“Genius,” he said, “how you got up and made these innovative suggestions, so fearless and confident. Everybody was hanging on your lips, especially the men, 200 of them.”
” He smiled adoringly, “Your style is fantastic.”
Gina glowed in her age inappropriate Ostrich feathers adorned pink denim jacket over a tight jumpsuit and in high Pour La Victoire heels. An Internet TV channel had just interviewed her about her Ageless Rebel journey, which she portrayed as a perfect journey for women who want to live a vibrant long life in empowered confidence.
Gina was around 60 and adamant to keep her age a guessing game. “It’s because of the branding”, she usually explained,” I can’t call myself an ageless rebel and then give you my birth certificate.”
Against her usual instinct to run away from a flirt especially with a man under 50, she enjoyed his applause, which elevated her already successful night another nudge. Tonight she did not just look like a sensual woman, she felt like one.
“I’m invited to meet with Hollywood execs on Monday. Viacom looks for fresh and funny content for Comedy Central. What do you think? Can we make your Ageless Rebellion movement into a show? Would you like to brain storm?”
Comedy Central? Ageism isn’t a joke,” she thought, followed by the mantra her life coach had texted her in the morning “Be nice, be open to opportunities.”
“Sounds interesting,” she responded, “I’m curious.”
“It’s a great chance for your visibility. People need to know you,” he added.
Excited he pointed at the space aside of him on a bench in front of the open double doors through which the last people of the futurist conference left.
“Sit with me for a moment. I’d love to show you something you will enjoy.”
He looked her up and down, “so gorgeous, “ he repeated.
Gina’s self-consciousness vanished into his charm. She didn’t think about her wrinkles or to secretly check with her I- phone’s camera if there was enough lipstick left on her lips. His body was a tad too massive for her taste; was this a deal breaker? In her long ago dating days her initial attraction to men had faded in an instant because of hands or feet being too small, teeth being yellow or smiles crooked. She had a little booklet as a teenager ranking the boys who hit on her on a scale from one to ten in five different categories from looks to originality.
For a moment her inner checklist made her evaluated the man, who had introduced himself as “my friends call me Camy, short for Cameron”; his haircut was funky enough, his glasses acceptable, his shoes expensive like his suit, he didn’t wear a traditional tie and he had beautifully sexy hands. His extra pounds didn’t manage to throw her off; she was officially on an unexpected flirting journey.
“He had his wrinkled shirt tucked into his polyester pants,” Camy mocked one of the smartest scientist’s norm core outfit.
Gina giggled, agreeing to his little rant about men over 50 often letting go of style, if they ever had any. A common dislike creates such lovely closeness.
“Seriously,” he went on, “how expensive is it to get into an Armani suit?”
He stroked his, making sure she knew the brand he was wearing. A slightly pretentious remark, she noted but whatever, he was so cute and this was so unexpected and felt so new.
Two years ago after not dating for a decade, Gina had a brief and totally disappointing stint at Match.com. Only one man of about a hundred who sent email requests, had read the fierce text accompanying her pictures. She wrote about futurism, looking for a man unafraid to live forever and not believing in heaven and hell. She got God fearing men calling her their “angel”, looking for a woman to “grow old” with. The rest commented on her sweet smile, sexy legs or that she was cute enough for them not to mind her wrinkles.
Her workout coach Brenda advised her from experience that she would have to “kiss a lot of frogs.” Brenda did, and after three years found her man on a Harley. Gina made it to two Match months and three email responses. Men simply didn’t “get her.”
This male being was different. She connected with him. They clicked. He was an advanced mind and they had all these cool ideas in common; to save the world from evil old beliefs, that cryonics are a must and that they’d be the first to get Nano bots injected for everlasting youth. They cited the same books and his impressive points piled up; he was friends with several of the futurist scientists Gina highly respected.
“Here it is”, he came a little closer on the bench, his arm touching her’s. She had missed that cute shiver of excitement. Their heads close to each other she watched the action on the app he developed, which “would make him a billionaire.” He admitted that it was exploiting the need of the masses to feel “close” to their entertainment idols, but him planning to invest most of his expected enormous profits into science that enhances everybody’s life made this necessary and excusable. How did you know, Cameron, that Gina had a thing for Robin Hood?
