TMI Tuesday

TMI Tuesday this week isn’t really that exciting. They’re a little small-talky rather than TMIesque. And editing these things on my phone really sucks.

1. Autumn or fall. Which do you say?

Fall.

2. Pumpkin Spice. Love it or hate it?

Hate it. I like things to be what they are, and adding the pumpkin spice mocha shot blast to things taints them in ways I don’t enjoy.

3. Apples. Seasonal treat or eat them all year?

I eat them all year. My favorites are probably the Pink Lady or the Pacific Rose.

4. Where you live, do tree leaves change color in fall?

They do.

5. In autumn truffles are popular in Italy, seafood is popular in Ireland, crayfish popular in Stockholm. What is a popular autumn food where you live?

Popular where I live, I’m not entirely sure. I’m dietarily restricted, so I’ve lost touch with whatever seasonal foods are “in.” What I really look forward to in fall are squashes and soups.

My primary cohabiting girlfriend makes a really awesome autumn root soup with squash and rutabaga and turnips. It’s fantastic. And we make a bolognese sauce and have it with spaghetti squash. These are some of my favorites.

6. Scientists observed that the further a country is away from the equator, the more its residents are affected by the seasons. How do you feel in autumn/fall? Depressed, rejuvenated or some other emotion?

Depressed. Motorcycle season is winding down. It starts to get dark before I leave work. I have SADS as well as a major/clinical depression and this is when it starts to get even worse.

7. Strolls amid fall foliage are:
a. romantic
b. allergy inducing
c. dirty
e. prime-time to “rustle the leaves” (if you know what I mean *wink, wink*)

A and E. Although remember that if you’re doing E, check each other for ticks when you get home. We go for a walk almost every day, and it’s nice when the air is a little crisp and the leaves change.

8. What is your favorite autumn holiday, celebration or activity?

When the pumpkin farm opens, I love going with my daughter. They have a petting zoo and giraffes you can feed and a big corn maze that isn’t actually that hard, but it’s fun. Last year, we got a picture of all of us petting and feeding a baby tiger. It’s probably not good to exploit the baby tigers like that, but it’s a good picture.

Bonus: Do you go apple picking in autumn? Ever made out in an apple orchard?

No, I try to avoid apple picking. I don’t think it’s that much fun and I am happy to pay for apples that are picked by other people. But, yes, I have made out in an apple orchard.

As always you can check out more TMI goodness on the TMI site (https://tmituesdayblog.wordpress.com/).

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TMI Tuesday, but actually on a Wednesday

Corrupting Mrs. Jones (https://corruptingmrsjones.wordpress.com/) is a very well-written blog by a nice, bright, and super cool lady. If you’re not reading her and you like sexy non-monogamists, check her out. She turned me on… I could leave it there, full stop, but she turned me onto these TMI Tuesday questions. Naturally, I was terribly busy yesterday so my first one is on Wednesday.

1. My favorite part of my current daily routine is ______ .

My main squeeze and I wake up together every morning. It takes us an hour or so to go from waking up to finally getting out of bed. Sometimes it’s snuggly. Sometimes it’s sexy. But it’s always my favorite time of tht day.

2. _____ toilet paper is okay.

Only the best. Seriously. If there was a cottony but not environmentally damaging nineteen ply, that would be the ticket.

3. _____ is my nervous habit

Rubbing my thumb and forefinger together on my right hand. And all of my mojo is thrown off if my hands are dirty or have something on them and the feel and texture of that motion is thrown off.

But at least now I can eat a handful of M&Ms even if they aren’t the same color.

4. Today I am thankful for ______ .

This fantastic weather. Perfect motorcycling weather.

5. I cannot wait to _______

See the new girl again. This week we’re having our second date, so that’s very exciting.

6. Three things I’m looking forward to this fall are: ______, _____, _____ .

Taking my daughter to the pumpkin farm.
Finishing my second book. I should be about two weeks out from finishing right now.
And, finally, finishing my final read through of my first book and putting it up for release.

7. I want to dress in ______ for ______ .

A tailored three piece suit, for pretty much anything.

8. My best friend is ______ .

My primary girlfriend. But if that’s too expected, my friend The Southerner. We worked together at a couple of different gigs and he’s one of the few people I actively try to keep in touch with. Not many people really get me, but he and I are on the same wavelength. I’m trying to convince him that we should start a podcast together.

Bonus: Would you take advice from a porn star? If yes, what type if advice would you like to hear.

