I Do

They lie there, with him holding her from behind, cradling her against him. Spooning, that’s what it was called, but she thought the word cradle was better suited to the sweet protective embrace. Sheltering her against him, like he could hold her and the world would pound at his back like waves against a rocky shore and he would not give her up.

They were flushed with the dregs of heated embraces. Embraces that seemed to be fueled by the energy from all of the things they could not find words for. It was too soon, too rash, too  good. They were not young things with nothing to lose. They were mature adults with responsibilities and the complex realities of well lived lives. So they tried to say the right words without saying too much, to give them as gifts to the other; parcels wrapped in unhurried, well-formed thoughts to define much less neatly felt, heartfelt yearning. They failed.There were no words

Breath, hands and the sounds that cannot be defined, yet we all know the language of, filled the spaces that words never could find footing within.

Now, after all of the words that weren’t enough and the touches that could not be named, he held her more tightly than what could be called a “casual embrace”.  She felt small and precious with him. She pushed and nestled herself more firmly against him and felt his warm soft breath against her ear,  his arm tightening just a little bit more, as if she might ever want to leave. little-boat

“Would you like to make future plans with me?” He whispered into the silence that held them both

” I do” she whispered back and felt his soft sigh of held breath along the whole length of her spine.

“Would you like to make future plans with me?” She asked back into the silence that had become pregnant between one syllable and the next. The words left her like a small craft on a massive sea.

” I do” He whispered back, giving her safe harbor for as long as she wished.

safe-harbor

 

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Love and the Definition of Insanity

Sometime in the early part of my sophomore year of high school, on a hot humid day in Florida (not that there is any other sort), I found myself screaming a girl across the hood of ftmyersroadcar on the side of the road.  This was one of those moments, the ones that snaps in your memory and remains like a Polaroid clipped to a corkboard in your head. When remembered, it is as if I am right there, pumping with adrenaline, feeling the heat beating upon me and pushed beyond the limits, I knew were there, but suddenly and without any polite notice, had been obliterated between the unstoppable force of my stubborn desire and the immoveable object that was one beautiful girl’s core belief in a God, I had no truck with; at least not now, when He was firmly in the way of what I wanted…which was her of course.

In this moment, this girl I had wanted for so long, was so close, within reach and yet I could not convince her I was right and she was wrong (which of course she was).  I could not convince her that if her God was the loving force she claimed, he would not forsake her because she chose to love someone. Yet I was the wrong gender. She could not be swayed. Her hair had just been braided into almost waist long box braids, she wore a crisp white t-shirt and a pleated green skirt with a matching white stripe around its edge, her breasts heaved and she sighed the sigh of suffering only a girl who knew she fought a pointless fight, but just couldn’t stop, but then again, neither could I. Her brows were perfectly tweezed, her skin was clear and smooth, her makeup simple and clean. She was an insufferable controlled creature of femininity, reason and faith. She was always at her most beautiful when she was angry and I could always push her to that place where she lost her cool. I loved pushing her to this place where she was purely emotion, purely focused on me. I didn’t care if it was negative or positive attention, it was her attention and I had it.  When she broke her tightly wound control, I had won, the battle we had been fighting for what seemed like forever to my teenaged heart.  I was always the one that stayed even toned, who didn’t lose her temper and this was frequently the thing that made her the angriest but it seemed like she had finally won, and she knew it. I knew it.

11I couldn’t stop myself. I yelled about God and faith and love. I yelled about how much we had wanted each other for over a year, had flirted and edged so close and then backed away from this moment. I yelled that she made me feel crazy and I felt tears slide down my cheeks. We had each dated boys, unfairly to them, because it had all been a game we played with each other. See? I didn’t want you, I didn’t need you. Fuck you.  Lies. We had filled the space we couldn’t breach, with lies.

 

As I cried angry tears and yelled that I knew she loved me, why couldn’t she just let herself love me? I thought clearly for one precise and crystalline moment, I have finally broken, I have finally lost my damn mind. I am truly broken and I will never come back together again…or…I was in love. These were the only two options that made sense. Insanity or love. Maybe they were one and the same? I didn’t know then and I still cannot say I know the answer now.  I do know that the moment I realized I was not only in love but could love, was a life altering thing. For most of us, first love is an earth shattering thing and it was the same for me but perhaps even more so. I grew up with violence, neglect and so much pain and I really didn’t know I was capable of this terrible loss of control that hurt and yet I wanted like drug.  Once I knew it was there, it changed the world. The framework I saw the world through, from which I based my own sense of self and what I might be capable of, was blown to pieces, over the hood of a piece of shit car, in the face of a God I would lose too, in a land of sand and sun. There was a precipice there, I had always known it existed, and I had always feared taking a step too far into the abyss that was feeling, vulnerability and connection to lives that could and would disappoint, hurt and betray me.

