I clung to the Prosecco bottle and my glass, careful to spill not one drop.
“Seven! Six! Five!”
Tina’s little idea for me to be her date for the night had panned out well enough. I’d curled my hair into beachy waves, stuffed myself into a dress which had to eventually be swapped out, and gone out with low expectations.
“Four! Three! Two!”
Her two friends, a couple, bounced next to us, their glasses held high among all the other gold, silver and bronze liquids sloshing in the air. I hadn’t talked to anyone but these three all night long. Except for the stranger who bought me a bottle of Prosecco, whoever that was. Thanks, dude.
And then the big climax.
The room exploded with little horns and cheers and the band banged on their instruments as kisses rippled through the room from strangers and friends.
We left shortly after — having drained 4 bottles of bubbles — and walked happily, loudly home in the dark. I like to think cars honked cheerily at us as we meandered home, but I doubt any driver would be trying to attract attention past midnight on New Year’s Eve. But the mood was jovial, full, warm.
I awoke at 7 in Tina’s sister’s bed alone, but for Tina’s sister’s cat, Pierre. I was fully dressed and the Spanx which cut into my thighs were my wake up call.
On the drive home I thought about the last several of my New Year’s Eves. I was married on New Year’s Eve exactly eleven years ago. We threw an epic party that my friends and I still talk about fondly. We’d chosen that night because of the disaster which New Year’s seems to always become and now we wouldn’t have to ever worry about it again! Ha. Oh, naive, Hy!
The first New Year’s alone was spent with my very closest friends. The Neighbor was not yet in my life, though he must have been nearby celebrating. The next I’d invited him to come over while I stayed with Peyton, but he went to a party instead. The next we shroomed together, the following we went to dinner and I discovered more hurt and betrayal, and the last one together we spent like rags drying on a line: dismal and limp with my friends. He’d break up with me 3 weeks later.
The next, alone and completely heartbroken still, I spent with Ashley. She and I had played softball with TN and she knew him well. Saw his struggle, mine. Our love, our colossal collapse. But it was dark and singular and sparklers still make me nervous from growing up in a drought state and I couldn’t enjoy their hissing, spinning, maniacal screams into the treetops.
This year was different, though. Although alone, completely and totally, I was surrounded with energy and a wild abandonment. There was no sorrow like the first. No longing and yearning and disappointment like with TN. No settling for plans. Just a decision to enjoy myself.
I spoke to no one — except the generous stranger — and didn’t want to. My goal was to feel alive, to feel full, to feel beautiful and strong.
This year, I have decided, I am going to attempt to achieve something I have never tried to do before: to find love. And not to stumble upon it, to luck out in finding it, but to actively and intentionally seek it out.
I will follow the trails of some men I’ve met under the “old regime” to their ends, but in the meantime I have hit pause on my AFF* profile — as well as my other pursuits — and reopened OKCupid in order to achieve a better platform for real conversation.
As of January 1st there are no less than 5 men who have wowed me with their words, good looks, and yes – desires for a long-term relationship. The amount of effort required in culling the herd of potential boyfriends is vastly greater than that needed to find a fun roll in the hay and I am already completely exhausted. Coyness is seen as a brush off; I must actually respond in kind!
But, I’m also determined to change my life.
I’ve long been afraid to let myself do something like this, to set goals. Fear of failure, frustration and the overruling feeling that it’s futile have all kept me away, but at 41, I can no longer say my current methods work all that well. I have been plagued by mostly mediocre sex all year long and I realize that more emotional effort is required to get things right.
I’m not going to “Just enjoy myself until I find something more serious.” I’m going to look for the serious… and hopefully also enjoy myself. I might not even kiss on the first date. (Go ahead and scoff. I just did.)
I read David’s text and squealed with both fear and anticipation.
“Fuck. Ok. Only if you’re really here,” I wrote back.
Seconds later he was through my door with his hand wrapped around my neck holding me on my tip toes, his mouth oddly gentle, his tongue soft and sweet.
My towel dropped to my feet when his fingers dug inside of me as if searching for a lost object. My legs trembled and I gushed into his hand; my juices made a long trail down my legs to the crumpled towel below.
I hadn’t heard from David in months and we hadn’t seen each other since October. Last year we met in April when I was still completely heartbroken over The Neighbor. His big, fat cock and transgressive style of fucking were welcome distractions as I limped along away from TN. However, pillow talk between us — or talk in general — was not very rewarding.
I found myself wrapped up in ridiculous arguments or defending my thoughts and feelings about personal matters. I eventually went to some lengths to avoid such arguments, but after a disagreement about dogs of all things, I gave up even trying and accepted that we were better lovers than “friends.”
Over time our schedules intervened and we saw less and less of each other and last fall he witnessed me a hot, sobbing drunken mess. The Soldier had stood me up that night and I’d spent a retched day with an old high school friend and being sexually harassed by him and his knuckle-dragging friend s we day drank.
David came over and pounded my pussy as hard as my heart hurt and spent and used I cried as I knelt over his splayed knees. His cum mixed with my tears. I was embarrassed to be so exposed in front of this big, hard man, but there was nothing for it. It happened.
In January he texted to say his New Year’s resolution was to fuck me in the ass. My response was something along the lines of, “Good luck with that beer can dick of yours and never seeing each other.”
We texted once or twice more this year until early last week when he reached out again and then Friday when he asked if I were home.
I have no hard feelings towards David. That’d be like being upset with a wild animal for being wild. Our friends with benefits relationship is one of mutual satisfaction and convenience. It doesn’t involve sharing feelings or activities — a ridiculously boring hiking date proved that one — it’s sex and sex only.
I went to my friend’s birthday party with David’s cum dried all over my tits and when the breeze shifted it wafted up to my nostrils mixed with my perfume of hyacinth.
He came on my in great gobs because I begged him to.
After he’d licked me from top to bottom and worked me with his hand again. After he’d pushed me forcefully to my knees and told me to lick his tight little asshole. After I’d suckled his balls and choked on his massive piece of flesh and heard him croon, “That’s a good little slut.” After he’d turned around and spread his cheeks for me and jerked himself as he purred at my warm, wet tongue on his hole. And after he’d thrown me back on the bed and hitched my ankles up on his shoulders then flipped me around and wailed on my flanks as he buried himself in me.
After all of that he came on my face and tits and neck. I slumped up onto the bed and laid there with him until it was time to get dressed for the party.
David was there for all of 30 minutes.
How different a “friend” he is than The Artist. Though similar in age and height as David, he is worlds apart energetically and emotionally. He’s sensitive and sweet and we have lengthy conversations about life and love and Domination and submission. He is a neophyte dom himself and also a writer. He wants to go to writers workshops with me and read my work. He wants me to critique his.
