Guest Column: Dating Online Series. Poly, Race & Other Variables

by Ms. Jennifer

I’m still semi-obsessed with Gregg, but he literally disappeared.  I’m going to a wedding in October in New York and I would have looked him up.  I told myself if I had sex I would become attached, but maybe it’s not ONLY sex that does that.  

But don’t worry, I’ve been busy.  In honor of Black History month I ended up (coincidentally) going out with three different “brothers” with one in the pipeline and one very dark-skinned Indian man who could pass for black. It wasn’t that I was TRYING to do this, but it happened.  Unlike the one black guy I met months ago who ONLY dated Caucasian woman, I don’t ONLY dating ANYONE  except the dudes who say the ONLY date “within their race.”  Seriously?  Why would you eliminate someone entirely based on their skin color?    

In between all this I’ve been stood up once and ghosted by an electrician. What a total waste of time. Please explain to me the thrill of making a date and then not showing up and then when I ask “what happened” instantly removing your profile?  Is this REALLY the ONLY way you can feel powerful and in control?  If that’s the case that is so profoundly messed up. Or to go back and forth and talk on the phone with Mr. Electrician and then he just disappears without a word?  I mean seriously how hard is it to say, “I met someone” or “you scare me” or “I’m only looking for sex” or “I’m already in a relationship, and so forth.”   .

There is a new level of rudeness that still surprises me.  Still I told Mr. Electrician that I was bummed that he ghosted me, but I “wished him well.”  What’s the point of saying “what the fuck is wrong with you?”  You aren’t getting a real answer anyway.  Move on quick… and part of the reason why everyone online has ADD… otherwise how can you stand the constant feeling of being out of control and feeling rejected?  It’s teaching me more how to stay in the moment and not lock down on anything (like my nail biting this little problem has persisted). Even when the connection is there it often means nothing. I just had a great meet and great that I thought went well, but since then: silence

But back to my new crop!  First there’s “Daksh.”  He’s has his MBA and was working on a college campus, but gave up his professional life to go on the road to play guitar and sing.  He’s 48, but looks 35.  He’s androgynous looking blending his masculine and feminine energies in a sexy twist. He left CA and started living out of his van. He’s proud to report he still managed to keep in his van, along with the rest of his worldly possessions, ten pairs of shoes in a neat and tidy OCD kind of way.  He mentioned a small storage facility to keep the rest of the belongings, but if memory serves he got rid of that $150.00 expense.  He’s graduated to renting a room in east New Orleans and I went to visit him in a bit of a dicey area.  I didn’t run into the owner or the other people living there, but it certainly wasn’t a turn on.  His exciting and bohemian lifestyle suddenly took a sharp turn.  

The other issue is the guy moves fast.  He was ready for sex on our second date. Men wanting sex seems to transcend ALL cultures and social economics   I mean we were in his bedroom laying on his small bed, what should I expect?  But it felt more intimate singing with him than the physical contact or maybe it was I just wasn’t ready.  For me it was too soon, but Daksh talks and moves fast and it puts me in the space of having to slow him down. There is some nervousness about it, like he better hurry up before one of us changes our mind.  But it also pushes me into reacting (and pushing back) rather than feeling more organic and open.  Not too concerned… we are open enough that I can discuss this with him. 

Which leads me to my third date with Reginald.  For as fast as Daksh is, Reginald is very slow which makes me wonder.  On our second date we slept together, but I mean SLEPT together.  He’s got epilepsy so he can’t drive and it ended up a late night (I made him shitty tacos although I suppose it’s hard to mess up tacos?) and my dad refused to get out of bed for an “outing”… so we decided I would drive him home the next morning.  Ironically, I found it hard to sleep with a man in my bed, while Reginald softly snored.  He uses “white noise” to fall asleep (on his phone), but I found the sound particularly annoying kind of like having TV on in the background and would have preferred some lovely meditation music, but we didn’t get that far in negotiating our bedtime routine.   He slept like a baby, while I was like a sleep deprived mother who eventually fell into a restless sleep.  I do recall him slipping his hands between my thighs and maybe that was part of my problem, because that little action made it hard for my body to nod off.  

The next morning we talked some more, but my dad still refused to get out of bed so I could drive him home. He needed $6.00 for bus/ferry fare which left me wondering how much it mattered if the men I dated were all just getting by.  My ex was rich (but this fact had nothing to do with his efforts) and not that he was in any way extravagant (he was a “cheap bastard”) although right before I was dumped, he did a 300K renovation of his “cottage” (an eight-bedroom duplex shared with his even richer brother).  I am not one to be motivated by money, power or prestige, but I could see the intoxicating allure of all three.  A singer/ song writer or an adjunct professor who teaches ESL was way more my style, but I was also seeing the draw backs.  I hadn’t been inside Reginald’s apartment, but Daksh’s room was enough to make me think twice.  My ex and I had gone couch shopping during my last trip (before the guillotine) along with his designer. She held his hand (at the cost I believe of $120.00 per hour) as we went from store to store. We actually looked at a couch that cost $15,000, but he ended up choosing one that was only $10,000’s!  I had never been to a store before that handed you a water bottle.  I never did get to see the finished project, but I know when you are spending that kind of money you never deal with any of the bullshit on a construction site. You just show up every few months and MAGIC has happened!

