Friday, 29 March 2013

Why Hate an Open Relationship?

So often I read about people’s opinions and hatred of open relationships, which bothers me knowing there is still so much misinformation on something that goes on every day, and sometimes for very loving reasons.  For example a woman is desperate to keep the man in her life when he gets transferred over sea’s for work.  She is looking for advice to in how to propose an open relationship so that they can continue to have their needs met physically, but maintain an emotional relationship while time and space keep them apart.  Instead of advice, she encounters judgement, hatred and anger from her peers that she is looking to for help.  This is just an example that I read about yesterday morning and I just cannot get it out of my head.  Whether I agree with this woman and her decision to keep her relationship alive over long distances is completely irrelevant.  She is seeking advice on how to lovingly enter into a relationship scenario that will forever change how she perceives commitment and monogamy.  To bash her, or to tell her the relationship is over, is baffling to me.

But it brings me to a point that has a real soft spot for me.  Every person has opinions, some are the result of how we were raised, some experiences, and my hope is that someday our opinions are all based on education and giving fair value to all sides of the debate.  I feel that these people, who judge this would be relationship altering woman, are judging out of fear.  Fear that perhaps having open relationships and commitments would somehow break down the moral fibre of what being in a relationship should entail in the western society we live in.  That fear of changing an ideal that quite frankly cannot work in every single situation across the board.  But the truth of the matter is, what I choose to do in my bedroom and with the people in my life does not affect my friendships with those I love.  I have not become corrupt, or lost my values and goals in life.  I am not living without love and support, nor keeping my love and support from those around me.  My open relationships do not instill fear from those who know me, and they do not walk on eggshells around me, or hide their children from me.  There is no fear, because there is no reason to have fear.

I hope that writing about my experiences has provided a bit of education to others.  If nothing else proved that I am not some freak show who should be studied because I do not fit the mould of monogamy.  I do not want my tone to portray that of a defensive stance aimed at the naysayers, but more a plea to educate yourself prior to putting forth an opinion.  Especially one that can make another person feel bad. It seems simple enough, but to demean another person because their views do not line up with your own, well you can fill in whatever word you want there to call them.  I promote love, education, self improvement, and all around doing things that make you happy.  Life is short, so live it for yourself and do not get mixed up in feeling that you need to judge everyone and everything that goes on around you.  

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Shy One

When I was a girl I was shy.  I was skinny, with long brown hair, and wore glasses.  I am an only child, so I learned how to associate with my mom’s friends and was a lot slower to make friends my own age.  My entire life I have had a tendency to blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind, which my ex used to call my shock value statements.  He loved them, where as I would say them, look around the room at all the shocked reactions and quickly feel guilt about saying what seemed natural.  It is an odd position to have found myself in, that one where I say my shock statements and then I balk at the reactions and almost cocoon myself up.  I get praised by my partner, yet feel judged by the people around me.  So I found myself losing practice at saying what I wanted to for fear of criticism, which increased the perceived shyness I had.

Like anything though, I soon realized that being shy was a trait that could be overcome, and for me should be worked on with diligence.  I love meeting new people and being in situations where I have the chance to make a first impression on my terms.  I find it exciting and interesting to read people in a room and to watch them read me.  However I knew I was not going to get to play this well loved game if I was constantly fearful of what would come out of my mouth or my shyness over taking me.  As an added bonus to this, if any of you have talked to me prior to going skydiving you know I am downright cranky when I am feeling nervous or scared.  Cranky me, is never something that is going to work well with making first impressions.  And unfortunately once I reach my crankiness threshold it takes everything in my being to get out of it, and that is only if I notice that I have reached that point.

