August 20th, 2012
Photo courtesy of Ava Grace
Welcome to e[lust] - The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #40? Start with the newly updated rules, come back September 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
~ Top 3 ~
Never Pinch a Sadist: 50 Shades of Plaid – If you don’t know kink, don’t feel pressured into it. If you wonder what it is about, join Fetlife and find local event to teach you about it.
Collars & closure & owning myself – there is triumph in realizing that your paths are diverging, repacking your shit, and moving on with dignity and respect.
The Quarry – We agreed to meet up on the weekend and go out to the quarry. It was an old, flooded quarry. I didn’t know it, but the queers had taken it over.
~ Featured Post (Picked by Lilly) ~
~ e[lust] Editress ~
“I can’t orgasm without a vibrator” So What? – Embrace it. Bring it in to your partnered sex life. Be happy that you can achieve orgasm whatever way that works for you.
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!
A Guest for Dinner
A Beautiful Need
A Purring Machine
A Hard Man is Good to Find
In a different world
I Crave You!
Lolita Twenty-Twelve, Part Four
My 69th Orgasm
Owned Part 4
Sensual room service
The Space Between
The Wicked Wench of Wupert Stweet
The Desk of Power
What I’m thinking about when I’m…
When Frederick Met Camille
Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships
Living with an Alpha Sub
Make Her Cum
Swinging and safe sex
Talking with the Lights Off
The Promiscuous Bisexual
Why Do I Have More Respect For Men Than MRAs?
What not to do for anal sex
Wants, Needs & Poly
Kink & Fetish
A Boot Scene
Consent as Torture
Mores and Behavior
Pursuit of Squirting
Playing With Lightning
Submissive men: A celebration of beauty
strapping on…my first time
Submission for a Femdom Facesitting Film
June 29th, 2012
This has been quite a month. From relationship and schedule changes, to car repairs and computer thefts. There have been amazing highs, and horribly depressing lows. I haven’t posted anything of substance since my posting spree on the seventh. I’ve had ideas run through my head here and there, but they leave just as fast as they come. I’ve gotten way behind in my article writing for Modern Dungeon Quarterly, then caught up, and then fallen behind again. I’ve fallen into places where I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay married, wandered into realms of fear and doubt, and clawed my way back up. I have spent entire days in tears, but also entire days in a giggling high. I have both been leaned on and been the one leaning. I have been giving and caring, and needy and lost. It has been quite the month, and I’m glad it’s nearly over.
Nothing ever goes as planned. This lesson was repeated over and over again this month. Things were decided, but one explosion changed the decisions again. Schedules were changed, but tragedy made its own changes. Just an hour or two, turned into more and a broken window and loss of property. You get married “forever and always,” but just look around, divorce is very common. And in this community, look around, divorce doesn’t have to be the answer. Hubby keeps telling me that we can create whatever we want, but my mind says nothing ever goes as planned.
So at this point, I’m not planning for the future. I’m living in the now. I’m taking care of the immediate. There are things that need done. Problems that need addressed. People who need my support. I am thinking more clearly about what I want, not just doing things because they are expected of me. As the immediate is taken care of, as problems are solved, and things are worked through, we will see where it leads. Without expectation, but with acceptance, that any outcome is valid, and new choices don’t mean failure.
May 15th, 2012
Photo courtesy of A Couple of Wankers
Welcome to e[lust] - The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #37? Start with the newly updated rules, come back June 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!
~ Top 3 ~
The Cheshire Cat – Alice felt whiskers tickle her skin and was wracked with sobs of fear. ‘Oh, little girl, don’t cry. You can stand much more than you think you can.’
Vaginal Overexposure? – I see a lot of vaginas. A lot. One of my favorite things to tell Vincent and his friends is, “I see more vagina that you ever will!”
Marionette – “I’m writing out a fantasy of mine, but I’m not sure what to do with some of it. I’m hoping you can help me figure it out.” “Yes Ma’am.”
~ Featured Post (Picked by Lilly) ~
Journeys – These insecurities are at the root of my fears. I don’t know how to combat them, how to turn those tapes off in my head.
