People shit me. And amongst the people who shit me the most are the 'moral' ones. The self-righteous, judgmental, supposedly 'good' people.
I have two personal examples to bring to bear. The lesser of the two first.
Recently, as in the last three or so years, there was the situation between Sharon, Kali and myself (see Kali post). Kali and I became close, some people noticed. Pretty soon, word was getting back to us about how horrible we were, screwing around behind Sharon's back. The other variation was that Sharon knew, but was powerless to do anything about it.
At no point did the people talking like this come out and actually ask any of us what the situation was. At best, Sharon was unknowing, at worst she was weak. No-one ever bothered to ask her, to check with her to see how she was. Meanwhile, some people (not many, fortunately) were painting Kali and I as immoral.
They were the ones content to say 'it's none of our business' and yet still gossip about it. If it's nothing to do with you, not any of your business, then don't tell people about it. Especially if you haven't bothered to check what the situation really is!
If you care enough to gossip, care enough to offer help to the 'wronged' party. Otherwise you're just as guilty of wrong-doing.
I have been on the other side of this.
I have seen a mate where I actually knew his girlfriend was screwing someone else, because she was actually in another relationship at the time she started shagging him! He knew nothing about it, but her partner did. He was meant to be a conquest. Other girls had wanted him, but this one had gotten him in the sack, which as she had been making clear to her partner, was all she wanted.
Of course my friend was happy, totally unaware that his new love's girlfriend was actually her girlfriend. That he was being talked about as a conquest, nothing more. They would laugh about it, and tell their friends about her new boy. Their friends were my friends, and one was my partner.
I double-checked everything first, went through multiple sources. It took a few weeks. 'Are the girls still together?' 'Well they were last night.' I chatted regularly with him, teasing out bits of info to be sure he didn't know, to be sure that he thought it was a real relationship and they weren't just fuck-buddies.
And once I was sure, I spoke to him.
Presented him with everything I knew, told him I hoped I was wrong, didn't want to be telling him this, but he deserved to know, one way or another. It was utterly horrible and draining, by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I was fully expecting that he may well stop being my friend.
After much angst, his girlfriend dumped her girlfriend and stayed with him. It's now years later and they're very happy together, and good for them, I'm glad it's worked out well.
Our friendship was certainly hurt by the situation, the girlfriend didn't like me much anymore, so he distanced himself from me. But we are still friends. Even if we weren't, I'd do it again.
Emotions are funny things. Was she merely using him at first, and then found herself falling in love with him? Was she in love with him and lying to her girlfriend? Either way, there was certainly a point where one, possibly both of her partners were being lied to.
I like to think I'm a moral person. I won't stand by because it's easier or safer not to say or do anything. I will take my time to try and make sure of what's going on, and to build up my own guts to do what needs to be done, but then I do it. Too many times I've seen people who found out that 'everyone' knew that their partner was screwing around. How fucking horrible, to be surrounded by 'friends' who never once spoke to you, found out if you knew. Or assumed you either didn't care or were powerless, and yet they never offered you help or support.
Yes, it's hard. Yes it can be unpleasant. If it were easy, everyone would be do the right thing.
Now to the one that actually makes me really fucking angry.
Many years back, I got dumped. Dumped at a very vulnerable time of my life. Dumped for a good friend. It sucked. It hurt. It was horrible.
I found a new partner who, to protect the ex I'm talking about, I shall call Lee. It wasn't a rebound thing, we'd been close friends for some time, we moved naturally to a new level. We got on well and shared many of the same friends with my ex, as happens in fandom.
Over several months however, many of our mutual friends dried up. They stopped talking to us, we stopped getting invited to things... Anyone would have thought that we had done something really socially unacceptable or mean.
Then one day, one of what felt like my few remaining friends said they had to ask me a serious question, and she wanted an honest answer. I said ok, and she asked me if I'd ever hit my ex. I was shocked, genuinely shocked. I said no, and then inquired as to the reason for the question.
