I’ve been putting off writing about this because it will be a long post (or series of them) and I haven’t had the time or energy to plow through it. But here we go.
Dandette recently mentioned in passing that she waits until the rest of us are asleep or away in order to get herself off. She said she was afraid of being made fun of. I said I’d never do that and she said “not by you” and gave The Dandy a pointed look. I said we really should have a “nobody acknowledges anything they hear from someone else’s closed bedroom” pact* and Dandette agreed.
The other night she got off within my earshot for the first time, in her bedroom while The Dandy and I were right next door in ours. She’s said that she’s loud, and she wasn’t kidding. Not just moaning but actually yelling “YESSSS FUCK ME” and other things that were obviously playing into some fantasy in her head. But, okay, whatever works.
Shortly after she finished, she came out, briskly washed her hands, and hung out with us for a bit like normal (it was hard for me to make eye contact, though – I have to admit I was weirded out knowing she’d literally just been masturbating). Things segued into her playing with, then sucking, The Dandy’s cock. “Want some?” she asked, gesturing to it. His cock was glistening with her saliva and this revolted me, though, and also I wasn’t in a sexy headspace at all; I was getting things ready for work the next day. I said no thanks and went to the living room to gather up some stuff from my dresser-o-props; I figured the two of them would probably end up fucking, and that’s fine.
A few minutes later, Dandette called out that she had something for me. I went back into the bedroom and she was like “See? I got you a hard cock for you to jump on” and once again offered The Dandy to me.
Dandette is infuriatingly shy sometimes about asking for what she wants, and will in fact offer someone else a thing she wants, sometimes, I guess only feeling like she can have the thing once everyone else who might want it has turned it down. I wondered if she was doing this right now. I also was still not in a sexy headspace.
But then I realized: we’d just heard her get off, and she surely knows that we heard her. Probably this was some kind of weird bribe or barter, like “You’ve heard me being all vulnerable and sexual and I feel weird about it so go make some noises, yourselves, to even the score!” And I totally get that. When Dandette expressed interest in a Hitachi Magic Wand a few months back, it suddenly occurred to me that it would be amazing for her wanks to be obvious every damn time like mine are so I wouldn’t feel so exposed all the time – so I badgered The Dandy to go halfsies with me on one for her. Not that I ever hear her use the thing.
I took the proffered cock in my hand. “Uh, do you…want to?” I asked The Dandy. “I know you’ve been feeling a little sick today.”
“I…guess so?” The Dandy said.
I thanked Dandette for her “gift” and hugged her goodbye and shut the door to have sex with The Dandy.
Long story short: we were both having the sex for Dandette’s benefit without actually wanting to; I found out later that The Dandy had also suspected this was a “make sex noises so it cancels out mine from before” thing and was trying to humour her. But I didn’t know that at the time. He kept going soft, but sometimes that happens to people. At one point Dandette called through the door “As you fuck each other I just want to know that I love you both” which was sweet I guess but not a mood enhancer. We both managed to come eventually (actually I ended up coming three times, somehow) and as often happens, the orgasms gave me the giggles. Dandette called out “if you don’t stop laughing soon, I’m coming in there!” and I had a feeling she really would and that she wouldn’t knock first so I immediately got up and put on my bathrobe.
Sure enough, she did come busting in a minute later. She cuddled with us both and then I had to get up to pee. While I was doing that, I heard her say to The Dandy that she’d wanted him to have sex with her just then and was sad that he’d chosen me. “But you told me to have sex with Cowgirl,” The Dandy said. “How was I supposed to know that you wanted it?”
“No, no, it’s okay,” Dandette said. “I learned this weekend** that my place in life is not to have pleasure. It’s to get people worked up so they can go fuck someone else. My job is to make other people’s lives pleasant and comfortable. Did you enjoy the sex?”
“Then I’m happy.”
I returned and lay on the bed and The Dandy decided to go have a bath. I can’t remember the context – if any – but Dandette started playfully flipping back the edge of my robe to expose my genitals – and we were not previously on a looking-at-each-other’s-genitals basis***.
