Relationships


Reading John Dryden the other day, I was reminded that I am not the first person in history to have had a deeply dysfunctional relationship.  And that is some consolation.

Fair Iris I love and hourly I die,
But not for a lip nor a languishing eye:
She’s fickle and false, and there I agree;
For I am as false and as fickle as she:
We neither believe what either can say;
And, neither believing, we neither betray.

‘Tis civil to swear and say things, of course;
We mean not the taking for better or worse.
When present we love, when absent agree;
I think not of Iris, nor Iris of me:
The legend of love no couple can find
So easy to part, or so equally join’d.


Things between Robbie and me have finally come to what seems like a genuine end, right in time for the most ridiculously hyped romantic holiday of the year.  But I’m not feeling sad now.  Instead, I’m feeling like I ought to give thanks.

When Robbie was here over Thanksgiving, we broke up.  We had agreed to spend the week he was here being good to each other and talking, lovingly, about whether we could see ourselves sorting out the major obstacles to our being a couple.  And we did that.  We had a wonderful time, the best time we’d had in months.  We were affectionate and good to each other.  We identified our problems and for many of them, we found solutions.  But by the end of the trip, we’d both started to feel glum about our prospects, and finally, Robbie decided that it was time for us to part.  We said goodbye at the airport, lovingly and well.  And he asked me to spend the next few weeks thinking about all the things between us that were good, rather than recalling all our problems.

I did that then, to some extent, but mainly I put my energies into talking him into getting back together.  We did make up enough for the New Year’s visit, which was pretty disastrous.  And now I find us broken up, again because of Robbie’s decisiveness.  (I think he is probably doing the correct thing for both of us, for which I am not-so-secretly grateful to him.)  This time has been harder, with much more nastiness and hurt than we had at Thanksgiving.


But while we haven’t had the loving conversations, the laughter, the bittersweet tears, and the breathtaking breakup sex that we had over Thanksgiving, I am still trying to think of the good things about us.  It’s actually pretty easy to do.  There are many things I regret about our relationship–including my behavior for much of it–but there are things I will always cherish, and it’s worth putting some of them down, so I don’t forget them.

1.  We laughed, so very much.  I look back at the pages of this blog and I see so many things that were funny, and I realize I’ve captured perhaps .00001% of Robbie’s humor.  When he wanted to be, which was very often, he was lightness and whimsy and joy.  As I’ve said before, his smile was like the sun to me and being part of his circle of laughter was just golden.

2.  I learned what it means to open up to someone, to really share your whole self with him, and to dare to show him all of you.  It took well over a year, but I finally gave Robbie a chance to see the real me, and vice versa.  And that was a wonderful feeling.

3.  I learned what it meant to be loved.  Robbie loved me more than anyone else has.  He not only told me but showed me, again and again.  He followed through on his words at considerable cost to himself, repeatedly.  What was better was that I loved him back as fiercely and as loyally, to the extent that I could.  We helped each other through  many extraordinarily crappy events–some self-inflicted, others wildly and utterly unpredictable.  I was there when his father died, and I took care of two horses, two dogs, and a very rickety house while he and his family buried their dad.  I poured my heart and soul (and a whole lot of sweat) into his garden.  I gave him endless back rubs.  He moved me across the country, packing my boxes himself, and waited for me in hospitals after two life-threatening accidents.  He petted me and held me and cooked for me and pleased me.  We were partners, and we did for each other, and that was good.

4.  I dealt with boatloads of my own crap.  I am a rotten, flawed, imperfect human, as most of us are.  Robbie used to joke that I thought of myself as “Priscilla Perfect,” and it was true.  When we met, I thought I could do no relationship wrong.  After four years, I have the dubious honor of being thankful for the fact that I know I can be a royal bitch: temperamental, reactive, angry, and sometimes punitive.  I don’t want to treat loved ones this way for the rest of my life, and I have miles to go.  At least I’ve started.

5.  I learned about being a good parent from him.  Robbie has kids, and despite what he fears at times, he has been a good father to his kids.  I want kids, and want to be a good parent.  He never refused my many and endless requests to talk about kids or what the right thing to do for kids would be in a given situation; never withheld the benefit of his experience; and never, ever acted like the answers were pat or simple.

