tagRomanceLove is the Drug

Love is the Drug


The lay of the land

I was a recently divorced man at the age of forty-five when I first tried Internet dating. Back then, in early 2001, on-line dating wasn't quite a novelty but it also wasn't something everybody had grown up with. In that period before Tinder, Instagram and smart phones people were still trying to get the hang of meeting partners through their desktop computers.

I found out about a few sites from my ex-wife, of all people. There was a new boyfriend in her life, a guy I had met when picking up my kids for a visitation. She admitted to me that she had met him through a certain site and advised me that I should research others.

At first it was quite exciting for me, not the most extroverted person in the world, to start approaching and chatting with women on line. Messages were sent through a site's server like those on a message board, I suppose, although I was soon using text messaging (or instant messaging as I knew it) for the first time.

I had beginner's luck in that the first woman I contacted responded to me and we messaged back and forth for a couple of weeks. She lived about 120 miles away from me in upstate New York; I had only picked her because I liked her photo. A long-distance relationship didn't really interest either of us but within a few more weeks I had managed to get two lunch dates with other women, one of whom was only a mile from my home.

It became clear that this was a game of numbers, and I usually had several prospects going at once. It was particularly pleasing when I was able to write a better than average profile for myself on one site and I got some women contacting me. Unfortunately one of my favorites was in British Columbia but we still chatted for about two months.

Another Canadian woman, at least twenty years younger than I was, contacted me because, I'm sure, she was looking for air fare to get to New York. She promised to send me nude pictures of herself as an incentive to get me to pay her travel expenses. Perhaps someone else eventually fell for her ruse.

By the following autumn I had some distractions, mostly in the form of job issues, and I cut back on my Internet activities. By the following year I met six women in person, which in my view was better than none, although nothing had developed from any of these dates.

Back then digital photography was just getting started and a lot of profiles, at least half in fact, had no pictures attached to them. I myself didn't get around to scanning a print for a while, and when I did I only sent them out by request.

There was a distinction between sexually explicit profiles and ones that were simply "conventional." Some sites specialized in the former, some restricted them, and others accepted both. One woman told me that if she posted a regular profile she might get five messages per week, but if she put up one describing sexual preferences - even without a photo attached - she might get seventy. (By comparison I've heard that women now on sites like Plenty of Fish might get seventy per day.)

Big blonde

In November of 2002 I came across Miriam's profile on some now-forgotten site. She did have a photo, a nude one. She described herself as a BBW, which was fine with me because I liked women of various body sizes. In fact I never understood the obsession with extreme female thinness in our society.

Miriam had set her Rubenesque self on a table, facing sideways to the camera, and she was up on her hands and knees. She had short blonde hair at one end and white high-heeled shoes on the other; in between was a lot of creamy zaftigness. I found out later than white shoes were supposedly unfashionable after Labor Day, but maybe she didn't know or care either.

Her text was sparse, which was a downside, because I often contacted women who had a witty profile, with or without a photo. In fact, I searched for those because by then I had read so much uninspired dating prose. (I read male profiles at times to see what the competition was up to, and if anything the men were even more inept.) I was reminded of that Andy Warhol quote, "Someday we will know what everyone else is thinking, and then we will find out that everyone else is thinking the same thing."

There was one notable aspect in her advertisement for herself. She claimed to enjoy being spanked with various implements and she wanted someone who was up to that. I had briefly experimented with that once as both a top and bottom and I was eager to try it again. Beyond that I only knew that she was in her late thirties and that she lived somewhere in Suffolk County on Long Island. The latter was another downside because that meant she was probably forty to fifty miles away from where I was in the city.

I was now often using to the "spray and pray" method of contacting whatever profiles seemed to have even the slightest potential. Miriam did send back some desultory messages but she told me almost nothing about herself and in turn asked almost nothing about me.

Her contact with me started to dry up but her photo stayed in my mind and I wasn't ready to give up yet. I used a tactic that went against my usual low-key nature, that tactic being to send a rude or ridiculous message and seeing what happened. It was a couple of days after Thanksgiving so I wrote, "Why don't you put down the turkey legs and talk to me again?"

That worked, because I got a response, "Obviously I like turkey legs." Then we were negotiating a date, one that had to take place in her home territory. She wanted to meet me at a bar in a town on the North Shore of Long Island. The topic of spanking came up again and she suggested an extension of the date if it went well. Her proposal was that we go to a nearby motel. She wrote, "There are some rooms in the back where no one will hear me scream when you beat me."

