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ACSOL Conference Oct 1, 2022 

Living with 290

Living with 290: How to make friends and meet people

I will be thirty five in about a month and a half. From time to time I reflect on my life so far. The good, bad, indifferent, mundane, thrilling, and horrifying moments alongside what I chose to do, what was chosen for me, and what I’ve not done. While I was looking forward to making some significant life changes in 2020 the pandemic has put many of those on hold.

Last night at work during a zoom meeting one of my co-workers said he planned to go on an in person date this weekend. Admittedly I was a little surprised two people who don’t know each other very well were going on in person dates while still in the midst of a pandemic. I understand people wanting to spend time together and in this case got the sense neither of them were up for doing anything completely idiotic that would be a big risk for getting sick with covid-19, but going to an aquarium might not be the safest option.

Since no one I work with knows I spent about 18 months in federal prison for a cp possession conviction back in 2012 and give years on supervised release thereafter they also don’t know much about my life outside work. I have never kissed anyone, gone on a date, had a woman standing naked in front of me, or done anything remotely sexual with someone else in person. While I can talk to people fairly easily I’m not someone who seeks out settings to be social in even prior to the pandemic. I don’t drink so I have had little or no reason to go hang out at bars or pubs. I’m not interested in dancing or party type environments and thus have no desire to go to clubs and lounges. Setting aside the fact that I’ve been working nights for close to six years, during day jobs typical nightlife activities were of little to no interest for me. As a result of these facts and others I haven’t really had any friends for years. I’m still weary of leaning too much into attempting to connect with people online primarily because many of the bigger platforms forbid those with sex offense convictions or sex offender registration requirements from maintaining accounts. Granted I grasp that many of these platforms especially those where people pay to have accounts probably wouldn’t say no to money. On the flipside I am not willing to play around with such things because who knows what collateral consequences could arise.

There I am in the zoom meeting at work last night offering encouragement for my co-worker and simultaneously wondering how I might meet someone.

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