What kind of pornographs are good when I want to see women actually enjoying themselves instead of putting on a show like the WWF or Disney on Ice? I don’t want the special effects. I want to see it for real.

As always you can check out more TMI goodness on the TMI site (https://tmituesdayblog.wordpress.com/).

Questioning

We love to watch movie trailers in my house. I’m an author; my primary, live-in girlfriend is an author; my daughter loves to write stories; and we like to play a game where we watch a movie trailer and then we write a story about what we’d like to see happen in that movie. A lot of the time, what we come up with is way better than the actual movie, but that’s not important right now. Lately, there were two trailers that my nine year old wanted to watch more than once: About Ray and The Danish Girl.

About Ray (http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/sep/13/about-ray-review-transgender-drama-offers-an-unremarkable-take-on-a-remarkable-story) is the story of a trans girl-to-boy. The Danish Girl (http://www.ew.com/article/2015/09/13/tiff-2015-danish-girl-review) is a trans male-to-female story about one of the first sex change operations.

The previews for these two films really caught my daughter’s attention. She’s known for a long time that the world isn’t made up of one mom + one dad heteronormal families. Her godparents are a great gay couple and they are fantastic to her. My Princess Boy (http://myprincessboy.com/) was a long time favorite of hers when she was little. The first male she fell in love with was Captain Jack Sparrow. The first female she fell in love with was Princess Jasmine. She used to tell me that she was going to marry both of them, so the three of them could go on as many adventures as they wanted together and then they could come home to a lovely palace.

Something about those two movies clicked with her in a way I don’t know if I’ve seen before. She had many, many questions about boys and girls and boys who like boys and girls who like girls and boys and girls who liked boys and girls. She questioned her sexuality and her identity. She did a lot of thinking about who she is and what she feels like, who she feels like she is.

She said, “That must be really terrible, feeling like you’re a boy if you look like a girl. Everyone would think you’re just a girl by looking at you, and then when they get to know you some people might be confused because they think you’re a girl and you’re not. That’s really sad.”

She continued, “I think I’m a girl. I don’t know what it feels like to be a boy. But I think I’m really a girl in a girl’s body.” She lowered her voice, “And I’m pretty sure I like boys.” Then she covered her mouth and flushed with embarrassment.

Because whatever answers she had come up with for these new questions, these videos made her really contemplate herself, her body, her orientation, her connection to the world. “And whatever your answers are right now,” I told her, “that doesn’t mean those have to be your answers forever. You can be whoever you grow into being.”

“Ugh, really? You mean some day I’m going to have to figure this out again?”

Yep. That’s what I mean. Sorry, kiddo. But at least you’ll know that when you do, we’ll all be here for you, no matter what your answers are.

NRE? More like NRA.

