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Life, Living and Loving: DDJennifer Said It Right

DDJennifer, in her latest blog – https://ddjennifer.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/335-the-bond-of-sex/ – said this:

Sex must remain an invulnerable, untouchable, inalienable, non-negotiable, unassailable, sacred, absolute, BOND exclusively between TWO people

This bond is the wrapper on most relationships.  The slightest threat can puncture the wrapper, spilling the contents of the relationship on the ground like roadkill.

I am going to try and contain my rant as that is not the point of this post, but, it’s sad.  People who are otherwise loving and nurturing to each other will allow the relationship to vaporize due to a violation of that bond.   I almost agree with that bond, except the exclusive part.   There is no reason for exclusive sex to be the super-glue to a relationship that, once dissolved, takes the relationship with it.”

She goes on to talk about some stuff that’s unique to her situation but I was wowed to see this part because there aren’t that many people who actually gets this and how clinging to this very archaic way of doing things can, bluntly and frankly, fuck shit up and irreparably so.

Even people who are of a +1 (and more) frame of mind don’t always gets this and it winds up being a matter of manhandling nitroglycerin (and not dynamite as DDJennifer went on to say – nitro is some really finicky stuff that really could blow up in your face if you looked at it the wrong way) which, ultimately, winds up obliterating everything.

It is not to say that when a relationship goes +1 (or more) that there can’t be any rules in place but in my observations, people add a lot of nitroglycerin to the mix right off the bat and, usually, to insure that their core relationship will and can remain intact and with the addition of inhibiting sex in that who, what, when, why, and how way. Not only do they put a “suicide vest” on things, they break out the super glue (thanks for that one, too, Jennifer!) to make sure that once the “vest” has been placed, it can never be adjusted in any way and removing it, well, I’m sure you can imagine what’ll happen.

I commented that there’s a difference between the sex you have with your core partner and the sex you have with others. What some folks kinda/sorta overlook or sometimes totally discounts is that everyone has their own idea of what sex is supposed to be like even in a +1 (or more) arrangement… and a lot of people look at it just like Jennifer said… and as strange as that might sound.

In the swinging lifestyle, it’s par for the course for couples to have rules that limits how everyone can have sex; the woman can suck cock but she’d better not even think about finishing off the dick even if that’s what’s going to enhance her participation in things. I’ve seen folks emphatically state that there will be no cross-couple kissing; the guys can eat all the pussy they want to… but their kisses are confined to those lips below the waist.

In this, they say that kissing is too personal and intimate and is only for the couples alone and this particular sentiment makes my eyes roll painfully hard because, I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I’m not 100% sure how putting your mouth on another woman’s coochie is deemed to not be personal or intimate. Yet, many swingers insist that this is gospel and canon and should this rule be violated, there will be consequences – boom goes the nitro.

Folks with very restrictive rules seem to miss something I – and many others – find important: If you expand your relationship to be able to have sex with others, the expansion is part of your sexual bond with each other so that you can establish other sexual bonds and make no mistake: Sex binds. People are going to behave in whatever way that bond forms and since, again, a lot of people try to handle this bonding by decrying any emotional connection that isn’t plain old lust, well, no wonder the nitro tends to go off more than it should.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, that makes sense!” – and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t, not if you really understand how sex affects us. It’s like this: You can’t do anything about the way you feel; you can only do something about how you might act on those feelings so when you go +1 (or more), telling each other that catching some feelings for the other person isn’t allowed just adds a lot of nitro to the mix; you now have two people suppressing their emotions as well as adding inhibitors and, get this, inhibitors that had to be removed so that a couple can be +1 (or more).

There’s a reason why I tell people that if you’re gonna do this thing, you gotta unlearn everything you know about love, sex, and relationships so that you can learn a whole new way to go about these things – and that stuff I swiped from Jennifer is one of the things you have to unlearn and, really, redefine by getting rid of “exclusively between two people.” It gets kinda confusing at this point.

You have your unique bond with each other and it should be unbreakable and all that but monogamous exclusivity? Eh, not working for either of you but that can be remedied. The biggest question asked in this is, “How can we do this without screwing up our relationship?” and they go about figuring out and, as mentioned, adding lots of nitro into the mix that, at some point, is going to destroy everything… and sex – along with the emotions it can invoke – is the detonator that few people learn to keep their fingers off of.

Not having rules is a bad thing, too; you just gotta have them but they must be constructed so that the nitro doesn’t get jiggled and explode… while allowing everyone involved to be bound by the sex and the way it’s going to happen and trying to wrap your heads around just how fucking powerful sex is and, preferably, before you open the doors for any potential applicants.

We worry about losing our partner… and that is to be prevented at all costs, right? What we forget – or don’t think is supposed to happen – is that the moment you enter into a relationship, loss is in play – nothing is forever. I’ve been asked, “Well, what if they fall in love with the other person?” The answer they don’t want to hear is, “If they do, they do – not sure how you can really stop that from happening.” To this end, it’s not that your partner falls in love – it’s what, if anything, they think they need to do about that. We believe that being in love with more than one person is a very bad thing and, in and of itself, it isn’t – it’s what people tend to do and this is the part where I’ll tell people that if the love you have for each other isn’t strong and durable enough, ya might not want to do this.

Your relationship, at its core, has to be all of that stuff Jennifer wrote and it can still be that way without that “exclusively between two people” part… except, um, we don’t know how to do this because we’re taught not to even think about stuff like this. So figuring out how to do this and without winding up blowing shit up is, indeed, difficult and it’s my thought that a lot of attempts to do this go badly because, in many situations, the couple looking to go +1 (or more) is thinking “me” and not “us.”

What can we do to make our relationship better; how is this going to make us happier with each other and those who may join us. I think that when the focus on “us” gets waylaid, the nitro is gonna have a field day blowing shit up. And, I think, the moment you try to put the sex on lockdown, you’ve got your finger on the detonator and that finger is going to slip and…

Boom. Congratulations! You just destroyed your relationship. When you put too many hard-set rules into the mix, you’re setting yourselves up to fail. Okay… make your rules… but with the understanding that they can be changed if needed. If someone runs into the wall you’ve created with your rules, well, okay – time to sit down and talk to each other to see if the wall can be removed and more so when removing it will continue to allow us to keep being better, happy, all that good stuff.

Some walls should remain in place… but those that can be removed should be torn down; if the woman in the core relationship, say, wants to finish off a guy in the +1 (or more) mix with a mind-blowing blow job – but you have a rule that says she can’t – well, get rid of it; we should be of a mind that whatever makes our partner happy will, in turn, make us happy as well as the whole core relationship. If you have a rule that sex with any of the +1 (or more) participants can only happen when supervised by a member of the core relationship, eh, get rid of it; it takes the spontaneity of sex out of the equation, can screw up any attempts to schedule times to have sex and other logistical nightmares that make managing the +1 (or more) relationship difficult and subject to upsetting any nitroglycerin that may be in the mix.

That’s not a good thing. Yes – create rules and stay within the rules but if changes are required – and it’s a sure bet that they will be – sit down, talk, and work out the best way to effect change without blowing everything straight to hell.

It’s not easy and I can tell you that for me, it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done and been a part of in my whole life… and the most insane thing I’ve ever had to deal with because another common mistake is not taking into consideration what the other +1 (or more) members are thinking and feeling about all of this.

Makes me say that if you don’t have excellent communication, time management, problem and conflict resolution skills, ya might want to learn them before you even try this; otherwise – boom.

And you want to do whatever has to be done to make sure it doesn’t go boom.

 
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Posted by on 16 September 2019 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Today’s Bisexual Thoughts: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Forums for bisexuals allow people to ask a lot of questions, from what to do and how to do it right along with who to do it with. Since my last couple of scribbles have been about alternative relationships, it makes sense to (once again) talk about this where bisexuality is concerned because a lot of guys – and, perhaps, a lot of women – want to know how to go about getting permission to take a side-step from the relationship in order to satisfy their needs in this.

A lot of guys ask, “How can I get permission?” and the simplest answer is, “Ask for it…” except to say that it’s easier said than done doesn’t do the situation any justice and more so when one can automatically assume that the answer is going to be, “Hell no! Are you out of your fucking mind?”

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the decades and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that before you gird your loins and ask a question that just might get your head handed to you, it’s best to have a plan in place and more so when one of the questions you’re gonna have to answer – and provided the conversation gets past the initial question – is, “What’s in it for me? Why should I agree to any of this?”

Having to explain your bisexuality to someone who didn’t know about it – and no matter when it presented itself – is no easy task so attempting to get permission also includes thinking long and hard about how you’re going to explain to your partner that you’re not as straight as they thought you were… and to continue with the understatements, just doing that is a clusterfuck all by itself especially if you were quite bisexual before entering into the relationship.

Not many bisexuals survive this aspect of the conversation and if they do, chances are good they’ve taken quite the emotional beating and, as such, makes the next phase of the conversation so incredibly difficult that many decide it’s not worth the hassle and just drop it. Still, it’s not impossible or wholly improbable that a partner isn’t going to understand this and even accept it… but doing is something else and the rules of being in a relationship says it’s okay to think about it as long as you never try to do anything about it.

You see the problem, right? Guys – in particular – might still want to push to get permission and anyone – not just bisexuals – who are of a mind to break with tradition and take an alternative path knows what it feels like to know, deep down in your bones, that it’s something that has to be done, even if for that person’s sanity, peace of mind, stuff like that. They understand that by putting this out there, they’re gonna get their asses handed to them but this is of such great importance, they’re willing to speak to it and take that ass-kicking if that’s how it comes down and turns out.

I’ve seen and heard some pretty damned eloquent and logical arguments toward getting permission… and I’ve seen and heard them totally and utterly fail in that, “Yeah, but…” way because logical discourse carries little or no weight with such an emotional topic of discussion. One’s intelligence can, in fact, see how it makes sense but emotionally?

I’ve learned that if you’re unable to explain why it’s in your partner’s best interest to give permission, you’re fucked and not in a good way. If you’re unwilling to metaphorically offer up everything including your soul to gain permission, ditto. If you don’t look at your partner and ask them, “What would it take for me to get your permission?” – and then be willing and able to do whatever they say it’s gonna take, don’t even bother to ask.

Which brings up the next “Captain Obvious” moment: It’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission… not that you’re gonna be forgiven for any transgressions because we hold true that there is no reason whatsoever for stepping out that you’re gonna be able to give short of, “The guy put a gun to my head and I had no choice!”

That’ll open up a whole new can of worms but, again, you see the problem here, don’t you?

Do some bisexuals succeed in getting permission? Yes, they do and if you wanted to know how they managed to do it, you’d have to ask them and, in particular, what they had to “give” in return to get that most coveted permission… and sometimes, that which they have to give in return is along the lines of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander – if you want me to say that it’s okay for you to go outside of the relationship for this, then it has to be okay for me to do the same thing – and even if your partner actually has no need for some quid pro quo.

So when contemplating asking for permission, you gotta ask yourself, “What am I willing to do/give in return?” and if you come up with something that you’re not willing to give/do in return, it’ll be in your best interest to figure out how to do just that… then hope it’s going to be accepted… and then you’d better not ever renege on the deal. Prepare yourself to be subjected to a boatload of conditions and conditions that are not only non-negotiable but to also understand that the person setting the condition reserves the right to revoke or modify them as it suits them and at any time they want to.

Sound like being between a rock and a hard place? That’s because it is! Now, some bisexuals catch a huge break because, well, who knew – their partner has similar thoughts and feelings in the area of bisexuality so, hmm, invoking quid pro quo, if you wanna explore this, then I get to explore as well and now some even more intense negotiations are gonna take place. Some bisexuals get permission but in a way where their partner opts to be detached from it; they don’t wanna hear about it, don’t wanna know about it – keep that shit to yourself and be glad that you’re still in a relationship with them.

That might sound like a good thing but I don’t really believe it is; chances are that the permission was grudgingly given (or given despite great resistance) but in the giving, there’s some shit now going on with the partner that you’re not gonna know about and it’s probably not going to be good and will only serve to erode the relationship.

To get permission takes a whole lot to achieve and one usually has to go through a lot of shit petitioning for permission… and still not get it while almost guaranteeing that the relationship might not last much longer or if it continues, it’s been irrevocably changed and not for the better.

