Captain's Log

Much thanks, @swirlingnurse. The world just isn't set up for people like us, is it? As much as I crave women, I'm not about to resort casual sex with a man watching, nor will I be some bicurious woman's "experiment," or accept anything less than an awesome, fully empowered woman who engages me mind, body, and heart.

I totally agree LoveBunny. I know how those cravings for a woman is because they are ferocious. When I"m making love to a woman, I don't want a man around as much as I love men. Get that woman who is proud and confident and is all in on having a same-sex relationship with you and not trying to just "test the waters". I hope it happens in the near future for you:).
Shane returned to town after a month away. Soon, he goes away again for another month. By late fall or early winter, he will probably take a post overseas. Shane wanted to see me as soon as possible when he got back, texted me for two days straight trying to get me to come over. I wanted to spend some time with him before we did anything sexually, because I wasn't feeling connected, what with him away for so long when we've just started dating. He did text me here and there during his trip to let me know he was thinking of me which was nice.

So I made a date with him for Saturday (today) when I knew I had a long chunk of time to spend. But then, I got horny yesterday (Friday,) I had a few hours to kill, the island felt hot and steamy and sexy, and with my engines revving, I hit him up for a booty call. This was a big mistake.

When I first walked into his condo, I realized that since he left, I had forgotten exactly how he looked and sounded. My memory of his face and voice were just a bit off, and reminded me I haven't known him long or well. We had a glass of wine and chatted a bit. When he started kissing me, I thought I was relaxed and ready, lips on the neck felt nice, hands on my ass, yes, yes, yes.

This was the first time he and I have done it indoors (the two other times were quickies on remote beaches) and this was the first time we had uninterrupted private sexy-time. We moved it into his bedroom. Somewhere into it, I just shut down emotionally, physically. Though some of the things he did felt quite good, I couldn't reach a satisfying orgasm, and some things he did I did not like at all.

During sex, my submissive tendencies come out, and I become very pliable and unwilling to create conflict. Some of the things he did were a bit too intense for me within the context of our relationship. For example, he wanted me not to break eye contact with him, which made me feel very, very vulnerable. I took it as a challenge, and did it as best I could. He told me, "You are mine now," which came off creepy. He brought up my husband a couple of times, like "When's the last time your husband fucked you like this?" I mumbled, "Let's not talk about him." But he did it again, "Your husband's an idiot for not fucking you every day." I did not like him disrespecting my Arlo. He ordered me not to use the word "pussy," to use the word "cunt." I guess that's not a big deal, I can get over my negative connotations of the "c" word, but it annoyed me. He sucked my toes and licked my armpits, which is flattering, I guess, but ick.

I know I could've stopped him anytime, but I don't like to get "blueballed" (whatever the female equivalent is) so I don't do it to others. He wasn't forcing or hurting me, and there were some very nice moments, he does certain things very well. So I just carried on until he came, then extricated myself. Afterwards, I was flooded with depression. This was not the fulfilling experience I wanted. I felt degraded, though that's not fair to either of us. Why didn't I speak up, slow down, do what I needed to do to educate him of my likes and dislikes? Would that have made it better, or turned sex into less of a dance, more of an exercise?

As I was leaving, he asked if we could still have our date tonight (Saturday) and I said okay. I don't feel he did anything to merit my loss of warmth, plus I hoped I'd feel more positive about the experience after I slept on it. But today, I want to cancel our date, and possibly end the whole thing.

I cannot get close to someone who is so often away, and who won't even be on the same continent a year from now (I'm not interested in an LDR.) Also, I really don't like how casually Shane has sex. He was telling me about some of his recent encounters, one with a woman who I rejected on AdultFriendFinder. He said he didn't care that she wasn't that good looking or particularly interesting, as long as she could fuck like a champ. Good for him that he gets off so easy. Honestly, I'm a little jealous. Still, it turns me off about him.

I'd rather text him than talk so I can measure my words. Something like: "Hey Shane, I'd prefer to cancel tonight. Yesterday was a bit intense for me, and I'd like to step back and recalibrate a bit before I see you again. That's not a reflection of anything you did or of my liking for you, I just want to process it." Should I do it before I know he gets off work? in two hours? Or should I just wait and see if he texts me first? Or should I just tell him I'm tired or busy tonight after all, then process it on my own, then talk to him about my feelings after I've had time to figure them out? He's a pretty casual guy...

Perhaps I've got what I needed out of this relationship. Shane taught me a lot about what I do and don't want out of non-monogamy, we've had some fun, but he's not, ultimately, scratching my itch. I keep coming back to the idea that it's really a woman I want, and not a man at all. I certainly don't want Shane to cuddle me or hold me. I'm not sure I want any man to (except Arlo sometimes.) I think Shane will be disappointed, but I doubt I'm breaking his heart. Hmmmm......
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It's gay pride week, and all kind of events are going on to celebrate. I've been trying to get involved, though, honestly, when I see two pretty women together, I get almost painfully jealous because I have no woman in my life, and because the last woman I let into my heart just about broke it.

I'm a naturally shy person, so I'm proud of myself that I texted my gay friends and asked them to invite me to anything they were up to. I had a nice time yesterday hanging with a bi/lesbian acquaintance who I've always had a crush on (but who has a very jealous girlfriend.) She let me hang with her while she DJ'd an event. Tomorrow I'll join some friends at the gay pride parade.

As a bisexual woman married to a man, I often feel invisible to the GLBT community. Lately, I find myself wanting to be more "out," in part so I can "advertise" to potential girlfriends, but also because my love for women really is a big part of my identity, and many of the most intense loves of my life have been women. But I'm not entirely certain how to go about it. My identity as a woman in a heterosexual marriage is obvious to everyone: It's written on my facebook status, worn on my ring finger, spoken in my last name. But there's this whole other part of me, and I want to find a way to show that too.

