Review: Standard Glass S-Curve

Never buy someone a sex toy they haven’t specifically requested. You can’t know what someone’s tastes in toys are. You can’t know what will work for someone else’s body. It’s always better to buy them a gift card, or take them shopping, and let them pick out a toy for themselves.

Unless you’re my best friend Bex, in which case you can disregard everything I just said, apparently.

During my last visit to New York, Bex presented me with a handmade S-Curve dildo by Standard Glass. “It’s your favorite shade of turquoise,” they said, “and it’ll hit your A-spot!” I was stunned. It was a gorgeous, thoughtful gift – the kind of toy I would have picked out for myself. How did I get so lucky to have a friend as good as Bex?

We were hanging out with my FWB, with whom I had a sex-date planned for the following day. “You should fuck me with this,” I chirped at him. But he’s a Responsible Adult so he just nervously eyed the hard tile floor we were standing on and said, “Please don’t drop that.” I slipped the toy back into its gift bag to appease him: “Okay, dad.”

The next night, at the hotel we’d booked, I broke out the S-Curve. “So how does this work?” my fuckpal asked, and I shrugged and said, “I don’t know! Let’s find out!” He lubed the long, smooth end of it and slid it into me, curve facing up to access my A-spot. Moans spouted from my mouth immediately. Oh, yes.

As its name suggests, the S-Curve has a gentle sloping “S” shape. Many of my favorite toys do, in fact; I definitely have a “type” when it comes to dildos. The formidable metal Njoy Eleven, the heroically G-spotty NobEssence Seduction, and my beloved Fucking Sculptures Double Trouble all have this basic shape in common. What can I say? I know what I like.

The S-Curve’s similarities to the Double Trouble are all the qualities I love about it. It’s long enough, and has a subtle enough curve, that it can get all up in my A-spot without bothering my cervix. (It can also hit my G-spot if I thrust it more shallowly, though I usually don’t.) Like another S-shaped glass toy I love, the Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon, the S-Curve’s meager 1.25″ diameter is roughly equivalent to the size of two fingers – i.e. the exact number of fingers I request and enjoy most when partners are fingerbanging me – so it hits my spot brilliantly and I can fantasize about partners fingering me to my heart’s content when I use it.

My FWB calls the S-Curve “the Double Trouble on easy mode,” and for my intents and purposes, it is. It goes for my A-spot with the same precision and deftness, but because it’s slimmer, lighter, and has that bloopy end, it’s much easier to hold onto and thrust with. If I’m craving a side order of girth with my A-spot stim, I’ll still reach for the Dub Trubz – but if all I want is targeted stimulation of one particular internal spot, it gets the job done perfectly.

All S-Curves, while handmade, are basically the same dimensions – 8″ long and 1.25″ wide. It is a glass masterpiece, a beauteous work of art. I don’t need my sex toys to be beautiful, because I don’t spend a lot of time actually looking at them while I’m using them, but it’s nonetheless nice to have something so elegant-looking on my nightstand.

Bex is still the only person on earth I would trust to choose a sex toy for me. They knocked this one out of the fuckin’ park.

 

You can buy the S-Curve at Come As You Are for $120 CAD (that’s about $90 USD!).

How to Deal With Pre-Date Nervousness

Oh, I can just picture it now. It’s almost every first date I’ve ever been on. My anxiety swells. My heart pounds. I obsess about my outfit, hair, and makeup – like I’m trying to dress as a “cool girl” for Halloween. I debate whether to text my date upon leaving the house; maybe a “See you soon!” text isn’t chill enough, but maybe radio silence is too cold. So many choices!

As I walk up to the bar, my mind races. What if we start talking and he mentions that he thinks feminism is a waste of time? What if he only wants to “find some easy pussy” or “grab local slags here” and doesn’t actually find me interesting at all? What if – horror of horrors – he thinks Adam Sandler is funny?!

The thing is, while my anxiety disorder runs me through the wringer before every date, it doesn’t have to. The dates themselves are never as bad as I worry they will be – and this whole nervous rigamarole could be avoided, or at least mitigated, if I had a great pre-date ritual solidly in place. Here are 10 of my best tips for shaking your jitters before you walk out the door to meet a new potential beau!

Have some go-to date outfits on hand. This just makes everything so much easier. Prepare a “uniform” of sorts (or a few different ones) that you can grab in a hurry when getting ready for a date, so you won’t have to waste precious mental energy on outfit composition. Oh, the geeky sartorial bliss of it!

