Thursday, 30 August 2012

Peanut Gallery From A Musical About Polygamy

I love live musicals and plays, and I love them even more when the subject matter relates to different forms of relationships so that I may write about them and share some thoughts.  In this case though it is not necessarily the subject of the show that I want to point out, but more so the questions from the audience afterwards.  The musical was called “Keep Sweet: Polygamy the Musical” and it was a work in progress reading and singing of the script.  Overall it was very well done, with a little polishing still needed but it was obviously well researched and each character was loosely based on real life people at polygamist compounds.  As I said though the point of interest here really was in the after show questions and feedback portion of the show.

I am fascinated by religion and culture, and I know I do a lot of my spare time reading in research of these fields as it is my hobby and has been for as long as I can remember.  Based on the questions of last night though, I quickly realized I may be more alone in this quest than I previously thought.  One lady in particular questioned why the play wasn’t darker as she could handle a lot more doom and gloom in regards to the compound and the way this group lived.  I was shocked, yes it is a different lifestyle and yes when it hit the media a few years ago it was due to a very sick prophet (leader of a polygamist sect in Utah) so obviously sensationalized.  But these believers in the principle of Mormonism live this  lifestyle because they believe that polygamy and large families are the only way into heaven.  The plural marriages, sister wives, hard work and family all go hand in hand for their salvation.  Why as an outsider would we want to view that lifestyle in a darker way? 

After that comment it truly became an educational hour whereby the majority of the audience wanted more knowledge on the in depth research that was done in order to create this musical.  Almost morbid curiosity as to why the old prophet was arrested, are there actually any happy people on the compound, etc.  I think most disturbing though was the question about the girl who was depicted with a hair lip and a limp, representational of a child born of inbreeding and why she was not marriage material.  The female questioner wanted to know if she was not able to marry because she was ugly or because she was visibly deformed.  The families living on the compounds are humans with 5 senses just like we are.  They clearly do not want to continue a line that has deformations in it as a result of inbreeding is a natural stigma no matter how much we may try to fight it on the day to day.  Even in nature if a gorilla for example, has a scar on her nose, it is less likely that she will be a desirable mate as a physical deformity is present.  These are basic survival skills and not some foreign entity just because they are people with a different religion and live in a closed community for the most part.

I understand the curiosity when introduced to concepts or ideas that are foreign, however it is a really important skill to do so by placing as little of your own thoughts and views upon them.  The skills of walking into a culture or situation without any biases or as little as possible really open you up to learn as much as possible and have a better understanding, appreciation and acceptance for why and how people live.  If you are seeking the darkness of something you have passed a judgment that the idea is bad and you are looking to re-enforce that belief.  By asking almost ridiculous questions as to why would someone who is physically deformed be ostracized by their community, all you have to do is look in our own community to find our curious stares and non-acceptance when we are faced with a challenged individual. 

On a cheery note the musical was fantastic and once they work out a few kinks I truly hope it gets produced.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

The most common phrase I hear myself saying to my friends who are in the dating world is to relax and have fun.  It may sound simple enough but it can be hard to do, especially if you are dating after a serious or long term relationship has ended.  There is such a strong temptation to settle down and get stable again that it becomes too easy to forget the basics.  When we were younger playing on the school grounds we experienced boyfriends and girlfriends that would last days, and sometimes merely recess breaks.  This occurred for a very good reason, when we are younger the second something stops being fun we end it.  There are no hurt feelings as there are plenty of other kids in the playground.  Sometimes it stings until lunchtime, but even then, there is something more interesting and happy just around the corner.

So what happens that makes us forget that being with somebody is supposed to be fun.   Why do we subconsciously decide that it is better to be with somebody and not lonely than to seek out an enjoyable life?  I can honestly tell you that every time that I forget to be happy and enjoy life my relationships fail.  When the relationship suddenly becomes more important than the happiness it provides things go downhill.  We are heading into an age where work-life balance is becoming more important than working to the bone day in and day out.  Learning to take the time to spend with family and friends as jobs seem to come and go with more fluidity than ever before.  So work is now giving us the time to spend with those we love, but be honest, is the time spent becoming more about quantity than quality? 

