I got a note from a man I had to written to once before on an online dating service and he had ignored me. His profile was literate with no misspelled words (a peeve of mine), and he read books (real books not pop authors with a formula like John Grisham or James Patterson). He looked like one of the favorite uncles from my childhood, so I answered.
I’ll begin my online dating story with some basic facts…he was eight years older than me, successful, and had two marriages behind him. We grew up in the same part of New York City, and his raspy Soprano-like accent was comforting and familiar. He also was a bike racer and in amazing shape. He had a six year-old son that he adored… Bingo.
On our first date we went to a sushi restaurant atop a building in the city, that is well known, pricey and a great spot for first dates. He was standing at the bar when I walked in and looked exactly like his profile picture. He wore an outfit that could have come right out of “Queer eye for the straight guy.”
I had just quit my job 45 minutes earlier and still didn’t have a signed contract from my new employer. I was scared to death. He was kind and solicitous. After dinner he started touching me, my hands, my arms, my legs (a little). He had this way of looking at me like I was the only person in the room. I always fall for that shit.
At some point when we’d gone on to another bar and I was getting ready to go home, he suggested that he come with me. First date sex, are you kidding me?
I went away for a week, including all online dating, and I told him that I liked him but he came on too strong. He said he would tone it down a bit.
At the beach, I met someone twenty years younger than me who looked like a Ralph Lauren model. He was rich and didn’t have to work anymore. I was with a friend and his friend liked her. And he liked me. But I wasn’t ready for what would probably be a one night stand, so we said goodbye in the parking lot and that was it. For the next year, my girlfriend reminded me what an idiot I had been.
I got home and told Gus he would have to wait eight dates for sex. That was my new motto – if they stuck around that long then they really liked you. He promised me that he would not start something if he was going to disappear afterwards. And of course, he lied.
Those who are left lie. Those who hide behind an online dating photo and a profile that says they’re humorous, honest, and sincere always lie. They lie about who they are and they lie about what they want. They say only what they know we will want to hear and have the perfect vehicle through which to lie, disappear, hunt and never be satisfied with those they find. It’s like we’re still in our twenties and everyone is out hunting for sex, but of course we’re grown-ups now and so it has to be meaningful. I am so tired of it sometimes, I just want to scream.
Of course Gus and I had sex sooner than the eight dates, probably around number four. He had a problem. My first thought when I touched his penis was Where is the rest of it?
Although you can’t tell men this, especially those you really like, bigger is better always. I married bigger and believed that all men were like that except for one guy I met in my twenties who just had a small penis. His friends teased him about it in front of me. But he was a good guy, a nice guy, and I went out with him for a couple of months just to prove I didn’t care that he had a small penis.
In post-divorce, forty-something dating there is a plethora of different types of penises. Some are smaller, some are bigger, but one thing that’s consistent is they don’t always work. And when they do work, it doesn’t last long. They are one and done.
So I told myself the bigger the penis, the bigger the jerk. Gus continued to woo me, and I decided to try to figure out how to make all of his parts work or learn to live with fewer working ones than I expected.
A couple more dates down the line, I went out and bought food, made him dinner, and suggested that we have a quiet romantic evening at my house. He brought truffles and white roses, a perfect antidote for not having a penis.
Trouble was from the moment he came into my house he had something to prove. He started kissing me. I was taken aback and felt a little used but knew that it was important to him, so went along with it. His penis didn’t work again. He said, “This never happens.”
I made salmon and risotto and green beans. We drank a lot of white wine. Later on that night we went back to my bed and held each other and talked and talked. It was lovely and warm and snuggly. And I was doing the decent thing, or at least I thought so. We didn’t talk about it.
I called him the next day in the morning, and told him about the one other time that had happened to me, and we didn’t talk again for 10 years. With him I didn’t want that. We spent an hour on the phone talking about anything we could think of. He called again and made a date for the following Thursday
Again when he came to pick me up all he wanted to do was show me that he could have sex. He carried the wine and I carried the candles. I went to the bathroom and came back into my bedroom and he had taken off his clothes and was lying in his underwear on my bed. The sex was so short I barely got out “Oh Gus” and he “Oh – my name” and it was over.
Still we had a great night, sat on my couch and listened to music and talked. He had gotten a babysitter but started to get weird, and wanted to duck out early. I went to bed.
The next morning I got up and checked my email and I’m expecting this what a great night I had note. So I go out for coffee and come back, and there’s a note from Gus written to a woman named Sue. This is what it said. . .
“I’m ready to dump the one from last night. She smokes cigarettes sometimes and her 11 year-old son found them and there are other things too. Oh well on to the next.”
So I picked up the phone and called him.
“You sent me an email.”
“Yes would you like me to read it to you?”
I did. There was silence then. . .
“I’m in the car with my son, let me call you later.”
Of course he didn’t call, he emailed, the chicken shit way out. He said that the “onto the next” email was meant for his friend Sue, a married woman he regaled with his online dating stories.
That made me feel oh so much better. Not.
I was talking to a friend about my Gus experience and she said that’s what all the men with erectile dysfunction do. They won’t take the little blue pills because they are “manly men” and they are also scared of having a four hour erection, which appears to be the only thing they remember from the Viagra ads. We women should be so lucky.
She said after their penis doesn’t work a couple of times they just break up with you. Of course it has to be something about you that they pick on, because it can’t be about the fact that their penis doesn’t work and they’re embarrassed. It’s happened a few times since and she was absolutely right.