Change in all the areas of my life...

P.S. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Shaya.
I'm the most sexually inexperienced person on this forum, Icesong, so of I'm giving bad sex advice, just ignore me please. :)

I'm wondering if Knight's love language involves physical touch. If so, his plea for seduction may be him just asking for his love language, no different to asking for any of the other love langage like quality time, acts of service, gifts or word of affirmation.

Just a thought.
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It's the opposite, actually. *My* love language is physical touch, narrowly followed by words of affirmation. His is... mostly acts of service, with some quality time thrown in.

We actually did ok last night - cuddled on the couch and in for a bit, even if we didn't manage to come up with much to talk about other than work and shopping Amazon prime day stuff - ha! But he *is* trying, and he also is very pointedly drinking less as we've both agreed we need to do. Or at least that's been true the last few evenings.
I'm not sure what has shifted in the past few weeks - I mean, there were a few more conversations between Knight and I but nothing, really, that felt like a breakthrough... and yet somehow we've been just... better for each other.

Maybe it's just he's drinking less, although we were both being a bit overindulgent last night while watching GoT with friends and still managed to cuddle until we went to sleep. That sounds like sort of a nothing thing, and yet it so very rarely happens between us that it actually surprised me.

(Does anyone else find it weird sometimes, that feeling of closeness with one lover one night and your other lover the next? Sex doesn't confuse me as much, somehow - perhaps because I *can* do casual sex - but that overwhelming feeling of "I just want to touch you", felt the same but with different sensual details and about VERY different people, is so very lovely and yet very confusing.)

Maybe it's all just bleedover from being so happy with Artist (because I am); maybe Knight's having the same with Joan. She's been around more lately, which is actually great - I think she's a pretty awesome person who's enough of an introvert that I haven't entirely been able to get to know her as well as I'd like, especially given my somewhat hands-off approach towards metamours. (Ya'll who have been reading this for a while will laugh at that, given my previously, well, "hands-on" approach. ::wink:: )

Or maybe it's just that I'm much calmer and happier in general right now - MiniMe is in school full time and while my work is still catching up with that, not spending several hours a day alone with him has done wonderful things for my mental health. Hell, I've gone to the gym multiple days a week, which is probably helping too.

Maybe I should quit overanalyzing happiness... :D
It's been an interesting mix of amazing and utter fail in my life for the past few weeks. On the one hand, I'm in a two week gap between summer camp ending and school starting so MiniMe and I have been a bit more unhappy with each other lately, especially as Knight has been traveling quite a lot for work in the last few weeks. On the other, things have been really good with my partners.

First, Artist and I spent a weekend together at the beach - there was kayaking, there was a minor bit of almost drowning, there was watching the rain from a hot tub and moonlit walks on a beach and cuddling in a hammock and - 6 times in 48 hours, I think? - in various combinations of sweet and passionate and kinky and dirty and... yeah. And so very much talking - by the drive home I actually did manage to finally find the end of my ability to talk, which I was beginning to wonder if I ever would - and it was STILL fine for us to just *be* together.

I am so ridiculously in love with him it hurts. Like, the emotion feels bigger than my body can hold, sometimes.

Then this past weekend was interesting in a different way - MartialArtist was planning on being in town, so we decided to get together, and then conversation ended up ensuing that led to a shibari-based threesome with Knight. I had all the fun, Knight was happy, and I'm *pretty* sure MA was too, although I think next time we hook up I want it just to be the two of us.

And then Artist and I had an evening together, and I'm still glowing - the heat, the passion, the utter sweetness (there's a reason my secret lovesong playlist for him is called Caramel). It's so hard, sometimes, to limit myself to only seeing him a few hours a week - the monogamy hangover of cultural programming that I should want to merge my life with his because I love him and he makes me happy - there are weeks where his kisses are the high point of my week, the way our bodies fit together feels like where I should be all the time. And I know it's just because we have this bubble of special time - probably in some ways more quality time than I get with my Knight, so adding more time would dilute it. Doesn't mean I don't crave it...

