navel-gazing

This post isn’t smutty, or sexy. Heads up.

I tweeted yesterday about my ongoing struggle deciding whether or not to come out to my mom as poly/non-monogamous. I appreciated the thoughtful feedback and support I got there, but thinking about the whole thing made me want to try and process it in a fuller way. Maybe there are some of you who are in similar places, or have been. Maybe some of you have – not answers, but reflections from your own engagement with disentangling this stuff. If nothing else, writing this post might help me to think about it in a more deliberate way, detached a bit from the sort of urgent emotionality it’s usually attached to.

Here’s who I’m out to (apart from my partners and metamours): 3 friends back in Canada; 1 here in London; 1 in Berlin; 2 of my sisters. (And all of you, and the internet generally, I suppose, anonymously!) My friend circle here in London essentially is my polycule – I have some acquaintances and ex-colleagues whom I see occasionally, but no friendships close enough to ever make me feel the tension of being closeted; and most of those acquaintances are people that, if it came to it, if the topic came up, I wouldn’t mind telling. They’re largely liberal, open-minded, similar in general sensibilities to me, the sort of people I’d guess would just go ‘oh! ok’ and if anything be …intrigued, but not unsettled.

Where I feel the tension the most, as I tweeted yesterday, is around my mom, and (less directly) my extended family back in Canada. One of the tricky things about the distance is that it’s relatively easy, pragmatically speaking, to just never have it come up; unless I mention polyamory, or having other partners, there’s nothing to push it awkwardly to the fore. My mom isn’t part of my daily life. She doesn’t come to my house, or know the rhythms of my weekly life; she isn’t here to wonder where I go twice a week or to notice when I go on a weekend away with a partner. She doesn’t know that lots of nights my son only has one parent at home because the other is sleeping somewhere else.

And in a way that makes it very easy.

But – I struggle a lot with what I owe her, what I owe myself, to what extent authenticity trumps other considerations. What it always comes down to is this, murmured in a very quiet voice I only let myself look at sideways, cause it’s too difficult, too messy: do I want my mom to die without ever knowing this about me? without ever having that conversation with her, or giving her the chance to accept this part of me? On a certain level, is my decision not to tell her unfair because it denies her the chance to respond herself and not just in my projected imaginings? I don’t know, I don’t know. What I do know is that, so long as I don’t tell her, the extent to which she can actually share in my life becomes more and more censored, truncated. Some days I think, is the daughter she talks to even a real person or just a paper-doll two-dimensional cutout, pieced together from the parts of me I think won’t cause waves, won’t upset her, won’t provoke a difficult conversation.

I’ve always been a people-pleaser, the peacemaker, the sibling that tried to make everyone get along, the kid that behaved, that got mad because the homeschool curriculum didn’t give enough tests I could try to measure myself against. Tell me I’m doing good. I’ve changed in a lot of ways, shifted almost all the goalposts, but that instinct is still there. That’s one of the puzzle pieces.

Here’s the other one. Some of you know that I was raised crazy religious, and you can take that ‘crazy’ in both its qualitative and quantitative senses. My mom has mellowed somewhat since the days of head-coverings and demon-exorcisms and young-earth Creationism and “no movies no music no books written after 1950”, but she’s still very conservative.  She’d be a fan of the Mike Pence rule. She thinks homosexuality is wrong. She doesn’t like movies with sex scenes.

I don’t think she’d reject me. Not a chance. She’s a people pleaser too (where do you think I got it?), and she loves me. I know she’d still love me. But she’d – here’s the thing – I don’t know that she could be happy for me. I don’t know that the knowledge could be anything but a burden to her, another reason for her to worry about my soul. And I don’t want her, or anyone, to think of my relationships as A Problem. I want to tell people who will see how happy I am and be happy with me, who can be glad I have partners in my life who love and support and respect me, who can recognise how much fuller they make my life.

