Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “attraction”

Sweet Surrender

I had an interesting Saturday night last weekend followed by a very interesting day on Wednesday. Last weekend, I went with some colleagues to a gay bar here in Zhengzhou. My colleague’s friend put on a party there. The music was very good and the atmosphere was also great – people weren’t crazily drunk and there wasn’t a lot of smoking. A few hours into the night, I met a woman who I will call Mily. She looked very excitable and had, what I would describe, a nice light in her face. We danced fairly close together and she told me that I’m the first woman she’s ever been attracted to. I told her that I found her attractive as well. She ended up kissing me on the cheek and I kissed hers. I didn’t want to push anything with her, but I did want to kiss her on the lips. I leaned into do that and she shied away. She left for a bit, but then we continued dancing. I was very surprised when she kissed me on the lips! It was a very pleasant kiss. She gave me her number and said, keep in touch. I called her the following day and we arranged to meet on Wednesday. We had coffee at a very nice cafe and had good conversation. I was nervous about telling her about Ben, but then I found out that she has a unique insight into poly. She told me that she was previously married and her husband also happened to be with another woman in Thailand. She considered sending angry messages to that woman, but in the end, they actually became friends. Mily said to me, they are soulmates; I was pretty impressed with that. I told her about Ben and my past and she was very positive about it all. Unfortunately, Mily may not stay in Zhengzhou past May, but I’m sure we’ll at least have a friendship; I also want to move cautiously since Mily has never been with a woman before. She has invited me over to her house next week for lunch and she is keen to meet Ben, which I think are very good signs.

On Wednesday, before I had coffee with Mily, I had lunch with a friend and met a friend of hers, who’s interested in being poly. I think there is some mutual interest and he lives nearby, which is always a bonus. That evening, I talked to Ben about one reason why I like being with guys. I’m a pretty focused and driven person; when I put my mind to something, I can usually achieve it. When I’m with a guy, I feel all of that melt away. As per the title of this post, I can surrender myself to someone else. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing and it’s a very traditional way of looking at relationships. I think it can be traced back to my relationship with my father when I was younger. He was a pretty angry person back then and I never wanted to upset him, so I usually went along with what he wanted. I also lived with a stubborn sister and sometimes stubborn mother, so I’m used to being the one who’s more flexible and does what others want. Now, I often feel like I need to change my relationships with men, and perhaps with women as well. I’ve often been the one who takes initiative in a relationship and I want the people I’m with to take initiative as well. I also feel like I need to be more collaborative – if I have an idea, I want to discuss it more with the other person or people before doing something about it.  I’d also like to have a partner who comes up with the ideas and I can figure out the details, as I’m very detail oriented. I think there’ll be more of that once Ben and I return to Canada, when we’re on more equal footing, and I look forward to it.

Thank you as always for reading! If you have a relationship query, email me at


A Streetcar Named Desire

I’m in Japan now and I’ve been staying this week in a city called Takamatsu on the island of Shikoku. I lived in Japan from 2008-2010 and never got the chance to travel to Shikoku, so I decided to come now. I also came here because I wanted to meet a certain woman. I had been in contact with her for awhile and she looked really cute and interesting. I will call her Ellen. Ellen and I met on Tuesday for lunch and ended up wandering around a park called Ritsurin. I found out from her that Ritsurin is rated as one of the top 5 gardens in Japan. It is quite beautiful and we had a nice time wandering around it. Ellen is a very relaxed person and is also from Canada. She was in a poly relationship for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. On Tuesday, I didn’t find myself that attracted to Ellen, which disappointed me. It often happens to me that I’m in contact with someone for awhile online and then when we meet in person, I’m not that interested in them. However, that would change on Wednesday when we went to a hot spring together and I got to see Ellen’s body. We continued to have good conversation and I was thinking that I at least wanted to cuddle with her.

