It seems to be my lot in life that whenever I am in love with someone, I am never able to share this with people openly. In the past, this was because I only loved woman, and I could only trust very few close friends.
The irony is that now that I finally like someone who is male, I can’t talk openly about him either, given that he’s married. But I want to talk about him all the time! I have talked about him with my open-minded friend “Persia,” my open-minded Mormon friend “Jane,” who wrote the contract which I signed, my gay friend “Gay” from school, my friend from school and work (my schoolmate and workmate), “Mate.”
I have shared more sanitary and softer versions of Robert Hannibal with some of my Mormon church friends, notably my good friend “Friend” who talks to me often about his dates with girls.
Before my sixth “date” with Robert Hannibal, one of my Mormon friends, “Shila,” had a dinner party and after most people left, she and another friend, “Betsy,” and I remained. We are all old maids, in the real world but especially in the Mormon world, though they are both slightly older than I am.
As the three of us were sitting in Shila’s living room, the conversation turned to men, and Shila and Betsy asked if I was dating anyone.
Most people know my preference for brown skin, but few know that my preference is, or was, actually for women. Certainly none of my church friends here in New York, other than two of my gay Mormon guy friends.
But I was so happy that now I could legitimately talk about being in love with a man. I loved being able to tell them I was in love with Robert Hannibal. Deeply, truly in love. The first man I’ve ever loved or been attracted to. But there is no future with him.
They couldn’t understand why there would be no future. “Introduce him to the church!” they said. “Convert him!” I couldn’t tell them he was married, so I explained that he was not into monogamy, that he was into polyamory.
Both were surprised that I would like someone like that, let alone that I was even having sex, as they think of me as an active Mormon. I explained that although I am active in the sense that I go to church every week and try to go to all the activities, I’m not worthy to go to the temple or even take the Sacrament.
I told them this isn’t my first time having sex, but I never enjoyed sex with men before, and I told them that I used to be completely inactive, where I didn’t even go to church. There was obviously no need to get into my previously-exclusive attraction to women.
Shila was a little worried for my sake. She was concerned about my breaking the law of chastity by having sex, and even worse having sex with someone who I wasn’t even in a committed relationship with. She couldn’t understand how I could love someone who wasn’t monogamous.
I explained that Robert Hannibal is a good person, but his lifestyle choices are different. Betsy chimed in that she understood what I was saying, and she tried to explain it to Shila.
Both Shila and Betsy are virgins, and the idea of sex outside of marriage as being such a grave sin is so ingrained in their psyche. Betsy is a little more worldly and understanding, since she is an aspiring singer and interacts with non-Mormons all the time, so she was able to help Shila understand that good people break the law of chastity and non-Mormons should not be held to the same standard as Mormons regarding sexual purity.
I told them that although I know the Lord can’t approve of what I’m doing with Robert Hannibal, and I do plan on stopping all of this and being a fully committed temple-worthy Mormon, I am not ready to yet. I want to enjoy loving a man for the first time in my life.
Now, Shila, who hosted the dinner party, often tells me how nervous she gets around guys she has crushes on. Previously, I would always say the same thing to her that I say to all my female friends:
“We women are so much better than men, there is no reason to get nervous around them. We are so much more beautiful than they are, we are smarter, kinder, more empathetic, and sexier. Men are lucky just to be around us, and even luckier when they get to have us. We should never try to make ourselves be something we aren’t just to please a man.”
I had always believed this and would get so frustrated with my friends when they would obsess over a guy. But I realized I am now similarly obsessed.
I acknowledged to Shila and Betsy that I am embarrassed because when Robert Hannibal calls me last-minute to go somewhere (of course I didn’t tell them it’s usually to a swing club), I will immediately cancel whatever plans I may have just to be with him. I told them that I never understood how women could act like this towards men before, but now I completely understand.
I explained that this experience with Robert Hannibal helps me have more empathy towards my friends, Shila and Betsy included, because now I know what it’s like to be so in love with a guy that I will do whatever he wants, go wherever he wants, just to please him, just to not lose him. And of course my case is even worse than any of my friends’ since I know there is no possibility of a future with Robert Hannibal.
I told them I know how pathetic I am – anxiously awaiting any text or email from him, thinking of him all the time even though I know he thinks of me rarely, if at all. I was quite ashamed to admit that he only thinks of me when he wants sex, and they were sympathetic to my plight.
(But I couldn’t even tell them the whole story. Yes, he thinks of me only when he wants sex, but it’s not sex alone with me that he wants. He wants sex with me only in a group setting. He wants sex with other women. I am just the means for him to be able to have swinger sex.
The sad thing is I don’t care. If that is the only way I get to have sex with him, then so be it. As long as I can have sex with him, it doesn’t matter what else happens.)
At the end, Shila and Betsy hugged me and wished me the best. They are good friends and care about me. And I’m just so glad I got to talk about Robert Hannibal. I love talking about him.
After that dinner party and almost a week after Robert Hannibal’s sixth “date” with me, one of my open-minded Mormon friends from Los Angeles, “Bondi,” visited NYC because the father she nannies for was getting married.
Bondi knew I only loved women, for I had told her about my relationship with “Dee” after Dee broke up with me, nearly ten years ago. That was a devastating, near-suicidal period for me. Bondi never judged my love for women, nor the prostitute-like work I’ve done (and still do), nor the adulterous situations I’ve had.
Now I was so happy to be able to inform Bondi that finally, for the first time in my creeping-on-middle-age life, I am attracted to a man. I love a man.
Yes, the man is married. Yes, I met him at my NSA sex swing party job. Yes, he doesn’t love me back the way I love him. But I love him. He’s a man. And that’s a first.
I told her how Robert Hannibal affects me in every way, how when I’m with him, I don’t want to be with any women, how I actually love having sex with a man for the first time in my life, how I think of him so much everyday.
Bondi was surprised that I don’t consider myself lesbian anymore. But she was glad to hear that knowing that I can actually love a man gives me hope that there is another man out there who I can fall in love with and marry.
I told her I thought I would probably marry a non-Mormon or someone who converted to the LDS church, because, given my lesbian and prostitute and adulterous and swinger past, no Mormon guy would want to marry me.
Nor did I think I could marry a Mormon guy who was a virgin. Not after being with Robert Hannibal, the best lover in the world.
Bondi is very understanding. She dated a non-Mormon guy before and is not a virgin, and she is also my same advancing-on-old age. She knows how hard it is to find single men our age in general, especially in the Mormon world, and she doesn’t judge me for my “relationship” with Robert Hannibal. I told her of my contract, but also that I will extend it. I want to enjoy my time with Robert Hannibal as long as I can.
I’m just so glad I have understanding friends with whom I can share my very weird “love” life.