Dateless-Man versus Co-Worker Updates

As per a request from one of my commentors, a good way to fill out this first anniversary month of this blog is by covering some updates about antics with my current co-workers. Last summer, some of my first posts were regarding some of them as well as my reactions to things which were happening around me and them. In fact, my second post ever (“I am Tired of being Jacob Marley”) focused on a sense of ennui regarding one of my co-workers who was close to getting advice from me about approaching a woman I myself noticed, and my feelings about forever trying to aid others other myself. In another post last August (bluntly titled “Another Summer of Discontent”), I groused about another one of my co-workers (a rather hapless chap in his late 40’s I dubbed “Hal”) who seemed to be stumbling into being able to date two women at once, including once roughly half his age who I briefly thought smiled at me. Since I only have one previous adventure with the opposite sex left which is worth writing about which I have hinted about a few times, and since that now suddenly seems to be acting as a symbol in my head as another type written marker of my abandonment of any romantic pursuits from that point on, it is possible I could be “stalling”, or filling time. But, I do think a revisit to talking about my current co-workers could be interesting, and I do try to honor the requests of those who comment to my blog ramblings. Thanks, as always, to those who do! And for those who haven’t, no need to be shy.

One major reason for why I haven’t updated any of these tales for the past year is actually rather simple; both of them turned out rather anti-climatically. I’ve become friendly enough with quite a few of my co-workers, but I’ll focus on the two I discussed earlier. One I will dub “Ian” (not his real name, as always), who is in his late 20’s and is a very tall, lean, Russian immigrant. He is a bit shy and awkward, but can also be blunt about various awkward topics with both friends and relative strangers (such as fetishes or mentioning ethnic stereotypes). For reasons I don’t quite understand he’s attached a bit to me as a mentor at times, which is a role I didn’t want, but I have tried to fill as best I can when I have had to. The other is the previously mentioned “Hal”, who is pushing 50 and is also tall as well as has questionable hygiene and intellect, and can have a very short and immature temper with clients on the phone lines. Both have social awkwardness that unites them, and “Ian” seems to enjoy watching the antics of “Hal”, and has become more of a gossip than I imagined last year. At any rate, both of the previous situations involving women fizzled out. Workers come and go at my job rather frequently (those who last beyond a year are rare), and those who are women seem to depart more frequently. The job tends to employ and attract more men than women, and most of those who have stayed for any length of time hand tended to be senior citizens, or close to it.

The co-worker that Ian and I had noticed wound up leaving the job perhaps a week or two after I posted about it. The same could be said for the one that Hal was into. The circumstances revolving Hal’s reaction are more interesting. He apparently got the young woman’s phone number on his cell, but not long after the cell was broken and he was unable to retrieve any of the data. Hal’s phone was broken in the middle of some altercation with a middle aged woman (another former co-worker of our gig) who he has dated sporadically over the years. As I tended to commute home with Hal for quite some time before a recent office change, I actually had to hear him whine and moan about losing the cell and the young woman’s number for quite a while. It was a bit pathetic to me, as Hal was old enough to be that young woman’s father and he was endlessly complaining about “losin’ out on dat opportunity” to date her as if he was a teenager. Did I mention Hal speaks with the thickest Brooklyn/Queens accent I have ever heard? Like Bugs Bunny, he says “tree” instead of “three” and often speaks with poor grammar (i.e. “I don’t wanna lose you over a dollars amount” or “I dunno nothin’, sir”) and in terms of temperament reminds me of a union of Eeyore the Donkey (from “Winnie the Pooh”) and Ed Norton (from “Honeymooners”). But, he’s the one women in their mid 20’s want, and he certainly isn’t a virgin – he mentioned having an ex wife once.

