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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…



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.

Coulda Been, Woulda Been, Shoulda Been…

17 Dec

This post is about hypocracy.

My dating life is rather full right now, between Bayani, Isadora, and a Friend With Benefits who I may speak about later. I’m not exactly looking for more women, but I’m not going to turn them down either. This is where Kaliope comes in. She and I have been sort of stalking her on a poly friendly dating site for some time now, but her profile says she is only looking for women. I should point out, as this becomes important later, that she was in a relationship with a male, and that any females she met should be open to partnering to him as well. I should also point out all this drama and stress has just made me appreciate what I have with Bayani and Isadora that much more. Also keep in mind this is all from my point of view, I have only what I saw, and what I was told, to go off of. Her side of the story might be different. If so, let her blog about it. This is what I saw.

So Kaliope and I started talking and hit it off, and decided to meet. Then we really hit it off. The sexual tension was palpable.

It turns out she and her long term boyfriend had been polyamorous for years, but had limited their experience to women, both for him and for her. He was uncomfortable with the idea of her dating me, but agreed to allow it. Yes, ‘allow’ is the right turn of phrase.

Now, Bayani and I have some rules about intimacy, to ensure that not only do we not make mistakes, to ensure we can each adjust to each others new partners. We agree to advance through the ‘bases’ slowly, one at a time. I told Kaliope about this rule, and she agreed it was a good idea, both for her and for her boyfriend.

She was new to this as well, I was the first man she was interested in for over a decade, so taking things slow seemed like a good idea. I thought I would be great for her, as I had been in his position just over a year ago. I understood his reactions, as I had just had them myself.

At the same time as she was dating me, Kaliope was also dating a new girl, keep that in mind.

We got to first base. Everything was good. We got to second base, and this boyfriend of hers flipped out. Now, there can be some confusion on exactly what happens on which base, but this was beyond that. Second base is pretty universally considered to be access too boobs. She had her shirt off while we made out. He was not ok with this. They argued all weekend. He did not think that was taking things slowly at all. Turns out he had somewhere between twelve and sixteen bases in mind. So we moved back to first base for a bit, just until he was comfortable with the idea.

Our schedules didn’t overlap much, and finding time to date was difficult. And he seemed very reluctant to give up any of what he considered ‘his’ time with her. Which was just about all her free time. Bayani and I reserve Sunday afternoon and evenings just for ourselves. No other events or activities, just the two of us. He reserved all of Sunday. And Saturday night. Any time I asked for felt to him like I was stealing her away. He protested. Not, I should point out, when she went out with this other girl.

A while later she felt it was ok to move on, and we got to second base. Sort of. We kept our clothes on, out of respect for his comfort level, but went ahead and put our hands down each others pants. Second base for some, third for others. She seemed like she enjoyed herself, and informed me the next time we met I was going to get a blow job. Definitely third base.

She told him what we did, and what she planned on doing next, and he freaked out again. Threw a tantrum. They fought all weekend. We went back to first base. Worse, she was not allowed to be alone with me, nor could we do more than lightly kiss.

Keep in mind, he was dating other women while all of this was going on. So was she.

She started making excuses for him. He was feeling rejected, and this would be easier for him if only he had a serious girlfriend to distract him. He was not being hypocritical, he was simply more tolerant of her dating women because he had time to get used to the idea. He wasn’t making demands, she was just being considerate of his comfort level.

The next time she came over, all we did was talk. Uncomfortably. He wanted her to break up with me, but was not going to insist on it. Yeah, when you tell someone you want to tell them to break it off but won’t insist, you are pretty much telling them to break it off. But she didn’t want to, she wanted to find a way to make it work.

A week later we had another date. Nothing but talking. More excuses, more uncomfortable talking. We weren’t  exactly breaking up, but she couldn’t really see me any more.

What the Hell?

I broke it off. Officially. I could not deal with this any more. I need to be able to fall for a girl without worrying about someone else’s rules. A relationship needs to be able to grow without restriction.

The hypocrisy was breathtaking.

