Starting the NEW blog

 

Some years ago we started asking ourselves questions. Does monogamy actually work for us? What does it mean if we want to touch other people? Have sex with other people? Have relationships or even love for more than one person?  Would having an orgasm with someone somehow erase what I have with this other person? Would it really?

Could I have sex with others?  Could people I care about have sex with others and we’d still be us?  What if I loved more than one person? At the time I was married, and swinging appealed to me. I had wanted to be a swinger pretty much since I’d learned about what it was. My husband at the time and I discussed it. He was interested at first, but quickly realized he would rather have relationships with others, and we learned about and became poly. And well.. I’m not going to lie. For a lot of reasons, not all of them polyamory, my marriage exploded.

But I was here and I was still poly. I had the capacity and interest in relationships with more than one person at a time. And over the years I had these polyamorous relationships. The most people I was ever dating at once was four, and I do not recommend it. It’s exhausting and basically I was always disappointing somebody.

I read and read and blogged and blogged and lived and talked and tried, and found that hierarchies weren’t for me. I didn’t like primaries and secondaries and never did. Even my husband and I when we first opened up felt that this wouldn’t work for us.  This doesn’t mean that my existing relationships and long term loves don’t have priority with me or that they don’t matter. I am very into honoring commitments and the investment of love and time and experience.  But I liked anyone I dated to be a whole person and to not be arbitrarily forever limited, no matter what, because someone met someone first. This is long and hard to explain. We’ll come back to it.

So.. I’ve been polyamorous for 5 years. And over the years I’ve had occasion to explore, my sexuality, life and all kinds of things. I’ve discovered I’m still interested in swinging and joined a club. I’ve also discovered I’m kinky, and explored that a little bit too. And over time I just kinda discovered that I didnt’ need and didn’t fit super neatly into any tiny box.

Like most humans, I’m complicated. I’m guessing so are you.

So finding myself at need to create a new blog for a variety of reasons I thought about the next chapter. What did I want to write? It wasn’t going to be just a blog on polyamory. And it wasn’t a blog just on swinging. Or a blog even just on dating.

Love, Sex and Relationships have always interested me and are fodder for an infinite stream of thought. It’s also a stream for profound connection and I’ve made so many friends here on this journey of ethical non-monogamy, of honest open relating. And it occurred to me this new little blog could be something else.

I could have blogs on all of these open sex and love and relationships, and could invite a friend to contribute here and there too. We could have interviews and podcasts and links. In non-monogamy, in so many ways we are all defining for ourselves what any of these words and labels mean, and how they fit us, if at all.  And we’re the architects of the connections we are creating. And that’s beautiful but it’s scary and difficult too. And I learn a lot from my friends, and hope you do too.

There’s a weird thing that happens when we start asking ourselves all of these questions. We find and create the love and sex and relationships we crave, and we walk off of the path that doing things the way we were told to creates.  I have found the blogger community so informative and supportive. Starting this new broader blog, I hope that continues.

However you got here and whatever brings you, welcome. I hope to hear from you in comments or emails or on facebook or twitter or any of the other places.

I’m so excited at this next chapter. Here’s to open love and sex and relationships. Here’s to new blogs.

– Thanks for reading!

Holly

They Can't Take That Away From Me

Man. I’m a nostalgic mf’er these last couple of days.  I made it past my old anniversary without thinking of it.  Part of it is that I’m not really paying attention to the date, what with being on summer break. Part of it is that I think it FINALLY settled. I don’t feel the strong hurt I felt around my divorce, and the way my ex acted. I don’t worry about him as much. I even sort of accept my daughters not being in my life.  It sucked. Of course it sucked. But it is what it is. It’s sad that it ended the way it did, and sad that my ex was that person.

