Sometimes I forget that the content I write about is not for everyone. That the views I have, and how I live my life illicit reactions from people that are less than desirable. Writing this blog is freedom of expression, but also allows me to build a protective bubble of tolerance. What I mean by that, is I see my stats grow week by week, regular and new readers alike and it becomes easier to say that what I am doing is starting to become accepted. That perhaps I am somehow making a difference or at the very least breaking down a few walls of the unknown.
And then I say something to a friend about being open, or make some reference to dating while being in a relationship and I am slapped in the face with reality. I see the discomfort on the persons face who has known me for years. I see the uncomfortable stirring in the seat. And worse than that, I see a form of pain cross their eyes as they internalize what I have said, and they intuitively put themselves in my shoes and are scared.
I write this blog for me. But there is a massive downside to it. I do not ever get to see a persons reaction when they read a post I wrote for the first time. I miss out on the initial gut impact that a few of my more poignant posts have given. I watch page views rise quickly with my internal musings and slower with my more controversial subjects. Yet over time, the controversial ones remain stronger and get more repeat views. I honestly do not know why.
I remember as a young teenager playing the Penis Game. The rules are, someone in a public place quietly says `penis`. Then the person beside repeats the word, but a little louder. This continues until you are basically screaming the word PENIS. The game ends when you cannot stop laughing or you have been asked to shut up by the poor innocent passerby's. I used to hate playing that game. I would watch parents give dirty looks, professional`s glare with that hint of humiliation, and some senior just look onwards with a deep knowing almost reminiscent face. It was the reactions that stuck with me. That variance of emotions that at the time made me want to sink as low as possible and disappear.
I felt that talking with this friend about being in an open relationship. We are so close, that she could not remove herself from the situation. I saw firsthand a gut reaction. I don`t think I would have been able to write for so long had there been a medium available that would have show the looks on peoples faces as they read each word I typed. I am much happier in the world of tolerance I have created for myself within this blog. I love the freedom and release I get each time I press publish. Not being able to see your faces allows me to keep this organic and about what I really think, and feel without censoring myself or curbing my views to appeal to masses. It is a double edged sword I realize, but with great value in the long run for me.
Sunday, 17 August 2014
The second post I ever wrote, and in fact the first post that I was brave enough to actually publish and e-mail out to a few friends and select family members was entitled Regret. When I wrote this post E and I had broken up and I was reeling. I was trying to decide if an open relationship was something new and exciting because of his introduction, or because it suited me. And in all honesty it took me a few years to be able to start putting into actions what I felt was right for me in theory. I never for a moment regretted my time with him, and I have not since then regretted how hard I have fallen for him in the past few years. We are amazing partners. And yet, I read that post of mine, and I felt a lump in my throat. I tried so hard to edit it, to have it make a little more sense. And yet, there was real and raw emotion to it when I wrote it.
I cannot help but delve a little deeper into why that is, or was. I have heard from many of my friends and peers that my writing style has changed, that it has grown and matured. I smile and say thank you, or that I know it has. The truth is, it is not my writing that has changed, it is me. My perspectives and my views. I wrote Regret being fiercely proud of my actions up until that point. Almost arrogantly self assured that every action I took, I stood behind. That I could live with the ramifications and move forward with my life. The crushing honesty was though, that I knew deep down, that not being with E was just wrong. I regretted nothing, except the very essence of why I was writing, trying to make sense of me, relationships, and the like. Doing all of this while balancing the pain and the knowledge that the biggest mistake of my life was being without him.
If at the time of writing that post I had acknowledged what I was really feeling and why, I may just have crumbled. Heartbreak and loneliness is something I have a great deal of experience with, and again in that case, it was completely out of my control. I had allowed something amazing to spiral downwards because I was in limbo between theory and actions. I was caught up between falling in love, and having to share. Between being an only child, selfish to the core and learning that I could love more than one. I was a mess, an emotional, gut aching mess. It took me years to re read that post. I am amazed at how wonderful the here is, in relation to that moment where I felt crippling regret and fought everything in me to believe that everything happens for a reason. That moment where annoying optimism collides head on with the unknown reality that something really wrong has just happened. That first pang of real regret.
Thursday, 31 July 2014
You are lonely. You desperately seek that someone to come home to every night. You lay awake in your bed for two, for too many nights in a row, wondering what is wrong with you. Why this solitude, when all you want is a lifelong companion. That someone who gives you joy. That someone to come home to each night, and share all your stories and dreams with. That someone with whom you can finally be yourself with, who will cherish all the little quirks that you hide on a day to day basis with the mass of people who just would never understand.
