But on a happy note…

That second date with the new boy was aaaaaaaaahmazing. He ended up coming home with me (to hang out, not for sex, as I told him from the getgo) and we did the whole talking-all-night thing and he’s just endlessly fascinating and charming.

Also, relatively early in the evening he figured out that my skin is insanely sensitive and this led to me shucking off all my clothing fairly quickly (“MOAR SKIN CONTACT”) and taking him to bed, where he stroked my entire body for what felt like about an hour and a half (but there’s no clock in my bedroom so I don’t know for sure). And he was amazing. So sensitive to my body signals. His fingers seemed to move like a divining rod, following all my sweet spots around without me having to say a word. He remained fully clothed. There was no sense of him touching me as a lead-up to sex. He seemed to be in a trance. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a partner go into one of those sexy trances before. I often get like that when touching a partner; just completely focused where nothing else exists but their bodies. They usually seem to be enjoying me in a more shallow or utilitarian way, however.

But yeah. This boy. This fucking boy. He petted me in absolute, reverent silence for basically ever, and he was so good at it – and so completely undemanding and focused on my pleasure – that I was able to give myself up to the sensations completely and my consciousness came untethered and floated away like a helium balloon. I was living entirely in my body and my brain was just this empty, ringing white place with all the thoughts and words erased. It’s very, very rare that my mind is not just silent but gone . It feels so fucking good.

Eventually I opened my eyes and started to drift back to coherence. He was gazing into my face with the same awe that I was feeling for him. “That was amazing,” he whispered. I was still not entirely able to speak. I felt like my heart might explode. He stroked a place on my neck with his fingertips and murmured “when your heart starts to beat [hard] I can see it right here.” And then he held me close and eventually I was able to talk and we ended up having conversations about all kinds of different things and eventually we slept. In the morning there was a whole lot more snuggling/talking/smooching and eventually I asked him to make us breakfast and he did and it was good.

We’ve texted a bit since then and when I asked when I could see him again he didn’t respond for over 24 hours and even then he didn’t say anything about seeing me, only that he was thinking of me and wanted to pet me and make me moan for hours. Which is all well and good, but when? …I’m trying to convince myself that maybe he didn’t get my previous message, or I missed one from him, or he meant to tell me when he was free but forgot, or something, rather than this being a sign that he’s lost interest and is trying to deflect me and taper off communications in the most subtle way possible.

Here’s the thing about this boy, though: he’s never been poly before, and although he has cuckold tendencies and wouldn’t mind a partner fucking other dudes, he says he might need to be the only person in his partner’s heart. He knows I have a boyfriend and is tentatively seeing how he feels about that. He did say to me a few times that he’s beginning to think he could maybe deal with it.

Still, though. I feel like I could fall in love with this boy and he’s mildly wigged out by me dating The Dandy, for whom I feel cat-love that will probably go no further. And so when things with The Dandy started going sideways this weekend and I thought about breaking up with him, the thought crept in that maybe in doing so I’d be ensuring the continued presence of the other boy with whom I’m so smitten. And then I felt awful for having that thought because it goes against so many things that I stand for. If I break up with The Dandy it should be on its own merits.

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Angry

Here are some things I’m angry about with regards to The Dandy.

  • He’s never called 911 when Dandette would threaten to kill herself. He’s spent all night talking her down – one time he even apparently restrained her to the bed because she would literally take off running toward the knives – but he didn’t call 911. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and figured maybe it didn’t occur to him; maybe he forgot that 911 can be used for things like that. But when he was telling me about these suicide cry-for-help things I expressly told him that he’s not responsible for “saving” her, nor is he even qualified, and he really needs to call 911 to get actual medical professionals there. And shortly after that Dandette freaked out again and The Dandy didn’t fucking call anyone. Even though she was allegedly trying to bolt for the knives (again) and he was needing to physically hold her back. And that is so goddamned irresponsible and also creepy because I’m pretty sure he’d rather feel needed than actually make sure she doesn’t die. If it’s just him talking her down, there’s no guarantee she won’t kill herself as soon as his back is turned. If she’s carted off, put on tranquilizers and strapped to a bed for a while and then given meds and/or therapy, she definitely won’t kill herself. So…yeah.

