First Contact: Sophie Meets Josh

Sophie and I had another date Friday night, our fourth.

I love being with her. It’s strange how natural it is with her, how easy. It’s refreshing to have such a new relationship be so… comfortable. Not complacent, just… not-stressful. I have all of the excitement and virtually none of the insecurity, with her. She is an amazing person, and we complement each other well. Being around her is a joyful experience.

On our first date we spoke a bit about me sharing sex with other partners. She has been more comfortable with this idea than the concept of multiple romantic entanglements.

She’s still coming from a paradigm in which a partner’s love for someone else means less love is available for her. One of her past long-term partners gradually distanced herself from Sophie when the partner began a secret relationship with someone else. In that situation, Sophie’s partner’s interest could only be focussed on one person at a time, and she chose a different person. It’s a painful story, and one that’s easy to relate to. After something like that, the idea of a lover openly displaying romantic affection toward someone else is understandably a bit daunting.

So, we started by talking about the sex stuff. The sex stuff was easier to deal with. Sophie’s had threesomes in the past, and already worked through a lot of sex-jealousy.

Unfortunately, she worked through it largely by making pacts separating sex and love. That’s sort of the opposite of my M.O., so we’re having to have a lot of dialogue about this.

Sophie is willing to try the there’s-enough-love approach, but she’s hesitant. I feel sometimes like I’m pressuring her into something she isn’t really excited about, and it makes me very uncomfortable. Every time I ask her if this is really what she wants, though, she tells me it is.

The third or fourth time I asked Friday night, she looked me square in the face and told me, “When I was afraid of dogs I sat on my grandparents’ floor and made my brother bring puppy after puppy from the breeders next door and set them on my lap until I was covered in the things, until they were climbing all over me and licking and playing with each other on my lap, and then I told him to bring in the adult dogs. I sat there for a fucking hour, watching them, daring to touch these terrifying, unpredictable animals, until I realised I was okay.

“When I was afraid of diving I went to the tallest diving board at the water park, closed my eyes, and dove in. I felt like I was going to splatter on the bottom of the pool, but I fucking did it.

“And right now I am terrified that if I date someone who loves other people, she won’t be able to love me. But here I am, so shut up and fucking prove my fear wrong.”

There was absolutely nothing I could do at that moment but kiss her. She is so brilliantly courageous. She inspires me.

During that first date Sophie explained that the easiest way for her to handle my other relationships was to know as much as possible about the other people I share love and sex with, and then to meet them. She told me that at least for now, she would feel more secure about things if I always tell her when I have a date or share sex with someone else. I feel uncomfortable about this. I would never hide these things from a partner, and they do come up in conversation, but having to report in is… different. I understand her need to feel safe in this relationship, though, so I agreed – temporarily.

Friday night we watched a film together snuggled on her sofa and then a dear friend of mine came round to introduce himself. Josh and I have known each other for about four years now — he was one of the first people I met in this city — and are very close. We tried dating and decided it didn’t work for us, but we’re very good friends with a loving relationship that sometimes includes sex. Josh and I shared sex last week, with Sophie’s foreknowledge and agreement, and had a wonderful time.

After we finished the film, there was about half an hour before Josh was due to come by, and Sophie became visibly nervous. She started tidying things that didn’t need tidying and began to reorganise her DVDs. She touched up her hair and makeup several times. I stopped her on her way to straighten a lamp for the third time and trapped her in my arms. “Hey.”

“Hey.” She looked up at me, biting her bottom lip the way she always does. (Oh, my god, this woman is beautiful.) Her eyes were anxious.

“Why are you so frenetic?” I asked her, brushing a kiss against her forehead.

“It’s not exactly an experience I have every day,” she told me. “I want to make a good impression.”

“You’re amazing. How could you not?” I asked her, and leaned in for a kiss. Unfortunately, Josh chose that moment to arrive. Sophie checked her hair one more time before answering the door, smiling nervously.

Josh came in, all smiles. He had brought Sophie some cherry blossoms, her favourite flower. She accepted them gratefully, and happy for something to do, found a vase for them. I hugged Josh and stole a light kiss. I don’t know whether Sophie saw. If I had been thinking, I would have been a little less affectionate, just to let her get used to it, but I was on automatic.

Josh removed his shoes and sat on the sofa, and then Sophie came in with the flowers in a vase and set them on her desk. “So,” she said brightly. “Here we are.”

I felt so nervous. I desperately wanted Sophie and Josh to like each other — Josh is one of my very best friends and I’m already crazy about Sophie. But I could see the tension in Sophie’s frame, and I couldn’t think of anything to say.

Josh swooped in and saved the day, making a crack about Sophie’s tiny stature compared to my hulking height and then complimenting her on a metal knickknack I’d never thought to ask about before. Apparently both Sophie and Josh really loved the book series/movie The Hunger Games, and what I’d thought was just a cool-looking design had something to do with the series.

Out of my depth, I sat on the sofa and just watched them talk. Sophie stood over by the desk at first and then came to sit across my lap facing Josh. They finished their Hunger Games discussion and I was able to rejoin the conversation again. When they started swapping embarrassing anecdotes about me and discussing my mannerisms and quirks, I knew they’d get on just fine. There was a bit of an awkward moment when Josh began, “Hey, have you ever noticed how after Leah cums, she–”

I had to hit him with a sofa pillow. “Spoilers!” I noticed Sophie blushing, and I laughed. “We haven’t gotten there yet.” I planted a kiss on her cheek. “We’re taking things slowly.”

“That’s cool,” Josh said. There was an awkward silence. Then he started up again. “Sophie, when you do fuck her, don’t let her–”

This time Sophie hit him with the pillow.

It was a good evening. We talked and laughed late into the night and ordered Chinese food around 2am. I don’t think we left until probably five or six in the morning. I think they like each other, and I am ridiculously, deliriously happy.

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