Last year, at this time, I could see the end of my relationship clear on the horizon. On the surface, I didn’t know how I would survive the pain, how I would start my life again from scratch. In the marrow of my bones, in the fibre of the universe inside me, I knew I would be okay. The legacy of the outrageously resilient women who are my ancestors whispered to me that I would rise from this in power and grace. It was their silent solace, and the tangible love I have for my children that kept me moving forward. Kept me.
And now, one year later, here I am. There are mornings (like this one) when I feel tired and tender. Like my heart is too big. Like my desire to love still leads me to dynamics where I’ll never receive the love I need. There are days when I tell myself that a loving partnership just isn’t in the cards for me. That all anyone will really value is the sexual currency that I trade like I’m on Wall Street. That being a wife means becoming boring and codependent. There are days when these lies feel like the truth.
I am mother, nurturer, healer of emotional pain. I am filled with fire, with a deep, raging passion. I am unapologetic in my love of sex, of bodies connecting.
I will dry your tears, fill your belly and feed your soul, all while seeing that my own oxygen mask is fully secured. My dreams will be relentlessly pursued while I bolster yours, I will eat this life, and I will happily feed you every morsel you dare to taste.
This is how I want to share physical/romantic space. I don’t want to just fill your need for good sex. I don’t want to pick up where someone else leaves off. I don’t want any part of your codependent mess. I don’t want to be claimed, tamed or named by you. I want to be me, wholly and fully and have you arrive, and see me wholly, and adore me as much as I do.
Because I do. I love this woman I am. Love her ‘s’ shaped spine, her round belly, her alabaster skin, her tiny breasts, her epic ass. I love her ridiculously romantic heart. How she looks for beauty in every corner. How she wants to teach her daughters to be unafraid of their own glory. How she wants to teach her son to fill his heart with the Goddess and love each person he encounters with that light radiating from him.
This woman I am wants to heal the toxic masculine in every lover I take to my bed. I want to empower the women in my life by reflecting back to them their divine power. I want to heal people’s hearts, ignite their sacred sexual fire, help them fill their lives with passion and help them find permission to explore the essence of why we humans are here.
I want to tell stories, create worlds, give people an escape (in story, in my bed), and help people believe in magic.
I want to love, to be love.
And with each day that passes on this journey, I feel more ready to receive love. It’s coming, as sure and full of wonder as the spring.
I thought the crazy in my life was over, at least for a little while. But crazy doesn’t care about timelines, it seems. Or how much you’ve been shuffled around, unsettled, displaced. Crazy finds you when it wants, and it found me again on February 6th, the day of the first of a series of ice storms.
My son was with his dad, home from school because it had been cancelled. I was under the weather with a cold, and was thoroughly delighted to be working in bed for the day. No interruptions, no need for makeup. Then it began to rain in my apartment.
What began as a small ceiling drip turned into a waterfall from the light fixture in the kitchen and the bathroom fan. The insides of the walls were running with water, which was wicked up by the carpet. It got worse and worse until there were no more buckets or bins to fill, and then I ended up fleeing because the carpet was soaked, the rain kept coming in, and I didn’t know what else to do.
The damage got worse. I’ve lost part of my wall in the kitchen, the ceiling in the hall, the wall in the bathroom. The wall-to-wall carpet is destroyed. The whole place smells like boiled cabbage from the moisture in the ceiling, the walls and in the carpet underpad. They’ve installed heaters and dryers and dehumidifiers. The damage is so extensive that I’ve had to remove the entire contents of my apartment so that when they do repair and renovate, nothing will get destroyed.
The only possession I lost was an art print I bought at Winners years ago. I’ve carried this print to every place I’ve lived in since graduating from college. It’s a miracle there wasn’t more property damage. Hopefully nothing will be mildew damaged. I’m insured, thank god, so the insurance company sent in people to clean and pack and store my stuff. I’m covered for a couple of months of temporary lodging.
It could have been a lot worse.
The cost is in lost work time, but my clients have been wonderfully patient. There’s an emotional cost too, with the sense of overwhelm that’s so easy to feel when your home is no longer your home.
What am I meant to learn from this? This flood happened just as I was truly beginning to enjoy being alone. Beginning to feel at home in this new space, this new life of mine. Now, nobody can tell me when I’ll be back. They have to replace the entire roof first, which is no small task in February. My best guess is two months.
I tried to stay with my exes, and while it was so sweet to be with the kids, their was an emotional toll in being in my old home in its new state. There was also tension. We still need to have a few important, healing conversations, and those issues continue to exist below all of the love and goodwill that lives on the surface. I’m immensely grateful that they’ve taken my kitten though. He’s very happy there with the kids, and my middle daughter is madly in love with him.
Fate at least arranged for a good personal hook up. A new friend happens to have several local Airbnb options, and they were gracious enough to arrange a short-term-rental for me. The place is all kitted out with retro charm, and it’s cute as hell. Once my clothes are back from the cleaners, I’ll whittle myself a capsule wardrobe and live a minimal kind of life. It should be interesting to discover what it will mean for this new friendship, to shift into a landlord/tenant dynamic.