 

  • Not long ago I was talking to The Dandy about how I think he really needs to not live with Dandette anymore. He told me, not for the first time, that he didn’t know how to kick her out. I do see that it would seem selfish and awful, in a way, to have a two-bedroom apartment and tell someone with no job and few friends or prospects to GTFO so you could have it all to yourself. I said maybe instead he could just…decide to move into a one-bedroom in the same building. “Okay, Dandette, I’ve decided I don’t want to be spending all this money on rent anymore. I’m downsizing. You need to figure something out.” The Dandy looked intrigued by this idea and even took it five hundred steps further by saying he should get a job in a whole other city so he could move away entirely. But guess what? When I was there over the weekend I saw some paint samples lying around and asked why. He said he’s thinking of painting his bedroom.

 

  • On The Dandy’s birthday, I took him out to dinner. I said to please choose a mid-range kind of place where there’s something I can eat, but beyond that it was all up to him because it was his day. Dandette…made him a birthday cake and wrote about herself on it. I’ve had a few times when I asked The Dandy over and he seemed a bit reluctant so I told him he seemed to need alone-time and that was fine; we’d hang out whenever he was rested and ready. Dandette…waits til he’s about to go to bed and then stages a suicide attempt. I tell The Dandy what I need from him. Dandette doesn’t state what she needs, and then screams at him for not guessing right. I have anxiety but can usually remind myself during a freakout that it’s just my brain being an asshole, and thereby stay somewhat rational. Dandette has anxiety and will just completely lose her mind on The Dandy, rationality be damned. I’m fucking The Dandy and Dandette is not. And yet when I tell him that Dandette’s presence in his life is unhealthy for him and probably also going to lead to me bailing on our relationship…he goes silent. Because I guess it is just so hard to choose between the two of us.

 

  • The Dandy knows I am emphatically against him being Dandette’s self-appointed saviour, yet he still tells me about ongoing incidents where he “had” to help her through some anxiety freakout or bit of suicidal ideation. He knows I hate that he lives with Dandette, but when Dandette wrote about herself on his birthday cake he went ahead and let me see it, thus basically allowing her to be metaphorically present during our private time together. What did I ever do to him, that he should so blatantly rub my face in these things he knows I hate?

 

  • I told The Dandy that in taking care of Dandette like he does, he’s almost certainly exacerbating her anxiety (I say this because it’s exactly what happened with my ex husband. I came to rely on him for everything and felt like I had no idea how to adult anymore. My anxiety just totally closed over my head like black water. But once ex-husband and I split up, I was forced to stand on my own two feet and it became not-scary. Mostly.). Even with my saying this, though, he’s still not making any plans to oust her from the apartment. So, again…does he really want her to be okay? Or does he just get off on her depending on him? Let’s also not forget the “joke” he made about keeping her around because she feels indebted to him for all the food and rent and it makes her do what he wants. Ugh.

 

  • The Dandy is living with someone who will get the idea to commit suicide and literally run for the knives so that he has to tackle her. But to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t hidden the knives (or scissors or razors or any other potential suicide tool) at all. So…it looks an awful lot like he knows she won’t actually slash her wrists while he’s at work. He’s just playing into her fucked-up little attention-games.

 

  • I have this paranoia/jinx thing where I’m convinced that every time I start to trust that someone might actually become a permanent fixture in my life, everything fucks up. Happened with Minx. Happened with The Bunny. Happened with The Pedant. And now, just days after The Dandy and I met his mom and felt all cosy and domestic and bonded and I said I was hoping to find a long-term committed relationship and he smiled and squeezed my hand…this all happens.

 

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The conversation, as best I can remember.

Stayed a second night at The Dandy’s place (even though I was having serious doubts about him and about the relationship) because that had been our original plan. Had a gig this morning pretty near his house and he drove me there. We arrived half an hour early by accident, and so he parked the car and we sat there for a bit. I was having an internal struggle because on one hand I didn’t want to fight with him the day after his birthday but on the other hand I was feeling so upset that I thought it might kill me to hold it in and talk about it in a few days.

Finally I said, “I was going to try to save this discussion for another time, but it’s been weighing on my mind too much, so. Um. Your ex girlfriend…wrote a suicide note of sorts on your birthday cake.”

The Dandy nodded. “Yeah. That was weird.”

“It was. …I’d been thinking since dinner that I should ask you not to mention Dandette’s issues to me anymore since it makes me feel claustrophobic that you’re dealing with them and you don’t seem inclined to stop. But now I realize that won’t do any good; she’s decided to remind me that you deal with her mental health issues. Which is just so passive-aggressive.”

“I think she meant it as an apology for trying to kill herself,” The Dandy said, and I wish to hell I’d asked why he thought that (considering the word “sorry” wasn’t on there) and whether he thought it was appropriate to remind him of such upsetting shit on. His. Birthday. Cake. But I didn’t think to.

