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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Thoughts and Communication

August 8th, 2013

What’s on your mind? What are you afraid to say?

Those two questions drive me to distraction sometimes. My mind is a twisted, fucked up, dark little thing, and I don’t always want to share its activities with the real world. Also, it takes running leaps of logic and word association that anyone, myself included, would be hard-pressed to follow when it really gets going. Sometimes I explain these out loud, because just saying what I’m thinking the moment they ask, would make absolutely no sense. I backtrack to what they said and give them the line of bounces along the way until they asked the question.

You said teddy bears are cute… I went to teddy bears, teddy ruxpin, talking dolls, chucky, nightmares, fear play, scary movies. So, you were talking about teddy bears, and I’m thinking about Saw. Makes sense, right? Oh, that’s not what you wanted? Sorry. Brain went for a run.

Another blogger friend talked about sexual desires and feeling embarrassed to express them. I have blogged about that at various points over the last few years, but that’s especially one of those times I don’t want to share what’s on my mind. Then I get mad at myself for being shy, meanwhile my brain keeps running further, and I get more and more embarrassed and if anything comes across my vocal cords it’s mumbled, quiet and fast. Those closest to me, who actually want to hear these thoughts can get quite frustrated by my hesitance at speaking them, others find sadistic joy in forcing me to slow down and speak them louder.

I am also quiet a sarcastic person, so I may not want to share my thought because it could come across as rude, mean, or at the very least, smart-assed. Most people have a vision of me as a quiet, polite young woman. Other people actually hear the comments that come out of my mouth. I’ve been called a brat, but I prefer to think of myself as a SAM. I make smart-assed comments, I don’t play the “you can’t get/top/hurt me” games.

One of my biggest communication hurdles is asking for things I want and/or need. Especially, if it is something I feel like I’m not going to get. Whether that’s because I can’t have it right then, or I don’t know how I could get it, or I don’t think the person wants to give it. If I think the answer will be no, or not now, I wait. I wait until I think the answer will be yes, or until I have a plan for how/when/where to offer. Or, if I’ve already been asked and been denied. I will rarely ask again, unless it seems the answer might have changed. And even then it is hard for me to ask, because I feel like I might be pushing, and if the answer really has changed, maybe I should just wait for them to offer it.

And this is exactly how I over-think things. So many things. Fear of rejection has me second guessing every need, want and desire before I speak them. Often even before I label them. Is it REALLY a need? Is it Really even a want? Or is it just a desire? Am I being selfish? Or is it reasonable? And on and on.

Thus, the learning of meditation. To calm the constantly running brain. To let go of the clutter and the double-speak. To just find calm, where rational thought and communication become much clearer. But I’ve had to pull this meditation out of my BDSM practices. There was too much else going on with it for me to really clear my mind and find calm. I had to pull it out of those things to just focus on me, and finding my center and my calm. Because it is from that space that I can go forth and do everything I want to do.

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Needs, Wants & Desires – Part 2

July 1st, 2013

My previous post talked about my needs, wants, and desires when I bottom in the scene. I also said that was the first way I would address them, so I suppose I should keep my end of the bargain and address them as a top, as well. I don’t top much, I service top for the show, so my needs, wants, and desires are probably much different from “regular” tops.

Needs. I need full and eager consent. If someone shows hesitation, or fear I talk to them gently, to find out if they really want to do it. If they seem to be being forced into the scene by a friend or partner, I will refuse. If someone is in a state that makes them incapable of giving consent (we work in bars), I will also refuse. If it’s a good friend, I will tease and poke, but never go forward without consent.

Wants. I want connection, an exchange of energy. I want to see them smile, or hear them moan. I want to see them writhe or wiggle or jump. I want to hear them giggle, or sigh. Bottoms who sit rigidly still and silent, who don’t even look like they are enjoying the scene, are hugely draining. It makes me wonder if they really wanted to be sitting in the chair at all.

