Category Archives: Life, Living and Loving

Life, Living and Loving: Being Poly

This is something I don’t write a whole lot about these days but being poly is forever etched in my heart and soul. I know what’s good about it – and it’s more than just the sex – and I know what’s bad about it and how/why a lot of people who give being poly a shot, more often than not, tend to fail more than they succeed.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people embrace polyamory and a lot of them have been single and, well, for the longest time, I would wonder, “How does this work for single people?” and more so when single folks are actually free and clear to engage with whoever they want and as many as they can manage… and then I thought about some stuff that made going poly for single folks not so easy to do:

It’s what we think relationships are supposed to be like and an inability to break away from the prescribed behavior of one man/one woman. I gave a lot of thought to this and saw that when it comes to relationships, single folks are held to the same standard as married people are – relationships are monogamous and can’t be anything other than that. Having been married and poly showed me that while this doesn’t make being poly any easier, what it does do is provide an anchor point (for the lack of another way to put it); married folks often find it’s “easier” to be poly because at the root of this, their core relationship is the anchor point and provides the strength, love, and trust to make branching out “easier.”

And an anchoring point that single folks don’t have. The biggest mistake I found and learned about this is when you attempt to be poly while invoking any of the rules of monogamy, yep – that’s gonna be a problem. Then toss in and for good measure that many folks aren’t too keen about sharing and, of course, the rules of monogamy says, “Thou shalt not share anything with anyone else – ever!” The way we’ve always gone about relationships makes us… territorial and, yeah, possessive which brings me back to the thing I say about this: In order to be successfully polyamorous, you must forget and unlearn everything you know about love, sex, and relationships so you can learn a whole different way of doing these things… and not many people can do this.

It’s one thing to think that you can; it’s one thing to see the sense that polyamory brings to the table and, again, just not exclusively a sexual thing. It’s a whole different thing to actually get into it and saying it this way doesn’t even begin to cover how intensely difficult it can be; it’s not as “easy” as getting together with a bunch of people who thinks and feels the same way you do… because almost everyone has their own idea of how a relationship is supposed to work. Not only do the ever-pervasive rules of monogamy make being poly one hell of a clusterfuck to end all clusterfucks, there’s the other thing I’ve said that comes into play: All those negative emotions like envy, jealousy, possessiveness and obsessiveness? You can’t allow them to be a part of this – ever…. but it’s a combination of human nature and the rules of being monogamous that makes this a difficult thing to move away from and eliminate from one’s heart and soul and, yes, their minds.

I’ve seen a lot of written material about this and I’d not say that it’s bad or anything like that but, shit, how can I put this and have it make sense? Being poly isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing so while there are experts who write and talk about the “best ways to be poly,” there’s much more to it and beginning with the people involved and if you’re the kind of person who thinks or otherwise believes that being able to openly love more than one person at a time is the “big problem” everyone says it is, you’re not going to do well in a poly situation. You have to know, without any doubts in your mind, that you do have the capacity and ability to be “madly in love” with more than one person and it never made sense to be limited to loving just one person at a time. And then you have to be able to find people who are like this, too. I’ve said that to be poly, you have to be seriously grown up and, sorry to say, a lot of people find that they’re not as grown up as they thought themselves to be.

This isn’t about sharing sex with a lot of people: This is about sharing every damned aspect of your life with a lot of people. In a piece that DDJennifer wrote about this very same thing, she accurately pointed out an inherent flaw and cause for polyamory to utterly fail with some folks: Expecting equality rather than equity. Many find out almost right away that trying to treat their poly partners equally just doesn’t work. Indeed, one of the qualities needed is the ability to multitask and with attention to detail about those in your poly group because, um, everyone is different and while that sounds like yet another Captain Obvious statement, you probably can’t imagine how this means so much when considering polyamory and right along with the fact that people do change and I do not mean “over time” but literally from one moment to the next.

Most attempts at polyamory fail because of a lack of planning and by this, I mean there is no plan that is – and should be – a shared vision of how this crazy relationship is going to work and what its goals for everyone involved are. Even I learned that if you don’t have 100% buy-in to the shared vision by everyone involved, things are going to get interesting. There are different… flavors of polyamory: Open, closed, triads, quartets, so on and so forth and then the shit gets deep and I do mean really deep within these flavors and it does make a difference whether or not a poly group is living together or separately and, yeah, if anyone has children. I’ve seen people apply rules and, with married or existing couples, rules that more often than not serve to preserve their core relationship. It’s not that it doesn’t work because it can… but it’s usually a recipe for disaster when, I’d say a lot of times, those rules are severely locked down and not subject to change or even discussion.

Which brings me back to another part of this and some skills that, if you don’t have them or suck at them, you’ve got some work to do. Communication is everything and once that fails to be established in effective ways and among all involved, failure is imminent. The other skills are time management, conflict resolution, and problem resolution as well as an ability to be more objective than subjective when you wind up having to “play” referee and peacemaker and not having these skills and abilities is yet another recipe for disaster.

I’ve said time and time again that being in a poly relationship makes being married look like child’s play… because it’s way harder than being married and if you’re single and thinking about embracing a poly lifestyle, hah – if you think dating is a major pain in the ass? You ain’t seen nothing yet because being poly makes dating look easy and problem-free. I’ve said that the moment anyone involved starts thinking “me” more than “us,” things are going to get shaky and, again, it’s just human nature for someone to think about what they want and need and it becomes the basis of their “agenda” and one that carries a lot of urgency and must be front and center… and that’s yet another fatal mistake those who fail at this tends to make – that “my way or no way” thing that has killed the shit out of relationships time and time again.

As such, if you lack the ability of the art of compromise and negotiation, well, hmm. It’s not just “what’s best for me” but it’s all about “what’s best for all of us.” It’s “what can we do together and as a ‘whole’ while attending to each other’s individual wants, needs, and other stuff like that. Whether your single and trying to do this or you’re already in a relationship, eh, it’s not so much a thing of “management by committee” so much as someone probably – or should – bear the responsibility of maintaining the group gestalt and keeping everyone focused on the shared vision that you better had established. It’s not so much a thing of being “the leader of the pack” but, yeah, it kinda is but doing so in an objective way and minus any personal biases and that’s incredibly difficult for a lot of people and, usually, I think, because of what they think relationships should be like and not what they can potentially be, you know, if you can get and keep everyone involved on the same page.

The sex. I’m not gonna bullshit you: If you think the sex is a secondary concern, you just screwed the pooch. The sex is important because sex binds and even in this, if you have a long list of things you’re not going to do for love or anything else, yeah, you might wanna do something about that. In this area alone, failures occur because someone will invariably start feeling like they’re being left out or they’re not getting enough of the action or, with existing couples, one person is having way too much fun than the other and many find that the more rules put in place to, um, contain or suppress sexual activities, the greater the chance of failure. Even in this, a lot of people tend to think more about what they want and need more than what can be possible and eschewing what I think is a “simple” premise: Everything is negotiable. It’s just that not many people are of a mind to negotiate and in that “my way or no way” mindset that we all tend to have. It might sound counterintuitive but the sex must flow, whether it’s one-on-one or if it happens in a group setting and if you have inhibitions or other hang-ups about sex and, yeah, sexuality, hmm, ya might want to work on getting rid of them and beginning right now.

And then, if all of this doesn’t load your plate up to beyond overflowing, you still have to go about your daily life and those things that are connected to it. One of the things that is a benefit is that if you’re struggling in day-to-day stuff, you hopefully have people around you who are ready, willing, and able to jump on in and give you a hand with it; poly relationships are “one for all and all for one” so it’s not just about the sex and the other things that go along with being in this very extended and complex way to be in a relationship… and one of those things also involves children and whether they’re youngsters or adults… and that just makes all of this even more complicated. It’s funny in that there was a time where we’d say that it takes a village to raise a child but these days? Yeah, not so much and no parent likes or wants to be told how to raise their children and other related things and, yep, a lot of folks tend to forget that their children do have a minds of their own and, yep, one big mistake a lot of folks make is trying to hide this from their children – and children who are a lot more observant that we’d like to believe.

