Tag Archives: LOVE

DEFINING LOVE

Love is defined as: an intense feeling of deep affection; a great interest and pleasure in something; and the list goes on.  

On some level, we all can identify something or someone that we love. I love my family; although I may not always like them; the love I genuinely feel for them is undeniable.  

Another thing I love are desserts; especially Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown. Even though, I hate what it does to my waistline and my conscience, I can’t deny that; when that microwaved chocolate cake with chocolate syrup center, drizzled with way too sweet white and dark chocolate, with the scoop of ice cream comes to my table; the outside world does not exist. From the first break of the cake as the chocolate oozes, and I try to repeatedly gather the perfect bite with just enough ice cream, to the final bite; I can undoubtedly say that I am in love; if only for 5 minutes. I can scream from the mountain top, the love I have for something that has probably, single handedly, been the cause of all the new diabetes diagnoses, since its inception. But telling someone I love them… Ugh! Can we just eat cake! 

I felt your love for me early on. Maybe it was how often we spoke; or the fact that you always wanted to be around me. But, from the very beginning, when you first laid eyes on me; and I was in a threesome with two other men; I didn’t have to be anyone but myself. Sure, you didn’t love me that night, but after our first few dates, I was certain you soon would. 

You said (actually texted) the words when I was going through a dark patch with my family. I knew you was going to say it before the message came through; and although it was great to know your true feelings; it did absolutely nothing to make the situation better. It just meant that you were going to be there for me, and that was enough.  

The last time I said I love you was in 2013. In 2012, I met my now ex-boyfriend. We had connected on the dating app Badoo; I was so confident that he was the one, and that there would never be another. So, within a month of us online dating, before we even met in person; he told me he loved me and I told him back. We dated for just over a year before the once strong and undying love I had for him actually died. When I finally ended the relationship; he told me that I never really loved him. Hmm? I was certain that I did, in fact, love him, at some point during our relationship. I looked back at our pictures and they looked like love. I though back to all the times I cried for him, (I cry very easily, so maybe that’s not the best example). When I looked at all that I had done for him during our relationship, I knew that I wouldn’t have done any of it, if I didn’t love him. So, what the fuck was he talking about? How could tell me, the feelings that I had for him were never real? Then, years later, it finally hit me… His love was not my love.  

My love isn’t the jump off a cliff, walk into the fire, sacrifice my life for you love; like his was. My love is practical yet whimsical. My love is stern, but it can also be pliable; it can be loud and it can be quiet, it can be suffocating and it can be distant. However, above all things, my love for another will never be stronger than the love I have for myself. I can love someone with all my might, but if that relationship no longer brings me joy, I have no problems walking away to be on my own.  

So, after him, I reserved the declaration; because if tomorrow comes and I want to go back into my shell; it’s important to know what we shared was real and it was love, even if it didn’t and/or doesn’t last forever.  

I was sitting at a jazz show, listening to the music being played. As the lady on the stage sang about love; it was in that moment I knew I loved you. It struck me as odd because I was at the performance to see one of my other partners perform; but, the thought of you ran through my mind and found a home in my heart. I started to get warm all over, it could’ve been the 3 drinks that I had; but then it happened again. When I was walking down the street talking to myself (as I sometimes do); Boom! There you were again. I tried to apply logic and reason, I picked the way I felt about you apart, I dissected it like a dead frog on a metal table, and it still came back – love.   

I could drive myself mad trying to define and break down what it means to be in love while polyamorous, but I just know I love how I feel now. The love that we share doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s, because we are not like everyone else. I simply want to live and love in this feeling for as long as we’re meant to. 

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POLYAMOROUS DOES NOT MEAN SEX ADDICT

Two weeks ago, I finally deactivated and deleted my remaining dating apps (Tinder & Hinge). I came to the conclusion that; with the writing of this blog, working on my memoir, trying to get into shape, being an advocate for herpes, and dating 3 men; I have no energy, nor desire, to meet anyone new. So, I decided to call it quits and to focus on further building the connections I already have established.  

Over the past few months, after claiming my polyamorous label; I have put a lot of time, energy, and emotions into maintaining my relationships. So, it rubs me the wrong way when people dismiss my identification and connections, and say “so you’re just fuckin’ people!”; because, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! There is so much more to it than that. 

