Friday, January 28, 2011

Instant Intimacy: Recipe for Disaster

I'm supposed to be reading Ted Kennedy's memoirs. It's about as appealing as watching paint dry. At least if I were staring blankly at a freshly painted wall, there's a chance I could induce a trance or get high on residual fumes. The book is horrifically boring because his speech writer must have edited out all the good bits that might intrigue a human being.

So, what compels us to read? I don't care right now because I have the urge to purge all my mixed up melodrama. If that's one of the reasons you read, to immerse yourself in someone else's convoluted headspace, be my guest. Now then, onto the topic at hand which is my version of an update on the process of getting to know a few eligible bachelors.

I could describe my impressions, concerns, and responses to these men and in fact, have done that very thing in emails to my friends, but what I can't say is how they make me feel. I can describe them analytically, but not emotionally. Through some freakish twist, men are getting to know the part of me that isn't available because I'm afraid to let them get to know the part of me that is available.

In giving myself permission to do what I want, what I want has gotten confused. I was going for casual sex which I blended into a short-term dating option as I've never done the whole love 'em and leave 'em thing before. I reasoned it was a way of getting sex without guilt since some tenuous emotional connection would be there as part of an affair. My form of compromise with myself seems to be turning into something half-assed, indeed.

There's an air of permissiveness about me. I'm going with the flow by not attending to feelings of discomfort. Both of the guys (bachelor number three dropped off the face of the earth, which is fine by me as he is regularly substituted by other guys who contact me on a seemingly neverending rotational basis of 'new person checking me out' and staying within my peripheral vision) are ramping up the intimacy, possibly higher than I can handle.

One of them likes to call me on a nightly basis, except when I'm busy or working. Daily communication seems to be his goal. At first, the attention was flattering. More recently, it's starting to tip the scales into discomforting. Even though he knows I'm getting to know other people (or possibly because he knows I'm getting to know other people) he seems to want to insert himself into my routine. It was nice to feel needed but he likes me more than I like him (Can you say, highschool revisited?) and it's wearing thin.

I'm being honest with this man about my mediocre feelings but something isn't getting through. I soften things a bit, in good intention as not to hurt him unduly, but I'm starting to feel like niceness is weakness because being 'nice' is not getting the point across. He does make verbal retreats when I castigate him for going over the line in his effusive nonsense (no, not the same as castrate...want that part to be in working order, tyvm). All the same, I'm continually resetting the balance because he keeps tipping over the scales in favour of wanting a relationship (which he doesn't outright request but makes comments about a future together which I'd initially dismissed as white noise but is now a droning buzz that overwhelms the senses).

I have an open nature but some part of me is screaming to shut the door. Wham, bam, thank you man! Of course, since he's ingratiated himself into my life, I feel an obligation to 'explain' why I'm backing away (slowly, keep head down, make soothing noises, don't agitate the horny animal) all the while hoping I don't have to. Some lunatic fringe inside me keeps thinking he might spontaneously 'get it' and see I'm giving off signals like no tomorrow to slow down the emotional congress. Man, I hate this shit. This awkward awareness is what tempts you to not answer the phone when you see his name, to log off when he visits your profile, and to generally avoid the unpleasant reaction you get when you draw a line in the sand.

The other guy isn't a whole lot different, but seems to read me a little better. He's got an edge over his linguistically challenged counterpart, The Endearing Immigrant. In other words, he knows full well he's testing the limits of our interaction. We've had a couple of friendly disagreements. It's obvious he's experienced this push-pull before. Not that he seems to give much of a crap about my vacillation as he's got his own agenda, but we know we're at odds and talk about it.

In terms of his advances in the emotional arena, he calls it 'flirting' or 'caring' depending on his mood, and I stick it to him no matter what he calls it. He respects that our lives are separate entities and asks ahead as to when is a good time to call and doesn't contact me in the interim, except that one time and he got blasted for it so that sorted it out. In all fairness, the other guy does this too, but I didn't take him to task when he called me 'just because'. In some screwed up way, liking him more is translating to treating him worse since he's not getting the critical feedback to make course corrections. Has my moral core been overtaken by lust?

The second bachelor brought to my attention in our discussion of what-the-fuck-is-going-on that I have to be clear about what I want in short-term dating. So I put it back to him, "Am I being clear about what I want?" to which he replied "Yes, but." Oh that's just fucking great. I'm clear but something remains ambiguous. I'm an excellent communicator, what the hell is going on?! Is he an alien who can read through my tinfoil hat or what?

I pressed on because I wanted to deal with whatever emotional obstruction was getting in the way of making my motives transparent. So I asked him, "What the hell are you talking about?" He said the BUT was I'm undecided regarding potential for long-term relationship. He's right. As I said to him, IF there were *something special* THEN I'd be amenable to the extended version or relationship. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Nod your head, but of course!

Unfortunately, my vague hypothesis led me to pursue questionable logic. The combination of The Hippie in me who makes concessions to protect my partner's feelings and The Narcissist who takes what it can get in lieu of unresolved tension are bad elements in a chemistry experiment waiting to blow up in my face. Wait a sec, this feels awfully familiar...LOL. It seems that even as I avoid a LTR, the issues that plagued me then, plague me still. Falsifiable conclusion: deliver me a boy toy without complication!!

