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Having It Both Ways: Partisan Dating

Having It Both Ways: Partisan Dating

First Couple in freight elevator on Inauguration Night. Photo by White House Photographer Pete Souza.

If you’re looking for salacious stories of romance and torrid love affairs, I might share links to some at HavingItBothWays.com.

I was out having drinks with a bunch of Okies who now live in DC because a friend of ours was in town.  We talked politics and joked about people we all knew but inevitably the conversation turned to, “So… how’s dating going?”  But then the useful part of the conversation – the roommate of an Okie asked what I knew about online dating sites.  Ah ha!  My usefulness abounds!

The first question to ask is “What are you looking for.”  To which they all laughed, “A moderately sized bald man…” they joked. More laughter, “NO!” I said over them, “I mean what kind of relationship.  Just a random hook up, marriage, a buddy …. what do you want?  I introduced her to several different website possibilities that are free or cheap.  But then another of our friends told me I needed to set up a profile and run my “inspection” on BlueStateDate.com.

So… I did.  Here’s what I’ve got so far.  BSD seems to be a way for political staffers and like minded activists to come together around a mutual need to keep their love in the party.  Don’t go thinking its all inbreeding there’s a Red State Date too.  It’s like the Nation Builder of dating sites…. In any case, the profile is very political, asking you to go through and fill out a series of questions on domestic, social, and foreign policy to determine your level of conservatism.  It even asks you what campaigns you’ve worked on.

The idea is a great one – I’m all for it.  Especially if you buy a premium month now you get the rest of the year for free.  The downside?  When I searched for available people within 25 miles of me between the ages of 29 and 45 I got a whopping 7 guys… no women….. So that’s a fail.  I’ll play with it more and keep you posted, but at the very least I have a free year.

Having it Both Ways: Childless by Choice

Having it Both Ways: Childless by Choice

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I have a handful of best friends.  We’re talking … people who knew me before politics, people who knew me “way back when” and who I have grown and evolved with over the years.  I called one such bestie the other day and she told me that she was about to call me because a recent trip to see her in-laws resulted in a discussion about when my friend and her husband were going to be starting a family and having kids.

This particularly bestie and I have long shared our mutual resistance toward having kids.  There was an interesting presumption with her in-law family, however, that it was her that was determined never to have kids.  Her normally easy going husband at one point piped up – “We’re not having kids…”  They were all shocked.  What Bestie realized about the in-laws insistence for them not to wait – was that they were way too old when they had children.  Such that the aunt had to endure huge amounts of hormone treatments and it was an all around nightmare to get their daughter.  Bestie said to me, “So while I’ve never ever wanted to have children, I realized I now have to either make peace with that or we have to talk about having kids.  NOW.”

We talked about how both of us have always been anti-kids.  Not that we blame other people of course, but many of the reasons that people say they want children are selfish reasons.  People want families for themselves, they want children that come from their genes not from the plethora of kids who don’t have good homes, we also talked about parents we’ve seen who love to live vicariously through their kids, or need someone to love them and idolize them.

We talked about how when you throw kids in the mix, your life is over.  Traveling for fun – forget it, picking up and going rock climbing on a weekend – turns out you can’t do it with a baby strapped to you, not to mention the first three years are filled with nothing but body fluids and screaming.  And the financial cost is tremendous.  The estimations once showed having kids was an investment, but now you run deficits with kids costing upwards of $250,000 from birth to their 18th birthday, and that doesn’t include college.  In the end is it more selfish to have a kid to complete you and your needs or is it more selfish to not have a kid because you have no interest in being a parent, raising someone, or disrupting your own life?

Remember back when I talked about The Professor and how he turned 40 and realized he needed to get married and have kids quick and to do that he had to find someone between 25 and 30?  I’ll never forget one of the people who commented on that blog post that I was a “selfish bitch” because I would rather not have a kid, which I still find hilarious.  There isn’t an argument for having a child that doesn’t involve someone being selfish and “wanting a kid.”  The fact is – people who want kids… want kids.  They want it for their own reasons.  While my Bestie and mine’s reasons for not having children are status quo – nothing changes with our decision and no one and nothing is impacted by a decision to not have a kid.

