I never thought I’d see the day, but I actually met a man I’m interested in dating on OKCupid. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to date. I’ve never really done it before — what I’m used to is letting friendships evolve over time into sexual and/or romantic relationships. As a result, I’m finding my current interest rather excruciating. Getting to know each other is fascinating, and playing with our mutual attraction is exciting, but we haven’t earned each other’s trust yet. I’m tearing myself up inside over this guy with whom I’ve spent exactly 90 minutes in person.
I’m really taken with him – he’s intelligent, very physically fit, good looking with a gorgeous smile, spiritual without being religious, a good communicator, and deeply respectful. I was impressed when I asked him for more photos and he didn’t send me a cock shot. Perhaps my favorite thing is that he’s very sexual without seeming desperate or sticky. He wants a chance to explore his sexuality and this appeals to me on many levels. I get so much pleasure out of helping people open up and showing them new things.
But not having established trust is getting to me. I don’t know how to find a good balance. My desire wants to just go for it, make a sexual connection, and use it to build trust later. The rest of me is freaking out a bit. I’ve been through date rape, and I certainly don’t want to put myself in that position again.
I sense that he’s not being totally forthcoming with me. I can’t find him in a Google search, which may mean that he’s being private online or it may mean that he isn’t who he says he is. He told me that he wouldn’t want me to blog about him because he likes his secrecy. I’m violating that request right now because it’s essential to me to be able to talk about my feelings and my process. I’m thinking about being alone with him, vulnerable and intimate, without really knowing who he is. How do I know he can be held accountable? What is a reasonable amount of faith before you have a solid foundation of trust?
He tells me he’s married, been married for over 20 years. They’ve just recently opened their marriage. This could be a very good thing for me, since I am so busy with my family that I have very little time and energy to give to another relationship. But here is my warning bell: he and his wife evidently have a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy. He doesn’t want to meet my other partners and he won’t be telling his wife about us. He seemed confused by me trying to explain that I tell my husbands everything. Actually, I am unlikely to share his private confessions, but I would certainly be telling them about my emotional experience and the overall shape of the relationship. I don’t want to have to keep one part of my life separate from the others, and I doubt I’m even capable of it. I am profoundly suspicious of anything that must be kept secret. How, for example, do I know that I’m not causing harm to his wife?
There is also the body hair issue. After it became clear that we are attracted to each other, he asked me if I shave below the neck. While I’ve shaved in the past (body, head, everything at one time or another), I am currently really enjoying my body in a natural state. I love my hairy armpits. I trim my pubic hair, but I won’t be getting a Brazilian any time soon. I think I look ridiculous with a bald pussy and I hate going down on someone all stubbly. I don’t find shaved genitals attractive in general, but I do respect people’s right to do things they like with their body.
For him, however, this seems to be a deal breaker – he says he can’t get turned on if his partner has body hair below the neck. In his favor, he has wanted to know why it seems important to me not to shave. He is respectfully waiting to see what I want to do. Do I want to modify my body to make him happy? Don’t I want him to like me the way I am?
I suspect he may want clandestine sex. An affair. I understand the allure of something forbidden, a kind of exciting shame-fueled sexual adventure. I understand the attraction to the fetish-like taboo of secretive sex, but this is so not me. He says that he’s interested in my passion for normalizing sex, so I’m curious to see if he’s willing to step out of his comfort zones to meet me. But how far should I go to meet him? Where is the right balance between pleasing a prospective lover and holding your own boundaries?
I’ve been enjoying our interactions – mostly texting or sexting. I’m having fun! Sadly, this week is super busy. I had to cancel the second meeting we had scheduled because I am so overwhelmed with holidays, work, and child wrangling. Since I broke that appointment, I haven’t heard from him. Maybe he’s giving me space in this crazy chaotic time. Maybe he’s given up on me. Maybe, like me, he’s trying to figure out how to trust.
I’m not sure how to do this dating thing. I’ve had sex with strangers in the heat of the moment, but never this negotiation of preferences and boundaries, dreaming of steamy relationship potential while trying to navigate all the risk factors. Figuring out public transportation in a foreign country has caused me less stress than this. And yet… I want him. I want him to meet my challenge.