AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Apologies for taking so long to write a new blog. I returned to Canada on June 30 and things have been either busy or I felt jetlagged. I’ve also been debating what it is I would write about. I settled on writing about the above quote from a mindfulness expert – something to make my mother proud, I suppose.

For myself, the above quote rings true. I have changed my location many times over the course of my life. I really don’t mean to toot my own horn here because I do feel fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to live in England, Japan, briefly in Germany, and finally in China. I spent most of my life living in Toronto, Canada and since I was a teenager, I wanted to at least try living somewhere else. I pictured myself in Europe, but I have to say that living in England wasn’t really my cup of tea. Germany was pretty good, but I was only there for 4 months and I’m not sure if I got the most accurate picture. Japan was very interesting, but I couldn’t see myself living there long term. And well, China is just China – it’s not an easy country to live in at all, from my own perspective. I feel lucky because living in different places has allowed me to adopt different personas, in a way. Each country has its own culture and it can be fun to adopt parts of that culture for oneself. Also, the experiences we have in different places shape us. In terms of this last trip, I feel like I learned to put up with less bullshit. I also learned that my health is very important. The issue now is, will I take those lessons and apply them to my life in Canada? I definitely intend to, but the end result may be different. Being back in Canada, I don’t necessarily feel any pressure on my health. I feel lucky to be back breathing fairly clean air and drinking water right out of the tap. I’m also back to cycling nearly everywhere and eating healthier food. I have to remind myself that there are still health issues I may have to deal with and those should be dealt with promptly. Thankfully, good healthcare is easily accessible here in Canada, at least for now.

Since returning to Canada, Ben’s mother and my parents all met for brunch. I think it went fairly well. Mainly, we all wanted to meet to discuss the wedding next year. It’s shaping up to be a very inexpensive wedding, which we’re all happy about. Ben and I have also discussed having another ceremony on the west coast of Canada before we have the wedding in Ontario in the summer. There are a few reasons to have a ceremony on the west coast: first, it would be beautiful. My grandmother is now living in Victoria, BC and I would really like her to attend. Finally, we could get legally married there, at Victoria City Hall for example. We didn’t necessarily want to get legally married in the past, but it may have some benefits in the future. I would like to do my PhD in the US starting next year and if Ben wanted to come with me, it may be made easier by the fact that we’re legally married. If he didn’t come with me, legal marriage would be one way for us to show that we intend to stay together despite the distance. There is always the possibility of Ben having a child with someone else, since I don’t want children. I’ve expressed that I might feel left out in that kind of situation, so the legal marriage would be a way for Ben and I to have another tie. This is a conversation we will continue having, especially since we have lots of time until the wedding. Personally, I don’t necessarily want the government knowing that we had a ceremony. Also, if we did decide to have a triad, for example, the third person may feel excluded. I’ve thought about trying to lobby for multiparty marriage, which would allow 3 or more people to get married. I still want to keep that door open. For the moment, I’m touched that Ben has offered that he’d like to be legally married to me.

If you have any relationship questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca  2 days from now, I will be moving to Vancouver. I look forward to whatever awaits me there. The Vancouver polyamory scene looks quite promising…

Goodbye China; Good Morning Vietnam

Ben and I are now in Vietnam, visiting Eve. Yesterday, he and I flew out of Zhengzhou. Unfortunately, our departure was somewhat unpleasant. Ben and I have been teaching at a university and were provided with an apartment just after we arrived. Yesterday, the apartment was checked to make sure everything that was given to us was still there. The woman who checked our apartment was supposed to arrive at 10:30am. She had also booked us a taxi to the airport for 11am. However, she didn’t arrive at the apartment until just before 11 and discovered that one of the items (a sheet) we were given was missing. Now, it is quite difficult to lose a sheet. We wouldn’t have taken it out of the apartment, so it couldn’t have disappeared. Regardless, we had to pay the equivalent of about $12 to replace it; not a big deal at least, but everything was so rushed. Thankfully, the traffic on the way to the airport wasn’t too bad and we went there with a very good friend, which was nice.

