Good Thoughts

February 20th, 2014

I have a row of text files on the top of my laptop screen. One of them is called Remember. It is full of things I pulled out of a couple relationship articles a few months ago. I was reading it over today, and two of the sentences struck me more than the rest:

You’re not the lies you believe about yourself.

The way you treat yourself is the standard you set for others.

In one of my lists this week, I commented that I’m not very good at taking care of myself because I put others first more often. Now, there is nothing wrong with taking care of other people, but let’s look at that second sentence in this light. If I don’t take care of myself, why should other people? If I don’t believe in myself, why should anyone else? If I don’t care about what I eat, or if I exercise, how can I expect anyone else to? Fortunately, I surround myself with people who care enough, who love me, and who encourage me, by treating me better than I treat myself. But really, I’ve got to love and care for myself if I honestly expect to be able to fully accept and cherish their love and care.

Now, what about that first sentence? I am not the lies I believe about myself.

I’m a writer, a story-teller. I can make up fantastic stories, or horrible ones. And boy, do I.

I currently have two typed pages on my bedroom mirror, full of positive things about myself. They are the truths I remind myself of, to shout down the lies. Lies are very insidious. Wizard’s First Rule – people will believe anything either because they want it to be true, or they are afraid it is true (Terry Goodkind, Sword of Truth series). Lies generally fall into that second category. Things we are afraid are true. Things we were told by others, or worse, told ourselves.

I’m not good enough. I’m not sexy or attractive. I’m not important or I’m less important. I’m too emotional. I’m too quiet. I’m too loud. I’m a freak. I’m too sick. I’m too weak. And on and on the lies do swirl.

A good friend posted to Facebook this week something along the lines of: it’s amazing what you can do when you don’t know you can’t. And isn’t that the truth. If you go into situations without thinking about limitations, you can do amazing things. The first poem I posted on my new page, Other People’s Poetry, is exactly that.

Two more things floating around my head these days. Another friend posted on Fetlife a couple weeks ago, about something her master told her once, and many times since then. “Fear is not useful here.” Fear is what all these lies are about. Fear is what holds us back. And yes, sometimes fear is a useful thing (The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker), but most of the time “fear is not useful here.”

The other thing is “why not?” He’s been saying that lately. Don’t ask Why, ask Why not? It’ll get you a lot farther. Trying new things, letting life take you by the hand, instead of passing you by. Instead of asking why should I do that? Ask yourself, why not?

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Reactions

February 14th, 2013

I want to write something intelligent today, but my body wants to sleep. I want to write something deep and meaningful, but I should really be packing. I want to write something that fully expresses the emotions of these last few weeks, but I’m not sure I’m ready. I want to put it all out there, but I don’t want anyone to read it. That’s the trouble with a blog – people read and react to it, whether you want them to or not. Best to keep the private things on paper, or at least locked away in your personal files.

I do too much of that, though. Locking away how I feel. I resist reacting because it feels pointless, useless and occasionally stupid. I hate it when people call themselves stupid, but lately, I’ve found myself calling my reactions that. I’ve gotta stop. They aren’t stupid, they’re my reactions. And they aren’t always logical, because reactions are emotional. I’m allowed to be upset about things, allowed to react to things. As long as I recognize that’s what’s happening, as long as I keep working through the reaction, keep listening and talking. As long as I don’t sit and dwell and wallow in the reaction. And that’s the problem. Because if I feel like the reaction won’t accomplish anything, I try to resist it. Trouble is, that only puts a stopper in the bomb, and the pressure builds and then explodes even stronger.

Last night we were talking about things, and he gave me a heads up, and I shut down. I was reacting, but I didn’t want to react. I didn’t want to be upset because he was just trying to warn me that something might happen. He noticed and poked, and I eventually mumbled that I was reacting and it was stupid. And he looked me in the eyes and told me I was allowed to react. It was still an internal battle and the conversation that resulted wasn’t much fun either, but it kept me from stewing and wallowing. It gave me more information, and a better ability to deal with the information, process it appropriately. Otherwise, my mind would have stuck in the pothole and spun for the last 24 hours instead of being able to accept the warning and figure out how to deal with it. It didn’t make for an entirely pleasant evening, but bottling would have made for a much worse one.

