Future in Your Eyes

“I’m Viv,” I say, as I shake your slender hand.  The first thing I notice are your earrings – feathery and dangly and brushing your freckled shoulders. Only I don’t know they’re freckled yet.  The second thing is your smile.  You have crooked teeth, like me.  Your smile is wide and welcoming and disarming.  Your dimples tell me I should trust you.

Then I look at your eyes, chocolate porter-colored behind small, rectangle-framed glasses.  They unfurl like a whirlpool in reverse.  At first I only see colors, sparkling and bright.  Fireworks and fairy lights.  Then the images start to come into view.

Light, Christmas, Lighting, Decoration

I’m scooping your knees up while your arms hang tight around my neck so a stranger in front of Ghirardelli Square can take our photo.  You’re eating mochi on a stick, giggling while we walk around a festival in Japantown with my friends.  We’re on the tilt-a-whirl at the Santa Cruz boardwalk, spinning as fast as we can while I try not to crush you.  We’re slow dancing to “My Funny Valentine” at Martuni’s, your red satin dress melting my hands.  We’re lying on a blanket in Dolores Park, my arm around you, your head nestled into my chest, soaking up unexpected sunshine.  My family is telling me how much they adore you.

You’re on your hands and knees on a spanking bench while I tower above you, flogging you.  You’re flush with almost-coming, your eyes shut tight, your head thrown back.  We’re kissing and kissing and kissing and kissing, hands all over each other.  I’m ripping a towel off of you so I can get one of your nipples into my mouth as quickly as possible.  We’re making love quietly and urgently in my parent’s house, shuddering and soaking the sheets.

You’re telling me you foresaw this – we would either get closer, or we would break up.  I’m regretting the words as soon as they’re out of my mouth.  I’m sobbing as I walk down 24th street in the Mission, not really knowing where I’m going.  You’re looking at me with eyes that say, “Why have you broken my heart?”  I’m looking inside, unable to find a good answer.  I’m writing you an apology.  You’re writing me an update.  We’re meeting for the first time in a long time with faint smiles on our faces and hope in our hearts.  We’re hugging goodbye and saying how happy we are to be friends.

“Nice to meet you,” you say.  “I’m Emma.”

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

 

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Monogamish?

I spent several years listening to Dan Savage give the sage advice to callers that sometimes, they just have to pay a price of admission – AKA, not getting everything they want in a relationship – in order to maintain it.  Every time I heard him say this, I always thought, “Phew!  Glad it’s not me calling in – what a conundrum!”  I was never much for compromise.  If a partner wanted me to make a serious compromise to my needs and desires, I’d just let them go in search of more compatible partners.

Heart, Love, Romance, Valentine, Harmony

Partners. After resisting the label of polyamory for a couple of years – I always insisted that I was barely amorous, so I couldn’t be polyamorous – I fell recklessly in love and realized that not only do I have the capability to love deeply, but that allowing myself the authenticity to explore the possibilities of multiple relationships at once makes me really happy.  I moved from calling myself non-monogamous to calling myself polyamorous, and it felt right.  It still feels right.

My people are perverts and hippies; I surround myself with sex nerds and intentionally choose to date other poly people – or at least, I used to.

The Engineer was supposed to be a one-night stand.  I didn’t expect him to ask me to spend a second night with him – let alone the whole day.  I didn’t expect him to uproot his travel plans to follow me into another country.  I didn’t expect him to uproot them yet again to meet me for two weeks at the end of my trip last year – and I certainly didn’t think on that night we met in Rwanda a year and a half ago that someday down the road, I’d want to move to another country and start my life over again to be with him.  But I do.  His emotional intelligence, his honesty, his generosity, his loving nature, and his willingness to adventure with me blow me away.  Just when I think he can’t be a more amazing partner, he shows up at my door wearing a tux a week before he’s supposed to get here.  Just when I think I can’t possibly feel any more deeply cared for, he learns how to play our song on the piano and makes a video of it for my birthday.  True story!

He prioritizes me and makes me feel valued in a way I’ve always done for other partners.  He means what he says, keeps his word, and intentionally makes time for me.  My relationship with him is one which is worth compromising for.

