If you listen to Erin Pim interviewing me on the Bed Post Podcast, you’ll hear her ask me: “Do you have a primary partner?” And you’ll hear me stammer through my nervous answer: “Not right now. Probably my steadiest sexual relationship is a fuckbuddy who doesn’t even live where I live, and is occasionally visiting. He’s my favorite person to bang. But like, right now, I’m not dating anybody.”
It’s a deflection, a half-truth. At the time, I was deep in unreturned love with said fuckbuddy, and struggling with the lack of a romantic label on our relationship – or on any of my sexual relationships.
In contrast to this noncommittal answer, though, toward the start of the podcast, Erin asks me about my friendship with Bex – and I elaborate with enthusiasm. “They’re my best friend in the world,” I declare. “Our friendship is, weirdly, one of the great love stories of my life.”
I have never had trouble defining my relationship with Bex. We’ve been best friends ever since we threesomed with a mutual friend at the Playground Conference in 2015. I’ve never felt so certain about a friendship so fast. It’s their 26th birthday today, so here are a few of my favorite moments from our almost-two-years of best-friendship thus far.
At the New Year’s party at Round Venue, we dance up a storm, drink too much, make out with drag kings. As the clock ticks midnight, someone pops a balloon full of silver confetti over our heads, and we hug – like the platonic (and, frankly, superior) version of a romantic New Year’s kiss. This bodes well for the year ahead.
I ride a bus for 3 hours to go see a boy I have a crush on. We spend that night in his bed, drinking red wine, giggling, and kissing. The next day, I while away my entire 3-hour-long return trip texting Bex every detail of what happened.
The following week, that same boy comes to a party I host, and we flirt all night long. He invites me to have dinner with him the next day. We kiss goodnight, and I panic at the friend who co-hosted the party with me: “Is he going to ask me to be his girlfriend?! Doesn’t it seem like he wants to date me?!”
She thinks so, yes, but she isn’t sure. I grab my phone and type some all-caps concerns at Bex, who’s away from their phone because they’re at work. I know they won’t see my messages for hours – maybe not even until tomorrow – and that feels unthinkable. I need to know their take on this.
“I feel like half my brain is missing,” I whine miserably at my friend. She’s one of my best pals, and I love her. But she isn’t the other half of my brain. Bex is. I need Bex.
“Uhh, we’re going to a friend’s house,” I hedge.
“Oh yeah? What are you gonna do there?”
Bex and I look at each other nervously. “We’re going to watch a movie.”
“What type of movie?”
We laugh. “We don’t know yet,” I lie. “We’ll decide when we get there, I guess.”
I watch my best friend practically giggle half a scone out their nose, and we shuffle out of the Starbucks, barely containing our guffaws.
I attempt to double-penetrate myself with two giant dildos – while livetweeting, obviously. Bex coaches me through it via text, reminding me when to put a vibe on my clit, add more lube, or move on to the next warm-up toy. Meanwhile, we’re also carrying on a side conversation about movies we love and TV shows we recommend. None of this feels unnatural. All of this feels on-brand. This is true love.
We go out for lunch at 7 West with my new boyfriend. I know he’s kinky, but I’m not totally sure yet how kinky, or in what ways. In the midst of a theoretical discussion of kinks, Bex rattles off some examples: “Teacher/student roleplay, or doctor/patient, or Daddy Dom/little girl…” Boyfriend doesn’t say anything, but noticeably perks up, like an eager little dominant puppy.
Later, I comment, “That was funny, how he reacted when you mentioned DD/lg.” Bex scoffs, “Oh, I 100% did that on purpose to test his reaction, and he 100% passed the test.”
I wish everyone could have a best friend who wants a fulfilling sex life for their friends as much as Bex wants one for me.
In one of our many, many, many conversations about our various internet crushes, Bex and I decide we’re going to have a four-way wedding someday. This seems like the natural conclusion of our strange, incestuous-yet-nonsexual relationship.
It’s a slow day at my customer service job, so I muck around on my iPad and manage to calculate the exact average location between the four cities in which Bex, Bex’s current crush, my current crush and I each live. I scroll around the map and notice the magic spot is right near a town called… Dorking. “It’s settled. We’re getting married in Dorking,” I announce, sending Bex a link.
“Holy shit. Yes. Perfection,” they reply.
Bex never calls the men I kiss/fuck/date by their names – only by nicknames, which are often a bit cruel. Men don’t get names until they’ve earned them by being not-terrible, which most don’t.
The guy I’m interested in around the time Bex and I first become friends is called Good-Dick Garbage Human, because, well, his dick is great but he’s kind of awful. This naming convention becomes a recurring motif in our nicknames for boys: we are both forever questing for the fabled Good-Dick Good Human. Occasionally we meet a Good-Fingers Good Human, or a Good-Dick Okay Human. One step at a time.
We go to visit my fuckpal-du-jour at the store where he works. After some pleasantries and semi-flirtations, we say goodbye, and he shouts after me, “Don’t be a stranger!” We’re barely three steps out of the store when Bex turns to me and says, “That means he wants his dick in your mouth again.” That particular fuckpal is known simply as “Weird Dude” in the Bexicon forever after.
