Back when I suggested writing this story to my editor, I was in week three of a sex cleanse. I’ve never been a fan of cleanses because, even though they’re allegedly good for me, they always leave me feeling a little unsatisfied. Honestly, what inspired my sex cleanse is the gorgeous guy I’m seeing, who can be… difficult. Let’s just say he’s definitely given me a few reasons to walk away, but honestly, in my optimistic mind where the KY bottle is always half full, his pros outweigh his cons, which is why I always ended up back in bed with him. The problem? After the sex, like right after, I would be on cloud f*cking nine, but then the next day/week/month would come and we’d speak about as much as two neighbors on the subway do. In other words, we would not speak at all. It felt like I was back in seventh grade when my crush would ignore me…except now it felt a little worse because we aren’t 13 years old, and getting ignored by someone who was just inside you feels pretty sh*tty.
And why feel sh*tty when I could feel like Princess Margaret in the White House? If you don’t get that reference, watch The Crown, like, yesterday, but the important thing to know is that Princess Margaret lived her best life without the lure of multiple orgasms dragging her down, and I decided that’s what I needed to do. So per my sex cleanse, I would stay in and binge The Sopranos instead of venturing out into dangerous territory (aka the Upper East Side), where Monsieur Best-I’ve-Ever-Had lives. I also swore off other sources of both toxic and non-toxic d*ck.
Because I am a loyal member of Domino’s Piece of the Pie Rewards program, cleanses are obviously not really part of my lifestyle, so I was a little fuzzy on the rules, but two things I knew I needed were an expiration date and a goal. For the length of time my cleanse would last, I gave it a month, because I’m a #strongindependentwoman. And as for the goal, I wanted to prove to myself that I’m not as hooked on sex as my tall drink of water would have me believe. And to explain the science behind what I was doing, I asked author of Don’t Sleep with Him Yet clinical psychologist Dr. Nancy F. Lee, PhD to help me out.
I learned a lot from my cleanse and want to share those lessons. First and foremost, practicing willpower and just an ounce of self-control feels really good! Secondly, not doing something that feels really good for a second and really horrible for much longer (like, I don’t know, drugs?) is always a good thing. I mean, sex is cool, but have you ever made a bold decision and it ended up paying off?
“If you find yourself regretting and/or resenting sexual encounters, which both reflect confusion and can be considered detrimental to your emotional wellbeing, by all means, do an all-out sex cleanse,” Lee says. It’s my personal opinion that unless you’re Samantha Jones, it’s impossible to not get even slightly emotionally invested in someone you’re sleeping with—especially if it happens almost on the regular. I’m not saying all women f*ck a dude a once and spend the next day writing their wedding vows, but I have never slept with the same person a few times and not started liking him at least a little bit. That’s where I’m at: I’m sleeping with this person who is annoyingly amazing in bed and I like him. As Shakespeare would say, I’m in a pickle.
In my opinion, the benefits of a sex cleanse are many, but first, you feel at least slightly more in charge of yourself. For me, that’s really important since I usually feel very much at the whim of whoever I’m dating at the time—mostly because I hardly ever click with someone who’s into me, so when I do find myself finally crushing on someone, I can’t help but hold on a little. (By the way, I’m using the term “dating” generously here.) Even though my bed felt a little lonely over the last few weeks, it was nice knowing that I was actually happy about getting a good night’s sleep in lieu of pretending that I’m REM cycling through my bedroom door slamming shut and my entire bed shifting in place when he comes back from the bathroom at 4am. Lee says, “It’s worth doing an all-out sex cleanse until you develop insight and clarity regarding what it is you truly want.”
Most importantly, even if you’re really casual about sex and don’t limit yourself to only sleeping with people who call you their girlfriend (hi, hello), deciding you’re taking a break from something that stresses you out is never a bad thing. Even if you’re just along for the (literal) ride, sex isn’t like playing tennis in that once you’re done, you just carry on with your day and don’t think about it again. So taking a little timeout is perfectly fine and may even be good for you! Lee adds, “If, for whatever reason you and an partner simply want to take a ‘break’ from sleeping together for a while, there’s an exciting way to enjoy a whole new form of ‘sensually focused sex’ that is guaranteed to heat things up!” Like with my favorite vibrator.
Look, no cleanse is meant to last forever, so I ended mine when most people end theirs: when you need to put something of substance back in your body after a long enough time without it. Gross? Sorry, but it’s been a few weeks and all of these puns are just falling into my lap. In all seriousness, the point of a cleanse is to rid yourself (mind and/or body) of anything toxic that came its way, so when you feel like you’re back in a sound place, that’s the right time to end the cleanse. Everyone will go on different cleanses (except juice cleanses because those are a bunch of lies) for different reasons, but all of them will teach you some valuable lessons and that is the damn truth.