When I decided to live this lifestyle, I was prepared to answer the many questions that the monogamous world would ask. The; “what does polyamory mean?” or “how can I be comfortable knowing someone I care about is with someone else?” The answer to those two questions often goes something like this… 

You love your mother, father, and siblings. When you start a family of your own you love your partner, your child, etc.; love just keeps on growing. LOVE NEVER RUNS OUT. Now, you may fall out of love with someone, but love cannot be measured as a chart that gets divided amongst your loved ones, because it’s forever replenishing. So, when I identify as polyamorous, that is my goal; but before love, comes like.  

The above questions are fine; especially growing up in a monogamy-aiming society, there are bound to be people that do not understand the idea of having multiple romantic loves.  

However, I wasn’t prepared to have to defend said lifestyle. Against A) those that choose to belittle the decisions that we make with statements like: “if he loves you, he won’t share you” OR B) “what about all the STDs out there?” First of all, I’m a woman, not a pie. What does love look like anyway? And, secondly, I’ve found that those in this non-traditional lifestyle often get tested far more frequently and are more open to talking about sexual health, than those that are extremely close-minded to this way of living/loving. (Not to mention; I got herpes from what I thought was a monogamous relationship). 

In addition to defending my lifestyle choices, I’m also fighting off the, what I like to call, lifestyle-nomads. Lifestyle-nomads: are those people that truly have no desire to build connections. They may be the ones trying it on for size, or latch to the label because, on paper, it mirrors what they’re doing, but it lacks the deeper foundation. Just because you want to fuck a bunch of people and you want a date or two before, that does not make you polyamorous; that makes you non-monogamous. Living towards a polyamorous love-style is the ability to like freely and honestly, with the goal for like to become love. The goal is to have long-lasting connections of the heart and spirit, regardless if there is sexual intimacy.  

Now, being the sex-positive woman that I am, (who is, in layman’s terms- single); I can, technically, have sex with as many men and women I want. But, that’s NOT what I want. I love the connections, conversations, butterflies, honesty, and vulnerability that dating, in a romantic capacity brings. I never did and I still don’t get those feelings with just sex. Outside the walls of a sex-club (where a nick-name and a condom are enough); emotional, spiritual, and intellectual stimulation are necessary for me to become repeatedly engaged. I have conversations with my partners, I go on dates with my partners I spend time with my partners, and in addition to them knowing about what I do when I am not with them, they all know of each other. There is an honesty and transparency I associate with being poly, that I didn’t associate, when I was dating prior.  My partners make me happy and put a smile on my face, and I can only assume I do the same for them. So, when someone absentmindedly dismisses them as just a phase or sexual object; ignoring the amorous (love) aspect from the title and only focuses on the poly (many); not only is it very unsettling, it’s also not true. 

The second thing I didn’t expect was encountering so many half-assers.  

As started prior, polyamory is not for those that just like a lot of sex. For those people that are always horny and just want to have sex with everything that walks; that is non-monogamy. Another major part of being truly polyamorous is arriving at that space of love, and finding joy watching your partner experience love with someone else, with no fear of their love diminishing your own. COMPERSION! 

This COMPERSION is the part that many people find most difficult. Many people are happy to be open/non-monogamous/swingers, but the idea of love being added to the relationship, many people don’t want to explore that reality.  

In addition to the lack of compersion, I encounter a lot of misogynistic imbalance as well, in the poly community. I do now, and always have felt that polyamory, non-monogamy, and open-relationships only work when both partners are willing participants. One partner cannot be allowed to play the field, while the other has to sit on the side lines. 

Ladies, if your man can be with another women; yet you can’t be with another man; then that relationship is imbalanced. Ladies (and men) if your partner won’t stop cheating; so, you turn a blind eye and claim non-monogamy; again, that relationship is imbalanced.  

The recipe for a successful alternative relationship is an even playing field, constant communication, and checking in; there are rules within the storm, and both/all parties have to agree and follow the rules. That does not mean, if he/she has 3 partners, I need 3 partners too- NO! My schedule may only allow me 1 partner in addition to my primary, and that’s totally fine; after all, it’s not a competition. Decide what it is you want and do what works within the confines of the union that you two have set up. 

The last thing that bugs me, is the oversexualization of the polyamorous and non-monogamous community.  

We are Sex Positive; NOT Sex Addicts. 

Sorry to burst your erotic bubble; but I DO NOT think about sex all day long. Now, there is nothing wrong with those that do; I’m just stating that’s not me. If there are 24 hours in a day, I may spend all of 5 minutes total with sex on my brain, and that’s not even every day. So, it’s literally a turn-off when every exchange is about sex. I’ve joined several group chats, claiming to be for the poly community; and it was a stream of titties, vaginas, penises, and sex positions; I left each one within a week. I’m too busy to think and talk about sex all day long. Especially when it’s with people that I may or may not ever have sex with.  

