Another thing to remember

The Dandy initiated sex last night. It had been a while since we’d fucked and aaaages since we fucked because he initiated it. He seemed engaged and was actively trying to use a bit of artistry and make it fun for me rather than just fling himself on me and go after his own orgasm.

So that’s something.

Afterward, in a fit of insecurity (because gaps in sex with a partner always make me afraid he’s stopped liking me, and yeah we’d just finally had sex again but this just reminded me even more of how we hadn’t in a bit) I asked him to tell me a thing he likes about me. He said “Your boobs.”

I’m not horrified by this answer. Boobs are likeable and mine are nice. I still wish he’d compliment something about me as a person, though. So far when I’ve asked what he likes about me he’s said (on several occasions) the fact that I compliment him, and I think one time he said it’s neat that I’m so tall. When I’ve asked him to tell me a thing he likes about me living here he’s said “the sex” both times. I can’t recall him adding on anything else. This is another reason I get freaked out when he doesn’t want to fuck, btw. If the sex is the main reason he keeps me around, but he no longer wants to have sex with me…

And yet I don’t think he’s giving me an accurate picture of things. I don’t think he only likes me because I’m reasonably attractive, I make him feel attractive, and I’ll fuck him. Meh, maybe I’m wrong. But I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’m geeking out about a creative project I’m working on, or about my job (which is also a creative project of sorts) he gets a tremendous grin like he just loves that I’m a creative jack-of-all-trades. And Dandette is also a creative jack-of-all-trades, and he clearly fell for her at some point. So at the very least it seems as though he’s attracted to out-of-the-box thinkers.

But I know it’s hard for him to give compliments at all; he has expressly told me this. Maybe somehow complimenting me on shallow stuff, the stuff you’d expect a guy to notice, is easier for him.

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Just so I remember

The other night The Dandy came home from a two-day work retreat thing, and I was watching Netflix. I assumed he would say hi to me and then head straight to the bedroom to catch up on YouTube videos about swords, but remarkably, the show I was watching caught his attention for whatever reason and he ended up sitting down and watching it with me until we’d used up all the available episodes. It wasn’t even a show that had superheroes or space lasers in it. (It was GLOW – the true-ish story of women wrestlers in the 80s – and I enjoyed it very much.)

So, he doesn’t always contrive to leave a room as soon as I enter it. Maybe he has phases of wanting to be alone but it’s not an all-the-time thing.

 

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Expansion

So I wrote to The Pedant:

Just for the record, my dream, for years now, has been to have a man who submits to me in bed but ALSO in other areas that make my life easier. A go-getter I can delegate things to (like planning outings) and he’ll present me with detailed options to choose from

I don’t presume to think that your movie-planning prowess is anything more than vanilla helpfulness.

But if you ever WANT to submit to me in a wider capacity than bedroom stuff, let me know. You would be so exactly what I want.

“So, basically, you want a house-husband,” The Pedant said. Asking for clarity about what exactly would be involved in submitting to me more, I guess. That bodes well.

I wrote another wee novel:

Well you can’t be THAT, given that you don’t live with me and I can’t support you…but elements of that, I guess, insofar as it’s possible. Reliably doing what I want, and doing so in the spirit of being in service to me.

In which “what I want” would mostly be minor fetching and carrying, making food, tech support, planning and organizing outings or other things. Maybe Googling shit for me sometimes.

And also of course all the sex. 😀

He hasn’t responded to that, and the conversation drifted off elsewhere. But that’s fine. I’m happy to have gotten my thoughts off my chest. He usually needs time to process relationshippy talk so I’ll just back off a while and see if he eventually approaches me to ask more about what I’ve said.

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Damn…

The Pedant ended up utterly outdoing me for dirty talk the other night. His prose was descriptive and had rhythm and was just…hot. I could barely keep up. How long he’s had this skill sitting in his back pocket I don’t know. 😀

The slightly weird thing (and a big reason I felt I couldn’t keep up with him) is that I said some mushy thing about how lovely he is to play with and he said “Do you really enjoy using me that much?” and I said yeah, I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather collar (the convo started with me showing him a titanium eternity anklet online and saying I’d love to lock one onto him, remember). And it’s true, I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather collar, because I don’t currently have anyone else who submits to me.

