sour notes and waylaid plans

The only sour note at the end of me and Jon’s first weekend alone together while Lora worked was that Jon and I were supposed to go to bed a little early; we’d planned on having a bit of a kinky play before bed. But because of the earlier terse, hard situation he had with Lora, he stayed with her longer than he’d planned. I didn’t want to disturb them, even after I saw that Jon should have been coming to spend time with me. Part of that was that I felt greedy (we’d just spend much of the last two days alone together – couldn’t I be patient over a few minutes?) and the other was that I wasn’t finished doing the cleaning I wanted to do – my current health problems slow me down so much. I did ping him when he still hadn’t come out fifteen minutes later. He said he’d be out soon, but another fifteen passed before he came out – and I STILL wasn’t done cleaning. In the end, between the frantic cleaning, Jon coming out to me over half an hour later than promised, and the stressful time he’d initially had with Lora, Jon felt like he was too tired for us to go through with our kinky plans.

I got extremely upset about this change. I felt like I’d spent much of the day busting my ass at my reduced speed, cleaning, laundering, cooking, bill-writing, but then the thing I’d been banking on as my way of decompressing and relaxing for the night got shafted – so why was I working like a maniac with no “reward” at the end? I was pretty angry at Jon for being so oblivious about the time. Had he come out when he should have and helped me finish, I’m pretty sure we would have had the time (and energy) to do what we’d planned. At the least, we could have rested a bit (which often perks one or the other of us up, when we initially think we’re too tired for sex), and then seen how things felt from there – possibly, we could have modified our plans into something simpler and faster, but still sexy and fun.

Instead of doing any of those things, we went directly to bed. Jon seemed to fall asleep pretty quickly, but I spent most of the night awake, a combination of frustration and jangled nerves and jealous anger. And a huge, uncomfortable dose of sexual frustration.

The next day, after mulling it over, Jon and I had a talk about how upsetting it was to me that our plans (which were the highlight of my night) got scuttled at the last minute. I told Jon that this was the kind of stuff that I really felt antagonistic about – especially given the number of times that it’s happened (more than a couple, but less than weekly, maybe even less than monthly). And it’s a hard thing because when couples fight, they do often need extra time to made up to one another and reestablish their emotional bonds – I get that, and I wouldn’t want to interrupt that. But, on the other hand, I also do not want it semi-regularly interrupting the time that Jon and I have together, to do the things that solidify our bonds.

After thinking it over a lot, I realized that what bothered me the most wasn’t necessarily that he’d spent more time with Lora (and less time with me) than planned. It was that it happened when we had concrete plans in place that were then supplanted by their time together. Meaning (and this has happened in the past) if I know that Jon and Lora had a fight or a difficult thing to work through, and working through that thing meant that I would spend less time with Jon that night, my feelings on it would range from totally ok with that to expecting to spend more time with him another day to make up for it (depending on the amount of time we’re talking here – if it’s fifteen minutes, maybe even up to an hour, no biggie. But if it’s a couple of hours, then yes, I do desire to spend more time with Jon on a later date), so long as me and Jon’s displaced time didn’t have any specific, important plans assigned to it.

That last part is the crucial part to me. Had our plan for the evening been to just hang out a bit and then go to bed, we could have still easily done that, even if it wasn’t as much as we’d originally planned. This has happened before. It’s a thing that happens. It’s a bummer, but it happens.

However, given my current health issues, feeling energetic enough (and pain-free enough) to be able to have sex and do kink is somewhat of a big deal. If I want to have sex with Jon, I have to actively plan for it and save energy for it. I also have to keep an eye on my body, and make sure that my pain levels are in a place where sex is going to be a fun, enriching activity (when my pain is high, getting up from a chair too quickly can be nauseatingly painful. Having sex during that time would be completely horrible and have no upside). So having physically and mentally “saved up” all day, to have it fall apart at the last moment is something that I take extremely hard right now. Because there is no guarantee that tomorrow I’ll be at a pain level where I can accept a rain check. Or the day after that – or the day after that either! But at the same time, I absolutely do not want to pressure Jon into having sex if he’s too tired or it gets too late to do it without the next day feeling exhausting because we were up too late gettin’ it on the night before.

One thing that may have helped is if I said something to him earlier about the time – like maybe a fifteen minute reminder before his time with Lora was over, instead of waiting until he was already fifteen minutes late coming out to me.  But that feels like being crazy time-obsessed jerk to me; the idea of it makes me feel icky. I will say that Lora doesn’t seem to mind being extremely on top of when it’s her time to spend with Jon, and telling Jon the moment he’s spending extra time with me. I feel neutral about that – I respect that she absolutely has the right to do that, and I honestly admire that she feels comfortable doing so. For myself, and where I am right now in life, it would feel really controlling and almost mean. But, to be clear, when Lora does it, it doesn’t feel controlling or mean; it feels like a reasonable thing for her to do. I just can’t mentally get myself to that same place. Emotions don’t always really make sense, do they?

Jon and I talked talked this conundrum over, and decided on a few things to make thing kind of thing happen less frequently, and then if it does happen, make it a lot less miserable.

The first thing we discussed is that Jon simply needs to be better at watching the time. Jon also said that he would mind me tapping on the door and just giving a quick reminder about him coming out to spend time with me. I still feel slightly squeamish about that; but I think if I couch it on terms that are a reminder, but not super-demanding, it would be OK (like “hey Jon, I’m going to heat up a snack and since you’re coming out in a few minutes, I wanted to see if you wanted one too”).

The next thing we decided is that IF we have specific plans, then Jon will set a timer on his phone, to remind him to be aware of the time. Further, I’m free to ping him and remind him when it’s getting close to our time together, so that even if he and Lora are having a serious conversation or doing something that needs to be resolved, he knows where he is time-wise, and can either wrap things up or possibly let me know he needs a bit more time.

The last thing we decided is to make up some kink scenarios that would be easier on him, in case our plans get scuttled because say, his work kept him four hours later than it was supposed to, and he’s too exhausted to do anything strenuous. Jon also feels strongly that if we made plans to do something sexual and fun together, and I still have the energy for it, but he doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do something. And even if he’s too tired to be as active a participant as he normally loves to be, he said he’s still love to watch me and/or direct me to do something.

So even though that part of the evening was originally a huge, infuriating bust for me, I think the place we ended up in is really good. I feel like I have more control now over putting us in a better situation. I also think it’s good that I realized the huge aversion that I have to interrupting Jon and Lora, when their time together runs into time and Jon and I were planning on spending together. I think that’s something that I really do need to work on being comfortable reminding him about. And whether I get to that place of increase comfort or not, we thought up some great ideas to make sure our sex life doesn’t get any more interrupted than it already does between being poly, having crazy work schedules, and dealing with my chronic pain. Wins all around!


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polyamorist, cat-lover, hopeless optimist when I'm not being a firm realist.

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