One of the things I've liked best about living in Burlington is that it has a small town feel with a big city culture. Meaning you get all the progressive ideas of an urban area without all the crowds. It makes working, shopping, and overall living very enjoyable. One thing that's more difficult is dating, especially when youre gay.
There used to be an awful show on Showtime called "The L Word", which was about a bunch of Lesbians in Southern California who really didn't do much besides be gay. I tried watching it on DVD for pointers when I first became Alex, but couldn't get through the first season, thats how annoying the characters were. Anyway, one of the lesbians on that show had a bulletin board with the names of all the gay women she knew and had them connected together in a web by string if they had slept together. Besides being a little psychotic, it's actually a pretty accurate way of representing local gay communities. When you go from having a dating pool of about 45% of people to a dating pool of about 5% of people, especially in a town of less than 40,000, theres bound to be some overlap. That means of all the gay women in Burlington almost all of them either know me, know Sharon, know Annabelle, or know someone who knows us. Its like 3 degrees of separation and it makes it difficult to date when someone can look up on facebook and see that youre married.
Perhaps I should rewind a bit and explain why I was out looking for women. After my conversation with Malinda on Mother's Day I realized that I wasn't just sad about having to break things off with Annabelle, I was sad at the idea of having to be alone again. I've been mostly single for the past three years after being in a very long relationship and I dont really enjoy it. Annabelle gave me someone to go out with and yes, have sex with regularly and I didn't want to be banned from doing that. For the time being, this is my body and as long as I dont do anything that would screw up any friendships or relationships of the real Alex I figure I'm free to date who I want. Sadly dating someone in Burlington who wouldn't spread it around that I'm "cheating" on Sharon is quite difficult.
So this past Saturday night I got in my car and drove about 45 minutes to Montpelier, which despite being smaller than Burlington is still big enough to have a gay bar.
I had never been to a gay bar, I wasn't expecting it to be all bubbles and techno but I did prepare myself for it too be a little different. I vowed to go in with an open mind but found out that I wasn't just ill prepared to pick up women in a gay bar, I was ill prepared to pick up women in ANY bar.
What can I say, I was rusty. And the worst part about being rusty is you dont even know that you are. The last time I went looking for women it wasn't in a bar. I was too young to go to bars; that's how long Amber and I were together before thing's got derailed. So I tried to awkwardly pick up women with a knowledge of "how to pick up lesbians" and "how to meet girls in bars" that was pieced together from various movies.
At first I just sat at the bar, scoping people out. It's weird because only about half of the women there were lesbians, the other half were straight women who came there with their friends to avoid being hit on by guys. The myth that girls can just go to the bar and drink for free because people will buy them for you is incorrect or didn't apply in my case because there was very little action.
Another thing I had forgotten after being out of the dating pool for so long? Rejection. Yeah, it hurts. Not only does it take massive amounts of courage to walk up to a stranger and ask to buy them a drink, its very difficult to look cool or not take it personally when they turn you down.
Of course once they do talk to you you have to very subtly convince them that you are awesome and worthy of seeing again outside of a bar. Which is difficult because who I am is a mix of at least two different people so selling that to someone is hard to do in a smooth manner. I did manage to talk to this one woman, Haley, for about 15 minutes. She was cool, worked for the state government, liked video games and sports, she and Alex would have a lot in common. But when it came time to ask for her number, I totally botched it and made it sound like I was just trying to hook up with her, which in a way I kinda was. So despite not having a penis since 2009, I blew it by thinking with my dick.
So, feeling down on myself I went to Denny's and had coffee till I was sober enough to drive back to Burlington. When I got back I just wanted to lie back and have a nice long sleep but I was still feeling a little frisky.
When I got up to the master bedroom, Malinda had already claimed it. She was taking a bubble bath when I called to her telling her I needed my toothbrush.
"C'mon in and get it, I'm not standing up"
So I walked in and, still a gentleman on the inside, shielded my eyes from the bath while I gathered my stuff.
"I didn't think you'd be home tonight, that you'd be in some hotel room" She teased
"Yeah it turns out I have no game" I said self deprecatingly "Something I'm gonna need to work on"
I grabbed my stuff and very quietly reached for the bottom dresser drawer for what I really wanted. Over the past few months through careful experimentation I've become quite familiar with Alex and Sharon's extensive and exotic collection of sex toys. I couldnt find their Hitachi Magic Wand, which is mind blowing, and hoped I didn't leave it out somewhere. I grabbed the Rabbit and headed downstairs to hop myself to sleep.
when I woke up fully refreshed my head was clearer and I've decided that the bar scene isn't for me. So for the next few months of my adventure I'm going to try online dating for companionship.
I'll keep you posted
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