I’m sorry, but if you cannot tolerate a behavior from your mate, then you had better damn well stop that behavior yourself. If she does not get to date men than you don’g get to date women. Allowing her to date women is not any better. It’s just as hypocritical, and is pretty damn sexist. That attitude implies a woman is less of a threat than a man, and therefore has less value. If you can’t stomach the thought of a man fingering your woman, then why is it ok for a woman to finger your woman?

Over a year ago, Bayani and I had a One Penis Policy. Well, not really. Bayani was simply not interested in other men. And when she was, when Abernethy came around, I was ready. Ok, not nearly as ready as I thought I would be. I had my reactions, my insecurities. But I didn’t stand in her way. I looked inside, I figured out where my reactions came from, and I dealt with them. Before Abernethy, I knew my discomfort with other men wasn’t healthy, that it needed to change. And I worked to remedy that.

This guy was doing the opposite. Rather than deal with his problems himself, he was looking for external solutions. Rules. Limitations. Restrictions. And that’s not healthy.

As far as I am aware, they are both still dating other women.

They Say Passion Is Dead

12 Oct

They say toe-curling-passion will inevitably die out, that all relationships eventually settle into a comfortable, sexless rut. The only reasons to stay together are the kids or fear of being alone, of dating again in a world of online personality algorithms, speed dating and text break-ups. Sacrifice your passion on the altar of family responsibility. And they say this is normal.

I say bullshit.

Passion only dies if you let it.

Continue reading

Personal Space

7 Oct

Money is tight around here. Desperately tight. My time as a Stay At Home Dad might be coming to an end. My wife and I still want me here with the kids during the day, getting them up and fed and dressed and off to school. I still want my day free to do laundry and yardwork and remodeling on the house. And day care is freaking expensive, at the wages I could make going back to work as a carpenter, more than half of my income would be going to pay someone else to raise my kids.

So I have decided to look for a night job.

Last week I went for a tour of the UPS hub, looking at a position as a Package Handler during the Twilight Sort. There were about twenty other people in my tour. And as we each walked up to the guard shack and signed in, we were instructed to wait over by this picnic table. I was the fourth one there, and I sat down at the last open corner of the table. Now, that table would have held all twenty of us easily, but only four of us sat there. Each stranger stood about six feet from the others. We could have each extended our arms and not touched another person.

I found this interesting. There was more than enough room for each of us to sit, had we been willing to touch another human being. But we chose not to.

During the tour I was surprised by the cramped working conditions. It was a labyrinth of twisting walkways and cramped work stations. There was a row of perhaps sixty to eighty people standing shoulder to shoulder in front of a conveyer belt, receiving packages which they then sorted into one of the nine slots behind them. They had barely enough room to turn around.

This stood in stark contrast to the six foot clearance we had preferred earlier.

I could tell some of the applicants were seriously turned off by the conditions and type of work presented. Not me. I’ve been doing physical labor for fifteen years now, I am no stranger to it. In fact, I miss it. This sedentary life I have chosen is not good for me. I need to move, to stretch, to strain and work my muscles.

It seemed as though each of us were simply not used to being that close to people, to touching. No one sat at the table in a way that would have required us to touch, as if the idea of contact were unpleasant. As a society we have become too distant from each other, separated by chat rooms and cell phones.

It got me thinking about personal space.

For me, the personal space I value is not so much the immediate space around me, as it is my home. My home is inviolate, sacred. My time with my children is personal space that I value. I don’t want to give that up any more than those other applicants wanted to stand shoulder to shoulder with me, and that is why I won’t take another job that would require me to give up that time. Some people would never want to give up their evenings, but right now I would rather have my mornings and days with my children.

My writing is also a kind of personal space for me. A way to work out stress or ideas or worries, a way to express myself, to stretch my creative muscles, a way to exercise my mind. I think part of the reason I have not been able to write very much lately is this lack of exercise. I have access to the computer all day, it squats there like a high-tech toad, mocking me, teasing me with distractions(yes, porn is one such). Ideas don’t build up for hours while I am working, ready to burst onto the screen the moment I sit down at the keyboard.