We’re right at the beginning of our time together. Everything’s shiny and new. We can’t keep our hands off each other. We are mysteries to each other. We have our stories to share, old hurts, old joys, current events, how’s your days, good nights, good mornings. It’s all infinitely possible. (Although I still won’t take you to the airport at the beginning of the relationship. Because, like Harry, I also don’t want anybody to ever ask me, “How come you don’t take me to the airport anymore?”) Tom Petty told us, “The future was wide open,” and, “The sky was the limit.”
There’s a problem with the future being wide open and the sky being the limit. All of that possibility comes with an equal amount of stress. We’re still mysteries to each other. What does it all mean? That date was pretty short. What if I ask her the wrong question? He misinterpreted what I said. She said goodnight very abruptly. Can I tell him I’m thinking about him or is that too weird? Should I tell her that I could still smell her on me when I got home, or is that creepy? How long until it’s okay to tell him that I miss him? Holy shit.
More than the New Relationship Energy we all talk about so much with our poly friends, we don’t talk much at all about the New Relationship Anxiety.
It’s a tough realization to see that you still have walls up with someone you’re getting to know. It’s scary being vulnerable together. Breaking in a new pair of good leather boots isn’t always entirely pleasant the first couple times you wear them. They’re stiff. They’re hard. They don’t feel familiar. Sure, they fit, but they don’t feel quite right. But before you know it, you’re the same shape. The beautiful thing about our polyamorous reality is that none of your other shoes have to feel guilty that you’re working on your new boots. You need to walk together, to loosen up together, get them wet, be in them, be with them. But you’ll mess your feet up if you try to barrel through and “man up” with boots that really don’t fit you. You have to get them and spend time with them before things get rough, otherwise everyone just ends up uncomfortable. Sometimes you might get some blisters until it’s all worked out. But once you’ve softened them up and they’ve taken on the shape of your feet, you can get through anything.
I don’t know all of you yet. Wondering what your faces mean, what your sounds mean, what your schedule looks like, when you can talk and when you can’t… I want to know all of those things. I want to know everything about you. Things were going fantastically until I found out that you exist, and now I have to go through my life knowing that you exist and we’re only a little bit together. This part – the part that goes until we’re all the way together – this part is the worst. We’re still auditioning.
People complain about being taken for granted. But I want you to take me for granted. I want you to count on the fact that I will text you tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after. I want to able to take some comfort that some time before, say, noon, I’ll see a good morning and I’ll know you’re thinking of me. And you know that, even if we’re spending the night in with our primary live-in partners, you’re on my mind enough that I’m going to say good night to you.
Sure, things may be new and exciting. And they’re new enough that they haven’t settled in deeply enough to get life-changingly painful if they have to stop. Most of the time, at this point, things don’t mean what we’re afraid they’ll mean.
Remember when the Doctor and Donna were at U.N.I.T. HQ?
The Doctor: Come on. Come on, we’re going to the country. Fresh air and geniuses! What more could ask for?
Donna Noble: I’m not coming with you. I’ve been thinking… Sorry, I’m going home.
The Doctor: Really?
Donna Noble: I’ve got to.
The Doctor: [looking really disappointed] Well, if that’s what you want. It’s a bit soon. I had so many places I wanted to take you. The fifteenth broken moon of the Medusa Cascade, the lightning skies of Cotter Palluni’s World, the diamond coral reefs of Kataa Flo Ko. Thank you. Thank you, Donna Noble, it’s been brilliant. You’ve saved my life in so many ways. You’re… you’re just popping home for a visit, that’s what you mean?
Donna Noble: [nods] You dumbo.
The Doctor: [looks and sounds embarrassed] And then you’re coming back?
Even the Doctor needs to hear that you’re coming back. I do, too. Because you know what? I’m coming back, too.

Withdrawal… There’s always something!

I have been in a pretty anti-social place lately. I haven’t been feeling in a very poly place. I haven’t been in a very interested place – not interested in quite a lot of things. It’s not like things are going badly. Work is going well. My family is doing very well. I have a lot of fun toys and lots of games and enjoy them (or, at least I use them) often.

I’ve gotten a bunch of things I’ve always wanted and made some material dreams come true. For example, last year, I finally bought a (used) Ducati, an exotic Italian super bike in bright racing red. It is a motorcycle I have wanted since the day the concept photos were released back in 2002 or so. Naturally, it’s too much to actually use and enjoy on the street. It’s too fast to actually use any of it, and it’s frustrating to have to use a very high performance vehicle to commute. It’s just not what it wants to do. There’s a line from the original Jurassic Park movie that sums it up: “T-Rex doesn’t want to be fed. T-Rex wants to hunt.” That’s this motorcycle, all right. It’s a beast. But it’s mine. Anyway, that wasn’t meant to be boastful, just to say that even though I achieved a lifelong dream, it fell short of my expectations because it is only brilliant in its element. It isn’t fun all the time.

The Ducati is a good analogue to living with severe depression. I am capable of so much, but in the environment I’m in, I can only do so much and go so far. I’m capable of more but I can’t actually do it. There isn’t enough time. There isn’t enough money. There isn’t enough support. Whatever the reason, everything feels like it’s holding me back. Remember those sticky black balls in The Incredibles, dragging Mister Incredible down to the ground? Like that. All the time.

To use yet another movie reference, sometimes I really want to go all Forrest Gump and just set off. I don’t have any interest in running. I just want to get on one of the motorcycles and go, And go and go and go and go and go and keep on going. Two weeks ago, I had a day all to myself. That’s a pretty rare thing, so I went out riding. I left reasonably early, did around a hundred miles, gassed up, and hit the road again. After another hundred miles, I gassed up again and decided to go into the gas station for some water. The woman was all cute and cheerful and said, “Thank you, have a nice day!”

I croaked back, “You, too.” It dawned on me that at about 2:30pm, “You, too,” back to a cashier were the first words I had spoken that entire day. It was great. I felt very free, having gone wherever I felt like going, not answering to anybody or justifying myself to anybody or having to manage anybody’s expectations. I hadn’t interacted with another human being for about seven hours. I didn’t answer any texts. I didn’t have any girlfriends wondering why I wasn’t talking to them, or wonder myself why any girlfriends weren’t talking to me. It was just me and my machine and the road. It was all very nomadic and romantic. I didn’t have to worry about anybody.

