It seems like things are evening out a little. When I saw Clay last night I was very happy but no longer wholly and completely absorbed. His touch felt great, but no longer absurdly so. I wouldn't begin to assume that NRE isn't still in effect in various ways, but it seems that the initial stage of pure intoxication is ending. It's a relief, really, to feel more normal, and we still had a *very* enjoyable evening.
I helped him set up for the event he was running, knelt at his feet as he worked the door, and helped him break down when it was all over. I met Izzy and we got along very well. You certainly couldn't call us "friends" yet, but "friendly acquaintances" would fit. It felt like we were both being very conscious of trying to be considerate of the other person. She had a friend visiting from out of town, so it seemed like she probably wasn't quite as focused on Clay as she might otherwise have been, which, I must admit, was convenient for not having to deal too much with sharing him right away (though I think I would have been fine). When I did see them together, they seemed cute and happy, and I had no problem with it whatsoever. I hope she felt the same about me and him. She left early, I'm not sure why, but she didn't seem upset in the least.
He pole dances. He danced for me. There were other people in the room, but he was only looking at me. It felt humbling, watching this gorgeous, dear person put on a show for me. Later he tied me up again, very elaborately. So much energy and focus sent my way. I gave it right back, and I suppose I'll just leave that there without explanation.
We both ended up testing each other over the course of the evening.
Izzy is a sex worker, as it happens, and Clay has very occasionally done some sex work as well. He told me these things before we met. I told him that I was fine with that, as long as everything was done safely and std testing was frequent, which he assured me was the case on both counts. Last night, he and I got to talking casually about Izzy after she'd left, and at one point he said "Well, I already told you her deep, dark secret." I stared at him blankly, and said "Which... was...?" "That she's a sex worker," he said, one side of his mouth quirked up. "OH, ha, that didn't remotely occur to me," I said. "Well played, Clay..." he murmured to himself approvingly, and that's when I understood that he'd been trying to find out if I'd been concealing a prejudice.
My test was more mundane and straightforward. After the event, we went back to his house. I had a small juice bottle that I needed to get rid of. I was in his kitchen and I didn't see a recycling bin. My blood went a little cold. I turned to him and asked, as mildly as I could, "Do you recycle?" To my relief, he said that they did and showed me where to put it. "You weren't really asking 'Do you recycle,'" he remarked in an amused voice, "you were asking 'Do I have to judge you now'." I sheepishly agreed. Environmental issues are really important to me, y'all.
We slept beside each other for the third time in the first week of our in-person acquaintance. The first two times I couldn't sleep much. This time I slept much more soundly, which seems to me to be analogous to, and most likely a result of, some of the intensity beginning to die down. It's thrilling to feel so much all at once, but one does *need* to rest.
He's told me he loves me several more times since the first time.
I believe him, completely. Sometimes I still feel a little scared or unsure, and other times I feel so deeply tender towards him that it amazes me.