New Year’s Eve

After dessert – a decadent raspberry custard topped with chocolate ganache and served with port – Cal handed over a small, meticulously-wrapped box, which he seemed to pull out of thin air.  Maybe it was the intoxicating effects of the port, the strength of which still lingered on hir tongue.  Les accepted it with both hands, wondering where Cal had found the paper containing real leaves and the ribbon which felt like velvet.  Sie looked at it carefully, turning it over in hir small hands, marveling at the care that had gone into it.  Cal’s eyes twinkled.  “Open it,” he eagerly instructed.

Sie peeled the tape off, careful not to rip the paper, and took off the lid, lifting layers of multi-colored tissue paper away from the interior to reveal a handful of small, plain, white envelopes containing what felt like cards.  Each one of the twelve had a single word printed on the cover: the first said January.  “What are these?” sie asked, delighted at the attention to detail, the smooth surface and crisp corners of the envelopes.

“Each month, you get one card with an instruction on it.  You have one month to carry out the order; if you succeed, you receive a reward.  If not, a punishment.  That simple.”  Les’s eyes widened and the corners of hir mouth drew up slowly as sie started to think about all the possibilities.  Knowing Cal, there would be nothing simple about this – it would be challenging, but exhilarating.

“Put them away for now,” he said, standing up and walking around to help Les with hir coat.  Hir face formed a momentary frown, at which he laughed.  “My darling,” he said, “January first is but an hour away, and the clock is ticking.  I believe we have an engagement to be at.  You owe me a dance and a midnight kiss.”  Sie smiled and slipped hir arm into the sleeves before putting one through Cal’s arm.  They strolled out into the cold air, still glowing from each other’s company, and held tight to each other as they walked to a friend’s party.

They danced to song after song, alternating the lead to songs that would always remind hir of New York – Gershwin, Porter, Berlin.  At midnight, showered in vibrant confetti, they kissed each other, relishing the pressure and taste of each other’s lips.  Sie trailed hir lips to his ear, and whispered, “I can’t wait.  Can I open the first one now?”  “You’re so impatient!” he chided playfully.  “But yes, of course you can.”

Sie ran over to their coats in staccato steps, digging the box out of hir deep coat pocket, and gingerly took out the first envelope.  Sie slid a finger underneath the flap and pulled out a small white card containing the following sentences:

Put the Njoy plug in first thing when you wake up in the morning.  Keep it there all day and come to my office five minutes before I get off work.  I will leave my office each day at 4:53 exactly.  When I arrive back to my office at 4:55 one day in January, you will be there, hands on my desk, wearing nothing from the waist down except that plug, waiting for me.

Les’s heart stopped at the idea of being semi-nude in Cal’s office.  Sie knew his coworkers; they often had happy hour cocktails together.  What if someone else came in?  What if the timing was off?  What if…?  Cal looked closely at her expression, wondering momentarily if he’d made a mistake – but then he saw the fear in hir eyes replaced with lust, and an unmistakable blush spread across hir face.  What if he spanks me? Sie thought.  What if he replaces that plug with his fingers?  Sie quickly thought about the heft of the metal plug and how it would feel inside of hir for an entire day.  What if he demands I get under the desk and lick his cock from base to tip, over and over, until he’s shivering?  Sie closed her eyes dreamily and thought about the potential.  Cal leaned in and brushed his lips against hirs.  “This is just the beginning,” he said, almost inaudible against the chorus of Auld Lang Syne.  “I started with an easy one.”  He slid his hand around hir waist and up hir back in a reassuring way; they spent the next few minutes in silence, both contemplating their adventures ahead and feeling no need to make resolutions.

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

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 feelings I hadn’t felt in years – overwhelming waves 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

Duluth

It was snowing the last time she’d seen Adrian.  She remembered racing him down a street underneath an orange-hued streetlamp, flakes scurrying this way and that from their path, until they were breathless; he pulled her down into a pile of fluff which billowed up in clouds around them.  He held her close, finding it difficult under all their layers of winter gear, but managing.  He could feel her furry parka hood on his cheek as he whispered in her ear that he loved her.  That he would love her until Floridians started wintering in Minnesota – an inside joke.  She started to cry then; he couldn’t see her tears, but he could feel her body shudder.  He kissed her eyelids, tasting salt, his breath warm on her face.

