This week’s edition of How I Do It – the series that gives a seven-day sneak peek into the sex life of a new person each week – has been brought to you by Emily*, a 25-year-old journalist usually based in London.
Lockdown saw her, like many other young people, leave the capital to stay with her parents.
Emily is confident in her sex life and feels ‘connected’ with her body, with her only complaint being that, what with the pandemic and everything, she’s not actually having any.
Even though there are few living arrangements less sexy than living with your family, her move back home just happened to position her close to the man she’s been seeing now and then on a casual basis.
In normal times, this situationship might remain just that, however the pandemic has brought Emily closer to her friend with benefits and, to her surprise, she’s liking it.
Want to know how the two are getting on? Let’s find out…
For a singleton living in lockdown, all the days blur into one humdrum mush: mornings and afternoons are spent with a comically large cup of tea, a few episodes of the US Office and lots of doomscrolling.
I’m in between jobs and doing the odd bit of freelance if I’m lucky.
I’ve left London and have been staying with family for lockdown, and there’s nothing less sexy than parental supervision and sleeping in your childhood single bed.
I don’t hear from the guy I’ve been having an on/off friends-with-benefits situation with. He lives near here, so whenever I’m back home we usually hook up.
We don’t typically speak Monday-Wednesday as they are very dull, uninspiring days. I do miss the conversation today though, since there’s not much else to get excited about at the moment.
I don’t mind too much as it makes it worthwhile when we catch up on FaceTime later in the week.
Tuesday is more or less the same as Monday, but to my surprise, my friend-with-benefits sends a text in the evening.
It’s a pretty meaningless picture of something he’s drinking however, so it doesn’t lead anywhere.
I’m glad it doesn’t – it’s a weeknight, and I’d rather save the chat for the weekend.
I go for a long run to pass the time and feel some sort of rush.
I’m craving a juicy conversation with my guy who’s not my guy, and this is when my mind starts to wander back to the time we spent together at Christmas.
We had sex a few days before lockdown, which has kept me going, in a way.
The more we have sex the better it gets, since we’re both more understanding of what we like; as a result, I feel much more confident with my body.
Since that encounter, with not much else to do but daydream, we pass the time by sexting – playing out fantasies and listing the sexual things we could get up to post-lockdown.
Even if these plans don’t come to fruition, they provide ample entertainment to my unstimulated mind, and hope that life exists beyond a pandemic.
By this point in the week, I’m hoping we get a chance to talk as my boredom levels are reaching record new heights.
In the evening I get a text from him. He tells me he’s taken the day off work tomorrow and that it would be good to see me, face-to-face.
I reply agreeing that yes, it would be good. We decide on a time and location and I go to bed feeling excited about tomorrow’s prospects.
It’s 2pm and we meet in my local park.
I consider this a safe space, that is until we bump into my mum who is also on a walk with her friend.
I am of course mortified; my mum knows about this ‘situationship’, and I’m sure would prefer me to bin it in order to pursue a ‘real’ relationship.
Nevertheless, she’s on her best behaviour, and they talk about what he does for a living for a good five minutes, while I’m wishing I could transport myself to literally anywhere else.
A few hours pass, and we are sat shivering on a bench around the corner from my family’s house.
It’s been really good to see another human, and we agree that we’ve missed each other.
As we say goodbye, our faces are so close. He tucks my hair behind my ears, and we kiss.
‘It’s nice when we have a lil’ kiss, isn’t it’, he texts me in the early evening.
I agree – it’s becoming a favourite pastime and wonder to myself what all this means for us in the future.
Once normality resumes and our old lives creak back into gear, will the intensity fade? Will we go back to seeing each other casually in large groups of people, sending each other an obligatory check-in text once a month?
Or, will we get through the other side of lockdown with something more serious in mind? It’s hard to predict anything at the moment, and I’m cautious of over-romanticising the current situation.
I start the day by watching Andrew Marr, followed by a bit of cleaning and looking up new music.
Later, the conversation between us inevitably leads to talking about what we’ll be doing once we can meet up indoors, more specifically in his bed.
‘I’m looking forward to it, in every way’ he says. He sends pictures of handcuffs and massage oil that he’s planning on buying, which is food for thought.
We continue messaging throughout the rest of the evening, interspersing saucy messages with memes we think the other would enjoy, like teenagers with nothing better to do.
When his name pops up on my screen it makes me smile, and I try my best to hide it from my family when we’re sat watching TV together. ‘I wish we didn’t have to sit on park benches but it’s so nice to see you,’ he says in one message.
The ‘situation’ has never progressed beyond this stage as we live in different cities and feel it would be difficult to maintain a relationship whilst our separate lives are in motion.
It feels different this time though, as we’ve grown much closer both physically and mentally.
Once I leave home and head back to London, and he’s still here, can things progress? Only time will tell, I suppose.
*Names have been changed.
How I Do It
In Metro.co.uk’s How I Do It you get a sneak peek into a week of a person’s sex and love life – from vanilla love-making to fetishes, threesomes and polyamorous relationships, they reveal it all.
Fancy taking part yourself? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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