I spend a lot of time at your place. Household toilet paper consumption has increased dramatically. This is completely explicable.
In certain circumstances it is appropriate to wear inappropriate things. Like Derby. Even to spectate, if I wear jeans and a tshirt I feel like I showed up dressed as a caterpillar to a butterfly party.
Saturday it was Derby Girl’s first event after benchmarking (she isn’t on a team yet, but her derby name got revealed, and she wore an EPIC dress. Not exactly this one, but you get the idea:
So I wanted to step it up a bit. Honestly I was like a teenager getting ready, spinning in front of the full length mirror in Two and Three’s room, checking out my own ass. I was super-happy with my own ass on Saturday because my own ass skated the bowl at the skate park on rollerskates for the first time. Even stayed standing the whole time, once. Ususally I can’t keep enough momentum and end up having to crawl the last bit. Not exactly sexy.
I made up for it on Saturday night. The dress was really a long shirt, with yoga shorts underneath. The cosmetics were war paint. The shoes were heels and straps and that’s it. I could not come close to matching the cleavage levels present, but I was lookin’ good in a way that was all about sex.
The Brunette asked me how much for an hour. I told him he could neither afford nor handle me. Then I pointed out that I wasn’t aiming for “Sells It” I was aiming for “Gives It Away For Free”. I’m here to sabotage the sexeconomy!
I got checked out. By men. By women. By the cop who pulled me over for an illegal (but perfectly safely executed!) left turn and told me not to call him ‘Sir’ because that’s his Dad, and then didn’t give me a ticket. I didn’t just walk, I strutted, and when the time came I danced in public for the first time in over a year.
Pro Tip: If you want to see something awe-inspiring, play ‘I Like Big Butts’ at a Derby after-event.
I spent much of my early adult life in the military. Talk about your male-dominated industries. The Bitch/Slut dichotomoy was in full effect, and I didn’t like either of my choices. I tried, as much as it was possible, to be One Of The Boys. Still a doomed goal, but at least it was a title that I felt comfortable with.
I quickly discovered that there is tiny loophole in the Bitch/Slut system - if you are really, really raunchy, but don’t fuck a lot, the guys have a hard time categorizing you. Because a Bitch in the dichotomy is not just a Bitch, she is also not a Slut. Slut sort of works like a trump card - if you’re a Bitch and a Slut, Slut wins. And Slut doesn’t mean extraodinarily promiscuous sexual behaviour. Almost any sexual behaviour can win you that title.
So I would be raunchy, cracking jokes and innuendo with the best of them. The locker room had nothing on me. And frankly, I think it was a big turn-off for most of them. They didn’t want a girl who reminded them of all their buddies. So I could easily find myself surrounded by impressed guys who saw me as a desexualized person, despite (because of!) all the cocktalk.
My first evening with The Boys I learned that you cannot out-dick-joke a gay man. They know dicks. Their own. Other people’s. Big ones, little ones, bent ones, straight ones (*ahem*), long ones, skinny ones, hard ones, soft ones… whatever. They will gleefully crack dick jokes until you can no longer tolerate the cocknucopia. Why? They aren’t afraid their buddies will think they’re gay.
I have slept with them, just so you know. Not slept-slept, but slept. This is a consequence of the Kitten Pile. The Kitten Pile is what I call it when you lounge about in a big snuggly purry pile of peoples, sometimes with actual cats added. Once or twice the warmth and security and comfy-ness has overcome me and I have passed out.
I have slept over once or twice, always very business-business, on the couch where it is cold and the cats only cuddle long enough to make you miss them when they withdraw their fuzziness. Cats are bastards.
Derby Girl has joined the pile a couple of times. She is an affectionate, tactile person. A kamikaze hugger. Her greetings and farewells are all squeezy hugs. Kitten-piling is right up her aisle. She may have a boyfriend now (The Scientist?) so that may affect her participation, and The Brunette’s access to his favourite boooooobs.
On boooobies: “I’m not turned on by them, I just enjoy them. I wanna pull them off and throw them at people like waterballoons.”
Went to the mall during The Blonde’s lunch hour. Had lunch, went to Lush and got glittered by The Brunette. He touches one of the bubble bars, usually a Sunny Side, and then slaps me. Glitter, being the herpes of the crafting world, gets EVERYWHERE.
Right now, Lush is doing this: Freedom Foamer, in support of marriage rights. It looks more like a St Paddy’s day thing to me (they already have a bubble bar with a rainbow on it, look it up yourself) and so I got green-glittered. I withdrew my support for marriage rights, at least where The Brunette was concerned.
“No Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for you, bitch.”
