More than one person has told me that they're not interested in my posts about bi-married men and their straight wives. "Write more about you," they've said.
OK, I will. For now.
The last time I provided an update on my dating exploits was in late March. Since then I've met six more guys, all at their request, and each one has provided me with an "interesting" dating experience.
Below are six stories that, together, undoubtedly say a lot more about me than the men I've met.
I met this guy in April. He was a little younger than me, 42, and he had only been out of the closet for two years. He had never been married.
We had a pleasant dinner on a Friday night, then wandered over to a nearby gay bar. We spent about 45 minutes at the bar, but talking was difficult because of the loud music. I had to drive home so I nursed a beer while he downed three whiskey shots in quick succession. As the alcohol kicked in, he got a little physical by touching my back and arm. I liked that! I hadn't been touched since Dean broke up with me in early October, so I enjoyed the attention.
The guy was interesting and relatively attractive but I didn't feel especially drawn to him until he started touching me. I wasn't sure if that was usual behavior for him, or if he was actually interested in me, so to try to find out I started touching him too and asked him to point out a few guys in the bar that he thought were attractive. I wanted to know how close I was to his type.
At first he said he didn't see anyone he liked. Then a really tall, extremely muscular guy walked by, and he emphatically said, "That's what I like - lots of big muscles!" I laughed to myself because I'm shortish (but taller than him) and lean. I'm definitely not a bodybuilder.
Yet he continued to flirt with me.
Within a few minutes, he was leaning against me, his back pressed against my front, with my arms wrapped around him.
We happened to be standing in a spot where lots of guys were pushing through the crowd trying to get past us. Soon we were tightly pressed together at the edge of the bar. After standing that way for about two minutes, my date turned around and gave me a very thorough, full-body pat down: arms, pecs, abs, crotch, ass, thighs. When he finished he said, "Let's go."
I followed him out of the bar and into the middle of the street. Once we were safely in the center of it, he paused for a moment, and without looking at me he said, "I'm tired. I'm going home." Then he walked away.
It took me a second to realize that I'd just been dumped. Once I understood, I joked to myself, "I guess I didn't measure up!"
This guy was a little older, early 50s, and had been out of the closet for a long time.
One thing I appreciated about his background was that he'd never lived in San Francisco. Just as I've learned that I'm naturally more comfortable with formerly married men, I've also discovered that suburban gays are more my speed than urban gays. A number of urban gays I've met, all white professionals over the age of 40, have had an edge to them that makes me feel inferior and judged. I've also found that, even if these guys say they're open to dating someone with children, they're not exactly excited by the idea. The questions they ask imply that raising a kid is like conducting an 18 year science experiment.
Guy #3 was definitely a suburban gay. He was relaxed and open and easy to talk with. I totally enjoyed our two hour lunch, but as with others guys I've met, I didn't feel particularly drawn to him.
As I sat there contemplating my feelings about him, I wondered if I was truly being open-minded, because as much as I tried, I couldn't get over his basketball-like build. If he was more physically appealing, would I like him more? Probably. Was that reason enough not to see him again? No, it wasn't.
One unexpected thing the guy said was that he had plenty of friends and he was only dating to find a partner. That didn't mean he expected an instant relationship, he said, but he felt it was important to be honest about what he was looking for. Although I understood his attitude, I wasn't sure how I felt about it, or really, him.
The next day the guy sent me a kind and polite email wherein he said he enjoyed meeting me and he was open to meeting again --- provided that I could foresee the possibility of a long-term relationship developing. That really flummoxed me. I literally didn't know how to respond. On the one hand, I found it hard to imagine that I'd ever become more physically attracted to him. On the other hand, if he had simply suggested another date, I would have gladly met him again.
Ultimately, I decided to tell him that I was uncomfortable making a commitment to a potential long-term relationship after one date. I said I'd be glad to meet again, but I couldn't make any promises beyond that. In my view, that was a reasonable reply.
He sent a (mostly) gracious reply but was firm about wanting the goal to be a LTR. Because I was so reluctant to embrace that idea, he said, he thought it was best that we not meet again.
I'm still not sure if he was smart to reject a second date. Would it have been a waste of time or engendered false hope? Or would it have led to a third date, and a fourth?
This guy was 50, my height (which I like), and had a really smokin' body. He was decent looking; not someone who would have normally caught my eye, but appealing in his own way. Most of our date was spent on a 90 minute walk of a bay trail.
The conversation flowed easily and the guy was very likable. He was easy-going, intelligent and mature. I really enjoyed meeting and talking to him. But, was there a genuine connection? Certainly not an electric one. Could something develop over time? Possibly. Would I be glad to see him again? Definitely.
One of the most memorable qualities this guy had was his impeccable manners. He was extremely polite at all times and really surprised me by walking me back to my car at the end of the date. I try to always be very polite but it never occurred to me to walk him back to his car. The walk-back was so unexpected it made me wonder if he was interested in a second date.
