I haven’t been too keen on looking back on this year but after much thought I figured I should share anyway. Looking at my last two anniversary posts I seem to have a song that sums up my year. I realized a certain song has been playing in my head nearly my entire life because it seems to fit all too well. If I needed to pick a theme song this would be it, No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones. “You can dip your foot in the pool but you can’t have a swim/You can feel the punishment but you can’t commit the sin.”
The song is about unfulfilled attractions, as well as, unfulfilled desires. When I started the life non-monogamous and branched out into things beyond the Swingset, it seemed I was finally going to get a break after a lifetime of unfulfilled desires. Then life pulled the rug out from under me. It wasn’t all at once. After the first crash there was a summer of hope, then in Sept of last year came the big hit. By this time last year we were making life-altering decisions. Very little time for anything sexy or pleasurable when you’re in survival mode.
The move helped our family. We’re recovering financially, our neighborhood is awesome and we love living in Chicago. The hard part has been separation from my primary partner and no one else in my life to fill the gap. I also have to take care of two somewhat special needs kids on my own making very little time for anything else. I feel like I’m barely keeping up and not working at my most efficient. I keep forgetting things or finding I haven’t the energy to do anything.
The worst is the feeling of loneliness and disconnection. I have been enjoying a very active local Sex Geekdom and have some friends locally. Despite events, parties, and a house full of people I still feel alone. The few play partners I’ve had over the years just drifted away, some lost interest or were lost due to distance or other factors. Friends keep encouraging me to get out and meet new people but I’m finding it difficult. I’ve given up on play parties because I sit around while the room slowly clears as people pair up, I also spent the last half of the year injured. I’m hesitant to get on OKCupid because I’m afraid I’m too fragile to handle more rejection.I know that non-monogamy is all about impermanence but I just don’t have the resilience right now. I gained lots of weight last year so I hate my body despite all the body positive cheerleaders I have around me. My libido has decided to check out and left no forwarding address. Despite a great husband and friends who say they love me, I feel undesirable, invisible, forgettable… the Duckie of non-monogamy. Yep, it’s been a tough year.
I hit rock bottom, again, a few weeks ago. I’ve been shattered quite a bit over the past year and right now I’m about as well put together as Mrs. Brady’s favorite vase. All it took was a glancing blow by something completely out from left field and I spent 5 days in bed crying. A friend reach out to me and let me email vent. I explained that losing so much after the joy and pleasure of that first year life felt like torture. It felt like everyone else was coming into their own; recovering from life challenges, achieving success and enjoying the pleasures in life while I just get to watch everyone else enjoy the banquet I once briefly feasted at. Everyone is swinging happily while I pump my legs in vain. I got some great advice and decided I had to stop focusing on taking care of others and find ways to care of myself. They suggested I go seek out things that make me feel good that aren’t linked to work and family, and seek professional help. Other dear friends gave the same encouragement.
So I started working out every day, looking for a therapist (one that’s hopefully kink/non-monogamy aware) and looking into dance classes. I decided to get out more often, more than just Sex Geekdom outings. I’m not giving up anything, and definitely not giving up on non-monogamy as it’s at the core of my being, but I need to find pleasures in life in different ways. It’s not easy because I have a hard time being motivated when I’m depressed. I need someone to pull me out, to say “hey, we’re doing this on Fri night.” Usually friends suggest things but I have to make it happen. Socializing is also a challenge when nearly every event requires a sitter; the cost makes every hour chime with a loud ca-ching. I often wish for a mad man in a box to come take me on adventures. Well, a 10th mad man in a box with a 51st century Capt. to be precise. Distant lands, harrowing adventures, new experiences, smokin’ hot threesomes, some moresomes…
Ok, enough of the Doctor Who/Torchwood slash fiction that plays in my head.
This is the new pleasure quest: finding my way back to the pleasures in life. To create happy moments so I can string them together like a bridge over the darker days. This past year dark days have been endless and drown out the few sparks of light. I need to remember that I was on a panel at CatalystCon West, at Playground Conference and spoke at The Tool Shed. I made it to Desire and although not in the most ideal condition managed to have a little bit of awesome sexy time. I’m still here for you Swingsetters, I may be temporarily sidelined but will cheer on those still in the game. While sometimes hard to hear everyone’s sexy stories, I still want to help as best I can and encourage everyone to pursue their pleasure. I’m hoping I can take all my experiences and help others deal with sex and depression.
I’m not looking to get to the seemingly unattainable “It gets better” endgame but make better moments now to build into feel better sometime in the future. I hope by finding pleasure in life again I will lure back that lost libido and it will want to stay. It may take me a while to get there and I’m sure I’ll fall many times along the way, so far I’ve fallen every day. I am grateful for the many people who have become my safety net. I never had this before in my life, I need to remember to cherish that when all seems lost. Hopefully this time next year my life will be sung to a different tune and I can say that even if pleasure quest has not been achieved, I’ve at least leveled up a bit.