Further and deeper

The way things were around here for a while was Belle would let me out on Saturday morning (or sometimes Friday night) for sex and I’d stay out until Sunday night (or sometimes Monday morning or even later if she never told me to go back in). I could count on it like clockwork. Sure, Belle wanted the fuck, but she also maybe felt a little sorry for me or something. Indulging.

But it’s a new regime now. I did get out yesterday, but right after I was getting a little too excited about it which led to this exchange…

It was the first time I was out for sex in weeks and the prospect of getting the penis wet went from fuzzy abstract to potent reality with the turn of its key. Belle needed me to remember why it was being let out. Namely, because she wanted to feel it inside her. Not because of what it or I wanted. I got her off in the usual way, then she let me inside her but I didn’t last long before I had to stop. I squirted, but did not come, then it was over. And then I was locked back up.

You might read that and think that it’s mean. Not a nice way for a wife to treat her husband. Because of how we’re all socialized, love and sex are supposed to be this reciprocal exchange of pleasure and pleasure is defined a specific way and looks more or less the same for everyone. That’s because people like me don’t exist in the popular narrative.

In another nature vs. nurture kind of puzzle I’ve been working over lately, I feel more and more like my role as a sexual being is to bring pleasure to my partner in whatever form that means (within some reason, of course). As much as the penis might strain for release, she’ll never make me happier than when she thinks only of herself when we’re having sex. It’s taken a long time for her to get past the socialization of reciprocity (or outright deference) and be sexually selfish. But when she does, I feel closer to my natural state.

Same kind of thing happened with Frodo last weekend in New York. Aside from a quick rolling around last year in which my pants never came off (since I wasn’t locked up), we haven’t had sex since we were in our early twenties. And when the idea of having sex with me first became a possibility, his reaction was not positive. I come with baggage, after all, including a steel thing locked to the part of me a gay man would normally be very interested in. And his experience with kink at the level of male chastity was zero. The prospect of being with me was offputing to him then.

Compounding that was his tendency towards being a bottom rather than a top (a real shame in my book since, as I’ve said, he has a glorious cock). But even with Frodo, who I’ve known forever and Belle has known for half that time, I wasn’t going to be a whole man. Not even for a second. Belle’s rule is absolute.

However, time marches on and Frodo has been feeling more toppy lately. That, combined with some time to get used to the idea of being with a penisless man, made our weekend trip possible. Even though, he carried the same notions of reciprocity everyone else seems to have. It was hard for him, at first, to know how to deal with that. To be as selfish as I needed him to be with me. By that last morning, though, I think he was getting the hang of it. Of seeing me as means to his ends. Without getting too explicit (sorry), I could sense that he let himself focus less and less on me as his friend and more and more on me as his to use. Not unlike how it happened with Belle, that the benefits of having a partner like me were becoming more apparent.

There’s an aspect of all this that’s been quite difficult for me to wrap my head around. Not difficult to do. I revel in my role. But it’s a thing that’s been bubbling around inside me and that was accentuated when I was with Frodo. It’s something to do with gender. I don’t really feel like a man anymore. That’s an odd thing to see myself writing and I don’t mean it be read as if I think of myself as a female. That’s the problem, really. I don’t have the words to describe it. Less of a man and more of something else. A man-shaped person who doesn’t feel or act or do typical man things. Frodo showed zero interest in the penis. Made only incidental contact with any part of it or my balls. I was a mouth and a hole for him with a hairy chest, strong legs, and nice broad shoulders.

And except those times when Belle wants the penis in order to feel it inside her, she doesn’t give it a lot of attention. More than zero, to be sure, but sometimes we have sex and she doesn’t touch it at all. Other times, more. But even so, if it’s locked up, I can’t feel anything where the metal is. For more than three months now, I’ve been locked up essentially all of the time. I can’t stroke or squeeze or even have an erection. Since the Halfshell came along, I can’t even stand to pee.

