The aforementioned play party happened recently. I have a lot of thoughts. They might be kind of scattered.
Other times that TA and I have attended social events together (by which I mostly mean parties that this one friend of hers throws) she treated me as her priority; she knows I’m anxious and easily overwhelmed in crowds and she made it her job to make sure I was feeling comfortable and safe. She’d usually head over to these parties before I did, but I would text her when I arrived and she would come out of her friend’s house to let me in. Once I was inside with the other guests, she would introduce me to people and only stray from my side if it was clear I was having a good conversation with someone and didn’t need her to be my security blanket. And even if she’d gone off to say hi to someone else, she was still apparently glancing over at me periodically to make sure I was still okay. I felt attended to; I felt loved.
TA told me she’d actually organized this night specifically for the purpose of us playing, because she’d been feeling like playing in public was the only way she’d be able to get into The Headspace <tm>* with me anymore. Because of that and because of the general pattern of previous social gatherings, I kind of assumed that I would be her focus.
Welp, first of all, because it’s a play party it was decided that there should be DMs (dungeon monitors who oversee things and double check that everyone is safe). TA appointed herself a DM, reasonably enough (and split duties with a friend of hers who had DMing experience). Which would mean that she couldn’t be glued to my side all night. Fair enough.
But then when I asked TA if I could carpool to the place with her (I knew someone would be driving her there), she said she wasn’t sure there would be room in the car. She knows that going to new places alone is terrifying for me, and she allegedly organized this entire party as a venue for us to play in, but she didn’t automatically assume that we’d head over together, and make provisions?
(On a side note, I have a ton of emotional baggage around getting rides with people. On many, many occasions, someone has promised me a ride to or from an event I couldn’t easily get to or from on my own and then later said “Oh actually never mind, these other people need a ride so now there’s no room for you in the car.” And that’s…I mean…that’s rude AF, right? They said yes to me first. And the ride was a necessity for me, not a nicety; these were always places that were ungodly far away from home and/or public transit didn’t go there or had stopped running. And these people were willing to cavalierly leave me stranded because I guess some people they liked more asked for a ride after I did. So anyway this whole “oh, we don’t know if there will be room for you” thing – coming from my girlfriend, no less – immediately gave me a whole bunch of insecurity and rage.)
And then I asked, well, if I made my own way over, could I text her when I was close and she could come out to street level to get me like she always did with her friend’s parties? Because I was scared that it wouldn’t be obvious to me where the entrance to the thing was and I didn’t want to feel lost or go to the wrong door or something. And TA said no, she would be DMing and doing other organizational stuff, I would have to find my own way in.
There did end up being room in the car for me, which is good because the dungeon space turned out to be, I think, just a regular apartment that someone had repurposed (I could hear the sounds of a tv from behind one of the other doors in the hallway); there wasn’t a storefront or a neon sign or anything like that, it was one unit in a big building. It would have freaked me out trying to find it. Also, though, the front door to the building closed and locked automatically, so every guest was texting TA upon arrival so she could come down and let them in. Or sometimes she would get a text and designate someone else to go down. My point is, I would not have had to totally find the entrance and the unit all on my own, and I don’t understand why TA (who had researched the location and would have known the setup) told me I would. If I had thought that I would have to go to the place alone on transit and find the specific unit all by myself, I honestly might have panicked enough to bow out entirely. Even though I’d paid $30 for my portion of the rental.
TBH I was tempted to bow out anyway.
Long ago, when I think we were still sometimes playing or fucking, TA started going to sex clubs to bang random dudes. She often did kink play there, too, usually with one of the crowd of mostly trans women that she went with. She invited me to come along, and I kind of wanted to**, but the sex club has gendered pricing and that pisses me the fuck off so I boycott it on principle. And so TA brought up the prospect of us playing at a kink party (these usually charge the same admission for everyone). I was into that – I liked the idea of showing her off in public as mine, and we talked about me leading her around by a leash all night and stuff – but I was too lazy to actually go looking for upcoming events to go to. Plus, like, these things always cost money and I’m cheap.
So a while later she came up with the idea of gathering a bunch of people together, including me, and splitting the cost of a dungeon rental. And I liked the idea. It seemed like it might not end up costing me any more than a pre-established play party would, but the space would be filled with queer folks and I would know some of them already, so it might be a more comfortable scene for me. So I said yes.
Since then, sex and play between us dried up entirely and TA stopped claiming it was that she just didn’t happen to be in the mood on the particular days she was over and instead told me outright that she has a mental block about me in particular but she hoped that being in a neutral space would get her over that and that having an audience would appeal to her exhibitionism and thus get her into The Headspace. So instead of this play party being an extension of the stuff we did at my place, as I had thought when I first said yes, it was a last-ditch effort to revive our kink life by using other people as a tool to hopefully turn her on enough that she could stand to play with me.
So now I dreaded this fucking thing because it had become an experiment to see if she could still be into me at all – and if the experiment failed, it would fail publicly. Also apparently TA had talked me up to a bunch of her friends and they were all excited to see what a great top I am. So, wheeeeeee! No pressure. 😛
And then in the weeks leading up to the party my attraction to TA kinda switched off and her body started to just seem kind of alien to me, which is a self-preservation measure my brain takes when I know someone doesn’t want me. It took a couple of years to get to that point with The Dandy but it seems the process has become more streamlined now. Or maybe it’s just easier to switch my attraction off with her because I was already so new and tentative about dating non-men, anyway.
But hey, sometimes it takes very little to bring my feelings back. Sometimes just a little bit of enthusiasm can do it. And so, with great trepidation, I stayed the course and gave the play party a chance.
This is getting long. I’ll continue this rant/story in one or more separate posts.
*And yeah, I guess I’m a typical guy here and she’s the absolute stereotype of a woman, but I’m baffled and annoyed by this mysterious fucking “headspace” she needs to be in. For me, just having a partner there who’s willing to play and/or bang is generally enough for me to decide that I’d like to play and/or bang. If I’ve had a shitty day or we’ve just had a fight, it might take a little longer for my motor to start up. But it almost always does. For TA, apparently all possible conditions for sex or play can be optimal but she still won’t actively feel like doing stuff unless I initiate it. Me putting myself out there to initiate sex or play is what summons The Headspace, you see. But even then, The Headspace might not appear. The Headspace is fickle. And if The Headspace isn’t there, there is apparently no possible way that TA will go forward with things.
**When she wasn’t fucking dudes, TA was usually in a huge cuddle puddle with her friends, and I’m kinda touch-starved and wouldn’t have minded seeing if I could get in on that. Also I do have a bit of a free use/objectification kink and I thought that possibly it could be interesting to watch TA get railed. I would frame it in my head as “I’m the one she loves, but I lend her out to others as a piece of meat.” Kinda hot.