It’s a fun word. Until recently I’d not heard of it, but it started coming up in some reading Mrs. AP and I had been doing, and we being the ever curious types, we looked it up. According to the Demisexual Resource Center, demisexuality is defined as
a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond. Most demisexuals feel sexual attraction rarely compared to the general population, and some have little to no interest in sexual activity.
As you well know if you’ve read any of the tales of the sexual exploits and explorations in which Mrs. AP and I have endeavored together, the latter half of that definiion — “some have little to no interest in sexual activity” — is not applicable to Mrs. AP or myself. We are delightfully sexually vibrant (well, not always, but we all have our down times, don’t we?) However, when Mrs. AP read the first part of that definition she had to stop reading and collect herself. In stunned meditation she processed what she had read, then read it again carefully to confirm she’d not missed anything, before quietly saying “… that’s me!”
I believe this revelation helps us refocus on who we are as individuals and as a couple, and how to tie that in with my previous post — because we’ve had no luck so far finding a wonderful man for us to date. It also means there’s some reorganizing with our online profiles.
As a follow-up to the conversation Mrs. AP and I had the other night, Mrs. AP asked me what kind of action / relationship / friendship … thing … for which I’m looking. Evidently my stare of confusion was quite audible even in the dark of our bedroom at night, because she rephrased the question, asking “Are you just looking for some boy bits to play with or are you looking for somebody more long term and permanent for a relationship.” I still needed clarification, however, so in response I asked “do you mean as just a playful swinger kind of thing or as a more poly boyfriend situation kind of distinction?”
“Yes, exactly; play for fun or long-term play?”
I mulled this over in my head some before answering slowly and deliberately “What I want right now is just playful fun with boy parts, for us to suck and fuck and get fucked. That’s what I’m craving. Sexy fun time with another guy or two.”
Truth be told — and that’s why I’m here, right? — that’s not the entirety of what I want. I don’t think it ever has been one or the other for me; it’s always been both.
Hello again, SINful Friends. It’s been some time since I’ve posted anything of substance, hasn’t it? My dearest apologies. Many happenings have intruded upon my writing schedule (what schedule? Hah!), so today shall be a combination of recounting all we’ve missed over the last year and some musings over the future of things. So grab a snack, pour a glass, and get comfy. Potential exists for this to take some time.
“He says when you come home to make sure you have your big-boy pants on.”
These words Mrs. AP typed to me while she and our former roommate (Red) were having a long heart to heart in our room while I was at work. I knew he’d been struggling with some mental demons as of late, and we were all still adjusting to his semi-regular returns to the house to see the kids. He’s a good guy, but his temperament doesn’t always mesh well with mine, and he tends to get assumptive about what he can and cannot do in the house in regards to personal space. Well, that and at times it seems he’s forgotten than he and Mrs. AP haven’t been romantically or sexually involves in years, and that he has the right to have his way with her whenever the mood so strikes him. Yes, it’s bothered me off and on for years. As a matter of respect, it struck me that he had none for us. With all of that in mind, I had to struggle through the final hour of work and the drive home through rush hour traffic not knowing exactly how this conversation was going to meander. My anxiety level was high, despite all my attempts to calm myself on the drive home. (To wit, meditation has limited effectiveness on crowded highways.)
Once I was home and changed, Red asked that I just sit and listen. He’d been working with Mrs. AP all day on realizing exactly what he wants and how to go about achieving it. I listened, holding Mrs. AP’s hand, as Red explained that he still loved Mrs. AP, that he was unhappy with everybody else he’d tried to date in the past several years, and that what he ultimately wanted was to get some of his mood imbalances controlled, get us trusting him again, and for us to help him find a woman that all of us could get along with both in and out of the bedroom so that Red and New Girl could be Primaries while Mrs. AP and I remained Primaries, but all while having a larger shared Quad experience wth hopefully some play between Mrs. AP and New Girl. Whomever she may be.
Okay, I was a little disappointed that everybody got their kinks fulfilled in that scenario except me and my love of men, but Red followed that up with saying “Of course, you two could still find your pretty Bi guys on the side to play with, and if he was a good fit for all of us he could join the group sometimes too.” I was surprised. Red isn’t Bi, nor is he homophobic — in fact, he and Mrs. AP were a semi-regular Vee with much group sex involved with Mrs. AP’s ex-husband — but hearing him give voice to my concerns about my love of a hard cock in my mouth before I’d had a chance to respond made me look at him in a more positive light. Here he was, pouring out his heart and soul searching and expressing his desire for how things would ideally work out, and he still had time to take stock of how I might react and address that. It was endearing.
