The Connoisseur, part III

Time period: June 2017

After I left C’s apartment and flew to San Francisco to try and mend things with Tech Guy, I knew very quickly on that my feelings TG had dissipated, never to return. I arrived in SF on a Friday afternoon, and things between TG and I were strained, to say the least. All the while, I was completely miserable, and couldn’t stop thinking about C.

By the next evening, I couldn’t help myself, and texted C while I was next to TG in bed. I went to sleep on tenterhooks that night, thinking what a horrible mistake I’d made. I wasn’t expecting a response, but the next morning I saw C had texted back: You’ll have to elucidate. The above text doesn’t quite agree with your departure letter.

With that began a long exchange of texts back and forth over the 10 days I was in San Francisco, that was basically a negotiation of us getting back together. All the while, I was hanging out with TG, pretending everything was fine, and I sort of felt despicable for it. The first couple of days that we started texting again, C’s tone was dubious and skeptical of my intentions.

Two days after my initial “I’d love to pick up where we left off, I made a huge mistake” text, C texted me, in response to a “I’ll see you when I get back” text from me, I really don’t know. Why should I trust anything you say anymore? And with that, began a barrage of daily texts back and forth. On Tuesday, C texted me asking if I would be prepared to meet a longer list of conditions. I said it depended on what those conditions were. C replied: Obviously nothing crazy or that would be anathema to you. I asked when he would tell me what the new conditions were, and he said, in person when I got back, but that he was still thinking.

On Wednesday, C texted me: Convince me that you’re trustworthy. I then gave him another spiel saying that I couldn’t say anything to make him trust me this time, but I assured him that I had the sincerest intentions, and that I intended to be wholeheartedly dedicated to him after the pain I’d endured during our short separation. During this time, he sent me a lot of texts stating: Sigh, in response to my texts professing my intentions to be committed to him.

On Thursday, C texted: Just come back. We’ll have a bit to talk about. He then asked when my mother was leaving, and I said she wasn’t leaving until Monday, and so I wouldn’t be able to come back to New York any earlier. Despite that, I could sense he still had some trepidation in letting me come back.

On Friday he texted me asking what was the date I packed up and left his apartment, and what he should do if I do that again. I gave an answer to the effect of ‘whatever you feel would be appropriate’, to which I received a concerned response: Wait, so you are planning on maybe doing it again?

I assured him that I wasn’t, and then he said we would have to talk about it in person. I asked if it would be Tuesday, and he replied: Maybe. I picture you grinning happily as if you’ve won. I don’t think it’ll be that easy. I replied that I didn’t think it would be that easy.

At this point, it was a Friday afternoon in San Francisco. I was at TG’s apartment, and he’d come home early from work. We had dinner plans that night, and I had been exchanging texts with C all day, even as TG came home. I was showering, when I heard TG come to the bathroom door, and say, “Hey, can I ask you something?”

This was highly unusual behaviour, even for TG, and instantly, I felt my stomach lurch. I replied, “What is it?” while trying to sound as nonchalant as possible. TG said either he would come in the shower, or that I should come out. I came out of the shower, and faced an anxious looking TG. I couldn’t look him in the eye, as he asked me, “Are you going back to –?” I replied, “No I’m not.” TG said, “Have you been in contact with him since you’ve been here?” Again, I replied no, and TG said something like, “fine”.

After that, I walked over to grab my phone, which was on top of the table, and saw a new message from C, saying: Then why leave in the first place?

I was sure that TG had read the message, hence his worried question, but since he’d accepted my lie, I thought nothing more of it. That night, we went out to dinner, and everything seemed fine, or so I thought. We came home after dinner, and everything was as normal. Then, the next morning, TG and I were having sex, when he asked, “Do you like fucking me?” Then, right after I said yes, he said, “Do you like lying to me?” while also pulling off my blindfold. It was all so dramatic.

TG looked enraged, and we stopped having sex immediately and abruptly. He said he saw the messages from C on my phone yesterday, and asked if I was going back to him. Reluctantly, I nodded yes. He became even more enraged, and asked why I even bothered coming to San Francisco, before consequently shouting at me to get out of his house. At this point, we were both still in bed naked. Exasperated by the drama, and a little bit nervous, I moved up to get out of bed, but TG pulled me back down, and said, “No, I’m talking to you. Why did you come here if you were planning to get back with him?”

I replied that initially, I hadn’t intended to get back with C, but when I got to SF, I had just been so sad that I ended up texting him. TG said that because I had done this, I hadn’t given us a real chance. We continued arguing for an hour or so while walking around the neighbourhood looking for a brunch spot, and during this time, we both figured we would break up. To add to the stress, my parents were arriving in San Francisco in an hour, and I had to go to lunch with them. In the end, we just walked around the block arguing and then came back to the apartment, and somehow ended up not breaking up, and TG saying he would still come to meet my mother the next day.

TG then put me in an Uber to my parents’ hotel, and everything was fine when I saw them, despite the tumultuous morning. During that day, C and I exchanged texts, with him saying: I didn’t want to hurt you; I could tell what might do so. That’s the cause of my “sighs”– you could’ve just asked to talk about it. He also asked me that day what it was I really wanted from him, and when I said, I could ask you the same thing, C replied: I want you to love me. How’s that for honesty? Following that, he said: Please just come back. To New York.

Following this, and over the next couple of days, his texts grew less suspicious of me, and more romantic and loving. Two days later, it was time for me to fly back to New York, and I was at the airport, waiting to board my flight with TG. C was constantly texting me that day, and asked if I wanted to come right to his apartment to nap after getting off the plane. I assented, but was highly curious about the new conditions that would be imposed on me, and asked C if he could send them to me over text. C asked me to call him, so I excused myself from TG, and went to speak to C on the phone.

What was intended to be a quick phone call ended up lasting 40 minutes. C sounded eager and enthusiastic to talk to me on the phone, despite it being late in New York. C’s new conditions were perfectly acceptable to me, just like he’d said- they included a range of things, such as, picking up things from stores for him from time to time, spending my days more productively and doing a range of things from writing, exercise, and job hunting, and something more lascivious, occasional sex in the middle of the night. And also, more intangible things, like trust.

I boarded the flight, and upon arriving back in New York, C texted me Welcome back! He asked if I was back at the apartment already, and if I had missed it. We continued to exchange texts as I was heading back to his place in an Uber. When I got there, I came in the door and saw he had left the key, on top a stack of $100 bills, and a note (written on top of a note I had left him previously) that said ‘In my thoughts always’, followed by a heart. There were also suitcases next to the door, which he’d left for me, to use to transport my belongings from my Brooklyn apartment to his place.

I was extremely pleased by the gesture, but it was romantic and sentimental, and I thought, uncharacteristic of him. I was about to take a shower, when I strolled past the cabinet in the adjoining room, and saw a bunch of folded papers on top of the cabinet. Unable to quench my curiosity, I walked over to the cabinet and inspected the pieces of paper.

It was a letter, addressed to C. Several letters in fact, spanning the length of around four to five pages. The girl, (let’s call her ‘K’) began the letter by professing her love for C, and subsequently begging (I kid you not!) him not to end the relationship with her. The letter, as continued, contained a number of other things that concerned me. The most noticeable thing about it was that, K sounded frighteningly similar to me, as the contents of the letter pointed out. In the letter, she acknowledged that she wasn’t working and had suddenly moved in with him, and had asked him several times it was okay. However, there was one key difference in our situation- she was apologizing for having a violent outburst towards him, which instigated his reason for breaking up with her. As I continued reading the letter, she said that she wasn’t upset when she told him that she loved him, and all he said was “Thank for saying that”.

However, she also revealed that she had met him on the same website I had met him on, which was a rude awakening to me, as C had previously insinuated he’d met her on Tinder. In addition to that, K said she knew he would move on quickly and “sleep with someone new within the week”. The letter was dated a couple of days before we watched Book of Mormon and slept together. I was horrified. After finishing reading the letter though, I deduced that they had broken up a few weeks prior, and that they met again in the last week of May to discuss the possibility of getting back together.

During this time, C and I were still trading texts, mostly just chatter. He asked what I was currently doing, and I replied that I just showered, and looked at something I shouldn’t have. He asked what it was, and if I had changed my mind about committing to him. I said the letter was a little concerning, but I wanted to ask him about it first. C then replied that he would answer my questions now, because he didn’t want it hanging over him all afternoon. I was lying in bed, half asleep, when I heard footsteps in the room.

