After a short hiatus Liam comes out to play on my invitation. We agree on a movie and dinner date – Love & Friendship and Hare & Tortoise at Brunswick Square. It was a lovely evening and I invite myself back to his on the pretext of using his bathroom. We have a little intimate session and he walks me to catch the tube. I hint at another shared break abroad but he seemed spooked by the idea. I told him not to be alarmed and dash down the elevator to catch the last train home.
On a moody Sunday afternoon Max and I arranged to meet up at the Pergola Gardens. We talked and exchanged our news – he has been adventurous, attending a few orgasmic meditation sessions and one other sex positive activity event involving erotic playfighting. I enjoy our new platonic relationship and note that he seemed a little nervous around me. We have a chaste kiss on the cheeks goodbye and I went home to play with the photos I’d taken with my new toy.
Goran is back in the picture, that is to say occasionally in my bed. Since his return from the visit to his missus, he has resumed his poly status and also contact with the pugilistic Amazon. Their dance of back and forth has been halted temporarily and who knows what may be in the distant future. Meanwhile I discover that I am no longer subject to that attraction I had felt for him before my trip abroad. He is still delicious in bed but I find I can enjoy him without the attendant romance. I like this new equanimity and consider that I might call myself a relationship anarchist – I don’t have a primary relationship and regard Jan, Goran, Ewan, Max and Liam as equals in their parts.
Ewan sent me an email and text from abroad, which is really sweet of him to do so. He gave me news of his holiday with his family and I waited slightly more than a day to send my reply – obviously I’m not wholly enamoured of him. At the back of my mind I remember that he had mentioned that he would like to watch me with another man and woman. Whilst the idea is a turn on uttered when we’re in bed together, I wonder if I would actually feel the same were it to happen. Still, I won’t turn him down if he manages to find another willing couple.
Jan came round the other night. We met at the Eastern European watering hole opposite the tube station and had a beer each. Poland was playing Portugal on the two screens and there was a rousing cheer when the former scored the first goal. We discussed the Brexit fallout. It was unavoidable. We generally agreed about most things except on the leadership question. He was more for a centrist/populist candidate and I still hoped that the current one of the opposition might still do.
When we eventually repaired to the Korean up the road we were already discussing other things. His relationship with his NW came up. He told me that she was deeply jealous of me. I couldn’t think why – he very often cancelled arrangements with me in order to do stuff with her. It was only recently when he sort of asked me whether I thought we might stand a chance living together that set me thinking what our relationship was about. And when I remember being let down – the first time over Copenhagen and then the other minor incidents, culminating in the recent theatre debacle – and wonder at how he dances to this NW’s demands, that I think we won’t be any good for each other. He has been around for me some of the time, but recently we have been seeing less of each other. All the same, when we do get together, it is always enjoyable, comfortable and I don’t feel as though I need to hold back on my opinions or temper my words.
And in spite of the amount of alcohol consumed, we enjoyed a passionate embrace before falling asleep together. He is a thoughtful lover and takes his time to ensure that I want for nothing more before reaching his own climax. And so it was quite late by the time we slept.
Still, I long for someone to fall in love with me and I them. And I think Jan and I now have that long term familiarity and friendship which makes it unlikely that we might ever experience the silly giddiness of infatuation with each other.
The following day I find a message from Liam apologising for not being able to sustain the escalation of our relationship. We only used to meet up every other week but since my return from the highlands we have yet to see each other. Undaunted I tell him that I was perfectly happy to meet up for movie and dinner dates with the occasional sleepover. I hoped we might resume that undemanding pattern we had with each other and he replied that he was in agreement with me. I don’t know what made him think that we were on the next level relationship-wise. Perhaps I should ask him when we next meet.
Er … what for?
It turns out that he wasn’t expecting Facebook to make his relationship status so public. Which explains the stepped up frequency of emails from his stalker woman. He being Michael, the ex. The stalker woman, despite living on another continent manages to wreak minor havoc, contacting most of his friends and attempting to besmirch his good name. I take the high road in this and bin her hysterical emails.
Back in calmer waters my own paramours have all taken a back seat. Ewan is now busy spending summer holidays with his children and ex. I don’t want to be a part of that and apart from the occasional whatsapp messaging, commiserating over the Brexit fallout, we maintain our distance – he in the windswept and often dreich north and I in the capital down south enjoying brighter days. Jan too, having hinted his very English proposal has gone quiet. And neither does Liam have any time for me, not even bothering to reply to my latest text message. I don’t sit patiently by … although I’m less antsy this year compared to last, … instead, I find myself being tempted back by Goran. It is an evening purely for physical gratification and after a night of raw passion I am happy to throw my lot in with the sex positive campaign.
I have reached a point where I look around me and think what’s it all been for? I have been surprised at how the different relationships I have formed seem to work – down to the long distance and infrequent ones – but perhaps I don’t really take those seriously. Ewan and I said our goodbyes when I left the Highlands knowing that if and when we next see each other the summer will be over and a lot can happen in a season. Liam and I have re-established a regular pattern of dating once every other week, travel, work, and family commitments permitting. It suits me for now because I am still wary of the hard work involved in a relationship. And of course those that don’t work – I’m quite happy to consign them to the best forgotten bin.
On Tuesday evening I had an intimate date with Liam. After the previous one which ended with some very warm kisses in his high-rise office overlooking London I knew that I very much wanted to sleep with him and that he would not turn me down if he thought sex was on offer. So I invited him round and made some dinner, after which we made out in the front room before going up to my room. It was around half past ten when we finished and I went downstairs on the pretext that I wanted to read but ended up texting the other men before falling asleep. I had left Liam to sleep on his own and was down in the spare room. Only because I was aware that he slept better on his own and I wanted to be a gracious host.
In the morning I got back into bed with him and we had another romp – he tells me that I’m really sexy and I thank him. After breakfast and a few coffees we head out and I drop him off at the tube station as we go on with the rest of our lives. This evening we make another date next week and I wonder if he would keep it. When we had started going out the year before last he had been wont to cancel at the last minute. Eventually we had let the relationship peter out until he got in touch again more recently early this year.
On Thursday Ewan came round – it was our fourth date but we seem to have established an easy routine. He had a bath and then we went out to the local cinema to see Money Monster and have a light meal at Wagamama’s. There he bored me slightly by talking about AIMs. When we came back we chatted a bit more and finished a bottle of red he had brought. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but it struck me suddenly that he has quite a pleasing visage. I am curious about his wife and he shows me some pictures of her and his children. He gives me some more background details and I am fascinated by her mixed race roots. I wonder but don’t ask whether his wife really considers their marriage at an end. During an intimate moment he revealed that in my two month absence he had had sex with her. In the morning, despite being a little worse for wear we have another go – it wasn’t as exciting as the previous night’s passions but we managed to make each other orgasm. Later, having showered, we have coffee and breakfast and I wave him off at the door. He was going on to Norwich to meet with family solicitors. In ten days or so I shall be flying up to the Scottish Highlands where he will show me around his neck of the woods. I am suddenly quite excited by this prospect.
I had wondered in the middle of the previous weekend whether I could settle down with one man and if there was a flaw in my personality or character that no man seemed to want this of me or I of any particular one of them. But then walking back to my car from work today I decided that actually I was perfectly content to see the few men who are in my life at the moment. The fleeting moments of loneliness have not been so unbearable that I am willing to consider the complication and inevitable compromises of living with one man.