Private Magazine

Tag: Online dating

Cupid, Cuckolds, and the Cherry on Top

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A Valentine’s Special

It’s a cold winter Saturday, the time of night when fog creeps into this part of downtown and hangs over the cobblestone streets. It seems haunted, eerie, like something from the days of Jack the Ripper.  Smoke clouds emanate from a factory on the horizon.   I’m wandering the casino with Louis and my Cousin Phil.  Rows of slot machines glitter into the distance.

I’m sitting at the Playboy machine with Louis, who’s just put in $20.00  I look into his eyes. They’re blue, like mine.  A cherry pops up in one, then a dollar sign in the other. I’ve hit the jackpot as far as online dates are concerned.  Who knew finding a boyfriend would be this easy? We’ve been seeing each other for about a month now.

 

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For our first date, Louis and I met up at an art show.  As he came through the door, I admired his beard and chubby physique. Via message, Louis confided that he has a foot fetish – but what’s so weird about that, compared to all the other stuff out there? What’s a simple, normal foot fetish, in the grand scheme?

We sat down at the little bar area in Revolution Gallery. He bought drink after drink. Throughout the night, he held my hand.  Louis’s body is encapsulated in tattoos, yet he has a sad puppy-dog face.   At the end of the night, while walking down the street, Louis revealed he bought me the painting I liked while I was in the bathroom.

“Louis!” I was shocked, because I knew it was $300, but Louis had the receipt and everything to prove it wasn’t stolen. “You really didn’t have to, though. It was expensive.”

“You don’t like it then?”

“I do,”  I said. “Of course I do. Thank you, Louis.”

From that night on, I’ve spent every weekend with Louis.  He lives 45 minutes away, in a small rusty town.

Tonight, I thought I would introduce Louis to my Cousin Phil, who is up from Tampa and already tipsy, because he has been here at the casino drinking way before we even arrived. We are all going to see Dave Attell at Helium together, and I just know the two of them will get along.

“Lou,” Cousin Phil puts his arm across his shoulders. “You know, I like you already. What do you do, anyway?”

“I do signage, commercial signage.” Louis pulls out his phone to show Phil some pictures. “I carve stuff out of wood. And metal, sheet metal mostly -”

“Excuse me, sir,” says a security guard coming towards us. “You’ll have to check that knife.”  I look at Louis’s crotch, and notice the folded-up blade against his hip.  This security guard is a petite lady, and she doesn’t seem pissed or anything.

“Sir?”

Louis looks up from the musty carpet.

“Oh, my knife?”  he says. “Sorry.” He walks off with her towards the security desk.

“That’s hot, right?” I say to Cousin Phil. “The fact he has to go check his knife?” Cousin Phil leaves to buy some drinks.

“You’re manly,” I say to Louis upon his return.  He stares at me with an unflinching stare.

“Um, sorry” I say, leaning into him. “Daddy,” I whisper.

Last week, Louis said that he doesn’t want me to call him “Louis” anymore, I am to call him “Daddy” and nothing else, and frequently too. Louis sucks on his lithium-powered vape, and exhales strawberry-flavored smoke.

“What do you want to drink, Doll?” he says.

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Louis owns many knives and guns, as well as a Harley.  He seems  like the kind of guy who could kill a bear with his own hands.  In fact, he can make and shoot bow-and-arrows, which seems like a totally romantic thing to do, very Cupid-esque.

But I’m noticing that behind closed doors, Louis is rather intense.

“Fuck,” Louis gets up from his couch and heads towards the kitchen,  naked as a shucked clam, which is customary because Louis is a self-proclaimed nudist. “His numbers are still good.” He’s talking about the Donald Trump “news” on TV  that he found after 10 minutes of trying to find news on Hulu. “They’re still good, fuck what they say.”

The elephant in the room. Louis stomps off with the empty pizza box.

“Get the fuck out of here, dog,” Louis yells at his dog, Bruce, who’s sitting straight up and staring at the wall.  Louis rescued Bruce from a shelter, but I feel really bad for Bruce’s current situation, because Louis keeps him cooped up in his stupid apartment all day and yells at him all the time.

“Aw,” I hug Bruce. “He’s not doing anything.”

—-

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“You know what would be hot to do while I’m out of town, Doll?” Louis texts.

