I went on my first online date the other day.
I’m not really looking for anything right now- my head’s full of problems and resolutions, life changing decisions and life avoiding hangovers. The last thing I need is a boyfriend, and for the first time in my life I really mean it.
I’ve sworn off men countless times, like the halfhearted alcoholics swear off the booze every morning they wake up with a sense of having gone a little two far the night before.
I’ve never sworn off drink because I won’t even insult my own intelligence with that kind of clearly bullshit declaration.
But men… probably bolstered by a long talk with a girlfriend where we expand upon the myriad reasons men are shit and we are strong independent women they could only possibly reject because we are TOO intelligent and TOO interesting for them to handle. They’re intimidated, we say. They want a dumb bimbo to make them feel like men. You deserve someone special, we both deserve someone special. If only vaginas weren’t so gross and complicated…
And I say I’m sick of them, I’m done with men… wait until someone special comes along.
And two weeks later I’m in the arms of someone making excuses for him while our skin cools.
Putting him high up on a pedestal where my standards can’t reach and examine his dandruff of a personality.
But this time I felt all the cynicism of my past few years condense into a pure solid truth.
I’m sick of men.
Yes, some day, meet someone great, yes, sure, whatever.
But for now? No thank you. I don’t need the headfuck.
But I have this profile on a dating site, I made it when I was in France. I used it as my own personal ego booster.
Every day I’d wake up sick of men, and every day I’d check my fan mail.
Sure, it’s mostly “hey sexy what u at baby xxx lol ;)”
And some of it is “Id fuck de arse off u”
And some of it is less appealing all together..
But I have one nice photo up there and I get a constant stream of impersonal compliments that tide me over while I’m at home in the middle of nowhere, without even a couple of builders to walk past and make me feel like an attractive woman.
Sad, yes, I know. But effective!
I just check my mails… I reply to some of the nicer ones. Not nicer looking… they’re all pretty low rent. But some are sweet. I reply graciously, get into the odd conversation, and then make excuses when they offer to meet for coffee.
Some get angry. No reply for a day? “WHAT A SHAME I THOUGHT WE HAD SOMETHING YOU’RE JUST LIKE THE REST OF THOSE GIRLS I MEET I THOUGHT YOU WERE SPECIAL YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY NOT.”
Some I consider meeting, and pore over their photos. You just can’t tell, though. Photos are weird.
One day I clicked like on someone because he had a nice smile and a casual, friendly profile. He liked me first, I just felt like returning the compliment. No interest in a date, not really feeling that way right now as I said.
I’m off men.
Except for this guy I’ve been fucking, but that’s just… excercise.
Anyway, this guy writes to me, friendly, nice, interesting. Like me, a kind of multicultural mix and non-standard background. He asks me for a coffee… I say, sure why not.
Because I’m bored and why not? Anyway I’ve never been on a date.
So we fix a time, I make it in way too early. Walk past Topshop and see a sign for sales… I shouldn’t, because I’m broke, but I’m way too early and shopping feels right. Imagine going shopping for underwear and having this stranger on my date ask to see what I bought and me say just underwear, and then he might think I’ve bought special underwear for the date, like a freak… I wonder if he’s weird? Mightn’t he be really weird? We did meet online….
I’m sidetracked by the dresses on the sale rail. Pick up a handfull of things that are too big or small and still too expensive anyway. As I make it to the dressing room I find out they’re closing and I can’t try anything on. Good. That was close…
I’m at the bar first, and I’m suddenly hyper aware of my posture, my arms, what I’m doing with my coat and my handbag. What if he’s weird. What if he’s ugly. What if he poached those photos from someone’s facebook page and now I’m about to be accosted by some middle aged ugmo… What if he thinks I look nothing like my photo. Am I underdressed? Is my coat too serious? Am I flashing too much leg?
I’m jerking my limbs around trying to get into a casual pose for when this guy appears. I’m doing a crossword at the table outside. He’s not a smoker, but I make the decision to smoke anyway because come on, I don’t even WANT a man, it’s just a casual meeting. No need to change things about myself for someone I haven’t even met and don’t really even want to meet any more. I’m feeling so uncomfortable and considering getting up and running away.
