The Last Time I Had Sex: The Woman Who Feels Judged By Her Married Sister

'She’s appalled I’ve no idea of the surnames of the guys I’ve slept with'

The last time I had sex

by As told to Eimear O'Hagan |

*Kirsty, 35, from Manchester works as a management consultant

I never imagined my sex life would cause my sister and I to have our first falling-out since we were teenagers. Back then, it was over her losing my favourite jacket on a night out. Fast-forward 20 years and it’s over me having casual sex for the first time in my life. She thinks I need to ‘be more careful’ and I’ll ‘regret it’. I think she needs to mind her own business. It’s been a week since we last spoke, a blazing row which culminated in her putting the phone down on me.

Six months ago, my marriage ended. Nothing dramatic happened, it was just a slow demise. We’d been together since we were 17, a proper school sweetheart love story, and he was the only man I’d ever slept with. I’m not betraying him when I say we grew bored of each other; he would wholeheartedly agree. The security of being ‘settled down’, which we’d once felt self-satisfied about, began to feel dull and claustrophobic. Sex was formulaic, and whatever we’d once had just wasn’t there any more. Early this year, on a ‘romantic’ (only it really wasn’t) weekend away, we agreed it was time to walk away, before it turned toxic, and we’re in the middle of an amicable divorce.

Mid-thirties, single for the first time in my adult life, and with no desire for another relationship right now, I’ve become someone I used to look down on from my smug married perch. The first time I had casual sex was with a guy I met in a bar on a night out with friends, a month after my split. Creeping out of his apartment the next day, muscles aching from sex, I was shocked at myself, but elated. After years of being a sensible ‘Mrs’, this was exciting. Since him, I’ve slept with two Tinder dates, a trainer from my gym and the mate of a colleague who joined us for after-work drinks. It’s been a 50/50 split of going back to my place or theirs, and I always make sure I have a condom in my purse when I go out now. Just in case.

My older sister, Kate*, isn’t happy. She believes I’m in the throes of some sort of emotional breakdown, triggered by my marriage ending. She’s appalled I’ve no idea of the surnames of the guys I’ve slept with, and says she’s terrified I’m going to end up in a dangerous situation.

Like I was, she’s been married to her husband since her twenties. They have two children and a deeply sensible life; one I used to emulate. So, a part of me understands where she’s coming from. Six months ago, casual, anonymous sex would’ve been as alien to me as it is to her. I get it. But I’m a grown woman and don’t feel I should have to keep explaining myself to her, reassuring her I know what I’m doing and I’m very happy about it.

Last week, I snapped. Before I could stop myself, I accused her of being jealous. That she’s secretly bored of her life too, and envious of my new one. She hung up. Maybe I touched a nerve, who knows. I’m letting the dust settle, then – knowing our relationship – I’ll apologise. But I’ll have to also make it clear that my new sex life isn’t up for discussion.

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Read below for more stories of real women (and men) from Grazia's 'The Last Time I Had Sex' series...

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