Sadly, before this article went to press, yours truly was in serious need of some Vitamin D and broke the cleanse with, you guessed it, the same guy who inspired me to embark on said cleanse in the first place! Ya hate to see it. Generally, when you break your word to yourself, you don’t feel great. If you can’t even rely on yourself to keep it together, who can you rely on? But honestly, I feel better than I did before I went on the cleanse because I am going into this clear-headed as opposed to d*ckmatized.
Even though I am clearly a weak bitch, I did learn a lot from my cleanse and would definitely recommend it to those stronger than myself.
Images: Giphy (2); Unsplash
If you have working eyes and ears, then you probably already know that the internet is freaking tf out over Netflix’s latest hate-watch Tidying Up, which is all about the KonMari method of organizing. The revolutionary tidying method that involves rolling your frat formal T-shirts (because, yes, I still have those at 27 years old and, YES, they still bring me joy) instead of stacking them is the one that’s sweeping the nation. Never mind that my mother has been telling me to roll instead of stack for the last 15 years of my life. If she wanted me to actually follow that piece of advice then she should have told me how well that content would perform on my IG stories. Just saying, mom!!
In addition to rolling our clothes, Marie Kondo, the
cult leader mastermind behind the tidying method, also wants us to throw out all of our sh*t unless it “sparks joy in us.” To which I’d just like to say, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, MARIE. Look, just because I own all seven seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on DVD when I do not own a device with a DVD player anymore doesn’t mean those DVDs don’t spark immense joy in me anymore!!
That said, Marie Kondo did get me thinking about if I could apply the KonMari method of tidying to other aspects of my life. Just because I’m not ready to throw out the Kappa Sig Semi Formal T-shirt from 2012 doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not ready to throw out the former Kappa Sig frat member who gave me said shirt from my phone book, right? So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day I decided to use the KonMari method for organizing the men in my life, specifically the ones still wasting space in my contacts list, to see if it would bring me joy or just bring me more homicidal feelings by having to look at their names again.
Emily gets it.
For the sake of time (I assume if you’re reading this you probably don’t have the next 1,000 hours free to analyze my love life, no?), I’m only going to touch on a few of the men who inhabit my phone. I’m going to organize them by name, how we met, amount of time he’s been in my phone, if he still sparks joy, and finally where I landed on it all. I promise it will only slightly feel like you’re being emotionally waterboarded. So let’s get started!
Guy #1: Jake*
How we met: College. I had to go back into the catacombs of my contacts list to the very first f*ckboy to ever wreak havoc on my life, Jake. A little bit of background about Jake: I met him in college when he was rushing a fraternity. His favorite hobbies included reading Fight Club and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and then talking about said books as if he were the first white male in a polo to ever do so. His other favorite hobbies included listening to sad country music and dumping me in public places. Damn, I had great taste!
We were on and off throughout college despite the fact that he once dumped me on my birthday, mid-throw in the middle of a beer pong game. I hadn’t heard much from him post-college until his satanic 6th sense for my emotional well-being caught wind of me engaging in healthy romantic behavior and he decided to hit me up via several phone calls between the hours of 11pm-3am. That’s sort of been our relationship ever since.
How long he’s been in phone: 9 years *shudders*
Does his number spark joy: Hmmm. Does hating myself for 48 hours after drunk dialing him count?
Final verdict: Delete, delete, DELETE and maybe call the goddamn police. Tbh, this one was long overdue. I kept his number in my phone for so long mostly to remind myself that I’m better than him and to have on hand just in case. You know, just in case I blackout at 1pm after brunch on a Saturday and want some attention. We didn’t even live in the same state for years so I always thought “what’s the harm?” As if shame-spiraling for 72 hours after any contact with this person is not harmful. No no no no. Time to go. BYE.
Guy #2: Andy*
How we met: Tinder. Y’all say what you want about Tinder being a hookup app, but I’ve gotten way more dates off this app than any other one. Andy and I met when I first moved to New York and was living in a self-proclaimed “heartbreak hotel.” By “self-proclaimed,” I mean me and my roommates at the time made a group Twitter account to document our love lives and thought this was going to be our big break. To this day I think we have approximately 200 followers on that account.
Anyway. Moving on. Andy and I dated for about 4 months. And I don’t mean we “dated” between the hours of 8pm-2am, Thursday-Saturday. I’m talking about an almost-relationship here. We went on movie and dinner dates, and I spent enough time at his apartment to warrant having a spare set of contacts in his bathroom—it was that legit. The relationship ended, however, when I had the audacity to DTR right before Christmas break and he disappeared off the face of this earth. Seriously. I’m still thinking about putting his face on a milk carton.
