When I met Nathan, I was hungover. It was a midday hangover from cheap champagne consumed at Sunday brunch with my family. As is the case with many dysfunctional families, I find mine much more tolerable with a few (or several) drinks in me. After brunch, I fell asleep for a few hours, and woke up around 5, disgusted at myself for sleeping away the day. I went online, and found Nathan, a man I had exchanged a handful of emails with over the past week. He hadn’t made much of an impression on me, but he was semi-goodlooking and polite. When I told him about my day, he suggested we meet for beer and pizza. I didn’t have anything better to do, and beer and pizza sounded perfect, so I took a shower and met him.
Nathan had the potential to be a hot guy. He was tall, blond, kind of scruffy, with an okay body. But there was just something blah about him. He wore light-colored baggy jeans, which I found to be very uncool; and a pullover sweatshirt from the college we were both alumni of. This isn’t the look I’m into. I’m usually into hipster-ish/rock n’ roll kind of guys; or, at the other end of the spectrum guys with kind of a button-downed look. I figured this was a last minute date for pizza and beer in a very casual place, so I could forgive his outfit. I wore my standard first date look: heels, tight jeans, semi-low cut top (sexy, but not slutty).
Like his outfit, I found Nathan a little bit boring. He was three years younger than me, but I had lied and shaved four years off my age, so he actually thought he was a year older than me. I’m not sure why, but I used to do shit like that all the time. Even when a guy was 20 years older than me, I almost never told anyone my real age. When I was active in my addiction, meeting guys from online for a drink or dinner was pretty much my only social life. I’d had an okay time with Nathan was grateful that he had saved me from an otherwise dreary Sunday, so I agreed to see him again.
For our second date, Nathan picked me up and we went to an Italian restaurant that I chose. Nathan was one of those dudes who would ask you out a on a date, but then do no prep work. He’d show up and be like, “So… what do you want to do?” I’m sure I’m not alone in finding guys who can’t be bothered to actually plan a date really unattractive. Again, he wore light-colored jeans and a pullover sweatshirt from our Alma Mater. Different, but the same. Every time I saw Nathan he had on a variation of this outfit. Another irritating thing about Nathan is that he would keep his cell-phone on the table and be texting and sending emails during dinner. I remember thinking, What the fuck could this boring-ass square being texting about that is so freaking interesting? I would ask him who and what he was texting about not because I really gave a shit, but because I had nothing else to ask him. His answers were so uncompelling, that I can’t remember them now, and probably wasn’t able to remember them 5 minutes after he told me.
I kept going out with Nathan, because he kept asking me. I kept thinking maybe he would grow on me. After our third date, Nathan still hadn’t put the moves on me. He hadn’t even tried to kiss me. Well… he had given me some long hugs and looked at me like he wanted me to kiss him, but I really didn’t care enough to go take the lead. Everything about poor Nathan shouted “bottom,” and I’m not much of a top.
On our fourth date Nathan finally took some initiative and suggested we rent a movie and order a pizza. While, not the most original plan, I remember thinking, Finally! Maybe I’ll like him better once we fuck. But no fucking happened that night. He did finally kiss me, though, and he was a fairly good kisser. We spent the whole night on my couch cuddling, and kissing. Nathan didn’t get any bolder than sticking his hand up my shirt to rub my back. Again, he kept looking at me like he wanted ME to put the moves on HIM. If after buying me dinner four times, Nathan still didn’t have the balls to put his hand on my tit, I wasn’t going to help him out. At the end of this date, I decided I couldn’t take another night of Nathan looking at me longingly, like a timid high school virgin wanting her boyfriend to finger-bang her, but too afraid to ask. I was done going out with this boy.
But a few nights later, Nathan texted me with some bad news. He’d been laid off from his job, and was, understandably, quite upset. He asked if he could come over and have a few beers with me. I’d already had a few, so I let him come over. After a few more beers, I decided that I owed Nathan sex. I’d let him buy me dinner four times and hadn’t even given him as much as a hand job. Also, the poor boy had just lost his job.
I started taking off my clothes while he was kissing me and he followed suit. I remember thinking that his penis, which was on the smaller side of average, reminded me of a piece of raw chicken breast. As a nearly life-long vegetarian, this visual made me want to throw-up. I didn’t even attempt to go down on Nathan, but he went down on me and did a pretty lack-luster job of it. Let’s just get this over with, I was thinking when I handed him a condom. When he was inside of me, I couldn’t even look at him. I put my head to the side, and then eventually gave up even trying to look like I was into it, and just put my arm over my eyes. Why the fuck am I doing this! I was thinking. That and, What am I going to say to let him down easy? He kept asking me if I was okay. “Yes! Just cum already!” I wanted to shout. But instead I said, “I’m fine.” I felt bad for Nathan that I couldn’t even do a convincing job of pretending I was enjoying myself.
The next day he sent me a text to say he’d had a nice time. I told him I had as well, but I was having a hard time getting over my ex and didn’t feel like I was ready for a relationship yet. Clueless up until the end, Nathan actually asked me if I just wanted to be “friends with benefits.” I didn’t understand how anyone could possibly want a repeat of sex that was that bad. I lied and told him that I didn’t do “friends with benefits,” that I wasn’t that kind of girl.
Looking back on my experience with Nathan, I’m disgusted by what I did. I chose to tell this story with Nathan, but I could have told the same one with three or four different guys. Other times where I just laid back like a limp doll, staring at the celling letting some man I had zero feelings for, attraction to, or chemistry with fuck me because I felt an obligation to give him sex. One of “The Twelve Signs of Recovery in SLAA” is, “We learn to value sex as a by-product of sharing, commitment, trust and cooperation in a partnership.” Going forward, and with the help of my Higher Power, I will never again have sex with someone I feel so dispassionately towards. I will never have it out of a sense of pity or obligation.