Yes, drilled into all of our heads is the notation that relationships take work, and they do, but the particulars of the work to be completed actually are becoming the issue.  We must work to communicate, to love ourselves first and foremost, and to make time to ensure that time spent together is actually about quality.   Time management is a huge factor in making any relationship be it professional or sexual work.  We cannot have a goal of a professional relationship to be one where we only have fun, as the work would never get completed.  And the opposite is true of a sexual relationship, if we turn it into a somber job the enjoyment dissipates.  Working on the skills to recognize the difference between the two is a struggle that I often have.  The situations that seemed so funny at work, when related at home often get blank stares or strained smiles.  The techniques we employed as children having fun in the moment, then moving on and accepting the next moment of fun are neglected as adults.  We almost seek out a more standardized relationship level whereby our work and home life share similar stories and common interests. 

Whenever lines get blurred, miscommunication is inevitable and clear cut relationships lose sight of the original purpose.  We form bonds with our coworkers out of a necessity to be social in our day to day environments.  And we form bonds and sexual relationships at home to fulfill our desires for fun and happiness.  Take the time to do something fun with your partner, and share laughs and quality time.  And when looking for a partner, remember that it probably will not work long term if you do not have a solid framework of relaxed fun and good times.   

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Something About Ducks

I was having a discussion a few weeks ago with a family member and as often happens with me the conversation turned towards sex.  For whatever reason this happened, I was surprised to learn this particular persons views on monogamy and how he feels that humans were not designed to be monogamous creatures.  I wholeheartedly agreed and we started discussing our dear examples in the animal kingdom.  He was surprised to learn how much research has been done to prove conclusively that very few previously suspected animals actually formed lifelong pair bonds.  For the most part living as a monogamous couple actually hinders an animals potential to survive and reproduce.  The chances of procreation are significantly higher with multiple partners and numerous matings. 

Then we have the example of the ducks, ducks make terrible lovers. In fact, ducks routinely exhibit actual forceful mating rituals that would be characteristically referred to as rape, sometimes even gang bangs.  Yes it is true that the male of the species forces themselves onto the female in order to reproduce.  The males are not choosy, rather opportunistic and forceful.  Mother nature is clever though, and the female, although weak in comparison to the male has a little trick up her skirt.  The drakes penis is in the shape of a corkscrew.  Thus the female duck has evolved a corkscrew pathway towards fertilization, and it is counterclockwise to the drakes.  Thus forceful mating will not result in fertilization as the pathways do not line up.  If the female duck is willing she will relax her coil and increase the chances for procreation.

So with examples like this in the animal kingdom, why for so long have people relied upon the monogamous penguin, or the pigeon to propagate why humans should practice monogamy?  We cannot pick and choose which animals to mould our relationships or bondings after.  We need to realize that there is an abundance of variety in the animal kingdom and thus the same within our species.  As more studies are published we see penguins have been found to not only be monogamous, but sometimes homosexually monogamous.  So even variation exists among the monogamous species.  And the moral of the story?  Sometimes looking to the animals is not always the best way explain our human sexual desires or relationship groups unless you are planning to use it as an example of variation and unlimited possibilities.  

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

What's in a Name: Offspring Questions for an Open Relationship

Our world is constantly changing, the lines of social norms are constantly being blurred and challenged be it by globalization or simply an individuals need and access for knowledge.  Because of this we see titles and perception being challenged on a daily basis.  For example an article recently came out regarding “The Rise of the Three Parent Family” whereby it discusses the increase in conception involving more than just the previously required male and female.  Thanks to science a woman can use a viable donor egg and insert her own genetic material paired with her partners sperm in order to fertilize an egg.  This is just a small example but it begs the question that we may soon need to challenge the word parent as it is evidently too small a word when we are dealing with blended and divorced families on such a regular rate.

I myself have struggled with what I should call my step dad throughout my adult life.  And introducing him to new people is always a bit of a roadblock to me as I have never felt that calling him my step dad even begins to cover the role he plays in my life.  Stepdad for many has a negative connotation as does stepmom, and I am hopeful that over time this begins to diminish, in the interim however the challenge still remains.  Our terms for family are often shortsighted, and include blood relatives only but I think it’s safe to say that each of us has a non blood person in our lives who is more family than even our  closest kin. 

This brings me round to my point in that, if I am striving to explore the possibilities of an open relationship where would that put my current family and my future offspring.   And what names would they use to call their family and what social pressures would they face for being raised in household that is outside of the norm.  I know I cannot plan for everything, but these are questions that I need to ask and answer before I settle down in my not so settled lifestyle. 

There was a blog that I used to follow and the woman was poly, going through a divorce and unfortunately lost her children to her ex husband as a result of her lifestyle.  You my readers, may have your own opinions about whether this was just or fair, but in the long run it always boils down to what is best for the children.  Social stigma about what’s legal and ethical may need to be re-evaluated as I know a lot of children who have been much worse off for the courts choosing one parent over the other to live with just because of the misconception that the mother is 90% of the time the best choice. 

