These are the cookie crumbs for my depreciating mind.

Month: March 2024

From Facetime to Face-to-Face: Redefining Intimacy in Modern Dating

Disclaimer: If you are someone who believes it is not healthy to talk about past relationships for what you learned and grew from, you might wanna start with my podcast: “Embracing the Past, Verbalizing the Present” first. Otherwise, carry on.

The last relationship I had that was truly connected mind body and sex, was during the pandemic. I have to say I really enjoyed the time we took to get to know one another. We would spend hours on facetime and the phone talking or just in each other’s presence. It was like I was in her home and her in mine. I understand this was an extenuating circumstance, but it showed me something else… By the time we met, the sex and physical touch was beyond amazing; it was purposeful.

It was like listening to my podcast: “My First time, let’s be awkward together.” without the awkward, but with an intense sense of connection and youthful, playful exploration.

We started with me standing at my car, both of us masked, and she came over from her apartment where we embraced in both of our first hugs with another human in a long time, let alone someone we had a connection and interest in. We just stayed there for an abnormally long, if anyone was watching, which a woman behind us in their car was, it was an awkward amount of time, exploring what the other felt like under the puffy winter jackets. We then moved on to holding hands on a walk, even taking the “let’s go inside” slow and steady until both of us had acclimated to real life with one another. Only being able to see each other’s eyes above the masks was inquisitive, yearning, and curious about the other person who we had spent so much time with, but had never actually “spent time with”. The hands started to warm us up our bodies and firing all the synapses in our minds.. It was deep. It was real. It was tear filled. What is sexier than lubing the moment with tears!

So we finally made our way back to her place and entered, together, each other’s personal space, which as you know during the pandemic, was a big deal. We sat there kinda laughing awkwardly for a little but mostly I played with her cat and she made us coffee and we were quite comfortable. Our masks were down, we shared the air, and there was no turning back. And then this thing we talked about for weeks happened. She said “I want to just lay on you, and feel you”. No awkwardness at all. This moment when we were first  inside each other’s homes and without hesitation or even delay, taking off our shirts bare and naked and exposed to each other. I laid on her bed and came up and she laid on me. She wrapped her arms around my sides holding me tighter than ever. The feeling of us touching and holding one another after all those weeks of seeing each other through a screen(clothed and naked), hearing each other’s voices, but never touching, smelling, or feeling the warmth, was enough to just put us both into a child-like slumber. We laid there for hours, feeling each other’s breath on each other’s necks, kissing here and there. No fear, no jitters, no worry of a stumble or embarrassment: just intent. Potent intent… as our hearts swelled with all the things we learned about one another that made that moment both scary, and literally naked, not because of worry, fear, nerves, or first date tribulations, but because of how comforting it was on first meet and what that meant to how much closer we were to actual love.

And sure we muddled our way through sex the first time, but this moment transcended sex by a billion.

To explore one another. To lay there on top of each other naked, warm bodies touching, falling asleep in a bear hug. It was magical.

Mind you I am not oblivious to a lot of this having to do with us being separated from human touch and wanting to just share the simple things like: air, space, and human touch with each other, however, we mustn’t overlook the significant role emotional attachment played in enhancing the physical experience, making it more of a cherry on top versus the starved diet of splurging on a cheat day.

I suppose this was so transcending in terms of previous relationships that I, now back out in the world of dating, have forgotten the “old ways”. If I am being honest, I don’t want to go back, I want to do it this way over and over. It increased the pleasure I got from that first meet / encounter. It made the intimacy natural and heightened. Every touch had a meaning versus being a question. Every kiss was a breath out, not holding in, yet the anticipation was still present. We could fall asleep in each other’s arms because the flood of information we shared over those weeks was now connected to the physical, not because it was shutting down.

I still full heartedly believe that people have not taken the time to heal from the PTSD of the Pandemic. They have not taken the time to see the cracks that were revealed and quite ugly all around us, come to terms with them, and adjust their own life based on them. This is prevalent in dating more than anything else. People are hurting. People are not emotionally available. People are not sure how to use online dating anymore, not that they were before, but now it feels like a fear thatt accepting it is similar to a conservative view on accepting “remote work” being a reminder of the Pandemic versus just a different way of doing things, and possibly, if everyone accepts it, a better one.

Part of me misses this in the now post pandemic dating. 

Post pandemic there is a weird “rush” to see someone in person because of “lost time”. If we hold to the idea of having PTSD from the pandemic, it feels like people are trying to make up for the lost time in all the worst ways. Pre-pandemic wasn’t much better; there was so much sexting and other “what should have been intimate shares” we had no right really sharing so soon, engaging with each other in a foreign way while still not knowing one another. Now we are combining two bad habits into one, pre and post.