All this has led to a profound change in how I feel about my manhood. Not in a bad way, mind you. Not at all. Like everything else that’s been happening with me lately, it feels perfectly natural. As if I’m only becoming more of who I really am. It’s very comforting. And in those moments when I’m naked and having sex (with Belle or whoever), I feel only a profound gratitude. A emotional satisfaction at least as potent as the physical satisfaction that comes with orgasm.

It feels wrong now for me to fuck for my own pleasure alone. To think of taking over a sexual encounter to satisfy myself physically. To crave my own orgasm more than I crave theirs. I never fantasize about fucking anyone other than Belle and even then only when I can feel or taste or smell her pussy. I never think of using the penis for anything anymore. I rarely think about jacking off lately.

I guess that’s part of what being submissive is. I don’t really know. It seems like more than that to me. Like the extreme edge of submissiveness. Belle could tell me tomorrow that she didn’t need me to fuck her anymore. That she had found something or someone else she preferred to the penis and that I’d never get out except to clean the device. As long as I still participated in some way with her pleasure, I’d be more than OK with that. That’s what I need more than my own release. To feel her pleasure. Or Frodo’s or Drew’s or whoever’s.

By itself, this doesn’t scare me. I do worry how Belle will read all this and what she’ll think of me, but in practice nothing has to change between us. As long as she’s doing what she wants and is getting satisfaction from it, I’m happy. I also admit that I’m somewhat concerned about what happens next time she has me come. I don’t know what the sudden change in brain chemistry will do to me. To my current perception of me. Belle mentioned today after hearing it had been more than three months since I last came (she thought it had been more recent) that she used to think I needed to come for health reasons, but decided my orgamsless ejacualition and the other ways I express seminal fluid was probably good enough for that. She knows I don’t need orgasm. That not having them is good for me.

I’ve never felt more connected to her than now. More cared for by her. More connected to myself. I’d like very much for how I feel right now to not go away. I know I’m not a static thing. That I won’t feel this way forever no matter what happens. But right here, right now is really good.

The cute check-out

I visited the grocery store over lunch today to pick up some things to keep at the office for when I can’t go out and eat. I was checked out, both literally and figuratively, by a cute boy checker. Seemed gay to me, but not ridiculously so. Tried to make small talk about my hat and kept it going when it should have died out. Smiled. Twinkled. Called out something as I walked away. Either he was flirting or has a personality disorder. We’ll go with flirting.

When I see or meet people who are sexually interesting to me (and this guy could be, I suppose), I often wonder what they would make of me if they had the chance. I don’t really think of myself as a normal man. Not the kind you just pick up for a fuck. Besides being functionally penisless, I mean. What would it be like for me knowing what I know about myself now if I was still trying to date people?

Sure, I’m totally bi and could conceivably have sex with anyone. I know I’m heteromantic so the dudes would just be a good time. I’d probably have to tell them that if they tried to linger. Alternatively, I’d need to tell the women about the bi thing. Honestly, the best thing I did with Belle was put it out there very early on. Even before we were dating. It was never hidden between us, though had we gone right into a romantic thing, I don’t know that it would have happened the same way. It probably would have. As I recall, most of the women I’ve been with were hip to the bi.

Besides being bi, I’m a complete bottom. Not just a sub (I’ll get there), but a bottom. Not really into fucking guys. Have never been into it, to be honest, though I’ve always been into letting them do me. I recall always being somewhat impatient when I was with guys if they were going down on me or I was supposed to screw them. Sure, I like getting sucked off as much as the next guy, but I don’t think I’ve ever come from that. And now, of course, if I do end up with a guy for a good time, I’m an enforced bottom. Can’t really not tell the poor dude about that until the pants are coming off.