I did the same at the con. Stamped down on feelings and reactions because I didn’t think they would be useful. In a couple classes, I refused to let myself cry, refused to let the emotions out because I didn’t want to call attention or make a scene. Neither of these things would have happened. The presenters had everyone’s attention, I was free to react however I wanted. But I resisted, screwed that lid down tightly. It led to an explosion later, when he said something that I reacted to. In this case, he walked away because he wanted me to feel free to react and get it out. Which I did, in spades. But again, I felt reacting at him would not accomplish anything, so I tried to keep it inside. Fortunately, even when ill, he notices these things. When he came back we were able to talk it through, and then the next day, because often I take a day to process, we finished talking it out.

It is all about these stories we write in our brains. They are written in an instant of reaction. And often, they are wrong. And I usually know they are wrong, so I scold myself and try to stifle them, but I cannot erase them unless I get them out of my head. Unless I ask. Unless I get clarification when I’m confused or unclear. Writing stories without all the facts is fine for novels, but it doesn’t work in relationships. Yes, sometimes asking is really hard, sometimes it escalates the upset, which is a hard thing for a peace-maker like myself. But not asking just strengthens the false thought. Leave a thought long enough, and it becomes your truth. And truths are even harder to erase or rewrite.

I am taking better care of myself this year. I am standing up for myself. Next step is to stand up To myself. Allow myself the freedom to react, to question, and to find the truth.

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Little Requests

August 23rd, 2012

Stuff and things and more stuff. Car accident today. My brain is a bit scattered… well, even more scattered than usual, I guess. Got rear-ended. Her fault. Head and back ache, but not severe injuries of any kind. Car needs a new bumper. Supposed to be getting an estimate on the repairs soon. Well, technically, should already have gotten that estimate. Ah well. Posts have been a bit odd lately. Lists and things. Even less substance last week, but some good stuff in the digest this week. Added The Perverted Negress to my blogroll, too. Not sure why I didn’t have her there yet. She’s a pretty awesome lady.

This month has just been so busy, and it isn’t letting up any time soon. Anniversaries, birthdays, conventions, parties. The works, all the way through into October and then the holidays hit. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (and all the other December/winter celebrations), and New Year’s. And this past week, what do I tell my parents? That I spend my time working at the store. Twice, my mother asked why didn’t I take the rubber bands off my wrists. I told her they help me keep from scratching (he smacks my hand when I scratch). When she asked again, habit, was my only response.

I don’t like lying to my parents, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers the Engineer. I know that even if they could handle it, my brother wouldn’t, and his kids are far too young for me to be cut out of their lives already. They’re part of the reason we moved back here, and found this amazing community. Wouldn’t that just float his boat?

The rubber bands are important to me. A thing he asked me to do. Being able to do what he asks makes me happy. Having something to look at and think of him makes me happy. I wear two on each wrist now, he only asked for one. But when one breaks, I’d be left with nothing, and they used to break all the time. So, two became my habit, so that I would always have at least one. I hardly ever take them off anymore, except to bathe, or to switch them out for new ones. I feel slightly naked without them, missing something. It might be silly to be attached to something so flimsy and replaceable as rubber bands, but it’s not the bands themselves that I’m attached to. It is the fulfillment of his request that makes me smile.

The same goes with the skirts. I have negotiated away wearing pants in his presence unless I’m leaving the house to go to work, or he specifically gives permission for pants/shorts. Recently, on our theme park trips, he told me I could wear pants or shorts so the skirt wouldn’t get caught in things. I chose shorts, both for the heat, and because I just couldn’t fathom purposefully wearing full length pants around him anymore. Not to say pants haven’t happened, they did just the other day during a slightly panicked situation, and I apologized with a short short skirt a few days later.

My reasons have shifted over the last few years, along with our relationship. Initially, he requested skirts or shorts, for ease of access to whatever he wanted, as my boyfriend and Dom. Later, when we were discussing my partner in crime’s restriction to just skirts, it was decided that even shorts went against this ease of access rule and if she couldn’t have them, neither could I. Some of that has fallen by the wayside, though the theory is still sound. He may still have access to whatever he wants, and skirts facilitate that, and so I am happy to wear them for him.

But for me, the bigger part of it, is the confidence in my body that I have gained. Yes, I still wear long skirts, because they’re fun and flowing, or warm, but my legs are still visible, to varying degrees, depending on what I’m doing. In short skirts, my legs are definitely visible, as well as the shorts I wore to the parks. He enjoys legs, and he enjoys confidence. So, my wearing skirts, or short shorts, makes him smile. I balked, hard, when he first requested this of me. My legs were the biggest part of my body that I wanted to hide. Especially my thighs. But, in the last four years, he has helped me to stop being ashamed of my legs, and to be comfortable in my skin. I am quite grateful for this, though my favorite light skirts are wearing quite thin these days. Good thing we’re heading into fall soon.

