Asking

November 6th, 2016

There are a lot of platitudes in relationships about communication – especially if you happen to be in poly relationships. But, let me go ahead a list a few – The most important thing in a relationship is communication, Communication is the key, S(he) cannot read your mind – you have to tell Her/Him, You have to Ask for what you want. And they are all true, to a point.

I’d argue that the most important thing in a relationship is trust, that without trust, you have nothing to talk about. I’d argue that, after you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, while they still can’t read your mind, there are something things they should know or remember, that you shouldn’t have to keep telling them. But, I don’t argue that you have to ask for what you want, though I concede, most strongly, that this can be Very Hard.

Because asking for what you want makes you vulnerable. Opens yourself up for pain and/or rejection. But it also opens you up for joy and compassion. Asking for what you want can be very scary. What if the answer is no? What if they think it’s crazy you even asked? What if the answer isn’t just no, but never? What if they say yes, but don’t really mean it? What if they say yes, but then it never happens? Or sometimes, the scariest question is, what if they say Yes?

Let’s face it folks, loving anyone makes you vulnerable. And if you can’t be vulnerable with the people you love, who else is there?

Doubt and uncertainty, for me at least, are far worse monsters in my head, than vulnerability. Do I ask for everything I want? Of course not, I’m not perfect, far from it. But do I try? Do I ask for what I want and need? As often as I can. Do I ask for what I desire? Far less often, but I’m working on it.

My biggest trouble with asking for what I need/want/desire, is that I often haven’t taken the time to sit down and figure out what that is. That’s what I’m trying to work on with all this writing. Getting my head in order, so I can get my heart, my life, in order. Really suss out where I am, and where I’m going, and where I want to be.

Generally, I state my relationship needs as: Attention, Appreciation, Affection. I need him to give me his attention, meaning spending time with me, paying attention to me. I need to be appreciated, as a person and a partner. I need to feel his love for me through hugs, kisses, snuggles. My relationship wants vary between partners, and are generally extensions of my needs, but more specific things. And these are the things I need to nail down better, but I generally feel like they are being mostly met. Desires are generally more fleeting – scenes or play, dinners or dates, events or experiences.

Desires were once described to me as “the cherry on top” things. And are thus, the most difficult for me to ask for. These are the extras, the special things, the “rewards.” And I often let myself feel like I don’t “deserve” them. Or I’m silly for desiring them. Or there are more important things going on than worrying about some frivolous idea I had. Or that I’m being selfish to ask for something for myself. I’m supposed to be serving him, after all.

::Shakes head::

That’s a lovely spiral, and one that needs broken. It isn’t about “deserving,” and it never has been. The people I’m with, that choose to spend their time with me, want me to be happy. They want be able to give me those little things that will make me feel cherished, and they can’t do that unless they know what they are.

Ask.

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Consent, Sexual Assault, and Rape Fantasies

November 4th, 2016

I’ve talked about this before, and I’m sure I’ll continue talking about it forever. I saw this article the other day: http://www.cracked.com/blog/how-men-are-trained-to-think-sexual-assault-no-big-deal/ and it was, IMHO, really well written. It talks about how the media shows male aggression as the path to love, it talks about the sexualization of women and their bodies, it talks about rapey movie heroes, and it even talks about the idea of the sin of extra-(or pre)marital sex making all sexual acts (outside a marriage) bad, regardless of consent. Honestly, this last part, is the basis of many of my school-girl fantasies – the idea of being a “naughty girl” (thanks, religious upbringing).

But let’s talk about the rest, too. The article was written about how men are trained, but women are watching the same things. We are being taught some of the same “lessons” about how relationships work. We are taught that aggressively strong men are sexy, that pushing our boundaries is what men do to get our attention and our love. We are taught that (sexual) violence is “just what men do” when they are interested in us. Either fighting each other, or pushing themselves on us, or playground bullying played off as affection. That our bodies are their rewards, but only if we’re beautiful, for whatever their definition of beautiful is. That strong men don’t ask permission, don’t ask for consent, they take.