This ensemble should have a silhouette that flatters your shape and makes you feel babely as hell, and maybe one or two “conversation pieces” – unusual garments or accessories that a date is sure to ask about. (“Oh, this old thing? I bought this from a loud, flirty man on a beach in Gozo just before we leapt into the Mediterranean sea…!”)

If you want to get extra nerdy about it, you can have different date uniforms for different types of dates. For example, I’ll often wear a low-cut dress and a cardigan if I’m going on a fancy dinner date, or a tank top tucked into a skirt if we’re just ducking into a dive bar. If you show up at your date feeling hot and neither overdressed nor underdressed, you’ll have won half the battle already!

Listen to great music. So basic, yet so effective. I have a Spotify playlist of all my favorite pump-up tunes – mostly a lot of up-tempo pop and hiphop – and it helps ease me into a foxy, energetic brainspace. I love to shimmy into my panties and stockings to a sexy Drake jam, bop around doing my eyeshadow while One Direction croon at me, and fluff up my hair while Frank Sinatra sings compliments in my ear. Ah, what a dream.

Prep your bod. Whatever body-prep makes you feel attractive, desirable, and ready for sex (if that’s a potential item on your to-do list for the evening), do that. For me, this would involve showering, shaving, and moisturizing. When I’m all clean, smooth, and soft, I feel practically unconquerable.

Breathe. “Fear is just excitement without the breath,” according to psychotherapist Fritz Perls. I don’t know how much of this is hippie-dippie psychosomatic silliness versus an actual effective treatment (and, let’s be real, sometimes they are one and the same), but I find breathing deeply helps circulate my anxious energy all around my body and thereby diffuse it. Shallow, fast breaths are a classic sign of anxiety; you can trick yourself into calming down by elongating and deepening your breath. Oxygenate your body and brain!

Load up on conversation-starters. My conversational skills drastically improved when I went to journalism school, and I’m convinced it was partly because I had to read the news so often at that time, so I had plenty to talk about! Still to this day, before a date, I’ll take a look at trending stories before heading out the door (if I haven’t already encountered them that day on Twitter or in podcasts I listen to), so that if my date’s discussion skills leave something to be desired, I can pull out a fascinating new topic at a moment’s notice.

You can also glance at their online-dating profile again (if that’s where you met them) and mentally note a few points to ask them about. (“I see you went to school for English lit; how does that help you in your current job?” “You said you like The Office, but what did you think of the finale?” “Is that dog in your profile picture yours?!”)

Tell a friend what you’re up to. Before leaving on a date, I like to text the following info to a friend: my suitor’s full name (if I know it), phone number, any other relevant info I know about them (what they do, where they live, and so on), where and when I am meeting them, and what time I anticipate I’ll be home. I’ve been lucky enough that a date has never made me feel unsafe, but it certainly helps my anxiety if I know I have safety measures in place. And if the date’s not dangerous but just boring or awful, you can have your friend call you and fake an emergency you need to go attend to immediately.

Channelling my inner pinup girl.

Choose an alter-ego. This is not to say you should be inauthentic on your date, of course – but pretending you’re someone else can help you play up the best parts of your personality while banishing the parts that hold you back.

Sometimes I like to pretend I’m Amanda Palmer, Zooey Deschanel, or Rosa Diaz. How would they get ready for a date? How would they walk into a room? How would they greet a person they found attractive? Usually I hold my “character” in mind for the first little while, just until I get settled, and then I cast ’em off and let the real me shine through, unencumbered by anxiety.

Remind yourself what a catch you are. Glance at your most smokin’ selfies. Look through compliments people have given you in the past (I keep a file of mine!). Think about the best dates/makeouts/sex you’ve had, and remember that you are, at least partially, what made those experiences so fantastic!

This kind of mental reflection – whether you do it in a journal, out loud to a friend, or just in your head – can also help you get some perspective. This probably isn’t the last or most important date you’ll ever go on. If it doesn’t go well, it isn’t the end of the world. There are so many more people out there, and so many more experiences you’re gonna have. Go into every date with the attitude that it’ll be a fun adventure, and anything else that comes of it will just be a bonus.

