Bella

 

9:34 p.m.

I walk away from her hotel trying to convince myself that I didn’t just fuck up. My ego tells me that I did the best I could, that I’ll see her again tomorrow, that it would have been dumb to push my luck.

I’m halfway up Z Street when I hear a familiar voice.

“Hey man, how did your date go?”

Somehow I’m not surprised that I’m bumping into Joe right now. He wants to know everything. I start at the beginning.

5:18 p.m.

I’ve just parked my rented scooter, usual spot. As I walk into the heart of Thamel I pass the cutest Asian girl. She doesn’t look Nepali, more Chinese, wearing jean shorts and a white t-shirt. Her hair is big and puffy, and it somehow suits her perfectly.

She’s headed the other direction, but I know I’ll hate myself later if I don’t go talk to her.

So I do.

6:02 p.m.

Her name is Bella, and she’s now sitting with me at a coffee shop. She’s traveling alone, her first time outside China. After just a few minutes of small talk, she’d volunteered to hang out with me. I didn’t even have to ask.

I’ve learned fast that she has the spirit of an adventurer and a heart of gold. She shows me pictures on her phone of a one-armed street kid she met earlier. She’d dragged him to her hotel room so he could have his first shower in months, then bought him fresh clothes.

I make her laugh, and the conversation flows easy. I drop several poorly disguised hints that I think she’s hot — Example: “I think you’re hot.” — and never once does she shy away. I agree with myself that this couldn’t be going any better.

Until she tells me she has to leave.

Before I can feign indifference and casually suggest we meet up later that evening, she proposes we grab dinner together at eight.

Inside I’m doing cartwheels. Outside I say evenly, “Okay, sounds good.”

I offer to spin her back to her hotel, full sure that she’ll find me even more irresistible when she gets a ride on the back of my 125cc hog. She’s down for that, and within minutes we’re zipping and weaving through the pothole-infested streets.

9:19 p.m.

Dinner went well. We shared stories of past romances and current vulnerabilities. I’ve learned she’s scared of the dark and has a crush on some uninterested hotelier back home. My attraction to her has only grown wider.

But as we sit in her hotel lobby and sip banana lassis, I find myself holding back and I’m not sure why. I know she likes me. We’ve closed the emotional and intellectual gaps between us. All that’s left is the physical.

I make some lame attempts to get closer. I take her hands playfully and touch the scar I notice on her left leg. She offers no resistance.

But I do. It’s all internal, and right now, for some unknown reason, I’m too chicken shit to overcome it.

As the minutes tick by, I wave the white flag at that resistance and accept that this is as far as our relationship will go, at least for today. She has no phone but says she’ll call tomorrow eve, her last in Kathmandu.

As I hug her goodnight and head for the lobby door, she waves me off with the brightest smile and not a hint of disappointment. I cling to that final image as I walk down Z Street, my mind trying to bend it into some kind of assurance that I played my cards just right, that it was best not to push it any further, that I’ll have another, more appropriate shot with her tomorrow night.

And now I’m trying to convince Joe of all this. But he’s having none of it…

“Wait, wait, wait. You’re telling me that she asked to hang out with you when you first met, she invited you to dinner, and you were just having drinks together in her hotel lobby. Am I missing something, or shouldn’t you be up in her room right now?”

Fuck.

Finally undeniable, the realization that I’ve just wussed out of a golden opportunity comes crashing down on me like a Himalayan avalanche. The thump hits especially hard because I’ve done this before, many times: talked myself out of taking action, listened to my lizard brain preaching patience when the moment needed to be seized.

I know from experience that if such moments aren’t seized, they’re usually gone forever.

I know but I haven’t learned.

Joe recognizes the depressing realization I’m having right in front of his eyes, but he’s not about to coddle me. Instead he offers six words that fill me with hope and dread all at the same time.

“Hey, you can always go back.”

9:57 p.m.

It took about three seconds to make up my mind. It came down to this:

  • Worst case scenario: Temporary embarrassment, freak her out, no chance of a second date.
  • Best case scenario: Great sex with a girl I’ve quickly come to adore.

Risk absolutely worth it.

And now I’m standing outside Bella’s door, having smoothly extracted her room number from hotel reception.

I take a deep breath before I knock. I’ve already run through what I’m about to say and do several times in my head. My heart beats wild but I feel optimistic, reminding myself that fortune favors the bold.

I knock.

Silence.

– Yes?

Shit. My visualization didn’t account for her asking who it was before opening the door.

I say nothing and knock again.

– Who is it?

I have to speak.

– It’s Niall.
– Oh… you can’t come in.

This wasn’t part of the plan. I’m forced to improvise.

– Um, I just wanted to leave you my email address in case I miss your call tomorrow. It would be good to keep in touch.
– No, it’s okay. I’m tired now and ready for bed. You go and I’ll call you tomorrow.