I’ve resisted sharing Hy with him; he’s too loose, too wet.
Our first night together was drunken and fierce(ish). His cock curves away from his body and when he mounted me from behind on my squeaky couch I burst into orgasm instantly. That was his second orgasm of the night and my umpteenth.
We’ve texted consistently throughout the weeks and gone to dinner twice. I am open with him about my other other lovers and I know of a couple of his. I like him, though quickly learned that my sexual volume is much higher than he thinks his is. Despite being dominant I am even more dominant; a moon in a planet’s presence.
Our hookups have been hot and quick.
There was the time he came over and though he promised to fuck me when he walked through the door we ended up chit chatting at my kitchen island for 10 minutes before he grabbed me and fucked me on the counter top.
And the other time I blew him for a minute or so and I had to choose to let him blow his wad right then or let him fuck me. I chose the latter.
Or the other time I let him spank me until his erection returned and he jizzed all over me.
I have coached him and supported him as a friend would — I enjoy the mentoring space — and I have even spent time guiding him on what to do with his other FWB when he asked. We are solidly “friends with benefits,” but the benefits are beginning to be in his favor, not mine.
Sunday morning he texted, “Hey I’m feeling pretty sad still and I don’t think I’ll be able to get off if we have sex. It’s up to you if you still want to hang out. I’m just not feeling up to fooling around hon.”
“What are you sad about?”
“Still bummed over that girl you know?”
“Ah, I see. Well, as much fun as it would be to hang out with you while you’re bummed out by another woman, I’m really ok just chilling alone.”
His response was a favorite of mine: :/
I’m not interested in being a shoulder cry on about someone else while sex is on the table. Shoulder cry on as just friends? Yes, 100%. As a lover who doesn’t get fucked? No. That would wring me out because that doesn’t feel all that good. There’s no benefit there; I’m just being used.
Talk to me and ask for advice about a death, a shitty boss, a bad day, bad friends, your mother and also fuck the ever-loving shit out of me? Yes. Complain to me about another woman and not fuck me? No. Absolutely not. I expect my lovers to have their shit together.
Part of being friends with benefits is the suspended belief that we’re all we have for the time we spend together. It allows it to be fantastic while practical and uncomplicated.
Bumping around with these two make me miss Ben in a wistful, fantasy way. He’s been busy lately. So, so busy. I don’t remember the last time we spoke but the time I showed him my pussy has long since passed.
“Yes, Hy. God, you’re so beautiful.” I can hear the words perfectly now, like a moment frozen in time.
We talk still about a visit, but as each week goes by I have less hope. There’s a story line for us in my mind that we will see each other for years until we no longer are willing or able. Long distance lovers with a bond across the sea. No one ever gets mad at each other and time and space are natural wedges between us so reunions are passionate and snorted into our bodies like so many lines of cocaine.
We become high on one another until the crash of departure. We are perfect because we are virtual strangers and dream fuck buddies.
Our coupling at the beginning of the summer is as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. I can feel his body on mine and his thick flesh pushed against me as it slid deep inside. His timbre smooth as were his hands which rested on my hips as he pumped into me like a little stallion.
Sometimes I think we should leave well enough alone with the dream.
My other friends are virtual. Men whose words and kindness reach through the ether. Their voices are unknown, their scent and taste a mystery. I don’t know the feel of their crush. One or two want to come see me. Less than that are welcome to. Besides, once you close the gap and touch me it seems to become a game of loss.
How much longer until it’s run its course and the benefits are gone? FWBs is a short game, no matter what kind it is. It’s a filler, a distraction, a fun ride until you find the mini-van you want to buckle yourself into forever.
After all these years I’ve finally figured out that friends with benefits means truly having no expectations beyond the moment of the ride, that moment he’s inside of me. Gah, that fucking magical moment of being filled by another human body. What a joy that is! What a gift!
If I could I’d have a hundred friends with benefits of all kinds. The ones only good for sex, the ones who are mooshy and eye-rolling, the ones who are dreamy and perfect and everything in between. Men are fascinating, exhausting, thrilling creatures and I want to gather them all up and give them pats and kisses and wag my ass in front of their drooling faces. I’ll manage any loneliness at weddings and birthdays on my own.
What I really want to do is play, to shove the biggest piece of cake in my mouth, swallow it, reach for more and wait for the next knock on my door. I wonder who it’ll be next time.
I imagine looking out over a harbor, the morning light gentle, the scent of the bay cold and familiar in my nostrils. I hike my suspenders over my shoulders and step into my dingy. I have to check my lines; one group of crab pots after the next, the water gently choppy, the sound of the boat engine a buzzing throttle beneath my hand as I steer.
I stop, pull the lines. They’re heavy. The little creatures inside move in what looks like slow motion. I pull them up, open the cage and shake them out into the bottom of my boat, toss the pot back in the water and move on to the next.
It’s second-nature to me, these motions. It’s part of my life, who I am. I measure them silently in my mind. Chemistry, cock, charisma.
I check 3 lines every day. My AFF, Seeking Arrangement and Collar Space. Each day I find creatures in my pots. Each day I am overwhelmed with the vetting process.
SA continues to be a brutally unrewarding place, but I also continue to be in a desperate financial situation so I stay on in hopes that I’ll find that one man who can save me financially as I work furiously in real life to solve for it on my own.
Will, the sugar daddy of ill-manners, and I no longer speak. He behaved even more badly in regards to how I spent “his” $100 and I told him it was fucking bullshit. I don’t know what he expected from me, but a sugar relationship wasn’t it. He thought $100 bought something. Yeah, groceries and gas, asshole.
Collar Space is a tender spot for me. I am inundated with thoughtful, sexy emails from submissive men, but I am deeply reticent after my most recent experience of being abandoned after a vanilla-esque scene. I can’t put myself back in that position any time soon, though I yearn to.
I am still speaking with the first sub who reached out to me back July, but I’m tired of the “How are you?” texts and don’t have the energy to move it further along.
AFF remains my happy place, but last I checked I had five times as many new emails than usual. Apparently late summer has caused the tide to shift a bit and suddenly I am more desirable than ever. I haven’t had the time to sift through all the possibilities there either; the men just lay at my feet, arms and legs waving at me.
My harvest is immense, but my appetite is low.
In a week it will have been one year since I ended my friendship with The Neighbor. One year since he was in my house. One year since we sobbed together. One year since he held me in his arms.
To this day every man I am with is measured against him, our chemistry, his cock. I can’t stop myself. Every time I pull a line and haul a man aboard I wonder if it will be as good with him as it was with TN. When I invite him over and into my bed I pray I’ll feel what I always felt with him. When the man leaves I hope to desire him again. When he speaks I wish to be interested.
