So far, so good!

Ella's in Europe doing some field work for her post-grad thesis.

Carob's in our home city (in New Zealand), working on his own projects, still hating his job there, waiting for the final interview with the opening in our new city (he's at the HR stage of things, soft skillz)

Sago's in our new city (Australia), seems to be enjoying the temporary bachelor's lifestyle! Received a few e-mails from him that he's living it up :) Good for him.

As for me, well! I'm in the States at my friend's place in Boston, about to drive cross-country with her. Hope we make it! She managed to get a Burning Man ticket for me, and we're planning to reach the west coast just in time for the burn. Will be an epic way to end the trip. Hoping to catch up with Heart there (who I met via this forum). Although I have a few more family and friends round the States, not sure I'll have time to meet them. Just seeing one girl in Georgia who I've been internet friends with for over a decade (I think)... Quite excited about finally meet her in person.

Guess this update isn't really about my relationships, apart from... Sago's helped me out a lot with being able to afford this holiday. Meant that I could do it before I got back into work properly, even though haven't been able to save nearly enough for it. So so grateful.

Carob and I talking finances a wee bit. Maybe at some point we'll manage to co-ordinate between the three of us.

Really not at that stage with Ella, though very much into the sharing resources thing. For example, borrowing her car while I was visiting meant that I was able to go out of town with Carob, and get heaps more things done.

Mm, I'm making my relationships sound a bit too functional (as in, serving a function) but what I really mean is that they're functional (in the sense of, working well!)

I might not be writing much for the next couple of months as I travel.
Not sure how many people really follow this blog, anyway... Well. I'm fairly relaxed about the idea that no one is reading! It's really good on a personal level for me to chronicle in this way. And just a bonus that it may from time to time trigger a response. That said, thanks for reading, if you are. And enjoy your winter / summer.

I haven't had the time/energy to write here much lately, but so glad to hear your good news! :)
Thanks, rory. More good news - Carob got the job! So, returning after this holiday to both boys in the same city... What a treat. My adventures continue. Having a good time. Had a frustrating conversation yesterday trying to explain to my travelling companion how my relationships work. She kept saying "I just can't get my head around it."

I was so happy to hear the news about C's job, and she wasn't really understanding how this was a good thing.

Ah well, different strokes. I'm blissful. Hitting the road again soon.
Back on land! Driving through the US was amazing. Got the chance to go to Burning Man, which was a fun experience. Spent a lot of time exploring by myself. Wasn't into hooking up with anyone, just wandering around really. Met someone in person who I'd connected with on this forum, which was nice. After that, sailing, and... well... it was quite intense. Glad I did it though. Learnt a lot. Very sea sick unfortunately so took a while to recouperate.

Got back to my home city a few days ago. Ella disappointed that I don't feel like spending heaps of time with her. To be honest, needed down-time to process the travels and lock in my focus for the next wee while. I find myself wanting to prioritise my own projects over growing a new relationship with someone else.

Not sure if it's indicating a lack of passion about her specifically, or my mood in general. I've not really had anything like NRE with her. Maybe because of how it started (her being Carob's girlfriend first, me being fairly busy). I can't think of anything about her in particular that makes me ho-hum. I like her, and we have good sex, she's smart and challenges me, but right now I'm not driven (or not letting myself be driven) towards intimacy with her. I'm being guarded, maybe. Or... jealous of my own time. Or perhaps not open right now to being carried away by someone new... though, hey, it could happen.

Had a chat with Ella about this the other day, as I haven't felt like staying over at her place at all. I said I don't feel very drawn to being sexual with her, that I'm too restless with getting my own shit done. I acknowledged that this was an awful thing to say, and that I wish it wasn't so, and that it wasn't really fair on her. But she took it well. She was disappointed but pragmatic. Guess we'll see how we go.

I'm back to our new city next week on Thursday! YAY! Carob headed over there a few weeks ago for his new job. He's loving it. Phew.

