Another one Bites the Dust

So remember last week when I told you about the new guy, Riley, I’ve been dating for several months? My only concern was that we didn’t spend enough time together. He must have gathered that I wasn’t happy with the limited availability and expressed that he didn’t feel he was being fair to me and what I wanted. He said he enjoyed what we had and didn’t want to end things, but he wanted to give me the opportunity to end things if I wanted, because he didn’t see it moving past where it was. I respect his openness and honesty, and I know that wasn’t easy.

I acknowledged that I wasn’t going to be happy if this is where the relationship remained- 2 date nights a month, on average. No overnights, no meeting his friends or family or other partners. Always being a side-fling. That’s not what I got into poly for. That’s not what I want from a relationship. So, we agreed to end things and remain friends. If he ever decides that he can devote more time/energy into a relationship, I think I’ll be open to it. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be right now.

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Long Distance-Short Story

Nelson has been out of state for almost 8 months now. Some of you may remember the gut-wrenching emotion when I discovered he was leaving (I was young and dramatic back then, what can I say.) Much to my surprise, we have managed to make things work much better than expected. Texting daily, phone calls every other month or so (I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone), and he’s visited a time or two. It has definitely gotten easier over time, but the hardest part is not knowing when he will be back. Hopefully by the end of the year, but it’s very up in the air.

The best part of this has been what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve had to explore my emotional health and stability, patience, fear of rejection and loss, and I’ve learned I’m a lot damn stronger than I knew.

That’s a long story short!

 

 

 

 

*Insert Spice Girls Lyrics Here*

If ya wanna be my lover, ya gotta get…tested! STDs aka STIs are a touchy subject. Given that I’m no longer in a monogamous relationship, I have to consider risk factors anytime I’m talking to a potential new parter. Not only risks to myself, but to my other partners and THEIR partners as well. We are all an interconnected little web of…sex. 

I quickly became aware that this level of consideration and caution is not shared among all of my fellow poly-wogs. Though, I have found that many of those with higher-risk behaviors fall more into the “swinger” category than actual polyamory. (Post to come later on that!)

So! What constitutes a safe sexual relationship, from my perspective? After countless hours of research, I’ve come to a few conclusions. First, there’s no such thing as “safe” sex. “Safer” sex is much more accurate. Even if everyone tests negative for everything, something could have slipped by the tests. Maybe they contracted something after being tested last. There’s always a level of risk. 

Luckily, there are ways to lower that risk. When taking on a new partner, I require the following of them:

1. They (and their partners) be tested every 3-6 months for a specific list of STIs. 

2. They, and their partners, must test negative for: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hep-C, HIV, HSV-2, and Syphilis.

3. HSV-1 testing is preferred, but not required. Why? Because I have found that nearly everyone has it! Cold sores. Passed from parents to their children when they are still young, and they never even know they have it. I won’t try and convince you to take this off your list if it’s on there. Stick to your gut and to your standards! Just do your research and know that the testing is very unreliable, and a person can have it for YEARS before getting a positive result. I have always tested negative, but one of my partners has gone back and forth between positive and negative results over the past year. We assume he has it and the negatives are false negative, as that’s more likely than a false positive. Realistically, I probably have it too, despite my negative results. Luckily, there’s no real health concerns and this is the least concerning STI of the bunch, in my opinion. 

3. Protection! Condoms/dental dams must be used with anyone who isn’t a committed partner. Now this one gets into a little grey area. People define “commited” partners differently, and everyone has an opinion on when protection should be used. I have found myself wavering on my expectations, but ultimately it has been a deciding factor in ending relationships. There’s no such thing as too safe!

4. Be honest about slip-ups! Condom breaks? Condom slips off inside someone? Accidental fluid exchange? Just tell me! Shit happens, believe me, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cursed my apparently extra-tight vagina for trying to eat a condom… 

5. When a slip-up happens, consider getting re-tested. Just to be safe. If everyone is following the expectations, whoever you slipped with will have recent testing, too. But again, you can never be sure what may be lurking or what they’ve contracted since their last testing, especially if they’re closer to the 6 month window of testing.

