By pure chance, I ended up with plans to see three plays, three nights in a row, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday and Friday's plays were with friends, and both were entertaining but still deeply flawed. Saturday, TheLibrarian and I were invited out to see a play with a friend of his who is the local newspaper's theater reviewer. I'd been hearing about TheReviewer for some time now, and TheLibrarian had told me he was in his early 60s. After meeting TheReviewer, I had to ask TheLibrarian several times to confirm his age - because I swear the man looks like he is in his mid-40s. He looks FANTASTIC for his age. Apparently 30+ years of marriage to the same man agree with him. I found TheReviewer to be utterly delightful - we talked and talked and talked so much over dinner that I occasionally had to remind myself to make a point of including TheLibrarian in the conversation, practically forgetting he was there. He didn't seem to mind at all, from the look on his face, I think he was just tickled pink that his two friends were getting on so well.
After dinner, we went to the play, which was a little known David Mamet piece. After it was over, when we walked out, the first thing TheReviewer said to us was "I only have two words to say about that. 'I'm sorry'." We went on to discuss the play's many flaws, which included one of the leads, who kept slipping back and forth between a very formal Victorian style of English and (as TheLibrarian described it) an "Oh no you DI'INT" homegirl style of speech. We chuckled over the badness of it all, wished TheReviewer luck in his daunting task of writing about it for the paper, and went on our merry way. So, the play was disappointing, but the company was delightful.
There was some disappointment and delight before and after the play as well. Before the play, TheLibrarian and I took some time out for some bedroom fun. But something disappointing happened that's never happened with him before, in the erectile function department. There we were, happily going at it orally for a good long wile, much to our mutual enjoyment, and he was hard as a rock. We stopped to move on to the Main Course, so to speak, and... deflation. We tried other things for a while to distract and reinflate, but no amount of attention seemed to be helping.
In 6 months of dating, this has never happened. It's not a huge deal or anything, it happens to everyone now and then and as a general rule doesn't faze me, but I was horny as hell and really WANTED that particular part of him at that moment... and I couldn't help but internalize a bit and wonder if it was something about me that caused the deflation. TheLibrarian assured me that wasn't the case and then went about using other bits of himself to bring on such a crazy wild orgasm that the lack of penile involvement completely left my mind, so yay for that. But I assured him a thorough pouncing was in store for him after we got back from the play.
After we got home, before too long we found ourselves back in the bedroom again. I worried that we might have the same problem again - either because there was something on his mind that was distracting him from sex, or if anxiety about the earlier problem would cause it to happen again. I reeeally wanted that particular accessory to our fun time, and would have been quite disappointed to miss out on it (since I only have access to it once a week these days). My concern was, shall we say, not necessary.
It's like his penis said to him "Yo... Dude... I'm really sorry about letting you down earlier. Let me make it up to you, OK?"
Without going into explicit detail, let's just say it was bigger, better, harder than I can ever remember it being and the sex was, in a word, Fan-fucking-TASTIC. So, um, yay!
And the fan-fucking-tastic sex was followed by a delightful little musical experience. We were playing a game and talking about performances of classic songs by contemporary artists, and I mentioned really liking Annie Lennox's version of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross," and wanting to learn it on the piano. TheLibrarian doesn't read sheet music, but he knows his piano chords progressions half decently and can can improvise a piano accompaniment track with chord notations. TheLibrarian beckoned me over to the piano, and we had a delightful time playing (him) and singing (me) together, something we've never done before. It was a lovely way to end a lovely evening.
Sunday, it was a double date day - as in, I had two different dates, not a date with two couples going out. One was a disappointment, the other was an unexpected delight.
The first date was lunch with a guy from FreeVanilla. I had some substantial reservations about meeting him, and let him know this ahead of time, but agreed to meet him nonetheless.
