Saturday, Jun. 06, 2020 - 5:27 pm.
Before I talk about life in my idyllic bubble, I have to do some catharsis re: the world crashing down.
The police brutality in the US and Mexico (in Guadalajara) is horrifying, but it's nothing new, and nothing we didn't see in Chile last year and earlier this year; my Chilean husband and friends are reliving the anger, the fear, the impotence. An indigenous man was murdered a few days ago by police dressed as civilians in a nearby region here; police murder and harrassment are daily happenings for many communities.
My home country is enduring tropical storms, famine, economic crisis and the most incompetent government ever, made up by rapist fratboys on cocaine and other drugs (you'll never see the president without a jacket on, even though it's a very hot country). They are increasing the country's debt while keeping people under the military boot, and while they're stealing all they can, letting people die of hunger, poor medical attention, or dragged by a river.
I've done little: I've signed petitions, I've shared videos and reports and educational content. I've donated to Black Lives Matter in the US, an animal welfare group in this city, and sex workers and a tropical storm relief fund, both in my country. It's not a lot. It's always nothing, but it's showing up as much as I can. I'm not being productive at the moment (meaning writing columns or drawing my comic strips), but my current research, as part of my job here and as a side gig with Brother #3 back in my country, is exploring the psychosocial impact of the pandemic. I can only produce and share knowledge, hoping it will reach those who are able to do something.
But let's go back to the inside of my idyllic bubble. Work is going great, my boss promoted me to co-researcher in her project. We're publishing papers that have an increased focus on gender, as my boss is changing her mind about feminism (in principle she is one, but she has the wrong idea of what feminism means). Andrew and I continue to have a lovely domestic life, with daily routines that include coffee breaks to talk about how our day is going.
And then there's Helen, my, um, girlfriend. I'll just call her that here. She'd probably be delighted to hear me call her that, so don't tell her. We don't call "us" anything. It's just shorter than "friend with digital benefits".
But before diving into the good stuff, the bad stuff. On Monday, Andrew and I were having sex. We've been going at it more roughly, which has been great and which is partly thanks to my relationship with her. But this time, he and I went too far, and in the middle of something I felt like bursting in tears. I told him to stop what he was doing, and we moved on and got back to having fun. But when we were finished and I went to wash up to the bathroom, I started to cry, loudly and inconsollably. I couldn't stop.
It's not often that this happens so badly, but I know it so well by now. It triggers something in my body. I have no access to a memory or a thought, let alone a feeling to justify my breakdown. It's just a heightened sensitivity down there that makes me BAWL. Andrew waited for me to open the bathroom door and then rushed to hug me, and to apologize, and he cried out of guilt. I told him he didn't do anything, but bless him for being such a supportive partner. He respects my boundaries and comforts me when we slip.
I spent Monday feeling broken, there was pain from my shoulders down to my buttocks from all the clenching. I didn't know if it hurt so bad because I was still clenching or it was just leftover pain. It felt like something or someone not letting me go, and I had no control over my own muscles. I moved carefully, as if my genital area was sore, but I knew I was just imagining it being sore. I wanted to be alone (which I was, I have my own study room). I wanted to curl up and not do anything the whole day. I broke down in Andrew's arms again at noon. I just pulled him toward me without a word and bawled again.
I told my girlfriend about the breakdown at night. I was a bit wary because she has a history of sexual abuse, so I didn't want to trigger anything in her, but she comforted me, too. By the evening that day I stopped feeling like crying, and by night I could look back on the day and feel grateful for the support I received. Both from Andrew (not just with hugs and the like, but also he took care of all daily household chores when we usually split them), and Helen.
Fast forward to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, after I recovered from the breakdown.
My girlfriend and I have sex nearly every day. It's funny to say that because it's over text, what with the two of us on each extreme of the American continent. At the same time, I can't say "we're not having sex". By all means, we are. I've seen her body, I've heard her voice. The rest of it is imagination, but part of my doctoral thesis involved studying the social purposes of imagination and by God, I deserve that PhD.
With her, I'm the person I always felt I was but never could express. An easy way to picture this is that I grew up thinking women were pursued and men were pursuers; my romantic teenage fantasies were built on these heteronormative scripts that gave the woman a passive role, but I wanted more. If we're giving labels to these qualities, a part of me felt more masculine in that sense.
I gave this part of me to one of the male characters in my Simeon comic strips. He turned out to be bi, too, so I did all the sexual identity exploring through him. Like many other things, those things I deposited in my comics came to life. Even I am amazed by the things I write and the things I do to her. It turns out I'm hot, clever, and charming.
So Wednesday night, my girlfriend and I were having sex. Then I came to bed and found Andrew on the verge of falling asleep, with a bit of a headache. He reached out between my legs, as he does sometimes before drifting away, like that act is a bit of a comfort blanket (and which helped me a lot to remove the aggression I attribute to a hand in my crotch). And he noticed I was wet. Uncharacteristically wet. He came back to life, and I was still on fire, so I had sex with him, too.
Afterwards, he asked me if I'd been reading or watching something. I told him I was talking "with someone". He remained silent for a few seconds and then said, "well, it's working". And we moved on to other topics and fell asleep.
Thursday morning, I told my girlfriend about this "conversation". I'm trying to keep things clear. I don't want to act like I have a shameful secret because that's not what this is to me. I also don't want to keep something this important from Andrew, and I don't want to hurt him. I'm trying to balance being honest and being discreet, with the two of them. It's working so far.
Thursday night, Andrew asked me if I wanted to have sex. I wondered if he'd felt threatened or turned on by my confession the night before, or if he was just turned on in general. Either way, I did want to, and we went for it. It was great. When we were done, I sent a message to my girlfriend and ended up fucking her brains out. She came a few times (I've found this is one of the most fun things about having sex with a woman). She was stunned at the end, she said I'd come toward her with a different energy this time.
After two nights of having sex with the two of them, one after the other, on Friday morning I found myself in the shower thinking of triangles. Should I consider myself in a romantic one? I don't know, I'm not confused and there's nothing to choose. I'm in love with Andrew, I like Helen a lot.
Even if I felt the same thing for both of them, my feelings for one don't cancel my feelings for the other (I would, however, run out of energy quickly if I had to have sex with the two of them every night). I'm enjoying this, all the more because both of them benefit each other by having sex with me. You could say I'm a generous person.