259. More Mike

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I recently gave updates on Matt and Kayla, so clearly I need to give an update on the most important person in my life – my husband Mike!  And in doing so, it is also an update on me and our relationship as a whole. 

If you have followed my journey since the beginning, you know that Mike has been amazing.  I got us into Domestic Discipline and while he had some reservations, he was willing to give it a try.  And try he did.

I am fortunate that he and I have stayed pretty much on the same page throughout our journey.  While I think our open communication has a lot to do with it, we have also just been lucky.

MIKE
Mike is happier than he has ever been in our marriage.  There is evidence beyond his demeanor, such as, he says it!  And it isn’t happiness of power, but happiness in the results of his influence – over me, over the family.   His satisfaction stems from seeing his significant investment of his emotional “equity” into our relationship pay off.    

I made a lot of the day-to-day decisions pre-DD, or at least heavily influenced Mike such that I usually got my way.   You may think it is easy to take the reigns of a household and start making decisions, but it isn’t.  In part it just wasn’t his nature — a nature that I influenced for 20+ years.  He also wasn’t confident in how I would react to his new role.  In other words, he was a bit hesitant and afraid of “being an asshole.”  I have never once thought such a thing.

I think Post 160 and Post 205 best sum of his evolution and how great he is.  Mike is timely and effective in making decisions, big and small.  He has sky-high confidence in his role as disciplinarian.  He made the transition of simply executing on my wishes for him to be dominant, to actually becoming a Dom.  In fact, he may have evolved beyond where I would like him to be (more on that later).

Mike remains a wonderful father and an amazing husband.  He is a masterful Dom, both for me and Kayla – which is not easy as our needs as submissive are different.   And beyond just a Dom, he is a great husband.  He is loyal, trustworthy, sincere, a great listener, affectionate, empathetic, and the list goes on.  He is all those things to me, to our kids, and to Kayla.  It gives me great joy to share those things in him, with Kayla.

I mentioned before that Mike is an intensely private person.  He feels a lot of this stems from the childhood trauma from a robbery.   I shared before that his house was broken into and robbed when he was a child, and it was an extremely thorough robbery and what wasn’t taken was smashed and vandalized.

While he has come a long way in opening up to strangers, he still has a heightened distrust of people until he really gets to know them better.  — which is sometimes hard when he starts at a point of distrust.   Luckily he has a “tell all” wife who welcomes in anyone and everyone to help balance him out — although instead of “balance him out”, he tends to call it, “driving him crazy.”  lol.

JEN
Most of the journey was me pushing Mike to help me find my limits.  I found those limits.  I am where I want to be as his submissive and with DD.  This is one of the reasons my posts have lacked the yearning and self-revelations of my earlier posts.  I don’t yearn much and haven’t discovered some new revelation about myself.   

When I think back to what got me interested in DD, I never imagined how effective it would be in helping me be the person I wanted to be, nor what it would mean to my family for me to be that person.  My life feels tremendously purposeful and amazingly fulfilled.  So good that I feel a bit guilty in my pleasure when we are surrounded with so much suffering and injustice. 

My submissive mindset is sufficiently nourished, and not wanting.  But what of Mike’s dominant mindset?  Do we still have DD sympatico?  I mentioned he may have evolved beyond where I would like him to be.   More on that in another post….hee hee.  I love a cliffhanger.

And before I get into resolving that cliffhanger, how can I write about my relationship with Mike without stating how I reconcile the little minor fact that, well, you know, it kind of includes a third person…someone who has evolved into being almost like a co-wife to Mike, and a partner to me.  Kayla! 

Yes, I gave you an update about her…but what can I say specifically about our triad in the context of how it impacts my relationship with Mike?   I don’t think I adequately addressed that in my updates.  Since fully coming out to everyone about Kayla, I have had to answer some questions from family.  So what of those questions and of my answers? 

 Sounds like a great next post, so that cliffhanger will have to wait as I next address this issue of how I explain my “open” marriage to those who ask.   

 

 

258. Planning Immersion III – Surprise, surprise, surprise

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We are preparing for our third annual “immersion.”  Check out Immersion 1 (Posts 31, Post 32, and Post 34) and Immersion 2 (Post 150, Post 151, and Post 152). 

J will be spending time at my parents house, our recent-grad, T2, will have already moved out by then, thus we are temporarily empty-nesters.  When the kids are away, the adults shall play!  Um, well, play even more than we already do, we just won’t have to be stealthy about it. 

I went into last year’s immersion invigorated and excited.  This year?  Just not feeling as excited.  I think in some ways I am “explored out.”  There isn’t really anything new I am yearning to explore.  However, I still look forward to it, just not with the same amount of gusto.  I love the intense submission of it all and there are some activities I look forward to repeating. 

I shared this with Mike and he got all giddy and said, “Then I will take it as a challenge to find some new and interesting things for you.”   He reminded me that part of our goal of each immersion is to explore new sensations and experiences to help us all identify and separate what is pleasurable versus tolerable – as well as what is tolerable versus what is intolerable.  

We make it fun and “brand” each immersion with a theme, (last year’s was Entering the Forbidden Zone).  Prompted by my less than stellar enthusiasm, Mike chose the theme this year of “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”  I have to admit, it did raise my enthusiasm to have to wait and see what all Mike has in store for Kayla and I.  