He and Sago met up for a beers, and on another occasion were both at a mutual friend's birthday party. Funny to think of them being in the same place together without me. Looking forward to a bit of "normalcy" with no LDR! Woo! (Can't really let Ella factor in to the no-LDR celebration, unfortunately... Ah. I'm craving relative simplicity. Must suck for her, I guess, but it's how it is. I'm being as honest as I can with her, and giving what I can give.)

Skyped with Carob yesterday and Sago this morning - luxury! High speed internet! So good to see their faces.

Carob mentioned a suggestion by one of his friends, Rick, for us to go on a camping trip. Rick, and his girlfriend Kim are mostly Carob's friends, who I hang out with these days cos of C. Sago knows them through C as well. They live in our new city, and we (S + I) have caught up with them now and then, not too much. In the same circle of friends is Ayla and Patch. (Patch I have a crush on, but is a no go cos of friend dynamics. Ayla is currently half living in Sago's & my place, and half staying with Patch.) Patch, Carob and Rick are old friends. Carob is currently sharing a flat with Patch. This is to paint a perhaps unnecessarily thick background to this snippet of conversation...

Carob: Rick was saying we should all go on a camping trip
Me: Oh yeah, cool. Camping's fun
C: Yeah. Rick and Kim, Patch and Ayla too
Me: Oh. (thinks) So, the six of us?
C: Yeah, like a couples thing
Me: Would Sago be invited?
C: Awww... can't it just be the two of us? (in a tone that implied "... for once")
Me: Yah, yah, of course it could be, let's talk about it when I'm there.

Ah. I get Carob's desire to hang out with his mates (Rick and Patch) and their dates du jour... but it's not so simple. Yes, Ayla and C are old friends, but Sago and I know her independently quite well. (To give an example, Ayla came to our wedding.) I haven't been camping in our new city with Sago yet and we've been meaning to. Basically, if we were going on a trip out somewhere fun, Sago would probably enjoy it too... and he knows enough of the crew well enough as friends (esp Ayla, who has been living based at our place for the last few months) for it to feel kind of weird for him not to be invited.

At least, I find it weird. Like, he'd be left out.

On the other hand, the logistics of hanging out in a three-person thing (esp with V dynamics rather than a triad) if it's a couple-y vibe could be equally weird. Hmm.

Not angsting about it, just something to discuss. The co-ordination begins!
Jealous girl here. Burnin Man is still on my to-do list. Just need to get the money together one year (both Primal and I have wanted to go for years).
rory - thanks, it's good to be back! Travels were wonderful, but coming home is even better

Cattiva - Jealousy?!?! :O Heh, jokes. Really hope you and Primal can make it sometime.

Well, here I am. Another airport, another departure lounge coffee. Heading back to our new city. This feels right.

Things with Ella are rather fraught. After being on the road for five weeks and sailing for three, I was in a quite different headspace to her. Basically, I was disinclined to rush into a full-on romance. It seemed like that would be a kind of losing of myself that I wasn't ready for right now. Hard to explain. Also hard to diagnose whether this is my (temporary?) mood in general, towards new relationships, or whether it's Ella-specific.

This attitude really sucked, in terms of timing. I wasn't in town for very long, and I have no specific return date (though she happens to be visiting our new city over Christmas/New Year. Not sure if we'll be there, we haven't discussed holiday plans).

Anyway, stayed over at Ella's place last night. We talked a fair bit, nobbly, stunted, hobbling conversation. Seems we have different expectations about romantic relationships. She didn't get how Sago could be okay with me going away for 2 1/2 months. Didn't get how I was even considering going to dance class this evening (after I get back to our new city) when I haven't seen him for so long. I understood where she was coming from... I suppose it remains to be seen what can be reconciled.

I was awake next to her for hours, gerbilian thoughts running the wheels of my mind.

Just caught up really briefly with Sago (changing names on this blog soon, need a fresh start). He's been through a lot since I've been away. He was saying we have a lot to catch up on in person but yeah... wasn't prepared for the extent of the news.

