Dateless-Man vs. Covid-19, Hairlines, and Fetish Writing!?

That’s right, we’re covering all three topics for this installment! With my endless eviction drama nearing its third year of involvement (near domination, really) of my waking life, I wanted to focus on some stuff which is happening aside of it for now which does connect to the premise of this blog. And seeing that I have gotten a host of new views and hits (especially on April 18th, for some reason), I may as well summarize it. As an older male virgin in his very late 30’s who has only been on three romantic dates, three speed dating events, zero kisses and one accidental breast-touch (which is my most highly viewed post), I set up this blog to review my own futile romantic life and times. It began as a simple catalogue of all of my major experiences with the opposite sex going back to my first unrequited crush in grade school and finishing with my “last date” in college. And beyond some speed dating events (the last one in 2015) and a few lamentations for an associate or some coworkers here and there, that’s mainly been it. The cataloging was mostly wrapped by 2016 and since then it’s been various essays, ponderings, and lamentations of various lengths and degrees.

That’s not as succinct as “previously, on X-Men,” but it will suffice. So let’s tackle each subject one at a time, shall we?

Dateless-Man vs. Covid-19

Much like the rest of America and the whole damn world, I have been effected by the global pandemic. I’ve had to work from home since late April 2020 and adjust much of my lifestyle (or lack thereof) after work. It also has made casual dating more theoretical than practical in a manner beyond my own insecurities, fears, and doubts. I wonder just how many people who aren’t married or cohabitating have gotten laid within the past 10-11 months, especially in “hot zones” like NY (where I live), CA, WA, or even Michigan. With a very real risk of either contracting a deadly disease and passing along to a relative, friend, or coworker even from non-romantic activities, I imagine only the reckless, desperate, and/or extremely horny have bothered to even try to date during these times. With lockdowns making most outside activities null and void, it also diminished interest and practicality.

Unfortunately, there is nothing like a pandemic to make one truly consider concepts such as wasted youth or missed opportunities. For most of us, dating and or the very attempt at a love life was essentially put on hold for a year, and it was absolutely none of our faults. There are far worse things to worry about, like joblessness, homelessness, death, and disability, but somewhere on a top 20 or 50 list, a love life will pop up as a concern for most.

However, slowly but surely it seems as if things are trying to return to normal. Indoor dining in coming back in limited capacities, and outdoor activities are okay so long as one’s been vaccinated. And, hey, vaccines! They’ve become more readily available since even this same time three months ago. NY has an utterly complicated and frustrating website system for making an appointment, and once slots were available they usually were gobbled up faster than press passes to the New York Comic Con. Thankfully, as an insomniac, I happened to be up when they freed up on the even of Good Friday, so I grabbed one up.

Come to think of it, why is the Friday before Easter called “Good Friday?” It was supposedly the day Jesus Christ was crucified. It certainly was not a good day for him, even if you accept him as a supernatural martyr and savior who willingly “sacrificed himself” to rise again. Bring crucified is a horrific way to die. It wouldn’t matter to me if I could regenerate like Deadpool or the Crow, I wouldn’t consider a day I was crucified as a “good day.” I think the concept was that it was a “Good Friday” in the sense that the resurrection of Easter kicked off faith in Christ as “the savior” around the world forever after. I still find that kind of callous, and I wonder if more people of faith would focus more on what Christ said and did when alive, instead of focusing so much on his death to the point of endless visual recreations, some of them would act more like he intended (and not, say, be televangelists). But this is a tangent by an ex-Catholic school kid turned atheist.

So at any rate, I got my first Moderna shot on April 2nd, and am scheduled to get my second on the 30th in the wee hours of the morning. The first shot didn’t hurt and I had few side effects (beyond a sore arm), but it’s the second shot that most people say will knock the daylights out of you. It’s the biggest sign that normalcy is in sight and if only for the sake of my disabled, chronically ill mother, getting the vaccine as soon as I could was a priority. I’ve gotten used to some aspects of our new shared isolated lives, such as not having to commute to work or physically deal with co-workers and supervisors. My job is flirting with the idea of returning us to the office “this summer at the earliest” and that may definitely take some adjusting for me. It’s been nice saving some $40 a week on transportation expenses, as well as money on getting snacks and lunches outside. On the other hand, it’s meant less walking and I definitely have gained weight, just as I am also getting older and my metabolism is slowing. At least physically. Mentally I am still as manic as ever.

On the other hand, this year has really drilled in that I am not getting any younger and while it is very lame to be a guy pushing 40 trying to make up for lost time, it may be even worse to not ever try. I have lamented endlessly about feeling cheated out of expected rites of passage or romantic milestones when young due to my own inferiorities and social expectations of men, and it remains a shame I never will enjoy the cheap, simple thrills of teenage or young adult romances. I’ll never have that much free time or fewer worries again. I’m not in my physical prime anymore. And my outlook on life has probably gotten less patient and bitter even if it doesn’t really show here. I’ve certainly become more short tempered over the last 2-3 years than ever, which is not good. I sometimes feel that it is a shame that my first and possibly only lover may not get me at my best, and my best was pretty crappy to begin with.

But, plenty of lamer, uglier, shorter, meaner, fatter, and balder men than me plunge into the dating world with delusions of grandeur, so why not me? I at least can admit to myself I don’t know a thing about pleasing a woman and being eager to learn. That alone may make me distinct for my age group. Most dudes my age or older who are single are very set in their ways and think they know everything. I KNOW I know nothing, and that can be key to learning. And nobody knows what kind of dating scene the post-Covid lockdown era will create. Will it make women more discerning and less willing to even grab coffee with someone until there is a lot of online courtship and a real feeling of mutual desire? Or will everyone be hornier than Bowser from Super Mario Brothers and be “down to ****” with anyone who at least seems reasonable and available? Or could it be a blend of both depending on the person? I certainly have chosen a hell of a time to consider jumping back into the dating pool for the first time in about a decade, but then again, my luck’s always been pretty terrible.

Dateless-Man vs. Hairlines

Speaking of age and bad luck, I have noticed my hairline is beginning to recede. Considering I am in my absolute late 30’s and at least 2/3rds of my male friends were at this point at least a decade sooner, I may not elicit much sympathy here. How many men aren’t at least starting to thin as they near 40? My maternal grandfather still had a full head of hair when he died in the 90’s, but it had also receded quite a bit. My father and his relatives have been absent and a mystery, but he may have been balding in the early 80’s, according to my mother.

Suffice it to say even with Covid restrictions, I have only had one haircut within the last year and change. I usually averaged 2-3 a year. I am deathly afraid of having hair cut which will now never grow back.

On top of everything else going on, I was not in the mood for a midlife crisis. I haven’t even gotten over half of my juvenile crises. I haven’t even kissed a woman on the lips and now I am shopping for hair loss products? My looks are average at best with hair; I am in no mood to have to consider dating as the Penguin’s stunt double. How is that even fair!? So I have been using some products, and the latest includes a full on laser light helmet. It kind of looks like something used on Power Rangers, only to combat baldness and not a giant rubber suited monster. I don’t even know if it will work and if it does, the results may be minimal or moot.

Now, I know what some people will say. There are plenty of balding, overweight guys who get laid; in fact some are studs and don’t have to be famous. But that usually relies on two things: confidence and personality. I have none of the former and barely a handful of the latter. I’m an inoffensive white guy who is neither tall nor short who has a sense of humor; in NY I am a dime a dozen. Battling evictions and Covid was bad enough; now my scalp is a ticking time bomb?

It can genuinely feel as if the fates that be do not want me to ever have sex or find love — or if I do, it has to be after overcoming what anyone could fairly describe as a well above average host of challenges. At least with someone who is not zonked out to their eyeballs in a nursing home. Why can’t they throw challenges at the buff college dudes who sleep their way through bars and throw me a bone just once? I jotted down my fairly reasonable dream date: I’m not asking for Jessica Alba emerging from a clam.

Dateless-Man vs. Fetish Writing Part 2 (or “Revenge of the Kink Panther”)

Finally, perhaps a bit of better news. If 2021 has had any theme to it so far, it’s been “The Age of Kink”. Two out of three posts were about fetish writing and one was that aforementioned “mildly erotic fantasy.” To summarize again, I’ve long admitted to having a fetish, but I’ve been too shy or embarrassed about it to reveal it even here, on my own blog. In contrast, my “older male virginity” has been the topic of at least a dozen entries over the years. It is something I genuinely feel is more taboo emotionally, even if objectively I know it isn’t that bad.

I post under another avatar at a message board dedicated to the kink and I had engaged in text based role play with two women regarding it since 2018. One of them messaged me at random to get that ball rolling, and it ended because she lied about being underage (at the time). I posted an “advertisement” about doing this on the forum and another woman messaged me about this and we did some text roleplay for about 10 days before she ghosted me. My last entry about this saw me casually mentioning whether or not I should just start writing outright fetish fiction on Deviantart.

Well, three weeks ago I did just that; I created a Deviantart profile based around my avatar on that message board and have just been writing some fan-fiction centered around the fetish (as well as reposted some old stuff I wrote in 2012-2013). I’ve written about 4 new stories within the last 3 or so weeks and while it has been an adjustment to my schedule I have basically just used it to fill slower periods between my non-fetish geek writing. And so far the results have been positive. The stories garner 800 to 2,000 views each and 4-25 “favorites” from viewers (“likes,” basically), and I have about 22 “watchers” (sort of like subscribers here). A few of them are pretty notable people within the community I was in. I’ve quickly developed a few fans in the comment sections. The biggest difference is that 99% of the readers and viewers are men, whereas before I was text role playing with women. I’ve hardly become a rock star but it could be argued that in only 3 weeks I am averaging as many or more viewers with my account there than here.

Admittedly I know I am probably writing “fap fuel” for dudes which is a bit different for me, honestly. But it has been good to express myself with a part of my sexuality which even I consider taboo and for it to have some positive result. It’s less reliant on the immediate reaction of another person like the text role playing is and it is something I can do at my own pace. It’s a safe and harmless way to express this fetish without exposing my real identity or being uncomfortable, which I think it a good thing. I do think some of the shame revolving around it is unhelpful in my attempts to gather the will to date again. I don’t intend to ever tell a woman about this IRL as myself, even if we were dating a while and she volunteered of her own volition at random that she was into it, and that’s fine. Nearly everyone has fantasies or whatnot that they never act on. If not, more people in real life would be superheroes, equestrians, or astronauts.

And no, I am not linking to my Deviantart page; the fetish is pretty darn obvious. And no, you won’t find it by searching Deviantart for “Datelessman” or some combination thereof. I’m hardly a rookie about creating alter egos. Nice try, though!

It feels good to be complimented and flattered about something at least tangibly related to my sexuality, even on a scale as small as this. I like the idea of my imagination being used and applied in some small way towards something less “innocent” in a space and way where it is acceptable. I don’t like using this word since as a straight white man I have more privileges in this world than I probably realize, but it is nice to feel some kind of “agency” about these kinds of things even in this small way. And thank goodness I live in an era where doing this is relatively easy; in the 80’s my best option would have been to try to get a job as a contributor to a sleazy fetish magazine or “newsletter”. One could say that it may not be helpful since Deviantart is mostly appealing to dudes and my issues revolve around women, but at the core, my own self doubts about who I am as a man and about my virginity and lack of experience are all concepts invented and enforced by men anyway.

TL:DR — I am getting vaccinated, fretting about a receding hairline, and am writing fetish fan fiction online semi-regularly now. What a time to be alive.

Thanks for reading. Once again, I remain the Dateless-Man.

The Kink Panther Strikes Out!?

As this blog nears its 7th year chronicling my thoughts (and memories) about my own romantic futility, it seems that certain periods display certain themes, whether intended or not. The beginning of the blog, from 2014 to about 2016, were focused on recounting memories and experiences I’d never told anyone or committed to paper, to release them from rattling around in my mind. 2017 was sort of a “year of Zen,” where I tried to achieve a state of no longer caring so much about being a lonely older virgin, or at least to convince myself to stop caring. 2018 began the “Age of Eviction” where my thoughts and feelings about my love life are always overshadowed by a far more pressing need to survive an endless eviction proceeding between myself, my elderly mother and a slumlord. This extended into 2020, which as we all know is the “Age of Covid-19,” which has not ended and all but eliminated, or at least heavily complicated, casual dating. Couples already married or cohabitating may be fornicating like rabbits, but any other kind of dating has been muted due to fear of the virus (and bringing it home to more vulnerable relatives) as well as venues to go to on dates (bars, clubs, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, etc.) being closed or having limited occupancy.

So what about 2021? The Covid-19 and Eviction stuff is still intertwined, but looking back at my content over the last few months, and it seems that I am seeking some limited exploration about my potential unresolved and unexplored kinky side.

