“Remember how you used to sniff my knickers while you had a wank?”
“Do you still do that?”
And thus my heart was broken.
Maybe heartbreak is too strong a term to use for the tiny stomach-drop of sadness that hit me when I realised he doesn’t sniff my knickers any more. Is that a weird thing to be sad about? I’ve heard other friends lamenting certain things that drop off the priority list when you’re in a long-term relationship: date nights all-too-easily slip into ‘Netflix and chill’ sessions, which turn into just Netflix binges, eventually eroding into ‘staring blankly at whatever happens to be on More 4 because you can’t be bothered to change the channel’ sessions.
Others have pointed out that flowers, chocolates, and other teeny gifts which flowed freely at the start, dry up when you see each other every day. After all, what’s the point in using flowers to say ‘I love you’ when you can say it with your actual mouth, whenever you like, because your loved one is usually sitting no more than 2 feet away from you in their comfy pyjamas?
Knicker-sniffing, flowers, and make-up
Naturally I’m not going to turn to my other half and demand he smell my pants for old times’ sake: it’s not quite as sexy if you’re doing it through duty rather than horn. It did get me thinking, though, about the things I used to do which I don’t any more:
- Make-up. I don’t wear much make-up unless I’m going out, and because I’m now living with, rather than ‘dating’ him, he tends to only see me dolled up when we’re going out together. Or in the snatched 5-minute ‘off now!’ conversation we have before I leave the house.
- Fucking on top. Why don’t I do this as much any more? Is it because I genuinely don’t like the position? (No). Is it because we’ve found ones we like better? (Maybe). Or is it simply because going on top is something I associate with putting effort in, a thing I have clearly decided isn’t as necessary now? (Argh yes probably). Whatever the reason, our fucking now trends more towards me being submissive (“Lazy,” he explains cheerfully: “you’re just being lazy in character.”).
- Anal sex. This, I think, might just be down to the fact that it doesn’t always occur to us to do it. Occasionally we remember that butt sex exists and do something vigorous and brutal – double-penetration with a strap-on and a cock, for instance – but much of the time we’re too settled in our cuntfucking routine to remember that we can do anal sex too.
- Sexts. I’m not a huge fan of sexting, but I certainly used to enjoy sext foreplay – texting him shortly before I arrived at his flat to explain in great detail just how I’d like him to yank down my knickers and fuck me against the wall when I walked in the door. Nowadays, sexting foreplay has been mostly replaced by ‘can you pick up milk on way home? Ta’ with only the occasional ‘horny and bored’ thrown in.
There are many more, I just picked the sexiest ones because I’m guessing you care more about those than my gross domestic habits. For instance the fact that we used to change our bedding regularly to impress each other, whereas now we play a game of laundry chicken with the jizz-stained sheets. Or weird social stuff, like the fact that we used to big each other up in front of our friends, where now we’ve descended into cheerfully calling each other ‘that prick’ in front of our parents.
Is all the love dead forever and are we doomed?
While it’s sad in a kind of wistful nostalgic sense that certain things become rarer over time, in a more concrete sense it’s pretty good. Although he may not sniff my knickers while beating one out, he does have both the opportunity and the imagination to come up with new tricks to blow my mind in bed. Although I may not go on top as often, I do get to experiment on him with weird masturbation games – not something I’d have been able to surprise him with during our first few dates.
I may not smile politely when he tells me a boring work anecdote, but I do get to offer a genuine opinion when he asks for my advice on what he should say to a colleague. He doesn’t pretend to remember the names of people I talk to on Twitter, but he can tell within a heartbeat whether Twitter obsessing has caused me to have a really bad day. He may not sniff my knickers any more, but he’ll wash them when it’s his turn to do the laundry, and sit with me on the floor dividing them into neat piles, joking about my flaws and telling stories that might turn me on.
If we were still just sexting and sniffing knickers, we wouldn’t have done any of this other stuff. Nostalgia for that old stuff can only really work when you forget about the value of the new bits. And that’s why the idea that this magic rubs off after a few years rankles with me. It’s not that my knickers had ‘magic’ that’s rubbed off, or that he was only pretending to enjoy sniffing them and now he’s given up, any more than Black Mirror‘s lost its magic because you’ve watched it fifty times.
We love something, so we use it over and over until it’s time for a change. Then we find new ways to be pervy, and new ways to be in love.