Archive for the ‘sex’ Category

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This is a question that came up for me today after I engaged a lad on OkCupid in some ill-advised discussion.

Normally, I just delete any messages from someone with less than 90% match percentage if they just ask for casual sex straight off the bat. But for some reason this morning, I decided to engage.
“Thanks but no thanks,” I replied. “That’s not what I’m here for.”
Rather than leave the issue alone, this fellow decided to press further. “Why are you here then?”
“Have you read my profile? It’s all in there. I spent a lot of time writing it.”
“Yeah I read it. But what I want to know how these things start out.”
“It’s all there. I am NOT interested in casual sex. If you don’t know how adult relationships work, then please move on.”
“I know how they work. You meet up with someone, then if you hit it off, you have sex right away. Then maybe something grows from there.”

My next reply was simply “Wow. No. Bye.” and a friendly BLOCK.

I had to hand it to this dude though, he had a point.

Many of my relationships did start out like that. Hell, my MARRIAGE started out like that. But to come right out and expect that, to assume that you can just come right out and ask for that, is a pretty bold and foolhardy strategy.
I’ll allow that this dude was young and clueless but what has stuck with me is why his no-frills approach bothered me so much.

Here’s my theory. It assumes, first of all, that I am going to have sex with him. That is a pretty big assumption. I’m going to guess that this guy (I barely even looked at his picture, much less his profile) has no problem hooking up with women in real life. He’s probably good looking, fit, handsome, employed, possibly a musician (drummer?) so in real life, he is set. Unfortunately, online, all I have to go from is his message, which was all bad grammar, SMS abbreviations and lack of punctuation (I cleaned it up for this post), which says to me “HELLO, I BREATHE THROUGH MY MOUTH AND CAN DRESS MYSELF.” So while his usual strategy of “hook up, then hope for more” might work in the real world, it doesn’t work online where your ability to write a coherent message can make or break your game.

The next assumption is that the only reason someone uses an online dating site is to look for random sex partners. It’s probably why he uses it, but not everybody does. Some of us use online dating sites so that we can reach out to like-minded people and narrow the field to people with common interests, then, after chatting and then sharing a coffee, make a new friend who could be a potential lover. Some people use online dating sites because they are awkward making small talk and reading someone’s profile gives them an easier time making conversation: there’s all the material right there so you know where to start. There are also people who have very specific needs and want to be upfront about those things in an online profile so they don’t risk meeting someone who won’t be able to fulfill those needs.

The third and most irritating assumption that this dingus made is that he can just straight up ASK for sex without any context. I might have given him a bit more credit if he had at least said,
“Hey, I love your list of movies. Wes Anderson is a genius! Have you seen Bottle Rocket? I’ve gotten really into American Indie directors. Have a look at the list on my profile if you’re interested.
By the way, I think you’re really sexy. If you feel the same about me, I think it might be fun to hook up. Who knows? It could turn into something more…”

I might still politely decline, but at least that would acknowledge that I am more than a walking vagina with the potential of being something more.
Is it really that hard to say something about WHAT you are attracted to instead of assuming I will just be flattered that you find me fuckable? That might work on 18-25 year olds, but I’m old enough to know that I don’t have to be pretty, or interesting or sexy or even necessarily sapient or conscious for someone out there to want to fuck me. I have a vagina. End of criteria for most straight dudes.
Women are raised to think that getting a guy’s attention is the ultimate goal of their lives. I bought into that for most of my life. But you know what? Dicks are not scarce. There is no shortage of dicks out there. I am happy to say I need more than that now.

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I have recently become aware that my humble little blog has become somewhat more popular and respected than I expected. Another blogger even referred to me as a ‘big name’ in poly blogs, much to my surprise! A consequence of this is that people new to poly sometime stumble upon my blog when things get difficult, and come to me for advice.
I want to make it clear: I am not a relationship expert . I have found a relationship style that works for me, and I am happy for the most part. I give advice purely based on my own biases and experiences, and I’ll say up front: I have little tolerance for whiners or jerks. If I think you’re being either, it is difficult for me to be generous. “Tough love” you may call it, I call it not having time for bullshit.
Moving on…
I received the following comment a little while back and felt there was a lot in it that needed addressing. I will admit the private response I sent to the reader was much less harsh than the following response, but the more I read his letter, then more angry it made me. So forgive me if I seem a bit enraged by the end, and I hope you can take home the lesson here.