To recap, I am a person of duality. Having only been on three dates (and three speed-dating events) in my entire life, I have potentially very outdated and juvenile views of romance and sex. The very concept of kissing seems like a forbidden zone since I have never done so. Things which most people have done as pre-teens still remain a realm of fantasy and conjecture to me. Not only have I never had sex, but I have never had a relationship before, which may arguably be a bigger red flag to a woman as a man in his extremely late 30’s. So my fantasies of kissing or even intercourse are milquetoast, missionary style basic stuff. Yet on the other hand I have a genuine fetish, which I have never revealed on this blog or to anyone. In contrast, there are a handful of people in my life (besides my mother) who know I am a virgin and I have bleated about it online either here or in other forums in miles of digital text. So I am someone who would have to work his way up to a 1950’s style malt shop sock hop that ended with, gasp, a kiss and some light petting, who also has a weird fetish somewhere. How I can be a bland inexperienced virgin with a fetish? I suppose people are full of duality, and perhaps as my situation becomes (or feels) more desperate, I am seeking to achieve some degree of resolution through my limited means and understanding.

My fetish is nothing illegal; at least not my personal interpretation of it. It does not involve animals or children. In fact, elements of it have been featured in media geared towards children, albeit not in the same context. In an objective, abstract sense I know that it isn’t terribly unusual, although I am not certain if it is as mainstream as a foot fetish (which I do not have). But in a personal sense it feels very taboo and disturbing, especially since when combined with my own virginal and antisocial profile it makes me seem more like a creep than I am. It’s possible to have some sympathy for an older male virgin and see a potential date or love making session with him as a case of finding an older man with the passion of a teenager. Considering how many men over 30 are dull, dispassionate, and selfish lovers, I can somewhat understand why some women may not be repulsed by the alternative (an undersexed repressed dude eager to slurp her all over). But throw in a fetish and suddenly I’m a villain from Law & Order: SVU or a direct-to-video cop flick. Or I match the profile of a spree shooter, which horrifies me.

I’ve dipped a toe into trying to explore this with another person before, albeit in an accidental way. As chronicled in The Kink Panther and its follow up, on a forum where I post other another avatar, a young woman contacted me at random and wanted to text role-play some sessions regarding our shared fetish. At the end of 2018 I learned that the young woman lied about her age and was younger than I’d realized. Our sessions were never romantic or sexual (despite her efforts at online flirting), merely related around fictional characters and text role play, akin to an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure. So, I decided, if I’d found one person at this forum by complete accident, why not create an “advertisement” for some text roleplay? I’d have a better shot of finding someone who wasn’t a minor that way.

So that’s what I did; in January I set up a topic at the forum describing the sort of text role-play I was seeking, some ground rules and so on. It was the closest I’d ever come to making a personal Craigslist ad. Text role playing is actually common at some online venues like Deviantart, or other forums. And I’d done text role playing within geeky universes for many years; they were just not centered around a fetish. And for a few weeks, there was nothing.

But then I got a bite, A woman (or at least an avatar identifying as female) who I will dub “LS” contacted me via the forum’s private message feature. She decided to take me up on my offer and for a week we just brainstormed various characters and situations to base the role play on. Then for another week we engaged in it, and it was a lot of fun. She, much like the young woman in 2018, appeared genuinely impressed by my imagination and ability to quickly craft narrative fiction. With a base premise and cast of characters I can easily type out dialogue and exposition and work with whatever the other person gives me in return. I sometimes remain baffled at how little it takes to impress people; stuff I consider a parlor trick. Again, nothing about our sessions was sexual; our characters didn’t have sex or kiss and that was not the agreed upon premise. It was strictly fetish related, or rather, an adventure which we both know will lead to it. It was great.

But after about 10 days, she said she would be busy with work and not be able to continue for “a few days.” That’s become about a month and a half and counting. I haven’t nagged or anything, knowing the golden rule that if someone drops online communication, you can send one further “hey, what happened” kind of message before you have to leave it up to fate. People at the forum do come and go at odd intervals (even regulars), but I can’t hold my breath. No one else really bit. The young woman who triggered this thing in 2018, who now would be 2 years older, also more or less said “hi” and we exchanged some small-talk messages but that was it.

Beyond doing some fiction on Deviantart somewhere (which is more time consuming and labor intensive), I think I’ve exhausted this low investment option. I suppose I did see a brief gain, since it was nice to try this sort of thing more deliberately rather than from some “rando” contacting me. I suppose I could finally admit my fetish here and use this space for such narratives, as I noted in January, but I am unsure if I want to see this space become lost entirely due to fetish fiction. I did do a narrative last month, sort of acting out what would be an ideal initial sexual experience and that was certainly interesting for me to imagine. In theory I could do that further if I admitted my fetish, but there is a part of me which is not ready or comfortable with doing this.

I don’t think it is necessary for me to admit what it is for me to advance in whatever my love life is or may be. There are plenty of people out there with fetishes or sexual fantasies who never act on them or admit them despite being married with children. It’s okay to have some secrets, although I don’t think it helps me to have so many. I have to hide my virginity, my romantic inexperience, my anxiety, and a fetish? That’s a lot to bottle while trying to be charming on a date. So I am doing my best to work through some of that as I go, and the fetish is clearly that last wall I don’t want to touch. I mean, I’ve typed circles around it without admitting what it is.

So it looks like the Kink Panther got ghosted. Where I go from here is unknown.

Our new president claims the vaccine for Covid-19 will be massively available by May, and life may start getting closer to normal by fall? That seems like a lifetime from now, but will come faster than I expect. If it does occur, will I finally, and belatedly, give dating one last chance? I don’t know. But I have a little time to sort that out, and work on myself.

Although eventually there is only so much I can learn without doing.

Thanks for reading, and for another month I remain…the Dateless-Man.

Dateless-Man vs. The Dream Date? A Fictional Interlude

Well, this may not be terribly erotic, but it will be different. And after nearly 7 years on this blog expression of futile romantic plight, different is in short supply. So join me, will you, as I go on a journey of self indulgence.

****

How do we meet? Well, if it’s a dream, it could be because we happened to meet in the street at pure random, and you happened to like how I smiled, or my eyes, or the cut of my jib. Or maybe because you know one of my friends, who decided to introduce us because they knew you’d be perfect for me. But, this is a romantic fantasy, not science fiction. So how about the way in which would be most comfortable for me as well as cater to my ego, since it wouldn’t rely on random luck, or a friend, or even you, to do the heavy lifting for me?

So, we meet via an online dating website. I join it and upload the few flattering pictures I have of me. I examine the publishing criteria and write the best bio I ever have. I am honest yet witty; creative yet concise (now you know this is a fantasy). I input my measurements, which are hardly the worst but not terribly flattering (while shaving off about ten pounds, as one does online). I come off as both imaginative yet hard working; funny yet appropriately serious. In other words, I achieve the dream; I come off as more appealing than the guy with the mirror selfie and the guy making duck lips in a sweatshirt. I am, simply, your above average single dude in his late 30’s. And in the world of my dreams, being considered above average is all I could ever hope to be. I am a B+ Man and I know how to flaunt it. Heck, I am even honest about living with my handicapped mother, and because this is the world of my dreams, this comes off as a quality of tenderness instead of evidence that I am immature or broke.

And then we make our first interaction. My profile is barely up twenty-four hours when you instant message me. You give me five stars out of five. You give me a brief yet flirty greeting, perhaps mirroring that famous line by Mary Jane Watson: “Hey tiger, you just hit the jackpot.”

I read your own bio with bated breath, not quite believing I have gotten so lucky so soon even in my own dream. Of course you are physically my type, and I yours. But our bios are compatible, too. You have a professional job within the arts; perhaps as an editor of a major book publisher’s graphic novel division. You list similar interests in comic books, anime, media, and so on as I do. You also volunteer on occasion and above all, stress that you are looking for a sensitive man who can make you laugh more than one with abs of steel, a hypnotic smile, or a six figure bank account. You are down to Earth and value the little things and the tender moments more than big spectacles. You care more about an intoxicating brunch more than a star studded night on the town. And because this is my dream date, you even boldly proclaim that you have always wondered what it would be like to be able to take charge in the bedroom and groom a man not so “traveled.”

“Hey there yourself. Love the Spider-Man reference. Want to swing somewhere for coffee or your beverage of choice?” This is what I text back after perhaps an hour of hand ringing and anxiety about having gotten so lucky so quick. This is as clever as I can be in such a circumstance. Even in a dream, I am in a state of disbelief. But, you are patient and eager to meet the man behind the profile. You quickly agree and suggest a trendy yet inexpensive local place within the city which has both indoor and outdoor seating for the upcoming Friday evening.

For the days leading up to our meeting, I am a mixture of emotions and clashing thoughts in the vague shape of a man. I am excited that my bio has worked so well, yet terrified that I am somehow far more charming than I realized. I am giddy that a date with a woman who is so compatible in looks and interests happened so quickly and easily, yet also anxious that such fortune rarely comes without a price to pay. There is an extra spring in my step, more of a hint of a smile in my voice, and more of a sense of fulfillment and energy to my soul. At least for a week, I am no longer the Dateless-Man. I am a man with a date and a chance.

Yet there is also a tremendous pressure, despite my best intentions. I tell myself that this is only a first date, and that anything can happen. I insist that even if things don’t go well, the very fact I got a “bite” so quick proves I can be appealing and the effort was worth it. And I try to tell myself that this is only the beginning, and I should not pin all of my hopes and ambitions for an unfulfilled romantic life on this one seemingly perfect sounding date with a professional geek-girl. Unfortunately, despite all of my experience in sales, the one person I have never been able to “pitch” is myself. And as much as I try to tell myself to relax and play things cool, I also tell myself that I cannot afford to botch thing like I did all three of my other dates.

It is my dream date with my dream woman, and I am both eager and petrified.

****

So it is finally time for us to meet in that outdoor table at that local, trendy eatery. This naturally in a setting with seasonable weather and no Covid-19, which already sounds closer to a science fiction premise now than it should. I’m properly groomed and dressed, and since this is a dream date, I would be wearing one of my nerdy t-shirts under a sports jacket and some nice jeans, and this would be considered dress appropriate since this is supposed to be semi-casual, not formal.

You arrive wearing a nice jacket and appropriate top, a short skirt and boots. We actually both arrive at the same time, for maximum irony as well as because I can be impatient sometimes. We both have a good laugh about it as it turns out we were both on the same train, several cars apart. Some might call it a “meet cute” moment. We each order a drink and some food and begin our date. Like many dates it begins with some obligatory small talk. Just to confirm some of the information from our profiles and so forth. No one is really interested in it but it’s much commercials before a movie in a theatre. It can’t be skipped so let’s just grit our teeth and move on.

Once that is dispensed with, you get into some more meaty conversations with me, and since you are an intelligent and sassy dream woman, this also means you’re able to break the fourth wall quite a bit.

“My name’s Fantasia, which of course means ‘fantasy’ in Italian,” you say as you sip your drink through a straw, which I notice since it means an excuse to focus on your lips for a moment. “It’s not bad as far as names go.”

“Thanks,” I answer. “I was hard pressed for a while.”

“For a dream girl, I’ve noticed you really haven’t focused much on my physical looks,” you continue with a raised eyebrow. “I mean most guys would focus on my hair color, eyes, skin type, blah blah. This is a fantasy, you can’t be that partisan deep down, right?”

“Well,” I reply as I shift in my seat. “I can’t say I have that rigid a type. It’s not like I am only chasing after white women, or Asians, or so on. I could care less about hair color or so on. Many different types of women are attractive to me. I’m very flexible.”

“I’ll be the judge of that later on,” you tease with a wink. “But just so I’m not an amorphous blob in a skirt and sexy boots, is it okay if we just settle on some visuals? How about me being mixed race so I’m a little tan, with brown eyes. And I know you’re not hung up on hair color, I know you like more unusual dye jobs a little more than, say, blonde or brown. Right?”

“Um, yeah,” I reply, a little surprised. “But it’s not like someone who’s a brunette or whatever is a deal-breaker.”

“Of course not. So we’ll say I have black hair and some roots are showing but I died it purple, and it matches my lipstick and fingernails, alright, sweetie?” you state back. “I mean it’s your dream date, you don’t need a disclaimer on it, right?”

“Right, I guess,” I say back.

“I think it says a lot that this is your dream date and I’m kind of taking charge here,” you say, as you look down at your own body. “I’ve noticed I am a little voluptuous without being too lean. In fact Cosmo might say I should lose five or ten pounds but I don’t agree and neither do you.”

“Who really takes Cosmo that seriously, anyway?” I reply. “That is an awesome skirt, where did you get it?”

