Monday, October 30, 2006

Coincidence? I Think Not.

This other thing happened that I just want to mention.

A few weeks ago I Hotlisted this guy on the Nerve personals. Hotlist is an option where you make a note of someone you like. The people you note can see who Hotlisted them -- it’s a totally non-committal way to express interest. I use it all the time, so as to not have to make an effort. Passive aggressive, and yet it works!

Anyway, this guy, Tom, emailed me after I’d hotlisted him. We had arranged to get a drink last Thursday, but he cancelled on me a few days prior. He said he was swamped with work but thought he’d be available the following week. I said no problem. Then on Saturday afternoon I got an email from him: he’s met someone new and can’t meet me after all.

Of course I don’t begrudge him a new romance, but I am suspicious. I’ve found that if a man postpones a date, he’s pretty likely to cancel altogether. I suspect it’s more likely that Tom either changed his mind or simply never meant to meet me. That’s a nasty accusation, but after my experience(s) with Pete, as well as one or two other men who showed interest and then flagged, I’m beginning to think that maybe more men than you would think are more interested in getting a a girl to agree to meet than in actually meeting her for a drink. This has happened to me three or four times. This makes me sound bitter, but really, it’s what I’m thinking.

Ron and the Theory of Lateness

Well. I had a busy, but not dirty, weekend.

On Friday night I had a date (courtesy of Craig’s List) with Ron. We had originally planned to meet on Saturday night, but on Friday morning I got an email from him asking what I was up to. I thought (erroneously) that he meant What are you up to tonight? I said I could probably meet up. After some back and forth, it was agreed we’d meet at 11:00, at a bar near Marc’s place in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a pub I used to go to all the time with Marc and his old roommate—very congenial, nice wait staff, comfortable chairs, etc. I checked in with Marc to see if I could crash at his. Luckily, he was fine with it.

A note on Ron. He’s 27, and from his emails I had decided he was sort of passive aggressive. Like, he asked where I wanted to meet, then said he liked dive bars. I, of course, prefer swanky, quiet lounges. I said a dive bar would be fine, as long as it wasn’t too loud. Did he know of one? No, he said, where would I like to go?

I said How about Bar X, on the West Side?

The West Side? He said, Eek. (I quote). But I guess it would be OK.

Well, I volleyed, is there any place you’d like to go?

No, no … Any dive bar would be good.

So suggest one,
I thought but did not say. Here, I said, I did a search on Citysearch, and both of these places came up under “dive”. He made no comment whatsoever on either of these places, neither of which were on the (eek!) West Side.

Eventually we agreed on Bar X.

Then, he texted me that evening: So, Bar X is a good place?

Me: Well, I like it. Unless there’s somewhere else you want to go. (That last part was not actually written in italics.)

Him: No, no, unless you want to come to Neighborhood Y.

NB: Neighborhood Y is in Brooklyn. I do not live in Brooklyn. Neighborhood Y is not, you know, just over the border in Brooklyn. It is a fair ways on the subway.

I was immediately irritated, and thought: how rude! Why would he suggest someplace so inconvenient? Unless, of course, he thinks I’m going to sleep with him tonight. How dare he?! Um, nevermind that I’ve made it clear I’m up for casual sex… It had occurred to me that I might want to sleep with him that night, but I’d found our whole email exchange so tedious I’d dismissed the thought and was hoping our in person meeting would make him a bit more attractive. But did he expect me to sleep with him? The nerve! Et cetera.
Listen, I thought, giving free reign to my bitch goddess alter ego, the one who lives entirely in my offended brain, If I want to sleep with you, I’ll let you know. I’m not going to Neighborhood Y on the off chance that I find you appealing enough to bed you tonight.

I didn’t say this, of course, just said Neighborhood Y was a bit inconvenient for me, and so at last Bar X was confirmed. Jesus!

I arrived at the bar at 11:00, only to see a text from Ron, saying he’d be here closer to 11:15. I took a seat and ordered a drink, feeling awkward. Like there was a sign on my forehead: STOOD UP.

By 11:20 I was very annoyed indeed. It’s funny, but before I started my whole casual sex campaign, I was never really bothered by lateness. In fact, I was often the late party. Here’s what I think it is: I think that because I’m presenting myself as not looking for a serious relationship, I am afraid boys won’t respect me. This, of course, begs the question: Why should I care if boys don’t respect me? This isn’t the tenth grade. It doesn’t matter. However, it stands: I am now very protective of my dignity. I figure that if I’m not going to behave within the accepted parameters of traditional courtship, I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it clear I expect the benefits of traditional courtship: that is, the appearance, if not the actual presence, of the deference usually accorded a woman on a date. In this case, that translates into me being really irked if a guy is late. I never used to care. But, for example, last week, when Daniel was over half an hour late, I was livid. It seemed to me that he wouldn’t have been late for someone he didn’t think was easy. This whole argument is silly on so many levels, yet I feel compelled to demand at least the appearance of respect that being on time would suggest.

At 11:30 I asked for the check. At last Ron showed up, and apologized. I said it was fine cause, really, if I didn't think it was fine, I could leave. I wasn't going anywhere at this point. When the check arrived, he apologized even more, betraying a flattering degree of alarm. As it turns out, Ron is a music promoter, and he’d actually been working that night. When he’d said earlier that he was going to a show, I didn’t realize it was part of his actual job. After that, I relented internally, and let it drop.

We chatted. He talked nineteen to the dozen, and took a call on his mobile in the midst of our conversation. Again, I thought this was pretty rude, but my indignation subsided when he explained that it was his mother, calling about the Cardinals’ World Series win (he’s from St. Louis). A call from one’s mother is acceptable, I feel.

Anyway, he was cute, but, eh. I wasn’t really interested. A bit effeminate, lots of self justifying talk. He was nice, but I just didn’t find him attractive. We bid farewell around 1:00 and I considered a polite way to blow him off.



Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daniel, Part II

Last night Daniel came over. It was so much less stressful than Tuesday night. I can't even think of much to say except it was fun, he's sweet, he made me come during missionary-style sex (fairly unusual for me), and right now the inside of my lower lip is a little sore from sucking him off. My shoulder and neck are all cramped because I slept with my head on his chest for most of the night. He sounds like a vacuum cleaner when he snores.

When I answered the front door he presented me with a small, square box. "I got you something," he said, smiling. It was a box of tissues.

"I got one, too," I smirked. I'd actually dithered and finally bought baby wipes, the alcohol and fragrance free kind. Damp clothes are a bit more extravagant, but I was planning on enjoying myself, after all.

We went upstairs to my room and after a bit of back and forth about eating (later, we decided), we started making out. I told him about the previous night, and he told me about his bi experiences. This is what happened: a friend of his sort of set him up with a guy who knew Daniel was curious and wanted to experiment. Daniel said he was really nervous, and that they sat on his bed for a while while he grew more nervous. (I found the thought of this very exciting). Eventually, the guy took his cock out and started playing with it, to see Daniel's reaction. I thought that was bizarre! Whatever happened to a tentative hand on the upper thigh?

"So then what happened?" I asked. I was really wet.

"Well, he asked me if I wanted to touch it, and I said I did. So I stroked it for a while. Then he asked me if I wanted to kiss it, and I was so relieved that he asked, so happy... I went down on him."

When he told me about this other time he and a girl took turns going down on a guy, and then his friend ended up by blowing him, and the other guy, and swallowing both, I was so turned on I was squirming beneath his fingers. "Would you like to see me go down on another guy?" he asked, slipping his fingers up and down my clit.

"Uh huh," I breathed.

"Maybe we could arrange that," he said.

"That would be hot," I said, and my mind was filled with ideas of us and some anonymous boy, fooling around in my bedroom. God, now I'm all turned on again.

He is seeing four women (!) right now, but he says he thinks he's not going to fool around with his ex anymore, nor go too far with another woman he's been dating. "Well," I said, "I'm glad I made the final cut."

Then I curled up against his chest and he read me the first chapter of Terry Pratchett's latest, Wintersmith. I haven't been read to since I was a kid. My father used to read me the Little House books. Daniel does a pretty fair Scottish accent.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Broaden My Horizons

So last night was my first time as a submissive.

Jordan was about half an hour late – he left a voice message for me at about 5:30-- which of course gave me ample time to get exceptionally nervous. When he did show up he was carrying a backpack (Is that full of … props? I thought, looking at it like it was Bluebeard's locked room) and wearing ridiculous tartan wool pants. Those are not seduction pants. We’re not playing golf, I thought, scowling. I bravely ignored the trousers, and we sat at the bar of the restaurant. I downed a glass of Reisling as quick as I dared. His arm barely brushed mine. We talked a bit about his work, and a bit about how nervous I was.


“I’m really excited to see what it’s like for an inexperienced female submissive,” he said.

“Well,” I laughed awkwardly, “You’ll find out!” I drank some more. “I’m really nervous.”

“You’re not going to do anything wrong," he said, gently, "And I’ll check in with you, OK?” he said.

“OK.”

“What are you afraid of?”

I considered. “I’m afraid that I won’t want to do something and…”

“You’re afraid that I’ll force you to?”

“No…” I wasn’t afraid of that … “I’m afraid I will say no, and we’ll just stop and stare at one another. Or maybe I’m afraid I really will like it. I dunno.” I shook my head.

