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Lead Environment and Climate Beat Reporter

JULY 25, 2023

I fear that there has been too much commentary in this column as of late, so I am going to take this week to just tell a fun summer sex story.

Last week, I went to a journalism convention in Washington, D.C. as part of a fellowship for college students. It was incredible meeting so many other kids around my age from all around the country (and world!), collaborating together and exploring the city together once the day’s work was done. 

I truly think I met some of the best friends of my life there, on top of building amazing work relationships (#network!!!) for the future. 

I totally did not think I’d get dick at the journalism convention.

Of course, my fellowship cohort were not the only college-aged kids there. I met a group of some others in line for the convention’s opening reception. Or, more like, my friends and I walked past said group and a tall boy standing with them caught my eye. 

Obviously, I wasn’t trying to make serious moves at a journalism convention, so my group and I took our spot in the back of the line. I tried to make small talk with those around me while also sort of looking in his direction when I could. 

To my surprise, he walked up to my group himself and started talking to some of my friends, reeking of charisma and extroversion. He was the type of person who gets high off of networking and is really good at it. 

I thought it was hot. 

We introduced ourselves and walked into the reception together, and I think we spent enough time together that when he left for another event and I walked back to my friends, they immediately were like, “Oooo, how was he?” 

That night, I invited him out to hang with my friends, but for various reasons we did not spend much time alone together. He suggested we make up for it the following night, and we ended up taking the Metro (shoutout amazing D.C. public transportation!) to the Washington Monument together at about midnight. 

We sat on the lawn surrounding the monument, drank soju and talked about how we were liking the convention, our respective schools and more. The entire time, his hands were slowly inching from the grass to my inner thigh, until we were making out. Boy could rizz! 

On the walk back to my hotel room, it started raining, so I had to get a “kiss in the rain” moment with him. A French guy on business happened to also be there — despite the fact that it was 4 a.m. — and asked to take a photo of us kissing in the rain. 

The whole situation felt straight out of a movie. It’s funny how movies are based in real life.

The next night, we had sex in my hotel bed and he slept over. I had to leave in the morning before he got out of bed and didn’t see him again until the convention’s closing ceremony. 

I was kind of avoiding eye contact with him, in the way where sex makes things kind of awkward (at least for me). But I was super happy to see him and invited him out to hang with me and my friends again at a bar later that night. At the bar, he spent most of the time talking to one of my friends and another guy. 

This kind of bummed me out. I wanted to talk with him, but I didn’t want to insert myself in their conversation, so I distracted myself by getting drunk with the rest of my friends.

He came up to me as he was about to leave and said he had had fun the night before, but was not a hook-up person and of course, we weren’t going to date, so we should just be friends. I don’t really remember what I said back, but I know I gave him a stank eye and walked a lap around the bar before returning to our conversation.

I think I was partly stunned and disappointed (and drunk). 

I also always feel a bit wonky when people insist on only having sex with me one time. Initially, it felt very “hit and dip.” I also don’t like being told things I already know — of course we weren’t going to date, we met three days ago and he lived across the country. 

Later, I texted him apologizing for the way I reacted and told him that it was actually a good thing that he had so explicitly laid out his intentions. I have a tendency to really despise clarity in romantic relationships, which may be why I gravitate toward the “situationship” and “unserious fling.” 

But I want to learn to have and respond to these sorts of conversations better in the future. I’m starting to think that asserting oneself can maybe be a much more powerful thing than being “chill” about everything, and always riding a wave.

So that’s it! My fun summer sex story, live from Washington, D.C.

Amber X. Chen writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact the opinion desk at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter.

JULY 25, 2023