Saturday, March 31, 2012

Compersion in reverse??

Compersion is the feeling of happiness you get when your partner is happy with another lover.  It's a warm fuzzy moment in which you find warmth in the things other people do to bring your partner joy.  

I don't know what to call it when someone makes your partner sad.  It crushes me.  It makes me angry.  How can someone be so fickle?  Or so uncaring?  

When I don't hear from you because another partner is upsetting you, I get worried.  I don't mind if you're on a date and having a blast, but if the last thing I hear is that you're upset, and then you disappear, I start to get sad, and I begin to think you are shutting me out.  Not because you don't love me, but because you are shutting the world out.  

That's not a good place.  I hope you're okay.  I'll be here, by the phone, when you're ready.  I'll be here, with a hug and a snuggle, to brighten your world and make it okay.  

Friday, March 30, 2012

In Which I Pontificate

In the past couple of days there has been a whirl of coincidence in my life.  Three separate people have brought up a topic that isn't really discussed in poly circles: comparisons.  To a poly person, it's not a good idea to compare your partners.  It's considered rude, and to some extent extremely offensive, especially if you are vocal about it.

A friend asked me if being with someone new helps me appreciate the Mister more.  The short answer is no.  The long answer is, there are things that only the Mister provides for me.  He completely gets my sense of humor; he will often say things just to make me laugh that would make a normal person cringe.  He will make me a pickle and cheese sandwich, even though he thinks it is a vile combination.  He will challenge me when I'm wrong, essentially telling Type A me that I'm being obstinate and ridiculous.

But there are things that I love about the Libertine and the Prime that my Mister isn't so good at.  When I'm with my boys, I'm simply not thinking about the Mister, or anyone else for that matter.  If I'm with the Libertine you would think he was the only man in my life.  If I'm with the Prime you would think the same.  The beautiful thing about being a poly woman is that I don't need one man to meet every single relationship need, or sexual need, that I have.  And I don't need to try to be everything for one person.

The Libertine once told me that one of the things he loves most about me is that I'm not afraid to just be me, I don't pretend to be the me that I think he wants me to be.

I think the challenge for people new to this lifestyle is to just let life happen.  Don't dwell on things.  Don't try to force events to happen.  I am not spiritual at all, but I believe in living my life organically: if something is going to happen you need to let it happen at its own pace.  You can't rush love, you can't rush companionship, you can't rush comfort.  We get so caught up in getting what we want, that we completely lose sight of the fact that the journey is the part that is important, not the destination.

When you're with someone you like, or even love, let go!  Don't think about where you could be, or where you would rather be (unless you're totally miserable, in which case leave)!  Concentrate on the events at hand.  Concentrate on the way your companion talks to you.  Is her body language positive?  Lose yourself in a kiss, or a cuddle.  We're trained to always be moving toward the next goal.  Change things up and just live inside a moment - it's so much more rewarding than you can ever imagine.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Prime, and Shit That Only Happens To Me

Since the Prime and I initially met, we've seen each other about once a week, occasionally twice.  I look forward to our nights together because for a few hours a week I am able to really explore a side of myself that I had previously kept hidden.  The Prime brings out a side of me that is rarely seen - that of the submissive.

Ask anyone who knows me in day to day life, and they would laugh at the idea that I could be submissive to anyone.  I am the most Type A personality I know, and the running joke at my work is "she just wants it how she wants it."  But when the Prime is around, I can't help but acknowledge his extremely dominant demeanor; I don't think I really understood the term commanding presence before I met him.

That's not to say we don't do normal date-type activities.  We had a wonderful dinner tonight, we chatted about our spouses, kids, and significant others.  We tell stories, compare notes on all kinds of geekery, and we enjoy the hell out of a good beer.

Get us in a bedroom situation, though, and all bets are off.  I am a neophyte to this experience, but it's an extreme pleasure to learn from someone like him.  He is careful, meticulous, and merciless when needed.  It's unnerving how well he reads my body language, and we feed off of each other.  I head home after a night with the Prime feeling content, sleepy, and exhilarated.

Now, imagine me heading to my car in such a state tonight.  I kissed the Prime goodbye, and went to open my car doors... locked.  This is not good, because I had made a conscious decision to leave the keys in the car when I got out of it earlier in the evening.  So, I do the only possible thing, and text the Prime that I've locked my keys in my car.

