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  #11  
Old 08-03-2013, 12:45 AM
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fuchka fuchka is offline
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Default ... and family

I have two younger brothers, who I'm quite close to.

They both know and like Ocean, and can't get their heads around the rest of it. Partly it's difficult because they both live overseas so don't get a chance to spend time and hang out with the people in my life. Partly they just don't understand how this arrangement can be okay, and because of this they don't approve. They feel that Ocean and I are taking a foolish risk, and that we haven't given our marriage a chance (I've been with Grotto since before Ocean and I got hitched) etc etc.

The younger of the two is most similar to me - a bit more experimental with his life, takes his caboose off track. I know he'd be more likely than the other one to empathise with me.

Recently, I've been talking with him quite a bit as he's been finishing up some major exams and wasn't feeling great about them. So I was checking in on him regularly. One of those days he told me "sorry that I have been judgmental about you and Grotto. Once my exams are over, we'll chat about it." That gave me a lot of hope... maybe too much hope.

Yesterday we had the planned chat, and it was kind of awful. His views had not advanced from the first proper heart-to-heart we'd had about it, back when I first got together with Grotto four years ago.

He's still worried that Ocean is actually okay with this. Asking questions like: What happens when two people want to hang out with you at the same time? Who gets priority? Things which just haven't been issues for us, at all. I knew he was just trying to get it... and he was just voicing his concerns, but woah - so disconnected from my real experience.

I need to be patient, cos he's my brother and I'd love him to be able to have a better grasp on how this works for me.

My other brother has told me he doesn't want to talk about it at all as it makes him uncomfortable.

Hmm.

I'm conscious how definitively I'm choosing one family (the one I'm making) over my biological family.

I don't know if I'm making the right choice.

No. I know I'm making the only choice I can. Here's hoping there's enough middle ground.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2013, 04:51 AM
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Default To be implicit

About a couple of months back, I slept with one of Grotto's close friends. This was a boundary for Grotto, and the fallout from this continues... I feel I'm in some strange friendship/love triangle, just having to trust that all of us have a common allegiance to treating each other well at the core of it all. Their friendship predates my relationship with Grotto... There's some gender stuff in here too, like there's some boys' club, and I'm Yoko Ono that broke up the Beatles.

As for the dude himself... I'd only just been getting to know him (since moving to this city) but ah, attraction. I felt that moisture-to-dry-ground thing, when you can tell you're easing somebody in a way that's good for them. A cousin once accused me of needing to be needed - there's some truth in that. I like being a good thing in someone's life. But I also seek the reverse (perhaps less so, admittedly.) In any case... I'm soft for this guy. He reminds me of an old boyfriend, my first good relationship... that I also happened to have in this city, 12 years ago when I lived here (ahhhh, yup.)

So I can hang out with him, but I can't... what?

I'm not exactly clear what the boundary is. Definitely not sex, probably not intimacy of certain vague natures.

My current self-imposed rules of engagement are: Do not flirt. Do not discuss with The Friend any desires that are not able to be fulfilled given Grotto's current boundaries. Err on the side of coolness.

But sometimes, sitting and talking with him, he puts his arm around my shoulder... Ah... what am I meant to do about that? I want to lean in, cuddle... but is that too far? Gee, I'm really not sure. I'm trying to behave platonically without really understanding what platonic means.

I've brought this up with Grotto occasionally, but it's hard cos he's so tender about it. Still bruised, still healing... why do I keep poking it? Maybe I should admit that I need to step back and let things settle more. But this friend has been feeling depressed, and I'd like to be able to be there for him a bit, give him excuses to leave the house, etc. Basically, be caring. But not too caring. Almost as if this is a professional relationship. Maybe that's a workable analogy, for me.

But - ugh - gross. I don't want to conceive of relationships with people like that.

One of the last few times I talked about this topic with Grotto, he started freaking out about the idea of seeing his friend again, after what had happened. This was bad, the paranoid growth. The only way to fix it would be for them to hang out together - and that was largely out of my control. I was patient for a bit but it seemed to me that his friend was also avoiding him. Previously he'd visited regularly, but since the Transgression, he hadn't.

So, I... meddled. A little. I not-so-subtly mentioned to the friend - "you planning to visit there anytime soon? Grotto's still a bit tender and just hanging out with you would probably help untangle things." He replied "Ok, will sort something out." And - this weekend - he went. The boys hung out, all's good. Phew.

