Going Poly in Recovery
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Going Poly in Recovery


This post was originally published on January 26, 2015.

Page 71 of the Twelve and Twelve says “For thousands of years we have been demanding more than our fair share of security, prestige and romance.”

Yep, that was me.

Because with three years of sobriety, a smoking hot 6’3” Argentine boyfriend wasn’t enough for me. Despite his beauty, despite our intimate connection, despite the inquisitiveness of his mind and the depth of his love for me, he wasn’t enough to satisfy my sex instinct gone awry. Truth is, I had a huge mad sexual fixation with the executive chef at the restaurant where I worked, a pre-eminent Michelin-starred seafood place in downtown Los Angeles, and I planned to fuck him.

In my dreams. Chef, so sultry with his strong British accent and Portuguese blood, probably never even looked at my ass, and how could he? I was shrouded in black chef pants, my feet never arched in stilettos but always buried in filthy kitchen Crocs, and the curve of my waist, delineated from the belly dancing I did in my spare time, not visible beneath the ballooning and masculine chef coat blanketing my torso. My curly hair, golden and sensuous, was always bound up in a bun and shoved beneath a tight black chef beanie. He had never seen it down.

Still, in my head, he wanted to seduce me, meld with me, ravage me, and possibly even fall in love with me. For years, I’d fallen for my own fantasies, created by an imagination which should have been used to write fantastical short stories and novels. Instead it hijacked my mind until I couldn’t see straight. I was convinced he and I would evolve into some sort of illicit fling—illicit because he was my boss, illicit because it went against the company’s regulations, and illicit because he, too, was in a relationship.

But my boyfriend Bolivar, being a Buddhist and convinced that going with the flow of things and smashing attachments was a good thing, being progressive, believing marriage is bondage and monogamy is a weapon against personal growth and enlightenment, was totally okay with the idea of an open relationship. In fact, he encouraged me to remain open to anyone who crossed my psycho chick mind. Maybe there was someone better out there for me, and he didn’t want to get in the way.

“All I want is for you to be happy,” he said as we ate milanesa and spinach empanadas at our favorite Argentinian bistro.

I was shocked. I figured when I suggested an open relationship, he would dump me immediately, maybe throw the milanesa on top of the floor, or chuck the empanadas at my face. Instead, he calmly acquiesced, almost excited about it. I wasn’t sure how happy I was about that.

“Well, don’t tell me who you’re screwing, because that’ll upset me,” I said. Truth is, I hadn’t considered that he would fuck other people. All I cared about was myself, my desires, my obsessions, but thinking about him taking another woman in his arms and shoving his tongue (and other body parts) in her mouth suddenly made that milanesa turn upside down and around in my stomach.

I was too chicken shit to proposition the chef. He was intimidating enough as it was, and I was sane enough to consider the fact that screwing him might throw a knife into our working environment—I needed that job, and, more importantly, I cared about that job. It was my first stint in a high-end kitchen, and I didn’t want to sabotage it.

But, with all that desire building up in my body, I had to act out in some way. So I scrolled down my Facebook friends list, scratching my head, wondering who might be a good candidate for my polyamorous experimentation.

He won’t do.

He won’t do.

He won’t do.

Maybe he’ll do.

Em, total pass.

Then I got to Anthony. Anthony, a smart and sexy Italian-American from the Bronx with one of those accents that’s streety, raw and super titillating. He was a mutual friend, a coworker of my best friend, and I knew he was single.

So, I took a chance and sent him a private message: Hey sexy.

Then I waited—nothing from him for a whole day. Oddly, I didn’t freak out too much. And then a few days later, I got a reply: You’re pretty sexy too.

So I went in for it. I’m in an open relationship, I wrote. Wanna have some fun?

He sent me his address. I primped out, put on tight sexy pants that hugged my ass like nothing else in my closet, smeared on a bunch of red lipstick and drove to his place.

We were immediately on fire. Within five minutes of showing up, our clothes were off, and we were doing it on his couch.

But when we moved to the bedroom, it got too rough. He yanked my hair so hard I really thought he’d pull it right out of my scalp, he pounded me so hard I thought my bladder would burst, he shoved his cock in my mouth so violently, I thought I’d choke—or barf—as my saliva dropped all over my chin.

All I could do was think of Bolivar. Bo, with his gentle kisses and deep green eyes, Bo, who moved inside me slowly, sometimes got a little dirty, sometimes fucked me hard on my knees—but never to the point of pain. Bo, who would always look me in the eyes at one point and whisper, “I love you.”

I cried in the car on the way home. No, this wasn’t rape, but it was that hardcore porn sex that men think women want. But we women—at least according to 100% of my female friends—would rather go down on a chick (despite our straightness) than have a bunch of come sprayed all over our mouths. It’s degrading, seriously.

Hardcore porn convinces every dude raised on it that we like to be eaten like Grade D meat. I’m surprised he didn’t pee on me.

Not three days later, I wanted to drink.

“I can’t do this open relationship thing,” I told Bo, this time over New York Pizza covered in broccoli, his favorite topping.

“I think it’s a good idea we stick with it,” he said. “I don’t want to own you, I want you to have freedom. It’ll test the relationship. Besides, monogamy is a construct of religiosity. In ancient prehistoric times, everyone fucked everyone in the tribes. It’s biologically natural.”

He told me to read the book Sex at Dawn, which substantiated his argument. In fact, he wanted me to read it so badly he bought it for me.

I didn’t want to break up with him, but I knew I couldn’t fuck around again. It was too much for me. Two weeks later I got a message from Mark: So you fuck me and then toss me out like a cheap piece of meat?

Yeah Mark, I did. Because that’s how you fucked me.

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About Author

Tracy Chabala is a freelance writer for many publications including the LA Times, LA Weekly, Smashd, VICE and Salon. She writes mostly about food, technology and culture, in addition to addiction and mental health. She holds a Master's in Professional Writing from USC and is finishing up her novel.