Kayla is very excited – much more than I am.  She really loved last years Immersion and still talks a lot about it.  She would prefer more role-playing, age play/ABDL, and humiliation stuff, but that is difficult to do regularly with a child in the house so Immersion is a great time to explore those things.  Mike said we will revisit some of the things we did last year, but he will have some new experiences for us all.   

He once again rented the same place we stayed at last year. Funny, but one of the things that made that place so fun was that it was secluded and we could run around naked outside.  That was such a novelty a year ago and now is like, “but of course!”  Anytime we have the opportunity, naked will be a “go to” state.  Which, speaking of nudism, leads me to something else to share – – – 

NEIGHBORHOOD NUDITY
After our vacation, Mike has gone “all in” on adopting nudity.  He really loves it and appreciates the positive influence it has on J’s behavior.  Mike said it is inconvenient to have to put something on if he needs to go get something from the tool shed, or if any of us simply want to be outdoors in our back yard.  As a result, Mike tasked me with talking to my neighbors and get their permission for us to be naked in our backyard. 

Our yard is pretty well shielded from the neighbors, but there are spots viewable from THREE different neighbors.  Thankfully large trees and the slope of the land hide us from more views.  One of our neighbors is John and Donna, so no problem there.

That leaves TWO other houses with views into our backyard.  Luckily, I know one of these neighbors pretty well and feel comfortable talking to them about this – however, I don’t know the other one real well – and she has the biggest view into our yard.  I have probably talked to her four or five times in 15 years.  Anyway, that will be an awkward conversation.

I’ll let you know how these talks go.  Mike gave me to the end of the week to talk to them. While one of these conversations will be uncomfortable, I think it is wonderful that Mike has embraced this.  It is very un-Mike like.  I think this vulnerability thing is rubbing off on him!  

Next: Post 259 More Mike

257. More Kayla

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I provided a “Matt update’ on my last post and thought it fitting to share a “Kayla update.”  It’s beyond just an update about her – it includes a significant update about us!

She completed her first year of grad school with excellent grades – and a year from now will be plunged into her working years.  Kayla had just turned 22 when she moved in with us. She is now 23 (and half, ha).   Normally you stop counting half years when what, you are about 10 or 11?  Well, I mention it because while a year-and-a-half seems like a short amount of time, for Kayla, every month marked a time of tremendous personal growth – so that “half” is very important. 

KAYLA RISING
She is different.  Outwardly you can see it.  She wasn’t overweight but has lost some weight and is quite toned (thanks to a steady exercise regimen).  It is more than just firmness and curves – the once wallflower now exudes self-confidence.  Her dress also matches this new persona, perhaps in part due to a mandated dress code that ditched the baggy t-shirts for skirts and dresses, but she has grown to love her wardrobe and despite its mandate, it reflects and celebrates who she has become.   

And more importantly, inwardly you can see it.  She is more outspoken – yes, even as a submissive. Submissive doesn’t mean silent.  She communications her feelings and views – again, you could say it is due in part from this being mandated as part of our rules (and frankly, is just part of our family culture), but it too has become her.  Her fear of rejection is gone.      

She was already wise for her age at 21-22.  And now at 23, she really has a great grasp on making choices that fulfill her in healthier ways.  She has applied all the new things she has learned about herself and has shown that she just doesn’t need as much advice.  Not to say that she doesn’t ask – it is just less so.   

She has a great group of friends of her own, and continues to be an important and loved member of our household.  She is also thriving as a submissive – she will do anything for Mike.  You can see the yearning in her to please him and how fulfilling it is for her to do so.  And her and I have a great, loving relationship.  

I don’t discipline her as we have made it a point for me not to be her disciplinarian.  And while at first she still highly deferred to me, there is less and less of that.  And that is by design, from both of us.  Part of it was she knew she was the “outsider” coming into “my house,” so she showed deference out of respect.  As she saw she was not only being accepted, but that her thoughts and wishes were valued by me, she learned she didn’t need to defer.     

I feel her relationship with Mike suits both her and Mike well.  She craves submission, specifically from Mike, but frankly, she has a need for it to come from a man.  It simply doesn’t serve her needs to be submissive to me (nor does it serve mine).  Simply put, our three-way relationship has evolved to meet all our needs — and that is how relationships should evolve, else you discover that aren’t fulfilling and realize it is time to move on. 

Kayla recognizes the changes in her and is quick to express her gratitude for how we have helped her.  She tells me that she is specifically grateful to me for giving her opportunities to explore her relationship with Mike, independent of me, as well as allowing her “equal input” on various things that come up.  Not that she always gets her way, but she always feels heard and validated by me. 

I think it was very important for her to get that from another woman.  Although my relationship with her started out with me being somewhat of a mother figure to her, it has evolved beyond that.  She doesn’t need mothering any more.  She is a fully functional, confident, vibrant, and flourishing adult.  

I love this!  The purpose of all my advice was not to clip her wings and make her dependent,  it was to strengthen her wings so she can soar on her own – and she is soaring.