Then if all of this hasn’t baked your noodle to a very crispy crunch, there’s what other people are going to see and think… and some of that isn’t going to be a good thing. I learned that when you try to keep this on the DL, yeah, that just ain’t gonna work and if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what the hell was going on, my money problems wouldn’t be a problem. They’re going to notice it and some will be intuitive enough to know exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into and some of them are going to read you the riot act and like you’ve never heard it before. Sure, it’s none of their goddamned business what and how you’re living your life in this and, yep, they’re gonna preach to you about the way you should be doing things and the important thing that you and all who involved should keep firmly in mind that this is your life and lives and you have a responsibility to yourselves to live it the best way you can manage to do so and if that means there’s a “bunch” of you living and loving together and it allows everyone to flourish, that’s just the way it is and if no one else likes it, all they can do is not like it… and being prepared for repercussions is a very smart thing to do.

Shit… I remember when my mom figured it out and I was kinda/sorta prepared to get read the riot act to end all riots acts when all she said was, “I hope you know what you’re doing.” My response was, “I hope so, too.” I did have to “correct” her on one thought she had: This wasn’t my idea to begin with but I was both challenged and tasked to make it work and it actually made sense since we were already open to begin with and there were certain… needs that had to be met to maintain continuity – and peace in the valley – in our marriage and relationship. I knew before I accepted the challenge that this was going to be one hell of a mess… but one I felt I could deal with. I didn’t expect it to last very long… and it lasted way longer than I could have ever dreamed of and, nope, it wasn’t as smoothly as it could have idealistically been. We all made mistakes and, yeah, if you wanna know how I know what I do about it? It’s because we screwed things up as well as made them work and since I had the “job” of being the gatekeeper, well, I learned some stuff about what it takes to live a poly lifestyle that I’m glad I learned… and kinda wish I hadn’t.

It’s like “any other relationship” in that what works for one probably ain’t gonna work for another which is why if/when you’re considering this, you and whoever chooses to be with you in this has to sit down and “design” the foundation of the poly relationship and keeping it as simple as humanly possible. Being in a poly relationship is the ultimate relationship; it defies everything we know and believe when it comes to love, sex, and said relationships. Monogamy and it’s hard-set rules will not work in this and trying to hold onto to those rules can turn this into an “us versus them” kind of situation that will lead to its demise and in a hurry. It’s being committed to each other but also being committed to that shared vision I mentioned a while ago and if you or those with you aren’t of a mind to be that committed, well, ya might not wanna get into this or you can keep your nose to the grindstone and find those who can be this committed… and with the sure and certain knowledge and understanding that nothing is forever.

Being poly – and very much like being bisexual, as it turns out – isn’t just a thing to do: It is a way to be and it’s a life-changing way to be. It’s not all about having a group of lovers or sexual partners; this is about, again, sharing every aspect of your life with people you love and everyone being in love with everyone else, not equally because that’s impossible but with focus on equity, the quality of the relationship and with those who are willing to do whatever’s necessary to make it work and keep it working.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Research it; see what others are thinking and saying about it both pro and con and then take a lot of time to search deep within yourself and see if you can be up for the great challenge it is most definitely going to present. It is worth it because if nothing else, you learn some stuff about yourself; you learn what being in love can really mean and that love doesn’t have any boundaries except those we put in the way of it. There’s just so much work that has to be done, personally and especially if you go forward to embrace polyamory.

And I do wish anyone considering this all the luck in the world because if you do this, I can almost guarantee you that it’s going to be the most insane thing you’ve ever done… and ya just might be glad that you did it anyway.

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Posted by on 4 July 2021 in Life, Living and Loving


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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s Inspiration Project: What Inspires Me to Write

I write a lot about bisexuality and the inspiration comes from the fact that I am bisexual and have been for a large portion of my life… like over five decades. The other thing that inspires me to write about it is knowing that:

  1. A lot of people have no idea what bisexuality is.
  2. A lot of people don’t know how to be bisexual and that it’s not just a thing to do sexually.
  3. A lot of people have questions or concerns and there aren’t that many answers to them that aren’t couched in pie-in-the-sky nonsense and psychobabble.
  4. It’s a kind of legacy thing; I felt a great need to pass on what I’ve learned about this and I’ve learned a lot of shit about this
  5. It’s therapeutic to write. Years ago, I had a stroke that left my whole right side impaired. I had to relearn how to walk and relearn how to do simple things like pick something up with my right hand and other stuff right-handed people normally do and including, for me, being able to type as well and as fast as I could before I had the stroke.

I like to say that I’m “rabidly bisexual” which might sound weird but isn’t; being bisexual is the shit, not just because of the sex that can be had but because it proved to be one hell of an eye-opening thing that, almost right away, showed me the world and the way things really worked. I saw that what we believe about certain things is just the preferred way to do them… but has never been the only way.

Bisexuality liberated me from conventional thinking, beliefs and behaviors. It’s been likened to being blind… then being able to see and now a lot of the things that didn’t make sense started to make sense… and I embraced the hell out of it and, without any shame whatsoever, yeah – the sex is just fucking amazing. Once I started blogging – and blogging about this particular aspect – the thoughts that are forever bouncing around inside my head now had an outlet and if I had a regret, it’s that it took a long time for me to find this outlet and I probably wouldn’t have until a very dear – and now late – friend of mine told me about the blog she was writing and suggested that she thought I’d be good at blogging.

As it turns out, this month is my WordPress anniversary month. I wrote my very first blog on 28 May 2010… and I haven’t stopped blogging and, wow, I’ve had a lot to say about what it’s like to be bisexual and what it means as well as what I’ve observed from others on the topic. When someone asked me, “Why do you write about this?” my answer was, “Because someone has to… and someone has to be for-real about it. No sugar-coating it; no bullshit; tell it as it is and as I’ve experienced and observed it.”

While a lot of bloggers blog to gain an audience and can be all about the stats, eh, I don’t care about that so much; I’m inspired and “driven” to get the word out to anyone who cares to pay attention to it that bisexuality isn’t the non-existent thing everyone seems to think it is. It’s not all about the sex but the sex is just as much a part of it as the emotional aspects are. I’ve heard a lot of people ask, “Why do guys have sex with each other?” and I’m the guy who can answer that question and, nope, being gay has nothing to do with it… and I’m also the guy who is inspired to do some mythbusting and get down to the real and “dirty” answer to that question…

And then to let anyone who cares to read what I write know that the only shame in this is the shame we allow ourselves to feel or allow someone else to foist upon us. Stats aren’t important; the fact that few people ever comment on the things I write about this doesn’t mean a whole lot… but getting the word out there means everything.

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” Etienne de Grellet du Mabillier is credited with uttering these words and when I first saw this, I was inspired; if I can “set the record straight” about what it means to be bisexual and what it is, then I’ve done some good and, again, someone has to. If not now, when? If not me, then who? I’d not call my the expert in things bisexual… but I know some shit about it and, as one can see when I write, it’s a lot of shit that most people aren’t even aware of because few people ever really bother to dig down deep and as I did to answer a question I asked myself five decades ago: How can something that’s supposed to be so bad feel so good?

Because I know the answer, yeah… inspired like you wouldn’t believe. I know the good of it as well as the bad; I understand the science behind it and if being bisexual didn’t teach me anything, it taught me what it means to be human and no matter what the rules have to say about it. Some bloggers write to excite and stimulate and, well, when I write about, um, certain things, they can excite and stimulate… but that’s not the purpose or reason because if I really wanted to do that, I can and have written erotica and got published (and paid) for it. I am inspired to inform and to the best of my ability to do so and do it in a no-nonsense, no bullshit kind of way because I know, even if no one else does or cares to know, bisexuality is some very real and life-changing shit.

And I remain inspired to be the one to have the nerve and gall to write about it… because someone has to.


Posted by on 15 May 2021 in Life, Living and Loving


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Life, Living and Loving: That TMI Tuesdays Thing

Wow… writing that piece for TMI Tuesdays brought back a rush of memories, spanning a great many years and a kinda huge mashup of the good and the bad experienced when taking a step to the side and not being totally monogamous.

I remember the beginning of things, the great shock and confusion of the moment, including the terrible painful feelings as well as feeling inadequate and unworthy to learn that I, alone, wasn’t enough… even though, after the initial review, it wasn’t really me that caused this to come to the surface but it still didn’t feel good to be told that she wanted someone – anyone – who wasn’t me and then trying to make sense of the explanation and getting to understand just how complex and confusing such a declaration really meant.

Like most husbands, I believed in the sanctity of marriage; I understood what it meant to be bound by the vows I’d taken and all that they said and was otherwise implied… only to find out and eventually come to the conclusion that it’s almost impossible to be all someone is ever going to need; not only that but over any given period of time, people change but being monogamous is so… static and creates an environment where a lot of things aren’t really allowed to change.

