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OMG

I met the 20yo (who is genderqueer and prefers “they” pronouns so I need to try to remember this).

We went for hot chocolate and had a really good time. They’re bright and self-aware and pretty together and they expressed interest in me and asked me questions. And our kinks seem really, really compatible. They made it quite clear that they like me and think there’s potential, and at the end of the night when I said I’d really like to kiss them, they planted one on me.

They are very cute, but their face is so young looking to me. A little disconcertingly so. And I’m not sure I can get past that. I also worry that my feelings of attraction are stemming more from their obvious, flattering interest in me rather than any actual physical chemistry. I shall proceed slowly; my attraction to people is often fleeting and it’s doubly awkward when it gives out after I’ve been really physically intimate with someone and given every impression that things are headed toward something serious.

But yeah. There’s maybe potential here for…something.

Oh but as I’d feared, their primary partner totally attends one of the schools I pose for the most. So now someone who knows me through work in some capacity will be aware that I’m dominant and poly, and maybe tell people. I suppose it was inevitable that my work and private lives would intersect in some way, some time. I’m gonna try not to think about it and if any of the art students (god forfuckingbid) is gauche enough to approach me and ask if the rumours are true or whatever I’ll take the high road and be all “it’s really inappropriate for you to be asking me that. This is my place of work.”

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Last night The Dandy checked his text messages and said “Dandette is asking about getting some of her stuff this weekend. She also wants me to come see her new place, which I have no interest in at all, obviously.”

“Why would that be obvious to me?” I asked. “Just the other day you implied that you wanted her in your life in some capacity.”

“I flip-flop,” The Dandy said. “I mean I was thinking of trying to be friends, but now that I know she’s been making up some story in her head that I’m gonna break up with you and I’ll ask her to come back…ugh, that’s just too much crazy.”

TBH I rather suspected that this would happen. The Dandy was with her for around seven years, held prisoner by her anxiety attacks and suicide threats, and probably got a big ol’ case of Stockholm Syndrome. I think he feels guilt at the relationship failing, or at not being able to save or fix Dandette. I think he’s beginning to realize how fucked up and abusive things between them actually were. But I also think he’s resisting seeing her as just a flat-out awful person because that would mean he was stupid enough not only to fall for an awful person, but to invest seven years in her*. So it probably soothes his pride to pretend that she’s great and the two of them just aren’t compatible as lovers but can still be friends. I don’t think this will be the last time he flip-flops about this. I anticipate a rough ride for the next six months to a year where he vacillates wildly between trying to give her the benefit of the doubt and realizing that he dodged a bullet.

And I’m sorry, I know I’m harping on this yet again, but it still BUGS THE SHIT OUT OF ME that the things Dandette has done to me don’t factor into any of this. He fully understands that what she did to me was sexual assault; he calls it what it is and doesn’t try to minimize it. He also knows that the thing where she jokingly threatened me with the sword was inappropriate – in this case he was the one who said it first to me because AnxietyBrain was making me feel like I might be upset over nothing. He said every kind of training with a deadly weapon will always tell you never to point it at someone unless you actually do intend to hurt them, and that threatening me with it was not at all acceptable, especially since I’m a layman with no idea how sharp it was or anything. For all I knew, the thing could have sliced my arm open. And he said it was just a ridiculously childish and inappropriate way to act in front of his mom.  So he knows that these are bad things that happened.

If someone I was close to sexually assaulted my partner and then – on another occasion – knowingly did a thing that drove them into a huge panic attack (let alone all the other, more insidious shit Dandette did to both of us!) I would be angry at them for it. I would yell at them for it and then I wouldn’t want to hang out with them anymore. And yet…here we are.

And I know The Dandy was an abuse victim, too, so his head is probably all screwed up and I have to try to be gentle with him. But I don’t know how to stop being angry about this. I’ve been in abusive relationships with people who terrified me; I’ve had such low self-esteem that I thought I deserved to be treated badly; but even through all of that, if someone threatened someone I loved, my usual terror would evaporate and I’d fill with rage and step in to defend my loved one. My dad (who was abusive and scared me shitless) screamed at the family dog once for no good reason and I got between them and said “DON’T YOU DARE YELL AT HER. SHE DIDN’T EVEN DO ANYTHING. STOP IT.” I was probably eight or nine years old at the time, confronting a grown man who I knew could throw me through a fucking wall if he wanted to. But I did it.

And at this point, Dandette has moved out. I don’t need The Dandy to reprimand her for things she’s done to me (although I wish he had). I don’t need him to intervene when she’s in the middle of doing something terrible to me (though I wish he had). I just want him to not be pals with her. I want him to not talk to her except to work out the practical details of her picking up the rest of her stuff. I want him not to say yes to going for drinks with her. And most of the time he can’t manage to do even that.

