dating in the time of trump

You haven’t heard from me in a while, and for good reason(s). Work has been insane, I’ve been on a 30-day cleanse (no fun!) and, candidly, I’ve just seen too much mean come out of the woodwork lately… which brings me to today’s topic:  How can one date in the time of Trump?

When someone who has made incendiary remarks against blacks, women, Muslims, Mexicans and others is in the highest office in the land, some people suddenly think it’s okay to forget what their mammas told them. Remember “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? A lot of people seem to have forgotten that.

The news is full of hate crimes and half-truths. People are more polarized than I can recall and, given that dating sites can be somewhat akin to social media, I just don’t feel the need to put myself out there for insults or debate based on different ideologies. I guess I’m feeling a little sensitive. I’m not interested in encountering any more negativity than is already out there, so taking a break is a move to protect my energy.

In fact, I went on several dates with a guy who said he’s normally conservative, but wouldn’t be voting for Trump. Then, post-election, he said he did vote for Trump. About two weeks after the inauguration, he was telling me how amazing he thought I was…and all I could do was honestly tell him that he was disqualified. You see, if he thought our now president was doing a good job, I’m pretty sure we didn’t share enough common values to have a serious relationship. If, on the other hand, he was having regrets about his vote, I wondered how he was so idiotic he didn’t see it coming. There was no winning at that point.

On the flip side, it seems like it could be a great time to easily sort out those who share my feminist, pro-choice, inclusive values (read non Trump supporters). Maybe this would be the best time of all to give meeting new men a go. In fact, I recently saw an article discussing the most successful group of daters on OKCupid:  proudly liberal women. If I’m not mistaken, the data referenced was for a younger group than I’m in, so I’m not certain whether the same is true for my demographic.

But let’s take this a step further — we have to talk about sex. Sex is inherently political. How so? Let’s play out a scenario:  Let’s say one is on a hot and sexy date, and both parties are eager to engage in a romp. What about protection? Who is responsible? What happens if, despite precautions, one becomes pregnant? You see, certain conversations need to take place before getting jiggy. For example, I can’t conceive of sleeping with someone who was anti-choice. (Pun intended.) And I firmly believe, at my age and station, that a man who has already had a family should take the step of getting a vasectomy — it’s simply the chivalrous thing to do.

Meanwhile with work, children, life and a new hobby — demonstrating / protesting (while proudly wearing my fuchsia pussy hat) — taking all my time, who has time to date? So, for now, the resistance is my boyfriend.

i’ve taken a lover…a magnum lover

I know it’s a bit abrupt to start off just like that…because, after all, I haven’t really been forthcoming about what’s gone on for the past several months of my life.

Here it is:  I was in a relationship with a man who was kind, decent, generous and who wanted to make me happy. And I simply didn’t feel we were right for one another. Which I guess is to say that, where relationship work needed to be done, I didn’t have the passion for us to step into the ring and work it out together. With no detraction to him (or me or anyone else who feels this way), I wasn’t in love with him and I never felt as though he was in love with me. So I ended it. After probably letting it go on a bit too long.

And right around that time, someone who I’ve known a while and who has pursued me in the past and with whom timing or other circumstances has never aligned reached out and asked me out for dinner and a drink. We met, we talked and ate, and I cannot claim to have felt much. Even now, several weeks later, I am still processing my past relationship and the bizarreness of having such different emotional experiences for him and with him. But we’re talking about the new guy now…and that’s what you really want to know.

So I’ll tell you… We both have children and my ex, especially, has been a bit of a pill lately and not holding up his end of the parenting bargain, so we have a tough time finding opportunities to see one another. But, one night, after a particularly horny few days, I invited him over and he walked in and immediately pulled me to him, kissed me, began caressing and undressing me. It was fun to have someone want me in such a primal, unbridled way again. And it allowed me to feel sexy and uninhibited, as well. And practically virginal. That first time he felt so huge and I felt so tight and it was lovely, even as it was sometimes uncomfortable.

I’ve seen him just twice since and he still has that very primal desire going for him. Despite only a negligible age difference between us, his bedroom manner is young and coltish. He has technique but not exactly finesse. I know he would wish for me to tell you it’s the best sex of my life and, while it’s quite good, it’s not that. Please don’t think I’m complaining — I like that it’s a young, primal, animal energy and that it makes me feel so desired. And I love that he’s so take charge, yet listens to my feedback (or commands).

I also like that I’ve gotten more up close and personal with the wand making all the magic:  it’s larger than average in every dimension. The difference is most notable in my mouth, where I can’t possibly consume his entire shaft or even accomplish some of my signature tongue work while my lips are wrapped around him. My suspicion was confirmed when he pulled out a box of Magnum prophylactics. Safety first.

