Every Good Girl Needs Her Toys

Ladies, I have three magic words for you: California Exotic Novelties. Now, you may not be familiar with them. I was complete clueless until a week and a half ago, so let me school you on what I’ve very pleasurably learned.

But first, a little back story. It all started with dinner at a Japanese restaurant. No, there was no sushi consumed. I had some chicken teriyaki dish (sub-par–nothing will ever compare to my near weekly haunt to my favorite Japanese restaurant in Menlo Park), and my dinner guest had the safe chicken stir fry. His meal looked absolutely incredible, it tasted delightful, but I won’t begrudge him…even though it has literally taken me almost four years to get him to go somewhere beyond the familiar and try Japanese food when I knew he’d find something on the menu he’d like. But I digress.

We got to the car after a long day, a really long work week for me–somehow I’ve turned into a workaholic who never sleeps, who is always writing, editing, plotting, perusing for ideas, or whatever the hell else I am doing at 4 a.m. His week has been just as busy, though he found time to sleep, at least.

Anyway, I assume we’re heading back for a quiet night of Saturday Night Live, when all of a sudden, he says, “Let’s go get some toys.” Now ladies and gentlemen, I am not so naive that I didn’t know exactly what he meant when he suggested getting toys. I started wearing the high heels, the fishnet stockings, the leather bra for him. It’s funny, we never really played dress up beyond panties and skirts. The week prior he got this weird look on his face and said, “Let’s put something up you!” Little did I know he meant something other than his finger, tongue or cock.

When he mentioned a cucumber, I was in utter disbelief. Never, ever would I have thought of such things. Especially not coming from him. We had a tame sex life in general…other than the anal. So I listened as he microwaved the cucumber–so I wouldn’t have a chilled vagina, right?

Are you really going to try to shove that huge vegetable inside me??

First, he spread me open with his fingers, and before I knew it, I had a cucumber in my pussy. Not only did I have a cucumber there, I actually kind of liked it. And while one hole was filled, another hole was free for him to fill me, and it felt pretty damn amazing.

So no, going to the L.U.V., right next door to the “gentleman’s club” didn’t come completely out of nowhere. Yet I was still a giggly sex toy virgin. They literally had everything from dildos to vibrators to penis extenders to pocket pussies to blow up dolls, gag gifts, magazines and videos for every fetish under the sun, and the strippers from next door to model skimpy clothing. It was like a Toy Store Warehouse for adults.

He kept asking me what I wanted, picking up things he thought were neat. A glass dildo that had groovy swirls and nobs that you could cool and heat, various vibrating toys, straight out ridiculous Ron Jeremy-sized dildos and a whole bunch of other things I was completely overwhelmed by. We wound up with a purple vibrating dildo and an amazingly small (waterproof, the female staff, kept highlighting) with at least a half dozen speeds, intensities and types of vibrations. The shape of a clam it could easily fit way up inside of you.

I will not go into any further detail about how said items were used, except to say that the clam vibrator is something both a man and woman can enjoy in synchronicity for a truly amazing and new sexual experience. It’s amazing how one little thing, or rather, two little things can change things. When the shape of a relationship changes, have gone stale or when you’ve reached that stage where it’s make it or break it point, living outside the box can really help bring that spark back. I can enjoy every minute of it, no matter where it takes me, sexually or purely emotionally.

And I think, personally, every good girl needs a little playtime away from her insane work-centered existence.

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Taking A Leap of Faith

Somehow Mr. Etiquette has slipped back into my life after multiple false starts, arguments and tears. The crazy bitch FDG married her poor fiance this past Friday. Mr. E had put her in her proper place in the past. He finally said the sorry I was waiting for all this time–he’d already countless apologized for being so blind as to give me up to give her another chance, but finally, he gave me the sorry for not telling me there was a FDG in the first place those first blissful three weeks of dating. He cried, full of shame, and I resented having to bully him to get him to admit he went about our relationship the wrong way.

My mother is a paragon of forgiveness. She had much to forgive my father of in their past. I never could understand how she allowed him back into her heart. I never thought I had that kind of strength and grace in me. Maybe I underestimated myself.