So, where does that leave me? Am I supposed to adopt a nihilistic attitude to reign in people's feelings and keep mine in check? Nah. I just need to put it all on the table. If I give guys the benefit of the doubt then it's time to take off the velvet gloves. Let's see if they can handle the truth or if they freak out like Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men". My misled attempts to cushion the blow makes my fuckedupness the culprit in not clearly demarcating emotional boundaries. The mad scientist needs to go back to the lab.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Owner's Manual

I jokingly refer to my journal section on the dating site as a 'user guide.' The more I think about it though, the more I like the idea of providing a quasi-technical reference about what makes me tick. If I could clearly communicate who I am and what I want, it would help people to understand where I'm coming from and whether or not we'd be compatible for coupledom.

According to Wikipedia, the All-Source, the standard format for a written guide of modus operandi includes:
  • A cover page
  • A title page and copyright page
  • A preface, containing details of related documents and information on how to navigate the user guide
  • A contents page
  • A guide on how to use at least the main functions of the system
  • A troubleshooting section detailing possible errors or problems that may occur, along with how to fix them
  • A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Where to find further help, and contact details
  • A glossary and, for larger documents, an index
I'm going to consider the 'About Me' section of my online profile as the cover, title, and copyright page rolled into one. If someone reaches the end of the profile, they've got a sense of how I present myself in the here and now. As for a preface, this very blog you are reading serves as a testing ground in creating an accurate synopsis of myself. It's my first attempt to describe my complex motivations in a way that gives me room to recoil in horror and then get used to an idea or to reject it as not the right fit.

A Table of Contents would be divided it into heart, brain, and vagina with subsections for each chapter. Of course, they can't be so easily separated but being all the nerd I can be, it'd be interesting to do just that. Those words also need revision as chapter titles since vagina is way too clinical. I'd  include diagrams culled from the Internet to illustrate ideas in each section. Oh boy! Sharing is fun!

The basics of "Getting Started" or 'quickie' as it might be described in terms of the vagina (sexual aspect) would be tons of fun to write. Food for thought, indeed. Troubleshooting could be an interesting revelation on my communication style...or lack thereof. The word 'interesting' has long been my preferred way of saying I don't want to say what I really think. Tact takes time and I'm running out of it cos I have stuff to do.

I've been itching to do an FAQ for eons because of the crazy questions I get and my alternately bemused and befuddled reaction to various kinds of attention. Further help and contact details are embedded in the "Message Me If" section of the profile which is inane in its conception but that's a subject for another blog. 

The Glossary will be lavished with attention since I love wordplay. Christ Almighty, an index? Oh, forget about it, that would take foreverrrrr! Now that I've got the barebones established, I'll set about working on each chapter. I got my blog on!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sexual Stats: Who Wins the MVP Award?

Status: Actively Dating
Sanity: Waxing and Waning

Would dating be easier if there were sexual stats trading cards? Is there a way to objectively evaluate someone's sexual experience? Let's say for the sake of silliness that sexual know-how could be quantified. Each player's achievements would be summarized in a handy wallet-size format along with a Pythagorean expectation or estimate of expected winning percentage.This is written tongue-in-cheek so try to enjoy it in that spirit, sports fans! 

The first design problem is establishing general categories of what's valued in sexual interaction. As a straight single woman on a dating site, I've been approached by guys who want to send me pics of their dicks. If these men had their way, one side of the sex stats trading card would be devoted to their penis, including a glossy photo, dimensions, how many wet towels it holds and other trivia which might fascinate those blokes who check out each other's genitals while standing side-by-side at urinals, but bat size isn't everything!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the baseball metaphor for physical intimacy which is fundamentally flawed in that it dictates a universal progression of activity.
  1. First base is commonly understood to be any form of mouth to mouth kissing, especially open lip (“French”) kissing.
  2. Second base refers to tactile stimulation of the genitals over clothes, or of the female breasts.
  3. Third base refers to groping naked genitals (handjob or fingering), or oral sex.
  4. Home run (or rounding the bases, scoring a run, hitting a home run, scoring, going all the way, coming home, etc.) is the act of penetrative intercourse.
Using this ridiculous hierarchical reference, each card would report numbers for the amount of times a player had engaged in each interaction - French, feel, finger, fuck, respectively. Who keeps track? As if! At best, a person could identify preferences. True afficienados of particular activities could endorse personal techniques. Perhaps a 'premium' edition card would include an endearing story such as "The First Girl I Fingered." These biographical elements would be better received than a gold-foil condom insert boasting inflated batting averages, trust me.

So, what information would be featured in forecasting a player's ability to hit one out of the park? If we take this absurd metaphor to its ungainly conclusion, the 'numbers' equate to a sexual yardstick for measuring a person's carnal talents. This kind of sexual calculus is totally bogus. The characteristics that make a sexual experience pleasurable aren't the kind that can be described in a competitive format. The MVP goes to someone who is self-aware, communicative, and able to enjoy sensuality in all its forms.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

STD Run Rampant: Short Term Dating is Viral Delusion

I wrote an insanely sane post about this topic but didn't save it when I signed out last time. This hybrid post is the short-short version of the glorious and forever lost original.It's fitting since short-term dating is also my attempt to merge an abbreviated version of the emotional intimacy of a relationship and the physical aspect of casual sex. Don't bother me with moral relativism, I'm retyping.

