Posts Tagged ‘misunderstandings’
1. What insight about polyamory/open relationships would you share with your younger self?
Don’t give more of yourself than you’re capable of giving. There have been a number of situations in my open relationship which have made me very uncomfortable, but I felt as though I shouldn’t feel that way for one reason or another, and so I would say I was okay with whatever the issue was and hoped that I would eventually become comfortable. I didn’t, and, in fact, it only got worse until it reached the point where I would consistently be reduced to tears and laden with anxiety. Both individuals have to develop and evolve together, and expanding the open aspects of the relationship need to be guided by the least open/comfortable person, not the most.
2. What has been the hardest thing about navigating multiple relationships, and how have you overcome that?
The hurting. It is inevitable that at some point both individuals in the open relationship will get hurt. Whether it’s jealousy, misunderstandings, insecurities, STD scare, or any number of other issues, being part of an open relationship exposes you to a plethora of tribulations and pain that will need overcoming. Overcoming being hurt isn’t possible — which is important to remember when considering your ROI vs cost — but you can address each issue as it arises (or before, if you can foresee it) to minimize future hurting.
3. What has been the best thing about being open/poly?
I won’t lie, the sexual variety has been pretty fantastic, but I suspect that’s the more obvious benefit, so instead I would say the resilience of our relationship. My mate’s brother once asked him, after discovering that we were open, if he was worried that I might leave him for someone I was having sex with. His answer was, “No, because if our relationship is so bad that it can be ended by good sex, then it wasn’t good in the first place.” Because we’ve expanded our sexual experiences as a couple to involve other people, we’ve removed an emotional weak point that is often exploited in traditional couples.
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
- Don’t sleep with your roommate(s).
- Never compromise your morals, convictions, or safe practices for anyone.
- Remember that the health and emotional wellbeing of you and your mate is paramount.
- Don’t use an open relationship to fill the gaps in your current relationship, or to transition to a new person.
- Don’t have sex with a lot of people just because you can. An open relationship isn’t an invitation or an obligation to be promiscuous.
- Don’t use an open relationship as a way to compete with your mate sexually. If you’re having vindictive or equalizing sex, you’re gone astray.
- Always be completely open with your mate. This will save you so much strife.
- Always play safe.
- Remember to put your relationship first, and playing with others somewhere down the list.
- Be mindful of playing with people who are, for one reason or another, emotionally vulnerable. Don’t play will people who will get attached, or angry for one reason or another, or jealous, or otherwise be unable to handle being part of your open relationship. This will take some practice, but trust your gut and learn from your mistakes.
- An open relationship isn’t accountable to anyone but those in it with regards to what you’re comfortable with. Just because other couples or individuals are comfortable with something, that doesn’t mean you need to, or that your open relationship is somehow inferior to theirs, even if you never become comfortable with a given practice. Whatever you and your mate are comfortable with in any given moment is what’s right for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that moving more or less open.
Okay, some clarifications:
1) Kristen has made it very clear that she’s game to try anal sex, from the beginning, from the very first conversation. That the idea intrigues her, even. She’s very GGG in bed, and if she expressed that she wasn’t so into something (and there have been things she has said she’s not so into), I’d drop it. I’d never push her to do something she didn’t want to do.
2) We talked about this before and after this post went up, and she was a bit concerned I hadn’t made it clear that she was into it. And, I don’t think I did. Is this clear yet? She has expressed an interest in trying it. But even with both of our expressed interest, we still haven’t quite done it, and I’m not sure why exactly. I thought we’d talked about it various times in depth, but given this post, and the many reader comments, I am realizing we really haven’t delved into it very deeply. I also think my own nervousness is a factor, and the ways that having sex focused on me is really hard for me, which is, ultimately, the main point of this post. Yes, I couched it in other things, because it’s hard to have attention on me, my needs, and my shortcomings. I guess that worked a little too well.
3) Asking for reader contribution here was for two reasons, but NOT as an attempt to convince Kristen that it was a good idea. Not for peer pressure, absolutely not. Not for me to be able to point to and say, “See! Comment #4 says it hurts, but eventually you like it! Just try it!” Hello, no, I don’t do that. The purpose of asking for reader comments was because a) sometimes Kristen feels – and I do too! – very validated seeing her own trepidations and hesitations shared by other people, and I thought that perhaps if someone expressed their own experience with it in a way she identified with, we’d have some starting points to discuss the parts of it that were making her – or both of us – nervous, and b) because I like it when readers express their own experiences. I love encouraging that to happen in the comments on this site, I love reading about it, I love how some people that I know well will write a thesis on a particular topic and share their knowledge and write about their story, sometimes things that they haven’t (or won’t) share on their own blog even. One of my favorite posts lately was the “share some sex thing you’ve done / you wish you’d done / you want to do this summer,” because whoa, I have some kinky readers. Y’all are awesome. Asking you for advice is a big big way to encourage those personal stories of experience, so that is what I did.