As a general rule, I don't date guys with kids. I love children, but I don't want to be a parent (or step-parent) myself, and I'd prefer not to date someone whose social life is largely restricted by their time commitments to their children. I make exceptions for guys with grown kids because that's not an issue. And guys with teenagers aren't really an issue either, because their kids already have lives of their own and are comparatively self sufficient (neither needing nor wanting their parent's constant supervision).
As you might have guessed, my lunch date has a teenage kid. Not only that, he's been a single dad since her mom split when she was 6 months old. He seems to be a doting dad, and that's a good thing. We'd chatted online quite a bit when, last week, we started making plans to meet for dinner.
What stopped me short was when he said "Ok... I'll have to get a sitter."
"Wait a minute. Seriously?" I responded. "Your daughter is almost 15 years old and you need to get a sitter to go out to dinner for 2 hours? I was babysitting other peoples' children when I was 12 yeas old!"
Was this guy WAY overprotective, was his daughter seriously developmentally delayed, or did he have good cause not to trust her?
It took a fair bit of discussion to get clarity on what was going on, but basically it sounds like he's concerned about her getting into trouble with boys (which she's done before), and doesn't trust her to stay home unsupervised. Basically it's the Constant Supervision Method of Birth Control. (Which, as I tried to point out to him, is ineffective - if she wants to have sex, she will find time and place and opportunity to do so, and he's better served by making sure she has the information, communication skills, and products necessary to protect herself when she does have sex).
I thought about is situation for a couple of days, and then told him honestly that I was concerned about meeting him. I told him that I don't usually date guys with kids (and why, and why guys with teens were generally not an issue), and that if he wasn't comfortable leaving his daughter home alone for even a couple of hours, that it seemed like it would be VERY difficult for us to have a social life together, and to get any time alone together. He admitted that perhaps he was going to have to learn to trust her more and move away from not leaving her alone for any length of time, and that he hoped it wouldn't become a problem for us. He didn't want me to give up on him, and something told me to give him a chance, so I agreed to meet him. I figured that if we discovered super great compatibility, we'd find a way work through any kid issues, and if we weren't compatible, at least I wouldn't have been left wondering if I missed out on something good by refusing to meet him.
Unfortunately, he was a disappointment. He looked pretty attractive in his photos, but in person he had slightly more cro-magnon knuckle dragging "duh" look to him. He was also in the early stages of a comb-over. It looked like he had a receding hairline (and not a terrible one) and was already starting a comb-over strategy, which was eventually going to look terrible (currently it just looked like an obvious but somewhat poor attempt to address his receding hairline - a better hairdresser could have cut/styled his hair to hide the receding hairline much better). Oh, that, and he was at least a few inches shorter than it said in his profile, leaving him at maybe an inch taller than me instead of 4+ (I don't dig short).
These things might have all been overcome if he had a great and engaging personality. The conversation was OK, we do have some things in common, and I can see maybe hanging out as friends in the future - but intellectually, he doesn't have enough going on to enthrall me and keep up with me as a partner. So, when he texted me later after our date, I was honest with him about how I felt, and we talked about hanging out again sometime as friends.
My second date of the day was impromptu and unexpected. Recently, Katya was telling me about a friend and lover of hers she met some time back on SexSite who she thought I might really like. She told some very amusing stories about him, and he sounded like a lot of fun, not to mention that we had a lot in common. And luckily for me, the lovely Katya is gracious enough to share. She's got a husband and a serious long term boyfriend, not to mention an unknown number of other lovers, so she's got boys to spare. She thought we'd really enjoy one another, and suggested introducing us sometime.
I was interested, but walked away from the conversation not thinking much of it. I figured Katya might never get around to remembering to make the introduction, and if she did, he might not be my cup of tea. With the obvious exception of her lovely husband, Katya's and my taste in men are often very different from one another. So, imagine my surprise a few days later when Katya said that her friend (who I'm going to call Traveler, because he's quite the world traveler) had invited us over to dinner on Tuesday. The "us" being invited included Katya, her husband Gregory, her boyfriend, Gregory's girlfriend, and me (Gregory's lover). Quite the little intermixing poly crowd. And knowing all the people involved (well, except Traveler of course), I thought that sounded like a lovely way to spend an evening. So I rearranged some things in my schedule and accepted the invitation, still not knowing what Traveler looked like.