Though the answer to all of those things is typically No and I throw him back, head to the next set of pots. The sun on my face, the salt on my lips.
Line after line I pull. Tirelessly, not unhappily. Always looking, always measuring, always the fisherman.
I dug in my wallet and handed it to him, his thigh pressed against mine in the horseshoe booth. He fumbled with something then pressed it back into my hand. There was a $100 bill there now.
The tears I’d been holding back for the last thirty minutes sprang to my eyes. What a relief! We could finally talk about money now, I thought.
“I want to show you something,” I said and pulled out my phone and opened my banking account. A little working wheel spun as we watched together.
“You have no idea how badly I needed a little help,” and then with tears streaming down my face I explained to him the nightmare experience I’d been having with my bank and credit card over the past four days and how I had only $50 in my wallet until that moment.
I felt relieved, safe. I don’t believe in white knights, but maybe I was wrong.
Will and I met on a sugar daddy site, a place where men seek [usually] discreet relationships with women who, in exchange for whatever kind of relationship everyone is comfortable with, receive monetary support.
The way the site is set up the SDs report their net worth and yearly incomes and what monthly expenditure they’re willing to provide. The money ranges from “negotiable,” which has no value listed to “minimal” (a $1000 a month) to “high” ($10k a month and up). Will listed his net worth at $2 million with a $250,000 yearly income, and as with most SDs had chosen “negotiable” as his desired support level.
When we first connected online I wasn’t interested, but his confidence and sense of humor won me over. He asked why someone as beautiful as me was on a site like that one and I opened up to him like a cheap novel spilling all the dirty details.
How my divorce and staying home to start a family then start a new career had devastated my finances; how I sold stock, cashed out some of my 401k, and take on any and all side-work outside of my regular job I can possibly get in order to cover my bills; how I now make enough money to owe the IRS, but not enough to live off of; and how despite all that, my monthly expenses went up $1000/month last fall and I’ve been struggling to make ends meet ever since.
He told me he was impressed and reassured me that I’d done everything I possibly could. I liked that this stranger’s sentiment countered my deepest fear of being a colossal failure. “Life is hard sometimes, Hy,” he’d said. “I’ve been there.”
When we met after three weeks of emails and texts I hadn’t planned to let him slip bareback into me while bent over my front seat, but I was overcome with passion. We’d talked for hours and sipped our drinks in a plush hotel lobby and he assured me that he wanted to help in any way he could. Later that night he’d text me “Don’t sell yourself short. I can help you in so many ways.”
I wasn’t sure what he meant, but was encouraged nonetheless that he might be my fairy godfather of finances in this desperate time.
Accepting help from anyone in any form is difficult for me and asking for money is even more revolting; the situation in general puts me on my heel and while talking to potential SDs I felt raw and vulnerable discussing what they’d get from me in exchange for essentially being on their payroll.
Will had set himself apart quickly by not treating me like an object and so far everything he had said and done backed that up. Everything was falling effortlessly into place: We liked each other. I genuinely wanted to sleep with him. He genuinely wanted to help me.
I stared at the $100 bill wishing my life were different, but feeling relatively lucky all the same; it was humiliating, yet overwhelming, a little hopeful. I might really make it through this with his help.
I had cried en route to meet him, fearing rejection and humiliation at having to finally bring up our financial arrangment, but it was all for naught. It was going to be ok…
And then, it wasn’t.
“You know, Hy,” he said as I closed my bank app and set down my phone. “I’m so glad you waited to tell me about your situation until after I gave you the money, because had you opened with that, had you led with needing money, I’d have given you the $100 (because I’d already set it aside for you last week) and walked out and never spoken to you again. That’s really wonderful of you because now I know you’re genuine and more importantly, you know I’m genuine.”
I couldn’t believe my ears.
The next hour the tears continued as we debated the logic of his words. “I don’t know why you insist on being upset and ignoring my compliment!” he argued.
“It’s not a compliment, Will, because I was only lucky just now. I came here knowing I would have to ask you for help because I’m so desperate and you’re telling me that had I done that you’d have walked out on me without discussing a thing with me and that’s shitty and wrong. You have no idea how hard this is for me!”
“But why is it ok to ask me for help and none of the other guys from the other sites??” he asked angrily.
He talked to me slowly and calmly, like I was the village idiot; I shut down. Nothing I said could convince him of my vulnerability or how what he said was so belittling, disempowering, and outright appalling. A woman he met on a sugar daddy site is not allowed to discuss her financial situation with him first lest she piss him off and he take his ball and leave. Screw you, Hy, for having needs and making them known to me before I asked.
I absentmindedly watched the bartenders do their busy work and wished I were somewhere else.
He reminded me that we’d only met twice and to have some perspective when I couldn’t stop crying. But how could I possibly stop the river of emotions that had spilled over the dam? Humiliation, degradation, guilt, rage, helplessness, embarrassment, sorrow, fear. Each one a torrent in its own right.
I felt deflated as I sat beside his bulk. Something had just been bludgeoned between us, the little flame of hope and friendship was now a black, pulpy mess. He was mad that I seemed to be deliberately missing his magnanimous attitude towards me and I was crushed that I was treated like an ingrate with no agency.
Numbly, I let him walk me to my car. He made an inappropriate joke about fucking me by my car again. I kissed him and tried to flirt, but I felt broken and listless. I sobbed on the way home and opened a bottle of red wine.
Deep into my cups I reached out. “I’m free Friday after all.” He laughed and said he wished he was fucking me right then.
I felt lost.
What was I doing?? What was I trying to salvage? This is not the arrangement I seek, to hope that the guy I’m seeing will toss me some cash because he’s in a good mood. If I were financially stable, that would be fucking amazing, but I’m terrified each month that I won’t be able to pay my bills and I had made that abundantly clear to Will. I want a friends with benefits who understands his cherry to the situation sundae is money as I understand my cherry is discretion and companionship.
Money is a delicate, powerful thing and it reminds me of anthrax. It rips families and friends apart, destroys business partnerships and marriages; I’ve been reduced to tears because of it all week. Money isn’t everything, but when you don’t have enough it’s all-consuming because it equals survival. Money equals safety.
One thing that has become abundantly clear to me through all of this is I am wholly unprepared for how other people feel about their money as it relates to me. Will became defensive and dismissive because I suspect he feared I was only there for his money and the irony of where and how we met appears to be completely lost on him. It appears I wasn’t cut any slack.
In that booth with him, weepy eyed and defeated, I watched helplessly as he moved away from me, my tears and ingratitude driving him away and I felt even more sorrow because in that moment I realized that I had somehow also hurt him. I didn’t hear from him the entire next day.
