I guess I'll give some more background on the individuals. C and S have been together for a year, and this is C's first relationship with a man. L and I got together when we were finally all living together at the end of May. I've been with more men than women, though I maintain I generally like women more, and find it easier to be in a relationship with one, but the issues surrounding homosexuality and such has limited the amount of women I've had to be with, sexually or otherwise. Because of this, being with her is very new to me; this is my first serious relationship with a girl, and the first relationship I've had with a girl that involved sex as well. It makes me super nervous and anxious, and for a while, I was hesitant because I felt inexperienced. I've since bridged that gap, though.
This leads into one of the first issues. L and I have had sex twice on our own, without the involvement of the boys, in the 3 months we've been together. I'm not too worried about the number so much as the fact that I have had to approach her both of those times for sex. She doesn't outwardly show signs of wanting that sort of intimacy, and rarely ever does anything to really foster that kind of environment with me. She's super hygenic, so she will deny sex to people if she doesn't feel like she's clean enough, which is rather often. The last time we had sex, it took me a full week of asking and setting times for it before I nearly begged her. Which I personally find to be ridiculous. I'm having a hard time approaching her for sex because I don't think it should be this one-sided. I've given her plenty of opportunity, and I've respected the things she feels she needs to have sex comfortably, like being showered. But, if I approach one of my partners and say, "Hey, I want some alone time with you," that means I would like some alone time with you in the relatively near future. If it's not a good time for you for whatever reason, I think it is then that person's responsibility to articulate that, offer another option, another time, something.
Took me a week to get her to have sex with me. I kept asking, everyday, and she just kept saying no or making an excuse. It's frustrating, and it's rather off-putting. It makes me not want to ask for fear of being rejected. It makes me feel unwanted. I suppose this is issue one.
But this slides right into the next one. With C, the same thing happened, only it took me 2 weeks before I finally got alone time with him. I had also approached both the boys for time with the both of them. That ended up being a stressful day, so it never happened. A few days later, now at the point of frustration that I was about to put holes in the walls, because it, again, had been two weeks since I'd had sex, they 'took a nap' and asked me to wake them up in 30 minutes. I took a while longer, and I come in, and they pounce me. Yes, they gave me the time I wanted with them, but it was brief, I honestly didn't even want sex with them at that point (not to say that I was coerced against my will, but I no longer felt like I wanted time with them specifically since I'd been denied again). They said afterwards that they were going to go get me, but it 'took the fun out of it.'
Why can't they realize that it takes the fun out of it for me, having to wait around for days and days for someone to decide that THEIR needs are suddenly so important that they want sex with me all of a sudden?
The last issue I personally have amongst this group is the division of attention. L is a lot more reserved. She keeps to herself, is in the room alone most of the time, and is somewhat hard to talk to when she gets into her head because she's very anxious. She's working through this, but it's still a process. Because of this, I'm the one around the boys a lot. Which means I take care of the important things; I help resolve the arguements, I help run the errands, I do the cooking, the cleaning, the general need tending and whatnot. Then, when it comes time to the less important things, the both of them are chasing after her. I get the whole NRE thing, that it's the chase because she makes herself unavailable. However, this is extremely unfair to me, and I don't think any of them realize how this translates out. I think she enjoys that attention a bit, especially considering she's expressed this to me in those words, and they enjoy the chase. I've even been told in an arguement that I'm 'around too much.'
I admit, for a while, I had a lot of anxiety about their attentions towards her because of my own personal self esteem issues. When I moved to Santa Cruz, I almost weighed 200lbs, and my girlfriend didn't. Nothing close to it. She was the skinny, pretty one I felt. It's silly, now that I think about it, and I've gotten over that, but some of that being the fat kid self esteem scars haven't quite healed yet, and sometimes I still balk at it. However, this intensified three weeks into the relationship, when L was caught cheating on us with C's best friend of 21 years. This, obviously, caused a lot of issues, that I personally feel we have worked through. For a bit though, I was extremely anxious, because not only did I feel like I was being punished for what she did, because what she did made them all worry that I was going to be next, and because I didn't think it was fair that she was getting that sort of attention from them after what she did.
