My days as a hoe are not too far in the past, but they are in the past. This is a particularly notable occurrence, because up until about six months ago, I was as pro-hoeing as your average gardener. This change didn’t come about because of any one horrible experience, and it didn’t come about as a result of falling madly in love, or joining a convent. Additionally, this change in my own preferences hasn’t in any way affected my opinion of girls still out there hoeing and fighting the good fight. I just got tired. And, if we’re being super honest, I had some misadventures that, while entertaining in a certain light, made me rethink the wisdom of my choices. So, for your entertainment and my own catharsis, allow me to recap a selection of my tawdrier experiences.
Jumping in the time machine, let’s go back to my very first ever one night stand in Santa Barbara. Before I begin, I’d like to note that the “relations” in and of themselves are not the notable part of this story. It was merely the first inch of a thread that would eventually weave itself into the canvas upon which I could later paint a very realistic picture of why there’s no town big enough for a one-night stand. This theme would be echoed in later experiences, eventually becoming a deafening reverberation of good, common sense, impossible to ignore, like standing too close to the speakers at a rock concert.
My co-star in this mini-drama was an exchange student from France named Yosef. I know, I know, you’re all like, “ooooooohhhhhh—sexy!” and you wouldn’t be wrong. He was sexy. And a great kisser. He liquored me up with shots of Fireball and then pulled me by the hand out into the parking lot for a smoke break I didn’t need. After his cigarette had burned down to the filter, he grabbed me by the ass and kissed me passionately. I was enthralled. By then, I already knew it was game on, and after a short moment deliberating with my friend Kayla (“Is this okay?!” “I don’t know, is it?”), I let him pay for an Uber to take us to his place. We had sex. It was average. He came, I didn’t. I apologized for my pubic hair. Then I left. I thought that was the end of the story. If it was, I wouldn’t be recapping it now.
Roughly two years later, after a night out with a new crush, I offered to give him a ride to his place. No intention of getting into any shenanigans, even when I was invited in, however, as I pulled up to the house he pointed out as his address, I was surprised to find that it was the same house Yosef had brought me to, two years prior. As I was talking to my companion that night, I kept looking around the room, matching objects to things that had been only shadows the first time I was in the house. From the shapes of things, it hadn’t changed that much. It was an odd experience, like losing an earring and having it reappear in my underwear drawer, years later, after I’d already thrown out its mate. Of all the gin joints, as they say.
Speaking of gin, my next experience was born of far too much of it. At karaoke night, I met a computer science grad student about whom I was just inebriated enough to think quite highly. His name was Chad, with only one D. I was out with my friend Erin, and we weren’t yet close enough as friends for her to step in with a benevolent cock-block, so I ended up standing on the sidewalk with Chad, making out while we waited for a cab, which ended up costing him no less than forty dollars. I take no responsibility for the fact that he lived in student housing at the university twenty minutes away. If he wanted to get it in bad enough to drop forty bucks on one cab ride, far be it from me to stand in his way. I should probably have stood in my own way for a variety of other reasons, however.
On the unusually long cab ride to his apartment, in between instances of thinking Jesus, are we ever going to get there??? I had ample time to sober up and realize several things. First, he was much older than I’d initially estimated, probably closing in on his mid-thirties. Second, he was a shitty kisser, with a tendency towards biting that was both painful and unsexy. Third, he’d absolutely slaughtered one of my favorite Cake songs at karaoke. By the time we got to his front door, I was already wishing I was pretty much anywhere else, but given the circumstances, I tried my best to roll with it. We went upstairs, and there were pictures of a little blonde boy, and some kid drawings. “Who’s kid is this?” I asked. “Mine,” responded Chad.
