Fall is Upon Us Once Again

So many people look forward to the springtime, the season of new beginnings and the much anticipated break from the winter.  I, on the other hand, look forward to fall.  Autumn is the season of change, growth and  exciting new beginnings.  Yes, I am biased because my birthday is a few weeks away, so of course this is the full circle for me.   But also, it is the time when a natural schedule sets in, either as a result of school starting or just the days getting shorter and a necessity to plan a bit better.  There is a rhythm that fall brings, a sense of stability after a summer full of random adventures.   Or in my case misadventures and unexplored opportunities.  Le sigh.

I keep telling myself that I will grab every new opportunity that comes my way.  To take the challenge of never saying no.  But my reality is, (if you read my last post I go into a bit more detail), that I am finally comfortable with my opinions.  I have spent years finding my voice, and when even the subtlest red flag presents itself it’s so hard to just ignore and choose adventure.  It’s such a double edged sword.  One that I am not sure how to reconcile.

As far as sexual adventures go, I am 100 percent on board if they involve my partner.  I want us to continue exploring as a team.  But all solo expeditions almost feel selfish right now.  Does that make any sense?  I want us to experience new people together and get to laugh and share stories as a united front.  I don’t want to put in the effort of building up new solo prospects that are just a bunch of going nowhere men.  I know, that sounds super jaded, but if you have seen the state of online dating recently, you may have an ounce of empathy for where I am coming from.  Men who have never heard of non-monogamy just want sex.  Men who have, are really, really difficult to find.  And it becomes too time consuming to even begin a conversation.

But, here I sit, writing with my favorite movie on in the background (Labyrinth) and fall is setting in.  It is the time for a shift in mentality, and perhaps even towards a more positive and hopeful one too.  A season of soft changes, and little waves of chillier weather.  As the leaves fall, perhaps my barriers will do the same.  Maybe there is something just incredible waiting for me under the next leaf pile…

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Guest Post – A Non-Monogamous Origins Story

Every so often I read an origins story that is raw, real and touches on the true spirit of the non-monogamous journey.  And today, I was lucky enough that the person who wrote it, is not only a friend, but granted me permission to share his series of Tweets on my blog.  Every non-monogamous journey is unique and what struck me about his, is that it is so different from my own.  I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but as many of my readers know, my relationship was non-monogamous from the beginning, whereas his was completely monogamous, and yet, years later, we find ourselves with many more similarities than differences.   

@LustinForya thank you for allowing me to share your series of tweets in the original form, as I feel there is much to be gained by your journey exactly as you shared it!

First off let me preface with the fact that I am 35, have been in a relationship since high school with my best friend. 18 years and 4 kids, and we still have sex daily/multiple times daily. Never thought there was anything “missing” and in the normal sense there still isn’t.

We had both always considered ourselves strictly monogamous. About 6 years ago, we decided to start a dirty anonymous Twitter account up to explore a little of our kinkier sides her being an exhibitionist and me a bit of a voyeur, it seemed like a safe place to begin.

We had YYC in our @ so it didn’t take long till we were chatting with local folks from the naughty side if Twitter Very shortly after that we discovered @capcyyc and were intrigued, a little research, and a few chats with Twitter locals that had been and away we went.

We suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a place where, at the time we didn’t feel like we belonged, we were intimidated and almost bolted Luckily one of our Twitter followers happened to be there that night, we chatted and they were similar to us and really put us at ease.

We ended up having sex for the first time in “public” and it was game changing… the sexual energy it introduced to our already very satisfying sex life was amazing. She was able to be seen, and I was able to enjoy her, and watch others play. It was like the perfect result.

We started making “the club” a regular thing. We met a few cool people but but were still fully monogamous. Fantasy, time and understanding slowly weakened our desire to stay that way. We both expressed a curiosity, and started looking for other couples who were interested.

The lessons we learned weren’t easy ones to handle… communicating needs, wants, and boundaries being foremost But then there’s the rejection… and here’s s a couple posts by @K_Ghislaine I wish I had read back then.

