Polycule – Sandoval, Part 3 – Rogue One

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• 1580 words • 6-7 min •

I could talk to him for hours, he was so fun.

Sandoval trimmed his beard for our third date. Not just trimmed – basically shaved the entire thing off. I was trying very hard not to pout about it… He was so cute before, all fluffy and soft. Now he was not. “I read on your profile that you don’t like beards,” he said, petting his sharp cactus chin. “So I thought I’d change it.”

Both of my boys have beards. I have no idea where on my profile it said I don’t like them. It really depends on the person, to be honest, and how they maintain their facial hair. But in general, beards are fine. I am pro-beard. I’d rather cuddle someone with a soft face than someone with scruffy stubble scratching at me.

the sexiest thing I will ever post on this site

Our date was Panera first, then a movie after. I was spending quality time with my beloved – Panera paninis, that is – and then… I was going to meet one of his friends. Originally, multiple friends were going to be at the movies, but it had been reduced to just one. Thank God. Meeting all of his people at once would have probably overwhelmed me.

On our second date, he had explained that he had three guy friends he’d known since elementary school. They had physically rescued him from his abusive household and took care of him when his health issues caused him to rely heavily on other people. They had a bond lasting thirty years and were basically his family.

So, y’know, totally no pressure or anything.

Polycule: Cute Boy

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• 2300 words • 9 min •

a cake with a "1" candle.
Happy First Birthday to our relationship!

Today is Cute Boy and I’s first anniversary! We lasted one year without either of us axe-murdering the other. So… it’s time to take a mini time-travel trip to how me and Cute Boy met. Cute Boy and I started dating in the middle of October 2016. He was actually the first person I went out with during this spate of dating… but starting Polycule off with a giant post of swooning seemed like a bad idea. 😉

Just like with Chris’ episode, Cute Boy was consulted for commentary! I read this out loud to him, and faithfully recorded everything he said in purple text. Although there’s a lot less here than in Chris’, because Cute Boy basically spent this entire post laughing at me.

So, Cute Boy has a very cute girlfriend. [HEE HEE HEE GOOD START.] I was online looking only at girls’ profiles when I saw her, and sent her the world’s worst first message (confirmed by both Cute Boy and Cute Girlfriend). [it was bad…] I peeked at his profile and was basically SWOON HE’S SO CUTE HELP but… but… I just messaged his girlfriend? And, okay. I have done quite a bit of online dating in the poly community (please see: this entire project) and I still don’t understand the protocol for contacting someone’s partner. If you go on a date with a guy and it doesn’t work out, can you message the girl? Can you send messages to two girls who are dating each other, not with an intent to form a triad, but just… to see if either of them would work out with you separately?

I have no idea.

I opted for not contacting him at all, and going back to my corner to sulk about not understanding social rules.

But the next morning, I woke up to a message from him.

Polycule: Sandoval – Baconator Fries Solve Everything

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• 920 words • 4 min •

NOTE: Sorry this episode is so late, and so disjointed. My life’s been a bit of a mess recently, and on top of that – Sandoval’s story is an emotional one for me, as you’ll see in this episode and the next two. Please have patience!!

Did I mention Sandoval was ten years older than me? He officially has the biggest age gap of anyone I’ve ever dated. I was intimidated by the writing career he’d already had, his vocabulary and experiences I didn’t share. But I found him fascinating. He was charming and silly, went along with all of my weirdness – from making him download Snapchat to listening to me gush about every cool thing I was reading or playing.

I tend to flirt by teasing people, so of course I teased him about being old any chance I got.

“Be careful,” he said once. “I’m not afraid to pull out the ‘you’re picking on an old blind guy’ card.”

He introduced me to Fallen London, a game that let me play as a nonbinary gender, or as the game called it a “Person of Mysterious and Indistinct Gender.” I absolutely loved this, and love Fallen London for having an inclusive nonbinary option. Sandoval began referring to me by my Fallen London gender in real life, which was hilarious and amazing.

GOOD DAY, SIR. I SAID GOOD DAY!

Sandoval was so much fun to talk to, bounce ideas off of, engage in nerdy debates out of nowhere with. I talked about him all the time, and our conversations bled over into my relationships with everyone else. I endured a lot of teasing for this. I was so excited about this new person I’d found and every amazing, hilarious thing that he did or said or thought.

He was a very bright spot during a couple of heartbreaking weeks. I finally severed ties with my best friend, and I was… lost. And mourning. Countless times every day I’d pick up my phone to text her or forward her a meme… and then remember we were over. Chris works nights and Cute Boy lives 40 minutes away, and there were a lot of nights when I just needed to be around someone so I didn’t spend all night crying on my couch.

Polycule: How to Win a Fangirl’s Heart

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• 3000 words • 12 min •

Sandoval’s voice was rough, and had that well-worn quality of professors everywhere who speak clearly, often, but drink too much coffee. He had a strong vocabulary and used words in text and conversation that I secretly had to look up later.

He smelled like guy soap and Sweetarts, and was the kind of chubby and barrel-chested that made me want to snuggle up on him and take a nap.

This one’s going to be a long one – and a bit of an emotional ride. Buckle up, kids.

[Content Warnings: discussions of mental illness as the friends/family of someone who is mentally ill, emotional abuse, gaslighting. Pretty intense on those last two. Take care of yourself.]

