Everyone I've Never Had Sex With
By Crispin Best
Artwork by Emily Horn


When Annie moved to South America she got lonely and we Gchatted a lot. When she moved back to London we arranged to meet at the launch of a book written by Werner Herzog’s son. We met Werner Herzog’s son. We said goodbye to Werner Herzog’s son and went to a bar to get drunk.

At the bar, during a lull in conversation, I said “Crispin is typing dot dot dot” and felt good. Sometimes — while I was talking — Annie would suddenly reach over and cover my mouth, or calmly punch me in the head and it was nice. We left the bar and Annie was the same height as me and for two minutes I didn’t know what to do with my arms.

Annie wanted fried chicken and I wanted beer, it was late and we didn’t have enough money to buy both. Annie told me to take the money to buy beer and when I came back she ta-dah’d a bucket of chicken from behind her back. She gave me her phone so I could find out when was her last train home. While I was distracted using her phone to ask a man at a helpdesk what time her train would be running until, Annie kissed me. Her mouth was cold. We kissed for a second and then I apologised to the man at the helpdesk and asked him again when the last train was and Annie frowned and ate more chicken. We started walking and kissed against a building and said we would go to my house.

At the train station, Annie said “If I don’t go home my parents will ask so many questions,” and then — when I didn’t reply — “I don’t know… it’s really not worth it.” I
nodded and quickly walked away and got on my train.

The next week we met up at a bar. We drank for a while. Annie made me open my mouth and touched the roof of my mouth with her index finger and said it felt disgusting. I touched the roof of hers and it was smooth and nice and I told her so. My friend Calvin arrived at the bar with a girl. The girl was very pretty and not Calvin’s girlfriend. They had one drink and left and Annie and I drank more and kissed. She said we should go back to my flat, “but I’m not going to sleep with you.”

I sat opposite Annie on the train and I looked at her and she looked good and I looked around the train carriage and felt proud, I think.

At my flat, we got into bed and kissed and took off a few arbitrary items but remained mostly clothed. After a while, I took off her dress and she looked good. She took off my shirt and pulled me down toward her and wrapped her legs around me and held me in place while we kissed. I felt vague and constricted and she touched my crotch and I didn’t have an erection. Annie got up and went to the toilet and came back and asked if she could borrow a t-shirt. She lay down and faced the wall and I touched her back and she asked me to stop.

One night, about a month later, I sent Annie a long string of highly romantically desperate texts while on MDMA. She responded to all of them in a seemingly calm and amused way.

A few weeks after the texts, we had to share Calvin’s couch after staying late and getting drunk at his house. We were kissing a lot and I got confused thinking “Can I have sex with Annie for the first time here on this couch without a condom while I can hear Calvin’s huge dog outside the room whimpering trying to get in or is that extremely bad and/or fucked?” I tried to finger Annie in a clumsy way. We fell asleep.

Two weeks later Annie moved to America.


Helen messaged me on OkCupid at ~8pm on a Friday night. We messaged back and forth until ~8.45pm when we agreed to meet to have a drink. We met at ~10.30pm and talked at each other loudly in a fun way. By ~1am I was drunk and had an argument with her and went home.

Helen texted the next morning saying we should forget about the argument and try meeting up again that day. I got a bus to the area she lived and we walked aimlessly in a nature reserve. After a while, we sat down and Helen picked ugly flowers and told funny stories about periods and anal sex. We started walking again and it became obvious we were walking back towards the area where I lived. We went into a shop and Helen selected items so that she could cook dinner for us.

At my house we drank ~4 bottles of red wine. Helen went to the window and got out her phone. She put her friend on speakerphone and I said “Hi. I’m not going to do a murder. Honest,” loudly from across the room and her friend seemed convinced.

My Last.fm indicates we listened to >100 Jonathan Richman songs that evening.

We kissed and went to bed and Helen said she didn’t want us to have sex because she hadn’t shaved her legs in a week. We kissed more and after a while she said we should have sex. ~10 seconds after that she said we definitely shouldn’t have sex. She slept next to me wearing her jeans.