But then – I’m back again at whether the crux of this decision about me, or her, about my desires for authenticity or about protecting her narrow worldview or – what?

I love her. In some ways, in spite of everything, we’re close. She fucked me up in ways she didn’t mean to, but I’ve always known she supported and loved me. Part of me badly wants her to know what my life is actually like, about the people and experiences that are important to me. Part of me doesn’t want her to die without ever knowing.

I just really don’t know.

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navel-gazing

ships passing

She finds him in the kitchen, not on purpose, he’s just there when she comes down the hall at 3.14 am for a drink of water. The last of the party’s stragglers are still out in the back, smoking, maybe, laughter muted through the walls. She stands in the kitchen doorway and the furnace kicks in and it’s snowing outside, slow flakes drifting past the kitchen window. He’s standing in front of the sink, hands on the edge of the counter, leaning into his arms a little, looking out at the front yard and the snow. His hair is mussed, bedhead-fuzzy, and he’s only wearing his briefs.

She’s wearing a pair of ugly old panties that say ‘hot bananas!!’ on them and a tank top that got shuffled to pajama duty when she spilled wine on it last summer. She stands in the doorway and looks at him, tall and almost naked and broader than he’s been since she’s known him, and her toes curl against the cold linoleum.

She must have made a noise, because he turns his head and sees her.

‘Hey,’ he says, and does that thing where he almost smiles, a twitch at one corner of his mouth.

‘I’m just,’ she says, walking across the floor, glad of the darkness, ‘water, I’m just, I’m. Thirsty.’

He moves away from the sink a little, just a little, still close enough that her shoulder brushes against his arm. She picks up a glass and doesn’t move and her eyes track over the rim of the sink, up his forearm, his waistband, the heavy jerk of his dick under his briefs. There’s a line of dark fuzz just at the top of his thighs. Unshaven, then, and for no explicable reason her nipples harden. She puts the mug down, feels a little like she’s floating.

‘Hey,’ he says, and she looks up and then, so quick she hardly knows it, his mouth is on her and her ass is up on the counter and her legs are wrapped around his waist. It’s like, she’s had, it’s like a dream, she’s had this dream before, but this time his fingers in her panties are solid and warm and his breath is a little sleep-funky and he’s real, real scruff against her lips and his cock pressed up hard between them. She lets a hand drag down his chest and feels the tip of him, wet and slippery, leaking over the elastic of his shorts.

‘Quick,’ she says, before it’s over, before the smokers stumble in, before some ghost of the past, her past, his, comes between them, ’yes,’ and his tongue does something wet and vital in her mouth.

He lifts her, hesitates, moves towards the table, and she takes one second, two, to look at his face, the thirsty curves of the way his mouth hangs a little open, the judder on the underside of his jaw when he takes a breath, the way one eye crinkles a little, almost a wink. She twists in his arms, gets the ball of one foot on the chair and a knee on the table, grips its edge with both hands. He’s as hungry as she is, is palming his cock up between her thighs almost before her knees are planted. She feels his knuckles twisting, two fingers inside her, three, maybe, and then the full-length shudder of his body against the backs of her thighs. Then he’s pushing inside her and she makes a noise, guttural-sharp, and his hand clamps over her mouth, hard.

‘No,’ he says, soft, and keeps his hand there as he grinds a little into her, settles himself, and pulls out agonisingly slow. His other hand finds her waist, strokes down over one hip. He puts one foot up onto the seat of the chair and starts to fuck into her – easy, rocking thrusts that leave her trembling, trying to get her breath. She puts her head down and his hand pulls against her lips and he slips two fingers inside her mouth, lets them flutter against her tongue. She can taste herself on his fingertips.

‘Touch yourself,’ he says, still soft, more pleading than command, and she takes a deep shuddery breath and puts a hand between her legs, lets two fingers play in little circles around her clit. His breath is getting threadier, harsher, and his thrusts a little uneven. He leans down over her back and lets his mouth graze warm over her spine, and that does it – she spasms around him, knees shaking, moaning against his palm, and he makes a noise she thinks about for a long time after and stutters against her, seizes, locks his knees as he comes inside her.