I got my answer the next day when he sent a message that contained only two sentences:
"Thanks for hanging out yesterday. I enjoyed the walk and the talk."
With no mention of any kind of next step, it was clear that he didn't want to meet again.
Because I like to leave the door open for a second date whenever there's a possibility that chemistry could develop, I told him that I also enjoyed our walk and I'd be happy to meet again.
I haven't heard from him. I don't think I ever will.
As with all the guys that I'm writing about here, this guy messaged me first. He was, however, the only guy who I thought was a better-than-average potential match before we met. He was 52, had never been married and lived near me in the suburbs. We agreed to meet for gelato on a Friday night.
I arrived at the gelato store right on time, and when I scanned the people in the area, I didn't see him. Then I saw an older, white-haired guy walking straight toward me. "Is that him??" I wondered. Even as he shook my hand, I starred at him in disbelief. Was this the same guy from the profile pictures?! It took me a few seconds, but I finally saw the resemblance. Why did he post such old pictures? I hate that. It's a stupid tactic because, sure, you might get more people to message you, but then they'll be pissed or disappointed when they meet you and see that you look 6, 8, or in this case, 10 years older.
Despite my bad first impression, the more I talked to this guy, the more I got to like him. He was smart but not pretentious, and he was somewhat geeky, but in a way that I found appealing. One thing that he talked about at length was how much he liked to dress up for different events. He even showed me some pictures that he had on his phone. No, he wasn't a drag queen. His idea of dressing up was more Comic-Con-like. Once he was a pirate, another time he was James Bond. As the pictures proved, he took his costumes very seriously. Playing dress-up is not really my thing, but his enthusiasm for it made for an interesting conversation.
As we talked more in-depth about ourselves and our lives, I surprised myself by thinking, "This is the kind of guy who I could really grow to like." He was very optimistic, empathetic and earnest. If we were ever to be a couple, I felt like we'd never fight because we'd always be extremely considerate of each other.
Because he came across as being a little insecure, I felt like I was in control of our destiny. I felt like I had to decide if I could ever grow to be more attracted to him.
The day after we met he sent me a nice text that said, "It was so fun meeting you. I hope I didn't talk your ear off, it's a really bad habit! I hope you enjoy your weekend."
I answered the following day, but by email. I said that I enjoyed talking to him and, no, he didn't talk my ear off. I also asked if we could communicate by email rather than text? I explained that I seldom text. At the end of the message I gave him my personal email address so we didn't have to use the dating site.
Well guess what?
I haven't heard from him since, either by text or email.
I was surprised when this guy asked to meet me. He was 42, tall and arguably the best looking guy who has ever contacted me. Despite his relative good looks, he quickly showed himself to be a little spastic. He always sent two emails at a time: the first one, a hurried message, and the second one, a correction of something minor he mistyped or was vague about in the prior email. After the third set of double emails, I decided that was his usual communication style.
We met in a coffee shop. I was about two minutes late and didn't see him when I arrived. Then I noticed the shop had a second floor balcony, and just as I looked up and saw him, he jumped out of his seat and bounced down the stairs. When he was about twenty feet away, he waved and loudly said, "Hello!" Then he apologized at length for not seeing me the minute I walked in the door. As he concluded his apology I expected a handshake, or possibly even a hug (he seemed like an enthusiastic hugger), but instead he ordered some coffee for himself. Once we both were served, I followed him up to the balcony where we began to talk - or more accurately - where he talked and I listened.
The conversation was pretty standard stuff. What was odd was that I never felt like he was interested in me or in anything I said. Why did he ask to meet if he wasn't interested? Why did he send so many emails? Why did he run down the stairs so enthusiastically when he first saw me?
I felt like his indifference was proven when, about 50 minutes into the date, I started to tell him my story. He didn't respond to anything I said about being married for twenty years, or having three teenage children, but when I said that my wife's affair had caused me to come out, he immediately sat up straight in his chair and said, "Oh, now that's interesting!" as if nothing I'd said before that had been. His sudden enthusiasm gave me a little hope that we could have a deeper conversation, but just minutes later he said he had to go.
We exchanged pleasantries and said goodbye. There was no handshake and certainly no hug - not that I expected there would be. Although we'd had a perfectly pleasant conversation, I didn't expect to see him again.
Following a first date, it's my habit to send a message to the guy that essentially says, "I enjoyed meeting you. I'd been happy to meet again, if that's something that interests you." It's a polite and authentic gesture, but it's not worthy of a reply if the guy is not interested. To my surprise, Spastic Good-Looking Guy did reply. He said, "I enjoyed meeting you. I'm going to pass for now."
So I learned something new: given the choice between being ignored or being told I'm a "pass", I'd much rather be ignored.
