Is this what we are reduced to, being single...ESP in LA?
GOODNESS...this ANGERED AND TERRIFIED me on SO MANY LEVELS, but also got
me thinking about alot of things...Is this the FRIGHTFUL reality most
people aspire to attain....???? How many others out there SPIT on
commitment, disrespect the vows THEY or their FRIENDS CHOOSE to take,
and just plain old fashioned romance? And people have the GAUL to
speculate about me and wonder why I've remained on my own for 36 yrs.
I've dated several folk in my time. I have even had a chance or two to
end up at the alter, but in the end I decided I was not ready or could
not commit to it. It was due to me being too young or, in another case,
the other person's lack of strength to commit to marriage the way I
believe it to be. My grandmother always taught me a COMMITMENT is
something you WORK OUT. You do not walk away from or disrespect YOUR
private intimacy by inviting another person inside to partke selfeshly
of what two people agreed to keep SACRED by taking
VOWS. My granny
always said that in her time folks went into the marriage with the idea
that you WORK IT OUT and try to GROW together. Divorce was never an
option as an "out" when things got rough. There are always exceptions,
no one is perfect and unforseen things happen (I said the following to a
cranky friend recently which I will apply here. I said, "Trying to
have a relationship with you, is like being on the decks of the Titanic
as it is sinking and suggesting songs to the band!"). But, I truly
believe the rate of split ups in todays world are due to the lax
attitude society has about commitment today. That and people putting
their own vanity or selfish needs first and not thinking of "ME" as an
"US". I never met someone that I could "go the distance" with and did
not want a divorce on my record. Hell, I've never even shacked up with a
man in my entire life. If you want to live with me, make a commitment.
I will not allow myself to live
in the role of an "unpaid whore" as
the controversial Dr. L would say (OUCH that is a harsh one!). It
might suit others, it would never do for me. Someone once said: "You
can tell a real MAN by the commitments he is willing to MAKE and KEEP".
I know a few lucky broads who have found these guys (and you do NOT
always need that piece of formal paper to recognize them). You can tell
by the way they stick around and keep it going, even when every 28 days
we gals act out a scene comparable to "The Taming of the Shrew!"
you are looking for a man "Find a cock outside the box"........go to
Alaska where the ratio of men to woman is 10-1, don't screw your best
friend and her husband and call it a day.
***FEATURED IN THE LA WEEKLY JULY RELATIONSHIP ISSUE. WRITER IS Dani Katz with LA WEEKY***
Lust in L.A.: Hot, Sticky & Bothered
Wondering why guys don't make the first move anymore, and notes on the pains and pleasures of threesomes
By Dani Katz
Published on July 03, 2008
was the longest I'd gone without sex in more than a decade — six
months. Having spent the past year trying not to die while recovering
from an herbal abortion gone awry, I'd hardly noticed — I had barely
enough energy to bathe, clothe and feed myself, let alone ponder getting
off. I saw no larger repercussions to this extended sexual drought
until my doctor issued an otherwise unorthodox prescription.
cocked to one side, Dr. Habib Sadeghi, my hero and a brilliant
healer/physician — trained not only in traditional Western medicine but
in alternative therapies as well — held onto my wrists, retrieving
information from various organs, channels and neurotransmitters through
his fingertips. He smiled and told me that the worst was behind me. I
was finally strong enough to start rebuilding my system. He inserted
acupuncture needles into my head, chest and ankles, slipped a pair of
purple color-therapy glasses over my eyes and began digging his fingers
into the backside of my pelvis by way of my bellybutton, massaging out
the bad karma, the trauma and a year's worth of pain and lonely despair.
The treatment, integrated neuromyofascial release, while excruciating,
was a triumph, and I laughed my way through the pain, taking solace in
my progress, and in the slow but certain return of my life force. He
told me to expect a sudden surge in my libido.
And then he gave me some instructions: I needed to make sure I had "at least three to four releases a week."
wasn't talking about massage treatments. Releaseswasshy-young-doctor
speak for orgasms, which would, according to Dr. Sadeghi, unleash a
flurry of oxytocin into my system, restore my ravaged uterus and induce
whole-body healing feelings of love, warmth and tenderness — all
abstract concepts that I only vaguely recollected in light of this past
year of heartache, body break and isolation.