Mr. Etiquette started therapy. We worked together to help write him an ad to find him a band. On my own, I came to the conclusion that, despite the V-Man being a better man than I gave him credit for, he still is not the right one for me (I think) for the long haul of life. This is harder for me to admit than I’d wish. I don’t know how much this will change the shape of our friendship.

Mr Etiquette began wooing me again. He wrote me a heartbreaking, touching poem that he read to me over Skype before it came to me in the mail, with a card. After an argument and a proclamation of my need for space, Mr. Etiquette stubbornly came to the house, Lloyd Dobler-style, knocked on the front door in the morning to no answer. He left a beautiful bouquet of flowers, another card and lyrics to songs that touched upon very pertinent issues we had been facing over the last two and half months.

The next day, under the protection of my family, I invited him over, just to see what it would feel like. Those first three weeks of knowing how right we were together had been muddled and tainted by confusion and hurt, it was so hard to know my ass from my elbow anymore. He claimed FDG was in the past. He insisted with confidence that he loved me. Those words made me shake my head, no.

The last man who had clearly told me “I love you” was an overly aggressive man who intimidated me. The last man who had sounded so sure about our future, who had declared with certainty that he wanted me to be his wife and the mother of his children, was arguably bipolar and had taken me on  the emotional roller-coaster of my life. Mr. E. had been so confused not so long ago, how could I believe his leap back to me?

When he came over, he was cautious, downright terrified of me. I watched him interact with my brother and his wife, their children. Eventually, he tentatively reached out for my arm several times. I looked up at him and couldn’t help smiling back at him. This man had more courage than anyone I’d ever come across before.

He stayed through dinner. He watched me wash the dishes. He, my mom, and I were settling down to watch the new “Alice in Wonderland” when I started having one of my really bad seizure-like episodes. I could see the fear and genuine concern on Mr. E’s face. He tried to follow my mom’s lead to comfort me. Then we all had a serious discussion about the recent appointment I had with the specialist in Boston and what were my potential paths ahead. Mr. E asked a lot of questions and said he was on board to help me however he can.

The next day, Mr. E. called, telling me he had done lots of research on my disease and shared what he had discovered. He told me to stop being stubborn and stay on top of things so I never get this bad again. It touched me how he said he was there to support me, whatever course the disease takes over time.

Later that night, he told me he loved me again. I smiled this time. He asked why I was so afraid of that word. He told me his one word definition of love: acceptance. “When I say I love you, I am saying I accept all of you, your intelligence, your strength, your courage, your beautiful heart, your sense of humor, even your stubbornness and toughness.”

Mr. Etiquette told me that from now on, he was going to tell me, “I accept you completely.” One day soon, he said, you are going to want to say it back to me. I must say I like his definition. It has a certain poetic truth to it.

His kids are coming in from Germany on Saturday for five weeks. I am eager to see him as a father because that is a role he cherishes and feels most confident in. We all have our different sides. I hope we each can show each other more of our beautiful sides again, more of that side we showed each other in those first three magical weeks together. Time will tell if that’s a possibility.

Rediscovering the Hidden Gems in My Closet of Love

It breaks my heart that my morning pages a.k.a my diary for years has been obliterated by an OS meltdown, but maybe I needed a complete emotional reboot as well. V-Man’s been telling me for years that I needed to clear out my garbage, and he was right. Of course, he meant my literal garbage, all those old clothes, old papers, mail that doesn’t need to be kept, literal junk I hold onto for nostalgia’s sake or because I just hate to throw away perfectly good stuff that is perfectly not right for me anymore. More and more, I realize how much that holds true for my emotional life as well.

I also am recognizing how there are some hidden gems in my closet that I complete forgot I had, or that I had become blinded to as gems, for whatever reasons, and so I allowed all the clutter to block my vision of their true worth. It’s ironic that the person who’s been trying to point this hoarding flaw of mine out to me again and again is also the one that I’ve overlooked the most as the greatest gem in my life, though his radiance keeps glimmering in my heart again and again.

After two years of dating, I buckled under pressure. My best friend was a newlywed. She and her husband, despite their marital and financial strife were pushing for having a baby very shortly. Her husband was nearly a decade younger than my boyfriend. She told me, in her blunt way, that after two years together, the V-Man needed to “shit or get off the pot.”

