Me in the club: “Nothing’s going to happen.”
Friend: “Nothing ever happens.”
Me: “I know!” (cracking up)
5 minutes later I approach two women leaning against the opposite wall, chatting. Spend rest of night dancing intimately with them. I really like both of them, and that was some really hot dancing. It was a good night.
Me to friend on Facebook the next day: “Something happened after you left, and yet nothing happened!”
Hadn’t been to a club in 7 months. I’ve learned to expect very little from my experience there, and to go infrequently, and it’s made the experience a lot better.
This is also my philosophy of dating now. I’ve figured out that if I go into a date thinking, “Nothing’s going to happen,” or “I’m going to be anxious and LET ME BE ANXIOUS BECAUSE THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY” or “What can I get out of this besides anything sexual or erotic?” then I am more likely to feel satisfied with the result than if I think “I must be self-confident” or focus on erotic expectations. I got mad at this one guy who told me to “grow some balls” and be confident about my date with one woman. I was like, no, sir, I have already spent too much time on the “fake it till you make it” approach. Because sometimes that just leaves me feeling even more anxious. I’m focusing on authenticity and vulnerability and empathy now, and letting the confidence flow naturally from there.
Also, the kink community taught me the difference between the sexual and the erotic (sex vs play), so that I now no longer think in all-or-nothing terms about dating. It used to be that I would just ask myself a small set of questions: Do I want to have sex with her? Do I want to date her? Do I want to kiss her? Now it’s like, ok, I’m not sure I’d want to have sex with her or kiss her, but am I interested in exploring SOMETHING with her? And might she be interested in ANYthing erotic with me, or even just hanging out and being friends, or dancing?
New possibilities have opened up, now that I have come to fully embrace the value of the erotic in and of itself. Even if it doesn’t lead to anything, it’s a helpful place to be in mentally. Now, I just need to get better at bringing fruition to some of these things. It’s easier in some settings than others. For example, a play party literally facilitates all types of erotic activity.
As for online dating, I don’t really do that anymore. But I reactivated my OKCupid account briefly last year and met up with two women from there. I noticed that one woman put a lot of expectation into meeting me, and I could tell by the way she texted me and how quickly she wanted to meet. Honestly, I just wanted a little company and to try weed (she smokes a lot of that), so we met up a second time. She let me know she was interested, and I turned her down softly. “Let’s stick to just friends for now.” She seemed upset afterward. I felt bad for her…. I had thought of telling her beforehand, I’m going into this meet-up expecting absolutely nothing erotic, and I hope you do, too.
For online dating, I like to focus on a specific activity or a specific thing I hope to get out of meeting up with someone that isn’t strictly sexual, romantic, erotic. This helps to lower my expectations and take the pressure off. Which is important since I rarely have erotic chemistry with people I meet on dating sites – it’s just hard to gauge beforehand, and I’m selective.
Some goals I have made of online dating that have been successful: massage exchange (hand massage), chatting about nonviolent communication and relationship anarchy, chatting about Buddhism, and cuddling. Some things I would like to try via online dating: more of all the above, chatting in another language, partner dancing, violet wand, empathy café. Of course I am open to other things with the right person, but that has to be determined after chemistry is discovered.
Now I’m trying to figure out what to do with someone who I met at a kink con and then met up with afterward in what appeared to be a date. She is in an open marriage, and is still figuring out what works for her outside of her marriage. So that’s confusing. Neither of us has directly expressed an erotic interest in the other, but we’re planning to meet up again soon, and she sounds very interested. I’m probably not interested in sex with her, but something erotic, for sure. I’m also happy to just meet up with her once in a while to hang out and chat, because I simply enjoy talking to her. This is where it gets tricky for me. At the same time, I am happy with the casualness of my interactions with this person. I like to be able to fulfill my erotic needs on so many levels, even if it’s just hanging out and chatting and being mutually attracted to someone.
For me, the erotic is not just about that end game of sex or orgasm. I think this is probably true for everyone. Sex is important, but since it’s difficult for me to find fulfilling sexual experiences, I am focusing instead on this broader experience.
When you drop that all-or-nothing thinking, or think “nothing,” while still allowing for something, then it’s easier to let go of expectations that lead to disappointment and increased anxiety.
Now, I’m tempted to reactivate my OKC account again just to paste this whole post into my profile and see what happens. Ha! Terrible idea #1029384589: Nothing’s going to happen!