Guest Column: Dating Online Series. Men & the Moments? Part II

by Ms. Jennifer

Well, I finally won the jackpot this week, but you’ve heard lottery winners often end up wishing they hadn’t won? Suddenly you don’t know who your real friends are.  But seriously I mean it’s about time, right? My ex met his new girlfriend while I was still in the picture so why was this taking soooo long for me? It couldn’t be about Karma, because if it was my ex’s dick should have fallen off by now.

So after the holiday lull (and madness) and a manic dating week playing catch up, I met Gregg.If you read my last story we had a great first date.  It’s been a long time since I felt this excited/nervous about a second date.  He had told me this crazy story about a date he went on and the woman confided in him at the end of the evening (drum roll) that she wasn’t a man or married, but had multiple personality disorder.  Playing off this I was allowed to express all the different parts of myself (except I knew I was doing this) “Rainbow is obsessed with you, Gail wants to have your baby, Harper is crying because she knows you’re leaving, Dawn just slapped her in the face, Isabella wants to make love to you, Riley wants to get drunk with you, Isla wants to know everything about you, Dailia wants in your pants, Lisa wants to know if you’re going to stay in touch after you leave, Gina wants your phone number, Berta is saying, “run,” and Dawn has a headache”….

This will become relevant shortly. Gregg’s profile was clear he loved his job and travel extensively and wasn’t available for an long-term relationship (LTR). On top of that he lived in New York. I’d been in this question about my ability (or inability) to have a fling and Gregg walks in my world. It’s not that I wanted to guinea pig Gregg, but the truth was I didn’t know. Besides, I also really liked the guy and felt we could have potentially had a relationship if he was local and at least available part-time, but he was neither. At least if I had a fling here there if I had a fling here, there was a chance that it could continue in some form and there was no false promises of staying in touch. 

Not surprisingly, Gregg responded to my text saying he wanted Dalia to come over.  What surprised me is he also wanted Rainbow and Riley to show up.   But how can I get obsessed with someone who is already to leave and more importantly can I make love with him?  It’s like I can’t stay in the moment, because I’m already anticipating the ending. I can’t just seem to hang in the here and now. Sigh.

When I arrived at his hotel his co-worker came out to greet us. Apparently he was the one who suggested Gregg get on Tinder. I guess he wanted to check out the results of his efforts which presumably was inspired out his concern for Gregg’s lack of social life or more specifically his sex life (since his work provided a social life). Had it been that long?

We walked around looking for somewhere to have dinner, because the place I suggested was closed. When we sat down the first few minutes felt a little like I was interviewing him, but then it started to flow. The meal was delicious and our conversation was both comfortable and stimulating. The more we talk the more I opened and felt alive and sexy. I don’t know if I don’t allow myself typically to go there or I typically don’t have the right muse, but everything fell into place and then arm in arm we back to his hotel. I brought some massage oil, lube and a condom.  I wanted to be ready just in case. 

As we were approaching the hotel, Gregg mentioned there might be some work people in the lobby when we went into the hotel (had they made a bet?) there were three men sitting right by the front door and another male employee watching me leave a couple hours later. Let me just say the double standard is alive and well. Still, I made eye contact with the guy on my walk of shame out the door. Everybody is wink, wink, like they know what happened, but they would be wrong.

Here’s where it gets complicated. There is no doubt I presented myself as a sexually free woman, and in a sane way I want to be her, but I’m afraid.   I do not exactly know how to get over my fear.  In fact, my plan, which was to be in a monogamous, committed and safe relationship blew up. The future that I had held onto too tightly went up in smoke.  Suddenly I found myself in a new alien world of online dating where nothing made sense. There is a causal rudeness that I doubt people would do face to face.  And my desperate need to trust was constantly being tested with no shows, and no replies after photos, or no calls after a first date, etc.  One guy I was texting kept demanding more photos and for me to cancel my weekly dance class for a date and then when I refused confronted me that I wasn’t serious.  When I told him about my hesitancy he said, “he’s not like other guys” and he tells me “you’re not going beat me up for the sins of others. I’m way above average. You should be as well if you wish to hold my attention.”  Still, you keep going because eventually you will meet someone like Gregg.

