Beware the internet: On catfishing, deceit, and having your identity stolen

This week has been an internet doozy for me; the fingers on my right hand are cramped and aching from so much texting.  First World problems, I know.

The backstory

It all started this weekend when a woman whom I admire on Instagram created a group DM with 7 or 8 other women.  We quickly bonded and began sharing our IG hijinx.  Faces, names, locations, promises of secrets kept.  I was honored to be included and happy to get to know them.

What I quickly realized was that unlike most of them I didn’t interact with my followers the way they did.  They cultivated relationships, opened up, became friends.  Me, I field DMs with about as much enthusiasm as a toll booth operator.

There’s been one or two exceptions over the past year, but that’s it.  One or two among hundreds, possibly a thousand private messages imploring me for nudes, conversation, and how my day went.  Also, lots dick pics, which never really lure me into a conversation. Mountains of them, really.

Long-necked geoduck clams jammed into a mounds of hairy flesh, big, veiny ones which must assuredly be this man’s dream, lots of dicks flopped onto cold bathroom counters beside cans of shaving cream and toothbrushes.

I’ve always kept my distance from the internet.  Not only do a lot of you come at me the wrong way, you also scare me: you could ruin my life.

I am not ashamed of what I do here, but it would very likely derail my career and that’s not really my objective; I’d like to keep my life on a positive trajectory.  I just want to create and write and be me.  I wish the societal landscape were different, but it’s not.  So I tread carefully and wait.

I am most careful on Instagram and slightly more open here on the blog.  The two are complementary, yet different.  My readers and commenters here are most often other writers with similar barriers to their identities and I openly interact with them in a true spirit of camaraderie.  (Though I nearly always remain Hyacinth, location and vocation unknown.  Does anyone know the sex of my child?  Half of you think it’s a boy, the other half a girl. And that’s what I want.)

With Instagram and the flavor of interactions there I am much more guarded, but this weekend I did everything differently.  Enjoying the connections I made with the women in “The Ladies” DM group emboldened me to respond to more of the average DMs that rolled in.  If it was good for the goose…

The catfish

This led me to DMing someone who had left an intelligent comment on one of my images.  His little thumbnail showed a dark haired, bearded man, but his account was private.  It didn’t register at the time that though he had almost 1000 followers of his own, he was following almost twice as many.

He was smart and kind and I remarked as much.  He asked to see my face and know my name.  I told him he could call my Hy, but I shared a face pic because, as I told him, “You seem trustworthy.”

Clearly, I was out of my mind with a false sense of security because meanwhile, the conversation with The Ladies was roiling along with laughter, more secrets, and a bold, ribald sense of friendships long had, not recently established.  I felt bolstered and confident.  And they said I was pretty.  I hoped it was true.

The bearded man thought so and I preened a little.  “Will you send me one of you?” I asked.  “I can’t see any of your pics.”  I requested access to his private account and waited.

An image popped up in our thread.  It was of him in RayBans holding a red-headed baby.  “I don’t like posting pics of family online,” he explained.  I checked his account and had gained access.  There was no baby pic, but he was gorgeous.

Broad shoulders, fit, thick, tattooed.  He had about 12 photos in various locations. The car, his kitchen, in bed, on the couch with his dog, “Bella.”

“Whoa!  You’re fucking hot!” I exclaimed.  He seemed bashful, confused.  Why would I be gushing like this?  He’s just a man, after all.

“So how do you get almost 1000 followers with only 12 pics?” I asked.  His explanation was humble and reasonable.  He went through phases, maybe some people thought he was good looking or something.

He asked all the right questions and wanted to know why I had chosen him out of 26 thousand followers to DM.  I told him he had been kind and intelligent.  And being good looking didn’t hurt.  He pressed more: why was it such a big deal that he was good looking?

“Because kind and intelligent men are rarely connected to beautiful ones,” I replied.

And it’s true.  Beautiful men, truly jaw-dropping, effervescently delectable men, don’t contact me and write smart and kind things.  I don’t know where they are other than entwined with their equally good-looking girlfriends and wives on Instagram.  The men I know are regular men, often good looking office guys and blue-collar workers who take a chance that a woman they jerk off to (and admire) might write him back.  They work at what they say to me knowing I’m more than just my body and promiscuous ways (or at least I hope they do) and I respond with as much effort.

This guy was a dream come true.  He was all of the above and more.

I said as much.  He laughed it off and asked if we could text.  “No fake phone numbers, though,” he warned.  No, of course not.

We continued to text for the next couple of hours while I sat alone at my favorite hangout.  People streamed in as the sun fell and the chatter around me increased.  I was invisible, as usual, but not to this bearded fella who worked for the welfare department of his county and held chubby babies in his big, tattooed arms.

He wanted to see me in my Niners regalia since he was a big fan.  I told him I’d work on it once home.

I told The Ladies I’d hit the pay dirt in followers and sent them a couple of his pics.  They all agreed and wished me luck.

These internet connections are like summer camp condensed into minutes, possibly hours.  We’re like dogs in the park who sniff each other’s butts, like what we smell, and get to business.  I had no hope of ever meeting this man.  It’s an odd kind of quickie relationship meant only to derive particular pleasures from virtual interaction.

He would likely never touch me, nor I him.  I’d likely never hear his voice or get to taste him, nor him me.  These online dalliances are like a watered down version of real life, an enhanced version of porn, and I was racing towards the edge of the cliff with wild abandon and a detached sense of doom.  This just couldn’t be real.

Once home I began taking photos for him in the Niners shirt I let him pick out.   I started in the outfit I was wearing and showed the progression to the red shirt.  My panties, my body.  He encouraged me as I put on this strange stop-action show for him.

