Tuesday, 19 September 2017

When You’re Separated by a Screen, Don’t Forget There is a Human on the Other End



Yesterday something happened while on a dating app that I never thought would happen.  I have tried to pretend that it didn’t bother or affect me, but I just cannot do it.  Yesterday I was brought face to face with what I have said for years, that there is in fact a human being on the other end of that screen and you never know what really is going on with them.  And we must never forget that, and must always do better to be ethical and kind when interacting with strangers.

As I said I was on a dating app yesterday and I was contacted by a man who opened with a fantastic line of flattery or so I thought.  He said that he wished he was good enough to one day get with a woman as beautiful as me.  I responded right away, asking what he thought he needed to do to make that happen, and made a silly joke of responding in my dating coach voice as I typed.  He said that he needed to win the lottery to become attractive due to his short comings.  I laughed and said money wasn’t everything.  Obviously, he had been down this road before and said, because he was only 5’5” that no woman would ever find him attractive without money.  I brushed this off and said that as a dating coach maybe I could help him with his confidence if we wanted.  And if you have made it this far in the little back and forth between us, here’s the kicker.  And I quote, “I am just here killing time, before I kill myself because no woman will ever date me”. 

I was positively floored.  In fact, I still am.  I am sad to say, my gut reaction was that he was using this as a ploy to get my attention.  But after a few minutes, my compassion and brain went into overdrive.  If there was even the slightest chance that he was serious I needed to do something.  But what could I do?  For all intents and purposes, online dating in anonymous.  I would have to do some incredibly serious sleuthing to find out even the slightest additional information about a person in the real world, and that would only be possible if we had chatted for more than 10 minutes.  I had nothing to go on.  So here’s how I reacted.  I wrote him a message saying that I wanted him to seek professional help immediately.  Then I copy and pasted the message and reported it to the app under other in the hopes that someone would have a data base of his information when he signed up.  I then wrote back to him the 1-800 number for suicide hotline.  To which he responded that he wouldn’t do anything drastic as long as his pets were alive, as they were his reason for living.  I implored with him one last time to seek help and then just like that, his profile was gone.

As I sit here typing away, I am reminded of one simple fact, the online world often removes the humanity in us.  We need to fight that urge and remind ourselves that there is a human being on the other end.  I didn’t accept what had happened right away and was in a horrible mood for the rest of the afternoon.  In fact, I was outright rude and argumentative to a stranger online who just wanted to meet me.  I pushed him until he said something silly, and goaded him into a fight.  I feel awful for doing that.  And I am sorry.  Truly sorry.  When you interact with someone online, remember you are not talking to a bot, even Siri was voiced by a real human.  Why?  Because shit flows downhill, especially in the virtual world. 

So be cognitive, be aware, be kind!  Do not put your crap on a stranger, as I did.  And do not ignore the pain of someone reaching out as I was tempted to do.  Live as ethically online as you do in the real world.  Let’s make the experience better and more human for everyone.

*** Now offering One on One dating coaching in YYC, click here for details and rates***

Thursday, 14 September 2017

No Means No

I wrote a post in 2012 called, Saying No Can Be Difficult as a Woman, and to date it is in my top 5 list for most popular post.  I received quite a few messages from woman, identifying with my thought process and sharing stories of their own.  It was both encouraging to have dialogue and incredibly depressing that so many have felt this social constraint when it comes to saying no.  We as a gender feel conflicted in many cases, feeling that it is rude or aggressive or just plain not feminine to say no.  As I mentioned woman are socialized to please, to be peacekeepers and to find passive ways to solve issues rather than use the simplicity of no.  And to have it heard, understood and instantly accepted.

As a result, we do not use no effectively.  As controversial as this will sound, when men hear woman say no, often they think we are playing, being coy, or that we just don't truly mean it.  Why? Because we do not use the word with conviction.  We are not used to saying no flat out, so when we do, it is with apprehension, nervousness, or even a touch of ambiguity.  Woman do not practice saying no in the same manor that men do.  Our body language does not always match the words coming out of our mouths.  We do not say no with confidence, we say it with the subtle or emotional mannerisms and  language that we use in our normal social interactions.

I need to be very clear here.  Just because woman are not socialized to use no, or use it without assertion does not mean that men should ever ignore us when we use it.  And there are massive campaigns out there right now, emphasizing that No Means No.  And this is necessary and correct and positive!  Each individual should know without a doubt the meaning of No and Stop.

However, woman, we need to do better.  We need to raise our children to practice the word no, regardless of gender.  We need to emphasize to our teenagers that when you use no, you mean it.  In a perfect world it would effective on its own, but we do not live in perfection.  So we need to incorporate a firm body language, stoic stance, remove playfulness from our voice and say no whenever we need or want to.  And then have it heard, clearly the first time, every time. 

I have written before about the way we are trained to be coy.  And to that end I have worked hard to rise above my old wishy washy way of subtly saying no, and to start to say no the moment I am uncomfortable and to educate, report and block people who cross lines or ignore my use of the word.  If we all work together we can bring back the meaning of no.  By understanding how we educate our children, reinforce these behaviors in our teens, and finally take full and complete ownership of the word as adults we will make this a better place.  End rant.

Friday, 8 September 2017

How Long Have I Been Non-Monogamous?



One of the most common questions I get asked is “How long have you been non-monogamous?”  And the most truthful answer I can give, is “I don’t know”.  You see, I had never heard the phrase until I started dating a man in 2010 who wanted 2 girlfriends at the same time.  And I believed him, in the way that one believes in a dream.  But as things developed and we spent more and more time together, I discovered that open relationships and non monogamy were real.  That this lifestyle was indeed lived by thousands upon thousands of people around the world.  Thus, began my blogging adventure.

