Change in all the areas of my life...

And back to the damn roller coaster.

So very fucked up in the head right now, good things and bad things and things that I don't even know what to call them.

MartialArtist continues to be fun yet hot-and-cold, sort of. ::shrug:: that one is exactly what I expected it to be when I got into it, I think.

The Sunshine/DinoActivist/TheKnight/me ...tangle... continues to be confusing and complicated, though. DA and I went out last week, and had a lot of fun... but it was as if the date split into two parts, the platonic half and the sexytime half, which is ... odd, to me. It's like there's no awareness of me as a sexual person UNTIL we hit that point - and given that one of my turnons is that mutual awareness... that's not great. Really, the vibe I get off him (both from my experiences and from seeing him with Sunshine - more on this in a sec) is that he wants someone far more into taking charge. And I'm not necessarily that person. So there's part of me that's pretty sure that this will eventually transition to a close friendship. Which is fine - it worked out well for me and TheBride, obviously.

That said.... remember that whole part where I said Sunshine and I talked more than DinoActivist and I? turns out there was attraction on both sides, which we were both cautious about acting on for different reasons (me still wary after HipsterBoy/Pink!Girl, her completely unexperienced with women...). So after a fair amount of dancing around each other, we decided that it'd be fun to see what happened... which led to a rather lovely foursome Friday night with sleepover and brunch and... yeah. And seeing DA and Sunshine together, as well as spending a bit more time around him (because really, we've only had, what, 4-5 dates now?) made me understand him a lot better... And on THAT front, maybe there is a possibility of ... something? between he and I? between her and I? I really don't know. I know I could easily, EASILY start crushing on her and that could lead to complication.

Which leads to last night / this morning... there was a celebration at a local bar for the 4th Circuit decision. (Guess it's obvious I'm from one of 4 states.) No sitter, so TheKnight offered to let me go hang out with Sunshine there by myself (and it turns out DA was sick / introvert-y, so it was just us.) And we had a really awesome, amazing conversation, interspersed with flirtyness. All is well, right? Except... not.

Because of course, guess who else showed up? Yep, HipsterBoy and Pink!Girl and all their kids. Which was awkward, in that I wasn't sure how to introduce Sunshine nor how much HP and PG knew... and in that I actually really miss the kids and it's really not fair to them that I'm not around anymore...

Damn but I miss him, still. The connection is STILL THERE, though I try and pretend it's not. It's not even attraction anymore, not really - the physical side of it feels like an overlay of a memory, to some degree, rather than something current (or maybe that's what I tell myself as I still can't get certain details of being with him out of my head - the texture of his stubble, the scent of his skin...). And I had myself convinced it was ok, last night... even told TheKnight I was more over him than I thought I was... but then he texted me today.

He still misses me too. That's all that keeps echoing through my head, that he realized he missed me when he saw me.

There was a lot more conversation around that - me explaining the foursome, and (some of) the good and bad things about it, and how it was surreal to talk to him about it but I was trying to make it not be and I was trying to be far more open with him - with everyone - than I've ever been. (see, I'm learning, really I am.) And that he had a first date tomorrow - lunch - and what she was like, a little. I'm not jealous of that, actually. Gives me hope in some f'd up way - when we last talked he wasn't dating at all and I was afraid he had decided to be mono, though I knew Pink!Girl was dating, a little.

And then we backed off the intensity and talked about so many other things - books and movies and food and for a few minutes it was either the platonic thing he thinks (?) it ought to be or an echo of what once was when we managed to stay out of bed long enough to talk.

I don't know what this is or what I want it to be but god damn it I still love him. He's in my bloodstream (that was his song, Bloodstream by Stateless... haven't even convinced myself to change his text tone from that... and no, that's not really a love song, is it?) and I can't get him out even though I've been trying and trying and trying.

(And back to full circle, Sunshine and I talked about it, a bit, and she's so understanding and supportive and really fucking shiny and wonderful. Go figure.)
Ooof. Who knew strep throat could be an STI? (Yes, yes, I'm joking, that should be obvious.) So I lost much of last week to THAT. Bleh.

Otherwise... nothing new with MartialArtist, though I ought to try to get something on the calendar soonish - we have a lot of fun and it's been a while.

Went on a couple dates with a guy off OKC - one drinks only, one drinks and dancing and a bit of making out. That one's done, I think. He's attractive in a way that hits my bad-boy buttons, but there are far too many red flags there. Came to poly via cheating, is terribly libertarian (which made for entertaining debate but not personal compatibility), and at least one time in our conversation made reference to an MRA thing. All fairly subtle things but raised my hackles... and the attraction wasn't enough to override that. Meh.

Haven't seen DinosaurActivist since, either, nor talked to him more than a few times. Now, part of that is because he was down with a much worse case of strep, but I don't know if that's all of it. Meh. Is whatever it is, trying not to dwell on that.

Sunshine, though... well. that's turning into a Thing. We've had a couple hangout dates just us, and a "tri-date" with her and TheKnight, and they've all been really awesome. And we talk so much. it's kind of crazy. I really hope I don't screw this all up, though...
So it turns out there was a reason I hadn't heard much - or had a date in a few weeks - with MartialArtist. Looks like he's going back to mono with his primary. Not entirely surprising; they were new at non-mono and were struggling a bit with the transition. (One of the things I liked about him was that he was quite open about this; it was a refreshing change. ) I'm not terribly broken up about this; we had a lot of fun but on my end it was very much a rebound fling. I'm sort of amused that the relationship ended up having the same shelf life I mistakenly thought it did early on, but for an entirely different reason.

It rather helps that I spent Saturday night on a quad date with TheKnight/Sunshine/DinoActivist. Which was absolutely amazing - the four of us click so very very well, and I'm having more fun with her as a gf than I have with a woman in ages. So that's pretty wonderful.

It's funny - I have a hard time keeping connected with DA when we aren't together, but then when we DO see each other it turns really hot. I still have the issue that I have a terribly hard time reading him, in some ways - the disconnect I mentioned previously. So, on the one hand that's really difficult for me, I am very much a live-out-loud sort of person, what you see is what you get. I don't always catch the nuances of attraction from more subtle people - for instance, at one point Sat. night I told TheKnight I didn't think DA was even noticing the particularly sexy outfit I was wearing... but the next day I heard from Sunshine that he had told her how distracting I was in it. ::headdesk:: On the other, there's definitely a slow build on the sexual dynamic between the two of us - he got in my head to an amazing degree that night, hit kink buttons I didn't think he was even interested in hitting, and yet did it in such a way that I was left wondering (until I finally gave in and asked this morning) whether he was even doing it on purpose. Whew.
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Months have passed and many things have changed...

I keep meaning to post here, yet life has been busy enough that I haven't entirely gotten around to it. Still, it's been an interesting few months.

The "tangled quad" with DinoActivist and Sunshine continues to deepen in many ways. Sunshine and TheKnight are still very smitten with each other, which is both lovely for me when I can achieve compersion, and yet still gives me twinges sometimes - it's a level of relationship that I don't have right now, so that's a little hard to watch. And yet my relationships with both of them are growing in surprising ways. I don't think I've ever been able to step back and watch a relationship grow, like a plant or something - significant relationships in my life have always sprung almost full-formed into being, in a Minerva-out-of-Zeus's head sort of way.

But DinoActivist... he's such an in-his-head sort of person, and when I can get him *out* of his head there's definitely a connection there, one that I end up hearing about more from Sunshine than from him. But the longer we spend together the more I understand him, or maybe the more comfortable expressing things he becomes, and thus it grows in a way I honestly didn't expect.