I also realized that there are… consequences to loving someone and vowing, saying, or even implying that you’d do anything in your power to make and keep your partner happy being with you. In this, it was that “shit or get off the pot” moment and dealing with a damned if you do and damned if you don’t moment and even having to decide which of the two evils were the one that could be lived with along with the even harder and painful thought processes to end a relationship that was, up to that moment, engaging and good.

Was this going to be the biggest mistake ever? A right and proper thing to do and all for the sake of love? The hardest part about this is not knowing what’s going to happen if you don’t… and now being fully aware of what’s gonna happen if you do. You think that you know the person you love with all your heart and soul… until you find out that you kinda/sorta don’t really know them but, then again, what this is really about is not being all that aware of what changes are going on inside of them and coming to terms over why you weren’t aware of them before you became aware of them. It’s not so much of a thing of not paying your partner enough attention but more of a thing of not being all that privy to everything they may be thinking about and those things that, for reasons of their own – and because of the nature of those thoughts – yeah, um, you might not want to mention them out of fear of reprisal:

Even when you know someone fairly well, you never really know how they’re going to react to something; you can be somewhat certain of that but, eh, not really but if you really want and need to know one way or the other, you just gird your loins and say the things that you know have to be said. There is a certain appreciation of this level of honesty and despite the amount and depth of emotional pain and agony that can be experienced to find out that your partner needs something you can’t provide them or they need a lot more of what you’re already giving them and even they need something that’s different in a great many ways.

It’s even a bigger bitch to get kicked in the balls and finding out that what you so very much believed in was flawed and incredibly so; it’s a shock to the system when you look at all of this and realize that those vows and other such affirmations we make when we are in a relationship do not ever factor in the fact that people change and that odd situation where everything is going well… but not really. And you don’t really get to understand that, sometimes, a change in things – and this kind of change in particular – is one that is seen to be necessary even if for one’s own sense of self-preservation and invoking Rule Number One: Look after your own ass first. In these things, the vows and affirmations we make, I think, were designed to eliminate this very important rule and implies that you are expected, required and demanded to sacrifice all that you are for something you now know doesn’t really work the way they say it’s supposed to work and without exception.

If nothing else, getting smacked in the face with this can have you asking yourself just how much you really love, want, and need someone; it makes you face yourself – did you really, honestly, and truly mean all of the things you said about loving them… and if you reject the “ultimatum” of putting an end to being monogamous, it’s not so much about what it says about them but it does get you thinking about what your rejection says about you; if I learned nothing else from this, I not only learned that what we believe about how relationships are supposed to be isn’t the only thing that’s flawed and erroneous: It’s also your belief in such a flawed system, too.

What would you do for the sake of love? I know what I did and I gotta tell you that even as I made the very difficult decision to break the rules, I had a lot of misgivings and even fears over it but, then again, from where I was sitting, I didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter and the question I had to answer for myself was which thing was better – to know what she was doing and who she might be doing it with… or not know what was going on but also knowing that this was gonna happen with or with my “blessings?”

I had a lot of people tell me that I made the wrong decision; I should have left her and some… assholes said I should have given her a proper ass-kicking over this; I’m not that guy and leaving her – and that being the “logical” thing to do – well, my heart and my love for her wasn’t hearing any of that and more so when you’ve invested your whole life in someone, throwing it all away is a pretty dumb thing to do because it’s time in your life that you can never get back and while many people would suffer through having to start all over again with someone else, shit: When you get hit with this life-changing revelation, you become very aware that if it happened once, it could happen again and for a lot of the same reasons.

As a result, I totally lost faith in the tenets of monogamy. Oh, it has its good parts and for many, it works well since many are quite content to abide by the rules and no matter what’s going on with things. In a way, it’s a matter of honor, isn’t it? You vowed or promised to keep only unto yourself and let no one put asunder… but you also vowed or promised to be in this together through better or worse… and it doesn’t get any worse than knowing that even at your very best, you’re not all they will ever want and need and while such things can be suppressed, there might come a time, a tipping point, where their survival – and in their view of things – is in jeopardy and something has to be done… and by any means necessary.

And I was made to understand that this doesn’t apply to just those who are married; we deal with being in a relationship but not being married under the same tenets and guidelines and the only real difference is lawyers don’t get involved when things go south or otherwise break down. As we discussed how this very drastic change in our lives was going to take shape, I spent a lot of time kicking my own ass over believing something that, again after really and seriously looking at it, was about as flawed as anything can be; who in their right mind vows and/or promises to never want anything or, in the case, anyone else; who in their right mind actually sets themselves up to either fail or to find themselves stuck in place and without any other way to get unstuck outside of taking that relationship and throwing it all away.

But then seeing and beginning to understand that, hah – you can have your cake and eat it, too; you don’t have to throw it all away and that this? This not being monogamous thing? That’s well within the realms of something that’s humanly possible to do and more so when you really do love someone as much as you think and you’ve said that you do… and now it’s time to shit or get off the pot and to prove that those things you said about loving them weren’t empty and meaningless and that, you are willing to stick with them for better or worse. Holy shit, right?

So we went there and I’m not gonna lie and say that everything went swimmingly well… because it didn’t; even in this, I came to understand that not only do we really don’t know how to be in a relationship to begin with, this not being monogamous thing is an even bigger unknown. We know the theory of being in a relationship and we develop our own idea about how this is supposed to go – but based on something that, again, has more holes in it than a screen and, at the worst, prevents people from being who they really need to be as well as suppressing a lot of shit that is more damaging that breaking the rules seems to be.

Even after the long years after making that fateful decision, I still sometimes ask myself if by agreeing to not being monogamous, did I really make a mistake… and I found that no, I really didn’t even though things were rocky in the beginning and as in any relationship, shit doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to… but you improvise, overcome, and adapt and even more so when you really don’t want to lose what you already have; you just gotta take the good with the bad and keep making the best of things and to the best of your ability to do so.

The things that took place were exciting and all that but when I look back at it all, the biggest thing I took away from this departure from the norm is what I learned about myself. It was pretty fucked up to find out that I wasn’t as grown-up, worldly, or even as smart as I thought myself to be. I thought, once upon a time, that I could handle anything… right up to the moment I found out that I couldn’t handle this. The one thing I found that I could pat myself on the back about was being willing to step into very unknown territory and deal with it and, oddly, it became a matter of personal honor; I could have thrown in the towel but since I didn’t, time again to shit or get off the pot… and for better or worse.

Because of what being in love can really mean and that this? This not being monogamous thing? Yeah… love says you can do that if you’re not afraid to because, sure enough, love conquers all. The challenge of a lifetime and one wrought with more pitfalls, sink holes, and other hazards; it’s everyone’s worst nightmare and greatest fears come true and made real… now it’s a question of whether you’re really grown up enough to face the fears and nightmares… and for the sake of love itself.

Those of you who’ve been following and reading, you might remember the things I’ve said about this situation and they always bear repeating: You have to unlearn everything you thought you knew about love, sex, and relationships in order to learn a very different way to do these things. You have to be willing and able to break a whole lot of rules and see the reason for breaking them because the love you have for each other pretty much demands that those rules be tossed out and newer ones be put into place.

I am really and seriously not joking when I say it was the most insane thing I ever agreed to and have been a part of… and the thrill of a lifetime all at the same time. We grew together in this; we learned together; we reveled in it together and we suffered through the missteps and failures together; we not only learned much about ourselves as individuals, we learned about ourselves as a couple and even then, there was much joy and pain in the learning. One of the big things I learned was just because you can do a thing, you don’t always have to do it… but if you can, well, why not? It wasn’t so much what we were doing that held a lot of importance to me but the fact that we were sharing it all with each other was the thing that made such an insane decision for either of us, oddly and strangely, probably the best thing we could have ever done.

There are always regrets and nothing is forever… but you learn to be and live in the moments and I’m not sure if even now if I can really explain this state of mind. I know all that went wrong, the mistakes both of us made along the way; I realize that we were learning how to do this as we went along – since there was no Internet at the time, there wasn’t the current wealth of information that could be referred to and it wasn’t like we knew of anyone who was also doing this very crazy thing before the fact. Things could have gone better… but they could have been much, much worse.

