A Snorer, A Drunk & A Trump Supporter


When one date goes badly it can be annoying but when three dates in one weekend end up in the garbage pile I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting my time. Or maybe I should just date less…

It was the September long weekend, both here in Canada and in the US, which I always think takes the fun level up a notch or two as the Americans cross the border and come to town. And this weekend was no different.

I’d started it spending all day Saturday on the beach drinking with friends. Or more precisely, drinking and swiping. It was one of those weekends when my friends wanted to “play Tinder” for me. Yah, that’s right, my dating life can seem like a game in more ways than one. Though in all honesty I was happy for them to do it on that occasion, I was pretty sure I was getting Repetitive Strain Injury in my right thumb. 

When my phone got handed back to me there were a number of matches, to varying degrees of suitability. I deleted the ones that were clearly jokes on my friends part and started doing the dating admin, as I call it.  The annoying part when you actually have to start a conversation. I like to be efficient and get this done asap so then I’ve done my part and the onus is on the guy to move it on. I also just really don’t see the point in matching with people and not starting a convo. Either delete the matches or start the conversation. I don’t have time to mess around! Definitely one of my online dating pet peeves.

As the day at the beach was wrapping up, I received a response from this 31 year old, tanned and tall guy that, despite his tan, looked like he could be English… I can always tell. If they’re British or Irish, they stand out like a sore thumb to me. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m so familiar with them, being British myself. I’ve always wondered if North American women can spot them as quickly. 

He suggested we meet for drinks that night but, while I was pleasantly surprised by his quick moves to set something up, I was coming off the back of a full day of sunshine and drinks and if I’m honest getting ready to go on a date in a matter of hours seemed like a real hassle. One I wasn’t sure I had the energy for. I cheekily implied that to him “it better be the best date ever if I’m going to make it out the house after the day I’ve had”. He replied saying he actually couldn’t really be bothered either and if he was really honest, he wasn’t looking for anything serious, so maybe he should just come over to mine. 

Well he did say honest. And it was maybe also a little presumptuous. But I didn’t hate the idea. In our few short messages he’d come across as funny and down to earth, and truthfully my laziness took over, so I agreed. I told him I needed to shower and eat something but to come over around 8pm. 

When he arrived he was indeed tanned and tall, half English and half Portuguese. We watched a movie, chatted a lot about our lives here, he told me about his construction business and his plans for the future. He was a little cocky, making a few comments about how much Canadian women loved him because of his mixed background. I wondered if I should remind him that as a Scot we’re hardly the English’s biggest fans and that my ex had strong ties to Portugal so also, not a huge fan…

Still, it was fun and easy, albeit even in the first couple of hours I was sure I probably wouldn’t see him again, even as a casual hookup. He talked about looking for something casual and made the comment that “most women can’t do casual”. Well, buddy, let me tell you, I’ll be able to be so casual with you, I probably won’t ever see you again, how’s about that? 

We then started to fool around and despite my reservations about him, I was interested to see if his bravado was all talk. As it turned out, he didn’t live up to his self-proclaimed hype, it was all very meh. Although he did have a great body and the tan was exceptional. But he kept his socks on… what the fuck. Really? Why do people do that? Is it laziness? Are they in such a rush to get to the good stuff they just forget about them? Is it cause it gives them extra grip? Or maybe they want to remain just that tiny bit unsexy? I’ve never been able to work it out. 

Laying on my bed afterwards, I was now more exhausted than I’d already been after the day of sun, and I couldn’t wait to sleep. And I didn’t really care if he stayed or went. The idea of snuggles is always nice but given how I felt about him, the thought of him staying was much like the sex – also meh. 

He seemed to be getting comfy though so I accepted the fact he’d be staying, until he said “oh by the way, I snore. Is that going to be a problem?”

Um, will my fist going into your face be a problem?! Yeah it was a problem, and not one I intended to put up with that night. And so with that I asked the English Portuguese Snoring Builder to leave, which he duly did. Interestingly it was him who texted me three more times in the weeks that followed asking to meet up. But my promise to myself to do casual with him to the extent I never saw him again stayed true. 

Waking up the morning after, I was glad I’d had a proper sleep, by myself, with no Snorey McSnorerson next to me. And I was ready for another day at the beach! Sundays of a long weekend are my favourite. You’d ordinarily be getting ready for work the following day but instead it’s a whole extra day to do whatever you please. Is it Saturday? Is it Sunday? Who knows!

More of the matches I’d sent first messages to the day before started to trickle into conversation. Admittedly a lot of them had replied the night before, funny how late on Saturday nights are when men are most chatty on the apps…

And there were a lot of visiting Americans. One in particular was in town from Denver, with his brothers and a couple of friends. They were staying in a loft Airbnb in Gastown and were spending Sunday hiking near Whistler. He asked if he could see me on Sunday night. 

Here’s the thing with visitors to the city: after my initial experience with The Tourist, I went back and forth on how I felt about meeting up with people who were only in town for the week/weekend. Sometimes, when I was fully ok with a no strings attached hookup I was absolutely open to it. But other times, when I was going through a stretch of wanting more, wanting commitment, actually looking for a relationship, there really was no point. No matter how pretty or fun they seemed. 

This weekend was the former. Especially after the O saga, I really wasn’t sure I wanted to get into anything serious and at least with tourists you always knew it couldn’t become something more because they’d be gone as quickly as they got here. Hell, some men that lived in Vancouver were like that, but I digress.  

So meeting up with Denver Banker seemed like it would be fun. He was very proper, he suggested dinner, not even just drinks. But given his day in the mountains, he said he’d text me later and we’d make plans. Ordinarily with tourists that can be a slippery slope to never hearing from them again but with him it seemed different. Though I’ve been proven wrong in my first assumptions before. 

I went about my beach day and around lunchtime I got a message from another tourist, this time a guy visiting from Seattle. He was the typical tourist – here with friends, clearly for a good time not a long time, asking where the best bar to “hit up” that night was. 

As my beach day drew to a close and my friends and I made plans for that night, Seattle guy asked me where I was and if I wanted to meet up. He told me he was now in a bar in Yaletown, which I knew wasn’t far from my apartment. I slowly got showered and ready for the night, not sure at all where it would take me.

I don’t really live like that generally, with undefined plans, but sometimes I can allow it. Long weekends were often those times. Generally you know you’re going to end up doing something, even if you’re just not quite sure what. 

While my friends napped and ate before we were going to meet up, I decided I may as well go and meet Seattle Tall Boy. He was 31, 6’4 and big. He even said himself when I was on my way to meet him “you can’t miss me, I’m the big guy, like the “woah he’s big for an Asian” guy”. He was half white, half Taiwanese, worked in finance and had moved from Boston to Seattle in the previous year. He’d been here with a friend who’d apparently had to go home for some reason or another. I wasn’t sure if I bought the story, but that’s the thing with tourists – you have nothing to go on, you really do have to take them at their word, far more than when you’re dating someone who lives in the city. For locals, there are ways and means of confirming a lot of what they say. Tourists? They can tell you any old shit. 

On my way to meet Seattle Tall Boy, Denver Banker messaged to say he was sorry he hadn’t been in touch but they were on their way back from Whistler, and they were all starving so would eat on the way back down but he’d still love to meet me for drinks and he was sorry that he hadn’t come through on the dinner plans. Seeing as I was on my way to meet another Tinder date, I couldn’t exactly be mad, so I told him to text me once they’d had dinner and then we could make a plan. 

I sent my text reply to Denver Banker as I arrive at the Banter Room, the bar that Seattle Tall Boy was in, and he is indeed unmissable. His large frame dwarfed the bar stool and seemed only more imposing when he stood up. He’d clearly already made friends with all the bar staff, having been sat at the bar for a couple of hours, and quickly asked me what I wanted to drink. 

Right away I could tell the bar staff were trying to work out who I was and how I knew him. I couldn’t quite pinpoint if he’d told them I was a Tinder date. But they got plenty of opportunity to interact with both of us as he was seemingly on a merry go round of drinks – Miller beer, followed by a whisky, followed by an espresso martini. And round and round he went in that order… It was the most bizarre combination of drinks, but he seemed pretty happy with his choices, especially when every so often he’d throw in a round of tequila shots for everyone sat at the bar. 

I essentially was just a witness to him having a fun time and while we did chat, I’m not sure he’d have been having any different a time if I wasn’t there. He asked if I wanted food, which I did after another long beach day snacking on anything unhealthy. But when I paused after ordering my Thai beef salad for him to place his order he said he wasn’t going to eat. Ohhhh ok then. I’ll just eat by myself I guess? 

It was clear this was anything but a date, it seemed more like he’d just wanted someone to hang out with him at the bar, and it could have been me or it could have been any other random person he pulled in off the street. It’s so nice to be made to feel special….

Given that I was hardly feeling the vibe, although he was a funny guy with that hardened, Boston attitude and humour, I decided to keep my drinking to a minimum, especially if I had another drinks date later. The same cannot be said for Seattle Tall Boy. His drinking was really maxing out to the point where the bar staff were definitely slowing down between their “do you need another one” enquiries. And I knew they were aware of his increasing alcohol levels when at one point when he went to the toilet, one of the bar staff asked if I was ok. 

I had hoped that I’d have heard from Denver Banker and could have just gone straight to see him but as it was my phone was giving me nothing, and I was starting to lose the will to live with all of the random, and in no way interesting, subjects that Seattle Tall Boy was bringing up, plus his want to have conversations with everyone else in the bar was starting to grate on me. So instead I decided I was going to make my excuses and just go home. 

I’d teed up my story as soon as I’d got there, telling Seattle Tall Boy I was planning to meet friends later but that I could have a few drinks with him in the interim. Whether I went to meet my friends or Denver Banker had remained to be seen at that point and it was in fact neither and I was happily going to head home and sleep. 

Seattle Tall Boy attempted to get me to stay, he also half asked if he could come with me to meet my friends, both of which I shot down pretty quick. I tried to placate him with a “maybe once I’ve met up with my friends and I know what our plans are we can meet up again…” 

I felt bad leading him on and not being straight up with him, but in all honesty, I didn’t trust what his alcohol fuelled reaction would be if I did tell him the truth that I wasn’t into him and there was no chance we’d be hooking up that night. Even just in the time I’d been with him he’d had eleven drinks and I’d had three, and he’d already been there a couple of hours before me. Now he was a big guy, so I’m sure his tolerance was pretty high but still… it was getting sloppy and it was time for me to go. 

I walked the seven minutes home and just as I was waiting at the last crosswalk, imagining me curling up in bed, my phone pinged with Denver Banker apologising profusely for the lateness of his text (it actually wasn’t that late, it was maybe 8pm) and wondering if I’d still like to meet up. Ugh…. 

I mean, I did but I didn’t. But I should. I felt bad flaking on him. Why do I do that? Why can’t I just say no if I want to say no? That was a conversation for another time, because at this point in time I needed to get back to near where I’d just come from to meet Denver Banker in another bar. 

We met at a bar near where I lived that had a good balance of atmosphere but quiet corners to sit and have a conversation. He was as much of an All American Boy as I imagined – blonde hair, blue eyed, cute, well mannered and quite softly spoken. We covered everything from family and jobs, travel, sports – all the standard topics. While I was explaining why I had chosen Canada to move to, I said “and I did consider the US but I’m pretty glad I didn’t with everything going on there just now”. It’s something I’ve said 100 times when telling the same story but the response I got was a first. 