And Sunshine is just a force of nature and is absolutely amazing. In many ways there's more there than there has been in any other relationship I've had with a woman. Which is forcing me to be a lot more open about my bisexuality - funny, I thought I had gotten over any level of internalized homophobia but holding hands with her in public still feels like walking around in public with no clothing - perhaps even more so.

And perhaps it's time for one (last?) update on HipsterBoy. Despite our conversation about *wanting* to be friends, the texts fell off again until there was nothing but silence between us, until last month we ended up at the same kink party. He blew me off rather rudely, I had a meltdown that night over it, then he apologized the next day and we exchanged a few emails... then back to silence. In short, he makes a lot of noise about wanting to be friends and then doesn't follow through. So I'm not even trying for that anymore. We ran into each other again on Saturday night, well, we didn't speak but we were in the same space - another kinky party, this one public. I'm told he stared at me, and at my lovers, all night, though I never caught him doing it. And I? I... found I could look at him now, and not want him (despite leather pants, even...), and not even care, really. It's amazingly freeing. I mean, I wish him well, and I'd like for him to happy, and in a different universe, perhaps things might have turned out differently. But I no longer see a place in my life for him.

Of course, Sunshine and DinoActivist aren't the only interests in my life right now, either. At that same party that I ran into HipsterBoy (and later had a meltdown), I also made several interesting connections. One was running into an old friend from when TheKnight and I were in the swinger crowd (We'll call her Redhead) and her newer boyfriend (Joker) - Redhead and TheKnight have always had AMAZING chemistry, and Joker is smoking hot. So I don't really want to get back into the swinger scene, but they make fun playmates. And there was another boy - RedCollar - who there is a definite attraction though he's MUCH younger than me, and he turns out to be switch rather than a sub... we're meeting for a drink later this week after some email flirtation. This could be interesting...
::sigh:: HipsterBoy. Every time I convince myself I'm over him, a few days later I realize I'm wrong. And this town is too small for me to give myself emotional distance.

What I said about not having a place for him in my life is still true, as is me not having a place in his.

What I said about things between us *always* having been complicated and not really healthy, even when they were "good", is still true.

I'm far past any reasonable statute of limitations given the length of our actual relationship and the length of time we've been broken up.

And yet...

I go on a date with TheKnight, and I'm fine... until we wind up at a bar we all four spent a lot of time at, one they introduced us to and that I probably wouldn't go to except the drinks are amazing works of art and I refuse to not indulge in them just out of emotional pique. I'm mostly ok... until HipsterBoy and PinkGirl walk in. Of course. Because that's just how that happens. And he's wearing a sweater that I remember cuddling up against, and I just have this visceral body-memory of how it felt, how he felt... and it still hurts that that's not a possibility anymore.

It hurts in a way that feels too big for my skin, makes me crave kinky sex in a way I've never craved pain before just to let it out. TheKnight even comment at the time that I looked like I was about to crawl out of my skin.

A few days later, TheKnight and I take our son (along with TheKnight's parents) on an outing similar to one the three of us did last fall with HB and PG and all their kids. And it's fun, and everyone involved had a good time... but it was just so similar to what was an amazing day, before, that I ended up in a melancholy on and off for the rest of the day, despite a lovely late-evening with TheKnight and Sunshine.

And the reality is in many ways I don't want a deeply emotional relationship like what I had with him right now. I feel like I'm doing a lot of internal work on myself in this particular phase of my life, and I have some lovely people to enjoy time with, and I don't really want to fall into a crazy/obsessive/emotionally codependent THING like I did with him. And yet I can't stop missing either him or that, I don't know which.

Part of me keeps telling myself I'll find someone else and all this _will_ become a distant memory. And part of me says y'know what, it's not like we're going to lose track of each other, not really - the town is too small, we know too many of the same people these days and somehow PinkGirl is still the first person to comment on half my FB posts - that part of me says give it time. Give it years - maybe in 5 years I'll be in a different place in my life and so will he and we can try again, if I still miss him then. That happens, right? (Why am I clinging to this shred of hope?)
Fumbling Towards Zen...

It's been a pretty romantically complicated few months. Lots of comings and goings in my life, new people and old people reappearing in odd ways.

In no particular order... The potential Things with RedCollar and Joker faded. RedCollar pulled a fadeaway on me and things with Joker got weird somehow - there was a weird disconnect between the swinger model Joker and Redhead played with and the more poly model that I prefer, and that got even more weirder because of odd 6 way dynamics between the two of them and the me/TheKnight/Sunshine/DinoActivist quad. Yeah, that's complicated but whatever. It's a pity in some ways because Joker was still smoking hot and hit a lot of my buttons sexually, but I was still a bit unsure about a relationship that was sort of a casual friend plus hot sex thing and explicitly limited to that.

MartialArtist is being a bit odd. We're still friends and trade the occasional amusing text. I'm fine with that, bantering a bit when one of us is bored is amusing. That being said, the last few days he's sent oddly flirty texts, which is IMO a bit outside the bounds of our current relationship - one commenting on me being too attractive to play an MMO, one referencing a particularly steamy evening at a local landmark (which I deflected by joking about it but still). I don't think it's an attempt to start something back up, but I'm not really sure what it is.

HipsterBoy... ::sigh:: sent me an email yet again apologizing for being weird, coming up with reasons he was... but then nothing changed when I saw him last night. Of course, I was with my quad, which I'm sure didn't help, but I made a point of hanging out away from them for a little while just to see what he would do. And...wellllll... he continued to avoid me, even while I had a conversation with Pink!Girl. So the actions vs words split is still there. ::shrug:: still miss what we were, still don't understand what happened, but... whatever. Accept the things I cannot change...

(The party we were at ended up having a lot going on, emotionally, but I'll come back to that because I want to hit the new stuff first.)

I ended up going on several first dates in the past 2 weeks, so it's sort of ok that the two other potential Things fizzled. One was with a woman, fun but no real chemistry. Would have gone on a second date just to double check the chemistry question but she had met someone else at the same time and decided she could only pursue one thing - funny thing is I found out later she thought I was a bit intimidating. And how I found out was even funnier - the next week I ended up on a date with a guy who turned out to be the husband of the woman that the woman I went on a date with was more interested in. Really small town, or small universe, or something. That one might get a second date, if the timing works out, but he's really new to poly and I can't tell whether there's chemistry quite yet because he was pretty nervous.

The other first date, though, is pretty intriguing. It has a lot of potential complications - not only is he in the middle of being divorced (though amicably) from an acquaintance of mine, he's also just now healthy (in the past year or so) after a years-long, life-threatening illness. So I'm in many ways a rebound, which makes me VERY cautious about emotional involvement. That said, there's both intellectual and physical compatibility, a surprisingly high level of the latter, and while he claims to be fairly vanilla his actual style in physical interaction is... not. This is a good thing, as I've been seriously exploring my interest in kink lately. ;)

(Had my first physical-not-sexual intense kink scenario at a different party a week ago. The kind that leaves marks for a week. The endorphin rush was amazing, and now I'm more than a little bit curious what that level of sensation in combination with sex would be like. My curiosity gets me in trouble sometimes...)