I flip to damage control, realizing that I’ve freaked her out and that the best case scenario I’d envisioned is definitely not about to happen.

– No problem. I’ll just write it on a piece of paper and slip it under the door.

10:11 p.m.

The streets are dark and almost empty as I race home on the scooter. I feel foolish, but console myself with two things my brain knows to be true:

  1. The embarrassment will soon reside.
  2. Never take, never make. At least I’d given myself a shot at living that best case scenario.

“And besides,” my ego chimes in, “she might still call tomorrow.”

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96 Comments

    • Hi Niall,

      Thanks for your honesty in this post. You’re writing made me think, so that’s good. I appreciate delving into the mind of a man from time to time.

      It’s honestly disppointing to think that the only connection would be ‘great sex with a girl I’d quickly come to adore.’
      What about what happened before? Did that mean nothing and was sex the only objective? Reading back on the post, I guess it was.

      You certainly tried to ‘get’ without considering her at all. Why not just be present, be happy with what you were given which was a lovely night with a perfect stranger? Why take more? Does living in the moment mean doing what you want regardless of the effect on others?

      I like you, so I hope she did call…but I would understand if she didn’t.

      • Hey Heidi. Thanks for the comment.

        “It’s honestly disppointing to think that the only connection would be ‘great sex with a girl I’d quickly come to adore.’
        What about what happened before? Did that mean nothing and was sex the only objective? Reading back on the post, I guess it was.”

        Everything that happened before is what led me to believe that the sex would be great, deeper than just the physical. And I’d say my main objective wasn’t sex, but to face my fear of rejection and not let a potentially magical night slip way.

        “Why not just be present, be happy with what you were given which was a lovely night with a perfect stranger? Why take more?”

        Because I’ve regretted not trying to take more so many times in the past, giving into the fear of rejection when I had no good reason to.

        “Does living in the moment mean doing what you want regardless of the effect on others?”

        I didn’t just take that risk for me. I took it for her, too. There have been times in the past where I didn’t take similar risks and found out later that the girl wished I had. Sure, sometimes I’m going to misjudge it and make others feel uncomfortable. But as I said in another comment, I’d rather push it too far than not far enough. The vast majority of my life highlights have come from doing the former.

  1. Sounds like you made the right decisions the first time around. Trust the lizard brain! (And wear a helmet on that scooter.)

  2. HOLY SHIT NIALL!!! You had me hooked on your every word. I felt like I was reading a famous novel. Man, what suspense. I felt like I was you. My heart started pumping… hormones racing… man, she’s sooo hot! (and I haven’t even seen her!!). I’m in love. I don’t just mean hot, as in physically… I mean hot, like damn! Can’t control yourself… everything is pulling you two together… emotional connection, chemistry, the polarities…

    I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel to this.

    My favorite post to date.

    EPIC !

  3. Interesting story Niall, you can at least say you took a risk and came out of it stronger…. or something like that.

    Also, I’m like that too when I get too little sleep. Well, actually, I usually just end up falling asleep when I’m not meant to! :P

    • Yeah, I’m glad I went back. Been too many times when I chickened out and decided to be patient, only to realize later that I should have seized the moment. I’d rather do too much than too little.

  4. You had me in stitches! Funny man.

    From a woman’s perspective, yes, you did the wrong thing, and no, you’re not dead in the water. You might be, but she may think you are cute enough to give you another chance. I hope you get one, if only for the vicarious pleasure we’ll all get from reading about it. ;)

    Good luck!

  5. Hi there

    Have to write! love that you shared this. I notice you are quite hard on yourself,on your lizard brain preaching patience.
    Hey, it’s not as if you are a coward or anything! It too is looking out for you. You are facing your fears and taking them on. I would trust yourself – in this case it looks like your old lizard brain was right and something else made you change path and try another way. As she took the initiative so often that day it sounds like she’d have invited you upstairs if sex was all she wanted at that moment.

    As someone who like you doubts myself and pushes myself forward through my fears, I have also learnt that sometimes it’s better to be cautious. Sometimes lizard brain can be trusted. Instincts.

    And lastly – from my female point of view, I don’t think you’d be judged badly for waiting a day or so.
    Great learning – I wonder what will happen next?

    • Thanks, Kate. I wasn’t worried about being judged for waiting a day or two. I was worried that something would come up and I’d never see her again, and that the one shot we had would have been lost. That’s happened to me more times than I dare to count. Listening to my lizard brain in such a scenario has never really worked out well, so now I try push myself to go against that instinct.

