Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Aquarist & Femidom Confessions

There's a new boy in my life. Well, he's not new to my life, but he's a discovery. A confusing one. A head fuck. I am completely at sea and lost as to what to do about him.

He is my ex's childhood friend. We've been aware of each other for years. We shared a friendship circle for 5; he was the player, the man-whore of the group, slowly working his way through each of the girls. I was his mate's girlfriend - off limits, the red-head he wasn't allowed to get to know. That was our perception of each other. 

I can't put the man I know now to my perception of that boy, that player. They are two people, a thousand miles apart. 

His name for the purpose of this blog shall be Gellar; being a nerd happiest in the Natural History Museum and a minimalist with slight OCD, he is at once Ross and Monica from Friends. This was our first in-joke.
After I broke up with my ex, Gellar felt he could be my friend. When I found myself back in my hometown 3 weeks ago I took him up on his offer of a free tour of the aquarium where he works. After stroking an octopus, feeding turtles and holding many a lizard and even a tarantula, I had already had a great time. When his shift ended we made our way to a bar for drinks. The evening that followed involved a deep, sprawling and revelatory conversation that flowed for hours and ended with a carefree, night-time riot in a play park. 

Lying together in a giant bowl swing, affectionately known now as the femidom, we told each other everything. Embarrassing sex stories, deepest fears, greatest ambitions. Our past perceptions of each other had faded away, revealing two human beings we hadn't expected to find. Had he always been this way? How had I not seen it? 

No kisses were shared, nothing more than a brief holding of hands, the brush of his touch against my knee. We felt this thing growing between us and neither one dared advance for fear of breaking the connection. I invited him to London, didn't think he would come, and began to miss him the very next day.

Gellar arranged his visit for 2 weeks later. We planned a trip to the Natural History Museum, a Halloween/wine evening at my friend's and for the Sunday he had organised free entry into the London aquarium. 

I told my Man-Guru of my weekend plans and he asked me what my intentions for Gellar were. Caught off-guard, I panicked. Was I meant to have intentions? We'll probably have sex, I answered, otherwise just two friends hanging out. Man-Guru shook his head; boys do not catch a 6am coach and organise a free trip to Sea Life for "just friends" or "just sex". They don't? 

Saturday morning I met Gellar at the station. He told me afterwards that my greeting hug was what told him I liked him, before I even knew it myself. We got breakfast and braved the heaving crowds of the Piccadilly Line. At the museum I was guided round by a true enthusiast; knowledge turns me on like nothing else. I found myself edging closer, wishing he'd kiss me. He didn't until we had retreated to mine, to change for the party, and the bed lay before us, posing That question. 

Clothes were swiftly removed, the final barriers of the friend-zone broken down. I had heard tales of Gellar's prowess between the sheets, of his talented fingers and insatiable sex-drive. 

He couldn't get it up.

What was I doing wrong? Did he not find me attractive? Were we just friends, after all? From my experience of previous guys and their complex relationship with their members, I awaited his sulky frustration and inevitable resentment of me, for I had seen a weakness. What I got was a simple apology. "I'm finding you quite intimidating," he admitted. "I'll man up soon." I was perplexed but happy that "manning up" involved making me cum twice. Talented fingers indeed.

At the party my friends were swiftly enamoured of Gellar and his charms. "I approve," said one, as we left. Exactly what had I been asking their approval of? I wondered. What did I want from this? 

Back at mine Gellar seemed to get over whatever he'd found intimidating. I slept through the night without a single nightmare, for the first time in weeks. In the morning we made eggy bread, had sex twice more, and wandered up to the south bank to gaze through glass at marine life. I found myself craving every touch of his hand and every word he spoke. It scared me and I pushed away from it. Just good friends. 

The late afternoon and evening we spent cocooned in my bed, swapping stories of heartbreak and watching funny animal videos on youtube between orgasms. Gellar had been hurt badly, worse than I had realised, and I selfishly thanked the girl who had done it because she had cast the player from him. I could trust this guy not to inflict that pain on someone else, on me. He didn't deserve it but I felt safer for it.

Starved from lack of food, we stumbled to my favourite Thai place just in time for closing. Over plates laden with noodles we discussed our mad parents, finding more common ground in the hurt they'd caused us. His was greater, more present, while mine lay darkly in my past. Before me emerged a person I had not thought to find: emotionally intelligent, deeply scarred, but caring and passionate. 

When Gellar left I was determined to forget about him. I promised myself 3 days of no texts, to remember my life was complete without a man in it. I lasted one day, arranged to meet him that coming weekend. I spent £25 I did not have on a last minute train ticket, raced across London to Waterloo in under thirty minutes, to leap on board just as the doors closed. The train was packed; I sat cross-legged in the aisle, cradling my kindle and the promise of a good weekend.

Seeing him again was like being swept up into open, accepting and generous arms. I felt so much appreciation for him, for the ease of being in his company and knowing that I was accepted, exactly as I was. I did not need to filter my internal monologue, laughed freely, goofed out and let all barriers fall away. It was so easy. Too easy, until the last hour of my visit.

"What are we doing?" I asked.

Awkward questions are my thing. I felt him gather his courage before he laid his cards on the table. He had never felt like this around a girl before; usually her name would bring to mind an ass, some boobs, a pretty face. With me it was my brain, my thoughts, my laugh. The ease with which we had melded together in such a short space of time was new to him. It scared him but he wasn't prepared to let go. He wanted Us.

My turn. I admitted my fears and hesitations. Could I really commit to a long distance relationship again? It's harder than you think, and this time with no end in sight. We both put our careers before anything else and these would inevitably lead us in different directions. Would the good times leading up to that be worth the pain of letting each other go? Above all of that was my desire to protect the independence I had built up. Three months of being single, a short time in perspective, but the longest I had ever stood on my own. I hadn't been looking for anyone, was content with my fuck-buddy and open weekends, the easy flirting and guilt-free eye-candy. Plus so much of my life needed fixing and I had no want or energy to spare from that.

I have this week to decide. Recently I posted a very personal blog, about feeling unhappy, in which I ask for something good to happen. What if Gellar is this good thing? Should I turn that happiness away because it's not what I expected/wanted?

Then again, if being with Gellar will make me happy, why do I feel so reluctant to dive in?