~ e[lust] Editress ~
I’ve found a new secret to my G-spot – This g-spot thing might be hard to find since it can’t be mapped, but believe me it is real and with time, exploration, a good clitoral orgasm and a willing set of fingers and/or dildos you CAN find it.
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the ‘read more’ tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!
Kink & Fetish
A Pixie Calls Me Daddy
Another Try at Topping
Bent Over and Exposed
Female Orgasm: Where Do You Get Off?
Letting the Sadist Out to Play
pain & sadism: how they intertwine
Tied Up and Tossed in a Corner
Waiting My Turn
Sex News, Interviews, Politics & Humor
Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships
Buying a Toy: What You Need to Know
Bring on the wanks
I want your sex
My Mother, The Whore
Poly Fallacies #4
Q&A # 3: Childhood BDSM Fantasies
Sticks and Stones…
Small World of Swinging
White and Nerdy
Around and ’round
Hot sunny sex on a rainy day
It Ain’t Sex
I Want to be Watched
I made him watch me masturbate
Lost in Submission
Pussy Eating- The Fun Way
Rack and Ruin part II
The Third Date
Waiting for It
March 8th, 2012
So, my blogs lately have been a lot of nonsense, Modern Dungeon Quarterly and the occasional story. Life has been chaotic. Relationships have been chaotic. And I just didn’t want to put it down clearly. I haven’t even been journaling. I’ve meant to, but every time, I find something else to do. Something that won’t make me look at the words on the page. Won’t force me to stare at my thoughts laid bare. Bottling is unhealthy, I know this. I don’t usually do it. But with everything that’s been going on over the last few months, it seemed like my only option in some cases. Bottle it up until other things are sorted, and then let it out in a controlled manner. Wait til they sort things out, then tell her how I feel. Wait til I’m calmer, then tell her why it hurt. Wait til he’s had a few sessions, and then, with the doc there to help us both, say how I’ve been feeling.
Wait. Wait. Wait.
Ready. Set. Go.
New relationships bring whirlwinds with them. Change, adjustment, and new energy. Adding a new relationship to a poly group will forever change that group. Now, that doesn’t have to be in a negative way. Change is neither a positive nor a negative force, it just is. Things spin for awhile, as everyone readjusts, as schedules are resorted, as priorities are reframed. In my life, let’s add in almost everyone in the group entering into new job situations, and new class schedules. And things still aren’t settled because class schedules change every quarter. And toy is still working on getting a different job. Let’s also add in bits of drama, miscommunication, misunderstanding, and two people leaving the group. Stress levels rolling like ocean waves. Storms coming and going. Clashes of personality and sensibilities.
Everything changes. But if you can ride out those waves, weather those storms, and navigate the difficulties, you come out the other side stronger than ever. And, if it’s meant to be, so do your relationships. Not every relationship survives. Not every relationship is meant to last forever. But they all add to our lives, to our selves and to our strength. It takes a lot to rebuild after a storm, whether the tornadoes to our south, or emotional explosions that send everyone spinning. Sometimes you have to remove all the debris, foundation and all, and start again from scratch. Sometimes the remains can be salvaged. And sometimes it just takes a little patching up. Regardless, it takes work.
We are in the midst of that work, trying to see what we’ve been left with. What parts are still useable, what parts have to be made anew, and what parts just don’t fit anymore. Both sides of my poly life are in this situation right now. And while I am hopeful, I am not confident that everything will turn out the way we might wish.
Hubby and I have entered a second round of counseling, this time with a professional. Cheating, broken rules, broken promises, and on top if it all, Lies. We tried a community counselor, but when things blew up a second time, he suggested we were beyond his ken. Hubby went alone a few times to sort out some things and now we are going together. We have a lot of work to do.
Doc has four areas he works with in his couples sections and it seems to me, we have trouble in at least three of them. First is work ethic in relation to the marriage. Putting in the work to have a good marriage, and in this case, to fix the marriage. Are we committed to fixing it? Are we willing to do the work? Our friend kind of asked us a similar thing. Were we there because we wanted to fix things, or because it was our last shot? I told him I wanted to fix things, I wanted to keep the marriage. This time, it kinda feels more like a last shot. I love my hubby, obviously, but I feel so broken, that I’m not as confident it can be fixed. Do I want to fix it? Yes. Do I think it can be? Hopeful, but not confident.