Last night, my hairdresser, a cute single mother I've always suspected is bi showed up at the gay karaoke bar where I was with my husband and some friends. She pulled me onto the dance floor, and when I protested that I can't dance, she "led" me. I gave in and let her twirl me in her arms. Felt delicious. I might have to go get my hair done this week ;)
My sex drive has hit a low ebb. Arlo and I made love a couple of times this week, but fireworks were not forthcoming. There's no other love interest on my radar, so my inner slut figures she might as well just shut down for a while and focus on writing, enjoy non-sexual affection from Arlo, and build up my platonic friendships.

I've been spending a lot of time with my closest friend, Victoria. Besides Arlo, Victoria is the person I spend the most time with, and talk to the most often. I started getting close to Victoria last year, just as my relationship with Coco was falling apart. I feel like this fulfilling, platonic female friendship was the karmic prize and the antidote to that sexual, toxic relationship. Victoria reminds me how it feels to have someone reciprocate my level of emotional investment, and I'm infinitely grateful she's around this summer.

Arlo and I had a huge fight last week. He was drunk and high for, like, the third night in a row, and he got angry and said horrible things. He's upset that I don't want to relocate across the country just because he got a job offer there which might make him a little more money. I told him if he wants to go, he should go, but I'm not interested in relocating. He became very insulting, and I responded in kind. He stormed out of the house and slept on the beach.

Once he sobered up, apologetic and embarrassed, he agreed to get some help with his substance abuse and anger issues, and made an appointment with a therapist for next week.

Shane comes back from overseas soon, but I'm not sure I want to see him again. The cute bi hairdresser I flirted with a while back, well, I found her profile on OKC where she answered "No" to the question "Would you consider an open relationship?" So no point pursuing that. I was emailing a younger woman for a while on SDC, really gorgeous, a red-head with green eyes, well-spoken, bi, in an open marriage, and she lives just under an hour away. She called me "absolutely lovely" when she saw my pictures, and last we spoke, she said she wanted to meet me, so I gave her my number. Then, she just ghosted. I sent her two messages in 7 days, with no reply to either. Doesn't give me the feeling she's bristling with excitement about me.

I've been wanting to talk to Arlo about our DADT agreement, wanting to clarify that I'm willing to remain DADT about casual/sexual relationships only. I think I can admit to myself that I'm not that interested in a serious secondary relationship with a man. I just can't imagine wanting any man but Arlo snuggling with me, or sleeping beside me at night. I've never been very interested in navigating all that men-are-from-mars, women-from-venus crap.

If I really think about it, rarely in my life have I felt "romantic" towards men (barring a couple of hardcore crushes, never consummated, in high school and college.) Even Arlo's presence has always felt more calming than invigorating. I'm absolutely comfortable around him. I never got crazy butterflies at the thought of seeing him, never put him on a pedestal. Mine isn't that kind of love for him, it's very on-the-ground and loyal. Maybe that's why it's lasted 17 years.

Anyway, I feel like I'm fine with DADT/mostly-casual relationships with men outside my marriage. But I'm really hoping to explore something deeper with a woman. I want a girlfriend, meaning I'd spend enough time with her that it might sometimes require "worlds colliding." I won't want to keep her identity secret from my husband. I wonder if my husband and I should discuss this before I actually find an appropriate woman to date. On the other hand, maybe Arlo needs to concentrate on his personal issues right now, and why rock the boat when there's no need to? Besides, who is to say such a woman will ever materialize out of my tiny dating pool?
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...I think I can admit to myself that I'm not that interested in a serious secondary relationship with a man. I just can't imagine wanting any man but Arlo snuggling with me, or sleeping beside me at night. I've never been very interested in navigating all that men-are-from-mars, women-from-venus crap.

If I really think about it, rarely in my life have I felt "romantic" towards men (barring a couple of hardcore crushes, never consummated, in high school and college.) Even Arlo's presence has always felt more calming than invigorating. I'm absolutely comfortable around him. I never got crazy butterflies at the thought of seeing him, never put him on a pedestal. Mine isn't that kind of love for him, it's very on-the-ground and loyal. Maybe that's why it's lasted 17 years.

I can relate to a lot of this. Although I went through periods of "butterflies" with both MrS and Dude (and a few high school crushes) they were controllable and short lived (I am not a fan of NRE, personally, I prefer to feel like myself). I never had a "romanticized" view of relationships (or marriage for that matter) - we are all flawed people making our way through an imperfect world the best we can. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find people to travel with us on that journey.

In general though, I just don't really like most men (and usually not beyond friends-possibly-with-benefits) it was 19 years between MrS and Dude - maybe in another couple of decades I'll cross paths with another one that I can't get away from...:rolleyes:

... I wonder if my husband and I should discuss this before I actually find an appropriate woman to date. On the other hand, maybe Arlo needs to concentrate on his personal issues right now, and why rock the boat when there's no need to? Besides, who is to say such a woman will ever materialize out of my tiny dating pool?

My two cents? I would certainly advise discussing it, hypothetically, before the situation arises (and the emotions are stirred), BUT it seems that right this second, he has to deal with his "personal issues" (anger and substance abuse).

Once he is well on the road to dealing with them you might broach the subject along the lines of "Hey, I've been wanting to discuss a hypothetical possibility with you about what it could look like if I got a 'serious' rush, I have no such prospect in sight, but, when this bit is all stable down the road, I have some ideas I'd like to run by you."
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@JaneQSmith I think that's good advice about Arlo, he needs to figure out if he wants to even be here. I'm glad someone can relate to my sexuality, which seems to be more emotionally/romantically attracted to women, more sexually attracted to men.

