Too close for comfort

August 11, 2009

I don’t like drama. I don’t like complications. I like things to be tidy and squared away into their own little cubbies.

One of the biggest problems with the thing that just ended is that it was really messy and awkward, a mash-up of this and that with duct tape and pieces falling off.

It started out being a casual, friendly sort of thing. Play and sex and conversation. I could dominate him and fuck him and send him on his way and not think too much about him for the rest of the week. This was easy and fun.

Then it started getting more intense. Constant e-mailing, all day, everyday. Random phone calls and texts. Etc., etc. It was around this time that he began insisting that being with me, being dominated by me, was not like being with/dominated by just anyone. I was special, unique. After awhile, I started to believe him, a little.

We even took a brief trip away together. It went OK, but there was a little meltdown on a certain train platform. I referred to our thing as a ‘relationship’ in a very tangential way. I’d barely finished my sentence when he took the cigarette out of his mouth and abruptly blurted out, “Yeah, and that’s why I don’t want a relationship.” He waved the cig around for emphasis. I remember staring at his hands, his shirt (I’m a lot shorter than he), and away.

He saw the look on my face and tried to retreat, lamely. For the first time in a long time, my eyes filled, my face burned. I was grateful for how still the day was, how cold. I turned away from him and tried to inconspicuously blink the tears away, to breathe steadily. I was stung by his casualness. It was how he said it that hurt me. The careless way he said it, how quickly and naturally the words came to him. A reflex: This is not a relationship.

I guess I’d started feeling as though the thing was more than just an ongoing play date. I guess  I’d finally been convinced by his constant refrain of how much I meant to him and how he felt like it was more than just the physical with us. I guess I mistook his tenderness and solicitousness as evidence of more than friendly feelings on his part. I guess I was wrong.

I felt played. I felt like an ass. I wondered why I’d taken a weekend to go away with him. Why I’d paid for half of a motel room. Why I’d met his friends. Why I was standing next to this guy. Why I was so gullible and stupid.

He sat next to me on the train and tried frantically to win me back. He begged me to talk to him. He hovered over me. He cried. I could hear him sniffling next to me as I stared out the window, feeling very detached from everything. I was tired. And I felt more alone sitting there next to him than I’d ever felt before.

We made up and had another five or so months together. But things were complicated. I was  trying to accommodate him and his fears and insecurities. It was this weird quasi-relationship. We weren’t monogamous, but we still didn’t date or sleep with other people. We still communicated constantly, but we only saw each other a few times a month. It got so fucked up at one point that I was actively encouraging him to meet new people. There was no future to ‘us’. He was too scared of getting serious with someone and getting hurt again. I thought he’d never try to work out his issues. I began trying to disentangle myself.

Sex became harder for me. I’ve always had difficulty orgasming from sex. The last time it was easy for me was when I was in a steady, long-term relationship. I guess I have to feel safe and comfortable with someone before I can come with them with any regularity. (That’s why one-offs don’t hold much appeal for me anymore.)

And there were many times when I felt like something wasn’t right, that I was still being played somehow. I’d get depressed, stop responding to all of his e-mails (just once rather than many times over the course of the day), try to step back and reassess. But he’d panic, leave me sad voicemails, multiple texts, frantic e-mails. I started to feel trapped.

After months of this, I began feeling less and less of a desire to dominate him, more disconnected from my sexuality. I’d think back to the beginning of things with wistfulness. It had been electric then, and easy…when I’d kept my distance from him. Now I could barely muster any enthusiasm for some of my favorite activities. What’s the point?, I’d think. I didn’t ‘feel’ dominant anymore. I wasn’t in control and it was starting to show.

The relationship (he finally deigned to term it that, though I began just calling it “our thing”) was becoming a source of anxiety, stress, and sadness. The bad stuff started to outweigh the good. He’d leave and instead of forgetting about him, I’d feel depressed. Meanwhile, he was continuing his life as usual, going to play parties and hanging out with his many friends. It all started to feel very unfair to me.

So I ended things.

It was painful. I cried a lot. I was angry. He just accepted it. But eventually, I started to get over it. I was even starting to think that perhaps I hadn’t given him enough of a chance, that maybe something could be salvaged.

And then I found out he is now owned.

Barely three weeks out and he’s already owned. He even sent me an e-mail to reassure me that his current thing hadn’t been going on while we were together. (Like it fucking matters now.) He said it was “just a D/s relationship.” Then I read him describing how she made him feel, how she controlled him. I saw pictures. It was worse than finding out that he’d been sleeping around. And that’s when I knew he had been playing me all along.

All that talk about how I was unique, that he didn’t submit to just anyone, that he was petrified by commitment of any kind. Bullshit. All of it. And I fell for it. I wanted to feel special, and I wanted to feel like I was rescuing him or something like that. I was an easy mark, I see now. He had his fun, worked out his issues with me playing the therapist, then found himself a new Domme as soon as I was out.

Something similar happened with another guy I’ve been with. Same sort of tortured, sensitive fellow with baggage and relationship issues. Same toying with me (in retrospect). And he even started dating someone seriously after finishing with me.

It’s going to take me a very, very long time before I’m ever going to allow myself to get close to another person again.

2 Responses to “Too close for comfort”

  1. M Says:

    My heart goes out to you. This series of posts that you’ve made feels particularly raw; I know this feeling well. But I hope that you soon conclude that your current insight — that you have a pattern of dating horrible men — is the wrong one to draw. Sure, there are lots of guys that manipulate, and are otherwise bastards. But there are also the good ones out there. And it seems to me, as a reader of this blog, that you have all that it would take to meet one, if and when you choose to. Don’t let the bastards get you down!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, M. I’ve been trying, but dating (both vanilla and kinky) has been very discouraging for me in general. I seem to keep meeting men who tell me I’m everything they want, and then who end up disappearing or otherwise acting as if I’m expendable. It’s really starting to get to me.

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