She cleans up with a paper towel and then sits for a minute on his lap, his arms wrapped around her and his head bowed into the back of her neck. Outside it’s stopped snowing. She has a drink of water, still trembling, and then there’s the stirring of someone at the other end of the house. A door creaks. One long look between them and then she’s back down the hall, in her room, paper towel still balled in one fist.

She stands there in the dark for a long, long time.

 

ships passing

This photo is really grainy and blurry, I know, but it kind of seems fitting, given my thoughts behind posting this one for Sinful Sunday.

All the pictures I’ve posted on this blog (or on Twitter) up until now have been of things I felt good about, my ‘best angles’ and features I like, the …very filtered me. I was thinking though last night about – why I even have this blog, the kind of attitudes about my body I actually want to have and cultivate, and so today I’m posting this one. Probably it’s pretty innocuous, to anyone else, not particularly striking in any way, but it shows the parts of my body I’m most self-conscious about, that feel furthest to me from the ‘perfect’ a big part of my brain still measures myself against.

It feels navel-gazey and self-involved to even post thoughts like this, but – if not here, then where? Thanks for indulging me, guys.

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Be sure to click on the lips and see other Sunday photos! I will be … x

Sinful Sunday

tangled

You’d typed out and deleted the text three times before you’d sent it, finally. You in the area? Off my feet for a few days, could use the company. He travelled a lot – you were never sure, one week to the next, whether he’d be in town, but your phone had buzzed a few minutes later. Hurt? What happened? And then, before you’d finished the reply, Back in town by tonight. Chicken or chinese?

You wished, vaguely, that it was a more sensational reason – something sexy, or at least entertaining. I was mown down by a rogue group of segways or I fell down the stairs during an over-enthusiastic threesome. But this was just a bad attack of kidney stones, one that had hit two days before just as coffee break arrived at your office job. It’d started like sudden bad cramps and got terrifyingly worse, terrifyingly fast – by the time you’d made it to the hospital the pain was so bad you’d lost the ability to focus your eyes and had vomited messily all over the front foyer, had moaned and yelled on a cot till they gave you morphine, finally. You’d been discharged an hour ago, after emergency surgery, been sent home with instructions on how to tell when the pieces had passed, and now you were camped gingerly on the sofa, medicated to the gills, still sore but almost oppressed by the sheer relief from the worst of the pain. You hadn’t known there was pain like that, and that thought too made you feel weird, like there was this whole realm of human experience you’d underestimated.

There’s a knock, but he knows it’ll be open and shoulders his way through the doorway before you’ve got both feet on the floor.

‘Don’t move,’ he hollers from the hall, ‘I’m good.’ You can hear his boots hitting the floor as he toes them off and then he’s in the living room, stooping over the couch to kiss your forehead, bag of chinese food in one hand. The other rests for a second on your hair.

‘Kidney stones, fuck!’ he says, like it’s impressively horrifying, like you’re Indiana Jones and you’ve just battled through a pit of snakes, and you want to kiss him more than you already did. He goes into the kitchen and puts the bag on the counter. You can hear him shuffling, finding the plates, opening styrofoam boxes. ‘They got you on the good stuff?’

‘Mm,’ you hum at him, kick the blanket around a little, draw your legs up to make room for him on the sofa. He comes back in with plates of food and hands you one, sinks into the couch and pulls your feet and shins back over his thighs. It’s nice, the warm heat of him and the softness of his touch, comforting in a way the pain meds don’t reach.

Not that you don’t like the pain meds.

‘How’re things?’ you say, around chow mein. ‘Thank you for coming, I know it was super last minute.’

He brushes this aside, shakes his head.

‘On my way back anyway – wasn’t a problem.’ His hand is running up your shin, his little finger tracing absently over your kneecap. ‘Been too long, anyway.’