Dear PolyMomma

I’m trying the poly thing for the first time and am having a really hard time with it.

She spends more time with me than her other guys. We say we love each other but I don’t know how she says she loves me if she doesn’t care about my feelings and emotions. I would never do anything to hurt her feelings or upset her. This is what I think monogamy is about; loving and respecting each other so much that you wouldn’t want to hurt them so that is why I don’t cheat. Monogamy is NOT about ownership! (This is an ongoing argument we have)

Not everybody feels hurt if someone has sex with other people. In fact, that’s what polyamory is about – the fact that you can completely love and respect MORE THAN ONE person at a time. Polyamory is not just a free-for all!

Anyway, she has like 6 guy friends, I have no friends. Something in me, a conscience I suppose keeps me from pursuing other women. I feel guilty and can only concentrate and give my love and attention to one person at a time. I’m miserable when she is not with me.

Two things here, you are comparing what you have to what she has. You don’t seem bothered by the fact that you don’t have any friends, but you realise that puts the entire burden of your social needs on her. If you are miserable when she is not with you, maybe that’s a bit too much pressure to put on one person. Your wording, that it is your conscience keeping you from having other pursuits, even friends, is very telling. You think that your way of doing things – focusing all of your love and attention on one person – is morally superior to hers. Well, I say BOLLOCKS. I wanted to be nice here, but that is absolutely horrible. Her values are different from yours, but that does not make you a better person.

Now I am also into kinky shit and am open to trying 3-somes and couple swapping cause there is not really any emotion there and those are things we can experience together. We make movies and all sorts of sexy stuff.

However, I am not happy when she’s fucking other dudes while I’m at work or whatever. Or her not show up when we had plans because she passed out after fucking some dude. That REALLY hurt me. If she just communicated that she couldn’t make it I wouldn’t have been so upset.

I get how upsetting it is for someone to break plans, but it sounds like it’s more than just the inconsideration that upset you. It sounds like it’s the sex. It sounds like, for you, you don’t want to own her, you want exclusive rights to have sex with her because if you don’t, then you are not special.

Plus WHAT ABOUT STDS??!! Why isn’t this a hot topic on all these polyamorous sites??!!!

Why does no one care about stds anymore??

Condoms aren’t foolproof and many diseases can spread even with them.

I have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis/crohns) and fear all her contact with all these other people because I have a compromised immune system and am more prone to infection. I am DEATHLY scared of STDS and herpes. I feel as if my ibd has scarred me socially so I can’t handle another physically and socially destroying disease.

Yes, this is actually a major issue. It almost goes without saying and it is covered OVER AND OVER AGAIN on polyamory sites. I am not sure how you missed it.

This is a major issue because I’m allergic to latex and I’m huge. Magnum XL aren’t even wide enough (it’s the girth not the length).
I know I’m not the only one she doesn’t use condoms with either. Oh and it makes me throw up if she sleeps with someone else before coming over. It’s just incredibly filthy, risky, smelly and totally disrespectful. I told her that fucking multiple partners the same day was a huge hang up of mine and something I will not tolerate.

Jesus, why are you with this woman if you find so much about her disgusting? I really don’t understand why you are pursuing her if it bothers you this much. FIND SOMEONE ELSE.

It just pains me she does this when I do everything and would do anything for her. She says I’m her best fuck and gave the biggest penis and make her cum harder than anyone else. I’m also the only who has ever and can make her squirt. It kills me and makes me feel insignificant every time she fucks someone else.

Why is she settling for the rest when she can have the best? She says she like variety. I don’t get it. I’d always just want the best. Why settle?

You are different people. Different people have different needs and desires. It may come as a surprise, but people have sex because they like sex. It doesn’t have to be the same person, it doesn’t have to be the best. Maybe she has sex with other people because it’s nice to fuck someone who doesn’t put so much baggage onto her for it.


I don’t have anybody else in this world and don’t want to lose her. The only reason she is poly now is from being damaged, abused and 2 failed marriages. She refuses to give her love to one person because she’s scared of being hurt. How can this work or how can I show her she is not broken and nice guys do exist? Or any advice really?