Jordan took a couple of phone calls from work. By this time it was after 7:00, and I figured he needed to leave by 9:00 to be home at 10:00. I caught him glancing at his watch. Nevertheless, he’d spent more than an hour plying me with alcohol and had been prepared to bide his time and soothe my fears while I ate dinner. Of course, I was too fretful to eat. At this point I was anxious to get moving—the anticipation was taking its toll. Meanwhile he was arguing with a coworker, like the cliché of a obsessed businessman who keeps his mistress waiting. Eventually we left the restaurant and headed back to my place. His phone rang while we were walking up the dark streets, and he kept talking as he followed me to my place, I tried not to laugh. It felt so weird and formal.

Eventually we made it to my house, and I sent Jordan to my room while I went to the bathroom. When I went inside, he was sitting on my bed. I joined him. He slid back against the wall and pulled me towards him. We sat, facing one another.

He took my face in his hands, hard, like he was trying to fit my face into a square. Then he slid his hands underneath my top, and under my bra, grasping my breasts and tweaking my nipples. Hmm. “Take off your top,” he said. I obliged, and he unhooked my bra. He was fully clothed, in the tartan trousers I found so inexplicable. “Now take off your skirt.” I stood up, and did. I hadn’t said a word. I liked it, that I was getting naked while he was fully dressed. “And the rest ofdmsffll..” he mumbled.

“What?” we were whispering, even though no one else was home.

He gestured for me to take off my underwear – pink cotton bikinis. I had given some thought to my underwear. I didn’t have a matching black bra to go with my black underwear (the default color for seduction, I’d say), and I thought pink would be in keeping with my avowed personality: a good girl, inexperienced but submissive. I took everything off. “Now come here,” he said. I climbed back onto the mattress and straddled him. He took my face in his hands, hard, holding me close to him. I said nothing.

“Do I have your permission to spank you?” he whispered.

I hesitated, and he dropped it. “Stroke my cock,” he said.

He was hard and thick underneath his pants. I rubbed my hand along his dick, enjoying it. Eventually he put his mouth on mine, hard, and pushed me onto my back. As he kissed me, or rather rubbed his mouth into mine, I thought, Wait, this is dominance? I had thought the kissing, at least, would be light and teasing, even cruel, working me up. Instead he was mashing his face against mine like a horny ninth grader. I felt like I was recording what we were doing for later, taking notes.

“Open your legs,” he said, so I did. I was totally naked, and he was still dressed. I liked feeling exposed, and defenseless. He slid a finger inside me, and I inhaled sharply. “Ask my permission before you come,” he said. His voice was low and soft.

Fat chance. I knew I wasn’t going to come. It was weird, I was wet but my brain wasn’t turned on. I was a participant, but I felt detached, and strange. He slowly massaged me internally, and I watched him. His expression was, I don’t know, bored? Curious? Calculating? I closed my eyes and whipped my head to one side when his fingers flicked up against me in a teasing way I liked. I could hear that I was wet. For a moment I considered faking an orgasm, but I’m always afraid it’ll be obvious. Sometimes I watched him. Without his glasses, Jordan looked different, and less handsome. His face was rounder.

I know that detachment is a coping mechanism. I read that women who are being raped sometimes recount that during the act they feel like they’re outside of themselves, not involved at all. Of course, everything I was doing was consensual, it wasn’t at all a traumatic experience, but at the same time, I think I was putting that distance there. All along I'd been afraid that I'd be overwhelmed. I hadn't expected to feel outside myself.

Jordan pulled me up again and leaned back against the wall. “Do you want to be a good whore and suck my cock?”

I couldn’t help it: I nodded, beaming. I liked that: whore. “Undo my pants,” he commanded, and I fumbled with his belt and sighed as I touched his cock: it was nice and thick. I leaned down and slipped my mouth around him, my hair getting in the way. He took off his shirt. He wasn’t lean and muscular, like I like, but I wasn’t repelled by his body; it was just different.

“Now lie down on your stomach,” he instructed me after a bit, “I want to look at your ass.” I lay down. I liked it when he used words like ass, and pussy. “And stretch your arms out.” I did, my face buried in my pillows. I still felt peculiar: curious and excited without actually being aroused, maybe. You know, I think recalling this is turning me on more than the actual event. Or maybe I wasn’t prepared to actually enjoy it while it was happening…?

“Spread your ass with your hands, and hold it there.” That I’d never done before. I obeyed, tugging at my skin so that he could get a good view. He slipped a finger inside my asshole, and I jerked, for a moment I was terrified that he’d just begun fucking my ass without a condom. But it was just his finger, slipping in and out of my hole. I think Eddie might have done that before, but never for a sustained period. As Jordan’s other hand slid around to my pussy, I think I moaned.

This went on for a bit. “Do you want me to fuck you?” Jordan whispered at last.

Yes…”

“Get me a condom.” I struggled out of bed and found the condoms (and the lube, this time). “Now put the condom on me,” he directed. I always fumble this bit. But, following Roger’s lead, when I opened the condom I blew on it to see the tip turn out. Then, without further difficulty, I slipped it over Jordan’s dick. He pushed me back onto my stomach.

“I need some lube, too,” I ventured. He slid some on me and I gasped at the coldness.


He fucked me, doggy style. That is such a vulgar expression, but that about sums it up. He pounded away, breathing against my ear. I enjoyed it, in my minimal way.


“I’m going to slap your ass,” he announced, and I didn’t protest. He slapped me. It didn’t hurt. It stung, but it didn’t feel bad. While I was considering this he slapped me again, and once more. I wondered if he was holding back, if he could have hit much harder. My Dad occasionally belted me when I was a kid. It’s taboo now, but this was the early 1980’s, and besides, my dad is from an older generation. No doubt his dad smacked his ass, too, on occasion. Not that being slapped by Jordan was an incest thing… my mind was wandering.

He pumped against me and I was relaxing into the motion when he came. I was a little disappointed that it was over so quick. I probably could have handled a few more slaps on my ass; I probably would have liked a few more.

Afterwards we both sat slumped against the wall, like two wallflowers at a party. “How was that?” Jordan asked.

“Good,” I said. I was a little breathless. And still felt so remote from the whole experience. We talked a bit, and Jordan detailed some of his inclinations:
“I know you said how that guy [he meant Pete] told you he wanted you to wear something, and how you said you were so wary of being dominated in any non sexual way, so I didn’t tell you this before, because I knew it would freak you the fuck out,” he said.

“Thanks for sparing me,” I grimaced.

“But, I’d like it, if, say, we were out, and I told you not to cross your legs.”

“Oooh,” I said, thinking about this.

“So you’d have to think about not crossing your legs, and you'd know you couldn't and would have to think about it. Maybe you’d cross your arms instead, and I’d touch them… that really turns me on,” he said. "And I liked having my finger in your ass, knowing that you were..."

"Yeah, I've never had anal sex," I said.

"You're a good girl," he said. "I liked that .... I wasn't holding back, when I spanked you," he offered. "I don't like holding back, it's a real turn off."

I was glad I'd been able to take it. Just writing that last sentence makes me feel very submissive. But I felt sort of like I'd proven myself, like when I deny myself a mild curry and order something spicier than I'm used to.


"And I like it when women shave their pussies," Jordan said, looking at my neatly trimmed but not fully shaven crotch.

"I've never done that," I said, as if he couldn't have guessed. We both stared at my unshaven pussy.

"Would you do it?"

"I don't know," I said. "It would probably itch a lot, growing back."

"Yeah," he said, and I heard the subtext: I'd like that.

I have mixed feelings about the Brazilian. First of all, I'm not into pain. I've never even had my bikini line waxed (though that would be tolerable, I suppose) and I can't imagine the way a full Brazilian would hurt. Also, of course there's the feminist ideological issue: why should I make my sex look childlike? Why do we fetishize the pre-adolescent look? I'm a grown woman, it's not shameful or unattractive to have pubic hair, right? So why should I cater to society's infantalizing fantasies about women? Blah, blah, blah.


Really, when did anyone other than strippers and centerfolds start waxing themselves bare? Not until I was old enough to think it was a silly trend. If I was twelve, maybe I would think it was an unexceptional, rather than a bizarre idea. But I'm not a centerfold or a stripper, and although I can respect (though not really admire) sex work and the people who perform it, I wouldn't want to be thought of as either. I don't even wear thongs because a) they're uncomfortable and b) when they're visible to the people walking behind you -- as they often seem to be -- it just seems inappropriate and suggestive. Suggestiveness belongs in strip clubs, not on the subway platform. I think. Like I think a thong or a g-string that's meant to be seen is a nod not to sexuality, but to the idea of objectification. It glorifies objectification. I kind of like being objectified (or at least told I'm gorgeous) but I think it's pushy and wrong to titillate on a public thoroughfare, you know? I also think coiffed pubic hair in the shape of hearts and Swavorski-crystal decorated pussies are exceptionally tasteless, too. Or, what the hell, maybe I'm turning into my mother. Oh, fuck it, I don't know.

I had to pee, but it sort of had translated into horniness. I wanted him to put his hand between my legs. He was very up front about the fact that it is domination, it is about control. He didn't dress it up or make it sound more palatable, although politically he's liberal, not a chauvinist, and, indeed, a nice man. “Although part of my pleasure is that you’re getting pleasure out of it,” he added. “I liked it when you sucked my cock.”

“I liked sucking your cock,” I said. Cause I had. I didn’t tell him to touch my pussy, instead I stood up, and started to dress. I really had to pee.

“Do you mind if I call a car service?” he asked.

“Not at all,” I said. I was relieved. I wanted to be alone, to process this. “I’ll get the yellow pages.”

