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‘But, You’re Literally The Manliest Guy In The Group!’

17 Jun

That was the response when I told my friends I have low testosterone.

It’s not like I TRY to be uber-manly, the things I do are simply what society has deemed masculine. Now, let’s not get derailed into a discussion on gender identity and patriarchy here, I am not placing a value judgement on being manly or not, on being feminine or not, or even the definition of manly; this was the response I received from a friend. Well, ok, for this discussion we do kind of need to define ‘masculinity’. But not in a way that defines value or gender, this is about society’s perception of the masculine.

The simply fact is, our society does place a great deal of value on men being ‘manly’, and on certain behaviors defining our place in society. No matter how many women tell us ‘size does not matter’, we still judge a man by the size of his penis. Or his wallet, or truck-which, are simply analogies for his penis. My cock is average, my truck is a beat up little ’99 Tacoma, and my bills are paid and there’s money in the savings, if barely. But that’s not how my friends judge me. We aren’t a very ‘mainstream’ group when it comes to such things either, and in my case I don’t exactly fit the typical husband gender roles in that I don’t bring home the bacon, I am the primary homemaker and child care provider in our family.

Pinning down exactly what was meant by that statement has been interesting. Is it my appearance? Jeans n t-shirt, long hair, beard, tattoos. Is it the things I do? I cook over charcoal, I am a skilled carpenter, I camp and hike. Is it that I am so very sexual? I flirt mercilessly and am very open about sex and sexuality and my partners. I just don’t know. You can make a list of ‘manly’ traits, and I’ll have most of those. Make a list of ‘feminine’ traits, and I’ll have quite a few of those too. Regardless, my friends consider my very masculine.

And so I was the last one they would have thought would have low testosterone(because, you know, masculinity is purely defined by hormones).

They don’t really know how to deal with that. I tend to be very open about every aspect of my life, even this one. We all are. When my friend Tiberius starting having intestinal troubles, he talked openly about his irritable bowl, and his multiple colonoscopies. But he could not handle my openly discussing my low testosterone.

There is a line, it seems, when it comes to sharing information.

But why is this it? How is low testosterone too private, while his bowls are public? It wasn’t just Tiberius, the entire group shuffled their feet and wouldn’t make eye contact for a bit.

So why do we cherish our masculinity so much that a simple thing like low testosterone is such a threat? What if I had erectile dysfunction and shared that bit of information? Is that a threat to my masculinity? I think what it comes down to is the simple fact that this has not been something people have openly discussed. Like most sex subjects, it’s taboo. And that’s part of why I’ve been so open about discussing it, to push that veil of secrecy back just a little.

Low testosterone is surprisingly common, though I’m a tad young for it. For the longest time it was misdiagnosed as other issues, such as low blood pressure or diabetes.

Figuring out my own diagnosis was an interesting path, that’s for sure. It started when I went to work on the night shift at UPS, and after a hard shift unloading trailers I would come home looking forward to sex with my wife or girlfriend, only find have a hard time reaching orgasm. I just figured I was exhausted. Then began some weight gain, fatigue, soreness, and muscle loss. Gradually, the intimacy issues got worse, to the point where I had trouble maintaining an erection, and sometimes reaching orgasm at all was a chore. I knew something wasn’t right, but I had no idea what. I knew I could expect some intimacy issues as I got older, but I’m not even 40 yet! The problem is I have no experience with being 39 years old, I don’t know if what I am experiencing is normal or healthy or not. Then after almost three years I finally got my transfer to the day shift. I was ecstatic. Finally, not only would I have more time to spend with my kids, wife, and girlfriends, but I would not be so tired in the evenings, so sex should be a breeze!

I was wrong.

One evening with Paige, I failed. Now, I had learned that sometimes I could expect some difficulty, that an orgasm would be difficult and even maintaining an erection could prove impossible. But usually some oral sex would get me back on track, or at least a 15 rest before trying again. But this time I failed completely. I told her about my difficulties. She was happy I was open, rather than making some lame excuse. She’d been with men with issues before and they usually lied or tried to hide it. My openness was refreshing. She then asked me if I’d had my testosterone tested. Now, I had been considering talking to my doctor about some little blue pills, but this was a much better idea.

Later on I googled ‘low testosterone’, and found a list of symptoms that mirrored my own. I made an anointment, and got myself tested. Yup, it’s low. Very low. And so now I am on testosterone therapy.