I love sex when I want it; that goes for type, and locations. I enjoy anal play and anal sex; that does not mean that every night I want my ass fucked. I enjoy going to sex parties and engaging with multiple partner; that does not mean I want to go to them every weekend. Lastly, I enjoy being with women; that does not mean I need to eat pussy every day. It’s important that people understand that about me and other sex-positive people. Just because we openly talk about sex, that does not mean it’s on our minds 24/7. After all… polyamorous does not mean sex-addict.  

I WAS BLESSED BY A WEEK 9-11-01

I was a sophomore in High School, on a Tuesday morning. When I got off the 2nd avenue bus, I walked up to see my teachers on strike. As my friends and I entered the school, we silently joked that they would let us out early. I didn’t dislike school, but any excuse to go back home and watch tv or masturbate, seemed like a win. None the less, the first bell rang and the student body was in their respective classes. Had it been a public school, all the teachers would’ve been on strike; but, since my high school was catholic, many of the brother and sisters didn’t participate in the strike. It would’ve been a normal Tuesday, had it not been for the events that followed.  

I’m a born and raised New Yorker. I was born in Mount Sinai hospital, in Manhattan, in the summer of 1986. Geography was never my subject; so, other than the few trips to Disney world, and trips out of state to visit family; I had a horrible gauge on where things were in relation to my neighborhood. Hell- I used to think the west side meant west coast.  Any-who, I was a city kid whose entire world existed within a 10-20 block radius. Occasionally I would travel down to the village with my gay friends, from the neighborhood youth choir; but I never really let the importance of certain landmarks sink in. Before the summer of 2001, I thought the Twin Towers were in Chicago, right along with the Sears tower; I know, shame on me!  But, since I never had a reason to go that far downtown, I simply didn’t.  

The summer of 2001, I had a summer youth job working in the building right across from the towers. My job was simple, I filed paper work and answered calls; nothing too crazy, but I did get paid for my services, so it was a win-win. I remember cashing my bi-weekly checks at the check cashing store in the area.  As I was never a fan of eating lunch at my desk; sometimes I would walk to the local park and eat my lunch. I remember there was a bakery around the corner that was responsible for many of the cavities I acquired that summer. I may have only walked inside either of the actual towers, maybe once ever. Lastly, I remember telling myself, I’ll plan a day to come downtown, allow myself to be a tourist for a day, and explore the Twin Towers. I never thought that they would cease to exist; I don’t think anyone did. 

I heard that a person on the street came yelling at the striking teachers that, the towers had been hit. Then, that news spread like wild-fire. The news was turned on, on all the overhead and rolling TVs. We all sat in horror as we watched the planes make impact, then we all watched as the buildings fell to the ground. Some girls cried for fear of what would happen next, while others cried for concern of loved ones that worked in the towers; I was numb. It didn’t cross my mind that day; in all reality, it took quite an amount of years for me to realize how close I came to uncertainty. School had just started; if it had started a week later, I would’ve been down there. I was lucky; all of my family worked in Spanish Harlem, far from the towers; but, since it was deemed a terrorist attack, they refused to release students early without a guardian. I couldn’t get in contact with my mother (only land lines worked). There was a long line to use the pay phones to call our parents and by the time I got to the phone I could barely hear my brother at home, on the other end. Luckily, one of the parents came to pick up her daughter and agreed to take a few of us home as well. They had suspended all MTA bus and train transportation; but she flirted with an MTA bus driver and he took us all home. When I got home, I didn’t turn on the news, I turned on my computer and went to an AOL chatroom. I started talking to some guy that lived near me; I went to see him and we hung out for a bit. Before it started getting dark, I walked back home. An hour or two later my mom got in from work, we had dinner and I went to sleep.  

I didn’t cry about 9/11 until the following year. I was at my grandmother’s house and they were showing the memorial. The camera happened to pan over to a woman who clearly lost someone, and seeing her cries, struck a fire in me, and the tears that I held back that day streamed through my eyes.  

I started writing this post on 9/11/19, but I couldn’t publish it; because, almost 20 years later, it finally hit me- how close I came to not being here. My nephew was only 5, my niece wasn’t even thought of, my grandmother and all of my uncles were still alive. Had the position lasted one more week, I would’ve been down there, and I might not be here today.  

A lot of people were lost that morning; from those on the plane, in the building, and those on the ground. A living life is precious and it’s imperative that we tell our family and friends how much we love them, when they are here, for we don’t know when they might leave this earth and be gone forever. 

