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  #51  
Old 02-04-2012, 03:37 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Had a lovely time with Whip last night. We were going to a swinger meetup but didn't actually make the meetup.😉

It's been a nice ego boost to be with someone who wants to be with me. And that sounds way more pathetic than I meant. Long story short, I don't need people to validate my attractiveness or worth - I do fine on that by myself - but it is soothing when that happens externally anyway.

Also, @DH, I miss fisting!
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  #52  
Old 02-07-2012, 03:50 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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That's the spirit ....Viva la fisting .....I knew you'd fit in on a road trip.

Good luck and have fun on your new journey.
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  #53  
Old 04-13-2012, 05:05 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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It's been a few months. Lots going on.

I did stop talking with Beaker for a while which helped. We are now talking once in a while. We are finally starting to have real conversations. She actually asked about SW. Beaker had never asked about my relationship with SW after we broke up and so I never told her we had ended things sexually. She seemed surprised, I'm not sure why.

I was diagnosed with high risk HPV after an abnormal pap smear. High risk HPV is the kind that can cause cervical cancer (but not genital warts). I do not have cancer but I will need a pap smear every six months for a while. So I had to tell my current and past partners. Whip took it the best. He is young enough that he has taken the vaccine. And, of course, he's 25 and feels invincible. Oil Man was pretty freaked out about it and had lots of questions. He's more distant than ever now. Beaker felt sorry for me. SW hasn't said much to me about it.

I'm struggling on how to have safer sex with a virus that is passed via skin to skin contact, with touch. I know how to have 'avoid fluids' safer sex but am stumped on dealing with HPV (or herpes which is the other major STI passed via touch).

It doesn't help that there is a stigma about STIs. No one in my community has talked openly about STIs of any kind at all. Of course, I understand why -I don't want to talk about it openly either. I am conflicted about talking about here, and hesitated for a long time. I feel weirdly ashamed although I know I have no reason. After all, 70% of sexually active people have been exposed to the various HPV strains. I also read that if you have had 5 sexual partners in your life, then statistically, you've been exposed. Most don't develop an infection because most people's autoimmune system fights off the virus with no problem.

How do I have enjoyable sex while minimizing skin contact? Skin to skin touch is one of the main things I love about sex! Condoms help but I've been very strict about using condoms since the incident with SW and using condoms every single time did not prevent me from getting HPV. I do not want to wrap myself in barriers. But I have one of the cancer-causing strains and I do not want to pass it to a male partner who passes it on to another woman. Or if I ever have sex with a woman again.
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  #54  
Old 04-13-2012, 06:31 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hmm, I've had abnormal pap smears before, and then they always have me do it again and they come out normal the second time. I don't know why that is. But you say that you were definitively diagnosed with HPV? I don't know much about HPV but there is a long thread about it here with some links to sites that have information, I believe. But, yeah, it would be helpful to get feedback from people who have it and how they go about having sex and protecting themselves.

Sorry to hear this!
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #55  
Old 04-13-2012, 07:42 PM
km34 km34 is offline
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I had the HPV vaccine and still ended up having one of the high-risk strains that it doesn't cover - it's only good for 2 low risk and 2 high risk out of at least 70-100 different strains. Lucky me!

Anyway, I go back for my first follow up pap in May, so I totally get where you are right now. It's pretty mind blowing at first. At least you could tell all your past partners... I don't even have contact info for many of mine.

Basically what I learned is that the cells are very slow to mutate so as long as you keep up on your paps, you should be fine. If they continue to mutate, they may have to remove the abnormal cells so that they don't become cancerous. Generally the body will fight it off on its own. You will ALWAYS have HPV, but it is only spreadable at certain times when it is active. The bad? You never know when those times are.

I haven't had anybody react too badly once I've explained how rare it is for cancer to actually develop. It is also so common now, that people I told that I hadn't been sexual with have told me they have it too! A surprising support system. It is much, much more common than I realized!

As for avoiding the skin-to-skin contact.... EVERY sexual partner I've had since diagnosis has been willing to take the risk. They figure they normally don't know whether someone has it or not, so at least they're prepared for it since I told them. Just talk to your partners and see what they want.

Best of luck!
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  #56  
Old 04-14-2012, 12:48 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Cindie, my doctor did further testing - mostly to confirm I did not have cancer.

KM, thank you for sharing your experiences. I know the vaccine is not perfect but that is disappointing.
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  #57  
Old 04-15-2012, 05:40 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Default Letting Go Part I

In addition to the HPV thing going on, I've been struggling with my relationship with SW. In October, I told him I wanted to see if a serious relationship could work between us. He ultimately wasn't interested. I'm having a very hard time letting go of my romantic interest in SW. I meet very few people that I can fall in love with. It's happened maybe 5 times or so in my lifetime. I've tried various ways to manage being friends. For a while, I avoided talking about who I was seeing so to avoid talking about who he was seeing. This was awkward because we've always been really open about the other people in our lives. So that didn't work after a while. So then I would talk generically about dating but not go into details, as did he.