As a lifelong serial
monogamist, flitting from one co-dependent commitment to the next as a
means to work through the baggage I'd accumulated throughout my
formative years, I'd never had occasion to dally with sex for sex's sake
outside the confines of a "relationship." After finally getting over
the boyfriend whom I affectionately refer to as "the guy who knocked me
up and ditched me," I'd opted to fly solo, not wanting to take on anyone
else's issues, personality defects or mood disorders while I healed and
focused on my career. The medical mandate to "release" inspired
fantasies of hot, sweaty nights of frivolous, freewheeling passion —
unbound by the constraints of commitment and compromise and heavy "Where
is this going?" conversations, with the excuse that my doctor told me
But there was a problem. All my single-guy friends who railed
on and on about what a catch I was when I was dangling off the arm of
emotionally unavailable Boyfriend X wanted nothing to do with my
"It would be weird," said a newly divorced friend, valiantly trying to figure out how to be alone.
"I can't," lamented the best friend of yet another ex-boyfriend. "It would kill Ole."
... I guess so," said the snack from the health-food store, 26, with
the model-perfect body and neurotic disposition, just before he boarded a
plane to New York and never called me again.
I was zero-for-three and confused. I thought no-strings-attached sex with a beautiful woman was a no-brainer. Was it me?
got no game!" shrieked my friend Dave, artist and fellow celibate by
default at the tender and virile age of 26. It was true, my hard-hitting
propositions leaned toward the spastic, but I had no time for
coquettish subtleties, or clever seduction scenarios; I had a quota to
meet. Plus, the pelvic treatment had unleashed the sudden return of my
libido with a vengeance, and I was in an exaggerated state of frisky
At the same time, I noticed girlfriends with no
medical-orgasm mandate complaining of the same problem — an oddly urgent
need for sex, and no willing participants with whom to have it.
don't know if I'm coming or going, but I'm definitely not coming,"
lamented Bryony, of the sun-streaked blond waves, the plump, kissable
lips and sexy British accent into my voicemail. "I need to have sex and,
yes, this is the kind of message I'm leaving these days."
a slim clothing designer with flaming red hair and serious brown eyes,
whimpered into the phone, "I'm having the worst case of hives, and I'm
pretty sure it's linked to sexual repression."
Venturing out of
solitude and into the city by way of gallery openings, intimate
gatherings and a few extraneous New Age hippie events, I saw beautiful
people in beautiful clothes standing awkwardly apart from one another,
not dialoguing, not smiling, not engaging. Gone were the furtive glances
and flirty exchanges I was used to experiencing in the social sphere. A
profound sense of alienation had taken their place. It seemed as if no
one in L.A. was having sex, at least no one that I could see. I started
sniffing around, testing the waters to see if my theory checked out.
of my friends are fucking celibate, and notby choice," lamented J., a
26-year-old actress, yogi, teacher and Scorpio (the infamous sex sign)
with high cheekbones and smooth, caramel-colored skin, while fiddling
with a rubbery purple dildo in front of her altar.
While the men
around me seemed unfazed by the drought, my girlfriends and I were
crawling up our proverbial walls and bouncing off glass ceilings,
needing to connect, release, express. Sure, I could self-administer my
weekly three to four with far less time and effort than it was taking to
find a willing participant, but it wasn't just the orgasm I wanted, it
was the holistic, sensual experience of being touched, of tasting and
smelling and exploring another body. I wanted unattached intimacy, an
interim profundity that included soft caresses and sweet kisses and
would ultimately take care of my quota, without compromise or drama.
Feeling like a cross between a lecherous 18-year-old boy and a leprous
Scorpio, I was hot, I was bothered, I was inappropriately propositioning
all the cute boys I knew, and getting rejected from every possible
angle. It was humiliating to be on the receiving end of so many shades
of no. I may be strong and I'm certainly
direct, but I'm no hunter. I
like a man who knows what he wants and goes after it, especially when
it's me. Still, I pressed on — in my mission to release, as well as my
inquiry into why it was so fucking hard to find someone to help me to do
I turned to Cindy Guidry, author of The Last Single Woman in
L.A. She has a hot Pilates bod, a raspy voice, strong opinions — and
she wasn't getting any either.
