After my 3rd date with Andrew, the World-weary Police Detective, I was a bit confused. I really liked him but had some trivial, niche doubts.
Then I thought about it properly, and realised I was being a dick, finding fault because it felt too good to be true.
Then we had our 4th date. Again, I couldn’t believe how easy it was to arrange. He just told me when he was free and I told him when I was free! Then we met up! Amazing.
There was no pissing about – no plans cancelled at the last minute, no complicated steps of planting seeds and then waiting for him to ask, no dilemmas between wanting to play it cool and let him to do the asking because he’s the man, versus feminism and wanting to take matters into my own hands because I want to see him again so much.
We arranged he would come to mine and stay over, and I would cook. I live in south west London and he lives north east, which isn’t ideal, but he volunteered to get an early train to work in the morning.
He’s a vegetarian, so I decided to make stuffed peppers with crushed potatoes and a nice salad. I had also made some lemon cupcakes, although I ran out of icing sugar, so the icing was a bit gritty (I had used normal sugar instead, which I’d put in the blender. That does kind of work, but not perfectly.)
He got held up at work, which he was unnecessarily apologetic about, but I was glad because it meant the tricky stages of the cooking were over by the time he arrived.
He arrived and I buzzed him into my building, and waited for him at the top of the stairs outside my flat. He was wearing a crumpled blue and white striped shirt and jeans, which is standard for him.
We kissed in my doorway for a minute, then went through to the kitchen and living-room.
I was surprised how pleased to see him I felt, even though I know I’d been looking forward to it.
We chatted while I put the potatoes on and made the salad.
He told me about his day, which had been stressful. I find it so interesting hearing about his work. He has been temporarily promoted, as someone is away, which means more, new pressure for him. There had been two really serious crimes that day, and he had to decide how to prioritise the limited resources and what to investigate first.
One of the hardest parts about my job is when my service can’t see a patient because they need more than we can do, but the team they need won’t accept the referral as their funding has been cut so much. Some of my most stressful interactions are with healthcare professionals from other services.
It seems like he has similar problems with other police teams.
I really like dating someone whose job is so serious and important. He understands what is hard about my job, and then on top of that, I think his job is probably harder.
Then I told him about my day. I have a couple of patients at the moment who experienced human trafficking. It’s hard not to be affected by hearing about it, although, of course, hearing about it is nothing compared to actually experiencing it.
Andrew always seems really interested when I talk about work.
We got onto working with interpreters, and shared frustrations about not being able to book a good interpreter because of cuts to funding.
Being an interpreter is a really specific skill, especially interpreting for psychological therapy. They need to precisely translate exactly what we say and what the patient says, even though sometimes there isn’t an equivalent word for some psychological concepts in other languages. They also have to cope with hearing the same distressing information as we do, but maybe it’s even worse for them as they’ve got no control over how the distressing session goes.
I’ve worked with some fabulous interpreters but there are a lot that our agency use, who I think just speak the foreign language, with no actual training or expertise in interpreting (and sometimes whether they even speak the language is debatable). Sometimes they don’t just translate what we and the patient say, they keep putting their own opinions in or cutting things out that they think aren’t relevant.
He shared some bad interpreter anecdotes from being in court, and I told him about a terrible time I had recently, with an interpreter who, amongst other things, criticised how my patient was looking after her baby.
He had his head in his hands as I told him this. I like it when he has a big reaction to things I say.
I had made a playlist for us to listen to. He had previously told me he is not as into music as I am.
He had said “I know music is really important to you…” and broke it to me with the same levels of worry and shame as when the Whippersnapper told me he had herpes.
He said he had an uncle who used to buy him CDs in the 90s and it sounds like back then, he was listening to the same stuff I was, but now he’s out of date.
So I made us a playlist to bring him up to date, with songs he’d recognise from the 90s, all the way to new songs from the present day.
Every so often, I would interrupt the conversation to say, “this is Arcade Fire, by the way, they’re important” and things like that.
When the food was ready, we sat and ate.
This is really different to last time, I thought.
