When Mark “rips his shirt off” he has a very precise pattern about it. He puts his fingers on the collar, pulls the shirt gently over his head, and then takes about twenty or thirty seconds to neatly fold the shirt. If it has any sleeves, he will fold them first into the cloth, and then he’ll fold the whole shirt once with the collar in front. After that, he puts it on a chair. The “rips his shirt off” is, thus, neither very wild nor very wanton.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I can stand a bit away from him when he does that and perv the sight with my beady little eyes of debauchery. Sometimes he teases me about it. “You like to watch huh, you filthy bugger”. Of course I do. He’s beautiful and sexy. I also suspect that he likes that I watch.

Which makes me think about how nice the physical stuff between us are. No, I’m not talking about the horizontal gymnastics now. Just the physical tugs and quirks and closeness between us. The hugging; the lying on top of each other watching a film; the perving about either of us undressing.

My parents were never much for hugging and cuddling, so I didn’t have that much when I grew up. Like I’ve said before, my parents are aloof and distant, and we have never socialized much. I think we have engaged more as human beings since I move out in 2011 than we ever did when I lived with them.

It just was not a thing we did. Hugs were a quick squeeze that lasted about two seconds, and they were only given out at moments of great triumph or despair. The rest of the time we had that distance physically that we have in our relationship.

So, with Mark, sometimes it feels like he’s filling a physical need that I never knew I had. And so I sit there perving at him when he undresses, and it’s fine. It’s expected. It’s welcomed. And then we can get to the serious business of laying there, skin to skin, doing nothing, or watching a film, or talking, or doing other things. And just that physical contact, that bit of skin against his, is like a sponge that suck energy into me.

Then I think of the Kate Perry song I’ve linked.

Baby, you’re a firework.

At least to me.