So I am hoping this job will help with that. Get me out of the house for five hours a day, to let my creative mind wander, build up imaginative steam, till I am ready once again to sit down at the keyboard and write.

And as far as real personal space with people, I think I am a bit backwards. I desire my closeness with people who are important to me. I’m a hugger. And with those people I share an erotic relationship with, I’m a toucher and a cuddler, I allow myself to indulge in physical affection.

Last summer we attended an event with Fanny and her parents. I had to keep my hands to myself and I didn’t like it one bit. Her parents invaded my personal space, preventing me from holding hands or kissing her neck or even placing my hand on the small of her back.

There are lots of spaces I consider personal, places and ideas and times and relationships, things I do not want violated.

Having to choose to give up my evenings with my wife, dinner with the family, was a tough choice. I had to prioritize which of my personal spaces were important. I let my need for money intrude into my Evenings With the Family space. So be it. Some personal spaces are more inviolate than others.

Oh, I got the job. I start monday.

I want to hate him Guest post by Bayanni

3 Oct

I do. I really want to hate him for the pain he has caused.
Or her. I want to hate her. Really though, it’s not her fault, and she seems nice enough.

Recently, my relationship with Abe came to an end. Apparently, his primary, who we will call Annie, was feeling threatened and intimidated by me. I don’t know HOW, as I am a married woman and could never give him more than I was already doing. He was never going to leave her for me, in fact, he was always going to leave me for her. I knew it, I did. From day one, we were very clear that she was primary, I was not. This was fine with me, since I have my own primary. Then the distancing started. He replied to fewer messages, called less, spent less time with me. Then I was relegated to post derby booty call.
I could see the writing on the wall, but he kept insisting that all was well. Then I became comfortable in the relationship again. I let myself believe that everything was okay. We were talking again, spending time together.

I had expressed an interest in meeting Annie to Abe, and he told me that he would bring it up with her to see what she thought. We had never met, but I knew quite a lot about her from Abe. He told me quite a bit about her, and her situation. She was his high school crush, the “one that got away” as it were. (Oddly like Kasini and Myr in a strange effed up way) She had recently left her husband who was apparently NOT an upstanding gentleman. I wanted to meet her. I thought it would be easier to share with this woman if we knew each other. It is easier for me knowing and loving Kasini. I had thought it would be easier for me to relax and enjoy the relationship while it lasted if I knew her. That way, she would cease to be the supermodel and amazing lover my brain had convinced me that she was. I thought it would be easier for her if she knew that I wasn’t going to fight her for him.

Then he told me she wasn’t happy with poly anymore. She wanted to be exclusive. He said that he told her he wasn’t going to be exclusive until her divorce was final. That’s all well and good, but I can’t maintain a relationship that is already dead. I can’t pretend like we’re okay when in fact, we’re done.  I care for him, and couldn’t face months of a relationship that is already over.

I over reacted. In hind sight, I know now that several environmental stresses converged on me at this precise moment, making this the absolute last thing I could tolerate. I was upset by the impending breakup. I calmly (okay, I was crying in the bathroom, don’t judge) sent a text asking that if breaking up with me was what Annie needed from him, I needed it to be sooner, rather than later and I requested that he talk to me in person about it. I then spent the rest of the day trying not to freak out. I cried when I came home. I told Myr what was happening. You all know how he reacted. Bless his heart, he tried SO hard to be supportive, but I still believe that a part of him was relieved it was over for Abe and me.

Abe and I have since had a few private conversations, where we were able to discuss what this breakup meant, and why he chose to do it when he did. He was running himself ragged trying to keep up with all three girls. He had intended to wait until Annie’s divorce was final before breaking it off with me, but decided not to string me along as I was clearly more involved than he had realized. He was concerned that my relationship with him was creating stress for Myr and me, as the two of us had been tense lately. (This was NOT related to Abe in any way, we have other stress like every couple.)  We have remained friends. He still wants to help me work on my skating skills, and study for the referee exam. He tries to tell me that the only thing that has changed is that we are no longer intimate.  I don’t know if I believe him.

