Acing the Game
Publication date: February 10th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
Is food really the way into a person’s heart?
Shep Lee thought he had it all. A successful restaurant, a loving husband who understood his asexuality, and most of all, the ability to be himself, a popular chef in the small town of Cloverleaf, Montana. That is, until his husband, Elmer Eshler, began pushing Shep more on sex.
Elmer doesn’t understand why he can’t turn his partner on—aren’t they perfect for each other? And Shep loves him, right? Shep, meanwhile, while confident with his body, is and forever will be sex indifferent. Why has Elmer suddenly changed his tune? But he doesn’t want to lose the man he loves so much. What can they do?
Shep convinces Elmer to try a polyamorous relationship. Elmer gets to have Shep and the sex life he’s always wanted. Shep gets a cooking buddy and a chance to experience a relationship and even try sex with a woman as his authentic gender. At first, Shep isn’t sure, but finds himself coming around—this feels safer than opening up the relationship. All three of them will be romantically involved, so that should ease any jealousy, right?
But when Willow Saint, a free-spirited, boisterous, and saucy young woman, comes into their lives, neither are prepared for the emotional and sexual rollercoaster that follows. Enthralled by Willow’s charm and kindness, Elmer and Shep struggle to understand what this means for their own bond. Can they become one happy family? Or will this ruin everything?
Shep’s suggestion of adding a third lingered in my mind. I’d always considered myself monogamous. Finding someone who actually wanted me was difficult enough, so I’d certainly hadn’t imagined that I would find two people. I didn’t want to jeopardize my marriage. The whole idea terrified me.
How important is sex?
I’d lived a sexless life for many years. Without a partner, anyway. Sitting alone in my room with a good porn video had defined my sexual endeavors until I got with Luna, and our physical intimacy had been great. It hadn’t been this super exciting sex where we constantly shook things up with new positions or toys, but it was consistent and nice. There had been lots of days when Luna crept up behind me, nibbling on my ear and sinking her hand down my pants. Or times when she’d crawled on top of me in the morning or surprised me in the shower with a succulent blow job. Luna had made me feel desirable and attractive.
Shep never approached me sexually, nor did his touch ever indicate that he physically desired me. Deep inside, I’d yearned to be sexually craved. I wanted a partner who would spontaneously approach me in the kitchen, seduce me, and roughly have his way with me. For years, I’d wanted to be with a man, and I guess I’d assumed that men would be even more hypersexual. I thought we’d be doing it all over the house. I loved Shep, but he hadn’t provided the relationship that I had hoped.
But do I want to have sex with someone else? A girl?
Finding a woman felt safer. A stereotypical super-sexual male suitor would be way better, but likely would heavily strain my marriage. I probably couldn’t control myself if I found that kind of man. Men were my preference, so in that sense, Shep would forever be my number one. Or would he? I enjoyed sex with him. But not having a partner who reciprocated the pleasure, love, and fascination with the flesh disappointed me.
But am I ready to share Shep?
Carey PW (he/they) is an author, college instructor, and mental health counselor.
Carey currently lives in Montana, and identifies as nonbinary, transmasculine (AFAB) and panromantic asexual. Carey has discovered that writing about his lived experiences is a therapeutic outlet for him and hopes that his readers relate to his own personal struggles and triumphs shared through his characters’ narratives. He has also worked as a high school and college writing instructor, earning a B.A. in English Literature, a M.Ed. in English Education, and Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education all from the University of Georgia. In 2020, Carey earned his second M.Ed. in Counselor Education and works as a licensed clinical professional counselor, LCPC.
Readers can learn more about Carey from his blog, www.careypw.com. When he is not writing, Carey is busy training for marathons, parenting his six cats, sharing his culinary talents on social media, and serving on the board for the nonprofit Center for Studies of the Person (CSP).
Carey PW loves to hear from readers. You can find his contact information, website and author biography at www.extasybooks.com.
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