The more I have gotten to know Ian, however, the more interesting things have gotten. He’s often sought to talk about women and dating with almost any co-worker who will listen – sometimes blurting things at random to get a conversation going. He is romantically inexperienced, stating that he’s “never been in a relationship before”. I don’t exactly know if that means he is a virgin but such a thing could be implied. What I do know is that he has fetishes, and often proudly admits them. He’s talked at length about his foot fetish to at least a half dozen other co-workers, who often kid him about it sometimes. He belongs to¬† foot fetish group on Facebook, even. He also has a fetish for Asian women, which only seems awkward because he makes borderline racist (or at least “concerning”) statements or stereotypes about Asians he sees on the train during his commute constantly. There is another co-worker who is a lady, who works alongside me daily in fact, who seems to demonstrate some of the details about him which I find a bit off. Because she is overweight (or could be considered that for some), before Ian knew her well he used to make no end of jokes regarding it to me on our commutes (such as mocking her appetite or calling her a “whale” more than once) – something I tried to discourage without seeming too much like an old man. Yet one day, she wore sandals and he got to see her feet – and suddenly he became more understanding and got to know her a little better to the point that he has a crush on her, now. I consider that a bit shallow, but what do I know? Maybe increased exposure to her opened Ian’s eyes a little.

This co-worker, who I will dub “June”, dyes her hair red and has family in Pennsylvania, and is of Dominican heritage. She is also 20 years old and has various tattoos and piercings. Her position is one which aides in some of my duties so we work together daily, and she is a very adept worker and quick learner, and often acts like “one of the boys” in terms of talk. Despite her weight, I can admit that were I younger, she would be “my type” and I wouldn’t care about her weight at all. However, she is 20 and therefore I have no attraction towards her at all (nor her towards me) because for my personal taste, 20 is too young (as I am in my 30’s). I heard once that she had a boyfriend, but she doesn’t talk about him or that often. As I have gotten to know her I’ve become more at ease around her, chatting and joking with her in a similar way as I do other co-workers in our immediate area. It’s something I have only noticed very recently. Aside for the initial shyness when meeting someone new which is probably normal from a few months ago, there was no pressure. We get along well. It was a fresher lesson that I can get along with women fine so long as there is no romantic potential present. But if there is any chance of romance, especially if I am attracted or infatuated, I choke up.

During the past year there was another lady co-worker who was with the company for, at best, two weeks. On her first training day she happened to overhear my geeky conversation with someone else and seemed to make an effort to jump in. She later tried to sit next to my station before being moved to another by our supervisor. Another of my co-workers (an older man in his 60’s who works from home now) claimed that he thought that she liked me, but I denied and doubted that. I saw no obvious signals at the time. She was gone before I could make a move, and even if she wasn’t, would I? With men outnumbering women at work, nearly every guy on the job will playfully flirt with the women there (and vice versa). If Ian or Hal had an eye for her, would I have sought to compete? At any rate, it was a fleeting thing, and I almost forgot it. But, even after it was mentioned to me, I froze up around her. It was a fleeting moment from the past year, but worth a mention since I am getting it all out now.

Lately, Ian has been trying to increase his efforts to discuss women with me, both online (we chat on Facebook almost daily) and briefly at work. It constantly makes me uncomfortable; it’s not simply because he is a younger co-worker who sometimes sees me as a mentor (or at least who I think sees me in that light sometimes), but because my lack of a love life and my own secret shame of inexperience is something I keep very close to my vest. It is difficult enough for me to discuss such things with my mother, or with people I have known for years, much less a co-worker. It almost does feel like having to hide an alter ego, only it’s not in regards to something cool like being a superhero, but of something which is a major contributing factor to my status as the Dateless-Man. There are times where I wonder if Ian is himself trying to “come clean” about his own virginity to me by his occasional mention of being “inexperienced” with relationships, but this is hardly a topic I wish to share with him. Despite his meek demeanor, he has his own form of ribbing people, and has developed into quite a gossip. Were I to even imply to Ian that I was a virgin over 30, at least a quarter of the office would know within 48 hours. I’ve done everything in my power to keep a lid on this secret in my personal life beyond masked blogs or long past message boards, and don’t wish to reveal it to anyone beyond who already knows. After all, even a past which includes awful crimes can bring a sense of pride or accomplishment to warped individuals; there is absolutely nobody who values older male virginity outside of religious extremists or sex workers (and often, not even them). I do everything to change the subject when he wants to talk about women (often in relation to his foot fetish, or his Asian fetish, or wondering if June is single), and I’ve always changed the subject.