Ben and I flew through Guangzhou to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Our baggage was sent through to Saigon, but one piece didn’t arrive there. We had to spend a lot of time describing the luggage and filling out a form. Right before I wrote this post, the luggage did arrive, so we’re happy about that. Ben and I are also quite happy to be out of China. As soon as we left Zhengzhou, I could sense a change in Ben; he was suddenly much happier than when we were in Zhengzhou. I am very generous when I say that Zhengzhou is not the nicest place. At times, our relationship was strained just because we weren’t living in the place we’d like to. Ben and I are a bit sad to be leaving China though because it was the first place we really had a home together. After we return to Canada, it is quite likely that we’ll be living in different places. That being said, we’re still committed to each other. Recently, Ben’s mom has been helping us make arrangements for our wedding next year and we’re getting excited about that.

Here in Saigon, Ben, Eve, and I are all staying in a hotel together. I feel a bit sad because Ben gets to meet some of Eve’s family and I can’t attend. Poly isn’t really known in Vietnam and Eve’s family would not approve if they met me. I am happy that Ben gets to meet Eve’s family and that they get to have quality time together. At this point, the future of Ben and Eve’s relationship is so unknown; the time they get to spend together could be limited. Just over the last day, things have been good between the 3 of us and I anticipate that will continue. In a few days, we 3 are travelling to an island off the southwest coast of Vietnam. We shall all see what this vacation brings.

If you have any relationship questions, please email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca Cheers!

Etiquette

This week I’m going to write generally about etiquette – this relates to all types of relationships, and mainly to the beginning of a relationship. Not too long after arriving here in Zhengzhou I met a Chinese guy who I’ll call Ian. He is apparently fond of foreign girls. I only saw him a couple of times during the first semester and then again not too long after this second semester started. On that particular night, I was at a gay club and Ian was there as well. We danced together and he was very flirtatious. I also learned through a co-worker that he had had feelings for me for quite awhile; I, on the other hand, had never been attracted to him in the slightest. I wanted to clear the air because I did feel that I had been a bit flirtatious with him and I didn’t want to lead him on. I phoned Ian the day after I saw him and explained the relationship between Ben and I and I told him that, despite my availability, I wasn’t interested in him. I did however want to be friends with him. We had dinner not too long after that and it was pleasant enough. However, the next time I saw him, I suspected that his feelings had not gone away, after he gave me a necklace, kissed me on the cheek, and insisted that I do the same. He explained after that he thought it was normal to kiss on the cheek in the West. I told him it depends on where you come from. I happen to have Quebecois parents and I kiss them on the cheek, but in my hometown of Toronto, that’s not very common. I reminded him again that I wasn’t interested in him and I thought he understood.

Not too long after that, we hung out again and that was fine. However, afterward, I received a text from him, basically propositioning me. He told me I had to experience a Chinese guy at least once and that we would have an amazing night together. I told him I had experienced Chinese guys before in Toronto and they were great, so I had no need to experience another. I told him yet again I wasn’t interested. I also told him that if he continued acting like this toward Western girls, they would blow him off. Finally, I said that I didn’t want to hang out with him again as a friend if he continued making me feel uncomfortable. He didn’t seem to understand, so I ended up deleting him from my contacts on WeChat. He realized I had done that and tried adding me again. I told him to take a hint and blocked him.

I do regret that that all happened, but I hope Ian learned a valuable lesson. Some people think that if you keep pursuing someone, they will eventually change their mind and date you. I myself am generally not like that. If I like someone, I usually realize it fairly quickly and I will pursue them; I don’t need to be pursued. Unfortunately, we have all been taught that men are the pursuers and women are the ones to be chased. There is nothing wrong with women asking men out. I think that many men are tired of being the pursuers and don’t mind being pursued. Dating would be much more equitable if there was equal opportunity for asking people out.