I turned around, and he leaned over and kissed me, and I pulled him into bed, and ravished him. Afterward, he lay in bed, and we discussed the letter. He explained things rationally- the girl had thrown something at him during a fight, and he initiated the breakup, although she was reluctant to do so. He said he’d made his decision on the breakup in a couple of days after the fight (which took place in early May), but had given her the courtesy of thinking it over (which didn’t seem like a real courtesy to me, given he’d already made up his mind). I also pointed out the fact that he’d lied to me regarding the origin of where he’d met his last girlfriend. This was the only point at which C seemed to look uncomfortable. He said it wasn’t really a lie, since he never explicitly said that they met on Tinder, but said he didn’t remember what he’d said regarding how he met her, and thus, couldn’t be considered a lie. In regards to the “sleeping with someone new within a week”, he said the last girl had had jealous tendencies, and this was just a fear of hers, rather than the truth. After everything he’d told me regarding the letter, I decided to let it go, and he went back to work.

I spent that afternoon getting in and out of bed, and napping intermittently.

That night, I was half asleep, when I heard the front door open, and C come in. He entered the bedroom, and kissed my leg, hanging askew over the bed. He climbed into bed, in an amorous manner, and said, “I’m crazy about you. Do you know how sexy I find you?” He had had a bit to drink at a work dinner. I’d never heard him speak to me as he did that night.

I was still in a haze that night, and we had sex like crazy, then lay in bed talking afterwards. C asked me later, if I was in love with him. I replied, that I wasn’t sure yet, and C said something like, “Why did you come back here then? And why do you think I let you come back here? You won’t admit it, but you know that you are, and you know that I am.” He also asked if I wanted to come to Boston with him the following week, and I said of course. When he asked why, I said because I’d never been to Boston before. C replied, “Why can’t you say it’s because you want to spend every night with me?” In between kisses, he professed, “I really, really like you. Why didn’t you come back right away?”

Then later, we woke up in the middle of the night to fuck, and I thought I heard him say, “I love you”. I was, of course, delighted by his verbal affection towards me that night, so different to his usual brevity.

In the morning, I asked him if he remembered making such an admission to me. He looked mischievous, as he said he didn’t remember. I also told him again in the morning, that I was concerned about the contents of the letter, and C said, not in a reassuring manner, “Well you’d better be on your best behavior then.” After getting up, I was standing in the kitchen, preparing breakfast, when C and I were discussing relationships. I asked him, as a courtesy to me, if he would tell me immediately if he ever got bored with me, instead of beating around the bush and meeting other people, as he did in his last relationship. C asked, “What would you do if I did?”

“Leave,” I replied. C looked concerned, and said, “Wouldn’t you try to change?”

I can’t remember what my response was to this, but C soon said he was leaving to go to work, and then said, “See you later.” I must have looked funny as he said this, because his facial expression changed entirely, and he said, “or not”.

I kissed him goodbye when he left, and he immediately sent me the kissing face emoji as he’d left. Again, we exchanged texts throughout the day, but around 11am or 12pm, I decided this letter, and the article about his ex-girlfriend who committed suicide were just too much for me. I packed up my things and hopped in a cab back to my Brooklyn apartment. Meanwhile, C was still texting me, so I told him I was sorry, and that I left, which resulted in a text from him, saying: Sigh.

Once arriving home, I couldn’t stop going and back and forth over my decision though. I was also talking intermittently to Tech Guy that day, who was hoping for me to come back to him, and that I would leave C for good. I messaged C and talked to TG on the multiple times that day, all the while, going back on my decision to leave or stay with C about 3-4 times. It was the worst day I’d had since moving to New York, and I felt mentally ill.

In the end, I headed back to C’s in the afternoon, and dumped my things, then went to Fairway to calm my nerves and grocery shop. I began making a salad after getting back, and shortly after, C came home, looking relaxed and normal. I asked him if he wasn’t concerned at all about my constant vacillation that day, and he said something like, “You’re a woman. Women tend to change their minds a lot.”

However unconcerned he was with my vacillations that day, he showed less approval of my cooking skills. I’d made a kale, bell pepper, and tofu salad that evening, and as C ate it, he asked if I didn’t usually remove all the inside seeds from the bell pepper.

It was an uncomfortable night, and we ate dinner in near silence. C suggested that when he come home from work, I should greet him with a kiss, to make him feel more comfortable after a day of fickleness. After dinner, we began watching a movie only to both fall asleep in between.

The next day, was a regular day. I had decided to commit to C for good, and went about my usual daily activities. He’d told me in the morning, that he would be home slightly later that evening, due to a work dinner. When C came home that evening, he walked in the door, and said, “Oh, you’re here. I have to check every night, you know.”

Despite his initial joke, I thought that he was in an unusual mood, as he inspected the kitchen completely. He even looked in the dishwasher, and asked why I had used so much cutlery. That night, we were lying in bed, when C commented, out of the blue: “You did a poor job of housekeeping today.” Suddenly, his inspection of the kitchen seemed more clear to me. I paused, before replying in agitation, “I’ll do a better job next time!”

C sighed, and said, “I’m sorry. I had a long week at work. I know you’ll learn to be domesticated.” We were lying in bed as he said this, my head propped up on his chest. C continued, “Can I ask you for something?” I asked him what it was, and C replied, “I would like to do a threesome this weekend, either tomorrow, or perhaps Saturday. Do you think you can set something up?”

During the week, I had been diligently working on finding a unicorn for the both of us, but had met difficulty in receiving messages back from eligible single women. In fact, the hunt was proving more difficult than I’d previously expected. I told C this, and that it might take somewhat longer than he expected to find someone we both liked, and that it was likely improbable that I’d be able to set up a meeting with someone for a threesome by the next day, or the next two days. C replied, “Well, an initial meeting for drinks at least?” I said I’d do my very best, but went to sleep with nerves in my stomach.

The next morning, C woke me up by having sex with me before leaving for work. Shortly after that, I contacted TG, whom I’d secretly been in contact with the day prior, and planned to come back to. That day, C kept up his usual habit of texting me throughout the day. Around 3pm, he texted me asking how my class was, and I felt the utmost self loathing, as I replied to him, saying that I’d left again. C’s response was: What triggered it this time? In response, I told him that it was the same issue as previously, and that he’d spoken to me sternly the previous evening, but that I wished him every happiness. I didn’t get a response to this.

I returned home, somewhat dejectedly again, still questioning whether I’d made the right decision, and found TG sitting on my doorstep. The next day, we went upstate for the weekend, and had a terrible time together. By Sunday night, I’d made up my mind, that my life depended on getting C back.

The Connoisseur part II

Time period: May-early June 2017

After I said goodbye to C the morning after the Broadway show, I went home, ate breakfast, and went on a day trip to upstate New York with another man. He messaged me right after I left him, saying to get home safely, and thanking me for the show and everything else. I couldn’t wait to see him again and thoughts of him consumed me all weekend.

I had initially intended to cancel my Sunday evening plans and see C that night, but when Saturday rolled around, I woke up with an urge to see him. I ended up telling my Saturday night date (who I’d been with all day) that I was tired and wasn’t going to head out that night anymore. Instead, I was texting C while I was still with him, arranging plans to meet him that night for dinner.

Like a conniving two-timer, I said goodbye to my Saturday daytime date, and went home and got ready to meet C in Flatiron. We met at 7pm at a Japanese restaurant in Flatiron, and picked up where we left off the previous evening. We spent the evening at dinner engaging in light hearted banter, but I also spent a good deal of time at dinner trying to coax out of him, his thoughts on my polyamorous arrangement. C was extremely coy with me, and said he was still making his decision on it, much to my frustration. I also unsuccessfully asked probing questions regarding his feelings towards me, to seek further clarity on what he’d told me the previous week. C reiterated that most of the girls he’d met on the same site he’d met me were intolerable, but then admitted that I was “tolerable”. Fishing for compliments, I remarked, “merely tolerable?” C replied, with a smirk, directed at the table, “You’re more than tolerable”.

