Welcome to the first in my mini-series of short stories of dating dangers.
That’s right ladies, dating in the modern world isn’t for the faint-hearted as I’m sure you’re aware (though I really hope you’re not), but how do we protect ourselves in a sea of many dangerous no-nos. If I’d have known what I know now in my twenties, I would have vowed for a life of celibacy and packed myself away into the nearest Buddhist Centre for emotional safety. Alas, I didn’t.
In my years of meeting many different types of men and women, I have come to realise that you literally never have any idea what you’re getting yourself into. If you are the sort of person that likes some sense of consistency, directness, regularity, or certainty, then I’m sorry my sweet girl, modern dating just isn’t for you.
In my desperate attempts to be liked, loved, or lusted over, I have found myself in many compromising situations, many of which have been a danger to my emotional and physical health. So if you’ve ever missed the last tube home, or cried in the middle of a taped-up road at 4 am, this one’s for you.
Trigger warning - all of these stories are real, and are my own.
I call this one, The 4 am Exit
Ahh yes, the man that worked for Vice Magazine, which should have come with its own warning. The man that invited me all the way to central Peckham (a place you’d never go for a pint, let alone a date when I was growing up there), but anyway.. That is where we found ourselves.
After one or two slurps of my overpriced pint, that I had to pay for myself, his hands appeared to inherit a mind all of their own. One thigh stroke turned into full-on upper-leg fornication as the heavy petting had the entire pub staring in discomfort. Not short of 15 minutes since we sat down in our well-lit corner surrounded, did he have his tongue halfway down my throat.
His intentions were made quite clear, and I couldn’t be bothered to pretend it was more than what he’d indicated. After all, I’d made it all the way out to Peckham on the coldest night of the year, so I figured a half-decent rumble back at his would have at least made the 0 degrees train carriage worth it.
After 15 minutes of very underwhelming sex, we just laid there in silence. He got up out of his bed, doing the post-rumble fumble, and proceeded to twitch around his room like a nervous beaver. “Are you ok?”, I asked, “Yes, I just have to be up early in the morning so I need to get to sleep”, which once, of course, interpreted means get out of my bed. I allowed a minute of silence, to see if he’d fill the room with any more words, before removing myself from his bed-quarters and proceeding to stumble around his room looking for my undergarments. “How will you get home?” he asked, I rolled my eyes “I’ll figure it out” seeing as how there was no attempt at an invitation to pay for a cab, I proceeded to grab my bag and exit.
He didn’t even see me to the door, I didn’t even kiss him goodbye. All of that thigh rubbing for a headache and cold, swollen ankles, as I stepped out into the below-freezing temperatures. It was 3 am. I’d not only missed my last train, but the bus I needed was running on a timetable of only 2 an hour.
I stood, in the middle of Peckham High Street, in heels and in the snow, gripping hold of a phone, waiting for a miracle, or a character reform, as I wanted the walls of the only open-off license to swallow me up, and turn me invisible from Peckham’s night-time wanderers. One of whom offered me a half-eaten baguette.
I’d had enough unwanted batons and exposed flesh for one night, as I scurried onto the first of my 3-bus journey home, and the one man on the lower deck chose to sit next to me. It was a very, long ride home.