It sounds awful to say, but I've been with more men simply because it's easier, they're always around, offering themselves to me. I rarely have to look for them.

Women--at least, the sort of women I like, fair, feminine, and feline, tend to show up few and far between in my life. Up until recently, I'd given up on the idea of ever meeting a compatible woman, but I have to be honest with myself that a beautiful, compassionate woman is really what I want.

I've been trying to be more involved with the GLBT community here lately, but very few of the lesbians I know seem to want to give me the time of day. They don't invite me out when they go out, they won't introduce me to their friends, etc. I don't dress like they do with short hair, no make up, tattoos, and, of course, I have a man in my bed, so apparently, my sexuality doesn't count. One lesbian I was trying to make friends with propositioned me sexually, but when I said "let's just hang out as friends and see where it goes," she accused me of only liking "femmes" (yeah, true) and she stopped returning my texts. I got the feeling I was good enough to fuck, but she'd be embarrassed to be seen with me around her lesbian friends.

The local "swinger" community, on the other hand, has been much more accepting of me, though most of them seem a bit mystified as to my methods and motivations. One thing I admire about swingers is that they seem to be able to find something attractive about most people. This one swinger couple I'm good friends with recently decided to try full-blown polyamory, and they both found people they wanted to date right away.

Anyway, thanks for reading and for your input!
I had a great talk with Arlo regarding DADT. I told him that after two years of being open, I think I've proved that I'm not going to lose my focus on my marriage, or fall apart over everyone I sleep with. I explained that I've determined I'm not interested in a heavy relationship with another man, however, the sort of relationship I hope to forge with some woman someday would suffer under Arlo's strict DADT policy.

Arlo thought about it, and a few days later told me he was fine with me having girlfriend openly, but please stick to DADT when it comes to men. I agreed, as that jives with my vision for myself. Now watch, some groovy man will come along that I'll fall madly in love with, that would be just my luck.

Last night I met up with the pretty redhead from SDC with whom I've been talking to sporadically via email, and her husband. I had told them I'm mostly just interested in women, and they'd assured me I was free to pursue one, the other, or both of them as I chose. She gave me her husband's number to hash out the details of the meet up rather than her own. A safety measure, I guess, as she's an innocent young thing and I'm a stranger off the internet, but it doesn't point to her and I starting an independent relationship.

She was striking, smart, and quirky, but seemed soooo young. I really felt our 16 year age difference. She looks barely out of her teens to me, especially when she gets nervous and starts chewing her nails. Her husband is close to my age, only five years younger than me, but I am definitely not attracted to him. Apparently, she went straight from small-town Baptist university into her marriage bed, and she and her husband seem very intertwined and in their own little world. I have a hard time imagining her in a relationship with me.

The redhead, her husband and I spent a couple of hours talking and getting drunk in a tequila bar, then took a meander along the pier. She didn't flirt with me that I noticed, and we didn't have much physical contact besides our legs leaning up against each other as we stood gazing at the water. She's a shy person, as am I. I do best with someone confident enough to draw me out, and I suspect she needs someone similar. I'd be willing to try a date alone with her to figure out if there's a spark between us, but I'm unsure of her interest and afraid to ask, as I don't do well with rejection.

I'd noticed that Shane, the guy I met on SDC and slept with three times, "friended" them on the site, so I asked if they knew him. I learned the husband has met Shane, wife has not. Nonetheless, Shane brought her back a tee-shirt from his recent travels. I explained I'd recently been involved with Shane, but it seems to have fizzled out. I told her he's a great guy, but I also warned her that he got a little too intense for me our last encounter, demanding constant eye contact, doing some things I didn't like, and she agreed that would have freaked her too.

I hate to admit it, but I don't like the idea of Shane and this young woman hooking up. I mean, I think I'm done with Shane, and I'm lukewarm about this young woman, so what's with the jealousy? Shane certainly wouldn't mind the husband watching, while I would. Shane is probably exactly the casual, confident person they're hoping to swing with, while I'm shy and serious and looking for love. What can I expect from people I met on a swingers' dating site?

I haven't heard from Red via email or her husband via text today. I'll probably just send her a nice, neutral email saying It was great meeting you, I had fun, hope the drive home was safe, feel free to holler at me next time you want to come to town...we'll see if it goes anywhere from there.

After I got home from meeting Red and her husband, I called Arlo, who was out with a friend. Arlo asked if I wanted him to come home, and I admitted it would be nice. We did some serious snuggling. We had nice sex a few days ago, so I'm feeling better about our love-life, though he still hasn't gone to a therapist like he promised. I'll remind him to call on Monday, I plan to insist as hard as I can without frustrating myself.
Arlo had a good first therapy session, and we had good sex all week. One night, out at a gay karaoke bar, he even encouraged me to flirt with my cute bisexual hairdresser. I'm feeling good about my marriage :)

Ah, the cute hairdresser! She seemed very happy to see me, but then, she was very drunk (as was I) and we hugged several times, more than was necessary to say hello and goodbye. Once, I took her hand and held it in my lap, and she didn't pull away. I bought her a drink, and she asked me to dance with her. She held me in her arms a long time, and I made sure to pull her in very close and tight.

I'd really like to get to know her better, but shyness and fear of rejection is getting the best of me. Her OKCupid profile said she would NOT consider an open relationship, she never "likes" or comments on my posts on Facebook, plus I feel like she's a pretty direct person who would ask me out if she wanted to do more than just flirt. I wish I knew if she's so touchy-feely with all women, or just me? I haven't seen her act like that with anyone else, but I've only hung with her a couple of times. I guess I'll make a hair appointment next week, I'm due for a cut anyway, and see if I still feel a vibe when there's no tequila involved.
Twice in the last couple of weeks I have run into my cute, bisexual hairdresser at gay bars. Both times we were drunk, and she pulled me into her arms to dance. The second time there was some random cuddling. So, yesterday, I got my hair cut, both because I needed it and also I wanted to sit in her chair and get to know her better.

