A Woman Having Great Sex With Her Ex

A Woman Having Great Sex With Her Ex
A Woman Having Great Sex With Her Ex

Photo-Illustration: Marylu Herrera

In this week’s story, a woman visits a fling in Seattle while making plans to see her ex when she’s back home: 26, single, New York.

DAY ONE

7:45 a.m. I wake up to a text from M. He says he wants to see me. I’ve been wanting to see him too — to tell him that we probably need to stop seeing each other. We met on Hinge a few weeks ago. He’s an athlete with a gorgeous body and an amazing kisser. But by our third date, it was clear that he wanted to be more than fuck buddies, which I can’t do right now. My New Year’s resolution is to not have men be the main point of excitement in my life, and beyond that, I’m still drained from my last serious relationship. I have kept to my commitment of focusing on myself, but I also have four suitors of varying degrees of seriousness right now, and I want to keep it that way. Casual.

10 a.m. Boss isn’t at the office today, so I’m feeling more relaxed than usual. I usually have a hard time not letting work stress from get to me. I’m in real-estate development, which I love, but I have to put in a lot of hours.

12:45 p.m. Lunch is a homemade tuna salad with Japanese sweet potato. Lately, I’ve been trying to escape the $20 lunch traps of midtown.

5 p.m. I slip out for a wax. My wax specialist makes fun of me for not wanting everything off even though I paid for a Brazilian. I want to feel like a woman, and women have hair, okay?! But I like to clean up a little, especially since I’m going to see R this weekend in Seattle, where I’m going for a work trip. (I have to visit pretty often because we have several projects there — it’s also where I’m from, so I have a lot of friends in the city.)

R and I have this crazy meet-cute that makes me think I have to marry him just for the story: We met in line at a store in Seattle. I was there for a work trip. I had a boyfriend at the time, so I wasn’t looking. A month later, he stops me on the streets of New York and asks if I’m that girl from the store in Seattle? I was still in a relationship, so we grabbed an innocent coffee, but when I came back to Seattle in December newly single, I hit him up, and we went on one of the best first dates I’ve ever had. One of those “kissing at the bar and hot makeout in the car after” type dates. Now, we’re planning to see if this is anything real when I head back to his neck of the woods this week.

6:30 p.m. Catch up with my roommates at home. I tell them my ex, N, is coming to stay in our (small) apartment for a few days. They aren’t happy with me for having him stay with us, which is fair.

N and I met many years ago at a leadership retreat when we were both in high school. We stayed in contact as friends for years and reconnected in Portland, where he lives, a few years ago.

He had grown into this beautiful, thoughtful, strong person, and it made me see him as a real possibility. A year later, he came to “visit his brother” in New York, but really came to see me and ended up staying the whole weekend with me. Things were electric. We worked so hard to make it work, but just couldn’t with the distance. We both have busy lives and having a partner on the other side of the country was taking away from our ability to be present. Plus, I wanted more communication from him while we were apart, and he just couldn’t give it to me.

We broke up after two years, but when he’s in New York for work — which is often — he stays with me and we have a ton of sex. We just have such a long history, and I think in some alternate universe, we’ll end up living a happy life together. Anyway, he gets to New York around the time I get back from Seattle.

12:30 a.m. I’m exhausted after packing for hours. So many blazers in such a small suitcase. Heatless curls in, lights out.

DAY TWO 

6 a.m. Wake up. Take out my hair.

6:45 a.m. Sleep in the Uber and get through security in a second.

9:40 a.m. Window seat with no one next to me! I’m super productive on the plane.

2:10 p.m. I get a text from M: “I wanna see you.” I don’t respond. Still gotta figure out what to do there. Don’t want to lead him on, but don’t want to give up the sex quite yet.

3 p.m. Land and head straight to my best friend’s house. We’ve known each other since high school and it hurts my heart that we live across the country from each other. Cab driver jokingly says he’ll give me the ride for free if I can guess the country in East Africa that he’s from. He says that it starts with an E. I guess Eritrea. It’s Ethiopia.

4 p.m. So happy to see my friend, but I immediately have to hop on a two-hour call.

5 p.m. I text R to plan for this weekend. I wanted him to take more initiative to plan, especially given he’s older and I’m coming all the way from New York, but I have a bad habit of not giving men enough confirmation that I’m into them, so I’m trying to remedy that. I suggest we go to a cold-plunge place, and he says he’s a baby about cold water but would love to watch me do it. Nicely played. We land on a concert and a bite on Friday.

6 p.m. After a quick break after my call I start working again til 6, then head to dinner at a hip spot with my friend. Have the best time, drink lots of Lambrusco.