I felt I had to admit to Grotto my part in it, because I hadn't told him that I'd said anything. I felt a bit conniving - although it was with good intentions. I really don't like sticking my nose in other people's business. But I needed something to shift here because I felt a bit alone on it.

His friend isn't being particularly helpful. I've figured he's an implicit sort of guy. Just goes with the flow of things, and doesn't always feel the need to clarify what's going on. I'm not naturally inclined towards that... it's been challenging.

What I want: to explore this relationship with Grotto's friend like any other relationship... which means any restrictions need to be an understood part of the adventure for me.

I've got this precious nugget of lust left over from the experience, too. Fucking him was righteous. His cock knew where it was going inside me, and he came a sticky mess all over my chest.

Whatever happens, I'm glad that were were once that close. No regrets.
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2013, 10:52 PM
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fuchka fuchka is offline
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Felt lonesome yesterday evening. I'd met a workmate in the afternoon at a whisky bar, which was fun. But then I had to go home and pack (moving today, to another sharehouse about 15 minutes down the road - yay!). On the way home, my mood slumped. Wanted a hug. Missed having people around who know me, really know me.

I hung out with that feeling for a while, then called Grotto for a chat (he was busy with friends; said he'd call me back) and then Plinth (he was getting ready to go out to dinner, but we talked a short while and he said he'd also ring me back.) So later that night I got two return calls, which was nice I did think to myself - making those phone calls - eek, am I dependant? Can't I be alone?

But... I know I can be alone, when I'm in a solitary mood. Just I felt like company right then. I wouldn't have broken if I didn't have anyone to talk wth (I can make peace with loneliness) but why ache through something you don't have to? If I thought this was a bad addiction, that would be a different matter (though, obviously we don't always realise when we're trapped by our behaviour. Hmm.)

Have been missing Ocean a bit too. His phone has been broken this past week and it's e-mail only contact (and he's generally not checking e-mails), so no casual nuzzles through the day. Nawwwww... that shit adds up. I want to touch.

Space is good, though. As much as long distance blows, it's good to have so much time to be by myself.

Last edited by fuchka; 08-03-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:23 PM
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Default Platonium

An unstable element. This guy, Grotto's friend - was avoiding giving him a name here because I've been trying to contain this experience (ha, yup. Doesn't work.) So: Lobe. He's great. We hang out to do things we both like doing. "Activity partners". But it ain't easy...

I am being extremely cautious. I don't talk about my feelings with him. Well, not my feelings towards him. I have no idea whether he's finding this fine, sticking to a non-physical friendship. But man... driving me a bit nuts sometimes. I need to find other ways to get release. Channel this into creativity somehow?

I have two unsent e-mails.

One to Grotto:

Quote:
Finding it hard with Lobe. I'm really attracted to him, and not getting the release of exploration is building up, sometimes a bit crazy. We've been catching up platonically but that's just made me like him more. And not touching is becoming pretty !! at times. My tactics have been to avoid talking with him about how I feel, which has helped to keep things in check between us. But I'm not coping too well always. We had plans to do a few things later on this month but I'm feeling like I should probably back out I guess I need to acknowledge my limits.

I wanted to be okay with this, but I'm not.

I don't mean I'm not okay with how you feel and where your boundaries are. I mean, I'm not okay with managing to hang out with Lobe platonically. I don't even really know where the line is and I think that's the problem. I end up avoiding this, and that, and - you know me and expression. What do I do with it all?

There are heaps of things that are totally not sexual that Lobe and I can do and I was hoping I could just do that shit and ignore the rest but fuck it, I like him.

Maybe fallen a wee bit :/ Man.

Sorry to vent on you but I'd rather say this shit to you and maintain the boundary you need, than talk about this shit with Lobe. Wouldn't feel right about doing that.
The other to Lobe:

Quote:
I really want to hang out with you, because I like you and like spending time with you. But I'm not sure if I can. Struggling a bit with boundaries.

This sucks, cos I'd rather see you than not see you.
But this is making me slightly mental, I don't quite get how to behave towards you, I'm driving uphill against my instincts a bit and I don't know if I can always be good at doing that.

Catching up to play around with making and breaking things sounds like fun, for instance. But it also makes me panic, oh my god, how will I get through not touching you.

