Translate

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Alternatives in menstruation

After hearing about it on the fantastic Sex is Fun podcast (which is very awesome, but also ending soon apparently, which gives me a sad face), I decided to check out the Diva Cup.

For those of you who have never heard of it slash don't want to clickety click around on the above linked site, here is the very basic gist of it: the Diva Cup is a tiny silicone cup that you insert vaginally and then it collects your menstrual blood. You empty/clean it every 12 hours or so. (Seriously, that's even almost a tweet-able synopsis. It's over only by 6 characters.)

Since I didn't want the first time I tried this thing to be also when I was bleeding, I gave it a test run today. I put it in just before starting my workout at Curves. Thought process being that the workout is fairly low-intensity; also a bit beyond "everyday" movement, so it would be a good test of how the Cup was going to work while I'm moving about and such. If something felt odd once I got into the workout, I had the option of going into a bathroom and discreetly trying to figure shit out.

So far, it's been a total success. Bear in mind that I've only tried it once, and only had it in for about a half hour. Also that I wasn't actually menstruating, which definitely changes a lot of things. So these opinions are quite preliminary. I'm sure I'll have tons of hilarious stories once I actually use it during my period. But here, so far, are the good things about it:

1. Size: It's very small. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but the actual Cup is maybe only an inch and a half diameter, maybe 2 and a half inches height. It's really sort of cone shaped, but maybe "Diva Cone" didn't quite have the same ring to it. Once it's inserted it's not completely unnoticeable. It's made of silicone, so it's bendy but not pliable to the point where you don't feel it at all. I would say after about 10-15 minutes, I didn't notice it as much. One would hope over time that it would be even less perceptible.

2. Price: I was a bit worried because the website talks about the initial price being like...upsetting or something. A hurdle to be considered. So I was expecting it to be quite more expensive. Mine was around $35 dollars after tax, which I thought was very reasonable.

3. Easy: It came with a little two-page instruction book which was very thorough but also very concise, which is a fucking rarity. It's not intimidating at all once you get over the whole, "eww my blood's going to pool in this little cone," thing. Insertion was pretty easy, but I did have to wiggle it around a bit before I got it to work properly. It doesn't go that far into your vagina - that wasn't the issue. To insert you fold the open end into a sort of "U" shape, and once I had it in I had to push on the side of the cone to get it to pop back into the "O" shape. Removal was a bit more difficult, but I feel with more practice that aspect will get way easier.

4. Longevity: Again, this hasn't actually been road tested yet, but it was a major selling point for me when I was considering buying it. The idea that I only have to "check" this every 12 hours is awesome. The idea that I can sleep naked, wear underwear without bunchy pads, and not worry about toxic shock (which is super rare but is one of those things they print in like BIG SCARY FUCKING LETTERS inside every box of tampons, so you're always thinking about it), is even more awesome.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Compatibility

Having watched two movies recently about ladies falling in love with other ladies (Better Than Chocolate, which was terrible; and Ghosted, which was actually pretty okay), I was reminded of the plot structure of such movies. For those of you who haven't seen as many, it goes exactly like this:

1. Either one or both girls is "quirky," "alternative," or a "tomboy." Sometimes one of them is an oblivious idiot who just sort of...stumbles into the realization that they like vaginas. In this scenario it's usually best if the other lady is very butch with possibly an arm band tattoo of some form.


2. There is a scene where either one of the main characters has some form of "confrontation" with people in their life because they don't understand why the main character doesn't have a boyfriend because even though she is "quirky," "alternative," or a "tomboy" she is still like...a totally awesome person.



3. The  main characters meet! Obligatory sex scene which for some reason always involves nipple licking and lots of super slow kissing, because that's how lesbians have sex!


4. The very next day they are moving in together or at least spending every single waking moment together. (There might at some point be a fight in the relationship, but it's okay because twu wuv always wins out in the end.)


In any case, the main point of the majority of lesbian movies seems to be - it doesn't matter if you actually have anything in common with another person as long as they have genitals that interest you and you can make smoldering temptress looks at each other across a room.


That's enough to base an exclusive, seemingly until the end of time relationship on. Which is not to say that this trope does not exist in hetero cinema or real life relationships. They're just as guilty to, "oh, look, two people met and touched genitals so now they're going to be in love forever!" It's just whenever I encounter these types of relationships in real life that is sort of irritating. You mean you didn't take any time to figure out if the two of you were compatible beyond the way your genitals slot together? And it doesn't matter now because you're "dating" or something?


