46 Medford, MA
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My self-summary
I'm bright, bookish, good-natured, mildly neurotic (but working on it), and easily amused. I'm mostly vegetarian, but not preachy about it. I'm kind to animals, polite to waiters and taxi drivers, and secretly nervous around children. I read Miss Manners and Dan Savage, and believe them both (mostly). I'm a kinky, polyamorous, queer/bisexual feminist, which can be complicated at times. It can also be a lot of fun.

I'm hoping to meet good-hearted, well-mannered, politically progressive people--male, female, or in between--in the greater Boston area. I'm open to anything from casual-but-friendly play partners to a committed primary relationship. I'm in a close but nonprimary relationship with peoplepuppie, who is lovely (and happily married).

I can't find a way to say this that doesn't sound rude, but I want to be really clear: You need to be a feminist to date me, even casually. You also need to be somewhat aware of issues around race, class, sexuality, and gender identity. I don't mean that you have to be an activist; just try not to be a jerk around systems of power.

The older I get, the more I believe in emphasizing the "friends" in "friends with benefits." I don't think sex has to be romantic (though it can be), but I try only to sleep with people I genuinely like. Also, if you're attached, honesty and the cheerful consent of all parties are essential: I'm not interested in sneaking around.
What I’m doing with my life
This spring I'm returning to my graduate program in English, after a year on medical leave. I'm also a part-time freelance editor and writing tutor.

I've also, very recently, started writing and submitting poetry again, after a long hiatus. I'm pretty happy about this.
I’m really good at
wordy things: tutoring, writing poems, writing academic papers, editing, and reading poetry out loud.

I'm sometimes good at getting people to talk about themselves, but not always. Shy people can stymie me, especially if I don't know them well.

I'm a pretty good contra dancer, but not REALLY good.

There are a few other things I think I'm good at, but I'd better not brag about those. Besides, you might disagree.
The first things people usually notice about me
I'm pleasant-looking, fat, and usually a bit rumpled. My haircuts range from flapperish to butch. I wear sensible shoes.

I have a slight English accent, although it's so mixed up with American consonants that half the time I sound Irish or Scottish. I smile a lot, and I'm generally pleasant to people. I'm sometimes awkwardly honest, but I also try to be kind. I can be a little shy, especially in groups; but when I get excited about something or comfortable with someone, I'm a talker. (I do try to listen as well.)
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
(A) In no particular order: Invisible Man, Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina, Lolita, A. S. Byatt's quartet of novels beginning with The Virgin in the Garden, A Suitable Boy, the Discworld books, the Canterbury Tales, poems by John Donne, poems by the Earl of's hard to stop.

(B) A few favorites: Some Like It Hot, Wings of Desire, The Aristocrats, The Libertine, Fat Girl, Happiness, Roxanne (even though Darryl Hannah is NOT convincing as an astronomer), Angels in America, Wit, anything by the Marx Brothers, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I'll watch anything* by Woody Allen, Spike Lee, or Pedro Almodovar: even if they're not always good, they're always interesting. I'll also watch pretty much any film version of any Shakespeare play, even if it's terrible.

*Meaning "I'm willing to watch anything," not "I've watched every movie they've ever directed."

(C) When it comes to TV, I'm a serial monogamist--I get addicted to one show at a time, and watch it obsessively on Netflix until I'm done. Some favorites have included Orange is the New Black, True Blood, Mad Men, Girls, Breaking Bad, Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Sense8. I just finished Jessica Jones, which was compelling but hard to watch, and started Transparent, which I like so far.

(D) This varies a lot. Three of my favorite albums are Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, The Who's Quadrophenia, and Benjamin Britten's War Requiem. I also like traditional folk music (mostly British), including punk-inflected groups like Boiled in Lead, and silly '80s pop. I gave up listening to music for a while--not intentionally, it just fell by the wayside--and I'm trying to start again.

(E) Blueberries, chocolate, and (believe it or not) oatmeal. Blueberries and chocolate are glamorous, but oatmeal is like an old friend.

Oh, wait...this is really a question about what kinds of restaurants I like to eat at, right? That varies all over the place...Thai, Japanese, French, Italian, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, etc., etc. I also like coffee shops and tea houses and bakeries. But most of the time I eat at home.

(F) Bonus category: Advice columns. I love them. (Well, some of them.) For all his many faults, I still like Dan Savage a lot. And I've always loved Miss Manners. But my current favorites are Captain Awkward, who's especially good at talking about boundaries, and Carolyn Hax, who's taught me a lot over the years about being a human among humans. I've also enjoyed reading Dear Sugar and Ask Bear, and I have high hopes for Mallory Ortberg as the new Dear Prudence.
The six things I could never do without
Books, friends, latex barriers, modern medicine, contact lenses, the Internet.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
my dissertation, which is a lot of fun on some days and really stressful on others.

Also, self-improvement. These days, that means trying to practice self-care, make progress on my dissertation, tiptoe back into writing and submitting poetry, wrestle with various forms of procrastination, and clean The Mess That Is My Room. I make intermittent progress in some of these areas, but it does involve a lot of scribbling things down in notebooks and checking things off on lists.
On a typical Friday night I am
sometimes on an actual date! After my first few years as a grad student hermit, this is something of a novelty. Or I might be seeing a movie, or having coffee with a friend. But more often, I'll be at home--reading, writing, watching a video, or chatting with my roommate.

I love movies, the theatre, and various kinds of social dancing, and I'm trying to get out and do them more, alone and with others. I'm an introvert who often needs a gentle nudge to go out, but when I do, I often enjoy it.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
In real life I'm a big feminist, and not at all interested in being pushed around. But in private and with the right person, I like playing games in which I get to be a damsel in distress (one who doesn't get rescued).
You should message me if
(1) You got really good SAT scores but would never, ever brag about them.

(2) Smart women turn you on.

(3) You're politically progressive (liberal to left-leaning) and feminist.

(4) Seriously, I mean that last one. No exceptions.

(5) I don't really care about your SAT scores, though. That was just a shorthand for "you're a smartypants, but you're not obnoxious about it."

(6) You can be attracted to a range of body types (i.e., it's OK if I lose 50 pounds and also OK if I don't).

(7) You like talking about sex, can articulate your own limits and respect others', and are nonjudgmental about other people's sexual practices as long as they don't involve kids, coercion, deceit, or permanent damage.

(8) You know what a safeword is.

(9) You're a sweetie. I'm attracted to nice people.

(10) You can handle dating someone with bipolar disorder. (For my part, I do my best to handle my illness: take my meds, get my blood tests, see my professionals, and listen seriously if my friends tell me I'm acting weird.)

(11) You don't have to be into BDSM to date me, but it helps. (It helps even more if you're a top, or a toppy switch.) My Fetlife profile is "bookish," if you're curious.

(12) You have good boundaries, and you're good at respecting other people's. You don't hear "no" as an invitation to negotiate.

(13) You read all the way to the bottom! Congratulations! Maybe write me a note!