I knew The Engineer was monogamous when we first met – but because I didn’t think it was going to be more than a travel fling, I didn’t think of that as a deal-breaker.  Even during our first full week together when we were telling people at our guesthouse that we were on our honeymoon, I just brushed it off.  Now, on our way to two years in, it feels like a big deal.  As we’re long distance, we’ve come to an uneasy negotiation about being monogamish.  And when I say “we,” I mean me.  I’m okay with him sleeping with other women.  He’s pretty uncomfortable with the idea of me hooking up.

So I haven’t.  Still – I need to know that it’s not an instant deal-breaker if I meet someone at a bar and want to bang them or develop a crush on someone.  I need to be able to tell my partner when I experience those things without worrying that it’s going to destroy our relationship.  In my early twenties, I cheated on / broke up with a few partners because I developed feelings for other people while in the relationship, and I didn’t think I had any choice other than cheating or breaking up.

I know better now.  Here’s the weird part, though: I’d started thinking that because of my past experiences, a monogamous relationship would never work for me.  I thought that this would be harder, but the fact that both of us have been honest about what we want from the get-go and that we check in about it frequently makes it feel good.  The fact that I’m choosing to be with a monogamous partner who knows I’d prefer not to be feels better than trying to be monogamous because it’s what I think is expected of me.  And maybe I’m actually ambiamorous, much like I’m bisexual: Floating somewhere in the middle, enjoying all the things.

Since I’ve met The Engineer, I’ve had a couple of sexy hankerings and even a genuine crush, but no feelings that I’ve really wanted to pursue.  I haven’t experienced any of the FOMO that I thought I might.  Then again – perhaps I’m being naïve and all of this will change when / if I do meet someone else I develop a romantic attachment to.  Or when / if he does. Only time will tell, I guess – but the same can be said for default mono relationships.  The important thing is that we keep talking and acknowledging that while we may not be the most perfectly compatible partners, there are things that both of us are willing to compromise on to make this work – because holy shit, is it worth it.

We’re planning on visiting a sex club together in January and talking about exploring threesomes (yea!!!) – but for right now, in this moment, I’m quite happy snuggling up at night and whispering “I love you, my nest” into the phone, looking forward to the next time that I get to feel his arms wrapped tight around me.  And then fantasizing about riding him while another woman sits on his face.

On Letting Go

When I was young and foolish (Ha!  “When…”), I made a grave error in judgment.  I had a friend with a great dry wit and a masterful use of language on whom I suddenly and out of nowhere developed a crush.  Not Serious Feelings, but a fun crush with a side of pants feelings.  When we started spending more time together and hooking up, I made the assumption that he felt the same way I did.  I was very honest from the beginning about the fact that I was also dating other people and in no position to be attached to anyone.  And while that was a true sentiment, I specifically wasn’t super attached to him.

Over the first couple of months, it became apparent that he had a real, serious, deep, romantic attachment to me that I didn’t reciprocate.  While I earnestly cared for him and felt a lot of intimate affection for him, I didn’t feel the same way he did… but I continued to date him.  I finally asked him to coffee five months in and broke things off with him, afraid of hurting him more than I already had.  He later told me that he was in love with me, and that I had been careless with his heart.  He was right – I had been.  He cut off communication with me, and I lost a good friend.

For years, I never understood why our friendship had to end just because we stopped dating.  I couldn’t see past the end of my nose.  “But we had such a great connection!”  I thought.  “Surely, that’s worth saving?”  Because I hadn’t had the excruciating experience of being in long-term love with someone who was in a short-term relationship with me, I couldn’t truly empathize with the fact that he needed to stop seeing and talking to me in order to preserve his mental and emotional well-being.  Now, I can see how if we’d stayed friends, every time I brought up a significant other who I had a deep, long-term, and loving commitment to, it would have killed him.

Some say that when it comes to exes, you can either be the type to burn your bridges or fortify them.  For the longest time, I tried to be one of those people who could be friends with all of their exes, no matter how hurtful that friendship was to me.  I would put a huge, Frozen Smile of Enthusiasm on my face when meeting an ex’s new partner, even if I felt like an earthquake was ripping through me.  I thought that in order to show how cool and strong I was, I had to push through my panic and self-loathing and try to be a good friend.  The older I get, however, the more I realize: I don’t have to do that.  I don’t have to do things that make me unhappy just because they might be what other people want.