Thanks as always for reading. Next week will be my last post from here in the Middle Kingdom! Ben and I depart from here on June 20th. We will be in Vietnam until the 29th, at which time we fly back to Toronto. If you have a relationship query, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

Heavy Baggage

No matter who you are and no matter what kind of relationship you have, we all have baggage. For those of us who are experienced in relationships, we may even have more baggage. This became a subject of discussion last night for Ben and I. Many years ago, he was in an abusive relationship. I had been aware of this, but I hadn’t been aware that Ben used his anger to get out of it. In some ways, that anger is still kicking around and every once in awhile, I see it surface. He also learned this reaction from a family member of his, who was in an abusive relationship, didn’t fight back, and then committed suicide. Thus, Ben feels that anger can be a good thing because it can prevent awful things from happening. However, in the current situation, Ben and I do not have an abusive relationship. We trust and respect each other and we have each other’s best interests in mind. That being said, I found myself reminding Ben last night that I am not his ex; I think Ben was happy to be reminded that he can let go of some of his fears from the past and I was happy that I could help him realize that. I also told him that he is not my ex. Now, I was not in an abusive relationship, but I felt that I could not fully be myself within it. I think that many people are intimidated by me and perhaps unfortunately, my ex felt that way, but could not express it. What he did end up doing was inhibiting my expression. When I say this, I am not even referring to my later desire to be poly. During the relationship, there were many things I could never say or things I should never do or even things I shouldn’t have worn because that would have upset my ex.

Sometimes, I feel that being with Ben is almost like getting a second chance at love. That can include the fact that both he and I have to fight against what we have learned in the past. I have been conditioned not to fully express myself; Ben has sometimes been conditioned to overreact. These 2 things put together can be a lethal combination. In relationships, we have to learn how to treat the people we’re with. Of course, we learn things from the past that can help us, but everyone is different. Being with Ben has taught me that I can be in a relationship where I have input into how the relationship works. As a bonus, I’m also free to pursue others I may want to be with. Yes, Ben and I have our problems, but on the whole, there’s no one else at the moment I’d rather marry.

It’s hard to believe, but Ben and I are coming to the end of our time in Asia. We depart Zhengzhou on June 20th for Vietnam. We are going to visit Eve there and then head back to Canada on June 29th. This year out of Canada has been both fast and slow. Parts of it seemed to crawl at a snail’s pace and others seem to whizz by. I still remember the first day we arrived in Zhengzhou, at 5am. Despite our challenges here in central China, Ben and I feel very lucky that we got to live together and teach at the university level. Unfortunately, when we return to Canada, we may not live together for awhile. I’ll be taking classes in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia, to prepare for a PhD in gender studies or social work. Ben will most likely be on Vancouver Island, hopefully with an interesting geological job. We are very sad that we won’t be living together, but we feel that the relationship will still remain strong.

Thanks for reading. If you have any relationship questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

Life and Love Lessons Learned

I have a particular fondness for looking back, especially when it comes to the various poly experiences I’ve had. The other day, I put on a dress that I wore on a particularly important night. Less than 2 months after I ended the 8.5 year relationship back in 2012, I had a very good threesome with a couple I met through Craigslist. I had recently bought that dress and wondered if it was too dressy to wear to meet that couple for drinks. One of my roommates at the time told me it was fine, so I wore that and met the couple. We had a really good time together and 2 days later, I went to their home and had the threesome. They taught me a lot about inclusiveness. I felt that during the threesome, everyone was involved at some point or another and it felt great. I think that was a great way to begin my non-monogamous life.