Clearly, neither of us are fit for this sort of arrangement.
As I sit to write I’m overwhelmed with where to start. Do I share with you the potential sugar daddy with whom I’ve connected? Or my explorations into the D/s world? The guys I found on AFF to fuck my brains out? Or the all the men who reject me on Match? The men who froth at the bit on IG and Snapchat? The deep and meaningful emails I receive from kindred spirits?
For every want I have I have an outlet and it’s distinct from the rest. You may think my assignments are personal, but I’ve met enough men who spread themselves across the multiple platforms for similar reasons to know I’m not alone. I can’t say I like hung men on Tinder any more than I can say I want a boyfriend on Adult Friend Finder; it doesn’t fit the audience and it elicits the wrong responses.
Each site has a specific target audience:
eHarmony: serious relationship to marriage; deep, hearty stuff
These are my categorizations, obviously, but I think most would agree with me that this is the basic break down. I admit to anomalies. I have friends who got married off of OKC and some who had years-long relationships off of AFF. There’s no accounting for just how you meet someone and to put blinders on to opportunity would be just plain silly.
I’ve long been clear on the silos of intent for most of these sites, but the sugar daddy site, Seeking Arrangement, was the real recent challenge. It wasn’t until I sat beautifully full of white wine next to a big, brawny country boy who wants to be my benefactor that the last piece fell into place: on that site I could be honest about my financial situation.
On AFF I can shout to the rafters my love for giant cock; on Tinder I can be obtusely flirtatious; on OKC I can hint at my yearning for something deeper; on CollarSpace I can announce my authority and stake my claim; and on Seeking Arrangement I can say that I am in need of some help.
What I find so interesting about all of this is that of all things that I admit across these different platforms — my kinks, my heart, my hopes, my sexual needs — the most intimate is my need for money. To say I don’t have enough feels like admitting to a personal failing, like it’s Dickensian England and I’ve somehow brought this upon myself by virtue of my bad bloodlines. My father was, after all, a terrible human being who lost a few fortunes in his lifetime.
But the kind man whom I sat entwined with last Tuesday, and who would eventually fill me with his happy jizz in the parking lot like we were rutting teens, held my fears gently and wouldn’t let me look away. “Hy,” he said. “I want to help.” I was unable to offer more than a tearful head nod. It’s all too humiliating, but why is that? I’m not tearful when I sit across a man I meet on AFF and say I love giant dick; bashful, perhaps, but humiliated, no.
In fact, when I think about it, admitting to my kinks and my sexual needs are the only things that don’t make me shudder and shy away. Breaching this one frontier — financial — has put an even finer point on it: I don’t do intimacy.
I don’t admit to needing love. I don’t admit to wanting love. I don’t admit to having needs. I allude to them on all those sites where it’s appropriate, but I’ve been utterly unable to make any relationship launch because the truth is I’m completely and utterly unfit for a relationship at the moment. I trust no one and myself most of all; I am incapable of choosing trustworthy people and so I will choose to remain alone and get my intimacy needs met via sex and sex only. It will be interesting to see how a financial relationship affects me since that’s more intimate than sex to me.
I’m not satisfied with this long-term, but I am aware that this is my current status: intimacy isn’t possibly and that’s ok. I’ll keep working on it and chipping away as I always do. But admitting it is the first step.
To be clear for those of you who might be wondering, the kind of sugar daddy relationship I seek is one that isn’t based on money. I want to find a wonderful friends-with-benefits who also happens to check in on my financial status and help me out when necessary. I want a man whose money is inconsequential to my feelings for him and thus far, I feel like I’ve found that in this country boy. He’s sweet, funny, sexy and totally and completely into me. He also happens to be married, which is fucking perfect (see above intimacy issues).
One of the most appalling and humbling things about Seeking Arrangement is the used car feel of it. Men messaged me and kicked my tires, asked humiliating and inappropriate questions about my libido and sexuality as if they were staffing up for their penis and when they saw my private photos of my face I never heard from them again. Apparently, I didn’t measure up.
Of course, those men opted themselves right out of my life and that’s ok, but with the exception of the men on Match, I have been found highly attractive on the other sites matching with beautiful men of all shapes and sizes. But not on SA. There I was found wholly lacking, apparently.
On CollarSpace I roll up my sleeves and put my Domme-y pants on. I have been praised for my no-nonsense profile and many have been eager to make my acquaintance. Nothing has panned out beyond some heavy texting with one and a brief text-fling with another. I am extremely cautious there.
And as I flex my muscles I’ve learned what it means for a man to theorize about his submission, but be unable to execute even the smallest of submissions. If a woman you so desperately want to dominate you gently directs you to respond to texts in a timely fashion, you do so. You don’t ignore her for 24 hours. That vanilla shit doesn’t fly.
The sub with whom I’ve been texting regularly for several weeks seemed incredible at first — he was experienced, eager to help me learn, beautiful, hung, intelligent — but he suddenly balked hours before our first meeting and proved it was too good to be true. Under the kind tutelage of my Fairy Domme-mother, Ferns, I told him my desires again and fought the urge to compromise in such a way that I would lose everything I actually wanted.
I said to him:
And I’ve thought about it. Here’s what I want: a sexy af friend I can trust AND have fun with (an occasional drink, board game, day by the pool). If you decide you’re on board with that, then let me know. I’m not really interested in investing in a back and forth waiting (and hoping) for something to change if you’re not.
It’s terrifying to attempt to dominate only to have your submissive partner pull the rug out from under you. The Neighbor was a master at that and I am ever watchful for a repeat performance.
Coming up with that response to the sub was tantamount to my new dating elevator pitch. It’s how I feel across the board and I am set free from the back and forth and negotiations I once found myself tangled in. Do or do not. There is no try.
On AFF I have found many attractive men who like my pitch. The most recent, Poppy, a tall, coffee-with-lots-of-cream colored man built like Adonis, met me on a Tuesday night. He had a winning smile and a way with winks that won me over. We fucked like animals for a couple of hours and he promised he’d host next time.
It’s almost easier on AFF than anywhere else to be myself. I can mention the D/s stuff, my kink for male bi-play, and even admit to having a broken heart. Being non-monogamous isn’t scandalous, nor is it a beacon for one-night-stands. It’s like the catch-all of the dating world.
I’ve met men there who are just re-entering the dating world and who have played there for many years. They quickly learn the dating economics of a sex site and are appreciative of a well-spoken, confident, real woman. The number of bots and scams they intercept in any given day speaks volumes to who the real customer is. On AFF, we all seem like comrades.
On Match, much like SA, I am repellent. Men I find attractive look at my profile and don’t respond to my winks or likes. How ironic that when it comes to either being sufficiently attractive or relationship material I fall so short. Trust me, the irony is not lost on me.