We left the hot spring and came back into the centre of Takamatsu. Ellen told me that she knew about some second hand stores, which is really the only kind of shopping I like, so we wanted to go to them. Unfortunately, we found that they were closed. We got a little snack and then tried to decide what to do. I told Ellen she could come with me back to my hotel room and she declined. I had thought that she probably wasn’t that interested in me and I guess her feelings didn’t change when she saw me naked. I haven’t been in the greatest mood this week and of course, this didn’t help. I feel like I shouldn’t complain because I’m getting a free hotel room courtesy of a couchsurfer here whose family owns a hotel, but mainly, I do couchsurfing so I can meet people, not so I can stay in a hotel. The only contact I’ve had with the hosts is in the evening when I go to their home for dinner, eat with them, and then wash and dry dishes in silence in the presence of the woman. I was invited on Monday to have lunch with the man and he didn’t talk to me at the restaurant; there was a TV to our left and he wouldn’t stop watching it. Thankfully, on Wednesday evening, 2 more couchsurfers from Switzerland arrived and I got to hang out with them yesterday. We had a really good time on the island of Naoshima, where there is a lot of interesting art.

One of the reasons why I called this post, A Streetcar Named Desire, is because I told Ben on Wednesday that I haven’t felt desired by a person other than him for quite awhile. It’s nice that in China, we can spend time with Amy and have threesomes, but I don’t feel that she really desires me, nor I her. I have often felt that there are so few women I’m very attracted to and I wish there were more. It’s also difficult when I see Ben being so successful with women and I feel envious. It’s so easy to get a guy; as the old saying goes, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. I just wish that I could find a woman who desired me and who I desire. On this trip, I really wanted to make an effort to meet more women. 2 years ago, I took trains across the US for a month and didn’t have many experiences with women. This time, I wanted that to be different. I will be meeting more – we’ll see how it all goes…

Thank you as always for reading! Next week I go to Kobe and Tokyo and I hope for some sexy adventures there. I will update when something happens. If you have a question, email me at

The Week that Was: A Mega Diary

This blog will cover the period from November 21-28, during which time many things happened. It all started with, of course, a threesome sleepover. The previous weekend, Ben and I met a woman who will be known as Amy. Ben had had contact with her online and after he and I returned from a trip, she invited us over to her place. Hers is a slightly complicated situation because she has a son and she and her husband are in the process of divorcing. However, her son doesn’t know that. With that in mind, imagine Ben and I walking into the apartment she shares with her son and her inviting us into her bedroom. She told me that she has never done anything with a woman, but she was definitely making eyes at me. I also thought she was attractive and Ben was attracted to her as well. She kissed both of us and also watched us make out on her second bed. She didn’t want to do anything further because she was on her period and her son was around.

Fast forward to November 21st when she came over to our place. She had told Ben in advance that she wanted to sleep over and we were all fine with that. She’s a pretty small woman and she fit fine in the bed with us. I was very happy that she was affectionate with both of us and very inclusive of me, despite being more attracted to Ben. She is definitely a very sexual woman and enjoyed riding both Ben and I. At one point very early on the 22nd, she told me that she wanted me to teach her how to please me. She fingered me and it felt good. I went down on her and she really liked that; she comes very easily. Of course, I have mixed feelings about being someone’s teacher. I would rather find a woman who already knows her way around another woman. And speaking of that, on the day that Amy left our place, I went to a lesbian bar with an American woman I met from OkCupid who has become a friend. It was interesting to see a lesbian bar in China. Unfortunately, my Mandarin isn’t great at the moment, so I couldn’t talk to anyone. The woman I was with has been in China for about 2 years and could translate a bit. She told the others that I was bi and I was happy to know that they didn’t think I was some type of fence sitter. She also told a couple about my polyamory and one said she thought that was cool.

The day after that, a Sunday, I ended up having quite the email exchange with a certain influential person in my life who lives in New York City. For those of you who don’t know, he basically led me into poly. I had emailed him a few days before and mentioned that I’m now teaching at a university in China. He then said that he’s coming to China during his winter break. I asked him if he’d want to see me and he said he did, but his preference was for us to meet as more than friends, which surprised me because I ended the romantic part of our relationship last year. The truth is, we have never been less than friends, but I have no desire to have sex with him. When I visited him in New York 2 years ago, I actually told him that I was less than impressed with his sexual skills, which upset him. He then visited me in January last year in Toronto and we had a fairly good time, but then contact dropped off, which upset me. Last April, I told him online I didn’t want to have a romantic relationship with him anymore and he took that harshly. Mainly, I want to see him now because I feel like I need to make amends for doing that; I certainly don’t believe in ending a relationship via chat, especially with a person who has been so important to me. He said recently that he didn’t think I was into being with him, though I confessed to him 2.5 years ago that I had been obsessed with him and that I wanted him to be present when I had the abortion. After I graduated from my Master’s, I looked for jobs all over the world, including in New York so I could be near him. I’ve written poem after poem about him.  Now, I want to tell him that when we saw each other in New York and Toronto, it didn’t really feel real; it’s as if I had dreamt it. I also felt that he didn’t want me to get close to him. Last winter, many important things happened that he never told me about. I also never got a chance to meet his primary partner despite going to the city she lives in and requesting her contact information from him. Truthfully, I have always admired him. His intellectual, artistic prowess, and his worldliness was what attracted me initially and that still holds true today.

