The time approached for my date and I have to offer many thanks to everyone who was with me in spirit. Special thanks to nudeyorker for accompanying me to the gallows --- er meeting place. It was wonderful to be handed-off, so to speak. The less time I had to obsess, the easier it was to stay relaxed. Right at 5:00, as appointed, Calvin (name changed) appeared looking very dapper in a top coat and leather gloves. He has a great full head of dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a goatee that looks REALLY good on him. When he smiles the light dances in his eyes. He smiled as soon as he saw me and gave me a big hug. It was wonderful and while I was still nervous, it was a good nervous-- edgy and exciting. He asked me where we should go and I offered one place that I knew of, but he thought it was a bit much and so we started walking around. He asked if I was the steak or sushi type and I volunteered that I preferred sushi and so did he. We started debating various places and it turns out he's a foodie too! Yaay! So we walked up Lexington a bit, then across 55th to Park and then Madison Avenues. This is a great area of the city, filled with fantastic architecture, posh boutiques, stores, and all lit for Christmas. There weren't many people about and that was good because we could walk side by side and talk. Calvin was smiling a lot, enjoying our stroll around, just talking. I was still nervous though finding myself uttering partial sentences for thoughts that didn't yet exist and so must have sounded ridiculous. If that was the case, Calvin didn't seem to notice. We talked about food, restaurants, chefs, and jobs. I remarked that my cousin used to work in the same building as he did, as an art investment consultant. We talked about layoffs and rehires and changes in our lives to make them better. At one point I coughed a bit and he asked if I had a cold. Just smiling I turned around smiling and remarked, "...and I wonder where I got that from?" He laughed openly and freely. Finally we stopped outside of Grayz, where star chef Gray Kunz from Lespinasse works his magic. So much for skipping the expensive places. We both ordered the same appetizer and the same entree. We did differ on dessert, but shared what we had. Calvin had a butternut squash brulee pudding and I had Thai basil ice cream. Both were remarkably good. We chose a nice small table toward the back where we could talk and talk we did. We talked about Body Electic, BDSM, and it turns out he's been to my counselor/massage therapist. The entire time he's smiling, I'm smiling, and there's a little flirting going on. I find it easy being with Calvin as he's so open and warm. It's tough because we first shared some extremely intimate moments and are only now just really getting acquainted. I spent the first half of dinner trying to stop imagining myself sweeping everything off the table, bending him over, and fucking him right there but perhaps it illustrates how attracted I am to him. And then he said the dreaded words, ".... my partner...." :frown1: So he has a partner. Shit. At that point I stopped trying to flirt and tried very hard to put any thoughts out of my head. I tried not to let my disappointment show. The rest of the dinner was good. We talked about our interests, the economy, and more about restaurants and BDSM. I think he felt it was a relief to talk to somebody about our experience who understood what it was like. We split the check and got ready to leave and I gave him another hug outside the restaurant but decided that even if he was partnered that he would make a good friend to have, a partner for going to the BDSM gigs. So I offered, "If you're partner's not into BDSM and you want to go to a SIG, let me know and I'd love to join you." "Oh I don't have a partner." :smile::biggrin1: I just halted right there and I think my jaw must have dropped a split second before I broke into a big smile. I could not have been more obvious. So he was partnered but not any longer. That was good to know! Very good! :saevil: Or at least that's what I hope. I headed for my train and arrived back home and I was walking two inches off the ground. I think it all went very well and had he not had a previous appointment, we would have hung out much longer. So what do I do now? Do I ask him out again for next Friday or do I offer to do something sooner? Do I write him and thank him for a great time? I do have some links I mentioned that I could send him though he's certainly bright enough to figure out the website names on his own. I really don't know what to do. I don't want to seem too eager but nor do I want to seem disinterested. How do I let him know I have a romantic interest? Isn't that implied in asking him out or do I have to say something unmistakable? I'm a bit scared that my inexperience in this sort of thing will fuck up my chances with him and I'd hate for that to happen as I really am a bit head over heels at this stage of the game. My truest thanks to everyone who has helped me with this. I couldn't have done it without you and special thanks to nudeyorker for sticking with me until I was ready to meet him. Your help has been the best Christmas present I could have imagined.