Friends and lovers


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My life is pretty busy at the moment, but good. Met up with Ocean half way between our two cities for about 10 hours on Friday. He was up to give a presentation. I'd hoped to make it for the talk but I couldn't get the time off work. So I took the overnight train, and snuck into his hotel at 3am :) We had breakfast together, and a walk down the river, then he headed back around midday. I killed another hour or so before my train home. Was just over 13 hours travel for me, all up, but totally worth it. Also I gave Ocean a bag of my gear to ferry back, which means I can now move all my remaining things myself, in one trip (I think/hope).

Another weekend with Lobe. We're having a lot of quality time. I guess it's gonna be long-distance for the foreseeable future, once I leave, so I want to make the most of this time together. He is wonderful, Christ. I love his face. It's kindly and also supersexy.

We've talked more about feelings, and we both seem to have a similar dis-ease with gushing on about love and dreams and other sentimental things. It's obvious we both feel really tender towards each other, but we're not sure what we're growing here and we want to be as gentle on ourselves as possible. Ache the least amount. Is it possible?

That said, I broke the L-word seal a few days ago. I said "psst... " very quietly. Lobe said "yes?" and I whispered "I love you." He replied "I love you too, but I don't want to say it too often." I said "I understand", because I do. Then he went on: "but I want you to know that I love you. Like, if you ever think to yourself 'I wonder if Lobe loves me?' you should tell yourself 'yes, he loves me.'"

Shit. I love him so much :)

Grotto and I had a shaky couple of days recently. No time to write about it now, as coffee is getting cold, but we had a really good discussion, and things are much better now. Never fails to amaze me how deep and tangled the roots of emotions can be.

In other news, camping plans with Djuna shaping up! She's gonna be here for TWO WEEKS in Oct/Nov, woop!


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I got a job! Permanent part-time in the city where Grotto and Ocean live. I'm travelling for six weeks or so (seeing family and friends, camping with Djuna) before I start work for serious.

Things are good, with everything and everyone.

Lobe has had bad experience with long-distance relationships, so he doesn't see much point in them. I'm not sure what that means in real terms... I think I just have to see how it goes. Being with him is wonderful. Being away from him, mm. Will be its own adventure I guess.

My emotions have moved very fast with him. The sex and intimacy and ah, everything, is so right. Different to how I'm close with other people... but a similar intensity. Him being close friends with Grotto, and getting on really well with Ocean too... Things just slot in.

I don't want to feel like the hub though. I'd like to be just another optional friend who is good to hang out with. Not the focus of attention, even if I am sometimes the catalyst of a gathering. I mean to say, for example, perhaps Ocean wouldn't spend time with Lobe if it wasn't for me. But... I hope that they independently enjoy it, and would maybe not even care either way if I was around or not.

Last weekend I made a mission out of carting my gear back from this city to the other. It involved one night in a small town part-way between both cities, with Lobe, Ocean, Grotto and I. Grotto and I got one room, the other two another (with separate beds). We hung out the four of us during the day and night, and the next morning, before parting ways again. Afterwards Lobe jokingly called it a "fuchka convention," but it didn't feel like that to me (or, upon investigation, him either. He was just teasing).

I'd kinda hate that. To be the centre of attention. Unless, of course, well, y'know... :cool: But in general, in social situations, I might be keen to engineer an environment or shared activity, but I don't want it to me "all about me" or "my idea of fun" being pushed on other people. I'm more interested in putting the energy into something that everyone will appreciate and enjoy, that's as far as possible designed by the hive mind rather than my own. My contribution is enthusiasm for something people actually want, even though they may not have been willing to make the effort to get it organised themselves.


Ideals, eh.

Must go rustle Lobe from his post-coital snooze. I leave in 11 hours. Will be sad to say goodbye. I hope... I don't get hurt too bad, if he finds it all too difficult for whatever reason.


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A big topic I've been wrestling with for a while is how my life decisions relationship-wise relate to my family, and family friends.