I am a very subtle flirter until I'm sure someone is into me. And if the other woman is also a subtle flirter, well, all is lost. So let's over-analyze everything she did and said and try to figure out if she's into me, shall we?

1) When I walked in, she did not stand up and hug me (she was on her computer laughing at something on Facebook.) I hugged her while she was still sitting. Awkward.

2) She took her time shampooing, styling, etc., and we sat and talked for a while after the cut was finished, just basic getting-to-know-you stuff like where we grew up, what kind of books we read, etc.. She was clearly in no hurry to get rid of me, though the conversation didn't go very deep (Inside I was screaming "Let's talk about being bi! What turns you on in bed?")

3) No obvious flirting or inappropriate touching went on, though we were alone in her salon, but of course, she's a pro, and I'm a client. She did some nice little brushing away water drops with her thumb on my forehead and chest, but I think she always does that. Once, she was telling a story about dropping crumbs in her cleveage and she reached down pretty far on my chest. I think it's safe to say she feels comfortable touching me. I cannot confirm that she likes it.

4) Her energy felt very different from previous encounters. She seemed more awkward and her voice sounded louder. She's always been very talkative, but this time I struggled to get a word in. This made me get kind of quiet--like I wanted to calm the energy a bit, and I felt like she was a little out of her head. I'm thinking she's far more social awkward than I realized. I did learn she comes from strict, religious upbringing and was homeschooled, has some phobia and anxiety issues, so that might explain some of the nervous energy.

5) I hinted about going over to house sometime to play on her karaoke machine, we both asked each other's plans for the evening (she has kids, so she was busy parenting.) Before I left, I said, "I'd love for us to go out for a drink sometime." She replied, "I'd love to." I said, "When you can ditch the kids, let me know." Which was stupid, because now I feel stuck in the position of waiting for her to contact me. I'm thinking of sending her a follow up saying something like "If you want to nail down a night so you can find childcare, I'd love that drink soon." We did not hug goodbye.

I get the sense she's interested in me as a friend, I don't see much indication that she's open to anything more, but maybe she was just in "work mode." I'm pretty sure she's read my OKCupid profile so knows my deal, I can't imagine I wouldn't have popped up in her searches, but who knows? I gave her lots of eye contact and smiles. I am disappointed that there wasn't more of a sexual, touchy vibe like when we were out at the bars.

And because the Universe is a jokester, an attractive man seems to be coming on to me in an obvious way. He's a masseuse, he worked on me once at a friend's house, and months later I ran into him at a party and he was very flirty . I have no idea if he knows I'm married. I wear my wedding band, but he's never seen me with Arlo. Do men notice wedding bands?

He asked me, at the beginning of the massage, if I wanted a "happy ending." I though he was joking and said "Some other time." I'm not sure he was kidding. My friend, who uses him more frequently, says she doesn't know if he does that.

For men, paying for sexual contact seems to be a rite of passage. My husband's had hookers. Most men I know have at least gotten lap dances from strippers. Paying men for sex just isn't something women do. But maybe it would be gratifying. I've become sort of intrigued with the idea of this man giving me a happy ending. But would he stop there? I have a hard time imagining a man wouldn't press for his own sexual gratification. But I have no idea how these things work.

Anyway, my friend just texted to tell me Mr. Masseuse is going out on his boat tomorrow, and invited her and me to come. I said yes, and he immediately texted me himself (friend gave him my number, obviously) and he invited me out for drinks tonight! Why can't women be this obvious and un-subtle?? Anyway, I have plans to see a movie with a pregnant friend tonight, so it'll be a quiet evening, but I suspect I'm going to have a very interesting day out on the water tomorrow ;)
Feeling stuck. Can't seem to make a connection, and I know I'm trying much too hard and frustrating myself.

I contacted Red (the much-younger woman I met on SDC) to ask how she was doing with job and househunting (she seems to be making no progress on either front.) She said she and hubby were coming into town late Saturday night to meet Shane (single swinger guy I slept with a few times) but maybe we could meet up first, because she'd love to see me again? This didn't sit right with me, I'm not a fucking appetizer, I'm the main course, baby! Whatever. I said I didn't know my plans, but if she wanted she could text me when she got to town. She didn't.

I texted bi hairdresser early in the week to see if she thought she could get out during the weekend. She texted back the next day to say she would let me know if she didn't have the kids. I feel that if she was truly interested, she'd hire a babysitter for a couple of hours and come out for a drink. I want someone to be interested enough in me to go out of their way to see me.

Finding women to date is so much harder than I thought it would be, and it's disheartening. I can't help but dwell on the fact that the last woman who wanted me seemed to have a personality disorder, and was really just looking for someone to use and abuse. Not good for my ego at all.

I'm still toying with the idea of something with this male masseuse. He's promiscuous, which is a turn-off for me, but I feel like he might be good practice in setting sexual limits. I become extremely submissive during sex, and I've had a few men try to "dom" me. The first was a guy in NYC when I was young and broke, so I took on a sugar daddy.

I don't talk, ever, about this episode in my life, I almost feel like it happened to someone else. It only lasted a couple of months, and it just doesn't fit anywhere in my personal history, so I just pretend it never happened. But of course, it was a desperate, suicidal act. I was in a bad place financially, emotionally, spiritually. He was the first to tie me up and use nipple clamps and of course, I was paid afterwards. I wish I could go back and protect my younger self from this, I just can't believe I ever treated myself that way.