For context, this was in Trump’s first year in office when he’d already implemented the travel ban, and announced his intention to ban transgender personnel in the military, and a large portion of the western (and non-western world) were wondering if the whole presidency was a joke. 

Denver Banker looked confused and said “why do you mean?” I realised he wasn’t joking and simultaneously made the realisation that he was either terribly badly informed about the political goings on in his own country or he was in fact not in any way perturbed by said political goings on. But he seemed too educated for it to be the former, so I had to assume in horror that it was the latter. 

I realised I needed to tread lightly, given that it’s not my style to attack people’s personal beliefs, especially someone I barely know. Thankfully, just as I was trying to figure out how to ask if he was a Trump supporter without sounding incredulous at the same time, the bartender came over. This was the bartender who when we’d arrived had shouted over at us to sit wherever we wanted, that he was drunk from a day at the beach and he hoped we were having a good weekend.

He came over offering us free shots of Jameson, which we gladly accepted and with that I felt emboldened to dive back into the conversation. I don’t think any subject is necessarily off limits on a date, I’m an entirely open book (which is a blessing and a curse) so I’m happy to cover practically any topic. Obviously religion, money, politics and, to an extent, past dating aren’t my first choices of topics of convo for a first date, but I’m always happy to touch on them. It can tell you a lot about someone after all. 

So I explained that since Trump had been elected it seemed like there was a lot of upheaval in the US and so I was “glad” I’d ended up in Canada with nothing but people talking about which Disney prince Justin Trudeau looked like most. He said any new president would always bring about change and it was to be expected. I said “so did you vote for Trump” and he said “yes”. I then realised that wasn’t the real question, the real question was my next one – “would you vote for Trump again now? Given the policies he’s already put in place?”

He looked at me confused, “what policies?” and so I explained in my best “I know I’m a foreigner and don’t exactly think of myself as an expert on Trump’s politics” way about the changes to immigration and military that he’d made, as well as some of his less than savoury Tweets. And while Denver Banker did sit fairly respectfully quietly through my moment atop my soap box, at the end he looked at me in a way which I thought was going to lead to a  “yeah, fair enough” comment but instead he opened his mouth and said “but none of those affect me.”

Hello white male privilege, welcome to the table. 

I’m not sure a single sentence has put me off someone more. I’ve had a lot of firsts while dating but having someone’s politics essentially write them off for me has absolutely never happened. And I can’t figure out if that makes me too quick to judge or simply resolute in my morals? Either way, any attraction I’d had for him, which was far more than I’d had for Seattle Tall Boy, had now evaporated. 

We had a short conversation about whether or not he felt like maybe just because those things didn’t affect him he shouldn’t still have an opinion on them and want the best for his fellow countrymen, and fellow humans. He said he really didn’t think Trump had done anything that bad and if he could just get the tax bill passed that he’d been working on then it would be a huge win. 

I realised there was no point in continuing on the conversation, from what he was saying I was piecing together what was obviously a very conservative background and family, and at the end of the day it was less about his specific politics and more about his complete oblivion to the massive, stinking pile of white male privilege that he was sitting on that just made me unable to want to engage further. 

We finished our drinks, along with another shot from the barman, and despite Denver Banker’s enquiry as to whether there was another bar we could go to, I said I should probably get home, it had been a long day and tomorrow was going to be more of the same. Incidentally I’d told him about the beach I was going to the next day with friends and he’d said he and his friends had been planning on maybe going there too. He mentioned that fact again as we said goodnight outside my building. I was well aware he was hoping I’d invite him up but I just couldn’t. Even as a one night thing, all my attraction for him had gone. And while I’m a massive fan of snuggling, I decided on this occasion I’d rather have the bed to myself than share it with someone whose views I so vehemently disagreed with. 

And I would have had a solid good sleep if it hadn’t been for a drunken 6.30am call (why do I never put my phone on silent?) from Seattle Tall Boy asking if he could come over… Whaaaaaat?! How hammered must he have been for me to have not heard from him since I said goodbye to him around 8pm the night before and only now is he following back up. Wow. I could only imagine how much he’d drunk.

Although later that day, I didn’t need to imagine any longer when he reached out in text, apologising for the early morning wake up call and saying “I think the reason was this”, before texting me a picture of his bar bill from the Banter Room – $627.58. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! There were the 3 gins I’d had and the Thai beef salad… it was definitely his bill. I wasn’t sure whether to be impressed or horrified. Either way, I was glad I hadn’t stuck around any longer, I could have been in hospital with alcohol poisoning. 

Around the same time, I also got a text from Denver Banker saying he was making his way towards the beach he knew I was at… oh god. I half thought about lying and saying I wasn’t there but if I did that and he turned up it would just be awkward. So instead I told my friends my date from last night was turning up to which they replied “which one is this? The drunk or the Trump supporter?” Those were stark terms, not wrong, just stark. And turn up he did. In full on American flag swimming shorts. Like stars and stripes all in your face. 

It was a perfect “Jesus fucking Christ” end to what had been a “holy mother of God” weekend of dates. A snorer, a drunk and a Trump supporter. I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere…

O – Part 1 of 4


Leaving work on the Friday afternoon, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from my date with O. Looking back at his online dating profile I couldn’t quite pinpoint why I’d swiped right but, in all of our messaging, he seemed like a nice guy who could hold a conversation and had the balls to make plans fairly quickly – qualities I admired. I knew he was Persian and 6’5 but when I walked outside and saw him, I really hadn’t expected such an athletic looking, hot, brown guy, with a jawline that could cut glass, albeit covered by a very well trimmed beard. It was a very pleasant surprise.

He’d texted to say he was outside my office, not where I would usually want to meet someone but he lived close by and for whatever reason I agreed for him to come there and then we’d walk somewhere for happy hour.  He was on the phone as I came out so we had a quick hug mid-conversation and he intimated an apology before finishing his call off to the side.

Coming back over, he said “I’m so sorry, let’s do that hi again”, he gave me another, fuller hug with those fairly muscly arms I’d noticed under his t-shirt when I’d been watching him on the phone. It was an incredibly comforting, friendly hug that didn’t feel like it was from a stranger, almost as if I’d known him for longer than a minute. He quickly suggested a place to go for patio drinks and, as we walked from Gastown to Yaletown, we had great chats about working in tech, the business he was starting, how he got there and his basketball background.

He loved our shared tech experience, saying he’d never been able to have those chats on a date before – “those chats” being about software and processes. I’m not sure I’d ever had those chats on a date before either, given that for the most part a lot of people would consider them more than a little boring.

We got a seat on the patio at the bar he’d suggested, but it took us a while to order drinks because we were chatting so much – it was super easy and fun. We seemed to have a lot in common, we talked a little bit about dating and our views on the subject, which we came at from a similar place it seemed – we didn’t have time for games and we were looking for something substantial.

We shared our love of sports and good drinks, and how we both felt like old souls who preferred chilled nights and early bedtimes. I also found out he didn’t like scheduled sex, or waiting, he preferred calls to texts, not to ask him questions I didn’t want the answer to (thankfully I found this out by him telling me and not by asking him a question I didn’t want the answer to) and that the more comfortable I was with him, the more comfortable he’d be with me. He told me he could be unemotional, as a safety mechanism, and wouldn’t want to rush anything.

We covered all this ground before we’d even finished the second drink. It felt like a lot but these are the chats I live for! I don’t want the surface level bullshit, I want to get deep, I want to understand if there is any substance there, I want to know we align on the important stuff. It felt like he was being open, and genuine, and I loved that.

I was going to meet a friend later for dinner, which O had known when we arranged happy hour drinks. It was the perfect way for us to be able to meet knowing it couldn’t go on all night, with a safety net of an end time in case it was a first date fail. Before my dinner, we went for a walk to the seawall for some gelato. At which point I found out he doesn’t like when things bother him, like the gelato melting over his hands.

I had probably learnt more about him in the two hours we’d been on our date than in all the time I’d known some other people.

As my friend texted to say she was ready to meet for dinner, O said he was going to meet a friend over in another part of town but would walk me to the restaurant. It was nice of him to offer but it made me think he’d probably not kiss me, given that we’d be in the middle of Yaletown, crazy busy on a Friday night. And I realised I’d been hoping that our date might end with him laying it on me.

Well, no, being in the middle of after work / weekend crowds didn’t stop him and as we said bye in front of the restaurant, he leant down (there was a foot in height difference) and kissed me on the cheek, as if tentatively checking the response. Then went full in. Like full on, tongue in, hands on the face kiss.

It caught me a little off guard but Jesus! It was far from terrible and gave me total butterflies. My knees also possibly went slightly weak. It was a pretty perfect first kiss.

He smiled, said goodbye and continued walking past the restaurant. While trying to gather my composure, I turned round to the restaurant, and I see my friend standing about 10 feet from where O and I had just had that moment, and her face was a picture. Turns out she’d walked behind us the whole way along the street and had been taking pictures. Like a creeping paparazzo. But the kiss even caught her by surprise. I also realised when looking at the pictures over dinner just how short I was in comparison to him, I barely made it to his big, brawny shoulder.

Before O had left me at the restaurant, I’d told him dinner would only be an hour because my friend needed to go home to pack for a trip she was leaving for over the weekend, so he suggested that maybe we could see each other after I was finished. I was glad we’d both been on the same page about how much we were enjoying the date. It was one of those where you just never wanted to stop speaking to the person – and that had been so rare on dates recently!

Once my friend and I had scarfed down a couple of tacos and had enough of a catch up, and after a couple of texts and a phone call from me – I’d noted his comment about preferring calls to texts – O came to meet my friend and I at Tacofino. Some might say it was an intense addition to a first date but neither of us were phased by it and he seemed to enjoy being interrogated by my friend for 20 minutes.

They got on pretty well, which was actually something I realised during our drinks earlier – I felt like he would have absolutely no problem getting along with my group of friends. And I hadn’t always felt that way with guys I’d been on dates with. O and I had also discussed the spectrum of my life’s activities over drinks – from watching rugby in shitty bars to going to bougie social events – and how I needed someone who could be comfortable at both ends of the social spectrum. He seemed to totally get it and said he identified with it himself.

We left the restaurant and, after saying our goodbyes to my friend, went back to my apartment, so I could drop my laptop off seeing as I hadn’t been home since work, and then we were going to go and get another drink. He offered to wait downstairs at my apartment but I had no issues inviting him up, it was going to be a 2 minute visit and I was super comfortable with him. Albeit a fleeting thought did flash through my mind of jumping his bones when we got up there, I managed to restrain myself.

Over the course of the earlier part of the night one of his best friends had been texting about meeting up so on leaving my place he asked if I’d mind going to see his friend with him. I figured that as he’d met one of mine it was only fair and while, ordinarily, that might have made me nervous, it felt pretty natural.

By the time we met up with his friend though, he’d already made plans to go and meet other friends. I told O he should go as well if he wanted to but he said no, he wanted us to hangout and have a quiet night back at his place. It actually sounded perfect. And again, he’d seen my place so it was only fair I saw his. But again, that thought of jumping his tall, tanned bones flew through my head. I quickly pushed it to the side, as much fun as we were having, I didn’t want it to end up as just a casual hookup.