And here’s where it gets complicated. I like that feeling – of being taken, of being prey to his predator. But here’s what’s NOT complicated – I only want to be taken by those I want to be taken by. I want them to ask for my Consent, I want them to make Me ask them, beg them. In many of those fantasies I write in my head while masturbating late at night – even my rape fantasies, when they’re longer than a quickie – the attacker makes me ask for it. I could write a few of those up, but I always find it strange to put them on paper, as though others would not understand. Because they are still rape fantasies, because forced consent is not really consent. But they’re my fantasies, dammit, they’re not real, they’re stories. Ah, cognitive dissonance. My schoolgirl fantasies, aside from the naughty part, the “teacher” always makes me ask for, or offer, the sexual favors. Always makes me say Yes, this is what I want. My partner likes to have me ask him to do things, tell him what I want. And it turns me on too – especially when I ask him to take me.

The difference between sexual assault and consensual sexual aggression is just that – Consent. Even in a relationship, even in a marriage, even in a swinger club – Consent is the difference between assault and fun. And not coerced, fearful, forced, or impaired consent. Eager, active, joyful consent.

Yes, I’d like a cup of tea now, thank you.

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Do you Really want me to Scream your Name?

November 2nd, 2016

I really like words. Half my fantasies start with describing sexual misbehavior, or threats, or instructions, or verbal seductions. I really like talking about what I like or want to do, despite my utter shyness in doing so, it really turns me on. But screaming his name in the throes of passion?

I see it on TV and in Movies – lovers calling out the name of their partners. It is prevalent enough to even be the basis of jokes – calling out the wrong name in the midst of passion. I’ve never done this – not called out the wrong name, but called out any Name during sex due to the intensity of passion. Due to my fetish for orgasm control, I have called out Sir or Master, in concert with begging for permission to orgasm, or to thank him for said orgasm. But I have never, while having sex, simply turned my moans or groans into his actual name.

It was a desire expressed by my sexual partner recently, during sex. Said once, and while not ignored by me, I wasn’t sure how to respond. And he did not say it more than once, and the desire was not discussed further. After, however, in the following days, my brain started tossing it around, thinking about how I felt about it. And mostly, there was confusion.

I have a thing with Names. Names have power to me. Not just the “oh, she said your full name, you must be in trouble” kind of power. I’m not sure how to express it, but to me, hearing “I love you” feels different than hearing “I love you, ____.”  Starting a sentence with my name, in any tone but casual catches my heart or tightens my stomach (depending on the tone).

On the BDSM side of things, with my boyfriend – he uses his real name as a safeword for us. A mental safeword – if I say his real name, it is stronger than a Red – something is breaking inside of me, not just on the physical plane. So, calling out a real name while playing has that baggage, too.

It was strange to me to consider calling out my sexual partner’s name in the heat of passion. He likes my moans and groans and squeaks and such. They are pure and honest reactions to what we are doing. To call out his name would take real, concentrated effort. Not that he isn’t worth that effort, but it’s something I would need to prepare my brain to do beforehand. A script to implant, code to rewrite.

So, it is a discussion to be had, and an understanding to create. If it is what he truly desires, then it is certainly something I can work on for him.

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NaNoWriMo 2016 Intro

November 2nd, 2016

I’ve been ignoring my brain, or suppressing it, for the last month, while I’ve dealt with moving, and Trauma prep, and Trauma. A lot of thoughts have popped up that I wanted to write about, but I just did not make the time. I wrote a few of them down, but not many. Later, I told myself. You have to sleep now, you have Things to DO. I let go of taking care of myself, too. Stopped doing the things I was trying to turn into habits. Stopped keeping track. Stopped printing out my calendar so I had a clear view of my month. It’s November now, it’s National Novel Writing Month. But, instead of writing a novel, I am going to commit myself to writing 50K words of my thoughts. Give my brain the care and attention it deserves, and I’m starting now – one day late, of course.

