Secondary

Fuck.  I mean, it’s right there in the title, right?  It’s right there.
When we first met, everything was giddy and sexy and I want you and fucking all the time.  When we first met, everything was feelings are messy and I’m protective of my heart and I’m not really looking for an emotional relationship.  When we first met, there were broken wine glasses and watching the red wine seep into my couch and stacks of papers for a moment before putting his cock back in my mouth, not caring.  When we first met it was literally fun and games – we went to an arcade on our first date and I beat him at everything.
And then.  And then I said, “I read recently that you’re not supposed to talk about feelings after sex because your oxytocin levels are through the roof.”  He laughed and said, “I like you, too.”  Later I said, “At the risk of being emotionally messy, I have romantic feelings for you.”  And he said, “I was so relieved when you told me that you had feelings for me because I’ve been feeling them, too.”  And then on a very, very drunk night, he said, “I feel crazy, like I need you.”  He said, “You feel dangerous.”  He said, “I’m so into you that it feels like cheating.” 
And now.  And now I’m so into him that every second spent with him, my heart is soaring.  When we’re together and his phone rings and I know it’s his wife telling him he needs to come home, my heart cringes.  Now I want a say in things.
I’m doing what I can.  I’m feeling and accepting and owning my feelings, not looking to him to fix things – figuring out how I can get my needs met and how he can help me get my needs met and actually telling him.  Telling him how I feel when I feel it and not letting negative emotions corrode my insides.  This is all new for me, but I trust him with my heart because he makes me feel emotionally safe.  Because he tells me all the time how he feels about me, and I never have to wonder.  He asks what I need and how he can help me meet those needs (and I do the same for him), never getting defensive.  He makes me feel loved, beautiful, and valued.  He makes me feel like he’s proud to be with me.  
There are things I can do to protect my heart – asking him to negotiate times with his wife that are just for us and asking her to respect those times.  Prioritizing myself before the relationship.  Dating other people, having lots of amazingly supportive friends, being active and engaged in the world around me.
But what can I do about the fact that I don’t feel like a flesh and blood human being?  That I don’t feel like a whole person because our time together is entirely subject to the whims of someone I’ve never even met, someone who kicks her husband out of the house when she wants time alone with a paramour, then calls him the next morning while we’re in a deep slumber to tell him, alright, come home now?  That I only get to spend time with him when it happens to be convenient for his wife?   
Seriously.  What do I do about that?

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Under the Rainbow

Switch Studies posted an excellent blog post this week about bisexuality; it struck a chord with me because it’s something that’s been on my mind as well.
When I moved to Korea six years ago, I had been exclusively dating women for a couple of years and publicly identified as gay. No one questioned my sexuality; in fact, everyone I met completely embraced it – even my Korean friends who’d been brought up in a country where homosexuality “doesn’t exist.”  My straight male friends bantered with me about dating women (and said some pretty horrific things to me because they weren’t trying to get in my pants); my lesbian friends accepted me as one of their own and made jokes about wanting to date “real” lesbians and not bisexuals.
Last year, I hooked up with a guy I’d been crushing on for a year and ended up dating him, then falling in love.  It was hard to tell this to my lesbian friends, but they accepted me and were happy for me at the time.  It was much harder to tell my straight friends, most of whom were super confused.  “But… you’re gay,” they’d say (surprisingly, this is the same exact thing my mother said).  “Actually,” I’d reply, “I’m bisexual; I just haven’t dated men in years.”  Even after a year of being aware that I was dating men again, I still had straight friends come up to me after seeing me make out with a guy in a bar and say, “Hey – what’s that about?  I thought you were gay.”  Or worse – they’d assume that now that I was bi, I would fuck anyone.
Public Service Announcements:
Bisexual people don’t want to fuck everyone.
Non-monogamous people don’t want to fuck everyone.
Standards!  I have some!
In the last year, most (but not all) of my sexual partners have been men.  This has more to do with the availability of dating partners than my desire to date men versus my desire to date women; there are just a lot more single straight and bisexual guys where I am than gay or bisexual girls.  To complicate things, I am non-monogamous and really up front about dating multiple people, which a lot of ladies aren’t so down with.  For me, having sex is not as important as being honest.   
I’m feeling a bit confused myself.  There’s a philosophical question that gets posed to Dan Savage every week: If I’m not currently fucking someone of the same sex, am I really bisexual?  (In a similar vein, if I only have one partner right now, am I really non-monogamous?)  The answer is yes, of course… but sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my queer cred, if that’s a thing.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t get to hold the queer umbrella over my head because it’s raining men.
Image result for rainbow umbrella

