Tag Archives: cheating

Emotionally Trying Friday

I took the weekend off. I’ve been regarding this blog as my job, since I don’t really have one. And I needed a rest. It was a very peculiar and somewhat trying Friday, followed by a bunch of fun on Saturday. This is gonna be a long one…in fact, I’m gonna break it into two separate posts…I’ll start with my emotionally draining Friday the 13th.

I had lunch plans with The Poet. We’d been exchanging involved emails discussing complex issues that I thought would be best communicated about live, so I was looking forward to it. We dug into the deep stuff right away. I told him about my “date” the previous evening with another Ashley Madison man. Yeah, I’d “retired” from that but this guy was already “in the pipeline,” so I’d agreed to meet him. I shared with The Poet how this guy, still married, had already had a three-year relationship but remained with his wife. I was baffled. We covered a lot of difficult territory, most of which is so personal that there’s no point in sharing it here. We briefly touched on coincidences and the concept of “there are no accidents.” Strange… On our previous lunch date I was almost in tears a few times. This particular day it was The Poet whose eyes welled up. As we parted, he said I’d given him a lot to think about.

By the end of our lunch, and a conversation that continued in the park, I was pretty exhausted. But I had made plans to meet a DPW friend visiting NYC. I was a little leery about getting together with the guy because he works on the same crew as my ex. It makes me uncomfortable to let people into my life who might share information about me with him. Not that it matters, I suppose, since he’s let me know that he reads this blog. Which in itself is creepy. Anyway. You, dear readers, know what I’ve been going through, at least over these past few months I’ve been writing this…Bloggers don’t have too many secrets, I guess.

My friend Sandra came over around 6. “What does this ex-boyfriend of yours look like?” she asked, completely out of the blue. I have a few pix on my hard drive and showed those to her, then said, “Oh, there are some more recent ones on Facebook.” When I clicked on those I thought it odd that he was no longer “tagged” in the photos but figured he must’ve “un-tagged” himself. Whatever.

Sandra and I went to 2A, where my DPW friend joined us for drinks and popcorn. A few beers in, he flashed his phone at me: an email from my ex to their crew list. “Why are you showing me that?” I asked, puzzled. “I thought you guys were okay,” he said, quickly putting his phone back in his pocket when he saw the look on my face. “No, we aren’t okay,” I told him. He immediately apologized and generally felt lousy. Over the next few hours a rather ugly and disappointing story came out.

This man had been seeing a woman for over a year. She and my ex had been “hanging out” recently, but the ex assured my friend, “You’ve got nothing to worry about, dude,” and claiming, “There’s nothing going on.” A week before he left on this trip that brought him to NYC, he took this woman to a party attended by many of his crew friends, including my ex. She had spent the night before with my friend, at his place. Within an hour of arriving at the party, my friend wondered where his date had gone. The woman at whose house the party was being held said, “I’ll show you.” This guy followed her, along with a few other fellow crew members, as she opened a bedroom door to reveal my ex fucking this guy’s date. Apparently everyone found this to be most amusing, since they all laughed.

Okay. I know I’ve been asking this a lot lately, but WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MATTER WITH PEOPLE? How many horrible things are wrong with this picture? Aside from my personal feelings about it all — and, hey, I have NO claims on my ex….none — as one human to another, who would do such a shitty thing? Lie to a friend. Fuck his date. In the middle of a party. And the woman who led the guy to see this? What on earth was she thinking? Is humiliating a friend some new sort of sport? Everyone who laughed? Is the embarrassment of someone you care for funny? It all makes me ill.

Well, having received his news I was, surprisingly, not nearly as upset as I would’ve thought I’d be. I’m already staring down a summer where I’m assuming I’ll have to see this dreaded ex at three meals a day. It will now be easier. It made me wonder, though, about his photos being “un-tagged” so I checked Facebook. He is not only no longer my “friend,” he has “blocked” me. I feel like a 12-year-old even talking about this but Facebook seems to encourage junior high-like behavior. Blocking is a pretty aggressive move and, in this case, was totally unnecessary, as I began “hiding” his posts, so I wouldn’t see any of them, way back in November. I hadn’t looked at his page for months. Again, whatever.

