In this essay, I’m going to educate you about a dangerous little topic known as the UHO.
“Beatrix, how was your date last night?”
“I think the girl might be a little, uh, crazy.”
“For starters, she broke down and sobbed before the appetizers even arrived! Like, snot-flying-out-of-nose SOBBED.”
“About what? Did someone die or something?” I asked, sticking my fork into the disappointing penne alla vodka Beatrix and I were sharing. There is nothing more bleak than a disappointing penne alla vodka.
“That’s the weird thing,” Beatrix twirled her fork into the bleak pasta and stuck it between her glossy lips. A look of sheer disappointment made its way across her face. “Shit, this pasta sucks.”
“Focus, Beatrix,” I advised. I knew if Beatrix were to start talking penne alla vodka, we would stay fixated on the subject for the rest of the night and avoid all of the real shit we so desperately needed to discuss.
Beatrix sat up straighter in her chair, pulling herself together. “What was I saying?”
“She cried on the first date. Actually no. She sobbed. Snot flew out of her nose. I asked you why she was— ”
“Oh yeah! Okay, well I asked, obviously. But she didn’t give me a reason!”
“She just kept wailing and refused to tell you why?”
“So I assume you didn’t go home with her?”
“She went home with me.”
“You brought her home? Mascara tears and all? Did she eventually stop crying?” I asked. This all sounded very familiar, almost like I was having deja vu or something! Had this happened to me? Had a girl cried during a first date with me before? Had I cried on a first date? I shuddered.
“Yes, but she began to hurl insults at me the moment she stopped crying. She also starting smoking cigarettes in my apartment and when I asked her not to, she told me I was acting like an uptight republican.”
I felt a strange witchy vibe take over my body, my mind, my soul. I lowered my fork into the bowl and let the spiritual vibrations zing through my body. Beatrix continued.
“Alright, I’m going to get to the point,” she lowered her fork into the bowl of the bleak pasta. “We had sex.”
My witchy vibe was proving to be spot on. I didn’t reprimand her. There was no need. “And?” I asked slowly, maintaining my even-keeled meditative energy.
I nodded my head. I understood. There is a stark difference between an orgasm and an orgasm. An orgasm is a beautiful relief, a sweet splash of pleasure that blissfully washes over your limbs. An orgasm is a giggle. Meanwhile, an orgasm is a holy experience that will make a staunch atheist believe in the power of Jesus Christ. When you have an orgasm, you feel completely out of control of your body, for you’ve been recklessly tossed into a dangerous ocean of bliss. Ecstasy and mind-control both drown your body into a flood of unhinged ecstasy.
An orgasm causes you to elicit primal screams straight out of your diaphragm, screams that don’t you even sound like your regular screams. It’s as if you’re channeling some sex-crazed being from a past-life. An orgasm is something you feel viscerally. You feel it in your eyelids and your toes. When in the throes of an orgasm, a part of you contemplates neglecting life as you know it and instead becoming the person who gave you said orgasm’s sex slave for life. It’s not a giggle. It’s a twisted roar of laughter. It’s a howl at the moon. It’s a drug. You’re not in your right mind when you’ve been bestowed with an orgasm.
“And this was your first date?”
“Yes. I’d known her for maybe two hours?”
I felt very still and very focused. In my stillness, I was struck with an epic epiphany. Higher self shit — you know. “Beatrix. I need you to listen to me.”
“Okay,” Beatrix said, not meeting my eyes.
“Run. Run faster than a cheetah in the f*cking night from this woman.”
Beatrix looked at me, her brown eyes the size of saucers. She sighed. It was a deep sigh. An exhausted sigh. An oh f*ck kind of sigh.
She knew I was right. But she also knew she wouldn’t run. Not yet. She was under the spell of the orgasm provided by an unpredictable headcase. A UHO. Something I understood all too well.
