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.