Author Archives: TalesOfToney: True Stories of Dating, Love, Polyamory, Sexuality, and Herpes

About TalesOfToney: True Stories of Dating, Love, Polyamory, Sexuality, and Herpes

I tell it like it is and I write from the heart. I peel back the covers and talk about my personal experiences. From repeated dating mishaps, questioning the meaning of love, exploring my sexuality, and being herpes positive; I talk about the things that many wouldn't dare to.

I WONDER…

From Behind The Glitter Curtain: An Erotic Memoir is Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AppleBooks

Sometimes I wonder, how different my life would’ve been if certain things had gone differently. I know we often like to think that we have total control over our lives, and some believe that we have no control at all (what is meant to be will be). But a part of me believes that I may have been in a different place than I currently am if certain things hadn’t happened. And the clinker is, there is no guarantee that the hypothetical place would be better, worse or the same. 

I knew at the age of 8 that I liked girls too. I used to flirt with my boy classmate during exercise, but when I would hang out with my childhood friend after school, I felt the same way for her that I felt for him. And she was my first kiss behind the couch in my mother’s kitchen area. At the age of fourteen, I joined a choir, and with them, I found my new home and place to express myself. Half the group was either gay, bisexual, or what we once considered androgynous. There was a girl in the choir that I had a massive crush on, her name was Odessa, and she became my girlfriend for an entire week (at 14, that really meant something). She was my first conscious kiss, but she would be my last for a very long time. 

Shortly after she and I broke up, my sister-in-law got wind of my budding-sexual-curiosities. There was another girl in the choir that I found attractive. Because she was a year or two older and thus more experienced, I wanted to explore my sexuality with her. However, my sister-in-law saw her desire and attraction for me as predatory. To be specific, she thought that the girl was trying to “turn me out” instead of me genuinely liking her. She threatened the girl and told her that I was off-limits. I didn’t know how to express my feelings, and I was too afraid to speak up for myself, so that was the end. Even if I had been confident in my attraction, she (like many adults do) would’ve dismissed my sexual curiosities with, “you’re too young to be gay or bisexual.”

What is the proper age for someone to honestly know their sexuality? As young as eight years old, I knew how I felt; I simply didn’t have the language or courage to express it. So, it would be almost two decades before I would admit to myself what I had denied for so long. With my first threesome, I knew that my desire for women was valid the entire time. I had simply suppressed it. When my SIL and I talk about my coming out, she expresses that she wish I told her a long time ago. She didn’t see her actions as negative because she thought that she was helping me. But when it came to boys, her need to protect me wasn’t as present. This makes me wonder if she hadn’t intervened, how different my journey would’ve been.

I don’t have many regrets in life. I honestly don’t even regret being with the man that passed me herpes. Sure, my life would’ve been easier without the virus; but I don’t regret knowing him. The sex was great, and he didn’t treat me poorly; he just came with a lasting parting gift. 

What if I had explored dating women with the same passion that I dated men. Maybe dating both genders would’ve opened up the door of my sexuality a lot earlier. Perhaps I wouldn’t have sought the perfect male companion all those years. Maybe I wouldn’t have encountered so many male-induced heartbreaks. Maybe I wouldn’t have dated Will, and perhaps I would still be herpes negative. Perhaps I would’ve ended up in a long-term lesbian-presenting relationship and didn’t have to be on birth control for much of my adult life. Maybe my first “I love you” would’ve been with a woman instead of a man. Maybe I could’ve met, fell in love with, and married a bomb ass, sexy ass curvy woman. Maybe. Perhaps. Maybe. The fact remains that I will never know. But, because of various events, I lived most of my existence as heterosexual, never learning how to navigate the complexities of dating other women. So, when I finally came out at 30, people naturally didn’t believe me. 

Last year, I got into a debate with a later-exposed Hotep who was very opinionated on LGBTQIA+ representation. Like many heterosexual and misogynistic individuals, he argued that the increased representation of said individuals is media propaganda to force young (black) boys and men to become feminine. As if these very individuals didn’t exist before the invention of the TV. Like many who think like him, he couldn’t comprehend that, more often than not, people hide who they are for the comfort of others. It was easier for them to go with the lie that the media is brain-washing the minds of young (black) boys to become women or because they see it, they want to try it. You can correct me if I’m wrong. But, no amount of seeing something will make you want to do it if it was never on your mind in the first place. —No amount of seeing men kiss will make you want to one day break up with your girl and kiss a dude. If you never wanted to before, you won’t want to do it now.

