Friday, September 21, 2012

Satisfaction Brought It Back

Let's talk about sex, baby.

I mean, how important it is to you in a relationship? How important is it to monogamous people? Polyamorous people? What is the optimal amount of sex you'd like to be having? What do you do when that need is not fulfilled?

I'll admit it. Sex is pretty important to me. And that makes my relationships kinda tough.

Let me start with my primary relationship: Ark. At the beginning of the relationship, the sex was great: frequent, exploratory, enthusiastic. As we settled in, the sex died down of course, but it still happened often and still retained passion. After we moved away from home and began to experience the real world as a couple (later married), there were moments where the sex simply wasn't happening, but all it would take was for me to bring it up and we'd be having sex again. It wasn't that neither of us wanted it, but that we were too busy or too stressed or too tired to consider it. I felt, and often feel like, I am the only one missing it and craving it back in my life.

But, now, here's a different problem. As sexless time progressed and I explored other avenues, and I wrote in my personal journal and I dug deeper into myself, I came to a few startling revelations. The biggest one being that even though I was still in love with my husband and wanted to be with him, I had no desire for traditional heterosexual sex. What I mean by that is that I just wasn't interested in having his penis in me, and for a while just the thought of it was disturbing and I didn't want to touch it or look at it (though this stemmed from something else entirely). Physically distancing myself from Ark sexually bothered me. I love the intimacy, I love the closeness. Though I no longer crave or enjoy sexual intercourse, I still crave that. I want manual stimulation, oral stimulation, kissing, touching, feeling a warm body against mine, making me feel loved, making me feel sexy.

When we were recovering from the event that put me off sex with him in the first place, I gave him a task: get me off without using his penis. It was something he'd never accomplished before, so I thought it would be a learning adventure for both of us. I even thought it would be something we'd both enjoy and would bring us closer together as lovers and partners.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way. It took a long time for Ark to make his attempt, and it wasn't without a fair amount of prodding. And once he did get me off, it seemed that he immediately wanted things to go back to “normal,” that we would just continue having the same old sex the same ways we'd been having it before—no change, nothing learned, no revelations. The moment where I expected to feel joyful and warm-and-fuzzy was more or less ruined by the expectation that, since he'd gotten me off, now it was “his turn.”

I've only been with one other man besides Ark, and sex with him was also very penis-centric. At the risk of sounding sexist, it seems to me that men are very orgasm oriented. And I don't mean oriented to their partner's orgasm—their own. Sex for them isn't sex if it doesn't include ejaculation. And maybe that's just because it's simpler for men to reach climax, so they take it for granted? The two women I've been with don't/didn't seem to be as focused on their own orgasm so much as mine. And I can honestly say that I am far more interested in getting them off than I am in getting off myself. Sex between women takes skill and practice; the same thing won't work every time.

I feel that maybe our decision more or less to not have sex at all was made in haste. If only I could convince him that sex doesn't need to include his or my orgasm; it doesn't have to include penis insertion; to redefine sex, to start from scratch. Does he remember how to turn me on? Do I know how to make him feel desirable? Does he even want to have sexual contact with me, or is the romantic aspect of our relationship enough for him?

Since we're polyamorous, I don't feel pressured to be satisfied with only one partner. I have the option of seeking out things I need or want from other people. But as I find my sexual appetite exceeds even my new girlfriend's, I kinda start to wonder if there's just something wrong with me? How do I view sex in a relationship and how much do I need it? Enough to seek out many more romantic and sexual partners? I hope not. I doubt I would have much issue finding people to have sex with (in fact I have one or two options already), but I don't really want to have to seek out a new partner every time the honeymoon stage is over and my motor's still running.

So, back to the root of things. How do I view sex? How much do I need it?

I already admitted that sex is important to me. I need it to feel connected with my partner. Long periods of time without sex makes me question the health of the relationship. It makes me wonder things like: Am I not attractive to them? Maybe I've put on weight? Am I too clingy/do I want too much attention? Maybe they don't like my technique? Maybe I'm boring? Maybe I ask too much? Is the magic gone? Is it over for them?

Yes, I really do think all those things. It doesn't take much for me to doubt and feel insufficient.

This feeling doesn't last forever, though—it goes away eventually, once I've reassured myself that most of this is all in my head. At that point, I have to trust that if there is something wrong in the relationship or something wrong with the way we have sex/I do things during sex, that my partner will tell me and I can fix it. I have to accept that they don't want sex as much as I do, or that they don't need it the same ways I do (to feel wanted/loved/needed/sexy). Sometimes I feel disappointment at this (am I the ONLY ONE with a sex drive?!) but again, it's something I get over.

But then, and this may be a defense mechanism, after I accept this and start to move on, my libido drops drastically. So much so that when my partners do want sex, I'm either completely disinterested or I am interested, but can't get my body to respond. It's already hard to get me aroused (the best way: let me get them off first) and hard to get me off. And if I'm really craving a particular kind of sex (slow/fast, manual/oral, rough/gentle, vanilla/kinky) and it isn't what I'm getting, all I can focus on is what I'm not getting right at that moment and I can't get into it. Or if I'm stressed or worried about something... well, I guess those are normal libido killers. Anyway, I digress. Mentally, in order to be happy and remain happy and to not cause stress in the relationship, I pull the emergency brakes on my sex drive.

