A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Last weekend, during one of the nights, Clyde and I had a once in a lifetime experience.  I’ve fantasized about it for years.  Told him before we even considered marriage that it was something I had been looking into before meeting him.  He had no interest.  I weighed the good and bad and decided that he was worth shelving what I wanted, even if it meant the rest of my life.  Up it went, in my mind, on the highest shelf.  Way up over my head. 

I had a book once,.  It was called, “The Ethical Slut.”  I had a daughter ask to borrow it.  I’ve never seen it since.  Funny how your very own kids think they can walk off with your stuff and you are ok with it.  Funny, how the parents know it and keep their mouths shut about it to save face.  Sort of.  Obviously, I just opened my mouth about it.  The imperfection or rather the dysfunction in the family runs wide and deep.  Another daughter thought that she could walk off with one of my mixing bowls and that it would be ok.  Later she informed me she did it.  There was no question about if it was ok with me.  Actually, my bowls walking away from home has happened a couple of times.  If my kids decide they want something, they have a tendency to take.  Should my kids decide something of mine isn’t worth their time and effort to wash (or whatever) they toss it.  They think I do not know.  Is this a common parental complaint?  I’ve never heard a parent complain of these things.  I know I’d never dared take anything of my parents out of their house without their permission. Where do people get off? Where do my kids get off?

I digress…  🙂 Normal for me.  

I digress but, I want you to know that I am tickled pink about the situation I find myself in; it is mind blowing, it made me happy, it boosted my confidence.  I got a thrill.  I had so much fun and so did Clyde.  If you have not read, “The Ethical Slut” then please note, it is about open relationships.  Open, committed, truthful, trusting, loving relationships.  IF you have trouble with reading about that then please just click to another website.   But, if you wonder at all.  Here is my opinion based on my very first experience with a threesome where the ultimate goal is a polyamorous relationship.  I am aware btw, that one experience does not make a for a quality opinion.  Perhaps.

I heard about and started studying the idea of polyamory back around 2002.  Met Clyde in late 2003, or early 2004.  I think in Feburary 2004.  My first saved chats are from early March 2004.  By 2004, I’d read a few books, and other media.  I’d talked to a few people and I was persuing relationships with people that might lead me to that outcome.  Though, I’m not a person to confront an issue or a person necessarily, I am the person who will cross that bridge when I get to it.  I had two couples I was talking to, both in the Bay Area.  But, I gave it up. Over time, I came to believe permanantly. To have a relationship with Clyde who wanted monogamy. 

Well, going back even further in my history, Girlfriends have been kind of hard for me to keep.  My first serious girlfriend was a neighbor girl.  No, not that kind of girlfriend.  Just a friend girlfriend. We were both little. We met when I was in kindergarten I suppose.  Her maybe first grade.  I really don’t remember that far back in terms of friendships.  I do remember Mrs. Newall my first grade teacher though.  She pulled my hair for talking too much in class. LOL.  That first girlfriend was fine until she hit her teen years.  She was a little older than I was.  I hit my 10th birthday, and that was the end of my innocence.  Everything changed. She touched me in ways that I was not prepared for yet.  I said no, but everything she said was yes.  She was older, more dominant, and pushier-and got her way.  Over time, I learned to enjoy the attention, which from what I understand is pretty normal under those circumstances.  But, the effects were profound.

At that time I had no clue what a lesbian was, and in my world no one talked about it anyway. I did not hear the word until I hit Junior High.  I did not hear the term “Bi” until even later, probably as a young adult.  But from Junior High on, I had two problems, I really enjoyed looking at girls, and what in the world was I going to do if I were lesbian.  If I ever was one, I kept it closeted until my early 40’s.  And no, I don’t think I am one now.  But, once upon a time, I thought I might be.  My mother had made it very, very clear that marriage was between one man and one woman.  Nature would have it no other way.  Once I knew that was the only allowable outcome I knew I was in trouble if my parents found out.  I had no one to tell, no one to talk to, no one who would listen.  I just had no one.  To say I was confused in the rest of my growing up years would be an understatement.  The confusion persisted for a long, long time after that too.  

The first person I tried to open up to was my first husband.  Who heard me out sort of.  I was in tears.  I thought I was mentally ill.  I was crying my eyes out when I told him.  I was begging him not to take any potential future children away from me. This young man that I was married to, had much more experience in the world than I had had.  He once told me he and a friend found  a stash of magazines (porn), etc. all, adult in nature, so he had some education.  You’d thought he’d hugged me and reassured me even if, it was saying something like, “its going to be ok.”  But, nope, he turned looked at me, and asked me to sleep with his sister and let him watch.  I tried to talk to his mother about it, because she was pretty understanding and open minded, I thought.  She was quick to react, and shut me down.  She said what happened was sick and it should have never happened.  Then she was done, and that was it.  