The next weekend we ate at an Ethiopian restaurant and discussed mutual friends we had since realised existed. We went to a bar that had a kind of “Oregon Trail” style wagon in it and sawdust on the floor and I was confused. I didn’t like the people there and said I was tired and we had an argument and Helen cried. We left the bar and she told me no-one had made her feel as bad as I did in years and goodbye. She walked away and I stood where I was and it was raining. I started to walk toward where I guessed a bus that I could catch would be. My phone rang and it was Helen saying where she was and that I should find her. I walked and found her. We talked while standing in the rain for ~30 minutes. I repeatedly said I should go home because I was upsetting her and she repeatedly said we should go to her house and drink more and it would be OK. I bought wine and some chocolate chip cookies for us.

We drank the wine at Helen’s house. There were slugs on the walls inside by the back door. She went to the toilet and I tried to put an audio cassette in a tape player and blinked and realised I was very drunk. I went and looked more closely at the slugs on the wall and there were more slugs in the cat food bowl and I felt confused. I walked into Helen’s room and took off my clothes and got in her bed and closed my eyes.

Some minutes later Helen came in and lay next to me and touched me and she was cold and I screamed. I said to please not to touch me because I was cold from the rain and she was making me colder and I wanted to sleep. She repeatedly asked “Why won’t you have sex with me,” while I said that I was cold and wanted to sleep. I said I should go home while putting on my clothes to leave. Helen blocked the door and I saw for the first time that she had nice matching underwear and she looked good. She hugged me for a long time while I said I was sorry and that she looked good and that I didn’t like that I kept making her upset. She cried more and said I should stay and that she didn’t understand and I hugged her and I went home.


I saw that Lily had looked at my OkCupid profile and so messaged her and invited her to a poetry reading that I was planning to attend. When we met, she was small and distracted and we sang Phil Collins in the street while I pretended not to be lost looking for the venue.
She said she wanted to have sex with Eric from The Little Mermaid. I said I wanted to have sex with Mulan and she shook her head.

I knew Calvin would be at the venue so I texted him “don’t come over and sit with us when we get there.” When we got there, Calvin and his girlfriend saw us and came straight over and sat with us. The poetry was good and I felt like a smart kid for having brought her there.

In the interval, Calvin and his girlfriend went outside to have a cigarette and Lily asked if she was in the way and if she should go home. I said no and she kissed me. When Calvin and his girlfriend came back they sat somewhere else.

At the end of the reading, Lily and I left and walked around confused on the streets again. Lily walked us into a supermarket and put ~4 wine miniatures in her pockets and walked out of the supermarket. I blinked a lot at the drinks cabinet and then walked out of the shop. I knew a gap in the railings of a nearby park and said we could go there to drink the wine. She stopped and said she wasn’t going to have sex with me on the first date, and definitely not in a park. She looked at me in a serious way and then walked towards the park.

In the park, we drank the wine and talked for a long time and kissed more and the night sky was blue-orange and good. At one point, Lily suddenly pushed me backwards and straddled me and said, “Well — OK — you can fuck me now.” She started unbuttoning something on her skirt. I said she had told me she didn’t want that. She said she didn’t care and kept fiddling with her skirt but more slowly. I sat very quiet and confused and looked up at her and past her at the sky and she went quiet and told me to forget it. We quickly finished our wine and I got the train home.

We met up again two days later at a funfair that she had heard was in town. She smiled and showed me more wine miniatures she had brought.

The rides were extremely low quality. One ride was ostensibly ‘jungle-themed’ but had pictures of The Terminator, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee Jones’ character from Men in Blackpainted on the external walls. White foam was puffing out of tears in the seats on all of the rides. We went on a ghost train and some water sprayed in my mouth and I felt like there was definitely no source of fresh water nearby and I panicked.

We went to a pub and talked about why we hadn’t had sex in the park. Later, I told Lily I didn’t understand why people act so worked up and crazy about sex and she started crying and said I was making excuses for not finding her attractive. I told her I thought she was good looking and she asked me if I was a rapist, that she had read about how people try to wear girls down by sending mixed messages and that she said she should go home before I did a murder and a rape on her.