I’m at an advantage because no one asks me these questions because I’m not married and no one even sees me with a potential partner.  I still occasionally get the “when are you getting married” question, I don’t think anyone really expects me to have kids unless they come with a future partner.  But this whole discussion reminded me of the bizarre need for our culture to stigmatize couples who are childless, like there’s something wrong with them or one of them have bits that don’t work.  We’re so obsessed with this need to continue a DNA chain or have some image of what a family ought to look like.  The truth is, some people are different and want different things that aren’t traditional or typical.  If you want them, power to ya and have fun.  But all you Baby Boomer parents who are pissed at us because we’re not into it just need to calm the hell down.

Having It Both Ways: Breathless

Having It Both Ways: Breathless

washington dc kissingRead more about the Having it Both Ways project, just don’t tell anyone…..

So… something happened that took my breath away.  It’s been a rough week. First, I ate something that made me sick the other night… but the reality is for the last week I’ve been depressed about 50.  Not because it was a great loss, although I do feel a sense of loss, not because I invested a lot of time and energy in him, though I did, but more that I let someone get to me and I’m pissed at myself for being so stupid.  While talking with one of my best friends last night I explained where my “trust issues” originated, a story I actually haven’t ever shared with anyone before – not that it’s all that shocking, there are just certain times in your life where major events can impact you more and stay with you forever.  I digress…  So while talking to her about my trust issues I explained that it makes me want to shut down again.  It makes me want to hide and cower in a corner like a feral cat and scratch and claw at anyone who comes near me.  I know this is the wrong decision, but knowing what’s right and healthy for us isn’t always what we want.  Eat your emotional and psychological vegetables.

But then I got the surprise of my life.  I won’t go into great detail, but someone I’ve loved for quite a while that I realistically can’t be with but would like very much to be with… showed up at my apartment to surprise me.  It’s difficult to explain the amount of work that went in to making this happen and that I knew nothing about.  The email I got at 5pm read:  subject line:  come home.  email text contained a photo of the metro station near my house.  My eyes watered.  We’d been emailing all week about how angry and depressed I have been.  I really needed this.  I sprinted from the bar where I was meeting friends for drinks, ran across DuPont circle, leaping over the medians as the “don’t walk” sign flashed at me.  I slid through the doors of the train just as they were closing – then ran up the steps of the escalator… My eyes darted around looking but nothing.  Breathless, I took big fast steps walking fast up Connecticut Avenue.  I heard the voice behind me… and then the comfort and safety of our embrace……. and then…. of course…. the insane amount of making out that commenced in the elevator as we climbed the floors to my apartment.

I’m an expert at unrequited love.  I practically have a degree in it.  This is reciprocated love.  This goes beyond sex, although the sex is always great, it goes beyond trust although we both agree we’ve never trusted anyone more than one and other in our lives, and it goes beyond a mutual understanding that I’m much smarter (though I would argue not smart just more informed because I consume more information)…. there is such a safety I feel when we’re together.  I’m not afraid, or worried, or nervous, or anything – for once I can relax and let go.  Like when you were little and your grandpa told you to jump and he’d catch you.  I know I can jump … and fall softly in a lover’s arms.  And while we both know it never lasts long and we can’t be together; when we smile a goofy grin between kisses and talk of our dreams of the life we could have, nothing else anywhere matters.

Much needed surprise.  No one has ever done that for me before.

Having It Both Ways: Murder will mess you up

Having It Both Ways: Murder will mess you up

Read more about the Having It Both Ways project here.

When someone you love gets murdered it fucks you up.  It’s more than 4 years later and quite honestly I’ve never dealt with my friend’s death, despite the fact that I think about it several times a week and I feel guilty I haven’t done enough with her foundation…

I never talk about her – most of my friends didn’t know about her until I did the blog post about emotional manipulation being a form of abuse and some of my closest friends told me they never knew.  I don’t talk about it beyond the “cause” element of it – which is just a way that I can put it in a nice non-profit box and pretend like it’s about someone else and not my friend.

But, the reality is that when my friend Jana was murdered it changed the way I view everything in my world.  I use to be so full of ambition and professional drive.  I use to want to be a big deal and had an ego that needed to be stroked.  I wanted my picture taken with famous politicians – and believe me… I have a ton of them… I wanted money and power and control and all of the things that most people in politics want.  When Jana was killed I realized none of those things will ever make me happy.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  In fact nothing does.  I use to want a convertible because I thought I would look cuter with big round sunglasses and the top down.  But the reality is that it isn’t the convertible I want – its the feeling of freedom I wanted… the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and that you feel like you’re going faster because the wind is swooshing past.  I just wanted the feeling of freedom.