6.  I grew up.  This was partly because we spent four years together, and partly because Robbie is older than I am.  When I met Robbie, I was working at a job that had me spending most of my day with teenagers.  I felt very young–I was in my mid-30s but had the mindset of a teen myself.  Now, I feel like an adult, in a good way.  I know I’m not going to live forever and that that means there are opportunities I need to seize now.  I also understand that the one driving the bus of my life is me; no one else is making the decisions, and I’m the only one responsible for the direction I take.  That’s a pretty good thing to know when pushing 40.

7.  Together, we found kink.  Robbie and I had the most deviant, most satisfying, most intimate, wildest, most passionate, most transcendent sex I’ve had in my life.  And he always did tongue-fuck better than anyone else I’ve known.

My take on us, for now, is this: We didn’t break up because we didn’t love each other.  We broke up because we are 600 miles away from each other with no way to relocate right now and different priorities in our respective lives.  That is a tough thing to have happen.  If I could feel it fully it would hurt terribly, and I know it will before it gets better.

But it is good to remember all the good things, all these things and more.  Thank you, my dear, for them.  Always–until the wheel turns round again for us.

Bubbles

After I wrote my ever-so-totally-hysterical post of yesterday, Robbie and I sat down to talk about stuff between us, especially sex.  It was a good, careful, thoughtful conversation.  I managed to explain that it’s not that I don’t want to fuck him; it’s that I’m having some kind of female-impotence equivalent.  (I’m sure there are more medically acceptable ways to say this, like, “a decrease in desire,” but oh well.) 

After the conversation, we walked down to his barn.  He grabbed a cat litter bucket (which are darn handy around a garden), pulled me into the barn’s dark, dank, dungeon-y basement, and plopped me down on the inverted bucket, which made a makeshift stool.  He unzipped his fly and had me suck him off, giving me instructions about pace and approach, which he’s been doing a lot lately (and which I find both helpful and hot).  He came quickly, a few days’ desire pent up inside him, and instead of swallowing his semen as quickly as I can, which I usually do, I held it in my mouth, liking tasting and feeling the volume of his desire. 

So when he bent down to kiss me after he’d extracted himself from my throat, as he invariably does, I impishly flashed him a mouthful of cum instead of proferring him my lips.  He came within an inch of being snowballed.  “Eeew!” he yelled at the last second, rearing his head back just in time.  We both broke up laughing so hard.  (By the way, he’s not super-squeamish, but I totally surprised him.  Since he is the king of effective practical jokes, I was pleased.)

Then last night, we got dressed up and went to a munch with the folks in our local scene, whom I like more and more.  I don’t like munches that much, though, and was dreading things, but we had a great time, drinking beer on the patio of a summery restaurant, listening to live music, flashing our tits, etc.  (Okay, well, I was the only one flashing my tits, but still.)  It was warm and snuggly and loving and good.

Another good talk today and things are feeling fine.  I’d say and write more, but I have a date to go get fisted, right now.  Happy Saturday night . . .

Fist

Fun faux-polaroids from The Polaroid Freak Team.

rollercoaster1

I have written about 2 dozen drafts in my head the last few weeks, and several on paper or pixels.  As soon as I get a few strands of narrative going, the threads of real life take a new turn, my fine twist breaks, and I can’t connect any of the events I’ve been writing about to the present state of my affairs.  It happened again between the time I started this post, a couple days ago, and now, but I already picked out the illustrations for this one, and so this title is staying.

It has been impossible to write about what’s going on between me and Robbie over the last month, because it’s so hard to capture the rapidly-changing present.  One night on our past visit, Robbie and I would have a deep and much-needed, cathartic talk about what was going on with pain in our BDSM relationship, and I’d be mentally taking notes on the realization we’d reached when the talk would tank into sadness and separate sides of the bed.  Another night, I’d be seething for hours at the thought that he was going to leave me wet and frustrated on our last day together, until he came home at midnight from an unavoidable and important errand to make very tender and emotional love to me until the wee hours.  On a school night, even.  I left his house for home deeply in love but deeply pessimistic.

(There is so much to explain, and I have been not saying so much for so so long–here, and to him.  I don’t know where to start, and so if you want to read, bear with me or ask questions about what doesn’t make sense, and if it’s all too confusing or too raw, I apologize.  But I can’t keep all this bottled up and I can’t keep writing about us if I am not more honest and I can’t be dishonest about us anymore.)