What I did say was, “Okay, even if that’s true – she wrote it on your birthday cake, which is just totally inappropriate. And she made the cake gluten free so I could have some, so she pretty much knew I’d be seeing it, which like…what the fuck?!? And it didn’t even occur to you to like smear the words to nothing with a spatula or bring out pieces of the cake without letting me see the whole thing, or anything like that.” The Dandy was staring at the steering wheel with a pained look on his face. “You’ve got a blind spot where she’s concerned. I mean, I could have known this girl for a week and predicted that she’d act crazy and jealous if you started dating someone new. And you somehow didn’t predict this, don’t notice that her behaviour is sketchy when it’s happening, and aren’t shielding me from it. Dandette’s mental illness isn’t even your responsibility to deal with, but you’re choosing to anyway for whatever reason. I’m not.  Nothing about her life has anything to do with me and I expect you to keep her drama away from me. Do you understand?” I’d accidentally lapsed into what I think of as my Dom Voice there but oh well.

“Yes,” The Dandy said. “I…guess I’m just so used to this sort of thing that I don’t really know what’s appropriate anymore.”

“I think that’s a fair assessment, and I really think you need to see a therapist to get your shit straightened out. Also, though, I’ve been meaning to ask: when Dandette went off the rails the other night, did she even try to call her boyfriend? You know, the guy who’s actually going out with her and therefore has more of a stake in helping her? Or did she just automatically rely on you?”

“She didn’t call anyone. Not even me. She just…tried something, and I happened to catch her.”

“You work all day and she doesn’t but she just happened to choose to try suicide while you were home? Like I’m not definitely saying she’s just doing this for attention, but…….”

“I think she was asleep when I got home from work. And then a couple of hours later when I was just about to go to bed I…caught her.”

“Just as you were about to go to bed,” I said. “That’s an interesting coincidence.” What I meant was, I think this was indeed a ploy on her part to get attention from him – not just that but to make him disrupt his life for her. She could have made her move while he was at work. She could have waited until he’d gone to bed. Instead she waited until he was about to do something else and then snatched his attention away. Also, it occurred to me afterward – how did he “catch” her? Apparently her plan was to slit her wrists. That’s not a noisy plan, nor one that requires a lot of preparation or accoutrements. If she really wanted to do it, she would have just fucking done it and he could have been in the next room and not known til later. But somehow she managed to get “caught.” Was she wandering the hall with a knife in her hand, loudly talking to herself about how it sure would be a shame if she had an…accident? Did she creep silently into the kitchen but then “accidentally” drop the biggest carving knife they had on the tile floor six times until The Dandy came out wondering what the racket was? What? I wish I’d thought to ask.

I think it was at this point that I said to The Dandy that I think he gets some weird enjoyment out of coaching Dandette through these incidents. White-knighting her, as it were. He sat quietly for a minute and then said “Yeah. Maybe. I like to feel useful.”

I suppressed a fierce urge to bellow “BE USEFUL TO MEEEEEEEE” and instead said “Do you not feel useful now?” I mean Christ, he does nice and helpful things for me all the time. Does that not register for him? Am I never going to measure up to Dandette because I don’t need him like she thinks she does?

“Not really. At work I just feel like a cog. I don’t feel like I have much of a purpose.”

I had a lot of things I wanted to say to that – things like “So fix your job situation, then” or “that doesn’t really justify continuing to live with someone who’s abusive and manipulative” or “you’re useful to me all the time; does that not count?” or “Duuuude needing someone to literally depend on you in order to live is deeply fucked up and I think I really need to bail” but The Dandy seemed to be having somewhat of an epiphany about his motivations and I didn’t wanna squash it with all my rage.

I told him that I didn’t know what to do now – that I wanted to keep on seeing him but if it’s going to work, I’ll need a concrete plan in place (I meant that he needs to have a plan to unfuck his life, like going to therapy or kicking Dandette out or possibly both, but in retrospect I guess I wasn’t clear; hopefully The Dandy gets that I didn’t mean “don’t feed me Dandette’s baked goods anymore” or something).

I told him that I don’t feel comfortable ever going to his place again while she’s living there, but if we always go to my place it’s going to feel weirdly like I’m colluding in him cheating on her, even though (say it with me now) they’re not in a relationship anymore, so I don’t know how to handle this. I probably free-associated some other things. The Dandy kept on staring straight ahead with that same pained expression. His passivity irritates the shit out of me, TBH. The smile and shrug when I saw the crazy message on the cake…the way he usually seems to freeze and doesn’t even answer me when I ask him a question about a heavy personal topic…the way he lets Dandette walk all over him…the way (I’ve noticed) he’ll never actually say “no” to a thing I ask; he just goes awkward and quiet…ugh. Dandette is all kinds of fucked up and his ex-wife from before that had rage issues so I suppose he’s been trained not to say anything that might make a partner mad but it’s still just so infuriating.