I’ve spoken to several men, and ladies whose men suspect they have low testosterone, and they are all hesitant to get tested. They are afraid they might actually be low. I don’t get this attitude. I was happy to be tested! I hoped I did have low testosterone! Because that meant there was a fix. I could rub a little cream on my shoulders every morning and I would be well again. I guess this is one of things like penis size, that men get all obsessive over, as if they had some sort of control over it. But it’s not like you can just try harder to have a big cock, or more testosterone. You can’t make a change my exercising more, or masturbating less, or meditation, or diet.

It’s been a month since I started my therapy, and I feel better already. Though my friends are still a tad uncomfortable…

 

A Social Experiment, or Am I Just Looking For Validation?

11 Jun

Most of the people I meet I find online. It’s a sad fact of being married and polyamorous, that’s the only place I can find new people. When I see a cute girl at the coffee shop, I can’t exactly go up to her and strike up a conversation, sooner or later she spots my wedding ring and leaps to the conclusion I am looking to cheat, and no amount of explanation can counter that initial negative reaction.

And so I look online. That’s just fine, OkC is a great site, and I’ve met a lot of great people there. But the other day I came across a dating site with a unique twist. Beautifulpeople.com. Only the most beautiful people are allowed on to this ‘exclusive’ site. When you sign up you are required to post a picture of yourself, and then existing members of the opposite sex have 48 hours to rate your attractiveness, and if you don’t score high enough you are rejected.

I had to try this.

Now, I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly attractive man, and despite what my wife and girlfriends tell me, I was positive I would never make the cut. I was expecting that rejection, actually. Counting on it. Partially I was keeping my expectations low, and part of me was looking forward to being able to rant about how this superficial and narcissistic site was a symbol of all that is wrong with society.

I called it my Great Social Experiment. To see if I rated well enough to be accepted, and once there, to take a peak into the minds of the most attractive people.

I will admit that there was this tiny part of me that wanted to be accepted, to be told I was ‘beautiful’.

So I uploaded a pic of myself, and sat back to watch the votes roll in. I chose one of my favorite pics of myself, one my dear Meredith took when she came to visit. It’s my FB profile pic, and those who know my love it, saying it’s quintisentially me. In hind-site, a pic of me clutching a cigar might not have been the best choice…

BeautifulPeople uses a 4 pt rating system, those being ‘Beautiful’, ‘Hmmm OK’, ‘No’, and ‘Absolutely Not’. They display a bar graph breaking down the various votes you’ve received, and a running total of ‘In’ or ‘Out’. I started out well, with a few ‘Hmmm OK’s and a handful of ‘Beautiful’s, with slightly less ‘No’s and slightly more ‘Absolutely Not’s. It was interesting to watch the score vary over the course of the day, back and fourth. And yes, I will admit that each ‘Absolutely Not’ stung just a little, but on the other hand each ‘Beautiful’ felt glorious.

In the end, I made it by the the narrowest of margins.

And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I spent a day poking around before deleting my account, seeing what was going on. And there really weren’t any girls on there I would want to date. First, I am judging them by their interest in joining such a site; and secondly it becomes clear my concept of beauty does not conform to society’s ideal. Also, men are bastards, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

A while ago on OkC this girl messaged me, asking about the poly community, expressing interest in meeting me. I am polysaturated at the moment, and I told her I was unable to meet anyone new. We exchanged a few messages, and I wasn’t impressed by her grammar, and then suddenly she asked me where she could fine ‘only the attractive poly people’. Only. The. Attractive. Wow. Well, I didn’t know about BeautifulPeople.com yet, so I shrugged off the question. Now of course I can send her to where only the shallow and narcissistic people hang out. I’m sorry, but you will never convince me there is anyone worth dating on that site. If you think you are so attractive as to deserve to only date, or even have your profile looked at by the most beautiful people, then you and I are quite simply not going to get along.

My concept of beauty. Right. I like women with unique faces. I like character in a face, personality, I like expressive faces. I do not like conformity. I am not attracted to Cover Girl models. And that’s what this site offered.  Every girl who had a good rating looked exactly the same, and every single applicant I was drawn to was rated very strongly in the ‘Absolutely Not’ category.

Which brings me to Men Are Bastards. Seriously, there is no middle ground with doods. When rating women myself-to be intellectually honest about my experiment I had to participate fully in the process-it was either all the way ‘Beautiful’ or nothing but ‘Absolutely Not’.

