From The Mag

The Devil You Know?

I formed the opinion long ago that women in skydiving are badass, exciting, cutting edge, incredible, beautiful, sexy as fuck—and in my personal experience, bat-shit CRAZY.
Written by The Fuckin' Pilot

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Originally printed in issue #54 (May 2014) of Blue Skies Magazine.
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So, we’ve talked about this before. For quite some time now, I’ve had a steadfast rule: Don’t shit where you eat. Well, for a while I’ve had that rule. OK, perhaps it’s a bit more like a guideline. OK, since I’ve moved out of the U.S. I’ve had it …

Having “dated” my fair share of skydivers and hangers-on of our sport, I formed the opinion long ago that women in skydiving are badass, exciting, cutting edge, incredible, beautiful, sexy as fuck—and in my personal experience, bat-shit CRAZY.

Having formed this opinion, and having put this rule into place, I figured that dating outside skydiving might offer a bit more of a challenge , seeing how we can be an interesting dynamic to deal with in the real world (that and the fact that so-called “normal” women sometimes run from “our” kind), but that the extra effort could potentially yield a lot less bat shit.

Taking a small step back, I’ll explain why I made the decision to institute said rule. In skydiving, I’ve “dated:”

  • The tandem student (as a cameraman, tandem instructor and pilot)
  • The AFF student
  • The packer
  • The manifest girl
  • The pro-shop girl
  • The fun jumper
  • The instructor
  • The non-jumping skydive fan
  • The ride-along

Tandem students are casual visitors to the world of skydiving; very few problems would arise with them. They got just enough of a glimpse of the sport to make me look super cool and totally bang-able. They never lasted terribly long (if even past sunset on the day of their tandem), and other than being a great source of entertainment, they never had any lasting effect on me. But as soon as I started getting into it with more than a passerby …

If you’ve either been in the sport for a while or have a fair amount of common sense, then you can see how some of the above listed could cause real problems for an instructor or pilot if they’re on the same DZ. The students and newcomers don’t do much more than follow you around in full-on puppy mode, or show you quite quickly that she wasn’t your girl, it was just your turn. The fun jumpers and non-jump staff you’ve messed around with can certainly make time around the bonfire pretty uncomfortable, but at least they don’t have a terribly large effect on work. But as you go further down the list …

Dating a packer with access to your rig on a daily basis is kinda like fucking your rigger’s wife. You don’t know when you’re gonna get it, but it’s gonna happen. And date the manifest girl and you not only won’t get one single attractive student while you are getting along, you’ll get every smelly pig and fatass when you aren’t!

Breakups on the drop zone are always fucking messy, always public and cause everything from ridiculously uncomfortable working conditions to loss of job, trailer, gear, sanity, etc. … So that’s why the rule came into play. When I relocated from the U.S. out of the airlines and back into skydiving, I did so intending nothing further than friendship with the female side of the sport. So far, for over a year, I’ve followed that rule to the letter. It’s been … interesting.

I’ve discovered that being a pilot (they call me Captain here) is an amazing leg up in the dating world. I’ve discovered that being an American living abroad in a city filled with expats works well. I’ve discovered that being 40-something with salt-and-pepper stubble is a real turn-on for a fair number of 20-somethings, and I’ve discovered (to my great despair) they are just as, if not even more, out of their fucking minds!

PD New Beginning

Less than 48 hours after our first date, a girl we’ll call “Alberta” sent me this text:

“So Dean, I guess it’s a no-go for round two then … Curious … Hair not blonde enough? Boobs not big enough? Too tall? Ass too big? Be honest, I would appreciate it.”

Ho. Ly. Fuck. That is some straight-out-of-the-gate nuts. And she’s a 32-year-old school teacher! Not only a totally respectable age for me, but holding down a more than respectable career all her own. Alberta was close on the heels of the crazy Stage-5-Clinger 23-year-old cabin crew member (stewardess) who was sending “I miss you” messages to me five minutes after I’d dropped her off from what appeared to be a one night-ish stand …

It’s true. If you put me in a room with 99 normal well-adjusted women and one bi-polar, schizophrenic booze hound with daddy issues, I’ll make a straight line for the mental case pretty much every time! Yet I thought this new rule would go a long way toward alleviating some of my substantial dating issues. I mean c’mon! A 32-year-old teacher?!?