He arrives suddenly. “ABBY? Abay?”
“Is it you?”
“Yes… it’s me.”
Suddenly the whole thing is weird. It’s like a job interview but we’re in public and it’s a job interview not for an unemployed person and a company needing assistance, but for two people who can’t get dates on their own.
Not that I am one. But this is my first real date. So yeah, count me in that category.
He doesn’t look… his photo had this big warm boyish smile. He looks more tired, more… maybe it’s an older photo.
His accent is kind of strange. He seems like someone I would maybe be friends with but not…
I’m afraid by smiling at him and being warm and friendly I’m going to give him an impression I’m interested.
Then I remember I’m not required by law to sleep with anyone I smile at, and decide to be nice and friendly and let HIM deal with the rejection he’ll get if he tries anything, instead of my preventing it with a condom made of bitchiness.
I’ll just be nice. Maybe we can be friends?
He sits down and starts talking. “Were you waiting long? Do you want a coffee? Oh, you have one… I want a coffee. Do you want a beer? I’ll get us two beers.”
I sit there while he gets us two beers. I’m embarassed. What am I doing here meeting a stranger, I’m attractive enough to meet someone in real life without putting all my hopes and dreams and sexual preferences into a questionaire first.
We drink our beers, he’s very chatty. As chatty as me, even. We talk about ourselves, our hopes, our dreams. He’s cold… we go inside.
I want to stay outside and smoke but like most smokers in the presence of a non smoker, I’m keen to pretend I don’t actually need or want to smoke, I can take it or leave it, it’s just this thing I do sometimes and nowhere near as often as I really do.
We go inside but every table is angled towards a massive flatscreen tv showing sports.
Do we want to go somewhere else? Yeah, actually… I have a bar in mind. But it’s a bit far…
I tell him I have two places in mind, one is close and nice, but the further one has this drink I love.
We’re going there, he says.
We walk to this bar I really like. It’s not very well known, and as he’s foreign (but of an English speaking nation) I feel sort of like I’m fulfilling my role as a local by taking him some place a little less obvious.
The bar is cosy and there’s a smoking area that’s just as warm and pretty to sit in.
We sit outside and he sits on the bench beside me. He has one of my rollies. I feel bad for corrupting him, I say, but really I’m delighted to not have to feel so shit while I smoke and he doesn’t.
I introduce him to my favorite drink. He’s not a big drinker, but he loves my drink.
We talk about science. Physics… we each have some little physics fact to teach. He’s an educated person, and I’m not. It feels good to have some bits of interesting knowledge to share with someone clever. It’s intimidating being around a clever man, I’m not often in this position and I don’t often feel humbled by someone’s intelligence. But it feels good. I have just as much to talk about as he does, and I loosen up. As we talk we find we have a lot in common. I’m really enjoying talking to him and I’m studying his face, thinking, yes… he is attractive. He’s attractive when he laughs and smiles.
He starts to get tipsy from the two beers, and it’s a turn off. I can handle my drink, and a man who can’t… it feels a bit embarassing. Especially in Ireland, it’s stupid but it starts to make me tense up again.
He leans in to kiss me and I stop him.
Sorry, I’m just… I don’t like pdas. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t like to kiss people in public.
Ok, I just don’t care what people think…
It’s not that. I just feel weird… I come to this bar quite a lot. I’m sure no one is even looking but it makes me feel awkward.
Ok, I understand… I don’t want to make you feel awkward.
He tries again later but I’m just really enjoying talking to him. I don’t want to ruin it with sloppy half drunk kissing in my bar.
I say no. I start to check my phone. The last train home is in an hour and a half. And then I have a long walk…
I mention the last train.
No reaction. He says he’s feeling pretty drunk, he hasn’t drank anything in ages.
He wouldn’t let me pay for any drinks so far, and we’ve had three or four pints each maybe.
I’m a tiny bit tipsy. Tiny bit. I’m kind of embarassed that he’s drunk after this little. I drink a lot faster too…
He asks if I’m feeling at all drunk. I tell him I probably am drunk, and that I get to this point where I’m convinced I’m sober but really I’m not.
