In which Now-hubby, Frisbee, and I found ourselves at a sex party in Chicago's Chinatown. Which is to say, we were invited to a New Years Eve sex party. Not that we just randomly appeared in somebody's house and joyously announced, "take your clothes off it's time to bone!"
The format was similar to CPP parties I've been to in the past. Good ratio of experienced folks to newbies (maybe 25% new). The type of party where, once we had gone over the rules and done the general introductions, there wasn't an incredibly lengthy period of time where people kept their clothes on, munched on finger food, and had awkward conversations hoping to reach a point where they could have sex without actually having to say that they wanted to have sex.
Which is not to say that the only function of sex parties is getting your smash on. I'm just the type of impatient bitch who, if you invite me to an occasion where there's going to be condoms put out next to the bed and a variety of dildos on the living room table for people to experiment with, that's not my favorite time to make small talk about what I do for a living and how long I've been in my current relationship. I can certainly have either of those conversations and get my freak on at a sex party. If I wanted to do just the former, I'd go out to dinner with Stan and Sarah Straightperson from down the block.
For example, I had a really great time at the New Years Eve party with a couple that I've seen around at a few parties before but never gotten a chance to connect with. Turns out the male half of the couple has family from the same frozen tundra where I grew up. We spent a hilarious half hour or so talking about growing up there and how we both moved away because we had interests outside of getting drunk, repressing feelings, or hunting. Later in the evening, I climbed on top of his dick while his partner sat on his face and we high-fived over his belly, forming the magical female version of the Eiffel Tower.
This is the first CPP Now-hubby, Frisbee, and I had attended together. Frisbee and I have the gang bang parties. Now-hubby has been to a few of the CPP parties with me. No matter how long I've been doing the nonmonogamy thing, circumstances arise that knock me completely off my competence rocker. This CPP was an awesome mix of people, a great variety of activities, and also a completely new experience for the three of us. I want to dispel the myth that once you get involved in any type of open relationship, all you have to do is acknowledge your openness and everything else will fall naturally into place. Like waving a wand. *poof* Now your'e nonmonogamous.
You and your partner can date, fuck, and generally be involved with all sorts of other people in all sorts of other situations and you don't have a thing to worry about because that's what normal relationships worry about.
I've found more regularly that every new person, every new situation throws everything I thought I knew about my feelings crumpled to the floor. Infinite possibilities mean each scenario has to be evaluated as it happens. The more people involved, the more possibilities arise. The more individuals' perspectives have to be taken into account and discussed. It's why I'm still so squicky about having set rules.
There was a moment at this party where Frisbee was having sex on one side of the room while I was having sex on the other side of the room. The person I was having sex with and I finished up, so I sat on the couch for a bit and watched Frisbee and his partner. Something I've done multitudes of times at the gang bang parties and enjoyed. Something I didn't really have an issue with this time, either. I just reached my maximum voyeur limit and had to go upstairs. Since I hadn't clearly expressed this to Frisbee, though, he interpreted my leaving the room as something he had done wrong. The rest of the evening didn't provide much of an opportunity for us to reconnect and talk about it, so unfortunately feelings simmered for longer than they should have. There were lots of drunken 3am tears (mine) and plenty of sighs and sorries (his) once we got home.
It was one of those moments that one can't really plan for in a poly relationship. Saying, "we'll check in more frequently during parties" discounts all the ones where thing have gone perfectly fine. There isn't a rule that can be stated that won't be restrictive and at some point resented. At the end of the night, poly relationships (like any relationships, ideally) have to rely on people's ability to communicate with each other and having the strength to visit an unpleasant moment and get better afterwards. "If you're ever not 100% sure of how I'm feeling and want to check in, please do that. No matter what else is going on."
Stay tuned, dear readers. January is the month of parties this year. One every week. I'll keep ya'll posted.