Meeting his best friend gave me another view of O. He’d made it clear to me already how important his friends were to him, they’d taken the place of older brothers, and finishing conversations with “I love you” was commonplace between them, which I’d witnessed that night while he was on the phone to his friend, and in person. I value well tended friendships, and someone who works for and is grateful for their closest relationships is someone I want to be with. Not to mention guys who are comfortable expressing themselves, especially to each other.

He lived downtown as well, turns out we only lived about 6 blocks from each other, so after a short walk we were back at his condo. It was nice, and clean, and organised and I was so thankful!

It’s a point of discussion with me and my friends – do you prefer to go to someone’s place or have them come to yours? I always want a guy to come to mine, because I know it’s clean and comfortable. You go to a guy’s place and you’ve no idea what’s waiting for you… For others the comfort in the knowledge they can get up and leave at any time and not allowing someone into their personal space makes going to the other person’s place preferrable. I digress.

Fortunately, O seemed to be pretty house proud so we settled in for a night of drinking Japanese whisky and listening to his vinyl collection – everything from Frank Ocean to the Bee Gees.

When he told me he was going to do something really cheesy I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turns out him taking my hand to dance in the middle of his apartment, in low light, to old school Bee Gees love songs didn’t actually make me as uncomfortable as I thought it might. What did was kissing him while dancing – my neck may never be the same again, damn that height difference! But I wouldn’t have changed it, it was incredibly romantic.

After the dancing, we ended up getting a little hot and heavy on his couch and he started talking about how all week he uses “self restraint” but he didn’t want to with me. It didn’t take a genius to work out he was talking about us having sex. And while I was hugely, massively, almost indescribably attracted to him, I was really conflicted about sleeping with him on the first date. The voices in my head were telling me that this felt like it could actually go somewhere so don’t fuck it up by giving it all up so easily. But those voices didn’t take long to be drowned out by the fact that I really did want to sleep with him and he didn’t seem like he’d just disappear afterwards…

But first I had to shower, I felt pretty disgusting from being in the same clothes from a day at work, I stupidly hadn’t taken the chance to change when I dropped off my laptop. And that was playing on my mind a lot. For the things I wanted him to do to me, I really wanted to feel clean. Why did it feel awkward to ask that? As if me wanting to be clean, meant I must be stinking just now?! As if asking for a shower was maybe somehow asking for too much, despite the fact we were about to have sex? My brain is a riot sometimes.

So I worked up to asking him and said “ok, I absolutely can let go of my self restraint but only if I can shower”. I think O wasn’t sure what to expect after the “but” and he was delighted it turned out to be something he was more than onboard with. I tried to ignore the fact my legs also needed to be shaved but you can’t have everything…

Is it just me that finds that if I haven’t shaved my legs I will always end up having sex? And if I have preened my body hair to within an inch of its life, I will undoubtedly end up having no sexual encounters? It’s like if I want to have sex, I should just not shave and go out – BOOM! Sex guaranteed.

A quick shower later and we were in his bedroom for some incredible sex. His body was in great shape and the height issue during our dance make out was not an issue in bed – what is it they say? You’re all the same height lying down?

The sex was incredible, did I mention that? It was super hot, and comfortable, and that athletic body I’d clocked at the start of the night was a good indicator of his endurance, if you know what I mean. And we had fun! Isn’t that what sex is supposed to be? I know when you’re sleeping with someone for the first time fun can sometimes be passed over for just getting to know each other but it didn’t feel like that at all. Mid-summer, late night sex, with the city bustling 20-odd floors below us, after an eventful, multi-stop first date – this was Sex and The City worthy.

After the incredible sex (wait did I already use that descriptor?), he leaned over to fix the music on the iPad on his bed stand and, as he did, I asked what the time was. It was around 1am and happened to be just after the British and Irish Lions rugby game had started in New Zealand, which had kind of been on my radar to watch, thinking I’d have been home long before kickoff. Knowing how big a sports fan he was I didn’t think he’d mind if I asked to put it on, plus we were finished, so it was fine, right? Thankfully, yes, he not only was keen to watch it, he also loved the fact that was one of the first things I’d said to him after sex – “can we watch rugby?” I guess that’s not usual? Ha! And so we spent a glorious hour and a half post-sex, watching rugby and cuddling. Talk about my perfect Friday night.

Soon after the game ended in a crazy draw, we fell asleep tangled up in the sheets and each other. And it was bliss. When I said “I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect from my date with O”, I really hadn’t expected this. And it was fair to say I 100% didn’t know what to expect from the coming days / weeks…

Next post…

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Sex, Brunch & First Dates


You know those first dates when you talk about children, anal sex and sex clubs? Yeah, me neither… until I met Ukrainian Race Car Driver.

One of the most annoying things about online dating can be the time it takes between matching with someone and finally meeting up in real life. Between starting a conversation (though I always start convos because ain’t nobody got time to wait and what’s the point in matching if you weren’t going to message?), to both becoming comfortable enough that you know the other one isn’t crazy to then making plans to meet up, you can have lost interest before you’ve even seen their face in real life.

Some guys, on the other hand, are a little more proactive – asking you out almost as soon as you’ve matched. And when that happens it’s always cause for massive brownie points. So when I matched with this blonde haired, blue eyed 29 year old one Saturday afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised, albeit a little taken aback, when his first message was “want to get dinner tonight?”

In the midst of making plans with him, I got side tracked by an attractive trainee medical professional, and so dinner that night didn’t happen but we did end up making plans for brunch the next day. It was so easy and quick, and the next morning at 11am he was picking me up to go to one of my favourite brunch spots.

I should note at this point that he picked me up in some pimped out car with one of those exhausts that generally make me turn around in disgust when you hear it roaring down the street, and whose seats were so low slung, I could have been in a hammock. As we drove the short distance to the restaurant he explained this was one of his favourite of his six cars and he’d chosen it because the exhaust wasn’t too loud for driving around the city…. I beg to differ.

He was clearly super passionate about cars, and not only was it his passion it was also his career. He owned a car body shop and they did everything from general repairs to what appeared to be Vancouver’s very own Pimp My Ride. It’s not a world I’d ever had any exposure to other than in TV shows but from his stories it sounds like it was quite accurate.

Not only did he own a car garage, but he also drove race cars whenever he could. If he took vacation it was to go to a race, he’d save up and work on a car and then go race it. It was a whole new world. And he did all of this while married and with two kids. He was now separated, don’t panic, I hadn’t all of a sudden taken to dating married men.

They’d been separated for six months and by all accounts things had been difficult. But I never trust one side of the story when I hear it like that – I can only imagine what my ex says about me when he tells people stories of our marriage…. Still, Ukrainian Boy Racer saw his kids a lot and, of course because of the kids, he was still in touch with his ex frequently and things were getting better.

As we sat on the patio in the June sunshine, we covered a plethora of topics over brunch. He told me about his marriage, I told him about mine, we chatted about work, whether he wanted anymore kids, whether I wanted any kids at all, and then we discussed (commiserated about?) dating in Vancouver, which led us into date stories and then, somehow, onto sex stories. It was mostly light hearted but I remember him saying he was surprised to be having these conversations in public at brunch on a first date. Though he also noted he was thoroughly enjoying it, and it was clear he had very strong views and needs when it came to sex.

The conversations continued after he asked me if I wanted to go for a walk when we finished eating. I was quite enjoying spending time with him so I agreed and as we walked the seawall and came across an ice cream van I realised how chivalrous he was. He had got out the car when he picked me up to open my door, he paid for brunch, he insisted on paying for the ice cream.

He was very much the perfect gentleman. He was also clearly a bit of a freak sexually. Because, after all, the two absolutely aren’t mutually exclusive and I was loving getting to know both of those sides of him.

He mentioned a few times he had to go to work at some point, before he picked up his kids later in the afternoon, but he kept putting work off to extend our date. First with the walk after brunch, and now with some park time after the walk. After our ice cream we ended up settling down on the grass in a park by the seawall. And again, the conversations continued.

During our discussions, I’d been open about my feelings on anal sex, and he claimed it was rare to meet a girl who a) enjoyed it and b) was so open about her enjoyment of it. He’d also mentioned a couple of times that his “size: often put women off sleeping with him. But I felt like that was a line, doesn’t every guy make out like he’s “just SO big” that girls are scared. Um, no calm down little boy, we know how to handle ourselves and you. But there was part of me that wondered whether with him it might be true…

He told me about the open marriage he’d tried with his wife. He casually mentioned he’d had multiple orgies, with escalating numbers of participants. He went into detail about the stripper he dated, who still gets her car serviced at his garage, and has a massive face tattoo and he talked about their first date at a sex club.

There were more than a couple of moments when I had to truly control my facial expressions because he told the stories so matter of factly that I felt my reactions should be deadpan also, but inside my head all I could think was “WHAT THE FUCK!? A STRIPPER?! A FACE TATTOO?! A SEX CLUB?! I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THERE WERE SEX CLUBS IN VANCOUVER!!!”

Up until this point in the Summer, I’d been feeling pretty confident in my sexual exploration and felt like I was becoming fairly well versed in and, more importantly, comfortable with casual sex but this was next level! And I was trying my best not to come across as completely naive and green around the ears, which was difficult when I felt like a schoolboy who stumbled upon a porn mag.

So when he suggested that the date end with becoming more intimately acquainted with each other (not at the park thankfully, he did suggest we go back to my place) I have to say that fear and intimidation took over. I could not understand what a guy who had dated a stripper, whose body I was imagining to be like a temple and flexibility to be like that of a cirque du soleil performer, would want to sleep with me. I was also wondering if I’d somehow accidentally bigged myself up.

Yes, we’d talked about sex but I think I was honest about my preferences, experience and comfort levels. I’d sex clubs interested me, mostly from a genuine fascination perspective, but that I wasn’t sure in what circumstance I’d be likely to go. I also said I didn’t think threesomes were for me. Personal preference, no judgement. But maybe he’d got the wrong end of the stick and thought I was a freak in the sheets.

Instead of disappoint him, I made up some bullshit story about my girlfriend coming to stay and that she had texted me to say she was arriving early so I had to go home. Again, totally chivalrously, he offered to drive me home and got out to open my door when he dropped me off. Although I think that time it was mostly to kiss me. And it was a pretty hot kiss.

His pale skin and blonde hair, which I’m not normally a fan off, aside I found him incredibly alluring. But still, his sexual experience intimidated me so I was glad that was all it got to.

But not long after he dropped me off I got a text to say he was incredibly turned on by our conversations and he couldn’t believe he’d have to wait to sleep with me. In my head I’d presumed saying no to him that day might mean he’d be having sex with the stripper again across the hood of some souped up racing car in his garage again the next day (that is a totally made up scenario in my head, he never said that had happened, but it felt like it might have… I’m not alone am I?!) but maybe he was more interested in me than I expected.

Turned out he was, he messaged me the next day and the day after that. Having not been able to meet him the day following our date, I was working from home on that second day and, to put it bluntly, I was feeling kinda horny. So when the text came in I decided a lunch date might not be the worst idea. He did offer to actually bring me lunch, again good manners, but I declined and so he essentially came over for a sex lunch date.

I was almost as apprehensive as I’d been on the Sunday but only marginally more content in the knowledge he had sought me out again, so I decided that if he then did turn out to be disappointed in the sex we had he only had himself to blame.