Tale of a Polyamorous Heartbreak

No one ever said it would hurt any less. 

I’ve read a few books, some articles, and asked strangers all over the internet. They made the poly lifestyle seem like a walk in the park; open and honest communication and affection between partners; nothing could go wrong. They all said it would require constant work, but, none of them ever said; when the journey had run its course, it would still hurt like hell. Had they told me I could’ve prepared; but, since they didn’t, I had to learn it the old-fashioned way. 

I connected with him on Hinge, he was Latino and, a few years younger. He lived in New Jersey, so I was hesitant at first, but I figured I should take a chance and see what would happen; in the very least, I would end up with a good friend. Surprisingly, we hit it off, almost immediately; we bonded while discussing current events, music, food, tv, and movies we both liked; we were off to a great start.  

Our first date we walked to get dinner at Mexicue; three tacos and two margaritas in, the conversation flowed like a river. He was just as cool in person, as he was over the phone. We talked, laughed, and joked the time away. When we were finished, he got the check; then we left. We walked side by side as we made our way to Barcade (a bar with arcade games). He got us beers (me a cider), then exchanged dollars for game coins. I offered to give him some cash, but he turned it down. We played a plethora of games; from Tetris, to Pacman, to shooting games, and driving games. It was obvious he was in his element, and I actually enjoyed seeing him in his element. When we ran out of coins, I suggested we walk to get dessert; so, from 23rd street, we walked down to Spot on St Marks Place. It was the usual hour wait; but, with him, the time passed by. Once we were called, we each ordered dessert, I ordered a latte and he ordered a matcha beer. This time when the check came, I paid it; a few times he fought me on it, but eventually he let me pay. Our date ended at a karaoke bar, a few doors down. He paid for our drinks, I paid for the songs; and it was there, while we were sitting close that he leaned in to kiss me; ever so gently. He held me close as our mouths and tongues danced together; and although his kisses were passionate, he maintained being a total gentleman. We continued making out the rest of the time at the bar; we would caress my arm as we sat at the bar, we’d take a drink, then we would begin kissing again. When the bar closed, we walked up to 14th street. He got on the Path train back to New Jersey, and I took an Uber home. The next day when my friends and I went wine tasting, I told them it was, quite possibly, the most amazing first date I ever had.  

We spoke every day after that. Our next date was a week later and we went to the movies to see Toy Story 4 (in 4D); and it was awesome! After the movies, we walked around for a bit; we talked abouyt favorite holiday songs, movies, and traditions; then we stopped to eat at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. When we finished eating, we walked back downtown. From 22nd street, we walked all the way through the village. It was the weekend of the pride parade and the everyone was out and proud. We stopped to get ice cream, and we walked past the Stonewall memorial. We continued walking down to the path train; hand in hand, and stealing occasional kisses. When we got to the train, it was a 20-minute wait; we started kissing, 40 minutes later, no train had arrived and we were still kissing, after an hour of standing in the station, waiting for the train that never came, kissing the entire time; when we resurfaced, both of our lips were slightly swollen. Even though our kisses were extremely passionate, he was still a gentleman; other than our bodies pressing up against one another and the occasional cheek grab; none of his actions were super aggressive. I wondered, if we were in his apartment, would he have the same restraint. Earlier in the date, he had suggested our next date be on his side of the water and I told him; I would look forward to that. He called his uber and it came right away. I contemplated walking around a bit, but decided against it and called my uber home. That, unfortunately, was the last time I saw him.  

On our first date, it was my mission to make clear my polyamorous position; so, we briefly spoke about the people we were dating. I briefly mentioned the guys I was dating and he had mentioned a girl, and that was that. A few weeks after our last date, when I returned from camping; I messaged him. I had noticed his messages becoming less and less, so I wanted to know what was going on. He explained to me that, things were progressing with the girl he was dating. He explained that he felt dishonest seeing both of us. Neither of them was in the lifestyle, and although he walked around to the deep end of the pool, he was not ready to take the dive in. He told me he had to stop seeing me; I thanked him for his honesty, and I wished him luck.  

When I put the phone down, my body began to warm up; from my toes all the way to my face, I was hot with emotions. Then, they all pooled out, in the form of tears. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to break up with me. This was not why I decided to be polyamorous. I dived into this pool to build bonds with people; that would last a lifetime; so, how was I just supposed to walk away? Was I supposed to take those great memories and burn them? This was a feeling I did not want; but I had to live with it.  