"I think the fact that women have
become more predatory is part of it," she said over a bowl of
steaming-hot miso soup at M Café, "because now men are confused as to
whether they're predator or prey. Traditionally, men are the hunters,
and the hunt no longer exists, so I think if you're talking about
someone's biological drive to pursue something, and that thing is now
being thrown in their laps, I think that thing, all of a sudden, becomes
This role reversal hasn't been working out so
well for some of us. "If a guy's sitting there thinking, 'If a girl
really liked me, she'd do something' — because that's what women do now,
they make the move — and if I'm sitting there waiting for a man to make
the move," Guidry said, "there's not really anywhere for things to come
"There is identity chaos going on," confirmed sex
lecturer, author and artist Eric Francis by phone from New York, where,
he assures, people are still having sex. "The guys have become the sappy
romantics, and the women have become the shameless hussies."
idioms aside, it was true that the men in my life all seemed to want
deep, meaningful, monogamous relationships, and were willing to hold off
on any sort of co-creative erotic interplay until finding 'em, while
the women around me just wanted to have drama-free, no-strings-attached
sex. It's not that we don't want those same romantic, profound
connections — we do. It's just that we want to be having erotic exploits
in the interim. I know too much to think that every pretty face is a
potential Prince Charming with an amazing sense of humor and a bone-deep
desire to grow and expand and evolve, which outweighs his ego's urge to
be right, look cool or play it safe. Still, I love men, especially the
cute, dark, creative ones, and these days, when I see one, I'm not
thinking about taking long walks on the beach or growing old together;
I'm wondering what he smells like and how he looks with his shirt off.
was around midnight, a full moon was out, and a 25-year-old pro-poly
cutie I'll call "Ben" was texting me. He has twinkling Nepalese eyes and
a million-watt smile, so I leapt out of character once more and drove
east to his hilltop hideaway to rattle my status quo and possibly check
off one of my weekly three to four. Curled up on opposite ends of the
couch, egos and urges tucked safely beneath us, we talked ... and talked
... and talked some more.
"I never make the first move," he suddenly announced.
I thought my midnight trek to Silver Lake wasthe first move.
A standoff ensued. No spit was swapped, no bodily fluids of any kind exchanged.
couldn't help but wonder if there was something bigger going on.
Between processed food, pharmaceuticals and even reports of chem-trails
wreaking havoc on what we eat and drink, it's no wonder our bodies are
more toxic than ever. Studies abound about rising dioxin levels leading
to lower testosterone counts — could some kind of feminizing effect on
men have brought us not just metrosexuals but guys who refuse to make
the first move?
Hyperintense tonic herbalist and local
optimal-health guru Truth Calkins, 38, himself celibate for the past
eight years despite his taut, toned physique and his pretty blue eyes,
blames the sexual drought on skyrocketing stress levels. "Stress levels
are so high to keep up with all the stimuli in the modern world," he
said. "People's adrenals, pituitaries, ovaries get more depleted.
There's so much pressure in so many areas. They don't have the kind of
drive, like hormonal energy, to get through their life with a lot of
vigor, let alone have sex."
Under a shade tree in Venice, beneath
a straw fedora and a dusty ray of setting sunlight, James Mathers, 44,
an artist/poet/philosopher and keen observer of human relations, told me
that he's witnessing "a lot more holdy-holdy, a lot more support, a lot
more nutritious man love" among his otherwise hetero peers. "I'm
content with my gender confusion," he said.
"People seem very
alienated and very isolated," said Bay Area–based relationship therapist
Kathy Labriola. "[They're spending] more time in front of the
television, in front of the computer, [forging] fewer community ties and
Technology may be folding the world into one
neat global culture of commerce, activism, awareness and distraction,
but it's wreaking havoc on our sex lives. We've effectively removed the
sensory experience from our exchanges, relegating them entirely to the
realm of so much sterile brain stuff. The telephone was never great, but
there were still lilts, giggles and telling pauses to color
conversation, even if visual cues, smells and — dare to dream — tactile
components were removed. Today, relationships are forged via so many
square screens, with LOL replacing the holy, healing act of laughter,
and abbreviated text messages passed off as courtship. When we are
face-to-face, or even just voice-to-voice, we're rusty, awkward and out
"You in town?" I messaged a sexy little alternative-medicine doctor with whom I'd been having a sexy little e-mail exchange.
The single-syllable reply was out of character for the otherwise long-winded and flirty e-mailer.
Sadeghi just prescribed me at least three orgasms per week, and all you
have for me is 'nope'" I typed, annoyed, but hopeful.
"You have to strike when the libido is hot."
thought I had. And so ended my brief and disappointing relationship
with Dr. D. We probably could have gone on for months, e-mailing thinly
veiled innuendos punctuated with flirty emoticons, but as soon as I
tried to bring our technological fantasy into the realm of eye contact
and intonation, it crumbled.
Abstinent by default, doctor's
orders swirling around my newly unblocked second chakra, I tried the
online porn scene, hot-pink Babeland vibrator in hand. Here, everyone's
having sex — bronzed, hairless, dry, overacted, self-conscious, stupid
sex. But it seems that the gender shift hasn't yet infiltrated our
neural receptors as they relate to receiving visual erotic stimuli — at
least not mine. Ew.