We left the pub and started walking and I offered to walk her home and she stopped in the street and said there was no way she was letting me know where she lived. She seemed very drunk and I didn’t want to leave her in the street. I suggested she could come back to my flat because I had a sofa where I could sleep and she
could lock the door of my room and sleep in there. She agreed and we got the bus. She stopped and bought more wine on the way.

When we got to my flat, I sat on the sofa and she sat on the floor and drank more wine and texted my address to a number of her friends. I showed her the room where she could sleep and she looked at me and said, “You can do what you want to me, but no filming it and no pissing or anal” with a neutral/serious facial expression. I walked back into the other room and sat on the sofa. She sat next to me and said, “That was a joke but seriously let’s go to bed.” We lay on my bed and she said, “OK — let’s make out for 90 minutes.” We kissed and she took off her top and she looked good. After a while she said, “Look, you can just cum on me if you need. Back or front, I don’t mind.” I felt confused and laughed and she rolled over and we went to sleep.

In the morning I made her a cup of tea and we said goodbye and I lamely tried to hug her and she left.


I met Ruth at an event where I was reading and her band was playing. Some weeks later she followed me on Twitter. We sent each other links to YouTube videos via Twitter for several weeks.

One evening I had taken a large amount of Ritalin and texted her a large amount of romantic things over a period of ~4 hours.

Over the next few months, every now and then I would
receive semi-romantic messages from her and would reply in a friendly/neutral way.

Another night, I took MDMA with Calvin and Steve and Mark (who was her ex-boyfriend) and texted her a large amount of romantic things over a period of ~4 hours.

Eventually we met up at an art gallery. There was a video installation where a woman walked down a street in slow motion and smashed the windows of cars using a huge flower. We sat and watched the video for a long time until the gallery closed and we had to leave. On the way out, there was a video of a naked man dancing in a forest and we said things like, “Wow — that’s a nice dick,” and, “A truly terrific dick, 8/10, would suck,” for ~5 minutes until they asked us again to leave. We left and went to get something to drink.

Ruth needed to leave to go to an event; she said I should come but I didn’t like the line-up.
She said I should come anyway or I could meet her after, but I said I would just go home.

She said, “Look,” and seemed to indicate the tights she was wearing and then her eye make-up. I said I thought she looked nice and she screwed up her face. I walked away and felt confused and found a dead bumblebee on the floor. I picked up the bumblebee and decided to carry it home with me.

I got home and put the bumblebee on my bookshelf. I searched my phone and found a recent text message where I had told Ruth, “Remember: all you need to do is wear tights and eyeliner and I will definitely want to have sex with you #lifehacks.” I felt bad and texted her
that it was good to hang out and told her again that she looked really good.

The bumblebee was on the same shelf for ~4 months until it fell off and just broke in half and I threw it away.


Nora was the person in London with whom I had highest ‘match percentage’ on OkCupid. She was very late to our first date. While I was waiting, a ~60year-old man sat next to me for ~10 minutes and kept looking at me. I gently fluctuated between being totally certain he was Nora and being almost totally certain he was Nora. I looked at a furniture brochure that I had found on the chair and started to panic and tried to imagine the facial expressions and internal life of a person interested in furniture. Nora arrived and she was very attractive and I felt suddenly and wildly nervous and decided I needed to act grumpy to hide it.

Nora and I went and saw a Christopher Hitchens event at the Royal Festival Hall. It somehow seemed like a remembrance event even though he was still alive at the time. Sean Penn did a reading via a ‘Google+ hangout’ which cut out every 1 or 2 minutes. Every time it cut out, I thought “Wow the acoustics are great in this Google+ hangout!” Salman Rushdie said the words “hysterical sex in the time of cholera”. Richard Dawkins seemed like sort of a massive idiot actually.

