Tag Archives: affair

Friday’s Cognitive Dissonance

It began at lunch with the last of the married men in my marathon. I was prepared to be underwhelmed, the jaded cynic in me, perhaps. Instead I found myself on the verge of tears more than once, as The Poet posed personal questions. He observed that I was extremely guarded and spent time in pursuit of the “real me.” It was an interesting and emotional conversation.

But back to the dissonance. Here I was having lunch with a lovely man — polite, attractive, successful, engaging — who bragged about his honor student daughter and wonderful wife. But he wasn’t completely perfect. Because if I’d asked him back to my apartment he most likely would’ve agreed in an instant. And instantly become a cheater. Ah, perhaps not so lovely. But I kinda knew the circumstances going in. Which had me puzzling, in between sharing our life stories, whether good people can be bad.

By the time The Poet helped me to my door with an unwieldy package, met by the barking foster dogs, I was in a rush to prepare for my early evening plans. I had less than an hour to get ready, which included changing out of my Garanimals-like afternoon ensemble and into something more suitably punk rock. Once I’d applied heavier eye makeup and shrugged on my motocycle jacket, I dashed out the door to meet my friend Rob and his girlfriend at Joe’s Pub for “DanceNOW [NYC] Presents Alley of the Dolls, This is not a sequel.” The show was a bizarre mélange of performance art and dance, comedy and song, and a poke at show business, all loosely in homage to “Valley of the Dolls.” It had a sassy retro Sixties tang.

When the performance wrapped, we jumped into Rob’s truck and headed to Williamsburg for a chihuahua wedding. You heard right. The “puptials” of Rev. Jen Jr. and Taco took place in the spacious outdoor garden of Lucky Dog bar on Bedford Ave. The proud parents of the bride and groom, Reverend Jen Miller and Holly Waggytail DeRito (yes, the grande dame of the agency I foster dogs for) held the happy couple in their arms and read their dogs’ vows, with Faceboy officiating the ceremony. As one might assume, the festivities were attended by quite a colorful cast of characters, including photographer Alex Colby and his pretty Penthouse Managing Editor wife Christine, comic artist and dessert blogger Abby Denson, Carmen Mofongo, my Balloon Chain co-worker and Lucky Dog bartender Moonshine Shorey, and armloads of adorable dogs. Moonshine had the night off because he was on his way to his gig with Jugger Nut at C Squat. Which was where Rob, his girlfriend and I were headed next!

Approaching the block we knew immediately where the show was; the shitfaced  dirtbag lying on the sidewalk, slurring obscenities, made it a giveaway. I slid in the door and stood aside. Everyone was in an agitated state about the sidewalk scene. A droopy-eyed, stringy-haired hippy was telling the dreadlocked dude running the door, “I don’t know the guy, man. I mean, he’s not a friend of mine. I picked him up in Asheville but I gotta watch his back. He’s my homeboy.” Meanwhile, the guy is still rolling around on the sidewalk with everyone screaming at him to get up, get out, move on.

I paid my five bucks, got my hand Sharpied and waited for Rob and his girlfriend. They slipped in and handed me a 24-ounce PBR. Cracking up, I crowed, “I just became the hottest old broad in the building!” A guy nodded in agreement and said, “Yeah, you did!” We made our way toward the noise, stepping over half-passed out gutterpunks and straggly hangers-on. A small balcony overlooked a basement with walls covered in graffiti. Our timing was perfect; kids were shoving equipment around the stage in anticipation of Jugger Nut.

The room was like a scene from a movie: Sweaty kids were milling around, an old man was perched on a chair, hipsters were photographing each other with the cell phones. It was an impressive collection of nightcrawlers. And because I never go anywhere without running into someone I know, I bumped into Nicola.

Before I’d had a chance to finish my 24-ounce, the band came onstage in a cacophony of keyboards, drums, guitars and feedback. After a bit of ear abuse, the music was actually quite good! People were nodding and dancing or ducking for cover. My friend Moonshine isn’t a musician, he’s an adjunct to the band, a six-foot-plus performance artist of sorts, his painted face and voodoo accoutrements augmented by blood and chicken feet. He stalked into the pit and the parted.

I’m not sure I could ever find the right words to properly describe the scene and how it actually felt. It was like being in a time warp. Like being beamed back to the 80s. The floor was slimy with beer and a bedraggled chick in nothing but boots and a silver sequin miniskirt kept slipping in it. The crowd thrashed in the pit, slamming into each other just like the old days. The whole place smelled like sweat and cigarette smoke and beer. It was fuckin’ awesome!

