Tag Archives: Hinge

The Fuckboy Chronicles: Cameron

The whole concept of ‘sliding into the DMs’ cringes me out a bit. I’ve never done it myself but have received a fair few messages from spam accounts inviting me to follow X-rated profiles or the odd message from a middle-aged Asian bloke propositioning me with running away together to Hawaii to live on the fruits of the land and make sweet love under the stars every day. Seriously, I got sent that. So, it’s no surprise that most messages that crop up in my Instagram’s ‘requested messages’ folder tend to go ignored. 

February 2019. After my two-month social media and dating app hiatus, I eventually reactivated my Instagram and re-downloaded Hinge. After allowing myself the Christmas period to heal after all the Fuckboy drama at the end of last year, I was ready to try dating again. After a couple weeks back on Hinge, Cameron slid into my DMs. One scroll through his profile showed me that he was very good-looking and appeared normal enough. Apparently, he had come across my Hinge profile then decided to look me up on Instagram. We exchanged messages over a couple of days and I soon found out that he lived in Surrey but occasionally came into London for work, and even had a cat, of which he sent several photos. He asked if I wanted to meet for a drink and we arranged a date for the following Saturday evening.  

Saturday morning came and Cameron messaged asking if we were still on for our date. I replied saying yes and asked where we should meet. By 5pm Cameron still hadn’t replied. I text again, asking if we were still on as I would need to know what time to arrive and plan my evening around that. Cameron eventually replied with an apology, explaining something had come up with friends who had surprised him with a visit, and asking if we could reschedule for another day. I frowned, why did it take for me to message, for him to tell me that? “Sure. Just let me know if you want to meet another time,” I replied, unconvinced.

“I definitely do! What days are you free this week?” he text.

I listed the days I was free. Cameron read the message but didn’t reply. 

Five days passed and I didn’t hear anything else from Cameron, so I resolved that that was that. Just another guy who was all talk and couldn’t even commit to a drink. Then, unexpectedly on the Thursday morning (Valentine’s Day), whilst at work, my phone screen flashed up with a message. Cameron. He apologised for going off the radar, saying that he had been super busy with work but he was in London and was I by any chance free that evening for a drink? What? A first date on Valentine’s Day?! Maybe he hadn’t realised what day it was. I myself was fully aware of said day, being my first Valentine’s Day in years where I found myself single with close to zero romantic interest. 

I was surprised to hear from Cameron. I honestly thought that I had been ghosted and had already made my peace with that. My initial reaction was to ignore the message, but after screenshotting the text and sending it to my flatmates asking for their opinion, they said I should just go for it as it wasn’t like I had any other plans (brutal, but true). So that evening, I headed to The Northcote in Battersea to meet Cameron.

I walked through the pub door with the usual hum of nerves in my stomach, in the anticipation of meeting someone for the first time and knowing within the first three seconds whether I fancied them or not. I spotted Cameron casually sat on a barstool. I tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned to face me. Ding fucking Dong. Tall, broad-shouldered, with sandy hair and a gorgeous smile, Cameron was hot.

We spent the next three hours chatting, drinking and flirting. At 10pm we decided to move down the road to another bar. The bar was dark and full of couples out celebrating Valentine’s Day. We found a table in a corner with a pile of stickers. I looked round the room to see people playing the ‘traffic light’ game. Red sticker for in a relationship, amber sticker for open (or willing to cheat, I guess) and green sticker for single. Cameron and I drunkenly started planting stickers on each other, on the back of our heads, across our mouths and even playfully on to each other’s crotches. I pulled a sticker off Cameron’s mouth and leaned in to kiss him. 

We continued to drink, kiss and dance until 1am when the bar lights came on, signalling the end of the night. We stumbled out on to the street and Cameron checked his phone. “Ah shit, I’ve missed my last train home,” he said, although seemingly completely unfazed. 

“Oh.” I replied. 

“Shall we pick up a bottle of wine and head back to yours?” Cameron suggested nonchalantly. 

I frowned. This wasn’t the way this date was meant to go. My last date was back at the end of November when arsehole, Aaron had done a runner five minutes after we’d had sex. It had knocked my confidence in men so much that I had promised myself once I started dating again I wouldn’t sleep with a guy on a first date. 

“Ok, but just to manage your expectations now, we are not doing anything. You can sleep on my sofa.” I said. 

“Sure,” replied Cameron, grinning. 

No, seriously I’m not having sex with you tonight. I’ve had a good time but if that’s what you’re after then I suggest you start walking back to Surrey now.” I said, crossing my arms. 

Cameron, sensing that I wasn’t joking, hastily nodded and said, “Of course! I just want to hang out with you a bit longer, is all.” 

We took an Uber back to my flat, to find my two flatmates, Jasmine and Tanya still up in the living room. Ah, he wouldn’t be able to sleep on the sofa then. After spending a few minutes chatting with the girls, Cameron and I headed upstairs. We kissed and had a bit of a fumble in bed, but I was adamant we were not going to have sex. Cameron tried, several times. Red flags all over the place of course, which I wilfully ignored.

I was tempted to sleep with him but the thought of what happened only a couple months prior with Aaron was enough to deter me, and my knickers remained firmly on. We stayed up cuddling and chatting for most the night, with Cameron telling me how I should come round to his house in Surrey for a ‘Come Dine with Me’ style evening, and how I could stay over and play with Bat Mouse (the name of his cat, not an euphemism.)