When I start dating a 5-foot-tall dominant, Bex christens him Napoleon, “because he’s short and thinks he’s in charge.”
Bex and I start using a hashtag in some of our text correspondence: #ThingsIdOnlyTellYou.
Some of the secrets chronicled therein: TMI missives about butts and vaginas, petty complaints about my metamours (#Pettymour), arrogant self-praise, suicidal ideations, creepy shit about crushes, slutty accomplishments, and stuff like this: “Help! I sucked off a Mustang while jerking off today, and it helped a lot with BJ cravings. #ThingsIdOnlyTellYou #INeedToGetLaid”
We joke that these confessions should be published in a book someday when we’re both dead, but dear god, no, don’t do that.
As I’m getting ready to go visit sex shops in Minneapolis, my phone buzzes. It’s a text from Kidder. I burst out laughing, a high-pitched giggly shriek.
From two rooms away, Bex calls, “What did Kidder say?”
“How did you know it was him?!” I inquire, mystified.
I can hear the self-satisfied smirk in their voice. “That was your surprised/funny/turned-on sound,” they attempt to explain. Best-friend mind-reading on point.
I find out Bex has never smoked weed before, and offer to guide them through their first time. One night on one of their many trips up to Toronto, we hole up in my bedroom with a vape, a grinder, some bud we just acquired at a dispensary, and a few blowjob porn scenes on tap, because we will need entertainment once we are blazed.
Bex isn’t much of a lightweight when it comes to booze, so they’re not sure how weed will affect them. “I don’t think I’m high,” they say, wrinkling their nose at me quizzically.
“Touch your leg,” I suggest, drawing from my own experiences of what being high feels like. “See if your skin feels weird.”
They run their hand along their calf. “Oooh, furry! No, I don’t think I’m high,” they chirp, and I laugh. They are definitely, definitely high.
Bex and I smoke a bunch of weed before heading out to see a show at Comedy Bar. On the way to the subway station, we both hear – clear as a bell – the sound of a coin dropping. We spend five minutes looking around on the ground, trying to find the missing coin. We never find it, and reach the conclusion that we must just have both hallucinated the same exact sound at the same exact moment. As best friends do.
At Comedy Bar, we run into my ex-boyfriend, a comedian. We’re both way, way, way too high to navigate this interaction, so it goes horribly. After he leaves, I turn to Bex and say, “Did that actually just happen?”
They look just as bewildered as I feel. “I think so,” they say. We laugh nervously.
Trying to come back home from New York in January, I miscalculate my subway route on the way to the airport, and accidentally miss my flight. Rather, I get there an hour before takeoff, but that’s too late – they won’t let me fly.
I break down in the departures hall, leaning against my suitcase for strength, crying, hyperventilating. I was already descending into a post-travel mental health drop, and this development just kicked it into overdrive. I panic. I freak out. I want to die. I text Bex.
They calm me down, like they always do. Slowly and carefully, like they’re addressing a child (because right now, they kind of are), they talk me through the process of investigating other ticket options, finding out what can be done about my situation. When the answer is “nothing,” they go online and buy me a ticket for the following morning. Then they text me detailed instructions for how to get back to their house on the subway, and insist I update them regularly as I go along.
Suicidal ideations gnaw at me even harder as I drag my suitcase back into the subway system. I feel like a senseless failure, a pointless waste of space. I’ve long since exhausted the limited supply of tissues I keep in my purse, and I text Bex, amid scary confessions and depressed rambles, “I want to go to the CVS and buy more Kleenex. Like, so much that I will never run out. I want my next boyfriend to be made of an absorbent material.”
Dissociating from my body a bit, as I often do when severely depressed, I tell Bex, “I might be a ghost. A wet ghost.” Always witty, even at the toughest of times, Bex calmly responds, “Then you can haunt me and make me a better writer.” I write back, “This sentence is too woooordyyyy!” They quip, “Use less commaaaaas!” I laugh a little on the subway and type back, “Fewer commaaaaas!”
When I finally, finally reach the subway station closest to Bex’s apartment, I lug my suitcase down the endless stairs, hollow and empty and dead inside. At the bottom of the stairs is my best friend, my angel, my knight, wearing a Batman pajama onesie and a leather collar, and holding a brand-new bright yellow box of Kleenex just for me.
They put their arm around me and we walk to the CVS, where they make me buy some food I don’t want to eat, and then we go back to their place, where they make me eat the food because I need to. Then they set me up in front of their computer and let me watch whatever YouTube videos will make my bone-aching depression lift even the slightest bit: McElroy brothers clips, Goodbye Honolulu music videos, John Mulaney stand-up. I feel a little better.
Early early early the next morning, Bex wakes me up and helps me to an Uber. I get to the airport hours early for my new flight. I sit in the departures lounge silently, profoundly awed that I have found such a wonderful friend, of whom I often feel unworthy but without whom I simply cannot imagine going through life.