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spout

Now-hubby and I awoke this morning to our basement leaking. As in, a hole had cracked in our foundation and water was literally pouring into our basement. Luckily, the hole was in the laundry room area where there's a drain in the floor, so it wasn't too horrific. It still necessitated calling up the basement fix-it people and taking the day off of work to deal with it. (And probably will require the rest of the day to mop up all the water even after having it fixed.) The basement fix-it people gave us a bit of a shit because they had come out originally when we bought the house and gave us a list of things like, "here are all the things you can do so your basement doesn't start spouting water on you." And we were all, "thank you very much we will file this away and never think about it again until water starts spouting into our basement."



In other unrelated news, this high school lady is fucking awesome.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fast Times

Hey ya'll. I've got blood work coming up in the morning (you know, to check and make sure my shitty, genetically influenced cholesterol levels are still being managed by the medicine I'm taking). I didn't ever used to be afraid of going to the doctor until about two years ago when I had what I thought was a charlie horse and turned out to be a blood clot in my leg. It's not that I have undue anxiety about the doctor now, I just view office visits more suspiciously than I did previously. Sort of in a, "what could possibly be wrong now?" way, much like when I take my car to the garage for an oil change and then get handed a laundry list of other things that need to be fixed.

The blood work means fasting for 8-12 hours. Which means only drinking water, no eating. Ultimate sad face.



Tomorrow by lunch I shall be like this when I'm finally allowed to eat properly again.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mas

A theme that seems to permeate monogamous culture is that of loving somebody more than somebody else. Friends of mine have said this - that they were in a relationship with one person, but then another person came along and they loved them more. So relationship 1 ended, and relationship 2 began.

It's something I always mean to sit down and actually have them explain to me. I'm sort of a stickler for words - not necessarily in the way where I want them to mean the same thing for all people, but in the way that I like to overly justify the way I define a particular word (i.e. "relationship," "love," "marriage," etc.) so I expect other people to have done the same. This very rarely happens, and I usually wind up in the conversation a bit like this: "You mean I spend hours internally justifying the way I use and define words so I can explain my relationship format to you, but you just get to use the same words and not even think about it?"


The way I tend to think about it, "more" is a quantitative phrase (i.e. six blocks is more than three blocks). Regardless of if the blocks are red or blue, made of wood or metal, giant blocks or teeny tiny blocks, you still have three in one set and six in the other. So saying that you love somebody more than somebody else is tricky, because there has to then be a quantitative aspect to love.


It also begs the question of what exactly happens to that love from relationship 1 when relationship 2 starts. Does it erase, blank slate style? From what I've gathered in conversations, it sounds like you have to at least negate the relationship 1 love in some format, or otherwise it calls into question the validity of the love in relationship 2. Shit gets complicated, apparently. And I thought just having to figure out date nights with separate partners was complicated. Imagine if I also had to constantly be reassuring all of them that they were the only ones receiving my somehow finite and quantified love.

I tend to think about love more as a level reached in a video game. It's not a question of who got the highest score once they reach the love level. Fuck, you beat all the previous boss stages. (Allusions here to: "Can you put up with my neurosis?" "Do you get along well with my sense of humor?" "Are we fairly compatible in the bedroom?" "Do I feel I can trust you with things about myself?") It's possible that either one of us might lose interest in the game after reaching the love level, but we still made it to that final level together. Now let's put our initials as something hilarious like ASS on the high score.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Good for you

Another typical reaction I get when I explain poly to people is one that takes a bit more self-assurance to deal with. The whole "phase" thing is fine because it's not directly calling me out - it's just kind of a misinterpretation of how poly actually works for me. This other reaction comes off almost like an attack. It's the, "poly is not in the best interest of the people you're with" reaction.

I'll break it down a bit more and give a direct example. Let's say I've just told a person I'm poly. Generally we go through the whole gamut of the history behind when I decided to be poly, how exactly I structure my relationship, etc. etc. Then the person will say something along the lines of, "doesn't Now-hubby/Frisbee/The German know that eventually you're just going to decide to lie or leave them?" It ties in a bit with the idea of poly being a phase - that at some point I'm going to like...pick a winner and then dump the other two.

It's sort of looking at things from an overcompensation angle. I formulate my relationships on a premise of honesty and agreement, so this must mean that I'm keeping even bigger, scarier secrets from everybody that will be even more emotionally crushing if we ever break up.

Which is not to say that this reaction doesn't hang out in my brain and sometimes get to me. It's a difficult one to deal with, and I'll sometimes find myself asking Now-hubby or Frisbee if they're really sure they want to take the extra effort that being in a poly relationship entails. From my end, I'm willing to negotiate a schedule or discuss arrangements if either of them found themselves in another serious or even casual relationship with somebody. It can get a bit overwhelming, though, that they're all willing to do the same for me. I'm incredibly grateful for that.

