Monthly Archives: April 2014

My husband has a date!

Keith has been texting his friend Jen for a few weeks now. She used to work for the same company, though they never really talked until the season was over, but recently she reached out to him for some advice on going back to school for a similar job as his. And so he suggested meeting up for lunch. Their texting got flirty, but then she backed off when she learned he was married.

The more Keith and I talked the more I realized how much I wanted him to pursue this relationship with Jen, regardless of where it went. We set some rules that we both felt comfortable with, and he assured Jen that I was okay with their flirty texting and lunch date relationship. I’m not sure if it’ll turn into a full fledged girlfriend status, since she’s leaving in a few months to go back to school, but he’s enjoying getting to know her, and she has seemed really receptive to the openness of our marriage situation, going from somewhat jealous that he would stop texting to hang out with me, to now asking about how I am and even suggesting we all get together for a double date sometime (me with Anne, Keith with her, all of us together?!). I love that she’s thinking that way, because while I have no interest in dating her too, if she’s going to be a metamour I would really like to know her and have a non-sexual relationship with her.

So after I cleared my Friday night date plans for dinner with Anne, Keith said, “not to go tit for tat, but how would you feel if I took Jen to the Wednesday night soccer game next week?” I think he still sometimes thinks I’m going to freak out, when the exact opposite happens. It feels weird putting it into writing that I get really happy and excited that he is pursuing and getting to know someone else, and that it could possibly become sexual. At any rate, the immense freedom I feel knowing that I don’t have to go to a Wednesday night soccer game, something that starts to get bogged down in my schedule with things every single night, is also practically exciting. Keith gets to take a lady friend out, they can have a good time, and I can be home doing homey things.

It might seem like time spent apart might make us grow apart, but I actually feel closer and more connected than ever before. I really like it, and am so excited that he is getting to go on a date!

I asked a girl out!

Now that I’m back from my Vegas weekend, I have time in my schedule to go on a proper date with Anne. But I am so unskilled in the whole dating department that I was terribly nervous to ask her out. I mean, it seemed pretty apparent that we’ve been on the same page since the beginning, and she certainly seems interested in going on a date with me, but until I asked, I couldn’t know for sure. 

It’s interesting the thought process I’m going through now that I’m out. Because growing up I had certain rules in my mind for how men and women should interact as far as dating. Every experience of me going outside the gender norm (and asking a guy out) had been met with resistance or outright rudeness. And so those experiences reinforced the value that my church had taught, that guys were supposed to initiate and girls were supposed to basically wait around until a guy took some interest. 

But with girls…how does it work? Does asking her out make me too forward? Would anything happen if both of us was waiting for it to happen but to shy or awkward or nervous to say anything about it? I know what I’m feeling is reciprocated, so I just decided to take the plunge. Since she’s busy with school, and work, and kids, and her own life, I put it in her court saying in the course of a texting conversation, “I want to take you on a date,” and asked if she was free sometime this weekend. She suggested Friday night, and so I said I’d plan something. 

Keith thought it was cute that I was researching date options, and said, “oooh, Ms. romantic,” when I suggested this fancy restuarant on a marina that has a great happy hour dinner for really cheap (comparably). I love that he’s sweetly teasing me about it, because with him I am not as lovey-dovey romantic in nature. I find that I enjoy practical romance, like when he got me a really cool new book for our anniversary, rather than flowers. So he thought it was cute that I was planning such a stereotypically romantic date night for my girl. 

Today she asked me where I was taking her, and somehow she hasn’t ever been to this restaurant! I’m actually really surprised because it’s a local favorite for many people, and it makes me happy that I’ll get to show her that experience! But ya’ll, I’m super nervous…I’ve never been on a date by myself with a woman. Sure I go out with my girl friends, but there’s never been that sexual chemistry piece I’ve had to wade through. Though I know that’s reciprocal, too, as she asked me today if walking along the boardwalk would entail making out 🙂

Sigh. I’m smitten. But I’m rule driven, and have no idea how to navigate a same-sex relationship where there’s no designated ‘guy’ and ‘girl’ roles to fill. I ask her out the first time, will she ask me out the next? Do I pay for the bill? Do we ‘go dutch’? Do I kiss her first or do I wait for her to kiss me? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

But I did it. I asked a girl out on a date. Well, I guess I told her that I wanted to go on a date, and she said she would. So that’s something, right? 

