ENTRY #3: At 17
I purchased non-latex condoms in preparation for the date with C. My choices were between one brand's "Bare," another brand's "Skyn," and a third that promised it was so thin I'd forget I was wearing it. I eventually opted for the third. It seems condom manufacturers are aware everyone hates their product. I’m pretty sure no other industry uses product names to create a sense of nonexistence.
Even with such savvy marketing, my worries about using condoms continue to persist. This nervousness, along with Dr. Frosty’s steady regimen of alcohol consumption, compounds the problem. I told a friend who recently traveled to Mexico about my fears, and he passed along the remaining two Cialis he purchased at a roadside pharmacia somewhere outside of Cabo.
Upon procuring the non-latex prophylactics and the illegally imported boner pills, I felt I had taken the necessary steps to make a proper first sexual impression on C.
C and I had already hooked up after a party, talked on the phone and had lunch prior to our first official “date.” However, a stressful workday left both of us more inclined to order in, rather than going out. I put a bottle of white wine in the fridge and took one of my friend's pills about 15 minutes before she arrived. Not long after that, we were eating Thai, sipping wine, and watching Jack Lemmon as a lonely New York City bachelor trying to climb the corporate ladder in "The Apartment."
C seemed to genuinely enjoy the film, which is one of my favorites. When X and I first started dating, she knew I loved movies and talked about how she wanted me to show her all my favorites.
About four months in, I realized this was no longer true. She didn't have any interest in the films I tended to want to see by that point. Instead, she opted to watch a very select number of completely implausible romantic comedies over and over again. I hope that C might be different.
At the same time, I realize it isn't fair to judge C through the context of X. Not doing it seems impossible, though. Toward the end of “The Apartment,” C and I started kissing. She pulled back a few minutes in and told me that it had been a while since she had been with someone.
It showed once we moved to my bed and started having sex. She was self-conscious, unsure whether to vocalize or quietly let the rapidity of her breathing reflect the degree of pleasure she was experiencing. I asked her if there was anything she wanted me to do, faster or slower, harder or softer. C only said to keep doing what I was doing.
I did until collapsing into her embrace. She stroked my hair and asked if the sex was okay. I guess we both were concerned about the same thing. We continued talking, though it wasn't long until I was ready again thanks to my little yellow friend.
It was dark on my side table, so I picked up C's iPhone and used the light from the interface to locate the box of condoms. Seconds later, I was wrapped up again and she was riding me, grinding hard against my hips as I grasped at her breasts. She was more comfortable this time and I enjoyed watching her enjoy.
After finishing, I went to the bathroom to dispose of both my protector and foe -- the condom. When I came back from the bathroom, C was holding her phone.
"Oh my God ... ," she gasped.
She told me she had two text messages from her mother asking if she was okay. Apparently, when I used her iPhone for light, I accidentally called her mother. Had her mother answered, she would've picked up and heard her daughter in the midst of coitus. C and I nearly lived out a bad bit from a rom-com, the same broadly forgettable dog shit that X tends to like.
C and I laughed about the incident and talked a bit more before finding ourselves in a comfortable spoon and drifting off to sleep. I’m looking forward to seeing C again. She is much more laid back than the Type A women that usually rule my life.
Of course, I have got to keep my guard up. I am a sucker for a comfortable, monogamous relationship, and I've only been single for a month and a half.
The following Friday, I found myself in the midst of date #2 with B. Another night of great conversation. Another night of good food. Another night that ends with few innocuous closed-mouth kisses. What am I doing with B, I thought to myself as I returned to my apartment relatively early in the evening for the second Friday in a row.
The heat doesn't seem to be there, but it’s clear we liked each other's company. Maybe me being on the rebound makes her want to keep me at arm's length.
When I got home after the date, I texted A to see how she was planning to spend the rest of the evening. She texted back that she was drinking with friends at her apartment and would later rally the troops to go to a bar. She wanted to know if I wanted to meet them. I texted back that I would.
About 45 minutes later, A sent a message that they had not left yet but that she would keep me posted. I was getting a little antsy. I threw on my coat and started making my way to The Thirsty Scholar in East Village.
I sat down at the bar and was immediately accosted by an intoxicated brunette spouting a liquor-scented Spanish accent. Her name was Manuela and she wanted me to buy her a shot of vodka.
I looked over at the group she had been with -- two plowed college-aged guys in baseball caps and a blonde. I asked her if she'd been working over those poor saps and she admitted that she'd taken the guys for four drinks. I liked her openness and her moxie.
I bought her a shot and looked at my latest text. A and her friends had decided to call it a night and she would not be meeting me out after all. Manuela pounded the vodka and launched into stories of her travels in America over the previous weeks.
She was from Buenos Aires and she had come to the states to visit her grandparents who lived on the Upper East Side. She also visited Los Angeles and Las Vegas and she was particularly fond of the Grand Canyon.
She asked me my age. She laughed and called me an old man when I told her. She then asked how old I thought she was. I guessed 22. She said that I should guess lower and gave me a hint: She had snuck into the bar without showing ID. This was starting to feel like I was in some sort of weird cosmic trap.
I guessed 18. She revealed that she was actually 17, as was her friend, Natasha. Before long, Manuela was demanding another shot. I told her I thought she had enough. She stuck out her bottom lip and whined. “Just one more” was her mantra.
When the bartender came over, Manuela told her I was buying her another shot. The bartender looked at me and I gestured a cut throat. The bartender declared her cut off. Manuela wouldn't let that be the end of it. The college guys had left by that point and she was conversing with Natasha in Spanish about what they should do next.
Natasha seemed slightly drunk, but nowhere near Manuela. Natasha had an air of resignation as if this was simply what it meant to be Manuela’s friend. I looked over at one point to see Manuela canvassing the other men at the bar. She was attempting to find one who would not only buy her a drink, but pass it off to her without the bar staff realizing.
Meanwhile, Natasha took the liberty of touching my hair. She told me how much she liked my curls. I nodded, smiled and hurriedly attempted to polish off the remaining gulps of my cocktail.
A few minutes later, Manuela returned. She was clutching a 20-dollar bill someone had given her. She begged for one more to another bartender. They were all queued in. Manuela was not getting served. The scene was getting less amusing by the second.
I told Manuela and Natasha I had to leave. At that, Manuela snatched my coat and held it tightly. It was now her hostage. She told me to stop being boring. She wanted me to take her and Natasha to a party. If I couldn't do that, I wasn't getting my coat back.
The girls began getting more flirtatious. They asked me if I'd ever been in love, and I told them I had. Natasha asked me what it felt like to have sex with the women I'd loved. They asked about my relationship status. They asked if I thought they were pretty. It was moving quickly into dangerous territory.
I needed to recover my coat. I sternly looked into Manuela's eyes and demanded she turn it over. She sensed I was serious and handed me the coat, but not without sticking out her bottom lip again.
She asked, "Why don't the three of us have a party at your apartment? It could be a lot of fun." I asked the girls to be careful, made my way through the crowd, and walked out into the night.
I never, ever want to have daughters.
Single Guy is a newly unattached 30-something living in New York City. These are his real journal entries, which he'll be sharing here on a weekly basis.