It’s the little things. The simple requests. The things that bring a smile to the lips, and joy to the heart. Being able, when so many things are spinning out of control, to do the little things you can do. To give what help you are able. To have some stability and sameness to cling to. To grow and share, and show gratitude. We are busy, and time is so limited right now. But I look down at my wrists and think of him. When he does see me, I’m wearing a skirt, for him. These little things give me comfort, even when we cannot be together, and joy when we can.

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Rant Ranty Rant

January 26th, 2012

It has been a rough few weeks. Relationship and communication issues on both sides of my poly family. But I don’t really want to talk about that stuff here. So, what shall I talk about? I could rant about the importance of talking about problems. I could fume over folks encouraging deception and dishonesty. I could lament the damage to friendships caused by miscommunication. Or I could talk about how a community is a big set of dominoes. This all feels quite passive aggressive though, and that does not become us. So, what shall I write about this week?

Oh feck it, let’s be ranty. It’s my blog. If you want positive, happy thoughts, take a look at my 31 Days of Gratitude posts.

First things first. If you have a problem with someone you Care About. Tell Them. (Yes, it’s going to be a capital letter day.) If you don’t like their behavior, avoiding them won’t fix it. If you talk to them, you can help them. Or they can help you. Depending on what is needed. If you just ignore the problem, how are they supposed to know it Is a problem? We do not have the luxury of being able to observe our own behavior from the outside. Sometimes we need the insight of others to see the truth. If you love someone, share with them what you see. And be open to hear how they feel, or to hear why they are doing something. What you see may not be their truth.

Next. If you are having a problem, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Ask for help. Tell the people who love you. Or more importantly, if they ask you, don’t lie about it. Don’t hide the problem so that when it comes out, it expands into multiple problems. Obviously, you don’t need to tell Everyone your problems, but the people you love will feel cheated and lied to if you keep important information from them.

Oh, and to all those people who think it’s okay to contribute to lying and breaking promises and then just cut and run. Fuck you. Where the hell is your respect for friends and community? For trust and communication? Take some fucking responsibility for your actions and agreements and man up when you do something wrong. Or at the very least, don’t discourage other people from doing the right thing.

And let’s all remember that we’re a pretty interconnected community. What you say to one person not only gets around to everyone else, but it can also affect everyone else. If you hurt your play partner, you’re also causing pain to all his other partners, and their partners in a nice big ripple effect. Don’t expect everything to be fine and dandy just because it wasn’t her you said things to.

Well, that was far more ranting and cursing that I usually do. Like I said, it’s been a rough couple weeks. I’m sure I could go on, but I think that is plenty for one day. Writing this did encourage me to send out a couple emails explaining my feelings to people. I’d also like to thank the communications presenter from last night, excellent points were made about positive and negative communication behaviors. I think I’ve got a couple negative behaviors in this blog post, but in the personal communications, I think I stay with positive behaviors.

 

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Emotional Blackmail

December 10th, 2011

Finally move to my new webhosting company so I can post this week’s post. 🙂

I read Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward this week, and while there is a lot to it, and a lot that does not apply to my own situation. I found myself realizing that while I don’t let others blackmail me, I may be doing it for them. I have hot buttons from my past, that I use against myself to control my current behavior. I scare myself into behaving certain ways, even though I don’t want to. So here they are, and my attempts to disarm them.

Fear of anger or raised voices. There was hardly ever any yelling in my house as a child. Occasionally, my brother or I got yelled at, but mostly when we were too young to remember or doing something dangerous. But there was a single instance where my father yelled at my mother, called her a bad name, and she left the house. I heard the yelling, I still don’t know what it was about, and I saw her drive away. She came back, I don’t remember how long it took, but that set a hot button in my developing mind. Yelling and anger equals a loved one leaving. I struggle with that one, I fear raising anger, I fear conflict. I have become a peacemaker, which is not bad, unless it is at the expense of my own needs or wants. I blackmail myself – don’t do that, it’ll make them angry. You don’t want to see them angry. What if you make them so angry they just leave? Which is unfair to the other person, I’m not giving them a chance – to react to what I want, or to show that it doesn’t make them angry. And unfair to myself – I am not being true to who I am.