Any advice ya’ll on navigating the new ‘rules’ of dating? 

My Experience Coming Out (Part 5)

I have a bestie, Ruth, who I’ve known since college. We’ve talked every day on the phone for the past NINE years, and that’s saying a lot because I HATE THE PHONE! She’s seen me through amazing and hard times. She’s seen me go from fundamentalist Christian, to practicing Agnostic, and has loved me through every phase in between. She had read my recent coming-out-as-NotStraight article, and so she has been aware of my sexuality for a bit. And honestly, she wasn’t surprised at all. And she was supportive in every way possible.

So I knew that telling her about Anne wasn’t going to be an issue, but since she lived 300 miles away from me, our relationship is reduced to stealing phonecalls whilst driving home from work. Or, in this case, home from her dad’s wedding. It was a long car trip she had, and I was a part of the passing-of-the-miles. I find phonecalls to be awkward for sensitive subjects that haven’t had a segue, but I needed to just confess, so after I listened to her experience at the wedding, I just launched into my coming out speech. And, of course, her response was amazing, like I knew it would be!

We talked about sexuality, and polyamory, and how straight-as-a-board she is, and how she wished Keith and I well in our venture. And since then has followed up in a non-forced way, letting me gush about Anne’s love of literature, and even crack the joke that she’s basically a bisexual Ruth (something my friend Mari might feel uncomfortable about me saying).

I’m now out to all the people closest to me, and it feels really good. I’m waiting on second date, and now that I’m home from my weekend trip to Vegas, I can schedule something with her. But our texting relationship is going really well! I am excited to hopefully someday soon introduce her to Ruth, so she can see just how cool she really is!

My Experience Coming Out (Part 4)

Scheduling is hard. With very few childcare options available, Keith and I asked his parents to watch our son so that we could go on a date (with Anne) on Friday night. But it just so happened that my sister was also in town that day, having spent the night before with us. Since she lives a few hours away, and the trip had been planned for months, I didn’t want to make her reschedule for our potential love life change. And so she came, and we hung out, and I planned to not say a word about my evening date (even hoping that it would calm my nerves to not think about it). Because my sister and I were raised in the same fundamentalist Christian home, and because she still lives in the same rural conservative town, and because we had been not as close in the past year, I just figured I would never come out to her because how would she understand?

So, the morning of my big date, we were sitting in the living room drinking mimosas and watching the kiddo chase the dog around the coffee table, and she suddenly started asking questions like:

“Have you ever thought of doing a threesome? Or how do you feel about monogamy? And marriage, like, do you ever get bored in your marriage, or jealous, or want to open it up to other people?”

Holy hell, the questions were peppering me like bullets. If we had stayed in a neutral territory, talking about marriage, or theoretical, or even focusing on her relationship (together for 4 years, living together for 3, possibly getting engaged soon(ish)). But how could I, with those direct questions rapidly fired at me, not tell her? My little sister, coming to me for advice on her relationship, by wanting connection in knowing she wasn’t the only one thinking of, or wanting, or being nervous and wanting, things to be different somehow.

At first I tried to get around it, but then I said, “so, this might come as a shock to you. And I’m going to tell you, because you asked, but it’s sensitive and I want to know you won’t go blabbing it about. Because I wasn’t going to tell family at all yet.”

And then I launched in, beginning with the bisexual bomb, and ending with the date that night with a woman and how nervous I was. Her response was beautiful. She laughed when I said, “remember when you were in high school, and you told me mom and dad thought I was a lesbian?,” because she had come to me at one point, since I wasn’t dating, and told me they were concerned. She hadn’t remembered that incident, but said that it wasn’t surprising to her that I wasn’t straight, and then she said:

“You know, just because I’m straight, and live in Tiny Annoying Town, doesn’t mean I’m judgmental. I have some really conservative friends who make Roger (her bf) feel uncomfortable because he’s much more open, and I never want to be that person. I’m excited for you, and can’t wait to hear how the date goes!” 

