I was in Amsterdam for two days at the end of a Rhine River Cruise. I got a few things out of my system as opposed to crossed off my bucket list as they were experiences I had a mild interest in doing, but certainly not the feeling of “I have to do these two things before I die”.
I was curious about what the fuss was all about regarding one night stands. It seemed like something a lot of people do, but I had never done it, not even once. It wasn’t a big aspiration of mine because instinctively I had a sense that hooking up with a stranger would not be for me. Still, I wondered what it might be like after reaching the age of 52 having had only 2 sexual partners.
Another experience I thought I might be missing was that of being a “cougar”. I still look good and get a lot of attention online from younger men most of which I ignore. Yet, there is a quiet curiosity with regard to what the hoopla is about. A few friends had experiences like this which they had shared and it did sound a little exciting.
I was traveling with my brother who happens to be gay. Over the course of decades of being single, he has mastered the art of both the casual hook up as well as hooking up with men who are much younger. He suggested that I change my location on my OKCupid account to show whatever city we were in. I thought, “Sounds kind of dumb, what could become of going on dates with men who live in Europe when I live in the US?”
Always seeking new adventures, I next did just that. It was a thrill to get messages from men in European cities and talk about the possibility of meeting. Our cruise ship traveled down the Rhine fairly quickly, leaving little time to connect with anyone in any of the port cities. The ship prohibited passengers inviting guests aboard so I fantasized about going ashore in Switzerland, Germany and France for a quick outing. It sounded so romantic on paper.
The cruise terminated in Amsterdam where we had extended our trip for 2 extra days. We shared a room in a nice hotel and it felt good to be anchored for a few days after staying on a boat for a week. OKCupid kept me abreast of who was interested in meeting me.
I felt a stronger sense of anonymity online here than I did at home. Once in a while, I recognized guys who were online back in the states and I’m sure it worked the other way around sometimes. I was confident this would likely not happen in the Netherlands since I didn’t know anyone there.
I was emboldened by the fact that I was traveling with a man who had my safety in mind at all times and would keep track of me. He encouraged me to fly around on my own a bit being newly single.
I connected with 2 different men. One was a bit older than me and owned a restaurant. He invited me to come for dinner. We made a date for early evening at his restaurant. I didn’t know my way around the city at all.
My brother and I were shopping downtown using the motorized scooter I rented to get around this totally flat city and the hour was approaching for my date. I had no idea where I was going so I wasn’t sure how much travel time I needed. My brother quickly decided I should catch an Uber back to the hotel so I could get ready to catch another Uber for my date. I left the scooter with him. We had been using Uber for rides that were short and cheap. I hurriedly got ready to leave the hotel in another Uber car.
The driver warned me on the way to the restaurant that it was located in an area where I might not be able to find a ride back to the hotel. It was a good 45 minute ride to the restaurant. I think it cost $47.00, easily double that we had spent on rides up until that point. I was feeling like I might have made a mistake traveling so far at such an expense just to meet a stranger for dinner, but, I was in the car already so I re-framed the whole thing as an adventure: single woman traveling alone in a foreign city in search of romance.
The man I met was certainly handsome and friendly. He was slightly distracted by the work of running the restaurant while trying to entertain me. The staff served me a good Italian meal and some wine. I felt impressed with myself that I was brave enough to go on this adventure and was having dinner with a handsome European man. Clearly, this was our first and last date as I was leaving the country in 2 days. I was able to hire an Uber to take me back to the hotel, but there was some discussion about him driving me back if I had trouble. The car took a little longer to arrive but it did and it was another $50 to get back to the hotel. The next morning my brother informed me that the scooter’s battery had died on his way back to the hotel with another mile or so to go. I would not have made it back to the hotel had I used the scooter.
On our second night in town I connected with a man who was 31 years old. He initially asked me to travel somewhere to meet him for a drink, but I explained that I have a disability and didn’t know my way around so I asked him to meet me in the hotel bar. I suppose this was construed as the suggestive invitation that it was. When he introduced himself, he looked exactly like his picture on OKCupid. He was not the super hot young stud type cougar legends are made of. He was reasonably attractive, and 21 years younger than me.
I worked it out with my brother that he would stay out of the room until I gave the all clear signal via text. I was glad that my date was curious about who I was traveling with. It was nice to explain that I was not really all alone, and that my older brother would be checking up on me.
We ordered some food and drinks. Being complete strangers gave us plenty of things to talk about. He was from some country in the middle east, I can’t remember which one. Knowing I was never going to see him again led me to just relax with the conversation and not make much effort to keep track of what we were talking about. This was very much not a real date.
What made me so sure this guy was just looking for sex? Maybe it was because I was giving off some kind of vibe like that was all I had in mind. Or, maybe I was stereotyping him in with all men. I told him that I was traveling with my brother who was out at a bar and would be back to the hotel later. This gave me a sense of security.
After about three drinks it was time to talk about going upstairs to my room. I stumbled over some words to that effect. I texted my brother my plans. He texted back “Have fun. Make sure he doesn’t touch any of my stuff”. I told him I would give him the all clear when it was cool to come to the room.
We got up off our barstools soon after talking about going upstairs. We forgot to settle the bill. The staff came chasing after us, asking if I wanted to put the charges on the room. That just didn’t seem right, so he settled it with cash.
Of course, I felt super awkward walking to the elevator then down the long halls to my room. I naturally have an abnormal gait and was self conscious about it.
Light was filtering through the sheer curtains in the room from outside. There were gauzy shadows about the room. I wish I remembered the details better but it was such an uncomfortable scene I think there has been some fogging up of my memory.
All I know for sure is one thing led to another and we were naked in bed together actually discussing whether we needed to use a condom. I was certain that we did and was prepared for it. He tried to tell me, “I am safe”. I made a snarky comment such as “that’s nice” and told him to get up and get the condom off the dresser.
I do remember not feeling all that thrilled physically, but how could I with someone I met online with little information about? I had the cougar experience of being with a much younger man. I made note of how youthful his sexual response was. We were finished when my brother texted that he had to come back because it had started raining. I told my date he had to leave. So, that was the thrill of my one night stand as a cougar.
After that night, I knew for certain that one 1 night stand would be all I would need to know it was not for me.