Finally I realized it was almost time for work and I apologized for having to leave so abruptly but…yeah.

I’m pretty much feeling like we’re going to have to break up, but morbid curiosity dictates that I go silent for a bit and see if he contacts me with an apology and a game plan. I doubt he will. But it sure would be nice, and if he did do that I might consider sticking around. I might be okay to emotionally support The Dandy through his bullshit with Dandette if said bullshit involved him working on getting rid of her. I just need that light at the end of the tunnel, is all.

But the thing is…from the moment he told me that Dandette still lived with him – that they’d broken up two years ago but she never actually moved out – my gut told me that he can’t have gotten over her and probably doesn’t know how to be alone/doesn’t really know who he is as a single person because he’s still all enmeshed in a quasi-relationship with her. Which means that even if he finally cuts her loose, his process of getting back on his feet emotionally will probably either require him to break up with me so he can really be alone for the first time in over ten years*, or he’ll manage to multitask but by the time he’s processed everything he’ll be such a different person that he won’t be interested in me anymore.

 

*The relationship with Dandette lasted five years, but before that he was married for six years or something – and he met Dandette just months after the ex-wife left. And of course he’s continued living with Dandette for the two years since they broke up. So…god, he’s been trapped in one shitty relationship or another for like thirteen years. Maybe more.

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I can’t with this.

The Dandy’s birthday is today and Dandette is off at some LARP thing for a few days so I stayed over at his place last night to take advantage of the alone-time.

The Dandy makes a shit ton of money and has very expensive and specific tastes, so I didn’t feel there was anything much I could buy him; he could so easily get something way better for himself. I did (by his request) get him some pajamas for when he’s at my place. And I bought him dinner, a gesture he seemed to appreciate.

During dinner he mentioned to me in passing that Dandette had to be switched to new medication because the one she just started on (for depression/anxiety) made her freak the fuck out the other day and try to kill herself and The Dandy had to talk her down. I pointedly asked if he called 911 (his excuse for not asking her to move out of the apartment is that she might kill herself if he did that. He said to me before that it’s a real danger because he’s had to talk her down from it before. I told him at that time that it’s not his responsibility and that in fact he was negligent for not calling in a qualified professional). He said he couldn’t call anyone because Dandette was actually being super energetic and emphatic – like I guess running for the knife drawer and he was physically holding her back. He said if he let her go long enough to dial 911 she would probably have managed to off herself.

So that story kind of cast a pall over dinner, for me. Not just because it’s awful that Dandette went through that and that The Dandy had to deal with it, but because I continue to be infuriated by The Dandy’s overinvolvement in her life. I don’t really buy that The Dandy couldn’t have called 911. He is large and relatively strong. Fucking pick Dandette up, throw her in the bathroom, and block the door. Also, btw, Dandette has a boyfriend. Why he wasn’t her first line of support I don’t know. I feel like The Dandy is a white knight who’s kind of getting off on this shit.

And the difference between his words and behaviour continues to baffle and infuriate me. He was actually super casual in telling me this thing about Dandette going nuts, like it didn’t particularly horrify him, it’s just a inconvenient and slightly amusing thing that happened. And every time he talks about her it’s with a kind of eye-roll like she’s this chore he has to deal with. But he financially supports her and insists on emotionally supporting her through her mental ilness freakouts instead of calling a professional or even her boyfriend. Recently he made a joke that he keeps her around because she feels so guilty about the financial support that she’s been doing the lion’s share of the housework. I find myself wondering if that’s not really a joke and he’s getting off on their power imbalance. It’s creeping me out.

Tangent: my very first poly experience was years ago when I fell in love fast and hard (and mutually) with a man in a consentually open marriage. His marriage was the stereotyical “hierarchal poly” bullshit that I’ve since grown to hate: “my wife and I are soulmates and nothing will ever come between us, which is why we’re not afraid to be poly. But we have rules that restrict how we interact with others.” That whole thing. So we fall for each other but he’s not allowed to spend more than one night a week for me. And he’s texting me in the interim pining to see me again…and never, ever, in our brief time together, spoke fondly of his wife. He didn’t talk smack about her, either, I just never really sensed that he was that into her (and indeed, he left her two weeks after we met, having realized what being in love is actually supposed to feel like). And so I became resentful that she got so much of his time. Like if he doesn’t ever get wistful and mushy while talking about her, and only ever tells me that he can’t wait to see me again and it’s killing him that we’re apart, then what the fuck am I sharing him for? If he’d clearly been in love with her I think I could have dealt with it but as it stood? Not so much.