I knew I didn’t want to be like my boyfriend’s news anchor co-workers having their first babies at age 40. I was an arthritic 30-year-old with an autoimmune disease who worried that every passing year was stealing another year of active opportunity to be the hands-on, athletic mom I had always dreamed of being with my kids. I also was aware of the increased risks I would face over the age of 35, even as a healthy mother, so who knew what I was in store for already as a high-risk pregnancy?

I felt the pressure. I watched the vast majority of my friends starting families. I wondered when my adult life was going to move forward to that stage as well. In other words, I made it quite clear to my boyfriend that, after 2 years together, I wanted to know if V-Man was even thinking things like, “I might want to be with this woman for the unforeseeable future, possible marry her, and maybe even have kids together.”

We had some ambiguous talks. He said, “Oh you have five years, no rush then right?” in the cavalier way of a guy with no understanding of my concerns.

He didn’t understand that was only one of the reasons I broke things off. His obsession with house remodeling and yard work to the point of having no other life but that bothered me. I had no problem yanking down a tree or holding up sheetrock for a ceiling every now and then, but when we only did fun things together like go hiking or go the New York City for the day once every six months. The rest of the time I felt like he had me on for free labor.

The sex wasn’t even awesome half the time when we had the energy to do it. I was still ridiculously attracted to him, but the connection was disconnected from emotion so often. I felt we had reached a stale mate. He’d spent time with my family on numerous holidays. I’d never met his mom who lived less than 10 minutes from the house. I thought he was ashamed of his (violently at times) autistic brother. The majority of the kids I work with these days are autistic. I lived at his house 3-4 days out of the week, which meant I lived out of my car shuttling between his house and my place. He innocently said I could move in up to 4-5 if I wanted to.

I thought he was ashamed of me. I thought I wasn’t high maintenance enough for a man who worked in the TV news industry. He claimed to hate that type of woman, but he was attracted superficially to those looks of course. I never got my nails done. I yes, sometimes dressed like I was 40, when appropriate., though I tried to look sexy and hot for him when appropriate (but I wasn’t wearing mini skirt and heels when we were digging dirt in the backyard, thanks). I thought maybe I wasn’t ambitious enough for him. My book wasn’t published (or completed) yet.  The company for which I was COO flopped miserably (though to no fault on mine). I had three different master’s degrees I  genuinely planned to pursue. I thought, to him I surely was a basket case.

So I broke up with him. He didn’t want what I wanted. The idea of a future with me, while he sometimes thought about it, scared him, “because it was so grown up,”—yes, coming from a then 36-year-old. I wanted to know more about him and where he came from, but he didn’t see why meeting his mom mattered. So it went.

The next year and a half without him was a mess. I had an immediate head-over-heels fling with Harlequin Hero. He stomped my heart. I quickly tried to date someone else as rebound—he was completely wrong for me, though a nice guy, an odd fellow. Dated another way too intense for me guy for several months. Finally had the guts to end it. Had a friends with benefits period. V-Man surprisingly came to this show we went to and immediately ignored him and flirted with me like FWB didn’t exist. In that moment, the only one who cared, who mattered, who made me grin, made my heart thump-thump was V-Man.

The next guy who I really did try to make matter was in love with his ex for the first few months as well. But then he fell deeply for me—in his selfish way.  Still fairly early on, when the infatuation and lust was still high and I was heady with his musical talent, he and I went to an open mic to perform individually. Guess who showed up? V-Man. Even seeing the affection I showed Music Man, V-Man said hey, then turned his body and talked to me the entire night. This time he said, the only reason we weren’t together was because of me. That I and my parents had misconceptions about him because of half-truths or straight out lies I had told them about him. I was so confused and wanted to explore this theory, but not there, not then.

Music Man saw the obvious chemistry and was incredibly jealous to see that someone else could make me come alive like that, flirtatious, laughing, and it wasn’t him. I should have followed my heart and ended things then, Music Man wondered if we should as well, but we both stubbornly decided to give it another go.  It was the second New Year’s V-Man wanted to spend with me, and it was the second one I severely let him down. I should have been there at least one of those years, if I had only trusted myself!