FahlenAnim1aFahlenAnim3aFahlenAnim4a


Two weeks ago, we tried to figure out when we would get together this summer, and he could not tell me when he had time to see me.  Around that time, I read an article about babies and found myself sobbing.  Ten days ago, I told him that I had stopped being able to see a way for us to make a future together, and that though I loved him, I wanted a husband and a family and I needed to go look for those things before my clock had fully and finally ticked itself out.  (I am close, closer than most.  I am 37-and-a-half.)

Robbie dealt with all that with some equanimity.  I had told him before I even met him that I wanted a family, and we talked more about it the first weekend we met.

But then I actually met someone I wanted to date–a local Dom who asked me to play–and the emotional shit hit the fan.  Or perhaps that’s not fair to Robbie–I think he would have felt the emotional impact anyway.  But that event made it particularly strong.  And somehow in the middle of this we started talking.  A lot.

We’ve been talking every day for an hour or two and spilling our guts.  Many of the times we talked over the past two years–many of which, in fact, were over email–seem like pale echoes of actual meaningful conversations, now that we are having the latter.  We’ve stopped the incessant fighting.  We are crying and telling each other we love the other and talking about really bad and painful stuff–and good stuff too–and we are so, so vulnerable.  And I did not expect any of this.

I wasn’t (consciously) breaking up with Robbie or dating other people in order to “get him back”; I expected Robbie to let me go without much difficulty because I thought he had already let me go.  And he believed, it turned out, that I had been going for some time, perhaps believed that I didn’t really want to try.

I don’t really know what else to say.  I just am still here and still in love with Robbie.  And I am reeling in good and bad ways from having spent a day playing with someone else.  And all of a sudden it seems that Robbie was right that life is not a dress rehearsal and that he and I are really very necessary to each other and we best stop making a hash of things because we just can’t afford that.  And also, because we don’t have to.

And maybe I can write some of the other two-dozen posts if I let out this rollercoasterish one, and if it all doesn’t have to make sense.  Because it’s not all adding up now but it’s closer to that than it has been in a long, long time, and mostly I don’t feel miserable when I think of Robbie anymore, I just feel full of love and happiness and that is pretty darn nice.

Cool drawings, including a few dominatrixes, by Swedish illustrator Klas Fahlen.  Check out his cute animation, from which I stole the tiny ones (click to make them grow).  Also: more Swedes where he came from, on the same site.

ultimatepc

Robbie owns five acres of stunning farmland, a fact I don’t think I’ve mentioned here before.  His land is so beautiful he often jokes that I’m in the relationship for his property rather than for him.  The joke is funny because we both know it’s a litte too close to the truth.  The first night I met him, he took my hand and led me out to show me the back fields, and the night sky above them, and wrapped me in his arms while I sighed happily.  “Feels like home, doesn’t it?” he murmured into my ear. “It does,” I nodded.

It still does, now more than ever.  He and I have plowed and planted here, buried and raised pets, kissed in virtually every corner.  I’ve written so little this visit because we’re in the midst of laying out a garden that is 2800 sq. feet, or maybe 2900–I forget, or he recalculates.  In fact, there has not been a whole lot of time and energy for things besides eating, working, eating, and sleeping.  (Especially since I sleep 11 hours a day when given the opportunity.) 

Nonetheless, Robbie has done more than his share to facilitate fun in the midst of farming.  A couple of days ago, he had me string a trellis for the 6″ snow peas and snap peas that are eager to climb something, anything.  I wove and tied binder twine (or is it baling twine?) in a zig-zag pattern between two horizontal pieces of clothes-line.  The plan is that at the end of the summer, we can throw pea vines and binder twine directly into the compost bin. 

Robbie had to teach me a few knots in order for me to make the trellis: a square knot, to tie pieces of twine together, an overhand knot, so that I could tie the twine to the wire, and a half-hitch, so I could secure the overhand knot.   Well, he didn’t so much as teach me the knots as teach me the names for them, and make me aware that motions I’d been making rather randomly all my life were distinct and distinguishable.  A half a day spent tying scratchy fibers definitely got my bondage juices flowing, though, and Robbie is more than attuned enough to me to take advantage of any and all juices he notices.