Men have always been able to sense a certain pliability about me, an ability to be dominated sexually, whether because I'm a very petite woman or because of something else I'm giving off? It started when I was nineteen, just before I left home for good, the boy who lived next door used to break into my house to get to me. He'd be waiting behind a door for me when I got home from work, or he'd come through my room at night while my parents slept downstairs and I'd wake to him naked beside my bed. I found his lust for me both frightening, and exhilarating. If I tried to resist him, he just held me hard pressed his mouth to mine, and I gave in. He was great looking boy, and the first person I ever had an orgasm with. It was confusing.

The masseuse is a good man and he loves women and likes me. I'm not terribly physically attracted to him, but I wonder if it might be healing for me to pay him to give me a happy ending, IF I manage to maintain my boundaries, meaning he can't touch me with anything but his hands and I won't touch him at all. It might be nice, for once, to feel I have all the power over a man.

All this makes me so grateful for the connection I have with Arlo. He's by no means perfect, and ours is no easy marriage--we argue a good deal, and we definitely have some dysfunctional patterns, but I never doubt his underlying love for me, or his loyalty.
So I might have a new lover :) Yeah, I know I was hoping for a woman, but this man is an absolute dreamboat: muscled, blonde, chiseled jaw, successful, and in a non-monogamous life-partnership. Dylan is bisexual and has a male partner, who I'll probably meet when I see Dylan again in a few days. Dylan describes himself as romantically attracted to both genders, whereas his partner is into women sexually but not as much romantically. They like threesomes with women, but Dylan especially also enjoys alone time with a woman.

We were fixed up by my friend Bess, who is Dylan's roommate and former lover. She 'd been meaning to give him my number for months. Not sure why she finally got around to it. Perhaps he's finally over his last relationship with a woman, who left him to seek a monogamous situation (which was also why Bess ended her FWB situation with Dylan-- and because they were all moving in together which they both agreed complicated things.)

When he showed up at the restaurant, I recognized him right away from a fundraiser a few weeks back. Not knowing he was Bess's roomie, I had approached him while he was talking to a female friend of mine. I complemented his muscles or some line. I kind of assumed he was gay, but I definitely noticed him.

Earlier last night, I'd attended at a fundraiser for a local environmental organization for which I'm on the Board of Directors. I'd had a few drinks, and, when I sat down with Dylan, I was uncharacteristically nervous, and not uncharacteristically, a little drunk. Dylan is AA, so I didn't want to act bombed. I think I overcompensated and talked to much.

I was not at all certain Dylan would find me attractive. He and his partner own a local fitness franchise, and I'm not a hard body. I have a healthy outdoor active job which keeps me from getting fat, I spend 15 to 30 hours a week biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding, but I hate "working out," so I don't, plus I love to eat. So, yeah, my middle sometimes muffintops and my butt sags a little.

I'm happy to report, Dylan seemed interested. He gave me long stares, slow smiles, and at the end of the date, we kissed on the lips. So there was some chemistry, but I wonder if there's compatibility. I worry that I'm too much of a party girl/slacker for a guy who is AA, works 60 hours a week, and spends his life in the gym. Is he going to be able to give me enough time and attention to hold my interest? Is he going to be disgusted by my lack of ambition, my absence of hard muscle, and my love of mind-altering substances? Bess was surely more his type: a runner and weight-lifter, AA, and owns her own business....

I explained to Dylan that I'm supposed maintain a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy with men when it comes to Arlo. I recently agreed to this, but it was getting on my nerves last night because Arlo texted me like five times while I was with Dylan, wanting me to meet him for karaoke, and I couldn't just text him back "On a date. TTYL." But I wonder if Arlo might actually make an exception for guy in a gay relationship. Back when we were dating, Arlo didn't care when I had sex with Matt, because Matt was bisexual, and somehow, in Arlo's convoluted straight-guy reasoning, that made Matt "gay" and not a threat. So maybe that's a loophole?

I was unable to linger long with Dylan, but that's okay, left him wanting more, right? I met Arlo and some friends for karaoke, but Arlo was being fucking annoying. I can't stand him when he's drunk, and he kept slapping my ass. Not sure what that was about, I wonder if he sensed I was with someone during the hour I wasn't responding to his texts, and he was trying to claim me? degrade me? sexually in some way. Yuck. I told him this morning not to do that again.

Incidentally, I learned that Bess once hooked up with the male masseuse (masseur is the correct term I just learned) who I was thinking of hitting up for some sexual play. Bess said he was good, but he's "too feminine" for her and "he talked sooo much afterwards." I went to a pole dancing class with him earlier this week, but he didn't want to come out for a drink with me afterwards. I don't think he knows that I'm non-monogamous, and so far, I haven't been interested in saying so straight out. I don't think I'll return to the pole-dancing class. I can feel how well it worked my body, but I just didn't love it and I wasn't particularly good at it. Anyway, I'm not motivated to cultivate anything sexual with the masseur as long as there's a chance Dylan (and his partner?) and I will work out.
separation--permanent this time?

I threw my husband out of the house the morning after his birthday. I was working an evening shift, and we had plans to celebrate together the next day. As I finished my shift, I started getting calls from my girlfriends that they were at my hubby's favorite wine bar, partying with him, and he was really messed up, and perhaps I should come get him. I told them to put him in a cab; I didn't understand how fucked up he was. One of the girls had given him a Xanax. She's an idiot to give an obvious drunk a pill, but she thought he'd save it for later, not pop it on the spot. Eventually, same girlfriend decided she'd better drive him home. Where the hell were HIS lame-ass friends?!