Afterwards, I walked us toward a Korean place I wanted
to eat at. Nora stopped outside a pizza place and said we could just get pizza. We went in. I felt a strong desire to be eating Korean food while I selected a large slice for myself. I said I’d buy hers too and she chose two large slices. I blinked a few times and she said one was for breakfast. I felt unsure about what was happening and felt a strong desire to be eating Korean food as I paid for the three pizza slices.

We bought beer from a corner shop and sat in Trafalgar Square and talked about her music career and ate our pizza. At one point, while trying to catch an olive that was falling off my pizza, I knocked and spilled about a quarter of my beer into Nora’s bag. It seemed terrible but she nodded and quietly said it was OK. I wiped her bag with my hoodie sleeve for a long time while thinking “What would Derren Brown do?” and feeling uncertain. A policeman told us we couldn’t drink there and I felt incredibly positive towards him and thankful. We walked to the station and I said “At least I can wink when I tell my friends I bought you breakfast,” and sighed. We said goodbye quickly and it seemed final and that seemed ok.

A week later, I was drinking with Calvin, Mark and Steve. Nora texted me saying she was bored and so I invited her to where we were. She got lost and texted saying “I’m in a car park,” and then, “I saw a car park so I went into the car park.” I laughed and ran dramatically out of the pub. I found Nora walking in the wrong direction and walked back with her to the pub. She drank whiskey and I drank beer.

Soon the bar was closing. We started to leave and Nora said I could stay at hers. She lived near my friends so we all got the train together. Mark invited us to his and Steve’s house to have another drink.

At Mark’s house in the kitchen two girls were drinking and playing guitars. There were only four free chairs so I sat on the floor. The girls played music for a while and then offered Nora a guitar. Calvin, Mark and Steve started smoking. There was a cat on the floor with me by the back door. The cat wanted to go outside and it kept looking at me and then pressing its face into the glass, as if it kept forgetting what glass is. The cat looked at me and did cat crying and forgot what glass is again. I tweeted “Have you guys ever hung out with animals? wow.”

Nora sang a song and had a good voice and then sang another song. The songs were serious and extremely long and people were very quiet. Calvin texted me from the table teasing me about the what was happening. One of the girls joined in, attempting to harmonise with Nora’s song. The cat was sneezing and I was thinking about cats sneezing and I typed the text message “Jesus” on my phone and sent it to Calvin every ~20 secs (~8 times).

After Nora finished singing, one of the girls told Nora her songs were amazing multiple times. Nora said, “Well, it’s my job,” and the room was quiet apart from the girl again telling Nora she was amazing.
Calvin, Mark and Steve smoked and made faces at each other and it was quiet. I looked at the cat and felt like someone using Photoshop had made my opacity very low.

Nora came and sat with me and wanted to know why I was just sitting on the floor. I said I was being with the cat for a while and she should too if she wanted. I told her she had an amazing voice and she kissed me. I felt awkward because of the people in the room staring at us. Nora stopped kissing me and said, “Go on,” as if she wanted me to keep complimenting her. I blinked a lot and put my hand on her leg and looked at my hand. We sat there quietly with the cat for ~5 minutes while the other girls played songs again. Nora left the room and went upstairs.

After ~10mins I walked upstairs and Nora was sitting on the stairs with one hand on the bannister. She looked at me and said, “What the fuck?” I laughed and she said, “No. What the actual fuck? How old are you?” I told her my age and she said, “Well you are acting as if you’re 20 or something.” She told me I kissed like I’d never kissed anyone. She was quiet for a moment and then walked past me and down the stairs and got her bag from the kitchen. In the hallway, she said it was nice meeting me and hugged me and shook her head and left.


I saw a number of Nikki’s tweets retweeted on Twitter and enjoyed them and so followed her. I added her on Gchat. She was good to talk to and we videochatted a few times. The ~third time we talked, I asked her if she ever came to London and she told me she had 8 days off work soon and would be coming to London then. She told me how many people she had slept with in the last year and that she thought it was a high number. I told her I thought it was a fine number. I said she should dye her hair to a colour I could see in some of her Facebook pictures, which she did. I said she should show her butt on cam, which she didn’t.

