Acclimatization

I’ve continued doing the technicolour eyebrows, including at gigs. Nobody’s said anything still. Probably they just blend into my overall look because they match my hair.

Every now and then I’ll rub or scratch my face and then think “shit, did I smear my eyebrows?!” but aside from that, they feel normal now. (And the stuff I use stays put pretty well so I’ve had no big issues with smears etc).

It occurs to me that there have been tons of things I’ve done, looks-wise, that felt weird at first but I got used to them. In high school I wanted to feel tough and badass so I bought myself a leather motorcycle jacket. I felt like a poser at first but in time the jacjet just became…my jacket.

The first bunch of times I was at a gig and had to walk through the building to the bathroom in only my robe, I felt horribly self-conscious. Like OMG everyone around me knows that I’m totally naked under this one flimsy piece of cloth!!! But nobody I passed ever said anything to me and I habitually block out whether people are looking at me, so meh. I barely even care about walking around in a robe anymore.

I could be the kind of person who draws on their eyebrows in funky colours. This could become a standard part of my day. I could be *any* kind of person. The secret is to start doing a thing and then keep doing it.

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In which a bunch of men teach me that it’s okay to do woman things

I have some internalized misogyny, as most women probably do. We so totally get taught throughout our lives that stereotypical chick-things are frivolous and dumb, while equally frivolous and dumb stereotypical dude-things are perfectly valid.

And I’ve been kinda told repeatedly – both implicitly and explicitly, since I was a kid – that I don’t “female” correctly*. Mostly this comes in the form of people mistaking me for a dude because I’m tall with (now and for long periods in the past) a short haircut. I felt as though people treated me like a guy, too, roughhousing with me in a way I didn’t think people did with girls (but maybe they totally do and I had selection bias or something). Sometimes (mostly when I was a teenager) my feelings of inadequacy came from catty friends telling me I’d be, like, so pretty if I wore makeup. Which you’d think might be encouraging – yay, it’s not hopeless, there’s a way for me to be pretty! – but since I was pretty much convinced by that point that I looked like a man, I figured makeup would just look comical and wrong on me.

I fucked around with makeup every now and then in my 20s, mind you – big exaggerated goth eyes for club nights and such. But for the most part I was afraid it looked weird on me and afraid that I’d absent-mindedly smear it.

For a long time now I’ve been in kind of an anti-makeup headspace. It feels like trickery, or an apology for one’s real face. In fact for the past few years I’ve only worn makeup in two situations: 1) when dabbling in sex work, so as to look younger and more like what you’d think of as a hot chick and 2) when I knew I was going to have my picture taken (and then I’d mostly just spackle over my shitty rosacea face with foundation). I will confess to being really into YouTube makeup tutorials, but just to see the different illusions it’s possible to create, not because I was planning on trying any of it (and on a side note, it’s interesting how many of the women doing those tutorials specifically said at some point that they don’t use makeup to “hide flaws” or look prettier and how very dare we accuse them of such? They use makeup for self expression, dammit! What a coincidence, then, that every single one of these women consistently chose to “express themselves” by evening out their skin tone, making their noses look smaller, and making their eyes and lips look bigger.)

Lately though I’ve been getting kind of into makeup, and I can trace this directly to all the Rupaul’s Drag Race I’ve been watching. Most of the drag queens do the same factory-standard makeup job as the Youtube tutorial chicks – contour the nose, jaw, and forehead, overdraw the lips, draw on/fill in eyebrows, dark eyeshadow on the eyelid, lighter eyeshadow on the browbone – but usually in a really exaggerated way, and often with lots and lots of GLITTER!!!!! Plus sometimes they really do use makeup in a way that seems like it’s meant more as fun than just trying to look more feminine. Various queens have done their faces like a sugar skull or a Victorian lady or a leopard. They’ve glued on rhinestones or feathers.

And, just…if actual cis-men can wear makeup and be completely unapologetically flamboyant and fabulous, fuck it, so can I!