(And doesn't mean I don't feel guilty, sometimes, because I feel like my body is going semi-monogamous - I *want* to react as strongly to Knight's touch as Artist's, but that almost-Pavlovian conditioning just isn't there...)
So last night was interesting, though "why" requires a bit of backtracking to Friday.

Friday, of course, was my usual weekly date with Artist. And that, of course, needs no (new) words, as our relationship continues to be this space of astonishing happiness and passion in my life. Sushi and random art project and "hello i've missed you this week" sex and "I want to be your kinky toy" sex and "good morning you're still amazing" sex... seriously I might only get to spend 16-18 hours a week with him, most weeks, but we make up for it, and I go home Stardust-glowing.

So that's all lovely... there's only one complication, which is that I had arranged to have drinks etc with MartialArtist last night, and we had actually turned the original idea into a lovely, flirty "let's both get dressed up and I won't wear any underwear and we'll wander around a swanky art museum drinking cocktails and surreptitiously groping a bit" plan. (Which is an oddly date-like experience for something explicitly defined as FWB, but really stayed in a very fun "we're people who like each other as people but also are both smokingly hot so let's be hedonistic" headspace. And seriously, MartialArtist wears a suit *well* - did I mention the black belt and looks it part? Almost as well as I wear a slinky dress. :D ) So after a few hours of flirting/groping/drinking and a bit of a snack (more hedonism, that - house cured salami and 2 kinds of _gorgeous_ cheese and still-hot-from-the-oven ciabatta at a local bar) we're back at my place for really hot sex but i can't actually have an orgasm. Which is weird for me, I'm usually pretty easy (haha)...

Actually I'm not sure that's true. That hasn't been as easy with Knight lately either, or at least requires the application of more toys than usual. I had blamed that on circumstance / lack of foreplay / lacking attraction or something specifically related to us. I'm not really sure that's true though - I think it might be something that is both easier and harder to fix.

So I've written here a lot about the complicated relationship between me and Knight and alcohol. And truthfully he's gotten a lot *better*, although not perfect, especially when we aren't in bad-idea-bear mode with each other - he doesn't drink as much just hanging out as he used to in the evenings, though I still think the amount he DOES drink cuts into his libido.

On the other hand... while drinking doesn't cut into my libido, it DOES cut into my ability to orgasm / level of sensation during sex. Even looking back at this diary, the times I've noted a bit "less face melting" sex with Artist have been after we've gone to a party somewhere, which is the only time our dates tend to include more than two drinks. And the same thing happened with MartialArtist - I had a lot more fun during that threesome I mentioned because I had only had one drink vs the other two evenings I had with him this year where I had three.

Knight and I almost never have not-inebriated sex. Not intentionally, not in a "we have to get drunk to want each other" sort of way (although it sometimes helps us get past our various inhibitions and relationship complications), but in a "we both like booze so if we're just hanging out we HAVE booze and then there we are" sort of way, and also in a "more is more" sort of way where the second drink logically proceeds from the first and makes the third one sound *fantastic*. Especially when one, physically, holds one's liquor way too well, plus or minus the hangover the next day (those got worse after 30. Ouch.)

So drinking less seems like the thing to do, but I *like* wine and cocktails, so that feels like deprivation. (But when I say that, I wonder whether I'm fooling myself, whether I'm just feeding into the culture of indulgence as selfcare.) But how do you tell whether you have a problem or whether your chosen forms of hedonism just don't mesh well?
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Or, you know, there’s also the FML version of last entry where I mention my insight to Knight while cooking dinner and he blows me off, then proceeds to finish off most of a six pack while hanging out with a friend I did t even want to come over tonight, and then doesn’t want to talk or cuddle after friend leaves and now I’m listening to him snore which of course is work when he passes out instead of sleeping normally.
^^ worse when, not work when. Never good to type posts when I'm frustrated and on my iPad in the dark.

Tattooed hit me up again the other day. I'm half tempted. Which sounds weird given I'm still pretty intensely in lust with Artist, even if Knight and I barely connect in that way... but novelty is also fun, and in some ways now that I've broken the seal on FWB/fuckbuddies having one vs two is not that different. Although until I can tell myself what exactly I want out of that particular dynamic I probably won't indulge - part of what made me ghost a bit before was not quite knowing my limits and desires, and while I am SO much better at identifying them than I was 2-3 years ago, expressing them might be more difficult.