Second, is the all important communication. Doc addresses this in a couple ways. First, is what he calls Face Value communication. That is take what the other person says at face value. If I say, could you take out the trash on your way out the door, that’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying, you’re lazy and you never do your part. I’m just asking you to take out the trash. Second is communicating to problem resolution. Not just saying what’s wrong, or what’s bad, but being able to come to resolutions that work for both parties. And lastly, nurturing communication. Being able to support and nurture each other.
Third, the one I think we actually manage, is having fun together. Enjoying each other’s company. When we’re not angry, stressed or depressed. I think we do a fairly good job of having fun together. Watching shows and movies we like. Playing games together. Having good food and times with friends. Though this last is a little more difficult, depending on the venue. I’m an odd bird when it comes to being social, and he has a difficult time in some of our circles here.
Fourth, always a tricky one for us, physical intimacy. I think with our run at counseling with our friend we tried jumping right to this one before fixing the others first. I mean, we were working on communication and such, but doing it all at once might have not been the best idea. Or maybe it was. But currently, this one will be last. I need trust back before I can even consider this step. And right now, it’s long gone.
So, a lot of work to do. A lot of hard work, to find our way back to our path together. We have help, so maybe we’ll make it. But it’s going to be a long road. If we make it through this, though, we can do anything.
March 2nd, 2012
I’ve struggled with blogs posts lately. Both here and my “family friendly” blog. My kink life has been centered around Modern Dungeon Quarterly lately, and I’m already posting about that over there. I’ve posted here a few times, but I don’t want to just keep repeating myself. That’s what twitter’s for, eh? And I certainly can’t tell my family about That project, even though I’m really excited about it, and enjoying the process. Other than that, normal club nights, with a new suspension point, and practice nights as usual. Having the suspension point back at the club has been nice. I have some lovely rope trails across my chest still from last weekend’s flight. Relationship wise, well last week’s babbling is still about where I’m at, so. A chance for progress on Monday, we’ll see how it goes.
So, what do I write about this week. I’m already a day behind. Watched Search for Spock yesterday instead of blogging. I poked around Fearless Press, looking for inspiration, but nothing spoke to me. I wanted to have something for eLust this month, but I don’t think I’ve got anything coherent enough to put in the digest. I’ve switched from Netflix to WoW, but that’s not for this audience either.
It was suggested that I write a story, toss out an erotica piece if I didn’t have anything else to say. It’s a good idea, I enjoy writing them, but my mind just won’t focus on that kind of writing today. I’m journaling in my head, which is not nearly as helpful as journaling on paper, but it’s also not the kind of thing I want to do here. Not today.
I’m writing around in circles. Sorry about that.
Maybe I’ll get in the mood for a good story this weekend and you’ll get a bonus post that’s a lot more fun than this one. Maybe once I finish the book I’m reading, I’ll start reading more bdsm and poly books and do book reviews. I really owe Complete Shibari a better review than the one I wrote all that time ago. And I really ought to read more books. Always ought to read more books. So, dear readers, help me out, comment with books you think I should read. Because I haven’t ready much at all in the lifestyle category.
February 23rd, 2012
Souls, so intertwined, finding each other through space and time. Again and again. They meet and fall in love. But is it meant to be, or is it just a force of habit? Was the jealousy true, or just a flash of loneliness? Did she really want him, or just someone, to share her life with? Is it love or just comfort she finds and clings to? The easy path is rarely the best, but neither is the most difficult always the right way. Life is hard, but it doesn’t always have to be a challenge. Love is easy, relationships are complicated. And not always meant to last. Take from each one what you can, but don’t cling to dead and dying things. Let them go. Give them peace.
One more chance. Your last chance. We say these things often, but do we really mean it? How many last chances, how many times do we say one more? When is enough enough? How do we know? Bible says forgive 70 times 7 times, so that you, too, may be forgiven. Not so you count the number of times, but to emphasize unlimited forgiveness. But there’s a difference between forgiveness and staying in a bad situation. You can forgive and still leave.