So what is this? It’s exactly what I need right now. I want a relationship, yet am entirely unready for a relationship and this fellow is not giving me a relationship. So what he’s giving me is some magnum-sized magic when I want it and making me feel like a total babe in the process. And it’s liberating.

shall I or shan’t I?

Over the weekend I spent a little time with a fellow I’ve been out with a few times. He is thoughtful, generous, fun, kind and clearly interested in me.

He texted while I was out running errands and asked me to stop by. So I did. He gave me a tour of his home. He played songs on his guitar. And as we were sitting together on the sofa, he started nibbling at my decolletage and saying, “Shall I take you to bed? I can’t decide. Hmmm…will I or won’t I? I’m not sure…”

I confess, it was amusing for a bit. And then I told him where it was:  “Listen, you can debate yourself all day long and it’s not going to have any influence whatever on what’s actually going to happen.”

“Oh? And what is going to happen?,” he asked.

“I’m going to go home and rake my leaves.” So I did.

how did I become a born again virgin?

I was out for a walk with a younger girlfriend one day not long ago and, suddenly, it dawned on me — out of nowhere — to ask her, “Are you a virgin?”

She confessed that technically, just by a hair (so to speak), she was.

And it was as I pondered this wonder that I realized that, in this calendar year, I am also a virgin. OMG, I thought, how in the heck did that happen?! How is it that, in 2013, I’ve had what — in retrospect — I’d call a dry spell?

I thought about the dating…relationships? no, not really the right word…more like dating situations I’d gotten into:  two or three of them might have been heading toward physical intimacy, but with no great momentum or desire on my part. I was merely considering my willingness when things ended.

So it’s not as though I’m a prude or that I’ve intentionally abstained or that no one’s been interested. It’s just that I’m ready for something special, dammit, and I’m not willing to settle for another jerk or nowhere relationship!

Further, I’ve spent a great deal of time with toys, sometimes routinely using one each night for a period of days or weeks at a time.  I found this had two effects:

  1. I generally felt less needy or seeking of male attention.
  2. I slept soundly all night.

Another girlfriend suggested I consider whether it’s had the unintentional effect of making me lazy in my “search.” Would a month of pent-up desire change how I behave when out among potential suitors? Or change my energy or appeal to them?

To define what I’m looking / holding out for more specifically:  the last time a relationship felt truly special and magical was with my last boyfriend, who I met around this time (gulp) nearly two years ago. And we hung out a few times before feeling any emotional closeness. And we talked a lot on the dates we’d had. And, even though it took me less than a month to ask him to spend the night — and I really, honestly meant just to cuddle, but you know how that goes (especially when you haven’t really planned it out and end up topless after removing your bra because you failed to change in advance or have a tee-shirt ready) — it was sweet and tender and slow. It’s even fair to say I didn’t fully appreciate it at the moment but, if I could only use one word to describe how he behaved toward me and discovering my body for the first time, I would use “reverential.”

So I’m looking for reverence; that experience of someone who cares for me and is capable of tenderness and connection, someone who values me and cherishes my feelings, someone who genuinely desires the whole of me. And I’m just not interested in getting physically involved for anything less.

converting to coupledom?

What happens when you convert a relationship from the way it began to something new? I ask because I heard a funny story recently:

A couple began their relationship as “friends with benefits,” and then became a legitimate couple. The male half of this couple bemoans their lackluster sex life, proclaiming that the fun is gone now that he can no longer say things like, “Get over here and suck my cock, bitch!”

While I’m going to decline to delve into whether or not it’s reasonable or appropriate to speak like that to a woman, I’m not entirely certain I agree that such things necessarily have to change. We’re all turned on by different things, and there’s no reason a couple can’t continue to be playful, filthy-minded and mouthed, or to engage in role play.

Still, I can certainly see how “normalizing” things could lead to routine and feelings of monotony.

I’ve not personally lived through one of these shifts, so I’m curious to learn whether any of you have stories. Please share your perspective with a comment.


In my last relationship, my boyfriend would look deep into my eyes, tell me that he loved me and that he wanted me. Sometimes he would repeat that last part, or ask me if I understood. Sure I know what it means to be wanted and it didn’t hold any particular importance to me, so I kind of shrugged it off.

I mean, I wanted to be loved and I felt loved. Further, we had a fulfilling and passionate sex life. But handsome though he was, I didn’t lust for him.

And now I get it. I suppose I should have known by how often my ex repeated and stressed that phrase that he longed for me to say it back to him. I get it because now, as I explore a relatively new dalliance, I get a jittery feeling of anticipation in my abdomen before I see this new lover. But there’s more:  a raw, primal desire to touch his skin, to kiss his lips, to peel off each other’s clothes and feel as much closeness as humanly possible. In other words, I want him.