Being gay, straight, bi, lesbian, and others is not a choice. Living your truth is a choice. And for years, I did not live my truth. For years I lied to myself every time I made a dating profile, and I only sought heterosexual connections. For years I denied myself the possibility when I turned away from a woman’s flirting eye. If my family had embraced me exploring my sexual orientation identity, my life might have been different.

I say all of this to say despite how you as a parent or adult feel, sometimes your child KNOWS. There is no such thing as too young to be gay or bisexual because feelings and attraction often precede the language to express such desires. If your child comes to you expressing their sexual orientation (or gender identity), listen to what they have to say. Allow them the ability, to be honest with you and go from there. Don’t shame or deny their feelings or identity because it is not what you want for your child. Provide them a safe space to be who they feel they are and allow them to come to a healthy conclusion, not a forced societal one.

COMPLEX ASS INDIVIDUAL

2019 was a fantastic year for my new-found and lived identity. From three romantic partners and amazing sexual encounters, I explored more of my sexuality, mentality, and emotions.

In this everchanging society of sexualities and titles, the world can become a very confusing place. It took me years to finally accept my desire for women, but I still struggle with my attraction level for the women I find myself attracted to. I still desire intimate connections with women, but not in the same way I do with men. As long as he looks good and has a nice penis, I can be sexual with men. However, when it comes to women, physical attraction is just the tip of the iceberg.

A few years ago, I had my first intimate encounter with a woman during a threesome with her male partner. Because of them, I was instantly spoiled.  After them, I tried and failed miserably to re-encounter a couple of their magnitude, attractiveness, and desire to please but was disappointed.

A few times, many of my male partners tried to encourage me to join them in a threesome with a female companion of their choosing, and quite a few times, I’ve had to shut it down. It seems that no matter how many times I say it, many men seem to think that my bisexuality is for their pleasure. It is not. I have no desire to be intimate with a bi-curious woman. I could be with a woman who is not bi-romantic, but I prefer a woman that enjoys pussy as much as I do. In addition to that, I want a woman that I can vibe with outside of the bedroom. Because sex is always better when there is a genuine connection.

A woman that I can talk to and build a bond with is what I desire, not just a chick I can fuck.

***

For much of my adult life, dating was a complicated dance routine. The act of dating was fine, but once I found myself in a relationship, I struggled for my identity. Make no mistake, I love(d) being with my partner(s), and I revel in the private moments we share. However, the issue always came when I had to juggle we time for me time.

I love being by myself. I love going for long walks while listening to a podcast. I love laying in bed, legs crossed, tossing and turning under my covers without a care in my dreams. I love sitting at home watching TV or in front of my laptop writing without any distractions. I love making last-minute decisions to go out and grab a drink or dinner. I love moving at my own speed, not taking into account anyone else’s schedule, and doing what I want when I want.

For years, I didn’t have the language for what I was and how I felt. Then I happened across an article that described me to a tee, and it concluded that my traits are of someone who’s solo-poly. I’ve made the statement in previous posts. But my happiness, peace of mind, and satisfaction will always be my highest priority. I will consider the feelings of my partner(s), but if they affect me in a less than desirable way, I make the best decision for myself to dismiss them. Growing up monogamous and living my solo-poly truth is a constant juggling act to stay true to myself, but I think I make it work.

***

I have always been temperamental when it comes to sex. Don’t get me wrong; I love sex. I just don’t love sex all the time. Over the past year, my desire for sex has been a dysfunctional rollercoaster, in constant need of repair. With the pandemic, my career, stress about my book, my current living situation, how that impacts everything, and a future that is extremely unclear and forever changing, my sex drive has been in and out of focus.

I heard about the term asexual, and for a while and I thought that couldn’t be me because I like sex. Once again, after another article clarified that asexuality could come and go based on what was going on in someone’s life, I realized that I had always experienced bouts of asexuality; I just called it a reset. But asexuality is not a choice. It’s something that you feel (or don’t feel) that you don’t necessarily have control over how or when it happens or impacts your life.