Firstly, he had a very bad patch of depression while I was away, and he's on meds now and feeling really happy for the first time in ages. Possibly years. Not sure, perception gets skewed, but for quite some time he's been muted overall in terms of his mood. Previous meds have had side-effects he hated (which is why he stopped them) so I'm really happy he's found something that suits him.

Second... he's started seeing one of his colleagues! She's married and her husband is all fine with it. I'm friends with both of them too, and they are very lovely people though I don't share all their views. She is quite gorgeous, yeah. Beautiful. Ah. My first reaction was - utter happiness. For him, for her, for everyone. Second reaction was the news trickling through the dark maze of my own insecurities. A bit of body image stuff, but nothing too bad. This is going to be interesting.

Apparently Sago has told Carob but no one else knows apart from Sago's best friend, and Ayla (who walked in on them yesterday). Seems they don't want to be out at the moment, esp as there's a work dynamic.

I'm kind of deliriously happy, and a teeny bit apprehensive.

I love him so much.

The two of us are catching up with Carob after work today for dinner/beers.

Unfortunately we don't have the full ability to laze about and freely catch up on things, as Sago and I aren't home alone at the moment. A friend came into town last night and is staying with us (Ayla's ex, actually. Ah. Fun times) But Sago's taken the day off work and it seems we may have the house to ourselves in the next hour or so. Yay
Oh, it's been a beautiful couple of days since I've been back. One issue caused a knot, but have been working that one out. All in all, spectacular rainbows.

Thursday eve, after cuddles and talking and a bit of fucking about in bed, Sago and I headed out to meet Carob for dinner at a cheap Asian eatery. S spotted Carob first, standing near a lamppost across the road. I ran up behind him, and casual as ever, he said "hey, bub". Fuck, he's gorgeous. Touching his arms, I was electrified... a sweet Grease moment.

We ordered too much food, it was all delicious, though the tastiest part was touching hands and feet through the meal. I felt like a creeping vine intertwined with them both. The conversation was easy. Sago and Carob had met up a few times without me, and their grown comradery was evident. Also, S being in a much better place, and in a new relationship, made for a particular ebullience on his part. Frankly, he's glowing.

The one weird bit was created by me... Carob mentioned "so how are things with Ella" and my heart slumped. Things are tricky with her (I've since written her a lengthy e-mail which she said cleared a lot of things up) but it's been making it even harder to have C involved. Sago asked C: "oh so you still keep in touch with Ella" and C replied (with a sweet, almost crushing-on-Ella, face) "well I feel quite fondly towards her"

Carob has been feeling for Ella, since she's been feeling bad. I've been feeling bad for making E feel bad, but doubly bad through guilt raised up by Carob's concern about the situation. Anyways, I initially said to C at dinner "can we talk about Ella later" but then... it kept turning around in my head so I tried to talk about it, and failed... Both the boys were saying "come on, just spit it out, whatever is on your mind." but in the end I apologised for bringing up something that I didn't want to talk more about. The conversation went on from there to other things, but I felt lame.

Walking home with Sago, he asked me if I wanted to talk about what was bothering me. Eventually I cracked my mind open and there was a gush of monologue. He listened, injected some sanity, held me, ah. So good.

Last night, Sago and I invited Carob around to our place for dinner. I was cooking. Food prep was progressing well til C turned up and we got a tad distracted... Fortunately Sago came home soon afterwards, which enabled me to focus on culinary-related kitchen activities. After eating together, I went back to Carob's place. Brief hellos to Ayla and Patch (I've resolved to project platonic vibes to them from now) but no time for long chats as we had a date with his airbed.

Managed to not pop airbed.