And that’s how I feel in this situation with The Dandy, too. If he’d presented it as “she’s my ex but I still totally love her as a friend and we get along really well as roommates, and we sort of take care of each other” I think I could get behind this shit a little better (but seriously though when someone’s threatening to off themselves you call 911!!!) but he acts like he doesn’t even like her that much so it looks to me like she’s taking advantage of him or he has stockholm syndrome or something.

I think I need to tell The Dandy not to mention Dandette to me unless I ask. I get claustrophic just think of her being up in his space all the time and randomly having bursts of mental illness at him, and he doesn’t seem inclined to kick her out and doesn’t even seem that bothered by any of the crazy shit he tells me, so he can just handle it on his own instead of putting his drama all over me.

So anyway we get home from dinner and I remember The Dandy mentioning that Dandette made him a birthday cake before she left for LARP – and made it gluten free so I could enjoy it, too, which is quite sweet – so I asked to try a piece. As he cut us some slices I noticed that the writing on the cake seemed…off. I thought I saw the word “myself.” I came around behind The Dandy so it was right-side up to me. He’d already eaten some of the cake earlier so there were pieces missing but from context I realized the cake said “Tried to kill myself twice. Also, happy b-day.” And I just…I…fuck.

I have sometimes wondered whether Dandette’s “suicide attempts” have been mostly to get attention. I’m not saying they definitely are; she does legit have issues with anxiety and depression. But it’s a thing I’ve considered, especially given what a drama queen she can be generally. And now she co-opts his fucking birthday cake to be all about her(!) and that is frankly not helping her case.

The Dandy saw me notice the writing and just shrugged with a sheepish grin on his face and once again I just felt totally stressed out and claustrophobic. God, even in Dandette’s absence we can’t be free of her bullshit and focus on The Dandy’s special day. She managed to make her presence known.

BUT THERE’S MORE.

After cake, The Dandy and I cuddled on the couch and were talking about I-can’t-remember-what and I playfully annoyed him and he playfully said “Ugh, these older women” (I’m a year older than him.)

I said “THESE older women? Whatever, dude. Your exes were all fetuses.” (Actually his ex wife was a few years older. Dandette, though, is I think twelve years younger, and yes I was taking a jab at that)

And the Dandy said “jealous?” and I kind of wanted to punch him in the face because yeah, I am jealous of his weird codependency with Dandette, as it uses up resources I feel should be spent on me, so way to be insensitive. Also though, Dandette is a godamned trainwreck (and so was I when I was young) so implying that I must wish I were Dandette, or wish to be young, or whateverthefuck, is just so infinitely stupid that I can’t even.

I reeled in most of my rage and managed to sound relatively lighthearted when I said “What the FUCK would I possibly be jealous of? I’m a grownup capable of rational thought and my tits are still totally epic.”

The Dandy agreed on both counts and said I’m “the sanest crazy person he’s ever met,” which…thanks, I guess. But I was still seething. I think I may be PMSing so I don’t want to make any rash decisions (and I also want The Dandy to have a nice birthday) so I didn’t dump him on the spot, but I kind of wanted to. From the moment he told me about talking Dandette out of suicide yet again, I’d been feeling like my relationship with him is kind of doomed.

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stuff and things

The Dandy’s mom wanted to meet me, so he brought me home to Easter dinner. She’s really cool – she’s an ex-nun who left the convent at age 29 and became a teacher. One time when a student swore too much for her liking, she made him use “fuck” as every possible part of a sentence (noun, adverb, adjective, etc) in order to take the fun out of it. For the record, I would find that a fascinating challenge and it wouldn’t dull the fun of swearing for me at all.

She also told me a bunch of stories about what The Dandy was like as a kid (so smart and outspoken that he was a total pain in the ass and got in trouble at school all the time (I’m totally not surprised), and she always backed him up in parent/teacher talks). And every single food item she had on hand was gluten-free and soy-free because she knew those were my restrictions. And she gave me leftover cake. So basically I love this woman.

