“How do you call your Lover Boy?”
“Come here, Lover Boy!”
“And if he doesn’t answer?”
“Oh, Lover Boy!”
“And if he still doesn’t answer?”
“I simply say…”
“Baby. Oh baby. My sweet baby. You’re the one.”
— Love Is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia
My last post got me thinking about what we call ourselves when it comes to our love relationships. I’m not talking about nicknames, so not “Twinkle Toes” or “Sugar Lips” or “Sweet Potato Fries with a Side of Honey.” I mean the terms we use to describe our relationship and relation to a significant other to a third party: “Partner,” “wife,” “spouse,” “lover,” “girlfriend,” “sweet potato fries with a side of honey.” Who am I to judge?
W and I generally defer to “partner.” This is my partner, Middle-age butch.
It works, but it always seems so business-y, like we both work at the same law firm or just opened up a cupcake factory together. It would be an awesome cupcake factory, but that’s not the point.
We don’t usually use the term “wife” because it feels weird, at least to me. I guess I get hung up on the “little woman” connotations. You know, early sitcom depictions of the stay-at-home wife and mother ironing her husband’s boxers and making chateaubriand for dinner. If I am a wife, can I iron my own boxer shorts? This is what keeps me up late at night.
I instruct W to refer to me as her “lover” or, better yet, “lesbian lover.” Why, this is my lesbian lover, Middle-age butch.
While I talk a good game, I would be horribly embarrassed to be introduced in such a fashion. As if the lover aspect of our relationship was the most important.
In a comment to the previous post, urbanmythcafe suggested spouse as it is gender-neutral and implies marriage. I like that.
Either that, or we come up with our own names. I’m partial to Sexy Handsome Beast, but it is a mouthful.
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How about you? What do you call your partner — both out in public and when you’re home alone and no one else can hear?