Sinful Sunday: mine

Sinful Sunday

This is the last Sunday before my partner goes in for surgery.

I have a constant background hum of vague apprehension and worry, and as the last few days count down, that hum will get louder until it’s all I can hear.

The chance of there being any complications is remote, which is great news if you’re a statistic. I guess it’s a little like air travel – flying is very safe indeed, but if something does go seriously wrong it will be catastrophic. I’m relieved to know that, like air travel, this process also doesn’t require faith in order to work.

I can feel my protectiveness kicking in but there’s nothing that I personally can do to prevent this from being necessary, nothing to protect him from. It feels like a controlled, slow motion car crash.

mine 1

This right here: this is mine, this heart is mine. And this is one of the last times I’m going to see him unblemished and intact.

mine 2

Boobday: keeping it simple

I’m keeping it very simple for Boobday this week. No clothes, no jewelry, no props. Monochrome, no color editing. Just me, my bathroom mirror and a wee bit of cropping.

Boobday simple

Body image can be remarkably persistent, despite one’s actual appearance.

I have always thought of myself as small-busted, and I was always completely content with that – in fact, small was my preference. I started wearing a bra relatively late, and even in university I was comfortable without one as long as I was wearing a snug stretchy top. When I had my first (and only) professional bra fitting, I learned that I fit a B-cup. B! I had only ever worn an A up to that point.

For years, my go-to bra style has been a pullover soft bra with elastic around the ribcage and no cup size to speak of. My ribcage measurement (which is small) hasn’t really changed, and the bras have a minimizing effect, which I was totally OK with. But as a result, I didn’t really notice that my breasts had gotten a bit bigger.

And then while I was in the UK, I gained a little weight, most of which seems to have gone to my breasts. On the numbers and proportions, they are now definitely “not small”, but somehow this continues to surprise me, despite evidence such as the photo above.

cock thoughts

Dark Ages 17: Gamer’s warning

So why did Gamer warn me away from Wolf back in the day? The warning came while Gamer and I were hanging around together but before we had become an item, and I naively didn’t think to question it in the moment or at any time while I was with him. Even if I had, I don’t think I would have gotten any clarity.

The way Gamer had presented it, he had allowed me to believe that Wolf was some kind of player. Nothing could have been further from the truth, as Gamer was probably well aware.

I had told Wolf about the warning in our early days together and it was the source of many a good chuckle (for me, anyway) once it became apparent just how well matched Wolf and I really were. So I asked Wolf what he thought it was about.

One possibility is that Wolf may have been the only single guy there and thus represented a risk of poaching. And Gamer may have pegged Wolf as someone I might have taken an interest in. This would amount to Gamer proactively defending his “territory” against a specific threat. But I don’t think this is quite it, because even if Gamer had been that territorial, Wolf would have been an odd choice for singling out, and I don’t think Gamer was perceptive enough to notice that Wolf and I would be compatible. But it’s true that Gamer was pursuing me.

There’s another possibility, and it’s one that I find much more intriguing. A few weeks before that party, Wolf and Gamer and some of their friends had been at a festival. Gamer had had a drunken tumble with a girl; Wolf had had a tumble with her as well, and it seems that each of the guys knew about the other. Of all the people at the party, Wolf was likely the only one who had this information about Gamer and Gamer didn’t want it getting back to me for fear of what I might think. So, taking the offensive, Gamer apparently crafted a mini-story about Wolf that Gamer could use to protect himself.

In our early days together, Gamer told me a bit about his sexual past. I was left with the impression that he had been going to bars looking for love and finding only sex, and that after a while he began to feel that he was being used. But in retrospect, I wonder if this was the festival story dressed up with a goodly helping of spin. He had an outgoing and confident manner, and at the time I believed that he did well with women. But now I think that the confidence was to an extent an act. Further, he seemed to lack awareness of how others perceived him, overestimating his social standing. He had a friendliness with strangers but never came across as any kind of ladies’ man while I was with him. I’m left wondering whether he parlayed that one drunken tumble into a “history” and revealed it at a time and in a manner that he hoped would score points with me.

I’m reminded of the notion that when people tell you something, they may or may not tell you anything factual about the topic, but they always reveal something about themselves.