As the evening rolled on, the three of us discussed some of the issues and concerns we’d all had with each other while living together and the changes we all wanted to see in behavior. Red promised to be more thoughtful and considerate of Mrs. AP and I and the relationship we have. We promised to be more thoughtful and considerate of his feelings and inner demons. After this and making sure all the kids were put to bed we were lounging about, talking about whatever topics of conversation passed in and out of our heads, when suddenly Mrs. AP leaned over, shoved my shorts and underwear to my knees, and swallowed my cock.
The past few weeks have been the most interesting — and by interesting I mean alternating between frustrating and exhilarating — time for Mrs. AP and I. When last we spoke, Mrs. AP and I were both feeling rather rejuvenated following a wonderful time out at a live electronic dance music show. This warm uplifting afterglow continued only a few more days before we both started coming down sick. First Mrs. AP, followed by myself a few days later, fell brutal victim to something that resulted in sinuses wanting to erupt like Krakatoa before the whole attacking system move south into the chest. As a former asthmatic, I have not felt pressure like that in my chest, nor coughed that long as hard, since my pre-teen days. This felt like every sports team in New York had decided to permanently squat upon my lungs for days. Whatever it is that assaulted me, I do not recommend it.
In the midst of this descending corruption of our immune systems, Mrs. AP and I managed to get in another Friday night with our friends from the dance floor. SCS has some business plan in mind and wanted Mrs. AP, who has a keen financial acumen, to review her plans. The venue of the meeting wasn’t the most conducive to discussing business plans, and all of us where in some portion of not feeling our best, so the discussion was more generalized than specific. It may end up being a worthwhile endeavor with which Mrs. AP and I may be involved, but right now a great many of the details still have to be flushed out. We’ll have to see how well further discussions along that vein run. Besides, one of the fastest ways to kill a friendship is to mix it with business ventures, and we’d rather keep friends than lose them if we can.
Speaking of keeping and losing friends, things appear to have gone rather sideways with Our Crush. We had a lovely time with him later in the night after our night out at the live show, and thought we’d made progress toward establishing a good on between us all. Mrs. AP and I may have been mistaken in that regard; in the two weeks since our last time together, Our Crush has initiated a conversation with one of us fewer than 5 combined times. As a result, Mrs. AP and I are feeling rather disheartened.
Friday night Mrs. AP and I attended a concert at local club. The headline artist was one of the pioneers in the electronic trance genre, which resulted in nearly non-stop moving and dancing for hours on end. We had been invited at the request of new friends — a male and female couple — Mrs. AP had made at a house party a few weeks prior.
While we were one the dance floor with our friends, Mrs. AP leaned in to me to let me know that “there’s something special” about the woman of couple, whom I shall call SCS (Short Cute and Sweet). I grinned like the cheshire car and told her to go with whatever feelings hit her.
Over the course of the night I bore witness to Mrs. AP and SCS making out repeatedly, groping and fondling each other, and making long assaults on each other’s nipples via lips and teeth. Mrs. AP also engaged in a deep soulful kiss with SCS’ boyfriend. All of this, of course, in the middle of a pack of moving, dancing people on the dance floor, and in between her and I making out and groping each other nearly non-stop.
Nights like this remind me just how freeing it is to be Poly. While we needn’t be always on the lookout for new people in our lives, being able to take advantages of situations like this when they arise and not only feel no guilt or remorse but also feel intense joy and happiness for our partner/s in the process is empowering. Mrs. AP was free and carefree with SCS, and it was an absolute joy to watch. I’ve never seen Mrs. AP so entranced by another woman before. To that point, I’ve never seen Mrs. AP express outright desire to pursue another woman before, much less initiate a deep kiss.
I look forward to seeing just where this leads.
Stay SINful, friends.
Pardon the alliteration, friends, but I’m feeling whimsical. You’ll forgive me, yes?
I stumbled this morning on an excellent piece hosted on the Huffington Post titled “For Bi Guys Thinking of Coming Out” by author Patrick RichardsFink. If you have not already, please go read the piece. Regardless of your gender or sexual identity there are some incredible insights found within the piece, particularly in dealing with the preconceptions most people still carry about sexuality and gender identity being based within the binary normative structure of gay/straight, male/female.