Mind you, I believe two people should meet quickly once a connection has been established, as there are things a text, phone call, and video chat cannot do. However, I do not think it should be rushed even after the first date. This also assumes people are giving a possible partner the chance to share, interact, and be. Another pandemic anomaly. Many people only engaged with one person at a time due to fear of the virus spreading/the idea of podding with another and also not having the mindspace to multi-date. 

Don’t get me wrong, I want sex. I want human touch. I want connection more than anything. I am emotionally, physically, and financially available. When I meet someone both mentally and physically attractive I get extremely excited. I do feel like this is the logical next step in my life, to share it with another. But I have noticed that I want less  to get them into bed, but get them out into the world. I want to experience them in different situations, around different people, and at the end of night if all we did was kiss I’m completely content. The sex for me was learning about their body language, seeing them laugh, them making me laugh and watching how they interact with the world around them, with me in it. Laughter is like my new viagra. Hard to explain. Do they react with the conversations I am having, do they withdraw, do they make no impact?

But we are getting this crazy pre and post pandemic combo that supersedes that breadth of getting to know one another for one reason or another and it feels… less. It doesn’t feel as fulfilling to me. Call me a little stuck in the past, but I preferred the anticipation while we got to know one another and growing the connection approach versus the pre and post pandemic ones. So much so that I now often forget to engage in the “sexual quips” prior to meeting or feeling comfortable mentally with someone to even do so.

Converting a lot of my old writing into podcasts I’ve read things like “the obligatory sexts prior to meeting” and I realized I completely forgot about that way of interaction. I don’t even consider them. I think of them as the equivalent of sending a nonconsensual dick pic. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten older or maybe I truly am trying to replicate that feeling of comfort when I met my ex after months of FaceTimes and sharing due to a lockdown. Either way I feel a little lost. I feel a little unsure, both how to do it, if I want to do it, and wondering if without those “sexual quips” the other person will think I am not interested in them beyond friends. I feel a little lost on where to engage more in a sexually playful manner in order to spark a spark versus getting to know the mind of the other person to make the spark electric. There is no mental connection to help guide these natural feelings if we don’t take the time to form it.

I wonder to myself if this is affecting the “attraction” or do they think I am just not attracted to them, “He didn’t send me a dick pic on date 3, this must not be working”. It’s this catch 22 where I want to build something with them so when we embrace in the sexual aspect of a relationship it will mean something, it will feel something, it will arouse me not just below but in my mind above. I’m also trying to balance not ignoring the “attraction” aspect of a relationship, and making sure they know it exists. Trust me if we are at this point, it exists!

I wonder if this can be achieved now that we are post the pandemic lock down moment. If this was just a case of happenstance. If people even want to engage in this type of intimacy. I will say, it feels like I have forgotten how to be intimate with someone who hasn’t given me a mental intimacy to base it off. Sure, I want to kiss you if you are attractive. Sure I want to see a cute selfie of you in your undies. Sure I want to hear what you want to do to me… and I to you, but I first want to know your dreams(literally the moment you wake up in a text, a voice message, or a call), your aspirations, your likes, dislikes, but more importantly, I want to experience your day to day. I want to hear the small inconsequential things that show me inside your inner workings. What memes do you send? How was your day? “Omg KAREN SAID WHAT at the office?!” I hate gossip but, boy oh boy do I love to fuel the fire of a good sesh. These little bits help me to paint the picture and draw a map to the metaphorical secret one handed unclasping of your bra..

I suppose I can tap into my pubescent self if I want and skip the formalities, I just find these formalities bring out my playful side more. Not to mention, my mind is fully attached to my ability to get an erection as man, so that connection helps the moment not go limp. 

I have always been more self sustained in my sexual needs, especially since many of them have been overshadowed by the let down of the work I have done to please someone vs the work they have done, so to make that connection first, really helps to make it so more elevated, easier to say in the moment, this is what I like, this is what I don’t like. I don’t wanna try some kink with a stranger I don’t trust. I mean don’t get me wrong, the attraction has to be there, but there is growth in that, and the conversations and getting to know someone based on even a smaller attraction can build into a much larger attraction. This elevates any intimacy if given the time to properly breath. Maybe I am just in the mood for romance first at this moment in time. To be honest I think I want more physical touch on the surface than the inside right now, like that moment where my ex laid skin on skin and we slept in each other’s arms, because that was more intimate than anything sexual in that moment. Even holding hands leading up to it, brought me comfort and built trust. I want to find the balance of building that trust over time, while still making sure my possible partner knows, if I am holding your hand, I most likely want to get naked with you, just maybe not today.

