After breaking up with a shitty boyfriend I kept for too long, I was only interested in short flings and one-night stands. I had zero interest in anything more and was ecstatic to have this newfound freedom.
I felt like I had lost so much of my youth dating one not-so-great guy and now was my time to hook up with who I wanted, when I wanted.
That carefree mindset was euphoric. I had a lot of fun during those post-breakup months. Bathroom bar make-outs, Tinder dates, and friends of friends I took home after parties.
I also spent a lot of unnecessary money on Uber and Lyft rides. Except for me, this was one of the most important parts of those experiences.
I had negative interest in a relationship and I made sure anyone I slept with knew that. Most men and women I encountered were perfectly fine with that arrangement. Sex with no strings attached. Plenty of fish in D.C. looking for the same thing.
So in my eyes, I also saw no need to engage in the post-coitus cuddle. The deed was done, I had what I came for (pun intended), and I wanted to go along my merry way. Back to my apartment, to sleep in the comfort of my bed.
The awkward cuddle between strangers or practically strangers was not what I signed up for. I certainly had no desire to spend the night. I didn’t want them to make me pancakes in the morning. At this point in my life, I wanted sex, not a rom-com scene.
So when my partners inevitably rolled over to spoon me, I kindly excused myself from the bed and started putting on my clothes. “I have an early morning tomorrow, I’m going to head out.”
I could tell some people were immediately relieved, they too also wanted a bed to themselves. Only trying to spoon because they thought that’s what I wanted. Others offered for me to spend the night, they could drive me to my apartment or work in the morning. Some even offered me a ride home at the ungodly time of 2 AM.
I acknowledged that it was sweet of them to offer but politely declined. I wanted to be at home.
I didn’t want them to drive me either, I’d rather pay the $10 Uber fare and leave sooner, avoiding any awkward small talk. And I definitely didn’t want to rely on anyone but myself.
In these moments I felt in control.
For two years, I had to consider someone else’s wants and needs. I made decisions and plans always keeping my boyfriend in mind. I was part of a couple, in a relationship where I lost my autonomy and sense of self.
And with each post-hookup Uber ride, it felt like I was gaining those bits back. I wanted to go home, so I went home. I didn’t feel guilty for doing so. I had made it clear that I was strictly over for sex and I had zero qualms about leaving when I saw fit. I didn’t owe anything to my partners. They didn’t owe anything to me.
I never even had sex in my apartment because I didn’t want to deal with kicking someone out. I wanted the freedom to call an Uber at any point, avoiding the tricky “If you wouldn’t mind leaving now, that’d be cool” talk. Ubering home was an integral part of how I wanted to experience hookup culture.
And this newfound independence in the back seat of an Uber was electrifying. I felt empowered and sexy. I was living on my own terms and it was 100% worth the money. Which ended up being a decent amount of money.
As a woman, I also felt like I was flipping the script, an added perk. The man is usually perceived as the one who might leave immediately after sex, the woman always wants more. Or at least that’s how many of us imagine it going down, thanks Hollywood.
But here I was, a woman, leaving when I wanted. And having a blast doing so.
A few months later, when I finally spent the night at a lover’s house, I knew it was because I wanted too. And not because I felt obligated to. My months of sex-only endeavors helped me reclaim my independence and helped me realize when I craved more than just sex.
Those late-night (debit draining) rides home will always stay close to my heart. Because it was in those back seats, blasting music in my headphones, that I felt untethered to my ex and any expectations put on me. I was doing what I wanted, with who I wanted, when I wanted.