This is true even when sexuality isn’t at the crux of things. As previously written, two people can, if they’re of a mind to, sit down and talk about invoking an alternative relationship intelligently and logically; the logic of it all can be eloquent, impeccable, and damned near flawless… but it’s the emotional response and reaction as any such conversation will clash with one’s beliefs when it comes to how relationships are supposed to go and work… and getting permission goes against these beliefs and the more someone believes in the tenants of monogamy, the harder it is to even bring the subject up, let alone be in a position to ask for permission or to gain buy-in to such a heinous and unthinkable thing for any couple to engage in.

I’ve heard both men and women – and sexuality notwithstanding – petition for this and speaking to how they need this to preserve their sense of self, their sanity, and other things that, again, logically, makes sense and the end result of such pleas is, “It sucks to be you… and you need to start looking for another place to live and while you do that, I’ll help you pack.”

It sounds strange that someone would choose to let the person they love suffer – and even when they find that there’s some merit to starting an alternative relationship. A relationship will go from being about us to being about me so fast that saying it isn’t funny – and like a lot of what I’ve written today – is an understatement and epically so. And, sadly, that’s when a lot of people find out what they want and need doesn’t mean jack shit…

Because their partner doesn’t believe in it. I’ve seen such conversations go from being about the person asking for an alternative relationship to the person they’re talking to: What about me? What about my feelings? And the negativity along those lines just keeps getting worse; the thing that was once something that would change your life – and your life with them – in some very positive ways now becomes a self-preservation crisis for the other person and when it comes down to saving one’s ass over someone else’s, guess which way that decision is going to go?

And if your life crashes and burns because the suggestion has been summarily rejected, too bad; if the rejection sets the relationship on the path of destruction, that’s too bad as well. And doesn’t it just totally and completely suck to learn that the person who says they love and care about you doesn’t love or care about you as much as they say they do?

Yeah, it does… which is why people are reluctant to bring the subject up even when both people know that such a change could potentially be a boon for both of them. The level of thinking before even bringing up the subject and the reasons for bringing it up are beyond daunting; you have to be prepared to answer every question you’d think they’d ask as well as any probably questions that might come up. You have to be prepared to put it all on the table and by all, I mean that literally; holding back anything isn’t going to help and that includes what scares the shit out of you about it should permission and/or buy-in happen.

You have to be able to see a future and its consequences that may or may not happen and that might include making promises that you can’t be sure that can be kept and despite your best efforts. When the “what if” game begins, you’d better have an answer for every question and no matter how crazy it might sound because you’re in a battle against someone else’s beliefs and sensibilities and, oh, yeah, there’s no way to know what they’re gonna ask. You’re gonna get kicked in the crotch when they say, “You’re not who I thought you were…” right along with how you somehow managed to deceive and lie to them (and even if you haven’t) and, oddly, not giving one thought about the fact that you’re not the person the petitioner thought you were, either.

And that’s without sexuality being involved – think about that for a moment while I go take a look at what Microsoft is talking about during their E3 presentation.

It’s not impossible – it’s just horribly and extremely difficult. If you and your partner can’t sit down and talk about your thoughts, feelings, and even fantasies, that just makes things even harder… and a lot of couples can’t do that because it’s too often assume that if you’re thinking about something, you’re gonna do it, that and such open “confessions” are, sadly, subject to reprisals and repercussions because such things are never to be thought about, let alone talked about… and even if one or both partners have been thinking about how their fantasies can be made real.

You just do not talk about this shit and you sure as fuck don’t ever propose that we spit in the face of eons of monogamous tradition even when there’s a damned good reason for putting a good loogie in the eye of tradition.

There’s no tried and true way to go about this and that all by itself makes it a treacherous road to travel – it’s not what you know that causes issues, it’s what you don’t know but, sure, at least at a high level, if you don’t ask, you won’t know and, sure, if you ask, you might wind up regretting it and putting the relationship at great risk.

Being between a rock and a hard place just doesn’t do this topic any justice.

 
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Posted by on 9 June 2019 in Today's Bisexual Thoughts

 

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Life, Living and Loving: More on the Alternatives

On the heels of writing about this yesterday, I found myself in a bit of a pensive and reflective mood, alternating between smiling and frowning while thinking along the lines of that if I knew then what I know now…

I found myself thinking that if the wealth of information about alternative relationships available today had existed when I began this journey, a lot of the things I know I fucked up may not have gotten fucked up but in a lot of ways, learning it via on the job training is one hell of a learning experience because when you don’t know how to do a thing – and there’s no “instruction manual,” well, hang onto your hat and ass because you’re going for one hell of a ride.

I made mistakes… but traveling this path wasn’t one of them and without question, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I recall the many sleepless nights I experienced in the early going, the many headaches I gave myself trying to work it all out in my head and, I guess, stupidly or futilely, trying to envision a future that hasn’t happened or, realistically, may not happen. I keenly remember the emotional pain upon hearing some stuff that no one wants to hear and trying to wrap my head around the confusing thing of, “It’s not you all that much – it’s me…” and trying to make sense of it and all with the traditional mindset about love, sex, and relationships firmly in my mind…

And finding out that that mindset was severely flawed, that everything I believed in wasn’t as much a lie as it failed to represent life’s true reality, that this stuff really doesn’t work as flawlessly as its said to be and that, as an idea or theory, it works on paper rather nicely… and the reality can be a very hard and glacially cold slap in the face and more so when you learn that the person you thought you knew was a lot more than what you thought you knew.

That probably doesn’t read correctly but, hopefully, you get the gist of it.

But I learned two things: How to do it and how not to do it and the only way to learn these things is to make mistakes and, again, I know for my part I made a lot of them and mistakes that, today, would never happen but, sure, nothing is really fool- or idiot-proof and if you’re human, you’re gonna make mistakes of some kind – it’s just what you do after you make them that matters.

I see the sense of it all just as I see the flaws in our beliefs and one of the big ones is that if you think that you can be all that someone else will ever want and need, you’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid and more so when you consider that the wants and needs of the person your with are not static; they might start out one way but over time, they change and in a lot of situations, there are some changes that aren’t allowed, a lot of wants and needs that violate the spirit and letter of the rules that bind us and to the point where not only are you not allowed to want or need anything else, you can’t even say anything about these changes in what you want and need and, mostly, to [hopefully] be a better person and, in turn, be a better partner.

It’s one hell of a kick in the crotch and both revelations are, to be honest. Then, should you manage to recover from the utter shock of these revelations, now what? What the fuck are you supposed to do when reality rears back and crotch-kicks you like trying to make a 60-yard field goal? Usually, it means the end of the relationship but as I’ve often said, what if that’s not the smartest thing to do? Even when breaking up isn’t an option, it’s not as if you can ignore what has been revealed and even if you try to do just that, um, that stuff ain’t going away and can make the need for great change even more pointed and maybe even urgent… because nothing fucks shit up like knowing your partner – or even yourself – needs something and those needs are rejected out of hand, not because of any inability to provide for them but because you’re not supposed to do anything about them.

There’s nothing that can be done and that’s just the way it is and has to be, right?

No, not really… and that’s a big-time wakeup call and one that, today, a lot of couples are answering because it benefits them to answer it. More and more people are, as I said yesterday, finding a way to have their cake and eat it, too, and without fucking up the relationship they started with. I have heard one person tell another, “If you truly love me – if we truly love each other as much as we say we do – we have to find a way to make this work.”

And I’ve heard people say, “I love you with all my heart and soul; there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you… but I’m not gonna do that.” This sentiment alone exposes a hypocrisy, doesn’t it? Nah, not too many people are gonna go out and rob a bank or kill someone just to prove how much love you have for someone; “there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you” does some with some common sense exceptions. But in a lot of these situations, that which is wanted and needed can be done – it’s just simply not even close to being an easy thing to do because, again and again, you have to unlearn some shit… and a lot of it so you can learn some new shit… and there’s a god-awful amount of new shit to be learned.

Not in what to do going forward but about your partner and yourself and I can tell you, that’s not at all pretty and I am understating this because I can’t begin to put into words just how horrifically ugly this can be.

It’s the reason why when someone would approach me and ask how they could do what I was doing, I’d try to talk them out of it and explain to them that even if they had an idea of how difficult it is to even bring up in a conversation, it is much, much worse than that.

How would you react and feel to know and hear it from your partner that you’re everything they want in a person… and not so much? It’s being enough and not enough all wrapped up in a very not-so-pretty package… and being emphatically told that you’re still very much loved and needed that that life just wouldn’t be the same without you…

But.

People would ask me, “How in the name of all that’s holy could you decide to go along with this shit?” It’s not easy to explain and the easiest way I could explain it was like this: I had some choices to make and based upon what I was told, namely, with or without my “permission,” it was gonna happen anyway. Do I forbid it (and as expected), put my foot down hard and, Jesus, violently so? Do I cut my losses and dissolve the marriage? And, importantly, do I really love her as much as I know and say that I do?

Shit. Then this: Which thing would be the absolute worse: To know what she was doing and who she was doing it with and the why of it all (even if it didn’t make sense to me at first)… or not knowing?

A lot of people were, um, nice enough to tell me what they wouldn’t have done along with what I should have done, up to and including kicking her ass for such blatant disrespect… but what kind of man would I be if I did some heinous shit like that? I’d tell them that, sure, it’s easy for you to say shit like that because you weren’t the one “on the spot” and having to make such a decision.

I made the decision I made, not because there were no other choices but because those other choices were unpalatable… and I did, in fact, love her as much as I knew and said I did. Even as I said the words, I could see how all of this could go badly and because of what I already knew about both of us but, shit, it can’t go badly if you don’t try to do it and I even said, “I have a bad feeling that I’m going to regret this…”

And, in a lot of ways, I did… but in many more ways, to not have done it would have been an even bigger regret; even today, I shudder to think what life would have been like if any of the “options” had been invoked and that scares me even more than starting the journey did.

The worst of it, believe it or not, was really what everyone who figured it out had to say… and none of it was good and even when you expect a lot of negative feedback, wow, we both heard some pretty fucked up shit coming from other folks and me more than her because it just stood to reason that this was all my idea… and it wasn’t but, okay, not gonna believe me and I expected that.

Were we crazy? Insane? Doing the dumbest thing two people could ever think or conceive of doing? Hell, even we thought that but you try explaining to someone who mind is very much embedded in the way things are supposed to be how that doesn’t always work and that “for better or worse” has much more far-reaching implications than the words may seem to imply… but “worse” doesn’t have to be as bad as it implies… or that some, ah, judiciously applied sundering can be just the thing that’s needed to maintain a relationship that neither person wants to get thrown away and without doing everything humanly possible to keep it together.

Or, really, what are you willing to do for the sake of love itself? For many of the people we knew, eh, not a whole lot and most certainly not what we did. It was wonderful, scary, and with a lot of pot holes along the way to fall into and/or be tripped up by and mistakes were made, forgiven, rectified and corrected and the journey continued. Shaken, humbled beyond belief and, again, scared shitless to sit back and think (or ask each other), “What the fuck have we gotten ourselves into?” The “what” was obvious; the “why” only obvious to us and while a lot of people could see the logic in such an approach, the emotional resistance and angst was, all too often, too much for some sensibilities and, to be honest, I don’t know how many times we sat down and talked about just giving this aspect up.

And we had a few busloads of reasons for abandoning the journey… and we didn’t. Sometimes it was because we’d come to far and put too much into it to just walk away, not that anything would have been “lost” had we agreed to do this but, on the other hand, what’s to say that we’d decide to end this… and find out that ending it turned out to be the mistake or that Mr. Murphy would come along and provide one or both of us with a reason to once more walk the path?

It’s not what you know that can fuck you up the most – it’s what you don’t know and even as experienced as we’d become in this, there was a lot we didn’t know – a lot we just couldn’t see or attempt to predict. So we stayed the course… because for better or worse, it was working. Not perfectly or ideally but it worked just the same.

I looked back at all of this and then I looked at what some folks are, dare I say, bravely doing today and I know what it’s like to have this staring you in the face; I know how fucking scary it is just as I know how unbelievably exciting it all can be. I know now what I didn’t know then and, yeah, I still think it was pretty fucking insane and no matter the reasons for the insanity.

