On distance, virtual relationships, and trust (I)

I was chatting the other day with Liza, and she asked me about the evolution of my “distant buddy” relationships – how they have started, what their progression has been, and, in particular, how they have grown from being purely sexual, simply tawdry affairs into something… more, different.

There have been four substantive such relationships to date (and by substantive, I mean something like either long-lived, emotionally intense, or both). The longest-lived, with A Thousand Miles Away, is in some ways the simplest. We met via OK Cupid, before this blog existed, and very quickly settled into a routine: we trade pictures, of our bodies, mostly, though at some point she decided she wanted to send her face, and I was grateful. She’s beautiful, curvy, red-headed, delicious. And whatever I ask, she does. There has been, by my count, exactly one instance of her saying no to a request of mine. And to be fair, she didn’t so much reject it as filibuster it. I think she genuinely would like to fulfill it, but where every previous request of mine has been fulfill-able in just a moment or two, this one really requires a full evening, and considerably more vulnerability, than simply saying, “I love your lips. Would you remind me what they look like, please?”

I like her. I’m concerned for her. She fucks with some serious, hungry abandon, and I hear in her words the occasional emptiness of an addict. I don’t want to “take advantage” of her, and I try not to, to always give at least as much as I ask, whether measured quantitatively or qualitatively. But there’s a sadness to her, to our relationship, because of this emptiness. I wish her well, but (interestingly, for me) feel no jealousy when she reports a conquest, feel no powerful desire that things between her and me be any different than they are, than they always have been.

Trust in this relationship is odd, unequal. From very early, I knew what her face looked like. I knew her lustrous hair, her clear eyes, her cute freckles, her full lips. She has seen portions of my face but, unless she’s either got mad collaging skills or is a stalker, this is unlikely to add up to a comprehensive view of what my face looks like. She knows details of my life, knew much of what’s in the “My Story” section of this blog before it took shape here. I know details of her life – her family, a bit about her job, etc. over the course of well over a year, I think we have come to know, to trust one another. One day, I imagine, she will stop responding to my requests. Or perhaps I’ll stop requesting. Some period after that, I expect we’ll acknowledge that our thing, whatever it is, has come to an end, probably somewhat wistfully. And that will be it. I don’t expect it ever would occur to her that I would betray her trust (how? By publishing or distributing her pictures?). And I wouldn’t, couldn’t imagine doing so.

I get from her a ready sense of being desirable – she always responds to photos of my parts with effusive enthusiasm, and does so nearly immediately. She provides a ready jolt to my ego, and for that I’m quite grateful.  And I trust her.  I don’t imagine, can’t imagine, a world in which she would set out to harm me in some way (not that I can imagine how she might succeed at doing so, but still).



  1. I find it very interesting that you don’t feel jealousy here, why? Is it because you’ve seen her face? The mystery not there?

    I’ve only felt jealousy once but I never expressed my feelings.I got over it quickly 😉 He slept with someone and for some crazy reason it bothered me.I guess it was the way he went about telling me.

    I trust my distant buds and I think (I hope ) they trust me. Two but one have seen my face and I don’t mind at all.They reacted well and they weren’t dirty photos so I think I’m fine. They even know my first and last name, though now that I read your post it freaks me out a little. How could they hurt me though? They both seem to care about me as a friend.

    The only reason I would stop these interactions would be if I seriously started to see someone. I wouldn’t be OK with someone having distant buddies while having me as a SO. I don’t see this happening any time soon though.

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