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  #101  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:39 AM
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Need to get better at scheduling. It's a bit ad-hoc at the moment and while there've been no serious fuck-ups, some solid intentionality can't hurt.

Spent the night at Grotto's last night without planning to in advance, making it two nights in a row. I hadn't slept over at his for maybe a week before that. It had just happened that way, given my father being in town, but he'd felt the separation.

While we're cuddling, I got a text from Ocean. At the noise of the message coming through, Grotto says "your master's voice". Joking, yes, but it's that wry based-on-a-true-story humour. This was before I'd decided to stay the night (at that point I intended to head back to sleep with Ocean.) But I checked in with Ocean, who didn't mind if I stayed there, so I did.

I had a Skype date with my brother early morning, so I scooted away from Grotto's in time to slip into bed with Ocean for a bit before we needed to officially get up. Ocean e-mailed me later in the day: "I really like the early morning snugs on days to wake up from nights when you've crashed elsewhere " He hardly ever requests anything of me unless I press him, so this is a rare insight and something I will definitely keep in mind!

I couldn't help fantasising about how things could work, if we ever ended up living together with Grotto and/or other partners...

But yes, scheduling. Not so much a strict timetable so much as checking in on what people's needs are, and whether we want to set any regular dates. We're pretty easy-going and tend to let things evolve. Though we're relating really well at the moment, I don't want to take it for granted.

Something Grotto, Ocean and I did a couple of years ago was a 'reading group'. Each week, the three of us picked a reading each (an article or chapter from a book or something) and we'd get together over dinner and discuss it. Now we're in the same city again, it would be sweet to re-establish the tradition. Ocean's keen. Will ask Grotto. Maybe Monday nights. Possibly Menrva/Bert could join... though that makes a lot of reading. And it was nice to hang out in our pod of three.

Funny, with the connections growing, each viable molecule still seems to need its own sustenance. It's not enough for the individual romantic dyads to have their fill separately and then the group dynamics sorted by everyone altogether on a big date.

Will end with a couple of sweet moments.

This morning, I was making porridge and coffee while Ocean was getting ready for work. Before he jumped into the shower he ran out to show me drawings that Menrva had done on his belly. A fish around his belly button, and some other doodles. Funnily enough, yesterday I'd drawn various sea creatures on Grotto (on his arms). I've never done this before (draw on someone with ballpoint pen) so the coincidence was cool. I added a bashful tentacle to Menrva's drawing and sent Ocean to work.

Last night, Grotto and I lay in bed snoozing and got to talking about relationships. He said he feels very committed to me, and I feel the same way. What this entails for the future, I have no idea.

"How are we gonna make this work?" I asked, half-dreamily.

Grotto cuddled me and said, "we are making this work." It put me to sleep like a lullaby.
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  #102  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:51 PM
jennykeck jennykeck is offline
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thank you for sharing your story it helps to know I am not the only person who dose not have a need for monogamy.
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  #103  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:11 PM
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jennykeck - thanks for your kind words. I like your use of the word "family"

Had a beautiful Sunday yesterday. My cousin, Ocean, Grotto, myself and some mutual friends did breakfast together then went to a local music festival. Menrva and Bert were going too and I invited them through Ocean... but he forgot to tell them about breakfast. So they turned up expecting to leave straight away and we were pissing about making crepes and juice and lounging in the "hot tub" (sofas pushed together) and blowing giant bubbles off the balcony with a bubble stick. As they were meeting most people there for the first time, they were understandably a bit overwhelmed. Tried to smooth things over and be hospitable, but the vibes were rough as Menrva was peeved with Ocean for not giving them the right info in the first place.

Turns out we had two people too many in order to share the biggest taxi, anyway, so Menrva & Bert headed to the festival by themselves, and we met up with them later. Apart from that awkwardness, it was a smooth, sunshine-y, peaceful day. I uncharacteristically wore a dress, $10 from the op-shop (which is pretty much the max I pay for an item of clothing) and I felt like summer.

Dancing with Ocean, lazing in Grotto's arms, joining the travelling band for a spell... hell, yeah. I loved being out with friends.

Last edited by fuchka; 11-11-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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  #104  
Old 11-16-2012, 10:16 PM
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I don't know what the deal is with Ella. I jumped into the relationship rashly. This was while Grotto and her were still together, towards the end of one of my fleeting visits home.