Hy_niners_skirt

Hy_niners_cleavageHe wanted a video, so I did one, hiding my face and almost writhing on the bed.  He sent me a pic of a big, beautiful erection pulled out of four-leaf clover Abercrombie and Fitch underwear and I tipped right over the edge.  He said he’d only just found me online and so didn’t realize I’d had a thing for huge cocks.  Again, more humility about his size reassured me he was used to women’s reactions.

Hy_niners_panties

Hy_niners_tits

“I just wanted you to see what you were doing to me.  Don’t you dare make fun of my lucky underwear.”

No, I’d never do that.

The deceit

I sent him two more face pics where I was clearly topless, though not exposed.  It was at about this point that I realized something was off.  He wasn’t sharing photos like other men would be and have.

The exhibition now over I asked him to send me more pics of him.  He said he was making dinner.  He sent me a pic of that.  I told him I was unnerved by my sudden sense he wasn’t real.  He laughed it off in a haphazardly defensive way.  “I don’t know why, I’m not interested in playing this game.”

What game?

He asked how he could alleviate my fears.  “Send me a pic of you with a peace sign.”  Easy enough to do in about 5 seconds.  Except he said he’d do it later.

I began to panic.

Eventually, he sent me a black and white photo of him with two peace signs standing in front of what looked like a commercial bar.  When I asked him about it, he said he was at his parents’ house and they liked to drink.  “What about those things on that shelf behind you that sit on table tops that say “RESERVED” on them?” I asked.

He was exasperated with me.  “Decor… look I told you I don’t do these games.  I’m not going to touch my nose and blink twice for you.  Either you believe me or you don’t.  You have peace.  Can’t we just think each other are hot and interact?”

I looked up his images on Google Image Search (thanks, Ferns) and found the truth, but zero peace.  He wasn’t real.

The images were of a beautiful Italian-Canadian man, possibly a model, most definitely a hunk.  And there was the pic of the red-headed baby, this man’s niece or nephew.  And there was the bar pic, in color, with the caption that he was “slinging drinks.”

I felt sick.

I’d done it all to myself.  All of it.  I’d felt all along that it was just simply too good to be true and I wasn’t wrong.  None of it was true.

I was humiliated at my lust and desire for a man that didn’t exist, my apparent foolish nature.  Why would a man like that be interested in a woman like me??   Well, he fucking wasn’t, Hy.

I texted him:

I found Dre Bucci’s IG – the man whose pics you’re using.  Look, your words are still all the same, whoever you are, and I appreciate them all.  Besides lying to me, you were kind and intelligent when you approached me.  I don’t know why you’d do this to me – other than I’m a massive idiot and you enjoy humiliating strangers.  Do I need to worry that you’ll expose me?

He assured me he wouldn’t hurt me, but became angry.

No, never in a million years would you have even given me a glance if I didn’t look like what you saw. Personality in this day & age means squat. Work ethic. All of that means nothing. Deleted. Goodbye. Don’t text back. Your number will be deleted as well

The theft

I spent the rest of the evening backtracking what he could find about me based on what I’d shared with him.  I slept less than 4 hours and missed my morning workout, but felt mostly confident that he couldn’t discover who I really am.  Regret and shame hung on my like a hangover.

Meanwhile, one of the women from The Ladies thread had posted several images she’d captured on Facebook. Someone had commandeered her image to create a fake page and had a few thousand followers, not unlike what my own catfishing friend had done to Dre Bucci.  She’d reported it to Facebook and now had to wait.  She was pissed and freaked out; it bothered her that anyone would go to such lengths to get fake attention.

Her experience reminded me that there are two victims in these schemes.  The ones who take the bait (me) and the ones whose personae are hijacked.  My faith and their person-hoods are stolen.

I understand the psychological need for interaction and for connection.  What I find untenable is the leap to be false in that connection.  Naturally, I would never do that.  I am embarrassingly raw and real at all times.  I flaunt my flaws and my innermost thoughts almost in defiance of judgment.  I fear it, yet I welcome it for it will  allow me to rise above it all, flex my emotional muscles and grow.  These people must not have similar agency or privilege.  It’s my only conclusion.

Based on what I know about the human condition and the angry responses from my catfish (plural) is those who feel powerless will find a way to feel powerful.  Always.

Sometimes it’s overt, but most often it’s a covert operation of manipulation, slight of hand, and passive aggression.  Perhaps my bearded catfish really believed he was unattractive and this was his way of exerting dominance over me, someone he found to be shallow in her own perceived attractiveness and popularity.

He told me his favorite superhero was Batman, a man who cloaked himself in disguise to save the world, not unlike his own alter ego, Vincent.  Except Vincent slayed the ladies, not the bad guys.

The out-of-town catfish was no different.  He was self conscious about his body and therefore relied on another’s to hook me, and my desire for it to be real propelled us through the night despite all evidence pointing to the contrary.

These frauds only work when they land a person whose own insecurities match perfectly with what they’re offering, in my case a beautiful man who wants to know or fuck me.  I’m vulnerable to this kind of attention.  It’s humiliating to admit that.  Am I really so shallow and desperate for a pretty man to validate my attractiveness/worthiness that I lose all reasoning?  Perhaps my Batman was right to be angry with me.

The humiliation at being lured into this dark and murky place of fear, power, and low self-esteem is waning, but it has caused me to redouble my efforts to keep people a safe distance away.  My bearded catfish shuttered his account and he appears good on his word to not expose me, but I am left feeling bereft and a little lost.  The indignity of my naivete is like grit in my teeth.