The other night, I wrote a little bit in my bedside journal, I wrote down a list of topics that were floating in my head. In less than ten minutes, I wrote over thirty topics/keywords. Apparently, there’s a lot on my mind:

  • Insecurity
  • Gift of Fear
  • Single Secondary
  • Attraction
  • Communication is Scary
  • Consent
  • Whisper words of love – do you Really want me to scream your name?
  • I’m not Just a Masochist
  • Hard Limits
  • Female Cuckolding (Cuckquean, apparently)
  • Boundaries
  • The Future
  • Finding a Primary
  • Whipping Post
  • Floating
  • Skin time
  • Filling my cup
  • Being Social
  • Family
  • Prey/Capture/Rape
  • New Experiences
  • Asking
  • Asking for Help
  • Self-Image
  • Art
  • Clinginess
  • Uncertainty
  • Expectations
  • Needs/Wants/Desires
  • Private time
  • Fantasies
  • Realities
  • Sexual Freedom

I am recording this list here in case I try to tell myself that I don’t have anything more to write about, or if I think I’ve run out of ideas. There has been a lot on my mind, and I’ve got to pull it out so that it doesn’t fester, ferment, and explode. I’m sure this list isn’t even a complete one, but it is a place to start. I’m going to try and post my writings on all of these topics, give my blog some fresh flowing blood. I used to not worry so much about my own privacy when I posted, but I’ve gotten more and more self-conscious over the years, knowing that more and more people are able to read it, people I know. I’ll try to let go of that again, at least of this month, let the words and self-reflection flow freely. This is just the introduction, the explanation. There will be meat and blood soon.

I used to hand-write everything, especially longer pieces that I intended to put serious work into, but the whole point of NaNoWriMo is to write without judgement, without editing, just write. And in doing it by hand, I could do that, but if I want to share it, want to hold myself accountable via the blog, I would then have to type it up, taking twice the time, and I would definitely do some editing, cleaning, and changing in that typing. So, instead, I am crafting directly on the computer, fingers flying nearly as fast as my thoughts, with no time to change or censor my thoughts. I will be brave and I will write from the heart, and I will share it with you, my dear readers.

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Self-Image

September 1st, 2016

I look at myself, and what do I see? Scar tissue, stretch marks, and scratches. A bent arm. A swollen wrist. Hair that just won’t act “professional.” Thighs that won’t fit into my old slacks and jeans. A small, but still annoying, wheat belly. Pasty, pale skin. Dark circles under my eyes. A wonky jaw. Callused feet.

I look at myself through another’s eyes, and what do I see? A sly smirk, and smiling eyes. Wavy, soft hair. A strong body, and soul. Arms that can carry a load. Legs that can stand all day, and still run around at night. Soft skin, and smooth curves.

Show me what you see? Tell me I am beautiful? Make me believe?

It isn’t everyday that I have trouble with my self-image, but it is many days. In high school and much of college, I wore baggy t-shirts, and sweatshirts. My body was a thing to hide. As I got older, and married, then into dating again, I wore tighter shirts, and skimpier clothes at clubs and parties. Learning to be more confident in my body.

Now, I’ve reached the point that many of my clothes are growing tighter, or not fitting at all. My last doctor visit showed my weight higher than I ever remember it being. I don’t feel bigger, but I don’t feel confident, either.

And my independent spirit rebels – I don’t need someone else to tell me I’m attractive. But some days, I do. I’m not asexual, I want to be attractive to others, not myself. And I know I am, there is evidence, even sober evidence. It’s just that, like many of us, it is sometimes hard to believe.

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State of Things

July 13th, 2016

Not much is going on in my kinky life these days. I go to the weekly class and practice, and the monthly class and party. But, other than my “duties” as part of crew, I don’t do a whole lot. He pokes me a bit here and there at these events, but we’re both too busy/otherly focused/exhausted/stressed to do much more than drive-bys.

I have my weekly poly-family night with him and his wife, and that’s nice – we have tasty dinners and veg in front of the TV and chat about work and life. I’m usually managing a once-a-month visit up north, to see the new guy, who I guess is not so new any more, to hang out, eat tasty food, and enjoy one another. Soon, he’ll be living down here, then we have a whole new scheduling game to play. It’s a pretty good life, I’ve got. Just not terribly exciting.