Again, I feel I've resolved this issue. I talked to all three of them about it very openly, though it may have taken me a bit to open up. One of the other concerns I expressed was that I was afraid of getting not enough attention as the school year approached. I'm the one that leaves the house the most. I'm probably going to be the only one with a job away from home (the boys are self-employed and L is a full-time student), and with school, work, my social life ,and the fact that I'm just an on-the-go kind of person, I'm home the least. I'm home the least even though I don't have a job and school just started. The boys even validated this as a completely legitimate concern that they would be careful of. Yet here I am. It's been 2 weeks. I'm leaving this weekend, and they're out of town. It'll be close to a month when I actually get to have sex again. The time before the last, and the time before that, there was 2 to three weeks inbetween as well. This concern of mine is turning into a reality.
Right before they left, I had a small breakdown, completely unrelated to them, but they made a lot of assumptions about where it came from. When I got upset, S was asleep, C wasn't in the room like he was before, and L's door was closed, so in my horrible anxiety attack, I assumed she was asleep, and left without telling anyone. They were really worried about me, and I understand that. Before all of this, I had been approached for sex by S, but not only was it not a time to be having sex at all, I was in a lot of pain (which he knew), so I told him later. Because he didn't get it when he wanted, I never got sex from him. After I got home, S was so upset with everything that he said he didn't want sex with anyone, at all, because the thought 'made him sick to his stomach'. I went to a spiritual event that evening, and dinner with friends who came into town for my sanity, and was gone for a few more house while they were getting ready to leave town for a week. Turns out they had a lovely marathon session while I was gone. I had called a few times to ask some questions, no one answered because of it. They weren't important questions, but it was still extremely off-putting that I wasn't included in that. They knew I was going to be home soon. Could they have not waited, called and asked when I would be home because they wanted me there, too? They've been complaining about not having sex with all four of us forever it seems.
When I left while I was upset, I guess C was in the room with L, and S woke up, not seeing anyone, and assumed that they were off having sex since I was gone, and got upset.
This is what I don't understand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with C having sex with L. Not only had S approached me for sex earlier, but S was asleep, and so was I at the time. Perfect opportunity, I feel. We live together, so avoiding people walking in on you or knowing it's happening is nearly impossible, so when those moments to have actual alone time are there, I say go for it. I didn't know C was in the room with L. They all assumed I did, and assumed I left because I was mad that they were having sex. It took a lot of convincing, and a hell of a lot more crying than I feel was necessary to convince them otherwise. This sex issue was almost more pressing than the fact that I'd just had a serious breakdown involving my abusive past. This sex issue shouldn't even be an issue.
I don't know why, but the boys always get upset about the timing of the sex they have with us. They are allowed to have sex whenever, and it's fine. But after L and I started having sex, they told her they were worried we were going to only have sex with each other all the time, even after all the pushing they did to get us to that point. But if either of them go to have sex with one of us, alone, or with the other girl involved, a fight happens. This makes us all apprehensive to even have sex, because we expect some sort of fight to happen.
It's really frustrating being caught in the middle of this. L says I don't give her enough attention, but she doesn't give me any. The boys say I give them too much attention, but when I stop, it's not enough. When I want attention, I make it known, and something always happens to get in the way of it, and I only get it when it's suddenly convenient for the other party. When they want sex, something about the timing, or the placement, or the reasons behind it is wrong, and there's a fight. I'm driving myself a little mad, honestly.
It would be advantageous for us to have that longer post, with the details of your quad's background and current issues, else we might start offering too much advice and insight that doesn't apply to your situation.
Well....I made a longer one haha. Thank you.
Wow! Thanks! Reading, digesting, thinking. :-)
What strikes me most about your story, off the top of my head, is how much the four of you treat sex as a commodity to give or get, or a bargaining chip -- instead of an intimate expression of your desire and feelings for each other.