I will tell anyone who asks about this a lot of things I learned about it, both the good and the butt-ugly parts of it and more so since I/we didn’t have the advantage of having some very wise couple tell us how to do it and how not to do it and I do wonder if such mentorship had been available, would we have done it?

I don’t know. I know that any couple who even dares to go here has to find their own way – what’s gonna work for them and in the way it needs to work but just like any relationship, there are still a lot of do’s and don’t’s involved and while it calls for the breaking of a lot of rules, there are other rules that must be put in place in the old rules’ stead.

What’s the biggest mistake? It’s the rules themselves and for two reasons: Too many of them and then making them unchangeable and non-negotiable because even in this, whatever your alternative relationship of choice happens to be, it’s not static and remains subject to change at any time and for any reason and if you don’t change or adjust accordingly, your experience isn’t going to be as good as it could be.

Some folks, like DDJennifer, actually have a contract that defines and binds them to their alternative relationship and, shit, I wish I/we had been smart enough back then to actually write that shit down so that when change was needed, we could literally go back and see what we wrote down so things could be changed according to its need or even in those moments when we’d wonder if something was really within the rules or, shit, something that never came up before it did.

Is this for everyone? Again, not only no but hell, no. I wouldn’t even insult anyone by saying it’s easier said than done… because it isn’t and I’ll tell you why: It has nothing to do with intelligence, logic, or even common sense; the resistance is purely emotional and tied to that which we believe and have been told about what it means to be in a relationship.

And, if by chance, you’re reading this and you think this is bullshit, ask yourself why it sounds like some whacked-out, freaky-assed bullshit and what’s telling you that is and if you’re saying, “Yeah, but…”

Strangely, it was hard for me to write this because even if I didn’t mention every little mistake or fuck-up done on my part, I am all too aware of each and every one of them, just like I know that I’m not the only one who screwed the pooch along the way – we both did.

I just don’t have any real regrets about having taken that journey. No matter how it turned out, we did what we had to do and did it to the best of our ability. For better or worse. No matter how insane everyone else thought we were for it and, yeah, no matter how crazy we thought we were as well.

The biggest question is: If I could do it tomorrow, knowing all that I know about this, would I? And, perhaps insanely, yeah, I would because it is one hell of a journey and when it comes to being in love, it’s not outside the realm of possibility to do – that and I know it can be done… because I’ve done it. For better or worse.

Even for better and worse.

 
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Posted by on 7 June 2019 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: The Alternatives

More and more people are turning away from traditional relationships in favor of alternative ones that are a strange mix of the traditional and the heady feeling of not truly being bound by those traditions and it is one hell of a learning experience and one that impacts damned near everything in your life.

As I’ve written in those moments I’ve had reason to write about them, it’s not as easy as it sounds… and it sure as hell doesn’t sound all that easy since you have to (as I always say) unlearn everything you thought you knew about love, sex, and relationships so you can learn a very different way to do these things.

As Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face…” and, wow, he nailed it. It’s not easy to sit down and put this conversation on the table and if you manage to get past this part – and many people don’t – it gets even harder to do everything that’s needed to formulate a plan and more so when what you’re really talking and planning for is a future that cannot be seen or predicted…

And then, if you manage to get through this part, then you get punched in the face with a reality that isn’t going to pull any punches; the “funny” thing about this is that when you know you’re gonna get punched in the face, you know it’s gonna hurt but you don’t know how much it’s gonna hurt until you get punched; maybe it’s a tap that’ll get your attention or you wind up “waking up” and asking, “What happened?”

Breaking tradition is wonderfully and excitingly scary as fuck; it’s most certainly the scariest thing I’ve ever done and I don’t scare easily and the scariest thing isn’t what you do with this new-found “freedom” – it’s what you learn about yourself and, then, what you learn about your “partner in crime” as they travel this path at your side.

Tradition says that no one should ever have a reason to do something like this – you know, those “for better or worse” and “keeping only unto yourself” things that even unmarried couples are held to. Tradition is all well and good… right up to the moment when it’s realized that it’s not working as “promised” or expected and now you’re truly into the “worse” part of “for better or worse” and trying to figure out what to do and what most people do when faced with “worse” is to break up.

But what if you didn’t have to? A lot of people say that they could never do such a thing even when it does, in fact, dawn on them that if they were to do this or that, their relationship could be made better for it. Such a thought is, for another fact, one of those answers to the question, “What can we do to spice things up or otherwise make our lives together better than what it is at this moment?”

Another question is a lot more personal: What do I need to make me a better person for myself and my partner? And as strange as it sounds, sometimes you need an “outsider” to be able to answer that particular question as well as the “what can we do” question… but how do you do this and not fuck up everything in the process?

Did I mention that it’s not easy? Some believe that it’s impossible and I’ve known couples who’ve said this but have also allowed that, even as individuals, they’ve started working on how to make the impossible possible and more so when breaking up in any form isn’t a viable option.

“Well, if being together ain’t working for them, then something must be wrong and they need to break up!” This is what I’d call a typical sentiment and I’d say, “You’re right – there is something wrong but what’s wrong isn’t the two of them: It’s the institution they’ve “slaved” themselves to because it doesn’t allow anyone to be able to express themselves as may be needed and it sure as hell doesn’t allow for the personal growth everyone must experience.”

And it still begs the question: “What if breaking up isn’t the answer?” And many are discovering that there is another solution and one that takes all of the rules and just breaks the shit out of them. Even when I got faced with this, I was reminded of something my mother told me the day I told her I was getting married:

“Your marriage is only going to be a good as the two of you can make it…” – then she said, “I hope you know what you’re doing!”

Begs another question: What are you willing to do to make your relationship the best it can be? Today, and as mentioned, a lot of people are answering that question and even reshaping the question to read as, “What can we do to make our lives together better, happy and satisfying?”

It is said and accepted that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too; we accept that it can’t be and shouldn’t be done. We also tend to ask our partners, “What do you need? What do you want? What’s gonna make you happy being with me and happy with yourself?”

And we sometimes, ah, “foolishly” go about these things with the premise that if you’re with me, I’m all you’re ever going to need; we assume it and even swear before God and company that this is the whole truth of things… right up until you find out that it isn’t and since you’re not allowed to do a whole lot to change this, the only acceptable answer is to cut your losses and dissolve the relationship and hope that the next one will be better, well, until you realize that all you’re really doing is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.

Are alternative relationships for everyone? Not only no but hell no. It’s not the doing that makes it unthinkable – the roadblock is, in fact, that which we’ve all been made to believe; it’s the thing where you can sit down and have an intelligent and even logical conversation about this and even faced with stuff, the answer is usually, “Nope – not gonna do that!” even when it becomes clear that not doing that is leading to a place that neither person wants to visit.

You just get sick and tired of always breaking up with someone and hoping that by doing so, things will be better and it’s a lot worse when, as mentioned, breaking up with them just isn’t really an option; it’s not so much broken but it could be better, not only for us as a couple but as individuals.

Or, as I asked a couple once, “Why continue to suffer with being stagnant and stuck in a place that neither of you want to be in, both as a couple and as individuals? Are you really that selfish that you’re willing to let your partner go through a lot of really depressing shit just to satisfy your need to stick with tradition and if you are, Jesus, do you really love them as much as you say you do?”

They both said, “We don’t want to break up!” and I said, “Then don’t – figure it out and you’ll see what you need to do and once you both see it, work together to figure out how to make it work.”

They figured it out and made it work but as I also pointed out to them, the reason why it doesn’t work – outside of our belief that it can’t – is we don’t know how to “multitask,” for lack of a better word. Today you can go on the Internet and find a plethora of information that’ll give good hints and tips on how to do the impossible and even tell you why you should kick tradition to the curb.

Worried about your partner cheating on you? Well, would removing as many causes for cheating be of interest to you? Truth is, for many people, it’s not… because tradition says it shouldn’t be and that should tell you something. Then there’s this question: How much happier would you be as a person and as a couple if you could, indeed, have your cake and eat it, too?

Sound daunting? It should… because it is. Is it the “perfect solution?” Not always but that’s not so much a problem of execution as it is a problem in planning. I’ve heard people say that they could never be intimate with someone else while they’re with someone… and when every fiber of their being is screaming at them that this is what they need and/or what their partner needs so they can continue to be happy together. Doesn’t always mean sex; there is an emotional component at work as well… but we’re told to never try to love more than one person at a time and we pretty much believe this to be true; it’s said that if you try to do this, bad things will happen and it becomes a self-fulling prophesy or, if you think you’re gonna fuck it up, you’re gonna fuck it up even if you’re not consciously trying to fuck it up.

Now imagine yourself trying to think all of this out and trying to explain it to your partner and if it’s giving you a headache, you now understand why it’s even harder than it sounds. Some folks frown at those who embrace alternative relationships and they can’t appreciate what it takes for two people to jointly come to the conclusion and the decision to forego tradition and take a slightly different path. All those folks see are a bunch of soulless, immoral heathens and they don’t see a couple who, instead of letting tradition dictate their happiness, took matters into their own hands to create the best possible environment for themselves.

I’ve often wondered how many people get divorced or otherwise break up then it hits them that it didn’t have to happen like that and more so when all they had to do was ask a question and then put some answers on the table for consideration? Why don’t more people do this? Because, usually, they “know” the answer is going to be, “You gotta be out of your fucking mind!”

But if you don’t ask, you won’t really know and many of us are afraid to ask out of fear of reprisal and, yeah, that’s a real thing. Still, lots of couples (in particular) are asking; they’re putting it out there for consideration and finding ways to make it work and if you wanna see a real live example, go check out DDJennifer’s blog at https://ddjennifer.wordpress.com/ (and to give Jennifer a shout-out).

The Temptation sang, “You make your own heaven and hell right here on earth…” and what would you prefer to do? Live in a heaven the two of you have created for yourselves, or continue to live in a hell that tradition has created for you?

That’s up to you to decide and, no, you don’t have to but if you’re unhappy with the way shit is going in your relationship and breaking up just ain’t gonna work for you, hmm, maybe it’s time to, at the least, talk about some shit, eh?

 
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Posted by on 6 June 2019 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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The Pitfalls of the Open Relationship

Well, let’s see… first ya got be in a situation where thinking this would be a good thing to do, then you gotta firs your loins and figure out how to broach the subject with your partner who, at the very least, might agree that something has to be done to breathe new life into the relationship and on top of anything else that’s previously been tried and/or adopted.

After gong back and forth about the pros and cons of doing such an outrageous thing, there’s developing the ROE, or rules of engagement which, by comparison turns out not to be as easy as as it sounds and, to be honest, the one part that usually sets a couple up to fail before they even get a chance to get out there and enjoy this freedom.

And let’s not mention what it takes to,get your head around the fact that your partner, whom you really and truly love enough to even attempt this, is going to be screwing someone else or, “worse,” this is something you’ve decided to do together which means not only do you have to think about your partner screwing someone else, you’re gonna see it up close and very personal.

But through strength of will and conjoined determination, you make it past all of this and have even managed to make some necessary adjustments along the way that will, hopefully, make this outrageous thing a lot less so. But there’s at least two more pitfalls that often get overlooked.

One is maintaining a lot of communication about this; many couples tend to stop talking about it once they get the ball rolling unless there’s a reason to or, “We’re doing it so what else is there to talk about?” The other is either a result of bad planning or oversight, i.e., not taking into consideration how someone’s thoughts and feelings are flowing about this, the encounters they’ve experienced, and how the perceive it’s either helping the relationship or, gulp, might be hurting it in some way.

It’s really a part of communication but not so much about what’s going on as it probably should be about how everyone is feeling about what’s going on. It stands to reason that if there’s some… issues around what someone is feeling, if they don’t get voiced, then resolving them could also be impacted; not every such issue is “self-repairing” or something that an individual can, let’s say, easily handle themselves.

Like, it’s not easy to totally banish feelings of jealousy or that sense of that being “my pussy/dick” that someone else is having fun with or even a sense of being miffed if, in “single action,” one is getting more action or is appearing to be having more fun – and this can also apply in that, um, combined effort as well and causing someone to think that, hmm, when I do that, they’re not as excited but when someone else does the exact same thing, wow, they’re leaping over the moon!

What’s up with dat shit?