And yes, of course, I’m a sub. All the way down. How would I get into a relationship with a random person without knowing if they were minimally a switch? I mean, I guess I did when I married Belle, but we’re talking about me knowing everything I know about myself now. Of course, maybe it would just be a fling. Like the cute boy picking me up at the grocery store. But would I be able to enter into flings knowing all these things about me and how complicated I am and how sometimes flings become more than that?

Bottom line, dating for a submissive bisexual heteromantic bottom would be fucking complicated as hell. I mean, seriously, that’s got to be one of the primary ways the internet has improved our lives in the past few decades. When I really was single and dating, all we had were bars, friends, work, and the personals. And the personals were pretty tame.

The converse of all this, of course, is I didn’t know a lot of these things and married a wonderful girl anyway and it all turned out fine. So maybe I’m just blowing this out of proportion. Maybe shit just works out sometimes.

Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do

Most every morning, the first thing I do when I wake up that time – the time I know I’m going to get up and not just roll over again – is grab my phone. On it, there’s usually a dozen or so notifications of things that happened when I was asleep, 97% of which are nothing of consequence. This morning, there was only one.

4:27 AM CNN Breaking News: David Bowie has died at age 69.

FUCK.

There are different levels of emotion one feels when a famous person dies starting with indifference. Like, oh that person is dead. Next thought. Then you get to the, Oh, that’s sad. Next thought. Skip a few levels and you end up with the ones you cry over.

The last famous dead person I cried over was Steve Jobs. Just a bit because it had been coming and we all knew. Those are the situations where you get to mourn in slow motion for a long time. Steel yourself. In the case of Steve, that was months if not years. But Bowie just happened. Like that bolt painted on his face on the cover of Aladidin Sane.

So I said to myself, FUCK, and opened the apps and read the news. I wasn’t ready for it to hit me like it did. In fact, it wasn’t until I got into the bathroom to get ready for work an hour or so later and started playing my Bowie playlist that it became real and I felt the emotion and that made me cry. Honestly, I think of people who cry when famous people die as marginally unstable. They don’t know them. Sure, it’s fine to feel a sad, but to cry. That’s for people you really know. But that’s not what happened this morning. I was crying for Bowie. Then I’d stop and the song would change I’d do it all over again. Streaming tears. What the fuck?

David Bowie was the featured artist on the soundtrack that was the John Hughes movie of my young adult life. The first time I have any memory of hearing one of his songs was relatively late considering he started releasing albums in the 60’s. I was at a friend’s house who was one of the first I knew who had cable and MTV and it was just on and playing in the corner as a bunch of us hung out. This was also the first time I ever saw MTV and the video playing was “China Girl.” And man, that voice. I recall just staring transfixed. Then I bought Let’s Dance then I ended up hanging out with people who had the whole back-catalog and then he was always just  there.

David Bowie was the first person upon whom I ever heard the label “bisexual” applied. I knew he was it before I knew I was. Even today, if you told me to say the first thing that came into my head upon hearing “bisexual” I’d probably say Bowie. Then “Dancing in the Streets” came out and there was the guy he was supposedly bisexual with (among others). For a really, really long time the entire universe of out bisexual people I could point to was David Bowie. And in a way, the fact that he just was bisexual without any politics or flag waving or carrying on was quietly and powerfully influential on me. I never realized how much that meant to me until I was standing in the bathroom this morning feeling stupid about the tears running down my face.

Funny thing is, I kinda stopped following Bowie after “Blue Jean” was released. We do that sometimes, I guess. The best music is the music that was made when we were 17. I’ve lost time for music now. All I do now is consume information. I listen to the news and podcasts and hoover up as much info as possible. Who has time to listen to new music when the world is still full of so many interesting things I haven’t learned about yet? But every time I heard he released a new album, including his last just a few days ago, I’d think a happy thought. He was still out there. Still doing his thing. Still reinventing himself.

I’m forty-eight. Not old but not young. Old enough to know better than ever that I’m not going to be around forever. That more of me is in the past than in the future. The death of David Bowie is also the death of a chunk of my youth. This is what getting old is, I think, more than the ache and the lines on your face. When you become aware that the things that mattered to you before you developed a sense of your own mortality are literally dying around you.