I can’t hate him, because he was right to make this choice. This was the first truly rational and adult decision he has made in the time we were together. So, I want to hate him, but I continue to love him. I can’t face her yet. Can’t deal with her. Apparently, she saw me the night of the big breakup, could see that I was upset. Didn’t know who I was or why I was upset, but wanted to help. She saw the whole breakup happen before she realized who I was and was genuinely sorry to see me cry. Really? Why can’t she be a raving beast? Why can’t I hate her?

Sometimes I feel like a Christmas toy. No really, go with me here. In the beginning, he wanted to play with me all the time. Then he put me away for a while, things became busy for him, and I was less demanding than the other ladies, so I got less of his time. I became his post derby booty call. He took me off the shelf once every couple of weeks, played with me, then put me away again. Now, we still talk, but it always seems to be on his terms. Some days, we are great friends, and it seems our relationship is better than it ever was when we were dating. Other days, I want to punch him in the face.

Sometimes polyamory sucks. We fall in love, and then get hurt.

Was he worth it? Yes. I am a better person for having known him, and will maintain a close relationship with him. We’re just not intimate anymore. He is aware that I will not be seeking another relationship anytime soon. I wasn’t looking for one when I found him.
It was one HOT summer, and I will cherish every moment, even the painful ones.

Theory on the De-Evolution of Man

30 Sep

I have this theory, that when faced with a problem, mankind will inevitably begin with the most technologically advanced option, and will then proceed backwards along the evolutionary scale until we eventually reach Hit It With a Rock and finally Bite It.

Right now that scale tops out at Particle Accelerator, or if you are not an astrophysicist, a Smart Phone App.

This theory was confirmed recently while watching two friends try to figure out why their car would not start. They both pulled out their smart phones and downloaded automobile repair troubleshooting apps. Then the internet was consulted. The Great Google God of Information. Next, volt-meters were applied. Then ratcheting wrenches, hammers, and and finally one lost his temper and just kicked the damned thing. The loose wire was eventually tracked down and repaired.

But the real story is the event that lead me to developing the theory in the first place.

Kasini’s story of lighting herself on fire reminded me of this one friend of mine I used to go camping with. One time, and this is not the relevant story but a segue, he was trying to start the fire using kerosene. Predictably, the can caught on fire, causing him to scream bloody murder, throw the can down, and proceed to stomp out the fire. He stomped on the can of kerosene, which then crushed and sprayed flaming fuel twenty feet across the campsite. I emerged from my tent to see a wall of fire separating me from what appeared to be a deranged orangutan running in circles screaming ‘oh god oh god were gonna die.’

No eyebrows were lost, the forest didn’t burn down, and he has yet to live down the event.

One a subsequent trip all our food for the entire three day back country packing trip, except for a bag of instant rice, was in cans.

Guess who forget the can-opener.

I did not find this out until we had set up camp five miles down Lower Courthouse Wash in Arches National Park. Not only had he failed to bring the assigned can-opener, but my emergency opener, which was wired to the zipper of my backpack, had mysteriously disappeared.

We didn’t have a particle accelerator, or a smart phone with a can opening app. But we had a hatchet.

That didn’t work.

Neither did a pocket knife, or keys or anything else we could think of . Finally, out of sheer frustration and desperation, I hit the damn can with a rock, which burst open, spilling forth its delicious guts of chicken and gravy. I swear, had the rock not worked I would have just bitten the damn thing and sucked out the juice, I was that hungry. There may have been warpaint applied, I cannot recall.

Half an hour later we found the can-opener that my friend had stolen off my backpack to try to gouge open a bag of beef jerky.

On Pornography

21 Sep

I too had my share of porn experiences when I was young, though I never had a porn ring like Kasini. My father didn’t own any porn, he felt he didn’t need it because he had a healthy view of sex and sexuality. Surprisingly, his voicing of that opinion probably did more to damage my view of sex than early exposure to pornography could have.

A healthy view of sex and sexuality precludes an interest in porn.