Desires. What’s the cherry on top for a service top? That huge grin when I’m done. The, Oh my gods, that was wonderful! The thank you’s. The hugs. The requests to take me home. The appreciation of the bottom. Those first timers who come back again, and again, and again.

I mostly only top violet wand scenes, so my needs, wants, and desires are pretty simple from a top perspective.

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Needs, Wants & Desires

June 27th, 2013

Last night, I was introduced to a new way to view things. I have talked before about wants and needs, but this is a different way to look at them. We were talking specifically about scening, and broke it up into Needs, Wants, and Desires. We were talking about Role Play, and the presenters set forth that if you know what you need, want, and desire, then you can find creative ways to do have good scenes. I found this concept very interesting to think about narrowed down to just scenes/play.

I will be addressing these, first, as a bottom, which is my preferred place in a scene.

Needs. What do I need in a scene for it to work for me? Without what, is a scene just pointless and flat? First, connection. I need to feel an emotional connection to my scene partner. That can be friendship, love, or even just attraction. Second, power exchange. I need there to be some giving and taking of control. This necessitates the third, trust. Without trust, there is no scene.

Wants. What do I want out of a scene? What, if I don’t have it, will make the scene feel off afterward? Bondage. Mental or physical. Rope, leather, chain. Stay there. Don’t move. Don’t let go. Keep quiet. Hands behind your back. Hands on the wall. I want the power exchange to result in control of my physical being in some manner. Intense sensation. I’m a masochist, I love intense sensation. Pain, pleasure, adrenaline, endorphins. If I’m blacking his boots, I don’t need him to grind the sole into my leg, but I certainly want him to and I feel like I missed something if he doesn’t. If I’m flying through the air, I want to feel the bite of the rope, and the adrenaline of the flight, and the pull when I spin. Floating can all soft and comfy just isn’t the same, fortunately hemp is good at biting in even in floaty scenes. Not to mention the feel of it sliding over my skin going on and off.

Desires. What are the figurative cherries on top? What makes a scene extra special? Spacing out. Reaching rope space, pain space, sub space. Often in that order. I love pushing through pain space to bliss out in subspace. Or using rope space to get to one of the others. Break down. Sometimes pushing through pain space doesn’t get me to sub space, it leaves me in a puddle of sobbing goo, and that can be awesome, too. Sexual intimacy. Orgasms, hand jobs, blow jobs, boot licking, sex. Even just cuddling up naked after a scene. That skin on skin contact to ride the waves back down.

So, how do these things play out. Let’s take last night’s play as an example. A dragontail and paddle scene.

Needs: connection, power exchange, and trust. He and I are very connected, in a loving relationship for over three years, and a friendship for even longer. I am submissive to him, and when he comes at me with that dragontail, it is definitely me giving up control to him to let him hit me with it. And I trust him absolutely, to not slice me open or hit me in the face.

Wants: bondage, intense sensation. When he comes at me with the dragontail, my hands go instinctively behind my back. When we play in that venue, I have to control my volume, or cover my mouth. When he’s hitting me, I have to try my best to be still. Pain? Oh hell yeah. Dragontail stinging and paddle smacking, awesomely intense sensations.

Desires: Last night, the cherry was pain space, into sub space. After a while, I was squeaking less and breathing more with the strikes. When I was done, I was all cuddling dopey sub spaced out for a few minutes. And I got some hugs and kisses to top it off, too.

Needs, wants and desires met.

Part Two

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Humiliation, Aftercare, and Swirling Thoughts

March 28th, 2013

Thoughts swirling around in my head. Humiliation play class this week. Still a lot of things I want to think about along those lines. The class did a good job of highlighting some of the directions I need to go. Figure out more specifics about my brain, my wants and needs. Not even necessarily to Do anything with it, maybe just so that I know myself better. Because that is never a bad thing. And finally, I’m doing it with eyes forward. Not, what happened then, but where am I now? What do I feel right now? Is there anything I still want to try? And why am I still curious? And what about that aftercare? Have I figured out what I really need there?