On the drive home, The Dandy and I got to talking about relationships and stuff. His mom had talked a lot about Dandette while I was over, and mentioned some get-together with Dandette and her family in which everyone seemed to be expecting The Dandy to propose but he didn’t. I asked The Dandy if he and Dandette had ever even discussed getting married or if people were just making assumptions. He said that Dandette wanted to get married – that she had an idealized vision of marriage and thought it would magically make their lives perfect. He knew that’s not how that works, and had no intention of tying the knot. The Dandy basically told me that he’s wary, now, of a partner seeming overinvested or wanting to be rescued. So I’m betting that’s why he couldn’t outright tell me he loved me – it symbolizes a scary level of commitment for him. But that’s sort of hilarious because in all other respects he’s full steam ahead: calling me his primary partner after we’d fucked, like, twice; initiating keeping a toothbrush at my place; talking about giving me a dresser drawer at his; taking me to meet his mom.

It seems as though my profession of love has in some way cemented things for him, though. There’s been an extra pulse of energy to him ever since. His hugs have an unguarded quality that they didn’t before. He’s always given excellent, long, warm, sincere-feeling hugs, mind you, but now he melts into them just a little bit more. Last night he came over and we ended up having sex and afterward he stayed inside me and raised himself up on his arms to look me right in the eyeballs for like…really long periods of time. He might as well have worn a sign around his neck that said I want to feel as intimate with you as possible right now.

Any time I express insecurity about my anxiety (as in, is it gonna be too much for him) The Dandy says “I’m used to it” meaning Dandette also has anxiety and depression – he has in fact had to talk her down from killing herself – so this is nothing new. I don’t actually find the sentiment “I’m used to it” comforting at all, perhaps because – despite his calm tone and reassuring body language – I hear it in a put-upon, guilt-tripping tone.

I brought this up with The Dandy, pointing out that I’m used to all kinds of shitty things but it doesn’t mean I like them or want them to continue, ergo maybe he could try to be comforting via a different choice of words. I think he gets it. He told me outright that he’s pretty sure he can handle me fine, and he’s said before that my anxiety freakouts are usually a lot shorter than Dandette’s and that I ask for his support instead of pushing him away or yelling at him that he’s not handling them right. So it’s really probably fine.

This shit’s been weighing heavy on my mind lately because I’m about to start another round of cognitive behavioural therapy and this will no doubt dredge up a bunch of buried shit that spins my head a bit. Basically I’m gonna be in hardcore navel-gazing/trauma processing mode for the next month and that’s probably not gonna be fun for me or anyone around me.

BTW The Dandy also made an offhanded comment once that cognitive behavioural therapy should probably work really well for me (he may even have said better than it does for Dandette) because I have a logical brain that just needs to be nudged in the right direction so I can talk myself down from my freakouts. So there have been these tiny indications that even though I get more stressed out and angsty than most people, and need help more than most people, he thinks I handle myself pretty well. I wish he’d come out and say it. So much of my anxiety lately is this recursive bullshit where I’m anxious that people will hate me because I’m anxious. I really need to hear from someone that I’m actually pretty badass and not coming off as terribly as I imagine – if they actually think it, that is. I don’t especially want to be humoured; if I have some huge glaring personality flaw that could stand to be worked on, I’d wanna know.

And yeah, normally I’m a huge proponent of flat-out telling a partner what I want – I don’t feel that telling him ruins the act or anything – except maybe now. “I like to be petted to sleep” and then him doing it is one thing; he’s doing it because I like it, and I experience this as love*. Spoon feeding him sentences to say to me about how cool and awesome I am feels like quite another thing. I mean I guess if he said the things I’d still experience that as an expression of love; he wants me to be happy so he’s doing the thing I said makes me happy. But I want the words to be the truth, is the thing, and I can never be sure if I tell him to say them.

Tangent: remember how I was worried that The Dandy isn’t as non-judgmental about my sex work activities as he claims because when I talk about it he’s often quiet and doesn’t contribute? I think we’re okay. The other day I asked him to take provocative pictures of me so I can send them to texting clients and not only did he do this, at one point when I was posing he said “Here, I’ll take one for the foot guys” and did a closeup of just my feet. It felt super fun colluding with him and I really do think he’s okay with it all. I mean, like, morally or whatever. I think if I came over and then kept being like “whoops, hold on, just a sec” to text clients he’d be annoyed, but who wouldn’t? I’m trying to draw boundaries and tell the clients I’ll be busy for a few hours/ignore my phone when I’m with The Dandy but it can be hard sometimes. Summer is my slow season for modelling and I’m panicking and wanting to rake in as much money as I can. Responding quickly to a guy’s first text might make the difference between us having an ongoing chat and him getting snagged by someone else who was quicker.

But there will probably always be more guys, there’s no guarantee anyone will turn out to be a regular, if it’s meant to be it’ll happen, blah blah blah etc.

