At a time when immediacy and instant gratification fly down the Information Superhighway like deadly road wreckage, it has become harder than ever to find quick, recreational sex -- unless, of course, you take, um, a "do-it-yourself" approach. Where are the men of stereotype, the randy fellows who are always ready for casual tumbles? Are the guys with insatiable libidos now hiding somewhere outside of West Hollywood and the West Village?
These days, even finding an online hook-up takes too long.
Admittedly, I was late to arrive at the fair. I came out and started dating -- I was a virgin, in fact -- at 31. In 2006, I believed that I had bypassed the wild times, the meaningless encounters that appeared to be empty but also dangerously exciting. I wanted to find a boyfriend and to set up an "instant home," despite the fact that every man I was meeting wanted to have sex within the first five minutes of saying hello. When I finally met a gentleman who seemed interested in an adult courtship, I jumped at the opportunity, forcing the five-year relationship to sit on the shelf long past its "sell by" date. You could smell the curdling after only 12 months.
By the point I was finished playing house with Mr. Nice-But-Not-Forever, the advent of the smart phone had given birth to GPS-based dating apps and more easily navigated online sites. The Internet was a veritable buffet of sexual possibility, an avenue that didn't require my setting foot in the loud and boozy clubs that I disliked so much. Finally, my suppressed feelings ripped through my mind and body in a delayed adolescence and sexual awakening. At 36, I still wanted to find "the one," but I felt comfortable making myself available for some no-strings-attached sex in the meantime.
There were a handful of successful rendezvous, but the process became increasingly frustrating.
"How tall are you?" wrote LAHottie19, a 30-year-old man whose abs photographed like a piece of etched steel. I had to assume that he had a handsome face; it wasn't visible in his profile picture.
"5'8"," I replied. "I'm a little bit on the Smurf side, without the blue coloring."
"5'8"?" he repeated as a question. "How much do you weigh?" My sense of humor was of no interest to this self-proclaimed "hot" guy; he was interested only in my looks and my body. He wasn't going to be marriage material, it was clear, but he could have passed some time while I was waiting for Lancelot's white horse to saddle up to my side door.
The conversation continued along those lines for nearly five hours. He requested every stat but my body temperature, and that was probably because he was planning to check it in person. By the time he finally decided he might like to actually meet, it was past my bedtime, and my right hand had yielded in ten minutes what LAHottie19 had asked to lick off my chest at the beginning of our endless conversation. I learned relatively quickly that efficient hook-ups were not as easy to come by as the app ads would have you believe.
Potential daters on various websites also dished smack. It wasn't odd to get an introductory message that glossed over my hobbies and personal interests and jumped right in to the subject of bedroom likes and dislikes. Those men -- even with their questionable priorities, considering that they were on dating sites and not hook-up apps -- appeared to be possible companions for a night or two. And yet, when I would meet these big talkers for coffee or a meal -- fully expecting a roll in the sheets afterwards -- they would want to have second and third dates before unfastening their five-button jeans. They wanted to develop "connections" before becoming at all intimate, completely belying the words that got our, well, balls rolling.
This emotional brand of man was, in my experience, altogether absent when I began my romantic journey -- albeit later in life. I could find only the guys who wanted a fun-night-stand without the risk of attachment. And, now that I was finally willing to let loose and adopt a liberating sexual outlook, every man chained himself at the knees until at least a few weeks of dating had passed. Waiting a month for "wham-bam-thank-you-man" seemed to defeat the purpose; where were all of those men who were supposedly interested in "only one thing?"
Over the last four years and as I enter a new decade at 40, I still haven't met the man who will be my husband. That said, I also haven't had as much sex as I'd like. I've become less patient about waiting for Mr. Right because there doesn't even seem to be a Mr. Right Now.
"You should just enjoy yourself until the man of your dreams comes along," my friend Lisa suggested a few weeks ago.
"It's not as easy you'd think," I explained. "It doesn't just happen."
"Oh, please," Lisa continued, "we all know that gay men are having sex constantly." She bought into the myth and wasn't convinced by my dearth of experiences as of late.
"Listen, no matter what the age - you could be 20, 50 or 70 -- men just want to have sex. If their equipment works, they're in. Period." Lisa said it with conviction.
I am dating myself for the time being; there's intimacy and tons of sex. And, I even slept with myself on the first date.