It’s quite a thing to look at all the crap one has accumulated and decide in a matter of hours what one might need for a couple of months. As I type this, a crew of strangers is going through and inventorying all of my possessions. There were so many people in my apartment today, I simply couldn’t stay. I rescued my plants and my printer and I ran away. I spent the day yesterday packing up all of my lingerie and grown up toys. My baby daddy was gracious enough to help me haul my bins and boxes up to the new digs.
What is the lesson? That the idea of home is not tied to stuff, or even a physical location perhaps. Home is a sense of belonging. A deep, comfortable place where you can be yourself without pretense or apology. Perhaps the lesson is that I am my own home. That a roof is irrelevant, because it’s a movable reality that follows me wherever I go.
What do I require beyond this sense? I need a laptop, a notebook, some pens, a few articles of clothing, outrageously big earrings, something good to read, and my kids. So long as I have the above plus friends to sip tea with, have long conversations with, break bread with, share physical affection with, I’ve got everything I need.
I’m on a personal journey to understand what I actually feel about monogamy, and to uncover that truth, I’m exploring polyamory. It’s not my first experience with a non-monogamous relationship, but dating and polyamory turns out to be quite different than the closed triad relationship I was previously in. One thing I’m learning is that people have some interesting ideas about what polyamory actually means. Of particular amusement is the difference between polyamory and promiscuity.
Polyamory isn’t all about sex. I’ve never been much of a one-night-stand or hook up kind of person. To me, it’s more about quality than quantity. I’m in this to build meaningful connections with the people I create loving space with. Those meaningful connections can take on many forms, since the technical definition of polyamory is to have many loves.
These connections can look like deeply affectionate friendships. Girlfriends and guy friends who I’ve bonded with. Maybe we have sleepovers that include some non-sexual physical affection. Maybe we just rant and rave and share our dreams while our kids slay the local playground.
This can look like friends who I have deep affection for and who I connect with primarily on the physical plane. Our bodies want to hang out from time-to-time and we also like and respect each other enough to be transparent about the connections we are enjoying with other people. We share sweet, affectionate correspondence beyond trying to navigate the next time we can see each other. We take interest in each other’s lives without many demands or expectations being placed on the other person.
Some day one of these connections might be a combination of the two; a deep friendship and sexual partnership that isn’t built around the idea that we two will be ‘it’ for each other. Instead we will be ‘it’ to ourselves first. We’ll both be clear on the idea that truth and transparency are key. We’ll respect each other’s needs beyond the space we share. We’ll lean into each other and know that we have each other’s backs, and when we need to lean away from each other, we’ll feel safety in that too. Hopefully we’ll have some spectacular adventures together (both sexually and non-sexually) and build family and an amazing circle of friends. I want to throw great parties with my consort some day.
I don’t have many free days left in the week when I’m not mothering my kids. This tiny window doesn’t afford much time for the harem that some people might imagine. There are moments where it’s difficult to say no to some of the offers on the table, but I have to remember what really fills me. I suppose at this point, I’m dating and exploring my options.
I’m listening to my gut and my heart and actively trying to redefine myself as a mother first, a storyteller second and a lover third. After decades of defining myself in terms of relationship, stepping into the space I deserve as an artist feels like rewiring my brain to some extent. I have to stop looking for validation in seeing a flirtatious text exchange evolve into a fruitful date, instead of in the number of words I put to paper each day. I get caught up in overthinking personal dynamics instead of losing myself in the edits that I still need to finish on my novel.
I need to be promiscuous with page counts.
One thing that has become clear is that without the ability to ask questions, talk about needs, and communicate from the heart, you’re not talking about polyamory. It’s likely just casual sex without attachment or complication. Or emotional unavailability borne of past hurt and fear. Maybe both.
Vulnerability and communication are sexy as hell to me. Another thing I have to remember is that communication isn’t always unpacking feelings and ideas in conversation. Actions, gestures, and the way someone reveals their character is a very valid form of communication.
So, sure there are plenty of polyamorous people out there juggling several lovers. It’s only one month into this exploring, but I don’t logistically see how that poly girl could be me.
I’m on a quest to do more for myself than I’ve ever done before. More healing, more growth, more knowledge and power. I’m tackling each day with as much mindfulness as I can muster, now that the crushing sadness of last year’s heartbreak has shifted.
Today, I’m struck by how deeply ingrained certain patterns are when it comes to romantic relationships. I’ve committed to trying out this polyamory business. This idea of finding meaningful physical and emotional connection outside the parameters of monogamy. Polyamory (n.) — The practice of participating simultaneously in more than one serious romantic or sexual relationship with the knowledge and consent of all partners
But there are certain parts of me that seem deeply conditioned for monogamy, and I wonder if there can be space for both. If any of you poly types are reading this, I’d love your thoughts in the comments section below.
Here are a few things that I’m noticing:
I fall for the idea/fantasy I’ve created of someone before really knowing them. I’ve got such an active imagination, and I live for characters. So many times in my life, I’ve fallen into that ‘head over heels’ narrative, only to be devastated when the person I’ve placed on a pedestal reveals their less desirable human frailties. How about I take some time to see if all that surface attraction can be supported by some excellent values and qualities?