There’s still the thing where I’m a little poor and super lazy so I doubt I’ll be doing a full face full of expensive products every day. But the other day I bleached my eyebrows*** and then painted them to match my unnaturally-coloured hair. I went to The Dandy’s office Xmas party like that, loving the look but also feeling completely self-conscious like I had a banana sticker or chunk of spaghetti sauce on my face, but not a single person said anything about the eyebrows all night. The Dandy said that my bright, partially-shaved-off hair would be such a shock to them in and of itself that the eyebrows would probably not even register.

Today I bought some more makeup products and did my eyebrows in an ombre of two bright, unnatural colours.

And now I’m thinking of shaving my natural eyebrows off entirely: I’m not sure if these makeup products will adequately cover my dark brows once the bleach grows out, and also when I bleached my eyebrows to near-invisibility I kinda liked how it looked. I mean, I have deep-set eyes, so the effect is alien-like and spooky, but that’s not a bad thing to me. With my real eyebrows shaved I could draw in eyebrows in any weird-ass configuration I want, or else not draw in any at all and just let myself be weird looking.

Because that’s the thing: another reason I had for not wearing extravagant makeup is that I’m 45 years old and definitely starting to look it. Glittery, big makeup looks are for young people with perfect, dewy skin, right?

Except those who worship youth are gonna think I’m gross and over the hill no matter what I do, so I might as well do whatever the fuck I want.

It’s a freeing thought, actually.

 

*Oh shit I only now pieced together that part of this comes from me being on the spectrum. I didn’t get along with girls much when I was a kid, and I guess I’ve been assuming it’s because I didn’t “girl” in a normal way and must be more like a boy. But probably it’s that I didn’t “human” in a normal way and any allistic person would’ve thought I was weird. I only really hung out with girls though so how would I have known that?**

**Mind you, I have heard it said that autistic women have a lot of behaviours in common with allistic men, so maybe I am kind of a dude.

***Which was a mistake because it stung like fuck and I think I got a chemical burn on the surrounding skin, but anyway.

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Orgasms

For posterity, I would like to note that The Dandy and I had sex the other night and he had an orgasm.

The Dandy differentiates between coming and orgasming*. Coming, I guess, is happy brain chemicals plus a sense of release in his crotch. Orgasming is all of that plus waves of pleasure going through his penis.

For a while, early in our relationship but not right at the beginning, he would have orgasms almost every time I got him off. I actually remember suddenly noticing that his climax sounds became more prolonged and intense and his face got way more abandoned, but I didn’t realize why; I just figured I was at a point in the sexual learning curve where I’d figured out how to get him off really well.

And, I mean, I have learned how to get him off really well, in the sense that I can get him to climax quick-ish and prolong the release once he’s there, but the orgasms are a kind of separate thing. The Dandy says that in order to orgasm with someone he needs to feel safe with them, but even then it won’t happen every time, and he doesn’t think there’s any circumstance or technique that would reliably trigger one. The orgasm fairy is a capricious creature who either bestows the magic on him, or not, for no discernible reason.**

So anyway. I try not to obsess to The Dandy about whether he’s orgasmed or not when we do sexual stuff, ’cause I think it would just annoy and pressure him. But I do obsess on it inside my head. He used to orgasm almost every time we did stuff and now he doesn’t and I don’t know if it’s because he feels not-quite-right about our relationship in some way, or if it’s just that we’ve been together for a while now and my novelty is wearing off.

And then last night or the night before I was riding The Dandy and I sensed when the orgasm hit him – or sensed that he was about to “finish,” anyway; I don’t think I exactly knew it was an orgasm immediately – he almost imperceptibly flinched and whimpered as his cock suddenly got oversensitive. I’d been pounding him hard and fast, but when I perceived The Dandy’s shift in intensity I slowed my thrust speed way down and just slowly and lazily drifted back and forth, watching his face kind of freeze-frame in ecstasy and then dissolve in that very specific and distinctive way that it does. “Ah, there it is,” I murmured happily, recognizing for sure that an orgasm, not just a climax, was what was happening.  I kept on slooooowly thrusting through The Dandy’s orgasm until his harsh breathing bubbled over into joyful laughter and he put his hands on my hips to stop them moving entirely and I bent down to kiss him all over his hot, flushed face.