I'm currently visiting my parents in their home country (Asia). There's a lot of love and support here, but no concept of how to connect with behaviour that breaks social norms. Almost as if people's childlike minds have no words for things which transgress conventions. The different must be wrong.

Perhaps an unfair cariacature, but it summarises how things are from my perspective.

For a while, I had been thinking of strategies of how to tell my parents that I'm not monogamous, and that I'm open to having kids with people who are not my husband. In fact, that if at all I have kids, it will most likely not be with Ocean.

More recently I've been feeling that I should just live my life with conviction, and not fret about explicit conversations. If they bring things up, I'll deal with it then. I'm not sure if that's entirely the right approach for a pregnancy, but on the other hand... I just don't know how to do this any other way.

I've tried to have conversations with my brothers about this stuff, but it hasn't gone down well. No one who doesn't understand your perspective can give you permission or acceptance to do something that goes against their own values, right? Unless they deeply empathise... and there's not much you can do to make someone else empathise with you, maybe.

Having a kid with Grotto (or Lobe, or whoever else "not Ocean") would be a massive scandal. Am I willing to go there? Lobe jokingly said that a baby would be the "most obvious and irreversible manifestation" of our relationships. By the way, because of racial backgrounds, there'd be no way of pretending that any kid that I have with Grotto/Lobe was Ocean's. (Not that I'd want to pretend, but I've had this suggested to me).

Some who have managed to follow my convoluted tale on here may notice that Lobe is getting lumped in with Grotto when it comes to potentially having babies. Yeah... so... turns out that Lobe is real "mate"-y right now. And turns out that I don't seem to mind so much (WHAT? I properly know this dude less than six months.) Meanwhile Grotto is having these love fantasies about having kids and not caring who the dad is, holding my hand while Lobe fucks me, etc etc. It's all very woah. Because of the long-distance, I haven't properly processed this stuff with Grotto. How serious this is, how practical this is. And on the other side of it, Lobe and I have been awash with sex chemicals, and we need time to simmer down from this and take stock of what we want from each other, as well. Enforced space because of long-distance with Lobe will be good for this.

Lobe's open to being a stay-at-home single dad, and knows what this means, more than me I think, because of having to take care of siblings growing up. Grotto is too (but hasn't had much experience with what this actually entails.)

Why would I want to go here, when I know it will be impossible to reconcile with my family and family friends? It's a close-knit tapestry I'd be slashing. I have no illusions about this.

But they can't live my life for me. This is something I want. I want to make a family. Or at least be open to it. If it happens, I have the support of people who both love me and understand me to help me through the painful path of burning bridges with those who love me but will hate what I'm doing.

If I'm scandalous, so be it.
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Eight days til I head "home". It will be really good to be back. I'm ready.

At the moment, I have five sexually intimate relationships of various intensities. That seems like too many. I have no particular reason for feeling this way, as in, nothing is actually problematic at this stage. But it just sounds like too many, right?

I feel a bit uneasy, like something's gotta give.

Plinth is the most low-key. It's nothing too serious, a loving playful friendship. I have an overnight date with him end November, a belated birthday thing.

Things with Djuna are also fairly chilled. We're mostly long distance (though she's visiting soon, for two weeks!) and it seems okay that way. I'm keen to talk with her about how she's feeling, if she wants the relationship to grow in any particular way.

Although I really enjoy it when we fuck, I'm not driven to being sexual with either of them. It's more of a decision (to go there) than a compulsion.

That said, it's kinda got that way with Ocean too. I guess there are ebbs and flows of desire.

I worry that I create expectations in other people. That, because I feel like being sexual today, that I will necessarily feel like being sexual on another occasion. I feel nervous that my ambivalent sexual attraction will be harsh on the other person's self-esteem. Like, if someone only wanted me sometimes, I could feel shit about this, right? It could be confusing...

Can I be a friend who says: I always like spending time with you. I sometimes (but not always) feel like being sexual with you. I can't really predict how I'll feel...

