Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Polys in the wild

It's been quite an eventful 48 hours with Polina, and following on the heels of our Great Adventure Shindig a week ago, we definitely have made the most of our dwindling time together. In four days she leaves for a week-long family vacation overseas, and then goes directly to college for band camp. That means we probably won't see each other again until Sept. 12, when she's taking me to her sister's wedding. But we've had some very good talks recently and I think we understand what's needed if we want this relationship to weather our extended periods of separation while she's at school.

Friday I brought Yoshi into the Honda dealer to have the engine problem looked at, and it turned out to be a major repair of almost $2,000 requiring a multi-day stay, so I drove a CR-V loaner all weekend. Saturday night I had dinner with my family, and we completed our Kill Bill series by watching the second movie. I think that's all the Tarantino I'm going to get out of them, but that's okay - I'm not a big fan of any of his other movies besides Pulp Fiction, which they've already seen.

Sunday morning Penny called me and we chatted for a while until Ryan showed up at her place for a visit - he came to the first part of our Great Adventure Shindig at my apartment ("Great Adventure Shindig" - Aug. 5, 2009). I packed for an overnight stay and joined them around 5 p.m. to hang out while Penny tended to laundry and helped her mom and grandmother work on a scrapbook for her sister's upcoming wedding.

Ryan, as you might recall, is a polyamorous guy who is dating a monogamous woman named Beth. We decided the best way to help him was to invite Beth to Monday's Poly Cocktail Hour so she could see for herself poly people in their natural environment, so to speak. After dinner with Penny's family, we three went upstairs so that Ryan could give us an improptu lesson in shibari (warning: link contains nudity). He performed this lovely tortoise shell tie on Penny (who of course kept her pajamas on):

Shibari demo

He also demonstrated an ankle tie on me and performed some light S&M on both of us using a plastic rod from the window mini-blinds in Penny's parents' room. I know this sounds very kinky and probably weird to some people, but it was really just innocent play, and involved a lot of instructional talking about etiquette, role-playing and boundaries. Plus, we couldn't really do anything too loud or involved since Penny's parents and grandmother were downstairs working on the scrapbook. They even called for her once while she had her wrists tied to her ankles and we had to quickly untie her so she could go downstairs.

After we put the ropes away we sat up and watched an episode of HBO's True Blood on DVD before Ryan had to go home. Penny and I got ready for bed and watched six more episodes in bed together on her laptop until about 5:30 a.m. before we finally stopped to go to sleep. Then her mom woke us at 8:30 a.m. to ask about something, but we went back to sleep until about 11:30 a.m. before we finally got up.

We spent a good portion of Monday afternoon looking at her family photo albums and cleaning up her room, which has been just this side of a disaster area for as long as I've known her. We hung up all her clothes, sorted out rubbish from recyclables, got everything off the floor and vacuumed. Now her room will be more presentable for any guests who need to use it while she's away at college:

Gasp! A clean room!

Ryan came over after work and we followed him into the city to pick up Beth from her studio right at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. We had a bite to eat at an organic grocery store and proceeded to Poly Cocktail Hour at China 1 Restaurant. We met several first-time attendees early on, plus our friends Barbara and Joe, Simon, Lyndell, Bill, Diana, Rob ("Karaoke virgin no more!" - July 27, 2009), plus many other familiar faces. Far from feeling threatened and insecure, Beth seemed to have a very good time hanging out with us:

Beth, Ryan and Polina

The event was quite successful this month, and they soon had to open a second room to accommodate the crowd. Polina and I spent the latter part of the evening participating in some group cuddling and giving/receiving massages with various people:

Rob, Polina, Jeremy, me and Simon

Ryan and Beth left around 11 p.m. while Polina and I stayed until about midnight, saying hi to the owner Alan when he showed up late. We said goodbye to everybody and drove to Ryan and Beth's apartment in East Rutherford for a quick visit and to see some of their collection of erotic and BDSM toys. We got home around 1:30 a.m. and had some tea while I showed Penny some of my shoebox photos from my former life that were rescued from the fire of 2005 before going to bed.

After breakfast the next morning we finished the last two episodes of True Blood and we got a text from Ryan, saying that Beth had a great time with us the night before, and that "progress was being made" in resolving their relationship issues. It's encouraging to believe that their relationship will be stronger now that Beth has seen what poly people are really like, instead of what she thinks we're like.

I drove Penny back to Staten Island to pick up the things I'd left in her house from the night before and then drove her to her doctor's appointment. Then I went to the White Castle near her house and bought a baker's dozen of hamburgers and jalapeno cheeseburgers to eat on the way home. Once home, I went to pick up Yoshi and now I've got to get ready for tomorrow's trip to the city where I have two job interviews and plan to visit Simon to work on his marketing stuff.