Or maybe I'll just go hit on the pretty redhead who I'm a mutual like with on OKC...
I enjoyed the article you posted. thought provoking. thank you.
I'm glad, Atlantis. How are you doing these days?

And yeah, the article is thought provoking. Perhaps even more thought provoking when I'm still a bit under the weather from staying up too late talking/drinking/having sex with Knight. Another verse, same as the first, really - it was a lovely conversation and I didn't want it to end and suddenly it was 2 in the morning and there had been so much wine. And now I'm very very very tired and I know Knight is too, he was kind of cranky about it this morning as he's got a rough day at work and (rightfully, honestly) blames me for me lack of care about us getting any sleep.

I don't know why I'm so terrible to myself. Loneliness, perhaps - I tire of spending most days alone doing the freelance thing, but I'm so very conflicted about getting a real job. Perhaps that's a post for a more coherent day.
So the last few weeks have been an interesting mix, but I've been weirdly emotionally stable / happy and some very good things are, I think, happening.

Knight and I have not really fought in _ages_, not seriously. Part of that is MiniMe is far more chill, now that he's in school full time. I don't know if that's just more stimulation or we're not in each other's faces as much, but I'm starting to finally like having a kid, well, mostly. (Exception to be detailed below.) Anyway that means I'm not on edge and little things don't get blown up into giant things. I suppose that's the same as what I said in July, looking back, but it still surprises me, just because I've been so unhappy as a parent for the last few years.

On top of that, Knight has just started trying seriously to lose some weight. This is amazing for so many reasons. Aesthetically he had sort of crossed the point of where I find him attractive - that probably makes me shallow, but ::shrug:: at some point it was a choice of beer over sex and he knew it so... And part of that diet means he's specifically having one glass of wine a night, no beer, and THAT is making us interact more and fight less and he even cuddles more before going to sleep instead of just passing out! Yay!! Still haven't been having a _huge_ amount of sex lately, but I'm weirdly ok with that. I mean, I'd *like* to, but it doesn't feel like he doesn't love me if we don't, anymore.

Artist has felt a smidge distant lately, but I think that's just because his work has been too busy for us to chat as much as we used to - when we're together its still amazing so I'm trying very hard not to overanalyze. I didn't see him last week, though, which means I'm utterly craving him now.

Even not overanalyzing that, though, is easier than it once was. Right this moment, anyway, I'm having a much easier time pointing at all the amazing parts of my relationships and letting go of the rest. So hey, there's that.

And I'm actively working on getting a resume and portfolio together so I can get a real job. I'm just... so very done with the working for myself thing. But having decided that feels very freeing.

The only downside right now is that I spent the weekend at an event in the hobby Knight and I used to be seriously involved in, and took MiniMe, and ended up coming home early as it just didn't work. I want that community back so very very badly though. Still pondering how to make that work - I am probably going to write a much longer FB post about that next (if anyone is reading this and wants to be my FB friend, feel free to PM me).
Actually I had an interesting thought last night - I've been feeling more romantic towards Knight lately, yet without wanting more sex. This is weird for me because the two are usually intensely linked. Maybe my mindset is shifting...
So another "I'm sort of failing at self-care and I'm not sure how to fix it" musing.

Artist and I see each other once a week, roughly, usually from around 5 or 6pm to 10 or 11 the next morning. It's not a lot of time, and we have a tendency to wring the most out of it - depending on whose house we're staying at (this affects how much time alone we have) we usually have sex at least 2x, more often 3, and we've been playing more and more with impact play (not REALLY heavy, I mean, it's not even like I'm bruised much), biting, the violet wand, etc.