4) The comment that said “focus more on her pleasure and less on your cock.” You’re a bit misguided. For one, she is into it. For two, I always, always am focused on her pleasure. I know I have been writing less and less about our personal sex life here, and that’s for lots of reasons, the most of which is that my 9-to-5 job is ending and I don’t have access to my site at work anymore, which means I have a lot less time to work on it. But our sex life continues to be fucking awesome, and I wish I was writing up a story every time. As uh, everybody knows, I am very cock-centric, but that does not mean I am not focused on Kristen’s pleasure – or the pleasure of any girl with which I am sleeping. In fact, I am SO focused on their pleasure, most of the time, that I often bypass my own. This is actually a problem, which is the real point I tried to make in this post, but I think it got buried beneath the anal-anal-anal-make-Kristen-try-anal part that seems to have distracted everyone. And, the point is, there is no shortage whatsoever on Kristen’s pleasure. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for that, unless she wants to jump in and write a guest post, but the girl is spoiled in bed, and she gets what she wants. She doesn’t have to ask for anything twice, any toy she wants I either have or can get for her, and I pay a lot of attention to her detailed reactions and responses, and often can tell if something is uncomfortable before she expresses anything. The issue here is not her pleasure at all: it’s mine. That’s what needs some work, in this relationship, and in my relationships in general.
I haven’t been posting much of substance here since the heated discussion On Misperceiving Someone as Femme or Butch and the follow up post. This lack of posts has been intentional. I’ve been frustrated, dissuaded.
I feel like every time I attempt to go a little farther, get a little deeper into the nuances of these discussions on gender identities and gender self-labeling, I get pulled back to square one by a barrage of emails and comments saying, “But wait! I’m offended! What about this other thing? What about people who don’t identify? What about me? What about my expeirence?”
And I want to have individual communications with everybody, to go into each detail of what they’re asking and what I’m saying, to break down the moments where I’m being misperceived, to communicate in open discussions about these fascinating issues from various perspectives.
But I can’t – mostly, I just don’t have time.
This is one of the challenges of a blog format of writing, actually: it’s not linear, it’s not one chapter building on another, it is be more of a jump-in-anytime type of format. Unfortunately, with a subject as completely personal, as totally misperceived, as dangerously controversial, and as heated as gender identity in lesbian communities, it’s very difficult to jump right in without adequate explanation as to where I am coming from in my philosophies and explorations.
I’m working on an Official Disclaimer for my discussions of gender, to put some foundations in place to which I will point. There’s so much I want to say about it, and I barely even know where to start. I have began to write this post about why that discussion frustrated me ten times, and I still get overwhelmed and my head gets chaotic when I begin to sit down to write it.
Right now, I want to make a few things in particular abundantly clear:
I do not seek to encourage others to identify as butch or femme. It is not my intention to impose butch/femme gender identities on anyone else, ever.
I seek to break down what it means to be “butch” or “femme.” I seek to apply the deconstruction of feminist methods of sexism, gender roles, and gender restrictions to lesbian gender identities, such as “butch” and “femme.”
I seek to broaden our ranges of experiences, with the underlying goal of encouraging people to be more comfortable in themselves, to come more fully alive, Yes, it’s a lofty goal. But I aim for it, and no less.
If it ever seems otherwise, if it seems like I am saying that someone should identify as butch/femme, or that it’s not okay to reject gender roles and identities, or anything along the lines of gender policing or gender enforcing or gender proselytizing, please do ask me about it. I will clarify, as well as I can.
But please keep in mind that I never operate from that space. Please consider giving me the benefit of the doubt, and come from a place of kindness – and perhaps not defensiveness – when you ask me to clarify things I’ve written.
The very foundation of my beliefs about gender is that our binary compulsive gender system is limiting to our full range of human experiences. I believe we should self-identify, should dress and act how we wish, how we most feel like ourselves, how we are most comfortable and most celebrated.
And, of course, all of these writings are my own personal experiences, observations, and studies of butch/femme and variations of gender expression. It was a long hard road through the gender police checkpoints to get where I am now; I learned a lot about myself, about queer theory, postmodern theory, and feminist theory on the way to where I’m at, and I seek to share my stories in hopes that they can be helpful.