He was safe. Or at least that’s what I told myself in the months leading up to our first rendezvous. He was charming, fun, funny, had a great taste in music and an impeccable sense of style. We frequented the same bars and clubs and eventually became good friends over a couple of years’ time. Nothing more was possible, nothing more was ever thought of or attempted. We were always just friends.
I was in a relationship the entire time, one that had been going downhill for a long time. My boyfriend at the time had some serious issues that ate at the bonds we shared until I just couldn’t anymore. I no longer had it in me. His self-cannibalizing problems eventually ate their way outward and consumed me as well. Between alcoholism, depression, and possessiveness, things had just become too much. He was quickly becoming Mr. Dangerous.
Mr. Safe, on the other hand, was someone I’d had my eye on for a while as I knew the eventual crumbling of my years-long relationship with my boyfriend was becoming more and more of an inevitability.
My ex at the time showed up at my house at midnight interrupting a family dinner “just to make sure I was safe,” and demanded to be let in, trying to push the door ajar enough to be able to force his way in.
It was all a ruse so he didn’t have to admit that he was really just checking in on me to make sure I didn’t have any other guys in the house. Yes, he was that insecure and possessive because of it. Angry that he saw my family staring back at him when he peaked his head in the door, eyes wide and jaws dropped on the floor with silverware still in hand, he resorted to the usual and called me a “slut.” It wasn’t too long after that I told Mr. Dangerous it was over.
Once my boyfriend and I finally split I knew I needed to get laid. I had to make a choice. Who would it be?
It’d been over a year since I’d had sex. And it’s not that I hadn’t tried. His drinking and self-esteem issues led to a year of constant E.D. that never let up, not even for a spontaneous night that neither of us expected. I was supportive, I was patient, I was kind, and damn it, I’d earned this rebound sex.
In my mind, I picture myself twirling my hand as I try to of who to pick, spinning as I conjured up the magical prowess to select the perfect guy that would be great at sex and safe to have sex with. It’d been too long, I wasn’t about to have things go wrong and I wasn’t about to put myself at risk just to get a little sex. I went through the catalog of men I knew closely — it couldn’t be a stranger, of course. I scanned them all in my mind, but I knew exactly who it was going to be. It was going to be Mr. Safe.
Our musical tastes were nearly identical. Every time I was around him, I would laugh. We were really close friends. And he was non-threatening. He ticked off all the boxes I wanted in a guy. I stopped and thought about it. Turns out, he was the perfect kind of guy I’d like to date!
I decided to try to usher things along.
I texted him and invited him out. He agreed and we met at one of our usual bars that played great music. I told him about my breakup, he tried to console me, I told him it was my choice, we moved onto other topics and just decided to enjoy the night.
As we danced across the floor and got close, I yanked his shirt and pulled him in close to me, and asked, “Is there somewhere we can go to hang out just the two of us?” I wanted to see if he’d pick up what I was putting down. He did.
Good. I can’t have him knowing the ins-and-outs of my house and area if things didn’t work out. I’d just gotten rid of one stalkerish boyfriend, I wasn’t about to adopt another.
We went back to his place to drink. After a couple of quips of flirtatious banter, I had had enough: that’s it, you and me, let’s do this. I was intented.
I knew he wouldn’t say no. He was a bit overweight, didn’t dress all that well, and wasn’t the kind of guy who tried to attract women. It’d been a lot longer since he’d had sex than I.
He didn’t make a lot of money either, but none of these things have ever mattered to me. I’ve never felt attraction based on these shallow traits alone. He was just himself and that’s what made him so safe, so pleasant to be around. It was the breath of fresh air I needed.
Next thing I know, we’re pulling off our clothes and getting it on here, there, and everywhere all around his apartment. But the sex was bad.
Everything leading up until that point was going great. There wasn’t a single bad moment of the night until the sex came out. He was uncoordinated, jerky, and couldn’t decide what to do next.
I could tell it was a performance. It wasn’t genuine.
Why do men do that so much? Why do they get with a woman and pull out the pretend version of themselves they’ve had tucked away in their pockets, waiting for the perfect moment when they suddenly feel intimidated by her?
I think he put on the performance of the kind of sex he thought I wanted, but he never even bothered to ask me. He did an awkward choke thing, some bad, forced dirty talking that sounded like the horrible acting you’d see on an eighties porn. Then he dropped the B-word, “Yeah, bitch. Take that.” One of his eyes squinted a little more than the other and he made a grimace as he said that.
I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
“Hurry up,” I said like a stern H.R. lady putting a misbehaving employee in his place, waving my hand as if I was scooting a miniature version of him across an invisible floor that separated the two of us. I was so deflated.
It’d been over a year. I just wanted some good sex without the bullshit. I just wanted to get a piece of dick that would make me smile and exhale as I laughed at the satisfaction of throwing stress, fear, and worry to the wind for even a few minutes while I reached my climax with someone else. But no climax was to come.
Sometimes, the person you’re interested in is missing the most vital element of the equation. Everything else was perfect. But the one missing piece was so crucial it was like a game of Jenga, once you find out that piece is missing the whole structure of your attraction collapses.
I’ll give myself credit here, too, and pat myself on the back for being as understanding as I was. I thought to myself, “You know what? Maybe it was just a bad night. Maybe he had a bit too much to drink, maybe one or both of us were off our games, maybe it was just a one-off.”
We hooked up again. Still awkward. Still bad. He still tried to “impress” me with a bunch of sex moves that weren't intuitive and you could tell. It was like watching a bad actor butcher his lines. And you know what? I even gave him a third chance.
“Maybe it was just a big miscommunication. He probably thought I was into that and he was just wrong. I’ll forgive him and we can set up another date.”
But when it happened the third time, I decided I couldn’t date someone like him. He had everything else I was looking for but the sex was just too bad and it was bad because he made it into an uncomfortable performance that was hard to watch. Inauthentic sex just isn’t good. And I wasn’t about to trade one insecure guy who let it eat him up and destroy what we had over a couple of years for another, only to have him do the exact same thing.
We tried three times and I wasn’t going to hook up with him a forth. I needed to move on and find someone who was better suited to me.
I’m all for a little bit of role-playing or the adopting of different characters in the bedroom, but I don’t do well with clear dishonesty. And those sorts of things should be discussed before you spring them on an unsuspecting person who doesn’t know what you’re doing and how to respond. It’s nerve-racking.
At the end of the day, I’m happy with the guy I have now and Mr. Safe and I are still close friends, even if he lives in another state now. We talk here and there and he’s happy living his life. And wouldn’t you know it, this story has even more of a happy ending because Mr. Dangerous finally got his act together and he’s an amazing friend, he just has too many problems to keep as a boyfriend.
The lesson of the day: engage in whatever fun kinks you want, but don’t lie about who you are and try to have the kind of sex you *think* someone else wants, at least not without asking them first.
Here’s another one of my stories if you liked this one.