I cannot describe how ashamed I felt at the sight of my sloppy wasted husband still in his dirty work shirt being carried up my front steps by two of my dressed-to-kill, gorgeous female friends. At one point, he fell and hit his head on the pavement. That's the second time in recent weeks I watched him fall and hit his head. (Last time, we were leaving the same wine bar, I was not drunk, he was, he wanted to ride his bike home. I watched him try to pedal, fall, and hit his head. Then, I put him and his bike in a cab and rode my moped home.)

The rest of birthday night was horrible, he kept falling off the couch, out of the bed. At one point I found him passed out on the bathroom floor. I got little sleep. Morning, he came out sort of pretending like nothing happened, saying, wow, he'd had a great time, I went atomic. I'm ashamed to say I got physical. I pushed him and grabbed his shirt and threated to punch him. He told me to get a lawyer, the marriage is OVER.

A few days later, we had a sit-down and talked in a calm, loving way, and agreed on a trial separation. We're communicating, we're trying to help each other, but if it comes down to it, I'll move out with the pets and he's agreed to pay alimony. I've told him I'm open to reconciliation, but I'd need to see some real positive steps towards him being a healthier, happier person with much more self-control. I gave him some suggestions: see a shrink once a week and join a baseball team, or take up karate and go to A.A. meetings, or try acupuncture and learn to sail. I don't care, but do things to make the sloppy, unreliable, flaccid creature he's become go away. I also told him to really THINK about if he wants to reconcile, because if my lovestyle and sexuality and my reluctance to bear children is a large part of what's making him sick, he needs to divorce me for both our sakes.

My ambivalence to my marriage cannot be denied. I love Arlo to pieces and cannot imagine ever being closer and acting more myself with another human being. Even at his worse, he's a fairly reliable provider and so super talented at what he does. And he's adorable and hilarious. But sometimes he feels like a burden. He lost his license years ago and can't drive. He loses things all the time: his keys, his phone, his bike lock, his bank card. He embarrasses me by getting so wasted when we're out together, and I feel like I'm babysitting. I also cannot deny I've distanced myself from him in many ways over the last few years, and my decision to no longer tolerate monogamy is part of that. As was our separating finances, cultivating separate social lives, etc..

It hurts me to watch him suffer, but he won't go to a doctor when he needs to, won't get help when he needs it. It's exhausting trying to get him to tend to his own needs, let alone mine. I know this needs to happen, change is good, but it's scary and painful. For now, I'm a state of limbo where I don't know if I should be mourning my marriage and moving on, or if I should keep a spark of hope that Arlo will come around and we rebuild ourselves stronger than before.

Dating is probably not a great idea right now, though on the other hand, some romantic attention might salvage my ego and ease the sting of sleeping alone. The dreamboat fitness guy I met last week has been sick and is busy, we've texted a bit back and forth but haven't got together again. Probably for the best, I have so much thinking to do and I don't know what my state will be over the next few weeks and months.
Recap, With Questions

For anyone just tuning in: I'm a bisexual female, in open/multiple relationships throughout young adulthood, then settled into monogamy with my husband, "Arlo," stayed monogamous over a decade. Two years ago, I fell for a solo-poly female and asked Arlo to open the marriage so I could be with her. After she and I imploded, I did not wish to return to monogamy. I've enjoyed a couple of male lovers since, but nothing serious, and I kept them "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as per Arlo's desires. Frankly, I'd rather date women, and date openly, but I've had no luck finding compatible females. Currently, there is no one special in my life besides Arlo.

Arlo had no desire for an open marriage, but managed some level of acceptance. In some ways become we became stronger: better communicators, more honest, and personally, I grew more confident, open, and independent. But Arlo was very hurt by my decision not to keep a pregnancy soon after we'd opened up the marriage, and has had to deal with his own feelings of loss--feelings I don't share.

Lately, Arlo's substance abuse has progressed beyond what I deem acceptable, and our sex has deteriorated beyond what I can tolerate. A couple of weeks ago, after much drunk drama, we agreed on a trial separation. We are not seriously discussing divorce, most of his stuff is sill here and he still pays a portion of the rent on the house, though he's rented a room in town where he sleeps. We are not wearing our wedding rings. Some friends know, our families do not.

I'm assessing my ambivalence about my marriage, in limbo, waiting to see if Arlo can get a grip on himself and acknowledge his own ambivalence (he says he still wants me for his wife, but he doesn't act like a happy man.) Needless to say, this is taking up pretty much all of my mental space.

Some self-help books/sites say I shouldn't be dating, I should be focusing on myself and my marriage. But a woman has needs, damn it, and I enjoy dating. I also want to "explore my options," and Arlo has urged me to do so.

But am I setting myself, and others, up for disappointment? What are the chances someone will excite me enough to make me want to revel in my hard-won sexual freedom? Hell, it took over a decade before anyone excited me enough to make me want out of monogamy in the first place. And do disappointing encounters prove that what I have with Arlo is worth giving monogamy another whirl? What about ten years down the road when someone else comes along I can't resist?

During this time of transition and Big Questions, is it ethical for me to date as a journey of self-discovery, or would it better for the world if I put that sort of thing on hold?

For example, the other night, I went out with a guy who contacted me on AdultFriendFinder. Nice, cute, a bit dorky for my tastes, but he smells good and has a nice package (pics on his profile.) My honest thought is that I'm horny and he's nice, so why not hit that?

But I would be insulted if someone told me: "I'm not interested in anything more than a fling with you. I would consider having sex with you once or twice, if you're agreeable. Then I'll probably just stop calling." Ugh, I think I just wrote my new dating profile....

Honestly, I don't want to be a jerk. He seems like a nice guy who would like a real relationship. He'd also, I'm pretty sure, take the sex. Is this taking advantage of another human being? Would you answer differently if I was a man, and the person in question was a woman?

