Chapter I: Introduction How I Did It
Within seconds of posting my photos and profile, I had guys checking me out. One guy was already instant messaging me...~~~~~~~~~~~
There were times when I could -- and would -- meet three new men in a day -- one for breakfast or morning coffee; one for lunch or afternoon coffee; one for drinks or dinner. Or drinks first, then dinner if the drinks went well. I felt like a kid in a candy store, my eyes popping out of my head as I scanned the massive glass showcases and thought to myself, “What an incredible assortment! Look at all different sizes, shapes, and flavors...~~~~~~~~~~~
My life really had become a box of chocolates! Yours can too.
Chapter 2: First, The Photos How I Did It
I treated it as a photo shoot -- different backgrounds, varied attire. I chose to wear tight-fitting jeans with very sexy, very high heels, because I wanted to show that I, in fact, had a seductive side. I posed in a sexy black dress that exposed my shoulders. I put on leggings and a halter top and got into a yoga pose to demonstrate my flexibility, and, yes, to show (off) my body...~~~~~~~~~~~
The jaded ones -- those who had been burned too many times by women who didn’t look at all like their photos -- would say, “Great photos,” and then…“Is that really how you look ‘now’ ?”
Chapter 3: Next, The Profile How I did it.
The reality is…For men, it’s all about the photos; if he likes my photos, he’ll either contact me or, if I contact him first, he’ll respond to my email. Still, I had to write something, and, unlike others who clearly felt the same way about the question, I didn’t want to write anything sarcastic because I’m not a sarcastic person. The reality, of course, was who’s not going to contact me because he doesn’t think he’s kind or respectful or communicates openly?Who actually thinks he’s dumb, humorless, down on life, unfit, and pessimistic -- even if he really is...~~~~~~~~~~~
Right at the top of the profile, next to my primary photo, I had to put a number to the left of the word, “Age.” There was not enough space to put, “Sorry, that number is unlisted.” It wasn’t that I was ashamed of my age; it was just that under these circumstances...~~~~~~~~~~~
I lied about my age…I lied about my marital status…I lied about my geographic location…I lied about my drinking habits… I thought about lying about--or at least not mentioning--my educational background...
Chapter 4: Trolling For Men: How I Did It.
Step One: The Search It all starts with checking out men’s profiles. I can still remember the excitement I felt when I realized that all I had to do was choose an age range and mileage parameters, and a whopping 500 men would pop up for my consideration. Five hundred men. Now, that’s incredible...~~~~~~~~~~~
I also became efficient, and proficient, at honing in right upfront on what I needed/wanted to find out that would determine the eligibility criteria I had established for myself. That’s the beauty of online dating, of course. I could eliminate men without ever having to meet them. All I had to do was pay attention to what they wrote. My “deal breakers” were looking me straight in the eye...~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh yes, my “deal breakers.” What time-savers they were! What time-savers they were! I had learned this term early on from the men I met. When I first heard the phrase, I laughed out loud. What a macho/business-type expression being used about social relationships! Who did these men think they were? Donald Trump on dates? It got me thinking. At the end of an unsuccessful first meeting, maybe I could glare at the guy and exclaim, “You’re fired...
Chapter 5: What About Sex? How I Did It
I had no idea whether the men-of-a-certain-age I would go out with would even be able to engage in sexual activity, and, well, I was certain that I could live with that. It might even be a relief. It was the relationship that would be important to me. I had had my fill of sex; sex was overrated. I didn’t need it anymore. Certainly not at my age. Or so I thought at first. It turned out I was wrong, on all counts...~~~~~~~~~~~
My body may not look like it did when I was 25, but I’m prouder now than I was then about its performance in bed. That’s probably why I would find myself -- in bed -- wondering, “Should I be searching for a younger man?” Like when I would whisper something insanely erotic into a man’s ear, and he’d reply, “ Speak up. I can’t hear you...~~~~~~~~~~~
Just as I had thought about rules for all the other facets of my online dating career, I wondered what my rules about sex should be. It seemed to me that this was an area that required the most rules. After all, it was no longer just about when to have sex. It was about how to have sex. Between the time I had stopped dating and now, AIDS, and all the other STDs, had reared their ugly -- and potentially fatal -- heads. I no longer had to worry about birth control; my biological clock had stopped ticking years ago. Now, I had other equally, if not more, serious issues to think about. Now, it was about protecting myself against disease -- and death. Condoms had become an answer to disease control...~~~~~~~~~~~
What about recent blood tests? Mine? His? Do I/Does he just ask, “Have you had one recently?” And believe the answer. Or do I/does he say, “Prove it.” And oh, by the way, what’s recent enough...
Chapter 6: Oh, The Men I Met! How I Did It
Oh, the stories I can tell. And I will...~~~~~~~~~~
There was a Henry, a Harry, a Larry, a Garry and a Gary; a Jay, a Ray, three Michaels, two Freds, a Ted, and a Jed. And that’s just skimming the surface. There was a Brit, a Swede, and a Dutchman. The poor, the rich, the very rich, and, it seemed, everything in-between. The self-employed, the underemployed, the unemployed. There was the professor, a handful of lawyers, the school teachers, the movie-maker, the used car salesman, a pilot, a minister, a former CIA agent (at least that’s what he told me), and a doctor (a Jewish doctor, which made my mother start hoping again). Men with bladder control problems, diabetes, sexual dysfunctions, triple by-pass surgery, hearing aids, canes (but no walkers)...~~~~~~~~~~
By the end of my first month online, I had gone out with a dozen men, and not one had lit a fire under me. What was the problem? Was it me? Was I too old? Had I been married to one man for too long? Did there have to be chemistry? What was chemistry, anyway? A philosophy professor taught me everything I needed to know about the “C” word. Man No. 13...~~~~~~~~~~
Yes, the world was my oyster. I was in control. I could meet someone new whenever I wanted to. And I did...
Chapter 7: And She Lived Happily Ever After
It was clear to me that I wanted to be part of this man’s life. Even if I had to be one of five. “Just as long as I’m No. 1 of five,” I told myself. To get there fast, I needed to think fast. “Are you having sex with any of the four women you’re seeing?” (Yes, I really asked him that...~~~~~~~~~~
We stood at his car, and he kissed me. It was a long kiss, and I remember it. He remembers more “I kissed you and you looked at me, and you said, ‘We’re going to have fun...~~~~~~~~~~
How can I put into words what happened? When he climaxed, I felt as though we connected not just sexually, but emotionally. He felt it, too. When it was over, I got out of bed and went into the bathroom. When I came out, he was standing there, holding his bathrobe for me, the arms outstretched. He had a big smile on his face. I walked toward the bathrobe slowly, then turned around so that I could put my arms through the sleeves. Still standing behind me, he wrapped the body of the robe around me, tied the belt, and held me there, close. He’s opening up his life to me, I thought, and I’ve just entered it...~~~~~~~~~~