“What, Daddy?” I reply.

“Send me some photos of you fucking another dude,” he says.

Yikes! Why is Louis so into this idea? Honestly he’s brought it up before, but I’ve been stalling for time by saying that I will eventually, later on, after we date a while.  After I figure out if he’s worth it.  Because honestly, this whole time, I’ve been fantasizing about having sex once again with my ex,  “S.,” but I’m scared about releasing S. into my current dating situation.

Comparing Louis and S. below the waist is to compare an acorn with a log, respectively – a log any beaver would thirst for.  Sex with Louis sucks.  He seems depressed about his own manhood. It’s true what they say, that men with small packages compensate with cocky personas.  Louis struts around like a cockatiel, whereas S. is quiet and shy.

The more Louis pushes this idea on me, the more I have sexual fantasies about S. Since I’m sexually frustrated and about to blow,  I decide to send him an email.

In the subject line, I type the word “Orgy.”

“I suppose this letter may come as a surprise, I write.  “I have a new boyfriend. He’s soooo romantic. Plus, turns out, he is very open about wanting to watch me have sex with another man. Someone to be a “sex slave,” so to speak… 

You came to my mind as a potential sex slave for this orgy because you wanted sex without any emotional involvement or attachment, said you never want a relationship, ever, and seem okay with a straight up friends with benefits scenario.”

What the hell am I doing? Talk about a can of worms.  I hit Send and do not expect any response at all.

___

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“I just want you to be happy, so I’ll do that for you,” S. says over the phone a mere five minutes later. “Just tell me one thing.”

“What?”

You can tell S. is driving because I hear the whoosh of the open window since he’s probably smoking a cigarette with me on speakerphone.

“How’s the sex?”

What?”

“The sex,” S. exhales. “ I mean, I’m asking because clearly there must be a reason you thought of me.”

I’m not telling S. that sex with Louis sucks.  That would only feed his ego, and have me eating from the palm of his hand. No, this time I’m going to be the one in control.  

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“The last girl I dated didn’t work,” Louis tells me over brisket at his town’s BBQ pit.  “I took care of her.”

“Oh, really?” I say.  Louis insisted on paying for this meal, and these drinks, again, even though I was the only one carrying cash. He never lets me pay for anything. That’s why   I decided to buy him a gift, some Viktor & Rolf SpiceBomb cologne, to show my appreciation.  The bottle is shaped like a grenade, perfect for Louis’s heavily-armored self.  I hope he likes it.

“If we ever lived together,” Louis says, staring at the bar TV screen with a diamond ad projecting from it, “I would want to pick out what you wear when you’re at home.”

“Um, really?”  I haven’t touched my Bloody Mary. “I am very particular about my wardrobe.”

Louis stares at me with his penetrating stare.

“I have something I want to give you,” I say, to change the topic as Louis pays the bill.

“What is it?”

“Just something small,” I hand Louis a tiny gift bag with the cologne inside.  “What’s wrong?”

“I really wish you wouldn’t have,” Louis stands up and puts his hands in his pockets, starts walking towards the door to the back parking lot. “I won’t accept it.”

“What? Why?” I walk faster to catch up with Louis, who’s standing in the shadow of his giant truck. “I wanted to show my appreciation.”

“The way to show your appreciation for me is to call me daddy, and let me play with your feet, “ he says. “For future reference, I don’t like surprises and never accept gifts.”

I climb into the passenger side of the truck, and don’t bother saying “Sorry, Daddy” this time.

After all, what did I really know about this dude?

 

The Blind Leading the Blind(fold): How to Spot Serial Killers on Dating Apps

I recently had the displeasure of being zip-tied in a man’s home. But that’s what I get for not paying attention to the “red flags” that Teddy constantly waves through the air like he just don’t care; I was too preoccupied with my own delusions and fantasies to notice them.

In fact, Teddy and I should have never met at all.  It went against the laws of nature. He has that whole “Norman Bates” thing going on – he’s a total recluse, with mommy issues and antisocial/borderline personality disorder. His moods flip like a switch, but never seem to show on his face. His house is meticulously decorated from the era of “Mad Men”; there’s dusty bottles of gin and cocktail shakers, mid-century furniture and I don’t know, 60’s Christmas songs by Bing Crosby and the like emanating from an ancient record player, because this all took place in the wintertime, mind you.