On day 2, I was feeling better; and he messaged me. He still wanted to be friends, which is what I wanted too. I genuinely enjoyed his company and our conversations; so, we agreed to try and go back to being friends; I would respect his boundaries and he would respect mine.  

On day 3, he sent me a message that wasn’t like the others; this message had a sexual tone that had never existed between us before. He was showing signs of a fuck-boy. It crossed my mind to play with the matches he was laying out. One or two things were obvious; either he was second guessing his decision to just be friends, and still wanted to test the waters; or, all the good boy actions were just a façade. I wasn’t quite sure yet, so I continued to proceed with no caution for the outcome.  

A few days later, another sexual message passed across my phone; so this time I decided to play into the fantasy. I knew what I was dealing with and I felt confident that my emotions were intact. We did this dance for a few more weeks; and then I realized just how morally different we were.  

He sent me some clip of some conservative (probably religious) man, essentially blaming women for men that can’t control themselves. In the clip; the man claimed that women only use their bodies to get ahead; which I, of course, wholeheartedly disagreed with. That was our last real conversation. I messaged him when the podcast episode dropped; to let him know and see how he was doing. All was good on his end and all was great on mine; and I was fine with closing the chapter forever.  

I didn’t want to close the door when it was forced upon me; but I was quite elated when the choice was mine. In the end, I know it wouldn’t have ever worked out; but it was fun while it lasted. Once I weathered the storm of my first poly-heartbreak; I knew that when the time came again, I would be much better prepared.  

DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE?

People often have a difficult time understand the dynamics of a poly lifestyle choice. I don’t have all the answers; but, I attempt to break down what polyamory means for me.

I was, not so recently, asked if I still believed in love. I was asked, over drinks, by the man that was the main character in my I Blamed You story. It seemed to him, that with all my ups and downs that I had given up on the idea of love. This made me think… Did I actually give up on love? I knew I still desired a form of romantic love in my life; but, with all my ups and downs, felt it would never happen.  

Four years ago, I broke up with my last ex. I needed time to re-find myself; and fall back in love with who I was. I discovered all the things that made me happy. I re-bonded with my friends, my family, and eventually I started dating again. Dating kind of went like this: ghost, ghost, dick-pic; ghost, ghost, married man looking to cheat on his wife; ghost, pen-pal, bad sex; catfish, ghost, then good fling turned ghost; fuck-buddy, ghost, scam.  

During my pursuit to find “THE ONE” all I found was; much time wasted, half-ass conversations, and lots of hurt emotions. Then I asked myself; What was the driving force being my serial-dating? The answer was; I had set up a highly unrealistic timeline for love, based on the dreaded. biological clock. I wanted to be in a relationship by 32, engaged by 33, married by 34, and right when my birth control was done, at 35- Surprise! We’re pregnant! That was the plan. That fucked up plan had me ferociously swiping left and right, and going on date after date, until I was blue in the face and my fingers were numb.  

Why did I want a relationship so bad? Why did it matter so much to me, for me to be chosen by another? Was I not enough? I looked back at all of my former relationships where I was chosen, yet never truly happy. I used to be a serial-monogamist (relationship after relationship) and none of them ever fully satisfied me; maybe what I needed was time to explore. If I was being honest with myself, I was, only, happy about 60-70% of my relationships; the other time, I was Miserable, with capital “M”. There was always something that was missing. On the opposite end, there was always something that I was unable to give, and that in return made me feel less than. I never met a man that shared my hobbies and desires, and I never met a man I could really be myself with. For the better part of all my relationships I tried to fit into this perfect little image of what he wanted me to be. I tried being his everything and looking back- I hated it! 

I had always known that alternative love-sytles existed, I was simply hesitant to seek them out. So, tired with doing what, I was supposed to do, I decided to try and do what I wanted.  

I took it slow at first (or not- depending on who you ask); I claimed my position on non-monogamy, polyamory, and bisexual. I met M_Tinder, and shortly after I met R_Tinder. The connections I had with each man was dynamic in its own right. I was openly dating both men, they knew of each other, and jealousy wasn’t a factor. My conversations with M were light hearted, while my conversations with R were more dynamic. The yin and yang of the two fed my mind, but the direct consistent human connection was slightly missing. As I still craved human contact, some weeks it wasn’t enough. So, I thought; what would happen if I sought one more person of interest.  

It just so happened that, over the past few weeks, my romantic interests have doubled. With romantic walks, deep conversations, passionate kisses, amazing sex, and constant communication; I’m content with my current lifestyle choice. I don’t feel pulled in 15 different directions, like I thought I would, and I am able to take the time that I do have and spend it with the ones I choose. 

