Dating's a funny thing. Initially it sounds like it'll be great fun, an opportunity to meet new people, perhaps see new places, or try new things. It's only when you start to consider it more carefully you realise, actually, it's hell. Sheer and utter hell. Throw in the combination of being a woman in your 30's and having a disability...well, then it's something else altogether. In fact, if I didn't know better I'd believe the DWP dreamed it up as another form of torture for benefit claimants. The current ESA medicals are a breeze in comparison. Actually, scratch that, I wouldn't want to give the DWP any ideas!
It’s really quite difficult to meet new people after the school/college/university type stages of life, apart from work there are few opportunities. Not being a fan of the drinking scene type pick up makes it even more difficult and that’s before you factor in the fact that your disability leaves you so chronically overdrawn at the spoon bank you don’t leave the house very often. Then there’s the whole living in a town so small everyone knows what kind of nappies you wore as a baby.
So the internet it is. The most important trick to internet dating is to avoid the lengthy email/phone romance stage and use it simply as a tool to find people you might be interested in. Where people usually go wrong is ‘falling’ for someone in the virtual world over a period of perhaps months before actually meeting in the ‘real’ world. There are of course exceptions to this, but it’s a trap almost all internet daters fall into, and certainly one I’ve only learned by experience.
As I don’t have a visible disability the part I find most difficult is what to say and when? There are no easy answers to that dilemma, but as a general rule I find it’s helpful to mumble something about having joint problems as a reason for not working prior to the date and leave it up to the other person to ask any questions they may have. “Can you have sex?” being without doubt the most popular.
So, having got past that stage I recently went on a ‘date to see if we like each other enough to have a proper first date date’ It seemed fairly promising. The guy had a decent profile; it contained humour, wasn’t too long and importantly didn’t contain any text speak. The downside as Fruitrock pointed out was that it had a slightly disdainful air about it, but these things are hard to tell online.
The date itself was ok. Nice even. In fact every time a friend later asked me how it went, nice was the first word that sprang to mind, closely followed by pleasant. I didn’t get the impression we had much in common, or that there were any great sparks, but it was nice and I was quietly impressed on a couple of occasions by how he reacted to my dislocating. A few hours later we went our separate ways.
It was afterwards it all got a bit weird.
A week or so afterwards date and I were again chatting on msn. We’d been having quite a nice discussion about photography on the actual date, and I’d mentioned having done some modeling. I later sent him one of my old modeling shots. The date had studied photography so when he mentioned having found some old photos on his computer I was keen to see, expecting something he had taken, or perhaps the slightly embarrassing teenage type photo.
As the photo was coming through, date mentioned it having been from when he was with his ex. Which, when I finally saw the image seemed a bit weird. It was my date, or part of my date anyway. The somewhere between the thighs and bellybutton part. Clad in crisp Calvin’s it was neither the best of worst example I’ve ever seen…but it was certainly the first I’ve seen that wasn’t intended for me. This was a hard on produced and photographed for someone else!
Now I know re-cycling is currently all the rage, and I’m a fan, really I am. I love second hand clothes, wouldn’t be without them, but some things are intended to be used just once. The beauty of erections is that with a few unfortunate exceptions they are an easily renewed commodity, typically available at a moment’s notice. Not one that has to be re-used on another woman!
‘Hello darling I saw this picture my ex took of my hard cock and thought you’d like to see it’ is very unlikely to produce the same result as, say, ‘Hello darling I saw this bar of chocolate and thought you’d like it’ would. Or perhaps that’s just me. Whatever, I think most women would prefer the erection they are seeing to have been erected with thoughts of them rather than the previous person to see it.
I was somewhat bewildered by this gift. All right a lot bewildered. And potentially high. But I was very definitely logged into my twitter account. So I did what came naturally. No, not taking my pants off. Tweeting about it. General amusement was had amongst my twitter followers and I. Including describing the erection as “at best average”
Before too long something else had come up and the second hand erection was forgotten.
Until a few days later when my date, rather pissily informed me he’d seen the discussion on twitter. It transpired he couldn’t bear to wait to see what I might have written about him so he went hunting around on the internet to find my online identity. I can’t say for sure but I reckon he saw slightly more than he bargained for!
Now, I have plenty of faults, but refusing to apologise for my actions is not one of them. I rapidly said I was sorry to the date, admitting it was a cruel thing to have done and that I shouldn’t have done it. As it was all anonymous the only way anyone would ever know who was being discussed was if the owner of the erection said anything. Still, it was a tad cruel and I do know better, so I simply apologized and waited….
Eventually I asked the date if he had anything he wanted to apologise to me for. He didn’t.
He didn’t see that hunting down my online identity might be a bit creepy. Or that expecting me to admit I was in the wrong and apologise without seeing he might need to apologise would put me off. Or even why a second hand erection might be a bit creepy.
A few days later he asked if everything was ok. I said I wasn’t really into grudges and I’m not. After all this has produced hilarious blog fodder. But not a second date!