But.. I’m okay, and I’ve been okay for a long time now. The wounds are old.  I’m not saying they’re perfect, but they don’t sting.  A few weeks ago I teared up in the kitchen with Quinky and Traveler. A song Evan loved came on and I hadn’t heard it since we’d parted and I teared up. I realized it was the first time in a long time that I’d teared up about him.  I teared up more maybe because it was a moment when I remembered how much we loved each other, dancing in the kitchen.  I don’t really think about him much, and I don’t think about how we were really at all these days.  I’ve fallen in love again, and I’m a lot happier most of the time.  I love my ex because it’s the way I am built. But it doesn’t hurt anymore.  It’s more just that I hope he’s happy.

I think it’s healthy sometimes when long deep loves change.  In monogamy we stay because of duty, and security, and comfort. In poly sometimes we don’t acknowledge a relationship that isn’t whole. It can hobble along indefinitely because nobody has to be EVERYTHING to anybody, but really because it can be a crutch for not looking at how we love and are loved by THIS one person and how it’s not a whole or functional relationship. Other people fill serious gaps. Continue reading

Home Again

Traveler and I just got home from a week away, and what a week!  I think I fell even more in love with him.

We spent a week together in Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  It was wonderful. We hiked and walked and ate great meals and did sea kayaking.  We had morning and afternoon and evening kisses and snuggles and hot passionate sex. We had connected sex and sweet sex and close gasping, can’t stop kissing, locked eyes, grasping, aching, delicious sex.  Almost four years in and I fall fall fall.  God yes.  We’ve never spent a week together before, just us, and it was glorious.

hello bc vancouver islandWe talked and talked and joked and laughed and kissed and snuggled and just had the best time.  It was easy and fun.

And honestly it was hard to come home.  We daydreamed about the cafe we’d open in Hawaii or the bed and breakfast we’d run like the one we stayed in.  We dreamed about the vacation home we’d build together and the little country house we’d live in.  It’s idle dreams that we both know won’t happen.  We love Quinky, and our jobs and our friends, and our lives.  But there was something special about this dreaming o me.  It’s special because it isn’t real.  It won’t hurt anyone or change our lives. It’s just the admission that in a perfect world made of magic we’d get to be together like this all the time.  It’s only the admission that this love is a great love too.

Continue reading

Comfort

I’ve been tired, so tired my love.  My mind is weary.  I felt like I’d drown in this and needed those few hours to dig in the dirt with you and to make my body ache.  I needed to quiet my mind and rest in the labor.  I needed our breath, and the sounds of us working, and the little smiles and dirty kisses and the sun that was there even if it was cloudy.  I needed to rest, but my mind won’t ease now.  There is too much to do and to think about and I’m thinking deadlines deadlines deadlines.  So I needed to just work with you.  I needed the comfort and ease of the way we work together.

I’ve felt a little distant from you love.  I’ve felt far away and too deep in my head with all of this work.  I’ve needed to linger and spend time looking at each other, but it’s time we don’t have.  Thank you for your little touches while we worked side by side later on the couch.  I needed those little smiles.  I needed those pets.  Soon love.  Soon.

Thank you for fantasizing with me a little afterward, for giving my mind something to chew on that wasn’t academic.  Thank you for knowing how to please me so well, for your warm skin and your soft kisses.  Oh, when you call be beautiful or pull me to you.  Oh when you trace my curves.  Oh god I was so tired but I could not stop touching you and being touched by you.  I love you I love you I love you on my breath and in my heart and my head.  I fell asleep sated and tired and ready for blissful sleep, such comfort.

snuggle

image from alligator-sunglasses.com

And thank you for not being able to get out of bed. Dozing in and out of sleep with you curled to me…. heaven.  Why can’t I ever stop touching you? Craving your touch?  So many little kisses.  Everywhere.  Your taste.  Your smile.  Your scent.  On my lips and in my breath and in my heart.  I love you I love you I love you.  The warm comfort of you lingers.

I’m so tired, love.  But we’re almost there.  You’re such a comfort.

Fun Too.

Traveler and I have a lot of work we need to do on our projects but this weekend he wanted to take a little break from them.  I felt bad at first and hoped I hadn’t made him feel I wouldn’t want to help him with renovations and yard work and all the things we partners help each other with.  He’s been working so hard at work and at home and I know he needs the help.

