a weekend break

Another weekend away, but a first in other ways. This time we drove the girls to grandma Catherine’s who had tea ready for them and fish pie for us. It had been raining heavily in the last hour of the journey but we stopped off to get some wine and flowers. The little one came into the shop with me while Alexander stayed in the car with the other.  When we arrived the children had their tea before us so that we could have ours later.  We stayed up with Cathy having drunk about two and a half bottles of first a white, and then a fizzy rosé from the Test valley and finally a blended red of merlot and cab sauv.  It was another convivial evening with tales of happier times as well as those unfortunate dates who have been consigned to the past but occasionally crop up to remind us why they had been unsuitable.

In the morning Ella came into our bed and it felt sweet and cosy to be playing happy families once again with tiddlers.  Later when we were getting ready to leave for some grownup time, A’s older girl, Sasha gave me a hug and it felt warm and happy.  The young things have accepted me into their lives and I am so grateful for their unquestioning and unreserved welcome.  A’s mother has been lovely too in this and offering to have his children.

We drove on quiet country lanes passing beautiful rolling pasture.  The Wiltshire landscape is not spoken about much even though it holds its own next to its better-known sisters, with a fair few stunning moments when sun, sky and cloud played their parts.

We had gone to Bristol just to be on our own for a bit, watch Othello at the Factory Theatre, have meals at places with as few children as possible.  I asked him if he would consider getting a tattoo with me.  We giggled over getting ones with stoats.  On Sunday morning we did a few touristy things and had a pub lunch at Clifton.  It had been another successful outing.

I remember Max’s email enquiry as to our secret to happy coupling.  I want to tell him that it comes mainly from confidence in one’s ability to select the right partner and having found him/her to continue with the knowledge that we wanted the same happy outcomes.  Is it really as simple as that?  It has yet to sink in and so I leave the reply for another time.

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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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a conversation on ethical non-monogamy

I had a date with Max yesterday afternoon – it was a glorious day and we sat in the dappled shade under a tree which shed fragrant leaves. We talked about our relationships and he observed that I was quite taken with Julius. When asked what I admire about him, I said that it was most definitely his fund of knowledge, taste in music and art, and infectious enthusiasm.

I guess I am rather enamoured of J, but we are still pursuing a non-monogamous lifestyle at any rate, which is more than can be said for Max who seems to be in relationships with women who are looking for monogamous commitments. He reminded me that when we last met I had been on the verge of turning monogamous, or at least questioning the whole idea of non-monogamy.

Certainly I am still getting used to the lifestyle and ethics of it. It appeals to both of us I suspect because it means we need never have to end any relationship in order to meet anyone new. He has already met or at least is chatting to a few potential dates, although one appears to be long distance in a haven of peace.

We make tentative arrangements to join a book club to discuss The Ethical Slut and parted company after walking up the road to take a peek at the house his father first stayed in when he came to London as a boy.

Hello, hello, hello

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.

Three dates in a week

My friend Max was the perfect partner to go and see that new film The Danish Girl with. He had told me last year when we were sharing our private thoughts that he often wondered if he was a woman trapped in a man’s body. I’d asked him what made him think that and he gave the usual examples of his empathy with those characteristics stereotypically associated with women – gentleness, desire for peace, and adeptness at compromise to avoid confrontation.

He was also generally abhorrent of violence and there were a few trailers before the film at which he flinched – The Revenant and Room. I must admit that I also found the subject matter of Room unsavoury and agreed with him that I probably would not go and see this film when it is released.

Afterwards we had some dinner and continued telling each other about our dating. He was seeing an attractive Goan woman who gives him some grief between dates requiring him to text  her at a frequency he deemed excessive.  I tended to agree that it was unnecessary to maintain daily contact and might be a tad artificial to insist – you either want to chat or you don’t – to insist that someone does so at prescribed times of the day somehow smacks of balls and chains.

At the end of our meal I gave Max a lift home and declined his invitation to go in.  I was rather surprised he had asked when he did but on my drive home I recalled his emphasis when describing his current dates with Goan woman that neither of them had yet to see the interior of the other’s abode – her situation complicated by the fact that she was still living at home.

The following evening Goran and I had arranged to dine out of town at a tudor pub whose entrance doorway was so low he ducked rather than groused.  We requested a table by the fire as it was absolutely freezing – the coldest night this winter.  Several fires were lit around this rather sprawling pub/restaurant, so that was not too difficult and we settled across each other.  Just as Max was ideal for the last film, Goran was the perfect gourmand for this quaint, renowned gastropub with its historical fayre.

We talked about what’s current in his life – it turns out that G’s ex-gf has manoeuvred herself to stay at his  house whilst his wife and son are abroad.  Since she was currently homeless and her leave to remain in the UK tenuous, both Mr and Mrs G thought it was the kindest thing to do, to let her stay in their guestroom.  I quizzed Goran about the likelihood of their slipping into each other’s beds whilst she was there and he felt confident that he would not succumb.  With each revelation of the goings-on surrounding Goran I find myself edging out of infatuation and can almost taste the freedom of being the mistress of my own heart once more.

Earlier on during the journey he had said he did not feel like being intimate and reasoned that it might have had something to do with this ex-gf turning on her charms and his turning off all feelings on that front.  He was reluctant to fall into bed with her recalling the difficulty he experienced previously trying to extricate himself from their relationship.  Later after the meal when we came home he seemed to change his mind and we romped about the house as we had done previously.

It was a busy week as I had a date to roam Lumiere London with Ramon the next evening and we rather impressed ourselves at how much ground we covered.  I asked him in my rather indirect way whether he was dating anyone else and he teased me about my fishing.  We might have carried on bantering the whole evening except that I felt rather disappointed my efforts in engaging him in more heart to heart did not get beyond “not since a rather exciting moment this year, I mean end of last year” as his memory failed his attempts at subtlety.

I wondered at my own fishing attempts over everyone’s dating adventures – I’m sure not everyone tells the whole truth however honestly they attempt to answer my probing questions.  At the end of the week of busy back to back dates I know that I don’t want to sleep with Max still, Ramon appears to have a lot of personal hangups and I am no longer infatuated with Goran.  Walter made a date to see me next week and Paul continues to update me on his sexploits with hints that I might enjoying accompanying him on some of his jaunts.  To date I have not acquiesced.