Please help. Thanks!

First of all, you need to stop making this about her. She is doing what she thinks is right for her. If you don’t like how she lives her life, and you have told her, and she keeps doing it and you don’t like that: LEAVE. You don’t have anybody else in this world? You need to get out of this relationship and find a definition of yourself that doesn’t revolve around someone else. I know I am being harsh, but this relationship is toxic and you can’t stay in it.

Secondly, HOW FUCKING DARE YOU presume to know ‘the only reason she is poly’. That is incredibly insulting to both her and anyone else who is polyamorous. As for the whole saviour complex and ‘nice guys do exist’ thing, well I have some big news to tell you: If you think by placing all of your emotional baggage on her and expecting her to worship your cock you are being a ‘nice guy’? You’re woefully mistaken, Jeff.

That’s my two cents. Good luck.

TL;DR Polyamory isn’t for everyone. Especially not if the idea of your partner fucking other people bothers you this much.

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It’s no secret that I hate the whole “Nice Guy” thing. I’m a big hater of the idea that women have this supposed “Friend Zone” or “Friend Ladder” and once you’re there, there’s no escaping.

There is so much wrong with this idea that I can’t even begin. Others have done a much better job.

However, I can relate.

Congratulations... You've Just Been friend-zoned 16/366

Recently, I was reminiscing about Miss K. There was an ad on TV that they were going to show that 101 Dalmatians movie that came out in the 90’s. I recalled watching it one long afternoon after school.

In high school I was pretty out as being bisexual. I was sexually inexperienced, and even less relationship-ally experienced. I desperately wanted to be in a relationship, but I also desperately wanted to be in a sexual relationship. I tried asking boys out, but got rejected a couple of times. I wanted them to ask me out, but NONE of them did. I went out with a friend for a bit, (how’s that for this friend zone thing?) but it didn’t work because after spending a lot of time with him, I realised I just wasn’t as into him as I hoped I’d be. I’d hooked up with another friend and it did work, until he decided we should stop. I hadn’t really gone out with any girls yet, but I was keen to give it a go.

Enter Miss K. Miss K was adorable. She was a high achieving academic student who was suddenly really into the punk scene and hanging out with my particular set of weirdos. She was a year ahead of me and bisexual. She talked openly about how frequently she masturbated and about her vibrator ‘the Silver Bullet’. I was completely smitten. And she lived close by. One day she asked if I wanted to come have lunch at her house, and, of course, I went. She made amazing ramen for me which I could hardly eat, I was so excited. We hung out at school, but this was one on one. Then she invited me to hang out after school and watch a movie. Of course, I went, hoping I’d find my moment, read her signals somehow and she and I would have hours of fun with the Silver Bullet.

Then we sat on the couch and watched 101 Dalmatians. And nothing happened.

I chalked it up to reading the signal wrong. She wasn’t actually into me. Or maybe I just needed to hang out with her more and build up a relationship. Yeah, that’s it…

Several weeks later and she came back from a weekend talking about her new boyfriend. He was from out of town. Or something. Basically, my hopes were dashed.

So, she wasn’t into girls really. I was totally reading her signals wrong and really just holding out false hope. Oh well. That sucked. And I moved on.

It was only in thinking about it again recently that I realised my situation fit the usual pattern of getting ‘friendzoned’. I had interest in a girl, she was probably interested in me too, but instead of telling her I was interested, I relied on this magic of ‘signals’ and waiting for the ‘right moment’ to come along (you know, like in pornos). Instead of putting my interests out there, and risk being rejected (and lose the right to hang out with her), I held back and waited for some sign from above (or for her to make an obvious move). Then when she went for someone else, I wrote it off as some flaw of hers (“she’s just not really into girls” = “girls always go for jerks”) instead of looking to see what I might have done differently.

So yeah, I have a tiny bit of sympathy for these ‘nice guys’ after my revelation. But really they just need to grow up. If you keep placing the burden on external factors and don’t take responsibility for the outcome, you’re not going to get anywhere. Yes, it means risking making the girl you like feel weird around you. And then you deal with it and move on.