There are risks involved in anything, but I think the pursuit of raising the best possible offspring should not be a high risk endeavor.  It should be one of love, financial stability and a long term agreement about how the children are to be raised and what values are most important to the parents.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

My Personal Stance on Openness

A few days after I had written the post for intermediate openness which I post on Monday I received a very frank and amazingly written letter from an old classmate of mine.  He shared with me his story about stumbling into open relationships in order to prevent him from cheating on his partners and I will be honest I think this a very common misconception about going from an open relationship to one of a longer term openness.  I can only speak for myself but the vision that I have for openness in the long term is one of love and freedom, whereby I have my significant other, but also where I am not bound to only be with that one singular person exclusively.  I love the freedom of choice and in a perfect world I would have my partner with whom I would raise a family, but I would also have a male on the side who would provide that extra spice. 

There is something in this though, this has to be the lifestyle that you really want.  The hope or the waiting for that perfect person to come along who will sweep you off your feet and offer you the world is just not a part of this scenario.  This is a chosen lifestyle based on past experiences and future desires and in really taking the time to get to know yourself.  This lifestyle cannot be one where adapt it because you cannot stop cheating on your partners, so you adopt it as a preventative measure.  Long term a lot more soul searching needs to be done.  Had I stumbled upon this lifestyle because I had cheated in the past I honestly think I would be taking a very different stance.  I would be tempted to take a hardened, screw it, it’s my life and I will do what I want type of perspective.  Instead though, I was shown this lifestyle through love and support, along with an amazing amount of ongoing research and asking of questions.  I did not want to open things up to cure a bad behavior.  I wanted this lifestyle because of the possibilities that it offered to me long term.

I see very few short term gains in having an open relationship especially as it is so similar to just dating a whole bunch of people that it becomes difficult to really connect with just one or two people and give them the amount of deserved time to build things successfully.  It just is not an easy thing to do and I cannot pretend that it is.  Juggling 4 or 5 people is hard work and leaves you feeling drained, and more importantly these people are dealing with their own emotions about the situation as well.  Grooves are harder to make when in this place and it takes and incredibly special person to work well.  Which is a vicious cycle as these special people are much harder to find, and they need special attention to really bring this out in them.  I think though that in finding these people and putting all this extra and specialized attention towards them, the result is an incredible bond filled with amazing communication and connections.

Hence why I know that living in an open lifestyle is just not easy.  Knowing that I have exactly what I want right now, it can be difficult watching from the sidelines as my “partner” finds his groove.  It is almost painful at times and the only thing that is helping me keep it together is the knowledge that I have what I want and I need to be patient and supportive until he does the same.  I know that the sentence I just wrote is very scary to most of my readers and I understand completely that this seems like the most foreign and horrible thing to be on the sidelines for.  All I can say is that knowing the goals he is seeking is easier to me than it would be coming home one day from a stable, happy, long term marriage to find that my husband is in bed with another woman.  A small daily struggle, versus that earth shattering experience, well I have made my choice.  And the joys that will result when he finds what he is looking for, playing a role in the happiness that I have found just seems like the biggest fantasy come true.  And with my eyes wide open what he wants and what I want may never quite be the same, but as I said before there is an intense amount of effort put into developing these relationships and thus if ending things is the way to go it will be peaceful and with love and respect.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Intermediate Openness

The other day I really began to realize that information is becoming more available for people who wish to open up their relationships or to begin exploring a monogamish type of lifestyle.  There is also an abundance of websites that are available to support the couples and their partners in the “how to’s” of polyamory.  There are also a bunch of blogs that are popping up that share the stories of people who have been living this lifestyle for years, with guest posts by their various partners. As much benefit as these sources of information are, there seems to be one area that does not seem to have nearly as much focus, and that is the in between phase. 

As expected people are less willing to discuss when open relationships fail or hit trouble spots because the societal response is to say “I told you this wouldn’t work, monogamy is the only solution towards true happiness”.  I recently experienced the same thing with one of my dearest friends.  Although she did not come right out and say these words, she did mention to me that she just doesn’t understand this and recommended a solution of serial monogamy.  As genuine and thoughtful as her solution was to her, my response was instantly one of anger and my back went right up.  This is not a solution, just a different way of dating wrought with its own problems and disadvantages which can be found among everything. 