He comes to my rescue, and asks where the spare set is.  At this point I begin laughing so hard I almost hyperventilate - my spare keys are at my mother's!  So there I am, 32 years old, at 11pm on a Wednesday, calling my mom to ask her where my spare keys are.


I brush off Mom's questions by saying I'm with friends, and she agrees to leave the keys on the deck for me.  The Prime had to drive to my mother's house at 11:30pm, and then drive me back, the whole while giggling about how silly the whole thing is.

Who almost outs themselves to their parents because of a really stupid moment?  Apparently I do.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Privacy vs. Honesty

The Mister and I had a couple blow-ups this weekend, both of which revolved around the basic communication that is required when you are a poly couple.  No one was wrong, and no one was right.  We were both a little of each.  The crucial thing to remember when you are a poly couple is that no matter what you do, toes will be stepped on, someone will be a little hurt by a seemingly meaningless word or act, and you will have to work through those feelings in order to maintain balance.

Sunday's argument was silly.  Yesterday's argument was the marriage equivalent of World War 3.

I had lunch with the Libertine yesterday.  I did not tell the Mister that I was going, simply said I was going out and that I would wake him up when I got home (the Mister works nights and was in bed when I left).  Major Mistake #1.

I returned home and crawled into bed with the Mister, where we made love and snuggled for an hour or so before I fell asleep contentedly.  The Mister decided to get up and get his day going.  While I was asleep, apparently my phone was chirping non-stop, so the Mister checked my messages, saw that I was with the Libertine, and promptly flipped the fuck out.  Major Mistake #2.

You can see where this is going.  He is angry because I lied by omission.  I am angry because he invaded my privacy.  Neither of these behaviors are remotely normal in our marriage; normally I'm an over-sharer, and he respects the fact that my phone is the only place in the world where my secrets are my own.  But being poly can bring out the worst in a couple.  I am In Love with the Libertine, and in my haste to see him I did not disclose my intentions.  I still cannot figure out why I did that, it's very out of character for me.  The Mister, very aware of my new love, is worried (in some corner of himself) that I am not going to come home to him.  Rationally, he knows that's silly, but it's hard to deny the nagging voice of the green eyed monster when it visits.

Neither of us was right, both of us were wrong.  We both did things that crossed the boundaries of acceptable behavior within our marriage.  The Mister very smartly stepped out of the house for a time, because neither of us does well discussing problems when we are white-hot angry.

At the end of the day, after the fighting and the drama are done, the Mister and I are stronger.  We were both wrong.  We were both right to be angry.  We both know that these actions will never be repeated.  We love each other, respect each other's boundaries, and are moving forward as partners.

Sometimes you have to fall down in order to get back up together, better.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Highs & Lows

My date yesterday with the new boy went okay.  We had a good lunch, and had a good time mini golfing.  He and his wife are very, VERY new to the idea of being poly.  While we have much in common I don't think I have the mental capacity to work through all the problems that they have yet to face: things like balancing time, shedding the initial guilt of kissing a new partner (let alone sleeping with one), and the inevitable green eyed monster.

We did kiss, and he commented to me that it was odd to kiss someone besides his wife.  This is a giant red flag for me - if you're kissing me and thinking of your wife, you're not ready.  I am a damned good kisser, and I get lost in the moment of a kiss.  If I'm kissing you, you have my undivided attention.  If that's not the case for you, then something isn't clicking right.

I know that the Mister and I are considered newbies by most poly people's standards.. but we have the advantage that I lived this lifestyle before I was married.  I knew going in what was going to upset the Mister and what would probably be a non-issue.  We talked about a lot of the things I consider speed bumps before I went ahead and selected any new partners.  The new boy and his wife... they don't yet know what they're in for.

The Libertine came to spend the evening with me last night, and he met my kids.  They had a great time reading stories, watching Iron Man cartoons, and generally being silly.  Watching him with my kids only solidified what I already knew were extremely strong feelings.  We talked about my date, and he was sad for me that I don't think this boy will work out.  At the same time, he seemed relieved that I am confident and smart enough to make that decision before it becomes hard to make.

Tonight, I'm seeing the Prime for the first time in a week.  We chat every day, but I find myself missing him.  I miss the sound of his voice and his fingers when they tangle in my hair.  I miss commiserating with him about our children, both boys with some developmental delays.  I miss the warm place in the crook of his arm while we drink a beer and watch Netflix.