Communication could solve all of this. Maybe. I did talk about all of this with Ark, a long time ago, and we live now in this strange yet mostly comfortable sexless marriage. Is it fair to ask him to be the lover I want and need, to make love to me, but respect my wishes (sex without penile penetration)? Is it fair to ask more of my girlfriend? (I won't; we're too new, and I still have practically no idea what she wants/likes/needs.) Or should I seek satisfaction elsewhere?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Poly Dating

In my local community, Fetlife is a widely used social network. There are only a few people I talk to and consider friends who don't have a Fet account (and they're people I've known for years; they knew me when I was more vanilla), but don't think I won't talk them into getting one sooner or later. I distinctly remember coming across Fetlife for the first time. My reaction was something like, OH MY GOD, DOES THIS REALLY EXIST?! Yes, it does. It's Facebook, for kinky people. And poly people. And swingers and queers and supportive vanillas.

Fetlife seems to have a bad rap with some people, and that's okay. I know forum networks aren't for everybody (and gods know I hardly pay attention to it, most of the time) and as usual, there are assholes on the Internet. But for meeting people and attending informative events and exciting parties, Fet is where it's at (at least, for Richmond, Virginia).

Just in my area, there's a Pet & Animal Play group (“humanimals” as I've seen them called; this is not bestiality), Ageplay group (“littles,” “bigs,” “daddies,” etc), Polyamory groups, Gangbang groups, Personals, two separate BDSM groups (I'm a member of SHELTER, which is a more information-based, learning group), a Kinky Gamers group (I run that!), Kinky Book Club, Queer Kinksters, Artistic Kinksters, a group for pagan and the occult, educational groups, etc. I could go on and on. Basically anything you could want, there's a group, or you can make one yourself! It's a great way to meet like-minded individuals, especially if you're a touch antisocial, like me.

Right now, the Greater Richmond Polyamory group is really coming in handy. My husband's relationship with his sometimes-girlfriend Anita has never really come to fruition and though neither of us speak of it, I feel we both agree that there isn't really anything there. But for Ark, its been a trial to find people willing to date a married man, whether or not his wife is okay with it. In the past year, our sex life has diminished. Those of you who read my much earlier posts know that this was a difficult thing for us in the past, but we've grown over it now and it isn't a stress point anymore. I've learned things about myself that made me realize why I was coming to the same issues over and over (namely, I'm a lesbian), and we even discussed our bed death. It turns out we were both more worried that the other person was stressing more over not having sex than we were, so we agreed it was no longer an issue.

That doesn't mean I don't recognize that he wants, and needs, that kind of companionship and relationship with somebody. Since Ark is straight, this means he needs a girlfriend.

So there's a big poly mixer coming up, where several poly groups in the DC/MD/VA area will be getting together. I'm really hoping this is a good opportunity for Ark to meet someone closer who is more interested in him than his on-again-off-again girl. To be honest, we haven't been active in any poly group or community until about two weeks ago, and I'm really excited to meet other people who are non-monogamous. All of my partners thus far have been monogamous with me, and tolerant of my polyamorous ways. I went on one date with a guy who is non-monog but at this point, it hasn't gone much farther than that. I remember talking to him about monogamy and different kinds of relationships, and how relaxed it made me feel to know that, if we were to be in a relationship, I wouldn't be “the one,” but I would be “an important one,” which is how I want to feel.

This blog article requires some reader interaction. Are you a poly man (or of some sort of non-monogamous status) who is married or in a long-term committed relationship with a woman? Do you find it difficult to find women to date? Do you use any dating or social networks (OkCupid, Fetlife?) to find other poly groups to connect with, or to find dates? Do you think it's harder to find a date as a poly man, than if you were swinging with your wife or s/o (long term vs short term)?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Regress / Regret

I know I said I wouldn't blog about Gabriel anymore. Let this be the last one. I just have to get something off my chest—something happened; something strange and unsettling that I was really unprepared to handle.

I'm no old hat at breaking up. I know that relationships end, but I haven't had very many relationships, to be honest. When I was thirteen I dated a boy for two years before he broke up with me through e-mail. (We're still friends even now!) I then dated Andrew until I was eighteen, even getting engaged, but that relationship ended badly after an unplanned and naive attempt at non-monogamy. Though the end of that relationship was agreed-upon, it was very messy. I turned all of my loving energy into my remaining partner at that time: Ark.

Ark and I opened our relationship after being together for five years, shortly after being married. So Gabriel-then-Kitten was my partner for two years before I ended it.

I needed space from her. I've had little to no contact or correspondence with her short of seeing her while she shops where I work, or her text messages. The space between us has allowed me to soften toward her and instead of thinking about the ways she frustrated me, I can now remember more fondly the reasons why I love her and why I loved being with her. So, my general feelings toward her are more hospitable now, with the distance between us. I'm happy to hear from her now and then to know how she's doing and big changes in her life (she just started a new job), but I'm only flirting with the idea of asking her to meet for ice cream or something small like that. I'm not sure I can handle it yet.

Well, I've written about this before, and though I'm hesitant to write about it again after so much time, but it came up and I couldn't shake it. Recently, Gabriel sent me a text that said, in her own way, that she was glad she knew how to get herself off. I didn't respond to this text, instead choosing to put the phone down and continue what I was doing. But in my mind, I couldn't let it go. I was imagining her doing the things I couldn't talk her into doing while we were together. I was wondering, do her claws leave scars on the sheets as they once left scars on me? Does she bite the pillow or her arm? Does she cry out when she's alone? Does her back arch, toes curl, body quake the way it did when I was making her come? Does she whisper for “more,” even though no one is there to indulge her?