So that was nice.

Then I wanted an orgasm of my own, but my body is being stubborn lately so I knew it had to be entirely me making that happen. While I humped my Hitachi, The Dandy lay beside me with his eyes closed and blindly flailed out to stroke my head or back from time to time. Which seemed a bit, no pun intended, anticlimactic after I’d given him so much focused expertise and attention to get him off. I mean aside from being on top and doing the bulk of the physical “work” I was also kissing him and making eye contact (on that rare occasion that he opened his eyes) and stimulating his nipples and doing fake arousal noises to help him along – just really hauling out every trick I could think of that might make the sex better for him. And then when it was my turn he barely acknowledged I was in the room.

Recently, I tried being the first one to get off during a few of our sexual encounters. In doing so, I discovered that The Dandy is definitely more willing to be an active participant in my orgasms when he hasn’t come yet. Also – gratifyingly – my arousal clearly gets him going. He got hard most times that he was helping me get off before his own climax, and on one occasion I noticed after I orgasmed that he was breathing like he was just about to come, himself (without either of us having touched his cock at all up to that point, btw). I seriously regret opting to have sex with him at that moment (which necessitates some time to put on a condom, apply lube, etc) instead of immediately caressing him with my hand and seeing if he really was as close to the finish line as he seemed.

Here’s the thing, though: my main turn-on in sex is my partner’s climax(es). I’ve always preferred to get off second so I could use the recent memory of the other person’s orgasm-sounds to fuel me, and now I need that more than ever because my sex drive is pretty seriously stalled. I don’t usually feel turned on all on my own, anymore; I distantly feel like having sex for the sense of intimacy it provides, and once The Dandy’s cock is inside me, some kind of arousal might sluggishly begin to awaken in me.

Plus, orgasming tires me out and I just wanna relax and/or sleep after, not tend to someone else (which I’d imagine is how The Dandy feels, too, hence his lackluster assistance during my orgasms).

Since I only ever feel a shadow of arousal these days at best, I don’t really come at The Dandy like “GET ME OFF RIGHT NOWWWWW” anymore – I want some lead-in, some foreplay, before serious clitoral stimulation begins. The Dandy doesn’t provide foreplay (unless you count putting his penis inside me), or indeed seem to know how to provide it, even when I specifically ask him to give me foreplay and tell him what I want. He’s not a sexually passionate person and if I say “caress me” he’ll pet my back and head like he’s trying to soothe me to sleep; I have had to specifically tell him, on numerous occasions, to touch my genitals. The concept of touching my genitals to turn me on never occurs to him on his own. And his seeming lack of passion or enthusiasm makes things even more difficult for me; with someone who seemed enthusiastically into me, I could probably Hitachi myself from a “cold start,” as it were, and still get off reasonably fast. With The Dandy I somewhat feel like he’s bored or something and it throws a wrench into my works.

Although, I did ask The Dandy how often he would come in to help me get off when he heard my Hitachi, if I let him. He claimed he’d help out fairly often. This might be bullshit; the whole reason I enstated a “Hey don’t come into my room when you can hear me getting off” rule in the first place is that he used to come participate from time to time and then pretty much stopped, and every time he chose not to come in, it felt like rejection (my vibrator is loud and he spends most of his time in his bedroom which is right next to mine. There’s no way he’s not aware of what I’m doing). So finally I told The Dandy not to ever come in. That way I could tell myself he wanted to come help me get off but was respecting my boundaries, rather than knowing goddamn well he just didn’t give a shit about my sexuality.

I have now revised my rule and said that if my door is open while my vibrator’s going, he can consider it an invitation. I haven’t been brave enough since then to actually get off with the door open and risk rejection, though.

 

 

 

 

*I think every guy should, TBH, but a lot of them probably haven’t ever orgasmed so they don’t know what they’re missing or that there’s a difference.