Emotional responsibility. I know I’ve talked about this before. Especially in the Ethical Slut posts. But I find it hard to not feel responsible when my partners are sad/upset/depressed. Or at least responsible for making them feel better, or to avoid causing those feelings. Obviously, none of us wants to upset our partners, but I can also take this too far, into blackmail. Don’t say that, you’ll only upset him. It’s not really that important, you don’t want to make him feel bad. Look at how miserable he is, how could you do that? But I am not the gauge of what will make a person sad. I am not responsible for how they react and deal with things. I should not avoid things because they’re uncomfortable to talk about. It only leads to deception and bottling, which is way worse than a few tears before things get worked out. I can offer to help, and keep talking through things. But I should not try to stop someone else feeling their own emotions and reactions.

Self worth. I’ve often struggled with replacement fears since becoming poly. I’ve always struggled with my self image and self esteem. Those things have been growing by leaps and bounds since I found a community here that loves and supports me for who I am. But there’s a hot button left over from college and my second boyfriend. I tried to date him a second time(or was it a third, I had an odd dating record), late in my sophomore year. He told me, he didn’t need the ego boost that dating me gave him anymore. He was popular now. What a strange thing to say, and even odder still to internalize. What it wrote in my head was, I’m only needed by guys who aren’t confident or popular, I’m just an ego boost until someone better comes along. This has played a major role in my replacement fears – worrying the new girl is better than me, so I won’t be needed anymore. It took a much stronger sense of self, this last time, to not go there. I am finally fully confident in my worth, and did not feel that I even Could be replaced.

 

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Happy, Peaceful, Content

November 10th, 2011

This is a good week. With his help, I was able to follow him out of the swirling chaos and realize that’s just what it was. Chaos caused by going in circles and trying to throw everything together at once. Stepping back, realizing that just because there are new things, doesn’t mean they have to disrupt everything. We can still have everything we already had, we can even focus on making what we have better. Nothing is being lost, and there is a lot to gain.

So, when I sat down to blog today, I didn’t know what to write about. He asked what’s on my mind. I said peace, contentment. So, write about that. It is really true. After the last few weeks, just sitting here, happy and content feels wonderful. We’ve had a good week, starting with good discussions, a fun contract night, more open discussions, an amusing knife-play class, and I got to be a demo bottom for a very long flogging lesson, spiced up with a dragon tail and a couple big plastic clamps. I didn’t last very long in those – damn mother nature and over-sensitive nipples – but I did communicate clearly when I needed to stop. It frustrates me when I can’t breathe through pain, but I have even less luck with it while standing. The flogging, however, was very nice. Her first time, and not bad at all. On the third song of sticking with the rhythm and very few poor shots, I got a bit spacey. Fortunately, the tells are second-nature reactions to bad shots, so I don’t have to concentrate all that hard to give them. And then cuddles and home for dinner, explosions and a warm bed I didn’t have to get out of until after the sun was well up.

It just feels so good to have the calm, quiet contentment return. There are still fears, everyone has fears, but we can talk about them, all, together. We can lean on each other, we can accept that fears don’t make truth, and that going forward is the only way to find out, to live life, and to have everything we ever dreamed of. This is an awesome adventure we’ve embarked on, and I am eager to see where it leads next. And if I trip and fall, well, what’s a skinned knee to a masochist? I’ve got plenty of loving hands to help me back up.

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Within Ourselves

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.

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Reprogramming .girlfriend

May 17th, 2011

We played a lot last year, with .submissive and .girlfriend and .object and .rigger.apprentice and other such silliness of defining my roles. But this week, with his help, I have come to realize some of my basic poly programming is faulty. Some basic principles have gotten warped or ignored or buffered instead of understood, and accepted. I also still had a handful of false stories lurking in the dark corners of my occasionally self-deprecating mind. I realized I needed to reprogram. I needed to get the false stories and the faulty lines out and rewrite them with truth.

I showed up at the wrong time in his life.

I showed up when I was supposed to.

I had to beg, plead and convince him to date me.

I had to wait until he was ready and able to date me.

I did not even know if he wanted to date me.

He told me that he loved me and wanted me to be happy.

Everyone else had an easier path to his heart.

Everyone has their own difficult path.

We are basing our relationship on having toy as our toy.

Our relationship nearly ended and our path with toy is helping us repair it.

He is giving toy attention instead of me.

He is giving both toy and me attention.

Asking for what I want is selfish.

Demanding all my wants be met is selfish.

It’s not fair if someone else gets what I want.

What someone else gets has nothing to do with my wants, nor does it have to prevent me getting it, too.

He withholds things I want to torment me in not so fun ways.

He gives me everything he has to give because he loves me.

I have to create and defend opportunities to have my wants fulfilled.

We find and create opportunities to fulfill our wants together.