TELLING HER PARENTS / TELLING ALL
I don’t think I shared this before, but if I did, I don’t think I wrote much about it.  Kayla has told her parents about her relationship with Mike and I.  They weren’t thrilled, but they apparently took it well.  They already knew Kayla was bisexual, so that wasn’t new to them. 

I’ve shared that Mike and I are now in the open about Kayla – and we are now 100% open.  Family, friends, anyone!  Not that we ran and told people, but, as the situation warrants, we explain it.  For instance, Mike didn’t announce it to all his coworkers, but he did tell a few of them and told them it wasn’t any secret – so I am sure his entire office knows.

This “telling all” had a tremendous impact on Kayla.  Being unable to proclaim our love for each other can really take a toll.  It would be awkward in social situations for her to have to be on alert to make sure she “played the friend” versus the lover.  No more.

THE FUTURE?
When Kayla first moved in we talked about her living with us while she finished grad school and then she would move on into full independent adulthood.

With just a year to go before she finishes school, Kayla got to thinking about what she would be doing a year from now.  She said she was nervous to share with us what was on her mind.  She told us that she wants to stay with us, indefinitely.

We welcomed her declaration!

DEFINING OUR RELATIONSHIP – CEREMONY
Her commitment to us is that she is dedicated to our relationship, not due to a sense of obligation, but due to the love she feels from us and towards us.  Dedicated, in our relationship, doesn’t mean exclusive, as she is open to dating again, but is not actively looking to do so.

We subsequently talked about having a ceremony, honoring our commitment and recognizing her position in our relationship (my idea, and Mike agreed).  Nothing over the top – not like a formal ceremony – basically a party where we make an extended toast/declaration regarding our relationship.  So yeah, like a ceremony. 

Beyond this “ceremony,” we are also taking a few other steps as ways to show a greater committment between the three of us.    

FINANCES
We are combining finances.  I can hear the “uh-oh” coming from some of you.  Once you talk money in a relationship things can get a bit wonky.   But, she is either part of our family or isn’t, and as far as we are concerned, she is.  And actually, it is a bit anti-climatic because as part of her submission she gave up choices in spending her money.  Mike already monitors and controls her spending.   

I shared a bit about how we manage our finances in Post 181. Domestic Financial Discipline.   Kayla will now be on our “day-to-day account” and any money she has to deposit will go into the “bills account.”   She isn’t working right now, but does get a little money each month from her dad to help with living expenses – he promised her he would continue to do that as long as she was going to school, and, he is also paying for her schooling.

Kayla had been paying us rent, because she insisted on doing so. She will no longer do that.  All her money simply goes into our account and her and I have a budget on what we can spend – and we have to get Mike’s permission for anything beyond things like food or gasoline.   The end result is that there really isn’t any change in how she spends her money – and it wasn’t like she was building a savings of any kind.  It’s not like her dad is giving her a lot of money – just enough to get by.

BEDROOM
I have shared before that Kayla’s bedroom is basically part of our master bedroom.  When we had the house built we had an option of putting a door to one of the bedrooms either in the hall or, where a wall would have been in our master bedroom.  We opted for access via the master bedroom.  It was great when the room served as a nursery, and we felt at some point it would be converted into a sitting room or office.  It makes the master suite seem really huge as you open these double doors to this small entry way.  To your your left is another door to this “hidden” bedroom, and to your right is a door to the actual master bedroom.

Even though the three of us have been sharing the same bed for some time, there was still this visual of “Kayla’s bedroom” versus “our” (Mike and I) bedroom.  And it was also part of our vocabulary.  These visual and those words are powerful and aren’t reflective of our true relationship.

Thus, Mike is moving his home office into what was Kayla’s bedroom and the master is officially “ours” (Mike, me, and Kayla).  The room currently serving as Mike’s office will be a guest room.  A bonus of my dress code is that I pared down my wardrobe such that our master closet has a lot of room.  Kayla’s stuff fit nicely in it.  Even though we haven’t yet moved any furniture, we did move her things into our closet.  That gesture seems small but was extremely powerful – as we hung her last bit of clothing, Kayla began to cry — tears of joy.  This symbolic gesture means a lot to her, and to us.

COMMITMENT
What this all comes down to is that we are all in a committed relationship.  We understand that our commitment is no more permanent than commitments made in any other type of relationship.  Unmarried people living together can split up and married people can divorce — but those possibilities don’t lessen their commitment. 

Kayla can leave at any time, but that doesn’t lessen her commitment.  However, because it is so easy for her to break off from us, it is important to her, and to us, to go out of our way to demonstrate a deeper commitment.  It can’t be a wedding ring, but, we can stop hiding the role she has in our lives and we can look for subtle, but powerful, ways to demonstrate commitment. 

Our “commitment party”  is one such way.  Combining the finances is another.  There are some other ways as well, but I don’t want to share those just yet.

THE FUTURE BEYOND THAT?
While Kayla expressed her desire to be committed beyond the end of her schooling, let’s face it, she is 23, Mike and I are closing in on our 50’s.   As much growing Kayla has done from 21-23, she may continue to rapidly evolve from 23-25.  What does the 25-year old Kayla need compared to what our relationship provides?  What of the 27-year old Kayla?  30?