After a lacklustre dinner, C and I strolled back to his apartment and as soon as we got in, he promptly began slicing up strawberries for me. However, he looked at the time, and commenting that it was early, asked me if I’d like to go on the roof. We went up, and strolled his rooftop. In one corner, we stopped and he began kissing me passionately, while proceeding to feel up my dress. After a couple of minutes of this, we went back down to his apartment and he put on Cloud Atlas, which we watched in silence for a little while, but I got distracted by lascivious thoughts, and we soon retired to bed.

In the morning, we woke up and C asked if I had had a New York style brunch yet. I replied that I had, and he asked if I would like to get brunch, or go to eat dim sum. I opted for dim sum, and we got up and got ready and got a cab out to Chinatown. When we got to the dim sum place, it was crowded with older Asians. However, C deftly maneuvered his way to the front of the line, and got a ticket from the Asian host, speaking Cantonese to her. Before long, we were seated, and he ordered all the dishes in Cantonese. I was impressed with his language skills, and we had a pleasant breakfast, then afterwards, we strolled through Chinatown, C educating me on the history of the district, and treating me to local culinary delights. Afterwards, we went back to his place, and again, I asked him more probing questions about his feelings towards me, while I was lying atop of him on the sofa. Although I received no insightful answers from him, I blurted out at one point, “I might have romantic feelings for you.” I emphasized “might”, but both of us knew what I really meant. In between kisses, he said, “me too”.

Shortly after that, I got ready to leave and he kissed me goodbye, and he asked when he would see me next. I said the next time I was free was Thursday, and he said he would see me earlier, if I cancelled my plans. I replied that I wasn’t cancelling my plans again to see him, but inside, I knew I wanted to. After I went home that afternoon, he messaged me, saying Sorry for being so confounding. Hope you get home safely. And I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon. We bantered through the exchange of a couple more texts shortly after, with him admitting in one, I do like you. You can tell though, even without me saying.

The next couple of days, I was busy with my other dates, but thought only of the Connoisseur. It was an infatuation to rival the Voyeur, nearly 3 years ago, but unlike that time, my romantic feelings seemed to be reciprocated. So there I was, living this idyllic fantasy life in New York, not working, with three lovers that all knew about each other, and were happy to support me financially. Everything was perfect, until, the following Wednesday, I texted C asking if I could possibly meet him after my dinner plans that night instead of Thursday. While we were figuring out what time to meet, I was going back and forth between meeting him on Wednesday or Thursday as I had no idea what time my dinner plans would run to. C asked where I was going to dinner, and I told him the name of an omakase restaurant in the East Village. C then replied, Fancy. Guy must really like you. I replied, As opposed to you? C then gave a response that gutted me: Yep, I decided I’m not okay with the polyandry.

I was so shocked by his response, I stared at the phone for a full minute, trying to convince myself this was reality, and not my worst nightmare. Nearly blinking back tears, and thinking about what to text him back, or even if I should text back, I replied 20 minutes later, asking, So you don’t want to see me anymore? I received another cold response: If that’s the implication.

I was utterly gutted by this, and was walking in Prospect Park, scheming about how to have my cake, and it eat too. I contrived to meet him in person and convince him of my need to have three lovers, and to be reasonable and continue seeing me. With my hopeless idealism, I texted him back asking if we could meet in person to discuss it, and he said sure. We planned to meet the next evening, but when my dinner plans finished earlier than expected that night, I texted him and asked if I could meet him that evening instead. He agreed, and with that, I headed over to his place and arrived 5 minutes before 10.

I waited in the lobby for him to get back from drinks with a coworker. When he came over and greeted me, his face was slightly ruddy and his eyes looked mirthful- not the stern expression I’d been expecting, but his expression changed considerably once we got upstairs and back into his apartment. Honestly, I didn’t think a man as intelligent as C would back down on his position, but I thought at least I could sleep with him one last time. I quickly saw that this would be an impossibility, when we got upstairs, as we stood over the kitchen counter on either sides, at an impasse.

I felt like a powerless child as I stood there, and asked him why he had so suddenly changed his mind about the polyamory, and he said something to the effect of, he had still been making up his mind on his feelings about it, and had just decided then. His expression was stern and cold as he said this to me, and, suddenly, despite my lofty ideals of convincing him to continue seeing me, in conjunction with the countless other lovers, I felt as if I was fighting a losing battle.

And thus it was around this time, that I said, what if I stopped seeing all the other suitors, and just saw him, would seeing me be an option? He stopped looking stern after this, and questioned why I would do such a thing. I may have said, that I wanted to continue seeing him, and that I was willing to give up everyone else for him. With this admission, he headed over to the sofa, and sat down, while I stood in front of him, on tenterhooks.

We didn’t immediately agree to be in a relationship though. With C, there were some caveats. We sat down to negotiate the terms of our relationship, and to clearly delineate what both of us needed and wanted from the other. There was a clear caveat on my part: financial assistance. While I wanted to continue seeing C so very badly, and would have given up everyone else just for him, there was a key difficulty in proceeding with this step, due to the fact that I was receiving financial assistance in the form of a small salary by one of my other suitors.

While negotiating the caveats of our relationship, I emphasized the need for financial assistance due to the comfort that my other suitor was providing me, and said C would have to provide that amount (How brazen I’ve become!) Honestly, the said amount was fairly large, and after the first time I met C, I presumed that he was disinclined to provide me with direct financial aid, due to his stating the first time that living together would at least ease some financial burden (though in my mind, this was not something ideal). After stating my desired amount, C stated I was “just throwing out numbers” and that this was not the number I actually needed. I proceeded to lower my number, but was again rebuffed by C, saying that this what I not what I need to “cover expenses”. Honestly, the number was more than enough to cover expenses, especially if I was getting food and rent paid for, but I wanted to protect myself in the chance that if C suddenly changed his mind about me living with him, that I would have enough funds to move into another apartment. Somehow though, I ended up in agreement with C that the figures I’d stated were unnecessary, but he did agree to provide direct financial aid.

After that, came the other caveats. Due to C’s discomfort with my “polyandry”, we agreed upon mutual exclusivity as one of the terms of our relationship/arrangement. My third requirement was “future certainty” as phrased by me. Though I wanted to be with C, I needed a guarantee from him that he could meet the needs that my other suitors were promising me, including financial assistance, and marriage. If the financial aid talk made him wary, he was now incredulous, when I said I required some sort of guarantee that he would marry me after my visa finished in March 2018. C asked me, if I wanted him to propose on the third date, with a flabbergasted expression on his face, and I replied, no, I just needed a guarantee about the future. With that, he relented, but only said he would “consider” it, which left me with quite a bit of consternation as to his intentions with me, despite his previous statement that he wanted to build something long term with me.

C’s third requirement, was related to what he’d been looking for when he first met me- group sex with another female, and a potential three person relationship. I was open to threesomes for sure, but I had reservations about a three person relationship due to my own fears of abandonment, so we agreed that the relationship would only be pursued if I felt comfortable with it. And as for the last thing, C asked if I wanted to stay with him, and I replied that I did, but thought perhaps both he and I were making a hasty decision. I asked then, if we could have a trial period, of say 2 weeks, and C said, “like a used car?”

I concluded that he wanted to forgo the trial, but had reservations about this. Nevertheless, we settled into the sofa together, and then he said we should go to bed. It was now 11pm, and we had been negotiating the terms of our agreement for an hour. As we settled into bed, C turned to me incredulously, and asked, “Do you love me?” I stammered and replied, “Umm, no, I’m not there yet.” I settled into his chest as I mused the question, and said, “Even if I were, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Obviously, after the tension of the evening, we had sex 3 times, then again in the morning. The next morning was particularly amorous, and C skipped the gym to lie in bed with me. After he showered and began getting ready for work, I hopped in the rain shower, and was expecting him to leave promptly but he kept coming in to speak to me intermittently, with a look of disbelief, and lust, that I was in his shower and had agreed to monogamy. He left me cash on the countertop, for expenses.

I told him that I would be going home during the day to grab things, and would see him that night. However, the previous night, he had revealed his last name to me, which enabled me to commence a Google search of his name. What I found was shocking.

Basically, I found several articles from 6 years prior, describing someone matching his age, name, and educational background, whose girlfriend had committed suicide when he had said he was going to break up with her. Of course these utterly disturbed me. During the day, C had been texting me, and after I saw the articles, I told him that I had seen some interesting things online after discovering his full name. He replied, I’m sure. Do you want to talk about them tonight? I replied that I’d like to, and he proceed to ask me what I’d like for dinner that evening, and we settled on tapas.

