We met through a personal ad. She was a settled New Yorker, and native of South Africa. She worked as a freelance seamstress, and had some very nice hippie qualities - global awareness and global tastes in fashion and music, travels to Burning Man, that sort of thing. She attracted me, but not in a consuming way. Some brief sexual exploration brought us to a place where we decided we’d be better as non-sexual friends – which we remained for years to come. Sometimes i regretted that path, as the healthiness inherent in the idea of “friends who fuck as needed” was growing in me.
One of the first romantic moments in my life when i tried to really rise above the stunted shallowness and negotiated romance of this society…to live by the thought that we can and should be able to love anyone. Margie and i lived a mile or so apart in Astoria. I can’t remember how we met, but we became nice friends. Hanging out, talking, indulging our shared passion for Muppets (we made a project of trying to see every single Muppet film, which she ended up having less stomach for than i…of course, i was dedicated to the project as a writer, wanting to understand why the franchise had been mostly unable to survive Jim’s death). I never had any zowie feeling for her, but when she broached romance, i wanted to give it a try. I knew that desire always fades anyway, so why not? I liked her. But the one night we spent together just didn’t have any magic. I felt off-balance and unsure. So much so that we never tried again. We kept the friendship going for a good while, but eventually faded away. Even though we never talked about it, the fact that our romantic moment hadn’t worked, was probably a factor.ANNIE
CHRISSYWe met online in the “platonic only” section. A hippiesque free-spirit, she was in a long-term, same-sex romance that was beginning to break up. She had never been with a man, and we wrote long letters talking about her past. She’d been raped by a step-father as a young teen, then later molested by another male relative. Over the course of our writing, we became convinced that i was to be her first male lover. She was so smart, loving, and literate. Finally, after half a year or so, we met. We talked in a coffee shop for over an hour. It was very sweet…but i think we both realized something was missing. We hugged and went our separate ways. A year or so later, she appeared in my inbox again. I visited her in Connecticut. She’d had at least a couple male lovers in the interim, which had been pretty positive experiences. At that time, i was seeing someone to whom i’d promised monogamy, so we just held each other nakedly for a few nights, gently caressing and kissing a bit. The physical attraction wasn’t overwhelming, so on one level i was actually glad for my possessive lover at home (she, however, was anything but glad when i returned and told her about my trip). The visit was a beautiful experience in every way…made all the more special by knowing how important i’d been in helping her move past the demons of her youth. I cried for the human race, that my lover wasn’t even the tiniest bit sympathetic to Chrissy. I visited her again some months later, when i was no longer in a relationship. We shared spirits, music, and walks. Although it felt very comfortable, it still wasn’t the consuming attraction i’d been hoping for. We became sexual again, and she wanted to use a condom. Knowing how much i loathed them, i was content to tell her that we didn’t need to consummate in that way (which also seemed sensible, given my ambivalence). She was disappointed. One of the funnier moments of my life occurred while giving her cunnilingus. My behind was raised up, and i suddenly felt the sensation of a tongue in my crack. It was her dog, eagerly gettin’ in there, as they say (the kind of humorous injection that most sexual encounters are in dire need of). We drifted apart, which i didn’t want. I’m sure the break in contact came from her. I didn’t expect someone as spiritually advanced to walk away from a caring friendship for sexual reasons, but that’s okay. Perhaps she’ll need me again some day.