Oh. I’ve since gotten much better at cutting short ill-advised coitus, but, being very new to bar hookups, I hadn’t quite honed my skills yet. I also hadn’t learned that it wasn’t necessary to accept every opportunity to get some. So there I was, my pudgy body atop his queen bed, rotating through the list of thoughts that would later be the primary recollections I would have of this particular indiscretion. Primarily, I remember thinking, Wow, this guy looks really stupid when he’s aroused. Second, I remember reaching my hand around to his back and running across what could only have been a mole of impressive size. Third, I remember being bored, and trying to check my watch, only to remember that I’d inconveniently stopped wearing watches in 2010.
I snuck out during his post-coital haze, leaving a “Thank You” note on the envelope of his power bill, in the style of Halle Berry’s Catwoman. To this day, I remain unsure what exactly I was thanking him for. An average-sized dick? Not being a serial killer? Paying for the cab? I quietly shut his front door and walked out into… the middle of fucking nowhere. What I had not taken note of on the ride in was that this location was an isolated cell of student civilization a mile or so from the highway, and definitely not near anything else. I had to call eight cab companies before I found one that did pickups that far out, and that was after walking quite a distance to find a cross street to use as a destination. When I did finally arrange transportation, I sat on the curb, silently marveling at the abrupt left turn my night with Erin had taken. And then I butt dialed my parents. I only know this because they called back a few minutes later and I had to explain that I didn’t need anything, I was just a degenerate.
The next morning, I noticed that I had walked away with more than just a well deserved hangover. Chad had also left a monster hickey on the upper part of my neck, which the assistant manager at my deeply-loathed retail job was not shy about pointing out. My deadpan reply was that I had accidentally bit myself in the shower. It wasn’t meant to be believed, but it did make him laugh and I never heard about that hickey again.
Almost a year later, I ran into Chad at a different bar, where he tried to introduce himself to me as if we’d never met. Then I learned that he was actually the ex of a friend of mine. Then I proceeded to run into him on a weekly basis for nearly three months. And that was how I learned that there is no town big enough to separate you from a night you never want to hear about again.
Curiously, however, the absolute worst one night stand I have ever had wasn’t even a bar hook-up. It’s an experience that I have since come to refer to as The Night of the Chadd (yes, with two D’s. Contrary to popular belief, sometimes more D is not better). I met him through my posse of kickboxing friends, and we were at the tail end of a pretty good day. I wasn’t sure I liked Chadd’s looks or his personality, and I definitely did not like his embarrassingly provincial Louisiana gutter-trash accent, however, when he started to make a move on me, I was like, weeeeeelllllll, okay, maybe. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was leaving the bar with him.
By the time we got to the first crosswalk half a block away, it became readily apparent that Chadd was too drunk to be any kind of fun at all. His last several drinks must have kicked in all at once, because from the door of the bar to the street corner, his drunkenness had multiplied by a factor of ten. Or maybe even fifty. It’s not really mathematical. But in any case, he’d gotten so disgustingly hammered that he could barely stay upright and was showing a propensity to be disrespectfully hands-y. He was also bragging about the size of his penis. All bad signs.
By contrast, I was excruciatingly sober, having had only one drink several hours prior. In my head, I had already decided this was a no-go and that he was every bit as much of a douche as I had initially suspected. However, since he was already following me to my car, I decided the least I could do was give him a ride home. The trouble began when he refused to provide his address. I drove aimlessly for a half an hour trying to get him to tell me where to go. Had I been thinking, I would have just dumped his ass at the police station. Instead, I tolerated poorly executed road-head and a painfully aggressive hand-job while trying to coax his address out of him. This actually was somewhat remarkable given the position of the steering wheel and the fact that I was wearing a maxi dress at the time.
Since I had had no success obtaining his address, I had no idea what to do but to take him to my house. My intent had been to put him up on my couch, but after I’d unlocked my door—quite the undertaking, given Chadd’s ongoing attempts to undress me while I fumbled with the lock—he followed me upstairs to my room, and without even giving me the slightest opportunity to remove my shoes, he pounced, pushing me back onto the bed, one shoulder crushing my obscenely expensive MacBook. While I fished the computer out from behind me with one hand (priorities, man), the other hand was at work trying to keep Chadd from smothering me with his borderline rape-y enthusiasm.