6. Repeat! Keep the testing cycle up-to-date and always be honest!

Now, to me, these don’t seem like unreasonable requests. Unfortunately, for some people they have been the deciding factor for them NOT to get sexually involved with me. Sorry, not sorry. That being said, there are some who have even stricter standards than this! I know at least 2 poly-wogs who require that potential partners be celibate (or take on no new partners if in a commited relationship) for 6 months, and then get a fresh round of testing before they can have sex. This gives a chance for any STIs to manifest and show up in the blood work, eliminating the chance of any newer ones to be missed. While the majority find this to be extreme, it is certainly a valid option for those choosing to be overly cautious. Again, there’s no such thing as too safe when you hold the health and safety of countless people in your hands!

What are your expectations? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Updates! Who pressed the fast forward button?!

It’s been a whirlwind over the past several months- where to begin?

Let’s start where we left off…Derrick. Things seemed to be going great with our weekly date nights. I even slept over a few times. Many nights we didn’t even have sex. It was cuddles and movies and homemade dinners. It was wonderful. Until he broke our agreement and had sex with someone he knew had an STD.

I have very strict agreements with my partners- not as strict as some- but they are straightforward and simple. Don’t have sex with someone until you see their test results, and not if they have certain positive results. (I’ll make a post with more details about this later.)

A mutual friend had expressed interest, and he was open to seeing what might come of it. She was forthcoming with her test results, and, unfortunately, tested positive for something on our NO list. I was open to taking sex off the table in our current relationship- no biggie, we rarely had sex anyway- so that he could pursue a relationship with her. He said no! He said he liked what we had and didn’t want to jeopardize that over someone he didn’t really like that much to begin with. End of discussion…or so I thought.

Less than a week later, she messages me to let me know they had hooked up and she wanted to make sure I knew they had sex. I thanked her and waited for him to come to me. 2 days past and he said nothing. Later that night, we had date night scheduled and he had been very clear about the sexy times about to ensue. I finally asked him about it. He apologized and said he knew he “screwed up” and he accepted we wouldn’t be able to have sex anymore. I explained that it was more than that, and due to this broken trust, we couldn’t have a relationship at all. If he had just been honest from the beginning?!? Isn’t that the point of poly? I guess you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.:/ That’s what I get for dating a man 20 years my senior who spent half his life as a swinger. So much for “wanting to change.” I was hurt, confused and downright pissed. He tried to say we didn’t have an “agreement” but I had the messages. He then got pissed at ME! Like I had done something wrong.  Who knows how many others he was seeing that I didn’t know about. How many that didn’t know me and care enough to message me. Looks like I dodged a bullet.

A couple months and 500 ridiculous OKC messages later, I met Riley. He’s about 20 years older, divorced and in a long-term relationship. They are newly poly but he has a past of open relationships. I was, of course, a little reluctant to get involved with someone new after the Derrick fiasco, so we took things slow. He was more than understanding and made me feel comfortable. We had sex after a couple of months and it was amazing. I had an orgasm DURING SEX for the first time ever. I was in shock and not sure what to think. So far this year, I’ve gone from not having an orgasm with anyone other than my husband (and 99% of the time with a vibrator) to being able to cum with multiple partners, with both hands and vibrators, to having an orgasm during sex for the first time in my life. What a year, and it isn’t even over yet!

Riley and I have been dating for several months now and my biggest concern is that we don’t see each other enough. Sometimes as little as once or twice a month. Our work schedules just don’t mesh, and he has joint custody of his kids- who are not aware of his multiple relationships. He also spends a lot of his time with his girlfriend who I haven’t met yet. I’m hoping that things continue to go well and we can meet soon, thus opening up more opportunities for Riley and I to spend time together.

I continued having frequent visits from my play partner, Jack. Then one night I was at a party with my husband and Jack was there. I saw firsthand how much he…got around. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just doesn’t sit well with my risk assessment. We had recently had a discussion about my concerns with him not using protection during oral sex with some of his partners. He had asked to do the same with me and I made it clear that at this stage in the relationship and how many others he was fluid bonded with, it wasn’t an option. He was disappointed, but said he understood. After seeing him make-out with no less than 8 people at the party-some he is dating, some he isn’t, it confirmed that I just wasn’t comfortable with the risk factors. Neither would my other partners be. So, I made a decision to stop having sex with him. We can still play as long as there are no sexual activities or risk of fliud exchange. *Sigh* and he gave some great fisting orgasms.

So much has happened, but I think that about covers the main stuff! I’ll update on my LDR soon.