... Is it fair enough to continue a sexual relationship with someone when I don't always want them sexually?

That's a difficult thing to say up-front to someone.

Ocean and I have navigated this between us, and I feel we have a good shared understanding of things.

I've talked about this with both Plinth and Djuna and I think they know where I'm coming from. But I feel that they would be open to more than what I can give. Basically, if I was keen to fuck more, they'd be into that. It's an imbalance I'm not entirely comfortable with.

I know that desires aren't always symmetrical. But I feel shit, to be the Less Inclined one. I feel odd, like I'm implicitly saying they are not attractive people, or that I don't really desire them. I feel almost guilty, like I should desire them more. I wonder whether it is better to end the sometimes-sexual nature of our relationship, so there's no confusion? But I know this is stupid.

Ambiguous spaces are fascinating, if you can manage to linger there awhile.


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I've been really enjoying your blog--just "discovered" it recently for some reason (although I've been on this forum for almost 3 years now).

You are a truly gifted writer! I hope you are being published somewhere in real life.


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nycindie - Thank you so much for that quote. It's a good one to remember.

Meera - hey! Glad you like it :) I enjoy writing, and from time to time have been engaged with print publishing but nothing too major. I feel I've got a bit of learning to do yet before I can make confident strides in that department - if ever! But thanks for your vote of confidence. It's always nice to hear when your words are appreciated.


A few more days of family shenanigans here, and then heading back. Heading back, hmm. Or is it away? When I travel, I'm never quite sure if I'm leaving or returning. Perhaps it's neither. Whereever I am, I'm here. And when I get there, my here will be there.

This trip was an internal turning point for me emotionally, re my family. I've decided to not 'come out' to them, at least not explicitly. I've had a different sit-down 'coming out' conversation with them already, many years ago. Was when I realised I wasn't straight, and in fact, couldn't see myself settling down with a guy. I was proud of myself for having the courage and honesty to come out to them, but it was a flawed mission (a long story. Just imagine an implosion of internal organs.) Don't see the point of going through that again. They weren't equipped to grasp that, then, they are not equipped to grasp this, now. Especially not when it's laid out in words.

What I have decided to do, is just 'be out'. This is not an entirely new decision; the concept has been growing on me over the last year or so. But I feel like on this holiday, visiting family and family friends, I have confirmed this intention within myself.

I don't have to come out. I am out. If there's a closet, it's no more than your closed mind.

Stumbled upon this post searching for "coming out alternatives" (I was looking for a phrase that could better describe my attitude to 'coming out'). I liked this:
Instead of ‘coming out’, you can just be out. You know that assumption any given person is straight – even people whose sexual or gender identities aren’t knowable, like babies or strangers? That assumption makes things harder for us. It’s why we have to announce we aren’t cishets to every new person we meet, why we get excluded from social discussions, why we sometimes feel like guests in our own homes. Once we know we aren’t, I sometimes think announcing so in dramatic, deliberate ways shores up the problem: the more shocking not being straight is made to seem, the more straightness gets reified as the default. Consider that, instead of sitting people down to give them the talk or making stressful, emotional speeches, you have the option of just getting on with things – of not formally declaring yourself queer, but not hiding it either. Jodie Foster did just that.

You know what? I feel like celebrating.


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I've gradually come to accept a reality that Lobe recognised before I did: if we want to be in the same place, he's going to have to shift and come to where I am.

At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, I'm not free to choose to move cities to be with him. Well - obviously I am free to do whatever the fuck I want... What I mean is, other priorities of mine (i.e. to continue to grow a life with Ocean and Grotto) are in conflict with this. If end up where Lobe is, it will be for independent reasons. A happenstance happiness.

It's an odd feeling.

I've written on here before that I am not one to uproot my life to be with someone else. In fact, that was a rule of mine, not to do this. A rule I have recently broken, twice. Heh. It's not so bad.