Despite our non-couple status, last year, he saw Coldplay with me, Living Colour for the second year in a row with me, saw the Riverfest fireworks for the third time with me, continued to build memories that are part of my tradition with him that I never wanted to just give up. So when I got so sick this January, the first person I sought comfort from besides my parents and my best friend M was V-Man. He hates hospitals, doctors, blood, you name it. But when he heard what I was going through, he got his butt to my hospital room  and stayed for hours. He held my hand, learned what to do during my seizure-like episodes, and talked to my parents to find out what was going on and get angry on my behalf about.

When I got out of the hospital, my musically gigging “boyfriend” was too ashamed to take me to his first solo big gigs. V-Man was proud to take me out to see some interesting shows that I wanted to see. He came to the house and sat with me, holding me even when the whole family was right by my side. He held conversations and played with the little nephew. He didn’t treat me like an invalid. He joked as always. He even found me sexy still. After I broke up with the boyfriend who wasn’t, V-Man started taking me out for little day trips to his house for a change of pace, to keep him company and to keep me company. We realized the chemistry was still very much alive. He reminded me that he still found me irresistible even doing the most mundane things in not even the sexiest get-ups.

I basically asked him, “What’s going on between us?”

He deflected, as usual. “Let’s wait to have this discussion until you’re better. I’m not going anywhere.”

Surprisingly, he wasn’t. He hasn’t. He’s made more efforts to bring me over. One weekend here. A day visit there to help him pick out appliances and paint color. One dinner out there. This weekend I owed him a repair of the curtains my cat messed up the last time V-Man cat-sit for him, plus he wanted my help pulling down a tree and tying up some tree branch bundles. I initially asked him if I could bribe him to take me to the shore this past Friday. He said, yes, if he’ll get some help in return, then asking which bikini I might be wearing. Wanting to have time for both fun (beach state park) and the work, he thought an early start would be best so invited me to spend the night prior as well. I thought about for a half second before knowing that’s what I deep-down wanted to do.

We went to Rocky Neck State Park. It was incredibly hot and sunny. We found cool in the shade of the forest trails surrounding the area. There was an incredibly impressive stone arboretum with tree furniture inside. We walked along the stone cliffs down to the four-mile-river leading out to the Long Island Shore. Finally, when we couldn’t resist anymore, we dipped our legs in the warm water. It was peaceful and enjoyable and I loved how he’d always reach down or up for me on the steep inclines to  make sure I was steady.

When we came back to the house, we decided it was far too hot to do yard-work. So we made dinner together. We watched some Friday night TV. Saturday we set to work. Later we went clothes shopping (wound up with shoes for both), and then grabbed dinner. On my way home Sunday morning, we finally talked, meaning I asked the questions I was afraid to ask and encouraged him not to weasel out of them with humor or deflection.

Did my illness scare him? He hated seeing me sick. He wanted doctors to find a way to get me better. But me being sick was not a deal-breaker or a problem at all even. I asked if my idea of a future scared him. Again he said, if that’s what he wanted too, no it didn’t scare him. What scares him more is his individual future: the security of his job, the threat of losing his stability that he’s had for 10 years.

He sounded more like he had been worrying he wasn’t good enough for me. That he thought he was too boring for me. How could I think he thought I was boring, he wondered. I always had a million different things going on, half of which he didn’t even understand. I said do you ever think about getting together again. He said, yeah, sometimes. I said, do you really like being a bachelor? Your freedom? He told me hasn’t dated. He goes to work, he comes home and works on the house. He goes out with his friends one a month or two. He sometimes likes having free time to himself but he’s usually just messing around on the computer. I said, doesn’t that ever get lonely? He said, yes, of course it does. But he just snuggles with his cat, haha.

So I joked, if I got rid of the rest of my granny clothes and my new specialist in a couple weeks gave me promise, would you consider a trial run of us again? He gave the loudest, most genuine laugh in the longest time. Like, you’re so silly, you don’t need to do anything.  He said he enjoyed spending time with me. We talked about how nice it is to have a balance between fun things like we did at the beach and also being able to get things done like he feels pressed to do. And still find time for ‘me time’. It’s all about balance.