God, it fucking sucks he’s dead.

Be your damned self

Reader Andrew commented on my last post:

This may be a personal question, but during any of this have you wanted to hide your bisexuality or end the Drew relationship out of a way to feel “normal” before realizing that those are just part of the new normal? I ask, well, because I tend to shun my bi side and I am trying to stop that.

I’ll take those in reverse order.

You cannot “shun” your bisexuality. You shouldn’t even try. If you don’t want or can’t act out on your desires, at least accept them. Trying to shove them down deep and ignoring them is a recipe for disaster.

I’ve not wanted to do that myself at all, not for a long time and certainly not recently. My attraction to each end of the gender spectrum waxes and wanes over time and when I’m feeling especially anxious or depressed, I find I’m drawn even closer to Belle since she’s the stabilizing force in my life. Her and my family. That means I’m less attracted to men, but it doesn’t mean I’m not bisexual. I know how I work by now.

Regarding Drew, as I’ve said, he’s gotten the short end of the stick. I withdraw from those all around me and he’s in that group. My waning attraction to men also impacts my relationship with him. It can be a challenge to give him the attention he wants or perhaps should expect, but again, that’s my problem with everyone when I’m feeling bad.

I try not to focus on “normal” even though I ended my last post talking about it. I am who I am, physically and emotionally and mentally, and that’s all good. I actually like who I am with regard to my sexuality. I find my bisexuality to be a bit of a superpower. I’d never want to give it up or see it go away forever. I am grateful I have the opportunity from Belle to engage others outside my marriage. I feel that’s a benefit and in no way a bad thing. To be clear, my issues with anxiety and depression are not based on any angst or guilt regarding my love and sex life. Anxiety attaches to them, but that’s not where it’s coming from.

So anyway, be your damned self. I am and I like it.

Touchy bunny

Reader Mike left this comment to my last post:

Do you ever think the day will come when you are simply not bisexual and the phase will be over? I’m sure that would be welcomed news to Belle and Drew’s husband, but I think it would make you unhappy and I’d hate that. So, best of luck with the kryptonite.

Drew read that as well-intentioned but misguided. I just read the misguided part and called him an idiot. Why to touchy?

I’ve been thinking on that because the comment today doesn’t seem as obnoxious as it did yesterday. I think there are a couple of things that set me off.

Do you ever think the day will come when you are simply not bisexual and the phase will be over?

Ugh. So, so close to calling my sexuality a “phase.” I literally cannot think of a more demeaning and insulting thing to say to a person who identifies as something outside the heteronormative hegemony. Also especially problematic for me since I totally bought off on that “phase” narrative for years and had no real emotional or sexual relationships as a result. I’ll grow out of it. I’ll “decide.” And I was wrong. There was nothing to grow out of. No decision to make. I am what I am.

And, in a theme that will be repeating, I’ve blogged about my sexuality many, many times. My assumption about anyone who reads me is that they’ve been reading me and know the whole backstory and that’s probably wrong. I don’t know anything about Mike or if that post was the first he ever read. Maybe. But it still set me off.

I’m sure that would be welcomed news to Belle and Drew’s husband…

How many times have I written that both our spouses are really, super OK with me and Drew’s relationship? I grow weary defending it and the implied damage our combined openness must be inflicting on them. I am tired of the assumption that what we’re doing is cheating. I’m so fucking tired of the judgement. Ugh!

…but I think it would make you unhappy and I’d hate that.

Which, OK, I totally skipped over the first time through. I was already seeing red and didn’t pick up the apparent concern/care. But even this suggests I’m perfectly happy to make Belle unhappy so I can have gay sex with Drew…?

So, best of luck with the kryptonite.