  6. love the way your writing flows here in your diary-like entries. You’re such a good writer!! “Trust the lizard brain” is an interesting one… I’m so used to thinking lizard brain is a bad thing.. But it does serve its purpose also and can help protect you. IMO from a girl who doesn’t like ‘the game’ and is a genuine person.. I feel sex on the first date/meeting is kind of canned and not a good thing. I don’t want to be just a fuck, ya know? I mean really, what’s the rush? And if I REALLY dig you, I think it’s actually a GOOD thing not to go that fast and the fact that she says no but wants to call later in my mind is a good thing. Time will tell!!

  7. Great writing man!

    And yeah, the opportunity lost is what’s regrettable.

    Yet, you learned. Maybe you just were reminded of something you already knew.

    Cheers man, I feel your pain.

  8. I agree completely with Matt – epic is the word! I wasn’t sure whether or not I was reading a guest post from a romantic novelist! If part II was for paying subscribers you could seriously make some cash! Well done for going back – moments like these don’t come often and the regret of inaction can haunt you for a very long time.

  9. Hey Niall, I love your “seize the moment” philosophy in general, but I think sex with essential strangers is the wrong thing to be pursuing. Frankly, as a woman who has travelled alone, I think this girl would have been out of her mind to let someone she had just met into her room at night – and that’s not me projecting my morals onto her, it’s just safety and common sense. Also, not to act like your mom, but sex with essential strangers isn’t that safe for you either. (And yes, regardless of the connection you think you may have had, someone you just met that day is an essential stranger.)

    I think you’re on the right track by just trying to talk to and get to know people in a natural way, especially considering you aren’t planning to stay in any one place long enough for deep intimacy or trust to build with anyone. That is a drawback to long-term travel, as I myself have learned the hard way.

    I’m a big fan of your blog but had to weigh in on this as I think it’s an important issue. :)

    • Much appreciated, Jennie. I accept that many people reading this will question my morals and judgement since I was so willing to sleep with a girl I’d just met. And that’s fine. I’m comfortable with the choices I make as regards sex and relationships. Past choices in that regard have led to some of my fondest connections and memories.

      • Hey, I have no moral opposition to what consenting adults choose to do, I just think it’s important to consider safety first, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar place. And rather than thinking that you missed out or messed up with this girl, be willing to recognize that it’s even more important for a woman to think this way, especially when travelling alone.

        Not only that, but many people (both men and women) feel the opposite way you do after sleeping with someone they are not likely to see again: empty and worthless. So while you can pursue casual sex if you want to, recognize that there are lots of people who won’t be into it whether you seize the moment or not, even if they think you’re a cool guy.

        I just want to encourage you to see that there may be a reason this girl wasn’t disappointed you didn’t become more aggressive, and it probably had nothing to do with her not thinking you seemed great.

  10. Hi Niall,

    Beautiful story! Really touched me, basically because you’re talking about me =). Not in Kathmandu, not with an asian girl and not in a hotel, but…

    Liked your answer to Terri, probably projecting morals onto others…we should reset some things in our lives, begining with the “I’ll-get-a-no” culture we’ve built. If I had dared to ask, as often as I would have said yes to a question, i would be the happiest man ever(hope you understand what I’m saying…I just murdered english grammar).

    Just a word for jennie’s comment (no offence): totally agree with you regarding sexual safety, but sex has been just the alibi (alibi?…aliby?…uops…) for the thought, wasn’t it? Anyway Niall, I can exchange the $ donation for a shipment of latex =)

    Take care!

    P.D.: anxiously awaiting the outcome.

    • Thanks, Andy! Glad this resonated with you. I imagine quite a few guys find themselves in similar situations, wondering if they should push it or not. Never easy.

  11. Niall you are a genius. Why aren’t you writing novels? Matt is right, EPIC! So funny and the suspense is brilliant, we need the sequel.

    Did you do the right thing? Hmmmm I think so anyway. Worth the shot, hey and you’d only be questioning it otherwise.

  12. Hi Niall,

    A great post indeed. I was with you there the whole story! I do hope she calls and you get closure (whatever that will be).

    A few questions though:

    Why haven’t you got her e-mail? She must have one? You could always visit her in China after some correspondence.

    And if you really like her that much and feel you have a connection going on there, why not travel with her to her next destination (China?) It’s not like you have to stay where you are now, is it?

    Okay, all the best mate! Keep us posted.

  13. I’ve walked that exact same street you raced home on scooter ‘feeling foolish’ a million times bud.

    The wussying too! In my opinion ‘moments’ are imp. to girls. For us it is eternal. I guess her moment was when she didn’t resist your touch in the lobby. I ‘think’ maybe a kiss would’ve been appropriate right that moment.

    Then again, a girl who agrees for a quickie isn’t quite someone suitable for your stature. Feel glad you’ve met someone of a higher standard ;) I’m sure she thinks the same about you.

    Next time mite :)

  14. You waited TOO long to touch her. I already sent you that 15 point list on Facebook…I specifically emphasized physical connection as fast as possible, even if it’s innocent like high fives, fist bumps, hip checks, arm around her shoulder while walking, arm in arm French promenade style, picking her up bc you see a puddle. Taping on her shoulder to pay attention.

