July 2017
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my experience with MM last fall / falling fast and crashing / guard-guide-"dominance" realizations
Lately I've been thinking a lot about a person I'll call MM (don't want it to be searchable), who I met at my first TBC in 2011, and followed zir on twitter for the next year, feeling a great deal of admiration for zir thoughts and passion. When I went to TBC in 2012, I ended up staying at a mutual friends house with MM, as my flight was delayed by hurricane Sandy. I'd been incredibly attracted to MM, and we spend most of a day cuddling and talking.

Our cuddling was really intense for me, and for MM too, I felt. I have been developing my consent skills for a few years and I am way better than your average person (though by no means perfect). MM responded to my questions (about what ze wanted and what was comfortable for zir) with what I felt was relief and deep appreciation, and said that ze'd never been asked those sorts of questions before (which made my heart ache). There was a lot of sexual tension and something else that I hadn't experienced before, and it felt exhilarating and a little scary.

Later that evening there was a comment made by someone (not MM, don't remember who) that triggered some really deep pain in me, and I started crying (silently). No one noticed -- and I was in a room with three people who I was close to, who were my lovers. That just hit me pretty hard and I went in another room and texted Topaz (this was like three days after love-confessions) about how I feel like I am sensitive to other people's emotions but people just never notice mine, and that makes me feel deeply unseen and unloved. Topaz was comforting, but I was still hurting a huge amount. MM came in the room to get something from zir bag, noticed me and asked if there was anything ze could do (not exactly, my memory is fuzzy), and I talked about my feelings and we had a REALLY intense conversation for hours, starting about people not noticing, and going into our feelings about each other. I rambled out loud about the way that MM made me feel, like I wanted to guard and guide zir, similar to feeling "dominant" but it feels so responsive that it doesn't make sense to call it dominant. Ze said ze felt submissive to me and that that was rare for zir, and talked about previous relationships. I held zir in my lap and I told zir I loved zir (I feel like ze said the same to me but I can't remember for sure now and feel lots of doubt about it). It was the most fucking intense first-real-interaction I've ever had with someone, and I was full of shock and confusion and curiosity, because it was the first time I've ever felt that feeling about someone (I'd felt flashes of it, but not like that, like the difference between a crush and being in love). I really wanted to talk about it a lot and come to understand it and I wanted to maintain connection with MM. But I had to leave, so we exchanged contact info.

I texted a few times over the next few days and I sent a long email:
So I have no idea how to say anything about this, so I'm going to ramble. First, a pile of questions I'm wondering about. How do you feel about me? Has it decreased in intensity or changed in character since I left? If so how? What do you want from us-ness, both ideally and in more practical terms?

I felt/feel really intensely about you and am uncomfortable with that. It was painful to not be able to communicate much once I left and I've started to shift my feelings to compensate. It sounds from your texts as though I've gotten more attached than is wise.

For me to maintain connection over distance I need lots of communication. My preference would be to stay connected to you, but I understand that may not be possible. My ideal would be you sharing with me whenever something emotionally significant happened, real-time deep conversation at least 1-2x a week, and seeing you at least once every four months for a week. More often would also make me happy. I could maintain connection with somewhat less communication but it would be harder for me. Unfortunately I've learned that holding openness with someone who cannot maintain communication is horrible for me, so without regular communication I would need to close much of the connection between us when we're apart. I don't know what your thoughts on spirituality is so you might not even feel that, and it doesn't mean I'd be unwilling to converse, just that I probably wouldn't initiate much. The effects of that would be a slight but repeated drain; when I saw you again it would take energy to re-open. I can imagine that with maintained communication I would make a lot of space for you in my heart and in my life; without it I would probably only make space when you were in town.

So there's my thoughts on practical shit. I know what I need to do to maintain my emotional safety when I'm invested in someone far away. The other stuff? I don't know.

Here's a list of things I want. I want to know you and feel connected to you all the time. I want to hold you and tie you up and kiss you and feel you breathe under my hands. I want to make you feel safe and seen and loved. I want to taste your skin, bite you and mark you and press you. I want to feel you submit to me and I want to understand what that means and I want to feel that guarding-fierceness that you evoke in me. I want to do the things that make you feel perfection in a moment. I want to feel like you are aware of me and still with me, in a sense, when we're not together.

And if I start trying to make this comprehensive it will never get sent, so I'm sending.


Rereading that, I'm surprised at how bold it is. I was practicing being clear about what I want and asking for it. Topaz is partly responsible for that because I can be unedited with zir ♥ I maybe should have been more edited with MM.

A few days later, maybe a week, MM tweeted that ze had deleted 300 emails. I responded and asked if one of those was mine, and ze said yes, with a smiley face that I didn't know how to interpret (trying to soften the blow? being snarky? I've asked what it means but ze did not answer). I was fucking crushed. I don't think I've ever felt so profoundly rejected. I told zir that I felt hurt and disrespected, and that I would still support zir work, but I didn't want to invest emotionally. Ze stopped following me on twitter, which I took as zir no longer being interested in getting to know me. I was still following for a bit but ze and one of zir lovers were tweeting back and forth and it was hurting me to see because I wanted to have that kind of communication with MM, so I stopped watching them both for months. My heart is hurting a lot as I write this, fuck, I'm crying again, how the hell does this still hurt so much. I got better as time passed and was able to follow them both again without being sad at their affection.

I needed to write this out because I haven't really gotten to process it. It was SO MUCH in so little time. Even though I'm still aching over it, I feel like I learned a lot about myself and I don't regret opening up to it. I still love zir, even though it makes no sense considering how little we've interacted and how much it hurt... I feel like I understand the response ze had, and it may have been the kindest ze could be, I don't know. I don't think it was the right time to start a relationship with MM (even if it was/would ever be right), so it was the right choice on zir part, just a really painful method.
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.