He called a cab and I gave him my address, knowing that when he left I would crumple up the piece of paper, not wanting any evidence of tonight. When he left, I decided, maybe I’d take a shower. He hadn’t smelled bad, not at all, but I think he smelled wrong to me. I didn’t like the idea that his scent would be noticeable in my bed. Of course, he’d never turned down the covers: we’d fucked on top of my quilt. I considered dropping it off at the Laundromat on the way to work.

“So what did you think? Want to do it again?” he asked. I hesitated, “Or give it some thought?”

“Yes,” I said, relieved. Then we got onto the topic of whether or not blow jobs were submissive. “At first I thought it’s about a woman having power over me, but now I see it as a submissive act, all for my pleasure,” Jordan said.

“I think it’s a submissive act if you don’t like it,” I said thoughtfully. “I’m lucky, I enjoy it.” And I do mean lucky. Women who don’t like – or refuse to give – blowjobs are often dismissed as frigid, or prudes. I’m sure lots of women give head without really enjoying it. I love the sensation of a cock in my mouth. I love feeling filled up. I don’t think that necessarily makes me sexually open or mature, it’s just cause I have an oral fixation. I sucked my thumb well into childhood, after all. That being said, I don’t like the taste of cum. I find it acrid and bitter, but who doesn’t? I rarely swallow (in fact I’ve only done it once, with Eddie). I suppose that puts me in the middle of the oral sex continuum of depravity.

“At first I thought it was really submissive, but now I like going down on a guy and knowing I’m the one responsible for that pleasure, for his moans and whatnot,” I said at last.

A car honked outside.

“That was quick." We stood up. "Going to see me to the door?” he asked.

“Of course.” I accompanied him downstairs, and while he put on his shoes I waved out the door at what I took to be his car. He kissed me, and once again slid his hands underneath my shirt and pinched my nipples. I still wasn’t sure what I thought of this.

“Get home safe,” I said, and shut the door behind him.

My roommates were about by this time, so I joined them in the kitchen. I ended up giving them a brief resume of my evening. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted them. But I was in that weird place where you don’t pay attention to a habit of discretion, I guess. “I don’t know if I am submissive, or if it’s him,” I sighed to Jenny and Anna as I cut us slices of the sour cream cake I’d made on Sunday. Anna brought in her space heater, since our heat is on the fritz. We sat there, eating cake with raspberry jam and waiting for the hot water to boil for tea.

“What about that other guy?”

“Oh, Daniel?”

“He was your type,” said Anna.

“He was totally your type,” Jenny agreed. I didn't say anything. We just sat there, and drank our tea.

Coda:
This morning I had an email from Jordan, thanking me for last night and asking if I wanted to do it again. Last night I thought absolutely not, but I’m wavering a bit this morning. Now that I've had time to get over the initial terror, I can see the possibilities. I’m grateful to him. He made it easy for me, was totally generous and thoughtful. Maybe I’m not really ready for a submissive relationship. I have no idea. All I know is that I’m looking forward to seeing Daniel tonight. And I have to change my sheets ASAP.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nerves

I'm really scared about tonight.

Even though on our lunch date I was perfectly comfortable (after it became clear that Jordan was not an adulterous slimebag), I'm absolutely terrified now. I've never had sex with anyone more than three years older than me. He's 39. He's an experienced dominant (is that a noun?). I don't mind reiterating that this is new for me, and that I want to go slow, and no doubt I will, but oh, I'm really nervous. I'm not afraid that he'd hurt me, but I am scared I won't enjoy myself but still feel compelled to go through with it. Or maybe I'm scared that I really will enjoy myself? Just thinking about this makes me feel sick. And we have a dinner to get through first. I can just picture the Outback Steakhouse on a Tuesday night -- a loud game televised at the bar, with a few regulars watching; a smattering of couples and families in the dining room, the out-of-place ambient lighting that doesn't go with the slow paced, super hearty staff in a restaurant without windows located in the interior of a mall, and, most terrifying of all, the prospect of our awkward conversation and my need for another glass of wine.

The Hazards of Email

Tonight is my date with Jordan. Yesterday he suggested that we meet in my neighborhood. I knew what that meant: sex chez moi so he could get home at a reasonable hour (by 10:00 pm, as he’d noted in an earlier email. I assume he has to relieve the nanny).

My neighborhood is almost entirely devoid of bars and restaurants. There is a bar right near the subway station, which calls itself a sports bar, but, as my roommate Jenny says, it’s really an Old Man’s Bar. She’s been there a few times and likes it, but when I walked by last night with a view to meeting Jordan there, I couldn’t bring myself to go in. I’m not squeamish, really. Only there were no women there whatsoever, men were shouting (watching a game) and people were smoking, too. It just looked grim. So this limited the possibilities somewhat. About a mile from me is a restaurant-intensive neighborhood, but none of the bars there are in any way romantic or quiet. Plus, a mile is a long way to go when you're planning to meet at 6:00 for drinks, have sex and get home to another borough by 10:00. I was thinking I could just suggest he bring a bottle and I would cook dinner, but should I even reveal that I expect us to have sex tonight? Would cooking for him make me seem anxious for a relationship? I know that these worries are fairly ridiculous, but casual sex has the potential to be a minefield, and I want to get out with my dignity intact.


Finally I emailed him, suggesting a restaurant about ¾ of a mile from me, one we’d actually spoken about when we met, and then offered the local Outback Steakhouse (in a mall, not terribly sexy at all!) as an alternative. I just checked my email. He’d “prefer the Outback.” I bet he would! That would solve the proximity issue. I’m really nervous, as a matter of fact. He’s for sure dominant, and I don’t know what it will be like for me. And I have two roommates and a mattress on the floor of my bedroom. He’s a bona fide adult. Perhaps he’ll feel nostalgic when he sees the college-era poverty of my existence. Or maybe he’ll just be amazed that someone could be 33 and still living like a student.

Further news. I’d been emailing with a 32 year old self-described “incredibly dominant” writer (MFA from Columbia, whoo-hoo!) named Nick. Our emails had been not really about sex at all, just flirty.Which is exactly how I like them. Yesterday Nick asked me if I’d been up to anything “deviant” over the weekend – well, indeed I had! So I said yes, but declined to give any details. I didn’t want to provide a titillating “Guess what I’ve been up to” anecdote – it’s not his business, and I’d like to think I have a modicum of discretion. He pressed me, and I said that while I was happy to discuss my sexual proclivities, I wasn’t going to tell him the details of my weekend. That is solely for you, dear reader. The thing is, I don't want to discuss my sexual proclivities online at all. (Uh, I realize that's a bit disingenuous, considering that this is a blog). I’ll do it in person, but not via IM. Also, I think part of me was reluctant to give Nick the lowdown because, well, he’s dominant, and I am so wary of being dominated in any non sexual way, I felt compelled to refuse him. But I also felt that good manners required me to tell him the kinds of things that interested me, since I'd just denied him the details of my date with Daniel. So I did. That was uncomfortable for me. I can see Nick's point of view, that's there’s no point in meeting someone unless you know if you might be sexually compatible. But my feeling is, there’s not point in talking about sexual tastes unless you know you’re attracted to the person. Anyway, I swallowed my pride and went into a brief but reasonable amount of detail about the sort of experience(s) I thought I’d like, reiterating that I was inexperienced and would want to move at a snail’s pace. I ended the email asking, “Is this too vanilla for you?” I guess it was, cause I haven’t heard back from him. That’s just rude, I think. When you detail your sexual fantasies to a stranger as per his request, it is only polite to respond, even if it’s only with a “Ha ha ha! LOL!” A more appropriate response would have been the following:

“Dear Lily,
Thank you for being so open with me about your desires and concerns. Unfortunately, I think I am looking for someone with different tastes.
Best wishes,
Nick.”

This would have been a polite and respectful way to reject me. Now I’ve told a total stranger that it would be OK for him to come on my tits (I used the word tits, for God’s sake!) and he didn't even had the decency to say that sounded hot. Jackass.

Anyway, on the brighter side. Last night, as I was checking my email in vain for a note from Nick, I signed on to IM and eventually I saw that Daniel had signed on, too. He said hello, ("Hi cutie!" -- sweet) we chatted, and as I was about to go he asked if I wanted to do something this week. By "do something" I assume he means have sex. Yes, I would, I said. We’re going to make plans tonight. Thank God his sexual tastes seem to involve nothing more than having a lot of it. Broadening my horizons, sexually speaking, is turning into a nerve-wracking experience.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Score!

Well. I met Daniel on Saturday night at this chocolate restaurant near Union Square. It didn’t start promisingly: he was more than half an hour late! We were supposed to meet at 8:00, and at 8:25 I swallowed my pride and phoned him. “Hi, where are you?” I said. “’Cause I’m … waiting.” I didn’t mean to sound bitchy or neurotic but I was really irked. A first date is hard enough. If he had arrived at 8:00pm, I wouldn’t have had the time to get my stomach all knotted up with terror.

“I just got off the train,” he said. “I’ll be there in five minutes.”

After about five minutes I started to think he wasn’t coming at all. Eventually he showed up, sporting an unattractive goatee. Gah!

But a date’s a date. I’d already given my name to the hostess (after arguing with myself over whether this was take charge, non-Rules behavior likely to make my date think I was too bossy. Luckily, common sense prevailed) and we didn’t have to wait long for a table, despite the crowd. Once we were seated things went better. We ordered our chocolate fondue – guaranteed to put me in a better mood – and talked about Terry Pratchett and things like that.

"Sorry about the goatee," he said eventually. "It's for my Halloween costume. I'm going as [Shaun from] Shaun of the Dead. I still need a cricket bat, though." I thought of Marc, with whom I had watched Shaun of the Dead not so long ago. "Hey, have you seen a show called Spaced?" Daniel asked. Spaced is a British series that starred the lead from Shaun of Dead. Daniel went on, "I've downloaded all the episodes, but I can't seem to play them." Of course I've seen Spaced. Courtesy of Marc.

