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26: Denise

February 9, 2011 | by  |  Confessions of a Lonely, Single Guy

Two weeks later, I managed to end my six-month dry spell.

Unfortunately, it was with a woman in her fifties.

Her name was Denise, she was into astrology, and I met her at The Yale, somewhere around closing time. Leon and I had stumbled in the door only a few minutes earlier, and, after a long afternoon of heavy drinking, neither of us was particularly lucid. In fact, I managed to lose him within five minutes of entering the building and, not knowing what else to do, made my way to the bar.

Which is where I ran into her. She sat, poised on the edge of a stool, ankles wrapped around the metal legs, all fifty of her years radiating forth as she gave a palm-reading to a guy in his early twenties.

“Holy shit,” he was saying. “Holy shit.”

She muttered something else, looking into his eyes and smiling.

“Holy shit.” he said again.

She grinned slyly.

Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say she was a good fifty, but, in that moment there was something sexy about her. Mysterious. Then again, in my elite state of drunkenness, I probably would have found a sewer-grating sexy.

“Holy shit,” the twentysomething said again.

“What are you doing to this man?” I barked, authoritative, shouldering my way through the crowd.

She looked up, sultry.

“Don’t you worry, honey. I’m a licensed professional.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to see some identification.”

She laughed.

“I’ll see what I can find.”

“Holy shit, dude,” said the twentysomething. “She’s an amazing palm-reader.”

“Sorry, but I never believe witness testimony,” I replied. “I’m going to need proof.”

She smiled as I pushed my hand into hers, and looked her square in the eye.

“Show me what you’ve got, man. Let’s go.”

It wasn’t a question.

I was sick of asking questions.

In fact, in the weeks following my bondage experience, it was like I was a new man. The last two weeks had been a time of intense growth,  refinement, and transformation. No longer was I bound by the same rules as I had been in the past; a switch had flipped in my head, something primal had been released, and I was ready to attack Vancouver’s dating scene like never before. I’d attended a free, introductory Pickup Workshop with a group calling themselves Social Fluency, where I learned a little bit about pickup, and a whole lot more about how to effectively sell a pickup workshop.

I’d gotten a haircut.

I’d bought a pair of ridiculously stylish boots.

I’d picked up a classy, well-fitted collared shirt, in a solid shade of fuck-off mauve.

I’d bought a pair of raw denim jeans that fit so snugly, I had to call DJ StrangeLove to ask if there was such a thing as too tight.

And, for the first time, I’d done this not because anybody said I should, but because I actually wanted to. My weekends were filled with drunken debauchery, and, everywhere I went, women were talking to me. Complimenting my shirt. My boots. My demeanour. Asking me about myself. I was touching them, making them laugh, making them chase me.

I was being my best self, and the greatest part was, for the first time in my life, I didn’t care what anybody thought.

Mothers, lock up your daughters, I thought. Because Ian Hannon’s on the prowl.

Denise ran her fingers along my hand. A year ago, I might have have recoiled at her touch. Shrunk from it. But now, I embraced it. Welcomed it. Knew what it could do.

“There are all these little breaks in your Life Line,” she said. “That indicates that you’re in a period of great change or transformation. And your Heart Line is so long; it runs from one side all the way to the other. That indicates that you have very classical notions of romance and partnership.”

“Holy shit.” I replied.

She ran her hands over the tips of my fingers.

“And you’ve got a very solid Mount of Saturn. That shows that you’re not afraid to work hard, and overcome adversity.”

Just then, I felt an elbow strike me solidly in the back.

“What’s up, budd-ay?”

It was Leon.

“This place is Cougar Central,” he whispered in my ear.

And, before I could respond, he produced a woman who looked to be about forty from behind his back; tall, lanky, brunette, nursing the dregs of a nearly-empty Heineken.

Denise squealed with glee.

“That’s my friend Shirley!” she shouted.

“Really? Well, that’s my friend Leon.”

“You guys know each other?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Wow. What are the chances?”

We talked and laughed for a few more minutes. Denise was pawing at my arm. She was laughing at my jokes. And she was still fucking fifty. But, like I said, I was just drunk enough, and just cocky enough, and just transformed enough, that I truly didn’t care.

Which is definitely to blame for what happened next.

“Everybody out! We’re closed!” shouted the bouncer closest to us.

“Awwwwww!” Denise and Shirley groaned, in a kind of strange harmony.

“Well, I guess that’s it,” Leon said, with a friendly shrug.

Denise pawed at my arm again.

“I live just around the corner. You boys should come by for a drink.”

I glanced at Leon.

“Sure.” we both replied.

Mothers, lock up your daughters.

