Saturday, January 25, 2014

And the winner is...

As I briefly mentioned two posts ago, it might be possible that polyamory is the easier relationship format as compared to monogamy.

Let's take some time to explore, shall we?

Allowing for the pretty intense personal stuff you have to go through in order to be in a poly relationship, the actual relationship, in my opinion, is actually way easier.

Reason 1: "The One" Mindset

I hate this comic a lot, but I'm going to post it just for sake of argument.

Awww. It's so cute, right? Because eventually that one half-circle person thing found the person thing with the other half of the circle, and they just fit together fucking perfectly!

The description of the comic says it's from Plato's Symposium. Which, if you actually read the part of the Symposium that talks about Zeus splitting humans into two halves, it's a lot more complicated than just, "we're all looking for our one twue wove." Even beyond literary misinterpretation, there's...18 frames in that comic where half-circle looks incredibly stressed about not being able to find its other half. Half-circle isn't even really interested in interacting with any of the other shaped people beyond yelling at them and checking out what shapes they've got on their chest and whether they're compatible (oh, the depths we could go into on this one...I'll spare you the gender studies dissertation).

In real life this translates to what gets termed as serial dating. Monogamous people go on date after date after date, and somehow keep an intensely complicated list of qualifications for "the one" inside their head. For me, it seems a lot easier to just meet different people and let things evolve the way they will, without trying to cram a square peg into a round hole, as it were.

Reason #2: Women are from Mars

This one is tricky, because there's a part of me that agrees with it. Women and men are fundamentally different in some ways, this is true. Does that mean that coupled life should mirror a hilarious set of sitcom set-ups where the guy is constantly putting too much dish soap in the dishwasher and the lady is always drinking wine with her BFF and complaining about how her significant other doesn't "get" her?

This mindset exists sometimes in poly relationships as well, but I see it a lot more among my monogamous friends. Maybe it has something to do with actually having to talk out your limits and your expectations and your rules - it sort of evens the playing field from "man" and "woman" to focus more on the relationship as a whole and keeping whoever's in the relationship fulfilled. It just seems tedious and torturous to have to waste so much mental energy internally deprecating the person you're with all the time.

Ah, tell it like it is, Ewan.

Reason #3: Cheater cheater, pumpkin eater

This is another energy waste activity - constantly worrying where your partner is when they're not with you, and being constantly afraid that they're going to run off with the next person they so much as give a second look to.

In addition to that, I don't know how anybody keeps their stories straight if they are trying to cheat on their partner. Beyond the whole, "don't you feel guilty for lying to somebody who cares about you?" thing, I don't know how you remember if Tuesday was the night you were out for poker, or if Saturday was when you were supposedly visiting your grandmother. I give a lot of credit to monogamous people who can keep track of all the different places they've actually been, let alone all the places they're pretending to have been to cover up relationship indiscretions.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


You should go check out this interview with Stoya over at Refinery 29. Which, if I quickly browse the main page seems to be a website devoted mainly to fashion and beauty. It also has a little "sex" section that seems...a mixed bag of stuff. You can't win them all. The interview with Stoya is pretty good. In the recent articles there's one about the author's first time at a swinger's party which is kind of decent. There's also one, though, titled "What is Bisexuality, Really?" that doesn't do much to tell anybody what bisexuality really is and just addresses some of the societal mindsets about bisexuality. My best advice? If you're unsure what a bisexual is, really, you should ask multiple people who are using that term to define themselves to explain what "bisexuality" means to them. And then never ever loudly talk about how many bisexuals you know and how you understand exactly what that means when getting together with other friends.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Doing it Right

Inspired in part by this Daft Punk song. Feel free to listen as you read if you'd like.

Frisbee and I did a lot of talking in the beginning of 2014. We've changed slightly how our relationship works, and so far it's been going really well. The best I can hope for is that he'll still want to talk to me if his feelings change about any of it. In the meantime I'm extremely happy.

In standard "let's make this as typical of a relationship as possible even though we are two already married people going on dates together," fashion, podcast guy and I had the discussion on where our relationship was going. Because, you know, we'd been on 3 dates at this point and that's the time that you have to decide whether you've got lovey dovey feelings for somebody or not. I don't mean that last sentence to come off as critical as it probably does. I appreciated the fact that he wanted to keep communication open about the relationship, and about his (and my own) feelings about it. The timing of it was just so...typical that I thought it was funny. Final decision? There's definitely chemistry, but it's not lovey dovey type stuff. We're keeping it a lot more casual at this point, which means we'll probably see less of each other. 

Side note: I find it incredibly tricky to try and qualify people into different fields depending on relationship potential. I would be a complete mess if I tried to conduct my relationships in a more typical fashion. When people at work talk about the dates they are going on and how one person fits "more in the friend category" but somebody else "has boyfriend (or girlfriend) potential," I actually sort of admire their ability to keep all of those qualifications straight in their heads. For me, people fall into one of two categories. Those I would like to have sex with, and those I would not. I've discussed with one of the men I play with about how being open/poly might actually be the easier relationship style as compared to monogamy. But that, dear readers, is a topic for another blog entry.

What I want to talk about in this one is one specific "ur doing it wrong" thing regarding poly/open relationships/what have you. You know. The type of thing you'd see on some poly infomercial. Such as one half of a given couple making out with another person on one side of a couch, and the other person from the couple on the other side of the couch spilling a giant bowl of Cheetos on the floor. Well, okay. Not exactly those types of mistakes. Still. There's got to be a better way!