And he started up a sort of call-and-response rhythm of saying “Only me to do X and Y to?” and some of the things weren’t even D/s related – he was asking me if I wanted to touch only his nipples and stuff. And I mean I’m willing to get caught up in fantasy and hyperbole to a certain extent but I just started feeling uncomfortable. Like how far would this go? And would he start thinking I actually meant it and didn’t want to play with anyone else? If I then ended up meeting someone else who bottomed to me, and mentioning it to The Pedant, would he feel misled?

It was late at night anyway so I eventually just ended the conversation as gracefully as I could, saying I needed to get some sleep.

I didn’t think The Pedant was the type to eroticize being the only one to do whatever with me. I mean we’re both poly and living with other people. So this was…weird. It almost felt as though he was asking for reassurance or trying to get me to say that I’d only do D/s with him and nobody else or something. I dunno. I’m probably overthinking it.

His overall response to me sending him that link to the anklet did get me thinking, though: would he let me collar him? Maybe not an anklet per se, because that’s a bit too unconventional for The Pedant, I think, and really would probably not work under the kind of tight lace-up boots he usually wears. But I could see him liking the look of something like this titanium bracelet. And I really, really dig the idea of him having a reminder of me locked onto him all the time.

Something seems to have clicked over in The Pedant. I’m not just topping him anymore, and haven’t been for a while now. He’s actually into the idea of me genuinely having control and using him as I please; he focuses on my pleasure a lot more than he used to. And although we’ve only negotiated bedroom D/s, he does seem to try to impress me outside the bedroom, too, doing little things to make my life easier. Carrying my knapsack for me, paying for things for me. Lots of little gestures that just light me right up. Things he didn’t do for the first few years we were together.

And the things he’s said about feeling safe with me to explore these parts of himself just make me swoon. I guess I’d like to declare ownership over that small piece of his psyche. I’d like him to more formally declare himself mine. And, okay, I suppose I’m a bit jealous that he’s living with someone now, and want some sort of counterbalance, some evidence that he loves me, too, despite being less entangled with me life-wise.

Anyway. On a related note (or maybe not) he wants to take me to see the new Bladerunner movie on Friday and I asked him to do some recon on locations and times and I’d buy advance tickets to whatever he thought was best. The email he ended up sending me was…breathtakingly thorough. He sussed out the best location for our needs, showed me times, linked to where precisely to buy tickets online for each showing, linked me to supplementary materials I might want to watch ahead of time (the best version of the original movie, some short films made after that which take place in the same universe).

Now, it may well be that he was thorough like that just because he’s, well, pedantic. He’s always been anal retentive and detail oriented. But can I just say, my dream for years now has been to have a sub I can delegate things to and who will be extremely helpful and thorough, just like this. So I got his email and I was like “Holy shit, this boy is the sub I’ve been looking for all these years.”

And once again I’m wondering if he could come around to thinking of himself as that. Or if maybe he already does. When he does these acts of service, he is being nice to me or is he serving me? What goes in inside that gigantic melon head of his?

 

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Up and down

The Pedant is so weird. He’s a lot more forthcoming with sexy talk than he used to be, but he’s still really inconsistent with it. Maybe it just depends on whether he’s horny or not at any given time. I enjoy sexy talk just for the sport of it and would engage in that sort of banter with him at almost any time. Like not during a bout of the stomach flu or while watching the vet examine my horribly sick cat or something. But I don’t have to be actively wanting to wank in order to talk dirty.

A week ago I texted him: “I wish we were in a blank white room somewhere with you tied to the bed.” I was hoping to get something sexy in return, which does happen sometimes these days.

Instead he replied “That’ll have to wait. My work shifts won’t allow me to visit on October 16th, sadly.” (I’d asked him about the 16th ages ago – The Dandy is away that night at a work retreat thing. At the time he said he’d think about it but when I didn’t hear back within a few days I honestly just forgot all about it.)

By contrast, just now I texted him “Currently daydreaming about locking one of these onto you. Probably not practical under boots, but you’d look so pretty… http://www.eternitycollars.com/anklets/titanium-anklet” You can kind of see how flinchy I am there, anticipating the reasons why he’d tell me he wouldn’t wear such a thing. Being sure to specify that it’s a daydream.

His response: “It makes me hard that you’d want to keep me as a pet like that.”

Guuuuuuh I’LL BE IN MY BUNK.

 

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Turmoil and comfort

The day Dandette checked herself into the mental hospital, I was not in a good headspace. My own mental issues were spiking. I was freaking out at the prospect of living, indefinitely, with someone whose moods are so up-and-down. I was upset that she told The Dandy where she was going but not me. And I wanted to get out of the house before Dandette returned, just in case she was still freaking out; I couldn’t handle it.