As for Internet dating, with its lengthy
questionnaires and airbrushed headshots, it removes faith and fate from
the equation, relying on résumé points, laundry lists and acronyms to
define the perfect life partner. Social-networking sites like MySpace,
Facebook and Tribe seem to work for bands wanting to share their music,
but as far as the forging of true intimacy, I wasn't convinced.
week after our standoff on his couch, Ben and I ended up having sex. I
not only made the first move, I made all the moves, including paying for
foreplay ... I mean lunch. He was adorable and eager to please, and
generously knocked out two of my weekly three to four. I left with a
rosy glow and tousled hair and the realization that I didn't want casual
sex after all, even with a gorgeous witchy boy who was open and
conscious and aware well beyond his scant 25 years. Yes, he threw me on
the bed and we laughed and I came, but there wasn't enough ... I don't
know — time? trust? connection? life? ... love? — between us to make it
much more than two bodies using each other to get off.
But if I
didn't want casual sex and I didn't want a relationship, what did I
want? I wondered if there wasn't some sort of magical in-between place
where I could engage erotically with someone I actually loved and
trusted, a (beautiful, fit, sweet) friend who wanted to share an erotic
experience without the drama, compromise or extra conversations that
came along with commitment, who happened to live within a four-block
Confused, frustrated and still terrifically frisky, I crawled
into bed with my best girlfriend, snuggled up close and held on tight
while dreaming of a magical man with soft skin, big hands and a
brilliant sense of humor. She nudged me awake to massage coconut oil
onto her back, which was the most fulfilling action I'd experienced in
"Nicki," as I'll call her here, came into my life at a
meditation retreat up north. I'd spent 10 days delving inward in silence
— no reading, no writing, no eye contact — observing various bodily
sensations, and found myself seated behind a tall, bookish woman with
blood-red streaks in her curly black hair. We broke the silence with
giggles and mischief-making, and discovered that we were both writers,
me of fluff and art and magic, and she of a critically acclaimed seminal
guide to three-way love.
Back in Los Angeles, calm and clear, I
devoured Nicki's how-to book in one sitting. While I wasn't jonesing for
a three-way myself, I grooved on the alternative it proposed to the
mythical dinosaur of monogamy. According to Nicki, a veritable expert on
the subject, polyamorous relationships, while mostly closeted, are
rapidly spreading into the mainstream.
fundamentalist fable of human relations would have us believe that boy
meets girl well before 30, then they marry, breed and supposedly live a
perfectly fulfilled happily-ever-after without ever flirting with,
fantasizing about or, God forbid, tasting anyone else. The primary
partner will satisfy every possible need — sexual, intimate or
otherwise. Attraction to others is a sign of deviance, as are
homosexuality, masturbation and staying single. Lying and cheating are
to be expected but never acknowledged.
Why we continue to buy
into this model is beyond me, but every mythology in our culture has
been shoving it down our collective throat since the moment this machine
that is our consumptive empire started running.
"Marriage is big
business, the central fairy tale, and, as a narrative-based culture, we
don't have any alternate mythologies," Francis patiently explained by
phone. "A culture is dependent upon its mythologies."
book, Nicki not only proposed an alternate mythology of three-way love,
she encouraged her readers to throw rote social convention aside and to
engage critical thinking and radical honesty in creating relationship
models designed specifically for themselves, by themselves. The idea of
custom-crafting a relationship with boundaries of my own choosing blew
my mind wide open.
"It's important to me to design a relationship
that isn't about what society dictates," Nicki said, contemplative and
interview-shy, though firm in her beliefs, over tea following an
afternoon MOCA outing. "There are so many ways to have relationships ...
there are so many different sets of rules that work for different
Nicki and I forged a friendship based on self-inquiry,
adventure and a love-hate relationship with the local Burner community.
She advised me on writing residencies; I took her with me to see Dave
Cooper's muted, maniacal oil renderings of strange and silly
girl-on-girl action. Nicki was a subdued combination of accomplished and
worldly, humble and innocent, full of long pauses of thoughtful
reflection and effusive outbursts of cheeky enthusiasm. She was a doer
and an explorer, always dipping her purple-painted toe into something
new and exciting — from impromptu road trips to building igloos on snowy
mountaintops. When she brought her husband, "Sasha," along on a weekend
wildflower excursion, I wondered if they were scoping me out.
is classically gorgeous with a dazzling smile, complicated blue eyes
and a chiseled physique. We had an immediate rapport based on wit and
wordplay, and an unspoken something that ignited in the space between
our gazes. He swigged from my water bottle as if he'd known me for
lifetimes, and by the end of the day, we were finishing each other's
sentences and sharing mutual fantasies of living sustainably, somewhere
lush and lovely and communal, while making art and whittling.
at the home that Sasha built himself, we dined on raw food specially
prepared with me — the high-maintenance vegan geek — in mind, and then
talked into the wee hours of the morning.
