Friday, September 27, 2013

Visual assessment

This morning I had my colposcopy. It didn't hurt as badly as I had remembered the previous time, but still not comfortable. I brought up the idea to my gynecologist that the IUD might possibly be causing the abnormal results, and she told me it's entirely possible. All things considered, though, I'll take 6 month pap smears and maybe a colposcopy once a year if it means I can be baby free without hormones. I'm still not incredibly happy, but the pros still outweigh the cons when it comes to this method of birth control.

I took an entire day off of work, not because of the pain factor, but just because I have a 40 minute commute to work so to take a half day and then drive in for only 3 hours of work isn't worth it. Also, they're going to pay the sub for an entire day regardless.

Now-hubby also had the day off today so we're spending some lazy time together, which is awesome. After my appointment, we got some Starbucks coffee and had a conversation ranging from GameBoy color to our favorite SFW Tumblrs. When I get a chance to just sit down and chat with Now-hubby, I always remember exactly why I fell in love with him. He's an incredibly smart, witty man. And he understands and accepts me on a lot of levels, which is amazing.

One of those acceptance things is me expressing sexual interest in other people. Actually, when Now-hubby first asked if we could be together, I told him that certainly we could. But that I would probably fuck other people, and he'd have to be okay with that. I'd be honest with him, and we'd set up boundaries in our own relationship to set it apart from the sex I was having with others. I knew, though, that I was a fairly flirtatious and promiscuous person. And I wasn't going to shut down that part of myself for anybody.

Case in point number one: I went to use the restroom after finishing my coffee, and there was somebody apparently taking a shower in the ladies room with how long it was taking them. I checked the men's room, which was unlocked, but figured I'd wait it out for the ladies. As I was waiting, a gentleman approached and asked me if both restrooms were occupied. I said they weren't, and then he offered to let me use the men's before him. Point one: He's cool with girls defying societal gender rules. Point two: He was fairly cute. My mind immediately goes to, "hm, you could possibly bang this person" mode.

Case in point number two: While we were conversating, some people who work at Chipotle came in for their pre-shift coffee. (Now-hubby and I were actually getting coffee while we waited for Chipotle to open - the Chipotle and the Starbucks are in the same little outlet mall place, and we had an hour to kill between my appointment and official "lunch" time.) One of the Chipotle people is this scrawny, blond guy who makes me extremely uncomfortable in my pants. It's something about his veiny forearms that makes my girlhood tremble. It's...difficult to even remember what type of food I usually get when I go to Chipotle and he's working. 

These both happen while I was for all intents and purposes out on a date with Now-hubby. And I told him about both of them. How do things like me expressing sexual interest in other people not completely destroy his self-esteem? Because I express sexual interest in him as well. It's really that simple. Visual appreciation isn't about "better" or "worse," that's just the way it gets framed when you judge the value of your relationship on whether you're the exact match for somebody or not. Just because I like a Parrish painting doesn't mean I can't also appreciate a Dali.

I've had people accuse me of having low standards before. Because I have sex with lots of different people, I must be fairly indiscriminate. I don't see it that way. I see it more that I'm fairly open about admitting my attraction to other people, and there are a lot of attractive people out there in the world. The fact that I vocalize attraction to other people whether I'm around Now-hubby or not throws people off. When you're "with" somebody, you're not supposed to talk about other people you want to bang in front of that person. Or talk about wanting to bang other people at all, because commitment and fidelity and blah blah blah. When I've hung out with single friends, the frequency with which they comment on other people's attractiveness doesn't exceed mine. It's just the context of them having to be so selective about what constitutes "attractive" because they're looking for somebody that they can bang and also possibly spend the rest of their lives with. If you approach everybody as a potential lifetime partner, the level of what you'll accept in terms of physicality and compatibility gets more stringent. I don't have low standards, I have open standards.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Breaking the mold

To illustrate a point on how the whole "being honest" thing is difficult sometimes. The student I work with goes out to a job site at a Walgreens at the end of the day. I go with her to provide interpreting services, so yesterday as she was working in the card aisle I saw a cute card that I wanted to get for Frisbee when we do our super dessert extravaganza weekend (spoiler alert, Frisbee, if you're reading this - you're getting a card as well as chocolate chocolate chip cookies). I picked out the card so I could buy it, but there's also a job coach lady who is at the job site with us. "Oh, cute card. It's for your husband?" It's...such a fucking simple question. And one I could really easily just say, "yes" to and be done with it. I only see this job coach lady for an hour a day. I typically wear my wedding ring to work, so she knows I'm married. Is it really necessary to go through the whole, "well, it's actually for my boyfriend" spiel with her?

