Freedom to feel

It occurred to me very shortly after I hit the publish button on that last post that I was going to have to think out the significance of this:

“I feel that this past weekend I allowed myself to really feel for Frodo how I have felt for him for years and express that to him as honestly as I ever have. And it’s exactly because we are both married to who we’re married to that that love can exist as it does. And it’s no less intense and no less valid than any other love I feel.”

Especially when compared to everything I’ve said here before about my bisexuality and my Twitter profile where I say I’m a “bisexual heteromantic submissive masochistic underwear enthusiast baseball fan. Usually locked in chastity.”

I mean, the submissive masochist underwear baseball stuff is totally true. As is the chastity. And I’m absolutely, 100% bisexual. But heteromantic? I am very definitely feeling something that would seem to exceed the bounds of heteromancy (full disclosure, I have no idea if this is a word). So what’s up, rabbit?

The time in my life when I was struggling the most with feelings of sexual attraction towards men combined with a deep desire to be with a woman and create a family was more or less the same time Frodo became so important in my life. When we were transitioning from childhood to adulthood. One of the main reasons I never pursed a romance with him at that time (and we’re talking like 30 or more years ago at this point) is that I already had in my head what I wanted in life. I had known it for as long I could remember. A wife. Children. I remember pretending I had kids from a very young age and by the time it was getting close to when I could make some it was the late 80s and early 90s and all the options available to same sex couples today (marriage, adoption, surrogacy) were pipe dreams or non-existent. And I think every time I started to get emotionally closer to Frodo around this time I would freak out and hit the eject button (which, in turn, hurt Frodo and was totally unfair). Because Frodo lacked a uterus.

So, to me, heteromancy was my destiny and I would not let anything get in the way of that. And since that was the case and Frodo was the only male I ever felt anything close to romantic love for and I never bothered to pursue any other men for that kind of connection, I could easily say (once I found the word) that I was heteromantic. Sex with men was great and totally something I was up for, but beyond that? Nope. They couldn’t give me what I wanted from life.

But the is future now. I’m not 20 anymore (sigh). I have a kid who’s that age and another right behind him. I got what I wanted from life. A woman who I love and two amazing children who have turned out better than I had any right to expect. So the imperative to reproduce has been satisfied (and is now all about patiently waiting for the grandkids).

So not only has that factor been lifted, I am also not single. I have that relationship with a woman I craved. And it’s healthy and happening right alongside whatever else might be happening in my life. So that need for female companionship and my urges to feel her body and get her off in the specific and delightful ways women get off is still available to me.

What I’m saying and where I’m netting out on this is that we are never complete beings. Things are always happening and time grinds forward and as such what was once thought to be immutable aspects of ourselves have to evolve, too. I feel that I am now more free to feel how I have felt for Frodo for decades. I can be more honest to him and myself. And the reason it’s possible is a combination of things the 20-year-old version of me never could have comprehended, let alone predicted.

So I’ve changed my Twitter profile.

I suspect it will change again. Because that’s what life is. And it’s only really over when the change ends.

Rebound

I spent last weekend with Frodo (for the noobs: Frodo is the guy I met and had a relationship with in high school and who was subsequently the best man in our wedding and no his name is not really Frodo — I’ve written about him before so search his name if you’re curious).

It was…a lot of fun.

In the midst of if, I started to become kind of emotional. Not like in bad way. Like, all my emotions were just kind of floating high near the surface. I was overcome with gratitude and happiness that I somehow managed to find myself at this place in my life with a wife I love and who understands me and cares for me how I need to be cared for and allows me to go off on weekends like this one so I can spend time with my oldest and dearest friend who also understands me and accepts me for how I am and OH MY GOD the confluence of all these people who I love and love me back was just too much to take at points. This may or may not have led to some gushy and sentimental Facebook posting.

When I got back, I was being very affectionate to Belle. Not on purpose. Not in some kind of calculated way. I just couldn’t be near her enough. I couldn’t express myself enough. A house full of home-for-the-summer children not withstanding, I wanted to take her to bed and make her scream with delight. She was like, WTF is up with you, Rabbit?

And…it’s like I said. So much gratitude. So much love. Everywhere for both of them. I think right now I’m about as close as I’ve ever been to really understanding how polyamory can work when done right. Ethically and openly and without guilt or shame. I love both these people. Part of that love is the same, but a lot of it is different. They’re different. They have played different roles in my life. But I’m so happy they’re both in my life at the same time and I can (occasionally) bounce back and forth between them. It makes me so, so happy and Belle is the primary person responsible for this arrangement thanks to her understanding and acceptance and, ultimately, confidence in me and our bond.