This morning, Carob and I met Sago at a cafe for brunch. Ordered three meals and shared them all. I was melting with happiness. Afterwards, we went to the local market and... shopped together. I pointed to a fennel bulb and said "hey Carob, we should try cooking with this sometime." Sago chimed in that his new girlfriend makes a salad with sliced fennel root and orange. I remember seeing a pile of oranges at C's place. We buy fennel and I put it in Carob's bag. Sago and I buy purple carrots, green beans and radishes for salads we're making right now (he's in the kitchen. My turn soon)

Why are we making salads?

Cos we've been invited to share dinner and watch a movie at Sago's girlfriend's house. With her and her husband.

Sweet Lord, I'm beamish.

Hanging out with Carob, every now and then I'd make a joyful squirmy squee noise. "What's up?" C would ask. "Ah, just... the usual. Thinking of how happy I am for Sago." "Compersion, eh" he teased me, once. Yup. Fair diagnosis.

Better sort out my salad cos Sago just gave me a taste of his (chickpea, green beans, cilantro, tamarind) and it's delcious. Fuck. I'm doing soba noodles, king oyster mushrooms, sunflower seeds, radish... Leaving in 30 minutes. Fingers crossed.
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I want to start this story over, with more intentionality. Like I do with many things, I dove into this blog without too much thought of how I would proceed. Since reading other people's narratives, and thinking more about what I want from my own blog, I'd like to make a fresh beginning. I'm going to see how it goes, here, and possibly move it to a new blog at some stage.

One change that I need to 'announce' is new names for Sago and Carob. They will now be Ocean and Grotto respectively. Apologies for any confusion. Hopefully it will be worth it in the long-run.

On the topic of new names, I need one for Ocean's girl, and I'm going with Menrva. Also Bert, for her husband.

I chatted last night with Ocean about him blogging on here. In the past, he's been supportive of poly as a concept but not been seeking out poly-related communing. Now and then, he's gone along with me to poly things, but he hasn't been independently keen. While he's understood the theoretical value of sharing poly perspectives more widely, to help each other navigate these unchartered territories, there haven't been many occasions for him to experience this himself.

Recently, though, he's been supporting Menrva and Bert a bit with poly stuff. They've had an open, DADT relationship so far, but there have been issues. One of the main issues was not having discussed boundaries properly. When Menrva developed feelings for Ocean, she wasn't sure if this was breaking the rules of their (her and Bert's) DADT arrangement or not. This meant she had to breach the DADT to clarify what the open relationship rules actually were.

Luckily, Bert was okay with the growing emotional attachment between her and Ocean. At the moment, Ocean & Menrva's boundaries are: no sleepovers (though they're allowed to have daytime or evening trysts in each other's houses) and no PDA in front of Bert. Both Ocean & Menrva would prefer those boundaries to shift to something more relaxed (especially the sleepover one) but are respecting Bert's pace.

My first dinner with the in-laws (as I'm jokingly calling Menrva+Bert) went well the other night. Both Ocean's and my salads were good. Menrva made a pasta dish, which I'm eating leftovers of now for lunch. Noms. Apparently vibes were a bit awkward for Menrva at dinner, though. Nothing specific was a trigger, just the situation itself brought up emotions she did not expect to feel. Ocean and her are colleagues, so hopefully they can steal some time at work today to chat and unwind ;)

I'm doing okay with the Menrva thing. There've been a few wobbles, but nothing serious. I want lots of hanging out with Ocean, though. Holding, talking and touching. I'm glad he waited til I got back from holiday to tell me about it.

Art playdate at Freya's tomorrow (a friend). Her flatmate is Clay, a guy who I have a casual thing with. May end up sleeping over there. Cough cough. Or going round to Grotto's place (Grotto = artist formerly known as Carob). If I don't see G tomorrow, then will sleep over the day after.

Home with Ocean tonight.

Ah. Will need to sort scheduling soon. If we pencil in some defaults, then confirm it week-by-week, it will probably work out okay.

