Sunday, January 1, 2012

monogamy

Monogamy.  It's a weird concept for me.  I need to spend the rest of my life learning how to have relationships with people without having sex with them.  I think that will be good for me.  Weird and awkward, but good.  What does that mean though?

I hesitate to talk about this.  I don't want to eat crow later.  Mmmmm crow.  Never say never.  I remember a friend of mine, years ago, telling me, "Of course I don't like that he plays with other women.  But I want to play with other men so I shut up and put up with it."  I think I'd rather not play with other people than feel like I have to bite back my actual opinion.  I don't want to have to learn masking behavior that I use only at certain times.  That feels like lying.

Noah playing with other people makes me cry.  It reminds me that I don't ever get to be special.  Which is stupid, right?  He married me.  He didn't marry anyone else and he is not going to leave me.  Why isn't that enough to convince me?  Sex is so mixed up for me.  Near as I can tell most people have enormous sexual hang ups without having to be abused starting in toddlerhood.

I don't want to feel like I have to have sex with people in order to be interesting and I do.  I really do.  I don't like that part of myself very much.  I feel rather disgusting, really.  This is bordering on a lot of things I'm deeply conflicted about.  I am an exhibitionist.  No one reading this is surprised.  I'm not sure how that ties in with a lot of my need-to-feel-available.

I think I want to find out how forever feels.  I want to realize that I've probably kissed someone else for the last time.  Really.  He's it.  Forever.  I'm kind of excited.  I should decide that I deserve to be touched only by someone who wants me enough to actually want all of me.  Not just that piece of me.

How am I going to connect with all the people I want to connect with?  It's kind of terrifying, really.  What do I have to offer?  I don't know.  I have spent my adulthood with people who believe that monogamy is terrible and limiting and to be avoided at all costs.  I feel kind of ashamed that I want to keep Noah all to myself.

I feel like I am doing something wrong by joining the Embargo and refusing to sleep with anyone ever again.  It's not fair that all these guys want sex and I won't sleep with them.  This is not a guilt I should carry.  It should never enter into my mind that it isn't fair that this nice guy isn't getting _____ need met.  Life isn't fair.  I bear no obligation to anyone but Noah for sexual needs.

That's complicated too.  I think in some ways monogamy is terrifying because it means that we will both have to be a lot more honest about what we want.  If we want to get our needs met, really met we have to talk about them even when it is hard.  Even when he's afraid to say it to me.  Even when I'm afraid to say it to him.  I do not need to agree to do more than I do in order to be GGG.  I need to say "no" a lot more and have more ownership of my body.  We need to find a way to meet our mutual needs without me biting my lip and doing things that feel bad.  I can't hold Noah accountable for the consequences of his actions if I withhold information.  I can't decide it is proof that he doesn't care when he doesn't notice.

I can't relax and enjoy this relationship while I feel like I am constantly preparing to be paranoid about Noah running off to fuck someone else.  And that is how I feel in an open marriage.  It feels like every day is just a count down until he gets to do that again.  I feel like I am always doing something wrong by wanting to spend time with him.  I should be giving him lots of time away from me to go do and be lots of things away from me because obviously he wants to reserve a lot of himself away from me.  He is waiting for someone better than me to give that part of himself to.  I don't blame him.  I constantly feel like I am waiting for him to go find someone more understanding than me to go talk to.  Someone who is entirely on his side.

I have signed on to be completely dependent on Noah for the next twenty years.  No, I am not going to relax my hypervigilance as long as I know that is coming some day.  It means I have to steal myself that whole period until that day comes because I will not be able to bear the loss otherwise.  I have to create a big hole in my heart and leave it that way and never let you touch it or come near it.  Because that is where I will have to go when you are fucking someone else.  It's the same place I go when I sleep with other people.  It is a space outside of me, outside of my life.  I don't really bond with casual sex.  I have an experience.  It is outside of me.

I'm afraid of monogamy because Noah really likes to take it to 11.  If I have clamped down so hard on him that he isn't allowed to go play with other people, how much will I egg him on to do because I feel guilty?  I don't know how to do this in a way that is good for me.  Nonmonogamy gives me the eternal out that I can say, "Fine you have this part of you that I can't deal with... take it somewhere else."  I never have to deal with my own actual limits that way.  I never have to deal with telling him, "Fine but no really you have to stop at 8 because my jaw hurts."  That's harder.  Telling him no is a lot easier than having to figure out what I can do.

I'm afraid because I think we are going to have some difficult periods and a lot of crying over sex.  I think this is going to be hard.  I think we will both have to do a lot of forgiving one another for mistakes and that's hard to think about.  It's weird to be discussing monogamy after five years of marriage.  We really know what we are getting into, you know?  Only we don't.  Because things will be very different in twenty years.  We will be very different people.  Can I really require that he never again touch anyone else intimately?  I'm not going to do poly-anything.  If he is going to follow my boundaries well, I feel weird about that.

I feel very pressured as the gate keeper.  It's weird to feel so conflicted about this.  On one hand I feel uncomfortable with the idea of keeping him from having sex and other hand I'm not thrilled about feeling required to have sex absolutely as much as he wants forever.  I don't have any idea what my limits are.

I don't like the way I dissociate rather than deal with feeling uncomfortable during sex.  I have a hard time dealing with my anxious feelings in the moment.  It's hard to say when I really don't want to be pushed.  He likes pushing so much.  It's so weird to me that he worries about me wanting him.  I worry about wanting him so much that I break myself trying to meet needs I can't meet.

Because the thing is, I don't actually think there are needs of his I can't meet.  Because I think that if he picks the right days, I probably can actually meet all of his needs.  I like to go to 11 too.  I feel scared that he isn't going to be willing to walk around the cracks.  I really do like the image of myself as a mosaic.  My picture was broken so long ago and put back together so clumsily that it is an entirely new picture.  On even median days I like me.

I don't think he can really just learn a "set of triggers" and avoid them.  It's quicksand.  And it moves.  I want to find out how it moves.  I want to be able to try things many times and know that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I want to be brave enough to not be angry when I say, "Ok not tonight."  I'm not failing if I say that.  I'm not failing if my body is not up to something on a given day.  I am not failing if sometimes I need to be held instead of hit.  It's hard to admit that I'm not instinctively automatically in the same place as Noah.

It feels like I don't deserve him.  Because I cannot do that.  Because I cannot just accept whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to do it.  I feel like I cannot require monogamy because I will never be good enough to satisfy him.  I will never be enough.  I will always fail.  I'm scared.

I'm terrified to believe him.  I'm so afraid that I will believe him that he wants to be monogamous.  Only in twenty years things will be different and I will be expected to just understand.  People evolve.  Needs change.

I know that I will want to sleep with people.  That's just a fact.  I'm not actually in denial about that.  I will want to do it a lot.  It will feel compulsive for the rest of my life.  But I'm going to choose not to do it.  I don't think that I am actually served by following my pointer through life.  My compass is broken.  I need to think about the long-term and understand that sleeping with other people does not feed any of my needs (ok hyperbole for effect but the problems outweigh gains) and does not meet any of my goals.

Ok, maybe the hookers in Vegas.  Because I can get behind you being motivated to attain that salary.  Especially because the deal was always that they would be there in case I wore out.  You haven't done it yet.  I don't safeword.

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