My next “girlfriend” I met as a sophmore in high school.  She was a year or so older, and to be honest, she was my best friend until I was in my 40s.  We both had our issues, but she is a wee bit more judgemental than I am.  Not nearly as open minded, curious.  She’s also pretty hypocritical in a lot of ways. To actually admit that I might be bi or lesbian would have been a big no-no with her.  I kept my mouth shut knowing that, she judges where she really has no reason to judge.  After all she’s never been perfect.  The truth is though, she helped me through some really tough times, and I do still miss her.  I might have talked to her about it what my first girlfriend did to me, I honestly do not remember.  If I did, she was the first person who was “non-judgemental” about it.  Which would have been good for me.  I needed some acceptance, and support.  Pretty sure I told her actually.  She supported the child victim very well.  But, I never told her about all the confusion it caused.  It felt it would never be safe. There were times I tried.  I’d ask questions and try to send out feelers to see if it was safe.  I always thought that the answer to that was, “no.”

If you have a secret and want it kept secret then don’t tell her.  I was in the hospital and getting a pacemaker when she informed my then boyfriend, Clyde about my history.  The history she had no right to inform him of.  He let me get to feeling better then he told me what she said.  Mostly I had to say, yes, that happened.  Other times, it was more like, “that is what I suspect, but I don’t actually have a real memory of it.”    I tried to be truthful, and I think I did alright, he stuck around.  I never said anything to her about it.  It would have been wasted breath to be honest about it.  People are who they are, and I’d figured that one out.  It was part of the price I paid for having her for a friend.  

Clyde and I had a great game early in our relationship.  I’d see a cute gal and I’d tell him we could look together. LOL.  Eventually, I’d say, ‘go and get her, but you gotta share.’  He’d just chuckle at me.  We had discussions about what I was looking for.  He made it clear he wasn’t interested.  Mostly I let it go.  But, every spring, the pull or whatever it might be called would start all over again.  For the longest time, year after year, it seemed to only get worse.  My attraction to women was not going away, and in fact it was getting worse.  Somewhere around year 13 or 14 into our marriage I flat out told him that if a gal offered, I’d have a hard time turning away.  I wanted to know who/what I am.  It took time, but Clyde admitted he’d spent time with a couple, where the husband would watch tv while the wife was in the bedroom with a girlfriend.  He was pretty sure he could do that too.  I had permission.  But, he still had no interest in polyamory.  Or at least that is what he said.  

Keep in mind that this is the short sweet version of the story.  He once asked what I thought about him bringing home an old girlfriend.  I said no. He asked why, and I said because the experts remind us that the ex’s are our ex’s for a reason, and WE did not need the baggage. Its been a learning situation for both of us as we learned to play nice, and I have to admit, it was me who needed to learn to play nice.  When you realize you are with the person you were meant to be for the rest of your life, and you know, from experience you never want that person to feel as if you took them for granted, you (or rather I) bent over bacwards to not start fights.  To keep my voice down.  My temper under control.  To never push him to any limits where he would need feel the need to leave, or give up on us. I think I did well.  

We had met up with two couples as well.  One couple we saw several times and had a couple of dates.  One couple we went out camping with.  But, in the process of getting to know each other, one couple had a gal, Robin, who was not so nice once she decided that we were not committing soon enough to suit her, and the other couple, Mike & Tammy,  moved somewhere else.  I will say, if I’d had the opportunity, I’m sure I’d moved to where they did too.  Its just how it worked out.  The man did kiss me goodbye, we thought we were going to meet again.  But, it was not meant to be.  I pointed out to Clyde that a kiss had happened.  He seemed to have no issues what so ever.  This shocked me.  

It has taken us nearly 20 full years before I found someone (a gal) who was suitable to be both a friend and partner.  At this point, for me.  Because I thought that is how it would go.  But, I prepared this friend for the hoped eventual outcome from my point of view, if we all liked, if we all agreed, etc., polyamory, a person we could commit to and taken in as another committed person in our relationship was the goal.  I told her we did not necessarily have to live together, but we would consider it a marriage at some point. She said she was willing to try it. She & I promised to go slow because our friendship was way more important than anything else.  That is still so true.  She is my new best girlfriend.  We’ve clicked, and I mean right off the bat.  She knows what to say and when to say it.  She just says all the right things.  She seems so sincere.  Her face is just the cutest.  Shes a little younger but reasonable, I’m not really robbing any cradles and neither would be Clyde.  Old enough for consent.  LOL.  Willing to try anything twice, and that’s a quote. 