I got an Uber back to his place and when I got back, I went to the grocery store and bought berries with the money he had left me. When I got back to his place, I went up to the rooftop and gorged on the berries I had bought, while looking down on all of Manhattan, while thinking to myself, that I was living my dream life, and that I was never, ever going home again for as long as I lived. C messaged me shortly after, saying that he’d come home early, so I came downstairs and found him on the sofa. After coming over, and perching on top of him, I asked him about the article, and he told me about it, looking emotional, but what was challenging for me was that I didn’t know whether it was genuine sadness. However, I was satisfied with what he told me, and we then headed out to have dinner nearby.

There was a wait for a table at the restaurant, so we put our name down and then went to a bar nearby for a drink. While at the bar, we were discussing the events of last night, and he mentioned how “you wouldn’t shut up” in a jesting manner, referring to our negotiations. He then rubbed my back and said, “It’s alright, I know you’re a masochist.”

While we were at the bar during this time, I was getting back to my old chirpy self, and C remarked, “You like me again.” I replied to him, “When have I ever not liked you?” And he replied, “Today. You were distant.” I said that my distance was reasonable due to the circumstances, and that it had been a shock to see what I did. We continued chatting, and then C remarked in response to something I don’t remember, “You’re doing what I tell you again?” I replied, “I always do everything you tell me to.”

Shortly after that, we got a call from the restaurant saying our table was ready, so we hurried off and had a pleasant meal there. Over dinner, C mused that I was thinking of leaving, and I said yes, and he said my doubts were stopping him from booking a car to drive to the Catskills to go hiking on the weekend. The Catskills sounded appealing, but I couldn’t guarantee anything. The next morning, he skipped the gym again to lie in bed with me before going to work. At that point, I felt compelled to tell him again of my consternation regarding the article I had viewed online, and that I didn’t know if I should stay with him. C got out of bed, sighing to himself and saying, “I treat you well, don’t I?” I replied yes he did, but I just wasn’t sure what to do yet.

Before he left to go to work, he asked if I would tell the other suitors of the situation, and I said yes, though I was still seriously thinking of packing up and leaving. That morning, I stuffed myself on berries and yogurt for breakfast in the luxury pad, and made plans to meet another of my suitors nearby, for an uncomfortable conversation. After that uncomfortable conversation was had, I ventured back to my apartment on the subway, and while on the subway, had an uncomfortable breakup conversation with my SF boyfriend, Tech Guy. He called me a sociopath, amongst other things. Tech Guy said he had done some digging around about C, despite only knowing his first name, and that there were rumors that he was aggressive with women. Tech Guy also somehow knew about the article. I said to him, that I didn’t for one minute believe that C could be aggressive with women.

After the call, I went back to C’s apartment and found him there on the sofa, and told him of the uncomfortable conversations I’d had, and we then ventured out to dinner in the East Village. After dinner, we went to a speakeasy bar where I suggested that C select a cocktail for me in secret. As usual, he was spot on with his selection, and I was delighted. After dinner, we strolled home, and then watched a movie before bed.

The next morning, we woke up and got ready and headed out to go hiking in the Catskills. We had a pleasant time hiking and it was interesting to see him in a different context. After we hiked, we did the two hour drive back to NYC feeling completely content. Being next to him in the car then, on that glorious sun drenched day, with the trees zipping past, him singing low to the sound of the Cure in the background, I realized then, that I hadn’t felt so happy or free in a very long time. After getting back to the city, we freshened up before heading out to dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. It was my first time trying Ethiopian food, and, drunk on the honeywine, and after the labors of the day, I felt like I was falling in love with him.

We returned home and watched a movie before bed, though he retired before me. The next morning, we had brunch at Friend of a Farmer, and he again took charge of ordering for me, and I was delighted. The rest of the day, we spent at home quietly. I was wrapped up with writing and catching up on blogging and reading, and needed some downtime, which baffled C to no extent. He asked me several times throughout the day what the matter was, to which I continuously replied that nothing was the matter, and to which he reply with a frustrated sigh.

That night, I was working on some writing, and he went to bed first, without me. He came out to see what I was doing, before going into the room, continuing to look baffled, while I came in later.

The next day, I was pondering whether I should leave, but decided to stay for one more day. That night was a Monday, and as usual, C texted me throughout the day, asking if I’d like to do something fun for dinner. We ended up going to a Japanese yakiniku restaurant that evening, and as usual, C impressed me with his knowledge on food. We came home right after dinner, and watched something before retiring to bed. That night, I quizzed him on whether he was really okay with me moving in, and he mockingly said he would have to think about it, and would let me know in the morning.

The next morning, I quizzed C for a firm position on my moving in, and he deflected it in a joking manner, saying, “Oh did I say I would tell you in the morning?” He continued by saying he required more time to think about it, and would let me know in the evening when he got back from work.

After saying goodbye to me in the morning before going to work, C did not text me at all. I took this to mean that he was similarly tired of the living arrangement that we’d had, and in conjunction with trepidation over the article I had seen, I decided to pack my things and leave. I left a letter on the table, along with the key, and miserably got a cab back to my Brooklyn apartment.

That night, I got a text from C later than usual, at 6:45pm that said: Um, where? questioning my whereabouts as he must have just arrived home. Just a minute after that, I received a following text that said Oh.

The last text gutted me, and I texted him back saying I was sorry, and that I totally adored him.

Three days after that, I flew out to San Francisco to try to mend things with Tech Guy.

The Connoisseur

Date and location of initial meeting: New York, April 2017

I began chatting with the Connoisseur on a dating site, not too long after I arrived in New York. We exchanged a few basic texts before deciding to meet for a drink on the weekend.

What set the Connoisseur apart from other men I dated, was that he blatantly stated he was “Looking for a third”, on his profile, and said he had a primary partner, but was looking for someone else to add to the relationship. After a few texts back and forth, he sent some photos of her to me. She was a small, cute Asian girl in her early 20s.

The Connoisseur said the three of us would meet that weekend. Two days after, we scheduled to meet during the day, on a Sunday. When the day came, he messaged me and asked if I wanted to meet at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the afternoon, and I agreed.

Instead of meeting at the Botanic Garden though, we ended up meeting 2 hours earlier than the designated time, at a wine bar near my place. I came in a few minutes later than our agreed time, and found him sitting at a table in front of the bar.

He was stocky, and on the shorter side, muscular, with a strong jaw and an aquiline nose, hazel eyes, and short hair, peppered with gray. I thought he looked average based on his pictures, but when I saw him in person, I found his facial features very attractive. I also liked the sound of his voice from the moment he started speaking, but there was something in his facial expression that communicated boredom or disdain, and I thought that this was directed towards me. However, I put my feelings aside, and sat down across from him. He was Jewish, in his mid 30s, and held a senior position at a startup. He had skipped to his PhD at an Ivy League school right after undergraduate and was a polyglot, speaking French, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese, and was a discerning gourmand. Of course, he thrilled me right from the beginning.

We made small talk at first, and perused the menu. After some deliberation, I decided on the rose, and the Connoisseur placed an order with the waitress, pronouncing the wine’s name with a perfect French accent. I asked him then, if he spoke French, and he looked surprised, and said he did. This led to a discussion about the languages we spoke, accents, and linguistics. Shortly afterwards, the bottle of wine arrived, and he poured glasses for both of us. As I swirled the wine in my glass and leaned my nose into the glass to take in the scent, he watched me, and asked what I could smell on the nose. As I sniffed the wine, I felt his eyes watching me intently.

“What do you smell?” He asked me. “Apples, cherries?”

After some deliberation, I replied, “apples”. I felt my palate was being scrutinised intensely, and it was unnerving. He looked down into his wine glass, and swirled it before taking a sip. “I can see how you would detect apples in this. There’s a crispness to it.”

We continued our conversation, me, feeling all the while as if he was bored by my conversational skills, him, replying agreeably, and chuckling every once in awhile.

We were shortly moved to a table in the garden outside, and after we were moved, I commented that his facial expression looked perpetually disdainful, and he replied, in a somewhat alarmed manner, “Disdainful?! You must think I’m terrible.” And soon after this, he reached out, and grasped my hand over the table. I was taken aback by this, and looked over at his fingers interlaced with mine over the table, and felt the heat rising in my cheeks. From embarrassment, I looked away at an ant crawling on the wooden fence next to us, and he commented, “The ant gets more attention than me?”