My friends are in agreement that this news — and the ex’s rather douchebaggy behavior — was a gift, a first step down the road toward finally falling out of love with him. I’ve repeatedly tried to be his friend, only to be shown, sadly, how lousy he is at being a friend. This skeezy scenario only reinforces my opinion. It won’t be pretty having to see the guy but at least being able to hold that tableau in my mind any time I think I still have feelings for him will be a big help. Onward!

Random Ramblings

Yes, cheating is all the rage! Ashley Madison has been in the news a lot lately, which was how I wound up joining the site. Last night a “cheating” web site was a subject in the plot of CBS’s “The Good Wife.” If you’re unfamiliar, the protagonist, played by Julianna Margulies, has a philandering husband. In last night’s episode she was defending a client, played by the delicious Sarah Silverman, in a lawsuit holding her responsible for the death of a member of her web site, Side Adventures, a cheating web site based, of course, on Ashley Madison.

Silverman’s character delivered convincing lines about open marriages and jealousy. She also made a great case for the use of a cheating web site. Having just deactivated my profile, I was already experiencing withdrawals. More on that another time.

Also on TV last night, a story about how birth control can ruin your marriage. Research suggests that the pill and other hormonal interventions may be the cause of women’s “loss of interest,” which may lead to divorce. Yeah, that’s right, blame it on women! It’s the hormones, not husbands’ paunch or hairy ears or whatever. Yup. That’s it!

While I can understand the connection between hormones and arousal (read a bit about it here), my personal experience was always pretty positive. Not needing to worry about pregnancy allowed for a sense of freedom that certainly enhanced my “arousal.” The studies about how the pill affects “how sexy a man smells” make sense, too, and are further proof of why online dating is such a crap shoot. (I know, it’s a leap, from contraception to OkCupid, but you get my drift. Right?)

Anyway, everything I’ve been writing about — and thinking about — lately makes me wish I’d majored in Sociology instead of Journalism and become someone who studies human behavior. I find it endlessly fascinating. I suppose it’s never too late to change “careers.” Uh-oh.

Okay, now I’ve got to go find something as least as distracting as clicking on OkCupid and Ashley Madison every five seconds has managed to be…

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!

Careful, You’re Emailing a Callous Cunt!

Holy fucking christ-on-a-trampoline. It just keeps getting more and even MORE hilarious! I’ve been dying to fill you all in on another dozen ridiculous dicks and share more embarrassing bathroom mirror self-portraits but some of the emails I’ve been receiving are even more laughable. Check out these tools:

Hello,
My name is “Dave.” I found your lovely posting today and I thought I would reply in hopes that we might have something in common. I had been in a committed monogamous ten year relationship – the best ten years of my life – but my lovely lady passed away earlier this year. The time is not yet right for me to start a new relationship like I had with her but I do miss the intimacy – of conversation and of the body – and I miss the loving, the caring, the fun and excitement of two people who completely enjoyed being with each other. Frankly I am hoping to find someone through Ashley Madison who can share those feelings with me but who is not looking for a long term commitment (at least not right at this moment). The timing is just not right yet for me but I hope that will change with time.
I am retired after 40 years of professional work as a project manager for large companies around the world. I love to travel, love the City but also love the beach, boating, the mountains, skiing. And I love to love! I know you said almost never older but that you might be convinced otherwise. I do believe you will find me incredibly young at heart and young in body. In fact my lover often just referred to me as her “teenager”!
My home is on the North Fork of Long Island, I am often in Northern New Jersey and in the City visiting with family and friends and I can travel pretty much anywhere in the Northeast to visit with the right person. If you find what I have said to be interesting, please email me back in some detail, telling me a little more about yourself, and perhaps if there is mutual interest, we could arrange to meet somewhere for a no-commitment cup of coffee or a drink.
Looking forward to hearing from you,

“Dave”