“Do you really care or are you just running with advice you read that said to compliment a woman on something other than looks so you don’t seem shallow?” You tilt your head and smirk.

I shrug. “Both?”

“Good answer. I got it on sale at this cool boutique I know,” you respond quickly to get it out of the way before moving on. “I also find it interesting that we share some interests but you didn’t just mirror all the stuff you like. Just at random I like Doctor Who, Sailor Moon and horror movies and you’re not especially wild about either. Why?”

“Someone who just mirrors me on everything isn’t a dream woman, it would get boring,” I reply bluntly. “I’m game to try some new thing so long as she willing to, too. Or even if she’s not. Maybe my willingness would rub off.”

You take a few moments to nibble your food as I do. “You’re pretty idealistic for a cynic.”

“Most cynics are frustrated idealists, ” I counter. “But this is becoming all about me. Your job sounds fascinating. I’ve love to hear more about it.”

“It’s one part creative and two parts hectic and full of deadlines. I have so many manuscripts to approve and edit, and then I have to contact the creators, and then help with the ad campaign for the books,” you answer excitedly. “But it’s all worth it to be on the cutting room floor of some great, fun stuff. I can be there to help nurture media for a new generation, and make it more diverse, y’know? Have you ever read YA comics?”

I nod. “Actually, yeah. I used to get review copies from a big publisher and I’ve reviewed a lot of them. I haven’t read one which was outright terrible.”

“That’s because they have better editors,” you say proudly. “And it has to appeal to more than old guys.”

“Yeah, definitely,” I reply. “I love seeing your passion about it.”

“You sure you want this kind of conversation on your dream date?” you ask, a bit curiously.

“Sure,” I reply with a shrug. “I like getting along with small talk. This is a dream date, not pornography.”

“Touche,” you respond as you finish your meal. “I just wonder if you want to skip ahead a little, is all.”

“Skip ahea–” It finally dawns on me. “We could do a montage. Is that okay with you?”

“Sure,” you say back before snickering. “It’s my first montage. Be gentle.”

We finish the rest of our food and drinks, and even have some desert. We finish our stimulating conversation about our work and hobbies, as well as other random assorted topics, such as gripes about mass transit. Both of us decide to go to a nearby bar for some more drinks, and to spend more time together. Neither one of us drink much, but nursing one or two drinks over the course of hours with food is fine. I am content nursing some general beer, such as Rolling Rock (TM), while you prefer a martini. I decide to introduce you to a bar which also specializes in arcade games that I went to once for a friend’s birthday party that I really enjoyed. You agree and after spending a few moments on your iPhone for directions, we walk several blocks to get there. We are so engrossed in our conversation that I barely notice you wrap your arm around mine and hold my hand.

When I do notice this, though, a tingling sensation rolls up my limb. I’ve never experienced this before, but I know I like it. The warmth and closeness to you makes me feel a happiness which I can’t quite explain. It increases the pressure to not mess this up, and I am trying not to showcase how giddy I am too much, since I always try to be aloof and cooler than I really am. Once at the bar, we both walk together with our drinks and examine the selection of arcade classics. Neither one of us are hardcore gamers, but both of us remember these quarter-eaters from our youth. I introduce you to three of my favorites from this location: X-Men Arcade, TMNT Arcade, and the rare Konami gem, The Simpsons Arcade. X-Men, in particular, I played a lot during my wasted youth in the 90’s and I know inside and out, which slightly impresses you. You enjoy some of the shooters, as well as Rampage and Street Fighter II. We spend a few hours there and many quarters, and we are both buzzing with shared proximity and nostalgia when we hit the street again. By now it is later in the night and the city is glistening with its lights.

“How was that?” I ask.

“Fun. A little geeky but I like that,” you answer back. “Hey, it’s getting late. Do you want to, um…”

“Uh, hang out more?” I smile and try not to show my anxiety. “Right?”

“Yes,” you answer confidently. “My place isn’t very far. I’m trusting you not to be an serial killer, okay?”

“This has already been the best first date of my life, so there’s no pressure. We can wait until another date or two for that if you’re more comfortable,” I offer. After all, I’ve waited over three and a half decades for this moment; another few dates or even a month or two is nothing more than an interlude.

“That’s sweet, I appreciate your disclaimer!” You chuckle, before patting me on the shoulder and winking. “But this is my dream date too, remember?”

“Of course. No pressure, right?” I smile a little awkwardly.

You continue to snuggle up against my arm and draw my face to yours. “None. C’mere.”

“Oh!” I gasp, as our lips draw closer.

The sensation of our lips connecting is another new one for me. It’s a first kiss so I keep things simple. I try to match your movements with my mouth, and share your embrace. For a moment I forget how I hated public displays of affection when friends or other people did them. Turns out it wasn’t just me be shy and was all about me being envious. Who knew? Me, deep down. I cup my hands on your cheeks as we kiss again, our noses side by side against each other. It feels so natural despite my eyes being closed for half of it. I can feel my own heartbeat increase and I actually think yours does, too. An actual woman feeling passionate about me for a moment? I never thought this was possible.

When our lips finally part, I have no idea how many minutes it’s been. We each take a moment to catch our breath, as your face is still cupped by my hands, and you stroke my hair a bit.

“I think we really need to get to my apartment,” you say in a soft and hurried tone.

“Yeah,” is all I can say as we walk, fast enough for it to be a near jog, down three avenue blocks and about four short short blocks to your apartment. Our hands are interlocked the entire time.

As an editor for a major book publisher, you actually earn a higher salary than I do. While hardly rich, it does mean that you live in an apartment building which is far more upscale than mine, with a doorman. However, you lead me to a back entrance that you also have the key for, which is a service entrance.

“I don’t need any side eye from the night watchman,” you tease.

It leads me to believe I am hardly your first one date conquest, and perhaps not the last. This hardly relieves my inner anxiety, but it helps me understand how you have been so quick to all this. You will know your body and best advise me on how to please it. We all but scamper to the elevator, which is empty as this is the ground floor and it is late at night. You hit the button to your floor as instinct before I even notice the doors closing, and then you are upon me for another embrace. This time our kiss is more exploratory; I feel your tongue touching my lips and while this does feel strange, I also know to reciprocate (or to at least try to). As always, my golden rule is to err on the side of gentle. We caress each other’s faces as the elevator moves, and my head bumps the wall of the car enough to make a sound.

You chuckle. “Sorry, you okay?”

I chuckle back. “S’okay, it’s good to know I’m not dreaming.”

“No, just typing,” you tease, as if the fourth wall were merely your plaything.

The elevator finally reaches your floor and we walk together to your front door. You have a keychain that features an exaggerated rendition of Luna the cat from Sailor Moon, which jiggles as you turn the key. Your apartment is cozy without being small; a large couch in the living room, a modest kitchen, and a fairly large “master bedroom.” The walls are painted a dark shade of purple with much of the furniture being leather bound. Several posters of rock bands and some films are in the bedroom.

“Nice place,” I comment. “Though if I’m honest I wouldn’t care if you lived in Scooby’s doghouse at this point. I mean, he even had a wine cellar somehow.”

“Dork,” you tease as you push on my chest with your finger to lead me to the bedroom. “We’ve both been out for hours, we need a quick shower. You first and then you’ll wait for me. Don’t take too long, stud.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I find myself saying automatically, a leftover from my call center job when I am not thinking clearly.

It feels bewildering, showering in another person’s apartment. But in the end, a shower is a shower and shampoo is the same even if it’s a different brand. I still make sure to lock the door behind me, perhaps as a leftover from seeing the film “PSYCHO” at a young age. I give myself a complete scrubbing, taking roughly 15-20 minutes. Out of instinct I partially redress, only without my shoes or putting my jacket back on. I had hoped the shower would calm my nerves, but it doesn’t. I step out of the bathroom and you are there with your towel and robe folded in your hands to jump in after me, giving me a quick peck on the cheek as we pass. Your room is darkened, but lit with a lava lamp and a scented candle. As you shower, I cannot help but pace across the floor for several minutes.

Do I tell you my secret? Even if you already know, is that a conversation I want to have on a dream date? How about my fetish? Is that also something I want to get into so soon? It is all happening so fast that my head is swimming. It is everything I wanted so far, and within a few moments my secret will be moot. I need to try to relax, and–

That is when I see a pair of eyes peeking at me from the doorway. They belong to a housecat; with black and white fur. You hadn’t told me about a pet, and I’d neglected to ask. I theorize that the feline had been in another room which I hadn’t visited yet, such as the kitchen (where the food likely is). Or, the cat had been elsewhere, perhaps under or beside the couch. At any rate, even though I haven’t owned a cat since childhood, I know how to greet one. I lower my palm to the feline’s eye level and make a motioning gesture with my fingers. It works most of the time and sure enough, the cat comes walking over and gives my fingers a good sniff. It begins to rub its face against my palm for a few passes and offers a soft “meow” up at me. I offer a pet across the lower neck and back. It turns out the feline is friendly and quickly bounds beside me on the bed for more.

After a few minutes I hear your voice in the room again. “I see you found Smithers. Or he found you. I wasn’t sure about saying anything because a lot of guys I bring here don’t like cats.”

“I love cats,” I reply as I turn back to you, clad in only a robe which is barely closed. “There’s a joke about a pussy and me playing with it that I could make, but I won’t.”

“I think you just did,” you say as you slink closer.

“Smithers,” I say, once again falling on a reference. “After Veronica’s butler from Archie?”

“You don’t miss anything, do you?” You chuckle. “Good. I like a man with attention to detail.”

A pause, as you play with the collar of your robe.

“So, are we going to undress, or do we need to play some strip poker?” you ask gleefully.

“We’d better undress. I can barely play blackjack, much less poker,” I answer as is hesitate before pulling my shirt over my head.

I’ve never disrobed in front of anyone, at least not since I was a child. I only see the flaws about my own body, especially my torso, back, and stomach. I remain silent, not wanting to ruin the moment with my own anxiety.

“Hey, it’s okay,” you say as you toss your robe on the bed, which also causes Smithers to jump away. “See, I’m not exactly an American Gladiator either.”

“Nice reference,” I say with a smirk; nothing calms me more than geek stuff. “You’re beautiful, though. I’m–“

You place a finger over my lips as you crawl onto the bed. “We’re here, no more self doubt, huh? Guys who obsess over their own bodies neglect mine a lot. Just go with the flow.”

“Right.” As you proceed to kiss me again, I undo my pants. A part of me regrets wearing them now, since it’s hard to concentrate on doing both at once. I wonder how musicians handle it so easily? Hell, many of them do that in a moving vehicle, to boot!

I ask if you want a back massage, and you agree. Now this is something I have done, albeit not with a stranger. Again adhering to err on the side of gentleness, Your back feels smooth as silk, and it is amazing to even touch another woman here. Every positive sound and motion you make fills my soul with anticipation. You reciprocate, and comment on how “stiff” I am. I am not sure if you mean my back or somewhere else, and I don’t care. You are the one who starts to shift your caressing to below my waist, and I get nervous for a moment. You ask if it is okay and I nod, asking if I may touch you as well.

I decide not to tell you of my virginity, or of my fetish. I am anxious enough and I just want to enjoy the experience and do as well as I can with it. This is my first time and I want to explore. I gently go from kissing you on the lips before moving onto your lips. I gently caress your breasts, gently and softly, treating them as delicate pleasure zones. I move my fingers down the sides of your torso, and am simply enjoying the sensation of touching a woman. You tell me that I am going to drive you crazy if I don’t start going somewhere lower. This is my first time seeing a vagina in real life and while I have certainly seen pictures and diagrams, they do not compare. My heart is beating so quickly with anticipation and excitement mixed with fear that I worry about vibrating through the floor. So with no other options or experience I resort to asking a question. As always, I try to use humor as a mixer, but I do not know if it will work.

“This is sex by numbers and I’m the brush; just show me the numbers, baby,” is the best I can do on such notice.

Its lame; bad porn writing. It’s the biggest moment of my life and that’s the best I can do. But this is a dream date, so it’s good enough for you and you begin to guide my hands. Once again, I begin with soft and gentle strokes, as if caressing a flower. When you want it firmer and harder, I do so. I do my best to not go too firm too soon with my hands. By now, my own genitals are throbbing, but I am not in a rush. My orgasm is pretty much guaranteed; I’ve made myself cum rubbing off against furniture or the side of my own leg. I did not wait over thirty years to rush things now. In fact, if I could relive one moment endlessly for the rest of my life, it may be this one, or this date.

