Thursday, May 31, 2012

For the Prime

Tomorrow is Friday, date night with the Prime.  I know you hate when I post music, lover, but this feels so appropriate (I admit, the video is odd).



You're made of my rib oh baby 
You're made of my sin 
And i can't tell where your lust ends 
And where your love begins 
I didn't want to hurt you baby 
I didn't want to hurt you 
I didn't want to hurt you 
But you're pretty when you cry 
And the moon gives me permission 
And i enter through her eyes 
She's losing her virginity 
And all her will to compromise 
I didn't want to hurt you baby 
I didn't want to hurt you 
I didn't want to hurt you 
But you're pretty when you cry 
I didn't want to fuck you baby 
I didn't want to fuck you 
I didn't want to fuck you 
But you're pretty when you're mine 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Three Short Months

In just a few days, the Libertine and I will have been together for three months.  He commented on it while we were snuggled up the other morning, sleepy and warm and praying the snooze button wouldn't go off again.  It doesn't feel like three months.  It feels like we've always been together.
 
I know that we are smack in the middle of the typical NRE window, but it doesn't feel like NRE anymore.  Don't get me wrong, we are still ridiculously passionate and probably sickeningly affectionate, but it feels totally natural, not at all like that sudden jolt of new, gotta try it, NRE insanity.  To say that the first month wasn't scary would be a lie.  Sometimes NRE is so strong that you have a hard time separating it from your real thoughts and emotions.

When I was young I remember my mother telling me that I wouldn't really understand love until I was in my 30's.  I thought she was an idiot then, now I know exactly what she was trying to say.  I love the Mister to death, but when we fell in love I was 26.  At 32 I have a much stronger hold on who I am, what I want, and what I need.  Saying I love the Libertine is, quite simply, understatement.  This feels more like we're two puzzle pieces that fit together; we didn't know the other one existed before, and now none of the other pieces are quite right.  We both still like, and love, the other pieces, but no one else fits us the way we fit each other.

When the Libertine arrives at my house for an evening together, it feels like he's coming home.  When he leaves in the morning, I don't wonder when I'll see him again, or if he really loves me, or where this relationship is going.  He feels permanent.  I feel this amazing warmth and love from him every time he glances my way, especially when he thinks I don't see him looking.  Where at the beginning his gaze was filled with lust and curiosity and a touch of amazement, now it is filled with affection and passion and understanding.  He gets me.  He understands how I think and why I feel the way I do.

There are a lot of things going on in both our lives right now.  There is work stuff, relationship stuff, kid stuff.  But between us there is support and love and a place to lie our heads when we need to.  We have each other's backs.  And the beautiful thing is, we love each other enough to want the other to have successful relationships with the people we choose to include in the crazy web of polyamory.

This is what I wanted.  This is what I needed.  I didn't know I was looking for him, and I found him by accident.  I will forever be grateful that we stumbled into each other.



Monday, May 21, 2012

A Letter to Life on the Swingset

I wrote this letter in response to the Life on the Swingset episode 73.  You can find the podcast at lifeontheswingset.com. 

Hello Swingsetters!

During the segment about Dylan's poly mismatch, Cooper made a comment about compartmentalizing, and conjectured that maybe Dylan's mismatched date simply wasn't the type to have partners and primaries meet. I've been thinking about this a bit, and have asked some poly friends what their take on compartmentalizing is. I know people from both sides of the spectrum.

Personally, I don't compartmentalize much. My spouse has met both of my partners and their respective spouses, and even one of my partner's secondaries. Our kids all play together pretty frequently, and I will spend time with my metamours without my partners. I'm an oversharer - everyone has an idea what is going on in all of my relationships, although there are details that are kept between partners of course.

I don't have a specific timeline for when to meet other partners/spouses/etc. With one partner, I met his wife on our second date. With another, I met his wife after about 6 weeks. My husband met them both somewhere between those two time frames. For me, the key is comfort. Everyone needs to be ready for the emotional stress of that first meeting, because in a lot of ways it's almost like a first date. If my husband isn't ready to meet a new partner of mine, I don't force the issue.

Both of my partners operate similarly to me, but my spouse and one of my metamours are completely opposite. They would prefer not to mingle the constellation overly much. In my husband's case, it's an issue of not wanting to feel as though he is competing for my affection during an evening with the boys. He has learned over time that I don't withhold affection from him just because a partner is hanging out with us, and he has become more comfortable with multiple partner dates on my end. His dates, on the other hand, he keeps mostly separate until he feels that the new woman is going to understand my attitude towards dating.