The site offers several choices in how you advertise your interest. Most of the past year I've been window shopping so I put out (or rather, didn't...) 'friends' and 'long-distance' penpals. I didn't even bother with 'activity partners' since I figured friends would fall under that category if platonic relations was their true interest. Okay, enough background info. I didn't bother with it in the lovely lost post so why I felt compelled to include it now is beyond me. I'm too lazy to backspace, fuck it, it stays.

I duly considered casual sex, short-term dating, and long-term dating. Who's the lucky winner? Well, although I'd like to get lucky, I didn't indicate I was looking for casual sex. Inviting casual sex into my life would be like sending out an anonymous Dear John letter. Getting back into the dating world is like trying to find my way around without a map. I've never visited the particular territory of sex with no strings attached cos my moral compass was habitually set in the direction of 'forever after'. Stumbling into the undiscovered realm of strictly sex would mean I'd get lost for sure. A series of casualties would be the result and I'll be damned if I'll apologize for incidental damages like accidental neediness.

I'm not ready for an LTR (Long Term Relationship) and I'm not willing to lead somone on to believe otherwise. I've got the right qualities for it but my inner landscape is inhospitable to the idea of 'giving  myself away' to someone again. I'm almost concerned I'm turning into one of those cynical bastards I love to hate, but any of the guys I get to know invariably describe me as sweet, caring, and other effusive nonsense so although I thought my heart might finally have shrunk from 3 sizes too big to a black, withered thing like some stone cold asshole might have in his chest, apparently my ticker is still working overtime.

I need to avoid the pitfall of sticking around because the other person likes me a lot. I've pulled that dumbass maneouvre more than I care to admit. If you don't know what I'm talking about, congratulations you're a mature human being who can clearly communicate uncomfortable feelings. I default to an LTR when my feelings are lukewarm at best and my compassion is at its worst. It's not fair to anyone because that guy becomes the second chance dance partner which is a horrific discovery for someone to make. Hence the need for an expiration date.

To me, short term dating is smack dab in the middle of the spectrum of physical and emotional interest. It's a way of saying 'I might fuck you if I like you'. This way, if someone is more interested in sex, they can be let go in the same way they were let in. Easy comes, easy goes, as it were. There's nothing wrong with someone being mostly interested in sex for sex's sake, but I'd get bored if it was primarily a poke-a-hole thing. Alternatively, if someone wants more commitment, I could politely excuse myself from further entanglement. Again, I've got no problem if someone is looking for a life partner, but I'm not in a good place for it right now. The trick is to be able to stick to this blueprint IRL. I had a clever reflection about the futility of having a plan when the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry which seems timely enough considering the fate of the former post.

How can you predict the unpredictable? Whenever two human beings interact there are bound to be unexpected discoveries. Check in again to see how this strategy translates IRL as I get to know the three bachelors mentioned in another post. The road to hell is paved with good intentions so I wonder how far I'll get down purgatory lane... .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goldicocks and The Three Boys

Originally, I was going to call this post "Ignorant Immigrant" in reference to the first candidate for my casual sex interest, but he's not a jerk; he just doesn't know how to use his words to turn me on. In a way though, his wrong words and cumbersome phrases are weaving a spell on me because for all his broken English, the man has a hot body and a good heart. The Endearing Immigrant, as he shall henceforth be described, deserves honorary mention as a current man project.

At this point, I'm not strictly window shopping on the dating site. I'm actively looking at men on a case-by-case basis and trying to find the best fit. It might be worthwhile to mention that EI says a woman he fucked (or made sex to LOL) in the past claimed he was 'too big'. So, it's quite possible this boy is 'too big' for me. I say that tongue-in-cheek - he's using terms of endearment like they're going out of style (which is somewhat European) but has recently stumbled upon recurrent themes like he thinks I'm 'sweet', and he wants 'a girl like me' to take care of him, blah blah blah. I'm trying to filter this out as typical white noise a man might make in his romancing the pants off a woman stage. If he keeps it up though, his words will trip him up. I don't want him to start making any plans around me.

I'm talking to another muscle-bound man who's a bit more fluent in Smurfspeak. This pilgrim seems honest and straightforward and makes no bones about his interest in my ass. Apparently, I have a nice ass although you can't see it in any of my pictures. The man's either delusional or has a vivid imagination. I agree with his assessment that my boobs are big, though, cos it's obvious in any picture. At any rate, for what it's worth, he's positive and amenable. He can reflect back to me he understands what I'm saying. Unfortunately, he might be 'too small' since he's 5'10. He's got 4 inches on me but it's not an instant attraction. We'll see if that spark is there if and when I meet him IRL.

The guy who might be 'just right' is, of course, a much more talkative chap and makes me laugh a lot. He's attractive to me in that he's more articulate in addition to being a good-looking guy. Naturally, he's got a virtual harem. He wanted me to text him and I declined so who knows if that's a deal-breaker for him. Apparently, texting is his means of communication with his pussy posse. My words, not his. So, given the fact that there are plenty of chicks interested in this dick (and his ability to 'understand' women), I'm not sure if I want him, anymore. On the one hand, he's unlikely to ask for any emotional investment so I'd have plenty of space. It would be a user-friendly interaction. On the other hand, I wouldn't be treated like a priority and that aggravates the shit out of me.