Thus is makes me sad that non monogamous people have a harder time being open at expressing when things go wrong in order to network better solutions.  I’m sure it felt the same way for couples in the 50s when divorce was almost unheard of.  There were so few people who were willing to openly discuss why things went wrong, and more importantly give support to the couples who were in intense and real pain.  To many outsiders the solution to avoid the pain and stigma of divorce was to stay married and tough it out.  Perhaps start a drinking hobby, or a mistress would be better long term solutions. Children grow up with much more stability in these circumstances than in two separate but loving homes. 

And thus I come back to my original point, when I have an issue that I need to work through, it is difficult to find support from anyone outside of a few faceless bloggers and podcasters.  My friends and family with as much love in their hearts do still hold the prerogative that I would have a much easier and happier life if I was monogamous.  But sadly this is just not the case for me, I must instead make up my own support network, and continue my path with the potential for so many more mistakes.  But in the end, I am at peace with the knowledge that I will have plodded through all the struggles for my own happiness.  

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Just Porn: Just Vibrators

Why are some men so incredibly afraid of vibrators?   I wrote my thoughts on porn being just porn, in hopes that it would shed some light on the fear that some woman have regarding their male partners porn viewing habits.  The long and the short of it is that men are going to watch porn, and so long as the female does not feel that the porn is replacing her, it should be accepted for what it is in man’s life, just porn.  So now onto our male counterparts, and some of your fear or discomfort with vibrators in your woman’s life.

Vibrators are a part of our female history, most notably in the usage by doctors to cure the female condition called hysteria.  The vibrator was developed by doctors because their arms were getting tired manually stimulating the female genitals.  Now instead of large contraptions filled with belts, gears, and sometimes even steamed powered machines we have portable devices run on batteries.  And let me tell you that they still can cure a multitude of ailments from headaches, to mild depression and most importantly to use just because it feels great.  But there are still men out there who fear these pleasurable devices, and woman who are embarrassed about them too.    

The thing of it is, these devices are not designed to be a replacement for a penis, tongue, or finger.  How could they be, when many are designed to look like dolphins or bunnies, even cute rubber duckies for some bath time play.  People are not designed to vibrate, and thus we are not able to provide the same sensations to our partners that these toys can.  Hence the parallels between the lack of threat between a males porn viewing and a females vibrator are clear.  One is just not a substitute for the real thing, and in fact both places of stimulation can even be a special treat in the bedroom or a regular enhancement.  Whereby the male has his visual senses kicked into overdrive, and the female has her clitoris stimulated during penetration for just one small example. 

Whatever makes your sex life more amazing is a good thing and should not be viewed as a threat.  Jealousy is a funny thing, and it is something I am faced with on a daily basis in my lifestyle, but the trick to really take a moment and think about what is actually the root cause of your fear or insecurity.  Figuring out the cause of jealousy is something that can be applied to many other aspects of your life, so take the time as I have to figure out why something that can add pleasure for you and your partner is a negative thing.  And please do not forget to pick safe toys for you and your partner, free of harmful chemicals, for more information please use the links in this blog. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fantasy Connection

I suppose the knowledge that my family reads my blog and those people who I have face to face time with keeps me from putting into print things that could in fact be harmful to my professional reputation.  Which for all intents and purposes is a good thing, but every once in a while something that makes me smile so proudly comes up that I just want to share.  It can be a bit of an internal battle between what I would tell a person to their face, versus what I would just blindly tell the public and although I struggle with this concept I would dislike ever being told that my blog was boring.  Criticism and feedback are always welcomed with loving arms, as well as questions or giving me permission to share other people stories.  But for the right now let me share with you mine.

Recently I found myself a little over my head in the forays of the dating world.  I was conflicted by having a lot on the go, some pretty significant work changes, dear friends coming back to the city and some moving away from me.  I craved some pick me ups thus I went and flirted my little heart out.  It felt amazing and it completely rejuvenated me in a healthy and safe way.  But all good things do find a give point, especially when there is so much, and at times too many people and commitments on the go.  I found myself almost burdened by the fact that aside from two amazing male confidants I was unable to really share or seek solace in what I had just got myself into.  Thus I set myself up perfectly to be a little vulnerable and open to new possibilities. 

There was one guy in particular who was obviously not OK with the idea of an open relationship.  At this point I should have politely bowed out and said it was a pleasure meeting you, but of course there would not be something to write about if that happened.  Instead I was basically given a carrot attached to string dangled in front that represented the elusive dating thingy that I have heard so much about.  I do not ever get courted by men, instead I fall head first into relationships.  Here was a guy tempting me with being dated, shown around, taken for adventures and basically just treated like a princess so long as we are monogamous.  I was so tempted.  It sounded wonderful in theory, almost too good to be true.  Here was a well off gentleman offering me something that in a previous mindset I had craved and begged for.