I texted The Pedant basically begging him to come for coffee or something and comfort me. He wasn’t able to right away, and he flat-out said he was broke so I’d have to pay. That was fine by me. I took him to Swiss Chalet and he was his wonderful, comforting self.

He seems to have gotten over his previous conviction that I need him to know what anxiety is like. It’s his emotionless clarity and logic I’m after and I think he finally gets that (thank god. I was getting sick of arguing the point). I specifically told him, over big plates of chicken, that the apartment is too fraught and full of feelings right now and it was comforting to be around someone who’s kinda flat. “Does The Dandy not give you that?” he asked.

“Actually, he does. He’s not a terribly emotional person, and it’s one of the things I really like about him. But you’re a lot better at talking me down. It feels like someone told The Dandy ‘women need you to just nod and listen while they vent’ so that’s what he does – even when I am directly asking him to do specific things to help me.”

“And that’s not at all what you need.”

“Well, it has its place sometimes. But I mean sometimes my anxiety makes me unable to decide between two arbitrary choices and I’ll ask him to tell me which one to pick, just so I get unstuck, and he won’t. I asked him about this once and he said he’s afraid of having that responsibility in case the thing he picks doesn’t work out for me.”

“Ah. Whereas I don’t have that fear. I know that I’ve made the best decision I could based on the available info so there’s no use worrying about it.”

“Yeah, and you also know that I’m not gonna blame it on you if things turn out badly.”

“That, too.” And he regaled me with some stories of exes who were not so reasonable.

We talked a bit more about how I like it when someone offers suggestions etc when I talk about my problems, and that them empathizing – like, feeling my distress and reflecting it back at me, as many people would – tends to make me even more anxious and I don’t like it. I said that The Pedant consistently being there for me when I need him demonstrates to me that he cares about my well being, and that’s all the caring I need – not for him to be all caught up in whatever my problem is. He said that he’s not emotionally invested in my problems whatsoever (which, put that way, sounded a little cold) but that it is indeed important to him that I’m happy (which is maybe the first time he’s ever said that to me, and is as close to an “I love you” as I’ll probably get from him for the next few years).

OH and I guess he thinks of us as “dating” again. A while back he had asked if I was okay with us being “friends with benefits” (I guess he felt a need to differentiate me as less important than his other girlfriend?). I was like yeah, FWB, whatever. My observation with The Pedant is that once he loves someone, those feelings never actually go away, and he did tell me he loved me at one point. Certainly he was treating me exactly the same way as he ever did when he thought of me as his primary partner.

But the other night he said that he wants to introduce me to NewGirl sometime; that they both felt they should introduce any other serious partners to each other, and given how long he and I have been seeing each other, we certainly count as serious.

He also said that he mentioned to NewGirl that I have a housemate going through mental health issues that are making living here difficult for me, and she said I could crash at their place sometimes if I wanted(!). That…is amazing. I am frankly stunned by her generosity.

I asked The Pedant “If I’m over and NewGirl is there, what’s the etiquette? Do I need to not be physically affectionate with you, or…?” and he said nah, it was all totally fine(!), including us fucking in the next room where she could hear us(!). Now, The Pedant sometimes makes stupid assumptions, and also NewGirl hasn’t been poly before, so I’m not 100% believing that it’s total carte blanche. But it seems like I can at least kiss him in front of her and gauge her reaction and that she’ll probably be okay. The rest we can play by ear.

The Pedant asked if I’d like to crash at his and NewGirl’s place that night and I was tempted but ultimately said no. Too much newness (new dynamic seeing him with someone else, new bed to sleep on – in this case a shitty old single futon with no sheets because they have more apartment than furniture – new kitchen that may or may not have anything in it I can eat). I had to work the next day and needed rest. But I appreciated the offer very much.

I can’t remember what-all else we talked about during that evening (during which we sat in Swiss Chalet til it closed and then found a park to sit in some more). He just generally talked me down from my crisis and held me while I cried intermittently and managed to slip in about a thousand little compliments about my appearance, lifestyle, personality, and relationship skills (possibly the best one was something about wanting to be there for me because I’ve always been so excellent at supporting him, and when I said “I try” he replied “actually you make it look pretty effortless.”)

