The Unbearable Bliss of the Trifuckta

Author’s note: I wrote this a while ago, so the relationships here described are no longer current – but I still love this piece and wanted you to read it!

 

The word first popped into my head two summers ago. Trifuckta. A trio of people you are banging on the regular. Of course.

It was a goofy portmanteau, sure. But it was also something I desperately wanted. At the time, I didn’t even have one steady partner, let alone three – but I felt the deep desire buzzing in my bones. Yes. That.

It would be another year before I materialized a trifuckta of my very own. It fell together quickly, almost magically: a first few dates with a handsome nerd from Twitter, a tentative flirtation with a lawyer I’d met at a party, and a reunion with my on-and-off fuckbuddy – and suddenly, I found myself seeing three men in regular rotation, all of them aware of each other and A-OK with their role in my life. Every day was blissful. My heart felt full.

What I loved most about this arrangement was that each partner brought out different sides of me. This had long been a perceived benefit of #PolyLyfe for me, and I was elated to discover it was as lovely as I’d anticipated. I gave them code names – “Almost-Boyfriend,” “Lawyer Beau,” and simply “FWB” – and talked about them gleefully on Twitter (with their consent). Almost-Boyfriend treated me with tender revere, got me high in his roomy apartment, let me cuddle his cat while we talked about sci-fi and politics, and fucked me languidly in his cozy bed. Lawyer Beau took me out on drinks-dates and peered seriously at me from across the table while we discussed feminism and morality. And FWB, as always, regularly made me laugh so hard I cried and made me come so hard I entered the astral plane. It was a beautiful few weeks.

Unfortunately, it all dissolved as quickly as it had begun. In the course of one week, my entire trifuckta imploded. First, there was the bitter break-up with Almost-Boyfriend, both of us crying numbly over the phone. Then there was the revelation that Lawyer Beau had been lying to me about his poly status and was actually committed monogamously to someone else. And then – the kicker – there was the tearful conversation with my FWB after a party, where I admitted I was in love with him, he admitted he knew, and we decided to take some time off bangin’ each other. To say the least, I was crushed.

The way I remember it, I barely got out of bed for days. Hygiene and nutrition fell by the wayside. Nothing seemed worth doing anymore. Because I had lost these three men who had been so important to me, and I had also lost the parts of myself they each brought to the surface.

Now it’s many months later, and I’m thinking about this episode again, because another trifuckta is materializing in my life. It is rising from the ashes of my old trio, tentative and slow. There’s the salt-and-pepper good-natured dork I sometimes bang at a sex club and make out with in a swimming pool, the buff perv who fucks the coherence out of me late at night, and the articulate cutie who kisses me with a thoughtful slowness and makes me laugh during post-coital cuddles.

Once again, I’m struck by how they each bring out different sides of my personality. A sardonic wit, a happy-go-lucky sass, an erudite poise. But I’m also struck by how these sides aren’t that different. I feel more unified with this particular trifuckta than I did with my last one. Maybe that means I’m growing up, consolidating, gaining confidence in my whole self. That’s an important lesson too.

None of these people are romantically committed to me, nor would I necessarily want them to be. I declared on Twitter recently that I was having good compersion feelz about these relationships – enjoying the way these men congratulate me on my good dates with other dudes, or cheer me on when I get fucked well by someone else – but that this was a preview of the poly life I hope to lead someday, rather than a poly life in and of itself. “It sounds like you’re already poly,” some followers pointed out. But while it’s true that I’m non-monogamous, and that polyamory may be my romantic orientation rather than just my chosen relationship style, these connections are missing the “-amory” part of the equation. I’m fond of these men, but we’re just bangin’. I’m holding out hope for a future trifuckta that’s laced with romance, too – love, commitment, and intimacy that lasts beyond the bounds of our sexual encounters.

I’m even more aware than usual, lately, that what I’m looking for now is a romantic, primary-partnership type of thing. And there is a part of me that thinks the universe would deliver this to me more quickly if I cut off all my other sexual entanglements. “You must make room for what you want to attract before it can show up,” as some of my spiritual mentors have advised.

But another part of me believes I deserve good sex while I’m waiting for my Actual Goddamn Prince(s) Charming to drift on over. I deserve sweet slow kisses, late-night laughs, and some semblance of intimacy. I deserve a precious preview of the poly life I hope to cultivate. I deserve my trifuckta.

It may not be perfect, or exactly what I want, but few things in life ever are. So for now, I’m happy, and cozy, and nearly satisfied.

Poly Diaries: So I Guess I’m Poly Now…!

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I remember the exact day I decided monogamy wasn’t for me. Actually, it wasn’t a day; it was a night, in late May 2012. Some friends and I checked out the first-ever Crush T.O. at a small, intimate bar. My then-boyfriend accompanied us, and while I loved him deeply, I found myself wishing I could escape his just-slightly-possessive gaze to go cavort with some cuties in a dark corner somewhere.

