The majority of humans, like other animals, are social creatures. We don’t like to admit it at times, but one of the most - if not the most - important things to our happiness is being close to other humans. Yet, despite how interconnected the Internet has made us, we seem to be growing further and further apart. We put up impenetrable walls of fake personalities and have meaningless, unfulfilling interactions where neither person is their true self, just in order to fit in with the crowd.

I only realized this late into the second decade of my life. In a single afternoon, I made the decision to finally stop faking who I am and be myself… a person who, despite their flaws, I’m actually quite happy to be. Yet, I still felt lonely. It wasn’t like I didn’t talk to people, I had friends, but it didn’t feel like I was making any strong connections. My two best friends who I love dearly were - and are - online, and we have met up lots of times since then. But, online interactions - at least from my point of view - just can’t be nearly as fulfilling as physical ones. There is no person, only a few pixels on a screen detached from an actual human being. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need such connections, that I was fine being a supposed lone wolf. But, with the loneliness constantly digging in, one day, it became too much to bear.

It felt like sexual contact was what I needed. At the time, I was still a virgin. With sex being the ultimate form of human contact, it seemed obvious to be the solution to all my trouble… and, of course, I did also want to know what it felt like. I managed to find someone who was willing to do it with me, nothing attached, no feelings, just feeling good for a bit and then going our separate ways. On a rainy summer evening, I took a bus to where she lived, went in, and we got straight to doing it. It felt good, I finished, nothing was out of the ordinary. But the ever so scarce feeling of comfort, of warmth, was nowhere to be found. I felt nothing, it was empty and hollow. I left not an hour later, and with my mind racing, I started writing a diary entry in my phone. Here is an excerpt:

I see. To me, this is an absolute revelation – it’s not about the sex you have. Sex on its own is no different from using an onahole, and seeing a naked woman, however appealing, does not bring the arousal a virgin like past me would expect. […] After finishing comes the feeling of “oh, that’s it?”. Not because you want more – you can get more if you ask, and I was explicitly offered it.

I refused.

It was clear neither of us really enjoyed the experience, as was obvious from the moment she opened the door.

This served as a very good lesson for the future. I abandoned the idea of casual sex and went on with my life, still feeling lonely, but at least not worsening the situation.

It was at this time that I started meeting up with friends more and making proper connections, as uncommon as they were, being with people thousands of kilometers away who I could only come to visit every so often. But, still, I was a lot more happy.

Some years later, I moved out from my mother’s apartment. For the first time ever, I was entirely alone in my own space and had the freedom to do anything with it. For the first week or two, the emptiness of the unfurnished apartment really got to me, but after moving in some of my things, getting furniture delivered and putting up decorations, it became more bearable. I was still alone though, and since I work as a freelance developer, there were days when I didn’t speak to anyone at all. It wasn’t too bad most days, but there were times when the feelings of extreme, unbearable loneliness came back. I didn’t care much for who it was, I just wanted to find someone to talk to, to interact with, to give a hug and snuggle up close to. I had (and still have) a very well paying job, a home, a growing business… but I’d have given everything I had for just that person.

Come a time ~4 months ago, a very newly transgender female friend of mine messages me and asks if I want to have sex. I sort of agreed at first, but ended up not going through with it, as everything felt really fast and I had to take some time to sort out my thoughts. But, some weeks later, I’ve come to be comfortable with the situation. (S)he came over, and we just talked in the bed for like an hour. It was great. I had a lot of fun opening up about things and just contemplating life up until this point. Then, we had sex.

And for the first time ever, I truly felt the warmth of human contact.

Granted, we didn’t know each other as well as I did some of my other friends. But, we had what felt like a meaningful interaction, one that I hoped would repeat in the future - and not just the sexual part of it. Since then, despite our unusual and difficult start, we’ve come to know each other and open up a lot more, perhaps even fall in love… at least on my end. But, maybe to some extent even on the other. The future is as uncertain as ever, and I do worry about a lot of things. But as of right now, I’m happy and hope for my (potential) cute girlfriend’s happiness as well. This is not a finished story; the future is yet to be written.

On a sidenote, I’ve been wondering about what my sexual orientation is. It’s hardly straightforward heterosexuality, but I’ve known that for a while. I’m not an expert in terms people use to describe themselves and I doubt I ever will be, but it seems that who I’m attracted to doesn’t primarily depend on what they look like, but more so on what they’re like as a person. I do generally lean more toward feminine looking bodies, but personalities make - and have made - broad exceptions. I suppose that’s a form of pansexuality.