Looking at my current choices, which may be summarily rejected in the nicest way possible, it occurs to me I  need to achieve a balance where I like someone enough to want to have sex with them, but not too much to avoid emotional entrapment. It may seem like I'm going through a selfish phase, but I'm also looking out for the guy's interest. If it feels like he's going to fall overboard, while I'm tempted to shove him off and throw him a lifesaver, I'm more likely to talk him off the ledge and sit with him to comfort or explain things as best I can. The more I honestly express my interest in short-term connections, the less daunting it seems. I'll revist my definition of short-term dating in the next blog.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Manwhore vs Slutty Wannabe

I was going to move on to another topic cos I was already bored talking about the Manwhore - he's old news even though you haven't heard much about him. Serendipitously, a random hot guy on the dating site was chatting me up something fierce tonight. He was clearly working his way towards initiating cybersex so I asked him if he was a manwhore. He clarified that a manwhore is a guy who gets a lot of sex, not a guy who wants a lot of sex. I thought since he was hot he got lucky a lot but apparently not. Hey, that's almost a limerick!

The distinction between getting and wanting sex is not lost on me. I'd like to enjoy a lot of sex and God knows I get enough offers, but some insidious Victorian Era morality has dug its way into the fabric of my being. It gets in the way of me getting between the sheets. The expression I'm looking for here is: Pain In The Ass. Heh heh. This expression tickles my funny bone cos that's what the random hot guy wanted - anal sex. Seriously, what's the big fucking deal, guys? I think all those porno chicks got you thinking we're crazy about it when's not all that. *AHEM* ~Back to original topic~

I'm sorely tempted to get out there and get some hot sex but I'm worried I'll turn into The Cling Thing in the aftermath. Goddamn default programming. It's no longer kosher to blame my parents for raising me with so-called good values. At this stage of my life, it's up to me to separate the romantic narrative I attach to sex in order to enjoy a bit of meaningful distraction, but how?!? I want to convince myself that sex for the sake of physical pleasure is good enough. As I type this, I automatically edit my thoughts. I'm suddenly yearning for some kind of emotional connection as part and parcel of sex. Bah! My overactive conscience strikes again.

If guilt is the ego's way of tricking you into thinking you've made moral progress, then why can't I shed my illusions about the meaning sex has for me? I'm going to try another tack. The whole human being is involved in sex. The brain is in the head when the dick is in the vagina.The heart pumps the blood to the dick so at least figuratively a man's heart is working, too. Oh, this is such a weak anatomical premise for a convergence of physical and emotional spheres during sex. And why is it I assume that a man turns off his emotions during sex, anyway? Yet another illogical, not to mention blatantly sexist, assumption.

What I'm getting at beating around the bush this way (pun intended) is that my interest in The Manwhore was at least in part to find someone to help me con myself into going for sex. It's such a bullshit way to go about it. I need to own that I want sex and be like Nike, "Just do it!" Unfortunately, I harbour this irrational fear of turning into emotional jell-o, "Oh no, my needs are showing!" and the concomitant feeling of being dependent on someone else to reassure me of my choice. Talk about dumb and dumberer. First, I'd default to someone else's desires and then blame them for my insecurity. Smacks of cowardice.

There's no wiggle room here. I need to feel the fear and do it anyway. Isn't that what all the 'feel good' literature tells us? Ready...Set...No! Oh, for crying out loud what's the hold up? Where's the trust in myself, eh? Worse case scenario, the guy is a jerk. I can take care of my feelings, right? Right? This question is the one that bothers me most because I can't answer with certainty that I would still value myself.

It seems like I just got out of that spot not so long ago. I'm barely done picking up the pieces of my shattered self and putting them back together. A year seems like a long time but my emotional life operates in a different dimension - progress is not measured in hours or days but in revelations and themes. Complex issues require more effort and patience. My wounded spirit wants some goddamn peace and quiet to gel back together. I've recovered most of the shards of my identity and reassembled my self-image but it still feels fragile.

Nevertheless, my restless soul yearns for something physical. The lizard part of my brain agitates for getting under someone as a means of getting over the problem. This emotional turbulence seeks release to vent accumulated angst. Enter The Manwhore. Just what I needed...a fall guy for some no strings attached user-friendly sex. The fact that I consciously cast him in that role surely indicates premeditation to commit some crime against myself. Not to mention the not-so-innocent bystander. As The Manwhore got to know me, however, apparently he started to care about me and decided against casual sex. Fuck me. Or not.

So this is a lopsided lament about an unhappy coincidence where a sex object changed the game. But wait! You haven't heard the rest of the story! It was a perpetual tug-of-war. First, he wanted sex and I didn't. This was during the requisite 'courtship' period where I sought to ease my way through my guilt. I wasn't feeling completely restored to myself and was vacillating. I finally articulated that I wanted to have sex, but by then he'd changed his mind because he 'couldn't do that to me.' Ah Christ. The one-dimensional figure in my immorality play grew a conscience.

Coming soon to a blog near you...oh if only!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Manwhore

A few months after grieving the failure of my first virtual man project, I schlepped my way through yet another get-to-know-you process in making the acquaintance of The Manwhore. Now, although nobody felt the need to point out my reductionist male-bashing categories in previous posts, I think you should know that these terms were how the guys referred to themselves. It's not that unusual for someone to define themselves as as virgin if they haven't had sex but it was unexpected for someone who had a lot of past sexual experience to proclaim himself a manwhore. Truth is stranger than fiction.

You'd think I'd learn my lesson and recommit to non-dating, but the universe had plans for me. I'm  disciplined meaning that I can endure what I don't like but I'm also impatient in the sense that if I see something I want that isn't necessarily in my best interest, I have a hard time resisting it. The Pilot who charts my destiny must have picked up on this theme of moral decay and wanted to smack me awake. It was time for me to experience the consequence of such a shameless trajectory.