And that’s okay. I’m working two jobs, trying to balance work-life-sleep-money, and enjoying the love, friendship, and family I have. He asks me fairly often if I’m happy – yes, I’m happy. Do I want/wish for more in life/out of life? Sure, but who doesn’t? We’re a very motivated, ambitious, and curious people. We always want more – more money, more time, more excitement, more things, more experiences, more sex, more play, more, more, more. But that doesn’t mean I’m not happy with what I’ve got.

Right now, my focus of “more” is on getting a better job and a better apartment. A better job so I can afford the other “mores” I want, and have a better schedule to have time for the other “mores,” too. A better apartment so I can have people over without them dying of heat stroke, or being annoyed at the shouty neighbors, to facilitate other “mores” with friends and family.

The state of things bigger than my little world? Well, that’s a whole other ball of crazy wax.

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Poly and Pets

June 21st, 2016

Some people have one pet, some people have two pets, some people have many pets, and they love them all, but it’s more than that. I’ve seen some interesting examples of poly illustrated through the pets of various friends and acquaintances.

Monogamy: There is just one pet, and that’s all they ever want, and they are very happy with their one pet, until death do us part. Then, after a time, they might get another pet.

Harmonious Poly: There are multiple pets, and all the pets get along, there are occasional spats, but they all coexist peacefully most of the time.

Discordant Poly: There are multiple pets, and they do not get along, to the point that the pets are kept in separate areas of the house, or outside/inside divisions, or constantly supervised. The owner goes through a lot of work to give each of the pets attention and love, and whenever the pets get too close to one another there are fights.

And I see examples of attempts to add new relationships, too.

Some pet owners take current pet(s) to meet the new potential pet, to see if they get along, and after some time getting to know the new pet, and the new pet getting to know them and their current pets, when all is well, they bring the new pet home, with the intention of harmony.

Others suddenly bring a new pet home, expecting that it will just get along with all the others, or already planning to keep them separate. Sometimes this goes well, and they get to harmony fairly quickly. Other times there are constant fights, and the owner must decide if they are willing to work through it, with patience and training(communication) and/or separation of the pets, or if they have to let the new pet go/take them back.

We’ve all seen jealousy illustrated with multiple pets – petting one and another comes over, begging for attention. Some have seen pets acting out if left alone too long, or who get upset if you go away.

Obviously, people are a lot more complicated than animals, and relationships are more involved than pet ownership, but both take a lot of time, patience, and energy, and both can provide lot of love and joy.

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“Fortune” Cookie Wisdom

June 5th, 2016

My fortune cookie yesterday said: “You are open and honest in your philosophy of love” as I sat across from my mom and never told her that he is not just my friend, but my boyfriend of six and a half years, and only vague things about the new boy once in great awhile to assuage her fears that I am lonely. But that’s just a family thing.

In general, the “fortune” is true. All my friends know I’m in a relationship with a married man, those who am I around regularly know about the new guy, and his girlfriend, as well. They and all the other folk I have affection for, of course, all know about each other, and my not-yet-ex-hubby. I am grateful to be able to live the life I have openly and honestly with those that love and care about me.

My new coworkers haven’t asked yet, about my love-life, and I haven’t really decided how open I’m going to be with them. I’m just getting to know them as coworkers – have found a few fellow geeks/gamers, and they all seem pretty relaxed and cool. But it’s always a difficult thing in the workplace, to know how open you can be about non-normative behavior. Especially since I’m starting at the bottom and needing to work my way up, to at least a full-time position, as quickly as possible, for insurance and financial reasons. I’m just so happy and excited to finally be doing what I want to do and what I’ve worked so hard towards.

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Love and Fairness

April 10th, 2016

Recently, a friend posted about how all love is different. For instance, you love your mother differently than you love your child. Or you love your first boyfriend differently than you love your best friend. More specifically, she was addressing that in poly relationships (or any relationships, really), that you love each person you are involved with differently, because each person and each relationship is different. This post led to discussion from other posters about fairness, priorities, and value.

Whenever I hear the phrase “X is not fair,” I instinctively respond with Westley’s quote from The Princess Bride: “Life is not fair, Highness, anyone that tells you differently is selling something.” On the stage show, we often refer to “fair” as a dirty four-letter word. Life, love, work, play, nothing is “fair” for everyone, because resources are not infinite.