Sometimes the stress of our commitments does get heavier than the rewards that come out of them. I don’t think I’ve ever really had the urge, the need, to withdraw, to get out by myself and leave it all behind for a while. Me-time, alone-time… These are not things that I am traditionally very good at. I wonder why I need to unplug now. Between home life, family life, love life, work life, somebody always needs me for something. Somebody always has some sort of emergency. Shifting to Men in Black, “There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet…”

Or:

Kay: Did he say anything to you?

James Edwards: Yeah, that the world is coming to an end.

Kay: Did he say when?

I don’t like being used to it when the world is coming to an end. The problem is that I really don’t know how to function in it if it isn’t.

Poly does not have to mean rich and white

I’m getting tired of hearing all of the nonsense from article after article (http://mic.com/articles/109616/there-s-a-big-problem-with-polyamory-that-nobody-s-talking-about and http://theweek.com/articles/538413/polyamorycan-teach-about-economics-family-life) that discuss polyamory as being the domain of affluent white people. This is a pile of bunk.
I have dated women of a variety of races. I have dated women in just as diverse economic states.

Something about my personality seems to attract artists and teachers, and I have been with a lot of both. Few of them were remotely near what I would call affluent. Sure, that’s a judgement call, but several of them were not what I’d call white, and that is not.

It’s true and I’m both white and well-off. That’s allowed me to date the girls with tinier incomes and still eat at places and do the activities that I enjoy. But I don’t have sugar babies that I am whisking away to my yacht to do my bidding. (They can do my bidding perfectly well anywhere we decide to go.) Some of the more financially challenged women don’t want to be wined and dined because they feel like they can’t contribute to the relationship. That’s fine, too. We get to be creative with our dates.

Look at howaboutwe.com and browse through the lists of dates. There are plenty of fantastic and fun ideas for dates there that have costs between nothing and nominal. One of my favorites was when one of my girls and I were going to have a picnic, which we definitely prepared on the cheap. We got to the forest preserve where we were planning on picnicking and, wham! Out of nowhere, there was a deluge! A tremendous thunderstorm kept us from getting out of the car. So we pulled up YouTube on my phone, plugged it into the tape deck with one of those old cassette adapters, and had our picnic in the car watching movie trailers, Tabletop, and Simon’s Cat videos. And then, you know, since it was pouring outside and the windows were already fogged up… The total cost of that date was something like eight dollars, including the condoms.
These arguments about the cost of sexual health are overblown, too. I’ve had plenty of sex using condoms a girlfriend has gotten for free at her clinic (where her std panel was also free). This doesn’t eliminate working class people from polyamory. I dated a girl who made minimum wage working at a wood shop. I’ve dated plenty of women in lower end retail jobs. I’ve dated starving artists.

I’m not going to say that things aren’t easier when you’re rich and white. They are. I’m white. I’m well off, in a career that I enjoy immensely. It has given me certain views and perspectives about life, and this does make it interesting to integrate that with the different perspectives my not rich or not white partners have to offer.
Tying expensive parties and fetish gear to polyamory is unfair, also. Our poly community does have parties and some of them can be a bit dear. But they also have happy hours and pot lucks and events that are free!
Not every poly person even wants fetish toys. Poly doesn’t mean kinky. But whatever fetishing I may be engaging in doesn’t have to be expensive, either. You know how much fun you can have with twenty dollars and a trip to Farm & Fleet? Lots. Unreasonably lots.

It isn’t that black women or Indian women or Japanese women are exotic. Women are exotic. I can’t speak to other people objectivizing or marginalizing people who aren’t white. The Chicago poly community is somewhat diverse. But those women who happen to not look like me aren’t exotic trophies to be hung in the parlor. They are amazing women who have amazing lives and experiences to share, just like white women.

Rich and white? All right, guilty as charged. But you don’t have to be in order to be happy and successful with polyamory. Be who you are, and love the people you’re with the best you can.

