Monday, 25 June 2012

The Episode that First Made Me Think About Open Relationships

E, planted the first seed into my consciousness that open relationships were a possibility but in continuing the horticultural analogy there was a pot and some dirt already in place.  The pot we shall call my questioning everything even from a young age and trying to keep my own drum beat (I even learned how to play the drums in junior high just to prove a girl could) also my fascination with anthropology and archaeology.  But the dirt, now that is an interesting mixture and it was provided by a TV show that I love to this day, Penn and Tellers Bullshit.  The episode in question was called Family Values, which aired in 2005.  I owned the entire series for quite a few years and at the time I had no idea how impactful that episode would be to me.

I remember watching the polyamorous family with a blown mind.  I was as squeamish watching the four people love each other as I was intrigued.  In pure honesty I would have been much more open to the idea of loving more than one person had the couples on the screen been more attractive.  Yes, I have a tendency to be superficial at times, but I was not grossed out so much a little defencive to the idea that their were children raised in that household.  I was perfectly fine with the idea of two couples loving each other so long as the children were adults and I am pretty sure that I rationalized my reaction just like that too.  The other families shown on the episode were almost natural to me.  Why would anyone question the parenting of two woman?  It just did not cross my mind for an instant as being out of the realm of natural.  The best line from the whole episode however was the statistic that in gay and lesbian couples, children were almost always planned and prepared for, that they fared better overall than heterosexual children. 

But I have digressed, here was a show that for the first time depicted a loving and happy family with multiple love outside of the confines of just two individuals loving each other.  I did not know it then, but after re-watching it, the husbands sentiment really hit home.  He mentioned that there is too great of pressure in expecting just one person to fulfill all of your needs.  The idea that one soul mate is responsible for completing you when there are billions of us on this planet is absurd.   I personally change my views and opinions on an almost daily basis.  I become more educated and meet new people every day, I learn, grow and expand my horizons and outlooks.  That would be an enormous amount of pressure to put onto just one other human being to share in that journey solely forever and ever.

So continue to read, to grow, and be brave in saying that your ideas have changed or in some cases deepened with all the additional education we are lucky enough to be surrounded with.  Find out what mixture is in your dirt (cheesy eh?) that is growing your family.  Decide if that is really of your doing or if there is something else in there that you would like to explore or experience.  My broken record continues with we get one shot at this life, and we need to live it to the fullest with as much love as possible.  Dream big and love even bigger.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Saying No Can Be Difficult as a Woman

Woman are socialized to be the nice ones, the ever pleasing, never confrontational, rude or overly aggressive.  There are hundreds of cases where woman are brave enough to break that mould, I however am still stumbling and struggling with this one.  I feel guilty when I put a male in his place, and it goes even deeper than that.  Often it does not even occur to me as an option.  Where does this conditioned behaviour come from?  Why are woman not mentally trained as our male counterparts to voice our opinions and stand up for what we want or don’t want?

Here is the most recent story I have regarding this very thing.  I have been chatting to this one guy off and on for about a month from a dating site.  Finally we agreed to meet and because of that I gave him my number to make it a little easier to get together and work out very busy schedules.  So the texts started off pleasantly enough with the usual how was your day sort of thing.  Then suddenly out of nowhere he asks how my sex life was these days.  Here is the part where it did not even occur to me to slam this conversation right down and say that I do not discuss sex with someone I have not even met.  No, instead I played coy and subtly tried to change the subject.  When that did not work, I jokingly said that he sure talks about sex a lot.  He apologized for this, and I could slap my head, but I laughed and said at least he is honest.  The very next thing he wrote to me was this “I have a sexy girl who wants to do a threesome with me and another girl but need a third if you’re interested”.  Seriously yes this happened.  But the point of all this is how I answered.  I replied with “bold for not even meeting me”. 

This was a real problematic response for so many ways, I then had some annoying conversations to deal with and some fancy talking to end these texts.  When I told this story to E, he said the simplest text I could have sent to put him in his place.  I could have just said “boy I really enjoy threesomes but you have pushed things too far too fast and just screwed yourself out of a good thing”.  Something along this line would have absolutely crushed the guy who had just been so rude presuming that I would just agree to a sexy time without meeting anyone involved.  But again, it did not even occur to me to be rude right back to the guy who had crossed such a thick line with me. 