My metamour keeps every single one if her relationships separate. My partner (her spouse) very rarely meets her secondaries. She will come and have what I like to call poly family dinner at my home, but it is a stretch for her emotionally. It has taken a long time to get to this point. She and I have a tenuous relationship. She doesn't like for her worlds to collide.

After hearing Dylan's story, I felt so much empathy for him. I think that the biggest lesson from the experience should be to pay close attention to his wife's cues. If she is freaking out about meeting a partner, push back the meeting. Make sure she is ready for the emotional impact of meeting someone that you are experiencing relationshippy feelings for. I am not a swinger, so I don't pretend to know the dynamics of it, but in poly relationships the initial shock of realizing your spouse has strong feelings for someone can be overwhelming. It's not as though you are bringing a play partner home, the person you are bringing home is someone you want to build a full on relationship with, even someone you can potentially grow to love. It's a lot to process.

Communicate! Make sure everyone is on the same page. All parties need to be ready for this step to be taken. Not communicating to a secondary that your primary is uncomfortable (or vice versa) results in what Dylan experienced - the loss of said secondary relationship.

~OpenSourceHeart

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Amusing Poly Moments

My store is in the middle of a relocation, so there are people working with me that are not familiar with my lifestyle.  I'm so used to my staff not batting an eye when I talk about the boys, so the following conversation was really funny:

Corporate Lackey:
"Just wait until Christmas!  Think of all the fun, glitter filled things you will get!"

Me:
"Oh, I know.  My boyfriend calls glitter the herpes of retail.  I can't tell you how many times we'll be making dinner and he'll be picking it off me."

As soon as I said this, I watched as he looked directly at my wedding ring, and then I watched his face make that "wtf?!" expression.  He turned very red, and all I could do was giggle and walk away.

I love being poly.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tipping point

Dating is so fucking complicated sometimes.  Poly dating makes "complicated" look like grade school material.  Just when you think you've got a grip on the needs and boundaries of your partners, something changes.  Someone wants more time, or more affection, or better communication.  Sometimes a metamour (a partner of a partner) wants more from one of my partners, which affects the dynamic that we've built.  Sometimes work affects things in ways I can't predict. 

I usually go with the flow in relationships, especially if I'm extremely emotionally invested in them.  Since I try to keep everyone happy, I end up putting up with a lot of bullshit... but there is always a point where the amount of drama a partner drops on me outweighs the happiness I experience when we're together.  At that point, one of two things will happen:  I'll either walk away, or I'll stand my ground and reset my own boundaries.  This is usually not an easy or pleasant process.

I've had to make this choice in both of my poly relationships recently.  In one, repeated cancellations and unclear motives were becoming more the norm than the exception.  I could not count on this partner to keep a date, often he would cancel with mere hours notice.  I wasn't sure if he was playing games, or simply couldn't commit to seeing me.  Things got to the point where I was feeling a bit like a ball being batted around. 

I chose to stand my ground.  I called him out for making me feel dispensable, unloved, unimportant.  I was not asking him to put me before anyone else, I am fully aware of my place in his world.  But I did need him to show me that I was important to him.  Repeatedly canceling on me was not acceptable.  After a lot of open, honest dialogue and a lot of tears on my part (in private - I don't use crying to get what I want) he agreed that his actions were unfair and inconsiderate.  I agreed that I had been foolish to wait so long to tell him how I was feeling. Going forward, there will be no dates on the calendar that cannot 100% be kept.  His explanation, that he was trying to see me as often as possible because he was so excited about our relationship, touched my heart.  I could understand that, and he understood that I was trying not to disappoint him by being overly needy or clingy.  I trust him with my heart, and I know that standing my ground was the right choice. 

In my other relationship, things are not so clear.  This partner's spouse is constantly changing the rules of the game.  Double standards, inconsistencies, and never-ending drama seem to be the norm.  We'll go several days with nothing but peaceful bliss, then WHAM!  I'll get dragged into some ridiculous drama and be unsure of where the boundaries are. 

The rules keep changing.  The game never ends.  I never know what will or won't be okay.  I've tried keeping my distance, I've tried being friendly.  There doesn't seem to be an answer.  Things that are allowed in her poly relationships are strictly NOT allowed between this partner and I. 

