My User Manual, Part 1: Things I Like in People

I’m still having repetitive stress issues, and as such not really able to be that good at posting at the moment, even with dictation software (dictating just isn’t the same as writing). In lieu of fancy new posts, I’ve decided to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, and post a copy of my user manual here. I had meant to do some updates to it before doing this, but without being able to produce any new complete writing at the moment, and without really having the stamina to edit it entirely with dictation software, I’ve decided that sharing the idea is the important thing (and, anyway, even without any update, it’s still probably 98% accurate).

I highly recommend writing a user manual to yourself as a way of communicating basic wants and needs to partners (and, really, even friends, though mine is written with kink/relationship/sex partners as the intended audience). I’ve really enjoyed having one, and having the conversations that have taken place as a result of having one. So, without further ado, here’s the first part of mine, the Things I like in People section (hope you enjoy):

Things I Like in People

While a lot of this is written in the context of the kinky and sexy side of things, pretty much all of these apply in some way to all contexts, from vanilla to kinky, from platonic to, “Oh my god, it’s full of sex!”

Intelligence:

I like intelligence. I like listening to people talk intelligently about things, I like being stimulated and challenged intellectually.

Vulnerability:

I like people who aren’t afraid to talk about the things that they’re afraid of, or to talk openly about sensitive feelings or emotions.

Candid Self-Deprecation:

This goes hand-in-hand with vulnerability: confidence is sexy, and genuine confidence goes hand-in-hand with being able to accept and admit to personal flaws and limitations.

Reciprocity:

I tend to pursue what I want. If I want any sort of a relationship with someone (from friendship to life partner), I tend to go after it. This can be in the sense of asking to hang out or play, or in the sense of expressing interest in whatever sort of relationship. I am, however, much more comfortable doing this kind of thing when it is reciprocated. If I’m the only one of the two of us consistently asking to hang out or play or this or that, there’s a good chance I’m going to lose interest in you. Pursuit of any sort of relationship with someone has to be mutual to be satisfying. I don’t enjoy “the chase”. If I have to chase you, that means you’re running away.

In particular, if you want to communicate to me that you’re interested in spending time with me, here are some particular things to keep in mind: I like it when people take the initiative and try to arrange specific time together every now and then (e.g. “Would you like to hang out this Friday after work?” is preferable to “We should hang out sometime.”). I appreciate it when people recommend new times to spend time together after having to cancel a date (e.g. “Sorry, I can’t make this Friday, but would Sunday work?”).

Think about it like sex. It’s great when someone says they want to kiss you, but the compliment loses its impact if you then kiss them and they don’t kiss back. The distinction between, “I want to hang out sometime.” and “Lets do Friday.” is the difference between “I would like to kiss you.”, and actually kissing back.

This applies in simpler ways, too. I like being undressed about as much as I enjoy undressing people. I tend to like being kissed about as much as I like kissing. I like fucking and I like being asked to fuck. Et cetera.

Communication Skills:

This cannot be overstated. Communication is vital. Lack of communication skills is generally a deal-breaker. Buying into Guess Culture is generally a deal-breaker. I’ll go for clumsy directness over the more traditional fumbly roulette guessing game any day.

Curiosity:

Curiosity is one of my biggest turn-ons, especially when you’re curious about me or about yourself. If you want to know how the cogs turn in my brain, and you ask, my desire to sex you is likely to skyrocket.

Self-Confidence:

This one is tricky. I like self-confidence, but there’s a fine line between sexy self-confidence and overbearing self-confidence. Sexy self-confidence tends to allow for that whole candid self-deprecation thing as mentioned before.

Passion:

Being passionate about your work or goals or saving the world, etc, etc: super sexy. Watching people talk about the things they are really, really interested in as though those things are the most magical, sexy, interesting things in the world: hella sexy.

Saying What You Want:

This goes hand in hand with communication skills, but is one step past. It’s not just important to be able to communicate well, it’s important to use that skill proactively. Tell me what you want to do. Put my hand where you want it to go. Ask if you can put yours where you’d like it to go.

Saying What You Don’t Want:

Basically the same as saying what you want, but equally important. Being able to say no is a prerequisite for being able to say yes. If you can’t say no, I won’t ever know if you really want to do the things you say yes to, and I’ll get insecure about that very quickly.

Care with Consent:

I enjoy asking to do something more than I enjoy making a move, and I enjoy being asked to do something more than I enjoy having moves made on me. Those consent is sexy posters are 100% on target. Consent is sexy. Asking is sexy. You know why? Because feeling safe and respected and making others feel safe and respected is really fucking sexy.

And also, because when you’re nervous, and you decide to be brave and ask permission for something, it’s like saying, “You are worth the work that I am going to do to be brave enough to say this”. There are few greater compliments than that.

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