Things aren't too tricky yet as Menrva can't sleep over at the moment. I may have to make myself scarce from our house if they want to come here sometimes during 'waking hours', though. Awww. Makes me beam to think of them enjoying each other. Boy, is Ocean smitten. He's washing his hair every day cos she likes it fluffy. He did press-ups this morning (never seen that before). And he said he wants to go op-shopping with me to extend his wardrobe (!?) So many things to tease him about. Some may be unrelated to the new relationship, but it's fun to harrass him anyway :)

Ok. I'm gonna do more job seeking, go for a swim, finish making birthday present for Freya (friend who I'm visiting tomorrow) and toast muesli.
I did it to myself yesterday, but got out of it in the end.

Ocean had organised for a mutual friend of ours to drop by after work. I didn't know what time she was coming around. It was a vague "sometime in the evening."

Before Ocean left for work, I told him not to worry about hurrying home to me. I know that he's juggling work and sneaking time with his new girl during work hours at the moment. (His work is flexible so this is okay, just might mean he has to stay at work later to get things done)

By afternoon, I was pining for Grotto. Hah. Funny how quickly appetites get whet. I don't see him for over two months, and cope okay, but now after just a day I'm feeling withdrawals. I send him a message to this effect. While I'm swimming, he replies to ask - wanna after work beer?

I get out of the pool just after 5pm. I wonder if I should txt or ring Grotto. I decide to text, and leave it a bit more up to chance whether we get in touch or not. I'm not sure what time I'm meant to be home. If I catch up with G, things could get too late... I need to get home before our friend gets there, yada yada.

Anyways, I drag my feet a bit, sort out a few things near the pool, but don't hear back from Grotto. So I walk slowly homewards... still in two minds. Should I ring him? Or wait and see if he gets back to me? I want to see him. But, there's no clarity about what time I'm expected home. Meh. I head home.

About 10 mins after I get home, Grotto rings me. He didn't get my earlier text. Turns out he is drinking with work friends at a bar really close to where I was swimming. He was there when I got out of the pool, and I would have walked right past. Damn. For some reason, just missing each other made me super antsy.

So now I'm restless, at home, waiting for Ocean to get back. In the morning, I'd told him I didn't mind when he got home... so I don't want to ring and bother him in case he's in the middle of something with Menrva (not that he'd pick up anyway, hopefully). I'm really wishing we'd been clearer about plans.

About an hour later, Ocean still not home. Is around 8pm now. Grotto rings me, his voice slick with craft beers and whiskey - "come out come out" he says "I love you". I tell him I'm waiting for O to get home, and our friend.

Anyways anyways, Ocean eventually gets home. (In the meantime, I've released my tension into a slightly emo song. PM me if you wanna hear it!) About half an hour after he gets back, our friend arrives. We have a cuppa tea and chat, but I'm wriggly, I wanna go out, missing Grotto. After our friend leaves, it's late but I can't stay in. Feels like I have unfinished business elsewhere. The plan was to stay at home with Ocean last night, but I needed out... Said this to O, and he was fine with it. Told me to go hang with Grotto. Yay.

Twas nearly midnight by the time I made it to Grotto's. He was snoozing on the couch, his soft face like a sunbeam sleeping. I love him so much. We went to bed, and eventually popped the air mattress (whoops). Well, it was bound to happen. Pre-work breakfast this morning, now home.

Didn't make it back before Ocean left for work, but I'm going to tidy up a bit and finish cooking a few things before I head out again. May be home late. Going to my friend Freya's. She lives with Clay, the guy I've hooked up with a few times in the past. I don't really want to stay the night there, but I tend to lose track of the time and miss the last tram. I'll do my best to stay focused this time. Or, if I do stay over, will get an early tram back so I can meet Ocean back home in the morning.

I'm so glad there are so many times of the day to do things :) A saving grace.
It's hard to stay open, sometimes. Easier to weave a cocoon about yourself, easier to hibernate, easier to leave the house with a rucksack and walk into the mountains. I'm okay, alone. I really am.

This desire for solitude is often healthy. When I'm touching base, taking time out that I need.

