from “hard limit” to “want”

“I want to fuck your mouth,” he says. I squirm with desire. I can’t help it.

It’s amazing how completely I absorbed the idea that a blowjob was a degrading act without ever having heard anyone say so and before I even knew what a blowjob was.

I lie on my back, my head on a pillow. He straddles my chest and could easily trap my arms at my sides with his thighs.

I allowed Bad Boy (aka the Narcissist) to guilt-trip me into doing something I really didn’t want to do. Excluding the major issue of the manipulation, it wasn’t objectively a terrible experience. But it served to steel my resolve never to do it again.

“Arms above your head.” He pins my wrists in place.

Blowjobs became a hard limit before I knew what a hard limit was, but I adhered to my rule strictly. Given the relationship chaos that followed Bad Boy, that rule functioned to actively protect me. I had no other such damaging experiences, could not be manipulated into it, could not be forced. Regarding this one act at least, I was safe.

I open my mouth so he can rub the head of his cock, slick with pre-come, on my tongue. I take him into my mouth and suck firmly. He hums with pleasure.

The hard limit became an unthinking reflex. But since I realized that I don’t need to protect myself from Wolf, old habits like this now come up for review. Aside from those negative attitudes that I inherited early, I’m practically tabula rasa, which is a good thing. I surprised myself when I discovered that I enjoyed fantasizing about blowjobs.

I keep my head still. He thrusts in and out. Sometimes he murmurs praise, sometimes he groans. The groans are praise too.

Our current favorite position happens to be one in which I can barely move and he has control over depth and pace, because it’s the most comfortable for my perennially tense neck. I don’t associate it with real coercion — it’s all play.

He grasps a handful of my hair to communicate control. Then he uses that grip to move me on his cock like he’s using my mouth to masturbate.

He has never really gotten anywhere near coming in my mouth because I’ve only just promoted it from “hard limit” to “willing”. This is just as new for him as it is for me and, given my past difficulties, he worries about going too far too fast.

His thighs start to shudder. He’s close, so close. I’d asked him not to pull out until he starts to come but he won’t yet let himself go this way, so he pulls out and starts to stroke quickly. My mouth is open; he starts to squirt, but on my neck. I lift my head a little to put my tongue right on his cock, demanding a taste.

He has nothing but praise for the way I suck his cock, and that’s not just politeness speaking: there’s no feigning that delight. But it’s easy to please him because he always lets me know when it feels good. And I can take pride in a blowjob well done.

I’m a little bit out

I got together with a friend today for coffee. We don’t see each other that often but when we do, we always chat for hours.

We’re both sensitive and introverted. Having come from families where communication doesn’t really happen, we’re also both naturally very reserved. I’ve shared with her some personal things that I don’t tell everyone, such as difficulties I’ve had with work and family, and the last time we visited (a couple of months ago) I told her about my epiphany.

Last week, I booked my plane ticket to visit Gawan (squee!). Since it’s a big trip to one of her favorite places, it would have felt unnatural not to at least mention it. I wasn’t so bold as to explain the details, but it’s entirely true that I’m going there to visit a friend. She was excited for me, positively jumping in her seat.

I had also been thinking about telling her about the blog for, oh, months now, but chickened out on one or two occasions. I finally decided that today was the day. For one thing, the blog is a major part of my life and censoring it out leaves a big gap in the record. Just about everything else that’s going on in my life is pretty boring, really, and I’ve found myself nattering on about other, less interesting topics just to have something to talk about, which makes those topics seem much more important than they actually are. I tend to bore myself as I’m talking about them. Not good.

I’ve also realized that part of my general sense of loneliness is probably due to the fact that, in effect, I tend to keep myself distant. This isn’t deliberate, I just never learned to connect deeply with friends, for instance by sharing confidences. In order to be seen, I need to show myself.

So I finally spat it out.

I told her I had a blog, that I write about sex and relationships, and some of the things I get up to in bed.

I told her the story about asking my mom’s advice when I was considering starting a website relating to my dance, and how she counselled me not to post nude photos of myself on the internet, and how I have in fact now posted many nude photos of myself on the internet.

