More than just a threesome.

April 23, 2012 at 9:53 am (Polyamory, Real Life, Relationship, Sex) (, , , , )


Those readers who also follow me on Twitter will not be surprised at the story I’m about to tell; they’ve seen it coming, it was just a matter of time. But it’s a complex story, and I fear that no matter how I write it, I cannot do it justice. Because it wasn’t just a threesome, and it wasn’t just a woman. It was so much more. I hope I can convey that clearly.

One of my difficulties in poly has always been a type of sexual jealousy – the fear that my partner might find someone else who is more ______ sexually than I am – more uninhibited, more experienced, more experimental, more orgasmic. It’s part of an underlying lack of confidence, the fear that the only thing I bring to a relationship is my sexual availability, which may not measure up against other women. As the relationship with the boyfriend has strengthened and deepened, I’ve challenged myself to raise my confidence in this area, and not be afraid that his other lovers will diminish me. One way I’ve worked on this is through actively encouraging a flirtation between him and a dear friend. She’s someone I trust, whom I feel a strong connection to, and whom I care about very much. Their interactions began with awareness and involvement, and eventually included private contact between the two of them. I was happy that they liked each other, and I felt little to no fear about their contact, I think largely in part because I was somewhat orchestrating it. Right or wrong, that made it feel safe to me.

As this was developing, I was also doing a lot of pondering on my sexual feelings towards women. I’m becoming increasingly curious to explore in that direction again. I feel much differently towards women than I do men, and I’m not confident enough in my understanding of the nature of those feelings to describe them yet. But I’ve been wanting the chance to interact with a woman on a sexual level, and the best opportunity to do so in a safe space would be with the boyfriend present. Like many boyfriends, he saw no problem with this. And eventually the opportunity arose with our mutual friend.

And here’s where I fear I can’t do the event justice right now, and it will have to be written about later, in more detail, in a different tone. Because it was a sensual, erotic experience, friendly and relaxed, flowing easily and without much if any awkwardness or hesitation. Lovely as it was, I first need to explore the emotional aspects and reactions, before I put the experience out there as an erotic indulgence.

And so… it flowed, from playful spanking, to a man with a woman snuggled on each side, touching him, kissing one and then the other, two mouths pleasuring him together. I watched as he eased into focusing on her, and I felt a calm, fully present joy with this. There were two people I care about very much, taking pleasure in each other in what can be the simplest, most direct and essential way. It was perhaps my first real moment of poly compersion, and I love the memory of it and still feel the echoes of that happiness. His head between her thighs, I knew what she felt, I knew it was good, and I was happy to be next to her while she felt it. I stroked her hair and hesitantly stroked her breast. I kissed her once or twice on the forehead. I believe she came while he licked her, and I was happy to watch her pleasure grow and unfold.

But sadly, this is where some fear started to unfurl inside of me, and I started to withdraw. He expressed a desire to be inside one of us. I gave him a condom and pointed him to her. I lay next to them and watched, still happy to see their shared pleasure, but with a little voice inside me pulling me away. They came, almost simultaneously. He kissed me and told me he loved me. He tried to draw me in but I resisted, almost hid. We lay together, a man with a woman snuggled on each side, and talked for a while longer, then parted ways.

And I fell apart. Because the fear that came to the surface was the one I was, well, afraid of the most. That I’m broken. That I can’t do what other women do. That I can’t have an orgasm without a great deal of effort and difficulty.

Let me stop to state in no uncertain terms that this is not her fault. It is not his fault. I am in no way blaming them for enjoying their contact and taking sexual pleasure in each other, and I don’t want them to feel guilty for doing so. I wanted them to, and it made me happy that they did. These were my own fears and my own insecurities that took those things I watched and made them into a source of pain through comparisons that, again, only I was making. Neither of them in any way excluded me. Neither of them in any way said or did anything to imply that I wasn’t worth the effort to involve any further in this encounter.

It was my choice. I withdrew. I closed up. Because the voice in my head was saying over and over, it will be too much work. Trying to bring me back into the erotic exchange and arouse me, excite me to the point of orgasm in whatever way possible, would require too much effort, and it was too late at night, and I was too nervous, and it wouldn’t work. It wasn’t worth it. I wasn’t worth it.

The voice told me I wasn’t worth it. And I listened to its lies.

I regret this deeply. I’m struggling to let go of my disappointment in myself. Because I thought, through a lot of work from myself and a lot of support and reassurance from the boyfriend, that I had gotten past this way of thinking, that I’m broken and insufficient and worthless because of how I’m wired. That the difficulty I have in orgasming with a partner is a flaw, a failure. I’ve tried hard to change my perspective. I’ve tried to accept this as the way I am, not a shortcoming, but just reality. We work with it; we get me off together, and he had, in recent weeks, been surprisingly successful in getting me off on his own accord. But there was a rotten core still in there, and this experience pushed it to the surface and I let it take over. I let it talk me into withdrawing from an experience that could have been richer, and in some ways I suspect could have been healing and comforting for me. But I was too afraid to take the chance.

I want a do-over, and I know I’ll get one in time. Both of these wonderful people have been reassuring in their willingness to listen to me try to explain my sad reaction to this happy event. We’ll try it again sometime. And with the light on this fear, keeping it from hiding in the dark corners again, I hope it can be another step towards truly conquering it, towards accepting myself as I am, with affection and desire from people who care about me, whether I have an orgasm or not.

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