I’ve only recently come to realize that it’s okay to let go of a friendship when it doesn’t feel good.  I am genuinely friends with some exes for whom I have a deep and abiding platonic love.  I like their partners and feel grateful for the value that their friendships add to my life.  With some of them, the transition from dating to friendship was easy; with others, it took the work of giving and receiving sincere apologies, forgiveness, and empathy.  Once in a very great while, though, the most simple and kind thing for me to do has been to release myself from a friendship that’s not working for me – just like my friend-turned-lover did so many years ago.  Each time I have, it’s made me saner, more confident, and more joyful.  Sometimes, letting go is a necessary act of liberation and self-preservation.

 

Side Note: I wrote this after receiving a lovely email from an ex with whom I’d cut off contact; he wanted to send me a piece of post.  I spent an agonizing 45 minutes crafting the wording of eight short sentences telling him that I’d made the right decision, and I didn’t want to stay in touch.  I laughed after I sent it, realizing that the reason it took me so long to write this email is because I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of this boy who absolutely fucking crushed me.  That’s what women mean when we say we’re socialized to please others.

Trust

A few months ago, I wrote a piece on blindfolds for KOTW; when I talked to The Engineer about this, he mentioned that while he loves blindfolding me, he wasn’t really into being blindfolded.  He’s a bit claustrophobic, so I think sensory deprivation and bondage generally aren’t comfortable for him.  But then he said: “If you want to blindfold me, you can.  I trust you.”  My heart melted.

Blindfolded Propaganda Woman Girl Walking

Fast forward to his recent visit; I was giving him a long body massage next to the fire one night, and inspiration struck.  I asked him to turn over to his back; I grabbed my new furry blindfold and asked gently if I could put it on.  The atmosphere was relaxed – candles, soft music, wine, warm and loving hands.  I started out by touching his legs, arms, and stomach, and then moved onto his cock – hard as a rock – taking it alternately into my mouth as far as I could and then back into my hands, stroking it and running my tongue along its length.  I sidled my body up his oiled body so that I could kiss him.  Being kissed (especially a deep, sensual kiss) while blindfolded is a singular experience.  It feels so intimate and electric because the sense of touch is heightened.  All of the other senses are heightened.  An ecstatic whimper emerged from his throat, and it was a beautiful sound to behold.

Roused by my memories of Sex and Lucia (if you haven’t seen this movie, stop reading right now and go watch it), I wet a finger and traced it along his lips; I dipped one nipple between his parted lips, followed by the other, which he relished.  I raised myself so I could kneel over his face and gently lower my clit onto his waiting tongue; I’m sure the pressure of my knees against his ears and the resulting lack of sound added to his expanded tactile experience.  He lapped at my swollen vulva, sticky with webs of viscous juices, until I needed him inside of me.  I straddled his cock and slid him into my longing cunt.  Usually the first contact is the most exquisite; especially so in this case.  While riding him, I took off the blindfold and kissed him.  We ended up having some of the best sex we’ve ever had – I felt so deeply entwined with him and completely present in the moment; he told me later that he felt the same.

Sometimes experimentation goes awry; however, sometimes it opens us up to new and exhilarating feelings and experiences.  If you have a partner you deeply trust, try something new with them that you never thought you would like.  You may end up having a pretty fucking great night.

Deep in the Heart

Driving down the 10, Alison held her breath.  She hadn’t seen Jax – now Jack – for at least five years.  They didn’t speak for the first two after their breakup, allowing themselves time to grieve.  Then came a Christmas card, then a catch-up email, and finally a phone call in which they were awash in relief at being able to laugh with relaxed and whole-hearted endearment.

When she diverted to highway 35 after Houston, Alison loosened considerably; the drive along the gulf was gorgeous, and she’d forgotten the raw beauty of rural Texas.  She allowed her mind to wander as she sat in her car on the ferry toward Mustang Island, fondly remembering holidays and morning routines with Jax.  The smell of sandalwood in her hair; the Friendsgiving when they’d accidentally set the kitchen on fire; the way Jax knew the precise moment to slide her fingers in while licking Alison’s clit.  Her ability to make a spanking feel like a reward instead of a punishment.

Still thinking about being bent over Jax’s knee, she started at a knock on the passenger window.  Snapped out of her reverie, she glanced over and inhaled sharply; she might not have recognized him had she seen him in a crowd.  She rolled the window down; Jack leaned gracefully against the sill and said, “Hey – aren’t you my wedding date?”  His radiant smile, now hidden by a shadow of facial hair, was the same.  “Come on in, sailor,” Alison replied; he opened the door and slid inside.  “You look beautiful,” he said.  Alison laughed; she was still in her morning sweats.  Jack, on the other hand, was looking handsome in his fitted suit and tie.  She thought of the last time she saw him wearing a suit – it had been on their last date.  They saw Giselle; afterward, he requested a lap dance in their living room.  She remembered straddling him, pulling his tie between her fingers as she leaned back, letting it fall as she ran her own hands up her breasts.  She rode him on the couch that night, their Feeldoe snug inside him, her cunt smearing the silicone with thick juices and involuntarily pulsing around it.

