The Ex-SoulCycle Instructor Who Can’t Let Go

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Photo: Corbis

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 week, a 30-year-old ex-SoulCycle instructor whose attachment issues get the best of her: female, 30, Brooklyn Heights, single, straight.

DAY ONE

5:46 a.m. I’ve always been an early bird. I also have raging insomnia. I sleep maybe about four hours a night and once I’m awake, I’m awake.  At this moment I’m awake in a boy’s bed, and it’s not the same boy’s bed I was in a few nights ago. That boy, Brett, just told me to go home after he fucked me, so I did. (At least he was honest.) But this boy, Shaun — a 30-year-old creative director who is mainly a photographer and does video, too — was all about the sleeping-over portion of this date.

Shaun is one of the most affectionate men I’ve slept with. I already know this is bad because I’m going to turn this into something it’s not, but right now I don’t care. I move a little closer into him, making sure he feels my bare ass on his dick.

7 a.m. He feels me move and asks me where I’m going; I say to work out, and he looks at me like, Are you fucking serious? Two years as a SoulCycle instructor … it’s just programmed into me now. He falls back asleep, which means he doesn’t care if I stay.

9:33 a.m. I stop at home to brush my teeth and put on my workout clothes. I kind of enjoy walking around with last night on my skin and in my hair. After the gym, I settle in at Freehold for coffee and writing, job searching in between. Being a SoulCycle instructor was never my first choice but it ended up being a dream job. The real reason I moved to New York was to be a writer. I have two degrees. I write every single day and I know my writing is better than most of what I read.

This is why I am sleeping around, to distract myself from feeling like a giant failure.

1 p.m. I text Shaun. I can’t help it. Me: “Did you end up catching your train? I would feel terrible if I made you late for work.” It takes him a few minutes but he’s pretty responsive. S: “Nah. Plus I would never make you feel guilty for being naked in my bed.” There it is. I can feel it. The flush, the smile growing on my face. Time for yoga. Maybe I’ll send him sexy photos later. FML.

5:30 p.m. Heading into the city for work. I’m a maître d’ at a cocktail lounge in midtown and also at a celebrity chef’s newest baby on the Upper East Side. It’s such a lifestyle change, going from Spandex all day with hardly any makeup, sweat constantly matting your hair to your face, to fitted little sexy suits with silk tops. Though getting let go from Soul has been a huge blow, it’s been eye-opening and grounding to reinvent myself. Tonight I am a reserved blonde minx with just enough skin showing.

DAY TWO

8 a.m. It’s not uncommon for me to hit three to four different workouts in one day. It makes me feel like less of a fuck-up if I’m doing something physical with my body. And I am relentless. At Barry’s Bootcamp, when Noah says to increase the speed or incline one point, I jack it up until everything burns and I see that white fuzz. When my barre instructor at Pure Barre says one inch lower, I take it four. When Kristin at Y7 Yoga says to add on anything you want during the flow, I take it to the next level. When I get back on a SoulCycle bike with Karyn and she tells us to keep turning that wheel, you better believe I do it with gusto while pounding on the handlebars. I live for sweat. I live for feeling like my insides are being ripped from my body. I live for feeling like I can conquer something in my life when nothing seems to be heading in the right direction. I plan my day around my workouts.

My body is a prized possession. Men look at me like I’m something they want to fuck and I know that. Once they get me in bed, they are usually surprised to find out what a freak I can be. If there is one thing I’m more fanatical about than working out, it’s men. It’s sex. It’s everything physical. Where my flaw lies is that I can’t detach emotion from it.

12:30 p.m. I forgot to mention studying for the LSAT. Law is something my parents always thought I’d be good at, but I never felt like I was intelligent enough.

10 p.m. Insomnia is setting in. I’m restless. The only way to calm myself down is to get myself off. I don’t have a vibrator. I’ve never used one. And I’ve also never watched porn. I’m pretty old-school and I like to use my imagination like someone else is touching me. Tonight, I think about multiple men. Then I think about Shaun. And text him: “What would you say if I told you I’m thinking about you right now? What if I told you I’m thinking about you as I’m touching myself?” No response. I wanted him to be different. I really did.

DAY THREE

6 a.m. Same shit, different day. Up before it’s light out. Head to Sweetleaf and grab the largest coffee I can. Then, I do this thing where I lose myself in the city and become nostalgic and scroll through my contacts. I recently contacted Brian, an ex from college … Brian is gorgeous. After some flirtatious banter that actually seems promising, he drops the bomb that I seem to get every damn time. Brian: “Listen I just don’t want to mislead you. But I’m going to tell you why I am back in New York. I was supposed to get married in June. And I’m seven years sober … so there’s that.” Oh. Brian: “And to be honest I wanted you to come over tonight so I could have sex with you and then just ask you to leave.” Oh …

For a second I want to tell him to fuck off, but then I put my phone down and think about it. Brian, unlike most men, has taken the opportunity to tell me the truth. And that is more than I can say for most men I have been involved with. We make plans to meet up the following weekend, which is rapidly approaching.

2 p.m. I dropped a few casual sentences to some close friends about my decision to take the LSAT test and their response was not what I was expecting: Really? Are you sure you’re up for that? Wow, you’re just all over the place, aren’t you?

7 p.m. I’m exhausted. Physically and mentally.