In time you become wet, and then I ask if you are ready or if you want more. After some more caressing of your sides, you nod and motion for me to initiate. I fumble for the condom I would have brought, as I always do for every first date. I try to open the thing and roll it on as fast as I can; I am thankfully I did not have to undo a bra tonight. After so much anticipation, it feels as if my manhood is about to fly through the roof, much less enter such a wonderful woman. Once more, I begin gently, only increasing pressure when guided too. By now I have confidence to ask, if only in one word questions.

It is nothing like masturbation, and not because of the physical sensation itself. The evening leading up to it, the conversation, the laughter, and the pure happiness…there is no self session which can match that. Your body is a living pleasure zone and I practically want to touch every inch of it. It feels so warm, but not uncomfortably so. And after it is finished, if you are up for it, I return to caressing your body where you want it. I have never tested my erections for distance but I know I can return to rigidity with some more stimulation, and your entire being is stimulating. Time blurs. The clock does not exist. I may forget my own name at some point. None of that matters. What matters is the two of us in this bed, having sexual fun until we both are about ready to pass out from pure sexual ecstasy.

Even when it is over, I want to be close and together with you as we sleep together — actual sleep. My last thoughts are that this is all I have ever wanted since I was about 16 or 17 years old, and that after so long I have finally achieved it. I am no longer a virgin, and no longer the Dateless-Man. In fact I don’t know what I am now. And while there may likely be a twinge of regret for not getting there sooner, I am satisfied that I got there with you, in this way, tonight.

And I hope to take this journey with you again another evening, and an evening after that, as we continue exploring what our lives are like together. At least for a little while, so long as we are both happy together.

I try not to think about Smithers watching the entire thing.

******

So, that’s it. A completely fictional, mildly erotic and completely amateurish account of what I would like my first romantic experience to be, under completely ideal and optimal circumstances (not realistic circumstances). There is a bit of a bittersweet taste to it, as I suspect I may never experience anything close to this. It is a pandemic era, I am fighting an eviction, and age is against me. And considering all that, there are worse things than never having sex. Being homeless or either dead or disabled from Covid-19, or heck, a speeding car, are worse.

But a fantasy has to start somewhere, so this is it. I want to meet someone wonderful, who is at least half as into me as I am into her, and I get her off as she gets me off. That’s it. I don’t need the moon. I never did. Am I really asking for so much? Is it really so difficult? It has for me. The perfect set of circumstances has never fallen into place to make the above anything less than a lonely man’s fantasy.

It’s not a bad fantasy, though.

For another month, I remain the Dateless-Man. Thanks for reading.

Dateless-Man Vs. Renewed Eviction & Fetish Writing!?

So it’s a new year, with a new president, and a new Senate. But for me, in many ways it’s the same as the previous year…and the year before that. Much as it was in late 2018, my elderly and handicapped mother and I are facing the genuine threat of eviction. There have been court appointments scheduled once a month for over 2 years now, but they were put on hold for much of 2020 due to Covid-19. That didn’t completely eliminate the threat, but it did put it on a slight backburner. However, now Housing Court has sorted through a variety of laws. More disturbingly, they are sending out letters in the mail with our new date. The last time we got actual mail, it was around August 2020; usually I would just call the court clerk once a month.

Although there are a variety of state and federal “halts” on evictions which has been extended thru March 2021, that is only for non-payment evictions. Landlords can designate a tenant as a “nuisance,” void a lease, and evict them on a whim — and these types of evictions are immune from these laws. And without disposable income to spend on a lawyer, our options are either to proceed without one, or beg some city agency for aid…in which they usually side with the landlord. Kind of like how public defenders typically side with prosecutors in criminal trials for plea bargains. Unfortunately, you can’t plea bargain an eviction. We can’t “settle” for half an eviction. It’s either accept a piddling buyout of $5,000 ($3,500 after taxes) or likely be thrown out by the middle or end of the year after a farce of a trial.

I hate going into this seemingly every month (or every other month) on a blog which was intended to focus on my lack of a love life and my own thoughts, feelings, and opinions on that. But it is hard to concentrate on getting laid when I am fearing being laid…out on the street. And that is all playing out as we near Year 2 of the pandemic that never ends. Vaccine shots are coming, but slower for most of us than anyone imagined. And as much angst as I have as I inch closer to being a real life 40-year-old-virgin, I fear being homeless with my mother more. I fear economic destitution. The irony is as recently as 2017, I was seemingly begging the universe to allow me to figure out how to simply detach myself from my yearning for love so it didn’t matter. In a way, that has happened, only in a crueler way than I imagined. Between worrying about the eviction for over two years, and worrying about a pandemic for almost one, pangs of woe for being lonely have moved from the backseat to the trunk. If I had to trade not being evicted and surviving the pandemic for never ever having sex in my life, I wouldn’t consider that such a bad deal. It certainly is a better deal than the landlord is offering.

Still, despite such romantic woes being a background concern at best, they are still there. I can only consume my time with work, chores, hobbies, and DVD’s for so long. I don’t think I have suffered much socially for this; I rarely saw my friends more than once or twice a year in various events anyway, and at least these days I haven’t been going to seedy cyber cafes or traveling on the subway as much. I was long used to being alone, so this is merely putting it onto overdrive. The only way I could explore anything romantic would be online, but I find concepts like a “virtual date” to just be absurd — and a surefire way to be catfished by someone who swears they’ll love you more if you wire $500 to Saudi Arabia at a Western Union.

One other option is writing. I did attempt to do a more focused, and age appropriate, return of the “Kink Panther” at the alternate website which revolves around the sexual fetish I choose to never reveal where I post under another avatar. For those who need a refresher, a young woman from Europe approached me out of the blue on that website around 2018 and sought to have text based roleplaying sessions regarding the shared fetish. Initially swearing she was at least 18, by the following year she revealed she was, in fact, 16, and contact was severed. There was nothing sexual in our “sessions,” as the content of our fetish is a fairly routine thing in pop fiction, albeit not for the young lady’s lack of tying. I actually kind of liked the sessions; I was just aware of how much younger the other person was (even when I thought she was 18) and sort of approached it more like an English class experiment more than anything too risque. But it was literally the first thing I had ever experienced which vaguely hinted at not only my sexuality, but my fetish which was in any way welcoming and positive, even if it was akin to finding a kid at a bookstore and talking about novels you both like. The pressure was on me to keep things age appropriate despite it all, but I still didn’t hate it until things became known. Unfortunately, no one at the other website has bit, so the odds of me having a second go with someone who is actually an adult is nil.

Without naming names, I do have a new subscriber and commenter on this blog who has their own blog which specializes in, essentially, “erotic fiction.” I see myself as something of a writer; considering I have been paid for my efforts via two websites, and now Patreon, since 2009, I could even technically claim to be a “professional” (or at least “freelance”) writer. Yet while I have written reviews, non-fiction summaries, fan-fiction, and even some comic book base roleplay, I have never written an erotic story. I’ve written characters and played characters that were amorous. I have written some love scenes, or at least attempts at them, which “fade to black” or otherwise do not get too graphic. One key reason is context; the other being ignorance. Part of erotica involves writing about the sexual experience in a way which is elegant without being too pornographic. Or at least being pornographic but skilled at it.

Then again, plenty of undersexed comic book writers have written awkward romantic stories and even tapped into their fetishes, for decades. Doubt me? Skim some of Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men comics from the 1980’s. To say nothing of Dr. William M. Marston’s fetish fueled feminist icon, Wonder Woman. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Heck, if you think of how many stories where the geeky dude goes through a rite of passage where he “wins” the love of a hot supermodel babe in various mediums, which is as much of a fantasy as a story about a woman meeting a shirtless pirate on the good ship HUGH JORGAN, there may be more dudes like me than I thought. But even many of them have had sex at least once. In fact, most of them are pretty unhappily married.

I’ve thought about writing some erotic fiction, or at least fiction based around my fetish, for ages now. The main stumbling block has been time. I haven’t the time to write non-fetish fiction which I have wanted to do for years; I either have too few hours in the day or spend too many of them working or stressed out. I finished one fan fiction last year, which was my first in well over a decade, and it took many months of time atop of the short-term advantage of having no weekly content to review for about 2-3 months due to the pandemic. I suppose erotic fiction doesn’t have to be as thought out, or as long. It can even just focus on one scene or sequence. I could just create another avatar and write it on Deviantart, but that, again, takes more time than I usually have. And I have struggled to just write one post a month here for about three years now.

In theory I suppose I could merge them. If I were willing to just admit my fetish here, in what is essentially my own journal (which is available to be publicly read and is read by a hundred or so people a month), I could just post them here. That would keep the content flowing, at least. It isn’t as if I am denying my fetish to myself; I know of it full bore and have since I was maybe 12. It simply is admitting it to any other person or on a site where other people read, even under a fake name. I am building it up to be something pretty dire and I know objectively it isn’t anything that extreme. But knowing something objectively and admitting it openly are two different things. After all, so long as I don’t mention it, I can maintain the stereotype of being an “innocent” older male virgin; one who doesn’t hate women or wants to ravish them at all costs, and can remain a relatable figure. Openly admit a fetish, and worse, start writing erotica about it, and suddenly my “virginity” seems clear and obvious — I am just another pervert on the Internet, a dime a dozen.

Beyond all of the recitations of my past romantic failures (which I got thru by around 2016, barely two years into the blog), and beyond all of my moping about being a virgin and a loser at love, it really is the last bit of unfinished business I have about my sexual being. While I do worry about being “kink shamed,” in all honesty I probably “kink shame” myself worse than any other person would — which is similar to how I am probably harder and meaner about myself than any woman has been, or would be. And although I don’t think my own inner shame revolving around my own fetish is as crippling as my own various insecurities revolving around general confidence and self-worth and over all sexual performance, it certainly doesn’t help matters. It’s just one more thing about myself which I lock in a box and rarely express, along with my virginity and general shyness. And after a while, those boxes can clog my spiritual-basement.

But even though it turned out to be chatting with a minor, was it wrong to actually like being flattered? The age gap made it easier to accept it as a compliment rather than some attempt at wooing or so on. To be complimented on something I am rarely complimented upon by women — my imagination? Now if only I could get that from someone over 21 (or better yet, over 26) and I’d be home free. The literal last time any woman under any circumstance flattered me in a manner which even hinted at something which wasn’t generic, it was a woman trying to compliment my eyes while she was selling cologne on the street. Man, I bet if I’d bought ten bottles, my biceps would have been stunning too!

So if you’ve read this far and hoped I would break down and reveal my fetish, that isn’t happening. But it has renewed a curiosity with writing more about it in some capacity outside of my blog. After all, life is short and one day in the very near future I may be on a flat cot in a homeless shelter wearing everything I still own and thinking back on those good times when I only worried about admitting a kink. Maybe I can or will finally admit it on this blog and let the chips fall where they may. But that day won’t be today.

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone’s new year is starting better than mine has been!

The Lost Year That Wasn’t My Fault…For Once!?

For many years, the December installment was something of a summary. Perhaps for that reason, they tended to be my lowest viewed postings. Yet with 2020 being a year of infamy (and a leap year at that), maybe this time will be different. Or rather, this time I may broach on some subjects beyond just posting links from earlier months. In fact, this time I may ramble onto some long term failings and potential missed opportunities.

I imagine for most people, calling 2020 “a lost year” is an understatement. Over 300,000 Americans (and counting) have lost their lives to Covid-19 — and not all of them were elderly or had poor health (as if that makes it better). And that figure doesn’t include people who dropped dead in their homes who were likely never tested for the virus, a rate which in New York alone is up 20%. Many more have lost their jobs, their savings, friends, relatives, and much if not all normalcy in their lives. I’ve been one of the lucky ones whose job allowed him to work from home since late April. I’ve adjusted pretty well to it; but then again, I was always an introvert who seldom liked interacting with others on an extensive basis. I went into the office due to technical problems one day in September, and what had been routine even 5 months earlier suddenly was weird.

The specter of housing court and a potential eviction for myself and my elderly, handicapped mother still looms in the background, like a ghostly shadow. The case has been adjourned one month at a time (sometimes two) since February. The irony is that the one boon of this terrible time of a pandemic is that it has likely bought us more time. But, it is an extra worry and dose of stress every 5-8 weeks, and a delay of something horrible is a short term solution. Eventually people will be vaccinated. Eventually the virus will subside, perhaps by summer or fall 2021. And then that extra time will feel like a memory. But at the very least it’s been allowed to be a background worry instead of a foreground one.

Every time New Year’s Eve looms, it feels as if a year has both flown by and felt like an eternity. None more than this year. How different life was for all of us even 10 months ago. And it will be the first New Year’s Eve I spend at home in ages. Normally I would be out with some friends, or at least one friend, or even outside going to a cyber cafe or something. Now all of those seem like a memory lost to life alone in my room most of the time, either working or unwinding from work, where I only venture out to forage with a mask on for as little time as possible for fear of some invisible predator which may get me or follow me home. It feels like being a prey animal, only without the benefit of enhanced senses or not having to file taxes. It’s like being a hairless rabbit who has to punch a time clock and can’t hear an owl twitch from a quarter mile away.

