My trip to visit Gawan was a big game of musical beds. At the end of my first day of travel, I slept on my air mattress on Mr. PS’s floor. While those interminable airborne hours stretched out of shape, I slept in my seat, but unfortunately, despite being deluxe, it could in no way be mistaken for a bed. When I arrived, Gawan collected me at the airport, took me back to his hotel and (eventually) tucked me in for a nap.
When nighttime finally arrived in this time zone, I was reminded that my sleeping arrangements would be (as I had predicted) the subject of some debate. The hotel room had two beds — a double and a single — so there was plenty of space for both of us to stretch out. Except that Gawan didn’t want space. This was the first time in eight months that we were in the same room and he wanted to close the distance between us completely. Given the fact that I was still run down from travel, he was prepared to concede the point — tonight.
The next day was my first day at his house. We slept together for the first time that evening. It was a watershed, not just for our relationship but also for me personally: this was the first time I had embarked on a sexual relationship while having a good sense of who I am and a bit of a clue about what I want, as well as really understanding that it is always my choice whether to have sex or not.
It was also the first time I had been (ethically) non-monogamous. I’d given the issue a tremendous amount of thought. Intellectually, I was confident that I thoroughly considered all the angles and had come to a rational conclusion rather than conveniently justifying a hot but unwise choice. But it’s impossible to predict one’s emotional reactions with absolute certainty, especially when I was doing something that I’d always been told was wrong. Wolf’s attitude — he’s completely invested in my happiness and wants me to have fun, though he’s not exactly enthusiastic about this specific kind of fun — resulted in me feeling a bit more ambivalent than I would have otherwise.
When Gawan and I stood together on the threshold of that new shared experience, I checked in with myself and found… I felt good about it. I was going in with my eyes open and liking what I saw. Immediately afterwards I checked in again: I didn’t think guilt or anxiety was probable but it was certainly possible, and I needed to pay close attention to my feelings and respect what is, not what I thought ought to be. Fortunately I still seemed to be OK. In fact, I was happy, content, satisfied, and thus better than OK despite being in uncharted emotional territory. No second thoughts.
In addition to sleeping together, that night Gawan was adamant that we also actually, you know, sleep. Together. Aside from just enjoying it, he also sleeps better when he has someone to cuddle. And I can hardly fault the man for not being able to get enough of me.
I, on the other hand, have difficulty sleeping and manage best in my own bed. I had built up one hell of a sleep debt over the course of a few years of waking halfway through the night and not being able to do much more than doze in the hours that followed, a problem for which I’m now taking (mild) medication. If I wake up because I’ve been, say, bumped, I still may not fall asleep again for another hour or more and when morning arrives, I’ll likely be in a seriously foul temper. So, really, ensuring that I have a good sleep is actually a public service. That first night at his house I agreed to share his bed on condition that he keep to his side and let wake me up naturally.
Morning sun lit the room. I looked over and saw his broad back; I couldn’t tell whether he was awake, so I touched his shoulder gently and he immediately turned to me, a smile lighting his face. And we started the second day with our second warm, loving, vanilla fuck.
But alas, his bed was too hard and my back ached something fierce. It was fine for play but no good for rest and that evening I refused to sleep on it again.
No matter, I had my air mattress, and even if it wasn’t perfectly comfortable I could rely on it for a decent sleep. He, however, was feeling thwarted. At bedtime on that second day, was drained and cranky: I was still travel-weary and then I’d tired myself out taking a private dance lesson.
The bedroom was a bit too small so we set up in the living room, where he inflated the mattress for me and arranged it on the floor in front of the fireplace. He got as comfortable as he could on the couch, beyond arm’s reach. I had a lovely, refreshing sleep. Gawan, not so much.