I’ve said many times I wish I were the ever-graceful and unaffected Grace Kelly. I’m not particularly emotional at the moment, but it’s a thing with me that I get embarrassed of my emotion. Wait, no. I get embarrassed of my *messy* emotions.
I’m perfectly happy that I feel boundless love. I am tickled that a great number of things delight me. I’m passionate. I love deeply. I’m fiercely loyal. I’m tenacious and determined and empathetic. I can go there with a friend. I can take a lover there. All of these emotions I adore.
But it’s the messy stuff. I’m ashamed I have insecurities. I’m embarrassed when I cry. I can’t stand being irrational or out of sorts or brooding. I despise that I burn over offenses and that I have to address and let go of things when others seem perfectly capable of stuffing them down forever. I hate my messy emotions.
I was talking about this with Quinky Girl. She is a human who gets twinges, but by and large she is unaffected by some things that make me rail. I deeply envy that. I would be the same way if I could and I can’t. I HATE to talk about the little things that bother me. But if I don’t they become big things and come out sideways. I hate that too. Other polys say “Oh I didn’t need to talk about that. I just let it go”. And I feel much much worse. It’s like they are jabbing me right in my eye with that. I’d prefer not to have awkward moments but I can’t be any other way. I don’t wanna make shit weird. I don’t wanna have a little chat. I hate confrontation and awkwardness. I wanna just flip my hand, brush my hair off my shoulder and say “I never did mind the little things”. But I simply don’t work that way.
Here is an example. I went on a date with this guy on Saturday, a first date. It was pretty nice, and in the course of things he mentioned having an interest in a MMF threesome. I’m on a kick about that, so it piqued my interest. My friend said I should invite the new guy to a party Saturday where people get sometimes get kissy. I said I couldn’t because Traveler and I were going there on a date, and it’d be awkward. He and I have plans to go together and to have some fun after.
Traveler and I have discussed comfort levels about playing with others, flirting with others, sex around each other and such. Traveler is utterly un-jealous about such things and in most respects would not mind, but he said that he wouldn’t like it if I hooked up with some guy or made out with other dudes on our date. And he wouldn’t like to hear or see me have sex with others around him (outside of situations where he was involved), not because he’d be jealous or it’d hurt him, but it’s rude. (Group play is totally outside of this.)
Quinky Girl never seems to mind any of that stuff. And Traveler’s thing isn’t that he minds, per se. It’s just that he wouldn’t like it because it’s disrespectful.
I am a whole other story. If Traveler (or anyone I’m dating) hooked up with others on our date without me it’d be a bother. It would be about the disrespect, but I’d also be upset. If he came to me and said.. “Hey.. I just met this girl and I’m super interested, do you mind if I go home with her and blah blah blah”, truthfully I’d mind. If he just started making out with some girl on our date I’d be so hurt and likely exceedingly pissed. I’d probably consent and feel a lot better about it if he asked than if he just went off with someone and was abandoning me somewhere, but I wouldn’t love it. I know me. I’d burn a little. It’d hurt and sting that he was choosing a girl over me on our date. I’d have trouble seeing it any other way. I mean.. it’s our date and he could be making out with me or taking me home and fucking me, but he’s choosing instead to be with her. It’d hurt. I’d wish he could have gotten her number and kissed or fucked her some other time. I would consent if asked, and I wouldn’t be pissed if he’d given me the option to consent, but it would hurt my feelings and I’d have to go deal with them.
I would pretend to be all okay with it or do my damnest to act so. My chest would be tight and I would feel a burning in my gut. I might even shake. I would hate myself for it. I’d be ashamed that I can’t just be happy to give him the freedom. If I talked about it with others and they were the unaffected-poly-gurus and they said it wouldn’t bother them I’d feel even more ashamed. “See?!?! See? I’m fucked up. It doesn’t bother them! What is wrong with me?” If he later realized he’d hurt my feelings I’d apologize profusely to him for it. If I cried it’d take me about a week to forgive myself. I can’t stand that I feel the messy stuff. I wanna be one of the cool kids. But I’m not.
In the poly world, the less you feel the messy stuff the cooler you are. Partners who are messy or challenging or dealing with shit around this stuff are to be accepted to a point. If they are too messy, the cool poly kids cluck their tongues and say “she just isn’t poly, is she?” They say things to indicate their superiority over this poor soul who has too many messy feelings. And every time I see and hear this I burn with shame. I am messy sometimes! I have to scrub my bathtub and take a walk and write and process and do all this work at times when I get messy emotions. I don’t just get bothered sometimes. I get upset.
I can’t stand it when someone is on a date with me and is too affectionate with others. I hate to be disrespected like that. It burns my chest a little when they have big prolonged kisses with others while they’re on a date with me. I get upset and then get upset at myself for getting upset. If my partners are all smoochie-boochie “I love you”‘-ing with their others when we are supposed to be together it hurts. I’m not saying when they just say “I love you”. It’s the gushy stuff. I don’t like it when we’re getting all romantic and I run to the bathroom and come back to lovers texting other chicks and surfing OKC. A little bit of flirting or whatnot is pretty cute, but people with heads on a constant swivel make me insane.
At times I am the cool kid. Sometimes it’s a random Sunday and I see him surfing OKC and smile. He’s so cute, always checking his likes. Sometimes I’m with my loves and I glow at the love I feel with them and the people they care about. Sometimes I want my partners to have amazing sex and get turned on thinking about it. In threesomes anything short of pushing me off the bed makes me happy. When I think of Traveler being loved for who he is I smile. When I thought of my ex-husband finally getting to do anal with a girlfriend I wanted to cheer. (He was too big for me.) When my love is getting ready for a date and they’re nervous I like soothing them and telling them they look great and reminding them to wear the cologne because they smell so good. I was so happy to take pics of my ex-boyfriend and of Traveler for them to send to others. When I’m included and have all the info without wishy-washing managing I feel good. The burning stops somewhat quickly. I don’t have to be afraid because they told me about this and it’s here. I may or may not have a twinge or a short burn, but I end up feeling good. Being a compersive cool-kid is vastly more fun than scrubbing the tiles of my bathtub because my chest is on fire. But I have a longer list of what is hard for me than some others and I can’t stand it.
And it’s not just in my head that we judge emotions and proscribe a set perfect amount.
It’s just as wrong to feel too little, isn’t it? We look at people who aren’t gushy when they’re “supposed to be” and say they are inhuman, a robot, a cad. We call people cold-fishes and prudes and misers. We wonder why they can’t just smile more or open up or share or express all the right emotions.
It’s always about being the RIGHT amount.
Don’t be too weepy or too sad or too hyper or scared, but what is your damage that you can’t admit you are afraid or affected? Express more love and more smiles and more welcoming graces. Don’t be too horny or lusty or want the sex things too much. But also don’t want them too little. Don’t be prudish and stuck up and too vanilla. God. Don’t you have any fantasies? You are too intense or too distant. You’re supposed to be open but please don’t over-share. You’re supposed to be absolutely everything in the right amount.
It’s the emotional Goldilocks.
Be the right amount.
I’m sick to death of doing that to MYSELF.