In what feels like an afterthought, the pandemic has all but ended casual dating for all but the most reckless (or careful). With lockdowns, occupancy rules, and the bad economy, there is virtually nowhere to go and nothing to do on a date, anyway. And going on one risks either contracting the virus from that person, or the place where one goes, or on a “needless” commute through a subway or bus. I know some people have still been dating, but I imagine the rates have dropped drastically for people who are not already cohabitating. And fewer public meetings means fewer places to hook up or meet people even without online dating. I already wrote an article this year about what the dating landscape may look like post-Covid, but no one knows when that will be, or how it will effect people — especially the young. The flu pandemic of 1918 wasn’t resolved for about 3 years; we’re barely thru year one and there’s a tension in the air from everyone’s pent up miasma.

The best thing I can say about my love life’s status is that 2020 was legitimately not my fault. At best the only months I could have dated like a wild-man were January into early March. That’s maybe 10-11 weeks, during cold weather. I imagine anyone who is single will be given a social mulligan for 2020. “I haven’t dated in a while; y’know, with Covid and all.” And so on. There was no amount of preparation or confidence which would have starved off a pandemic, or the social reaction to it. New Years Eve was often part of my “peak depression period” from October to March. Historically, much of that depression was fueled by being perennially alone and untouched, with no prospects of that changing. I sought to overcome it with a sense of “Zen,” of accepting my dateless-ness. In some ways this blog was intended not only as a place to vent and gain perspective, but an exercise to convince myself and some independent third parties that it really was hopeless; that it really was doomed almost from the start. I gained some valuable perspective and introspection, and it was good to vent in a safe space about a topic I am very uncomfortable and vulnerable about. And I wouldn’t want to trade that experience. On the other hand, there are times I wonder if instead of pouring the time and energy into rattling off the failures of youth since July 2014, if I’d focused on OkCupid or whatever.

I suppose I didn’t because I wasn’t ready. I’d only had 3 years experience in telephone work, which has helped my ability to converse with people (by forcing me to). And everything I have gone through just in the last 2-3 years with the landlord has burned out a lot of the fear I have of being rejected by a woman. There is nothing any woman can do or say to me which is worse than the dread I have felt from being unemployed, or the threat of becoming homeless. What is the worst she can say? “Omigod, you are such a fat, ugly, hairy, pathetic loser?” Baby, I say that to myself every morning. You’re only remixing an old song. “This was the worst date of my life, and I wish I hadn’t woken up for it?” Well, for me I got out of the house and now it means I won’t be late for work on Monday. And I usually regret waking up every day.

(And to be honest, the odds that any woman would say those things to me is incredibly slim, if only because of the genuine threat of violence women face when they outright reject a man has, sadly, trained most to almost go out of their way to not crush one’s ego too badly. And a rare few women actually don’t like crushing someone’s ego and may feel bad about rejecting someone, and so on. I’m more likely to be ghosted or get a “soft no.” It’s only my emotions and years of pent up futility which makes it sound worse.)

So, the good news is that 2020 has given me a mulligan which is independent of me. It is the one year where I can blame society and not be wrong. I can throw my hands up at the universe and scream, “Ya done me wrong!” and even the universe would have little choice but to smile and wink back. And believe me, there is some mild sense of relief to have been screwed over in a way which was actually not my fault nor was it an isolated incident. There are millions who’d trade places with me in a heartbeat, even in my own state. I could rarely ever say that any other year.

But what about previous years? Tween and teen bullying hit me hard. Fine; that excuses high school, maybe the start of college. But what about after? Becoming a 30 year old virgin was rough, but even that feels like ancient history. I was broke back then, but not as broke as in college. What was my excuse in 2009-2010? I was unemployed, but I dipped a toe into speed dating, almost out of obligation. Heck, what was my excuse in 2016? 2017? And so on? I suppose after 2018 the stress from the eviction is there; then again, some people are drafted and keep dating up until the day before they report. Sometimes hours before, and with more vigor.

My reasons are always internal; I am never “_____” enough, with that blank being an ever moving target. The problem is that there are plenty of dudes out there who ate fatter, uglier, shorter, poorer, more cracked out and so on who date all the time like their penis is a golden fleece. How long can I hold onto the emotional pain of childhood or adolescence? And how long can I take some things so personally? One of the benefits of this blog is I have gotten to look at what dug into my mind from previous years and truly see some of it as not being as bad as I made it out to be. It felt that way at the time, but many times it was just circumstances, or me fearing making a move (at least three times). I always would go on about “not wasting time.” The problem is what to do with all that “saved” time.

Now of course I do have the genuine demerit of starting later than most men who are not in a seminary, a sanitarium or a circus freak show. Few women my age or older want to waste their own time with a fumbling feeb who doesn’t even know how to kiss. I’ve heard and read many a guru claim that “all experienced people experience some awkwardness with a new lover to the point that the first kiss, cuddle, or even sex session isn’t usually completely in sync,” but frankly I do not think people are anywhere near that understanding. My inexperience will cause me to potentially miss cues, underestimate cues, and not accept any response which is counter to my own belief system. While my secret virginity can remain just that, that merely means my own shyness and hesitancy will be misunderstood as something else. Yet…most men are lousy or at least mediocre in bed. And they still trudge on anyway (usually with an inflated sense of themselves). Is it so essential to my ego that I have to make up for my unwanted chastity by being either a sex-god or alone? It isn’t enough to be a mediocre lay with a few good jokes like most dudes are? I’m the one who always wanted to “fit in,” right?

Sure, there are some women who gossip and publicly mock and belittle the lame lovers they’ve had. But from my experience, usually when that happens, it was because a man’s sexual performance (or lack thereof) only capped a bad personality or terrible emotional intelligence. I mean even to the rudest of the “mean girls,” there is only so much mileage to get out of a, “he was a nice guy, just boring and uninspired,” beyond one or two vibrator jokes. Whereas a guy who is a full blown creep or arrogant misogynist who also has a small penis/sweaty palms/no stamina etc. to boot, well, THAT is the stuff of a Twitter rant.

Besides, up to a point I am not responsible for how someone responds to me so long as I do my best in a respectful and appropriate way. You can’t please everyone and everyone has their own taste. Why am I so concerned about the welfare of people who are rejecting me anyway? Sure, I don’t wish them harm, but how deeply must I take their opinion of me? You could fill an ocean with women who think I am lame and pathetic, but I imagine even handsome, famous men could say the same. By not trying I ignore the flip side of the equation; the ridiculous excuses a woman will make for a guy she actually likes and connects with. Maybe it won’t matter if I kiss like a CHUCK E CHEESE animatronic or whiff on the first intercourse if she genuinely likes me or finds me funny. She might, like, give me another chance like she gave that one biker dude from college, or something.

And there are women I might be compatible with. I joke that one type are, “women who consider failure an aphrodisiac,” but that number is above zero. There are women who have kids who might find it refreshing to be seen as a desirable person again. There are women coming out of a long term or terrible relationship who wouldn’t mind a cold fish because they’re not used to a nice person. There are women who are into geeky stuff and may find it refreshing to find a guy who doesn’t get bent out of shape testing or shaming them for it, or blowing a gasket if they know more about an aforementioned genre. And if there are women who are genuinely into weird, weird stuff (like being pooped on or dressing as furries or something), then the number of women I might like who might for some random unfathomable reason find me physically attractive is also above zero. It all comes down to me having the fortitude to slog through it, to go on those 100 or 1,000 or 1,000,000 or 1,000,000,000 dates until I find at least one woman who at least shrugs and goes, “Eh, I’ve ****ed worse.” Baby, that is the perfect attitude for a dude like me. I’m the human version of Appleby’s. No one really wants to go there, and they offer nothing memorable. But they remain profitable anyway because eventually, someone has eaten worse and doesn’t feel like cooking. Eventually, a woman will have watched everything on Netflix, and eaten all the ice cream, and will have used all the nozzles in their treasure chest, and be in the mood for a man who at the very least isn’t a serial killer who lives in a van. And baby, that’s a bar I can reach.

I am not getting any younger. In fact, in 2021 I will inch as close to being a 40 year old virgin than I want to get. And even if I were? Then I suddenly have something unique to offer. “Lady, any lounge lizard can offer you black hair gel, a water bed and a twisty tongue. But how many can allow you to live out the plot to a movie? Which isn’t a horror movie? I don’t have any ex stories and no kids to feed. You can stress about pleasing the man who’s had them all, or relax and be a goddess to the man who’s had nothing. Hell, you’d barely need to shave to be the best woman I’ve ever had.”

Dating may be on indefinite hiatus for now. But it won’t be forever. And then the one free mulligan I have will be gone, and it will be up to me for what I do or do not do. Being a late bloomer sucks, but is it better or worse than a never bloomer? Will I go for it? Do I finally have the will, or just no more damns to give? Many men will date even if they’re couch surfing and if a relative is in the hospital; can I at least rise above that? Maybe that should be my motto: “Think of the worst man you’ve ever dated. I promise I am at least slightly better than him!”

I honestly don’t know; we’re not at that time yet. But we may be in less than another year. And when I see men who literally fumble their own shot in ways even I am not so clueless to do, it seems less impossible. I mean, damn, I am a hot mess too, but I can at least keep it to myself long enough to get a first date out of someone receptive; I did it twice before (and only twice before). It all comes down to whether I’d rather be right, or happy. So far I’ve been right, and that can get lonely. Am I willing to accept being wrong about myself and what I could offer to a woman if it meant some happiness? Again, I don’t know. At this time it’s moot. But eventually the masks will come off, and all we’re ever left with is ourselves.

I may never truly like myself. But maybe I can figure out how to stop hating myself. Or at least fake liking myself enough to give someone else a chance to like me, like I do for work all the time. So what if I rely on humor or acting like I know more than I do? Some people rely on a Cadillac. I may never psych myself into success in dating. But maybe, possibly, if I ever get another chance once this virus is managed, I can at least allow myself a chance at a technical win. To paraphrase Bart Simpson, maybe I can finally try to try.

Happy New Year to all who stuck with this slog. And hey, the post volume at least matched last year. See how good I am for avoiding being the worst? Maybe I can get a streak going! Or one day find someone who I can be the least worst with together.

And yes, this is what passes for optimism around here. Personally, I think it is still better that a televised Yule Log.

Dateless-Man vs. Performance Expectations

This is another post which could be said is “putting the cart before the horse.” I haven’t ever had a second date with the same woman, nor been on a real date (and not a speed date) in over a decade. And so long as we are dealing with Covid-19, lockdowns, and endless related adjournments to my housing court case (and homelessness), it can feel doubly moot.

But it’s the end of the month, and this was the topic which came up in another forum, so I may as well embellish it here. It’s a topic which has oozed forth over the years here, anyway. For years when I wrote articles about whether or not to reveal to someone I was dating that I was an older virgin, or to keep it to my vest and hope to shuffle on through, my motives were beyond simple altruism. My motive was, essentially, cover.

I see sex as a skill, like anything else. And like any skill, there is a learning curve. There are some people who are “naturals,” but by and large everyone starts out somewhere near “lousy” and gets better with practice. People who date along a “normal” track, in theory, get through some of that learning curve in their teens and twenties, so when they’re doing their more mature dating in their 30’s and up, they at least have some technique down.

Now, I know I am paving over a lot of details and nuance. Firstly, that not everyone improves at skills over time, including sex. And secondly, that sex is a collaborative act between two people and not hacking at a block of wood, or something basic. But by and large, I think it’s fair that at least 51% of people operate under this kind of formula, more or less. Youth is where the mistakes are made, and adulthood is where the art is refined.

If I am truthful, part of my original ideal of being “honest” about my inexperience (after the first or second date, or at least before “third base”) was about cover. It was to provide a genuine reason, or excuse, for being a lousy lay. It’s possible I could be some kind of savant or natural, but I sincerely doubt that my life is so convenient that I’d be an older virgin who was a natural at sex. That’s the stuff of romance novels or TV movies — you know, cheap pop fiction. It doesn’t happen in real life. One of my genuine fears about this whole relationship thing is that I meet someone and things go well. We date a few times, and we even go to bed. But once in there, I am a deer in the headlights and I am just a bundle of nerves, and the sex is just terrible…for her. And then she all but orders me to get out before I can even get dressed, and dismisses me like a soda can.