Aftercare’s an odd one for me. Growing up on crew, aftercare wasn’t a thing we worried about, just hand them off to the waiting partner. With ex-lover, there was certainly aftercare, but it was never discussed as ‘what I needed,’ it was just whatever was the natural progression. Sex, cuddles, sleep, more bondage, wherever we landed at the end of the scene. With him, often it ends with curling up with the girls, or kneeling with myself. More private scenes tend to end with cuddles. Aftercare, also became about reflection in writing most often, and then verbally. But aside from creating the ritual that didn’t end up working, I’ve not really sat down and thought it out, just gone with whatever happens in the moment.

This becomes rather pointedly obvious to me when I see other bottoms with their blankets and teddies, or their chocolate and water stashes. I’m cold, almost all the time, so it doesn’t really occur to me that after a scene, I should have a blanket to wrap up in. That’s not to say he’s never wrapped me up in one, it just doesn’t enter my mind that I should make an effort to have one. Chocolate or water? One or both of those things tends to be nearby when we’re scening, but it rarely occurs to me to have it ready before we start. I tend to go with an attitude of – I’ll find what I need afterward. I’m not sure this is the best plan to keep going forward with. ‘Be prepared,’ is all well and good to say, but part of taking care of myself is feeling that I am worth the time and effort to actually do it.

It is only March, but COPE is on my mind. Chance and the finiteness of time has him heading east that weekend, and so far as I know, my going with isn’t going to be an option. COPE, however, is still within my financial means. But it would mean going alone, without a partner, and that stirs up all kinds of debris in my head. Why bother? Being the topmost thought. To which smart-ass answers that going would be better than sitting home alone. The classes are usually fun, so part of me wants to go, if only for those. But that’s an awful lot of money to only go to the classes. And what about playing with friends? I dunno, I don’t do much of that. But surely, I could line up a scene or two, just to make it worth it. Or, gasp, actually be social, and chat and hang out with people, and not worry so much about the playing. Stepping out in the line of being independent, going to an event alone would not be the end of the world, especially an event with so many friends present. Time yet to decide.

 

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Great Expectations

August 30th, 2012

While sitting in the theater, waiting for Avenue Q to start, hubby turned and asked me about expectations. Hubby felt that my boyfriend and I had a good handle on setting expectations and asked how we did it. Or more specifically, how He had done it with me. I jokingly said that when you tell a girl for a year and a half that you are a sexually satisfied man, and then start dating her, expectations start out pretty low. In all seriousness, though, he and I usually played three times a week during most of the year prior to dating, and had already started conversations on expectations and happiness.

One of those conversations began with him asking me if I could be happy without him suspending me for a whole year. I had passed through most of my newbie sub-frenzy by that point, so I could actually consider the question. It took a little back and forth before I understood the intent of the question. It wasn’t about him denying me what I wanted, it was about expectation crashing with reality. What if he got hurt (which happened)? What if we lost our suspension point (which has happened repeatedly)? What if I got hurt? The real question was did my happiness depend on suspension, or could I be happy without it? This started the thought process in my brain that expectations have to mesh with the reality of the situation.

Another set of conversations we had was him asking me if I Deserved to be suspended. At the time it felt like a trick question, given the dynamics we were involved in. But it was really about suspension not being a think I could deserve or earn. It was a gift, given because he wanted to. Not because I deserve it or expect it. Giving affection only because it is expected or only when someone has “earned” it can lead to abusive situations. For me, affection must be given because both parties want to give it. But beware putting expectations on what defines affection.

Back to the question that I started with. When he asked if I could be happy without suspension, he wasn’t asking if I would be happy not seeing him for a year, simply without one form of play. In our relationship, I expect to see him fairly regularly and I expect affection. Sometimes that means a hug, sometimes a text message, sometimes a flogging and sometimes it means dinner and a movie. When it’s been a long day, it can simply means his arm around me while he falls asleep. He shows me affection in whatever way he is able, mentally, physically and emotionally. As I do him.