Sooo... overall that means I end up somewhat physically and mentally in a bit rough shape the day after we see each other - sore/stiff, often a bit sub-dropping, and often with what I call the "edge" of a UTI. (A lot of vigorous manual sex and PIV sex with an, ahem, larger than average partner means this isn't *exactly* surprising, especially since I am terrible about remembering to hydrate.) I suppose it may just be bladder irritation, especially given a single dose of those UTI-specific pain meds (not antibiotics) clears it up pretty instantly. (Once I remember to take them, anyway, I end up spending several hours in denial which is just silly).

Still... point being, I end up with more or less a sex/kink hangover. And given that I decided weekly hangovers were Not OK when it comes to drinking, it seems
that I shouldn't do it with sex otherwise. And yet... most weeks this is the only sex I get. It is ALWAYS the only sex I get with Artist (If the 3x a week were spread out over multiple days that might help... although I wonder if we saw each other more often whether we'd just keep doing the same thing but on multiple days. Anyway.)

And emotionally... I was talking with Tinwen about subdrop but it's not just that. I mean, that's part of it. Intense kink -> intense endorphins -> rebound. And I know that, and can kind of compensate for it... kind of. The knowledge doesn't keep me from being cranky and sad and that feels unfair to Knight, having fun with someone else and then he gets the worst part of me. And when I'm droppy I desperately want cuddles but I'd be utterly wrecked if he cuddled me because he was top-dropping after a scene with Joan, so I'm not about to suggest it.

Then again, Knight could have the fun part too but doesn't seem to want to. ::sigh:: We had decent sex the other night but it feels so ... contrived rather than craved. I say I'll never live with someone again if we ever split, but can I keep handling living with someone who doesn't ever seem to want to touch me?
Still... point being, I end up with more or less a sex/kink hangover. And given that I decided weekly hangovers were Not OK when it comes to drinking, it seems that I shouldn't do it with sex otherwise.
I've been wondering about that too, a few times. I don't get always a drop, but if we go really intense, I can get one for several days. It seems irresponsible - on the other hand, some of those scenes stay in memory for years.
Yet sometimes I get a boost from sex, not a drop.
Maybe there's a way to steer your sexytime more towards a boost?
And emotionally... I was talking with Tinwen about subdrop but it's not just that. I mean, that's part of it. Intense kink -> intense endorphins -> rebound. And I know that, and can kind of compensate for it... kind of. The knowledge doesn't keep me from being cranky and sad and that feels unfair to Knight, having fun with someone else and then he gets the worst part of me.
Can you schedule alone time, or, say, "movie together" time? So that you get some rest?
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Welp. And then there's the part where the other shoe drops.

Once upon a time I wrote this post. While my inlaws did acquire more local friends and things to do and we worked really hard on keeping boundaries, it was always kind of known that we would still _have_ to come out someday.

Why was it never a choice? Well, as I've written a BUNCH (here, here, and lots of other places on this and other forums), I never even really _considered_ being in the closet to MiniMe. I didn't believe in lying to him, for one, and didn't think I could successfully do so even had I wanted to. Most importantly, if I thought it was wrong in such a way that my son shouldn't know about it, I shouldn't be doing it. (No, he doesn't know about sex, but on a six year old appropriate level, he knows that Artist is important to me.)

So he hangs out with AnotherArtist and/or Joan reasonably often, knows when Knight or I go out on dates, etc etc. (I wouldn't have explained dates, but he's perceptive and noticed that I got dressed up with makeup and such more for such things...)

And MiniMe is very close to my mother in law, something we've _mostly_ encouraged. (She spoils him - oh god the toys - but is otherwise great.) And I would never ever ever ask him to lie to her for me. So yeah, being "out" on that front was just not a question.

Even though it was never a choice, we were _still_ working on the timing for all the reasons mentioned in that first post. Would have perhaps done it this fall, but we had planned a vacation with all five of us (me, Knight, MiniMe, inlaws) and didn't want to make that or the holidays awkward, so had put the whole thing off until 2018. And then Knight and I went down to visit our friends in another city for NYE, leaving MiniMe with inlaws.

On NYE Knight gets a text around 9pm. "Who's {Artist's real name}?" "A friend of ours, why?" "{MiniMe} says that mommy goes on dates with him and daddy knows all about it."