Anyway, sorry to bail for a bit. Need some time out.
Luckily Lobe's away on work this week. And Ocean comes to visit (YAY!) the day after Lobe gets back. Then I'm away. So it will be a fortnight we won't be alone together. I might use that time to let things simmer down a bit.

Probably won't send the above e-mails. I think I mostly just needed to write. Eep... this is what monogamy feels like? Maybe a bit! Haha.

I do NOT want to put pressure on Grotto to shift his boundary. Yes I would love if he didn't have that restriction on me, but it's something real that he's working through and I need to give him space to do that. And I also need to be okay if the boundary will not shift, in the end. I think I can be okay with that, because I trust Grotto is doing work on getting to the root of the issue.

Some reasons he's identified for needing me to respect this boundary:
  • Wanting one special thing (sex? intimacy? not sure what) that was just for him (at least in the context of his inner friends circle) – a small symbolic monogamy.
  • Fear of an existing close friendship transforming, if it is cast into a new dynamic. He doesn’t want to fuck with the friendship he has with Lobe
  • Wants his close friendships to be a safe space where he can go to be himself, to be something familiar. He doesn't want to risk losing that assuredness
  • Since I broke this boundary, there's some added complexity around feeling betrayed by me, and other associated bruises

I see where he's coming from, and I'm not sure where we're going from here.

It's almost like I'm waiting to see if Grotto and Lobe can open up their friendship to me!

Last edited by fuchka; 08-06-2013 at 10:28 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2013, 09:50 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Just a question: do you always feel the need to act on every attraction you feel? Man, if I did, I'd be fucking 20 different people every day.

There is something delicious about enjoying the attraction itself and not making it about getting with someone. You've been spending lots of time with this guy and you care about him, like him, feel attracted to who he is. That's intimate and real. I can tell you, it can be wonderful to experience intimacy without sexualizing it - Western culture is so very deprived of intimacy, so it becomes either/or - either we have a lack of intimacy or we run roughshod all over it and take it to the physical instead of just being with it and feeling all the colors: excitement, intensity, vulnerability, admiration, respect, closeness, curiosity, and so on.

I wrote about this in another thread awhile back - hope this helps you:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
. . . I also think that vulnerability is a key element of intimacy, and that Western society doesn't have a clue about how to "handle" intimacy in all its forms. I will offer examples of what I mean by that.

Oftentimes, we will read that two actors met on a movie shoot or while appearing in a play together and got involved in a torrid love affair, only for it to all fall apart after the film or play is over. A film shoot, especially if far away from home, or a stage production, is an intensely intimate setting, where people are in close proximity with other people for an extended period, actors let their guard down to dig deep into parts of themselves in order to portray characters, and crew members have to cooperate closely with one another, all while everyone is, at the same time, immersed in this insulated small world working together on the project, and perhaps meeting personal challenges that they wouldn't normally have in their everyday life. They eat all their meals together, look out for each other, take risks, and find camaraderie with folks they never would befriend in real life. If one person catches a cold, everyone does. It is intense and it is intimate. So, oftentimes, two co-stars will start up a romance out of that situation, but it doesn't last after the film shoot or play ends.

Or we know people who met at an office job, and had to work closely together on some project, having become immersed in each other's "work life" in an intense way, and thought that the level of intimacy they experienced during this process was a basis for a relationship, so they start dating. But if one of them moves on and leaves the job or even just transfers to a different department, the relationship fizzles. This is because they tried to build a romantic relationship, not out of a connection that could be a strong foundation but, rather, out of the intensity of feelings they experienced in an intimate setting.

My theory is that people have a tendency to get confused about intimacy in a setting that is simply interpersonal and not sexual; they then try to turn the intimacy they shared and experienced together into a romantic and sexual relationship because they don't know what the hell else to do with all this closeness and revealing of themselves that went on during whatever situation they were in. They became vulnerable with each other, and then got confused about the intimacy. And especially if there is close proximity and some touch, even just hugs or hand-holding, for example, it is even more confusing because Western culture, or at least in North America, is much less comfortable with non-sexual touch and most people don't know how to handle it. So instead of allowing themselves to experience the intimacy, they rush into sexualizing it. They have sex and try to make relationships out of it. But when the intense situation, in which they first experienced the intimacy together, ends - whoa! - then they have the real person in front of them with whom they aren't actually compatible for the long term, and they didn't see that before because they don't really know each other as well as they thought they did, and they rushed into sex and let all those chemicals cloud their judgment and ability to see the actual person for who they are.