I have been through so much at the hands of insensitive, thoughtless men, but I liked believing in people’s goodness.  Now I’m left with no choice but to make everyone touch their noses and blink twice.

The takeaway

I am about as internet savvy as they come and if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.  I did a number of things wrong along the way that had I followed my own existing rules, this never would have happened.  Below are some basic things to look for, whether you’re trying to hook up with someone in real life or just online.

How to spot a catfish:

#1 – Discrepancy in followers/followed.  Typically, a real person has a reasonable number of accounts they follow that are usually much lower than the number who follows them.  Don’t ask me why, it just is.

#2 – Pictures aren’t consistent.  Look for changes in moles on the body, tattoos moving around or disappearing.  Is the carpet different in every photo?

#3 – Proof.  A real person won’t hesitate to jump through some small hoops to prove their realness.  A peace sign?  Your name written on a piece of paper next to a body part/face?  The image must match what you’re asking for, not an iteration of it.

#4 – Are they defensive about their legitimacy?  This piggybacks on #3.  No one, and I mean NO ONE who is real would ever get defensive about proving it.  In fact, they would welcome the opportunity to prove their realness so you all can move on to the next phase of whatever it is you want to do.

What to do to protect yourself from being catfished:

#1 – Don’t be impatient and keep shit to yourself.  Relax, wait until you’re certain this person is real before you reveal things of your own.  This is such a complicated one depending on what it is you’re going for, but, for example, I almost never tell internet people where I live and without exception I never tell them what I do.  Real life fellas are different because we might end up in a relationship of some kind, but I parse it out and keep my last name out of the equation until it becomes necessary and safe to do so.

#2 – Google Image Search the fuck out of whatever it is they send you.  No explanation needed here.

#3 – Listen to your gut.  Simply put, the rule applies: if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.

The end

I hate that had to write this post.  It’s sapped my entire week, this fire drill of fear and degradation.  ‘

I’m a fool, people suck.  The end.

 

“C” is for…

Hy Cookie Monster 1

Cookie!  Get your mind out of the gutter. 

I have had too much wine on this Tuesday  night.

Tomorrow morning, at the crack of dawn, I’ll haul my body out of bed and to my boot camp again.  The preternaturally youthful looking silver-haired personal trainer will flounce around on his toes and correct my form and I will sweat all the sweaty bullets and feel really accomplished by 9am.

Tonight, I will stay my fingers and text no one, though truthfully, I want to text no one, so that’s good news.  I want to do what comes naturally to me, but I’m sick of being rejected and rebuffed.  

The mathematics involved in dating today exhaust me and infuriate me.  I thought if you dug someone you made sure they knew it.  I was wrong.  You actually do your own thing and think about them whenever.  That’s when you let them know you think of them.  If then.  Maybe not.  Probably not.

I’m so over it.

Hy Cookie Monster 2

I don’t like it when men are up in my grill.  I like the chase.  Everyone does.  So do they.  Me throwing myself at them eliminates the challenge.  My openness, my clarity, my transparency.  It’s a turn-off.  That’s what I’m surmising.

And it’s all I can do, surmise.

I’m not privy to the Man’s Brain Handbook.  I’m getting hit on from all sides and I’m bouncing around the room, not sure where I’m supposed to look.  I just know I’m not biting.  I’m not interested. 

Hy Cookie Monster 3

I’m going analog, though.  No more online dating.  It’s going to be old school for me.

I’ve asked a man out on my softball team, but he appears to have ignored my invitation.  I only have his email, so I had to use what I had.  Cheesy and less than ideal, yes, but whatever.  I’m just not going to be anything but me.  Awkward, vulnerable, awful me. 

I want something, I can feel it.  Can you feel it?  It’s real, it’s wonderful, it’s solid.  It’s also embarrassingly humiliating being this exposed.

I hate it.

Hy Cookie Monster 4

“C” is for completely confoundingly crushingly clueless.

 

I know how to fix a texting mistake.

I’ve gone on 3 dates with a man I really dig, but who is a shit texter.

Earlier today Troy and I were chatting about my dating life and I told him about this guy.  Troy wasn’t sure what a “shit texter” meant, so I hopped over to check our thread and typed back a reply regarding the frequency of texts.

Except I forgot to return to my thread with Troy.

It was on the Shit Texter’s thread.

My stomach dropped, my heart stopped, I clapped my hand over my mouth.  I might have yelled at the phone in a long, drawn out, “Nooooooooooooo!”

I hadn’t texted him since after our quick coffee date yesterday where we sat snuggled up together on a couch for about an hour before we both had to run.  He walked me to my car and we kissed sweetly; I wished we could have done more, but the clock was against us.  I really like this lughead.

An hour or two later I texted him a smiley face and note that he didn’t need to respond.  It’s an open, running joke that he sucks at texting.  He proudly owns it and this early in our dating I feel weird to demand any changes.

He replied with a laugh and a note that it was nice to see me that day.

I told him I’d had a nice time, too, and would like to see him when he returns from his 10-day vacation which starts today.

I hadn’t heard from him in 18 hours when I sent him that mistext.

Dating is difficult and strange; we try to become mind readers.  I’m done with trying to interpret people, so while his texting habits drive me fucking crazy I truly enjoy myself when we spend time together.  The odd thing is, he’s easier to hang out with than just about any other man I’ve met.  He’s on time, funny, affectionate, open.  He’s also sweetly nervous.

We also don’t “date.”  He doesn’t, I don’t, we don’t, but we kinda are.  I haven’t been as nervous to see anyone as I have been him and there’s something between us that draws me in.  I’m intrigued.  He can also eat pussy like a champ.

All this from a shit texter.

So how does one fix a faux pas such as revealing that you’re talking about his bad texting habits to someone else?