    Also, I also are still “thinking” you are NOT entitled to such a hot girl. It’s like you still think you are the ole dorky Niall who is shy and bashful around women.

    I used to be DEATHLY afraid of kissing a girl, so for 1 month I went out to clubs and bars and started conversations with girls and within 5 minute I would try to kiss them. Some left, some gave me the cheek but stayed, and some kissed me. I wasn’t doing it for the kissing though, I did it to push myself and also to learn when it would be “time” for a kiss.

    Another thing, this girl mentally unbalanced you. You were “grateful” that she wanted to go out with you, “doing cartwheels inside” but I doubt she’s got a cool blog and is traveling all over like you : )

    You can’t fake this stuff man, even if you have the more relaxed body language and tone of voice and are indifferent physically…if your mental state is in “oh so glad she’s out with me” mode, it won’t go your way.

    I would just use this as a lesson and REMEMBER it as YOUR main reason for getting physical from the start.

    Remember, cut the intimate space, give good eye contact, and touch them using the above examples.

    • TL,
      I think you are right about the girl mentally unbalancing Niall – I have felt like the same when I met someone and I was in awe from the very first moment and could hardly speak … too hot for the start. Yes, fear will leave from pushing through it, so your suggestions are very good.

      Niall,
      you did the thing you felt you had to do. I agree with you that I’d rather be sorry than regretting me shying away from something again and again.

      Keep going, I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

      Sabine

  15. One more thing. You got to slay that fear. And you do that mostly by repeatedly pushing through it. Get physical fast and keep doing it so you get used to it and it’s not longer a big deal. Make a mental note to work on it for the next month, just always touch. Push through it…yes there will be some award moments until it feels natural.

  16. Beautiful writing. Just so you know, this isn’t exclusive to men(!). Just believe if it’s going to happen it’s going to happen.

  17. Brilliant stuff, Niall. Definitely enjoyed this post. I think I may have enjoyed the comments almost as much – “Meeting a girl and thinking about sex right away? Oh my!”

  18. Greetings,

    I can whole heartedly relate to Niall’s quest for wanting to cultivate and experience intimacy while traveling because I am a performing songwriter who is on a ‘What would love do?’ expedition and vision quest sharing songs from my newly released cd ‘Only Love’. I am currently traveling full-time in an enchanting 17ft Burro Travel Trailer.

    As part of my vision quest, I became one of the founding members of “The Quest for Community Caravan” which is an experiment in living in creating an intentional community on wheels while exploring New Mexico this summer while championing one another to live our best lives.

    While I am traveling as a single woman, I too want to cultivate intimacy, passion and heart connection which can prove challenging when you’re mobile.

    So I wanted to create an alternative paradigm for expressing unconditional love in a relationship even while traveling which I share in a song that I wrote last month which is on my newly released cd called ‘Open Handed Love’.

    As I navigate the frontier of my heart, I am exploring how to love with wings and not strings and share an open handed love. To be able to “to come together, to come apart, share our lives and share our hearts and an open handed love” without attachment to outcome yet in a whole hearted way in the moment.

    If you’d like to explore the concept and to hear the song, I just recorded it on a youtube video I made yesterday giving a tour of ‘My Casbah’ which is what I affectionately call my travel trailer because it actually looks like one inside.

    Here is the link:

    http://youtu.be/aKO7lOt9e6Q

    Niall, You have so richly empowered my life with your authenticity and I support you fully in seeking, exploring and full-filling your needs for intimacy while you are on your journey.

    With much love and appreciation for who you are and what you share with us,

    There is only love..Laurie

    • Laurie, you have me wowed. Love this especially…

      “As I navigate the frontier of my heart, I am exploring how to love with wings and not strings and share an open handed love.”

      I listened to your song and love the message in it. Wishing you all the best on your journey this summer and beyond.

  19. This article really picked me up. All day I’ve been fretting about tonight, where I’ll be giving the girl I love a gift I spent a year making. It’s at the point of internal pain =/ . And then in my email I saw this. Amazing, really helped me. Things are looking up for me. Thanks Niall

  20. Hey Niall,

    Kudos to you on two parts:
    This post wouldn’t exist if you didn’t approach her in the first place. Nicely done!

    I love the subject you bring up, as most guys have been in the “how far is too far” situation with a girl. I don’t think there is a right answer. I don’t know about you, but on a night like yours, I’ve never been able to turn it around through email or social media or all that crap. Usually after your kind of night it’s over. If you are able to unlock the code, please share!!

    Way too easy for me to say from here, but probably should have at least kissed her…haha!!

    Love the writing and really appreciate all your work!

    Cheers,

    Dave

  21. Hi Niall,

    I was totally hooked to this story too, even tough I was reading it at work :) Great writing.