Oh and by the way I recently had a very promising first date with a guy from Fetlife. The Dandy has been totally fine with that, too. I asked The Dandy if this is partly because if I’m seeing someone else, he knows I’m not overfocusing on him as the most important thing in my life. He said a little bit, but also the reciprocity. We both seem to be on the same page with being poly, where we don’t necessarily need multiple partners, it’s more about the freedom to have them (or just flirt or make out or whatever) if we feel like it. During that one convo on the drive home from his mom’s I was talking about what my ideal relationship would be like and I said basically, I’m a cat. I’d like to be his cat. Being stuck behind a closed door bugs me just on principle, so I want a cat door so I can go explore. Maybe sometimes I’ll be out for a few days, doing cat things. But he won’t freak out; he’ll know I’ll always be back. ‘Cause I’m his cat. I think he wants to be my cat, too. 🙂

Second date with the new boy tomorrow.

*I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but a while back I mentioned to The Dandy that petting my head/hair helps me sleep. Hours later when we went to bed, he spooned up behind me and we settled in for sleep and then suddenly his hand gave a sort of startled twitch and he began petting my head. So clearly he had suddenly remembered what I’d said and wanted to make me happy. Love that!

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Adventures in pay-texting

Some scattered thoughts about the pay-to-text-me site I’ve joined:

For the longest time I only got guys saying “hi” and then vanishing. Which is okay – I got my 25 cents or whatever just by saying “hi” back – but an ongoing convo would obviously be more lucrative.

The other day, for whatever reason, I got several guys who engaged in actual conversations with me. So for the past day or two I’ve been just texting fast and furious with several people.

I had assumed that the guys on the site would be the type to have totally generic (and terribly misspelled) conversations. Just total “Hey what u up 2” shit. I was pleasantly surprised to engage with a couple of guys who were actually sort of interesting. I still wouldn’t have bothered talking to them for free, but as a job it was pleasant, is what I’m saying.

One guy felt that we had some big connection and asked if I could foot some of the bill for our conversations so we could talk more often. Oh honey no. How did it not occur to him that I was on the site to make money? Anyway I told him I’m too poor and he understands.

Sometimes the conversations have gotten sexual. The guys ask me stuff about what I like and don’t like, bedroom-wise, and I find myself torn; I want to tell the truth so any subsequent dirty-talking might be to my liking, and yet I also want to be easily slotted into their fantasies so they’ll keep talking to me and I can rack up more money. Like if I say what I actually like, it might put a dude off. Or he might ignore what I said I liked and sext me about it anyway, which would still make me money but would be annoying on principle. So I’m trying to let the guys lead the conversation, but they don’t always give good clues about how to suck up to them.

One guy was sexting with me and I was doing my best to “perform” for him – big creative elegant spiels of dirty-talk – but it quickly became obvious that he just wanted an audience to show off to. So he’d type these massive missives about what he would do to me and how his exes all said he was great with his mouth and hands and how his cock was super awesome and blah blah blah, and I pretty much just went “Ooooh, hot” at intervals. Easy-peasy. I did not expect that.

The guy who claims to feel all connected with me is, I think, wanting me to play therapist. I did actually feel a kinship with him – he’s in a sexless marriage and so was I, once, and we have some pretty similar baggage – but when I mentioned my marriage, he didn’t go “Oh holy shit you too?” and commiserate as I’d anticipated. We didn’t bond over our shared experiences. He just kinda blew right by my statement and kept talking about himself. Which is absolutely fine – I’m being paid, so if what he wants is a comforting generic lady-person to go “there, there” while he talks, that’s totally fine. But him thinking we’re actual friends when in fact he kind of willfully rejects getting to know me is amusing.

These guys I talk to have profiles on the website itself where I can see their age and some photos, but when they text me, none of that info shows up on my phone, so I frequently find myself flirting with guys while having no idea what they look like or anything. It’s been kinda cool having a direct window into people’s personalities without the external stats intervening. I’ll never be meeting these guys in person, so I can feel free to flirt with them and take risks in a way I never would otherwise.

Making conversation with these strangers is helping with my anxiety and social awkwardness a bit, I think. I’m getting better at figuring out what to say to people.

I’ve asked a few of these guys for dick pics. I don’t honestly care that much about dick pics but I figured they’d love being asked for them, plus the dominant in me gets a huge kick out of asking these guys for particular kinds of pics and getting them. I may not find most penises aesthetically compelling, but getting a dick pic that is exactly what I asked for (“cup it so it’s mostly covered by your hand and I can only see the base.” “hold it like you’re about to jerk off” etc) is thrilling because dance, puppet, dance!  It also beats the hell out of receiving dick pics unsolicited (which has also happened). I just like being in the driver’s seat.