Other times, I feel like I'm escaping something. Hardening my heart. I felt this now and then with Grotto (Carob) and Ella, when they first started going out. Feeling this a bit with Ocean (Sago) and Menrva at the moment.

Yes, I'm happy for them. It's excellent to see him in love, and enjoying exploring this new relationship.

Makes me want to retreat, though. Seek my own company, and not risk the emotion vulnerability their relationship entails for me. This inclination to avoidance is not a good thing, and I challenge myself on it. But... ah. I like spending time with me! It's complex enough relating with myself, let alone other people :p

Is it possible to be a polyamorous hermit? Heh
What does it feel like for tortoises, inside their shells? Do they open their eyes and hang out by themselves, or do they mostly just retreat to sleep?

Job hunting in a big city is a learning experience. Reminds me a bit of flat hunting. I'm changing my expectations... Seems it's the norm for people not to get back to you unless they want you. Silence = rejection. Feels like a double rejection, not even worth responding to. Thankfully we're not too hungry yet. Can get by on Ocean's salary for the next few months.

I'm missing the easy job situation for me in our home city. I'd been in the same job for over six years (in fact, they are still keeping a place open for me, at the moment) and it's tempting to roll back to my old comforts.

I have to keep reminding myself that our plan at the moment is to be flexible, keep options open, see what takes.

In the meantime, make the most of this time off work.

Staying focused, huh.

Relationship land is a bit tumultuous at the moment. One thing I really need is to tease out some emotions with Ocean. Been finding a few things triggering, and in lieu of having made the time to discuss, I've been taking space. Have a lunch date with him after my dance class this morning. The fact I'm not looking forward to it probably means we've left it too long.

Last night was a major bleh on that front. Building tension resulted in me having to escape a social situation that I really wanted to enjoy. The tension has been growing since Wednesday. Well, probably before that, but my mood was fucked up by Wed morning, and we've had a series of increasingly awkward moments since then. Saturday now. Yeah, definitely waited too long.

Met up with Grotto last night, just needed to unwind. He's a bit concerned about me, said I need to talk to someone. He said something that was quite insightful: that I don't talk that much about the workings inside my head when I'm trying to nut things out. I tend to speak when I know what I feel, or what I want to say. Sometimes, when there's a lot on my mind, I go quiet for ages. Days. It seems to bother people who are close to me, who notice. I don't think that's a problem, as such, until... well... until it is :p

Anyway, dance time! I've been avoiding going for a shower because I have to walk past where Ocean is sleeping. How lame, to be avoiding things so much. And now I'm late... whoops
Talking with Ocean was excellent, and healing. We met up for lunch, walked through the park, then sat with limbs entwined on a bench and drew a joint picture of the river. I shared the sack of issues in my mind, and he talked about how we was doing. Had coffee and cake afterwards, then parted ways for the evening.

When I got home, Ocean was feeling quite down. Seems his meds may need changing again (gah). He's really tired of dealing with depression. It's as if the clouds went away for a tantalisingly brief time, and now it's grey again. Hoping he'll get an appointment with his doctor early this week.

I find it hard to take it personally, when O is depressed. I felt like maybe he's feeling shit because I'm back, and causing problems for him. It's hard not to think this way, when there's a contemporaneity between me coming home, and him feeling depressed again (after getting better while I was away). But that's a dangerous cycle to buy into. He feels it's chemical, and is going to see if pill change helps. Bleh, poor thing.

I'm not always upbeat about him and Menrva, and I'm not sure why. Her and her husband recently got two rabbits, and are thinking of what to name them, something that matches. Ocean mentioned this to me, and instead of thinking "oooh, what are some names", I felt disinterested.

I don't think it's a good thing to fake interest. I just wish it was... there.

I like them well enough (Menrva and her husband), and I wish them well... They're also very nice, friendly, social, etc etc. Menrva sent cake and chocolates back home with Ocean recently to share with me, for example. So I want to be open and welcoming towards them. Going round to see a movie tonight, and have e-mailed Menrva about catching up for a coffee sometime.