His first message to me online was long, charming, and silly. He told me later he’d read and re-read my profile dozens of times before sending it, because he wanted to get it right.

Polycule: Get Out of My Car

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• 1756 words • 7-8 min •

[Mild-ish content warning: some fatphobic comments and gross sex/bodily function stories.]

Let’s talk about my second date with Smiley, cause the first date was a basic coffee shop date that was so standard, I don’t even really remember it. Except for the part where he loudly talked about his mom getting high before his surgery and a lengthy description of a prostate exam in which he shit into a nurse’s hand. Maybe I blocked the rest out.

The second date was weeks later. Smiley is tall, loud, very expressive, and has no filter (obviously). He’s kind of a giant goofball who doesn’t really think before he acts (see first date). Most of his text messages to me came with numerous exclamation marks!!!!!! And he would randomly toss out adorable facts like he’s terrified of spiders and makes his girlfriend kill them for him, or when he was little he wanted to change his middle name to Snowman.

Polycule: “I’m Kind of Generic”

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• 1300 words • 5-6 min •

As promised… the second terrible date I’ve been on recently. This one, thankfully, was less terrifying. He respected every boundary I had, and was perfectly polite and nice.

But, uh. That was… that was about it.

Recently-ish, I’ve been open to dating couples. I’ve never done it before, and read some cute triad romance novels that gave me starry-eyed daydreams about it. Plus, it was something I thought would be really interesting to write about for Polycule (haha! I am shameless). There will be a lot more on that at a much later date (pun).

So this guy – Mr. Generic – responded to that, and said he’d show my picture to his wife and tell her about me and see if she was interested.

Polycule: Chris

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• 2900 words • 12 min •

Happy 11th birthday to our relationship!

Today’s episode of Polycule is going to be special, a slight deviation from the norm. For one thing, it takes place in the past. But for another, it has comments from Chris himself interspersed throughout in purple. I wrote this piece, and read it to him, and recorded his actual commentary. So… enjoy Chris and I’s love story!

[Why don’t I get a fancy nickname??? Why am I just Chris?? I want a fancy nickname!]

You see, on this day, at 2:18 in the morning, eleven years ago, Chris told me he liked me. And I texted back, telling him to call me because “I am not having the most important conversation of my life via text message.”

Polycule: Birdy

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• 1900 words • 7-8 min •

Birdy’s name is not, in fact, Birdy. I use code names for everyone I talk about on this blog, but this one actually asked me to call her by a code name. I had messaged her online, and we didn’t have a ton in common, but enough (especially fantasy novels and nerdy pursuits) that I felt like it was worth a shot… until she told me her name.

Which was the same as my birth name.

Polycule

Polycule: The Ghost

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• 1750 words • 7 min •

After everything with Axes blew up, I was kind of mopey. People who appear to be interested in me, then later tell me it's a lie or they didn't actually feel as strongly as they originally thought... I'm really sensitive to that. It's happened before, with much bigger relationships, and part of my starting online dating again was that I was only going to accept people who treated me well and who genuinely wanted to be with me. One of my best friends has a saying, "Only date people who want to date you!" and shouts it at me anytime I make excuses for those people who don't appear to be giving me their all, or seem to have dubious intentions.

Very cute white pomeranian doggy.
Puppies are v good at comforting

I was still in the Conversations Stage with a number of people, but had kind of been drifting away from them since I thought there was Something There with Axes. Letting longer and longer lengths of time elapse before I replied, or not taking the initiative to message them.

But here I was, late at night, bored, and feeling really disappointed about Axes, and messaging all the people I'd sort of let slip away in the last few weeks. So let's talk about a few of them that didn't go anywhere, first.

There was a really *really* cute bisexual trans girl with silvery lavender hair and a sort of perfect SOFT GRUNGE look you only see on tumblr. She ended all of her messages with cute little c: faces. And we had progressed to texting and.... and....

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Polycule: Axe Throwing Guy – Part Three

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2600 words • 10 min

The week after the election, nearly everyone I knew had violence occur in their neighborhood. My best friend at the time lived in an apartment complex, and the body of a young black woman was found dead in the apartment below hers. My ex-boyfriend lived in a small town in the northeast and a man went on a shooting spree across the town, something that had never taken place in that area before. A guy I had been talking to online (and who I went on a date with eventually - Gizzards, coming soon) had a Muslim friend who had buckets of red paint thrown on him while walking across campus. And one of Axes' family members was assaulted on the street for wearing a pride shirt. She was physically okay minus some bruising, but everything was terrifying; everyone was shaken over these events happening all over the country.

Fig A. Amazing queer shirt of wonder and majesty

It was heavy, depressing times, and I found myself going to Axes to talk about it over and over again. Over half of his immediate family and all of his friends were queer - he *got it* in a way that most of my other friends didn't.

He also said something that I still think about on a regular basis, and keep as quote on my phone. I shared with him that I had just started to be kind of Out at work. After Pulse happened, I wore all my LGBTQ t-shirts to work that week, and a few coworker friends knew about my life. But after Trump won, and people I know started getting more violence and hate directed at them and those they loved, it started to feel a lot more unsafe, or at least unwise, to be out in the workplace.

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