But I’ve digressed and perhaps I’m sounding bitter?  Is it bitter or more reminiscing the way it used to be and wondering what it would have been like to sit on that $10,000 couch? Instead I am dating a minimum wage dude and a guy who canceled our second date because his “student loan auto payment” hit and he was “tapped out until next week.”   But the bigger issue with Reginald is he’s grieving his last relationship.  And I realized after our third date (we went to museum downtown NOLA) that you can be betrayed in a poly relationship. 

I sent him a text: “It occurred to me this morning that your ex betrayed you, but how is that possible in an open, polygamous relationship?  … so the illusion that being poly will protect you/me has been broken. So what to do? Protect our hearts so we aren’t betrayed again? …you have a big heart and not sure how to open it wide to love and protect it as the same time, but I hope you will keep sharing it with me.”  And the thing about moving slowly is I realized it allowed ME to feel into what I wanted.  When a man dominates a woman can feel pushed into something without really having the head space to sort out what she really wants.  With Reginald moving so slowly (we haven’t even made out) it allowed me to realize what I do want.  I’m not ready to make love with him (yet), but I do want to experience his kiss and touch.  I sent Reginald a text message about getting together this weekend… it seem it’s typically me doing the reaching out only to learn he has a friend visiting from out of town and he’s going to be “tied down with her.”  I didn’t like my initial reaction to that info. 

Meanwhile,  I’m enjoying Daksh (if he can slow down)…

And, here’s the ironic thing, I went on a first date with Jimmy.  

After a number of two-hour conversations I was working to prevent myself from getting too excited, based on past experience, but when we met I DID feel the connection/chemistry.  Suddenly I have three different men who are turning me on and wham I’m faced with the question (not theoretically) but in reality, whether or not I’m poly or monogamous and who, if anyone, I want to fuck.  

It’s ironic as hell that I’m finding myself here. God must be a trickster.  I was so certain about my future with my ex who dumped me because he was “non-monogamous, but not polygamous” which is a polite way of saying I’m short, bald and rich and fucking around.  I mean who wouldn’t want that lifestyle of getting what you want, but not having to work for any of it?   

I have only been out with Jimmy once, but after our meeting he let me know he’s got to concentrate of his new career.  He was telling me his time was limited, but at the same time, he wants to fuck.  It’s easy to find a guy who wants sex.  And, maybe, since this ever-elusive long-term relationship hasn’t happened could it be time for me to  simply have multiple part-time FWB, rather than one full time boyfriend?  I mean last night I was at a party with Daksh and getting texts from Jimmy and after Jimmy (who wanted naked photos) fell asleep, I heard from the guy I met a few weeks ago from Arizona.  I had to laugh.   

The key, however, is to NEVER lose myself.   Boys come and go, but I must never lose myself again in anyone of them.  I still have the fantasy of one amazing love, and maybe it’s still out there, but having a small harem means I never get too focused on anyone… that way if they leave I will be better protected.  Well, this is what I thought until I heard from Reginald.  Although he realized that despite all the poly talk, his ex and him were ALWAYS together so there was no room for any other women.  Like my ex it’s “seduce and then reject” she was all over him until one day she told him over the phone she was done.  They need a new score, but what about the person they are leaving behind?   How can they be so careless?   Is their need for their drug so extreme that just like the addict who breaks into their grandparents home and steal everything they will mow down anyone who gets in their way?  There seems to be NO rules on how to dump someone and betrayal is possible even in an “open relationship.”  I don’t want to sound cynical or make the reason to date (or have sex) with multiple men due to fear.  I want to do it, because I want pleasure/intimacy and beside my pussy needs a little exercise and attention.  

But I have a lot of anxiety around sex and how will having sex with one or more  partner(s) help with that?   It would seem the more people would only increase my anxiety, but the idea that I was protect in a “committed, monogamous relationship” went to shit.  On the contrary, my ex had sex with someone else and put me at greater emotional and physical risk than any of these men will ever do since we all know what’s going on.   The betrayal is what has been so hard to let go of how he could be so careless with my body and soul so I understand what Reginald is going through.   

Jimmy has been contacting me regularly, but he wants to be sure I understand  he can’t be my boyfriend.  He just wants a hot and heavy sexual relationship. He’s said I want to feel “passionate, sensual, beautiful and connected” and he would be perfectly correct. The question is can he and I just fuck and I keep my head on straight?  The fact that I am dating others makes me think this is possible.  He’s actually being more careful with my heart then my ex was.  He’s been honest and not “leading me on.”  We’ve been discussing this idea via text, but I told him this morning that my brain needed to adjust to this FWB idea and my body needs to be with his body. I guess it’s a good thing, but I’m getting better at moving on more quickly.  Most of the time (like I met a guy off Tinder from Denmark last night and ironically he wanted to talk, but I wanted to listen to music/dance.  I didn’t see much point in getting to know him).  So maybe I’m starting to “wear life like a loose garment” (my mother’s favorite expression).   

Anyway, if Jimmy and I start fucking it may be awhile before you hear from me again.  lol   Of course, I told him I would continue dating so, honestly, I won’t be gone too long even if he starts fucking my brains off.  Finally, God is either a joker or nuts, because I just met the “perfect” guy who actually appears to be looking for a relationship.  I’m keeping my panties on, because we haven’t met yet, but, he seems like the real deal with all the ingredients I need!  Stay tuned!