He asked me to help with a list of things that I have some knowledge with, and told me he’s been struggling a little and stressed out about it.  This week he ended up having to put in an electrical repair that would have been a lot easier with help.  All the work is sort of dangling over his head and there’s just SO MUCH to do on the project at his house.  I know he hated to ask for my help and doesn’t like admitting that he needs it, but it made me feel good and loved and necessary, and I love being able to support him and Quinky on this project with all of the little things Traveler and I can work together on to contribute.

I can’t help with the really stressful stuff, the planning and the paying for it and the living in a reno zone, but I can make a really valuable contribution and help Traveler with the construction and labor and electric stuff and take a teeny bit of that burden off of his shoulders.  He would have to do a bunch of it alone otherwise, and there’s already soooo much on his plate.  and I love it.  I love working with him.  It’s a huge part of our relationship, this way we work together and us having our little projects.  I’m not happy Traveler has so much to worry about, but I am happy I can help.  So often it was him or Quinky helping me that it makes me feel better to give back.  And sometimes they spoil me with awesome food or whatever for the efforts.  Win/Win.

But, even with all of the things Traveler has to worry about on this project, today he just wanted to go and have fun.  We are headed to Woodinville to pick up his wine from a club and to try a few places, just for a few hours before an art meeting.  And then we have some frisky plans.  🙂  God I love frisky plans!  We had hoped to meet a new unicorn for a drink, but it didn’t pan out.  Sadly Yarn Hooker met a great guy and is getting monogamous.  We’re thrilled to death for her and nobody deserves it more though.

So next weekend we really really really have to do some work.  We got derailed last week and we are missing this week.  But tonight it’s just us and our little plans and designs for fun and friskiness.  And then there are fun plans in the morning too.  I love working with Traveler and will happily do it for all the weekends to come, but it’s nice to just kick up our heels, even with the crushing list of things to do and even with his project falling a little behind waiting on us.  When your man says he needs a break and wants to do fun and naughty things with you, who isn’t a little giddy?  To be wanted and needed and loved…To have a partnership that really supports each other…And to have the man you love tell you he just needs to be with you and wants to have a little fun!? …Fabulous!

True Colors

I can’t believe how corny this is, but I just listened to True Colors by Cindy Lauper a bunch of times in a row.  There’s life just being life really, the things of loving and working and sleeplessness and school, but it’s just that it’s the end of a day where I worked 12 hours to turn in my big paper.  I just miss my dad.

Fuck, I miss my dad.  I miss the way he loved Cindy Lauper.  He loved her so much.  Here he was, this 40 year old Dad and he was just so tickled by a song my friends and I listened to.  He’d laugh and smile and smack his leg.  “Oh man!  Look at that Holly!  Look look look! Is that a chandelier on her head?”.  It’s funny to watch the video again.  He just got such a kick out of her.  But her song said something too.
You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
Sometimes you just need home.  Sometimes you get lost and your cheeks hurt from salt and you are so bone wearyingly tired.  I end up longing for memories of a grandmother I didn’t have.  I miss my dad, playing guitar and singing like Bob Dylan, only somehow more screechy.  I miss my dad playing Cindy Lauper’s records and the way he was sad and comforted by her song. I think when you loose someone it’s just that time wears off the edges of the thing so it cuts less, but every now and then you find a burr.  I miss him like it was yesterday.  And everyone misses the people that they lost in this unique and lonely way.

Continue reading

Making Time

Poly people are busy, yo.  Heh.  Like you didn’t know that.  Sometimes things become a colorful mess on Google Calendar, and then what do you do?