We started spending
weekends together. Our daytime outings effortlessly spilled into
evenings. Time slipped away in the wake of laughter, wild, creative
conspiracy and a down-deep-'n'-dirty sort of honest inquiry into
ourselves and each other that left all of us wanting more. The chemistry
between the three of us was electric.
I wondered if I had the
balls to take it all the way. It was easy to talk a good game from the
sidelines of celibacy, but to step into someone else's marriage for the
sake of their fantasy and my oxytocin was another story. I'd been
railing on and on about wanting uncommitted sex with someone beautiful
and brilliant and on my wavelength for months, and now here I was, faced
with not one, but two gorgeous, aware, awake, artsy, progressive
possibilities, and I was wavering. Was it fear of the unknown? Sure. Was
I afraid of getting attached? Probably.
"It's a gift," enthused
Ben. "You don't turn down a gift. You take it, and say thank you ...
most people don't get opportunities like this."
Nicki and Sasha's marriage from the inside was palpably shifting my
attitude toward love and commitment. They were deeply, respectfully in
love with each other, and it was beautiful to witness. What I'd judged
as a barbed-wire cop-out, I was now seeing as a supportive structure for
conscious partnership, especially in light of the space they held for
each other's individual expression and exploration. I'd never seen a
relationship, let alone a contractually bound marriage, that looked even
vaguely appealing; theirs seemed ideal.
I was starting to
soften. Sasha's e-mails weren't making it any easier — playful,
flirtatious and, sigh, really well written. I was saying yes to openings
and events that I had no time for just so I could spend more time with
Nicki, who dug deep, asked hard questions and lived big and bold in her
own way. It was all flowing so easily, and since a little loving was
precisely what the doctor had ordered, what harm could come from a
light-hearted tryst that was safely confined to the realms of
uncommitted experimentation with two people I genuinely cared for?
like to have one more night of you before you leave town," Sasha
e-mailed me as I was scrambling to get ready for a trip that I never
ended up taking.
I groomed and moisturized before they came to fetch me ("Kidnapping you is half the fun," texted Sasha). I was nervous.
weird enough getting naked in front of one person," I vented to my best
girlfriend. "But two? Just think of the ensuing dialogues comparing
notes about my flaws and my scars and my bungling technique."
laughed away my doubts as textbook threshold anxiety, while I lamented
my regrettably hetero track record. "I've never licked pussy before, and
he went to a weeklong intensive to perfect his skills! How can I
possibly measure up?"
At Nicki and Sasha's, the three of us
chopped vegetables together, and ate outside under the stars. Sasha
admitted he had a crush on me, and I fessed up to the one I'd been
harboring for him.
"Oooh ..." gushed Nicki, smiling at this
latest development. Our first awkward silence ensued. I wondered if
they'd discussed this but was suddenly too shy to ask.
"C'mon," Sasha said, leading us both inside.
threshold anxiety turned out to be a nonissue. Take three beautiful
bodies, add immeasurable amounts of chemistry, attraction, affection,
creativity and intrigue, and let the sparks fly. It was amazing: finally
consummating weeks of pent-up passion while kissing Sasha, and then
turning my head to kiss Nicki's sweet, smooth lips, her killer hips, her
soft skin, the adorable freckles dotting her world-class shoulders. I
languished in the surplus of skin and limbs. There was always something
to hold, someone to kiss, somewhere to touch. Nicki was shy; Sasha was
strong. I stayed out of my head and open to the love, the affection, the
sensations and the sweetness that abounded in the unmodeled space we
were creating. The balance of masculine and feminine was comforting,
exciting, amazing — and, as the guest of honor, I received more than my
share of attention, effectively taking care of my weekly dose, and then
The days following our first night together were marked by
subtle energetic shifts in our triangular dynamic. I awakened in Sasha's
arms the morning after, and after sharing a potential boundary-crossing
two-minute snooze entwined, Sasha appropriately refocused his
affections on his wife, distancing himself from me, ever so slightly. As
usual, we had a splendid time together — driving out to the old Manson
family ranch for a workshop on how to become a sovereign citizen versus a
federal slave. But the palpable pulling away left a shallow bruise on
my otherwise rapidly opening heart. I came home from our excursion
feeling somewhat crummy — left alone to observe the insecurity, the
flitters of jealousy, the longing for more. There was no ambiguity in
this situation, and I was left only with what was real. With eyes and
heart wide open, I chose to walk my talk — to take what I was being
offered with gratitude and humility, and to let the hang-ups
what I wasn't getting drift away. By Saturday, when we came together in a
Chumash sweat lodge in Moorpark, I had gained a significant distance
from the emotions, and a stronger foothold on my role in the triad.
