I Have A Boyfriend And I’m Happy

Earlier this week I was scanning a news site when I saw the headline “Tom Daley in relationship with man”. I did a double take.

I know who Tom Daley is. He’s a lovely young lad who was one of our Olympic swimming heroes, but I couldn’t understand what the story was.
My brain tried again. Perhaps the ‘man’ was much older, some sort of sexual predator, that seemed a vaguely topical possibility, but the headline surely would have been clearer? Confused, I clicked on the link and read the story in question.

It turned out Tom Daley has posted a you tube video saying (and I paraphrase) “I have a boyfriend and I’m very happy”. That’s a story? Really? A young man has a happy relationship and that’s news? Would it be news if I said “I have a boyfriend and I’m very happy”?

Well actually of course, in some circles it would. Indeed, only the next day I found myself in conversation with someone (who knew I had a husband) saying pretty much exactly that.

In the circumstances it was the only thing to say. Anyone who has seen me with Mat can tell our relationship is a close one and rather than feel like the subject of speculation and, most likely, misunderstanding I wanted to be honest. I could have avoided explaining but such an evasion would have left exactly the sort of misunderstanding I wanted to avoid.

I was lucky, the news was received as I would have hoped with a level of humour and acceptance that allows me the freedom to be myself. It’s a pleasant relief that Tom Daley’s story appears to have been received likewise.
And that is a good feeling. So while relationship revelations shouldn’t have to be news, sometimes they really are.

I’m Not Allowed To Say

Apologies that this post isn’t full of fun and kink and filth. I’d like it to be, but that’s rather the point.

This blog was originally created to give me somewhere to be open and honest. Somewhere to share the kinky side of my personality. Somewhere to explore the joys and sorrows of my relationships. Somewhere I could say anything. That is increasingly not actually possible. Continue reading “I’m Not Allowed To Say”

Excluded

Throughout my life, I’ve felt excluded. To start with, I come from a well off professional family, and I was sent first to prep school, then to be a border at a very nice public school.
Something I’ve only just come to realise is how that has affected me. A problem of going to a private school, quite apart from all your neighbours not going is that the school terms are shorter, and the holidays, therefore longer.
I, therefore, spent lots of my holiday time playing by myself. My parents both worked, (my mother part time) and didn’t have the time to drive me the 15 miles or so to my friends house. Not that I had that many friend’s, as I have always been a bit geeky and shy. I don’t make friends easily.
The result of this is that I’ve always been alone. The outsider. The boy that the girls ask to help with their science homework, but ignore the rest of the time. It’s ok, I guess, I’m used to it now, but I always find large gatherings of people difficult. Parties especially so, though any social gathering where I don’t know many people. I’m too shy and polite to push in (where I’m not wanted), so I end up sitting in a corner, or hovering just outside a conversation.

I’m not quite sure what to do about this.

Attraction

So I’ve been thinking about what attracts me to people. It’s not primarily physical appearance, although a fairly regular set of features is admittedly an advantage. Instead I find myself attracted to people primarily by their behaviour and personality.

Certainly, I have a distinct weakness for ‘gentlemen’. It goes against my upbringing, but open the car door for me, or take my coat, and I will certainly warm to someone.
That behaviour of course, can easily be learned. I’ll point out here that I sincerely hope that someone is teaching the young men of today these skills, because they would be sorely missed if they died out.

Even more attractive than those traits though, are some classic gentlemanly virtues.
Honesty is certainly important to me. The ability to believe what someone says, to trust them to keep their promises. With that also I think, comes integrity. I realise how much I admire people who are true to themselves, even in the face of difficulties.
Patience is another characteristic I appreciate, twinned I think with tenacity. This is something I struggle with myself, finding it far too easy to give up on things.
Compassion and friendship are also something I value enormously. Someone who stands by their friends, who is there for them when they need help, is someone I want to be friends with.

Although I say gentlemanly virtues, in the interests of equality I should add that those virtues can certainly be held by women as well, and are equally as admirable when found there.

Of course, it can be delightful too, when the ‘gentleman’ turns out to have a wicked side, but that’s another subject entirely.