For those who are curious, I didn't. I just answered "yes" and left it at that.

For those that weren't there (i.e. everybody) you can imagine this fantastically awkward 10 second lag time between when job coach lady asked the question and when I could work out all of the above in my brain before actually speaking my answer.

For those of you who I might meet in the future (i.e. possibly lots of you), please don't take these lag times as an indication that I have some sort of processing disorder. I'm just trying to figure out if I can trust you slash if it's worth my time to be honest with you about myself.

In unrelated news, I finally finished watching the movie Fling* tonight. According to IMDB original title was Lie to Me, which honestly is a way better indicator of how this film views open relationships. It's one of those, "oh, these people think they're having fun being all 'open,' but they're really incredibly depressed and are just using the sex outside the primary relationship to find what they really want." Which is the second most famous type of film about people in nonmonogamous relationships. The first kind is where an otherwise happy couple stop having sex for some reason and decide to open up to fix that problem. In either type of movie, everybody always winds up either monogamous again or incredibly unhappy and alone. I have yet to come across a movie where the open/poly/what have you people both stay together in an open/poly/what have you fashion and are happy. *sigh*

In happier news, Poly Weekly played this at the end of one of their more recent podcasts, and it's a pretty groovy little tune.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The one where I watch Masters of Sex

Showtime has a new show out called Masters of Sex. It's about the groundbreaking research that William H. Masters and Virginia Johnson started up in the mid 50's about physiological sexual response in humans. Kinsey had already done the, "let's talk about sex" bit and gathered people's verbal accounts of how often they were having sex, what type, etc. etc. Masters and Johnson tried to figure out the "how" and actually gather some laboratory data on sex.

Initial impression of the show: it's pretty good. There are some super cringe-worthy moments where you realize that the way people think about women and sex in fucking 1956 Missouri are, for the most part, the same way people think about women and sex now. I feel like when I watch something like Mad Men, I can at least think to myself, "Man, things for women really sucked back then in the work place, but at least things have improved now." When I watched Masters of Sex and saw Virginia get slapped in the face because she likes dick and that apparently makes her a "whore," it's incredibly sad to think that viewpoint is still out there today. Also that couples still limit themselves to incredibly unfulfilling, "functional" sex to make babies. Ick. That's depressing.

You could also probably have a drinking game to this show where Masters suggests something incredibly sexy (such as watching a woman masturbate with a glass dildo that has a camera on the inside), and then says something about how he's only doing this for science. SCIENCE!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Working it out

This past weekend I went with Frisbee to an awesome tournament thing a few hours away from where we live. We got to carpool and stay in a hotel with some of the other frisbee folks, which was super fun. The tournament itself was pretty awesome, and there were lots of new people to meet.
Conversations, as they tend to do, trended toward who amongst the new people Frisbee and I were interested in possibly seeing in more of a biblical sense.

I on the one hand enjoy conversations such as those, because it's interesting to see sometimes if my tastes align with Frisbee's. It's also interesting to get a data collection going to see if I can ascertain his "type" at all. 

There are sometimes when I'm having these types of conversations with Frisbee that other people are around and within earshot. Usually not the people we're checking out (we're smoother than that), but this weekend particularly the other frisbee folk were around. I've noticed slash been told that these are typically not conversations that people have with each other when they're in relationships.

Don't the two of you get jealous?

