There’s a guy I like. A guy I haven’t fucked but who I’ve dreamed about fucking. A guy who I’ve wanked over but who I don’t really know. A guy who I want to know, because I wanted to be his friend years ago and I still want to be his friend now – it’s just that now I want to be his friend and suck his dick. But I’m not always honest when I text him, because it’s way easier to send him nudes than be vulnerable or (god forbid) needy.
Content note for suicide, self-hatred and internalised misogyny.
I text him too much, but I can’t seem to bring myself to stop. I type ‘I’m walking past the Starbucks where we had coffee and maaaybe thinking about your dick’. The words aren’t a lie, but it’s easier to think about his dick than think about everything else. It’s easier to pretend, in that moment, that I’m not nauseated and exhausted and want to cry. And besides, if I pretend to be ok then I might forget how fucked up I am.
I’m struggling right now. I feel shit all the time, and honestly I’m not sure how long I can keep going when I feel this bad. I’ve felt like this for so long that I now feel like I have to apologise for talking about my mental illness again. There’s only so many times I can type ‘I feel shit’ until I’m boring myself, so I worry that I’m boring everyone else too. And I struggle to believe that people genuinely want to hear how shit I feel yet again, so I stop myself from reaching out.
I find it easier to believe that people want to see my nudes.
I’ve sent nudes while crying. I’ve sent nudes while lying in bed, feeling depressed and gross and too exhausted to even get up to go to the toilet. I’ve convinced myself that sending nudes – or sexts, or flirty messages about how I’m imagining them fucking my face – is more likely to get a response than me just reaching out for support. It’s easier to tell someone I just wanked while thinking about their hands than ask if I can talk about how much I’m struggling.
A text from someone telling me how how good my tits look will make me feel less alone. Even if the person doesn’t know that I feel like shit, sending nudes helps because what I’m craving is connection. When I feel like I’m falling apart, all I want to know is that there are people out there who give a shit about me. Flirting with someone can ground me or give me the energy to actually move and take care of myself. Exchanging nudes will remind me that I’m not worthless, no matter what my mind says.
And, of course, sending nudes isn’t needy.
I don’t know when “needy” became the worst thing I could possibly be, but I understand why. As someone who was socialised as female I’ve been taught that – as well as always wanting to fuck me – cis men all want sex without strings and without emotions. I’ve been told that I need to avoid cuddling or being “clingy” after we’ve fucked, because cis men only casual sex. Those things are cisheteronormative bullshit, but that doesn’t mean part of me doesn’t believe them.
Again, it’s embarrassing how much internalised misogyny I still have: do you know why I don’t think sending nudes is needy? I feel that it’s me saying that ‘look, you can fuck me and not worry that I’m going to develop feelings for you’. It’s the complete opposite to me actually sharing my feelings and asking you for support because I feel like shit. Sending nudes isn’t needy, it says that I’m cool and casual and “not like other girls” – especially because I think I might be the first person to send this particular guy nudes.
I haven’t hidden my mental illness from him – everyone I text even semi-frequently knows that I’m depressed right now, and I text him almost every day. (As I said, too much.) But he’s busy and I don’t really believe that he could see any value in talking to me beyond me blowing him one day. Depression lies to you, and when I’m at my lowest I get consumed with self-loathing. When I feel like that I genuinely I don’t understand why someone might think I’m worth more than my tits and my arse and my fuckable cunt.
Sending nudes doesn’t put the weight of my depression on him either. People don’t understand mental illness and it’s hard, when I’m struggling with suicidal ideation so intrusive that I cannot think about anything else, to explain that he doesn’t have to worry about me. Yes, I’m suicidal and yes, I’ve just told him that, but the act itself of asking for help makes me accountable to actually assess what I need to do. If I’m reaching out to someone it’s not because I need them to ‘save’ me.
What I need is for someone to know that I’m struggling, and maybe sit with me while I feel like shit – but asking for that feels like too much.
I know it’s fucked up, the thought that I asking for the help and support I need is too much, that I’m too much. It’s ok to be needy when you’re asking for something you genuinely need, as long as you’re not putting pressure on one person to be everything you need. I know that, but I still don’t want to seem needy because I like this guy and I don’t want to fuck up getting to fuck him.
And I hate myself for having I’ve internalised the idea that being needy isn’t a turn on but I have, so instead I send him nudes.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.