Who Was That Masked Man?: Non-monogamy and dealing with a pandemic-induced dry spell
So, I am a happily married gay male and have been non-monogamous with my husband for many years. A couple of years ago I met someone, and we developed a really intense and connected relationship. It was amazing, thrilling and life changing. The only issue was that he had a really hard time with not being my one and only, even though he actually liked my husband and even became friends with him. No one else in his life supported our relationship because of our lifestyle, so eventually, it just became too much for my boyfriend and we had to stop seeing each other. It was very sad and hard to stay away, but I had to.
We had stayed in only casual touch but a few months ago (right before the pandemic hit), he said that he still loved me and wanted to try to make it work. He said he’s changed and is okay now with my marriage and not being my one and only. I want to believe him, but I’m not sure. It was so emotionally intense and draining last time, I’m not sure I can go through with it again. However, I do love him deeply and crave his presence in my life.
What should I do?
Signed, In Too Deep
Ah that pull to those intense relationships; I can feel the craving, too! Who doesn’t want to be with someone who makes them feel alive? It can be quite enticing, and keep us staying in situations that are not quite ideal. Sounds like you’ve been there and done that and are really only up for this journey again if he’s truly changed, and therein lies the question.
We know what they say, that you can’t change a man unless he’s still in diapers and that sounds like something no one wants to see. And I must say, I’ve had other experiences in life that speak to the contrary, and give me hope. I’m always optimistic that the good in people can come through with enough effort and that in some cases, people really do change.
Now you don’t want to just take his word for it, but what you can do is relax, be patient and let him show you. If he’s different, you will be able to tell. The proof will be swirled in the pudding of what comes up, because things have a way of coming up, don’t they? Those intense and meaningful, delicious and devastating relationships are there specifically to bring about intense and meaningful, delicious and devastating feelings, which is the precursor to healing. And once healing happens, people really do change. So maybe he has had some opportunities for healing since you split and will be more able to stick around.
I’d also check in around his friendships and the other relationships in his life. Has that changed in any way? Has he had any new experiences with the non-monogamous lifestyle? Has he dated other people? Is he dating other people? And what about his family and loved ones? Have his people gone from being unsupportive douche nozzles and become ready to support him in what makes him happy? And then that question…does this make him happy? Will he be able to be satisfied with what you’re able to bring to the relationship or will he always be wanting more? It never feels good to be pining away in love, so you will both have to be committed to working with that feeling if it arises, or when.
My main advice is tread lightly, and go slow. And hey! We are in the middle of a pandemic so you can use that to your advantage. Give him opportunities to see how things can be different now, and if they will. Make sure it feels good to you. If it starts to feel bad, pull back. Slow down. You may have a lifetime of karma to unravel with this man, so no need to rush the process, because everyone is getting nowhere fast these days anyway.
I’m feeling really horny right now, and I feel a little guilty worrying about this during a pandemic. But it’s summer, it’s hot out, and I just want to have sex with EVERYONE and I can’t have sex with ANYONE! To top it off, I keep seeing hot guys with masks on and it’s reminding me of the sexual fantasies I’ve had about faceless men. Everyone has those, right? Typically I date a lot and now … I haven’t had sex in months!! I’m a nanny so I have to be super safe. What do I do? I’m so horny!!!!
I feel you … those masked men CAN be a huge turn on, can’t they? The mystery, the intrigue, the knowing that they are compassionate and caring people who believe in science … I gotta agree, it’s pretty sexy! So first off, there is nothing to feel guilty about!
Many people react to stress by wanting to de-stress, and becoming focused on sexual energy can be a very exciting thing that distracts us from our stress. Also, there’s something called biology, which makes us want to get down when the heat is on. And different times of the month, stages in life, yadda yadda. Suffice to say, you feeling horny is a very normal and human thing. So please do not feel guilty about wanting to get you some. As mentioned, there’s nothing like a good distraction when we’re stressed. And who isn’t stressed right now?
So here’s a few ways to get sexy and be safe, which meant something so different a few months ago.
I’m not going to dwell on the obvious too much, which is rub your own damn kitty! But I will say that focusing on fantasy life (yes, we all have wild ones. I’ve heard many when I was teaching my sexy fantasy class) and trying something new and wild even with yourself can be very exciting, even if it is all in your head.
The next one is a different take on the obvious which is “go for a known quotient.” You know that friend that you really trust and like that you never really thought like that about but I guess they are kinda cute? Yes, it might be time to chat with that friend about their COVID protocols and see if you can reach an agreement. Like you know the TikTok where “people try to kiss their best friend” thing? Like that but, well, maybe not if it’s going to ruin the friendship. So maybe not your best friend, but someone on the periphery who you could ditch once the pandemic is over.
Beyond that, if you decide that you do want to meet strangers for possible dates, make sure that you have a very clear idea of what you are and aren’t comfortable with, communicate that to any interested parties, and make sure you stick to those boundaries. Have a good list of questions of what’s important to you, and don’t be afraid to ask them. We are ALL in this mess, so the more we talk openly and honestly with each other, the more this pandemic can bring us closer together, not further apart.