He snapped his fingers in front of her face.  “You okay?” he asked playfully.  “Great,” she responded, smiling.  “I was walking down memory lane.”  “Oh – I think I’ve been there,” he said. “Right between Regret Road and Amnesia Avenue, right?”  “Right,” she laughed.  This felt easy.  “I’ve missed you,” he said, looking at her with warmth.  “Same,” she said.  As the ferry started nearing the dock, he opened the door and looked back over his shoulder; “See you at the wedding,” he said, and just like that, he was gone.

The day was a blur of sand, ceremony, loving words, champagne.  There were fleeting pangs of sadness as Alison thought about how she’d wanted this with Jax, moments of sentimental longing when their friends exchanged vows, and ebullient exhaustion on the dance floor as Jack spun her around and around.  She’d forgotten how good a lead he was.  As they spent most of the reception catching up with other people, Jack suggested that they take a walk together along the beach to have some time alone.

They talked about work and hobbies; Jack had taken up the guitar and was playing open mics, and Alison had been promoted at the job she’d left San Antonio to take.  “I’m proud of you,” he said, stopping to look at her.  “I know it was a hard decision for you to leave.”  “Jack,” she said, the floodgates being held back by much too thin a membrane, “I’m so sorry.  There have been a million times when I think I should have stayed.”  “We both did what we needed to do in a situation where there was no easy answer,” he said, and grabbed her hand.  It felt reassuring and strong.  His touch gave her an unexpected jolt of desire; her somatic memory took over and her body felt the pads of his fingertips pinching her nipples, his palms separating her thighs.  “My hotel is right here,” he said, motioning up the beach, still holding her hand; “Come in for a drink?”  “I’d love that,” she said, sorrow morphing into stirrings of arousal.

Tequila, Drink, Beverage, Bar

Jack poured shots of tequila – her favorite – and toasted her.  “To your promotion,” he said.  “No,” she replied.  “To your transition – I hope it was everything you hoped for.  You are a very dashing man.”  “Everything and more,” he said.  “I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.”  “Tomorrow?” she asked, flushed.  “If I have things my way, you’ll be waking up here,” he said, and looked at her with questioning eyes.  She tilted her head back, letting the smooth tequila roll down her throat, burning in the best way possible.  She returned his gaze.  “Pour me another shot, and I’ll think about it,” she said, smiling.  “Whatever you say, my little cauliflower,” he answered.  She reacted viscerally to hearing her old nickname spoken by this slightly-deeper but forever familiar voice.  “You – ” she started, unable to complete her thought, her heart racing.  He traced her collarbone with one hand, and her cunt flamed; leaning into her ear, he whispered, “Don’t think too hard.  We’re only here for one night.”

She moved her face to the side, feeling his lips graze her cheek before meeting hers; the feeling of his tongue against hers flooded her with dopamine.  The body continues to react long after the brain struggles to forget, and her wanting overtook everything.  With their breath intertwining and the lingering scent of sandalwood in the air, she settled into her body and let the tension and pleasure build, and build, and build.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

**Sometimes when you start writing and think your piece is going to be one thing, it morphs into a completely different thing; this was meant to be much more smutty than it is.  Highly smutty non-fiction about an ex forthcoming!

He Thinks of Everything

The Engineer picked me up from Gatwick holding a handmade sign on which he’d written a pet name for me; he stood in the arrivals hall for thirty minutes holding up this 8×11 piece of paper while I went through immigration*, chauffeurs and business associates staring at it with confusion and amusement.  I’d told him not to bring flowers because I wanted to jump into his arms.  “No problem,” he said.  When we arrived at his car, there they were, in the boot instead.  “You told me not to bring them in,” he said when I protested.  On the way to his, he went old school as we listened to a mixed CD he’d made of all the songs that were important to us.  “I got you a sim card,” he told me on the way home, “So you can reach me when I’m on the road.”