More about the Prime tomorrow... when I decide how much of that I'm going to share.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This Is How We Do It

Last night we met up with another couple and the Libertine for a night on the town.  It was supposed to be an informal poly meetup, but we arrived before the Libertine and the four of us clicked really well.  Shots were poured, beers were drank, and good times were had.  When we got up to say hi to the "official" poly group, our reception was a little cold.  Blank faces stared at us, and I got the distinct feeling that some of the people weren't really glad to see new faces.

The Libertine was kissing me, and I could feel eyes on me in a not so comfortable way.  So we left.

The evening, as planned, was drinks and then a screening of The Room.  We ended up skipping the movie and staying out at the bar until quite late.  The five of us had a great time talking, laughing, flirting.  No one was awkward, everyone was smiling, and there was a lot of good vibes in the air.

This is what poly is about.  Our table was three men and two women.  I have slept with two of the men and I'm going on a date with the third today.  No one minded hand holding, shoulder rubbing, quick winks, outright playful banter, or dirty jokes.  None of the men were upset if I was paying more or less attention to the others, because at the end of the day I love my Mister and the Libertine, and the new boy, well we'll see.

This is why I'm poly.  This is how to truly love.  Be open, love deeply, and play often.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disconsolate & Sanguine

It's the end of the day, and I'm all alone for the first time in over a week.  I used to crave this time of day; the kids are asleep and my Mister is working.  I have the house to myself and no one to interrupt whatever it is I want to do.

Except... I'm lonely.

It's the strangest feeling in the world.  The Libertine is with another of his girls, the Prime is with his wife.  The man I'll be meeting on Saturday is off in the ether somewhere, and for the first time in days my phone is quiet.  I keep checking it - maybe I missed the chirp?  But no.

I could be working on my writing.  I could be watching Netflix.  Instead I'm sitting here, typing out my thoughts to no one in particular hoping it helps me go to sleep tonight.  I'm sitting here, missing the Libertine fiercely; unsure of what I'm feeling and what I'm doing.  I'm sitting here, feeling the sting of a missed night with the Prime and the sadness of having to reschedule over a week out from today.

Completely at odds with this pressing feeling, I am excited for date night tomorrow with the Mister.  Starting tomorrow I have dates upon dates upon dates through the weekend.  The Mister and I are going downtown tomorrow night for a movie screening and a meet up.  Saturday I have a lunch date for beer and mini golf with a man I've been chatting up for a little over a month.  Saturday night I finally get to see my Libertine again, with the hopes that he will be able to stay through to Sunday.  Sunday night I have tentative plans with the Prime, but that will only work out if the planets align perfectly.

With my life this full, how can I be lonely?

The Libertine, or How Did I Get Here?

I mentioned recently that I had met someone new via OKC.  He is extraordinary, and so so different from the Mister.  That's not to say he's better than the Mister.  It's hard to improve upon the awesomeness of my Mister.

The Libertine is basically the male version of myself.  Dry, witty, inappropriate, brutally honest, and completely open.  Spending time with him is a lot like spending time with the best parts of me. He is poly incarnate, I've never met anyone who dates as actively as he does. Even in my sluttiest days I couldn't juggle as much as many partners as him. The upside is, as much fun as we have, I love knowing I'll never have to have that awkward "why can't you be faithful" conversation! I'm shocked at how quickly the Libertine and I have clicked. In the space of two weeks I have found myself completely enamored of him - there hasn't been a day since we met that we haven't talked or seen each other. I didn't start this process to find a boyfriend, but it's starting to look like that's where I'm ending up. It's amazing what you find when you aren't really looking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On being out

The closer the Libertine and I get, and the more time I spend with the Prime, the harder it is to keep my lifestyle a secret from the people I see everyday.  It's hard to come up with a good reason for a late night dinner with the Libertine.  It's hard to explain why male friends are watching comedy in your home after 10 pm.  I know I could just say that I'm hanging out with friends, but my coworkers and "normal" friends know me too well sometimes.  I am a terrible flirt, and usually inappropriate in conversation, a fact well known by many. 
The problem is, I want to share funny stories.  I want my friends to see how amazing my life is becoming.  I don't want to have to hide that I care for these men.
But I should.  In my line of work getting promoted is hard enough without the stigma of being perceived as a slut.  If my lifestyle were common knowledge, the chances of advancement become very small, because who can respect a woman that may or may not have fucked her way to the top?
I wish we could get past that stereotype.  Men who do it are esteemed, highly regarded for their skill with the ladies.  Women who do it are labeled as slutty, or accused of having poor self confidence.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that in order to date two men in addition to your husband, your self confidence needs to be really fucking high. 
The Libertine summed it up nicely for me last night after I commented on how beautiful it is to love two men in totally different ways: "love isn't a commodity, you can't run out of it."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

House of Cards

Just when you think it's all okay... it's not.