I have to imagine that the women of this site were not much different. And I’m not quite sure how I feel that I made the cut. I’m a little relieved I barely meet their standards, honestly.

 

Incidentally, this is the pic I used:

 

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This One Time I Had This Submissive…

16 May

‘You had me at spanking!’

That was how Nanette started our little adventure. She found my profile on a dating site, and was intrigued by my being a Dom. We chatted a little, and decided to meet in person, and she was just delicious! Nanette had been fantasizing for years about being dominated. She had played around with a collar once, and liked her partners to spank her, but she’d not yet had the opportunity to really be submissive.

Of course, I offered her my services! Hell, she was cute, curvy, had great tits, and was just too damn eager. And I rather liked her.

Before we did anything physical, I let Lylith know I was about to add another partner, and she did not take the news well. I’m not really sure why she was threatened, she was looking for another guy to date, and a girl and as well. But people are not always rational. I assured her Nanette would not threaten our relationship, and forged ahead.

Nanette was painfully shy, and was more than a little anxious about the BDSM stuff, so we went slowly. I had to establish trust, and this was a good opportunity. Our first time playing together I assured her I would stay above the waist, and that I would not try to take her shirt off. I was, however, allowed to try to convince her to take it off. She did. And I was a good boy, and did not break my rule. We did this in several frustrating stages, leading up to full on incredible sex. And then the bondage started. And the spankings.

Oh how she loved the spankings.

I didn’t know her pain tolerance, so we started slowly. And when she said ‘stop’, I stopped. I wanted her to learn that she was in control of how far we went, how fast, how hard. After a few sessions, once she was fully comfortable that she could stop things, we chose a Safe Word. And then I could ignore her cries of pain, her pleas to ‘stop’, her screams and shrieks as she struggled against her bonds.

But she couldn’t handle the polyamory.

We had set up a three month trial period, so she could try it out, explore her fantasies, and know she had an easy out coming up. And sadly, even though she was also dating another guy, she was unable to handle her feelings of jealousy with my wife, and shortly after our trial period passed, she ended things. She even met my wife, and they got along famously.

But for her, sex meant love and love meant possession. She could not handle not having all of me. Part of me was not enough.

The interesting thing was she had a unique part of me that no one else has had. Full on Dom Myrddwn.

Now, I’ll happily Top a woman, but so far I’d notr had a relationship that was fully defined by Dominance and submission. My wife, for instance, I cannot fully Dominate outside of the bedroom, as we are just too set in being partners. I know many people in the lifestyle who can do that, but we cannot. This was an incredible opportunity for me. I was able to explore Dominance to a level I had not been able to before.  Our entire relationship was defined by her being my little submissive pet. And I loved it.

It wasn’t just that the entire relationship was based on BDSM, it was also the fact that we each were exploring it fully together. She was new, and while I was not, I am still relatively inexperienced. It was the perfect set up, a chance for us both to learn without fear of being inadequate.

Ah Monogamous Expectations of Ownership and Exclusion, you suck balls.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Been a While… or How Many Women Can I Cram Into One Post

8 May

It’s been a while since I have written on here.

Not that Things haven’t happened, they have. And then Things ended, Things changed, and now there are new Things. Nothing too dramatic, which is perhaps part of why I’ve not written, there’s not been any terribly exciting event to write about, no singular drama to craft a post around. It’s also hard to write about things when your girlfriends read your blog. I never know how flattering to be, how honest; and just being aware of their reactions could color my writing.

But it’s time I think for an update. And my wife and I have pushed past one of the major limits we had, so that deserves to be addressed.

Lylith dumped me. And so did Nanette.

Oh, I’ve not mentioned Nanette yet? I’ll get to that. Meredith, too.

Meredith lives out of state, and we’ve been talking online for well over two years, and last summer she had the opportunity to fly out here to see me. It was awesome. I flew out to see her in February too, which allowed Bayani and I to push past our No Spending the Night rule. More on that in a moment, I need to get ya’all caught up.

Lylith did not react well to my taking a new partner in Meredith. And especially with Nanette.. My adding other partners never sat well with her. To her credit, she never asked me to stop. But she did not like it one bit. She also had some troubles with my being a Dom. She tried playing sub for me once, but I think perhaps it was a bit too intense for her. My work schedule did not allow me to spend the amount of time with her she wanted, she did feel she was a big enough priority to her. She also wanted me to be be besties with Dante, and I just wasn’t inclined. He’s a nice enough guy, but not really someone I wanted to be close friends with. That bugged her. She was also depressed at that time. And finally, I believe Dante was still a bit threatened by me, which caused tension in their marriage. And so one day, she dumped me. No one saw it coming, even Dante.