I miss the sex. I almost texted it to her. That was it. It dawned on me suddenly and I was so unsettled by the realization that I had to stop what I was doing to let it process for a minute. I do miss it. All of it. From the slow, sleepy sex in the morning, to the rough sex that often left me battered and bruised and scratched and bleeding but still grinning from ear to ear. Being awakened with her crouched between my thighs—being shoved against the wall the instant I walk through the door—being pulled up by my hair after eating her out because she needed to kiss me, couldn't wait. The sex was one thing that was never wrong between us. It was always explosive, always passionate, always tender (yes, even at its most volatile). And I miss it. Is it okay to say that? Is it okay to feel that way?

I texted Andrew about it. (He's my go-to guy for personal reflection, because he knows me but tends to see me more objectively than Ark because we are no longer involved.) I said, I almost made a huge mistake. And I explained it to him. His response? He asked, “Aren't you and Dawn having sex?”

Well... yeah, we are.

My reply was that we do have sex, but that the sex is different, and we don't exactly have all the time in the world to do it, whereas when I would visit Gabriel we'd have all day and all night together. Dawn and I only get a few hours together alone, and both of us aren't always in the mood at the best time. You can't control your libido (and if you can, WHAT IS YOUR SECRET?!) and basically, the forces are against us! I expect that it will be easier for us once we're all living together (I know I haven't mentioned that yet! It's coming up, I swear!) and we can have privacy whenever we want or need it.

But my point is, my sexual relationship with Dawn is fine, and that is not why I'm suddenly missing the sex with Gabriel. I am satisfied with my sexual relationship with Dawn. I am much better at not expecting too much (sex-wise) from my partners than I used to be. I'm more excited to just be with Dawn, and am not so much focused on the sexual aspect of everything. Okay, so I'm still a horndog and I am always thinking about sex. But you'll just have to trust me that I'm much better than I used to be. Now, I place the responsibility for my sexual happiness and sanity on myself instead of on my partners.

I don't really have much clarity still as to why I miss it. I can only guess. I was in denial for a long time, growing up, maturing, getting older and more knowledgeable. I used to think, and I used to say, sex is not important to me. This isn't true. Sex is important to me. It is an integral part of my romance. I hunger for it, I crave it, I starve without it. It's possibly also true that if I don't get what I need from one source, I will seek out a different source. In part maybe that's where polyamory comes into play. As I discovered and admitted both to myself and to the world that I'm a lesbian, what was there left to keep Ark and I together? Why do we stay together? Because we love each other. Right now there's no sex in our relationship, but it works for us because he doesn't feel pressured to have sex when he doesn't feel like it, and I am free to seek stimulation elsewhere without feeling like I'm not good enough.

The best metaphor I can come up with for this situation is that this is kind of like gorging on a favorite food to the point of being sick of it, then staying away from it for a long time. You know what it tastes like and how it smells and how it feels in your mouth, and after a while, you start to crave it again. Maybe in a different way, maybe not so intensely, but it's something you know and something you love.

At this point, I just hope I retain the self-restraint I need to not go back.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a closed door, an open window

So, something happened and I've been putting it off and putting it off—writing about it, I mean. I just couldn't find the words, or it sounded flimsy, or it was full of me making excuses... and I shouldn't have to make excuses.

I broke it off with Gabriel.

For reasons why, you could probably scan back through the past few entries and see the reasons. In short, I feel she needs more attention and more... well, more everything... than I can give her. Knowing one's own limits is important, and I knew she was beyond mine. Being with her was putting stress on my own boundaries and it took this long to figure it out.

Is the break-up clean? Is it easy? No.

I don't have to say any more on the subject, and I won't. Gabriel's chapter on this blog is over. My further musings on her will be kept to myself.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Warm Soup

I told myself I could go to Panera Bread and eat a delicious, delicious bread bowl filled with broccoli cheese soup, only if I brought my netbook and wrote a blog article. It worked brilliantly last time, so here I am again, fingering my keyboard and making words appear on the screen. It's hard to write a blog article when there isn't any real drama going on in my life. I originally started this blog to help other people who were starting in poly relationships. It evolved as I evolved, incorporating kink, gender and sexuality articles, and a spattering here and there of erotica, as I rediscovered my writing legs after being without a computer for over a year.

It ended up being more like a personal journal, in which I was detailing the trials and tribulations of starting a poly relationship in which one of the original couple was monogamous and had no desire to be otherwise. Ark agreed to let me see Gabriel because he knew I wouldn't be happy in a monogamous relationship. Looking back on this now, I wonder if my discomfort in a monogamous marriage with him was not because I'm inherently poly, but because I'm gay? Of course, this realization wouldn't come to me until almost two years later. And it would terrify me, shake my world up, make me go back and go back and go back and look at all the things that happened before. And rethink my every decision. Is that why I did this? Is that why I don't like this?

It all made sense, and clicked together, and I've settled. “I am what I am afraid of, so what am I afraid of?”

I shut down at the end of the year, so the last few 2011 months and the first few months of 2012 are empty. I've picked myself up again, and I feel a similar sensation of rebirth, which I felt several years ago as I came to grips with the death of my mother. (Or at least got a better handle on it.) I introduce myself to people as Blue—this is, to me, my coming out. I am Blue and this is me and who I am, and damn you if you don't like it.

