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She could be anybody she wanted to be. Fantasy and reality were intertwined like lovers. Time and date had no meaning. She could go anywhere, set any limit. She didn't even have to be a she. A few keystrokes, and suddenly she was no longer lost and numb.
"Sexy brunette seeks rendezvous man," she typed. "Attractive, intelligent, very sensual professional seeks regular activity partner two to three times a week for long, hot, passionate encounters."
She gave her vital statistics: age 28, white, agnostic, college educated, employed full-time and a resident of Fayetteville, with interests in dancing, dining, movies, music, photography, theater and travel.
"Looking for emotionally stable, very attractive, physically fit, intellectually stimulating, fun-loving man who is not going bald, 25 to 35, Caucasian, D/D free"drug and disease free"Over six feet tall," she wrote, using online shorthand. "Must live or work in Fayetteville. Please do not write if you live in R/D"Raleigh/Durham.
"I turn heads," she continued. "If you do too and meet all the above requirements, let's meet for coffee and see what happens next. Will only respond to inquiries that are interesting and stimulating. Will not reply to messages such as 'tell me what you're looking for' or to anyone with crude screen names. Discretion is a must."
Sometimes she went by Susan, other times Cheryl. Her computer screen name was marriedbrunette.
No sooner did she send out her ad than the replies flooded her inbox, the sexual laws of supply and demand in action. She knew intimately this world of lonely men, and even lonelier women. She'd grown up in this world. She'd married into it, endured it, loathed it. Now she'd found a way to exploit it.
"Hello, my name is Brian," one man wrote back in a reply that was typical.
I'm also married and would like to find someone for discreet encounters on a regular basis. I do meet all your requirements that you stated in your ad. I'm not much over six feet tall so I don't know how much you care about that. I do have all of my thick hair and I have all my teeth, too. Laugh. Does that count for bonus points? Laugh.
Apologetic in his pitch, Brian braced himself for rejection even as he courted her. "I do have a hard time believing any man in Fayetteville being able to turn a woman's head," he wrote, and it was true. This was a military town.
I'm good looking but that may be excessive for me to say. Women here in Fayetteville don't exactly have a hard time getting a man's attention, much less a good-looking woman. I don't want to waste your time so I'm being upfront and honest. I would like to hear from you and possibly meet some time. I know you probably have a lot of responses so you can be very selective. If by chance we meet, I believe we could have a good time b/c I'm very likeable. Thanks for your time. Take care,
She did get a lot of responses. "Hi, Cheryl," wrote Catman_NC, the NC standing for North Carolina.
I saw your ad and wanted to respond. I am a single white male, 31, five foot 10, 170 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. I live in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I am also very nice, honest, discreet, clean, drug and disease free. I would love to talk with you. I think that I meet all of your qualifications except for one, since I am not over six foot. Anyway, if you are still interested, please respond back. I think that you could have some good times together. Hope to hear from you soon.
"You sound great," wrote another man, whose screen name was Chillslave, an appropriate monicker.
Now, I don't know if any this will appeal to you or not, but let me tell you about myself. I'm 35 years of age, SWM, attractive, I've modeled, athletic, I've played college sports, intelligent, multi-degreed, professional, employed and funny.
I do have one flaw, however. I'm sexually submissive.
I simply adore to submit to an attractive woman and to lick, massage and smell her feet, suck her toes and orally satisfy her pussy and perform other services as she orders. I thought I'd tell you this up front since I don't want any problems with sexual compatibility.
I don't know if you were into having a good looking guy under your command. For all I know you have one now. But I know sometimes women like to sort of have things their own way and get guys to do things for them. Plus, men have often used women as slaves historically or even today sometimes. So I thought you might want to turn the tables and put a good-looking guy in his place.
I'm pretty normal otherwise, but sexually I'm submissive and it's kind of hard to approach women in bars, etc., and explain this to them face-to-face. So that's why I'm using the Internet.
If this interests you, please reply. If this doesn't interest you or if you're totally repulsed, I understand. I know you don't expect this kind of mail in your box and I sincerely apologize if this has offended you in any way.
She would receive a lot of this kind of emailthe line between outgoing and outrageous blurry in cyberspace.
"You sound like a very beautiful and interesting person. I'm a captain in the Air Force. You probably hear us fly over your house," he wrote. "I have a passion for life," he continued, "and love great conversation, holding hands, cuddling and long passionate kisses. Unfortunately, I have a void in my life where passion is concerned. I'm personally in a dead relationship that is going nowhere."
She knew all about Air Force captains and the planes they flew. It wasn't the roar of the engines she heard. It was the months of silence that followed.
She read on.
"Hello," wrote a man giving the name Tim, "I also live in Fayetteville. Have you seen my pictures anywhere on the net? Well, I hope to hear from you soon."
This was more like it. Out of the clouds, down to a place she craved.
Randyclimbs described himself as six-foot-one, brown hair, blue eyes with 205 pounds of athletic build:
I have an incredibly busy schedule and don't get out much. I figured meeting somebody this way might be easier than going to a bar and competing over women with military guys. My job is currently what keeps me so busy. I have about two months of nonstop work and sometimes just have the energy to put into the above scenario. I am in the medical services field and am completing a portion of studies for my field. So I have told you a little. What about you? What is your real name and what do you do? Obviously we met through the personals, so does that mean you are going out for personal satisfaction and gratitude with no regrets? Please explain. I am intrigued.
Years later, a psychiatrist would attribute her fascination with online couplings to loneliness, depression, low self-esteem and anxietythe emotional wreckage from a bad marriage and a jarring life change. She tried in vain to medicate the pain away. Where Xanax and Ambien failed, she hoped the Internet would succeed.
Had it stopped there, with a provocative personal ad and sexually charged banter with eager and anonymous men, it could have been written off as kinky fun, escapism that was arguably harmless enough as long as her husband didn't come home from the skies and find out.
But she took it a step further.
Copyright © 2006 by Michael Fleeman. All rights reserved.