And so we had all the sex. And while the sex itself was great, that pale skin and blonde hair really didn’t do it for me. So quite early on I decided to chalk it up to an interesting sexual experience. And interesting it was. In a complete 180 from the experience with Teeny Irish Peen, I could definitely see what he might have meant when he said some females were put off sleeping with him due to the size of his penis. It wasn’t so much length, it was GIRTH. And, ladies, you know that’s harder to deal with than a few extra inches in length.

But we worked with it and I think he was fairly impressed at my steely determination to not let it put me off. But I just remember it being SO WIDE! For the most part though we had fun and we both enjoyed it. But good God, THAT WIDTH! Anyway, you get the picture – if you don’t imagine me having to use two hands to get all the way around it.

So yeah, that’s what we were working with, but the sex really was pretty good. Other than that though, I felt nothing. Despite our good chats I didn’t even really feel that connected to him in any other way. Previously with casual sex I think most times I’d felt some sort of attraction to the person, maybe other than Penne and Penises? But this was flat out just sex. It felt a little odd.

After our lunchtime session, we both went back to work – him to the garage and me to my sofa. After that day we saw each other once more. There had been a couple of “are you free tonight” texts but whichever one of us was the recipient never was free. So the following week, I was working from home another day and he came over when he could get away from work. But we spent so long talking about his ex that we didn’t get to have sex before he got called back to the garage. Once he’d left I kind of wondered if I’d in fact stalled any chance of us having sex because I really wasn’t feeling it.

He texted me a couple more times to try and meet up but I was never free and, even if I had been, I didn’t think I really wanted to see him again. The sex wasn’t worth looking up at someone and playing a mind game of trying to extricate sexual attraction from physical attraction. It’s like when you’re on the treadmill and doing running maths, as I like to call it – ”if I run at this pace then it’ll take me x minutes to run another x km”, or “only another x.x km to have run 10 miles”. It’s exhausting and you’re only doing it to distract yourself from the task at hand. And, let’s be honest, that’s never how you should feel during sex, now is it?

Next post…

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The Doctor Will See You Now


In a summer where I was finding no shortage of dates or online dating app matches with a variety of success, his dating profile pictures were almost too immaculate. His response to my first Bumble message too smooth. His Instagram too curated. He was either a catfish or a douchebag. But seeing as he had his Instagram linked up with his dating profile, I guessed I was going to have to presume it was the second?

Regardless, I entertained his messages and intended to meet up with him, because who says I make bad choices? In our general chit chat on Bumble when I asked what kind of doctor he was – yes one of his profile pics was him in his white coat – his reply was “what kind do you need?”, it was more than a little cheesy but I didn’t hate it.  We planned to meet up before we both went away for weekend trips – him to Arizona, me to Vegas (yes, the Vegas trip I ended up chatting to Penne & Penises on – but that weeks long cold kept that from happening and, him being a doctor in training, he prescribed “lots of rest & plenty of fluids”.

It took me a while to recover from the seemingly never ending cold that impeded my Vegas fun and after a failed attempt to meet up one night, when he kept making our meeting time later and later until, eventually, I valued my sleep way too much to just say “ok” to the next half hour incremental change, finally two weekends later on a gorgeously sunny Saturday I received a speculative “what are you up to tonight?” text from him. And I figured I should just give it up and meet him.

I had actually already sort of made plans with someone else I’d just met on Tinder but Hot Doctor (maybe the easiest nickname we’ve come up with?) did fascinate me & his persistence over the last few weeks didn’t really line up with my initial douchebag presumptions. Plus those pictures… he was dark skinned with the most impossibly well kept beard, a 27 year old body that would melt butter and eyes that looked like they’d pierce your soul. In the best possible way. And this was just from his pictures…

I’d been at the beach all day, a BBQ for a friend going back to Ireland, it was a long day of drinking in the sun so the thought of getting ready to go out didn’t thrill me. Instead I suggested he come round to mine. It was a risky move, and essentially at that point the likelihood of it turning into “just a sex date” was fairly high. But, despite his chiseled good looks, I had no other designs on this meet up – he was training to be a doctor abroad, randomly in the UK, and his summer trip home to Vancouver was ending the very next day.

I also decided to have him over to mine because, I realised afterwards, I was actually intimidated by him. Annoyingly, I was intimidated by how good looking he was & how well put together he seemed. It’s ridiculous to me now – he’s human, he’s obviously not as perfect as he seems & he was obviously attracted to me in some way. So why should I in anyway be nervous to meet him, to go out in public with him?

Without realising it at the time, inviting him over to mine for wine was a way to minimise any embarrassment there might be if he got there & realised “wow, she is not what I was hoping” (although I like to think my pics are an accurate representation of me). Given all the changes I’d made to myself, both physically and emotionally, my confidence crashing and inhibiting my actions wasn’t happening as much, but there’s definitely been a few men I’ve been nervous to meet. He was one of them.

I got home from the beach, shovelled some food in my face and decided I needed a shower, to not only de-sand me but also hopefully sober me up a little. While I was in the shower my phone buzzed with a message from him. In fact, it was a picture. A topless picture. Saying he was getting ready. But the caption barely registered.. The pic was… really not bad to look at. With a Pakistani background, his skin tone was like the most beautiful coffee colour and he obviously took working out seriously.

Emboldened by the sun & the ciders, and clearly in no way sobered up from the food or shower, I decided to send one back. Not front topless but I figured a naked, tanned, toned back could work. Well, it could have worked well if I owned one of those and hadn’t been stood with my back to the sun all day getting some hefty tan lines. It wasn’t the sexy, sun kissed look I was hoping for.

Clearly more affected by the sun and ciders than I realised, I decided to send it anyway…. because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, who says I don’t make good decisions?! I made some comment about how I hoped he liked tan lines because these weren’t about to disappear in the time before he arrived and he replied saying two things: first “wow, you’re an idiot”; but followed up very sweetly with “but damn they’re cute tan lines”.

By the time he arrived I was a little jaded, the day was definitely taking its toll on me and I had to give myself a serious pep talk to look alive when he buzzed to come up. But it’s funny what a beautiful man appearing on your doorstep can do…

To say his pictures were true to real life doesn’t do justice to real life. If possible he was even more attractive. Like some model had just stepped off some photo shoot and ended up at my apartment door. But he was very softly spoken and thoughtful with his words. And, in my judgement, that hadn’t been what I was expecting.

From the get go he had a lot to say, but also a lot to ask. He wanted to know about my upbringing, my travels, moving to Vancouver – we covered a lot of ground while sitting on the balcony as the sun set. But  when I went to top up our wine glasses (cause that’s what I needed after my day of ginger apple cider) he followed me inside and, as I turned back with the replenished glasses, he stood in my way, reached for my face and kissed me.

It was soft and almost enquiring, like he wanted to test the water to see if I was on the same page. It would be fair to say I one hundred percent was, but I also had a glass of wine in each hand. Though that may have been a good thing or I might have ripped his clothes off right then and there.

We went back to the balcony for some more wine but by that point all bets were off and I don’t think either of us doubted where this was going to end up.

There was an intensity in the way he looked at me with those big brown eyes, it was so probing and completely disarming. It disarmed me of my inhibitions entirely, I no longer felt like he might not be interested in someone like me (Instagram’s a terrible thing when you can find what someone’s ex girlfriend looked like), and instead all I really wanted was to in fact get completely, entirely butt naked with him.

So that’s what we did. And it was incredible.

We had a ridiculous amount of fun. Four times actually. In between each we continued the chats from earlier on the balcony. We talked about his thoughts on dating, his failed long distance relationship as a result of his time in the UK and his ambivalence on marriage. We talked about my marriage, my divorce, and forgiveness. We discovered a shared love of the poet Khalil Gibran, who he was shocked to find out I knew of. We talked about some of our favourite quotes of his, and I always remember one of his was “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”. It spoke to me greatly.

We also laughed at how neither of us imagined we’d be having discussions that broad and deep. Knowing that often sex dates can be just that – sex – and you count yourself lucky if the sex is at least good, never mind actually feeling like there’s some connection. But not only had we fit like a glove physically, we had also really clicked personality-wise.

He left just after midnight, after a glorious amount of snuggling that pretty much had both of us asleep. But it was his last night in Vancouver and he had to go home, back to his family house where he was staying while he was back during term holidays. We knew he was leaving the next day and, despite throwing it out there that we could always fit in some afternoon fun before his evening flight, I think we both knew that was unlikely to happen. So we weren’t going to see each other again.

Texting me from the airport the next day, he made mention of making the fact we didn’t get to see each other again up to me in December, when he’d next be home for a holiday. December?! It was June… Jesus that’s a wait. But the thought was nice. He also told me to keep him updated on my tan lines, the subtext of which was clearly – send nudes.

To say I didn’t think we’d stay in touch was an understatement. Knowing it had only been one night and that pretty face of his was hardly going to make life boring for him, I figured he’d have far better things to keep him occupied. And by December, I could be in a relationship…

Next post…

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Pasta And Appendages


We’ve talked about it before – someone being great on paper but then it not working out in real life. But what about being great on paper AND being great in text and then there being zero spark in person? How is that possible? Do people have ghost (text) writers?!

The week after the half marathon in June, and the awkward date with Whistler Teacher Slash Photographer, I was off to Vegas for a bachelorette weekend. And contrary to the general consensus about Vegas, I’ve never once gone to hook up. My focus is only ever on having fun with the people I’m with. Unfortunately on this particular trip I was sick as a dog with a cold, and so neither of those things were going to happen.

Just before I left Vancouver, I matched with a guy on Bumble and we started chatting the day I flew out. Turned out he was away for a boys weekend to Seattle and so via text over the course of our weekends we compared drunkenness, funny stories, mishaps and suntan progress. I hadn’t expected to hear from him as much as I did but it was kind of nice.

We both worked in tech, we lived near each other and it sounded as if we liked a lot of the same things. So far so good. He also had some pretty good banter. The night when our group’s plan was to go for an Italian followed by the Thunder From Down Under Strip show (yes, it’s really called that) he made the observation that it was going to be all “penne and penises” for us. He was then forever known as that to me. And given that he shared a (real life) name with Toronto Dimple Chin, I chose to save him in my phone as Penne and Penises also, you know, to save confusion.

As our weekends wore on and a couple of drunken nights threw up (pun intended) some drunken texts (more on his part than mine, because my cold had rendered me almost unable to drink), the messages definitely turned a little flirty. Add to that, him having started following me on Instagram and making comments about pictures of bikinis and barely there Vegas dresses, and you got yourself some fairly sexually charged conversations.

It was a risky move and I was aware of that but I like to think I’d always done my due diligence… to the extent that you can with online dating! At least been able to prove they were a real person and not some creepy old guy getting his kicks pretending to be a 27 year old hot guy.

I always find that bit weird. I’m not saying I don’t engage in it. I clearly do. But when you take a step back, it’s still odd to me that people can get to that level of “comfort” with someone who is essentially a stranger. That we can be so happy to share such intimate thoughts and details with someone whom we haven’t even met yet. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are some people that would absolutely not let any dating app conversation go down that road until, maybe even well after, they’ve met someone, and I always thought I was that person too. But, as I was becoming more comfortable with my sexuality and my apparently growing sex drive, I was finding it easier to let my mind wander and open myself up to people who were still just a name and some (hopefully not false) pictures on a screen.

