Virtual Chemistry

    It's kind of amazing how disinterested I'd become in sex.  During the last year of increasingly inactive relationship, and it's devastating conclusion, I'd almost completely lost the urge.  After we broke up, however, sex was practically all I could think about.  Once back on that horse, all I wanted to do was ride.  But as fate would have it,  I was in for one long dry summer, and couldn't get laid to save my life.  I'd tried stirring the pot with old flames, but found them otherwise occupied.  Attempted to go out, but my usual stomp was ground zero for my X; now actively dating women from our shared circle of friends.  Unable to face this happening right before my eyes, I was in a real bind and needed a new pond to fish.  I'd nearly worn out my vibrator when, one day, I overheard my roommates talking about OKCupid; an online dating site that was popular in the Bay Area.  Nearly out of my mind with unrealized desire, and dangerously close to running out of batteries, I decided, what the hell, I'd try it out.
    The problem was, regardless of how badly I wanted sex, looking for it online felt alien and kind of scary.  I wasn't about to cut to the chase and create a profile which read like an add in Casual Encounters.  So, carefully avoiding sexy, I began the painstaking process of creating an earnest and demure OKCupid personae.  I answered hundreds of thought provoking questions, theoretically allowing myself and the other OKCupid hopefuls to rank our compatibility in a variety of areas .  But when it came to any questions involving sex, I kept responses prudent or skipped it all together.   Any discussions about my sexual leanings were best left for the face to face.  Now all I had to do was meet a nice man with whom I could do some vey naughty things.

    I was pleased when within days,  after a short introduction, I had a dinner offer from a man calling himself "Gentleman Bandit".  Once I'd combed over his profile, starring holes through my favorite pictures he'd posted, I waited a scrupulous amount of time, and then agreed.  Privately, however, I was certain that a man who could be both a gentleman and a bandit was exactly the kind of thief who could steal my heart -- or at least my panties.  Heading out to meet this mysterious stranger, I was thrilled by the prospects of what might lie ahead.  

    Strolling towards a bookish man standing in front of the restaurant, anxiously eyeing-balling his wrist watch, the thrill was already gone.  I realized that this was my date, and he appeared neither well mannered nor stealth.  It's amazing how a camera angle can change someone looks.  Online, a fleeting moment of perfect posture, the right light, and a sexy smirk in a tight fitting tee had made him appear rugged, confident, and in my imagination, even handy with tools.  In person, he read as dour, businesslike and a bit nervous.  Over dinner, I watched him painstakingly cut every last piece of fat off his steak before eating, and added fussy & anal retentive to my list of adjectives.  The man I wanted would rip a bloody steak apart with his bare hands and teeth and sit their seething at me like a wild animal.  This man would never do that.   I quickly drank several glasses of cheap white wine to make the dry conversation more palatable, and counted the minutes until it was over.   True, I'd dined for free, and he was no serial killer, but I was now certain this wasn't going to work for me.  I disabled my OKCupid account as soon as I got home.  Surely I could do better in the real world.

    But just two miserably horny weeks later, I was back at it again.  With a sprinkle of sass and a dash more daring, I reworked my Cupid profile to read less like a job resume at a nunnery.  With a sparkly new lure now enticingly floating in a sea of inter-web possibility, I was confident of catching a more lively fish.  But nothing really happened.  It was like being at a Jr. High School dance; everybody lining the walls of a cyber gym, too afraid to talk to one another.  I could see that plenty of men had checked me out, but each day my IN box - in every sense of the word - was still empty.  Finally, tired of waiting, I decided to take bull-horns in hand and write to the most interesting man I could find.  And just like that, I now had a steady pen pal.

    Each night, I'd log in and IM Douglass, an animator of video games.  Both night owls, we stayed up till the wee hours, having virtual sleep overs full of quirky conversation; comic books villains, favorite B movie bombshells, a shared love of 80's synth pop, and our lonely lives growing up as only children.  Instantly, he felt like a friend.  So when the conversation finally took an adult turn, I was game.  Perhaps the anonymity of chatting online helped create an atmosphere where each of us felt uninhibited.  But soon I was divulging some of my wildest fantasies; things never even shared with my X.  Now, both intellectually and sexually turned on, I was eager to face this man, eye ball to eye ball.