I can accept that. I need to earn his trust back and be more reliable and dependable for him to want to be with me again full-time.

And yes, I know some of you may want to know, the sex we had over those three nights and three days was absolutely amazing. He was attentive, inventive and thoughtful. Not just in the bedroom either. But yes there too. I would say in one day, we had more sex than we’d typically have in the average month in the latter section of our relationship. And it’s not like this is the first time we’d touched since we broke up. I think some walls were just let down and we could let more of each other in.

I’m afraid of this. What if it doesn’t really mean anything? What if this is just how it’s going to continue to be ad infinitum until I say I can’t do any of this anymore, you can’t ask me for favors, I can’t help you pick out things for your house, and we can’t have sex; I need to truly move forward to a relationship if you don’t want to give it to me. I felt real hope this time. He actually revealed his heart to me, which was the toughest thing for him to do especially after the first few months of our relationship. I know I will just go slow, not hope for anything more, and like he said “we’ll play it by ear.”

He may spook tomorrow, and come back in two weeks. Heck, I probably will be the first to go that route.

Can FWB Become Friends With Potential?

Recently jackfrombkln contributed to a great discussion on the subtle differences between friends with benefits, f*ck buddies, and booty calls. He said that FWB were actual friends who enjoyed doing things together, including have sex, but just weren’t relationship material for whatever reason. F*ck buddies often started out as people dating, then they started having sex, but realized something was missing, but they haven’t stopped having sex…yet. I don’t really need to explain booty calls. You’re called after 11 p.m. to come over and perform a service, there’s not a whole lot of verbal communicating going on, and there’s no relationship to speak of. jackfrombkln‘s delivery is classic, though, so you should check it out anyway, just because.

Last summer I was involved in a FWB relationship. We went out on a couple dates, and by the third date, I could sense he was just going along with the motions, so I ended things. He said something about knowing how we would never get married–to this day, I still don’t know the precise reason why not–but he wanted to continue being friends. We were practically neighbors, we had a lot in common, and there was a certain shared level of intelligence that was reassuring–neither of us felt like we had to talk down to the other. We’d go to the movies, go the beach, go to dinner.

All was beautiful, until the flirtation really started building up. I was actually at another guy’s house when my friend got randy and started texting about the slightly inappropriate thoughts he was having. Since this guy had fallen asleep on me, and my friend was starting to send me pictures, I shamelessly bailed, and headed over to his house.

This was a forty-five minute drive. We had a lot of time to second-guess and psychoanalyze this decision of taking our friendship to the FWB level. Were we prepared for the affect this could have on our friendship? Were we mature enough to handle it? The big question was I, the slightly more emotional girl, going to be able to separate sex from a relationship? A part of me was uncertain, but I was intrigued enough to try.

And so began the summer of Movie Man. I will call him that because he loves movies more than anyone else I know. Movie Man and I went to the movies with his friends, and we went to his friend’s house for MM’s birthday celebration and a hilarious tournament on the Wii.  When MM had friends from work over for a last-minute BBQ/wiffleball game, he invited me to come, and all the girls seemed to think I was his girlfriend, and if I wasn’t, I should be. Again, we went to the beach with his co-worker and her friend,. When he went up to Cape Cod for a week, half of the time he was going to be by himself, the other time with his childhood best friend. He invited me to come, and on a whim, I went and we had an amazing time. He showed me his favorite places, we took hilarious photos, we spent a crazy amount of time together, and we had the best sex.

It all had to come to an end, though, didn’t it? I had to stupidly, predictably, fall in love. He had to repeat that he would never marry me (wtf, dude!). He told me how this was all he could do. His ex had gotten frustrated with him because it took so many months for him to even accept the title of boyfriend. I thought, you’re 39 years old. Grow up, already. And so, as painful as it was, I said goodbye to my FWB, and goodbye to my friend almost completely for several months. We reunited for a movie around New Year’s but it wasn’t the same. At least we’ve picked up our email correspondence. As much he sucked as a FWB, I do miss our conversations.

