naked: if i call you sweetheart, it means i want to hump you

honey_bear.jpg
E calls me sparrow, and asshole. I call him honeybear, and bitchface. We say baby, honey, sweetie, lovey, pumpkin, sugar pie, honey bunch, lovey, lover, dollface, love of my life, you rotten man, rudeface, gorgeous boy, beautiful girl, crazypants, bug, McGinty. Probably he is going to kill me for telling you that. The point is: We like nicknames. We are a fan of the nicknames. I think I have only just scratched the surface of the nicknames that we call each other, because they vary widely and range from the nauseating to the hilarious to the mean but in a loving way, which pretty much defines our relationship.

 
I’ve dated people who did not like pet names, who felt uncomfortable when I referred to them as anything but their full, given, Christian name, who, I suspect, would have preferred to have continued using titles and last names from first date all the way through to my eventual deflowering on our wedding night, at which I would cry “Oh, Mr. Jones!” And he would look tenderly in my eyes and say, “You can call me Larry.”


For me, the relationship between a pet
name and emotional attachment is intertwined inexplicably. If I like
you, if I love you, if you are important to me, I will call you honey,
sweetheart, pretty girl, beautiful lady, some form of your name that
ends in an -ie. It’s the verbal equivalent of a hug, an arm around your
shoulders, a brief squeeze to tell you that I think you are the bee’s
knees. The relationship between my emotional attachment and wanting to
pet you soft on the head and pinch your cheeks and tell you that you
are pretty and possibly even sexually harass you, also intertwined. It
reminds me how important emotional proximity is to physical proximity,
across all kinds of relationships. It reminds you that I love you, very
much.
 
Do you like pet names? What are your favorite to call your favorite people? What are your favorite to be called?

  22 comments for “naked: if i call you sweetheart, it means i want to hump you

  1. Shannon
    November 13, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I love pet names. My daughter is always bear or some variant. Sometimes she’s boo or boo-bear or boo-boo. My husband is usually baby, darling, or honey.

  2. Bun
    November 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    I love them. Never thought I would, until I met my now-bf. I love them because not only are they something only we share, we use them so much that when we actually call each other by our “real” names, it’s a sweet and touching gesture of love. Not sure why, but even after a year and half, I get a little thrill from hearing him call me by my first name. :)

  3. November 13, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I luuurve pet names. Husband is the un-original “Handsome Husband,” while I claim “Beautiful Wife.” Hey, it works for us. Our boys have a slew of nicknames, as do my friends.

  4. Mare
    November 13, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    So funny! I was just talking about this with a friend of mine. I call everyone I enjoy darlin’, gorgeous, doll, dollface and babydoll. I also use the ‘ie’ at the end of their name, or I will, for the ones I really love, use their full name if they usually go by the shortened ones. Although… I’ve one friend who calls himself Greg, and in moments of affection, I’ll call him Gregory, which I always forgets he hates. Then he gets angry, and then I get irritated because he KNOWS I only do it when I’m feeling particularly well-meaning, and so then I call him poopy. That doesn’t go over well, either. Now that I think about it, he can suck it.

  5. sarah
    November 13, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Love them!

    my current bf (this is the ONE) and i call each other mami and papi…which sounds weird unless you’re familiar with spanish and/or latino culture. i love the traditional male female roles that provokes…sexist? probably.

    my ex and i call each other BD and LM (big daddy and little mama), hmm i see a theme forming here and no i dont have mom and/or dad issues.

    my college sweetheart and i called each other honey bunny, baby, sweetpea, or by our initials.

    we had a weird public way of saying i love you in public. on the sly, since we were too hip and too punk rock (back then) to say it: saying “Two” or hold up 2 fingers. As in: I love you TOO.

  6. November 13, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I allow very few people to call me by a pet name – you have to be a pretty close friend. I have a weird name anyway, and I guess it’s just my natural perverse streak that refuses to allow people the easy way out and use a nickname for me.

    That’s funny, too, that Mare and I will call people by their full names if we really love them. I do that all the time.

  7. Connie
    November 13, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    If my sweetie uses my real name instead of one of the hundreds of endearments we have for each other, it’s a sign that I’m in TROUBLE! *grin*

  8. November 13, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    my mom and dad called my sister and me nicknames/variations of our full names almost exclusively.

    when i asked her why, my mom would always say to me, “a child with many names is well loved.”

    *heart*

  9. MR
    November 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I don’t think I have ever once called my partner by name. Or vice versa. Part of that comes from me hating my name, and my partner having changed names several times. But part of it just comes from being idiots. The most common variation around our house is the addition of “cake”, “pie”, or “bean” to otherwise normal endearments. ie. “baby-pie”, “pumpkin-cake”, “sweetie-bean”. Sometimes we compound them, like “sweetie-pie-cake” and “baby-pie-bean”. It’s totally ridiculous and even more so because we don’t even realize we’re doing it anymore, and often bust out particularly embarrassing nicknames in public. “Sweetie-pumpkin-cake-pie” is just not a dignified thing to be called in the company of strangers. Also, we will occasionally look at one another and declare: “Best bean ever!” or “Favoritist pie ever!”

    That sounds VERY weird, I realize, now that I see it written down.

  10. Anonymous
    November 13, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    my husband is a chronic nicknamer, and our two daughters have been known, respectively, as puddin-head and sweet knees

    !

    I personally call my older daughter by her first name+ ” M—moo” and my second daughter will seriously answer to “boodles.”

    I answer to babe, and he answers to honey. It’s a very mixed up lovey household!

    what an interesting topic, though!

