Claude.

He is #9 on my list. The only man who has had sex with me in three of my four decades – at 18, 24, and (spoiler alert!) 43. We missed my 30s due to marriage. My first and only serious foreign crush – one which went from desire to implementation after a few years of hoping. 

We met in France the summer I was 15, on the cusp of 16. My father and step-mother had signed us all up for month-long language classes in a beautiful university town. We stayed in campus housing. In the classic style of my father, my class was supposed to be for age 18 and over, but he signed me up anyway. They never checked. 

My classmates were young adults from around the world. I still remember the man from Botswana who told me there were more cows there than people. The wealthy Texan. The fun women from Spain. And Claude. Tall and handsome, with light blue eyes, eight years my senior, foreign, I was instantly smitten. 

With good reason, he assumed I was 18 or over. He treated me like an adult – or perhaps better said, he didn’t treat me like a child. We drank Kronenborg 1664 in small cafes. I had my first glass of Dom Perignon on the roof of the school with the Texan. We talked for hours upon hours. 

In classic teenage girl style, I was desperate to be physical with him, but he never touched me. I have to check my diary, but I think he did kiss me goodbye and it was heavenly. When he found out how old I actually was, he assumed I was a virgin. He also had a girlfriend at the time. She came to visit one weekend and I was so intensely jealous of her. Older, European, and his girlfriend. 

I later learned she assumed we’d had sex that summer. It even caused an argument with her (they remain friends) and his then-wife within the last year. Which I find hilarious. While she had no reason for concern at the time, I do wonder what they’d say if they knew what transpired this past week. 

After we parted all those years ago, we stayed in touch. Before the days of the internet and smart phones, we wrote letters to each other. I still have all of them, tied with a ribbon, safely stowed. They were magical to receive. His life was exotic to me, his letters creative and sent from various countries he’d visit. They spoke of romantic things and they fed my desire.

A few years later, Claude was living in New York City. I had a boyfriend who was unsurprisingly intensely jealous. Plans were hatched for us to visit a friend studying opera, and see Claude as well. When, at the last minute, my boyfriend’s work schedule changed and he couldn’t come, he insisted I stay back as well. I refused. He gave me an ultimatum: if I went, it was over. 

I went.

I stayed with my friend but Claude and I had a late night together. We had sex in his tiny New York apartment. I was ignorant of truly how expensive a city it was, and expected something much more glamorous. But I’d gotten what I wanted for so long. 

He also came to visit me in my city. My Mom let him sleep in my bed. We had sex for hours in our outdoor hot tub. We had an overnight trip together. 

It was another few years before we saw each other. This time, he was travelling to my city for work. I was around 24, the year before I met Will. I stayed in his hotel for a couple of nights. We had showers together and a huge water fight and made good use of the hotel bathrobes. We had sex in the big king bed and it felt glamorous. 

Something happened to me with him during that visit. I didn’t specify it in my diary, but I mention there were things in his personality I hadn’t noticed before. The lustre wore off somewhat. I suppose it was inevitable. 

I met Will, and Claude and I fell out of touch. I married Will. Claude married a Spaniard. At some point we reconnected, probably thanks to social media. He has never forgotten my birthday. He had two children around the same age as mine, and was unhappy in his marriage, although he split more recently than I. 

We’ve texted back and forth fairly steadily for the last many months. We’ve talked about the breakdown of our marriages, our separation agreements, and sexual exploration (we share some similar kinks), and he even reads this blog (hey, babe). 

And when I decided to visit Spain with Liam, we talked about seeing each other. He didn’t know whether his house would be available for us to stay there, as he “nests” with his wife. The children stay in the house, and they switch week-on week-off. As much as I appreciated the offer, I was also not sure what it would be like to stay with him – it had been a long time since we’d seen each other. 

As it turned out, it was like no time had passed. 

We spoke. It’s over.

After almost 36 hours of complete silence, Jack finally texted me back. I’d sent a text saying “good morning, when can we talk today?” and he replied with “We can speak around 4 or after 10 tonight. Have a great day.”

I didn’t reply with what I wanted to say (“Have a great day? Seriously?”) but simply said, “4 it is”.

It was difficult to focus at work and I resented him for deliberately (yes, it was) leaving me hurt and anxious.

And when I picked up the phone, this is what he said:

“Ann, I’m not over my last girlfriend.  Continue reading

dating Jack

Starting to settle in: dating Jack

The conversations with Jack are starting to meld together. It’s the problem when living my life outpaces my ability to write about it. I’m going to try to get caught up with this post with our dating status.

