A Fear of Non Monogamy: Overcome

When I began my blogging and personal journey about exploring non monogamy I wrote a post about some of my underlying fears .  I was in a place of passive relationship status rather than an active one.  I had a genuine fear of uncomfortable or without warning, meeting women that E had slept with.  It actually would keep me up some nights, going over in my head how I would react in countless situations.  Drama filled scenes plagued my dreams.  Stress, apprehension and the like or even an occasional cat fight would play out in both my sleeping and waking imagination.

And funnily enough, I have not had this thought cross my mind in what feels like years.  My relationship has shifted from passive to active control.  I have a direction and am steering my life the way I feel suits me best.  I am no longer just a watcher, experiencing things through E with curiosity and naïve or plain false concepts in my mind.  Instead, I am confident and have put certain notions behind me.  This nightmare is one of the most vivid examples I can think of. 

People talk about jealousy and how to overcome it.  That is a massive concept that takes years, and one that my side projects involve dealing with.  For the day to day, being able to come across experiences in my own writing and realize I have evolved past them is such an incredible high.  The fear was real, and it was sound.  However it was based in a place of insecurity and lack of trust in my partner and my relationship.  Our foundation was not strong enough at the time for us to tackle my fear together.  I guess that is one of the downsides to having a first time open experience with a partner who had explored it previously.  I took much longer to come around to critical thinking, and ultimately learn to embrace with strong self esteem, issues like this.

Fear is based on surviving.  And I feel that perhaps I was in survival mode when E and I first started dating.  I was in a place whereby every aspect of my life was changing and it felt great and overwhelming all at the same time.  I literally threw all the balls of my life in the air over a period of about 2 and a half years and then systematically picked up each one and put it where I wanted.  And I threw out all the ones that were not to my liking, just like this insecurity that kept nagging at me.  One day, it was just gone.  My fear, overcome.

Seeing a Gut Reaction

Sometimes I forget that the content I write about is not for everyone.  That the views I have, and how I live my life illicit reactions from people that are less than desirable.  Writing this blog is freedom of expression, but also allows me to build a protective bubble of tolerance.  What I mean by that, is I see my stats grow week by week, regular and new readers alike and it becomes easier to say that what I am doing is starting to become accepted.  That perhaps I am somehow making a difference or at the very least breaking down a few walls of the unknown.

And then I say something to a friend about being open, or make some reference to dating while being in a relationship and I am slapped in the face with reality.  I see the discomfort on the persons face who has known me for years.  I see the uncomfortable stirring in the seat.  And worse than that, I see a form of pain cross their eyes as they internalize what I have said, and they intuitively put themselves in my shoes and are scared.

I write this blog for me.  But there is a massive downside to it.  I do not ever get to see a persons reaction when they read a post I wrote for the first time.  I miss out on the initial gut impact that a few of my more poignant posts have given.  I watch page views rise quickly with my internal musings and slower with my more controversial subjects.  Yet over time, the controversial ones remain stronger and get more repeat views.  I honestly do not know why.

I remember as a young teenager playing the Penis Game.  The rules are, someone in a public place quietly says `penis`.  Then the person beside repeats the word, but a little louder.  This continues until you are basically screaming the word PENIS.  The game ends when you cannot stop laughing or you have been asked to shut up by the poor innocent passerby’s.  I used to hate playing that game.  I would watch parents give dirty looks, professional`s glare with that hint of humiliation, and some senior just look onwards with a deep knowing almost reminiscent face.  It was the reactions that stuck with me.  That variance of emotions that at the time made me want to sink as low as possible and disappear.

I felt that talking with this friend about being in an open relationship.  We are so close, that she could not remove herself from the situation.  I saw firsthand a gut reaction.  I don`t think I would have been able to write for so long had there been a medium available that would have show the looks on peoples faces as they read each word I typed.  I am much happier in the world of tolerance I have created for myself within this blog.  I love the freedom and release I get each time I press publish. Not being able to see your faces allows me to keep this organic and about what I really think, and feel without censoring myself or curbing my views to appeal to masses.  It is a double edged sword I realize, but with great value in the long run for me.

Late Night Lament

You are lonely.  You desperately seek that someone to come home to every night.  You lay awake in your bed for two, for too many nights in a row, wondering what is wrong with you.  Why this solitude, when all you want is a lifelong companion.  That someone who gives you joy.  That someone to come home to each night, and share all your stories and dreams with.  That someone with whom you can finally be yourself with, who will cherish all the little quirks that you hide on a day to day basis with the mass of people who just would never understand.
Then it happens.  You finally click with someone.  You have reached that age where the two of you know with certainty that you match, and match well.  You rush to move in together.  You skip all of the courtship, the ups and downs, and move forward with lightning speed.  After all, you know what alone feels like, so this something new, this someone must be forever.  Of course it is more than a warm body you tell yourself, yes they have their faults, but you are now thinking long term not just an amazing lay.  This is someone who gets you.  Who laughs at your jokes and seems to understand your need to no longer go the journey on your own.  The compatibility takes a stronger role than the lust you felt as a teenager.  You finally found someone who will not hurt you.  Someone who is stable and secure.  You find someone that you can picture growing old with, and you feel comfortable in the knowledge that someday the friendship will mean more than the sex.  You push away the nagging thought that perhaps you are just settling, and there may be someone exciting around the corner.  This comfortable person is real, and your fantasy of lifelong adventure is not.
I have been there.  I have shared this longing, and I have felt that pain of loneliness.  Tempted by the first man who I could picture a future with.  Teased by the promise of not feeling the sting of solitude, and of not having to go through those ups and downs alone.  Haunted by the “what if” this is the best I can ever do feeling.  I cannot tell you are wrong for settling.  I won’t tell you that I disagree with your choice to take hold of the best chance at comfort you have felt in years.  And of course I will not judge you.   I can’t, as that would make me a hypocrite.  I too, tried to live that life.  I too, have felt that it is better to be with the not quite honeymoon forever phase, rather than being alone.  I have tried to create spark when there was none, and work my ass off to fix the mundane rather than be alone again.  I have tried to settle for the here and now without first coming to grips with what the here was all the time, myself.