Sitting next to Sasha in the pitch black of the sweat lodge, I felt my
petty insecurities burn up in the volcanic rocks, leaving my body in the
streams of sweat pouring down my spine, soaking my sundress and the
earth beneath me. I exited the lodge, purified, just in time to see
Sasha faint into Nicki's arms.
Yet another weekend spent hiking,
laughing and making love did wonders for my disposition. My heart was
wide open and, with no illusions of forever or tomorrow or "mine" to
filter it into, I spread it far and wide, showering affection and
gratitude and compliments and appreciation among my friends and my
community and everyone who crossed my path.
"The more you love,"
said writer Robert A. Heinlein, "the more you can love — and the more
intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love."
triad was quickly expanding beyond the confines of reductive ideas like
heterosexual and commitment. The growth was exponential, and I found
myself processing at lightning speed and stepping up, again and again,
into new realms of expression, experience and expansion, getting out of
my head, acting from an ever-opening heart, in a constant practice of
surrender. I checked in daily: Does this feel good? Is this serving me?
not the kind of thing that a complacent person should do," said Sasha,
pensive on the patio of the Alcove on a sunny afternoon. "I have friends
who say they want to be comfortable in life, and that they want things
to be easy, and I don't think it's necessarily comfortable or easy, but I
think it makes you better."
My friends dubbed them "The Couple."
"How's it going with The Couple?" they'd ask.
"Amazing," I'd beam.
was great having another woman around for those especially girlie
moments like primping, teasing and tag-team flirting. The extra dose of
feminine energy lent itself to extra giggles and late-morning bedroom
Sweaty and tingly, we scuttled into bed, just as the
sun was coming up. Sasha stood naked before the window in front of us,
fiddling with a swath of fabric, trying to block out the onslaught of
daylight while Nicki and I oohed and aahed over his magnificent tush
from under the covers. Fabric finally secured, Nicki leapt up and yanked
it loose, forcing Sasha to start over again, and giving us another
extended look at his beautiful backside. Nicki slipped back under the
covers and into my arms, while we giggled wildly. Three was working out
Of course, it had its share of weirdness: Unspoken
rules Nicki and Sasha had set up between themselves trickled down to me,
experientially. After a carefully avoided rendezvous and a few subtle
logistical reconfigurations, I figured out that Sasha wasn't allowed to
be alone with me. And it was a couple of weeks before Nicki felt
comfortable with Sasha and me moving from foreplay to coitus. Taking
Sasha inside me while holding tightly to Nicki's hand was deeply erotic
and amazing. The six orgasms it inspired were less about fetish or
perversion, and more an expression of a rapidly expanding affection, as
well as the truly overwhelming gratitude and respect I felt for Nicki's
courage and generosity.
"It won't work," said my friend Frank, a
young Dominican ayahuascero steeped in esoteric mysteries, celestial
secrets and the sanctity of his own traditional marriage.
do you mean by 'work'?" I asked, genuinely unclear. I was loving and
receiving love, and growing. Oxytocin was flowing freely throughout my
happy, healing body. It was already working.
"It won't last," he said. "It's not sustainable."
of the fundamental problems with the old model of intimacy is that we
project permanence onto love. The feeling arises, and it's magical and
monumental and, instead of savoring it in the moment with gratitude and
presence, we cling onto it with outstretched claws and lay claim to it
"A lot of
experiences can be missed if we're always focused on the long-term," my
friend the photographer/philosopher Herwig Maurer said over the phone
from his Pacific Nexus Gallery in Venice. "The moment is all we have."
never thought that because a relationship ends, it fails. Everything
ends — relationships, systems of thought, life, all of it. All we can
ever truly count on is change, and that includes endings.
there are plenty of long-term polyrelationships that challenge the
notion that multiple partnerships are doomed to the short-term. As a
means of child-rearing, it's actually ideal, with extra hands to diaper
and dry dishes, and additional perspectives to enrich a developing
"I have no reason to believe it's not
sustainable," defended Sasha, curled up like a cat on his purple
L-shaped couch, still wearing his kundalini damp yoga clothes. "People
always think that because they don't see a lot of people doing something
that it doesn't work, and that's total horseshit. Right? Everyone
thought that a horseless carriage was a fantasy, and now everyone's
driving around in cars."