Well, it was the same in that I had a brilliant time on both dates, but this time it was just 100% nice, without me having doubts or picking holes.
I think I get funnier as I get to know people better, and take more risks with jokes, and I think he was getting funnier as our dates progressed.
We were laughing a lot, but then talking about serious stuff a lot too. He asked for updates on a situation that one of my friends is in.
I was pleased with how the food turned out, but I noticed I had to fish for compliments a bit. I like to think the conversation was so good, he didn’t want to break the flow to comment on the food.
After dinner, we sat on the sofa and ate cupcakes.
Soon we were lying down and kissing, and decided to move over to the bedroom.
He makes me feel so confident about my body. As he undressed me he paused to smile at parts of my body and said things like “oh my god!”
I always hated my stomach because I thought it was too fat. My whole wardrobe is constructed around outfits that hide how fat my stomach is or direct attention away from it.
He says it is his favourite part of my body and has almost got me thinking it might be OK!
And I’m always conscious of the losing battle I’m fighting against body hair and hair removal rashes, but he just says I’m less hairy than I think and that it doesn’t matter anyway. The way he cheerfully runs his hands up and down my legs, which I would’ve thought were too bristly, makes me fuck it, it’s probably fine.
I asked if I could do anything for him this time, but he said that his balls were too tender again.
He then administered several units of oral sex to me.
It’s funny that the first time we had genital fun together, it didn’t go perfectly. It’s been absolutely brilliant since then.
I think it was just like when you drive a new car and you don’t quite know where drive point is.
Our 5th date was similar. Again, we’d agreed he’d come to mine. This time it was a Sunday night, and he’d been visiting his friends and family for the weekend in the city where he’s from.
He texted me saying he was planning to get to mine at about 7:30pm, saying “it would nice to have a proper evening together rather than a snatched couple of hours.”
We had planned to go out for dinner but then I checked my balance after buying the Ikea rug, and suggested I cook for us instead.
I decided to make a vegetarian lasagne. I was hoping it would be in the oven by the time he arrived, as making lasagne can get a bit stressful, especially in the final stages, when you’ve got three pans on the go and the pre-heating oven is making your thighs all hot.
Unfortunately, everything took longer than expected, and just as he buzzed my flat, lumps were starting to appear in my béchamel sauce.
We had a quick kiss and then he asked if he could put the World Cup on.
Within less than a second I had done a U-turn from being slightly annoyed, to being relieved he would be entertained while I sorted out the béchamel lumps.
“Obviously when you’ve finished cooking I’ll give you my undivided attention!” he said, as he put the TV on.
Then he kept piping up, cheerfully, from the living room, with comments and questions about my weekend, while I laboriously constructed the layers of lasagne and gave monosyllabic replies.
Once that was safely in the oven, I sat next to him on the sofa and said “sorry, I’ll actually talk to you now.”
He told me all about his weekend, visiting his family and several friends.
He also expressed increasing levels of enthusiasm about the new Ikea rug. Initially, he’d been lukewarm as I think he thought that was the right thing to do, knowing how much I hate Ikea.
“Actually, I was looking at that doorway and it really does tie the room together so well!” he said. “While you were cooking, I was having a proper look around this room, and everything is such an expression of your personality!”
When the lasagne was ready, we ate. This time I didn’t have to fish for compliments about the food, and he really did ignore the Switzerland versus Brazil, as soon as I was free to talk to him.
We got on to talking about his work, and domestic abuse came up. I started telling him a bit more about my ex-boyfriend, who was a bit abusive.
It was like the floodgates opened. He was such a good listener, I suddenly wanted to tell him everything.
When I ran out of breath, it felt like a release and I said, “it feels really good to tell you, actually!”
I can’t remember what he said, but the way he listened made me feel better.
When I was describing things from my ex-boyfriend’s point of view, Andrew was fair and balanced, saying, “Yes, I guess I can see how that would have been difficult for him.”
But then he was loyal and supportive to me, saying, “he sounds like a prick. You didn’t deserve it.”