Hello, “Dave,”
Let me get this straight. You’re a 64-year-old widower who isn’t interested in a long-term relationship. What do you have to offer me? A no strings attached roll in the hay? Why on earth would I want that? Especially with someone so much older? When I’m getting emails from 27-year-olds? Mind you, I have no interest in anyone that young. But I also have no interest in anyone that old. I’d prefer someone close to my age, someone I have something in common with. What, pray tell, do you think we might have in common? Do you go out to parties every weekend til 4am? Do you enjoy dressing up in costumes and dropping E? Do you drink in East Village dive bars? Have you been to Burning Man? A sex club? Bonaroo? Coachella? Figment?
Your “lover” said you were “her teenager.” Well, that may have been. But you clearly aren’t. Obviously neither am I but I would NEVER “market” myself as such. Get a grip, man! Please re-read what you wrote me and think it through before you email the same thing to someone else. You say you want intimacy but to what end? We create that intimacy to NO end? What would be the point?
Why aren’t you on a regular dating site looking for people closer to your age? Wouldn’t that make more sense? With possibly better results? Why would you be on a site designed for married people to have affairs?
I’m sorry to be so abrupt and callous but I feel like it’s my obligation to ask “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!?!”
Do yourself a HUGE favor and join Match.com or some other dating site that is NOT about affairs! That isn’t about people looking for a quick fuck or a sugar daddy arrangement or some other screwed-up situation. You’re obviously a very nice man. Don’t subject yourself to this sort of bullshit.
If you’re really just looking for a one-night stand, you might be better served hiring a hooker. Seriously. I can’t imagine there’s much demand for a 67-year-old guy looking for random sex. Holy shit what is this world coming to?
Best of luck to you.
A

This guy was not only old but short. Like 5’4” short. That is SHORT. His opening salvo:

The picture of you toasting my health got my blood up. Wonder Woman incarnate! (5’10’ , Riviting in a skirt and Boots) I’m by Van Cortland Pk. Where are You?
You’ve had a different experience than I. I’ve become jaded in that I’ve met no one. Its all a slide show.

So I checked out the guy’s profile. Here are his stats:
Age: 59
Location: Yonkers, New York, United States
Height: 5’4″ (163cm)
Weight: 130 lbs (59kg) – Fit
My Limits are: Whatever Excites Me
Status: Single Male seeking Females
Gender: Male
Ethnicity: Hispanic

FIVE FOOT FOUR? Does he represent the Lollipop Guild? I respond politely:

Thank you for your kind words. Haven’t we met on OkCupid? I’m afraid 5’4″ is just a little too short for me, even with your Wonder Woman fantasies!
Best of luck in your search!
Abby

And the ballsy little gnome comes back with:

A fond recollection not a fantasy. 5′ 8” and 170 was the Juno I dated for awhile. SHE convinced me that not every amazon views me as a troll, O well, No attack submarine for you.
Good Luck

No attack submarine for me? Are we playing in the bathtub? And WHY the hell do short guys feel compelled to tell me about the other TALL women they’ve dated? Like I give a shit! I have, literally, dozens of guys to choose from here in the erotic ether. Why would I want a gnome? I did need to give him kudos, though:

Congratulations on such healthy self-confidence! My loss, I guess!

Yeah, right, my loss. NO submarine attack for me! (Said in the voice of NO SOUP FOR YOU!) Bwahahahahaha! Oh man… Guffaw!

Here’s another older man attempting to convince me to adjust my desires for him:

You sound wonderful but before I go any further, I’m curious why you are on a sight where most men are attached. I am a caring, giving, sensitive mature man that seems to be on the same page with you in every other way. Please respond even if not interested.

I have a number of reasons for being on this site… I can’t say I’m interested. Most of the men on here lead alarmingly dull lives, even those far younger than I am. I move at a fairly fast pace…
Abby

Thanks for responding. Give it some thought as I think you will be very pleasantly surprised. I don’t mean to sound conceited but I may just be what you are looking for. As to your reasons, perhaps you want to share a few with me. As to the age issue, experience in life comes from having been around and learning what pleases one emotionally as well as physically. Take a shot. Incidentally, where do you live? Again, thanks for responding, it makes be believe you are real.

