The Art Director Sexting on the C Train

Photo-Illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a woman embarking on a new sexual relationship with her co-worker and his girlfriend: 33, divorced, Clinton Hill.

DAY ONE

5:45 a.m. I’m up before the sun to get into the office early. I set up my new vibrator on the charger for the day while I’m away. This is the new me.

I got married when I was really young (24!) because of the social pressure of living in the South and my EXTREMELY religious upbringing. For example: I waited to have sex until I was married. The marriage only lasted for a few years before I realized that I’d rushed into something with someone who couldn’t be bothered to be a partner in any capacity. In the years after my late-20s divorce, I’ve been shedding my faith, exploring my sexuality, and rebuilding the idea of what a partner means to me long-term.

7 a.m. Out the door and though it’s too cold to be wearing them, I have my rippiest, tightest jeans on. Turns out my recent sexual relationship with a male co-worker is doing wonders for how much effort I put into my office attire …

2:30 p.m. This day is crawling and I am struggling to imagine how I’ll ever make it to 6 p.m. There’s work to be done, but none of it interests me anymore. I need to start the search for a new job. I’ll start soon, I tell myself. Just like I’ll stop eating salty junk food.

3:34 p.m. It’s my first meeting of the day with the co-worker I recently crossed a boundary with. We’ll call him Paul. Paul and I learned late last year that we like to go to the same style of parties and he’s been inviting me out around the city with his girlfriend and friends ever since. It wasn’t until last weekend that I had enough gin in me to finally kiss his girlfriend while we were all out in Brooklyn. I’ve known they were open for awhile, and the situation has escalated quickly since we kissed.

She’s turned on by the idea of a co-worker wanting her boyfriend, and I’m turned on by the idea of being their toy. Paul and I spent all of last week sending filthy Gchats across the office to each other while not acting any differently in meetings. Today he sits behind me on the windowsill in our packed meeting and while I try to stay focused, my mind is in the bathroom on the fourth floor where we made out last week after work one night. I know it’s a bad idea to cross this line with him (them), but I’m having a hard time stopping myself. Again: My resolutions aren’t going so well.

6:06 p.m. Closing time. Thank fuck, I’m a zombie. I spend the subway ride home toggling airplane mode off and on to get enough service in the tunnels to finish sexting with Paul. He’s staying at work late and I suggest that I should’ve stayed to “help.” It gets heated and something tells me he’s not getting his work done. Annnnd now I’m sweating on the C train.

7:30 p.m. I’m already in bed eating crackers for dinner and trying to reassure myself that it’s okay on a Monday in freezing February to go to bed at 9 (if I make it that late — I think I’m even too tired for my vibrator today).

8:59 p.m. A text buzzes through: a delayed response from a girl I’ve been texting with for a year but haven’t met yet. A mutual fuckboy e-introduced us. She wants to meet but I’m not sure I’m into girls outside the context of groups yet … I’m gonna let this one sit for awhile.

9:47 p.m. I made it to almost 10, I think I can call it.

DAY TWO

8:17 a.m. Had to sprint in the rain to catch the bus this morning. Not today, Satan.

11:05 a.m. I’m on an endless conference call when I receive three Whatsapp messages from a guy I went on a first date with last weekend. I can’t fully remember where he said he’s from (I was drinking), but I’m betting it’s something like … Michigan. I wish I could remember more from our time together on Saturday. I remember a make-out in the bar bathroom later in the evening. I remember liking him but not enough to stay over.

9:04 p.m. Salad and Swedish fish in bed. Winter!

DAY THREE

6:45 a.m. Up early and in midtown for meetings this morning.

2:03 p.m. Paul tells me on Gchat that he and his girlfriend are going to a sex party with 25 other people tonight. On a Wednesday!? Who the hell has the energy and time to maintain such an active, social sex life during the week? I’m floored, impressed, and not even remotely interested. At least not tonight.

7:45 p.m. At happy hour with co-workers after a long day.

9:18 p.m. Often, I wind down my evenings texting with my West Coast lover. We met last summer while he was in the city for work and after an epic first date, we’ve kept in close touch ever since. We bonded quickly that night over the idea of open relationships … and then also bonded all over his hotel room (and balcony) in Williamsburg.

He’s older, taller, and more attractive than most and I find extreme comfort in his companionship. The width of a country keeps us from fucking up a good thing by actually trying to date, and the idea of having nothing to lose keeps us vulnerably and closely connected. Typically on weeknights, we swap boring photos of our dinners and report back on the day’s events. Tonight, however, he has someone coming over and is understandably not around to entertain me.

DAY FOUR

9:05 a.m. Paul has been away from the office for the past two days and now that I know he’s back in the same building, there’s an energy about my morning that feels a lot like foreplay. I find myself counting down the remaining minutes until our daily 10 a.m. check-in. I’m wondering how his sex party went …

7:52 p.m. We’re working late in the office tonight and I make a quick stop in the bathroom to take off my panties in case things get interesting. Paul and his girlfriend have been toying around with the idea of him taking me home from work to HER apartment one night while she’s away to fool around and send her photos. Apparently that’s a turn-on for her, and who am I to judge what does or doesn’t get people riled up? No actual action from him, slash them, tonight though.