Why did I ask her to be my girlfriend? A mixture of spontaneity, wanting to be welcoming, and wanting to get to know her better, to be there for her independently, not just via-Grotto. She gave me her hat. At the time, that was enough.

Her attitude to romance (unreserved, spreading arms out wide, "let's do this") begged me to reciprocate. Thing is, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

One of the issues I've identified is that I'm not desperately drawn to her sexually. We have good sex, but I don't need it. It's interesting, Grotto felt a similar thing (he said they had "no spark") and is why they broke up. I don't feel the spark either, but I get a sense that Ella and I are sparking past each other, something is lost in translation, and I'm curious to continue, if she is open to it.

My last visit brought up a whole lot of shit around this, and I wrote her a lengthy e-mail at the time unpacking my thoughts. So far (after about a month) she hasn't replied, and I guess I feel a bit off-the-hook about it. We've chatted occasionally, Skyped once, but nothing directly on how she feels about how I feel. I told her she could take her time, and I didn't want to put pressure on her. But I reckon it's time for a direct "what's the deal, yo?"

I have generally eschewed labels on relationships. But this long-distance undefined thing is surprisingly draining. I care about her and don't want to be a bad thing in her life. I'm fairly good at adjusting my own position vis-a-vis another person in order for them to not be a bad thing in my life... but I don't want to use anyone.

Ella and I talk in very different ways. She doesn't mind thinking in terms of duty and responsibility. Giving people what they're "owed". I act more on my feelings in a situation. I give because I want to give. I do take time to contemplate morals, duties etc, in general, but in a particular situation it boils down to my gut feeling, I think.

Point being, we have much to learn about each other.

I was reading some things yesterday about Boston marriages / romantic friendships. Made me think about my own proclivities. Much as I love good sex, I love it in the context of touch and conversation and mutual support and helping each other grow good things (in the main). The raw animalistic pleasure of sex catches me beautifully with some people, but it's not something I seek out. And it has to work with the rest of my life. Fucking all the time is like ice cream all the time - I don't want it. Decadence is a sometimes food.

I met someone recently who had an image of Ganesh on his wall. He said it was "to remove barriers to pleasure". I wasn't attracted to him, and I was ok with that non-attraction, but it made me consider the barriers I may put up to pleasure. Puritanism/guilt associated with my Catholic upbringing? I dunno. Much of what turns me on in the world is offering myself up in useful ways, whatever that may be. Being the best me. Being just the thing someone needs. Or being by myself, or somewhere else, if you don't need me.
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  #105  
Old 11-17-2012, 11:01 AM
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Thoughts I had (you don't need to answer here if you don't feel like it). How do you feel about Ella? Is there love? Or something that could be going that way? What kind of things do you like about her? You had a specific situation prompt you to start the relationship; what kind of reasons are there to continue it?
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  #106  
Old 11-19-2012, 07:57 AM
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Thanks rory. Very pertinent questions. What attracts me to Ella is our shared interests (writing, music, general creativity, politics, community-building, cooking, exploring the outdoors), her hilarious and loving nature, and also how she's different from me in ways that are complementary and/or that I can learn from (e.g. coming from a staunch atheistic background; being slow-paced and considered in her actions; having a straight-up, uncomplicated sex drive; cultivating a simple social life of a few, close friends and a good relationship with her parents.)

These attractions of course don't mean that a close romantic relationship is right for us right now, especially with the long distance factor. On reflection, I've really got too much I'd like to prioritise above making this work (harsh, but true). I'm going to write to her and suggest we be intimate correspondents / pen pals for the next wee while. It'll be a good, proper letter and if I'm understanding her well enough, it'll be as much a relief to her as it will be to me.

Fuck, I'm hard work eh. Sometimes I realise how serious a person I come across as. Oh wellz

Other news from across the ecosystem:

- Ocean had his first sleepover at Menrva's last week, when her husband was out of town for work. Their DADT arrangement meant that Menrva didn't tell Bert about it in advance, but then she felt odd when txting him through the night and the next morning (given Ocean was still there) so she eventually said something about watching a movie with Ocean til the wee hours, and him staying over "because it got too late". This wasn't the exact truth, as the sleepover had been planned weeks in advance (as soon as they knew Bert would be away), but I suppose it was her way of making a compromise between Bert's desire to know nothing and her desire to check in honestly.