Admit to your nervousness! This can be super charming and disarming in some contexts. If you and your date exchange some texts before meeting up, maybe tell them you’re a bit nervous because you find them so cute. Or, after you’ve showed up and talked for a few minutes, you could mention, “I get so nervous about first dates!” Good people will often try to reassure you when you make admissions like this – and at the very least, you’ve just backhandedly confessed that you find them attractive. Everyone wants to feel attractive. See – nervousness can be a plus!

What are your favorite tricks for mitigating pre-date jitters?

 

This post was sponsored, and as always, all writing and opinions are my own!

Femme Resolutions For Age 25

I turn 25 tomorrow! Aaahh!

Birthdays, much like New Year’s Eve or the start of a new school year, always feel to me like a time of renewal and overhaul. I often make lists of goals and intentions for the coming year when one of these milestones rolls around, and this time is no different.

However, a lot of the intentions that came to mind for me around this birthday have been fashion- or beauty-related. It makes sense: I’m noticing lately, even more than usual, how massively my presentation can affect my mood and demeanor. So I’m setting myself the following style objectives for the year to come – all in the service of feeling good moreso even than looking good.

Fuck pants forever. Look. You wear pants if you want to. I’m sure they look great on you. But I just don’t think I can do it anymore.

Oh, I own a couple pairs of jeans, for those once-in-a-blue-moon spells where I want to dress like Shane from The L Word or a male British underwear model on his day off. And I certainly own plenty of leggings, which I layer over and lounge in. But by and large, I am a skirts-and-dresses girl, and pants can fuck right off.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sacrificed questing for the pair of pants that would change my mind on this matter. The closest I’ve ever come were some vintage skinny black slacks that made me feel like a chic German schoolboy, or some near-perfect skinny jeans from my local thrift shop. But pants never quite feel like me. They always feel like I’m playing a character. I find them uncomfortable both physically and mentally.

So this year, I will not shop for pants. I will not try to figure out how to shoehorn pants into my style. I will not wear pants, except on days when the notion of doing so actually excites me (a rare thing). I will rock my skirts and my dresses and I will not try to be somefemme I am not.

Big hair, don’t care. Now, admittedly, my hair is not “big” by everyone’s standards. Bigness of hair is a spectrum! But in recent years, I have mastered the art of making my hair as wide and wild as it can get. My routine involves curl-enhancing conditioners, DevaCurl gel, vigorous scrunching, and a Turbie Twist microfibre towel. When I do it right, it results in a fucking lioness mane.

I’ve noticed that big hair gives me confidence like almost nothing else. It doesn’t eliminate my social anxiety, but it overshadows it a little. Tossing my curls around feels flirty and babely in a movie-star kind of way, and I want more of it. So I resolve to wear my hair big and curly as much as possible this year!

Shiny boots, shiny heart. Black leather boots are a signature part of my look; I wear them almost every day. The ones in heaviest rotation over the past couple years are my Frye harness boots, Frye engineer boots, and L.L. Bean winter boots. They make my heart sing, the way their severe stompiness balances out my airy-fairy femme ensembles.

But keeping leather boots looking good requires care and upkeep. They need to be regularly cleaned, conditioned, waterproofed, and shined. With proper maintenance, a good pair of leather boots can last for decades – and I intend for that to be the fate of mine!

Every couple months, I give my precious boots a thorough cleaning with saddle soap, and then shine ’em up with mink oil. I also just got my harness boots resoled because four years of wear had ground the soles flat. They are looking so lovely, and I will keep ’em that way!

Lipstick love. Gahhhd, I feel so foxy in lipstick. Hot pink. Bright red. Deep cranberry. Intense violet. Whatever. I want it on my face.

But despite my love for lipstick, I often skip it, because I worry it’ll draw too much attention to me, or it just seems like too much work. So for the coming year, I want to make an effort to wear it more often. Like so many other things on this list, lipstick makes me feel better about myself – but only when I make it a priority in my getting-ready routine.

It helps a lot to wear formulas I know are gonna stick around with minimal reapplication necessary. Some current faves in that category: Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani, Maybelline mattes, and anything by Bite.

One new tattoo. I’ve had a couple tattoo ideas floating around in my brain for months now, and I wanna get ’em done. It’s just a matter of deciding to go ahead with it, sending some reference materials to an artist, and booking a consultation appointment. Aaahh, the very thought is giving me joyful heart palpitations!

I think I want to go back to Laura Blaney, who did my “good girl” bows. She made me feel super comfortable, and her work is stunning. I have a feeling she’ll be able to give me exactly what I want.

