On Open Relationships, Ace Relationships, and Dating a Fellow Aspie/Autist

I said in my previous post I had a big announcement to make. Well, I’m sure the title of this post kind of gives it away and for those of you who have been paying attention over the past few months I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise.

Alas, yes, it’s official – Laina and I are an item. It just kind of sprouted on its own over the past few months. As our bond continued to grow, so did a deeper-seated love for each other, to the point that well, we really couldn’t deny it anymore. Our dynamic had evolved from close friends/neuro-siblings to more of that of a couple.

For those of you who follow both of us, I’m sure this leaves you scratching your head as I’m sure you’ve heard her refer to a partner, or maybe more specifically, a “Mr. Kitty.” No, he and I are not one and the same. She is indeed married to someone else. I’m sure to many of you it sounds like I’m a total homewrecker, and I don’t know as though I’d fault anyone who actually thought that way, but I hope some of you will hear me out on this.

Laina and Mr. Kitty are polar opposites in the physical affection department. Laina is very cuddly but ace. Mr. Kitty is hands-off yet almost hypersexual. To say there’s a mismatch there would be an understatement. Poor Laina was starving for physical affection, so she turned to someplace she could get it – from me. Laina and I are identical in that way, we need physical affection but are totally asexual. We still have not, and will not ever have sexual intercourse with each other. Neither of us is fulfilled by such action.

Of course this has been going on for some time, and out of fear of losing the business Laina and Mr. Kitty operate together, as well as possessions, furkids, etc. – we have had to keep it on the hush-hush, until now. Luckily Mr. Kitty is understanding of the situation, but as I had suspected he knew long before Laina disclosed it to him. For now, it seems as though we are out of any immediate danger, which is a relief. It had been weighing heavily on me. Even as much as I love her, I didn’t want to see her lose everything, and from the time this started developing I kept telling her not to do anything stupid or rash.

None of this is a slam on Mr. Kitty, by the way. I like him well enough and get along great with him. We cut up with each other just as I would any other friend. He’s funny and witty and he has some interesting stories to tell about his past life as a police/fire dispatcher. Does it feel weird being in a relationship with Laina that’s extramarital for her? Maybe a bit, and to be fair I had to quash some slight guilty feelings inside me, but I’ve come to terms with it, and especially since they’ve given each other a yellow/green light to have an open marriage, which I should say I have never had anything against, nor have I had anything against polyamory ever so long as all parties are consenting adults.

Now, this is the first time I’ve dated someone A) older than me, and B) a fellow aspie/autist. I think both of these elements work in my favor. It does take someone older and more mature to handle me and there are markers in my natal chart that suggest I am attracted to older people. My last relationship was with someone 8.25 years younger than me and it was an absolute disaster. This time I’m with someone 9.5 years older and it’s so much smoother. Concerning the latter factor, I think it helps us to understand each other better, how we click, what makes us tick, and helps with communication and understanding.

Am I going to say the above are universal elements? No, but if you are on the autism spectrum and looking to date as it were, perhaps staying inside the community is the better bet. There are exceptions to every rule of course, and take my own experience with a grain of salt, but that’s how I personally see it.

So that’s that. Again, I’m sure it’s no surprise to most of you. Hell, it came as a surprise to me even. I was not expecting this to come out of all this, but what happens does. The heart wants what the heart wants, after all.

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Some Blog Reflections

It’s been since I’ve moved to San Antonio since I’ve even written anything on here. I’ve been busy settling in, exploring, visiting wineries in the hill country, that kind of thing. I’m also learning American Sign Language via free classes taught by the honors students of a local high school program.

Anyway, I digress. I still feel like I’m out of inspiration for blog posts for now, especially given how the central themes of this blog have seemingly gone by the wayside. I never got much traffic on any of my autism or tattoo themed posts. Most of my traffic has been on my political rants and my most popular post to date is the DIY tutorial on how to cut Daisy/Davy Dukes. Like seriously? I mean it was a fun post but surely there aren’t that many guys especially who have the guts to wear anything besides sissy-ass long shorts.