Ah, seriously... I find DADT so confusing! Apparently Bert keeps repeating that he really doesn't want to know any details. Menrva (understandably) wants to share some things with him (esp when it comes to clarifying boundaries I imagine), and Ocean is fairly mellow in the middle, respecting Bert while caring for Menrva. If you take someone's DADT at face value (that they are really ok as long as you keep the lid on it) it's not that problematic. It takes a lot of care and trust, though, I imagine. I wish them well, while thinking to myself "surely it would be easier if you talked about things?"

It's really none of my business, as not my direct relationship, but I do find it odd and a tad incomprehensible. I guess it's because I don't feel the desire for a DADT, in fact, I think it would frustrate me to no end. But Ocean's relaxed about it, which is all that matters. Grotto and I, however, are both befuddled re: their paper-thin veneer of monogamy, and occasionally wanna punch a hole in it. Luckily it's not our shit to deal with

- I mentioned to Grotto recently that a lot of his friends treat me as his girlfriend and behave as if we were an isolated couple. While they mostly know about Ocean, he seems not to be conceptually included as part of what works in our relationship (if that makes sense) e.g. doesn't get invited to some things even when he's friends with some of the people going (cos now I'm there as Grotto's partner). This mostly grates in situations when, if Grotto wasn't here, Ocean and I may have been invited as a couple in our own right.

I don't think it's malicious or thoughtless. It's possibly simply that people are quite used to dealing with couples, but not with poly dynamics. Having a netful of mutual friends makes navigating this stuff trickier than usual. Anyway, Grotto said that he'd be more considerate of inviting Ocean to things so it's more obvious that we're comfortable socialising together.

Well. Yesterday, one of Grotto's work colleagues was throwing a dinner party with Grotto (they were having a cook-off) and Grotto asked if it was okay if Ocean could come as well as me. That was really sweet of him, and I loved being there with them both. I realised this is an important aspect for me, to feel less disparate between different social circles.

- Finally, babies! We've had the discussion on and off. Not trying for kids yet but it's something on the horizon in the next 2-5 years. What's new is my own clarity around the situation, and sounding this off to both Ocean and Grotto. In the right environment, if we were all ready, I would be open to having kids with either Ocean or Grotto. For practical reasons, it would be better to try with Ocean first, esp as the two of us have more confidence about being compatible in day-to-day domestic situations, and have a stronger web of family support (not essential, but will make things so much easier!)

I asked Grotto, if things end up going that way, whether he could see this as a parental role for all three of us. I.e. if Ocean and I had a child, if he could be a dad more than an uncle. Cos then, if we all feel that works out, we may feel more ready to approach trying for a kid the two of us (Grotto and me). He liked the sound of that (yay).

I know things with children are notoriously unplannable, and even if you try for children, this may not happen. Also, I'm not 100% sure I want to have children at all. I'm sometimes into it, and sometimes put off by the brutal reality I suspect I'll want to, though, I can feel the cluckiness building, and also my thoughts winding that way... so I'm just preparing for it, in case that's what we all want to do.

Ooooh a PS. Not sure if I mentioned this in my blog before (and, really, my narrative is so scatty I wouldn't expect anyone to be following even if I had, anyway!) A few months ago, I asked Grotto if he'd marry me. Not sure how it will work, obviously, and I don't mean any kind of traditional marriage, it was more the sentiment of life commitment. He said yes. Anything public is a long way off yet (years, I imagine!) but my desire for growing old with him is something settled in my heart. This is no longer any more of an experiment than my relationship with Ocean. It's working, we're good, and I want to cultivate this in my life, for the long haul.
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  #107  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:09 PM
Octopus Octopus is offline
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love your way of writing and seeing situations, I think we're quite similar in some ways.
Great to hear all the good news (woah, babies and marriage!)
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  #108  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:24 AM
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Octopus - thanks for your kind words I'm glad you identify some like-mindedness... it's comforting to meet kindred spirits. Re: the big issues - oh yeah, not happening anytime soon, but it's been good to talk about some possible futures.

