Thursday, May 28, 2015

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: The Last Day of Summer

The last day of summer was beautiful.

The leaves were starting to turn color, but the temperature was sunny and bright. The intermittent cool breeze was the only sign of impending fall and winter.

It was a beautiful day and I shared it with a beautiful person.

I got a kidney stone (that part wasn't so good) and she took me to the hospital and waited with me. We talked and read the battered television playing a game show in the waiting room. After I was discharged, we  went shopping for groceries together and then we went back to my place and put them away and then we broke up.

Just an ordinary day.

We knew the break-up had to happen at some point. We met in the spring and found out early that we wanted different things for the future. We also found that we had a good connection...natural and easy.

Our future was uncertain, but our now was good.

We weren't sure what to do. We decided to defer the decision until the end of summer.

On August 31st, we postponed the conversation. Too much going on in other areas of our lives.

And then, randomly, on a beautiful September evening, the decision made itself.

She talked about the weirdness of ending something in which we were both happy.

I shared the same confusion. To me, the whole separation happened BECAUSE our relationship had such a solid foundation. We communicated so well that we broke up almost before either of us realized it happened.

It's not fair, I remember thinking.

 I know people in bad relationships. They're painful, unhealthy, dysfunctional, and they drag on and on an on. The people in them don't communicate well, make decisions out of fear, don't know what they want...and   their relationship continues to lurch along, powered by their unwillingness to face the truth about their situation.  They aren't together in spite of their relationship's shittiness; they're together because of it..

And these people have someone to go to weddings with. They don't have family members asking them uncomfortable questions about when they will settle down. They don't have to jump back into the unknown of dating, and they get Valuable Social Approval Points just for staying together.

Meanwhile, this woman and I have to grieve and soul-search and start over and endure sympathetic looks from friends and family and go through the irrational suspicion that every couple we know is secretly judging us for not measuring up.

In the eyes of the general population, and maybe even deep down in our own hearts, this relationship gets placed in the failure category despite the fact that by every conceivable metric except longevity, it was as good as any I've ever been a part of.

I rant about this injustice for a while. She listens patiently. Then she says some more things and I say some more things, and eventually there's nothing left to say. We look for more anyways, because I don't think either of us particularly wants the evening to end, but the door is always there, and sooner or later she will have to step through it and I will have to close it behind her.

Crossing the threshold, she stops and turns to me.

"Funny," she says. Offically, today is the last day of summer."

And then it's just me and the feelings jostling in the queue.

- There's relief. It's over. I don't have to worry about fucking this up anymore. I don't know what the 'this' is, but you can't fuck up a relationship that is no longer there.

- There's guilt at feeling relieved. What does it say about me that part of me is happy that it's over?

- There's the feeling of failure, the thought that so many people seem to be able to DO this move in together and get married and have kids and have Responsible, Mature relationships, to grow old together in contentment, intimacy, and quiet dignity...Not only can I not seem to do that, and I can't even want it even though I WANT to want it more than anything.

It's all very dramatic

Other feelings come and go over the next few hours.

I make imaginary plans for the future, some of which involve her and some don't. I think of how much I care and believe in her. I worry about what she's feeling--how sad is she? Does she feel relieved too? Is she mad at me? (Oh, please don't let her be mad at me. If she was angry at me I would JUST DIE).

I think about how well I'm doing. I think about how mature, responsible, and compassionate we both were about the whole thing and feel a swell of pride for us. I think about the things she is doing in the next couple weeks. I want to know how they go for her.

Hurt. Oh my god, she's doing things next week. I'll never know how they go. That 'how well I'm doing' and 'how mature we are' I was thinking a second ago. That's denial. I'm a liar.

Peace...sadness...frustration...regret...pride...affection--each feeling comes bearing its own story and when I'm in the grip of it, each one feels like the most important feeling in the world.

Then the next comes, and I've forgotten the one before. This Feeling...this is the important one.

I remember a black squirrel I saw running across the grass while I was in British Columbia a couple days previous and how it made me think of her. I'm suddenly, irrationally angry at myself for forgetting to tell her about it. Yes, we cried and shared our fears, hopes, and dreams, and feelings and came to the best conclusion we could, but I NEVER TOLD HER ABOUT THE SQUIRREL.

That squirrel is suddenly the most important thing in the world. It's the most important thing in the enitre universe. It's the most important thing ever and I never told her about it and now we're broken up and we've agreed to give each other time to deal with our emotions and when that time is up it will be too late and a stupid little squirrel sighting won't matter to either of us.

The anger goes away.

The feelings are done for now. What's left is an empty, spacious feeling like an empty jar waiting to be filled with whatever comes next.

I look out the window where the September sun is setting, lighting the trees and leaves in the unmistakeable fiery glow of the ending of a Canadian summer.

I go to bed not expecting to sleep at all.  I wake up the next morning with an ache in my chest and a swarm of happy memories of our time together bloom in my head before I even consciously remember we've broken up.