I’m a sexual being; I simply don’t always feel like being sexual. I can and have gone months without sex and didn’t miss it. Keep in mind, being a quasi-asexual and bisexual woman with multiple partners can be a lot to juggle from time to time. There have been times I’ve needed to amp myself up, be it at parties or in my relationships. And there’ve been times where I’ve wanted nothing more than to be sprawled open and penetrated repeatedly. I’m all over the place. I know! LOL!

***

I’ve always declared that I was a complex-ass-individual. Hence why living and being polyamorous fits me. One minute I’m hot, the next I’m cold. Being and living poly allows both my partners and me to get the best parts of each other and be fulfilled without sacrificing the relationship. Because of that, my partners have the free-ethical ability to fill their buckets of desire whenever I am not in the mood or head-space to do it, and vice versa. One may love steak, but everyone once in a while, you want chicken.

MONOGAMY SAVED MEN, NOT WOMEN

Being in the poly community, it’s common to hear men say, “I want multiple wives.” Even before I became poly, men often said it to make themselves seem more masculine or like they could get all the bitches. For decades, men minimized the responsibility of having multiple wives to only meet their sexual desires. But when those very same men were asked if they could afford those wives, they often went silent. 

History Lesson: In ancient times and even in the animal kingdom, only the richest, strongest, and most powerful men had multiple wives. For centuries, it was a man’s responsibility to take care of the woman, be it his wife, mother, sister, or daughter. Sure embedded in that ideology was tons of misogyny, but no woman would go hungry if a man were around. Because women always outnumbered men, sometimes 4 to 1, how was it possible for every woman to be taken care of? This was the real reason for polygamous unions; it was for every woman to have a husband, NOT for every man to have multiple wives. 

A man was able to acquire as many wives as he could financially provide for. And, since wealth often remained with the rich and powerful, those who lacked the finances often found themselves without or lusting for female companionship. 

I’m certain some ancient-time-INCEL got on his angry soapbox in the middle of the town square and screamed at the top of his lungs, “Give me a woman, or I’ll start blowing shit up!” And some lower-ranking man of the kingdom said, “Fine, you can have my mistress, just don’t blow up the town.” This was often how women were used in olden times, as bartering chips. Do you really think a princess and prince separated by oceans married for true love? Do you really think they wanted the consummation of their marriage to be seen by all of the royalty? Do you really think she enjoyed the pressure to give her husband a male son to solidify their union? Silly Rabbit!!!

With that INCEL throwing a tissy-fit, we began seeing monogamy. Monogamy became a way for men with meager means to find a spouse and create a lineage of their own. Men whose trade was a welder could pass down his name to his children, thus making the Welder family. Yes, more often than not, people’s last names were nothing more than their profession. If your last name is Taylor, it’s highly likely your ancestor (or, in the case of many brown bodies), your ancestor’s owner was probably a tailor. Your last name is Miller, then you probably had someone harvesting wheat in the past. 

So, how are we now at a place where men of meager means feel they have the ability to get and/or expect multiple wives? It’s a combination of patriarchy and feminism. 

You see, feminism and feminist ideals arrived out of necessity. Remember that, for centuries, women were 100% attached to a man. A woman needed a man for everything, but what would happen if that man no longer existed. If her father died, her brother, husband, and son, who was she, and what value or influence did she have? An unmarried woman was considered a bitch to the societal norms. But, as women continued to outlive men and meager men could now choose a bride, some women weren’t chosen. The unmarried women left had to but push for change, get jobs, and fight for fairness. (Keep in mind black women had already been working the entire time, so this new push is extremely white-centered). But that was the ideals of feminism, fairness, and equality. If I had to work, I wanted to be paid the same. 

Somehow though, this desire for fairness was met with opposition from both men and women. Some women couldn’t understand why others didn’t want to follow the tradition. What do you mean you don’t want to experience morning sickness, gain 30-40lbs, having your vagina stretched wide, and risk postpartum-depression? Being a mother is amazing! While men didn’t want women monopolizing their space. And those men who suffered the earliest influx of women went out of their way to make them feel insignificant or sexualized in the workplace. Patriarchy (white-patriarchy) is the fucking devil. So, the narrative became, women who wanted independence outside of a man was the enemy. “You don’t want to get married and have my babies? Fine. Do everything yourself then.” As if wanting my own, in case of emergency, was code for I don’t need you for anything. (Venus Vs. Mars).