Part I: Rejection in the World of Monogamy

Part II: Rejection in the World of Non-Monogamy

Fast forward through some trials, and we found ourselves out at a different local club and we were invited in to an orgy. This on its own was amazing, but in the middle of a pile of people, we were still just having sex with each other. Not really sure what else to do.

Thankfully, at least for shy inexperienced us, the opportunity for the Mrs. to give another guy oral arose ( yes bad pun I know) And after a quick silent conversation with me, she indulged. All the fear of the unknown that held us back melted away after that moment.

And baby step after baby step over the course of nearly 6 years, we went from monogamy to “full swap” swinging. But that doesn’t make things easier, finding couples that all jive together is so beyond difficult it’s hard to put to words.

The closest thing I can think of… is the difference between our eyes, and the eyes of a mantis shrimp Here is a great video if you don’t get that reference https://youtu.be/F5FEj9U-CJM  Needless to say 99% of the time we went home without any “extra” action.

That 1% though… We ended up making connections with a few pretty amazing people, some of which are probably reading this as I write it. And you can out yourselves if you want you sexy fuckers. Aside from them, for us, the swinging scene just didn’t quite fit

It started to feel like a 5 hour race; Show up, drink, socialize, drink, try to find a couple we are interested in, drink, small talk, drink, chat to see if things click, drink, find a space, and then play All in the span of about 5 hours. Getting too drunk is a easy issue.

Now, I think it’s important to mention, I’m sapiosexual, introverted, and have social anxiety… and I drink very little, 1 or 2 tops. So these “5h races” didn’t sit well with me. The Mrs clung to liquor to calm herself, but it’s a double edged sword, and too drunk was often.

Something needed to change, but returning to monogamy wasn’t in the cards. We looked at our relationship and started talking about casual solo play. We both decided it was something to give a chance and explore.

The Mrs, being the sweet, bubbly, extroverted, drop dead gorgeous, social butterfly. Has always had men tripping over themselves for a chance to take her out. She found a guy she was interested in immediately and started seeing him regularly. Me, no such luck…

I’m glad things played out that way, as I was able to stay objective and and got a chance to explore my feelings, expectations, and projections as they came up, unencumbered by my feelings for another human in the mix

That brings us to our most current relationship evolution. Turns out that the guy the Mrs is seeing is a cool cat, and she’s developed some feelings for him, and him for her She still meets all my needs, and when some aren’t met, we talk, things adjust, and we get closer.

And, even socially anxious, introverted Me, has been able to use online dating (OKC), to make a couple really awesome connections, with some amazing women, who are so incredibly different than my wife, and have been able to satisfy needs that I didn’t even know I had!

I guess that’s the end for tonight, as it’s closing in on midnight and I’ve got to be up at 6, and my thoughts are taking a little longer to make coherent statements Next time… trials of jumping into the dating pool for the first time EVER as a 35yo man.

 

So Naïve! The Couples Quest

I’m sure I have touched on this topic before, but in light of a recent conversation on the Hunter Gash and Alley Cat show (Which you should check out at GTFO if you’re 18 or older) I feel it deserves another look.  When E and I decided to look for couples to date together, I went into it with rose coloured glasses.  In short, I was optimistic and naive.  I honestly thought that amazing people would attract each other and that finding couples would be easier than finding new singles as a result.  I thought that all you would need to do was vet one person, and then naturally they would bring to the table their equally amazing partner, just as I was doing.  We would all get together for drinks, and laugh, share stories, and sexy times would inevitably be the result.

Yes, I went into this whole thing believing that finding couples would be simple.  I never considered opposites attract.  Nor did I ponder just how one sided many relationships are when it comes to entering into non monogamy.  I foolishly assumed that if two people were ready to head out on a date, that they would have put the same level of work into their relationship that my partner and I had.  That they would be confident (after the nerves of the first meeting wore off), and sure of what they wanted.  Oh, and I thought that as couples this would eliminate all the ghosting, bread-crumbing and they would be serious, AKA not time wasters.  It after all takes work to schedule 4 people, and that investment alone should mean that we are all willing and able.  Hence, when we finally meet, everyone would have the same goal, which is to have fun, and see if we all get along to determine if we would become friends or something more.  Oh my poor little naive and optimistic heart…