    I have met quite a few Chinese girls and I have to agree with posters here that most of these girls usually have a morality that will not allow them to sleep with someone on the first day, so she probably appreciated the fact you didn’t jump on her and gave you that smile when you left.

    I’m sure she grabbed your address and will send you an email!

    • Cheers, JB. I’d agree that most Chinese girls are more reserved when it comes to matters of sex. Thing is, Bella definitely wasn’t a typical Chinese girl. There was a lot more to our conversations that I managed to squeeze in above ;-)

      Thanks for the comment.

    • I think it’s not about first impressions actually, it’s about not being able to “recreate” something that was always premature. You are not going to have true trust or intimacy with someone you have only met once or twice. It isn’t possible. What you are experiencing when you have a great night with a stranger is the emotional high that comes from knowing the relationship will be brief, not a deep spiritual connection that you somehow can’t recreate because your first impression wasn’t good enough, or whatever it is you are thinking.

      I actually have to say I agree with Ed and Heidi who posted on this thread – knocking on this girl’s door as if to say “I would like to have sex with you now” was a somewhat pesky and weird thing to do, and I think just because you would have enjoyed having sex with this girl because she was cute and you had a great chat doesn’t mean it would have been “deeper than the physical.” I think you are also wrong to believe you would have gotten what you wanted if you had only made your move at the right moment. This is an idea promoted in the movies that is almost never true.

      And the 15 point list referred to by TL on this thread… whatever that is, it sounds deeply offensive. Anyone who is looking for strategies to try and get a hot girl into bed has pretty much lost the whole idea of making connections with human beings (which women are), if you ask me.

      • As a young woman, I heartily agree with Jennie’s post. I think it’s significant that all the people saying “slow down” here are women, and all the people expousing a sort of pick-up artist mentality are men. It’s frankly disturbing to me that there are people out in the world who so boldly strategize from the moment they see a woman to invade her personal space and use her body. You could put a positive spin on it, but so often this general way of thinking just attracts people who are immature, self-centered, and chronically insecure. And then, because the philosophy says nothing about patiently searching for and building a genuine connection – but lots about faster and more – these people never really learn, and their situations never really improve.

        That being said, I’m much more troubled by some of the viewpoints being expressed in the comments than what actually went on in Niall’s story. It seems pretty apparent to me that Niall had good intentions all the way through. He also had the good grace of having a bogus story ready so that Bella could at least half-pretend later that he hadn’t come back just for sex. So good on Niall.

        But the attitudes in some of these comments, to me, are going too far. They’re not only rude, they’re unhealthy and ultimately unproductive.

  22. A risk is always worth it. Following your heart keeps the ego from regretting! A connection is a connection. Being that I am female and have travelled extensively, I would like to say that instant connection based on chemistry, past life, karma, a feeling of ease or familiarity, is totally possible and agree that even the briefest of intimate moments with another can reach into our core and change us in ways that we could have never discovered on our own. Crazy as the thought is… women actually meet men and think about sex rt away too!!! If I were to be so bold as to make my own assumptions, I would say she acted without hesitation, trusting the freedom of the moment and herself fully, you in the ease of the moment found an attraction deeper than the physical, which caused you to put your penis back in your pants. (Very gallant). When you failed to seize the moment, she retreated from the moment, questioning her own character in your eyes, not wanting to make a choice that may cause you to see her as “inappropriate”. Meaning she is also drawn to you on many levels… timing? I have a feeling this is not the end of Bella.

    • Love this comment, thanks for sharing.

      “I would like to say that instant connection based on chemistry, past life, karma, a feeling of ease or familiarity, is totally possible and agree that even the briefest of intimate moments with another can reach into our core and change us in ways that we could have never discovered on our own.”

      I think this view is where you and I differ from most people. Like you, I also believe that time is often irrelevant when it comes to forming a deep and meaningful connection. And when I feel it, I try not to fight it. Easier to go with that flow as a man though. Because if we’re wrong, it’s not that big a deal. But the same mistake for a woman could result in big trouble.

      • Thanks Niall- I am so much enjoying the stream on this! What CRAZY comments!
        I want to give a shout out to Kia who shared a beautiful perspective. I so agree that women (and men) need to own their power and follow their desires and instincts. If we are tuned into this it is not likely that we will find pain, but, joy in honoring ourselves. True connection and even lasting love can be found in a moment. Time is a meaningless form of measure. You can meet someone for a brief moment and feel love in your heart
        for a lifetime or you can live with someone for years and feel nothing…
        Keep exploring, and growing, and loving with every breath. Carpe Diem! If you are ever in CA- I have a couch on the beach for you to sleep on… I don’t allow sex pests in my bedroom! Seriously enjoying the comments!!! Lisa

  23. Hey Niall,

    Have to say, I love some of your posts, BUT in this one you come across as somewhat of a sexual weirdo. People have different cultures/practices etc, the assumption you seem to have made that “of course she wants me” is fairly gross tbh.