Why care that he was name-dropping. She was always too analytic and wanted to enjoy this crazy lightness. His continuous compliments had showered her into a cocaine type high. The short videos he had produced were well made satisfying her need for professionalism and he was really funny. Did her vision of the perfect man just manifest? Was he a 10?
When he asked if she’d like a drink at the hotel bar her inner 16 year old got a kick out of it. She hadn’t had a drink with a guy in a bar for forever. Not that she went to bed early like many of her midlife friends but loud bars seemed absurd for a health conscious woman; she got a headache just thinking of the freaking cigarette smoke.
Ignoring sense and reason was teenage tantrum cool. Her months of writing the words “fearless” and “adventurous” under her fierce fashion pictures on Instagram paid of like a mighty mantra. Yes, she wanted to have a drink.
The design of the bar area was a little shabby; this obviously was a cheaper LAX hotel. But that wasn’t his fault, she thought, he was taking part in a conference and the organizers had chosen this place. Ordering an expensive brand of Tequila he proved his class to her; she was allergic against cheap dudes.
When she pulled a grimace at his demand to drink the double shot in one go he laughed.
“It’s a holiday, you have to.”
Biting into his lemon slice he admired that she actually did. When he ordered the second shot he told the bar keeper “it’s her birthday.” It wasn’t. He was so silly; he cracked her up. The word “birthday” awakened her curiosity.
“What’s your sign?”
“Nooo. Not that kind of a woman,” he sighed with scientific smugness. She countered that archetypes are a playful tool to understand our selves and to add a little magic to our lives.
“I’m a storyteller and love the stories archetypes let me spin,” she explained.
“Aries,” he grinned in his heroic attempt to be flexible.
Seriously? Her recent shamanic astrology reading had pointed out that she needed Aries energy in her life; synchronicities were like chocolates to her. When he was pushing for her to actually drink the second shot she had not wanted, her inner observer pointed out that he was trying to get her drunk. Surely he is too smart for that. When he kissed her she kissed him back. His lips were soft and the kiss was perfect, light yet passionate.
“I love your lips,” he said,” they are so soft.”
She took a tiny sip from the second Tequila to make him happy and looked into his eyes. She had the strangest feeling of her soul whispering to his soul, “I love you.”
“I’d like to show you another one of my videos, a really cool one,” he said. “It’s on my computer in my room.”
She stared at her booze, was it time to get crazy wasted?
“No, thanks,” she said instead. “No hotel room for me.” She decided to smile casually cool.
Immediately a dark cloud overshadowed his face.
“Don’t you trust me? Do you think I’d rape you or something?”
He was seriously pissed. She was flabbergasted. There it was; not just a drop of acid in her pretty pool of happy; it was a whole bucket. Darn, she was disappointed. He had asked if she had a boyfriend or a husband, which she had interpreted as “serious” interest.
Thoughts somersaulted in her buzzed head.
What was he thinking; that I have sex with him after he forks out a couple expensive Tequilas? He must be least 10 if not 15 years younger than me. What was I thinking? That he wanted to marry me?
“With your experience you should take life easier,” he said grumpily and added, “What are you waiting for? It’s 2018, and you are a modern, open-minded woman, aren’t you?”
But dating-wise she was far from it; she had no Tinder or OK Cupid experience at all. Did her resistance against “swiping” for hookups make her a senior? She hated the word SENIOR. She was a rebel against aging, far from being retired from anything.
A hook up would be an experiment she figured; to step out of her outmoded morals, to be open and allow to be turned on. She would prove that shrinking hormones had nothing to do with sex drive, that age is just a number and midlife sex is a riot. She would not worry about her old style pubic hair or the sloppy skin on her belly. Her underwear was totally cute… She would be the rebellious, free spirited, “easy” woman, the courtesan of her novel who whispered to give a shit about feelings and to use him for pleasure.
“So what will it be?” she heard him ask. It sounded demanding.
