Author’s note: It seems to me that the things which didn’t happen to a person are as important as the things that did. Several of these “alternate realities” will appear throughout the book.

Alternate Reality #3

The marriage license in our filing cabinet says it’s really much too late to be coming out to anyone about anything – but in my own defense, I didn’t really understand my own sexuality for the first near-decade of our marriage. And then it takes me several more years to work up the courage to tell him, stammeringly, about my desires.

We play a few times. Although my fantasies are mostly about topping, I am happy to play bottom if it means I get to play at all – but as it turns out, neither role works for him.

We are at an impasse, and talking about divorce. We decide to try to spend more time together, and follow our reading interests to one of the early science fiction conferences. Together, we attend a discussion of alternative family structures in science fiction, and consider for the first time the idea of an open relationship.

That saves us. It isn’t easy – we often bemoan the lack of an informative how-to book that will help us over the hurdles. But eventually, he finds a girlfriend who likes vanilla sex as much as he does, and I find myself a couple of regular play partners, nad somehow it works, mostly.

He and I rarely have sex anymore, because that energy mostly goes to the outside partners who are better matches than we are. But all the things we like to do together – raising our kids, going to the movies, talking at length about books and music and theater – still give us great pleasure.

It’s not most people’s idea of marriage, but it works for us.

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