The morning came and so did a new wave of persistence from Cameron. “Oh, c’mon baby, it’s basically like our second date now,” cooed Cameron in my ear, whilst stoking my inner thigh.” Pah ha! Honestly, the lines some of these guys come up with.

“No, it’s not, but I am looking forward to an actual second date with you,” I replied, pushing his hand aside and getting up to shower. I got ready for work and showed Cameron out. Despite feeling tired and hungover, I felt a glow kissing Cameron goodbye; we’d had a fun first date and I was looking forward to seeing him again. 

Over the course of the day Cameron and I exchanged flirty messages, until I mentioned meeting up again. Cameron read the message but didn’t reply. I tried not to overthink it, reminding myself that it was a Friday night and he was probably busy out with friends. Saturday morning came and went and my gut feeling kicked in. It was Saturday evening before I heard from Cameron again. He mentioned that he’d been busy and made a light-hearted joke about his cat but he ignored my question about seeing each other again. This didn’t bode well. It wasn’t until the Sunday afternoon that everything clicked into place and made sense. I was mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram when I clicked on to a story Cameron had posted. Motherfucker. It was a picture of him at brunch sat opposite a girl, quite clearly on a date. The picture only showed the girl’s hands, but some quick detective work and I realised who the girl was.

Never underestimate a woman’s detective skills when it comes to social media. A mission usually begins with a gut feeling (which is almost always on the mark), taking onboard any previous comments the man has made, even if they seemed like the smallest of throw away comments at the time – a woman will mentally note these. She will then commence investigating. Starting with photos, then tagged photos, then profiles of other people also tagged in those photos, then profiles of their tagged friends, followed by photos of the tagged friend of a friend’s family members. Next thing you know you’re on the profile of the aunt of the primary school teacher to the cousin of the best friend of the girl who was tagged in one photo with the guy in question on a holiday to Zante back in 2009. Anyway, you get the gist, there are no limits to a woman’s investigatory skills; especially a woman scorned.

So, it was no surprise that it only took me a short while to find the girl from Cameron’s Instagram story. It was the same girl he’d mentioned in passing on our date. Apparently, someone he’d only been on three dates with, who had got upset because he wouldn’t go on holiday to Canada with her, so he called it off because “she’d gotten way too intense”. He had also made it seem like he’d had nothing more to do with the girl; simply a past romantic fling. Lies. Cameron was on date with this girl and had quite clearly been seeing her for some time. Typical. He obviously, like so many Fuckboys, wanted his cake and to eat it too, and I had just been his side serving of apple pie. Just a joyful convenience that he was in London on Valentines Day and wanted to make the most of his excursion out of Surrey. Thank God, I didn’t have sex with this prick.

Despite feeling disappointed and angry, I was thankful that I’d found this out now before I’d slept with him or developed any feelings. I unfollowed Cameron, deleted his number and have had no further contact with him since that day. I’m just sorry that I didn’t get to meet his cat. Cameron, however, continues to watch all my Instagram stories and occasionally likes my posts. Men never cease to baffle me.

I recently heard about the term ‘orbiting.’ This is used to describe how someone who has usually ‘ghosted’ you (although not always) but will continue to watch all your social media stories and/or like your posts but will never respond to your text or engage with you in any other way. Basically, they don’t want to date or talk to you but aren’t prepared to completely delete you out of their life. Personally, I think orbiting is a very male thing to do. I don’t know many women who have a desire to follow the every move of a man she has previously decided she is no longer interested in. Women tend to take the ‘two-fingers up and block’ approach. Seems far healthier and you get a better sense of closure. It’s funny how most of the Fuckboys I’ve dated have ghosted me and yet they are always the first to watch an Instagram story I post. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

In all honesty I think I was upset for the grand total of an hour after seeing Cameron’s story with the other girl. A few years ago, seeing something like that on social media would have floored me and left me devastated for days (or at least until I was interested in another boy). Nowadays it doesn’t surprise me, or it’s happened so often over the years that I’ve built up a kind of immunity to it. I mean you have to. I can’t just fall apart every time a guy I went on one date with decides to be a dick. Let’s be honest, I’d spend more time in pieces than I would actually being happy. 

Nope, these days I simply do not have the time or the energy to waste dwelling on the transgressions of Fuckboys, commitment-phobes and the emotionally unavailable. I spent so much time through my twenties worrying about if I was good enough, smart enough, cool enough to be with the guy in question at the time and never questioning if they were actually worth my time! I was always the one to ask the ‘so what are we?’ question and be acutely aware of not ‘putting pressure’ on the guy. So much so, that I once dated a guy for a year, A WHOLE YEAR before he ‘allowed’ me to be his girlfriend! I later found out that this was just him trying to justify cheating on me the whole time we were together. A charming bloke.

I don’t claim to be a perfect girlfriend, but I am loyal, kind and caring and would do almost anything for the man I love. It took years of men taking advantage of this and making me self-doubt, but I now know my worth, and any guy I choose to date should know it too. So, to all the men who ghosted me, cheated on me, or could never fully commit to me; it really is your loss – happy orbiting.

The Fuckboy Chronicles: Aaron

There’s only one thing worse than a Fuckboy, and that’s a Fuckboy masquerading as a nice boy. Or as I like to call them; a Fuckboy in sheep’s clothing. These particular men are the worst. At least Brandon and Chad owned their player identities. They didn’t pretend to be anything other than the Fuckboys that they were. With them, I knew to a certain extent what I was getting myself into, even if I tried to convince myself otherwise. But I didn’t see Aaron coming.