Looking at his angry face she saw fleshy bodies hopping and bonking, images of sex scenes on TV she rarely found enjoyable. She had often felt like an Alien who couldn’t wrap her head around this ultra strange human life behavior of sucking each other’s faces and swimming in each other bodily fluids as a sport. She had fallen off her cute cloud; that all his amazingness could just be a show for sex felt like a knife in her heart. Maybe he indeed was a rapist or worse?
“No”, she said, ”I don’t want to see a video in your hotel room.”
She grabbed her pink backpack big enough for her notebook and conference materials and got up.
“Enjoy your night, Cameron.”
“I’ll accompany you,” he said throwing cash on the counter.
He had wiped the anger off his face; his charming self was back making lighthearted comments about people at the bar.
Passing the elevator its doors opened and Cameron pulled her in.
“I just want to show you the video, I promise, cross my heart and hope never to die,” he said and grinned his boyish grin. ”C’mon, I’m well known, I’ll be good. You’ll love the video. You’re too drunk to drive anyway.”
That was true. After she got an expensive “reckless driving” a couple years ago Gina never drank when she had to drive but had played the renegade tonight. Not used to alcohol any more she very much felt the Tequila; it was like a drug, dropping her into a bizarre level of reality.
“Don’t go,” intervened her angelic soul.
“He promised to be good,” giggled the courtesan she so lovingly had given birth to on many passionate pages.
“Okay”. Gina exercised her desired millennial cool. I’m modern and up to date. She had coined the quote “If you want to be forever young, you have to do young things.”
His room was as blah as the bar. One of the queen size beds was crowded with his stuff and the other bed wasn’t made. Tapping his mattress asking her to sit aside of him like on the bench before he pulled out his I Phone.
“See? I’m just showing you the movie, that’s all this is.
“Wait…. The I Phone? The computer was a lie?
“You knew that.”
She had actually really hoped for the computer.
Another wave of compliments ended in how much he was attracted to her on a deeper level, that he felt a soulful closeness.
“Let’s just kiss,” he said, “make out like teens.”
She knew it, he liked her and he understood. She didn’t have to be worried and the kissing felt quite lovely.
When he put her hand on his penis repeating that he was “so attracted to her”, she froze. What had been fun kisses a second ago was now “why is his tongue stuck in my mouth?” He talked about his penis like a buddy who was happy to join them. Praise, personification or putting on pedestals of male or female organs had always been absurd to her. She pulled her hand off “Caminsky”, his dangling hero and not just because it felt like a curled up rat to her; what disgusted her was betrayal, his and her own. She had not acted like an empowered woman, who knows her value but fell back into making the best of what was offered. She felt stupid. She had to get out of this place.
“I have to go,” she said. He still had his arms around her and did not loosen up.
“Let me go please.”
Cameron chuckled and pushed her on the bed.
“Playing hard to get? Old fashioned but I like it.”
He rolled on top of her.
The rat had uncurled itself.
“Get off me,” she demanded trying to push him off.
He didn’t budge but rubbed his body against hers.
“You should be glad that a man desires you, at your age!” he said.
Gina had thought about the scenario of being in a rape situation. She wouldn’t scream and fight and make the guy more exited to win. She would be cold and stiff and boring to death. And then hit the dude with a lamp or candlestick or the alarm clock… Where was the next lamp?
“It’s not a game, let me go. I will yell for help.”
“Gawd,” he said, “really?”
He rolled off her with a grunt.
Gina jumped up, grabbed her pink belongings and ripped the door open intending to make her furious point with a loud slam.
“Wait!!! It was all a misunderstanding.” He sighed and moaned in a confessional tone that he liked her too much, so much more than he should.
“Please allow me to call you and see you again?”
His sad face undermined how sorry he was. She shrugged her shoulders. The door fell shut in a nice normal way. Maybe she was wrong about him. Maybe she really was too afraid and uptight. Maybe she should just think of the proposed Hollywood exec meeting.
At home with her silent IPhone the next day she got it; she hadn’t been duped. She had believed in a soap opera.
“Pearls of wisdom are created like real pearls, in pain and irritation,” said her friend Justine.