My relationship with Gabriel has changed drastically. I did have that talk with her, and we seem to be okay, but I haven't seen her in person since. I'm starting to miss her, though; starting to miss the little things, and starting to miss the sexy things. I'd feel terrible if I went to see her, and we spent the whole time in bed reenacting all the wild ways we've fucked, and making up new ones. Well, maybe I wouldn't feel too terrible, but I feel like we need to reconnect on more than just a physical level. I do miss the next-day soreness, the late-night personal inspection of scratches and bruises, being able to count the teeth in the marks on my hips, my thighs, my shoulders. But I also miss, sometimes, her utter randomness, the eccentricity of her thought pattern; I miss watching her play with her cats, miss listening to her talk about totally irrelevant things and considering stopping her lips from moving my smothering them with mine. I do not miss the way she takes all of my attention (except during sex, which is when I am willing to give all of my attention), makes it impossible for me to concentrate on anything else; how, when I am discomfited, it's not important, but if she is in any sort of discomfort--needing to use the restroom, or a headache--it's gotta be the center of our attention, regardless of what we were doing previously. She is a projector to a serious degree—when she's unhappy, everyone around her will know.

Gabriel is very intense, and this intensity is both why I love her, and why I need to stay away from her for extended periods of time. When it's good, it's great. When she's smothering, it's terrible and I can't handle it. I need to be around people who need alone time, or even passive companionship, in order to remain content. This is why Ark and I work so well together (I believe I've said that before). I've made friends who fulfill this need—I can easily go to their house to visit them, and we spend the whole time watching TV or both of us doing separate things. We don't even need to talk to each other! Just that we are each there, nearby, suits our needs for socialization.

Speaking of friends fulfilling needs, my almost-relationship with Dawn seems to be going smoothly. What I write on this blog is revealing, often even to myself, and especially since I know Dawn will probably read this, I'm self-conscious about what to say about her. I'm going to do my best to be objective here; a particular challenge, since I know I'm probably still up to my elbows in NRE. Or, well, it could just be the excitement of learning another woman's body, of getting to explore her mind and gaining her trust. There is something inherently different about falling for her, and maybe I say this because Gabriel is so different from anyone else, that my love for her really is a different creature, a more passive creature. Dawn is the first woman I'm loving who is (or may be) loving me back, who is closer to... well, closer to normal? I can't talk about it here. Gabriel's past was horrific and it's her story to tell, but it has affected how she is immensely. She is not easy to be with, not easy to love, and for me, not easy to spend great amounts of time with. I tried, at first, but it was exhausting both physically and mentally. I've pulled back, and I feel great.

But I digress—back to Dawn.

Its hard to write about her without a cheesy grin over my face. I'm sitting in Panera still, so I'm pretty sure people are watching, wondering. How can I tell them how hard I'm falling? I think I've scraped my knees and there's bruises on my palms. I'm not obsessed—not anymore, anyway—the hard, fast puppy love stage for me is passed, and I'm moving into the warm, fuzzy, comfortable stage. I still crave her, still miss her, still want to feel her near me, hear her voice, make her laugh, but for me, these are constant things, not a part of NRE. When I felt the powerful Fuzzy Pink Stupids receding, at first, I panicked a little. The rule is to never make an important decision while under the influence of NRE. Did I make an important decision? Will I regret this? Will she? Suddenly I was doubtful of the whole thing. Did we move too fast?

Let me tell you something, casual readers: I do not regret. She doesn't regret (but may still be under the influence). I'm not doubtful, not of my feelings anyway, and while we may have moved fast, I feel that maybe it was exactly the right speed for us. I shouldn't worry and I shouldn't dwell on it. I am so in love with this girl, and the only one who can fuck it up is me. So I'm not gonna.

Best thing ever? I know I can have passive companionship with Dawn. Cause we've had it before. Because she's a friend first, and Ark's friend, and I'm happy to just be near her the way I'm just happy to be near him. She is not demanding. I know I can love her my way and she will be okay with that. I know I can be, just be, and she can just be, and we will be happy. And I am patient and happy to wait for her, to give me what she can give, and I'll be happy with whatever it is.

I wrote, a long time ago, about a happy poly moment; snuggling on the couch between lovers, under the blanket, watching a movie. I didn't have that moment for long after writing about it; things quickly crumbled, and we floundered for a long time. But I have it again. And I've had it often, and it seems to be here to stay. I want it to be easy to love in front of Ark, and I doubted I'd ever get back to that point. If things keep progressing the way they are, hopefully I won't ever have to stress about it again.

Now, there are too many people in Panera and I'm having trouble formulating coherent thoughts, so I'm gonna stop here. See you next time I eat a bread bowl.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Do (Not)

I have a fear of commitment.

It's written on my Limit list on Fetlife.

I have run from marriage before, from the Idea of Settling Down and Having Kids. In general, when someone expresses the urge to do these things with me, it makes me very, very uncomfortable. So why, and how, you might ask, did I end up marrying Arkanum?

I can't really explain it. We are just super compatible. And I knew it early on. I know what you're thinking; NRE, the fuzzy pink stupids! Of course I knew I wanted to stay with him forevorz! But no, my friends, you only say this because you don't know me. When I say I have a fear of commitment, you are underestimating the depth of this fear. The thought of being someone's wife literally turns my stomach. I feel anxiety; my heart speeds up, my palms sweat, my breath quickens. Except Ark. When I met him, initially the magic wasn't there, I admit. I got to know him over time, and soon we were dating. When I realized I could spend the rest of my life with him I was terrified, but it made perfect sense to me. He doesn't complete me—as I've said, I am a complete person—but he does compliment me very well. He's a stable rock for me in this tumultuous sea.