    I come from your home country, we are an open bunch, but even still you sound like a sex pest to me. Think about how you feel to more conservative cultures… and I KNOW that you know there are different tolerance levels around the world.

    Put yourself back home (I come from Ireland) if you met a girl here, and she said cay tomorrow and you pestered here after she said goodbye, I reckon that’s what we would call sexual harassment, nothing to be proud of with that… Knock down the door of a girl that has rejected you and the Guards will be round to take you away soon.

    I feel sorry that “Bella” has been dragged into one of your odder posts.. and I hope you are going to pursue a more omni-cultural approach to approaching women, your views arent the only ones to be taken into consideration.

    • So you’re basically saying I’m a sex pest who would be arrested for sexual harassment if I tried the same thing back in Ireland?

      I’m sorry, but I have a really hard time believing that. I actually find it incredible that you believe it.

      If I already had my pants off when I knocked and then kicked down the door, yeah, sure, then I’d be taking it too far. But as it actually transpired, I was just a smitten, self-conscious guy pushing his luck, a guy who quickly backed off when he realized he’d pushed it too far.

      As to there being different tolerance levels around the world, yes, I agree completely. But each interaction and every person is different. There are girls here in Nepal who would jump into bed with me much faster than some Irish girls would. I try to play it by ear and see how everything feels in the moment. Obviously though I’m still not very good at reading the signs.

    • Well I don’t think there’s any danger of that. But if I did want to take this blog in such a direction, I wouldn’t let a critical comment or two deter me from doing so ;-)

  24. Hi Niall,
    I’d just like to say it seems you might be afraid to communicate about your sexual feelings when you are with someone in the actual world? yeah? but hey, you can express yourself in this way in the virtual world – I think I watched you talking about your masturbatory practices etc to the whole world on You Tube? So, I see a paradox, a good one, in that you need to take the capabilities you have to express your desires on line to the camera to the actual present moment, sure, you’ll need to tweak with care, respect and understand the context (and I have no reason to believe you’ll wont be able to do that). I agree with you that it is important to take the risk, I just wonder if you are out of practice with communicating about sex. It may not be so much fear of rejection but lack of practice in speaking about sex and, opening up the subject respectfully without putting on pressure etc, but allowing your friendship to develop sexually if you both mutually feel okay. If Bella were to say no, I don’t think it is personal rejection, it is just not where she is at, at the moment. What do you think? Do you just need to be more open and transparent in communicating and negotiating the sexual space with care and understanding? Most of us are crap at it, but we can develop this.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Julie-Anne. Much appreciated.

      You raise good points. I think my main issue though isn’t that I can’t talk to women about sex. I’ve actually gotten much better at that.

      The issue is usually that I’m not being sexual while talking about sex. I think it’s more about body language, eye contact and tone than it is about the words themselves. I’ve seen other guys be very sexual and connect much better with a girl on that level while talking about something completely non-sex related. In that lobby with Bella, I think I would have done well to follow their example. Doing so would have allowed me to gauge her interest in a much more subtle way than knocking on her door.

  25. Hey Niall, apparently this post is attracting a lot of attention. It got my attention and I found that I wanted to share my perspective. Don’t trust your friend Joe. ;) For me, flirting, friendliness attraction and fun can be really wonderful, enjoyable romantic things all on their own. And not having sex with a man who I enjoyed those things with for me is not necessarily a “missed opportunity”. And a man presuming because I am enjoying those things with him that I’d like to have sex with him, that night or at all, is… foolish and sometimes off-putting. I find the attraction, company and flirting just in itself can be… really lovely, a real treasure. Complete. It also sounds like there was something in you that didn’t yet want to go there… is that a missed opportunity on your part, fear, or learning to trust your own instincts and needs? The feeling here for me is innocence… Bon chance on your journey!

  26. Hi again, if I was me in Bella’s position, (of course I’m not Bella and I look at life through a feminist lens) I think I would like you to have said, ‘I know we’ve only just met today, and if you haven’t noticed I’m very attracted to you, if I were to ask you to have sex with me, how would feel about that?’ Remember, you have an irresistible Irish accent after all! You wouldn’t even have to be asking for sex then and there. If I were in Bella’s position, I think I would have felt flattered and thankful for the opportunity to have a think about this. For me, and I don’t mean to impose anything upon you Niall, I just have come to learn the sexual space can be negotiated best with words not just tone and gesture. I’ve come to appreciate the saying ‘assumption is the mother of all f… ups’. Just my two cents worth as this is something I have thought I lot about.