Like I said, the love I feel for these two people is not the same because they’re not the same. But I feel that this past weekend I allowed myself to really feel for Frodo how I have felt for him for years and express that to him as honestly as I ever have. And it’s exactly because we are both married to who we’re married to that that love can exist as it does. And it’s no less intense and no less valid than any other love I feel. Frodo is quite simply one of the two most important people in my life and has been for more than 35 years. I would not be the person I am today if not for him.

And Belle is the other most important person in my life and has been for more than 20 years. I would also not be the person I am today if not for her. It’s not an exaggeration to say all the best parts of my life today are due to her.

Thing is, people, there is no limit to love. It is not a finite resource. It’s renewable. It’s bottomless. Our capacity for love is only contained by our lack of imagination and our petty jealousies and insecurities. I am the luckiest fucking rabbit in the world to find myself in this place and there isn’t a moment I don’t realize that.

I am so grateful.

Hell hath no fury

I experienced a whole new thing on Sunday. Belle and TOG had arranged a time to Skype and the time came and went with no word from him. She was disappointed and hurt, as anyone would be, and I was mad. 

Thing is, “mad” doesn’t really capture the emotion. I was really mad. Furious, but not letting it show to her. There’s a flavor of anger that is specific to someone wronging one of your own and that’s what I was feeling. It’s not a thing I’ve ever felt in that context. I was left to comfort her because this guy had flaked out on her, like you would a good friend except this good friend was my wife. The objective, Vulcan part of me has tried to understand what his POV might be and appreciate what he may be going through, but the rest of me gives not a shit about any of that and wants to hurt him.

They have exchanged communications since but I’m not privy to the convo because she’s decided not to tell me. All I know is she told him what she felt she needed to considering his behavior. No idea if this is the end or just a bump, but I’ve decided to stop writing about TOG for the time being either way. There may come a point when it makes sense again, but not now. Last night, Belle said to me, “Your readers are going to be so disappointed,” sort of in rueful jest. That punctuated the growing feeling I already had that spending so much time documenting them here was feeling way too invasive to her. The very last thing I want her thinking about is how her outside relationship is potential wank fodder for people who read me for the prurient details (and trust me, I’m very much pro-prurient details in other contexts), how they’d react if that doesn’t work out, what they would say in comments, etc. I have enough trouble with that.

So, if I talk about it, it’ll be in an abstract way and from the POV of a submissive in an open relationship (while the idea of calling myself a cuckold is dirty hot, I’m not sure I am once since I am also free to have outside sex…as long as it doesn’t involve the penis). For instance, having to console her drove any and all sexy thoughts from my head. It made this even more a Real Thing, not just because it affected her but how it affected me (the quiet rage thing). This is the part the hawt cuck porn doesn’t help you with and accentuates how real life is. You get all kinds of emotions and outcomes, not just the formulaic. I was part concerned husband, part submissive partner, part comforting friend who wanted to drive over to his house and kick his ass all at the same time. He wasn’t the potential bull for my hotwife, he was an emotionally immature idiot who didn’t know how to use his words. Maybe both at the same time, but the one eclipsed the other (and still does). 

Objectification issue: Resolved

Possession is nine-tenths, etc.

Belle and I spent some time after the lights were out last night just talking. Talking about TOG specifically, marital openess in general, me, her, etc. (even Drew, but that’s for another post). It was wonderful. Even though the tone was far more tame than the night before (for example, my finger wasn’t in any of her hot, wet orifices), it still left me too hopped up to sleep (and now you’re like, oh fucking great I get to read about how the rabbit can’t sleep again).

Anyway, lots to write about there, but first this…

At some point, Belle offered to let me read the history of her messaging with TOG. Not like right then but sometime if I wanted to. Nothing to hide and all that. I am of two minds. On the one hand, it’s pretty personal and seems borderline intrusive. But, of course, she offered and it would save her having to answer my endlessly annoying questions. On the other hand, I think it’d be hot as hell. Anyway, I asked Twitter what they thought and DarqKnight offered the above.