DAY FOUR

11:45 a.m. Finally hear from Shaun today … I texted him last night. Me: “I wasn’t going to text you but I decided to, and even though I’m probably going to regret this, I don’t care.” S: “I don’t ever want you to feel guilty or regret reaching out to me. But I also need you to watch your feelings.” I’m sorry, what? I tell him I’m fine and that I am a big girl and make my own decisions and that his comment was a dick thing to say. He doesn’t respond and I delete his number out of my phone.

6 p.m. Two Soul classes and a yoga class later, I’m back at Freehold with green tea. I scroll through my message history and find Will’s name. Will is a boy I hooked up with in college who pursued me relentlessly until I gave in and he took me out for a glass of wine and then bourbon. Will is from money. And when I say money, I mean he has Thanksgiving every year with Tom Hanks’s (yes, the actor) family. Will has never once treated me poorly.

He says he wants to fly me to L.A. and let me write and relax, all expenses paid, with the keys to his car and house. So why do I turn him down every time and why, when he is in the city, do I constantly blow him off? I have these relationships with men, ones I’ve kept around for years that I turn to if I need a confidence boost. Or maybe they keep me around because they know I will respond.

8:30 p.m. Freehold is picking up and I decide to put my shit away and be that single girl at the bar. There is one guy who’s tall and lanky. When he sits down next to me I notice that he pulls out a pen and starts sketching on the napkin in front of him.

10 p.m. His name is Neal. He’s from Nashville originally and still has a sliver of an accent that comes out on certain words. Not only is he smart, he’s absolutely hilarious, and now I have become that girl who’s choking on her tequila cocktail when he whips out something new and witty every other sentence. Okay. Okay, I could be into this. We exchange numbers and part ways.

DAY FIVE

5:30 a.m. My alarm on my phone goes off and startles me awake so suddenly I forget where the hell I am. And then I remember, because I recognize the snoring. Fuck. My. Life. Last night, as soon as I walked in the door from the bar (it’s dangerous that it’s literally two minutes away from my apartment), I got a text from Shaun saying that he’s home early from visiting his family. I had sent him photos of me in knee-high stockings and nothing else a few days ago … and radio silence. Nothing. At all. No response. And now, here he is, days after I sent them and not only does he not mention the photos, he just casually says he’s free and that I should come over. When I mention the photos he just says, “Oh they were nice.” NICE?!

And what do I do? I pack my shoulder bag to make sure I have everything for the next day and I go straight over.

I turn over to look up at him and he’s already inside of me and then he turns me on my side. When I’m about to come, so is he and I ask him to pull out and do it on me, I don’t care where. He does and is polite about it and helps me wipe off.

9 a.m. We’ve gone our separate ways and I just have this feeling that it is probably going to be the last time I see or hear from him.

1 p.m. Told a few people about what happened last night and no one feels sorry for me.

6 p.m. I leave my phone in my purse at work. Out of site, out of mind.

DAY SIX

10:30 a.m. I still feel like shit. I tell these men half-truths. I tell them I don’t want anything serious either, when that’s just not true. I’m emotionally attached to everything.

12:46 p.m. Fuck the LSAT. I need to write. I’ve been writing for almost two hours now and I’m not stopping. I was meant to write, to write about these things, these messy feelings, these relationships, these people. I was meant to do it in such a way to connect to other people.

1:53 p.m. I even document it on Facebook. At 1:53 p.m.: “I am not going to stop until I become the next sex and relationships columnist that you will not be able to ignore.” I make the decision to blow off my LSAT class and I write.

DAY SEVEN

7 a.m. I’ve been neglecting my LSAT studying because I’ve started writing article pitches. I write my face off and take two Soul classes.

8 p.m. It’s a Saturday night and the week has gotten away from me a little. This guy Brett had suggested a while back that we get together tonight, but I haven’t heard from him today. It doesn’t bother me and I start getting ready to head out for my friend Loren’s birthday.

My friend asks who I was texting every five seconds at the bar. I tell him it’s Brett, and he informs me that Brett lives around the corner (not kidding). Another friend takes my phone out of my hand — I have a photo of Brett pulled up, and she shows our group of friends, who respond with, Are you fucking kidding me?!

My friend Rachel says, “You need to go over there, fuck him, and then come back and act like it’s not a big deal. This is how you get your power back.” Rachel knows me better than anyone has in a long time, probably better than I know myself. I don’t know if it was the fact that we had already drank three times more than we had eaten for the day, or because I have this new why-the-fuck-not attitude, but I take the phone, tell Brett I’m coming over, grab my coat, and slip out.

When I get there, we don’t even pause for “Hi.” I take his belt off and undo his button and zipper of his pants with my teeth. He goes down on me and makes me come multiple times. About an hour or so later, I check my phone and tell him I should get back. I’ve taken total control of this situation and I feel like the sexiest woman in Brooklyn. Brett drives me back to the bar and I don’t even bother to fix my face or hair. All I say is “have a good night,” then get out of the car and join my friends back at the bar. Their response when I walk in is all I need.

12:30 a.m. I am drunk. I feel high. My face is flushed. I have no idea what direction my life is going in and it doesn’t matter. Maybe tomorrow I will tell Will to fly me to California. Maybe I will reach out to Neal and playfully ask him to sketch me. Maybe I will reach back out to Shaun and just be honest with him about how he’s hurt me, because that’s all I ask from anyone else. Maybe I’ll never hear from any of these men and I will just have to start all over again. This is why I love New York.

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