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I started communicating with two men around the same time at the beginning of the summer. One, whom we’ll call GD, was geographically and emotionally distant, the other lived nearby and was ready, willing and able to meet IRL. GD was a big time texter and emailer, and reluctant to talk on the phone. His job and location made it a challenge to meet. When we finally met at a diner, we sat for a few hours for lunch even though we had exchanged tens of thousands of words digitally in the months prior to meeting. We had built a degree of sexual tension online, but never had the chance to act on it.

I was sidelined mid-July with major abdominal surgery which took me out of the game as far as dating. I also had to skip the summer’s horseback riding lesson sessions. I was very glad that I had the chance to swim in my lake over the 4th of July because I had to sit the rest of the summer out. There was no sex for me over the summer either.

By the end of August, the surgeon cleared me for any activity I felt up to. I was anxious to resume riding, swimming and having sex. There was not a big challenge to find a willing partner. Still, I felt it was important to be selective.

I rather liked Rex, whom I met online and proceeded to date. When I mentioned that I had a lake house, his eyes lit up. He also loved swimming, and was hopeful he would have a chance to swim in the lake with me. I am not able to swim without a floatation device, and feel unsafe without someone to “lifeguard” me.

As Labor Day approached, GD made clear that he was not available that weekend because of a prior commitment. I half jokingly suggested to him that that was fine because I could just look on Craigslist for a “Labor Day Lifeguard”. My ad would have run something like:

Seeking able bodied, strong man with good swimming skills (lifeguard certification a plus), for Labor Day weekend away at an idyllic lake location for revelry, swimming and sex.

I would never take a chance and go to a remote location with a strange man who responded to an ad on Craigslist, but I found some kind of warped humor in telling GD that this was my plan.

I told GD that I found someone who was up for the job, but of course, he wasn’t from Craigslist.

I invited Rex to the lake for our third official “date”. We had connected on OKCupid, initially. He was technically not a stranger, but as close to one as I had ever invited to join me alone at the lake. I sort of “interviewed” him for the job when we met for the second time for a picnic at the park after meeting for the first time at Starbucks. “Did he know how to swim?” He was fully confident that he could help me out over Labor Day weekend and had no other plans. We were attracted to each other so it seemed natural that we could stay together for a few days and swim and hang out. I felt like I was using him so I could go swimming and get laid, but I don’t think he really minded, if he was even onto me. He was clearly drawn to me, and I to him.

There was a bit of awkwardness arriving at the remote cabin alone with a man whom I had only casually dated, but we worked it out and checked those two activities off my recovery list that weekend. I went for my first post-op horseback riding lesson the following week and that was when I felt I had bounced back from surgery 100%.

It is the week before Christmas, and my “Labor Day Lifeguard” and I are still hanging out and going to the lake house. We have plans to swim next summer.

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