Dark Ages 16: Wolf

[“Dark Ages” is a series wherein I reconsider memories of boyfriends past through the lens of new knowledge and hope to make it worth my while (and not just a depressing trudge down memory lane) by learning something new about myself.]

 

The month before I moved out felt like a sort of separation from Gamer, and the move itself was the split. Somehow this seemed to take him by surprise. I knew he was an optimist, but was his optimism completely blind? I couldn’t understand why he never seemed to have noticed that our relationship had been falling apart. A couple of weeks after the move, he called me at work and said he loved me. I certainly cared about him and he was a decent guy, but I had fallen out of love with him a long time ago. I gritted my teeth and said he probably shouldn’t say that word anymore. And when I hung up, I cried because I’d hurt him. But I had already moved on.

That first month with Wolf was a little awkward. We had known each other as friends for some time but we getting to know each other romantically was a different game. His parents must have wondered where the hell I came from because I was suddenly at their place constantly. I already had years of dating under my belt (um, so to speak), but I was his first proper girlfriend; he was a bit younger than me, but I had started dating rather early and he was starting a little late.

At the end of that first month there was another road trip, and we crashed with another acquaintance. Our hostess asked me, privately, what was up because she had noted a bit of tension between us and figured that the relationship must be just starting or just ending. But things improved after that.

My apartment, which had in a way more or less changed my life, was an inexpensive bachelor suite downtown, in brick apartment building that had been lovely once but was now a bit gone to seed. The suite featured high ceilings, tall windows, badly worn wood floors, and some slightly odd details that I assumed had made a bit more sense in an era without electricity, such as the little window from the bathroom into the closet. When I got home from work, Wolf was always outside the building waiting for me: worried about being late, he made a point of arriving early, which I found charming. I didn’t have a car of my own (I had been driving Gamer’s), so Wolf came over, and then we might hang out for a bit at my place before he’d take me back to his parents’ place in the suburbs and cook for me. Once supper was ready, we’d retreat to the cool basement with our plates, eating and watching TV in the dim, wood-paneled space. We’d spend the rest of the evening there, in semi-privacy, and I’d head home at bedtime.

It was about a month and a half before we finally slept together, and the first few times were awkward. I was theoretically the worldly one, while he was… not, but eventually he began to loosen up.

We had all the privacy we wanted at my place as long as we weren’t too loud, not that there was much risk of that. On the weekend, he’d come over fairly early in the morning to find me awake but still in bed. Why bother getting up and dressed? He’d be joining me in the sheets in about five minutes anyway.

Once he relaxed with me, our libidos matched reasonably well. And we continued to get along really well and spend all our time together. But after 10 months or so, I began to notice that I felt the need to be a little tipsy in order to have sex. This was not a good sign.

I continued checking in with my gut: did I still like Wolf? Yep, no problems there. My previous experiences didn’t provide any helpful insights: things cooled off with Tall, I concluded I’d fallen out of love and we agreed to end it; I definitely fell out of love with Gamer and at some point things had cooled off. This seemed different: I was very happy to be with Wolf and had no complaints about him, so my negative feelings about sex were apparently somehow independent of the relationship. Those feelings were definitely difficult to accept, and I never really did accept them: sex is something that you’re supposed to enjoy, I didn’t enjoy sex, I felt shitty for not enjoying it, and I felt shitty for withholding it from Wolf. What was wrong with me?

Eventually, I started feeling uncomfortable even with hugs. There was no such thing as innocent touch — all touch was suspect. I asked him to back off further, and felt shitty to ask, but he agreed without complaint because it was important to him that I got what I needed, even if that might not be what he wanted. He never pushed me, and he reassured me that sex or the lack thereof didn’t really figure into his feeling that he wanted to be with me.

So we eventually developed an understanding: sex would not be a significant part of our relationship. But we were wonderfully compatible in all other ways, which is why we’re still together so many years later.

Dark Ages 15: Gamer and Wolf

[“Dark Ages” is a series wherein I reconsider memories of boyfriends past through the lens of new knowledge and hope to make it worth my while (and not just a depressing trudge down memory lane) by learning something new about myself.]

