I'm not sure why I'm writing this. Maybe because Valentine's day is tomorrow and I'm in that kind of a mood.
I've never been much of a ladies' man. The first kiss I ever had was from a stripper I met when I visited a club at age 19. I went with a group of guys who were all older than I, and it was more of a novelty to them. I'd never seen a naked woman before, let alone touched one.
My first visit to a strip club was like a religious experience. Everything I had ever hoped and dreamed possible was right there in front of me, on stage. The very idea that I could make eye contact with a naked woman was nothing short of astounding. I never would have attempted eye contact with a fully clothed woman out in the "real world".
It was as if the entire world was upside down inside the four walls of the club. Women were expected to make the first move, not men. Women flirted with men. Women were dominant. My loneliness and insecurity were not liabilities here. They were seen as cute, quaint, even desirable traits for a man to have. When I got my first lapdance, I felt like I was on a higher plane of existence occupied only by the two of us. The music faded out, the lights dimmed, and all I could feel was the warmth of her soft skin and tight body rubbing against me.
After that first trip, I begged any reason I could think of to talk "the guys" into going. We visited a few more times, but the rest of them quickly lost interest. To them, the teasing and titillation they received from the strippers was seen as a bad thing. To me, it was like a drug. It wasn't long after that I started going by myself.
Years came and went, and I turned into a regular. Still ever the virgin, I sought refuge within that club. The cold, hostile, rejection-filled world of dating lived outside. When I was there, I could relax, be myself, and women loved me for me. Even though I knew none of the affection was real, I was able to feel normal, even if it was only for one night, and only for a few hours. During that time, I felt alive.
And then that affection became real to me. I fell in love with a stripper named Nikki; a beautiful, petite blonde. I somehow managed to fool myself into thinking that some how, some way, her affection was real. I spent all my time and money with her when I went, and it felt like pure bliss. Eventually, I came to my senses and quit coming to the club out of shame. I realized I'd crossed a line that I once promised myself I would never cross.
Back in the real world, my love life was still non-existent. I wanted more than anything in the world to have a real emotional connection with a real woman. But I was lucky to get one date a year in the real world. I finally lost my virginity at age 25, when a friend introduced me to a girl he worked with. She used me for a few weeks and then stopped returning my calls when the novelty of having sex with a virgin wore off.
Reluctantly, I returned to the world of strip clubs - this time at a new club. Sometime in my mid-20s, I slowly started to lose any hope that I would ever know what it felt like to be in a relationship with a real woman. All my friends got married and had kids, which I wanted desperately to experience for myself. I wasn't holding out for a stripper-quality girlfriend. Not by a longshot. I just never learned how to meet women. I never learned how to get a woman to like me. Once in a great while, I would meet a woman and even have a date or two. I would get excited that maybe things were finally going to happen. But invariably, she would lose interest in me and move on. It always followed that pattern. She would think the world of me, but didn't feel "that way" about me..
I'm 35 now, and it hurts me more than anything I can put into words how lonely I am, and how utterly ashamed I am that I have never managed to so much as even have a relationship with a woman. I've never had a woman in my life that I could call "my girlfriend". Every night I go to bed and cry myself to sleep out of loneliness. This is not the life I wanted, and I would do anything to change it. Every night I dream about what it would be like to be truly accepted by a woman. I fantasize about what it would feel like for a woman to choose to be with me. Eventually I fall asleep, the tears drying on my pillow.
In 16 years, I have spent $44,500 at strip clubs. I'll probably go again soon, the next time I feel lonely.
And tomorrow is Valentine's day.