When we’d finished eating, he went and got some posh Thornton’s chocolate he’d bought for dessert.
We lay on the sofa together. I said to him, “You know you said you’re not good at communicating? I think you really are!”
I gave examples of difficult things we had already communicated about.
“Maybe it’s just easy with you,” he said.
A bit later we got back onto working for public services, and I said “One of my friends works for the MoD, and they seem to get more funding than the NHS, but the Police seem equally as badly funded as… OH MY GOD, I FORGOT! I’ve got something for you!”
I leapt off the sofa and ran into my bedroom.
I came back into the living room, rummaging around in my work bag.
“I stole something for you, which, I know, is an unusual way of trying to impress a policeman.”
Then I found it. “Here it is.”
I handed him a glue stick.
On our third date, we’d been complaining about not having enough stationery in the Police or NHS. He had said his work colleagues had made fun of him because he really wanted a Pritt Stick for gluing down photos of evidence or something.
A few days later, I had noticed some glue sticks in our stationery cupboard work. They weren’t Pritt Sticks, but some rubbish, cheaper alternative brand called ‘Wizard Sticks’ or something like that.
He looked delighted as I presented him with his Wizard Stick.
Then we went to bed, and again, his balls were too tender for me to do anything to him.
This time, we had a bit of a chat about whether it was worth popping along to see his GP.
There’s something about the phrase ‘tender balls’ that I find very faintly amusing.
Maybe it’s because a childhood friend used to have a Care-bear she took everywhere called ‘Tender Heart.’
Or the way that every time I type ‘Tender Balls’ on my phone, these two emojis come up: 🏀 🏈.
But really, it’s not a laughing matter, of course.
Apparently he’s had Tenders Balls since 2010, on and off. A few times, he’s been in so much pain that he’s been to hospital.
They have done tests and scans for the most serious possible causes of the symptoms, like testicular torsion or cancer, but he was meant to go back to his doctor for more tests, but hasn’t.
I had googled it and found out that one possibility was an infection called Epididymitis.
“I don’t want you to feel unsatisfied or frustrated!” he said.
“I feel extremely satisfied,” I replied, after having just received a lot more oral sex. “But I still want to be able to do the same for you! I really hope you will go to your doctor.”
“Yeah, but I mean, I’m just happy doing stuff for you!”
“I’m happy with that too. But I still think it’d be great to get it sorted.”
“Sometimes I prefer giving oral because I…” he began.
After a long pause, I said, “go on.”
“…sometimes I think maybe I don’t deserve to receive it or have actual sex!” he finished sheepishly, trying to seem nonchalant.
“Oh my god! Of course you deserve it!” I replied, giving him a tight hug. “Of course you deserve it.”
“Sorry, I don’t want you to feel like you’re at work!” he said.
“I don’t. At work, I hardly ever try to persuade people to let me give them oral.”
And, goodness me, if anyone has ever deserved it, it’s him.
That man is unbelievably generous, and unbelievably skilled in bed.
The more we do it, the better it gets.
There’s a thing he does, when he knows I’m close to completing the transaction, and he changes what he’s doing to something else, and it makes it go away. At first I thought it was an unfortunate mistake, but then I realised it’s deliberate.
He said “sometimes when you’re getting close, it’s nice to delay it, so it’s more intense in the end.”
And fucking hell, it is intense.
I completely lose control of my whole body.
It reminds me of the bit in Nineteen Eighty Four, when he’s being tortured using the machine with the dial, and it says that pain floods his body, ripping his joints apart, wrenching his body out of shape.
Only obviously in this case it’s pleasure, rather than pain. And a much less dystopian vibe. But my body feels flooded and overcome and I completely lose control.
It reaches a point when I can’t take anymore and writhe away and pull him up the bed and hold onto him tightly, and he seems as euphoric as if he’s the one who had the orgasm.
I hope he does see his GP sooner rather than later, so his poorly genitals get sorted and I can unleash some Orwellian pleasure of my own, on his Tender Balls. And his Wizard Stick.