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Friday, December 28, 2012

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DEEPER INTO THE GREY

I was delightfully surprised that there weren’t any negative responses (except maybe one over a misunderstanding) to my earlier posting “Into the Grey.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. I had planned to go into more detail at the time, but wanted to better construct that coming section. I can’t say I will succeed, but here is my attempt.

While I may dabble into the shady realms now and again, I feel it is important to point out that I am 100% able, and prefer, to be monogamous. One day I would love nothing more than spending my life, with one individual, building a family. While growing up, it was never anything I was interested in. Marriage? No way! Kids? Screw that! Over time as I... “matured” …I found that those were things I was no longer adamantly against. In fact, I currently feel like I am behind. Very behind. I thought I would already have that family and be living that life with someone special. Alas, here I am.

In the meantime, while single, I find situations conflicting and blurring those morals I retain once entwined with another. Certain factors come into play. I wouldn’t fully call them addictions, but they may be pretty damn close. One of the main being:

Sexual tension.

I love it. I have this fascination with bringing myself to the brink of temptation and trying to maintain myself. It encompasses that whole fluxing of the line. Pressing against it, bending it some, attempting to not completely break it; followed by allowing it to retract to its original form. It is exciting; it can be intoxicating.

Anyone who has truly experienced it would likely agree; intoxicating. The tension that builds up over time between two individuals where there exists an undeniable connection. Chemistry. Sure, there are different levels of attraction and it can change. Sometimes you may not be attracted to someone, but getting to know them somehow makes them so. I’ve experienced this a lot and I am sure I fall under that category for some. It can also work the reverse. Sometimes, though, it’s just there. Once it is discovered, it’s like electricity.

Once it is unlocked, it’s not a simple matter of just tucking it away. That connection has been engaged, all systems go. Alive. It wants to be explored, experienced, and heightened. Not only that, but you fill with the sense of desire to oblige those feelings. In the grand scheme of things, this would be a beautiful thing; it is a beautiful thing. But, sometimes they occur when you are at a place dictating you shouldn’t indulge.

This is life, and that attraction is human nature; not the devil or a test of faith delivered by God. Just human nature. I have heard claims, from both men and women, of people finding their “soulmate” and never being attracted to another person. This I find hard to believe. I think throughout your life you will constantly run into a multitude of individuals who you will be undeniably attracted to; all for varying reasons.  I do, however, believe that people are fully capable of being monogamous regardless of these attractions. Does being attracted to others mean you can’t be completely loyal to a partner in life? Not at all. For some, maybe. We will get to these individuals later.

Being attracted to someone has no bearing on one’s ability to maintain and adhere to the boundaries set by monogamous relationships. Even that deep rooted chemistry, almost spiritual connection, is manageable (albeit more rare and a lot more difficult). Even if that means recognizing that said individual can’t necessarily be in direct approximation with your life. If you feel, or know, you are weak around someone you feel this attraction to, and your morals and beliefs may be compromised, then you avoid placing yourself in specific situations with them.

I dislike that part, but I feel it is true. Everyone has their own moral compass and degree of willpower. It is important to be fully accepting and aware of what/where they are. You can even strengthen them, like a muscle.

For myself, I feel I have a lot of willpower. Something that I am grateful for when these temptations arise while in a serious relationship. I avoid placing myself in situations that may be morally compromising.

Even when single, though, willpower plays a role in the dance of temptation. To extend yourself and test your limits. To blur, but avoid being consumed. This is where the “addiction” factor comes into play for me. I don’t seek it out, but once sexual tension and those connections are revealed, and I am aware of them, I want to dabble. Like I said, I love it. The rush of it all. Just thinking about it now stirs feelings inside. Anticipation. Being close to someone you feel that connection with is amazing. Brushing as you pass by one another, prolonged hugs... danger... danger!

Trouble.

What else stirs these various emotions, in much the same fashion? Causes the mind to race in thought? Yearns to burst forth from you and envelope another? Lust?

Love?

This is definitely a topic I plan to touch on soon, but first...

“What was I to do? How was I to proceed?”

So there is that connection being experienced between you and another. When single, I am very prone to explore and expand on it. But what if they are involved with someone? Then into The Grey I go...

I’ve already explained this in the first entry on this topic, but with the recent experiences I can’t help but contemplate and touch on other aspects.

During my dating excursions, I found myself opening up to the possibility of polyamory. Open marriages, open relationships. Attempting to learn more about it all; what it entails, how it’s managed. I have, in the past, jumped from relationship to relationship and I felt the need to make sure I avoided doing that again. It sometimes works out, but I was (am) determined to take my time and explore options, meet people, and attempt to make sure the next relationship I get involved in is solid.

This lead me to being open-minded to all those other, less than familiar, dating/relationship possibilities. I’ve always been a curious individual and, to be honest, my views on sex, relationships, and love have shifted a lot over the last 5 years.

I never went through with experiencing any of the listed types of relationships. I met with many individuals and couples, but only one ever seemed decently sound. What most lacked was communication. Communication is key to any relationship, but possibly even more so when delving into those types of lifestyles. The one couple, in an open marriage, that seemed to have their communication golden, had yet to fully experience being with anyone other than themselves. That was enough to steer me clear of getting involved.

When you look into these alternative lifestyles, you may come to very negative realization. A lot of times, one of the two individuals is not fully on board. Some are just agreeing to the terms their partner, who they love or are dependent on, set so they don’t lose them. That is a very unstable foundation. Actually, there isn’t even a foundation.

Are these types of relationships possible? Yes, very much so; all depending on the individuals and communication involved.

It may seem to contradict my statement about my ability to be monogamous, but it doesn’t. I believe someone is able to flow between a multitude of lifestyles as their life deems fitting. With these relationships I was never to be a “primary” and much preferred to be the “other” man involved. I feel this is likely due to knowing that, in the end, I want to be with one person. May this change? It is very possible. At this time, I’ve no comparison on how I would handle a polyamorous relationship.

The conundrum I now face is how these individuals engaged in these lifestyles are so unfit for it, yet those currently in monogamous relationships are. Those that desire experiencing people, love and life on a broader, more open, scale. Some even seemingly devoid of jealousy. That hasn’t been a very prominent ability I’ve seen in many. Some fully stray. Some dabble and dance in The Grey; it calls to them, just the same as it calls to me. Some have no desire in marriage. Others are open to polyamory and are unhappy in their current relationship.

What makes them remain in their relationships? What makes some stray rather than breaking it off? I am constantly intrigued and curious about people and their decisions made; what makes them do the things they do. Even myself, sometimes. Regardless, these are some of the circumstances surrounding the individuals that entice me.

In the end, we all make our own choices. I’ve done decent over the years with avoiding casting judgment on choices made; avoiding condemnation. Learned not everything is black and white. There exists an in-between.

I would encourage you all do the same. This in-between exists in a lot more facets of life than just intimacy and relationships. I know many of you have already delved into this realm. While some of you feel confident you will never dabble, you just never know. When you least expect it, it may creep up on you. The electric, magnetic pull drawing you in. You may avoid crossing over completely, but there is a good chance you will find yourself somewhere in the middle.

“Welcome to The Grey,” you may hear whispered from somewhere deep within your soul.

At that moment, you and I will be closer in our understanding of one another. Just know you aren’t alone, and that it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. It is beautiful; it really is. The realization that your perception of “right/wrong” or “black/white” was possibly flawed. Something deeper exists.

As it were, you were invited in and welcomed. Embraced.

It only makes sense to be polite and say, “Thank you.”

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