I truly wish someone had forewarned me that when I grudgingly entered the cyberspace world of dating I would be introduced to a lot of male sex organs. My goodness! There are so many more shapes and sizes than I ever imagined. Surely there is something there to pleasure any woman, even those with the most perverse desires. Of the 547 men (not counting a half-dozen women, several couples, and a few sitting-on-the-fence) by whom I was approached over the length (no pun intended) of two weeks, only one did not respond to my request for a picture with that of his penis.
"Ryan" sent me 4 pictures of himself — hanging out with friends, throwing darts, drinking beer after softball… and, finally, his nude lower half.
In comparison to the hundreds of frighteningly protuberant – bulgy organs to which I’d been exposed, I found Ryan’s “thing” rather polite. It just sort of laid there, seemingly confident that if necessary, it could and would perform . Our on-line conversation was also polite. We talked about our cats, and he shared with me that each morning before he went to work he took food to several stray cats hanging out down the street. He spoke sweetly about how every now and then one of the feral cats would finally let him get close enough to touch, and being an animal lover, I could relate. He asked if my cats slept in my bed at night, and if there was one who always wanted to nestle up close to my face. Then the conversation got a bit confusing because while he was still apparently talking about cats, he was describing a lot more "thrusting" and "stroking" than seemed appropriate.
And, by golly if at about that most convenient time didn’t my invisible friend ring my doorbell and I had to answer the door. Goodbye, Ryan! Of course I’ll get back to you…
…as soon as I figure out how a real person can twist her body parts into that position you so vividly described — and still manage to find pleasure before passing out.
"I learned to embrace risk, as long as it was well though out and, in a worst-case scenario, I’d still land on my feet." — Eli Broad (Business leader and philanthropist)
There is a strong likelihood that you are not the only one in your circle of influence who decided to explore dating on-line. Be prepared. He will have an unfamiliar username and you may unknowingly find yourself chatting with him. If at some point you’re planning to video chat, don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t do at the mall — or even safer, in church! Even if your conversation has become comfortable and kinda sexy, do not give in to his request to show your breasts or anything else that you wouldn’t want to read about in you sister-in-law’s Christmas letter!
Fortunately, I don’t have a sister-in-law, and if I (not saying that I) did bare my breasts, my identity was always well protected.
Finally, if you do recognize someone, and his on-line behavior has made you curious, step away from the computer! Deftly referencing the aforesaid cat, remember this clever proverb: “Curiosity killed the cat.” Inquisitiveness can lead one into dangerous situations, and hold hostage to unsuspecting relationships.
I spent much of my time IM’ing, which is relatively safe, as long as you are cautious and read the warnings. You have control over who you chat with and certainly what you share, and if the conversation takes an unpleasant turn, you can sign off and in most cases block someone from future access.
It’s to the dark side of cyberspace dating that I will offer warning: web chatting. There are many different kinds of video chat rooms, and they are clearly labeled. Some are specifically for gay men, couples, those who like to watch, and so on. There are but two reasons to enter a video chat room — to participate (perform) or to watch.
Not worried because you have a "discreet profile?" Well, surprise — even discreet profiles can be observed in the video chat room. You could find yourself looking at (the penis of) a neighbor, friend, colleague, former (or, alas, current) lover in a very compromising and unforgettable position.
I have resigned from cyberspace. When I’m done crying and ready to once again search for love — and I’m guessing it will be a long time from now — I will find dates the old-fashioned way: fully clothed, in a bar.