I'm disappointed that Dylan, the hot bi guy I met through my friend Bess, hasn't returned my text from two days ago. He also ignored a "flirt" message on AdultFriendFinder to him and his partner. Bess told me she was surprised he hadn't contacted me again, because he'd told her liked me. I shall not pursue further.
Well, Arlo finally delivered the ultimatum: monogamy for the rest of our lives, or he's moving on. I'm trying to give the idea the consideration it's due; what he's asking me for is what most men ask of their wives. I'm just not sure I can give it to him without dimming my own light.

It's been a month of separation, and I alternate between feeling fine, relieved, and hopeful, to terrified, sick, sad, and heartbroken. Ending 17 years of couplehood sucks. We still haven't told our families, his comes to visit in a couple of weeks, and I haven't spoken to mine lately. They will all be sad and worried and won't understand. Yesterday, I finally took down our wedding pictures from the wall, took our framed vacation photos off the bookshelves, and hid our relationship statuses on Facebook. You don't end a marriage all at once, I guess, it gets taken apart in small pieces.

And, universe be cursed, it is time to put a beloved pet to sleep. The animal is 16 years old, blind, immobile, but I am having trouble doing what I know needs to be done. The death of my marriage and the death of my animal companion are just too much at once. I can't seem to make the call to the vet I know I need to make.

Arlo and I still see each other two or three times a week. We are no longer sexual, but there is still love between us and very strong attachment. I will stay in the house the next couple of months until the lease on his room is up, then I need to find an efficiency apartment or a room somewhere, and he takes over the lease on our 1-bedroom house. I can't afford to stay here alone, and he can, plus his credit is bad and he will have trouble finding a landlord willing to give him a lease without riding on my credit. He's agreed to help me with a certain amount of money each month for as long as needed.

Every time we see each other we cry. It is so sad, but I just don't see how we could ever overcome these obstacles and return to a place of passionate, trusting love again. I'm not convinced I can go back to monogamy, not with him anyway and his once-a-month libido with the same three positions every time. Plus there's the fact that he just won't forgive me for my abortion. I had no idea how badly he wanted that child.

I still see him smoking too much and drinking too much, but a least he's no longer falling-down drunk as far as I've seen. He's still doing stupid shit like biking around at night with no lights. The other evening he was at the house and he kept misplacing his eye glasses then getting frustrated because he couldn't find them. I was reminded how little I want to be his caregiver.

Still, the pain of losing Arlo, my only real family, sometimes floors me. In the past, my emotional pain used to express itself as depression. Now it seems to manifest as anxiety. I had a panic attack a couple of days ago at work so bad I nearly fainted. I'm on edge all the time, my hands shake. If it doesn't subside soon, I will see my pill-pusher and try an anti-anxiety.

In better news, I met a man on AdultFriendFinder who I really like. In fact, the resemblances between us are uncanny. He's eco-conscious, doesn't care about sports, has had some experience with open relationships, is vegetarian, etc.. Most significantly, he's just two months separated from his own five-year marriage. He just signed divorce papers, and like Arlo and me, he and his soon-to-be-ex are also feeling their way towards a close friendship. It's great to talk to someone who gets exactly what I'm going through. I'm the first woman he's fooled around with since his wife. We haven't had sex, but I really enjoyed making out and foreplay with him, plus we have a similar geeky, quirky sense of humor.

I should be doing the yard work now, but I'm actively avoiding the next-door neighbors whose backyard abuts mine. I'm pretty sure they know about my separation, as they frequent Arlo's favorite wine bar, and I'm guessing he told them. They are also friends with Coco (I introduced them) and knew about my relationship with her and my strife with Arlo over it. I just feel sooo awkward around them. But I can't hide in my house forever, can I, when the sun and the breeze is so beautiful, and the leaves have fallen and the fishpond needs cleaning???
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I am sorry he gave you an ultimatum. But... shouldn't he be focusing on getting clean and sober instead of making ultimatums about your relationship? And if he is serious about cleaning up his act, 12-step programs usually recommend not making big life changes during the first year of sobriety. He needs to place his attention on getting well and learning what issues he was avoiding by turning to drink (and drugs?). If I were you, I'd remind him of that. Indeed, he has no place issuing ultimatums - and just because someone does that, does not mean we have to accept those terms.
@nycindie, I suspect he's trying to finding external reasons for his behavior where he should be looking internally, but whatever. I no longer take responsibility for fixing him, enlightening him, helping him evolve, etc...

Frankly, I flinch at the idea of AA. I know it's helped many people, but the AA folks I know, it's almost like they're in a cult, so dogmatic, AA becomes the new addiction. Personally, I would find the tenets of AA unworkable (the goal is TOTAL ABSTINENCE the first step of which is....TOTAL ABSTINENCE!) Also, the whole "higher power" thing just sticks in my craw as an athiest. I honestly don't believe the universe gives a rat's ass about our tiny individual lives, and Arlo feels the same. So, I looked into Moderation Management and Harm Reduction, of course, we don't have any practitioners of either system here, just AA. I'm not even asking Arlo for total sobriety, just reasonable, adult behavior, and overall leaning towards better physical and emotional health. If he were to choose AA of course I'd support him, but he's rebellious, like me, and I doubt he'd go willingly.

Currently, I see no reason to submit to his ultimatum. I would have to see enormous changes in him to even consider it, and I doubt those are forthcoming.
Arlo, my husband from whom I'm separated, seems to be doing well. I guess me throwing him out of the house was the best thing for him, now he's stopped getting so wasted all the time (in front of me anyway,) he's started volunteering for community events, and biking around town every morning. We had sex recently, for the first time in a few months. I'm still processing how I feel about it ,and what it meant.