Many fall headfirst into these pitfalls and as it is with many other things, it’s not that they might fall into a pit but what they do to get out of it and what they do to make sure they’re both keeping an eye out for other pits that might open up under them and without warning.

I can guess what you might be thinking: If doing this is that bad, why bother with it? My response would be that if you are more proactive about this than being reactive, many of the pitfalls one might encounter can be avoided and usually by instituting more and better communication and, oddly, not having a huge laundry list of rules that only serves to inhibit your behavior and not so much that of others.

The problem isn’t so much about doing as it is about management and we’ve already established that doing ain’t really that easy. No matter if you’re out there as a free agent or working as a team, an open relationship is no different from any other relationship; they must be constantly worked on and in conjunction with the every day demands that are a part of everyone’s life.

When it comes to someone’s feelings, management does not mean telling them what they can or cannot feel; in this, it means being aware of what you and your partner-in-crime are feeling about how this open thingy is going, like what Water Bound Girl recently wrote on her blog about how she feels about watching HH doing his thing with someone else.

Note: As I’m doing this scribble on my iPad, I don’t have the URL to her writing about this so you’d have to go searching for it.

It’s what she wrote that got me thinking about this and how, with maybe a lot of people, this would be a “warning” of some problems to appear at some point. I applaud her for her taking this rather upsetting thing is a positive way and feeling compersion – if they’re happy, then you’re happy that they’re happy and it’s no big deal and I can tell you from experience that this is a learned thing and one not easily learned.

You see, my friends, if you’re not gonna have fun doing this and be happy with and for each other in this, I’d have to ask you why you’re doing it without these goals in mind. Those of you who’ve followed this particular topic have seen me write constantly that this is an “us” thing and not necessarily a “me” thing but, sure, one always has to consider their role in this, what it means, what they expect, etc..

And it is oh, so important to keep a finger on the pulse of the other to make sure that they’re still very much okay with things the way they are and if not, be ready, willing and able to discuss and address things and, yeah, while keeping in mind that not all such things require an action other than listening.

Oh, and understanding what you’re hearing. You’ve both taken a really big chance and leap of faith in each other when deciding and agreeing to do this so it doesn’t make a lot of sense not to pay serious attention to how you and your partner are feeling about all of this.

And to that end, if you’re not willing to openly talk about your feelings and without being snarky, accusatory, and a few other negative forms of expression, that’s a problem. This is, again, way too serious a thing for us to be playing guessing games or, gasp, learn somewhere down the road, when things are falling apart, it was because of something that wound up festering and killing things… and all because someone wasn’t willing to talk about what was on their mind and/or their feelings which could have prevented this meltdown.

 
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Posted by on 2 March 2019 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Summing it Up

I spent most of my day yesterday watching the NFL playoffs and thinking about how to sum up this multiple partner relationship thing and with focus on why more than how… and this is what I came up with.

Back in the 60s and 70s, hippies were the subject of a lot of social derision because they tended to form communes that allowed them to live and, yes, love together while working toward a common goal. I mean, who does that when everyone knows that things shouldn’t be done like that?

History shows that not only did the commune hippies get it right but it was the way humans lived and interacted with each other before the advent of monogamy because it allowed a whole lot of things to get done that two people, alone, couldn’t accomplish easily or at all.

Those hippies caught all kinds of hell about what they were doing and not much attention was being paid to why there were doing what they were doing and, simply, the more people you have working toward a common goal, the easier things tend to be for one and all and, sure, that just wasn’t limited to day to day things needed to be done for survival but the hippies “remembered” that when you can have multiple sources of sex, intimacy, and even love, well, does it really get any better than that?

And, okay – some, ah, pharmaceutical intervention did seem to make all of that a lot more fun to do and be a part of but unlike society back in the day, I’m not focusing on this aspect so much as I thought about why communes worked for those fun-loving hippies.

Anyone who’s been in any kind of relationship knows that, at some point, the newness of the relationship eventually wears off and everything gets to be rather routine and downright “boring” and to the point where a couple begins to realize this and, when they do, the question comes up of how they can spice things up and get them back to the days when their relationship was new, fresh, and damned exciting.

The problem people have when it comes to answering this question is trying to figure out something they can do that doesn’t violate the rules under which the relationship is “supposed to” operate under. Now, this isn’t to say or suggest that imaginative couples can’t find ways to spice it up without breaking the rules or that once they find a way to add spice, they can’t maintain it… but a lot of couples do discover that whatever way they came up with is, at best, a temporary method; somewhere down the road, they find themselves right back where they started from and again asking what can be done to liven things up in the relationship…

But still with the intent on not breaking any rules. Most attempts to do this are eventually abandoned because it doesn’t take being a Mensa-level genius to figure out that in some of the things that might be needed to breathe new life into the relationship, uh, um, you need some outside assistance and of the type that the rules don’t allow but would make the day to day things involved in living a lot easier and, yes, that also means being able to have new and different ways to have sex (and you’ll notice I didn’t use the word “better” here and I deliberately didn’t use that word).

As discussed, how a couple goes about this can be as varied and complex just as what’s to be done can be. When this fails, it’s usually because folks are paying more attention to what’s going on than they are keeping firmly in their minds why they’re doing it.

Logically and intelligently, why this should be (at the least) attempted isn’t that difficult to figure out… but it’s that emotion-laden resistance that makes this seem impossible and driving the bus is that belief that it shouldn’t ever be done. This belief is so deeply entrenched in our minds that when we hear of other cultures who go about their lives and with the mindset that it doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who does what as long as it gets done, we think of them as being uncivilized heathens for living and loving “commune style” and not paying much attention to the fact that what they’re doing is actually working for them.

We don’t see this or pay attention to it because we don’t believe that it should be done so since we tend to believe this, how can it work? Well, it works because it has to and the people involved are dedicated and committed to making it work because their continued survival does depend on it working and as best as humanly possible.

I’ve heard so many people express their opinions about this and quite negatively and, in the beginning, it used to piss me off… until I asked myself why it was making me angry. What I discovered was that the source of my anger was those detractors going on and on about what we were doing… and not paying one bit of attention to why we were doing it – and it didn’t matter that when I found myself having to explain things, I was talking about why more than what.

They just weren’t hearing the why of it; there was nothing I could do about that so it didn’t make any sense for me to be pissed off about something that someone else was, bluntly, incapable of understanding. I spent an equal amount of time listening to people prattle on about why such a thing didn’t make sense to them and that they wouldn’t do some shit like that… and it wasn’t so much that they were doing this that I paid attention to than it was listening to what they were saying and why they were and believe me, it taught me some seriously important shit about being non-monogamous as well as pointing out the source of this ever-present mindfucking that we’ve all been subjected to.

So, once again, instead of being and/or feeling pissed off, I’d often find myself laughing over such things and because I/we understood something that we’ve seemed to have forgotten, namely, it takes a village to do a lot of things for the benefit of the whole. For instance, when I was growing up, you seriously tried to stay out of trouble because if you did, you didn’t just have your parents to deal with – you had to deal with every adult/parent in your neighborhood and if they had to kick your ass right then and there, it got kicked, you got taken home, ratted out to your parents, who would then not only thank the other adult/parent for their intervention but would turn around and kick your ass again because, you know, you just can’t get your ass kicked enough to get you to understand that you shouldn’t be doing things to keep getting your ass kicked.

You try this today and you’ll probably wind up in court, huh? And I’d guess that as you read this, you’re focusing on what more than the why of it, aren’t you? Why? Because, at least back then, it was very well known that parents could only do so much in this regard because they had to work or whatever so keeping an eye on the kids wasn’t always possible… but if the adults in the neighborhood banded together to keep an eye on all of the kids, well, that worked… and much to the detriment of the kid who got caught doing something they shouldn’t have been doing and even if that meant getting ratted out for doing it and letting the parents handle the punishment.

We’ve gotten away from this “village mentality.” We’ve also gotten away from the reason why communes actually make a lot of sense and, yep, we have most certainly gotten away from being able to enjoy and/or otherwise appreciate the diversity when it comes to having sex, being intimate, loving and being loved. As mentioned, the moment we get married or into a relationship, we are binding ourselves to the ideal that the two of us is all we’ll ever need when it comes to handling all of the shit life is gonna throw at us.

And then we find out that, nope, that’s not what’s really happening and it is one of the things that makes being in a relationship so difficult; we find, discover, realize that that even at our very best, we’re just not enough to face life’s challenges and, yeah, even for each other. We get to this point in the relationship and we choose to either keep struggling to pull off the impossible or we just give up, end it all, then either start all over again (and knowing that you’re gonna eventually wind up in the exact same place again) or resolving to never get into a relationship ever again.

And many people do ask themselves, “What if it didn’t have to be like this? What if there was a way to make the impossible possible? What if you could have your cake and eat it, too, while even sharing the cake?” The question usually can’t be answered because the mere thought of this can make one’s brain just lock the fuck up and for two reasons other than this is some complicated shit to think about: We’re not suppose to do shit like this… and we don’t know how to do it. Then it gets even more difficult when one person figures this out, sees that it can be done, sees the sense in doing it and even has a general idea how to get it done… and now you have to convince the other person in the relationship that there’s an answer to what we’ve been going through but in order to take care of that, um, we’ve gotta break some rules… and quite a few of them.

Otherwise, things between us are going to remain unchanged and stagnant and our relationship is going to die… and do we really want it to die an early death? Logically and intelligently, this doesn’t make any sense – and even you folks who are totally against such a solution are aware of this but ask yourself exactly why you’d be against such a solution…

And perhaps you’ll better understand what I’m talking about. People don’t think they can do this because they don’t believe that they can… and because they were taught, just like everyone else, that it shouldn’t be done for any reason.

We dissed the hippies back in the day for living and loving like this; we turn our noses up at the many existing cultures that live and love like this because, in our “more civilized” minds, this ain’t the way to do anything. There’s a new TV show coming on that revives and earlier show – “Sister Wives” – and if you’ve seen the promos, I’m sure there are a lot of people already forming their arguments against such an immoral thing to do… thinking more about what’s going on than why it’s going on.

And not really thinking about the fact that there’s only so much two people can do for and with each other as well as for the reason why you’re together in the first place. We’re quite arrogant when we think or say that just because we wouldn’t do such a heinous and greedy thing, no one should do it – there’s no reason for it.

And if this is what you think, I’m the guy with the utter gall to tell you that you’re wrong… because there are reasons for it and I have the temerity to tell you that you know what those reasons are because chances are good that your relationship ain’t exactly going as smoothly and as care-free as you think it should… or you’re no longer in a relationship at all because the two of you couldn’t figure out how to make it work and keep it alive… and not because of what couldn’t be done but because of what, in your mind, you weren’t going to do for your happiness or anyone else’s for that matter.

One of the questions I had to answer a lot is, “What if shit goes wrong?” My answer? “If it’s gonna go wrong, it’s gonna go wrong; it’s not that it goes wrong but what you do when it does.” And if you have enough people working together to handle whatever went wrong, the better the chances it won’t be wrong for much longer and more so when everyone involved is dedicated and committed to limiting the things that can go wrong and, again, to the best of their ability to do so.

It’s not perfect and, importantly, nothing lasts forever. Nothing. We all have bought into the “happily ever after” fairy tale only to discover that it’s a fairy tale – it’s unrealistic and we continue to believe that there’s nothing we can do about it to recapture the magic and wonder of those opening days of a relationship. When we hear of or see people who aren’t buying into this by doing the “unthinkable,” well, that shit is crazy, ain’t it? But don’t we also notice that the things that tend to plague us in trying to maintain a good relationship isn’t that big of a problem for those folks who have, for whatever reason why they’ve chosen to do this, seem to be doing quite well in such an impossible endeavor… while the rest of us are still wondering what we can do to make a whole lot of things better for ourselves and each other?

And especially those folks who are all alone right now and not in the loving relationship they wanna be in. Not in a relationship due to infidelity issues? Unable to get your heads together and come up with effective ways to solve those day to day issues that tends to fuck shit up? Sitting back and brooding about why things have stopped being as good and as exciting as they once were or even asking, “Is this all there is? Is there no more?”

And perhaps also understanding things have gotten to be so stagnant and stuck in place because they weren’t willing to do whatever was necessary to insure that the relationship can continue albeit in a very different way and direction.

