THREE WAYS ABOUT IT
WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE AND MONOGAMY, JACK ARTHUR SMITH LEARNED THAT THREE CAN BE PART OF THE EQUATION.
Love comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be fleeting, permanent, pulsating, mindblowingly crazy, and, at times, deathly dull and boring. But most of all, love can find you and you can find it when and where you least expect. When I first arrived in Sydney three years ago as a bright-eyed British boy with a spring in my step and a Grindr-happy iPhone in my pocket, people used to ask me: why pack your life into a bag and travel halfway across the planet? Why Sydney? Why now?
My reply was always the same: after getting a degree I was tired of education and wanted to work, make money and be, for lack of a better word, free. While this was by no means a fallacy, there was another reason to trump them all: Australian men. I wasn’t some young innocent searching for a soul mate, not another Jennifer Hudson in SATC: The Movie aka an independent black woman looking to make it in the Big Apple while yearning for a man to make me whole. I was, in fact, quite the opposite. Back then the whole I wanted to feel was mine being played with by a blond surfer boy, suited up CBD banker, or preferably both.
When I was 21, there was nothing like the excitement of a new world to explore. Sex made me feel alive and I craved it like oxygen. I’d been hooked ever since I found myself in a Parisian cruising club three years previous. I’d think back to that leather sling, that row of ravenous half-naked Frenchies, that lifechanging pleasure as seven men took turns to ravage my young body and think to myself: Hello Australia, I’m here!
Imagine my inner cock-hungry twink’s delight when, less than a year into my stint Down Under, I was invited to the apartment of a prestigious cosmetic surgeon and his barrister boyfriend via the aforementioned mobile application. Over champagne breakfast after a severely sweaty night together, they asked if in return for taking me out, showing me the sights and paying the bills, I’d continue seeing them and doing what I did so well.
One was terribly eccentric and yet adorable, with a Harvard education, rock-hard six-pack and eight-inch dong. The other possessed a ruthlessly powerful spirit, razor sharp tongue and a delightful combination of both when it came to his other orally-based talents. They were atrociously intelligent, fit, successful, and, having been together ten years, knew exactly what they wanted. How could I refuse?
Not only did they unashamedly wine and dine me, drive me around in their fancy sports car and spit-roast my young English body like I was the prettiest prize-winner at the pig fair; they gave me an all-expense paid, full VIP pass into their glittering, glamorous and utterly fabulous lives.
We would drink Hendrick’s martinis like water, make out in front of full restaurants and wake to cracking hangovers, condom wrappers and smears of lube. They would tell
me about the art and artists hanging in their home at dinner parties waited by handsome Eastern European boys in tight shirts. I would flutter, champagne in hand, from guest to guest before whacking out a tune on their grand piano and popping their double penetration cherry after everyone had gone home. I was in a sleazy, surging and unreservedly sinful heaven of man-on-man-on-man action.
What really got me though, was that when they had met at the ages of 21 at a dance party, they claim they knew then and there they were going to be together “forever”. And while one of them had made it crystal clear from the beginning he wanted an open relationship, they were besotted. Each wore matching silver bands on their wedding finger, they had a gentleman’s agreement not to play around without the other being involved, and they always said “I love you” after every phone call. It was inspiring to watch them snatch a quick kiss across the dinner table, to see their walls and shelves filled with framed memories and hear how they would wake 30 minutes early every weekday just to cuddle.
The problem was that it started to get a little too inspiring. The more time we spent together, the more I realised I wanted what they had. Not their money or belongings; I envied their relationship. I wanted my own boyfriend to wake up with – my own man to be with forever.
It wasn’t until I sent a severely drunken text explaining how “I craved the love they had for one another” (among many other
I fluttered, champagne in hand, from guest to guest before whacking out a tune on their grand piano and popping their double penetration cherry after everyone had gone home.
horrendously embarrassing sentences) that it hit home how bad it had become. What began as a fun ménage à trois had turned into a pathetic, self-loathing depression where tears replaced the double loads I once wiped from my face. My poor young brain was reeling and the universe in its infinite wisdom was telling me to sort myself out.
We laughed about my need to over-communicate, but before long I decided to stop seeing them. My mind had been opened to something different and I needed it. I knew then, without a shadow of a doubt, that love doesn’t mean just marriage or monogamy. You can find it everywhere and anywhere as long as you have respect, truth and trust. With this new confidence, I set out to see what I could find.
Two-and-a-half-years later and my boyfriend and I have celebrated our two-year anniversary. Every morning, we wake up 30 minutes early just to cuddle. Our shelves are slowly gathering more framed photos of our lives together and, if I’m to be completely honest, we’ve giggled like girls over the idea of wearing matching silver bands on our wedding fingers.
As for my former lovers, they’re two of my closest friends to this day and the four of us often meet for dinner, drinks and debauchery. Not of the sexual kind – as it turns out I’m actually a fan of monogamy. Who’d a thunk it? But the next time someone starts to say an open relationship isn’t real, I’ll raise them a Sydney surgeon and his barrister boyfriend.