As I was rebuilding my life after my long, drawn-out health issues(still occurring) I began to look a little more closely at my relationship orientation. I have identified as polyamorous in the past but never really changed from a thoroughly monogamous lifestyle, not entirely because of Hat Guy's comfort level with extra-relationship activities.
I have a poly friend who subtly(not at all) mentioned that she would like to have sexy rumpus with me at some point, to help a sister out sort of deal. I thought that would be an excellent activity so I brought it up to Hat Guy while stressing that I would be completely okay if he decided he wasn't comfortable with it. True to Hat Guy fashion he thought over it for many weeks and decided he was confident enough in our own relationship to be comfortable with me exploring physical relationships with others.
(As a feminist rant-styled aside: I should mention that I was not asking permission from Hat Guy to have sex with individuals other than him, I was asking to re-evaluate the spoken bounds of our relationship. In reality I can do whatever I want, but without speaking with Hat Guy first I would have violated the agreement between us to only have sexual intimacy with him(and that's bad). All monogamous relationships have a (un)spoken bound to keep intimate physical activity between the two involved in the couple, as Hat Guy and I had and I was asking to change the structure of our relationship which require open and honest communication. )
Since the comfort level from Hat Guy was expressed I have been exploring varying levels of sex-flavoured intimacy with my poly(Polly) friend. We have had lovely cuddle times as well as some kissy activities.
So there has been about a week between the last paragraph and this one. Things between Polly and I have escalated to a full friends-with-benefits relationship and I've spent most of the time between the cataclysmic event and now completely freaking out.
"Why would you freak out, Flower Lady?" You ask so confused. "You've wanted sweet lesbian sex for forever!"
Well, my dear questioner, I am freaking out because I am really good at pretending things don't cause me stress. Things like sex. I've had this habit throughout my adolescence of needing to have my therapist to console me after having after having sex for the first time in a relationship. After a while I get used to having sex and stop outwardly freaking out about it.
I have always had pain during sex(with men) and never thought that anything was wrong with that because I didn't have anyone to talk to openly about sex. (It sex hurts, something is wrong and talk to a doctor about it!) It took me way too long to see that pain was bad. This was another thing that I would just "get over" or repress after time in a sexual relationship.
Since I am in a sexual relationship already I guess the additional one was just too much for me to handle, and I freaked out.
Part of this could be the intense amount of pain I have been in because of my health. Sex has been especially painful with men and so I have even further withdrawn sexually.
Part of this could be a change in my orientation over time, or me misinterpreting my desires.
It could also be partly because I have not had a friends-with-benefits situation before and I could be insecure about it.
Any number of things could be contributing to my anxiety, but the important part is that I take a moment, step back and evaluate what is going on and reassess my comfort zones. For now my comfort zone does not include sex and my desire for sex has disappeared completely. Polly and I still see each other to play video games and cuddle and she appreciates my openness with her about everything and still wants to be friendly. The same goes for HatGuy. We have set limits on what we can and will do that will keep the both of us comfortable and happy and have found ways to meet our needs.
Despite being thoroughly anxious, talking everything over has been super helpful and I have not totally screwed up several relationships with emotional whiplash.