The show lasted just the right amount of time and as the room cleared I couldn’t contain my excitement. “The underground lives!” I kept saying with a huge smile on my face. I couldn’t believe it! I was so invigorated I couldn’t just go home and go to sleep, so I strolled through Tompkins Square Park to Double Down. It was packed with too many irritating people but I wound up at the far end of the bar chatting with an interesting couple. He was in a heavy metal t-shirt and she looked like she maybe watched too much “Jersey Shore.” But we commiserated about the East Village asshole invasion and, astonishingly, Burning Man! He was leaving the next day for India. Sometimes life is full of surprises!

Anyway, I stumbled to the deli for a turkey sandwich which I didn’t remember eating the next morning as I marveled over my day of dissonance: the enjoyable Poet, dance show at Joe’s Pub, the chihuahua wedding, the C Squat Jugger Nut slamfest and the pleasant company over my nightcap at Double Down. It was an amazing dozen hours!

Conclusions…and How They Are Met

After a series of events, I’ve come to a few conclusions:

1. I’m not going to fall in love with anyone I meet online. It just isn’t going to happen. Looking back on all the relationships I’ve had — or even the one-night stands — each one depended quite heavily on an in-person attraction that simply cannot be replicated through the ether. As I’ve said before, none of my boyfriends would’ve appealed to me “on paper.” I needed to be in close proximity to them and that closeness led to romance. Had a dear friend fixed me up with any of these men, I would’ve rejected them,  even if only subconsciously, right off the bat. They wouldn’t have stood a chance. It was the moment-to-moment getting to know them that resulted in love. Or, in the case of my ex-husband, the moment-to-moment tête-à-tête that led to sex which, in turn, eventually resulted in love. All I can think about when I’m with these men — married or single, attractive or quirky, spectacular or less so — even while in the midst of making out with them, is “Can I fuck this person?” And unfortunately, inevitably, just the mere self-conscious self-asking question is immediately answered with a “No.” I can’t say why. But there you have it.

2. Men will take even a resounding NO as a yes. They never give up hope. This doesn’t require much more elaboration. I will add, however, that an offering of friendship, which from the offering end means, you know, the possibility of “friendship,” is translated on the male receiving end as “There’s a glimmer of hope for sex!” Un-uh. It means I find you interesting or entertaining or otherwise possessing desirable qualities that I want in a “friend.” End of story.

3. The internet offers an odd combination of anonymity and intimacy that allows us to say the most outrageous things to complete strangers! In what situation would you tell someone whose name you don’t know, whose face you’ve never seen, that you want to “fuck them til their eyeballs shake”? And in what social arena would this actually be a turn-on, coming from someone who you’ve never even seen a photo of? Is this courtship? Cause it sure as shit doesn’t feel like courtship to me. Sorry if that sounds prudish or provincial. But, well, what the motherfuck? I mean, really.

Below are a few rounds of communiqués that helped me come to these conclusions. My conversations with the poet, both in person and online, have also assisted me in realizing what I really want: to meet someone, in person, NOT online, and fall in love. There, I’ve said it.

So should I delete my profiles from the dating sites? I’m reluctant to do so only because they’ve resulted in a few great friendships, both male and female, the latter being introductions through the males I met online. It’s a big world out there. I seem to know half of it. I’m holding out hope that, even though I may not fall in love with anyone I meet online, they may introduce me to the person with whom I will feel that passionate connection. I soldier on, a cynical optimist…

Hi Jaded-est, 
I’m so sure you have the six pack hunks all over you, but I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your profile explainations that you wrote! I kinda smirked and giggled a little because I could only imagine the pics that you have gotten! 
Listen, you seem to be a beautiful woman inside and out. I’m kind of a biker dude by night, engineer by day, so I’m not going to try to dazzle you with BS to try to impress you. I’d love to chat with you sometime just because your nature interests me and your pic caught my attention. But I’m certainly not the younger that your lookinng for nor do I have the six pack abs. But I can carry on a conversation in just about any mode.
Have a great week. even if I don’t hear from you, I am glad to have done this to contact you. Beautiful people in my circle is a very important thing for me. Hugs!
“Phil”