 

I wasn’t happy. Stuck in a relationship and stuck in the big city with little money, few friends, and no fun.

At some point, Gamer and I came up with an idea for a business and, because we were broke, we decided to try to save money by moving home — back to our inexpensive hometown, and back to the parental abodes. I didn’t believe in the business idea particularly deeply, but I enjoyed coming up with ideas and plans. More importantly, having the specific goal to save money for a project seemed to legitimize the decision to move home: it gave me permission.

By the time we moved back, we had spent a little over a year in the big city and we were approaching our second anniversary. Overall, my stress was significantly reduced: I had effectively no expenses, I had my friends and family, and living in my hometown was easy and comfortable in so many ways. But there was a new stress. I hadn’t been able to move back home because there was no room for me in either house: my dad had moved into a smaller place, and my mom had given my former room to my half-sister. That’s how I ended up living with Gamer and his parents for eight months.

Things got better with Gamer for a while, but then the relationship cooled off again. The reduction in stress had improved things temporarily, but deep down I still didn’t want to be with him. So although I wasn’t reliant on him to help pay the bills or help me move across the country, I was now reliant on the goodwill of his parents to keep a roof over my head. And under those circumstances, I thought it would be in poor taste to break up with him. But I withdrew emotionally and physically. Not surprisingly, I ended up feeling trapped again, but this time in a slightly more comfortable cage.

We were still a couple, and we still shared a bed. One time he tried to initiate something during the night by touching my back and waking me up. It pissed me off to be woken up, and the fact that he wanted sex put me on my guard immediately and made me feel deeply uncomfortable.

But I was still loyal. When he decided to shave his head, I braided it and cut it off neatly so he could keep it. And after he’d finished with the clippers and his conservative parents saw and reamed him out for making himself unemployable, I came out swinging. (His parents were, I think, entirely in the wrong on that issue. His inability to get a job had nothing to do with his grooming: it was mostly his lack of effort in looking for a job, and the crummy economy didn’t help anything.) I dislike confrontation but I sure gave them an earful, which, considering I was in their house only because of their generosity, was probably not a great idea. But still, the hair was gone (until it grew back) and he was more or less a grown-up, so what good would a lecture do?

I don’t remember when Gamer and I discussed the possibility of an open relationship, but I do remember mentioning it to my friend Metal. He was short and slim, with long blond hair, and not bad looking. I liked him as a friend and wasn’t particularly attracted to him, but he was male, and being a musician earned him some bonus points. At the time, that seemed like enough. So I dropped my hint, and he either didn’t understand or just tactfully ignored it. Just as well, really.

Then I started fantasizing about Wolf, the guy Gamer had warned me away from a couple of years earlier. We had been running in the same circles for some months at this point, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that most of what was going through my head was complete fiction — I hardly knew the guy. I decided that getting wound up about him was silly, especially while I was still technically with Gamer, and I turned off that line of thought. But what I knew about Wolf I liked, so I started spending time with him and just getting to know him as a friend. Wolf, Gamer and I hung out together sometimes. Wolf was intelligent, self-contained, and had an air of competence.

Then, a breakthrough! My part-time job became full-time and suddenly I could see a way out. I decided to save up for a month; I stayed at Gamer’s on the weekend and during the week I crashed at my mom’s, on the bottom bunk in my half-sister’s room, which had once been mine. Gamer’s place was across town from my work and mom’s was really close and I hated the drive, but the deeper reason for the arrangement was simply escape. It was sort of a break-up in slow motion.

During this month, I allowed myself to think about Wolf again, and this time I wasn’t making it all up. I had gotten to know him fairly well and now had actual facts on which I could conclude that I was indeed attracted to him. One evening, we met up for drinks and nibbles. It was early spring and the air, though still quite cool, seemed heavy with potential. As we prepared to part in the parking lot, I hugged him, too long, and then we went our separate ways. On another occasion I was hanging out at his place, staying late while willing something to happen, but he never made a move.

At the end of that month, there was an event going on in another city; Wolf was driving, so I and one other person caught a lift with him. Mutual friends gave us crash space on their living room floor. And at one point, when we had something resembling privacy, we started playing around and kissing. Finally.