But, Ian has noticed. Yesterday on our semi-daily walks to the train station (where we part ways), he said, “Getting you to talk about women is not an easy thing to do.”

I replied, bluntly, “It isn’t a topic I care to talk about.”

Now, I am very aware there are far worse “sexual secrets” to have, and many have endured rougher fates and lives over them than I. I can’t imagine what it is like to have to hide being homosexual or transgender, or even ethnicity depending on the place and time (as throughout American history, people of color who looked “light enough to pass” often had to rely on that and hide their heritage, or any other oppressed minority such as Jews or Armenians or so on). Any stress over my lack of a love life could be considered a problem of “male privilege” (as I am statistically less likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than a woman is) or “white privilege” (as I am less likely to be hassled by police or discriminated against by whites), or even “first world problems” (as ISIS isn’t about to raid my village and everyone has clean water and roofs here). That all said, my lack of romantic experience is among the darkest secrets I have, besides the lipoma on my back. Anything with even goes near the subject tends to make me feel uncomfortable in the last. And I sometimes fear the longer I interact with Ian, the better chance he will figure it out. I haven’t wanted to outright lie to him, or anyone, about my love life. I don’t want to lie about having had sex, or been in a relationship, and when pressed I try to rely on technicalities such as “it’s been years since I dated” or “I have no love life” and so on. But at the same time, I don’t like going into detail about the subject away from text bars, either.

There are some who feel that the best way to destroy awkwardness is to expose it. Some might suggest “coming out” as a virgin to anyone who will listen would be “liberating”. For me, it feels absolutely petrifying, like being outside naked (a nightmare which I have several times a year, which is a classic “anxiety dream” for people to have).

So, that’s how work’s been. I have a steady but routine and not exactly well paying job which keeps me busy, but alive, with some eclectic co-workers and wild times. Keeping things stable in terms of work is the most important thing I can do, and I try my best to do that, wacky co-workers or dark secrets aside.

Hope those who wanted the update enjoyed it. I will admit, it proved more enlightening than I imagined.

The V-Card Monologues

It’s the first anniversary of this blog (July 6th) and I figured I may as well get one in now. As always, a hearty thank you to everyone who has read along with me and contributed to this blog. I didn’t begin this for attention, but I have been touched by that which I have achieved with it all the same. After all, my topics are hardly upbeat and cheerful, so I do appreciate those who’ve chosen to slog through them.

I figured for this anniversary I would bring things full circle and discuss something I revealed in my initial “origin sequence” post last year. It’s something I have mentioned here and there throughout my accounts of my adventures, especially recently. This may get repetitive and for that I do apologize. However, it is something which does bring anxiety to me and is one of many reasons why I have become the Dateless-Man. It’s something which I have mentioned and discussed before as parts of other stories or narratives, but now I will give it a post all its’ own. It’s the shame that I carry with me that in some way I think about practically every day of my life, at least for a second. It is still possessing my “v-card” as the hep cats say these days; of still being a virgin past age 30. While I have chosen to talk about my past experiences with women and relationships in this method (with an anonymous blog where I never reveal anyone’s real names or ages) for many reasons, one of them is fear that somehow, someway this could trace back to my “real online identity”. That somehow someone somewhere could trace this back to my personal Facebook account or so on and “expose” me. Having someone figure it out on my day to day life is something I dread. It is part of why I rarely discuss relationships with others, besides the fact that I have no perspective to offer since I’ve had no experience but failure. I have friends who do “know”, but they are few and far between, and for the most part they haven’t brought it up in years as far as I know. The rare occasion when they have, it was unpleasant. But, they are a minority of a minority; at most, 10% of the hundred and change people I know online and off. It is a number I don’t want to see rise.