While I have seen many ideas about how to define insanity (and there are plenty of serious diagnosis that are useful in clinical situations) the one that makes the most sense to me in the day-to-day flow of life is: “extreme foolishness or irrationality”. Whether it is delusion or the simple momentary loss of reasonable emotional faculties, this definition works.  What is more foolish than love, trust and the utterly irrational belief that one person has all of the power in the world to crush you’re very being with their simple (heartless!) rejection?

At that time, in the searing heat of the Florida sun, beside an old car on the side of the road, I realized I had finally fallen horribly and irrevocably in love. I had believed, up until this point, that I might not be capable of this particular human condition. I did not cry or scream or lose control in this highly undignified way, I was not this crazy screaming creature, fighting God for the hand of a girl who was as afraid as I was. I didn’t understand that she was afraid or even that I was as well. I didn’t understand that it was this fear, the loss of love, that was what finally took away my hard-won control and overcame the core of distrust I had viewed the world through up until this very moment. It was love, the type that defines all fist loves, the desperate pathetic, passionate headfirst into the rabbit hole kind. Additionally, as I was rejected for God and lost my mind to blind heartbroken rage, it became clear that I lacked all the tools necessary to deal with it. This was not the last time I would feel this way, just the first.

no evilI have always believed that we don’t know what we are capable of without knowing who we are when we are in love. In love we are the best and worst versions of ourselves, the most insane, terribly cruel, generous, selfless, truest extremes of our own personal spectrum. This is not just romantic love. Parents, soldiers, the closest of friends, all of these versions of love can push us well beyond what we believed we knew about ourselves. What we believe to be concrete facts about our personalities. Love shifts the paradigm through which we see ourselves the world we live in.  Some people seek these things out, the moments on the side of the road that change the world for us and many run from them as fast and as hard as they can. I cannot fault either but I will always be on the side of the former.

As I work on some other projects and am looking for the places in my life that utterly redefined the world for me, this one stood out. This is not about being a lesbian, which is simply the lens I see this crazy world of dating and modern love from. It is just about questioning what I thought was true, about me and the world. Remembering these moments reminds me of  how often I have been wrong about…everything. I love these moments, not necessarily the screaming at God and stubborn first girlfriends LoveLatte-in-post-half-widthpart, but the way the earth shatters and a new ocean spills forth..the moments that new land is discovered to explore.

Sometimes seeing it from a slightly different angle makes it easier to see and sometimes it changes everything. I am hopeful about the first and just arrogant
enough to believe the former is possible as well, but then again I always pick love so my sanity is, by my own definitions, up for debate.

 

Part Two: Jokes

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Jokes..60/40.
Alright, women don’t suck. I like them a lot. So soft…I digress.

Here’s the issue, most bisexual women I’ve met are women that have grown-up firmly ensconced within the hetero-normative culture. I guess that’s normal. I didn’t, so it seems strange to me. I have been on my own and with women since age 15 and much of my prior life was spent in large children’s homes or other atypical situations that didn’t firmly entrench heterosexual expectations into my psyche. I literally grew up within the lesbian community and I feel like that was a lucky thing.

Hetero behaviors  brought to my attention:

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wtf??

* First contact and subsequent contact will be initiated by the other person, though “likes” are acceptable.
* The other party will make the first move
* Direct communication of needs, desires and any other type of directness is “aggressive”
* Some weird equation that includes dates + self-worth,  allows sex to happen.
* Attention..omfg, so much attention is required!
* Height requirements. I didn’t believe this one but after looking at a bunch of lady profiles, yes it is true, if you are a man.

 

There is more but let me say, this is mostly long-standing complaints by straight men, but they might be bitter. The odds are not in their favor.  I still don’t understand the behaviors. I know they happen, I’ve experienced some of it and the reactions I get about myself on dates with men is rather persuasive evidence that the above mentioned complaints are common enough to be worth mention.