I’ll definitely keep this blog open. It costs me nothing to leave it here. I’ll check in from time to time, but I’ve got quite a big announcement coming soon. Some of you who have stuck with me the past few months are likely going to know what that is, but I’ll let it brew for now.

Bienvenido a San Antonio

After a 9 hour round-trip journey with Laina from San Antonio to my former home just outside of Abilene and back in a U-Haul GMC Savana, I am now officially a San Antonian.

I gotta say it feels good. I’m finally out of a trap it feels like. It’s a relief. I’m so excited for my new adventure in a new home, especially closer to a special someone.

Here’s to better days ahead!

Has This Blog Run Its Course?

Yes, I know I’m nowhere near as prolific as I once was on this blog. What’s gone from 1-2 posts/day has dwindled to maybe 1-2 posts per week max, and most of those are, shall we say, labored?

It’s like I’m writing out of a sense of obligation at this point. Sure, this blog has grown beyond what I ever anticipated, but I just don’t know anymore.

Overall, traffic is down. Everything is down. With the exception of a couple of core people, nobody reads or comments anymore. My core people are all connected to me outside of my blog at this point (FB, phone, email, Hangouts) so does this blog really serve a purpose anymore?

My own inked journey might be coming to an end. I have 11 tattoos right now, and there’s a real possibility I’ll stop here. I’ve just not had the desire for a new one, and it’s been almost 5 months since I last went under the needle. As I’ve quickly run out of tame spots, I’m at the point I would have to tackle the more painful areas if I wanted to continue and I’m just not sure I want to do that.

I was once the one who gave the minority opinion on the autism issue. In a way, that gave me a niche market in the autism blogosphere. I can’t help but think many read me to either hear the opposite opinion or to tear me to shreds as an example of the type of person not to be. Given my own what I’ll call 150 on the topic of neurodiversity (I won’t call it a 180), I’ve become just another autism blogger (when I do blog about that topic). My niche is gone. I have nothing to set me apart from the crowd.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve had probably a dozen or so blogs over the years, most of which fizzled out after 2-3 years. One of which only lasted five months. All of those blogs are gone. Deleted forever. This is the only active one I have now.

While I won’t be deleting this blog (as I feel some of my older posts still give some balance to the cure/no cure debate and I have some solid advice for those looking to get started in an inked journey, as well as some fashion advice for those men who want to be cutting edge), I just don’t know if I have the desire to continue blogging new content.

I guess seasons change and so did I, and maybe not in a good way in this aspect. Oh well. It happens I guess.

Cigar Review: Oscar 2012 Barberpole

This offering from Oscar Valladares features a striped Barberpole consisting of Candela and Mexican San Andreas wrappers, Nicaraguan binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan long fillers. The size smoked for review is a 6″ x 52RG sharply box pressed Toro vitola.

The first light reveals a perfect draw putting off plumes of mild/medium bodied smoke. The signature Candela flavor starts things off – vegetal, grassy, with a glycerin sweetness. A hint of pepper to start.

As the cigar develops the body ticks up to a medium as the San Andreas starts to engage. A very complex blend of flavors – still with the Candela flavor package but an addition of a rich cocoa, a slight creamy note, a heavy earth and a substantial pepper blast. Everything is seamlessly blended. No one flavor sticks out.

The flavor package was consistent start to finish, which was fine by me as it was so complex and so well done it kept my interest. Ending at 1 hour 45 minutes for a truly impressive burn time for the size and the strength matches the body at a medium.

Flawless construction throughout with a burn line about as good as you can expect from a Barberpole – no touch ups required. Short flowery ash though, so be aware of that. Band is high quality and self adhesive and removes without damage to the wrapper.

This cigar will have wide appeal. Fans of both Candela and San Andreas will find something to like about this cigar. With its middle of the road body and strength profile, it would be a great cigar for any time of day and will pair well with just about anything. At about $8-9/stick, this is a great value for what you get. Rating: 4.5/5.

