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Chapter 13 — Retreat
Edie and I were cuddled together on the pool patio of our new house. We sold our two houses that we’d each had through the latter part of our marriages and then our widowhood, and jointly bought a larger and more nicely appointed house on Sarasota Bay with a view across the water at the pretty city. While we were on the water with the back of the house facing east, our view from the front was also of another part of the bay, but looking across our street.
On one side of the house was another owned by an older couple who lived in Switzerland that only appeared in the winter for four weeks a year. The landscaping on the other side of the house blocked any view of our patio from that house. Since the people from Switzerland had already come and gone, Edie and I were laying naked together. We’d also just made love and the last rays of the departing sun gave way to the midnight blue sky.
“I love you, Jim.”
“I love you, Edie.”
“My whole life was to prepare me for living this way; for loving you like this and for loving all the other people we do the way we do.”
I smiled and kissed her, “I agree. I feel so blessed. I’m grateful every moment I’m with you.”
Edie giggled, “Are you excited about being a father again?”
“Kind of. I’m glad I won’t have to raise the little critter.”
“David and Penny have that under control. You know there’s a slight chance he might be the father.”
“Won’t matter. I love Jean, Penny, and everyone else.”
“With high probability. Jean was here without other ‘distractions’ at her peak time. You were the only proboscis that probed her little pussy that week, and … ‘POOF’ … she shows up in a family way two missed periods later.” She laughed.
“I offered to have her here.”
Edie laughed, “Oh, you’re going to get her ‘here’ in ways you don’t even know about.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just found out before you diverted my telling you the news and made love to me.”
“You seem happy, so it must be good news.”
“It is. The three of them are moving to Sarasota. They’ll be nearby. They’re coming down in a week to look at real estate. They’ll be staying here on and off as they look for a home and relocate.”
I sat up straight, “WHAT?! That’s fabulous. What about their jobs?”
Edie grinned, “Penny talked her publishing house into letting her work remotely. They love her work, so that was a no-brainer for them. Doug and Jean work for McKennitt Consulting. They’ll continue to do that from here, using the Tampa office as their base. Jean will be taking a few months of maternity leave when the baby arrives.”
I was astounded at what was happening.
Edie continued, “They told me flat out that they wanted to participate with us in our sexual gatherings with Bruce, Mindy, Hank, and Rita, and anybody else we deem loveable.”
“Will Jean want to do that while she’s pregnant?”
Edie broke into nearly uncontrollable laughter. “She’s hornier now than the rest of us put together. Penny said that she wants to fuck every male she sees. No problem there, right?”
“Bring it on. She’ll fit right in here. What about Penny?”
“She wants to ensure that David is the father of her baby. She’s got the bug, so you’ll find you have to use a condom with her when she’s midway in her monthly cycle. Other than that, she’s your ‘eager little fuck toy’; I believe she used that exact phrase. She loves making love with you.”
I shrugged, “The feeling is mutual, so long as her mother approves.”
Edie kissed me. “She approves so long as she gets her share.”
“You’re my top priority.”
“Likewise, Bub. I have something for us to do that I discovered on the Internet. It’s a touchy-feely couple’s thing.”
“Say more. Am I in trouble here?” I sat up a little straighter. I remember several times in my long marriage with Diane when we did some couples counseling. I was too wrapped up in my job and ignoring her was the usual root cause.
Edie kissed me, “We are fine and I want to keep us this way. We’ve been a couple for over a year-and-a-half, and I want another fifty years just like it. It’s kind of like group therapy in a way, we go and let it all hang out, learn about each other and ourselves, and remind ourselves how to communicate better with each other. That’s my simplistic explanation of the weekend.”
I spoke emphatically, “I will do anything like this that you want. I just want to ensure that we have the best relationship we can. If this will help in even a small way, I’m onboard.” I also knew I had nothing else to do, so if this made Edie happy, I was happy; happy wife, happy life. We weren’t married, but we may as well have been.
Edie kind of shrugged, “Not sure, but the local retreat sounded really nice. It’s four days and three nights at some rustic lodge in the middle of the state. Since you approve, I’ll sign us up. I’ll be sure the dates don’t conflict with anything that might be going on other than our elvankent escort bayanlar Saturday’s with our friends. We can shift those to midweek around that weekend.”
