I talked to Jon about my feelings that I needed another intimate relationship in my life, besides his. I was really scared that he’d be hurt, or feel like I was saying he wasn’t enough, or that there was a problem with our relationship. Foolish, you might say, as we we’ve both been poly for years, and were both poly before meeting, but still, there you go.
Jon was cautiously on board. His first thought was to suggest that I reconnect to my friends. And I explained to him that while I could do that to some degree, that wasn’t going to fill the need I was looking to fill. In part because I didn’t think my friends have quite the same desire that I do, and even if they did, I already have a feeling that what they want out of life and what I want out of life is a bit too different. I also don’t quite feel that spark with any of them, the spark I felt with Rachel, that feeling that kindled warmly enough to want to live with her and share my life with her so intimately.
I feel like I should talk about what I want out of life for a moment, since it keeps coming up. What do I want out of life? I mentioned in my last post that Burner culture has become really important to me. But what does that mean? I think it means a lot of things for a lot of people. In New York City, there are a lot of Burner dance parties on the weekends. The money raised by them goes to support soundcamps like DISTRIKT and Disorient. The dance parties can be a fun place to get sweaty and were Burner costumes year round (and I do love my Burner costumes), and while I do enjoy going to those events occasionally, I want something else, something different.
Something more community based. Something that evokes the 10 Principals of Burning Man and strives to follow them, while creating art, community, and a loving environment. Maybe a sort of Burner salon (Salon in the sense of a gathering of people for the purpose of furthering art or discussing ways to make the 10 Principals more a part of every day life, or talking about causes that support the 10 Principals and need more support. I’m really guessing/throwing out ideas here. Nothing is concrete yet).
To bring it back to what I originally was talking about, I feel like I’d love to be more intimately involved with more Burners, or if-not-actual Burners, people who have a love for a lot of what Burning Man is. This desire stems partially from seeing the tension that arises frequently when Burners and non-Burners date. I saw and heard firsthand a lot of vitriol from Lora that Jon held Burning Man as such an important (and non-negotiable) part of his life. I also know several people who broke up with (or were broken up with) because their partner felt that Burning Man was a giant rolling drug orgy that they couldn’t possibly be trusted to navigate it all without cheating. Given that I am an organizer for my camp, Burning Man planning does take up a fair amount of my spare time. The entirety of every August and the first half of September is typically devoted completely to Burning Man, finalizing planning, organizing people, gathering resources, finishing costumes, going there, then coming home, cleaning/putting things away, wrapping up budgeting, etc. And there are things we work on year-round, to make sure that we have enough members, that new members are properly educated, and that all our structures and supplies and well-maintained. It’s a really big passion to have and to navigate around with someone who has no interest in it.
In a way, I think Burning Man has come to nearly be on the same level as kink and polyamory are for me. Polyamory is non-negotiable for me. If someone wants to be in any kind of intimate relationship with me, they need to be comfortable with the knowledge that I will be in intimate relationships with other people. If people want to be sexually intimate with me, then they need to have some level of interest in BDSM; I really don’t do vanilla sex. That doesn’t mean I can’t be friends, or love people, or be somewhat intimate with people who don’t share those interests. But in terms of our lives being very enmeshed, or a long-term relationship, I know from past experience that I’ll be unhappy and feel anywhere from uncomfortable to as though I’m living a lie if I’m in a relationship that doesn’t involve those things (FTR, if a relationship was non-sexual, then the kink aspect wouldn’t matter. That part never came up in the relationship between Rachel and me).
Jon happily is poly, kinky, and a Burner. He really is quite perfect. 😉
So looking for other people with a love for Burning Man seems to make sense for me.
Although, having all said that, I wouldn’t refuse to get to know someone better if they had no interest in Burning Man. But it would be vitally important (at the very least) for them to understand and be comfortable with the time constraints that Burning Man imposes during certain times of the year.
I like to push around and make sure that I’m being flexible about the things that I can truly be flexible on, and save the rigid parts for the parts of me that can’t thrive well unless they’re present.
But back to the original subject! Jon was very on board. He said he’d been entertaining the same thoughts himself, of feeling an internal restlessness and a desire for another intimate relationship. He completely understood all my reasons for thinking that – despite my chronic health problems – it may be a good idea to start meeting people again and see what may develop. He was having many of the same feelings.
And we both had that same feelings of Groooooooooooooooan-UGH! when we thought about going back into the world of online dating. Of the process of meeting people, seeing if you have a spark with anybody who sparks back. The many nights of meeting people who are lovely people, people who you may have a really nice evening with, but nobody is really feeling is, so naaaaaaaw, good luck looking for a relationship, because this isn’t going to be it.
Then of course, there’s the assholes you can meet when dating. I really don’t feel like thinking about them right now.
Both of us feel like we’re not quite ready to deal with the hard, draining, and not-fun sides of meeting new people. Not quite yet. But soon. Very soon. I want to read about poly with disabilities first. Jon just wants a little more time to remind himself that there *are* awesome people out there, and that the frustration and pain of putting yourself out there to find them is definitely worth it.
We’ll get there. Just not quite yet.