I can assure you I am VERY real. I am also not at all interested. Seriously? You’re 67. And married. How do you figure you could possibly be “what I’m looking for?” I have lived an extremely wild life and have had plenty of experiences, including well over 100 sexual partners, many of whom most definitely knew how to “please me.” Conceited isn’t the word. More like deluded. I appreciate your self-confidence and suggest you use it to find someone closer to your age who is married as well. As a single woman I don’t need to even come CLOSE to compromising. If your photo doesn’t immediately appeal to me, you aren’t over six feet tall, between the ages of 40 and 53, you don’t type out exactly the most perfect words to charm me and motivate me to respond to you, well, what can I say but DELETE!
Forgive my harsh response. I’ve been receiving so many of these emails and find them so appalling that I feel obligated to at least attempt to set men straight. You, of course, are obviously free to also hit “delete.”
Best of luck in your search.
A

And just to prove that I’m not just discriminating against older dudes, I got this email from a 28-year-old attached guy. Wait. He’s TWENTY-EIGHT? And MARRIED? And ALREADY looking to cheat on his wife? Oy fuckin’ vey.

Hello,
This is my first time messaging anybody on this website, your smile drew me right in 🙂 You sound like an extremely fun person to be around! I incredibly enjoyed your profile, it had a real voice to it. While my profile may be lacking I hope to make up for it with this message. I’m 28, live in Manhattan, absolutely love live music and am currently finishing up grad school at Columbia. I’m not here to find just anybody but would rather meet someone who is intelligent enough to articulate their wants, needs and desires. I think communication and chemistry are essential to developing a transcendent connection with someone, even be it brief. I would also like to share some fantasies and fulfill some along the way 🙂
Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

“Bob”

“Bob,”
Thank you for your kind words! I’m flattered that I was the first person you reached out to. However, I have to question, why me?
Your email was very thoughtful and surprisingly well-written. So many people sound illiterate on this site (and others). I appreciate your quest for a transcendent connection and everything that goes along with it. May I suggest you try to find that with someone closer to your age? You mention fantasies…I have years of experience in adult entertainment and intimately understand fetishes, fantasies and sexual desires. Yours may feature an older, mature woman. Unfortunately, mine do NOT feature ME being cast in that role. I don’t want to be anyone’s mom, teacher, best friend’s grandma or anything similarly depressing. Perhaps when you’re older you’ll understand. Of course then you may be one of the sad-sack 67-year-olds emailing me, still, about your fantasies! I certainly hope not!
I’m sure there are quite literally hundreds of women on here eager to be your older woman. I’d bet you’ll have better luck with the married women whose husbands are, perhaps, less able to please them sexually or with less stamina. I’m single, so I can pretty much sleep with whoever I want! Ya know what I’m sayin’?
Anyway, best of luck in your search!
A

I’ll be sure to update you all when and if these guys respond… And yes, I AM, indeed, a totally callous, unfeeling cunt. Better me than you!

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.

Is It True What They Say…About Ashley Madison Men?

So I’ve been on Ashley Madison for over a week now and the emails have been piling up. They are, quite literally, all over the map: 21-year-olds to 67-year-olds, San Diego to Ontario and everywhere in between. My initial observations still stand: most of the men are married, as one might expect, and most of those married men are both taller and better looking than the motley selection of single dudes on other dating sites. General behavior is markedly more paranoid and evasive, no doubt a symptom of sneaking.

The site goes back and forth on letting me respond to my admirers for free, either cutting me off completely while waiting for my profile to be “approved” or informing me that I need to purchase credits. I’m not sure if the site is buggy or if their tech is just crap. They extended 25 free credits after what I’m assuming was my complimentary grace period yet now I intermittently seem to have more. No notice of when or why I have more, just sometimes when I hit “reply” my message is magically delivered while other times it is sent “collect,” an embarrassing situation I’d prefer to avoid.