As I have mentioned repeatedly in my writings, I knew comparatively early in my life that I am Bi Male. Additionally, I came to realize later in life that I am also a Queer Male. In my further explorations into the roles of gender and sexual identity as parcel to development and establishing meaningful interpersonal relationships, I have had to undo the same kind of binary thinking still prevalent in modern Western society. Sexuality and Gender are not necessarily static, but may instead exist on a dynamic continuum. It is with this greater understanding, both externally and internally of the fluidity of self-expression, that led me to the belief that Bi-Curiosity is a misnomer, a stumbling block upon the path to actualization. The conversation is not as simple as there being two sides to a coin, but is instead as multifaceted as a Princess-cut diamond. This complexity requires adopting not only a new approach to coming out but also a new mindset to those still within the binary-normative structure.
Dating is a confusing enough subject between only 2 people these days. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be things like college lectures on how hook-up culture is killing dating. Run a Google Search for Modern Dating, and the top results include multiple posts via the Huffington Post and a (self serving?) post on Match.com. Nearly every magazine available in the checkout line at the larger grocery stores include articles on how to date, how to look best for the first date, how to behave on the first date, how to hold attention after the first date, etc. Constantly there is this bombardment on how and why and when and who to date. The endless barrage of information is maddening.
This is made even more difficult trying to be a Poly couple in search of the elusive Single Bi Male. Mrs. AP and I have been looking, either actively or passively, for the better part of 18 months now. We’ve been more dedicated at some times than others, of course. Our search is, however, hindered by the fact that we can’t simply follow the traditional in-person routine that two single people can. Bars are, essentially, out, which is fine as we don’t really frequent them anyway. We could theoretically meet somebody out at the club, or even at a restaurant or diner or store, but having to explain Poly to somebody who’s never heard of it — in person — leads to more ludicrous looks than is often worth them time. Thus, relying on various online social and dating sites is the fallback on which we need rely.
We’ve had some luck through them. We met Our Crush online first, and have since arranged all three of our dates that way. So far it seems to be working. It is also mildly exhausting. Mrs. AP put it best the other night when she asked if we can just move beyond the dating stage to the relationship stage. She’s right, of course, in that knowing how to act and react inside an established relationship is easier when one (or two) has been out of The Dating Game for as long as we have. Traditional timing and molds don’t seem to carry over in a one to one ratio. Pace, expectation, and the timeline of the relationship all seem to get thrown into a state of turmoil. Lily Lloyd of theblackletherbelt.com calls it The Relationship Escalator. To quote her:
The escalator looks something like this:
> Dating > Sex > Moving In Together > Getting Married > Getting a Mortgage > Having Kids
This progression doesn’t work — may not even be possible to work — when it comes to Mrs. AP and I looking for a potential long-term member of what may very well become a Poly Triad. Restrictions are in place in many ways. Legally, at least within the United States, we may never be able to progress as a Triad from the “Moving in Together” stage to the “Getting Married” stage. The legal standings for such a Marriage are, at best, tenuous. That doesn’t necessarily prevent skipping that stage to the “Getting a Mortgage” part, but in this economy that’s more a pipe dream than anything else. As for kids, Mrs. AP and I already have several children between us in addition to our devastating miscarriage together just a few months ago. We’re not getting any younger, either; the likelihood of complications arising are a notable, worrisome prospect. What, then, is a Poly couple who’s met a wonderfully compatible third person to do?
In the past two weeks Mrs. AP and I have had two dates with Our Crush. In both cases what started out as short dates evolved into very long amounts of time spent over at his place, with a great deal of making out involved. The first date, in fact, lasted ten hours, the last two to three hours of which were spent with a great deal of kissing and neck nibbling and running fingernails up and down various body parts… all without any clothing being removed. The second date at his house did lead to all clothing on all parties eventually coming off, but only after yet another long period of making out and teasing and foreplay.
Mrs. AP and I have our fair share of threesomes with another man under our collective belt, considering our long-held Triad with her soon-to-be-ex-husband and our dalliances with both Our Well Hung Lover and a long standing friend of hers, but never before have either of us — nor Our Crush, if I guess correctly — been involved in a scenario where there was truly equal attention and desire among all three people. Each of us wanted, desired, and gave attention to the other two freely and equally without need of conscious thought toward the matter. It was more a matter of each of us not being able to get enough of the other two than any one of us feeling pressured to give attention to one of the other people. We were the closest to a true Triad I’ve ever experienced, with lines of energy connected each of the three pairs of us — him and her; her and me; him and me — along with a continuous loop connecting us all that was exhilarating and powerful. I wrote once of wanting the kind of Triad where each of us makes the other two stronger; I got a taste of what that can be like as we all rolled around in bed together.