Finally, Ben and I had a lot of discussion about our future last week. He received an email from a friend who found gold on Vancouver Island and told Ben that they should explore further, perhaps open a mine. Ben had talked about doing something like that once we returned to Canada, so this is very timely. However, we hadn’t envisioned going back next year and these plans might change that. I personally don’t feel ready to return home – I still want to see more of the world and experience that with Ben. However, I would be open to living in Vancouver and seeing what it’s like to live on the west coast of Canada. It all really comes down to finding a job. Our jobs right now are pretty good, but we’d like to live in a different place and most likely outside of China. We’ll see what happens…

If you have any questions about any sort of relationship, email me at  Thanks as always for reading!

What Makes a Relationship Work?

Lately, Ben and I have gotten on each other’s nerves. Many of you know that this trip to Korea has been a bit hellish and it seems like things have finally come to a head. Over the weekend, Ben and I were walking around Seoul and he felt the need to take out some of his aggression on a flight of stairs by stomping very hard down them. This caught me off guard and I asked him what was wrong. He said, “you know how you’ve been remarking that I’ve handled everything here very well? In fact, it has taken a toll on me.” I wasn’t sure what to say, but I felt upset. I want to know everything Ben is feeling and he hadn’t been telling me everything. Of course, that’s partly because he wasn’t fully aware of it himself. We all know the common saying, ignorance is bliss. However, in the context of a relationship, this isn’t really true, especially for a person like me. I want to be in the know and as my mother says, one of my best qualities is the fact that I can’t ignore things.

All of this led to Ben and I having a conversation about our relationship given everything that’s happened. We feel better that things have calmed down slightly and Ben apologized for taking some of his aggression out on me. We also talked a bit about what makes a relationship work and I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject here. First, there is attraction. We meet someone and we think, I want to be with this person. For myself, I need to be with someone who’s smart. We need to be able to have stimulating conversation otherwise I won’t be interested at all. I’m usually not so concerned about what they look like because I’m attracted to different body types; they just need to have good character and a good heart. I will say I have a penchant for taller people with glasses and blue/green eyes, but I have dated others that look different from that. Second, communication. We need to keep each other in the loop about what we’re feeling and what we’re doing. This is especially important in the context of polyamory because we may have other partners and I like knowing what’s going on with the other relationships. Ben and I are both pretty direct communicators, so that part of our relationship works quite well. We usually say what we mean and mean what we say.

Third, I think sex helps make a relationship work. I like to have sex fairly frequently and it should be fun for both people. Ben and I have had some problems in that department lately because we haven’t had our own space. We’ve been staying in hostels and with others and some people have had objections to us having sex, even when we were very surreptitious about it. One girl at the hostel we were staying at heard us having sex and cried for hours. She never approached us to voice her concerns, so we’re not really sure why she was crying. Of course, we are in a pretty conservative country and I realize people here aren’t used to hearing people have sex, but I don’t want to change my practices, even in these surroundings.

Fourth, alone time is very important. I love being with Ben, but this trip has been slightly suffocating because we are together almost all the time. Over the past little while, we have made efforts to have some alone time. I visited one of the baths in Seoul and had several hours to myself. I actually missed Ben during those hours, so that’s a good sign. We all know the old cliche, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think that is often true when we love someone.

Fifth, dependability. We need our partners to be there for us. I have definitely felt that way here in Korea with Ben. Even when we’re dealing with immigration, a lack of alone time, and the fact that it’s very hard to meet people here, we can be there for each other. We can laugh and cry at all of the crap that’s happened to us. Through a lot of my poly life, I have been a secondary partner. There are plenty of benefits to being a secondary partner, but I have often wanted someone to be there for me and someone who I can be there for. With Ben, I always get that.

Those are just some of my thoughts on what make a relationship work. There are plenty of other things and it can depend on the nature of your relationship. If you have more thoughts, email me at I always look forward to your questions!

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