So I started playing games to help me overcome this negative trait that I had.  I recall needing quite a bit of liquid courage at first, but I would walk over to a group of men at a bar, and try and begin a conversation.  Honestly, my openers were terrible, compounded with loud music, getting flushed at having to repeat myself, it ended in constant rejection for a long while.  But soon I found a little bit of a rhythm, and being shot down was not nearly as scary.  Once that fear of rejection subsided, my confidence started boosting, and that shy little ugly duckling that I was started to disappear.   It may sound like I am repeating a previous post but I feel it is so important to pick something you are bad at and challenge yourself and try to overcome it.  You may fail, but who knows you could overcome something marginally scary and look back and laugh at who you used to be, like I have.  Few people that I meet today, even believe that I was ever shy, or had feelings of insecurities as strong as I did.  Plus now when I utter a shock statement I am able to just plow right ahead and not feel so insecure if it went over poorly.  

Saturday, 23 March 2013

My Early Writing Days

I was having drinks recently with a really awesome lady, and she remarked to me that she never knew I was a writer.  Now this lady has actually stuck out a friendship with me for just about 25 years and although we have not been super close as of late, we have always updated each other on the big milestones.  I went home and pondered the reality that very few people knew that I wanted to be a writer, including myself.  Looking back now it is obvious, I have so many unfinished notebooks and partially written ideas scattered around my house, and a great many finished projects too.

I remember the first time I was assigned to write a short story, during mystery month at school.  I was about 12, and I did nothing but write for a week straight.  I went through the entire writing process we were taught, the brainstorming, coming up with a theme, climactic action, and as it was a mystery, developing the character with the surprise twist at the end.  I had written this all down in an old green notebook that I found in my grandfathers work shop.  The night before I had to hand in the story I re-looked at the assignment and was actually a little upset that it had to be typed out and not handwritten.  So I pulled one of my first all nighters, typed the story out and handed in both the typed version and the authentic handwritten ‘whodunit’.  I re-read the story I wrote a couple of years ago, and although I know it will never be the great lost work of K-Ghislaine, it had a couple of points of charm in it. And it also laid the framework for how I go about writing today.

Although I no longer have much interest in fictional works, I have written all sorts of things without ever realizing what I was actually preparing myself for.  I have books of poetry, short stories, some philosophical essays, and even two songs.  I cannot pretend any of them are works of art, but as I move forward with my writing career it seems a little less terrifying to know all the years of practice and preparation that I have put into it.  Writing my blog makes me very happy, because I do subscribe to the idea that you are better at the things you know and you love.  I never knew I wanted to be a writer, I just have always written.  I loved it before I even knew I was doing it, it’s actually kind of how I felt about sex.  I knew I would love it long before I lost my virginity.  I came so close to writing a completely safe for work post. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Online Dating: Direct Communication

This may be an odd thing to write about, especially seeing as to many this could be viewed as a very basic concept, but I must admit it is one that I have been poor at for a long time.  In my teens I went through a common communication loop where every reaction I had was in the negative.  If someone asked if I wanted to do something, my teenage angst self would reply with “no”, and then I would wait to be talked into doing it.  I was reluctant to accept anyone’s ideas or thoughts outright and needed to be swayed.  I was skeptical and close minded about all new things and ideas.  To this day I still find myself falling into this pattern.  Just last weekend, when asked a direct question, without even thinking I said no, and then pathetically tried to talk myself out of the no because it was not even close to the appropriate answer. 

But here I am trying very diligently to break this habit and start forming new ones that integrate directness with accuracy, and no longer default to my habitual negative reactions.  What is surprising me most about this quest, is my interactions with men on the online dating community.  When a guy I was not  interested in would message me a few years ago, I would react with a negative answer, or I would just delete the person from my message folder.  One is negative, and the other some would argue is even worse, being just passive aggressive.  Neither made me feel very good, and on some level I knew that I had to change my reactions to something that would not leave me in that bad mood I was left with.

