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Braindump on Kate Date / Sex

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So Kate had a second date with the guy she went out with on Saturday night, a dinner at his house. They ended up having sex. I was over at Katie’s and Kate was supposed to pick me up after her date, but it got to be around 2am and i hadn’t heard from her, until i texted and she finally responded and said she would leave to come get me.  She was really nervous about telling me what had happened, but walked me through the date and the sex that they had and how she felt about it (she felt okay, he was nice and respectful, she had fun, she was scared about how i would react even though she knew it was okay for her to do that)

I’m not sure I knew how I would react, though I mean, i have been encouraging her to go and have experiences and stuff.   I feel overwhelmed and pretty triggered at the moment.  Mostly I feel kind of blindsided because this had gone from a presumably mono/poly relationship (in practice if not in theory) over the course of two weeks to Kate fucking a new guy for the first time since we started dating.  At this moment I feel dysregulated and anxious and like some trauma has been triggered.  I’ve been doing some thinking and I think what’s happening (beyond us not having talked about it) to cause this much of a visceral reaction in me is that it possibly touched a trigger around my having been cheated on in the past. it’s kind of bringing up similar emotions?  At the same time, I am aware that this is because its very new and I haven’t had time to adjust and that there are many positives that can come from this door opening.  I think also maybe I’m mourning the end of the old chapter of where our relationship was?

Now, conceptually of course I don’t have an issue with this (and i’m kinda beating myself up about it because hypocrisy), and I’m glad she got to try a new thing and have an experience with someone who seems like a good guy that apparently she’s been chatting with for over a month but didn’t mention? (not that she’s obligated to mention, and not that i mention everyone that i connect with to her). i don’t feel like…. jealous or whatever? it’s just that it kinda went from 0 to 100 really quick after nothing happening for years and I feel really unprepared to process the huge change in the dynamic of our relationship.

We’ve been talking about it a lot and stuff.  I’m noticing when i’m in my “reassure the other person that i’m not upset and its okay and nothing is wrong” mode and when i’m in a “let me be a source of advice and validation for you” mode as opposed to actually being able to be present and say “this feels very uncomfortable and upsetting for me even though I don’t believe you did anything out of bounds”.  I was able to communicate that I really wish that we’d had a conversation when she was considering actually going out on dates with people to set some expectations for both of us and for me to better prepare myself and what might come up for me.

I think she was operating under the assumption that I would like to be notified in the way that I let her know when i’m going on dates or whatever, at this point, like no big deal. I was able to communicate that though it’s old hat for her to have me going out for whatever, for me it’s a huge shift and very difficult, and asked her to remember how she felt when i first started dating. not that it’s 1:1 but it’s not as vastly different as she might have assume.  She’s had a decade to adjust and normalize and I have had basically zero time. Which she took responsibility and apologized for.

We went out for dinner last night and kept talking and she was saying how this is kind of a pattern for her, how on second dates she’ll behave ‘out of character’ or ‘extra slutty’ or whatever and that she doesn’t feel great about what happened and how it happened (though it was obviously a consensual experience) but that it felt informative for her.   I’ve talked about how I feel about it and basically that i’m proud of her for doing a thing outside her comfort zone and also that i feel really overwhelmed and like its a lot for me to process.  At the same time, i’m still processing my mom dying, the will drama, and potentially some other relationships transitioning away from physical/romantic. So its a big thing on top of a lot of other big things.

An additional complicating factor is how little sex Kate and I generally have.  In our most recent conversation about that, she has shared specifically that there’s so much baggage between us about our sex life that she feels like her anxiety prevents her from being present in her body very much, and that instead she’s always monitoring me for whether i’m happy with whats happening or whether she’s responding in a way that I want or whether she’s “doing something wrong”, so more often than not over the last years, my attempts to initiate will be rejected, and if we do play, i can see her get up in her head at some point and the fun stops and at least part of the time there are tears.  Which sucks because it both prevents us from having sex play and also its somehow because of me, even though I have no agency around it and can’t really do anything about it?  It gets me in my head like “”ok so Kate can’t enjoy sex because she’s taking responsibility for my enjoying it, so i then have to be either hyper-vigilant about not showing anything but pure positivity or it will all stop and it will be because of me but not really because it will be because of Kate’s assumptions about how I’m doing that then spiral. So it’s a thing that is about me but not anything I have any agency to change or adjust because its happening in her head”.

We’ve also had conversations about us both being more verbally communicative during sex, both for giving instructions and feedback, and she has said that it’s hard for her because she’s basically already trying to stay out of her head and when i ask for feedback like that it just makes her feel like she has yet another task to keep track of and juggle while having sex”  So the combination of those things really leaves me no room for anything but waiting for it to go south?

I’m trying to treat these as separate things rather than intertwine them because that seems like it would be way less useful.

I’m so confused as to the boundaries right now. What is appropriate to share with her about how i’m processing? What is too much? What responsibility do each of us have toward the others comfort? I guess that’s between the two of us.  I’m trying to check in with her about how much she wants to hear about where i am with processing everything, and may be overexplaining and caretaking “this brought up feelings about being cheated on, and i know thats not whats happening and not something for you to take on”.  And also I think that I have an assumption that her brain is going to use stuff i say to beat herself up with, which is not necessarily the case.


Anyway, I don’t actually think my relationship is in danger or that these things are unresolvable or anything, so that’s something I can look to for comfort at least. Just ouch.


Anyway that’s what’s been happening on that front.


j

— 
Jeremy Meyers
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July 20th, 2022 at 12:26 pm

Posted in Kate,Poly Stuff,toexport

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