My personal issue is that male-centric bisexuals have no idea how to date other women. They are used to being dated, and taken out. They are used to playing a game of passivity and expecting a great deal of attention. As often as not, they don’t know how to interact with another women on an intimate level. I don’t mean sex (a little I do) but connecting with another women on an independent and personal level.

My dates have been one sided, conversations that require me to do the heavy lifting, because I am “the aggressive one”. Did we not all read the same articles about asking questions on dates and with new people??

lBFGIuxI am really not that special, I just read stuff and have friends and projects and do stuff. These facts are why I am not always available, on my phone or texting you pictures of every damn minute of my day. This should not be special, this should be normal. Please tell me something neat, interesting or weird that you do. PLEASE!

As my final complaint, no I do not want to be your first. God save me from female virgins. I  am so past my “exploration” phase. I don’t feel any need to teach, coach or otherwise instruct women on how to touch, talk and love another woman. The only words of wisdom I can offer are these; give what you want and expect, the Golden Rule applies here as well. no-virgins-red_jpg

I love women, I always will. They are beautiful in way, I don’t know I will ever feel about a man. I also miss boobs..a lot.

That being said, I think I am incapable of dating them at the moment. That can always change, I am marking no lines in the sand but after 20 years of being with women, I’m okay with a break. On a personal note, I tend to choose crazy women who don’t like me, so it might be for the best. My judgement can’t be trusted and I think a board of approval might be necessary for me to resume dating women.

 

 

 

 

Part One: Issues OR 99 problems.

I

Dating was not what I expected. I’m not sure what I thought it might be, but it wasn’t this.

After years in a marriage with another woman, I started dating men and bisexual women. I have always been bisexual but just the opposite of what most people were familiar with. Instead of messing around with women and dating men, I messed around with men and dated/married women.While my serious relationship were always with women, the fact of my sexuality didn’t change, it just wasn’t in attendance most of the time.

Now, a year and a half into dating, I had come to some conclusions, none of which were particularly helpful.

First, there was a very big difference between female-centric bisexuals and masculine-centric bisexuality. I had decided to only date women that were truly okay with my bisexuality, which basically meant other bisexuals. Yeah, not the most well thought out idea I’d ever had. The pool seemed to be shallow if I wanted anything of value.

37478095There were lots of couples wanting to spice up their marriages,on the hunt for a fabled Unicorn . Not me. I don’t need a lot of attention but I was past the point of no connection and just being someone else’s sexual plaything. I could find sex easily, connection was harder to come by (I wasn’t the only one that felt this way but I’ll get to that later). Which lead to the larger issue with the women I had come across so far.

 

 

The real issue I was running into regarding women, was that for the most part, they sucked. Not well either…

I can hear you now saying how very unfair this blanket statement is. How incredibly anti-feminist! Perhaps I am both unfair and anti-feminist, but I am also right.

First, a question; was heterosexual dating truly the combative, yet passive aggressive shit-show I was gleaning from my dips into the tepid pool? I really hope I’m wrong.

couch

“There is not such thing as fair. It’s a concept people made up to feel better about their lives and their inability to live them”
~ John Parker III (My childhood therapist. It’s all starting t make sense isn’t it?)

Give In (Sappy Love Warning; you have been warned)

G (1)

I walked down the path with his hand in mine. We were laughing, harassing one another int he way we had become comfortable with. We had fallen in love so hard and we had made the conscious decision to let that be okay. We would not edit or stop ourselves or try to be anything but what we were, pathetically enraptured with one another. We just gave in and there is something wonderfully freeing in that. I was routinely thankful that my messages to him and his to me were not public knowledge, we were sickening in that John Hughes, 16 Candles type of romantic comedy ending way. This kind of stuff didn’t even make it to trashy romances.

 

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I could just hear the editor saying “This just isn’t believable, no one talks like this, This isn’t Middle School. Don’t waste my time with this drivel.” For some reason the editor in my head is suspiciously similar to Old Man Jameson at the Daily Bugle , who would have been a terrible Romance book editor.

