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[ Personal Narratives ]

Friday 16th October: Sex Sells

I’ve slept with between 20 and 40 people. As in, had sex with. Sometimes its been in public places, sometimes behind closed doors, sometimes its been good, sometimes terrible.

20-40 people. Who doesn’t love a sexual ballpark?

Sometimes I haven’t remembered their name.

Sometimes I haven’t remembered where we met.

Or how we got there.

Sometimes I haven’t remembered what we’d actually done.

Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m not even there, not a part of my body.

Sometimes I haven’t wanted to do it, but I have done knowing exactly what I was doing.

Sometimes I’ve done it, because why wouldn’t I do it?

Sometimes I’ve hated myself for doing it, but kept going.

Once I woke up on a bus at 8am, remembering that I ‘went home’ with someone approximately 5 hours earlier, walking to a cab? Bus? Nothing more.

Once I got off a bus 50 metres walk from my flat and had found a stranger to have sex with in the adjacent park on the walk home.

Once I fell asleep during and pissed myself.

Never have I had sex sober.

Always has there been alcohol.

20-40 people? That’s a big drop in the ocean, a sinkhole of memories, of experiences, to be missing from a life.

And it hurts, like a blade twisting in soft butter.


I’m on day 44 of my sobriety, and I am for the most part enjoying it. I’ve enjoyed having no hangovers, no fraught ‘what have i done!’s, I’ve enjoyed the effects on my body, I’ve enjoyed feeling more independent – I can do the same things I have always done, just without drinking.

Soda and fresh lime please.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Johann Hari’s ‘the opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it is human connection.’ Yes, I agree. My Tinder account certainly agrees – I was blocked again last night for 12 hours from ‘liking’ any more people because of being too liberal with my right thumb, and I think my sober-self is quite picky.

My drinking-self? Haha no….

Laugh or cry.

I’m laughing now, because I’ve cried over this before.

Give me a pint, or 5, show me attention, and present me with a bad-life choice, and I’ll take it. I always have done. Whether when I was working behind the bar, and I would skull 3 pints of snakebite (each one in one) in a row on request, with the only ‘break’ between each being the pause to pour the next, because ‘hard-core-party-bartender-hot-mess’ was my thing, or being in a club by myself, hammered, and someone, literally anyone, showing an interest was enough.

Female, male, 20, 50, fat, thin, hot, not.

I’m yours, for now, for however long you’ll have me. Totally on your terms. I’ll be gone in the morning.

Have you ever hit on someone and been rejected? Did that make you stop? I have flashes of practically begging people to take me home. Pick me, want me, save me.

Nights characterised by half memories and disassociation, rejecting yourself in the hope that someone else will accept you.

Sex = love, yes? Acceptance? Am I an adult now?

Never go back to mine, always back to theirs, or, you know, the park, the alleyway, the car.

It’s a transaction, it doesn’t matter where it happens, the currency is all the same.  

I didn’t have sex because I enjoyed it, because 95% of the time I didn’t. I had sex because of what it signified.

You might ask why, and I wish I could tell you, in the same way I would love to explain how after a certain number of drinks it leaves my mind completely that I have work at 8 in the morning and I stumble off into the night, towards anywhere but home.

What I do know is that as I continue at the moment, having removed the plaster, band-aid, whatever, that alcohol has provided me emotionally for the last 10 years, that I am dealing with such a rush of emotions and neuroses that sometimes I feel the need to sit down to feel connected to something solid, otherwise I may wash away.

“I want to feel what I feel, even if its not happiness.” Damn straight, about fucking time.

I know this is progress, I know that I am getting better, I look back on my behaviour, some of which I can barely admit to myself let alone put into words for others and I am horrified that it has taken me this long to stop drinking.

Did I hate myself that much? Where does the hate go? Is it still here?

What do I do with it now?

I am happier now, and I know that the only way is up, I just didn’t realise how far I had gone beneath the surface. I’m astounded by my own complicity, and my ability to live my life whilst this was going on – how did I actually go to work everyday and hold down a job? How did I have friends? Why did no-one tell me?

How much longer did I have?

How much better could my life be now?

No. No regrets. Lessons are there to be learned, so now is the time to learn them and not make them again.

Now is the time to take back what has been temporarily misplaced in the fog, and enjoy every motherfucking second.

Brace yourselves, I’m finally joining the party, and it’s on my terms.

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