Late November 2018. It had been a week since Chad had ghosted me and I took myself home to my dad’s near the Cotswolds. I needed a weekend to get away from London and the men in it. Having had enough of the type of guys I kept meeting on dating apps, I flicked opened Hinge with every intention of deleting it, when I saw a message pop up at the top of the screen. Aaron. Curiosity getting the better of me, my thumb moved from the ‘deactivate account’ button to scrolling through his profile. Tall, athletic with attractive, sharp features, I was like a moth to dick sand, I mean a flame.

I replied to Aaron and very quickly we exchanged numbers. He was very charming, and after a weekend of intense messaging, he asked me out on a date. We arranged to meet on the Friday evening. In the week leading up to our first date, Aaron would message me constantly throughout the day. By the Tuesday afternoon he asked if he could call me that evening. I was a little taken back as I rarely even chatted on the phone to Dennis, my last boyfriend; never mind a guy I hadn’t even met yet. “Um…sure, why not?” I replied. Did people do this…talk on the phone before a first date? Surely, that’s what WhatsApp was invented for? What if he asks for my landline? I don’t have a landline! It’s 2018, no one does, Jess.

“Great, I’ll give you a call around 9pm,” he messaged.

By 8.30pm that evening I was a nervous wreck. I paced anxiously around the flat, constantly checking the time. More than once I checked to see if I’d accidentally put my phone on silent. Should I be ready and waiting in my bedroom for the call? Should I be busy cooking dinner or watching TV? What would we talk about? What if his voice sounded funny…oh God, what if my voice sounded funny?!

“Yeah it’s a little unorthodox,” said my flatmate, Jasmine, watching me go from sitting on the sofa staring at my phone on the coffee table, to abruptly standing and picking it up for no reason. “But, it’s quite nice if you think about it. He obviously just wants to get to know you,” she continued. I nodded in agreement.

9.02pm. I was laying on my bed when my phone rang. “Hello?” I nervously answered.

“Hey, Jess,” Aaron replied with a strong North London accent. “Wow, you sound posher than what I was expecting…I thought you were born in Essex?” he continued. I laughed, feeling instantly at ease. We spent the next two hours chatting and laughing. That night, I laid in my bed smiling to myself, replaying the phone conservation in my head, catching myself giggling out loud when I thought of something cheeky Aaron had said. Throughout the entire phone call he had made comments about introducing me to his friends and talking about places we could go together. Oh, so he’s looking for something with longevity. He said how much he disliked social media and didn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account. Great, I don’t have to stalk you or the girls whose pictures you like. Even though we hadn’t yet met, I lapped it all up, wanting to believe that there were men out there that weren’t just after one thing only. So fucking naive, Jess.

Over the following few days, Aaron continued to message me around the clock and when he wasn’t texting me, he’d call me. He called me when he was in the car on the way to work. He called when he got home from a dinner with friends. He even called me as he was walking out of a stadium after a football match. He’d make jokes and tell me things he obviously thought I wanted to hear. I wasn’t used to this kind of attention from a guy, but it felt refreshing to have someone take such an interest in me. 

Friday came and I’d never felt such a high expectation for a first date. The plan was to meet in a bar in Holborn for a couple drinks before going bowling. My nerves at finally meeting Aaron were off the scale. I sat at a table in the bar and watched as Aaron swaggered in. “Sorry I’m a bit late, I couldn’t find anywhere to park,” he said. I found it weird that he drove when we’d clearly be drinking, but quickly dismissed the thought. “No problem, I haven’t been here long myself,” I smiled. Aaron grinned back and pulled out a small vape pen, cursed an eye round the bar, and then shiftily took a puff. I blinked. I don’t smoke or vape myself but I’m pretty sure you didn’t do it inside? “Um, shall we order some drinks then?” I asked. Aaron nodded, tucked his vape pen in his jacket and beckoned a waiter over. 

After we’d ordered our drinks, the waiter asked if we’d like to see the food menu. Aaron said nothing and just flicked his wrist slightly, dismissing the waiter. I flushed red, embarrassed at his rude gesture. I thanked the waiter as he walked away, turning back to see Aaron puffing on his vape pen again. Seriously, dude? 

Despite his arrogant first impression, I was determined to give Aaron a chance. We had got on so well by phone after all. As we flirted over a couple of drinks, I began to warm to Aaron (trying to ignore his completely indiscreet puffs on his stupid vape pen.) He was also coughing quite a lot, claiming he was suffering from the beginnings of a cold. I asked if he was ok, and Aaron waved away my concern, claiming he was fine and had dosed up on paracetamol before coming. After we left the bar we headed to the bowling alley. 

By the time we’d finished bowling it had gone 10pm. “What would you like to do now? We could find a bar and go for a couple more drinks?” I asked, although thinking that he’d definitely have to have soft drinks because he was driving. 

“Sure, but let’s just pop to my car first, cos I’ve got some pic n mix for you,” Aaron said. Oh, I thought, this was because I’d made a reference to liking sweets in one of our phone conversations; that was nice of him. I nodded in agreement and Aaron swung his arm around my shoulders and led me down a residential street to where he’d parked.