And the craziest thing? I’d do it again. There really is no such thing as loving and being loved too much and that feeling alone is amazing beyond mere words and, yeah, the sex? It’s amazing how good it can be once you free your mind from the way it’s supposed to be. Even in this, it’s fascinating to see how we grew in this, from going about it individually to doing it together, to having and sharing lovers and that poly way. If nothing else, you won’t ever look at monogamy the same way ever again and, really, the lesson to be learned is that no matter what kind of relationship you’re in, you do have a duty – a responsibility – to make the relationship as good as it can be; you have that same duty and responsibility for your partner’s wants and needs and if there’s one that they have, it’s not impossible to provide it and, believe it or not, it can make you feel rather wonderful knowing that you are able to provide for those needs.

And because love says that you should even though the rules say that you can’t and shouldn’t. For most people and when you ask them what they’re willing to do for the sake of love, the answer is, “Not a whole lot.” When we tell the person we love, “I love you,” there’s an unspoken “but” that can be present and, of course, that usually represents what you’re not going to do. There are, of course, some things that shouldn’t ever be done like, I love you… but I’m not gonna go kill someone just because it would make you happy and other such stuff along those lines. But giving you that “more” that you know you need and it will require some… outside help? We can do that; all we have to do it put our heads together and decide the best way to get it done for each other…

And for the sake of the love we have for each other and for love, itself. Most people will say that they couldn’t do it; that they wouldn’t do it even if it could literally save a life; they don’t believe in such shit and the promises, vows, and affirmations are inviolate and resolute. They’d rather throw away an otherwise good relationship. Some might even give the sense of that they care about their own ass more than they do the person they’re with. It reminds me of that song by Meatloaf – I’d do anything for love… but I won’t do that and, in this, the “that” is putting yourselves in that seemingly impossible situation of having your cake and eating it, too, and the cake eating is being enjoyed and even shared.

If it sounds like a lot of work, believe me – it is and this is a rabbit hole that is even deeper than you can imagine it to be and while doing it ain’t easy the hardest part is all of the stuff that I think has to happen before any doing gets close to happening… and I’m pretty sure that you’re gonna learn some stuff that you’re gonna wish you hadn’t learned about your partner and yourself, too. That part alone is a good enough reason for not even going there and for many, love isn’t a good enough reason and, well, shit – I really don’t know what to say about that mindset.

Writing the TMI Tuesday piece brought back so many memories, some beyond pleasant and those that just weren’t pretty at all. It’s something that is hard to wrap your head around even in theory because it calls for one to be able to set aside that which they believe and going to places that our morality deems to be forbidden territory. You think you know what it means and is like to love someone? You really have no idea of what that really means until what you think you know or otherwise believe gets challenged and put to the test. Most people would run away from this… and, let’s say, only the most bold and daring will run toward it and for no other reason that they believe more in the power of love than they do the tenets of monogamy.

I don’t believe in it any more and haven’t for a very long time. It has value and there’s no denying that and for many, it works… and for many more, nope – not really. A lot of people these days are seriously looking at being ethically non-monogamous or, my favorite phrase, negotiated infidelity and many are finding out how to make it work for them. They are, today, finding out what I did so many decades ago:

I would do anything for love… including that.

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Posted by on 18 December 2020 in Life, Living and Loving


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Life, Living and Loving: Sixty-five Years and One Day

Not only was yesterday Bisexuality Visibility Day, it was also my 65th birthday! In past years, I’ve written, nostalgically and reflectively, about my birthday – where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going but this year? I got nothing and very likely because of the death of my mother 21 days ago and yesterday was a pretty somber day because it’s the first time in my life that I didn’t get to talk to her about me being a year older.

Other than that, well, it was just another day despite reaching a landmark moment in life. I’ve been kinda laughing my ass off over all the mail and emails I’ve been getting about turning 65, retiring, getting onboard with Medicare and supplemental insurance plans… except, um, I retired a long time ago now and due to the stroke that disabled me, I’ve been getting all of those Social Security disability things including Medicare so for me, turning 65 changes nothing in this regard and more so when they’re not going to let me have both disability benefits and retirement benefits… but it would be nice.

So… I’m 65 now. My age has changed and all that but I really and truly don’t feel any different and my mind, such as it is, is just going right along with no new hiccups. 23,726 days have passed since I was born (not counting the nine months spent in the womb) and when you look at this number, well, that’s a lot of days and, of course, I’d be more than happy to add thousands of more days to this number. I look in the mirror every day and I see… me. Older. Grayer. Hair missing from where I’d like it to be and, yup, hair trying to grow in places where it wasn’t growing before. Got some health issues but they’re being managed and the lab work I had done the other day says that, okay, old dude – you’re not doing bad for an old dude.

Yesterday, Twitter, in particular, was blowing up about Bisexuality Visibility Day and with many folks celebrating it and in whatever form that took. I laughed to myself to remember when I found out that BVD – and there’s joke in thee – was being celebrated on my birthday – what a coincidence, huh? I not only get to celebrate my birthday but also my bisexuality! Except, um, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t celebrate it since I’ve been bisexual for 20,440 of my 23,726 days. As far as visibility goes, well, hmm – if you can see me, I’m not sure how you could miss me to be kinda literal about that but it remains true for me – and many other bisexuals – that my bisexuality is none of your business unless I choose to make it your business or, um, you have an offer that I might be interested in. Otherwise, visible evidence of my sexuality continues to be on a need to know basis… and there will always be those who doesn’t need to know. Not to mention that, um, er, there’s really only one real way you can actually see it – just saying.

It’s not so much about being proud in that sense: I just am. I very much like being bisexual not just for the sex but it’s what’s comfortable for me. I sit and observe so many people fussing about bisexuality being real, the lack of visibility and I take that to mean that you can’t look at someone and tell if they’re bi or not, and all the stuff people do to keep themselves from being the bisexual they want and need to be… and I’ve spent a lot of time either shaking my head while doing whatever I can to “educate” folks about bisexuality and as I’ve come to understand and learn about it and it all being driven by a question I asked myself way back on day one of those 20,440 days: How can something that’s supposed to be so bad feel so good?

It didn’t take a long time to find the answer; in fact and as I recall, it took me less than two weeks to figure it out: It feels good because it’s supposed to… and it’s bad because everyone says it is. Even in that moment, hmm, one of these things can’t be true and it was pretty easy to see which one wasn’t true… and it wasn’t the “it feels good” part. In those 20,440 days, I’ve learned some shit about bisexuality because, admittedly, I was obsessed with finding out everything I could about it and my curiosity has spent those 20,440 days having a fun good time being able to keep learning about this. I’m no card-carrying expert… but I know a lot of shit about this just the same because, um, those 20,440 days weren’t spent just thinking about it, if ya know what I mean; it’s just not an intellectual exercise because, yeah – it does feel good.

While so many see being bisexual as two very different thing, for 20,440 days (and still counting) of my life, it’s just one thing; just one part of the whole of who I am and have been for quite a bit of time. While I recognize the need to make bisexuality something that people should recognize – and whether they agree with it or not – every day is a celebratory day for me in this.

In my 23,726 days, I’ve accomplished a lot and like everyone tends to do, eh, some things I’ve just straight up fucked up – c’est la vie. Water under the bridge. Congratulations on being human and, importantly, surviving it. My beloved mother lived for exactly 31,236 days and I can only hope to live that long. One of the things we always talked about on my birthday – other than I was getting really old – was how proud she was of me (and my siblings) and that God has been so good to me and given some of the things that happened that could have stopped the days from continuing. I miss her busting my butt about losing my hair and my beard being greyer or seeing that look on her face as I as did when we were on FaceTime and she said, “You have a birthday coming up! How old are you gonna be again?”

And seeing that… smirk on her face when I said, “I’ll be 65, Mom; um, you should remember that since you were there, weren’t you?” This year, it’s not so much about celebrating my life but hers, too, and living with the reality of things. It still makes me sad that she’s gone… but I understand it. I accept it; given what was wrong with her, it was even more inevitable but she left me with a purpose and a goal to live as many more days as humanly possible. She did it and in grand fashion and that’s a pretty good example if I may say so myself.

Being 65? Eh, it’s not so bad. Not really all that different from when I was 64 but, yeah, different from when I was 4, 14, 24, 34, 44, 54, and, yep, 64. It is another “coming of age” moments and while I’ve been a “senior citizen” since I turned 55 (in most definitions) well, shit: I’m officially a senior citizen now, ain’t I? And I’m damned happy to be one. I find myself laughing at myself when I’m getting up from where I’m sitting and I’m grunting and making “old people” noises; I roll my eyes when I take a step and a knee or ankle pops and cracks or I stretch and my body sounds like a bunch of fire crackers going off. It’s just a part of getting older and, as I told my oldest son yesterday, I don’t feel a day over 36.