Oh and near then end when I was feeling substantially calmer we went on a whole segue into sex talk. I was talking about how wonderful it is to have Dandette around doing the lion’s share of cooking and cleaning. He said it’s too bad we weren’t seeing each other when I still had my stable day job (we were, actually, but Minx was still living with me so it’s moot) because he was unemployed back then and could have been my houseboy. He went on at length about how he would have unfucked my hugely cluttered, filthy apartment little-by-little and also had dinner waiting for me when I got home (“And presented it to me kneeling, in nothing but your collar” I interjected, and he gave a tiny little gasp as he is wont to do when he’s turned on. :D). He added that it’s certainly not something he felt he could do for very long. “Well, it would’ve been a hell of a month or so,” I said (honestly figuring I was pushing my luck even thinking that long). He said “Well I would have gone longer than that.” RAWR.

He walked me up to my apartment door and we kissed and I longed to fuck him but knew it wasn’t the right time and we said goodbye instead.

Inside, The Dandy was making himself cheesy garlic bread and Dandette wasn’t home yet but expected to be released shortly. I bade The Dandy make me a piece of cheesy garlic bread, too (gluten free though) which he cheerfully did. And – although The Pedant had left me feeling a lot better than I was before – I guess I still had a lot of angst, or The Pedant had distracted me with his sexiness rather than defusing my original angst, or something. Because I started venting to The Dandy about a lot of stuff and ended up in his arms, crying my fucking face off.

Somewhere int here, I mentioned to him how I’d specifically asked him for verbal comfort before to help with my anxiety and he hadn’t done it. He looked baffled and had no idea what I was talking about. I recounted the conversation and he said he just hadn’t gotten it, somehow, and that if that happens in future, just ask him again in different words.

I explained to him (not for the first time) that I have a really hard time asserting my needs in the first place when I’m anxious because AssholeBrain likes to tell me I’m a liar and a faker for attention and really there’s nothing wrong. So when I say I’m not doing well and I get no “Oh shit, how can I help?” response, I assume the other person has looked at me and assessed me to be doing just fine so I really am a faker. And I can’t – cannot – bring myself to go “Yeah but seriously though I need you.”

On an unrelated note, I also expressed guilt feelings that I was venting to him when he already had Dandette and her issues to deal with (and added that every time I’ve told someone about our household menage and they’ve said “Heh heh, lucky guy, gets to have his cake and eat it, too” I wanna punch them in the fucking face) and The Dandy was very sweet and said I’m allowed to be going through stuff and he wasn’t overwhelmed by it or anything. So I felt a lot better.

Incidentally, though, I still haven’t been sleeping well and when I came home from work this evening I told The Dandy that I thought I might need a nap after dinner to try to reset me – and that it would really help if he spooned me and petted my head for ten minutes or so, so my brain would calm down enough to maybe let me rest. And he never approached me to do this or brought it up again since.

I honestly wonder if he ever even listens to me when I’m upset or if he just sits there with a comforting expression and nods at intervals while mentally planning out what to watch next on YouTube.

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Goldilocks and the two Dandettes

The thing about Dandette, I’ve realized, is that she’s either Too Big or Too Small for me and there’s not much middle ground.

When her anxiety is at bay, she’s super friendly and talkative and somewhat loud. If I’m watching a movie, she’ll come and start talking to me to a point where I have to pause it, and doesn’t register at all that she might be disturbing me*. If I close my bedroom door to have a nap (but don’t announce that I’m going to have a nap) she’ll talk to me right through the door, not even asking if I have a minute or only talking if it’s something important, just straight up “Ha ha I just saw an awesome meme of Facebook” level stuff. She has a running joke where every single time she hears me talking to one of the animals, she’ll pretend I must be talking to her (“You’re so cute.” “I am?”/”You’re a doggie!” “No I’m not!”).

To be clear, I’m not saying that she talks constantly. She likes to zone out in front of the internet or a video game or a movie as much as anyone else; there are long periods of silence. I’m just saying…if any thought comes into her head at all that she feels like sharing, she does. Regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. And I’m a little afraid of quashing that, for two reasons: 1) the way her anxiety works, I worry that if I say “Hey I’m actually in the middle of something right now” even once, she’ll become obsessed with the idea that she’s bothering me every single time she speaks**. 2) She’s been on a really rocky road lately mental health-wise and so I never know how long her happy, loquacious periods will last. I kind of want to enjoy them while I can.

