Does This Count As A Date?

It is late at night and I am visiting my mom, lying on her couch in San Fransisco long after she has gone to bed. This trip rounds out a year of celibacy for me. A full stop romantic time-out after a particularly soul crushing break up. It has been a good year. Reflective, maybe even productive, but also lonely and challenging. Being back in my home town has me feeling itchy, ready  to put myself out there for the first time since I passed the one year mark a month ago.

Instead I am scrolling Facebook. I see my friend Amy has started a new blog about her experiences online dating and I follow the link to read a few entries. I love the tone she takes and the dates she describes. It paints a friendly world of endless, complicated and well intentioned men. They go on sweet picnics and out dancing. She learns things and practices boundaries. In one post, she mentions kissing with such fresh innocence that it blows enough dust off my jaded, guarded heart to warm me into a smile. I do love kissing.
I fill out a profile and get to swiping. I can’t believe it. There are so many men! How have I been walking around for 29 years of my life wondering where the men are? They are all here! Collected online for me to peruse!! Men rock climbing, biking, cooking, playing music, working out, helping old ladies cross the road, hugging puppies and taking very cheesy selfies. I like a few of them and instantly my inbox begins filling with messages. My phone dinging like a vegas slot machine.
Me and this one guy get to messaging even though he is in New York and I am in California. He seems cute and his messages are immediately raunchy in a way that matches my late night mood. A few exchanges in, he asks if I want a front row Facetime view of him stroking his cock. I’m a little shocked and then intrigued. Why not? I’m a grown women. What do I have to loose?
Within the minute I am looking at the long pink tower of his dick rising out of its protective bushel of hair. A giggly and shocking reminder after my year of celibacy about the stuff consenting adults can get into on the internet. All of it only a few taps away.
But as the novelty wears off, I come to recognize that he is a boring cyber sex partner. Reticent. Basic. No new words for the often referred to bits and acts. No inventive deviations from the standard skinemax narrative. He keeps asking me what I think about his cock and slips in the ‘dirty little slut’ talk right when I am about to come. Being called a dirty little slut by a stranger is not high on my list of turn ons and it puts a damper on the wave moving through me. My orgasm lands on the shore with a different, undesired flavor.
He did wait for me to come before he stroked himself to climax, though. He did say he liked my big ass and had a beautiful, almost Italian face. Fine boned and full lipped with dark, oiled curls. As sensual in beauty, if not in practice, as a Caravaggio painting. He says good night to me with tenderness and a shameless self-confidence that I deeply admire in someone who has just briefly and partially exposed their sexuality to a new person. So I count my blessings. I close my computer, turn off the lights and welcome my own rebirth back into the weird wide world of dating.

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