And then she said that she couldn’t imagine doing a threesome with a woman, but would be interested with another dude, and we had a good laugh about how very odd I felt that was (because my other bestie, Ruth, has said something similar before, and I have no interest in two penises near me at one time), and it felt like this really great bonding experience over a vulnerable topic that we were raised to believe was taboo. She then opened up about her own sex life, and their fantasies and explorations, and how she doesn’t have anyone to talk to about it because all her friends are in Tiny Annoying Town mindset. She said she was jealous that I got to live in a Big Liberal City with plenty of acceptance and even anonymity, because truthfully, if i wanted, I could take my potential girlfriend out on the town in parts of the city and I wouldn’t run into anybody I know in my other life.

We went out to breakfast and then shopping. Since she’s super into fashion, she wanted to help me pick out a cute outfit to wear on my first date.  She even tried to convince me to wear a trendy fashion necklace accessory, but I stood my ground, because I wanted to seem somewhat like myself and figured if I gave the impression that I can pull of trendy accessories on the first date, then I’d have to keep up that facade!

 

 

My Experience Coming Out (Part 3)

I didn’t mean to, but my close friend Russ was sitting in my office, talking about his relationship status, and when he asked me how I was doing, and what was new, I blurted out:

“I am bisexual. I am going on a date on Friday, with a woman. And I’m really nervous and scared and excited.”

While the news came out of left field, and I should probably work on the delivery, he took it in stride, because that’s the kind of friends we are. We met a few years ago at non-profit working with troubled youth, and have somehow both transitioned to working at the same community college, teaching different subjects. We spend a good bit of time together talking about vulnerable parts of our life, and so it felt natural to share with him, though it was out of left field.

And then, in a stroke of beauty, he shared some beautiful and hard parts of his identity and relationship happening right now, and it felt so nice to be loved and supported by a friend, and to share in his life. It’s these simpatico relationships that I love so much. There’s no sexual element involved, but our connection is deep, and I feel so grateful to have him in my life.

And so there you have it. The second person, IRL, that I have told about who I am, and where I am headed. And so far so good…

My Experience Coming Out (Part 2)

Monday night ritual, for the past few months, has been pizza and beer/wine/champagne with my bestest in-town girl friend. She totes her two sons over here, or I tote my son their direction, and we eat dinner and gossip and watch our boys grab toys from each other and cry play with each other. It’s kept us sane while our husbands are in class, or working late hours, and has allowed us to connect quite deeply. And so, that Monday night, while our kids ran around in my backyard, I turned to her and said:

“Mari, I have something to tell you, but I’m afraid you’ll be judgey.”

My word-choice was poor, as she had taken my coming out blog post SO WELL, and was SO SUPPORTIVE, and I hated that I had used judgey in a sentence with her. But I was afraid. Because while we are besties, our sex lives and even spirituality/morals/ethics vary wildly. To use a label to sum her up with a broad brush stroke, she is my most conservative friend. But there I was, on our wooden backyard bench, saying:

“I am going on a date on Friday. With a woman. And I am really excited, and nervous, and I really like her. And Keith will be there. And I’ve never felt feelings like this toward a woman, and she’s in the same life experience as me, and I’m really nervous and thought you should know because you are the closest person to me, and I’m not going to tell many people yet (or at all) and I just thought you should know.”

She suspected something was up.  While out to dinner the previous week, her husband was teasing me about some phone numbers I had gotten a few weeks prior out drinking after a soccer match. When I said we had plans on Friday he was all like, “oh, you meeting up with one of those girls?” and apparently my shocked expression and lame excuse had left her suspecting that something was up. But she didn’t want to press the subject, especially since there was a mutual friend present and he isn’t aware of my newly exposed identity. So there we were, sitting together, and me nervous about rejection, and her response:

“You are my friend. I may be more conservative sexually, and I may not understand it, but I will not judge you. I am not judgey about it. I think it sounds cool, and you seem happy. The hardest part I have is that I knew Keith in middle school and it’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this is who he is, in comparison to who he was back then.”