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The Writing on My Thighs

March 17th, 2011

What’s really there is that I have an awesome boyfriend who loves me, who trusts me, and who wants to continue our journey together, in life and in kink.

What’s really there is several new paths we are taking, one including an awesome woman who has decided to be our toy.

What’s really there is stressful work and health situations that are not who we are, but simply things we are doing and dealing with.

What’s really there is drama in our worlds and families that we need to deal with and solve together, supporting each other.

What’s really there is amazing opportunities for love and companionship and play and fun together, that I never would have thought possible five years ago.

 

These sentences are currently written on my thighs. I wrote them in a chat yesterday, and we decided I ought to write them on myself for a little while. “Until the message sinks in,” you might say. I need practice focusing on the positive. I need to not let the negative build up and build up, because “it’s just a little thing,” until it becomes a whirlwind of fear, doubt and crazy. I’m a writer, a good thing, but also bad. I write stories in my head, make assumptions, fill in the blanks. I live inside my head a little too much. I need to remember there are other people out there, often right beside me, who have the real answers, the actual truth of the matter, and sometimes, a far better grip on reality than the tangled mess I sometimes get myself into. Speculative fiction is awesome to write and sell and share, but reality is strange enough without me getting creative on it.

So, lesson of the week: Communicate!

How many times have I written about communication? And yet…

Things are far easier to deal with and discount and conquer when they are small. And nothing is too small to mention. A grain of sand creates a pearl, but a fleck of metal can blind you and a single spark can burn down a forest. He is good at noticing when something is wrong or off, but I am not always so good at realizing he is right. So, communication. Don’t dismiss it when he questions, really look and try to shake loose the thought that is keeping me off balance by hiding in the corner. Life is always crazy and busy and stressful, but letting things bottle and build up is only going to make things worse. Explosions are far more damaging than a firecracker. Just don’t hang on too tight, toss it up in the air and see what it looks like in the light.

 

I am loved. I am wanted. I am needed. I am worthy.

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What’s on Your Mind?

January 13th, 2011

Ten pm on Thursday night. I’m going to a con this weekend, to relax, teach and drink with a good number of my chosen family. It is not a kinky convention, but there will be kinky classes. We are teaching electric(violet wands), flogging and rope this weekend. Short and fun classes, designed to introduce the topics and entertain the audience before we invite them to play with us. After play both nights, there will be drinking for those of us who choose to, and the pointing and laughing by the ones that don’t. A chance to let go and not be responsible for a little while. While we generally work with a drinking audience, it is rare that we get the opportunity to put the toys down and drink ourselves. This is one of those weekends. My post today isn’t going to go very deep, and will probably be very rambling, because I am tired from a day of running around and distracted by thoughts of the upcoming weekend.

So, what is on my mind? Poly, negotiations, lying, learning and secrets. An interesting list, let’s see where it takes me.

Poly. This weekend, during the convention, I will be spending time with both my husband and my boyfriend. My husband will be spending time with me and his two girlfriends. My boyfriend will be spending time with me and his wife. Floating around all of us are friends, play partners, flirts, exes and all the various other distractions, not to mention new people that may grab our attention. All of us with different attachments and dynamics, needs and wants. It is supposed to be a relaxing weekend, and I have all intentions of staying drama free, even if it requires copious amounts of jet fuel.

Negotiations. I made a post about negotiating a few weeks ago. It is something that has been an ongoing lesson for myself and others in my circle lately. Remembering the details, always. Keeping in mind that you can say no. Knowing when to back down, or wait it out, or when to push for what you want. It’s a careful balance to keep playing the game.

Lying and Learning. Interesting discussions lately around telling the truth and accepting consequences. I’ve said a few times lately that I only lie to my family these days. That may not be the entire truth. I probably still lie to myself as well. It is something to be aware of and try to recognize and correct within myself. I cannot be fully honest with others unless I am fully honest with myself. It goes hand in hand with remembering that things I want to talk about are important, too, because sometimes I tell myself that if must not really be important if I don’t remember to bring it up.

Secrets. The world is full of secrets. From national and international secrets, to diary combinations. It is important to remember that sometimes, keeping a secret can do more harm than good. If something is wrong and no one is talking about it, then the problem cannot be solved. Secrets can sometimes protect, but they can also sometimes cause harm, or allow harm to continue. Be careful what you keep locked away.

The weekend looks bright ahead of me, I’ll try to have a better post next week. Just some thoughts to consider for now, in between the meme posts. Coming soon: Bootblacking, Interrogation, Abuse and Family.

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