The pendulum swung the other direction. The Virgin was very structured, traditional, and relationship-oriented. The Manwhore, by contrast, wasn't any of those things. First off, as you'll recall, with the previous boy toy, I was the aggressor. The Manwhore, however, pursued me relentlessly. Secondly, while The Virgin provided a gentle, accepting atmosphere, The Manwhore pushed me beyond my comfort zone. Voila la difference between THAT guy who is relegated to friend territory and the OTHER guy who becomes a dark addiction.

There was nothing wrong with The Virgin. As a real person in the real world, he had lots of great qualities. In my post-mortem analysis of the relationship, I recognized that while he stated he didn't want to have sex before he got married because he didn't think there was much point to it, his limits were not rigid. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I pushed to see what I could get. No, it wasn't very nice but consistency is not a human trait. It wasn't long before he revealed he'd have sex if he was engaged. Then it morphed into if he was in a serious relationship. I felt I could probably work things so that sex was a real possibility in the not-too-distant future. I wasn't very impressed with myself for setting this agenda. But what I really didn't like was being the partner who brings up topics for discussion. I was given the burden of control. No thanks.

One of my friends asked me what the difference was between my feelings for the two guys. Every time I become interested in somebody new I describe my experience of falling in like or lust as if it were unique to that person. It can't be a singularity if it happens ad nauseum, now can it? I can't even remember what I said to her. In the final analysis, there was a sense of possible connection that seemed like I had at last stumbled upon The One because not only did he understand me inside out and upside down but I really, really liked him liked him. It was so very highschool. That lack of balance at the beginning of a relationship is 'the high' for love addicts. Brittney said it best, "Hit me baby, one more time!"

This budding romance had a similar onset of 'instant intimacy'. We chatted for hours at a time on a nearly daily basis. I'm not sure what the hell we talked about other than ourselves. It's that kind of coupledom that smacks of 'too intense to last'. It was a recipe for disaster. He was high octane just like me. He was funny just like me. And let's not forget, horny just like me.

Of course, I pulled out the usual torture methods of bright lights, prodding questions, and watertable. These are standard-issue interrogation techniques I deploy in some half-assed strategem to suss out a person's character. What I really need is truth serum, but failing that, hypervigilance is the next best thing. Right? Wrong. But that's another story for another time.

He liked my questions. He encouraged dialogue. The Manwhore shocked the shit out of me. He wasn't just some asshat, but knew a thing or two about a thing or two. Let me rephrase that, he knew his way around women. He knew that 'emotional safety' was of primary concern. So he set about inviting my questions and narrating his life experience. It was fascinating to me: a moth to the flame.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the codependent conundrum.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Memorial Service for The Virgin

I'm going to skip over most of the interactions I had with The Virgin to get to the nitty gritty. Where was I....Oh yea...We had these great messages going back and forth and then he started to push for more. More than chatting. More than friends. More. I put the brakes on as per the perfunctory rigamorole of the usual 'oh gee' hemming and hawing in full awarenss of not being ready but not being prudent enough to act any differently.

Then I caved. The Virgin, despite his lack of experience, seemed to be in tune with moi in emotional and intellectual spheres. The only one left to discover was what happens behind closed doors. With a Virgin. Shoulda thought that through a bit more. Everything But seemed like a good idea at the time. *Shakes head*

We started making times to see each other. We got together about a half dozen times IRL. I  noticed that the more real interaction we had, the less virtual messages I got. Strange, that. I also noticed that he was witholding emotionally by answering questions with questions and other clever tricks that don't go unnoticed. So I considered initiating those dreaded Talks about what was going on in his headspace. Then  I thought, screw it, silence works better. If you want to solve a problem, don't talk about it. No, I'm serious.

If the guy's got a volcano in his tummy, my advice is let him stew in his own juices. So, at that time, I happened to go away on a family trip (perhaps the universe was conspiring against us working out which is fine as I could add another loss to the jar of losses I keep by my bedside for late night existential angst). While I was gone, I didn't bother to contact him. If he couldn't spit it out, I wasn't going to do the work for him. Everyone resents it when their partner starts to offload their problems as if they were incapable of articulating their needs or carrying their emotional baggage. I'm no exception.

It turns out, being my own self-help assignment has the fringe benefit of projecting my problems onto other people. In the absence of communication, I realized he wasn't able to swim in the deep end of the pool. The Virgin was treading water. I figured he got a taste of some real feelings developing and pulled a bottling up routine. If he wanted to keep it to himself, he was welcome to it. I figured I was doing him a favour, "Be cruel to be kind."

Predictably, he noticed I wasn't around and started asking after me. I gave serious consideration to leading a conversation about emotional intimacy. Then realized what I'd known all along that I just didn't have it in me to give. Now was as good a time as any to pull the plug. How screwed up would that be? Me, the self-admitted emotionally unavailable partner taking the helm to discuss the other person's fears and boundaries and all that stuff. Not. Gonna. Happen. My exit strategy was a neat convergence of a hard truth and a soft lie, namely that I wasn't ready for what I wanted.