I can't speak for Frisbee. See this post (linked above) specifically about my feelings on jealousy. I don't feel like I get jealous; I get insecure. (Essentially the same thing? Probably. Let the definition debate rage on.) There's an initial hit whenever somebody I'm with in a more committed sense of the word expresses interest in somebody else. Then another hit whenever something physical happens between them and the new person. In either case, I deal with it by introspection. Not, "why is the person I care about doing this thing?" but, "why do I feel this way about the thing the person I care about is doing?" The answer usually winds up being, "I feel insecure about this because the other person might be better at x, y, or z than me and the person I care about might leave me for those greener pastures." The standard narrative creeps in fairly quickly. I'm not talking about the "they're going to be better than me" fear. I feel like that's pretty standard for humans; to compare ourselves to others. I'm talking about the, "therefore my significant other will care more about the other person and abandon me" half of the sentence. That's a pretty deep fear, and difficult to overcome. I want to tell anybody who's dealing with jealousy/insecurity in their open relationship that I deal with this every single time Frisbee or Now-hubby expresses interest in somebody new or does something physical with somebody else. And how important it is every single time to include Frisbee and/or Now-hubby in on my feelings. Not to blame either of them or make them responsible for my feelings, but just to express and get the feelings outside of the murk that can happen inside my head.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Very good advice

I went to the gynecologist last week for my annual check-up and also to get myself tested for common STDs like gonnorhea and chlamydia. I get tested for HIV every 6 months at Planned Parenthood because my gynecologist doesn't do that but I still feel like it's an important test to have. Because I have sex with multiple people, I feel like I should do the responsible adult thing and get myself regularly tested for contagious diseases of the genital variety.

Also because I am a responsible adult who knows she doesn't want babies with any of the multiple people I have sex with, I use various methods of birth control. Most commonly condoms, but I also have the IUD. So far success.

Anyway, despite all of these smart adult choices, my gynecologist informed me today that I had an abnormal pap smear result. Also, that I have bacterial vaginosis (award for most disgusting sounding term for what essentially amounts to a yeast infection goes to). Which, I did a bit of research and apparently both of these are fairly common things for women who have an IUD and multiple sexual partners (i.e. myself).

I've had the abnormal pap smear thing last year, and it amounted to just monitoring my cervical cells with 6 month pap smears instead of the regular 12 month intervals. This latest pap smear was actually the one that, if normal, would have put me back on the 12 month schedule. So there's that to be angry about, if nothing else. An abnormal result means I have to go back in for a colposcopy (read: they're going to stick a pair of scissors into my vagina and cut off a piece of my cervix for further testing - it hurts like hell to get done), and then resume the 6 month pap smear schedule.

The BV means I get seven days of medication, which of course is in a fucking ointment tube which says "VAGINAL CREAM" in possibly the biggest and boldest letters I've ever seen. It also involves insertion tubes and other completely inconvenient and disgusting things.

None of this is transmittable. Frisbee and Now-hubby have absolutely nothing to worry about. This just involves my vagina being completely stupid despite the fact that I'm trying to make as responsible decisions as I can.

The long and the short of the entire process is that it's incredibly frustrating. I actually found several websites that advised not giving an IUD to women who weren't in "stable" monogamous relationships, because these are things that can happen. Which begs the question of what exactly the fuck they mean by a "stable" relationship? Apparently having fluid-bonded sex with two gentlemen on average 3 times a week (for each, so 6 times total), counts as not being "stable." And therefore means I'm more susceptible to my cervix cells going wonky and also general yeast infection stuff. It has a lot to do with the IUD having little strings that hang down just below the cervix, so any extra "gunk" as it were can get stuck in there. But it also seriously warrants consideration of how infrequently practitioners think women with an IUD are having sex. To me, "stable" equals "stagnant." Either a woman's had a baby already with her significant monogamous partner and wants to wait a bit for the next one. Or she's putting the lid on having any children at all. Which, when people base their entire relationship on steps (i.e. dating, marriage, children) and finally reach step 3, the entire point is fucking like they did in step 1, only with procreation in mind. Something like the IUD feels like a fucking road block to both functionality and desire. In my head, standard narrative couples slash "stable" couples would actually fuck less when an IUD is introduced in step 3.