Once in the parked car, we chatted some more whilst we ate the sweets. Aaron kept rubbing my knee and after about 10 minutes lent across his seat and kissed me. The kissing became quite heated and Aaron began running his hands through my hair and then down to my blouse, unbuttoning the top few buttons. I could see people walking past out of the corner of my eye, peering into the car. Nope, no, I’m a 30-year-old woman; I’m not about to have sex in a car parked down a street in central London! I pulled away from Aaron, saying just as much. His breathing still heavy, he suggested we go back to mine. I bit my lip. I hadn’t planned for my first date with Aaron ending up like this… I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do anything more than kiss him. Sensing my hesitation, Aaron said, “Look, we don’t have to do anything. I can just drop you home, maybe come in for a cup of tea and then I’ll just drive back to mine.” 

40 minutes later we arrived at my flat in South-West London. I made Aaron a peppermint tea and gave him some more paracetamol. No sooner had he finished his drink then he stood up and walked across the kitchen to me and started kissing my neck. He pulled my blouse down over my shoulders and unhooked my bra. I sighed, feeling myself give in. We headed upstairs to my bedroom and closed the door…

Afterwards, something had changed, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but Aaron’s demeanour was different. The sex had been good so I just put it down to him feeling under the weather. He got up from the bed straight away and started scrolling through his phone. “Everything OK?” I asked, leaning up on the bed.

“Yeah. Do you have any cough medicine?” he replied, rubbing his chest. 

“No, sorry, I don’t think I do,” I said, as I walked into the bathroom next door. I went to the toilet and checked the cupboards for any medicine. Three minutes later I walked back into the bedroom to find Aaron fully dressed, pulling his trainers on. “I’m going to drive to the nearest 24-hour pharmacy. Text me your postcode and I’ll come back afterwards,” he said, picking up his car keys. He felt that ill?

“Oh, OK…” I replied, taken back. We were literally having sex five minutes ago. I was still naked. Aaron grabbed his wallet and ran down the stairs before I could even lean in to kiss him.

1am. I sat on the sofa in my dressing gown waiting for Aaron. Another half an hour passed and I still hadn’t heard anything from him, my postcode remaining as two unread, grey ticks. I messaged asking if everything was OK. 

“Yep, all good. Got some medicine and just going to head back to mine to sleep it off. Didn’t want to keep you up all night with this cough,” he replied.

“Oh, OK. Well text me when you get home,” I messaged back. But I knew he wouldn’t. I took myself upstairs and curled up in the bed, feeling the shame wash over me.

I didn’t hear from Aaron again after that. Albeit there was no love lost; he was arrogant and rude, but I had never felt so manipulated and used. Had he planned for this all along? A week of buttering me up with messages and calls; telling me things he thought I wanted to hear, all with the intention of sleeping with me on the first date and doing a runner five minutes afterwards? That night as I lay in bed waiting for a message that would never come, I made a promise to myself. Never again would I sleep with a guy on a first date.

Now, I don’t have anything against sleeping with someone on a first date. There are all these stupid rules (no doubt made up by men) that if you do then you’re ‘too easy’ or you’re a ‘slut’ or they won’t want to date you after that. Which is a load of bullshit. I know loads of long standing couples that slept with each other on their first date. It’s also an individual’s prerogative whether male/female or otherwise when they first choose to sleep with someone. And if you’re both two (or three, if that’s your thing) consenting adults, then what’s the issue? ‘Slut-shaming’ is some of the worst kind of misogyny; it’s an out-dated, double-standards notion. Whether you’ve slept with two or 52 people, it does not define you or your worth.

Now, whilst I’m all for female sexual empowerment, I also realised that I was starting to get emotionally bruised by these Fuckboys who were only after one thing from me. So, with the exception of my one night of weakness with Brandon in the New Year, I didn’t have sex for five months. Oh sure, I dated. I dated a lot. After my two-month Hinge hiatus over Christmas and New Year, I re-downloaded it in February and dated a variety of different men; learning as much about myself as I did them. What I liked, what I didn’t like, what pushed my buttons and what I wasn’t willing to put up with. 

But I decided the next guy I’d sleep with would be someone who had gained my trust and showed me the respect I deserved. So, I dated, I blogged and my knickers remained firmly on. It’s amazing how much writing you can do when you’re not shagging.

The Man with the Mo

Beware the man with the mo, that cheeky little so and so.

He’ll take you out on a first date, surprising you with his hairy nose mate.

You’ll spend the next 4 hours drinking, laughing and interacting, despite his mouthbrow being awfully distracting.

What a lovely evening it will be, you won’t want it to end. It’ll become obvious this hairy dude is more than just a friend.

So into his pockets will go, his wallet and phone, he’ll hoist you up and carry you home.

He’ll tickle your top lip when he gives the tongue the slip. You’ll tell him watch himself, behave! But he still won’t bloody shave.

You’ll taste his drunken midnight snack – is that a Maccy D’s Big Mac?? You’ll get all fun and flirty and start to think a ‘tache could be kinda dirty…

Then you’ll get a surprising feeling, this 80s pornstar seems suddenly appealing. 

And so they grow, the feelings and the mo. You realise this man ain’t so bad; he’s just supporting his fellow bros.

