A Very Rocky Road

With Thanksgiving’s arrival, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a roof over my head, food on the table and a life partner who truly loves me. Yet, it has certainly been one of the most challenging years of my life and not just because of the obvious pandemic stuff. Yes, that has definitely added to my strife, but it is almost beside the point.

No more rainbows and unicorns

So much of what I have experienced and endured over the past months has been censored from this site because I was afraid to share what I was feeling knowing that metamours and others were privy to my thoughts and feelings. I didn’t want to share these raw, vulnerable  emotions with them, nor permit them to feel superior to me as I admitted my faults. In some ways, I still don’t — my pain and suffering is none of their business and yet I feel compelled to share my story; I want people to know that it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Accordingly, this is a bit of a mashup of unpublished posts and notes from February through November in an attempt to make sense of all that has happened over the past year and how we’ve come to this important juncture in our journey.

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The Risks

When Jeannie and I took the plunge to open our marriage, we were pretty well versed in the risks. This is why we discussed this topic for about four years before finally taking action. I’ve also said since opening up that “getting through the challenges will only make us closer” many, many times. Generally, I’ve been right. Jeannie and I both still feel this way, too.

But what happens when the challenges mount and begin to break down your core trust and security? What happens when your struggles aren’t clear, and things continue to build up before you can make corrections? And what happens if you find yourself doubting, not just being open, but the core relationship with your spouse? Even letting the word divorce sneak into the conversation? 

Whether COVID related or not, this is what has happened and it has resulted in us questioning everything. Read on for the story…

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COVID Confusion

I know we’re all feeling this, but times are weird since The Great Pause. I have some great stories to share, some sexy updates that have been a terrific foil to COVID Times. But in reality, I can’t bring myself to tell these stories. I’ve been trying for a couple of weeks, but the words won’t come.

This is the “COVID Confusion”

The COVID Confusion is when thoughts and feelings are completely misaligned. And, frankly, this is what most days feel like lately. Some are better than others. In fact, some are truly great! But this confusion is terrifying and exhausting. It feels as if I can’t enjoy the good things in life. And sometimes, it numbs the bad things.

I don’t want to be numb. I fear that any numbness used to get through these uncertain times will carry into The After Times and that will not be good. I want to feel, and I want to feel it all. The joy, the pain, the euphoria, the depression. But it is so confusing and I’m not sure how to get through this.

That’s all for now – I just wanted to share this quick thought while noting that there are good things happening, too; they are just masked in all the COVID Confusion.

Confidence & Courting

I enjoy flirting. I enjoy playful conversation and texts. I enjoy when a kiss is just a kiss. My point is that sex isn’t my endgame. If I meet a sexy person who is a potential partner, I relish in the chase; in the playfulness of each discussion and each encounter; in the not knowing where this might be going. By appreciating this person in this way, I’m never disappointed because whether we end up friends or lovers, I feel as though I’ve come out ahead.

This is not new for me, to some extent I’ve always behaved this way. Even when I was younger and sex was definitely meant to be the endgame, I was still happy if I made a new friend along that journey. The difference when I was younger was that I was not at all confident. So you can imagine how most flirtations ended.

There’s a fine line between confident and cocky

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The Power, Pain and Pleasure of Kundalini

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. In this regard, this past fall was a pivotal point in my life, but, at the time, I was unaware of precisely what was going on. In fact, it wasn’t until this past weekend, when I had a profound sexual experience, that I truly came to understand what has been happening for me in my body.

In late September, two important things occurred. First, Viktor told me he was in love with Justina, unintentionally inflicting pain. And, two days later, we had an amazing sex date, unexpectedly bringing me incredible pleasure as I experienced a series of intense, energetic orgasms. Then, in the weeks and months that followed, I proceeded to experience a self-proclaimed roller coaster of emotions (most of which have been discussed on this blog), finding occasional highs and moments of calm, but more frequently feeling depressed and even, at times, suicidal. I was making Viktor crazy and I wasn’t particularly pleased with how I was feeling and acting either. Unfortunately, when these things initially happened, I didn’t realize that they were connected…until now.

