Everyone’s pain is valid — especially during a pandemic

“My grandparents have only been able to hug each other for more than a year,” I overheard a woman lament with so much compassion. “They’re dying to hug the grandkids.”

“This is the second anniversary trip we’ve had to cancel because of Covid,” a wife grumbled to me after having…


After I made him come he got up to smoke.

“This is my best chance to quit,” he said, standing by the bed looking torn, pained. I put my arms out toward him and he came back to bed. He curled up in my arms and I held him as…


And then a morbid possibility offered itself up to my imagination— the realization that death also meant A Dying Wish — that priceless currency you can only spend once. There is no crisper bill.

No one could refuse A Dying Wish, especially not that of a young woman who was…


The first slap was a quick sharp bop. Like those assholes who bop their dog on the snout. The kind of swat you’d expect with a disciplinary “NO!”

Getting naked with a new man was not my Tuesday-night plan that evening. But he was interesting. I liked talking with him…


Two years ago America spontaneously decided it was ok for women to be furious about what men do to our bodies without our permission. And not just bosses but coworkers. Equals. Strangers. Partners. Creeps in clubs. Creeps at church. Anyone who didn’t have our consent. The new c-word.

It was…


Don’t ask me why I’m even still talking to my ex, let alone arguing with him about gender politics. I don’t know what kind of catharsis I still think is possible for me, or him, through his conversion —as if our toxic conversations will medievally transform him into a decent…


A little nostalgia, anyone?

Is anything as serenely sexy as Sade running barefoot down a sidewalk, slow-motion, in a midriff-baring wedding dress?

Play it back.

That deliberate tempo, the arch and ache straining in her voice, the lingering questions of their lyrics — aren’t we all that complex? Aren’t all our loves that textured…


The blissful naivete of hook-up culture a mere few months ago

Five months ago I told a new man I wasn’t going to fuck him.

I had just met him. I wasn’t in love with him. He was interesting but I wasn’t actually attracted to him. He wasn’t my type but he had confidence and charisma and I had had a…


A five-step gimmick-free guide that only works if you use it

What makes a great lover? What makes a lover “the best”? If anyone promises you a single answer ignore it. The answer is different for every person. So the only true “answer” is what each partner tells you. You have to ask. …


And more importantly, my humanity?

It started in Taipei. My friend and his new wife, both diplomats, finally made it to their new assignment after multiple flights, two weeks of quarantining in New York and then another two more days of flights and layovers.

The walls of their new apartment were completely carpeted, with big…

Erika Düring

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