Sometimes it is easier not to put up a fight and continue the path of least resistance rather than standing up for what you believe in or more so what you deserve.  Culturally men have the ideas and opinions whereas women are the heart and peacemakers of relationships.  Prior to a relationship though I need practice in standing up for myself.  If I cannot find a way to put a person I do not even know in his place, how am I to have a voice in a relationship?  I posted about not being a doormat, and yes I will work on that, but I also need to trust that I can say what I mean and mean what I say.  No is perfectly permissible, and if a guy does not accept that then he is not the guy for me. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Eggs, Baskets, Non-Monogamy

Have you ever heard the saying “don’t put your eggs all in one basket”?  To me, living in a monogamous lifestyle feels very much like disobeying this very sound logic.  If one puts all their effort, love, heart and soul into one single person the magnitude of something going wrong will be devastating.  That is not to say that you cannot love and give with your whole heart, but perhaps just maybe it is more about giving with your whole heart to multiple individuals.

As always I will go to my past in order to exemplify my way of thinking.  When D and I broke up in my very early 20’s the first time, I remember the incredible pain.  I drove to meet my mom at a dog show and my eyes stung with tears the whole drive down.  The feeling of not being able to breathe or make words come out true.  It was a pain that was so damn intense I physically remember almost every sensation that my body and mind went through for a good 48 hours.  In short I was a complete and utter mess.  I also had no other loves in my life.  I had very few friends and my mom and my relationship has been rocky since I was a teenager.  I had a few co-workers who helped me get through it which was incredibly sweet.  But as I said, I had no one in my life at that time that I truly loved.  I had found a way to put all my everything, clich├ęd or not, into one man.  When we broke up that first time I lost everything.  I did not know it then, but all my eggs were in one basket so to speak, exactly how I was taught was the only way to truly be in a relationship. 

When E and I broke up in February things were different for me and the feeling of total devastation was just not the same.  This has nothing to do with how much I loved him in comparison to D, but rather what I had done in my life in between these two breakups differently.  In short I have a significant network of people in my life with whom I love.  I didn’t feel that humbling emptiness that goes hand in hand with having a single person to take in your energy and be your source of energy in return.  Instead I felt the pain of single life, and missing him terribly, but blessed to have so many around who still wanted to give and receive love.  To be perfectly clear love is about so much more than sex in this case, especially as not one of these people have I ever engaged in sexual relations with. 

I am coming to a realization as I alluded to in my previous post that part of my path, includes loving as many people as I see fit.  And allowing myself to be loved openly in return.  To quote a tagline from a reality show called Sister Wives, “love should be multiplied, not divided”.  I still very much maintain my independence, and believe in my own abilities to overcome any obstacle put forth.  But having a loving network of support in my life has made my journey so much richer.  I believe that those are the benefits to living a lifestyle on the outside of monogamy.  To have a system of like minded individuals who want to share the belief of love, intimacy and possibly even sex.  Is the idea so radical that good advice as far as the eggs go not be applied to our relationships?  

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Making My Path

So the other day my assistant manager asked me how my boyfriend was.  My manager overheard this and started to chuckle, and said "boyfriends you mean".  I of course laughed and agreed with my manager that having more than one was much more fun.  The dating game is all about variety.  Until a person is ready to settle down it seems that the stigma is starting to subside with regards to dating multiple people.  When asked who I am seeing right now, my answer is always that it is summer and it is all about fun.  Yes I am taking advantage of that behaviour, but I wonder how the conversation would have gone if I was having the same summer of fun with my significant other?

Will I so easily be able to explain that I or both of us have fun on the side.  To express that there is a non-monogamous type of lifestyle outside of the dating parameters?  The behaviour seems all well and good in the art and drama community, but is this lifestyle acceptable in the oil and gas industry for example?  Sadly probably not.  I am currently reading the Ethical Slut,Reading List,which I have linked here as part of my ongoing reading list.  In it there is practical advice for how to live out a relationship outside of the normal realms of monogamy.  Seriously where has this book been for the last two years of my life? 