  27. Hi Niall,
    Nice post. I hope Bella already called you.
    I think that at the moment you knocked on her door you and her were in different mood. You still excited because you make the decision to go back. But she calmed down when she found herself alone at the room during some time.
    I think that’s why she could make the more responsible decision to not open the door to strangers, instead of let you in, what maybe had happened if you didn’t walked away or regret in 5 min. Because for me it is obvious she was also interested in you.
    Women also need/want/enjoy sex, it is part of a natural, happier life.

  28. I think one of the lowest thoughts/feelings we have as human beings is when we go through the “shoulda/coulda/woulda” routine because of something we didn’t do.

    You don’t have that in this situation.

    Most of us, male or female, can relate. Those who can’t leave ignorant comments. ;)

  29. Just read every single freaking comment on this thread…very much worth it.

    My quick thoughts:

    The fact that you made a decision that sparked so much controversy signals that it’s the right decision. You disturbed the ‘grain’, homeslice.

    Look at how many courage points you gained for making that decision. Now you are even BETTER equipped for a similar situation that will inevitably pop up in your life again.

    Way to carpe the shit out of that diem.

  30. Wow! Just got around to reading this post and all the comments.

    First to reiterate what so many have said your writing is stellar. Had me hooked all the way which is irritating given the amount of work I have to do right now. :)

    I was amazed by the consistent difference in comments based on gender.

    As a single woman who wants my sexuality to be a part of my world even when I don’t have a partner I’ve come to realize that the conditioning women have been bombarded with around expressing their sexuality is pretty brutal.

    Funny how people focused so much on the sex part of this story. I thought the main point was about taking risks and learning how to become more aware of how we do and do not act when faced with those impulses that come up unexpectedly and tell us to act even when we’re scared shitless. Perhaps my take was incorrect.

    Many say you should have just left it as a lovely evening with a woman you really connected with. But as Julie said, I think it would have been interesting if you had expressed how you felt when you were in her presence in the lobby. To be able to look into her eyes while you share your vulnerability and desire so she could see you were sincere. She may still have said no but then you would have left the interaction, the first time, at peace. To me that sinking feeling you had as soon as you left was a clear sign things were unfinished…at least for you.

    Because you didn’t express that to her of course you had to go back and of course it was awkward but whatever. You did it.

    And finally, again as a single woman, I embrace men expressing their feelings sexual and otherwise so we can understand each other better and continue to increase the intimacy. Talking about sex doesn’t automatically mean it has to happen. I’ll never be mad at a man for telling me on a first date he wants to have sex with me I just expect him not to be mad if I decide, for whatever reason, that’s not going to happen tonight.

    Overall…
    You rock Niall!!!

  31. The moment I saw this post on my inbox I knew it would give mixed reviews.

    I praise you for your courage and effort but:

    Safety and comfort is always put first.

    “But I do. It’s all internal, and right now, for some unknown reason, I’m too chicken shit to overcome it.”

    The lack of touch is really making this difficult. I know you can work on that.

    I would not take that second chance if it puts her in a spot with no physical exit unless:

    Either of you would offer and there would be a legit mutually agreed reason (this reason is up for the two people to decide) for you to come up, which makes all the difference in the world.

  32. A few thoughts…

    A) Why do you refuse to drink alcohol again? Alcohol is worth its weight in gold for situations like this. It makes that “first move” seem natural and organic to both parties. I simply cannot imagine the initial move with a girl made when both parties are stone sober.

    Two times this past week I had initial makeout sessions with girls – once in my car outside the 3rd bar while listening to low key electronica. The other in the hotel elevator of a 4-star hotel on our way down from having 3 or 4 drinks each in the bar on the 23rd floor.

    Alcohol is your friend and your insistence on abstaining from it (for no other reason than that you’re stubborn as a mule) is retarded.

    B) Never, ever, ever ever, EVER tell a girl that you think she’s “hot”, “pretty”, “attractive”, etc. Obviously the fact that you’re flirting with her, spending time with her, about to make out with her, etc is validation of that fact without it being spoken.

  33. I just want to quote from two posts as I see two differing opinions throughout this thread:

    Jennie’s “What you are experiencing when you have a great night with a stranger is the emotional high that comes from knowing the relationship will be brief”

    LS’s “True connection and even lasting love can be found in a moment. Time is a meaningless form of measure. You can meet someone for a brief moment and feel love in your heart for a lifetime”

    I think the people critisising Niall assume he just wanted another notch on his bedpost wheras the people in support of him can relate to the situation where you meet someone & almost straight away realise that this could change your life forever! Maybe I’m just a dreamer…

  34. I met this guy in the street. Cute Irish accent. We talked a lot. Interesting guy. I had a ride on his scooter to my hotel, and later we met up for dinner. Perfect last evening. I was almost sorry I’m leaving tomorrow. Then he creeped me out by coming to my hotel room and insisting on giving me his email address. WTF? He seemed such a nice guy, and not like a pick-up artist.