Husband needs a name... I think we'll call him the Mister.  He is struggling, not with poly, but with aspects of his personality that really do need addressing.  He is really struggling, and I am finding it hard to be the good wife.  I know that my job is to listen, and support, and point him in the right direction.  But the right direction is therapy, and lots of talking, and I just don't have the head space for it right now.

I really suck at being supportive.

The Mister loves me.  He knows that this change in our lives isn't going to be undone.  His problems are going to affect it in ways we can't begin to fathom yet.  And we have to work through it.  That doesn't stop him from being hurt when I'm out with the Libertine or the Prime (yes, both men have graduated to names now - more coming on them soon).  It doesn't stop him from wishing my calendar didn't fill up with other men so quickly.

I must make a conscious effort to create time to make him feel loved.  I need to help him, to be his rock.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hopes & Fears

I have a second date tonight.  I have a second date with a man who has a hobby that I'm not sure about.  He is very into the kink scene, and I'm not sure that I will be all that interested in it. He says it's not a prerequisite for a relationship, but the more I talk to him the more I think it is.  I'm an adventurous girl; I'll try anything at least once.  But if I don't like it, I'm not going to do it.  And if that's a deal breaker for him, I'll be sad because I really like him. 

We had a great first date, complete with a first kiss that left me breathless.  I'm hoping that we can keep seeing each other, regardless of hobbies.

Things are getting so complicated...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Branching Out

When I was in my 20's I dated around.  I was not, so to speak, a lady when it came to dating.  More likely you would have called my behavior slutty.  Not to say I slept with men immediately, or for the sake of getting off... but I had more than one partner at a time, and I rarely felt like tying myself down.

To say I've been through the breakup wringer more than once would be an understatement.

A few weeks ago, I met someone new.  We met via OKC, and he asked me to meet him for coffee less than 24 hours after we exchanged our first message.  I was freaked out, and nervous.  As soon as we met, I was blown away.  He is amazing, charming, funny, and just lovely.  I am completely out of my element with him, but I can't seem to get enough of him.

It is so strange, to have a man who cannot stop touching me.  It is so strange, to have someone who can't wait to talk to me in the morning, who says good night every evening.  Husband does these things, but it's familiar from him.  From this man, it's tantalizing and foreign.  He pushes my buttons in ways I forgot they could be pushed.

I find myself terrified that things will not work out.  I'm afraid I'll end up completely wrapped up in this man, and one of us will break it off for a stupid reason.  I know that this is what I signed up for, but it's still hard to actually live with.  I forgot how stressful dating can be.

Daily reminder:  don't play games, brutal honesty, never settle.  Otherwise, there's no point to this life.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Growing & Changing

A lot has happened since January.  I've learned a lot about what I will and won't tolerate in a partner.  I've learned what my husband will and won't deal with schedule-wise.  We learned together that we have to talk about everything.  Literally, everything needs to be mentioned.  Not after the fact, not in passing, but when we have a second to deal with whatever it is, and make sure the other person is okay.

My husband is frustrated because finding people to connect with is much easier for me.  As a woman, I understand that the dating game is inherently skewed in my favor, but I feel like sometimes he is holding a grudge because I am dating around and he is striking out.  He hated dating before we got together, and now that his wife is having more success at it than him he hates it even more.  I keep reminding him he should just relax, take his time, and look for friends more than he is looking for potential partners.

For myself, I have found a few men that I genuinely like, and want to see more of.  I had forgotten what it is like to meet someone for the first time, to be searching for that moment when you feel the click of attraction; I had forgotten that I can be alluring and fun to people I've never met before.  With my first partner, we were already friends, I was already comfortable being with him.  With these men, getting to know them and not building walls around myself has been fun and challenging.

The future holds so many things for us.  This life makes just about anything possible.