So...I'm trying my best to be responsible and make informed decisions when it comes to my sexual lifestyle. I'm trying to avoid diseases and babies, and I feel like I'm being punished for it. Fuck this cheese.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Having my cake

Frisbee and I got into a discussion this weekend about straight people and how adorable they can be sometimes. Like when they want to tell you a story about their "freak" of an ex-girlfriend who really liked to give head. That's it. That's what counts as "freak-dom." And then I have to try really hard to not crack a rib from holding in either the sass or my laughter. And then I have to try not to be too sad because if giving head counts as "freaky," what type of sex are these people actually having with each other? Then I have to remember that it's not my relationship and I shouldn't spend so much damn time worrying about it, as long as both people appear to be happy with said relationship and level of "freakiness" they're engaged in.

I feel like most people would be very disappointed to learn that the moments I'm most in love with any of my gentlemen are those when things distinctly not freaky are occurring. Such as: Watching (read: making fun of) Firefly and eating chocolate ice cream with Frisbee. Holding hands while out on a walk with Now-hubby. Skyping with the German even when we keep all our clothes on.

What was a surprise to me is how their mutual interests reinforce my love for all of them. For every time I mention something Now-hubby is interested in to the German in the manner that I'm rolling my eyes with how incredibly nerdy it is, and all he has to say is how he's into the exact same thing. Or when I travel with Now-hubby and Frisbee together and wind up on one side of the table sipping wine and exploring my own thoughts while they go off on some tangent. Those are the moments that I feel incredibly lucky.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lose your head

There is a lot of hype floating around right now that Lego has come out with a female scientist figure.

Now, growing up, I wasn't all that into Lego. TMNT action figures were more my jam.

Ah, yes. Feel the wave of nostalgia wash over you. I also seem to be the only one who remembers these particular gastronomical triumphs:

In any case,  I did know about Lego growing up. My little brother was into Lego, so there was a Rubbermaid bin full of little Lego bits around the house. And I seem to recall if I wanted a Lego figurine to be female, all it took was switching out the head or maybe putting some "lady" hair on it. Or, you know, Lego was also just a freaking block person with two little dot eyes and a smile. How non-gendered of a face can you get?

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'm a real boy

Now-hubby and I spent yesterday at home together being lazy as we both had the day off of work. It was incredibly awesome, as the two of us rarely get time together that involves just hanging out doing nothing. I finished Storm of Swords and spent a good majority of the final chapters just like, "oh my god I can't believe how incredibly insane this is."

After that, Now-hubby and I went for a walk outside so I could bring the book back to the library slash enjoy the weather. I would have picked up Feast for Crows but the library was closed, so that'll be on the agenda for today.

On the walk, I filled Now-hubby in on what had transpired over the weekend. Mainly, a sex party with Frisbee and some mutual friends on Saturday night, and then the Renaissance Fair on Sunday. The two wound up being an interesting juxtaposition, because I spent Saturday night having consensual sex with other adults, and Sunday listening to straight people talk about all the ways they really really want to have sex, but can't because...I don't know. The reasons never really crystallize for me. It's like I hear straight people talking about them, and if I'm not in the mood to sass they just sort of wash over me.

I talk a lot of sass when I'm hanging out with straight people because I feel like despite our different approaches, we're ultimately looking for the same type of relationships. We just go about them in opposite ways. I tend to start at point C (sex) and work my way back to point A (getting to know the person and seeing if a relationship could be sustained), while straight people start at point A and hope eventually to get to point C. I've run into the misconception that because I start at point C, points A and B matter less to me. What's point B? I don't know, some middling part where the people agree to do something in an "exclusive" manner. Points A and B, with the right people, can be completely awesome. Cuddling with either Now-hubby or Frisbee makes my heart feel awesome to the point that it almost hurts. I also really enjoy point C with other people, and don't get why I should invest tons of time in point A and B before getting there. I asked Now-hubby about it yesterday, why the straight people we encounter overall have less sexual partners, but also seem to have worse experiences with said partners. It's almost like you have neither quantity or quality, which begs the question of what exactly you're trying for.

James Deen says the darndest things

Despite the fact that you have to click on the little "read more" tags every few paragraphs, this article is worth reading.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Our country 'tis of thee

The two places I've lived, Michigan and Illinois, both like creampies and college. That's an interesting factoid. The rest of them are pretty awesome as well. Of course, Cracked has an awesome write-up on the entire thing.