Naturally, issues of virginity, virility, and sex are entirely social constructs and have been constructed from a position of male dominance untold eons ago. Since sex has existed, there have been issues with it for humans, it seems. It is a shame, since humans are one of few animals even able to have sex pretty much whenever we want for reasons beyond pure hormonal procreation, and we’ve spent so much of our history as a society over the course of centuries complicating it. The majority of the pressure and control is focused on women. In America, sex in some way is used to sell products and is depicted and exaggerated in nearly every form of media we consume, yet it’s a topic few ever want to discuss at all, even married couples. The “Madonna/Whore Complex” – that a woman is either a virginal Madonna or an irredeemable whore – runs deep and where one draws the line with it depends on who is measuring. I never had such a complex and I find it absurd personally; where does one draw the line? Two lovers and a woman can still ride “The Madonna Rail”, but three and she can’t? Sex becomes a commodity when it shouldn’t. However, sexism is a double edged sword that cuts both ways. A man’s virility is seemingly determined by two things – how romantically experienced he is, and how successful he is in either athleticism or economics. Presumably, fulfilling one or the other can lead to both. But to have neither, and one can feel like less than a man, or at least different from others. That is how I have seemingly always felt. I know intellectually that this is bull; a construct invented by others hundreds of years ago that I personally disagree with. However, this isn’t “The Matrix” and merely knowing such things doesn’t bestow with it any extra powers or opportunities. It merely allows you to see the strings that pull you, or the fence that confines you. It offers no assistance in circumventing such things.

There are apparently different types of virginity, which makes me feel like a select species of animal; am I wild, domesticated, crested, etc.? Usually this comes with an act which the virgin hasn’t performed, with a “less” at the end. For instance, if you’ve never kissed anyone on the lips, you are a “Kissless Virgin”. Despite the name, I’ve technically been on three romantic dates, so I’m not a “dateless” virgin, at least.

One of the most difficult things about being an older male virgin, at least to me, is that it makes it difficult if not impossible to try to build myself up or put my best foot forward. My best efforts feel like a facade because deep down I know I have had no success in the matters of the flesh, and thus can’t possibly guarantee a good experience for a partner. How can I try to act like a confident man to a lady when deep down I know none have wanted to have me? As I detailed before, I spent much of my youth desperately trying to put on an act to cover for my lack of experience, even into college in my 20’s, but it always was hollow. But going into the opposite direction – being as honest as possible – doesn’t work either. By and large, being a virgin past 30 for anyone seems to bring with is assumptions from others about who you are and why this is so. Unfortunately for me, I prove all of those assumptions right. Someone would assume I was a loser, or had something wrong with me. I do. That’s the terrible fact behind it. I am a neurotic mess. I am terribly shy and socially awkward. I am a bit of a loner (to put it mildly). I don’t like bars or clubs. I always hesitate and freeze once any discussion with a woman even hints at an opportunity to ask her out or pursue things beyond small talk. Having that V-Card at my age is a badge which may as well tell a woman, “This will not be fun.” All of the onus on experience will be on her, and that won’t be fair. She would get literally nothing out of it, and while that might be easy to ignore if I was a parasitic sort who liked to use others to my own ends, I’m not. New York, especially, is a fast paced place, where people barely have the time to slow down for any reason. People my age are planning families or working towards the end of their careers, not trying to make up for lost time back in high school or college.

And so it becomes something I have to hide, which is even worse than the lipoma on my back in some ways. Any plan or scheme to try to reenter the dating world has to work around this fact. I may be able to discuss many topics with a date, but I can’t discuss relationships. Sure, I can be vague and dance around the issue, but before long any savvy woman would notice – especially as intelligence is a quality I usually find attractive. Eventually it has to come up. But, when is the best time to bring it up? Certainly not on a first date if need be. However, what it for some reason things got steamy? Is it something to bring up before the clothes come off? Before any physical touching happens? After kissing? Heck, I don’t even know how to kiss, so that alone will be off putting and terrible for her. And the horrible thing is that it wouldn’t be deliberate; I would be trying to do my best. Sadly, if there is one feeling I am familiar with, it is the realization when “your best” isn’t anywhere near good enough. It is a terrible, soul crushing, gut wrenching feeling to be a failure on every level at some task.