Now, admitting that I am a virgin (or at least “very inexperienced”) at some point after date one and before a wrestling match on a mattress could mitigate that. It could get a woman’s expectations down to a somewhat reasonable level. Or it could put her off or “surprise” her, and from my experience, few people in a relationship are looking for a “surprise.” They’re looking for a good time or fun sexy adventures or comfort or companionship; not a “surprise.”

At the other forum, there are two other regulars who are fellow “virgins in arms” as I sometimes call them. One of them found my expectations about these things surprising. He thinks that years worth of repressed hormones and desires would overcome any anxiety with raw passion. And I suppose as a fellow virgin, that’s hardly the worst attitude to have. Some people see my “realism” for pessimism or a lack of confidence; which it is. But conversely, I think having an overly positive expectation is the stuff of delusion. The problem is that success is all about visualization. You have to imagine what the end goal looks like in the mind in order to make it real. And no matter what, every time I plan and plot things out, all it leads to is having one of the most anxious and nerve wracking nights of my life with a relative stranger, where my choice is admitting to something I found profoundly embarrassing and shameful about my life which I hesitate to even mention to friends, or to say nothing, and just be dismissed as “yet another below average man” in bed.

I have been trying to shift to a different expectation between fame or flames. According to the law of averages, many men are lazy or ungrateful lovers. While I shouldn’t lie about my experience, there’s no need to outright admit anything, especially if I am not feeling an understanding vibe. A woman could be a compatible match, at least short term, without having to reveal my whole history. I don’t expect that of a woman, after all. And while inexperience and “raw unbridled passion” is not the best combination, maybe if I just show enough listening skills, a desire to please and some passion, I can at least eke out being average. And that’s not so bad for a first time. I am to please a woman, but at the very least I’d like to not disappoint her.

2020 is shot. But 2021 may come a vaccine, and maybe a return to a last, best chance to get over the hump. I am running out of years, and one of these days if given the chance I need to make an honest go of it. At least to prove whether I am as doomed as I think or if many my ideas of my performance are out of date.

Dateless-Man vs. The Temptation to Be a Heel

It’s almost the end of the month, which means it’s due for another thrilling adventure of Dateless-Man! Or, another overwritten and over thought rambling from one of America’s aging male virgins. Which is which is up to the reader to decide! At any rate, I have a bit of a juicy one to get into this time around. It does involve a bit of “navel gazing,” but I really have no other choice. Much of the reason why this blog exists it because I never got to gaze at a woman’s navel.

The past 30-40 days have seen one development arise which relates to my continued misadventures, frustrations, and failed opportunities with women; the return of “Sonia,” who I wrote about a few times, but mostly in 2015’s “My Longest Term ‘Female Friend.” To recap, “Sonia” (which is an alias; I give all the people I discuss aliases here out of paranoia one may stumble on this website and connect dots) is a woman I met as a teenager who was the friend (and at times lover) of one of my friend’s girlfriends at the time. I briefly had a crush on her back then, but as usual I never acted upon it. The years went by and we reconnected (mostly online) and we became good friends. I often would act as a sounding board to her traumas and frustrations. In 2011, I briefly got her a job where I was and I used to hang out at her apartments (which she shared with her then fiance) many times. We often kept in touch via social media ever since.

Despite my own original feelings for her, over time I grew to value her friendship. I eventually learned I was one of the few male friends she had who never actively tried to get into her pants, which only added pressure to make sure whatever tension or past feelings which may or may not have been there, remained there. Besides, most of the time we interacted, Sonia was either currently dating someone or living too far away to visit. Her relationships were often rocky if not abusive, and she’s had a lot of trauma in her life. Lately she had ended an engagement after about 2-4 years (with her latest “psycho ex”) and had been living with a new beau.

That is, until about December 2019 or January 2020. Sonia had simply stopped posting on her feeds and no longer replied to instant messages. My latest cell phone number for her didn’t work, but that wasn’t unusual; she went through phone numbers like some people go through socks. Considering Sonia was battling cervical cancer from last I heard, I grew concerned by her disappearance. Her attending hospitals wasn’t unusual last year and I thought she could be deathly ill or dead — and this was before Covid-19 really hit. It only added to all of those unrequited feelings and frustrations which the pandemic only helped enhance.

By the time I was about at my wits end with worry (amid everything else in my life, such as work, tending to a disabled mom and waiting for our eviction trial to start), Sonia finally returned. It was a rare bit of good news in a fall which needed it. It turned out she hadn’t been sick and wasn’t in the hospital; she’d been in county jail. Unfortunately, she’s struggled with substance abuse in the past (which isn’t unusual for people with a lot of trauma), and had a few DWI’s on her record in a short period. One too many landed her in county jail for about 8 months. Now she was back to living with her boyfriend (and his mother) and tending to day to day life amid posting pictures of herself, or memes, on her feed.

Now comes the temptation. During our online discussion/reunion, Sonia did something she always does, but no other friend of mine (even other women) ever does. She asked how my love life was doing, and if I was dating anyone. I get asked about that stuff in everyday life so rarely that it throws me (like the time my deadbeat sperm-donor asked me last year). But this time it was different. Maybe it was the surprise of her return after so long without warning. Or maybe it’s the pandemic alongside the impending trial which had led me to see life in even shorter and more finite terms than usual. Regardless of why, I was almost at the verge of spilling everything.

I almost told her about the feelings of the past, and that in a way they’d remained, despite our being friends and me valuing that friendship. And I almost told her of my increasing desperation of being a virgin and that if I were only to sleep with one person in my life I’d love for it to be her. And this temptation was more than just oozing feelings like a cat dumping a dead mouse in a shoe. You see, I knew she was still with her boyfriend (of over a year), and in that moment I didn’t care. In that moment I sought to exploit her fondness for me to tempt her to cheat on him with me.

The temptation began and ended within my mind. I was so horrified by it that I took pause. I submerged it to the pit of my soul and cast it down. I resisted the urge to be a desperate, horny creep with my good friend who has cancer who just got out of prison. I’m a superhero, aren’t I?

To digress a bit (which I do often), one of the many things which dissatisfied me about some of the work of one of many online dating gurus I researched online, Frank Kermit, was that in many ways I lived up to what he considered to be “common traits” of older male virgins. I hated it because a lot of his views on women and dating are stereotypical and outdated (and he all but gleefully brags about stringing along a “harem” of women now and then, like an overweight Tenchi Masaki from Tenchi Muyo). At any rate, one of his “older male virgin traits” was that they were raised by an aggressive or domineering single mother with no father figure. The other is a religious or somehow secular background. And I fit both; my father abandoned me, and I went to private Catholic school during my elementary grades. And one of the many things which, ironically, propelled me away from organized religion and into staunch atheism was the concept of not only “original sin,” but temptation. By 4th or 5th grade, in the eyes of the nuns at the school, God considered the mere temptation to do wrong to be just as bad as actually doing it.

Even as a child, I found this concept disconcerting. How could the thought of doing something wrong be just as bad? If I think about stealing a cookie, but don’t, it can’t be just as bad; the cookie is still there and no one knows. Who among anyone could be so free of impure thoughts at all waking moments? Isn’t true strength being the ability to resist the temptations which too many succumb to? Must we punish ourselves and beg an omnipotent God for forgiveness just for having human temptation? If such thoughts were sins, why allow humans to have them? Why not make us as the animals, simple and basic?

I bring this up because I wonder if some of those old nuns’ lectures sunk into my mind more than I thought. After all, here I am examining and feeling rotten about a temptation I ultimately resisted. No harm was done, beyond a little internalized guilt. I suppose what gives me pause was how easily such a temptation emerged and how I was so close to unleashing it all in a torrent of text or phone calls. To quote Maxwell Smart, I missed it by this much. I felt a chill by it, and know I have to steel myself from it rising again. I care for my friend deeply and she certainly doesn’t deserve awkward emotional vomit on top of everything else.

The fact that I had this thought even once after so long, that I have become a person who had it, disturbs me. I am not a user or a parasite, nor someone who seeks to manipulate friends for petty gain. And I never want to be. I suppose we all have a dark side which can be unleashed in desperate times, and I have to remain forever vigilant that I can keep mine in check. After all, being a bad man is far worse than being a Dateless-Man. In a world, and life, where it seems most of us never have enough time or money or opportunity, being the best person we can be is all we have left. To lose even that is to lose everything, and that is something I cannot do.

Maybe if this pandemic ever lifts I need to throw myself into the dating scene as best I can, in many ways for the first time in over 15 years, if not for my sake, but for the sake of lady friends on the sidelines who may be the targets of misaimed urges. The key word, of course, is if.

Happy Halloween, everyone. Is there anything scarier than temptation? I wonder if I faced a shade of it this month, and hope that if it happens again, I ultimately triumph all the same. Until a better day free of Covid-19 or social expectations of men, I remain…the Dateless-Man.

I’m Not An Ace; I’m a Joker (and Other Related Dating Musings)

I may as well get this month’s installment underway. The previous installment was actually this blog’s 100th article, which us another milestone after July’s 6th anniversary. This may be another entry which covers a few things at once, going to where my mind is right now as I navigate the vast void that is my love life. These days, everyone can blame the pandemic that is Covid-19 for 2020-2021. Sadly, the years from 1996-2019 are pretty much all my fault, and to a lessor degree, society’s.

The first thing I wanted to comment on is something which others have stated regarding me for some time. Both here in the comments field of previous articles, as well as in the forums I sometimes have visited (such as the Doctor Nerdlove fan forum), there have been those who’ve heard my stories about my chronic date-less status and seemingly eternal virginity and come to one conclusion. They have wondered to me if I was an asexual.

For those not in the know, “asexuality” is commonly defined as “the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.” Although it has been observed in human behavior, both real (Nikola Tesla) and fictional (Sherlock Holmes) for eons, it didn’t start to be banded about in popular terms until 1994 at best, and around the mid 2000’s at worst. I certainly don’t recall hearing or reading much about it until about 10-15 years ago. It is gradually being considered a full on gender identity on the LGBT spectrum, and has various definitions and unique sub-categories. I’ve been told that someone can be sexually attracted to a particular gender, and even masturbate regularly, and still be considered an asexual. One of my very best friends came out as asexual last year, and I have always been tolerant of varying gender identities. However, as introspective as I try to be about myself, and as open to new ideas and possibilities as I may be, I sincerely doubt I am an asexual, despite the thoughts of the handful of people over the past half decade who have suggested so online.

The primary reason for me is that I do not suffer from a lack of sexual interest. I may not be quite as avidly horny now as I was as a teenager or in my early 20’s, but what man in his late 30’s is? Without being too graphic, I do masturbate regularly and use inner fantasies more than outside stimuli to do so about 95% of the time. There have been countless women, both known in real life or observed in media or magazines, that I have been sexually interested in. The most recent example as chronicled here was a co-worker from last year. My point is I do not suffer from a lack of desire, but a lack of opportunity (or willing partners).

There is a part of me that wonders if some people who are in my position — the undersexed — sometimes speculate about being asexual not before they truly are, but because it presents an alternative to self-loathing (or loathing others). When one is untouched for an entire lifetime, it can be easy to search for a reason which satisfies the question of “why” (or “why not me?”). This isn’t to say that there aren’t asexual people, or that many people who many be older virgins may turn out to be genuinely asexual. But I simply wonder whether or not some people may assume the label for self serving reasons.

Speaking for myself, readers of this column may know that I have often harbored feelings of resentment and loathing towards myself regarding my inability to attract others. I have banded terms about myself over the years like “freak,” “circus freak,” “lame,” and “loser” many times in previous articles. I have gone through many bouts of pain, loneliness or personal anguish over my black void of a romantic state many times over the years. I can say for myself that it would be easy for me to slap a label on myself which is less hurtful or insulting and call it a day. The only problem is that for me, in my own eyes, it would be a self delusion.

I suppose there is some point to self delusion sometimes. If calling myself a certain thing makes me feel better, or at least less bad about myself, then it may be worthwhile. In theory it could also lead to a connection to fellow asexuals. In practice, though, it feels wrong to assume a gender identity if I am not absolutely certain of it; otherwise it is an insult to their own pain and self discoveries. I feel it is wrong to assume a gender identity for simple convenience, only to discard it later if/when things changed (i.e. I ever got laid). It would do a disservice to the genuine asexuals out there, and I am not a fan of manipulating people to my own ends. Even if those “own ends” are a little emotional soothing.

I’ve harbored self-loathing feelings about myself for as long as I can remember — or at least since about 6th or 7th grade. I feel less of it now than when I was still a teenager (or maybe even from 2014) but it’s still the bedrock of my self-esteem. That leads to a host of problems, but the advantage is that I am too used to it to need to wrap myself in a gender identity I feel is inaccurate just to try to offer an alternative to my own self-narrative. I don’t feel that I am “in denial” about my “identity” or anything like that; if I genuinely thought I was legitimately asexual I wouldn’t have an issue. But I won’t borrow a label from others just to rosy-up my own narrative; my narrative doesn’t need it. It’ll get rosier when it gets rosier, not because I retitle it.