At the entrance to his flat were a pair of purple fur-lined slippers for me; they fit perfectly.  I dropped my bags in his room; he showed me the shelves he’d cleared for me, and we flopped onto his new bed to make out.  We shared the contents of our shag bags and laughed over the fact that I’d brought a lot of things with me that he had bought, so he could return them… and we could find other things we liked.

In his lounge, a pot of my favorite flowers sat on the dining table and a huge bottle of Bailey’s – which he loathes, but I can’t get enough of – was perched on the bookshelf among other bottles of booze.  DVDs of a couple of my favorite horror movies were placed into his collection; he’s not a horror fan, but thought it would be fun to watch one with me.  In the kitchen: a French press and a bag of dark roast (despite the fact that he’s not a coffee drinker) and two different jars of cranberry sauce in the cupboard.  “I know you wanted these for Thanksgiving, and I wasn’t sure which one to get,” he told me.  In the bathroom, a bag full of bath bombs so we could take hot baths together on cold days and a bottle of massage oil for our weary fuck-exhausted muscles.  He thought of every detail to make me happy and comfortable.

When we fall asleep at night, I’m the big spoon; I wrap my tiny body around his giant frame, and for some reason it feels right. Sometimes he falls asleep on the couch, his head in my lap.  I stroke his hair and whisper, “Let’s go to bed, honey.”  When we wake up in the morning, he pulls me toward him and holds me tight for a few minutes before diving deep under the covers to spread my legs and lick me, waking up my center and my hunger.  He gets ready for work while I drift back off; before he leaves, he comes in, leans down, gives me a kiss with his full lips, and whispers, “I love you, Hummingbird.”

Last night, when he came home, I was sitting on the kitchen counter wearing a zip-down vinyl dress, fishnets, and his red silk tie, mug of mulled wine in hand.  “Cup of wine?” I asked quietly as he walked toward me, bathed in candlelight.  “No,” he said, never taking his eyes off me.  In between kisses, I let soft words dance into his ears: “We still have some toys to play with.” He retrieved a couple of floggers and a bottle of lube from the bedroom; when he returned; he turned me around and gave me the beating I’d been longing for before putting me back on the counter, sliding my copper-colored lace panties down over my legs, and hitching the dress up so he could plunge his lubed-up cock into me.  I wrapped my legs around his waist and breathed deeply as he moved in long, slow strokes, building up anticipation for when he pulled me off the counter and bent me over it, pressing my hands to the tiled wall and sinking his fingers deep into my hips.  I came twice standing there, my hair spilling out of its band, and once more in his bed – our bed – after he carried me there.  Lying underneath him, I unzipped the dress, exposing my pale breasts and belly, the red tie pointing down toward my swollen cunt.  I held him to me, whimpering in his ear, calling him “mi amor” in hushed, desperate tones.  He was sweating by the time he came; I inhaled the scent of him, and my body unwound.

The duvet glittered with my juices after they dried – a visual presence of our lust.  When I’m gone, he’ll still hear my whispers in his ears, and they’ll hold him in their arms until he can make it across the ocean into mine.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

 

 

*Imagine the immigration officer’s delight when I declared that not only was I here to visit a romantic partner, but also that I’m currently unemployed.

The Basics

I know within a few minutes of meeting someone whether or not I want to fuck them. Something in their smile or their posture or the way they greet me either gives me a boner, or it doesn’t.  I usually need to hear a hello or a few words to warm me to the idea of being intimate with someone – but when The Engineer walked into our dorm room in Rwanda, one glance was all it took.  I’d been restlessly horny all day, and I thanked the universe for dropping a tall, handsome man conveniently into my room.

We were the only two in a twelve-bed dorm; he asked if I wanted to join him for dinner, and I fantasized about him in the shower beforehand, sliding fingers through my slippery folds. When, after two beers, he asked if I’d like another, I said, “No, and I don’t think you should have one, either – I think we should fuck first and then have another.” The bed creaked and banged against the wall as I rode him; I’m 100% sure the entire hostel staff heard my moans and whimpers, and I didn’t care. We went back out and had a celebratory beer before bed while chatting about our travels.

It was supposed to be a one-night stand.  He was supposed to go off on a hike the next day… but he stayed.  We spent the day walking along Lake Kivu, coming back to the hostel to fuck in the shower and on a bunk bed ladder (great for the height difference!), then changed rooms and fucked in the bay window, in the bathtub, on the huge bed.  We slept next to each other, waking up early to have sex one more time before I walked to the Congolese border.