Another way we have set expectations in our relationship was to write them down. In our contract with toy, we wrote out what all the expectations were. What we all did before play, what types of play there would be, and what could preempt or prevent play. It was very clear what we could all expect, and even then there were surprises.

So, what do we do then? What happens when expectations are not met? No matter how clear you think you have been, or how mutual you think your expectations are, you will still face disappointment occasionally. The important thing to do, of course, is to talk about it. What were my expectations? Were they the same as his expectations? What happened that caused them not to be met? Was it reasonable? Were the expectations reasonable to begin with? Was it just a special case that won’t happen again? How can we prevent this situation from repeating itself? Do the expectations need revised, or does one party need to be more conscious of meeting the expectation?

For me, another good conversation to stay on top of is wants and needs. My needs tend to be where I set my expectations, so I have to communicate that those things are needs. And I have to set reasonable expectations of where I’m going to get those needs filled. Being poly, they don’t all have to be filled by one person. Wants are things I would like to have, and I have to communicate them, too, else they won’t have a chance to be fulfilled. But the important thing to remember is that I cannot expect all my wants to be fulfilled all the time. Life isn’t that simple. But I can work on getting them filled through expressing them and making plans. And sometimes my needs aren’t met either, at which point we return to the previous paragraph of questions to have another look.

As always, the most important part of setting expectations has been clear communication. Second to that is acceptance that we are human and life isn’t perfect. Talk about your expectations. Unspoken expectations Cannot be met. Understand that life gets in the way, even of needs sometimes. Be flexible, accepting, and keep talking. And while you are talking, offer solutions. Once the problem has been stated, clarified and understood, move forward and find ways to avoid future disappointment from that source. During your conversations, if the other person has expectations that you cannot meet, have a conversation about why and about what can be done instead, or how to change that expectation. Expectations are a two-way street, both parties must be actively involved in setting, meeting and revising them. Everything changes, keep talking.

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Wants, Needs, and Poly

July 21st, 2012

I am a woman of many desires. I have a lot of interests, a lot of curiosity, and never enough time and energy to do it all. I enjoy the outdoors: hiking, camping, stargazing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking. I enjoy computers: programming, web design, internet browsing, WoW. I enjoy writing: blogs, stories, journals, articles, novels. I enjoy reading: fantasy, erotica, motivational, entrepreneurship, health, fiction. I enjoy movies and television: crime, drama, scifi, fantasy, action, cartoons, some anime. I enjoy kink: bondage, corporal, electricity, fire, wax, suspension, body manipulation, power exchange, service, and more. I enjoy sex: intercourse, masturbation, oral, vibrators, dildos, hugging, kissing, licking, biting, massage. I enjoy learning about everything.

But there is only so much time in the days, days in the weeks, weeks in the year. So I don’t get to do everything I enjoy. I have to work, I have responsibilities, and I have to eat, and sleep and take care of myself. The same goes for my partners.

That’s what is great about Poly. I have many wants and needs, but I can’t do everything I enjoy myself, so I know that one person cannot fulfill all my wants and needs either. I live in a wonderful kink community, within my community, I have a poly family. Within this poly family there are many individuals, each of whom adds to my life in the way he or she is able. I do not expect any one of them to fulfill my every want or need. And if a member leaves my poly family, I don’t expect the others to fulfill the wants and needs that one was carrying. Sometimes someone can and does, but to expect them to take on more than they were already doing is unfair. Each person gives me what they are able, and in return, I give them what I am able.

And this changes sometimes. On both sides of the equation. People and relationships grow and change all the time. What one is able to give and receive can change, as well. Time, affection, attention. And as we can see from the divorce rate, even love changes. It is unrealistic to expect relationships to be constant, or even consistent. The only way to manage this is through communication. Keep talking. Keep being honest with yourself and your partners. If you notice a change that has not been communicated, ask. Maybe they didn’t realize it was happening. Find out if it was intentional, or caused by exterior forces. Do not assume the worst. Ask first.