Like any other pubescent male, I was very interested in images of naked women and sex. All of my friends had access to pornographic magazines or movies. Every father on the street had a treasure trove buried at the back of their closet. But not mine.

I was probably ten or twelve the first time I saw a pornographic magazine, when a friend brought out his father’s stash. I had regular access to porn in that manner, where we would sit around and point and giggle and ooh and aah. But I wanted more, I wanted to take those magazines and movies and run off by myself, and I didn’t know why. They moved me in disturbing and compelling ways. I managed to find enough to get by, but barely.

When a friend got caught stealing his father’s stash to bring to the neighborhood clubhouse, all the mothers were notified. Mine sat me down to talk about it, probably thinking she was going to be enlightened and open. All she did was confuse me. I was told it was ok to look if I was curious, but in the same breath she told me only perverts and men who didn’t respect women would ever keep that kind of stuff in their house. She offered to buy a Playboy for me, so that I would not try to steal one, but only a Playboy because anything else was filthy perversion.

I was 19 before I had my own stash, a stack of mixed magazines I found in a parking lot. Again, my mother sat me down to talk about it after she found them, once again thinking she was being enlightened and open. “It’s ok to have those,” she told me, “but you do realize, don’t you, that women don’t really do those things?” What, don’t enjoy sex? Don’t suck cock? Don’t kiss other women or play with dildos or masturbate? So much for a healthy and open view of sex.

Well, all I knew was I was hooked. Not addicted, just fascinated. I loved looking at pictures of beautiful naked women, I loved reading stories about sex, I loved everything about those magazines. And I was torn. On the one hand, I had been taught to embrace my sexuality, that whatever I was feeling was natural, but on the other there were unspoken-and sometimes explicitly spoken-limits to what I should feel. It was natural only if it conformed to their expectations.

I went though my teenage years wondering if I was some sort of sexual deviant. I thought about sex a lot. A LOT. I know now that was normal. But I had no basis for normal. I was the odd kid out, the only one with permissive parents who didn’t make me feel bad for masturbating, and yet I was the only one whose father didn’t own any porn. When the other kids got the urge, they could just sneak into their father’s room for a peak. Not me.

And now I have internet. As much free pornography as I could ever want, right at my fingertips. I still look at pictures of beautiful naked girls. Hell, I have a second tab open right now, with, you guessed it, pornography. I don’t think pornography is dangerous or repressive of women. I think it can be, but no more than any other institution. I think banning pornography is more dangerous than allowing it. I do not think it is intrinsically repressive to women. Woman can give consent, and claiming that all women who participate, even those who do so willingly, are being coerced or degraded, is doing a disservice to women. By making that claim you are putting women into the same category as children or animals or property, as something that is incapable of making an informed decision, something that has to be protected and coddled and taken care of. And I absolutely hate that attitude. I do not deny that there are women being exploited for pornography. But there are women being exploited in every industry somewhere in the world. I still wear shoes, even though women receive less than 20 cents a day to make them in China. I don’t wear shoes made in China, nor do I enjoy porn made by exploiting women.

Worldwide pornography generates between fifty to a hundred billion dollars annually, and Americans spend more at the strip clubs than they do at Broadway, off Broadway, regional and non-profit theaters, the opera, the ballet and jazz COMBINED. This is not a sign of sickness, this is a sign that humans are incredibly sexual creatures, and we need an outlet for that sexual energy. Studies have shown that societies with easy access to porn have a greatly reduced incidence of rape and sexual dysfunction. Pornography is a reflection of sexual desire, not a creator, and usually serves to liberate and satisfy. And not just for men, porn can help women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders explore their sexuality and even empower them by helping them realize that they are not alone, that their urges are normal and shared by others.

Now, there is porn and there is porn. I do not like fake porn. Professional porn. Women with elaborate hair and makeup and obviously fake breasts being pounded by men with sculpted muscles, tribal tattoos, and ten inch cocks, that does nothing for me. That face they make when pretending to come, I hate that face. “Oh, yeah, give it to me, oh yeah’. Shudder. I don’t like to feel that they are acting. I like amateur porn. I like regular girls, girls next door, MILFs that  you could meet at the corner drug store. Real women who are genuinely enjoying themselves. Curvy girls, girls with love handles and real tits instead of scrawny skanks with plastic faces and silicone boobs.