Goodness, has the past week been brutal for the LGTBQ and Polyamorous communitie.
Really, why can’t we all just take heed of the wisdom of Depeche Mode?
I know I do not post often and I am sorry for that dear readers. This is really my first posting as a writer to our beloved Blog. While I help my other half often in his writings I just have not gotten around to posting my self. I am very active on other forums and boards and I guess I need to move some of that activity here as well.
You may be asking your self what got me in such a tizzy that I found the need to start posting here and invade our blog out of the blue. Well I was doing a bit of reading on the net and as one of my habits I read Savage Love. Well , one of his recent contributions to his column was simply lacking in many very very important things ( details given below) . I feel if you are going to put your self out there in the world as someone to go to for information, advice and such that when you do so, well You should do it properly and if you are unsure FACT CHECK FIRST!! With that said.. I felt compelled to send him a letter about this bit of writing that he did. Mr. AP found it so profound that he requested all night that I bring it to the masses as an open Letter so here its is peeps!
Hello Dan Savage,
I am a very long time reader of your column and often refer people over to it as well as reference it not only in conversations, but in our own blog as well as many other sites that we are members of. Today, I went to catch up on my Savage Love and to my total dismay, my favorite sex positive writer missed a step. I was a bit taken back when reading the post labled “Three-way Relationship Intrigues Oblivious Straights” … I totally understand where this gentleman was coming from and found him to be rather open minded and forthcoming of him to have found this Triad to be “cool people” … Where I was shocked was in your response.. or LACK there of in this case. Yes you covered some of the questions that he asked but seemed to have left out one very VITAL detail.. there IS a common term that is accepted world wide by all sexual orientations being, that they were practicing Polyamory and from the sounds of it, had a long term Polyfidelitous relationships.. You went on to bulk at “some” for being of the mind set that it’s ” bad PR at a time when gay couples are fighting for the right to marry.” I feel you really did the same thing for all of the gay, straight and bisexual communities in neglecting to use the correct terminology .
Poly relationships are found through out time and while the term Polyamory really only dates back to about the 1970’s there has been documented proof through all of person kind, since people started taking records of such things. If the common goal is to grow a better understand of the world and each other and there for breed understanding and knowledge, it is of great importance to use the proper terminologically when speaking about these matters and “educating” the masses. Sadly, I see this a a massive missed opportunity that could have brought light to a lot of peoples lives. With your post, people will likely google “throuples” and sadly will miss out on a lot of very good, very interesting information that is out there as well as the communities that Poly based relationships are involved in. They will never see that it is Legal for a Poly relationship to marry in Holland and a few other places in the EU, they will never see that if they move to the UK, that while they can not marry there as a triad that if there were married in a place where it is legal that the UK will honor their marriage and their rights. They will never see the little known fact that their was a loop hole in California law that prop 8 killed that allowed for a 3rd person to join a per-existing marriage. They will never see that Poly comes in all sorts of flavors and colors from two “couples” joining to forma quad to triads and so on.
There are a lot of people in the world who feel lost in their feelings and sexual identity as well as orientation. While Poly may not be an answer for some of these people it could truly allow some to finely feel like them selves and loved for who they are and how they really want to live their life. While not the only “group” massive impacted by this topic I think it is one that get the “hate” on is the Bisexuals. While, I , myself am not Bisexual my Fiance is. I have heard and see the hate that flies in his direction on a regular basis. The bulk of the Gay community still likes to soap box on that Bisexual males are just gay and have not come to terms with it yet, while the bulk of the hetro community will not only soap box on that but then will slander them for being sluts, creeps and perverts as well as cheaters whom cant have a ” normal ” relationship. While a lot of bisexuals can have a relationship and be happy on one side of the fence or the other there are also a lot that can’t. They end up feeling like they are not being true to them self or are being limited in what their lives can be and because no one speaks up from them or the Poly community they just don’t know that it exist. They don’t have a name for whats in their head and heart, where to start looking for information and end up feeling like there is something wrong with them and that they must fit in some mold that was made for ether Dick and Jane, Dick and Dick or Jane and Jane and thats just not fair. I feel it is pretictualry hard for bisexual men as apposed to bisexual woman who are found by the main stream to be “cute” or highly coveted by some males for the “3 some” side for their mind set. Most Bi Males are too scared to be shunned by their friends and families to speak up, much less have anyone to talk to about what they are felling. If they have a gay friend that they open up too odds are they are told that they are gay and just in not willing to admit it yet. If they have a straight friend or GF whom they can open up to about it odds are they will get turned on , freaked out on and left in the dust begging them not to out them. At least if some of them know about the poly community they might at least be able to find people they could talk to who have, do and can walk and live on both sides of the fence in a great many ways.
