ways not to go about things.
i’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to go on three internet dates in one weekend.
and hook up with all three of them.
but, i did. je ne regrette rien.
i’m also pretty sure you’re not supposed to go into the nasty details on your blog afterwards in an orgy of overdisclosure—like i’m pretty sure i’m about to do. oh well.
i set up an okcupid account something like two months ago but i haven’t spent a lot of time with it. somehow it’s daunting and chagrining at the same time. i do dearly love the obscene and sometimes frankly psychotic questions—probably spent the greatest part of my time on that site, until very recently anyway, just taking screen captures of weird stuff. but (luckily) a boy won my heart with the message ‘want to go out for cocktails and talk about poor life choices sometime?’ and shortly thereafter we did—and then not only okcupid but in fact LIFE ITSELF didn’t seem nearly so daunting and chagrining. seemed like there were plenty of pleasant places to go and people to meet in the world.
the boy himself—let’s call him The Flower of My Secret*—was surprisingly awkward but we had a very nice time. ‘surprisingly’ because he didn’t come across as awkward at all online—and i feel like it’s incredibly difficult to be anything but awkward in those online messages. like if you can manage to be smooth and socially adept in that forum, you must be a silver-tongued devil in real life. such was my belief, anyway. the flower of my secret is not a silver-tongued devil. (there’s a sentence for you!) but, i mean, he managed conversation. he had plenty of interesting things to say. and he was tall.
we went out again a week later. he was still awkward. and this time i was disturbed to find him wearing a hawaiian shirt. (who wears a hawaiian shirt on a date with a human woman? what is the thought process there?) well, actually he explained his thought process—spontaneously, let me add—lest you think i asked ‘so what the hell were you thinking when you decided to wear that?’ because he was talking about how he wears the shirt on interviews. (let me add he’s a chef.) thinking that it conveys something about how he’s a pleasant guy and he can afford a shirt that’s kind of expensive. yeah. just one of those heterosexual man glitches, i think. (‘time to get out the old dazzler….’) but, getting past the shirt. at one point i was trying to talk to him about how weird okcupid was and whether he’d had any funny experiences because of it and he got unexpectedly agitated and then almost bitter, talking about a conversation he had with his friend where he said he was thinking of just messaging women asking them if they wanted to have sex and seeing what would come of that. no pun intended. ‘well there’s tinder. that’s for sex. i think. i put it on my phone but i can’t figure out how it works,’ i said, as casually and un-skankily as one can say that. but we moved on to other topics.
but this percolated. it wasn’t clear whether he wanted to have sex with random women of the internet or if he was just sick of having to come up with little messages or what. ‘hmm,’ said i to me. ‘this fellow is sort of reserved. but there he is, on the other side of your table, deliciously plumper in the flesh than in his boring internet pictures, talking fancy chef talk, talking about a million different kinds of food and ways of cooking and eating. he’s a decadent character.’ finally a depraved little lightbulb lit up over my head. (sex! there’s an idea!) so i fished around in my wallet, found an old receipt, and on the back i wrote: ‘(apropos of what you were saying earlier) i would have sex with you.’ i slid it across the table. ‘ah. ok. well, i would as well.’
not a hard sell. so i took him home and we had a wonderful time. indeed. all fun and games until he suddenly started talking about his [internetly undisclosed] divorce and divorced-guy sadness and panicked and fled home. (oh no! pleasure!)
i was actually a little worried about him. i was just about to call him the day after to make sure he was okay and i hadn’t disordered his emotions—or some such tragic nonsense as my brain was pleased to imagine—when he sent me an innocuous text about cold-pressed coffee.