We hold true that love is unconditional – and it is – but people? Not so much. We will tell someone that we love that we love them and that we’d do anything for them… and, looking at this a certain way, it’s a lie because we can easily think of a gazillion things we’re not gonna do for someone that we love, up to and including believing that the greatest act of loving someone is to let them go.

And we’ll let them go because, for the most part, there’s not a whole lot we can do for them beyond what we’re able to do as an individual. I’m still the guy who’ll ask you what, on the surface, is a simple question:

What if you had help with it? What if you could get some help? What if there was a way to banish the specter of infidelity? What if you could get help to make those ends do a better job of meeting? What if the two of you didn’t have to struggle with making the impossible possible?

What would it be worth to you, hmm? Sadly, many of us will answer this question along the lines of, “It’s not worth it…” and followed by all of the things that justifies this conclusion.

But what if you’re wrong about that?

 
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Posted by on 14 January 2019 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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A Mental Juggling Act

As the title suggests, I find myself doing this because I know there’s a link between bisexuality and being non-monogamous because one can beget the other or it might be clearer to say that some folks become non-monogamous because of bisexuality… and some folks can “wind up” being bisexual because of being non-monogamous.

I know that last thing might have some folks saying, “No fucking way that would happen!” and while you might believe that, perhaps you can find a way to believe me when I tell you that it does happen? Not only have I heard about it happening, I’ve seen it happen. So let me get into this before my mental juggling act turns into me dropping the stuff I’m trying to juggle.

One of the banes and heartaches for a bisexual is being in a relationship because the rules of monogamy prohibit any “outside interference” in said relationship. It often sets the stage for situations where either someone winds up being sexually repressed or they find themselves begging forgiveness and not so much thinking about asking permission since, uh, getting permission ain’t the easiest thing in the world to get and more so when we tend to be more concerned about sticking to the rules than we are concerned about any negative effects someone is surely suffering because they cannot act on their desires which, of course, causes the two issues previously mentioned and lends itself to what can be a vicious cycle of behavior.

And you thought just being bisexual was bad?

We see, once more, that situation where allowing a measure of non-monogamy logically makes sense but a partner’s reaction to this is anything but logical and tends to be more of a thing where, let’s call them “the unaffected partner” isn’t so much worried about the state of the relationship as they are very, very concerned about having their own sensibilities “offended” or any conversations about this isn’t about the bisexual in the mix – it’s about them and whether they’ve played a role in their partner’s bisexuality or not.

I know I’ve heard, “What about me?” and other variations of this a lot in my life and since one can be fairly certain that if they even mentioned having bisexual thoughts – and not of a mind to be doing anything – this kind of conversation will ensue… and it won’t be pretty… and the bisexual’s thoughts and feelings are going to be kicked to the curb and deemed to be of no consequence to the unaffected partner.

Which is why a lot of bisexuals just keep their mouth shut about thinking or feeling bisexual.

On the other side of this juggling act are the folks who have decided that being non-monogamous is a good thing for them to do, opening the doors and breaking down the barriers that, up until this momentous decision, has been keeping them from experiencing love, sex, and relationships in a different and more fulfilling way for everyone concerned. Since there are many possible ways to go about this and in different configurations, well, let’s say that some folks might not consider or give much thought to feelings of bisexuality entering into the mix and, on the one hand, that’s almost to be expected since talking and planning this is a very involved, complex, and complicated thing to do.

When in the “planning phase” of this, sure, maybe a couple playing the “what if” game might mention the possibility of a same-sex attraction happening – maybe. If it is mentioned, it’s possible it’s tagged and filed under, “Yeah it’s possible but not likely to happen so let’s not worry about that.” Which is exactly how some couples wind up getting blindsided when it does happen and they get so blindsided because no one gave any serious thought of what can happen when they get involved with another couple and lots of sex and other forms of intimacy are at work.

Nor do they ever account for shit happening or things happening “in the heat of the moment.” Because couples who are engaged with another couple have a tendency to not really talk about everything that’s on their mind about the state of the non-monogamous relationship, if thoughts and feelings of bisexuality are creeping in, eh, chances are good that no one will be told of them; it’s awkward, potentially embarrassing and, more often than not, contrary to the rules under which have been put in place.

It still remains true, however, that just because you don’t think it can happen doesn’t mean that it can’t happen and I’ll use what I’ll call a “simple” example of this: I never thought that I’d live long enough to see a Black man become President of the United States… and I wasn’t the only person to have this thought.

Guess what happened?

Ah… I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re thinking that there’s no chance in hell that when you’re destroying a bedroom with your favorite partners that such a thing could ever happen and that no one involved could ever lose control of themselves in such a way. And I’m here today to tell you that if that’s what you think, you’re wrong. You might not want it to happen but the thing here is you can never know what’s going on in someone’s mind when they’re caught in the throes of having sex, any more than you have any real control over what your sex-addled brain might decide would be an interesting thing to do… and, sometimes, you don’t know that this decision was made until you find yourself sucking a dick or eating a pussy… and while wondering what the fuck made you decide to do this because, you’re not like that at all… yet you find yourself doing something that you didn’t even know you knew how to do.

You may, at this point, be thinking, “Yeah… I could see that possibly happening… but, nah, I couldn’t see myself getting all caught up in something like that. Shit, KDaddy, I don’t even think like that!”

Most people don’t… but who said you had to actually be thinking, hmm? People tend to go about having sex in a “go with the flow of things” way while being mindful of not crossing any known boundaries their sexual partner may have. We think about what we like to do (or have done) and what we don’t like to do (or have done) to us… but not so much about what could happen if things happened to align at the right time and moment. There’s a reason why sex makes a lot of people… uncomfortable and leery and why they keep that list of things they’re not gonna do during sex firmly in their minds because sex has the power to totally and completely unlock things inside of us that, when we’re not having sex, um, we’d rather not have unlocked.

Sex makes us all vulnerable and it’s always something we’d rather avoid if at all possible. And while we can consciously avoid things that might make us more vulnerable than we want to be, there’s an aspect of everyone that you have zero control over.

Your sub-conscious and the thing that, literally, can make us be of two minds about stuff. Do you wanna guess what part of you is driving the bus when you’re having sex? Indeed, a lot of people will tell you that they’re not thinking about anything when they’re having sex; what they really mean is that they’re not consciously thinking about anything… and pretty much unaware of what that “little voice inside their head” is thinking about and, oh, yeah, strongly suggesting that you do.

I’m telling you – I’ve seen this at work up close and personal and the person who just discovered that some same-sex interaction just happened – and was allowed – is often the most surprised and baffled person on the planet because, consciously, they’d never want to have such a thing happen… but their sub-conscious said otherwise and the fucked up part is that once conscious thought returns, the sub-conscious goes back to hiding out in the back of their mind and, probably, laughing its metaphorical ass off because they just did or allowed something to happen that the conscious mind would vehemently object to.

I’ve seen it happen and I’ve been quite amused to hear them say, “What the fuck just happened?” Well, on the one hand, you’d think they’d know what just happened – what they don’t know is why it did… and it’s not like their sub-conscious is gonna raise it’s hand and say, “Um, that’s my fault!”

What’s that you’re saying? You still don’t believe that a dyed-in-the-wool straight person would never do something like that? Okay… don’t believe me – you don’t have to but should such a thing happen, don’t say I didn’t tell you that it could.

Now, it’s not anything to be worried about. It doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly gay; if anything, all it means is that if you can get your head around it, you have stumbled upon yet another way to have a pretty good orgasm. Some people do manage to get their head around it and some just can’t – they’re still shocked that such a thing happened to begin with. For those who do manage to accept it, it’s not usual for them to say, “Well, uh, yeah, that happened and, er, um, it wasn’t bad – but it’s not something I’d do all of the time.”

Of course it isn’t… still doesn’t mean that the next time you have a chance to do it your sub-conscious will make you act despite you not wanting to do it as a matter of course because, um, your body – and your sub-conscious – thinks it’s really damned exciting while your conscious mind, well, it ain’t feeling it and it’s not very happy about being betrayed and having it’s orders countermanded. It doesn’t mean that the next time you and your partner are getting ready to throw down with your favorite couple that you’re going to approach this sex session with the clear intent and purpose to do some same-sex stuff again.

Just don’t be all that surprised if it does happen and even if it doesn’t, don’t be surprised that whether your aware of it or not, it will cross your mind.

I’ve seen this very thing happen in every phase of being open and poly and I gotta say that for those who this has happened to, oh, my, their reaction is beyond precious. I cannot begin to tell you how important it is for everyone involved to have a very serious conversation about this and not just chalk it up to shit happening or some unexpected case of being in the heat of the moment and ignoring it. Not only does the conversation have to be serious, it has to be open and honest and by that, when asked if you enjoyed whatever happened, do not, for any reason, say, “Yeah, but…” You can say you didn’t expect it, didn’t anticipate it and you can even say that at this moment, you’re not really sure if you enjoyed it as much as you seemed to have in that precise moment.

It does take some folks a bit of time to properly process this. Saying, “Yeah, but…” can send the wrong message like if “Sally” and “Rick” were throwing it down with “Gail” and “Tony” and Gail, out of the clear blue sky, suddenly and unexpectedly went down on Sally and ate the living daylight out Sally’s coochie – and Sally did nothing other than having some unexpected orgasms from an unexpected source.

In this scenario (and it is a valid one), for Sally to say that she enjoyed it – but that’s not what she wanted or expected to experience could send a message to Gail that Sally, in fact, didn’t not enjoy what she did nor was it appreciated albeit after the fact because Sally might not be of a mind to really admit that, holy shit, who knew that a woman eating her pussy could feel so damned good and despite thoughts to the contrary?

I’m not saying that it will happen; I’m forever the guy who’ll tell you that it could happen and that if it does, eh, don’t get too bent out of shape about it because one of the reasons you’re in a non-monogamous situation to begin with is to experience new and different sexual experiences… and this is one of those new and difference experiences.

The potential for this exists and when talking and planning your course on the path of non-monogamy, it should be considered and not just dismissed out of hand. When interviewing the couple you’re sure you’re gonna be spending a lot of time with – both sexually and non-sexually – there should be a conversation about it and along the lines of not acting like somebody just tried to kill you but to acknowledge that while we can agree that it’s unlikely to happen – and read this as no one is planning on it happening – it could happen and here’s how we should behave if it does and, ideally, no one gets bent out of shape about it.

That way, if it should go down like that, no one is really gonna be “unpleasantly” surprised by it.

For those who are contemplating non-monogamy because there’s a bisexual already in the mix, the real problem – outside of the unaffected partner’s sensibilities about such things – is getting the point across that your bisexual partner’s desires have no bearing on their feelings and other things for the unaffected partner. This is really about them and what they need to be the person they feel they need to be. Ya still might be thinking about how all of this is gonna impact you as the unaffected partner and I’ll tell you how it’s gonna affect you.

You reject their request to be non-monogamous for this and they will unconsciously not like you very much; their mood will most certainly be affected and you’ll see them being disinterested, distracted, more in a foul mood than you can ever recall them being in and, to you, there seems to be no reason for them to be so pissy and to the point where the harmony of the relationship is suffering. If you’re sensing that you’re not as close as you were before this conversation happened, well, now you know why.

The mistake that the unaffected partner makes is making this about themselves – what they think, how they feel, what they believe in and don’t believe in and what they think their partner should never, ever, be doing, let along thinking about. They’re not all that concerned about what the bisexual partner has been dealing with and, frankly – and in most cases – the unaffected partner just doesn’t give a fuck about their bisexual partner’s feelings.

And then they find themselves seeing the results of their decision on this as it begins to affect and impact the relationship… and now they’re sitting back and wondering why they’re seeing what they’re seeing and, you’re damned right, why your bisexual partner just might be cheating on you… and they’re cheating because you’ve given them no other choice in the matter.

What’s that you say? That bisexual motherfucker should be honorable and moral enough to not do some shit like that? They should be more concerned about you than they are themselves, the selfish, uncaring bastard/bitch? Is ya thinking that you wouldn’t do some shit like that and because you wouldn’t do it – or even think about it – that means your partner shouldn’t either?

Now, I’m not saying that anyone in this situation should allow non-monogamy to enter the scene; I’m just the guy who still has the nerve to tell you what might happen – and what usually does happen – when you totally and completely ignore that which your partner feels they need in order to be okay with themselves and so they can continue with their mission to make and keep you as happy as humanly possible.

