When I first attended the Big Poly Conference the year before last, it was almost like research as an outsider. I found many different kinds of comfort and acceptance (especially in my first nudist experience) but by the end of the day I was hurting and crying in the cuddle party, being comforted by the facilitator (who is, incidentally, now Showtime famous) and feeling like I should never be near such nice people, like I was just to rotten inside for all this togetherness. I cried my heart out all the way home that night, consoled by Sweetie in that toxic way we had, half-knowing that my relationship was part of where the rottenness was coming from.
Then last year I attended with much more experience and a few more good connections, spent the day mostly catching up with friends and being proud to find out where the big party was being held. That was the night I first really connected with the Sweethearts, Mr. Shiny Eyes, and the Recurring Character. Because Sweetie was staying in the hotel with me (though not attending the conference) I still felt separate from the poly folks and strangely protective of her, like I couldn’t give all the way in to everything that was going on around me.
This year, I shared a room with my favorite snuggle-couple, the Sweethearts, whom I’m still learning, of course, but thoroughly and emphatically enjoyed in both pants-off and pants-on ways. They feel like home to me, a physical and spiritual comfort to be near whether we were mid-scene or not.
As with last year, I spent a good amount of time catching up with the Lady of the House, who decided that wherever we are together talking is actually the nude beach--it’s exactly that sunny, embracing, and free.
I got to devour Mr. Shiny Eyes for lunch and have some emotional breakthroughs with him during postsex cuddles. (I’ll elaborate on all this as the week goes on…)
And yes, I did know where the party was, but I chose instead to curl up in a comforter and enjoy the warmth of my own company.
For all of the happiness, there was grief, too. I miss having someone to whom I could confess everything and be (until the next condemning fight, at least) absolved. And since last year’s party was all about Sweetie’s ropes, I missed the heck out of those too: I love that we were able to create such beautiful rope-magic even as we were falling apart. I miss the home of her even as I rejoice in finding and founding new person-homes.
This was also the weekend in which I finally admitted to myself that I believe in Tantric energy—I’ve experienced it enough times, I might as well. The first time I tried Tantric breath (at that same sobby conference cuddle party) I experienced it as stabby, almost debilitating pain, a grief-cramp that didn’t go away until I cried it out. This time, just after I left the Sacred Sex Puja, I felt such a warm, sunshiny glow move through me, and keep moving. Though I’m still facing some roadblocks and daunting obstacles, on some fundamental level I’ve come unstuck. There’s so much more work to be done, but sometimes I feel my body, mind, and heart giving me time and space to relax into the flow of whatever comes next.