My latest dating experience was online, as in I never met her. In fact, she (I assume this was a woman) had only posted a photo of her legs (I assume they were her legs, and not someone else’s), so I didn’t even really know what she looked like. We emailed a few times, and she was kind of a tease. On thing led to another, and before long, I was showing off my soft porn writing skills. Of course, that lasted about one email exchange, and then I was in hardcore mode. Pretty soon, she was begging me for a photo of my dick. By the way, she had visited my profile, which has plenty of photos and some personal description, so she already knew way more about me than I knew about her. I thought, she should really send me a photo of herself; but maybe if I send her a photo of my dick, she’ll send me one of her. Well, I wasn’t really sure if she’d do this, but I thought I’d give it a try. Sure enough, I sent her a high resolution photo of my manhood, proudly standing at attention, and sure enough, she never sent a photo. So, a person showed me some attention, without sharing anything about themselves (not even her first name!), and asked for a photo of my dick, and I sent it to her. Basically, if someone wants to see a photo of my dick, all they have to do is ask.
Stennifer vs. Jephanie
I recently had the pleasure of having lunch with a woman named Stephanie, who I met through an online dating website. She was interesting, attractive enough, and I had a good time. I wasn’t sure if she was my type, but I wanted to signal my interest, so I coolly waited a day and sent her a nice email. The problem was (and I didn’t have the most sleep the night before) that I called her Jennifer in the opening of my email. She was not at all happy about this, and even though I explained that I didn’t know anyone named Jennifer (and she even admitted to having been called Jennifer before), we stopped communicating after a few more emails. I was actually truthful in telling her I didn’t know anyone named Jennifer, and I couldn’t figure out why I mixed up the names, other than just thinking they were similar for some reason. Of course, they both have three syllables, but the similarity seemed deeper than that to me. I thought I’d do some casual empiricism (for a change), so I checked the Social Security website for popularity rankings of the two names going back to 1969, and they tracked incredibly closely! The correlation coefficient of the names is .9878, and their average popularity is also very close: 37.5 for Stephanie, and 29 for Jennifer. Note, also, that Jennifer is the more popular of the two names, so it sort of makes sense that between the two names, I’d use that one by mistake. At any rate, there is clearly some deep connection between these names not just in my head, but in the mass parental consciousness over the last 45 years. I somehow feel both justified in my error and resentful of the gods of online dating; I am consistently reminded that they will always have the last laugh…
Casualties of keeping it casual
Has keeping a sexual relationship casual ever worked? As far as I can tell, “Let’s keep it casual” is shorthand for “Let’s slowly lose interest in each other, then secretly start to meet other people, worry that the other person is meeting people, worry that they’re worrying about you meeting other people, and so on…until the relationship is so complicated and unpleasant that we can’t even enjoy sex anymore, and then we’ll try to be friends.” Note that the casual approach is most risky around the holidays, when people want to be around their loved ones and the absence of someone you’re having sex with is especially noticeable. As far as I can see, the only real solution to this problem is a strict regimen of masturbation, mixed with numerous and unfulfilling first dates with people from online dating websites. Actually, masturbation is a good response to many other problems, from workplace stress to the common cold (it doesn’t solve them, but it makes them more bearable).
I had my kids on Christmas morning a couple years ago, and we all had a great time. That afternoon, the plan was that they’d go to their mom’s, where her relatives were visiting. I actually hadn’t seen them for a long time, and I was a bit worried they thought I was avoiding them — my ex-wife never invites me over when they visit, and I’m sure she doesn’t make that clear to her relatives. Besides that, I like her family, so I told my ex-wife I’d drive the kids to her (a non-trivial drive, about 45 minutes from my house). When I got there with the kids, my ex-in-laws weren’t actually there, so I waited. Finally, when they arrived, it was enjoyable to see them again.
At around 3pm, it was a natural time to leave, but my ex-wife was just finishing preparing their dinner, and it would’ve been kind of awkward to make an exit. My kids certainly would’ve begged me to stay, and it would’ve looked like I was being anti-social — or worse, like I was trying to make a show of leaving so that people would beg me to stay. On the other hand, my ex-wife was ignoring me and didn’t ask me to stay for dinner, so I was just hanging around like an inflamed appendix… Finally, I told her I thought I should leave, and she said I could stay. Fine, I figured I’d eat and then leave right after dinner.
The interesting twist is that the grown ups ate in the dining room, while the kids ate at the kitchen table, and I ended up eating with the kids! It was just me, a nanny (my ex-sister-in-law brought her), and the kids. In fact, the kids finished early, so for awhile it was just me and the nanny, and even she had to leave for a few minutes. So I was literally eating by myself in the kitchen, while all the other adults were in the dining room. I felt so uncomfortable, I really didn’t eat much, and I just got out of there as quickly as I could. Somehow I think Hank Moody would’ve handled that situation differently.
I’ve unfortunately had to resort to online dating websites on and off for the last few years, with limited success and a diminished opinion of the pool of single women in their 40’s who have also resorted to online dating. (To be clear, I’m sure the pool of men is no better, but I don’t have first-hand experience.) In the mid-size city where I live, way too many profiles look very much like what I’ve typed below, which is my way of paying tribute to the women of Match.com, Plenty of Fish, etc.
“Okay, here we go, what to say??? I’m an active, fun women that works hard and plays harder looking for a partner in crime :) The glass is half full!!! NO DRAMA NO PLAYERS I’m very sexy but not looking for a one night stand ;) If you don’t have a photo I will not respond to email. Is there anyone real out there??? You are kind, tall, with a positive outlook and know how to treat a lady. I want someone that takes care of himself and can take control and wants to please me. MUST LOVE DOGS!!! I’m laid back and easy going, I could be at home in sweatpants working on my house or rocking a little black dress on Friday night!!! I love to walk on the beach, curl up with a good book and a cup of tea in front of the fire on a cozy winter night. I don’t watch much tv because I’m too busy volunteering at the animal shelter, but my weaknesses are dark chocolate and fine wine!!! Oh and of course shopping :) Love to go out to a nice restaurant or live music and dancing!!! but I also enjoy quiet nights at home. I still believe in true love Is my prince out there somewhere???”
The Great equalizer
Has anyone noticed that lying down is the great equalizer of women? At the gym, it’s not uncommon for me to be stretching on the mat and to see a very attractive woman lying down on her mat, also stretching. Then she gets up, and she’s old and overweight. The reverse happened last week. This young woman with a body that was just okay walked in and lied down and started stretching, and she was totally hot. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some evolutionary explanation behind this optical illusion… We’re programmed to only pursue females with desirable reproductive traits (i.e., they’re sexually attractive) because we need to conserve scarce resources, but when impregnating a female is low cost (i.e., she’s lying down and ready) we might as well go for it. I’m not sure there is an analogue of this for men. When I lie down to stretch, do I suddenly become more attractive to the opposite sex? I doubt it.
The Monster within
The male sexual urge is really pretty creepy when you think about it. Although we are civilized most of the time, you put an attractive female in our range of vision and we can’t stop thinking about injecting our DNA into this unsuspecting person. Not only that, but the delivery device is an appendage that grows with a life of its own and is inserted into the woman’s body, like something out of a monster movie. Of course, the female sexual urge is also pretty weird when viewed in this light.