Let's all say 3 Hail Mary's. Let's mourn another soul lost among the Titanic burden of guilt I carry for guys who fell for me. The tempestous sea overwhelmed the self-assured ship of fools. On that note, "A ship in port is safe but that's not what it's built for." If you were hoping the next voyage aboard the Love Boat was smooth sailing, let's just say the next character I encountered was The Manwhore.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Too Tired to Think of Title But Clever Insertion of The Virgin is Needed (Wow That Sounds Wrong)

The Virgin who piqued my interest also possessed the second component of the Triumervate, or, three conditions necessary for intimacy as described in an earlier post, which was Intellectual Versatility. He was clever and indulged my love of wordplay. The fact that he had a brain and knew how to use it was greatly appreciated by yours truly.

I knew I liked him as I entered the second stage of infatuation. Oh wait, I guess I should describe the first stage. Right. Back up the train. For me, the delusional trajectory goes a little something like this: If I like a guy I project upon him all kinds of good qualities he doesn't necessarily posses as well as the ability to realize his highest potential, which again, he may not actually have. This rosy haze could be referred to as the 'too good to be true' phase.

From my friends' perspectives, when they hear me imbue the lucky chap with piles of superlatives it provokes either smiles and sympathetic cooing or eye rolls and stern lecturing. As for the guy, he initially rejoices in being made to feel like King Kong on cocaine saying things like, "No one ever noticed that before." My payoff is that I enjoy reciprocal flattery like how I'm so full of emotional wisdom. Oh, I'm full of *something* alright. At the time I say it, I actually believe it, but in retrospect, it's a telltale sign I've lost my mind to my libido.

The second stage of romantic fantasy is when I compare astrological signs like the Crazy Woman from Mars. Even though I'm fully aware of the principle that we can all see ourselves in generic descriptors, namely, the traditional charcteristics for each of the signs, some vague notion of cosmic truth resonates within me. My personality fits the usual Aries characterization. He was Gemini. If you do the 'math', it's a good match, overall. I won't bore you with the gory details, but then again, maybe I will. Nah.

Time's up. I extend a warm thank you to my non-existent audience for allowing me to purge ever more mental debris as I try to clean up my act. Blogging is like meditation.I visit the spin cycle of my monkey mind and throw it out to the universe to do with it what it will.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Opening Scene: The Ego, The Id, and The Virgin

The depictions that follow are not based on real people but if they resemble anybody you know, keep it to yourself. For those of you who just joined my Blog Humbug series, these posts narrate my experience of being on a dating site but not using it for dating.

I try to hold myself to this principle of window shopping, but once in a while somebody comes along who piques my interest. When that happens, I wrestle my conscience to the ground until it screams 'give' and then go about trying to get to know someone despite the fact that I'm not ready for sex or a relationship.

About 6 months in, I contacted someone who declared himself to be a wallflower. His profile wasn't that well-written but that's generally the hallmark of someone who is honest and hasn't learned how to sell themselves to their target audience, at least on this site. At first glance, his humility appealed to me.

At that particular moment in time, I was recovering from an interaction with an Alpha Male I had conversed with on the site. In retrospect, the sting of feeling pushed around had subconsciously declared that it was time for the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction. "Let's try Beta Boy," said the Ego to the Id.

In my last post, I described my conditions for intimacy. The Triumverate represent my attempt to stave off lacklustre sex and empty relationships. The Virgin, as he shall henceforth be referred to in the most non-deragatory way possible despite my flippancy, seemed to have the je ne sais quoi I wanted in terms of Emotional Safety. I figured he wasn't going to twist my rubber arm since he was such a quiet, unobtrusive, humble type. Uh-huh.

I contacted him first, violating "The Rules" (as set out by some chicks in some book my mom had given me ages ago) and we got along great. There was a series of rapid fire, very long, very meaningful, very empathetic, very everything messages that titillated me with the possibility of this being a guy who understands me. "Oooh ahhh, he gets me," said an excited little voice. (The Ego was doing the talking here.)

After about two weeks or so of the ever-deepening daily conversations of him playing the part of an armchair therapist who delved into my psyche and me playing the part of the pseudopatient who was impressed by his uncanny psychological acuity, he revealed that he was a virgin.

Apparently, this had put some women off in the past. Of course, since we were getting along so fabulously, I thought to myself, "Ah, but they don't know him the way I do." (Again, this romanticized characterization of myself has since been attributed to the Ego although it prefers to cloak itself in denial.) Uh-huh.

Around this time, the plastic bubble with a rosy-coloured sheen that surrounds me and invariably allows me to form my initial, positive misconceptions about men who interest me started to shimmer and waver in some consideration of, "Does that mean he won't have sex with me?"

The happy response was "Thank God I won't have to keep him at arm's length because I can't get hurt if all we're doing is everything but." Uh-huh.

The inner dialogue really started to take off from here. I was faced with conflicting desires. Did you know it's been said that writing is a socially accepted form of schizophrenia? Since I have not yet successfully reconciled all the disparate parts of myself and they appear to have splintered into emotional states each with their own prejudices toward the other despite being in such close proximity, I thought this blog could be like one of those reunion shows on daytime television.

Y'know, the reunion show where everyone shows up, eyes one another suspiciously and sort of gets along until the camera is turned off during the commercials. The scene reopens with absolute chaos onstage like that infamous Geraldo episode (Yes, I am dating myself by making such an old reference, but I'm dating myself anyway so I might as well have at 'er.) That's exactly the kind of melodramatic tone I'm going for here.