I came back to our guesthouse in Rwanda three days later, then shortly took off for another hike the day he was returning from one; he stayed.  When I returned, he was sitting in the common area; he didn’t expect to see me, so when I ran in and flung myself into his arms, it took us an hour to get off the couch.  We went to Kigali together and spent four days mostly eating, drinking wine, and exploring each other’s bodies instead of the city (corporal tourism?).

He took me to the airport at midnight, and it was a hard goodbye; when you develop feelings for someone while in a novel or challenging situation, the feelings can be pretty intense.  We stayed in touch every day after that; when I messaged him asking him to come to Barcelona in July, he said that July was too far away and he wanted to see me sooner… and then proceeded to spend four days traveling overland by boat, bus, and minivan from Zanzibar to the southern end of Lake Malawi, where we spent a week on the beach, drinking cocktails, swimming, fucking like field mice, and being super handsy in public.  By the end of that week, after telling folks in the guesthouse that we were on our honeymoon (it sure felt like it), I was in deep.  We both were.

He took me to the airport again in Lilongwe, and the goodbye was much harder, even though I was sure we weren’t done seeing each other – and we weren’t. He called me when I was in Spain to tell me he was coming to Ireland with me at the tail end of my trip.  He flew over his home to travel with me in a country he’d never been to, even though he was homesick. He met me at the airport with roses; we rented a car and spent eleven days driving through the countryside, staying in bed and breakfasts, cooking for each other, listening to amazing live music, and playing.  We dropped the L word on day five after walking along the Cliffs of Mohor, and when we parted, he gave me a framed photo of us that he’d taken with his phone on the second day we’d been together back in Rwanda.

I’m not someone who believes in fate.  I don’t believe in soulmates, and I certainly don’t believe in The One. But I do feel pretty lucky that we happened to be in the same place at the same time.  Being with him is so easy; I feel emotional security AND physical lust at the same time, which is strange and wonderful.  I feel prioritized, valued, and deeply cared for, and that’s something I haven’t experienced since the last time I lived in the US.  This is good.  It’s really good.  And it’s not over yet – not by a long shot.

Gratuitous sex stories to come!

Over My Head

I’ve been waiting to post this for a long time; it was inspired by this Girl on the Net post.  When I saw that the Wicked Wednesday prompt was “Follow Your Heart,” I thought: it’s time.  It’s non-fiction and not very wicked, but I can’t think of a more appropriate prompt for this piece.

________________________________________________

At the time I met Banger*, I was deep into lesbian territory.  I hadn’t been physically intimate with a man for four years and wasn’t planning on it anytime soon; however, when I opened my door and saw him standing there one cold February afternoon, I felt my heart leap in my chest.  He was my type: Tall, bespectacled, bookish.  At least – he was the type I’d had before I stopped dating men.  I panicked and reacted to how handsome I thought he was by being overly cheerful and energetic.  I didn’t really know what to do with my sudden and strange urges; it had been so long since I’d had them.

Over the next year, I developed a massive crush on him, but never said anything; he was always dating someone, and I was supposed to be gay.  We became close friends and confidants; we worked together, shared an office, and lived in the same building, so I saw him all the time.  We’d go out for kimchi stew or barbecue together and chat; a couple of times we went to a noraebang (private room karaoke), just the two of us, drunk on rice wine, and sang songs late into the night.  He made me giggle.  Not laugh – giggle.  The kind of laughter you share with someone when you have inside jokes or find something hilarious that no one else would laugh at.  We could be silly together and really honest with each other because we weren’t trying to get into each other’s pants.  It was brilliant.  Spending time with him was so easy – a breath of fresh air.

He went home for vacation that summer, and I found myself acutely missing his company.  I could feel a kind of dull ache inside of me at his absence.  When I went home for Christmas, he kept in contact with me the whole time I was gone.  The night I got back, there was already a message on my phone welcoming me back to Korea and asking me to dinner.  We spent the next three nights on his bed, watching 90s movies and drinking boozy hot cocoa.  It felt like those times in uni where you’re trying to be physically close to a crush without admitting you like like each other, because what if the other person doesn’t feel the same?  The second night, I asked if I could put my head on his shoulder.  I couldn’t even remember the last time I had cuddled with someone, and it ignited something in my body that I was wholly unprepared for.  My insides exploded with an unstoppable force, and my panties were literally soaked by the time I got back to my apartment.  The next night, as I was stroking his arm, my brain stopped working and my body took over; I grabbed his face and kissed him, and it felt like everything fell into place in that one moment.  My lust was a champagne bottle uncorked.