I did not like her doing this. But I have this thing where it’s almost impossible for me to do something other than what people are clearly expecting. When I was little and my parents would make fun of me and laugh, I’d try to laugh, too, even though I wasn’t having fun; it was just so obviously what I was supposed to do. I’ve had people kiss me who I wasn’t interested in and I automatically kissed them back. I think this urge is either an appeasement reflex that comes from having an abusive parent, or maybe something to do with me being on the autism spectrum and trying to imitate other people in order to blend in. Or both.
So instead of saying anything along the lines of “WTF? Stop it” I found my mind segueing into exactly the same thought process it always does when I’m being sexually assaulted: “Well, I mean, this could be platonic, right? It would be nice, to have the kind of comfortable relationship with someone where we could be close to each other like this and it’s non-sexual. That’s probably what this is. It’s probably fine. It’s not what I was expecting out of this particular person, but I can adapt.” Dandette continued flipping up my bathrobe and putting it down again over and over in a joking, playful manner, telling me my genitals were pretty, and I laughed awkwardly and made jokes to try to look playful, too. Then she was like “Oh, here, I should make it equal” and pulled down her pajama pants to expose her vulva to me, and I don’t even remember what I did – just stared awkwardly at the ceiling, I guess.
Eventually that stopped and she just snuggled with me for a while, while monologuing about how her role is to keep The Dandy and I happy/he obviously wants to fuck me more than he wants to fuck her/he’s told her outright that he doesn’t enjoy fucking her very much/he’s told her outright that the sounds of her masturbation are annoying and intrusive and this is why she’s afraid to do it within earshot. She was getting her facts screwed up, though; she said that before I moved in, The Dandy complained about the sound of her Hitachi. I pointed out that she didn’t have a Hitachi before I moved in; The Dandy and I went halves on one for her after I was living here. She looked up at me and – apparently missing the point entirely – said “yeah, you’ve trained him to be okay with the sound. But with me he wasn’t.”
At this point (and in retrospect I think I started paying attention because that weird twisting of the truth reminded me of my ex-mother-in-law when she was shitfaced) I noticed that Dandette was slurring her words slightly. Oh shit, she’d had wine with dinner. How much? Enough for her to be drunk? Enough for her to be drunk enough to slur? Or was I just imagining that her voice sounded blurry?
I’ve said before that I’m pretty sure I’m on the autism spectrum somewhere. The big thing that kept me from realizing it until lately is that people on the spectrum are notorious for not reading body language/nonverbal cues, and I’m great at it. Except that I’m terrible at figuring out when someone is drunk or high. That’s an area where I do actually have to piece evidence together with my rational mind because I just can’t pick up on anything more subtle than someone actually staggering around and screaming swear words with a bottle in their hand. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve interacted with someone and afterwards, whoever was with me was like “Oh maaaan that person was drunk/high as fuck” and I was like “They were?” – I’m just really stupid about this shit.
Then Dandette said that she wanted to go grope The Dandy in the bath but he probably wouldn’t want her to, and I kept insisting that he would probably be fine with it (they are dating, after all) and she was getting all histrionic and finally I stomped into the bathroom like “Hey Dandy, want Dandette to touch your penis?” and he said sure but Dandette insisted that “sure” is code for “I’ll tolerate it but I don’t actually want it” and it became a whole thing. But eventually she did go in there and touch him.
Then she went out for a smoke and The Dandy finished his bath and we lay in bed while I urgently vented to him a whole bunch about the events of the night while I had the chance. This talk involved, in no particular order:
- The Dandy referring to Dandette as being shitfaced.
- Me being like “ah, so she is drunk, then” and then having to sort of rewrite the entire night in my head because that info changed a lot of things.
- Me crying because I felt stupid for not grasping that she was drunk.
- The Dandy and I confirming that neither of us had wanted to fuck each other earlier.
- The Dandy telling me that not only did Dandette say “go fuck Cowgirl” when she wanted the sex herself, but he straight-up said “Are you sure you don’t want to have sex with me, yourself?” and she had replied “No, you two go have fun.” I hadn’t known that part. It makes it even grosser and more sketchy that she would be mad later at not getting laid. It’s one thing not to be able to ask for what you want, another thing to offer a thing you want to someone else, and yet another to offer a thing you want to someone else and claim outright that you do not want the thing. Like how the fuck is The Dandy ever supposed to have sex with Dandette when he offers and she still says no? How is he supposed to know it’s really a yes? If he insists that he’s gonna fuck her despite her no, it’s rapey and gross ffs. He and I are in agreement that we need to take her words at face value but it just sucks that she’s so weirdly manipulative. And I’m terrified that she’ll end up resenting me for having sex with him or having orgasms with him.