So, why do some men feel that they have the right to possess and/or want multiple women? Because both men and women are dumb as fuck and refuse to learn their history.

I blame women because we often fall victim to the status-quo of yesteryear. The ‘every woman needs a husband’ theory still holds true in many households. They often forget the LBGTQ+ community, those that don’t want to get married, and those who prefer quality over quantity. All that matters is that there’s a man present. Growing up in the city, I saw it all the time. Women so determined to have a man in the home, they cared not for his character. He could cheat, be an alcoholic, abusive, and not provide financially. But as long as he had a dick, he could stay. Being able to say “I got a man” meant everything, regardless of the fact that he was a shitty-man.

I blame men because some women allowed them to feel empowered, and they ran with it. Even the good men stood by and cheered them on. (Complacent ass-holes). He was able to go around and fuck other women and make babies outside of the home. But as long as he came back that night or the next night or next week, he was welcomed with open arms. He knew that the odds were in his favor. Remember, women outnumbered men, sometimes 4 to 1. Take that same percentage and focus it on black and brown communities, the ratio almost doubles. Leaving men the ability to get away with damn-near anything. 

Monogamy saved y’all asses. Women of yesteryear dealt with bastard (children born out of wedlock) because they were married to the King or Duke or whatever. He had more than enough money to go around. But you men of meager means need to take a seat and keep your dick wrapped up. Don’t go chasing water-falls, then complain when it gets too choppy. Stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to. Because if it wasn’t for monogamy, you’d be getting no pussy!

POLYAMORY CHANGES

It’s been almost two years since I’ve been living a polyamorous love-style, and it has still been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time. When I look back and evaluate what has made living poly so unique, one word comes to mind, change. 

Many things have changed since I’ve begun living poly, and the master change has been my expectations and “rules.” When I was living monogamously, I had expectations that never seemed to be met (at least not by the men that showed interest). There were also many rules I once had that I’ve since dismissed or lessened dramatically since being polyamorous. 

This pandemic threw a flaming monkey wrench into my dating life and plans. I had hoped to build upon the connections I already had. I had hoped to finish my book in the summer and promote it across the country. And lastly, I had hoped to be out of my parent’s home. However, with the city shut down (I live in NYC) and minimal opportunities for inclement weather date-nights, dating expectations became limited and scattered. With cafés, and bookstores closed, my comfort in writing was halted for months. And, since the city shut down, the organizations responsible for construction shut down as well, and my ability to move hit a brick wall. 

All wasn’t lost, though. Sex-positive people never stay without sex for too long, and over the summer, I reconnected with a partner from my past when he asked me to accompany him in a swap. We chatted up and got reacquainted, and he expressed his desire to “get to know me better.” We had planned a date, then the city shut down again (LOL!) Anyway, we’ve been in contact, and he bought my book. When he got to the part where I mentioned my strict “no kids” rule, he was concerned. I had to explain to him, that was a rule I had when I was monogamous. But, now that I’m polyamorous, I’m open to bending it. 

This was my first time really acknowledging that my rules when dating poly had shifted. I am spoiled. I was spoiled then, and I am still spoiled now. I want what I want. When I was dating monogamously, because my partner was the only one, the last-minute adjustments of dating a man with kids were always an issue. Knowing that I had maneuvered my entire day or week to be available for him to cancel or change plans if he had to pick up his kids or whatever, I would get pissed. Monogamy had him as my only target, and all of my expectations rested upon his shoulders, and that wasn’t fair. Being poly and having multiple partners and relationships and my relationship with myself, I never exhaust my options. If a date has to cancel, I may still be a little bit upset, but it’s no longer the house of cards tumbling down it was before. 

Being polyamorous, having multiple partners and relationships (including the one with myself) now allows me to have financially fair relationships as well. Because my primary love languages are gifts and acts of service, I like and want shit! Dates, flowers, candies, trips, and etc. But I’ve always thought of myself as a fair girlfriend. I never wanted or expected so much from a partner that it put a strain on him. Many would say, “it ain’t trickin’ if you got it.” But most of my partners didn’t have it, and I knew it. And since I couldn’t be with someone solely for financial gain, I found myself in many fair or financially imbalanced relationships. 

However, with the above realization, being poly has made space for relationships I may have otherwise turned away. Repeatedly going out at one partner’s expense can be a financial burden. Having multiple partners to date on occasion allows my date bucket to remain full, without the strain. Living poly has also allowed me to re-prioritize and consider myself a fantastic date. 

