They say that when one door closes, another door opens. After saying goodbye to the love of my past life, again but less spectacularly this time, my door to real happiness seems to have finally opened. It’s early days yet but it has consumed my life for six weeks now. It happened the day after letting go of Married, when I finally “got it” I guess you could say. It took me losing someone permanently to make me realise I didn’t have time to waste on someone who was only ever going to see me as temporary.
Enter the Rock Climber. We matched on Tinder and chatted sporadically for a couple of weeks before he sent me his number. It was one of those situations where I saw his message but it didn’t properly register and it took me another few days to act on it. We messaged and made tentative plans that I had to cancel due to the swarm of bees that got into my house (a true story which he later told me he didn’t believe).
A few more texts back and forth, nothing really telling that my world was about to change. We arranged to meet one Saturday night but when he suggested a late catch up time I lost interest. A 9pm meeting at the pub shouts of booty call and I was annoyed that he didn’t have the decency to even pretend it was a date.
The next day, I got the call about Ben and everything else took a back seat. I only wanted to talk to Married, to share with him, to see how he was doing. I desperately needed to reach out, to talk to someone I cared about. His response was short, sympathetic but otherwise unengaged. It made me all the sadder. It was the last time I heard from him.
I spent much of the day trawling Pinterest, reading melancholy posts about lost love and other cringeworthy clichés. A ping in my inbox.
The Rock Climber wanted to catch up that night. I agreed but my heart wasn’t in it. A few hours before our agreed upon meeting time, I blew him off. I had been crying on and off all day. I looked like shit. I had alcohol in the fridge and no need to leave the comfort of my house or dress up and slap make up on for a guy who just wanted a quick bang.
He was understanding, offered to come to my house. Swarms of bees and a dead friend and still the guy wanted to get laid. We’d never even spoken on the phone and our text game was reasonably dull. He was persistent I’ll give him that.
I’m not really sure why I agreed and text him my address. I put it down to vulnerability. My heart was like a burst water pipe that day, and I was haemorrhaging all over my usual stone walls. He was at my door within minutes and it quickly became apparent why. He lived about 200m from me, an easy walk although he still drove. I offered him a beer and we sat on my lounge.
I hammered him with my usual first date questions, trying to ascertain with the least prompting possible whether I wanted this guy to leave straight away or in the morning. Either way, I knew it would be over quickly.
When he kissed me, and I say he kissed me because it was completely initiated by him, it was direct, confident, at ease. This man is a player and used to getting what he wants. I guess there was no point in pretending we each weren’t who we are, so we got down to fucking quickly. When he grabbed a handful of my hair to yank my head back I thought “hello, we’ve got some shared interests”.
After, laying in the dark talking in my bed, he mentioned that he didn’t want anymore children, having told me earlier he had two. I had not asked. However, at this unprompted declaration it was like I actually felt my walls shake free of the self-pity and grief that had earlier besieged them and stand straighter, tighter, harder. I was impenetrable to the feelings that tried to rise within me and quietly, to myself, I said that this was only a fling and could be nothing more than a fling. In my head, we were already done.
The next day, he messaged me first asking if I wanted to get dinner that night. Strange given that when I had been trying to blow him off he had told me that no other night during the week worked for him but suddenly here he was asking me to dinner. We had an easy pub feed and he stayed over again. That night he mentioned that he was seriously considering getting a vasectomy. But I was OK, in my head we’d already stopped dating. I gave it three weeks tops.
The next day, he asked if he could cook me dinner and I agreed so I could suss him out in his natural environment. Aside from undercooking the potatoes, he did rather well and afterwards we retired to his bedroom where he introduced me to the contents of an incredibly large box of toys. And it was at this point where I actually found myself feeling almost shy.
This man clearly knew a lot more about BDSM than me and his experience showed in his use and range of equipment as well as his knowledge. He had at least eight different floggers, some that were homemade, paddles, canes, whips, restraints, clamps, vibes, plugs, dildos, rope, cable ties, some sort of electric wand that tingled my skin, things made of metal, of silicone, of plastic, wood, bamboo. There was no end to this man’s bag of tricks that he tried out on me one at a time to see what I liked (very much) and what I disliked (and made me cry). The worst of these was paraffin wax dripped over my boobs, and a hideous glass butt plug that made me scream. His responses to what I didn’t like as gentle and considered as those to the ones I did like.
We agreed on safe words and for the first time ever I had to use them all in the space of a night.
And so the rest of the week progressed with him wanting to see me every day after work until finally I begged for a night off, to let my puss recover and to take a little breathing space. I was never good at sharing my bed for more than a night. Here I was three nights in a row and sleep deprived. Despite his insatiable need for sex and my exhaustion in trying to keep up, I still struggled to sleep in a stranger’s bed.
My doubts about what this was or could be changed from worrying about a child-free future to one in which I was certain I wouldn’t be enough. Sexually, this man is a machine. He stays hard near constantly before, during and after until the cycle commences again, usually within minutes. There is no end to his capacity to orgasm and I felt like an old lady trying to chase a kid on a scooter.
He had mentioned on our first or second night together that he wasn’t sure about the whole monogamy thing. He’d been something of a man-whore for the better part of the past three years and while he never dated more than one person at a time, he did sleep with multiple women on a kind of rotating roster. This was not a man who wanted to settle down and have another kid. Why he kept wanting to hang out with me was bothering me. I wasn’t his sexual equal or even the same age. We lived in very close proximity, so I put it down to convenience. At every opportunity, I told him we had no future.
After five or so days of telling him we had no future, he asked me why. Despite my resolve not to mention it, my infertility story unfolded. I spelt it out to him pretty clearly – if I had a shot of making a baby with a donated egg, I was going to do it, with or without a man in my life.
He had questions at first, like how I would manage resource-wise, my career, the logistics of the process I would need to go through. Then he was quiet for a time. I told him it was OK for him to leave.
“How many would you want?” he asked me. “How many kids?”
“Realistically, with everything I’d need to go through and my age, I would only have a chance to have one. That’s if I can even have one at all. It’s not guaranteed.”
“I could do one,” he said.
“But you said the first night you didn’t want anymore. You want a vasectomy, that’s how much you don’t want any more kids.”
“But we’re not talking right now, right? We’re talking about what – a year? Two years in the future?”
“Probably at least two years.”
“So, in two years’ time, if we’re still together, I would be OK with having one more. But that’s it, any more I’d be concerned about because that means a mini-van.”
What the fuck is going on? From resolved man-whore to baby daddy, who was this person I was dating?