I have another 4 and a half months to suffer through before my membership expires. I have zero hope of meeting anyone I’m interested in there. Partly because the men who message me aren’t attractive to me and partly because I have come to fully realize my unfitness to be a partner.
Tinder has wrought much pain, frustration, and general male jokery. I’m a fetish for the under 25 set, a challenge for the under 30, and a fine piece of ass for the under 40s. It’s a melee of false promises and aggressive and ridiculous come-ons. My screenshots are proof of that. Occasionally, I meet a comparable man, such as the pretty blond artist who suavely invited me back to his place at the end of our date. I declined that night, but we will reunite at some point soon.
Bumble is no different, but there I get the added bonus of being rejected when I reach out as the rules there state the woman must make the first move. Ok, whatever.
On those sites I am known as me, the mother of Peyton, a school-aged child, a professional, a dog and cat lover. They know I cuss a lot and love to cook and, if they’re lucky, get to experience the underbelly of my public persona, the naked and writhing one.
Not everyone will have the next categories in their lives, but I have yet even more: My Instagram and Snapchat followers as well as my blog readers.
In the past I made a conscious decision to not get too involved with virtual folks who know me as Hy. It was partly part of the anonymous mechanism, partly to keep a separation of church and state. Plus, how could that work? The world is a very big place and I’m not interested in a love affair from Abu Dhabi. But lately, in the last year, I have broken down my walls and connected with many people from my Hyacinth world
I made a handful of female friends on IG who have been very influential over the past several months and I have a couple of male friends whose tumescence are always welcome messages, as are their friendly words. They know my face and my city and I am hopeful that if ever our paths cross we can finally hug hello.
I met Ben through Snapchat, though I am realizing more now than ever, what a freak chance that was. The app isn’t conducive to lasting connections; words and pics literally disappear in moments. The fact that I noticed him is a fucking miracle.
Lastly, the readers who email me via my blog email are the real MVPs. They open up about their lives, share their insights, hurts, and journeys with me. They don’t want anything in return, just to share, and I find myself often wishing they were local mates, men and women I could hug and touch and comfort. I hope they know how much they mean to me even if we never become more than just lighthouses to one another.
I must speak to 100s of people every month in some capacity or another. It’s overwhelming. At the moment I’ve shut them all down except for the occasional peek into CS and AFF; I’m focusing on just three men: Country Boy, The Artist, and Poppy. Plus any stragglers who might pop up in text that I’ve forgotten about.
I remember a time not too long ago — 20 years isn’t that long ago, right?? — when the idea of speaking to, let alone fucking, more than one person was basically unheard of. I’d meet a fella somewhere and all my attention would be focused on him until I knew whether or not it was going to work out or not.
Sometimes it took a week, sometimes it took 3 months, but I never doubted that I was the only woman in this man’s life, nor he in mine. I don’t know when distraction and inundation became the name of the game. I’m not ungrateful for the diverse opportunities to find the exact thing that I’m looking for, but it’s just too much, like listening to 5 radio stations at once and trying to enjoy yourself.
I’ve been plugged up all summer, emotionally and creatively, in large part due to the intersecting highways of dating channels. How can I keep them organized or portray the juggling act I perform each day in such a way that it resonates? How can I express my enjoyment in my aptitude? The challenge my life presents?
This way of life isn’t for everyone. It’s loud and busy, but I know which stations to turn down, which knobs to fiddle with. Currently it’s relatively quiet and peaceful, my phone is often black and when it’s alight with words they’re welcome discourses with quality people.
And at the very least I’m nothing if not organized.
First, it’s The Neighbor’s 32nd birthday and last year feels like this morning somehow. And second, I was stood up on Saturday by someone I liked and trusted and even today it feels like a raw, stinging slap in the face.
Though I am making strides to distance myself further from TN, it’s still a struggle. Last year we were broken up and his birthday spent together was painful, awkward and titillating, not unlike a red, angry blister on ecstasy.
A couple of months later I ended our friendship and embarked on a TN-free life in pursuit of a man who actually valued me, but clearly I’ve failed in that endeavor. It’s been an interesting 10 months.
That brings us to two days ago when I was treated with no respect and little regard. I don’t have control over others; I thought I’d chosen well enough, but I was very sadly wrong. I feel sucker punched. I have never in my entire 20 years of dating ever stood someone up.
Not a guy I’ve never met before and certainly not someone I had met previously. Clearly everyone doesn’t operate by the same moral and character code as me. They do whatever the fuck they want whenever they want because they can.
He didn’t text me when I asked if he was en route 30 minutes after our agreed upon time, nor did he respond when I texted close to an hour after our date to confirm that we were actually meeting at 8.
I can’t guess what happened, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are only 2 reasons why not texting me back would be acceptable:
death or serious bodily trauma or;
a phone is lost or broken.
But this young man turned down the offer of my address because he said he remembered where I lived, so ostensibly he could have shown up if it were #2. And I’ll feel badly if it’s #1, but the odds are slim to none that something tragic befell him. Let’s be real: he was just a dick.
In a world of disposable dating, why do I have to extend any slack in the line??
With TN we fought a lot about his tardiness. I would have dinner timed and he’d call 5 minutes before he was supposed to arrive to say something had come up at work. He thought he was being sensitive. My risotto or fish never agreed.
He demanded my understanding and I his, but we were in a committed relationship so it seemed reasonable. But for a 3rd date? Is it reasonable to extend blind understanding and empathy at the expense of one’s dignity and self-worth?
When I have shared my upset in the past with a man at being treated like this I’ve been called inflexible, told my standards are too high and that I’m seeking “dating perfection.” I’ve also been called old and demanding, as if to infer I don’t know how the kids these days date.
The details of the interactions are immaterial, but what’s important is the overall belief that if I insist on effort I am high maintenance and rigid. But here’s the thing, for a first date, yeah, you better make a fucking effort. In fact all my dates better have some work behind them because I will be working for them, too.
I’ll have cleared my schedule and protected your time slot (I turned town two sets of friends for that date Saturday night), I’ll eat the right things so as not to be gassy or have an upset stomach (yes, I do that), I’ll clean my fucking house, shave my entire fucking body, moisturize and shower, buy various sizes of condoms to accommodate your dick, make my bed, stock my fridge and even put my phone on silent once we’re together.
And yet somehow texting me to let me know that something has changed or come up is too much effort. TN could barely keep me in the loop and I was supposedly a major part of his life.
Well, thanks a fucking lot for that, you fucking dick wad.
In 20 years of dating I have never mistreated another human being in that way.