So, to restate the title, I’m not an ace. I’m just a joker. But that’s fine. I’ll either one day get the experience, or I won’t. At least with Covid-19, a part of it is out of my control now. There’s regret, but that’s always been there. I don’t have a problem saying that I’m a virgin not because I am a closet asexual, but because I’m lame (and society kind of sucks).

As for “related topics,” I came across this article on Daily Mail UK by Tracey Cox about a study regarding older male virgins. I try to scan the internet for this topic sometimes and seek a different perspective than from Doctor Nerdlove, or even many dudes in general. Now, her data is mostly about British men but I wonder if some translates. She cites one 2018 British study that says 1 in 6 British men over 26 claim to be virgins, up from 1 in 20 in previous years. And she also cites a Chicago study that says the number of men who claim to be virgins has tripled since 2008. This correlates a little bit with various Japanese studies that suggest roughly 10% of Japanese men over 30 are virgins.

Her reasons? Too much “sexual availability” aided in no small part by apps and the Internet adds anxiety, and the easy availability of porn online are said to be factors. Bleak economic and social perceptions (if not reality) are also making people more depressed and anxious, which effects libido. Miss Cox interviewed 4 men and their motivations ran the gamut from experiencing trauma (abuse) to religious choices, to two men who were just “odd,” essentially.

There is a part of me that genuinely wonders if the raw numbers of older (male) virgins have really increased, or if it is just a consequence of the Internet. I mean, before the year 2000-2005 it was rough if not impossible to find online communities about such people. Most folks who were just kept to themselves, or were just known as “bachelors.” I mean, even before 2005’s The 40 Year Old Virgin, there was Marty from 1955, starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair, which won an Oscar. Now, unlike the later comedy film, “the v-word” is never said, but it’s between the lines. The flick is about a socially awkward blue collar 34 year old who has supposedly never dated anyone and considers himself an eternal bachelor without any “prospects”. His married friends and mother have all resigned him to his fate, until he runs across an equally awkward “plain Jane” he actually connects with. The irony is Borgnine, who wasn’t as athletic as Steve Carrell, is probably closer in body type to many of us.

If there is an increase, it may be more due to social changes. Sexual liberation, women not needing to rely so much on men for their independence, and more people marrying later in life would all contribute. On the whole these are for the better; just ask all those Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers and maybe Millennials who grew up in loveless households with two parents who got married “for the children” or “due to social pressures.”

I’m not about to knock online dating; 1/3rd of all the dates I was ever on were due to that. Before that, the only similar alternative was print want ads and in-person “dating services”, which were even sleazier and more haphazard. Perhaps the loss of a sense of “community” within many neighborhoods which aided in social interaction is a factor.

Regardless of reason, I am what I am. And that’s all that I am. It was good enough for Popeye, and it’s good enough for me.

Thanks for reading.

Dateless-Man vs. Youthful Cartoon Crushes

Working from home, stressing about housing court and of course, Covid-19 have really sucked what little life there was out of this blog, and I guess my life. I haven’t had as much time or will for articles, and 2020 so far is shaping up to be my most scarce year ever. Which would stink, since this past July was my 6th anniversary doing this blog. Six long years. A part of me admires the dedication to this blog, the people who read get some enjoyment or fulfillment from it, and the self-perspective and analysis I have gained from it. Another part of me wonders how things would have gone had I just doggedly tried OkCupid or PlentyOfFish more since 2014. Now, of course, with everything shut down and a handicapped mother to fear getting sick, dating is done.

But, enough about the grim present. Let’s focus on the nostalgic past! This is actually the post I would have written last time, if my only online romance guru hadn’t have gone and admitted to being a creeper back in June. Back in May, I had a discussion with one of this blog’s commentors and the conversation led towards crushes on cartoon heroines. Although the conversation led somewhere I wasn’t willing to go — living vicariously through an imaginary fictional girlfriend, basically — it did get me thinking about where my fundamentals of attraction came from. I’ve written articles based on chats with this blog’s dedicated readers before; where else would I have gotten my “Top 10 Flaws & Strengths” articles from?

Now I suppose someone may ask: “how far into your own lack of a love life’s past can you go, Dateless-Man?” And my answer is, far enough so that I can break the space/time continuum, visit myself in my youth and tell myself to date more, therefore ensuring that in at least one timeline, I became somebody’s boyfriend. Besides, until there’s a Covid vaccine, the present isn’t about to get any sexier. And in terms of sex appeal, I’d have to work my way up to ALF.

As a caveat, I’d like to preface it to say that despite the title, there were no long term “fantasies” involving any of these characters. There were no fan arts, no shrines, and no naughty dreams. I seemed to always know the difference between animation and real life, even as a kid when I watched nothing but animation. The girls and women I would dream about were either ones I knew in real life, or most often, ones created by my own imagination. However, I’d be less than honest if I didn’t admit there weren’t some animated girls/women I “attached” to a little as I grew up. For all I know, they could have helped shape the qualities that I find attractive in women now. After all, when I was a kid and teen watching cartoons, I still had hope.

Without giving away my age specifically, my memories began in the early to mid 1980’s. One of the first handful of cartoons I remember attaching to during my pre-kindergarten (or “pre-K”) years was Inspector Gadget, and that means the female character who made an impression on me at my youngest was Penny (or Penny Gadget as she’s informally known). The original series ran for 2 seasons from 1983-1986 on broadcast syndication and has remained in circulation on some channel more or less ever since. The niece of the title character, she was voiced in the first season by Cree Summer (in her first role) and in the second by Holly Berger.

Penny was hardly the first notable heroine in animation during this time. Other examples include Teela from He-Man & the Masters of the Universe, Firestar from Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends, the titular heroine She-Ra, the girls from Jem & the Holograms, Scarlett and Baroness from G.I. Joe, and Cheetara on Thundercats. And for weirdos, Smurfette from The Smurfs, or even Cleo from Heathcliff for the furries. But for whatever reason it was Penny that first stuck with me, and I’ve never quite figured out why. Now, remember, at the time I wouldn’t have even been in first grade yet, so technically Penny was an “older” kid at the time.

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That may have been one of the reasons why Penny did make an impression, though. Unlike the others, who were all either teenagers or adult women, Penny was a kid, like me. She was older but still a kid. And she didn’t have any combat skills or super-powers, or dressed in an unrealistic outfit. Penny was super-smart, brave, and resourceful, and had many skills, but she wasn’t a martial arts master or a warrior. And while she did get imperiled a lot, most times she got out of it herself. Besides, at the time (and even today), Penny was very unique. She may have been a cute pig-tailed blonde, but she dressed like a tomboy — right down to patches on the knees of her pants. No dresses or bows for her, or pink of any kind, even. Yet she was also a computer genius who didn’t look the part; and trust me, in the 80’s, “dork” characters were usually easy to spot design wise. Maybe to pre-K me, Penny was “realistic” for a cartoon girl and reflected qualities I liked.

After 1987-1988, though, my child life was almost completely dominated by one franchise: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That thing hit like a truck full of surfer catch phrases, half-shelled heroes and pizza and few kids realized how big it would get. It was the top of the heap for kids media for at least 4-5 prime years until 1992-1993, when things started to wane (and it faced stiffer competition). And even then, the original cartoon still lasted 10 seasons, 7 of which were on CBS. The show ran so long that in the last seasons in 1996-1997, characters started using “the Internet.”

And of course you can’t have the Ninja Turtles without April O’Neil. Voiced by Renae Jacobs, her animated appearance comes with a bit of history. She, like the rest of the Ninja Turtles, were based on comics from Mirage Studios circa 1984. In those, April was originally heavily implied to be a woman of color. The interior art was black and white, but many of the issue covers made it more obvious. She was based on the then-girlfriend of co-creator Kevin Eastman, who was Asian. But the cartoon made her (and villain Baxtor Stockman) Caucasian, and then from then on reprints of the original comics sort of amended that. Considering how popular April became with boys, I always wondered what would have happened if she’d remained a woman of color in the ’87 cartoon.

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At any rate, unlike Penny there’s no deep rooted mystery as to why I attached to her at the time. As the female lead of the biggest franchise around, it was impossible not to attach to her. I imagine for some kids, the skin tight yellow jumpsuit and red hair helped. Her design was inspired by Fujiko Mine from the Lupin the Third franchise, who wore stuff like that all the time. However, it’s still an odd outfit for a TV reporter! Speaking of which, in the original comics she was a lab assistant, whereas in the cartoon she was an anchorwoman and also got imperiled a lot. Unlike Penny, despite being an adult (in her mid 20’s if I recall one line properly), she had to be rescued almost all the time.

As a kid, April was essentially the damsel in distress; she was pretty and an adult and a key bit of exposition within the franchise. She still bravely ventured towards danger, even if it almost always led to her capture. On rare occasions she helped save the day, and at least often gathered info for the Turtles, or was their main contact with the human world. There’s some subtext there that I missed as a kid but saw on a rewatch years ago. Her boss at Channel 6, Burne Thompson, is kind of a gruff creep who dates a woman half his age who clearly hired April for her looks, and would get irritated when she insisted on being a journalist. One episode even has April stress once her contract is up, because she doubts Burne will rehire her. And her snooty co-worker Vernon Fenwick is always trying to one-up her or get her fired, or demoted, despite being a coward. By the end of the series, April becomes an “independent freelance journalist,” not beholden to one network, and she ditched the yellow jumpsuit.

Ironically, while I had no interest in April’s pal Irma (the secretary at Channel 6) as a kid, she definitely is a character who is more amusing if you rewatch when older. Despite her homely fashion, cave-woman hairstyle and thick glasses, she was very thirsty. She’d flirt with anyone, get jealous anytime April or any other woman got more attention than her (even as a hostage) and got misty eyed anytime she even talked about men. It didn’t matter if they were humans, mutants, aliens, or even robots. It’s very funny. And the show never “cheated” and ever claimed Irma was “Hollywood homely.” They never had that moment where she took off the glasses and pony-tail strap and suddenly she was a model. Nope, not even when she got zapped by rays and briefly became “Super-Irma,” she always looked the same.

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But, April and the Ninja Turtles had plenty of rivals. I’d be less than honest if I didn’t give a mention to Lydia Deetz, the pre-teen goth girl from 1989’s animated Beetlejuice animated series. Voiced by Alyson Court (also from Big Comfy Couch), the cartoon was based on Tim Burton’s classic 1988 film of the same name, and was so popular that at one point during its 4 season run it was airing on ABC and Fox virtually at the same time. It aired on Fox during weekdays and on ABC Saturday morning, which is nuts. Pale, with black hair, a tunic ripped off Spider-Man’s back, and thick purple eye-shadow, she may have been many a boy’s introduction to “goth girls” at the end of the 80’s. In fact the weirdest thing about the show was Lydia’s relationship with Beetlejuice.

In the film, Lydia’s a teenager (played by the then-18 Winona Ryder) and Beetlejuice attempts to marry her. Yet in the cartoon, Lydia’s in middle school and is merely “good friends” with Beetlejuice. Such good friends that Beetlejuice often calls her “babe” and they celebrate anniversaries (and at times treat a brief end of their “friendship” as if it were a break-up). And more than one Netherworld being tries to marry her. Regardless, no matter how gross, ugly, lazy, and mean-spirited Beetlejuice often was, Lydia was nearly devoted to him for three reasons. He accepted her as she was, he often would aid her in her own revenge schemes against either her parents or her snooty classmates, and he could always make her laugh. As “the class clown,” a part of me always liked that last part.

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However, by 1992-1993, my interest in Ninja Turtles was starting to wane. I was growing up and better, more serious cartoons were hitting the small screen. The first among them which caught my eye were another team of mutants, the X-Men. Based off the popular comic book and hitting Fox only about 3 years after NBC passed on a pilot, it plastered Jim Lee’s costume designs all over TV screens and action figure aisles. Although the team are called the “X-Men,” about half the team are women, and the one who caught my attention was Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann). Clearly a product of the 1980’s, Rogue combined super-strength and nigh invulnerability with a sassy Southern attitude and her curse of being unable to touch anyone. I suppose it may not shock people that an older male virgin would attach to a character like that.

