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.