Then it happens. You finally click with someone. You have reached that age where the two of you know with certainty that you match, and match well. You rush to move in together. You skip all of the courtship, the ups and downs, and move forward with lightning speed. After all, you know what alone feels like, so this something new, this someone must be forever. Of course it is more than a warm body you tell yourself, yes they have their faults, but you are now thinking long term not just an amazing lay. This is someone who gets you. Who laughs at your jokes and seems to understand your need to no longer go the journey on your own. The compatibility takes a stronger role than the lust you felt as a teenager. You finally found someone who will not hurt you. Someone who is stable and secure. You find someone that you can picture growing old with, and you feel comfortable in the knowledge that someday the friendship will mean more than the sex. You push away the nagging thought that perhaps you are just settling, and there may be someone exciting around the corner. This comfortable person is real, and your fantasy of lifelong adventure is not.
I have been there. I have shared this longing, and I have felt that pain of loneliness. Tempted by the first man who I could picture a future with. Teased by the promise of not feeling the sting of solitude, and of not having to go through those ups and downs alone. Haunted by the “what if” this is the best I can ever do feeling. I cannot tell you are wrong for settling. I won’t tell you that I disagree with your choice to take hold of the best chance at comfort you have felt in years. And of course I will not judge you. I can’t, as that would make me a hypocrite. I too, tried to live that life. I too, have felt that it is better to be with the not quite honeymoon forever phase, rather than being alone. I have tried to create spark when there was none, and work my ass off to fix the mundane rather than be alone again. I have tried to settle for the here and now without first coming to grips with what the here was all the time, myself.
My mother once told me that she found happiness when she stopped seeking men that challenged her. That she finally just settled for someone who was simpler, and that gave her more peace. I hated hearing that. I was so enraged that a person could just stop living. I promised myself that that path would never be for me. I would never give up, and I would never just stop wanting to be challenged. I find no solace in the knowledge that I might never get hurt again if I settle for the stable man next door so to speak. Being hurt, and feeling true joy are major elements that made me who I am today. I do not seek to be wounded, but I will not hide from the possibility. This is my relationship mission statement. This is one ingredient that makes what E and I have amazing. And this is what makes being in an open relationship work for me. I have complete autonomy over my own happiness, and can choose to challenge or be challenged by my partner and those around us. I will not allow blasé feelings to ever override that roller coaster of emotions that I am capable of feeling. This is making a conscious choice not to just settle, and spend my next 70 years in the vacuum of monogamy.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Stampede’s Over; I Can’t Wait to See What Sex Negativity the Media Has Planned for the Next Stampede
So, three years ago the media circus took a long hard look at how STI’s and STD’s rose dramatically during stampede week and cited numerous clinics and how overworked they became the week during and after Stampede. And I understood the PSA they were performing. Last year, the focus was shifted ever so slightly to the influx of cheating spouses during this 10 day event. Including outing a few hotels in the downtown core, for providing locked boxes for guest to check in their wedding rings. No explanation needed there, I hope. Now this year, the headlines are focusing on the increasing Stampede divorce rate? Come on…
I know the quest for the simplest and catchiest tagline is the only way to sell articles (See how I am fighting this by having the longest blog title to date?), but why all the sex negativity surrounding Stampede? I mean this is no longer about helping the public. This is a vigilant quest on the media’s part to ensure the public is aware that Stampede kills relationships and is bad for your sexual health. Stampede encourages sexual infidelity and is a hazard to monogamy. The million dollar rodeo that is put on every year in this great city of ours is secretly trying to time warp us back to the Colosseum of ancient Roman times, more specifically the party after the great fights. We are soon going to have massive orgies in the street if we do not head their carefully targeted warnings. Especially now that the city was kind enough to let us start drinking in bars at 7 am to better facilitate the liquid courage needed to get out there and screw around with every good looking cowboy and cowgirl.
Well, let me set the record straight here. I have, had Stampede threesomes, done the walk of shame and flirted my little tushie off many a time. I have also done all the above outside of Stampede. The media chooses to focus on sex negativity each year because we make it an event. We allow the media to sensationalize sex. We allow the media to take the focus of off our rodeo and exhibition, and all the musical acts that join us from all over the world and shift to a tabloid sales pitch. I should rephrase, we do not allow themedia, we encourage them. We are becoming a society that lights up at a scintillating, or scandalous headline, and the Stampede has turned into a marketing ploy. Whether the editors agree or disagree is beside the point, or even if they research and have factual information based on something more substantial than a survey of 10 random people, the result is the same, sex sells. Stampede sex sells, and as I learned last week, Stampede sluts sell too! So until next year Calgary, I know you will join me in welcoming the latest headline that appears with sex negativity in the forefront. I am kind of hoping for some sort of spin on gay cowboys...or cowgirls.
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Whenever you are sexually active there are risks, I go into a little more detail here. One added element to being in an open relationship is that there are more parties involved when it comes to said risks which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. A few months ago, E and I invited someone to share an evening with us. The three of us had the safe sex talk, and all disclosed our STI and STD status’, along with the dates that we were last tested. It is an easy talk to have, especially knowing that once the talk is over the fun can really begin. Our evening ended up being quite an adventure, and we concluded the night on great terms. The side lament to the night was that his partner was not ready herself to be involved in a more open lifestyle, but the door is always open to them.