We talked about this and all agreed that, just like any other relationship, if it reaches a point it is no longer fulfilling, whether it be because priorities change, people change, or whatever the cause — well, that’s when you re-evaluate.  And hopefully we are all loving enough to not take offense if that were to occur.  In our case, it is not only understandable, but somewhat predictable.  We recognize our age differences may eventually matter.  Kayla may meet someone she wants to marry, she may want a child, she may yearn to be on her own.  All normal things a 20-something could want and all things that may be difficult for our relationship to support.

We aren’t looking for a lifetime commitment.  That would be silly and put unnecessary pressure on everyone.   Beyond a dedication to each other, we are dedicated and committed to the principles we have established as the ground rules for our household.  Those principles demand that if Kayla reaches a point where she yearns for something the relationship can’t provide, she is encouraged. . . no, she is required, to not allow the relationship to get in the way of her fulfillment.  Further, if (when) it comes to that point, we are required to support her.

Next: 258. Planning Immersion III – Surprise, surprise, surprise

256. More Matt

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THE LATEST WITH MATT

Mike and I talk about Matt with some frequency.  It is all about keeping in sync on our priorities and desires.  It’s been almost two months now since Matt and started our weekly date nights, plus we spent a weekend together at the coast.

Our dates consist of dinner followed up by some activity – we’ve done a comedy club, laser tag (I didn’t know those things were still around), and a painting class – so yeah, not just “dinner and a movie” although we’ve done that too.  And of course, sex!  In fact, we’ve sometimes skipped going out and just stayed in for lots of sex!

DATE NIGHTS WITH MATT
One night Matt took me to a strip club.  I had never been to one so was definitely curious, but also concerned.  The feminist in me still exists, and my concerns were about the young women being exploited.  This may irk some people for me to say, but, after my experience, frankly, I think it is the horny men that are being exploited.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience.  I actually asked Matt if we could repeat it.  I was very stand-offish and skeptical at first and didn’t really loosen up until the end after I had many conversations with the young women (costing Matt quite a few drinks to keep them interested in my boring questions).  I can see it could actually make for a fun and sexy date-night if I was more flirty and fun.  Next time!

That’s one of the reasons I enjoy myself with Matt — I can sort of be a different person and do things I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable doing.  I am not Jen-the-mom, Jen-the-wife, or Jen-the-anything.  I don’t seek to offend Matt and prefer he enjoy my presence, but frankly, I ultimately don’t care.  I can act out on impulse and be whomever I want for the night.  It serves as a nice break from my normal routine.  Hey – I heard that.  You just said, “Since when does ‘normal’ describe anything you do?

SLEEPOVERS
I am now spending the night at Matt’s on every other date-night, per Mike’s edict.  I’ve stayed with Matt three times now.  With J out of school, I think we will run out of excuses for where mom is in the morning.  Lots of early “doctor appointments” and “errands” lol.  On the off date-nights Matt and I come back to my place for sex.  Mike loves to watch.

We’ve talked about having Matt spend the night, but with J out of school, it will require some morning hi-jinks to keep Matt hidden.  And for now, T2 is home  — by the way, he graduated college and is leaving in a week to take a great job out-of-state. His girlfriend is moving with him.  Now back to our regular programming…

We will soon figure something out to make a Matt sleepover work because Mike is going to be out-of-town for work for several days in a few weeks.  Mike asked Matt to stay with me at our house and Matt agreed.  I accept it, but admit that it will feel weird.  I know it sounds dumb, but, having sex with Matt is one thing, having him sleep in “OUR” bed with Mike gone is another.  Funny, but I said to Mike, “I want Matt sleeping on my side of the bed and I will sleep on yours.”  Somehow that made me feel better.

SEX
I think I wrote a bit about this before, but sex with Matt is different from sex with Mike, and in a lot of ways mirrors the difference in the sex between Mike and Kayla.  With Matt, it is way more raw – more noisy, more sweaty, more raucous.   Mike and Kayla are a lot like that as well.

It isn’t that Mike and I can’t be those things together (sometimes we are), but, it just isn’t our preference.  I don’t know if it is 20+ years of vanilla sex that has conditioned us to prefer that from one another, or if we simply prefer our sex with each other to be more tender.  When we talk about it, I think the issue is when Mike and I have sex together we are more focused on the other person, whereas when we have sex with others, we are more focused on our own enjoyment.

That sounds selfish, especially about Mike and Kayla as we both love Kayla dearly, and what Matt and I have is not love at all.  But the D/s dynamic with Mike and Kayla is one that includes their sex – that is what Kayla desires of her submission.  Whereas with me, one-on-one sex with Mike and my submission to him are still more distinct.  Not totally mutually exclusive, but not totally inclusive as it is with Mike and Kayla.

Whatever it is, Mike and I find fulfillment in allowing the other to experience the joys of sex with other people.  He loves to see me as a sexual being – as someone who thoroughly enjoys sex – and I do.  When he watches Matt and I, he loves to give me directions.  He said it gives him a thrill to “order me” to do certain things with Matt.  In addition, there are times he tells me to be very explicit in telling Matt what I want him to do to me.  Mike loves hearing me ask for certain sexual acts.

Neither of us feels we are losing something when the other has sex with someone else.  I can’t explain it.  I am even surprised we both feel that way.  But we do, so it works for us.