Even when I was a teenager I knew the difference between fantasy and reality when it came to porn. I knew what was staged, what was done for the sake of more magazine sales. Penthouse Forum, yeah, I didn’t believe any of those stories then either(of course, now I get to live them, but that is another post). I could tell by a model’s expression that she was not really into having her pussy licked by another women or didn’t really like having a cock up her ass. But on some of those spreads, I could tell she did enjoy it, and that opened up a whole new world to me. Women could enjoy sex, and sex could be more than just missionary between a husband and wife. Women enjoy sex. Isn’t that one of the tenants of the feminist movement? Women enjoy sex to, it’s not just for the man. And porn taught me that.

Despite my parents best efforts, I learned a lot from porn. I had no idea you could lick a pussy until I saw it in a magazine. Kids talked about it, but there was no mental image to with the words. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I didn’t know the mechanics of sex, other than insert Tab A into Slot B, repeat. And I didn’t get to experiment till Bayani and started having sex at age 19. My parents were ex hippies, with a healthy fear of AIDS. “It’s not like it used to be, it’s not safe any more”. Save yourself for marriage, that was the message.

I want my children to have a healthy view of sex, I want them to grow up as well balanced and open minded as they can be. But what kind of double standard would I be giving, if I hid my porn from them? Do I let them see what is on my computer at this age? No. But when should they be able to discover it? Should I let them find it on their own, when they are ready? Should I carefully select examples of healthy sex for them to find? Should I just let it happen and be there to talk to them when they have questions? Will people react differently about exposing my teenagers to porn if they know I have daughters instead of sons?

Raising children with a healthy knowledge of sex and sexuality has been on my mind lately. How much of our lifestyle should I let them see? Will Fanny be nothing more than a good friend, or will they be allowed to see consenting adults showing affection for one another?

Our society has certain expectations about sex and how we talk about it, certain rules. Should I teach my children those rules? Or should I teach them how to hide, how to blend in, how to pretend for the sake of appearance? What will that do to them, knowing that their family is different?

I am torn. I do not have all the answers. No parent does. These are all things we have to grapple with, and I like to believe that the fact that I think about it will give my children an advantage over those who just let their kids grow up on autopilot, expecting that whatever society teaches them is good enough.

So I do the best I can, and hope I don’t mess them up to badly.

Was It Worth It?

19 Sep

My wife’s boyfriend dumped her.

This was a whole new drama I was not prepared for. She cried for days. She called him names. She hated him, she loved him, she didn’t know how to feel. It was like living with a sixteen year old.

Apparently she had seen it coming for a week. That explained the worried, stressed expression she had been wearing for days. It seems Abernethy’s primary had become threatened by Bayani, and didn’t like sharing any more. I think he tried to do it via text, but she demanded he at least do it in person.

He did. And she cried some more. For days.

I will let her go into the details of the breakup, how he could have handled it differently, what their relationship is at the moment, and how she felt through the whole thing. All I know is she cried a lot, and depended on good ol’ long suffering Myrddwn to make it better.

A small part of me was relieved it was over, that I would now have more of her to myself. It wasn’t that I minded sharing in principle, I just didn’t like having to give up time with my wife on a case by case basis. When he was playing with her, I was not. Then I felt guilty for being relieved.

Another small part of me was irritated that his relationship with her had boiled over and spilled into mine. I didn’t like that she cried around me, that she pouted in front of me, that it added a great deal of stress into my already stress filled life. And I felt guilty about that too.

Mostly I was upset that my wife, my best friend, my life partner, the Mother of My Children, was hurt. I wanted to make it better, and I couldn’t. I was there for her when she needed a hug, or a compliment, or a shot of tequila or a good hard fucking. That was it, that was all I could do. She had to get through this on her own. Without me. And I hated that.