I did the only thing I could think of:  I sent boobs.

 

Hy text oops!

Within a minute or two he responded with “Well played.”

I texted back, “Thanks.”

Of course I didn’t hear anything else from him and now he’s on a plane to London.  It remains to be seen what the fall out from my texting seizure will be.  It also remains to be seen what the fall out will be from his horrendously bad texting habits.

I know how to squirt.

[A re-post from a couple of years ago because I still get a lot of questions.  Also, everything I’ve written here still stands; I’m a squirting machine!  Apparently, lots of other ladies are, too.  Both Dawn and Caitlyn have written about their experiences with it .  xx Hy]

A lot of women want to know how to squirt. Here’s what I’ve learned to do.

Making G-spot Contact

The first time it ever happened to me was roughly 14 years ago. At this point in my sexual history I had just ended a year-long relationship where I orgasmed from only sex (both while on top and bottom) and also had only ever orgasmed from oral once. I was 25.

This particular squirting night was just your average tryst. Nothing special except that this cock was significantly bigger than the one that had made me orgasm for a year. However, despite being less than 5 inches long and fairly narrow, that smaller penis had taught me to sit low and heavy on a man’s groin, to really sink into it and how to ride him with abandon.

I’d been under the wrong impression for years that making love while on top should replicate the man’s motion like when he was on top, but with a cock that was smaller that didn’t work, hence my new moves: to grind down hard and tilt my pelvic cradle against my lover’s in order to stimulate my clitoris against his pubis, to sit tall and not lean over. I came every time with a big clitoral orgasm.

So, naturally, I applied my new method with the bigger lover. I began to feel a glow in my womb and my chest felt numb and buzzing and then I felt a release similar to the sensation of urinating, but slightly higher than my urethra.  Throughout my body it felt big and blossoming all the way to my fingertips.  It was distinctly different from the orgasms I was used to.

That first time it squirted in my lover’s eye. We both stopped for a second to laugh. I didn’t know what to say. He exclaimed, “You squirted!” I had no idea what that even meant, but I felt no shame about it. He seemed really pleased. And then we kept going.

Looking back on it, that was my first experience with a g-spot orgasm.

Size Can Matter

I never felt that again until the first time I had sex with Troy (story is here) and it was because his cock was big enough to massage my g-spot no matter what position we were in; I didn’t have to be on top. He was by far the biggest man I’d ever been with (around 8.5″). He was elated by my juices and I was utterly incapable of controlling them. They just happened to me. It became the center of our fucking.

Which is what set me off in the hunt of large cocks. Honestly, that’s the only reason. I happen to have a deep well and a larger member hits me just right every time. The smaller ones simply didn’t. Until I learned some new tricks…

Head Space – What I do

Today I don’t need a large cock to squirt anymore – yay! I’ve learned to squirt on command about 4 out of every 5 times that I try, and it’s dependent on a couple of things. First, I have to be significantly turned on, and second, the more I trust my lover the easier it becomes. My head has to be in the right place if I’m the one in charge of my squirting.

When alone, I imagine gripping the shaft of a cock with my pussy like a fist, and then simultaneously I push out around it while relaxing. All my focus, all my energy, all my breath is focused on my cunt. I contract a few times, then release and push out. Repeat. It’s all I can feel. If I squirt by myself, totally alone, with nothing and no one touching me I am a quintessential pussy. I have this, I think, I am this. If I squirt with my Hitachi, which is actually fairly rare, I am typically sitting on the edge of a bed or standing, so there is pressure on my vulva.

When with a lover, tantric lovemaking elicits much wetness from me and my lover doesn’t even have to be participating in the method. Contracting my vaginal muscles as he pulls out – as if I were sucking him back in – and then pushing against him as he pushes back in – like bearing down – stimulates my g-spot. Switching back and forth like this is only possible when the pace is slower. When the pace is frantic I simply grip with all my might.

Skills – What He Does

There are two things that my lovers have done that have caused me to squirt deliberately. One is with their cock, the other with their hands and fingers.

With any size cock, he pulls out all the way or almost all the way, and if I’m doing my tantric gripping, the sensation of leaving my body makes me squirt.

With his hands and fingers, he curls his fingers inside of me with his palm on my pubis and he slams his hand against me in a small, rapid circular motion. It’s a lot of work for him, it’s not gentle. It’s rough and intense and has always, without exception, yielded results for me.

The Neighbor said that technique worked on an ex-girlfriend, as well.

Letting Go – It’s Not Pee

I don’t know how clear a picture I’m drawing here. Of course this is one woman’s experience with squirting, but I have talked to my lovers at great length about this. Troy devoured books about the female anatomy and he understood that the ejaculate traveled a similar path as urine, but was certainly not urine. He also believed that an old lover of his would have probably squirted herself, but each time she felt the sensation she ran to the toilet.

And here’s where I have to agree. The sensation prior to ejaculating is reminiscent of peeing, but that’s it. When we need to pee there’s a pressure in our bladder, unmistakable; with squirting, the sensation is lower, more concentrated around the urethra and clitoris.

We have to trust our bodies not to get wires crossed. It’s really that simple. I know I’ve had my run-ins with poo, so you’d think I’d be the last person on the planet to say TRUST YOUR BODY, but I really believe it. I know my system won’t allow me to piss all over my lover in a fit of passion. And in part my trust in my own body allows me to let go and allow the stimulation to rise and then exit my body via a squirt.

