It’s a new year, and I am still cringing from an old one. Just a few updates and then something I would have typed a post about last year, had life not been more pressing. For the moment, the eviction proceeding that I’d faced since May 2018 is over. It was discontinued without prejudice, which means the landlord lost, yet is free to try again, which he will. Considering this ends the involvement of my former union attorney (who began the case when I still worked for the city and thus had to continue aiding me, even 4 months after I’d been axed), a fact the landlord bragged to my mother that he is aware of, this could be a case of winning a battle but losing the war. But for now, a respite.
In better news, the new gig I got around mid-November is still around. The training is over and I am officially on the telephones now. After some first day jitters things are going about as well as can be expected. I am still green in terms of the company, but that’s expected. I haven’t had any supervisor meetings about performance, which are common in call center jobs. My immediate supervisor briefly claimed I was “near the top of my class” but I am trying not to get ahead of myself. I am trying to take it one week at a time and while a permanent gig there would be terrific — the job isn’t hard and the commute is a dream — I thought ahead at the last job and that cost me. For now I’ll ride this out until April or May and anything beyond that is a gift. I’ve seen what happens when I dare think of a future for myself, again and again.
There actually is one co-worker who I trained with who is definitely my type, but as with the previous gig, I usually consider co-workers off limits. I used to get angst ridden about fellow college classmates, but that was due to inexperience and nerves. Dating co-workers may be common, but it’s also something that even veteran “playahs” admit takes more skill to navigate without making people uncomfortable, being fired, or causing office gossip. We haven’t chatted as much as “Dinah” and I had at my last job, but she is definitely my type. Part of the problem is unlike with Dinah, our desks aren’t nearby and we never talk without 3rd or 4th wheels. But, again, it’s usually a bad idea to pursue co-workers. Really the only beneficial side to this is it helps prove that I am flexible with the types of women I consider attractive. Some men tend to date certain “types;” for example, my pal “Tee” typically only dates fellow Italian-Americans such as himself. My other friend, a Jewish-Asian-American, tended to mostly date those with similar Jewish roots. On the other hand I have another pal who has dated mostly white women, but was getting pretty steady with a woman of color the last we met. Now I can’t back any of my own flexibility up with actual relationships, since I’ve never had one. But the last two co-workers I considered my type were not the same as some of the women I’ve written about in past adventures — who were all or mostly white like me. Nor were they of similar heights or body types. I think it’s healthy to have flexible dating tastes, and I think I possess this.
Now, for the title. I’ve been examining my various hit tallies and the articles which seem to get the most. And by and large, between now and July 2014, my most popular article is far and away “My Embarrassing 2nd Base Story.” I have utterly no idea how or why this is. It could be the titillating title, or the fact that the story itself is a key example of the hard luck awkward clumsiness that is (or was) my love life. I think this one article makes up about 25-35% of all the hits my entire column here has gotten by itself. It has something like 4,000+ hits and the next closest competition for it isn’t even half that. Now, the point of this blog wasn’t to become popular or scream for attention; in fact I rather like how it remains a rather quiet and intimate thing, where the same folks like and comment in over the months or years and I don’t have to worry about floods of people clogging the comments. I am just fascinated, almost on a scientific level, quite why that post over all others is the clear reader favorite. There are ones where I poured my heart out a bit more than that one, or I thought were riskier or had more substance. But, the people like what they like. Sex sells, and that’s perhaps the closest I ever got to it.
Anyway, this was a story which hit the Internet around November-December 2018. Apparently once or twice a year there is this real life thing called “Sex Island.” It sounds shady as hell, and is believed to be held off the coast of Columbia — that bastion of legality. The gist is that it is somewhat secretive and “guests” who manage to track it down and pay about $6,000 spend a weekend on a Caribbean island filled with drugs and prostitutes. The UK paper The Sun broke the story in 2017, and more reports came in a few months ago. There have been efforts to crack down on this and arrest the organizers and/or the drugged out horny johns, but at last word there was a New Year’s Eve 2018 shindig.
So how did I stumble upon such a raunchy story? I stumbled upon a related story where a 16 year old “won” a ticket to this event when he “borrowed” his father’s credit card and entered the event. He went on to lose his virginity to a prostitute there, who he wants to marry. I usually keep abreast of stories involving people in a similar boat to me, although a 16 year old is hardly what I would call an “older male virgin.” Even I didn’t start to freak out about it until I hit 19-20.
