Sex Says

By: Max Monroe

To Fitbit.

Thanks for reminding us every hour, on the hour, just how much we weren’t walking while we were writing this book. That was a real Leslie thing to do. Asshole.

And to jokers, troublemakers, pranksters; to adults who still feel like kids.

Every once in a while, we see a review complaining that “this isn’t how people in their early 30s think and talk”—and it always makes us laugh.

They’re right, mostly. People in their thirties can be really mature, responsible individuals.

But they can also be people like us—like our characters. And researching our kind of people is a lot more fun.

My name is Lola Sexton, and I’m a sex addict.

Okay…that’s a lie. Truth is, I’m a dating and relationship columnist for the San Francisco Times. Think of my column as a game of Simon Says—an adult game for all of the curious little sex cubs out there.

My readers call me Sex, and in a world of people searching for themselves and their perfect someone, Sex always Says.

Sex Says: do as I say and not as I do when it comes to dating advice.

Sex Says: don’t be afraid to try new positions and learn what you love—though make sure to stretch before the Chinese Dragon.

Sex Says: if you let guys walk all over you, you could end up smelling like feet.

Don’t fall in love with guys like Reed Luca.

Wait… I meant to say, Sex Says: don’t fall in love with guys like Reed Luca.

He might look like God’s gift to women, but he’s not. He’s a total prick.

Oh, God… Did I just jinx myself?

The blank, white screen of my Word doc stared back at me. Write Write Write the black cursor taunted with each synchronized flash. Write Some-Thing Write Any-Thing…

“This isn’t good, Louie,” I said above the background noise of my go-to Spotify playlist—the exact soundtrack of songs that usually aided my writing cause, but tonight, seemed lackluster in its earworm ability.

Blup. Blup. Blup. Blup. Blup. Five little, mismatched bubbles floated from my goldfish’s lips as if to say, You, dear Lola, are a procrastinating asshole.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence, dude.”


Translation: Whatever.

Louie’s far-too-plump fish body wiggled a bit, and then he swam off to do whatever fishes do—probably yoga—behind his favorite hiding spot: the neon sand castle inside his spacious aquarium. Sad as it may sound for a thirty-two-year-old woman, he was the only man in my life. And usually, he was also my favorite man. But tonight, his sarcastic bubble responses weren’t exactly reassuring for a girl on a deadline.

That girl—well, procrastinating asshole—was me: Lola Sexton, Creative Director, President, and CEO of Sex Says, the very best column in the San Francisco Times.

AKA, The Writer. Maybe you should use some of this overextensive foray into hyperbole for the actual column. Huh, Lola?

This week’s column wasn’t coming easily. The words weren’t flowing off my fingertips in their usual faucet-like fashion, and shit was stagnant inside my normally free and creative—and probably a bit on the eccentric side—mind.

Hell, I felt stagnant. Torpid. Wordless. Ideas were scattered like fucking fireflies behind my eyes, and yet, I couldn’t grab ahold of a single fucking one. If this was a sinking ship, I was hurtling toward the bottom of the sea without a boat or a life jacket, or even a neon sand castle to hide out in.

Why, oh, why, did I wait until the very last minute to write this one?

I mean, it was already four in the morning, and this bad boy was due to my editor in less than five hours. At precisely 9:00 a.m., Pacific Time, Joe—my editor and, sometimes, bane of my existence—would expect this week’s column to be sitting prettily inside his inbox.

Jesus, Lola. Get it together. Focus. Just put your fingertips to the keys and type. It really is that easy. Just. Type.

If I had been keeping a tally, I’d say that was Mental Pep Talk #101 of the night. My brain might as well have been a rusty faucet, and my creative juices were the brown water drip-dropping out of it at a slow and sluggish pace.

Sad. Fucking. Shape.

Not to mention, my focus was almost nonexistent. Every five minutes, I’d drift away from my Word doc to Google search random things like kittens or kittens wearing shoes or kittens wearing hats or kittens sleeping…

Was it obvious I really wanted a kitten?

If it weren’t for the Pets Forbidden rule of my apartment, I probably would’ve adopted a tiny, cute, and cuddly kitten instead of a sarcastic goldfish who never agreed with anything I said.

Louie should be thankful I’ve broken the rules for him. I mean, I could easily get evicted if my landlord caught on to his scaly presence in my apartment.