I think I finally get the meaning behind “buy me dinner first”. Only took 40 years.


Online Dating is no less organic than Analog Dating

What do online dating and analog dating (in person) have in common?

I mean we could break it down like my previous Podcast Online dating is simple, you are the one making it difficult by the two simple truths of what we all look for in a potential date:

1. Is the other person attractive to us?

2. Do we share similar likes/dislikes?

And like I said then, those two things are no different in real life vs online. For all of you who think online dating is inorganic, there is a massive amount of projection happening to cause it to be that way. This begins with the WHY you signed up for online dating in the first place. The most common “wrong reasons to join online dating” I’ve run across are, “ I just got out of a relationship, but didn’t heal yet”, “I am not here for dating but looking for an ego boost/more instagram followers”, “I feel I am not worth it” and as you get older “I just got divorced”. There are many other reasons, but these are the top ones I’ve run into.

So one might say the consequences of online dating are of human design and nature. Not of online dating itself. Mind you, there are also the predatory practices these apps use, such as monetizing our futures and pay gating “who likes you” to make you pay for the dopamine, very similar to gamification gambling you see in games from microtransaction mobile games and the like.

End of the day the only inorganic thing is the amount of choice and ease of approach. In person you have to get up the nerve to say hello, online you hit enter and never look back(hoping the app doesn’t charge you to match). In real life you get to see the person immediately, with more depth perception and being able to compare them to yourself, a 3D version, and that attraction is what makes you want to say “hi” or go in for the approach, not their amazing ability for “sarcasm” or their “love of travel”.

So you don’t need to read their Bio, but you want to know it eventually!

Let’s step back for a moment and really look at this granularly. Some new things emerging in online dating which are contrary to how “dating” used to be are what truly blur the lines more between online and analog dating more and more: Many people think it is ‘creepy’ if you try to meet them in person too quickly. I myself, personally find FaceTime prior to meeting a necessity. It stops the “best foot forward, perfect moment” pressure. Not only that, it is a great way to build that first date becoming more engaging and less “jittery”. It is also a fantastic way to weed out those who misrepresent themselves, which I find to be extremely disconcerting, not because of the shallow reasons, but because any relationship foundation built off a lie, is not a good beginning. Even if it is a poor sense of self, this red flags that the other person has work to do without you.

So not only are there these unspoken, but highly enforced rules on how many txts you send to someone, or times you communicate prior to meeting, but now there are these added rules of when you can ask someone to meet without being “creepy”. These strange time gates on the organic nature of life, again, a consequence of societal design, are causing a strange inorganic nature to what should be us embracing technology to enhance that first meeting. A way for us to get to know each other in a safe environment at a deeper level before our first date, let alone first kiss. It presents a welcome boundary between our blood flow to our privates and more emphasis on what is in our minds. It gives us breadth to get to know one another beyond puppy dog love and grow a spark rather than electrocute one another with it. You can listen more about that in the podcast “The “Romantic Spark” is Burning Your Chances. But there is truly something amazing about having a physical boundary, through the likes of say a Facetime, between your new person and the ability to just fuck. Because if and when you do get there, from experience, I can tell you it is so much more amazing.

So let’s break it down even further and consider Analog dating. I meet you in person, establish a connection, maybe even grab a drink with you or walk in the park right then and there. At the end of the “date” if it went well, we are going to exchange numbers and guess what, it once again ends up ONLINE. No matter how you look at it, we are in an era of Online. Unless we plan to send snail mail to set up plans, everything we do is online. We are exchanging numbers, instagrams, facebooks, or … snapchat.. Ughh. 

So here we are, Analog dating but then converting to “online dating” without even realizing it. And all the above Online Dating societal blockages repeat. We are subject to blocking one another, ghosting, breadcrumbing, or whatever trend in online dating is, well, trending. We text too much perhaps, we get comfortable in the virtual “is typing” bubbles, and the “second date limbo” occurs, another Podcast of mine .

I may sound cynical, but I truly believe if two people embrace online dating, the inorganic nature of it becomes organic, because after all, we are in the age of Online. Once you embrace this, you can truly be your true selves to find the truth in dating with another person. Be it “this isn’t going to work but thank you for the Video chat” or “Would you like to go out again friday at 7?” It allows us to interact with one another organically, as we blur the lines of the “inorganic and organic” more and more with our undoubtedly “connected” worlds both in life and dating. Maybe instead of everyone writing “love travel” as their interests on their profiles, which I am not saying you can’t love travel, maybe we should write, “loves doom scrolling to go to sleep, on their smartphone”, perhaps then, we will be closer to being truthful with ourselves and others, making the hypothetical “inorganic” the actuality that, being plugged in, is now organic.

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