In Defence of ‘The Roster’

Do you remember that movie starring Zac Efron called Are We Officially Dating? You probably don’t because it was a terrible movie but basically the main part that you need to know is that Zac Efron’s character is a well known playboy who lives his life by ‘The Roster’. Efron explains in the movie that the roster is when he rotates through a series of women throughout the days of the week to maximise on the sex and keep the emotions at arms length. He determines when it is time to cut a girl from the roster when she brings up what he calls the ‘so’ moment — basically, she asks ‘So we’ve been “hanging out” for a while now — is this going anywhere?’

And then he promptly dumps them with a ‘You’re a fun girl and I like hanging out with you but I’m just not looking to get into anything serious right now.’

If you’re anything like me then you have heard this dumping before. And if you have, you probably didn’t realise it but you were on the roster. And being on the roster kind of sucks.

But it also kind of doesn’t.

The idea of the roster sounds slutty, or trashy, or just really cold, but before you get your pitchforks for being in defence of this idea hear me out.

I’ve been on the roster with a guy for the majority of the year and he was not shy in telling me straight up that he just wanted to have fun. Unfortunately, by the time he told me that I was kind of in love with him. I lived in an imaginary fantasy world in thinking that, just like Zac Efron’s character did in that terrible movie, maybe this guy would realise I was the girl of his dreams and dump all of his other ladies for me. And he kind of did. He dumped two girls on his ‘Roster’ and spent most nights fucking up a storm with me.

But while I was super cool on the outside when he was inside, when we were away from each other I did what normal girls paranoid of the roster do — they stalk every female on their guy’s social media pages, worry about why the guy won’t return their call (‘Omg, is he with her right now?’) and streak mascara down their faces crying with their girlfriends into a bottle of wine (‘Why doesn’t he want me?’).

Eventually, he called me up at work one morning and told me he was dumping everyone for another girl he had just met and that he was done with the roster. I was devastated. This was exactly what I wanted but it was for some other random girl who simply liked to play the same video game as him. I handled it very gracefully — not.

And then I moved on. I met a new friend, a new dog and a new guy and started feeling better. The whole thing had been very toxic and I wish I could say I was strong enough to leave it there.

But I’m not. Hey, I loved the guy and he was a terrific lay.

After a month she dumped him and I was so overjoyed that I jumped straight back into his bed. I was now the only girl on the roster because all of his previous girls decided he was dead to them.

They might have been the smart ones in this situation — but it meant I kind of won the fight for his heart.

But I hadn’t really. He told me he still didn’t want to be with me exclusively and all the feelings of not being good enough came flooding back. I was back on the roster — albeit the only girl on it at the moment — but it was only a matter of time before he was cycling through different girls and reminding me that we weren’t exclusive.

But things had changed. I may have forgiven him his trespasses, but I have never forgotten them. I remembered all the shitty things he did and I realised that while I have extremely strong feelings for him, and will always likely be willing to jump back into his bed at the next opportunity, the desire I had for him as a relationship wasn’t there.

I kind of wanted to be his girlfriend, yes, but I didn’t want him to be my boyfriend.

When we were initially dating I devoted my time to him because it was comfortable and I honestly couldn’t be bothered seeing other people but since he had dumped me for a month and I was forced to get back into game it was now me who was sleeping with other people.

Suddenly I was the one with the roster.

And by having my own roster I came to realise a few things: people get what they need out of others but it is rare that you will ever find someone who will give you 100% of what you need. With this guy I could have great sex, takeout food and nights in bed watching movies. But with the other guy I had started seeing (let’s call him Bodybuilder) I could have good morning texts and constant messages throughout the day. This is a big thing for me — I want to know someone is thinking of me, and my original guy just straight up sucked at texting, so to get these good morning text messages from someone else meant less pressure on original guy.

But Bodybuilder was on a ridiculous diet and it meant that I couldn’t ever go out on a dinner date and eat with him. Honestly, these are prime events for the acts of seduction and getting to know people so this was disappointing to me. I wanted to be treated out to a fancy dinner and dress up and this was something Bodybuilder couldn’t do, and something the Original wouldn’t do anymore with me.

So I started dating someone else who would do these things to me. We would go out for nice dinners and drinks and have a lovely time. And honestly, it was perfect. I was getting the texts I needed, the dates I wanted and the sex I craved.

The roster was working.

Having a roster isn’t for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of forward planning and privacy in ensuring the guys on your roster are kept apart, even if they are aware of their place. I am also deemed as a bit of a slut for seeing multiple people at once and many of my coupled up friends tell me I should focus on only seeing one person at a time. But the thing is, the roster is perfect for a situation like mine where you are looking for a relationship and seeking out someone who could potentially be ‘the one’ but have a high sex drive and don’t really want to go into a dry spell while you are dating around. I like knowing that I can still have great sex on average twice a week while I look for the person to take me out of the roster.

Because, truthfully, I don’t want to be in a roster and I don’t want to have a roster. I want someone to step up and say ‘Hey, I want to be with you and you alone so let’s do this,’ but while I am searching for this needle in a haystack there’s no reason why I shouldn’t also satisfy my intimate needs.

And that’s why the roster doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing! In this day and age you can date and sleep with multiple people if you feel like it — just always ensure to treat your lovers with respect and dignity in this situation.

Because as much as you might want dick you don’t need to be a dick about it!

Bunny Butterscotch

Bunny Butterscotch

Bunny Butterscotch knows the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to a modern day sex life and isn't afraid to talk about it. With a high sex drive and a dirty mind, Bunny navigates her collection of real life sexual encounters and learning curves with an honest outlook. She is a professional writer and author from Canberra.

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