Two years ago, he walked into Deluxe, a restaurant/bar near Columbia University, still wearing his baseball jersey. Friend of a friend. I liked the way he looked in his uniform. Very male. Very masculine. Great guns. Two hours later we were making out as he hailed a cab for me. He was 36, and a Spanish Teacher on the Lower East Side. He had my phone number and promised to call. One week later, I met him at my local Starbucks for our first date. I had a lovely time and enjoyed his company, but it was a first date and he was not going to get to first base, and certainly not second.
I was surprised and pleased when he offered to walk me home. A perfect gentleman. At my door, I kissed him good night and he said, "I'd love to see your apartment." Sure, I thought, why not. He came up. Molly loved him. She was still a puppy. But now it was 8:00 p.m. and I had work to do. I dropped gentle hints; dishes to wash, papers to grade. He didn't budge. It became clear to me that he thought at one point, if he was patient, I would lead him to my bedroom.
Finally, I said, "Well, I have to walk Molly, we can go out together." The look of shock on his face! He wasn't getting any. I softened the blow by adding, "Let's have drinks next weekend. We can make-out at the bar. I love doing that. Or we can go to the movies." The next weekend, he had family in town and cancelled our date. I left for San Francisco for the holidays. Two months later, he texted me at 2:00 a.m. It quickly became sexual. I wasn't at all aroused, but it was fun. Again, it was 2:00 a.m., a budding insomniac, and I was lonely. Who else could I talk to? My very first sexxxting session.
I assumed that this would lead to an actual date. I assumed this was a type of foreplay. As the months went by, however, it never led to an actual date. It began to feel like a form of harassment: HI ITS ME. LAYING ON MY BED. WHAT R U DOIN? After awhile, I just ignored them. Ignored him. He got the message and went away. But it started up again in the summer. This time there had been a death in my family--- and I was overwhelmed emotionally, so I welcomed the distraction. I kept suggesting an actual date. Wouldn't that be better? Wasn't that the point?
As it turns out, no. Recently, home with the flu, I heard from him again. Since I hadn't washed my hair in a week, put on make-up, in short looking like a witch, I texted him back: HOME W/THE FLU. He wrote back: IS THERE ANYTHING U NEED? When he tried to steer the conversation to sex, I artfully deflected this: DON'T GET SEXUAL. NOT GOING THERE. He quickly ended it. This has been going on for two years, and I think I finally understand that this is a man who has no intention or zero interest in a real time date. This is a man who gets off sexually in cyber-space.
It's strange. When it first felt like he was stalking me, I quickly dismissed it. After all, its not like he was standing outside my bedroom window, showing up at work, calling me. I wasn't physically being threatened. He wasn't leaving a million voice mails. He wasn't calling my friends. Maybe stalking isn't even the right word. All I know is that he does not desire to have sex with me. I could be anywoman. Anywhere in the world. Perhaps its that very anonymity that feels obscene. This is a man who tried to sext me while I had a fever of 101 degrees.
Creator and co-author of the award winning The Erotica Project. Author of erotic short stories published on Salon.com. Producer/author for NPR. MA from NYU. Published by Cleis Press, Seal Press, Heinemann Press, New York Press. Reviewed in NYTimes, Village Voice, Art in America, London Sunday Times.