Epiphany

6th September 2016

Bade Julius goodbye today outside the tube station – this was after a date that ended with a sleepover.  He’d invited me to meet his friends on a canal walk last Sunday.  Complications with other things in our life meant that it didn’t end with either of us spending the night together – in my case I had work the next morning and in his he had to untangle himself from a relationship which did not have a promising future.  When we met up the following afternoon he still had not quite completely ended it, treading the fine line between saying no and not wanting to hurt.  I was uncomfortable when he tried to unburden himself as I tend to subscribe to a firmer method of rejection. We went for a ramble around Golders Hill park and supped at Eat Tokyo.  The evening walk with the dog on the golf course saw some al fresco nookie.  It was pitch black in the woods but the golf course itself was lit where a few houses backed onto the links.  We started off kissing there and moved on to a more sheltered area.  In any event the dog stood guard and would have warned us if anyone had happened upon us.  According to Julius it was his second experience of outdoor sex.

9th September 2016

Since the last time we met up in the Scottish Highlands at the beginning of summer, June to be precise, I hadn’t seen Ewan who came down the previous evening.  He was fairly ardent in his approach, claiming a dearth of suitable bedmates and so we had almost a quickie post-prandial, after which we enjoyed a siesta.   Later that evening we tried out the Ab Fab party venue in west London: under a starlit sky we swam in our birthday suits in the pool and made friends.  In a public room, i.e. one where spectators could look through we indulged in a fairly organised orgy with two other couples.  It was my first experience of a woman who squirts during orgasm.  One of Julius’ lovers does that and he claims it is a nuisance.  The woman at the sex party was a lovely friendly warm person as was her partner and post coital, as it were, were both happy to impart some advice for us swinging newbies.  I think Ewan had a lovely time of it and not feeling particularly emotionally attached to him I was able to indulge in the whole experience without any attendant angst.

I fully empathised with Julius’ feelings of insecurity and the following afternoon arranged to meet him at his after work.  I had work the following day and didn’t stay the night.  We discussed further how we felt about each other and confirmed that we were both fairly comfortable with the idea of our dating/sleeping with other people.  He asked me whether I had any opinion about his considering closing his dating profile on the app and I told him that it was his decision to make and I would not presume to ask him to do so.   I added that apart from Tomas, I was not chatting to anyone else.  As someone once said, they were poly-saturated and I felt fairly sated by the choice lovers I am in contact with.

He continued to tell me that I was desirable and earlier this afternoon, after several risqué message exchanges with Tomas, I began to realise that perhaps men really did want to take me to bed.  And perhaps that is all, … and that is really quite enough and almost an epiphany for me.  Perhaps it didn’t matter after all – the aging, the wobbly bits, the less than symmetrical features, the loose skin, the silver strands amongst the ebony.  Some men – Julius, Tomas, Goran (whose own domestic issues continue), Ramon, etc… desired me.  But not Michael anymore it would seem – we had met at a family event with some of our children in tow and our relationship is friendly and warm.

I went to the poly-cafe in Warren Street with Max yesterday evening for a book club meeting, the book being The Ethical Slut.  There was a nice balance of people at different stages of polyamory and we talked about our experiences and relationships.  I recognised one other person I’d met previously when I arranged with Goran to meet there one Saturday afternoon some time in early summer this year.  It felt reassuring to be a part of a group whose chosen relationship lifestyle mirrored mine.  Max was in fragile mood and I gave him a few warm, close embraces when he asked me for a hug.  I am wary of becoming attached to him but am not so unfeeling as to deny him warmth.  He is more than an ex-lover and I feel a strong fondness towards him.  It’s strange how I am no longer giddy over any of my past or even present lovers but continue to feel a bond with some of them.  I still adore Julius but can sense my infatuation passing as he tells me that he is still meeting new women – including one last night and another this evening.  Reluctant to be hurt by someone who has the potential to unsettle me my survival instincts kick in and I take the initiative with Tomas this afternoon, asking him for a preview of his back torso, gambling on the possibility that he would ask for one of mine in return and he did not fail me.