And so I lost a really, really great girlfriend. Each one has taught me something, and Lylith taught me that I can’t control everything. I had this awesome girlfriend I really cared about, who was just an awesome person, one I could be best friends with, and yet it just didn’t work out. There was no one single preventable reason for the breakup, and that’s what I have to accept: that there wasn’t something to fix, nothing to do differently. Even if I had not met Nanette, or was better friends with Dante, it still would not have lasted.

Nanette, right. I’ve not talked about her yet. I will in a separate post, as that was a whole new experience for me, having a relationship entirely based on BDSM.

But Meredith and spending the night, that is the big change that needs to be talked about. That was a hard limit for me, the one intimacy I wanted to keep just to myself. I’ve been with Bayani for 22 years, 18 of those living together, 17 married. And every night when I curl up with her I cherish that I get to put my arm around her, that she and I share a bed. And I wanted that all to myself. Now, her spending the night was off limits, in another man’s bed; but camping was permissible, as was staying in a hotel. Neither of those threatened my cherished intimacy. But staying with Meredith taught me an important lesson, one I’d already learned with other behaviors, that an intimacy shared with others in no way degrades an intimacy shared with my wife. I can have sex with other women and that does not lessen the sex I enjoy with my wife. And so while I cherished my time sleeping next to Meredith, it was not the same as sleeping next to my wife. I could not be, not after two decades.

A short while ago Bayani stayed the night at Cassius’s, while Octavia spent the night here with me. Oh yes, Octavia . I forgot about her. See? this is what happens when I don’t write for months at a time! A mutual friend of ours, let’s call her Cleopatra, got together with Bayani, and the two of them set me up with Cleopatra’s girlfriend Octavia . Octavia  had just lost her Dom/boyfriend, and it was thought we would get along famously.

We do.

Oh, and since I am cramming as many women into this post as I can, there is also Paige. Paige and I met over a year ago, and I quite liked her, but she sort of just disappeared before we could do anything. She recently contacted me again, and we’ve since started hanging out. And fucking. Nothing romantic, not the same connection I have with Octavia; we just think the other is a really cool human being, and we like to drink Scotch and smoke cigars, talk about art and idiots, and get naked together.

So that’s about it, that sums up the last few months. A lot of little changes, some heart ache, some boundary pushing, but no really big dramas to recount.

He’s Touching Her Leg! Oh My Gawd He’s Touching Her Leg!

1 Nov

A while ago I attended my first party with Bayani’s poly party friends. For the most part I had a good time, but there was one incident that stuck in mind ever since. Bayani had wandered off to have fun, and after a good conversation with a few pretty, busty girls, I went in search of my wife. I found her on some dude’s lap, with his hand on bare thigh.

I did not like that, not at all. My reaction was ‘Dude, you don’t know my fucking limits, you don’t know if I’m ok with that or not, what they hell?’ Well, that was ll in my head. I said some pleasantries, and then went looking for someone I knew to chat with.

I knew that was not a healthy reaction, and so it lingered, nagging at me. How comfortable should I be with shows of affection like that? Is it ok to not be comfortable with other men touching my wife? Does it matter if it’s some random guy, or if it’s a serious boyfriend? Bayani knew I did not like seeing that, and so had agreed to keep such affection out of my line of sight.

This was something I knew I was going to have to confront sooner or later. I realized quickly that while this dude did not know what my limits were, he did know what HER limits were, and he was not crossing them. I trust Bayani, and know that she will not let anyone cross the line. I needed to shift my perception to that instead.

Dante had a similar reaction the first time Bayani and I had him and Lylith over. He did not like me showing affection for his wife, my girlfriend, in front of him. They decided that was off limits, that when the four of us were together it had to be married couple with married couple, no cross affection. Ok, I can handle that, as I did not really want to see him touching Bayani either. I was not yet ready to confront that. I was not yet ready to admit that I was , that my reaction was possessive and unhealthy.

At some point Dante decided he was ok with such shows of affection, and the next time we were all together for a game day his hand was all over Bayani’s leg. He failed to tell me about this change in the rules, and I had been resisting the urge to caress his wife, who was sitting so deliciously close to me.