After that, Katya gave me his screenname on SexSite, and I went to check him out. I'd seen his profile before, but the photo (which was of him in sunglasses) looked an awful lot like Chris, the depressed douchebag I dated in 2007, and I couldn't tell from the profile whether it was him or not, so I didn't contact him.
But this time I saw a couple of more pictures. Tasty! Definitely not Chris. I liked what I saw. He emailed me and introduced himself. We exchanged a couple of emails, and then got to talking via instant messenger and exchanging phone numbers. He called so we could discuss directions to his place for Tuesday and had a great chat. He ended up inviting me out to an impromptu dinner, and since I hadn't eaten yet, I said yes. An hour later, we were sitting in a restaurant together laughing our butts off.
In person he was even better looking than in his photos, a very metrosexual well dressed tall man with short black hair and a sexy little soul patch, he looks younger than his 40 years. And we got on famously. He is outgoing and smart and funny and charming and a great storyteller - and boy does he have a lot of stories to tell.
He's lived a pretty fantastical life. To hear all his stories, if I'd not received a glowing reference from a trusted friend, I'd probably have thought "this guy has GOT to be a pathological liar!" A supersmart kid who was bored in school, he graduated early and eventually joined the military and became an airborne ranger. After doing that for a few years, he eventually left the military and got into the entertainment industry in LA, where he did technical work on many major productions (leading to a few emmy awards for his team's work), and eventually he got into the business he's in now (which was originally his wife's) which is a quite successful company in the bridal industry, for which he regularly travels all over the world (Fashion Week in Milan, anyone?).
He professed to being a rabid lover of music, but having little musical talent of his own. He said he's long wanted to learn an instrument, so he's trying to learn to play the bass guitar. I said that if he liked, I could teach him to play the piano, and he relayed one of many hilarious stories of his. His neighbor, when he'd lived in LA, had tried for a while to teach him to play the piano before giving up on him in frustration and despair of him ever learning. His neighbor? Dudley Moore. Moore was best known as an actor, but he was a very accomplished musician and composer as well, and was very well known for his skills on the piano.
I said that if Dudley Moore of all people couldn't teach him to play the piano, then I probably wouldn't have much more success. And then Traveler went on to regale me with stories of his neighbor on the other side, the big bunch of crazy that is Gary Busey.
So, you can see, what with all the stories, why I might have wondered if this guy was a pathological liar. So far, my instincts are telling me that he is not. I googled him, and found articles about him and his company (as well as his company's website) and everything he told me about that seems to be on the up and up, which lends credibility to the rest of his stories (not to mention that Katya's seen even more confirmation of the truth of his stories).
But anyhow, so far, this guy was seeming great over dinner. We had no shortage of things to talk about, and had a great time talking and laughing and eating together. This was definitely someone I found attractive and intellectually stimulating. Definitely someone I wanted to get to know better. Definitely someone I wanted to see again.
But... was this someone I could see myself dating romantically?
Well, that remains to be seen.
The one big iffy factor with Traveler is that he is recently widowed. He lost his wife about a year ago after a many years long struggle with cancer. He talked about it and her quite a bit on our date, which might seem like a major dating faux pas, but... well, it's still recent, and generally she came up in the context of relating life history type of stuff (and going through a cancer battle and losing your spouse is a major bit of life history). Clearly, he loved her truly and deeply. Katya said she didn't think she could ever date him romantically were she single, because she'd feel like she would always live in the shadow of the awesome dead wife and never measure up. And to hear him talk about her, I can certainly see how some women might feel that way.