So yes, the texts had escalated and, by the time our weekends were over, we were pretty excited to finally be able to meet up when we were both back in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the cold was still kicking my ass, and I was rendered useless for the first week after I was home.

During that time he checked in on me everyday and asked if I needed anything brought over. But I was hardly about to have a guy I’d never met, who I thought there might be potential with, see me for the first time when I looked like a massive bag of crap.

Eventually the second Monday after we were home, I felt a tiny bit better to the point that when he said he didn’t care I was sick he just wanted to see me, I agreed that he could come over. It wouldn’t have been my first choice of first date location but I still wasn’t up to going out.

After what had, by that point, been a couple of weeks of texting we finally got to meet and I was super excited. But that excitement was put on hold when he turned up wearing a Celtic football top – Celtic are a football team from Glasgow in Scotland, and the football I’m talking about is the OG, not of the American variety. But how was he to know that my ex-husband was a die-hard Celtic fan and, in my residual pettiness, I now hated everything about them?

It wasn’t the best start, nor was the fact he looked a little heavier than the pictures on his profile. And it didn’t look like muscle. But whose weight doesn’t fluctuate at times? And I’m hardly sat here with an athlete’s body. So I didn’t let it put me off. However chewing gum the whole time we had sex, keeping his white tube socks on throughout, and the incredibly off-putting sex faces? Yeah those put me off.

And yes, I had sex on a first date. And yes, I had sex while I was still full of the cold. And yes, I’m aware none of these revelations paint me in the best light…

The spark that we’d had in all those messages was definitely not translated into real life and I remember I was really keen for him to leave as soon as possible after we’d finished the no pants (but keep the gum and white tube socks) dance.

I hoped it had just not been great because I was still sick and that maybe if we’d had a proper first date, rather than a 6pm slightly sick sex date, it would have been different. But you can’t undo what’s already done and so, arranging to go on a proper second date, I just held out hope that we could figure it out from there on out.

In between the first and second date, the texts went back to being great and, maybe unsurprisingly, even more sexually explicit given that we now knew each other more intimately. And, despite the lacklustre feeling I’d had after seeing him that first time, the spark was re-instated in our messages. So I was hopeful the second date could be an improvement and wondered if he’d been in anyway disappointed in our first meeting…

As it happened, the second date ended up occuring in the exact same way as the first one – I was still sick (and by now so incredibly sick of being sick), so he came round to mine. Albeit not wearing any reminders of my ex this time, thank the Lord for small mercies I guess. But I was even less physically attracted to him and it actually annoyed me.

It annoyed me that there could be what felt like a great connection in messages, fun, easy banter, playful flirting, all mixed in with some serious life talk but when it came to being in the same room as each other it was flatlining. And that’s not to say it’s all on him, that he was a good texter but a bad in-person person.

It’s just that’s the way we were together. It was as much about me as it was him. Dating truly is a chemistry thing. And you can get the formula right on paper, but in real life it can still fuck up.

It didn’t mean we didn’t have sex again but nor did it mean he took his socks off this time either, despite me hoping that had just been an oversight the first time. At which point I decided I definitely wouldn’t be seeing him again because, let’s be honest, when the sexts are far better than the sex, you know you should cut your losses.

Next post…

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Strings Optional


If you were to describe an ideal date for you, what would it be? A fancy dinner? Beers on the beach? A walk to some beautiful waterfalls? Or maybe it would be playing video games and eating junk food?

I didn’t know that last option would strike such a chord with me until I matched with a guy on Tinder and his opening line was “wanna play Mario Kart and eat ice cream?” and, dammit, the only answer I could give to that was a resounding “hell yes!”

And so we arranged a first date fairly quickly, which I always like. We did amend the initial plan, though, to just meeting for ice cream so that we would be in a public place, could both check out the other’s level of crazy and make sure we were both comfortable but, all being well, then a second date was going to be Mario Kart and ice cream at his place.

He was a 25 year old personal trainer, originally from France but had moved to Canada when he was 6 so was French accent-less, and was on some crazy bulking “diet” where he had to eat a ridiculous number of calories in a day – so the ice cream was really just to help him. And who am I, if not a supportive person?

We met at an ice cream place near where he lived – I went over a bridge for him. Well, technically I went over a bridge for ice cream, but… semantics. I wasn’t sure what to expect. If I’m being totally honest, I had 100% swiped right for the abs. The shirtless pic of him among friends had really got me. I still remember it, green leaf print board shorts, stupid look on his face, throwing some sign with his left hand that I’m not cool enough to understand the meaning of and with these glistening abs of steel.

As I’d found out with Arms, you should never judge books with good abs by their cover alone but his date suggestion, of Mario Kart and ice cream, was hardly a trip to an art gallery, so I didn’t know how much would be below the surface of the abs.

Thankfully, as we tucked into our ice cream, having been shown by him the best combo to have at this particular ice cream place, it became clear there was in fact a lot going on under that taught washboard stomach. He’d studied back in France for a year, found a lot of the North American way of life to be boring and vapid, was starting to build out his own business and loved repairing old motorbikes.

It was a good first date, even when his best friend and girlfriend happened to turn up for ice cream. They seemed nice, which is always a good sign, and it was an easy and fun chit chat that Frenchie, as he would be known, navigated smoothly. The only reason the date ended when it did was that he worked early mornings and so always had early nights. We said goodbye on the street, confirmed we’d do Mario Kart and ice cream next time and with a quick peck on the cheek, I was headed home.

Less than a week later and I was making my way over to his place – I travelled! Again! We’d also added pizza into the mix so essentially I was heading to a date dreamed up by a nine year old boy – pizza, ice cream, Mario Kart. And I wasn’t necessarily complaining.

It was a very fun night. I was absolutely abhorrent at Mario Kart, and devastated that I’d lost all the skills I’d had as a kid. It was most unfortunate considering we’d shared a fair amount of banter back and forth pre-date about who was going to kick whose ass. Turns out my confidence was misplaced.

My confidence that night in general was a little AWOL. In the week between dates, we’d had a fairly frank discussion about what we were both looking for and while up until that point I’d always been of the opinion that I was looking for a relationship, I was heading home to the UK for the entire month of April, so had decided maybe fun was a better option for now and when I came back I could re-assess. That sentiment worked with him and so the second date came with the unspoken expectation that while on the surface of it, it sounded like a nine year old’s dream Wednesday night, it was probably going to end a little differently.

And while over the months my confidence had been growing, there was something I found intimidating about the fact he was a personal trainer. It’s like when your hair needs doing and there’s a hairdresser in your group. Or when you’ve had some house renovations done and a contractor friend comes round to visit. You’re always worried about their judgement. In this case, I was worried that Mr Personal Trainer was going to be critical of my work-in-progress-body.

I know, I know, I know, body positivity is where it’s at. Who gives a fuck what someone else thinks about your body. Your body is incredibly strong and resilient and should be shown more respect than to be cheapened by numbers on a scale. But let’s be honest, when you’re thinking about being naked, particularly for the first time with someone you find attractive, there’s often a little voice in the back of your head hurling doubts at you.

But the voice got real quiet, when after Mario Kart and stuffing ourselves on pizza and ice cream – seriously, he might have been bulking, but I shouldn’t have been – the next, non-nine year old part of the date slowly but surely progressed and at the first stage of nakedness Frenchie stopped kissing me to say “your body is hot”. Umm, well, that’s not the worst thing to hear, especially from someone who improves bodies for a living.

Ugh, and I hate that I even wrote those last three paragraphs. I want to be one of those people that’s like “This is me bitches! Take me as I am!” And some days? Some days I am. Other days, most days, I’m like the majority of women (people?) who don’t always totally love everything about themselves.

Lying half naked on his couch with his compliment ringing in my ears definitely helped me relax and enjoy it more than I might have. Which was good, because his body, the sex, it all absolutely should have been enjoyed. There wasn’t a lot wrong with any of it. Apart from maybe the Mario Kart music going round on a loop in the background…

Despite the mood killer of the Mario Kart musical accompaniment, it was fun, we both seemed to enjoy it and as I left that night, saying I wasn’t sure I’d be able to see him before I left for my trip home, he asked me the most romantic of questions – “how do you feel about a threesome?”

My instant reaction was to ask which sex the third would be and he responded “whatever you’d want”. Hmm, interesting. I laughed and without answering kissed him goodbye and said I’d maybe see him in a month or so.

We weren’t in touch while I was away but when I got back I messaged him to catch up and see how things were. I realised that in the two dates we’d had before I left and now I was back, every time we texted it was easy, uncomplicated, straightforward, maybe slightly transactional? And I didn’t mind it. I always knew where I stood. Can you do this time? Yes/no. Does this time work? Yes. Great. Done.

Between his early mornings, my training for a half marathon and a busy social calendar, and his second job as a Butler In The Buff – yep, he’s one of those guys that has to serve champagne to drunken bachelorette parties wearing nothing but an apron – it was hard to get time to see each other but when we did it was always fun and it was always leading to one thing. No, not Mario Kart.

Most of the times I went over to his place, but I decided to put a stop to that after we ended up in his bedroom one time – yes, it had been the couch or bust before that but then he got a flatmate – and his bedroom was… questionable at best. Rancid at worst.

And, seriously, I need a clean and tidy surrounding to be able to fully get in the mood. The fact that his bed wasn’t even made, and I don’t just mean the covers turned up, I mean there were no sheets on the bed, and that you couldn’t see a surface because every inch was covered in.. stuff… it just didn’t make me feel super comfortable. Helped least of all by the fact that on the far side of his bed I noticed an open condom wrapper and bobby pins – neither of which had come from our interaction that night. It was definitely one of those “WTF – how did I get here?!” moments I write about a lot.

So I took a step back at that point and wasn’t planning on seeing him again, but he must have caught me at a weak spot because I ended up seeing him one more time but insisted he came over to mine. At least I knew where my sheets had been.

He came over on a sunny Sunday afternoon and brought some wine. We shared it on the balcony and chatted about life, his business, my dating. He was fascinated by me being 32, almost about to turn 33, and when he found out I was divorced – it had never come up in conversation prior to that day – it was a massive turn on for him. Which was just plain weird to me.

But regardless, whatever effect it had on him, it was a good one, we had some of the best sex we’d had that afternoon. Something I’d also learnt over this time; 25 year olds are unbelievably generous in the bedroom department. It was a revelation. And an incredibly welcome one. There is definitely something to be said for dating, or at least sleeping with, younger guys. Though maybe not as young as Billy The Kid

Following the afternoon of sunshine drenched sex, we didn’t see each other for a few weeks due to conflicting schedules and two weeks later as I was out celebrating my birthday weekend, I got a text from him, about plans we’d made for the following week, saying he’d met someone and was dating her exclusively now but if I still wanted to meet up as friends we could.

It was a really weird feeling. Or rather it was really weird because there was no feeling. None. Other than “hmm, ok, nice.” I declined his offer to meet as friends, I hadn’t been on Tinder to meet friends and I thought it might be a bit weird for his new girlfriend. But it was the easiest “break up” I’ve had. There was no emotion involved. It had been purely about the sex and while it was unfortunate that that wasn’t going to be available anymore, it wasn’t like it had been happening that regularly anyway so it wasn’t a great loss.

And so a few days after my 33rd birthday I was able to confidently say that I’d engaged and disengaged from a no strings attached relationship. And, more importantly, my pride, my feelings and my self worth were intact. You really do never stop learning about yourself, even from 25 years olds. And the threesome never did come up again.