Well, my mind doesn’t… but my body begs to differ. I’m just tickled to be able to celebrate my birthday and being bisexual all on the same day. Those of you who have reached this… venerable age and have passed it, you’re probably laughing your ass off because you already know what I’m finding out… and for those of you who haven’t gotten here yet, well, wait for it.

23,726 days. 20,440 being unashamedly bisexual. And more days to come…


Posted by on 24 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving



Life, Living and Loving: Poly Sexuality (and a TBT)

When it comes to being poly and putting a group together, I’ve often wondered if the issue of sexuality really gets thought about or if the participants ever give any thought to what could happen in such a close and sexually active group. Does anyone really discuss this other than to, perhaps, insist on what’s not supposed to happen?

And do they really think that it won’t?

DDJennifer, in her comments to yesterday’s scribble, wondered why guys are so funny about having some fun with another guy in the group. It is, strangely, “generally accepted” that any women in the group will, at some point or eventually, get into having sexy fun with each other but, yeah – guys are pretty weird about themselves becoming the object of one of the other guys’ lust.

The reason is… some guys are just seriously funny about it and some are so funny about it that incidental or accidental contact with another guy is way out of line and can never happen. A lot of guys remain of a mind that, oh, leaning over and having a taste of “Paul’s” cock – and while Paul’s busy eating out a female poly partner – is too gay, unmanly or, believe it or not, sometimes afraid that if they do, they’re gonna like it. Even if some guys are of a mind to check out the other guy’s dick, there’s always that fear that the other guy is gonna object and the shit is going to hit the fan…

Which makes me wonder if any of this is ever and really discussed during the formation of a poly group. It’s one thing to put it on the agenda and as a “what if” kind of item; theoretically, it’s possible but often set aside because it’s deemed to be “impossible” and outside the realm of possibility or, yeah, sometimes, the guys better not even get the thought into their head at all. That a whole lot of guys in this setting go out of their way to avoid any contact with any other guys in the group isn’t all that unusual – remember, some guys are just very funny about that. I do think, however, that what gets overlooked is not only the power that sex has but it’s ability to bond.

Being in any group sex situation can be… interesting. Not so much in whatever’s happening but in what the participants are going out of their way to make sure doesn’t happen. The… fear of any same-sex interaction is very real and I’d suppose that, in a one-off kind of way, avoidance is easy because it’s not like whoever you’re having group sex with lives with you or is a regular participant when it’s time to do the nasty. Let’s see… how many times have I been in a group setting and heard a guy – or guys – emphatically state that there will be no funny stuff between us guys… and then there’s a guy playing with my dick?

And then the guy doing it is telling me he doesn’t know why he did that. Well, I know why… but, then again, I don’t underestimate the power of sex and its ability to unlock some shit inside of us that, perhaps, we’d rather not have unlocked or exposed. I’ve been in settings where the ladies have tossed the “no funny stuff” card onto the table and when things get hot and heavy, well, check them out – so much for no funny stuff, huh? People just tend to discount those “heat of the moment” moments; they can’t happen and aren’t allowed to happen and they’d better not happen if you know what’s good for you.

And in poly settings, well, it’s probably one of those things that probably should be discussed with more seriousness than is problem done. You’re a poly group and connected all across the board – and that includes sexually. One on one sex, eh, that’s easy but when there are times when “the gang gets together” there is always the possibility and even potential for the funny stuff you’d rather not happen to be thought of… or actually happening and, I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I’d think that having a meaningful discussion and accepting that things can and do happen in the heat of the moment – or, yeah – the bond that’s being shared pretty much demands that no one should be excluded. So if “Gene” and our boy, “Paul” are two guys in a poly group and something were to happen between them – incidental contact or a dick gets fondled or even sucked, well, it can happen and more so when people do change their minds about such things and often depending on how deep the poly bonding goes between everyone involved.

Being poly invokes a deep sense of sharing that many find bothersome… and that sharing can – and sometimes does – reach the sexual level of things and, really – if some funny stuff happens, it’s not going to be spoken about outside of the poly group anyway or, what happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. Granted, finding yourself suddenly or unexpectedly in a same sex situation when it’s supposed to be an opposite sex only deal is… shocking and that grossly understates things and, as such, it’s gonna take so doing to get one’s head around it… but maybe not so much if the possibility was not only discussed but taken seriously because, again, people do really change their minds about stuff and sometimes right in the middle of sex happening.

If you’re gonna share, then should be really be limits placed on who gets to share whom? I learned not to be surprised by any of this. You don’t ever expect it to happen – well, unless it’s already been agreed that it should – but you should never discount or dismiss the possibility and it’s my thought that if you do dismiss or discount it, you might not be all that aware of that power to bond than you think you are – no offense. Now, some guys do say that if it happens, well, it happens and many may not be of a mind to really object or pitch a royal bitch about it because it can and will foster disharmony across the whole poly group. And, yeah – a lot of guys are more concerned about their own sensibilities in this and it’s not that they don’t have a right be concerned about them but what are you willing to do to contribute to the sexual happiness of one and all?

Among the fellas? Eh, not a whole lot. In any kind of group setting, I’ve known guys to be paying more attention to where the other guy is and what he’s doing than he is paying attention to what he should be paying attention to: Having sex. I’ve seen guys jump like they’ve been shot or something when I’ve gotten “too close” to them or our legs touch or some other kind of unintentional and incidental contact… and it has either made me shake my head or laugh to myself to see how… skittish the other guy is and it had made me shake my head to hear him say, all after the fact, that he reacted the way he did because he thought I was gonna do something to him.

Being bisexual, I’d never say that it didn’t cross my mind or that it never crosses my mind… but boundaries should be respected but I know, even if no one else does or believes it, that boundaries can be adjusted on the fly because there’s a need to, whether it’s being all caught up in the moment or there’s a bond in the process of being formed. Still, some guys are just funny about it. It’s unmanly. It’s gay as fuck. Don’t even look at me while we’re having sex with our female partners/participants and, yeah, sure, it’s a whole different thing if the ladies get involved with each other, “accidentally” or on purpose. Women just seem to handle this way better than guys do even if they didn’t expect anything to happen or they believe that any sex that happens between the girls is “too lesbian” for their sensibilities. Oh, they’re gonna talk about it later and they just might agree that, all things considered, it wasn’t all that bad.

A lot of guys, well, we don’t tend to think like that and, again, I know of guys who are very well aware of the possibility of some interaction with the other guy/guys and it scares the shit out of them. For some guys, it’s not like that they don’t feel the… bonding pull; I know a lot of guys who’ve said – and with some embarrassment – that they felt that if they just reached over and wrapped a hand around the other guy’s cock, well, that works. They didn’t do it but that’s not really the point in any of this.

Being poly is, of course, more than just the sex that’s possible; it is really sharing every aspect of your lives with others who choose to be with you in this – and now it’s just a matter of how deep that sharing goes. Rules are put into place to inhibit or prevent behaviors and are usually locked down tighter than white on rice and it works… and sometimes doesn’t so much because the thing that can’t be controlled is what someone might be thinking and/or feeling about the “no funny stuff” rule so many poly couples put into place – and where the fellas are concerned more than the ladies – women, again, are just so much better about this.

Maybe such interactions never happen – they don’t always do… but everyone involved in the group should, at the very least, I think, be aware of the possibility and potential and never, ever dismiss or discount the fact that people really do change their minds and for some folks, changing their mind can happen at the speed of thought and, yeah, I know a lot of people who have surprised the shit out of themselves to find themselves doing something they weren’t ever of a mind to do. I’ve heard them say that it just felt like the right thing to do in that moment or, if they did nothing – and to not start a riot – it still felt like the right thing to do. Again, I’ve heard both men and women say, “I don’t know what made me do that!” But I know why they did because, unlike most people, I know and believe that shit does happen and not always when it’s not supposed to. I know that people in the right place, in the right setting, and at the right moment can get unlocked being in that moment and that’s some very scary shit and more so when you really don’t expect to get that unlocked.

Which is what makes any kind of group sex pretty fucking scary for a lot of people and men more likely than women. It’s sex. It doesn’t mean that your gay or even bi but people have a hard time seeing sex for what it really is and the way it can be. If “Paul” unexpectedly leaned over and grabbed my dick, okay, it might surprise me since he made it clear that he wasn’t about any funny stuff… but I’m not surprised that it happened. Am shocked to find a mouth on my dick that “isn’t supposed” to be there? Nope, not one bit. Get a finger in my butt that isn’t attached to a woman? Not even gonna be surprised and not just because I happen to be bisexual (which helps): It’s because I don’t ever underestimate the power of sex.