Then there was Superman. I’m not exactly sure how to classify him. It was about seven years ago when we met in the open mic circuit. He was a sweet, slightly nerdy friend, or so I thought. We talked at the open mics, I cheered for him and his band when they played, but that was it. One day, I took him on his invitation to come to a party at his house after one band show. That’s when everything changed. We were sitting next to each other, and while one girl seemed to really want to get into his pants, he was slowly making moves on me. I realized there was this whole other man inside him, the incredible tiger of a lover.

So began our relationship. Except we weren’t exactly boyfriend and girlfriend. We saw each other at least once or twice a week. I was limited by my health in what activity I could do, so I couldn’t go to all the shows he invited me to. He’d call from parties and say he wished I was there. I missed out on huge aspects of his life. But when I could come over afterward, we’d play guitar for one another, talk for hours, and make love for even more. It was a peaceful little existence until I wanted more. I wanted labels and reassurance that he wasn’t sleeping with his groupies as well. He naturally freaked that I was no longer just laid back, and “letting things flow”. And then he and his cousin decided to move to Florida.

We kept in touch. When I moved to Las Vegas, he called me and told me how sick he had gotten with Crohn’s disease, how it nearly had taken his life. He spoke of how much more compassion and understanding he had for what I lived through with my autoimmune disease. In and out of my life he came. When I broke up with that boyfriend, moving back to the East Coast permanently, he would call when came back to the state and we’d spend time together. He met the new boyfriend. He came to my 30th birthday gathering.  I was there for him when he reunited with his alcoholic, drug-addicted father. When it was time for my 31th, we admitted attraction was still there, and our respective partners were not still, so we acted on it. We played music, talked for hours, and made love, admitted how long it had been but how things didn’t feel so different at all. Business was bringing him  up to the area much more frequently, so he called whenever he came home.

Suddenly friends turned into FWB into f* buddies. When my life became too busy or unpredictable, gone went the movies or concerts. Then it was texts that read: “You wanna come over. My mom goes to bed at like 9:30. You can come over at 10. We can watch movies and cuddle. I just want to hold you so bad.” I thought to myself, what are we, 17 again? It began to feel like we had transitioned from real friends into booty call, and I told him that I didn’t want that. I had matured to a place in my life where booty calls were empty and meaningless and basically a waste of my time. Superman appreciated that and hoped we could still be friends.

He texted this past Mother’s Day when he came home. We’re both dating. We’re both happy. There was no talk of getting together. My instincts were correct. Sad after seven years of friendship, but I guess every relationship has an expiration date.

I would like to posit that there is yet another category that fits in this no strings attached category. He is more than a booty call, but you don’t see him often enough to comfortably fit him into FWB. You probably used to date him quite passionately. Now he lives out of state, so you never see him. He sometimes calls or texts out of the blue and remembers odd but sweet things about you that make you think, wow, he still cares quite a bit, or has nostalgia about what we once had like I do. Right now, I think of HH, who in his grief, clung to me like a drowning man clings to a makeshift raft. He literally clung to me at the burial of his sister and later at the reception, pulling me to his side, squeezing my hand. Smiling at me as if I was the best sight he’d seen in years. It was so obvious that my cynical best friend had said, “I’d say HH was definitely very glad to see you.” Another friend joked that I would be the one to convince him to move back to town.

Well, he was glad to see me. Acting like a silly, old couple trying to reclaim our teenage years, we looked for a familiar place to park just to talk, or so I thought. It was romantic, the stars were out, the frogs and crickets were chirping, it was chilly enough to need each others heat, and the next thing I know, we’re making out in his truck like we’re 16. But we also talked for hours about life and loss, about love and loss, about what the future might hold for each of us, about our dreams and goals. We were a huge release for each other.

After a few random texts in the week afterward, I just signed it up to sympathy f* buddies. But then he sounded panicked when he heard I might be considering grad school far, far away. Then he sent a text when I changed my profile picture, “Nice picture,” he commented. Stalker, I thought, with a smile. And then today, when I wanted some reassurance, he texted, “Of course we’re friends.” Oh, “And I just bought a house three miles from you.” I swallowed, unable to comprehend the news after my three hours of sleep. What?? Apparently he’s going to rent it out while still living down South. But he’s keeping his ties up here. Is this a new category: Friends With Potential? Maybe I just need more sleep.