Similar to this disinclination, though, is me not wanting to be the reason anyone else moves. I feel it's important to be whereever it is you need to be, for you. But of course wanting to be close to other people is an intertwined part of what's right for you personally.

I'd love it if Lobe could live closer to me.

But that would make more sense a bit later, if ever, I think. It's too early right now, and neither of us are sure what we want. Well. I'm surer than Lobe.

In a way, it's good that the decision (to move or not) will most likely be his to make. Means he'll have to be confident that he wants this, that he wants to give it a go.

In transit, free airport internet (wooh! Always pleases me). When I get to 'home base', I'm dropping in to see Grotto - who fortuitously has the day off work! Then either just me or both of us are going to near Ocean's work to catch him for a brunch/lunch. Oh yeah :D The old gang back together again.


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Ah, gee, um. Maybe I'm just too tired from travel, jet lagged, need sleep.

Lobe and I are adjusting to the long-distance... It's a bit scary and panicking me a little.

Okay, let me be honest: I'm a mess, my stomach's a clenched fist, I can't focus on any of the shit I need to get done. From what I can tell, Lobe's wavering between making a clean break now, or working things through.

I don't feel safe. I feel very vulnerable. And yet, I can't bring myself to cut free and move on. I feel that would be a pre-emptive strike driven by fear.

Shit shit shit.

It's been affecting my ability to enjoy time today with Grotto and Ocean. Was good to see both of them, but - especially with Grotto - I can't fully connect. I'm caught up in this unfinished business with Lobe.

Jesus. I miss him.

Ocean's been sweet, said he's there to talk if I want to talk. But I don't really feel like talking with either him or Grotto about this.

Have asked Lobe if he can make time to chat tonight. Let's see.

Ach. Hurting


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Feeling the limits of blogging as any way to convey the stories of my life.

I struggle to get a grip on the main points - who had sex with who? How am I travelling through life, with which companions, in what ways?

The second seems more important for this forum. But then, there's so much of it!

I renamed my blog "friends and lovers" but these days I've been thinking more about family, the people who are familiar to hold, the communities we create.

I've also been wondering about sex and intimacy, what it means to me, what I like, what I am open to trying. I don't mean sexual acts, but sexual connections with people.

Djuna's here visiting me. We just got back from a ten-day camping trip, which Ocean also came along for. Things with her are physically fraught, and it seems to stem from a language(?) disconnect. I don't know I don't know... I like her as a person, but I feel we're somehow in the wrong shape to flourish as a relationship. There's something going on in terms of mismatched expectations, I think? Not sure. I wish I knew what breaking up was, in this context. I get the feeling it would release something.

Anyway, she's here for three more days and we're now going to have some decent time just the two of us, so we'll see.

I feel like fucking would help us connect, and make sense of how we relate (maybe) or ease... the communication. Yeah. It would ease things. But I'm retiscent about going there. I don't feel in the mood. I'm not sure if I want to use the love drug with her. Why? I have no idea. How does this shit work?


In my other nebulous relationship (with Lobe) - I made a spontaneous trip up to see him, before camping. I really didn't want to take the stress of that with me on holiday. Seeing him, holding him, and talking helped a lot. Trying to resolve where we stood with each other long distance, long distance, was a bit crazy. To summarise: He doesn't like the thought of missing me, doesn't want to become unhappy. He'd take the sex without the intimacy/desire to grow together if he could. I'm not sure I want that. Also, I think he'd rather have both if we could make it work. But he's not sure if it will work and he's not sure how much he's willing to try. We're going to "see how it goes"... *grin*

I don't think I could do long-distance without any forseeable end. I want to live with Lobe, make house with him. It's impractical, but... I'd like to aim for it if we can? If we both want it?

I feel I'm ready to bed down and make a neighbourhood garden.


One more bit of travel - with Ocean, to the city we grew up in. Then back here, starting my new job. The next phase.