**Meanwhile, I orgasm *every single time I climax*. The only time I had something resembling The Dandy’s “coming but not orgasming” was when I was on antidepressants that interfered with my sexual functioning. Anyone who says “women’s sexuality is sooooo mysterious and complicated but men are simple!” needs to eat a bag of dicks.

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Drag race!

Rupaul’s Drag Race is on Canadian Netflix and I think I’ve gotten The Dandy into it.

The Dandy’s official favourite things to watch are informational YouTube videos about war and weapons, YouTube reviews of flashlights and knives, and movies with superheroes or space-lasers in them. Those are always what he’d watch, given the choice. But he clearly does like watching stuff with more of a “human element” to it, even if he won’t admit it to himself. He always has insightful observations.

Anyway I super love watching Drag Race with him and hearing his take on things. 🙂

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I can’t even.

Another frigging cat-based panic attack incident.

Last night The Dandy and I were on the couch, me lying with my feet in his lap, while we watched Netflix.

Guest Cat, the little guy we’re catsitting, decided he wanted to get in my lap, but he’s kind of a jerk who likes to walk on people as much as possible so he walked up my entire legs to get there.

So far so good except then his claw somehow got caught in my sweatpants – right over my crotch, mind you – and he got a bit freaked out. He started yanking at his stuck paw and I felt some of his other claws (which were also more-or-less on my crotch) start to come out.

I started to panic and quickly lifted Guest Cat up – his one paw still stuck and pulling a tent into the front of my pants – and went to set him on the couch next to me so I could work on unhooking that claw.

I realized Dickface The Kitten was right next to me (with The Dandy having swooped in and put his hand on her so she wouldn’t explode in rage/fear) just as The Dandy said “I wouldn’t put him on that side if I were you.”

I seriously had only twitched in that direction anyway, and now I reversed and set Guest Cat down on my other side. I detached his stuck claw from my pants, set the cat on the floor, and then my body started launching into the habitual “it’s safe to freak out now” panic attack, wracking me with shudders/dry sobs and pulling me into the foetal position.

The Dandy said “It would have been a bad idea to put Guest Cat on your other side because – ”

“Yep,” I interrupted, still trying to deal with my brain being turned inside out.

” – because Dickface was beside you and -”

“Uh-huh”

” – and if you’d set Guest Cat down near her, she – ”

“I GET THE CONCEPT THANKS ALSO CAN YOU TRY TO READ THE ROOM?!” I yelled.

Like seriously why was he so dead set on finishing his sentence when I was clearly having a panic attack AND the danger he was “warning” me about had already not-happened?

At least he didn’t get pissy with me for losing my temper. We sat there quietly, him continuing to watch Netflix and me struggling to climb out of my fugue state, and in a minute or two he started petting my feet and legs.

Soon after that I said I was going to bed and he kissed me goodnight in a friendly enough manner and petted my back so well that I had a stress-release cry and didn’t actually go for another few minutes.

I just don’t understand why he kept talking like he did. Jesus Christ.

 

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Sex angst

I’ve told The Dandy that I want/need foreplay, even when I’m the one initiating sex (just because I wanna get laid doesn’t mean my body is all the way ready; it’s just my brain in sex-mode). I’ve also told him that I want him to seem more invested in my orgasms, and I was very specific that this meant: getting into whatever position I need to get the job done, making eye contact/generally acknowledging my existence, focusing.

I’ve told him all of this numerous times.

A couple of nights ago, right before bed, I said “FYI I want to sex you sometime when I’m not so tired.” Perhaps because of that or perhaps on a whim, a day or two later The Dandy and I woke up together in his bed and he made a big point of slapping his morning wood against my ass. This is how he asks for sex: by basically being all “I have an erection!” and expecting me to jump on it.

And his default mode, then, is always to lie back while I use my hand or mouth to get him hard(er). The days of him caressing my genitals and slipping a finger inside me to get me all warmed up and squirming are long gone; it’s all about him being a starfish, now.

If I tell him to touch me, he’ll do the exact same things he does to help me sleep at night: scritch my head or stroke my back or arms. Stroking my skin is a bit of a turn-on, but with The Dandy I’ve come to associate it more with comfort than sex, and anyway why won’t he ever touch my genitals?