Dude, you’re practically groping my wife right in front of me, and I have to keep my hands to myself?

I casually mentioned to him that I don’t care for excessive displays of affection, in a calm and reasonable manner, and he agreed to keep it to a minimum.

But I wondered at that reaction once again. Was I over-reacting, or was that reasonable?

And coming up in the next week or two was another poly party, where I knew I would see hands all over my wife. A Halloween party, and Bayani so loves to dress sexy, so there would be a lot of her skin showing. She asked me if I wanted her to behave, and I told her ‘no’, that I needed to have my comfort level tested. We did set some limits for both of us: kissing or making out was permissible, tops could come off, hands on boobs was fine, hands on legs, even hands on ass, but hands on inner thigh or on crotch was not. Pants/underwear were to stay on. These rules applied to me as well. I actually anticipated lots of attention from a few of the poly women I knew, and maybe a stranger or two; and these were all limits I would impose upon myself anyway, things I would not dare do.

And so I had an opportunity to test myself, to see how I really felt once I stepped back from my initial reaction, stopped trying to justify it, and realized that Bayani knew these people and knew they would trust limits she had already set.

And you know what?

I was fine. Not one single jealous, possessive, or negative reaction at all.

Furthermore, at another party I had not planned on attending the night before this poly party, Bayani, Dante, and Lylith were all snuggled on the couch, being rather familiar(I believe Bayani was on Dante’s lap at the time), and I still had zero negative reactions.

All that worrying over nothing. Once again, once I managed to just let go and stop trying to control things I felt much, much better.

 

Unicorn Hunters And Expectations. Again.

30 Sep

I’ve written about Unicorn Hunters before, and since then I’ve come to realize there are different types, some not nearly as obvious as the creepy couples prowling Craigslist.

Take Cassius and Junia, for instance.

They are an open polyamorous couple, with no One Penis Policy, no unfair restrictions of each others behavior, no unreasonable expectations. At first glance, that is. Don’t get me wrong, they are great people! They are friendly and generous and open minded, caring and intelligent, and I love em both. But they have their Unicorn Hunter moments. I’ve been writing about the two of them often lately, not because I think they are doing polyamory wrong,I am simply holding up some of their behaviors to the light, illustrating how some behaviors might not be healthy.

Part of what makes Unicorn Hunters Unicorn Hunters are their unreasonable expectations. They want a woman who will be equally attracted to both of them. Hell, Bayani and I started out that way. Sure, we thought of it as more ‘hoping’ than ‘expecting’ a girl would like us equally, but that’s not much of an excuse. It was actually pretty easy for us to find girls like that though, which only encouraged us. And the truth is I would love to have another Unicorn like Fanny. That was a pretty happy time for us. We’ve had partners who are willing to join into a threesome with the two of us, and that’s almost as good, but there is no longer the expectation that my Secondary will also become Bayani’s Secondary.  And it’s that expectation I am talking about today.

Cassius and Junia are looking for another couple to date. A He for her and a She for him, something equitable, where they can go out for dinner or dancing and then back home to pair off in separate bedrooms. I know, it sounds a little Swinger-ish to me, but that’s just my own subconscious reactions speaking. Something about a couple and a couple to me has always just screamed Swinger. I have no rational reason for this, it’s just some funny little quirk of cultural programming I picked up and am trying to overcome. Though I swore Bayani and I would never date another couple.

But there is still an expectation there: that each partner in the other couple will fall for them each equally well. And they push for it.

Once Cassius started dating Bayani, Junia was all over me. They thought we could be their Couple. Don’t get me wrong, I like Junia as a friend well enough, and we’ve even had sex a few times. But that’s it. I’m not really interested in a romantic relationship with her, she just has nice boobs. I’ve told her that’s all I want, and she’s mostly fine with that, even though it’s clear she wants more. When I told her Isadora was no longer in the picture, she just sort of assumed she would be promoted to fill Isadora’s shoes, and was a bit resentful when she wasn’t. Expectations lead to disappointment, which leads to resentment, which leads to bitterness at the very least. Junia has even passive-aggressively lashed out just a little bit at Lylith.