JOHN AND DONNA
I haven’t mentioned them in a long time.  We still see them a lot and spend time each week at their house.  Those visits often, but not always, include sex.  In fact, at least on one of the nights Mike will be out-of-town, Kayla is going to spend the night at John and Donna’s.

I think the reason I don’t write much about them is that there isn’t anything new to write about.  Basically everything I shared before sums up our ongoing relationship with them and well, suffice to say it is ongoing!

UPCOMING EVENTS?
We are still talking to my parents about J’s annual stay at their house during the summer.  The last two years we’ve used his absence as an opportunity to explore some deeper forms of D/s, M/s, BDSM, or whatever (Post 31,  Post 150).   We hadn’t talked much about it until last night’s “Joint” Maintenance Session (Post 249).   We have some tentative plans, including some of the kinks we want to explore, which I’ll share on another post.

Next: 257. More Kayla

255. Vacation Naked

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OMG! What a fantastic vacation!

THE NUDIST RESORT
We were gone June 8 – June 14.  The “we” included the four of us (me, Mike, Kayla, and J), as well as T1 and his fiance’ E, and T2 and his girlfriend, that we will call G.   It was amazing because it has been a long time since all us vacationed together – and we got to meet more of E’s family, including her parents – and of course, most of all, because we did it all at a nudist resort. 

I could dedicate an entire post on how fantastic it was.  I think it is more effective to simply say – YOU NEED TO VISIT A NUDIST RESORT AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFE.  It was powerful, it was moving, it was liberating, it was bonding, it was simply incredible.  And yes, it is very addicting.  So much so that Mike declared us a clothing optional household!   Yes, we are officially naturists!  We were pretty much already there, (Post 250. The Nude Normal), but now we are 100% there.  

One of the major factors in this is J.  We can’t explain it, but his anxiety levels are extremely low when he and everyone is naked.  I know he has always had a hyperactive tactile response issues regarding texture of clothing or even food, but it never dawned on me those responses impact his moment-to-moment anxiety.   It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say he is a different person when nude.  Whatever the reason, I’ll take it!

It was also fantastic to just be ourselves – not in a naked way, but in a relationship way.  We didn’t hide our relationship with Kayla from anyone.  While I know a few people found it off-putting, overall everyone was accepting.  I even had one of Kayla’s siblings tell me in confidence that they were part of a “secret” poly relationship.  They felt emboldened by how open we were and were feeling more confident about soon “coming out” about it.  

SUBMISSIVE TIME OUT
Mike told Kayla and I that he wanted us to take “time off” from being so focused on his needs.  He did not want us catering to his needs or even cleaning up anything.  He took care of keeping our unit clean and tidy.  He even took charge of making sure J was taken care of and having a good time.  Kayla and I were able to 100% relax. 

Both Kayla and I agreed that being submissive to Mike is not just something we “do.”  It is who we “are.”  So there were times we both yearned for submission, but I admit it was nice to fully relax and not focus on taking care of every need and whim Mike had.   It was nice of Mike to give us that.  He actually enjoyed catering to our needs for a few days.

THE KIDDOS
T1 and E had a great time as would be expected.  I was happy that T2 decided to come as he tends to be more shy and reserved – and especially surprising that he brought his girlfriend, G.  She had once been topless at a nude beach, but had never been to resort.  They both seemed to enjoy it and T2 was a lot more engaging than I anticipated.

As for J, he had a blast.  He got a lot of attention from E’s younger family members.  J is this “older kid” who acts like he is so much younger, which gave him a certain “standing” amount the younger kids.  J isn’t use to that since at school he is surrounded by kids his own age who tend to have vastly different interests than J does.  And of course, J got to spend a lot of time with his girlfriend!   We’ve made plans to have L come stay with us a few days so J can show her around our town.

I was amazed by attitudes of everyone we met, but especially the kids.  I’ll spare you from another naturism rant, so suffice to say, society would be better off if social nudism was more accepted.

I will probably inject a vacation story or two here and there in subsequent posts, but I’ve been wanting to share an update on Matt, so, enough about nudism for now.  I’ll share a post about the latest with Matt… next time.    

Next: 256. More Matt

254. Dating: Teens/pre-teen? Nudism? Disability? ???

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We made it to the resort! But more on that later.  Not sure of my blogging time this weekend as we have lots of socializing and activities going on, but had a few minutes and wanted to finish up this post that I almost had completed a few days ago.  

While this post is void of kink, I guess it still qualifies as avant garde.  The thought of a pre-teen/teen dating  can make even the calmest of parents nervous. It poses a greater dilemma when you add nudism, a disability, and then throw in a six year age difference!  Yikes! 

My last posted ended with the mention that my youngest, J, is “in love” with E’s cousin’s youngest daughter… I’ll call her “L.”  She is 11.   J is 17, and I have written many times about his disabilities.  J is a “very young” 17, and L is a more advanced 11, but still, age is age.  That’s a huge difference.  But before I dive into that, here’s the backstory.   