A dear family friend whom I have just reconnected with, in the past year or so remarked to me that I am a real and true peacemaker.  She said I am not controversial and that I always look for the good in people which is why she always trusts my opinions of those around me.  It was one of those heartfelt moments where I gulped back a tear and thanked this woman who has known me since I was 3 years old.  But what really hit home is that much of that is true.  I always prefer peaceful resistance to open confrontation.  Writing this blog has enabled me the gift of calmly and rationally expressing my concerns in regards to monogamy.  It affords me a platform with which to share that there is a world outside with playtime and love and so many possibilities of opening up.  Perhaps building the support of dating multiple people is just the transition that I need in order to fall in love with more than one person or at the very least to care deeply for multiple people’s emotional and physical needs thereby making this unconventional lifestyle work.

I was raised with one preconceived notion that when it came to children there should always be one parent for each child as there is only so much love that a parent can give.  I have personally met no family that has more than two children where any of the children received less love.  This concept of dividing love is just not rational.  I love my friends and family with all my heart and would do anything for them.  I love multiple friends and this does not mean that I do not have less love to give a partner.  I love myself with my whole heart but this does not mean that I have less love to give a person who is sharing an hour or two of their time in the name of safe and consensual sex.  We are capable of loving many people with whom we come into contact throughout our lives.  It almost seems selfish to only have a love for only one man for the rest of my life.  Multiple love exists everyday for the people that we come into contact with, why should sexual connections be restricted to singular love?  Instead it seems more important for that particular love to be shared.  And a bonus to this way of thinking is that there are endless possibilities and combinations with which to experiment in this multiple love and connection making.  I feel empowered to explore and experience this amazing world for all it has to offer.  And to make a path that makes me happy.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Question Everything - Reading List

I will be using this post on an ongoing basis to share some of the books that have impacted me in the writing of this blog.  Please feel free to share with me in the comments section any books that you would like to recommend as well.  Happy reading :)

Sex at Dawn  By Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha :  Originally it was titled " How we mate, why we stray and what it means for modern relationships".  This book really focuses on the myth about our evolution as monogamous beings, and shed light using evolutionary evidence for how humans probably mated.  It also offers a bit of insight into why men have a tough time not straying.

A Billion Wicked Thoughts By Ogi Ogas and Sai Goddam :  This book is the first to use internet research as an anonymous basis for extracting what really turns human beings on.  It was eye opening to learn just why we are turned on, and opened my eyes at least to a lot of misconceptions that I had regarding porn.

The Art of Seduction By Robert Greene :  I loved this book from the first moment I picked it up.  Robert Greene in all his books uses historical stories to show the main types of seducers and their most common targets.  It is a book I have re read a few times and would highly encourage everyone to read it.

Why Men Love Bitches By Sherry Argov : Honestly this was just a fun read, and the timing when I read it was ideal as I had just gone through a breakup.  Thus the author playfully pointed out a few keys areas where things probably went wrong.  There is not a lot of detail, more broad ideas that can get you thinking.

The Ethical Slut By Dossie Easton and Janet W Hardy :  A guide to open relationships, polyamory, etc.  The first half of this book was amazing in its straighforward and open talk about the ups and downs of loving more that one person.  For me the last half was quite new age which I have a tougher time subscribing to, but all in all there were some strong points made and there are activities that partners can try even in a monogamous pairing to help fight and communicate more effectively.

Nine Parts of Desire : The Hidden World of Islamic Women By Geraldine Brooks.  An inside look at Islamic woman both through their eyes and that of the author.  One of those books that I have avoided reading for years yet truly opened my eyes to how woman can willingly live a life so foreign to me. The amazing power that the Islamic faith really has over both the men and women was a very interesting read, especially on my posts regarding woman's rights.

Whores in History: Prostitution in Western Society By Nickie Roberts.  I am including this book in my reading list as it deals with the origins of woman's sexual freedom or rather lack there of.  The evidence presented in this book of repression of a persons right to use their bodies in any way they choose is very well laid out.  I have a whole new respect for the working girl and just how much their plight impacts my daily life.  A very necessary read to anyone who deems themselves for feminism or against feminism.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus By John Gray.  This book was tough to include, however as the book clearly states it has sold nearly 14 million copies and therefor is a part of how the generation before me views men and women.  I read this book solely to understand the framework that millions of people have used to view men and women.  Although I disagree with much in this book, I do accept that it is a part of relationships and how we view them, thus the inclusion on my reading list.