Junia started out dating Dante, and it was just sort of expected that Lylith would hook up with Cassius. Oh, for those of you who’ve not read the Cast of Characters Page, Juni and Cassius are married, Lylith and Dante are married, and Bayani is dating both Cassius and Dante, while I am dating Lylith. Onward! So, Junia was dating Dante, and at a dinner party when Dante and Junia wandered off to the bedroom to play, Lylith was just sort of left there with Cassius and it was assumed she would be ok with them hooking up. Cassius and Junia thought they had found their Couple once again. Well, Dante wasn’t looking for what Lylith had to offer, and had a rather strong negative reaction to what Cassius and Lylith were up to. Lylith wasn’t really interested in Cassius either, so things calmed down. I began dating Lylith, things have gotten rather serious rather quickly; Bayani and Dante started taking the kids places so Lylith and I could have some time alone, and they started talking about polyamory and life and rainbows, and they fell for each other. So now we’re a couple dating a couple. Cassius and Junia are jealous, and are big enough to admit it. Junia sent a little passive aggressive text the other day though. She can be so astute when talking about other people’s reactions and behaviors, and then so obtuse when it comes to her own.

Junia and Cassius may have found another couple to date though, and things are going well so far. I wish them well.

Somehow though I have found myself in that situation I swore I never would: a couple dating a couple. I think it works for us though, because we didn’t go into it looking for this. Dante and Bayani were both simply happy for myself and Lylith, and were doing what they could to help things work. It happened organically, it grew on it’s own without being forced or even looked for. Kinda like how the perfect Triad would happen, a girl naturally falling for both Bayani and I.

I keep going back there, don’t I? Maybe I just have threesomes on the brain lately…

Just Because Everybody Does It Differently Is Not An Excuse

26 Sep

I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it often, everybody does polyamory differently. But that’s not an excuse for being a douche.

Ok, he’s not really a douche.

But his behavior is unacceptable. I’m speaking about Cassius. It seems there isn’t a single polyamorous woman in this city he’s not had his grubby little hands one. Ok, that’s not his fault, it’s just the reaction I had the second time we found out  a woman I was dating had slept with him.  And that’s the behavior I really do have a problem with, the way we find out.

Cassius is Bayani’s boyfriend, who is married to Junia. We met Cassius and Junia through some other poly friends, and we sort of moved into their social circle. Now, there aren’t many poly folk in our fair(and by that I mean backwoods and conservative) city, so groups tend to be rather, um, incestuous. We’ve been to a few of their parties(and by ‘we’ I mean Bayani, I’ve been to one). Even brought Isadora along. She was a hit, of course. Some time later Junia and Cassius invited her up to Junia’s boyfriend’s cabin for the night.

It felt to me like she was being invited along so Cassius would have some company while Junia and her boyfriend went off and fucked. Isadora and Cassius hooked up, because why not? He was there, she was there, there was a fire and stars and a cabin. Now, I have no resentment that Isadora slept with Cassius. She’s a big girl and can make her own decisions. I did, however, have a little resentment about how Cassius and Junia approached the whole thing.

Cassius never told Bayani about it. That’s a bit of a problem for me. I believe that you owe it to your partners to inform them about other partners. But ok, one incident, I can deal.

Then Bayani found out about another girl he had started dating regularly, while talking to Junia(who has become a good friend to us both, and we talk to her to sometimes get a different perspective on our reactions). And then another girl he started dating. So, here is Cassius dating Bayani, and he starts dating two other women, without telling her. At Burning Man Cassius had drunk sex with another woman we all know from the poly community(and whom I have a little crush on).

Not once did he tell Bayani about any of this.

The last straw for me was Lylith. Junia had started dating Dante, and at a dinner party one night Dante and Junia went off to fool around, and Lylith was left alone with Cassius. Same as with Isadora. It felt like Lylith was brought along solely so Cassius would have some company. That was when I felt like there were no poly women in the state he’d not had his grubby little hands on. My wife, Isadora, Burning Man Chick, Lylith…

Again, Cassius didn’t say a word to Bayani. That was six women he’d had sex with and didn’t tell her. That is completely unacceptable.

Junia and Cassius do polyamory differently than we do, and that’s fine. They enter into sexual relationships much more casually than Bayani and I. Hell, I enter into sexual relationships more casually than Bayani, I’m able to have FWBs while she tends to stay with romantic secondaries. But I still tell her all about my FWBs. Junia and Cassius have no such agreement between each other. They don’t need to tell each other about every partner, only the serious ones.  But we do. And Cassius, it seems, simply assumed the same rules applied to his relationship with Bayani.