Phew.

My biggest obstacle was hurdled. The one person I felt NEEDED to know because of the amount of time we spend together had handled the news like a pro. I knew in my gut she would be supportive, but based on that last out-on-a-limb experience that didn’t go so well, I wondered if my gut feeling was way off. But it wasn’t. I was out, and supported, and it felt really good.

 

My Experiences Coming Out (Part 1)

The last few months have been a blur of gradual coming outness. I had written a coming out response to a recent news article, and it made the circulation to some select friends and family that I felt comfortable in sharing. In that blog I wrote that I was NotStraight, which was my catchall description, because I wasn’t yet comfortable saying bisexual (because of all the various meanings associated with that word. And the reaction in my life was AMAZING. I felt like most people had probably sensed my NotStraightness, but had not labelled it as such. Nobody was surprised. Everyone was amazingly supportive. It felt so good to be out, at least in name only, and accepted.

And then, a few weeks later, my world was rocked by meeting this girl who was like WHOA ya’ll. I mean, whoa. Having never dated a woman before, I never imagined meeting someone who fit me so well in terms of personality AND was looking for the same thing. Being a married bisexual woman, with a child, I am not looking to date someone who

wants me to leave my family and ‘run away’ with them Thelma & Louise style. And there she was, this beautiful, intelligent, well-read woman with a husband and kids of her own, and no intention of running away with a woman. In fact, she had ended her previous relationship because that woman had expected her to leave her family, and that was something she just wasn’t going to do.

Whoa.

Suddenly I am thrust into this experience, leading up to our first date, where I was having all the feelings  and wanted nothing more than select friends to be in on this knowledge with me. So I took the plunge. At first I reached out online, to a fellow blogger (from my other anonymous family blog) who I had met off a website geared toward non-traditional families. Knowing she had dated women in college, and has a high sex drive, I was excited to share with her my new found feelings toward this woman, and the fact that Keith and I are exploring open marriage or polyamory (still such a newbie I’m not quite sure what term we fit into?). And her response shocked me.

She said: I would never… I’m pretty bound into those marriage vows. I guess this is one thing we don’t have in common. . . I’m kind of at a loss for words here. . . I just can’t relate to wanting to go outside of my marriage, so I don’t really know how to respond/support. I can listen I guess, but that’s pretty far out of my wheelhouse. It seems like those things are really hard to pull off without someone getting hurt/confused. But I wish you the best!”

Talk about being dismissed. I, in one fell swoop, I felt like I was lumped into slutty cheating sex-fiend who can’t “totally be into my husband” like she had said in another part of her message. Because that is NOT what is happening here. I didn’t seek it out, and while I’m grabbing life by the horns, it is not without the blessing and encouragement of my husband. I was shocked. I figured that my IRL friends might be shocked on my acting on my bisexuality by dating a woman while married to my husband, but I was so shocked that  supposedly such an open minded blogging friend could project so strongly onto my own experience. And I am not so naive to think that all of this is going to be easy  or without it’s challenges (and possible heartaches), because I’m not just starting an office affair and fucking someone in the janitor’s closet risking getting caught. We are on the same page, communicating extensively, and still very much in love.

Based on this experience, where I had mustered up the courage to share, and risked (and got) rejection and judgment. But, I couldn’t live in the closet forever…it felt too important to keep to myself…

Getting Poetry from your Lover

While I’ve only gone on one date in person, our texting relationship has blossomed into something really magical. We connect on so many different topics, but especially over our love of literature. She is an elementary teacher, and today she sent me this:

“Each month I teach my class a poem. We recite it every day for the entire month. I picked an Emily Dickinson poem for May in honor of you. It’s one of my favorites.”

SWOON.

I mean, come on! How could a girl not get all twitterpated at that? She then included the poem, which goes a little something like this:

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Yeah, still swooning.