Set phasers to stun

People typically have the same things to say/the same questions to ask when I explain about being poly. It's actually quite handy, because it allows me to have sort of an answer script ready. Not that I have the exact answer that people are looking for, but it takes a lot of pressure off my end of the conversation because I can have the reply ready before the other person's done talking.

One of the more common topics covered is the idea that the whole thing is just a "phase" I'm going through. I get this one a lot also when I'm answering questions about being queer, although less in the sense that I just haven't found the "one", and more in the sense that I haven't found the "one set of genitals" that I'm actually attracted to. I do believe the two are slightly related, and both come from the mindset that I'm supposed to find a singularity and stick with it for the rest of my days.

The problem that I have with the "phase" mindset is it discounts any type of experience one's had before "settling," as it were. I've found it a lot in monogamous relationships as well where it's as though they don't or can't talk about previous sexual encounters before the two of them were together. Which is pretty silly, to me. Polyamory Weekly did a great podcast back in January about dealing with jealousy, and they made the analogy of how you need to practice dealing with jealousy just like you would practice getting better at the piano. Which is not to say that you practice dealing with jealousy by learning to play the piano - that the two are somehow tied together. It's the idea that just as somebody who is really good at the piano had to work to get that good, so people who deal with jealousy well had to work really hard to get to a point where jealousy doesn't destroy them anymore. I think the same hold true with sex. I mean, I'm sure there are those prodigy cases where the first time somebody has sex they are just fucking awesome at it.


But for the rest of us the first time is usually not all that smooth.


Sex takes practice to get good at, just like anything else. If you do really good practice regularly, then you'll get really good. But if you start out with the wrong way to do something, and then you only practice that wrong way, you don't get any better.


"Phases" of sexual identification is a weird way to put it. You can qualify it as a time period, and less of a conscious decision. It's like saying people who wait to have sex before they're married are just going through the "phase" of not having sex. Not that they've actively decided that they want to format their sexual relationships in a specific way regardless of whether or not they have a partner. It's the same regardless of the relationship format chosen. It's an active decision of a way to live a lifestyle, and maybe that decision will be reevaluated or even changed at some point in the future. It doesn't make one "phase" any less relevant than any other.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Available

I previously talked about some societal tropes that I disliked, mostly so I could complain about babies/children and how not worth it they are. Tonight, I read this decent article about "hook up culture," so I'd like to revisit the first two tropes a bit more in detail in their own entry.

Women and men can't be friends

I actually struggle a lot with this one, because on the one hand I sort of agree with it. On the other hand it depends on how you define "friends." People I've talked to seem to define "friends" in that way that means "totally platonic acquaintances who will never see each other naked or touch lips with each other." Also in the sense that therefore, women and men can't be "friends," because inevitably one of them is going to do one of those things to the other one, and then the "friendship" is somehow over, and then you have to find like this new word to define what the two of you have (see next trope). So, yeah, I kind of agree with that if I think about "friend" meaning the same thing these people have it mean. On the other hand, I tend to define "friend" as "a really cool person I hang out with." And generally if a person is really cool, I'm going to want to touch my lips to their lips. Possibly etc. It's the transitive property in an exponential sense. (Please don't harangue me too much for that mixed math metaphor, Frisbee.) Hanging out with a really cool person is super fun. Touching lips with another person is also sometimes fun. So touching lips with a really cool person has the potential to be super fun. It doesn't necessarily mean that the two people involved need to be something different than just "friends" (again, see next trope). In relation to the article, just fucking hook up if you want to hook up.




Sex = Connection and commitment

This one is consistently confusing for me. I'm not saying that sex is completely meaningless, or that you can have sexual experiences where you don't know anything about the other person you're fucking (unless you're into public use type of stuff...I guess that could happen). I'm just saying that just because you got naked with another person and did things that made you both feel good (hopefully) doesn't mean that you have to now feign interest in all other aspects of each other. It's perfectly okay to just put your clothes back on and then not care about what each of you does in your clothes-on lifestyle. It's a bit like being a superhero, in a way. Clothes-on mild-mannered alter ego and clothes-off secret identity. The two aren't meant to mix (unless you find that really special someone(s)) who you can have both identities with.



I'll sum it all up with a blurb from the article (although you really should just go and read the entire thing):

Instead of taking the “radical” step of keeping it in their pants, college students should tackle the problem at the source: Make out, but respect the person you kiss.

Social media

Because I am tired of hearing Now-hubby whine about it, I now have a tumblr. We'll see if it winds up being like the time he coerced me into joining Reddit (which turned out awesome), or more like the time he coerced me to join Twitter (which is less of a success story). In any case, ya'll can check it out here, if you feel so inclined.