Clearly my new rule is flawed. Clearly I’ve simply traded one set of fucked-up problems for an entirely new set. The drop zone I fly at is predominantly couples-based, and is unlike any other DZ I’ve ever worked at because it lacks the fire pit, the hangar parties and the social scene that most places sport. The city that I live in is unlike any other because, first, it’s the only place I’ve ever been where having an American accent is something they look for, and second, it’s full of people from all over the world with NOBODY actually from here. Taking all of this into consideration, going back to the way things used to be seems unlikely, but I’m still left wondering which set of crazy traps were better …?

So I guess the real question is: Is the Devil you know better than the one you don’t?

To be continued …

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  • [Editor’s note] We printed the following reply to this article in i55: June/July 2014:

    Dear Fuckin’ Pilot,

    I’m sorry to inform you that your dating issues regarding not being able to get away from “bat-shit CRAZY” women are not going to be relieved by any kind of rule. Believe it or not, the issue is with you, not with women. What you’ve done by informing the skydiving world that you can’t pick a non-bat-shit crazy woman to save your life is equivalent to informing us all that you are, in fact, the male version of bat-shit crazy.

    Now, I don’t know you, so it may be presumptuous to guess, but I’m going to anyway … I’m guessing you are of the “asshole” variety of bat-shit crazy men who are uncontrollably and undeniably attracted only to bat-shit crazy women.

    How could I be so presumptuous, you wonder? Well, let’s start with your opening statement about your rule/guideline/passing suggestion, “Don’t shit where you eat.” I can only assume that “where you eat” is referring to skydiving, which leaves “where you shit” referring to dating. Call me crazy, but I don’t think we’re off to a good start treating women well, are we? It’s well known in the psychology of attraction world that people usually date their equals: people of about equal socio-economic means, about equal intelligence, about equal good looks … and about equal emotional intelligence (aka, bat-shit craziness, in case you’re not following).

    Let’s take a more in depth look at the psychology of you, Fuckin’ Pilot. You mentioned dating a Stage 5 Clinger. I am aware of the type of woman you’re referring to. And she is always paired with a Stage 5 Runner. The kind of guy who can’t commit to anything more than a one-night stand. The kind of guy who’s so armored up that it would pain him greatly to ever say, “I love you.” The kind of guy who chases and dumps women quicker than my dog gives up chasing a squirrel. The kind of guy who has so little emotional depth when it comes to loving women that his heart is smaller than the Grinch’s. The kind of guy with so little insight into issues of love that all he can do is blame his problems on the women he dates.

    Could that possibly be you?

    You admit that you’re the guy that can walk into a room and find the one crazy (although your description is much more, let’s say, flowery … or, we could say, just plain RUDE) woman. Ever stop to wonder WHY THAT IS? Ever notice that there are, to use your words, “badass, exciting, cutting edge, incredible, beautiful, and sexy as fuck women” around the DZ who aren’t crazy and who don’t date you?

    Ever notice that some of your DZ buddies have paired up with badass, sexy skydivers who aren’t at all bat-shit crazy, while your experience has been that you can’t find a sane woman anywhere on the entire DZ?

    I, for one, am the very sane (and badass and sexy, btw) kind of woman you find on the DZ who wouldn’t give you the time of day, no matter how badass you are or how sexy your salt-and-pepper stubble may be.

    At the risk of sounding redundant, “normal” women only date “normal” guys. So get a fucking clue, fuckin’ pilot guy. You must be a pretty smart guy, ‘cause you are, after all, a skydiver and a fuckin’ pilot. So why not use those brains to think for a second about how you might be contributing to your own misery here?

    The only rule you need if you want to ever have a mutually enjoyable and potentially lasting romantic relationship is: “Don’t date anyone until I’ve had some serious therapy to deal with my fucked-up childhood.” And if you think for a second that your childhood wasn’t fucked up in some way, think again. And then again. And ask for another opinion if you can’t figure it out. In other words, here’s the devil you should come to know: YOURSELF.

    Then maybe you’ll understand why you are a beacon for bat-shit craziness.

    And in the mean time, while I totally respect Blue Skies for publishing writing that’s so real, why not try conveying your thoughts and feelings with
    a shred of respect for women? It might be good practice for treating them with respect in real life.

    The Sane Psychologist

    • Single best comment on one of my articles EVER! Completely wrong and desperately mis guided, but AWESOME! So well written it almost makes me believe it… You go Sane Psychologist!

  • i was about to write to blue skies myself about this article, BUT then i scrolled down. this lady said it all! thank you Sane Psychologist. there is a devil in us all, and to be happy we must first own up to it, sky-god or not. :)

    • Suppose that all depends on what you’re trying to catch! All in good fun Kitty… I take myself about as seriously as anyone whose title begins with “Fuckin'” should…

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