Dandette was gone to a LARP thing for a couple of days, so the other day I decided I wanted to take advantage of this by having sex with The Dandy as loudly as I wanted. We were both already naked or mostly naked anyway, because we had the place to ourselves; I think I was on the bed internetting and The Dandy came in to see what I was up to and I positioned the Hitachi Magic Wand at my crotch like a dick and waved it at him. (“What? That’s how you ask for sex. I don’t have a dick to wave at you so I’m doing this.”)
We each retired to the bathroom briefly and then reconvened on the bed and were lying next to each other, cuddling and smooching around a little. I pointed out that I’d just given my nether regions a sponge bath so they were all fresh, and I’d recently accidentally trimmed my pubes far shorter than I’d intended so there wasn’t even a bunch of hair to get in the way, so maybe he could give my crotch area a kiss hello?
The Dandy smiled but didn’t move. Awkwardly smiling/acknowledging that I spoke but not actually doing the thing I requested has always been his chickenshit way of saying “no.” Also, he’s never ever put his mouth on my genitals except for two separate times when I specifically asked him to kiss me (literally a single, puckered smooch on the clitoris, not oral sex per se). So – in a conversational tone, not super angry or anything – I said something like, “Okay, so you’ve said that you were scared off giving oral because of a woman who smelled terrible. But you’ve also said that I smell fine. And you know that I really, really like the intimacy of oral contact, and that I’m not expecting you to dive in like a pig in a trough, just hoping you’ll give the area a few kisses in passing now and then. So…what am I missing? There has to be some piece of info I’m not getting, here, because the one reason you gave for not going down is not a factor with me, and yet.”
The Dandy grew visibly irritated but (of course, of course) stayed silent. I lay there waiting for him to say something. And waiting and waiting. And stewing, because I’ve been so patient.
We’d been together for months before I even asked about the lack of oral. He told me he’d been scared off it by a partner with a terrible smell; before that, he had gone down on women, but then that one chick was so gross that it put him off the act entirely. I asked him, back then, if I smelled okay, and he said yes. The next time I brought the topic up, I told him that he can absolutely tell me if I smell bad, as long as he says it in a neutral, non-judgey tone, and I won’t have the slightest problem with that, I’ll just be like “Oh, sorry” and go shower. He said he knows, and wouldn’t balk at telling me such a thing. I told him that mouth-to-genital stuff is really important to me – doesn’t have to be a marathon session, since I don’t seem to get off that way anymore anyway, but I want to feel that my partner isn’t avoiding that area. I told him I want that intimacy and the feeling that he loves all of my body and will kiss all of it. I never once, during any of this, said “Well I give you oral all the time…” because that’s shitty emotional blackmail and people are allowed to have asymmetrical sexual interests and anyway I don’t do that for reciprocation, I do it because I like to. (I do get sad that he’s getting all kinds of oral in this relationship and I’m not, but if I stop giving, I’ll miss it, so my dismay at the disparity is my own problem to deal with.) I tried to reintroduce him to the idea of giving oral very, very gradually and gently, by coming to him when I was fresh out of the shower, asking him to kiss me (a single kiss) in the clitoral area, and lavishing praise on him when he did, without pushing for more (and that happened exactly twice, a few weeks apart. Not including this incident). I can’t even really understand being reticent like he is at all, let alone having to be asked every single damn time. If this was really about one woman with a hideous crotch-stank, and he’d been fine giving oral before that (as he claims he was), you would think that he’d maybe be cautious with me at first sniff and then be totally fine. “Oh cool, she smells okay, this won’t be a repeat of that one horrible time, I’m good to go.”
Back in the present: I had the strong feeling that he just flat-out didn’t like the taste of (even clean, healthy) vag, or it felt submissive to him or some shit, and he wasn’t telling me because he was afraid I’d get mad. I told The Dandy (since he was being all withdrawn and silent, anyway) how my ex-husband acted similarly to him when it came to sex (or anything else I needed but wasn’t getting) – how I would say “Look, I’m not getting this thing I need. It’s really important to me. I know you’re not into it as much as me but here are some compromises that might work for both of us” and my ex would nod and smile and really, truly seem to be listening…but nothing would change at all. “I wish he’d said to me ‘Look, I am flat-out not going to fuck you more than once a year or do any of these compromises, so it’s time for you to decide if you can live with that.’ But he didn’t,” I said to The Dandy. “He strung me along for years, making me think he was listening to me and would try to meet me halfway. I feel like he wasted my time. Don’t do that to me.”
The Dandy put an arm around me and pulled me closer, which may have been sympathy or understanding but honestly who the fuck knows.