Of course, I didn't get to indulge my curiosity in quite the way I wanted last night, unfortunately. The quad went to a kink party at a friend's house, with the intention of hanging out and if the mood seemed right possibly indulging in some public play. And at first that seemed a reasonable plan, despite awkwardly running into PG and HB at a coffeeshop between dinner and the party, and their presence at the party. But that plan ran into some snags. DA's other partners (he's involved with another woman and a man, in addition to me and his wife) were also at the party, as they're both friends with the guy holding it. OK, fine and well and good, I like both of them a lot. But I had the evening in my head as at least a bit of a date with me, though we hadn't discussed it. (My mistake...)

At a point in the evening, I was flirting with DA, and to a lesser degree with TheKnight and Sunshine, in the play area of the party and the subject of a scene came up. Unfortunately, in the time it took for toys to be retrieved, someone else started a rather distracting scene in a different area and it broke the mood. So the idea of our scene was put on hold for a little while until the noisy scene ended. I wanted to talk to a couple people as well (HB and PG), so I figured it was a good time to do that, and wandered away by myself for a bit. When I went back downstairs, DA had disappeared, and the annoying other scene showed no sign of stopping anytime soon, so Sunshine and TheKnight and I thought it would be more fun to just head back to their house instead of waiting. Except that in the meantime DA ended up making out with his boyfriend... which also would have been fine except he didn't want to wrap it up and come back with us, and even when that was brought up he had to say goodbye to his (other) gf first. So first it turned into a bit of a confrontation between Sunshine and him about consideration between the two of them, and then it took him a while to realize that I was actually upset at him rather than having another meltdown about HipsterBoy.

So a LOT of conversation ensued - it was every cliché ever about poly-processing till 3 in the morning instead of having sexy times. So much of it was things that desperately needed to be said, though, possibly had been needing to be said for months - about communication, about the nature of our relationship, about sex and kink and the languages of attraction and desire and affection, and how neither of us wanted the other to change and yet we needed to figure out whether our incompatibilities could be overcome by our compatibilities. There was a degree of honesty and vulnerability on both sides that was amazing, and I feel like we're in a good spot now, whatever that spot is. I know he does care about me more than I thought, even if he's completely in-his-own-head about it. Now we just have to figure out how to increase our communication, and I need to develop some other relationships so I don't try and put him into too large a space for what actually works for us.
Rough week.

I'm not sure if the name of my blog was a self-fulfilling prophecy or what. ::whew::

First things first, "amusingly small world - or at least small town" date from last week turned out to go nowhere - turned out he was VERY new to poly and I was his first date with not-his-wife, and that was harder for them to deal with than expected, so they're stepping back. Ah well, no great loss as I wasn't sure it was going to be a thing.

Haven't seen... hmm, need a name? We'll call him OldFriend, since we were acquainted in high school though not well. Anyway, have a second date scheduled with him next week, we'll see how that goes. Potential for fun, at least.

I did get to spend some time with Sunshine and DinoActivist over the holidays, at least - post-Thanksgiving party with their friends and we stayed after. Which was lovely - not the sex, per se, although it was Very Very Good, but our small person got to hang out with them and that was fun. Don't want to make it TOO common of a thing, just in case, but don't want to cut him off from people who we think are awesome.

This last week, though... this last week is utterly fired. Sunshine's teenage cousin was killed in a car wreck, and DinoActivist got abruptly, inexplicably and rudely-to-the-point-of-borderline-legally-actionably laid off from his job on the morning of the funeral. So we've been in support mode a bit for the past couple days, or at least as much as he'll let me be.

But more... frustratingly? TheKnight and I keep fighting, it's all the same fights we've always had but somehow they seem to happen more often. One of those spots where poly reveals the cracks, I suppose. He feels pressured, I feel unwanted (and the degree to which I feel unwanted only gets highlighted by his relationship with Sunshine; not that the same sort of thing didn't happen with PinkGirl but I was distracted so very much by HipsterBoy that I somehow didn't care. Not that that's a good thing either...)

Having a child has been so very bad for our relationship. I hate to say that, but it's true. I don't handle the irrationality of children well, and everything everyone said about it being different if it was my own, that I believed because there are parts of having an (older) child that I was (and still am, some days) looking forward to. But the day-to-day drag of a toddler/preschooler, the isolation of being the stay-at-home parent, the loss of some of my hobbies that while child friendly in some ways, were not compatible with MY child (and were things I did with my partner that he has now lost interest in...) and thus distancing from social groups that were important to me... it's left me somewhat adrift. Adrift, and angry at life, which in this case leads to clinginess that then drives us apart.

I can feel myself becoming the difficult partner... hell, in an argument he called me an emotional black hole. And while part of that was tiredness and too much fighting (while he's an amazing person in many ways, he says hurtful things when he's tired of fighting and we've been doing it so much), there is truth there.

I'm *not* happy right now. That much is true. And while no partner can make me happy, my current partners are wonderful but have never inspired NRE nor do they make me feel... shiny, in that unique way that falling in love can.

Hell, I don't need a fuck-buddy, I need a FLIRT buddy.
A long december and there's reason to believe...

Maybe this year really WILL be better than the last? So much has happened in the past few months...

Things with OldFriend fizzled after the second date - I really wasn't feeling the attraction on a long term basis, I think he wasn't either, so we sort of ghosted on each other. Funny, that... And the other "first date" from that week showed up again, surprisingly, after no contact for a month and a half or so... but when we went out there just wasn't enough chemistry there to go any farther. Fuck yeah or not at all, right?

But one or two doors close and another opens, right? I also went on a few dates with a charming new guy (another OKC match) - we'll call him BlueEyes for his most striking feature. Older, newish to poly, so we're taking things terribly slow, but there's potential. We were supposed to go out again tomorrow, but illness and family have conspired to prevent that... still, he is quite charming, so we'll see what happens.

Still waiting to meet someone I want rip their clothes off on first meeting. Dammit.

And I sound so unfulfilled, which is funny, because in some ways I am and in others I have so much amazing stuff going on in my life. Sunshine and DinoActivist are still wonderful - we had an awesome pre-Christmas "thing" and he and I went on one of the best dates we've ever gone on the other night. Dinner and dancing, which is so clichéd but there was a sense of connection there I hadn't felt with him before, and I think it was there for him too. And my work is going well (now, for my bank account to catch back up) and I went on a wonderful vacation with friends I don't see enough over NY and am getting back involved in my hobby group and am starting some new personal projects...

Still want NRE, just for that feel of drunkenness on the pheromones of my partner's body. Preferably with someone fairly aggressive so I can just be swept away on it. Yeah, I don't want much...

And I'm still trying to figure out my own insecurities on sex so I don't *need* to be swept away to enjoy it. ::sigh:: I mean, the fact that I can't even bring myself to make a move on my partner of 17+ years...
It's raining men...

Apparently if you ask the Universe nicely, it provides? Or something like that.

On a connections with other people front, my life is pretty fucking fabulous right now. It's funny - I feel like I was in a drought for so long through last year, and now I have, well, connections and potential connections falling out of the woodwork.

So I feel like I practically have to update this blog on an old connections and new connections basis.

TheKnight and I are... doing better than we have been in a while. We're still in an interesting transition phase, in some ways - we met so when we were so very young, and in some ways are only just now building an *adult* relationship rather than one based on teenage fantasies. Which is exhilarating in some ways - we had this awesome conversation the other night about how to make sure that we were always together because we *chose* to be and not just because of financial / parental obligations etc, and I think we're in a spot where we will just *always* be a huge part of each other's lives, no matter what happens. I just have to accept that some of the ways we relate to each other *are* different than what they were, once upon a time, and appreciate what I have. (Yes, this is difficult.)

