Gabrielle ???? — “I don’t think I’ll ever go back to monogamy.”
Gabrielle found herself caught in a COVID fever dream, thinking her polyamorous adventures were a thing of the past. But with the world now reopening, so are the multiple possibilities for love and sex…
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The time that I had good sex was in the middle of the pandemic, with my partner and one other person. They dm us being like, I think you guys are so beautiful or like I dream about you guys or something like that, and then sent us a song that they’d produced. We’re all like Okay, so we’re all going to get tested on this day. We’re all gonna go to City MD. We arrive at City MD. The line wraps twice around the block. But we still waited on line because we were like, we want to meet up with this person. And then after literally like a three hour wait to get COVID tested, we grab a bottle of wine and like snacks we come home I don’t know what we’re preparing for like we’re this close to getting like a […], and then the person comes over with art supplies. We turn on, like a YouTube Tiny Desk. And we’re painting on canvases. And we still have the canvases now are hanging on the wall.
And like painting, just our feelings and like talking about queerness in the context of art. And then after obviously, a couple of drinks, we had incredible sex. But I think what was really key is that we had so much communication beforehand, right? Like, we had to have communication about testing, we had to have communication about, like what we were looking for in that situation. And I thought that was pretty cool. And also, you know, two people, it was a threesome, so that was fun. Hi, I’m Gabrielle Alexa Noel, and you’re listening to GOOD SEX. I am a writer, software engineer, and influencer. And my pronouns are she/her. And good sex is communicated.
I do remember getting in trouble in elementary school for like kissing a girl. Like when I was eight. So it’s clear that I had those feelings really young, but I didn’t know that that was bad. Until like, I got yelled at by a teacher for kissing a girl. Or that that meant that I had like an identity. But because I had only seen representations of like, girls kissing boys, I was like, okay, well, it’s not romantic. It’s just like friends who like thinks the other friend is hot. And then I went to a party, where I don’t know if you’re familiar with the movie D.E.B.S. It’s a spy movie that just like suddenly goes off the rails and becomes like a queer rom com. So I was watching it at a birthday party. And it affected me differently than some of the people at the party. Some people were also into it. And they’re also now identify as queer. So look at that.
When I first learned about sex, like I remember there was a tampon commercial. So I’d be like, well, what is a tampon for that doesn’t seem very absorbent, because I thought it would be used for like pee or something. And like, my mom would always be like, I’ll tell you when you’re older. So then I was in health class in junior high school. And one of legit my first questions was, what is the purpose of a tampon? And then my teacher said, like, we can’t legally tell you, she wasn’t allowed to tell us how to use a condom or a tampon. So I was like, well, then what am I here for? But I also had the internet, and my parents are both very much older than me. Like, I don’t think I was planned because they, I don’t think they thought they could still have kids when they got pregnant with me. They’re not very technologically savvy.
So when we first got the internet, they just saw it as something that would help me with my schoolwork. And they completely let me go and monitored. I really just wanted to know what the tampon was literally, for so long. And then, by the end of it, I think I had expanded that to like, I just want to know what the fucking secret is. It was mind blowing, just to see that I could like look up gay content. And there were a bunch of sex education websites that I found that really helped me to recognize, and unfortunately, there was porn. But like, that’s sometimes the only way that we can get sex education. And it’s certainly one of the first things that pops up when you type like lesbian in on Google, which is unfortunate.
My Church was mostly immigrants from the Caribbean. It’s a huge church, but still, like all black people from my neighborhood, who were seeking Caribbean community in this country. And because of that, there was like this push for members in that church community to assimilate with white culture. So like, even just like having crushes on boys was so like, shut down in that church and was like, there was always so much gossip around that. And any memory that I had of like, expressing sexuality left me with such deep shame that I would like stay up late at night thinking wow, I’m such a slut. And this was even when it was like I was like, Oh my god, I washed shorts that were too short. Like it wasn’t even anything significant at that point.