We’ve been talking nearly a year now.  Had been talking nearly six months by the time we met in August at Stewart Park.  She was very excited.  Clyde was very sick.  We had so much we had to go through.  Husband needed a new aortic valve. The neighbor I was caring for was now on hospice.  Hospice had called me and told me that I was his ‘person’.  I was given instruction in how to give the man morphine.  I went into crisis mode.  Which meant that everyone was kept at arms length as I tried very hard to manage and prevent any fall out at home.  My big fear of course, was that one or the other of the men (Clyde & the neighbor) would die with me not there.  I was committed to caring for both, two households. 

Keeping anyone at an arms length; its just what I do.  I am not sure she had realized.  Once we talked for a couple of hours at the park and  then we each went home.  Clyde & I one way, and she the other.  Then we met again in early February this year (2023).  She was homeless and living with a young couple with small children.  I told her when she was ready for a break to let me know, and I’d pick her up and bring her over for a weekend or whatever kind or length of vacation she wanted/needed.  She came for three days.  Then I took her back.  In terms of physical relationship goes, nothing more than a few pecks happened.  It was purely, in my mind,  a developing friendship.  My idea was to truly give her a vacation.  She was tired from helping with small children and coping with sleeping on a couch.  We did flirt just a little bit.  

Within a few days she let me know she missed our home and how quiet and peaceful it was. How much she missed us.  How amorous she was feeling. I told her that I really wanted to talk to Clyde.  His second stroke had left him with some memory deficiet.  I wanted to be sure he remembered all the conversations we’d had over the years.  I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to shock him with my potential behavior.  I wanted to be sure he was still ok with it.  Even though I’ve talked to him many times about the subject, and even though he’d never had a bad response about any of it, I was scared to bring it up.  The man has never been anything but supportive and loving toward me.  Those old feelings of fear come from my past, and sometimes they overwhelm me.  My girlfriend and I continued to talk every few days.  Again I’d told her when she was ready for a vacation to let me know.  She only took a couple weeks, and she was ready to escape. 

Last weekend she came for another visit.  The last weekend in February.  By this time, we both knew we were interested in one another on a physical level.  There was no if, ands, or buts about that part of it.  I was still trying to keep her at arms length, but, it was because I still had not talked to Clyde.   She was very good at telling me what she was interested in.  We were both pretty sure we were “in love” though I held back for fear of being wrong and not wanting to hurt anyone (and that is still where I am standing).  She is makes it clear she loves us both.  Her birthday was the last day she was with us.  It was her 55th. 

On her birthdays eve, I told her I wanted to get a shower, and then talk to Clyde because I had chickened out, though I wasn’t so sure why I was so damn chicken.  Then I’d be back to “her room” to at the very least talk. I told her that if anything physical happened it would probably be just kisses as I still wanted to go slow.   Probably just talk is what I told myself.  Instead of getting straight into the shower, I went straight to talk to Clyde.  To make a little talk littler, he could not believe we had not had sex yet.  When I mentioned she was willing to be a wife, and refeered to her as mine, he corrected me, and called her, “our wife.”  He said, it all depended on she and I wanted.  Bottom line is if I was waiting for his permission there was no need to wait any longer.  I had been waiting for his permission.  I explained to him, that I did not want to feel as if I were sneaking around, and I wanted to be sure he was not going to be hurt.  The last thing in the world that I ever want to do is hurt him.  The more we talked the more excited I got.  I totally forgot about my plan. I realized that I needed to step out of the middle between she and him, and let them start interacting more.  She needed to be in on this conversation.  I went to where she was and told her what he’d said, and I grabbed her by the hands and led her to our combination bedroom/livingroom.  We all laid down on the bed, though, in my mind it was to talk not to have sex.  I don’t remember who said what, or why, or anything.  All I remember is hearing him saying he wanted to see us make out.  She reached over him and laid on the very best kiss.  Once we were done with kisses we each took our places on either side of him, he’d made it clear he wanted a girl on each side of him.  He proceeded to kiss her and she held his face in just the same way I do.  I knew that there was an intimacy there that she was willing to give and share with him.  There is no making a show of that, it’s real or its not.  It was real.  His smiles were real, and as I have pointed out to him he was consistently himself.  LOL.  He treated her with as much gentleness, and sweet touches as he does me.  I had absolutely no issues watching as he brought her over the edge.  As far as that is concerned, I had no issues helping. LOL.  