How long he’s been in my phone: 1 year
Does his number spark joy: I have more joy for fat free ranch than I do for this person.
Final verdict: Delete. This one was pretty easy to get rid of. Looking back, there wasn’t a whole lot of heat in our relationship. I think his most appealing quality was that he took me on dates and, for the most part, treated me like a human being with actual human feelings. I was just starting to like this guy when he went into witness protection (I assume) and we weren’t together long enough for me to really get hurt. He doesn’t bring me joy or even mild excitement at the thought of him sending me a “u up?” text out of the blue, so I guess that’s when you know it’s really over.
Guy #3: Nate*
How we met: A bar. This guy I met after day drinking for six hours in the West Village and then decided to keep the buzz going into the night. I was hammered and he was very cute and it took me at least three outings that were very similar to the first one before realizing that the reason we always met up at the same bar is because he literally couldn’t get into any others with his ID. I believe his exact words to me when I questioned him about his age were: “I’m basically 21.” When he found out how old I really was (24 at the time), he was a bit too enthusiastic over our age difference. Though I wasn’t even old enough to rent a car, he treated me like I was a goddamn Mrs. Robinson and would say things like “teach me” in the bedroom. Did this stop me from hooking up with him for the rest of the summer? Absolutely not. We cut things off when he had to head back to school early for lacrosse pre-season training. We still Snapchat each other occasionally.
How long he’s been in my phone: 3 years
Does his number spark joy: Only in the amount of jokes I’ve been able to tell from the line “basically 21.”
Final verdict: Keep. I mean, why not? Maybe when he finally graduates college we can grab a beer with the ID that has his legal date of birth. Nate, if you’re reading this, call me!
Guy #4: Patrick Tinder
How we met: Tinder. I’m not even exaggerating when I say this is verbatim how his name is written in my phone. I believe our relationship lasted for about three days in the summer of 2015 where we exchanged
deeply intimate conversations Snapchats and he asked me to come “sit on his stoop.” I have a feeling he wasn’t talking about the beautiful architectural masterpiece he inhabited in Bed Stuy!
How long he’s been in my phone: 3.5 years
Does his number spark joy: Lol is this a real question? His number holds about as much sentimental value to me as the extra sock I found in my dryer the other day.
Final verdict: Delete. His number was the cockroaches of phone numbers because it somehow survived two stolen phones and a iCloud memory wipe. Suffice it to say, I shed no tears getting rid of his stoop-sitting ass.
Guy #5: Andy 2.0*
How we met: Tinder. Just to clarify: yes, I did meet two different Andy’s on Tinder and date them. I’m saying “Andy 2.0” like he was the better Andy, which is absolutely not true. He was just the second Andy I dated in the span of two years. This guy was interesting because, though I met him on Tinder, he was vouched for my a friend of mine who’d grown up with him. This made me believe that he was not a piece of sh*t when he really, really was. About a month in I realized he was definitely only in it to hook up (and on his terms only) and so I tried to do what Andy #1 did to me: ghost him. It did not go well. If I ignored his texts he would hit me up in earnest for weeks with “I miss you” and “u mad?” and “I just want to see you”. IF I would fall into his trap and meet him for a drink, he would immediately bring up going back to his place because didn’t I want to see the view from his
dick new apartment? Once we’d hook up he’d disappear into the ether for 2-3 months with his views of my IG story the only indication that I hadn’t made him up. Rinse and repeat for two f*cking years.
How long he’s been in my phone: 2 years
Does his number spark joy: His number certainly sparks something in me. But it’s less of a joy feeling and more of “set fire to everything he knows and loves” feeling. Ya know?
Final verdict: Delete. Why I kept this guy around for so long is really just a testament to how low I’ll stoop for attention. Thank u, nextttttt.
So there you have it. Do I feel happier now that my phone is a little more f*ckboy free? It’s hard to say. I certainly feel less of an urge to set fires so, that’s something right? I’ll take it.
*All names have been changed to save them from public ridicule. (Not that they deserve it).
Images: Giphy (4)
If you’re like me, you are struggling in all aspects of life right now, and chief among those aspects is dating. Look, I did the whole relationship thing from when I was a little baby college freshman until a year ago, with several
selfish *ssholes nice guys and, call me crazy, but it just isn’t for me. However, I’m not so jaded from disappointing boyfriends that I have officially sworn off the Charlotte York in me. I’m just living my Samantha Jones truth right now, so I hope the days of my mom reading everything I write stop at the end of this paragraph. If not, it was nice knowing you mom!