For the first time, in a very long time, (I can’t reiterate it enough) I am unapologetically, happily! 

With the variety of special people in my life; I can be: romantic, caring, funny, playful, serious, woke, witty, a princess and open. I can also be: a sex-goddess, submissive, an exhibitionist, and a total freak (You know, that one you wouldn’t bring home to meet your mother). 

I wasn’t able to answer the question then; but I can answer it now. I do believe in love. I just don’t believe in monogamous love for me (at least for the foreseeable future).  

That’s not to say I may never grow tired of this lifestyle. Who knows, maybe 4 years from now I’ll meet someone that will make me want to give it all up. We’d get married, I’d pop out a few babies, and we’d ride happily into the sunset. Sitting on the front porch, sipping lemonade in our rocking chairs, watching our grandchildren play; I’ll reflect back on this time in my life with a warm heart. 

Or, I’ll remain in this lifestyle and continue to build beautiful meaningful, long-lasting connections with my partners. We’d attend each other’s weddings, and create unions of our own design. A blended host of families like no one has ever seen. We’d stake out real estate and build a community around our love, so our children would grow up knowing that love comes in many forms. We’d be together on holidays, birthdays, and graduations. We’d be there for each other as we grow old and no one would die alone; because we’d have an abundance of love between us all. 

I’m not sure what the future will look like, as I’m happy taking this one day at a time. The loves that I am experiencing are not, by any means, traditional; but they are the identity of love that I not only need but am also able to give.  

WORKING THE GARDEN

My 2018 ended on an extremely low note: I had not had sex since August, I was still unsuccessful at online dating, and I felt like I was reaching for blog content. Growing tired of the nonsense, on January 1st, at the stroke of midnight I deleted all my dating apps and I figured I’d take time to just be alone and reevaluate the direction of my blog. 

In January; after a year of carefully writing around the topic, I wrote my first story about my life and dating while having herpes. 

In February; I took another step down the sexually free runway; and I attended my first sex party. I re-downloaded Tinder and Hing, and I explored FetLife (this should be interesting!). This time, however, I decided to have a different approach. What if I stopped searching for a relationship and just enjoyed the art of dating? Sure- many times I’ve said “I’m not looking for anything and I’m just having fun”. Then, like clockwork, on date three, I would begin to wonder: What are we? Where is this going? Big wedding or small wedding? How many kids will we have? Apartment or house?  

This time around, I told myself to STOP! I told myself to not only smell the flowers New York Botanical Garden had to offer, but to enjoy the process of planting them too. The lilies, the tulips, the roses, the hydrangeas, the azaleas, and countless others. I told myself to find happiness in the sowing of the dirt, planting the seeds, the watering, and the sunlight. When a flower dies, that does not make its life lived any less significant. The death of the flower does not erase the joy you found in smelling and viewing it. Instead of waiting for the richest hue right before the decay. I made the decision to learn to enjoy the moments that were happening all around me, from the very beginning to the very end. I was excited to start this new journey. But first… I had to tell my mom.  

So, in March I told my mother that, not only, was I bisexual; but that I was also polyamorous, and non-monogamous. To which she rolled her eyes, gave me a lecture about sex and diseases. To which, I had to remind her that, I actually acquired herpes when I was in a relationship; so, her point was moot. 

For years I was determined to find the one that would deliver me from the endless hurdles of first dates and dry conversations. So, what’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite food? Blah blah! I hated talking to someone, and thinking it was going somewhere, all to find out that they were a total fuck-boy; but I kept on going. I believed that I would swipe right on the perfect guy, we would like each other, meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. Fear of dating with herpes kept me on this self-inflicted-toxic-path for almost 4 years. I gave into the idea that people with herpes weren’t allowed date casually. If a guy hit on me at a party. I would flirt a little but eventually I would fade away. I couldn’t go around spreading my toxic vagina. I couldn’t have a casual one-night-stand. I had to dive all in and hope for the best. I didn’t have the right to be selective; because, people with herpes can’t be choosey. I had better be happy with whatever I could get! So, what! if he has no teeth, bad acne, not job, and a little wiener. He accepted your virus and now you’re together for life. 