And I can genuinely find beauty in most bodies somewhere. So when I give unsolicited compliments on guys’ pics, there’s at least a grain of truth to them. I’m not bullshitting.

People often laugh about “fragile masculinity” and act like men are hilariously needy with the emotional labour they want from women, but honestly, who wouldn’t want a cute person of their preferred gender who says validating things and makes them feel special and awesome all the time? I’d love that. I think most people would. The only ridiculous thing is expecting to get it for free and/or with no reciprocation. If a guy realizes that there’s nothing in it for me to sit around validating him all day, so he pays me, I’m totally cool with that. I don’t think he’s ridiculous for needing what he needs. I think it’s a valuable paid service and I will do it as well as I possibly can, for money.

Anyway, overall the texting has been nice so far. And nobody’s pressured me to escalate to a phone call or video chat, which is awesome. Those things pay more but my crippling shyness makes me really, really not want to do them. These guys are happy just texting, so far. Let’s hope my streak continues.

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Romance

Welp, The Dandy spent the night last night and it was lovely. I found myself gazing at him with huge moon-eyes almost constantly. And I started having a big inner debate over whether to tell him I love him.

On one hand, it seems like he already knows. Already knows, yet hasn’t opted to say the words himself despite it being very low risk for him. Which probably meant he wouldn’t say it back (not feeling it? Feeling it but weird about expressing emotions?), which would bother me and possibly lead to the end of the relationship. On the other hand, the few times I had feelings for a guy but didn’t tell him, it always bugged me. Even after we broke up and I didn’t love the guys anymore it bugged me that they never knew in the moment that I had those feelings. I’m an expressive person and I guess I think that if someone makes me really happy, they deserve to know it.

So I wanted The Dandy to know I had feelings for him, but I also didn’t want him to feel obligated to say it back, ergo just dropping an “I love you” on him and then sitting there looking at him in deafening silence wouldn’t do. But did I really want to say it at all, though? I was still irked about that time he hinted strongly that he knew my feelings, and yet didn’t take that opportunity to say something first and put me out of the misery of uncertainty.

Meh, fuck it. Today as he was getting ready to leave my place, I intercepted him in the middle of dressing and caressed his face and he was standing there with his eyes closed enjoying my touch. I chose that moment to quietly say “You know I love you, right?”

The Dandy opened his eyes and grinned at me. He said yes, he’s known that for quite some time. I smiled at him but inside I was thinking “Yes, AND…….?!?!?” I mean if he’d just humbly said “I guess I do now” I could maybe (maybe) have stood it. But for him to (again!) make a big thing of knowing how I feel about him but not say it back? It feels like he’s rubbing my face in a power imbalance. This is far worse than when I said it to The Bunny or The Pedant and they just politely ignored me or deflected.

He pulled me in for a hug and stood there rubbing my back as my brain twirled in a thousand different directions wondering what the fuck I should do with the clear implication that The Dandy not only didn’t feel the same way I did, but was reveling in that fact. Then, almost as an afterthought, he said “Don’t worry, I reciprocate.”

“Left me hanging there for a few seconds, though, didn’t you?” I said pointedly. He didn’t say anything to that; no apology, no explanation.

The Dandy is quite expressive in the sense of being physically affectionate, being able to say what he wants out of a relationship, and being able to articulately talk about what went wrong in past relationships. But there’s a part of him that’s walled-off; there are things about himself that he either can’t or won’t talk about. Earlier today I pointed out that every time I move or remove my clothes to facilitate access for him, he makes some big comment about it. We were in bed and he’d just been caressing my chest above the blanket and I shifted the blanket down so he could reach more of my skin and he said something like “being a little obvious, are we?” Which is weird and gloaty and slut-shaming and not like him at all. And it was far from the first time that he’d acted like that. So I pointed it out and asked him “Is it such a novelty for you for a woman to get naked and want to be touched that you have to point it out every time, or…?” He lapsed into silence. He seemed like he was thinking about the question. But a few minutes went by and he didn’t answer me and I felt like prompting him would seem pushy so I let it go for now. And a few hours later when the whole “you know I love you, right?” went down, I figured it would look pushy (and he’d go silent) if I asked why he couldn’t say it back/why he didn’t say it first/etc. So, again, I didn’t pursue it.

But one day I intend to.

In other news, I went straight from a day in bed with The Dandy to going on a date with a guy from Fetlife. Dude is pretty cute, I enjoyed talking to him, our kinks seem to line up, and we kissed at the end. Like…for a while. So that was nice. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.

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