Science of Poly

Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too

There are some really great advantages to ethical non-monogamy. For me, what it comes down to is having a wonderful man who knows me eerily well and satisfies me continuously in the bedroom while simultaneously being able to have random fun adventures with strangers.

Last week I was driving back from visiting my lovely family in Oklahoma. It’s a long drive so I spent the night in a small tourist town in Colorado. I happened into a little distillery with a bar. The bartender and one loan patron were the only occupants. I’ll call loan patron Paul. I don’t remember who initiated the conversation, but the three of were soon chatting away.

The cocktails were actually worthy of the adjective craft. The gin-based concoction with jalapeno was so spicy I actually had to sip it. The next drink had slices of pickled ginger. The bartender gave me a taste of the smoothest aged whiskey. It was the kind of pleasant surprise that makes a night worth remembering.

As the night went on, Paul and I exchanged stories about our work as public servants. He told me about the goings on of the local community, and as I always do, I went on about my time in graduate school. Towards the end of the evening, I went to use the ladies’ room. When I returned, he had paid for all my drinks. It was a kind gesture with no expectations presented. I was planning on walking the short mile back to my hotel, but he insisted on giving me a ride. First, we went on a short walk to see the river. Then, before he drove me back, we took a detour up the mountain.

While I spent my childhood gazing up at the stars in rural America, I’ve lived in cities for years. Now, I’m taken aback a bit when I see them clearly. The twinkling lights of the cities were almost like reflections of the stars. It was lovely. When we got back to the hotel, I knew I could have asked him up to my room. However, I was tired and had another long day of driving.

In a past life, I might have thought I owed him more since he picked up my tab and gave me a ride. However, sexual positivity has taught me dating doesn’t work that way. So I told him goodnight. He gave me a quick kiss, then I walked to my room. Once I was inside, I called my partner and told him all about the exciting night I’d had. I’ll likely never see Paul again.

While fleeting, the encounter was a connection. The sort I enjoy, to be honest. The initial spark, sharing my stories to a new audience, wondering if you’re interpreting the signs correctly. Some nights that’s all I want so when I’m traveling it works out wonderfully. It’s obvious from the onset the stakes are low.

Not all guys in bars are jerks. If you’re having trouble meeting people, take a risk. Go out by yourself to a bar or other venue you enjoy. Make eye contact with someone. See where it goes. Strike up a conversation. I’ve gone out plenty of times and not found anyone I’ve connected with. Some nights I’ve met travelers simply looking for a conversation over a meal. Other nights handsome gentlemen have attempted to woo me with dessert and fancy cocktails. Regardless, I avoided being bored and by myself.

In the words of a famous hobbit:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your front door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I hope you enjoyed my little adventure. I’d love your comments!! XOXO

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