Boobday: feeling fit

When I got up this morning, I was feeling fit. Or at least looking fit. I’m fairly sure my fitness level hasn’t changed substantially in the last three days. And sometimes the light is kind.

boobday-feeling-fit

It turned out to be an odd day.

I just found out yesterday that an acquaintance had passed away, and the funeral was today, about an hour and a half away. I didn’t know her well, but I have a connection to her and her family, and I had attended the funeral of her daughter eight years ago. I like and respect her husband, and offering support to him was the main reason why I went. They’ve had a rough go of it – undeserved hardship and tragedy. He wasn’t expecting to see me there but was glad I came. I shook his hand and gave him a hug, and that seemed to be the most important thing in that moment. The only important thing, really. Human connection. Empathy.

The sky was mostly sunny, and changeable all day. The clouds were perfect.

clouds-clouds-clouds

I deduced that there had been a little patch of rain when I saw the telltale spume following a big truck down the road ahead of me. When I drove over that patch of road, the view in the side mirror was faintly tinted with rainbow.

Trees are turning yellow and farmers are bringing in the crops. I stopped at an abandoned farmhouse and outbuildings to see how they’d work as a location for a nude shoot. The house itself seems unusable – small, dark, filled with junk and rat poison – though the side of buildings not visible from the road could work as backgrounds. Perhaps not the best timing at this time of year, however; the farmhouse may be abandoned but the farm isn’t and I ran into the farmer as I was leaving. Oops.

When I got home, I was tired and had a tension headache. But felt a vague sense of accomplishment nonetheless.

badge Boobday

Sinful Sunday: beloved

It was a year ago today that I dropped Wolf off at the hospital for scheduled, but still life-saving, heart surgery. (Bicuspid aortic valve not shown.)

His bravery was business-like; it needs to be done, so do it. Simple. Mine was the kind that acknowledged the fact that one possible outcome was cataclysmic but improbable and that I was powerless to influence the result, but I somehow got through the day anyway.

The blood was all his: he barely avoided getting a transfusion.

His body had betrayed him, and no longer felt like home. Still doesn’t, not quite. He’s off the other meds but will continue to get regular blood tests and take blood thinners.

beloved 1

But I still have my beloved, and that’s the most important thing on this, his re-birthday.

beloved 2

The Sinful Sunday theme today is “the letter B“.

badge Sinful Sunday

addressing doubts one step at a time

I regularly go for walks on a favorite route that’s cheery and pleasant and fairly quiet. There’s a certain kind of thinking that happens at a walking pace, and I found myself thinking a lot on that route.

At a walking pace, I analyzed my “first date” with Gawan. There were good bits on that trip and bits that were less good. Overall it felt neutral. Our connection via email and Skype was good and strong, but in person something seemed to be missing. Our last hours together were during a long, tiring and stressful travel day, and as I climbed aboard the shuttle bus and saw him wave from the door of the hotel, I checked in with how I was feeling, looking for sadness and disappointment about our parting. There wasn’t any.

I’m sensitive and I absorb a lot of information so when new things happen it takes me time to process; I wasn’t likely to come up with answers during the trip itself.

I’ve never had a relationship start online before. When we finally met for the first time, maybe I was simply flooded with the whole collection of real-life little details and just needed some time to internalize what I would have picked up over the course of months in an ordinary courtship. Physical presence. Body language. The approach–crest–dissipation of a smile. How quickly he walks. Would he steal food off my plate, or object if I stole from his? Bandwidth limitations subtly interrupt the flow of conversation, and Skype’s simulation of eye contact is pure fakery.

We had both already said “I love you” many times, but even though we were, for once, close enough to touch, I sensed a different kind of distance. Why? He had been somewhat ill throughout the trip, so maybe he didn’t seem like himself because he didn’t feel like himself. Also, the location we chose ended up being a lot of work, and a great deal of energy that would have been better spent on each other instead went into the most basic of tasks.

There was definitely still something between us though. Maybe the first meet was always going to be challenging. Maybe when we chose our destination we bit off more than we could chew. I concluded that the first date likely wasn’t representative and that I should give it another try. I wanted to meet again, preferably someplace easier, ideally on his home turf. See who he is when he’s at home, literally.

During moments of play, I had noted that I was only doing things I’d done in high school (i.e. not much), and that this felt oddly comforting. But later I was shaken when I realized that my epiphany hadn’t actually transformed my thinking about sexuality as completely as I’d both believed and hoped. If the hang-ups were absent with Wolf but present with Gawan, then I hadn’t had an attitude overhaul — I’d simply created an exception for Wolf, and sex with anyone else was still fundamentally scary.

At a walking pace, I dissected my epiphany, shaved off slices and put them under the microscope. I recalled that trusting Wolf had come first and intuited that trust was the key here. Even though I already trusted Gawan more than anyone aside from Wolf, it somehow didn’t seem like enough. Why not? Sex makes me feel incredible vulnerable, like handing someone a razor-sharp knife and baring  my belly. I wanted to resolve this issue before our second date, which would give me months rather than the years it had taken the first time, and I fervently hoped I could figure it out in that time. I fed my trust of Gawan by meditating on what he had already shown me: interest, empathy, kindness, support, patience, being unequivocally on my side and never diminishing me in any way. And I eased down my excessively high threshold by asking myself what more I could reasonably expect him to do or say (conclusion: nothing), and questioning whether the feeling of not enough trust was because I didn’t trust myself.

At a walking pace, I examined monogamy. Cheating — unilaterally breaking an agreement you have with someone who trusts you — is wrong. But through respectful (re)negotiation, the parties should be able to agree to any terms they like. I don’t think that sexual non-exclusivity is inherently wrong, but it is entirely unfamiliar to me. I’d been monogamous forever. Wolf agreed that I could have sex with Gawan if that’s what I wanted. But how far could I get by rationally deliberating about something as emotional as sex? What would my gut say in the moment? Or after?

At a walking pace, I asked myself whether having sex with Gawan was what I authentically wanted or what I thought I should want, since I’ve had difficulty with “want” sex versus “want to want” sex before, but one incident gave me some insight. This is sort of a polyamorous arrangement, we hadn’t had sex with each other, and we hadn’t asked each other for sexual exclusivity outside of pre-existing relationships, which for him would have amounted to celibacy. Some time ago he let me know about a BDSM scene that he had arranged with someone new and which would include sex. Rational me understood perfectly. Emotional me punched the wall. (Unfortunately, I know how to throw a punch. It took months before my hand stopped aching.) I rationally examined my reasons not to feel jealous, and then felt jealous anyway. Perhaps it was because he would be having a hot experience with another woman and I wanted it to be me.

What would I regret more, sex or not-sex? Sex would force me to confront long-standing issues about vulnerability, trust, monogamy, and commitment that I may or may not have managed to resolve sufficiently. Not-sex would mean I’d miss out on potentially fun experiences (maybe even adventures), and a deeper connection with someone I love. I decided that not-sex would be the bigger regret.

So, at a walking pace, I picked apart every issue until they lay in shreds at my feet. When these issues ceased to pop up every time I hit my stride, what did come to mind was this: I guess I’m ready for our second date.