My ex was implying that I used to beat her. She never actually said that I hit her, and I know she never would have, because then she couldn't deny it. But it was very much in her style to play up the situation, to give people highly emotive and suggestive analogies as to how she felt, and not offer any sort of correction or qualifier to stop them drawing the wrong conclusion. It was also in her character to do what she could to avoid blame and make excuses, and given our split-up, that meant making it look like she was right to dump me.
Over the next few months, I had a handful of other friends ask me the same question. Over the next few years, I found that a few of my remaining friends had been given the same impression, that I used to beat my ex, but had refused to believe it. I actually would have preferred they check with me, rather than take it at face value, but I appreciate their trust.
So, Lee and I lost a large portion of our friends, all down to something that was never actually stated, let alone true. They didn't want to hang around with a guy who hits his girlfriend. Fair enough, good call.
But now, gentle readers, we get to the thing I find most upsetting, offensive and disgusting about this whole situation. If it had been true. If I was a guy who belted his girlie around, the sort of guy these 'moral' people didn't wish to hang with, and had very consciously distanced themselves from - in doing so they had just removed Lee's support network! They also cut off all contact with her. If I had been belting her up, she would have been left with no friends to turn to, nowhere to go.
My real friends had the balls and the respect for our friendship to ask me flat out, or knew me well enough to know it was rubbish. These 'moral' folks not only distanced themselves from someone they saw as bad without any real proof, they distanced themselves from his next potential victim!
I'm still mildly annoyed at my ex, but I've forgiven her. I have yet to find it in myself to forgive those people, not because they believed the rubbish, but because they left an innocent women to the dogs. They did me a favour by removing themselves from my lives. People that thoughtless I'd rather not waste my time on.
Morality isn't merely about what you think, it's about what you do.
I've yet to write about Sharon in 100 Days because I wanted to wait until I was in the same city as her again. But writing about my Mistress, who for ease of writing and my own amusement I shall call Kali, needs to be done now if I'm to do it while we still share a city.
I have a Mistress, in the traditional sense of the word, as opposed to the bondage meaning. She's marvelous. Utterly wonderful, as is my wife, Sharon. Between the two of them, I am fortunate enough to have many of the different aspects of my life complimented and enhanced. I'm paraphrasing Kali here, but her summation is roughly, 'Sharon gets the relationship stuff, I get the sex, we're both happy. Sharing you between us means we each get time off from you...'
Some backstory - Sharon has an amazingly low sex drive. When I say that, people nod knowingly and say things like 'So... what, once a month?' And I reply, 'Three years into the marriage, we'd had sex less than ten times, and half of those were in the first six months.' Sex has never really interested her. I was her first kiss. She'd just much rather read a book than have sex. And if I'm not going to push other women to screw me, I'm certainly not going to make my wife do something she doesn't usually enjoy. I knew this going into the marriage, it wasn't, and isn't, an issue. Sure, I get frustrated, but God gave me a right hand and porn, so I'm sorted.
Sex is a big part of a relationship, but it's not the most important part.
So over the years I've found myself with a small handful of lovers, with Sharon's full approval and consent. They've all been women I cared deeply for, either as friends or more, Sharon knew them all and it never impacted on my relationship with her. She's actually said, she gets upset and annoyed that I'm messy, but she doesn't mind me sleeping with other women.
Eventually I met Kali, we hit it off. We were talking late one night when she was staying over, and decided to take the convo to the bedroom, because it was incredibly late and we didn't want to stop talking. We both enjoy physical contact with people we like, so we cuddled up naked in the dark, held each other and chatted the night away. No sex, that wasn't the intention, it was just talk.
And, in simple terms, we fell in love. As mentioned in this post, this didn't negatively effect my marriage, it revitalised it.
