The Kink Panther Leaves amid Co-Worker Rumblings

It’s nearly the end of the month so it’s time for another blog post. The most pressing update is my housing situation. The saga, or sham, of housing court continues. It has been adjourned again to mid October. It feels like waiting for my economic life to come to an end in slow motion. And until then there is little I can do but take work one day at a time. I’ve had plenty of”real life”things take my focus away from dating or my own non-existent, premature, failure of a love life, but this takes the cake. I genuinely don’t want to see what gets worse than possibly becoming homeless. I’m on month 11 out of 12 for probation, and still expecting to be axed any day.

But until that happens, thanks to sublimation I can comment on other things more in line with the stated purpose of this blog. And both of these updates and segments are bits which might be too short to make their own proper installments individually, but together may produce a proper length. I don’t have a text minimum or anything, I just like expressing myself with the proper wordage. “New month, not dead yet,” doesn’t quite fill up a screen too well.

The first update stems directly from last month, which maintains a sense of flow. While I haven’t planned the order or subjects of posts so often since I ran out of meaty past memories a few years ago, I do like when the subjects fit together from month to month. After all, I imagine myself a writer. Back in August I reported on a slightly significant development in terms of the subjects of this blog. To recap, I’d stumbled across a younger woman online whose fetish taste happened to match up with mine, and we’d spent the summer doing text RP sessions via instant messages. And no, I am still not going to reveal it openly here. Anyway, I went at it from all angles, mingling my fascination with ANY positive experience with a woman in any medium with concerns over her age (she was in college) as well as pondering if maybe I divide segments of myself too much out of shyness and shame.

Well, like many things in life, it’s ended anti-climatically. The two of us would IM several times a day, or at least daily, from June thru the top of August. Yet for the past month or so as summer has waned into fall, she fell off. It wasn’t just our “roleplaying,” it was also our chatter between each other on the forum where she’d first reached out to me. By about mid August I was lucky to get 2-3 exchanges in a week. And now it’s been nothing since about Sept. 9th. The Kink Panther may have been stirred, but now it is time to slumber once more.

I’m actually not terribly disappointed about this. It’d be creepy if I was, since all this was was a little text role-play online — “CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE” with a partner where nothing got beyond PG. Nor did I especially want it to. As I said, while it was genuinely flattering and ego boosting to have a woman compliment me or call me “awesome” or flirt with me, even via text, the age gap was a bit distressing for me. It was nothing illegal — I all but demanded she acknowledge being over 18 before any of this started — but still beyond any age gap I was really comfortable with. While we both indulged our fetishes in our shared fan fiction, there were lines I wouldn’t cross. The distance between us was another factor — she lives in Madrid, Spain — but the age was the biggest factor. I felt like I was straddling the line of what was acceptable for someone in my position to do considering my age and morality. And all of this was over wordplay which was less risque than the average romance paperback at most chain pharmacies!

It’s possible (even likely) that she was investing more emotion in this than I was, and lost interest. I return compliments every time, but it never got as flirty as I think she wanted it to. She often blurred the line between “her” and “her character” more than I was willing to. Again, on my end this was another symptom to her being much younger. I did not want to take advantage, or lead her on, or give her illusions I had no intention of fulfilling, even in as small an interaction as we had going. Were she, say, at least 25-26 maybe things would have gotten more complicated. I may have pushed the envelope more. But younger than that and I feel like a vampire, or Dorian Grey.

It’s possible she lost interest because, well…she’s at that age where that happens. It’s possible school season’s kicked up and she has far less spare time. Maybe she was RPing with some other dudes closer to her own age who played the game more to her liking. Or it could be a combination of these things. Regardless, I do consider it a learning experience, and an unexpected bright spot on a summer which has been pretty stressful and terrible overall. I learned that it was possible for a woman to be receptive, even enthusiastic and complimentary, of a part of my sexual identity which I am even more ashamed of than being a virgin in my 30’s. I once again learned what I am willing to do and not do to “scratch my itches,” albeit even in limited forms such as text and shared imagination. I will not exploit ignorance to get pleasure from a woman, at least not comfortably. The disadvantage of a younger woman, especially one in her mid to early 20’s, is she doesn’t have enough life experience to realize what a loser I am. I do. And if I capitalize, then I take responsibility for misleading someone.

Amid all this, I have a somewhat interesting dynamic relating to a co-worker. I haven’t talked about any of my co-workers often, since my last job in 2016. This new city job has produced a new mass of co-workers to have to interact with, but they’re not the same. Most are too “normal,” too focused on career to have much imagination, and too cutthroat to allow any difference or abnormality to emerge without trying to score brownie points gossiping to a supervisor. It gave me a bit of pause to become face to face so many times with that which I have punished myself for being unable to become — a “normal” person. So lacking in passion, understanding, empathy, or anything beyond a spreadsheet and mindless protocol. I may hardly be much of a freak, but next to the norms I may as well wear a gimp mask and dance in a cage.