i guess all of this so far is really backstory. the preface to the weekend of three internet dates. one of them was the third date with The Flower of My Secret but the other two were just coincidence. all of a sudden, inexplicably, the internet wanted me desperately, and it happened that i was more than okay with that. i was so pleased with my night with TFoMS. i had a spring in my step all week. i got things done with efficiency and some degree of optimism. when i woke up the morning after with a mysterious itchy rash on my chest, i googled ‘rash on chest after sex’ and was delighted to read about other people’s sexual problems and encounters while i figured out that i was suffering from ‘beard burn.’ i was delighted to google, i was delighted to learn silly new terminology, i was delighted to suffer. ‘oh dora,’ says i, ‘you’re working on not being depressed. sex is a very good way to work on that! most beneficial and hygienic!’ ‘true enough, my self. let us research condoms.’
i think my (grotesque teenage) excitement is understandable. (as i have discussed elsewhere) i had severe vaginismus that was just “cured” (for lack of a better term) last october. the whole world of Sex and Relationships and What Have You was invariably a sinister and disappointing place for me. i met a guy shortly after my procedure—my beloved Gift Horse—and dated him for a properly long time. and we’re good friends now and i think we always will be. but that’s beside the point—it’s more to the point that the Horse is essentially the only boyfriend and only lover i’ve really had. so this is a brave new fucking world for me. and i’m all fixed now. my stove’s in good condition. it’s hard to wrap my head around that, again no pun intended. it was so fun and so interesting to have sex with someone different. (let me add here that i really do like The Flower of My Secret! he’s a cool guy. and i do have a pretty powerful lust for him. i probably already made that clear, though.) and in a way, you know, though i was concerned about him, i was profoundly unsympathetically irritated too. when he was talking about his divorce, part of me just wanted to interrupt and say, ‘look, okay, if i can relax and enjoy casual sex with a near-stranger, anyone can. believe me.’ (my dark past trumps your dark past, so shut up and make out with me some more.)
yes, i was in this chaste and charitable and terribly mature sort of mood still going into my weekend, so it absolutely serves me right that i didn’t have capital-s sex with any of my Three. sigh. for i am such a huge fan of sexual intercourse. (which is probably surprising. i know i was surprised to learn this about myself! and women are really supposed to prefer other sexual acts. what can i say, i can’t help it.)
oh my God! i did have sex with Bachelor #1, actually. Bachelor #1, who really liked me and wanted to see me again, whose texts i ignored.** uh—uhmm-hmmm, well. let us say that he is not a fortunate gentleman. my God, and he talked about it too. talk about chagrining.
Bachelor #2, who was the real wild card, but who i really liked and apparently really liked me too, said he wanted to see me again, but ignored my texts. Bachelor #2 has rules. no capital-s sex on the first date. though what he does allow on the first date is rather more advanced and intimate—and the man could charge money for doing what he does—though he has a hell of a nice day job, so it would probably be a bad career move. i digress. anyway. i can’t complain about the services provided. and we really hit it off and he said all kinds of enthusiastic things to me! (including sentences beginning like ‘well, the next time we hang out, i think we should…..etc.’) but now the silence. so confusing. and he was so cute. lackaday and them’s the breaks, i suppose.
Bachelor #3 has already made your acquaintance. and The Flower of My Secret was still feeling delicate, so. he decided he didn’t want to have sex. instead he offered me an opportunity to practice certain skills which i have never really developed. (then stared out the window in silence. then fled.) but no disrespect is meant to this gentleman—who prepared five or six different vegetarian dishes and brought them to my house. i mean, for God’s sake. you don’t expect someone to do that for you. he knew it was a hell of a great move, too.*** he was impressed with himself and that was terribly charming.
well. that’s a very brief and incomplete history of my weekend. some people probably date internet people every night of the week but i’m all overstimulated and at loose ends today. writing this is all i’ve really accomplished. still—certainly there have been days this year when i’ve accomplished precisely nothing. i might not be on the right track, but i am on a track.
* (it’s a complicated inside joke with myself).
** not just because of the size issue. no, not even primarily because of that! there were so many other good reasons.
*** i said: ‘oh i forgot to tell you, i have another chef coming at 8, so. you’ll have to clear out by then.’ (which made TFoMS laugh, as it was intended to, but. i think it was also something of a confession.)