The initial period of intense intimacy was based on one aspect of who they are, the vulnerability might have been scary or risky and exciting to feel and share, the sex was based on confusion about what intimacy is, and then ultimately, the relationship didn't have enough of a solid footing to stand alone. Now, of course, some people are right for each other and make it work for years afterward, but more often than not, it doesn't happen. I think that, when intimacy - emotional, intellectual, sexual - can develop over time, in all aspects of being with someone, then there is a basis for a solid, loving relationship. And intimacy can keep growing. But, just because there is such a thing as sexual intimacy, we shouldn't just equate intimacy, per se, with sex or romance. We can be intimate in many ways.

I have thought about this a lot over the years.

.
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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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  #16  
Old 08-07-2013, 11:36 PM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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Need a "like" button
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  #17  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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fuchka fuchka is offline
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Hi nycindie - thanks for posting.

Quote:
do you always feel the need to act on every attraction you feel?
Urm. Yes, and no? Yes - I feel it, otherwise it would not be an attraction (?). And no... most of the time it's not a good idea, or I don't have time, or there are some other such practicalities. I mostly want to live a full life, and get enough things done of what I'd want to get done (from boundless "desires" I try to sift out "possible to achieve", and from these arrive at enough "actually achieved" to feel like my life hasn't been a total waste of time)

I'm talking here about attractions of all kinds, not just to people.

Not sure why I think this is relevant, but I feel I should point out - quite often, I sleep very little. I can be quite energetic. I'm a morning person and a night person and a middle of the day person.

I also can crash... I've recognised I cycle a bit. So it's an ongoing process of entropy and consolidation. I dunno, I don't think I do too badly at it.

This thing with Lobe... May be the first time since Grotto and I got together that I've felt something like NRE. This one is freaking heady.

I have many attractions, but this one is particularly powerful and difficult to resist. Maybe because it is forbidden? Not sure, trying to diagnose which bits are NRE, which bits are forbidden fruit, which bits are me going from having heaps of sex (in a city where my two long-term partners are, plus a newer 'fuck buddy' style friend) to a new city where I've only had sex... twice... with people other than my partners when I visit/they visit me. In three and a half months. Once with Lobe, and once with a friend and her "it's complicated" boy. I haven't really been looking for sex - been plenty busy with other things. And I don't think I'm particularly sexually frustrated, as such. But... fuck, I've got a good build up of energy that needs out, at the moment.

I hear you're coming from a place of concern. What you wrote made sense to me, but didn't strike a chord (but, I will read again later a few more times. I know a knee-jerk reaction to entirely spot-on criticisms/insights is to think "I'm not like that!", ha.)

By the way, though, I don't really come from a Western culture. If anything, I feel that I have perhaps fewer boundaries between all kinds of intimacy, than the issue you described. Sex to me is a kind of conversation. I don't understand why we can't mess about with paint, go for a trek, smoke cigars and talk, fuck, talk some more, and just do this or whatever it is we want with whoever we feel like. And only leave out the things you don't feel like doing (at all, or with that person, for whatever reason). The people you don't play poker with because they're infuriating to play with. The fact you hate smoking cigars.

I mean, reasons like sexual health comes into it, but apart from that, and other practical restrictions...

?

... what's wrong with fucking as part of a balanced intimacy diet?

Perhaps I need to become more at peace with non-sexual intimacy. When I feel sexually attracted, I usually need to take an active step to "prune" that branch. It may bother me til then, but after I've fixed it (sometimes just by thinking through the consequences clearly) it's generally good.

What's difficult to manage is cases where the attraction is obviously mutual.

Or particular situations, when in that moment, there's a sensuality which makes me crave touch.

But eh - what's wrong with touching if you want to touch? Or not touching, if you want to let the anticipation grow, or have space to dissipate?

Either choice sounds fine to me.

I'm going to have to read over your comment again in a day or two I think, nycindie. I appreciate your perspective as always. Thanks for posting, and I hope I don't come across as overly dismissive.
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2013, 11:54 AM
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Had a great, frank conversation with Lobe today about boundaries. A conversation I was nervous about having because I felt to say some things in themselves would be crossing whatever line. But... it was good.

Shared responsibility to make things work.

We both genuinely enjoy each other's company, and would like to hang out and not fuck things up.