 

*I don’t think he’s stupid for not seeing the red flags, or for getting so caught up in his and Dandette’s fucked-up relationship that he didn’t know it was fucked up anymore. Abusers and manipulators are subtle about it; they lure you in under false pretenses; that’s kinda their whole schtick. It’s not The Dandy’s fault for being a normal, trusting person. But I think victims of abuse do tend to blame themselves for it.

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A weird but nice visit.

Boyfriendish – Dandette’s…ambiguous friend/dating person who is now definitely no longer dating her – came over for a visit the other night, by his own request.

I believe that he and The Dandy had run in the same social circle for a while, years before either of them knew Dandette, and then when Boyfriendish and Dandette hooked up and she told The Dandy about it he was like “Oh! Ha! I used to know that guy!” and of course sometimes Dandette would have Boyfriendish over and The Dandy was around and they’d talk some. And Boyfriendish and The Dandy did go out for drinks after Dandette’s exodus to kind of talk that over so Boyfriendish could separate fact from Dandette’s specific brand of fiction. But I thought that was the extent of any kind of friendship there. So when Boyfriendish asked if we wanted to hang out, I was surprised. Was this an interest in being actual friends rather than just acquaintances connected via Dandette, or was he looking to process Dandette-related trauma with people who get it?

For the first couple hours he was here, we talked about just stuff in general. But when Dandette’s name eventually did come up, it’s like the floodgates opened – first for Boyfriendish and then we followed suit.

I’m getting an even creepier picture of Dandette now than before. Boyfriendish says that Dandette recently visited the guy who lives next door to us (I know that part to be true) and reported back to Boyfriendish: “Neighbour says he hears Cowgirl and The Dandy having screaming fights all the time. I bet they’ll break up and he’ll beg to take me back. I’ll end up living there again – you’ll see!”

The Dandy and I don’t have screaming fights all the time. Or, like, ever – unless you count my low blood-sugar rage that one time, and that was just a brief tantrum on my side only. And I rather suspect that the neighbour never claimed we did fight; Dandette’s story sounds entirely contrived and creepy and delusional. There is a couple near us who has screaming fights (sounds like it’s coming from above us somewhere) and I wonder if the neighbour said something about that and Dandette chose to assume it must be us. I mean surely we’d fall to pieces without her occasional lacklustre housework efforts, right? We never fought when she was living with us but that’s gotta be because she was the glue holding the household together.

But here’s a thing that bugged me: Boyfriendish said “I don’t know if you know this, but Dandette referred to the two of you as being her partners when you all lived together” – like, clearly believing that this was another delusion of hers – and The Dandy didn’t correct him. I figured The Dandy must have his reasons for not saying anything, so I didn’t clarify anything, either. But it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Dandette is all kinds of fucked in the head and it would be easy to make up all kinds of stuff to add to the pile of red flags; people would believe it, and maybe even she would become confused if confronted about it because she seems to struggle with knowing what’s real. I don’t want to do that to her. There’s enough shit she actually did that we don’t need to invent any.

Later, I asked The Dandy why he didn’t say anything when Boyfriendish said that thing about Dandette being deluded that we were partners.* He hesitated and said “Did she and I ever get back together, though? Or did she just assume it?” And at the time I was like “Ha! OMG good point” because she did just assume it. What actually happened was that I basically said “Hey, theoretically speaking, if you and The Dandy were to get back together and he dated me, too, how would you handle it if he wasn’t in the mood for sex, or wanted it with me and not you? Because I know you have a history of using sex for validation.” She never did answer the fucking question, but a few days later I overheard her telling someone on the phone that she and The Dandy were back together.

So she did assume. BUT. She also repeatedly referred to herself as The Dandy’s girlfriend, and to him as having two girlfriends, right to his face a thousand times without him saying anything to correct her. They had sex. We openly talked about all getting commitment rings for each other. We all came out to our parents about our living situation. The Dandy really can’t take the tack that Dandette was mistaken about our arrangement. So again I’m wondering why he didn’t say anything to Boyfriendish to correct his misunderstanding of things.

Anyway, I say it was a confusing visit because I was hearing things about Dandette from these two different perspectives – and I had my own – and usually we were all kind of on the same page but sometimes we weren’t.