I clicked with him. How long did it take for me to come to this realization? Less than a month. I wrote him a letter and held onto it for a few days. In the letter, I told him how I felt... and I asked him to marry me. I said I knew it was early and I didn't expect him to say “yes” right away. I knew I wanted him in my life and I was willing to wait.

Now, here we are, almost seven years later, together after many trials and stronger and happier than ever. I have him every day, and nothing brings me more peace.

Commitment is an issue in my other relationships. I know that in some ways, Anita feels the same way I do; “forever” is a big, scary, intimidating word. Nice in theory, but like a cage when dropped on top of you. Gabriel continuously makes me feel uncomfortable with words and gestures of commitment, though I have made it clear I don't feel comfortable with it. I need to write her a letter and talk to her about it, but the ideas and feelings aren't settled enough and I'm also afraid to approach the situation. I know she'll act hurt and it won't end well.

But I digress.

My new relationship with Dawn, someone Ark and I have known for a couple years, is gathering snow like a stone rolling down the mountain. I'm so totally and completely smitten with her. I found myself standing knee-deep in puppy love, gazing around wide-eyed and wondering how the heck I got there. In just two weeks, our friendship has blossomed and the fruit is something sweeter than I'd have ever guessed. As a general rule, I would only consider starting a relationship with someone I was already friends with, but Dawn was in that unattainable category; she isn't poly and had expressed disinterest in giving it a whirl (yet, here we are a-whirling).

Something I've realized is important in the beginning of a poly relationship is for me to find out what the other person expects. Do they expect a long-term commitment? Short-term relationship? Someone to go on dates with? Someone to fuck? Is “I love you” a hard limit? Is sex a hard limit? Are they out, are they poly, are they monog? What do they want, that I can give them?

I asked Dawn what she wanted, and her expectations were very reasonable. But then, something happened that really caught me off-guard: she returned the question. What do I want, what do I expect? I was thrown. I had to think about it for a moment.

My answer at the time had been that I want whatever I can have. Inside, what I want is different. I can't just explain it at the drop of a dime. What if the words come out wrong? What if the words come out right and it's the completely wrong thing to say?

I'm truthful. Sometimes I feel like a parrot, though. When Dawn asked what I wanted, I said the same thing I'd been hearing myself say a lot lately. “I want you to be happy,” “I'll take whatever you want to give me,” “Whatever you're comfortable with,” etc. This goes back to when I was growing up, and being constantly told I was selfish and that what I wanted was tertiary to the wants of anyone else. This isn't to say I'm not telling the truth—I do honestly want the happiness and comfort of my partner. Right now in the fragile stages of our relationship, I don't want Dawn to feel pressured into doing or committing to anything that she doesn't really want (not that I don't think she's headstrong enough to tell me to fuck off, but you never know).

That being said, I went home and kept going back to the conversation. What was said between the lines—what was left unsaid—told volumes. It was close to my heart and I wasn't sure I should talk about it. I talked to Ark about it a little, and that helped me get comfortable with it. The whole truth is that I want to keep Dawn. I want her in my life. We just work in a way that, I know, it's too soon for everyone else to see. Of course, I can't write her a letter detailing the neurotic workings of my heart, all leading up to the grand finale of a proposal—spend the rest of your life with me, I'll take care of you, I'll love you as long as I can. I can't do that. And I really can't explain to anyone why or how I feel this way, how I just know we'd work and we'd work really well.

I just got a feeling.

Re-reading some of what I just wrote, a few paragraphs back, I realized that a year or so ago, I could have written the same things about Anita. Both Ark and I really love her, we've known her for a long time (all the way back to school for me), and the three of us are highly compatible. For a while, I let myself fantasize about her being our Third. (Longtime readers will remember that I have a fluffy dream about living in a poly homestead.) But she was skittish, a flight-risk, and we were afraid to push her into anything she wasn't ready for. And though we all talked about seeing her more often, her coming to visit us, staying for a while, being more serious... and we all wanted it, or at least it was expressed that we all wanted it... it seems that Anita is more of a memory or a story. It's so sweet when we see her, but we see her so rarely that I know we've got to just accept that there won't be any more. She has other lovers now, ones that live closer to her, who she can see without the hassle of finding time off and driving hours away.

What do I dare dream, wish, hope for with Dawn? I guess my answer was the most truthful and realistic when I said that I just wanted whatever she was free to give. I dare not hope for more.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Drop The Bomb

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. It's the centerpiece of romantic comedy, the trigger of romantic tragedy, featured in every TV show and movie depicting two characters who fall head-over-heels for each other. I imagine it's largely because I've got new romantic interests in my life. I'm not the only one who's ever Googled it, though the answers should be plain enough. I'm talking, of course, about

Q: Is it too soon to say “I love you?”

A: You say “I love you” when you feel it's the right time.

And that changes the question to

Q: How do I know it's the right time to say “I love you?”

with the most obvious answer being

A: When you love them.

How do you know you love someone? How can you tell when NRE starts to fade? Is NRE, or “puppylove,” not real love? Who even decides what's real love? Why is it a faux pas to say it before the other person is ready?