IN THE BEGINNING
Their connection was almost immediate.  When
they first met L was very engaging and warm towards J.  That’s just her personality, but over time it became clear to us that L really enjoyed being around J.  She is a natural “nurturer” and I think J’s special needs touched her.  And J’s humor meshes with hers, and they enjoy playing board games and other games together.  Just good friends enjoying each other’s company – a lot.   

J was starting to always ask when he could visit L (not “When can I visit T1,” but specifically, “When can I visit L?”  And apparently L was saying similar things at home.  There is nothing wrong with two kids of opposite genders liking each other’s company and none of us thought it was anything more than just that.    

THE KISS
L’s mom and I were sitting outside talking.  L and J were walking towards us, holding hands.  It isn’t uncommon for J to hold hands with someone.  It helps him with his balance, especially when the terrain is uneven – and there is plenty of that on their farm.  But, there is holding hands for physical support, and then there is holding hands for an emotional connection.  It was clear this was more the latter.  

L’s mom was the first to comment.  “So L, I see the two of you are holding hands a lot, what do you feel about that?”  L wasn’t the least bit shy, embarrassed, or apologetic.  “Yeah, we like holding hands.  I like being around him.  He’s my boyfriend now.”

And if that declaration wasn’t enough to get our attention, she then added, “I even gave him a kiss on the lips.”  She said it with a proud sense of accomplishment, completely unashamed or the least bit concerned.

THE TALK
L’s mom, “C”,  was the first to speak.  “Okay, that’s nice.  I am glad you are enjoying each other’s company.  Can you both take a seat and let us talk about you and your boyfriend?”  To which L stated, “Sure.” 
I’ll spare the sentence-by-sentence dialogue – but the conclusion was clear.  They like each other, and it is very innocent.  The “peck on the lips” was the most salacious part of it.      

I let C do most of the questioning as I wanted to follow her lead and support her wishes.  Her 11-year-old “baby girl” just proclaimed to having kissed a boy.  That’s a lot for any parent to hear, even in “normal” situations. But C handled it like pro.

At some point C said, “So, if you are going to kiss you need to know some rules.  You can hold hands, and a peck on the lips is fine but no need to have your mouths all over each other.”  This quickly elicited a “Gross, no way,” from both L and J.  “And you respect each others body – no need to touch body parts, including genitals.”   To which L responded, “Good grief, no way mom, right J?”   J concurred, “I wouldn’t do that.”

J’s only other comment was to me asking, “So you are okay with her being my girlfriend?” To which I replied, “Sure, as long as L and her parents say it is okay.”   And with that the conversation was done and they both wanted to go inside to watch a movie.

 I felt a need to provide more limitations…like, “Don’t kiss again!” or “don’t be in the house alone.”   I mean, they are naked after all!   But, I played off of C’s calmness and let it go.  I figured I could talk to her a few minutes and then go inside and check up on things.  C could see my uneasiness and said, “They will be fine.  Let’s give them a little time to get their movie going and then we need to move inside anyway, it’s getting too hot out here.” 

THE MOM’S TALK – NUDITY!?
Once the kids left I told C that I am concerned about the age difference and about J’s disability, but first and foremost, uh, you know, they are both naked!   How do nudist families deal with the fact that everything is. . . well, . . . so accessible? 

C said this is nothing new – she grew up as nudist and has a 15 and 17 year old.  She assured me that just because there is easier “access” to sex parts doesn’t mean that’s where kids want to immediately go.  In her experience, their body positivity, confidence, and openness doesn’t invite sex, it actually seems to inhibit it as far as teen sex goes.

She added that L knows how “everything works” and there isn’t much left to be curious about.  She feels L understands boundaries and, at least in C’s experience, not only do her kids feel less pressure to give in, but they feel more empowered to say no.  She repeated the mantra I’ve heard many many times since exploring nudism — “nudism is not sex.”

And she added, “and kids who grow up as nudist don’t even relate to why that statement is even necessary to say.  It’s not like seeing her breasts will make him want to get her pants off, or that she is going to be curious about seeing him naked.  They’ve see all of that all the time.  Sex in nudism isn’t about seeing body parts, it is about sex.  And it seems pretty clear neither L nor J have sex on their minds.”

C said she has had “the talk” with L, but it was less of a single talk and more of a lifelong exposure to addressing the topic whenever it was appropriate to do so.  C feels L isn’t even that interested about it and wouldn’t venture beyond the kiss at this point.  Further, C felt that L would talk about any other desires she was feeling before she acted on them. 

That sounds hard to imagine, but C said both her other kids came to her with questions.  Her middle girl (age 15, I’ll refer to her as M for middle), is a virgin, but her son (age 17, I’ll refer to him as B) is not.  C said they are all comfortable talking about such things and thus she is confident that L will be fine.  C disclosed that M even told her that she was attracted to girls and boys, so yeah, C feels her kids are very comfortable coming to her about such things.  Of course, C did say this means a further parental discussion with L and more attention to her behaviors around J, but nothing to cause a panic.     

THE PARENTS TALK – AGE DIFFERENCE?
C conceded that yes, 17 is too old for L, but, her concern is alleviated because of what she knows and sees in J and in us.  She said she doesn’t feel the need to assume the worse, and she isn’t about to try to shame L in any way.  She feels L respects the rules and understand enough about her body and feelings to ask questions before doing anything more physically and hopes that I ensure J does the same.  