And the thing is, The Dandy did lie to me, once, when he failed to inform me that he and Dandette were having sex again. Dandette was the one who told me they’d been fucking while he and I were broken up and that he’d dumped her again shortly after (but not right after) I came back into the picture. And when I confronted The Dandy about this, it turned out to be true. Honestly if that hadn’t happened I think things would have gone very, very differently with the three of us. I’d seen red flags in Dandette and distrusted her and wanted her out of The Dandy’s apartment and life. But I’m guessing she realized this and embarked on a manipulation campaign to be super nice to me and gain my trust so she wouldn’t lose her meal ticket, and by fortuitous accident The Dandy had violated my trust, which shifted my loyalties considerably. Suddenly she looked like the good one and he looked…not so great. And it made me question everything that had gone before.

So The Dandy lied to me by omission that time, and then The Dandy lied by omission to Boyfriendish the other night by not saying “Oh, we did get back together; that was real.”

So like, Boyfriendish said to The Dandy “Dandette says she’s been texting you a bunch, asking when she can get the rest of her stuff back, and you haven’t replied.”

My automatic reaction – I guess because The Dandy has that small history of lying to me and because he tends to hide from shit he doesn’t want to deal with – was to say to The Dandy “I didn’t know that! You gave me the impression she wasn’t saying anything to you about getting her stuff and that we’d have to push the issue.”

The Dandy said “She sent me one text, and it was about returning some stuff of ours that she took by accident. But yeah, I haven’t responded.”

And I thought shit, that’s right, Dandette tends to spin her own version of things. It’s totally possible that she hasn’t been asking about her stuff but she’s telling Boyfriendish that she did in order to make us look bad. But is that really what’s happening? Or is The Dandy lying?

Boyfriendish, meanwhile, is telling us that he never, ever told Dandette that the two of them were boyfriend/girlfriend – that if she ever thought that, it’s because she made it up herself. And…maybe? But they were hanging out and having sex. They were going on LARP weekends together and sleeping in the same bed. He emotionally supported and comforted her through her mental crises of various kinds. Perhaps he never thought of them as dating, but it sure sounds like they did dating-type things (unless Dandette was even lying about that…) so if she was under the impression they were an item, I don’t actually think that’s so crazy.

We got to talking about the sexual assault and Dandette’s general need to have everyone she knows fuck her in order to confirm her value as a human being. Boyfriendish mentioned that the time he came over and Dandette ended up getting drunk, she went into “fuck me fuck me fuck me” mode and he had to be like “whoa, back off, we’re not doing this.” But I was there that day and once Boyfriendish left I asked Dandette if she’d had a nice time with him and she smugly said “I got my cunt rubbed.”

Boyfriendish, as I have mentioned, is poly. He’s married and up until recently he had a long-term girlfriend, as well – the girlfriend broke up with him, though, because she felt threatened by how close he and Dandette were getting. Well, no, not exactly. She felt threatened by how close he and Dandette were getting and told him to please back off her a bit but he didn’t do it (they did ease off on sexual stuff, but apparently that was Dandette’s idea – both Dandette and Boyfriendish’s now-ex girlfriend corroborate this). Then when Dandette left our apartment forevaaaaaar, she went to Boyfriendish’s place for refuge and he didn’t tell the gf immediately. When she found out, that’s what triggered her to break up with him.

I know most of this because I friended the gf on FB and we compared notes about Dandette, like, a bunch. One thing she said about Boyfriendish is that he has a hard time saying no.

So did Boyfriendish get all affronted by Dandette’s drunken come-ons that time and ward her off? Or did he give her a hand job to shut her up? Or give her a hand job because he wanted to, even, and his interest overrode the fact that his gf wouldn’t have wanted him to? Did the “cunt rubbing” happen only in Dandette’s mind, and if so, was it a deliberate lie she told me or is it a thing she’s choosing to actually believe?

Dandette legitimately does seem to rewrite history with her own special spin on it. But The Dandy and Boyfriendish both have a vested interest in pretending that they saw her red flags the whole time and didn’t get sucked in that much. So whose perspective do I trust?

Anyway, in happier news, although Boyfriendish seems pretty done being friends with Dandette, he says he’d willing to help her get the rest of her stuff out of here or to act as a sort of intermediary in the negotiations that will probably have to happen re: the general severing of her from our household. So that’s cool.

 

 

*Arguably, she and I were not partners, only she and The Dandy. We didn’t date, we didn’t fuck. But we did expressly agree – at one point before shit hit the fan, when I thought she was a more stable and good person – to be platonic lifemate-type people. I told her once that even though she and I weren’t fucking, I still kind of thought of us as a triad. It’s not crazy of her to talk about us both as partners.

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Adulting!

So, for a minute there it looked as though I wouldn’t be able to get on The Dandy’s health plan because reasons, but it came through in the end.