The Connoisseur said it had been difficult dating because many of the girls he met from online were vapid, and failed to capture his attention. He said certain attributes irked him, including close mindedness, ignorance, and slowness, and so far, I had displayed none of those.

We continued talking, and finished the bottle and went for a walk around Brooklyn holding hands, discussing polyamory, and the specifics of what would happen in a three person relationship, and intermittently kissing on sidewalks.

I confessed to him that I was bi-curious, but was skeptical about whether I could have romantic feelings for a woman. The Connoisseur said my skepticism would prevent me from ever being able to accomplish this, and seemed disappointed. However, he said that was only one of the situations he was looking for. He also expressed doubts about how long he would continue to date his current partner, as she had expressed jealousy in certain moments. We were sitting in a park in Brooklyn for a little while discussing this, and then, because I had mentioned that I didn’t like PDA’s, he asked if there was somewhere private we could go and talk.

He asked if we could go back to my place and talk, and while I said sure at first, I felt skeptical about having him come back to my place. We walked almost all the way there, and then while on the way, I said I probably wasn’t comfortable with him coming back to my place yet. However, he still walked me to the door, and as he did so, we got on to the topic of scheduling another date, and my many suitors in New York. The Connoisseur got the gist that I had several men competing for my affections, and seemed somewhat dismayed by this, stating, “You’ve got a list (of admirers)”. As we were standing at my door, saying goodbye, he  “How do I get to the top of that list?”

“You’ll have to find out,” I told him. “But at least you’re on that list.”

With that, he kissed me goodbye passionately, and strode off. I got a prompt text message from him thanking me for our pleasant date, and wishing me a pleasant rest of my Sunday. I found the tone of the text brusque, and wondered if I would see him again.

The next day, he texted me asking how my interviews went, and asking when we could schedule another date. He had travel plans that week, so we ended up planning something for the following week. However, when the following week rolled around, I had to reschedule all my lunch plans due to another fussy date, and ended up requesting the Connoisseur to meet another day instead of the one we’d originally intended.

I did not get a reply, and, inundated with dates for the next several weeks, I forgot about him.

Then, exactly 4 weeks later, I got a text from the Connoisseur saying he’d recently moved, and if I could excuse his lack of communication, he’d love to take me to dinner. Honestly, I was surprised to hear from him again, but agreed to go to dinner that week. However, I ended up unexpectedly getting tickets to a Broadway show from another date, on the same evening that the Connoisseur and I were supposed to go to dinner. The man who gave me the tickets couldn’t go with me to the show, but suggested that I take another friend or date. With that, I ended up going with the Connoisseur.

I met him outside the theatre, and we went inside and took our seats. Due to the show, we barely spoke, but at some point, he ended up taking my hand in his, and it felt natural. After the first act, we went out to the street to talk, and I told him since we saw each other last, I had started dating someone who lived in San Francisco, and that we had an open relationship. The Connoisseur didn’t say anything for a few moments, which prompted me to ask him, “What are your thoughts on it?”

He had a pensive look on his face as I said this, and he replied, “I haven’t made up my opinion yet. I’m just surprised you started dating someone in San Francisco.” And his comments and expression opened up a whole world of new questions for me to ponder. We went back into the theatre, and continued clasping hands throughout the show. At times, I could feel his eyes on me, watching my reaction to things. The show finished relatively early at 9:30pm, and as we walked out, he asked me what I wanted to do.

I replied that I wasn’t in a decision making mood that day, and requested that he throw out some suggestions. The Connoisseur suggested either getting a drink at a bar nearby, or going back to his place for wine (tea, for me). On the way back, we got strawberries from the grocery across the street, before jumping in a cab.

The Connoisseur lived in Chelsea, near the Flatiron building, in a luxury doorman building. He had a beautiful, shiny two bedroom apartment (one bedroom of which was being used as a hobby room). When we got into his apartment, he promptly began cutting up the strawberries for me, and also showed me his selection of teas, after I commented that he didn’t look like a tea drinker. After I’d made my selection, he boiled me some tea, and we settled down on the sofa, intertwined, him with his red wine, me with my tea. We were sitting very closely, me sniffing the wine, and him asking what notes were on it, when I commented the way he described wine was sensuous, which prompted him to say that I was “lascivious”.

At this point, we were making small talk, and he asked what my plans for the next day were, and I commented that I was going for a drive to upstate New York the following day. He asked if it was another suitor, and I said yes. He had a look of consternation on his face as I said this, and he murmured to himself that it was someone “who didn’t have work” (however, this was not true).

We kissed a little bit, and though I was very attracted to him, I felt uncomfortable due to the uncertainty of his intentions with me, and asked him lots of probing questions.

I don’t remember exactly what I said or asked him, but it was probably in the vein of, “I want to know your intentions with me, or where this is going”. He said that it was difficult for men to talk about their feelings, but added, mid-kiss, “I kind of like you.” (He put emphasis on kind of- not particularly reassuring for me).

And then immediately after, “I want to build something long term with you.” We were lying down on the sofa, mid-kiss when he said this to me, and it was difficult for me to believe in the veracity of what he was saying when he was so clearly trying to get physical with me at the same time. I pointed this out, and he said, “You don’t think I appreciate all that you’ve got going on up there?” while motioning to my forehead. I said sure, but still found it difficult to believe that he didn’t just want to hook up.

I told him shortly that I didn’t want to have sex, but he proceeded to go down on me anyway (it was delightful). I kept saying I didn’t want to have sex, but nonetheless, he didn’t stop touching me, with his fingers and his mouth, and all the while I was getting more and more excited. Shortly, we went to bed, and continued kissing in bed. He asked me what my fantasies were, and I said I didn’t feel like stating them at that point because we hadn’t yet had sex. He proceeded to go down on me again, while I continued to protest that I didn’t want to have sex.

We ended up falling asleep intertwined, while intermittently touching one another. At times, he would come close to me and whisper, “I want you, so badly”. Somehow, I resisted my strong desire to fuck him, but in the morning, we woke up and made out in bed, and ended up having sex, but he came only a few minutes. C was irritated by his shortcoming and hit the bed with his fist, saying, “Fuck! I can usually go for an hour. It’s just that the whole night was like foreplay.”

“That’s fine, don’t worry about it,” I replied. “We can do it again later.”

“It’s not fine,” he replied. “What do you want me to do to you?”

“Trust me, it’s fine,” I replied. “I’m completely satisfied.”

We lay back in bed and cuddled for a bit, and I asked him if he hadn’t set his alarm for work to go off earlier. At the time I mentioned this, it was 8:30AM. C said, “Oh fuck.” He got out of bed then to get ready, while I threw on clothes. While he was getting ready for work, I eyed him saunter around the apartment in a towel, with his chest protruding, masculine, and covered with hair, and in that moment, he reminded me of the Voyeur, and in that moment, I knew I was hooked on him. While he was walking around the apartment getting ready that morning, we were talking about what he said the previous evening, and he clarified that he was not drunk when he said it. C added, that he was normally “cold and calculating” in work situations, and sometimes in his previous relationships, but he wasn’t like that with me.

I didn’t know whether I could believe him at this point, but listened to him. Before we left his place, he asked if I needed money for a cab, and then gave me $200. As we were leaving his apartment building, he asked when he was going to see me again, and I said the next time I was free was Monday. He asked what I was doing on the weekend, and I said I had plans. His face grew consterned again, but he said, “Cancel your plans, either Saturday or Sunday. I want to see you this weekend.” After that, he looked me in the eye, and kissed me, and said goodbye. I felt as weak, and as giddy as a schoolgirl, while I walked to the subway to go home.

Later that day, he messaged me, saying thanks for the show, and everything else. I texted him back, saying I would see him on Sunday. I hadn’t felt like that about anyone for a long time.


The Married Couple

Date and location of meeting: New York, April/May 2017

I was going home in an Uber with the smell of pussy on my fingers, on a Tuesday night. I had just experienced my first threesome, with an older married couple.

I first matched with the married couple when I just arrived in New York in April 2017. The husband was a 42 year old, attractive South African Jew, while the wife was a 39 year old, petite, Taiwanese woman. The pictures on their dating profile were 100% of the husband, though after we matched, he sent me pictures of his wife.