I don’t remember any of the walk to Denise’s apartment. In fact, I’m not sure I even remember where it is. All I know is, some time later, we were sitting on couches in her living room, laughing, joking, flirting. Leon was across the room, engaged in an epic arm-wrestle with a less-than-impressed Shirley.

“I really love your shirt,” Denise smiled.

I chuckled.

“My drink’s empty.”

And, as she padded softly out of the room, Leon abruptly leapt from his perch on the couch, and declared:

“Okay man, I’m off.”

I raised an eyebrow.


“Yeah. Brittany’s probably wondering where I am.”

Shirley sat forward.


He smiled.

“Yeah. My girlfriend.”

Shirley’s face fell.

A minute or two later, they both left. I made a mental note to thank Leon later for his excellent wingmanship. And suddenly, we were alone: Denise sitting beside me, handing me a full drink, which I slugged back almost instantly.

“This is fucking weak,” I griped.


Then, I began kissing her. I was so abrupt at it, that I even surprised myself, but she certainly didn’t seem to mind. We spent the next half-hour on the couch, fooling around like teenagers, as I ran my fingers over her sandpaper skin.

“God!” she screamed. “I don’t know if I can do this! You’re so young!”

Right, I thought. Because I certainly hadn’t noticed that on my own.

“Oh, shut up.” I replied. “Don’t even worry about it.”

But, the damage had been done. I froze, suddenly aware of the reality of the situation. How on earth was I going to tell my friends about this? No doubt, taking home a cougar is nothing new for a large number of Vancouver men, but this was far beyond a mere Cougar. This was a fucking Smilodon. This was the grandmother of Cougars. She kissed me again, her breath smelling like brandy and cigarettes. And then, just like that, I didn’t care. I was drunk, she was sexy, and that was all there was to it.

I’d like to tell you that nothing happened between us.

For the sake of my self-respect, I’d like nothing more than to say that I packed up, went home, and had a restful night’s sleep.

But that would be stretching the truth a little.

In fact, it would be stretching the truth a lot.

No, even though she was twenty-three years my senior, even though it made no sense, even though she was more Martha Stewart than Kim Cattrall, we went into the bedroom, and shut the door.

The following morning, I awoke at dawn. Denise lay face-down beside me, barely stirring. We’d been up most of the night, and during that time, I’d been more sexually aggressive with her than I’d been with anyone in my entire life. Slapping her. Pulling her hair. Throwing her around. I made my way to the bathroom, splashed water on my face, put my clothes on. She rolled over, and I watched her for a moment. Unfortunately, sobriety and morning light were not particularly kind to her; in the bedroom’s dim glare, she looked like some kind of dishevelled rodeo clown. I weighed my options: wake her for an awkward morning hug, or leave without saying goodbye, and make her feel cheap?

Ultimately, I chose the third option, and a few minutes later, we were having sex all over again.

“Well, that was fun,” she grinned, when it was over.


I put my clothes on, and walked to the door.

“This was fun, Ian!” she called after me. “We should do it again sometime.”

I turned and looked over my shoulder, the hint of a smile on my face.

“It was nice to meet you.”

Then, I walked out the door, and headed home to take a forty-minute shower.

I spent the remainder of Saturday laying on my couch, sweating pure gin. I spent a large portion of that time wondering what the hell was happening to me, and marvelling at the changes that could take place in a single year. And, to my surprise, I didn’t feel particularly ashamed about my experience with Denise. Why should I? Almost every guy I knew had, at one time or another, taken home a Cougar. Hell, it was practically a club-scene rite of passage. It was just one more step toward me becoming a sexually empowered, socially confident human being. And, when I headed out that evening to meet with Leon and some friends, I did so with a feeling of success and accomplishment coursing through me. Imagined that when I saw my friends, they’d clap me on the back, pour me a beer, and give me a hearty congratulations. Well done, Ian, they’d say. Way to move forward. Way to be a man. What was age, anyway? It’s just another number.

I arrived at Leon’s place a few minutes later, and, as I walked through the front door, I could hear his voice bellowing joyously from the kitchen.

“Hey, it’s Ian Hannon” he shouted. “Daughters, lock up your mothers!”

Ian Hannon is currently lonely, single, and a guy.



  1. Well done.
    Nothing shameful there, just an amazing story of unbridled passion.

  2. Dear God…I cringed the entire time..Love the picture though.

  3. Loved the ending!

  4. Your stories are strangely addictive! I do like the wit and determination of your journey :) Despite this I feel there is a lot of alcohol accompanying your new found confidence. Also as a woman I feel that you are not inventing the wheel as to how to pick up women casually… there is definitely volumes of this in history, Mr Casanova :)

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