Love is love, it cannot be measured, weighed, or examined, it simply is, so I do not believe it can be judged “fair” or “unfair.” Actions may seem fair or unfair, and certain people may judge these actions and say that one would not act that way if they “really loved them.” Or others, I have seen, say it’s “unfair” that a person won’t give them a chance to love them. Let me state right up front here, I don’t believe anyone is ever obligated to “try to love” someone that do not wish to. Nor do I think that a person should be asked to “prove their love” in a way that harms another. So, I am proceeding with the understanding that “fair” does not apply to love, and that people have free choice.

So, let’s talk about priorities and value. People have priorities in life, and they place value upon a wide variety of things. Some poly relationships are described as Primary, Secondary, etc. and it seems to be understood that the Primary has top priority, Secondary next, and so on down the line. These designations do not mean that the secondary is loved less, or even valued less than the primary. It can just mean that the primary has priority.

I typically see this in that the Primary are the couple who live together, and so they are financially, socially, legally, and familially obligatied to one another, and so their stability, and needs must take priority to preserve that household. Often, because if there is catastrophe in that household, no other relationships could exist. This does not mean the primary can preempt plans of the secondary on a meaningless whim, this is disrespectful to all parties. However, if there is an emergency, this could mean the secondary’s plans may get cancelled. One would hope, however, that if the secondary had an emergency, the primary would give over priority to them, as well.

I’ve heard in some cases, where a secondary feels it is “unfair” that the primary gets to spend more time than them with their mutual partner, that it must mean they are worth less to that partner, that they must love them less than the primary. Once again, I would state that priorities are not a measure of love, just a measure of resource distribution in a world that is full of obligations and short on time.

Let us also not forget, that a person sometimes has to hold themselves as a priority over their partners’ wants. If an individual is not taking care of their own needs, they cannot be a good partner. It may seem “unfair” of a partner to cancel on you because they need to go to bed early, but it can also be “unfair” to insist they come over when they are too tired to drive. It does not mean they love you less than their bed, it just means that bed is their priority in the moment.

Other comments I have heard are about the “unfairness” of mutual partner doing X or Y for partner A, but not for partner B. I feel that this has more to do with communication. If there is something you want and are not getting, you need to ask for it. If mutual partner does not want to do it with or for you, talk about why and see if there is a compromise to be reached. It may be that they did not know you wanted it, or it may be that it is a special thing, reserved for partner A, but there is something else available to partner B that will work just as well. Or, it could be that it is not something that person wants to do with partner B, in which case, partner B will have to decide if they can do without it from that partner or if there needs to be a change in the relationship.

Remember, every person, relationship, and love is different. Trying to make them “equal” or “fair” will typically only bring heartache to all. Revel in the differences and explore what they mean to you.

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Spring Ponderings

March 19th, 2016

Just about to be spring. New growth abounds. For me as well as the plants about. Starting to take to heart the need to care for myself first. I am so used to putting others first, for going when called, or showing up regardless of how I feel. But this week, I took my own needs into higher consideration. When I wasn’t feeling well, I stayed home, and took care of myself. I asked for the visits up north that I desired, and got them scheduled.

Been thinking about love languages lately. I thought I knew what mine were, but I think I might have been taking on ones that were not mine, because they were my partners’ preferred language. Or perhaps mine are changing based on my current life situation. I am finding myself craving touch as a love language more than I thought I wanted/needed. Perhaps because I’ve been living on my own for three years now. And am feeling the lack of touch created by living alone. It is hard, however, to know what to do with that in existing relationships which are used to previous levels. I  feel needy or clingy if I want more touch than I used to want. I am working out what to do with those feelings, and finding a balance.

I’ve also been working on taking control of my mind. Finding tools to be able to back myself down, or cut short, emotional reactions to situations. There’s nothing wrong with feeling emotions and expressing them, but certain situations require I control those reactions so that I can continue to communicate, or do what needs done.  I am working with new tools to, in effect, reboot my mind to better deal with situations in the moment, with a success rate of about 50% so far. A good start, for me.

Happy Spring!

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