Do you have any fashion-and-beauty goals or intentions currently?

Submissive ‘n’ Stoned: Reflections on Weed & Kink

Marijuana is magic. I have known this for quite some time, and then a summer romance drives the point home for me.

But I’m not fully committed to this boy, emotionally; my mind is elsewhere, and that’s reflected in the way I talk about him. Tweeting on my way to see him one afternoon in July, I call him my “pothead fuckpal.” He’s normally thrilled when I tweet about him, but this time, he’s irate. I think it’s “fuckpal” he objects to moreso than “pothead.” Because, while it’s irredeemably true he is a pothead, he wants to be more than just my fuckpal. I’m not sure I can give him that, and we’re not talking about it yet.

But I am a bad girl who writes bad things on Twitter, so I deserve a punishment.

We smoke up when I arrive at his house, like we always do – me from my little glass pipe and him from his enormous DIY bong. He’s smoked for years longer than I have, and has years’ more sexual experience under his belt, so I guess he knows what sweet havoc weed can wreak. I always get way too high at his place, nervously smoking more than I should because I’m uncomfortable and don’t know what else to do with my hands. I sit there glued to the couch, and he begins to touch my thighs.

Weed makes every touch significant, every movement a story. He traces circles and lines on my skin and they spin off into wild visions, all radiating sensation back to my clit. My arousal builds slowly but steadily, like a ski-lift gliding up a mountain. He works his way toward my clit in maddening circles, and I want his touch there but it’s an unhurried want: we will get to that when we get to it, and that’s fine.

Stoned sex is a magnificent blur. Journaling about it in days that follow, I always have to tell the story in point form, free of narrative or coherence. So one moment he’s touching my clit, and the next I’m draped over his knee getting pummelled by a wooden hairbrush, and the next I’m kneeling between his legs with his cock down my throat. Oh, hello.

I love stoned blowjobs and submissive blowjobs for many of the same reasons: they absorb me, anxieties and all, in a way that sober vanilla sex rarely can; they free me from inhibitions and scripts so I can enjoy what my mouth is feeling instead of suffer what my mind is whispering; and they allow me to focus wholly on the task at hand (or… at mouth). I am a good girl, an orally talented girl, a very very high girl, and I love it.

I shouldn’t have called him my pothead fuckpal. I shouldn’t have agreed to date him when I knew I could never love him. But all those shouldn’ts don’t matter now because there is weed smog in my head and a cock in my mouth.

The first time I discovered weed makes pain feel near-orgasmic to me, I was doing yoga at a party, but I’m a perv so of course it didn’t take me long to figure out how to apply that to kink.

In September of last year, I had a near-weekly tradition. I would go to a boy friend’s house (a boy-space-friend, not a boyfriend, you understand), we would smoke weed, he would catch me up on his various Adventure Zone headcanons, and then he would spank me.

The weed served two purposes. First of all, it helped us two awkward anxious bunnies relax around each other. And secondly, it made his spankings feel like molten-hot fireworks exploding in my skin.

“Do you wanna go to my room?” he’d ask when we’d been chilling on the living-room couch for an hour or two, and that was code for: “Do you want me to beat your ass raw with a paperback novel?” Every time, I’d quirk a grin at him and say, “Yeah.” And we would go.

Though I’ve loved being spanked for years, it wasn’t until I met this boy that I thought I might be able to come from it. It always seemed nearly-mine, like an apple on a swaying branch beyond my grasp – but I could never quite get at it. The trying was fun, though.

What I loved most about our arrangement was that sex was never assumed, never a foregone conclusion. The spanking was the main course. The weed was the garnish. The good conversation was the appetizer. And when the meal was done, I could shimmy back into my skirt, say goodnight, and go home, wetness dripping down the inside of my thigh in a guilty ribbon. “Text me when you get home safe,” he’d tell me sternly at the door. He wasn’t my dom but he was a good snack to tide me over in between feasts. A good friend to have. A good warm hand on my ass.

Marijuana extends time in my brain. I can get lost in a moment of sensation and have no idea afterwards if it lasted eight seconds or forty minutes. This is all well and good if my partner is also high, or if they’re someone I know I can take my time with. Less so if I’m nervous.

