AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “cuddling”

Settling into Attachment

This blog will be about 2 different things. Firstly, settling, by which I’m referring to the fact that I’m settling into Vancouver. As some of you might know, I’ve done my fair share of travelling and moving to new places. Unfortunately, it never gets any easier. I’ve been in Vancouver now for nearly 3 weeks. I feel lucky because I have family in the area and I have a few friends here as well. Nonetheless, it takes time to meet people and build a rapport. I feel lonely here sometimes. Ben is finally arriving on Thursday and we’ve missed each other quite a bit. I miss waking up next to someone and Ben is, quite happily, the person I like most waking up next to. I also haven’t had much opportunity here to cuddle with anyone, so I’m really missing physical touch. OkCupid has ever proved useful for dating, and I have met some people, but sparks haven’t really flown yet. To be honest, I’ve never had the best of luck with OkCupid. I find people on there who are very cool and I’ve definitely made one friend from there thus far, but chemistry is a difficult thing. It usually eludes me.

Now, some words about attachment. Before leaving Toronto, Ben and I bumped into an acquaintance of mine. I told her of my intention to pursue a PhD and do research on polyamory. She said to me, I have a topic for you. She’s considered being in poly relationships, but she has one main concern: the strength of the attachment. She believes that the attachment of a monogamous couple is much stronger than a polyamorous couple. I think she makes a fair point, but I tend to disagree with her. In a poly relationship, a couple encounters issues that a monogamous couple wouldn’t. In monogamy, jealousy is present, but it’s hidden away; poly couples have to deal with it openly and that can end a relationship. However, for the couples who succeed in dealing with jealousy, I think their relationship becomes stronger because they develop ways of communicating better (communication goes a long way in allaying jealousy, in this writer’s opinion). In addition, a monogamous relationship generally only has 2 destinations: marriage or a breakup. Poly relationships can change over time and parties need to agree to its terms before it starts, in general. It could be a D/s relationship, a purely sexual relationship, a purely emotional relationship, or anything along the spectrum. The parties in the relationship, I think, are more likely to sit down and talk about what the relationship will entail. There is, however, one thing that can be difficult in a poly relationship: since people are free to explore other bonds, they may decide to, for example, change their secondary partner to a primary partner and primary to secondary (to use hierarchical terminology that doesn’t always apply). Some people end all their relationships at once if one is going badly. These aren’t necessarily responsible practices. As someone has joked before, poly people sometimes end up talking more about sex than actually having it. However, I do think that communication is often stronger in poly relationships and that makes relationships have more secure attachments.

This weekend is Pride in Vancouver and I’ll be marching tomorrow with VanPoly! I look forward to meeting more poly people here. If you have any relationship queries, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca. I look forward to your questions as always.

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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 Sex

Question: Do you need to have feelings for someone before you have sex with them?

Answer: Sex is a funny thing in our society and just in general. People have many different reasons for doing it. There have been times when I have had sex just because I was very horny. I will admit that there have been times where I didn’t really care who I had sex with and consequently, I didn’t have to have feelings for them. However, I don’t feel like that now. When Ben and I have sex, it means something to me. It’s very pleasurable but it also expresses how close we are. He and I live in different places, so there are times when we both want to have sex, but we can’t do it with each other. Polyamory allows us to have sex with others and it will always be different from how he and I have sex. I appreciate variety in my life, so I enjoy it, but sometimes I miss having sex with him when I’m having sex with someone else. For example, I was at a sex club recently and I had sex with another guy. After he and I finished up, he left. I pretty much always want to cuddle after sex and Ben always gives that to me. That guy did not cuddle with me and I felt a little lonely afterward. I happened to be at the club with a friend of mine and she and I cuddled, which was very nice. 

With regard to sex, everyone is different and that’s what makes sex great. You, dear reader, may find that you can have sex with someone without having feelings for them. You may also find that you really like someone and you want to have sex with them. I try to have sex with people who I feel are good. Even if we only have sex once, I want both of us to have a good time and to care about each other, at least for that hour or however long we are together. That can usually be accomplished by asking the other person what they like and I always ask for someone’s STI status. It’s important to know who are getting into bed with. And finally, dear reader, you will find that there are times when both you and the person you are with are horny and you may both not have feelings for each other – that is okay. Sex is a need for most people and when you can be upfront and honest about it, you will be better… off.

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