While chatting on the app, J and I clearly communicated what they/I were looking for. He made clear that they were solely looking to meet up in group settings, and were not polyamorous, though they had casual fun together with other singles and couples, but only together. This was fine with me, and we scheduled a morning coffee date for the following week.

They asked me to meet them at a coffee/craft beer place in the East 60s in Manhattan on a Saturday morning. I got there slightly later than they did, and found them sitting in a back area, sipping coffee and tea. The husband was tall, tanned, muscular and athletic, while the wife was just as described- Asian, petite and beautiful. They were charming, funny, great conversationalists, and warm. I found them extremely charismatic and saw myself hooking up with them. During the course of our meeting, we chatted about ourselves and our backgrounds, and my move to New York.

After an hour, I had to leave, but they hugged me as we said goodbye, and said to let them know if I wanted to meet again to ‘play’. I texted them shortly after and told them I’d had a great time, and that I’d love to see them again.

We planned a play date for early May.

On the day, I came over to their apartment. The husband opened the door and kissed me on the cheek. Shortly after, his wife entered the living room, and we all sat down on the sofa and talked. The conversation flowed, and they also brought out a plate of nibbles for me to snack on. We discussed previous sexual experiences, and the wife said she’d been nervous in every instance, and was even nervous in this instance.

After about an hour of talking, the husband asked if I wanted to proceed to the bedroom, and I assented. We went inside, and his wife left us alone for a little while. He perched on the bed, with his legs spread, and me in between them, and kissed me. He had a perfect, muscular body, and I was very attracted to him. He told me to let him know if I felt nervous or uncomfortable at any point, and no longer wanted to proceed. After telling him I felt fine, he proceeded to take off my clothes, and proclaimed that I was gorgeous after seeing me completely naked.

After getting me undressed, his wife entered the bedroom, completely naked, but for some lacy underwear, and got next to us on the bed. She lay down next to us, and watched us kissing, and soon after, I directed my attention to her. I got on top of her, and began kissing her gently, while putting my fingers inside her. It was my first experience being with a woman, and doing anything more than kissing.

After fingering her for a few minutes, I began to eat her out, but honestly, had trouble finding the clitoris, and continued licking the front of her vagina with my tongue, only in the hopes that I was getting the right spot. While I was pleasuring his wife, the husband stood behind us, jacking himself off.

Soon after, he came back on to the bed, and asked to give him a blowjob at the same time, and after that, he began to have sex with me. He had a gorgeous body, and thick, good sized penis. While we were fucking, his wife lay next to us and pleasured herself with a vibrator.

After I came after having sex with the husband, he then swapped to his wife, and then came while inside her. After we all finished, we all kissed one another, and then entered stages of semi-dress. They welcomed me to stay for a little while, and have some ice cream, but I declined, and they got me a car home. When the wife walked out of the room to give us privacy, her husband kissed me and said he’d had a great time, and that he hoped to see me again, but would understand if it was ‘one and done’.

I texted them when I got home and told them I would love to see them again in future, and we planned another play date in a fortnight.


The Tech Guy

Date and location of meeting: San Francisco, March/April 2017

Okay, so I am writing this from NYC (where I now live!) and am basically in love with this guy I met in San Francisco last week.

I arrived in San Francisco at the end of March, and as usual, got to swiping as soon as I landed. It was a Friday, and I had spent the day walking the Golden Gate Bridge, was forced to catch two buses to get home due to my phone running out of battery, and was consequently exhausted. I wanted to rest for the evening but I also would not have minded winding down with some wine.

Enter Tech Guy.

We had been messaging since I arrived in SF. Tech Guy had super liked me, and I swiped right out of obligation. I thought he was boy next door cute, but by no means was he a mega babe.

So that Friday night, I came home exhausted from walking the bridge and was preparing for a night in when Tech Guy messaged me saying he was probably going to have a “calm night” and to let him know if I wanted to meet up for a drink. In the early evening, I replied that I’d like a drink, and we then made plans to meet up for a drink later that night at a dive bar within walking distance of both of us.

Around 7:45pm that night, I got ready and left my place. I was dressed casually in a black denim mini, striped turtleneck, denim jacket and black ankle boots. He got to the bar a little earlier than me and walked up the street to meet me. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw him – he was only a little bit taller than I was. He was not hideous but not the usual 10 that would warrant a hook up on the first night.

Nevertheless, we went to elbo room. I was unsatisfied with his bar choice – it was a large dive bar with ageing decor, that smelled like alcohol had seeped into the furniture. The staff were tattooed, and they didn’t serve wine. Masking my discontent, I ordered a gin and tonic, and sipped it slowly while Tech Guy asked numerous questions about me and I answered them politely, asking him questions in return.

Tech Guy was 31 (but looked younger), white, and worked for a well known social media company. He was originally from New York, but moved to SF in the last year. He asked me a lot of unusually direct questions, such as the name of my ex, which I found a little odd, but thought he might be nervous or shy. We finished our drinks and then walked outside. I was almost ready to call it a night, but then he asked if I wanted to grab another drink elsewhere. I told him that I usually drink wine, and he said he knew a place nearby.

We walked about 10 minutes to a nearby wine bar. At this point, I was already a bit drunk – those American bartenders and their free pours! The wine glasses at the bar we were at also abnormally large. As I hadn’t had a large dinner, I could feel myself getting very drunk very quickly, and at this point, was freely offering up information about myself to Tech Guy that I wouldn’t normally have. I got fairly drunk at the wine bar, and don’t remember many things I said, or how long we stayed there, but after we finished our glasses, Tech Guy settled up the bill and as we walked outside, he asked if I wanted to come to his place to watch a movie, no expectations. Of course, drunk me acquiesced, but with no intention at all of hooking up.

We walked back to his place and I must have been babbling drunkenly at this point, but also remember feeling overwhelmingly tired. I was relieved to get back to his place. He lived in a cute studio apartment in Hayes Valley. After we got back to his place, he put Moonlight on, which undoubtedly, was kind of heavy for a Friday night and first Tinder date.

After he put the movie on, he told me to lie down, and I rested my head on his lap. He would lower his head intermittently and kiss me on the forehead, which soon progressed to kissing, with tongue, but only after he asked if he could kiss me. And from kisses on the lips, it progressed to heavy petting. We then moved to the bed, where he peeled my clothes off hungrily, and then said he was going to go down on me. His technique was not terrible, but not the best I have had. Afterwards, he asked if he could fuck me- I said yes.

The sex was quite pleasant despite that I was half asleep/drunk and couldn’t do much. He had a large penis, which surprised me because of his height, and lankiness. We had sex once, for 10 minutes or less, before he came. After that, I think we lay in bed talking or kissing, in which he gave me many compliments, saying I was really beautiful, and that I had a perfect vagina. We had sex again, the second time was a bit more rough, which I preferred. After that, we fell asleep, but I woke up in the middle of the night, and Tech Guy was also awake. We started talking again, and kissing, and eventually had sex again. Like the other times, it was short. He was extremely affectionate with me, and held me all night, and asked if he could buy me breakfast in the morning. I said yes, and asked him if he always tried to take all the girls he met from Tinder home on the first night. He said no, but that I was so cute and only here for a few nights, that he had to try. With my head sufficiently larger due to all the compliments in the space of one evening, I fell asleep, content, wrapped in someone’s arms.

The next morning, I woke up due to the light streaming in through the window, and promptly stated my discontent. I told Tech Guy, I didn’t understand how anyone could sleep without blinds, and asked if he had an eye shade to cover my eyes. He went to get me one, and I tried to go back to sleep, but had a throbbing headache. We continued talking, and he continued giving me compliments, my favourite of which was: “Everyone’s going to love you in New York”, spoken with genuine warmth and enthusiasm. We then joked about how seedy it looked, with me on the bed, wearing the blindfold, and my arms stretched above my head (little did he know what I was into). All morning, he had also been joking about adding me on Facebook and liking all of my posts.

Shortly after this, he led my hand to his penis, once again, erect, and while I stroked it for a few minutes, I was not in the state of mind for morning sex. After asking if I was up for morning sex, and receiving a no, TG asked I would do him a “huge favour”. I asked what it was, and Tech Guy replied, “Will you watch me masturbate?”

