Dating the out there crazy kooky college student who never grew up

It’s a cold, cold snowy night, the log fire is roaring, and a little memory or two is asking to be let out.

So…

I met the crazy kooky college student who never grew up at a gig in Oxfordshire’s Jericho Tavern.

It was an unsigned 4-act indie-band gig (as you’d expect from the Jericho) and I was happily single and not looking and seriously enjoying the music.

I had noticed her a while ago; short, blonde, nice figure, dancing like an absolute lunatic right at the front of the stage.

There’s usually one of these people at every gig, everywhere in the UK.

Three quarters of an hour later, as I pushed my way towards the front of the crowd to watch the new act on stage, she was there again; high-energy dancing to the edgily anarchic post-punk sound.

After the last band’s final number, I was walking through the bar downstairs, when I saw her heading out of the Ladies, making for the same door to the street as me.

What do you say under the circumstances? ‘Did you have a nice pee?’ ‘Hope you had a good poo?’

I opted for neither, but I held the door open for her and as she walked in front of me I just said ‘I love to see you dance like that; you look like you’re really appreciating the music’.

‘It’s great exercise. I think I’ve lost at least two pounds.’

‘You don’t need to lose any weight!’ I genuinely protested.

And she kissed me.

Smack on the mouth.

Then she put her tongue in my mouth and standing in the main door of the Jericho Tavern we snogged like a couple of teenagers, while we were cheered and jeered by the crowd in the pub.

She lived in Iffley. I gave her a lift home. We snogged some more. She invited me in to her shared house and bloody hell I said no thank you.

I took my erection home.

I called her the next day and left a voicemail.

The day after that (Monday) she called at 8pm.

She invited me out for a drink. Right now. And she was in Witney (the little Oxfordshire town where I lived) and had come out just to see me.

Frankly I wanted to say ‘No thanks, I’m in my PJs and I’m about to go to bed with a good book and some relaxing music.’

‘I’ll be 30 minutes.’

The Hollybush was almost empty. We pitched up at a table with a drink each (pint for her and soft drink for me) and talked, awkwardly at first.

Music. Where we live. What we do. Where we came from.

She was animated, different, slightly wild, a little uncontrolled, and definitely kooky.

Back at my house we threw ourselves at each other.

Her odd blend of modern, obviously second-hand, and designer clothes came off very easily.

Her body was lovely, and beautifully tattooed across her back, over her shoulders and down across her left breast. I wondered who had been given the job of tattooing the miniature hieroglyphs into the cheeks of her bum, and from the inside of her right leg to her labia.

The sex was deeply passionate, yet oddly restrained (especially given her outgoing kooky nature).

We finally fell asleep around 2am.

I woke at 6.30. She was gone.

No note, no message, no text, no nothing. Just gone.

I felt disappointed.

I don’t take people to bed who I don’t like, and I genuinely liked this girl and her oddly different kookiness.

I thought carefully and then called her; left what I thought was the right kind of voicemail.

Two weeks – yes, TWO WEEKS – later she sent me a text. She’d be at a bar in Oxford in an hour if I wanted to meet up? We could go back to her place? And have some more sex?

My heart and head are both, occasionally, ruled by my sexual urges. But not this time.

I said I was sorry but I had a busy evening in front of me. We agreed it was a shame, and said maybe next time.

Three days later she called at 2pm on Saturday afternoon and invited me to tea that day.

Her house was oddly like her; a strange mix of different styles, divergent patterns, material from many sources.

Her beautiful blonde hair had been carefully sculpted into tight dreads. The house smelled strongly of weed.

She had nothing in the house to eat, so tea didn’t happen.

I wanted to leave, but there was kissing and touching and yes I am so shallow that when she started to go down on me I was ripping my clothes off, pulled her mouth off my cock and kissed her deeply, enjoying the taste of my cock in her mouth.

This time the sex was wild and completely uninhibited and we did deep, dark, and disgusting things to each other that would shock our parents. Probably.

We had sex in every room in the house, which included her housemates’ bedroom, and dirty things happened in the bathroom, before we finished each other off in her bed.

She wasn’t obviously drugged up, but this was a different class of lover than the one I’d had sex with a few weeks previously. She was a perverts dream, and I was a mothers nightmare.

We enjoyed each other. We enjoyed ourselves.

9am the next morning I was back home, with the scent of her all over my body, and the taste of her almost locked into my mouth.

Before I fell asleep that evening I called, and left a voicemail. The next morning I called and left a voicemail. A week later I sent her a text. Two days after that I sent another text.