The relationship that developed between myself and Kali was an order of magnitude beyond that of any other lover. So we took things very slowly. This wasn't just going to be dear friends who had occasional cuddles or sex, this ran much deeper. So there was a year, where we had a lot of cuddles and talks and drew closer. We both felt blessed to have each other in our lives.
Kali and Sharon got on a treat, too. They'd go out to restaurants together without me, generally hang and have a good time. They aren't best mates or anything, they're too different for that, but they are friends, and the love (and occasional irritation) they feel for me adds an extra level of support and closeness, even when they don't understand each other. The best summation of how close they are is that when Sharon got her new job in Canberra, she apologised to Kali for taking me away from her. Kali's response was to point out that no, this was a really good move for Sharon, and would probably do wonders for the marriage.
Kali has never doubted my commitment to my marriage, nor has she ever sought to draw me away from it. As a matter of fact, she's held me together and given me advice when things were bad with Sharon, kept me going by reminding me that what Shaz and I have is worth fighting for.
It was a year before we had sex. Oh we wanted it big-time before then. we wanted it the first night! But in that time, Shaz was given several opportunities to end things. As we felt ourselves getting closer, on several occasions we asked Sharon if she wanted us to stop. We would have been upset if she'd said yes, but we would have understood and respected it, too.
And in the final weeks before we had sex, Sharon was consulted with several times. Kali and I knew that, given how close we had gotten, once we started having sex we would not be wanting to stop even if Sharon ended up feeling uncomfortable. We would stop, but we'd be very unhappy about it. It would be far easier never to start, keep things at the level they were at - cuddles, skin contact, long talks. So we made that as clear as we could - Don't give us the go ahead if you have any doubts as to how you will feel once we start.
She gave us the go ahead. She's never expressed any problems with the relationship Kali and I share. For this Kali and I will always be grateful.
Sex with Kali is good. Very good. I know I speak for both of us when I say that sex with one another is an order of magnitude greater than with anyone else. We're constantly suprised and blown away by just how amazingly fantastic it is. And it's very basic. Kali isn't into foreplay, games, etc. she just likes a good shag. I actually do like foreplay. I really like spending that time on a partner, enjoying their body, paying them that attention. But it doesn't matter, because after three years, it's not only still great, it's very slowly getting better.
Now, sex is a big part of our relationship, both Kali and I are sexual people. We like to show affection with physical intimacy, we like to pay attention to people we like. But it would never have developed at all if it weren't for the way we interact.
We're mates, best friends, occasional enemies, lovers, equals... We enjoy many of the same things - getting out in the wild, encouraging people to explore their boundaries, creativity, etc. - we're passionate about the world and life in general.
We have a level of trust between us that goes beyond the norm. We can both be truly fragile with one another, and given that neither of us likes to admit our weakness, even to ourselves, being able to actively be weak with someone else is a huge deal. We 'get' each other better than most people, and can tolerate each other's crap because the rest is so amazing. If it were just sex, we would have stopped after six months. We'd probably have shagged now and again when we saw each other, but we wouldn't have stuck around putting up with each other the way we have.
We love each incredibly deeply and compliment each other well. That includes temperament. We'd happily fight a pub brawl together, which may sound a weird thing to say, but it's true. I've had mates that are bigger and better fighters than Kali, but there's no-one I'd like in my corner more. She matches my temper and viciousness, which in a pub brawl is what you need to get through. In that situation I can't be worrying that someone she's knocked down is going to get back up because she pulled her punches. And I know she can take damage and she won't let it won't stop her.
She's got a keen mind and radiant personality. We spur each other's creativity, passion for life and urge to explore and inquire. We fight viciously, hating the control and influence the other can exert on us, and make love with equal intensity, giving ourselves to each other fully. We communicate daily, and miss each other when we're not both so busy that we don't have time to notice. And we're already really concerned about phone bills when I'm living in Canberra. They're high enough now!
Together or apart, we know that we'll always have a place in each other's lives and wouldn't have it any other way.
She truly rocks.