MinxTime

Minx came over last night and we had dinner together and watched a movie on NetFlix.  I also got him to massage my feet, which he’s been quite eager to do lately, and generally without asking for much in return.  Seems like the perk to dating a certain breed of jackass is that after the breakup they feel guilty and try extra hard to mend their karma (see also: emotionally abusive ex-husband spontaneously buying me a Mac Airbook).

Perhaps I crossed some kind of line when I permitted him to pet me (run his fingers lightly over my skin in a way he knows is intensely pleasurable to me).  That started out in the kitchen when he went to brush a floof of cat hair off my back and it made me shiver.  He apologized, presumably feeling like it was overstepping to give me that sensation since we’re exes, but I enthusiastically said I didn’t mind.  And so during the movie, in-between him massaging my feet and crunching a bunch of tension out of my shoulders (which was so intense that I had to curl up and have a little cry), Minx petted my feet and legs.

Just to be clear, being petted is not precisely a sexual thing for me.  I mean it’s sexual enough that I wouldn’t ask a friend or parent to do it, and it’s often a valued part of foreplay for me, but it doesn’t turn me on per se.  The intense feelings it brings happen directly in the skin being touched, not in my crotch.  Being petted makes happy chemicals rush into my brain, lowering stress and improving my mood, and I’ll accept pettings from anyone I feel a certain comfort level with.  It doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you.  It only means that you’re in the right demographic to give me this thing I need without things getting weird (hopefully).

I’m wondering whether Minx has misinterpreted things.  At the end of the night he kissed me chastely on the mouth (which he’s done before, and which I’m okay with) but then took me by the chin and planted a few more kisses after that.  I wasn’t comfortable with this and really didn’t like that he immobilized my face – albeit gently – in order to do it.  Did he sense that I would dodge otherwise?  Was he overriding my personal agency, or just trying (and failing) to be romantic?

This is so awkward.  I have a residual level of animal comfort with Minx because we were partners for so long, but I’m not attracted to him anymore.  At all.  I saw his massages and pettings as a service he was performing for me; I do not want to do anything physical beyond that level.  No snuggling.  No kissing beyond a friendly peck hello or goodbye.  Needless to say I don’t want to date him again, either (HELL TO THE NO, as the kids say).

I think I’ll let some time pass before we hang out again.  And if – whenever the next hangouts end up being – he initiates more pettings, I’ll deliberately make some comment about “I’m glad we still feel comfortable enough to do this sort of thing as friends.”  If he takes me by the chin for kisses again I’ll swerve and kiss his cheek instead (Minx is no the aggressive type at all, so I’m sure he won’t try to steer my face once he realizes I’m trying to twist away).  Perhaps I’ll say something like “easy, kiddo.  We’re not actually dating anymore.”

Our mutual friend Red says Minx told her that although he misses me, he knows we don’t work well together in a relationship capacity.  And it’s obvious (to me, at least) that we’re not at all compatible sexually, so it would be ridiculous to try a FWB arrangement.  So what’s up with all the kisses?  Maybe he’s just taking longer than I have to get out of the nostalgia phase.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “MinxTime

  1. Just A Slut

    In my experience people who are friends have an easier time transitioning to lovers then when people who are lovers try to transition to being friends.

    Since you and minx had a long term relationship, he may not know how to act with you now as a friend. A long term relationship can create habitual affection (see foot rub and inapropriate intimacy here like pettings.)

    Its hard to establish how to act as a friend when so much more was ok before. Maybe he is testing to see where the boundaries are now. You can hug a friend but its sometimes hard to tell the difference between a friendly hug and a romantic hug when one is just a little longer then the other.

    Also exes sometimes miss the happy memories from a relationship more then they actually miss the relationship. Its sometimes another confusing aspect in maintaining contact with an ex. Some people don’t know themselves enough to know the difference between a happy point in time and being happy to see a friend. They don’t take a close look at what is making them happy. It may not be a sexual componant and they are still happy but they forget that sexual happiness and happy in general are different.

    Men are essentially sexual creatures. When you are happpy, endorphines typically flow at a nice and steady pace. That comfort and happiness in a friendly setting can make it easier to think of sex with someone there was once a connection to. Sexual activity typically needs a happy place to perform well. So maybe the foot rubs and watching movies brought back a more relaxing time period that made him nostalgic for those old emotions more then the relationship. Does that make sense?