8 p.m. We’re both giggling in bed. It reminds me of sleepovers from childhood. I feel very lucky to have a friendship like this in my life.

DAY THREE

7:50 a.m. I wake up next to my bestie after a blissful ten-hour sleep.

8:07 a.m. Shit. I realize I got the time change wrong and now I’m late for a Zoom that I scheduled at 8 a.m.

9:45 a.m. I’m dressed and hop in an Uber to go to the real-estate conference that I’m here for.

11:30 a.m. We set up the booth at the conference. I look good and professional, but maybe a little too formal. Better to dress up than down!

3 p.m. I always wonder if I’ll meet someone cute at these conferences — there’s at least 2,000 people here, so you’d think, but never have I even come close.

7 p.m. Get back from a day of networking and have dinner by myself in the hotel room that my company has booked for me tonight. I think about M and how to respond. I don’t want to leave him hanging, but I don’t feel like I have the emotional time or energy to give him the thoughtful message he deserves.

1 a.m. I spent the rest of the night scrolling around and texting with friends. Time to sleep.

DAY FOUR

6:30 a.m. I do a bit of yoga and some work before getting ready for the conference.

9 a.m. Have a networking breakfast that makes me nervous. I hide out at the coffee station while getting my confidence up and then sit down at the table, and it ends up being nice and low-key.

1 p.m. I get to eat lunch with a bunch of other women, which is greatly appreciated given I work in a male-dominated industry. My nervous system calms down a bit.

4 p.m. So close to being done. I go outside to call my mom and feel the sun on my face. That never fails to make things better.

7 p.m. Success! The day is done and I head to another dinner alone. I need to recharge. I eat a steak and prepare for my final day.

DAY FIVE

7 a.m. Wake up honestly dreading the last few hours of networking.

10:40 a.m. I’m at the conference schmoozing around.

2:30 p.m. Finished with my last panel and rush to the hotel to shower and get ready to meet up with R. There’s insane traffic and I already got a late checkout.

5:25 p.m. I’m sitting in the hotel lobby while texting M, N, and R at the same time. I feel excited but a bit overwhelmed and guilty. I take out my laptop because I need to start working, but also need to stop thinking about men.

7 p.m. R picks me up from the hotel. We are both a little nervous and smile a lot, but are basically comfortable in each other’s presence.

9:30 p.m. We head to a dive bar and start drinking. We have easy conversations, but there aren’t sparks like last time. I wonder what’s different … maybe there was too much buildup or the magic of our origin story has worn off. Maybe both.

11 p.m. Back at his place cuddling as we watch a dumb show. I have no butterflies. As someone with a high sex drive, it’s probably a bad sign that I am not even the slightest bit turned on. He asks if I want to make out for a bit and I agree. He’s fun to kiss, but nothing is going on down there. I say we should go to bed and we fall asleep spooning. It’s very PG.

DAY SIX

7:40 a.m. We wake up and I start texting a few friends that live here that I’m ready when they are. What that really means is that I’m ready to leave R and spend time with other people.

8:30 a.m. R and I get coffee. After being in two consecutive long-distance relationships, this is what I’ve longed for for so long. Intimacy, normalcy, doing mundane things as a couple. It’s nice to get a taste of what it would be like, but I wish it were with N, or someone else.

9:15 a.m. R and I say good-bye, and I give him a kiss, which I don’t think he was expecting. He was kind and I appreciated how chill he was that I didn’t want to do anything besides kiss. I don’t plan on reaching out again after this.

11:15 a.m. With friends at a coffee shop. We planned to go on a hike, but it’s raining.

3 p.m. Watching music videos at my friend’s apartment and freaking out over Troye Sivan. I whip out my computer and finish up some work while we watch.

10 p.m. The friend whose place I’m staying at is going through a tough time with her family, so it is really good to be in person and fully debrief. I can’t support her as much as I wish I could from afar, so I try to give her all my energy and love tonight.

DAY SEVEN

8:15 p.m. Wake up groggy because I had the deepest sleep.

11:30 a.m. After a sad good-bye, I’m sitting in the airport eating and watching Netflix. I told M I’d call him today but I don’t have it in me to break things off over the phone right now. I also am so focused on N that I couldn’t give him the attention he deserves.

3 p.m. Working on the flight and trying to get everything done before I land and see N.

9:40 p.m. I land and text N. I feel nerves, even though I’ve known N forever. He always gives me butterflies. I speed off the plane and plan to run and catch a cab. But when I get out of the gate, I see him standing with flowers, waiting for me.

10:30 p.m. We sneak into my apartment and quickly get in bed. We have quiet but super-hot and sweaty sex, then cuddle up into one another. I fall asleep happy to be in his arms, trying not to think about what will happen when he leaves New York in a few days.

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