She stood up awkwardly, brushed herself off, and turned toward him.  “You’re going to miss the bus,” she said, looking at her boots.  He got up and walked over to grab her mittened hand; they walked in silence along Superior, the festive downtown Christmas lights mocking her.  She would go back to her family and celebrate Christmas with them, but he had become home for her.  Watching him ascend the stairs of a Minneapolis-bound Greyhound that night, she felt her blood crystallize.  She didn’t think she would ever see him again.

Now she stared out of her front door window, waiting for his car to pull up, feeling lead balls of weight rolling around in her belly.  It had been fifteen years; he’d come home unexpectedly and had looked her up in the phone book, curious to see if she was listed.  Wondering at the fact that phone books were still being delivered at all.  They made plans to meet for coffee, but when her car stalled that morning, she called to ask for a ride.

His rental car pulled up in front of her house – the only car on the street.  Most folks weren’t out now; the roads were bad, and they were experiencing a cold snap.  Taking a deep breath, she opened the door, locked it behind her, and strode quickly through the cold, whipping wind to his car.

With the exception of grey streaks in his hair and a few smile wrinkles, he looked the same.  They both said hello and leaned in for an awkward hug.  She caught a waft of aqua cologne on his neck – the same cologne he had worn when they were in grad school together – and she was transported to his bed, tangled in his sheets, their limbs indistinguishable, pressed against his body which always emitted heat even when the windows were covered in frost.  She could still feel his hands cupping her breasts, his mouth on her thighs, his weight pressing her against the mattress as his body encompassed hers.  They had spent an entire winter hibernating together.  Her labia felt a flood of warmth; she was surprised how quickly a simple scent could have such a strong impact on her body.

“You haven’t changed,” he said to her.  “You were always the most beautiful girl in our classes.”  Her cheeks grew rosy; she searched his eyes.  “And you don’t look a day over forty,” she said, smiling.  Luckily, he laughed.  “How are you?” she asked.  “I’m… coping,” he answered, slowly.  She put her hand over his and said she was sorry to hear about his father.  That she had adored him.  “Your hands are freezing!” he exclaimed, grabbing her hand in both of his and bringing it up to his mouth to breathe steam onto it – an old habit.  “You’re still a radiator,” she said, her heart thudding in her chest.  “And you still burn bright, even on the coldest days.”

He kissed her then, his lips searing hers, finding that she still tasted like cinnamon.  “I’m sorry,” he said, pulling back.  “I don’t kn-…” She interrupted him by sliding her hands from his neck up into his black hair and kissing him back, yearning to kiss the rest of his body, which shook slightly.  “They say it’s too dangerous to drive today,” she said, catching her breath.  “Everything will be ice by tonight; it’s frostbite weather.  Come inside,” she implored.  “I have coffee here.”

“I don’t need coffee to stay warm,” he replied, “but nothing sounds better to me than coming inside.”

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

One Step Forward…

I grabbed his face and kissed him, my sweaty body sticking to his, knees bent and pressed deep into my couch cushions on the sides of his thighs.

“I need a break,” I said, and hopped off, turning on my heel to head toward the bathroom.

“Oh, yeah?” he asked, grabbing my hips and pulling me back down onto his lap.

“Yes!” I said, laughing, squirming, while he held me firmly in place.  I finally managed to wiggle down to the floor, where I threw myself forward, ready to take off – but he was quick.  He grabbed my biceps and held me there.  “Where are you going?” he asked with amusement.

“I have to pee!  Let me go!” I said, still laughing.  “Okay,” he said, briefly letting go of my arms for a moment.  As soon as I moved my arm forward onto the floor in front of me, however, he had grabbed my leg and dragged me back a few inches.

