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. 

Bruce… he of the magic (2)

I hit “publish” by mistake on the previous post. Whoops. I wasn’t going to create a cliffhanger, but those of you who follow me on Twitter already know what I was going to say.

Bruce and I decided to leave my couch and go for dinner. As he moved to stand up I said “ummm can I kiss you before we go?” and he immediately said “yes”, shaking his head to himself as if to say “Bruce you are such a dummy” as he leaned in to kiss me. At least, that’s what I’m hoping the reaction was.

It was as good as the first kiss on our first date. Perhaps better, because it lasted way longer. Continue reading

Bruce: he of the magic…

Bruce and I had our second date the evening he came back from a vacation with friends and family. Because he didn’t know exactly what the drive would be like, we didn’t have an exact time set.

He kept in touch with me though and I found it quite courteous. He called the moment he had steady cell service – with his kids in the car – to give me an update on the rough time. He also called when he finally got home, and then when he was about 15 minutes away.

Such a stark contrast to Kyle, where I was left wondering whether our dates were still on, hours before they were supposed to occur. 

Bruce and I hadn’t talked about what we were going to do, so the default was dinner somewhere in my neighbourhood. He knocked on my door and didn’t greet me with a kiss.

I wasn’t fussed – he seems ever so slightly awkward in these situations. After all, I had to ask him to kiss me goodbye on our first date. He was super game once I broke the seal, but he seemed rather clueless until then. 

He said as much to me on our first date – that he doesn’t know when women are hitting on him. It’s hard to believe a tall, handsome, and muscular guy doesn’t have good game, but he genuinely seems to not.

Or he’s a player and he knows exactly what playing dumb does to a woman. But that’s a hooded Kermit thought right there.

I offered him a beer and after he checked out my main floor and I poured myself a drink, we sat on my couch and talked. After our second drinks, we decided it was time to go eat – it was already 9:30pm.

whoops! I hit publish instead of “save draft”… so I’m gonna leave this here but I didn’t mean to write a cliffhanger!

Oops I did it again. Another first, first date.

I’d hidden my Plenty of Fish profile when Jack asked to be exclusive. When we broke up I wasn’t in a big rush to unhide it again as I had plenty of stuff (aka boys and friends) to keep me occupied. But last week after Ray decided being in different parts of our city was too far for him, I went back to it. I unhid my profile in the hopes of a good first date.

I realized as much as I may say “I’m all done with online dating” or “I’m not going to do what I did before”, it’s at this point less about behavior change (I don’t do as much dumb time-wasting stuff since I’ve been looking for a relationship) and more about mindset.  Continue reading

what attracts men

A depressing experiment.

I created a fake profile on Plenty of Fish. The reason was singular but it matters not. The profile served its purpose, but I experienced something completely unexpected. What attracts men, anyway?

This is one of those situations where I don’t really know what to make of what happened. It has caused me to question things I’ve told myself, and I’m curious what you think.

I created a profile of a 39 year-old woman. She was pretty but not stunning, but had a very hot body. There were four pictures on her profile. The main profile picture was her in a small bikini walking out of the ocean and smiling, in dark sunglasses. There was a closeup of her face, smiling, and two pictures of her outdoors. None were selfies and they didn’t show cleavage. Continue reading

Some rules are made to be broken.

It started with a simple status update on FetLife, a site I haven’t been active on in eighteen months. I’d gone to reply to a message from a photographer who wanted to do a photo shoot with me and noticed I still referenced Tony in my profile.

I must have shown up on search results because within 24 hours I received several messages from men. One stood out:

“Loved your profile, I like women who enjoy being shared, double penetration, gangbangs. I don’t post much on my profile, I am somewhat old fashioned in this regard, I like approaching someone I consider interesting. Continue reading

The guy who won’t even spring for a coffee before sex

Online Dating Fail: I had to share this ridiculous exchange which occurred over a couple of days on Plenty of Fish. I met this guy (never wrote about him) on a hookup site when I first became single. We never met in person because he kept insisting we meet directly at a hotel.

But he reached out to me on POF and after reading his profile it seemed he may have shifted what he was looking for. It said he was looking for a relationship and he’d done a bunch of traveling. Here for your reading pleasure is our unedited exchange (my replies are in italics): Continue reading

a real dating fail

I knew better. Or did I?

Well, he lasted 5 days. I knew it was unlikely he would suddenly change his behavior, but I did have hope there would continue to be progress. After all, he said our date last week that he wanted to see more of me, and that he’d try to be more communicative. But yet, another dating fail.

But really, what kind of person says that, and hears someone say “look I get that you’re busy but all I’m asking for right now is that you don’t ignore my texts, and just 5 days later does exactly that?

I know how this will play out if I bothered to call him out on it: Continue reading

From theory to practice with Leo.

Leo and I booked a date after our big talk. A full-on dinner and activity weekend date. I was cautiously optimistic.

It was going to be a beautiful day so at the last minute we modified our plans. He came to my house just after lunch and we planned to do a day trip to a nearby wine region, visit some of the quaint towns in the area, and have dinner. If anything was going to be an issue, it wasn’t going to be our itinerary!

Continue reading

Two steps forward and one step back.

Previous Post

I had some decisions to make. Did I believe him? Mostly. I knew there was a chance he was telling me what he thought I wanted to hear, but seeing how uncomfortable he was, and the way he told me, led me to believe there was far more truth to his words than lies.

I didn’t write it all out, but I did challenge him on a number of things during our conversation. The most important for me was how it was possible he didn’t feel comfortable with me, given how open I’d been with him about my own sexuality.

Continue reading