I hoped that was just supposed to be a part of playacting. She continued, "All I ask is that you rape me afterwards." More hyperbole - maybe. This all sounded unnerving rather than erotic, but she sealed the deal with another photo. This was a fully clothed head and shoulders shot and she was smiling warmly.

I wrote, "You are the cutest sub any guy could ask for." I was having visions of this being far more than a one-night stand. She could take the train into the city and I would meet her for good times in Manhattan.

I broke one of my own rules by not having or even asking for a phone conversation before meeting her. We did not have each other's phone numbers (I had my first cell phone then), e-mail addresses or text messaging addresses. We did not know each other's last names, which I had always known on previous dates. She didn't even know what I looked like beyond the description I had given her.

Nevertheless, I had to find out for myself.

Four-wheels scare the cockatoos
From Kintore east to Yuendumu

On a Friday night I drove out there and walked into the bar a few minutes before the appointed time. It was a roomy place and uncrowded for that time of the week. No buxom blonde was anywhere in sight. I found an area to the side with tables but no waitress service and I sat there looking superfluous.

I had not set a time limit for how long I would wait. The distance I had driven gave me some patience, or perhaps I should call it persistence. Several times I got up to look around both inside and outside the place in case we had missed each other. I had the paranoid thought that this was some kind of prank, but I didn't see any weird-looking guy snickering in a corner.

I finally decided to sit at the bar and have a beer. A few people who were obviously co-workers ending the week were sitting around the bar's corner - about four women and one man. Their conversations were a bit boisterous but that didn't bother me. The jukebox was playing continuously but the sound system was at a reasonable level; overall I was relaxed.

Then for some reason I become aware of the beginning of a song.

Out where the river broke
The bloodwood and the desert oak
Holden wrecks and boiling diesels
Steam in forty-five degrees

Could there really be a Midnight Oil fan in here or maybe just someone concerned with the plight of Australian aborigines? I wondered if any of the women at the bar knew what "Holden wrecks" referred to. Maybe my ex-wife, with her truck mechanic boyfriend and her newfound interest in motorcycles, would get it.

For a moment I thought of striking up a conversation with one of the office ladies. I didn't want to pick up one, I just wanted to explain my perhaps humorous situation. But that seemed wrong - it could be interpreted as more pathetic than funny.

The time has come
To say fair's fair
To pay the rent, now
To pay our share
The time has come
A fact's a fact
It belongs to them
Let's give it back

I went over to the jukebox and sure enough "Blue Sky Mine" was available. I put my coins in although I didn't know how far down the queue I was. Maybe when that came on I would leave.

Miriam could have had car trouble or even an accident, I thought. Well, that was probably a rationalization. Maybe I'd contact her tomorrow and she'd have a good explanation. I knew that was highly unlikely.

Eventually a song did come up that signaled it was time to leave.

It ain't no big thing to wait for the bell to ring
It ain't no big thing for the toll of the bell
Aggravated spare for days
I troll downtown, the red light place
Jump up, bubble up, what's in store?
Love is the drug and I need to score

Something close to ninety minutes had gone by, I don't remember exactly. Yet I felt calm and strangely detached from the situation. Perhaps I was relieved I didn't have to deal with Miriam in a Jericho Turnpike motel.

Late that night I parked my car
Staked my place at the singles bar
Face to face, toe to toe
Heart to heart as we hit the floor

Love was the drug that I hadn't scored.

The next day I wrote to her, "I was there last night and I didn't see you." Of course she never responded. Here I was forty-seven years old and I had been stood up for the first time ever. "Flaking out" is the more current term I believe.

I was oddly proud for having survived that minor debacle.


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by Anonymous

If the above comment contains any ads, links, or breaks Literotica rules, please report it.
by gunhilltrain01/03/19

You're missing the point

Maybe deliberately just to be annoying.

In our society romance has been replaced by mere "dating" (for reasons that are too complicated to get into here). Once personal ads in newspapers were a nichemore...

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by Anonymous01/03/19

Guy tries to hook up with some skanky woman online who posts naked photos of herself for general public consumption, wants her anyway, gets stood up and that's romance? Okay, then.

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by gunhilltrain08/25/18

Dear Readers:

I decided a while ago not to move this to another category. The story may be disappointing to many of you because it's about romantic expectations that fizzle out - although I think in a humorous way.


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by gunhilltrain05/21/18

Thank you for your comments. The technical aspects of the previous decade are the way I remember them but I may have forgotten some of the details. I'm pretty sure that smart phones (starting around 2007-08?)more...

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by Anonymous05/21/18

Well written and grammar was spot on. Technical references to internet dating sites vs time of cellphones emerging needed a bit more research though. I agree with most that the romance aspect fell a littlemore...

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