Monday, January 10, 2005

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About My Weekend…

Author's note: after writing all this out, I realize it's sort of long and rambling, and I didn't even get to the part about me and Roman having sex. But rather than trying to edit this, I think we'll just write about that tomorrow…

Sometimes the most complicated part of being polyamorous isn't the emotions, it's the logistics. Who's going to be with who, and when, and how will they get there, and where shall we have dinner?
Such was the case on Saturday night. First off, let's identify the players. We have:

  • Me and Max

  • Roman and Mrs. Roman

  • a woman I'll call Milan

  • Another woman we'll call B, and her primary partner, a man.

  • Several weeks ago, Roman said to me, "Hey, B is going to be in town the weekend of the 8th and I think she and Mrs. Roman are going to have a date together. Any chance you and I could see each other that night?"

    "Sounds great to me - I'll check with Max," I said. Then I went home, and in a perfect example of poly-stars-in-alignment, Max said to me, "I have a date to play with Milan on the 8th, and I want her to stay overnight."

    I smiled lovingly at him and said that would be no problem whatsoever. So you're with me so far – Mrs. Roman has a date with B, I have a date with Roman, and Max has a date with Milan.

    Friday, Roman tells me that he and Mrs. Roman are having dinner with B and her primary partner on Saturday night. Neither of us found this odd – poly people almost always prefer that everyone they're involved with know everyone else in their erotic network, and Mrs. Roman and B's partner hadn't met yet.

    So the amenities would be observed, and then B and Mrs. Roman would peel off and have their date, and Roman and I would hook up. (B's primary partner was going to go do some Live Action Role Playing (LARP), which I think says a lot about the demographic of people who are likely to be having complex polyamory love-lives.)

    Roman went on to say that Mrs. Roman needed to have the car – so could I pick him up from dinner? Of course, I told him.

    Saturday rolled around and Max and I were busy all afternoon – so busy, that we didn't have time to have dinner before it was time for me to pick up Roman.

    "Well," I said, "he'll have just eaten, but I guess we'll go out somewhere and he'll watch me have dinner." Max agreed, and then it occured to me, "Honey, what are you going to do about dinner? Milan isn't coming til later, right? Do you want to eat with Roman and me?"

    After I said it, I thought; God, if you drew all this out on a chalkboard, it would look like one of those diagrams of a football play. And it would sound like a French farce. But Max agreed that yes, he'd like to do a quick dinner, so off we went.

    To recap: Roman has first had dinner with his primary partner, her date for the evening, and her date's primary partner. Now he's going to sit with me (his secondary partner) and Max (his secondary's primary) while we have dinner. Anyone who thinks poly is all about carefree fucking should ponder whether they'd be able to remain relaxed and cheerful through such multi-layered social encounters.

    Max and I went and said hi to Mrs. Roman and B - although B's primary had already left - collected Roman, went across the street to a different restaurant, and had a pleasant dinner, tinged with only the slightest sense of how surreal this all might seem to a non-poly person. Roman quizzed Max about his plans for his date with Milan – oh, and did I mention that Roman and Milan have played with each other, too? It's small town for kinksters.

    Max finished eating, and then glanced at his watch and stood up. "Time for me to go. Oh, and call me and tell me if you two are going to sleep in the spare room tonight, okay?"

    Because that was the other issue on the table – where were Roman and I going to sleep? He and Mrs. Roman have only one bedroom, which was going to be occupied by her and B.

    Max and I, on the other hand, have a big house with a nice spare bedroom, and the general policy is that whoever has a sleep-over guest sleeps in the guest room, leaving the master bedroom to the other person. (I suppose that technically, Max knew he had a date before I knew I had a date, so perhaps that might land him with the spare bedroom and me with the master. But the master bedroom has certain…equipment…that Max wanted to use, so I ceded it to him.)

    However, choices of bedrooms aside, we were both feeling a little uncertain about the situation, because while Max has slept with Maura in the guest room any number of times when I've been home, Roman and I had never slept together with Max in the house. He'd always been over at Maura's when Roman stayed overnight. Max had told me over and over that it was fine. But I still hadn't quite gotten comfortable with the idea – clearly some baggage from my previous jealous partners that I hadn’t quite let go of.

    Roman and I knew we could stay over at my studio. But while it’s great for playing, it's not so great for sleeping, and so we decided to take the spare room.
    "Oh, I can't wait to bump into Max in the hallway in the morning," said Roman. "Or Milan, for that matter."
    "I know – it’s sort of bizarre, isn't it? But I need to get over my hang-up about it, because I like sleeping with you, and it's not fair to try to get Max to go to Maura's place every time."
    "Especially when he's having a date with Milan."
    "Yeah, that does make it particularly awkward."

    Fast-forward to 4:30 am. Roman and I were walking quietly up the stairs. The door to the master bedroom was slightly ajar, but the lights were all off, and everything was silent. I felt like a kid sneaking her boyfriend past her parent's room. Silly, when one considered that Max is in there with someone, too. But still… And even though we'd already had a long night of it, once Roman and I were in the spare bedroom, we couldn't resist the temptation to engage in some muffled, furtive fucking, giggling like teenagers.

    We woke up later that morning to the sound of footsteps in the hallway outside. "Max is taking her out to breakfast," I whispered to Roman. "As soon as they leave, the coast is clear."
    "God, this is such a French bedroom farce," he replied.
    After some lingering in bed, we finally decided to get up, too, and we had some coffee going before Max and Milan returned home. In spite of all of my slightly-joking angst about it, the four of us wound up talking together quite comfortably, comparing notes (and bruises). Soon, Mrs. Roman arrived to pick up her husband and we got a quick thumbnail of her date, too. After a nice chat, everyone hugged each other and the party broke up. As we watched our friends walk away from the house, I turned to Max and said, "I sure love you."
    He kissed me. "I love you too. And I'm glad you had fun."

    What an amazingly complex and satisfying life.

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