Celebrating my bi-versary: A diary of my first year of gaydom and polyamory (Part 1)


Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009

It's our second belly dance gig of the day, and the incongruous juxtaposition of venues makes me giggle. Our afternoon show was basically a dance recital for grown ups. Bouncy ponytail, glitter, glass beads flowing from my costume. Now I'm all gothed up, black eyeliner smudged just the right way, red fishnets peeking out of my shredded dance pants, chain dripping from my homemade belly dance bra. I look the part but have no idea what to expect — I've never been to a fetish club before.

I nearly trip over a naked man sprawled out on the floor as I enter the club. A little while later, I can't stop looking his way as people saran wrap him to a wooden X that hangs from long ropes from the ceiling. Bad lesbian porn plays silently in one corner, but no one seems to notice. There are other things to focus on. Perhaps the peculiar normalcy here about such things puts Kim at ease, but something allows her to casually lean over and tell me, "Yeah, so one time when I was dating this couple..."

I don't know what she said after that because something in my brain switches on. First, Wait, you can DO that? And then, But Kim likes men. A lot. Does she also...

I had to know more. I follow her into the bathroom when she touches up her makeup. Finally I find the courage to ask. Yes, the couple was male-female. So Kim is...bi? Why am I so excited about that? Why do I giddily whisper these details to my husband with words running along much too quickly? Why do I kind of hope this environment of few inhibitions that Kim might kiss me tonight?

Kim does kiss me, but just a friendly, flirty, just-for-the-camera peck on the cheek. That's okay, I still have a lot to think about...

Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, 6:37 p.m.

From a long, rambling e-mail to Kim after an e-mail exchange talking more about her sexuality:

"...As for me, I have no idea. No good idea at least. It's [bisexuality] something that came up only just at the very beginning of the year. ... At the beginning of the year, Nick asked me outright if I also like girls and I totally freaked out and became rather hysterical. It was so strange, and neither of us knew quite how to take it. He had just stated it as if it were a fact and it was just something that I had never before considered in practical terms, but I couldn't honestly say 'No, I don't.' In fact, I realized that I could kind of picture it. (And I can't believe I just shared that when until now I couldn't even share that with myself.) He didn't understand why I was so upset because I'm really open-minded and such, but if it is at all true, then I felt it would be such an immense shift to my sense of self that I couldn't handle it at the time. It was like the world as I'd known it was wrong. Then the next day it was like the whole hysterical episode was just a bad dream and it all got shoved into an old, dark box and buried deep away where it seemed safe. That totally confused Nick, and we have only begun discussing it again this past week. The fact that I'm saying any of this even to you is an earth shaking change for me.

"...The problem is that the contents of that box are so dark and buried that I honestly am not sure what they are exactly. I definitely agree with the Kinsey theory that sexuality is a spectrum — that there's absolute, pure hetero- and homosexuality on either end and then everything else in between are various shades of gray — but I guess the scary part was that all of a sudden I didn't know where I land on the spectrum. Just this week I added a new section in the spectrum to help me make sense of things. Say the left side is blue and the right side is red, then there's this middle segment. ... Maybe that's a purple zone. (Just making this up as I go along for my own sanity.) ... I still don't know where I would fall in my own analogy. I've never really wanted to take a good, honest look into that box before because my known reality was so much simpler and safer. I was fine with the box being lost. But Nick took it back out again, and here it sits next to me. Reading your e-mail kind of gives me strength to try to peek inside and try to see what's there. Okay, looking now. Really, I've been peeking inside all day. Although my fingers are resisting typing the words, I think it may be at least a little purple. ... My fingers are typing so slowly. I can't really believe that I'm saying all of this..."

Halloween, 2009


I nervously finish my makeup and adjust my blonde wig for my dark Alice in Wonderland costume. The guests will arrive at any minute. What a crazy month. First I finally realize that I'm bi and am shocked when Nick is overjoyed with relief. This entire past year he's felt on edge, thinking that I was hiding my sexuality — or maybe more — from him. As it turns out, it all was hidden from myself, instead. Then, I realize that all this time I've been in love with my best friend. Nick knew all along, of course, but I was unprepared for this. What do I do with all of this new information? I don't want to ruin such a close friendship. And besides, what does it matter? I'm married and faithful, so I can't explore any of this, anyway.

I had never even heard of the word polyamory before Nick brought it up. You mean there are people who date more than one person at the same time — sometimes even together — and everyone knows about it and is okay with it? The more we talked about a happy little triad, the more I liked it. I loved the idea of three people all loving each other in a happy little family.

After I'd finally realized my feelings for Kim, they only grew more intense each day. I had to say something. If I kept it all inside, I might burst. Certainly, I'd always wonder, what if? I'd told her. Oh my god, I'd told her. Because she's wonderful, Kim was kind and gracious, but she loves me like a sister but not to feel bad — nothing will ruin our friendship, and she's not freaked out or anything.

I haven't seen her in person since then, and I have no idea how it's going to be when she arrives. At least we're all in costume. Maybe it will help disguise my awkwardness. Almost all our friends are coming as Alice in Wonderland characters. Okay, big breath. It's going to be okay. We're going to be friends like always and everything is going to be okay.

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009

I'm not going to miss it this time. I missed my first kiss with a boy when I was 16 because I was too in shock to kiss back, and then I missed my second kiss because it was so quick that I'd blinked and he had kissed me and was already walking away. But not this time. I'm not going to miss my first kiss with a girl. At least with this one, I have time to prepare — she's kissing Nick first.

It was hard, but I finally forced myself to get over Kim because I've finally found my best friend and I don't want to lose her because I care about her too much. At that point, Nick and I dove into online dating. There was a small learning curve as we figured out how to filter out the crazies and the fakes, but this time it's different. This time the beautiful woman we've met is real and we're actually on our second date and I'm about to get my first kiss.

I clutch the wooden railing that I'm leaning against as I watch T and Nick kiss. This is the first, true test of whether we are okay with poly beyond just as a concept. I'm pleased that I don't feel any jealousy as I watch my husband kiss another woman. In fact, it's beautiful. Oh god, I'm next. I've only kissed three other people in my life, including Nick. Just don't forget to kiss her back.

I don't forget. It's just a cute little peck, but at least it's a kiss. I teehee, bite my lip and glance at the ground. I'm sure I'm blushing as we continue on our walk in the woods. I just kissed a girl!

(Part one)

Labor Day weekend, 2009

I collapse onto a couch in a Miami club next to my friend. The combination of alcohol and my first hookah has made me dizzy, but I don't want to stop dancing. I'll take a break just for one song. She and I slump together in our matching corsets and I watch my best friend shimmy and undulate on the dance floor. A woman we've never met before slinks up to Kim and dances close to her, practically drooling over my best friend. Is it just the alcohol? Why do I feel jealous? And, wait, why do I feel that if I have one more vodka and cranberry that I think I may kiss Kim? I'm married and straight...aren't I?

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