When I moved to the West Coast I wasn’t ready for the sort of liberal moral values I found there. People told me all the time that things were more open-minded, but I didn’t exactly know what that meant.
My first real taste was at a Thanksgiving party, about three or four months after I arrived. It was a hippy thanksgiving in every sense. Not only was there all sorts of fabric decoration and unnecessary beads hanging everywhere, but also incense and twanging sitar music hung in the air.
Six people lived together in the house, sharing the cheap rent, practicing their art (whatever it was), and sharing everything—and I do mean everything. I’d heard about the naked parties, and the threesomes, and the orgies, but I’d never seen it with my own eyes.
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The head of the pack seemed to be this tallish, somewhat self-important fellow named Cray. He talked in smooth spiritual tones and was going on all night about the universe being in harmony. His lady was named Tide. She was definitely a beauty, in an unshaven and unkempt way.
The two of them exhibited what you’d call couple behaviour all night. Playfully bickering and exchanging pecks. For a while she sat in his lap. She wasn’t someone I would hit on because it was obvious she was into her guy.
When we got to sitting around in the living room, after dinner, though I was surprised to find her squeezing in beside me, across the room from Cray.
“Would you like to cuddle a bit?” She asked. I looked at Cray, but he wasn’t even paying attention. I said okay, and I put my arm around her. She said it was nice, and with a little moan she moved in closer. She was rubbing her hand on my chest, and even started putting little kisses on my cheek.
Needless to say, I was turned on, but I was also very confused by the situation! I kept looking at Cray, but he kept ignoring me and talking to some other guy about decking out his long board.
Finally, when Cray got up to go to the kitchen, I disentangled myself from Tide and followed him.
“Hey,” I said, deciding bluntness is the best, “I feel a little strange about your lady cuddling with me.”
“Man,” he said, “we keep things free and open here. If she’s getting close with you, you must be a good guy, ’cause she has intuition for these things. Do what you gotta do, man.”
It was at this moment that Tide came in.
“Hey lover,” Cray said to her, “This guy here isn’t used to us. Why don’t you take him to the chill room, and put his worries aside?”
With this, Tide took me by the hand and led me to the chill room. A dark, warm chamber, filed with plush cushions and filtered light. Here she removed all pretense and clambered up onto me like a purring cat. Welcome to the West, she said.
Also read: How Polyamory Can Change Your Life
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