8:30 p.m. I shoot off a starving/thirsty/lonely SOS text to a girlfriend and am off to Soho for fried food and drinks. Not much to report past that!

DAY FIVE

7:07 a.m. I cannot wait to be irresponsible tonight.

4:57 p.m. There hasn’t been a free second to eat anything today, let alone try and line up fun trouble for tonight. But there’s something about an open weekend that feels intriguing to me. It’s fun to think about having new stories to tell by the time I’m back in the office on Monday morning.

As I’m settling into my last meeting of the day, I’m noticing that Paul must be tired enough to let his guard down with me around our team. I can feel his eyes on me from across this table frequently and it’s making my stomach jump around. I’m holding his gaze more than I should today and I need to be more careful about doing that when my boss is around.

6:43 p.m. My work wife just breezed by my desk and nonchalantly set down a company coffee cup with a large shot of Jack Daniels in it before disappearing again. Has anyone ever understood me better? It’s gone in one gulp and I power down my machine for the weekend. On my walk to the subway, I debate internally whether there’s any better feeling than Friday at 7 o’clock with no plans and no restrictions for the weekend ahead. I’m off to Brooklyn to have Taco-and-Tequila night with friends in lieu of lining up anything steamier for the evening.

1:12 a.m. Welp. I’ve now lost track of how many drinks I’ve had, which has led me to a small, shitty stage in a Park Slope dive bar singing Etta James on karaoke. That escalated quickly. Apparently, I also thought that it would be a cute idea to FaceTime in my West Coast lover for this particular performance.

Has he ever heard me sing? Nope. Do we think he really wants to be forced to watch me slur through this trainwreck of a performance? Nope. Is this whole thing between him and I still a little too new for him to see me this way? Yep. Am I going to be mortified in the morning when I remember calling him during this? One-hundred percent.

I need to go home. Someone once told me that “nothing good ever happens after 1 o’clock in the morning” and that feels like very sound advice right now. I clearly cannot be trusted when left up to my own devices and drinks.

DAY SIX

11:57 a.m. My head hurts … and so does my pride. Fuck. To rub salt in the wound, I never made it home but opted instead to pass out in the guest room at my friend’s house wearing someone else’s sweatpants. Luckily, she and I already had plans to spend time together today, and right now, we’re having nachos and watching Catastrophe in our pajamas on the couch before it’s time to move toward getting ready. My friend is attending an awards show this weekend for work and she has a handful of invites to pre-parties throughout the city today. I rarely go into the city on the weekends, but the possibility of free face masks and Champagne in the gifting suites is enough for me to put my heeled booties back on and ride the F train for approximately 229 stops.

7:18 p.m. Party No. 1 and No. 2 are both behind us and the route to party No. 3 has brought us right into the heart of steaming, crowded, terrible Times Square. Too many people. Too many Disney characters. Too many sidewalk fliers being rammed into my face. Get me out of here.

9:55 p.m. A random guy that my roommate slept with last summer has saddled himself next to me at the bar where my friends and I are hanging out. I’m still completely confused how he wound up here (he’s not a part of our friend group) and for some reason, he’s rambling to me incessantly about his sexual preferences. Ugh. He shares that while he enjoys light choking and pinning, what REALLY gets him going is walking women around his apartment on a leash. I find this particular bit particularly ironic since I know from my roommate that professionally, this guy owns a dog-walking company and makes his money by walking actual animals around on leashes all day.

11:58 p.m. A guy who tried to help me find my phone when I lost it a few weekends ago has texted me randomly, inviting me to some type of after-party he’s at with his friends in Sunset Park. The dog walker is still lingering around and I’m bored enough that I accept his invite and hop in a car to Industry City.

I know I’ve made a mistake almost immediately upon arrival. For starters, this guy is stranger than I remembered. He and his friends are clearly rolling on some type of fun drug and even though I have a night of gin in my system, I am nowhere near their level. Shouting over the techno music, he introduces me to his friends while repeatedly petting me up and down my arm and calling me “sweet baby.” Every ounce of distaste in my body is starting to bubble to the surface. The next time he goes to get water from the bar, I bolt.

DAY SEVEN

10:57 a.m. It’s raining out this morning, but the idea of going for a long walk sounds like the perfect remedy for my comedown after a boozy weekend. I make my way all the way from Clinton Hill to Southern Park Slope.

1:30 p.m. As I eat lunch, I try not to look at my phone. It sort of works.

8:06 p.m. I’m cozied up on a small couch in between three of my guy friends watching TV, and as much as I’d like to tell you that this is the opening scene of something sultry to end the week with … that’s not what happens.

Ultimately, I’m looking to remarry and build a family but that will only come once I’ve fully explored my options and tried some things on for size. I’m currently in the middle of that process … reliving the curious 20-something years that I never got to have, if you will. Better late than never, right?

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