For the past several years since Jana I’ve been floundering around asking myself over and over again “what the hell am I doing?”  Like I’m having a midlife crisis.  The only thing that matters to me anymore are people.  Not Bertha the big fancy TV that lives in my living room or my very nice Italian leather sofa… not having the best shoes or the nicest dress, not having the best job, not power, not recognition, not control…. nothing.  Just friends, experiences, fun, and happiness.  And its made me really really resistant to let new people into my life.  Already I had trust issues – already I didn’t let people close enough… now I’m even worse than I was before.

At the same time my normally cautious candyass ways have turned into a thrill seeking world.  I’ll jump out or off of anything, I’ll climb up anything, I’ll do anything once, twice if you’re lucky, and I crave adventure.  Grabbing life by the testies, eat sleep and be merry for tomorrow we may die….. because tomorrow we may…. we really might just…. because it happened to her.

I mention this because I split with another man friend this week.  It’s been a long time coming, but 50 has been so distant and non-responsive that I’m starting to feel like he was just going to use me without being a friend.  The thing about being a friend with benefits is you can trust your friend… its a friend… a buddy you have an honest relationship with.  Only… seems good old 50 just wanted to screw with no buddy.  I have trust issues… no friend… no benefits…. For the first few months it was all buddy… after that… nothin’.  So I didn’t respond to his latest email… and I’m not gonna.

When I think about him it’s so frustrating because… of all people who is wasting his life after not getting what he needed after years and years of being everything for everyone, it’s him.  You’d think at some point he’d wake up and go “shit… I’m getting on in years… I don’t have much more time I can’t do this, I really need to figure out what I want to get out of life before the clock runs out!”  I’m not talking about him doing this with me here – just … anyone or alone… anything.

I feel sad for him, everyone deserves to be happy, to do what they’ve always wanted to do before the die, or be able to have an opportunity to get what they’ve always wanted… within reason of course.  A chance to achieve their dream.  Who knows, maybe he’s already achieved his.  Maybe it was an occupational thing or raising his son… who knows.  I think it’s the Humanist nature of me to wish that everyone have a shot at happiness and being able to have what they’ve always wanted.  I wrote about him last week – I think he’s lying to himself about a lot – but I wish he could be happy and have all that he’s ever wanted.  I just have no hope that he’s reached a point where the experience that changes you into being an life grabbing adventurer. And he might not ever reach it.  I don’t know that everyone does – not that I recommend it because… it’s clearly fucked me up far more than I was before.

The worst part about 50 is that for a few months he was my buddy and I was stupid enough to trust I was his.  When the reality is of course I wasn’t…. of course… I wasn’t.  Whole thing just makes me feel like a trusting fool who was duped.

Having It Both Ways: Patrick Stewart’s Bootycall

Having It Both Ways: Patrick Stewart’s Bootycall

decent manRead more about the Having it Both Ways project here.

It all started about a month ago when I responded to a lovely woman who was looking for someone exactly like me.  She talked about an existing relationship she is in with a guy who fully supports her interest in the ladies and would be eager to have the three of us get to know each other.  So she forwarded me his information and we struck up a conversation about our history and interests.  I quickly learned that she in fact is not in a relationship with this guy, who… looks like a younger skinner version of Patrick Stewart, but instead she’s basically just his booty call.  Not to mention he has her come in and clean his house a few times a week.  So, she’s his booty call and his maid.  True story.  And now she’s being tasked with finding him essentially another fuck buddy under the guise of something else.

It gets worse.  After about a week of conversation with “Patrick Stewart” he wants specifics about what I look like. He’s seeking a “fit” girl.  My response – well I go to the gym a few times a week and in the last year I’ve lost about 40lbs with 20-30 more that I’d like to lose.  “You would have to go to the gym more.  I require someone who is fit” he says.  Ok – don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!  I could see a nice pathway to emotional manipulation with a guy who would constantly pressure me to be something I’m not and be constantly failing or falling behind.  I deal with that enough to myself – and I actually love myself!

