On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page. 

Leon was a salesperson based in Montréal. Having been born and raised in the city, he could speak the language fluently, and once he started to recognize my voice, he’d immediately start speaking French to me. I struggled along as he spoke at a rapid pace that my six years of French couldn’t keep up with, so instead I’d just let myself get lost in the beautiful fluency of it, occasionally replying with “oui” and “je ne sais pas.”

For months we continued our phone flirtation whenever he called the office, and eventually it led into something a bit more sexual. My co-workers, the ones whom I had let in on the secret, would always know when I was on the phone with Leon, because my eyes would grow larger with shock at the things he was saying and my cheeks turned a brilliant shade of red from embarrassment. It’s difficult to keep your cool when you’re sitting at the front desk of an office and the gentleman on the other line, along with trying to score an appointment with your boss, is also giving you a detailed account of exactly what he’d do to you once he bent you over his desk.

Finally, an opening in my boss’ schedule was available, and Leon and his boss prepared to come to New York City. It was one thing to indulge in a little dirty talk when the afternoon was slow and my office phone hadn’t rung in almost two hours, but it was an entirely differently animal to know that the person who’d been making me blush, and frankly, tingle in spots that I didn’t know even existed, was about to be in front of me as a real live person.

We both agreed that not only should we meet before he came into the office, but after all our little, um, chats, we should actually go on a proper date. So the evening before he made his debut in my office, I went to meet him at the W Hotel in Times Square where they were staying. Both he and his boss loved Times Square, as most tourists do.

I met Leon in the lobby and he spotted me right away. He greeted me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I took a step back. Leon was definitely an attractive fella, but he was far more attractive on the phone. He rocked the popped collar which is an immediate dealbreaker, but since it was February and his coat and scarf kept it somewhat under wraps, I did my best to overlook it. Besides, it was one date and it wasn’t as though we were going to get hitched or even date seriously–he loved Times Square after all and, as I soon learned, he loved Applebee’s even more. For the first and last time in my life, I was taken to an Applebee’s for dinner.

Leon ordered ribs and several margaritas for himself; the refined palate he claimed to have was clearly non-existent. In silent protest, I stuck to celery and carrots with some sort of dressing dip. I also had a beer, and if you’ve ever been to an Applebee’s you’ll know that their beer selection isn’t exactly on the up and up. The entire evening Leon kept his scarf on–something for which I was mildly grateful considering the popped collar situation that was going on underneath. After “dinner” we headed back to the W for a couple more drinks, ones that were actually served in glasses and included options that extended past Michelob and pre-made margarita mix. When I found myself in his hotel room a couple hours later, I blamed the martinis.

As he finally took off his scarf and began to unbutton his shirt, something was amiss. I rubbed my eyes and leaned in for a closer look. Leon was covered in what looked like warped, oval bruises. Had they been larger, I would have assumed he was into cupping, but that his therapist had gotten carried away. With his shirt completely off, Leon turned to face the window for a moment to admire the view and I noticed that these marks which, against the lights of Times Square, definitely appeared to be some sort of lesion–and lesions that were not only on his neck and stomach, but running up and down his back in a chaotic manner. I got off the bed, put my bra back on and looked for my tights.

“What’s going on?” he asked when he saw that I was pretty much closing up shop and on my way out the door.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “and I’m not judging you for whatever illness you have, but I just can’t…” I motioned to the mayhem on his body.

“Oh! These? They’re nothing! They’re just hickeys,” he explained. “I love to be sucked and bitten.” He put on the light and after closer inspection they were indeed hickeys and most of them even included teeth marks and, what I hadn’t noticed earlier, they actually were on his ears and along his jawbone, too. Leon was literally covered in them, except for his face, something he said that he’d love, but it might create an issue at work.

We all have our thing when it comes to bedroom behavior, and that was Leon’s: sucking. While adding to his collection of hickeys might get some ladies off, it wasn’t something in which I had any desire to participate. After a brief debate where he tried to convince me I should stay and I insisted I needed to get a cab back downtown stat, I left Leon standing by the window in his boxer briefs, covered in his hundreds of hickeys and bite marks. And considering this was just weeks after ending my brief fling with The Strangler, I was really starting to wonder exactly what the hell was wrong with me.

The worst of it was when Leon showed up at the office the next morning for his meeting sans the scarf, and I had to explain to the few co-workers who knew I was meeting him that night before, that none of those marks had been done by my mouth. Had we’d been able to pin Leon down, I could have proven with a ruler that my mouth was far smaller than whatever poor man’s Angelina Jolie(s) he’d been tapping up in Montréal.

The only hickey I’ve ever given was to an ex-boyfriend’s forehead while he was passed out, and to be honest, it required quite a bit of work. I don’t have the energy or time to leave my mark, like a trashy badge of honor on anyone–especially some guy who thinks Applebee’s is all the rage. Seriously… Applebee’s?

Sucking and biting may not be my thing, but perhaps you can find your dream vampire on TheGloss dating page just in time for the New Year.

(photo via HBO)