Sunshine and I talk all the time, though in some ways mostly about our various Poly Adventures™ - that's not entirely true, there's work and family and random other stuff thrown in there too, but it's still amusing that that's one of the things we bond over. And we had our first just-us overnight in a while the other night, which was ridiculously fun though neither of us were at 100% health wise - I was behind on sleep and she was getting over a brutal cold. She's still just SUCH a force of nature - I tell her that all the time, it's a thing I adore about her.

DinoActivist and I, too, are becoming so much closer, which is wonderful - he's opening up more and we're talking more on a daily basis, which is making me actually have a new hit of NRE towards him, which surprises me as I didn't think our relationship really WORKED like that. But the more loosely I hold it, the more I let it be what it will be without trying to push it into some Official Boyfriend Mold, the better it is and the happier we are together. I'm very glad I'm becoming able to see some of the subtle things he does that are actually amazingly sweet, and thankful that I managed not to mangle the entire thing given I met him at a really difficult time in my life.

BlueEyes is having family issues, still, so that's on hold other than a few emails. I *did* say it was going to be slow, if anything happened, didn't I...

Of course, one of the reasons that it's really easy, right this moment, not to try to force DA or TheKnight into being things they aren't is that there's a new addition to the cast of characters. We'll call him... Tattooed, as that's a pretty definite feature. Tattooed definitely hits all my bad boy buttons, and all my kink buttons too - in fact, the funny part of *that* particular relationship, such as it is, is that he had messaged me probably a year and a half ago, maybe more, on OKC, and I had ignored him as "not my type". And on the surface, he isn't. But he messaged me again from Fetlife... and his kinks aligned very very closely with mine, specifically ones that I hadn't really gotten to indulge in a while. So I said "what the hell" and went out for a drink with him, no big deal, right?... I got home at 4 in the morning. Wow, the chemistry there... It's funny because I still don't know that we have a huge amount in common, and in many ways I was right about him not being my type - on the other hand, I kept filtering for "nice guy" and other pretty shallow things when what I wanted was electricity and a bit of danger. Got that. :D

And of course the next morning I have yet another new message from someone who works in my field, who I have a lot in common with, who's rather cute and who OKC seems to think is as high a match as HipsterBoy was. I replied even though I *KNOW* I'm polysaturated... what am I doing? :eek:
Poly-saturated enough to turn off my OKC profile...

DinoActivist randomly came over for a few hours last night, completely spur of the moment. Admittedly it was because another partner of his was sick, but still. It was exquisite, and I really am getting surprisingly into this almost NRE like state with him right now. Which is weird, given we've been seeing each other for over 6 months, but perhaps I'm just finally in a healthy enough state to do that.

BlueEyes wants to get together for dinner or something next week. So does the new guy off OKC. And I've got a date (err, let's face it, booty call) with Tattooed Sunday afternoon - we've been texting since last weekend's adventure and I'm SO expecting this to be ridiculously hot.

Seriously, I need to turn off the profile as I do want to do SOMETHING with my life OTHER than, well, this... :D
I can look at pictures of HipsterBoy now - even fairly, well, intimate ones (thank you Fetlife) and not feel... anything, really. Not even nostalgia, more a vague affection and a bit of wry amusement at him for still being the same person even though I've changed so much.

Being able to do that feels a little like being Galadriel in Lord of the Rings, after handing off the Ring - I have passed the test, and I will diminish and go into the... well, not actually. It's more that I will NOT diminish, and I will remain myself, and all of this has finally come to something resembling closure.

(Resembling, she says, even though she can't quite NOT go look at profiles here and there. Eh, I Google or FB-search people I knew 20 years ago, just out of curiosity, this is only sort of different.)

But then, it's sort of hard to care about someone who was terrible for me when I have a fabulous Knight to be my anchor, and I'm seeing and communicating with another partner (DinoActivist) more and more, and I even had my kink buttons (very) thoroughly pressed during a lovely interlude with Tattooed yesterday. (And oh, but did Sunshine give me a hard time about THAT one. Just because it was literally a hookup with no pretense of an actual date...)

I'm surprised I'm as ok as I am with that facet of my life, actually. While I've never thought I really wanted a purely sexual relationship, Tattooed seems to be someone that I think is basically a good person that I have very little in common with...except this particular facet of my sexual nature. And that distance actually makes that facet easier to indulge - since there seems to be very little risk of us becoming more emotionally or intellectually intimate, we can sort of mutually objectify each other at will, which for me, makes a mostly-physical but with some mental aspects D/s dynamic MUCH easier to sustain.

Though that does mean that there's some part of me that is almost a disembodied voice in the back of my head, during, going "wow, icesong, you know you're being an utter cliché right now, right?" - doesn't detract from the heat of the thing but does lead to the occasional inappropriate giggle. Ah well.
It's so funny reading back on old posts...

Everything is so very very different now... I suppose it's time for more updates.

In the sort of "old news" category, MartialArtist recently announced his engagement to his long-term partner, which made me smile. When he and I were seeing each other it was very clear he loved her a lot, and I'm rather glad that them having a... rumspringa, of sorts, let them realize that. It's funny - in so many ways that relationship was one of the most successful I've ever been in, even though it was somewhat brief - we parted ways still friends or at least very warm acquaintances, and in better shape than we found each other. There's a smidge of bittersweet there, of course, in that we had fun together, but mostly sweet.

OldFriend popped back up and tried to get a hookup... then apologized the next day for drunk texting me. I was amused.

BlueEyes, well, he pulled out of the idea of trying to have an open relationship at all, due to family problems of various sorts. I should try harder to keep up a friendship with him, but I am a terrible penpal...he could use one though.

Pink!Girl apparently has another relationship that's serious enough to be FL official. Ha. Good luck to him... (Cynical? me? In spots, yeah, I am. Though I think we've all grown in the past year, and part of me wishes her happiness, both for her own sake and because, well, it would make HipsterBoy's life better, and I still love him enough to want him happy, even if from a distance. Actually I think he may be, or at least the carefully sanitized bits of his Facebook would imply so. I hope that's true.)

It's very easy to wish him well when my life is going so very well right now. I'm so busily involved with amazing people that my calendar more or less has dots on all the days, and it's wonderful.

TheKnight and I are doing really well right now, despite kid and family - we celebrated V-day / our wedding anniversary by doing those 36 questions. Of course, after almost 17 years there were lots that we already knew that answers to, but it was still a fun conversation and I can see how it would lead to an intense amount of intimacy quickly with someone who I didn't already have that strong of a relationship with. I'm actually dreadfully curious what would happen if I started that set of quetsions with at least one, maybe two of my current partners, but I don't think that our relationships are really at spots where a "how to fall in love" article is a thing I want to mention. ;)

But my other partners are still amazing. :D Sunshine continues to be one of my best female friends, along with being cuddly and adorable.