So does this newish fella feel about me? Does he have this same desire? I certainly hope to find out!

proceed with caution

I mentioned in my last post that I’d finally grown tired of waiting for a certain guy to ask me out and, thus, propositioned him. I had several valid reasons for believing this approach would work to our mutual benefit and enjoyment:

  • After breaking up with my last boyfriend, we’d had another go-round or two (that is, slept together) and I had the liberating experience of, “Wow! This is tremendously fun and intimate and tender and safe…and, still, I have no intention of getting back into a relationship with you.” So I thought I could do it with someone else, as well.
  • Based on some rather strong statements my lover had made long before we were lovers and my rather colorful past, I suspected the skeletons in my closet precluded us from ever having a relationship. Flat out, I thought he would immediately rule me out, no chance for redemption; I never thought I stood at chance in sharing something more than the physical with him.
  • Astrologically speaking, and based on the very few details of his chart that I know, there is no good reason to believe that we’re a natural match for one another…so why not enjoy what few moments of fun we have?
  • Of everyone I’d met online or otherwise in the past couple of years, he’s the one who kept on entering my mind from time to time, the single one in whom I still had genuine interest. And I knew that, if I didn’t say something and another woman came along and captivated him, I would forever regret not having taken the chance.
  • A song called, “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” by Field Report was getting a lot of play on a local radio station, and it became something of a mantra for me coming, as it did, just as all these thoughts were synthesizing into an idea in my mind.

As I’ve acknowledged, this space between sex and relationship is sometimes a challenge. The more I get to know this new lover, the more my preconceptions and beliefs require adjusting. And, as I’ve said, I’m finding a lot to like. These seismic shifts along the fault lines of my heart and mind, as unsettling as they sometimes are, give way to feelings of wanting to be vulnerable, to be ready, in case our feelings for one another grow.

So, what to do now that so much, yet so little, has changed? I have to be honest, don’t I, that my beliefs, thoughts and feelings are shifting? Or is that just the most natural and obvious assumption anyone in any type of relationship (regardless how casual) has already made?

As if I could look ahead and see the future, here is what will happen:

We will find our bedroom shenanigans satisfying, or one or the other of us will not. We will grow in our feelings for one another or we will not. We will proceed with caution, care and concern for one another or we will not. He will fall in love with me, or he will not. I will fall in love with him or I will not. We will fall in love with each other or we will not.  You see, there is no telling what might come of it all and thinking of all the potentialities as rays of light branching out into millions of possibilities can be dazzling, mind-boggling.

Back down here on Earth we have full lives, we have children, we have careers. So I intend to savor every moment, grateful for whatever it is in its perfect manifestation, without looking ahead…because, how often and for how long, really, can we enjoy something truly shining and new?

dirty girl

I woke Sunday morning and pulled on the same clothing I’d worn out for cocktails with my lover the night before, brushed my teeth, finger-combed through my bed head and walked out the door to meet a friend for breakfast. I felt a little thrill, remembering those college walk-of-shame mornings so many years ago, and I reveled in the scents and sensations:  the taut dry feeling on my skin where our commingled fluids dried and his scent, our combined smells, clinging to my skin and clothing. I felt blissfully dirty and even a little slutty and I absolutely loved it.

living a double life

Most days, I am a mother, a corporate professional, a leader and an example. And then, every other weekend, while my children are away, I find more and more ways to express the sensual / sexual dimensions of my being.

The oldest of my children now has a “boyfriend,” is on the cusp of tweendom (experiencing the effects of hormones), and has begun to comprehend the suggestive humor and innuendo in certain media that flies over her younger sibling’s head. The media and other stimuli around us continually offers opportunities to frankly and candidly discuss sex and sexuality as a part of life and, particularly, as a dimension of health and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, I am honest about dating and wanting, eventually, to find a life partner.

Still, as open as I am, I feel as though I’m living a sort of double-life:  the matronly, pure-as-the-driven-snow mother figure and the slut. To wit, in the past several weeks and months, I’ve had several opportunities to consider the many aspects of that pleasure-seeking self that I’m most able to express only around 48-hours out of every two weeks:

  • When the woman who comes over to wax my brows last visited, I had her give me the French bikini treatment, as well. As we joked and laughed about grooming, tattoos and more, she mentioned that she’s done a lot of stenciling…hearts and stars and things. That got me thinking what sort of symbol I might want to stencil, if such a thing were to interest me…a peace symbol? No. “Welcome.” If only there were enough space / hair, I would create a welcome mat!
  • As I wrote previously, I was at a sex toy party not long ago, contemplating the kinds of gadgets that would not only enhance sessions with my lover and augment his collection, but also allow me to play and explore on my own. We learned that there are as many nerve endings in the anus as there are in the tip of the penis…(in case that gets your thoughts rolling, as it did mine). Recently, we had an opportunity to incorporate some of these new toys into our adventures…with mind-blowing results.
  • For entertainment, I seem to find myself drawn to titillating theater, cinematic or otherwise, such as the fairytale classic re-interpreted as a modern dance performance set in a bordello. Some such performances are merely fluffy and titillating, others are darker and more murky, such as the movie Shame. I find myself intrigued by the entire spectrum.
  • I’m still taking pole dancing classes, learning more off-the-pole sexy moves. Whether I’m ever brave enough to show any of them off remains to be proven!

I suppose what I mean to express is that, having been there, done that (in terms of marriage, family, divorce), I no longer feel the need for pretense:  unlike some of my younger, pre-marriage girlfriends, I’ve no need to play the role of “good girl.” (I’m not certain they really need to behave as if they’re “good girls,” either, but that’s another discussion.) I feel freer than ever to be the multi-dimensional woman — and human, both masculine and feminine — that I am.

And the more I explore pleasure on my weekends “off,” the more I feel a protective reaction — checking and re-checking to ensure I’ve packed all the toys away, for example, as it relates to allowing my children to mature at their own pace. Sometimes I catch myself sending a flirty text while in the vicinity of my children, and feel compelled to check from the corner of my eyes whether they’re seeing what I’m typing or picking up on the expression on my face.

My lover’s youngest is in high school. With his toy collection visible to anyone who opens his nightstand, he assumes his children have run across it. He has also had occasion to tell them that he has plans for the night and “don’t wait up.” Still, he feels this same duality between his regular role as parent / professional and sexual being.

We all compartmentalize; we all have boundaries between our personal, professional and parenting lives. Yet I wonder:  Will these selves, kept separate by necessity, ultimately merge into a whole, robust, multi-dimensional being? Sometimes I wonder, and I look forward to such a time when the expression of my whole self seems more fluid.

Meanwhile, I go about living this double life.

wherever I am

After I’d first had that famous conversation with my (at the time) prospective lover, I had two interesting follow-up conversations:

One was with my therapist, with whom I thought I should probably check in. After all, it’s been many moons. Her observation:  “If this is really all about sex for you, why does it already sound so much like a relationship?” Her advice:  “Get clear about what you want and then be clear about what you want. If you want to get the next ’50 Shades of Gray’ out of this, tell him that.”

The second was with my ex-boyfriend who, apparently having read my blog and feeling protective, called to say:  “I know you pretty well. And if you think you can do this without getting emotionally involved, you’re fooling yourself and you’re likely to get your heart hurt. I know it’s none of my business, but take care. You will get what you want; you just need to figure out what it is first.”

Now, having read these two snippets, imagine there’s a continuum between just sex and a relationship. I understand both of these; I’m not sure I understand what’s in between. In other words, I don’t know where on this continuum I am, or even if I’m on it. Or whether he is.

At one end is sex. You’ll recall this has been a bit of a driving motivation for the past few months years. Why? Because my forty-something body is at its prime, roughly the hormonal equivalent of a 19-year-old male, always eager. Yet, had I found just a sport f**k, I would have quickly become unsatisfied with the just of it.

At the other end of the continuum is a relationship. And, as much as I’d like a life-affirming one of these sometime down the road, I don’t feel at all ready for one at present.

Thus my conundrum:  Find a guy who’s a mere stud and bore of the lack of mental stimulation. Or find someone interesting and deal with the inevitable likelihood of developing feelings. I chose interesting. In other words, what I want is something in between sex and relationship…and, though I would tell you that dealing with ambiguity is a strength, it’s been more challenging for me to negotiate than I imagined it might be.

Labeling things, making judgements and categorizing are natural tricks our brains like to perform in order to move us through life efficiently. When we don’t have that sort of clarity, our brains like to fill in the gaps and will go through any amount of mental gymnastics to do so. It’s been fascinating and enlightening to observe my inner dialogue these days, the thoughts that drive my feelings. It would even be fair to say there have been some roller-coaster like emotions — enough to show me that I still have some healing to do. (That’s my stuff; I own it, and I’ve got to deal with it. That’s why I’m not ready or willing to inflict myself of another person in a relationship yet.)

And I’ve also witnessed enough of my own steadiness and resilience to see that many of my lessons — both personal and universal — have sunk in. I’m feeling pretty strong and solid (and also vulnerable) right where I’m at… Wherever that is.