But I don't know if agree, for me. I think that hearing him talk lovingly about his wife was an encouraging sign of the sort of man he can be in a relationship and how he can feel about someone. I think that when he finds the right connection in the future, it will be with someone who he can feel just as deeply for if not more, and she'll feel so loved and adored she won't feel threatened by the wife who came before her. So, I'm not necessarily threatened by it, and will just see what comes with time with him.
Traveler's profile on SexSite says he's not specifically looking for a long term relationship, but if it happens, so be it. I think that after his wife's death, when he was eventually ready to move on and take care of himself for a while (after having spent many years caring for her), he wasn't quite ready to jump into another relationship and decided to just have some fun and start meeting people (hence the profile on SexSite and hooking up with spiffy people like Katya). Having been doing that for a while now, think that he's in a place where he's still having fun and living life and... if someone comes along that is really compatible with him, he's open to the possibilities of forming a relationship - which is a good place to be at. I think that, for the two of us both, there will be a period of getting to know one another and feeling one another out and before too long it will be obvious to us both (as it was obvious to us both over dinner that we were engaged with one another) whether we're on a romantic path or a friends with benefits path. And whichever it is, is fine.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We were just having dinner, right?
Well, by the time dinner was over, we were still very engaged in conversation and in one another, and I didn't want our time together to end, so I invited him to come back to my place. Generally, I don't invite a stranger to my home on a first date, but since Katya trusts him, I wasn't concerned about my personal safety bringing him home with me.
We sat and talked for hours. His stories were great, we continued to have tons in common, and talked with that feeling like we'd known one another for ages, and like we already knew we'd be friends for a good long while.
It was hours before he made a move on me. When he finally kissed me, it was... delicious! He was a great kisser, and we ended up making out for hours. He was deliciously tempting, but very well behaved. He got me incredibly worked up, and my lusty side reeeeeally wanted to have sex with him, but my rational side did not want me to have sex with someone I'd just met a few hours earlier (for a bazillion reasons I've discussed here before). At one point, after we'd been necking for quite a while, he started to unbuckle my belt, and after I gently said no, he didn't press it or try again. We kept our "petting" above the waist, and had a wonderfully delightful time making out for ages and ages. I let him know that while I was super into him and super turned on by him, and while I was sure I would quite enjoy it if we did, I didn't want to have sex with a man I'd just met. He was totally fine with that. Eventually I had to send him home lest my lust overtake my good sense and give in to temptation. I chose to let the anticipation build until the next time instead.
Of course, it took at least half an hour to move from "I must send you home" to actually getting him out the door - I couldn't keep my lips off of him, he's a fantastic kisser, and we were both all kinds of worked up. Each time I'd push him away to send him home, I'd end up kissing him again before he got terribly far away and we'd start all over again.
But eventually, I did send him home sometime after 1am. About an hour later, he came online and we started flirting via IM. We were both wide awake despite the late hour, and he flirted that it wasn't too late to have our second date... he was perfectly willing to turn around and come back to my place (we live about 40 minutes apart). I was verrrry tempted but declined. Instead, he turned on his webcam and voice chat and talked to me while he puttered around his bedroom. After a nice chat, we parted ways to try to get some sleep, it was very late.
He chatted me up this morning as well, and we've talked about all kinds of fun things related to all that we have in common (from music to cooking to sex to a shared passion for travel). He invited me to see him again this afternoon, but I told him I am going to try to retain the shreds of willpower I have left and delay seeing him until our dinner plans with the gang tomorrow evening. But we're planning on me sticking around after everyone else leaves the little party tomorrow, so that we can have a private little party of our own.
It's good to be wanted. It's good to meet someone I want! He's got a lot going for him on a lot of levels, and I think that it's likely that even if it never becomes anything more, he may become a good friend, a good lover, a super fun person to spend time with, and perhaps a great travel mate as well.
What an unexpectedly delightful evening I had! It definitely made up for the weekend's minor disappointments and then some.