And if you’re not of a mind to give permission – and even if you stand to gain something from giving it – why in the world would you be horrified to learn that your partner went behind your back and did what you forbade them to do anyway? You’re feeling very hurt and betrayed… and not thinking or giving a flying fuck that by denying them, you hurt and betrayed them first.

What? You don’t believe that? Think about it for a few and if you’re capable of being honest with yourself, you’ll see who really betrayed whom. I’m not saying that they’d not be found guilty of infidelity but chances are pretty good that you gave them reason to be guilty of it. Even if actually being non-monogamous isn’t on the table – your resident bisexual isn’t really asking for permission – if you lambaste them or otherwise tar and feather them for even thinking about things bisexual, um, you’re not doing them or yourself any favors by planting seeds of resentment in their minds.

Yep, it offends you… and you, in turn, offended them by not giving a fuck about what they’re thinking and feeling. Why? Because in these things, we tend to think “me” and what’s better and preferred for “me” than what might be better for “us.” Huh? What? Are you thinking that putting the kibosh on your resident bisexual is what’s best for “us?” And what, exactly, makes you think that?

Ya might wanna give that one some thought and you might be surprised of why you think like that, you know, even if you gave a fuck in the first place and you think you have good reason not to give a fuck.

Bisexuality and non-monogamy can be linked together, either in expected or unexpected ways. You might not believe it; you might even disapprove of such behavior in others or even yourself. Still might happen because the truth and fact of the matter is that unless you’ve got a pretty unique and special talent, no one knows what the future will bring or how events can come together in the right way at the right time and place.

And if you think you can predict the future and because of the way you are thinking right now, do me a favor and send me the winning numbers for the next mega-million dollar lottery jackpot while you’re out getting tickets of your own, okay?

Don’t like any of what I had to say about this? You don’t have to like it; you don’t have to believe any of it if you don’t want to. Still doesn’t change the fact that it can happen nor the fact that I just spent a lot of time telling you, not to mention that I happen to know this for a fact and it’s just not an opinion I happen to have.

I’m just the guy giving you something to think about whether you’re contemplating non-monogamy, all up in it, or none of the above.

 

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now…

After the scribbles done over the last few days about dissing monogamy for another way to go about exploring love, sex, and relationships, I’ve had reason to reflect back on my own double-decade (and a bit more) journey and adventure down this path and a journey that saw a heady mix of amazing moments and migraine producing cluster fucks and, well, the result is the title of this scribble.

The biggest things I take away from my experiences is what I learned along the way and things that pointed out all the flaws in being monogamous as well as how our belief in this makes us ill-prepared to attempt something that those flawed rules never account for as well as how totally outdated and ineffective the mandate to always be monogamous is.

Decades of being non-monogamous raced through my head, sometimes making me smile, sometimes making me frown or shaking my head and I’m not sure if I spent more time smiling or frowning. Do I regret any of it? No; not because there aren’t any points where I could justify regret but it makes no sense to be regretful about it. The mind likes to focus on the stuff that didn’t go well, the things that could have been handled better and, yes, all the mistakes that were made and that includes the one’s I made as well because while things tend to go wrong, they rarely do so without a lot of help so when things went wrong, we were all to blame for it, not so much because of how things panned out along the way but simply because of what none of us knew.

I read about people kicking monogamy to the curb in some way and many are quite informed about it – there’s a lot about ethical non-monogamy in books and on the Internet that people who are interested in this can refer to and if there is, indeed, one regret that I do have, it’s that I wish I knew then what I know now… but that regret gets kicked to the curb because, duh, I do know it now.

The folks who were either told what we were about or figured it out would ask me what was the hardest part about living this way, a question that was quite secondary to the primary one – why in the hell would you even think about doing some shit like this? But, the answer to this question was, in fact, easy to answer: Because we had to and walking away from each other wasn’t a viable option not to mention having enough hubris between us to convince us that we could do the impossible.

The hardest part? Managing it. “Fixing” or otherwise adjusting the things that needed fixing or adjusting, dealing with the many problems that would show up uninvited or just because they could. Trying to constantly assimilate petabytes of information that, often, didn’t want to be assimilated, collated, processed and understood. Always trying to remain focused on the vision, what this not only meant to me but always trying to wrap my head around how everyone else involved was seeing things and how their perceptions were getting in the way of a clearer vision… and a vision of something that, as it turned out, we really didn’t know how to do.

The ultimate experience in on the job training; being able to make snap decisions about so many things while trying to figure out where all of this was going and trying to figure out – and, often, without a lot of what I’d call helpful input – how to make the journey as smooth and, ha-ha, trouble-free as possible.

Many sleepless nights spent second-guessing everything and asking myself, “Why did this sound like a good idea? You wanna explain this to me again?” Too many – way too many – moments of understanding that we were all in over our heads but, lord knows, we were still trying and being comforted in knowing that despite all the shit that was constantly getting out of whack, by God, we were doing it; we were making it work despite ourselves.

Even harder at times was trying to explain this to others. Some got it, saw the sense in the overall scope of shredding the rules of monogamy into tiny little pieces and scattering those pieces on the wind while many more thought we were just crazy and quite insane to be doing that which should never be done – and because those horribly flawed rules says never to do what we were trying to do.

What we had been doing. Looking at the people who thought us insane, listening to them insist that it couldn’t work – it’s not supposed to work… and me looking them in the eye and saying, “Yet, it is working, isn’t it, because if it weren’t working, we wouldn’t be doing it, would we?”

It wasn’t perfect… but nothing ever is, is it? At the core of things, yeah, we knew it would fail at some point; what we didn’t know – what we couldn’t know – was at what point would it fail? What would cause it to crumble into nothingness? Oddly – and right from the beginning – I knew how it would fail. I’m not clairvoyant but I could see the weak points, the stress fractures, the points of failure aligning themselves… and, well, we “stupidly” said – but justifiably so – that we’ll worry about those things if they happen while also understanding that it was never a matter of if they would…

It was a matter of when they would… and that’s just impossible for anyone to know. So it became a project of sorts to make “when” an event that would happen way down the road even though we also understood that at any time, we could stop all of this and, yeah, we talked about doing just that a lot… but always found a reason to keep working at it and as best we could because not working at it just didn’t make much sense; you never fail at anything before you actually fail at it.

During the poly phase of the journey, a friend walked up to me with a smile on his face and said, “I know what y’all are doing – and I think that shit is so fucking cool!” I recall thinking whether or not I should play dumb, to say to him, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” but, um, nah – that wasn’t gonna work because all you had to do was see us together and how we interacted with each other even in the most mundane and “normal” things to know that we were “up to something” and that we were much more than good friends.

That same friend patted me on the back and shook my hand as he told me, “Dude… dealing with one woman is bad… and dealing with two of them can’t be easy and, well, you’re fucking crazy!”

And he was right. And I knew he was right because it was a thought that plagued me at every turn, in every moment awake or asleep. This shit is crazy, hands down and for someone – anyone – to even attempt this would, in fact, severely question their sanity and mental integrity.

For those in the know, of course, the one question they wanted to know – other than whether or not I/we should be committed to the closest mental health institution was, “How’s the sex?” Now, I have to say that on this topic, the reactions between the men and women who knew or just figured it out (and they figured it out because it was a lot more obvious than any of us were aware of) was mixed; the guys would either high-five me until my hand hurt from being slapped so hard or shake their head sympathetically just thinking about what I was up against.

The women, well, some were accepting while one, in particular, commented that in her mind, I was really an arrogant asshole to believe that I had the “right” to have a harem. Yeah… she said that and, um, let’s just say my response to this wasn’t gentlemanly and leave it at that. People just want to shit on anything they don’t understand and even if you try to explain to them that they’re wrong about their assumptions, they’re just gonna keep believing what they want to believe.

It’s hard enough having sex with a woman, harder still to have sex with a woman you know, and one really interesting nightmare to be having sex with two women and two women with similar but different needs and I’m not just talking about having sex one-on-one with them. It is exhilarating… and humbling like you wouldn’t believe and I guess I’m grateful to have never gotten it into my head that I could handle it because I knew I was gonna be pushed way beyond my limits and that wasn’t going to be a good thing but, again, if you never try, you can never fail.

It’s the thing that makes me laugh hysterically and, sometimes, maniacally, to hear guys go on and on about how they’d love to have a threesome with two hot women and how they’d lay waste to the both of them like it was gonna be easy to do. Yeah, right… sure it is. I was in over my head and I knew it but go back to the last paragraph and read what I wrote about not trying. Was it fun? Oh, hell, yeah it was. Were there problems? You betcha there were. Did we keep working through them? Had to… because not working through them, again, didn’t make one damned bit of sense.

You think that you understand what sex is about… only in this situation, you learn that what you think you know doesn’t mean a whole lot because there’s some… shit going on and shit that you might not see coming. See, there’s the way you might think this should go… then reality comes alongside you and punches you dead in the face – and because a mere slap isn’t going to get your attention like a black eye, bloody nose, or a fat lip will – and shows you that, again, what you think you and what you think is gonna happen can be so very different.

And through all of the very exciting and very disappointing moments in this, I kept asking myself, “Is this still a smart – and right – thing to be trying to do?” Maybe… and maybe not but in for a penny and all that; you’re up to your eyeballs in it so just do the best you can – there’s no backing out at this point.

And the biggest issue, the biggest problem, is still one of management. From communication to conflict and problem resolution and here’s the thing about all of this: If everyone involved isn’t of a mind to participate in these very necessary things, it all fails. It drives home the point that, intelligently, a group of people can, in fact, agree on a course of action and still be very much in their own heads about how they want shit to go so, yeah, on the same page… and not on the same page so much.

When you keep hearing things like, “Yeah, but…” as a response to questions or possible solutions to the things that just go wrongly and because they can, well, you have a problem on top of all the other problems that crop up each and every single day. Worse than that is hearing, “I don’t know…” and it gets even worse hearing that when I’d get asked, “How can we make this even better?” and I asked, “What do you have in mind?” and the nerve-wracking answer of, “I don’t know” is the only one you get.

That and putting my ideas on the table on how things could be better… and have them all summarily rejected out of hand or, literally, I’d get outvoted. It often had me wondering, and futilely, how I’m supposed to solve issues that everyone wants to have solved but providing input is more of a “You figure it out” kind of thing more than anything else.

Now, usually, when you leave someone to their own devices, there’s no telling what the fuck is gonna happen but in this relationship situation, the one thing that does happen is… nothing. Ah, there’s nothing that eases your mind than being told, “You’re the man here – you figure it out and make it work – but the things you’re suggesting? Not interested – figure something out and be quick about it!”

You learn that having great lists of things you’re not gonna do will, ultimately, fuck things up. You learn that keeping your mouth shut when you shouldn’t is clearly and definitely not a good or smart thing to do. If you ask how to resolve an issue and a resolution is offered and you reject it, well, will the issue get resolved? If you go into such a relationship and you have your own agenda and are of a mind to keep pushing your agenda – and in the face of what’s supposed to be the shared and overall agenda you all should be buying into and working toward, guess what’s gonna happen? And then guess what won’t happen.

I thought about all of this and, again, alternatively smiling and frowning as called for. In my mind, it was the greatest adventure ever and, eh, not so much and, yes, I’ve asked myself honestly that if I could or had to do it again, would I? It’s not an easy question to answer because, today, I pretty much know exactly how it can all go tits up and in a damned hurry but, if I’m to be honest with myself, sure – I’d do it again because… it really is fun, enlightening, full of richness and purpose and maybe I’d come to regret a second exposure because, yeah, this is some seriously crazy shit but it does beg the question, “Is there really such a thing as too much love? Is it really insane to love and be loved in what can easily been seen as excessively so?

Is it the smartest thing that can be done? Yes… and you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me. Is it easy? God, I hope none of you think it is because it’s even harder than you think it’s gonna be; I can pretty much guarantee you that you’re gonna learn some shit about yourself and those who are with you in that you might “regret” learning. Still, if you venture nothing, if you risk nothing, you cannot and do not ever gain anything and this is so fucked up that even a failure can be seen as a success.