Is there any love, caring, tenderness, affection, or friendship among any of you? I get no sense of that at all in what you wrote. Do any of you love each other, or is this just a group of people rooming together and focused on getting sex from the others whenever you can? It seems so sad to me.
There is, I promise you. The three of them have shown me more love, kindness, and affection than anyone else I've ever been with, and most of the people I've known in my life. I know they love me. But that's the thing: I know that, but I should see that and feel that. Sex is an important way to do that, not the only way, but the department I feel like we are lacking in.
I suppose what I'm asking is help directing my loved ones to doing what you just said: using sex to express our love and not as a bargaining chip. I can't say I'm not guilty of this myself, but I try my hardest to steer away from this.
If this worked how I feel it should, anyone and everyone would be able to express this freely without fear of upsetting anyone else. I maintain that this still requires some care and concern about other's feelings, but if we truly love each other, there shouldnt be much more feeling beyond that love. I don't understand where the jealousy is coming from on their part. I personally love seeing them love each other. Yes, when I wake up and walk into a small orgy first thing in the morning, it's startling, but I am happy for them (and generally enjoy it in a sexual sense).
I know that sometimes feelings get pushed to the wayside, but as intelligent, caring adults, it shouldn't be this hard to verbalize those concerns in a rational, calm manner.
Long answer below. You ask for feedback, I've done my best there. I'm sure it could be improved upon. It's just ideas for you to think about. Hope that helps.
Is there no family meeting time / check points to hold up wants, needs, limits? To hold each other accountable to agreed to responsibilities? Is it going to be once a week or once a month or what? And have you agreed on conflict resolution method you will all use when people are not in right relationship or there is a thing to solve?
What about the rights and responsibilities all players have in this polyship? There's an awful lot of assuming going on. Are you all expecting mind reader-ing from the others?
You guys do not sound like you treat each other respectfully and you don't sound like you have a good handle on articulating wants, needs, and limits. You guys spend a lot of time assuming and not being polite to each other.
What's with you leaving the house without leaving a note on the fridge to tell people where you went to spare them worry? That's is rude and making them feel emotionally unsafe that their quad partner could be off getting hurt somewhere!
Stop behaving like singles that do not have to account to anyone. Behave like people in relationship that have to account to each other. Did you not CHOOSE to be in this quad?
Can we get a schedule on the wall? Just so we know when date nights are (which may and may not also include sex?) Relieve people of those not getting attention anxieties?
You have several layers on this polyship's polymath. Each mini rship inside the greater polyship needs TLC -- and time to express itself at its own speed.
I don't get the sense that that is happening regularly. Get the poster on the wall and the times to tend these mini's on there.
How you are to YOURSELVES as part of a larger polyship. You are not all footloose singles any more. You have responsibilities to the larger group.
AGAIN -- Do you have clear rights and responsibilities to the quad laid out so you can stay in right relationship to each other? Know what is expected of each other? I'm not talking chores. I'm talking rship framework. Is each individual holding up all their responsibility sticks?
What about you and your self esteem thing? L and her anxiety/closed off thing? Are all the people actually doing their own personal growth stuff or avoiding doing that? Because it can and does affect the larger group interactions.
Have you all really gotten over that cheating thing? Is that feeding some of the crazy anxiety stuff going on here and coming out in various ways?
(Similar thread with a triad coping with cheating/broken agreement things and moving beyond it. Dunno if that helps you.)
The Duo Mini's
The Mother POLYSHIP
How you will break up if this happens in future. Do you want to be good exes to each other? How would you handle it? Don't wait til it happens to think it out. Hopefully it never will, but keep it real dude. Crisis time is NOT the time to make the crisis plan!
You guys need to understand that you have MANY mini rships inside this greater mother polyship. See which tiers need improve communication and strengthening. And play like Jedi on each tier. Otherwise you end up in some Muppet Show chaos thing with chickens and shit flying around backstage. Muppets are fun to watch, but who wants to live in perpetual backstage chaos?
Take the time to tend to each other and each tier appropriately so you can fly your polyship WELL and enjoy being in love and being together WELL.
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