I read that as, “I hope you continue not being bisexual,” though I admit it could be interpreted otherwise. So many comments that are judgmental and homophobic and really awful that never get approved (here or over on Drew’s) carry a friendly, caring tone so that can almost set me off by itself.

He replied to me calling him an idiot with this:

Dude, im on your side here. I know you’ve always been a bi guy but since you are in a new stage of acting on it with your outside “relationship” I wondered if that’s maybe all you needed for your satisfaction. It’s only been a month or two, right? I don’t know what I meant about the spouses and I know they support you but it has to be tough at times dividing times and lives is all I meant but glad for you they do.

Again with the phase talk. As if all I need to scratch my bi itch is a cock in my mouth a few times. That’s not how sexuality works. Not from an orientation aspect, not from a kink aspect, not really in any aspect. Also, I’ve been with Drew a month or two? Nearly a year. Yeah, I know, maybe he’s new, but it doesn’t sound like it. More like there’s a reading comprehension issue.

Whatever. I overreacted. I shouldn’t have. I can be mean sometimes. Sorry.

Underwood under my skin

Last week, some kind of flu-like thing knocked me out pretty good and left me laying in bed for a few days binge-watching TV shows. One of those was House of Cards. It’s a show I watch in fits and starts mostly because Belle doesn’t seem that into it and I like to watch things with her that we both enjoy. HoC gets whatever time is left whenever I think of it (often watched while on the treadmill).

So, fair warning, I’m going to spoil the hell of that show in this post. I’m about three episodes or so into the third (and current) season, so if you’re interested in it, you’re probably further along than I am, but this is the internet so warnings must be posted. Also, if you’re ahead of me, please don’t spoil anything that happens later on.

I remember really well the moment we realized as viewers that Frank wasn’t cheating on Claire with Zoe. That she not only was aware of his dalliances but had no issue with them. I loved that the show was featuring a complicated monogamish relationship, even if at least Frank’s side of it was creepily calculated and politically motivated (in many ways, I found Claire’s relationship with Adam to be far more interesting and layered). Then, when we learn of Frank’s relationship with another man in his academy days, I was even more invested. Frank Underwood was bisexual.

And I kind of left it there. I didn’t think much more about it. A popular show was featuring an open relationship and a strong masculine character who fucked other guys once in a while. Two rabbity thumbs up from me.

But hours and hours of soaking in HoC over the course of two days has totally changed my POV about it. And it started with the episode where Frank and Claire tag team their Secret Service guy. That shit was not OK on many levels. And it made me rethink the show’s depiction of both Frank’s sexuality and his marriage arrangement.

I remember back in the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s when I was growing up that more often than not, characters with non-standard sexualities or gender identities were depicted as pathological. You couldn’t just be gay (let alone bi or trans) and part of the story. The fact that you were gay (or bi or trans) was part of your larger freakishness. There are exceptions (The World According to Garp), but usually that’s how shit when down.

So here we are now in the progressive 21st Century and we’re still doing it. Claire and Frank can’t just be murdering, amoral, power-hungry, self-absorbed sociopaths. They need to feature an extra layer of otherness to show to the audience just how amoral they are. They will sleep with anyone. Together. Frank sucks cock and goes down on women. What a freak!

This was set into sharp relief for me when I was back at work on Friday and talking to a colleague about my HoC binge. He said after he realized that Claire knew about Zoe and that it didn’t bother her that he knew they were too weird for him. And I was thinking, that is what told you they were weird? I mean, eventually Frank starts killing people and they both lie like fucking rugs but their relationship openness is what did it?

Openness and ethical non-monogamy are very much in the cultural conversation at the moment, but it has yet to be portrayed in the popular culture as a normal and positive thing. Not on a show that has a lot of eyeballs, at least. And portrayals of female bisexuality have made some gains lately but masculine, non-confused, healthy bisexual males are still a thing we’re waiting to see.

So no, House of Cards is clearly not the monogamish bisexual’s Will and Grace. Not even. Probably the opposite. And that pisses me off.