I beg of you to consider writing a follow up piece addressing the proper terminology and community that this letter was written to you about. I feel that a great deal of people of all sexual orientations would benefit from it , learn and maybe even grow as people them selves or at least some level of tolerance when they encounter it in the “real” world.
His column can be viewed here > http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=15701114 and the posting for this was on Jan 9th 2013
All of us, regardless of background, can trace many of our adult behaviors to either the environment in which we were raised or the character of those who helped raise us, if not both. While there are exceptions to all cases, generally speaking somebody who is raised in an abusive environment will seek escape from the reality of that environment in some form of self-destructive behavior, which then carries on into adulthood. Similarly, a person who is raised in a protected environment may be ignorant of some of the dangers posed by a less gentle, less forgiving segment of society. Those raised in areas in which overt racism is present may be more aware of the effects of how prejudices alter perception, and those raised in areas free of such societal pressures may not understand how deeply run the roots of those prejudices may lie.
I’ve spoken of it before, but for those unaware, the vast majority of my life has been spent living in states south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Additionally, my parents are devout Lutheran Christians, which meant I spent a good portion of my weekends and my afternoons during the Advent and Lent seasons inside a church building. The combination of living in the Buckle of the Bible Belt with deeply devout parents meant that I was nearly always surrounded by people who believed to their deepest cores that the Christian Bible is irrefutably sacrosanct, literally true, and an absolute guide for moral behavior. This belief extended to most major areas of notable Conservative dispute, particularly the areas surrounding evolution and human sexuality. I was taught to belief — and encouraged when reciting or defending the belief — that evolution is not scientifically valid and that humans lived alongside dinosaurs. Any belief in the evidence provided by the fossil record was disputed or discarded simply because it did not fit within dogmatic. Simply put, the scientific method was considered irrelevant and, in a fashion that seems to be uniquely American, cast aside not to be thoughtfully discussed.
As I look back to that time in my life, I often feel shame at being sucked into the arguments provided. My blind faith in the absolute correctness of the Biblical accounts of things being the only way “things could have happened” was borderline fanatical, and impervious to rational arguments challenging my beliefs. Thankfully, my parents taught me to be discerning and thoughtful and to never stop reading, which led to broadening my lens and finding additional information that debunked and thoroughly refuted my prior beliefs. My hypothesis had been wrong, and when presented with overwhelming evidence I was forced to adjust my beliefs to better hold with the evidentiary truth. In just such a manner was I also forced to adjust my views on human sexuality.
Mrs. AP and I had been up half the night, and were lounging in bed naked (as we tend to do, since we sleep in the nude) looking up some things online when Our Crush came online. She and he quickly struck up a conversation, and she rolled onto her side leaning forward some to get a better angle from which to type. She did this while I was up re-arranging some clothing in the room, and I turned and saw her laying there… half displayed… right leg out straight… left leg tucked up for support… her breasts spilling forth, alight from the glow of her computer screen. I was dumbstruck, awed, and instantly aroused. I shut and locked the door and slid up the bed, straddling her leg, and snuggled in tight on her ass. I took great care to position my hips so that my throbbing cock brushed her bare pussy. She giggled and wiggled her hips against me, still typing with Our Crush. I lifted my hips and slid down ever so slightly and changed my angle, now resting the head of my cock against her moistening lips. She pushed back against me, stopped typing, and turned to look at me.
“You do realize I’m having a conversation with Our Crush, right?” she asked teasingly, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
“Oh, I know. Let’s see if you can keep that up while I have my way with you,” I replied coyly.
She paused and looked at for a moment, as if examining if I was serious or not. I met her eyes with mine, sure to let her see the playfulness and desire mingling there. She must have seen it, because she smiled, turned, and went back to typing. As her hands hit the keyboard again she quipped, “Okay, but I don’t know how well I’ll be able to do this. You tend to steal all my focus!”
