Anna knows what she wants. But she has a hard time getting it—from me, anyway.
We first met a year ago, from a personals ad she had placed. I was brand new to dating then.
Over drinks, we talked about art (she is a dancer) and life. I liked her. She was earnest, with a nice humor. Very pretty. Short black hair, intent features, Korean.
I put my life out there, and pretty much warned her of all the reasons why I was not the best boyfriend material. Above all, there was the simple fact that I didn’t want a girlfriend. I was just coming out of a long marriage, and in no rush for the Next Big Thing.
I also said I had an inoperable brain tumor, and would be dead in six months. She looked stunned. I had to explain that the last bit was a joke.
She would later tell me that this was the moment she fell for me.
Then, with the holidays, my travel and her rehearsals, we didn’t meet again until March.
We decided to meet in Central Park. She was very interested in talking about why we had waited so long to meet again. I learned more about her life. She was a late bloomer, a virgin until her late twenties. She had had one long-term boyfriend, and had been with only four other men. I assumed we were moving towards a very nice platonic friendship.
She asked where I lived. She asked if we could go there. She asked if she could kiss me. We made love for the first time that afternoon. It was intimate but very physical—we moved my bed around.
She has a very strong and flexible body, and breathtaking muscle control.
I told her I wanted to be her lover. I told her that if there were things she wanted to try, to say so—I was happy to provide her with more experiences. We started seeing a lot of each other, and each time, we had sex. It was pretty much the one thing we did on dates.
She liked being submissive, though it scared her. I would take her as far as she could go, then bring her back.
One day, after a couple of months and maybe ten dates, she instant messages. She had a bad feeling the night before that I was dating other women.
Uh, I am dating other women. I thought I was up front about that; I’m not interested in monogamy now.
She said she had to come over. Now.
She arrived, furious. She castigated herself for being stupid. She railed at me for not being clearer about this. Tears were shed. It was a very dramatic scene. It was over, I was told.
I said I was sorry my position was unclear. I respected her decision, and said that she should have what she wanted. If she wanted a monogamous boyfriend, she deserves that. It’s just not me, not now. I hoped that we could remain a part of each other’s lives, as we were good friends.
She glowered. Maybe, but no time soon. Do not contact me. I agreed.
A few days later, she asked me to meet for coffee. She wore a black dress. She said this would be our last encounter. She could not be “just friends.” She had made some CDs of music she wanted me to hear, as it captured her feelings.
As we parted, we embraced. She said goodbye and turned away. She did not look back.
I went home and put on the music. Very brilliant selections—some sad, some hopeful, all romantic.
A couple of weeks pass, and she drops me a line. Can we get together?
She had decided that we could have an "open relationship" (her words), meaning that we were free to see other people. She only wanted me to tell her who else I was seeing, and when. I told her I was glad she wanted to be together, but I thought it would be a very bad idea to tell her about anyone else in my life. She fought me on that, but I stayed the line.
We had sex, and I stayed over.
Later, after a few more dates, she decided she was not happy with this arrangement. She deserved a full time boyfriend, and if I wasn’t it, she needed to be available for others. I respected that, and said, as I had before, that I was glad to be in her life in whatever way worked for her. We had sex, and I stayed over.
Two weeks ago, she said we should get together for drinks. I say sure, how about dinner. She says that would be great—perhaps in her neighborhood? We could meet at her place.
I arrive and she suggests we order in. We talk, and catch up. It’s very nice, very pleasant.
After dinner, she curls next to me. I put an arm around her shoulder. I think, well, we are friends, with a history. We can touch. But I was only willing to do this if she initiated it.
Soon she is kissing me.
Look, she explains, I am not about to have another winter without a lover. For good or ill, you are it.
We had sex, and I stayed over.
Tonight we have a date. She wants to trade roles. She wants to tie me up.