Funny side story - Djuna, Grotto and I went to a gig (before camping), and Plinth joined us there. Djuna and Plinth hit it off pretty well, and the three of them ended up rolling back to Grotto's. At the time I was a bit caught up in the headspace of sorting shit out with Lobe. Also, things were already kind of weird between Djuna and me, in terms of touch and expectations, and I didn't feel like joining in. But I was very very happy that they had fun - felt it took the pressure off me too! Was also nice to feel dispensable, instead of being a crucial hub. I took my leave of them, and headed back home, gave Ocean a cuddle, and then made the spontaneous decision to fly up to see Lobe the first flight of the morning.

I like the idea of everyone doing what they want to / need to do.


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nycindie - That's a grand compliment! Thanks. Life has been good to me, I think, but I've also been unafraid to grab it.

Grotto and I are making a belated birthday surprise for Plinth today. An elaborate fancy dinner, with a bit of theatrics. The two of us will do the cooking, and Ocean will be a dinner guest. I'm excited! Lots to be done in prep. Yay for not working on Fridays.

Lobe is overseas for a family occasion. Gets back to the country in a few days, then I see him next weekend (I'm flying up).

Much more I could write, but I've got chores! FUN

If I get around to assembling the costume I'm thinking of, it could be a very naughty night indeed. Ok, to be honest, it's going to be naughty by the end anyway, given the personnel (Grotto, Plinth...)

Ocean said that he'll slip away if (if! ha) things get too mischievous. I clarified with him that he wouldn't be annoyed by this. He said, no, he thinks dinner will be fun and he'll hang around for as long as he feels like. It's great that I can take him at face value.


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"Baby steps" :)

A long while back, I'd been discussing with Ocean and Grotto the idea of blogging our stories together on here. As part of that conversation, we floated the idea of what we'd call the blog. "Baby steps" was one suggestion, as it had been a bit of a refrain at the start of the experiment. Take it slowly, see what comes, don't fret about the leg jitters, see if we can walk eventually, eventually run...

Ocean said the only problem with that title is it sounds like it's about our journey to having kids together (which it wasn't, at least not specifically at that point).

Funny thing is, babies are definitely a theme at the moment.

I know it's something that will change your life. It's one of the most foolish things you could do, right?

And yet, I'm open. Deal me in.


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I know it's something that will change your life. It's one of the most foolish things you could do, right?

Life changing, yes. Foolish, no. Just recognize that a lot of it may be really challenging. I was going to say "be prepared" but I'm not sure that's actually possible.

Having kids prompted a lot of changes in my life and in me. There've been plenty of rocky spots along the road, but I've never regretted the choice.

How exciting for you that it's feeling like a positive option!


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Thanks for sharing your perspective, wildflower. I haven't connected with many people on this forum who have decided to open up their lives to raising children, so it's really good to hear from you.

No doubt I'll be sharing that storyline on here as time goes on :)

One somewhat unrelated thing on my mind at the moment is not exactly new, and I've shared aspects of it from time to time on this blog. But, ah, that's a refrain for you. It keeps coming back.

Ocean has no sexual libido at the moment. Like, zero. We were shifting things in the house around (since I've moved back in) and he said "shouldn't we put the condoms somewhere near the bed?" and my first thought was "really? why? Not like we're going to use them." It's not an angry attitude on my part. Just, aware of the reality. I've (mostly) made peace with it.

Ocean is comfortable in not wanting to be sexual. The thought of sex bores him. He's happy that I have other people I can be sexual with, so I don't bother him. All good, right?

The tricky aspect for me is the fact that he's admitted that it is possible that he'd feel pressure to make more of an effort to be sexual with me, if I did not have other sexual partners. Not that this pressure is a good thing. Maybe it's simply good, without qualifications, that we don't have this twisted sex life where he feels obliged to behave sexually with me because we are sexually monogamous. I'd like to believe that is true. And I almost am convinced of it. But part of me is not sure!