I bring this up since it made me think about my own “evolving” stance on the notion of employing a sex worker to finally make a man of me and end my shame. When I started this blog, I was firmly in the camp of while it is tempting, it would cause more harm than good. And to a degree I still thing this. While it would allow me to physically have sex with someone I was at least physically attracted to, it wouldn’t teach me anything about how to relate to women, socialize, or seduce. And as much angst as I have about having to hide the fact that I am an older virgin to any potential woman I was to date — at least short term — the stigma against sex workers is far worse. Revealing my inexperience, or even that unspoken fetish (which I consider more shameful) is bad enough; but few women would want to know they were dating someone who’d slept with a sex worker.
Now, I have been told many times that women don’t view dating as a job interview and typically don’t ask about previous lovers. While I don’t disagree, I have seen enough people casually interact and mention previous lovers and/or exes enough to know that it would seem weird before long for a woman to date a man who never brings it up if he is beyond a certain age. A man my age (in my mid-late 30’s) who never mentions an ex-wife, a former girlfriend, or any sort of previous activity with a previous lover when compared to the average woman (who usually references an ex or at least some previous encounter or her tastes therein if she gets relaxed enough in a prolonged date conversation) may seem odd. It may even come off as being “standoff-ish” or “distant.” Of course if confronted about that I could coyly lie and say, “I don’t kiss and tell,” but that’s only technically true. Hell, many men a decade or so younger than me already have kids they share visitation with.
But now that I have experienced the near end of my life financially, and the specter of being homeless became very real, there’s emerged a sort of lack of care about other things. One of them is some of the stigmas that I used to fret about. By this point it is abundantly obvious that without either a dramatic stroke of luck or outside intervention, I will never have sex. Now, that in and of itself isn’t such a bad thing to live with anymore; if my recent eviction and unemployment have done anything, it’s remind me of how trivial my love life can seem to be in the grander scheme. I also had that brief encounter with someone online recently where I learned that it felt nice to be flattered, even in a totally artificial situation where nothing was “real.” It felt nice to imagine a woman somewhere was “into” me or at least recognized something about me, like my imagination. It was nice to see the words, out of context, even for a moment.
But much like my fascination about a particular blog entry’s performance, there is a part of me still curious about what sex would be like. What it would be like for a woman to at least pretend to like me for a little while, and tell me what I wanted to hear? It would be nicer if it was a “genuine” situation, but on the other hand, if it were, I am likely to nitpick and over-analyze it to death. Out in the wild if a woman I am interested in actually felt the same way about me, my immediate reaction isn’t “Yay,” it is “Why!?” There’s none of that with a sex worker; I know it is fake and all about the money. I can accept that an attractive woman wouldn’t be anywhere near me without me paying for it; it makes sense in my mind. But an otherwise unattached woman who I was into actually choosing me over any other man, anywhere? That’s unfathomable. I could find better for her than me just by spinning a bottle and directing her towards whatever man it pointed to.
And honestly, there isn’t a vast degree of difference between a consenting sexual encounter with a sex worker in an area where it is legal (like Las Vegas) and “hooking up” with some random woman at a keg party whose name is forgotten. The only difference is the amount of money changing hands, the context, and the social stigma. Trolling for “randos” in a bar is fine, but paying for it is sleazy. While I wouldn’t gain any emotional or social experience, I would gain at least a basic familiarity with a woman’s body and what I did or didn’t like in terms of sex. Some of the edge would be off. Any random date wouldn’t have to be making up for some three decades of futility in quite the same way anymore.
The wildness of a “Sex Island” sounds like something out of a sleazy 1970’s grind-house film, and not something which I would ever seek to entertain. I’m not into drugs, for one, and it sounds like many of the women there are likely all but slaves of cartels. I am not into exploitation or harming women. But it made me think of my own “evolving” opinions on sex work. Maybe it’s only due to my own horny self interest; maybe it’s due to a change of opinion or even desperation. Maybe it is because I probably share more than one thing in common with Holden Caulfield, the lead of Catcher In The Rye (who infamously hires a sex worker, than merely talks with her). Who knows.
There is a part of me that regrets all this introspection. I may have been better off just chugging hardcore into online dating for the last 4-5 years instead and hoping to have gotten more experience out of tenacity. I especially should have let go of a lot of the emotional baggage I carried with me from high school and college regarding my dating woes, and not taken some of them so personally. For better or worse the person I am now is not the same, almost to the point of the irrelevance of comparing performances. Older me would have taken different choices, or not let certain things eat at me so long. But on the other hand, I think I have done a lot to let go of some of those woes, and figure out where I need to go and what I need to fix within. I would like very much to make some genuine connections, have feelings for a woman who actually felt them back to me, and experience genuine love making together. But the realist in me is realizing that I may never get that chance, or if I do, I may only have one shot at it because I am unlikely to have another at my age. So I have to keep all options on the table.
Aside for sex islands. That can be the realm of pop singers or 16 year olds.