We had the kind of fourth date made necessary by single parentdom: a late night visit. It was a three-act play similar to the third date: a drink on my couch with lots of conversation, moving to my bedroom for some good sex, and then talking far too late into the wee hours of the morning.

This time, instead of waiting for me to suggest it, he asked to take me upstairs. I liked it.  Continue reading

defining attraction and appeal

Defining attraction and appeal

A recent post by a fellow blogger got me thinking about what really matters to me in choosing who to engage with on an online dating site. Who am I attracted to, and why? How does attraction work?

As anyone who has been reading me for a while knows, I am rather analytical. It’s one of the things that makes me very good at my job and naturally it carries over into my personal life. And the things I learn at work apply as well – in this case, my approach to dating can be summed up as “test and learn”.

I’m not going to get all corporate speak on you. But the idea is when making changes, try some different things, see how they work, and learn from it.  Continue reading

Coming back to life.

There’s been enough drama with Leo that I haven’t written about my injury and recovery lately.

The combination of a broken bone and extensive ligament damage means it’s been a long haul. Over two months in a non weight-bearing cast, then a month in a walking boot. I have a plate and several screws in my leg and I have a beautiful 5″ scar on the outside of my ankle.

I still walk with pain and with a limp, and because of that limp I have pain in my tailbone, which fucking sucks. My ankle and foot remain swollen and it could be the same for many more months. I’ve just been diagnosed with needing two months of physiotherapy, 3-5 times a week. How I’m going to find time for that I have no idea. Continue reading

Tony’s Christmas Gift

I can’t even recall exactly when first contact was made with Tony. I had several weeks of silence, which was good for me. Strangely perhaps, the subsequent contact didn’t pull me back in but instead, helped me move on.

It’s been a long journey to get to this point. Tony’s duplicity is no surprise, nor is his ability to obfuscate and avoid conversations that reveal too much truth. He’s an expert.

So I’m not in any way going to suggest surprise at any of those things.

But. Continue reading

Alan, Lewis, Clark, Todd, plus one.

I’ve had a busy week. I’m writing this on a plane, having had just 4 hours of sleep last night, but boy was it worth it.

My life is normal to me, because it’s mine. But sometimes I see myself through the eyes of others, and I think – whoa. I have been in the arms of five different men in the last 7 days. None were new to me. Two were at the same time. One I didn’t have penetrative sex with. But still.

You know what? It was awesome.

I saw Alan and it felt like a repeat of earlier dates. Nothing new to discuss.

But Lewis and Clark both came over during the week and sweet holy heck was it amazing. Sometimes threesomes can be repetitive – being “spit roasted” (sucking one while fucking the other) and literally just switching from one end of the bed to the other. Continue reading

There’s something going around.

Several years ago, when I was still married, my Mom told me she was concerned I didn’t have a close-knit group of women in my life whom I could count on to be there for me no matter what.

Of course I argued with her, saying I had a couple of close friends who fell into that category.

But of course, there was real truth to her observation. One of my goals since becoming single was to build back up the friend relationships I had let go during my marriage, and build new connections as well. Freed from the restrictions of a judgey spouse who didn’t want to “take new friend applications” (yes, he said that), I could meet new people I like and invite them for dinner. I could spend quality time with existing friends and deepen or connection.

I’m rather proud of myself for doing just that.  Continue reading

Relationship past its expiry

The danger of continuing a relationship past its expiry

I haven’t written about Tony in a while, and it’s been deliberate: there’s not much to say. But I’ll say some things anyway.

He still hasn’t moved back in with his wife (I’m going to drop the “ex” because really, what’s the point). He still hasn’t put notice on his apartment. He’s still not sleeping there on a regular basis – a few times at most. He’s still not having sex with her.

And before you roll your eyes on the latter – they aren’t. They didn’t before. Like my marriage, it was essentially sexless. But ultimately it doesn’t matter because he’s on a path to going back to his marriage; that’s the intention he’s set. Continue reading

Meeting Drew.

I met Drew on Bumble the week before my vacation. Atypically, I swiped right even though all he had on his profile was his height (6’6″). In hindsight, I’m not sure why I swiped right – he has only two photos and neither show his face. I suppose it was a moment of weakness.

He responded quickly to my opening message and we texted about work and the heatwave our city was experiencing. He noticed the unicorn emoji in my profile and later asked if I was one. I told him he’d need to define it before I answered; and he mentioned poly relationships. He’d been in one before and said it was “fun”.

I told him I wasn’t poly and wasn’t interested in a relationship with more than one person. But I liked that he even knew what it was – it spoke of an openness I don’t often find. Continue reading