I don't think I am threatening.  I do not wish to take her place, I frequently offer to give up my date nights with him so that she feels more comfortable.  Nothing helps.  Every time I turn around she is pulling me into some imagined drama where I'm causing her to lose her husband.

I haven't decided what to do.  Walking away will shatter me.  I am deeply, willingly, unequivocally in love with this man.  Standing my ground might be doubly painful, because it will mean forcing my partner to make some very hard choices, and the end result could be the same. 

Either way, my heart is on the table...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sex & Communication

I recently had a partner thank me for clearly and consistently communicating my needs and desires in the bedroom.  My response to this statement was mixed: I was pleased that he appreciated my attitude towards sex, but also a bit shocked that he felt the need to thank me for it.  I asked him, "Is it so unusual to have a partner that asks for things, and tells you her likes and dislikes?"

"You'd be surprised," he answered.

Granted, I don't sleep with women, but ladies, if you aren't telling your partners your fantasies, your needs, and your turn-ons/offs, you are damaging your relationship.  It's extremely rare to find a partner who can read you like a book (in this I'm spoiled because I have more than one), and failing to communicate can lead to a lot of fumbling around - not to mention a lack of willingness to try something they think you might like.  All of my partners push my boundaries, but they do it armed with knowledge of where those boundaries are.  There are things I would never have thought of or tried on my own - that I absolutely love - that came from things I've told partners I like (and in some cases from things I dislike).

Say I meet someone new.  It would be really unfair of me to not be up front about certain things.  For example, penetration, while enjoyable, is not a great way to bring me to climax.  The majority of men would take this personally if I didn't let them know ahead of time, so it's always an early conversation for me.  That's not to say that my partners haven't found ways around this - but in the beginning it's always an issue.  If you hate giving blow jobs, you need to let them know!  That might be a dealbreaker for them.  The idea is to make sure everyone feels comfortable with the boundaries of the other party.

Think of it as foreplay.  Don't be embarrassed!  I've yet to met anyone, male or female, who didn't find listening to someone talk about their sexy fantasies to be a huge turn on.  If broaching the subject in person makes you uncomfortable, send a sexy text message or email - I guarantee your partner will love it.  And you never know, your next encounter could result in mind-blowing sex!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Polyamory & Mental Illness

Tomorrow is my fourth wedding anniversary.  We did things a little backwards; we've been together six years and the Monkey is four and a half.  Just your typical American family.  For a very long time we resisted getting married, but the logistics of child rearing, home buying, etc. were far too crazy as a non-married couple. 
Over the past 6 years I've had to learn about, adjust to, and accept that the Mister has an illness that will never go away, and will always affect my life: he has ADHD. 
Living with someone who has ADHD is a bit like living with a teenage girl.  Non-medicated, the Mister is prone to wild mood swings, severe depression, and extreme apathy.  Tiny things can send him spiraling into a rage or trigger manic/depressive behavior.  Big things, like adjusting to the changes in our marriage, can cause him to completely shut down for days at a time.  Even medicated, some days are harder than others.
I've learned that I need to verbally communicate changes to my calendar, since he is prone to not checking it.  I've learned that I need to make sure to put my phone down and focus completely on him for at least an hour a day.  When we do poly family dinners, he needs a place to be alone for a few moments to escape the noise and commotion. 
The Libertine and the Mister get along extremely well, but there have been moments where the symptoms of the Mister's illness have made me feel like it's all about to come crashing down.  Dealing with this illness takes time, and patience, and sometimes I have neither.  The dynamics of my relationship with the Libertine have become complicated, and occasionally I feel like the Mister would like nothing more than to ask me to give it all up. 
We talked about it this morning, and it was extremely tense.  The Mister was feeling threatened, and it was hard for me to convince him that I'm not going anywhere.  When his illness puts him in a spiral, it's almost impossible to talk him down.  After almost an hour of circular arguing, I offered to cut back my schedule - and his reaction shocked me.  He said no.  He wants me to stay with the Libertine.  He readily admitted that I am happier now than I have been in years. 
If you have a partner fighting mental illness, please do what you can to communicate with them.  Their needs are going to be much different than those of a "normal" person, and you need to recognize that and adapt accordingly.  Not talking about it is not going to make it go away.  The best you can hope for is acceptance, support, and love.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Karaoke

Karaoke.  To me, it's a four-letter word.  I don't do it.  I don't go to it.  I avoid it like the motherfucking plague.  But the Libertine asked me to go.  And to be honest, karaoke with the poly group sounded like it might not be as awful as normal karaoke.  So I went.