That night, we had our first of many arguments about monogamy. “Honestly, I wanted to flirt with people at that party tonight,” I told him when we got home. It was a mild assertion, by my present-day standards, but that boyfriend was (and, as far as I know, still is) one of the most monogamously-minded people I have ever met, so he felt threatened by it.

“Monogamy has felt like an itchy sweater to me recently,” I wrote in my journal that night. “I love ____ so much, but our world together feels limiting and insular… I want to meet new people in a flirty context that gets me giggling with glee, but that’s impossible when my über-monogamous boyfriend is glued to my hip. I miss and long for the feeling of a fresh crush. The exciting open waters of new flirtation.”

Over the ensuing days, we negotiated an arrangement that seemed to be, at first blush, a reasonable compromise. I was allowed to flirt with and kiss other people, to assuage my understimulated heart. But I couldn’t go any further than that, and I wasn’t allowed to tell my boyfriend about these dalliances, because hearing about them would make him uncomfortable.

While this seemed, theoretically, to solve the problem I was experiencing, we quickly realized it wasn’t a perfect solution by any means. For one thing, it’s very confusing for other people when you tell them you’re allowed to kiss them but things have to stop there. Several of my makeout partners wanted more, and so did I; it felt unnatural to stop them, every single time, but I nonetheless did it, every single time.

Secondly, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule started to grate on me. My partner was my best friend and closest confidante; it felt unnatural to hide these exciting exploits from him. Plus, in retrospect, it seems to me that he created this rule because he was 100% Not Okay with me romancing people but knew he’d lose me if he corralled me into absolute monogamy, so he basically wanted to pretend I wasn’t doing that stuff. It felt to me like cheating, every time, even though it was ostensibly allowed, because I had to keep it a secret from my love.

Thirdly, our compromise remained unsatisfying to me because I still had the sensation of being “owned.” Beyond just being denied the extracurricular sexual experiences I wanted, I also wasn’t allowed to post nude photos of myself online, perform in sexy cam shows, or even pose solo for the porn company my friends had just launched. My body, mind, and sexuality were controlled by my partner, and while that’s a standard feature of monogamous relationships in “vanilla-world,” it was not what I wanted.

Years later, I had a conversation with a fellow poly-inclined friend in which she said, “Monogamy feels inherently abusive to me.” I agreed completely. This is a controversial statement, so let me explain. I’m not equating happily monogamous relationships with abuse; monogamy is often chosen, and abuse is obviously not. Monogamy makes some people very happy, and abuse obviously does not. But when monogamy is not chosen – when one or both partner(s) is shoehorned into it because it’s the expected default in our sexually possessive culture – it feels like a totalitarian regime is being imposed on your genitals and your heart.

To me, the most upsetting part of monogamy is the sense that another person gets to decide what I do and don’t do with my body, and what I am and am not allowed to feel in my heart. My independence and autonomy are fiercely important to me, and I don’t feel independent or autonomous when I’m in a monogamous relationship.

I bumped up against this issue again four years later. Back in March of this year, I started dating a boy who agreed to non-monogamy immediately when I brought it up. What a relief, I thought, when it seemed we were on the same page about this issue. He wanted us to always ask each other’s permission before each individual encounter with another person, and while this seemed reasonable at first, I quickly discovered it gave me those same “You own me” feelz as my more strictly monogamous relationship had. One time I asked this new boyfriend if he would be cool with me shooting blowjob porn with a friend, and he furrowed his brow and replied, “Yeah, since it’s just for porn, I’m okay with that.” The implication was that he would object to me sucking another guy’s dick if it wasn’t for porn, and, let’s face it – I would definitely want to do that at some point. So it seemed our ideas of non-monogamy didn’t quite line up, and that relationship didn’t last much longer.

Now, I’m dating someone new. We met a few weeks ago, on Twitter of all places. He’s smart, funny, kind, cute, and great in bed – so, of course, I was really hoping our feelings on non-monogamy would align. And so far, it seems that they do! He’s dating someone else, happily encouraged me to keep seeing my beloved occasional fuckbuddy, told me to keep him posted if I start seeing anyone new, and values open ongoing communication the way I do. YAY!

This is my first time delving into #PolyLyfe in any real way, and I’m sure I’ll encounter some challenges: jealousy, communication problems, social stigma, and so on. I hope to write about these as they come up, chronicling my foray into the weird, wild, wonderful world of ethical non-monogamy. But for now, I’m over the moon. It’ll be difficult, but not anywhere near as difficult as it was for me to deny my true self and live an unsatisfied monogamous existence for so long. When you desire the destination bad enough, you’re willing to put some work into the journey!