I’ve already managed to meet up with two men in person and neither of them are married. Of course, neither is technically single, either. I’ll change their names, to make it all seem more mysterious:

“Dave” is a tall, dark and handsome former professional athlete from suburban Long Island who is going through a divorce. He has a great sense of humor, seemed to be entertained by me and was generous to a fault: he not only treated me to a bunch of yummy purple margaritas, he bought rounds for my friends as well. (The plan was to meet him for a few cocktails before I was meeting my pals and he wound up hanging out. Don’t want anyone to think I invited him to a group gathering expecting him to carry all of us!) He wasn’t in the least bit sad-sack and genuinely enthused, “Abby, you are living!” which cracked me up. Yes, indeed, I am! He eventually bumbled off to dinner with a friend but neglected to follow up with a “nice meeting you” email or anything else. I sent one to him and he responded with a very brief and non-committal communiqué, so I’ll assume that I won’t be seeing him again. Either, upon sober reflection, my “living” life frightened him off or he’s not as deep into that divorce as he said he was. Who knows? I enjoyed his company and didn’t have to pay to get drunk! Huzzah!

“Jim” immediately struck my fancy. His profile listed him as “attached” but he didn’t seem over-eager to jump into bed, sounding more like a businessman stuck in the city in search of someone with whom to share dinner and perhaps a few laughs. Easy enough! We met at a new neighborhood restaurant and he was even better looking in person than he’d been online. Tall, dark, distinguished touch of grey at the temples and great teeth! Fantastic smile, too! His story turned out to be that he’s divorced but seeing someone and they’re both just…bored. Seems to be a common affliction. Surprise! Anyway…at least I wasn’t gonna be cast in the “other woman, dreaded home-wrecker” role… His sexual history was a hoot as well: Catholic schoolboy-cum-college student loses his virginity to a married 40-something Mrs. Robinson and they carry on a torrid four-year affair! She teaches him “things that still work!” Whoa, baby! Sounds good to me!

We immediately fell into an easy and engaging conversation — the perfect balance of banter — and agreed on beers, tapas and just about everything else! He interjected a few suggestive asides but, rather than being off-putting, they were wryly delivered and therefor surprisingly welcomed. He was animated and intelligent and earnestly seemed to find me “really interesting.” When he leaned in for a quick kiss, with the somewhat chestnut-ty “Sorry, I couldn’t resist any longer,” even that was perfectly timed. We had a couple of beers and a lot of laughs — the perfect date — and when he walked me home there were more than a few absolutely amazing kisses. I can’t really explain why I didn’t drag his ass upstairs into my apartment. Sigh. I blamed my reluctance on the messy foster dog situation but maybe the situation itself just felt a bit too…cliché. It’s really a horse I need to get back on and ride, if you’ll forgive the hackneyed phraseology. Next time I’ll force myself! Giddyup! Stay tuned!

Promise of an Affair Cures Influenza! Call Kathie Lee!

Okay, so I went to the doctor this morning. I’d been feeling lousy for so long I thought something must be seriously amiss. Not so! After a phalanx of tests — boy, did I get my $20 worth! — the very nice man told me that although he was trying his best, he simply couldn’t find anything wrong with me. Oh, there is plenty wrong with me. But apparently I am incredibly healthy! He assured me that whatever was plaguing me was no doubt viral and that it would soon disappear. And he told me to schedule a colonoscopy. Ah the joys of being over 50!

While I was in the waiting room, I watched Hoda and Kathie Lee do a piece on AshleyMadison, a site with the (original) intent of assisting married people with having affairs. Or, as the reporter so aptly put it, “for aspiring adulterers.” Their guests were Jeff Gardere, a pyschologist, and Editor-in-Chief of Redbook, Jill Herzig.

Gardere finds the site “morally reprehensible” and I’m not going to even bother weighing in on the virtue of any web site since the internet is, and always has been, essentially one enormous singles’ bar. Especially since I got home and immediately joined the site!