It’ll be a few days before I get the insurance card and actually start using the plan, but my back hurts now and I can afford the $75 it costs for a physio appointment, so I went today. The therapist assured me that it’s just muscle tightness, not nerve-related or bone-related stuff, and she did some stuff that made it feel a bit better and also gave me some exercises to do to improve it even more. And she wants me to come back for more treatments (which will cost I think $45 – the initial assessment is always more – and anyway by the time I go next, I might be able to get part or all of it covered by the insurance).

I’ve made an appointment with my dentist for next week (I hope to god The Dandy wasn’t being optimistic when he said the insurance card will get here “in a few days”). I really, really wanted to get my sore teeth fixed immediately, but they can’t really commit to doing that because they don’t know the extent of the damage, therefore they don’t know how much time to book to fix it. So the stupid appointment is for x-rays and probably a bunch of shaming from the entire dental staff, and the actual fixing will have to be done later. Dammit, I wanted to get it over with! But at least it’s a start.

And since living with The Dandy I’ve managed to save up almost $3,000, so I’ll be able (I think? I hope?) to pay for my portion of the dental work. It’ll hurt my very soul to fork it over but the point of me having savings was in case of emergencies and in the long run this will cost me less than putting it on credit where there’d be interest on top.

I’ve cancelled a couple of model gigs (and turned down others) for the next two weeks or so in order to rest and let my back heal. I didn’t cancel all the gigs; I kept the best-paying ones and the ones that are really easy and pay adequately. I just made sure I have some days off in there, too.

Lookit me, taking care of myself! Yay!

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Comparisons.

The prospect of The Dandy possibly fucking someone else got us talking about poly stuff in general. He’d told me once that sometimes he does get uncomfortable with me seeing other people but he just doesn’t make a big thing about it. I reminded him of that and asked him what sorts of things make him feel insecure. He said he thinks the thing that would get to him most would be if he saw me with someone. Like, making out and stuff. He’s hung out with me and The Pedant, and with me and that cutie who briefly visited me from the ‘States a while back, but I kept a respectful semi-distance from those boys out of consideration for The Dandy.

Him saying it would make him feel weird to see me kissing someone else somewhat filled me with rage because, y’know…I got an eyeful of Dandette sucking his dick on a bunch of different occasions and I was never comfortable with that. So I’m kinda ragey that I’ve had to deal with all that crap and meanwhile he’s like “eeek, I wouldn’t be comfortable witnessing this thing many levels less intense than what I exposed you to.” But, I mean, it’s not like The Dandy told me not to make out with anyone else near him or that he couldn’t ever deal with it. Perhaps if it came up he’d power through it just like I did with Dandette. Part of my rage here is also that I did power through the weirdness instead of tactfully leaving the two of them alone when she started doing sexual stuff to him. Just – a lot of poly stuff was scary and awkward at first and I got over it by going through it. And I thought seeing The Dandy being so intimate with another partner might be one of those things I could get used to, so I tried. But it might simply be one of my limits.  Or at least a limit where Dandette in particular is concerned. Her undertone of exhibition poisoned a lot of things for me that I think would have been okay in a different context. Her blowjobs had a smug, competitive air to them. They felt like a challenge leveled at me.

I told The Dandy most of this – how I can’t really tell ahead of time if a scary poly thing is a limit or if I just need to get used to it and then it’ll be fine, so I watched Dandette giving blowjobs a few times but was never at all comfortable and wish I hadn’t. And I explained that while it is a valid thing to try a thing and see if it gets easier, there’s also a lot of cultural conditioning for women to be The Cool Girl who’s easygoing and up for anything and blah blah blah – and I wonder how much that played into my decisions.

The Dandy asked me what I meant by “The Cool Girl.” I said, y’know, a woman who’s adventurous and up for sex all the time and willing to do all kinds of porny things. Someone who’s just fun and doesn’t have a lot of needs of her own and doesn’t complain.

I’m still PMSing, btw, but it seems to have taken a turn from rage into melancholy and illogical insecurity.

I explained to The Dandy that I keep telling myself that Dandette – his partner who was an exhibitionist and would fuck him at sex parties and was all “You don’t have to use condoms with me! I have an IUD!” and who loved to give blowjobs and could deepthroat and was into receiving needle play and who apparently literally has a come fetish – is no longer in his life and I’m still here, but it’s hard to make it sink in and I worry that I’m boring. The Dandy smiled and petted me, comfortingly.

“Okay, so let’s try this,” I said. “Can you tell me some things you get from sex with me that you didn’t with Dandette?”

“Orgasms,” The Dandy said.