Tattooed...well... Tattooed is in my life for one reason and he's Very Very Very Good at it. I'm having some interesting cognitive dissonance about that, in that on the one hand, go me for finding a kinkbuddy! On the other, having a (basically) sex-only, ongoing relationship is a thing I didn't expect of myself, especially one that involves quite this level of mental kink. It's forced me to acknowledge some desires that are not, in some ways, compatible with my identity as a feminist. And the funny thing is that Sunshine and DinoActivist are actually really helpful with that - I've been judging *myself* for this, and I have found that I've taken their gentle teasing (which was actually in the spirit of "you do you! awesome!" with a side of "ooh, that sounds fun") as jesting-to-cover-actual-criticism... and after a bit of conversation (yay poly processing, though I'm actually proud of myself for mentioning it and not just sucking it up) found that they saw nothing bad about it. (Neither did TheKnight, to be honest, though I've been discounting his opinion on this front as he's just as, well, slutty as I am AND has a bit of a likes-knowing-I-have-adventures kink.) Anyway, having that need met (and yes, it's a need, the endorphin rush cannot be matched) takes so much pressure off my other relationships - especially TheKnight, but also DinoActivist, right now.

DinoActivist... it's been hard for us to get together for various scheduling / family emergency / weather issues, so when we had some last night we jumped on it despite a very late start and both of us having had ridiculously draining days. And by "jumped on it" I mean curled up on the couch and ate cheesecake and drank rosé and curled up in bed together, no sex included. Go figure. The funny thing is that I was ok with that - not hurt, as I once would have been. We just have this vibe that it's ok that sometimes we're friends with cuddle benefits and sometimes we have crazy sex, and that's ok. I still don't know that it will ever turn *romantic*, per se, and even THAT is actually really ok (and easier, somehow - it feels more stable, I guess, than a quad with multiple romantic pairings and I don't want to mess with the Sunshine/TheKnight thing.) I'm still working on increasing the intimacy between us - it's hard to do with an introvert, I'm finding - but right now I'm content.

But then there's also potential for romance in my life as well. (The worst part of mentioning all of the people I go on one or two dates with is coming up with names...)

I've now gone on two dates with this guy, and he's tall and geeky and manages to turn sweetly awkward into amazingly flirtatious in a way that makes me smile, and we have another date on the calendar and have been texting a bit in between... so I guess I'll call him AnotherArtist for now. Oh, and he can kiss. So there's that. I'm letting it build purposefully slowly, if only because the buildup is so very delicious, and... this time feels like romance, in a way that I haven't really even felt the edge of since HipsterBoy, and yet... sweeter somehow. No hint of drama, no games and pretending we were just in it for sex and friendship and love wasn't a possibility. There's almost an... innocence? Except not, given the amount of time we've spent talking about sex etc. We'll see... I'm kind of hopeful. :eek:
This, THIS was what I was missing, maybe?

AnotherArtist might be someone who could actually make the leap from FWB to lover. I don't think DinoActivist or Sunshine ever will, no matter how close the friendship portion of that becomes, though they both flirt with the line sometimes. And Tattooed will never be more than a fuckbuddy. But AnotherArtist? maybe... just maybe...

It's probably premature to say that - 4 dates - and probably just NRE and hormones. Definitely some of it is - I mean, we ended up in bed (for the first time) before our late dinner reservations and barely made it TO dinner at all (and we're both foodies!), then fell back in bed for even more of a marathon. It was insane. It was glorious. And... it's not JUST sex, not like Tattooed is. When we weren't being intimate physically, the conversation was amazing and we can't stop touching each other and there's a sweetness, an affection there that says maybe this one is a connection. He looks at me and I feel ... beautiful, and interesting, and intelligent, and ... shiny. I could get used to that.
Another evening with DinoActivist, a weekend road trip with The Knight, and a date with AnotherArtist - it's been a really good/interesting few weeks, minus a few mundane difficulties.

DinoActivist came over for a steak dinner I had promised him and to work on an art project... it was funny, as we hadn't really had a chance to hang out in... a month and a half? maybe a bit more? Part of it was weather / illness, part of it was his other sig other dumped him, and he's taking it pretty badly. (Not Sunshine, but someone who was very important to him - he thought of her as a second anchor partner. And there were (from what I can tell from what he's said, which isn't much, and what I've heard from Sunshine both directly and via The Knight) problems that were hers, and things that were his fault... but he's taking it very very personally. Which is utterly a "him" thing to do - for such a beautiful and intelligent person I don't really understand how he has so amazingly little self-esteem... (well, except I do, as I have struggled through that place myself and hold on to my own self esteem by my fingernails sometimes.)

So the whole evening was... strange, sort of. We had some good conversations except they were somehow ... shallow because he doesn't really open up about what's going on with his life or in his head, even when I (ok, somewhat obliquely, because I didn't want to press) asked him. And he called it an early night much to my surprise, especially given how long it had been since I had seen him (although he was recovering from a fairly awful sinus infection so tired was understandable...). :( On the other hand, he said all sorts of nice things about me and the way he kissed me before he left... it was the exact opposite of the platonic vibe of the rest of the evening. So I don't even understand... :confused:

(It doesn't help that he is the World's Worst Texter, so time without seeing each other stresses our relationship far more than it otherwise might.)

If I was the sort of person who believed in this I would think that the universe was trying VERY VERY HARD to teach me a lesson about holding loosely, and not having expectations. Because in so many ways I think he's someone who could be fabulous in a larger role in my life, and yet it never QUITE lines up that way, and I'm happy with the role he has IF AND ONLY IF I don't think about more, and if I don't have expectations (like the one I had about ending up in bed that night.) But me being me, I am just not that zen...

Luckily the next day was spent driving to DC with TheKnight, for the wedding of the friend that I've kept in touch with the longest. The wedding was adorable, and I'm utterly thrilled to see my friend as happy as she is with her wife - it's funny, part of the ceremony was a little bit where they each talked about what they loved about each other. And my friend talked about how once they met, they just knew; it was just right, instantly, despite how crazy that sounded. This makes me smile because we were best friends when I met The Knight, and she, being the more logical one of us, thought I was insane for saying much the same... so the first thing I told her at the reception was "I told you so".

That weekend was nice for several reasons, though, not just the wedding - 10 hours in the car leads to lots of good conversations. It's a thing I've missed about the hobby we shared before Kiddo, which involved a LOT of 3-5 hour road trips to events. And, too, Kiddo was amazingly well behaved, for a three year old, all weekend. He's actually far better out of the house than in it these days. So it was almost an entire weekend of positive interactions with him, which I desperately needed for many reasons. (Let's just say parenting doesn't come naturally to me, especially this age, and that he and I have similar personalities in some ways that don't necessarily bring out the best in each other.)

And then I had an amazing date with AnotherArtist. Picnic from a restaurant I like that's pretty much take out only, taken to a local landmark park that's in full spring bloom right now and UTTERLY GORGEOUS AND ROMANTIC, really great conversation and flirting followed by fabulous sex followed by curling up on the couch naked drinking gin and tonics and watching the first episode of a tv drama i think is wonderful and he hasn't seen...oh, yeah, and then more sex. I don't know if evenings can GET more awesome than that.

Even better? some of the naked conversation was about where we were as a relationship and whether I counted as a girlfriend (possibly, though in my opinion not yet but it could very well happen) and HE BROUGHT IT UP. Given how VERY many relationships I've been in where We Don't Discuss The Dynamics Of The Relationship, this was AMAZING.

I'm sort of falling bad on this one. Like, thinking about that evening and smiling for no reason bad. The only thing I can't figure out is an appropriate amount to talk between dates - me being me, I'd love to talk more, but I'm trying not to be needy...
The kink-con (part one)

Last weekend, TheKnight, DinoActivist, Sunshine and I went to a, well, kink con. (actually, to quote their website, a "sex-positive, pansexual, radically inclusive, educational kink event".) It was a life transformative event...