The conversation went along without a hitch from then on in, and eventually we repaired to the Flatiron Lounge on East 20th Street. We discovered that both of us had KT Tunstall in our iPods, and this led to a new seam of talk while we waited for our cocktails in this gorgeous Art Deco bar. When the lower level room opened up about forty minutes later, we went downstairs, where it was quieter, and darker. I sat on the upholstered bench against the wall. Daniel looked like he was going to sit opposite me, but I made room for him, and he sat next to me. Ha! I thought.

My hand was resting between us in what I hoped was an inviting yet not desperate way. Eventually his hand slinked towards mine, and we clutched at one another's palms until, in the midst of chuckling about something, I looked right into his eyes. He took the hint, and we started kissing. Score.


“I couldn’t believe it when I saw your photo. I never thought someone as gorgeous as you would date me…” he said.

It was practically guaranteed to make me melt. Any reasonable looking man who claims to be floored by my beauty is pretty much assured to pull me. I am really easy like that. His professed awe at my looks only increased my confidence, as perhaps he knew it would.

“I thought your photo was hot,” I said, because a) it was true and b) it seemed impolite not to return the compliment.

"My brother's a professional photographer," he admitted. "He took those pictures."

We sat there making out and feeling pretty pleased with ourselves until I said, “So, I read your profile at OK Cupid.”

“Yes…?”

“And I saw that you’re bi. …. Can I ask how many men you’ve been with?”

“Three.” He paused. “I haven’t actually slept with any of them. I’ve only gone down on them.” He looked a little sheepish. “I just like sucking cock.” We were pressed up close together, his arm around my shoulder.

I didn't quite look at him. “Me too,” I sniggered. “See, we have a lot in common.”

“I think I’m between a two and a three on the Kinsey scale,” he said, and I started to laugh. “What?!” he said. “You know, it’s a one-to-six scale, with three meaning you’re equally interested in both sexes. I think I’m closer to two, cause I really like the female form,” he added, casting an eye over me. Ooooh.

“I’ve never done anything with a girl myself. I’m from a different era,” I said. Since, after all, Daniel is 26. “Really,” I went on. “When I was in college it wasn’t cool to experiment, it wasn’t a rite of passage like it is today.” (Of course, I went to an all women’s college, so this isn’t exactly true, but it’s substantively the same.) Back in the early-to-mid nineties, girl-on-girl action wasn’t a staple of MTV, and it wasn’t shorthand for being sexually adventurous. It just meant you were … a lesbian. It wasn’t sexy, except to other lesbians, presumably. Oh, OK, no doubt it was incredibly hot to the legions of straight men who seem to fantastize about lesbians. But I didn't know that at the time.

“No, you’re right,” he said. Well, I hadn’t expected him to agree that I was from another generation. I’m only seven years older than he is, after all. That shut me up pretty quick. We returned to kissing.

“Do you want to come home with me?” I said at last. I had only had one drink, but I was feeling pretty confident. I wish I could remember how I introduced it, cause it was probably a little less blunt than I’ve just recorded it.

He was agreeable, though, “I’m not planning to sleep with you tonight…” he said.

“Oh, no pressure!” I cried, thinking, huh, we’ll see about that.

We took the train back to my place, nattering away. At my house I directed him to take off his black and white spectator shoes (very forties) and put my finger to my lips as I led him upstairs.

“I’m just going to snoop,” he said, gazing at my bookshelves, as I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

“OK,” I said thinking, Thank God I cleaned my room. And put away all my meds, and shaved my legs…

When I got back to my room we sat on my bed and started fooling around. When his shirt came off I was astonished: his chest was really hairy. Like a rug. “I have a really hairy chest,” he said, a bit redundantly. No kidding! I was not, however, squicked out, more like in awe of this amount of hair. It wasn’t sexy, or soft, but it wasn’t gross. And I hadn’t expected it at all. It looked like fake hair, there was so much of it. He had dark hair and was, except for the abominable goatee, clean shaven… I never would have guessed he was so hairy. And yup, he had hair on his back, too.

Anyway, eventually we lost our clothes and when he saw me naked, he kind of took a deep breath and said, “You’re so gorgeous…” as if he couldn’t believe his luck. That made me feel a little better about the fact that the numbers on my scale are about 15 pounds higher than I would like. It was like he thought I really was beautiful, and out of his league. This, more than anything, will encourage me to get naked. I am quite shallow.

We fooled around for a bit. I started to go down on him. His groin smelled so much like other boys I’ve been with, a nice boy smell. I started to lick his cock, and then his balls. I took each into my mouth, and sucked a bit.

“Oooh,” he said. “That’s another first for me.”

“What?” I said, distracted. “Really?” No one had ever licked his balls before? He's had three bi experiences but no one has ever sucked his balls? I just found that completely incomprehensible. Then he stopped me, “I actually really get off on hand jobs…” he said.

Well, I can take a hint. I slipped my hand over his dick. “Tighter,” he directed hoarsely. “Over the head.”

“Do you want to come on my tits?” I said. I really, really wanted to see that.

“OK.” He slid on top of me and I worked him over until he came. Then we scrambled around, looking for the tissues I did not have in my room. Eventually, Daniel was dispatched to the bathroom, for toilet paper.

A bit later, we started fooling around again. “Oh, wait,” I said. I showed him my list of questions. “I’m not monogamous,” I said, hastily, “And I wouldn’t expect you to be…”


“I’m sexually involved with someone else,” Daniel said.

I hadn’t realized that. I ignored a pang of disappointment.

“She’s OK with this?” I asked. I really do not want to be a party to cheating or contribute to another girl’s unhappiness.

“Oh, yeah, it’s not serious.”

Hmm. “Where does she live?” I asked, thinking, I’ve probably got the advantage here, since I live just two stops from him on the local. I didn't want to compete, but...

“Connecticut,” he said. Ha!

We went back to the questions. “No, I’ve never done that, or that…Well,” he admitted, “I think I have had a discharge from the penis at one point…”

“That’s OK,” I giggled.

“So, is this the first time you’ve brought home someone on the first date?”

I grimaced. “I’m afraid not,” I said, and gave him a brief resume of my recent behavior. We started fooling around again.

Eventually he breathed, “I think I have to fuck you.”

“No pressure,” I repeated. “Really, we don’t have to …”

“Do you want it?”

“Yes….” Then I rallied, suspecting my delicate regard for his sensibilities might push him over the edge. “But only if you…”

“I do!” Ha, I knew it!

“OK! Hold on,” I scampered out of bed. “I have lube here somewhere...”

But I couldn’t find it anywhere, which was frustrating. “When’s the last time you used it?”

“In June, I think.” I was glad to give him some evidence that I'm not always so promiscuous. “But I know it’s here! I just saw it the other day!”

Eventually I gave up and climbed back into bed with Daniel, brandishing the condoms which, luckily, had not required a search to uncover.

He lay on top of me and it occurred to me how much he looked like Michael, or rather, how much he reminded me of Michael: tall, thin, dark haired, (and, Daniel had said, he was one-quarter Puerto Rican; Michael was Mexican), with ridiculous indie-thrift store clothes…. But he wasn’t Michael. Which is good, I reminded myself, because, remember, Michael was a creep. Daniel was sweet. And, more importantly, not my boyfriend, and not in a position to make me loathe myself.

He went down on me and from my vantage point he had that expression that I always see on men when they’re preparing for oral sex, sort of this sentimental, worshipful look. I don’t really want to consider that too much, come to think of it. The thing is, I’m generally indifferent to oral sex. I always feel guilty that I’m not enjoying it more. My mind wanders, and I wonder when we’ll get to the real sex part. I have an old fashioned, semantic attitude: I don’t believe oral sex is really sex. Just like Clinton.

When Daniel entered me I did feel raw, even though I was pretty wet – it had been a while. I remember the last time I had sex with Eddie, who was, just as he boasted, huge: even though I had accidentally neglected to remove my tampon, Eddie had fit right in, no pain at all. Although I didn’t enjoy the rawness now, I liked the thought that I was not all stretched out, as it were.

“You’re really tight,” he whispered, as he pumped into me and I thrust back at him. I nodded, smugly. I hear that a lot, I thought, but did not actually vocalize the thought, thinking it might seem show-offy. Not to mention that it would make me sound like a total slut.

“You’re trembling,” he said, wonderingly, as my legs shook. I was trying to come.

After a while he slid underneath me. “When you went to the bathroom, just before we left the bar, I had this image of you riding me…” he panted. God, I love that term, riding me. It’s so dirty, or at least it's the kind of euphemism I find really dirty and yet for some reason, not sleazy.

“Really?” This seemed very insightful on his part, although, of course, it wasn’t particularly. “I like being on top,” I admitted, as if I felt coy about it. Which I don’t. A gynecologist once informed me that I have a tipped uterus, which would, she said, make sex more comfortable for me that way. I straddled him, and we manipulated his dick into me, and then I rode him, watching his face all the while. I came in the way that I do nowadays, like a switch being flicked, not the huge wave it used to be, and then Daniel took over again, sliding me onto my back and slipping my legs around his neck. I loved watching him.

After he came we were tired, so I turned out the light. “Spoon?” he asked, so I turned onto my left side and he slid against my back. I dozed intermittently, and we later woke up and, after I finally found the lube, fucked again. We woke up at around nine, and fucked once more. Each time was sweet and fun and despite the soreness I loved having him inside me. “You know what I think?” I breathed at last. “I think we should go out and get breakfast, cause I’m starving.”