Which brings me to Dandette’s other side: barely able to speak above a whisper, stuttering hard, constantly apologizing, recoiling from touch, unable to be around people. ***

And it flips back and forth fast sometimes, for no discernible reason. She can have whole days of being her real self, the talkative one. And then suddenly: unintelligible recluse.

This morning she called out a cheery hello when she heard The Dandy and I stirring. We had that whole conversation about my shitty day yesterday and she handled it like a pro. I had a nap (during which she made some small talk two or three times through my closed door). And just now I was headed to the kitchen while she was headed out the door for a smoke and I casually said “Oh btw, yesterday I literally told The Dandy that I needed someone to give me permission to sleep, and he didn’t say anything.”

I expected her to roll her eyes and go “Ugh, he’s an idiot. Don’t worry; I’ve got your back” like she’s said a million times before. Instead she made eye contact with me and in that split second it became very, very obvious to me that my interacting with her was a major inconvenience. She whispered “I’m s-s-sorry…”

It wasn’t clear to me whether she was apologizing for being in a panicky headspace, apologizing for The Dandy’s behaviour in a general way, or thinking I was somehow blaming her for him being a dumbass, so I quickly added “I’m really glad that you ‘get’ me the way you do” but she darted through the door and shut it before I’d even finished talking and now I feel like an asshole for even trying to approach her. Perhaps I should have known better; before that, I’d been internetting in the bedroom with the door ajar and saw her pass the doorway several times without looking at me or speaking to me. But that’s not always a telltale sign; sometimes she’s capable of passing by me without saying anything even when she’s mentally stable. I’ve had times where I was avoiding her because I thought for sure she was in anxiety-mode and then she’d suddenly start chatting with me and I felt dumb for being so afraid of her.

(…Huh. The Dandy just texted me asking “What’s up? I just got a text from Dandette that she’s going to [local mental hospital].” Okay, guess it wasn’t a smoke break, then. And hey, why would she bother telling me where she was going? It’s not like I live here or care about her or anything. It’s cute that The Dandy would think I know anything, though.)

Oh, but also, plot twist: a few nights ago, Dandette seemed pretty stable. She had just been in the bedroom chatting with The Dandy. Her voice was at a normal volume; relaxed; no stutter. I think she made some jokes, even. I gauged that it was safe to chat with her and I had a thing to say so I wandered to where she was in the living room. She’s been prescribed Clonazepam for when she has panic attacks but she uses them very, very sparingly because you build up a tolerance and they stop working. I said “I got prescribed Lorazepam a while back but they didn’t seem to do much so I threw them out. It’s too bad because if I still had them I could give -”

Dandette interjected: “To be honest I DON’T CARE ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. Are you…going through some stuff?”

“YES.” The look on her face was absolutely vicious. You’d think I was stomping on puppies instead of trying to be supportive of her mental health needs. I turned around and went back to the bedroom.

I love Dandette. I know that her true self is sweet and funny and compassionate, and that the other side of her is just shitty brain chemistry blanketing over her real personality. It’s clear to me that she’s not faking any of these mood swings or panic attacks, for attention or anything else. She is suffering and I want to help and support her as best I can.

But I swear the only way I can keep living here and be even the tiniest bit okay is if I never speak to her unless spoken to. I don’t know who she ever is at any given moment and I can’t deal with the unpredictability. YOU GUYS I GREW UP IN AN ABUSIVE HOUSEHOLD. I had an angry, violent father whose every mood and whim I had to carefully monitor so I could adapt my behaviour accordingly and stay safe(ish). I had a mother who adored me 90% of the time but would occasionally do a total 180 and be cold and apathetic toward me. Not because I’d done anything. It was her clinical depression acting up, I think, and/or built-up resentment about her shitty life choices.

Most of the time, living here is good. I don’t know whether The Dandy and I will turn out to be a passionately in-love long-term couple, but he and Dandette and I make a pretty decent family unit. We support each other and we mostly seem to all know how we fit in. I generally like it here better than I would like living alone (or at least, better than I would like living alone in the sort of apartment I could realistically afford). And believe it or not I’ve come really far in learning to live my life and not try to fix or control The Dandy or Dandette. But the unpredictability thing is killing me. I hope I can figure out how to deal.

 

*Of possible relevance: she’s autistic. Like diagnosed and everything.

**This may only happen if I did that while she was in one of her bad phases. I’ll have to ask The Dandy about this.

***And sometimes having panic attacks, which comprise all of those things plus she looks terrified and can’t speak at all.

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