This is a writing from Fetlife, but with some of the kink/sex details left out, as this seems not the place for it. At the same time, the sex is relevant to the emotions for a lot of it, so I had to leave it in. (If anyone is reading this and REALLY wants to know what happened in more detail, PM me for my FL name - my changes from the original posting are {in brackets} - mostly just switching handles to the names I use here.) Skip to next entry for TL;DR...

I feel like I should write something about {the event} before it all turns into one big blur in my head, a blur of sensation and moments of mind-blowingness and awesomeness but a blur nonetheless.

Going into the event, I was in a weird mixture of anticipation and trepidation. In some ways, even though this was my first kink con, it felt like "no big deal" - I'd been to a few small play parties (though not played) and even went to some swing events many years ago - so public sex/nudity was no big thing. On the other hand, kink hits a much more vulnerable place than just sex (isn't that the point?) and I wasn't sure how the dynamics of this particular weekend with multiple partners present were going to play out - it was either going to be awesome or weird and I couldn't tell which.

Unfortunately, Vanilla Life interfered with our plans and we weren't able to get to the hotel until around 5 on Friday. Check-in wasn't open, so we moved all the stuff in (next year, I'm not going to pack so many vanilla clothes... but I am going to pack more interesting fetish wear so I suppose it evens out!) and got changed into outfit #1, corset and tutu and fun stockings and went downstairs to checkin. Before I even got paperwork signed, I found myself signing a really cute blue-haired person in sharpie. It seemed to be the promise of a good weekend!

Next stop, Try It Out scouts. After an amusing incident where I ran into a couple of people I know in a vanilla context at the exact moment where I wondered whether anyone would surprise me by being there, I started wandering the tables. Should have tried more than I did - only got to flogging, dragontail, latex and flash cotton - but the lines were running a bit long and I was too hyper to stay in one place for more than a few minutes. Besides, there was shopping to be done...

Floggers and canes and ropes, oh my! I found the dragontail I had instantly wanted after Try It Out scouts (thud and sting in one toy? yes please), and a deliciously stingy rubber flogger, and a smaller cane than either of the ones I have (the better to travel with!) and {TheKnight} bought some REALLY gorgeous scarlet ropes. Then {DinoActivist} was off to Naked Yoga (which apparently wasn't as naked as expected) while {TheKnight}, {Sunshine} and I headed to Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails and more... Watched a branding, decided somewhat sadly that there was nowhere I could put one that wouldn't require FAR too much explaining this summer. (I tend to tiny bikinis even on family vacations...and scar easily... seemed terribly ill-advised.) Then the flower beatings began... so {TheKnight} got to break a rose on me and a hydrangea on {Sunshine} after stripping us out of our corsets in the middle of the room. Wheee!

Well, once corsets come off, they don't go back on that evening. So into the tiny black dress with the cutouts and downstairs I went, to check out the playspace. Watched {some kinky scenes in the play area}. I was still in sort of a restless mood where I wanted to be topped but I couldn't figure out what I wanted, and couldn't even decide whether I wanted to try and find pickup play or play with {TheKnight} or {DinoActivist or Sunshine}, and if the latter, couldn't decide on playspace or hotel room. In short, I was a bit of a ball of unexpressed sexual energy...

I probably would have enjoyed watching Lube Wrestling more in a different mood, ah well. But what happened next was awesome. {TheKnight} and I ended up back in our room, with lots of new toys and, perhaps more importantly, a somewhat new approach... So, the scene that ensued was a pure physical play scene, not D/s play at all (well, except I was letting him pick the form and pace of the impact play... still, there was far more "I am going to tell you what I want you to do to me, and what I think of what you are doing" type feedback than I prefer giving). Anyway... it was astonishing, quite possibly one of the best kink scenes we've ever had. {Kinky details.}

Saturday was only going to be more mindblowing. After coffee with {the Quad}, it was time for class. I rather wish I had made the "Wasn't that Supposed To Hurt" sensuality class, but UTTERLY failed at getting up in time. So my first class was a spanking class... and it was fabulous. The first half of the class was a "how to negotiate your scene" lesson that was both really useful for future pickup play (assuming I ever get the guts to ask for any) and helpful in planning what my partner and I want from a scene in an established relationship. That, in combination with some Very Practical Lessons on spanking (and a few amusing, if slightly blasphemous by some definitions, Live Action Lessons), made this a fabulous class indeed.

Greydancer's kink mythbusters class was a lot of fun, but I think there was a little less that I found to be directly useful in the long run from it. Which is ok, because the next session found me in Heather Elizabeth's office hours, which she had turned into a Badass Bottoms circle. THAT was... something I needed and didn't even KNOW I needed. I probably overshared, a LOT, but i've never been in another space where I could talk about my sex/relationship needs and hangups _with other people who understood my mindset_ - someone made the analogy of being a "Follower", in dance terms, which was SO perfect - I tend to reflect back the energy I get in relationships and have never been able to express that well. That, and actually truly realizing how stupid my "if I have to ask for it, it doesn't count" attitude is... that moment was like years worth of therapy.

Off to dinner - SURPRISINGLY competent Mexican food about 15 minutes from the venue, I'll have to remember that next year as that was sort of the sweet spot of cheapish and tasty and near-enough. Back to the hotel and dressed up for the Pink Tie Reception - sequins and thigh high vinyl boots and a giant pink stole, I felt fierce, and was still feeling very empowered after the Badass Bottoms discussion. Empowered enough I managed to at least begin to discuss some pickup play with a couple of Tops I had admired in the playspace the night before... both ended up "maybes" because of scheduling, but the fact that _I_ brought it up was a thing I wouldn't have done the night before.

{DinoActivist} picked up on the attitude there... as the evening started heading off in a direction I wasn't expecting. He's more of a switch than I usually go for... in fact there's something about our energy that seems to work better if I go more Top. And since I was very much in the headspace I top from - powerful, slightly mischievous, VERY conscious of my partner's attraction and how to enhance that... it wasn't long before I was changing into a velvet bikini (sequins aren't great for moving in and the boots were about to break a heel) and collecting toys. I never thought my first public kink scene would be as a Top...

{Details of a kinky scene, me topping DinoActivist, ending in...} a kiss that was somehow more than sex would have been in that moment - we could have gone back upstairs to a hotel room but it was almost beside the point, would have broken the energy between us. Which I don't entirely understand, at one time I thought my kinks were only about sex, but I'm learning that that isn't precisely true.

After some dithering, he and I wandered upstairs to eat pizza and drink Classy Cocktails while he gave me a really great footrub (I really could get used to this top thing) and then I sent him off to change for the food fight, which sounded like COMPLETELY not my thing, so I wandered back downstairs to see if I could find myself a scene, after running into {TheKnight} from playing with {Sunshine}. At first I was still very high from the scene I had just done, but then the combination of a surprising amount of Top Drop (I've never really had sub drop, but I tend to have orgasms and then fall asleep after scenes, so there was a lot more energy unresolved than I realized) and disappointment that neither of the potential scenes I had discussed earlier in the evening were going to materialize (ah, timing) hit me hard, and I found myself ensconced in my bed with coke, M&Ms and a back rub from {TheKnight} in fairly short order. By the time my emotions had leveled out it was a bit late to go find more trouble to get into... ah well.

The next day was kind of a blur of classes - Radical Self Acceptance was the cherry on the sundae of thoughts inspired by the Badass Bottoms class. While my body issues are fairly minor, I still _needed_ to hear so much of that regarding self care, and attractiveness, and and and...