What I feel about Menrva may be similar to what Ocean felt about Grotto, when we first got together. Nothing against him, but not drawn to being friends.

It might be some inherent 'metamour' tension. Or some harshness/stubborness coming to the surface? Not sure.

I think if Ocean and I get enough time and connection together, I'll feel better towards Menrva. Also, if I'm in a good space with things that I'm doing.
Movie date with Menrva and her husband Bert went well yesterday. Had pizza and chilled at their place with their new rabbits. Rabbits very cute. Ocean and Bert went off to get beers and pizza and Menrva and I hung back playing with the fluffballs. Afterwards, Ocean asked me "so... what did you and Menrva talk about when we were away?" Really? Nothing about you, darling :)

So many things are reminiscent of how it was, in the reverse, when I started seeing Grotto.

This afternoon I caught up with Menrva for coffee (ended up being frozen yoghurt... mine with fresh strawberries, melon and lychee, yummm). Sitting down at the yoghurt place, we talked this and that. Afterwards, she assumed I'd be heading back to see Ocean at work (I hadn't planned to) but I ended up walking back with her anyways. She popped the question "so... how are you finding this?" I had to think awhile before answering.

I initially said "well. In general, I'm happy when other people are happy. So if you both are happy, then I'm good." She looked quite dissatisfied with that, and I quickly added - "of course, that's not the whole story." But, what was the whole story? I started talking about my own headspace at the moment, feeling restless and figuring things out. This is making me have variable moods, and not always being in the most resilient mind-set for dealing with shakes or surprises. In conclusion - the times when things aren't feeling okay is generally directly connected to my personal weather rather than anything specific about her.

Later, she spoke in terms identical to how Ocean and I spoke, way-back-when... She called this an experiment, and an experiment that fails if anyone is not feeling happy. For quite a while, Ocean, Grotto and I talked in those terms about our 'poly' experiment. This is a common experience, I think. Anyway, we tumbled into it and felt we were trying it out... seeing if it worked... unsure of things...

I don't feel like we're experimenting anymore with Grotto. As in, this isn't some trial period. It's working, and we want it to work out.

In early stages of relationships, when you're getting to know everyone involved, it makes a lot of sense to frame what's happening in 'experiment' language. In some ways, the experiment never ends - of course. But I feel a shift happens once you get more clarity of what you want, and what it will take to achieve it.

I'm glad to have spent time with Menrva. She wrote me and said she'd be keen to hang out some more, not because I'm Ocean's other partner, but because she likes me independently as a person. From my perspective, getting to know and like Menrva helps me feel good about the group dynamics. I'm not particularly drawn to her as a friendship I want to grow per se (compared with anyone else I meet) but it's a relationship worthwhile prioritising - to a point - for the sake of good vibes all round. And spending time with people I wouldn't usually spend time with is always good learning, if I have the right attitude about it, and it fits in with whatever else I'm doing.
My lover, the ocean

I met Ocean early 2006, through similar political circles at university. At the time, I thought it unlikely that I would have a positive sexual experience with a guy, and was not looking to date men. But my heart was snagged by the thrill of conversing with him and I fell in love, fast. An inebriating combination of a heart full of care for the world and a head full of smarts.

One of our early conversations was about non-monogamy. I'd come to realise I didn't need monogamy in relationships. The idea of a partner of mine being with someone else brings a smile to my face (assuming the liaison is a positive one for them) rather than triggers twinges of jealousy.

For his part, he'd thought of love as an expansive thing, one that could well encompass practises beyond monogamy. He shared a poem by a famous Bengali poet, Rabindranath Tagor - "Free Love".

It wasn't long before we were shirking our respective study schedules for lazy afternoons in bed. The love was luscious; it had a divinity to it which has only grown over the years (despite long periods of us being more sensual than sexual with each other). We played with gender and power dynamics. We talked and talked. We travelled, shared community activities, made chai at a peace rally. Walking arm and arm with Ocean, unravelling our thoughts together, is one of the most sustaining things in my life.