So Knight spends half of NYE texting his mother about this - she hasn't said a single word to me in person or text since, and made several comments blaming me during the course of their conversation (I don't usually read Knight's texts but this was a special case) - and she, of course, considers it a Gross Betrayal of Everything She Ever Held Sacred.

I mean, obviously fuck that noise, just because she successfully did/does monogamy from the age of 16 doesn't mean that's what Knight wanted/valued. And I get that it was a shock. I'm just not looking forward to the next few years because frankly I'm still getting shit from her over the two of us having eloped in 2003.
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I really don't understand some people. In this case, "some people" is my mother in law. On the one hand, she's still pretty upset about us being poly, and while upset, she's said some pretty terrible things - stuff about my bisexuality, my ADD, whether or not Knight and I are fit parents, whether or not our choice to be non-mono was based on having a lot of LGBT friends... The list goes on. (She said all these things to Knight, so I don't know if she realizes I know she said them, but anyway, that happened. )

And yet, a few weeks later, she sends this email that she misses us and she didn't say anything that bad and she wishes she didn't know any of it. First part I'm sure is true, second is obviously not... And third part just confused me. Like, why would someone prefer to live a lie to that degree? I hated having to hide things, as does Knight. I'm utterly _thrilled_ that no matter what else ends up happening, at least I don't have to worry about that. But she'd be happier pretending the old apparent status quo was real? I don't really understand this at all.

Even got a sample of this - had lunch today where we very carefully talked at it everything BUT the thing. I mean, MiniMe was there, so that's part of it, but still.

Helping Knight work on a long reply saying basically "that's great but we aren't pretending anymore so how will this work" except using 1000 words to do it. So...yeah.
I totally sympathize. My mom on one occasion said Kay, our therapist [and any poly friendly therapist], and I all needed mental help. Otherwise she treats us all the great. Who knows what goes on in their heads?

Good luck.
I suppose it's been a long time since I updated here. It's sort of one of those "Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up." problems, when everything is still so in flux and discombobulated I don't entirely want to even attempt to sum up, but I shall try.

In some ways I've been good - the last few weeks I've ben working more which is always better for my mental health than not. I've even done more work around the house, so yay for that? it makes Knight happy anyway. And I started going to the gym again. (Uggh, I'm basically back to the way-higher-than-I-want-it weight I was when I got pregnant, which is 30 lbs more than I want and 15 above the max I'm really ok with. But Artist still thinks I'm beautiful so I guess there's that.)

And things with Knight's mother have gone back to ... actually quite a decent approximation of normal or better than normal, one without waiting for the other shoe to drop of her finding out about things. We're not at the point of discussing poly - or at least she isn't at that point with me - but she's had a few conversations with Knight and is starting to get it. Maybe. I mean, she's not at the point she wants to meet people but she's starting to get - weirdly enough via watching some video I commented on on FB - that it isn't some tawdry thing.

So that's all good.

Knight and I, though... things have been complex. At one point a few weeks ago I thought we were just going to resign ourselves to friends and coparents, after he tried to tell me - and convinced both of us - that he just wasn't attracted to me in that way anymore.

I tried to be chill with it. I'm not. I told him that, but also told him (yet again) that I thought it was just his drinking. So he agreed to cut waaaay back for a while.

Spoiler alert: it worked for a bit. And then we had a weekend where we backslid and that got ugly, but in theory he actually believes me now. It hasn't been long enough for change to have happened yet, but at least... he finally understands just how much his drowning of himself and his libido in a bottle - all while telling me all the reasons that _that_ couldn't actually be what was going on, that it was loss of NRE, that he was attracted to me when he wasn't, that he finally just didn't love me (plus some other terribly abusive things to say and do)... he finally understand just how close he came to breaking us. Maybe.