I didn’t learn how to ask a girl out until last year. And I got to have a real relationship with her before she dumped me for a guy. What could I have done differently? Well, I did everything I could and tried my best. She met someone she was more into and who could give her what she needed (which was more time and support). So, short of not being married and not having a kid, there was little I could do. And while it hurt to be rejected, I’m happy she found someone she is into.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to help any of these PUA guys who spew this nonsense, but maybe my story offers a different perspective. And maybe if they stop seeing this whole ‘friendzone’ thing as a ‘guy’ problem, then maybe they’ll stop being such whiny dickbags about it.

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The last 12 months have been intense. I went through a breakup, that nearly broke me, then was in two relationships that ended within a month of each other.

After that, I swore off ‘dating’ anyone during 2013.

Then I went back to Uni, and have been busily preparing myself for a major life and career change (a.k.a. getting a new degree).

Since going on semester break, I’ve found myself with a little bit of free time and absolutely no desire to date.

But I miss having a companion. I just do not want to go through all the heartbreak again. And I don’t feel the rewards of being ‘poly’ are really worth the trouble right now.

However, should I meet someone and hit it off, I don’t see myself saying no because of any ‘rule’ against dating.

Husband and I were talking last night about loneliness. He’s an introvert, I’m…less of an introvert. We have each other, but we both get lonely. I can’t speak for him, but I have definitely been feeling lonely lately. I’ve been working, I’ve been relatively social, but I really miss having ‘someone’. I have ‘someone,’ obviously, I have Husband. But we’ve agreed that we are not perfect for each other in every way. We are not perfect lovers. We are not perfect ‘companions’ (which is a gender neutral word I like to use for the role a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ fills).  We are, however, perfect partners. We are great parents. We are an excellent Pictionary team.

So what I miss is having a lover and a companion with whom I am compatible. But I do not intend at this point to go seeking out someone to slot into that box (no pun intended). The heartbreak of losing someone who was those things, but also a lying, cheating, betrayer of my trust has left me scarred and scared. Even one year later, I’m just too exhausted to imagine making the effort.

As for Husband, he went through the emotional wringer over the last 12 months too. He was hit hard by the whole drama, then got dumped by his major, longtime companion. They’d been together nearly as long as he and I had been and then she just… yeah. Right after that, he got dumped by his two other lovers/companions as well. (EDIT: I’ve left out a part of this story, another major relationship ended in a mutual agreement to stop seeing each other. It was really emotionally draining and awful. I wouldn’t characterise it as being ‘dumped’ so it didn’t fit into this paragraph.) So it’s not just my own experiences that have left me with Post Traumatic Relationship Stress. Because we were both going through so much emotional shit at the same time (plus there was my school work making me stress out), we couldn’t even really be there for each other either and that has taken its toll.

For now, we are over dating.

Furthermore, I just don’t get crushes anymore. Not in the same way I used to. I used to get crushes that were consuming. And a major part of them was a burning desire to have sex with that person. Now, I get ‘friend crushes’ where I get all excited about hanging out with a new person. I’ve had several major friend crushes on classmates, coworkers and others in my life, but none of them have been sexual in the least. If I find myself picturing someone sexually, my brain clicks in and says, “What’s the point? What makes you think it will be anything special? You’ve had sex. Sex is sex. This person will offer nothing you haven’t had before.” Which is strange. My desire for sexual novelty is completely null. It’s not even like I’ve lost my libido. I still desire sex, but just not with anyone I know (besides Husband and Lovely Boy…more about him later).

I’ve got polyamory burnout.

However, on the horizon, I have an upcoming visit to my homeland. When I arrive there, I’ve got a former lover whom I have been wanting to see since last year. Last year, when I went back home I had planned a tryst, but did not engage in shenanigans out of respect for the aforementioned Lying Asshole, who had expressed discomfort with the idea. (Later events made me regret the decision somewhat, regardless of the fact that it meant I could maintain the moral high ground.) I’m looking forward to seeing Lovely Boy because he’s someone  I have fun with and with whom I’ve been compatible sexually. But he’s a far cry from a regular companion. He lives half a world away, and even if I were to move back next year, he’s still a 10 hour drive from where I’d be living.

And so, for now, I remain lonesome.

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“So, do you want to hear my safer sex speech?”


