Once a week, Daily Intel takes a peek behind doors left slightly ajar. This week: the Theater Producer Breaking a Drought on Nerve.com: female, 46, Gowanus, straight, single.
7 a.m.: Answer e-mail from Nerve. I’ve been single for a very long time, and though I’d like to fall in love, looking for it seems to get stranger as I age. Meanwhile, I still fantasize quite a bit about a friendship I had some years ago, in which I was able to sustain a long-term sexual relationship with a friend that I cared about deeply. I’d love to pull off the same dynamic with someone else. Or at least end my yearlong dry spell.
7:02 a.m.: The e-mail is an invitation to a date to a dance performance in midtown. I am pre-annoyed with the inevitable “interview” portion of the date where I expect him to ask earnestly about “my work.” Argh.
10 a.m.: Walking past a grocery store, I see three homeless people, two men and a woman, sorting recyclables. The woman is crouched and has her back turned to the men. One of them grabs her between the legs, sliding his hand over her crotch from front to back, as she whirls around, angry. Both men laugh at her. I may never feel sexual again for the rest of my life.
2 p.m.: Office work is more ridiculously boring than usual. I question my judgment in scheduling a date for tonight, as I am already exhausted and cranky.
3 p.m.: Looking over the e-mail and try to ignore his theater references. Let's just call him Elder Art Man. I’ve been making multimedia performance downtown for several years, and his constant use of terms like “curtain up” and “Broadway Baby” sends chills down my spine. Though his picture is cute, and he seems to know a lot about the kind of work I like.
7:45 p.m.: I am early.
8:15 p.m.: He is late. He calls and tells me he’ll be right along, and I order a drink.
8:30 p.m.: An old man comes into the bar and looks at me as if he knows me. I cannot place him until I realize he is my date. He does not resemble his profile in any way; it is clear that he has added five inches to his height, shaved ten years from his age, and used a picture taken, oh, 30 pounds ago. I order another round.
8:31 p.m.: Is this person straight? Really? He begins to regale me with tales of downtown theater history, and seems to feel superior for knowing so much about people I admire. His lips say Wooster Group, but his aesthetic says “gay Broadway producer with muffin top.”
8:45 p.m.: I do the math, and he has got to be 58. Fair is fair; I lie about my age in my profile, too. But he is a liar with a polo shirt tucked into pleated khakis.
9:15 p.m.: I am trying, because I should be more open to older men, but the effort feels so asexual. I get along with this person quite well when I talk to him like an older gay friend.
10:30 p.m.: The performance was not horrible. We have another drink and I scarf down a sandwich, afraid if I don’t eat I’ll get drunk and say something rude. We exchange a cheek kiss and he leans into it, looking me in the eye and asking if we’ll see each other again, which couldn’t possibly feel less sexual.
Midnight: I check my Nerve messages and am delighted to find one from Raphael, a very cute man I wrote to. Am re-sexualized and masturbate before sleep.
7 a.m.: Wake up feeling very horny and masturbate again. This time, when I flip through my mental Rolodex for an appropriate subject, I land on my old friend Tom, with whom I enjoyed an intermittent affair over several years whenever we were both between relationships. I make myself come hard, thinking of a nap we took together a few years ago.
8:30 a.m.: Nerve e-mail. First one is from a guy who peppers his sentences with a lot of Hindi; he asks no questions and there is very little for me to say. I also confirm a date for tonight with a hopeful prospect named Nathan. I browse through 25 profiles — all men my age who are looking for someone ten years younger. Good morning!
10 p.m.: Rehearsal ends early, and I am early for a date.
10:15 p.m.: Nathan is on time and looks exactly like his picture. I can tell his body is nice in spite of it being completely buried in oversize distressed denim.
12:30 a.m.: He is a genuinely nice guy and really attractive. Not terribly edgy, but that’s refreshing. We have a brief exploratory date, and some really good kissing before I go home. I think we could be sexually compatible. I answer some more Nerve e-mail and then masturbate before sleep.
7:30 a.m.: Masturbate to wake up.
7:45 a.m.: Check my e-mail and discover that Elder has sent one regular e-mail and two Nerve e-mails. One of the Nerve e-mails is a little explicit. I had considered getting to know him better because he seemed to be an interesting person, but I think any friendliness will just lead him on. He has looked at my profile several times recently.