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But something brought Teddy and I together, even though the only time he really leaves home is to go to work. It was okCupid. What the hell was I doing on okCupid? Who knows.  But Teddy looks really good in photos…very much like Dr. Threadson from “American Horror Story,” actually.

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He began alluding to having a “bondage dungeon.”

“So how intense is this dungeon, anyway, Ted?” I said. “I mean, on a scale of one to ten.”

“My dungeon is an 11 and I don’t use safe words,” he said. “And you aren’t ready to see it.”

“What are you talking about? Haven’t you seen Device Bondage? Everyone uses safe words.”

Not ready…ha! I think I’d like to decide for myself what I’m ready for…  I felt like he was presenting me with a challenge, or at least new blog material. Is Teddy a dedicated BDSM practitioner? Megalomaniacal “Christian Gray” wannabe?  A serial killer? Naturally, I went to his house to find out.

The date night which ensued at Teddy’s house has now turned into ThePrivateMag’s latest offering to society – my handy guide “HOW TO SPOT SERIAL KILLERS ON DATING APPS”  – just in time for your 420 celebration. Don’t even think about meeting your match in person without checking for the following Serial Killer Signs. According to an FBI symposium published in Psychology Today, there isn’t one definitive serial killer profile, but there are several common traits present among murderers.

HE MANIPULATES EVERY SITUATION IN HIS FAVOR

Teddy controls everything. He’s CEO of his own company. When it came to the two of us, in the end he knew way more about me than I knew about him. He would get pissed at me out of nowhere, because apparently I’m “out of control.” He played mind games to get me back to his house. With the exception of our first date, that’s the only place he wanted to be. His house, where he holds all the power and control. He also told me to wear high heels for our date.

“Intent on exerting some kind of control over the people around them, they often hold back bits of crucial information in a bid to maintain power over the situation, gain attention and assert a warped sense of authority,” said  Dr. Elizabeth Yardley, Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University, in Real Crime magazine.

If you’re chatting with somebody new, and you have to beg for information or they simply dodge your questions, it’s definitely a bad sign.

HE’S A SOCIOPATH/SOCIALLY INEPT

What is a sociopath, anyway? The term gets tossed around quite a bit. “He must be a sociopath, we had sex and he never called me again…” “Oh he’s a total sociopath, he’s a drunk with complete disregard for the law…”  Sociopathy is just one type of antisocial personality disorder. According to the article “The Sociopath – Serial Killer Connection” from Psychology Today magazine, sociopaths make for “disorganized crimes” committed impulsively. Sociopathy is a learned behavior, showcased by disregard for social standards and the feelings of others. It makes you prone to violent outbursts as well.

There are other types of Antisocial Personality Disorders, and many are left undiagnosed. According to PsychCentral.com, “Antisocial personality disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights. A person with antisocial personality disorder (APD) often feels little or no empathy toward other people, and doesn’t see the problem in bending or breaking the law for their own needs or wants.” Antisocial Personality Disorders are 70 percent more prevalent in men. Symptoms tend to decrease in intensity by their 40s-50s.

In contrast, Psychopaths are more “in control” and according to Psychology Today, “The FBI explained Psychopathy is a personality disorder manifested in people who use a mixture of charm, manipulation, intimidation, and occasionally violence to control others, in order to satisfy their own selfish needs.”

Be on the lookout for drug and alcohol abuse and a violent criminal record. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.

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SEX LIFE DOMINATED BY AUTO-EROTICISM

If a guy you barely know from Tinder wants to go all 50 Shades on you, you might wind up tethered to a radiator in his basement (why do I have to find everything out the hard way?) with no way out. I’ve spoken with dominatrixes and been in dungeons before, and the legit BDSM community stresses the importance of consent and trust. But if you’re a withdrawn manipulator who lacks empathy, you don’t care about such things. Therein lies the catch.

“Serial killers’ fantasies are often about control and violation…” according to the online article “10 Most Common Traits of Serial Killers.” “From an early age, many serial killers are intensely interested in voyeurism and fetishism as well as other paraphilias. Many will start their deviancy as relatively harmless peeping-toms, before moving on to house-breaking, rape, and murder. Given that elements of bondage and dominance feature so strongly in most paraphilias, it is no surprise that this is often the route followed after adolescence.”

