Maybe you’ve never admitted it out loud, but we all have the capacity to be cruel. The Bad Girlfriend has the capacity and then some. She’s a friend of ours who we love for being trustworthy and smart, funny and exceedingly loyal…to her girlfriends, that is. But boyfriends? That’s another story. We pity the fools who end up on her arm—give it a few months, a year, even three, and suddenly they won’t know what hit ‘em. We don’t expect you to love her, but we do expect that you may, begrudgingly, see a bit of yourself in her bad deeds.
There are many times in life when you get busted for doing something wrong and freeze -up in fear— you know that feeling when your heart seems to stop, a wave of hot panic washes over you, and your bladder control muscles stop working properly? This can happen anytime, such as when you’re 14 and get caught smoking by your principal, or when security guards stop you at the front door of the mall when you have an unpaid for sweater balled up in your bag. (Ok, maybe that was just me.) But nothing will prepare you for having this feeling when you’re in the middle of having sex. There’s only really one thing that can cause this panic: calling out the wrong person’s name in the middle of the deed. Let me clear something up. This doesn’t actually happen because you’re fantasizing about some other guy. Even if you are, it’s highly doubtful you’re going to cry out, “Oh, yes, Johnny Depp, harder, Johnny Depp!” when your boyfriend’s name is Chad. More likely, it’s due to force of habit. If you’ve been with the same person for a while, you get used to calling out their name in the sack. So these slip-ups can be totally innocent if you’re in a brand new relationship with someone and just used to crying out your ex’s name. Or, it can be not so innocent when you’re, uh, perhaps fooling around on your regular partner with someone new.
Years ago, I’d been seeing this guy named John for a couple of months. It was getting somewhat serious in that we’d decided to be exclusive. But then an old friend from high school, whom I’d always had a massive unrequited crush on, invited me to be his date to a wedding—in Ireland. Um, free flowing Guinness and the chance to stay in a hotel room with a hot, successful guy that I’d always gotten along great with? Holy Blarney Stone, yes! I took all my saved money and blew it on a weekend ticket to Dublin without hesitation. John was naturally skeptical about my intentions, but I managed to convince him we were nothing but platonic friends, which at the time we actually were. (“I think he might be gay now,” I assured John). Once in Ireland, nothing did happen between us for the first two days—after so many years of just being buds, both of us were a little shy about making that first move. That is until we got upgraded to a hotel suite with a wraparound balcony and two bottles of wine sitting on the coffee table for our pleasure. What can I say, a good buzz and a good view lowers all my inhibitions.
So there we were—the old buddy and I, finally, after years of sexual tension, suddenly getting our rocks off in a gorgeous foreign country, and being loud and messy about it just because we could. At the height of all the pleasure, I decided to let him know how good I felt: “Oh, JOHN….!” I screamed loudly. Oh. Shit. His name was nothing close to John. Not Sean, not Jock, not Jabba the Hut. He froze. I froze. He wilted. I wilted. He looked at me. I looked at him. “Oh Jah…” I muttered weakly, thinking I could pull of suddenly being either Swedish or a Rastafarian. “Jah?” I tried again. He rolled over in disgust.
Things literally went south from there. Sayonara to the fun, rowdy romp in the hotel room. In fact, there went the chance of even having a future with this guy, who I actually really liked. Defeated, I went to sleep too, feeling horribly guilty for both screwing around on John, and for calling the other guy the wrong name in bed. I felt like a really bad girlfriend.
Still! I learned a very good lesson that night, one that I have always followed since. Never call someone by name in bed. Every guy I’ve been with since gets the old ‘oh baby’ treatment if I’m being vocal. Though the risk may be slim, it’s honestly not worth it. Unless you can actually get away with pretending to be a Rastafarian and crying out to your lord in the middle of getting your bone on with a guy named “Darren.”