Six months almost to the day, and she was at another gig in a different pub, way across in a different district of Oxford.

Dancing in front of the stage like a demented lunatic.

Regretfully I slipped to the back of the room, finished my drink, and went home.

Fishing in the same old pool

The trouble with PoF is that it is not the deep end of the dating pool.

Yes, there might be Plenty of Fish, but if you are PoFing then you are dipping your hook pretty close to the surface of a murkily-shallow, weed-clogged pool of stagnant, smelly water.

I’ve had some interesting encounters via PoF, and had some lovely dates with very beautiful people.

But I’ve narrowly dodged some PoF people you just wouldn’t want to meet at a party at your best friend’s house.

No, I wouldn’t want to snog you, let along have a relationship with you, especially as being in the same room as you makes my skin itch.

That kind of people.

The trouble is the different classes of dating websites just give you different classes of fish (to keep the analogy going).

They’re the same. But different.

A better class of person you wouldn’t want to meet at a party at your best friend’s house.

That kind of thing.

I haven’t been fishing (or any other kind of date-searching) for five years.

But I hear my colleagues, and my friends talk to me about their experiences, and say ‘You’re so lucky, it wasn’t like this when you were last on the market’.

And they’re so wrong. It was like this.

It was also like this in the pre-internet days, when we’d spend our Friday or Saturday evenings in various wine bars, looking for the one.

The one!

That’s a conversation for another time.

But in the meantime I’ll just say that I’m glad I’m not fishing.

I do wonder what’s out there, in those pools.

But I’m glad I’m not fishing.

Dating the hairdresser

I was laying in bed early one evening, when I thought I’d see who was around on PoF.

I never really got on with Plenty of Fish, but it was there and available and I had a few minutes so I thought I’d try it.

I found a profile I liked.

And the person behind that profile was online right now.

So I said ‘hi’.

The profile said ‘hi’ right back, straight away.

And we were off and running.

I haven’t fallen off the wagon, this was about six months before my current relationship started.

I was young(er), free(er), and totally was a single.

We chatted in real time.

We liked what we had to say.

We exchanged photos.

We liked how we looked.

I broke with tradition and took the risky strategy of taking an actual photo of me right at that moment, sitting up in bed, in a clean pair of PJs, in a lovely bed of clean linen.

‘When can we meet!!!!’

I ignored the overuse of punctuation and checked my diary (this took about three seconds), and hedged back with a hopeful ‘Tomorrow?’

‘Yes please! Can you be outside the wine bar in Witney (the small Oxfordshire town where we both lived) at 8pm???’

I said I could.

We chatted more and it got flirty and a little bit dirty.

My appetite was whetted.

Around 24 hours later, wearing very smart but cooly casual, I was outside Hackett’s wine bar.

A Mercedes two-seater drove past me, a very attractive blonde at the wheel.

The car parked.

I tried to remain cool but was actually getting hot.

The driver’s door opened and MY HAIRDRESSER GOT OUT!

I mean, wow. Small town and all that.

But that’s my hairdresser!!!! (my turn to overuse punctuation)

Let’s be honest.

She looked absolutely gorgeous.

The simple white dress fitted her like a glove, and emphasised her beautifully feminine shape that (until now), I’d only seen hidden beneath her usual jeans and t-shirt as she worked on my hair.

She could tell I was surprised.

‘I didn’t think you knew it was me’, she said.

I had no clue. The photograph was reasonable, but it didn’t show me, well, my hairdresser.

I said I didn’t.

‘I loved that photograph you sent. I wanted to be there, in bed with you’, she said.

I told her I would have liked that.

We kissed on each cheek, and went in to the wine bar.

We talked.

We talked a lot.

And this time it went way beyond our usual ‘Are you going anywhere nice for your holidays’ chat.

I’m not much of a chatter, and less of a people person.

But that night we had a good old chat, like two proper friends.

At the end of the evening we split the bill, and I walked her out to her car.

We kissed; long, deep, sexy.

‘Not tonight’, she said.

‘OK’, even though I was disappointed.

‘Saturday?’

So Saturday it was.

She texted me her address on Saturday morning, and at 7pm I drove to her house, parked up, and rang her doorbell.

Nice strappy shoes,  1/2″ heels (bare feet, toenails painted screaming scarlet to match her fingernails), cream jeanos (like jeans, but actually chinos), cream t-shirt with an inlaid gold design across her breasts.

Edible.

And I was very hungry.

We went to a nice gastropub in Ascott-under-Wychwood; a bit out of the way, but quiet.

Dinner was good, but we both knew it was a starter for what would follow.