He contritely went and got a warm wet washcloth and wiped off the worst of it (he had smeared my arm, not my face this time) and I’d say it was worth the glittering to be publically bathed by a shame-faced young man }:D
Then it was time to drop off The Blonde. We went to the fancy store where he works. He gave me a big squeezy hug. And waved goodbye to The Brunette. Maybe there are a few things about this world I’d change before I worry about how I’m going to afford his & his matching stand mixers?
It’s funny how deep an idea can get bludgeoned into you, even when your own personal experience would seem to disprove it on a daily basis. On a very fundamental level, I never really believed that men were affectionate for their own benefit.
I know that when I cuddle, I get a benefit. I enjoy it. I cuddle with The Carpenter. I cuddle with 2/3 of my spawn. The Firstborn no longer cuddles, age and gender have driven a wedge between me and my former cuddliest kid :(
But even though The Carpenter is affectionate and demonstrative, part of me always subconciously thought that when men are like this, it is because they are trying to make their womenfolk happy. For sex, which is the physical demonstration of affection that they give a rat’s ass about.
The Boys have no womenfolk. They cuddle. The Blonde more than The Brunette, but it has been well-established that The Blonde’s physical appetites outstrip The Brunette’s in every way. But I don’t really think of cuddling as fulfilling a physical need. For me it’s an emotional appetite more than anything else.
I have this theory that one of the things that creates a level of sympatico between gay men and straight women is that gay men are exposed to a certain amount of public judgement regarding their sexual practices.
It works like this: Since puberty I have been exposed to sexual judgement. It can be based on almost anything - the height of my heels, the length of my skirt, the quantity and quality of my cosmetics. I have been told that no matter what I do or don’t do, or who I do or don’t do it with, the important thing is to maintain this public image.
It’s all bullshit of course, but that doesn’t mean you can opt out. I’ve seen some women try that, and it always fails, because the best you can achieve is this stubborn ‘well, I don’t care what anyone thinks’ armour. That armour can protect your feelings and nothing else. It won’t make people like or respect you. Most of all, it won’t bring back opportunities. Opportunities for friends, jobs, promotions, social contacts; all the invisible benefits of a ‘clean slate’.
The Carpenter works in industrial and commercial construction. Before that he was in the army. He has spent his life in the Man’s World. In the Man’s World, they talk about sex, but not in a revealing way. I put it like this - he knows that on his current worksite, there are all flavours represented from ‘lights out, pyjamas on, procreation only’ to ‘leather mask, cockring, noose on special occasions’. But when presented with any particular heterosexual male, there is a base assumption that this person will take most opportunities that present themselves, and that unattractive liaisons can be explained by excessive alcohol consumption.
Everyone gets that base assumption of vanilla practices. Information that would place the individual elsewhere on the spectrum is vigourously avoided. Sexual privacy is not only granted, it is protected by the public. They don’t want to know!
If only I could live in that world, eh. If only The Boys could. Because when presented with a gay male, part of your brain automatically says “this person does anal”. On one level this is what it is like to be female. Look at her skirt; I bet she swallows!
…is not sex. It is affection. Not just between me and The Boys, but between The Carpenter and Pilot Girl. It’s not that The Carpenter and I aren’t affectionate with each other, because we totally are. Ask The Blonde. He will confirm, with that adorable little moue of distaste he uses to express his disapproval of my disgusting, heteronormative, making out with my husband right in front of him. Eww.
Your spouse isn’t just the person you have sex with. It is the person who holds you when you cry, who listens to you when you bitch, who laughs at your jokes and holds your hand when you walk about.
The Carpenter and I have been spending a lot of time apart lately. I miss him. I appreciate the near-spousal amounts of emotional support The Boys give me, but I sense danger there. I’m grateful they are not flexible on the vagina thing, because I am not flexible on the sex-in-marriage thing. I will not, cannot be celibate.
Your position is safe, Carpenter. Now please don’t sleep with your smokin’ hot yoga-obsessed damsel-in-distress. Who is infinitely superior to my Boys since she is also on Team Penis, you lucky bastard.
My Mother keeps horses and goats on her little hobby farm. My uncle has a saltwater aquarium. My sister has a corn snake. I have… a cat. I used to have a dog, but he died this past Christmas.
I also have two smokin’ hot gay boys. They are expensive. High maintenance. Exotic. Unusual. Showy.
The Carpenter won’t let me keep them in the house. He points out that aside from the dog who got quite elderly, all my pets die. He won’t let me keep them in the barn. He says they are not barn pets, they are housepets, just not for me. Mean old Carpenter! I swear I would feed them and water them and walk them and everything!
Derby Girl is jealous. She wishes that she had pet gay boys (except that she has noted that The Brunette cockblocks her by cuddling her in public) and we sometimes muse about breeding them for profit. Like all good exotic pets, they are notoriously hard to breed. Might as well have pet pandas.
One of the problems with gay men is that they are insulated from hetero sexual politics. They may take an idle interest in it all, double standards, but it is a touristy comprehension. They don’t really live in it. Except that they do, because there is no such thing as a world free of sexual politics.