So a couple of weeks ago I tried something different when a  similar typed male who would message me.  I tried being direct, clear, concise and most importantly removed the wishy washy language, from my return messages.   Shockingly, by simply saying, “thanks for the message.  You are not my type, but best of luck to you”, I am getting the most amazing replies.  Instead of having guys try and argue their way into my head, or get angry or wounded by my rejection, they reply with a simple “no problem, and have a good night”.  It  baffles me just how wonderful this new feedback loop is.  I remove all emotion or vagueness from my replies, and I receive in return simple replies back without any animosity.  I can appreciate right now if you are reading this and going, “well duh K, what did you think would happen.  Have you honestly never dealt with men before?”  And yes if you are still reading to this point you are welcome to judge me for such a simple fact that I feel like I have just discovered, but consider this.

My entire adult life, I have been working on seductions, love, building relationships and improving communication with people that I was really interested in.  Not once did I really stop to think about all the relationships out there that I do not want, and how to react to those in a kind, but firm manner.  And that is the point of this very specific skill set that has been brought to light for me.  There is importance in learning how to close a door, and likewise value in learning how to just walk past a door without even looking in.  I get lost in the middle, whereby I look at the door, contemplate the door and then either wish that I had never looked at the door, or stand there blankly when the door gets opened for me.  So finally figuring out that there can be a positive outcome to just closing down a conversation with someone right from the get go is a huge thing for me.  Direct communication has made me insecure for a long time.  It is not a form of communication that I ever thought needed practice or even a second thought.   And wouldn’t you know, I was obviously wrong, and can only start practicing this missed opportunity on a go forward basis.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Men: Online Dating Encore

Oh my! The strange and peculiar opening lines are really coming out of the woodwork this week.  Perhaps the thawing weather is playing a role, or perhaps it has just been a bit too long since I last checked my online profile.  Online dating is supposed to be fun, interesting and above all a good place to meet new people.  The skills in communicating online have become such an intrinsic part of how we interact in our global market that I am baffled at a few of the recent messages I have gotten.  I am not sure if so many people just ignore messages, that the new goal is just to illicit a response no matter if it is positive or negative.  Or that people are just plain bad at communicating what they want, and in choosing the correct methods to get it.  As always, these are actual messages, I would not dream of making any of this up.

As I mentioned in my previous post I think displaying a bit of intellect is a good first sign.  Having the skills to hold a genuine conversation is very important to me.  The art of conversation is not a skill that I think the writer of the below message excels at:  “Hey seem kind of cool...and yeah, you heard me...I do mean just kinda cool ;) By the way...I am very competitive ... what do you get competitive about? I love playing pool ... I usually even make wagers ... I'd be willing to bet a pair of shoes on it :)  Anyway...since I've read your profile, sent you a message, now I will go back and click "meet me" just because I can :-p”.  My guess was high school education, no car, and at least one picture with his shirt off while covering his face with sunglasses.  Turns out he had a really nice looking shiny sports car, or at least himself in front of one.

The next one to highlight for my dear readers is the art of creeping me out.  Some people just give off a slight weird guy vibe, this message however took that to a whole new level of discomfort: “Not that you'll believe me but I would love to encourage you to take part in som e amazing cuddling and that's it if your comfortable with more then one cuddling event I think we might have a good base for a date!”  This guys per-requisite to go on date with him is to first experience him with what I will assume is with a bunch of other guys in a cuddle party.  I actually saw a post a few months ago on Kijiji advertising that the cuddle party that was planned was severely lacking in woman, and was seeking woman of any age, size and to not worry, the clothes would not come off.  I try to be accepting of all lifestyles, but cuddle parties and furries really creep me out.

And finally a message that far out does the others in making me speechless, therefore no additional introduction will I give. 

“ My message may sound different but I really felt I can give it a try...
Actually i am new on here,also rarely log on here and i feel lucky i saw your amazing photo and checked your profile,your profile is really inspiring
i choosed to be honest and direct with you ,nothing to loose so i hope you appreciate my honesty and you will not misjudge me...
I am wondering if you are a dominant strong confident lady and if you would ever consider having a personal slave for real...r u dominant as you look?
I dont expect a reply but i know i will be luck if you did
Wish to hear back from you”

Men, please oh please if you want decent woman to be on dating sites, help a brother out and call them an idiot for sending messages like these.  There are only so many messages that any given person can nervously laugh off and or delete before wondering if all the crazies are online.  It makes me almost wish I received messages like this “So why u read so much? U should go out more”, as one lady lamented to me on twitter from her previous online dating days.

