Lately there have been articles all over the internet, on Vice, or in the New York Times, about Poly-relationships.
“Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of intimate relationships that are not exclusive with respect to other sexual or intimate relationships, with knowledge and consent of everyone involved.” Wikipedia.
Polygamy makes me think of Mormons, or rich old white guys with a hundred adolescent wives: the word sounds so ugly, so unglamorous, so unlike what I am involved in.
I am in a triad. I have a husband and we have a boyfriend and the three of us all live together in our tiny yellow Craftsman in Hollywood with our three cats and dog and our roommate Rene and somehow, against everything I believed in, we have, and are in the process of, falling in love.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I have been against the idea of this kind of a relationship ever since I first heard of them. I’m not the guy who can handle an open relationship. Threeways took a while for me to warm up to. I get jealous. I’m controlling. I want all the love and all the affection. I want everything to be mine always. I don’t share well. I never have. I am volatile and competitive and basically, if I’m not careful, an all around fucking nightmare.
I’ve been in relationships where we had threeways. I’ve had lovers spend the night with me and my boyfriend. I’ve enjoyed waking up to my boyfriend blowing me and some dude we invited over to spend the night. It was hot watching the guy I love get off on some other guy. I even remember once having to drive the guy we were fucking back to Tustin in Orange County, and having my boyfriend at the time, get in the back seat and make out with him. The two of them ended up fucking while I drove him home. I almost killed us all; I couldn’t stop looking in the rear view mirror.
But then we would fight. And I would get jealous: that ugly kind of jealousy that turns your whole world black.
Or some guy would want him more than me, or me more than him. It was hard to find the perfect match. And I always wanted reassurance. That I was the one loved, that it was me he wanted, that they all wanted.
When I met Alex a lot of that changed. I’ve always felt safe with him. Loved by him. I’ve always known that he wanted me. We had threeways. Lots of threeways. We’ve picked guys up in bars and fucked them in the bathroom. We’ve gone to bathhouses and made out with rosy-cheeked Canadian boys in Vancouver hot tubs, we’ve fucked around with other couples. We’ve done a lot together. We’ve had some amazing adventures as a couple. And mostly it’s gone really well. And sometimes it hasn’t. Sometimes it’s gone really weird (there was that guy on the way to Sedona who wanted us to fart on him, or the dude who turned out to be homeless….even though, honestly, he was super cute, and times when I got mad or he got mad or times when it just didn’t happen, didn’t work out), but mostly it’s been fun. A lot of fun. And now I can’t imagine my life without those adventures.
We aren’t open. We’ve never been open. We have very clear rules. We are allowed to do whatever we want together. Once I sent him to fuck this fuck-buddy of ours without me, but he had to tell me all about it, so it was like I was there. Because I initiated it, I am in control of the situation. He wasn’t just fucking some guy. He was fucking a guy I picked out, a guy I arranged. He was living out my fantasy.
And for us, this has always been monogamy-ish. For us this has been the truest way to honor our own individual sexualities and yet still remain a couple, involved in each other’s sexuality. I never wanted Alex to just go fuck some guy and not know about it. I want to know. I want to fantasize about it, to play with it in my head. I love watching Alex with another man. It turns me on so much. I love watching him kiss another guy. Suddenly, in that moment, he isn’t just my boyfriend: he is more than what I think he is: suddenly he is himself. He is this sexy man, and I get to watch, I get to participate, I get to be there and see who he is with someone else. And that really is the amazing thing: I get to see him in ways most of us never allow the ones we love to be.
He’s different with me, not in any way I can express clearly in words: it’s just something I feel, something I know. Alex is different when he is fucking me. But, and this is key: he is a stud when he is fucking someone else. Three years in and I still think my boyfriend (Now husband) is a stud. Because I’ve seen him. The way he fucks another bottom. Alex is the kind of top who wants his bottoms to love it. He wants them to beg. He wants them to get off on it.
When we met Jon I don’t think any of us saw the changes that were coming. Jon was supposed to just be another adventure, a threeway with a guy we could eat pizza with and watch a movie with. Maybe a friend. We decided early on Jon wouldn’t sleep over. If it moved to “far”, if we began to have feelings, we would end it. Those were the rules we had. If we wanted to negotiate them we could. I think maybe we made those rules because we knew: this was different. And if we continued it would change everything.
The first day we met Jon I was working at the Faultline Bar in East Hollywood. It was a Sunday Beer Bust. The bar was packed. He pulled up in his silver Volkswagon Bug. I remember watching him get out of his car. The way he moved, his shoulders slightly hunched, kind of lost looking, beard and hair writerly unkempt, his lopsided smile when he saw me waiting for him, his off centered crooked nose I learned later was like that because he had broken it.