No, that is not my fetish.

There are also more women at this new job, and the co-workers I got the closest to were the ones who did training with me last October. That makes sense, since the shared environment and experiences were very much like a class. All of us were bundles of nerves, together. And all of us got thrown into the fire of “the real job” at the same time. The one I have probably gotten the closest to is a woman who will now get an alias. How about Dinah? (For those who may be new or haven’t kept up with previous chapters, I use aliases for women that I specifically talk about in my life in which I take the first letter of their first name and come up with an alternate name around that.) I’d noticed her not long into my training, but midway thru it they switched our seating arrangements so we sat together.

The frustrating thing about myself is despite all of my bleating about being an outcast or bad at talking to people, I’m fine so long as romance is off the table. I’ve actually gotten better at it since mid-2011, when I first began my “career” of telephone customer service/telemarketing. I HAD to. I had under $20 in my bank account at the time and no other jobs were happening. Matched with my own natural inclination to use humor and wisecracks to interact with people, and it actually gives off the impression that I am way friendlier and/or socially hip than I am. And since I don’t see the workplace as a dating service, even though I may encounter women who are “my type” at a particular job, I don’t have illusions or delusions about that. As my experience with, say, exploring a fetish under an alias online (as well as my dating angst) shows, I am fine with sublimating and dividing segments of my life. Perhaps too good. Anyway, what this ironically means is that I probably have an easier time revealing my “genuine self” or closer to it to someone with which I am not actively trying to woo.

Dinah didn’t immediately seem like the sort of person who might like my often cynical sense of humor, but she has. But then again, most people do; I say it a lot and it translates horribly here, but in real life it isn’t hard for me to make someone laugh so long as the timing is appropriate and they’re not humorless in general. We often sit near each other on the work floor (since we have to sit as near our supervisor as possible) and even our lockers are pretty close together. Any work dealing with the public, whether by phone or live, means some in between call banter to de-stress and we do that sometimes. And we talk if we run into each other at the end of the day in the locker room (which, obviously, are co-ed with lockers exactly as crummy as high school lockers).

Now, however, we’ve reached that point in my interactions with any woman I get to know for any length of time who may be “my type” where I wonder what is genuine friendliness or interaction and what is a sign she may “like me” in some ways. Usually, from what I have learned from the Internet, TV, and urban legends, it’s some deviance from the routine. There are times when I feel she goes out of her way to get a chance to talk to me, although it’s hardly an everyday thing. During one period when our schedules and seating arrangements resulted in zero contact for about a week or so, I entered the locker room with her there and she said, “I was JUST thinking about you.”

No woman, who wasn’t a relative or teacher, in any circumstance had said anything like that to me in at least a decade, if not ever. I had to stop from either gasping or doing a double take. I am not exaggerating. Positive interactions with women I am even remotely into are more rare than an honest televangelist. “R-Really,” I believe I stammered. “Nothing bad, I hope.” It turned out to just be that we’d been passing ships lately.

The wrinkle of course isn’t just that it is work. Dating at the workplace or among co-workers is often considered forbidden fruit for a variety of reasons. Guilty corporate men fearing lawsuits is one of them. Another is that if things go badly or are misunderstood, at best it can make the workplace awkward and lead to distracting gossip. At worst, it could lead to a complaint to HR or a supervisor. Dating co-workers is considered “expert level dating” for this reason alone, and even many ravenous stud-muffins will draw a line at it. But at my work place in particular the added wrinkle is the element I described earlier; other co-workers or supervisors seemingly eager to complain or issue a write up for even the slightest perception of a rule violation. I don’t fear if I made a move at Dinah and our wires were crossed she’d personally run to make a sexual harassment claim. I fear that any supervisor or random co-worker who gets wind of it would do so. My position is the lowest rung of the totem pole, and a “probie” is lower than even that. And this job never lets me forget it for even one week.

So this keeps me from getting my hopes up or desiring this to change realms from professional to personal. So it, ironically, keeps me at ease talking with her. Because I am a guy who can be myself at work, and a masked virgin here, and a masked fetish explorer elsewhere. But there are times where I wonder if dividing myself, as well as burying things about myself that I dislike, is really the best way to live. Were I younger I would be moaning and groaning at how cruel fate was regarding this situation with Dinah. But as an older adult with perspective I know it’s just one of those things. It is what it is and I am comfortable with where it is and so is she.

So anyway, that’s where I am at in between housing court drudgery. Sink your teeth into that one. And no, that’s not my fetish.


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