About a month ago a friend of mine mentioned how he’d turned to the wondrous world of online dating in search for love. Having dabbled in this area before (eHarmony told me there “was someone for everyone, mine just wasn’t on eHarmony”) I thought it might be fun to look up my old profile. I hadn’t signed on for over a year, yet the little mailbox in the corner blinked red alerting me of waiting messages. Most of the messages were plain and unimpressive; a simple “hey” or corny pick up line. Oh right, this is why I stopped logging on. I proceeded to my profile page, covered with ghosts of selfies past and an about me section that only kind of sounded like the me I am now.
Within 5 minutes of logging on I had received ten new messages. Not that I think of myself a “10”, but I got quite a lot of men asking why I was on a dating site. I didn’t really know why. Boredom? Curiosity? Loneliness? With nothing better to do on this particular Thursday night I decided to update my profile. I uploaded new selfies, wrote a new ‘about me’, and changed my ‘looking for’ from relationship to nothing serious. My last relationship ended badly, and I wasn’t ready to open myself up to someone else just yet.
Despite all of the bad in my last relationship, there was one thing I missed: the sex. Hot, kinky, dirty sex. My ex was the first guy I shared my fantasies with; including my sexual fetishes I had kept hidden from all other boyfriends of the past. I learned I was rather open to the “weird” or “taboo” parts of sex most people shy away from.
So when “TacoMaca” messaged me asking “dominant or submissive?” I decided to play along. Normally I would ignore pervy messages, but something about his profile inclined me to respond. He worked at my school, graduated college the same year I graduated high school, and his sole picture showed him in a karate match. I couldn’t make out his face, but I didn’t want to. With no name or face he could be whoever I created him to be in my mind.
We began sending messages every night, describing our sexual fantasies and sharing past experiences in the bedroom. And though I was content, I knew it was only a matter of time before he wanted to meet in person. I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies to be comfortable meeting up with someone I met online, let alone someone who goes by “taco.” I explained this to him, that I had no intention of ever meeting face to face. Besides the whole might-be-a-serial-killer thing, I also had no idea if I would be attracted to him. I created an image of the man behind the words, an image he surely couldn’t resemble.
What happened next was something I never expected. He first offered to pay $300 to give ME a massage. Being the broke college gal that I am I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t tempting. Still, it just wasn’t something I’d be into. If I let him watch me have sex with someone else he’d be “willing to dish out a lot more.” To which I thought, hello I’m on a dating site do you think I’m getting laid regularly?!
Taco was relentless, which grew annoying to the point that I stopped replying.
Until one day he proposed an offer too good to pass up. We would each download “kik” (an app used for messaging) and talk on there. Remembering a past conversation where I revealed my love of erotic writing, he said he would pay me to write stories for him. And so it began. I’d write lengthy tales of blindfolds and whips, knee highs and mistresses. He would reply with something just as naughty and we’d write back and forth.
“I need a visual.” He said.
“That wasn’t part of the deal.”
“Come on, fifty bucks.”
After checking my moral compass (which doesn’t always point due North) I decided I was okay with this. I sent him nudes, without my face in them, and he paid me for each and every one. I questioned how he had this kind of money to blow, and why he wouldn’t just watch porn like the rest of us.
It wasn’t until I looked at my paypal account that I saw his name. “Payment received.” His name was very common, but I decided to type it into the good old book of faces. Knowing he lived in the area I narrowed it down to two possible identities. The first was a nerdy college kid, which to be honest wouldn’t have surprised me. I wish it had turned out to be him. But the next name matched with the same occupation as taco, and as I scrolled through the pictures I found the same pic he used on the dating site. He wasn’t what I imagined, but he had nice eyes and a kind smile. I returned to his main page and couldn’t believe what I saw.
Try enraged. Having been cheated on in the past I had very little respect for those who could not remain faithful in relationships. AND THIS GUY WAS ABOUT TO PROMISE SOMEONE “FOREVER AND ALWAYS.”
And not just any someone. After clicking the name of his bride to be I was further thrown out of my chair when I was redirected to my professor’s Facebook page. There in front of me were pictures of a man I really knew nothing about. (Other than the fact my teacher was too good for him.) I deleted the app and dating profile without saying a word to “Taco.” I still struggle with inner conflict over whether I did the right thing by simply disappearing. Should I have confronted him? Should I have sent an anonymous letter to her with a link to his dating profile?
Sometimes as I sit in class I wonder about her life at home, and if he makes her happy. I wonder about who else he has been talking to, and if she was lying next to him all those nights he was lying to her.