"Did everyone think it was a fantasy?" I teased
he said, smiling his way into the center of my heart. "There were a few
forward-thinking maverick geniuses who knew it was possible."
"Do you want to make out with me?" I asked.
He laughed that sparkling, lovely Sasha laugh: "Yes."
were poems and flowers and long lingering eye locks. There was talk of
road trips and introductions to families and friends. I found myself
thinking about Sasha more and more and more, and what I'd never
considered, and what I didn't see coming, was my falling hard and fast
and stupid for my friend's husband. All at once, weekends weren't enough
and holding back wouldn't do, and maintaining the balance of affection
and attention between two autonomous individuals — one with whom I was
suddenly, surprisingly in love, the other, a friend whom I admired and
adored and yet didn't dream about or pine over or long for, though her
body was slammin' and her kisses were sweet.
Love is the ultimate
outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is
to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey,
maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is
out of the question. The wordsmake andstay become inappropriate. My love
for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.
—Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker
a long weekend spent art-hopping, adventuring and experiencing a
handful of mind-blowing orgasms, Sasha and I vibed high and huge, but
Nicki seemed to be slipping away. I found myself crouched inside a
crooked head space, wondering how much longer I could dangle on the
outside of this relationship, clamping down on my emotions, holding my
tongue and my feelings, trying to fit my heart into a tiny box on the
periphery of someone else's marriage, and pretending I could keep my
shit together in light of this unforeseen onslaught of intense emotion
and all that wasn't being said. It felt like we were moving into real
relationship territory, and, for the first time, I really was getting
the short end of the stick. I went home Sunday night, exhausted from the
delicate dance we were performing, depleted for my own week, with no
one to rub my back or to whisper sweet nothings in my ear or to reassure
me that I was his favorite.
Aside from my feelings for Sasha, or
perhaps because of them, I became suddenly aware of my inherent primal
nature — the alpha in me who wasn't okay with second place, who couldn't
make herself smaller to make Nicki feel better. I was annoyed with her,
not for doubting, but for pretending, for not walking her talk, and in
being annoyed, I was out of integrity. It no longer felt good. It was no
longer serving me. Our experiment had reached its logical conclusion.
breakup was bumpier than I'd expected. Several weeks of tiptoeing
around the edges of definition, without creating visible boundaries or
revealing our true feelings or talking about just what it was we were
really getting into backed up on us, bigtime. Insecurities were
triggered, reactions had and harsh words recklessly strewn about. We all
said stupid things, rationalizing our agendas, protecting our egos,
trying to backtrack through the mess of silence and innuendo and
overwhelming emotion and energies that had intensified faster, bigger
and brighter than any of us had imagined possible.
"No one's that
evolved when it comes to matters of the heart," consoled my writing
partner, Nina, a tiny, ageless beauty who's talked me through many a
"I have no illusions about how much fear there is,
and how difficult it is for people to change from what they were taught
as children," e-mailed Eric Francis, who himself struggles to navigate
his way through the wild frontier of polyamory. "The issue behind the
issue is not the supposed immorality of having more than one partner,
nor a lack of the ability to love more than one person. The issue is
jealousy. Do we really need it? Well, it's a good cover-up for our own
My feelings for Sasha only intensified in the days
following our breakup. All that I had been holding back came rushing in.
I vacillated between despair over the cruel irony of meeting the man of
my dreams, had I ever been bold enough to dream so big and so
beautiful, and gratitude for a healed heart, for regaining my faith in
love and partnership, for experiencing a profound level of intense
connection that I never knew was possible — and for the trust that both
Sasha and Nicki, especially Nicki, extended to me in bringing me into
their hearts and their marriage. The sadness is attachment and
temporality, and still very, very real. It's all those things I judge as
old-model and unevolved and beneath me. It's me wanting more Sasha,
wanting a shared future, a longer now, a liminal loophole in which we
could slip away for a 24-hour infinity and put it all out there, without
hurting anyone, an imaginary space wherein he kisses me freely and
forever and never has to tear his eyes away to check in with his wife.
this end of it, gratitude prevails. The anger has dissipated. The hurt
is subsiding. I miss him; I miss her — as my friend, as my plus-one, as
my lover and, selfishly, as my admirer. I burst into tears last week
while making dinner for myself, wishing I'd had a chance to cook for
them, wishing I'd felt less so that we could have shared more, wishing
there was some way to make it work, wanting to believe that three is
indeed sustainable, which it very well may be under different
circumstances. I just don't know.