We just got lost in each other, in a way that hadn’t happened to me since I was young, maybe even first love kind of lost. It helped that the sex was Uh-MAZING, which totally could make it into some steamy romance scenes, but I digress.So great sexy time and he brought me steak and cooked for me. That’s a good man right there. He brought me presents which wasn’t my thing. I’ve never been comfortable with gifts. I will help build your house, hold you while you fall to pieces, show up with dinner or take your dogs or children as needed, but I never put much truck in gifts. He did, He loved to bring small things, a favorite tea he saw me order or a chocolate that I didn’t get because it was too expensive, berries out of season that I loved, small thoughtful things. The nature of the gifts was why I had gradually grown to accept and appreciate the “why” behind it. It was the same reason I showed up like super girl to help and fix, it was just his way of saying “I think of you. Your smile makes me happy, I love you. This made me think of you and I want you to know you are loved. I hear you. I want you to know I am here, I am present for you”

I needed to turn this over in my head and examine it from many sides before I got the right angle. We were saying the same things with different languages. This understanding a80b0d9b8b2af767cb415d3bae01ad9ballowed our communication to go from parallel to integrated.

I loved the discovery of new things through the eyes of someone who was passionate. I loved learning from someone that loved what they did. He loved me and I was learning to see me, through him. We were both damaged. Who wasn’t by their mid-thirties? We had baggage, divorces and issues aplenty. Yet we were finding out how to love again, more specifically, learning to love differently through each other and that is still rather sickening but I don’t want to stop learning…or holding his hand.

“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”
Maya Angelou

Cherished (Adult Content)

C

“Why are you here?”

“I need to be hurt”

I hurt him.

With gentleness I stripped the clothes off his body, as he trembled, kissing and darting my tongue out as the urge struck me. His breath was already sharp and jagged as I smoothed his hair away and tied a soft scarf over his eyes.

With care I wrapped his wrists in soft, supple leather restraints. With affection I strung him upon the steel bar that spanned the high, wide doorway that allowed me to have access to every inch of his skin.

I hurt him

With love I marked him. Floggers of varied makes  and weight warmed his back, slowly increasing the depth of red raised skin.  I created wings along his shoulder blades, made of burning lines he thanked me for. Practiced aim and a dragons tail  whip left gorgeous triangular patterns on the muscles that braced his spine.

I loved him

I saw his walls, the limits he thought he had hit. I petted the lovely pain I gave him, my lips traced his wounds with oh so soft kisses. I circled him, caressed his face with tenderness and whispered of his safety with me. Give it to me, let me take all of the pain for you my love, let me shoulder this for you. I will keep you safe when you fall to pieces.

I brought him close to breaking from pain, from pleasure, from love until there was nothing left

I broke my beautiful boy and deftly put him back together again.

One tear , one touch, one word of love at a time.

I licked the tears from his cheeks, digging nails into wounds while he could not resist the haven between my legs.

He loved me.

I poured water over him, washing every inch of him clean.

I baptized him in our private rite of cruelty and care..

I cherished him.

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Buckets, Bowls, Cups OR Mixed Metaphors on Jealousy, Love and Acceptance

In my daughter’s preschool classroom they taught them the concept of “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers”. The bucket is the physical, mental, spiritual YOU. Have you heard this before? It is based on some of the first concepts of Buddhism I was ever exposed to.

pledge

For my daughter it was about giving and taking; doing Good, being Kind, sharing and cultivating a generous heart, these were all ways to fill not only your bucket but other’s buckets. Being selfish, mean spirited, hurting others, these were all ways that not only took from other’s buckets, but also from your own.  At every turn, the children were asked about their choices and if the were being a “filler” or a “dipper”. It was a convenient and easily accessible analogy for the kids and lead to longer more detailed conversations about Buddhism in our household and what it really meant to give and take.

I have heard a few stories used to teach this lesson over the years to young and old and i have been thinking about the concept often of late. Why? A version of this lesson has made it into my own explanations of what it means to share partners, to love openly and to be ethically non-monogamous.

I was a t a birthday party for one of my oldest friends and most favorite people and ended up in a conversation with a girl who couldn’t understand the dynamics of what being polyamorous meant. Partially this was logistics (hold on..she goes out with..and you do him and they do…AHHHHHH! *insert exploding head*)

Onward friends, to the hard won wisdom found, when I try to explain foreign concepts in simple terms to people that  already think I’m a nutter.

Ah yes buckets. Buckets are not sexy or cute, they make me think of mopping floors, puke and other unpleasant ways to spend a day off. Lets switch to bowls, okay?

wooden bowl drop

We each have a bowl (in my minds eye, mine would be a lovely hand carved wooden one that is wide and deep), in it lies all that we have to give and all we have to take.