I asked him why he couldn’t just be open with me about oral sex from the moment I asked – tell me that he doesn’t like doing it and never will, tell me it makes him feel submissive and he doesn’t like that, whatever, instead of going quiet and/or deflecting and/or making excuses. What would be so terrible about just outright telling me “no”? What did he think would happen?
The Dandy remained silent. He clearly had stuff on his mind – he would occasionally take a breath like he was about to say something, but then not say it. I know his ex wife (and to a lesser extent Dandette) screwed him up in all kinds of ways; probably whatever made him scared to say no to me was also making him scared to speak openly about not being able to say no. His ex wife sounds like an aggressive person who would just yell over him when he spoke (he has compared her to my former neighbour, The Harpy…YIKES). So I proposed the same thing I used to do with Minx when she got all locked up. “Let’s try this: tell me whatever’s on your mind right now – anything at all – and I promise I’ll listen and not say a single word until you’re totally done talking.” I figured this way he’d have a safe space to express himself, knowing that I wouldn’t sit there attacking everything he said before he could get it all out.
I waited. The Dandy continued shifting and twitching and inhaling like he was about to talk but then not talking. I didn’t want to pressure him. I petted his back and waited some more.
At least ten minutes went by, and instead of answering any of my questions, here’s what he came out with: “I was just getting into a turned-on, sexy mood and then, bam, argument.” Pause. “And you kept nagging and nagging me! Only thirty seconds went by since you asked and already you were like ‘why aren’t you doing it yet? Why aren’t you doing it yet?'” Pause. “I mean I was lying next to you and I was just trying to figure out how to transition to doing that without it being too awkward*.”
I let a bunch more time go by and kept hugging and petting him. Finally I asked if he was all done, and he said he was.
“Okay, then. My turn: it’s unfortunate that we got into a fight just as you were starting to feel turned on, but sex isn’t actually just about your turned-on feelings, it’s about mine, too. And having it in the back of my head all this time that you find my genitals disgusting except as a receptacle to come into has been weighing on my mind and interfering with my sexy feelings.” The Dandy’s arms tightened around me at this point. My face was kind of in his chest right then so I couldn’t see his expression. I would guess that he hadn’t realized I was thinking this way and he felt bad for it? Let’s hope that’s what it was. “Secondly,” I continued, “I wasn’t saying ‘why haven’t you done it yet? It’s been thirty seconds!’ I was saying ‘why haven’t you done it yet? You’ve known for two months or more that the act is important to me and the only reason you’ve given for not doing it is a thing that’s not applicable to me.’ I mean, to be clear, if you’d said ‘I fundamentally hate doing this’ then that would have been the end of it, for me. But when you indicate that you would do a thing except for this one particular factor, I’m gonna see if that factor can be removed. And once that factor is no longer a factor, I would think that you would do the thing, because that is literally what you said.”
“I don’t hate doing it,” The Dandy burst in (I thought about pointing out that I hadn’t said I was done talking, but I was pretty much done and it was a novelty for him to be talking instead of withdrawing so I opted to hear what he had to say instead). “It doesn’t make me feel submissive or anything like that. I feel neutral about it. It just doesn’t occur to me to do it, that’s all. But when you ask and ask and ask it feels like pressure.”
“Oh, so you don’t mind doing this thing I love, but if I don’t ask for it, you won’t ever think to do it, and if I do ask you’ll get pissed off. Fantastic. How do we get around that?” He had no answer. “Y’know, near the end of my relationship with Minx, she never wanted to have sex anymore. And finally I was like ‘well, I guess I’ll stop asking and just wait for you to come to me.’ And she was like ‘no, keep asking! I like it when you ask.’ So basically she just set me up to get rejected over and over again. I don’t like these kobayashi maru situations. They’re not fun for me.” The Dandy still had nothing to say, although his body language was sympathetic.
I think at that point I went on a mini-rant about how I’m not even asking for some huge marathon session of oral, just some small amount of mouth-to-genital contact sometimes so I feel as though he likes all of my body and enjoys being intimate with it. I really love touching my partners and giving them pleasure just for its own sake and most guys simply aren’t like that with me and it frustrates me.
The Dandy defensively said that getting me off via Hitachi doesn’t do anything for him but he does that – I guess his point was that he’s not selfish in bed, he’ll do stuff that isn’t a turn-on for him. But really, it made my heart die a little inside when he said that. Like, of fucking course Hitachiing me doesn’t do anything for him physically – I’m not stupid, I understand that applying a vibrator to me doesn’t stimulate his dick – but I wish he hadn’t explicitly said so. Now I’m gonna be all self-conscious while he’s getting me off. And anyway, what kind of response is that?! I tell him that I love giving pleasure for its own sake and I want that in return and his response is basically to tell me that yup, he doesn’t love doing that for me, but don’t worry, he still feels obligated to do so! What am I even supposed to do with that?