I asked Teddy his favorite sex position and he told me “he doesn’t have one, vanilla sex doesn’t interest him” and the only sex he has is with women who are tied up. “But what about a quickie in public, or on the go?” I said. “Doesn’t it take a lot of time?” Teddy looked at me like I was crazy.

Perhaps the most popular murderer/bondage enthusiast was Dennis Rader, aka the BTK (Bind Torture Kill) serial killer.

CHILDHOOD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

Not everyone who endures childhood trauma grows up to murder people, obviously, but according to the previously mentioned FBI study, a large portion of serial killers interviewed had gone through severe childhood trauma and neglect. When I asked Teddy about his family, he said he “doesn’t talk with his mom”, who lives out of state, and that his dad “was a psychopathic drunk.”

ARSON AND ANIMAL TORTURE

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These are common early crimes committed by those who kill later on – and they definitely make for a really bad date. If you’re out with a guy and he wants to burn down a house – But maybe he was watching that scene from 8 Mile, you’re thinking, where Eminem and Brittany Murphy share a moment under the fiery glow of a house consumed by flames?  Um, girl, just walk away.

 

 

Submitted For Your Approval

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Inside a house far back from the street dwells a man with a cross to bear. He’s an even-tempered man, albeit a very reclusive man, who may or may not dose himself with MDMA, psychotherapy-style. If we could see through his curtains, which are perpetually closed, we would see him reading by the fire.  In fact, he’s reading this very blog, on an iPad, with his slippers propped on a mid century table.

His living room has a distinct Twilight Zone feel; it’s as if we went back in time. But we haven’t gone back in time. We have entered a parallel dimension.

I met Teddy on okCupid four years ago.  He messaged to tell me he “consumes” my writing, and likes it. Nothing ever happened with him back then, though, because he fell off the face of the planet. Until, just recently…

Do you experiment with molly? is the text Teddy sends me. Hm, Teddy, what ever happened to you? goes through my mind as I type a reply. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing the interior of Teddy’s meticulously mid century abode.

I drive to Teddy’s house expecting a chill evening. As soon as I pass the Audi dealership, I know I’m far from home. Snow falls from the sky in heavy clumps.

“Good evening,” I say into my phone, walking the long, snowy path towards Teddy’s garage. “I’m here.”

I see Teddy’s diminutive figure emerge through a square window in the door, which he unlocks and holds open.

Teddy is fortysomething, with hair both thick and spliced with gray.

“I was just making rosemary chicken,” he says. “Come in.”

Teddy leads the way into his kitchen, where the walls are clementine orange. Coordinating pans hang above the stove, along with all the homey trappings of a 1950’s kitchen – containers excavated from estate sales, their contents labelled on the outside, and a really-old looking coffeemaker.

“Interesting place,” I say.  “Why don’t you give me a tour?”

Behind his black frames, Teddy looks serious. In fact, he looks exactly like Dr. Thredson from American Horror Story. He calmly leads our way to the living room.

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Vodka and gin are stashed on a bar cart, along with various shakers and glassware. Schwing! Three old typewriters are displayed on a shelf. The walls feature framed movie posters from Bye Bye Birdie, Psycho, and the like. All the furniture is mid century modern and pristine. The room is a page torn from a catalog.

“I had this sofa reupholstered,” he says as I walk down the hall.

“Is this a bathroom?” I turn a doorknob slowly.

“No,” Teddy approaches from the right. “You can’t go in there.”

“I’m curious now. What’s in there?”

“Nothing,” he says. “It’s just, nobody can go in there.”

“Ok, all right,” I say. “Is it a sex dungeon?”

Teddy is quiet.

“I’ve been building one in my basement for a while now,” he says. “But if I take you down there, you must submit.”

“I knew it,” I say. “I knew you had a dungeon.”

“I’m a man who needs control,” Teddy says, coming closer.

I go back to the living room and sit on the couch. Teddy leaves for a minute, and eventually returns with a bottle of wine and two glasses.

“I don’t usually have this around,” he says, “but I went and bought some pinot grigio.”

“You’re the best,” I say. “How did you know that’s my favorite?”