Sometimes the fluid is odorless, sometimes it’s musky, sometimes it’s less pleasant and more urine-like. And it can all come from the same woman on different days of the week. Its scent is tied up with hormones and ph levels. Some experts believe that all ejaculate has some urine mixed in, others resolutely say that’s not true. I’m of the camp that sometimes it can be mixed in with a little urine. My ejaculate, like all the anecdotal and scientific research I found, has varied from odorless to faintly musky to strongly of urine. The Neighbor has never said anything and, in fact, once lifted a soaked towel to his face — which to me smelled faintly of urine — and told me it smelled delicious. His enthusiasm helped me to not care and to truly just let go.

Go For It

And here I have to ask a bigger question in general: Even if you did piss on your lover, so what?? You’re engaged in an intimate, messy activity that is inherently complicated and involved with the bowel, bladder, anus, and vagina just to name a few. Shit might happen (as you all know it certainly has with me). So I say, even if you do fear peeing, just fucking go for it. You won’t die and your lover will have a chance to show his mettle. And that’s the worst case scenario. Best case is that you’ll feel a g-spot ejaculation/orgasm!

I hope this has shed some light on the mysteriousness of squirting. I’d love to hear from other women who do it and hear your stories. Are they similar to mine? Different? What do you do to squirt? Do you have any control over it? And to all you women who have never done it, I say to you that you have nothing to lose in trying! Most of you will have the basic building blocks (Skene’s glands are necessary, some think), but at the very least you can have a ton of fun trying!

And here are some articles I liked regarding this whole thing:

Make Her Ejaculate

Female Ejaculation

Shejaculation: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gush

Originally published 2/18/12.

I don’t know how to be happy.

hyandTN_b&w_sex

I blinked in the sunlight that streamed through my windows and stretched like the cat who lay on my pillow purring like a crazed motorboat.  He’ll be here soon, I thought, and as if on cue, I heard the front door open and close and the cat tore off to greet our visitor.

“Good morning, TN!” I called.

“Good morning, Hyacinth!” he called back.

I fixed  my eyes on the doorway and let him fill my view as he sauntered in, sheet marks pressed into his skin and his eyes puffy, but his cock enormous and jutting out against his shiny black basketball shorts.

I giggled at the image of his exhaustion mingled with a giant erection.

He walked up to the side of the bed and pulled himself free of his shorts, his taut, pink skin a slightly curved appendage for my viewing pleasure.

I wrapped my hand around it.  “Mmm,” I said and stood up.  “I have to pee.  I’ll be right back!”

When I came back out he pushed me roughly down onto the bed and licked his hand.  “I doubt I needed to do this.  Hmm, let’s see.  Could Hyacinth be wet already?”

“It’s possible,” I answered looking up at him.  “You wake up with that monster between your legs everyday.  I happen to wake up wet everyday.”  He pushed at my opening and sure enough he slid right in.

We moved together in the sunlight, carefully avoiding each other’s morning breath and hugged and humped and clutched and climaxed.  He pinned my legs onto his shoulders and moved until I was begging him to stop and then with a puffy-eyed grin kept going.

We were done relatively quickly, it being the morning and all.  He gently removed himself from me and lay beside me.  “Hang on,” I said and rolled over and grabbed my phone, something I’d done alone for so long.

I began taking pictures of us freshly post-coital.  It felt intimate and odd, like a salty candy that gives you two flavors at once.

He left shortly after to go to work and I smiled, stupidly happy.

And then I realized how uncomfortable I am with happiness and how I am doing my best to destroy what little peace I’ve finally managed to accomplish with him: I suggested that he fuck other women. 

The night I came up with this grand plan I had just met his parents.  Over the course of roughly 4 and a half hours I’d had a glass of white wine while getting dressed, a glass of Prosecco before dinner, and a glass of Rosé with my scallops, but when I’d suggested it to him he seriously wondered if I were drunk.

“I trust you, TN, I really do.  And I’m proud of you and I think you’re amazing in bed.  I want you to be able to go out and have fun.”

He just looked at me, dumbfounded as I blithely continued.  “No, really.  I’m so happy with you, I want you to be happy, too.”

“Ok…” he said, incredulous.  “But why the change of heart?  You’ve never felt this way before.”

“It’s because you told me you loved me and I feel safe with you, content.  I really feel like I could handle it.”

I’d dozed off then on his warm, furry chest and forgotten all about it.  But he hadn’t.

The following day he brought it up again.  “So, what you said the other night.  Do you still mean it?  Or were you just drunk?”

It all came rushing back to me: the warm glow of acceptance, the sense of safety, this ridiculous drive to prove I were invincibly in love with him.  What.the.fuck.  But I was too embarrassed to back out.  “No, really, I do,” I replied and then began that weird dance that people in open relationships do wherein they try to think of every possible thing they can’t handle: no two dates with the same woman, no threesomes without me, no lies, everything has to be transparent to me.  Then, of course I asked if he’d care if I slept around.

He was thoughtful, then said he’d be ok with me and another couple, but not with another man.  I told him I couldn’t imagine fucking another man anyway, I already had my unicorn firmly in my grasp.  He’d smiled at that and then I felt a twinge of something, like a tiny splinter: why would he want to fuck another woman? aren’t I good enough? the best?  And that’s when I knew I was full of shit and actively trying to sabotage my own happiness.

The next night, after the sweet, yet brief morning love session, I came to him with hat in hand, sheepish and utterly embarrassed.  “You’re right, TN.  I can’t handle it.  I think I’m just really uncomfortable with how happy I am.  I mean, look, we’ve only been this kind of happy for 3 months and I’m already looking to inject it with chaos.”

He pulled me into his nook and stroked my arm.  “I thought so,” he said.  “Besides, I’m not a player.  I’m really not that interested in opening this up.”