…previous post

Swiping For The Night


Are you one of those people who were young and free in their twenties and enjoyed all that went along with dating in university, when your end of term tests included a trip to the sexual health clinic too? Or have you always been in long term relationships and couldn’t image dating people casually, much less having a one night stand?

Maybe you’ve made the transition from the unbeholden youngster to the more stable “adult’? That’s the usual transition, the more socially acceptable one, from the former to the latter. I went from the latter to the former.

I had no experience of anything other than monogamous, fairly serious relationships up until the time I was 30. Even when I’d been at high school and university I think I maybe had one slightly wild night and ended up at some guy’s place. But it was a guy from my brother’s group of friends and nothing ended up happening.

I’d go as far as to say I was fairly judgemental about people who were looser with their sexuality, but I know now, as with most judgement, it came from a place of fear of the unknown. I was also probably jealous of the fact people had that level of comfort in themselves and their surroundings. It was totally alien to me.

When I got back into dating after my divorce, I was absolutely, 100% looking for a relationship. It never crossed my mind that I might like to date around for a while, keep things casual. And I don’t mean rush into a relationship, I obviously wanted it to be the right one. But to begin with I couldn’t even get my head around messaging multiple people at once so I never imagined I’d ever be just swiping on people for the night – like I had essentially been doing the weekend of rugby sevens or with The Tourist.

As I became more comfortable with myself, my boundaries, my needs, – and the more aware of the fact that a great relationship wasn’t easily falling into my lap – I also became more open to just having fun, exploring things, people, situations. Was I making up for my “lost twenties” (as one of my friends put it)? (Side note – I wouldn’t have said my twenties were lost, they were spent building a life I hoped I was going to be living for a very long time, in fact I think I remember planning for it til I died)

So at some point, needing to have a connection with someone or wanting something more than a night with someone was replaced with being ok with just having a fun night, or a fun couple of nights with nothing else likely to come of it. It was a refreshingly new outlook for me.

And I felt judged. I felt judged by myself – is that possible?!. I felt judged by friends – was that a projection of my own feelings?!. I felt judged by society – was society even paying attention?!. It was something I was worried about being honest about when I started this blog because of what light it might paint me in. I felt that there was the possibility that if the protagonist you’re reading about is sleeping around, you’re maybe not going to have quite the same empathy for her and her journey/struggles/stories. (Did you read the story about the 21 year old?!)

Society is undeniably judgemental of promiscuity – a synonym for “promiscuous” is “immoral” for God’s sake! And especially judgemental when it comes to women. Men get high fived for sleeping with women, while women get asked if they had feelings for them and if they used protection. Where the hell are my high fives?!

Of course there’s things to be said for being safe, sexually healthy and making sure all parties are free, or at least aware, of other ongoing relationships but in the cold light of day there should be no shame in the sex game! Creating a safe space to say that, to talk about it, to debate it, to explore it, understand it, question it, is something I have been trying to do more and more with my friends. There are some I’ve still not quite broached the subject with, but there are others who it’s totally normal with. I have two friends in particular that I know every time we meet up our conversations will always eventually turn to chats about anal. Yup, I said it – we talk about anal sex, normally while eating pie. Shocking… (where’s the rolling eye emoji)

For some of you, you’ll be like “what’s the big deal, you’ve slept with some guys and talk about sex?” but for a lot of women, me included, this isn’t or at least hasn’t always been the case. I’m grateful that this random life path I’ve found myself on has allowed me to explore this entirely new side to relationships and life and sex.

I’ve been told I talk like a guy now when it comes to sex… by guys. I don’t know if I should take that as a compliment or an insult. But it says a lot that just the fact I talk openly and bluntly about it, (note – there’s a difference between bluntness and crassness) means that I’m deemed less womanly, less feminine. Oh well, suck it! (pun intended)

Swiping for the night and swiping for Mr Right can be very different but sometimes when you think you’re doing one you’re actually doing the other so who knows… but the good news is I’m now comfortable with both, whether society is or not, and that is a happy place to be.

Next post…

…previous post

Are You On The Guestlist? And Do You Have ID?


This is a story I’ve been kind of dreading telling… You know when things happen, situations arise, decisions are made and then you’re like “wow, did that just happen?” That was how I felt come the Monday morning after this particular escapade. But you know what? I’m not going to shy away from telling the story, I’m going to own it and chalk it up to that great big wonderful thing you can’t get without fucking up every now and again – experience!

It was my favourite weekend in Vancouver – Rugby Sevens – and as well as bumping into Toronto Dimple Chin, it had been two days filled with Tindering and Bumbling while all the players (and referees – shout out to Mike!) were in town. My friends had made some questionable swipes and started some wholly inappropriate chats but in the midst of that I’d also matched with one of the players on the Japanese team and had been messaging throughout the weekend – yes, while he should have been concentrating on playing.

He was originally from New Zealand, but was playing for Japan through residency rules, and he had pretty good banter, including calling my friend out when she had taken over the messaging for a while and congratulated him on their most recent game, which they’d lost…

We made plans to meetup on the Sunday night, when the tournament was over. It’s always a pretty big night because the players can let loose and the rest of us have been drinking for two days straight. And those sensible among us, always take the Monday off work because, like I say, sensible.

By the time the Sunday night came around, most of my friends were very worse for wear and some of them weren’t sensible and didn’t take the Monday off, so it ended up being just 3 of us who were going to see it out and head to the bar that the players all go to once the tournament wraps up.

On reaching the bar, I remembered why I don’t like going to places like this – the lineup was insane, and I’m too old/mature/boring/lazy (*delete as appropriate) for that shit. In fact there were two lines – one going either way down the street from the door. What kind of merry hell was this?!

Two of my friends didn’t even want to find out, so they sensibly bailed right away. Which left me and one of my best girlfriends, who is one of the best wing women you could ask for. Her husband had already gone home, but she was stoic in her support of my rugby player plans and had already begun finding ways for us to cut the line before I could ask what she wanted to do.

She worked out one of the lines was general admission and one was guestlist. She then found a group of mostly guys about a third of the way through the guestlist line from the door, sidled up to them, confirmed they were on the guestlist and asked if we could piggy back.

This group of fairly fresh faced guys were probably thrown by the random English woman asking them if her and her Scottish friend could join them, that they just nodded in agreement and we duly slipped into the line at the back of their group.

To pass the time waiting, we naturally started chatting to the group who were gracious enough to let us hop on their guestlist group. It turned out they were all students at one of the city’s universities and a number of them were there on baseball scholarships. They grilled us on what we knew about baseball, we responded entirely with answers relating to either cricket or rounders – what can I say? We’re British.

Finally, we got to the door, the guys kindly told the bouncers we were with them and in next to no time we were all inside. Them scattering to no doubt go and check out the lie of the land, my girlfriend and I to the bar. Priorities.

Once we got a drink, we did a walk around the place. I’d only been there once before, on the Sunday night of Rugby Sevens the year before, and I forgot how dingy it was. But that’s where I said I’d see Japanese Kiwi Rugby Player so here we were. But he’d also pointed out to me that once he left his hotel he wouldn’t have any mobile data so he wouldn’t be able to message me and we’d just have to “find each other”. If the place hadn’t been such a hole, it might have been romantic.

It was at that stage I realised what a pain the arse that was going to be. It wasn’t exactly a small bar and it was packed out – hence the massive lines outside. How was I going to know when he got there? How would he find me in amongst the swathes of university students who were just out for their usual Sunday night session and bemused by all these drunken rugby fans and players?

Rather than worry about that we went to the bar a couple more times, engaged in some hilarious people watching, feeling every one of our thirty plus years, and bumped into our newly made student friends from the lineup outside a couple of times. The third time we saw them, the guy who we’d conversed with the most in the lineup asked us if we wanted a drink. He was cute and fresh faced and screamed naivety so we felt bad taking his money and instead offered to get him a drink.

As we’d watched them from afar it was clear he was pretty popular amongst his group, both with the guys he’d gone in with and with a few groups of girls who’d made a beeline for them when they arrived. I was having serious flashbacks to my university days, which were not all that recent in my memory.

Somewhere between that first drink we all got together and the third, after we’d each bought each other a drink (he insisted he wanted to repay the favour), I decided that I didn’t want to stay out much longer. The weekend was catching up with me and seeing as I had no idea what time Japanese Kiwi Rugby Player might turn up, I didn’t fancy hanging around forever, especially when there was a real chance he might not turn up at all, or he would and we’d never see each other.

At round the same time, my wing woman, our new found student friend and I took a picture together and I remember putting my hand on his back and being pleasantly surprised by how muscular it was. Who knew baseball players were so jacked? I naturally then checked out his arms and didn’t find a terrible sight there either.

What happened next is like when the waitress comes to take your order and you can’t decide but you know you’re really hungry and you don’t want to waste more precious time, so you make a rushed, maybe slightly questionable choice.

Somewhere between the back, the arms and the gin, I decided that maybe I shouldn’t bother waiting for the rugby player who was probably having the same conversation with ten different girls over the course of the weekend? Maybe I should just take this fairly eager young stud (yep I wrote that, yep I’m having a Jackie Collins moment again) and be done with it. I was pretty sure he was flirting with me…

Fast forward maybe 20 minutes, my girlfriend goes to the bathroom and I decided… well essentially I decided “fuck it”. I ask him if he wants to come back to mine, he gave a pretty positive response and before my girlfriend returned we were off. I know, props to my girlfriend who being the wing woman she is presumed after coming back to the bar and doing a lap of the place that we’d gone, and so promptly took herself home where I’m sure she wished she’d been hours ago.

While my friend was quite possibly doing her last look for us, with me leading the way and the student grasping my hand, we headed for the door making our way through the crowds. With the front door in sight, I couldn’t wait to get out the sweaty, noisy, dark, dingy hole but being so focused on the exit strategy it was impossible to miss a whole group of what looked like.. um, yeah… what looked like, unmistakably a team of Japanese rugby players.

The next 15 seconds happened in slow motion, I can still picture it in my head. I’m striding towards the street, there’s this whole group coming towards us and in the midst of nine or ten fairly fit looking guys, mostly Japanese, I see a face that is pretty familiar given the number of times I’ve looked at it on his Tinder profile, he looks up at the exact same second, sees me, the recognition sweeps across his face as it sweeps across mine, as we’re both getting closer to each other given that we’re going in opposite directions but in the exact same path, and as we pass by, within ridiculous close proximity of each other, given how busy with bodies the place was, he looks at me, looks down at my hand, looks up at the guy holding my hand and clearly following me, looks back at me and mouths “where the fuck are you going?” with a really confused look on his face.

And just like, with a sort of apologetic shrug, I kept going and we were out onto the street with student none the wiser as to what had just happened.

The rest of that night was a disappointing blur, we didn’t even get McDonald’s on the way home. What kind of a sick joke is that? Instead we got home and both absolutely crashed. The morning however was also an equal disappointment, with some terrible morning sex which I realised halfway through was being carried out while he was still wearing socks. White, ankle sports socks. Who goes out in those? Oh yeah, the guy who was also wearing a baseball cap backwards that’s who.

The sex, was also barely even sex, if you know what I’m saying. I don’t know if it was a hangover or he wasn’t used to strange Scottish women taking him home but he definitely wasn’t the virile mid-twenty-something I had hoped.