Breath Play was... huh. The beginning demos were VERY hot to watch, but I tapped out when the bags came out. Just too much for me. YKINMK, but that doesn't mean I am quite comfortable with seeing it... And finally Eccentric Domination. I'm not quite sure _what_ I thought of that one; I walked in expecting something else and while there were some really interesting concepts in there, ones that will inspire future thought both from a "how do I top" and "how do I WANT to be topped" point of view, I had too much con-brain to really get a lot out of it.

Processing starts in the next entry...
The kink-con (part two)

SO MANY GOOD THINGS resulted from this weekend:

  • Some of the things TheKnight and I learned will, I think, utterly transform/fix parts of our relationship that I had thought were broken - and in discussing those we even hit a spot where we're finally fixing, maybe, some issues from years previous that aren't even sex/kink related. The night we got home we spent 4 hours talking (ok, so that was stupid) but I am finally letting go of some of the resentment I carried which was caused by some of our fights about parenting from 12-24 months ago. I think he's still angry at me about some of those things, and we'll have to work on that, but I have... hope, I guess, that having a child hasn't irrevocably ruined some of the good things about our relationship. (For a while I was scared we had, especially as the worst parts of the child thing were ALSO the worst parts of the Pink!Girl/HipsterBoy fiasco AND a lot of other things were going on. It was a very dark 6 months there.)
  • TheKnight and I actually managed to have a kink scene with decent communication that worked for both of us. (This is one of the things I thought was broken.) And it set up a dynamic that we may actually be able to explore more deeply...we've already played a bit more with kink on multiple occasions this week. It's such a cliché to talk about trust in the context of D/s, but the reality is that I was topping from the bottom because he WAS new at kink, and I didn't trust him to do what I wanted, but I was pretending not to at the same time. And I wondered why he didn't want to play with me but wanted to with other people...
  • I can't say enough how much finally realizing that my "if I have to ask for it, it doesn't count" mindset was limiting EVERYTHING. I'm still working on IMPLEMENTING change on that front, but at least now I want to. It doesn't work on a vanilla level either - people/partners aren't mind readers no matter HOW perfectly compatible they are - but asking is a skill I HAVE to learn in kink spaces and it's going to apply to the rest of my relationships fabulously.
  • And I even finally embraced my switch side with DinoActivist... and realized that me not doing so was part of why our relationship didn't entirely click. That scene was utterly cathartic for him, for many reasons - one of the things I didn't mention on Fet was that a complication of the weekend was that his exgirlfriend (they're still friends, but still) was there. In fact she was in the playspace while we were there - thank god for blindfolds and loud music - and the first night of the event was somewhat marred by his angst over the situation. Our scene ended up leading to a really good conversation between the two of them the next day, because he was in a powerful (yes, submission can be powerful), peaceful state of mind in its aftermath. And so I have hope for figuring out better dynamics of our relationship, going forward...

oh! And a non-kink-event related note - I've seen AnotherArtist a few more times since last I wrote - I'm definitely falling for him more and more, the only downside is that our schedules have been utterly incompatible for the last few weeks so time together has been nearly non-existent. Which is really frustrating but damn the sexual tension is going high... On the other hand, Tattooed has disappeared a bit, I suspect he's met someone else and thus has no time for the once-a-month scene we had. C'est la vie - my current explorations of kink with TheKnight are satisfying THAT particular itch quite well...
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2 years. That’s how long FB tells me it was since I met - or at least electronically acknowledged as a “friend” - HipsterBoy. And it’s not the cause for angst it might have been. - I only notice it, I think, because it’s also a year into the relationship between Sunshine and TheKnight, and a bit longer between me and DinoActivist.

Sunshine and TheKnight are out on a Romantic Anniversary Date right now, in fact. Which makes it seem like an appropriate time for an update to this thing - it seems it’s been a while. How to update? Perhaps by relationship...

Speaking of FB, finally dropped HB and Pink!Girl out of my “close friends” feed. Sounds like nothing except for the part where it’s the last shred of connection, I had already gotten to the point where I didn’t comment or even like anymore so I don’t know why I was reading it. Not that it’ll be the end of us running into each other - small town, too many shared friends, too many bars and restaurants that we seem to manage to show up at on the same nights. Still, it’s a thing.

Tattooed, too, has ghosted (or did I ghost on him?)... a couple not-as-satisfying-as-they-might-have-been encounters, my somewhat deep uncomfortableness with the nature of the relationship and with his approach to kink, the fact that we’ve both found other more compatible partners since we met... eh. It was fun while it lasted and I learned something about my limits and just how far I like to push them. And everyone else has been pushing my kink buttons lately.

Sunshine and I have sort of drifted back to being friends. We’re both, I think, a little too straight to keep a sexy/romantic thing going, but just bi enough to keep our BFF+ relationship interesting. I think she’s amazing though and she makes TheKnight happy, so it’s all good.

Debauchery really was a bit of a turning point for DinoActivist and I. Funny how one flogging can be... a Thing. And yet it was. In some ways all my hopes for that relationship are starting to bear fruit. It wasn’t just about the flogging, of course. It’s just as much about him having a new job, and a new therapist, and about starting to get over the breakup with his other partner - breakups, really, his other FWB moved to a new city recently too which leaves him Sunshine and me. I think me still being around has surprised both of us - he is surprised at my loyalty, I’m surprised I stuck out some of the bits where we basically didn’t have a relationship but I could just call it life drama and be (sort of) ok. The new intensity hasn’t QUITE equated to as much (more) time together as I might have liked, but ... what we HAVE had... SO amazingly sweet and hot in equal measure. He took me to one of my favorite restaurants for *our* one year anniversary - at his suggestion and treat, even, which is rare for him - and made me jewelry and we’ve been talking more and and and... yeah. It’s not NRE, it’s too... honest? for that, I think - there’s none of the initial “everything is perfect” blindness because too many things have happened over the past year. But I begin to think maybe we didn’t ruin this by meeting at the wrong time.

And yet even with that spinning (back?) up, I have this other wonderful thing going with AnotherArtist. I don’t see him as often as I’d like (why is this a theme?!?!) but he makes me feel so AMAZING when we’re together. It doesn’t hurt that he constantly tells me I’m beautiful... and that we have the same love language (touch). And the chemistry is incandescent - I saw him last night and I can’t get the sensations out of my head today, which usually is the sign of an exceptional evening in my world... except it’s like that every time I see him. There are still some gaps there... he, too, is Not A Texter, nor a scheduler, really, which makes it difficult for me to connect with him since I feel like I’m initiating everything. Not going to dwell on that... he thinks I’m awesome (a bit of an inside joke there), and he does delicious things to me (we even went to a kink party together where he did this perfectly paced scene on me that left me glowing for an hour - and he swears he’s a kink newbie.)

We don’t need daily contact for those two things to be true.
We don’t need daily contact for those two things to be true.
We don’t need daily contact for those two things to be true.

Yeah, I’m trying to convince myself of this, a little, about both my lovers. And they are both lovers, now, not just a strange sort of friend with benefits.

TheKnight? That’s so complicated. He’s the center of my life. That may not always be so (yes, the ee cummings reference there is on purpose) but right now it is and we both want for it to remain to be so.