I’ll admit to being distant and letting things die on the vine, or not returning feelings, but I have never not been where I said I’d be or not done what I said I’d do. It’s counter to who I am: I am a nice fucking person whose word means something.
Dating has become this vicious, self-serving, distant act. We do what we want when we want. We rely on our phones to implant a wall between us and those we’re actually trying to get to know.
We don’t want to seem too eager, too clingy, too insecure, too caring, too into it, too ______. God forbid we show any genuine excitement about anyone lest we reveal ourselves to be drooling, humping idiots with no self control or caché.
I have spent literally hours upon hours of my life dissecting text with and for my friends. What does it mean if he doesn’t text you after a sexual encounter? a first date? Should you send the first text? reply immediately? What happens when punctuation suddenly shows up when text was fast and loose before? Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
I treat a man I’m talking to with the same respect and social courtesy as I would a friend or family member who’s texted me; it removes any thought on my part. It gets tricky when the interactions become dating-specific, like the post-fuck text.
In those instances I err on the side of who I am. What feels natural? To text or not to text, that is the question! There’s no right or wrong answer there considering we’re all our own Litmus test; if he doesn’t like what I’ve texted when I’ve texted it (or didn’t text it) then that’s valuable information moving forward and if it ends there, well, then we clearly weren’t meant to be.
Everyone plays it so cool we forget the message we send is I don’t care about you. Maybe there’s some truth to that, but what if it’s on a scale? Like, I don’t care about you that much, but I still care somewhat? Obviously, there’s no way of knowing the intent since it feels the same on the other end regardless. We all really fucking suck at communicating.
For you Gen Xers out there, like me, do you remember when all we had were landlines? I would come home from work and toss my keys into the bowl next to the answering machine and would be filled with a pleasant rush if I had a flashing number blinking at me. Someone had thought of me!
They’d left a message with real words and the only way for me to let them know I got their message was to pick the phone up and call them back and use my own voice.
Chats took effort and focus; I couldn’t do anything else but think about and talk to the person on the other end. My mother, my friends, the men I’d met. It was a simpler time despite it requiring more effort on everyone’s parts.
Ben is the last man I’ve “chatted” with and one of the only ones over the last several years. I’d like to think it sets him apart in some ways. But I could be wrong; I seem to be wrong regularly.
My Saturday night date was a sweet young man — or so I thought — and it doesn’t help that other men I care about have been infuriatingly silent for far too many days on end, as well. Nor does it help that today is TN’s birthday and all the memories of him are kicked up.
I’m worn out and down and frustrated and lonely.
I have extinguished the frantic pace with which I was devouring men and all but ground to a halt. I have been picky, patient, and persistent and yet it has not yielded what I’d hoped: a shield against bullshit.
The truth is, dating sucks no matter how you do it. Whether you’re a man-eater or cautiously optimistic and highly selective. There’s nothing I can do to protect myself: dating is dangerous, period.
My feelings are hurt from Saturday and I’m left scratching my head at how I could have been so wrong about him; I never would have thought he’d do something like that. And I am bereft — still — at the absence of The Neighbor. Yes, even now.
The other irons I have in the fire don’t seem to be panning out and so it’s back to the drawing board. I’ve spent my entire weekend basically on my couch or poolside doing literally nothing of any interest. I’m not proud of that. I fear loneliness is slipping between my ribs and weaving its way towards my heart. I feel frozen in time.
I don’t remember the last time I felt this way, adrift and aimless. Sad.
Treating a person with disregard, a person whom you ostensibly want to get close enough to lay with, is an odd cross of messages. I want to penetrate your body, but I refuse to acknowledge your humanness. It makes no sense and no wonder we all act like crazy people in this random, ridiculous march to coupling.
Had he only texted, “Hey Hy, got super drunk with friends earlier today. Can’t make it tonight,” I’d have been pissed, but grateful for the note. As it stands his continuous silence is humiliating and embarrassing. Not only was my judgement off, but he clearly doesn’t think I’m worth even the littlest amount of effort to be treated with kindness.
TN’s continuous stalking is humiliating in its own strange way: he wants to keep tabs on me, but not in a meaningful way.
I look forward to the end of July. This has never been my favorite month. It’s TN’s birthday, the anniversary of my father’s death and my friend Sara’s suicide. My grandmother’s birthday falls on Sara’s death and I can’t think of her without thinking of the pain my friend felt. I put my cat down after 15 years of togetherness on the 6th. The anniversaries are on the 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th. It’s a brutal time of year for me.
I always try to be kind to myself at this time; there’s nothing worse than self annihilation when you’re hurting. Unfortunately, I don’t feel all that successful. I’ve been glued to the couch and my computer and have been pumping my veins full of wine.
I guess the hurt will pass, as will all the memorable days, and I’ll get back to normal me. Quiet, lonely, normal me.
Last night Bones got lost in a book and forgot about me.
An hour plus after he was supposed to arrive he finally pulled his nose out of his pages and texted me back, “lol I’ve been studying. Sorry.”
This was after he’d said he’d “try” to make 8:30, but had some reading to do for a job he was gunning for. I’d said ok. At 9:30 I hadn’t heard a peep from him and texted him. I texted again at 9:45, “WTF??”
“Kind of caught up in this book,” was his reply after his little lol text.
“So you just wasted my time, basically” I replied.
And then, “I’ve been waiting around for over an hour and not a peep from you! Not like you and totally not cool Book or no book.”
He apologized, said it was a dick move, etc. We went back and forth, me asserting myself and my anger. “Tonight sucked,” I wrote.
“I was distracted and lost track of time…”
And then he said, “You’re absolutely right. This new job is super important to me and my career. I was heavily focused because of that.”
I told him again it was a dick move and then scoffed. “Hey, don’t do that to me. I had no way of knowing how important studying was to your career – but I’d have been more than understanding if you’d just rescheduled because you needed to focus.”
He admitted that was true. He asked me how he could have made it better when I told him I was going to bed because it was obvious he wasn’t going to try. “Well, the second you realized what you’d done you could have apologized and said you’d be right over with a bottle of wine.” He agreed with that, too. But nothing happened. I’d wasted an entire kid-free night.
I’d spent my precious time on a man whose value of me (and my time) were nil.
Yes, he apologized, yes he admitted it was shitty, but I can’t get that time back. Nor did he offer to reschedule or make it up to me in anyway. An entire evening was lost.
I’ve been impotently raging against this devaluation for years by means of not being disrespectful. I am always available when I say I am, I never forget a commitment, I’m not late or get lost in a project and lose track of time. That has never happened to me in my entire fucking life and therefore I can’t extend any kind of understanding to others. It’s simply unacceptable.