Playground Diary, Part 1: Biscuit Porn, Short Skirts & Special Brownies

Ha. Remember last week when I prophesied that Playground would be “one of the best weekends of my year”? Yep, I was right.

imageMy Playground adventure began with a Thursday-night porn party hosted by the beautiful and wonderful Kate Sinclaire. Kate knows porn: her softcore site Cherrystems and soon-to-launch porn site Ciné Sinclaire are the cat’s pajamas. She showed us some stuff she’d been working on, all of which was hot and fresh and compelling. Then we watched various other clips, including this adorable one in which Zander Storm shows you how to make biscuits, while wearing nothing but an apron. CUTEST.

I got to meet several cool folks at that get-together who I would see intermittently for the rest of the weekend – including Rogue, who has been a Snapchat buddy of mine for ages! Yay!

The next day, I had two psychology exams practically back-to-back, and got through them only by reminding myself that I was going to Playground that night.

imageBex came over to my house and it was sooooo good to see her again. (We last hung out at SHE and, before that, at DildoHoliday.) She waited around for me while I got ready (a recurring theme of the weekend – sorry, Bex) and then went for dinner at my fave, 7 West. From there, we headed over to the hotel where Playground was taking place.

We missed the opening keynote but arrived in time for Tell Me Something Good, the monthly sexy storytelling event which is always one of the highlights of my month. I got to see (and introduce Bex to) a bunch of my favorite folks from the local sex-positive community. We got drinks, listened to stories, and laughed our asses off. (Dan and Tynan are two of the most hilarious people I know.) I even got to tell a story of my own – in a very, very short dress. Whoops.

We went upstairs for a tiny, intimate hotel room party that involved “special” brownies, Truth or Dare, and ridiculous mispronunciations of the word “boudoir.” Ooh la la.

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Bex and I began our Saturday morning at a talk on solo polyamory, given by Eva Dusome of Polyamory Toronto. I am just at the veeeery beginning of my foray into poly life, and while this workshop wasn’t the 101-level introduction I probably needed, it still gave me a ton of insight and food for thought about what kind of poly person I might want to be. By the time the session ended, my brain was positively abuzz with thoughts of autonomy, connection, individuality, introversion, the illusion of control, and the ways in which self-care is vital to relationships.

After that, we went to Create Your Own Porn, a panel featuring (among others) Kate Sinclaire, Sophie Delancey, and Taylor J. Mace, three of my favorite pornographers who also happen to be three truly delightful people. Also there was Sonya JF Barnett, whose work I remembered from a feminist porn screening I attended earlier this year. They shared many useful tidbits about the technical and back-end side of porn creation, probably launching the careers of several audience members with porn ambitions!

imageAfter lunch, we had intended to go to the Spit erotic boudoir shoot, but there was a huge lineup (yay, good for them!) so we went back down to the exhibitor room instead. I bought some fancy lingerie from EmMeMa and we also ogled leather kink goods, stainless steel sex toys, and fetishistic femme hair accessories. It was truly a cornucopia of Cool Sex Stuff.

It was fitting that I followed up lingerie shopping with a panel on femme identity. Some femmes on this panel I already knew, and some I didn’t, but all of them brought perspectives to the table that opened my eyes and engaged my heart. This was easily the most emotional session of the weekend for me, because femme erasure, femme competition, and femme underappreciation are all things I’ve experienced and things I’ve felt stupidly alone in. So much of what the speakers said was relatable, not only to me but seemingly to everyone else in the room. The sense of crowd-wide solidarity was palpable and it took a lot of restraint for me not to cry – but I don’t think anyone would’ve judged me if I had.

After that last session, I located Bex and we headed back to my place to get ready for prom night… (This story to be continued in part 2 of my Playground diary!)

Sharing the Sexy #4

• Some dudes on Sexxit discuss autofellatio. Interesting to see a straight male perspective on this. (Have you seen the autofellatio scene in Shortbus?!)

• Rachel Rabbit White attended a lesbian cougar meetup. I love the way Rabbit writes. “Judith’s eyes glitter and wrinkle at the corners. She looks like someone you might find yourself in an orgy with at an acid-fueled pre-Burning Man loft party.”

• Also by Rachel: a feature on agender people. (For more discussion and resources related to genderqueer or agender identities, Genderfork is terrific.)

• Evil Slutopia comments on Snooki’s baby and some anti-choice hypocrisy among conservative critics of Snooki.

• K wrote sensitively and thoughtfully about her break-up with her long-term poly boyfriend.

Shit twinks say during sex: “Your dick is so fierce!”

• Someone discovered a creative way to use a Fleshlight. (By the way, the generous people at Sex Toys Canada sent me a Fleshlight which I’ll be reviewing on behalf of my boyfriend soon… Stay tuned!)

• Here’s a massive resource on intactivism. Important stuff to know, given the AAP’s recent statement about circumcision.

• Looks like a bill banning “ex-gay” therapy might get passed in California. Gasp! Are people finally realizing that changing sexual orientation isn’t possible and leads to horrific results?!

• Female Sexxitors weigh in: what’s the best thing about having a vagina?