Unlike those other heroines, there was more genuine angst and tragedy to Rogue. It was clear that if left to her own devices, she was a confident woman who would have a healthy love life. But the same powers she relied on every day kept her from touching anyone without killing them (or risking their psyche and powers bonding to her forever). She wasn’t always a bundle of sadness, but now and then it would hit her, and she would consider, say, a “cure.” Unfortunately, I can’t say I ever connected to Gambit, her self proclaimed immortal lover. Sometimes he’d ware her down and other times she was as annoyed by him as I was. He was like a spandex clad, trench coat wearing Pepe LePew with five o’clock shadow. Besides, what competition in the “lady” department did Rogue have? Jean Grey shifted between delivering exposition and screaming. Jubilee (also voiced by Alyson Court) was usually annoying. And Storm often spouted haughty, melodramatic weather-related dialogue which was so bonkers that it’d make Thor blush. At any rate, it was that mixture of assertive sass with deep seeded vulnerability which likely helped me attach to Rogue as a kid. And no, the spandex didn’t hurt.

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By now there were tons of quality cartoons on the air. Batman: the Animated Series was arguably the king of the heap with plenty of cool characters of both sexes. The irony is that unlike some other franchises, I was already well aware of Batman and his cast due to the syndication of the 1966 TV show. And there was Gargoyles, which is still awesome, but as a kid for whatever reason I didn’t watch the show as often as I should have. But if we’re talking about lady cartoon characters I attached to as a kid for reasons, then it’s Felicia Hardy (voiced by Jennifer Hale) from 1994’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Hardy, as the Black Cat, was a longtime character from Spidey’s comics, but the version from the cartoon was almost a new character. A wealthy trust fund youth, she was initially interested in the jock Flash Thompson before growing closer to Peter Parker, and ultimately his alter-ego, Spider-Man.

In the comics, of course, Spidey’s true love is Mary Jane Watson. In the cartoon, though, Mary Jane went through all sorts of weird stuff, such as being banished to another dimension, cloned, and mingled with Hydro-Man’s DNA as a clone. It was Felicia who made a stronger impression as she went from a spoiled little rich girl to someone who grew to appreciate others, and ultimately became Spidey’s partner (and briefly lover) as the Black Cat (whose origin was mixed with Captain America’s for some reason). Whenever Spider-Man was going through something really rough, Felicia, or Black Cat, was always there. She wasn’t just someone he fought for; she could often fight with him. Her only demerit was getting intertwined with Morbius the Living Vampire, who sucked. Fox’s censors had so neutered the science vampire that he was essentially an angst ridden variant of Count Chocula. It certainly was fun when Hale got to reprise the role for a Spider-Man game from the original PlayStation 1! Although not as tragic as Rogue, Felicia did have pain in her life and went through more of a journey than April did.

As the 1990’s ended I was getting older, going to high school and all that, and I was mostly weening myself off of broadcast network cartoons to obsess about Japanese anime for a while. Nowadays, comics and anime are fairly mainstream, but in the late 90’s it was still niche territory (or “only for kids”). There were still plenty of fodder for Saturday mornings, but the last cartoon which had female characters that “connected” to me when I was still young enough to be impressionable was 2000’s X-Men: Evolution on Kid’s WB. It really was a “crossroads” kind of show. Production would have begun in 1999, and it debuted at the start of the 21st century as Fox’s “X-MEN” film became a hit. As such there were design and plot elements which seemed to represent the end of the 90’s and the start of a new era no animator could entirely predict.

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By the year 2000 I was in my late teens, finishing high school and beginning the shift to college. And the last two animated heroines who made any impression on me while I was still technically a juvenile were in some ways “back to the future.” They also represented the archetypes of the sorts of girls I was attracted to at the time. A new incarnation of X-Men meant a new incarnation of Rogue, this time voiced by Meghan Black. She was a teenager like most of the cast, and this time redesigned as a goth. Pale skin, dark or odd clothing, and more angst ridden than flirty.

Alongside her was a longer term X-Men member who finally got a chance to be a regular, Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, voiced by Maggie Blue O’Hara. Kitty was the exact opposite of Rogue; perky, upbeat, optimistic, and with endless “Valley Girl” lingo. And as I said, they were essentially the animated avatars of the sorts of young women I usually crushed on during my social life at school. I either liked happy-go-lucky upbeat balls of energy who I imagined could get me out of my shell like Kitty, or edgy fringe-crawling goths like Rogue who would hang back with me and mock the “norms” with me in between sharing our traumas. At the time I’d become well know for wearing a black leather trench-coat and steel toed boots, even during the summer, and acting “too cool for school” to mask my crippling insecurity. It never worked.

So, what did we learn from this? About the only thing all of these characters had in common was being smart, and fighting bad guys. Many of them were career driven, confident, and often were driven to excel in worlds dominated by men (even if a few of them were often saved by men). I wasn’t obsessed with any of them and I certainly don’t wish to live vicariously through any now, even if I can understand the power of imagination to get one through the day. It was fun to revisit this, if only to remember a more innocent time in my life where I still had a shred of hope for a better day. I doubt I’m the only American dude who “noticed” some heroines in animated form, even to a minor degree, as he grew up.

It’d be nice to have some genuine experience to compare a lot of the imagination to. But, those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, blog. At least I got to treat an article here a little bit like the day-to-day geek articles that I write in my alter ego, much like when I discussed The Mask or reviewed “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” Thanks for reading, everyone. Maybe next time it’ll be something deeper or bleaker. And hopefully I can get in at least enough posts here to match 2019!

 

 

About that one Dating Guru I (sort of) Listened To…

The topic of this post would have been different, but events took a slight turn and I couldn’t avoid it. Most of this was because I’d included the links to a particular dating website guru often enough that I could almost be considered an ad-man for him, even when I frequently disagreed with him about his opinions about older virgins. Or after I was banned from his main forum for, as far as I can figure, having less “tolerance” for drug users than the site’s philosophy preached.

Time for a recap. Every few years in my attempt to sort out my feelings about being single, lonely, and a virgin, I would seek out either advice or kindred spirits online. This first began in college (when, ironically, the idea of reaching age 21 as a virgin was seen as “doomsday”) when I would email the Playboy Advisor and joined my first forum about this stuff at the (now defunct) About.com. It continued sporadically every few years after college, especially after I turned 30 (and then past-30). The problem is the internet is full of snake oil salesmen posing as dating coaches, especially for “late blooming” (or insecure) men. Many of them may peddle a few nuggets of worthwhile advice wrapped in heaps of negative stereotypes, aggressive tactics or just plain old hokum (or B.S. for those of you who, unlike me, like using slang which is less than 80 years old). Many of these self proclaimed gurus treat “The Game,” the book that founded the pick-up artist scene, as their Bible.

For the record, there are women who also peddle dating advice for men, but there don’t seem to be as many of them online, or they advertise their wares less aggressively. After all, most of the “gurus” are really out to peddle books/CD’s/webinars/coaching etc. And it’s rarely cheap.

Around 2014-2015 (which was around when I began this blog, July 2014) I stumbled upon Doctor Nerdlove, a.k.a. Harris O’Malley (ak.a. DNL). He wrote one of his frequent articles about older virgins and I started “lurking” (or reading). A reformed Pick-Up Artist (PUA) who claims to have been a “late bloomer” because he didn’t have sex until he was 19 (seriously), he has long sought to recreate his image and men’s dating advice upon realizing the PUA stuff got him laid but made him miserable. He’s been running his website since 2011 but likely wasn’t able to earn his primary living at it until years later. His angle is usually to extract the positive kernels from PUA with a more liberated (or “woke”) approach which focused on building a positively genuine self image, relating to the feelings of other people, and being open minded. At the start you could argue he was PUA-Lite (since “working out” was still a major focus for him until 2015-2016 ish) but ever since he focused more on curing what was between men’s ears, not what was in their pants.

His articles and advice columns often helped me rethink some of my own memories, perspective, and philosophy. Releases such experiences from the deep pits of denial with this blog helped, but DNL was often a tool for my path towards self discovery. However, DNL was rarely shy about the idea that he’d been a jerk and an a-hole during his PUA days, and likely mistreated or manipulated more than one woman into bed. His views on cheaters, which usually advocated forgiveness for all but the worst offenders, often put him at odds with his own audience. He also is a heavy advocate of polygamy, because that’s what he and his wife practice. As such, in an era where the transgressions of predatory, creepy, or even moderately sleazy men get exposed online, I was surprised that a former pub-crawler turned advice guru hadn’t ever had such a past pop up. A part of me thought that he practiced what he preached, especially in relation to apologies; keep them private and don’t make them “about you, but the victim.”

So, imagine my surprise when I checked his website late last week and found this. To summarize, a guru who often railed against public attention grabbing apologies was making one himself. One of his dalliances had come back to haunt him, but it wasn’t one from his self-admitted sleazy past pre-2011. Instead it was from 2017, a time when DNL was already a full-time dating coach who was a sporadic guest at comic book conventions (specifically, Emerald Con). That was also the year I received a permanent ban (described as “a very long vacation”) from his site (and moderator) for far less grievous offenses. It seems that at the Emerald Con in ’17, DNL came onto a fellow guest panelist/booth person at a hotel bar and, feeling a good “vibe,” flirted with her. His own personal style is a give-and-take, push-and-pull back and forth banter which probably can be misunderstood unless you’re very very good at it (or find a very receptive partner). The woman in question, in particular, asked him not to tug her hair as some sort of playful gesture; he did anyway. Her mood changed and he ended his efforts. Later on in 2018 a “mutual friend” told him that the woman felt violated by his efforts, and DNL issued an email apology. DNL even had that pal “shadow” him at the 2018 Emerald Con to make sure he didn’t “act up” again. This past February, DNL heard the woman got his apology but was far from forgiving and wanted nothing further to do with him.

Quite why, then, that DNL waited 4 months to make this public is unknown. He frequently makes posts preaching male behavior every time some well known men in geek circles are “exposed” as sexually aggressive creeps. Almost exactly a week before, DNL made one of those figures, Warren Ellis — the writer of a comic he likes, Transmetropolitan — the centerpiece of such an article. Ironically, it focused on removing problematic men from their art. Considering that DNL’s moderate Internet empire has branched out considerably since 2017 — he’s written a few books and his posts appear on Patreon, Kotaku, Good Men Project, UExpress, and his videos average 2,000-5,000 views on his YouTube channel — perhaps this was an attempt at damage control from a ticking time bomb. He’s sought to use the incident as a “behavior modeling moment,” but I can’t help but be reminded of sanctimonious preachers who then beg forgiveness when they’re exposed as a cheater, or a drug user, or a pedophile. Granted, DNL’s transgression is nowhere that severe, but the self serving presentation is similar.

O’Malley is usually open minded towards the people who write to him for advice, but he is often big on reading people and not pushing boundaries (especially when the other party clearly establishes one). It seems DNL, at least once, did not take his own advice. I mean, I may be a lonely virgin whose views about drug users were once unfairly compared to “reefer madness,” but even I know not to do something to a woman she directly says not to do, especially to her body. And (outside of a strict BSDM routine), how the hell is a hair-tug “playful?” I also found it ironic that my moderate forum transgression, where I neither insulted or belittled or even cursed, earned me a lifetime ban, while DNL is begging his audience for forgiveness for doing what a forum member would be banned for admitting.

No one is perfect. Lord knows I’m not. There are many things I’ve not done that I am not proud of. When I was 12 and in the midst of being bullied in junior high, part of how I won over my tormentors was by insulting someone else for their bemusement; a girl. My own sense of shame and self hatred for that, in some form, remains. But I certainly am not someone who preaches about being “a good man” for a living and then deliberately crosses a line, no matter how slight, with a woman at a bar at a con. Maybe people would be best served to realize that comic conventions are essentially business conferences and not to mix them with too much pleasure. And while I never considered Doctor Nerdlove a perfect role model, or a role model at all, he was the only ‘net guru I gave the time of day to. And now he’s done something which has disappointed me, and likely a chunk of his audience. He’s also given ammunition to the “incel Men’s Rights Activists” who avidly troll him.

Also, you know how I and many men in my situation are overly shy and cautious? And how we usually buck when DNL and others give us, essentially, the same advice that Miss Frizzle from THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS gives in relation to dating — “Get messy! Make mistakes!” Well, for me, it’s because the last thing I want to do is put a woman through even 10% of what this lady experienced, even by accident.

I’m well into my 30’s and too old to be shattered by someone whose jargon I read (and reflect on, and often criticize) proving to be human and having sinned. But it does feel a bit like peeking behind a set at Disneyworld and seeing Micky Mouse performer take off his head and snort a line of cocaine. It’s shatters the illusion at an unexpected moment.

And to think, people thought we’d have cities on the moon in 2020. Instead it’s come out like this. It’s all moot since no one is casually dating in the era of Covid-19, but it was all I could come up with to post about before July.

Hope everyone else is safe out there, wearing a mask, and washing your hands. I know I am. In more ways than one.