I also, very foolishly thought that because I already have a partner, and was not looking for perfection, that the couples we interacted with would be on that same wavelength too.  You know, looking for fun, willing to overlook a thing or two, and just enjoy the experience of meeting new people.  But oh no!  That has not been the case at all.  In fact, just recently I was chatting to a couple that I thought would be a lot of fun, and was just about to start scheduling a meeting between the four of us, when they dropped the bombshell.  They wanted to find a couple to help them raise their family.  I replied that we weren’t quite at that point yet in our lives with family, but why don’t we meet to see if we even click and go from there.  Not only did they not respond but I got deleted and blocked!  I mean I get that we weren’t quite on the same page, however, what’s the harm in meeting or at least getting to know a couple before you start a family with them?

And did I mention that we are looking for a stable couple?  And by stable, I do mean a couple who love each other, and have a good solid foundation.  A couple that leaves the majority of their drama at the door.  Yes, we all have issues in our primary relationships, but we have come across two couples in particular who used opening up to try and save their troubled relationships.  And guess what, it didn’t work!  And it really sucked for us, as the couple coming into it.  For you see, I begin to care about the people I’m dating, and then when the relationship deteriorates I get upset too, and there are tears and then pretty much everyone breaks up!  It’s a crappy feeling!

So now I go into these first meetings a little guarded and I make a point of asking how long the couple has been together to potentially avoid that particular pain.  And while I can weed out the FWB or new partners very quickly it’s still time consuming business.  I tend to gravitate towards couples who have been together 5 plus years.  I find couples who are in love and stable to be much more attractive than just a couple of hot FWB who only have amazing sex together and no real intimacy.  Why?  Because I am not looking for one time hookups.  Scheduling is tough.  My life is very busy.  Finding partners who are in the same boat makes life much more relaxed and easy going, as you can accept everyone’s priorities and really value the moments the four get together.  For me, it is more intimate and special.

I hope in the next few years, I can lower my guard a little and go with the flow again.  But right now I feel stuck in this weird zone of too many red flags from everyone I talk to.  And I suppose part of the reason is in that open relationships, swinging, etc are becoming a little less taboo.  So the pool is getting a little fuller around the edges.  Many couples are dipping a toe in here and there.  Or testing the water, so to speak.  While exciting, it’s a little tricky when your ready to start swimming laps, and leave the water wings behind.  But hey, at least a few of those toe dippers will stick around to experience the full pool soon right?

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My Online Dating Nostalgia

I may be dating myself here, but I remember a time when online dating was about making connections with someone.  A time when you used one site at a time, to chat, get to know someone, and then actually meet and hopefully go on a few dates.  Where messages consisted of a few paragraphs and not just a smiley face.  The time prior to online dating apps, the time of online dating websites.

In my single days, I would make online dating a big part of my day, an event actually.  When I got home from work, and had finished eating,  I would pour myself a glass of wine and log onto my site of choice.  I would take the time to read each and every profile that showed up in the “viewed me” tab.  I would take a deep breath and try and respond kindly to at least 50 percent of messages I had received and then I would open the message from the guy I was most interested in.  Spending real and meaningful time forming my witty response to him.  All the while sipping my wine, and envisioning the flirting that would ensue as a result of my message.  When I was satisfied, I would hit send, quickly shut off my computer and go and draw my nightly bath.

This was my ritual, and it had a purpose.  I wanted to allow him the time to read, formulate his response and write back to me.  I didn’t want it to look like I was online all the time as that would make me look desperate.  My time was valuable and I was not just waiting with baited breath for a reply.  So I would take that long, luxurious bubble bath, fantasizing about meeting him for the first time.  Building up some suspense and creating a bit a bit of longing.  I believe I even quit using the site on weekends for a while to create the illusion that I was a busy girl whom you had to impress to get a date with!  Ahhh… it was a time in my life that I look back upon fondly.

Yes, there was a lot of shit.  You would have dry spells, weeks, sometimes months with an empty inbox.  You would feel lost, and lonely and all these horrible revelations about yourself would float up to the surface.  Often online dating just plain sucked.  Or the times you re read your messages and realized they made absolutely no sense.  Or came up with something so much better to say the next morning, wishing you could delete that last message, kicking yourself for blowing that all important first impression.