“How long have you been doing that?” I ask you while you’re two knuckles deep inside me. “I have no sense of time right now. I need you to tell me if you want to stop.” Because I never want you to stop. I want your fingers pressing stripes into my most sensitive spots ad infinitum. I want to live in this hotel room with you and your devilish fingers forevermore. I want to come and come until I’m a husk of a human.

You sigh, with the careful, caring discontent of someone who sympathizes with my sexual anxieties but thinks they’re silly nonetheless. “You just lie back and relax. This is not strenuous for me. I’ll stop if I want to. Right now I just want you to feel good.”

Though our dynamic isn’t kinky, I hear this as a command. I lie back. I relax. And you must’ve said the magic words, because within minutes, I am coming, loud and unrestrained.

You slip your fingers out of me and let me catch my breath before suggesting a mid-sesh intermission to top up our intoxication levels. This entails sneakily smoking in the bathroom of this no-smoking hotel room, because we don’t have a balcony and fuck if we’re gonna throw clothes on and brave the current January windstorm in this state.

I stand in front of you in the yellowish fluorescent bathroom light, and we’re both poetically, unselfconsciously naked. I watch, rapt, as you grind some weed and load your one-hitter. You hand it to me along with your lighter, but I can’t get it lit, so you have to help me. I am a quivering little girl making doe eyes at you as you flick the sparkwheel and make a flame for me. I inhale deeply and feel so sexy, so safe.

The trick, you explain, is to exhale through a damp washcloth toward the exhaust vent in the ceiling; that way we’re least likely to set off the smoke alarm. You’ve pre-moistened a cloth for this purpose, and after watching me inhale, you grab it and lay it flat over my mouth, pressing the edges down tight. I breathe out and make a rusty stain on the white rag. “That was maybe the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done to me,” I joke.

I take another hit, and you wink at me – the big, broad, unexpected wink of someone who knows about my thing for winks – and I can’t laugh because my lungs are full of precious smoke. I grab the washcloth and push my breath through it, along with a rush of pent-up giggles. “Oh, you were trying not to laugh out the weed,” you realize. “I thought it seemed strange that you didn’t react to my winking. That never happens.” My whole body, my whole brain, wants to hug you and kiss you and suck your dick. C’mere, loverboy.

Minutes later, in our big hotel bed, I’m on my back with my legs spread wide and you’re sitting cross-legged between them, like my vulva is a movie you’ve been dying to see. You slide the S-Curve into me while I snuggle my Tango up against my clit. Despite having come twice already today and being, traditionally, a one-and-done kind of girl (a one-hitter, you might say!), I feel an orgasm building almost immediately. Be it the comfortable environment, the familiar partner, the excellent toys, or the weed, I don’t know. And I don’t really care to analyze it.

You push the toy’s rounded glass tip against my A-spot hard and I fall apart completely, an orgasm bursting through me and extinguishing all thoughts. The combo of climactic incoherence and marijuana incoherence is a funny one. I want you to keep fucking me, harder and faster, all the way through my orgasm, but instead I’m just shouting, “Aaaahhh, I want, I want,” and “M-m-please-m-m-moooore.”

You indeed keep fucking me, but also, you bark, “English!” The frustration in your tone seems to extend my orgasm, to stretch it out like taffy. But this command also jolts me just enough that I can collect my wits. “Harder, please,” I clarify, in perfect English, and you give me what I want.

Sometimes, when I’m in my head and struggling to come, you tell me to fantasize about whatever I want.

It’s a remarkably generous offer. Most people want you to focus on them, and them alone, while they’re fucking you. They want your eyes open and affixed on theirs. They want to do you so right, they blow your other thoughts away.

But this ignores, for many of us, how our sex-brains work. I can think you’re gorgeous and still need to picture someone else to get me over the edge. I can love what we’re doing, but get even more turned on when I think of us doing something else. I can adore you the way you are, but still envision a different version of you when I’m on the brink and I need something extra to get me there.

Tonight, in my bed, we are high, and you are fucking me, and I am close, and you say it. “You just relax and think about whatever you need to think about.” Your voice, as always, is steady and calm. And generous. So generous.

My mind moves in hazy kaleidoscopic shapes, searching for that one image or phrase that will get the job done. I see spirals of light, blinding sunsets, scenes from another dimension. But beyond all that, what I come back to is you. A different type of you, an alternate-reality version of you, but you, nonetheless.

“Be a good girl and come for me, princess,” the you of my fantasies mutters as you never will. And I come so hard, it clears the smoke from the rafters of my brain.

