So for years and years we are just living our lives. We get together with our local friends who are busy getting married and making babies: Rube and his wife MsJ (married – two kids), JB and his wife (married – one kid), MrClean and MrsClean (married – two kids). I am my usual self - flirting with everyone and pushing other people's boundaries and these friendships each find their own levels of comfort and closeness.
At some point I starting sleeping with MsJ (Rube's wife). Which was fine with me, MrS, and MsJ. Turns out Rube had a bit of a miff about it (even though I had slept with him, oh so many years ago – somehow he felt that because I later slept with MrS, then by my sleeping with MsJ, somehow he had slept with MrS...how homophobic can you get?). Then it turns out that MsJ had somehow mysteriously forgotten then I had slept with Rube two DECADES before...so there was unnecessary drama there (this has settled down now). I sleep with MsJ when she is in the mood and the opportunity arises otherwise we are friends (but not “best” friends). Rube refuses to flirt with me even though he is, surprisingly, ok with MrS and Dude petting his wife. (MsJ thinks this is because he has unrequited feelings toward me. I think it's because he cheated on her – which she knows – and doesn't trust himself anymore.)
JB's wife has no interest in girls at all (and limited interest in boys – I get the feeling that she is largely asexual) so that friendship contains no sexual element. She and I don't really have a lot in common and would not be friends if she weren't married to JB – but it's interesting to me to be able to talk to someone who has a completely different perspective from me on a number of topics. JB and I flirt verbally but a few years ago he requested a “no touching” rule because he felt guilty about being “tempted” to want more. JB and I will occasionally go out to cultural events or hang out and talk about geeky things while MrS and JB's wife watch football (which we have no interest in) or go to movies that they like that we don't.
MrsClean is the person that I feel I understand the least (she is also the “newest” person to our circle of friends - prior to Dude). The vibe and responses that I get from her when we are all together do not mesh with what MrClean reports she says and does when they are at home. MrS and I can't decide whether this is because her public and private personas are really that divergent or because MrClean is adding all sorts of interpretations (based on negative experiences in past relationships) of his own to her actions/statements. MrClean and I are flirting with verging on FWB ...but Not-Quite. (This has been complicated a bit by my becoming involved with Dude, I think that now that there is another guy in the picture he is having thoughts of “Why him and not me?”) This is some ongoing evolution and history here … which probably deserves its own post.
A few other relationships that deserved to be recognized at this point:
Angel is my best friend. Straight. Married. Monogamous. We are not sexually interested in each other in any way but she is probably closer to me than anyone other than MrS. We met in grad school (15 years ago now?). One day we were in a small discussion group in an ethics class and left class talking, we walked the same way home and kept talking, I invited her in to my apartment and we kept talking until MrS came home from work 5-6 hours later. For the next 3 years we spent practically all of our free time at her place or mine studying or talking until MrS came home to feed me. Within the first week she probably knew more about me than anyone but MrS. She is the only person that I can talk to for hours on the phone (I HATE talking on the phone). She is teasingly (or not
) jealous of Dude because he gets to live with me and MrS and she only gets me one weekend a year (she and her husband live across the state now). When I was talking to her once years ago about polyamory and grey areas in terms of friends/sex/intimacy she said that if my FWB that I was less close to “counted” as poly then she certainly did too and she came to the conclusion that she was my “platonic girlfriend.” Her ideal would be for them to move in with us, merge our libraries (we are both bibliophiles) and keep house for me (her husband would not be ok with this, however).
SLL is another friend from grad school. Lesbian. Monogamous. SLL has the misfortune to fall for risk-taking thrill-seeking athletic highly-sexed bisexual women … who cheat on her with men. She is always calling me with questions about relationships, bisexuality, and polyamory. No matter how many times I explain that cheating is not poly (and that she actually has more “relationship” experience than I do) she keeps looking to me (and poly) for answers. We are not each others “type,” so there has never been a question of sexual tension between us. Aside from being sex-positive women who happen to work in the same field we don't actually have all that much in common. I find it interesting that we have been friends for so long (even to the point where we vacationed together without our SOs a few years ago) – but hearing about the drama that is always evolving in her life is soooo fascinating. Probably the fact that this is a LDR (even if the “R” is that of friends) is a plus here...I can only take SLL in limited doses.