I said sure, and engaged in a bit of voyeurism for the next few minutes. He came on my stomach, and afterwards, I took a shower and got ready to head out for breakfast. When I came out of the bathroom, he was sitting on the bed, wearing glasses, and I thought he looked adorable like that, and wondered why I hadn’t realised it earlier. We chatted for a little while, before he hopped in the shower, and shortly after, we walked to a nearby cafe for breakfast.

After being seated, we started talking politics, and as usual, whenever I get on the topic of politics, went into an anti-Trump diatribe. He shared my sentiments, and then said he loved hearing my opinions. After brunch, he walked me to the BART stop. We chatted all the way there, and he would kiss my forehead intermittently as we walked. When we got to the BART station, he gave me his clipper card to use, but said the card would warrant a second meeting on either Sunday or Monday. He suggested I come to his office on Monday for breakfast, and he would show me around.

Later that day, he messaged me saying he was glad we got the chance to meet up. We continued messaging back and forth until Monday, when I came to visit him at work and I scored a free breakfast (yay for tech companies and free food!)

We sat there bantering over breakfast, and as we did so, TG said he had a speech to give me when he showed me around later. After eating breakfast, he basically showed me around his entire office, and introduced me to his colleagues. The office spanned three or four levels, had games rooms and an outdoor deck- I was burning with jealousy the entire time. At the end, he took me into a room designated for what seemed like hanging out, and we sat in a square sofa booth. We were the only people in the room, and he said he was going to give me the speech now.

He began with, “I just wanted to say I really like you, and I think you’re so cool and it wasn’t just a random hookup.” There was definitely a bit more but my memory is quite hazy. At the end of the speech, he told me to come in for a kiss. It was all very romantic comedy-esque. After the kiss, I told him I didn’t have a speech for him, and thought he was joking when he said he was going to give me a speech earlier. Right after that, I decided it was time to leave for my flight to NYC. TG said he’d walk me to the BART.

While walking there, he told me he would be in NYC in June and would love to see me then. With that, we parted, and I left SF full of warm, fuzzy feelings.

The Irish Boy

Date and location of meeting: New Orleans, October 2016

R+ material***

While I was in New Orleans, I matched with a beautiful boy. I spent the day out sightseeing in New Orleans, and had come back to my hotel after a couple of drinks on Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street, and was preparing for bed, when I got a message from him, saying “Damn – you’re hot AF”.

It was not the kind of response that would usually elicit a response from me, but damn, Irish Boy was hot AF himself. We exchanged a few remarks, after the ‘hot AF’ opening line, and figured out our hotels were within a 20 minute walking distance of each other. Irish Boy said he could come up for a drink. And that was how I ended up with an Irish boy in my bed, at 3am.

He got up to my hotel room fairly quickly and knocked at the door. It was only at this point that I accepted the full scope of what I had done, ordering a boy up to my room, like pizza. I peered through the peephole, and saw a tall, beautiful stranger standing there, and opened up. He looked like a young Tom Cruise, with slightly tan skin, blue eyes, shaggy brown hair, and a smile that could melt butter.

He said my name when I opened the door, and asked if he could come in, and then if he could sit on the bed. I wasn’t expecting a boy who used expressions, like ‘hot af’, to be so polite. It was also when I first met him in person that I realised he was Irish, and him, that I was Australian. He remarked, “oh, your’re Australian,” as he strolled into the room, and we began an easy conversation about ourselves, our backgrounds, and what we were doing in New Orleans. Just as you would on a regular date, only we were sprawled in bed. Irish Boy was 28, from Dublin originally, but moved to NYC with an NGO he had been working for for some time. Prior to that, he’d worked in the economics department for another intergovernmental body. He was visiting New Orleans for the week, with his brother.

Not my usual type. Contrary to what I’d thought, he was soft-spoken and gentle. After 15-20 minutes of talking, he asked if he could kiss me, and I assented. He tilted my head towards him, and as he leaned into me, he said, “you’re beautiful,” before he parted his soft lips and kissed me. It was one of those kisses where you feel everything just falling away. Not long after, we were taking our clothes off, and he graced me with his beautiful body. Irish Boy is the first boy/man I have ever seen, to have an actual 6 pack. After we were both undressed, we did some naked kissing, before he decided to put it in. He came prepared, with a condom, which he put over his giant penis. And then, wildness ensued.

He was a bit rough, liked to talk dirty, spanked me a lot, put his finger inside me, and then in my mouth, and watched in a fascinated sort of way. All things I liked. We were done in an hour, or just short of an hour, and I thought he’d be on his way, but then he stayed for a little while, and I rolled onto his chest and he held me, and we discussed Trump, and Brexit, and things people don’t normally talk about after having rough, dirty sex. Before long, he slipped into the conversation that he had to be up early, and I took the cue to move away and watch him put on his clothes, and say the usual, it’s been fun, before heading out.

And when he was gone, I revelled in the space of an empty bed, albeit, one with bedsheets containing a man’s sweat.

The Crazy American Writer

Date and location of meeting: New York, NY, October 2016

I finally made it to New York (just for a short holiday). It was my last night in NYC and I was out with my girlfriend J, at her favourite Italian restaurant in West Village, L’Artusi. We walked in around 9pm on a Saturday evening without a reservation and were told it would be a wait of an hour and 45 minutes. As we walked in, we saw two men look over at us. After being told the wait, J and I discussed whether we should stay there or not, and decided we would wait and get drinks while we waited.

A few people were seated at the restaurant, and we moved up in the line. J went to go get drinks, and shortly after she was gone, one of the men turned to me and commented that wasn’t it ridiculous that there was a long wait for the bar? I remarked that it was, and he began talking about what a good restaurant it was. His name was John, and he was 35, and a former investment banker and writer for a well known financial review but was now working on a non-fiction novel and had his own PR company. He had previously lived in London, Singapore and Japan, and spoke Japanese, like me. I found him exciting and was surprised that we had things in common. I liked the sound of his voice and his offhand American charm. He was dressed in chinos, a blue pin-stripe button up shirt, and a khaki vest.Soon his friend came back and he introduced me to him- Matt, who worked at a hedge fund. I found M cuter, but M started talking to J when she got back, so our pairings were obvious. As we continued talking, our conversation started and stopped. I felt like he was either nervous, or uninterested. Eventually John and Matt got called for their table, and they said they would see us later. Shortly after that, J and I got called for our table. We ended up sitting at the end of bar diagonal from them, so we could see them while we were eating, but at a distance.

J and I had a perfect meal, and finished up and walked outside. I was messaging the guy I was meant to go on a Tinder date with that evening and J said she was going home, when John and Matt walked outside and asked if we wanted to get drinks down the street. My Tinder date hadn’t replied, so I thought ‘why the hell not’ and asked J if she wanted to go, while she exchanged a look with me that said she didn’t really want to but would go for my sake.

While we were walking to the bar, John turned to us and said his place was right there, and would we mind if he quickly ran up to get some cigarettes. I said it was fine, and Matt, J and I stood downstairs and waited for him. He took a lot longer than someone should to get cigarettes. When he came back down, we continued walking to the bar and chatting.

We got to the bar, which was on the same block, and they ordered a round of drinks. John was talking about how great the bartender was, and how he would make us great cocktails. This was the point at which I began to think he was a little odd.

He told me various things throughout the night, such as, “you’re a sweetheart”, “I feel comfortable with you like I haven’t with anyone,” as well as quoting lines from The Great Gatsby exactly WORD FOR WORD without looking it up, I kid you not, saying things like, “and so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly into the past..” etc.

We had had a few drinks, and then John decided to order oysters for the both of us- so there we were, eating oysters at 2am, while he talked about how nice it was, and continued to say flattering things to me. The things he was saying were getting repetitive, and as I gazed into his eyes, I realised his pupils were huge. He was also sniffing a ridiculous amount. I realised that he must be on coke, and that the run up to his apartment wasn’t for cigarettes. At one point, he asked if he could kiss me on the cheek before he went to the bathroom, and I allowed him to. Around this time, the things he was saying were also getting a bit repetitive. I mentioned to J that I thought my guy was crazy, to which she said, he just seemed a bit odd.