I want to talk about possessiveness. Not because I think DarqKnight is wrong. This is not a case of right and wrong. But “possessive” seems analogous to “jealous” and jealousy is really interesting to me.

I skipped over it yesterday, but I think jealousy is, at least in part and in some people, driven by insecurity. Worry that one’s partner will choose someone else or prefer someone else. In my case, my particular blend of perversions are such that rather than making me jealous, these possibilities turn me on. Also, as I said, I’m confident in my position with Belle and don’t for a second (well, not for two seconds — more on that in a minute) think she would leave me for TOG. Once that’s out of the way, there’s room for compersion to set in. Plus, there’s a real benefit to me for her to be having this fling.

What I mean by that involves the concept of “new relationship energy.” NRE is described by Wikipedia as…

[A] state of mind experienced at the beginning of most significant sexual and romantic relationships, typically involving heightened emotional and sexual receptivity and excitement.

I mean, we’ve all been there. Belle is experiencing a healthy jolt of NRE along with all the associated benefits and in the same way sunlight reflects off the moon some of it’s bouncing off her and hitting me. She’s in a better, sexier mood and that’s good for me. She’s ridiculously attractive to me right now. She’s also more interested in her health and well-being and I’m happy about that, too. So beyond the compersionistic aspect (yeah, I may have just made up a word) of feeling happy for her because she’s enjoying what’s going on, I’m able to also benefit from the real impact it’s having on her in other ways.

Of course, there’s a second way “possessive” can be defined. If I had a nice car (and I do), I would be possessive of it (and I am) as a thing that belongs to me and is mine to enjoy (and it is). Of course, there is no “car owner relationship dynamic” but if one was a Dom one might consider thier sub as “theirs” and feel a similar exclusive right of use. Maybe that’s what DarqKnight meant. If so, of course, I don’t feel that for Belle. I’m fortunate she doesn’t feel that about me (except for the penis, of course).

So I said I don’t for a second think Belle would leave me, but that’s not entirely true. As we were talking last night, she told me that I was wrong when I said all TOG knew about me was the relative size of the penis. Early on, when describing to him the parameters of our open marriage, she told him that I’d not only be OK with her being with him but that one of my fantasies was to be cuckolded. That helps explain the aggressive tone of his “I want you to enjoy sex with me more than him” attitude. As we talked about that, I had a brief bolt of panic that flickered for just a second. The idea that this other man would be actively trying to woo my wife and would have unfettered access to her while doing so is, however remotely, risky. And, I have to tell you, risky is sexy. How we respond to risk is sexy. Why do we do risky things? Because they’re fun. Risk means the envelope is being pushed. It’s really only with sex that we seem to collectively frown at the idea of introducing risk of any kind. So yeah, there is somewhere in me a tiny piece of worry and it may grow as we get closer to the time Belle will meet him, but to me it feels roughly equivalent to what it would feel like to downhill ski or skydive. Maybe something catastrophic happens, but chances are it won’t. Skating that edge has its own excitement.

There’s a noticeable age difference between TOG and Belle. Had I been able to cast my perfect guy-on-the-side for her, I would have probably made him closer to our age, but this is what it is. Belle seems worried that a guy in his late 20’s may not be fully prepared for what a woman in her forties is like, but I counter with the fact that there are lots of things that make someone sexy and desirable along with their physical attributes. She’s confident and successful and experienced and married and any or all of those things might be firing in TOG’s head as he thinks about her. He and I are in agreement that the age difference is actually pretty fucking hot.

I said in my first post about TOG that the only real concern I had was that Belle would be hurt. She told me her worry was actually the other way around. Apparently, TOG is quite smitten with her and may end up being more attached to her than is practical considering the circumstances (married, other side of the Atlantic, etc.). She’s been clear that she thinks he should think of her as a fun port o’ call on his life cruise and not a destination. If there’re any clouds on the horizon of this little adventure, it’s that TOG might become overly invested in Belle emotionally.

I suppose it’s possible Belle could, too. That her fun and sexy feelings for him, once she actually gets to know him in person, may become more significant. The prospect of this doesn’t bother me. Like I said yesterday, I think I am fundamentally polyamorous and feel pretty confident I would be able to adjust to a reality in which Belle had another significant relationship along ours, but I’m not sure Belle’s wired that way (let alone TOG who I know no better than a hole in the ground).

