Aria Scarlette, 1 August 2020
On our first date in a coffee shop, we chatted and he showed me card tricks. He was funny, and it takes some bravery to try wooing a woman with slight of hand. The real trick though is that I was VERY CLEAR and VERY EXPLICIT about my desire to explore polyamory as a standard approach to non-monogamy, and despite saying he was okay with the approach, he was decidedly NOT OKAY. His slight of hand translated into lies he told himself about his own awareness.
We met as I was also dating two men I now know as significant parts of my journey. Those men both became loves of mine. One is still a part of my life while the other is only a significant part of my past. Competing against these two powerhouses in my life was just not a thing. Hold your own or sit the fuck down with card deck squirreled away in a pocket. One was my Legal Love, and the other is Poetry even now.
Card Trick was married, and he left his corporate gig for something less stressful. We met several times: beer sometimes at a bar or restaurant, parking lot car make-outs, car sex first, hotel once, and my home once after a nice dinner out. He didn’t mind the concept of me with others as long as he felt like he was my “favorite.” He wouldn’t ask about my others, and then he would. I would answer exactly what was asked.
Once he asked me when I last had an orgasm. I answered. He asked if was self induced. I answered no. He asked who. I told him, and just like that, the slight of hand does its magic and jealousy appears. In his case, it didn’t manifest as jealousy only, but rather raged into possessive bullshit colored by competitive instincts.
What is it about the female orgasm that makes it about the man and his ego? My orgasm and my ability to have one is mine – NOT YOURS. Your manhood isn’t involved. Your dick isn’t involved. Your skills are not involved. The more you make it about you, the less I give a shit about you.
We repeated this shitty trick several times before calling it quits. He could see other women, and he did. He was also married, and sexually active with his wife. He prided himself in being able to please her, which seemed nice. You should want to please your partners, but your masculine value isn’t wrapped up in her squirting.
Card tricks are for people who want to be fooled and who seek the illusion. I like playful fun, but I do not want to be part of the lies you tell to yourself. Furthermore, I shout FUCKNOOOOOOOO to anyone who thinks that my pleasure is some sort of badge to be worn as accomplishment. Learn me and set me on fire FOR ME, and let me do the same FOR YOU.
He didn’t know himself or he never would have spent an ounce of energy on a woman seeking to experiment with partners and build loving relationships with more than one person. Frankly, anyone inherently competitive and jealous cannot see monogamy within an extramarital affair. I should have seen it instantly, and it would have been best had I thrown his entire deck of cards to the wind and disappeared in the time he spent picking up his thoughts.
Even though I could have completely skipped Card Trick as a partner, I needed to learn that people are not honest with themselves. Since him, I try to look beyond what people say now into what the wish they could say. I now have partners for whom polyamory is not their default setting. They do indeed explore it as openly as they are able, and I appreciate them for their willingness to learn for me and with me.
I do know the secret though. They aren’t built for it. They accept me for who I am, and they fight the cultural influences that would otherwise compete with my goal to learn if I am truly polyamorous. I also believe them truly that they support me knowing while actually HEARING what I say. In exchange for this unconditional acceptance, I love them in my own way. I will care for their needs and desires with as much energy as I have.
When energy runs low…I worry. Am I also practicing some form of slight of hand? Am I also practicing a level of self dishonestly? Am I really able to be this person? Am I enough for them?
There it is. Am I enough? Time to gather my own scattered thoughts via 52 card pick up.