If I’m honest, I wrote for the first two years or so, under the guise of exploration and an almost fake it till you make it mentality.  I was reading a lot (and still try to keep up to date) with all the books available on Polyamory, non-monogamy and the origins of humans sexuality.  My early work is based on a premise of questioning, of tiny insights here and there, and basically the wondrous discovery of my non-monogamous acceptance.  As I looked deep inside myself, I came to realize that I had spent much of my early 20’s acting out of a place of non-monogamy, while blanketing myself with an over compensation of strict monogamy and all cheaters were evil mantra.  And my definition of cheating included those who were non-monogamous.  Any extra on the side was a sin, agreed upon or not. 

Knowing who I am now, and where I was 15 years ago in my sexual development I can see that I was struggling with monogamy for a lot longer than I knew.  I put myself in situations whereby if a man wanted he could take advantage of me.  I felt safer knowing that my cheating would be out of my full control and thus placed as much onus on the men around me as possible.  I’m not proud of this.  But perhaps my truth will help someone else out there.  I truly, and deeply wanted someone to have sex with me that wasn’t my partner, and I wanted it to be in a way that I could deny it was my fault.  I’m not saying if it happened I would have denied it, but I needed that out.  I needed a way to explain or rationalize the monogamous demon I was fighting.

I have friends who are in their mid 30’s like me, who are still battling this demon.  It is not easy to have sexual conflict within yourself, especially for those of us who were raised with religion (Go Catholic school girl upbringing).  I know quite a few people, male and female, who have cheated, lied to themselves about what really happened and put on a brave face to the world afterwards.  They will do it again, and again.  For one main reason, because they have not faced the demon.  They have not faced the fear that monogamy is a choice.  It does not make you good, bad or anything in between.  It is simply a different way of relating sexually with those around you.  Once you face it, you have every opportunity to decide if monogamy makes you happy and thus you will work hard to cage your urges.  Or you can take a path that I chose.  One of education, self exploration and sexual discovery and experimentation.  There is no judgement from me either way.  The cool thing about autonomy is that you can live life the way you choose, as long as you do not cause pain or bodily harm to those around you. 

There are of course moments along the way that I struggled, and my blog is a testament to that.  But I found peace in myself, once I accepted who I was.  And further found ways that I could feed my urges in a plethora of sex positive and healthy ways.  For example FWB's, dating couples, swinging and of course just loving the man that I am with.

Now here is my PSA: If anyone out there is struggling with monogamy, please reach out.  I am happy to lend an ear, help you, do what I can to share my story or even just give you a hug.  Please though, whatever you do, stop the cycle of cheating, or calling sexual assault or even the word rape if find yourself in a situation that is outside of monogamy.  These terms are incredibly serious, and should only be used when necessary and NEVER as a cover up.  We all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Foursome in the Woods Sounded Like Such a Hot Idea



And yet this was probably not one of my most well thought out plans.  The fantasy of being in a secluded campground, four people, naked and sweaty in a tent made for 8, I had all the ingredients for sexy times ahead.  We had the whole thing planned, hike in the mountains, then throw some disk golf and finish the flirting with a bbq and some beers.  The tent filled with air mattresses and pillows would look so inviting that things should start picking up right after a few bites.  I even considered that because we were already hot and sweaty from being outdoors, that the smooth transition to the tent activities would be even easier.  And I was so wrong!

It’s funny how being hot and sweaty with your partner can be a huge turn-on, but expecting the same from 2 new people that you have not yet seen naked, well not so much. You see, it brings out a bunch of insecurities and awkwardness.  And for me, the biggest turn off, is the smells.  The last thing I want to think about when getting it on with a new person is "Eep! I am not fresh as a daisy".  I don’t want to have to pull a hand away from an area, or prevent a face from going down, because I cannot honestly remember the last time I scrubbed.  Or the prickles.  I stopped waxing years ago, so I am at the mercy of a razor, and now I have 2 days maximum without a quick trim.  And without it that stubble is rough!  There is something so seductive about sliding a hand on a smooth leg, rather than a prickly minefield that may or may not be caked on with bug spray. 

Speaking of bugs, have any of you had the pleasure of a mosquito bite in your butt crack?  Well I do now.  It's one of the dangers of peeing in the woods as a girl I suppose.  The pants have to come down far enough to expose the tushie and long enough that those little brats can be in and out before your even finished peeing.  I can only imagine that conversation.  A new hand exploring all the little cracks and crevices of your body and then a hand runs over what should be a smooth area, and boom, not only do they feel an unexpected bump that you assured them shouldn’t be there, but now you have to stop things to scratch.  Yup, in the middle of foreplay, you pause and are just laying there scratching your butt.  What a turn on!  


Yes, we did originally plan on heading to the showers right after disk golf to freshen up.  But camping has a mind of its own.  We all decided to skip the disk golf and go straight for the BBQ.  You are relaxed, want to do as little driving as possible and quite honestly once the first beer can is opened it becomes rather difficult to say, "let's all stop at one, so we are sober enough to drive 20 minutes away to hop in the showers".   And then drive all the way back to the camp ground to resume the flirting.  Everything seems like it is in slow motion, that you have all the time in the world, and you just enjoy the moment.  You forget responsibilities like pets waiting at home, water intake and of course hygiene.  

So here I was, thinking about the view, the seclusion and the amazing sex in the woods story that would result from inviting a new couple to meet us for some camping fun.  But instead, we just had the vanilla camping experience.  We all laughed, drank some beer and agreed to reschedule in the city, at their home, after we were all showered, shaved and smelling our best.  Here's hoping a much hotter story will be coming out soon...