GT-The-Science-of-Giving

Doing things for others, whether we’re talking Good deeds or charity , are well known ways to be happier, because the act of giving time, money or care makes us both happy and more likely to give more.

This also means , showing up for the people in your life even when it’s inconvenient, smiling at a stranger, spending quality time with friends and making dinner can all be acts of kindness that fill our bowls. I feel like most of us already know this stuff, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves about the wonderful selfishness of giving. It is the kind of reciprocity that feeds instead of drains.

Another aspect of this lies in how we fill our bowls with self-care. Reading, going to the movies, meditation, exercise, bike rides, flour fights in the kitchen, baths or maybe just taking a nap on the couch can all add to what we have in our bowls and therefore what we have to give.

One more side this idea is accepting acts of kindness, time, energy and love. This is the part I always had a hard time with. Accepting other’s care has always been difficult. I like to take care of people. I like to feed them, listen and provide safe harbor; yet my life and this year in particular have been lessons in humility and gratitude. In the act of accepting what was being offered, my weathering-the-storm-manrelationships were strengthened in ways I couldn’t have predicted.  I realized again how fucking arrogant I can be and how that arrogance blinds me to other people’s need to participate, make a difference and be present. Maybe one day I’ll stop needing to learn this one, but I highly doubt it.

So how does this new-agey touchy-feely liberal hogwash tie into the sexy stuff?
I’m so glad you asked!

As I tried to explain at my friends’ party, the ability to share is all in how you think about it.

First I am giving my partner freedom, trust and acceptance. All rare commodities that make me happier because I can give that gift to someone  I love. If someone else speaks to an aspect of  their needs that I can not supply, I’m glad they found it. This could be sexually or a whole host of other things.  I am somewhat of a homebody, I lack some common levels of empathy and generally speaking I’m rougher rather than soft in most aspects of life and love. I do not expect to fulfill every need nor should I be expected to do so. I can give them those things through acceptance, trust and freedom to explore. As an aside, if you look around and can’t appreciate the value of these gifts, you are an idiot and deserve to lose them.

 

Second, I am caring for myself when I am taking care of my needs. The easiest example I can give is my bi-sexuality. Do Kinsey photoyou know the Kinsey Scale? It’s a common tool to test sexuality . I am a 3, equally homosexual and heterosexual.  To only have one gender as an option is like always being a little bit hungry , no matter how happy I am. Having both genders in my life makes me feel balanced and more whole.  Feeding that need instead of pretending that it either doesn’t exist or feeling like I’m wrong for wanting it in the first place, is pretty wonderful and fills me up in ways  (yes I totally see the pun…) I can’t explain easily without going off the mushy deep-end here.  This is an easy example, but there are all kinds of self-care we each can do to fill our bowls so we have more to give.

Third (I DO so love lists), I have no need to change anyone. This means, I am not looking to any one partner to be anything they are not. I know that when I am completely accepted, it is …freedom.  We are all imperfect, dented and a little bit bruised from this life. I have scars and I have come to realize that I am not the only one and I find them the most beautiful part of the people I love. I can fill my cup and others’s as well simply by giving that back. I can accept what they have to give, accept it without expectation of more and always be satisfied. Acceptance is such a precious gift. I get to accept what my partners have to offer freely and with joy, I don’t need any one of them to be something they are not and they get my love and acceptance for who and what they are. This is such a drastic shift from the place I have often found myself, in a place of want, where needs are not being met simply because neither person can be everything.  No one is satisfied and everyone feels like they are wanting. It seems really foolish to think it could be otherwise.

to-love-oneself-is-the-beginning-of-a-lifelong-romance-oscar-wilde

 

I am not jealous, because there is no need to be. My partners are telling me what’s going on, I am a participant in their world. Additionally, their happiness makes me happy. Why shouldn’t it? I am the person they bring their stories, worries and adventures to and I love that. Who else should they talk to? I love them and I trust they love me and if they don’t that’s okay too. Yes, I am not dependent on any one person to keep me upright and fulfilled but that isn’t even the point. The point is twofold. I don’t want them to be with me if I am not making them happy, if I can not be something they accept, love and are accepted and loved by. I want them to have that! I really do. My role in their life way be a for a reason, a season or a lifetime but in any of those situations it is not dependent on a single role or title I need to define them by or be defined by, myself.

I just dig them and that’s enough to fill our cups.

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My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ~ Psalm 23:5-6