Unfortunately, I never saw that couple again, but they definitely taught me a lesson. Poly is really about inclusivity. Sometimes Ben and I get comments that we look so cute together that people just want to leave us alone. At the end of last week, we attended a competition for some of our students. Until 2 weeks ago, we had taught a speaking class to graduate students and for their final project, they had to put on a play. One of our co-teachers thought that we should have a competition for the best groups, so Ben and I chose the best groups from our classes. Ben’s group ended up winning first place and mine won third, so we were very proud. We asked the students if they wanted to have dinner with us after the competition and they told us that they wanted to leave us alone because we looked so sweet. Unknowingly I said to them, we like being with other people. We did go out to dinner and had a great time and I’m certain they didn’t understand the full meaning of what I said.

I think that poly can teach us a lot about life in general. We should never exclude people just because they aren’t our partner. Every person plays an important role in our lives and I think poly celebrates that. It can also teach us what we want and don’t want out of relationships. When a person has more than 1 relationship, I think it’s important to think about what we expect. We have to articulate our needs in a clear way to our partner(s). Poly has also really helped me to say no. I was never good at that before I became poly; I always wanted to please people and sometimes I didn’t really know what I wanted. There are times when I’m comfortable saying yes to the unknown. I like testing my limits and as Eve likes to say, I like new experiences. However, in situations where I don’t feel comfortable, I feel much better now saying no. That being said, there are times when we have to say yes to things we don’t always like. Sometimes Ben has stayed up late talking to Eve and I sacrifice some sleep. Sometimes, Eve is upset that Ben and I are doing something that she can’t be involved in. Relationships always involve these sorts of things. In poly, we need to look out for each other and sometimes that can mean that our needs don’t come first. In an optimal situation, people have other partners and friends that can help them out when something is really important.

People have asked me if I would ever go back to being monogamous. The answer is always a big no. Why would I give up having lots of romantic love in my life, even when it can be complicated? Yes, bad things can happen because of poly, but bad things happen in any sort of relationship. Poly can be an emotional challenge, but it can also help us grow. It has also helped me question and challenge society in the best way possible: with lots of love.

Thanks for reading. My email address is miriam@askmiriam.ca if you have any relationship queries.

Innocent Bystander

Personally, I think that one of the biggest difficulties in poly is the fact that our partners have relationships that are sometimes completely separate from our own relationship. Take for example, Ben and Eve. I’m not romantically involved with Eve. That doesn’t mean that we’re not close, because we are, but it can mean sometimes that I have little control over what happens between the 2 of them. Eve will feel that way about Ben and I as well. Sometimes, meddling in a relationship can cause problems. Last week, Eve sent me a message and told me that she really missed Ben. Normally, Ben and I host a radio show every Thursday, but it’s been cancelled for about the last month due to various problems at the station. I told Eve that the 3 of us or the 2 of them could talk in the evening. However, after getting home, Ben was working on editing a journal article I’m writing about my Master’s research. Eve and I did have a nice talk, but I almost wish I hadn’t organized anything. I also felt kind of selfish that Ben was working on something for me when he could have been talking to Eve.  These are all complicated issues with no right or wrong answer. However, I did tell Eve that I wouldn’t organize a call involving her and Ben. After all, it is their relationship.

Another difficulty with being the third party is that sometimes we are asked for our advice on a difficult issue. Both Ben and Eve have asked me if I think the relationship should continue after Ben and I return to Canada. This is an extremely difficult question to answer. As I have talked about before, maintaining a long distance relationship is a lot of work. Maintaining that relationship was hard enough for Ben and I when we lived within driving distance of each other; Ben and Eve will be on different continents, several time zones apart. They would have to communicate regularly, which could be difficult with that time difference. Eve may feel left out because Ben and I are sharing a life together and she can’t be a part of that. In groups of 3, someone can inevitably feel left out and it’s a terrible feeling. I really wouldn’t want Eve to feel that way. Finally, because Eve doesn’t identify as poly, she would most likely not take on another romantic relationship and she might not have as much support as she likes. Even if Ben and Eve were in a monogamous relationship, they would still be apart and it would be difficult.