I took her home later; we kissed in the car, but kept our hands away from indiscreet areas.

‘Coming in?’ she asked.

‘That would be nice’, being all supercool.

The minute we were inside with the door shut we were all over each other.

I helped her jeanos off, and the silk pants underneath quickly followed.

She was beautifully shaven, and shavenly beautiful.

I pushed her down on to a large comfortable chair and for ten solid minutes without a single break I ate her out.

She was delicious.

Four hours later I struggled back in to my clothes, French-kissed her goodbye, and drove home.

Despite the next date being on a school night (Wednesday evening), we had dinner out and then both ate in.

She was very similar to me.

Same dirty, uninhibited tastes.

Same dirtiness.

Same unrestrictedness.

Same lustfulness.

Followed by the same early morning creeping home on my part.

We hooked up a dozen times over the next nine weeks.

Each meeting ended in dirty sex.

We experimented, we pushed boundaries.

This was never unadventurous, comfortable fulfillment.

Fulfillment, yes.

Unadventurous?

Comfortable?

Never.

This was dirty, passionate, teasing, painful, satisfying.

We both had a bad case of extreme lust, we both pushed each other’s buttons.

And then, one day, she just drifted off.

Got herself a new date.

I wasn’t heartbroken.

We never loved each other.

But we did fancy the hell out of each other.

And I missed that.

Zzzzzzz

It is the wee small hours. I am typing this on my phone, so there may be errors.

Fast forward a handful of years.

My SO is fast asleep next to me.

Snoring.

Snoring stupidly loudly.

This is the fourth time this week that I have been woken by heavy snoring activities.

I’ve been lying here trying to analyse what happens when I’m woken up by such awful noise.

I get frustrated.

I get annoyed.

I take it personally.

And finally, after an hour or so, I get really angry.

Say something, you may advise.

Wake up the snorer, you may think.

I do.

I have done both.

My SO gets defensive.

Assumes a mental posture that is borderline combative.

And says things that make me feel selfish.

Because I don’t want to be alone in the bed.

I don’t want them to flounce downstairs in to the cold, to sleep on the settee.

And I don’t want to feel bad about just mentioning that I got three hours sleep, on four different nights this week.

I’m exhausted.

But I don’t know what to do.

Dating story: The Accountant

The Accountant and I encountered each other on the slightly more classy than most app: Elite Singles.

The Accountant (or TA to just use a label) lived in Stroud, just a briefish trip down the A40 from where I was living that year.

TAs profile was impressive: A partner in a national practice, having career and non-work fun in equal measures, cars, sailing and travel, yet books and films too.

And a dribble-worthy head and shoulders photo against a drop-dead gorgeous sun-sea-sand backdrop.

I may have actually dribbled.

There were nice, chatty emails.

We moved to the phone and TA was…

Well…

A bit of an Accountant.

I looked for the promised fun side of TA but it wasn’t forthcoming in that call.

Or the one after.

But hey, whatevs, let’s give TA a go, I thought.

I upped my game for the date.

I made sure that when I left the house I had done every conceivable thing to make yours truly look more than average.

When I checked myself in the mirror I thought I looked doable.

We met at a pub in the gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside, on a stunning summer evening.

TA was prompt.

And TA was Absolutely Gorgeous.

I may have dribbled some more.

But…

It quickly became apparent that TA was an actual Accountant.

TA was dull, sense of humourless, boring, and, and, and…

*sigh*

And TA had all of the in-person sexual magnetism and charm of a haddock.

A not living haddock.

At the end of the evening TA made a facial lunge for my mouth which I managed to sidestep with a hug and a cheek-offering.

TA had a cold handshake.

I wondered if TA had been an accountant since birth.

I haven’t figured out how TA had such stunning good looks yet such an unfortunate demeanour.

But that’s how it was.

An absolute prize of a date on paper, but in real life?

No.

Just no.

Friendly Fire from my own phone

I dropped my handset a few days ago, and broke the glass.

Annoying and expensive, as the phone is less than two months old.

So I took it off for an in-store repair which, to give Geek Squad credit for, they turned around in one working day.

Marvellous.

I had backed up all my data, contacts, emails, photos and all that jazz, but when I carefully unpacked the phone at home and put the old SIM card in, the Samsung genie who lives inside the handset asked if I wanted to do a full restore from two days ago?

I said ‘yes’.

And it did it.

It just did the whole thing by itself; restored the phone from Samsung’s cloud-based services, and I didn’t need to touch the backup I’d taken at home.

But the phone has also restored the entire history of text messages sent/received, going back to mid-2012.

And I’ve sent/received a lot of texts over the last five years!