But then reality hit, I love being around E, and I just see no reason why a guy I just met should be able to tell me that I can no longer see him.  Yes exes are bad, but there are also a lot of good sides as I wrote about in my previous post.  But if that was not sign enough, I received the most flattering e-mail that I could have received at that particular moment.  A dear person in my life called me his fantasy connection.  No I will not go into any further detail about what that might means, or what it entails.  Feel free to use your imagination but I doubt many of you will be even close.   And that really is not the point, instead it was the power that this position I have found myself in really has upon my overall happiness.  I have sole autonomy over my body, mind and spirit.  I can do with myself as I would like, and although I used to dream of monogamy and all the comforts it provided, at the end of the day, I am free living as I do now.  I am my own fantasy connection and that is how I find happiness and sheer bliss.  The people I choose and the desires that fulfill me.  

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Trial and Error – How Open is Too Open?

My relationship status in an office environment is the one place I keep it on the down low.  Current co-workers always get a glossed over explanation as I have been in far too many back stabbing offices.  I have a preference for discussions of the humorous nature in a workplace, as it creates a twofold effect.  The first being the air of a friendly and positive atmosphere and the second combats my usual colder and secretive nature.  By opening up with funny little situations and anecdotes I am able to fit in a little better.

Hie, hoe, hum, what to do and say when dating?  It infuriates me when E will text a girl right in front of me and admit to it but offer absolutely no additional information.  In his mind I think it just avoids a fight and negativity, but in my mind it allows a situation to build and fester until I explode.  Vague answers drive me crazy, so clearly that is not open enough.   But what other options are there?  I tried being completely honest and open with a guy and the result was that every time we talked he would bring it up in the most negative, possessive and controlling way.  I could not really fault him as I get the temptation to react that way, but it serves at times to push me far away.  Thus there is most definitely a too open category. 

I am grateful for one thing, and that is being in a situation whereby there are very few expectations and I can test the waters a bit to find a solution that will work for me.  I want to get to the point where I can exemplify the reactions that I wish to receive.  It is not perfect or ideal for me being in a state of limbo, but the bottom line is that is where I am at and I need to make the most of a unique situation.  There are bigger stresses in my life and right now, and working on those must be the priority.  I have no answers, but I am asking the right questions so a solution is sure to present itself.

Trying to find balance between work, home and dating openness is something that takes trial and error.  Currently, lips sealed or humor in the workplace, limited in the home life and limited in the dating world.  I hope someday I can look back at this post and shout that I can be open everywhere in my life!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Liars Or Cheaters: Reply

I received a comment on my post Liars or Cheaters and as I went to reply I realized that I had more to say on the subject than just a simple yes or no answer.  The question was “but what if you are lying to protect the other person’s feelings? [he/she] cheated, but rather than come out with it, simply broke up with the person or let things just… peter out. Is it still cheating?” I guess one of the first questions I would ask to properly give my opinion would be why did you cheat?  If the answer was that you were unhappy and just looking for an out then I suppose it is in the gray area as to whether or not you cheated.  People do some dumb and immature, often hurtful things when they are unhappy and don’t know how to close the door.  Sometimes they need that extra edge or push so that they cannot go back and create a situation that is similar to cheating in their own minds.

Now on the other hand, if you ended things or let things slowly fizzle out afterwards because you were ashamed and not honest about what you did, then to me that is the most offensive form of cheating.  The person who is unable to be honest and upfront with their actions and instead cause their partner all the loss and pain without the true reason for ending things?   Well, to put it bluntly makes you a pussy and an ass.  What if the act of sleeping with another person was simply a natural expression of a new chemistry, or simply an act of momentary lack of judgement.  Is that something that you could not share with your partner and discuss as two rational adults?  If anything you should let your partner be fully informed of the situation and allow them the time to decide how they would like to react.  If for no other reason than safety first and foremost, because you have potentially put your partner at risk by not disclosing where your fluids have been.  Even the safest sex has risks, and you need to be honest enough to trust that a person you are seeing will be honest and you should be doing the same.

Saying that you are protecting this persons feelings is simply another way of saying that you are not responsible enough to engage in sexual activity.  The responsible party fesses up, and accepts the reactions that they receive within reason (no endorsement for a Lorena Bobbitt type reaction).