I went away for a couple of days after that; when I came back, we spent hours making out and exploring each other’s bodies before falling asleep.  At first morning’s light, I told him that I desperately wanted him inside of me.  I hadn’t had penetrative sex with a man for five years at this point; I thought I would need to take it a bit slow or that it might even hurt, but because I was so highly aroused, it felt so. fucking. good.  Like eating an ice cream cone on a scorching summer day.  Like the first time you try ecstasy and you find yourself floating in joyous spacetime.  Like the first day of spring after a long, hard winter.

He called me; he asked me to spend time with him; he held my hand in public, and that’s when I think I fell.  I moved to another city shortly after we first hooked up; it was hard going from seeing him every day to seeing him twice a month, especially now that we were being intimate.  I found myself feeling lost in the behemoth of all these emotions I hadn’t felt in years – a tsunami of love and desire.  I had a real libido for the first time in forever.  I was drowning in hormones, and I didn’t know how to get to shore.  I felt crazy.  Suddenly I was being cautious with every word I said to him, scared that if I said or did the wrong thing, all of my joy would vanish.  He would disappear like a magician into the void of a magic box.  I tried to stop myself from feeling, tried to put tape over a waterfall, but I had already contracted emotional ebola and I was bleeding out.

Over the next couple of months, we had the most incredible sex I’d had in a decade, and I experienced orgasms I couldn’t even believe were real.  We fucked everywhere in my apartment, cuddled next to each other on the couch to watch videos, and only came up for air to go out to eat and build up our energy reserves so we could make love again.  If oxytocin is sex vodou, he was a houngan and I was ready to dance with snakes.  He brought me back from the dead.

My friends were baffled.  They said:

“I’ve never seen you this happy.”

“I’ve never seen you this way!”

“You’re glowing!”

“I’m surprised at how… mushy you’re being about this.”

“I never expected to hear you being so sentimental.”

“I’m impressed – not because it’s a guy, but because you like him.”

“It’s kind of nice to hear you say that you feel something again.”

And suddenly, I wanted to know what we were.  Not where it was going – I knew he was moving back to England in the summer – but I wanted to know that he had romantic feelings for me like I did for him.  That I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t crazy.  I told him that I had real feelings for him and that it was freaking me out.  He said he hadn’t had romantic feelings for anyone in years and didn’t know if he could.  I, meanwhile, was feeling ALL THE FEELINGS ALL THE TIME, and it was so completely isolating.  I tried meditation, breathing, yoga, sleeping pills, processing with friends.  Nothing could take away the anxiety of loving someone when I didn’t know how he felt about me.  My pain started to become stronger than my joy, but I held on because the high was so powerful.

When I told him that I felt like I’d changed from someone he actually cared about to someone he was just sleeping with, his response was, “Yeah, I guess that’s just part of the changing nature of relationships, you know?”  When I asked if I could say that we were dating, he responded, “I don’t know.  I mean, you can say whatever you want, but I don’t know.”  When I said that that had hurt me, he said he was sorry I felt hurt.

We kept having these amazing weekends together, but I was in pain all the time.  It’s hard work loving someone who doesn’t love you in the same way; it takes everything from you.  Confidence, dignity, pride, joy, sanity.  Laughter.  Self-worth.  I knew that he cared about me a great deal; he wasn’t good at expressing that with words, but he showed it by doing things like serenading me with a song sacred to my heart that he learned just to play for me, or by choosing to spend his last weekends in Korea with me.  But I was in a different place.  I understood for the first time why people want to give up everything to be with someone.  Why they’ll move half a world away.  I wanted so much to spend my life loving him despite knowing deep down that we probably wouldn’t be compatible in the long run, and that was unnerving.  He told me shortly before he left that he loved me – and I truly believe he did – but continued to introduce me as his friend, which was confusing at best and devastating at worst.

The day before he left, he asked me: “What now?”  I don’t know, I said.  I wanted to say that I wanted to be in a long-distance relationship with him while continuing to date other people here, but the idea of him saying no to that was too crushing to consider.  So I just said that we’d keep in touch, keep loving each other, and hopefully one day down the road we’d meet again and create a second chapter in our story.