Eight years or so ago, I too fell under the unpredictable headcase orgasm (UHO) spell. I met a woman on OkCupid — let’s call her Lee. Lee had yellow eyes. Not in that sickly jaundice, yellow around the white-of-the-eyes way, but her eye-color was actually yellow. The color of a yellow-jacket bee that harasses you when you’re dining outside and have doused yourself too heavily with a sweet fragrance. I knew instantly that something was off about her. She hardly blinked. She kept making dramatic sex eyes at the waitress. She revealed too much about her life for a first date. It was the kind of over-sharing that isn’t organic; it’s performative, it’s as if they’re forcing you to have a connection with them. An unpredictable manic energy vibrated out of her so strongly, I could feel it buzzing against my ribcage. I knew in my gut this was someone I should stay away from. I knew it in my brain when she returned from the bathroom with white powder gleaming out of her left nostril.
Run. Run. Run. Run, my gut coached. I winced. I knew my gut was right. She always was. But for whatever reason, I was wet between my thighs.
We took the train back to her place. It was so far deep into Brooklyn, it felt more like an industrial farm town than the city. The streets were barren except for a few factories scattered against the side of the road releasing heaps of black smoke every couple of miles. I looked at my phone. It was midnight! What the hell was I doing? I had to work in the morning!
Her apartment wasn’t messy, but it was freaky. It bore no windows. There was a collection of vintage knives sitting pretty behind a glass case. Why was that turning me on? She poured us both whiskeys. Neat. She took a sip. Her yellow eyes batted around my body. Was she going to murder me? All those knives. Did I really want to go out this way? In rural Brooklyn at a blink-less girl named Lee’s creepy apartment?
“Come into my room,” she whispered, standing up. She held my hand and guided me toward her bedroom. I glanced at my phone holding court on the center of her table. It was now 1 a.m.
She pushed me onto her unmade bed. My entire body trembled so fiercely I felt the earth was quake beneath me. I felt the iron weight of her on top of me. She was heavy even though she was skinny. Her energy was heavy. She pressed her finger to my lips. I was desperate for her to touch me. Desperate. Desperation is my least favorite feeling but also my favorite feeling. It makes me feel completely vulnerable yet wildly turned on at once.
“I’m not looking for anything serious,” she cooed. I nodded my head. There wasn’t a single thought in my brain.
Approximately thirty seconds later, I had a UHO (unpredictable headcase orgasm). A UHO so intense that my heart thumped against my chest the entire car ride home. I felt like I was on speed, but I hadn’t even had coffee that day. It was now 4 a.m. I had to be at work in exactly four hours, and I was still a good hour away from home.
The next day at work I told my coworkers what had happened. “You’re totally screwed,” they all sang in unison. “I know,” I sang back. Everyone broke into lively monologues recalling the times they experienced UHOs.
“It never ends well,” Melissa chirped.
“Someone who makes you come that fast is always bad for you,” Chloe spat.
“It’s always a TOXIC PERSON,” Brittany shouted, causing the rest of the office to whip their heads around and stare at us. Brittany waved back. She was on a very high dose of Prozac.
“But why? Why does the person who has the ability to do that to your body so quickly always have to be bat-shit?” I whined.
No one had an answer for me. I went about my day, checking tasks off my list, secretly plotting my next outing with Lee. Who cares if she made me feel nervous, who cares if I had no idea what the hell she would do next, who cares if she was downright rude. I kind of felt like I loved her.
On the train ride home, I listened to the Halsey song “Strange Love.” They think I’m insane, they think my lover is strange/But I don’t have to fucking tell them anything, anything.
That night I collapsed into bed feeling completely deranged, like some force greater than me had removed my brain out of my skull, and replaced it with raw desire. I was obsessed with Lee. I felt as if she had crawled deep into my psyche and taken up residence. She was now the headmistress at the boarding school of my mind. Zara was no longer running the show. Lee was.
In my dream that night, my higher self paid me a visit. We were standing on a puffy pink cloud hanging out together, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
“Zara. Run the hell away from that girl,” my higher self, dressed in a fabulous black, floor-length gown, purred to me. “Lee, I think her name is.”
“Yes, Lee.” Her name tasted like poison in my mouth. Sort of like cigarettes. A kind of poison you can’t help but crave. “Why are you in a floor-length gown?” I asked my higher self, feeling underdressed in black leggings and a coffee-stained crop top.
“Couture is the only way to really get you to listen.”