    But a few days later, driving to meet Douglass for German Schnitzel and beer, worry set in.  Would I feel embarrassed having already shared such personal things about myself if our chemistry didn't hold up in person?  What if Douglas, like "Gentleman Bandit," wasn't who he seemed to be online?   My stomach did flip flops as I dreamt up an encyclopedia of possible disasters.  But when he looked up at me and smiled with a singular raise of an eyebrow, I relaxed, and things got real.  It didn't take long for our cyber rapport to translate into 3D, and when the evening's end came too soon, I kissed him; just to let him know exactly where I was coming from.  We made plans to meet next week for a movie, and both left with smiles on our faces.

    Douglas, like many people in the city, didn't have a car.  I was happy to pick him up for our date, but aside from giving him a ride to the theater, I expected him to do the "driving" for the rest of the night.  I figured I'd adequately broken the ice by kissing him on our last date, so from here on out, I wanted him to make the moves on me.  Drinking cocktails before the film, I leaned in close and pressed my leg against his, but instead of swooping in for the kiss, instead he casually remarked on the time and we headed off to catch the previews.  During the movie, overloaded with gratuitous sex and violence, I cozied up waiting for a pounce, but as the credits rolled, he simply offered mortified apologies that he'd chosen such a gory flick for our outing.  As I drove him home, I could feel the tension in the car rising.  When he nearly leaped from my vehicle before it had even rolled to a complete stop, I was convinced he didn't like me.  Salacious and dejected, I headed home.

    Two minutes later, he was texting me.  "That was great!  We should do it again sometime."  Really?!?  Now I was confused.  When responding to Douglas' text, I tried to be as honest as I could.  "I'm sorry, but when you didn't try to kiss me, I kinda got the impression that you weren't really into this" "No!" was his emphatic response, "It's actually just the opposite!  I like you so much that you make me really nervous!  I'm sorry….. I guess I kinda wussed out huh?  Will you please give me a chance to make it up to you?"  

    Now I really didn't know what to do.  Most of my X's will tell you, I'm a terrible back seat driver, but I'm no bossy bottom.   When it comes to sex, I want a man to steer the car.  From what I could tell, Douglas didn't have it in him to be the driver I was looking for.  It dawned on me that I'd been controlling this thing since the very beginning, and once again, I'd managed to send the wrong signal.  I couldn't deny Douglas the chance for a do over, but wasn't surprised when successive dates produced similar results.  You might wonder why I kept going out with the guy, but the truth was, I'd grown really fond of him.  Then one night, it happened!  After drinking copious amounts of alcohol together, he got up his courage and finally made his move; but by that time, the fire between us was officially out.  Whatever romantic chemistry we'd had online had been replaced by friendship, and kissing him felt like kissing my brother.  In the weeks that followed, he admitted defeat and we agreed to remain what we were; friends.

    So in the end, OKCupid hadn't been a total bust; I had managed to make a real connection, but sadly, I was still hard up.  Nonetheless, I had learned a thing or two about getting what you give.  It's true that neither man I'd met had been who they seemed to be online, but either had I.  Perhaps I wouldn't find what I needed until I could be more clear and honest about what I really was really looking for.  One of my best friends, who admittedly sounded like a new age hippy saying this, loved to tell me to concentrate on my goals, and simply ask the universe for what I wanted.  So without a better idea about how to solve my problem, I made a nightly practice of imagining a handsome stranger, with the confidence to seduce me, and the knowhow to drive me completely wild.  
    But truth be told, I didn't need a date, I needed a damn Doctor.  Somebody qualified to fuck my pain away.  I wanted to be pounded until my body felt as shattered as my heart.  I wanted to be filled up until the memory of my X and the love we shared was pushed out.  What I required was more like an exorcism of demons than a roll in the hay.   Call in the Clergy and the National Guard; I was out to exterminate that place in my heart HE still occupied, and until that was done, I had a sneaking suspicion I wouldn't be satisfied, regardless of who or what I found to fill my empty spaces.

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