My mother once told me that she found happiness when she stopped seeking men that challenged her.  That she finally just settled for someone who was simpler, and that gave her more peace.  I hated hearing that.  I was so enraged that a person could just stop living.  I promised myself that that path would never be for me.   I would never give up, and I would never just stop wanting to be challenged.  I find no solace in the knowledge that I might never get hurt again if I settle for the stable man next door so to speak.  Being hurt, and feeling true joy are major elements that made me who I am today.  I do not seek to be wounded, but I will not hide from the possibility.  This is my relationship mission statement.  This is one ingredient that makes what E and I have amazing.  And this is what makes being in an open relationship work for me.  I have complete autonomy over my own happiness, and can choose to challenge or be challenged by my partner and those around us.  I will not allow blasé feelings to ever override that roller coaster of emotions that I am capable of feeling.  This is making a conscious choice not to just settle, and spend my next 70 years in the vacuum of monogamy. 

Why Hate an Open Relationship?

So often I read about people’s opinions and hatred of open relationships, which bothers me knowing there is still so much misinformation on something that goes on every day, and sometimes for very loving reasons.  For example a woman is desperate to keep the man in her life when he gets transferred over sea’s for work.  She is looking for advice to in how to propose an open relationship so that they can continue to have their needs met physically, but maintain an emotional relationship while time and space keep them apart.  Instead of advice, she encounters judgement, hatred and anger from her peers that she is looking to for help.  This is just an example that I read about yesterday morning and I just cannot get it out of my head.  Whether I agree with this woman and her decision to keep her relationship alive over long distances is completely irrelevant.  She is seeking advice on how to lovingly enter into a relationship scenario that will forever change how she perceives commitment and monogamy.  To bash her, or to tell her the relationship is over, is baffling to me.
But it brings me to a point that has a real soft spot for me.  Every person has opinions, some are the result of how we were raised, some experiences, and my hope is that someday our opinions are all based on education and giving fair value to all sides of the debate.  I feel that these people, who judge this would be relationship altering woman, are judging out of fear.  Fear that perhaps having open relationships and commitments would somehow break down the moral fibre of what being in a relationship should entail in the western society we live in.  That fear of changing an ideal that quite frankly cannot work in every single situation across the board.  But the truth of the matter is, what I choose to do in my bedroom and with the people in my life does not affect my friendships with those I love.  I have not become corrupt, or lost my values and goals in life.  I am not living without love and support, nor keeping my love and support from those around me.  My open relationships do not instill fear from those who know me, and they do not walk on eggshells around me, or hide their children from me.  There is no fear, because there is no reason to have fear.
I hope that writing about my experiences has provided a bit of education to others.  If nothing else proved that I am not some freak show who should be studied because I do not fit the mould of monogamy.  I do not want my tone to portray that of a defensive stance aimed at the naysayers, but more a plea to educate yourself prior to putting forth an opinion.  Especially one that can make another person feel bad. It seems simple enough, but to demean another person because their views do not line up with your own, well you can fill in whatever word you want there to call them.  I promote love, education, self improvement, and all around doing things that make you happy.  Life is short, so live it for yourself and do not get mixed up in feeling that you need to judge everyone and everything that goes on around you.  

My Irrational Fears of Sex Stores

When I was in my early 20’s the idea of even walking into a sex store terrified me.  My boyfriend, at the time, would have to go in alone and I would literally hide in the car so that no one could see me.  After we did this a few times, I grew a little more comfortable and asked him to go inside and tell me if there was anyone creepy, and scope the place out for me. Still terrified of the answer, I remained in the car. Then one magical day I mustered up the courage to go and look inside.  I touched NOTHING and barely even looked at anything.   I was twitchy and grouchy, begging to leave as soon as possible.  Completely insecure about what I was surrounded by and having no concept about the added pleasure that items in the sex store could provide.  I felt a real threat by inanimate objects, and I bet I am not the only one out there who has felt like this at one time or another.

What really helped me loosen up was of all things, going to a sex toy party with my mom.  I was squeamish and a little icked out.  But all in all, I was surrounded by woman who were laughing, drinking wine, and celebrating their sexuality.  We were all laughing at the ridiculous tingling creams, tasting the flavored lubes, and egging each other on to make purchases that would make our men swoon.  It was amazingly liberating.  Sex toys became fun, and were explained to me in a low-key and friendly environment.  The woman at the party varied in ages from early 20’s (myself) all the way up to mid 60’s.  And each and everyone there was having fun.  Even the most timid woman who was in her 40’s surprised us all by bravely sampling the newest jelly concoction to increase the fires below. 

After that point, my very irrational fears started to diminish.  The thing that was never explained to me was suddenly shown in a really sex positive format.  I wrongly had perceived sex toys as something used when things were not working, rather than aids to make things even better or just add some variety.  I went from hiding in the back of my car at sex stores, to the woman here, writing about my relationships and things that give me joy from a sexual perspective.  I have made quite the journey so far, and in my estimation it just keeps getting better and better the more open to new possibilities that I become.

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