C stated that from an age perspective M may seem more appropriate for J – but both of us quickly laughed at that.  M is way more emotionally mature than J and just into completely different things (more age appropriate things regarding music, pop culture, entertainment, you name it).  M provided a good point of reference as to why someone younger than 15 is more on J’s level regarding girlfriend material.   

Regardless the age difference, actual age is also another concern.  L is bit young, having turned 11 just over a month ago.  But I defer to C on that as she is not my child.  Ultimately, if  L’s parents support her in this, then so be it.  C was crystal clear she would never want to inject guilt or shame in anything they are feeling about each other.  She feels strongly it isn’t about shaming them into keeping boundaries, it is about educating them about the importance of such boundaries.   It’s sad that her approach is probably considered “progressive” as frankly, it should be the norm.       

THE PARENTS TALK – J’s DISABILITY?
I had never given much thought to J ever falling in love.  Shame on me for that.  I think there is a tendency, even for a parent, to discount certain things in people with disabilities.  One of those things is their ability and capacity to love someone in a more amorous way.  J is emotionally delayed, and has various anxiety issues and physical limitations (more around low muscle tone and unsteady gait), but, he isn’t missing any emotions.  

J feels the same things everyone else feels – sometimes in an amplified manner.  It is that “amplification” that concerns me, as he can often get overwhelmed with intense emotion of any kind.  Anticipation, even when it is over something good, can create a lot of anxiety in him.  We actually noticed this about our plans to visit T1.  J would get very anxious about any delay on the way as he couldn’t wait to see L.

My concerns with J are twofold – his behavior, specifically anything sexual, and how he handles being away from L.   

Sex-wise, the issue isn’t about some evil or malicious intent on J’s part.  It is about basic human reaction.  How will he react if he gets an erection, can he make sense of the hormones and urges building up inside him?  How can he keep any impulses in check when, impulsiveness and OCD like behaviors are part of who he is? 

While J already had an understanding of the technical aspects of the birds and the bees, suffice to say there have been several more talks since this event occurred.  And not about the mechanics of sex, but about the feelings and how those feelings should be properly expressed.  Both Mike and I feel J can handle a relationship with L and that it would remain appropriate for their “emotional” ages. 

I was concerned about how J would handle being away from her.  They don’t live close – about a 3 hour drive.   Turns out, J’s own tendencies helped address this.  J can heavily compartmentalization things and those compartments are very black and white.  His anxiety stays in check if we set the right expectation – and fulfill that expectation.

For now with this trip on the calendar J knew he would soon see L.  I think I mentioned that most of E’s family is at the resort – her parents, some siblings, a few cousins, even her grand parents.  So “the Nudies” are here too.  We also have a few more weekends planned to help T1 and E out with their renovations.  Beyond that we will have to try and set some schedule, perhaps a weekend here or there, or even invite L to our house.   If it is something we can put on a calendar and commit too, J is great with handling a schedule.  Basically for him, if it is on the schedule, then there is nothing to get anxious about before hand because it just “isn’t time” for that particular thing to happen.

SURE OF THINGS
I was curious about what they liked in each other.  What is it than an 11-year old fully functioning, able-bodied girl would see in a 17-year old boy with a disability?   So I asked her.    

L said she likes to help J, whether it is helping him up a step or help him figure something out.  She also said he was funny and liked a lot of the same things she liked.  But the most touching thing she said was that J had this joy about him and he wasn’t afraid to just “let that joy out.”  She said he is so certain about things.  “Not in a bossy way or trying to show off or impress me, but he is so sure of things.  No boy I know is like that.”          

Seeing J through L’s eyes was so amazing.  J is very self assured.  He has never “wanted” for more abilities.  He accepts that his issues are just part of who he is.  He is also never shy to proclaim his thoughts (which sometimes can be awkward and/or very funny).

I always see this in him, and it was touching that this little girl sees it too – and more importantly, just doesn’t see it, but values it – the way I do.  And L’s own self-assuredness probably intimidates and repels every boy her own age.  I can see why L is attracted to that in J. 

And I asked J what he liked about L.  He said she talks to him like we talk to him and most kids don’t do that.  Even when she asked him questions about his disability it was like, “so what’s that about.” and “she didn’t even make a face when I explained it.”  He also added that she was funny and just made him feel good to be around and summed it all up with, “She is a good friend and has a good spirit.”

SUMMARY
Their intentions are much more innocent than we may assume about their peers (and especially about their parents!).  So we all are taking a deep breath, remaining calm and supportive, but yeah, still keeping an extra eye out. 

Post 255. Vacation Naked

253. What to title this one?

253

Uh, I cover a couple of different things in this post and struggled with a title.  What do you think of my solution?

I wrote in my last post about Matt inviting me to go to the coast with him.   When the idea first came up and Mike said he wanted me to go, I was very quick with a “Yes, Sir.”  It was more out of habit than out of a desire to go.  When I gave it some thought, I realized I would rather be at T1’s for the weekend than with Matt.  (Per my last post, we spent almost every weekend in May helping out at T1’s new house).  I like Matt, but I enjoy my family more, and have really enjoyed the time with T1, E, and her cousin’s family.