I have this terrible, awful habit of falling in love fast and hard. Chances are, I have loved someone from afar long before words of a relationship or dating have been uttered. I love passively until I'm given permission to love actively. But, that ends up with me already in love, and kind of waiting for the other person to play catch-up. Not that I mind waiting, of course, I love love and I love being in love and I love sharing love. So I keep my lip zipped as long as possible. I don't want the object of my affection to feel pressured, as they do in movies, when I pronounce my feelings.

My extremely self-conscious approach to admitting my adoration seems to have caused an after-effect of guilt. I'm the sort of person who goes back and forth between ecstasy of a new lover to doubt and fear, as if my partner might suddenly realize they can do much better. I do, indeed, feel like the first time I tell someone that I love them, I'm stabbing them with a dagger, digging my claws in, and I realize that if I say it too soon, it may be a dealbreaker. That's a risk I take, I suppose.

Love opens me up and makes me vulnerable. I'm never more paranoid for the delicate stability of my heart and the heart of my lover and the heart of the relationship than at that pinnacle moment. I am shy to admit my love, like it's a bad habit, like it's an inconvenience, like a heavy weight.

I'm writing about this now because I feel these three words, three little bombs, sitting on the edge of my tongue, aimed at someone who has not yet heard them from me, and it's too soon. Too soon, I know. I'm met with a predicament. Either I prepare myself, and just say the words, or they slip out by accident. I've already caught myself several times, and this is not a nuke I want to drop by happenstance. It's very precious. And it's definitely too soon to expect the same. I don't, really, expect this person to return the words, probably not for a long while, and I'm okay with that. Just because I'm ready to say them doesn't mean they are.

I never understood why movies make a big deal about it—love happens and it doesn't always happen to everybody at the same exact moment. So what if they aren't ready to say it? If you love them, be patient, and keep loving them, and one day, they'll be ready.

Will I say the words? I don't know. How's this; I'll post this blog entry after I do say them. So you know I've admitted it, if you're reading, and you'll know I haven't tossed myself from a high building in shame.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Well, hello there, blog.

It's been a while, and that's my own damn fault, I know.

I needed some time to myself, and some time away from processing publicly. But, I'm back! Kinda! I can't promise I'll stay. But I can promise I'll try, and that's all you get.

I'm back and writing largely because a lot has changed. I'm not actively processing, because I tend to overthink and that may or may not make things worse. But as time goes on, I'm having little mini revelations, and not all of them are good.

I feel like, over the past year or so, I've grown and changed a lot. I'm stretching into my personality—Blue--getting more comfortable and accepting of the things that make me who I am. I've demanded that in no uncertain terms people either must accept me as I am, or not. I'm tired of hiding. It takes its toll on you, when you hold up a different mask for everybody. So I got rid of the masks. Most of them. I kept a few, and I'm sure we'll talk about that at some point, because it has to do with my depression.

What kind of things have changed? I'll try and explain.

  1. I've had to accept things about myself.
In my life, things have happened to me, and I thought they were no big deal and I thought they didn't matter and I thought I didn't need to think about them ever again. But the truth is, a lot of things do affect me, and I need to face them and accept that they happened and they are a part of me. They are the reasons why I fear certain sex acts, the reasons why I feel like I have to give up what I want, the reasons why I am almost completely apathetic when someone is talking about their mother. I have triggers and I'm learning to notice them, to realize what sets me off, what pulls me down, and I'm learning to accept that it matters, and that even if someone else tells me it's silly and I should get over it, it still matters and their opinion of my thoughts, emotions and mental stability is irrelevant.

There were bigger, more important things I've had to accept, that other people have had to deal with as well. When Ark and I decided to be polyamorous, it was very difficult at first, but we worked through it and we're a stronger couple now than I could have ever hoped for. It was important for us to hit all this rocky ground and battle against the odds, because as I mentioned in my previous (very old) blog entry, I've more or less come out as lesbian. I learned that this is not always the end of a heterosexual marriage and I'm very, very glad it was not the end of ours. I love, want and need Ark in my life, and the ways we are growing are important to me. The new-old ways we're affectionate are more special to me than sex. Recently, I've been more “out” about my sexuality, though there are still certain family members who don't know, I'm sure a lot of them do. Maybe they don't understand my open hetero marriage and maybe they don't want to. That's okay. They're my family and I want to keep them, but like I said before, I can't keep myself in a little box and never come out.

  1. I've needed more time to myself, which actually means...
I needed time away from Gabriel. The intensity of our early relationship is too much for me to handle long-term, and I am having a lot of trouble accepting that. Gabriel is a very intense person, and I can't ask her to change, but as it is, I often feel suffocated under her love for me. I want her to be happy, and I love her and, when I can handle it, I love being around her. When I can't handle it, I feel drained and grouchy. Words of commitment spook me; I have never been able to promise someone “forever.” I can't even begin to explain what a miracle it is that I married Ark. He is a truly amazing and unique person. That said, Gabriel regularly calls me her wife, and says she “married” me, etc, and this makes me very uncomfortable. It makes me want to escape, cut ties—I feel like I will never be able to give her what she wants and needs in a relationship. She needs monogamy. She needs someone who can give her all their time and all their love. I'm not prepared to give that—it isn't in my nature nor is it appealing to me in any way. I thought of a quote today that summed it up; “I may not be everything you could ever want or need, but I'll give you as much as I can.” What else can I give?