The inconvenient ebbing

Have I mentioned I’m bisexual? Oh, that’s right. We’re calling it biflexipan now. I feel like I must have brought it up at some point…

When I was young, I didn’t really understand my own sexuality or how it worked. I say now I’m a Kinsey three (and I know I am since Buzzfeed proved it for me — where were they in 1989!?), but that’s something that vacillates. I only average out to a three. I couldn’t get a grip on who I was for a long time because I didn’t realize that the oscillation around three was something I didn’t really control. I assumed that I must be gay (or mostly gay) because other guys turned me on and I wanted them to fuck me and only gay men want to be fucked by other men (at least as far as I knew). My pesky insistence on also being turned on by women and really enjoying sex with them (plus my inability to feel a real emotional connection to another guy) had to have been rooted in my inability to let go of the assumption and expectation that I should be straight. Like I didn’t want to disappoint my mom by turning out gay so I never let myself feel it and live it. Also, many of my gay friends told me “bisexual” meant “gay as soon as he figures it out.” Perhaps I was only fooling myself into liking women because I was afraid of the alternative.

I remember a gay friend telling me at about this time that I was confused. I also remember reacting very negatively to that word (mostly because this same guy told me I couldn’t exist and I really felt that maybe I did), but really, I was confused about how I worked. I didn’t get that how my attraction changed was natural for me and not something I could influence. That it just happened. I also had no understanding at all that emotional sexuality is separate from…sexual sexuality. It wasn’t until I met Belle and the enormity of the emotions I felt for her swamped everything else I felt that I decided to stop worrying about it. I still didn’t understand me and I knew I wasn’t “cured” of my attraction to men, but because I loved her as much as I did, none of it seemed to matter as much. For the first time in my life, I was with someone with whom I felt a deep need to procreate.

FF about twenty years.

So now I’m in this part of my life where on Wednesday I have my face buried in snatch and on Thursday I’m sucking dick. On the one hand, how fucking awesome is that!? But on the other, it’s a bit jarring. I am not the perfect Kinsey three I average out to. There’s a certain fluidity to it, but there’s zero fluidity in the logistics of how it plays out. I see Drew when I see him and those dates are set weeks or months in advance. Whether or not I am especially interested in his…er, services, there they are.

Up to this point, it hasn’t really been a problem (and even now, to use the word “problem” suggests there is one and there really isn’t). Some visits, I’m really into the idea of him being here and others perhaps less so, but this time I was way over at like a Kinsey one-and-a-half. However the tidal forces of my sexuality work, they were ebbing relative to the idea of mansex. But, you know, even one and a half twigs is enough to kindle a campfire with, so things weren’t awkward or weird. He knew something was up. I dropped vague hints. Still, a fine time was had by all.

I suspected this mismatch of opportunity and desire was going to happen when, in the days leading up to his arrival, I found myself rolling my eyes at things he would say to me that otherwise would have been funny or whatever. This wall, or whatever it is, has always been there and when it’s up I can never get over. Whatever guy I was with or who wanted to be with me would say or do something and I’d be like, Oh god, what a fucking guy thing to say/do, and get immediately turned off. Often enough, the “guy thing” works for me, but when it doesn’t, it does not. This kind of experience used to really throw me for a loop. Cause me to spin into a kind of perpetual re-evaluation of who I was and what I wanted out of life. Now I’m just kind of, Feh. I’ll get over it.

Of course, this is in no way a reflection on Drew. Luckily, I like him as well as have sex with him so even in the middle of this little episode, things are good between us. There have been guys in my past with whom I really only wanted sex and, when this thing came along, I’d run away from them faster than Jerry from Tom. My affection for him is genuine so this isn’t a crisis. Just a little thing.

Just about nine hundred words into this post and I realize I have no way out of it. Seems a pretty fair metaphor. This is just who I am and there’s no way out of that, either.