The last time I woke up next to someone I didn’t know was back in the spring of 2003. He was a lawyer from Boston who had recently moved to New York with his firm. After teasing me because I couldn’t remember his name, he began complaining about having to come out to his conservative Irish Catholic parents. I wanted coffee and eggs, not a sob story. He was handsome enough. Thank God. You never know when picking someone up blind drunk. But that Irish inch thing was certainly true in his case. Besides, I had recently moved back to New York and didn’t want to be tied down to a nub with mommy issues. We said our goodbyes, I promised to stay in touch and he became one of the many men I now hope to never run into again.

I turn 40 next month. 40. The virgo in me wanted a count, a log of all the men, so I started to make a list of all the guys I had ever slept with. I broke it down by cities. Austin, New York, Chicago and all the other cities and holidays in between. Let me tell you, I needed more than one sheet of paper. And it’s not even a complete list. I find myself shampooing my hair thinking, “Oh yeah! That guy from that bar.” or “How could I forget about him?” and “What was his name again?”

Now after over nine years in a committed, monogamous relationship (I met my partner shortly after the Angry Inch), I look back at my whore years with a mix of nostalgia and shame but not regret. OK, maybe a little regret. I regret that I didn’t sleep with certain people, regret that I slept with others, and regret the way I treated some of the guys who really fell for me.

I also regret falling for a certain olive-skinned, big-footed, MBA student from Columbia University. He had family money, rugged good looks, a cat and the biggest dick I’d ever seen. I suffered through cat allergies for that dick! In the end he was my poetic justice. Karma sucks.

I slept with some people to get back at others. I’m Mexican. Revenge is in our blood. I never regret those tricks. I’ve even slept with men just to upset guys I didn’t like. So and so likes so and so but that so and so likes me. I hate so and so…so BAM. On my college trip to Europe, I slept with a Spaniard, an Englishman and sucked face with an American at an Italian bar after way too many drinks. I briefly dated a Russian attending grad school at Columbia–that school churned out some fine men let me tell you.

My college ex was nine years older than I was. He worked for the university I attended. No, not as a professor, as a tech guru of some sort. I like to blame that turbulent relationship for subsequently treating men who fell for me like crap, but that’s not true. I was immature, selfish and sometimes cruel on my very own.

One night stands were fun but if anyone I dated fell for me, I could be mean, really mean. Of course, the two men I fell for were mean to me. Karma. That and I obviously needed some serious couch time with a therapist. I actually thought about seducing him too.

There is one guy I very much regret hurting. At the time, I didn’t realize what a good but troubled catch he was. He had some type of social anxiety disorder but was kind, intelligent and caring. He had this cheerful, fun-loving (yes, I said fun-loving) family from Long Island. I couldn’t break his heart so I made him break up with me. The following day when he wanted to discuss reconciling I refused, said he was right to break up with me in the first place. Nice guy though. Hope he ended up with someone who values him.

I don’t regret leaving the ex Mormon/practicing narcissist doctor from Utah or the alcoholic/Doogie Howser lookalike doctor from Texas. I lived with both of them. One for six months. The other for over three years. Doctors are one troubled group of people. And I say this as one troubled soul.

I remember the really good kisser I never slept with. He was too cute. I prefer handsome, not cute. I remember the Cuban I seduced while his partner was out of town. In their own bed no less. In my defense, I thought they had broken up until he told me they were still together. He kept saying, “But I’ve got a boyfriend” as he kissed me and began taking off his shorts. I remember the former porn star/bartender, the former coke head/Vegas hound and the former Baptist/singer songwriter. The trick who played his guitar and sang Mexican boleros, the one night stand who used to work with Jim Henson and showed me his Muppet collection. Now, I love the Muppets but that shit was creepy. The economics PhD fuck buddy, the Peruvian friend with benefits, the kind but queenie doctor  I had the affair with while I was still living with the drunken Doogie. All the secret meetings were hot. But his voice!

My list is not quite at 100. Not quite. At least I don’t think it is. I need a few more shampoos to get all the tricks out. Looking at the list I’m reminded of how reckless I was and how fortunate I am to be disease free and alive. I could have ended up at the bottom of an elevator shaft in a one star Mexico City hotel, or in a jail cell in Chicago. Hell, my list might have been cut short.

I’ve said “I love you” to six men but only meant it with two of them. That’s a short list. And I’m with one of those men now. He was a good boy during his whore years. I think he only had a whore year or a whore season. He has always been very focused on work, reading and learning more about the things he’s reading. He’s a good guy. I’m very lucky. If karma gave him to me, maybe I wasn’t that bad after all.

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