And it dragged out. Over the course of the next week they kept texting, poking at the wound, making it worse. They were trying to make it better, they still wanted to be friends, but Abe is not the best communicator and he kept saying the wrong thing, asking the wrong questions.

I tried to understand what she was going through, but it was hard. How, exactly, does one comfort one’s wife after she has been dumped by another man? Another person, I should say, because it didn’t matter that Abe was a male, this person caused her pain. Bayani will no doubt suffer even more when Fanny finds her own primary to settle down with and breaks things off with us. I will, too. I dunno, maybe it is worse for me that he is a male; I am not 100% comfortable with her dating other men. I’m ok with it, I really am. But I find I don’t want to be friends with the guy, I don’t want him over for dinner, and I don’t want to double date with them. This tells me I still have some lingering problems with it, not enough to get in her way, but enough that I have my own issues arising from the breakup. I find that I am resentful of his intrusion, and of the time it has been taking her to get over it. I find myself thinking ‘she has a husband who loves her, why is this one little loss such a big deal?’ Not exactly a fair question. These are my own issues, ones I will not burden her with, she is troubled enough already. And they really are nothing more than minor irritations, no more than passing fancies.

It’s a week later, and she still tears up. Last night it was seeing his changed relationship status on Facebook. She showed me a picture of the rival girl who was chosen over her, and demanded to know who was prettier. My wife is, definitely; the other girl looked like a dude.

It has been interesting to watch this from(mostly) the outside. She really did let herself care for the guy. She went into this with complete abandon, she did not hold back. This was not just about having dirty titillating sex with a man other than husband, this was about having a complete relationship. It was draining for her when it ended, and I wonder how often she will allow herself to do this. Will she throw herself into the next relationship? Or will she tread lightly, moving slowly and cautiously? Will there be a rebound, and how will I deal with that?

This is not like the breakup of a single person. There are too many other people involved to allow that same kind of impulsive, selfish behavior. I’m talking about revenge sex — relax all you single people I’m not implying you are selfish or impulsive, or even that Bayani is, just this one specific behavior she showed. Bayani confessed to wanting to fuck his best friend just to hurt him. Again with the 16 year old behavior? This was nothing more than a shyly confessed urge, and I must commend her for realizing what she was feeling and why. She would never act upon such an impulse. And I can understand that desire, wanting to lash out like that. And even the impulse to give in to a rebound fuck, I can understand that, knowing she would never act upon such an inclination. Maybe if she were single, if she did not have several other people to be courteous of, but I doubt it. She’s too nice a person to really hurt someone.

This has even affected my relationship with Kasini. Because of the timing of things, with Bayani’s relationship with Abe starting just before I allowed myself to act on my feelings for Kasini, there has been a slight undercurrent of worry that the only reason I am allowed to be with her is because Bayani has Abe. And once that ended with him, I was certain Kasini would be worried that I would have to stop the sexual aspect of our relationship. This is not the case. Abe did allow my wife to relax her insecurities about Kasini, but now that we are through that door, there is no need to close it.

This breakup has affected more than just their relationship. It has spilled over into the one I share with my wife, and the one I share with Kasini. I am not entirely certain how Fanny has been affected by this, we don’t talk about things the way I do with Bayani and Kasini.

It is rather naive to assume, and maybe I did, that her other relationships would not spill over like this, that she could keep them to herself. We are both affected by this, we have shared this event, and we both have to own what we feel rather than shove it aside. We are too close, share too much, to expect to keep every aspect of our other relationships separate. I think it is ok for me to have the reactions I have had. It’s ok for me to be irritated and impatient, but it is not ok for me to snap at my wife, or insist she move on already. It is not ok for me to tell her my sympathy has run out. And it is ok for her to let her grief show where I can see it, where I can be affected by it. Where I can help her with it.

So it’s over for now. There will be other relationships for her, and for me. I have learned a lot from this one, both about myself and about my wife, and I am sure I will have something new to learn from the next one. I just hope it is not nearly so painful for her. I asked her if the joy she got from it was worth the pain he caused her.

She answered without hesitation.