Ocean's contract ends soon. Maybe as soon as end-Dec, but most likely closer to Easter. He's hopefully getting clarification around that this week or next, and meanwhile I'm job hunting in earnest. Looking for something that will support us staying here in our new city for at least another year.

It was a hard decision to come to as I still have a couple of job offers open at home. If it was just me, personally, I'd go back to our old city. I have job security there, and it's easy for me to pursue many of my interests. It's a smaller place, so the living is cheaper, especially as I have a very inexpensive place to stay. But. We're gonna try to make it work here in this big, expensive city It's a challenge, and I think it'll be good for us both personally and professionally.

It staves off any major long distance, too. Menrva's based here for the next few years and probably Grotto too. Actually, Grotto's dropped a few comments to suggest he's not thinking of moving back to our home city anytime soon. Maybe never. (!) Well. A bridge to cross when we get to it.

We have our current apartment til Easter, and Grotto's apartment's lease runs out at a similar time. There's a possibility of shared living after that, if it'll make things work. We'll see.

Other things?

Menrva and Ocean have organised a Christmas picnic for their work colleagues. I had a squee when I got the invite as it listed them both as contact people. Cute. They aren't out at work but, hmm. I suspect a few people have their suspicions!

Menrva's really concerned that being out would affect her employment, though. Ocean is too, to a lesser extent. That sucks. I'm not sure what the fear is based on. I know some of my work colleagues may think I was strange, or whorish, if they knew I wasn't monogamous but I didn't worry I'd lose my job over it (unless they though I was fucking about in work time... maybe that's it actually, as Menrva & Ocean are colleagues. Heh)

Anyway, given their concerns, Ocean said he'd like Grotto to come to the picnic, but he's not sure of us appearing as a couple. This put me off a bit. I'd almost rather not have Grotto there at all, to having him there but us feigning a platonic relationship. I think my emotions are getting a bit twisted up, though, cos it's a fair enough request for Menrva/Ocean to want to limit who they are 'out' to. I reckon I'm weirdly experiencing this as an extension of their DADT arrangement onto me (and I know it's got little to do with that).

Maybe I just don't understand their boundaries, and think they sometimes draw the lines in incomprehensible places, which triggers a desire to scribble my rainbow crayons outside their lines just to prove it won't break anything. Kinda childish of me. I need to accept their limits at face value in this case. It's up to them if they want to be risk-averse with their colleagues.

Unfortunately I forwarded the picnic invite to Grotto without clarification (it said "Friends welcome" and I assumed it'd be cool if he came) so will have to chat with him about Ocean's concerns. I think Grotto and I value and enjoy being out to people, and it's not something we'd give up lightly. However in particular contexts, to respect other people's boundaries/fears, we could be discrete. Guess it's just something we wouldn't wanna make a habit of.

Well. I better get back to my tasks. Need to finish up before Grotto gets here Ocean's heading out after work for dinner and drinks so I have the place to myself. I recently realised (on a rare occasion when Grotto's flatmates were out, and the two of us were home alone at his place) how infrequently we have time to hang out at home with no one else around. I checked in with Ocean to confirm that he'd be out and we'd have the place to ourselves. It's funny how hard it was, to ask a partner you co-habit with to make themselves scarce. It helps that Ocean's asked this of me a few times - either to have Menrva over, or to get some time out by himself. Still, it felt odd to effectively ban someone from their own house, even for a short time.

No guilt, though. Just anticipation And realising I have to get a lot done before Grotto gets here, whoops! This post was longer than I intended.

Last edited by fuchka; 11-21-2012 at 04:27 AM.
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  #109  
Old 11-23-2012, 01:28 AM
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Grotto took me out to dinner last night. Delicious food and conversation. We wandered around town for a bit afterwards, noted a few places to try out for food another time, had a couple of cocktails and rolled back to his place. Found ourselves home alone briefly, and took advantage of it Fell asleep as two spoons. Whenever I wake up next to him, it's a tiny, exquisite surprise. We kissed and fucked each other good morning. Breakfast, four coffees, two cigarettes (both his) then I walked him to work. In his words: "good to spend time."

Ocean and I are long overdue a date night. We've had an unrelenting stream of visitors (three more this weekend, staying for four-five days) but have a date pending for after that. It's a high priority for both of us.