Then I had an epiphany. I am not now, nor have I ever been toxic. I am human and I deserve to be happy. As long as I was honest and upfront about my status, I could do whatever the fuck I wanted. That not only meant starting a situation-ship, that also meant ending one as well. I stayed in many relationships long past their expiration date. If he accepted my herpes, I had to accept whatever shit he came with as well; I had to make it work, because no one else would want me. I had to learn that I deserved the same happiness that everyone else had. I deserve romance, great conversation, and to have fantastic sex whenever, however, and with however many partners my vagina and mouth could handle. As long as I told them up front, I was doing my part. So, I decided to try something different. 

Instead of writing a long drawn out profile, I kept it important to the fundamentals of what I was/am looking for, and I put it all on front street: polyamorous, non-monogamous, bisexual, and herpes positive.  

Non-monogamy, because I am not in a space of solo-commitment.  Polyamorous, because I actually require an emotional connection that precedes the desire to engage sexually (energies over sex). Bisexual, because I enjoy being with women as well; and of course, herpes positive because I’d rather not waste your time if it’s a non-negotiable for someone.  

Within a week, I had a Tinder date; we’ve been seeing each other for just over a month. The following week I met a man from Hinge, and we too have gone on a couple of dates. I’m finally in a place where I am enjoying the journey of dating with no clue on where the hell I’m going to end up. I’m sowing the dirt, I’m planting the seeds, and I’m watering the soil. I’m enjoying the butterflies, the flirting, the conversations, the kissing, and some great sex. I am rooted in my happiness at the moment and hope you’ll continue with me on this journey. 

THE EX THAT NEVER LEFT

ex that never left-01

In the beginning of the New Year I disabled and deleted all my online dating apps. I went cold turkey; I cut them all off. As I write this post, I am 15 days sober, and I realized that I over-estimated the number of horrible stories I had. Now I am faced with the question- Where do I want this blog to go? There a still a healthy amount of dating mishaps I will divulge but the topic of this post is essential to fully understand the upcoming stories. This post of extreme open-vulnerability IS LONG BUT NECESSARY. I will explain how I emerged from the flames and entered into a world of self-love and self-discovery, that I might not have otherwise experienced, had it not been for the below. So, I hope that at the conclusion of this post; you take a moment to be open and honest with yourself and start to change your mind about all that you thought you knew.  

I lost my virginity at the age of fourteen. I wasn’t in love or anything, I just thought the guy was cute and I wanted to get it over with. After that, I had a string of high-school boyfriends (at which time, dating for a month was the emotional equivalent of being married). I was never the girl your mother warned you about- because I would travel far and wide to do my dirt. Armed with thick bottle-cap glasses and my Catholic school uniform- no one could detect my true-sexual identity. In my late teens and during college I had a few flings here and there. After a long-term break up, that rocked me to my core (stay tuned for that one), I took a few months off from dating and then I met HIM- the one that would become THE EX THAT NEVER LEFT

We connected on BlackPlanet.com. He was educated, handsome, and he demonstrated a genuine interest for me and my likes. He was a stark contrast to the men I had dated and slept with before; he put a smile on my face and I never felt so secure. We would joke together, laugh together, and one day he even met my mom. It wasn’t official introduction, but it meant a lot that he joked with her, rather than evade conversation. When he took me out for my birthday; I wore a dress that I made and he complimented me on it, which made me feel very good. All was going well, until it wasn’t. After about 5 months of perfection he became unreachable, and we started seeing each other less and less. Eventually after two weeks of him pulling away, I sent him a message- I guess you no longer have interest. Wish you all the best. I concluded that he had started seeing someone else, so I left it alone. 

Two weeks later he popped back into my life- but not in a way I could see coming…  

It wasn’t the horror show you find online when you google; mine was much like a mosquito bite, which was why it didn’t cause for alarm at first. But when nothing aided in easing the discomfort, I showed my mom (a RN) and her friend and I went to my GYN. A week later, when my doctor finally confirmed my suspicions, my response was: “For all the years that I’ve been fucking- it’s the time that I’m in a committed relationship that I get herpes? YOU’VE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME!” Yes; He gifted me with Genital Herpes Type 2. WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK!!!!! My young mind, in its early twenties, could not understand how this could’ve happened. I was doing everything right: I asked him all the questions: When was his last test? What were his results? -He assured me everything was fine. We used protection (condoms) and I know I wasn’t fucking anyone else; so why me, why now, and how?  

Through my research I discovered the following: He very well, may not have known he had it prior to me. Why? You ask. How could he not know? You ask. Well here’s your answer. 

1- People can be carriers and never have symptoms of the virus. So, people who never have an outbreak will automatically assume that they don’t have herpes, and yet, may pass it on to their partners.  