Alex was bartending at the time.
Jon was so shockingly handsome I wanted to kiss him right then and there, but I knew I had to go get Alex so I did. This was just supposed to be a quick “hi nice to meet you” hug. Jon was driving back to Orange County from his mom’s house in Bakersfield. Hollywood was basically on the way.
We took him into the green room (that’s the room where the strippers prepare themselves) and took turns kissing him. It was all very quick. Alex had to get back to the bar and I was in charge of security. And Jon had to get home to his ex-boyfriend and his cat, Dorian. We made plans to meet later in the week to watch a David Bowie Documentary, Cracked Actor, and eat pizza, than the two of them were going to fuck me.
I proposed to Alex in May of 2014. We had taken a day trip to Laguna to go for a walk along the coast and then have dinner. Sitting in the middle of town, on a bench at a cross section, I said,
“Look, I know we’ve talked about this a lot, and I don’t know…I love you. And I’ve been thinking off all these ways to ask you this, and honestly, now seems as good of a time as any, right? So maybe…what do you think about getting married?”
I had had all these romantic ideas about how I was going to ask him to marry me. Huge and elaborate plans. Filled with poetry and beauty, but suddenly, there in that Laguna cross section, a fog rolling in off the Pacific, traffic building up around us, I suddenly understood something: I was in love. Deeply and truly. Spiritually. I was awesomely and completely in love and I suddenly knew that I couldn’t wait one more second, I couldn’t wait for that perfect moment because every moment with him was perfect and I wanted him to know, in his fucking bones, how much I loved him.
He laughed at me. And he said, “I’ve been waiting for you to put a ring on it.”
I didn’t have a ring. I hadn’t even thought about rings. I had once given my mother’s wedding ring (she gave it to me when she thought she was dying of cancer) to a boyfriend of mine, and had asked him to marry me, only to later, in a fight, throw it into the middle of Santa Monica Boulevard, losing my mother’s dying (she didn’t end up dying) gift. I was drinking back then and a mess, and throwing my sick mother’s wedding ring into the middle of a busy street was just the kind of thing I would do to punish my boyfriend.
“I’ll get you a ring. I’ll get you whatever you want. I just…I fucking love you.” In retrospect I must have sounded like an idiot. I should have at least waited till dinner. Or till we were on the cliffs over looking the ocean. Or somewhere more romantic than a busy Laguna intersection: Paris or Rome, or maybe on one of those arched bridges over some forgotten Venice canal that my mother and I used to find ourselves on, talking about the future and the past, she would always channel her spirit guides out there, staring into those darkly flowing waters: her face changing in strange ways, her voice growing deeper: Venice made her darker somehow; but like I said, I didn’t think I could make it one more second. It was that kind of a moment. Most moments are like that for me. Urgent. Impossible to withstand.
I am continuously aware of my impending death. And of the death of those I love. These things happen. Guns shots and cancer and car accidents: at any moment one of those Laguna BMW’s could have driven wildly toward us, hitting Alex and killing him while I stood there, helpless, or maybe he would be struck by an aneurism, or a comet would appear in the sky, or an earthquake, the big one finally taking out Southern California and I would not have asked him. Any moment could be our death. Death is like that.
And I would have rather died knowing I had asked him than not.
It was that kind of fucking moment.
When I was a child there was a tree that grew outside my bedroom window. At night, if I opened the window, I could reach out and touch the branches. I once dreamt of a little old man who lived inside that childhood tree. He knocked on my bedroom window, three soft raps. My room was exactly as it had been as a child: bunk bed, purple rug on the floor, my stuffed zebra, the only thing not the same was me: in my dream I am grown, my legs to long for the child-size bed, my feet hanging over the edges. The window glass is cold, frozen with frost. The little old man was dressed in a navy-blue suit and an orange tie, red shoes and a yellow fedora. His ears were pointed and his eyes were slanted like a cats.
I opened the window and stuck my head out into the cold darkness of the night. And the little old man told me a secret. He predicted the outcome of my life only he did it in a language that made sense only in my dream. When I woke up I had no idea what any of the words meant, and I found it impossible to recollect the visions that flew through my mind as he spoke to me.
But I do remember clearly the feeling I had as I struggled back to consciousness, sleep fading away: I had the sense of possibility, that the world was open to me in ways I had never imagined: and I was excited.
This is exactly what I felt the first time I met Alex in person, as if he were the prediction made to me in my dream: as if here the manifestation of all my dreams.
TO BE CONTINUED….