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.