Passive / Agressive
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“Bossy bottoms and timid tops,” a phrase that when I encountered it in an Alan Hollinghurst novel made me say “Oh, yes.”
Indeed on the first evening I spent hanging out with Charles we visited Best Buy. After he picked out what he wanted he handed it to me with his credit card and told me to get in line to buy it. I complied without hesitation and it was another “Oh, yes” moment.
Socially aggressive I’m not. At times I wondered if my pleasure in pushy nelly guys stems from my having profited from their making the first move. My shyness may have passed as masculine reserve but a lack of social intuition and moxie was all that was really at work.
Not that I made a fetish of it. The relative interpersonal dominance of my relationships has spanned the full range. And though I never setout to have full control the other’s passivity did make that the case at least a couple of times. Unthinkingly I adapted to what was present or lacking in my lover. I’m equally happy making decisions and cooperating.
The worst is when mutual indecision colludes to forestall any action. Given books, movies, music and companionship the world is welcome go on without my participation. So if you want to do something make it clear.
A fear of control or at least aggression of a sort with which I cannot cope has perhaps biased me against masculine men. Daddy was an exemplar of dark virility.
It took me a longish time to call myself a man. Guy, fellow, male were fine. But man seemed to imply wicked machismo and sexism. A highly prejudiced quirk.
My avoidance of the macho doesn’t really trouble me. It is a key part of who I’ve been and am. Still who knows what I’ve let that deprive me of.