Cameron was exactly that, an irritation. When Gina tried to mold herself to fit into his vision she did not listen to her knowing or her No. Even without any physical desire for crude copulation she still thought that she should give it a try, anything not to reveal her “old” age and outmoded ideas about romance. Her aversion to being pushed, manipulated or reduced to a rubber doll faded during his game in which she played her part, giggling, so he could get away with it. She wasn’t the mirror in which he could see his action; her mirror was tinted by her hope for love. Hungry for being swept away any prior feminist awareness was bam, deleted.
Googling him she didn’t find a wife or little Camies in Armani pants, apparently no girlfriend either. Just him; posing smug and disconnected with women half his age and a few important men.
He seemed like a robot now, complete with a seamless script; not only his presentation, the funny, passionate, stylish and successful creative man had been perfectly set into scene but he played all her chords from her vanities to her highest hopes, from innovative compliments to bare bone shaming.
Was she that transparent? Was he that intuitive or psychologically experienced? How many women are out there craving to be heard, seen and understood; does he have an evergreen reusable script?
Guilt flared up; did she provoke this? Did her outfit create the wrong impression of the “wild and easy chick”? She concluded that a man who falls all over himself with lovey dovey talk and a multi faceted two-hour script just to manipulate a woman into a quickie is a psychopath.Yes, she was hurt. She was embarrassed of her teenage naiveté letting her to believe that there was “more.”
It took her a couple days to find her balance. She was grateful that she did not sleep with him; she had brushed her teeth extensively and felt that anything more than kissing would have made her move into the shower.
“I thought I am intuitive,” she complained to her friend Angela, a life coach with an extensive back ground in mystery school and goddess psychology.
“How could I fall for a delusion?”
“We see what we wish for, it’s a typical blind spot syndrome. But imagine for a moment,” she continued,” that Cameron wasn’t lying. What if his feelings were real but overrun by his sexual predator program so that he couldn’t even realize? He was so intend on proving himself through outside glory, the name-dropping you mentioned, his Armani suit and the expected billions, that he ignored his true value, his soul. He is in love with what he owns, not who he is. To manipulate you into sex would have been the win his ego was screaming for.”
Girlfriends know how to make us feel better. Gina had a moment of pity for the poor schmuck. The outdated beliefs “regular” men are stuck in seem like a glass wall between them and what all humans desire, to be loved for who we truly are, as our whole package.
“Men are screwed by the porn industry”, suggested her friend Maren, “it cements stone age standards.” Comparing her relationships with foreigners to American men, she concluded that the general American sex culture had no clue “how to romance and pleasure a woman.”
“Our generation of men is stuck ,” her writer BFF Charlotte who just turned 50, figured, “clueless how to react to women asserting their power. They’re afraid we don’t need them anymore as fathers, providers, to hold open doors and carry heavy stuff. It must be hard to face that we have the brains, muscles and science to do it all ourselves.”
Charlotte dated a lot of men for a book research, coming back out with emotional bruising and a lot of eye opening, super mean and super funny stories. She gave her dates new names, not just changing Harry to Harrison, but calling them by their worst attitudes, looks or mannerisms from “Cling shot” to “Droopy Eye”.
“Show me a picture of him,” she demanded and looking at Cameron’s FB page she smirked, “He’s your Pillsbury Dough boy.”
Must love mean girl talk; Gina’s giggle washed away her last bit of insult and regret.
“I’ll never see my lust plagued teddy bear as anything else but doughboy,” she texted Charlotte, thanking her with rows of hearty emojis. When she hit “sent” she suddenly got it. She didn’t show Cameron a mirror of how he sucked, he held one up for her instead “that’s what you think of men.” He was a caricature of her judgments that men are single minded, manipulative and closed to deeper feelings. It was her old story playing on automatic pilot and Cameron blew it up big time by making such a pathetic fool out of himself.
She had asked her Tarot Cards and the Universe about her screwed up relationship to men many times, where was the love of her life? The Universe had responded sending people to pull up the curtains, which were too scary for her to move. By now she had learned how she had co-created her reality, but not which faulty thought programs were still running undetected, using up energy and warping her viewpoints.
Doughboy was her Virus detector.
Another curtain fell; relationships had always been about her, even if it seemed to be about the other. She always had conscious or unconscious agendas. With the underlying need to be seen and loved there was no unconditional gift or pleasure; the man had to give love, respect, adoration to her first and then, perhaps she would reciprocate.