- I asked him if he’s ever made fun of her for masturbating or been annoyed by the sounds and he said no. This throws my brain into turmoil because I’d believed it when Dandette said it but I was beginning to realize that she was very drunk and blowing shit all out of proportion. I don’t think she was lying outright but who knows what minor thing The Dandy once said that she interpreted as an insult. It would not surprise me if at some point he’d heard her getting off and later just sorta smirked and said “did you have fun?” or some other little nudge-nudge wink-wink acknowledgement and she took it badly.
- I was like “You do get that her speech about her role being only to support us was self-deprecating, right? Like she doesn’t actually not want pleasure and sex of her own?” “I know that. I’m not stupid,” The Dandy said irritably. But I mean…he’ll stick his dick in her but not get her off, so I really did wonder if he thought she was fulfilled just letting him come into her, with no reciprocation.
- I asked him if he did in fact have more interest in sex with me than with Dandette. I expected him to say no, it’s about even, and from there I was gonna try to hammer out a plan to help Dandette feel more desired. But The Dandy hesitated and then said “yes.” Yes, he’s more into fucking me than her. I honestly hadn’t expected that. They were together for five years and had obvious feelings and chemistry even when they were broken up, so I kind of assumed he was really into her but just not able to initiate stuff too much because of her mental health-related mood swings and whatnot. Once upon a time, getting told a thing like “I’m more into you” would have made me feel triumphant and pleased. Now it just freaks me out. I don’t want Dandette to resent me for having what she wants. I don’t want an imbalance that makes my living situation all weird. Fuck.
Dandette returned and The Dandy and I fell silent – played ‘possum, basically. It was 3am by that point, anyway, and we did need to get to sleep. But also Dandette has hearing like a bat and I think neither of us wanted her realizing we were awake and trying to talk to us.
Dandette repeatedly opened our closed bedroom door (to let the dog in or out, I think, and who knows why else) and then finally just came on in and insisted we shift over so she could sleep with us. I didn’t want her to but I didn’t want to fight about it, either. I shifted over and only then did The Dandy (who I bet was waiting to see what I’d do) follow suit. The Dandy lay on his back, we each cuddled up to one side of him, Dandette linked fingers with me on his chest, and then she promptly passed out, huffing big putrid gusts of wine and smoke into my face with every exhale. I tried to sleep but was too wound up from the events of the evening so I went out to the living room to watch tv and eventually fell asleep there.
The Dandy had told me early on that Dandette gets in moods of feeling like her only value is sexual, and if nobody wants to fuck her she kind of goes nuts. It was one of the main reasons he was hesitant to get back together with her, actually, and I’m annoyed as shit because I actually brought it up with her directly when we broached the subject of them dating again, like as in “The Dandy was thinking about maybe being with you again but wants to know how you’d handle it if he didn’t want to fuck you, or wanted to fuck me instead,” and she never answered. A few days later she started referring to her and The Dandy as being back together and I asked him “did you ever have that talk, though?” and he said no. These stupid motherfuckers never goddamned discuss anything and then I end up being caught in the middle.
So clearly she was in one of those desperate-to-be-wanted states and that’s what was driving her awful behaviour that night. Oh there’s more than I didn’t mention: she repeatedly told me that she’d fuck me if I wanted, if only I weren’t straight (and I think at one point even yelled “Goddammit why won’t you fuck me?!?”) and also at the dinner table she announced that she was going to take off her shirt because it was too hot in there (she wasn’t wearing a bra underneath btw). Which I would be fine with if that’s actually what it was, but she was giving me a vibe that actually she just wanted me to find her attractive/ogle her/hit on her/something. This was not casual nudity for convenience’ sake; this was her exhibitionist side playing up. I was managing to ignore her tits, as one does when one is being polite, and make normal dinner conversation and it made her antsy. At one point I said I was having a bad day or something and she was like “boobs make everything better!” and used her hands to jiggle them in my direction. At another point she stood behind my chair and flopped her tits onto my shoulders.
