Mr Jones and I recently caught up with a couple that live in a small town about five hour’s drive from us. The distance that separates us means that we don’t spend a lot of time together but it seems that when we do the conversation is not the banal “So how is your job going?” Kind of thing. During our latest visit the Mr of the couple commented about my transformation as I voyaged with Mr Jones last year. I was a little nonplussed by some of his observations.
I will admit that I did change during the journey. Perhaps more than I realised. But when it came to my sexuality and my Gemma life I hadn’t really reflected about the impact of this voyage. Before we left I had been swinging for more than ten years. We had journeyed through the early days of “Only swapping with other couples, only in the same room” through various versions of couple swapping to what I would consider a full blown open relationship. The only thing that separates our relationship with polyamory is that neither of us have romantic relationships with our partners. A friendship, yes, regular conversation about non-sexual things yes but full blown romantic relationships, no. I had done a lot of things from a sexual point of view and had ticked a lot of the fantasy boxes. While I didn’t feel that I was done with my lifestyle I didn’t really consider that I had that much room to grow.
One thing that I do remember having very clear in my mind when we purchased the yacht and started our travels was that when I was in this space and this lifestyle I was not going to pretend to be something I wasn’t. In my professional and extended family life my sexual lifestyle is kept very much in the closet. My parents have no idea about my ‘number’ my employer and my students are completely in the dark. I don’t even discuss my pole dancing with most people at my work. But when we stepped aboard and started taking the yacht out, even for day trips. I refused to hide anything about me from the people we met along the way.
I sunbathed nude when I wanted to. I did put clothes on when people came to visit, unless they wanted them off. I invited lovers on board when I wanted to. I had sex in the open when other boats were not parked too close. When talking with other travellers I did not hide my lifestyle. I answered any questions honestly. As we travelled along the coast we took on board more than one man as “crew” for short periods. We also met with a few men in particular towns along the way.
At the time I didn’t really think about this but this practice of meeting people and spending twenty four hours per day with them was something of an evolution. The Second Mate definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things. Even though we were very clear about the boundaries and we all knew that when he left there was no going back there was something about having another person effectively living aboard that was different. Did it change me?
I think so. I was able to have a different kind of relationship with him. From a sexual perspective he pushed some of my boundaries. He encouraged me to do things I would not have done otherwise and he gave me confidence because, I am not going to lie, he was sexy as fuck and I was punching well above my weight! Later we were joined by The Italian. He came with a different set of quirks but there was growth and a strengthening of my confidence in being Gemma.
Before this journey I was becoming very concerned about my “Number”. I was self conscious about my “slut” status. That old fashioned idea about being a “good girl” who didn’t sleep around was still living in the back of my mind even though I had consciously rejected it there was still aspects of it that haunted me. Interacting with these men and spending time being completely true to myself meant I was able to make progress in slaying those demons. Certainly The Second Mate or The Italian didn’t care how many men I had fucked. Neither does Mr Jones. Or anyone else who has an inkling. The only person who is bothered by it is me.
Even though it has been a year since I left on that voyage and I have been back at work and living on land for several months now I am still able to spend time on the water and that time is often accompanied by “Being Gemma”. Boating and the ocean are perhaps the last free places on Earth. Places where the normal rules often don’t apply. People who mess around on boats understand this. No one questions anything that they see me doing or the people who accompany us when we head out. More importantly I have a space where I don’t feel I have to behave in a certain way to impress people or to preserve their sensibilities. I have a space where I am free to be myself.
As my friend observed having this space has changed me. Even in a landlubbing state I am different. I have grown. Gemma is a more intrinsic part of my life. She is no longer the party girl I bring out every so often. According to my friend it makes me a role model for people who are also on a journey of discovery. When he told me this I wasn’t sure what to think. I see myself as a regular person doing regular things. But he assures me that there are many things about me as special. Personally I think that what is special is that I am proof that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they put their mind to it.