The title says it all: I am a man-whore.
Should I be ashamed of this? It is, I confess, a dirty secret. I can’t help myself. It’s like a fixation in me. And I’m getting ever more desperate because I’m not getting the hits that I crave.
It’s always been there – since I was a teenager at least – the need to satiate my lust. It hasn’t gone away. What’s more, I’ll do it with men and women, I’m not choosy; the young and even if they come old and crinkly. Whatever ethical creed or religion, I’ll take them and fill my need.
But no, I’m not ashamed. In fact, I wish there were more like me out there. You see what I pimp myself out for unashamedly I’m actually quite proud of. Put simply:
I am a conversation whore
Like I say, I can’t help it. Like Dexter from the hit TV series I go prowling for my next hit, my ‘dark passenger’ always with me. I go looking for a good conversation. I scour Facebook, Twitter, the Blog-o-sphere, real life (of course) – everywhere; all the time looking for intelligent, meaningful, deep, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking conversation.
But like all good tarts, I’m choosy about company. I am, I like to think, a high-class hooker. I’m not interested in inane chatter, sending (and definitely not receiving) dick pics, childish humour, what you watched on TV tonight or who did what or said that. No, I go looking for something which grabs me at much deeper level. Something to make me feel I scored a hit like a drug user shooting the best on the market into their veins.
I had a hit the other night. It was a real-life one. Out for a meal with a couple of old mates. Did nothing but tell each other they were wrong about whatever political conviction we had. With Teresa May having just called a snap general election in the UK a few days ago, the whole world seems to be abuzz with it all. We debated all night and did so with wit and humour and good-natured camaraderie thrown in. It was awesome. We probably emptied the restaurant with our “you’re so wrong, HOW could you believe that?” comments thrown across the table – but we loved it.
I enjoy many wonderful conversations with friends across the world every day. The joy of enjoying a certain degree of ‘being known’ as an author is that you get to meet a lot more people. From the very deepest of secrets, to the most public of joys, I get to enjoy conversations of every kind of topic from intelligent, capable, interesting people who also abound in care, loyalty and empathy. The fact that more people want to see me, interview me, have me speak at events and so on is immaterial to me – they are opportunities to meet people and make new friends. I don’t care who supplies me with my drug.
But conversely it’s made me harsher too. I haven’t got time for time-wasters: the ones who show off to impress you, or want to find out all about you, or just want to flirt a little, but who actually aren’t that interested or aren’t that interesting after a while. The ones who choose to have entire conversations just using emoticons. The ones who initially won’t leave you alone with chat but then suddenly never get in touch with you – for weeks and months – because they can’t be bothered any longer, but when they do expect that everything will be the same. That’s not the same as those you’ve known and loved for a long time where you’ve always come and gone over time in each others’ lives and you can just pick up where you’ve left off – those people are untouchable. They never leave my heart. I’m talking about those who wade in obsessively and then suddenly couldn’t care less any longer. I ditch such people now, and I don’t let them back in once they’ve gone. That shit might feel good for a while, but in the end it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
On Facebook recently I’ve found it harder to find the conversations I crave. It feels like everyone has taken the principle of Twitter’s 140-character message to heart. People pop in, say hi, then leave again. I do it too – most of us do I’m sure. But I see that as the equivalent of meeting someone you know in the street. It’s a quick catch-up before you both carry on your way. But if that’s all you get then that person becomes little more than an acquaintance. That’s fine, but you don’t have the rich, deep conversations with acquaintances as you do with friends.
And friendship can be an instant thing. Recently I got chatting to a person living near Manchester. The connection was almost instantaneous. We’ve been good friends for quite some time now and nothing seems to be wavering with that. Now I’m old enough and experienced enough to know that friendships can go to hell in an instant over some argument, tiff, disagreement or misunderstanding but, as much as it is possible to allow for that and predict the future, I’m hopeful that in a year, two years, five years plus, we will still be friends. Who can tell? I’m hopeful nonetheless. The point is, just because we met online doesn’t mean the friendship ain’t real. Sometimes you just click with someone and it works.
So yeah…I’m a conversation whore and a junkie. I get my fix on intelligent and interesting talk. I don’t care if you hate me for it, it’s who I am. It’s an addiction I don’t want to lose.
Writer and journalist D K Powell is the author of the bestselling collection of literary short stories “The Old Man on the Beach“. His first book, ‘Sonali’ is a photo-memoir journal of life in Bangladesh and has been highly praised by the Bangladeshi diaspora worldwide. Students learning the Bengali language have also valued the English/Bengali translations on every page.
Both ‘The Old Man on the Beach’ and ‘Sonali’ are available on Amazon for kindle and paperback. Published by Shopno Sriti Media.
D K Powell is available to speak at events (see his TEDx talk here) and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org