I couldn't work out what to write. Do I write as Kristie the slag? Amelia the anthropologist or just plain old me? But most importantly did I even want to find out who DKeats really was?
This was strange. Under any other circumstances I might even have been interested, but standing there totally naked atop a blue carpet that belonged in the 90's, presenting himself to his phone... legs akimbo... goods on show... induced feelings that varied between amusement and nausea. I was most certainly not attracted.
Examining the photo one last time that night I tried to give it a better shot by dimming the light. I even played some Death Cab for Cutie. Nope. No good. There was no attraction. Zilch. The cute naked boy did absolutely nothing for me.
Why was that?
After the initial dry spell, Kristie's inbox was, (as one suitor phrased) 'tickled' by a steady stream of messages. Every day I read through pretty much the same from the bored, lonely and shy of London's single men. A busy hospital doctor who offered to show me his 'bedside manner', a curious university student who obviously didn't want to take his interest in bondage back to his dorms and city boy who rambled on AND ON about his failed 3 year relationship and how he just 'couldn't connect with women right now'.
Perhaps it was the poorly constructed red and white site that gave the messages the air of sadness, or perhaps it was the content of the messages themselves - 'Ijizzedonyou2' wanted to swing by to give me an orgasm and then leave, he worked as a motorbike delivery man and he could travel just about anywhere and was free whenever "Just sex, maybe exchange first names only." Windrammer 77 thought I sounded 'nice' and a striking photographer from Poland just wanted to chat and promised to take things slow. He said he found most English women unfriendly.
Interestingly, only one of my 'prospective suitors' had had any success meeting women from the site. There is no other way to describe this man other than 'Fucking Weirdo!'.
Far from a kinky underworld of 21st century empowered women and no bullshit men, I found this a kind of virtual bus stop for the lonely. Here, they waited, some hurt, curious or shy. Some downright perverted, but the one thing they had in common is that for some reason they were distancing themselves so far from the prospect of relationship that they chose to wear their no strings badge like a giant scarlet A on their profiles. I discovered it was this, more than the pictures of willies and ridiculous screen-names that was the real turn-off. Because even in the fits of an Infernos induced drunken stupor, gyrating to Tiny Tempah in the arms of a 22 year old, there's still a small part of me that thinks, 'maybe he actually likes me'.
I began to feel bad about the dozens of un-replied e-mails and decided to stop toying with these people and take down my profile. But looking back over my weeks and weeks of e mails and 'flirts' I came back to my original message from Keats.
Now, I have no idea what possessed me to ask him to describe his best sexual experience, or why I set him the task of writing in in the form of a poem ('bonus points for rhyming couplets'). Maybe I wanted to test him, to make him prove that he was a tortured artist, an exception to the stagnant pool of man sewage I'd otherwise encountered. Maybe I just thought this was a sure way to get rid of him, because there was absolutely no way a guy lazy enough to use a sex site would spend time composing a poem to some clearly fake profile. I was 99.9% certain I was about to receive another unwelcome picture of his flexed appendage and there was absolutely no way I was going to meet this guy in real life, this was still... totally... completely... absolutely a joke...
The little yellow envelope flashed red. I had mail and it was from Keats. He's written me a poem, and it was good!
> > Two Irish beauties, long hair and trim
> > On a spread silk sheet this tale begins
> > Swift and smooth, supple and tight
> > Two young ladies that would last the night.
> > Iced champagne and nipples too
> > Hungry for each other and ready to screw.
> > Two tongues, one member, a private club
> > No holes barred, and so here's the rub:
> > Twice over they wanted each their turn
> > And by the fourth time I felt the burn.
> > But in the shower growing stronger
> > I found the vigour to last one fifth longer.
> > I really think you should reciprocate.
> > DK x
Oh no, it made me smile. He made me smile. This was really bad. I appreciated the light tone, the use of 'holes' instead of 'holds' for comic effect and the fact that... I was a little bit turned on!
Suddenly the whole exercise seemed silly, kind of like going shopping without any money. What was the point of knowing Keats enough to sleep with him? He was a no strings guy, that was the whole thing! If I tried him on, I'd only have to give him back after.
Of course, there was a part of me that was imaging a happy ever after. It was the same part of me that picks my wedding dress before Imy first date outfit. The part of me who still swoons over Disney princes at the age of 29.
In my fantasies I would get him to change his ways, he would meet me, fall in love and read poetry to me on a rowing boat on some lake somewhere quaint. At one point it all got rather silly... me and him wondering round the National Portrait gallery hand in hand when we happen across a portrait of THE John Keats. "My great grandfather," Keats would say to me and I'd gasp. "You're descended from THE John Keats?" Funnily enough, none of my fantasies were sexual.
It took me 3 days to decide what to write...
> Never banked on a real reply
> Now feel kind of bad- kristie's a bit of a lie.
> Before you're affronted let me explain
> It wasn't a joke, it wasn't a game.
> It all begun last Saturday week
> I'd broken up with a guy and my world felt quite bleak
> Returning from holiday I found a surprise
> The start of a long and painful demise,
> it's quite funny really, don't care to repeat,
> who knows maybe one day... if we should meet...
> And so, I became Kristie - The girl I wanted to be
> But a few weeks on, just not sure that's me.
> I suppose it was a lesson I had to learn,
> Still, I set you a task and I owe a return ;o)
So that's that, the story of Keats and I. Well, the romantic part anyway. We texted a few times, and one day arranged to meet on Skype. I waited... nervous to see if he actually looked like he did in the pictures, worried about what I would say. The idea of a date without alcohol was absurd? I waited from 7pm until 9pm before it occurred to me that I'd been stood up. ON SKYPE!
Keats texted me a few days later but by then I'd lost interest entirely. I didn't want some no strings dalliance, I wanted the poet in my fantasies, however I'm fairly certain he doesn't reside on the pages of an online sex site.