And then of course I made up for all the sex I didn't have while fighting when I saw Artist the next day. Except even that was a bit complicated as his nesting partner is having issues with her other partner... and leaning on him about it. Enough that he cancelled our plans for thursday. And then he offered to stop by for a few minutes this evening as I think he realized I was feeling fragile... and now hasn't, nor did he text saying he wouldn't. So I am.... cranky right now. And kind of terrified. Not that he doesn't love me, but that he's not going to be a strong enough hinge to actually be there for me if his wife is going through a thing. I mean I was already worried about her finishing grad school and her other partner's plan to move in with them in a few months - I don't know her well and I find her vaguely intimidating and I know she's had a few issues with me in the past few years. And there are things that Artist defers to her on that I am not entirely happy with but I don't rock the boat because I don't mean to put him in a bad spot... and yet. So that's a thing.
This morning I simply texted "hi" to Artist and got several apology texts, before I even said anything about being upset. So there's that. And I'm sort of proud of myself for explaining that part of me WAS terrified about potential changes to us and while forgetting he was going to stop by was not the end of the world, he probably picked the World's Worst Time Ever to do so.

He got it, and beat himself up about it more than a little, but I don't really know what if anything will happen going forward. I mean, he rarely rarely fucks up like this.

Ironically he DID at lest get an opportunity to play rescuer - I managed to lock my keys in the house and luckily he was working at home instead of at his office 30 min away. So I at least got kisses which made me feel a bit better, but still....
Wow. Not only has it been way too long since I've updated here, but I left off on a note that's more or less... exactly what I came here to talk about.

So this summer has been... exhausting. There's no other word for it. And I haven't entirely been coping well with it. Read: I've been drinking far too much. And of course Knight and I are great when we're sober, but so much more platonic than I want us to be, and drinking is a 50/50 tossup as to whether we'll have a fabulous time together possibly even with sex or a toxic fight. ::headdesk:: It is, of course, my own fault for not sending MiniMe to camp this summer but I was broke when I should have made plans so here I am. Two more weekdays including today before school starts again though...

I have no grace with Knight. 20 years of us and nothing is a standalone action anymore, it's always part of some same old pattern that I don't want to keep going and so I call things out immediately and it just makes our life more toxic. I'm trying to figure out how or where to channel my anger if not that direction though - I don't think I can just internalize it or else I'll continue to try to drown it and well, I know where THAT leads.

(Know by first hand experience given my father in law is dying a little more quickly these days of the consequences of years of alcoholism... but then in many ways who he was has been gone for 5 years now so it's almost more of a logistical problem than one of grief...)

Still maybe someday I'll manage to internalize that Knight just isn't the person who speaks love with his body, it's barely a thing he can do just like I can barely do acts of service as a love language and that's his. Maybe. Yet part of me knows that accepting that means some level of settling, some level of knowing that I will never have that level of physical contact every day in my life. Which is a hard thing to accept somehow as being utterly entwined with a lover is one of the most joyous parts of my life.

(and yet is that joy partially because it's so rare?)

And then there's Artist. This summer has been really hard for me on that front too. In so many ways everything I feared about ArtistWife finishing with school and ArtistWife'sVPartner moving in have been utterly true - it's been one reason after another that we spend less time together. Vacation with the three of them and a freakout about his job that resulted in a lot of time spent on jobsearchprep stuff (though that resolved without him having to actually use it, and at least it's done for now) and so very much house renovation because of AWVP moving in... and apparently Artist and AW are having their own relationship issues that are ALSO making it difficult for him to schedule time with me... and meanwhile I'm just sitting over here in a "you might not have meant to pull back but you HAVE, you so very much HAVE" mode.

And I told him this a couple days ago... just like I did in the entry above and just like the similar freakout I had since I've written ( _on my birthday_ of all times...) and he knows and he beats himself up and he tells me he loves me over and over but ... I don't know how to deal with this sort of absence at the same time. And yet he came over last night because his weekend got totally booked (argh) and I didn't have the... bravery or the willingness to engage and ruin the honeymoon feel - yes three years in and every time I see him is like a little mini honeymoon - to talk about this more than we did on text the day before. Partially because I don't know how to talk about us without it also being a conversation about his relationship with ArtistWife more than I want to - I _like_ being parallel on that front and I sort of still feel it's not my place to ask. (And yet I tell him more about Knight? and I tell Knight more about Artist? why do I have this wall about asking?)

But then I suppose love will never be easy, so there's that...