But time has passed.  And I don’t remember the bad times as clearly.  I remember those sweet little moments in time when I couldn’t wait to get home to start my dating ritual.  When I would fall asleep with some sexy stranger on my mind and hope.  Just hope that I could play my cards just right, and he would finally want to meet me.  That we could make a real connection, in person.  Face to face.

Those days, are gone.  I don’t know if online dating can ever regain the charm that it once had for me.  Now it’s a game of swipe.  A game of fast retorts, with a rush to grab a drink before the next person swipes.  Its hurried, and impersonal and frankly pathetic.  I receive about 10 messages a day saying “hi”, or “hey” or “how are you”.  And yes that last one had an intentional omission of a question mark.  Why?  Because we are too lazy to even use punctuation when online.  Things like, hey u, are common place.  It quite honestly make me sad.  The ritual is gone, the sweet online seduction and flirtation does not exist anymore.  But at least I still have my bubble baths.

 

***If the post resonated with you, and you are ready to improve your online dating presence, and stand out from all the lazy swipe right people, I can help!  Check out my new coaching site for my rates!  Or contact me directly to see how you can be a guest blogger***

 

 

When You’re Separated by a Screen, Don’t Forget There is a Human on the Other End

Yesterday something happened while on a dating app that I never thought would happen.  I have tried to pretend that it didn’t bother or affect me, but I just cannot do it.  Yesterday I was brought face to face with what I have said for years, that there is in fact a human being on the other end of that screen and you never know what really is going on with them.  And we must never forget that, and must always do better to be ethical and kind when interacting with strangers.

As I said I was on a dating app yesterday and I was contacted by a man who opened with a fantastic line of flattery or so I thought.  He said that he wished he was good enough to one day get with a woman as beautiful as me.  I responded right away, asking what he thought he needed to do to make that happen, and made a silly joke of responding in my dating coach voice as I typed.  He said that he needed to win the lottery to become attractive due to his short comings.  I laughed and said money wasn’t everything.  Obviously, he had been down this road before and said, because he was only 5’5” that no woman would ever find him attractive without money.  I brushed this off and said that as a dating coach maybe I could help him with his confidence if we wanted.  And if you have made it this far in the little back and forth between us, here’s the kicker.  And I quote, “I am just here killing time, before I kill myself because no woman will ever date me”.

I was positively floored.  In fact, I still am.  I am sad to say, my gut reaction was that he was using this as a ploy to get my attention.  But after a few minutes, my compassion and brain went into overdrive.  If there was even the slightest chance that he was serious I needed to do something.  But what could I do?  For all intents and purposes, online dating in anonymous.  I would have to do some incredibly serious sleuthing to find out even the slightest additional information about a person in the real world, and that would only be possible if we had chatted for more than 10 minutes.  I had nothing to go on.  So here’s how I reacted.  I wrote him a message saying that I wanted him to seek professional help immediately.  Then I copy and pasted the message and reported it to the app under other in the hopes that someone would have a data base of his information when he signed up.  I then wrote back to him the 1-800 number for suicide hotline.  To which he responded that he wouldn’t do anything drastic as long as his pets were alive, as they were his reason for living.  I implored with him one last time to seek help and then just like that, his profile was gone.

As I sit here typing away, I am reminded of one simple fact, the online world often removes the humanity in us.  We need to fight that urge and remind ourselves that there is a human being on the other end.  I didn’t accept what had happened right away and was in a horrible mood for the rest of the afternoon.  In fact, I was outright rude and argumentative to a stranger online who just wanted to meet me.  I pushed him until he said something silly, and goaded him into a fight.  I feel awful for doing that.  And I am sorry.  Truly sorry.  When you interact with someone online,remember you are not talking to a bot, even Siri was voiced by a real human.  Why?  Because shit flows downhill, especially in the virtual world.

So be cognitive, be aware, be kind!  Do not put your crap on a stranger, as I did.  And do not ignore the pain of someone reaching out as I was tempted to do.  Live as ethically online as you do in the real world.  Let’s make the experience better and more human for everyone.

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