When I was living in the Big Sur California area, I was an artist who was perched right off one of the most scenic drives in the world. I had just turned 30 years old, and had moved out from Nashville Tennessee, and it was the best choice ever. I had a woman who was pressuring me to marry her there but the kind of redneck sentiment, and old fashioned views were getting on my nerves. I read all sorts of novels that featured artists living in the Big Sur area and it was supposed to be very inspiring. There wasn’t a ton of nightlife and glitz or glamour like Los Angeles; but a community of artists who had been living there forever because there was so much to paint and photograph there. I took one trip out there in September of 2008 and went back to Nashville to work for three months before I got out. It was going to be expensive but I had a tiny two room place that was clean and I could paint the ocean and cliffs right out front.

My first month there I was a little isolated because there was almost kind of a local snobbery among artists, not welcoming outsiders. I didn’t worry, smiled a lot, and remained outgoing. I had connections on the internet that allowed me to sell some work back in Nashville while gaining contacts out here. I missed my girlfriend back in Nashville because of course the ocean air made me horny, but the vistas, sunsets, and way of life here was way worth it. I had made some acquaintances in the local bar that steered me towards a type of club for artists that met at a man’s house about three miles down the road. It seemed that my good natured ways and non hostile manners were going to finally get me together with like minded people. I loved the bit of seclusion, only having one or two local bars where people would meet at night, and Big Sur is full of cliffs to park and watch the sea. I was going to the residence the next night to meet other artists and things were looking up; I sat with my cat and watched another unbelievable sunset with the ocean air bringing me more promise than I could ever feel in a whole year in Nashville.

The next night at the home it was clear that these were the most successful artists in the area, younger, more tech savvy, and all about marketing. They were full of ways to push their product by new means; and not just doing scenery, they branched out into corporate logos and the like. Anything for money, the whole art world had been turned upside down lately. After a short informative meeting there were drinks served, and I bumped into a woman about 3 years older than me who was very warm and dynamic. Her name was Steph and she breathed a lot of fresh air into me. She looked at the photos of paintings I had on my kindle and really liked them, we hit it off and she was a jewelry crafter who had an outlet for her creations up in Portland. She was not a hippie chick per se but more of an ocean glistened California blonde; she was not jaded and was obviously just waiting for a newcomer to take her by the reins and have some fun.

After about 6 weeks of dating, there was a time where Steph went to visit her parents in Dallas for about two weeks. We did not spend every night together, but were getting close. On about the 10th night, I hooked up with a young redhead that was visiting from Monterrey. We were in the local bar and I knew that Steph would hear about it but I just could not help myself; she was in town for just two nights and had heard that I was some hotshot painter. I had sex with her and was gratified; but I did miss Steph; and knew that the news of our hookup would travel through the grapevine. I had embarked on a journey that I really wanted to finish being solid with someone; and hopefully that would be the outcome. Well, when Steph came back she was at her place making jewelry and I approached her. She had heard through the grapevine that I had had a one night stand and was very understanding. We sat together for awhile and I told her that I had missed her when she was gone, had no anger, and had just wanted to get my dick wet. At that point, she proposed a sex agreement. We would be exclusive to each other, would not move in together right away, but would continue to live in Big Sur under a sex agreement of exclusivity. We were to try it for six months; and just see how it went.

I was excited about the proposition; she was not jealous that I had had the affair and was ready to move forward. In this particular sex agreement, there were no specified nights that we were to have sex, just that we were exclusive to each other and that after six months we would re evaluate our position together. Well…. The thing about the ocean setting and both of us being artists was just that all the fickle bullcrap that usually happened with the club scene and partying disappeared. I signed her non formal sex agreement and Big Sur was the perfect location for us. Our sex agreement was to be exclusive to each other; and as soon as Steph came back I really felt a change in myself. I did not know if I wanted children or anything of that nature, but the beautiful environment we were in was one that was sometimes better shared with another.

Steph and I’s agreement was working well. When she would leave to Dallas to spend time with her family, I didn’t even dream of cheating on her. The area was a little sparse and close knit, the hookup I had with the artist chic was random, and Steph and I always loved to have sex, but sometimes we would just fall asleep together listening to the Sea. I was very happy with her for not seeing my one night stand as a jealous act, I was just confused. Steph and I shared that sex agreement blissfully and became very tight. We would let each other go into the wild every once in a while, roam for a day or two down the Pacific Coast Highway and come back; without pain. The two of us were not escaping pain, but opening up for each other a new way of living. Our sex agreement helped us be true to each other. Yes, she made out with a couple girls; yes, the Big Sur lifestyle was a bit swingy; but we held on. We really are in love now; and have a marriage date set.

I was not really a player in Nashville, I just knew how bad I needed to get to Big Sur. It is not as warm as southern California, and sometimes the grocery stores run low on supplies and you hunker together. But the ocean at night is just as good as music, and Steph and I’s sex agreement worked. We are now in love, and will have rough sex every once in a while but will still cuddle together as well. The oceanic lifestyle is different, and lighthouses and cliffs rule the night. If you sell an art piece, you are stoked. If not, the love of your life will still come running up to you with the smell of the Pacific on her, and you can enjoy the fruits of life; after a simple agreement.