Anyone considering being poly and in a group shouldn’t either. Have serious discussions about it and, if nothing else, acknowledge that the potential is there and it can cross someone’s mind even if they don’t plan on doing anything. Respect boundaries, of course, but if possible, don’t make them too… fragile, for lack of a better word. Even in this, no means no but people, again, do change their minds and it doesn’t always take a long time for such a change to show up. The only way something like this is going to fuck shit up is if you allow it to and the bad part is, Jennifer, a lot of guys are more than willing to let shit get fucked up than they are willing to just go with the flow of things. And no: I don’t think it’s “fair” that it’s okay for the girls in the group to play with each other but it’s not okay for guys to play with each other – and even if the only time they interact with each other is when everyone piles onto the bed and goes for what they know.

Hey… I won’t tell if you won’t. What happens in our poly family stays in our poly family.


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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project II – Apple Music

Music is a big part of my life, as a listener as well as a composer and performer. There’s no such animal as too much music and to the point where there’s a pretty good portion of my mind that always has music playing, whether it’s something I’ve heard before or something I’m composing.

I have both an iPad and an iPhone and I always made sure that I had my music loaded up from my huge stash kept on my computer – which ain’t even close to speaking to all of the music I still have on CD that I’m too lazy to put on my computer and a project, due to my laziness, I have been putting off for years now.

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Apple Music or any of the other services that offers music, like Amazon, Spotify, etc., because, like most people, I have my favorite kinds of music and, at least in the earlier days, none of them had the music that might pop into my head at any given time. So if I didn’t have the CD already and it wasn’t on my computer, bleh – the various services couldn’t be that good and more so when they say they have the music you want to listen to… and then they don’t.

But when I upgraded my iPhone, they were offering a year of Apple Music free and I thought that, well, it’s free so why not? I’d taken a look at the other services and my son-in-law gave Amazon Music some props but, after checking them out, nah – I wasn’t feeling them. So I signed up for the free year, put an entry in my calendar to cancel it before the year was up, and we’ll see if Apple Music really does live up to the advertised hype.

In reality, there’s a lot of music I can think of that Apple Music doesn’t have, either because they can’t or haven’t obtained the rights or, in a lot of cases, the music is literally no longer available – it’s “out of print” and like a lot of books are. When I have music on my mind, it’s usually the music I grew up with; yeah, some of it I do have on CD but, again, I’m just too fucking lazy to pull out my stash of CDs and put them on the computer so I can upload them to my devices. It really is easier to think of a song, pick up my iPhone or iPad, tap the Music icon, and go looking for it and with the thought that, chances are good, they’re not gonna have it.

Then be pleasantly surprised that they do have it and, yeah, often finding new music to listen to. I don’t remember which iOS update changed the way Apple Music behave but I was quite upset to find, after updating, that my music apps – other than the one that came with the phone/pad – could no longer see the music I had painstakingly uploaded from my computer – it was now all in Apple’s cloud. Okay… my music was “safe” in that sense but let’s face it: Apple’s music app just flat out sucks. No EQ to speak of or any other way that enhances what you hear and a reminder of why Apple pisses me off so much given how fucking proprietary they tend to be and, as such, not allowing the apps that gives me the best listening experience to access Apple Music in the cloud.

And there are few apps in the AppStore that meets my needs… and the ones I often see there includes a lot of shit I’m just not interested in, like radio stations that are streaming music I’m very much not interested in: I want to listen to what I want to listen to and when I want to listen to it and how I want to listen to it, damn it to hell!

Still, um, Apple Music, surprisingly, hasn’t disappointed me all that much when I think of a song, search for it, and find it, adding it to my ever growing collection – did I mention that I have a shitload of music? All kinds of music that covers my tastes? The good part in this is that despite whatever Apple has to offer, I still have access to my favorite music to listen to even if it’s now hanging out in the cloud – and it’s still on my computer so I guess it’s really a win/win.

The thing is that, for me, I can’t imagine a life without music. One of my biggest fears, when I had my stroke, was whether or not my ability to play an instrument was going to be lost and if I’d even be able to remember any of the music I love so much. My ability to play an instrument was, sadly, impacted; while I regained a lot of the fine motor skills required, I didn’t get it all back and I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to know I can, say, sit down at my Korg workstation and I know what to do… and I have a problem doing it the way I know how to. It’s… muscle memory as well as being able to remember what’s called for to be able to play a given instrument… but the brain is mysterious: I know how to do it but my hands and feet – because I’m also a drummer – can’t get back on the same page with each other.

I need my music. Even if playing it poses a problem, I need to be able to listen to whatever I feel like listening to and in the moment I wanna hear it. Like, I was watching a movie – or, really, the tail end of it – and I heard Brian McKnight’s, “Back to One,” a song I hadn’t heard, oh, since it came out – and one I knew I didn’t have in my library or on CD. I had my iPad in hand, exited out of the book I was reading and a few taps later, the song is mine… and along with three more of his songs that also happened to come to mind.

It makes paying that $9.99 every month worth it. Oddly enough, I recently signed up for Amazon Prime – something else I wasn’t really feeling so much but Amazon had something I needed right away so, okay, I needed Prime and got it. It comes with Amazon Music… and I haven’t even bothered to check it out… because I don’t need to but maybe I should; they could have something that Apple doesn’t.

Mrs. Fever picked September for a music meme project… but for me? Every day is a musical meme for me; I pretty much live for music. It’s been an integral part of me since I was seven years old, having been bitten by the music bug when our church organist sat me down at the gigantic, four manual keyboard and showed me how I could make it do music. I could barely reach the lower manual but I managed it… and I was hooked after she taught me how to play “Chopsticks.” Today, I think she’d be proud to know that I learned how to play such a big organ and can play something other than “Chopsticks.”

I know music. I can read it. Perform it with and on various instruments. I can compose it, write it using notation that I trained hard to learn and, of course, I listen to it and hear it playing non-stop in my head.

How’s that for a meme?


Posted by on 15 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving


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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project II: Two Songs

Since the passing of my mother, there has been two songs echoing through me. The first is Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and the other is from the movie, “Avengers: Endgame” and entitled, “The Real Hero” composed by Alan Silvestri.

I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t know the story behind “Tears in Heaven” and in case you didn’t know, Clapton wrote that song after the tragic death of his young son. I watched his MTV Unplugged performance when it aired and as he and his guys performed “Tears in Heaven,” I was… in awe of the man and that he could perform a song that so much reminded him of his son’s death and the Unplugged version had me in tears – you could feel the emotion in the song and in his voice as he sang.

This was the first song that popped into my head upon hearing of my mother’s death, followed by “The Real Hero.” If you’ve not seen “Avengers: Endgame,” the song actually appears twice in the movie, once – and in part – during the opening scenes and at the moment Tony Stark died after swiping the Infinity Stones from Thanos and snapping him and his army out of existence.

Had tears in my eyes seeing that part of the movie but the song itself speak of sorrow and hope as well as a sense of what it means to commit one’s self to the ultimate sacrifice. Dr. Strange had told Tony that there was one chance in 14 million to defeat Thanos and, at one point in the movie, he told Stark that if he told him what that chance was now, it would never happen.

Then everything comes to a head… and Dr. Strange looks at Tony and slowly raises one finger… and Tony knew what he had to do. And did what he had to do even though it was the one thing he didn’t want to do.

Pretty heroic stuff and the song by Silvestri embodies it… and is fitting as I remember the hero my mother was to me and even more so when I think about how she faced death with a strength, resolve, and utter fearlessness.

The musician in me loves these two pieces of music. I’ve always liked Clapton’s music and it’s fascinated me that a guy with a very British accent can sing without any trace of that accent in his vocals… and his skill and virtuosity with the guitar is unmatched by few. He performed on Phil Collins’ “Let It Rain Down On Me” and his licks, which opened the song, wow. Just fucking wow. Such emotion in those opening measures, followed by Collins’ vocals, the rest of the musical performance – the bass line is deep and the drum parts – which I took great joy in being able to perform myself – just adds to the soulfulness of the song.

And, yeah, it was the third song that flowed through my mind during this time of grief.