“That’s fantastic!” she said, grinning. It seems I chose well: what a relief! (She didn’t ask for the name of the blog and I didn’t offer.)

She then shared some of her thoughts and concerns about her own relationship. As I said, she’s reserved — and we were in a popular coffee shop — so there was no “dishing”, but it felt like our connection was a step closer than it had been before.

One thing we discussed a bit was the five “love languages” (gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy)*). Touch is very important to her; not so for me, and for a long time it made me actively uncomfortable. She likes to hug her friends but is sensitive enough to be aware that I didn’t care for it and so she held back. I explained that touch is actually becoming more important to me, and hugs are now absolutely fine. So when we parted ways, she felt more confident about offering me a hug. I happily reciprocated, declaring, “The treatment is working!”

So, things are good. I had a good visit with a friend, was able to share something with her that’s important to me, and I think we’ve become a little closer. I’m definitely going to visit Gawan and I have a departure date to look forward to. And I have plans to visit Mr. Pleasant Surprises both on the way out and on the way back.

*Given the fact that touch is the only way of effectively expressing caring to an infant, I think it’s more fundamentally important than the other love languages. I suspect that discomfort with touch is something that would benefit by being addressed.

pleasant surprises

A couple of months ago, an old friend of mine mentioned on Facebook that he’d be coming to town to play a gig and to visit family and friends. It’s been ages since we had a good visit. I had moved away from my hometown for many years, and just before I moved back, he moved to the big city. We made plans to meet.

I got to the restaurant first. When he arrived and I caught his eye, he was radiating smiles. I’m not much of a hugger, but remembering that he’d hugged me the last time we’d seen each other, I stood up to greet him. He enfolded me in his arms, gently twisting side to side, and kissed my cheek over and over, scratching me a bit with his stubble. His warmth was like a sunbeam. And surprising. It hadn’t been like this before.

We sat. He looked the same. Long straight hair the color of honey. Eyes a shade of piercing blue that is hard to look at without staring. I had forgotten those eyes.

He asked me what was going on in my life and I froze for a moment, then stumbled over a preamble: most of the interesting things are things that I don’t really talk about. He half-closed his eyes and shook his head a little to say, Doesn’t matter, you tell me whatever you want to tell me. We smiled, chatted, compared, commiserated, caught up. We talked for two hours and weren’t done yet.

The last ones to leave the restaurant after lunch, we headed out in the sunshine, and he happily flung his arm over my shoulder. I put mine around his waist and we walked together.

“Hey, let’s pop into this restaurant so I can say hi to Badger.”

“You know Badger?”

(I last saw Badger last year, after years without contact. Somehow I discovered where he was working and dropped by to say hi. Way back when, I had gone out with him for something like three weeks and then broke up with him; I hadn’t had my head on straight before getting into that situation and had always felt a little bit bad about it. At that last meeting I gave Badger my email address so he could reach me to set up a visit. He didn’t contact me, and I took the hint. Eh, I tried.)

So we went in and said hi to Badger, me hanging back at a discreet distance because this had nothing to do with me. My friend gave Badger a hug (which Badger, a little defensively, loudly declared to be a ‘man hug’). No kisses on the cheek though; ah good, I’m still special.

We headed out into the sunny day again and when it was time for me to go, he gave me another big hug, followed by a kiss on the lips. This was also new, and not unpleasant. We promised to keep in touch.

I was busy the next day but sent him a quick text saying how much I had enjoyed the visit and that we’d have to do it again. He reciprocated. Warmly. He declared that I was one of his favorite people. Why didn’t I know this before?

“I love you Zoe! Stay in touch <3”

Umm, what? Yet another a surprise. Well, sort of. I was surprised (but very pleased) to have sensed that warmth clearly the day before, warmer than I remembered him being towards me. Love? I was surprised that he said it, but I don’t doubt at all that he meant it. It felt like love.

I gave it some thought and decided, yes, this is a feeling to which I can in good conscience apply the word “love”, regardless of what exactly he might mean by it.

