Thursday, March 1, 2012

Skype Sex: Why I Wouldn't Be Caught Dead with My Pants Down in Front of My Laptop

Yesterday I got the ping I'd been waiting nearly two years for. It came via Skype, from someone I'll refer to simply as G -- and not because he's even remotely gangsta.

G is for gorgeous: tall (at least half a head over me, and I'm 6'1"), dark, handsome and possibly the best kisser I met in my entire four and a half years living in Buenos Aires. We never went out on an actual date, never made awkward conversation after bumping into each other on Avenida Santa Fe, or after waking up together on Saturday or Sunday morning. I don't think I ever even saw him in the light of day.

The only conversations we ever had were well past midnight as music thumped in the background, at Rheo, at Human, at Ambar la Fox. There was an obvious physical attraction, but the fact that he never tried to do anything about it, never busted any of those cheesy porteno pick-up moves I'd come to loathe during my stint in Argentina made him even more appealing.

The only time we made actual physical contact was one Saturday night at Ambar when we gave into passion -- sort of -- and spent 15 minutes making out by the coat check. He had to leave. I tried to make him stay. He invited me to go with him. I considered it for a full 30 seconds before politely and reluctantly declining. I had to look after a friend, who'd had a bit too much to drink, and had issued me a warning earlier: "If I suddenly lose consciousness, don't panic. I'll probably only be out for about 15 minutes."

I suggested that it might be time to go, but he insisted that was just a worst-case scenario, an unlikely possibility. I wish I'd pushed harder because then I would have been long gone by the time G showed up, and he wouldn't have become my sort of one that got away. You see, as he walked out the door, I knew my window of opportunity was closing for good. In Buenos Aires, guys don't take rejection well, even if it's less rejection than "maybe some other time." I've had guys throw mini-tantrums and storm off just because I said, "I'd like to see you again, but I'll be leaving alone tonight."

G didn't do anything like that, but a few days later when I sent him a Facebook message asking him out on an actual date, he didn't even reply. At least he didn't delete me, or, worse, block me on Facebook, I told myself by way of consolation. It wouldn't have been the first time.

Thus began about six months of silence. Then one day, G surprised me with an invitation to connect with him on Skype. All, apparently, had been forgiven. Maybe we'd even pick up where we'd left off that Saturday night at Ambar, except for one huge logistical problem. By then, I was living in Australia. In the end, it didn't matter because like so many people who've added me on Skype, on Facebook, on MSN Messenger, he never actually said anything to me.

Until yesterday. That's when the ping arrived that put a little bit of kick into what had started out as a fairly mundane afternoon.


My heart jumped and then fell. Hard. The lack of an exclamation point after the greeting wasn't a good sign. Argentine guys never forget the exclamation point if they are really into you. And if he was in Buenos Aires, it was past 2am. No guy in BA ever calls, or texts, or pings after midnight on a weeknight unless he's got one thing in mind.

Or maybe he was going to tell me that he was in Bangkok. Another unlikely scenario, but at least we were communicating again. I took the bait.

"hola!" I didn't forget the exclamation point!

"Como va" Wait, no question mark? He must either be really drunk, really horny or both.
"Todavía vivís en argentina?" Ah, there you go.

Then disappointment returned. Damn, I thought. He's definitely not in Bangkok. I had to break the news to him that I haven't been living in Buenos Aires for almost exactly one year. (March 2 will be the one-year anniversary of my departure.) Obviously, he hadn't been paying attention to my Facebook status updates or reading my blog.


I smelled the unmistakable whiff of his losing interest coming from my laptop screen. Trying to keep the conversation going, I told him that I'd spent the last year living in Australia and Thailand.

"Ah hace mucho"

Well, a year isn't really that long, but whatever. I wondered when he was going to get to the point.

"Estoy medio caliente. Te va hacernos unas paja?"

There, he said it! He wanted us to have hot and sweaty Skype sex. Now I've done a lot of things in the name of lust -- text sex, outdoor sex, normal sex -- but one thing I've never done (besides 35,000-feet-above, up-in-the-air sex) is take it off in front of a computer screen. And even if I were to accept his invitation, would he be there in the morning -- his morning, or at least by the 6 o'clock news?

Once again, I politely and reluctantly declined. This time, my excuse was that it was shortly after noon in Bangkok, and I had a lot of work to do. Like my previous excuse, it was actually true. Had he been in Bangkok, though, I would have dismissed those deadlines for a few hours. But the problem with computer sex, aside from the fact that it's a little weird, is that it's pointless, too. It may have worked for Michael Fassbender in Shame, but it's just not for me.

If regular body-to-body sex when two people live in the same city seldom leads to anything long-lasting, what hope do two people jerking off in front of their computers on different continents have? I was flattered that G had thought of me -- especially after more than a year of ignoring me -- but if I was never going to hear from him again, I didn't want him to remember me that way, pants down in front of a computer screen.

Now there's a look that wouldn't look good on anyone, except maybe Michael Fassbender in Shame.
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