Still, I stand by the success of my threesome.
"It's shifted you, massively, in the best of ways," remarked my best friend, who said she's never experienced my heart so open.
many knots were untangled, so much love was shared, so much healing was
had, that the structure can't simply be cast aside. As a long-term
solution to our crumbling model of happily-ever-after, I'm not so sure,
but as a haven for experimentation, and for the untangling of so much
socialized angst around eroticism, intimacy and partnership, I dare say
the multipartnered relationship experience is a must.
is a tool ...," maintained my philosopher friend Maurer even before I
stepped inside my own triad, "... a way to reprogram the human
"The revolution is not going to be
polyamory," predicted Francis. "It's going to be redefining monogamy,
wherein we give our partners more freedom ... the freedom not to lie."
still not quite sure what's going on between the sexes, or where we're
headed. Something is amiss, this much I know. I spent months trying to
get laid and the only way I was able to find real satisfaction was with a
married couple. Clearly, the myth of old-model monogamy is broken, and
without an alternate template to show us how to come together
authentically, we Los Angelenos are more isolated than ever. The answer
may be as simple as honesty. More truth certainly couldn't hurt.
the back end of my triad, once I'd dipped my toe in the soft, sweet
waters of connection and affection, loneliness crept in during the
dullest of moments. Ever and always independent, I found that being
alone suddenly sucked in the wake of three hearts and six arms. But I've
moved through it and found my way to a new faith in love and
connection, knowing that now that I've tasted it, it will be that much
easier to call in again, when I'm ready, and the stars align and I have
the energy to be a partner and to dive into a relationship.
the meantime, I'm back to self-administering my weekly three-to-four,
one-dimensionally taking care of myself while I continue to heal, no
longer yearning for that imaginary in-between sex friend, having tasted
something so much sweeter. Rather, I'm holding space for what James
Mathers calls "that really powerful, really grounded and beautiful
intimacy [that] is a service to the whole world and to every world,"
whatever that may look like, and however it decides to meet me.
Back Talk on "Hot, Sticky & Bothered"
Propositions, recrimination and helpful hints from polyamory detractors and defenders
By L.A. Weekly readers
Published on July 17, 2008
Bothered and Bewildered
Comments on "Hot, Sticky & Bothered" [July 4–10], by Dani Katz.
Dani. Yours is one of the very few LAW cover stories I have read all
the way through. (I get LAW for Marc Cooper and Scott Foundas.) Be sure
to do a follow-up on the thousands of e-mails you get from men wishing
to sleep with you! Add me to your list or maybe pass me on to your older
friends as I'm in my 50s.
Posted July 4 by Bruce Dickson
sensuous men you seek elude you, because you, as do most women, bring
to every relation a scorecard — complex, emotional, extensive — and
yours is compounded by a predatory desire to possess perfection. Bound
by that, you will never be open — as you claim to be — to a genuinely
erotic experience ...
Posted July 4 by Mark
Why don't guys
make the first move any more? ... They're tired and beaten down. Not to
say it's totally women's fault. Men are mostly to blame for the
societal expectations of women. The answer is less judgment, more
respect and consideration, and much more playful flirting. I think your
story was touching and beautifully written. Lastly, many of us struggle
with the ideal form for romantic love. We all want that special someone,
but don't want to lock someone in a prison of our own insecurities and
demands, nor be locked in one ourselves. Jealousy truly is the biggest
Posted July 4 by Robert Szeles
of BS to admit that conventional wisdom is right: Screwing your best
friend and her husband is fun for a while, but when she notices you
starting to have real feelings for him — and that you're not just a
"beautiful body" — she dumps you, so he dumps you, and now you've lost
your friends as friends. You obviously fulfilled some sort of curiosity
or hole in their lives, and then they couldn't stand to look at you. Any
sex therapist could have predicted this outcome, or you could have
watched Oxygen's Sue Johanson for free.
Posted July 7 by Susan
you for an extremely insightful and powerful article. I'm always
impressed by people willing to "own their own stuff" and do the internal
searching necessary to deal with relationship issues maturely. As a
poly person, I'm saddened by the fact your triad didn't last, but not
everyone is wired for this lifestyle. It's better to be true to yourself
than to attempt to "prove" something can work. Happily, my triad
continues to thrive a year in. Blessings on your journey!
Posted July 8 by Euphrates
Intimacy, shmintimacy. When you get horny again, give me a call.