My partner tends to annoy me when I'm working. So, we came up with a solution.

My partner annoys the shit out of me when I’m working. So, we came up with a solution.

For the first few months of my relationship with my boy, the only obstacle we had to confront was our own stubbornness. When we first got together, neither of us had much to do except each other. Since I’m working hours closer to my normal and he’s in school, we’ve had to confront a bunch of new time and separation issues.

Since it’s always honesty hour here at chez LTASEX, I’ll say that the issues are mainly my issues. When I’m trying to get work done, I can’t deal with inefficiency or distraction. I think it would be fair to say that I turn into a bit of an impatient shitbag when in work mode. Since he’s over my house all the time, this has become a rather important issue.

While I love my boy very much, he’s not the most organized, relaxed or focused person on Earth and it’s been causing a lot of internal problems for me. In general, he doesn’t sit still or stop talking or wanting my attention unless he’s distracted by something. Even then, I can expect him to lose focus every few minutes and look to me for some form of entertainment or attention.

Sometimes, I give him that bit of attention or entertainment; more commonly, it’s too frequent or I’m too focused. In those cases, I exasperatedly yet kindly ask him to return his focus to the TV or whatever else is pacifying him. Although it’s rude, I also will ignore him when I’ve asked repeatedly and keep being distracted. Since he understands his propensity to flit around and bounce off the walls, he’s generally OK with this setup, but sometimes I can see a little hurt in his face and I don’t like it.

Anyone who knows me knows that I can be a vicious bitch when the time calls for it. For a long time I was vicious simply because it was fun; these days, I’m a domesticated kitty who only uses his claws when a bitch needs to get cut. These days, I actually feel guilty – like day-alteringly guilty – when I hurt someone. When the person I’m hurting is my boy, my lover, my Bubby Wubby, I just can’t take it.

My boy gets kid glove treatment because keeping him happy is important to me. I don’t like to scratch him unless he begs for it. So, I’m going to have to come up with a new solution.

As I was pondering this problem, I looked at how we solved other similar problems in our relationship. Staring me back in the face was a simple elegant solution that I hope is the fix we need: a safe word/phrase.

As I mentioned, my boy has a tendency to be all over the place and inattentive to what’s going on around him. When he’s altered by chemicals, it becomes an even bigger problem. To combat this, I started saying “control yourself” whenever he starts to spin out of control. It’s become an easy shorthand for “dude, I love you but comme des fuck down.” Since “cacao” would be to Portland and “waffles” – the best breakfast food – is what we use when fucking rough, I’m out of ideas.

How does one elegantly say, “baby, I love you but leave me the fuck alone. Otherwise, I will be forced to defenestrate you,” without hurting someone’s feelings? When I brought up this question to my boy, he told me to tell him to shut up. While it wasn’t my first or second choice, I suppose the direct approach is best.

I’m not sure why I felt like I couldn’t be upfront. I guess, like most people, I fell into the trap of conflating honesty with rudeness. I also underestimated my boy’s ability to handle criticism. I’ll have to work on that.

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In the days since I began writing this, I’ve had to deal with this issue quite a few times. Although I didn’t want to be upfront with my feelings, it turned out for the best. Telling him to shut up seems to be working well.

From letting him know the times where I need to be left alone, he’s learning more about my moods and how to be better for me. I’ve learned to trust in his strength more often and to fear friction less. So, that’s pretty swell.

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