We’ve actually clowned around like that before, sort of. She’ll often say “if you ever decide you like chicks, let me know” and I’m like “sure thing” or she’ll flash me to “cheer me up” after a bad day. And it was sort of okay because there wasn’t that edge of desperation to it. But even then (I realize now) I was slightly uncomfortable. I was rationalizing it away like I do with sexual assault, telling myself these acts were just platonic when they really probably aren’t. I think I’m gonna have to stop going with the flow, here, and endeavor to draw some boundaries. I mean I’m probably too chickenshit to say “STOP HITTING ON ME” but the next time she says to let her know if I turn gay I can say “Yeah, I won’t, though. I mean I’m in my 40s so if it was gonna happen I assume it would have by now” instead of being like “ha ha you betcha!”
Incidentally, the missing puzzle piece that Dandette was drunk that night makes me realize that her loud, loud wanking was probably a deliberate performance for us. A “look what you’re missing” aimed at me, perhaps, or a “look what you made me do” aimed at The Dandy. Basically it’s just another version of the theatrical, drunken crying that led to me breaking up with The Dandy that time.
I told him this and he agreed that it’s probably what she was doing. Dammit, Dandy, you knew the whole time that she was drunk; why the fuck didn’t you put two-and-two together then, and realize that the wanking was a self-conscious performance aimed at us? You could have followed the trail of big giant clues to realize that her telling us to have sex was a trap. Neither of us even especially wanted to. We could have said no and probably saved a bunch of drama.
*And not just for her benefit, either. She continues to be very clear that she can hear us having sex. Shortly after she finally blew up at The Dandy for never getting her off, she told me the last straw had been a time when The Dandy had said “I’m gonna go pet Cowgirl’s head until she falls asleep” but then Dandette heard the telltale sounds of the Hitachi and knew that head-pets were not what was going on. “In fairness, I do sometimes use the Hitachi on my head when I have a headache,” I said. Dandette replied “when you do that, your sounds are different.” She has also said that my being-given-an-orgasm sounds are different from my being-petted sounds. And has said things like “I was about to come in and put away your laundry but when I got closer to your door I could hear that you and The Dandy were fucking and you were just about to orgasm, so I decided to do some other housework until you were all done.” So she’s made it suuuuper clear that she hears everything I do and can differentiate between all of it. I do not care for this. At all. And I’ve said numerous times that I want us all to pretend that the bedrooms are soundproof. But she still says this shit.
**Dandette was just back from a weekend camping trip with a bunch of friends, including a guy she used to fuck. He’s poly but his girlfriend became jealous of Dandette and that’s why they stopped fucking; Dandette says that she instigated that, not him, but I don’t know if that’s true. She often bitches about the situation as if she wasn’t allowed to fuck this guy anymore – as though he’d broken it off, rather than him being perfectly willing to continue but Dandette saying no out of pity for his girlfriend. Anyway, apparently she and one of her chick friends were flashing this guy and doing other things to tease him, but Dandette of course would go no further, so in essence she was just getting him worked up for when he went home to his wife (yeah he has a wife too). And her anxiety apparently decided to go into histrionics about this and tell her that it was her lot in life to be everyone’s fluffer, even though she (allegedly) decided to stop fluffing that dude and she was the one who decided to flash him.
***Oh that’s the other thing: Dandette has indicated that she’d really like us to all be on a casual nudity basis in our household (instead of The Dandy being naked any time he wants but she and I remaining covered). I would be fine with this. It would be delightfully convenient to not have to bother shutting the door to change, or to not mind Dandette coming into the bathroom to get something while I’m taking a bath, or things like that. Here’s the thing, though: for nudity to be casual, people need to not comment on it. This is how I can be naked for work: nobody goddamned says anything about it. There are never any remarks about my body. At all. But Dandette says things. I’ve been trying to get used to household nudity, and have been topless around her a few times, and she told me I have pretty nipples. I mean yay for compliments I guess but a comment of any kind indicates that my nudity is being looked at and evaluated rather than this just being “meh, this is a body, no big deal, we’re all cool here.”