I’ve believed that I need a partner in order to be fulfilled romantically. I’ve moved on from thinking that I need a partner to complete me in any way, or to have a richer life. I don’t think that there is one great soulmate that I am destined to be with in this lifetime. However, I seem to be holding on to this notion that if I’m going to share heart and bed space, there needs to be one lover who rises above the rest. I’ve created this idea that I’d like a primary partner.
What if my life could be just as rich without a primary? For those of you who don’t know, a primary partner is the romantic relationship that takes top billing in a polyamorous lifestyle. Not all poly people have a primary, but those who do tend to treat that relationship more like a traditional partnership. Primaries set their own ground rules and boundaries that are mutually adhered to. I’m not anti-primary, but I think I need to shift from feeling that this is an end goal.
I want to fill up all of my brain space and physical space with a new lover who I happen to be excited about. I realize this is largely a chemical response that is driving me to procreate, but still, I’d like to think I’ve evolved past this. Sure, I can feel like I need a cold shower anytime a certain someone blips on my radar (every hour, by my last count), but I don’t have to act on that. Instead of texting incessantly, I can pour that frenzy into my art. Or into self-pleasure. Or a good work out. I love that feeling of delicious passion and attraction, but I’m growing to love my solitude and self-reflection just as much. Sometimes more because I can ugly cry to Netflix shows and fart in bed.
I confuse incredible chemistry with anything other than the chemical reaction that it is. I believe sex is sacred and holy. When I’m in that space with someone, I feel like I’m deep in prayer. I feel the essence of life, and my connection to the universe in that space. This is one of my superpowers. So, I suppose it’s easy to see why, in the very rare moments when I match with someone in a balanced, sober level of attraction, I can get confused.
There’s always the possibility that this delicious chemistry can produce something lasting and precious, but that only happens with time, and careful tending. And seeing people clearly when the fuck fog has dissipated. Amazing sex goggles can be real bastards. What’s more, it is my right to appreciate and enjoy this kind of sizzling sexuality without having to define it or label it to make it more palatable to anyone. Sometimes, people are going to enter my life only to rattle my headboard. That’s totally okay.
I start to set aside my desire to explore other people when I find someone I really click with. I’ve dated people who have basically said ‘if you give your partner permission to be with other people, sometimes that’s all they need in order to be able to walk away from that temptation.’ Testing the boundaries of monogamy to continue to exist in monogamy isn’t really the point. I see how polyamory might be a form of self-protection for me. I haven’t had this much therapy to be blind to that, but I’ve earned the right to protect myself and see how this particular shield serves me.
I believed that I was polyamorous before, and therefore know what I’m doing. Though my last relationship started as a valiant attempt at polyamory, it ended up a lot more like polygamy. The reality is that I did not feel like I had the freedom to explore my own desires in an authentic way, and the lines of communication were not the clear and open channels people need to succeed in the polyamory experience.
I am more interested in a scenario where I get to articulate my own needs and wants, and then realize them. If I end up with a primary, we would both ideally be self-aware and articulate about our needs and desires, and hopefully those would line up well. Meanwhile, I have so much to learn about how to be careful with other people’s pride, their hearts, their fragile egos, their valued needs, while still making sure mama gets the love she wants.
Lovers who feel they can’t be enough for me. If I have chosen to share space with you, it is because I want to share my own space with you. I don’t need you to fulfill me, or to fill in any of my cracks. Oh wow, I walked into so many crude jokes there, didn’t I?
I want to walk with you, but I don’t need you to hold me up. I’m not comparing you. I’m enjoying your unique skills, insights, dreams, desires. I like the way your energy swirls with mine. The space we share is ours and ours alone. I enjoy what is unique about you.
Polyamory allows people to show up exactly as they are, and offer only what they have. This is only possible when you let go of the notion of one person being everything you need in one partner for the rest of your life. Maybe we’ll keep choosing to walk with each other until we’re done with walking, but I’m not out to find that. I’m out to find me and that’s the lifelong union I’m committed to.
Is this a selfish quest I’m on? Possibly. Could I get a few months into this and decide it isn’t for me? Sure. I’m giving myself that space for authenticity. I will say though, the more I resist my old monogamous patterns – the old ideas that there is another ‘half’ to me in someone else, the more of my own power I see.
I’m not out to break hearts. I think any of my lovers, or potential lovers, will vouch for how clear I’ve been about my journey through polyamory. Our needs and desires aren’t always lining up, but that’s life. I value each of them and the space they have shared with me. I feel a thrill when I think of the new companions I will meet and experience. This feels like an adventure instead of a minefield, and I absolutely love that dating is fascinating, and strange, and fun.
It’s a whole new ballgame when you become your own special someone.
I’m going live on Facebook on January 30th at 9 pm EST to discuss polyamory and to answer your dating, relationship and sex questions. Send me your questions, or suggestions for topics you’d like to discuss below. I promise to protect your anonymity.