I go to the toilet and trip over the bin in the ladies. Ah, I guess I am a bit drunk. This makes me feel better about him.
Back at the table I tell him I must be more drunk than I thought. But still I am sober enough to know I have to get the last train.
He offers me to come back with him. He only lives a little bit away, and we could watch a movie.
He’s such a generous, sweet, non threatening guy (seemingly anyway) that I think, fuck it…
I don’t care. I can always not sleep with him if I’m not into it.
We get a taxi back to his place and he apologises profusely for his house. It’s just temporary, he says.
I don’t care.
He has nothing to drink except some tequila. I drink most of the tequila and feel myself catching up a little in drunkeness.
Outside we share a cigarette and he grabs my face and kisses me. He’s a great kisser. I’m really enjoying myself and enjoying his company. He’s a great, great kisser. We pull apart and grin at each other through the haze of drink.
I didn’t think of him as someone who might be up to my standards sexually, but that’s a great kiss.
We go up to his room and he apologises for his room and I wave it all away, I don’t care. It’s sparse enough, not many personal effects. All his stuff is in his friends’ houses. He points to clothes in his wardrobe and says he didn’t want to wear anything too fancy on a first day. Didn’t want to give too eager an impression.
I look down. I’m wearing a skater skirt and t shirt tucked in. I look pretty nice but it’s casual for a night out.
Me either. I didn’t want to dress up too much. We giggle at the fact that we met online. I finish my tequila sitting on the edge of his bed. He puts on music and asks if it’s ok he takes off his jeans. I shrug, I don’t care.
He takes off his jeans and jumper and gets on the bed beside me. We sit cross legged facing each other and talking, and then we kiss and it’s passionate as fuck and he crushes his body against mine and pulls off my clothes and his hands are all over me and it’s all totally unexpected from this mild mannered guy who I spent all night talking to about science and growing up in the countryside.
We fuck.. and it’s intense. He’s rough but respectful, he fucks the shit out of me but it’s not the woman-hating kind of fucking. He knows exactly what he’s doing and again I’m surprised by him, he seemed so romantic and not the kind of guy to press his hand on a woman’s throat while fucking her relentlessly.
But he does it all very well. Just the right side of scary rough. He slaps me hard on my ass and squeezes me everywhere tightly and it’s absolutely exactly the righ amount of everything.
We do it again and again that night. Falling apart drenched in sweat. Snuggling up together, his hands tracing gentle patterns across my body, whispering secrets and memories. I’m so happy and comfortable there with him.
He’s good to talk to. He likes my stories. We’ve done totally opposite things in our lives- he’s doing his second degree, and it’s in a very difficult subject. I’ve been married, I’ve been here and there and living life like a computer game character with endless save points. But we have a lot to talk about.
We fuck again, again, and again. At some points he can’t stay hard with a condom on and I protest but the let him inside naked just for a second even though I know it’s not just a second, it’s so good without a condom, oh fuck it’s so good, that’s amazing… but no, oh, no, stop, you can’t, seriously, stop.
I stop him and make him put on a condom. And then sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes he can’t stay hard. I don’t care because I know that night is an all you can eat buffet of sex and the only thing that matters is we don’t run out of condoms.
And speaking of all you can eat, he really did treat me to some excellent times. I could tell I wasn’t going to cum, skilled as he was, because I just wasn’t able to, sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. But I thought I’d fake him a nice courtesy orgasm because that’s what I do, otherwise they’ll just keep at it until they get sick of it and I’d rather never have a man get bored down there. So I did one of my finer, more elaborate productions for him and he just ignored it. Huh.
Eventually I told him to stop, put on a condom and fuck me, and so he did. After he came, and wow, he came noisily and with gusto, he flung me back on the bed and went down again. Because he wanted to taste me again, he said.
We did this all night. At 7am his alarm went off and we decided to go to sleep for a while. He was supposed to get a flight at 10 but he said, (I suspect he’s rich) that he hadn’t booked it yet and could always get another flight.