She gasped her last word as I pressed the head of my cock inside her, letting it rest just inside her hot entrance. Moaning and gasping she dropped her head a moment before raising it and attempting to maintain her conversation with Our Crush. She began dropping innuendos, flirting with him as I slowly rocked my hips back and forth, sliding a fraction of an inch deeper inside her with every thrust. Every push from my hips elicited another moan and gasp from us both. In this position she was tighter than usual, with her legs pressed tightly together, so I took my time burying myself completely inside her. After a few minutes my hips could get no closer, my cock could get no deeper. We were as joined as can be, rocking together in a tight embrace as she fought valiantly to not ignore Our Crush. My hips moved slowly faster, my thrusts gaining insistence and momentum. The game now was to see how well I could distract her without building up the distraction too quickly. Her fingers struggled on the keys. Her pauses to gasp and moan became longer and more frequent. Her flirtations grew stronger. Her pussy became more wet, more hot, and more tight.
As I mentioned in my 6-month Anniversary post the other day, I took a brief sabbatical from the blog due to a continuous 11 days of work and the need to recuperate afterward. I’m noticing this is a growing trend among many of my fellow bloggers; if I work from the top down through my blogroll I can find at least 3 examples before I hit the midway point of people who are taking a break in one form or another. Between burnouts, changes in lifestyle, work requirements, or what have you’s these fine people need to step back, catch a breath, and recover. Recognizing when to do so is, I think, one of the keys to living a long and happy life.
Here in the United States, taking a break is not encouraged. It is not mandatory. To some of my international readers, this may come as a shock, but there is no mandatory vacation/holiday time in the United States. Employers have no requirement to provide paid time off, for any reason. For recent parents, the Family Medical Leave Act assures that a mother may take up to 12 weeks off from work to care for her newborn child, but those 12 weeks are not required to be paid time off. Yes, you read that correctly; a mother may take unpaid time off from work for up to 12 weeks to care for her newborn before she must return to work or lose her job. In my current job I am offered no paid time off for any reason; not sickness, not for a death in the family, and certainly not for a vacation/holiday.
Like many other of the other wonderful bloggers I know — take a moment to check my blogroll to the right for some fine examples — I get a sense of amusement from some of the various search terms that result in somebody new stumbling across my little corner of the internet. One that stands out as particularly amusing was “husband says absinthe makes his dick hard”. What’s not to love about that? This morning, however, I saw a search term appear that got me thinking about just how much people can manage to hold themselves back — or not — on the spectrum that encompasses the swinger and polyamorous couples. This search term was “fall in love swinger become exclusive poly with one couple”.
There are many ways to read this term, in large part due to the lack of punctuation. Was the person searching attempting to find a swinger with whom to fall in love and then, with that person, become polyfidelitous with another swinging couple? Was this person perhaps already a swinger and was looking to find information on the ways to or likelihood of entering into a poly relationship with another couple? Could this person perhaps be a single swinger and is looking to join a poly couple in a triad?
Thinking on these possibilities made me realize something that’s hovered around the edges of my consciousness for sometime; something with which I have, at times, struggled. This something is a prevalent trend among those who write from within the swinger community, and one that I suspect has arisen from some improper assumptions. I suspect this because I have been guilty of it, and because of it I inadvertently derailed what could have become a very good thing. This something, this “it”, is the fear of oneself or one’s partner falling in love with somebody else.
If one lives in or meanders through or even just sometime dabbles in one of the multitude of fringe subcultures in society, be it Swinger or Kinkster or Gay or Bi or Poly, then one has encountered some form of intolerance. The degree of this intolerance varies, surely, but ask the average person how well s/he would react to learning that a school teacher is gay, or a swinger, or engages in BDSM practices outside of the confines of the professional environment and the overwhelming response will be one of negativity. Disgust, perhaps, or vitriolic speech will be the common denominator. Very often, the people reacting from a negative place espouse to live lives of public positivity; they claim hold of beliefs that teach of love and kindness not simply as ways of live but furthermore as embedded attitudes of being. Turn around yet afterward and ask these people on their thoughts on tolerance, and the refrain is automatic; love everybody, tolerate everybody, but teach and preach in hopes of homogenizing everybody to better align with the responder’s beliefs.
This is not tolerance. This is a guise, an imagery put forth from which platitudes may be issued and rote answers may be spewed. Underneath this facade is a dislike, a distrust, in fact a disavowal of any thought, philosophy, or practice that is not conformist to the established teachings of the hallowed institution. That institution may be religious, political, educational, ect. but they share commonalities in inspiring loyalty and conferring world views that are either blind to or ignorant of baseline facts about life outside the shelter of the group. There is safety in numbers; behold the flock of sheep.