“OK. I actually have to go soon.”

“What are you doing today?”

“I’m going to Connecticut.” I giggled. “I told you I was--" he began.

“No, it’s OK,” I said.

Then we climbed into our clothes and went out for breakfast. He asked what I was up to today and I admitted I might get together with friends. "Sometimes we play this game, Settlers," I said diffidently, because a guy game geek is just a geek, but a 33 year old woman who plays board games might be a bit weird.

"The Settlers of Catan? I've played the card game. Maybe we could play that sometime."

I bowed to the inevitable: "You should meet my friend Marc," I said.

Afterwards I walked him to the train, we kissed, briefly, and he disappeared into the station.

I’d like to see him again.



Thursday, October 19, 2006

Plans, plans

So. Despite my avowed hatred of Instant Messenger, I logged on last night, thinking I might chat with Daniel. He was online when I signed on. I made myself visible to him, and passive-aggressively waited to see if he would contact me. Which he eventually did.

Conversation flagged a bit after we completed the "what have you been up to ... do you remember this TV show?" continuum because, really, it's hard to find things to talk about via IM. Every time you get a new message, the pressure's on to write back, not to mention say something reasonably intelligent. But we persevered and eventually he asked me if I wanted to get together. So we're going out on Saturday night. Ha! Yet again, I am looking forward to a date. I feel that this will inevitably lead to disappointment, so I'm trying to expect the worst.

Oh, and I got an email from HR about the staff Christmas Party. If we were in London this would be a perfect chance for me to get drunk and hook up with Ken Smith. In London it's practically against the law to remain sober--or fully clothed-- at Christmas parties. So even if Ken Smith was not interested, he'd be too drunk to register a protest. Evil, eh? Mwahahahaha! But as Ken Smith must be at least 6'3" and over 200 pounds, and I weigh a little more than half that, he should be able to defend himself if I get too amorous. Not that I will actually have the nerve to try this. Of course, at this lame American Christmas party, we might not even have any alcohol. (God forbid). Plus I might not even be temping here at that point. But. OK. Should I still be temping here at Dor--Oops Industries, I will make it my business to be as alluring as possible, and to work on my body language and bag Ken Smith (how crass I sound! Hee!)

And I got an email from Jordan; we have tentative plans for early next week. He said he has to be home by 10 pm, and could we meet early in the evening? I said sure, but I'm wondering, does he mean meet early in the evening to have sex, or meet early in the evening to have a drink or something equally PG rated? Either way, I guess I'm game. I'm trying to imagine bringing him to my bedroom, past my roommates. I mean, he's a real adult, probably owns real estate and whatnot. I'm sure my lifestyle will seem juvenile. As indeed, it is.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lunch Date

Well! I just had my lunch date with Jordan.

We had barely emailed -- last week I had received a brief note and a photo from him. He looked suitably nerd-chic, though the photo was pretty small. So when he suggested we get together I said sure. Yesterday we decided that we'd meet for lunch.

When I got to the restaurant I saw a fellow down at the other end of the building, on a cell phone. I wondered if it was him. But I didn't want to wait around looking like an idiot, either, so I went into the foyer.

Within a minute, the man on the cell phone had had joined me. We made eye contact, and he smiled. He was, yes, quite short. But not bad looking, for all that. I stared at the wall while he finished his conversation. "She's fine. Yeah. I'll talk to you soon."

She's fine. That set off an alarm. The way he said it, the casualness, I don't know, I just thought: married. I had neglected to ask.

As we were seated in the busy dining room, I studied him, thinking, "Is this a man who cheats on his wife? Would I have guessed?" He wore a ring of interlocked silver bands on his ring finger, I noticed. Was he hiding his hand from me? No, wait, that's his right hand...

The waiter came by to announce the specials. I couldn't really listen, cause I was wondering if I should just ask him if he was married -- no, wait: attached. If he was, I would leave. So maybe I shouldn't order after all, if I wasn't planning to stay? Would that be really rude? Wait, he should have told me. Wait, I should have asked. Meanwhile, Jordan told me a bit about his job, and his background. No mention of a wife, I noticed.

He asked me about my penchant for submission. I told him a bit, but I was rather distracted, thinking about his wife, waiting at home for him. "I'm not really experienced, and I think my tastes would fall towards the tamer side of things," I said a little anxiously. "I don't want to give you the wrong idea or anything. I've gotten a lot of emails that make me think I'm not all that submissive," I said, thinking about Pete's bossiness and the email from the rather hostile-sounding man who was looking for a "traditional" woman who liked to cook. "And it would be limited solely to the bedroom," I added for good measure, grinning. "One guy said he wanted me to clean for him. I'm really messy, so that wouldn't work."

"Well, that's not my idea of dominance," he smiled.

Thank God for that.

Eventually he said, "I didn't mention this before, but I have a daughter."

Was that all? "And do you have a wife?" I prompted.

"An ex wife. I'm divorced."

"You're sure? You're not attached at all?"

"No, we're divorced."

Oh. I sighed. "That's a relief. I heard you on the phone and I was sure you were married. Plus, you're wearing a ring."

"That ring cost fifteen dollars. I bought on the street," he said.

"Oh."

"My daughter lives with me. I have a nanny," he added, as if I wouldn't believe him. "My ex wife lives nearby and she sees her all the time." A man with full custody = sounds like a good, or at least involved, father. And if his ex-wife sees their daughter regularly, then they probably have a reasonably polite relationship, which makes me think this guy is a mature adult. Very good.

"Oh .... Do you have a picture of her?"

"No, I don't have one with me."

Once I was convinced Jordan wasn't a cheating scum, I relaxed a bit. He asked me a bit more about my experience, and I told him about last spring, and Craig's List, and about how I discovered my possible submissiveness, and he told me his philosophy of dominance.

"I think I have a big responsibility," he explained, lowering his voice as our waiter whisked my glass away. "It's a like a circle," he went on.

Eh? I thought.

"I get off on being pleased, but a big part of that is knowing that the person gets off on pleasing me. People have asked me if I'm into bondage, or spanking, but I'm not into anything, particularly. It's more about control."

Well. After Pete (who hasn't been in touch) and his roughshod methods, this didn't sound so bad. "What interests you?" he asked.

We were surrounded by waiters and, as Jordan said, lots of government types, since we were right near City Hall. We tried to keep our voices low, though I kept laughing as I talked, relaxing now that I knew he wasn't looking for some adulterous liaison. "Well, I think I'd like being told what to do," I said cautiously. I didn't feel very comfortable going into details while picking at my lamb sandwich garnished with rosemary. I gulped my refreshed Diet Coke. "But like I said, it would be strictly in the bedroom. I don't know if I'd feel comfortable with someone telling me what to wear," I said, thinking of Pete and his demand for "classy but feminine" clothing. ("Classy" strikes me as a thoroughly declasse adjective, as a matter of fact.)

"Oh, I would never do it so other people would know," Jordan said, looking around as he spoke. "It would always just be just between the two of us."

"I wouldn't feel comfortable going out in a corset," I said, just to clarify.

"No, no," he agreed. "But I like the thought that if I asked you to wear a white blouse, you'd think about it beforehand, and wonder if it needed to be dry cleaned, things like that. I like the idea that you'd be making the effort. That's a real turn on, to know that you'd be thinking about it." At this I felt a faint shiver at the backs of my thighs. The idea of this kind of appealed. I mean, on a date, you want to impress, don't you? I liked the idea that going out to dinner meant the pleasant anticipation of deciding what to wear. Of course, as this would be a sexual rather than a romantic relationship, I don't know how much dining out we'd actually be doing.

"Well," I said. "I like to please, but I balk at orders. Like, if you said 'I'd like you to wear this,' I'd probably be happy to do it, but if you said, "Wear this," I would get defensive." I think this about summed it up.


"Oh, of course," he said.

I continued to pick at my food. He was quite short, but not bad looking. Maybe Jewish, I wasn't sure. While he sipped his coffee he said, "Well, I don't know how you feel, but I would get together again..."

"Oh, I'm game," I said, smiling.

Outside the restaurant we shook hands, and he said he'd be in touch and that we'd make a date.





Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dissed?

I haven't heard from Pete re: tomorrow night. When I went online last night, I signed on to Yahoo Messenger as invisible, cause I didn't think I could face another long conversation with him (um, that doesn't really bode well for our date, does it?). But there was no message from him either there or in my mailbox. He appeared to be offline as well. I kind of hope we're done. That would make things easier, despite being a play-by-play rehash of the spring rejection scenario.

On the other hand, I did IM with Daniel, who seems very nice indeed, and appears so far to be without noticeably obnoxious and overbearing tendencies. He lives right near me, too, which is nice. And he loves the novels of Terry Pratchett, so obviously we are well matched!

I'm supposed to meet Jason for a drink this evening, but on Friday I asked that we schedule something soon, and he never got back to me. Should I write him and suggest we firm up plans for tonight? Or just give him til noon and then scratch it? I'd prefer to do the latter, which makes me think I ought to do the former.

!@#$

I just found out that Kate Atkinson, one of my very favorite writers ever, read from her new book One Good Turn last night at Barnes & Noble. Last night! I am an idiot! I can't believe I missed it. !@#$ is really all I can say.

Monday, October 16, 2006

My Weekend

On Friday night I had my date with John. He’s in his forties but looks to be about my age. Nice, not very tall, shaved head, athletic build. And gay.