I’m almost 40 years old and this is a humiliating moment for me.  I left a marriage that was safe, yet passionless, and embarked on a wild year or two of no safety whatsoever, but chocked full of passion.  I manage to cultivate a passionate — and safe — relationship and the first thing I try to do is dismantle it.

After everything we’ve been through — 4 am girl, my secret sex blog, his resistance, my anger — we’ve made it.  He wants me and my entire life and I am inexplicably uncomfortable with his unconditional regard despite my longing for just this very thing.  I am a stupid bastard.

So for now we have agreed to just be happy with each other and I’ve vowed to immerse myself in this new sensation called happiness.  It’s strange and terrifying, but I happen to like salty candy so I’m going to keep chewing.

Being a Domme can be a lot like shooting yourself in the ass.

Being dominant over The Neighbor often reminds me of parenthood. Much like the average parent, I end up screwing myself because of my strict adherence to consistency and follow-through (widely accepted as the parenting practices that will fuck up your life the least).

For example, a child won’t stay in his seat during dinner out, instead wanting to eat on the floor under the table and count ABC gum.

The mother says, “Jimmy, please sit on the seat. It’s not ok to do that here.” Jimmy ignores her.

Mom asks, then eventually orders Jimmy to get his butt in the booth. Jimmy is unfazed and continues to ignores her.

Finally Mama Bear has to put down the gauntlet: if this, then that.

“JIMMY,” she says, “if you don’t sit up there right now, WE’RE LEAVING.” Shit.

Maybe Mom is really enjoying her sushi lunch, but because she just laid down that ultimatum, she’s given Lil’ Jimmy the power to end her lunch because SHE HAS TO FOLLOW THROUGH or else he will never listen to her again and there will be weeks of whining in her future.

And there’s the rub.

She overshot the mark and accidentally got herself right in the arse.

Much like I’ve done.

TN jerked off without me the other night and didn’t follow any of the guidelines for that situation and therefore I was required to punish him. 

I must have been drunk or just coming out of surgery because I could only come up with this brilliant idea:

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Major Domme fail.

I love sending him pics of my tits and let him knead the big doughy things that they are pretty much any time he likes, but I don’t want to seem like a total dipshit in all of this, so I’ve bitten my tongue and followed through and now we skip 1st base and I can only send him something like this until Wednesday:

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Sigh.

I’m pretty sure I’ve ruined my own sushi lunch.

Next time, I’ll make sure to make the punishment catered just to him so I can avoid any ricochet shrapnel.  Something like he can’t wear any of his nice new underpants, or he has to clean my apartment, fold my laundry.  Or maybe, I’ll require 10 minutes of cunnilingus before he can stick it in.  Hmm, now that has a nice ring to it!

What do you guys think?

I take the plunge.

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I wake up with feelings.

In the blustering storm that is life, where all the leaves are bills and worries and exes and money and illness and the bright sky and warm sunshine are jubilation and health and bonds and friendship, there is always a center.  It’s our soul, our heart, and it can be found in purpose.

My center is Peyton, which equates to love; I am anchored by a precocious, sensitive little person who has a wee lisp and a wild imagination just like the mama in the story, me.  And my other center is The Neighbor, a different kind of purpose and love, a grown up, complicated, left-of-center, warm, sloppy, and wanting love.  Between the two of them, I am filled to the brim with sunshine even as the leaves twist and flip about me.

On the 21st of December TN and I had our Christmas.  One of my gifts was going to be my declaration of love, but I was nervous.  We lit a fire and I cooked for us — filet mignon with a wine reduction sauce, fried Brussels sprouts and roasted acorn squash with brown sugar.  We drank wine and talked, opened many wonderful, thoughtful, loving gifts (I gave him a shirt I made that said, “Logically Logical,” a throwback to an inside joke).

We held hands as we stumbled into my bedroom and undressed each other in the candlelight.  We kissed with soft, wet tongues and beating hearts.  He pounded into me and I arched back into him, the words so close on my lips, yet held tight behind a seal.

I came and came and my heart melted then blew into glittering bits.  He was business as usual, ignorant and blissfully so.  We lay in each other’s arms and I thought to myself, “Now is the time.  Now,” but I couldn’t bring myself to be so vulnerable.  There was every chance that he would be angry, that he wouldn’t return the words, that we might even break up.

TN has always been reluctant when it comes to me, in his words, at least.  He’s called Peyton “6 strikes against” me. he’s said he never wanted to date a divorcee, a mother, or someone this much older than him, that I’ve read too much into his actions, and that he takes me for granted.  He’s said such terrible things in an attempt to keep a distance between us and I’ve believed him intellectually, but in my heart I always believed otherwise, miraculously so.  Such a tangled dance we did for almost two years and here I was on the cusp of tipping my hand completely; giving it all away.

I took a deep breath and splayed my fingers through his chest hair and trailed my fingers down between his legs and squeezed his wet, thick cock.  “You know I love more than just this about you, right?”  It was all I could do.

He nodded and said he knew.  I quietly chastised myself, so weak, so scared.  He was leaving in two days to go home for Christmas.  This was the moment.

While he was gone shit hit the fan with my ex.  I found out via social media once removed that he was getting remarried (“once removed” would mean that a friend texted me about my ex’s relationship status change) and that he was keeping it secret from Peyton for some reason.  Between my head exploding in rage and the barrenness I felt due to our physical distance, I felt more than ever the urge to tell him how I felt.  It wasn’t because of the news, but in spite of it.

Life is short and I love him.  He has the right to know.

His flight arrived late the day after Christmas, about the same time Peyton and I pulled up in front of our apartment from a quick out-of-town trip to see friends.  “The eagle has landed!” he texted.