There have been times when a woman expressed interest in me but I wasn’t interested in her (because someone showing an interest in you doesn’t necessitate reciprocation); at these times, I felt like I was failing as a queer lady for not prioritizing being in a relationship with *any* woman over being with someone I was actually interested in dating.  My lesbian friends would actually tell me to date someone in the community simply because she was available without consideration of compatibility.
Where I’m at right now is that I want partners who I’m compatible with.  Other people who already identify as non-monogamous.  People I have chemistry with and share interests with.  And that means that right now, I don’t have a female partner… but I’m still sexually and romantically attracted to women.  On days like this, I miss San Francisco. 

Sex in the Shower (NSFR)

We were dirty and exhausted – covered in sand from spending the night at the beach and sweat from walking with heavy packs.  We hadn’t gotten much sleep because we’d gone to bed late after hours of playing with each other’s bodies (then washing off in the ocean) and woken up at sunrise to fuck with the back of the tent open, letting the morning breeze and pale sunshine fill the tent.  When we got back to my place, showering was paramount.
After giving each other a good scrub to get all the sand off, I hung up my washcloth and leaned my ass back toward him, clamping his cock between my legs.  I shifted my legs a little bit side to side, feeling him harden between them, and started to say, “So I know we’ve just had sex, but –” “Yes,” he cut me off.  I laughed and grabbed a condom from the shelf, then shut the swinging glass shower door behind me.  Once I’d rolled it onto his now very erect cock, I faced away from him, putting one hand on the shower door and using the other to guide him into me.  I stood on my tip toes, and he bent his knees a bit to make up for the height difference.  He leaned back against my white tile shower wall while I leaned forward and pressed my forearms against the door, wiping the steam from the glass so we could watch ourselves fuck in the bathroom mirror in front of us.  There’s something that’s incredibly arousing about making eye contact with someone who’s fucking me from behind – about watching my breasts bounce as he rhythmically rocks my hips back onto him.  That being said, it’s also hard to get a grip on wet glass; I had him move against the wall to his left so I could hold onto my shower shelving and he could fuck me harder. 
At one point, I looked at him over my right shoulder; seeing his long body leaning back against the wall, water glistening all over him, his right arm casually thrown over his head, his left hand on my ass, looking down at his cock as it slid in and out of me, sent a sudden electric shudder throughout my body.  Breathing hard and finding it difficult to speak, I told him how hot he looked; he returned the compliment and took his free hand down from the wall to cup my breast and roll my nipple gently in his fingers.  He later told me that he liked watching the way my back arched the closer I was to orgasm. 
It got to the point that we were both so flushed with heat – it’s the middle of a humid Korean summer, and what was rolling down our bodies was no longer water but sweat – that we decided to rinse off with cold water and take it outside.  Before leaving the shower I leaned up to kiss him, our exchanged breath coming hot and hard, our lips wet and full from the humidity. 
“I’d be happy if more of my showers involved sex,” he told me.  Sex like that?  Me. Too.

 

Playgrounds are for everyone!