After a year or two, we felt sure we wanted to live our lives together. We didn't need a ceremony to prove our commitment to each other, but knew that my parents and his (especially mine) would be more comfortable if we were officially hitched. So in late 2009 we got civilly unioned, and early 2010 we threw a wedding party as we reckoned we may as well celebrate :)

Breaking up is not an option for us, we have decided to avoid that way of thinking. Of course, bizarre things could happen to change this (you always never know, with life) but we're serious about making it work as a couple. We've chosen each other and are still so in love (possibly naively, hah)

I went out for breakfast with him this morning and asked him how it felt having two relationships for the first time (he's been seeing Menrva, his girlfriend, since the start of this month). He smiled and said "it's good". I adore seeing him so happy.

We sipped coffees, played footsie under the table and made eyes at each other. The perfect way to start the day.

He's rough, he's gentle, he's careless, he's caring. My body quickens when he touches me on purpose. We milk words from each other. Sometimes I'm his whisky. We've been together since mid-2009 and our relationship has developed from its genesis as a rather dangerous experiment that we were unable to reign ourselves in from to... well... now we're at the serious end, I guess. Things are settled. The final frontiers on the poly-side are: coming out to my parents, sharing living/financial arrangements, kids? Not necessarily places we have to go, but we're floating the questions.

For now, it's enough to be in the same city as each other. I stay over at his apartment a couple of times a week, and tend to see him at some point nearly every day. There's no special effort involved. We want to see each other, and we make the time.
rory - thanks :)

Ocean's out having a beer with the in-laws (his girlfriend Menrva and her husband Bert). Grotto and I were invited but I decided to stay home instead. Nice to have the house to myself. Have had my father visiting over the weekend and much as I love him, I need a bit of recouperation.

Not just that, though. The five of us caught up around this time last week. Was the first time we'd been together, just us, our current ecosystem. Was pleasant enough. But... I found the elephant in the room really odd.

As Ocean and I walked Grotto home after we'd had drinks with Menrva & Bert, I ranted a wee bit. I wasn't angry, but I was pent up.

Yeah. Okay.

I don't understand Menrva & Bert's DADT arrangement, and while I respect it... it kind of frustrates me.

When we meet up, it's not like I desperately want to discuss with Bert the fact that Ocean is fucking his wife but for this to be a taboo point is an itch begging to be scratched. I don't get it!

Grotto, Ocean and I sit around a table with Menrva and Bert. The only reason we're meeting up at all is because Grotto's dating Menrva, and everyone would like to be friendly and get to know each other. And sure, we're friendly and getting to know each other but we can't bring up anything relating to Grotto and Menrva being a couple or else something (what?) will break. Everyone knows that everyone knows. But no one can say it out loud. Eh?

That was the gist of my rant. Ocean acknowledged that it was "somewhat odd" (I love the way he puts things), but added that it didn't bother him too much because it was simply respecting Bert's wishes. I totally get that, and it was why I kept off the topic when we were all together. But... yeah. I find those vibes to be really strange. Grotto feels the same way. I guess we're finding it hard to empathise.

Ocean kicked me out of the house for the first time yesterday morning :) To be accurate, he sweetly asked me if I wouldn't mind being out by 9am. I was happy to oblige. It's the first time I've needed to make myself scarce because he had a date. So cute! Sometimes I think I'm more excited about this shit than he is. Gotta watch that :p

Both he and Menrva really want the ability to stay the night with each other but it's a current boundary for Bert. He's away for work next week for two nights and it'll be their first sleep over. I really hope that this is a boundary they are able to negotiate going forward, cos Menrva is struggling a bit with feeling that the relationship is real when it's quite stilted. Ocean mentioned missing day-to-day things like going shopping together.

Ah. He's really fallen for her. I got a little bit scared yesterday when I realised how badly he could crash over this. Romance can be so treacherous
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