The Woman With Digestive Woes on a Romantic Getaway

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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 newspaper staffer trying to reconcile her chronic digestive problems with having a new boyfriend: in a relationship, straight, UWS.

DAY ONE

8 a.m. Something is up with my stomach — as usual. This has been going on for about three years. Basically, I’m always bloated and gassy, no matter what I eat or do. No one can figure it out, and it makes it really hard to have relationships. Denny is the first guy I’ve let myself get close to in a long time.

8:10 a.m. It’s terrific waking up together. We didn’t do anything special last night. Just some TV and then he went down on me. He’s pretty good at it. If he remembers to finger me aggressively at the very end, I’ll come like that.

9 a.m. The truth is, any morning I don’t fart in my sleep with Denny is a victorious thing. We met on Tinder. Turns out we’re from neighboring towns in Connecticut. We liked each other immediately and got right into dating. I did tell him on our first date that I had some chronic stomach issues, and that things got pretty gross sometimes. He didn’t flinch. He said growing up with a bunch of brothers gave him a high tolerance for gross. Let’s hope.

1:30 p.m. I am at the gym on my lunch break. I work for a newspaper in the city in the marketing department. I feel it needs to be said that I’m a nice, pretty girl — all this toilet talk is not what you’d expect from someone like me. I’m only putting it out there because it’s too rich not to.

6:30 p.m. I’m getting acupuncture. Sometimes it helps make my stomach hurt less for a night or two. Because of this, I make sure Denny and I have plans.

8:30 p.m. Post acupuncture and shower at home, we meet for a small bite to eat in my neighborhood — I get a light, brothy soup. I invite him to sleep over and he’s happy to. That’s one of the things I love about Denny, he is always game to hang. So many New York guys get wrapped up in “drinks” and “bro-time,” and Denny just wants to put some nice quality time in with his girlfriend. He started calling me his girlfriend after 2 weeks — psycho if you’re not into someone, super-refreshing if you are (and I am)!

10 p.m. I fall asleep on him while watching Shark Tank. No sex.

DAY TWO

7:10 a.m. I farted twice in my sleep last night. I HATE THAT. Denny swears he never hears it, but when it happens, we both sorta freeze in bed. Then there is the awkward, fake turning over and fake heavy breathing. The farts don’t smell, mind you. Why is there no better word for “fart”? I’d be happy to hear some besides “pass gas.” Let’s rebrand farting.

1:30 p.m. Gym break at lunch.  Denny checks in with me from his job, which is somewhat similar to mine but at a magazine. He is so sweet. He texts things like “Hey, Beautiful.” And “I miss you, my honey.” We have yet to say “I love you.” It’s only been three months. I have to bite my tongue not to say it every time we go to sleep or say good-bye. I don’t want to say it first.

10:30 p.m. I’m going to bed early at my place because Denny had dinner with one of his brothers tonight. I am sure he never mentions the night farts. Thank goodness for the Robin Williams scene in Good Will Hunting, though — something about how his wife used to fart in her sleep and it was the most endearing thing about her.

DAY THREE

3 p.m. The big thing that happens today is Denny invites me to Vermont for the weekend. He has a friend’s wedding at which plus-ones weren’t allowed, but he still wants to hang during non–office hours. I’m really psyched. I spend the rest of the day shopping for the trip and getting a last-minute highlight appointment. I also book a last-minute acupuncture appointment for Friday, just before we leave.

DAY FOUR

7:10 a.m. On the way to work, I call my mother. She is really negative about Denny because he makes no money, because he’s a little old for multiple roommates (he’s 35), and because I stupidly told her that he asked me to borrow $1,500 once. He said his apartment had had an insane plumbing issue (not my fault, ha!) and he had been stuck with a huge bill. I loaned it and he paid me back after three weeks. It’s nothing I think or care about, but Mom won’t let it go. I regret calling her about Vermont. Now it’s a little tainted. In her Debbie Downer voice, she said, “Will you be paying for gas and the room?” The answer is: Probably. BUT STILL, MOM. She doesn’t know the extent of my stomach issues and how I feel lucky just to have any man stick around after hearing me fart (1) during sex, (2) in my sleep, (3) any time, any place. It’s killed my self-esteem. That being said, Denny is still a great guy and excellent boyfriend.

9 p.m. Denny comes by to have some wine and talk about the weekend plans. I know he’s not sleeping over, so I allow myself some wine. Otherwise, I never would have: It’s the ultimate bloat. Rosé in particular makes me want to die.

