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Old 06-24-2012, 04:36 AM
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Helvidius Helvidius is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Posts: 5
Default Mark in Ark

I have known for many years now that I am different than most people. For years I thought that I was a freak. I have a tremendous capacity for love. Please don't think me braggadocios, but I am the kindest, most loving person that I know. I have fallen in love many times over the years; though in many ways it has been unrequited.
When I was 22 years old, I got married. I was a Christian and meant every word of my vows at that time—especially the part about "forsaking all others." So when I found myself falling madly in love with other women, I bottled it up inside of me. I suffered in silence because I had made a vow that I intended to keep. Fast-forward 22 years. My marriage was on very rocky ground, I was living in Arkansas (because my wife had kicked me out of the house) and she was living in Ohio. I was absolutely devastated when she told me that during the time that we had been talking about reconciling, she had been living with another man. All the while we both were still married. My world felt like it had come crashing down. All of those times that I had been madly in love, but suffered in silence had felt for naught.
But in a sense it had freed me. My marriage ended and I found myself alone. Then I found out about polyamory. I read books about it and it seemed to be talking about me. It opened a whole new world for me—a world where I was not the freak. A world that said it is okay to be intimately in love with multiple people—a world that I wanted to explore.
Reading about polyamory is interesting and sometimes confusing. Some people confuse it with being a "swinger." And I am sure that there are many people who would classify themselves as both polyamorous and swingers, and that is okay too. But for me, it is not about the sex. I am a "normal" 49 year-old man who enjoys sex immensely. But for me, it is not the "be all, end all." In my estimation, it is the dessert of the relationship--not the main course.
My problem is where to find like-minded people? I found that most swingers consist of a couple plus other women. Single men do not seem to be very welcome. I was married to the same woman for 27 years. She is the third woman that I ever dated. Since that time, I have had one intimate relationship--with a very unhappily married woman. It was a mistake. Her husband, though he suspected something, never knew about our rendezvous in San Antonio. I decided that I DO NOT want to be "the other man." Not that I would not mind having a loving, intimate relationship with a married woman, but I would only do it with her husband’s blessing, and hopefully, his friendship.
I have never had sexual relations with a man, though I do not rule out the idea. I am not gay by any means, but the idea of being sexually intimate with a couple who I love does sound appealing.
The trouble I am having is that since I have gotten a divorce, I still live in Arkansas (the buckle of the Bible-Belt). All of the women who I have befriended (acquaintances to mild friends) all come from the viewpoint that monogamy is THE only way to go. I've tested the waters with them from an intellectual standpoint and find those waters very cold and uninviting. Hence they are just friends. I know that I'm not "normal," but I like it that way. I need to be me. I need to celebrate who I am and not fit into anyone's box again.
Where does one find like-minded people in a local area—or perhaps not more than two hundred miles away? Arkansas is the most close-minded state that I have ever lived in. Since 1959 it has been against state law to even advocate nudism. That means, if I started touting the virtues of nudism, I could be arrested. And that is with never having to take my clothes off! I'm a closet nudist, but Arkansas is not the place to be if one wants to experiment with such things in a social environment--but I digress.
I know that networking with like-minded individuals is the place to start, so that is why I am here.
Does anyone out there have any ideas of how to bring up open relationships in such a way that is "natural" in conversation? Any help would be appreciated.
Mark Fedora
(Mark is my real first name--Fedora--a nice hat.)
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arkansas, bible-belt, poly

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