‘Yeah.’ You grin, fumble for the remote. ‘Whattaya wanna watch?’

He doesn’t care, and you’re halfway through Penny Dreadful, so you press play on that; it’s a bit of a mess, as you try to catch him up on the convoluted storyline, but it’s nice. Companionable. His hand is still on your kneecap when the credits come up at the end of the episode, which is also nice. You let it play through till it ticks over to the next episode and then hit pause, hook a finger over two of his.

‘Hey.’

‘Hmm?’ He’s making that inquiring face that brings out his dimples, eyebrows raised, and you laugh.

‘Gonna kiss me?’

He grins, then, ducks his head till his jaw meets his collarbone, squeezes your fingers.

‘I mean – you’re walking wounded still, wasn’t sure -’

Kiss me,’ you say, tug on his arm a little, and he scoots up the couch till he’s right up beneath your thighs, leans sideways and cups your head in one hand. It’s gentle, undemanding, but you pitch right into him, get both your hands up into his hair. ‘I’m fine,’ you say, ‘just – if you’re ok with – mellow.’

He laughs against your mouth.

‘Think that’s alright,’ he says, and pulls just a little away. ‘I can do mellow.’

‘There’s condoms under the sink,’ you say, tugging at his shirt, and he starts to laugh so hard then that his shoulders are shaking before you even get his shirt over his head.

‘I’m not that impatient,’ he says, dimpling harder, and you flick your eyes up at him, laughing back.

‘I am,’ you say, and start to struggle your sweatpants down over your ass. ‘I am.

By the time he’s back you’re naked from the waist down and thank god it’s a deep couch, big enough that if you roll up against the back there’s room for him beside you. He shucks off his jeans and shorts and rolls on a condom, jerks himself a couple of times to adjust it right down over the root of his dick.

‘You’re ok?’ he says, one more time, swinging one knee up over you and planting it right in the back of the couch. It sinks behind the cushion and you roll a little towards him, against the inside of his knee. The inside of his – hnnng, his thigh, and in spite of how sore you are your hips hitch up involuntarily towards him, enough that his cock brushes against you.

‘I’m fine,’ you say, breathless, ‘just – go a little gentle.’ He makes a noise in his throat, then, and settles in over you, gets an elbow up beside your head and puts the other hand down between you to guide his cock easy into your cunt. It feels so good that you stop breathing for a second, let your legs fall further open beneath him.

‘Mmmhm,’ you say, face pressed into the skin of his neck, bodies close together, sunk deep into the couch. He shifts, puts more of his weight onto his other elbow so that you both roll a little to the side, almost face to face, and his other arm slides down your body, lingers over your hip, and he gets his fingers spread around your ass and tucks you in against him, close and safe and open-legged, your shins tangling a little with his in the afghan at the foot of the couch. For a few minutes there’s silence, just him glancing at your face to make sure he’s not hurting you and your little gasps when he shifts a little and hits a different angle, one that makes your palms curl hard against his pecs. It’s different from most of the sex you’ve had with him, gentler, softer, but good, wet and close and so deep, and the cradling side-by-side means that it’s not just the thrusting of him inside you that makes your body thrum but his pelvis and thighs and the little softness of his tummy all pulling hungry against you, a dragging caress over all the sensitive nerves of your pelvis and belly. He’s breathing into your hair, not loudly, but you can feel the warm buzz of it against your scalp.

‘OK?’ he says, after a minute, laughing almost silently on the inhale, and you wriggle a little against him, pull him back directly on top of you.

So ok,’ you say, up into his face, and he grins and puts his head down into your shoulder and thrusts into you harder, a little bit faster, enough that you know that he’s close, and you fist one hand into the top of his hair and tighten around him. ‘So so ok,’ you whisper, again, against his ear, tongue flicking light over his earlobe, and he presses so hard you can feel the shape of his nose, the heat of his breath on your breast, and seizes hard, stuttering down deep into you.