New Year, Old Friends

After a lovely Christmas with my family, we had arranged to spend the new year with our oldest (and best friends). Its something we’ve been both looking forward to and dreading for some time. Looking forward to, because we hadn’t seen our friends in far too long, and dreading because, though they are our best friends, they knew nothing of our new(ish)ly discovered kink and polyamory.

So it was with much trepidation that we made the journey to their house. We had decided, you see, that we could not go on hiding this side of our lives from them.

Our friends were as lovely as they always are, and fed us a lovely meal, and provided much good wine. It was, much later into the evening (or was it morning by then?) until we could finally summon the courage to admit our new found sexual freedom.

The thing about Real Friends, though, is that they are understanding, both of your personal ups and downs, mistakes, and large surprises, such as coming out as poly.

We are very lucky to have such friends, especially those who we shared the new year with. We should have told them much sooner. Of course they would have understood 🙂

Relationships

So this post on Actuaria’s blog inspired me to dust off something I’d started writing a long while ago and see where it went.

I’ve been thinking about the kinds of relationships that people have; and I can see four distinct kinds.

Firstly there are friends. These are the people you’d want to go over and talk to at a party. You have something in common and enjoy sharing it.

Then there are partners (boyfriend/girlfriend). These are the people you’d take to the party. There’s a level of emotional and practical commitment, expectations on both sides.

Then there are lovers. These are the people you’d have sex with after the party (or during it; it depends on the party). I think this involves more than just kissing, and some level of continuation. One night stands are not a relationship after all.

Then there are confidantes. These are the people you can tell about having sex at the party! These are the people you can trust with anything, who will listen and accept you for who you are.

In the past relationships have generally seemed to grow gradually from friend to partner to lover to confidante. I think I’m happiest with that last stage when someone is both lover and confidante. It is very rewarding in lots of ways. At this point though they usually dump you (perhaps telling them about the sex at the party was a bad idea)!
My relationship with Perrin was quite different. We went from friends to confidantes to lovers to partners. I guess it says something about someone when you can really trust them so early on.

Over the past few months I’ve been privileged to explore some other relationships, which also don’t necessarily follow the standard pattern. I can certainly see places in my life for people who fit into any of the above categories in various combinations and I value them all.

I’ve come to realise though, what is most important to me, is the confidante, someone I can be honest and open with, and who is comfortable being open and honest with me. There is no greater treasure than that.

Complete or Finished

So somebody tweeted this morning:

Difference between complete and finished? If you’ve a beautiful girlfriend life is complete, wife finds out, you’re finished.

If I had been strictly monogamous my response would probably have been ‘if your wife is the beautiful girlfriend then you’re complete’. With my rather more polyamorous head on I went for ‘if your wife is involved too then you’re complete’. But either way, I felt it necessary to question that humour.

While at a word play level I can appreciate the funny side of this joke, at another it roused a level of annoyance within me for that typical casting of the wife as the bad guy.

Too often, I see the wife cast as a monster, lurking in the shadows, preventing the ‘poor’ husband from enjoying himself. And when a husband is portrayed as being able to have fun it is only by defiantly ‘disobeying’ her. As if the couple is incapable of reaching an adult agreement together, or being honest, and instead behave in a parent/child manner (and I don’t mean in a role play sense).

The only figure more terrible than the wife, is of course, her mother!

Somehow the beautiful loving girlfriend, becomes resented when she becomes a wife.

But why should it be so. Of course some of this is portrayed in jokes like the one mentioned, but often those stereotypes are replayed and reinforced by men talking about their own wives. Are so many people unhappily married that they would denigrate their partner publicly that way. I can’t help but wonder, do the wives know how their husband talks about them?

Sometimes I dislike being described as a wife, precisely because I am afraid that the listener will hear those stereotypes, rather than the cherished person that being Perrin’s wife means I am.

I wonder, do so few people have an adult relationship with their partner, or are they all really so embarrassed to admit that it is a partnership that they have to hide their feelings behind insults.

Either way, if you love your wife, if she is your love, and your lover and your friend, as she should be, stand up for her today. Tell someone how special she is. Make her the princess and not the monster.

And yes, I know the same is sometimes true in reverse, it’s not defensible either way.