I set alarms on my phone if I’m worried I’ll lose myself in something because I value people’s time. In fact, I don’t do things I’d rather be doing (such as writing) because I’ve made a commitment to someone, someone who hasn’t actually earned a goddamned thing from me — and that’s on me. If there was ever anyone who gave the milk away for free… well, it’d have to be me.
I’m not bashing Bones — he fucked up, big deal, moving on — what this has demonstrated to me are two things: 1) I devalue my own time, and 2) being the “cool girl” only hurts me. Gone Girl, anyone?
I am a single mother; I take Peyton any time my ex travels for work or leisure and I pick my baby up from school every day of the week even on my ex’s custody weeks and stay busy until he’s done with work around 6. The divorce decree says we have 50/50 custody, but we don’t — it’s more 75/25 — therefore my free time is extremely rare and highly valuable and yet I treat it like I have a ton to give.
I have to stop saying yes to every heavy breather with a hardon who asks me out after 5 lines of text; they haven’t earned it.
The last time I was child-free I had 6 dates in 7 days and the accumulation of my efforts was one above-average date where I came under his slamming hand, a dud, road head and an awkward fingerbang, a mis-fire, a drunken chat, and date number two with Mr. Magic Hands. In other words: nothing. I could have been writing, is all I hear when I look back on it.
If I don’t value my time, then why will anyone else? This is somehow connected to my eternal hope for a connection, to never say No because maybe the next guy will be a great connection, a great love. But it’s gone sideways.
I find myself saying yes to complete strangers, men who’ve only met the standard of catching my eye and not offending me. The bar can’t get much lower at this point.
Which brings me to my second realization: Being the Cool Girl doesn’t affect the outcome.
Have you ever tried to fill a bucket with holes with water?? Yeah, that’s the Cool Girl effect: useless.
It’s also the same effect as trying to make someone else happy or to control a situation. The outcome will almost always be that the one who’s trying to make the things better will end up exhausted with no better outcome than had they done nothing. The bucket will remain empty and leaking.
As Gillian Flynn writes, “Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.” I’ve always been afraid to be honest about a man’s bad behavior. Telling Bones he was a shit was monumental. I’m not the Cool Girl anymore; it only exhausts me. I’m leaving the bucket dry.
I can’t make someone respect me or my time, I can only act in a reasonable fashion (don’t misinterpret this as “in a cool way”) to their treatment of me. That doesn’t mean pretending I’m not pissed or disappointed. That takes 10 times as much effort on my part as it does to behave authentically and say, “Hey, man. That was shitty. Fuck that.”
The difficulty for me arises in the foreignness of this behavior. I have never been able to be truthful about my upset with anyone, almost ever. Not my family, not my friends, not my exhusband. Certainly not my boyfriends and definitely not my lovers.
Being that honest and vulnerable equates to emotional death to me: I am wrong, I am unworthy, I am not good because the person I’m sharing this with will say it’s so. I truly am an easy going person — I rarely take things personally — but I’ve taken it too far. I’ve set it up where no one has to work to earn my time and when they disrespect me I act as if I’m unbothered, neither of which are even remotely true. My time is valuable and I am bothered.
So when I told Bones that my night sucked it wasn’t just me pointing out the obvious (that he was a dipshit) it was me saying I’m not going to work so hard to make bad behavior ok anymore; I demand and expect more.
I don’t expect to ever see him again, quite frankly — or 4 of the 5 men from the other week – and even though it bums me out, I can’t honestly feel real loss about it. How can I?? He’s given me no reason to care other than feeling self-conscious about my battered ego.
I have told a couple of other men in my orbit that my time is valuable and I’m not interested in chasing them down and that’s a new approach. Some have ignored my message and others have promised they understand. I’m not holding my breath about any of it; their behavior is irrelevant. It’s about what I do.
Truthfully, I don’t give a fuck anymore. It feels as though the cross-ties have been unhooked and I may walk freely now, do as I please. I am no longer interested in pretending and no dogs are in the fight. Call me, don’t call me, but I’ll figure out some personal line in the sand and when we cross it I’ll do the next thing I need to do.
Haven’t heard from you about our date tonight despite texting to confirm a few hours in advance? Well, I’m just going to find something else to do. You don’t show up when you say you will? I’m leaving. You take 3 days to respond to a question? I’m going to delete our thread and forget about you because that’s how you deal with bad behavior.
I would never put up with a friend doing to me what Bones did last night or what any 100 other men have done to me over the years. No question, absolutely not.
There’s got to be some effort, some benefit to me sharing myself with them beyond just some raw hope that they’ll come around to my side and treat me like I’m valuable. Like, real effort.
I’d like to meet someone who’s put some sweat into getting me there and keeping me there. I don’t even want a fucking relationship, just someone who’s respectful. I had no idea that was nearly as impossible as finding love.
I can’t quite reconcile the amount of positive attention and heartfelt letters I receive almost daily online from Internet men claiming they’d worship me if they only had the chance with the amount of real life men who ignore me in equal measure. The dual reality is almost too much to bear. Which am I? Special or not special??
My only conclusion is that people everywhere – men and women alike – are being overlooked by those nearest them due to some strange proximity phenomenon: we never seem to want what we can have and can’t see what’s right under our noses.
Regardless, I am no longer interested in low standards or seeming cool. The bar is going to be raised up and I’m going to be as uncool as the situation warrants. I expect this to feel at once terrifying and liberating. At the age of 40 you’d think I’d be past this point of resistance, but you’d be wrong. I’m just now breaking it down.
My world exists above firm ground, delicately balanced on stilts. Each one a fine line to a smudged presence below filled with potential and hope.
I have had the enlightened realization that I exist in a disposable world of pocket apps and that an infinite parade of portraits behind me wait to fill my vacated spot.
My politeness precludes hard goodbyes, but my ambivalence ensures my forward motion through the hordes of men that line my own pockets. I’m not the only one drowning in a sea of competition.
They’re like locusts crawling in through every available electronic crack: text, email, IG, Bumble, Tinder, OKC, AFF, Snapchat, KIK.
I have been living dangerously for many months, leaving myself open to the elements, but lately I’ve systematically plugged some of the leaks. Slowly, testing how it feels to be less bombarded, though I am bombarded all the same.
And do you know why I can’t seem to seek complete shelter?? Because maybe — just maybe — the next creature to sneak past my walls will be the next great love of my life.
I am a pioneer, not a debutante. This is what I do. I struggle, I rail, I suck it the fuck up. I am lifted up by many, but it is the hope of a one that keeps me buoyant, that puts me in quiet nothingness.
I am either broken or fixed, but nothing can touch me now.