I see the glass she drank from last night alone and empty in the sink. It makes me feel sad because it's a reminder that she's gone. It makes me feel happy because it's a reminder that she was here in the first place.

Summer is over. And while it will come again, it will never be this summer. The realization makes this moment all the more precious. Instead of sweeping up the pieces of broken heart, I want to kneel on the kitchen floor and cup them in my hands. I want to squeeze them until blood runs through my fingers, not because I want to hurt, but because I want some a reminder that this last day of  summer--and all the days before it--were real.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cleaning Up Your Dirty Talk

When it comes to whispering naughty naughty things in your partner's ear, context matters.

If you and your partner are into such things, here's something to experiment with.

Notice I said, you and your partner. These are NOT for use with strangers or people you've gone on one date with. You've been warned.

To me, there are two types of dirty talk.

I call them Turning On talk and Getting Off talk.

Turning on talk is about building tension and anticipation. I tend to make it more indirect, 'flowerier', and use a lot more sense details. When I'm using turning on talk, I also leave a lot more to the imagination.

Turning On talk is more for when you're apart and looking forward to what you'll do to each other when you see each other next. Or when you're together but in circumstances where fooling around isn't possible (at the opera or your parents house or something)

 Examples of turning on talk might include: "I was just thinking about the way you touch me" or "You were in my dreams last night," "It's hard to concentrate when I know I'll be seeing you later. I keep thinking about   or "I'm shopping for something new to wear just for you. What's your favorite color?"

Getting off talk tends to be shorter, sharper, and more direct. It's more for use towards the run-up to climax whether that's happening in the bedroom or over Skype or whatever the latest technology is.

I also find that it's possible to misuse both kinds of dirty talk. If you're in the getting off phase, turning on talk can be distracting and annoying; if you're in the turning on phase, getting off talk can be crude and inappropriate.

So just like so many other things, the type of talk you use will depend on what works for you personally and what you are trying to accomplish.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Time Is On Your Side

Time is on your side.

I don't mean that you have forever. Life ends for all of us.

I mean that whatever else is going on in your life, every moment you have is a chance to practice the things you value.

Keep at it.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Greek Love

Epictetus, a Greek Philosopher, was one of the minds behind Stoicism.

He wrote a book about it.

But all you need to know is the first line. It goes like this:

"Some things are in our control and others are not."

After that, what else needs to be said?

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Don't Get Grabby

Image result for grabbing images

Was at a party attended by not one, but two Grabby People the other weekend.

The male grabby person was attempting to proposition women by physically putting his hands on them. On the dance floor, a drunk woman was doing variations of the same thing to guys.

Which was handy as far as examples go, because it means we can sidestep the Gender Subject and go straight to the point.

Don't grab people you don't know.

Here are three reasons why.

A) It makes people feel weird and uncomfortable.
B) In some places, it's illegal.
C) As far as getting people interested in you goes, it doesn't work.

Physically grabbing someone you've just met without some sort of verbal or non-verbal invitation from her will not necessarily get her/him more interested in you. Touch is important, but doing it badly early is worse than not doing it at all.

If you are person with a tendency towards excessive Grabbiness, here are three things to try.

1 - Keep in mind the No Thumbs principle, especially the first few times you touch someone. There are a lot of ways to touch someone that don't involve grabbery. Remembering "No Thumbs" keeps you using those ways first.

2 -  Don't touch someone unless they touch you first..

A quick caveat: I've seen people do very well by initiating touch. I've also found that some inexperienced daters need to be taught that touch is essential, and that it is okay to show physical interest by making that first contact. If you fall into one of those categories, this practice might not apply to you, although it might be something to experiment with to broaden your horizons.

But if you HAVE found yourself getting feedback that you fall into the 'excessively grabby' category, practice not touching someone until they touch you first.

The other person doesn't have to do anything huge like a hug or a hand-hold. Sometimes it can be light as brushing something off your jacket, touching your shoulder to make a point, or the old Sticky Arms test. But until they've shown some level of physical interest or comfort in touch with you, hold back.

(Incidentally, that doesn't mean the second they touch you, you IMMEDIATELY touch them back, because depending on the situation, it might seem unnatural, like kids on a playground ("You punched me, so now I get to punch you back.").Just file the information "It's okay to touch a little" away for future refernce.)

3 - If you're in a situation where touch is required, instead of touching them, invite them to touch you.

For example, if you're asking someone to dance, instead of taking them by the hand, hold out your hand for THEM to take.

Understand that these are not rules. They are also not meant as "correction" or a reflection of your desirability. You can be Grabby and still be a good person with good intentions.

They are things to try and see what happens.

- May All Beings Be Sexy

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Gateway Boyfriend Is Taking A Break

The plan is to return to regular posting in April although there may be sporadic updates.

It's also possible the blog will go back to a less regular posting schedule.

We'll see what happens.

Whichever way things go, I wish you all the best.

-May All Beings Be Sexy