*The Cairo Sex Diaries series was inspired by New York Magazine’s long-standing Sex Diary column.
6:30am I wake up in a good mood although Sundays tend to depress me because I absolutely hate my job. My phone is usually on snooze for about 30 minutes after I’m supposed to get up, time I spend cursing this corporate shit as I try to open my eyes. Not today. I head to the gym long before the alarm rings. It’s a beautiful day!
8:00am I read Love in the Time of Cholera while ubering to work and a passage about some chick really riding Florentino Ariza gets my imagination stirring. Ah! If only I could spend the day wrapping up this book while tanning next to the pool…
9:15am Stupid clients. Stupid coworkers. Fuck Google drive. Fuck everything.
9:45am Morning ya helwa, M texts. I smile to myself like an idiot. We exchange a few text messages about what his work trip the previous week to Paris was like and how he’s too tired to get to his office.
10:20am M texts that he’s going to have a short nap and I smile to myself again. I think of how beautiful he looks when he’s sleeping and it gives me so much more comfort than sitting in this gloomy office ever will. Sure, he just got divorced two seconds ago and the last (or only time) we—well, almost—hooked up was at the apartment he once shared with his wife, but I have to say he’s got some pretty great talent for foreplay. My mind drifts to what more cuddling, pre-intercourse fun, and a potential fuck with him would feel like.
NOON My boss is trying to explain the requirements for a copywriting piece I’m supposed to submit later in the week, but I struggle to focus. I wonder when M might be getting up from his nap.
1:15pm M texts to invite me over to his place since he isn’t working for the day. I’m about to text back that I would love to, but I get distracted with an e-mail a client sends in.
1:30pm I want to make you scream, shake, and maybe cry…just a little bit. OH MY FUCKING HELL, I think as I read another message he sends. My stockings get moist.
1:33pm How is it not the end of the work day already?
1:45pm Focusing on work is impossible. All I can think of is his image in my head. I decide to take a walk to the nearest Starbucks.
2:00pm Grab a caramel Frappuccino and continue reading Love in the Time of Cholera. If sugar and/or Gabriel Garcia Marquez can’t get him off my mind, nothing can.
3:01pm I leave work early and decide to deal with anything “urgent” in the morning. I’m sooo excited…and sexting M non-stop while ubering to his place.
4:05pm Nawarti el Maadi, he texts once I’m merely minutes away. We’re so in synch. This is too good to be true. Small talk and a little flirting while heading upstairs. He shows me a couple of books he bought me, one which I would really like to read and have never been able to find in Cairo, so I peck him on the cheek to thank him. The second is a Robert Greene I’ve definitely read in like, high school. I tell him that and he responds in a very weak, horny voice as he knocks his sandals off and leans in, “ah, that makes a lot of sense actually…” Super-expensive pencil dress gets a bit wrinkly but I really don’t care.
4:45pm This is so mind-blowing….
5:00pm I kiss his arms, his chest, and run my fingers all over his body. We cuddle. It’s all pretty intimate and sweet. I can’t remember the last time someone looked at me the way he does.
6:00pm Really rough, really hard, until I can no longer breathe and think the bed must have collapsed. HE IS SO AMAZING. Later, we fall into each other’s arms for a bit and he gives me a t-shirt of his to wear while we munch on some snacks. He tells me about his family, his designer-clad colleagues, and his ex-wife. I make fun of his pictures as a dorky teenager.
8:00pm THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.
8:15pm Accidentally whisper “I love you” mid-orgasm. Purse my lips and hope he didn’t hear it.
12:40am We’re cuddling once more and it all feels so perfect. I wouldn’t mind never moving an inch ever again.
12:42am I remember I’d told my parents that I would be home by 1:00am. I tickle M’s chest, unsure whether he’s only half asleep. He says he’s disappointed I have to leave, but rises up to get dressed and drive me home. We hold hands and he squeezes. Part of me knows that all of this will soon end but I try not to be too pessimistic.
2:00am I toss and turn in bed, wishing I was still in his arms. FUCK PATRIARCHY. FUCK SOCIETY. FUCK EVERYTHING.
7:00am-9:00am Nonstop texting and morning selfies. Exchanges include: You’re amazing; you’re gorgeous; I miss you already; I miss your face; Yesterday was awesome; enta gamed; enti agmad; and my thighs are numb.
9:15am Beat myself up, again, for going home last night. I should have stayed in his bed, told my parents I was sleeping over at my friend Farrah's house, and then called in sick to work today for yet another round.
11:00am Randomly smile to myself throughout the day. Even a colleague whining about a looming deadline can’t change my vibe as I hum to Fayrouz’s Ahwak.
6:00pm I grab a late lunch with my good friend, Farrah, at one of our favorite artsy Zamalek spots that serve really bad salads but host poetry readings to make up for their culinary failures. We munch on the crappy lettuce while exchanging stories about our lovers and concocting plan-Bs for when we quit our jobs.
9:00pm-9:15pm Back at Farrah’s place nearby, attempting to give her helpful feedback about her outfit choices while texting M to schedule our next date. Multitasking is SO HARD.