And yet... we hurt each other so badly sometimes, just via neglect and stress and taking out both of those things on each other. Sometimes I think we’d do better if we didn’t live together, that the stress of coparenting and daily life will kill us (and my propensity to have relationship converastions while drunk or hormonal or both... all at 1am... such a terrible thing to do but I can’t seem to control the emotional flooding when it’s happening.) But all that aside, we’re trying. We’re trying really fucking hard. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but I think it will, in the long run. WonderToddler is back in preschool which makes me more sane. TheKnight is drinking less and maybe talking more. I’m drinking less because he is. (I’m the worst sort of social “well, if you are I will too...” sort...)

Sometimes I think the fact that we’re poly is the only reason we haven’t left each other, like having those outlets makes the rest bearable. Sometimes I think, conversely, that we’ve ruined it all by moving from just friends or acquaintances with benefits - together - into having real relationships with other people. It’s so easy to just visit the poly vacation villa (thanks, Ferrett, for that essay) and fail at all the hard stuff with each other.

But I’ve grown so much in the past two years. We are both better people, for ourselves and for each other, and the spaces we’ve introduced into our relationship were what *allowed*... ok, forced, sometimes, despite kicking and screaming... that growth. That has to be something, right?
Wow, it's been quite a while since I updated this. I guess I only update when things get a little dramatic and thus they have, lately.

Things continue to go... back and forth with TheKnight. The funny thing about us is that we go from romantic and affectionate to screaming at each other within days (and then back again!) and I don't know how to make that stable - I feel I'm not true to myself if I hold back but he hates it when I yell. And the thing he only sort of understands is how much I *hurt* when I feel ignored by him.

On the other hand, he's still my best friend in the world, I don't ever want him not in my life and everything else we can figure out from there.

Maybe it's just me. I feel like I'm so very easily ignored, but when I ask for or demand more time/attention from anyone, it just goes downhill. It happened with HipsterBoy - after the PinkGirl/TheKnight final chapter, he started getting distant and I sent him an email pouring my heart out about how I was afraid we were falling apart too, that I needed some reassurance. The reply? "Well, actually, I'm falling out of love with you so let's just be friends..." DinoActivist started treating me more like a girlfriend half the time and ignoring me the other half, I had a minor blowup about consistency, and got it for a couple weeks... then got the "yeah, so you're really just a close friend" speech Sunday.

Oh, yeah. That happened. (Nothing like getting dumped while hungover, as a side note.) And the reality is he's right - he was always really fucking ambiguous about how he felt about me, and I tried so hard to just let it be what it was going to be and not demand that the ambiguity resolve. I spent a year trying to stretch/grow into being comfortable with being in a weird and uncomfortable place, sometimes ok with it and sometimes not, which I'm wondering now whether I should have done. Fuck yeah or no, right? Not saying we had to be passionate lovers OR just friends, but I wasn't ever truly "Fuck Yeah" about the relationship we *had* as opposed to the relationship that we MIGHT have had.

Maybe that's the problem with online dating. I am not 100% sure that we would have been more than friends had we met in person and hung out first, but we both liked each other enough to want to be closer and the only way closer seemed to work in that context was dating. Meh. I can't say that looking back on it my feelings ever resolved to romantic either - whether that was because I subconsciously knew that they wouldn't be reciprocated if they did, or just because I met him while rebounding, or just weren't meant to be? no clue.

And the quad dynamics that seemed so appealing and yet scary when we first met probably held us together more than they should have - there were many times that I knew what was going on with him from Sunshine vs. from him. Back to the ignoring thing - shouldn't he WANT to share what's going on with me, if we're going to have a relationship? But I convinced myself to blame it on being an introvert... and not touching me much on just being a different person in relationships than I was. I so very much should have worried about whether I was getting the relationship *I* wanted/needed, too, vs twisting myself in a pretzel to be ok with what I had...

'Course, all things being equal, the quad led to more drama in the past few months than it led to happiness. The "blowup" I mentioned about consistency? was less than 24 hours of unhappy text messaging based on a scheduling conflict. During that time I asked TheKnight to hold off on making a plan for a date with Sunshine that same week because I didn't want to pick the one day that DinoActivist offered (which didn't materialize but anyway.) Sunshine knew this and was really unhappy I was holding them hostage, because she didn't understand that once TheKnight and I put things on the calendar with other partners they *don't* move to accomodate other plans, that's just our rule. (Sunshine and DinoActivist work the other way around, they're more willing to be flexible but put more on the calendar. Meh, neither is better or worse they're just exact opposites.) Anyway, it caused a huge amount of drama between them, kind of ruined a weekend trip we had been looking forward to, just... yeah. She and I theoretically talked it out but she hasn't really talked to me much since. I should reach out but I am not really sure how to since in theory we're fine and I don't know how to point out the "in practice" difference. Maybe she's just giving me space because of DinoActivist - he said he had been thinking about things for a few weeks, so I'm sure she knew and felt awkward about it all.

I miss kitchen table poly. (Not that I had that, really, dating somone without children who also couldn't stay at our house because of allergies. )

I was going to say I missed having someone that volunteered their feelings and what was going on with them, and then I realized that that was never actually true about HipsterBoy, I just got more banter and a little bit more info about daily life and that made it seem true.

Hell, I don't even *truly* get that with TheKnight, we had yet another "discussion" about that last night and this morning. There's some ridiculous stuff going on with his family, and some very hard stuff. I get that. And after Yet Another Episode In The Saga, I *tried* to give him some space to decompress, thinking he'd talk when he was ready. More fool I, he *doesn't* talk, he was just going to go to bed and barely even say good night. I called him on it, which maybe I shouldn't have, I don't know. I'm feeling very sensitive about being ignored / left out right now for obvious reasons, so maybe he's right and it WAS all about me, but even if that's true that's still how I was feeling so there's that too.

I also don't know how to keep this from bleeding over into things with AnotherArtist - we were supposed to see each other the same day as the breakup, he had canceled because of having to work too much and when I texted him to tell him it was ok, I would have canceled on him that day anyway and why, he said he'd be around to talk more this week if I needed to - which was the perfect thing to say - and yet hasn't really reached out to check on me either.

Am I so damn forgettable?

How the fuck are you supposed to build or even maintain connection without communication?
I'm having a little bit of a hard time separating "the way DinoActivist and I interacted and didn't" from "the way AnotherArtist and I interact and don't" in my head.

It's that same amount of connection vs amount of communication problem I've alluded to so many times. I feel like in his case it really is introvert/busy rather than “just not that into you”, as the lack of texting is the ONLY sign of not being into me. (Not like dates with DinoActivist where I was left wondering why that had been a platonic hang-out instead of a date... or dates where even though we were kind of sort of romantic I was still the one initiating all physical contact.)

When we’re together, it’s pretty wonderful. Non-stop conversation and chemistry shot through with this *sweetness*/affection that has been the defining nature of the thing since we met. I could fall so hard if I let myself...

And yet, I barely hear from him in between dates. I keep feeling like if he wanted more intimacy I’d hear from him more. And though I convinced myself this was ok with DinoActivist it turns out it wasn’t - so how can I trust this?

And this all feeds into my neediness, my intrinsic fear that people don’t *really* want me, aren’t *really* attracted to me, and every time a normal breakup or rejection happens I go into this tailspin.
I hear you about the staying in contact thing. The one thing all three of the guys I've dated so far have had in common is not answering texts. Sometimes not for hours, sometimes not for days, sometimes not at all. And only one of the three was usually willing to talk on the phone, and that mostly only happened if I sent him a text saying I wanted to talk to him.

So yeah... it seems like sometimes guys just suck at maintaining contact. It doesn't necessarily mean they aren't interested or don't want to talk to you. It just means they suck at maintaining contact.