Diary of a Ghosted Girl

Sunday night. I am depressed. I have been depressed for a solid week, with no hypomanic reprieve. Shit is dire.

I have guzzled more wine than I ought to’ve, and smoked more weed than is probably reasonable. There are one or two crusted tears on my cheeks, but mostly I’m numb. Aching to feel something; aching to ache.

A new OkCupid message lands in my inbox, and I open it with the characteristic slowness of a person weighed down by depression. “Fuck. This profile was an intensely enjoyable read that had me grinning like a total idiot,” it reads. “I don’t even know where to start except HEY (for now).” Then he asks me something about toxic jelly dildos, which I mention in my profile. My ears perk up, and so do I, a little.

I flick through his profile – pictures, paragraphs, compatibility question responses – and it achieves the rare thing of making him seem more interesting rather than less. (Most men are atrocious at writing online-dating profiles.) I message him back.

Our conversation kicks into high gear almost immediately. Jokes. Stories. Questions. All-caps shouts of “ME TOO!” and sparks of recognition. He likes my puns. I care if he likes my puns. I talk about my work and he doesn’t take it as an invitation to ask invasive questions about my sex life, as so many OkSuitors before him have. I am absurdly, miraculously, hastily hooked.

He tells me his full name – “incase you’d like to move this over to Facebook/creep me for mutual friends/affirm I am in fact a real person and not an elaborate cat-fishing account” – and, to my shock, it’s almost exactly the name of a person I used to be in love with. Their first names are as close as Lee and Leo, and they have the same surname. Intellectually, I understand that this doesn’t mean anything. Emotionally, it seems to mean quite a lot. It feels like the universe is shining a spotlight on this boy and shouting in my ear: Notice this person. Pay attention. He could be important.

We move things over to text. We talk about sex in a way that is flirty but not explicit – my favorite, when I don’t know someone well yet. He’s such a good flirt that I’m screaming and cackling at my phone – indeed so good that a friend christens him “Mr. Goodflirtz” when I relay the key points of our conversation later.

I send him a picture of me. Not a nude – just a cute selfie, where I’m pleased with how I look, and I look like the kind of girl that a man like him might be interested in. “Fuck,” he writes back. “…Fuuuuck. I mean you are just so fucking good-looking.” More cackling at my phone. More blushing, sweating, and covering my eyes. My heart is thudding.

But it’s late, and I have to get some sleep – which I laughingly tell him even as he’s still blowing up my phone with compliments in little green text bubbles. “Yes yes sorry,” he writes. “Good night.”

I do a thing I have done too many times, and have promised myself not to do again: I get over-invested. I turn his name and face over in my mind. I lie awake thinking about the dress I’ll wear on our first date, and what we’ll do after he tugs it off of me. Eventually, somehow, I fall asleep – and dream about his pretty mouth all night.

On Monday morning I am pinged awake by my phone’s text tone. “That picture was the first thing I saw this morning as it was still open on my phone,” I blink sleep out of my eyes to read. This is followed by some gratuitous information about how his dick is reacting to said photo and what he is doing about it – information I find charming, not alarming, because at this point I feel like I know him. He is a wizard with words. His words alone have made me want to kiss his face, suck his dick, build some kind of future. It’s ridiculous.

“I’d gladly take any other pictures you’d like to share,” he adds – politely, I think. But I have a boundary around this, which I explain to him: I don’t like to sext with people before I meet them in person. It often makes me lose interest in them, or feel weird, so I tend to avoid it, especially if I suspect I might actually like the person. “Fair enough,” he writes back. “Let’s hang soon, then.”

“I am free tonight or Thursday,” I tell him, and he replies, “Thursday is probably best, but mayyybe tonight.” We talk logistics – locations, times – and lapse once again into giggly half-sexts laced with wordplay. I’m still barely awake; I tell him I’m going back to sleep, and I’ll be in touch later.

That afternoon, I send him a selfie of me looking put-upon and adorable. “This is my ‘You should have drinks with me tonight’ face,” I caption it.

No answer. I try to keep myself occupied with other diversions. Four hours pass. I complain to my best friend, stare at my phone for far too long, then decide to take a nap, hoping I’ll wake up to a text notification.