Even in his very, very drunken state, he had no trouble making penetration happen, and while he was writhing around like a stranded earthworm in a rainstorm, he somehow managed to reach behind and insert his finger into my asshole, both unexpectedly and unwantedly. At this point, in a last-ditch attempt to get back to an arrangement I could maybe tolerate, I offered him head, which he very fortunately accepted. And then, he started heaving.
The highlight of my evening was watching his misery as he buried his face in my mostly full, disgustingly rancid garbage can. This is the one and only time I can recall being grateful that I was overdue to take out the trash. Witnessing his indignity was worth the stains on my carpet and the midnight load of laundry. When he was done heaving, he went to clean himself up, pink bits of bile and god only knows what else nestled in his beard and the tips of his untrimmed hair. He passed out on top of the air conditioning vent in front of our toilet, and since we couldn’t move him, my roommate and I took turns using him as a footrest while we peed. Then my roommate gleefully went about taking Snapchat photos for her friends in LA. My sister, who saw those photos several weeks later, accurately commented that his testicles, squashed between the tops of his thighs and his unusually hairy butt cheeks (picture an asscrack toupée), looked like a cat birthing a litter of kittens.
Before I went to sleep that night, I locked my door, not realizing Chadd’s pants were still in my room. The next morning, when he woke up, he tried to offload responsibility for being a rape-y, uncultured, Neanderthal by claiming that it would have been “too awkward to turn me down, since I’d come on to him so hard.” Whatever, Chadd. I could see the writing on the wall. I needed to get out in front of this with a little damage control, or Chadd would quickly be painting me as the town bicycle. After we discovered that his phone died and he could therefore not call an Uber, I drove him to his car downtown, and then went about the business of alerting my inner circle of the details of The Night of the Chadd.
I never saw Chadd at our gym again, and while I was amazed that he was really so embarrassed that he actually quit, I was nothing but grateful. Several months went by and I didn’t hear anything more on the subject until my kickboxing coach, Tyson, took my friend Natali, Mallory, Cheap Dave, and myself out for pizza on my birthday. In the middle of the conversation, Tyson started joking about the guy who puked in my room. Since Tyson was not on the list of people I had informed about this unfortunate occurrence, I naturally had to inquire who had enlightened him. Turns out, it was yet another person that I had not told—Pete. As I later determined, Pete had brought Tyson in on the story not out of a delight for gossip, but in the hopes that Tyson would cold-shoulder Chadd right out of the gym, which apparently worked like magic. I failed to ask if Pete had told anyone else this tale of woe, and so it was with equal surprise that some weeks later, I discovered another kickboxing friend, Will, also knew. I figured this out the hard way when, in the middle of class, while doing some clinch work drills, Will whispered in my ear, “Is this what it was like with that rape-y guy?” Say what???
So, two main lessons—again, the world is too small to risk sleeping with people you haven’t adequately vetted, and, secondly, but almost equally important, never, ever associate with guys named Chadd. Fuck those guys.
Even so, it wasn’t immediately after The Night of the Chadd that I decided to hang up my hoe-ing crown for good. The change in mindset occurred several months later when I realized that I was actually quite exhausted with the prospect of trying to impress strangers for no other purpose than to get from them a momentary hit of validation. I realized I wasn’t wanting this because it was enjoyable or exciting, but because there was a part of me that needed these guys to confirm my attractiveness, and because there was another part of me that had decided that secure, friendly, respectful relationships with men were reserved for other women. Women more normal, and pretty, and easygoing than me. After all, something was better than nothing, right? Then I realized that the something actually was nothing. Most men would sleep with a bowl of bread pudding if it was the right temperature, so how was this making me feel like I was worth something? Better question, why did I need this in order to be worth something? These days, I don’t. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I won’t even be most people’s cup of tea. But I like myself, and to the people who really get me, I am flawless.