Captain was tall, 6’2″ and broad-shouldered. He hunkered a little, as if to dodge something from overhead. His texting cadence was respectful and succinct. He was in town visiting his family on a pre-deployment leave and was going stir crazy at home. Would I be interested in meeting up for a drink?
His Tinder profile ached with a Marine’s loneliness: he’s never around long enough to put down roots, always looking to meet new people. My heart cracked a little.
“Yes, I’d love to meet you for a drink.”
We sat in the horseshoe-shaped booth for hours. I drank my wine, he sipped his beers with measured resolve. “I command 50 18 year olds. I don’t drink like they do,” he explained. I drank like a 40 year old who’d taken a Lyft to the bar to meet a 26 year old Marine.
He’d been deployed more times than I could keep track of and he was weary. He felt a 100 years old and heavy. I made jokes about nothing and flirted with his old soul, tickling him out from under the weight of the world.
Drinks gone I asked if he wanted to catch a ride home with me.
“I’d like that,” he said.
Minutes later we stood in the dark dog park behind my building and I teased him about the length of his jeans. “Aren’t your ankles cold?”
I walked up to him, a building light cast a dark shadow along the right side of his face. I grabbed his hips and tilted my head up. I smiled at him and lifted up on my toes; the light glimmered in his dark eyes.
He tasted of the coffee I’d made him to perk him up and his lips were pliant. I wanted to give him the best fucking night of his life.
On my couch he pounced. Passionately, with wild abandon. I encouraged him with little whispered yeses and moans. He pulled my skirt and panties off and roughly shoved my knees apart. His clean shaven face crushed down on me and I felt his purr against my plump folds . For a moment I felt as though he had dived into a deep well — he wasn’t there, but beneath the surface.
I dragged him up to kiss me and his fingers replaced his mouth. He hooked into me and he was tough in that perfectly delicious way. I gushed around his hand and I felt him freeze on my mouth as he realized I’d just ejaculated into his hand. I nodded to answer his silent question and kissed him more. He slammed his hand into me again and I came once more, drenching the poor motherfucking couch.
The next few hours of my life were a daisy chain of orgasms and puddles and trembling limbs. His cock, a manageable size, found its way buried deep in my ass. A first for us both.
I stood on splayed legs scrutinizing the sensation, begged for more lube, and then came like a mare. My juices dumped from above as if from a bucket.
He fucked me over the toilet as I went to toss a condom, he lifted my leg on the counter and I watched us in the mirror, my hands pressed greasily against the glass. I rode his face, his cock; I rode him backwards and upside down. He was inexhaustible and I was not going to give up on him. Occasionally I pleaded for a break and it seemed like he’d count to 15 in his head and then come at me like a rocket all over again.
Condom after condom slipped away, wrappers strewed about my room, my bedding soaked with our sweat and my juices.
Near 4 am he climbed on top of me, a familiar position, his weight heavy and slick on top of me and he finally came in a long, low grunt. I trembled and fell limp, my hands prickled, my eyes filled with stars.
It had been months, many months, since a lover found such delight between me and him. Captain, starved from months of duty, lusted for the release that civilians take for granted. He drank every ounce of the moment of his effect on me and me on him.
We lay together panting and I immediately drifted off; I had work less than a handful of hours later. He stirred.
“Hy, I’m really sorry, but I have to go home…” he seemed heartbroken. “Can I call you in November when I get back?”
“You better, Captain” I said. “And it’s ok, honey. I get it.” I could barely open my eyes.
“Yeah, I just really need to be in my own bed.”
“You don’t have to explain yourself. I’m ok.”
He got dressed and I staggered to my closet and put on my robe.
At the door I wrapped my arms around his waist and he stooped to kiss me. Despite plans to see each other the following day I had a sinking feeling I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. This would likely be the last time I’d see him for quite some time, possibly forever.
He thanked me again and walked outside.
“Goodnight, Captain. Be careful.”
I wondered if he’d meant to add a “Ma’am” at the end out of habit.
I didn’t get to see him again before he went back to base.
I pulled out of my parking spot and headed down the long row. A movement caught my eye to the right. A young woman and man rushed into each other’s arms. Their open car doors gaped as they pressed their bodies together.
She was slender, cooler than shit with rocker layers and bleached hair. He towered over her in faded black jeans and Vans. They hardly moved even as they clutched at one another.
I craned my neck to watch as I crawled by. I imagined the breath they were breathing, not their own, but of the other’s. They held still, locked in this fervent embrace, their lips pressed in long release, not passionate consumption.
Were there tears? Surely their hearts sought to break away and leap into the other’s chest. I watched them grow small in my rear view mirror and felt a pang.
I have never had that, that emotional race into another’s arms whose own heart beat as clamourously as mine. So open, so free.
I don’t believe any of the men in my life currently have the potential to evoke this kind of situation. I tend to attract men as cagey as me, as wary and broken. We are drawn to those similar to us, after all.
On a date with a man in a poly relationship last week he commented on my distance. “Hy, you are very guarded.” I at least know my limits with that situation — I could never be beta — but his relationship forces much openness and emotional intimacy. I have proven extremely difficult for him to get close to over the last year and in contrast to what he has with his girlfriend I must have felt like a brick wall.
His remark struck me as we drank Prosecco in a darkened bar. It’s true. I am guarded. So very, very guarded. I prefer the dark.
I met up with Bones for a daylight excursion this weekend and I felt exposed to the light. Our tenuous connection couldn’t withstand the glare and I left our so-called date late at night upset and alone. We have not been able to repair the damage; I am not sure I want to or can. I need a man who’s better than me, not as broken as me.
I know that what I witnessed earlier was a moment in two lives possibly never to be duplicated, but it reminded me of the basest need I have: to be desired in such a way that all else melts away except for the two of us. In a monumental moment in a random strip mall parking lot like I saw today or in a mundane one such as pulling me in for a side hug as we walk a few strides together down a crowded sidewalk or in a sexy one which included a casual nip of my ear at dinner, a hand on my bare thigh.
I want our feelings to drown out our self-consciousness; I don’t want anyone to be more important than me, him, and us. I realize that in craving this openness I am desiring that one thing I struggle to achieve with people: an admission of my feelings, a freedom to feel. Oh, the irony.
I want a man to be unafraid to love me fully, yet I can barely share even the smallest sliver of my own heart.
I have a lot of work to do before I find myself to be half of a couple consumed with one other. A lot of work before I feel safe enough with someone to share more than just the smallest amount bearable, but at least I know now what not to do and one of those things is to settle.
Because the little things lead to the big things and the big things lead to beauty and meaning and joy — big love, big life, big everything. It’s all connected from the start to the finish. If I don’t insist on the little things, then how on earth can I expect the big things?
And I want the little things. Very badly. Now I just have to be brave enough to insist upon them.