After he said he loved me, I got a little giddy, and my imagination ran a little wild. Ahem. Then he thanked me again for meeting with him, told me again how much he had enjoyed it, used that word again: “love.”

I mentioned that I expected to be coming through the city at the end of July (en route to visit Gawan, in fact, though I didn’t explain that part) and that I hoped I could visit. He scoffed when I said I’d just be there the one day, so I asked him how long he’d like me to visit; he joked that I should move out there!

Discovering that he values our friendship so deeply has been like finding $500 in my jacket: Wow, this is fantastic! But how could I possibly not have noticed it before?! If this is really what he’s like, then I want him in my life, simple as that. I sure as hell need some good friends.

But the warmth was so above and beyond what I’m used to that I can’t help but wonder precisely how he feels about me.

So, my plan is to explore this friendship without any preconceived notions. Instead, I’ll seek to see what is there rather than looking for what I think should be there. Could be interesting.

how much love is enough?

I wouldn’t know: I’ve never had enough.

I’ve never felt lovable, or even particularly likeable. In reconsidering my past relationships, I concluded that my feeling of needing to be in a relationship at all times was a result of low self-esteem, but it goes beyond that: I have a love deficit.

My parents were (and remain) largely emotionally absent from my life. My dad was more involved in raising me than my mom was, but in a lot of ways he never seemed all that interested in me and has always had difficulty feigning interest in any of my activities. My mom has a strong sense of familial duty, but it’s cool and distant. I can see the roots of my parents’ somewhat chilly demeanor in their childhoods and I accept that they did their best but unfortunately their best still left me wanting. If my own parents didn’t seem to like me all that much (my dad having said that to my face at one point), is it any wonder that I concluded I was fundamentally unlikeable?

When I was a kid, my dad was somewhat more responsive to me than my mom was. I suppose that’s part of the reason why I never really had female friends (I never understood most girls), and by high school I gravitated towards hanging out with guys. Never having seen a warm and loving relationship close-up, I was ill-equipped to judge the quality and success of my own relationships once I started dating.

Given my upbringing, it’s no surprise that I’ve always been reserved. Wolf is too. That’s just one of many things we have in common. Despite both of our tendencies toward insecurity, we’re very securely attached to each other. We make an excellent team and we’ve happily supported each other for years. But in some ways I still feel lonely and disconnected.

I’ve never had a lot of friends, and the friends I’ve had mostly haven’t been terribly close ones. I have one friend from high school; we dated, briefly, and once we got over the fallout from the breakup we re-established our friendship. He lives in the big city now, and while we have great visits when he comes back, he’s very busy and our contact is very limited.

So the feeling of being unlovable persists. Having someone make it unambiguously clear that they value me and want me in their life is very unfamiliar, to the point that if I’d thought about it, I would have concluded that it couldn’t happen. At least, not to me.

Despite Wolf, my life has been a fairly chilly place for a long time, but about a year ago that started to change.

My long-distance friendship with Gawan turned into a close friendship and then love, and Gawan’s love is the warm kind. His off-hand observation that I was “very reticent” got me thinking. I never decided to wall up my heart to keep it safe; I wasn’t deliberately closed so I thought I was open. But what if I was wrong about that? What if that reticence was keeping people away?

Opening my heart to Gawan was challenging. I had to learn to trust my judgment of him, and then allow myself to trust him. I had probably learned from my parents from infancy that people probably won’t meet my needs so it’s better not to ask and be as independent as possible. Despite the fact that most of my later experience tended to confirm that belief and told me that I would probably be rebuffed, I practised allowing myself to be vulnerable and express my needs and wants to him in the hope that he would respond kindly. And he did, every time without fail.

Wolf has filled many of the holes in my heart, and Gawan has filled others, but more remain.

But then just a few days ago, I had a pleasant surprise. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.


I climb into the bath, water hot as I can tolerate

my movements and mind mellow, thoughts become languid and lax

the heat and steam seem to reignite the pilot light at the meeting of my thighs

feeling vacant yet reawakened, I ache