How To Have Sex With A Stranger

Don’t tell your friends.

Don’t tell your friends because they will be concerned. Once they are concerned, it will be harder to sneak off and have sex with this stranger. Once they are concerned, you are required to be concerned.

If your friends do find out, let them try to fix you. Listen to them tell you that you need help. Listen as they explain why it’s bad to be having sex with someone you don’t know, repeatedly.

Listen as your best friend tells you that this is wrong. This stranger is not a good man and you deserve better.

Then nod your head.

Nod your head, shed a tear, and give your best friend a hug and then offer a reassuring smile. Say “thank you.”

They mean well, they just don’t know.

Don’t talk to the stranger. Do not attempt to establish a relationship because you know there isn’t one there. You know.

The stranger works outside for a living, didn’t go to college, drinks beer with every meal, and doesn’t own a single book.

The stranger has tattoos, an awful haircut, and a lopsided smile. He calls you beautiful. Think, “You’re right, I am too beautiful for you.”

Immediately regret thinking this. But no one can hear your thoughts. Which is good, because no one understands.

If you must have conversation, play dumb. Play cute and pretend like you’re totally into him. Everything he says makes you giggle. Act like you don’t realize he’s watching you, but toss your hair or pout your lips as if it’s natural.

And if he starts to text you, end that.

It may hurt when you realize there is no potential for an actual relationship. Shake that feeling off. Remind yourself to feel nothing. You know why.

Don’t think about what youre doing. If you think about it, you realize why you’re sleeping with this creep. This lowlife you don’t know. You don’t know any of his friends, his middle name, what he does in his spare time, anything about his family. You don’t know if he really is 23. For all you know, he’s 30. Or worse, 20.

So don’t think about it.

Don’t. Because then you’ll remind yourself that he’s the reason. The reason your grades went to hell this semester. The reason your best friend thinks you hate her. The reason why you have to lie to your roommates, study groups, anyone who gets in the way of you meeting up with this stranger.

Remind yourself why you’re doing this. To hold on. To find sanity.

Realize it’s having the opposite effect.

Don’t think about it, because you’ll realize you’re sleeping with this guy because you don’t know what else to do.

He took your virginity three months ago.

Without asking.

He took your virginity without asking and now you’re lost. Lost and confused except for when you sneak to his house, have sex, and leave immediately after. Because then, you find clarity.

You find a moment of peace as you drive away, down his dirt road, blasting music with the windows down at 3 a.m.

The country songs on the radio cannot come close to the sadness that is your world. TC mark

image – Shutterstock


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  • jane

    You are damn fucked up in the head girl!

    • Rebecca Raymond

      I think you need to back up and understand…..if this girl is telling a true story then we need to respect that and you should try to understand where she is coming from…

  • H

    What other kind of sex is there??

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Love & Sex Add a comment […]

  • Teandra

    Perfect and beautiful but most of all, accurate. This is how to make having sex with strangers an art form, a finesse.

    • C.

      She’s sleeping with her rapist….you do know that it’s not an actual tutorial piece, right?

      • Kate

        I think (though I can’t be 100% sure) she means he took her virginity without asking, as in..he didn’t know she was a virgin? This happened to me, I lost my virginity to a stranger and he had no idea.

      • Woo


  • taylorvvon

    Damn, girl. That’s all kinds of effed up.

  • Little Bittle Lost

    Is it sad that I’m going through the exact same thing right now? :(

    • Dee

      I am too. And it never dawned on me that it was rape till much later. Yet, the sex after is currently what I’m struggling with not doing. I do think it’s all kind of f-ed up but I can’t help thinking of heading back to this stranger.

      Thanks for writing the piece. It has reminded me not to make that phone call.

      • s

        i loved this. as someone who is dealing with almost the same situation this really hit home. i’m glad i’m not the only one who has gone through this and reacted and dealt with it in the same way

  • meg


  • kat


  • Liz

    Wow – I liked this piece and didn’t expect the ending. While the ending is what sets it apart, I think you should add a trigger warning at the beginning for victims of sexual abuse.

    • duncansomerside

      Thats an interesting request because not too long back I wrote a poem on another blog of mine about rape and someone got very emotional from it and asked me to do the same thing. I respect that, but then people who could really be helped by it may not read it because they are afraid to be triggered. There are triggers all around us and I respect the idea that we who know not to trigger should do everything we can to not but then again, shouldn’t we talk about it? And especially to people who can really understand and feel that emotion? It is part of the art of writing, the suspense of the ending, and if you put a disclaimer, it wont be as powerful. In any case, this isn’t a rape piece anyway, so that warning would be unneeded.

  • molly

    the ending was unexpected, not how I thought the piece was going to play out.

  • Ph

    Had to go back and read it again after I knew the twist. Please write a novel… I would read it!



  • Miel

    Holy crap, went from serious advice to an incredibly sad story, how on earth will I have sex with strangers now! Your title is misleading young lady! And the story is very sad..

  • Lisi

    I’m so disappointed by the comments on this post. This piece was absolutely beautiful, and so evocative I got chills. Generally I feel that the commentary on here is positive and appreciative; what assholes chose to tune in to this? Crawl back under your rocks, jerks. Again, Mary, this was incredible. Thank you.

  • allie gilliland

    Reblogged this on Landing True.

  • Sean

    If you’re having sex to country music you’re having sex with the wrong people.

  • J

    This is so close to home for me. I was younger, he said he was 23..he didn’t ask. Thank you for writing this.

  • Chris Marie

    “The country songs on the radio cannot come close to the sadness that is your world.”

    This is hauntingly, beautifully, painfully familiar. Music is so much a part of my life that I know pain is deeper than I admit to it being when I can’t sing it out, when strangers’ lyrics aren’t enough to express.

    Thank you.

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