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Polyamory and Sadness in Isolation

I was listening to Dan Savage and Tristan Taormino talk about the short term impact of COVID on poly relationships and it was super fucking depressing because they were really emphasizing the point that “poly is on hold” and may be for quite a long time. This was just a too sobering reminder of our reality right now. Not being poly right now isn’t so terrible, it’s all the things we can’t do or be piled onto one other – and this is just another nail in the coffin.

Of all the things I’ve been missing in isolation, it’s Justina that I miss the most. This makes perfect sense – aside from Jeannie (who I’m isolated with right now) Justina is the next most important person to me right now. But there’s more than just rational longing for something I crave at play here and it recently got more complicated for me.

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Polyversary Number 2

With May’s arrival, Viktor and I celebrated our second polyversary with a quiet night at home (of course, it is still a pandemic after all) and a rope scene (our first in months). While it is hard to believe that another full year has passed, I’m not going to lie – this was a tough year.

Last May found me in high spirits ticking off a long list of amazing accomplishments from our first year in an open marriage. I was thrilled with how much our marriage had been strengthened and with how far I had traversed in my sexual awakening, overcoming so much sexual shutdown and shame. Viktor and I were in a fabulous place and we were poised for another great year.

Well, it wasn’t the year that either of us anticipated, that’s for certain. And, although I don’t relish the pain and suffering that I (and we) endured, I am not sure that I would change anything.

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Yoga, BDSM, Mindfulness, and Flow (Oh, My!)

I recently tuned in to a conversation on kink and trauma with Somatic Witch. Kink and mental health is a fascinating topic; and a rabbit hole that I’ve begun to curiously, and cautiously, venture into. When Jeannie and I first took a D/s workshop with Om Rupani he discussed this early in the day. He said that BDSM, done correctly, can help participants work through past trauma – but also cautioned at the dangers within if done incorrectly. We took that workshop many years ago and hadn’t ever thought about this before, but it certainly made sense. Since that time we’ve both experienced this firsthand.

Much is said about subspace which is the altered mental state that a submissive or bottom can enter during a BDSM scene. In the conversation with Somatic Witch she said that one of the reasons a sub can heal previous trauma is because subspace is a space of mindfulness. I was initially a bit confused because I’ve tried to get Jeannie into subspace as a way for her to “get out of her head.” Yet mindfulness, to me, seems like being very much in your mind, or in your head. Yet the more I dug into this, the more sense it made despite the appearance of contradiction.

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What Is Love? What About IN Love?

About six months ago there was a pretty seismic shift in the open/poly lifestyle that Jeannie and I were exploring. This shift focused around what it means to be IN LOVE with someone else. Nuances and semantics around the phrase “in love” became the story of the day. It was often distracting from the true topic(s) at hand, yet we did work through it and we’re truly in a better place about our various relationships these days.

Regardless of being in a better place, Jeannie and I continued struggling over the (VERY) minor issue of terms and definitions. We still didn’t have a common language to explain what “in love” meant to each of us. Then Jeannie can upon this article: “Love Vs. In Love: Which Is Better?“. While we take issue with the title (one is not inherently better) this was the first time there was science highlighted to explain the difference. This brought us to an interesting conclusion.

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Love, Lust and Potential Loss in the Time of Coronavirus

So here we are going into week six of social distancing. Like everyone else, we have had our share of good days and bad days, neutral days and a few “I am so fucking over this” days. Through it all, we have continued to nurture various relationships, including our own. And, while in some cases this is easier done than in others, we are committed to building connections in their various forms and functions.

Along these lines, my relationship with Alex continues to blossom. We text each other multiple times a day, often sexy texts, sometimes silly ones and always communication that bring us closer together. It has been amazing to see how we are building a deep emotional connection, while sustaining the intense chemistry we first felt at our initial meeting – all through technology. We have weekly video chats that include physical intimacy that, while virtual, is also very real and authentic. I have struggled with trying to name, define or quantify our relationship, but have given up, realizing that labels do not matter; what we know that we feel for each other does.

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