The Gluten-Free Cigar Lover: What To Drink With Cigars

So it’s been about a week and a half since I found out that I have Celiac disease and I’ve been gluten-free for almost a month now. During that time, I have only had one accidental exposure and oh man did I feel it! I guess that’s why I never knew it before – I had gotten so used to the reaction I didn’t even notice it, then once my body’s defenses had reloaded, I get glutenated and bam, misery!

Anyway, today’s topic is going to be what to drink with your cigars if you’re gluten-free. Of course, some of my old favorite pairings are a no-go now (namely stout beer and Scotch/Irish whisk(e)y), but I’m slowly discovering new alternatives to pair with my cigars that I think my fellow Celiac and NCGS folks will love.

Coffee, of course, goes without saying:
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The nectar of the gods – naturally gluten-free, a great cup of plain black coffee is almost a universal pairing with a fine cigar, and is naturally gluten-free and, if you’re watching your calories, has only 2 calories per cup! Of course, experiment with different blends and roasts to find your favorites to pair with what cigars, but you’re sure to find a coffee that goes with just about any cigar.

You’ve seen me pair red wine with cigars a lot too:

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Wine goes without saying as gluten-free as it’s made from grapes. Much like coffee, red wine is almost a universal pairing. With a range of varietals of red wine (from a mild Pinot Noir to a hefty Cabernet Sauvignon to everything in between), you’re sure to find a red wine that goes with just about any cigar out there. Match the body of the cigar to the body of the wine for best results.

If liquor is your preference, a nice dark rum is an excellent pairing:

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Rum is distilled from sugarcane, which is naturally gluten-free. Think a nice Flor de Cana with a medium to full bodied cigar for a ultra smooth smoking and drinking experience. Rum doesn’t have the afterburn that a whiskey would, so it won’t stand up to the ass-kicker cigars, but it’s got quite a variety of cigars to pair with it.

Now, for my new personal favorite pairing, brandy:

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Brandy is simply distilled wine, so no grains are present in the mash. Laurence Davis, owner of Sautter Cigars in London, UK, is on record as saying “brandy goes unbelievably with a cigar,” so I tired it. Man oh man was he ever right! A nice brandy (the above shown is E&J’s Very Special) goes great with a medium/full to full bodied cigar and gives me that afterburn I crave that I lost when I had to give up whisk(e)y.

One pairing not pictured here is a nice mimosa. A mimosa paired with a mild cigar is a great way to kick-start your day, is all gluten-free and absolutely delicious.

As far as some others I’ve talked to, I know a number of people who like vodka with cigars, however I’m not a fan and some vodkas can be glutenated so be careful. I’ve heard gin less commonly being paired with cigars, but some people I think like that too. Tequila I can’t see going well with a cigar but maybe it can.

Finally, closing this post out I’d like to make some comments about whisk(e)y. I’ve heard mixed reports on it so I’ll share my impressions. It seems that some Celiacs and NCGS people tolerate whisk(e)y OK while others seem to react to it the way they would if they ingested glutenated food or beer. Whereas most whisk(e)y that’s been tested meets the US FDA’s definition of certified gluten-free (less than 20 ppm), I think the root of the problem lies elsewhere.

My theory is that distillation actually breaks the gluten down into its individual peptides. Just which peptides are present in any given whisk(e)y we’ll never know. Also, no two people react to the exact same subset of gluten peptides. As such, I theorize that the ones who can tolerate whisk(e)y are not reactive to the peptides found in it, whereas the ones who react to it are. If we have the technology to test them for specific peptides, why aren’t we doing it?

As such, I am laying off whisk(e)y for now, especially in the early goings while my body heals itself. I might try reintroducing it at some point down the road to see if I can handle it. If I can, great. If not, oh well. I’ve found so many great alternatives anyway!

If I have any gluten-reactive cigar lovers who follow me, I’d like to hear from you. What do you like to pair with your cigars? I’m always wanting to learn more and try new things. Comment with your favorite pairings!