Thank you for your lovely, email, “Phil.”
May I ask if you’re really 50? Only because everyone on here lies…as I have. I’m 51, actually, and am about to turn 52.
This site is odd…I’m not quite sure what I’m looking for here…if what I find is an affair, as in an encounter with someone who is married (I’m not, don’t know if you noticed), it would have to be with someone UBER attractive to me. UBER. Ya know? Someone older wouldn’t work. Why bother? Someone too much younger? No thank you. I have a lot of “must haves” when it comes to jumping into bed with a virtual stranger. And I’m not sure that would ever even happen. But even to CONSIDER it…
So if you were single, I might consider meeting you to see if there’s any chemistry or to be, at the very least, friends. But really, be serious. You’re married, you aren’t down the street from me…I would bet your life doesn’t have much room for friendships with women you meet online, most especially THIS site. If we became friends, what would you tell your wife? Perhaps you are single, as some of the men I’ve met here are, even though they say they’re “attached.” It’s all so complicated.
Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that a romantic, sexual relationship that begins online is more the stuff of TV commercials than reality. At least for me. I have two friends who are marrying people they met online. I can’t see it ever happening for me. Even sex with someone I meet online. After a few months of this crazy 21-st century dance, that’s where I’ve wound up.
So the fact that you’re able to carry on a conversation isn’t that appealing. I would hope that anyone I meet, ever, anywhere, would be capable of carrying on a conversation. Please forgive me for wanting more!
Again, thank you for writing. It isn’t easy putting yourself out there, so I appreciate the attention. Anything more, though, would just not make sense for me.
Best of luck to you!
A

Hi Jaded,
Well, I appreciate your honesty and it is the reason I contacted you in the first place. Well, I guess I’m not into games either. Yes, I am 50, gonna turn 51 this summer and yes, I am married, but in the middle of becoming single again. I’m here because I lack the closeness and passion that most people enjoy, but like you, I’m not into games and BS. So look hon, I understand you completely and if it doesn’t work for you it doesn’t work. I really wasn’t expecting even a reply from you, but since you did, my first impression was pretty much dead on. You’re a real person and I’m glad I tried to meet you. It is not upsetting that I’m not for you. But I will leave the possibility of being at least an online friend open.
So thank you for replying. You seem like a real nice person and can rest assured that this was not a drama driven or false contact. I don’t have the time to play games. I just want ot meet interesting people and bring them into my circle. I’m not just divorcing my wife, I am divorcing my life and it is a very humbling but exciting time for me.
Happy Wednesday! Good luck to you as well!

________________________

Subject:  Wow!
Nice pictures. You are an exotic princess! I am a fun-loving, gentle guy living and working in midtown during the week. I seek a friend to help me explore the city. Dinner and dancing a must! I hope you write back. 

Well, unfortunately it matters a LOT what you look like. Especially if you find me “an exotic princess” based solely on my photos. I mean, I’m flattered. But it’s so superficial.
I am certainly game for making new friends and can most definitely provide companionship for city exploration. The chances of sex, or anything physical, are probably about zero…even regardless of what you look like. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to after far too many months of online dating.
So, if you’re up for joining me on my adventures, or creating some new ones, with someone who will ONLY be a friend, sure. Though if you look like Santa, Methuselah, a troll or are otherwise visually objectionable, that won’t work…
Sorry to be so blunt. The internet offers an odd combination of anonymity and intimacy that allows us to say the most outrageous things to complete strangers!
Abby

____________________

Subject:  ho hum
Hi. .my name is Dwayne Goldstein. I’m a former priest turned orthodox jew who used to do amateur porn. My mother is balck and my father swedish. I do not own a mirror and I keep a small apt in warsaw. Normally when I go nude sunbathing I do it at the hotel pool, that I own. Different enough for you? Or have you done that too? I would think someone who’s “got it like that” that this site would have been your first destination. Everything is passe. You can message me back, if that’s trendy enough for you

Subject:  RE: ho hum
Um, okay….I’ll bite. Not sure how sarcastic you’re being but I’ll go with honesty… If your parents were black and Swedish, how is it you’re “caucasian?” Is any of that email true? Are you really single? Your turn. Oh, and how about a photo? Wondering why you wouldn’t post one if you are, in fact, single.
A

Subject:  RE: RE: ho hum
No none of that e mail is true. Except for the fact I’m single. I don’t have a pic on here in that I’m a mobile dj who does weddings and I can’t have my reputation tarnished. I can tell you where to see it if you like. As much as I love nyc I think maybe someone read in the Sunday times magazine that it was trendy to be blase about life. Just the same way they told everyone cupcakes and food trucks were invented in 2009. My pic is on my website [deleted]. Try it, if ur pilates instructor says its ok.

