In 1968 I was a fine arts major at a college on the east coast. The Summer of Love was about to happen: Haight-Ashbury on one coast and The Village on the other. Hippies were gathering to have wild sex in the streets. Or so the story went. It was springtime and a group of us always hung out together on the lawn beside the college library. I was attracted to a couple of people. P. was a theater major and knew a lot about classical music. He told stories about people in the TV industry whom he had met. J. was always with his girlfriend, but I was attracted to him anyway. He rode a motorcycle and seemed to be a free spirit. And even though I was a bit shy, I felt very comfortable with both of them.
I really wanted to lose my virginity and wanted it to be consensual and maybe even romantic. I had been brought up in a very right-wing, straight household. I had dated a few boys but had never gone ‘all the way’ with anyone – no clothes off or anything like that!
As P. and I grew closer, and both being virgins, we decided to take the great leap into adulthood together. We planned it for my birthday at the end of June – I was going to be 20.
I had been thinking about sex for years just like any teenager. But it was more than sexual intercourse. I had been reading and talking a lot about same-sex attractions, and more importantly non-monogamy although we didn’t call it that then. The Harrad Experiment and Stranger in A Strange Land were popular books that all of us in the fine arts classes were reading. I knew that I never wanted to ‘own’ anyone. I wanted to share my body with many people.
So P. and I did the deed one night in a friend’s apartment off of Times Square. I then went out the next day and got on The Pill. We spent the whole summer fucking – at his parent’s cabana, sneaking upstairs to my attic bedroom, at friend’s houses, his bedroom.
In September of 1968, I moved into an apartment with two girlfriends. P. stayed the first night so we could finally fuck with no one bothering us.
When P. couldn’t stay over on the second night at my new apartment, I asked J. to ride me home on his motorcycle. He helped me clean the kitchen in my new place and then we wound up in bed. Who knows who made the first move. It was pretty much mutual.
And whoa, the sex was amazing. He opened up my body and my mind. There was just something about him, his touch, his mouth, his eyes. He was as horny as I was, and that was saying a lot, because I was always horny. We just fit together like sexy puzzle pieces.
Over the next few years J. married his girlfriend and I married P. I thought that maybe being married would cause me to settle down into monogamy, but no, I was still secretly having sex outside the marriage with J. and others. P. and I had been talking about following some of our friends to Vancouver, British Columbia and in the spring of 1971 we decided it was time. J. was also heading west after breaking up with his wife. I had to decide whether to stay married to P. and move to Vancouver, or to join J. on his way to New Mexico. I finally chose P. and moved to Canada with him, but my journal is full of my heart being torn apart, “Am I going to wind up old, wishing I’d gone with J?” My marriage to P. only lasted another year or so.
J. stayed in touch, but our lives were going in different directions. We both went into the health care field at opposite sides of the continent. In 1977 he visited me in Vancouver, but I was the mother of a two year old by then and had been through a couple of major body traumas. I encouraged him to hook up with a friend of mine while he was there. A few days later we said goodbye at the airport as he flew back to the east coast. He says that I was crying, but I don’t remember. Much of that time was a blur, due to lack of sleep and what we now understand as PTSD.
Then over the years, J. and I lost touch and he faded from my brain. I had lots of lovers – male and female. Every so often, his name came up in my journals and in my dreams, as someone I had loved, someone I thought was very sexy, and someone with whom I felt very safe and comfortable. I wondered what had happened to him.
My second husband and I moved out of Vancouver to the mountains of British Columbia with our two daughters. We both had other lovers, and were in an open marriage, but we never really communicated well. Our marriage ended in the mid-1980s. Our daughters grew up and two granddaughters were added to the family. I was an activist in the small LGBT community. I had worked in health care and community service for years, but arthritis and fibromyalgia put an end to that. I turned to computers and taught myself web design and development.
And then in March of 2008 I got an email. “Hello from the past”, it began. It was J. I was, as the English say, gobsmacked. It seems we had both been looking online for each other for years. It was over 30 years since we had said goodbye at the Vancouver airport.
The first emails we exchanged were pretty revealing. His second marriage was basically at an end. He had married, gone to medical school, and raised a son and daughter. But I sensed that he was very unhappy. I was living alone and had a sometimes male lover. We started to talk online through emails and Facebook.
In the fall of 2008 I spent two months on the east coast, staying with my brother and his family while we sorted out my parent’s house and end-of-life concerns. I invited J. to visit me there.
When he arrived we went out to a restaurant where we talked for a long time, and then wound up in a motel. We lay together on the bed cuddling and then had wonderful sex. The next morning, however, J. was scared and said he needed to leave. In almost 30 years he had never cheated on his wife. He drove me back to my brother’s house.
I realized that I still loved him, but knew that I had to back off. For the next few years we stayed in touch online. I sent a couple of emails about what was going on in my life but never got replies. I didn’t want to push him. In January 2011 I sent a short “Hi, how are you, what’s going on in your life”, message on Facebook. I didn’t count on a reply but I wanted to let J. know that we were still friends.
At the beginning of March 2011, I got a message on FB, “Care for a few days at Victoria?” Again I was gobsmacked. He had a conference to go to and wondered if I would join him there. A few days later we talked on Skype. We were both hesitant. We both sensed that this was going to be a life changing event. I texted him later:
Me: “Why does talking to you on Skype turn me into a flustered, horny 20 year old?”
Him: NOW YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION ..!! 😉
Me: Damn! You just made me spit my tea all over the keyboard!!!!! What a way to start the day….. Love you. (Oh Jeez, is that all I had to do for the past 2 1/2 years? Talk sexy to you?)
And then I started writing erotica again. Over the next few months I sent him stories about what we could do together. By the time we met up in June, we were so hot for each other that all we could do was ride a rented motorcycle, look into each other’s eyes and fuck for four days. (And yes, he actually made it to some of the conference.)
He had been saying all along that he didn’t want to hurt me and didn’t want to promise anything, but after Victoria, he knew that his marriage was over. He told his wife a few days later and started making plans to move out. I didn’t want to scare him or push him. I backed off again. A few weeks of Skyping and texting went by and then we tentatively started making plans to try living together in the fall. I moved from Canada to be with him in October 2011.
We’re in our late 60s now, and non-monogamy has been there since the beginning. We talk about non-monogamy and compersion and jealousy and hot sex with other people. We’ve ventured into some of the swinger activities in our own community, but J’s work schedule often doesn’t cooperate. We had the most fun going to DesireRM with the Swingset crew and have already booked our room for next year. Even though we didn’t play much with others, just being around sexy, open people was exciting and wonderful.
So, it’s 8 years since he found me and almost 5 since we got together again. We have a few more body aches. We move a little slower. We get tired quicker. J. hopes to retire next year. I’m throwing myself into community work.
But, we’re going to Desire again in November and we’re open and learning and sex-positive. And that’s what I want for the rest of my life.
(This was written in 2015. See Desire 2016.)