It’s been awhile since I’ve touched on the Polyamorous aspect of the relationship between Mrs. AP and I, and with good reason; we have been without any additional romantic partners for nearly a year now. For those of you keeping score at home, yes, that stretches back to before I began this blog. We did, as documented, visit an on-premise swingers club and play a bit. We also had a date with a friend that resulted in quite a fun time for all. Those two experiences very much trended toward the Swinger end of the Poly/Swing spectrum, however, and didn’t involve most of the more complex emotional aspects I associate with being Poly. One of those aspects is finding compersion.
Compersion, as defined on Wikipedia — because it’s not a recognized word in any dictionary I can yet find — “is a state of empathetic happiness and joy experienced when an individual’s current or former romantic partner experiences happiness and joy through an outside source, including, but not limited to, another romantic interest. This can be experienced as any form of erotic or emotional empathy, depending on the person experiencing the emotion.” Summarized in briefest form, it is experiencing happiness at a partner’s happiness. It is one of the most basic tenets of the emotional maturity landscape encompassing being Poly. it is also the aspect with which, I found, I had the most difficulty.
We’ve all been there at one point in our live or another; the date that doesn’t work out, the job interview that pans, the attempted hookup with another couple that ends with everybody frustrated. Okay, maybe we haven’t all had that last experience, but you get my point already, right? Sometimes, despite the best laid plans, despite the best intentions, and despite the best effort… things don’t work out. How we deal with these times determines how we bounce back from them. Moving forward isn’t an option, after all; we must, or we get left behind. So how, then, do we recover from something that leaves us embarrassed, confused, hurt, crushed, or destroyed?
Everybody has a different coping mechanism, and not everybody applies the same mechanism to every scenario. Life is filled with disappointment in all forms after all, and I know I react much differently to a favorite sports team losing than I do to a date going badly. I expect most reasonable people behave in similar fashions, although I cannot guarantee this applies to the die-hard baseball or football fans I’ve seen sink into depressions because the team lost one lousy game.
When it comes to being Single, Poly, or a Swinger the bad date brings with it the added element of a missed (or botched) sexual opportunity. It may not be the first date, second date, or even tenth date, but at some point in the dating process the comes the expectation of mutual sexual congress. The anticipation grows, the expectations rise, and eventually the clothing falls. With this heightened element comes the heightened perception of risk, reward, and failure. We come away from a successful encounter feeling like we have accomplished something incredible and worthwhile. There is potential for More, in whatever form that may take. Conversely, an unsuccessful encounter leaves us lost, bewildered, or worse. We question ourselves, our choice in potential Other, the venue, the timing, the conversation, etc. Success breeds success, they say, and every time we miss that mark the self-doubt kicks in and establishes yet another foot-hold. Both cycles become self-fulfilling prophecies. The trick, then, is to actively focus on creating the cycle we want while avoiding that which we do not desire.
I’ve not touched on Polyamory in my life here on the blog a great deal lately. It’s been over a month since I posted about realizing that a part of me wants the idealized Poly unit. At the time I was perfectly sincere, but I was missing a key component that has been preventing — and in fact, destroyed chances — for me to realize that dream. As it turns out, I’ve not been as ready for a truly Polyamorous lifestyle as I thought I was. I did not properly prepare myself, nor did I seek out the advice of those who have been Poly for years or decades. My own ignorance and inability to see beyond myself failed me and my partners. I failed Mrs. AbsinthePassion, while simultaneously being exactly what I thought she needed. Things I said and did were wrong, flat out, and here now is my confession.
Friday night Mrs. AP and I had a date 3 weeks in the making. It wasn’t Vanilla per se — we discussed Poly and BDSM and a portion of the local community — but it wasn’t wholly Non-Vanilla either. Turns out there’s a gray, blended area where Vanilla and Non-Vanilla swirl together into what I hencefoth deem Vanilla-esque. Aren’t I catchy?
Said date was Non-Vanilla in multiple ways beyond the topics discussed. Our date, Rigger, found our profiles on OKCupid and sent us both messages, which led quickly into talks of profiles on FetLife. Perving on FetLife turned to becoming friends on FetLife, where the vast majority of the conversations have taken place between us. This is where one of my recent posts rings true; I’d had several chances to begin conversation with Rigger but failed to do so simply by waiting for him to start. Ooops. I’m a dumbass.