I was given the option of selecting “Attached female seeking males” or “Single female seeking males,” quickly putting lie to the talk show hostesses’ claim that “you must be in a committed relationship” to become a “member.” Within an hour I’d received over a dozen “winks” and more than 50 emails, including many “Access to Private Showcase” keys, some of which included, yes, photos of penises. Sigh. In what universe do women actually find this enticing? Is it just me? What happened to the mystery and the magic? If I’m gonna conduct an affair with someone, can’t his cock be a surprise? I digress…

There are also, not surprisingly, loads of bare chest portraits. I suppose if you’re cheating on your wife, it’s best not to put your face right out there. But those oh-so-easily ogle-able “private showcase” shots aren’t what I’d call discreet. If you had even an inkling that your husband — or wife — were on AshleyMadison, it wouldn’t be very hard to find them.

Herzig expressed surprise that so many men seemed to be searching for “a connection,” for that initial thrill of the new, that “passing notes in class” excitement. Really. Now what on earth would make anyone want romance and passion and new and exciting? No idea. Yeah, gimme some more of that no-thanks-honey, roll over and fart, the thrill is gone, will ya please! Holy shit! Is she kidding? How does she think romance novels, womens’ magazines (like her own, for instance), porn publications and countless advice columnists have managed to stay in business for so many decades? Not to mention sex toy shops! If someone figured out how to bottle that “passing notes in class” passion, they’d be rich!

But back to the site and my potential suitors. Succumbing to a last-minute ethical panic attack, I’d decided not to lie about my marital status and signed on as a “single female,” but the assumption is, I suppose, that most of the men on the site are attached. And lemme tell ya, for good reason! Every guy who has emailed me — or at least as many as I’ve managed to view so far — is over 6′ tall and handsome as hell! Even the distinguished older gentleman who I gently rejected wore his tuxedo well.

Though not everyone posts pix and without the benefit of photos, I am leery about the veracity of the mens’ stats when so many of them claim to be 6’2″ and 210 pounds. Um, why all so similar? But let’s not burst my fantasy bubble too quickly! And it wouldn’t be a hook-up site without the unbeatable treat of some lame-ass 18-year-old offering to show me a good time: “Im steve and well i could show you a couple of things …maybe some butt smacking hair pulling or whatever your into , reply if interested” [sic] Yeah, so much for fantasy…

Getting back to my ethical quandary: Do I date these married dudes? Is it bad karma to be “the other woman?”  On TODAY, the reporter interviewed a newly-married couple who’d met on, yes, Ashley Madison! Well, why not? At the time they were both unhappily married to other people but now they’ve found marital bliss with each other. For the time being, at least… What if I should sit down for one of those mythical discreet dinners with some sad sack married man who subsequently falls madly in love with me? Would being a home wrecker be so bad if it meant eternal happiness for me, me, ME? I can’t say it would keep me up at night.

And given that the original purpose of the site was to, basically, facilitate lying, who’s to say that any of this is true? All these guys could be single and looking for NSA flings where they have an “excuse” to never introduce you to their friends, spend holidays with you or take you home at night. Not a bad deal if all you want in return is potential candlelit dinners, sexy lingerie shopping sprees and bedpost-slammin’ sex.

I actually know someone who has been on Ashley Madison for a while. She cheated on her (very handsome and talented and perfectly lovely) husband for years with all manner of strange men and wore her scandalously expensive lingerie as a badge of honor. They are now separated and I’m not sure if she’s still shopping…for boudoir ensembles or men. But I’ll admit, the idea of someone taking me to Agent Provocateur for a pair of lacy panties sounds like a damn good time to me! And I couldn’t blame this woman for her infidelity. The heart (and, obviously, the genitals) wants what it (they) want!

Noel Biderman, President of Ashley Madison, was part of the TODAY piece and his opinion that monogamy is on the wane is debatable. I certainly know dozens of people who are living what most would consider “alt” lifestyles. But is marriage a thing of the past? I think not. At least not yet.

I realize this topic — or topics, actually — cannot be encapsulated, especially in this somewhat sprawling blog post. It is a juicy one, though! And it’s really all just further fodder for my online dating odyssey. Okay, I’ve got some emails to answer! Stay tuned!