So here’s my lesson to all you women out there, especially to those of you who have hips and breasts, for the love of god, don’t let anyone ever tell you there’s something wrong with you if you’re not X or not Y.  And if you decide to make a serious investment in losing 40lbs don’t do it because some ass cactus said you needed to.  Do it for yourself.

Interestingly, I also included 50 in on the conversations and when the final blow was dealt I turned to him for reassurance.  Fifty’s response “Well The the thing about [Patrick Stewart] is he sounds like a tool.  That woman who posted is at his beckon call to cleaning and sexual service for him.  They both sound pretty lame after talking to her a little.”  When I told Sophia about it she was flabbergasted and said she shuts that down right away.  Thank goodness the people I DO have in my life are rational.  I also told Sophia at this point some of what I feel like I’m doing is find the freak show.  That so many of these people are like that PT Barnam freak show that I find so fascinating that I keep coming back for more as if I need a closer look and only then I can figure it out or understand better.  And sometimes even after a second look… no, it’s still just weird – and certainly not my thing.

Having It Both Ways: The Man Whisperer

Having It Both Ways: The Man Whisperer

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For the last several years I’ve somehow become a safe haven for men over 40 who want or need someone to talk to.  For reasons passing in understanding, emotionally damaged or emotionally unavailable men flock to me like married women flock to a Katherine Heigl flick on a Saturday afternoon.  Married men, men in relationships, single men, men suffering from sexual dysfunction, men in full on mid-life crisis mode, men rediscovering themselves, men who have never discovered themselves, men in denial, fully actualized men, horny men, curious men…. they all seem to find me and they instantly want to talk to me as if I hold some great wisdom or understanding about the women-folk.

One of my dear friends called me The Man Whisperer because I can somehow get them to open up and talk about things of which they dare not speak.  As if I’m somehow bilingual – I speak “Woman” and I speak “Man.”  I don’t think any of that is necessarily true.  It isn’t that I understand both women and men so acutely that I can serve as a translator … I think it’s more that I think you’re all crazy and I don’t get any of you people.  (This is why I’m single.)  Yet, still they come… and I listen, and somehow manage to say the right thing or give comfort or inspire action.

The most difficult of these is a gentleman I’ve been speaking to online for over a year.  We met a little before he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his manly bits.  A significant portion had to be removed for a walnut sized tumor that was causing the difficulty – leaving him with what he refers to as a “Frankenweenie” and a response time that leaves a lot to be desired.  But like a good man, his mind is still in the horny place.  Somehow, unfortunately, his mind is the only one.  He’s become a kind of leper in his own house.  His wife won’t come near him, his kids don’t pay attention to him.  A few months ago when we reconnected after not corresponding for a few months, he told me he felt like a house plant that every once in a while they would dust and water.

Another married man friend was hardly getting any sleep and when I asked why he said that he bought himself a video game system he’d been hiding from his spouse and sneaking out to play it at 3am.  He got mad when I told him it was the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard.

I know it’s easy to point to isolated incidents in other people’s lives and say – “There!  That’s fucked up!”  But you have to wonder what would lead someone to these moments in their lives.  I never have the brilliant solution or the convenient how-to guide, all I do is listen and say what I think.  It’s all I can do.  And gather the wisdom that women are just as insane and jacked up as men are.  My advice today, dear reader, regardless of which bits you possess, is to stop being such a pain in the ass to your partner and genuinely get your shit together.  Not necessarily for the sake of your partner, but for the sake of yourself.  Otherwise you might end up reading about your depressed partner on someone’s blog some day.

Having it Both Ways: I just got stood up

Having it Both Ways: I just got stood up

 

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Tonight was another dating first: I got stood up. I think under normal circumstances if this was someone who asked me out and just forgot or flaked or something happened I’m sure the person would have called… But this was a date through Mixology the dating service I paid $2500 for to find me looooove.

Turns out love is a little hard to come by at 7pm on a Sunday night.

I think I’m coming down with another cold or something – I haven’t felt well all day. But straightened my hair, put on makeup and a nice dress, and spent the over-an-hour to schlep to Virginia to meet her for dinner. Prior to this date, I accidentally got an email that was meant for her. It seems she had questions about my femininity. Was I “fem” enough for her standards. The email told her (but actually me) that I was very feminine, wore a dress to the initial interview, had long hair, yada yada. After having such strict requirements, one would hope I was acceptable enough to call the restaurant to tell them she wasn’t coming.