The evening started out smashingly.  We drove into the city in a ridiculous thunderstorm: rain so heavy you couldn't see and hail bouncing off the tollway.  It was nice to have the drive time to talk about everything, and nothing in particular.  Once we got to the bar, the Libertine introduced me to another of his girlfriends, Harmony.  I found her delightful, easy to talk to, warm and welcoming.  She and I chatted comfortably almost immediately.  The Libertine had wandered off to greet others, and when he returned we were discussing our need for minions to do our bidding.  I think he was extremely pleased to see us hit it off so well.  

There were several other people for me to meet, because I do not typically go to Chicago Poly events.  My schedule is crazy, and finding child care makes attending most of them difficult.  It was really great to be around people who live the same lifestyle, albeit a bit funny to mentally draw the lines connecting them all.  Ironically, the person I enjoyed meeting the most was Ingenue, also a newbie to the meet ups.  She was open, friendly, and very curious.  We chatted about our shared love of John Barrowman, corsets, and steampunk.  She recommended a milliner she recently found.  She also, very cutely, asked me if I am bi.  I hated to disappoint her, but upon learning that I'm straight she said the funniest thing I heard all night: "It takes like chicken ... sprinkled with fairy dust!"  

So close, Ingenue.  I do love me some chicken.

The evening looked like it was going to be a resounding success... until Livia appeared.  Livia and the Libertine dated previously.  I have no idea on the details, the timeline, etc.  The only thing I really know for sure is that they broke up the same week that the Libertine and I met.  I don't know why.  I have no problem meeting exes, they are people too, and just because they used to date someone I'm currently dating doesn't mean I have to pretend they are invisible.

But Livia... she pretty much made it a point to make me uncomfortable.  The Libertine introduced us.  I waved at her, smiled, and said "Nice to meet you!"  She said, "Oh, you're OpenSourcedHeart."  I felt almost like I'd been slapped.  She followed that up with "I've been reading your blog," but the way she said it was cold and unfriendly.  I'm certain I blushed and turned away, because I rarely run into strangers who are readers of my blog.

I kept playing that introduction in my head.  I didn't do anything to Livia.  We'd never met.  I didn't know anything about her.  I couldn't understand why she was so cold to me.  In the end I decided that it didn't matter, and went back to chatting with Harmony, Ingenue, and others.  

We ended up leaving early.  All day today I've been wondering why she seemed to dislike me from the moment she heard my name.  I know it doesn't matter.  I'll likely never see her again.  And to be honest, it's probably best that I don't.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's Friday, I'm Feelin' It

The Prime sent this song to me shortly after we began dating.  It's my go-to rockin' out in the car song, along with the perfect way to start a day that's incredibly up in the air.  Kind of a big "Fuck You" to the world at large.



Dirty little girl don't care about her reputation
She goes hard, moves fast, and she's never gonna turn around
She's a party on the road and you never need an invitation
So come on in 'cause she's never gonna turn you down

She's the drug that I need
Tell me why should I leave
She's no angel, but she's saving me

Hey! She'll give it up for free
Yeah, she's only out to please
She don't love me, but I don't seem to mind
Wait, take another ride
Before I have to say goodbye
Yeah, it's a crazy world
But I'm in love with a dirty little girl

Waking up alone, now it's time to feed my addiction
Don't ask, don't tell, don't wanna know where you've been
Call her up, call her over for a little bit of satisfaction
Do it once, do it twice, now you know I wanna do her again
P.S. I promise a real post, tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Halo 11

From the moment I first heard this song, I loved it.  It perfectly describes how I'm feeling this week.



I got my head but my head is unraveling
cant keep control can't keep track of where it's traveling
I got my heart but my heart's no good
you're the only one that's understood

I come along but I don't know where you're taking me
I shouldn't go but you're wrenching dragging shaking me
turn off the sun pull the stars from the sky
the more I give to you the more I die

and I want you

you are the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug
the perfect drug

you make me hard when i'm all soft inside
I see the truth when i'm all stupid-eyed
the arrow goes straight through my heart
without you everything just falls apart

my blood just wants to say hello to you
my fear is warm to get inside of you
my soul is so afraid to realize
how very little bit is left of me

take me with you
without you everything just falls apart
it's not as much fun to pick up the pieces