I tucked in my baby and rehearsed what I’d say to TN.  My plan was to just blurt it out the second I saw him.  “Hi, TN!  I love you!” and just see what happened.  But when the time came, I was seized with nerves again.  We hugged and playfully sobbed into each other’s arms over our stressful family holidays.

I took a deep breath, “I have to talk to you.  I have good news and I have bad news.”  He looked alarmed as I led him to my room and sat down on the bed.  “Which do you want to hear?”

“The bad news first.”  I sighed with relief.

“The bad news is, Exhusband and Kathy got engaged Christmas Eve, I found out via Facebook, and he still hasn’t told me about it.”  TN knows that whenever my ex does stupid shit, it can affect my moods and my feelings about our relationship, in particular.  “And the good news has no connection to this bad news whatsoever.”

“Ok..” he said speculatively.

“You know how I feel about you, right?” he slumped down and covered his face with a sheet.  I felt every element of oxygen enter and leave my lungs.  “I love you.”

He dropped the sheet and looked at me.  “And I always feel it more when you’re away and we’re apart and my friends are asking about you.  I couldn’t bear it if something happened to you and you never heard the words from me.”

He looked at me for long moments, blinking.  He thanked me.

I didn’t fall apart because it was what I expected, but when he asked for me to lay down with him, I refused.  “No, thank you.  I don’t feel like it right now.”  I sat against his thighs, my arm straddling him, but the last thing I wanted to do was lay down with a man who didn’t return my love.

We talked about I don’t know what for a long while until finally, for some reason, he suddenly said, “Of course I love you, too.”

I sucked in my breath and looked at him intently.  “Really??”

“Yes, really.  I’ve known I’ve loved you since we broke up before 4 am girl.”

“What?!” I said incredulously.  All those stupid, wasted weeks of torture and tears could have been avoided.  “Then why did you date her?!”

“I don’t know,” he said simply.  I let the silence hang between us and my heart softened towards the man who couldn’t help himself but love me.  I quietly laid down into his nook.

“So I tell you I love you and now you want to be close?” he asked, not without sarcasm.

“Yes, pretty much.  I didn’t feel close to you before.  Now I do.  It’s simple.”  He squeezed me and I sighed into him.  “I really do love you.  I’m sorry.”  He cringed and my heart broke for him a little knowing that this complicated things in a way he’d been athletically avoiding for at least 18  months.  “At least you’ll have a lot to talk about with your therapist: ‘Theresa!  It’s terrible!  Hyacinth admitted she loved me and I told her I loved her, too!'”

He chuckled at my dry humor and said it was true.  I felt simultaneously angry, relieved, and blessed.  And royally fucked.

When he left that night I said the words I’d wanted to say so many times before as he headed for my bedroom door, “Goodnight, I love you, TN.”  He paused and turned with a twinkle in his eye and through a tight smile said, “I love you, too, Hy.”  And then he was gone from my doorway, still my center, but also still somehow a new leaf.

I get help from my friends.

I’m going to go out by myself later and I asked for advice from one I trust implicitly.  I have this feeling that 4 am girl is coming over tonight to stay with The Neighbor (he’s been over at her place four nights in a row; it makes sense she’d come tonight).  And I want to be scarce.  SCARCE.  Or just so drunk I don’t give a fuck.

The texting took a turn for the worse. All my fault, naturally.

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I will make sure he never forgets me, Part 3: Wherein he discovers I love him

[Part 1, Part 2]

I opened the door and sure enough, it was Downstairs Neighbor.  Tall, wearing Dickey shorts and some kind of heavy metal band t-shirt.  “Hy!” he boomed and scooped me up in a big hug.  “What the fuck is going on??”  He put me down a few feet inside the apartment and sees The Neighbor lounging in only his shorts on the couch.  “TN!  How the fuck are you, man??”  He quickly closed the distance and gave him a bear hug, as well.

“We’re drinking Sidecars,” TN answered.

“Want one?” I asked and set off to making us all another round.  I didn’t even wait for DN to reply.  Of course he wants another fucking drink.

We all retire back in my living room.  TN moved off the couch to sit on the ottoman to put some distance between us, DN is on the leather club chair, I’m on the couch.  “Yeah, um, so,” TN stammered unnecessarily, “the reason I’m in only my shorts is we went swimming earlier.”

“Oh, that’s cool,” DN says taking a slurp of his drink.  “Wow, man!  This is fucking good!”  We all laughed and caught up with each other.  It was easy and relaxed.  We moved out to the balcony where I took a seat between the two men, Downstairs Neighbor to my right, TN in front of me.  We lit our cigarettes and pulled on them between laughter, jabs, and jokes when suddenly, DN had a light go off.  It was like I was watching a train wreck, it was all so clear.

“Hy,” he said to me and put his hand on my arm.  He squeezed it warmly.  “I think you should tell TN about your troubles.”

I froze.  I knew exactly what he was talking about: my broken heart, my unrequited love, my situation with The Neighbor.  “NO, DN.  Absolutely not.  TN doesn’t need to be bothered with that, it’s silly and stupid!”

“No, Hy, seriously, TN’s a great guy!  I bet he could really help you with this situation!”

The Neighbor, obviously aware it was about him asked slyly, “What are you talking about, DN?”

“Oh, Hy’s sorta hung up on some guy.  She –” and I slapped my hand over his mouth.

“DN!!  DON’T YOU DARE!  Shut the fuck up, you mule!”  I’m laughing and desperate and wanting to crawl under a rock.  He wrapped his arms around me in a friendly embrace.

“But you need support!  And we love you!  TN might be able to give you some new perspective!”