For most people in this situation, I fear it’s a whole different deal. You’re excited to go out with someone you like – he or she finally made a move… etc. in my case I’m lucky; I don’t even know this person.  It’s a lot less humiliating than sitting here at this table with Clint Eastwood’s Barack Obama for dinner.  So nice for the President to join me.  Being the vulnerable dater who took a chance on someone is a lot more difficult than my inconvenience. But if it does happen to you – it seems the Internet search says wait 15 minutes before calling – leave a message saying you’ve arrived and you’re waiting. At 20 minutes – leave. In my case I went all the way across town …. So I was having dinner out whether she showed up or not. So at the 30 Minute mark I ordered dinner.  Other sites also recommend you email the person something like “I wanted to make sure you were ok…” just in case it turns out they were hit by the crosstown bus you don’t seem vindictive while they are lying in the hospital wondering if they’ll walk again.

But the reality is – if the person doesn’t respect you enough to show up – why give them a second shot if it’s just laziness or their own lack of calendar juggling.  That sets up a whole world of potential disrespect you could face.  Run – don’t walk to the nearest exit….. And buy yourself dessert….

When I informally polled my Facebook friends who allowed for friendly lamenting as I sit here enjoying my Maryland Crab Soup by the fire ….. alone…. They offered some acceptable excuses for being stood up on a first date. They include but are not limited to:

  • Death
  • Prison
  • ER visit for themselves or a friend or family member
  • A severe head wound causing amnesia
  • Their spouse came home unexpectedly
  • I think alien abduction is fair. I am pretty sure aliens are the least considerate people regarding schedules.
  • And many dear readers who agreed that there really are no good excuses.

I tend to be a patient person. Intense – yes.  Demanding – ok.  But, I’m always on time and understanding of those who run a few minutes late.  Especially in this town, where transportation and or parking can impact the timeliness of any potential dinner, date, or coffee companion.

While I’m inclined to give her another shot, it better be for a reason such as health, well being, or accident, because the whole “I forgot” or “I didn’t feel like it” doesn’t work when you’re paying $2500 for a dating service. This isn’t OKCupid – this is the big leagues – you show up on time or you don’t play ball.

 

Having It Both Ways: Never go to the store when youre hungry!

Having It Both Ways: Never go to the store when youre hungry!

Read more about the Having it Both Ways project here.

You’ve heard it before, right?  Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.  Don’t do it.  Have a sammich or grab a cappuccino … but if you go when you’re hungry you’ll end up with $150 of Cheetos puff balls, wine, several pounds of deli meat, frozen pies, not to mention the things you’ve somehow convinced yourself that you’re going to cook throughout the week but then realize you probably won’t really.

This is a lot like sex.  No, seriously, go along with me, here.  When you’re hungry …. don’t go to the grocery store.  See what I did there?  Because ultimately you’ll end up with a crazy dude you met off the internet that is throwing up all sorts of red flags, but your libido is saying “oh … yes… right there… right there….”  Why?  Because it’s hungry. You don’t need the cheetos.  Put the pie down.

This is exactly why I have the all too infrequent Fifty Shades of Grey.  Fifty came into my life at a particularly difficult time in my romantic journey when I needed a distraction.  Our sexy repartee and his sexual puns provided hours of email and gchat enjoyment.  And now that we’ve taken it offline, it’s kept me from making any additional bad mistakes.

It serves as a lesson for everyone but also a question for those too uncomfortable with the idea of someone only serving that role in your life.  Is the expectation that you’ll end up in the happy endings you get with “Friends with Benefits” or “No Strings Attached?”  Because, I’ve long held that Hollywood’s interpretation of relationships like that are sensationalized for the “chick flick” viewing audience who longs for the music to swell and the lovers to be together forever…. awwww…  But its not always going to end up like that, and it’s unrealistic to believe that it will.