When I first met The Blonde we were in a play together. Our characters were supposed to have a sort of inappropriate sexual chemistry, and we umm… achieved that. It was fun. But top that off with my general policy of not denying attraction (Mmmm…. Fireman…) and there was some small scandal within our little Theatre Company. Okay, not really scandal. Most people didn’t care, some just got it, but a tiny vocal minority were scandalized and felt it was necessary to clarify things with me. Not him.
This was exacerbated by the cast party. It is traditional for there to be ill-advised hookups at cast parties so usually they are held after the run so that there is no effect on the play from any social fall-out. Our play was so small that we had our cast party the night before the last show. It was at The Boys’ apartment, but the Brunette came home with a headache, excused himself and went to bed. It was only the… second? time I had met him, I think.
The rest of us played games and laughed and drank in extreme moderation. It was a quiet, dignified cast party. Then The Blonde called me over. Beckoned me into his room and closed the door behind us. Now, traditionally this signals to the rest of the cast that an Ill-Advised Hookup is about to occur, and leads to giggles and knowing looks amongst those who noticed.
Since he was the host, and there were fewer than ten people in an open floor plan, EVERYONE noticed. My marital status is also not theoretical for these kids - The Carpenter was not in attendance because it was a school night, but most of them had met him. I came out less than ten minutes later, probably flushed and flustered a bit. The Blonde followed not long after.
And spent the rest of the night gleefully announcing that I was welcome to spend the night if I didn’t feel like commuting. I was a little… shocked. Not embarrassed, since I knew nothing happened in there that I had to feel ashamed or embarrassed about, and frankly I sort of felt like high-five-ing everyone in the place. Some things you just don’t expect to be able to cross off your list at thirty-six and ten years’ marriage, eh?
That night I went home and gave The Carpenter an asthma attack. We called it a ricochet.
The next day I cornered The Blonde and confronted him. The thing is, I had had people come up to me and confirm that I knew he was gay. Had he had anyone come up to him and confirm that he knew I was married? No. Why? Because as the woman, I am the gatekeeper of all sexual activity. He invited me, initiated, instigated, whatever the fuck you want to call it, PUBLICALLY, and still I was the one catching flak. WTF!
The first time we all went to dinner with The Carpenter, The Boys were being all obnoxious and mischievous. They kept making cracks about vaginas (grossness of, etc…) directed at me. They wanted to see how The Carpenter would react. They may also have wanted to reassure him that they are gay enough to not be a threat to our marriage.
Whatever their motivation, the fact is that I *have* a vagina but I don’t *prefer* them. Their teasing was misdirected.
“You guys know that of the four people at this table, only one actually likes vaginas? Him. Not me. I’m on Team Penis, with you guys. If you want to give him a hard time about vaginas go ahead, but don’t imagine he won’t start telling you what he likes about them. Enjoy your pasta.”
Next Pride Parade I think I should make us some Team Penis t-shirts.
The Blonde has curly hair. Super-curly, coarse and thick. Like any person with an extreme in colour or texture, he hates it. He gets it cut super-short, except for the poof of bangs in the front. The Brunette hates super-short hair, and he thinks the bangs are “gay”.
After four or five consecutive haircuts that earned grr-face from The Brunette, The Blonde instructed his hairdresser to let his hair grow out a bit. So now he battles his curls.
The Blonde, exasperated, as The Brunette and I wait on the couch for him to be pretty enough to leave the house: “I have a straightener, but it’s just not working!”
The Brunette and I: [howls of silent laughter]
The Blonde: “Fuck you both…”
We are friends. Just friends. More than friends. Less than friends. Unlikely friends. Part of the problem is I’m not your typical hag.
Let’s start with that term. I don’t like it. First of all, fag is not nice. Second, hag is not nice. I don’t want to identify myself by a term that insults and belittles us all. But… if you’re looking for a term to describe a strangely intense relationship between a gay man and a heterosexual woman, that is THE term.
I think it’s telling that the term is mutually insulting. BGT has a fucking particle shield made out of adoring little girls on irregular orbits. They are fascinated, and I don’t blame them. There is something compelling about a man who wears his sexuality on his sleeve, and he doesn’t have to be gay for that to work. The Fireman, the hottest man I have ever known in real life, is not actually that good-looking, but he is sexy because of his sexuality.
I lose respect when I think they are plotting a Conversion, or a Don’t Knock It Till You’ve Tried It or an OMG How Drunk Were We Last Night LOL. That’s like saying you love a sweater so much you want to unravel it. I’m not saying that hetero sex is destructive, and a cute as I think the gold star thing is, that’s mostly because I like stickers, otherwise I would tend to get defensive about assuming that a person’s sexual history is anything more than history.