MIKE WANTS ME TO GO
I was going to ask Matt to reschedule our trip, but, before I could do that Mike said something that made me reconsider.  Mike mentioned how he thought it would be good for me to have that extended time with Matt and that it would be good for Kayla to have some time around family without me there.

“Without me there!” I imagine that sounds harsh.  It isn’t in the context from which I knew he was speaking.  Although we are no longer hiding our relationship with Kayla, it is easy for her to be made to feel like a “third wheel” or somehow in a “second class” relationship to what Mike and I have.

Don’t get me wrong – Mike and I have been married 26 years and what Kayla has with him and with me is nothing compared to our marriage.  No matter what any of us do, nothing will change the fact that the relationship Mike and I have trumps any relationship any of us have with anyone else.  (ug, you know, I don’t think I can ever use the word “trump” again.  It no longer connotes “rank above” and simply connotes “rank” – as in the slang meaning of something horrible, disgusting, and sick).  I digress.

My point is the unbreakable and enduring relationship Mike and I have doesn’t need to be rubbed in Kayla’s face.  And she deserves the opportunity to explore facets of her relationship with Mike in ways that don’t always involve me.  Mike and I have often talked about this and is why we have designated date nights with him and that Kayla sometimes goes with him on business trips.  And at least once a month Kayla and I go out on an official “date.”  We both love Kayla and want her to feel wanted, appreciated, and loved.

It is in THAT context that I fully understood what Mike was saying.  Thus, I decided that my desires to be at T1’s were less important than my desire to give that experience to Kayla.  Kayla deserves the opportunity to experience Mike’s attention and affection around family without me there and when else might that opportunity come?

It made me feel good knowing that I was not only going with Matt because it was what Mike wished (and doing as he wishes always tickles my special spot), but I was also doing it for Kayla, who I love and care about.  On top of all of that, I enjoy my time with Matt and a weekend at the coast with no kids or worries?  Well, duh!   Sign me up!

MY WEEKEND WITH MATT
It was fun.  My mind drifted at times back to Mike and the family, but I took advantage of my time away.  I got a massage, got some sun, and of course, Matt and I had lots of sex.

The more time I spend with Matt the more I have realized something.  I wish he was more different from Mike.  In some ways he has the same easy-going personality.  They share a similar demeanor.  I mean, if I am going to explore outside my marriage, I kind of wish I was exploring vastly different terrain.  Not to say they are totally alike – but still. 

I enjoy my time with Matt but I wouldn’t say I love him.  Fond of him, yes.  But love?  No.  And we have talked about this.  We joke that in some ways were are glorified fuck-buddies (Mike allowed me to include that since that is indeed factual – we do joke about that).  It is more than just sex, but perhaps not by much!  Ha.   Anyway, as long as Matt and I are on the same page about it, and Mike as well, then it is all good.  

DAD, IS KAYLA YOUR GIRLFRIEND?
So how did that weekend without me go at T1’s?   It went great.   Mike was outwardly affection with Kayla…holding hands, quick little pecks on the lips, and of course the sleeping arrangement included them sleeping together.  It prompted J to ask, “Dad, is Kayla your girlfriend?”

While we haven’t been hiding things from J, we never blatantly told him anything like we did with T1, T2, and others.  We felt simply letting things “be” and allowing his awareness to evolve was a better approach then sitting him down and telling him about it.  Telling him something is always like a line in the sand for him.  Had we just told him, it would be like, “before we talked, Kayla was just Kayla, but as of this moment, it has changed, and she is now our girlfriend.”  

It would have been jarring for him.  His mind would have tried to fill in any uncertainty about what “girlfriend” meant.  This lack of sureness would have been very anxiety inducing (I’ve written about his special needs).   Thus, it was simply better for him to witness and experience what it means for us to love Kayla before actually putting a label on it.  Applying a label to something he already knows and has experienced is a clarifying event, versus the anxiety inducing event of hearing the label and being left to wonder what that label really means.

So what did Mike say?  Mike told him, “Yes, she is mom and dad’s girlfriend.  We both love her very much.”  To that, J just said, “Okay, I thought so.”  And that was it.  And believe me, if J had any unresolved emotions he would make it abundantly clear.  And while he doesn’t always clearly verbalize his emotions,  what he can’t verbalize will manifest itself in a variety of neurotic ways.  And Mike said he was not only fine in his response, but remained calm and happy the entire weekend.

An interesting aside is that J didn’t question my love for Kayla – he wasn’t thrown by Kayla being my girlfriend too.  However, he probably didn’t fully connect the dots about what that means about my sexuality.  We aren’t going to connect them until he presents them for connection.  I suspect that realization will come soon enough, but again, it will be in the context of what he has witnessed and experienced regarding a warm, loving, and fun relationship and not just some label.  

Of course, some of J’s happiness may be in that J is in love for the first time — with E’s 11 year-old niece!   But that’s a whole other story and post!   And it is rated PG!  I felt compelled to state that right away.  The thought of letting the imagination run wild for some of you kinky f’s is just not acceptable when my child is concerned!   

Of course, when it comes to anything about me, or Mike and I, well, feel free to imagine away!

Next:  254. Dating: Teens/pre-teen? Nudism? Disability? ???