I wake up a few hours later. “I’m dying of anxiety,” I tell Bex. “Why hasn’t he texted me back?!” Bex, the greatest friend anyone could hope for, replies: “You don’t know much about him. Maybe work got out of hand, maybe he has food poisoning, maybe something came up with his family, maybe a friend just went through a breakup, maybe he was up all night last night and fell asleep, maybe he got hit by a bus, maybe he’s secretly a superhero and is fighting his arch nemesis, maybe he burned all of his fingers making tacos and can’t use a phone, maybe his phone broke and he’s at the store trying to get it fixed, maybe Pennywise lured him into the sewers with the promise of all the pussy he could eat, maybe he is volunteering at an animal shelter and got distracted by all the puppies, maybe he got lost in that weird circus store y’all have and has no phone service and is wondering if he’s going to starve and should start eating his own arm… I could keep going.” I laugh, but I’m still sick with anxiety.

“Or maybe he’s a dick who decided to ghost after 12 hours,” Bex continues, “in which case, you dodged a bullet, because you don’t want to hang out with him, because he’s a dick.”

do want to hang out with him, is the thing.

My anxiety disorder has decided this is the most important thing in the world. I barely sleep, barely eat. I feel nauseous over the idea that not only does “Mr. Goodflirtz” not want me, but no one wants me, no one has ever wanted me, no one will want me ever again. I wonder if he was only ever looking for a sexting partner. I wonder if he Googled me and got scared off. I wonder if he was using fake pictures and fake information to solicit nudes from me. I wonder if he was an undercover creep from 4Chan or the Red Pill. I can’t stop wondering. My sleepless night is a whirlpool of uncontrollable wondering.

On Tuesday morning, I resolve that I will not text him.

On Tuesday afternoon, I text him. “Hey, would Thursday still be a good night to get drinks?” I hate myself immediately after pressing “send.”

By Tuesday night, he still hasn’t answered. I log onto OkCupid to stare longingly at our messages – and I see that he’s online. After fighting the urge to anxiety-puke, I fight the not-altogether-different urge to message him some variation of “Yo, what the fuck, bro?!” I have to physically close my computer and walk away from it to keep myself from doing this. It feels like the most difficult thing I’ve done in a very long time.

On Wednesday I go to a therapy appointment. I sniffle and sob while telling my endlessly compassionate therapist about this dumb boy and all the dumb feelings I’m feeling about him. It’s a double-whammy: I’m hurting because he disappeared, and because I’m embarrassed by how much this has hurt me. He didn’t owe me anything. I know that. And yet I can’t help feeling wronged. Dropped. Ghosted.

“You just lost your job, you’re still dealing with the fallout of unrequited love, and then this happened,” my therapist points out, reasonably. “You’ve been rejected a lot lately. Rejection hurts. But it’s not a reflection on you. It doesn’t mean you’re unloveable.”

Tears stream down my face. I know she’s right. But I don’t believe she’s right. They are two different things.

My phone’s been on Do Not Disturb mode for the duration of our appointment, like it always is – and as I walk out my therapist’s office door, I press the home button, blindly hoping. But nope. Still nothing. The ghost is still dead, and so, it seems, is my heart.

A fuckbuddy I was supposed to see on Wednesday night texts to say that he’s sick, and to ask if we can reschedule for next week. I know him well enough to know he isn’t lying, but my anxiety suspects he might be – because I distrust all men right now. If someone could be so enthusiastic about me and then disappear off the goddamn face of the earth, then everyone could be lying about everything. I ignore the anxious voices in my head and choose to accept that a request to reschedule is indeed a request to reschedule – not another rejection, perched upon my already precarious heap of recent rejections.

On Wednesday night, I spend hours in bed just numbly staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what I did wrong, what I can do differently going forward. I grab my phone and open Tinder. I know it’s bad. I know. It’s like an alcoholic trying to nix their “one last” hangover with “one last” hair of the dog.

But it makes me feel a bit better. I flirt with a few boys, until I find one I actually connect with on some level. We talk, and joke, and learn about each other, in the formulaic dance that early online-dating interactions all tend to follow. It’s not fiery with white-hot excitement like it was with Mr. Goodflirtz, but it’s something.

We schedule a date, and I go to sleep, dreaming of someone new.

I don’t think about my ghost much on Thursday. But late that evening, my phone’s text tone beeps, and my heart leaps into my throat. I claw the thing out of my purse at lightning speed.

“How are you feeling today?” a friend has texted to ask – and I’m so goddamn angry at myself for being disappointed.