I'd really love for her to have friends outside of my social circle, and I'd love for her to find another girlfriend—someone who can be more full-time than me. She deserves that, she deserves happiness, but I cannot continue to give myself to her at sacrifice to my own sanity and well-being.

I've been taking time away—but it really looks like I'm drifting away, even to me. I don't want that. I still want to be a part of Gabriel's life, and I know she wants me to be (a bigger) part of hers. But can she handle only seeing me once a week, maybe once every other week, maybe once a month? Is it even fair to ask that? It may be what I need.

I feel like there's a lot of pressure when I'm in a relationship with someone who's monogamous. I go back and forth between saying I don't have a primary and I do—the truth is, I do have a primary, and that's Ark. My marriage and relationship to him are tantamount to any other relationships I may have. If a lover can't understand that and doesn't respect my marriage, I can't continue that relationship.

  1. I've been taking time to myself.
This kinda goes with the previous statement, but it's different, and here's why. I've made friends, and it's wonderful. I finally feel like I'm surrounded with people I love again—my pack, my chosen family. The people I've met are amazing friends. They make me laugh and I so rarely feel alone anymore. I don't even know how to express that this is a huge big deal for me. It's so hard for me to make and maintain friendships (I've lived here for six years and only just recently made friends).

And old friendships are growing, in new and unexpected ways. A friend of Ark's from his old job, someone we usually saw once or twice a month, has turned into The Object of My Affection lately. I am totally addicted and feeling some heavy NRE with this girl. It's so funny, the way it happened, but well, maybe I'll explain that some other time. I don't want to wax puppylove over this girl and I know I will, if allowed. Which brings me to...

  1. I've been dating.
Dating! Do you believe it? I don't. I've never been dating before. It's exciting and new and a little scary. I'm trying to get Ark to date, too (he needs a girlfriend who lives nearby). I had my first two dates (kinda) this week, and both were successful. I'm not going to tell you about them because they're private, and I don't have these peoples' permission to talk about them on my blog just yet.

  1. Ark has been amazing.
AMAZING. You don't even know. I've had to lean on him a lot. The very, very bad bout of depression I had at the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 had to be a trial. He's not reacted adversely to my affections on anyone else—granted, I am very careful not to be overtly affectionate to anyone else where he's watching me. Being around Ark and someone I like still makes me nervous, because he has reacted poorly in the past, but it's becoming clearer and clearer that maybe, just maybe, all of that is in the past, and I'm elated (when I'm not paranoid still).

I said it before but I'll say it again, my husband is awesome and he has grown in so many ways, changed in so many ways, becoming more accepting and curious and loving and happy. It makes me love him even more (is that possible?!).

So, all in all, some stuff has been happening and it's been great. Mostly. I work, I eat, I sleep, I see friends, I see lovers, I try to balance the world with my personal needs. So, I'm not dead yet! Still very much alive and kicking. Apparently, I just needed to go to Panera and sit down and decide to write a blog article.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm a Statistic

That's the number of lesbians who are married to a partner of the opposite sex. Lesbians who are married to men.

I'm in a loving, affectionate, largely platonic heterosexual marriage. I say “largely platonic” because over the past year, our sexual activity has dwindled drastically and is more or less non-existent at this point (it is currently 9 Feb and we've had sex once this year). We love each other, and all of the other affection is there, but we just don't have sex. And I'm kind of okay with that. I jokingly said to someone last year that if Ark and I never had sex again and I never had a penis inside me again, I'd really be just fine with that. I said, I don't think I'll miss it much... if at all.

Maybe that's when I started to worry. But it's certainly not when I first started to see signs.

The first girl I loved was a friend in elementary school. She was beautiful, popular (at least in my eyes), and she was nice to me. Our friendship continued through middle school, even though I'd moved, and into high school, where we rarely saw one another but we'd had a class or two together. I remember when I was in elementary, I had my first (and as it turned out, my only) sleep-over birthday party, and though I'd invited all of my girl friends, she was the only one to attend. She's still my friend on social networking sites, and I will never, ever tell her I love her.

Even at a young age, I never really understood when my girl friends would say “Oh, he's so cute!” I'd look over at the boy in question and think, okay, this is what cute is. Maybe I thought I was just slow on the hormones (even though I started my period young, at the age of ten) and I would eventually think boys were cute and want a boyfriend as bad as all the other girls did. Even when I did eventually get a boyfriend, he was very feminine (he's quite gay now), and we started dating as kind of a “we've been friends” and he'd already dated literally everyone else in our class. I never sought out male companionship; I just fell into relationships with male friends, and even after break-ups, remained as good friends as I could with them. I genuinely cared about them and I suppose I always knew something was missing from my relationship with them, I just didn't know what.

In high school, I had a crush on a female transfer student. I came out as bisexual verbally to my sister first, then, and explained I was nervous and that I wanted to wear something to impress her. She suggested I talk to Mom about it, and I did... boy, was I terrified. Though Mom had always preached that she didn't care “what” we brought home “as long as they make you happy,” I was still afraid. What girl wouldn't be?

But my mom, bless every ounce of her soul, reacted in a TOTALLY unexpected way. She was ecstatic. She was so happy. She told me even she had some girlfriends over the years but she was afraid of what my sister and I would think. (Well, Mom, I wouldn't have given two shits and I bet my sister wouldn't have, either.)

After that, I breathed a little easier. My crush was straight and had a boyfriend back home, so my efforts to impress her were futile, but I tried anyway. (I still have a thing for accents from a certain country.)