Say what you mean and mean what you say: Allowing your partners to know what consent means to you

I rediscovered something about myself this week. I can’t cope with ambiguity in expectations. I also can’t deal with people not saying what they mean. And I definitely, absolutely cannot deal with a person who says no but doesn’t mean no.
I was with a woman this week who said, “No, stop,” while I was doing something to her. Immediately, I stopped what I was doing.
“Why’d you stop?” She asked me, breathless, surprised.
“You told me to stop,” I said.
“Oh,” she said. “Well, I didn’t mean it. Keep doing it.” And when I hesitated, she begged, “Please.”
We were at her place. We went there because she had suggested it. After dinner a couple hours early, I had asked about getting drinks. That was when she suggested that the girlfriend and I come over to her place.
We said, “Sure.” Then hemming and hawing started.
She said, “No, no, my apartment is probably a mess.”
“Okay,” we both told her. “Then drinks, it is.”
“No, no,” she answered. “Let me text my roommate to see whether she would be willing to have guests at home.”
“It’s no big deal,” we said, “let’s go out got coffee or drinks or something.”
Then this girl started saying, “Well, no, then you’ll be spending more money on drinks… We could just go to my house…” And we stood in the entrance of the restaurant for twenty minutes while she alternated between, “Come back to my place,” “I don’t really want to go out for drinks,” and silence.
After five minutes of this (Hell, after maybe a minute and a half of this!) I was ready to go home instead of continuing. But she kept telling me she was worth it and we’d get past the indecision, so I decided to wait it out.
Finally, the girlfriend asked point blank, “Okay. Drinks or your place? Pick.”
She picked her place.
I gave this woman another chance because she convinced me that she was worth it, that she would say what she meant, and that she would mean what she said. She couldn’t do any of those things. Her intentions and her words didn’t match, and I can’t function that way.
I know better than this. I shouldn’t have let her string me along, but I did. I firmly believe in full and willing consent (in fact, I really freak out without it), and if you’re a maybe, you’re a no. There are other people who are delighted to be a yes – I don’t have the time to wait out the maybes.

One of the most uniquely poly behaviors we have is seeking solace and comfort from our heartache from our partners. The girlfriend said to me the other day, “I’m really sorry it didn’t work out with The Kitten.” Then she thought for a moment and said, “You know what? I never thought in my life before that I would ever console my boyfriend about another woman.”

She continued, “Is it possible I have a poly heart and just didn’t know it? Because none of this has bothered me. Not knowing you were on dates. Not sharing you on a holiday I traditionally enjoy. Not hearing you have sex. Not trying to comfort you after a breakup. None of this is upsetting or weird for me. Our judgy former-friends could not do this. I am so happy for you when you meet a nice girl. I’m upset for you and want to hold you when it doesn’t work.”

Some of this brings me back to the debate about whether polyamory is a lifestyle or an orientation. It comes very naturally to some people, and other people can’t even comprehend it. The Spitfire, for instance, can’t comprehend it.

She was looking for “a committed LTR with a man who loves to share me.” When offered the choice of a date at my house, with The Girlfriend at home, or a hotel room, she said that neither of those were appealing choices and that it was possible that a poly situation isn’t something she wanted. Then today, she confirmed it. “Poly just isn’t for me,” she told me.
While I completely accept her decision and I would never try to argue it with her, I don’t understand it. “You want a serious ltr with a man who shares you,” I said, “but you don’t want that man who is committed to you to… be committed to someone else, too? I don’t understand.”

“You have it right,” she said. “I only want the sharing (both ways) to be with sexual partners, not other committed relationships… Your situation did appeal to me at first, but upon reflection, it was a more academic, idealistic appeal. Not one I could truly live with in practice.”

For me, knowing the “no” is way easier than dealing with a “maybe,” which is why I also stick to my, “If you’re a maybe, you’re a no,” decree. My “no noobs” guideline was reinforced, too. And it might be that it isn’t that I won’t date a newbie. But I have been reminded now that I won’t even attempt to start something with a partner who is not committed to a poly situation. Painful feelings make those protective shields come up, don’t they?

And, as always, The Girlfriend was quick with words of comfort. “I’m really sorry it didn’t work out with The Spitfire. You know what? I’ll send her a text,” she offered, “telling her what a terrible mistake she is making. She’s missing out on a really fantastic boyfriend.”

Aw, thanks.

“I feel like I’m dating half of you”

The other night, I was on a date with a new girl – an absolutely hot, sexy Spitfire. She excused herself to use the restroom

While she was gone, I texted the girlfriend. “It’s going pretty well. She’s cute and funny and we’re having a pretty good time. Also, I have not been murdered. Love you, see you later!” I hit send and put my phone away just as I saw the Spitfire returning from the bathroom.