Just because one person cannot fulfill all your wants and needs, doesn’t mean you can’t ask for what you want or need. It means accepting no as an answer. When you love someone, you want to give them everything. But that is not always possible. Being able to accept no, being able to be happy with the yes’s they can give, is very important to maintaining a healthy relationship. If you constantly focus on what you’re not getting, you will never be satisfied with what you have.

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What’ve You Got To Lose?

December 1st, 2011

A journal entry from earlier this week:

The longer you’ve been around, the more you have to lose. As wife, before girlfriends exist, you have everything. All the love, time, attention, interest. Then comes girlfriend, and love multiplies, but time and attention are divided, and if you’re lucky, interest gets multiplied by the extra energy. Sometimes, though, NRE can make it feel like she gets more and you get less. It can take time to rebalance.

The cycle continues for girlfriend. You get all you can until second girlfriend arrives. Then, by the needs of reality, time and attention are further divided, love is multiplied, and interest fluctuates, hopefully ending up in the positive direction. As more partners are added, balance gets harder to maintain, and needs and wants are weighed more carefully.

One ripple causes waves throughout, and if it starts as a wave, storms can appear. Tidal pools of spiraling emotions, pulling everyone down until someone catches a life-preserver and pulls the rest back up.

So, how do you survive the divisions? By enjoying that which is multiplied. By believing the benefits outweigh the cost. By being heard, even when you don’t get everything you want. By being gracious, compassionate, compersive and by compromising. Life is a state of constant change, you have to keep up and ask for the love and support you need to do so.

 

This is relevant in two, completely opposite directions in my life right now. One, hubby is down to just me. This makes the time he has to spend with me greater, though my availability has not truly changed. It may, if needed, or as schedules naturally morph over time and situation. But he and I must find a new balance, as he will be home for time I’ve previously spent alone, and he may find a desire for more of my time than he currently has.

Two, he is up to a wife and four girlfriends, and his wife is changing to day shifts next week. For a while now, most of the time divided by him, has been time she is usually at work. Now, though, it won’t be, and I imagine she is feeling the sting sharper for the amount of time she now has available and the huge chunks of it already scheduled with us. So, we look for balance, not only of time between the five of us, but of place, to give her space in her home.

We don’t have answers for any of this, yet. But we are all committed to making it work. For the love we all share, and the community we are creating together, makes us all stronger and better, and fills our lives with incredible joy.

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Needs, Wants, Emotions and Logic

November 3rd, 2011

I don’t know what to post about this week. One of my best friends suggested monkeys. I’m not all that into animals, and monkeys tend to be into scat play, as well. So, I’m just gonna ramble a bit. Whirligig, whirligig, spin spin spin. OpenOffice tells me that’s how it’s spelled. Wants and needs, where’s the line? Emotion is to reactions as logic is to solutions.

Needs. There are physical needs: food, water, clothing, shelter, air. There are emotional needs: love, self-worth, respect, and happiness. Then things get a little muddy. Or perhaps they already were, as meeting those emotional needs can mean a lot of different things. And I tend to get a little muddier around happiness, though I put it on the list. Happiness is nonnegotiable, in the long term, but is unrealistic to expect every moment of every day. Things go wrong, arguments happen, mistakes get made, people get hurt, tragedies occur. But when all these needs are being met, including happiness, it’s hard to feel like life is all that rough.

Then there are the six basic human needs that they talk about in the kool-aid circles, let’s see if I can remember them: Certainty, Variety, Significance, Connection, Growth, and Contribution. I only forgot significance. And, according to Mr. Robbins, everyone puts very different value on these six things. Personally, certainty is the top of my list, followed by connection(love). The rest jockey for position regularly, with significance generally(but not always) coming in last in the broad scheme of things. They say opposites attract, so you know, with certainty at the top of my list, I’m attracted to people for whom variety tops the list. I couldn’t say for certain it is the Very top for all of them, but it certainly seems to rate high.