And then after all of that I finally received a real and genuine message that I had to do a double take.

I actually created my profile so I could send you a note. How's that for effort?

You seem very cool. Very pretty, fit, tall. All things I like. I'm plenty tall enough for you to wear your heals. What do you do to stay fit? I like the gym. A little crossfit and traditional weight lifting. I might do the color me rad run this summer even though I'm not much of a runner.

What else would you like to know about me?

What else can you tell me about you?”

This message was simple, sweet, and thoughtful.   I bet this guy is going to be getting more dates out of his effort than all the guys in my past two posts combined.  I hope I have not scared any of you fine ladies from online dating, I mean you already know what the worst out there looks like.  You can now laugh it off and go and find that person that you actually click with.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Men: Online Dating

Sorry to pick on you dear men who have forayed into the world of online dating, but quite frankly the majority of you suck at it.  Which is very bad news for you because there are men out there, who are amazing at it, have studied all your mistakes and swoop down to have their pick of the ladies.  I have written about this before here, but it turns out I had barely scratched the surface.  I revamped my online profile last week for purposes of science and I would like to share with you a few thoughts and stories.  I promise you I have not made a single one of these messages up, in the same sentence I am not trying to scare anyone off of online dating.

One of the first things is that talking like a 12 year old in text slang or poor grammar is never a good first impression.  Such phrases as “I c u as an equal”, or “Hi gorgeous text me if u want ###-#### would really like too know. U seems very down on earth talk soon I hope”, does not illicit a very positive response.  First impressions count, especially when you take into account that this is a game of numbers.  Why would someone want to meet you, when you have shown the communication skill level of a tween?  You are looking for a relationship or at the very least set up a meeting for coffee and hold a conversation in order to plan a booty call, take the effort to make full sentences and use real words.

Next on my list is copying and pasting information from your profile directly into your opening message.  I know we woman are fickle and may pass you by, but I can almost guarantee that if a woman takes the time to read your opening message she will also take the time to read your profile.  Repeating yourself right from the get go is not going to impress anyone.  This is a mild annoyance, and perhaps will not place very high on anyone else s list, but I felt it was worth mentioning.

Thirdly, and I cannot even believe this happened to me, please oh please do not propose marriage as an opener.  Here is the direct quote from a message I received “Can we skip our first meet and just go straight to the wedding chapel? We'll decide our honeymoon plans over the phone. I promise not to hit on our bridesmaids!”   My main confusion with this opener is as to what sort of response he was expecting.  It almost did not matter that he was a slimy looking guy with a pencil thin mustache and a pony tail, but still, he must have thought this was a positive approach and for the life of me I cannot fathom why.

And ladies, try not to be cruel when guys makes these mistakes.  It only makes them bitter to the whole online dating thing and perpetuates their belief that it does not work.  The belief we are superficial is re-confirmed.  If they make a horrible mistake, kindly tell them, and be sure to mention that the ship has sailed with you but perhaps the next girl would be more willing to chat.  I personally will not chat with guys who do not show their eyes in a single one of their pictures.  Last week I told a guy flat out why I was not chatting with him and sure enough he posted some face pictures.  I am pretty sure his odds have increased significantly or at least that’s what he has told me.  Yes it’s a numbers game but with the goal being a face to face meeting pick and choose how you want to be mysterious.  Hiding your face is just plain creepy.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A Good State of Dating Mind

Life can suck being single, what with everyone around you asking if you are seeing anyone, which is just a tad quieter in your mind then when you ask yourself that very same question.  Why am I single? As if there something wrong with being on your own, that nagging horrible self doubt plants firmly into your brain.  If only there was someone out there who loved me for me, then I would be validated as a person.  I am sure you can see where this spiral is going, in a very quick downward direction.  And it is very hard for a person to get out of this, because who actually wants to date a damaged person?  We look for whole and complete individuals who add meaning to our lives, enrich them and do not burden us.

