“You write a sex column. Aren’t you supposed to be good at figuring this stuff out?”
It’s a question I’ve gotten a lot — mostly in my own head — but also from a few friends who know the real person behind the pseudonym Reykjadick. The truth is I am very, very bad at this. I also have some minor successes. In the interest of providing the valuable insight that not all Sun Sex on Thursday columnists spend their time having elaborate sexcapades so elaborate they would make the wildest porno you’ve ever seen — complete with Fabio on Horseback — here are some tales of, well, not that.
At one point in my college career, I was set up with a date for a “screw.” He showed up about an hour late to the pregame. Not a great sign, but I allowed it and moved on because this boy was objectively attractive. We rode the bus to the event, and had what I thought was an enjoyable time. At the culmination of the night my friends were returning to our home and getting in an Uber, at which point I asked him if he wanted to come. He looked at me, point-blank, and said “no.” When I asked him why (always a bad call, you never actually want to know the reasons for which you are being rejected) he emphasized the importance of his soccer intramural game the next day. Which was at 4 p.m. I responded calmly and rationally. Everyone deals with rejection well right?
I said “okay, that’s cool, peace” and ran into the Uber, at which point on returning home I sobbed. Having someone decide not to sleep with you can feel so stupidly personal, wearing at your innermost fears of whether or not you are attractive enough, funny enough, kind enough, or able to fulfill the innermost desires of whoever your date may be.
And that’s just an in-depth description of a time that things went south. The litany proof of my not being “good at this” goes on and on. I once managed to lose my keys during a hook-up, and found myself forced to spend 30 minutes searching for them rather than doing a graceful exit. I have fallen asleep during sex, fallen asleep while making out and fallen asleep while waiting for responses to my own booty-calls. I once left my underwear at a boy’s house after a date night and was forced to awkwardly retrieve it the next day — along with my earrings.
I have no idea how to actually flirt beyond the basic guidelines of “smile nicely when someone you like is talking to you and maybe touch their arm?” Honestly, still foggy on the last guideline there. I have no real conception of what a world in which you actually date before you start hooking up with someone looks like, no patience for the concept of “making them wait” which I’ve heard is something that can technically enhance the desire of the other involved partner, and I have absolutely no tact when I’m drunk (I’m very blunt normally, multiply that by 1000).
But, I’m unconvinced that anyone reading this is actually perfect at navigating the mess we call hook-up culture. Including my fellow columnists. We’re just good at embellishing the better moments, not succeeding at always having perfect interactions. So I’ll keep practicing and let you all know how it goes.
ReykjaDick is a student at Cornell University. Whoreoscopes appears monthly this semester.