Monday evening came and saw Alexander and me enjoying dinner at Barrafina’s on Adelaide St before crossing the Thames and going on to the National Theatre. It was a short play and we came home to mine by half ten. There was time for some tea afterwhich we went upstairs for bed and more. He had to leave early in the morning but we still had time to indulge in a little more intimacy before he had a shower, returned me my shirt I’d inadvertently left at his last week and finally, most deliciously, he had kissed me goodbye until Thursday, before he closed the door and descended the stairs and went out the front door.
The previous evening we’d talked frankly about his home circumstances – the depression his wife suffers and how that affects her ability to cope with their children; the involvement of the borough they lived in to ensure that the children’s needs are met, the meetings with council staff to weigh up and consider the instruments for satisfying such outcomes. He clearly has a lot to contend with. I’d suggested to him that he could just go home at the end of our date if it was easier to negotiate travel, etc for such a meeting the following morning. He had given me so complete a look of anguish that I felt a mixture of guilt and satisfaction for proposing it.
He also told me about his past girlfriends and how he had always been attracted to strong and independent women. I observed that it didn’t seem as though the women he married had those characteristics. He said that when he first met her, his current wife had come across as such and it was only later on that he realised she was particularly needy and emotionally unstable. Like most marriages they had had good times, she was sexually adventurous and he had been attracted to that – they had enjoyed holidays in Europe at naturist sites. He blamed his own optimism and hope that things would turn a corner for not leaving earlier. When the atmosphere at home had reached a certain level of toxicity that saw some physical violence, he had realised then that it was time to walk away. He had been unfoundedly fearful of outcomes which had actually borne an opposing result – he was more at ease, regained his confidence and ability to parent singly, met and tentatively formed friendships with other women, rediscovered his sexuality, and so on – as such none of the fears that had held him back from walking away had come to fruition.
Before he met his current wife he had been seeing someone based in Europe and the few occasions they’d met had been alluring and exciting until it all went wrong somehow. I guess the more at arm’s length someone is kept, the greater the danger of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
For now we are on the same page – this is clearly an arrangement that suits us both – we have dependents and commitments that keep us on our toes, maybe even test our stress levels at times, such that the intimacy and dates we have with each other offer release and a break from reality. That I can be content with. For now this is good enough.
A recap of the week – met up with Tomas – not much happened apart from some sensuous stroking of each other’s naked bodies. Some alcohol was imbibed – he’d brought champagne, which tasted delicious drunk from various parts of the other’s body. No one interrupted our afternoon tryst and we said goodbye at the end of it.
Someone new, just a few months older than me wrote from the dating app and he seemed interesting enough for me to suggest a first and then second meeting. He had lived in Russia a couple of times which was experience enough to modify his initial (militant!) left-wing leanings. Anyway, we fell into bed together almost from the beginning, at the end of the first date in fact; after the hit and miss, mostly miss efforts of Julius and Tomas, I was in sore need of some real action in the bedroom department. This new man was keen and happy enough to be thus employed and it was a welcome break not having to worry about the complication of emotional connection. I liked how he aroused me and was gratified that he proved sufficiently virile to initiate sex and orgasm no less than four times overnight. We made a third date next week and perhaps it will become an almost certain pattern of once or twice a week, until I tire of him, or he me … who knows. I hesitate to give him a name, but ever the optimist that this may last a little longer than the usual, it would be apt I think if we all knew him as Alexander.
The 97% match is an art historian, (edit – let’s call him Tomas) head of his department at a post-graduate art school in London. We recognised each other at once outside the art centre at the Barbican – my choice of venue, even before I’d discovered his professional interest. In a darkened studio our hands brushed against each other’s until at one of the larger rooms, behind a pillar, we embraced. We went down a level for cocktails where he told me of his complicated love life involving one long term partner and other tempestuous lovers. He walked me to my station later that evening and we enjoyed another kiss at the top of the stairs. We exchanged phone numbers and he sent me a sketch by Antoine Watteau the following day – a libertine painter who painted love and had no time to spend on actual love-making – my new love interest tells me. The refined banter between us hinted occasionally at libidinous themes and he invited me to the hunterian museum as a precursor to indulgence of a more sensuous nature. How could a girl resist? I assented, of course.
The following evening I had a date with Julius who continues to delight me. He had indicated that some of his friends might be at the Crossbones vigil we were attending and I’d been slightly apprehensive. As it happened, there was no one there who knew him very well and so the evening had been all right. When the vigil was over we went for a drink at a pub before coming back to mine. In my bed, after dallying about downstairs baptising the sofa in the living room, we came upstairs, and then I remembered and we booked the tickets to go on holiday together for the end of next month. We marvelled at our confidence about the strength of our relationship, to take such a bold step other lovers might consider foolhardy since it was only our sixth date, but we were both certain that it was unlikely we might ever fall out.
I spent the entire night cradled in his arms – both amazed the next morning that we suffered no ill effect from this unfamiliar sleeping position. We re-affirmed our adoration of each other, and were careful and also careless about describing our emotions. The carelessness sprang more from spontaneity and the care we took in our choice of words stemmed from a desire not to alarm the other. We understood where we stood with each other and I can enjoy this phase of my life being the apple of my lover’s eye, until the end of the year at least!
Ewan makes a date finally, having received the parenting calendar for the new school year. We pencil in an evening in a fortnight’s time as he is given to understand that my own diary was being rapidly filled. I am jealous of the time I can call my own after being pressed by the new men in my life to meet them. Goran still sends me messages and I no longer feel the need to meet him. What a difference a few months apart has made and I am regaining my self-esteem, helped tremendously by the ardour of Julius’ passion.
I’m in lust! For more details click here.
I never heed any of that nonsense about not giving the goods away too soon and so after the dinner date on Monday evening with new man we came back to my place and had a lot of romp until about midnight. This is another assignation I’ll keep close to my chest for now.
He sent me a few messages in the morning to try and make another date for us to meet up again before my travels but alas I had made other arrangements to see Jan in preparation. Talking some more to my therapist friend Sebastien as to why I sleep with these different men gave me even further insight into Goran’s possible motivation for attempting not to have sex with me on Sunday. It could be because he was hoping to end our relationship or take it to a platonic level. I think this seems to be his comfort zone – it’s what happened to his relationship with his ex girlfriend after all. And in a bid for self-protection I have lined up further potential partners in the event that this was his intention.
Why second-guess? My own insecurities are writ large over all this conjecturing and sifting over with S.