This is the picture Tomas sent me earlier today in a bid to convince me that he was not as curvy as the Felix Vallotton nude who has a coquettish profile.

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Felix Vallotton’s nude

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Your feminine ways

Yesterday afternoon I took Julius to see the Kjartansson exhibition at the Barbican.  He too found it magical in its full immersive experience.  We went into the room with the 9 video harmonising installation where the feminine is celebrated in music – the idea of individuality and celebration of togetherness makes the theme of divorce even more poignant. There were other displays but we chose to watch this twice, in all its 64 minutes.  On both occasions it felt right to embrace occasionally.  Although I first saw this with Tomas last week and we enjoyed our first kiss here, I felt a profound sense of closeness experiencing this artwork with Julius.  I was glad that he found it all as enchanting as I did.

There wasn’t a plan for him to stay the night with me but after the exhibition ended at 6pm he showed me where he worked nearby and we spent a contemplative moment in Cardinal Hume’s garden of peace before going around Bunhill Cemetery to pay a visit to William Blake’s memorial.  A quick pint each of Seafarer’s at the pub opposite and I remembered that the cupboard at home was nearly bare, so we nipped into a small supermarket for some supplies.  By the time we got back and I’d made dinner and then we had our cuddle, we were both too exhausted to move and in the end he spent the night.  It was lovely to wake up together, although being the more morning person I was restless at the crack of dawn and had to take the dog out for a walk on my own.  Climbing back into bed later, we had another close and intimate embrace before breakfast.

Julius tells me that he feels very tender towards me – I asked him if this had anything to do with the fact that he is so much taller or older than me but he denied it saying it was more to do with how I am.  I suspect he is from an era where men behaved in a chivalrous manner towards women and I feel very fortunate that we have grown so fond of each other so quickly.  Doubts about how long this is likely to last no longer trouble me.  I told him that Ewan was coming down from Scotland in a few weeks to visit me.  He asked if I’d like to take some time out from him to entertain Ewan but I reassured him that I was only meeting up with Ewan for a day and night.

When we said our goodbyes on the tube platform later we knew that it wasn’t long before our next date.  Somehow we have managed to increase the frequency by one date every couple of days!

Lovers new

Watteau

The 97% match is an art historian, (edit – let’s call him Tomas) head of his department at a post-graduate art school in London.  We recognised each other at once outside the art centre at the Barbican – my choice of venue, even before I’d discovered his professional interest.  In a darkened studio our hands brushed against each other’s until at one of the larger rooms, behind a pillar, we embraced.  We went down a level for cocktails where he told me of his complicated love life involving one long term partner and  other tempestuous lovers.  He walked me to my station later that evening and we enjoyed another kiss at the top of the stairs.  We exchanged phone numbers and he sent me a sketch by Antoine Watteau the following day – a libertine painter who painted love and had no time to spend on actual love-making – my new love interest tells me.  The refined banter between us hinted occasionally at libidinous themes and he invited me to the hunterian museum as a precursor to indulgence of a more sensuous nature.  How could a girl resist?  I assented, of course.

The following evening I had a date with Julius who continues to delight me.  He had indicated that some of his friends might be at the Crossbones vigil we were attending and I’d been slightly apprehensive.  As it happened, there was no one there who knew him very well and so the evening had been all right.  When the vigil was over we went for a drink at a pub before coming back to mine.  In my bed, after dallying about downstairs baptising the sofa in the living room, we came upstairs, and then I remembered and we booked the tickets to go on holiday together for the end of next month.  We marvelled at our confidence about the strength of our relationship, to take such a bold step other lovers might consider foolhardy since it was only our sixth date, but we were both certain that it was unlikely we might ever fall out.