Poly people are even busier when they are in grad school and when they are working nearly 60 hours a week and when they are doing renovations.  I’m sure that holds for “when they are parents” and “When they are care taking for loved ones” and a host of other things.

la petit mort 4

La Petit Mort Ballet via Tumbler

My poor Traveler has had to work like a mad man.  He was out of town.   Then on our date when he got home he fell asleep at 830pm.  We went to dinner and came home and he passed out.. just like that.  A quickie before renovations and the big game. The SuperBowl we all got to spend together, a few hours with Quinky Girl for him, and he had to work till 1030 and we snuggled and slept.  Then our next date he had to take off work for something Quinky needed for the renovation and he had to work all night to make it up.  Then again, he got off early for reno and had to work all night on our date.  Basically I’ve fed him, burped him, and put him to bed on every date we’ve had for two weeks.  (Okay.. minus the burping). Then finally a Saturday night, but we spent it at Quinky Girl’s boyfriend’s party and again.. asleep.  Thank god we love getting all wrapped up and snuggly in our sleep!

Let’s not even mention that two of those working and sleep dates I was working on deadlines too or that the working dates generally started about 2 hours before bed.  Poor Traveler was EXHAUSTED and just fraught.  I tried to soothe him and make it as nice as possible.  What can you do?  Sometimes life is crazy.  The only time we were alone and he wasn’t working we spent doing demo, and that was an amazing godsend.  It felt good to connect with him.

la petit mort Texas

La Petit Mort Texas Ballet

Continue reading

Poly Benefit #397. Many Hands

Many hands make lighter work.

demolition 3

this is similar to what we ended up with (minus the rad brick) -image from lssu.edu

Traveler has begun a gigantic renovation project and Jonah (Quinky Girl’s other partner) and I helped.  We demolished his 1960’s bathroom from his 1917 house.  There was basically a room built into a room, so we took down paneling, sheetrock, studs, plywood, plaster and lathe.  Actually it looks like there were two renovations to that area of the house over time.  You know those bathrooms Greta Garbow must have had in some movie, all marble and golden fixtures, hollywood glamour?  Yeah.  We took out the 60’s plastic version of that.  Formica with veins and flecks and swirls and fake brass frills on a bathroom that at some point had eaten a hallway and what seems to have been a closet with a window. (We can’t figure it out!)  They wanted that 3 feet of kitchen and a luxurious bathroom from this century.  It’s step one.

I felt giddy to be included.

FINALLY.. something I’m good at that I could do for them.  They’ve taught me about wine and Traveler has taught me to ski and play WOW and helped me make furniture.  Quinky has taught me a lot of life and love stuff and inspired me to learn to cook with her crazy skills and encouragement.

renovation

This is part of what we did today.  Image found at wanderleur.com

I have a lot of skills and I am always appreciated, but this was kinda special to me.  Long long ago I did demolitions for a living.  I had one unsettling moment for them when about 40 pounds of plaster came down in a shot, but I was a huge help.  And I loved it.  I loved it because I love them and I love being useful to them.  The plumbers are coming and I helped make them ready.  We all worked really really hard and we all contributed.

But here’s a little secret part.  I love it because I love feeling included.  My family was doing a big project and they needed my help.  We built something. I helped them make home better.  I love it when we’re all together at times like that and when we sit afterwards sipping lovely champagne that is extra good in our parched and tired throats and the sore muscles we have earned.  Seriously.. next time you kick the shit outta some long and aching task, sit and survey your labors with bubbles.

I love it too because I love how well Traveler and I work together, working on our own parts and coming together, flowing in and out of our lone tasks and those we collaborate on.  We troubleshot together, taking each other’s suggestions and jumping to one another’s aid, and got a very large amount of work done.  They’re ready for the plumber now.  I love that we work well together.  I love that we all made it happen.  It thrills me to have this with Traveler and me. It’s not like it’s some thing that only exists with us, but it doesn’t have to be.  I just like that it exists with us.  I like how much we love working together.  It makes me feel… secure.  It’s a thing partners do.  I won’t have his last name and I may never know his family.  But I helped to make his home.  And that makes me really happy.

It’s a thing partners do.