“Great! Here’s my speech. The last time I was tested was [_____], and I was tested for [_____] and [____]. I tested negative/positive/was treated for [_____]. I have [____] and I can’t guarantee I won’t give it to you, so if that is a problem, then I’m sorry but that means we can’t [_____]. I’ve had [____] sexual partners and right now I have [____] partners (our relationship agreement is that we are poly/mono/open/swingers/etc. which means [___]). I am currently on/not on hormonal birth control, but I still insist on using barrier methods for [______] sex. I am open to using barrier methods for [____] but not for [_____]. I really like [______] but I’m not into [_____]. What about you?”

I got this awesome idea from this YouTube video called Reid’s Saver Sex Elevator Speech. It’s by Reid Mihalko and honestly it was a huge turn on.

I thought I might try it if I ever date again.

What’s surprising is that there are people, mostly guys (that I know of), mostly younger than me, who don’t seem to be all that concerned about safer sex. It’s like they don’t think it matters, or think it’s too hard to have that conversation so they just pin the responsibility on their partner and let her call the shots. Well, as the Actual Advice Mallard up at the top reminds us, relying on your partner to set the safer sex standards for a sexual encounter means you’re leaving major decisions about your health – and if you are poly, the health of a whole community of people – to someone else. It’s up to YOU to take responsibility for your safer sex decisions. The only person whose safer sex decisions you can trust are your OWN. The only actions you know about for sure are YOUR OWN.

“But it’s too hard. It’s embarrassing. It’s not how I do things.”

You know what’s a more awkward conversation to have? Telling someone you tested positive for an STI. That is a shitty conversation to have. And if you are non-monogamous, you have to have that conversation with a lot of people. And some of them will never trust you again.

But it’s not all doom and gloom!

If you front-load this conversation, and have it as early as possible, you can have ALL THE SEX! Think how awesome that would be!

And the best part, if it scares someone off, well, then maybe you’re not on the same page and you deserve better.

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A few days ago, my friend put up a story on FaceBook about her sexual assault experience. It was pretty harrowing, but also quite familiar. Stories about rape are both extremely personal while at the same time universal. She posted hers because one of her friends did the same thing, and she was hoping her story might encourage others to come out with their stories, because, as she put it, “the more people read about this kind of thing happening to real people, the more they will recognize the unnerving commonness of it, and the more inclined they will be to pay attention if/when someone close to them drops hints about a similar experience.”
I’m not sure if I’m ready to post my story on FaceBook. So I’m posting it here.

Like my friend, I am not doing this for sympathy. I am not doing this for shock value. In fact, my story isn’t that exciting and my experience was not that bad, but I think the more stories out in the world, about the variety of rape experiences may open people’s eyes to how rape isn’t a simple clear cut thing every time. Furthermore, I do not feel like a victim, and I don’t have any real triggers anymore. I realise that other people might, and so if you do, please note:
**TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains details of sexual assault, alcohol abuse and general shenanigans.**

So here’s my story:

Remember college?
I do.

Shot glasses

Free image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Well, most of it. There are some nights I remember up to certain point and then…waking up.
You see, I’m a blackout drunk. When I get past a certain level of alcohol in my system, my brain stops processing short term memories into long term storage. Sometimes I remember things later, when people remind me, sometimes I have absolutely no recollection of events past a certain point. I am usually able to carry on as normal, and people have even said I didn’t seem that drunk at the time.
Sometimes I do stupid things.
Sometimes I wake up in strange places.
Sometimes, I’ve been the chorus from a stupid Katy Perry song. (You know which one.)

Most of the time, I keep drinking, and often, I get to a point where I either throw up, pass out or both.

This is not something that happens frequently. It’s something I’d like to say never happens anymore, but I’m not perfect.