I actually responded with something like “Yeah, no kidding, and lots of things I do for you don’t do anything for me, physically, either; I do them because I like to make you come. I want you to have fun and be happy. And I just want my partners to feel the same way, is all. Like to get me off without me having to ask, the way I do for you all the time. Things like that.” I almost slipped into a rant in there about how boring some of our sex is for me, but I stopped myself. As much as The Dandy thought it was okay to tell me he’s not that into getting me off, I think it would kind of crush him to realize that giving him a hand job for ten minutes while my forearm muscles are on fire and he’s barely even making any hot noises or anything isn’t actually fun for me. I think the poor lamb really does believe that “I like getting you off” is synonymous with “everything about the entire process makes me feel giddy as a seven year old at Disneyland! Wheeeeeeee!”and lord knows what kind of weirdness would ensue if he understood the truth.
Anyway. The Dandy did loosen up and have a somewhat productive talk with me – including me stating, once again, that I really need him to use his words more when it comes to sex and just say whatever is on his mind. Like sometimes I’ll tell him I’m interested in sex and he’ll smile at me and I’ll start making out with him but he’ll seem kind of half-hearted with it so then I feel stupid and give up. And what does that disinterest even meeeeean? Is it “I’m not in the mood for sex right now”? Is it “yeah I’m game for this but please don’t distract me until this tv show is done”? is it “I’m not sure if I’m in the mood but let’s make out and see if the urge asserts itself, oh okay it’s not, let’s forget it”? He’s not telling me anything and I end up wondering WTF is happening. I need him to straight-up narrate his thoughts for me, even if they’re inconclusive.
The next night I slept in Dandette’s room because she was still away and I needed the best sleep possible because I had to work the next morning. I’d been full-on nocturnal all week, though, and my insomnia has been kicking in really hard lately, so I knew it would be hard to fall asleep. I asked The Dandy if we could put on Netflix for a while – something soothingly familiar like Bojack Horseman – and he could pet me and try to get me wound down for sleep. He readily agreed to this, and petted me through at least three episodes.
By then I was somewhat sleepy, and said goodnight and retired to Dandette’s room, but the pressure of feeling like I had to get to sleep ASAP psyched me out or something because I ended up feeling wide awake again. I don’t know if The Dandy sensed this or what but he came into the room and said “You seem like you could use some more pets” and he spooned me and petted me in Dandette’s dark, silent room for an hour, leaving only when he felt himself beginning to drift off. This felt like such an act of devotion. I think in his own way he was trying to make things up to me – to compensate for our fight in general or to show me that my body and its needs are important to him.
The night after that I had to go to bed early again for another early morning shift. Dandette was back and these LARP things always totally wreck her so there was no way I was going to ask to borrow her bed. So I was doing everything in my power to get sleepy and doze off in my and The Dandy’s bed.
I took a hot bath with Epsom salts and when I got out I felt kind of randy so I decided to Hitachi myself for even more sleepiness. The Dandy was at the computer (a few feet away) when I started up, and turned and said “would you like a hand with that?” He’s never asked me that before. There have been several times when I needed a quick release when he happened to be in the room, and he always ignored me and just kept on surfing the ‘net or getting ready for work or whatever. I said yeah, that would be great actually. And he knelt between my legs and got me off. TBH I was completely satisfied and not craving intercourse at that point, but I’d been trying for some time to get The Dandy in the habit of getting his partners off every time they got him off, and I thought it would be a good idea to lead by example, so I said “You can, ah, take a ride, if you want.” He hesitated, then said he really didn’t have the energy just then for anything more than a quick wank. “Well, if you want to do that, you know I’m happy to cheerlead,” I said. He said nah, he was fine. “Okay cool, just thought it would be polite to offer,” I said, amiably. And he cuddled me until I was half-asleep and then went back to the computer again. And I belated realized that this was probably him making a point of getting me off without getting anything in return, in accordance with what I’d said I wanted. And he narrated his thought process re: whether or not he wanted to have sex instead of just being silent – also in accordance with what I’d told him I wanted. Holy shit.
*I never did address that with him but hahaha WTF? What kind of suave position shift was he going for that he had to sit and strategize over it, and why did he think the transition had to be suave in the first place? There’ve probably been hundreds of times when I was lying next to him and he took his dick out and I was like “Hey, that looks delicious!” and just…raised myself up onto my hands and knees and crawled down to within tasting distance of his dick. Did the transition look particularly sexy or smooth? Probably not. But who the fuck cares when the end result is mouth-to-genital contact?