10:30 p.m. I’m saying good-bye to Denny at the door and things get hot and heavy. He is rubbing up against me. I’m pressed against the front door. He pulls down my sweatpants, whips out his cock, and fucks me against the door. He comes quickly and really hard, which is nice. I don’t, but it’s totally okay.

DAY FIVE

7 a.m. I’m going to tell you why I get angsty going away with guys. About a year ago, I went to Miami with someone I had been dating for about a month. On day two, I woke up with a nervous stomach. He was asleep next to me, and all I could think is: What do I do if explosive diarrhea hits? We had had the most romantic night before, and I was up all night wondering if any of it was real. My stomach was killing me. I threw on some jeans under my T-shirt, took the hotel-room keys, and left. If he woke, I was going to say I was getting a coffee. I quickly scrambled to some hotel lobby bathroom … but not soon enough. I shit my pants. It was a vile, vile, vile scene.  I ended up going back to the room, praying he was still asleep, but he wasn’t. I had to confess … there was no way out of it. We kind of laughed it off and finished our long weekend in Miami, but I never got over the shame, and I think he never got over the turn-off. We never spoke again. Do you see why I have romantic-vacay PTSD?!

2 p.m. We leave for Vermont in a rental car. He paid for it, for the record. Mother!

4:30 p.m. I attempt to give him road head. It doesn’t really work. Does that work for anyone?

9 p.m. We are checked in to our hotel room. I was really careful about not eating crap on the road. At one point we stopped at a McDonald’s, and I got a water and a bun. I eat a lot when I’m solo, so the days I’m not, I’m extra-careful to kind of balance out. In other words, I am not 90 pounds.

10 p.m. We shower and go down for drinks with some of his friends. Everyone is super-nice. Denny is doting on me. Hashtag happy girl.

11:30 p.m. We crawl into bed in the hotel and have nice missionary sex. I have a small orgasm and he comes shortly after. We sleep.

DAY SIX

10 a.m. Denny gets a last-minute text from the bride that he can “totally bring” me. To a guy, this is a great text. To me, it’s horrifying! I don’t have a dress. I barely brought makeup. It is almost impossible to show up looking appropriate. I tell Denny that I’m not able to go. This upsets him. He says I’m being high maintenance. He doesn’t understand that I literally cannot show up in jeans and a $9.99 clearance-rack crop top. The wedding is tonight, but how the hell, and where the hell, am I supposed to shop in rural Vermont for a dress? We are now fighting, and it sucks.

Noon I tell Denny to text the bride that the offer is very kind, but it’s impossible to pull off. A woman will understand. He reluctantly sends the text. She immediately writes back with three fucking frown emojis, and one with a tear. Way to have a girl’s back, Bridezilla.

1:30 p.m. Denny is mad at me, so I go on a walk.

3:30 p.m. When I get back, he is getting dressed for the wedding and drinking a beer. He seems to have cooled off.  It’s awkward, but I stand by my choice not to show up to someone’s wedding looking like shit.

4:15 p.m. I sit on the bed, watching Denny do his finishing touches, telling him how handsome he is. I’m not thrilled with him right now, but I’m trying to proceed with caution.

5 p.m. He’s off. I probably won’t see him until about midnight, so I get dressed to go back into town. There was a cute pizza joint and I have some magazines. Let’s make the most out of this.

8:00 p.m. I’m having a nice time, but Denny hasn’t texted even once.

8:30 p.m. I’m really happy I can digest the pizza and deal with any digestive issues (and there are a few) long before he’s due to get home. I fall asleep by 9 p.m. but keep my phone on loud in case he wants me to come to some after-party. I told him over and over that I’d totally be down for that!

11:30 p.m. He comes in stinking of beer. I fake being asleep and basically keep myself awake all night because my stomach is hurting from stress and pizza. If I stay awake, nothing unfortunate will happen in the butt-cheek zone.

3 a.m. I must have fallen asleep, but a fart wakes me up. Honestly I’m not sure if it was him or me. So at least there’s that. I would really like to know how many people normally fart in their sleep, by the way. Maybe everyone does it, and I’ve been beating myself up for nothing all these years.

DAY SEVEN

10 a.m. We wake up cuddling despite it all. As I brush my teeth, he shouts, “Sorry I was a jerk yesterday. I was just really excited to show you off.” We decide to leave the argument in Vermont and have a slow drive home. We’re even going to stop in Connecticut to visit my grandmother.

2 p.m. Grandma loved Denny!!!!

3 p.m. My eyes are burning from the up-all-night-stomach-code-red-situation. I tell him I want to go home and relax by myself. He suggests taking me up and kind of tickles my clit over my linen pants. I do feel a little tingle. But I’m not in the mood. And I’d like a big dinner.

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