Month one of the re-poly was known as Jankuary.
Month two is hereby christened Fubar-uary.
I’m struggling a bit today but want to log these thoughts for future self, so I doubt this writing will be as tidy as some of my others. The inner turmoil could very well be hormonal, been PMS-ing like woah. Nothing adheres. I feel like my brain is all these conflicting emotions rolling around in a ball. It’s like there’s a bunch of fighting weasels in there. There’s no plot line but a lot of action. So bear with me and welcome to my emotional dust bunnies.
A lot of my explicit challenge lately comes from the self-assigned task of figuring out precisely what kind of slut I want to be now that I’ve taken the plunge back into poly slut-dom. So far I’ve been open but picky. In the online dating realm, I’ve messaged back and forth with a fair number of folks (sometimes out of genuine interest, sometimes morbid curiosity, sometimes out of politeness or to educate about poly and sex positivity) but have only gone on dates with 2-3 people (one was partnered but I primarily dated him and Skyspook her), all 99% matches, one of which I found was at the outer limits of my current friends circle and with whom I had a number of mutual friends. That failed fast, which is tricky in the short term but a mercy to us both in the long run.
The other is CC, slutty bitch boy extraordinaire. That’s pretty damn easy. As Skyspook always says, if something’s good, it’s pretty hard to mess up. I keep feeling like dating CC is easy mode. Not a lot of demands made of me and a high degree of mutual understanding. I certainly wasn’t looking for a sub when I was out and about, but I knew pretty much instantly that a) he would be fun to push around, insult, and mess with and b) he liked that sort of thing. A lot.
Still, I cry pretty much every time before I go out with CC, a weird cocktail of nerves and guilt. It feels perverse (and not in the normal way I use the term) to be connecting with someone else when I’m so generally satisfied in my anchor relationship, like going out for a second supper with a full stomach. I’ve known so much more love and support in my connection with Skyspook than most ever have in their lives. It’s bizarre to have more love and connection on top of that. And it’s a radical departure from my earlier poly experience where there were fundamental deficiencies in my primary relationship that were well compensated for by other ones.
Skyspook has been lovely, reminding me during these all-too-predictable teary spells that I have a great time with CC and am always really happy when I come home from our dates. He also seems amused that I really do have a harder time dating people than I do with dealing with my partners dating other people, something I’ve maintained regularly (I’ve even blogged about it) but a reality that sounds counterintuitive and strange enough that it’s one thing to hear about it and another to see it.
Still, the distinct advantages remain. Dating CC has had a number of positive effects on me – exploring the domme role has been extremely fun, and I’ve been amazed at my adeptness for the humiliatrix role in particular, the crazy shit that I say, and the effect it has on him. That’s something that definitely is taking on a life of its own, and I’m finding might lead into things with others – one girl at least has expressed interest in me in this capacity, a prospect which excites me and feels good as I’ve mostly topped girls in my past.
It’s also been gratifying to see the benefits of the intensive assertiveness therapy I underwent a few years back – this has clearly helped in the realm of toppy-ness as well as in the recent breakup. In fact, I am convinced that the breakup would not have even happened a few years back. I would have gone along with things rather than expressing my concerns and desire to take a step back once I realized the physical chemistry problems were insurmountable on my own, worried that I’d led someone on, feeling that changing my mind about things was a betrayal. Now I fully understand that I have a right to only be in things that I enthusiastically consent to and that if I don’t think I want to salvage something in its infancy that I don’t have to. There may be consequences, hurt feelings, lost friendships… but I get to make the call. And that realization is huge.
Also CC likes to call me his “poly Sherpa,” and I relish this role. It’s been illuminating telling CC some of my stories and insights surrounding this big crazy clusterfuck of a non-monogamous micro-culture. It’s been gratifying to help him, and of course, the process helps me process a lot of it that is just rising to the surface for me after all these years of being immersed (even when closed, 2/3 of our friends were poly). It also gives me essay ideas, many of which will be forthcoming. Because I can’t stop writing. This much I know.
Furthermore, CC and the rest of the constellation of interests between Skyspook and me continue to thrum up this intense NRE in my relationship with Skyspook. I am having so much freaking sex. I am having more sex than I did back in the peak of the old web, when I had 5 partners (who were admittedly all low libido aside from Skyspook, but I only saw him about once a week to start, so even during the times where he and I would have sex 3 times a night, there was a lot of dead air in between). And the sex with Skyspook has this raw ragged edge that excites me so much that it’s kind of scary. I am on cranberry pills as a prophylactic. My insides are thrumming with contentment. I am pretty much always thoroughly fucked and perpetually blissed out sexually.
It’s also been quite illuminating to see how Skyspook differs as an anchor/primary from my ex-husband Seth. Skyspook seems more patient and discriminating, and there is quite a bit more kindness in Skyspook’s approach. Skyspook is always concerned with how I feel about things. I’m a recovering relationship anarchist out of necessity (my web was full of some profoundly selfish actors, which was fine but had to be accounted for), and this compassionate consideration of my opinion is… daunting, humbling… it could perhaps be comforting if I could accept that it’s appropriate, which I suspect will be a function of time?
The NRE terrifies me because I feel more attached to Skyspook than ever – which seems contraindicated at a time when we’re moving towards other people, other things. I don’t want to be the toddler clinging to his leg when he has to go to work. Philosophically in an idealistic sense, I try to subscribe to the abundance/loaves and fishes (loves and wishes?) model of love rather than the pie slice/scarcity model. I do just fine most days, but I keep bracing myself for disasters that don’t happen, and I worry what will happen if I let down my guard and THEN the disaster happens.
A lot of what I fight is the feeling that I’m in the way – I always feel like I am all cost and no benefit and that the best thing I could do is get out of the way and let the people I’m involved with get on to bigger and better things.
Dating stresses me out. I love sexytimes and hookups as much as the next person, and I do miss girls in particular since it’s been a while on that front (I had 2 girlfriends in the old poly web from 2010-2011, however), but it’s a far bigger investment of energy, time, and risk (STIs, emotional vulnerability, potential embarrassment, the guilt of hurting someone, etc) to be putting myself out there in that capacity than it is to be a good metamour. The metamour thing is being as good a friend as I can be to someone I love. It’s super rewarding, and I generally know how to do it, to be warm and gracious and patient.
Being the lover though? I’m convinced I’m terrible at it. I stress out, I break hearts, I emerge with a few good stories and a bunch of bruises that explode into beautiful colors until they fade back to normal skin.