I was never really enamoured with penises.

Let's just leave it at that.

That's not to say that I don't enjoy sex with Ark; I do, and though it just about never happens anymore, I told him tonight that I hope our sexual relationship is not over. I enjoy the closeness, and I genuinely do enjoy getting him off. I don't know why it's easier or more appealing for me to have sex with Ark than with any other man (the idea of it is repulsive, honestly). I explained to him, “I just like all the other stuff in the relationship more.”

Is it possible to be a lesbian and be married to a man?

Is it possible to have a working platonic relationship with your husband?

I should rephrase that. Is it possible for me to have a working, mostly platonic relationship with my husband? Yes, yes I think it is.

This brings me to a new problem: Will most lesbians, and the amazing lesbian/queer community here where I live, accept me as I am?

Probably not.

It is very hard for a marginalized person like me to get into the very cliquey and judgmental groups they live in.

Wait a minute, I just read that sentence over again. Did you? Cause if you see the same thing I see, you just might laugh out loud. If they're cliquey and judgmental, why do I want to be "accepted" by them? Is it because I want the kinship? I am certainly not judgmental—I accept people as they are. I'm often shocked by how racist, sexist and hateful queers can be. We are already the “Other.” We are all linked—we have common ground—in that we love differently. If the community as a whole (I'm not speaking for individuals, as I do have some lesbian friends who are just fine with my situation) shuns me because of the way I live and the way I love, I guess I should just let it go and not worry about it.

Ark and I are doing great. We're treading carefully, but the playfulness, the joy, the laughter, has returned. I'm happier... and so is he, if I may be so bold as to say so. So what if other people look at our relationship, as it is, and think it can't be done? So what if they look at us and think we're crazy? We're doing it. And damn it, we might be crazy, but we're also lovin' it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Carefully Scheduled Life

My week starts on Friday. I get up early for work, take a shower, don chef uniform, and go make breakfast for the masses. After a long day of cooking and prepping for the weekend, I clock out and usually I'll go be with Gabriel for a couple hours until Ark gets off work. I'm always hopeful we'll have sex—especially lately, especially with her new toy, which I suspect she enjoys just as much as I do, if not more. But if we don't, that's okay too. It's just nice to get a Gabriel refresher before the long weekend, my work-week, during which I don't usually see her.

On Saturday, I wake up and go to work and work my butt off again. Ark gets off a couple hours earlier on Saturdays, so I'll head home and usually catch a nap before he gets home. Saturdays are Quiet Time At Home With Arkanum.

Sunday: wash, rinse & repeat. The place where Ark works is closed on Sunday and he has designated chores to do on this day. Sometimes I'll clean a bit when I get home, too. Lately, we've been watching Once Upon a Time on ABC—it's right up our alley, plus we really like Ginnifer Goodwin.

Monday's a bit different. If I didn't pack Sunday night before going to sleep, I pack a bag with a fresh set of clothes and the essentials—deodorant, allergy meds, etc. Monday night is my Night With Gabriel.

Tuesday, I try to sleep in as late as possible, which usually ends up being somewhere between 7 and 9 in the morning. Gabriel doesn't like to linger in bed in the morning very long. We go to a local café for breakfast, then sometimes I head home if I have things to do, or I'll spend the rest of the day with her. The evening is spent with Arkanum, watching Glee and New Girl and Raising Hope, and usually having pizza, but we really need to cut back on that delicious, delicious food.

Wednesday it's back to work. I never really know what I'm doing on Wednesday—I'm supposed to see Sir, but I haven't been seeing him regularly for months. As a safe bet, I just don't make plans, and I assume I have the afternoon to myself unless he tells me otherwise. If it's nice out, I'll ride my bike. Or I'll stay in, and take a nap, or read. Or maybe I'll visit a friend. I don't get a lot of time to myself, so the days where I do, I really treasure it.

Then, Thursday is Errand And Chore Day with Arkanum. We get paid, pay bills, and go shopping. Then we come home and are usually exhausted. Then, more TV shows, cuddling, and bed.

Friday, it starts over again.

Every week is the same—or close enough to where the difference doesn't really matter. I crave change. I need it. So, every once in a while, I say, “I'm taking the week off.” And I do what I want. Next week is such a week. It's My Week and I'll do What I Damn Well Feel Like Doing. Last time, I gutted the back part of my apartment and threw out/gave away tons of stuff. Maybe this time, it'll be the front half.

I particularly enjoy having all the extra time with my husband. While we live together, we don't really spend Quality Time together as often as we should or as often as we'd like to. So taking a week off means I'll be home a lot more, and can focus some extra energy on him. A week off also recharges me, and not seeing Gabriel for a week makes me really look forward to seeing her again on Monday. Sometimes I feel like everyone is in demand of my energy, and I never have any for myself—someone's feeling sad, or sick, or needy in some way and eventually I run out of resources and that's all I see them as—needy. And that's not a good way to see someone you love.

So a break—a vacation—from my poly schedule, is good for everyone.

Times Are a'Changin

Hey, TBC readers.

This blog's gonna be changing. The focus, the info, everything. Not too much (I'm still with everyone I was with, and we're poly and happy) but because I've gone through a lot of Big Deal changes lately, I feel that the blog should change with me, especially so I still have something to write about.

That said, I'm very sorry about the long absence. It was never my intention to fall off the face of the planet, as it were, but things happen and I've been a very busy kitten. Changes will come, and it will be good.