Communication & Connection

 

Oh my Lord, I haven’t felt connected to my husband Keith in such a long time. I don’t know, we’re just in this space where the talks are free flowing and things are seriously GOOD. It feels really lovely, though it’s not exactly easy. Because the ramp up off communication has it’s spark in our newish foray into the world of openness in our marriage. We’ve been talking about feelings and insecurities on how much time we will spend together, or how we feel about our partnerpossibilities that we’ve each been exploring, and how the page sometimes changes and we will need to adjust accordingly.

See, when Keith reached out online to Anne, it was because she was seeking out a threesome with an already established couple. They flirtatiously texted for a few days before he introduced her to me, and then she and I hit it off. We met up last Friday, but I had already been forming a bond with her that began to feel more girlfriend quality than random hookup  or even friends-with-benefits quality. Having never had a girlfriend before, I can’t quite explain why this felt different (because maybe it was just different than I expected it to feel?), but somehow the page went from it being  our couple wanting a threesome initially, to me wanting to date her, make her my girlfriend, and let a threesome happen more ‘naturally’ if the case may be. Because, while I have a really high sex drive, I also move at slower pace in terms of initiating something sexual with her, than Keith would.

Keith was under the impression that she was still game for an experience with the two of us, initially, because he wanted to be in on the vulnerable experience of me really being with a woman. He has known that it’s been part of my identity since the beginning of our relationship, and he felt hurt that he might not get to experience that, and worried that he might feel jealous in the future. But just like how I felt different after he explained that it wasn’t just a ‘guys think two chicks making out are hot’ reason why he wanted to be there while I explored being with a woman, he realized that I was still picking him, us, over a new relationship. But we talked, and talked, and talked, and didn’t have an agenda in trying to convince the other person that I AM RIGHT, it was truly an exercise in sharing vulnerably, allowing our insecurities to be seen, and loving each other through it.

And so, at the end, we are in a really amazing place. I have no jealousy about the ex-coworker he’s sexting and hoping to meet up with her at some point. He feels good about me pursuing a dating relationship with Anne, while maybe keeping the hope alive for a possible threesome in the future when she and I are comfortable with each other, and already established. And ultimately, regardless of what is happening in these budding new relationships, we are still all about each other at the end of the day. This type of relational openness isn’t for the faint at heart. Because talking about feelings and insecurities is exhausting, but oh so worth it at the end of the day.

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My First Date in 8 Years

I nervously applied, and re-applied my lipgloss, as I rode in the passenger seat of my husband’s car. We were heading out, on a Friday night, to the restuarant where we had our first date almost 8 years ago. And we were heading there to meet up with a woman who had advertized a threesome online, and was interested in having a girlfriend.

I was so nervous as we walked into the restuarant, and she and I were texting back and forth about how we should meet up. And then there she was, and I hugged her, and gave her a gift I had picked out, and we got our table. I’m not sure what the hostess thought, because I just kept saying “I’m so nervous,” and my husband Keith was in the bathroom peeing, and so we awkwardly stood there and then headed to our seat and ordered a glass of wine.

As a recently out bisexual, who’s been married to a man for 6 years, and with him for 2 more, it’s been a pretty big deal to let people know that I have attraction toward women. But this recent coming out has also coincided with this unexpected attraction toward a woman with similar passions and goals for a relationship that I also outed myself to a few close friends saying, “I’m going on a date on Friday, with a woman, and my husband, and I hope she ends up my girlfriend.”

I was blown away by the connection we had together. How four hours sitting across from each other felt like 5 minutes, and though I felt super awkward, it was because I couldn’t believe that she could possibly be as in to me as I was in to her. We had already spent a few weeks texting, so I knew that we would connect on poetry and literature and sociology/psychology/anthropology/education, but to sit there and see it happen in person was pretty crazy. So crazy that I almost started crying in the car on the way home out of nerves that she wouldn’t like me. Because I get insecure around pretty women, and she is definitely a pretty woman!

I have so many mixed feelings about the date, and the subsequent discussions with my husband Keith, and her, that I want to explore. But I want to preserve the memory of that first date giddiness, where I sat across from her and was so amazed by the connection, that I couldn’t believe it was really happening.