I really miss sex with Ocean. I miss sex with him. He knows this, but he feels like it's not that big a problem. Cos we're close (very close) in other ways. And he's correct, I don't feel a lack of love or intimacy or closeness. But I do feel a niggle. Quite possibly it's something I need to get rid of within myself (the niggle). I mean, much as I'd love if he would prioritise the sexual aspect of our relationship, I do need to understand it's his right not to. And at this stage, it's not something I need, though it is something that I want.

On the other hand, I fear that me establishing a status quo where I have sex with other people, and not Ocean, will mean that he has no impetus for changing. And maybe I will become fully comfortable with this situation... which would possibly mean a continuing non-sexual relationship.

Which begs the question: why is it a problem? Why is not having sex really a problem?


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Arrived to visit Lobe last night. Gonna be here for three more nights. His brother is here too, and Lobe and I were, hrmm, trying to be quiet but I'm sure we failed spectacularly.

Me: "Is your brother a light sleeper?"
Lobe: "I sure hope so."

In my experience with long distance, there's often this disconnect when you meet again after being physically apart. You have lost familiarity with the physical experience of them. You know the voice and the thoughts and the mind and the desire but who the fuck is this person? Do I know your skin? Are you inside here, really?

Sometimes takes a bit of nuzzling to coax that mood away. As if I need time to land my body into his, to taxi off the runway... until, shit, yeah, I know you now. There we go. It's you. We're here.

Over the last few weeks, Lobe and I have talked a lot. Been rough emotions in patches, but we've interspersed the serious shit with light hearted chat and playfulness. I wouldn't say we've sorted things out, totally, but we're trying. Lobe said he still doesn't think long distance works for him, but he's making an exception for me. Our mutual attraction is something magic. I wish I could express... mmm... imagine a fistful of sparklers, and them all igniting at once, that first moment when they start to go off, the surge of energy, exactly that.

Grotto keeps teasing me about NRE. He's... ah... he's had a lot of processing to do around this, various emotions. I definitely need to make sure I take care of him. Keep it gentle, keep holding him.

Work in progress.


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I've been noticing how much anxiety I have about my fluctuating sexual desire towards particular people. Especially lovers (? not sure about the terminology here) that I rarely make time with.

When we do spend time, I worry that they have an expectation that we'll have sex, though I won't necessarily want that. I don't know how to shake this feeling.

What I'd like, when we have time together, is for the time to be free-form, for us to be together, do things together, talk, whatever. Not necessarily sex. Even if we only have rare dates together, I still don't want sex to be expected... or even necessarily hoped for (unless we've talked about it beforehand.)

I sense that sex drives are often mismatched. When I meet someone, who would be keen to have sex with me, but I don't feel like it, though I've had sex with them before, I have to fight against feeling bad about this. It's like I panic that I've created an expectation by my previous behaviour.

Sometimes I'm really horny, and I understand what it's like... to want sex. But generally, even if I'm really horny, I'd rather have sex by myself, or with someone I have no dissonance with. There are very few people I have felt perfectly at ease with, sexually. Who I've never not wanted sex with, when I'm keen on sex in general.

For others, my desire comes and goes.

I wonder, for those people, if it is simpler (because of my paranoia) to circumscribe a non-sexual relationship?

Or can I trust that they don't assume: just because we've connected sexually in the past, we will again in the future?


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My desire for Lobe is insane. I'm pretty much obsessed. I crave his touch, I miss his face, I want to talk with him all the time. Well, shit, I guess this is the fabled NRE.

I've been seeing him quite a bit, considering we don't live in the same city anymore. Last weekend he came to meet me in a different city (I was there for a friend's concert). Ah. So good. When we fuck, the world ends. I wanna hold hands and travel the world together.

How does this work?

Ocean's really mellow about it all. His concern seems to be with me. He keeps checking in on me that I'm getting enough solitude, that I'm not burning out.

Grotto, on the other hand, is struggling. He's having to process a lot, and he's very tender about things. We've had a rough few weeks. Triggering each other like mad. Seem to be coming through the worst of it now, though not sure.

I need to be more gentle with him.