Practice polyamory however you like, you’re hurting no one. Unless you’re potentially hurting someone, and THAT is what this blog is about. STDs are an issue, so there’s the practical concern about informing partners about other partners. And then there’s the emotional concern. No matter how long you’ve been living this lifestyle, you can still be fragile, can still get your feelings hurt, and finding out the Secondary you’re falling in love with has just fucked a couple of other people kinda hurts.

So live your life how you like, sleep with whom you like, fall in love with whomever you like; but when it comes to sex you rather owe it to your partners to keep them informed.

How Many Is Enough? How Many Is Too Many?

23 Sep

What is the ideal number of polyamorous relationships?

Difficult question. Everybody is different, has different needs, different capabilities, differing amounts of time and energy. You might as well ask how many children is enough/too many.

For me this is definitely a practical question, a matter of juggling time and commitments rather than limited affection. Each new relationship I add takes just a little bit away from my existing ones And no matter how carefully I try to plan, conflicts will arise.

Just about the only real drama I experienced with Isadora(other than the sadness of losing her) arose from such a situation. Kaliope. Now, I was pretty damn content with Bayani and Isadora, I wasn’t looking for anything more when Kaliope messaged me on the dating sight I most often use. We started talking, and hit it off pretty well, we met for coffee and discovered we were seriously attracted to each other. We met a second time, and after the third meeting(which is when I usually know for certain if I am going to continue dating a woman), I told Isadora about her. I believe I used the words ‘going to continue to see her’. This implied to Isadora that I had been seeing her for some time now, rather than just the first three ‘test’ dates.  She was upset at first, but we worked it out without any further problems. Kaliope didn’t work out in the end, which was really a good thing, because I found I was unable to balance my commitments to Bayani and Isadora with finding time for this new relationship.

Looks like I can handle a Primary and one Secondary, but not two. I can even handle a Tertiary in the form of a FWB, but that’s about it. One of each. The priority ranking system seems to work pretty well for me, at least for keeping track of what I can and cannot handle. I can have one Primary, but could not handle two without taking too much away from Bayani. A Secondary does take some time from her, but not enough to really cause drama, while another Secondary would take away from an existing Secondary. And I can handle a FWB without taking any noticeable time/affection from my Secondary. So I get one of each.

This is of course only about practical considerations, I’ve not even begun to talk about how my Secondary might react emotionally to the presence of an existing or new Tertiary.

Most telling if my experience with Kaliope is that ‘not looking’ is not enough, I have to keep myself from even meeting new interesting girls or something might develop that could interfere with my existing relationships, unless I can be absolutely certain she will remain firmly in the FWB/Tertiary category.

I have a new Secondary. I have a new Girlfriend, and I am so very excited about her. Meet Lylith.

As things with Isadora began to come to an end, when I knew we had had sex for the last time but had not yet had ‘the talk’, this lovely and interesting new girl messaged me. We started talking, and hit it off very well right from the start. Her timing was impeccable. One week earlier and I would have determinedly kept her at arms length because of the lesson I learned from Kaliope. One week later and she might have had competition from a few of the other women in the poly community I know. News travels fast in poly circles and within only a few days of breaking up with Isadora, three different women were applying for her position. I would have had fun interviewing them, several times each in fact, but ultimately would not have hired any. Just not enough of an emotional connection with them, not like I am developing with Lylith.

And so now I am doggedly determined to not do anything that might jeopardize my new relationship. No meeting girls that could possibly turn into new Secondaries, it’s not worth the risk. Tertiaries are another matter.

I have one FWB right now. Sort of. It’s hard to count such relationships, as Tertiaries come and go, moving in and out of and back into my life. Sometimes there are none, sometimes as many as three. I don’t chase them, don’t go looking for additional sexual partners, but I really do like having the option to add casual sex to existing friendships. I don’t fuck random women, no one night stands; but with someone I already know and trust, yes I will happily toss sex into the mix. I have to tread lightly right now though, as I am still developing my relationship with Lylith. Of course I will tell her about any new sexual relationships, just as I trust she will extend to me the same courtesy. One of Bayani’s boyfriends has not been doing this, but that’s another subject entirely.

Everybody approaches polyamory differently, entering into new romantic or sexual relationships more or less casually than I. And who am I to judge? Just as everybody will have a different ideal polyamorous life. I know where I am comfortable, I know what I can handle, I know what gives me the most joy and contentment.