And as I type these words, I remember all the stories and movies I watched as a child.  Whereby the man made the money, and took care of the wife and children.  The woman was dependant on the man the instant a ring was put on her finger.  And the courtship was so short that woman only had to play the independence game for a few short months.  A great example is “The Sound of Music”, where the captain fell in love with the would be nun who stood up to him, then once they were married Maria remarked that she could not ask him to be less than he was.  Today we must not only play the game of independence for courtship alone, but master the game because it could take years to tie that knot.  And further, once that knot is tied, we cannot revert back to the now myths of childhood, that archaic notion of marriage.  Instead we have to constantly spice things up, and keep interesting to maintain a marriage that is longer than a few years.  And in order to do that, we cannot be damaged goods, or relationships too quickly become exhausting.

 And here is the very basic and original point to this little post, and that is you need to be whole and complete in order to date in today’s world.  People are less likely to seek out a fixer upper, or a project.   Further we no longer want the responsibility of a less than equal partner.  I so often see men and woman seeking a stable, no drama sort of relationship.  It sounds cliché, but if you are not able or willing to date yourself, get off the market for other people.  Love yourself, in order to properly love someone else.  

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Fantasies Sometimes Have Hidden Costs: Blood Donations

When I had the opportunity last summer, well to be accurate, when I created the opportunity last summer to hook up with two guys at the same time, I was over the moon.  It was something I had wanted to do for a long time, and after the weeks of planning and hard work setting it up, well I am still a little speechless over how well it turned out.  I was diligent in my planning, and I screened the participants thoroughly and assessed my risks versus pleasure.  I took careful care of my body before and after to ensure I minimized any foreseen physical risks.  You cannot 100% eliminate all risk, but you can certainly ask questions and be as informed as possible about the pros and cons.

There is one aspect though that I did not even consider in the cons section and have only been made aware of it over 6 months later.  And that is ‘blood is in you to give’, unless of course you engage in high risk sexual activity.  Any and all male to male contact, even with a condom, is considered a high risk activity for the risk of HIV/AIDS, and therefore gay men are ineligible to give blood.  Also females who have any sexual contact with a partner who has had previous male to male contact are temporarily deferred from giving blood.  My little fantasy  had the unforeseen potential to temporarily blacklist me from helping others by giving blood and could have potentially blacklisted the gentlemen who were right along with me had they engaged in any contact with each other and not just maintain all their amazing focus on me...

This makes me very angry, to the point that I can pointedly say that law is created out of hate and fear and not education.  All the blood donated is tested and screened, so if it is clear of disease why should it not be used?  Many others are outraged about this as well, thus there is a change that is currently being proposed.  And that is if you do not have any male to male contact for a minimum of 5 years then you may be eligible to donate.  However it still means that gay men are not allowed to donate, even if they have been completely monogamous with the same partner for over 5 years.  The risks of transmitting AIDS/HIV is deemed too high to potentially allow into the public, even if it was a matter of life and death.

Please see below for a direct quote from Canadian Blood Services;
3. HIV High Risk Activities:
There are a number of high-risk activities for acquiring HIV/AIDS that can indefinitely defer people from giving blood. People who have taken money or drugs for sex, since 1977 cannot give blood.
All men who have had sex with another man, even once, since 1977 are indefinitely deferred. This is based on current scientific knowledge and statistical information that shows that men who have had sex with other men are at greater risk for HIV/AIDS infection than other people.
Intravenous use of illegal street drugs/narcotics also constitutes a HIV high risk activity and results in indefinite deferral.
8. HIV High Risk Activities
Being the sexual partner of someone who has participated in high risk activities (other than the sexual partner of someone who has tested positive for HIV) will result in a temporary deferral.