    Just A Slut

    • Also exes sometimes miss the happy memories from a relationship more then they actually miss the relationship. Its sometimes another confusing aspect in maintaining contact with an ex.

      Yeah. I’m feeling that, too – I miss what Minx and I had, and this makes it kind of weird to hang out with him. He used to be the source of all these good feelings and memories for me, and he’s still technically the same person, and yet…

      But I know that what we had is gone now – and for me, trying to relive it (like by kissing in more than just a perfunctory “Okay, bye” kind of way) just feels hollow. I think Minx is a bit more confused about all of this than I am. Plus I know he’s not seeing anyone new so maybe he’s just flat-out lonely and missing makeouts. Like, with anyone. And I seem like the most likely source.

      Men are essentially sexual creatures.

      People are essentially sexual creatures (except for asexual people). Sorry but I just hate when guys are stereotyped as the (only) ones for whom sex is important. Everything you said in that paragraph applies just as much to me as to Minx.

      Sexual activity typically needs a happy place to perform well. So maybe the foot rubs and watching movies brought back a more relaxing time period that made him nostalgic for those old emotions more then the relationship. Does that make sense?

      I think this is exactly it. Well said.

  2. Fnord

    Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but the chin grab sounds kind of red-flagy to me. I mean, he shouldn’t be trying to be romantic in the first place, right? Since you’re not in a romantic relationship anymore. So even the best-case scenario of trying and failing to be romantic is a sign that on some level he’s not getting or not accepting that.

    • I seem to have a hard time emotionally processing weird in-between grey-area things. Because, really, at the time that he took me by the chin like that I was thinking “OMGWTF THAT IS SO RAPEY EW,” but no, that’s kind of an overreaction, I’m sure I could’ve just twisted away and he would’ve let me (and yet I didn’t twist away, because my first instinct toward most potentially volatile interactions with anyone is to be as passive as possible in order to avoid conflict…GRRRR). And it’s fairly understandable that he’d think I might be open to kissing after he’d spent hours caressing me and making me squirm. So, he’s not a selfish rapist monster trying to override my personal agency.

      But now I seem to be mired in the land of Meh-It’s-Probably-Fine, which is also probably not true. I suppose it’s the whole “be passive and hope it goes away” mentality biting me in the ass again.

      I’m going to text him some things now.

      • Fnord

        Well, just because you could have twisted away and he wouldn’t have stopped you doesn’t mean it’s NOT rapey. I mean, worst case paranoia thinking could point to all sorts of predatory behaviors that it COULD be (boundary testing etc). Not that I think the worst case paranoia thinking is correct, or that you’re wrong to say that “he’s not a selfish rapist monster trying to override my personal agency”.

        Plus, if that was your first reaction, it seems like it was quite upsetting to YOU. That’s a problem all by itself, any other problems notwithstanding.

        Gray area stuff like this is hard, no doubt about that.

        • Yeah, y’know what, it was upsetting to me. I’m dominant; Minx knows this. If I want to kiss someone, I goddamn do it without waiting around for them to initiate first. So the fact that he would a) initiate kisses when b) we’re broken up (so there’s a pretty compelling reason why I might not be into it) – and to hold me in place while he does this – bleh.

          I’ve just texted him to explain (gently) that I considered our massages and pets strictly platonic and hope I didn’t give off any confusing signals by interacting with him in ways we used to when we were still dating. I didn’t address the matter of the kissing; I just acted like it had suddenly occurred to me for no reason at all that I may have stirred up feelings or whatever, and I wanted to clarify what was up.

          No reply yet, but he’s probably at work and can’t check his phone much.

  3. trillian

    I thought one of the aspect’s of being poly was also managing that thin line of being emotional/sexual with your exes. In fact, now that I think of it, it may the *only* thing that stops me from being poly.
    Sigh.

    • Isn’t that a key aspect of life for anyone trying to be friends with an ex, poly or not?

      At any rate, the lines are very clear for me. I didn’t feel turned on while Minx was massaging and petting me. It simply seemed to me like a friendly “service” he was performing. It didn’t feel to me like I was on any thin line, because I am no longer in love with him or attracted to him and I’m well aware that the relationship is dead.

      The problem, I suppose, is that Minx might not actually be on the same page with this. But I’m going to find out.

  4. Pingback: Minx and art and stuff | hiding in plain sight

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