Hence my ever-present warning and admonishments about this. You’ve literally got to be grown up enough, willing to take everything you know and believe and totally disregard it because that shit ain’t gonna work; if you don’t have a sense of adventure, don’t really have what anyone would call an open-mind, are fearful, bashful, shy, prone to giving up when faced with a problem, don’t know how to communicate to and with someone, afraid to speak your mind, or are quite stubborn and in that “my way or no way” way that rarely ever works, as well as having a very big list of shit you ain’t ever gonna do no matter what the reasons for doing it are, and are in possession of negative emotions like jealousy and a whole lot of other shit I know I’ve failed to mention, do not even try to do this. It’s not that an effort to do this will fail more than what the aftereffects of an epic fail will bring.

Yet and still, if you do choose to venture down this road, be prepared for the journey and experience of a lifetime. You may very well have an idea in your head about how something like this can or should work for you and those who are brave and daring enough to join you in this – it’s good to have a plan – but it’s the things you cannot plan for that will, put mildly, make things interesting and, indeed, one of the very exciting things about living and loving like this is not knowing what the hell is gonna happen at any given moment in time.

And yes, should anyone else stumble across what you’re doing, some will approve… and many will not and you have to be aware that many are not going to approve… but not let their disapproval sway you from a course of action the two of you have decided must be taken so that “we” can continue on for as long as possible.

Or, fuck the haters: It’s your lives, your choice and if they don’t like it, they just don’t like it.

And the things you’re gonna learn about yourself alone is worth the journey… if you and your soon-to-be “partner in crime” are brave enough to take that first step. Will you come to regret it? Again, maybe you will, maybe you don’t… but you also might very much regret not doing it when you had the chance to.

Besides, life is still too short and it’s still about getting all you can into your life before it’s over with and nothing is worse than knowing that you could have done something – should have done something – and you didn’t do it.

Whew. I know this isn’t quite a glowing recommendation in favor of having a multiple partner relationship of any kind. All of this kinda/sorta proves that it can be done while pointing out some things that if you haven’t thought about them, ya might want to take a moment to think about because it’s always the things you don’t think about – the things you never see coming – that tend to fuck things up when you’d rather not have them fucked up.

If you had told me at the time the decision was made to go in this direction that it all would have lasted as long as it did, I would have had you committed, would have told you it was impossible and maybe even that this ain’t the way things are supposed to work and can’t be allowed to happen. I didn’t know if it would work and was quite sure that it wouldn’t… and it took over twenty years to find that out.

If only I knew then what I know now. And if, by some sort of magic I did know it then, would I have still done it?

I still don’t know the answer to that one and I know I never will.

 

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A Major Point of Failure

Multiple partner relationships get set up for a lot of good reasons and let’s face it – one of those reasons has everything to do with sex which, for the most part, is a no-brainer… but it’s also, as the title says, a major point of failure when it comes to multiple partner relationships.

If you think you know how to have sex, you get into this and you just might learn that you don’t know as much about it as you think you do which – and I’ll always keep saying this – is why when you decide to go in this direction, you pretty much have to learn how to have sex again and much of the reeducation is dependent upon how your relationship is structured as far as the participants in this.

It’s not so much of a “group sex” kind of thing although, um, yeah, ah, when you get all of the members of the family together for some sexy fun, wow. Just wow. This kind of sex isn’t as easy as it sounds and even when the sex is one-on-one, which you’d think would be another no-brainer, eh, I’m about to tell you why it might not be so make yourself comfortable because this is gonna take a while.

“Sharon” and “Mike” have not only decided to open their marriage, they’ve decided that being more polyamorous in their endeavors is really what makes the most sense up to an including having everyone involved living under the same roof (if and when possible) and, indeed, there are a lot of advantages to this arrangement that have nothing to do with having sex.

Now, our hypothetical couple is used to having sex with each other and if they’ve been “out on their own” and having sex, okay – it’s probably one of the reasons why the relationship got opened in the first place. Maybe our couple has decided that the two of them “sharing” a girlfriend or boyfriend – or one of each – is a good idea and, importantly, they both believe that they can easily handle this because, after all, they’ve been out on their own and having fun sex with other people.

So all of the new “family” members are in place, things are settling in and, yup, sex is happening between one and all, and in all possible combinations… and that’s where the problems can crop up because the real danger here isn’t actually having sex in some way – it’s how others are gonna feel about the sex that is taking place and, in particular, that moment when someone starts to think that they’re not getting the sexual attention that they need – someone is getting more than their “fair share” of those moments.

One of the things that causes this problem is that a couple, when planning this out, doesn’t think about how new it’s gonna be to have sex like this and more so when a new partner (or partners) are all under one roof. Our couple, again, is used to having sex with each other, they understand that under this new arrangement, things are gonna be different and, I think that innately they understand that with the new folks, there’s gonna be a learning curve… but not think about how that learning curve can lead to the utter destruction of the arrangement and that someone is almost always winding up getting more attention than someone else because, um, we don’t really stop to think about how our new partners think and feel about sex (other than, fuck, yeah, we wanna do all of that) and what their needs really are.

And this kinda thing should be expected and with the understanding that in such an arrangement, everyone is going to behave differently and the appearance of a situation where some favoritism is perceived is going to happen and the mistake is assuming that it shouldn’t happen or doing things to prevent it from happening.

It can leave someone feeling out in the cold, neglected and other such connotations and once someone starts feeling like this, you’re pretty much doomed unless you use the other skills needed for this – time management, conflict and problem resolution, and exceptional communication skills – things are gonna go south fairly quickly. Some couples go about this by placing sexual priority on the core relationship and with the needs of the others as a “secondary” concern of sorts and thinking about “us” in the wrong way because “us” isn’t just the two of you – “us” are the two of you and whoever else has joined you in this. Yeah, the core relationship is still in place and that is your husband or wife after all and the new folks “need to respect this” and not let their excitement about all of this get the better of them and start “demanding” more time with either member of the core relationship than is allowed.

And that’s pretty much the wrong way to go about this. You cannot approach the sex in such a relationship as a one size fits all kind of thing, shouldn’t invoke “priority sexing,” for lack of a better term. Yeah, there’s a time and place for everything but if you’ve got a somewhat shitty attitude about sex – and you’re thinking more about what you want and when you want it – yeah, things are gonna get messy and in a hurry.

You cannot be jealous or possessive in this and, really, if you have any reason to think that you’re not getting your fair share of the sexual action, remaining silent about it is really gonna fuck shit up because while everyone else is enjoying this new way to have sex, no one is going to be aware that there’s a problem – or a potential problem – if you don’t say anything and you choose to just sit back in the cut and have a private hissy fit about it and one that’s going to very negatively affect the smooth execution of the relationship as a whole.

Oh, yeah… if you’ve never seen someone else making love to your partner, wow, get ready for a shock and, to be honest, you can run this through your head a million times and convince yourself that you’ll be okay… until the first time you see it and, you bet your ass, this is gonna be the first real test other than merely knowing that someone else is doing them.

Are there any rules for this? Some kind of pecking order that must be established? The thing that fucks up this part of the multiple partner relationship is that, usually, this is exactly what happens… and it shouldn’t. Dependent upon sexual orientation, everyone is pretty much fair game for everyone else in the relationship and it’s at this point where I’m gonna point out that if everyone in the partnership happens to be straight, um, don’t expect that to stay that way and it’s because more bisexual-like behavior can appear literally out of nowhere and that no one expects it to happen can really throw a major wrench into the works.

“Mike” comes home from work or wherever he’s been and finds “Sharon” in the middle of getting done by another member (or members) of the partnership; how should Mike react when seeing that there’s some heavy duty sex taking place and without him? How do you think he’s gonna feel about this and, importantly, how do you think he should feel about it?

Or “Sharon” is feeling somewhat miffed because “every time she turns around,” Mike is dick deep in a female partner and not during a time where such activities have been “scheduled” – and, yeah, I know about couples with live-in partners who actually have a calendar to schedule who gets to have sex with whom. Should our girl Sharon be totally pissed off about this and to the point that if she gets invited to join the party, well, she should just decline and pitch a bitch about this breech of conduct immediately or just leave and sulk?

Do you think Sharon would be right in her assumption that Mike prefers to have sex with their girlfriend more than he prefers to have sex with Sharon?

And I’m here to tell you that if anyone in the partnership gets to thinking like this, this is not a good thing and the perfect example of why a couple wanting to do this has to – absolutely has to – purge themselves of having such thoughts and emotions because now it’s not just about “us” – it’s about all of us.

Trying to regiment everyone’s sexual behavior ain’t gonna work and neither is trying to limit how, when, etc., sex can happen between the partners isn’t going to work, either. To be frank about it, if you’re not gonna be of a mind to get in there and revel in the hopefully open sexual situation between the partners, you’re pretty much defeating one of the main purposes relationships of this kind happen.

Let’s be for real about this, okay? Yes – couples (in particular) get into this kind of relationship to better take care of those needs that they can’t easily, readily, or even consistently provide and that includes sex… but you cannot and should not go into this using conventional thinking about sex or, gasp, going into this thinking that whatever sex is taking place is “just for your benefit” and going into this with a huge list of shit you ain’t gonna do. If you’re not gonna rearrange your thinking about sex and you’re not going to do your best to have a more… adventurous and open mind about sex – and more open than you thought just having an open relationship requires – well, you’re gonna be fucked… just not in a good way.

These relationships serve as a portal to experience sex in ways that, bluntly, can make other people soil themselves and the possibilities are only limited when the people involve impose limits or start finding reasons to feel some kind of way because things aren’t happening in they way they’re expecting it to. If anything, the thing you should expect is that you won’t really know what to expect but instead of having a lot of fear about it, be excited by it.

Yes, yes – everyone has sexual boundaries but for this aspect of the multiple partner relationship to work as well as it possibly can, ya need to rethink them or, again, unlearn every damned thing you’ve ever learned about having sex so you can learn a new way to have sex.

And you talk about it because, fuck, it makes no sense not to talk about it. You not only talk about any “issues” like feeling left out but you also have discussions about what we can do to make our sex lives even more exciting than they already are and, yeah, if some of that treads into the realm of bisexuality, by all means, don’t run away from it because it still remains true that if you all really do love each other, there shouldn’t be too many things you won’t do in order to make sure everyone is happy.

Which, uh, is why all of this probably got started to begin with. Not what “we” want to do – it’s what “we” can do, those things which are possible and things that “normal” folks would have strokes and heart attacks over because they are, bluntly, incapable of thinking way outside the box.

Good lord… I can tell you my own horror stories about this which, um, is how I am very much aware of how this can really fuck shit up and what, ideally, should be done so that it doesn’t get fucked up.

If you’re seeing this post again, it’s because I had to edit a few things and there’s something else about this I wanna warn you about: If someone in the core relationship seems to be having way too much fun, do not get bent out of shape about it because, um, the whole idea is to have more fun than you’ve been having. If you’re not going to dive right in and immerse yourself in the sexual activities and with the clear purpose to enjoy this new way to have sex, well, what are you doing this for?

This level of intimacy is supposed to be enjoyed to the max and holding back, well, lemme ask you: Does it make sense to hold back? And the other thing I forgot to mention is that fear some have about falling in love with one of the other partners in this.

It happens and, I think, it should happen. I’ve been talking about the sex but relationships like this are also about loving and being loved because love is the thing that binds us in this and, indeed, it’s because of love that we’re breaking a whole lot of rules in the first place.

 

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The Hard Parts of Breaking the Rules

Damn, and here I thought I had emptied my head about this but Wildwestangel, in her comments to the last scribble, reminded me of some of the initial… discomfort that one has to bear up with when getting into this discussion and one of them is finding out that you really aren’t the answer to everything your partner needs or, bluntly, you’re just not enough when it comes to some things.

People break the rules for a lot of reasons but, as I’ve said, one of them is all about sex, loving, and being loved and to find out that these things aren’t as static or consistent as you think they are is a huge kick in places where you’d rather not be kicked. See, it’s not always a matter of someone not being up to the task (to be nice about it) but, again, when we hook up with someone and start a relationship, we just don’t ever think about how someone’s needs might change or somewhere down the road, they will have new needs or that a hidden need has resurfaced and is begging for attention.