Sex has always felt kind of stilted, with him. No matter how passionate I feel or act, things don’t catch fire because The Dandy is not a passionate type. His kisses never stop being all smoochy and puckered, and if I kiss him more than two or three times in a row he gets a look like “Ha ha, very funny, cut it out.” Which I kind of get, because a string of “mwah! Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!” kisses in a row is ludicrous and jokey. But I don’t want a string of mwahs, is the thing; I’m trying to extend the kisses into something more sensual and he’s just not picking up on it. Has he never seen people kiss in a movie? I don’t get it.

So anyway The Dandy slapped my ass with his cock and then rolled over so I could tend to him, and trying to make him participate more fully just seemed too tedious right then. So fine, I touched his penis a whole bunch and then I put a condom on him and got on top.

Another thing about The Dandy is that he definitely seems to regard PIV sex as being just for him*. He comes whenever he’s ready to, even if I am currently also trying to come and getting really close; it apparently doesn’t occur to him to hold back for my sake. On this particular sexual occasion he came a lot faster than he usually does, and I might have wanted a bit more time enjoying his cock than that, but oh well.

Then I grabbed my Hitachi and had The Dandy fuck me with my dildo. I told him “I need to be jackhammered” – I used that exact word – but he continued lying next to me, which is not an efficient angle for thrusting a dildo and also puts his hand in my way, and just kinda lethargically wiggled the thing. When I said it would probably work better if he got up and knelt between my legs, he stayed lying next to me and just repositioned his hand slightly. And got distracted, twice, to the point of forgetting to move entirely, until I slapped his hand and said “You had one job.” Finally I said again, “I need jackhammering, not wiggling” and (still lying next to me) The Dandy finally started moving the dildo with some vigor and I came almost immediately.

After I caught my breath I said “I feel conflicted at times like these, because when you refuse to get up and position yourself for the best angle, it takes me exponentially longer to get off and I feel like it bores you. But you’re the one making it take so long in the first place. And, I mean, I don’t mind taking the scenic route, but…” I thought for a minute and then corrected myself: “Actually, yes I do. The Hitachi can numb me and it’s kind of a race against the clock sometimes to get off before my crotch is completely beaten up. I prefer to have someone do what works best so I can get off efficiently.”

The Dandy said…absolutely nothing. Not then and not since.

And The Pedant and I are broken up or on a break or whatever. And I have nobody else I”m banging.

The totally lacklustre, super infrequent sex with The Dandy where I have to regularly remind him to acknowledge that I’m there is the only sex I’ll be getting for the foreseeable future.

I might die.

 

*And, TBH, he’s not far wrong. I don’t get off from dick alone; penetration is really just foreplay to me, a way of turning me on by rubbing up on my g-spot. And I get bored with it fairly quickly most of the time and want to get to my turn, unless I’m using my Hitachi during. Still, though – PIV does feel good (for the first ten minutes or so, anyway) and it’s weird that The Dandy acts as though we do this act solely for his benefit. Weirder still, I’m usually the one on top doing most of the physical work, so if The Dandy believes it really is all for him, he should be a whole hell of a lot more grateful; he should be enthusiastic to get me off afterward no matter how much effort it takes.

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Concert night

The concert was great and I’m really glad I went (and glad I went with The Dandy). I hate crowds so when it comes to concerts I generally feel like “meh, I’d be better off just listening to their album at home.” BUT YOU GUYS. The singer came down the centre aisle at the beginning of the concert and shook every hand within reach AND MINE WAS ONE OF THEM. I got to actually touch this human whose music I so admire! They’re a real person to me now instead of just a collection of enjoyable sounds!!! I didn’t expect to get that close in a million years and obviously it could never have happened without my leaving the house and braving the crowds. So, awesome.