What ensued was me slowly making my way to the bathroom; I would crawl a foot forward and he would pull me back six inches.  I’d move, he’d drag.  I was no longer focused on my bladder – now we were playing a game.  The Texan is a foot taller than me and considerably heavier; the first time we wrestled, he was surprised at how long I could hold him down.  But now he was the one towering above me, letting me think I could almost make it before making sure I couldn’t.  And it was fucking hot.  What needed a respite before now re-lubricated at the struggle.  I wanted him to drag me, to pull me, to hold me down and immobilize me.  I strove to inch forward harder so he could pull me back just as hard.  It was exhausting, but it felt like much-needed relief in some way.

It triggered something in him that opened up to me that night.  In bed, in the dark, I held him tight; he told me some really personal things and asked me deep questions.  I felt more connected to him than I ever had.  It was like that struggle to move different directions had snapped us both into place next to each other, holding fast, at least for the night.

The Heart Wants What It Wants

I met up with a former student for lunch a couple weekends ago because she was in the middle of a relationship crisis and wanted to talk about it with someone who wouldn’t judge her.  She’s been with her current boyfriend for two years and is very much in love with him, but she cheated on him with a guy at summer camp this summer (which I found hilarious, because I did exactly the same thing at exactly the same age and remember how gutting it was to try to navigate the situation).  She says she’s still talking to the new guy all the time – that he arouses a kind of passion in her that her boyfriend doesn’t because they have shared goals and interests and she feels comfortable completely being herself around him.  Welcome to NRE, I say.  I tell her to try not to compare them, which she says is impossible.

I ask if she still wants to be with the boyfriend.  Yes, absolutely, she says.  He’s kind, giving, dependable.  He’s a Good Man.  I ask her if consensual non-monogamy is a potential choice for her.  No, she says – she’s monogamous (…).  I tell her, then, that she should probably cut off contact with the new guy.  She says she doesn’t want to do that – he’s intoxicating (quite literally).  And then she says this hilarious thing that I think all of us have thought but few of us actually say out loud:

“Jo,” she says.  “The thing is – like, do I really have to do the right thing?  What if I’m just okay with not being a good person?  Is being a good person really all it’s cracked up to be?  I’m not sure it is.”

Oh, sister.  We’ve all been there.  The NRE has blinded her to the fact that she’s already broken her boyfriend’s heart – he just doesn’t know it yet.  We talk for a long time and go through every possible permutation of potential action that can be taken, and I finally tell her that it doesn’t matter what I say – she’s going to do what in the end feels right for her, even if she knows it isn’t.  The heart wants what it wants.  When I was her age, I wouldn’t have listened to anyone’s advice – I would follow my cunt, because that’s where my heart lives.  I told her to be careful with the hearts of people she cares about and sent her a link to www.morethantwo.com *just* in case.  On my way home, I thought: You couldn’t pay me to be that young again.

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.

I Fucked Up.

I fucked up big time. 
I’m a bisexual woman who is very flirtatious by nature.  I’m a polyamorous woman who understands and appreciates ethical monogamy as a valid and rich relationship model.  Unfortunately, I’m also a heavy drinker on Saturday nights, and I sometimes don’t make the best judgments.
I don’t flirt with my girl friends’ girlfriends.  I don’t flirt with my female friends’ husbands or boyfriends.  But I most certainly – and often – flirt with my male friends’ girlfriends.  Most of my guy friends take this with a grain of salt; they laugh, or they think it’s hot, or they wish it were more than flirting. 
Or maybe they don’t.  Maybe it annoys the fuck out of them, but there’s a societal pressure on men to say they want to see two women entwined.  Maybe they’re seething inside their heads.
Last Saturday night, I was behind the bar – the bar I call my second home – with said bar owner’s girlfriend.  This guy is a good friend and one of the most genuinely generous and compassionate people I have ever known.  I made out with his girlfriend in front of the whole bar, thinking it was no big deal.  She enthusiastically participated, and we were just being drunk and silly.  Or so I thought.
When I walked out from behind the bar, I was immediately yanked aside by a mutual friend, who looked me in the eye and said, “Not cool.”  I didn’t understand… until I looked backward and saw my friend looking at me with hurt eyes.  He called me back, and took me into the kitchen.
“Why would you do that to me?” He asked.  I have never felt so ashamed in my life.  He said that people were coming up to him asking him why his girlfriend was kissing someone else, and he didn’t know what to tell them.  Because I was drunk, I burst into tears and started profusely apologizing… I told him I loved him.  That I would never intentionally hurt him.  That he’s one of the best people I’ve ever known.  That I didn’t know what to say, either, except I’m so sorry.  I didn’t give excuses or reasons, because there weren’t any. 
I’m sorry.
I’m sorry isn’t enough when you hurt a friend. 
I know there’s nothing I can do to make it better except let the natural balm of time run its course… but.  Nothing except time and a little more fucking awareness of people’s feelings.