Instead we mostly lay and talked about his courses, baseball, his family, his life ambition, he asked a lot about how I could afford to live in an apartment like I did, how I’d got into the job I had now and why I wasn’t getting up for work.

As I explained I’d taken the day off but did need to get up because I was going to meet friends for breakfast – a total lie just to get him out of my place – he stopped me and said “can I ask a weird question?” Oh god, really… “Sure!” “Would it be ok if I showered before I left? Your bathroom is so much nicer than the ones we have on campus.”

Oh dear god, this is what has become of me?! How did this happen? Why did I not take longer to make my food order?? Why was I so hungry???

As he showered and I questioned my life, I was also texting my usual group chat of girlfriends, the wing woman from the previous night and two friends we have in London. Wing woman had presumed I’d ended up going off with student, or had maybe actually met Japanese Kiwi Rugby Player, and the two girls across the pond were wanting all the details of both. In amongst many of the details they asked, they also asked student’s age and just as I was about to reply with “24 I think”, my friend pipes up and in front of my eyes, on the whatsapp screen that had been making me feel better up until that point I see “21”.

WHAAAAAAAAAT?! No! He was not 21… He was not 11 years younger than me… He was not younger than my youngest cousin… He was not more than an entire decade away from me in age!! How had I not known that? At what point had my friend got that information and I had either not heard, mis-heard or decided to not remember? Mother of all that is good in this world, there was a 21 year old CHILD showering naked in my bathroom.

My girlfriends, of course, were of much comfort at this point. Not. The kid jokes started coming in thick and fast, and given what his name was, he was quickly referred to from then on as Billy The Kid. Never before have I ever wished so much that joining that line up the night before we’d not only asked them if they were on the guestlist but if we could, in fact, also pre-check their ID.

Next post…

…previous post

Death By Dimple


As I stated in my very first blog post, there have been many What The Actual F^&% moments throughout the process of my divorce and since getting back into dating, in fairness I think that’s just life in general. But most of them were “WTAF is this shit?” Few are “WTAF this is brilliant!” But every so often, just now and again, those pleasant WTAFs do appear.

Having wallowed and reflected for a few weeks after Filipeen, I eventually felt better enough (read bored enough) to get back on the dating apps and see what was out there. It had been lovely not to be on them for three months while I was dating (and then getting over) him but here in Vancouver, it’s unfortunately the easiest way to meet people.

I’d gone super blonde in the week after Filipeen – what is it they say about “new hair, don’t care”? Well I had new hair but at that point I still did care –  so on the Thursday night that I got back to using the apps (Bumble and Tinder were my go tos), I updated my photos and began endlessly swiping. As I always find with Bumble, when you haven’t been on for a while, you get a string of really attractive guys up first to make you think you’ve been missing out, and then slowly it fades into the faces you’ve seen on there months before and didn’t swipe right (positively) for then and won’t be swiping right for now.

I’m always convinced those attractive bait ones are just made up accounts – the men are too pretty – but the next morning I was to be proved wrong when one of them swiped right on me, we matched and we started chatting when I commented on the fact he stated in his profile that he hated the cold – and we were in mid-winter. The conversation went from there and by the time I was walking out my office that afternoon for the weekend, we had made plans to meet up the next night.

Up until that point he’d been fairly serious, with only slight hints of jokes in his messages but that Friday night, as I was getting ready to go out with friends and we were texting, it became a little more banterful (how I prefer all my messaging) and flirty. He had finished up work just after I did and was meeting up with some friends for drinks and he thought a dinner. When it turned out the dinner wasn’t going to happen he asked if I was free to bring our date forward a night and meet up later that evening.

As much as I was excited to meet him, it was going to have to wait. I had a friend’s birthday I was going out for that night and I wasn’t sure inviting him along would be a great basis for a first date because a) my friends are liabilities and b) we were going to an amateur strip show in a super dingy bar on the east side of the city. Yes, yes, you read that right. It was a strip show with only two rules: entrants couldn’t be professional strippers and; no sex acts on stage. Otherwise anyone and everyone could have at ‘er.

However, after a couple of drinks at the birthday boy’s apartment before we all went out, I obviously changed my mind about this not being a good breeding ground for a first date and asked him if he wanted to join. We’d been texting almost constantly and I realised it would be easier, and less rude, for him to just be here than for me to be on my phone all night. At first he sounded keen, even when I’d provided full disclosure about where we were going, but then when he realised I was already with all my friends and he wouldn’t be meeting me first he changed his mind. I did offer to go meet him separately but he insisted I stayed with my friends and we’d just do Saturday instead, as originally planned.

I was kinda disappointed he didn’t come out, it would have been a great first date story, something we agreed on as we continued to text while I was in a cab to the bar with some of my friends. He mentioned we’d just have to make tomorrow as good a story, maybe with the same level of nakedness. I had told him the show was full nudity… so his message was presumptuous… but I didn’t hate it.

He was 29, originally from Vancouver, his parents were still here but he was now living in Toronto. He had just sold a business he’d built from nothing and was recently appointed President at a new sports tech business. He used to play basketball, still seemed to keep himself incredibly fit, was 5”11 and from all his pictures looked pretty god damn fine.

The fact he didn’t live here, albeit he travelled back here for work about once a month, and the mention of nudity on the first date, I was well aware that a date with him wasn’t likely to be the start of a beautiful long-term relationship. But at that point, I decided a sex date might actually be just what I needed to wash Filipeen out of my newly blonded hair once and for all. What is it they say about getting over a man, get under another one?

As my night became more debauched and drunken and naked (the strippers, you understand, not me) there were texts back and forth with him about private dances and eventually he admitted he wished he’d come out and instead he was lying all alone in his bed. Normally I would have thought that was a not-so-subtle invitation for me to go over, but given that he stays with his parents when he’s in town, it was unlikely that he wanted me to turn up on his parents’ doorstep.

We said goodnight and planned to be in touch the next day to make arrangements. It had been a pretty escalating day of chat, considering we only matched that morning, and I was really looking forward to meeting him – he seemed like a funny (dry sense of humour) guy, who seemed to have his shit together and if he looked even remotely like his pictures I was in for a treat.

The next day, over texts and a couple of phone calls, we made plans that he would come downtown after an early dinner he had with his parents. I tried to arrange to meet at a bar but he was insistent about staying in with a bottle of wine. And to be honest, still feeling a little shaky from the birthday antics the night before, I was ok with that. So, for the first time ever, I gave a man I had never met my address and had him turn up on my doorstep.

And I know what you’re thinking – ARE YOU FUCKING NUTS?! Always meet in a public place, never give your address until you know them, make sure they know you do kickboxing and can kick their ass etc etc!

Like I say, it was the first time I’d ever done it and part of me was horrified at myself, but the other part trusted my gut, and my gut told me it was ok, he didn’t seem like “that sort of guy”. You know, the sort to murder a Bumble date in her apartment. (I joke, but it’s a serious issue and I’m aware that women need to take care of their safety at all times, which I don’t take lightly.) And so just after 8pm my buzzer went and I apprehensively waited for the elevator to deliver him to the 10th floor and hear a knock on my door.

To say I wasn’t disappointed is the understatement of the year.

Things I hadn’t noticed or seen in his profile pictures – this unbelievably sexy salt and pepper hair, more expected on a man of 40 or 50 but hugely attractive on a hot guy of 29; arms that even under his jacket I could tell were going to be my favourite part about him; and this deep dimple square in the middle of his chin that I just wanted to nestle my head in forever. And something I couldn’t have known from his profile but had picked up in the couple of phone calls earlier in the day but was now confirmed; an incredibly attractive, accented, maybe east coast-ish, slightly husky voice.

This WTAF moment was possibly the best, most pleasantly surprising I’d ever experienced. I had to do all I could to pick my jaw up off the floor and make words come out of my mouth while simultaneously quieting the voice in the back of my head that was saying “well, he’s going to be disappointed with you”.

He’d brought wine so while I got that opened and he took a look at the view from my place, the easy chatting we’d had over text picked up in person. He was super easy to talk to and had led a really interesting life. He was also clearly a lover of the finer things (the wine he brought was not a cheap bottle, apparently he only flies business class and his taste in hotels includes some of the finest in the world) and I think knew he was very successful for his age, but in a matter of fact, appreciative, because he’d made so many sacrifices, kind of a way. And I didn’t hate any of it.

We discovered a shared love of rugby and spoke about the rugby sevens coming up in Vancouver in a few months, but he didn’t think he’d be in town for it. I realised I was already hoping to hear of any next visits to Vancouver he may have, and we weren’t even through our first glass of wine yet…

With so much talking, it took me a while to realise that either we were going to just have a lovely evening of wine and chit chat or he was going to have to make a move. Because I knew I sure as hell wasn’t. I also realised that surely being in someone’s apartment, other than it having easy access to a bedroom, made it more difficult for something more physical to happen naturally, no? At least at a bar you might be huddled around a table and able to get a little closer. Or moving from a restaurant to a bar there’s the opportunity for some contact while you’re walking. At the movies, there’s the potential for a brushing of hands. Sitting on the couch in someone’s house? You really had to make that shit happen for yourself. And I knew that I, for one, would not be the one to do that. No matter how much I wanted to get a little closer to that dimple.

We ended up talking about basketball at one stage, with me asking him if he’d always played, if he still played etc etc. I commented that, despite playing in high school, it wasn’t the sport for me given my short, fat fingers. As I said it, he leaned forward and took my wine glass out my hand, placed it on the table and took my hand to look at said short, fat fingers.

I was simultaneously distressed at the fact he was now examining one of the areas of my body I hated the most – why had I brought up my goddamn chunky digits?! – but thrilled that, other than a swift hug when he’d first arrived which I hadn’t been able to enjoy because I was so pleasantly stunned, we were now engaging in physical contact.

That physical contact seemed to be the only in he needed. He briefly dropped my hand, to have more of his wine, and then in one swift movement was over on the other part of the sectional sofa, half standing, half kneeling on the sofa over me. It felt imposing and incredibly sexy, and I was aware instantly, there was something about his energy in that moment, that he was probably very dominant sexually. This could be fun.

He was forceful in a very flirtatious way, so that not once did I have a concern about a man, whom I’d met only a couple of hours earlier and let into my apartment, ordering me around. To be honest, I was more than happy to comply. He took his shirt off and the delight I experienced when he first arrived, was elevated by about a hundred. His arms were, as I had imagined from that first in real life glimpse, delightful. That salt and pepper hair, which turned out to be outrageously long on top of his head when I actually ran my fingers through it, and matching stubble and chest hair was ridiculously sexy. And that dimple? Good God, that dimple.

The only thing I didn’t like was some of the chat. Now, I’m a talker during sex, I mean not like a “hi, how’s your day been” kinda talker, but I like keeping the lines of communication open, vocalising appreciation, making suggestions and laughing. There’s nothing I love more than when you’re comfortable enough with a sexual partner that you can laugh at the unavoidable weird/awkward/funny stuff that happens during sex. Silent sex does not do it for me.

But some questions, particularly when you don’t know your partner all that well, you know like when you only met him for the first time when he turned up on your doorstep two and a half hours ago, just seem a little forced and unnecessary. And I know for some people hearing their partner talk about what they like and want done to them, in the midst of sex, is a massive turn on and usually I’d be all for it but I found that I struggled a little with not knowing him all that well.