When I sought monogamous relationships, my alone time was a byproduct of my partner’s cancelation or lack of funds. I was forced to find happiness in being alone. But now, that happiness is genuine and very welcome. Those long hours of being alone allow me time to decompress, zone out, and refocus my energy and goals. I get up, make my way to a restaurant, read a book or listen to a podcast, and go for a nice long walk all by myself. Before poly, what a partner didn’t have would’ve been a huge deal breaker, but in this pool of poly-love, the laser focus is no longer on the perceived negatives. 

The poly changes allow me to see and experience a different kind of love, a love that’s not solely based on what my partner can do for me but how I feel for and with them.

CAN I TRADE IN MY BOX?

As I approached the end of 2020, my vagina was on the fritz. After attending a swinger party in October, having my guts made into soup, and my body contorted beyond its limit, I needed a break. I was ragged, and my old faithful friend BV had come back for a visit. I took my meds and gave my body time to heal. For Thanksgiving, I had sex with my guy and, once again, my pussy was hell on the equator. It didn’t smell, and there wasn’t any visible discharge; it just felt off, and I knew something was up.

I was tired of going back and forth to the GYN and getting the same results. I’d get BV, treat the BV, then the treatment for BV would cause a yeast infection. A big reason I became an advocate for condoms was to try and control my pH balance, but condoms made no difference over the years. My pussy just wanted to be a headache. For years (even when I wasn’t having sex), she gave me problems. But, as of lately, it seemed to be happening more frequently. Needing to find the culprit, I began experimenting with different condoms, different lubes, and various soaps; nothing made a difference.

After my October visit, I decided to adjust how I cleaned down there. I always had a habit of overcleaning (according to my GYN). I never thought a final pass-over with baby wipes would be a bad thing. But clearly, I was washing away all of my “good bacteria,” and the same went for my aggressive showers. So, I stopped with the baby wipes, and I used less intensity when I cleaned my lady parts in the shower. Wouldn’t you know, when I went back to the GYN in November, my less aggressive cleaning had also backfired on me. I was really beginning to hate my body. 

Not only was there the headache of the discomfort. It had to pay the $50 co-pay to see the GYN and the $30 for prescriptions. Now, multiply that a few times a year. Fixing a broken pussy adds up. I really wanted to trade her in for a new one. But sadly, that’s not how vaginas work. 

Tired of dealing with the headaches, I decided to Force Quit my Pussy, lock her down, and do a total Restart. I made the executive decision to have no sex until all results came back clear. Like most women, I had the habit of going back to having sex once I finished my medication and the symptoms subsided. This time around, I wanted to finish my meds, then go back to make sure EVERYTHING was in the clear before I had sex. I needed to start from square one, and I couldn’t do that if I were fucking all the time. 

Sadly, the same week I decided to lock my pussy down was the same week all my partners called me to link up. I turned down enough partners that I copy and pasted the speech to make it easier on myself. —YES! It’s that good!— I did get push-back from some of my partners, but it was my box and sanity on the line. I had to ignore their desires and focus on my health. My body. My choice.

In January, it had been almost two months since I had sex, but something still felt off. Imagine someone breathing into your pussy; that’s what I was feeling. I went to the GYN and pressed play on the tape recorder that was my vaginal-health-life. The doctor did my exam, and a week later, my results came back negative for everything. SERIOUSLY! WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP WITH MY PUSSY. He concluded that maybe this was my new normal. But, thankfully, a few days later, the pussy-blower disappeared. 

If I’m honest, there is a part of me that dreads what will happen when I return to having sex. And I’m not looking forward to the trials and errors of pleasure. Condoms, no condoms, regular lube, organic lube, coconut oil, it’s all a gamble; and at the end of the day, it’s my body and wallet that has to go through the motions. I just don’t know if I want to go back down that rabbit-hole.

But who am I kidding? I know I enjoy sex too much to stay away from it for too long. However, this time around, it’s essential to listen to my body and pay attention to the signals. If your body keeps responding in a way that waves red flags, it’s necessary to listen and make changes, regardless of how your partners may feel. No one has to live with your discomfort but you, and no one is paying your doctor bills or prescriptions but you. So, put yourself and your health first.­­