When I learned of my [then] wife’s infidelity, I was hurt by it and when I found out why, I was crushed and pulverized into paste… until I somehow managed to get past that terrible emotional moment and my intellect kicked in and having it say to me, “Um, you know, she has a point there because, last time we looked, uh, you’re not female.” But the emotional pain didn’t stop there because as we talked about it, shit, there were a couple of guys she slept with and the reason, at first, didn’t make sense to me when she told me that she slept with those guys because they weren’t me.

Now, that might sound like an insult to end all insults and, emotionally, it sure as hell felt like one but, once again, the intellect kicked in and rewound the key thing that she had said about this, namely, it wasn’t that I was unequal to the task – she just needed something different. It told me that being consistent in these things – and as much as anyone can be – is both a good and “bad” thing.

Emotionally, it still hurt because just like everyone who gets married, it is assumed and implied that the person you marry has to be – and should be – all you’ll ever need for the rest of whatever… until you find out that it just doesn’t work like that and you feel kinda devastated and even, well, stupid, because you believed what you were told about being married more than a sense of hubris or ego – you think you’re all that for your partner and learn that, nope, not so much all that.

A deeper conversation took place that exposed all of the things we thought we knew about each other and, my god, that was even worse than finding out that I wasn’t all that she needed and I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was to hear this for the both of us and how it irrevocably changes the way you look at the person you thought you knew.

A lot of tears were shed getting all of this out in the open. But, strangely, once the initial shock wore off, not so much in the way of being angry. Well, wait a minute – there was anger but not over what had happened or why it happened but because we both failed to communicate at a very open and honest level so to that end, we both fucked up big time. Then came some very hard questions we both had to answer for ourselves and to each other.

Did we still love each other? Did we want to stay together? Clearly, there are some very major problems that need to be addressed; do we address them and try to resolve them or just say, “Fuck it – I can’t deal with this shit!” and literally throw it all away?

I spent a lot of sleepless nights pondering these things and one of the things that plagued my thoughts was did I love her and need her enough to hold up my end of the vows we took and do whatever was necessary to keep her, make her happy, and prove to her that when I said that I would do anything for her, I meant what I said? Was I man enough? Strong enough? So when we got to the part in our discussions where the question of, “What do we do now?” came up, I had to ask myself was I committed enough to truthfully and honestly answer her question with a question:

“What do you want to do?”

You ask this question and with the sure knowledge that, frankly, opening Pandora’s Box would be child’s play in comparison to what you might be opening yourself up to. She told me what she wanted to do, what she needed to do and, importantly, that no matter what I said in opposition, she was gonna do it anyway.

Whoa. You wanna talk about what it means to be between a rock and a hard place? You have no idea – you really don’t. Now the ball was back in my court and I had a major and life changing decision to make. Do I throw it all away? Do I try to “man up,” put my foot down, and go all “Me Tarzan, you Jane” on her and, my god, beat her into submission and compliance? Could I really live with knowing that whenever she was out of my sight, she could be getting her needs taken care of outside the remit of marriage and, fuck me, even if she was sitting right next to me, knowing that she has this on her mind and planning on how she could pick her moments to get the things she needed that I couldn’t give her?

Or do I bite the bullet and get my head around the fact that it would be better to know what – and who – she was doing than it would be not knowing? And I responded to her statement of fact in the only way that made sense if, indeed, I did love and need her as much as I said I did.

So I said, “Okay. How can we make this happen?” More talking and we eventually hashed out how we were gonna take all of the rules of being married and obliterate them then remold them in a way that would, hopefully, make our time together better. As we talked about the new rules, it became clear that there were some… occupational hazards (again, to be nice) that became apparent and hazards that would test the strength of our love for each other, namely, what if someone met someone else and fell in love with them? Would that cause the marriage to dissolve… and should it? She could no longer have children but, um, that didn’t mean that I couldn’t and if shit happened, how to deal with this?

Come to find out that creating the new rules wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be and it required more soul searching than all the other stuff did but eventually we got the new rules created and with the understanding that they would and could be subject to change at any time, up to and including calling all of this off.

You’d think that when you’ve managed to get through this and you’re pretty beat up but still intact and functioning, well, that’s the hard part, right? Well, no, not really. Not even close. See, it’s one thing to know that your partner is out there getting jiggy with other people… and something very and terribly different to see them getting jiggy… and having big time fun getting jiggy with someone who isn’t you.

You get it into your head that you can handle it then find out – and in no uncertain terms – that handling being there and watching your partner getting laid is about the hardest thing you ever had to do and you’re either gonna survive such a moment (and depending if you’ve agreed to literally do this together) or you aren’t… but one thing is certain: You’re gonna really find out if you’re as grown up as you think you are and if the love you share with each other is as strong and powerful as you thought.

Wanna know what’s even worse than that? Talking to each other about it after the fact and I mean getting all into the details of it from what was being thought and felt. Holy shit.

Holy shit. If nothing else, you learn that being able to always communicate at this level becomes even more important and one of the rules we set was to always talk to each other about what went on, whether we were out on our own or doing it together with others. And, yes, it hurts like a motherfucker to hear and see it and it will test everyone’s resolve – are we really doing the right thing for us? Should we stop this and figure out some other way? And, just as important, are things between us getting better or worse?

Do we have to make any adjustments? One of the things we figured out was that the more rules you put in place, well, it doesn’t make things easier because you’re trying to put limits on something that actually works better with fewer limits, like how some folks who open up and get into swinging don’t have a problem with them having sex with other people… as long as things like kissing doesn’t happen because, for reasons I still don’t pretend to understand, kissing is seen as being more intimate than having sex with someone else is or saying that certain sexual things, like oral sex, is off the table and reserved for only the two of you to be doing.

There’s a definite need to preserve and protect the core relationship but when you put in rules to this effect, most people put them in and with the assumption that they can never be changed for any reason which puts them pretty much right back in the situation that caused all of this to happen in the first place: The denial of providing what’s needed and, as such, having those needs go unattended and, gasp, deemed to be of no great import.

So the fewer restrictions you put in place – and you must put some in place – can be the best area to operate in. You cannot set your obligations to each other go by the wayside; even though you’ve decided to take the rules as we know them and kick them into the next county does not ever mean that the things you have to do for and with each other gets ignored or otherwise supplanted so Rule Number One should always be, “Take care of home first.”

It’s so easy to forget this rule as you and your partner open the doors and step into what is new and exciting territory for the both of you. So while any other rules you may have put in place can be subject to change, this one should never be changed.

Ever.

Should you get past this point, well, things should be easier, right? No… not really, because just like any other relationship, this is not going to take care of itself – it’s not gonna run on autopilot, as it were, so it makes being able to talk about it even more important; you have to be aware of any difficulties that may be encountered and, together, resolve them. The biggest mistake people make when attempting this is that once they get the ball rolling, they stop talking to each other about it and stop sharing their thoughts with each other which makes Rule Number Two important: Full disclosure of all things and no exceptions and that includes any “future plans” one might have in mind.

This rule isn’t always easy to keep up with because, well, ya tend to get caught up in whatever you might be doing and it just slips your mind so it also makes sense to put in a “better late than not at all” sub-clause and more so when, before disclosing anything, it might take some time to gather one’s thoughts about whatever happened or what direction one’s other thoughts about this might be headed in.

But don’t be too late about it because it’ll appear that you have something to hide and when you’re not supposed to be hiding anything any longer from each other.

Another important thing to take into consideration: Do you need to be able to veto a partner’s decision? I’d say that most people feel that installing some veto power makes sense and, to a certain extent, it does and in the sense that if you’re partner is thinking about doing something (or someone) you don’t necessarily agree with, you should be able to say something about it – and, really, you’d better say something… but that doesn’t mean that your partner has to agree with your disagreement and this, too, is a major test that many fail to pass.

If you cannot trust your partner’s judgement of a situation, you’re gonna have problems that will, ultimately, cause you to fail. You go into this and, hopefully, with the understanding that you can only protect them so much if you’re out there operating independently; you really don’t want anything bad to happen to your partner but, again, if you have no faith in their ability to think things through before enacting them, that’s not a good thing and the message that gets sent is that you don’t trust them to make the right decision for themselves or for the relationship as a whole.

Maybe it goes as expected – no harm, no foul. But what becomes even more important is that if it doesn’t go well, be ready, willing, and able to pick up the pieces as well as talk about what went wrong and, if applicable, what can be done to make sure – or as sure as anyone can be – what whatever got fucked up doesn’t happen again (or any time soon).

Even when the two of you make a joint decision, you could both – and unknowingly – wind up making a mistake – it happens and mostly because even though the two of you know where each other is coming from, you can’t possibly know where the other people are coming from, what their intentions are, and other such things. So if there’s some doubt, sit down and talk it out; put your concerns on the table and together decide whether the concerns are valid and warrants inaction or, really, trust your partner to make the most right decision as possible.

Because it’s not just about your partner – it’s about the whole relationship that can be affected and, again, things are going to go wonky and it’s not that they can go wonky – it’s about what the two of you do when they do go wonky. And, what makes this even harder to do is almost literally being of two minds about things.

There’s what you think, what they think, and what you both think is best for us. It’s “what are you gonna do about it?” as well as “what are we gonna do about it?” and those two things aren’t always mutually inclusive and tends to put into place what’s really a conflict: What’s better for “me” against what’s better for “us” in a given thing.

Are you getting the impression that being non-monogamous is harder than being monogamous? Some people screw the pooch and think this is easy; some are… wiser and understand that it isn’t all that easy.

The truth is that it’s harder than you can imagine because, usually, people get near-sighted – they’re only paying attention to what’s going on “right now” and not paying much attention to what might occur down the road. But while no one can see into the future, it always pays to pay attention to the fact that things might change for some reason or another and if you keep this firmly in mind, when something does change, you don’t wind up being blindsided by the fact that something you didn’t think of has cropped up.

You kinda say, “Whoa – didn’t see that coming!” or maybe kick yourselves in the ass because you didn’t “plan” for something but be assured that it’s practically impossible to plan for something you don’t know is going to show up.

Then there’s the shared vision and I cannot stress how important this is. You see, it’s not about what one person wants, needs, wants to do about any of this – it’s always about what we want and hope to accomplish by daring to take the rules and flush them down the toilet. You want to be the best for each other that you can be and you both have to decide on what form this is going to take, you know, like having a main goal, for lack of better words for it. You have to say, “This is what needs to be done; this is why it needs to be done in order to be able to do right by each other and in the best way possible.”

And if you think this is easy, I beg to differ with you because a lot of what it takes to develop a shared vision are things that hasn’t happened yet… or might not even happen. Ultimately, the shared vision should be about that which will not only make each other happy but do its best to insure that the core relationship remains intact, strong and vital. What makes this not so easy is the question, “Where are we going with this and where is this going to take us?”

If someone had told me way back when the decision was made to trash the rules that we’d go from being open to engaging with other people together to the two of us sharing (and living with) a girlfriend, I would have told them that they were crazy and mostly because during the initial talks and planning, those other things never came up and, embarrassingly, neither of us were able to really see where all of this would lead us – and there was no way to know it.

Which is also why couples who are thinking about doing some rule-trashing of their own should remain open to the possibilities that might show up and at any time. Yes – you say, “This is what we’re gonna do, this is how we’re gonna go about doing it – but we need to keep ourselves open to other things that might show up.”

Or, locking it down and encasing it in tons of concrete might not be the wisest way to approach this because, don’t forget, the reason why you’re thinking about breaking the rules is because of something that cropped up that you didn’t know about and weren’t prepared to deal with.

Once you start down this path, it’s is an ongoing work in progress. You have to keep your fingers on the pulse of the relationship as well as your “partner in crime” so that everyone is always aware of what’s going on and to insure that you’re both still sharing the same vision for the present and future of your relationship.

There’s just nothing easy about doing this and I’ve shared the hard parts I had to deal with in the early going and, believe me, it was a lot more painful to endure than words could ever explain. It made me question and rethink everything I thought I knew and believed in as well as making me – forcing me – to look at my wife in a way I could have never imagined.

And maybe now y’all can understand why I’d tell a couple who wants to do this that they really need to very seriously consider not doing it because things will most certain get worse before they begin to get better. But if they choose to go for it, at least ya got an idea of what you could be facing and depending on why this has to be done in the first place.

Again, thanks to Wildwestangel for reminding me of this very important aspect of kicking monogamy to the curb.

 

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