– JLW, 2018

The Fuckboy Chronicles: Chad

End of October 2018. Tired of putting all my eggs in the extremely flimsy basket that was Brandon, I began dating other guys. I had a couple first dates with perfectly nice men but we had zero chemistry and the highlight of my evening would generally be heading home via McDonalds for mozzarella sticks. I was beginning to lose hope, when one evening I matched on Hinge with Chad. Tall (standard) but bearded (not my typical type); Chad and I had immediate texting chemistry. We bounced off each other with joke after joke and I would always catch myself grinning when he messaged. After a week or so we arranged a date. 

On Halloween I headed to the Brewdog on Battersea Rise and ordered drinks at the bar. Chad tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and was surprised at how attracted I was to him. We spent the next four hours chatting and laughing. Midnight hit and the bar was closing. Chad asked if I’d like to come back to his for a nightcap, and not wanting the date to end I accepted.

As we headed outside and down the street the heavens opened and it began to pour. I pulled my jacket over my head and tried to walk as fast as my heels would allow me. “Here, let me help you,” offered Chad, and next thing you know he had picked me up and threw me over his shoulder. Oh my. Chad then proceeded to fireman carry me in the rain the remaining journey to his house. It could have been a scene out of a Richard Curtis film. 

Less than 30 minutes in his house, Chad and I were kissing on his sofa then headed upstairs. I quickly scanned his bedroom as we undressed each other – navy sheets…three pillows (obviously)…clothes stacked up in piles (clean or dirty to be determined). Chad was very affectionate and showered my body in kisses, constantly asking what I liked and wanted. He was an unselfish lover; I’ll give him that. Afterwards he wrapped himself around me and we fell asleep.

I crept out of his room at 6am the next morning and ordered an Uber to take me home. “Been out trick or treating, have you love?” the driver asked, smirking in his rear view mirror. And there goes your tip and five star rating, I thought to myself. “Something like that,” I replied.

Later that day Chad sent me photographs of himself where he’d shaved his entire beard off and left just a moustache in aid of Movember. Now this seems like an irrelevant detail but you’ll see later how this was actually a pivotal point for what would be the making of ‘Classic Jess.’

Over the course of the next couple weeks Chad and I would text every day and have adult sleepovers. “I’d love to go out for dinner with you, but I’m just super busy at work,” he’d say. Dude, its London, we’re all fucking busy (rolls eyes). Chad would message me late at night on his way back from work saying how much he wanted to spend the night with me. “Sure, you’re welcome to come over,” I’d say, to which he’d always reply with some lame ass excuse that it would work better if I came to his. He’d plead until I caved, offering to even pay for my Uber. Did he ever reimburse me? Did he fuck. Are we all starting to notice the all too familiar symptoms? Red alert! Looks like we have another Fuckboy on our hands.

Now when you’re dealing with a Fuckboy you should presume that they are most probably sleeping with other people, to think otherwise would be naïve. And whilst I hate the thought of ‘sharing’ someone, I have to remind myself that a Fuckboy is never mine in the first place and push down any pangs of jealousy that may arise. I have attempted ‘to play the field’ myself – but this is mostly just talk. In reality I just can’t bring myself to sleep with more than one person at any given time. Despite my intentions, the fact remains that Brandon and Chad never crossed over. So where was I? Ah yes, Chad was probably sleeping with other women. If that was the case then safe sex should have been paramount. Cue classic Jess drama.

Chad had gone out of town for a few days to see family. My friend, Shirley came round my flat one evening to catch up. Shirley works in pharmaceuticals and is the type of person who will come out with random facts, which are often quite interesting, and usually a great conversation starter.

“Super gonorrhoea.” Stated, Shirley.

“What?”

“It’s a thing. Some guy came back from Southeast Asia with this new strain of gonorrhoea, which can’t be treated. Super Gonorrhoea.” 

What the fuck? And there’s no cure??” I asked, horrified.

“Nope. Antibiotics don’t work on it. I wonder if he’ll be quarantined whilst they figure out what to do.”

“Jeez.” I said, flabbergasted.

That night I couldn’t sleep. At 3am I began Googling symptoms of sexually transmitted infections from Southeast Asia. By 7am I was convinced I had super gonorrhoea; having developed phantom abdominal pains overnight. By 10am the panic had really set in and I had turned into a complete hypochondriac; almost in tears to my colleague, Margaret. By lunchtime I had phoned up the local sexual health clinic and booked myself into an emergency appointment.

“You can only come in for an express screening if you’re showing symptoms,” stated the receptionist.

“I am!” I exclaimed.

“What symptoms do you have?”

“ALL of them!” I wailed down the phone.

She paused. “Alright you can come in now then.” 

I arrived at the clinic and nervously sat in the waiting room until I was called in for my screening. The nurse asked me some standard questions including how many sexual partners I’d had in the last month. “Um…two” I answered truthfully, resisting the urge to blurt out “but only three in total over the last nine months before you start judging me!” She wasn’t judging me; she was just doing her job.

“Right, if you just pop up on the bed, we’ll do a full screening,” said the nurse. She began the internal examination. Lying on my back, legs up in stirrups I confessed my all-consuming fear, “I think I’ve contracted super gonorrhoea and it’s spread and now I have pelvic inflammatory disease,” I said, swallowing the urge to cry. The nurse looked up from in between my legs and blinked. “You don’t have PID,” she said. 

“I don’t?”

“No. If you had PID I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing right now without you screaming in pain.”

“Oh.”

The nurse finished her examination, took a couple of vaginal swabs and a blood sample. “You’ll get the results via text within 24 hours, so try not to worry in the meantime,” she said.