The host introduces the characters to the audience by saying something like, "It'd be nice if we could all just get along since we're stuck with one another for the rest of our lives, but there is a disconnect that prevents us from developing the right kind of lasting synergy. Let's explore that."

First to take the stage is The Ego. (Typical, eh?) The Ego was adamant that The Virgin was a really nice guy who had been misunderstood. I remembered back to the days when I wanted to remain pristine and virginal and how upsetting it had been when people had wanted to have sex with me as if it was some attack on my moral centre. I felt I could identify with The Virgin's plight. I was going to be the first person who wouldn't push him, who would allow him to come to a decision when he was ready....

Blah, blah, blah. Nice guy, pfft! I really need to sit this woman-child down and explain a few things to her! And here comes the Id. Like the Bride of Frankenstein, the Id is the unhappy result of an experiment gone really wrong and crashes onstage a bit clumsy and a lot obnoxious. The Id represents our baser impulses. I want sex and I want it now. Delayed gratification is not the Id's area of specialization. Who is this freak that doesn't want to have sex? Being able to hold an enlightened perspective is mission impossible.

The host interjects, "Let's not have a full-out brawl." Camera turns off.

As you, my imaginary audience can likely predict, although I wasn't  in agreement, I moved forward anyway. Typical lust maneouvre. I don't completely absolve The Virgin of responsibility for the non-sex, non-relationship, what-the-hell-do-we-call-it-besides-non-dating fiasco. By the way, his term for our interactions was 'getting to know someone'. Sure, I thought, that sounds like something and nothing at the same time. Works for me.

So, the Ego, the Id (and the other pscyhological part of this trio I can't remember the name for which is perfectly a propos considering we're not supposedly aware of its existence but it has some kind of omniscient perspective), embarked upon getting to know The Virgin IRL.

As riveting as this may be, my time is up and we have arrived at the end of this scene. The next chapter will write itself tomorrow. In the meantime, any real or imaginary offense you may have taken as a result of my offhand comments is totally of your own making so go do battle with your own demons and leave mine to kill each other off in peace. Remember: Just Say No!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blah blah blah sex

In my first post I said I'd transfer journal entries from the dating site (oh no wait a sec...the social network...there, it makes me sound less dysfunctional if I cast myself as a neutral version of an attention whore, no?) I'm currently using to provide fodder for your perusal. Then I realized I don't need to regurgitate the same old  stuff, I can share other reflections about the experience as a whole.

There is ample unresolved angst around the concept of intimacy in the labyrinthine maze of my mind and heart to provide plenty of reading material for some time to come. You see, I'd rather have a sexorcism where I get rid of *other* crap currently taking up space in my grey matter and pumping through my black veins than revisit the stuff I already know. Yes, I'm selfish. I'm a writer. Go figure.

You didn't think this literary relationship was all about you, did you? Oh come on now, get real. Seriously people, it takes me plus my imaginary audience to make this happen. I write to placate my inner demons and you read for whatever reasons you read. Why question it so long as it works? You like me. If you don't, go malign someone else for their moral depravity. Go on now, find yourself a better blog. Okay then, if you're still reading, buckle up baby cos it goes downhill from here.

Alrighty then, my point, and I do have one, is that I'm not dating yet using a dating site and I have very, very good reasons for this. No, I'm not going to tell you what they are right now. We have to build a little trust, honeychile. I'm deep and complicated and have no idea what I'm talking about. It takes me a while to properly wrap myself up in just the right excuses for inaction. At least I'm self-aware. That's GOT to count for something, right? I know that I'm confused. Yay for me!

Confused about what exactly? Now we're inching closer to the topic. The reason I'm not throwing myself at anyone in cyberspace is that I'm trying to figure out in my hamster ball head conditions for intimacy that work for me. Does that sound like bullshit? At this point, it's rather convoluted, so I know it comes off a, okay maybe a a bunch of horseshit. Pick any kind of shit, and that's it. What can I say? It's not done percolating in my brain.

So my half-baked theory of what I want is 'The Triumverate.' There are three conditions I think should be in place before I get to know someone IN THAT WAY. Did I mention I was immature? Perhaps it goes without saying vis a vis my highschoolish awkwardness towards the act of sex. Anyway, at this point in time, and subject to change without notice and to be further ensconced in legalese should the need arise, what I want in place before I get romantically involved with anyone is emotional safety, intellectual versatility, and physical attraction. It's my holy trinity. As in, holy shit, wouldn't it be great if we could get all three things happening at once?

These three intangible forms of connection do require another person, a man, in order to happen. Oh, and for me to get my shit together. But that's besides the point at this juncture. Instead, let's look at why those particular things are important to me. Remember, it's mostly about me. Just reminding you in case you forgot and accidentally started liking me too much. I'm glad we cleared that up. Still there? Anyone?

Emotional Safety. It means...uh...not exactly that I require constant reassurance as a function of my own neurosis...but something like that. No, no, no. That simply won't do. Let me try again. Emotional safety would be present as a quality of someone who could balance honesty with caring. So, let's say this guy comes along (this reminds me of that annoying math question about trains moving in different directions at the same time and their likely point of intersection based on present location, speed, and intended trajectory) and I desperately want to have sex with him, the first consideration would be, does he have the right stuff? [EDIT:  My second question would be why do I revert to 80s song lyrics to express myself?] Basically, is he the kind of person who is capable of providing some form of aftercare in the event I experience a complete meltdown just because I can?

