When I was in my third and final year of university, I had a very rude romantic awakening.
It was the first time since lower-sixth form that I’d officially been single (even though I’d cheated on the two boyfriends I’d had within that period… a lot).
So, now that I was free to bed whomever I wanted, whenever I wanted -without having to usher my conquests out of my student abode before the rest of my housemates woke up – needless to say, I didn’t hold back.
One Saturday evening, while downing ghastly shots of apple sourz at the equally ghastly student union bar, I glimpsed a very pretty posh boy to my right who was waiting to be served.
I instantly recognised him as one of my housemate’s boyfriend’s rugger bugger brethren, and I used this piece of information to spark up a dialogue.
About seven more apple sourz shots later, and the rugger bugger was on his way back to mine.
So horny were we that we didn’t even bother to stop on route for cheesy chips – a staple constituent of every Exeter University student’s night out.
Being half-cut myself, I didn’t notice that this rugger bugger was completely fucking shunted.
So shunted, in fact, that the sex itself was pretty much a non-event.
Which is why I was surprised to awake several hours later to bed sheets that were absolutely sodden with his perspiration.
Rugby boys must just sweat a lot I guess, I told myself.
(This was the level of denial I was operating at back then).
As the morning sun peered between the crack in the curtains, I felt his warm, musty breath on the back of my neck nearly as fast as I smelt it.
His chiselled, naked body wriggled against mine and, before I’d even had a chance to bid him a good morrow with my mouth that tasted like a fur boot, he was inside of me once more.
Our fresh sweat mingled with the already sodden bed sheets to create a most unbecoming scent.
But, feeling grateful to have the undivided attention of such a good-looking and popular boy, I put it to the back of my mind.
And apparently, so did he, for neither of us mentioned the sheets once.
When he left, I toyed with the idea of washing the linen like any self-respecting woman would do, following a one-night stand.
But, considering that there was less than a week until the end of term (and I was one lazy bitch), I decided to leave it until the day before I was due to head back to London for Easter.
About four days after my romp with the rugger bugger, I went over to my friend Nicky’s for a girly dinner party.
Two bottles of Jacob’s Creek in, and we tipsily toppled in to our latest boy sagas.
These girls had been privy to all my naughty shenanigans over the last few months, so were expecting some top notch content from me.
And I did not disappoint, but alas, not for the reasons I’d imagined.
I told them all about the rugger bugger and the ludicrously sweaty sex we’d had a few days earlier.
“What’s his name?” Lana asked as she topped up all of our glasses.
“Uh, Tom I think? Tom Hartman?”
With furrowed brow, Lana got up from the table, ran upstairs and returned a few moments later clutching her laptop.
She opened it up and logged straight on to Facebook.
“Is this him?” she asked, turning the computer to face me.
“Yeh, that’s him!” I said gleefully as I clicked through his profile pictures.
“Bloody fit, isn’t he?!”
Lana pursed her lips, trying not to laugh.
“You do know who that is, don’t you Pers…”
Beyond his name and high ranking in the looks department, I did not.
“What do you mean?” I replied, sensing I wasn’t going to love the answer.
Lana let out a sigh that somehow managed to translate as a cross between euphoria and pity.
“That’s Wet Wet Wet; he’s famous for getting battered, taking girls home to bonk them and then pissing in their bed.”
When I got home later that night, I pulled my duvet cover off the bed to reveal a big, circular yellow-green stain on the bottom sheet.
I must’ve subconsciously known it was there all along, but had refused to admit it to myself until the sheets of my own denial had been hastily ripped away by Lana’s revelation.
In other words, I’d favoured having sex and sleeping in someone else’s piss over telling this guy to get his urine-soaked arse OUT OF MY FUCKING BED because, somewhere in my psyche, that’s the level of respect I thought I deserved.
However, I wasn’t quite ready to take heed of this lesson in love just yet.
A few years later, when I was on an acting job in Shanghai, I fell asleep in the corridor outside my hotel room after a heavy night with a Russian boy I’d flung myself at in a bar hours earlier.
I awoke to a warm stream of liquid cascading down the side of my torso, and soon realised that the source of this liquid was the unconscious Russian boy’s flaccid penis, which was poking through the flies of his shorts.
Horrified (not to mention covered in piss again) I ran in to my hotel room, locked the door, took of my damp dress and shoved it in the bin before jumping in to the shower to try and wash away both the evidence and the memory.
When I emerged from my mercifully fresh-as-a-daisy bed sheets hours later, I quietly opened the door to my room and peaked around it to the corridor on the other side.
The Russian was gone, but a big wet patch remained:
An ill-favoured reminder that no, it hadn’t all been a bad dream.
Vile and extreme as I know these cautionary tales may appear to you, I do hope they serve to illuminate some of the ways you may have settled for your own version of piss-soaked bed sheets or clothes in your love life today.
Maybe you find yourself justifying or rationalising why the only ‘dates’ he seems to ask you on involve late night booty calls.
Or why all communication and interaction between the two of you tends to be on his terms only.
Or why he makes a concerted effort to hide his phone from you whenever messages come through, and is generally evasive, secretive and vague about what he’s been up to since you last spoke.
Or why he constantly makes little digs or jokes at your expense.
Or why he cancels plans with you last minute and doesn’t call when he says he will.
Or why he openly flirts with other women in front of you.
Or why he does everything to avoid having a serious and meaningful conversation about where your relationship is headed.
Or why he doesn’t show any interest in your life and minimises your feelings because he’s just so very busy.
Or why his mood is so unpredictable that there’s a permanent ball of anxiety in your stomach whenever you’re in his presence.
Or why he seems to have an excuse for everything.
Just to keep hold of this man who treats you with not one iota of dignity or respect, you find yourself blowing off dates with your friends when he calls you for a last minute rendevouz (and then lie to your friends about it).
And you dress and behave in a way that is not really you, but you think will make him like you more.
And you plan your entire weekly schedule around when he might want to see you.
And you ignore him when he tells you early on that he’s not ‘ready’ for a relationship and is just looking to have fun.
And you convince yourself that the mad-hot sex and physical chemistry between you must mean that he does want to be in a relationship with you, really.
And you lose yourself entirely in this person and dynamic that has done not one thing for your life but drain it of all of its magnificent luminosity.
Because the truth is, there are plenty of guys out there who’d sell their left bollock to be with someone like you.
So, I ask you, dear one:
Why do you keep on settling for crumbs when you’re worth more than the whole fucking cake put together?
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
Have you ever settled for ‘crumbs’ in your love life?
How did that work out for you?
And, what boundaries are you willing to put in place so you don’t keep getting messed around in the future?
Let me know below :)