The Squeaky-Clean Artist in an Open Relationship

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Photo: picturegarden/Getty Images

New York's Sex Diaries series asks anonymous city dwellers to record a week in their sex lives — with comic, tragic, often sexy, and always revealing results.  This summer, the Sex Diaries will appear on the Cut as a special edition. Check back Tuesday afternoons for your weekly peek behind doors left slightly ajar.

This week, an artist in an open relationship who’s a pro at emotional detachment and personal hygiene: female, 31, Queens, artist, lives with boyfriend, straight.

DAY ONE

10 a.m. I don’t get out of bed before 10 a.m. ever!

10:30 a.m. Wake up, check my phone. My boyfriend has sent me his flight schedule for the night. Sweet! He’ll be back tonight. I’ve missed him. Besides that, I have about 30 work-related emails. This doesn’t stress me out in the least; I still can’t believe I’m a working artist and consciously try not to take it for granted. I brush my teeth, put some fancy oils and serums on my face, and run to the bakery down the street for a coffee and croissant. I take my breakfast out back to my art studio. Work, work.

Noon Two weeks from now I’m hosting a big event with all my artwork. I’m creating and managing everything from the food to the design to the music to, of course, the art, which includes some performance and digital art. It’s a big step for me.

3 p.m. RedTube break! I pretty much masturbate daily. (The perks of freelance.) Today I'm at the apartment, in our bedroom. I always lock the front door, just in case. Helps me melt into the moment.

6:30 p.m. My boyfriend was away for a month for work. I know he's coming home around 8 p.m., so before he arrives, I take a long, labor-intensive bath, shaving everything, including my butt, and cleaning every inch. I’m obsessed with having a delicious-tasting you-know-what and have tried everything – eucalyptus oil, Summer’s Eve, eating a lot of pineapple – but the best is actually just warm water and light soap.  

8 p.m. My boyfriend opens the front door and we make out for like ten minutes, as we always do after a trip. I try to lure him to the kitchen because I’ve prepared pork chops, but he just wants to, well, screw. I get it; it’s been a long time.

8:15 p.m. I delicately tell him he needs to shower. I blame it on airplane germs — true enough. But really, he kinda stinks!

8:45 p.m. After his shower, we have sex. I fake my orgasm, which isn’t the norm, because it’s just taking too long and I’m hungry.

9:30 p.m. We eat dinner, watch the Justin Bieber roast (I know, three months too late), and giggle like crazy. The Martha Stewart bit was brilliant! We fall asleep by 11:30 p.m.

DAY TWO

10 a.m. We wake up smelly and gross (too much garlic in last night's couscous), so I let him sleep (jet lag) while I shower. Then I get my own coffee and croissant and go right to my studio. I do my best work in the morning and sort of act like an asshole if you get in my way. He knows this.

2 p.m. He’s at work. I watch RedTube because I don’t really know any other porno sites. I go to “categories” and choose “lesbian” or “group.” I always laugh that “Arab” is one of the categories. My boyfriend likes the amateur stuff, but I feel like those girls are all dirty meth heads from Florida. We recently watched that Rashida Jones Hot Girls Wanted documentary together, and yes, it’s confirmed: Am-porn is depressing.

2:30 p.m. I always shower after I masturbate. I have a thing (neurosis?) about smelling nice.

4 p.m. I text my boyfriend about work stuff all day long, as he does with me. We are really involved and excited by each other’s work. That’s a first for me, and I love that about us.

5 p.m. Boyfriend says he’ll be home around six. I wrap up my projects, or at least press pause. I take my usual preparation bath, even though my hair is still damp from the shower.

7:30 p.m. We do a little grilling and drink a little beer and discuss work.

9 p.m. We binge-watch a few episodes of Bloodline, get into bed, have a quick little sex session (I fake it again … what’s going on with me?), and fall asleep.

DAY THREE

11 a.m. We are fighting. Some background: He spends half his year in Europe, for work. We have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about what goes on when he’s gone. I don’t really mind it, as I enjoy my freedom, too. Our only rule is that it must be extremely safe and protected sex. However, this morning, we’re woken by five texts in a row, which he’s kind of shady about. I was like, “Who the hell keeps texting you?”

Noon The fight goes nowhere, so I lock myself in my studio. It sounds like a cliché but I try to put the anxiety into my work. The fact is, this is the deal I signed up for. But can I live with it? Yes … no … yes … no … yes.