Later that night, I tossed and turned having nightmares about telling Brandon and Chad that we’d all contracted super gonorrhoea and that the three of us would have to be quarantined together for the rest of our lives. I woke up the next morning to a text message containing my results. Gulp. ‘All results negative.’ Relief washed over me. Oh thank fuck for that. The moral of this story kids, if you’re having casual sex then always use a condom. The fear, and indeed if you actually contracted anything is just not worth it. In London you can actually have a self-test kit posted to you, send back your samples and get the results back, all within five working days. I actually did one a couple weeks ago. Despite the fact that I had to get my friend, Caitlin, to ‘milk’ my finger for me (blood sample) because I was about to pass out, the whole process is pretty straightforward. 

Anyway, back to Chad. Completely blinded by his Fuckboy sorcery I continued to message him whilst he was away, even donating to his Movember fundraising page. Chad always appreciated my jokes and so I began writing a witty two-liner to accompany the donation. Next thing you know, I’d gotten completely carried away and the two-liner turned into a verse, which after 30 minutes evolved into a full-blown poem. 

“You did what?!” asked my sister, horrified. 

“I wrote a poem about his moustache.” I said, shrugging.

“Oh God…please tell me you didn’t send it to him??”

“Why not? It was funny…”

“So you sent it to him?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, Jess.”

I didn’t see what the problem was here. It wasn’t a romantic poem declaring my undying love for him, it was meant to be funny. I went to Brighton at the end of that week for a 30thBirthday. I told a group of our friends about Chad and did a live reading of ‘The man with the mo’ whilst we sat pre-drinking in our Air BnB. 

“And you sent this to him?” someone asked.

“Yes, but…”

“Oh, Jess” chimed 15 people in unison.

Oh fuck, what had I done?

Chad returned to London and asked to see me that night. I went round his, obviously; Chad didn’t even know where I lived. Lying in bed, I told him about my STI drama, to which he replied, “Thank God I don’t need to get tested then.” I frowned. Surely he should take responsibility for his own sexual health and not just rely on my results. I then asked him what he thought about the poem I sent him. “It was really good…a bit creepy though.”

“Oh. It was meant to be funny. I wouldn’t take it too seriously,” I said.

“It was…I just don’t know why you wasted your time writing it.”

This boy was starting to piss me off. I decided to change the subject and asked him what his plans were for the rest of weekend. “I’ve got some work to catch up on… and I’m also going to a singles night tomorrow.” Why was he telling me this?

“Because, y’know… we’re both single,” he said, his eyes probing me.

I resisted rolling my eyes. I know that. JeezI send this boy one silly little poem and he thinks I’ve got plans to ensnare him in a relationship against his will. Don’t flatter yourself, Chad, my Uber account couldn’t take the expense. “Cool,” I said, “well, enjoy that.”

Over the days following that evening, Chad and I exchanged a few messages; but his replies became less frequent and blunter. Eventually he ghosted me. Typical. Whilst I was annoyed I hadn’t been the one to cut it off, I was also relieved I didn’t have to deal with his Fuckboy tendencies anymore. And what’s more, I’d discovered that I had a hidden talent. I could write poetry, who knew?

“Your poems are really good, Jess. You should write a blog about your experiences over your twenties and posts poems which help to illustrate it,” suggested my sister. I started floating the idea to a few close friends who all agreed that I should do it. So I took some time off social media over the Christmas and New Year period and began writing.

At first I was reluctant to launch the blog. I was worried about revealing my personal thoughts and feelings in a public domain. I was worried what my parents might think. I was also concerned about what it may potentially do to my dating life. But then I realised. If a man had a problem with the blog and the honest accounts of my life, if he found it weird or intimidating, then he wasn’t the right man for me anyway. And so ‘Classic Jess’ came to be. 

The Fuckboy Chronicles: Brandon

Fuckboy [fuck-boi]: ‘Asshole boy who is into strictly sexual relationships; he will lead a girl on and let her down, then apologise only to ask for “pics” once the girl has welcomed him back into her trust. Boys like this will pretend to genuinely care about the girl, but always fail to prove the supposed affection. He almost never makes plans because he has to hang out on his terms, which could be the most whimsical of times… He will always come crawling back because he is a horny prick and cannot withstand the dispossession of one of his baes because he has more than one, that’s for sure.’ – Urban Dictionary.

Now that we’re all clear on the definition, welcome to The Fuckboy Chronicles. A series of posts which highlight my experiences of this particular specimen of man. We all know a Fuckboy, most of us have been unlucky enough to meet more than one in our lifetime. Hell, maybe you’re even a Fuckboy! Over the past year of being single, I have had the pleasure of meeting a handful of them, so let’s get started with the first…

October 2018. Since Hinge Guy had stood me up a couple months prior, I’d retreated back into my man-free protective bubble. I reasoned with myself that I didn’t have time to date. The end of the summer saw me turn 30, go on holiday to Dubai, and have a big party with family and friends. My sister also got married, where I was both the maid of honour and makeup artist. I was way too busy to date and that was just fine. I genuinely felt I was at my most content, confident and sexiest than I had been in a long time, and the best thing was that a man had nothing to do with it. However, women have certain needs and over the past eight months the only intimate contact I’d had was my one night with the Adonis, so I decided to re-download Hinge. Enter Brandon.