I tossed and turned for hours and woke him several times. At 12 we woke up properly and lay with our limbs entwined. I played with his hair far too affectionately for someone I’d only met. He stroked my body and told me I had a perfect body. I said oh, I feel like I’ve got a bit flabby since I’ve been unemployed. He said, “what are you talking about, you’re perfect. This is what women’s bodies are supposed to be like.” We talked about everything and nothing.
We had sex again. Then we found ourselves playing with each other, and playing with ourselves at the same time. We both came although a little out of sync. He marvelled at the fact that he was able to do that with a stranger.
“We just met last night… isn’t that crazy?” he said.
“On the internet” I replied.
“No, don’t say that…”
“Ok, in real life. If anyone aks, you’re my friend from real life.”
“Right. That’s what we’ll say.”
We finally got up because we were so thirsy despite cup after cup of water. Every time I said I was thirsty he got up and went downstairs and brought me back a cup. This, alone, is the most gentlemanly behaviour I have ever encountered. Sad, huh…
We got dressed. Downstairs he stood in the kitchen making coffee. As I entered the kitchen via three little steps in the doorway, I sat down.
“I like that there are steps here.”
“I like you in my kitchen… So I can look at you. You’re beautiful”
We grinned at each other like two kids about to get dessert.
He had to go into town to get his bike and eat something… Did I wanna come? I said sure. I had to get a train home anyway.
I worried… this is some guy I’ve just met, and I’m weird about things in public. How is it going to be in my home city, walking around in daylight with this guy…. I hope he doesn’t hold my hand.
There in his kitchen I could kiss him passionately and hold his body against mine and think of how lovely his dick was, the first time in ages I’ve come across one with a proper natural bush… nothing excessive, but definitely not trimmed. Just soft and springy and not intrusive like I would have expected. The last guy I was with had shaved his and it wasn’t pleasant…
But I didn’t want to go outside with him and have our intimacy on display. I guess my line about being weird in public wasn’t an excuse not to kiss him, but a legitimate issue for me.
I’ve always had it really, but then I usually don’t walk around with guys in daylight anyway. I usually just bring them home and kick them out.
And they very rarely ask me to go for lunch or anything, they would probably bring me home and kick me out too.
We got the bus into town together and he insisted on paying for the bus for me too.
We walked around, he chose a fairly pricey place and we sat down and ordered.
We had been talking about steak on the bus and so I had a steak sandwich, it wasn’t one of the most expensive things on the menu though, I wasn’t being as my mother would say “cheeky.” I watched him and thought about the things he said last night, and thought he doesn’t dress expensively, he doesn’t seem interested in money, but he clearly does come from money and he certainly has enough of it not to have to worry. He bought me lunch, we talked easily and lightly, and then he walked me to the train station where I finally got to treat him, because we went for a coffee and there was a minimum charge to use a card.
He said he wouldn’t make me awkward by kissing me goodbye but he’d be back in December to continue his studies (he’s doing a final year) and he’d love to see me again. “Don’t forget about me while I’m away…”
He said we could kiss like the french, one on each cheek, and he’d write to me sometimes.
At this point, I was a little bit smitten.
The sex was unreal, to start with, and the conversation was stimulating and positive and interesting. He gave me compliments, good ones. And he was generous and thoughtful…
So there. He’s gone for nearly two months, but he’ll be back.
I have no idea how much of my interest is because of the sex and… the possibility that he’s rich….
But it was a great night, a great afternoon, and I feel very unsure of myself now.
Also I have this strong suspicion that he’s completely lying to me about everything and it’s all a big massive play of some sort. Or that I’m just so damn bored right now and so unused to an intelligent, generous man, that I just totally got overeager.
But that could be entirely because of the last guy I got all smitten with who was totally playing me. I’ll tell you about that guy soon. It’s a good story. I’m just too tired of typing now.
But anyway. Whatever happens, or does not, guess what happened?
My dream came true. I got a man to buy me steak, and he didn’t even get in my pants because of it. He had already got in my pants then so the steak was not necessary. Result!
And I’ve faced my fear of dating.