Subject:  RE: RE: RE: ho hum
Hah! Well, you are certainly sarcastic! Hah about the food trucks and cupcakes being invented in 2009. So ARE you single? Or married? Either way, how often do you actually get into NYC? Sorry, I’m a bit confused here…

Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: ho hum
I know. I know. The guy from ny1’s in the papers segment didn t tell you what to think next, so its understandable you’re confused. I am single. I am single. Use it as a mantra till you believe it. And I’m sarcastic. Anything else?

Subject:  RE: RE: RE: RE: ho hum
I come there about four times a yr to visit there since its my favorite spot in the world. And if I had more of a reason, as in fucking you so hard ur eyeballs shake, id be there more often. U r about three hours northeast of me.

Um, yeah. Well, MEETING me would have to happen LONG before you fuck me until my eyeballs roll.
Wow, thanks for the romance. Jesus what is this world coming to? Is that supposed to make me WANT to meet you? A quick clue: It doesn’t.
If you only get to where I happen to live three or four times a year, when, exactly, did you think we’d get together and actually get to know each other?
Holy shit. What am I doing on these fucking online dating sites? Oh, I know! WASTING MY TIME!

Married Man Marathon Derailed!

Tonight’s “date” told me he would be in a class til 8:30. He texted me a half-hour earlier and I didn’t check my phone til 8:15. By then he was already on his way home. To be honest, I had totally forgotten about meeting him. Originally we were going to get together before his class. But I have been having a helluva time keeping all these faceless torsos straight!

If this texting exchange doesn’t put you to sleep, you will probably find yourself asking why I bother… [Everything is written as it was texted. No edits.]

7:56pm
Hey – its Sam. Up for that how ya doin beverage – or another night?

8:14pm
Are you done with your class?
I’m not in Chelsea, I’m further north. Where are you?

8:41
Okay then. Guess you went home. You’d said 8:30. Sorry I missed you!

Hey – yeah… Was kinda slowly walking to the train in the rain. I’m sure I just missed you by seconds lol. Oh well – hopefully you’ll give me another shot?!

Maybe!

So you’re sayin there’s a chance!? Oh yeah!

Well I feel a little like you blew me off. But whatever!

9:00pm
No – really. I was just kinda standing there for a good 1/2 hour thinking the same thing…

You told me 8:30. You texted me before 8. I responded before 8:30. So I didn’t blow you off. It’s cool, no worries. You need to get back to a wife and suburbia!

I live on the upper upper east… No suburbia for me lol!

Well what’s your hurry then? You couldn’t give me 15 minutes? Sorry. Go home.

Well just cause its not suburbia doesn’t mean I didn’t have to be home. Its cool – sorry if I peeved you

I forget everyone else is on a tight leash.

Yeah… Its kinda true. Gimme another shot. I’m a good guy (lol!)

Well, no offense, but given the circumstances it’s tough to believe you’re THAT good of a guy. You do realize we connected on a site for people looking to cheat on their spouses. That said, I’m sure you’re a nice guy. But if we schedule another meeting and you text me a half hour early and then head home, well, that won’t really work for me. I was ready to meet up at or after 8:30 as you’d said. Ya know?

9:54
Ok – goooood point on the spouse thing…

10:16
I did say 8:30. Thought I said 8. That is certainly my bad…

No worries. I had said we’d meet up before your class. Which I probably could’ve but I spaced…

11:20pm
Well – where there’s a will there’s a way. We can try again.

We can.

Married Men Marathon: Part Deux

I gotta say, I have good taste! Even when it comes to screening out idiots on dating sites and finding charming, intelligent and engaging gentlemen! (None of whom have posted any genitalia, bathroom mirror reflected or otherwise!) My dating marathon continues:

Yesterday was dinner with “Cal,” who was not only as impressively tall in person as he promised online but even better looking than his photo! Conversation came easily and he was most definitely a smart, successful guy. I won’t go into his personal life for fear of “outing” him, but I will say he is both married and actively seeking, if not an immediate affair, at least what might be “out there.” While we both abstained…from alcohol — heh — so there was no chance of drunkenly tumbling into bed, I could imagine such things happening…eventually.