Have to run errands. To be continued...
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  #58  
Old 04-20-2012, 10:00 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Default SW thing con't

I struggled with going to events where he and some of the women he is dating would also be. Completely irrational but it bugged me.

I guess I missed my window of possibility of being a potential partner for him. If there ever was a window. A year or so ago, he could see me as a partner but I wasn't available as I was still with Beaker. It was also never really clear to me at the time that was what he wanted. Maybe it was a passing want. However, I don't see the difference between now and then. I'm not with Beaker anymore. He is not with his girlfriend anymore. I guess I want to know what changed for him. Maybe he got over the NRE and realized I wasn't all that. Or thinks we are not all that compatible. The fact I feel that like non-monogamy is going to be part of my life for the foreseeable future and he does not is the polite, non-hurtful reason he gave for turning me down. I want to know the 'real' reasons for his lack of interest. Perhaps I should ask him. Of course, I also don't want to know. Arrgghhh!!!

It doesn't help that part of me, a big part, thinks he is a fucking idiot. I am kinda awesome and a bit of a catch. Of course, that is better than thinking that I'm just not that great. It is also frustrating that he is seeing women who are a lot like me - smart, funny women, some of whom are overweight with big boobs. This drives me nuts. I always thought I wasn't his type but apparently, broadly, I am, or at least one of his types.

The 'what ifs' drive me crazy. I am generally not one to deal on what-ifs. I usually accept what happened and move on, I don't analyze the 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' scenarios. If someone is not interested, I usually am bummed for a bit but then accept it and move on. Except that is exactly what I am doing in this situation, about this man. And I am not sure why. I feel like a fucking squirrel running around with no fucking clue as where I put that goddamn acorn of understanding.

Fuck.
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  #59  
Old 04-20-2012, 10:38 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Opalescent,

You are fucking awesome (not just kinda awesome) and totally a catch (not just a bit of a catch) !!!

But you may never find out why he doesn't want more of a solid partnership with you. Maybe he doesn't completely know why not, either. Sometimes people say "no" to the very things they want the most, out of an unconscious belief that they don't deserve having it. And maybe you are focusing on him more exactly because it ended with Beaker and you perceive him as being more available than he was before -- but that doesn't mean it really should happen.

There is always this useful exercise for trying to deconstruct certain thought processes/behaviors/whatever: ask yourself, "what does this buy me?" In other words, what does it buy you to struggle with these feelings and focus on wanting more from SW than he is willing to give? Why isn't what he can give enough? There's always a pay-off, even when we stew in crappy feelings or won't let go of something that brings us pain. Does wanting more from him help you avoid feeling something else? Does it reinforce old ideas about yourself that in turn support a belief system or pattern of behavior you've constructed? Does it create problems where maybe none really exist, because admitting that life is pretty darn good would challenge some limits you perceive about yourself? And so on.

Maybe the relationship is right for you just the way it is and it's best for you to sit with the discomfort you feel around that, and the "extra space" there is in your life after your relationship with Beaker ended, without filling it up again. Yeah, it sucks to feel like you want someone more than they want you, or that something is missing, but it's like the sand irritating the oyster, y'know, you could get a pearl out of this.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 04-20-2012 at 10:42 PM.
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  #60  
Old 06-24-2012, 02:57 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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So I've been in an experimental phase.

I went to my first private kink play party. Overall that was fun. I did not play very much - I'm not a masochist so flogging or whipping does not appeal. I'm not a sadist so I don't want to flog or whip someone else. (Although I may try flogging - both giving and receiving - just to see what it feels like. Whipping requires too much skill and I don't want to go down that particular kink road.) I am interested in bondage but I have to admit suspension bondage escapes me. I don't get why people do it. But there are many things I don't get in kink - and of course, I don't have to get them.

I watched a lot which was interesting. I like watching kink scenes a lot, unlike regular sex. Kink is pretty much totally new so I guess that is why.

I did try fire play. That was seriously fun! I learned my pain tolerance was higher than most newbies to fire play which surprised me. I think of myself as someone with a low pain tolerance. However, I was processing the sensations furiously internally. Someone more extroverted or exhibtionist may have processed more out loud than I did. Fascinating experience. I want to learn how to do it.

I've also been going to quite a few kink oriented or related parties, gatherings, munches. I mostly enjoyed myself. However, I do not feel particularly at ease with the crowd that I've been hanging out with. They have done nothing wrong or been unwelcoming. However, I've realized that this kink crowd is not as open and acknowledging to introverts as the my local poly crowd. I think this may be just how kink communities are - public play is such a part of it. There is a premium placed on showing one's kink skills, doing public scenes, etc. (By public I mean at private or public play parties - not in public public!) A lot of people don't play in public it's true but I haven't meet them because they largely don't go to the more open events. Also my local kink crowd, unconsciously I believe, subtly reinforces the stereotype that man=dom and woman=sub as that is what most people who socialize in that group tend to identify as. There are switches of both genders around and they are not ostracized. However, there are very few female dommes. Again, I don't think this is intentional. But it's another point where I don't feel fully comfortable and at home. So I think I will ratchet back on the kink events - be more selective while continuing to explore kink. And I may just need to find another kink circle to hang out in.

More later.
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