Getting back to the offer of reading her messages with him, I’m totally going to take her up on that. I think the prospect and her instant willingness to let me see them says a lot about the fundamental strength of our bond. It occurred to me last night when we talked and I said something about writing here about stuff that I wasn’t entirely sure it was appropriate. This blog is about Belle and my relationship. TOG represents something related but really totally separate. It’s her relationship with someone other than me. Regardless, she’s cool with me going on about it so I will, I’m sure, at length.

So yeah, that’s where we are…

Is it August yet?

Further elucidation

I said:

In short, I’m not in a place right now where I can submit to Drew. It’s as simple as that. My sexual relationship with him is founded on submission and if I can’t get myself there, I can’t do it.

So, why can’t I do it? And why does there have to be submission?

I’ll start when the second first. I am submissive. It’s not just a thing I do (though I get, for some people, it is that). Someone might say, “Gah! Why so complicated?” To which I would reply, are you new here? Which is a joke, but seriously, because it’s who I am now. With Drew, it was the very reason we had a relationship in the first place. So he could dominate and I could submit. When I said it was the foundation, that’s what I meant.

When you’re submissive, you sometimes need to find that angle that gets you into subspace. Sometimes, the Dom/me can do something to help you get there, but even so, a lot of it is internal and sometimes feels like you’re drawing a curtain in front of the things that might keep it from happening. It’s not hard with Belle since my submission and her control over my sex are deeply intertwined in our relationship now. But with Drew, I found it was getting harder and harder for me to find the submissive vector that pulled the curtain. Not because of anything mechanical or tactical he was doing wrong. I think it was because I came to know him too well.

If I had to find a starting point for when that started to be an issue, it was specing out and ordering him his Steelheart. I wear the Steelheart. I’m not with someone who does. But he was always very open about what was going on there and I had to try and just let those things roll over me and then get them out of my mind. Our recent trip to Montreal to order him his Steelwerks device was more of the same. Then there was the way he reached out to me when Axel found his set of boy toys and the emotions and conflict that brought up in him. I was really glad to be able to talk him through that and be his friend, but it finally put too much stuff on the side of the scale I needed to balance out to find my sub side with him.

Drew always wanted to be friends. I thought that was a good idea and was my instinct, as well. Turns out, if we did anything wrong, it was that we got too close. We became too intimate with one another’s private lives. The space in which I constructed my submission to him was filled with other things. Like his insecurities and hopes and issues and strengths and weaknesses and other sundry life drama.

That’s entirely unfair. I know it is. But it’s how it works with me. At least, how it works with me regarding Drew. Perhaps how it’ll work with any man. My feelings for men don’t follow the  same pathways as my feelings for women, after all. I can’t know that how it works with a guy on the side is how it’d work with a woman. It may be that anyone I enter into a D/s relationship with external to my marriage will need to maintain a certain distance to last.

To be clear, he did nothing wrong. I don’t think I did, either. It’s just where things have ended up, at least for the time being.

Am I Ross or Rachel? Oh please let it be Rachel.

Drew and I have put a break on the sexual aspect of our relationship, at least for the time being. A few points…

  • It is not because I’ve finally seen the light vis-a-vis “cheating on my wife.”
  • It is not because I’ve finally stopped being “gay.”
  • It is not because I’m afraid I am turning gay.
  • It is not because I’ve realized Drew is an awful person.
  • It’s not because he leaves the TV on when he checks out of his hotel room.*
  • It is not because [fill in your own theory].

In short, I’m not in a place right now where I can submit to Drew. It’s as simple as that. My sexual relationship with him is founded on submission and if I can’t get myself there, I can’t do it. This has not resulted from anything Drew did wrong. I don’t think there’s anyone to blame for where we are. It’s just how things have evolved between us.

There is no one single thing that’s made me all freaky and weird lately (freaky = depressed, weird = anxious), but feeling this coming has certainly contributed. I had his feelings to contend with (something I admit to not being exceptional at) along with weird issues around discussing it on the blog. If it hadn’t become such a fucking thing here, it may have been easier to address. This is a classic example of the Hawthorne Effect. I feel like the blogging and the sharing and the reality TV show aspect of all this is intertwined with where it is now, though I can’t say for certain we wouldn’t have found ourselves here anyway.

There’s probably more I could say about this, but I’m not sure it’s necessary at the moment. Drew talked about it on his side at greater length. I think I’m very purposefully going to leave some of this behind the curtain for now.

∗ Actually, that does really piss me off.

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.