I couldn’t tell if he was joking around or annoyed, so I asked.
He was both — “Yes. I was just joking around. But also, yes, I cannot help but grit my teeth.” Ultimately, he decided he was “a little jealous and 3/4ths joking,” so it wasn’t a big deal.
To the best of my memory, I’ve only purposefully tried to make J jealous once. It was more than two years ago after a disagreement that I wasn’t quite over yet (despite saying I was). The combination of hurt feelings, my inability to hide them, and too much vodka brought out the worst in me, and I was a jerk. I felt awful about it, apologized sincerely, and that was the end of that.
I’ll be the first to admit my areas of immaturity and insecurity, but evoking jealousy isn’t usually one of the ways those flaws manifest. (I’m also terribly prideful, and driving a partner to jealousy seems desperate.)
So I don’t try to make J jealous, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it when it happens. :)
I enjoy his jealousy because it reinforces my desirability — it makes me feel valued and wanted.
But I also enjoy J’s jealousy because it brings out all the beautiful, blunt, brutish, stereotypically masculine characteristics that an educated, independent feminist isn’t supposed to appreciate. Forgive me for using the term (because I hate it), but J is an ‘alpha male’ — he’s strong, good-looking, smart, assertive, and confident for all the right reasons. He’s all of those things AND he’s submissive to me.
His submission doesn’t mean he’s any less assertive or aggressive, it just means he tempers those characteristics with me. But I still like seeing them. I guess when he’s jealous, that positions me as the subject of his machismo, not the target — or perhaps the reason, but not the recipient.
Anyway, I don’t know whether it’s lizard brain or enculturation, but I can’t help that I like it. When he lights up with a little jealousy, I turn into equal parts possessive-predator and wanton-girl-puddle.
A turn on? Fuck yes.