I don't want to imply by this that I've got the whole thing figured out, or that my relationships are the exact model that everyone should follow. I still drop my fair share of Cheetos on the floor, metaphorically speaking. It's just something I notice as I talk with other non-monogamous couples, or browse r/polyamory. It dovetails a bit with my recommendations on how to do this well, in addition to common misconceptions that might run through your head when you're first starting out.

What I really want to talk about is established couples who open up, and how they're doing it wrong. Keep in mind that I approached poly from a single perspective. I knew before I got into any serious "relationships" that I didn't want the monogamous structure, so when I met people slash dated people slash fucked people, that was usually forefront in the things I would tell them about myself. This worked out in several different ways. I had the monogamous people who thought they would be okay with me fucking other people until it actually happened. I had the douchebag people who liked to cheat regardless of the relationship structure, and saw nonmonogamy as a handy excuse to justify their behavior. I met people that were just looking to have no-strings-attached sex with somebody. And I had people like Now-hubby, who were open, communicative, and willing to make it work. 

I also wound up going on dates with a few couples. Which worked out in the following ways. I met the wives who were "trying something with a lady" for the sake of their husbands. I met the husbands who were looking to fundamentally cheat on their wives, and were using nonmonogamy as an excuse. I met significant others who were using me as some sort of "equalizing" chip because their partner had sex with somebody else, and they were trying to even out the score. It's taken to meeting podcast guy and his wife where I've felt I was being considered as a person instead of just some "dear Penthouse" fantasy when interacting with a couple. 

I want to make it very clear that being somebody's fantasy can be incredibly hot. Not being told that's the only thing you're supposed to be, so you expend a lot of energy trying to interact on a more personable level? That's fucking exhausting.

The main point between the two type of dating scenarios is with me and one other partner, there was lots of communication. I was fairly clear about what I wanted. To varying degrees the other person would be as well. With couples I have always been left feeling as though they've set up how they want the relationship to go, and I'm sort of this 3rd cog that they'll think about integrating into the circuitry, but they aren't in any way obligated to include me on the fitting. Which is total bullshit.

My two cents for established, monogamous couples looking to open up. (Well, beyond these helpful hints.) Really, really think about it and talk about it with each other. Recognize that you're not just applying a new word to your relationship, there are things that will have to fundamentally change in order for this to work (how the two of you approach jealousy, the way you communicate about your schedule, being more up-front about your own emotional needs). More importantly than any of that, though, make sure you talk to all of your potential partners and let them know exactly where you're coming from. They're owed at least that.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Plus and Minus

New year equals new month which equals new magazines at Curves for me to peruse when things are slow. Which they were tonight, on account of it being rainy and icy and generally shitty outside, so I had very few people come in to work out. So I took a cursory look through some of the new magazines to see if there was anything worth commenting on.

First, a pretty decent one-pager in Seventeen about sexting. Specifically dudes texting dick pics. I want to give props to the author, Amber Madison, for being generally an awesome and intelligent person. Also for doing a great job with the following recommendations in the article:

1. Getting a dick pic doesn't mean you're obligated to like it, or compliment the dude on it. ...Don't feel pressured to say you like it.

2. "I showed you mine, now you show me yours!" You're never obligated to show a guy anything...

Second, a completely shitty online article from Women's Health about emotional cheating.

For me, "emotional cheating" is one step beyond the bullshit where you get angry at a significant other for something they've done in a dream you had. It's...slightly more justifiable, but still completely idiotic.

I think it's perfectly fine to feel insecure about things sometimes. Let's say you notice your significant other establishing a connection with somebody else that doesn't exist between the two of you. That's intimidating for sure. The thing I have a problem with is not being able to take time and recognize the connection you and your significant other have, and how it's not "better" or "worse" than that other connection happening, but just different, special, and unique in its own way.

I get a tiny sinky feeling in my stomach every time Frisbee, Now-hubby, or the German even looks at another lady, let alone talks to them or starts establishing some type of relationship. Shit, I'll go the whole "crazy lady" route and admit I get mildly jealous if I meet a guy for the first time, feel some sort of connection with him, and then later on see or find out he's made a similar connection with another lady. It's completely fucking irrational, but I recognize it and can eventually get to point where I don't need to compare what I had with that person to whatever else they have with anybody else.

It seems with "emotional cheating" there's a very, very thin line between what constitutes normal human emotional interaction, and what constitutes infidelity. It might be better to limit interactions outside of the monogamous relationship to the absolute minimum.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Putting Humpty back together again

I spent my New Years Eve being upset at both Now-hubby and Frisbee. For completely separate reasons. I almost stayed home rather than go to Now-hubby's family New Years party, and I spent a good deal of time after midnight crying on the phone with Frisbee.

When I get angry or unhappy I extend a great deal of energy on not letting the emotion out. And a great deal of energy internally being even more angry at myself for even getting angry in the first place. Gotta love cyclical, bullshit emotional stuff.

I've gotten a lot better about not being outwardly violent when I get upset, but there's still some internal violence that happens, and I need varying amounts of time to get through that before I can approach the original feeling and talk about it like a rational adult.

Case in point: This time around it's taken me about an entire week to really feel like things are "better" in any measurable capacity. This time has been spent doing a lot of communication (what those in the poly world might call "processing") with both of the boys. I feel incredibly grateful to have found two people who can handle this crazy, idiosyncratic thing about me and my feelings and love me anyway.