“I had a feeling,” he says.

Teddy places another log in the fireplace, and it cracks and flickers and pops, before he sits on the other end of the couch. He’s wearing a cashmere cardigan and Hermes cologne. Ancient Christmas music emanates from the stereo.  I start to ask questions.

“So what do you do for Christmas?” I say. “Any family traditions?”

“No,” he says.

“What about your mom?” I say. “Where does she live?”

“I haven’t spoken to my mother…” Teddy trails off. “My mother and I don’t talk.”

“Why?”

Teddy stares at me in silence from the other end of the couch.

“Ok, sorry…” I say. “I’m sorry.”

Teddy pours the wine.

“So, since this is my inaugural Writer’s Seance,” I say, “What kinds of things do you write about?”

“See those six boxes under the TV?” I look at the shelf , and sure enough, there’s a bunch of boxes there, from typewriter paper or something. Handwritten labels are taped to the side of each one. “Those are my manuscripts,” he says.

“Oh, cool,” I say. “Can I read them?”

“No.”

“Do you want to read some to me?” I drink my wine. “Even just a sentence or two?”

“No one has ever read any part of them.”

“Do you think I can, someday?”

“No,” he says, heading towards the kitchen. “If I ever catch you looking at them,” Teddy’s head pokes from behind the wall, “I will have to remove you. Physically.” I follow Teddy into the kitchen. He’s chopping mini potatoes.

“Do you have any sparkling water?” I ask, opening the fridge. There’s nothing inside but dozens of cans of Vernors.

“Actually, yeah, here’s some water,” Teddy pours water from a pitcher on the counter, lemon slices floating inside, and hands it to me. “There’s only a small amount of roofies in it.”

“Gee, thanks,” I say, walking around the kitchen.  It’s a kitchen that makes one think robotic Stepford blowup dolls will emerge from a closet at any minute to sweep the floor like an LSD-influenced Fantasia sequence. “Does it ever get lonely out here?”

“I stick to myself,” Teddy says, arranging the potato slices in a pan.

“Aw,” I say, and give him a hug. Teddy’s head snaps to the side to look at me quickly, his spatula raised. He taps it on my nose.

“Ha ha,” I say, and go back to the living room.

“Dinner will be served in twenty minutes,” Teddy says, following me to the couch.

“I really appreciate you making me dinner,” I say.

Twenty minutes later, Teddy brings out the rosemary chicken, the roasted potatoes, some silverware and cloth napkins. I unfold a napkin across my lap. Teddy devours everything in five minutes.

“Wow, Teddy, you have an animalistic appetite,” I say.

A white, artificial Christmas tree glimmers in the corner as we eat and talk, talk and drink, and I get the strong sense I’m being psychoanalyzed. Hours pass while watch movies. Teddy’s decor is having an opiating effect on my mind.

“Let’s open another bottle of wine,” he says, standing up.

“Um, only if I can sleep on your couch.”

“My couch?” Teddy says. “What about my bed?”

“I don’t really know you that well, so…”

Outside, snow continues to fall in clumps and I know I won’t be making it home tonight.

A little while later, I’m tucked in on the reupholstered couch and everything’s dark. It’s the middle of the night. All I hear is the ticking of a clock. I sink into a deep slumber. My body and mind go in separate directions. I dream about plastic wrap, prescription drugs, and nuclear warfare.

Odorless vapor drifts around the living room. I open one eye. Teddy’s in the armchair with his e Cig in hand, staring straight ahead at the wall, and his mouth is totally flatlined.

“Teddy?” I rub my eyes. The clock on the wall tells me it’s 7:30. “Do you sleep? Or just stare at the wall?”

“What the hell kind of question is that?” Teddy gets up and starts making coffee.

I get my stuff together while Teddy stays in the kitchen with his back turned.

“Well, I’m going to go brush off my car,” I say. “Teddy?” Teddy doesn’t react. “Well, bye.” I stand there as Teddy walks into the living room without giving me any response.

Kathy Bates, Norman Bates, and now this fucking dude, I’m thinking as I drive past the Audi dealership on my way home. When I’m safely in my bedroom, I call my friend Eleanor despite the fact it’s 8 a.m.

“Eleanor, hey…” I say. “I think I’ve met someone…”

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