Do your best. Don’t give up. Quitters never prosper. We are trained from an early age to keep trying. To stick with any commitment you make, never go back on an agreement or vow. Your integrity depends on it. We form bonds and cling to them ever so tightly. And yet, friendships are destroyed with a careless word. Relationships end over single wrong doings, real or imagined. The divorce rate is ridiculously high. We are pressured to hang on, and yet so often we let go. Sometimes for good reasons, some times for bad, and sometimes for no reason at all.
I don’t know what I’m saying. Words are just falling out of my fingertips. I saw this quote today: “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” ~Isaac Asimov It is true for me as well. I think through my fingers, ramble more freely in written or typed words than I do aloud. I don’t worry so much about whether I’m making sense, or speaking clearly or loudly enough. I can just keep going and going, with no concern for whether I’m being heard.
I don’t think today’s post is going to make sense, but I’m not sure I am ready to make sense right now. I’m okay with letting everything continue to spin. Maybe it’ll make more sense when it finally comes out if it’s had enough time to spin and whirl and simmer and boil. I let the top off now and again. I let the steam out, so it doesn’t just explode the pot. Just a little longer and it will be ready to serve. Monkey brain delight. Fresh from the skull.
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.
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.
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?
June 10th, 2011
My academic pursuit this month, otherwise known as “I’m tired of packing project,” (unfortunately, yesterday, when I got tired, of packing I fell asleep instead of posting) is The Ethical Slut, by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, which I posted about the first time I read it. This week, I read Part 1: Within Ourselves, and took down quotes I found pertinent or important to me. So, I thought I’d make this week’s post a discussion of those quotes. I divided them into five categories: Sex, Poly, Social Programming, Communication and Internal Struggles.
Let’s start with Social Programming. This group is about overcoming our social programming so we can live the life we want to live and be true to oneself. “Our programming is changeable.” “You are already whole.” “ Great sluts are made, not born.” “People… free of shame, would trust their own sense of right and wrong.” (pp. 6, 34, 59, 71) So, what do all these quotes mean to me?
I grew up in a religiously based household, taught ‘how things ought to be’ from a young age. One husband, one wife, kids, and pets. Sex inside marriage only. And no kinky stuff. So, the first quote, of programming being changeable. I don’t have to live with the programming my parents gave me. It worked for them, but it does not have to be mine as well. If it doesn’t work for me, then I can change it to fit myself. The third quote goes along with that. It takes work to overcome social programming, to make myself into what I want to be. I cannot just assume I have all the skills and understanding to live the way I want to live. I have to learn and grow and create my life.
The second quote. Being whole. Society likes to push marriage and kids onto us. You aren’t a grown up, until you’re married. You aren’t fulfilling your purpose until you have kids. And on and on. Not everyone wants to be married, not everyone wants to have kids. There is nothing wrong with either of these things. You are a whole person, in and of yourself, without the need for a relationship or offspring to validate your existence.
The final quote, came from Wilhelm Reich’s speeches to young Communists in Germany in 1936. He was speaking against free expression and sexuality, because this would prevent an authoritarian government. I think it is a good point, though. Without social programming telling us that what we feel is wrong and dirty, we would be free to trust our own judgment, our own selves, about what was good and right for us, and what was wrong. That would certainly reduce our unnecessary guilt and self-recriminations.
So, on that note, let’s move on to Internal Struggles, a lot of which come from Social Programming. “Each person owns her own feelings. No one ‘makes’ me feel jealous, or insecure – the person who makes me feel that way is me.” “Knowing, loving and respecting yourself is an absolute prerequisite to knowing, loving and respecting someone else.” “You must speak truth, first to yourself, then to those around you.” “Shame, and beliefs we were taught that our bodies, desires and sex are dirty and wrong, make it very hard to develop a healthy self-esteem.” “Do remember: your sexiness is about how you feel, not how you look.” (pp. 65, 67, 67, 93, 94)
To live this life, I have had to look inside me, to consider myself and my truth a lot more than I ever did before. I have to take responsibility for myself, my feelings, and my actions, something that in today’s society it seems to be more popular to blame others for. Yes, things people say or do upset me, but it is me choosing to react that way. Me choosing to let it bother me. Me choosing whether to talk to them about it, or brood silently. My choice to let negativity fester or toss it out into the light to die. To be in control of my emotions and my reactions, I have to know myself, love myself and respect myself enough to look for the truth in myself. I have to figure out what’s really going on inside me, so I can share it with those that matter.