In a month from tomorrow, Ben and I leave China. We are both excited to leave this crazy country. We will visit Eve for 9 days in Vietnam and then return to Canada. Honestly, when I left Canada, I almost wanted to leave poly behind. Poly has brought me some chaos and I wanted to have a more stable life. That being said, I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to be with more than 1 person. Ben and I have really built our relationship by coming over here and now I really want to share more love with others. I look foward to whatever comes into my life…

If you have a relationship question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

 

‘We’ Are Incommunicado

This post will mainly be about Ben and Eve, so again, I wish to say how privileged I feel to write about 2 important people in my life. Last week was a bit difficult for both of them. Eve is currently working crazy hours in a different city and has been very isolated. Until yesterday, the place she’s been living in has had no wifi and she is not allowed to use the computers at work for personal use, even if she uses them outside of her working hours. The only way we’ve all been able to communicate is through a program on our phones. This has put a strain on the relationship, as you dear readers might imagine. It has been difficult for Ben because he would very much like to be in regular contact with Eve and he has missed her a lot since she left. This has also been difficult for me because Ben hasn’t been as attentive at home, so I feel like I need to pick up the slack.

As I have discussed many times, communication is so important in a relationship and it can sometimes be even more important in a long distance relationship (LDR). I have had many experiences where I have wanted to maintain an LDR and the other party has not because they didn’t have time for communication. It might be true that we are all busy, but we can place priority on relationships. One of the reasons why polyamory exists is because of the Internet. Many people learn about poly on the Internet, join discussion groups, and receive emails about poly events. In the current age, we also have so many different ways of communicating. We can send emails, facebook messages, okcupid messages. We have skype, Viber, and phone cards. Even in poor countries, people have cellphones. We can even still send old fashioned snail mail. In order to keep in touch with the ones we love, we have to put in the work. It might not be easy, but it’s very worthwhile.

There was another subject I wanted to mention. Eve commented to me that I often refer to Ben and I as ‘we.’ This has made her feel excluded, and understandably so. Eve has become a big part of our lives. We talk about her a lot when she’s not around. She and I communicate regularly, sometimes even more regularly than her and Ben. There are times when it is appropriate for either Ben or I to use ‘we.’ However, this can also take away from who we are as individuals. When we live with someone we love, they become an integral part of our lives; Ben is exactly that to me. That being said, I want to strive for including Eve in our lives.

Thank you as always for reading. My email address is miriam@askmiriam.ca if you have any relationship queries.

Into Trouple

The word ‘Trouple’ was coined by Eve when she was here last week and I really like it, so I’ve decided to name this post Into Trouple. As many of you know, Eve visited Ben and I last week. Last weekend, I went to Beijing and by the time I arrived home on Sunday evening, Eve was there. It’s a bit odd walking into your apartment when your fiance’s girlfriend is there, but anyway, Eve and I had a nice hug and we all had dinner together. The first night was slightly awkward given that Eve and I were meeting for the first time. I was in a horny mood that night since I had been away for several days, so Ben and I asked Eve if she would be okay with seeing us have sex and she said yes. She said that it only made her feel a bit uncomfortable, so we felt thankful for that. I did feel a bit attracted to Eve that first night, but I didn’t want to do anything that would make her feel uncomfortable, so we all went to sleep.