Now fast forward to the new year and an email I received while out and about with E. The gist of the email was that his wife was having some feminine issues, mixed with the help of the most trusted medical expert Google, could be connected to an STI. My initial reaction was extreme annoyance that I was being asked if perhaps there was something that was not disclosed during our safe sex talk. There are risks of course in being sexually active, and of course it is natural to assume that sometimes people lie. And sometimes, people just flat out do not know that they have anything that could be shared between partners. Again I was momentarily miffed.
Once I talked the email over with E though, I came to realize that I was put off by his partner using the internet to self diagnose and not that he was confirming any changes to my sexual health. In fact, I was reassured that we had met someone who was upfront and willing to ask the tough questions. He made the right call in emailing and I know that the email must have been incredibly difficult to write, especially with his partners health in question. Safety in my books, should come before pleasure, and is incredibly difficult to rectify if it is only an after thought. And as I found out, is a lot easier to deal with knowing that you did everything you could in the first place, conversation and prevention.
I have learned a few surprising things during this experience, while also reinforcing what I already knew about E. I am so grateful to have the partner that I do, one with whom I can openly discuss the tough stuff, and will remain objective even during the hard times. And while E and I know we are both incredibly selfish and cautious with our bodies, a stranger does not. Even with safe sex awareness and prevention there are always risks. There is no such thing as 100 percent safe sex, and we are prepared to have the conversations when the need arises. With that being said, the minor risks or occasional uncomfortable email would not ever be a reason to avoid a healthy sexual appetite.
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
When I started blogging, I did so for the sole reason of exploring open relationships, in particular my own. I did not anticipate that I would ever grow such an amazing following or that people would be interested in what I had to say and I have grown to talk about many variations of relationships. With that being said, I really want to go back and take a closer look at a few posts I have made in the past, to clarify, expand and also to add images wherever I feel is appropriate. I want to ensure that the day I decide to stop blogging, I have a complete record of where I am, and how I view the world at this time in my life.
So what will this mean to my dear readers? I will of course post new content, but also, I will from time to time examine past posts and add some content. If you so desire, please click on the link within my current post to go back and see what I am referencing or the additions I have made (visual only in most cases). If you are an aspiring photographer, or just enjoy the hobby, please feel free to contact me as I would love to get some new ideas for pictures. And for those individuals who mentioned that my blog has been a little too pg rated, I hope you enjoy the additions I will be making.
Thursday, 29 May 2014
I found inspiration in the most likely place, the biography of Jim Henson. I have been a Muppet fan for most of my life, from the Muppet Show, to Fraggle Rock, and of course my favorite movie being Labyrinth. I love that feeling of sheer joy every time I see a Muppet character on screen, and more than that, I love how I can re-watch a movie years later and find some new little detail or innovation. I love that sense of childhood wonder, with an adult understanding of all the hard work and boundary pushing that went into each and every piece of work that Jim Henson created. Now why would I decide to write about my love for Muppets on my relationship blog other than because it makes me happy? Quite simply, I was inspired by how he viewed life and all the human beings around him.
I could spend post after post, complaining about how we no longer connect with our fellow man. That as we become more globally connected we become more individually isolated. It is a phenomenon that has been predicted in countless books, and philosophised by numerous people over the past decade and I for one see so many daily indications of it that it is hard to ignore. And just when I was becoming a little jaded and irritated about the whole scene, I began reading this amazing book (thanks of course to E!). I began reading the story of man who lived his entire life without ever losing his sense of wonder. Who never stopped challenging himself and his team to push the boundaries of technology, and was a creative genius to the end. All with the one simple idea that we must love each other and be good to our fellow man. Not preachy, just hopeful. The type of man who was quiet, yet self assured and when he walked into a room everyone wanted to be noticed by him.
I was rejuvenated after reading about his life and all of the amazing things he accomplished for purely unselfish reasons. He challenged himself because he loved to explore and expand his chosen field. He wanted to try to push his medium because he believed in himself completely. And isn’t that precisely what we should all be striving for? In our work, in our alone time, and of course in the relationships that we have with those around us? By believing in ourselves first and foremost, and pushing ourselves to accomplish what we believe in.
I sit here writing, surrounded by a group of people physically pushing themselves to the extremes of human sport. They were students, and now adventures, trying to find new ways to fly. While I push myself to document every aspect that I can. Learning the very difficult art of action filming to capture all their hard work and determination. That leap from passive viewer, to active participant in a community that I didn’t even know existed 5 years ago. Passion for life, passion to be the best you can, to keep learning and never stop innovating and thinking. Thank you Jim Henson, for living the best way you knew how. I have cherished your creations, with wide eyed wonder, and fascination, and now by having a better understanding of your life, I am even more inspired to continue my path.