Later that afternoon, I took a shower and asked if there was anything more to do.  He said he had a particular task for me that might give me an idea of what my long-term farming “duties” might be like if I were around the place more often.  It turned out that this involved wearing a chest harness while I raked up a few grass cuttings from the front lawn and put them around some plants as mulch.  When I’d done that comfortably, Robbie tightened the ropes and gave me another job to do–possibly the difficult task of taking a nap.  (After three years, he is getting accustomed to my habits.)  And after one more readjustment of the ropes, I got to set the table, make a salad for dinner, and sit down with him for a bit before my ropes came off. 

planadvisor

I love rope almost as much as I love Robbie and his farm–in honesty, it is sometimes difficult o say which holds pride of place in my heart.  I was thinking about rope today, and about this post, and about how if I wrote it, I might be able to explain how deep and primal my love for rope is.  I thought about two 7-week-old kittens we have on the farm, and how, the other day, their mother plopped herself down in front of us and started to nurse them.  While the kittens pawed and kneaded her belly, the mother cat’s eyes were almost shut from pleasure.  A steady purr rose from the entire group.  Bondage is like that for me–a comforting presence, a steady pull that makes me feel loved and wanted, content and happy.  And luckily for me, the ties that bind me aren’t just literal.

More images from the phenomenal Yuko Shimizu.

bellymelt

Robbie has been melting my heart lately.  He has been trying so hard to be considerate and thoughtful that I can’t help but find him amazing.  This is inconvenient, because in some ways I’ve become pretty invested in and inured to the notion of our relationship as inherently dysfunctional and doomed, and it’s scary to let any hope back in.  But the hope is there, anyway, flowering and budding away like the young fruit tree that I gave him for his birthday this year.

I’ve been watching in fascination as Gray Lily over at Journey Into Submission has reinvested herself and devoted herself to her relationship.  Fascination, and a bit of jealousy.  I feel twinges of envy whenever anyone’s love life is going well and mine is not; for some reason, it’s worse when the people involved are kinky.  I think it might be that I feel like everyone else is doing it right, and we’re not.   If you saw us lying, spent and sweaty, in bed together after a raucous fuck, it would probably be hard to identify anything we’re doing wrong, but I still have that nagging sense that well . . . we’re dysfunctional and doomed.

Gray wrote recently about how she can truly be herself in front of her partner in bad times.  This twisted something in me; Robbie finds it hard to deal with my see-sawing emotions, although he is better at handling them than most men (people?) I know.  When I cry or get distressed, he’s often a rock.  Later, though, he tells me frankly that the intensity of my feelings alarms him, and I feel like my confidence in him, and my confidences, get held against me.

So when, earlier tonight, one small work-related issue sent me into a tearful tailspin, I hesitated before dialing his number.  But Robbie has far more professional experience than I, decades of working in and negotiating complex organizations with exacting and rigorous standards.  So I called.

He was amazing.  He listened, he was patient, he let me cry, and he gave me great advice.  He even ignored me when I argued with his attempts to put things in perspective.  I said, “Who’s been sprinkling fairy dust on you lately to make you so fabulous?”

“Me,” he said.  “Now, what do you need to do next?”

I told him that I had to finish a paragraph of a letter I’d spent the whole weekend trying to write.

“Right.  So you can write that now, or you can sink further into your meltdown.  Which are you going to do?”

“Write the paragraph.”

“Right.”  And then he told me that he was going to walk his dog and shut the house up for the evening.  He suggested I finish what I was writing before he called me back, in about an hour.   I did it in three minutes, and then I wrote this.  Nothing like motivation to help get a job done.

bellyicecream

Really sexy, fun photos over at fre_nate‘s flickr photostream.

pinkele_big

I have no idea why, frequently, I think about posting pink elephants on this site.  I realize that pink elephants are associated with hallucinations.  Still, to me, they mean Big Love.

So, as a (belated) Valentine’s Day wish, I am sending pink elephants to the world. 

I also want to send some real elephants, because they are beautiful, because they are intelligent, because they are gentle, and because they bond, deeply, in pairs. 

And because, as Em and Lo point out, even elephants sometimes “love in a, you know, different way”. 

Pink elephants, and other dreamy illustrations, by Andrea Offermann.

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