I saw a picture of you

I saw a picture of you and it made me see what you’d look like when you were an old man. Your face was relaxed and you were sleepy, and I could see the man I’d imagined I’d be with. I’d feared that one of us might not make it, but I hadn’t thought we wouldn’t make it together.

All the stuff we told each other and ourselves, and after a good long love I honestly don’t know if it was as good as I remember or as bad as I thought. I look at your phone in your hand and remember how hard it was to engage you. I see the happiness you seem to have now, but you seemed happy with me too, so who knows. Often you look happy and often you look sour, and I really don’t know which one you are. Both?

I don’t miss you as much now. I don’t hate you and I don’t pine for you. I don’t think of you at all most days, and every now and then that strikes me. I wish things hadn’t been as they were. I wish we could have coffee and just let it go, because I love you and I want to know you are okay. I want to laugh now and then as we always did. I want to tease you and watch the way the corners of your eyes crinkle. I’d like to see you smile. I’d like to know what you think about and I’d like you in my life, maybe twice a year having a talk or a coffee.

It’s hard to understand that a lot of the reason that won’t happen is because of me. It’s hard to think of all the stupid ways I fucked up. It’s not really sad that I lost you as much.. it’s sadder that we lost each other completely.

I wanted to be just one more person in your life that cared about you.

I lied. It is sad.

Is there any time when this is done? It’s not often these days.. but will there ever be a time when it won’t pain a little to think of you?

Sex parties and consent

I’ve been attending sex parties and events since 1997. I have attended parties and events in New York, Chicago, Texas, California, Oregon and Washington state.  Holly and I met on OKC  and then in person for the first time at a sex party, and we’ve been to BDSM workshops, play parties and swing parties together.  I’ve hosted small gatherings in my home and volunteered to assist at large and small parties on both coasts.

Last month I attended a lecture from some PhD/University professors who have collected, over the past few years, data from people who have attended sex parties. Some of the data comes from folks who have attended only a few events and others who host parties and attend hundreds a year.  Here are streams of the talks that were presented on Facebook Live, if you are interested.

Dr. Zhana Vrangalova PhD

The second video is the one I’d like to talk most about. At about 49 minutes in, Dr. Brooke Wells starts to discuss “Sexual Consent, Safety & Victimization Among Play Party Attendees”, and some of the numbers she presented were surprising to me. Keep in mind that this talk was an initial review and early presentation of findings, rather than  a presentation of conclusions or suggested action items. Continue reading

Grace

I was reading a blog written by a woman with cancer, the big bad kind. And I was awed by her ability to just not be okay sometimes, and to celebrate other times, bringing joy to everyone at her chemo center.  We all have these times when we are struggling, when we are sick, or lonely, or grinding out day after exhausting day of a huge work project, or grad school, or a rambunctious child. And some people seem to do it with so much grace.

I think it’s because some people can accept their dark and their light. They can be not-okay and be okay with that. I think maybe grace doesn’t come from sailing through everything unaffected and vulcan. I think maybe it’s letting the feelings come, letting them go, and the freedom in the in between spots to just enjoy the light, not shaming ourselves for what we feel and think, not apologizing again and again and again for having a time we were weak or wrong. Continue reading

Vulnerable and Real

So, I’ve been an emotional mess.

I’m tired. This is the worst quarter of grad school and I’ve just been… emotional. I’m so tired. I haven’t slept as much or had much time for rest. I’ve been spending too much time alone. I’ve felt this deep neediness and insecurity and loneliness. My brain has not been nice.

We studied these attachment theories, which honestly I fucking hate. We read all of this stuff about kids who didn’t have stable caregivers and how they are fucked for life, how their brains wire poorly and they develop abnormal amygdalas. I just read all of this shit, and it’s all about people like me. They talked about children like me, who’s moms abandoned them and how we cannot form secure attachments and are permanently and irreversibly broken. They talked about kids who’s parents were neglectful, and absent and the children they raise who cannot regulate emotion and can’t form normal connections. And fuck, I hate that.  I hate it.

I hate the idea that someone would read this and think, “well that explains it. Poor fucked up girl. Of course she is this way.”

And then I’m reading this other stuff about how humans crave connection. We need trust and belonging. We are wired from birth to attach and connect and seek intimacy in all kinds of forms. We are balls of fear and longing with center cores of gushy love. We all want to be seen and heard. Continue reading

Coming Out Sideways

If you don’t deal with feelings they don’t come out the regular way and instead burst a hole to the side, creating a lot more wreckage.

I’ve heard people say they never get jealous and you know.. I don’t usually like to be so harsh.. but fuck you and your self righteous bullshit. I know, I know. I’ll probably get emails or messages about how “no.. I am a special and unique human being and I never get jealous. I might be insecure at times, or something far less stigmatized than jealousy, but I don’t get jealous”.

The people I have really known who say things like this tend to have a jealousy problem. It’s like people saying they hate drama. Drama creators are usually the people you hear vocally spewing about hating all these people with all this drama. They whip everyone around them into drama filled scenes and then moan about the drama, never owning that they draw it to themselves. You can’t stop being a drama llama if you think the drama is always everyone else. I know that I am the maker of most of the drama in my life, either directly or indirectly playing my part, and that’s the first stop toward unraveling drama.

Jealousy is much the same. I don’t care how evolved you are. You will feel jealous at times and if you own it, understand it and will look at it, you won’t stomp over the tender hearts of all in your midst as you passively aggressively exert your desire for control and relief from your jealousy.

We can plan out too, and think how okay things are, only to find these ugly little surprises. All of a sudden we’ll have this thought, or this fear, and that is okay if we can deal with it directly and maturely.

Most of the time I really love watching Traveler fuck a woman we are with. I love seeing his passion from another side. I love knowing how she feels. I love watching their pleasure. It’s hot. But of course I’ve had little moments. I will have more I am sure. Once when it happened I realized it was me pulling away and got back in there and helped. What is NOT okay would be bursting into tears and slamming the door as I storm out in an emotional explosion. It’s okay if later I need to curl up and ask for extra kisses or need to talk about my feelings with my partner or a friend.

In poly I see it often as people display their jealousy by getting territorial or reactive and emotional or withdrawn. Sometimes it involves a lot of insecurity, and sometimes people hide from their jealousy and say they are just a little insecure for a moment.  They do little meddling things to fuck with each other. They keep score. They try to exert control in the other relationship. They get petty. They try to make sure they are given better or best or more. They try to limit others, or sabotage even. I have seen it over and over. It’s corrosive when ignored and even more so when denied, and for what? Foolish pride?

Jealousy is not inherently bad. It can be used as a healthy signal for self-examination and a sign that there is a need to be met. I hate the bad rep jealousy gets because it isn’t all bad and it can be a really helpful and healthy reminder.

But I’m telling you… jealousy is a dirty bomb when allowed to explode. Get it out, or it’s coming out sideways.  Just sayin’