Most of these texts are mundane.

Some are not.

Some are very… pointed.

In a ‘phew *fans self*’ kind of way.

Reading texts to two people in particular got me very hot under the collar, to use a physically inaccurate euphemism.

As I was sitting at home last night, I started thinking about them.

What are they doing now?

Do they still live in the same places?

Are the phone numbers I have for them still live?

And do they still look as drop dead gorgeous as they did a couple of years ago, when I was very active in the dating world?

I sort of hate myself for even wondering these things.

I’m not looking.

I’m in a relationship.

But I couldn’t stop myself.

Is this normal?

The queen of Hearts she had some…

I am not a tart.

I don’t even know where the line is that separates someone from being ‘experienced’ from someone being ‘a slut’.

In fact, I don’t even know what those two things mean.

They are just words I hear. Around.

Does the fact that I have only ever had one yes that’s right just one one-night stand make me promiscuous?

Or does the fact that I’ve had one one-night stand make me a slut?

I don’t think so – to either question.

The people (around) who talk about anyone who has had multiple sexual partners would, if I exposed the truth, call me promiscuous.

Probably.

Alright, I may have had (since I became sexually active (when I was 17 years old) 23 sexual partners, but all of those (with that one exception) were proper relationships.

Relationships that lasted months and, in a couple of instances, years.

There’s a lad at work, in his very early 30s, who has had 40 (FORTY!) sexual partners, and a significant amount of those were ‘encountered’ at ‘lads weekends’ on Ibiza, and Majorca, etc.

So they weren’t proper relationships or anything.

So is he a tart?

Or a slut?

Is he?

I just keep my numbers secret; nobody needs to know.

Do they?

Anyway.

When I looked at my LinkedIn contacts earlier and thought ‘Done that one, and that one, and that one, and ooh yeah done that one properly and so would do that one again and again, and that one’, and (eventually) ‘Oh My God I have had sex with way too many people I have met through work!’, then maybe it is time to review my dating strategy?

Not that I’m dating at the moment anyway.

Because I’m living with someone.

So that’s it, right?

Being single, being ‘out there’ (1)

Let’s not mince words.

I love(d) being single.

And not from the point of ‘I love having the freedom to play the field and to go to bed with anyone who finds me remotely attractive’.

‘Go to bed with’.

What a lovely euphemism.

Anyway, back to being single.

As a singleton I enjoyed having an uncluttered life where if I didn’t want to turn the TV on for a night, or even for a weekend, or a week, I just wouldn’t turn the TV on for a night, or a weekend, or for a week.

If I’m going to eat chicken and pasta for three evenings on the trot, while I put my feet up on the settee, and listen to music and read a book, then I’m going to do those things.

Sometimes it’s just about not having to speak to anyone else.

Sometimes it’s about being in bed by 7pm with a good book and the radio on and a mug of hot chocolate.

Or sometimes it’s about putting my feet up on the settee and binge-watching Netflix, or films on Amazon, or DVDs.

Just because.

But there are things I miss(ed), and sometimes being not single becomes an attractive state.

Having someone to talk to because sometimes I wanted to talk to someone.

Or having someone to go to the cinema with, and discuss the film over a drink afterwards.

I really miss that one, when I’m single.

Or having someone to come to a gig with, because the best new band in the world is on within a hundred miles and I really want to go and see them!

And then there’s the ‘going to bed’ thing.

Sexual gratification via masturbation is very acceptable, and easy to access, but although it is handy gratification in a scratching-an-itch kind of way, it isn’t real actual sex.

I enjoy the real actual sex.

I enjoy the actual masturbation too, because in my head I have a cast of thousands (!) and the only rules are the somewhat shady limits of my own imagination.

But I enjoy doing rude things with someone else just a little more.

So we go dating.

We (and I don’t really enjoy these words) ‘hook up’.

Tinder, Match/MatchAffinity, PoF, Elite Singles, eHarmony, Bumble, OKCupid, we know the names, right?

And we probably know the players, yeah?

The trouble is, just like a Princess has to kiss a lot of frogs before she finds her Prince, there are a lot of players out there, on the other end of those dating apps.

So when I have a few moment I’m going to share just some of the dating insights from the last time I was single.

Not cautionary tales, just actual tales.

Here we go again

Determined to keep this blog totes anonymous, and not fall in to the ‘being named/known’ trap that I’ve fallen in to before.

Because when people I’m involved with (that sounds wrong… ‘people’… but anyway) read my thoughts about where I think we are and how the relationship feels to me, things inevitably don’t go well.

That’s all.