What I didn’t struggle with was when, after making out and getting pretty handsy on the sofa for a while, he picked me up, carried me to the bedroom and threw me on the bed. And I’m not just using that phrase because it sounds great. He actually threw me down on the mattress with such force I remember bouncing. I wasn’t sure bouncing was sexy, so I attempted to steady myself, find some composure and maintain an air of sexiness.

The sex was better than great. He knew what he was doing and obviously knew what he liked, but he was also suitably generous. The one thing I did notice, however, was that when we started having sex, the kissing stopped. I think there’s something that men, and maybe women, equate about kissing during sex with intimacy, and when they’re not looking for a relationship, they think that a way to avoid that is to minimise intimacy. There is, of course, the argument that sex in and of itself can be one of the most intimate acts that humans engage in.

What was a little more off-putting than the no kissing, was the lack of post-sex cuddles. I think I’ve said it before, I’m a massive cuddler. That closeness, that comfort, I miss that as a singleton. But similarly to the kissing, I think for some people that closeness after sex scares them because it feels too intimate. As if having your genitals entwined just moments before somehow wasn’t.

So instead we lay, slightly apart, in bed chatting until he said he should get going. I realised at that point that we hadn’t really had any particularly deep conversations. It was all fairly surface level. And despite the groping, the nakedness, the hot sweaty sex, I could have had almost the same level of actual conversation with him sat in public at a bar.

It was unfortunate to see him get dressed again but that dimple at least couldn’t hide behind clothes. We talked about maybe seeing each other on the Sunday, but we both had plans with friends and, as we hugged goodbye, we left it that we’d see how it went.

The next morning, as I was filling in one of my girlfriends, the girlfriend who helped craft the final text to Filipeen, about my previous night’s antics she commented that she knew someone who worked in the industry that Toronto Dimple Chin (as he was now Christened) used to work in. Within three minutes she came back to me to tell me that yep, her friend knew him, mostly in a professional capacity but that he was a good guy. We joke that she’s better at finding out stuff about people than the FBI. Those memes you see on Instagram about giving someone a first name and five minutes later they have the whole family tree? That’s this friend of mine. In fact I have two of them, and they’re hilariously helpful.

As it turned out Toronto Dimple Chin and I never caught up the next day, and he left town at the beginning of the week. He’d said it would be about six weeks until he was back again so I said he should text when he was next back in town and we could maybe catch up. “Catch up” obviously meaning, get together and have sex.

Four weeks later, I was with said FBI agent girlfriend and my best straight guy friend, the one Filipeen had concerns about, at a bar inside the sports stadium where we were spending the weekend watching rugby sevens. As they were ordering drinks, I happened to turn around, and see walking in our direction Toronto Dimple Chin and some friends. Despite the crowds, he saw me at the same time, said something to his friends who carried on walking and came over to where I was standing.

Jeez, I’d forgotten just how attractive he was. Is anyone else seeing this?!?!

As soon as he was beside me I remembered that my two, fairly drunk, friends were nearby and while, yes, they would indeed see it, I also hoped they’d keep their shit together and not embarrass me.

He and I hugged and said hello as they sidled up beside me, their drinks replenished in both hands, so it was an easy and quick introduction and then, in my friends’ defence, they said their goodbyes and headed back to our seats. Though I could tell by the look on their faces there was much they wanted to say.

Toronto Dimple Chin and I had a fairly quick chat, he said he wasn’t supposed to be in town but his plans had changed, that it was nice to see me and we should do something while he was still in town. I agreed, another quick hug, a glance at the dimple and I returned to where my friends were sitting and he headed off in the direction of his.

Before I even reached within earshot of our seats, I could tell the two witnesses were filling in the rest of my friends with the details of the bar encounter. As I approached my girlfriend stopped talking, looked at me and said “he is one of the most attractive men I’ve seen in real life, in my life”. And I couldn’t disagree.

It turns out even our straight, male friend thought the same. When they’d turned around and saw me chatting to Toronto Dimple Chin, he’d said “I don’t know who he is, but I’d do him” and then was apparently incredulous that I had in fact actually already “done him”.

It was a relief to know that I hadn’t dreamt up his attractiveness or remembered the cuteness of that dimple through inaccurate rose-tinted spectacles. And not only for me to be reminded of it but for friends to witness it as well – it made me sound a little less nuts when I was insistent that he was probably the most attractive man I’d slept with.

Despite the excitement of seeing him again and the pleasantries we exchanged in the stadium concourse, we didn’t meet up during the rest of his time in Vancouver. Instead we texted a couple of times and then it sort of went nowhere, which was kind of disappointing but if I’m honest, if he lived in closer proximity and I’d seen him more? That dimple could well have been the death of me.

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The Arms Are Here To Stay – Part 2 of 2


I spent the remainder of that Friday in the office, still wondering what the hell had happened in the last 20 or so hours, but mostly attempting to remain awake. I chose to work in the office lounge, on a comfy chair with my feet up on a foot rest and there were definite moments of head bobbing, almost falling asleep. It wasn’t my finest hour at work, I promise I’m usually a professional, but the lack of sleep – it really had been 3 hours max – was killing me.

Turns out it was killing him too. We texted as they drove south from Vancouver to the States and Arms had passed the driving duties to his friend so he could nap. I was incredibly jealous of a car ride nap.

As it would turn out, Arms and I would text off and on throughout the rest of his trip and, having started following each other on Instagram, would keep up with what each other was doing that way too. I figured it might stop when the vacation ended and he got home to Calgary but given that his daily routine of Crossfit Coaching was different to my office schedule our texting actually increased to where we were texting or messaging on Instagram everyday.

While it was incredibly lovely, albeit surprising, to still be in such close contact with him, I was finding it quite confusing too. I’d gone into the “date” (can you call it that when his mate comes along too?) seeing it for what it was – a guy in town for a few days, in fact, only one night by that point, who lives in Calgary and had made no mention of looking for a relationship. I was hardly expecting it to be the great romance of the century. But we’d gotten on so well when we’d met, the sex had been pretty goddamn great, at least for me, and now here we were still messaging a month later.

Was this going to progress to something more?

Up until that point we’d not really mentioned anyone else when we’d been chatting to each other, like if he was seeing anyone else or if I was. It’s that unspoken rule of dating (not that Arms and I were dating), you don’t mention who else you’re dating unless you’re asked. (And then if you’re asked you should always counter with “are you sure you’re ready for the answer?”) But I wasn’t naive enough to think that he wasn’t seeing anyone and I would have been lying if I said I hadn’t been out on dates in that time too.

So why weren’t we having the conversation?

I think we each knew the answer to where the other person was at but for, me anyway, I felt like I needed it clarified. Almost as if anything else between us had to be taken off the table. The last thing I wanted to do was start telling him about other dates if there was ever likely to be anything with us again. But I knew that he lived there, I lived here, he’d never mentioned wanting a relationship or even serious dating and there was definitely a chance I was taking his friendliness to mean more than he may be intended.

I do have a gift for letting my heart run away with my head. I get swept up in imagining what might/could/possibly be rather than looking at the cold hard facts and treating as they should be.

Eventually one day when we were texting, we were talking about a hypothetical situation with both of us in it and I decided to take the opportunity to expressly say “yeah but it would only ever be platonic”. Even just typing those words in a text instantly made me feel better, lighter and more in control. He agreed and the conversation moved on. I don’t even know if he’d remember that part of the conversation but it was so significant for me.

From that moment onwards, he went from being “this super hot guy I’d had incredible sex with and had been messaging with everyday since” to “my friend Arms who, oh yeah, we hooked up this one time”. It was an important shift and changed even the conversations I had with my girlfriends about him. Up until that point the first description of him had got all their heads running away with my heart but after the re-framing they were definitely a little less excitable about it all.

They were also sceptical. Sceptical that we could just all of a sudden be these kind of friends who could have honest and vulnerable discussions about dating and sex, and random conversations about Instagram memes and working out, having had the history of that one night together and him looking the way he does with his shirt off. I was kind of surprised too but I loved it.

Once I knew exactly where I stood, I was able to completely let my guard down and we talked about everything. I told him about every bad date, every good date (though there were fewer of those), we’d help each other craft the perfect Tinder replies or post-date texts, we talked about sex (a lot), he’d tell me about all these girls at his gym and I’d warn him about shitting on his own doorstep, and he wouldn’t listen. We’d also talk about how we were doing with friends, or self improvement stuff, we’d cover family goings on, books we’d read or how we were dealing with shit we were going through.

We were now texting everyday and speaking on the phone maybe once a week and every so often a friend would say to me “are you still chatting to Arms?” and I’d say “yep, he just texted me” and it would always be followed with “and you’re really just friends?” usually with a side of an eye roll too.

The things we’d talked about, however, the details we’d gone into with each other on certain stories/people, we could never look at each other in anyway but as friends. Some of those stories were dark! Some of the admissions we made, to the things we did sexually (more him than me) or the level of crazy we got to (more me than him), were things we would barely have let ourselves speak out loud let alone to another person. But we made a safe space for each other. There was never any judgement and we’d frequently find ourselves giving advice but always finishing with “but whatever you do, I’ve still got your back.”

We also don’t always help each other. I’d been texting this guy, who I’ll write a post about later, and he had really great banter. I was in the middle of simultaneously texting him and texting Arms to tell him how funny this guy was. To make it easier to illustrate, I took a screenshot of my text convo with the guy to send to Arms. Of course I got mixed up in my text windows (I was on my laptop) and somehow sent the screenshot of the convo with the guy back to the guy along with a message saying “see he’s funny! He’s getting massive brownie points right now”.


I almost had a heart attack. I was sat at my desk having palpitations. I texted Arms to explain the situation who could do nothing but send me back a bunch of laughing face emojis. Then a bunch of “haha”s. Then a meme about doing exactly what I’d done.

Like I said, not always helpful. Though he eventually stopped laughing long enough to tell me not to worry, that the guy should be flattered because it was a nice message. He was right and I managed to kind of talk my way out of it. But I appreciated Arms’ eventual support, even if he still enjoys referencing this little snafu way more than I’d like. The tables were turned though when he screenshotted a convo with a girl to send to me, and accidentally sent it to ANOTHER girl. Who’s laughing now?

We’ve talked each other out of the darkness when things have gone to shit too. A relationship I thought was going somewhere ended up biting me in the ass and he talked me off a ledge. And when he started being vulnerable with a girl he was seeing and she shut him down, I was there to find the silver lining of the situation.

So we’ve  been in the dating trenches together. He provides a male perspective to me, I provide a female perspective to him and we both provide a shit tonne of dark memes to each other that are so bad you wouldn’t even give them a double tap like on Instagram, god forbid someone saw you’d liked it. And they’re always followed them up with a “this is why we friends” message. We’re as bad as each other.

He’s been here to visit twice since that initial road trip brought him to Vancouver and none of my friends believed me when I said he was staying on the couch and we wouldn’t be sleeping together. Now there really is nothing further from my mind. He’s one of my closest confidantes. He moved to Australia a few months ago and the time change hassle might be my only complaint about him.

I like to call him my favourite Tinder Fail Success – I didn’t find the romantic relationship I was looking for but the friendship that came out of it was worth far more and he was the greatest lesson in looking under the hood (as it were). And I am hopeful that Arms will be in my life for a long time, if not forever.

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