The opening, addictive rhythm of “I Follow Rivers” by Lykke Li filtered from the speakers of my laptop, and I leaned my head back and tried to let the music, the sound, the lyrics wash me out of the sludge and into a waterfall of inspiration.

Jesus. Just. Write. Something. You’re not trying to solve world peace with this column. You just need to give your readers something to think about. Something that could help their relationships, add to their dating experiences, or spice up their sex lives.

I brought my head forward and stared at the blank screen and decided just to put my fingers to the keys and type, just spitball random thoughts into the Word doc and hope I could make something out of nothing.

Buckle your motherfucking seat belts, bitches. I’m about to give you a column that is mostly fueled by gummy worms and Red Bull and coffee, and I’m on two hours of sleep and I love my job, but since I was a total asshole and slacked on my deadline, I think I would rather be dead at this point. I feel like I’m losing my soul to this column because I can’t think of anything to write, and I would much rather be sleeping in bed.

Yes. My bed.

Beds are the best.

Beds are cozy.

Sex happens in bed.


I’m totally staying on topic here.

Sex Says sleep in beds. They are good for your health and sex can happen there and who doesn’t like sex? Well…unless it’s with some guy named Paul who uses an overwhelming amount of exclamation points in his text messages—then sex is not exactly enjoyable or an experience you’d want to repeat.

You’d think so many exclamation points would equal exciting sex, but in reality, it translates into sad, sad sex. The saddest sex that has ever happened to me.

Paul did not live up to his exclamation points.

His exclamation points were basically metaphors for his horny, rabbitlike thrusts that had one speed. Just BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM.

Yeah. Thanks, but no thanks, Paul. I’d much rather stay home watching reruns of The Golden Girls behind a mouthful of chicken lo mein than subject my vagina to such cruel treatment.

Welp, this obviously isn’t working.

My eyes slid up the screen to the time in the right-hand corner. 4:32 a.m.

Oh, for fuck’s sake, I just spent thirty-two minutes talking about my bed, Paul, and The Golden Girls?

I had approximately four and a half hours to pull a column straight out of my ass. My eyes were heavy and my thoughts were scattered, and basically, I was a clusterfuck of facing the consequences of my procrastination. Writing a sex and dating column for the San Francisco Times was normally easy for me, even enjoyable most days. But every once in a while, that little parasite called writer’s block would come out of nowhere and latch on to my brain.

And it doesn’t even consume extra calories like a tapeworm. “Ugh,” I groaned aloud.

As I sat cross-legged on my bed, with my laptop resting on my thighs, I knew I needed to come up with something to light a fire under my ass, or the San Francisco Times really would fire my ass—and then I’d have a reason to Google search kittens wearing shoes—along with goats in tutus—because I’d have a job on some kitschy internet blog posting articles about it.

I shut my laptop, got off my bed, and decided I needed to get the hell out of my apartment and let my mind breathe for a little bit. Maybe I’d find a cozy spot to write this column in my favorite diner that just so happened to open up at five a.m. for the early birds, or the late-night-procrastinating-insomniac-assholes like myself.

I dragged on a pair of jeans, slid on my black Doc Martens, tossed my dark locks into a messy bun, put my laptop in my messenger bag, and headed for the door.

One of the things I loved most about living in the Mission District of San Francisco was that there was an abundance of fog-free days—something most of the city couldn’t claim. With its hipster vibe and cupcakeries and music shops and cool, vintage clothing stores, this was an up-and-coming kind of neighborhood within the city limits. And the weather in this part of town was definitely one of the high points, especially in a city that tended to be in a perpetual state of mist.

Unfortunately, today was an exception to that rule. The early morning fog loomed as far as I could see, shrouding everything in front of me in a thick, white cloud. It swooped and skirted around the buildings and trees, and the streetlights were barely visible beneath the haze.

I made the two-block walk to Howard’s in record time, and the second I stepped inside, Howard himself greeted me with his usual full-cheek grin.

“Lola girl!” His rotund belly vibrated beneath his coffee-stained apron.

“Hey, Howie.” I offered a halfhearted wave and snagged my favorite seat at the counter.

▶ Also By Max Monroe

▶ Last Updated

▶ Hot Read

▶ Recommend

Top Books