Why would I freak out? Oh jayzus, there's a can of worms we really don't need to explore right now, suffice to say, it could happen. Some kind of break with reality would be the untimely byproduct of not being ready for what I want. I like sex. I want sex. It doesn't mean I'm in a good headspace for it. Sure, sure, I assume custodial responsibility for my feelings, but y'know, since there would be another person in a sexual interaction, gee whiz wouldn't it be nice if they were emotionally available to the extent that they could be a good listener or a half-decent fake listener? In case of emergency or in the event that real feelings develop, it'd be most helpful if a guy could gently scrape off the barnacle which had unwittingly attached itself to him in a nondickish way.

Intellectual versatility is another biggie for me. I am [insert any and all applicable euphemisms along the lines of multifaceted]. I'm like a zombie lover. All I want is braaiiiiiins. I need someone who is smart. I want someone who has a sense of humour and isn't afraid to use it. I'm fairly comfortable with feelings of boredom but why the hell would I do that to myself? I'm choosy about with whom I want to spend my time, energy, and body and definitely enjoy a guy who can match wits with me. Not to be confused with blokes who describe themselves as 'sarcastic'. So many men on the site claim this adjective for themselves like it was a good thing. If I get the slightest whiff of veiled embitterment, oh hell no...that's going nowhere fast. 

To me, someone who can flex the muscle between his ears is by definition smart and playful. This would be a guy who'd generally have an optimistic perspective and ...oh hold this stretching the concept of intellectual versatility into a laundry list of desired qualities? Nah. I think all of the above characteristics would be present in a person who has a plastic cerebrum: smart and responsive. A good mind is hard to find but I must have it!

Finally, physical attraction has got to be there. It comes in last place because without the other two features, the elusive 'spark' just wouldn't exist for me. Someone can be hot, hot, hot and I would be sooo not, not, not interested if they were simply a retarded horny monkey. I have nothing against retarded horny monkeys. I grew up watching Animal Planet, afterall. It's just not the right fit for me.

The inevitable question is, what's my physical type? Well, somewhere in the bowels of my journal on my non-dating profile I provide an outline. Hey, I know I said I wasn't dating so there's no reason for me to put my list out there but consistency is not a human trait. Ideally, this fantasy lover would be someone who is taller than I am (starting at about 5'10 is nice), bigger than I am (average to muscular build so that I feel relatively small and dainty LMAO), and has shorter hair than I do (a typical short haircut to crewcut). As you may appreciate, as a fellow human being familiar with the vagaries of lust, this is by no means an exclusive list of must-haves and it's almost redundant to articulate them, but there you go.

Maybe this tirade about the triad is simply pointing out the obvious, which I'm really good at, but all of those items are absolutely required to get the juices flowing, so-to-speak. In review, I want a guy who is not an emotional dullard and could experience the full range of human emotions as well as handle my particular brand of amenable neuroticism, a guy who is so bright it hurts my eyes and makes me laugh in sheer joy of having found an intellectual playmate, and a guy who looks good to me, homina homina. No, this is not a threesome: it's one man with all that going on for him. You heard me right. I hereby petition the universe to send me this awesome representative of the male species.

In closing, I shall borrow from the wicked wit of Sir William Churchill, "I am ready to meet my Maker, but whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter." Boy, it sure would give me mental orgasms to encounter such a creature as I have described but whether he'd come out of the experience relatively unscathed is another matter altogether. It's a good thing I'm a benevolent egotist.

That's all for now, folks. Stay tuned for the next chapter from your favourite female chauvinist [given the liberal sprinkling of sexist generalizations in describing this ideal it's only right to give some appearance of attempting to exonerate myself as a preemptive reaction to possible stoning].  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mwah ha ha...

I am unduly excited by the possibility of writing something that people will enjoy reading. So many people have told me how much they like the way I express myself that I can't resist inflicting myself upon a possible mass market. YOU may not be one of those people. Feel free to bugger off and do something more productive with your time.

How best to captivate an audience? I know!! I'll transfer some of my musings from the dating site I've been using. Yea, yea, I know, I know. Who wants to hear the gory details of someone's false starts, near misses and dating disasters? Me, that's who. For all I know, nobody will ever read this blog so at least I can amuse myself.

No, really, getting back to you, my potential audience. Surely the irreverent yet inescapably mundane detritus of my mind with respect to sex and romance could provide ample foraging for those who should be making better use of their time. *Ahem* That was your last warning to get the hell off the computer and finish whatever project you're supposed to be working on.

Now should I put this...I'm not actively dating. That's right, I'm on a dating site, which I prefer to relanguage as a social networking site, and I'm not actively seeking a Romeo. It makes sense in my own little world. I would say I'm checking out who or what is out there. I see the dating site as if it were some kind of respository containing a vast, unknowable number of eligible bachelors I might someday be interested in pursuing. Window shopping, if you will.

Only the young and stupid are confident about sex and romance. The rest of us (that means me, but I have a nasty habit of including you and the rest of the world in my generalizations) muddle our way through, pretending to learn (or actually learning) something from each experience before embarking on yet another adventure. And we've come full circle to the point where you should have some idea why I'm not dating. Confused? Exactly.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have other things that need to get done. When the mood strikes me, I'll begin the transfer of posts which could be aptly titled, "Cautionary Tales from the World of Non-dating Dating." It's oxymoronic to the nth degree, trust me.