First I will talk about the positive and surprising things that happened and then, the negative things. On Monday, Ben and I went to teach and Eve observed Ben’s classes. Later on, the 3 of us and some other friends, including Alex, went to the Chinese equivalent of karaoke, KTV. We all had a pretty good time, though Eve felt a bit left out. Afterward, we had dinner with Alex and then went home. Awhile ago, Ben and I bought an ebike and the 3 of us attempted to ride home on that, which was successful, but not something we would do again. After getting home, the 3 of us were cuddling. Eve told me how much she liked cuddling and I told her the same. I was very surprised when she started putting her hands under my clothes. What surprised me even more was how turned on I felt. She asked me if I wanted her to kiss me and I said yes. I’m always impressed at how forthright she is and I was even more impressed by her kissing skills. As the week progressed, we would wake up every morning and usually what happened was that Ben would go to the bathroom or get a drink of water and Eve and I started cuddling and kissing. Ben would return to the bed and we would have a threesome; Ben would go down on me and Eve would kiss me and suck on my breasts. Then the 2 of them would have sex. I told Eve that of all the women I’ve been with sexually, she turns me on the most. On the night before Eve left, she and Ben gave me the most intense orgasm of my life and I told both of them that. Eve and I also had a good time together when we were not being sexual. The 2 of us had 2 meals together and had good conversations. There were a couple of moments during the visit where I could tell we were thinking similar things at the same time. Overall, we got along very well, as I had expected. I was most nervous for her in this new situation, but I think she dealt with everything well. She mentioned that she does not consider herself a possessive person, so this scenario is fine for her. Finally, she and Ben said I love you to each other, which made all of us happy. Many people would ask me, doesn’t that make you jealous. At this point in my poly life, I have loved 2 people at the same time and it’s an incredible feeling. It makes you appreciate the people for who they are. It also brings a certain stability to the relationship, which makes things more regular for me. If Ben was just to have casual sex, for example, I wouldn’t be able to predict when that might happen, so a regular relationship is nice.

For the negative things: There were times last week when I did feel left out. It can be difficult when your partner has a new relationship and you feel like you are the one looking in. This situation is new for all of us; Ben hasn’t had a serious relationship since he and I got together, so I haven’t really had to share him that much. The new relationship energy can be daunting because it can make one feel insecure and wonder whether you give your partner enough. That being said, both Ben and Eve were concerned about me feeling left out and I think they did their best to include me; the threesomes certainly didn’t hurt. I also wanted to give them alone time, since they don’t get to see each other very much and I live with Ben all the time. Eve also said to me at one point, don’t fall in love with me, it would be too complicated. This is after we had been physical a couple of times. I told her that I will normally develop feelings for people if I’m physical with them enough times. She said that she enjoyed kissing and cuddling with me, but she still identifies as straight. I fully respect that and I don’t want to cause her any discomfort because she’s an important person in my life, but I was a bit taken aback when she said that. Anyway, if I was going to have a female partner, she would be different from Eve. Ben and Eve are both very similar to each other, as they both identify as INTJ on the Myers Briggs scale (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging). Ben and I think in some similar ways and Eve and Ben think similarly in other ways. I would want to be with someone who’s a bit more similar to me – extroverted and artistic. I have often been the artistic person who spends time with science geeks and it would be nice to find someone who’s more similar to me in those ways.

On Saturday in the early hours, Ben and Eve went to the airport. They had to leave our apartment just after 5am because Eve’s flight left at 8. I left with them to make sure they were able to catch a taxi. They did make it to the airport and as I expected, I had trouble getting back to sleep. My mind conjured up many different things, including a general feeling of insecurity. I know that Ben would never leave me and I know that Eve cares about me, but the irrational part of me was saying, Eve is better for Ben; they will stay together and Ben and I won’t. Eve excites Ben and I don’t, so why should I bother. Of course, I know now that I was being irrational. Ben came home and reassured me that he’s not going anywhere. We are both committed to each other for life. The more pertinent question in fact is what will happen with Ben and Eve. We will see her in Vietnam at the end of June before we go back to Canada, but so much after that is unknown. Once Ben and I return to Canada, money will probably be an issue and we may not be able to come back to Vietnam in the near future. Eve will apply to school in North America, but there’s no guarantee that she’ll get accepted and she’ll need a scholarship to attend. Even until the end of June, we may not be able to talk to Eve much because she’s working in another city and will be living with her co-workers. Many of them know about her foreign boyfriend, but not about the polyamory. There are many unknowns at the moment, so we’ll see where it all goes. As Ben said, there is no question of ‘if’ they will be together; the question is ‘how.’

