A few commenters have asked me why I bother seeing The Pedant, since the relationship does have some issues. Mind you, none of my regulars ask that, so I can only assume that the dissenters have browsed a couple of my bitchier posts about him and not seen the happier ones – or don’t know that it’s human nature to complain about shitty stuff more than we rave about great stuff so probably any narrative of a relationship is gonna skew toward the annoying bits.
Anyway. Here, in one post, are the reasons I’m with him. Or as many as I can remember right now, anyway.
So fucking hot. There’s some kind of pheromonal magic going on here, or something, I dunno, but goddamn I am so into this boy, physically. And the sex never settled into complacency! We’ve been seeing each other off and on for I think almost two years now and there are still sparks every damn time. Part of this is a quirk of The Pedant’s: he says that sex never becomes routine for him. Ever. With anyone. For my part, ever since my teen years I’ve had a huge kink for the kind of astounded, grateful virgin that I’m beginning to think only exists in fictional works. The Pedant was not a virgin when we met, but still: every time we start making out and things progress and I touch his penis for the first time in that encounter, he gasps like it’s the first time anyone has ever thought to touch a penis ever. Like he never had any idea anything could feel like my touch does. Sometimes during PIV, if I dismount before he’s come, he’ll give a desperate, heartbroken little whimper as I withdraw. Fucking him makes me feel completely powerful, completely irresistible. It’s addicting.
He takes care of me. The main ways I feel loved are through affectionate touches and being taken care of. If someone does both things at once – like the time The Pedant gently applied sunscreen to my face and ears when we were out walking one summer – I’m hopelessly smitten. This boy shaves my head for me. He washes me in the shower, sometimes. He’s salted my icy front steps in winter to make sure I don’t slip and hurt myself. He’s bought me food. He’s given me massages and tech support. It seems he’s constantly bringing me things that might be of use to me – a digital camera because mine died, a charger for my phone that’s more powerful than the one I have, a charging station that plugs into an outlet and has a bunch of USB ports on the front. He gave me his old Blackberry phone, and painstakingly read all the phone numbers off my old phone to me so I could transcribe them into it – thereby getting used to using the Blackberry’s keyboard. He gave me an old phone to use for my sex work activities, and customized it for me by putting all the apps he thought I’d use most on the main screen – and changing the background colour of the screen to match my hair. He’s actually even vaguely referenced the idea of giving me a big-ass sum of money to help me out, back in the summer when I was poor; when it started getting colder out and I mentioned that my wardrobe isn’t really equipped for it, he said “We’ll have to get you some warmer clothes.” We. There’s something very doglike about him: just, like, unswervingly loyal and helpful and wagging for approval. Dog-like men turn my crank in a big way. It’s not quite submission, with The Pedant, but it rings my bells as a dominant nonetheless.
He accepts me. He’s not put off by my findomming or sex work activities. He politely ignores the fact that my apartment has, for a very long time now, been a festering shithole of clutter that would not look out of place on the show Hoarders. I think he has a pretty good idea now what my anxiety does to me, but he’s stuck around anyway (instead of finding me clingy and pathetic like I fear). He strikes the perfect balance of coming up with ideas for how I can improve myself (which makes me feel like he cares) without getting pushy or sanctimonious about it. Like, he knows that exercise helps with anxiety and depression and will sometimes suggest that I take walks or something, but he doesn’t nag me about it or check up on me to see if I’m doing it yet. He seems to basically like me the way I am but suggest things every now and then for my sake, to make my life better. There’s no undertone of “make these changes because your personality/habits drive me crazy and I’m thinking of bailing.”
He doesn’t want me to sacrifice for him. The Pedant can sometimes seem rather…selfish and obtuse, like he just lives his life and expects that if people want to see him they’ll fit themselves in around whatever he’s doing. But actually we had a talk about this and he doesn’t expect me to sacrifice my own shit in order to fit into his life and get time with him. He wants me to live my life selfishly, too. I believe him when he says this. I think it didn’t occur to him that other people don’t approach life the way he does (because selfish and obtuse) and when he realized that I would do things like give up on sleep so I could see him, it dismayed him.
He’s really good at talking me down. The Pedant has said that he doesn’t seem to feel emotions the same way other people do, and doesn’t have as much empathy. Perhaps that’s why he’s so fucking good at talking me down from the metaphorical ledge when my anxiety is fucking me up. He doesn’t get all frenzied along with me in sympathy. He doesn’t discount my feelings, either, mind you; he doesn’t tell me I’m being stupid. But his lack of empathy seems to help him not get caught up in my dramas and he’s just like “No, look, you’re freaking yourself out. This is actually really simple. Here is a game plan for you.” I’m not sure I remember anyone else being as good at untangling me.
That hoary old trope of Taming the Bad Boy. To be clear, I would never purposely pursue a relationship with someone who seemed annoying or unattainable in hopes of changing his personality and “domesticating” him. For the most part I don’t think people can be changed and I think it’s stupid as hell to date someone you’re not compatible with. With The Pedant, I initially found him kind of abrasive (but hot…so very hot) and only wanted to make out with him. Not a relationship of any kind. But once we became makeout buddies, some of the other qualities I’ve mentioned in this post started presenting themselves. I still remember how shocked I was, the first time we had sex, that he was such a snuggler. And a moaner. And liked to be tied up. I don’t delude myself to think that I brought any of this out in him; they’re just the way he is in bed. Lots of people are different in bed than than you’d expect them to be based on the facade they show the world in general. But seeing a more vulnerable, mushy side of him is thrilling and makes me feel like I’ve “tamed” him. I mean, at the very least, comparatively few people have seen his mushy side. Often he seems like two entirely different people, to me: the one who sits in restaurants with me, holding forth on a wide range of subjects in a brash, loud voice, and the one who whimpers softly and forgets how to English when I kiss his neck. The dichotomy is such a fascinating puzzle to me that it almost irritates me – and the friction causes sparks.
Oh, and also? He has changed a bit since we’ve been together; he’s let go of some of his toxic masculinity and also let me inside his ass a few times. And I do attribute those things to my influence. So, y’know…I’m totes taming him.
Wounded puppy/fish-out-of-water syndrome. There’s just something about a poor wounded puppy-type-person or a misfit who can’t figure out how to get along in the world. Witness the appeal of Edward Scissorhands, Data from ST:TNG, and Madison, the mermaid from Splash. Early on when The Pedant and I were seeing each other, he told me that he thinks he’s on the autism spectrum or something; that he offends people sometimes without meaning to because he just doesn’t understand how his words affect people. He said that a lot of people he cares about have abruptly cut him out of their lives and won’t tell him why, and made me promise to tell him what was wrong if I ever decided to bail on him. The baffled hurt on his face in that moment…I could fap to the memory of it. Goddamn. I sometimes see a similar look on his face to this day – like he feels I’m expecting something of him but he doesn’t know what it is, or he has feelings that he can’t identify or process. And this is another one of those things where irritation causes sparks, I guess, because his total lack of self-awareness bugs the everloving shit out of me and yet at the same time there’s a hurt, helpless quality to him when he’s trying to process his emotions or figure out mine and it just makes me want to eat him up.
There’s a poem with a line something like, women can’t resist a sick child or a healthy animal. A man who’s both itches them like an incubus. Yeah, pretty much.