“…I…I know you didn’t usually get her off, but I’m talking about things that were missing for you. You had orgasms with her.”

“I came,” The Dandy corrected me.

Ohhhhhhh!” I said, realizing what he meant.

“Yeah. I jizzed, but that’s it. No actual orgasms.”

“Right, right…I knew that those are two different things, but most guys use the different terms interchangeably. What else?”

The Dandy thought for a minute. “You’re present, in body and mind.”

I had started this conversation to hear good things about sex with me, not to get any kind of visual in my head of The Dandy fucking Dandette, so I didn’t pursue that topic. The obvious implication is that her mind was usually elsewhere when they had sex; I’m pretty sure The Dandy would say it’s because sex for her was usually about validation, not about her actually desiring him; no need to ask clarifying questions that would get both of us imagining the shitty sex more than we needed to.

“Okay,” I said. “One more and then I’m gonna try to forcibly get my mind onto a different track because I think I’m starting to pointlessly obsess.”

The Dandy thought some more and said “You actually notice whether I’m enjoying myself. Yeah, Dandette was enthusiastic, but she never paid any attention to what I liked. It felt like she just did whatever she felt like doing.”

“Oh god, I haaaaate when someone is enthusiastic in bed but totally ignores what I want,” I said. “I always thought that was more of a guy thing.”

“I mean sure, she could deep-throat me, but…meh.” The Dandy made a dismissive gesture indicating either that deep-throating doesn’t do it for him or that she did it in a way that didn’t feel especially good.

So today I learned that:

1) The Dandy has orgasms with me and didn’t with Dandette*

2) When The Dandy and I have sex I’m actually into it, whereas Dandette was perhaps just going through the motions.

3) I’m just flat-out better in bed.

This pleases me. And boy oh boy do I love knowing that those expansive, free-float, giggly orgasms The Dandy sometimes has are specific to me (at least for now) and he doesn’t just do that for anyone. And the deeper implication there is probably that he feels safer with me – or more attracted or more in love or all three – than he did with Dandette and that’s why he can let go so thoroughly with me.

Well now I’m turned on. I’m gonna go ambush him.

 

*At least not this most recent time they dated; I assume maybe when they were first falling for each other and he didn’t know how fucked up she is, shit might have been better.

 

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The Dandy Has a Date. Maybe.

Some chick The Dandy banged back in college is going to be in town this Saturday and wants to meet up with The Dandy. It’s not clear to him if this is a friendly overture or a sexy one, but he told me he “maybe has a date on Saturday.”

Hmmm.

This is the first time since we started dating that The Dandy has gone out with someone new. Or, well, new-ish. I wish he wouldn’t, but if it has to happen, this is actually an ideal situation. They only fucked once back in the day, at a party; he wasn’t madly in love with her or anything. And she now lives in another city and has kids and a husband. So even if they hook up – which they might not, her motives are unclear – it most likely won’t turn into anything. Also, because she lives elsewhere, she’ll have a hotel room. I won’t have to hear him getting laid.

I kind of do hope they fuck. He could use the ego boost. I may be a bit jealous and insecure right now but I’m not a total asshole.

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Poly conundrum

I’m still talking to the 20 year old. No big red flags so far.

Except…he’s poly and his partner’s profile says they’re currently attending animation school. Which means partner may have drawn me before – depending on which school and what program they’re in.

I haven’t shown the boy a face pic or told him what I do for a living. I figure we’ll meet at some point and see how things go and statistically speaking probably nothing will come of this.

But if we did become play partners, it’s fairly likely his partner would piece together who I am (if in fact they’ve drawn me before). Like surely they’ll ask the boy about me at some point and if he describes my distinctive hair/height/tattoos and then says what I do for a living, well…

And the thought of posing for a class while one of the students whispers to their neighbour “She fucks my boyfriend’s ass sometimes!” is just horrifying to me. I’m fine with being naked for people at work. I am not fine with them knowing anything about what I do with my body outside of work. I don’t want people…picturing things.

So I’m trying to figure out: would it be weird to casually ask the boy where his partner goes to school, without any context or reason given? 😛 Maybe I don’t even have anything to worry about.

If it does turn out partner goes to a school where I regularly work, and if the boy and I meet and hit it off and stuff, I’d be tempted to ask his partner to kind of keep me a secret…but maybe they would have, anyway. Maybe they are very mature for a 20yo. Or maybe they wouldn’t have thought to blab about my kinks to the whole world but now that I’ve asked them not to, it seems irresistible. I just don’t know.

Bah, I probably should’ve bowed out on the boy the minute I saw that his partner is an animation student. But I feel sorta committed now.

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