A wonderful side effect of this lifestyle I have chosen, has been a much better body image and self-esteem. I grew up hiding my body, wearing baggy shirts and jeans year round. Boys hardly every looked at me before college, and I never gave them a reason to. One day in high school, my mother must have been having a bad day, because she told me I was fat. I took this to mean she thought I was ugly and unattractive. Just one stray comment and I held onto it for years. I didn’t believe that I weighed too much, but unattractive, absolutely.
Then I started dating, but I was still hiding in my clothes. Boys were interested in me, some told me I was attractive. But I didn’t believe them. I started having sex and doing kinky things. Boys didn’t run screaming from my body. That seemed like a good thing. My dad once told me I should get sexy underwear so I’d feel better about myself. That was strange. Dated some more, here and there and around the world. Still hiding. Got married, continued to hide, though I got cuter clothes from hubby and his mom. Other men were still attracted to me. That was strange to me. Why would they look at me? Talk to me sure, I’m bright and fun, but look at me?
We swung a bit and then became poly. We joined a few groups, and started going to events. I got more and more compliments, and people appreciating my body, my energy, my sexiness. I was encouraged to wear cuter (and shorter) outfits. I gained confidence in not just my body, but myself. The community is full of so many people of different body types, and people are attracted to them all. People are attracted to skin, to body parts, to men, to women, to everything and everyone. I learned that you don’t have to be perfect, or a certain size, shape, or height. You just have to comfortable and happy in your own skin. If you feel sexy(and sometimes even when you don’t), you are sexy.
Next, let’s explore Poly. “We tend to like our lives complicated, with lots of stuff going on to keep us interested and engaged.” “Is there some virtue in being difficult?” “The human capacity for sex and love and intimacy is far greater than most people think.” “What rewards can you foresee that will compensate you for doing the hard work of learning to be secure in a world of shifting relationships?” “I don’t have to fulfill every single thing my partner needs or wants.” “Faithfulness is about honoring your commitments and respecting your friends and lovers.” “You don’t have to force anyone into a mold that doesn’t fit: all you have to do is enjoy how you do fit together, and let go of the rest.” (pp. 7, 29, 36, 59, 59, 63, 73)
I’ll start at the top. Complicated lives. I’ve always kept busy. Band, theater, gaming, volunteering, writing, working, studying. My love life was often complicated, even before I came out as poly. I spent time with multiple guys, or with guys who had girlfriends elsewhere, or with different guys in different countries. I flirted online a lot, with men, women and couples. The first time hubby proposed to me, he was already engaged to someone else. I love order and organizing, but my life has always been fairly complicated. It’s not that I’m easy, I have standards, but I agree with Dossie and Catherine, why be intentionally difficult?
Our capacity for love and intimacy is huge. We love family, friends, lovers, pets, people we see on TV, even characters in books or shows. All in different ways, perhaps, but that’s a lot of love, and we always have more for new people coming into our lives. Why should romantic love be different? If everyone is honest and respectful, then, to me, everyone is being faithful. I always did like the song from Kiss Me, Kate with the chorus “Always true to you baby, in my fashion. I’m always true to you baby, in my way.”
Then we get to the rewards for all this learning and growing into the people we want to be. And the remaining two quotes answer that one. In poly, thanks to poly, I don’t have to try and be everything, and do everything, and fit into a mold of the “perfect partner.” I can be me, and they can be themselves, and we find out what needs we can fulfill for each other, and enjoy those things together.