It's Menrva's birthday tomorrow, and Ocean's been trying to finish making a present for her so has been reluctant to being diverted. I think he's hit a block though. He was planning to do the bulk of the work last night (while I was out with Grotto) but it's barely started. I know how frustrating that is, to want and need to get something done, but for whatever reason not having the energy or inspiration for it. I have Christmas presents to make, so hopefully can inspire him by working side-by-side tonight.

In the meantime, I'm making a birthday present for him, as his birthday is the day after tomorrow Menrva and he are having a shared birthday dinner that night. Grotto wasn't invited as Menrva's supervisor will be there. Apparently her supervisor knows that Menrva is in an open relationship, and also that she spends a lot of time with Ocean. If it's obvious that Ocean's also in an open relationship (by Grotto being there) then they may connect the dots. Ah, closets. I don't find it too claustrophobic, though. I have Narnia in mine
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  #110  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:22 AM
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Spent the day with Ocean yesterday on his birthday. Made him a breakfast with walnuts in everything, cos he's always putting walnuts in food these days. Was delish Menrva came over in the morning to wish him happy birthday... She'd baked him a cake! She often visits with Bert in tow, but yesterday it was just her which was nice for a change. Ocean and her kissed and cuddled for a bit while I finished up in the kitchen. We sang happy birthday, he cut the cake, it was good! I am unskilled in baking so I appreciate people in my social circle who whip things together in the oven.

Soon after Menrva left, Grotto rang Ocean to wish him happy birthday. I didn't ask or remind him to do so, and it was really sweet of him. Functionality is so, so good

During the day, Ocean and I headed out to a cultural festival at a nearby reserve. The weather was perfect - somehow both warm and cool at the same time. Lazy Sunday afternoon, good music. Yup.

Dinner with Menrva, Bert and a few mutual friends. The table was a rectangle so it wasn't the best for talking with everyone. I was sitting on one end, and Menrva at the other, so Ocean changed seats a couple of times during the dinner in order to circulate.

At one point, Menrva posed with him for a picture. Bert took it. Ocean was very confused as to how to act, though Menrva was quite cuddly! It's a cute pic, but you can tell he's unsure of what to do, both in front of the work colleague and also Bert (given their DADT which is seeming less of a reality the more they spend time together... there have been a few occasions sitting outside at social events recently where Menrva's lying curled up between Ocean & Bert.)

Things in the main are excellent. Re: Ocean & Menrva, I have moments now and then of feeling a teensy bit vile/vindictive? Not sure the best word to describe. But it feels like I'm choosing to take offence, in a passive-aggressive or self-sabotage-y way. It's usually over a tiny thing but it hangs heavy emotionally. An example: yesterday at dinner, Ocean asked me if I wanted to share a particular dessert with him. I said, sure, that sounds good, and added that I was probably going to get some ice cream too if he wanted to share that. After that, he moved to the other end of the table to chat with Bert, Menrva etc. When desserts came, I noticed he'd ordered something else (not something I had wanted to try, but ok). We had a quick back & forth across the table (me: "Oh, you got that?" him: "yeah I changed my mind." me: "Ah, ok") and went back to our respective conversations. My ice cream was good and I'm not even really that into desserts, so I was satisfied with the status quo. But... Menrva and he started sharing his dessert, and were chatting between themselves... and I felt that jealous twinge. Jesus, am I really that petty? I felt it simmering inside me, and it wasn't even that I particularly wanted to try the dessert, it was almost like I was attracted to the excuse (however small) to be jealous.

I put it down to Ocean and I needing a proper date, with time to tease out emotions, talk and fuck, pretty much. We've got visitors coming over this evening for a few days. After they leave, we schedule some playtime asap - yay!

Menrva and Bert head off in about 10 days, for six weeks. Looking forward to the space there too, spending time with Ocean, shoring up ourselves.

Hope to catch Grotto for lunch today (before visitors get here) because it might be a while before I can see him properly. Argh, being busy. I'm glad it's no chore to make time for Ocean or Grotto, though. It's what I want.

Still haven't written The Letter to Ella. Gotta do that before I blog again here, seriously.

Last edited by fuchka; 11-26-2012 at 04:11 AM.
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