One particular night, during the Spring quarter of my first year at UCSB, I went to a party. I was a Theatre major, so it was probably a cast party of some sort. What I remember about the night was that it was shortly after I had been rejected by a lover. He was a senior, and we had slept together twice. I was very attracted to him, and he seemed really into me. I had discussed wanting to have an ongoing casual relationship with him before the second time we slept together, and afterward I left his place pretty confident. The following day, he pulled me aside on campus and explained that he really wasn’t comfortable with an ongoing fling. Just once would have been fine, but it was too intense to continue as something casual. I think I found out that he was already pursuing a relationship with a dancer, but he didn’t tell me that.
I felt embarrassed and ashamed, and I was quite bitter about the whole thing.
So later, at this party, he was there. I decided to show him I wasn’t bothered by his rejection.
I started hitting the Bacardi pretty hard.
I remember flirting with a very cute butch dyke, who warned me to be careful about flirting with her, but it didn’t go anywhere.
The next thing I remember, literally, was having sex.
Or rather, someone was having sex with me.
He was attractive, he was on top of me, kissing me. He was already inside me.
He had a shaved chest, which was kind of not my thing.
I was disoriented, groggy, but hey, I was having sex. I like sex.
I looked down at what was happening, there was no condom.
I stopped…um….I didn’t know this guy’s name. No matter, I’d probably forgotten it. Anyway, I stopped Mr. Shaved Chest, went over to my bag, I think, or maybe I asked the guy if he had a condom, but anyway, one was found.
I went down on him, then put the condom on him. I sat up, on top of him, he said, “Now put it on me.”
I assumed “it” meant my vagina, since I’d already put the condom on him, so I put “it” on him.
We had sex, it was fine.
Then, I remember asking why he didn’t want to sleep in the bed next to me. This had never been a problem before and I remember thinking it was odd. He was also kind of rude about it.

The next morning, I woke up at the hostess’s house. Mr. Shaved Chest was her roommate’s cousin. From Philadelphia.
After a while, chatting, hydrating, breakfasting, Mr. Shaved Chest Von Philadelphia emerged from the room we had shared with the two beds. He was silent, distant and made no eye contact with me. The hostess invited us to some picnic or something on the beach and I said maybe, and Mr. Von Philadelphia furtively looked at me, then silently shook his head. I went and sat next to him and he got up quickly, said he needed to go for a walk and left. It was all really, really, weird. It wasn’t like I was being obvious. Actually, I was being really cool about the whole thing.

Over the next couple of days, I tried piecing my night together. What had I done to offend Mr. SCVP? We had sex, so he must have been interested the night before. I was pretty easy going about sex, so it didn’t bother me to have a one-night stand. It was college. We used protection (even if not at first). But still, I was pretty drunk. How did I meet this guy? I didn’t remember meeting him. I didn’t remember any of the lead up to the sex. And I had been vaguely blacked out before and usually remembered some things from the night before. I remembered throwing up, I vaguely remembered being placed in a bed…and then nothing. I asked a male friend of mine if he thought it was gentlemanly to have sex with someone who was that drunk. He said, it wasn’t really a cool thing to do, no. Well fine, I thought, Mr. Shaved Chest Von Philadelphia was just a jerk. I felt a bit taken advantage of, but oh well. It’s not like I wanted to be Mrs. Von Philadelphia, so it weren’t no thang.

Then, backstage of the show I was in, we were talking about the party. I told the other girls there what happened. They exchanged very concerned looks with each other.
“What?” I asked.
“Liz, when we left the party, we checked on you. You were completely passed out. Do you remember throwing up?”
“Yeah. A little. It was in a wastebasket, right?”
“Yeah. I held your hair back. Then Sarah and I put you in a bed and after a couple of hours, we came in and checked on you before we went home. You were completely unconscious.”
“Well, I remember having sex. I even took charge of the situation, but I don’t remember how it started…”
“Oh my god.”
“Liz, it sounds like he started while you were passed out.”
“Oh my god. OH MY GOD!”
A kind of sick dual realisation crept up on me, that I had been raped, then proceeded to have consensual sex with my rapist. Not only had I been raped, but I had sex with a rapist. Suddenly this fellow’s odd behaviour the following morning made sense. He was fleeing the scene of the crime, after an unsuccessful rape.
The fact that I would have consented if I had been conscious somehow made it worse. Like he had stolen something that would have been given freely.
After this realisation, I cried on and off for two days. I had not physically been scarred, but it was an emotionally scarring experience. Fortunately I don’t remember being raped. If I hadn’t woken during it, it’s possible I wouldn’t have even known it happen. I never reported it, and the fact that I engaged in consensual sex halfway through my rape kind of takes the oomph out of my story. A lot of people might not even call it rape because of how I reacted to the situation. I was such a slut, I did what police, judges and juries all over the US do all the time: even I assumed I had asked for it and acted accordingly. Between alcohol and my internalisation of rape culture, I didn’t even realise I’d been violated until days later and by then, Mr. Shaved Chest Von DOUCHEBAG was long gone.
Mine isn’t an exciting tale of assault, or even as clear cut as some cases of date rape. It was almost backwards date rape. In most cases, the girl wants to go only so far, then feels she removed her right to say no past a certain point “It was too late to back out now…” But mine went the other direction, I was already being violated, I was mid rape when I woke up and my brain’s defence mechanism was to say, “Well, since I’m already here, I might as well take charge of the situation.” I place so much value on my own sexual agency, on my ability to say “YES!” enthusiastically and often, that it hadn’t even occurred to me that anyone would take me against my consent.
So the lessons learned?
Well for one thing, the scare about “Date Rape Drugs” is bullshit; all it takes is enough regular drinks and a guy with no conscience.
Also, there are guys out there who actually get off on sticking their dick in girls who are passed out, and at least one of these guys lives in Philadelphia.