I had an Orgasm!!!

I don’t orgasm during sex. I don’t even cum from manual or oral stimulation with anyone other than my husband, and even that has been a long journey. Last week, it happened. It was my first time being sexual with Jack. As always, I had zero expectations of getting off. It’s just something I’ve come to accept…they get off, I still enjoy myself.  I don’t need an Orgasm to experience pleasure, blah blah blah.  He was down there, hands and fingers working their magic and I was getting unusually close. He asked me to get my vibrator… I hate when they do that. As usual,  I warn him that I won’t get there and not to take it personally.  “There’s no expectations. I just want you to enjoy it, whether you cum or not.” In about a minute, I could feel it building up. My entire body was electric.  I was about to orgasm! My surprise must have been evident but I didn’t have time to register what he said before my body was racked with mind-numbing contractions. OMG. I can’t imagine what it will be like the first time we actually have intercourse!

A few days later I saw Derrick. Having recovered from his unfortunate hamstring incident last go round, we finally had sex for the first time. He took his time working my body, nothing but his hands and fingers…. I hadn’t even brought my vibrator, as I usually just finish myself when I get home after dates. That didn’t stop him. My mind swirling with confusion and pleasure, I came harder than I have in a long time. And without a vibrator?!? What was happening? I’m almost 30 and I’ve only orgasmed with the assistance of 2 men in my life. And now, in a matter of days, that number has jumped to 4. 

Something is changing within me, and I think I’m in love- with myself, that is!

But why is all the Rum gone?!

I’m not normally one to “woe is me,” but tonight is one of those nights. Between Nelson moving cross country, hubby’s lack of sex drive and my lackluster dating life, I’m feeling a little self-pity coming on. To top it off, work is a major pain in the ass, even more so than usual. I know I need to snap out of…I just wish it were that simple. Positive thoughts. Positive thoughts. Positive- Fuck this. I need a beer.

When the only sex is Make-up sex

After nearly 10 years together, I suppose it was bound to happen. I love my husband. We have a wonderful relationship and, up until recently, have had a sex-life that was the envy of our friends. These days, we’re tired, frustrated and too busy crying over our bank balance to get in the mood. The problem was exacerbated when he was on a certain medication with some unfortunate, lasting side-effects. Being poly, I can get sexual my needs fulfilled elsewhere, but it doesn’t replace what we have. I still desire him and find myself practically begging for intimacy. I came to the realization today that, with rare exception, the only sex we have anymore is make-up sex. The argument is usually about our lack of sex. Ironic?

While I have a few partners (as you may already know), hubby isn’t currently seeing anyone outside of our marriage. Since breaking-up with Abby* in November, he hasn’t really put himself back out there. I’ve tried making more time for him, making sure to let him know he is a priority, but that doesn’t seem to help with the lack of sex drive. He recently went to the doctor and got a prescription for a little blue pill…he’s not even 30. He was utterly embarrassed, but desperate. However, in the 3 weeks he’s had them, he’s only used them twice. I’m at a loss. I understand he’s got some issues he’s dealing with- depression, school and work. I’m trying to be understanding and supportive. I just wish I didn’t miss our sex so much!

That, my friends, is the wonderful world of Polyamory

Last night was the night. I was going to have sex for the first time. Well, not THE first time, obviously, but the first time with a new person since Nelson moved away. Derrick and I have been seeing each other for a couple of months now and had been working our way up. With my heart beating wildly and my mind swirling, it was time. I was poised and ready. I had talked a good game. Then- fumble. It was a disaster. You’d think after being in poly-land for a year now, having had more than few partners in my lifetime, I’d be less awkward at this whole intimacy thing. But the first time is almost always a bust. I get nervous and say stupid things. I try to act cool and only end up making a fool of myself. *Sigh* We eventually made it to the bed, undressed and fooled around a for a couple of hours before getting ready for the grand finale- he rolls over, starts to climb on top and then…he pulls a hamstring. Well, shit. I could feel the tightness and the knot growing just under the muscle. No sex for us. I suppose that is a hazard of dating older men. When I got home, hubby was tired and not up for sexy times- he had taken care of himself, since I was out having my own fun. So, my sexy, exciting night turned into me and my trusty vibrator. And that, my friends, is the wonderful world of polyamory.