When I met Nikki in London, she seemed to have unexpectedly “goth” eye makeup and I felt confused. We walked slowly around London being sassy about things and finally went to eat at a diner. Nikki ordered a Philly cheese steak and I kept pulling her plate away from her while she tried to eat and saying, “No — stop — don’t,” and laughing because it seemed funny she was eating Philly cheese steak. After we ate, the waitress made small talk with us for ~5 minutes and then seemed extremely annoyed when we admitted we didn’t want dessert. I laughed and told her, “But please pass on to the chef that my friend here said this was a truly exquisite Philly cheese steak.” We went home.

I showed Nikki the bedroom and said I’d sleep on the sofa because I had work the next day. She squinted her eyes for a while and then I went to bed.

The next day we left my flat together and Nikki went to a library and I went to work. In the evening, we were going to see my friend’s band but on the way there she said some things that made me realise she would definitely hate the music. We had one drink at the venue but then got the bus home. We bought beers and drank them and watched Mac and Me. I think I enjoyed it more than Nikki even though I had seen the film ~3 times previously. Nikki said she was tired and I told her she’d had a long day and patted her on the head. She asked why I was sleeping on the sofa and I said it was because I’m an idiot. She frowned and I repeated that I’m an idiot and don’t worry and then started commenting on what was happening in Mac and Me and she went into the other room.

In the morning, we watched things on the internet for several hours and were both quiet and broadly unresponsive. She said she should leave and got her stuff. I walked her to the door and instead of hugging her I waved from ~2 feet away. She frowned and walked downstairs to the street. ~3 minutes later, she texted “Um” and then “Wow” and I texted “I’m sorry” and she replied “Wtf.”


Saima is the little sister of an old friend, Nadia. Some new year’s eves ago, I ate some magic mushrooms at a party and talked to Saima for ~2hours about things including Wonder Showzen, WWE and Beyoncé. At one point we were going to leave the party together but when we went into the room with the coats I had no idea which coat was mine. By the time I had remembered, the party was finishing and everyone else was coming to get their coats, too. I wanted to hide under the bed and stay but instead I got a lift home and Saima sat on my lap and I remember stroking her leg a lot.

~6 months later, Saima and Nadia were at another party and I talked to Saima again and we exchanged numbers. It got late and Nadia and her boyfriend said Saima and I could stay at their house. Nadia drove us all back there after the party. Saima and I lay on the sofa. She was on her back and I was facing her. I put my hand somewhere near her hair. I touched her hip and she stayed lying on her back with her eyes closed. I tapped her hipbone and looked at her for half a minute, then rolled over and went to sleep.

~2 months later, I saw Saima at another party. She was drunk when I arrived and she seemed to follow and talk to me a lot. At one point, she came into a room where I was and whispered something and everyone except us left the room and closed the door behind them. Saima lay on the bed and looked at me and I said, “Where did everyone go?” I asked if she wanted a beer and walked out of the room and went to get myself a beer and then stayed in the kitchen.

At the end of the night, I was waiting for my friend to go to the toilet so we could leave. Saima came and stood very close to me. She looked at me and said, “You don’t want to leave,” several times and I smiled at her. She very slowly said, “Listen to me: you do not want to leave. Do you understand?” I said it was time for me to go and she looked confusedly at my mouth. She stood near me and seemed angry and looked at my face and I made my eyes big and looked at people sitting on a sofa. After ~20 seconds, she walked away for a short while and then came back. She asked me several times in a very slow voice if I was listening to her and if I understood what she was saying and I nodded and stayed looking at the people on the sofa who seemed to be openly laughing at the situation I was in and I started laughing. Saima walked away and came back several times. Eventually the person I was waiting for finished what he was doing so we could leave. Saima came to the door with me and tutted and shook her head like, “This guy can’t see what’s right in front of him!!” I touched her on the top of her arm and looked at her and told her good night.


I noticed Melanie at a party after reading at a book launch in Manchester. We didn’t talk but at one point she was standing near me and I internally debated whether there was any way I could sound sincere while complimenting her glasses. After finally coming to a conclusion, I noticed that she had left some time ago.