Well, probably not. But as soon as we met I thought: “Hey! This guy’s gay!” He was a bit effeminate. So, not for me. We met at a bar on 9th Avenue – the sign was barely visible and I walked past it before I realized that it was the place. It was a kind of chic, darkly-lit place, and I had a few Tom Collinses and we talked. Nice and all, but nothing doing.


After two drinks we walked to the 8th Avenue subway stop and, at a distance of about two feet, John announced, “Well, I think I’m going to head off now…” and we parted with mutual expressions of goodwill, and no touching whatsoever.

I haven’t heard from Jim since Thursday morning. I guess my worries were for naught, then.

Oh! And Alejandro! Well, get this: On Saturday morning I saw an email from him in my inbox. I opened it to discover that Alejandro was canceling on me because he wants to “make love on a spiritual level,” and so, he explained, having sex with me would be wrong. (I’m sorry, I’m giggling as I type this). Alejandro really is a nice person, and I wrote back to say no problem, good luck, etc., but he's so earnest! Part of me was like, “Hey, wait, I want to make love on a spiritual level too! I’m not shallow!” But of course, I don’t want to MLoaSL with Alejandro. And, in fact, I am shallow, so he’s got a point. But Alejandro is so cute and sincere, I’m sure he’ll find someone who doesn’t mind the fact that he wants to MLoaSL, and has no time for the regular kind of sex that takes place on a physical plane, let alone fucking. Ah, well.

And I’ve got lots of stuff to relate about Pete. Namely, that I think he actually is an alpha male jerk. On Saturday he did, indeed cancel on me, but promised that "we'd be fucking by midweek." I ignored the assumption that I would still want to fuck him after meeting him, and instead asked if he was sure he wanted to. Yes, he said. So I ping-ponged: "The thing is, you're awfully familiar. I seem to recall flirting with you back in April ...." After I revealed myself to him as the girl he'd flirted with and then dropped (NOT admitting that I’d known who he was all along), he apologized, and now we’re supposed to meet for drinks on Wednesday. And, strangest of all, he is a twin, as I speculated last week! And they are fraternal but look identical. So my theory could have been correct, after all. Though it’s probably not.

Pete's excuse for going AWOL last spring: he was in an on/off relationship, and that week it was on again. Not a very good excuse. But what was there to say? If I didn't like it, I could sign off and not IM him again. But I didn't. Now that we’ve been emailing again, I find him much less appealing than I did during the spring, Which just goes to show you: be careful what you wish for. I find all his explicit chat about fucking and blow jobs a little uncomfortable online -- isn't there a happy medium between making love on a spiritual level and being hammered over the head with a crudity that seems calculated to make the recipient uncomfortable? Or if not actually calculated, then at least stated knowing full well that the person you're talking to might feel uneasy with explicit language/intentions? When we IMed on Saturday night Pete was really pushing the dominance factor (e.g. he wrote, “I expect you to wear what I want you to wear,” etc. and “If I got you drunk I might have to fuck your ass,” to which I said, “In that case I’ll stay sober.” This was after I had said I wasn’t interested in anal sex. That's not quite true: I might be interested in it, but not with him.) Pete said later in the session that when he saw I wasn’t comfortable with strong dominance, he backed off, but still.
I’m beginning to think I’m not submissive after all! When Pete said "If I wanted you to wear something, I would expect you to do it..." I was not exactly intimidated but really turned off. I think I made it clear that I really wouldn't be attracted to someone with such a dominant personality outside of the bedroom, but it made me feel off balance, and not exactly anticipating our date.

And thus far not once has Pete said a word about pleasing me. I mean, as I’ve said to him, I’m all into pleasing (I am!), which he says turns him on, but frankly I like a little reciprocity. This was revealed in spades last night when he said “I don’t do oral.” My instinctive response was “?!” and, "Now you tell me?!" but instead I wrote, “Why not?” in what I hope was a reasonable and calm manner. His response: “Just uncomfortable. Don’t like the taste. Don’t find it sexy. …. Deal-breaker?”

I was astounded, though perhaps not actually surprised. I thought it was sort of in keeping with his stance as this kind of “it’s all about me” sexual personality. On the other hand, I have never actually heard a guy say he didn’t like the taste before. Maybe not the taste of a particular woman, but not the taste of women in general. Does that mean he's a misogynist, or just a picky eater?


SIDEBAR Oh, God: once, in high school, one of my classmates complained that the girl he was sleeping with tasted of “hot mushrooms.” Christ. Though I suppose that’s better than tasting fishy. SIDEBAR ENDS.

I don't know if I'd want to go down on a woman myself, but then, I'm attracted to men. The idea that a man finds my taste revolting is somewhat inhibiting. There's something very relaxing and sexy about a guy who finds you so wonderful and erotic that he's got to stick his tongue inside you, you know? Eddie, for example, was rhapsodic: "You taste fantastic," etc. He actively enjoyed it, or at least he was eager to give that impression. That can only add to one's confidence in bed, even if, like me, you rarely actually get off from oral sex.

SIDEBAR I just read an email the guy I work for sent to a friend of his (he forwarded it to me so I could get the guy's address). And, ha! my boss broke up with his girlfriend and is, according to his email, "almost ready to start dating again" OK. That is probably the biggest breach of privacy I have committed in my entire career. Good thing I didn't reveal that his name is Ken Smith and he works for Dor--oops. (Obviously his name is not Ken Smith). But Ken Smith, as of course he is now known, is sort of cute for an older guy who's not a SRLI or an artist. He's a big guy, tall and broad, but not fat or bad looking. SIDEBAR ENDS

So now I really do have mixed feelings about Pete -- not sure I find his personality very attractive at this point, even though he knows tons about British comedy, which I feel usually indicates an appealing, self-deprecating demeanor. I really liked him better last spring! I think that if I do find him attractive, sex will be a one off. I find him rude, and I don't know quite how to express that to him without being really offensive myself. I also find him a bit intimidating, and he knows that. I think he likes the idea, which makes me defensive and irritable -- NOT the way I want to be with a sex partner.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Backstory: Pete

I didn't get around to mentioning this before. When I posted an ad on Craig's List on Tuesday evening, I immediately got a reply from Pete. Pete and I had an email flirtation back in April. We eventually set up a time to get nice and drunk, with the implicit promise that, should we get on well enough, and if I was drunk enough, we would go to bed together. Shortly after this he first postponed our date and then disappeared entirely. I found it pretty upsetting, cause we hit it off -- he could quote Father Ted and was dry and mildly self-deprecating. Exactly my type. I knew I didn't do anything wrong, so why did he change his mind? My mind worried at the rejection. Of course, there was no real reason, except he wasn't interested in me.

He'd cancelled our date, claiming to be sick, and didn't respond to my very brief email a few days later. So eventually I wrote him a short and, yes, polite and friendly note, indicating that it would be both appreciated and appropriate for him to explain why he'd changed his mind. I actually composed it on my phone at the joint birthday party Marc and I shared in April, and showed it to my friend J. He read it, laughed, and said it was absolutely correct and reasonable. Bless J. But thank God we were below ground and my cell reception was bad: drinking and texting do not mix!

SIDEBAR: Appropriate! That's my favorite term. That's what I aspire to: appropriateness. If you can't do the right thing, do the appropriate thing. SIDEBAR ENDS.

So in this rigorously pleasant and non-chastizing email I even offered him some reasons he could supply for his sudden lack of interest, such as: "I no longer fancy nerdy girls/I have met the love of my life/I am moving to Alaska." It was meant to be a not too serious kind of ending, so I could write him off without feeling bereft and rejected. He never responded, which was the worst part of all. The whole incident bothered me for some time.

Anyway, when I got his email on Tuesday night I was all of a dither. He used an email address I hadn't seen before. So late Wednesday night I emailed him back with a photo (not one he'd seen before) from the email address that shows me as Lily, my nom de guerre. I figured that if he recognized me, he wouldn't respond and if he did ... I could always pretend I hadn't recognized his photo. Then, later that evening, there was another email from him: he's certainly persistent. And so last night we spent about an hour on IM, a pastime that I actually hate. It feels really awkward. I hate innuendo online, I don't like revealing my sexual preferences via email (though apparently I don't mind being an exhibitionist in this blog. Hypocrite. Sigh.) and suggesting that I will do x, y, and z in bed. I think euphemisms are dirty, somehow, dirtier than any of the activities or orifices they refer to, because they're coy and sly. The phrase "something for the weekend" makes me feel the same way.

The thing is, I cheated.

I realized this while I was trying to fall asleep last night.

See, at one point last night he asked me for another photo. I then sent him one I knew he hadn't seen (it's not very flattering, I don't send it out). He wrote back, "Is that all the pics you have?" after commenting that I looked "compliment, compliment ... fuckable." That was the tenor of our conversation. Being called fuckable is of course flattering, but generally I don't encourage that level of risque-ness prior to actually meeting someone. I think he was trying to sound more nonchalant and aggressive than he actually is. At least, I'm hoping that's the case. He made another comment about having an orgy with me and my roommates (poor Anna. she would be horrified!) I do think it's in poor taste to show an interest in your current possible sex partner's roommates before you've bedded and properly complimented her. You know? I dismissed it as him trying to appear dominant, as per my post. But maybe, in fact, he is an insensitive alpha male jerk. (But how could that be? He completed my Morrissey quote just last night.) I could live with alpha male qualities, I mean, I'm not looking for a relationship. Only I don't find them attractive. I might not want to sleep with him if he really is this crude and borderline obnoxious outside of the bedroom.