There's a reason I'm writing about this guy last and out of order. Unlike the other guys, he gets a name, Hugh. He's 41 and English, but of Northern Indian descent.
When Hugh first messaged me, I was ambivalent about meeting him. His profile was meager and his one picture was uninspiring. Ultimately I decided I had no good reason to refuse him, so I took the plunge, mostly for the sake of being open-minded.
We met in a coffee shop and talked for two hours. That might seem like a long coffee date but lunch with Guy Three and the trail walk with Guy Four were of similar lengths. As with all of these guys, I enjoyed the conversation with Hugh, and I would have been happy to meet him again, but I didn't feel particularly drawn to him. Well, that's not entirely true. Near the end of the date we were talking about exercise and he said he was a long-distance runner. To which I replied, "You have a stronger build than most distance runners I know." And he said, "Yeah, I do. Here, feel my bicep." It wasn't a flirtatious invitation, he was just showing off a little...but, wow!...what a turn-on it was to feel his rock-hard bicep! As soon as I let go, I wanted to reach out and grab him again. (But of course I didn't.)
As I walked back to my car twenty minutes later, I was still thinking about his granite-like arms. I had never been so captivated by biceps before. I think it was because I didn't expect him to be that buff. It was sort of like accidentally copping a feel of Clark Kent - you don't expect a lot but after one squeeze you're like, I gotta get me some of that!
So ya, more than anything else, Hugh's bicep made me want a second date with him.
Just as I did with most of the other guys, I sent him a polite post-date email that said I enjoyed meeting and talking to him, and I'd be glad to meet again. A day later he replied with this text: "Hey Cameron, I had a great time. I met someone a few weeks ago but would love to keep in touch and be friends. You're a great guy! Dinner sometime?"
He met someone a few weeks ago??? Although he told me he had scheduled other first dates for that week, he certainly made no mention of already seeing someone. Bizarre! What should I make of it? I really felt like he was lying, maybe just to let me down easily. But why bother? Why not just say he felt more of friendship-vibe?
I pondered his text for a day and then answered him back: "Dinner would be great. Let me know when and where would be good for you."
Because I really felt that his story about already seeing someone was bullshit, I assumed his dinner invitation was bullshit too. I was wrong. The following day he suggested a second meeting where he'd cook for me if I came to his place. "Hmmm," I thought. "That sounds like a dinner-then-sex invitation." So of course I said, "I can't wait!"
Hugh doesn't drink. He claims that he's only had a little wine four or five times in his life. I'm not a big drinker either, but while he was cooking and the two of us were alone and standing in close proximity, I was dying for a glass of wine to help me relax. I really had no idea what to expect from this "date" because his text and invitation were so contradictory. At one point, while he was cooking and had his back to me, I had a very strong urge to wrap my arms around him and start kissing him from behind. But I didn't do it. I kept waiting for some kind of signal from him about whether the dinner was a pretext for something more. I waited and waited, but nothing he said or did gave me a clue.
Finally, after dinner, I got my answer. He said, "Do you want to sit down and talk for a bit?" I said, "Sure," and I followed him to the living room.
In the living room he had a sofa and two armchairs that faced each other, about five feet apart. Obviously we'd sit on the sofa and get to know each other better, right? Wrong! Much to my disappointment, he sat in one of the armchairs and indicated that I should take the other one. Choosing the safe-distance-from-each-other armchairs instead of the sofa immediately killed all the ideas I had about rubbing my hands all over his muscular body. Which was probably a good thing because nothing he said or did that night gave me any reason to think he was interested in anything other than a friendship.
Hugh and I have met four more times since that night. For our third meeting, we took a nighttime stroll on the beach. Although we were alone and the setting was quite romantic, we did not embrace or walk hand-in-hand. For our fourth and fifth meetings we had dinner in different neighborhoods then wandered around afterward. For our sixth meeting we had brunch, then he invited me back to his place. Once again he wanted us to sit separately in the armchairs, not together on the sofa
After all those meetings, and all the hours we've spent together, he's never once said or done anything that has suggested he has any romantic interest in me. Nor has he mentioned seeing anyone else.
Now that we've seen each other so many times, most of the time when I'm with him, I don't think about rubbing my hands all over his body and slowly peeling his clothes off. But sometimes I still do, especially when he's looking away from me.
This friendship (I guess that's what it is) is one of the strangest I've ever had. I don't have a crush on him, there is no palpable sexual tension between us, and 90% our interactions feel solidly platonic, but every so often I have a very strong desire to kiss and touch him.
Clearly, I have mixed feelings about our friendship. I'm at the point where I'm content to keep my expectations very low and just see what happens. Eventually I'll either see him as just a friend, or, one day I'll finally give in and attack him, just to see how he responds. In the meantime, it's been fun getting to know him.