But I think I just wanted to share about that shame and about purity culture, especially as I like read a lot of books that were about purity culture in particular, there’s one book that’s called pure that I think was like really helpful. I would love to see like an alternate version of that book that was more specific to blackness because I think, like purity culture is a very white construct in itself. I would love a book that explored that church culture in terms of like the pressure that parents put on their kids to assimilate to white culture. Based on everything I’ve been through, like healing, some of the shame that I had carried with me into my sexual interactions, it moved me from like wanting to have performative sex to wanting to have sex that was like, based on my pleasure, I think shame like puts you in a position to feel like, well, I guess like, it’s sex, it’s not supposed to be good. And until I got rid of that shame, and felt like I was allowed to experience pleasure, like then there was like, not really anything I can do to actually change the sex I was having.
So my current relationship that I am in right now, that was the first time I met someone, and I said, hey, I want to be polyamorous, like, I’m not planning on being monogamous at all. And I just wanted to let you know up front, and she was like, cool. I don’t really know what that means for us, but I’m willing to take this ride with you. It was new earth to my partner. So at first, she was like, what if you start dating someone else, and like love them way more, and like polyamory is just like a shield to find someone monogamously that you think is better shortly after she met her other current partner. And then I was dating other people as well. And it just unfolded in a really positive, beneficial way for all of my relationships.
I had this powerful opportunity to just create the exact type of connections I wanted with different people. And once I started doing that, I was like, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to monogamy, then the pandemic happen. And I had the worst anxiety attack of my life. Because I was like, oh, my gosh, we’ve gotten so co-dependent like we’ve spent weeks together in a way that we wouldn’t have before the pandemic, we wake up, we can’t go anywhere. So it’s just us, this is completely changing the context of the relationship. And I just was not coping well. And I was surprised because I was the one who was like, really chill going in. And then now coming out the pandemic, I was the one freaking out, everything’s changing, everything’s changed. She has her other partner, and she was going to see her partner. And I was like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,
I felt like all of the feelings that were had been coming up for her in the beginning. She’s like, well take this piece by piece. And I was like, what if we won’t be the same? What if we won’t be as close and as in love as we have been in this pandemic, will our love change? Or like what specifically changing? I don’t know, everything. And now I’m like, nothing has really changed fundamentally, actually. We are still in love. We were always dating other people. So it’s not liked that element has remarkably shifted, just the time that we have is shifting. And the context is shifting ever so slightly and slowly because reopening is a process.
Now I have the language and the tools to just be like, nothing’s changing that much. And it was just a little reentry anxiety. I was like, I don’t know what I was thinking like, I’m fine. I went on my first date and had a great time. I’ve always been like; I don’t believe in marriage. I think marriage is so ridiculous. But like over the course of the pandemic, we were so co-dependent, I was kind of like, I don’t know, maybe marriage for the state benefits would be okay. And now I’m like, well, like I have to get back to where I was before the pandemic, not because I want to force myself because I know that this is just the brain of someone who has just been exclusively with one person for so long. But also like there is this freedom now of like it’s okay to be a different person outside of the pandemic, do I want to be a different person? How much of things do I want to keep the same? How much do I want things to shift?
Ultimately, I’ve decided I want to be exactly where I was before the pandemic. That’s cool. But it was interesting that that was at least something that I thought of coming out of it. I never want to pretend that it’s not a lot of communication, that it’s not like radical honesty, if I’m feeling insecure or jealous, or my partner is feeling insecure or jealous, you know where you 100% voice that and we hold space for that other person experiencing that without holding ourselves responsible for those thoughts and feelings. I think it’s the most honest that I’ve gotten to be in a relationship and that’s part of what I like. I recently released my first book titled: “How To Live With the Internet and Not Let It Run Your Life”. It is a practical guide to surviving online without losing your mind. And I was recently on an episode of Red Table Talk. So check that out. You can follow me on Instagram at @GabAlexa or Twitter also at @GabAlexa, thank you for listening to GOOD SEX.
GOOD SEX is a Lemonada Media Original. Produced by Claire Jones and Matthew Simonson. Our supervising producers are Kryssy Pease and Xorje Olivares, and our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Music is by Dan Molad with additional music from APM music. Sound design is by Matthew Simonson. If you like GOOD SEX, the show, not you know, why don’t you rate and review us. Listen and follow for new episodes each week wherever you’re listening right now. Thanks for listening.