So that’s you’ll never find me in Philly. I don’t care how good the cheesesteak is.

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I mentioned in my last post that I’d been questioning whether or not being polyamorous was worth it. I came back with the answer ‘Yes’ but didn’t really explain why.

I did a bit of brainstorming about why I do this, to serve as a reminder for myself and hopefully anyone who reads this. I’ve written before about Deborah Anapol’s article, Why People Choose Polyamory and found some inspiration there again.

So, why?

 Because I love being in love.

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Being in love and having it returned is one of the best feelings and I have found that being polyamorous means I get to experience that even more. I don’t have to stop being in love with one person in order to be in love with someone else. I never have to face that agonising experience of ‘BUT I LOVE THEM BOTH, HOW CAN I CHOOSE?’

Because I love sex.

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I say it’s not just about the sex, but it definitely plays a big role. I do like sex a lot. It’s something I enjoy without guilt, and I am not afraid to seek it out or ask for it. I’m a sex-positive person and for me, sex is healthy and fun, however there is a lot of emotion that comes along with sexual intimacy. Polyamory offers an ethical framework where neither the physical act nor the emotions are taboo.

Because I want to grow as a person and push past my comfort zone.

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Polyamory is challenging to both social norms and personal boundaries. In Deborah Anapol’s article on this, she says:

“The blessing and the curse of polyamory is that love which includes more than one tends to illuminate those dark shadows many would prefer to ignore.”

I personally hate glossing over problems. I prefer ‘front loading things,’ as my boyfriend is fond of saying, and keeping everything out in the open. This can be very confronting for other people, though many find it rather refreshing. As a dear friend of mine said to me once, “What I love about you, is I never have to guess what you’re thinking.” For better or worse, this is how I deal with things. If there is an elephant in the room, I say, “Hey! An elephant!” Then stride right up to it and start feeding it peanuts. For me, the communication and exploration aspects that are essential in making polyamory work are one of the things I enjoy. Though it is exhausting at times, I learn more about myself and constantly grow as a person.

Because I want my child to grow up in a happy home.

Mother and Child

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This one is being challenged at the moment, but I feel that forming more close bonds with other adults means my son will have a bigger family and more access to adult role models than if my husband and I were monogamous. We live far from our blood relatives, but we both believe in having a larger family. The article I wrote about in my last post covers this topic well, so I won’t rehash all of that.

I find that this lifestyle is rewarding and challenging. Sometimes I think it might be easier to be monogamous, but for me, it would be limiting, monotonous and I would have to deny much of my natural sexuality to make it work. When faced with the choice between the two, I would choose this lifestyle every time.

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Last weekend I had a great date with a new fella. He is geeky and smart and sexy and all those things I like in a guy (if he  reads this, I hope he’s not embarrassed).  We had tons in common, plus, he’s poly so I didn’t have to explain anything. We seemed to match up quite nicely.

Anyway, carried away on a wave of NRE, I wrote a rather gushy email to him, which I immediately regretted sending. After all, he lives in another city, we both have primary partners and so I have a very specific level of relationship I’m after and I was afraid I’d given the impression that I was going to go boiling his bunny.