“No!  I said no, no, no!”  I kept burying my head in my  hands, writhing in emotional embarrassment.

And then, before I could stop him, DN says, “See, TN, Hy is in love with this guy.”

BOOM.

I saw only the insides of my palms for seconds after, my knees drawn up as I wished for a small dark hole to crawl into.  “This is the worst goddamned night of my fucking life, you asshole,” I said to DN and punched him repeatedly for good measure.  I must have felt like an ant biting an elephant’s ankle for all he reacted to that.

“TN,” Downstairs Neighbor says, “What do you think she should do??”

TN took a breath and put his elbows on his knees in thoughtful introspection, “Well, Hy, are you guys in a relationship?”

“No,” I moaned from behind my hands.

“Do you like him?”

“Yes.”

“Then what’s the problem?  This is good for you to be able to feel this way, right?  It just means the next one will be that much better for the both of you.”

“What the fuck,” I said and look up from my hands, stare at the night sky and the stars twinkling at me with mirth.  “Yeah, ok, sure.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing and, ” I turn to DN, “you weren’t supposed to say anything!  I like to have some fucking secrets, for Christ’s sake!”  I turn back to The Neighbor who seems to be handling this quite well, if not enjoying it a little too much for my liking.  “I like that I feel this way, you’re right.  I also don’t think I’ll die when it ends.  When I leave him I will survive. Don’t forget I left a man I loved deeply once before and that was devastating.  Leaving this guy won’t devastate me like that.  I’ll be really fucking sad, but I’ll be fine.  Also, I still want to fucking die.  Can we talk about something else now??”

I stood up and stalked out, called them both assholes to their laughter following me inside.  Alone in my bedroom I panicked when I realized I’d just left them alone.  What if DN said more stupid shit??  I rushed back out and they laughed some more at my impotent anger.  I was so embarrassed even I was laughing as I raged at the two of them.

We kept drinking after that and TN started to secretly stroke my calf under the table, out of DN’s line of sight.  I stood up and leaned against the railing, TN slightly behind me in his chair.  While DN drunkenly told some tale, The Neighbor snaked his hand up my skirt to my bare pussy and slipped his fingers in.  I clasped the railing and tried not to move as he made me climax 3 feet from our friend.  My juices slipped down to my ankles.

DN got up to pee and TN and I made plans for me to join him in his apartment after DN left.  We agreed we’d start taking advantage of unlocked doors whenever possible.  When  Downstairs Neighbor came back out, the men said their goodbyes, but I had more railing to do at DN.  He apologized profusely, confused as fuck as to why I would care so much that TN knew about my unrequited love.  I finally gave up and asked him if he’d like some cheesy-bread.  It was 4 am and I was hungry again.

I fed us both and eventually  he left.  I laid down on the couch to rest and I was down for the count.  I woke up a couple of hours later and staggered into my bed, stripped, and curled up under my down comforter.  When the sun broke through the blinds I stretched and decided to see if TN’s door was, indeed, unlocked.

[Part 4]

I don’t always handle myself so well.

The constant stabbing and subsequent radiating pain in my lower back is relentless.  Everywhere I go, there it is.  I can find no relief.  The past few days have been especially agonizing.  Generally, I can find solace in certain positions, but lately I haven’t been so lucky. The pain affects my sleep; my sleep affects my energy; my energy affects my ability to deal.

What I’m saying is, I was wholly unfair to The Neighbor last night.

First of all, I hide my feelings well.  Yes, I said all those things to him, but I doubt he knew how disappointed I was.  Or hell, maybe he did, which is why he came over anyway.

Secondly, I had taken a pain pill by the time he came over —  half of one — and I felt detached and distant.  I wonder if he felt it, too.

Thirdly, I omitted the fact that we can’t have sex for at least two weeks.  He’s waiting on some test results for a medical condition and I know he’s freaked out. Sex wasn’t even an option last night.

Lastly, he was very kind when he did come over.  His knock startled me awake and when I shuffled to the front door I’m sure I looked as bad as I felt.  He was surprised I’d fallen asleep on my couch and immediately took control.  “You’re going to bed.  Come on.”  He grabbed my laptop and led me to my room.

“Let’s watch Game of Thrones.”

“Ok,” I agreed.  I could barely do more I was so tired and in a lofty cloud of opiates.

And so we lay together, with the laptop between us and he would occasionally reach over and massage my breast.  A few times he closed his eyes with his hand filled with my flesh and dozed.  He was exhausted, too.  And when it was all done he hovered over my mouth and asked, “Do you know what time it is?”

I held my breath hoping it’d be a kiss, but instead I could feel his smile as he said, “Time for me to go home.”

I couldn’t move to let him out.  “Are you ok with the door being unlocked?” he asked.

“Yes, that’s fine.  Thanks.  Have a good night.”

“You, too!”  And he quietly shut the front door.

Admitting I’m an asshole feels great, by the way.  Like eating shit-pie.  But really, this is part of my journey: I need to open myself up to greater communication and not be a shady, resentful woman.  I love being with him and remembering that disappointment will color my reactions will help me to remain a loving, kind person in the face of a let down.  Besides, even feeling “let down” is a slippery slope and it’s one I’d like to avoid altogether.

Today is a new day and I get to come at this all over again.  For that I’m grateful.  However, I’m still embarrassed about last night.  If I start getting shitty over every perceived slight then I am doomed and it’s like I’m 25 all over again.  I’m not going to go there.  I refuse.  I know he cares about me and this is a complicated situation.  This is hard.  I have to just relax.

I imagine what he’d think if he ever discovered this blog and it’s posts like last night’s (and even this one) that make me cringe with shame.  I’m more than this.  I promise.