Do I not mention it at all? Just go with the flow and stumble and bumble my way through things? Try to “wing it” and improvise when I haven’t a clue as to what to do? There are many problems with this, of course. The biggest is that there are women out there – I know, I have read their testimonials and heard them talk personally – who do not desire to sleep with a virgin. The reasons don’t matter, nor any feelings about “fairness” or whatnot – people are allowed to have their own standards about who they do and don’t want to share their bodies with. It would be wrong and dishonest to use sheer ignorance to try to get past this, for I probably would have no way of knowing of someone I was on a date with would even be someone who had this “preference” unless we discussed it. And if we discussed it, then she would have to know. It is hard enough to share my deepest, darkest secret with friends I have known for ten years or even longer; it is even harder to do so with a stranger I am attracted to. It requires being nakedly honest before we’re nakedly anything. Besides being dishonest, a failure to disclose it would also put me at another disadvantage. Having never had sex before, I assume it, like any other skill, is one that only improves with practice. I know that no two people are the same and there’s always some awkwardness and things to learn and adjust to with every partner, but some of the fundamentals are the same. I am not so arrogant as to assume (or even hope) that I would be any good at sex my first time just because of luck or raw talent. If I fail to reveal my secret, a woman might assume I was terrible because I am terrible, and I’d never have another shot with her. At the very least, being a virgin is a very good reason to be terrible at sex.

It is worries like this which make it difficult to flirt, or learn how to flirt, or attempt to flirt. I feel that all I am leading towards is another awkward moment atop of more awkward moments. That there are no end of hurdles in terms of dating me and there’s no reward in the end for the woman I am with. I am not tall, or handsome, or have much disposable income, or my own place, or a car. I am not charming or fit or have any sex appeal whatsoever to anyone who isn’t an elderly nursing home resident. I went to nursing homes constantly towards the end of my grandmother’s life, and women of that age flirted with me constantly. I have a sense of humor and I am modestly intelligent, I am loyal and I try to avoid being judgmental. I’m not perfect; I have a temper at times and I try to resist being selfish or shallow, even if this can feel like a work in progress. These are all traits that most women could get from a friend or a pet; they are not traits which are first and foremost in a lover. They’re simply the icing on the cake. When you offer nothing but the icing, that just doesn’t do.

As I explained once before, even my fantasies are boring. While I do have a minor fetish, I would never reveal it and I can be aroused without it. However, to best describe things, I seem to fantasize and desire what’s called “cuddling” more than actual “penis in vagina” thrusting. I have no issues with “taking orders in the bedroom”, so long as they were within reason. Being a virgin, it would be stupid of me to have such issues; I’d need all the help I could get! Despite how awkward I may be with so much as hugging in real life, in my mind I imagine what it might be like to massage, to caress, to kiss, and do all that stuff before, after, or during the intercourse itself. I would do my best to try to please any lover, regardless of any anxiety on my end. It certainly isn’t the sort of domination or kinkiness which seems to be in the media now.

I know that the simple act of sex won’t cure all of those woes, and even if it did, it is not an act which I desire (or are able) to pay to remove. And there’s no one I feel I can discuss this with. Most of my friends are men, and that’s a subject which is awkward at best to talk about. I have a few female friends but that also is an uneasy subject to bring up. While there are no end of forums on Reddit or other places online full of male virgins like me, they often are full of anger and venom for women, of which I don’t share. I don’t see women as flesh to be conquered, nor do I see the act of sex as a zero sum game to get at all costs. I seem to care more about sparing hypothetical women I have never met any discomfort than I do for attempting to bring myself any comfort.

And so the v-card becomes a vicious cycle. It becomes impossible to even plan towards trying to date the older I get while I still have it. And that naturally causes me to keep it longer, and longer, and longer. Past age 30 is past the age where most women around my age range could be understandable, and I don’t blame them. The older I get, the less of a pool I have to date from, as well. After all, once you’re 18-19 and out of high school, high school students are out of bounds. Once you’re in your mid 20’s after college, teenagers (or anyone under 21) should be off limits. And at my age now, I’d feel like a dirty old man going anywhere near someone who was under 25 (and would prefer someone older than even that). Before long it will be me in a nursing home, and not as a visitor.

I may as well stop here while this post maintains some coherence. Thanks for reading, and hopefully the next year will bring with it my final adventure with the opposite sex to recount, some more opinion pieces, and then some closure. I want for this yearning to be abolished once and for all.