Models: Attract Women Through Honesty By Mark Manson.  This book was eye opening, both for some internal introspection and the eye opening about what men really need to do to attract a woman. Self improvement is key, being honest with yourself, and knowing what you want.  Big endorsement, and will be highly recommended to any man who is struggling in attracting a mate.

Gender Gap: The Biology of Male-Female Differences By David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton.  I really struggled with the reading of this book.  I was fascinated at times by the evolutionary examples in the animal kingdom of sexual diversity, and then wanted to throw the book across the room as a result of the assumptions and social dynamics that humans were placed in.  For example, saying evolutionary traits have proven we are not monogamous beings, and then saying that there is no record in the authors minds of an open relationship working. If you can overlook such contradictions and ignore the opinions of the authors, it has some enlightening points.

The Corporate Dominatrix By Lisa Robyn.  Sometimes self help books are just as important as books that deal with specific subject matter.  One of these books that I would like to add to the list to read is the Corporate dominatrix.  This was an empowering book about finding your inner Dominatrix role in the workplace.  As with so many things though, this power, has applications in navigating the dating world and personal relationships alike.  Knowing when to be an Amazon at work, but a Governess at home is all part and parcel of work life balance.  Something that we need to put equal focus on if we are to develop whole and genuine interactions with those around us.  In my mind, this is a must read for every woman who is seeking power, has it already and wants to maintain, or is having troubles knowing which role to play in your day to day scenarios.

The Bitch in the House   Edited by Cathi Hanauer.  This is a book edited with 26 different woman`s stories ranging from motherhood, to sex, to relationships, even a story on open relationships.  I freely admit this book had me in tears and at times in a rage about everything wrong with society.  But mostly, just nodding yes, YES and wishing all my ladies read this book and could talk as freely with me as these woman did.  This book compiled some of my biggest fears when it comes to balancing motherhood and work.  I believe that a sequel is in the works so please ladies, give this one a read if you love my blog.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Doormat? WTF?!?!

Eureka!  I have figured it out.  It took 3 glasses of wine to clear my head, an amazingly great night sleep with the window open in a fantastic thunder and lightning storm and a hot bubble bath to have my epiphany.  I never once put E in his place.  I turned myself into a doormat, I do say this with a very big hint of irony.  I allowed myself to get swept up off my feet and get treated the best I ever have in a relationship.  But there was absolutely no fear established that would prevent him from treating me like something to be used when push came to shove.

I recall the exact moment with D when I absolutely put him in his place and laid the foundation to NEVER treat me like crap.  We were partying at the frat house as usual for a weekend, whereby there was a pool of blue Jello in which a few people decided to wrestle in.  The night was absolutely freezing and I didn’t bring a change of clothes so I declined to partake.  D of course decided to drag chick after chick into that pool turning a mass of people into blue Smurffs.  To warm up D and a female who I didn’t know went up to shower together and closed the door.  Well I lost my mind and proceeded to leave the house.  I am not sure which of our friends tried to stop me at the door and further which one ran upstairs to let him know that I was furious (sorry guys I was seeing red that night).  D came running out of the bathroom and tried to talk me out of leaving and to try to explain that nothing happened.  I stood my ground and said that I was going home, with or without him.  I laid it on the line that I was prepared to leave that night.  Who knows what went through his head at that moment, but when I got into my car he was on the other side knocking on the door for it to be unlocked.  We both made a choice that night, and neither of us looked back.  That one incident lasted for over 7 years and I never felt like I had to earn or fight for his love.  He made a choice and proved how much he loved me in that moment and I did not ever have to question that.