Like his soft kisses, our connection was tender and vulnerable and I was all in, but the more naked we got the more anxious I began to feel (but not until after he’d woken up my body!).  After months of procrastinating, I finally got myself tested for STD’s (my ex had unprotected sex with his girlfriend and also picked up a new fuck buddy unbeknownst to me), but why should Gregg pay for the sins of my ex’s? It’s not that I want past shit to keep punching me in the face. I’d just gotten word that I was totally fine, but somehow when Gregg was ready to penetrate me I stalled by saying I had a condom and lube, but the truth is I felt too vulnerable  (I had HVP early on in my relationship with my ex and had a medical procedure to remove the pre-cancerous abnormal cells from the same surgeon who treated my friend for cervical cancer only she died).   How do I forget this stuff? How do I stop responding to some old internal drama?

My brother’s death from AIDS, my unwanted pregnancy when I was a college student with my 40 year old faculty advisor, my work with a “tantric healer” to address the trauma, but ended up feeling betrayed by him all this left me haunted and, at the same time, desperate to connect with another tender heart.  How had pleasure gotten so fucked up?  What do other people do with their past heartache/trauma?  I’m not the only one with ghosts, but I end up giving mixed signals.  One minute I’m open and sexy and then next I’m withdrawing. Looking back if I was really going to stay present then I needed more time otherwise I would have spread my legs as a favor. But Gregg didn’t want that. But he also understandably didn’t like that I stopped things and suddenly everything went cold.

Of course, new people shouldn’t pay for the sins from the past. But as we know history matters. I want to heal myself only I’m not sure how.  I thought if we didn’t make love I could protect myself, but that’s not what happened.  Was I turning something beautiful (and maybe a little naive) into a battle zone?  We don’t owe anyone our body, but how often have women been “nice” and done it because they got the guy hard? Gregg didn’t want a gratuity fuck, and Dalia and I both wanted in his pants, but I also wanted to protect myself, but how to do both?

As I was leaving, Gregg said he felt worse and would be getting off Tinder.   Suddenly he looked so tired.   He had set up the honest parameters and I had agreed, but then backed out at the last minute.  I later learned it wasn’t just about getting his hopes up about having intercourse, but he realized his strategy  may be more difficult that he imagined… not just about finding the right woman, but believing he can leave his current life totally intact and have intimacy without really making room for it.   

  Walking back through that hotel room and to my car wasn’t hot.   The next morning I sent Gregg a message off Tinder (he never did give me his phone number) I apologized for my about face, but he didn’t shame me as a “cock tease,” he actually went deeper and realized “when I get the connection it’s probably me that wants more and am mad at myself for not being capable to provide myself stability.  At the end of the day I’m disappointed in myself for not having the balance.”

Can you see why I could fall in love with this guy? So making love wouldn’t have fixed the problem, and he took the “guilt” off me for not having my shit together… well, almost he did want to know why I would consider fucking someone polygamous and not him.  But he misunderstood, because I haven’t done that, it’s all theoretical. My texting some guy and getting naked with him is not close to the same thing. I have something to work out and what Gregg couldn’t offer had nothing to do with being polygamous or not… it was someone who would be around while that was happening. 

True to his word, the next day he disappeared.  I don’t know if he simply “unmatched us” or removed his profile, but just like that he was gone.  There was no way to ever talk to him again.  I thought if we hadn’t made love it wouldn’t matter, but that wasn’t actually true.  I’m  beginning  to wonder if one advantage about being  polygamous is if you have  multiple  lovers when one leaves it won’t hurt as much?

Now for the next installment.   Next time I will tell you about Reginald.