It all begins with a heated debate about Brexit, late at night, in the middle of October. Over the next three weeks, a series of more and more intimate and revealing conversations ensue, building a deep sense of trust, honesty and attraction. He calls me ‘darling’ over text. He’s the first person I message every morning and the person I say goodnight to before I go to sleep. Our connection is intense.
We arrange to meet one evening after work in London. The Politician lives in the north of England but he comes to London every few weeks. The reason for our meeting is apparent; I know that I’ll stay the night with The Politician before I have even met him. We meet in St Pancras station under the kissing statue. As I walk towards him, I feel more nervous than any other date I’ve ever been on. There is potential that I can be properly hurt by this interaction. There is potential that I can be rejected by someone who I have already built a connection with, and that would really sting.
Employment – Something to do with politics
Age – mid thirties
Nationality – British
Interests – Swimming, kinky sex.
Source – Tinder
Anatomy – Handsome, strong upper body from all that swimming.
Venue – The Betjeman Arms
Location – St Pancras Station
Eating/Drinking – Pub
Atmosphere – Busy, a bit impersonal. I wouldn’t date there by choice.
The Politician and I greet each other with a kiss on the lips and I fall into his arms. I am shaking as I greet him, and he leads me into the nearest pub – The Betjeman Arms. Our conversation is slightly stilted, we’ve never even spoken on the phone before, so we are taking time to assess one another, learning each other’s habits. Finding out what it’s like to be in each other’s company is not as easy as I had hoped. I find The Politician to be slightly awkward company. Endearingly grumpy.
He tells me, much much later, that he didn’t know how he felt about me at the time. He said he didn’t like my more aggressive stance on politics. I guess that was my fault, I failed to recognise when he was uncomfortable. This must be a recurring problem, so I make a mental note to not push on future dates.
The Politician and I are opposites on every possible scale and unit of measurement. He drinks white wine, while I have red. We don’t connect emotionally. There is no instant ‘click’. Still, he’s in London, so it seems rude not to keep this man who I like company for the evening.
I hold his hand and we go to an off-license to buy wine, then we take it back to his hotel room.
We get onto the bed, pour the wine into plastic cups and switch on the television. It’s early in the evening and I’m hungry, but The Politician doesn’t like eating out and there’s no suggestion of getting food. It is without doubt the oddest date I’ve been on yet, there’s no pretence of him trying to impress me. I cuddle against him, he feels warm and comforting. Slowly, we get to kissing, he begins to remove my clothes, and we lay partially dressed for some time. The curtains remain open and he likes that.
It’s as though we’re acclimatising to each other’s bodies. Clothes are removed, and then we take stock of the situation: assess, ‘Is it OK?’ – Yes – ‘Then we proceed.’
We know each other’s lives. We know each other’s fantasies, dreams for the future, and aspirations, but we are still strangers.
So we kiss, and tentatively begin to play with one other. The Politician takes sex seriously, it is not a laughing matter. There will never be enough time for us to do all of the things he would like us to do together. We mess around for hours, pausing, drinking, talking and then messing around some more. Ultimately I straddle him, stripping him of control of the situation. We collapse into the bed, exhausted.
Our intimacy seems to me more like that of friends. I don’t feel nervous to be naked in front of him, I don’t mind when he hears me peeing through the flimsy bathroom door. This is confusing for me, I had hoped to fall for this guy. I sense that he feels the same.
The next morning, I have to go to work so early that he hardly even stirs from the pillows as I try to gather my clothes in the half light and leave for the office. In my confusion and haste, I leave my dress from the day before on the hotel room floor.
My depression lasts a few days. But The Politician and I continue to talk. I begin to realise with time, that he and I may not fall in love, but we have built a connection which is worth holding onto, however you choose to categorise it.
It’s pretty awkward when I have to go and collect my dress from the hotel reception. But then Donald Trump gets elected President, and everything gets put into perspective again.