  35. Niall,
    After watching your most recent post I came back on here to see what ticked you off so much… but I lost patience half way through!

    Let’s face it, what is the back drop of this argument may as well be a religious argument. The Church (aka the largest suppressor of human knowledge and progress throughout history IMO), says that you should abstain from sex and enter into that most historically and statistically failed of institutions: marriage to get some.

    However, low and behold they couldn’t suppress science and knowledge forever. So, recently in history science and more importantly knowledge have taken the forefront in human progress. We see through the Church’s lies and realize that no, the world is not 6,000 years old, abstinence leads to child-molesting priests, etc. etc.
    And along those same lines the most taboo of rhetorics.. SEX. Well, the church lost.. people are having sex “out of wedlock” (By the way what a great way to describe marriage using the word lock). But you can’t hate on these self-respecting women on here telling you not to look at women like this! You should respect them instead of tell them to fuck off! For after all, they’re probably hypocrites too having had a one night stand or something similar. And if they’re not, I don’t hate, I just feel bad that they aren’t living a free life free of social constraints, dogmas, and the status quo. Because sex is amazing, even if for only one night and no feelings… it’s natural, it’s human nature.
    In this whole great story of yours, In my onion, you only made one mistake… and that was simply not seizing the opportunity at the right time. Sure, you went back to the hotel, but by then it was too late and came off as desperate. But who gives a shit.. she was gone the next day anyway. You live, you learn, and next time you realize when is the time to strike before it’s too late. :)

  36. I’ve been trying not to ask, but I just must…. How is the Adult Dating Website membership working out for you?

    • Hey Lisa,

      I’ve only met one girl from the site. We met up twice actually, and it was a worthwhile experience. For that alone, I’m glad I signed up.

      I won’t be renewing my membership though. Perhaps in other parts of the world it would be better, but in Dubai, India and Nepal, I’ve found that the vast majority of the profiles are either covers for escorts, or girls looking for a sugar daddy.

  37. Brilliant, huge congrats on facing your fear! It may not have gone your way but you know now instead of forever wondering.

    You have an admirable set of cojones in my opinion. I’m surprised to see that an alarming number of your readers appear not to respect or understand anyone’s choice to have casual sex. So to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, she might not have been able to contain herself so when you knocked it could have been an inconvenient time!

    Eitherway, well done! I off to find out how it turned out!

  38. Niall, Love your writing. Novel would be great. Short stories or novellas too.

    I have to agree with other posts, if she had wanted you in her room, she would have invited you up. She had already done some bold moves. Not saying she didn’t “want” you, but not at that time.

    But, also thought I could offer you a line I heard from a friend of mine. After my friend had spent a nice evening with a fella she told him it was late and she was calling it a night. He then asked, “Are you going to let me share your pillow with you?”

    Well, for any doubters….they are still together 7 years later….

    Just a full disclosure warning to you, Niall, even when only looking for a only special moment, you can get caught up hook, line, and sinker. Happened to me….only wanted one moment of memorable pleasure. We have now been happily married for 4 years.

    Keep the great posts coming please!!!!!

  39. I’m kinda struggling using the past, present, future in the same paragraph like in:
    “I’ve just parked my rented scooter, usual spot. As I walk into the heart of Thamel I pass the cutest Asian girl. She doesn’t look Nepali, more Chinese, wearing jean shorts and a white t-shirt. Her hair is big and puffy, and it somehow suits her perfectly.

    She’s headed the other direction, but I know I’ll hate myself later if I don’t go talk to her.

    So I do.”

    Can you be of any help?

  40. I think you made the right decision. Had you not gone back, you would’ve lived ur life with the “what if”. At least you now know.
    I hope Bella rang you the next day. I see the beginnings of an epic love story hahaha

  41. 1) I found this very engaging
    2) If you had the impression she might be willing to jump in physically with you so quickly, I am surprised you didn’t at least consider that she may have called someone else to take your place (I may be biased because of a story a friend shared with me recently where a girl he had had a couple dates with had called and asked him to meet up later, he said he was working late but she insisted he come by whenever he left work, no matter how late. He went by at about 12:30 a.m., she had someone else over. The justification: she didn’t really believe he’d come by).

    PS: I think that your “lizard brain” is capable of taking in much more than your conscious brain, so it seems that before you just do the opposite of whatever your gut is telling you to do, it might help to analyze what signals you might have been picking up on and whether your conscious self is making the “best” decision or you are just talking yourself into something. I have a lot of impulse issues and almost always look back and wish I had listened to my gut instead of throwing caution to the wind.

    best…

    • That’s nice in theory, but in my experience, it simply isn’t true.

      I figure I’ve lost out on quite a lot of good because I didn’t hurry and seize the moment. And when I did seize it, I was usually rewarded.