She sat down and said, “I feel like I’m dating half of you.”

“Not at all,” I told her. “I was just checking in, letting The Girlfriend know that I’m okay, that you’re cool, and that we’re enjoying ourselves. I wouldn’t sit here texting her while you’re here.”

Like I mentioned in the Date Rules post, you need to be emotionally present. Everyone you aren’t with still values you, and they know that they are in your thoughts. Focus on who you’re with.

I told her that isn’t true at all. She was on a date with all of me. And believe me – she had my full attention. She was very concerned that we would run out of things to talk about, and that never happened. I could have gone on talking to her for hours, if the restaurant wasn’t about to close. A couple of times, during natural lulls in the conversation, like times when we both took a drink and then didn’t immediately start talking again, she said, “You’re quieter in real life than I thought you’d be.”

“No,” I said. “I’m not. I just realized that when we stop talking, I get to look into those eyes. I don’t think these are awkward silences. Do you?”

“No,” she said. “But when you look at me like that, I keep thinking about how much I want to kiss you.”
Here’s a hint for you shy or kind of introverted poly daters. That is an invitation. Seize it. If she tells you she wants to kiss you, kiss her.

“Well, let’s give them some money for our drinks and then we’ll go make that happen.” This is why I started carrying cash again.

It was -4F outside. The choices, really, were her car or my car. I voted for my car. After a truly delightful hour in the car, we realized it was late. Time to go. I knew I liked her when my immediate thought was the little kid’s pre-bedtime, “Five more minutes.”

She didn’t say anything, but she didn’t unwrap me from around herself for another five minutes. Then we kissed goodnight, knowing that it was a good, good night.

Our entire date was a touch over four hours. And for all four of those hours, she dated all of me.

Dating Rules

I’ve been asked a bunch of times now what makes up my current set of dating rules.
The Date:
  • Don’t make the second date the day after the first. Give things time to shake out.
  • No sex on the first date. This is currently defined as p-v penetration. Activities up until that point are okay. Sex can definitely cloud your judgement on whether you are compatible with a new prospect outside the bedroom. Things get complicated when you discover the conversation and fun levels aren’t so good, but the sex is great. Best to learn that the date part of dating isn’t going well, and leave it there.
  • Don’t pay for everything. I set my limit at about $5 to buy her anything for the first date. Once we have an established relationship, everything is good. When I invite you to dinner, of course there is no price – get what you want. We’ll hit the five-star steakhouse and rack up a couple hundred dollar bill. Awesome. But on a first date, she doesn’t get to suggest a restaurant she can’t afford.
  • Be a gentleman. You can be a feminist and still hold the door for her and don’t sit down until she has sat down. Don’t be afraid to treat her like she’s special. If she isn’t special, why are you out with her?
  • Listen. Shut up and listen to her. Don’t make awkward silences, but don’t interrupt and don’t sit there and wait for your turn to talk. Listen to her. Ask interested questions and learn about how.
  • Get verbal consent the first time you touch her. Tell her you want to touch her hand, wait for her to agree, and then do it. From here, things often follow a natural progression, but make sure she is receptive. And if she doesn’t say yes or start to touch you, don’t fucking touch her.
  • Be there. I have been complimented on how “emotionally present” I am on dates. Be there, with her. Don’t be on the Twitter or texting away. Check your messages during a bathroom break. If it is getting late and you have partners you want to wish good night, tell her, do it, then put your phone away. (As I was just reminded, this isn’t just a first date rule, it’s an always rule. When one of my girls texts me, I tell who I’m with, sometimes check it right away and sometimes not. But this way everybody is a part of it all.)
  • Don’t be afraid. You aren’t interviewing for a top level executive job. You’re not auditioning for a lead in a hot action film. You are out on a lovely date with a lovely person. Talk. Don’t be afraid to tell her that you’re enjoying yourself. Don’t go psycho on her. This leads to the final rule:
  • No emotional gushing on a first date. Quick connections can form very quickly. And they can be very deep. This is all true. Sometimes when you know, you know. But don’t open the emotional taps and let it all pour out. You’ll sound needy and desperate. As a poly guy, the last thing you want to come off as is desperate. You’ve been vetted – approval from your other partners is a great character reference that makes the person you’re with more comfortable with you.
Like so many of my other rules and guidelines, these are specific aspects of the most important rule: don’t be a dick. A good date is only a good date when it is good for everyone.
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