After fretting most of the day that he would be scared off by my enthusiasm, we finally chatted late last night (well, late for me is 10:30 PM). He explained quite bluntly that his plate was full and that he couldn’t commit to anything serious with a new person, which knocked me back for some reason.  I guess because I had put myself out there in my email, I felt slightly rejected, even though I never wanted anything even remotely serious either. But then it made me wonder, what else could he have possibly thought I wanted? I can’t even fathom trying to have any sort of serious relationship from a distance, not to mention the fact that we both have primary partners already.

He said he didn’t want things to get complicated.

Well, Amen to that. Complications are complicated.

It got me thinking, I’m all for setting boundaries, but all this paranoia is silly. If we took sex out of the picture, we wouldn’t have to hash things out like this. Let’s say it was some other shared hobby, like board games. He and I would just be new friends. It’s always better to play board games with someone you get along with and with whom you have other things to talk about. We’d chat on the internet, talk about board games, and maybe hang out and play a board game when I happen to be in his neck of the woods.  I don’t think it needs to be any more complicated than that, and I do not want it to be. If the friendship grows over time, that’s great. Otherwise, hey, board games are pretty fun!

At the risk of restating the obvious, I am married and I have a small child. I can’t devote time to something big and complicated and I don’t have much emotional energy to devote to anything serious.
However, no matter how casual something is, there is still some small amount of emotional investment. I mean, I even have an emotional attachment to some of my shoes (why else would I keep my purple Doc Martens around when I haven’t worn them in years?) so some emotional attachment is inevitable. I think it’s only fair to be honest about that and not let it be some scary taboo, otherwise things can get even more complicated. Trust me, I’ve been there.

The truth of the matter is, my relationship with my husband is great but there are a few things that we don’t get from each other. Also, both my husband and I like to get away every now and then and be on our own. We’re very independent people and these getaways are essential to the health of our marriage. He has several friends out of town, I don’t really have any. And so it would be nice to have someone to…play board games with when I’m away.

Anyway, I hope this all works out. If not, at least I learned a little something about myself.

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Deborah Anapol, Ph.D, has published this excerpt from her book, Polyamory in the 21st Century in the Love Without Limits blog on the Psychology Today website. It’s a great introduction to some of the psychological and social reasons people choose polyamory. There is one aspect I found, at first, to be problematic. That is, the topic of sex addiction. However, in reading further, she is careful to point out that sex addiction, while far from the norm in polyamory, is still a destructive force when people use polyamory as an excuse for their obsession. I still have a problem with pathologising sexual behaviour (when such behaviour is between consenting adults) but there are still some destructive patterns that could be labeled as an addiction. Dr. Anapol also points out that while polyamory can provide shelter for these destructive patterns, a positive label can at least bring them out into the open.  She makes some other wonderful points and acknowledges the diversity of experiences in polyamory, unafraid to acknowledge the dark side without painting the whole movement as a ‘failed experiment’ the way some ignorant journalists might. This is one of my favourite sections:

“True, plenty of people use multi-partner relating as a strategy to avoid attachment, some even recommend this, but in my experience attachment is a powerful force which can override any mental argument or situational defense. Many people hope to find greater stability, depth, and personal growth in their intimate relating by choosing polyamory, while others seek the same qualities in monogamy. The bottom line is that whether we like it or not, all relationships are dynamic by nature and any effort to avoid this reality is doomed to failure.”

I think that pretty much sums up my pre-marriage non-monogamy. If I had actually bothered to learn about responsible non-monogamy strategies back before I met my husband, there were a lot of mistakes I would have avoided and a lot of people I could have avoided hurting. When I first learned about poly, I was in the “avoiding attachment” phase. I used to joke that I had a “90 day warranty” when it came to monogamy. I couldn’t stay in a monogamous relationship for more than 3 months before my eye would wander and I’d pull out the, “Well, I’m polyamorous, you knew this when we started going out, so I can do what I want” excuse then I’d do what (or who) I wanted and come back and say, “I think we need to take some time apart” or some such insensitive nonsense.

Basically, I was a jerk. And I used polyamory as an excuse to be a jerk.

I don’t think there was anything wrong with my sexual behaviour, but I was using poly to justify some very destructive patterns. By doing that, I was hurting the concept of polyamory. All those people I hurt now have a warped concept of polyamory because of how I treated them in the name of poly. For that, I am very sorry.

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