THREE WAYS ABOUT IT

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT -

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.

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