Thank you as always for reading. If you have a relationship question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

AskMiriam About Bisexuality

Question: Do you feel like there is an inherent bias in the poly community against bisexual men? I don’t identify as bi, though I’m aware how fluid everything is and I am occasionally curious. I just feel like there is a very small bi male population, at least that is visible. The ratio of bi females to straight females is nearly the reverse of the ratio for males. Why? Is this indicative of something or just a reflection of our culture at large?

Answer: This issue comes up again and again. With regards to the poly women I have met, most of them tend to identify somewhere on the queer spectrum, which includes bi. I myself identify as someone who’s attracted to the person, not the gender (Check out this book for that sort of label: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674032262). I don’t think we need to restrict ourselves when it comes to who we get involved with and I like having the freedom to be with men, women, and anyone else on the gender spectrum. The poly men I have met tend to be straight. I do believe that part of this is social conditioning; it’s completely acceptable for women to be sexual together, but for men, it’s much more complicated. It’s only been fairly recent that homosexuality of any sort has become socially acceptable. Unfortunately, I think that women are often sexual together because it’s a fantasy of a man they’re with, however there are many of us out there who genuinely want to be with more than one gender. It could also be the fact that women tend to be more attractive in general, so perhaps there’s more reason for a woman to be attracted to women than for a man to be attracted to men.

There’s also something else going on here: Many of us poly women like questioning the status quo; we do it everyday if we are poly. If we question traditional relationship structures, why not question our sexuality? Of course, poly men also question the status quo, but men have much more at stake in the traditional societal structure than women. It is to their disadvantage to question their sexuality because that means questioning a society that has traditionally supported them. Back in the 1950s, Kinsey posited that sexual orientation was on a spectrum and I think human sexuality is much more fluid than most people think; we are sexual beings after all.  I sometimes get into arguments with Ben about this issue because he very much identifies as straight. Of course I trust him, but I wonder what would happen if men were more encouraged to question their sexuality.

As I have written before, I have a unique perspective on all of this because of my gay father. Sometimes I wonder the extent to which he had feelings for my mother before they split up. My mother had no idea he was gay, so I suppose he put on quite the act, but I wonder if any of it is genuine. He also said to me recently, sometimes I think it would be easier just to be with a woman. When he was young, it was very difficult to be gay and I think he felt like he had to hide who he was. I do feel thankful that I was born, but I wish things had been easier for him.

If you have any questions, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca. Eve is currently visiting Ben and I and once she leaves, I will write about the visit.

AskMiriam about Gender Differences in Morning Sex

Question: Something came up the past few days and it has me thinking. I’ve always been a huge fan of morning sex; it leaves me feeling like I’ve gotten in my gym visit and my meditation. My energy levels are up all day. Some of my partners have complained of basically the opposite, they’re exhausted and sluggish if we have morning sex. Am I unique in this or is it a gender thing?

Answer: I think this question calls for feedback from many people of all genders, not just me, but I’ll give it a try. I will say for myself that I very much enjoy morning sex. I used to have a partner who would often visit me in the morning because we both had flexible work schedules. I felt pretty energetic for the rest of the day after that, but it was also exceptionally good sex. I also had a fairly physical life at the time that kept me energetic; I rode my bicycle everywhere, exercised, and I had some physical work. I am also a morning person, so I enjoy doing things in the morning and I do my most productive work in the morning normally.

I will say that I have had times where sex leaves me sluggish afterward. It’s possible that your female partners experience the same thing. I often feel something resembling a high right after sex and an hour or so later, I feel down. I’ve heard that potassium can help that, which I’ve been meaning to try.  Sex is always an individual thing and it’s possible that your partners are night owls and feel more energetic at night. I will also say that I am less likely to feel down after sex if I have an orgasm at the very end. I would talk to your partners about what makes them more energetic after sex. If they feel that there’s something that could be done to that end, they would be more likely to have morning sex.

Thanks for the question! As always, you can email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca if you have relationship or sex questions.

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