Wading through hundreds of profiles had me moving from optimistic to despondent in just a few minutes. In those speedy moments, I dissed at least a hundred single men within a two-hour driving radius of where I was cross-legged in front of the TV. Profiles that featured only one picture, holding a mighty catch of the day, kids, or with a beer in one hand and buxom blondes around the other were instant swipe lefts. So too was the gym junkie look, you know the one where the guys are shirtless having just bounced in front of the camera after doing 20 push-ups to naturally look ripped. Ahhhhh, so many out there. So few truly worthwhile.

Looking for the “one” while battling crunch time on the inevitable shrinking fertile window seemed fruitless especially when I was specifically searching for juicy seeds that would produce fast fruit. On the surface, there seemed to be an ocean full of men to choose from, but trying to squeeze one into my marriage and baby making plans wasn’t that promising. I was convinced that this was the only viable path to meet a man to create the family I so desired. I figured, if I sifted through a high number of potentials at a rapid speed we would fly high together or fail fast and perhaps I wouldn’t miss too many cycles.

Of the few men I swiped right for Patrick was one of them. He was quick to take our chat outside of the app that night and to a nearby bar. An hour-long drink was all it took to secure a second date which was a sweet mid-week catch up soaking up the city skyline on a balmy January night. It was all very lovely and our conversation rolled over to date number three where he whisked me away on a two-hour drive south for a swim at a popular local watering hole.

To my surprise, it was a nudist tea tree lake located off the beaten track down an unsealed gravel road alongside the coast. Okay, this is where you bring a date eh?!

While my mind was processing a thousand thoughts, my smile concealed my perturbed frown.

Pat stripped down to his Euro togs and jumped straight in. It took me a little longer to undress and slide into the murky pond. The sun’s rays were laser strong and the watering hole was bathtub warm. I wasn’t too sure about him but decided to just go with it and maintain an open mind. An hour quickly passed as we chatted and frolicked about. He then held me close and scooped up handfuls of mud from the basin floor and trickled it all over my body. Not to mention all over my blue and white bikini which was now stained two-tone turd and vomit shades from the tea tree tannins.

Our conversations deepened over lunch, afternoon cocktails and back to the water for a twilight swim. This innocent and exciting adventure that he planned on this perfect sunny lovely day soon switched tunes with him revealing X rated stories of threesomes and orgies of days gone by when he lived in New York City. I nodded along listening while at the same wondering why he was revealing this information to me. Was he digging for a reaction or was he just playing me? He seemed to be sexually adventurous and I couldn’t imagine how one person or one gender could satisfy him long term.

His conversation took a deeper twist when he shared a scenario about an ex-girlfriend. Apparently, she liked to be abused. So much so, she once asked him to take her out of town to a forest, assault and tie her up, then leave her roped around a tree. He complied and then went shopping for three hours before returning to find her in an irate state. According to him, she raved about how much she loved the thrill of it all. From then onwards they had to up the ante with something even more impassioned and aberrant.

I couldn’t hide the frown that had set on my face. It seemed Patrick was very comfortable bringing me into his zone. However, I wasn’t so comfortable being in his. My eggs quivered and wilted as he splashed about with the other shrivelled swimmers. I patted ‘Pat The Swamp Rat’ goodbye and shook off the dirt he left on my mind, body and bikini.

I sailed straight into a date the following week with the slick Mr Yachty. He ran his own boating business that took him around the world to play and ogle over rich boy toys. He arrived at the restaurant before I did and was waiting for me with wine in hand. He was friendly, classy and took total control of our date. These initial first twenty-five minutes scored him a big thumbs up. However as the night wore on, his BF potential and shininess wore off.

He was on the hunt for a woman to merge into his world and fly around the planet together as a family with his two children. I, however, could only feel the pain of my wings being sawn off. I didn’t feel a connection with him and even though he offered a minuscule amount of hope for siring another lass, it would come at a huge price. Time. He said he would consider giving a new woman in his life the chance to be a mum down the track if he felt she would make a good one. Oh, really a test? Urgh! I’ve done enough dating training and tests over the past 25 years thanks. So Mr Yachty became a big, fat Mr Yachty McNotty. Cue Enya and sail away, sail away, sail away.

I had major physical chemistry with Tinder date number three. He instantly grabbed my curiosity when he revealed he worked in the seed business. Little did he know I was on a seed mission! He then clinched the attention of my loins when setting up our first dinner date when he inquired if I ate swimmers. Boom….I found my man! Our sassy banter lasted a week which then rolled into a three date weekend.

We coasted along from that day forward for a few more weeks. The issue was, seedman had legs but I promptly found out he had no tails. Well, to be fair he had tadpoles but his Vas Deferens, aka ‘the kill-joy fishing net’ blocked the chance of just one swimmer making a lucky break.

Seedman’s infertility was the final flag for me to kill flirting about and wasting time on Tinder dinners and get back to scrolling donor swimmers. Meeting that man who would be my life partner, the father or my children, my best friend, a man I’d marry was about as successful as an IUI insemination – a sucky four percent. So I traded speed dating for what I thought had better returns, the IVF donor library.

My prime dating nights were then spent perusing potential donor profiles, expanding their pictures into large fuzzy blobs on my computer screen, and going over genetic details with a fine tooth comb. Donor dating was vastly different to internet dating offering real potential to turn a hope into a human without dating pains and more intense motherhood scrutiny. One cycle I could choose a blonde and next cycle, give the computer brainiac a whirl. And I could do this in the comfort of my activewear while curled up on the couch.

At the time, this seemed to offer far more hope than dating. Instead of finding ‘the one’ to have my child with I decided I would create that special one myself. If another special ‘one’ came along, well then, that too would be more than OK.

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