And we’re partners.  We’re actually really good partners.

renovation 2

 

Difficult to Love

I have to admit that all my reading and writing has belonged to grad school, but I’m here and I’m thinking of you.  I do a lot of thinking these days.  I can’t stop thinking about this tonight.  I talked to a friend going through a break up from a terrible man, and this kept running in my head.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/38766162″>Warsan Shire – &quot;For Women Who Are Difficult To Love&quot;</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/movingonworks”>MovingOn</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?

closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
prettier
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him traveling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

It doesn’t directly relate to my life right now, but I feel it. I have spent my entire life trying to be smaller and easier and simpler and less of a pain.  I can remember, one of my first memories and one of the few of my mother in early childhood, she was suddenly there and her face was evil red and she grabbed my arm and yanked me up by it.  I had been laughing at something.  I found something hysterical.  I have no memory of what it was.  Maybe it was a cartoon or a game I was playing with a doll.  I had been laughing in the sunbeam streaming in the living room window and then suddenly her red angry face was inches from mine as she yelled at me to stop it, that my laughter was too much and would I please just shut up.  And suddenly I was crying wracking silent sobs.  I felt so ashamed and I could see this was making her madder.  I knew I needed to just shut up but I was overwhelmed with tears.  She looked at me like I was a disgusting vile thing and dropped me and walked away.

Another time, playing with friends, we were playing house and I was the mama and my two friends were my kids.  They made me a drawing and brought it to me and I got so overcome in my fake mama role with the joy of their present and their love of me that I rushed to hug them and kiss them.  So charged was I with the intensity of wanting to love on my pretend children, I knocked my friend over and kissed her face over and over again until she shoved me off of her and stood up, infuriated.  “What is WRONG with you!  Jesus.  Holly.  You are too much”.  They both shot me a look and walked out of my room and out of house and away.

My best friend’s birthday party.  I excitedly watched her opening her presents and was thrilled that I had bought the most presents for her and wrapped them all individually in the years of Christmas wrapped paper and home made wrapping I’d decorated.  After a couple of presents people were looking at me funny.  What happened?  What was wrong?  Melissa got up and asked me to go talk.  “That’s so embarrassing.  Why did you do that?  Do you want people to think we are lesbians?  Damn it, Holly.  Too much.

I felt sometimes like everyone had a book about how to be that I didn’t.  I thought for a long time that my mother had left because I was so infuriating.  I thought my father was depressed so much when I was a child because I was a shitty daughter.  He told me he hadn’t been able to meet anyone because of me.  I think he meant being a single father made dating hard, but I heard “because you are defective nobody wants to be your step-mother”.

I tried to be simpler and easier and to care less about everything.  I was a disaster with the first guys I dated and I got hurt.  It happens.  I’ve learned and learned and learned and learned and it’s been HARD work.

But I know I’m still a little difficult to love.  And maybe that’s okay.  Maybe I *am* a little difficult to love, and maybe there will be people, as there have been and are people who are up to the task.  I am a lot, but sometimes people want a lot.  Maybe you are a bit much too, and maybe there are people in your life or in your future that are looking for something a bit much.

 

The Cats Will Eat Me…

I really dislike my brain sometimes.  I woke up this morning with my brain churning a little.  I noticed it and realized what was happening.  Every now and then I start spinning about something.  I used to see Great Date do this, and it’s how I finally realized I did it too.

Sometimes it’s fear.  Sometimes I feel a little afraid and my mind casts about to understand my fear.  The house is not on fire.  The cats are okay.  Maybe I had a nightmare I don’t remember.  I don’t know, but my mind is an unkind place.  I cast doubts around about my worth.. my friendships.  I chew on the edge of my relationships.  I pull up reasons I should be afraid or sad or that things could be bad.  I pull up real and imagined evidence for how I suck.  I tell myself mean things.  I am the voice in the dark.

catsI’ve learned over time that this is just me petting a worry stone.  I can spin up elaborate bad things, and I know it.  I’m cherry picking the little rotten things to make problems that don’t exist.  I’m fine.  I’m more than fine.  I’m happy.  I’m here in my quiet apartment with my sweet kitties.  I live in a neighborhood I love.  I live in a city I love.  I have a family that I love that loves me.  I’m making the best choices I can and I’ll be ok. My relationship(s) are good.

And I learned to pull out the anti-venom for poisonous thoughts.

Continue reading