We all needed a rest.  Those two started to go at it again.  Which was fine.  Except that to get where they needed to go there needed to be a shift in the bed.  Suddenly there was no room for me, and that is where the “hard” feelings came.  To be dismissed shortly as I had asked for it. LOL.  I had also throughly enjoyed myself.  I left the room for that shower that I had meant to take earlier in the night.  

At one point, I looked at Clyde, and said, “honey, I think I am bi.”  He kind of chuckled in his way, and so did she.  Eventually, she went back to her bed, and we stayed in ours, and we went to sleep discussing just what to do about sleeping arrangements.  We can play musical beds I suppose.  She requires a hard bed.  I want a soft one.  We have both in the form of two queen sized mattresses.  I said to throw them on the floor side by side.  He doesn’t seem to be too interested in that.  I think we’ll slowly figure that out.  

The next day, I had an appointment at my advisors office at the local junior college.  He asked me how I was.  I told him, I was having a once in a lifetime kind of day, and its been great.  He waited for me to elaborate, whereas I had no intention. LOL I found out what math classes he’d have me take, gave he gave me some advice and I went on my happy way. 

Now, all I want to know is when is she coming back because I’m hearing I get my friend all to myself.  So, for now it’s one day at a time.  I’ve showed her our wedding/engagement ring arrangment and asked her if she was interested in matching rings if we ended up there.  She had a cute expression on her face, and I heard an affirmation.  She’s ready to be a wife and a friend.  Which really in today’s world Clyde and I needed to feel lucky for finding each other let alone another person who might be compatible.  There are a lot things that need to be discussed.  Lot’s of stuff to work out in terms of getting along. She is still actively dating and I for one do not expect her to stop.  But, what happens when she brings a boyfriend or girlfriend home.  All of that needs to be talked about.  

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my bliss.  Follow my bliss.  Enjoy the new found freedom,
and the affirmation that I can love men or women and its ok.    i will also throughly enjoy the fact that I am 60 years old, and still living life in the absolute fullest way I can.  I have my disabillities.  All three of us do.  

That was my once in a lifetime day. Funny thing, Clyde said in a tone of disbelief, “And it took us 20 years to go there?”   No, my family still has no clue.  I’m in no hurry to share.
I feel its no ones business until I am ready to share.  Though, I am confident that some family members read this blog.  Having said that, if they don’t like it, they can keep it to themselves. I’m doing what I want, and am going to relish the moments while they last.  I will also be actively looking to relish even more new experiences as well.  

Sex for me is a religious or at least a spiritual experience.  I believe it has its place in our recreational life.  I believe it can be used to bring people together in so many ways (Ask the bonoboos, um, chimps what it does for them).  It is so much more than an act to lead to the creation of life.  I believe that humans are fully capable of loving more than one person and if those loves are treated with respect, truth, and acts are looked at and acted upon ethically there isn’t a thing that can’t be worked out with lots of communication.  Polyamory, is a form for me at least, a way to celebrate the fact that we are living beings.  We embrace our humanity and share it intimately with others who also wish to celebrate.   Its our own private party! Join me! 

Have a great day!! P






For what its worth, this work is copyrighted 2023, to Peggy Ann Rowe-Snyder.
Please do not reuse in any form without permission.  Thank you. 

About PeggyAnn

Professional PC Consultant, Researcher, & avid people watcher, Peggy Ann Rowe started into her genealogical quest at age 15 after watching the mini-series, "Roots" with her parents. This new obsession has fueled her love of history, & study of cultures & societies in every epoch. Today she is 57 years old with four kids who are all grown up (& all have flown the coop). In between her 'gigs' with clients she volunteered at many different non-profits. Former President, Secretary, and Director at Large on the board of the Douglas County Historical Society for 10+ years, and former Secretary at the Cloverdale Historical Society (Sonoma County) for nearly 10 years. This website is an attempt to share the knowledge she has gained about her family ties with others who may be interested in the same things. She does not guarantee 100% accuracy and does hope that you will send corrections. To learn more about her, click the "about" button in the page menu. Thanks! Another goal of this website is to disseminate a message (i.e. education) about domestic violence, child abuse, and all forms of sexual abuse to society at large. The message comes from real experience from the whole spectrum of the violence from sexual abuse by a perpetrator to sexual abuse perpetrated by a husband, to the abuse of children within the family. Peggy has seen it, lived it, and been hurt by it. There will on occasion be details that might be hard for some people to read, and a warning is usually posted at the beginning of the essay so that those who want to turn and not read may do so. The only way to teach and to let others learn what to avoid is to SHARE what happened with every detail necessary to make the point. Thank you.
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