if I cancelled the sex. Awkwardness seemed worse.
I knew I could just say no to the whole thing, but it was about 4am, I was really trashed, and I decided it would be easier and over more quickly if we compromised.
I decided the best option was to give him some half-hearted oral.
I must admit, I liked him more when I was doing that. He was very responsive and appreciative.
Another situation where a bit of saliva seems to lubricate the mechanism.
When a guy seems like he involuntarily can’t keep quiet, it makes me feel pretty pleased with myself.
Initially, he was trying to multi-task and make sure my needs were addressed too, but I said “oh, we can just focus on you actually.”
He seemed perplexed, but respected it.
There was nothing he could have done that would have got a response from me. My vagina portcullis was firmly down. When he touched me, it was like when you know there’s a power cut but you absentmindedly flick the lightswitch when it gets dark, and nothing happens. That switch was not connected to anything.
I realised he was holding back from coming, so we could do the penetrative bit. I said I didn’t want to do that, which, again he totally respected.
I think I said something along the lines of “let’s just crack on and get this over with so we can both go to sleep”, but phrased more nicely than that.
After a while, we stopped for a break and sips of water and things. He seemed a lot less abrasive now. I realised he might be a bit anxious about not having come yet.
I said some encouraging things about it not mattering if and when he came, as long as he had a nice time.
When the drinks break was over, we carried on for a bit, but then stopped as it didn’t seem like he was going to complete the transaction.
We went to sleep, spooning.
I looked at the clock and it was 5am before I went to sleep.
I felt very restless and kept waking up throughout what was left of the night.
My stomach didn’t feel great, and I regretted the fact that my bum was in such close proximity to very sensitive parts of his body.
Around 8am, I woke up and asked him if we could turn over, so I could sleep on my opposite side and spoon him.
He sleepily expressed some surprise at the idea of being the spooning recipient, but turned over.
“Do you feel emasculated?” I asked sleepily.
“No, it’s err…”
“…2018?” I replied.
We woke up properly at about 9am. I felt annoyed that this bloody man was in my bed.
I made us cups of tea.
At first, I was guarded and sarcastic with him, as I still hated him.
I remember talking about the flat I was in the process of buying. He said he knew someone who was going to move to that same part of London, but then they didn’t.
“That’s a great story.” I said.
He looked at me like he was surprised, but like he kind of liked it.
And then, I don’t know how this happened, but I stopped hating him!
We lay in bed, talking. Neither of us could perfectly remember what we had told each other the night before, so when we talked about ourselves, it was like piecing together a jigsaw.
I think because of hating him, I felt like I could 100% be myself, as I didn’t care, so I felt very comfortable. It also felt liberating not caring too much if I hurt his feelings (which I’m normally always worrying about) because I hated him.
There was still banter between us, but it felt fun as the morning progressed. I even felt so comfortable, I said “the reason I didn’t have full sex with you last night, was that you really pissed me off in the Uber. You were so abrasive!”
He said “I’m really sorry! I think I was just trying to be funny.”
Afterwards, I spoke to Flatmate Joe about it and he said he heard me and this guy talking a bit, and he said it seemed like I was giggling all morning with him.
I went and made toast for me and the Abrasive Uber Passenger. He was grateful for the toast and seemed to like it when I said “sometimes I have one slice with just butter, as a starter, and then one slice with jam, for dessert.”
We talked more about him preferring older women, and talked a bit about sex.
He suggested we restart what we had done the night before.
I said I didn’t think we had time, as I had to get a specific train back into central London. I was meeting a friend at lunchtime to watch a film at the Curzon in Soho (Lady Bird). Then, I had a date.
“Sorry, is it weird that I told you I had a date?”
“No, it would be weird if I expected you to not be dating anyone else.”
I went and had a shower, and let him use my charger as I realised he had the same phone as me. He realised he didn’t have his earphones and wouldn’t have any way of listening to music on the train home.
“Oh, that’s terrible!” I said. “Hmm. I’m trying to think if I have any spare earphones I could lend you.”
When I came back from the shower, he was looking at the Neighbours stickers which the Great Scot gave me, which were still on my bedside table.
He asked about them.
“A friend gave them to me.” I said, feeling a bit sad towards the Scot.
He made some nice comments about my body as I dried myself.
When I got dressed, he said “that’s a nice top” and then we both seemed to remember I was getting ready for a date with someone else. I looked in my wardrobe and thought out loud about what the weather might be like, as I chose a cardigan or jumper.
“Oh, I definitely think you need to wrap warm. Lots of layers!” He joked.
When I put my perfume on, he said he wished I didn’t have a date, but somehow it didn’t come across jealous, it just made me feel desirable and nice.
As I put on my makeup, he lay on my bed, reading things on his phone, looking slightly mournful.
We got the train back into central London together. As we walked to the station, I kept pointing out the wonderful features of the place where I live, in reference to how much he moaned about having to come here, in the Uber.
“You see! If you hadn’t come all the way out here, you would’ve missed out on seeing the Official Gap in the Hedge! Nowhere else has one like it!”
On the train, he showed me a little video of something he had made at work, which he was proud of. His job is something to do with advertising. He seemed really interested in my job. He used to work for the NHS doing admin.
We exchanged numbers.
We talked about the film I was going to see, and for some reason we started saying that what had happened with us could be a film. Not a classic rom-com, but maybe an indie, Channel 4 kind of thing.
“And how would it end?” He asked.
I said “it would end when we get to Marylebone, and no one knows what’s going to happen next.”