A few weeks later later, my friend Hercules told me that she had asked various questions about me. I added her on Facebook on Valentine’s Day.

On Facebook chat, I described something as “tasty” and she told me she felt sick every time she heard the word “tasty” and I didn’t feel compelled to say “tasty” a lot and I was surprised. Melanie said she hated having her feet touched and I made a compromise with myself that at least I would make sure I touched her feet a lot if it was ever a possibility.

The next day, she booked a ticket to come to London in several weeks to attend a family bar mitzvah. We agreed that we would meet up.

Over the next few weeks we chatted a lot. I asked if I would have to convert and get circumcised or if I would be allowed to just paint my foreskin the same colour as my ‘helmet’ and she seemed to take the question seriously and I was confused. I sent her a series of hyperlinks such as: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=what+to+do+in+london+on+march+9th+with+a+very+cute+girl+if+you%27re+a+dork&meta

The day before we were supposed to meet, I told her I liked how her nail polish looked in a particular Facebook photo. She said she was sorry she hadn’t brought any nail polish to London with her and that her nails weren’t painted. I said it was ok because nail polish always made me think of handjobs.

I was late to meet her at lunchtime in a pub that was famous because Jack the Ripper had killed someone there. We had some drinks and played connect 4. I noticed she was wearing nail polish and told her it looked nice and she seemed to blush and I felt good. I won ~7 games of connect 4 in a row and she got frustrated and I internally debated whether it was funny or mean and whether I should stop winning while I won ~2 more games.

We went to buy dinner at a supermarket. I became increasingly fixated on something called “Indian meal... for two!” Melanie repeatedly indicated she didn’t really like spicy food. I couldn’t stop laughing at — and ended up buying and cooking us — the “Indian meal… for two!”. We ate only very little of the food before leaving to meet some mutual friends at a bar.

At one point in the evening — as a complete non-sequitur — I asked if I could lick Melanie’s eyeball. She got extremely animated and said I definitely should and someone filmed it happening. Our mutual friends seemed amused and a little worried. Melanie and I decided to go back to my flat.

We kissed on my bed for a while. Melanie told me it was the first time she’d ever gone home with someone the first night of spending time with them and I felt good. We got undressed and I went down on her but seemed unable to get a usable erection because I was drunk or nervous. She repeatedly asked what was wrong and I felt confused and bad. I lay on top of her and smiled and reached down and grabbed and massaged her foot and she made an unhappy noise. After a moment, she said it was ok and she was used to it. After another moment she smiled and said she liked it now and I felt defeated and happy but I still didn’t have an erection. I said sorry and she said it was good because she didn’t have to feel like a slut and we kissed a little more and slept.

In the morning, the weather was nice and we went to buy food for a picnic. I directed us for ~30min towards a park I liked. The park was closed because it was being prepared for the Olympics. We came back to my flat and had our picnic on my floor, moving a little sometimes to stay in a shaft of sun.

It started getting dark and we lay and hugged on my sofa and kissed for a while. My friend Camilla phoned to tell me that she was coming over because of something to do with the sky and the direction that my windows face. While I was talking to Camilla on the phone, I gently hit Melanie’s hand into my crotch to show her I had an erection and she smiled and looked sneaky. After I got off the phone I kissed Melanie and pointed at her fingernails and said she should give me a handjob. We kissed and she gave me a handjob and I made a mess. I said, “I feel 14 again. Basically you just halved my age with a single sexual act.” We were trying to clean up when Camilla buzzed to say she was downstairs.

I put more pillows on the sofa and Camilla came in and the three of us looked out of the window for ~10 minutes at Jupiter, Mars and Venus which were lined up perfectly. I played some Stars Of The Lid and Melanie said she didn’t like it so I played Korean pop music and Melanie said she didn’t like it but Camilla and I were dancing.

Camilla went home and Melanie went back to Manchester. Melanie fairly regularly invited me to visit her and I didn’t go to visit her. For the next month, every night on my way home from work I looked at Jupiter, Mars and Venus steadily scattering and I felt hilarious and basically alive and stupid.


Crispin Best lives in London