I spent the entire night cradled in his arms –  both amazed the next morning that we suffered no ill effect from this unfamiliar sleeping position.   We re-affirmed our adoration of each other, and were careful and also careless about describing our emotions.  The carelessness sprang more from spontaneity and the care we took in our choice of words stemmed from a desire not to alarm the other.  We understood where we stood with each other and I can enjoy this phase of my life being the apple of my lover’s eye, until the end of the year at least!

Ewan makes a date finally, having received the parenting calendar for the new school year.  We pencil in an evening in a fortnight’s time as he is given to understand that my own diary was being rapidly filled.  I am jealous of the time I can call my own after being pressed by the new men in my life to meet them.   Goran still sends me messages and I no longer feel the need to meet him.  What a difference a few months apart has made and I am regaining my self-esteem, helped tremendously by the ardour of Julius’ passion.

meanwhile, in true non-monogamy …

Ewan was meant to have made some time for me this month but his summer schedule had got hijacked by his social life – suddenly the Highlands as a tourist destination is proving to be popular and being the warm, generous and hospitable person that he is, is currently playing host to friends arriving a month early.  Since I’m suitably distracted by a new suitor (Julius) and flirting with the idea of falling in love again, I haven’t had time to pine for my Highland lover.

Last night he messaged me in a bid to try and re-arrange his visit down south.  We make a tentative date for some time mid September.  Whether it involves an orgy with another couple depends very much on how keen the other woman is – I’d met her one evening recently – this drinks arrangement organised by her lover whom I had met last year in a threesome.   My attitude towards an orgy is very much take it or leave it … which Douglas says is the best way to approach Carrie who came across as flaky, from his descriptions and that one meeting with her.   According to Douglas I’d made a good impression – from my choice of venue to the way we all got along.  I thought it helped that she’d brought her adorable rescue mutt along.  I suggested that we have another drinks how-d’e’do, this time with Ewan in tow when he’s next in town.  This got the thumbs up from Douglas.

Meanwhile, the dating app continued to generate potential dates and I have one lined up one day next week.  He is a 97% match and I have dated a sufficient number of these to expect him to be no different to the educated, creative, urbane types I’ve met, some of whom still remain friends or lovers.  Despite my head being currently turned by Julius I’m still hoping to find a mutual spark with this new man – which should steady any attachment neediness that always seems to accompany falling in love.

Let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie

I’m sometimes unable to curb the wild imaginings of my insecure side.  A few nights ago, when I knew that Julius was with K, because we’d agreed to be honest with each other, I felt a little fluttering unease.  So I went back to the dating app and picked up a couple more potential dates.  The flirting there was like a salve to my self-inflicted wounds.

Ewan noticed my late night dalliances, as these things give you away, and commented on it – until I met Julius he had been my latest lover and we had begun establishing a sort of relationship involving long emails and day to day whatsapp chats about this and that and nothing at all; who knew that the silliness of routines and minor exasperations shared could create the sort of bond that it did, but, … but all the same, physically, he is there, hundreds of miles away from here, without a firm date to give me as to when he might next see me, and he is also still married after all, even if his wife now does not want to sleep with him anymore.  He had asked me before if I might consider indulging in an orgy – having sex with another couple present.  He had spoken without having anyone in mind but I remembered Douglas and our threesome with his partner and had promised Ewan I would find out.

And then Julius sent me an email and another and it all starts again – we make a couple more dates for the next week and I feel myself drawn back into his thrall.  In an effort to prevent myself from becoming overly attached to a man who has two other lovers and potentially more, I make dates with three others myself.  One of these is with Goran whom I hadn’t seen since his wife returned to London.  I’d missed him and we arrange to have dinner together and who knows what might happen after that.  Max and I arranged to go for another platonic walk and Douglas asked me to meet his current lover who had been considering a threesome.

Faithfully following the tenets of relationship anarchy, I pursue these friendships and love affairs, trying not to let one become more important than the other, enjoying each one separately.