Being broke in a city where a dollar slice is actually $5.50 (lookin’ at you Manhattan), dating is actually great because you get to
get drunk AF discover hidden gems and pay $0. However, dating in New York (and any other place) can also be, um, challenging because this God-forsaken city is as full of Halal carts as it is weird f*cking dudes who think trivia on dates is chill. UNSUBSCRIBE. The worst part is that, unless he shows up to the date in like flip-flops or something, it can be difficult to distinguish between guys who suck and ones who don’t. Luckily for you, I’ve dated enough genuine pieces of sh*t to let you know which types of guys to avoid out there in the wild. Good luck.
The Guys’ Guy
When a guy is tight with his boys, it’s pretty cute. When a dude is obsessed with his frat brothers, it’s pretty annoying. I’m all for eternal brotherhood and everything (am I, though?), but if I’m 25 years old and sitting across from you at Bar Primi, I don’t give a sh*t about your fraternity now, later, or tomorrow. If a guy’s most interesting story starts with “When we were abroad,” delete his number immediately, because we already know all about the European way of life from Pulp Fiction, and don’t need it retold to us via someone who isn’t Vincent Vega. But be sure to remember the details of the story, so you can laugh about what an idiot he is with your friends at brunch. Unless you’re down to
sit in misery pretending to give a sh*t watch him play Fortnite every time you go to his apartment, run, don’t walk, away. This dude doesn’t know what he wants, but it’s definitely not a relationship with a complex individual like yourself. Boy bye!
The Mama’s Boy
Similar to guys who are close with their friends, those who are close with their mothers can also be cute within reason. It can also be f*cking weird, so pay close attention. As Freud said, a dude’s relationship with his mom sets the foundation for all of his future exchanges with queens like yourself, so if his mom does his laundry, calls him 87 times a day and/or thinks you’re a bad influence because you have more than one piercing in your ear, you’re f*cked and this guy is going to die alone unless his mommy outlives him. Freud said that, right?
The Recently Single Guy
If a guy and his longtime girlfriend just broke up, the odds aren’t ever in your favor. There is no success on your horizon in any area of this ~relationship~ because, contrary to his good acting skills, he is as over his ex as he is into you, which is not at all. This is the kind of guy who will likely save your number in his phone as the name of the bar where you
drunkenly made out while your friends took photos met. Not speaking from personal experience or anything. It just happens. Whatever. Anyway, I have to say, I can’t blame this guy for not wanting to console me as we watch Titanic, or whatever the f*ck else boyfriends do, if he just broke up with someone. Think about how mentally taxing (and great, life-affirming, meaningful, blah, blah, blah) a relationship is. Now think about how mentally taxing a breakup is. That’s where this guy is right now, so stop adding sh*t to your Zara cart in preparation for the day he introduces you to his friends. You is kind, you is smart, you is a rebound. Is it too late now to say sorry?
The Single Forever Guy
Or as I and all women like to call them, f*ckboys. We’ve all come into contact with a f*ckboy and kept letting him buy us jack and cokes after he has exhibited a raging swarm of red flags because we thought we could change him. No? Alone again? Awesome sauce! Speaking objectively here, if a guy is in his mid- to late-20s and has never had any semblance of a serious relationship, steer clear. If you’re about to go at it in the comments and defend these guys, you are currently dating a f*ckboy. There is a reason for his never taking the same girl to work functions, and it usually starts with fear of commitment. If my AP Psych class taught me anything, it’s that fear usually manifests itself in an unpleasant experience. For example, I am afraid of heights because I
drunkenly plummeted slipped off the bar my chair at the neighborhood bar and grill near my university. But what has a 20-something dude who has never dated anyone ever legitimately committed to that sprang upon him this fear of commitment? His nightly FIFA games? As Orange Is the New Black’s songstress and felon Taystee Jefferson would say, “That’s some bullsh*t.”
The Stage-5 Clinger
You know when you go on a few dates with someone you’re actually fairly into and then he suddenly ghosts you and you’ve lost all faith in humanity? Same, girl. The only way to restore your faith in the male race is via someone who actually texts you back and doesn’t assume you’re still playing the field after three months of pretending to think his display of empty liquor bottles is a neat art installation. Is this too much to ask? Are we setting the bar too high here? I think not. The problem with the guys who seem normal and not at all a**holes tend to take it too far, too fast. These clingers are the types of unstoppable morons who don’t even know how to pronounce your last name, yet and are already out here saying things like “I can’t wait for you to meet my family.” No thanks! I literally have a friend who dated someone who actually had the audacity to say on a first date, “I can see myself marrying you,” WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK? This isn’t Meet the Contestants night of The Bachelorette, where saying things like that is kind of okay. Bottom line is stage-5 clingers are not to be f*cked with and that is all I have to say about that.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)