Brandon was tall, handsome (are you noticing a theme here?) and had a sort of laidback, couldn’t be bothered nonchalance about him. We matched on Hinge just before my sister’s wedding and arranged a date for the day after. I had already decided that if I fancied this guy there was a strong likelihood I was going to spend the night with him. Needs, people, needs. I arrived at a pub in Streatham and watched as Brandon walked through the door. Ding. Dong. Decision already made. We spent a couple hours in the pub chatting and flirting before heading back to his to ‘watch a film’. We spent a whole five minutes watching Netflix in his room (such a cliché I know) before we started kissing, the laptop left discarded on the other side of the bed…

Now let’s talk about boys’ bedding for a minute. Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of boys’ beds. Correct me if I’m wrong but why is it that they are always faded grey or navy sheets (complete with questionable stains), which look like they were bought by their mum 10 years ago when they first left home. And don’t even get me started on the pillows. Flat, yet somehow lumpy, pieces of foam wrapped in mismatched pillowcases; I swear they must all suffer with chronic neck stiffness. Plus there’s always an odd number. Three pillows? I swear pillows come in pairs as standard, no? I wonder what happened to the fourth… did it disintegrate over the years in their pit or did they originally just have the two, and one time stole the third from a housemate to dry hump one night? Never mind the fact that their bed would look uneven when made (LOL), three pillows is just downright selfish when it comes to sharing a bed. Single men of London, hear me when I say, nothing will turn a girl on more than if you have clean, white sheets and FOUR matching plump pillows. You want a blowjob, you say? Then I would invest in some tasteful scatter cushions and a nice knitted throw too.

Anyway, I digress. Brandon and I did indeed spend that night together. The sex was good and it felt nice to have physical contact with a man again. However, after that night I noticed a decline in Brandon’s messages. He only text when he wanted something (I wonder what). We had a kind of unspoken agreement where I would go his (usually on a Sunday evening), have sex, watch a film together and go to sleep (cuddles optional). The next morning I would kiss him goodbye and head to work, and I wouldn’t hear from him for another week/fortnight before he’d message me again. And repeat. 

Now this kind of arrangement is all well and good if there is an equal amount of effort from both sides, but there wasn’t. Brandon began displaying typical Fuckboy behaviour. He would never commit to plans with me, it was always a last minute: “Hey, what are you up to tonight?” I was always expected to go his, God forbid him actually making the effort to jump in an Uber to mine. And when I turned up I’d never even get offered a glass of water; I’d have to hope he’d left a gym water bottle on the side or die of thirst. 

One time he invited me over and when I texted to say I was on my way, he told me to hold off for a minute because he had to pop out. I assumed 40 minutes at most; he probably just needed to grab some food (Ooo, could he actually be making me dinner?!) from the shop, right? WRONG. Three hours later, I still hadn’t heard from him, with no answers to my call or messages. Finally at 9pm that night he messaged to say, “Sorry, I fell asleep. My bad.” “YOU FELL ASLEEP!?” Rachel from Friends voice echoed in my head. Meanwhile, I had been sat at home waiting like a mug. What a waste of makeup, shaving foam and a Sunday afternoon.

You’d think that would have been the end of Brandon, right? Wrong again. Any self-respecting human would have cut off contact then and there. Nope, instead a fortnight goes by and he messages me again. I give him some stick for messing me around, to which he acts shocked and goes on to defend himself, saying how he would ‘’never intentionally mug me off.’ Obviously I lap this all up and next thing you know BOOM! I’m swallowed up in his dick sand again. And repeat.

I see Brandon on and off over the course of October and November. The messages still come every fortnight but the meet ups less frequent. I was tired of dropping everything and going over at his beck and call so I mostly declined his last minute offers, suggesting alternative days instead; days that actually worked for me. But being a classic Fuckboy, Brandon couldn’t even commit to a shag, never mind a drink. So I began dating other guys; men that actually wanted to go out with me and took an interest in me. However, they were either a string of first dates where I had zero interest or they were guys like Brandon. I was a self-diagnosed Fuckboy addict. By December I’d had enough of men altogether, deleted Hinge (again) and deactivated my social media apps.

2019 came and so did my long list of New Year’s resolutions which included leaving all 2018 men back where they belonged – in 2018. My sister scoffed at this but I was adamant. This resolution lasted all of 48 hours. Brandon had been messaging me over the Christmas and New Year period and come 2nd January I cracked. After my first day back at work I went home, showered, shaved my legs, blow dried my hair and did my makeup. Feeling particularly daring that day, I put on some sexy lingerie, heels and borrowed my flatmate’s long trench coat. It was only as I left the flat that I realised that it didn’t have any buttons. Sure. I awkwardly wrapped the coat around myself as I got into an Uber, convinced the driver thought I was a sex worker. 

20 minutes later I arrived in Streatham and awkwardly stumbled out of the car in my stilettos. One hand holding the coat together, the other clutching an overnight rucksack. Sexy. As I arrived at his front porch, Brandon was already at the door waiting for me, idly playing on his phone. I opened the front gate, composed myself into a seductive stance (I think), took a deep breath and flashed open my coat. “Happy New Year,” I said, in what I hoped was a husky, Marilyn Monroe-esque voice. Brandon looked up and grinned. “Indeed it is, come on in,” he said and I quickly tottered inside before his neighbours could get an eyeful.