But for a straight woman with a gay friend to be hoping to sleep with him is anywhere between deluded and disrespectful. Which is not to say I am not attracted. Of course I am attracted. I tend to become more attracted to people as I get to know them, and these guys started from a strong position by virtue of youth and fitness.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of young, fit guys out there. They walk around. They shop for groceries and walk their dogs and in the summer they take their tops off and are pleasingly semi-nude. I look, I appreciate, and I go home. Whatever. I’ve wanted things I can’t have before.
It’s not that most hags are young, it’s that there isn’t usually an age difference on top of the gender thing. You’ll notice I did not include sexuality as a difference. More on that later. I sort of fell into this, and if I had always been the kind of girl who pursues friendships with gay men I woulda gotten started on that years ago, and my Boys would be in their thirties now, like me. But my first attraction to The Blonde was not because he is gay. It was because he is crazy. Like me. More on that later, too.
The Brunette was the first to call me “their hag”, and the way it was used, the circumstances in which it was used, the fact that it was him and not The Blonde… it meant something. It was his way of saying that I was important to them, part of their life in a meaningful way, and not easily omitted. The term was redeemed.
Standing in the feminine hygiene aisle, The Brunette picks up a box:
Brunette: “Really? Pads for thongs? You would wear a pad with a thong?”
Moi: “Those are just pantyliners”
Brunette: “What’s the difference?”
Moi: “Pads are for when you’re on your period, pantyliners are for everyday.”
[point in time where Brunette should have stopped asking questions]
Brunette: “Why would you need something everyday?”
Brunette: “Fuck. Eww. I’m going to a different aisle. Call me when you’re done.”
If you text me pictures of prolapses, I will text you pictures of lactation porn.
Early on in my relationship with The Boys I noted that they play rough. Actually “Play” and “Rough” might not be the right words. It starts out as play, then someone will get hurt. Sometimes there is vicious retaliation. Sometimes there are panicked, sincere apologies. Sometimes there is forgiveness, sometimes not. Sometimes it the middle of everything one or both of them with crack up, laughing and carrying on as if nothing ever happened.
It is impossible to get used to. I don’t know if this is a guy thing, a gay thing, or just them. The Brunette bruises easily. He also bites and usually gives as good as he gets, even though he is the smaller of the two. But he is usually the only one with marks on him.
There were women in my family, while I was growing up, who were in long-term abusive relationships. I saw how much give and take there was, but I always, always, ALWAYS saw a male/aggressor female/victim dichotomy. So faced with a friend whose lover had left marks on him, it was easy to cast the whole thing in that light.
But that’s not how it is. They hurt each other and are hurt by each other. Not equally. Sometimes in fun, sometimes not. The truth is they tolerate this out of each other for whatever reason, and you never really can know another person’s relationship.
I play rough with them a bit, but the fact is I’m old and I’m weak and if anyone’s going to get hurt it’s me. Mostly I just watch and call ineffective (completely disregarded!) time-outs. Lately I’ve begun to feel sad that I can never test my strength against The Carpenter in this way. I mean, I could, but he’d win. Hands down, every time. And if we fought, really fought, he could kill me. Easily.
I used be be in the military. A long time ago. Feeling much better now. I would go away for weeks at a time and be surrounded by fit young employed men between the ages of 18 and whatever. It was a lot of hotness. There was a lot of trouble a girl could get herself into.
I got pretty adept at just sort of turning off that part of my brain. It was how I coped. Men are my preference, friends are my habit. My two best friends right now are men. If they weren’t gay and I wasn’t married… But they are, and I am, and it will never happen. I am not trying to score a conversion (or two) here. That is a bullshit fantasy, no more respectable in this circumstance than when a woman imagines that her affections will ‘cure’ the object of her infatuation of drinking or womanizing or…
As long as I’m dreaming, I’m gonna dream BIG. They’re still gay, and I’m a guy. Penis envy FTW.
Meanwhile, I’ve been shutting down. The problem with that strategy is that I need to be able to start back up again for The Carpenter’s sake. It’s not easy.
The Brunette says all women are a little bit gay. I think he might be right. I’ve never slept with a woman, but the idea of it does not repulse me. Just never met the right girl, I guess. Now I’m married. Like, really married. I think I should put that down as my sexual orientation.
The Carpenter is straight (obviously?) and he is inflexible on that. The Boys are gay and they are inflexible on that. There is no overlap at all. The Brunette has his boobies-fascination, but if I ever want him to stop, all I have to do is act like I am enjoying myself. He squeaks and retreats, fast.
The funny thing is, The Carpenter is hyper-masculine. Broad shoulders and stubble and callouses and deep, rumbly voice. I love all these things about him - the things that make him *other* than me. I’m a vive la difference kind of girl.
Neither of The Boys are attracted to him. Fine. More for me!