* * * * *
I was immediately worried when I saw the ‘lodge’ where the Relationship Couples Therapy Retreat was to be held. I was fine with it, but I still wasn’t too sure about Jim’s view of the place. I knew he liked ‘upscale’ and ‘creature comforts’. This place was stark and minimalist, with few distractions. A big core lodge with several large meeting rooms and then two wings with a few bedrooms that were all pretty plain. There was no pool, no Jacuzzi, no sauna, no TV, no nothing! A couple of nature trails were marked.
We’d arrived as suggested, shortly before lunch. There were ten couples in the ‘retreat’ including us. We were the oldest, but not by much. The youngest couple were in their mid-thirties. The others seemed to space out in age between that couple and us.
Our room was stark. No TV, but we did have Internet. The lunch meal was a buffet with burgers and various salads as the primary emphasis. The favored drink seemed to be iced tea.
After lunch, the twenty attending the retreat and the two instructors — a couple — gathered in one of the meeting rooms. A big ‘U-shaped’ table opened in front to a projector, screen, and a couple of flip charts.
Alice Ryder was the lead female instructor. She told us that the austerity of the lodge was to get us to focus on each other and not on the creature comforts in many other venues. She was friendly and very engaging.
Alice talked about being a couple and how the love we had was also wrapped up in emotional attachment, nurturing, soothing, and protection. She ran a short exercise in talking to versus at each other, that produced a lot of laughs, but also raised out awareness that we were hearing our partner but not necessarily listening to them. That led to our first more serious exercise based on the principles of ‘active listening’. We were given an hour and some questions to talk to each other about. Instead of going to our room, Jim and I walked outside as we talked and tried to apply the principles we’d just been given. I admit to blowing off Jim in some of our earlier discussions; so, I got more serious about this. Jim was MY PARTNER, I hoped for the rest of my life. Moreover, this retreat had been my idea, and I wanted this to work for both of us.
Back in the seminar room, Carl Ryder, the male instructor, emphasized what we’d just learned, and also drew out of the class a few observations people had about listening to each other. He then led the class into a discussion about Intimacy, particularly the component parts of dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity. He added in the other dimensions of mind, body, and spiritual connection. The class quickly got into talking about emotional and interpersonal awareness, and the general term ‘connection’. He asked, “How long does it take to build a connection with someone you don’t know?” The class responses were all over the map.
Carl grinned, “An experiment is needed. Since none of you know each other, I want to pair you with a member of the opposite sex that you don’t know. Armed with your active listening skills and what we just talked about in terms of intimacy, I want you to develop an intimate relationship with a new person.”
Alice stepped forward and had the men and women draw numbers from two separate hats. My partner for the exercise was the man who’d drawn a ‘6’. Jim’s partner was the woman who’d drawn a ‘4’. Per chance, we got a husband-wife couple: Molly and Sean.
Molly was a dark blonde, about forty years old, and cute as a button. She’d have been a spinner in her youth, and had retained much of her sex appeal. Jim’s term for women like that was ‘easy on the eyes’. Sean was the same age and could have come off the cover of GQ magazine; he was ‘easy on the eyes’, too, and hyper friendly.
Each new couple was to go off for forty-five minutes and see what developed in the context that Carl laid out. His final words were, “Go be intimate!”
Sean and I went out the front door of the lodge, and walked partway down a nature trail to a crude log bench in the side yard. We were both at a loss as to how to start.
I suddenly had an idea. “Kiss me; touch me.”
Sean saw where I was headed and we immediately went into a romantic clinch. I found our hug and kiss very engaging, so I poured a little passion into it, and so did he. I took one of his hands and put it on the outside of my colorful top. In only a few seconds, I was sure he could feel my nipple harden. I was commando, but I had expected to be a good girl and not flash anybody; thus, my skirt was knee-length.
Sean and I made out for about five minutes and then slowed. We were both panting. I said, “I really like that kind of intimacy with you.” He smiled and agreed, “We could go further, but I wouldn’t without Molly being etimesgut esmer escortlar onboard. What about your husband?”