7:55 a.m.: I’ve gone on at least one date with many people on Nerve, so seeing them online again is an annoyance I’ve learned to bear. I run across the profile of a guy I actually liked a lot, though, and he is obviously quite actively dating.
8 a.m.: Revise my Nerve profile. Before, it said that I was open to the idea of “play,” but that only attracts creepy messages like the one I got from the Elder. I also revise my age to make it truthier.
7:50 a.m.: Messages from Raphael have grown short; I don’t think he is interested. No e-mail from Nathan. I scroll through all of Nerve and see several prospects. It is clear that the Elder has looked at my profile several times last night. I would like to hear from Nathan.
10 p.m.: Another e-mail from the Elder. I write him back and tell him my schedule appears to be prohibitive for several weeks. He writes back immediately “Keep in touch!” I write a brief note on Nerve to Nathan that I would love to see him again, and immediately regret it. He is either interested or not, and any note from me may possibly annoy him.
8 a.m.: I look through Nerve profiles before work. I wonder if it’s weird that I do this in the morning. No messages from Nathan. I am a bit surprised because he seemed to like me. I assume that he didn’t like my new, semi-honest age. Or he could be offended because I lied about it in the first place.
10 p.m.: Drinks with a friend. She points out that the bartender is cute. He is much hotter than the kinds of men I normally go for, and I note that I have lost whatever abilities I might have had to begin conversations with strangers and pick them up.
Midnight: A note from Nathan in my in-box. Suh-weeeeet. He says he had noticed the change in my Nerve profile, and that he thought it indicated that I wasn’t interested in him. He is relieved that I wrote him and wants to see me. I can’t believe I almost blew it and didn’t write him. I write him back immediately and tell him I’d love to see him this week.
12:30 a.m. Masturbate as a sleeping aid.
8 a.m.: Nerve. Send an e-mail to one guy.
4 p.m.: I get my eyebrows waxed, but resist a bikini wax just to keep myself from jumping on Nathan if we have a second date. The longer I wait, the better the sex will be.
11:15 p.m.: I come home and check e-mail. Nothing from Nathan. And nothing from anyone else, either. I cannot even conjure a masturbation-worthy image of a human being that I might want to sleep with, so I let Battlestar Galactica bore me to sleep.
8:30 a.m.: Nothing. I am about to go on a daylong hike upstate with friends. I would love to hear from Nathan, and wonder if, now that I’ve explained why I revised my profile, I’ve somehow offended him even more. I write him and tell him that there is a bar I think he’d like, if any of the times I had mentioned will work for him.
11 p.m.: I come back from hike completely exhausted/exhilarated and see e-mail from Nathan, who wants to have drinks tomorrow at the bar I mentioned. Fall asleep without self-sex aid.
8 a.m.: Masturbate self to wakefulness. Full day of work and rehearsal ahead.
10:15 p.m.: Date with Nathan. This time, thank God, I am late. He mentions how he had forgotten exactly what I look like, which uncannily reiterates what I was thinking — he is as cute as I remembered, though I had lost the specifics. Do we have anything in common other than the fact we’re Democrats that want to sleep together? I have no idea. He drinks two cocktails to my one glass of wine, and then walks me to my house. I invite him up, expecting a ten-minute makeout.
Midnight: Jackpot. I totally didn’t think I would sleep with Nathan until we’d had a few more dates, but I lost control in what was supposed to be a makeout. I am so glad I did; he is sexually voracious and head-spinningly talented at oral sex. We had sex for hours in several positions, and he went down on me so many times that I eventually desensitized. He has a gorgeous penis but I didn’t get a chance to give him one of my better blow jobs. He was much more interested in intercourse; eventually I became kind of sore.
7 a.m.: It’s still Day Seven, right? Of course it is. He’s gone, and I am going to be counting the minutes until he contacts me. Fortunately, he sends me an e-mail immediately: “See you again?” I tell myself to be wise and not reply immediately. Then I send a note instantly: “Of course! When?” Like an idiot.
TOTALS: Three dates with two men; five acts of masturbation; two brief acts of fellatio; four acts of cunnilingus; two acts of intercourse; seven acts of compulsive morning Nerve.com in-box checking; six acts of compulsive bedtime Nerve.com in-box checking.