Self-Actualization

I don’t particularly like children.  They demand attention and time, they can be really mean, and some of them seem to be in perpetual motion, which is just too much for me.  I got my degree in secondary education and initially taught high school because I love the rebellious attitude, sophomoric delusions, and “who-the-fuck-am-I?”-ness of teenagers.  So when I moved to Korea, I was shocked at how much I LOVED my kids.  My elementary and middle school students were hilarious, insightful, and creative. 
I have had the great fortune to stay in contact with a few of these students over the years; one of them recently got back from a study abroad semester in China.  Before travelling there, she had told me that she wanted to live with her parents while going to uni because “Why would I want to clean, cook, and pay bills?”  Now, having lived alone for three months, she has come back with platinum blonde hair, an effervescent bounce in her step, and a deep desire to move out.  That happened fast!  She had several conversations with her boyfriend while she was gone about how to best make sure that both of their needs were being met while apart and figuring out how to communicate in a way that was comfortable for both of them.  I cannot imagine having the emotional maturity or confidence at twenty to have a single conversation with a partner about making sure my needs were being met. 
The best part of being a teacher, hands down, is watching young people grow up and into self-actualized humans; seeing them thrive is a singular experience of joy. 
On the same day that I had dinner with the student who went to China, another former student (who’s currently in her senior year of high school) got back in contact with me; we met for coffee, along with her twin brother, whom I’d also taught.  They were suddenly both taller than me and bubbling over with excitement to tell me about their friends, teachers, and preparations for the test they’ll take later this year that will decide their entire future.  We talked about movies, politics, friendship, and language, and I was blown away by their maturity.  They’re applying for universities this year; I started teaching them when they were in fifth grade.  That shit is crazy.
You may be sitting there, thinking: WTF I THOUGHT THIS WAS A SEX BLOG.
This post exemplifies why I started writing this blog.  I am a whole human being – as are all teachers – and part of being human is being sexual.  I date and I have a sex life.  A non-monogamous, unmarried, bisexual, kinky sex life.  And I am a caring educator who acts as a mentor – who stays in touch with her students years after they’re no longer her students.  In fact, I stay in touch with their parents because I think children benefit immensely from parents and teachers working together. 
In the past five years, there has been a litany of teachers being fired for having been an exotic dancer or acting in a porn before becoming a teacher; for dancing burlesque; and most recently, just for having nude selfies on their phonesAll female teachers, by the way.  Pretty sure no male teacher has ever been fired for having a dick pic on his phone – but that’s a rant for another day.
So, yeah – this is mostly a sex blog.  But once in a while, I feel the need to drop a gentle reminder that it’s more than that.  It’s a call to stop shaming (and firing) excellent, hardworking, enthusiastic, and compassionate teachers for being whole human beings.  Teachers are out there in the world sexting, writing lesson plans, talking dirty with their partners, inspiring curiosity about scientific concepts and history, hooking up, and putting band-aids on skinned knees.  Just as your accountant might go home and put in a ball gag after doing your taxes, a preschool teacher might *gasp* go on a date after singing “Old Macdonald” for the hundredth time.

This blog is anonymous because I could be fired for writing about my sex life publicly.  There’s a part of me that worries about this all the time.  All the time.  Teaching is so central to who I am as a person that the idea of losing my job really freaks me out – but I continue to write because maybe it will encourage someone to open a dialogue.  My kids and my job mean the world to me – but so does being able to be a self-actualized person like I encourage my kids to be.  

