It was speed dating.
It wasn’t called that back then but the result was the same. It was America, the seventies, and the notion of free love and casual sex still held sway from the sixties. You met casually, had drinks maybe dinner and then decided whose room to use.
Perhaps for some it was mutually gratifying but not for him. There wasn’t time to learn how to satisfy a woman. He was busy. Earning just enough to pay for the high cost of learning how to earn more. Developing the discipline that would keep him alive operating in the rarified realm of high-altitude flight. After turbo-prop altitudes? Forty thousand feet-plus in a Gulfstream? Seemed sub-orbital at the time.
Now, looking back, he remembered Denise, Janice, Sandra, Ellen, Beth and others, nameless and faceless, but all, well remembered. The woman in the airport hotel in San Antonio, Texas who wanted him to keep his three-quarter-length leather coat on. A near Gestapo-like experience. The Southern bell in Mobile, Alabama who slipped away from her husband at a cocktail party to meet him and experience the challenge of sex on a swing. Arlene, incredibly long blond hair, who joined the mile-high club with him in a small Cessna 172.
All of them wanted the same things, attention and satisfaction. Hell, that’s what he wanted. Now, years later, he realized that he hadn’t known how to make love to a woman until he met her. She loved him and patiently taught him the wonders of making love as opposed to having sex.
Honestly? He probably owed an apology to every woman he had known before her.