Silvestri and the London Symphony Orchestra performed “The Real Hero” – he did all of the music for all of the Avengers movies. Strings and French horns just reach out and tug on your heart right from the beginning – well, if you like orchestral music. The song starts playing in my head – or I open the playlist I have this song in (available on Apple Music if you got it like that) – and I see the ending scenes of the movie and the two of them together running in my mind just touches my soul – and that was way before all of this happened to my mother.

It’s the last song in this particular playlist and I placed it there deliberately even though I’ve added songs to this playlist; the playlist opens with Eugie Groove’s “In Love With You” and continues with an… odd collection of songs set in a particular and specific order to evoke differing emotions; love, happiness, thoughtfulness, and unabashed toe-tapping and dancing like no one’s watching – and singing. This playlist is a rollercoaster ride of musical fun and ends with the heart-rending soulfulness of “The Real Hero” and a reminder that while all things must end, there is still hope remaining and that the cycle of life continues on…

Plus that playlist is set to repeat itself. In this period of grief, these two songs are… fitting. The first – “Tears in Heaven” – speaks to how I’m feeling about all of this while the second – “The Real Hero” – speaks to my memories of my mother and how she faced the things in her life and stood tall and strong even when life threw a lot of bad things her way.

They are, in a way, my songs in the key of life.


Posted by on 12 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving


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Life, Living and Loving: Distractions

On September 3, at 0602, I got the phone call that I knew was coming but didn’t want to get: My mother had died, having lost her battle with an insidious blood cancer and one that decided to tack on some leukemia as well.

When she told me about the blood cancer and that there was no cure, it was a matter of when, not if. I can’t seem to stop thinking about the irony of things: This woman underwent one of the most dangerous surgical procedures that few people survive: Repairing a dissected upper aorta. And she came through with flying colors; not only that but when I got to the hospital and found out what was wrong and all that, well, I freaked the fuck out and more so when I’d had a similar surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

She was as cool as the other side of the pillow, well, until the surgical prep team started sticking needles in her. For a very Christian woman, my mom sure could cuss like a sailor.

As time went on after that surgery, she’d have fantastic days and some that would wind up hospitalizing her for as short as a day or two or, sometimes, longer. She battle pneumonia – mostly – and it seemed as if they couldn’t really knock it all out but eventually, they did. Before her surgery, she’d wind up going in for transfusions when the blood cancer would drop her hemoglobin levels below 7 but after the repair, eh, they only had to transfuse her once that I knew about.

She was on a medication that was keeping the blood cancer pretty much in check… but she was still having very good days and not so good ones. One of the symptoms of this cancer is an enlarged spleen and it went from not bothering her – due to the medication – to really starting to bother her.

Things were just starting to go down hill. I got a call one morning that she was back in the hospital, throwing up, complaining about her side hurting really bad; they run her through COVID testing and her white cell count is very high, usually an indication of some kind of infection but after more testing, whoa – she has leukemia? Where did that come from? I didn’t recall reading about this happening when I read up on the blood cancer itself. The doctors decided to put her on a medication to deal with the leukemia but, really, all it did was make her feel worse. Her own doctors disagreed with the leukemia diagnosis but, it seemed that the blood cancer was getting worse. So they took her off the leukemia medication and she was feeling better once it got out of her system.

Until she wound up back in the hospital not two weeks later. The leukemia was confirmed and much debate about what, if anything, could be done at this point. Removing her spleen, well, that might have helped some but at this point, she was physically too weak to endure the surgery. Targeted radiation was talked about but I guess it was kicked to the curb as well, either by the doctors or my mom who, understandably, now had a great dislike for being in the hospital.

All she wanted to do was to go home. I talked to her on the 31st of August and she was in good spirits but told me she was tired… and I knew what she meant by that. I Facetimed with her on September 1st and she was lucid… but stoned out of her mind thanks to the pain meds they were giving her to keep her ailing spleen at bay. Called to check on her on September 2nd and her husband told me she was having a down day; didn’t feel like talking and the fact that they had moved her to hospice just cemented things in my mind.

I’d been preparing myself for this moment… for years. You know that one day, she’s gonna die and by some means and knowing this just fucking sucks. Two of my siblings are gone; my father is gone and one day, my 80-year-old-plus mother will leave. It sucks even more to know that what was wrong with her was incurable but you just never give up hope so easily and you try to maintain that “hope for the best but plan for the worst” thing in your mind.

And through it all, she was unafraid because, as she would say time and time again, “I know God has me and will take care of me.”

Then the call; the time I got it and who I got it from told me what had finally happened. And here it is, four days later, and I still don’t know how I feel about it. The grieving will come but, as I told my step-father, life still goes on because it has to. Arrangements being made; talking to and checking on my sister to see how she’s holding up and more so when she’s the executor. Talking to other family members who are asking me if I’m okay and maybe they don’t believe me when I tell them that I am even though I’m kinda numb, too. I told… someone who asked me if I was holding up, “Ask me again in a few days – the answer will be very different.”

I miss her. I was so used to talking to her – even via Facetime – pretty much every day and, yeah, I’m finding myself looking at the clock and automatically thinking that we’ve either not heard from her yet or we need to give her a call… then the stark reality that I will never hear her voice again; I’ll never be able to kid her about her weird food combinations or how much ice cream she’s been indulging in. Won’t be able to tell her, again and again, that of all the people I’ve ever met in my life, she’s the most amazing and strongest person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and so much that if she weren’t my mother, I’d want her to be my mother.

Her strength. Her unshakable belief and faith in God and no matter what got thrown her way and life threw some major shit at her and from a lot of directions. She wasn’t a quitter; she wasn’t the kind of person to sit back and let someone else fight her battles. She was an amazing person.

And now… she’s gone. And, yes, it hurts. I kinda had to laugh for a moment to think that I’m now a 64-year-old orphan and, of course, along with my sister. It’s not as if she was taken away “all of a sudden” or unexpectedly so; no, I knew this was going to happen and there was nothing anyone – except maybe God – could do about it. It doesn’t make it really any better, though. I’m numb. Very sad. And I’m okay with it, too. The usual platitudes about her not suffering any longer and knowing the hospice procedures that would allow her to pass away peacefully.

It won’t be “real” until the funeral, which is in a couple of days. It’s really gonna hit me and I know it will and I’m okay with that. I try to assess my frame of mind and, admittedly, it’s not all that good but I know the “cure” for that is to just keep doing what I normally do… it just really sucks not to be able to say to her, when she’d ask what I’ve done today, “A whole lot of nothing!”

There’s a lump in my throat and the screen is kinda blurry… and I’m actually smiling because I know that God has her so she’s okay…

And so am I. I wrote this because I had to. Been talking to a lot of people and that’s good but this, too, is about what’s in my head and whatever’s there, well, it has to be let out or, as that line from the Sonic commercial went, “There’s barely enough room in there for me!”


Posted by on 7 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving



Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Feve’s September Song Project II – Ravel’s “Bolero”

As a formally and classically trained musician, studying orchestral music was pretty mandatory including The Masters: Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and others; the music we hear today has its roots in the classics.

I remember watching the movie, “10,” starring Dudley Moore and Bo Derrick and it was, I guess, a bit ahead of its time and probably gave the movie censors a fit. One of the highlights of the movie was the notion of making love while listening to Bolero. Musically, the piece is… sensual but not in some kind of “bump and grind” way – and that, too, is also a title of another song that’s, ah, more to the point of things.

For anyone who saw “10,” let’s see a show of hands for all those who did, indeed, tried to make love while Bolero played in the background! Yeah… me, too, and let’s say that the results were… mixed, at best. There’s a lot of music out there one can make love to but there’s a kind of a trick to it.

We listen to music but for music to be able to arouse – and in any way that’s applicable – you have to be able to feel the music; it has to touch you in certain ways and in certain places: It has to move you and the more it moves you toward sensuality, eroticism, and sex itself, the better. Then, there’s a particular way to listen to music that’s involved – hear it, feel it, but not being focused on the music. This can be difficult if one isn’t able to, well, kinda multitask and sex is one of those things that doesn’t always lends itself to multitasking, not through any fault of the people involved but it’s just the way the mind tends to work.

It’s like, “Look, we’re either gonna listen to the music or we’re gonna (add something sexual here)! Make up my mind already!” So it didn’t surprise me a whole lot that the partners I tried this with were either paying attention to Bolero… or paying attention to what I was doing. For myself, the “listening without listening” thing was just second nature – it’s one of the things you wind up learning and more so when a piece of music says, “with feeling” and now you’re trying to do this while playing your instrument and while listening to the interactions of the other instruments (if applicable).