The following Monday was moving day. I was free! And it seemed that Wolf and I had started something together.

I have no recollection of what I said to Gamer to officially end it. But I’m sure I told him.

Boobday: mirror

hy_tits_banner

I planned to snap something fresh this morning, but that didn’t happen for a variety of reasons: I tossed and turned during the night and then woke up late; I didn’t have much time this morning; I had a vague idea for a photo but the top I wanted to use was in the wash; I had an appointment of sorts with family members, and there’s some unresolved emotional stuff in the background that has me feeling off balance; and to top it off, the light is crap today.

So, here’s another shot with this mirror, which, if you’ve seen this Sinful Sunday post, will be looking familiar by now.

mirror

See who else is participating in Boobday this week.

an affair of the heart

That is to say, a matter concerning a literal, beating heart. To wit: my partner’s.

Soon after we got back from the UK, he went to the doctor for a routine checkup. The doctor didn’t like what he heard and sent him to the cardiologist two days later. He had a second cardiologist appointment less than a week after that and was told he’d need open heart surgery. That was five days ago. My head is still spinning a bit.

The underlying condition is a congenital defect in one of the valves, which is now effectively worn out. My partner and I are quite close in age: he’s not “young” but I feel like he’s young for a heart problem. I guess that’s because I’m thinking of heart disease, but this is a defect and thus a different beast. So the fact that he has done the things that help you avoid heart disease — eating well, being reasonably fit, not smoking, not drinking much — doesn’t score him any points in this particular game.

Having had his attention drawn to the symptoms, he began looking back to see if he could remember when they started. There’s the heart murmur that he has been aware of for a long time. About two years ago, he noticed a minor change. He figures the odd pounding-heart feeling has been about 6 months, worsening a bit about 3-4 months ago, and a bit more about a month ago.

Three months ago is when I arrived in the UK, and thus when we resumed fucking — a lot, and hard. It was enough to affect his fitness: he has lost weight as a result. So, perhaps we wore out that valve a little faster than absolutely necessary.

Now of course he’s paying a lot of attention to odd sensations, looking for symptoms and danger signs. He’s been told not to do any heavy lifting or exercise, and just to take it easy.

We had sex the other day, for the first time since getting this little bombshell. I did a lot more of the work than I usually do — oral, and a few positions where I was on top and/or more active, but we were at it for rather a while. His heart rate got up a bit high and felt weird to him. Afterwards I could hear his heart beating from over 12 inches (30 cm) away. That ain’t right.

We had another go today, similar to last time but with him making more of an effort to be less physical. Still, his heart rate was uncomfortably elevated. Even if it’s not so high as to be a problem, a fuck is not worth the resultant worry.

He has an appointment for an angiogram in two weeks to make sure there isn’t anything else going on that they need to know about. Surgery will follow soon after, probably within a few days. And then there’s recovery time.

In the meantime, he’s trying not to worry about having his traitorous heart ambush him before the surgery, or feel guilty about depriving me of the regular fucks that he feels I deserve. (If this had come up two years ago, it would have had absolutely no effect on our sex life.) As for me, I’m trying not to worry about the day of, success rates, and the details of the procedure. (I could never work in health care at any level: I’m much too squeamish. It’s not about blood per se — it’s about damaged flesh and pain, and empathy to the point where I can almost feel it myself. And needles, ugh.)

So I guess playtime is going to look rather different for a while.

You learn about yourself when confronted with difficult situations: “building character” and all that. I’m not angry about this because I don’t consider this to be a breach of a promise of good health, or a punishment for some moral infraction, known or unknown. We’re just in a holding pattern; nothing substantial has happened yet, and I’m pretty good with wait and see. I’m optimistic because, aside from this valve issue, my partner is in good health, which will stand him in good stead.

I’m a bit worried because I know that medical science is not perfect, sometimes the unexpected happens, and there is always some risk with anesthetic and surgery. But I’m not fretful because in the grand scheme of things the risk is small, and worrying (especially ruminating) has no effect on the outcome.

Also, there’s a good thing going on in my life right now, so when my mind wanders I tend to think of that rather than this health thing, which helps to keep me sane.

So. We shall see.