Sex is sometimes like another world to enter, and a door I often enter through is mammal love, a certain memory…
I was with my spouse, at the beginning of our relationship. We went to visit one of my best friends and her two kids, in a nearby town. I wanted everyone to like each other! I was hoping the huge transition would be ok, and our relationships could all handle it.
We met at a park with a river, and we had adventures. A kid losing her shoes, a walk to the bathroom, soggy clothes, riverbank sand in everything, adult needs and kid needs, snacks, the sun. We went into the water together–it was a hot day.
Then we went to my friend’s place, and she showed us around. She’s introverted, smart, a writer, with long hair–a radical mom who breastfed her kids a long time. It was a lonely time of my life. She and I would chat online for hours every afternoon and evening.
She and her husband are poly, and I was in love with her for a couple years. I still miss her and don’t know why she stopped being my friend. Her relationships seem to have more randomness than mine; I’m deliberate. We met on okcupid around 12 years ago.
milking the goat
At her house, we met the animals. It was intense when we milked the goat. We stood on this fragile deck. Seemed unsafe. They never had enough money, and things were in a state of half-repair.
I listened to instructions, how to milk the goat, and I tried–I wasn’t good at it. My nails were long that day, and I was afraid of hurting her.
My spouse had lived in an intentional community, where he cared for chickens and bees, so maybe that’s where he learned to milk a goat. But I watched him, and I was very uncomfortable, to see him impressing my friend, with his hands on the teats of this other mammal.
I was looking away, wanting this part of the visit to be over. My friend sensed my discomfort and suggested I was having a hard time being social for a few hours in a row.
“You’re really not feeling well, are you?” she asked. That was true also, but she seemed to have no clue that seeing my spouse with this hands on the breasts of other mammal would be difficult for me.
Does a goat even have breasts? I guess they’re more like udders. I could imagine being the lactating goat. I’ve never carried a kid (!) or felt my breasts swelled with milk, but it’s possible that I could. My breasts are partly for that purpose, right?
The main discomfort I felt was that I could relate to the goat, her bodily need to be milked, her urgency for my love’s hands on her teats. In my imagination, I could become her, or my consciousness could inhabit her body, so the baaaah sound was coming from me, a frenzied headbutt feeling, a “hurry up” and a “please give me relief,” very physical.
Also I felt something like jealousy, and it had to do with my friend also. The discomfort of the whole situation got eroticized, in my mind, and I go to that memory to feel the weird inter-species jealousy as a portal into sexual need, embodiment.
There’s the fantasy I’ve been having for eight years. In the fantasy, I take my friend’s two kids for a walk in the forest by my friend’s house, just down the road, so my love and my friend can have sex in the house.
The kids and I slowly mosey on our way, giving those two an hour alone together. The children and I look at leaves, walk as slowly as we want to, see dappled tree shadow, pause near a tree stump.
The little one picks up rocks and feels them in her hands. The older one tells me a story about one time when she was walking on that part of the road and saw a deer.
We’re just enjoying life together. But I’m aware that something is changing, and I’m willingly letting chaos in. Things between me and my spouse won’t be the same. It’s important enough to me to live my values, that I’ll risk this big change. I really want him to have diversity of support and enjoy love with other people.
When the kids and I return to the house, my love and friend are outside, looking at one of the horses, and they have a smiling ease with one another. The deed is done, and everything is different.
Later my spouse tells me how it felt, sex with a new person, this loved friend; I adjust to my friend having a different role in our lives, and things being different in an exciting, terrifying way.
It’s so vivid like it really did happen, but it didn’t happen. I can see the tree stump by the road with way too much detail.
Those kids in actuality are a young adult and a teenager now–things have changed a lot. I’m still friends on facebook with the friend and her spouse, so I see glimpses of their life sometimes, and I try not to think too much about how I lost them and who they are now, without me.
Many people come and go. Everything was so real and important, but then it’s almost like it never happened. The day we bought fabric at an Indian grocery store, when the little one peed on the floor at an ice cream shop, when the little one’s pediatrician asked me if I was my friend’s partner. The kid had drawn all over herself with magic marker, and the doctor noticed the colorful lines on her tummy and chest.
I was mixed into their lives, went to those doctors appointments with them, a park to watch the kids play on huge playground, shared their money worries, the health of their parents–everything.
I remember her freckles, a pair of pants she had that I liked, her kind eyes. How it felt when she hugged me. The time she wrapped me up in her red sari and said I looked hot.
It’s so much to lose. If she was the only one, that would be terrible, but she’s one of way too many. Love to the friends and ex-friends.