“My partner,” I explained. And then, I decided to a rock in the pond to see what happened with the ripples. “We have others that we also love and are intimate with.”
Sean asked, “Sexually intimate?”
I nodded. “We love each other. They also introduced Jim and me, and we flared into a great relationship immediately. I was thinking about the intimacy we developed as we opened up to each other. I’d say it took us about twelve hours on our first date — a lunch that didn’t end until midnight on my doorstep. It was so romantic.”
I asked Sean, “What’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever done?”
“Kiss you a moment ago. Edie, you lit my fire.”
I told him, “Well, you lit mine, too. I’m turned on. I want to do more, but we only have a half hour.”
Sean looked surprised, “You’d do more?”
I grinned, “Sure, wouldn’t you if there were no other constraints?”
“Yes, but what about Jim, your partner, and Molly?”
I said, “We are two inter-dependent and equal individuals in our relationship. We don’t own or possess each other, and we’ve agreed to be non-exclusive. We both believe that we can love more than one person — many more, in fact. The more we love, the more love we have to give, and the more we get in return. We don’t get jealous; instead we’re compersive and hope our partner has a great experience with anybody they’re with. We also practice consensual non-monogamy.”
Sean was quiet as he played back for himself what I’d just said. “Wow. That’s … deep. Molly and I are … married.”
I shrugged, “So, you can still be all the things I just said.” I paused and then kissed Sean again, quite passionately. I even took the initiative and rubbed his pants until I’d generated a lump. He started to paw at my breasts again, and then I put one of his hands until my skirt. I whispered, “Be intimate with me.”
Jim had taught me about making up little stories to titillate your partner and also to show how you’re feeling; he called them scenarios. I started one for Sean. “Jim and Molly are probably in a secluded nook on the other side of the retreat center in a place like this one. He’s been making out with her, and now they’re both nude. She’s hot to mate with him, so Molly invites him to slide his hard cock into her pussy. They start to fuck as they kiss. She doesn’t want you to get angry or jealous; she wants you to be doing the same thing with me. She loves you, and she’s also rapidly falling in love with Jim and he with her, but at no loss of her love and affection to you. After a few minutes they both orgasm together, sealing the deal on their love for the rest of time. Jim eventually pulls out of her wet little cunt, and then kneels and uses his mouth to clean up her pussy; he does that, you know.”
Sean, fortunately, knew what a clitoris was and how to find it. I soared into orbit with my new friend as my story unfolded. I panted for a small orgasm and then gasped, “Are we feeling intimate yet?”
I reached into Sean’s pants and found his semi-hard cock. It felt like a nice size. I fondled it the best I could without extracting it from his pants. He even adjusted so I had more room to play. He commented about how I’d really turned him on and how he wanted to do more.
We both lavished more kisses on each other. We just kept making out until my iPhone beeped signaling the end of the exercise.
I asked Sean, “Are you feeling emotional about me?”
“Yes. I guess we were supposed to think about the intellectual side to our intimacy, but I don’t care. The physical side covered the whole landscape including emotional, relational, intellectual, and even the spiritual connection.”
Back in our meeting room, I winked at Jim and he gave me a coy grin. I suspected that he’d had a similar engagement with the very pretty Molly. I sat with Sean, and he sat with Molly snug against him. I noticed the adoring looks she continued to give him. I wondered how many orgasms she’d had, even if they didn’t copulate.
Carl, our instructor began, “How many of you forged an intimate relationship?”
Jim, Molly, Sean, and I raised our hands. No one else did. I had that ‘Oops’ feeling. I was in public and had just embarrassed myself, but so had the others.
Even Carl looked surprised, “Edie, what did you do in forty minutes with a virtual stranger to create an intimate bond?” For some reason, he looked at me. Maybe I looked guilty.
I blushed for sure, but said, “We made out and petted. Our auras took care of the rest.”
“How’s that?” Carl posed.
“We kissed and hugged a lot, and did a few intimate touches, and I also shared my philosophy about relationships, and briefly gave an example or two from my own life. We speculated about our partners, too.” I glanced at Jim, and he wanted to break ankara grup yapan escortlar out laughing. His glance, however, was very supportive and said a lot about what he’d been doing with Molly. He saw humor in the classroom situation.