Right now Lylith is bringing me joy and contentment. I don’t know where this will lead, or low long it will last, but I am happy right now with what I have, and that is enough.

Apparently I’m a Sexist Douche Bag

20 Sep

The other day I received a message on one of the dating sites I frequent quoting a section of my profile stating that it was ‘grossly offensive’.

What the fuck?

I was seriously taken aback. Offensive? To whom? How? I read the offending paragraph, which expressed my preferences in women, and scratched at my head. I replied asking for clarification, and was informed that my preferences were sexist. I was really stumped.

It’s not that hard to find blogs about the offensive ‘nice guys’ of dating sites. There are men who call themselves feminists yet think women have a moral obligation to shave their legs. There are men with the handle NiceGuy327 who say in their profile ‘Fatties need not apply’. There are even men who claim to be progressive and at the same time want a woman to have a job and be able to take care of themselves instead of relying on a man to buy dinner.

But me?

I like round women. I like women with strong opinions and knee jerk opinion and occasional bouts of insanity. I like freaks and geeks and craft store hippies. I like strong and confident, I like shy and awkward. I don’t like high maintenance plastic barbie types.

This really hit me hard, and I still don’t know why. I would say I don’t like the idea that I’ve offended people, but then I actually like offending the easily offended, conservative nut jobs and right wingers and religious fundamentalists. So why did this time bother me? Maybe because when I argue with a fundie and they tell me I’m going to hell I expect that: I’m an atheist and expect that kind of insult. But sexist? I’m the sensitive feminist guy!

During our conversation it was revealed she found my profile on a blog mocking sexist profiles. She claimed she was not the only one who thought my profile was sexist. It felt like I had been kicked in the gut. There was an entire blog post about how sexist my profile was, with several woman all joining in with complaints? I was sick to my stomach.

It took me a while to find this blog, and it turns out the owner is a self labeled Anti-Feminist who hates the words Rape Culture because, he claims, it promotes militant feminism, anti-male sentiment and also encourages ‘regret sex rape accusations’. My profile in particular was linked to in a rant about a forum thread four years ago in which I called him on being a superficial twat. The subject of the thread was men who felt attacked because they received criticism for expressing a repulsion for ‘fatties’. This guy was one of those guys who wrote in their profile ‘HWP only, no fatties’. As I said, I called him on it, and instead of fashioning a reasoned and articulate reply, he attacked me and a few others on his personal blog.

And this was the source of this woman’s complaint about my profile?

Ok, I’m starting to get it now. There are no real complaints, this woman simply reacted emotionally to something I wrote, and took personal offense.

Apparently stating a preference, ANY preference is sexist. To borrow one quote from a Tumblr blog mocking sexist dating site profiles: Pro tip: The only thing that turns me off more than you telling me how loving/caring/gentlemanly you are is you telling me what you’re looking for in a woman.

To quote from a previous blog post of mine: I prefer women with long hair. I like glasses. I like curvy girls. Punks and goths and hippies and librarians. I like sun dresses and leather jackets and combat boots. I like jeans and sweaters and flip flops… Are these preferences wrong? Am I being superficial for having them? I also like smart women, educated women, opinionated women. So am I repressing the dumb and the ignorant and the milquetoast?

Somehow that makes me an offensive sexist douche bag. Because I gave voice to things I have noticed I tend to notice.

I don’t like high maintenance plastic barbie types. That’s the kicker right there, the line that offended her. I was told that was offensive to women who have had plastic surgery, and that whole high maintenance thing really set her off. The word ‘plastic’ in no way links to cosmetic surgery, but is used to imply shallow and superficial. Ok, maybe I can see how you might be offended by criticism of high maintenance girls, in a different context. I was not ranting about girly girls or fashionistas. I was not attacking anybody, it wasn’t a criticism, though there are certainly unintended tones of negativity. I think there is definitely a difference between Refined and High Maintenance, between being able to express a desire for attention and demanding material things.  I thought I was clear I meant the superficial and demanding, rather than worth the effort. I’ve found quite a few blogs defending the term High Maintenance, and so have removed that from my profile. It’s a bit contentious, like taking ownership of the word Slut, and is too in depth to delve into here.

I think this woman was perhaps a bit too overly sensitive, and reacted emotionally to one or two lines. But she got me thinking, about good guy sexism and about derogatory terms like High Maintenance. And that’s always a good thing.