2- Doctors don’t willingly include herpes testing. On a medical scale of diseases and viruses in the world- herpes is at the bottom of the list. I can remember getting tested, for years, and not once was herpes ever included. Sure, they tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis; because if left untreated these could actually lead to cancer, infertility, and/or death. But, herpes- NOPE! So, since one has to specifically ask for it; and, (back to point 1) if you have no symptoms- why would you. 

3- It’s everywhere. Another major reason why doctors don’t test for herpes is because 80% (every site will indicate a different number) of the population is living with or has had some form of the herpes virus. For example, if you ever had chicken pox – that’s a strain of herpes; if you get older and develop shingles – that too is a strain of the herpes virus. The blisters people call cold sores is also a strain of the herpes virus. The only difference is the strain, stigma, and location of the outbreak. People with oral herpes aka cold sores (commonly HSV1, but can also be HSV2) don’t go around telling everyone about it; they live their life, kiss and date and be merry. However, people with genital herpes (whether Type 1 or Type 2) are expected to disclose. There is a reason there’s a rise in Genital Herpes Type 1 cases. Ever got head or ate pussy from a someone? Well- there you go. 

4- And lastly, he simply could have neglected to inform me. As horrible as that idea may seem – it’s just as much a possibility as the above are. I eventually had to take responsibility for my actions and my decision to take his word as truth. But, take it a step further…

Think about it- Did you ever had a one-night-stand? Did you ever meet a person and have sex (intercourse or oral) that night? Did you ask the person you were dating when they were tested last? Did you go and get tested together, just to be sure? Did you abstain from sex the required 3-6 months it takes your body to build antibodies once a virus is detected? Do you always use condoms (not just for intercourse, but for oral as well)? Do you follow your partner everywhere they go, to make sure they are being faithful? If you answer no to any of the above, you too, could have found yourself in my situation. You were just lucky not to. 

The occurrences of my outbreaks (1-2 a year) were as annoying as random mosquito bites. So, even though I wish I didn’t have this- I still consider myself lucky. The worst part of this virus is THE STIGMA attached to it. The idea that people would think you’re dirty (I take 3 showers a day sometimes), or a slut (I prefer the term sexually-free) is more painful and always in the background of my mind.

During the many years and conversations, I’ve had with thousands of people I can confirm that, there is no direct relation between sexuality and herpes. I met people who were born with herpes or contracted it from sharing a beverage with a parent or friend. I met virgins that were gifted by their first partner, women and men that were gifted by their cheating spouses, people who were victims of rape and/or sexual assault, people that could count on one hand their partners and acquired their gift, and people that fell in love with a positive person and made the decision to stay with them. I also know sex workers and porn stars (with hundreds and thousands of partners) that are herpes negative. Herpes does not care who you are, how sexual you are, your nationality, religion, salary, etc. It simply does not care and having this virus does not change who a person is. 

So, after the initial wave of devastation passed, I confided in a close group of friends, one of which had a history of cold-sores (Oral Herpes) and asked her how she dated with the virus. I didn’t run into conversations exposing my diagnosis, but I told my partners on a ‘need to know’ basis and it worked, for years. When I would enter relationships, I would tell my partners and, luckily, they were all accepting. The fear that often lurked in the back of my mind: What’s he going to think? Will he hate me? Will he break up with me? Was always put at ease the moment he said ‘It’s ok. I still want to be with you. Thank you for telling me. And, “This doesn’t change how I feel about you”. I was lucky to have met men that were accepting of my status; and to this date, I have been successful in never transmitting my virus to a partner.  

Fast forward some more years- I had concluded that, if the man really liked me, and was ok with getting to get to know me before trying to have sex, my disclosure conversation (DC) would go over much better. This worked out great; until I broke up with my last ex (The Ex Files) and started dating again. After him It was obvious that I was in a very new world of dating and I was totally clueless to the rules of the game.  

Long gone were the days of conversation; everyone wanted to ask me my favorite position. So long was the idea of meeting up for a first date; everyone wanted to send me dick-pics and get a confirmation of sex. Hell, even the corny guys were playing the fast game. How the hell was I going to manage my newly found sexually-free identity with my status? Would I be outcasted as a leper? Would I be forced into celibacy? I didn’t like the idea of either. I could limit my dating pool to people in my similar situation, but I never liked limits and the people on those sites were just as bad as other online dating apps. So, I took a chance and I figured the only way to discover what would happen, would be to dive right in; and I’ll admit what I found was quite empowering, and I hope you stay tuned for more.