Today was lunch with “Bob,” also married, and also quite delightful. There were no awkward silences and he was just as appealing in person as he’d been online. His situation is somewhat different but at least it sounded to me as though he and his wife communicate about such things. Hmmm, that’s rather obtuse. Anyway, suffice it to say that, again, though the meal was sober and did not lead to an episode of “afternoon delight,” it would not be beyond the realm of possibility.

On both dates, conversation jumped from politics to business, the city vs. the suburbs, personal histories and careers. Online dating, and Ashley Madison in particular, were the main focus, for obvious reasons. It seems that everyone who “does this” is eager to share their experiences, good, bad or otherwise. Both men had been on the site longer than I and both had been on a few dates. However, neither had managed to wind up in bed with anyone. So this makes — what is it now? — seven men I’ve met, each in various stages of committed relationships, none of whom had actually experienced the successful affair promised by Ashley Madison. I may need to expand my research to women and find out who is having sex with the men they meet and under what sort of circumstances these affairs take place. Someone must be getting laid! Why is that the men I’m connecting with aren’t?

I expected that I might feel like these encounters are “grocery dates” (meeting men merely for the free meals) but I haven’t, as I firmly believe I have much to offer, even if sex isn’t on the menu. Every guy I’ve met has been leading a far more “normal” life than mine so, at the very least, I’m able to open some doors, suggest some exciting activities or even just talk to them about what life is like as a single person. Imagine if you hadn’t dated in a couple of decades! As I said in my (many) reasons for being on the site, we all can use the practice. Hopefully these guys agree. Thus far, lunch-by-the-light-of-day dude was the only one not interested in seeing me again. So stay tuned!

In addition to these dates, I actually have been doing, well, ya know, other things! And it’s a damn good thing the weather has gotten better, so I don’t mind being out so much. I’d found myself in quite the nesting “rut” for a while there! Monday night I went to dinner with a friend and helped him create a profile on OkCupid. Yesterday I went to lunch with another friend who I met on OkCupid. And I’m on my way now to meet a guy from OkCupid for the first time. So even my social life outside this crazy-ass marathon seems to be centered around online dating! I guess I’m making this project my “job,” since I don’t happen to have one! If only I could find something to which I might apply myself to with this much enthusiasm and concentration! Someone needs to hire me as a dating columnist! I could do wonders for the world of bumbling idiots out there in the ether! Hello, anyone reading this with an actual JOB? Sigh… Onward!

Married Man Dating Marathon

Ack!

My fingernails are dirty. My apartment is coated in dog hair from the two crazy, NON-paper-trained dogs I’m fostering. I haven’t had a legitimate job since 1996. I don’t shave…anywhere. And I use the word fuck, like, every fucking minute. I’m clearly not appropriate for mainstream consumption. So it came as no surprise that “Jim” didn’t feel any “sexual chemistry” with me after our lovely lunch yesterday.

Let me start over. As you all know, dear readers, I’ve been doing some mad online dating. My recent membership on the cheating people site has brought me a digital landslide of attention and I’ve been juggling married dudes eager to take me…to lunch, to dinner, to bed. It was tough scheduling dates when I wasn’t even in town but now that I’m back from my adventure at Coachella, I’ve got illicit suitors lined up for days.

I met with “Bill” Saturday night, en route to see a friend’s band. I wouldn’t ordinarily “waste” a weekend evening on a stranger but, what the hell, I was already dressed up and out on the town!

We met for beers at 2A, convenient and cheap, though I wasn’t all too happy about a blind date in the daylight. “Bill” was pleasant enough and he was entertained when I regaled him with my previous evening’s swing club story. (I know, poor form to talk about other dates — or so says YourTango — but it was too hilarious not to share!) Apparently “Bill” has been living in some sort of bubble for the past few decades as he was completely unfamiliar with swing clubs. And swinging in general. When I finally asked if he’d ever heard of Plato’s Retreat, he nodded, still unsure. “So people go to these places to…have sex? In private rooms?” No, I told him, in front of each other. He didn’t understand.

We did enjoy each other’s company, even if it would never be a love connection. Or any other sort of connection. However, when my friend Sandra showed to accompany me to see my friend’s band, I felt somewhat relieved. “Bill” was my first real actual married man, if I am to believe the previous three and their purported statuses. (Stati?) He didn’t seem to be hell bent on actually having an affair. He appeared to just be looking for interesting company.

So that was Saturday. I took Sunday off from my dating frenzy because it was a holiday. And I was in New Jersey. (I’d make a crack about the lord resting on the seventh day but I’ve only just begun my married man marathon.)