We had a good time that evening and Brandon even spooned me the entire night (that hadn’t happened before.) I woke up the next morning and got dressed for work only to realise in all my excitement that I’d forgotten to pack a top. Fuck. I texted my co-worker, Margaret explaining what had happened and begging her to save my dignity. I travelled on the tube in trousers, my bra and the button-less trench coat. I walked into work and Margaret handed me a novelty Christmas jumper. It was 3rd January. “Cheers,” I said as she grinned at me. 

Only three days went by before Brandon messaged me again. So then I wondered…could Brandon actually like me and could he actually want to date me? Maybe… Eh, WRONG! He stopped messaging again and the fortnightly ghosting/texting cycle resumed. So naïve, Jess. The last time Brandon and I messaged I received the extremely appealing offer of going over to his for a ‘good spanking’ for a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon before he left London to go see his family. Surprisingly enough I declined that particular offer and I haven’t seen Brandon since. 

Now I’m not saying Brandon is a bad person, he just was never going to give me what I wanted and quite frankly what I think I deserve. Maybe he thought if he were too nice to me I’d get the wrong idea and want him to be my boyfriend. The fact of the matter is I didn’t want a relationship with him or anybody else at that time, I just wanted to find someone with whom I could occasionally hang out and have some good sex. Is that really too much to ask?! I don’t want a Fuckboy. I want a boy I can fuck who is genuinely nice, interested in me, and respects me enough to be honest and not ghost me. Can I get an ‘Amen sister!’

Welcome to Hinge

August 2018. It had been a couple weeks since my night with The Adonis and my newfound self-confidence saw me download the latest dating app, Hinge. I had actively avoided dating apps for the previous five months but one Saturday evening I took the plunge and matched with my first guy.

Semi obsessed with racing cars, multiple gym selfies and the obligatory photo with a cute puppy; he was your typical basic man of the dating app world. The conversation was mediocre at best, but it wasn’t like this guy was going to be my next boyfriend or anything. Plus, I’m a sucker for a tall and handsome man.

I agreed to meet him for a drink on the next Sunday, my first proper date since my break up with Dennis. Sunday evening came and I’d bought a new top for the occasion, blow-dried my hair, made myself up and left to get the bus to Clapham Common. En route I was surprised to see Hinge Guy’s Instagram story from only an hour before geotagging himself in Bicester Village – 50 miles from London. Hmm, that’s cutting it a bit fine before our date I thought, but whatever he’s an adult, I’m sure he can effectively manage his own time. Besides, he’d been messaging me only the night before saying how much he was looking forward to meeting me.

I arrived at No.32 the Old Town and my female intuition instantly kicked in. Despite us having regular text conservations throughout the week, Hinge Guy hadn’t read my latest WhatsApp message from half an hour before letting him know I was on my way. Being a Sunday the bar wasn’t particularly busy and as I tottered from downstairs to the second floor it felt like that every head which turned my way knew what I already knew. I had been stood up.

I quickly hurried out of the front door and whipped out my phone, deciding to call him. It rang out until answerphone, fuck sake. Feeling the upset and embarrassment beginning to rise up in my chest, I trudged across the Common in my heels to a park bench. He still hadn’t read my message. I called my sister telling her what had happened, she reasoned that maybe he was running late and that I should wait it out another 15 minutes. Despite knowing in my gut that this definitely wasn’t the case I waited on the bench, staring at the unread message on my screen. 

It was a quiet summer evening, to my right a couple of homeless men drunkenly rambled down the Common and there to my left sat on the end of the bench was a giant black crow sinisterly eyeing me up. Great. ‘Stupid bad omen,’ I thought to myself, snubbing the crow and defiantly crossing my arms, tutting. Typical, just bloody typical, my first actual date in months since my break up with Dennis and I get bloody stood up.

It got to 7.30pm, half an hour after my date was due to start. I checked the message again, still unread, however this time Hinge Guy was ‘online’, my text remaining as two little grey ticks – a WhatsApp slap in the face. Feeling the anger rise up and join its ugly mates, Embarrassment and Disappointment, I picked up my handbag and threw the crow one last look of disdain before stomping towards the bus stop as fast as my five-inch heels would carry me.

Sat on the top deck of the bus, the full effect of humiliation swelled up inside me. I bit my quivering bottom lip, determined not to cry until I’d reached home. 30 minutes later, I closed the front door and finally let hot tears of shame roll down my face. Fucking Hinge…fucking men…fucking crow, I bitterly thought, dragging myself up the stairs and into the living room. My wonderful flatmates took one look at my patchy face and bloodshot eyes and launched into furious exclamations about how much of a dick Hinge Guy was and enveloping me in tight hugs, insisting it was his loss anyway. 

Two hours, one rom-com, a bottle of wine, a bar of chocolate and (several) rants later, I felt a lot better. Curled up in pyjamas on the sofa with my flatmates I’d given up looking at the still unread message and was aimlessly flicking through my social media apps. I tapped open Instagram and scrolled through my feed… Hmm, so Hinge Guy couldn’t do me the courtesy of at least texting me to cancel our date but he could find the time to like pictures of Kylie Jenner. So he wasn’t dead then. I sighed. I unfollowed him on Instagram and opened my WhatsApp and composed a message telling him he was rude and shouldn’t waste other people’s time in future. Adding for good measure that maybe that was how he was brought up but it certainly wasn’t how I was. Good. Sent. I took myself upstairs, washed off what was remaining of my makeup and brushed my teeth.

I climbed into bed, flicked opened Hinge and deactivated my account. Fuck. That. I thought, and fell promptly asleep.