Unfortunately the evening got off to a rocky start. The Dandy worked from home that day so we could leave for the concert together, and about an hour before I thought we had to leave, I popped my head into his bedroom where he was working and gave him the heads up that it might be time to start getting ready. The Dandy said that actually our departure time was more like an hour and a half away – the time printed on the ticket was when the doors opened, not when the concert started. All good so far.

Then I realized that I didn’t recall The Dandy having eaten anything yet that day (and it was late afternoon!). “Hey do you want me to put on one of those frozen lasagnas for you or something?” I asked.

The Dandy was, I suppose, having a rough time with whatever thing he was working on. He was all pissy and distracted. “I have to finish work!” he snapped.

“Yeah, I get that. I’m offering to make food for you.”

“It takes an hour for one of those lasagnas to cook!” The Dandy said, still snappishly.

“And we don’t leave for an hour and a half. So…?”

I...ugh…I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T KNOW! I HAVE TO WORK!”

“Okay, starve then. I was trying to do something nice for you,” I said angrily, and walked out. And then I immediately felt weird about allowing myself to lose my temper to that extent. I’m not usually so mean. Although The Dandy was mean first. Ridiculously mean, considering I was trying to help him get more work done and he somehow decided to act like I was doing the opposite.

I went into my room and started puttering around on the internet and in a few minutes The Dandy did his thing of coming in and awkwardly standing there. I eventually looked over at him and he smiled and made a kissy-face at me. There’s something downright grotesque about being a shithead to someone and then pantomiming that you want a kiss without giving any apology in between. I just kind of grimmaced and looked away. Seriously I am SO OVER that fucking thing guys do where they try to ingratiate themselves instead of apologizing*. Tell me you feel bad about hurting me or fuck off.

In the time between then and leaving for the concert, The Dandy anxiously popped back into my room several more times to mug wildly at me and I basically ignored it. In that moment I wished to hell I had someone else to go with; the prospect of being trapped with The Dandy all night was oppressive. I was shutting down. My voice began to go all flat and dead like it does when I feel trapped with someone and just want to hurry up and get through whatever is making us be in the same room.

On the bus, The Dandy sat next to me and continued periodically trying to make eye contact with me, playfully lean his head on my shoulder, etc etc.

Later, we had to transfer to a different bus line and I said we should catch it a few blocks away in order to have a chance at getting a seat (that bus is always super crowded, but there’s a stop where a lot of the people usually get off). So we started walking. As we walked, I said “You were really mean to me earlier.”

The Dandy said absolutely nothing.

“You’re not gonna say anything about it?” I prompted.

Apparently not.

We got on the other bus. My plan had worked – instead of being crammed like a can of sardines in there, there were occasional free seats. But there weren’t two seats together so I ended up sitting while The Dandy stood in front of me. I continued mostly ignoring him, as I had been since his shittiness. And then he reached down and petted my head: scritch scritch scritch.

We had agreed, a while back, on three scritches to the back of my head being a secret code that The Dandy could use for “I’m sorry.” He never did use it since, though. Also I should probably have made the signal something else – something absolutely distinctive – because he affectionately scritches my head all the time without it meaning anything. When he did it this time, it was three consecutive scritches but more on the top of my head than on the back. I looked up at him to try to figure out if he’d meant to apologize or was still just trying to ingratiate himself through touch without admitting he’d been a shithead. He wasn’t looking at me so I couldn’t read the intention in his eyes.

Nonetheless, I began to thaw. By the time the concert had started, I’d loosened up and my voice was back to normal.

Later, I pointedly asked The Dandy if the scritches on the bus had been an apology or not. The conversation went in circles for a minute or two; I think he thought I was asking if he remembered, in general, that we’d made up that code. When I clarified what I wanted to know real specific-like: “when you scritched my head on the bus on the way to the concert, did you intend that as an apology for your behaviour earlier?” he said “yeah” but in a sort of vague/confused tone. I don’t fuckin’ know. I guess I’ll just assume it was indeed an apology.

 

*Especially right now, in the wake of me taking a break from The Pedant because he wouldn’t apologize for hurting me. Which The Dandy fully knows about so he surely must realize I’m a bit raw right now re: people who don’t take responsibility for their actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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