In my spare time I have a slightly odd hobby in that I absolutely love advice columns. I subscribe to some straight to my inbox, catch some up weekly and have others I like to binge read when I’m ill in bed. I equally enjoy giving advice and reading other people’s especially on subjects I know nothing about. It’s like people watching while I’m housebound and keeps my all girls school mentality of gossip in check.
But sometimes it also reminds me just how unconventional I really am. Each time for example I read about women being upset their husbands ever masturbate, I am reminded that making my Master his own curated porn clips with his wife for his birthday is unusual. Seeing people fume and fizz with jealousy because their partner has a close opposite sex friend baffles me because I don’t understand jealousy.
And I am constantly wide eye emoji look as to how many people can’t cope with finding out their partner has a sexual past of any kind. Grown adults devastated that they aren’t the first person to touch their boyfriend’s dick or that their girlfriend once had sex with someone she hadn’t been on six dates and decided on their future dog’s name with. They genuinely seem aghast and upset that their current squeeze isn’t box fresh for them.
I’ve worked bloody hard to create a bubble where people don’t judge my sexual past anymore that I’ve forgotten just how shockable a lot of people are by anything that deviates from the norm to them. But I used to be surrounded by this day to day and it made me miserable. It was clearly designed to shame me out of my slutty ways and make me behave better. And it did not work.
It simply made me create a different kind of bubble where I had two lives. Nice respectable me who discussed the merits of different online dating sites as if hunting for someone to eventually move in with and utterly slutty me who once decided to set myself a challenge to see if I could fuck a different man every day for three months. No particular point to prove, just the opposite of abstaining from something for a set period of time. Slutty Season rather than Sober October I guess?
Luckily I was young and living and working in Central London and was quite the party girl with time to spare so a challenge like that made it feel like the world was at my feet more than fishing in a small pond. The trick was not being too obvious about it so that my friends and flatmates wouldn’t spot it.
It made me bolder in many ways. I went to pubs on my own and scanned the bar to see who I felt like fucking. I discovered that men are so unused to women buying them a drink that you can have all kinds of fun with them after that. Yet I also played up to all kinds of sexual stereotypes shamefully too and asked men in supermarkets to help me with things on high shelves as a good way to offer to thank them with a drink.
I had a friend who ran gallery events filled with hot young men who couldn’t decide if they were networking or peacocking and for cash in hand and the kind of cheap white wine you get at openings I offered to help run the cloakroom or man the meet and greet and hand out guides. Both were the perfect excuse to flirt and make eyes and then slip my number into their coat pocket or programme for them to discover later.
I left business cards with waiters as I tipped or I ‘forgot’ my coat on several occasions when with friends to go back into cafes and give out my number. I became much more tolerant of those charity muggers outside Tube stations, letting them give me their spiel about blind homeless donkeys in order to proposition them in return. I got round to doing small odd jobs and shopping trips that involved builders merchants and other predominantly male stores.
I took up a friend’s husband’s offer to teach me to play pool in a working men’s club in Pimlico and took full advantage of being the only woman there. I hung out in bookshops asking questions about things I’d studied at university as a way to strike up conversation with hipster booksellers who thought they’d finally found a woman who really wanted to read Murakami.
I dragged myself out to to promotional events in Shoreditch dive bars and befriended bouncers and barmen as well as allowing men to tell me all about their ‘big idea’. I used Guardian Soulmates which is those days was in print in the Saturday Guide and involved having to phone voicemail as a precursor to online dating. I talked to men on the Tube and in the street and queues. And I carried on with my normal day to day life in my local pub and encountering men at work and through people I knew.
In the process I got to really know London in a way that made it feel like home for me that most imports to the city never manage and is probably why I still live here fifteen years later. I have no idea how many phone numbers I accumulated in those three months but it was literally hundreds. I feel like I filled my Nokia 3310 address book to bursting point but that might be nostalgic hyperbole.
I soon found that for roughly every five men I engaged with I got one fuck. I had to make a special trip to go to Boots for a Meal Deal for lunch from work at least once a week to buy condoms by the twelve pack. I turned men down who wanted to date and I set more geographical limitations than sexual ones. I fucked in lot of pub toilets, alleyways and stockrooms.
And despite all that work, I almost didn’t make my target. A couple of flaky dates, a few guys who seemed like bad news and a couple of occasions I couldn’t shake friends or work off to be free to fuck left me three men short on my last day. I debated giving my Lenten exemption of Sundays not counting to extend the deadline, but that felt like cheating.
My bubble of pure London sluttery never got burst in those three months by friends or flatmates and years later I never brought that past in the present and told people that I once fucked nearly a hundred people in three months just to see if I could. I knew I’d never live that number down.
But next Thursday I will tell you how I hit my target like the over achiever I am…