On Monday I’d arranged to meet “Jim” for lunch. He chose a quiet little spot in the West Village with an outdoor garden in back and, since it was such a warm day, we decided to dine al fresco. Again, I wasn’t all too happy about a blind date by the light of day, but what else can you do at lunchtime? “Jim” was as tall in person as he’d said he was and somehow far more distinguished. His online photo made him appear a little awkward; there was nothing awkward about him as he sat across the table from me. We enjoyed lunch and a frank discussion about online dating, affairs and the complex process behind meeting someone and where it eventually might lead.

During our conversation there was a mention of his having dated models, not in an arrogant way, just matter of fact, and I made a mental note that perhaps I wasn’t quite polished enough for this man. His hands looked softer than mine and his nails were most definitely cleaner! But lunch was enjoyable. After we’d finished eating, we stood on the sidewalk outside the cafe. “Jim” took my hand and, shaking it gently, told me that it had been a pleasure meeting me but that he hadn’t felt any sexual chemistry. He delivered that news quite frankly, looking me straight in the eye. Oddly enough, I wasn’t at all insulted. It was so honest and polite I couldn’t be. But it was a bit sobering.

As I walked away I recalled, again, that all of my successful sexual encounters — or relationships, for that matter — had taken place with alcohol or drugs involved, so it wasn’t surprising that a lunch date in the glare of the noon sun hadn’t resulted in a quickie, or even the desire to meet again. I’m not sure I would’ve said the same thing about “Jim.” He was pretty handsome. And exceedingly tall. His preemptive dismissal of me alleviated any need for me to dismiss him. But I doubt we’d have been a good match.

While some might think “How awful,” my take-away was that this was precisely one of the reasons behind my dating marathon in the first place: This was practice and I was learning not to take rejection personally, something which, I’m embarrassed to admit, I haven’t been able to master in my previous five decades.  So though I won’t be seeing “Jim” again, I considered the date a success.

Why Am I On Ashley Madison?

The question has come up a few times now: What’s a single woman doing on Ashley Madison? Sure, there are a few other unfettered folks on there but the site’s tag line is, after all, “Life is short. Have an affair.” It’s a hook-up service for the hitched. I have a few reasons for putting a profile up on this tacky “cheaters’” site and none of them are what I would classify as simple.

Let’s start with the fact that I’ve been single for a year now and mostly unhappy about it. My last boyfriend and I split primarily due to circumstances. He had a job in California, I needed to be in New York. We didn’t really have a “let’s break up” moment. There wasn’t a neat and tidy “end.” Even today, after all this time, I believe I’m still in love with him. And that lingering love has been a serious obstacle in my pursuit of…happiness. Between loving him and moving on. And eventually falling in love with someone else.

Thus I’ve been dabbling in online dating and have experienced the most luck with OkCupid. But it’s been so long since I’ve felt attracted to anyone that I don’t even know what it feels like anymore. And since I’ve never really dated – in the old-fashioned sense of the word, where a woman meets a guy who asks her out on an actual date – I truly don’t know how to conduct myself. So I’m getting some practice. Like going on an interview for a job you don’t want.

It’d be too easy to say that the average attached, Ashley Madison man is taller and better looking than the single losers I’ve been finding online. However, it appears to be true. I could quote all the studies and stats that say married men make more money and it’s not difficult to grasp that if a person experiences success in one aspect of their life, other successful aspects logistically follow. And I certainly don’t want to get into the whole “All the good ones are taken” conversation but, man, sometimes it sure seems like they are. That a man is “taken” does not, in any way, make him more appealing to me. In fact, just the opposite. But some of these guys are pretty damn appealing!

I’ve felt less pressure to find “the one,” mostly because so many of these men are married. I can experiment with finding “chemistry” without all the other crap. On “regular” blind dates (which all online dates, essentially, are) the pressure involved with sitting down across from a stranger and immediately asking “Do I want to fuck/marry this guy?” can be too much. Who can live up to those sort of expectations? Shouldn’t it be more about “Do I enjoy this person?” and have the future be reassuringly amorphous (as it always, realistically, is….) Of course, the obvious drawback would be “clicking” with or, god forbid, falling in love with, someone who’s inconveniently married.