Catching Feelings

I have this very distinct memory from my junior year of high school of being angry at my high school sweetheart because he wouldn’t let me have a threesome with a girl I’d had a crush on for years and her mega-hot boyfriend (ungh that dude was ripped).  I didn’t understand what the big deal was – it was just sex.  It wouldn’t change the way I felt about my boyfriend; he would still be my love.  A year later, I broke up with him because I had a huge boner for someone else, and society says the rule is that you only get to have one romantic relationship at a time.  I was devastated; he was completely heartbroken.  I still loved him deeply and didn’t want to end things, but I wanted to explore a relationship with this other guy and didn’t see any other way that could be possible except to cheat, which I wasn’t willing to do (yet).  The cheating part came later when we started sleeping together again while he was dating one of my good friends.  Teenagers.
Looking back on this now, it’s quite obvious to me that I was never a monogamous-minded individual.  In my early twenties, I cheated on multiple boyfriends with multiple people; I always tried to justify this by telling myself that something was missing from my relationships.  Sure, I couldn’t identify that thing, but something must be broken to make me stray, right?  But… nothing was broken.  I just loved two (or three) people at once.  I can’t imagine how my relationships would have been different if I’d had a vocabulary or framework to deal with and understand those feelings.
Coming off of a gutting post-cheating breakup, I decided that I just couldn’t be in romantic relationships anymore if it meant I was going to keep hurting people.  So I did what any hot young twenty-something would do: I banged a LOT of people and told them all I just wanted casual sex.  I didn’t, though.  I wanted to love and be loved.  I wanted to sleep next to the same people on a regular basis.  I wanted to spend holidays with partners I cared about.  I just didn’t see that as being a possibility when I wanted to be with multiple people. 
I built a fortress around my heart.  Even when, years later, I accepted that I was ethically non-monogamous, I still wouldn’t identify as polyamorous, joking that I was “barely amorous,” so how could I be poly?  But two years ago, out of the blue and much to my consternation at the time, I fell in love – hard – and my heart cracked open just enough to believe that maybe this poly thing could work.  Aaand then it got emotionally sucker-punched by the first person I’d had a real relationship with in years.  The first thought I had in my devastated state (my devastate?) was that I was right – poly wasn’t for me because love wasn’t for me.  Emotions are too complex and uncontrollable.  Tears and anger are for the birds.  I should just have sexual relationships without making myself vulnerable, even if it meant I’d never have what I wanted in my relationships.
And then this miraculous series of events happened.  After Sucker-Puncher left Korea, I read More Than Two over the course of a couple of months.  I stopped talking to him for a spell so I could build better boundaries and do some heavy self-reflection and healing (and when we started talking again, I came to our conversations from a more honest and aware place).  I spent a week on a beach in the Philippines writing out answers (by hand!) to questions from the book to reflect on what I wanted in my relationships, who I wanted to be, and how I was going to get there.  I had this incredible travel affair with a lovely Welsh gentleman, during which I came to appreciate loving connections and successful short-term relationships.  And two months after I came back from vacation, I met The Texan, who loved me in a way I’ve always wanted to be loved and let me be exactly who I am.  I finally figured out that being vulnerable is essential to getting what I want, even if it is trying at times (and it’s really fucking trying at times).  It wasn’t that poly wasn’t for me – it’s that my needs weren’t being met and I didn’t know how to ask for them to be.  Now that I’m able to vocalize and advocate for my needs and desires (and have given myself permission to do so), I’m starting to get what I want out of my romantic and sexual relationships… and it only took twenty years to get here!
I came out to my mom as polyamorous when I was home for Christmas; she seemed completely unfazed.  It was way easier than coming out as bisexual (Her initial response to that was, “But I want grandchildren!”  Sorry, mom.); this time, she just said, “Okay, honey.”  I still haven’t told her that my long-distance boyfriend is married, ‘cause, you know, one step at a time.
2015 was a phenomenal year; it was the year I finally came to love and accept myself wholly as I am (most days, anyway – I am still human), which allows me to love those around me more freely and compassionately.  It was the year I figured my shit out.  It was also the year of the ass!  Really – what more could someone want in a year?  My parents always told me and my sister when we were growing up that thirty-five was the best year of their lives, and so far, it’s been absolutely lovely.