We tried to be friends after that, which in hindsight seems like the biggest mistake ever.  His responses to me became less frequent and shorter; we still talked, but it wasn’t the same.  I finally told him right before Christmas that I was deeply in love with him and that it was too painful to try to be his friend.  That I needed a break.  We talked for a long time and hashed things out – then emailed a week later and talked for hours again and hashed more things out – and in the end, he said he was still attracted to me, but didn’t know if that translated into romantic feelings.  That he just assumed I was over him.  That it would be logical to have romantic feelings for me, but feelings aren’t logical.  That he didn’t know if he could be emotionally supportive of me.  I got angry about it all and my anger hurt him; he thought I was diminishing the ways he cared for me just because his feelings weren’t as intense as mine.  He loved me – just not in the way I wanted to be loved.  We left the conversation on a positive note, and agreed that the friendship we’d had before was worth working on.

It took a long time and dating other people (and a thorough reading of More Than Two) to wade through the layers of love and loss I felt… but I made it to the other side, and when I did, I came out stronger.  Not that defensive kind of stronger where you swear you’ll never let anyone in again, which is where I was before I met him, but the kind of stronger where you learn how to open your heart and love completely, accept and really feel your feelings, and vow to work on knowing what you want and how to communicate that.  Where you breathe deeply and let your walls crumble to the ground around you in tiny pieces.  Being that vulnerable and crawling through the darkness that came after were both transformative experiences.

I started writing this blog while I was seeing him because I wanted him to be proud of me for doing something creative; it has since turned into something I’m proud of myself for doing.  I’m grateful for that.  We’re still friends, and the friendship feels easier now.  My heart feels so much lighter when I talk to him.  He lives with someone he’s dating now; that was hard to cope with at first, but a month or so ago I suddenly found myself feeling genuinely and deeply happy for him out of the blue.  We should all get to love in life and be loved in return – even the people who have hurt us.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

 

*Not his real name, obvs.  This is what a few of my friends started calling him after I initially and hesitantly told them I was “bangin’ a dude.”

 

Could

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In an alternate universe or an alternate lifetime, this is us – unencumbered by shoulds and shouldn’ts.

Encouraged by coulds instead:

I could kiss you for hours.

We could explore each other’s bodies with our fingertips and tongues in the early morning light after waking up, limbs entangled.

You could love all of the people you wanted to love.

Sinful Sunday

You Know

It’s something when you read his words and know in your core that you have to meet him now.  You feel like there’s a force compelling you that you can’t understand. 
It’s urgent.
You masturbate three times the first day you do meet.
When you shake his hand, you feel alive like
            lightning leapt from his fingertips into your palm.
On your first date, he holds your hand across the table before you ever kiss.
Every time you go to send him a flirty text, you see he’s already sent you one –
            It’s waiting there to reach in and hold you.
He tells you things you’ve been longing to hear for years and
You feel loved.
Really, truly loved in a way you have been aching for but ashamed to tell anyone you wanted.
You feel seen. 
After years of feeling inadequate, invisible –
You feel seen.
You feel like your body is burning when he so much as crosses your mind.
You feel carried by the wind and immersed in light.
You feel weightless, in orbit, going far too fast for gravity to catch you. 
You laugh together like children with a shared secret language
You love each other with abandon
You explore each other’s bodies with a sacred fever and
You hold each other so hard you start to melt.
When it’s something, you know and
You want to shout it like gospel.
You know
It’s over when months have gone by and he hasn’t said I love you.
You send racy photos, and he never acknowledges them.
The only question he asks is a cursory and disinterested, “So, how was your weekend?”
You send him a birthday present
A housewarming gift
A Christmas present
All of which are used but unappreciated by word or deed.
He starts using euphemisms when talking about going on dates: “I have a meeting.”
The only time he misses you is when he needs your unfaltering emotional support.
When a shoulder isn’t enough big enough.
Then he calls you crying and drunk twelve times in a row while you’re working, saying,
“I wish you were here.”
Only then.
You make him a video on the one-year anniversary of the day you met – the day you felt alive and couldn’t stop touching yourself thinking of the possibilities between you – sending it to him with flutters of excitement and joy, and
he
says
nothing.
So you feel like nothing.
The days go by and you start losing your colors, like a rare and brilliant maple leaf withering from a branch.
When it’s over, you know. 
It’s just that sometimes don’t want to say it aloud,
            or even whisper it,
Even when you know it will release you.
Even when you know that leaves grow back.