The Bunny and I are okay again. I shared my thoughts about that whole “collar” conversation that had made me angry, and he shared his. Turns out that although The Bunny had said, the night before, that he didn’t personally have an issue with the idea of wearing a collar, he kind of does. There are some nasty slavery connotations for him (not in the kinky sense, the historical sense – The Bunny is part black). I can see how that would be disturbing to him. I reminded him that the idea of a collar had only come up when we were talking about clothing items I’d find sexy on him; there’s no huge symbolism for me, ergo his wearing one is not at all important to me and I’m happy to drop the idea.
Having a minor fight and getting through it has made me feel that much closer to The Bunny. I’m especially pleased that he didn’t freak the fuck out when I said that a lot of my anger actually came from shit another partner did before him. Now, granted, I had not yelled at or mistreated The Bunny in any way – just told him I felt pissed, it wasn’t really about him, and I needed to check out for a while. But some guys fly into a self-righteous rage when a woman so much as mentions being upset over baggage from her past – “Well, I’m not him and this is a totally different situation” blah blah blah. I’ve dealt with and processed a lot of my previous issues, and I’m good at reminding myself that just because someone may have acted a lot like someone else who hurt me doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy or that there was actual intention to hurt. But there are still times when something triggers me, and there probably always will be. I think most people have accumulated some triggers, at least once they get to be my age. “I hate land mines” is the most The Bunny said about it. Me too, Bunny. Me too.
In other news, my date with that other FetLife guy went pretty well. I felt at ease with him very quickly, and he’s reasonably cute. I think I’ll probably play with him at some point. I don’t quite feel ready to take the leap yet, but maybe after another date or three. If play does happen, I think it’ll be a great experience for me (hopefully for him, too, but definitely for me). I’ve realized that I need a mentor: I’m a bit conflicted and tentative about my BDSM predilections, and I keep hooking up with subs who aren’t sure what they want, which makes me even more tentative. This guy – we’ll call him The Sage – is 44 and has lots of BDSM experience. He’s consumed piss; he’s been tied up for hours; he’s been beaten. This is a guy who, if I hesitate to do something, will calmly assure me that it is absolutely okay to proceed. That whatever it is I wanna do, he’s done it before and loved it. That he welcomes whatever horrifying thing I want to inflict on him*.
Our meeting left me exhausted and with stuff to think about – and I’m not talking about kink. The Sage is on the autism spectrum, and almost immediately told me that he senses I am, too. Which, y’know…why would I care what some stranger says about me? Except that I’ve sometimes wondered if I’m on the spectrum, myself. I dismissed the idea before because I thought the first big sign of autism is being unable to read social cues, and I’m freakishly attuned to people’s expressions and body language. But The Sage reminded me that autism is a spectrum and that it’s diagnosed via a quiz; as long as someone answers most of the questions in a certain way, there’s a good chance they are in fact autistic. So for all we know I’m a person who would answer the questions about intuition and body language like a neurotypical but alllllll the other questions like an Aspie. It’s kind of a sliding scale.
Also – and yes, I’m aware this doesn’t actually prove anything – my dad’s Aspie (and such things are hereditary) and there’s a high correlation between people who are autistic and people who have celiac disease (which I do have).
Mostly, the thing that’s bending my brain is how much I felt at home with The Sage. I often feel like a bit of an alien around other people, but with him there was a sense of “holy crap, I’ve finally met someone of the same species.”** The most intense moment of our date was when he said something about having good hearing, but a wonky speech processing centre in his brain – and that this is an autism thing. I told him how, if there’s ever background noise while someone’s talking to me, my brain decides to be an asshole and yank my attention away from the person talking – all I can focus on is the printer or the tap running or whatever the background noise is. He said that’s exactly what it is for him, too. And, okay, between my quasi-fight with The Bunny the night before and not sleeping well, I was overtired and extra high-strung, but the revelation that maybe there’s a reason for my weird hearing, and that finally someone “gets” this quirk of mine and doesn’t think I’m a freak, made me tear up and I had to put my head down on the coffee shop table for a few minutes to try to collect myself. The Sage immediately understood why I was reacting like that, and came around the table to hug me. The intimacy level I felt with him was kind of unnerving; we’d only known each other for a couple of hours at that point.
I am not by any means saying that the date went perfectly and I’m falling in love, though. The Sage tells me he’s worked hard at getting past some of the limitations posed by his autism, but I definitely noticed him doing some trademark Aspie things, like rambling to our waitress about random stuff when she was clearly (well, clear to me) trying to get back to work, and not noticing when something he said or did made me uncomfortable. And the latter did trigger my red flag for boundary crossing, but I know he probably isn’t doing it on purpose and I’m trying to give the benefit of the doubt. He did tell me to let him know if he ever accidentally hurts my feelings or makes me uncomfortable so he can fix it, and indeed when he sent me overly affectionate texts later that evening I told him outright that this was too much intimacy and to please dial it back a notch (we’re not on a snuggling or kissing basis in person yet, so I don’t want him being all “*kisses*snuggles*kisses*” in text form, either) and he promptly thanked me and hasn’t done it again.
So, there’s potential.
Also, The Sage knows a lot about rope bondage and is willing to teach me. He can teach me how to throw a flogger, too, which I’ve totally been wanting to learn. He has no problem with the idea of showing me this stuff on The Bunny – and The Bunny, when I asked him, expressed a cautious willingness to be the test dummy for both activities. The Bunny is totally straight, so these will be lessons, not scenes, but still…I am mightily pleased by the prospect of watching two boys I like interact in these ways. And, um, learning stuff. Yes. I am gung-ho for the learning of stuff. It’s not all about my homoerotic fantasies.
I texted with The Bunny for a while when I got home from the date. He proposed we hang out this Friday, and that part of this hangout be to go to one of the kinky clothing stores downtown and browse around. That sounds like fun. I wonder whether The Bunny proposed this because he’s still stuck on the “collar” idea? During our conversation earlier – even as I kept saying that the whole “Ooooh you’d look great in a collar” thing was a random whim for me and no big deal – The Bunny said that he is willing to wear one, provided he picks it out/buys it for himself/keeps it at his apartment (so it’s a thing he’s choosing for himself, not a thing I’m inflicting on him). Not sure if he’s trying to impress me despite my protestations, or if this is about him being curious to try wearing a collar despite the unpleasant echoes the idea holds.
*The Sage is one of these people who gets off on his partner getting off, even if he doesn’t like the actual thing being done. He does have some hard limits but for the most part it seems like I really can do whatever I want to him and he’ll get a fulfilling experience out of it. I am so intrigued right now!
**I’ve known other autistic people who did not give me this feeling. But, again, it’s a spectrum; there are different ways it manifests itself. So maybe The Sage and I are in similar places on the spectrum, or maybe I am not autistic at all but my particular weird shit happens to correspond to most of his.