Sean spoke, “I wouldn’t have believed it, but Edie is now one of my favorite people. I love her, and I know she loves me. Just to emphasize, that takes nothing away from Molly.”
Edie said, “I mentioned the auras. I think we each have an aura that surrounds us; sometimes they reach out thousands of miles. When they connect, they communicate all there is to know about someone to the other person. We have to be open and receptive, and physical contact is a way to promote that. We react viscerally from deep within, and not like we were fed one small bit of information at a time. Sean and I connected. We covered all the bases almost instantly. Our physical connection helped all that to happen.”
Carl nodded and turned to Jim, “What about you? How did you and Molly do?”
Molly looked adoringly at Jim as he spoke, “I think we made the same connection, and partly in the same way. We shared what our goals were regarding our relationship with our partner. We also got a little physical.”
“We were also making out and touching each other in intimate places. At one point, we just stared into each other’s eyes for five minutes without saying a word. I was trying to communicate my love for her, and she was doing the same. I guess in Edie’s terminology, our auras were connecting. When we stopped and compared notes, we were correct. We do love each other, and that takes nothing away from the relationships we arrived here with.”
Carl then jumped to Sean, “What do you want to add?”
Sean glanced at Edie, and then did a credible job of repeating her description of her relationship with Jim: equals, non-possessive, non-exclusive, love many, no jealousy, and so on. He allowed as how he and Molly weren’t living that way, but should consider doing so. He wanted to talk further with her about some of those features.
Molly nodded, “I’m open to it.” That was one of the active listening responses to indicate to your partner that you were tuned into them and not planning on pre-judging the discussion points and thereby shutting off discussion and learning. Molly waved away Carl’s calling on her to say more.
Carl wanted to go off on another track. He asked the class, “How many of you have children?” Just about everyone raised their hand. He then asked, “How many of you are expecting children in the near future?”
Three people in class raised their hands. The young couple in their early-thirties, and Jim at sixty-one.
Carl nodded at the couple and turned to Jim. He posed with a chuckle, “You’re expecting and Edie’s not?” Anybody looking at the two of us knew we were about sixty years old. Having kids at that age was a distant concept.
Jim said in a nonchalant way, “One of the other women I love is pregnant. I’m likely the father although there’s a slight chance it could be the man that she lives with along with Edie’s daughter — her co-wife or sister-wife, if you will.”
I smiled warmly at Jim and thought of how Jean was probably just starting to show. She was so thin you could almost tell when she ate an apple.
Carl probed, “You love Edie AND another woman who’s not here and … and who is related?”
Jim was full of mischief. “Yes, and several other women. I’m part of a polyamorous group. We have our primary partners, but practice consensual non-monogamy along with those things Sean mentioned from his discussion with Edie. We extend our love to others and are receptive in return.”
Everyone in the class had leaned forward listening to the unfolding situation. No one wanted to miss a word. I figured this was good theater and no one wanted to miss any ensuing drama. Carl clarified a few points and then shifted the discussion back to the seminar curriculum.
After a very long silence during which everyone in class looked at the four of us sitting tightly together, Carl started to talk about the importance and role of sex in a relationship. His first gambit was to draw out of the class the many reasons people engage in sex: reproduction, hence the link to having children; emotional connection; alleviate insecurity; and of course, physical attraction and fundamental need.
The subject bridged into talk about foreplay, fetishes, being horny, and, from Edie, satisfying urges from one’s exceptionally active libido. The different motivations of men and women were discussed with frequent nervous chuckles. Of course, the discussion of seduction techniques also came up in the class discussion. By the end of the hour, several flip charts had been filled and were hanging around the room.
Alice returned to lead the class for our evening assignment. We were to ‘seduce’ our partner or spouse, and note the parts of what we did or that happened to us that we liked or didn’t like.
Chapter 14 — Sean and Molly
The Relationship Couples Therapy Retreat dinner after our first afternoon was a group event at two long tables in another part of the core of the lodge. Carl and Alice split up at each of the tables. Edie and Sean sat on one side of the table, opposite Molly and me.
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