The ones I rate lower, I tend to feel cross over the line from need to want for me. But it’s that line that gets a bit fuzzy for me. I want to learn new things and grow, but do I need to? They say if you stop learning, you’re dead, but active growth often gets put on the back burner for me. I want to contribute to the world through my writing, but I don’t need to. I appreciate every private message saying how people enjoy my blog or got something out of it, and every comment that gets posted, but if it was really a need, wouldn’t I put more work into it? Significance is trickier. As long as I am important to the people who love me, do I really need to be important to anyone else? Given what I enjoy doing, and what my family do for a living, I’d say staying off the national or world stage is probably best for everyone. Variety. It’s true that I enjoy new things, that I like a lot of different kinks, that I’ve often had two or three partners. So, I certainly enjoy variety, to an extent. But I’m not someone who goes to a big event with a dance card, or is looking for many partners. I don’t want a stable, I just want all my needs and most of my wants met.

So, what about certainty and connection. Well, connection basically means love, and I’ve already listed that at the top. An absolute need. Certainty is what drives me crazy. Look no further for emotional break down than for me to not know what is going on or what to expect. Now, I don’t mind a bit of spontaneity, I enjoy unplanned scenes. But if I don’t know where I’m sleeping on a night, I get a little antsy. If I don’t know how bills are getting paid, I freak out. If a new shiny appears and I don’t know her intentions, or his, I get all wibbly-wobbly. (OpenOffice doesn’t know how to spell that one.) If I’m told something might happen, maybe, but I don’t know what, I get all nervous and jumpy. I like plans. I like lists. I like schedules. And yes, sometimes it’s really hot to be grabbed and dragged off at a moment’s notice for some unplanned, but much needed stress relief.

So what about that line? Needs – Wants. If I have all the physical needs, and emotional needs, and certainty met – is everything else just cream on the top? How do I judge happiness being met? Play makes me happy, not playing doesn’t necessarily make me unhappy. But not playing for a long time can. Or not playing when I really, really want to can. But then, I control my reactions (usually), so if all else is good, not playing shouldn’t make me unhappy. There’s always tomorrow, tends to be my rational to achieve that. Private time with him and hubby makes me happy. Not having that private time on a particular day is disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. Spending time is always happy, but that doesn’t make not spending time a necessary sad. I think I’ve lost my point in here somewhere. I’m trying to sort out whether play, time and private time fall under needs or wants. Given their relationship to happiness. Which isn’t only direct, they also affect the health of the relationship, which is a source of happiness. They are all ways in which affection and love are expressed, but a lack of one does not equate to a lack of love. Most often it is a lack of time, or opportunity. So, they are not necessarily needs in and of themselves, but are wants which fulfill both the needs of connection/love and happiness.

Then we get down into specifics. Specific types of play, or time, or private time. Specific types of affection and attention. Those are certainly wants. None of them is specifically a need. They are, again, ways to get needs filled, and we often say “I needed that,” but I’d say they are strictly on the want side of the equation. We are referring to the emotional need that got filled by the action when we say we needed it. So, it seems, by my rambling, that for me, the more general a thing, the more of a need it is, and the more specific, the more it lands in want territory.

Toy commented to me she’d been advised to feel her emotions before solving problems. I agreed with this statement. Often, I react emotionally to things, and on the surface, I think the problem is one thing, but as I’m reacting and talking about how I’m feeling, I dig deeper and find the real problem. If I try to solve the problem at first reaction, often I end up trying to solve the wrong problem, or even one that doesn’t really exist. So, I’m learning to ride through the emotions, often getting him to help me dig into them, so I can find out what’s really bothering me and deal with it. A brown leaf, when cut off, doesn’t fix a poisoned root.