This leads right into Communication, the most important thing, for me, in poly. “Consent – an active collaboration for the benefit, well-being and pleasure of all persons concerned.” “They may be shy in the seductive stages, and bolder once welcome has been secured. Women tend to want explicit permission, and for each specific act.” “Talk clearly and listen effectively.” “Being able to ask for and receive reassurance and support is extremely important.” “It’s vital to be able to give reassurance and support.” “Lots of hugging, touching, verbal affection, sincere flattery.” “You need to know how and when to say no.” “The historical censorship of discussion about sex has left us with another disability: the act of talking about sex… has become difficult and embarrassing.” “What you can’t talk about, you can hardly think about.” “Most of us have been struck dumb by the scariest communication task of all – asking for what we want.” “If you are not free to say ‘no,’ you can’t really say ‘yes.’” “You have a right to your limits and it is totally okay to say no to [anything] you don’t like or are not comfortable with.” (pp. 21-2, 49, 61, 61, 62, 62, 63, 95, 95, 101, 103, 106)
Several different subcategories here. Staring with general communication – being able to speak clearly as well as listen. I have learned, over the last few years, that what one person says and the other person hears, are not always the same thing. I have learned the importance of restating what I think the other person is trying to communicate, so he can agree, or try another way of explaining.
Being able to communicate needs and wants (as well as knowing the difference), and being able to hear the same from my partners has been vital to our relationships. I still have trouble taking about sex out loud, and am sometimes embarrassed to write about it. But we work together, and talk together, and we open with each other and I am more and more able to talk about it. It’s still not perfect, nothing ever is. But I am learning and growing, and overcoming the embarrassment and shame of my social programming.
Being able to ask for and receive reassurance and support, in any number of ways, can be hard. Why should I have doubts and need reassurance after all this time? Well, because I’m human, and imperfect and the little devil on my shoulder, or the little voice in my head gets too loud sometimes, and I need help shouting him down. And it has been very important to me, that my partners have been there to give me that. Even if all I need is a hug, or the words I love you, to calm me down, and even more so, when I’ve wanted a flogging or tight rope bondage.
Then there is consent. I like their definition: “an active collaboration for the benefit, well-being and pleasure of all persons concerned.” We want to have fun, be safe and healthy and work together for these things. Consent is for everyone, tops, bottoms, masters, slaves, doms, subs, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends. It is not just one person consenting to the other, it is both(or more) people consenting to each other. And being able to say no, is just as important as being able to say yes. You have to be able to say no, or yes doesn’t mean anything. There’s consensual non-consent, and there are no-limit slaves, but in the end, if you cannot ultimately turn and walk away, then you are not really consenting to be there.
On to happier topics – Sex. “Sex is nice and pleasure is good for you.” “We have never met anyone who has low self-esteem at the moment of orgasm.” “The existence of her clitoris was proof positive that God loved her.” “Sex is whatever the people engaging in it think it is… if you… feel sexual… that’s sex, for you.” “Sex is a healthy force in our lives.” “We like to think that all sensual stimulation is sexual, from a shared emotion to a shared orgasm.” “When sex becomes goal-oriented, we may focus on what gets us to orgasm to the exclusion of enjoying all the nifty sensations that come before (and, for that matter, after).” “Sexually successful people masturbate.” (pp. 4, 19, 27, 39. 40, 92, 96, 98)
We live in a culture of double standards. Sex sells – well, everything. But we are taught to avoid it, that it’s dangerous, that it’s only for marriage, that touching ourselves is disgusting. We are taught to be embarrassed by sexuality. But sex is wonderful, and it’s not just about intercourse, or orgasms. Being a kinky person, there are so many different ways that I find sensual and sexual pleasure. Being poly, hubby and I have a very strict definition of what sex is, in regards to our rules about who we can “have” it with. But that is about intercourse and sexual//reproductive health. We give and receive sensual and sexual stimulation with a lot of different people, in a lot of different ways, including our own selves. Intercourse is great, orgasms are great, but they are not the end all and be all of our sexual lives. We like things complicated, remember? I really enjoy the sex-positive nature of this book and the confidence it reminds me to have about myself and my desires in a culture that tells me I am wrong and disgusting in so many ways. I love my life, and I am happy with who I am.