Being able to talk released a lot of the anguish I had around this. I was afraid of talking, that it would fuel sexual tension or something, but it really didn't. He's an ace dude, seriously.

Also - heartbreak, ha! - he said from past experiences he now feels more inclined towards finding a simple, monogamous relationship right now. So this would be pretty much the opposite to what he's looking for.

I fully support people choosing their own life paths and achieving their dreams etc so would want to enable his happiness rather than mess anything up.

On the other hand, gee... I wonder if I can turn him Kidding. Hmm. Mostly.

Skype date with Grotto now. I really don't want us to have to keep spending time to work through this Lobe stuff. My immediate tension has been released, so hopefully relaxing for a bit.

Though. Something I realised today on the train home (which meant I missed my stop, and took an extra hour to get home) was how swiftly and completely I'm gravitating towards Lobe. I don't know why, but this is... unusual for me. I think. I mean, I'm often impulsive and have expansive emotions. I'm a walking hyperbole. But. I also reckon I know myself pretty well. And this is...

...

... foolish. But special.

I've fallen in love, folks. Fuck.

But really, it's great. This is going to be a wonderful friendship regardless of what happens. And the effort will be worth it I think.
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2013, 01:10 PM
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Oh, I didn't feel dismissed by your response, and I hope you didn't think I was judging. I also see sex as a form of communication and think it would be lovely if people weren't so uptight about it so that there could be sex as just part of a nice close friendship without all the angst about "What does this mean? What are we now?" that so many of us often go through. I guess the point of my previous post was that it is possible to enjoy intimacy and closeness without sex when there are boundaries in place that would prevent it from happening! But it looks like you've fallen a bit for him now... mmmm!
__________________
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"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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  #20  
Old 08-09-2013, 01:41 AM
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Default Long-distance relationships - check

Just had a funny half hour that, I realised in retrospect, had a check in with each of my four ongoing LDRs

Ocean
Last talked: 5 mins ago
He is: happy. Met his best friend's friend yesterday (who has recently moved to the city. In fact, got a job that Ocean had applied for) and they really hit it off
Relationship status: chilled
Next seeing him: Monday! He's here for four days, then we take a train together back to the other city

Grotto
Last talked: 15 mins ago
He is: still hung over from two nights drinking in a row
Relationship status: ok. tender. Skype date last night was a bit bleah. He was sad about the thought of me staying in this city more. Kept saying he was missing me, but I felt like I couldn't connect with him because he was caught up in gloom. Baby, I'm here, spending time with you, this present moment. Be here too. I said as much, and our conversation went better afterwards. But he was hung over so not the greatest mood.
Next seeing him: Next Sunday. I told him I wanted to spend the day with him together, doing something. Go out to the beach, whatever. Just... quality time. Craving that.

Djuna
Last talked: 20 mins ago
She is: chirpy, keeping busy and well
Relationship status: ... It's good when we find the time to connect. When we don't, there's no urgency. I like it this way. Anything more wouldn't work for me. She seems to be okay. Hmm. We have been long distance for pretty much the whole 'relationship' (since May last year). There's a slow unfurling literary intimacy about it. Pervy pen pals?
Next seeing her: CAMPING! At some point in the next couple of months. Still planning this. We have a Skype date tomorrow morning, discuss camping is on the agenda

Plinth
Last talked: 30 mins ago
He is: on an upswing. Rained out of work (he work in roadworks, mmm)
Relationship status: casual. wonderful. It is what it is, and we're happy for it
Next seeing him: next Saturday night? I have something on during the day, and the evening is free. I have been struggling to express clearly the kind of plans I want to make with him. To me a "date" is "me and you", the purpose is - quality time between the two of us, and it's just the two of us (or more of us, if it's a date between three, or whatever). A "catch up" among other plans could involve other people, be more fluid. I'm pretty sure he gets that, but I think I need one more clarifying conversation to ease my worries around this. It's a concern that's come up for me a few times over the months we've been seeing each other, so I should deal to it.

Actually, funny... those four ended up in reverse order of appearance in my life. May as well do a time check too, since I'm being all 'stock take-y'

Ocean & I - together 7 1/2 years, civil unioned 4
Grotto & I - together just over 4 years now
Djuna & I - since May last year
Plinth & I - since Mardis Gras this year

Last edited by fuchka; 08-09-2013 at 01:44 AM.
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