I said that yes, those were all the pictures I had, but afterwards I realized I wasn't really playing fair. He asked for all photos: maybe he did recognize me and wanted confirmation. So he could disappear again, probably. But that's his right, I suppose. So I just sent him my photo, one he's seen before. I can't help but think he must know it's me. Assuming that he remembers me. Which I do. If he didn't before, how could our lengthy IMing not at least jog his memory? Even if he does do this all the time, which I'm beginning to suspect is the case.

Unless. See, he told me he lives with his brother. Maybe now I'm corresponding with the brother (assuming they're identical twins) whereas before I was just writing to him! Does that sound reasonable? No, it does not.

It's moot anyway because I am fairly sure he's going to cancel on me. First he suggested we get together tonight, but I said it would have to be later, since I'm meeting John for a drink at 6. After the nerve-wracking innuendo-y convo with Pete, meeting John should be comparably relaxing. Then he said Saturday. So we've got plans for Saturday. But the chances of a replay of last spring are, I should think, quite high, considering how closely he's stuck to the script so far, what with the persistent and flirty emails, the avowed attraction and declared intent to fuck me. So his imminent cancellation -- or his simple refusal to respond to my most recent email, which contained the incriminating pic -- would make this whole fiasco my own damn fault. You know, "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice..." I should have told him I knew who he was right away. But I was so excited by the thought of meeting him. I thought it might be fate or something. But all right. So now I know. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

French Kissing in the USA

Last night I had a date with Jim (as I will call him). It was a cold, rainy night and we met at a tapas place on the East Side. Very nice – exposed brick wall/ceiling beams, lots of chandeliers. It made me think of a sort of fin de siecle Monmartre bar. I mean, what I imagine a fin de siecle Monmatre bar to be like.

He was a bit late. Very polite, what with holding doors and whatnot. He didn’t really resemble his photo, though my memory may not serve me too well on this point. Anyway: shaved head, with a slightly receding hairline. Skinny, in sort of geeky casual clothes – baggy trousers and zipped hoodie – a look I don’t mind at all.

We ordered some cheese and drinks and started chatting. After a glass or two of cava I felt pretty cheerful and when his hand started “accidentally” brushing against mine I returned the pressure.

I found it hard to categorize Jim, like I automatically categorize others. Like, he had an mild Jersey accent, but he also had this sort of nervous geekiness I don’t associate with his accent. He works as a software engineer but didn’t go to college, etc. What I guess I mean is that Jim sort of confounded my expectations by not being a cliché.

He told me about his ex, then chastized himself for doing so, and I told him about my abortive "date" with Laurent. Jim laughed: "He had a band emergency? What, the tuba was broken?"

Anyway, we had a nice time and when walked out into the rain he put his arm around me. My umbrella was up – it was a romantic scene. When we reached the R station at 23rd Jim kind of kissed me but I (me! Blame the wine) kissed him, or rather sort of encouraged his mouth to really kiss me. So we made out at the entrance to the station for a few minutes.

It was nice to kiss someone. I realize that’s not the most enthusiastic of endorsements. After he left my chin felt all raw from his unshaven face – a sensation I haven’t felt in months.

This morning there was an email from him, very nice, saying he’d broken dating etiquette by mentioning his ex and getting in touch with me so quickly, etc. This is the text:

“I'm sure there is [a] dating rule I'm breaking by not waiting to write. I just wanted to say I had a great time with you and a better time walking you to the train. I'm looking forward to doing it again. …”

According to all my dating guides, it’s good for a guy to show interest, it’s just the woman who has to play it cool. I wrote him back a brief note, saying I’d had a nice time, too. But reading that note I felt a little guilty, cause, what with Alejandro and my latest (and possibly quite successful) post on Craig’s List, I hope to restart my slutty behavior sooner rather than later. I don’t think he’s the type to embrace non-monogamous behavior. How am I going to mention this to him? On the date I kind of referred to the fact that I was “doing things I’d never done before,” as an aside when we discussed growing older and regrets (he’s 29, so: younger!)

Hmm. But, you know, thank God this is my dilemma. After last week’s festival of self-loathing, this is a nice problem to have.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hallelujah!

Alejandro, bless him, has agreed! Am not love pariah (in the words of Bridget Jones).

I am relieved/happy but I didn't think that he would object on the basis of being involved. I guessed he was single, anyway. When we first met, on that awkward afternoon in the park when I asked him all sorts of excruciating questions (sample: "Have you ever slept with another man?" "Have you ever had an STD?") in order to gauge his sexual health on a not very substantial level, he revealed that he'd only ever slept with seven people. "Me too!" I said, thrilled that we had something in common.

Funny thing is, Alejandro was by far the most handsome of the men (also including J., Eddie and Roger) I slept with during my brief career as a round-heeled woman. And he's Brazilian... maybe the stereotype of the super sexy Brazilian only applies to women? Eddie (that's Eddie "I'm huge. Nine inches." Eddie) said he had slept with 16 women, which he added was a low number. I thought it was a good number, cause at the time I was up to six. But Roger was the winner, no question. On the night when we drunkenly rolled into his apartment and I took out my list of questions, courtesy of ivillage, he said he'd slept with about 22 women. He's my age. At this point I'd slept with eight men (including Eddie and Alejandro, numbers seven and eight). I thought 22 women showed him to be adventurous and, let's face it, luckier than me, but not a particularly high number.

Then, a few nights later Roger said, "Uh, I want to be honest with you. Remember when I told you I had slept with 22 women? Well, I kind of lowballed the number."

"Oh," I said. "So how many women have you slept with?"

"About 38," he said.

"Oh," I said. Thirty eight! "But you haven't injected any drugs or slept with a prostitute, have you?" I asked anxiously, thinking of my questions, and my health.

"Well, I've done heroin twice, but I only smoked it," he said.

Ah.

Anyway. I'm going to have sex with Alejandro again. At last, this blog is picking up. I don't want to be a false advertiser, you know. I'm so excited.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gulp

Oh God. I just emailed Alejandro and asked if he wanted to get together. I think I made it clear that by "get together" I meant "have casual sex", but who knows? I just checked my datebook. According to that, we met twice in April, but I'm pretty sure it was at least three times. God almighty. Now I'm really embarrassed. Imagine propositioning a man who is unlikely to recall who I am .... the mind boggles, and the ego collapses.

I can only hope that if he's not interested, he doesn't write me back a kind and polite note. I hope he just ignores the email. But really, I hope he gets right back to me to say, "Great! When?" What are the chances of that happening? I'm thinking pretty small. Oh, God. But again, nothing to lose right? My dignity is long gone, anyway. But each time I think that rejection can't really hurt, I discover deeper reserves of amour propre, or rather, adolescent shame. Fuck, I just want to have sex. Actually, I just want to get laid, but I have always thought this to be a vulgar locution. Nonetheless, in this case it's probably the more accurate term.

Sluts: A General Theory

I had a date with K. on Friday night. He's Indian, as I thought but couldn't tell for sure from his photo, and a doctor. Do you know, I don't know anyone my age who's a doctor? Everyone's a computer programmer or a writer or a lawyer. Anyway, we met at a nice, but nondescript Irish pub in the East 20s (itself a nice, but nondescript neighborhood) and talked, mostly about eating healthfully and Jewish and Hindu food issues. Interesting, but not romantic. Also, he's my height. So: no. Another disappointing evening.

Then on Saturday, while I was in Brooklyn on my freelance copywriting assignment, my cell rang. I looked at the screen and thought I recognized the number...

"Hello, this is Lily," I said in my chilliest, most professional tone.

"'Allo? 'Allo?" (Uh huh, he said that)

"Yes?" I said.

"Allo, this is Laurent,"

"Yes, this is Lily. You called me?"

"Allo?"

I sighed. "I think you have the wrong number," I said.

"Ah, sorry!" he rang off.

I glared at my phone: had it somehow sent a signal to Laurent to call me? Cause the way the conversation went, it was as if he thought I was calling him. Which was not the case. Or was he trying to both call and wrong-foot me in the hopes of making me think I was contacting him or something? That explanation makes no sense whatsoever. I suppose he saw a message on his phone and didn't realize it was it was old? Anyway, it was weird.

That was about the extent of my exciting weekend. I've been working on this freelance project nonstop, and I'm still recovering.

I think I'll take another break from dating for a bit. Last time around (the Spring) I had no problem getting strange men into bed. This time I can't give it away (literally). Not one of the men I have dated recently has attracted me in any way, shape or form. I think I'd be in a better place if I just had a regular, not too demanding sex life. I would certainly feel cooler (how shallow!) I've been thinking about contacting Alejandro, whom I slept with a few times last spring. The sex wasn't all that, but it was consistent, and he was cute, at least. Only, I'm sort of embarrassed to contact him! I'll have to ask my therapist, the source of all wisdom, what she thinks.

I realized the source of my extreme crankiness and general malaise: it's the pill. Duh. But I don't want to jeopardize my (somewhat) improved skin by going off it. I value my looks above my mental health, apparently. But then, I knew that already. I mean, one's mental health can improve. Improving one's looks is, I think, much harder. After all, cognitive therapy can't do a thing about the shape of one's nose.

The past few nights I've had all these dreams about my ex boyfriends. And boys I wish had been my boyfriends. On Saturday I dreamt about John, whom I dated in college until I found out that he had never broke up with his old girlfriend. To add insult to injury, she looked just like me. Or rather, I looked just like her. I had had a massive crush on John -- he was a bit older, very handsome, smart, etc., and when he told me he was interested in me, I think I kind of punched him on the arm and said, "No! Really?!" and could not stop grinning for the rest of the night. So anyway I dreamt about him. I also dreamt about Patrick, with whom I went to high school, but never dated. He was short, spotty, and moody, but by the end of senior year I thought he was fantastic. We weren't really friendly until then. Anyway, in this dream, he was with Andrew McCarthy, whom I would have liked to have been my boyfriend circa 1985-1991. Wow, I fancied Andrew McCarthy. I think Patrick was distantly related to him, in fact, if I remember freshman year correctly. I think I might also have dreamt about Michael.