She flicked her cigarette into a pretty crystal ashtray that sat delicately in the palm of her hand. Her nails were polished cherry apple red. I thought of Lee’s bitten down nails. “Anyway,” my higher self continued. “Orgasming that quickly from a perfect stranger is a giant, shiny, red flag.”
“It is, isn’t it? But why?”
“Yes. Let me tell you why. Let me explain the UHO, honey. Part of why you came so instantly is because you knew deep down inside that this girl was bad for you. She was an unpredictable headcase. Everything about her screamed unpredictable headcase. And women like you — in fact, most women in general — tend to find themselves wildly turned-on by what’s ‘forbidden.’ It’s why people have hot steamy affairs yet, when they leave their partners for the person they’re having an affair with, the sex is no longer so explosive. The sex was explosive because it wasn’t ‘allowed.’ A women’s largest sexual organ is her brain, you know. And the brain is intrigued by the unpredictable headcase. And intrigue turns into sexual-attraction. You were ready to orgasm before she even touched you!” My higher self chuckled.
“But what is it about unpredictable headcases that causes them to make you orgasm so quickly?”
“Unpredictable headcases tend to attain a dangerous sexual power because they’re so narcissistic that they exude so much confidence, and confidence is everything when it comes to being good in bed.”
I looked into the sky. The dead stars. The black sky. The pink clouds. The Cheshire Cat smile of the moon.
My higher self continued. “But you must run. The fact that you are so insatiably turned-on by someone who is so utterly unpredictable and self-involved is dangerous. You could trick yourself into thinking you’re in love with this person. Orgasms make smart women like you feel like they’re in love with toxic people all the time. Orgasms make you release oxytocin, ‘the love hormone.’ You’ll end up dating this person and it will be a mess, and quite frankly you don’t have time for that kind of heavy drama mess. You have a career to think of! Enough with being a victim to the UHO.”
I woke up sweaty. My higher self was right. I never saw Lee again. I had a few sex dreams about her, but nothing materialized in real life.
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I used to be magnetized by the crazy. I thought if you were unpredictable you were BRILLIANT. If the art was inconsistent you were CREATIVE. If you loved me some days and loathed me other days, you were teeming with PASSION! If you exploded at me, you really, really, LOVED me. All those movies starring all those hot, tempestuous relationships drugged me into thinking chaos was romance. That REAL ARTISTS were not reliable or kind, they were RECKLESS and IMPULSIVE. That in order to really be alive you must be in PAIN all the time, so why not get involved with people that HURT you? Why not plug into the opionions of the mean-spirited? What a load of shit. The older I get the more I learn that people who are reckless toward the feelings of others, people who take for granted another person’s courageous vulnerability, people who don’t show up or call back, people who only know how to connect through FIGHTING and only know how to create by criticizing; they aren’t truly artists (in my eyes). They are selfish creatures. And I know people say artists are intrinsically selfish, but the greatest ones I know are actually extremely selfless. In order to create compelling content you need to get outside of yourself. Get out of your head. Empathize. Observe. Listen. Be inspired. Art is about connection. Love is about connection. Sex is about connection. And self-absorbed people are incredibly disconnected. So before you go glorifying an irresponsible, self-congratulatory, MEAN person, ask yourself: Is this person worthy of my worship? Or has society just tricked me into thinking esteemed people are unpredictable, hyper-critical and unattainable? Why do I value the opinions of people who treat me like dirt over the ones who treat me like gold? We’re all fucking gold. Surround yourself with those who can see the gifts inside of you, not the ones who dull down your shine. The best people attain the remarkable ability to see beauty in almost everyone and everything. That in of itself is the most important trait of a creator, I think. 💓
A few weeks later I met up with Beatrix at a French Bistro in Hell’s Kitchen.
“You were right,” Beatrix said over a gimlet of wine. “I kept going out with her ’cause of those UHOs. I ditched other dates for her. But finally, it came to a head this weekend. Wait ’til I tell you what she did.”
“Ooh, tell me!” I said the rush of new gossip intoxicating me.
“Before I tell you, you need to write this article. Everyone must be warned that instant orgasms can be the ultimate red flag.”
I smiled and jotted the idea down into the pink journal I carry with me everywhere I go.