  11. Anonymous
    November 13, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    my husband is a chronic nicknamer, and our two daughters have been known, respectively, as puddin-head and sweet knees

    !

    I personally call my older daughter by her first name+ ” M—moo” and my second daughter will seriously answer to “boodles.”

    I answer to babe, and he answers to honey. It’s a very mixed up lovey household!

    what an interesting topic, though!

  12. t
    November 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    The bf and I are both chronic nicknamers.
    He is 9 years older than me so he is often called Grandpa, T.Rex, Old Man.Non age-related he is Honey, Hon, Boyfriend, Ass Hole, Douche Bag, Effer and the like. I also call him Coco because he hates that with a violent passion and it is hilarious.
    He calls me Baby, Kitten(cute right!), Princess(we are nauseating but whatevs), Love, Darling, Sugar Tits (Superbad anyone?!), and any other curse word that shouldn’t be considered a term of endearment but is to us.
    He is French (right? I know. SO ADORABLE) so I also often get called Ma Belle, Ma Cherie, Ma idk how to even begin typing it but it means Bunny… and the like. I guess I will stop now because I am probably making anyone who is reading this sick.
    *Squee*I lurve him

  13. M.
    November 14, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Hahaha, I am one of those people you mock…!

    I hate – and I mean HATE – when people call me by pretty much anything but my actual name. The only acceptable nickname is what I used to refer to myself as when I was 2, Mim. Seriously. That’s it. I especially hate “babe,” because I feel like I don’t have big enough boobs or blond enough hair to pull that off.

    Somehow the nicknames mean he’s used the same ones to describe someone before he met me, but I am the one and only Mim. No one is Mim. Just me, and maybe one or two other characters in various pieces of literature.

    However… I like calling my bf Dr. (hislastname) because he just passed his thesis defense. And it’s formal in a sexy role-playing kind of way… if you say it in the right tone of voice. ;) Don’t bash formality. It can be totally hot. Calling someone Mr. or Ms. Fillintheblank when you’re naked is excellent.

  14. Pattie
    November 14, 2008 at 1:16 am

    When I had a BF the closest I got to a pet name with him was “Buddy” because all of the others I had been using on the cats and dogs (like sweetie, honey, baby and darling) so it seemed weird to use them on a person. Then I noticed I was calling the one dog buddy all the time so I stopped using it with BF because it seemed weird that i called him the same thing I called the dog.

    Until I no longer have pets… pet names may be out of the question with me.

  15. Socratesgirl
    November 14, 2008 at 3:47 am

    In my culture, it is a sign of disrespect and anger to call family (immediate and extended) by their real names (which are really only meant for use by unrelated people), so pet names have been a part of my life since I was born. My mom loves to call me Ammi, which means “Mommy” in our language, because she says I take as much care of her as she does of me (LOVE her). I didn’t use pet names in my previous relationship (hmm… maybe that’s why we didn’t work out :P) but I love using them with my girl and guy friends. The girls generally respond more enthusiastically than the guys though… It does help that I’m a tiny, generally voluble person, so me calling the guys BABE happily doesn’t look too weird.

  16. Ashlea
    November 14, 2008 at 7:39 am

    When I was younger, my mother used to call me ‘Angel-face’ and my sister ‘Buttercup.’ She also used Sugar independently, mostly if she wanted to get our attention but couldn’t see our face (we’re twins). Sugar has become one of my favorite petnames, and I use it for my cats. My bf is now known as Jamie-Baby. Which he says he kinda likes. He just uses the old standbys Sweetheart and Sugarplum.

  17. whyme63
    November 14, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Spouse is known to my family as “Scooter”; due to sharing a first name with a cousin of mine, he is also condemned to sharing the nickname. Scooter, over time, has evolved into a full collection of variations…Scooter, Scoots, Scoot, Skeeter, Skeets, and Skitch.

    To me, he is known as “Scooter-Pie”; a conflation of Scooter and Sweetie Pie. I also refer to him as “Babe” a lot. (After the Yankee, not the Pig.)

    My family is rife with pet-names, snark-names, nicknames, and abbreviations of names. But one thing holds true—they’re all affectionate. Just ask my parents—“Delbert” and “The Cobra”.

    He calls me “Hon”, mostly. If he wants something, it’s “Punkin”.

  18. MOM
    November 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    You asked for it – heh,heh – my favorites for my daughter have been “Pookie”, “Princess” “Little Two Shoes”. And, can you remember the others?

    Of course, your Grandpa “Boss” called your brother and you “Crash and Smash” – mmm, I wonder why :)

  19. Punchy
    November 14, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I’m all over the nicknames! People ask me why I even bother giving my pets actual names cuz I call them everything but. No wonder my dog never learned to come when I call her.

  20. Rowdygirl
    November 14, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I’m a nickname user.. I admit it. It’s a wonder my cat even knows her real name, since she has about a dozen nicknames, and none of them have anything to do with her name. My sweetie and I harly ever use our actual names… I’m sweetcheeks, crankygirl, tamtam (my real name is Tammy): he’s lovebug, sweetie, monster…

  21. RB
    November 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Pet names are wonderful – my current beau has taken to calling me “ma petite poulette” (Yes, that means “my little chicken.”) Why? Who knows. It’s funny. I’ve taken to responding with “mon petit pamplemousse,” but that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well.

  22. November 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    My husband is loverboy while I am babydoll. We have pet names for our pets that make no sense, for example:
    Moya–>Little Bunny Bean
    Mannix—>Panda

    My dad had nickames for me and all my siblings when I was growing up, and he still uses them to this day: Peanut, Bubba, Honeybear, Shrimpi, and Ham Bone to name a few.

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