“Right and wrong. Your relationships were always about me,” said her book’s character, the courtesan. “I live in your genetic code. You are afraid of being burnt at the stake again. You are ashamed of me, of your physical and esoteric desires and feel guilty of your “stupid” fantasies. Your life was a fight against the wise wild woman in you, running towards her and running away from her, never stopping to feel and see what’s really going on. You let her out, regretted it and repeated the procedure until you finally gave up hope. You were trying to find me in your writing and now I am here, at your doorstep, in your face.”
The courtesan in the positive power of the archetype is the woman who owns her desires and knowing. Her rebellion against the crudeness of hopping and bonking is an exploration of sexuality as a gateway to freedom. She lets go of society’s stories and beliefs, which are manifest in our Ego. Sex from my evolved courtesan’s point of view is stepping out of ego, not just letting it decimate in the moment of ecstasy but entering the journey of love and intimacy smooth and flexible like water; no expectations, no judgments, no agendas.
“You can ony be truly open, receive and give if you arrive in the emptiness of now,” she said.
“Holy whores” were said to teach men to be masters of love making, elevating them to the woman’s level of being an ego-free vessel of pleasurable enlightenment with sex being a multi level experience not an orgasm centered in and out. Compared to the elegant sensuality of her lovemaking, sex rules and regulations of our porn inspired standards of being “good in bed” seemed extremely crude.
In Saying 22, “Male and Female into a Single One” Jesus replies to a disciple: “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner as the outer, and the upper as the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male shall not be male, and the female shall not be female: . . . then you will enter [the kingdom].”
Sex, so say Jesus and the courtesan is a metaphor for duality ceasing to exist.
Gina’s decade long sexual abstinence had been a result of resisting her story, avoiding her truth and negating her longing for more, denying her self the crazy cool enlightening ecstasy her body said it knew. She is still on her vision quest.
At the next futurist conference Cameron had a job on the side of the stage. At question time Gina got the microphone and told the story of her “me too” in daily life. As she didn’t describe the man as a rapist the reaction was lame.
A woman was laughing. “This is normal.”
“Boys will be boys,” a man shouted. People chuckled.
To them Gina was the scorned chick, stupid enough to follow him to his room, sexy enough to “ask for it” and too uptight to have a one-night stand.
Gina’s story shows that “Me too” is not just about the big issues like rape and battering, attacks and smacks. It’s about the many small and demeaning remarks, degrading gestures, whistles and shouts or a husband’s old-fashioned expectations. We have to learn not to smirk submissively at insults and overhear them politely. They are not funny. Polite is counter productive.
Today, on election day, an emotional discussion unfolded on a right wing FB page where a woman defended Trump and his assaults on women.
“The only other time he was “disrespectful” was when the hot mic tape was presented. I don’t actually consider it disrespectful because 1. it implied women’s consent to begin with, 2. Normal men I know talk like that with each other, 3. he said it with confidence that he was privately talking with someone. Anyone who has never heard men talk like that in their lifetime are probably not trusted in their inner circles to begin with. It’s not disrespect to women, it’s human nature.”
Dennis, the leader of the discussion commented on my objections, “Males objectify women sexually. It's natural and powerful. It's not going away because you don't like it. Shaming it will merely motivate some males to lie to you to score points. But a true friend stabs you in the front…”
Regarding women as possessions, “fresh meat” and fuckable objects is okay, because it was always like that? “Boy will be boys” is a “normal” that has to encounter resistance in any of its shapes and forms.
Women power means to exercise the power of NO every day like becoming a master of Kung Fu.
NO to the old stories of relationships that were demeaning, disappointing or destructive..
NO to the conclusion that men “are like that”
NO to any creepy remark or gesture towards us or others. It’s called civil courage.
YES to anything uplifting a man ever did for me
YES to my fantasy of fairy tale-like new beginnings
YES to soaking up any nice guy story to reframe my mind.
That all said and posted, I’ll vote for Oprah as president any time.
BTW GHOSTING, the complete disappearance of a guy after the theater of declaring “deep connection and attraction” seems to be a trend of 2018.