One of the hardest parts of this separation is watching Arlo detach from me. I know it's what he needs to do, and what I need him to do, but it still hurts to watch the person who has loved me most in my life shutting down when it comes to me. We are kind to each other, or try to be, whenever we spend time together. I do not think he wants to move back in with me. I think he enjoys that no one complains about his smoking, or blows up his phone in the middle of the night when he hasn't come home yet. Now he can concentrate on his work projects without someone clamoring for his attention (me.)

I recently met a guy, Topher, who is also newly separated from his wife of 5 years, and, like Arlo and me, they are still close and trying to be kind to each other. Topher and I had sex last night for the first time, I really enjoy the way his penis tastes and feels in me. He did not spend the night, which was okay--I'm not sure I'm there yet either. But I am feeling some self-pity that I have no one in my life who spends the night with me anymore :(
I ran into Arlo Tuesday night while I was out bar-hopping with girlfriends. He was drunk and grouchy and we ended up arguing. He was very apologetic the next day, and I forgave immediately. I know he's trying to do better, and I believe he's been succeeding mostly; change is never instant.

Arlo showed me where he's been living this last month and a half, and it's a dump, I felt awful. I've got to find myself a cheaper living situation so he's not paying so much of my rent and can get himself a better apartment. He wants me to stay in the house indefinitely, but I don't want to feel this indebted to him.

A female friend I hadn't seen in a while invited me over to her house to watch a show we both follow. She lives with her boyfriend, her two school-age kids, and just got a puppy (who I wanted to meet.) She said the kids would be in bed, we could drink wine, catch up, etc..

When I got there, she was last-minute sitting a friend's teething baby, who would not stop crying, the kids were still up wanting her to do this or that for them, the husband was stomping around saying "Babe, where's my socks?" and "Babe, is the macaroni ready?"

Basically, she is the mother/wife/caregiver I've decided not to be. Ok, I liked the puppy, the puppy was friggin' adorable, though he did poop on the carpet while I was there, but the rest of it just seems so draining. I envy her ability to be happy as a family woman. But this is a path I've very deliberately turned away from.

Topher took me out on his boat yesterday. He is perfect for me right now, this nice, super-laid-back stoner who totally gets what I'm going through with Arlo. We fucked all day in the middle of the ocean, and I'm pretty sure they saw my orgasm from space. He said his soon-to-be-ex-wife never went with him on the boat, let alone had sex with him on it. I admit I cyber-stalked the wife. She's gorgeous, mid-twenties, very fit. Topher is a bit younger than me, mid-thirties, slender. The only thing giving away that he himself isn't twenty-something is his receding hairline.

I keep stumbling across magazine/internet articles written by middle-aged women complaining that the only men they can get are fat, bald, and unable to maintain an erection. Maybe I've been lucky, but I'm finding the men attracted to me in my middle-age to be awesome. They take care of their bodies, they have money and nice toys, and they've learned by now how to please a woman.

I would like to know if Topher plans on sticking around in my life for a bit, but I don't want to ruin our light, easy mood.
My friends think it's weird and confusing that Arlo and I still hang out, still make love, still cuddle and watch movies and go to dinner together, though we're separated. I say you don't dissolve 17 years together all at once. Actually, this is the sort of out-of-the-box relationship I love, but I am surprised that Arlo allows it. I keep asking if I'm making things worse for him or confusing things, and he assures me he's comfortable with our current arrangement. We are separated but still romantically involved, I guess.

Arlo has a bit of a new love interest, a woman he did some "heavy petting" with before she went back to her home state, which happens to be his home state, too. She talks about moving here in the near future, I don't know what will happen if she returns, I'd guess my relationship with Arlo would have to change to strictly platonic so he have the monogamous relationship he so desperately desires with her.

Meanwhile, that great guy I had un-freaking-believable sex with a couple of weeks ago, Topher, seems to have disappeared. I even texted him once to ask him if he'd like to see a movie sometime during the week, and he just never replied. I wonder if he went back to his much-younger hottie wife. Such a bummer.
Arlo and I have been spending a night or two together a week. I'm getting used to him not living here, and starting to enjoy it. I'm a Highly Sensitive Person, and Arlo's stomping, slamming, leaving his socks wherever, tv-constantly-on personality often irritated me. At least now I don't find him so aggravating. And I don't have to deal with him when he's drunk and surly, only when he's feeling lonely and romantic. Or maybe I'm just looking on the bright side. Sometimes it does feel very lonely in the house without him.

I don't suppose Arlo and I will stay in this state of married-but-separated-but-intimate forever. He'll want to find a monogamous, baby-making, meat-eating, cigarette-smoking woman one of these days, and suddenly he won't have the means for me anymore.

Saturday night I was in the Fantasy Fest parade. I got high on "molly," which I only do during Fest, and I had a perfect, perfect moment. I was giving out beads to people in the crowd, only handing them out if someone gave me a moment of real connection: a genuine smile, a kind word or two, danced with me...

I spotted the most gorgeous creature, a young woman, blonde, sexy outfit--trouble. Totally my type. She lifted her huge doe eyes to me and I put the beads in my teeth. I walked to her and held still in front of her. She bent down, put her lips to one side of my face, then the other, then put her mouth on mine, taking the beads out of my mouth with her tongue, planting a gentle kiss on my lips at the end.

I blushed, suddenly shy, and turned back to my float. A beautiful lesbian friend of mine was watching, and when I walked back to her she said, "That was my favorite moment of the whole night." The music was beautiful, my friends in the parade looked fabulous, life was perfect and lovely.

If only I could just stay inside that moment. If only I could always, always feel so peaceful, confident, and loved, so utterly smitten by the moment.
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