This is why I assume I keep getting comments from my girlfriends telling me to “cut him loose.”  I always ask why and the answer is always – “There’s no relationship in it for you.”  My question becomes…. So, whats wrong with that?  That’s not what I want either, that’s not what I’m striving for with this person.  That isn’t our relationship now nor am I hoping it will be.  So… why is it not ok to have a “friendship” or “relationship” that isn’t going to end with marriage, 2.5 kids, a house with a picket fence, and a dog?  Are we so conditioned as women to think that our relationships should end that way that when we see them taking a different path we cut the line loose?  What would happen if the end game wasn’t a long-term, traditional, monogamous, marriage?  How might we do things differently?  How might dating or sex change?  How might we as people change?  Food for thought, dear reader, food for thought….

Having it Both Ways: Still no Schtooping

Having it Both Ways: Still no Schtooping

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There’s something to be said for being able to let go.  This has long been a skill I’ve struggled to master.  In every aspect of my life.  Let go of people, let go of love, let go of feelings, emotions, struggles, fears, pretty much anything.  Somehow if I hold onto it I have control.  I’m a control freak, a lazy one, but a control freak nonetheless.  I think this what appeals to me about my bizarre adventures with my very own 50 Shades of Grey.  I not only have zero control, but he forces me to let go.  And for some unclear reason I can with him.

There’s a comfort in not being in a relationship with someone.  I don’t have to worry about impressing him or her because we have no future together.  I don’t have to always be perfect or brilliant or funny or really try at all.  I can just be me.  I can let go.  The force and strength holding back any vulnerability is suddenly a relaxing sigh of relief.

My hands were shaking again when he came over for a surprise visit Friday evening.  After the intense weekend of dating and a full week out nearly every night with friends for DC’s Restaurant Week, I needed some time to myself.  I needed some time to do laundry and dust things.  I didn’t anticipate spending the evening being dusted by the large hands of Mr. 50 Shades.

He emailed me while I was at the grocery store looking for dinner.  “And how are we this evening?” he asked.  “I’m good, just leaving the store with dinner and juice, you?” I replied.  “Be ready at 9,” he responded.  The last time we’d really spoken was Thursday of the previous week when he stopped by for half an hour.  I feared it only took him a few minutes to discover I wasn’t what he wanted and bailed.  We hardly talked all week.  I moped around the grocery store looking for a bottle of wine after what I felt was a rejection from my new special friend.  Now I was racing home,  hurriedly threw paperwork back in my laptop bag, picked up laundry, changed out of my gym cloths.

Saturday morning I texted a friend “Still no schtooping.” She replied, “OMG you’re such a prude just give it up!”

 

Having It Both Ways: Let’s Talk about Sex

Having It Both Ways: Let’s Talk about Sex

Let's Talk about SEXCheck out more from the Having It Both Ways Project.

The presumption seems to be that because I write and talk about sex a lot, I am also having sex a lot.  Boy do I wish that were true.  The reality is a bit more pathetic.  Married people have more sex than I do.  Priests probably have more sex than I do.

The freedom that comes from finally figuring out who you are and what you want is a liberation that somehow makes you want to start having conversations about those very topics and asking questions to your much more experienced friends.  I ask … because I don’t know.  I talk about it because my experience is lacking.

But despite my confidence in talking about sexuality, relationships, and dating, my actual comfort in a free-love type of world…. well …… I’m still not exactly the free love type of person that many of my friends seem to be.  I’ve never had a one night stand.  I’ve never picked someone up in a bar and taken them home or gone back to his or her place.  I’ve never had sex on a first date… second date… or third date for that matter. And until today, never been kissed on a first date.

It took me two years before I was comfortable with the idea of sleeping with Dude 3 and six more months before I fell for him.  It took me a month before I trusted 50 to even stop by my apartment.  My hands were shaking so much, and we didn’t even do the deed.

Sex doesn’t have to equal love, so I’m not holding out for my heart to flutter the perfect way or angels to sing.  Sex can be fun, relaxing, it can be stress relief, and too it can be a physical expression of the love you have for someone else.  For me, sometimes, the things I do with the guy back home just helps me clear my head.  Like a mental and emotional reset button that helps me stop being so intense and uptight.  And any of you who know me well know that I can be pretty intense and uptight – despite my sexual liberation.

The truth is, while I admire those who are so free and able to express their sexuality with folks they’ve just met, I’m still very slow to trust anyone, whether they’re friends or sexual partners.  That’s slowly getting better, thanks to Dude 3‘s influence challenging me and pushing me for the 6 months we were getting closer.  But I still have to remind myself not to revert back to the fearful yet eager person I’ve spent most of my life being.