I recall asking my high school band director, when we went from marching band mode to concert band mode, “When they say ‘with feeling’, who’s feelings are we talking about? Yours as the director? Mine as the performer? The concert band as a whole?”

He laughed and said, “Good question but to find the answer, listen to the original piece done by, say, the Philadelphia Orchestra – and, as a matter of fact, we all should listen to it!”

Um, my fellow band members weren’t happy that I managed to pile something else on us – learning the piece we were playing was difficult enough. But we listened and, as instructed, listened for ‘with feeling’ meant. It’s reading the music, playing your instrument, keeping an eye on the “maestro,” and listening to your fellow performers so that the band, as a whole, can play the ‘with feeling’ parts as one single entity… and no matter how you, personally, are actually feeling.

Now think about trying to apply this to having sex. Bolero isn’t what I’d call a complicated piece, you know, not like listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. It’s… sensual. Moving. Has a feel to it along the lines of mood music. Kinda. If the sex that’s needed is the, ah, very vigorous type, Bolero isn’t the piece of music you wanna be listening to. If the sex that’s needed is, indeed, the slow, sensual kind, yeah, it could work but the timing of the piece might not be all that slow – it’s written in 3/4 time and a time signature probably best known for waltzes and, yeah, it was originally written for ballet. So it could be slow enough and it might not be. But there’s another trick here and that’s to ignore the piece’s timing – your body is almost going to want to move in time with the piece’s “beat” when it should be moving to its feel or, really, how it’s making you feel and with the hope that your partner will not only be able to feel it in some way but can get in sync with your sense or feel for the music.

Oh, yeah – it would help if ya had a liking for this kind of music. My “Bolero partners,” well, they weren’t fans of this type of music; never listened to this type of music, never heard of it – unless they watched “10” – and some of them hadn’t. Sex, like so many other things, is about timing and, of course, it’s the kind of timing that one employs more by feel than anything else unless, um, you’re one of those people who are prone to think about the number of seconds or minutes required to orally induce your partner to orgasm. If so, well, hmm – Bolero’s time signature and the flow of the piece is going to throw you way off.

Having sex – or making love, if you prefer – to Ravel’s Bolero is quite the exercise and, in a lot ways, it can be counterintuitive; long and slow sex can be, well, very slow and Bolero’s signature just might be “too fast.” It sounds kinda Zen, perhaps, but it’s about being one with the music, letting it surround you and be immersed in it… while doing sex stuff. Listening without listening; feeling both the emotion of the piece while mixing in the emotions of passion and lust and love (if applicable). It’s being able to figure out what Bolero is saying to you, while your partner is, hopefully, trying to do the same thing – and then, again, being in sync with each other and the music… while not losing focus or being distracted.

Don’t feel some kind of way if you can’t do it: Most people can’t and my first time making love to Bolero was, um, quite the learning experience; it’s kinda like having to learn how to make love all over again – and I’ll leave it at that.

If you were to give this a try, I’d recommend that you first listen to Bolero and pay attention to how it feels to you and if you can get a partner to listen to it as well, so much the better. As a musician, well, this is kinda easy for me to do and so much that I often catch myself getting the feel of a piece of music and it’s interesting since I’ve learned to do that without having to think about it. That and I also happen to love this kind of music. There are, of course, all kinds of music that can be… suitable for lovemaking but if there’s a piece that gained some notoriety, it’s Ravel’s Bolero.

And, yeah – that part of the movie was pretty hot and sensual. Bo Derrick was just drop-dead gorgeous and sensuality just oozed out of her while Dudley, well, hmm, okay, it just wasn’t all that hard to figure out why he was so obsessed with her as well as why he also felt that he wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being intimate with her. Don’t take my word for it – if you can, watch the movie even if it’s just to refresh your memory.


Posted by on 5 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving


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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Feve’s September Song Project II – Waiting for the World to Change

As a bisexual man, wow – I’ve been waiting for the world to change for a very long time. I love the song by John Mayer, both musically and lyrically. It’s one thing to know that, in this, the world has needed to change and should have changed a very long time ago; it’s another thing to know that, one day, the world is going to change their minds about this not being straight nonsense.

It’s another thing to also know that there are a lot of people who aren’t willing to sit back and wait for the world to change; they want to know about this and they want to know what it’s like… and if, as they are of a mind to think, it’s the right thing for them.

I write that it’s not like we – collectively – don’t have a clue as to how diverse humans can be about having sex, being in love, stuff like that. We do whatever we need to do in any of this and even if it’s in clear defiance of the status quo. We know it. We’ve always known it. And we keep being all bitchy about it because that ain’t the way things are supposed to be.

You’d think that once homosexuals won their hard-fought battle to be recognized and treated like everyone else, that would have been the impetus to get the world onto the path of changing their minds about that which they believe in this… but, no. Well, wait a moment; perhaps it’s better to say that there’s not been a worldwide, wholesale change in mindset but as change is wont to do, it happens slowly and regardless to any resistance in its path.

It’s just that the world ain’t changing fast enough, that change is, again, long overdue. I think it’s not so much a thing about accepting that both bisexuality and bisexuals are real; it’s more of a thing of us stopping all this bullshit over something that cannot be stopped… and any more than it was tried to stop homosexuality. We have such a long history about our dislike for change; for every person who is okay with a change, there will always be someone who is very unhappy about that same change.

There are an untold and innumerable group of people who are fervently waiting for the world to change; they need it to change and the sooner, the better… and I’m wondering if we really and truly need the world to change its collective mind about the reality of bisexuality and bisexuals and more so since so many of us are of a mind that we’re gonna be bisexual whether anyone else likes or approves of it.

And, yes – as I’m writing this, the song is playing in my head and is on repeat. It’s a song with a message and one that, at least to me, says that we need to be better about a lot of stuff and the reality is that we’re just not there yet and it doesn’t look like we’re gonna get there any time soon.

Even within the dynamic of bisexuality, things are changing… and not so much and, as you know, I find it fascinating to see how it’s been changing, from the way I grew up with it to the way it’s being handled today… but how some things, again, hasn’t changed one iota. Not because those who find themselves being bisexual can’t accept the change in their mindset and/or behaviors… it’s just that there are still a whole lot of people who are unable to. The dynamic has taken a turn and one that, when I think about it, well, I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not: Applying heterosexual norms to something that, by its very nature, defies those same norms. No casual sex; only sex in a relationship setting or otherwise trying to put the bisexual genie back in the bottle.

I’m not saying that it can’t be this way… I’m just saying it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for bisexuality to be handled only in this way. It is what we know and even bisexuals are having a difficult time changing what they know so that it better fits the way they want to be… or the way they can be.

Call it impatience but a lot of bisexuals, again, aren’t of a mind to sit on their asses and do nothing while waiting for the world to change. Many have learned – and are learning – that, really, one does not need the world’s permission to be who and what they want and/or need to be – and no matter why they’ve effected this change for themselves. Maybe a lot of this has been born out of instant gratification? If this is the satisfaction you need right now, what’s the point and purpose in waiting for the rest of the world to get onboard with this?

Does one really need a permission slip? Is the change of acceptance just some pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, like, it would be great if the world did change so that no one would feel bad about being bi and not all that likely to get their head handed to them because they are? Sure… that would be nice… but if I were you, I wouldn’t be holding my breath on this one.

Because while we do have a long history and habit of resisting change, we’ve also been of a mind to do what we gotta do and if anyone doesn’t like it, well, tough titty. Bisexuals – and for the longest time and due to the lack of change – have been of a mind that they’re gonna do what they gotta do and by any means necessary. Fly under the radar? Fine – if that’s what has to be done, so be it. Be all out in the open with it? Great if you can manage to do it and keep your head on your shoulders.

The song is still on repeat in my head… because many of us are waiting for the world to change… and maybe we shouldn’t; maybe bisexuals should be agents of change and, just as homosexuals did, force change and keep pushing for it no matter how long it takes…

And, in the meantime, lots of men and women are gonna be getting their freak on in this dual mode of human sexual behavior. The only fear they should have is the fear of not doing what they want to do… and then throw that fear out and do it anyway and if the unchanged world doesn’t like it, well, fuck them.

I’m gonna get mine whether the world changes or not; why wait when, truthfully, you don’t have to? If the “same old shit” ain’t working for you and making you feel whole and complete, why wait for others to say it’s okay for you to change when you can be your own agent of change because one thing is quite true:

Those who fail to change will be left behind.


Posted by on 3 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving


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