When he returned from the bathroom, my suspicions about him doing coke were confirmed when he asked me to go for a quick walk around the block, which I assumed was to cool down. We walked quickly around the block, chatting, and while we walked, he told me he had a rooftop at his place and could take me to see it. I said sure, and when we walked back into the bar, I asked J if she wanted to come back to John’s place for a bit. I could tell that she didn’t want to go but just went along with it because I wanted to.

While we were walking back to his place, which was on the same street, John mentioned something about how he indulged in drugs “occasionally”, and I replied, laughing (probably hysterically) that I knew he had done some coke that night, and John said he would give me some. While we were walking back to his place, he mentioned he had a female friend, Madeleine, staying with him who was going through a divorce, and she had all her stuff all over his place. I thought this was kind of weird, or that this person must be lacking some kind of decency. We got back to his place, on the same street that the bar and restaurant had been on in West Village. J and Matt sat in the living room chatting, while John took me upstairs to the roof. Sure, there was a rooftop, but there wasn’t a great view.

While we were on the rooftop, I was strolling around inebriated, enjoying the breeze, when he took my face in his hands and kissed me. We stayed like that for a few moments, kissing on the roof, until I managed to disentangle myself and said I wanted to go back downstairs. When we came back into his apartment, J was gone and Matt was sitting alone. I asked him where she went, and he said, “home.” Feeling uncomfortable that she was gone, I recall trying to leave, but John saying everything was okay and that I should stay. He said something to Matt, which I don’t remember, but after he said it, Matt got up and left. I thought he looked irritated but in my drunken state, I couldn’t be sure.

As soon as he left, John went to another room and pulled out the coke. He had a small bag of it, and placed it on the table. I was about to tip it out to line it up, but he said he would do it for me, and stuck his finger into the bag, and then placed some in each of my nostrils consecutively. It was a small amount, but it was strong, and in no time, I was shaking and my eyes were wobbling. We sat down on the hard seat that J and Matt had been sitting on before, and he asked me if I wanted a drink. He only had beer, which I accepted and began sipping on. As we sat there, drinking beer in his apartment, I put on Talking Heads ‘This must be the place’, and we sat there discussing the meaning of the song. We talked about how it was such a great song, and I said it was about someone who’s never been in love before and who is guessing they must be in love from what they know about it.

At that point, I must have been expressing myself in an opinionated way as I was shaking from the bumps of coke. I started to feel sick to my stomach so I rushed to the bathroom to vomit, and was in there for less than five minutes when John followed me and knocked on the door asking if he could come in. I said yes, and then he came in and asked if I was alright and stroked my hair. I said, “I want to go home, I feel sick.” He said, “stay, I just want to spend more time with you since you’re leaving tomorrow.” I came out of the bathroom and again said I was going home. John walked into the bedroom and stood slightly past the doorway, and said, “just stay, we don’t have that much time left together. I don’t want to do anything. I’ll take care of you.” The things he was saying were ridiculously corny, and no one I had ever met on the first night had ever spoken to me like that. Nevertheless, I liked it.

We went to sleep spooning, with him holding me. I fell asleep almost straight away, and true to his word, he didn’t try anything.

The next morning, I woke up very early to the sun streaming in through the windows, and him holding me in his arms. I said something about how could he sleep without curtains, and he said he normally didn’t have a problem. We lay there talking for a couple of hours. Even in sobriety, he continued to say ridiculously corny things to me, such as, “you’re so thoughtful and genuine. So different to other girls. And you like cool music like Talking Heads. I wish I met you earlier. I’m going to miss you when you go back to Sydney. I wish you didn’t have to go back. We’re going to stay in contact. I’ll come visit you in Sydney.” And so on, and so forth. I didn’t think he was being genuine, but I played along anyway. And then the things got even more ridiculous. He said, “I want to do new things with you. Have you been skiing?” When I said no, he would teach me how to ski when I came back to NYC. And he didn’t stop there. He said he would take me to the south, to Charleston when I came back, and that I would I love the food there. I found all the things he was saying so unbelievable and nonsensical that I half wondered if he was going to ask me to marry him, the things he was saying just seemed to increase in absurdity.

I was on my side, facing the wall, and he was spooning me from behind. During the night, he had removed his pants, so he was just in underwear and his shirt, slightly unbuttoned. All my clothes were still on, and he slightly tilted my head to his side and kissed me. I pulled away first every time he did this, half because I wasn’t that attracted to him, and half because I had morning breath. I made the excuse that I didn’t want to kiss because I hadn’t brushed my teeth, and he said, “I don’t mind, but brush your teeth, if that’s what it’ll take for you to kiss me.” So we went to the bathroom and both brushed our teeth using the same toothbrush (he only had one).

We went back to cuddle in bed, and kiss a bit, and I could feel his erection pressing into my back the entire time. He said, “I’m sorry, I hope I’m not being too forward.” I replied, “I don’t sleep with people the first time I meet them.” He replied, “I know. I guess I’ll just have to wait.” I tried to creep out, more than once after this, and I said a variety of things, “I’m super tired and have to pack, I don’t want to miss my flight,” etc. but he insisted on taking me to lunch that day, “to spend more time with me”. Eventually I agreed, and we lay in bed cuddling for couple of hours, chatting about ourselves, and stuff like our past relationships and favourite books.

However, in the light of the day, I saw things that hadn’t been so obvious the previous night.

There were several pairs of shoes strewn around his bedroom, and more than one handbag. There was also a picture of two girls on the mirror. “If your friend is staying in the other room, why would she put all her stuff in here as well?” I actually strongly suspected that he was hiding the fact that he lived with his girlfriend, but I didn’t want to accuse him outright. He replied, “I don’t know, she just did. “So who is that in the picture?” I asked. He said, “Madeleine, and her friend.”

Not satisfied with the answers he was giving me, I went to the living room while he was in the bathroom and continued looking around. There were letters on the table, with a woman’s name on that address. There was an ID on the table that also matched her address. “Why do you have this person’s stuff?” I asked him, in an accusatory manner. He said something like, “I told you my friend was staying here, I don’t know whose stuff that is.” And while he was saying it, he had a crestfallen look on his face, so much so that I pitied him, and still went out to lunch with him.

We walked to a nearby Italian restaurant called Morindi, and were seated immediately. As soon as we were seated, he said again how sad he was that I was leaving, and that he was going to miss me. He then asked, “how should stay in touch, email?”

“I have Whatsapp,” I replied, and with that, we exchanged numbers. He texted me ‘hey there’ right then, and I saw his full name pop up. I kind of liked him at this point, despite his shadiness, but I still thought he was a liar. He asked me when was a good time to visit Sydney, and I said if he liked beaches, probably December or January. He even asked if there were tickets available around a thousand dollars, and I said probably. Although I would have liked to see him visit me, I found it highly dubious. At this point, I was wondering if he did really indeed like me, or if he was a master of deceit. He even took photos of me while we were eating!

After we finished lunch, I reached for my wallet, but he said, “Don’t worry about it – it’s our first date.”

After lunch, I was thinking of getting the subway back to FiDi but decided to book a VIA instead. It wasn’t to arrive for another 15 minutes though. While we waited, we stood on the street corner in the sun, chatting. He would lean in intermittently to kiss me as we waited. When the car came, he gave me a quick hug and kissed me goodbye. Before 20 minutes had passed, he texted me saying, “have a smooth flight, pretty girl”. I replied “thanks, it was great meeting you :)”, a few hours later, or the next day. He didn’t reply.

I had pleasant thoughts of him going home, and the next day, I landed in Sydney and went straight back to work. I immediately experienced the onset of post holiday depression and decided to Google him for fun. I had seen his full name flash when he had messaged me on Whatsapp. When I googled him, I was surprised to see that he had a Wikipedia page, and unpleasantly surprised to find a nasty article about him.

The article said he had hit a girl with a beer bottle (more than once!) at a club in NYC after the girl had rejected him and that she was suing. I was so horrified to read this I kept the article open and continuously searched him while at work the next couple of days in some sort of shell shock. The article said the girl was suing him, and the club, whose bouncers reportedly helped him escape before the police came. Another article I read said he was on “medication” when he hit the girl.

To add to this, I also found pictures of him in 2013 with the girl whose name I had seen on the letters to his address, which really irritated me. So basically, I spent the night with a violent drug addict, and very possibly used his girlfriend’s (?) toothbrush. But oh well, life starts over again when it gets crisp in the fall…