1 p.m. One thing that makes me feel better when we have days like this is reaching out to … let’s call him Pete. Pete is my (very) occasional lover when my boyfriend is out of town. A few moments of attention from Pete and I’m back on track to murder the day.

4 p.m. Twelve-minute RedTube break. I try some violent lesbian-fetish shit, but it’s not working for me. I go back to lesbian porn. The “Nubile Film” stuff is always nice. Quick shower.

7 p.m. Boyfriend comes home from work. The house is a little tense. We bullshit about family and friends, and watch some TV. Sure, I believe in the power of communication, but the fact is … it doesn’t matter who texted him. It just doesn’t. I let it go.

10 p.m. We go to sleep. I just want to wake up fresh tomorrow. Today was a shitty day.

DAY FOUR

10 a.m. We wake up affectionately. I tell my boyfriend if he brushes his teeth (I already have) we can fool around. It’s warm and cozy sex. I have an orgasm, as does he.

10:30 a.m. We both check our phones. Who knows what he’s up to, but I’m all sticky and need to shower.

11 a.m. I buy us coffee and boyfriend makes us eggs. I cherish these nothing moments.

Noon Normal day. We both work. I text Pete that the next day I’m “free.” Whatever. Let’s see if I feel like it when the opportunity arises. Really, this sleeping-with-others stuff is not so deep. Then I work and paint for about seven hours straight with no interruptions.

7 p.m. I meet boyfriend out for dinner. We play “Fuck, Marry, Kill” interchanging the characters on Bloodline, the waitstaff at the restaurant, and all our friends. We’re laughing so hard.

9 p.m. A long bath of scrubbing and kinda just zoning out.

10 p.m. We get into bed, and wind up sixty-nining. It took a good seven months before we started sixty-nining. It’s like we forgot about it as an option. I’m not obsessed with it … in general, it’s a little too sweaty and smelly … but he likes anything on the side of nasty.

DAY FIVE

7 a.m. I have to take a trip to the city my art show is in ... the only reason I’m up at the crack. There’s always a little anxiety before our trips, because who knows what goes on. The truth is, I don’t think either of us has too much sex behind the other’s back. The freedom to do so feels okay, but the effort generally isn’t worth it.

8 a.m. As soon as the car pulls away, I know it’s 48 hours of work and nothing else. Bring it.

10 p.m. Day is done. I head down to the hotel bar alone. I order some dinner. There’s no one to flirt with, which is fine. Those sweet Bill Murray–Scarlett Johansson Lost in Translation scenes pretty much only happen in the movies.  

11:30 p.m. I watch an episode of Bloodline in bed. Boyfriend is watching too. We try to synch up the timing but he pauses every 10 seconds to IMDb one thing or another. I finish up the episode without him and fall asleep before midnight.

DAY SIX

10 a.m. I work all day. Super-focused. I help arrange my parents' flights to my upcoming show. Can’t wait to see them.

4 p.m. Boyfriend is a little quiet and I wonder if he’s up to no good. I ask for specifics about where is he, and what he’s doing. His answers are “kosher” enough, so I just brush any anxiety aside. I’m quite good at that! Also, too busy to care.

10 p.m. Back at the hotel bar, I go through emails and sip a glass of wine. I don’t really text my boyfriend. I’ve perfected the art of not giving a shit about him when I need to.

11 p.m. I watch a RedTube girl-on-girl orgy, shower, then watch some Bloodline.

DAY SEVEN

Noon I walk into our apartment and notice boyfriend has tidied up, made our bed, and bought some flowers for the kitchen table. I don’t think he did this as some sort of “cover-up.” He’s a sweet, thoughtful guy. Who knows what went on the night before … probably nothing. I choose to relax and enjoy being home.

6 p.m. Long bath.

7 p.m. Boyfriend comes home from work and we do our usual “I’ve missed you” fooling around. It feels great. It always does.

9 p.m. We order a pizza and I tell him all about my trip. He listens carefully. I even bore him with frivolous details about what I’m going to wear to the event … but he’s not even bored by that. In these moments, I feel very lucky to be with such a supportive man.

11 p.m. I lie in bed thinking. At some point, our scenario might become too hard for me, but for now, I think it’s a good … and wait for it … healthy … relationship. He’s there for me, emotionally, creatively, and sexually. Together we are very human … and for now, it just works.

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