I just finished reading “Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov and she could not have made it plainer about how important it is in a relationship to not be taken advantage of.  I tried to convince myself that by not being a Bitch I was giving my guy a magical and special gift.  That I was showing such open love and kindness I rationalized that he could never ever take advantage of that.  I am now laughing almost to tears realizing the magnitude of errors in this line of thinking.  I freaking knew better!  For better or for worse I know exactly what type of relationship I want and what type of person I want to be in one.  Thus here I am shaking off the dust, and giving my head a much deserved wag of my finger.  Although I am choosing laughter now, there were definitely some tears along the way to this lovely self discovery.  I suppose I could chalk this off to simply experimenting with being a doormat for science, but the truth of the matter is NEVER again.  

Monday, 4 June 2012

For Every High There is a Low

There seems to be a constant pendulum of emotions whereby when I reach an amazing peak it is shortly followed by a severe low.  I felt that low yesterday, and I can honestly say just how blessed I am to have the ladies and gents in my life that I do.  When I was a young child I got into my head the idea that whenever something good would happen, something horrible was soon to follow.  I have always been intrigued by patterns and numbers and this balancing act that I conclude happens in my life has actually dictated a few of my life choices.   For example, I very often level out my excitement so as not to be accidentally disappointed. 

But here is what I experienced yesterday which was almost so simple and easy that I wish I had known this sooner.  I was incredibly bummed when I got home, and after trying for an hour or so to cheer myself up I picked up the phone and called my best friend.  Instead of trying to put on a brave face, I told her about the issues that I could not seem to deal with on my own and listened to her advice and outside perspective.  I had a good cry on the phone (yes I actually cried to her which is becoming less and less scary to admit) and came to a conclusion on how to approach my issues.  I made a resolve and then had the opportunity to reciprocate this cycle with her.  This morning when I woke up, that fear that I have in something bad about to happen was replaced with a calm resolve to continue the plans made last night.

I am excited that in writing this blog, not only has there been an increase in my capacity to write down and sort out the troublesome events in my life, but it is helping me articulate my thoughts and feelings in a much quicker capacity as well.  When I have issues in my life I often resort to the typical shut down mode of dealing with it.  I leave the room or go silent as I ponder what the issue really is.  The result is a downward spiral where I don`t trust the initial statements to come out of my mouth, so I take more time to think through my thoughts which leads me to be almost insecure as I question whether to even bring back up the issue down the road.  So many therapists have suggested similar things to help motivate clear and concise discussions that bear any importance.  Well I have come to the conclusion that my coconut should be able to determine the issues faster than that.  Because by contemplating if those issues are worth mentioning or not it undermines my ability to choose worthy battles and that slowly consumes me. As almost always I force them to just disappear without ever dealing with them.  I am slowly gaining the confidence to not fear my initial thoughts. 

It took talking with my girlfriends to figure this all out, and I am glad I have.  Why should I feel like I need to apologize for every word that comes out of my mouth or thought that I have?  Perhaps this seems strange to read as I know I come across as a confident writer, but this took work.  And learning how to deal with confrontation on an immediate basis is going to take work for me too.  I always thought that walking away, calming the situation, then addressing it later was the best answer.  I find myself yearning to be brave enough to just deal with the possible pain or argument right there and then.  To get it over with, without the over analyzing.  I have been so concerned with avoiding the lows that I have forgotten that there may be some highs that result from just dealing with things.  I have been conditioned to consider the feelings of everyone around me, but here’s to learning to take into consideration how events affect me.  This will be a relationship game changer, both with family, friends and men, but honestly when things are not working it is time to admit a change is needed.  Again I am fortunate that the people in my life will be supportive of seeing change in me, just as I always will be of them. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Sex Toys – My PSA

Hi All,
I was listening to Dan Savage last night and he was interviewing a lady who runs Smitten Kitten.  They had a discussion on safe sex toys and I realized that almost none of mine are scent free and therefore may very well be leaching out toxins.  As I have changed my diet to include label reading, ensuring that I am digesting as many un-chemically altered or preservative enriched foods as possible I feel that my sex toys deserve the same due diligence.  For a full video on this, please watch Video. 

So please join me in sniffing my toys prior to purchasing, or looking for silicon only when purchasing plastic toys.  PVC is incredibly dangerous as the chemical additive used to make it malleable leaches out of the toy and is the horrible scent that is given off upon sniffing it.  So to keep this little PSA short and sweet, throw out any sex toy that is unsafe and has a scent to it.  Safe sex is a big part of being Sex positive.