Michael was, was course, my waterloo. We broke up in 2002. He broke up with me over the phone, and really, I can't think of any way to better express what a jerk he was. You don't do that to someone you've been dating for a year and a half! Sigh. He was the worst boyfriend ever, and I don't think I've ever felt more strongly about anyone. He was moody, distant and, with hindsight it's obvious he didn't like me very much, but oh! I loved him. He was indie hipster-ness personified: tall and skinny with thriftstore clothes that were so ugly and out of fashion they were cool. Dark hair, black framed glasses (my personal downfall in men, apparently), suitably indie tastes in music, shy and soft-spoken, etc. Even after a year and a half I still wanted him all the time. Quite possibly because he was so distant. Nonetheless. Truth be told, I think about him a lot. Not about how I want to get back together with him, but about how much of an idiot I was, not seeing that he wasn't that into me, and also, more pathetically, about how I'd like him to run into him so he can see me all successful and happy, preferably with a huge, fuck-off rock on my ring finger. Of course, this fantasy would require me actually becoming successful and happy.

Anyway. I feel like I haven't been Living Somewhat Dangerously at all. In the spring, it was much easier! This time, my failures have only reinforced my fear that I'm hideously unattractive. A fear that is confirmed, strangely, by the lack of response I get to my witty and winning profiles and posts. My roommate Jenny wants me and Anna (our other roommate) to try speed dating. I haven't got anything to lose, I expect.


Talk about living dangerously: Jenny is insane. She slept with three men over the course of three days. Or, as she put it:

"Well, I tried to sleep with the EMT, but he couldn't get it up, so that doesn't really count. Then I had sex with George, and he doesn't really count, either."

"Because he's your husband?" I asked. Jenny is 25, and getting a divorce from her husband of two years. He occasionally comes round the apartment -- a tall, burly fellow with a beard. George is crunchy, and seems nice.

"Right. Then I had sex with Tony ... I'm wondering if I should give him another chance."

"I thought you said he was a jerk."

"He is a jerk. But I'm a slut, so maybe we'd be a good match."

"You're not a slut," I said, my feminist hackles automatically rising. "Sluts are people who have sex when they don't want to, in order to be popular," I explained. "Didn't you go to high school?"


At least, that's how I've generally come to understand the idea: sluts apparently don't deserve respect because they don't actually want to have sex, they're doing it for approval. And you can't approve of someone who has sex for such reasons. Of course, in common parlance I'd say the term was applied to any woman who has sex without sufficient agonizing.

SIDEBAR When I went out with Jessie and her friend Lara a few weeks ago Lara told me that her friend Marianne had slept with her (Lara's) boyfriend's friend the night she met him, and had thereafter been deemed a slut in their minds. Lara said she was surprised and sort of offended to hear her boyfriend then call Marianne a slut. (Oh, wait: he wasn't actually Lara's boyfriend. He was "the guy I'm dating," because, although they'd been together for six months, he had yet to call Lara his girlfriend. Well, I said, "Why don't you just call him your boyfriend?" Or you know, have a DTR talk? No, she said. She was waiting for him to do it. This girl was tall, thin, and extraordinarily pretty in that Eastern European way-- high cheekbones, long straight nose, fine hair, etc.)

I thought about it for a while and it seems to me that her boyf-- I mean, the guy she's dating -- and his best friend felt entitled to call Lara's friend a slut because they assumed that she couldn't have really wanted to sleep with him, and was doing it because she was emotionally needy. I mean, I can't actually think that men condemn women as sluts just because they want to take their kit off within a few hours of meeting (like ... men). I can't help thinking that men think women can't enjoy sex without emotional negotiation and therefore any woman who has sex without a committment is clearly too needy to be anything but a slut. That's my theory, anyway. SIDEBAR ENDS.

Obviously, I can't compete with Jenny's exploits! And she really is living dangerously because she never uses a condom! She doesn't like to. She doesn't use any birth control at all, and, as a result, has had two abortions to date. I can't imagine being as cavalier as she is. I've had sex without a condom about once in my entire life, and that was after I made both Lee (my nicest ex boyfriend) and myself both get tested for HIV. Needless to say, we were two of the most low risk people in the tri-state area, I'd bet. Jenny should be writing this blog, not me.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Craig's List, the Sequel

Last night I succumbed to the temptation and spent hours reading through the Casual Encounters and Men Seeking Women posts.

Honestly, there’s not that much difference between the two. Theoretically, Men Seeking Women is for those who want a relationship, ("No thick women!") while casual encounters is raunchier, and suitable for detailing your masturbatory fantasies to the slack-jawed surfers who read them (me). Only, in Men Seeking Women I see an awful lot of lengthy posts along the lines of “then I will slowly open your ….. and you will moan … luscious…” etc. One guy – he reposts the same ad all the time! – has this really florid language: “Now I will commence the spanking proper.” It never ceases to make me snicker. Of course, casual encounters has all the St8 men who want to give blowjobs to other men. And of course, frisky couples … they sound like cats.

Anyway, Craig’s List sucked my evening away, and before I knew it I had answered several ads. Most were, ahem-- In the casual encounters section. In one or two I enclosed my photo. I thought I’d get answers. Did I hell!

One response, and a very brief (and thus barely flirtatious) one at that. Afterwards, I’m always so ashamed that the person didn’t respond, like, the guy was out of my league or something. Like I’m too ugly for him. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Use the Term Date Loosely

My date with Olivier was a total joke. Not even a date, really.

In fact, I was so annoyed that I will reveal Olivier’s real name: Laurent. Jackass.

So I got to the bar just on time. He was about 10 minutes late. He was medium height, very dark, with a smashed in kind of face and a big nose. Sort of hairy. Not my type. I considered the idea of sleeping with him and was repulsed, but figured that by the end of the evening I might find him attractive. That’s the point of cocktails, after all. After about a minute of talking he excused himself to make a call. Then he returned, and we had not yet ordered drinks when his cell phone rang.

“Hello? You what? …. Well, I can be there in about an hour… Right now? Are you sure? … Well, all right. I’ll be right there.”

He hung up and looked at me. “I’m sorry, I have to go. I’ve been waiting for him to call me all day. He’s at the studio…”

He saw my face. “Don’t be mad,” he said. “Well, at least we got to meet," he said, feigning regret and shaking my hand. "Bye!” he called, and raced out. I sat there for a minute, staring at the screen above the bar, then I ordered a mojito.

I wasn’t mad, I was insulted. Did he think I was an idiot?! He goes to make a call, and then a minute later receives a call telling him he has to go! He clearly got a good look at me, then called a friend asking him to ring so he could get out of the date. The clincher was that he didn’t even say “We’ll reschedule,” – he was totally transparent! And I didn’t even get a chance to reject him first! I was really offended. Just how dumb did he think I was to fall for that studio mishap crap? Very, apparently.

I sipped my mojito gloomily, but then got to talking with the woman on the next barstool. She told me that she always pays for drinks because, as she says, “Nothing is free.” Also, she likes the way it flusters men when she buys them a drink. She said it gives her the upper hand.

I nodded, but I don’t agree. I let guys buy me drinks if we’re on a date. I’m really poor. Anyway, I think it’s part of the process. I mean, if a stranger I didn’t find attractive offered me a drink at a bar, I’d probably say no, but if I’m on a date, sure. I saw this long discussion about this online not too long ago, with people arguing that buying a girl (or a guy, though that never came up) a drink creates expectations and then you owe him, or he thinks you owe him. The other side argued that there’s no contract implied, you’re taking your chances. I buy the second theory. Surely a guy can’t think that cause he buys me dinner I’m obliged to sleep with him as a quid pro quo? That puts a fairly low value on my charms, frankly. It’s a date, a gamble on both of our parts to see if we’re compatible. Of course, he bears most of the financial risk since he’s paying, but then he doesn’t have to deal with other risks, like unwanted pregnancies and date rape. (Not that I think date rape is a common occurrence … oh, nevermind) Anyway, paying for the date is the prerogative of centuries of male domination, OK? Suck it up.

Anyway, I didn’t approve of her attitude. It’s a date, not Cold War diplomacy or one- upmanship. Surely the point of a date shouldn’t be to wrong foot the other person, but rather to have a nice time and get boozed up enough to relax one’s inhibitions and perhaps make out in a booth?

Anyway, an instructive though infuriating evening on many counts. I headed to Marc’s for the first installment of Smiley’s People, feeling damned sorry for myself and wondering if it was my nose that had caused Laurent to run screaming from my presence. I'm ugly, I thought, really getting myself into a state. Standing outside Marc’s apartment (“Hey,” he said when he turned up at around 8:00. He pointed to the sign pasted onto his front door: “It says no soliciting!” “Ha!” I grunted.) I tried not to cry (I’m definitely pre-menstral). Then Just My Type walked past me, hand in hand with a small, rather plain brunette (yes, I see the similarities). He was tall, skinny, dark haired and rather shaggy looking, with those black framed specs that never fail to make me look twice at a man. I want him! I thought. Why can’t someone like that fall for me? My brain was on Auto-whinge. This is a bad habit. I want to break it. Preferably by having Just My Type surprise me, and fall for me.