11:00pm <3A random text from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, Ali, who I met at a concert a few weeks earlier, comes in. Although he’s attractive, I have been blowing off his messages because he seems a bit too eccentric. I ignore it and hop into bed, only to hear my phone buzz another four times. He is so needy…
7:15am A missed call, three texts, and one voice note from Ali. Block incoming messages from him and decide to pretend being perpetually busy if he calls. He’s way too clingy for someone I’ve only met so briefly.
7:45am-7:55am Routine, early morning flirting-via-text with M.
8:30am Routine, early morning suicidal thoughts as I wonder how I ever ended up with an office job.
6:00pm-9:00pm Catchup dinner with an Ivy League-educated high-school BFF who just flew in to Egypt for the first time in an entire year. She whines about how “competitive” the job market is in her niche field, that she hasn’t dated much in the past year, and we gossip about who in our childhood circle ended up where. By the end of it, I feel entirely drained. How did I fall behind the girl who earned the same grades as I did ten years ago? How did she master two additional languages (and travel multiple times as often as I do) in the past three years? I can almost feel her measuring my failures behind her fake smile, but I force myself to smile back because deep down, she’ll always be like family.
We share a few good laughs and hug each other very tightly goodbye. For the first time in a long time, I feel warm.
10:30pm Routine, goodnight text from M. A few exchanges of kissing emojis.
11:45pm Restless, horny, and struggling to fall asleep, I call M. He doesn’t pick up.
8:20am No text or call from M.
9:30am Still no text from M.
9:45am Attempt texting him Good morning, love, but the text doesn’t get through.
10:30am Attempt to care about the mundane tasks I couldn’t give two shits about.
11:00am How is your day going habibi? Text still doesn’t get through. I restart my phone. I try turning the 3G connection off and back on another three times, which still doesn’t manifest any text messages. It must be shitty Egyptian connection. Or not. Either way, I need to update my SIM card to 4G.
3:00pm-5:00pm Leave work early to Netflix at Farrah’s Zamalek apartment. Munch on plastic-tasting, locally-produced biscuits before we order pasta.
6:00pm Consuming carbs for the first time in weeks gets us a bit hyper. As a subtle buzz kicks in from the alcohol too, I’m ready to produce terrible poetry.
8:15pm Fourteen sheets of scribbles later, I smoke a furtive joint on Farrah’s balcony while contemplating the meaning of life.
2:00am I wake up to my phone buzzing with messages from Ralph, a half-Italian I almost slept with after having a few drinks at a house party in Maadi a couple of months earlier…until I found out that he never graduated university and got really turned off. I glance, but won’t even bother actively reading, having memorized his unsuccessful bootycall techniques. He was unapologetically unoriginal; it always began with a wink that turned into “honey…where are you?...what are you doing?...let’s hang out again sometime….”
9:30am I pretend to work on a presentation for a critical GCC client we’re pitching to next week, while wondering when the one guy I actually care about will reach out, if he ever will.
5:00pm Yoga time! Nothing makes me feel quite as good as puffing my way between downward dogs and warrior poses until I develop a soothing stretch in my back. No matter how down I feel, the natural high after an hour of Vinyasa always brings me peace.
6:15pm My phone vibrates just after the class ends. It’s M! I resist the urge to jump in sheer bliss as I read his apology for not being in touch. He says he’s been busy wrapping up divorce papers and hasn’t been feeling well, especially after an intense, emotional confrontation with his (now officially, ex-) wife about everything between them being definitively over. I tell him I wish I could be with him, he responds that he needs some time alone for the night. We exchange texts about how difficult this is for him and I write that I miss him. Perhaps it was foolish to obsess about him ghosting me when he was going through such a rough time himself…
9.00pm Quality time with the girls! Lots of laughter and gossip. Nights like this always make me feel on top of the world.
3:00pm-8:00pm Routine, sacred family dinner time. No texts (or sexts) of any sort. I play with my younger cousins and make small talk with aunts and uncles.
11.00am I head to M’s house, where we plan to spend the day together. Within minutes of laying eyes on each other for the first time in almost a week, I’m on top of him, moaning and sweating harder than I have in months.
2:00pm-5:00pm We walk to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch, where he asks what my views on an open relationship would be. He explains that after years in a serious commitment and sharing the same home with someone he thought he’d found “forever” with, he’s looking for “something different”. I know I have strong feelings for him, but I’m intrigued by the prospect of having it all. Maybe I could act on the lesbian fantasies I always had of Farrah’s sexy roommate, while still having a sort-of boyfriend. Or perhaps I could give Ralph another chance…
We hold hands as we walk back to the apartment, where he says: “I’ve wanted you since that first day I saw you…you were wearing a blue dress or something…and you looked—“ he pauses as he undresses me, kisses my bare back, and breathes, “as hot as hell.”
I turn around and slowly kiss him back. Who am I kidding by agreeing to this open relationship thing? I try not to let that thought linger, although I’m certain that, since we met, he’s the only one I’ve had on my mind. And for some time, it will only be him.