  I first heard of the Life on the Swingset website in a Sex is Fun podcast six or seven years ago (it isn’t being produced anymore, but you can still listen to archived episodes!).  Although I often directed friends toward the Swingset website, I never took a good look at it myself, mostly because I was not a swinger.  Non-monogamous?  Yes. Slutty?  You bet!  But for me, the word “swinger” conjured up images of wife swapping, key parties, and for some reason, shag carpets.  I didn’t think I belonged because I wasn’t married.  Or living in the 1970s.  It turns out I was wrong!

Image result for my life on the swingsetHands down, the best thing I got out of reading Cooper Beckett’s collection of essays / blog posts My Life on the Swingset is that it challenged and changed my mind about the nature of swinging.  About what swinging involves, who swingers are, and the types of relationships and community that swingers have.  This book forced me to think hard about my preconceived notions and examine my stereotypes.

Cooper’s writing is insightful, hilarious, and incredibly personal – as many reviewers (mostly other sex educators) have written about the book, it’s not theory; it’s practice.  There’s a lovely mix of analytical pieces about topics related to sexuality and relationships (some examples include jealousy, porn, divorce, coming out as a swinger, and risk aware sex) and firsthand narratives; however, even when the writing falls on the analytical rather than the personal side of things, it’s clear that every opinion Cooper includes in his writing comes from his life experiences (it feels weird using someone’s first name instead of their last in a review, but his online persona makes me feel comfortable doing so, which is a beautiful thing). 

And he seemingly has a lot of experience.  Enough to make me think: Man, I am missing out!  Can you be part of a swinging community without a partner, though?  Certainly!  …if you’re a woman.  One of the issues that Cooper tackles gracefully in his book / on the website is the double standard of accepting bisexual women in swinging communities and at play parties but not bisexual men.  This is manifested in part by the fact that single women are often invited and encouraged to come to play parties while single men are banned (I realize there are other reasons for this – some of them very good reasons – but I think that biphobia plays a part in it).  He also includes an essay about another issue of inclusivity in swinging: ageism.  It’s nice that in a body of work that so clearly supports and advocates for its subject, there’s still room for constructive criticism of that subject.

For me, the book’s greatest strength lies in Cooper’s thoughtfulness regarding complex and murky issues.  He writes very honestly about changing relationship dynamics and how we have to let go sometimes in order to grow and change.  About experimenting with polyamory and trying to navigate the amorphous landscape between swinging, poly, and ethical non-monogamy.  About the bullshit hierarchy that some folks in SOP communities try to impose on each other despite the fact that we have more similarities than differences.  About feelings of confidence and fear of rejection and how they relate to being able to engage in open relationships.

He even calls on his readers to reconsider their definition of sex (and tells us in no uncertain terms that sex becomes better when you do, which I would attest to).

There are comic pieces, too – how to install a sex swing; a story about an amazing prostate orgasm, making me wish on ALL the stars that I had a prostate; and lots of funny entries about how not to be a dick.  There are a few long-winded pieces toward the end that were written in the wee hours of the morning after fucking all night at Desire Resort in Mexico; reading them was akin to listening to the high ramblings of your one friend who still has dreadlocks even though he’s 37.  I can forgive those pieces, though, seeing as how sex actually makes us high (see Emily Nagoski’s book Come As You Are for more about that). 

Overall, I found the book very enjoyable and would recommend it to anyone who’s considering opening up their relationship OR anyone who just wants to swing along vicariously through Cooper Beckett’s life.  He’s bared it all for us, and it costs less than a fancy coffee house drink, so there’s really no excuse not to read it.  There’s even an audio version if you want to hear it read in Cooper’s ridiculously sexy deep voice.  Speaking of – I had never listened to the Swingset podcast before reading this book, but I do now; I also recommend checking that out!    

Lastly, a personal note: there’s this piece in the book about the joy inherent in making out like a teenager – that kind of making out where your lips hurt afterward.  I had this magnificent two-hour makeout session under a subway station in the pouring rain after being inspired by reading it.  It was all quite giddy and romantic, even when we got yelled at by old men.  Especially when we got yelled at by old men.  So thanks for that, Cooper Beckett!