My favorite aspect of being on Ashley Madison is how easily I’m able to be brutal. The guy’s 5’8”? Delete! He doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re”? Delete. His opening salvo is “Hey, baby, wanna play?” Goodbye. He sends me his “private showcase” key, which reveals the dreaded headless naked bathroom mirror self-portrait. DELETE! I feel no obligation to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. He’s just some married dude! Of course, given that there is the odd single guy, I could accidentally delete a potential dream date. But why bother if he doesn’t make the cut? I’m not quite sure why I’m so much less callous on OkCupid. Why I feel a need to be polite on singles’ sites that I don’t feel on Ashley Madison. Being ruthless is sublimely liberating! I can tell him his photos are embarrassing; that he does not, as a matter of fact, look 10 years younger; I have no problem saying, “Yo, dude, that was kind of offensive!” I love not really giving a shit if a guy writes me back, calls me again or blows me off completely. Dirty hair, dirty laundry, who the hell cares? There wasn’t any hope for a future with the guy anyway. The surprising thing is that most of these men seem to actually appreciate the honesty! I guess it’s one more thing that’s been missing in their lives. Which leads me to:

There are hundreds of men on Ashley Madison who have been “imprisoned” by their lives: marriages, wives, kids, jobs, BORING or stagnating or otherwise suffocating existences. I have been living – and continue to live – a pretty wild life by comparison to most and even emailing me – or meeting me for a drink — seems to “satisfy” an “I’m looking for…something” craving these men have. Who knows what will happen next? Maybe I’ll scare the guy back to his wife. Maybe I’ll inspire him to get that inevitable divorce. At the very least I hope to be able to give people a little taste of what their life isn’t, a glimpse of what they may be missing, and what they THINK they want but perhaps don’t, really, in the end.

I’d be guilty of telling only the partial truth if I didn’t admit to being somewhat interested in a few free meals…or free beers. These married dudes have jobs and money, in addition to their wives, and if they’re looking to hang out with someone who might give them a little thrill – be it in bed or a Starbucks — why not make them pay? Honestly, I’m not that much of mercenary. But it does make it easier to rationalize accepting the “charity.”

So you see, my motivations are somewhat complicated. I love to meet new people. I love to help people. Maybe it’s the closeted shrink in me. I’m not sure. I enjoy being enjoyed…appreciate feeling appreciated. In the end, it’s all an ego boost. And then some guy writes me a poem. No one’s ever written me a poem. And I cry. Maybe that’s why I’m Ashley Madison.

Another Asshole: Updated

As I was bloggedy-blogging away about dick pix on Ashley Madison, right in the middle of my writing I checked my inbox and a somewhat homely gentleman whose advances I had gently turned down was making his last “stab” at wooing me. Here’s how our conversation went:

Him:
“Call me.”

Me:
“Umm, as charming and convincing as that come-on is, I have to ask for a bit more. Like maybe your name. And your phone number. And maybe why I should call you.”

Him:
“Sorry LOL You can email me at XXXX or call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. My name is XXX. I think we’d have fun.”

Me:
Could you perhaps email me a photo, so I know who I’m communicating with?”

Him:
“There are pix of me on there.”

Me (after looking at his photos):
“Um, okay, thank you…but I don’t feel suitably inspired. Best of luck to you!”

Him:
“You need to be inspired? hmmm…I have a webcam…I think I can inspire you…I look MUCH better than pics…and I have certain qualities I’m confident you wouldn’t dislike too often…so..you just never know…”

Me:
“If you’re saying you have a huge cock, I’m currently blogging about how pathetic that is. It means nothing.
Seriously. Get a grip.
I am inspired by a lot of things. A hard-on isn’t one of them.”

Him:
“Sometimes the Italian language is inspiring. Get your mind out of the gutter. LOL”

When I didn’t respond immediately, he volleyed back with:
“You’re 51? I’m not inspired…forget it….LOLOL Yup…too old….(doesn’t it feel so nice when someone judges you based on one factor?)….very nice….luv it”

And my retort:
“Hahahahah! You are HILARIOUS! Didn’t you see how old I was before you emailed me? Or do you just email everyone and hope for the best?
Loser.”

Unfortunately I can’t figure out how to block people on the damn site. Bah! I was sure he’d been sufficiently blown off, but NOOOOO! He couldn’t keep quiet. He had to add this gem:

“No sense of humor? I was teasing…see…true colors come out… I could have said OLD, fat and ugly but I didn’t…lol
Too bad you take yourself SO seriously….
LOSER”

Let’s see if he feels compelled to keep contacting me…