Guest Post: Drained Beyond Therapy by Sergio Henry Ben

Today on #rinsebeforeuse we have a special guest post by our dear friend Sergio Henry Ben. In his post Serge provides an entertaining insight into the ‘tense psychological thiller’ that was his first date following a decade long sabbatical from the world of romance…Enjoy! 



“Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong.”

Do you really wanna know? It’s kind of a horror story. Okay, more like a tense psychological thriller than a gore fest. It could’ve gone that way, you know. I was prepared to face assault charges. I was prepared to follow the gospel of Rupaul: “You should always try to come from a place of love, but sometimes you need to break it down”

“And lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil…” is how the Lord’s Prayer goes, yes?  The evil in this instance was my dinner date on Sunday. Boy had it all going for him – looks, attitude, intelligent (oh what a joke his is, I found out), and exudes a particular kind of nasty-ass-gutter-porno-marathon-sex sleaze I find hard to resist.

“Sex shouldn’t be comfy,” this pearl of wisdom courtesy of the ballsy Lola in Kinky Boots. Sunday dinner was eine Schande. Chanting for inner peace barely helped. The only reason I’m not facing assault charges is through the sheer force of will to not bludgeon my date senseless with his colossal ego. Subsequently, he is now referred to as the Son of Darkness – be it in conversation laced with contempt with my gal pals.

It’s been an age since my last date, but I’m pretty sure you don’t enter another’s home and abandon your good manners – that is if you had any to start. I’ve no shame indulging my little pity party. None. I am still aghast at the series of events. Sundays are meant for relaxation and flopping about the sofa or sorting out stubborn laundry.And here I am, a Category FIve typhoon of anxiety and determination whirling about multitasking like a deranged Desperate Housewife.

Ingredients, doing the dishes, quick sweep, lighting incense sticks to drive out dark juju and welcome good cosmic prana flow, escalate the panic as the house is still untidy, sweep over there, rearrange the sofa pillows, positive-speak and life coach the hell out of my crazy ass for the umpteenth time, check on the rice and finally make a decision about inserting slivers of ginger while it steams and and and …When madness has focus, yes?

My first date in a roughly decade and I’m amazed the house and the rest of civilisation is still standing. Progress in my book, but silly me didn’t take into account my date is actually a relentless and monstrous strain of flesh-eating bacteria. Cancer is viewed in a kinder light than him. The Son of Darkness arrives and my anxiety level is officially Mount Everest.

I’m a wreck. I suck at small talk, flirting and all those insipid useless rituals mankind adores. I’m a blunt guy. I like the direct approach. “Hey would you like to (insert whatever goal is desired).” “No? Jolly good.” There are plenty of attractive men out there. Seriously, have you looked at me? My Guatamalaness is en pointe. And sometimes exuding the Latin American sexpot look can be a trial. Sunday, not my most triumphant moment. However, it must be said that I’ve suffered head trauma beginning of March and I’m blaming my appalling lack of common sense on that. I really don’t want to own yet another poorly informed decision regarding men.

Inhale … exhale … inhale … exhale … Sunday, bloody Sunday. Dinner was agony. I was interrogated, then instructed what I should do with my life, and also instructed to listen to a dreary litany of my flaws. One, I can’t cook (the dish burnt in the oven while we were making out). Two, I don’t know the meaning of the “big words” I use. (Never mind I am a journalist with 18 years experience, 11 of which spent reporting and the rest copy editing. Never mind that, yeah?)

Also, the Son of Darkness kept breaking my word, doing a very poor imitation of Dame Maggie Smith in Gosford Park. The affected mannerisms and nasal private school accent alone was for the eyes to glaze over. “No,” he said with a grand wave of his hand, “I’m not interested. I’m asking you to be real. I want to see the real you. Stop hiding behind your brilliance.” And running through my head on a loop, “This is Bridget Jones for Sit Up, Britain, reporting to you from a big vat of excrement.” I have anger issues. In fact, I am bipolar and borderline schizophrenia was also added to my diagnosis. The will required to remain at an even keel … I want my Emmy and an Elie Saab gown for the red carpet.

Hours later, the Son of Darkness is banished from my house with a curt smile and wave. In fact, a huge production ensued about the how vital it is he leaves immediately and that being late for work would send SA’s economy careering into an abyss and more blah blah … The trash took itself out. I ended up in my private ICU – the sofa. Vodka in one hand and cigarette in the other. And I’m torn between making a petrol bomb or pushing the Son of Darkness off a cliff. Few hours later after gulps of vodka and a dirty ashtray, the only conclusion reached was, “urgh!” Love, lust, pleasure, pain … a terrifying and exhilarating and exhausting mess. Not for me, thank you. You can have it, seriously.

Dear Rinsers – Give us your thoughts on Sergio’s account with the Son of Darkness. Have you experienced any similar dates from hell that have left you #drainedbeyondtherapy? Is dating more trouble than it’s worth? Share your stories in the comment section below.


  1. Awesome writing. Sergio sums up that gut wrenching feeling of pre-date nerves perfectly…And then the teeth grinding account of a patronising and egotistical date that presumes to know you better than yourself after a few hours.. Sergio puts you right there. Painting a perfect picture of the hell date dispersed with self-deprecating irony. And haven’t we all been there..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharing your torturous experience with us on #rinsebeforeuse

    I’m currently having to take my annual sabbatical from dating because it has all gotten a bit too much. One of the worst dates I had was when a guy bought out a list of 36 questions and diligently started going through them. I can listen to the sound of my own voice, that’s not a problem BUT having to listen to his elaborate lies and him glorifying himself for being a doctor and having visited a township once really sent me over the edge.

    We got through 8 of the 36 questions. He said we’d continue working through them on the second date. Needless to say, that never materialised 😛

    Liked by 2 people

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