The other half of that, is if I ride through the emotions, feel them all and let them rise and fall. After it is done, then I can be logical and find solutions. Nothing drives me more crazy than when I’m reacting and being emotional, and he throws logic at me. I’m often not ready to be logical, yet. Though, sometimes, it’s enough to snap me past the emotions to the point of logic. Other times, I just need to cry, let it out, get all the emotional baggage out from behind my eyes and between my shoulders, or I’m just going to be useless and run in circles. Emotions are good for finding problems, logic is good for solving them.

 

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Poly Pie

October 29th, 2011

It has been a week. And once again, Thursday was too busy for me to get a post written. Two jobs is good for the checkbook, not so good for my writing pursuits. Life is full of changes. Growing, expanding, renegotiating, learning, adding, subtracting, multiplying. Relationships are the same.

He and toy are “officially dating” now. A new young woman has entered all our lives. Schedule changes are heading our way. So things are in a little bit of flux as we try to see where it is all lands. This has led to a lot of conversations. A lot of communication. And a lot of thinking and processing. Also, a lot of reacting, but hey, that’s where it all starts. Reactions let us know what’s important, and then we figure out what to do about it.

I seem to have, for the moment, gotten over my usual reaction of replacement fears to change, and have settled into a more tetchy fear of losing time and attention. More tetchy, because those things are limited. There is only so much time in a week, and so much attention to give. I started talking about it like a pie. Fearing my slice was going to get smaller, that someone else was going to get a slice, or a bigger slice, or already had, or whatever. The trouble is, that’s life, things are always changing and adjusting. I need to focus, not on, how do I get a bigger piece, or keep my exact piece, or any of that, but how to enjoy my slice to the fullest. To do that, I have to stop worrying about other people’s slices. I only have control over how I spend my own.

To that end, I tripped over an even older mental block. Asking for what I want. In order to facilitate him making decisions about those slices, he has to know what I want and need, so he can give me whatever he is able to. And in order for me to be happy, I have to take care of my own wants and needs. This means several things. First, I have to know what I want and need. Second, I have to tell him what I want and need. Third, I have to be patient about getting those met. I have several stumbling blocks in this series. Knowing what I need seems to have gotten easier, though I sometimes have trouble with the want/need line, falling on the side of, well, I don’t really Need that, I can Survive without it. I’m still working on that.

The blocks really come with telling him. A couple problems here. I grew up in a household where wants were generally not considered important. At birthdays or Christmas, you could ask for things, but other than that, only if offered. And at those times two times a year, we made wish lists and didn’t demand particular things. To say, you must get me this one thing or I will be miserable, was just not done. We made a list and we’d usually get a few things off that list, but not everything, and often things that weren’t on the list. You got what they wanted to give you. So, how does this translate now? Well, if I have everything I need, I feel selfish asking for things I want. At birthdays and Christmas, I tend to posts lists to my blog, but I don’t really ask for things directly. If I’m asked what I want (to do), I tend to come off shy or coy because I’m not used to being that direct.

The next block comes in with the third step. I’m a fairly patient person, but sometimes to a fault. I won’t ask for things if I feel like the answer will be not right now. For a couple reasons. One, it feels like a no to me, and I don’t like hearing no, so I just won’t ask. Two, because I figure I might as well wait until the answer is likely to be yes. But, as he reminds me, if he doesn’t know what I want, I am taking away his chance to decide if there’s time/opportunity for it, nor can he plan for it in the future if there isn’t time in that moment. So I have to ask, and then be patient about receiving.

To make the most of our slice of poly pie, we have to be fully informed of each other’s wants and needs. I have to grow and overcome some roadblocks, and let myself hear not now, without it meaning no. Sharing wants should be fun, describing things I like or want should be entertaining and arousing. Fantasies and daydreams come to life is what makes our lives amazing. Why would I deny either of us that?

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