I like it when he shows off for me.
In the beginning, when he doesn’t know me so well, it happens inadvertently. And I love that. It’s a huge compatibility marker for me. When he unconsciously says something in a particular way, moves just like ‘that’, gives me a look, does something that hits me like a freight train and I’m left reeling. He might, at that stage, know me well enough to see the impact but in case he doesn’t, I’m not subtle in letting him see my reaction. I *want* him to see it, I want to reward him for doing a thing that makes me hungry.
If he’s tuned into me (and holy god, I love it when he is), he will know the second it’s happened. He’ll catch a quick hitch of my breath or a slow smile or even in email he’ll see a reaction: it will be enough to make him stop, register the reaction, tuck it away in his memory for next time. I can see his surprise and delight at realising he’s found a button, we both know he will press it again.
Then we play a game as we get to know each other. He has to be good at it, sophisticated, almost innocent: He will show off for me.
He pretends he’s not, the pretence makes him seem naive and I love that contrast. But by the time he’s comfortable enough to do it, he knows exactly what he’s doing, how it impacts me. It makes me laugh with delight when he exercises this power, it makes me catch my breath, it makes me helpless with want.
Perhaps he looks at me just so, or moves into my line of sight to take his shirt off over his head slowly, or maybe he tilts his head like a confused puppy at something I’ve said, or lowers his voice tone with me, or almost casually does any one of a million things that makes everything in me spiky and ragged.
And sometimes, rarely, I call him on it because that too is a delight.
“Are you showing off for me?”
A sheepish look, a shy smile, perhaps a blush. “Yes Ma’am.”
“Holy god, you’re beautiful. Come here, boy.”