So through FetLife we arranged a date, finally, and thanks to certain life circumstances leaving no other options the date occurred with Princess and Tank in tow. This necessitated having the date at not only a public space, which we always do for meeting somebody for the first time, but also a family friendly public space. Right. Cheap family-oriented chain restaurant to the rescue!
Human beings are constructed to be social animals. We saw it in the tribes of old during the early years of Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens, we saw it in the construction of ancient and medieval towns and cities, and we see it today in the increasing focus of population within large metropolitan areas. As socially constructed animals, we long to be not only near other people but also to be perceived as fitting within the socially accepted norm of those people. There are, as with any rule, exceptions to this rule, but even among those who run counter to accepted norms there is typically a theme of independence present — those with large amounts of sustainable wealth or those who support themselves via artistic talent maintain the ability to create a self-norm that is eventually accepted by the public at large as normal for that person, to the point where deviating from that created norm to the conventional public norm is then deemed impermissible. But what of us in the middle of the spectrum, who work 40 hour work weeks earning middle class incomes who don’t fit the traditionally assigned normative roles? What behavior patterns do we assume so as to not expose ourselves to inordinate risk?
Community. The word generates a multitude of images, different for each person. For some it’s the large, bustling neighborhoods of the city. Elsewhere, it’s the sprawling lands of the loosely populated rural areas where everybody knows not only their own neighbor but everyone else’s as well. Still other images are those of closed religious communities, huddled inside their compounds isolated from the western world. There’s the Amish, or the Native American, or the Hispanic communities as well; anybody in Pennsylvania, the Great Plains, or Miami can attest to the feeling of unity and togetherness found within those groups. In all examples, the people can easily gather and rally to support and improve their community. But what about us on the fringe, who are connected not by physical proximity but by interest and lifestyle? How do we go about cultivating, growing, and maintaining our communities?
In Tampa, all three of the Lifestyle communities — Swinger, Fetish/BDSM, and Polyamory — have relatively large and active populations. In many instances there is overlap between two of three of these communities, although I believe that overlap exists more greatly between Fetish and Poly than between any other combination. In part, I think, this is attributable to the fact that both Fetish/BDSM and Poly are more intrinsically built around developing longer relationships and exploring the boundaries of those relationships, which takes time. This is not to say that Swinger and Fet or Swinger and Poly cannot or do not overlap; there is certainly a fair amount of partner swapping among BDSM play partners, and several Poly people visit Swinger events. I simply have not seen the evidence of as wide a crossover in those categories, at least not here. In other places it may be different. Which brings us back to the question, how do we explore and improve these communities?
There’s a term nearly everybody in the Swinger world, the BDSM world, and the Polyamorous world is familiar with, summarized in one neat, pretty, sparkly mental image of one word: Unicorn. On the surface it’s a simple term, relating to the mythical creature of lore that is rumored to exist but is nearly impossible to find. Furthermore, once found, it’s nearly impossible to keep, for after all, nobody can really own a unicorn. Anybody who’s ever seen the film Legend knows that much.
There becomes a problem of definition among different groups, though. I didn’t know this until recently, when a discussion broke out among several discussion groups on FetLife. When “The Group” was asked to provide a definition of a Unicorn, the responses that came back astounded me. The most broad definition (and the one with which I was most familiar) is a single woman who is willing and eager to join an existing couple for sexual escapades. Turns out, among some circles, this definition is far too broad and is refined to the point so that nearly nobody could ever be found to meet it. For example, one person (and I paraphrase) said that a true Unicorn is a young, naive, beautiful woman who agrees to move in with a couple sight unseen to be a sub/slave to the Dom Master male of the house, is only allowed to engage in sex acts with the Dom Master male unless he specifically orders her to engage in sex acts with other females in the house. I was floored. I never thought to include such restrictive terms in the definition, much less construe the chutzpah it would take to tell a woman that I could play with other vaginas but she was limited to only a single penis. The lack of balance there is astounding. But it got me thinking, if somebody can define a Unicorn in this fashion, are there other unexplored definitions that could come to be applied?
It’s a cliched phrase we’ve heard thrown around for as long as we can remember. “I belong to you.” Boyz II Men included that phrase in the chorus of their song “End of the Road.” Whitney Houston, Lenny Kravitz, and Muse each have songs by that name. We love to use the phrase as a declaration of how deeply and completely we are devoted to another person, but is that all there is to it? Are we truly trying to say, in effect, “you own me?”