You’re expecting him to lie there a minute but he pulls out, rolls off and knots the condom almost in one movement and is bent back over your belly, one knee hanging off the couch now, thumbs grazing up the inside of your thighs.

‘Fuck,’ he says, once, when he’s nudging your legs back apart, and then his face is between them and gentle, so gentle, no fingers even, just his mouth not even so much licking as soothing and trembling-hot over your clit and you’re so close already, you can blink and still feel his cock pressing heavy inside you and you come, that long dragging wrung-muscle kind that puts stars behind your eyes for a second and that’s mostly inside, just your thighs trembling a little under his hands.

‘That was fun,’ you say, when he’s gone to throw out the condom and settled in back by your feet, pulled the afghan over both of you. He turns, gives you that smile that makes your heart hiccup a little every time.

‘It was,’ he says. ‘Settle in now, honey, we’ve got another three episodes to go. Beer OK with those meds?’

tangled

lurch

7.02. The screen of your phone lights up and it’s a text from him. Same safeword, yeah? Your heart stutters into a quicker pulse and you pick up the phone, wiping dishwater off on your skirt. Yep.

Hands back in the dishwater, cheeks flushing hot, pretending to scrub at a pot while you wait. The door from outside opens, closes, and then his stride on the stairs, long and loping. You don’t look round when he comes into the kitchen, crosses the room without breaking stride and grabs you, turns you round, presses you hard back over the sink with a hand on your neck, close up under your jaw, and the other clamped tight between your legs. Two of his fingers slip under the seam of your panties and dig up inside you, painfully hard. Possessive.

‘Hey!’ you say, struggling a little against him, hands pressed flat and straining against his chest. He makes a little huff of pleasure.

So wet,” he says, “yeah, you want it, don’t you,” and pulls you down to the floor, rolls over you, pins you with an arm across your chest and a thigh pressed between your legs. You thrash, arms flailing, try to get a leg up between you, but he grabs your knee and forces it to the side, flat to the floor. He holds it there with one of his shins while he scrabbles at his belt and pulls out his cock, long and almost fully hard, stroking it twice loosely in his fist. He kneels over you, one of your knees still under his shin, and presses your other leg open with one hand. The other hand is back on your neck, tight, thumb stroking soft over your windpipe.

You’re moaning but no sounds are making it past his fingers, and he’s pressing hard enough on your neck that you can’t move your head, can’t move anything at all. You can feel your face going red, eyes popping a little, can feel the black at the back of your eyeballs as he pushes roughly inside you, cock pressing close and heavy in your cunt. No lead up, no feeling-out strokes, just quick jackhammer fucking, his ass flexing as he pounds into you, legs sprawled behind him half-bent against the floor. It’s so fast and hard you hardly feel the individual strokes, just the relentless weight and friction of him, his hand sliding up from your throat to cover your mouth and half of your face, his body holding yours pinned helpless to the ground. The lurch of your body under the impact of his hips and the feel of him heavy and slick inside you collapses all your senses into a sort of choking shudder against his fingers.

“You like just taking it?’ he says, after a minute, voice low. “Like getting a cock forced inside you, slut? Like me pushing it in and keeping it there, gonna fuck you no matter what you do, keep you full of me till I feel like being done. You like taking it deep and hard, don’t you, not up to you, take it baby girl take it.’

When you come it surprises you, not just the suddenness but how strong it is – knock-your-head-against-the-floor strong, shaking aftershocks for minutes after. He slows inside you, lets go of your knees, resettles himself between your legs and then rolls over, taking you with him so you’re lying atop his body, his dick still pressing up hard and a little crooked inside you.

‘That was hot,’ he says, and kisses you on the nose. You sit up to straddle him, still unsteady, get your knees on the floor. He’s still got his clothes on and so do you, rumpled and breathing heavy. You take his tie and let it run out between your fingers.

‘Mm,’ you say, and start to move .

lurch