Our “A week on Feeld” series asks Feeld members to record a week of using the app—whether that’s back-to-back dates, long chats, verbal foreplay, or reflective time on one’s own. This week we’re in Margate, UK with Bronwyn, a 42-year-old genderqueer person. Bronwyn’s been solo polyamorous for four years and has spent the past 18 months living out of a backpack in cities like Barcelona, Mexico City, and Sydney. They describe their life as “simultaneously quite calm and consistently in flux.” See more of Bronwyn’s writing at Minka Guides.
It's a Bank Holiday today, and I'm feeling a bit raw after a rather wild welcome to Margate, where I moved to on Saturday. A thoughtless combination of mushrooms and ample tequila has left my sensitive stomach feeling quite tender, and I have questionable bruises on my knees.
Most of today has been spent in bed, playing Yazmin Lacey's gentle and dreamy new album on repeat, and eating only the blandest of foods in an attempt to ease my nausea.
I flew back to the UK last week after five months in Australia, so I've been semi-focused on one crucial task: working my way through anyone new on Feeld. I like getting to that “Nobody around?” end screen, meaning I've swiped through every possible person on the app. It's taken me a few days, but I've nearly perused Feeld's entire London core. This app has the kind of folks I'm into, so naturally, I want to know who is about.
My friends think this approach to dating apps is a bit weird, especially the amount of time I spend swiping. But it takes a lot of dedicated work to be as slutty as I aspire to be. Plus, it means I see the newest folks whenever I open the app.
It's my lover J's birthday today. We met on Feeld when I was in Sydney earlier this year, and what followed was a deliciously sweaty, pleasurable month. I can still feel them lying beside me if I close my eyes.
I'm a bit annoyed though. I posted a present to them before I left Australia, and it has yet to arrive. My anxious mind is starting to worry that I addressed it poorly. I hope it makes it to J this week.
I feel a little low as Margate is very cold and grey today. Wondering when I'll finally make the leap and leave this island for good. It's taking a lot of patience while I work out where I want to set my life up next.
T (34/NB/queer) has connected with me on Feeld today, but they haven't messaged me. My profile says, “If I swipe right and we match, I always say hello. If your right swipe connects us, then please start the conversation.” 99% of the time, this suggestion works.
However, I wonder if T is too embarrassed to message me. We met at a queer day rave last summer, and they asked if I'd like to make out. I turned them down (they were gurning a little) but didn't say why. Maybe I should reach out?
Woke up to a joyful message from J, whose present had arrived! They sent me an adorable photo of them wearing the earrings I bought from their favorite store. I keep looking at this picture throughout the morning as it gives me a delighted, bubbly feeling. We talked about potential plans for them to visit in a few months.
Speaking of birthdays, I had lunch with my friend Ru today. We used to live together during the pandemic, and I've missed her delicious veggie cooking. A big reason I've come to Margate is that she is turning thirty in the next few months, and I want to be around for her during this time.
Ru made my lockdown fortieth a truly wonderful experience, so it's the least I can do. People say solo polyam folks are scared of commitment. Ha! They should see how dedicated I am to my friendships, let alone my partners.
I decided to message T on Feeld this evening and ask if they were open to me gently teasing them about when we met. They responded immediately, agreeing and expressing their embarrassment about the incident. They seem very sweet, but our chat was cut short due to their D&D game. How very polyamorous of them.
I also chatted with Ju (37/cis man/straight), who wanted to impress upon me that he isn't queer. Then revealed that he's a crossdresser. I suspect he'll soon ask if I'll fuck them with my strap. (Please don't let him say pegging. I detest that word.)
Things escalated quickly today on Feeld. Ju (37/cis man/straight) fired off a bunch of messages pressuring me to make our chat sexual, insisting on having my number if we were to meet, and (the nail in the already quite dire coffin) asking me to disclose my “biological sex.”
When I observed that we weren’t well matched but wished them all the best, he responded with an aggressive essay about how “fake” I apparently am before quickly disconnecting. A sadly unsurprising response from straight men, in my experience.
In contrast, T and I mused about polyam stereotypes, discussed our preferences around public vs private play parties, and arranged to have coffee when I’m next in London. Simple, respectful, and lovely.
I wish guys like Ju could observe what other people’s chats and first dates look like. It’s often the considerate and kind interactions that make people feel safe enough to potentially have truly debauched sex.
I met up with my friend A today to chat about non-monogamous life and Margate’s blossoming queer community. She lent me a pink bicycle for the next few months. I’m feeling very supported by my friends since arriving here.
Woke up in a bit of a funk as I still haven't adjusted to the cold. However, I can't moan about it to anyone here, as they've all endured an entire winter while I've only suffered through a few days of spring. I went out to brunch as a treat and read my new book, a queer anthology of love letters gifted to me by my lovely friend C.
I spent the whole day writing about ethical porn for my blog, and reflecting on the various ways I've worked in and around the adult entertainment industry for the past 22 years. Imagine a world where everyone paid for their porn. What incredible, bonkers, beautiful content would be financed?
I connected with I (31/NB/Queer) on Feeld. Feeling chuffed as they're ENM and quite fit. However, I would like to meet more like-minded people closer to my age.
I was chatting to CJ about this recently. She's an ex-lover turned close friend (the classic queer pipeline) who is a year younger than me. We both resort to dating folks a decade younger because there aren't many other queer polyam folks in their forties. (Yet. I have hope for the future.)
I went to a hot yoga class this morning to remember what it was like to wear shorts again. I accidentally belched loudly in the class, then quickly whispered an apology to those around me (while trying not to giggle.) Moments like this have been happening a lot lately, and I'm pretty sure it's my latest perimenopause symptom. Appropriately, I spotted a card saying "Sorry! The menopause made me do it" while I was grabbing a coffee later.
Chatted further with I, who, by their own admission, is quite shy, so I was impressed they asked to meet up when I'm next in London. I'm almost always the one to ask, but then I like being assertive. Excited to meet them IRL.
Had an impromptu dinner with the core team behind Sink The Pink, the drag club I performed with for nearly a decade. Interesting how some of the wildest people in my life have aged into marriages, babies, and mortgages—and seem pretty blissful with their contentment. Strange how I was the married one for so long but have happily grown into my autonomy.
Made myself pancakes after hot yoga and booked a flight to Barcelona in July. Then I was messaging my friend Ja from Argentina, whom I met on Feeld in Spain last summer, and it turns out we're both going to be back in the Catalan capital at the same time. I love having global polyam pals.
Finished off the week by having a beer with Ry. We met on Feeld two years ago when I was visiting friends in Margate and dated for a few months until I left to go traveling. It'd been 18 months since we'd had a proper chat, face-to-face, and it was surprisingly healing to connect again.
Feeling grateful for all the good people who have come into my life in recent years. Younger me would be delighted that my forties look and feel like this.