It’s Complicated

It’s always complicated. Isn’t it?

What is this thing between us? How many millions of ways do we ask this? Does he like me? What does she want? What is happening here? There really aren’t enough words and there are far too many.

 

  • friends with benefits
  • husband
  • friend
  • metamours
  • lovers
  • vixen
  • stag
  • cuckold
  • Dom
  • ex
  • boyfriend
  • unicorn
  • fuck buddy
  • paramour
  • sister wife
  • beau
  • fiance
  • significant other
  • bull
  • cuckquean
  • partner
  • primary
  • side chick
  • play partner
  • protector
  • swing circle
  • knight
  • special friend
  • anchor
  • secondary
  • great love
  • main squeeze
  • baby daddy
  • sugar daddy
  • Dom Daddy
  • baby mama
  • boytoy
  • little
  • my little secret
  • beard

Just scratching the surface really.

 

 

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

Disgruntled

Okay.. you guys have heard me bitch about this a million times, so I’ll TRY to keep this brief.

Sometimes things in open relationships chap my ass. I’m not the only one who gets a chapped ass, which I understand. The live in partner gets an ass chapping about all of their time being chore time. And the person with people pulling on their time gets a chapped ass because where is there “me time”, and how can they possibly please everyone? And the person at the disadvantage gets a chapped ass because they have to have all these little unfairnesses and the disadvantage sucks after a while. It’s life. The world is full of ways to get butt hurt. But dammit.. my ass is chapped now, so let’s look at a way to be a little less chappy, eh?

  1. Don’t put shit on the calendar for other people without asking them. You don’t own your partners and they are managing their own time, hopefully. (Exception.. if you have children and the children need their parents, then it’s perfectly normal to put that right on the calendar without asking and tell your co-parent what you scheduled so they are aware.)
  2. Don’t have to have the most. Especially don’t have to have the most all the time. I’m not saying you can’t HAVE the most.. but don’t HAVE TO HAVE the most all the time. It’s sucks.
  3. Other people are humans and are worthwhile and just as important as you. We might all have different kinds of relationships and different responsibilities and levels of commitment, and things might not be “fair”, but all the humans in these systems matter and should have consideration.
  4. Don’t cancel on one person for another. I mean it. Really really really try to NEVER cancel on a partner, especially for another.
  5. Don’t eat into your partner’s time with their other plans. Save your talks and snuggles and fights and catching up for your days. A quick message or text isn’t a huge deal, but let them have their time if they have time with others. Don’t make them leave later so you can catch up or leave their plans early if you don’t actually really and truly need them.Everyone’s time is important.
  6. Don’t lie. It comes out a lot and is hurtful in all situations, but when your commitment is trust, rather than sexual fidelity, and you break that, it’s damaging and hurtful to a higher degree. Don’t lie.
  7. Keep your agreements. If they don’t work for some reason then talk about that, but if you have an agreement, honor it until you change it with whoever you have the agreement with.  Seriously.. things change and are different in the moment sometimes and you need to renegotiate. But until you do renegotiate, keep your agreements.
  8. Be in the moment, enjoying the person you are with. Don’t be at a club having sex with one person with your head on a swivel for what else there is. Don’t be all cagey to make plans in case better things come up later. Don’t make people your fall back positions. People aren’t filler. Even if you are only with a person for a very specific casual sex act and will never see them again, honor the time you have together and BE THERE.

That’s good enough for the moment I guess… but what would you add? Any good ways to avoid chapping asses?

Starting the NEW blog

 

Some years ago we started asking ourselves questions. Does monogamy actually work for us? What does it mean if we want to touch other people? Have sex with other people? Have relationships or even love for more than one person?  Would having an orgasm with someone somehow erase what I have with this other person? Would it really?

Could I have sex with others?  Could people I care about have sex with others and we’d still be us?  What if I loved more than one person? At the time I was married, and swinging appealed to me. I had wanted to be a swinger pretty much since I’d learned about what it was. My husband at the time and I discussed it. He was interested at first, but quickly realized he would rather have relationships with others, and we learned about and became poly. And well.. I’m not going to lie. For a lot of reasons, not all of them polyamory, my marriage exploded.

But I was here and I was still poly. I had the capacity and interest in relationships with more than one person at a time. And over the years I had these polyamorous relationships. The most people I was ever dating at once was four, and I do not recommend it. It’s exhausting and basically I was always disappointing somebody.

I read and read and blogged and blogged and lived and talked and tried, and found that hierarchies weren’t for me. I didn’t like primaries and secondaries and never did. Even my husband and I when we first opened up felt that this wouldn’t work for us.  This doesn’t mean that my existing relationships and long term loves don’t have priority with me or that they don’t matter. I am very into honoring commitments and the investment of love and time and experience.  But I liked anyone I dated to be a whole person and to not be arbitrarily forever limited, no matter what, because someone met someone first. This is long and hard to explain. We’ll come back to it.

So.. I’ve been polyamorous for 5 years. And over the years I’ve had occasion to explore, my sexuality, life and all kinds of things. I’ve discovered I’m still interested in swinging and joined a club. I’ve also discovered I’m kinky, and explored that a little bit too. And over time I just kinda discovered that I didnt’ need and didn’t fit super neatly into any tiny box.

Like most humans, I’m complicated. I’m guessing so are you.

So finding myself at need to create a new blog for a variety of reasons I thought about the next chapter. What did I want to write? It wasn’t going to be just a blog on polyamory. And it wasn’t a blog just on swinging. Or a blog even just on dating.

Love, Sex and Relationships have always interested me and are fodder for an infinite stream of thought. It’s also a stream for profound connection and I’ve made so many friends here on this journey of ethical non-monogamy, of honest open relating. And it occurred to me this new little blog could be something else.

I could have blogs on all of these open sex and love and relationships, and could invite a friend to contribute here and there too. We could have interviews and podcasts and links. In non-monogamy, in so many ways we are all defining for ourselves what any of these words and labels mean, and how they fit us, if at all.  And we’re the architects of the connections we are creating. And that’s beautiful but it’s scary and difficult too. And I learn a lot from my friends, and hope you do too.

There’s a weird thing that happens when we start asking ourselves all of these questions. We find and create the love and sex and relationships we crave, and we walk off of the path that doing things the way we were told to creates.  I have found the blogger community so informative and supportive. Starting this new broader blog, I hope that continues.

However you got here and whatever brings you, welcome. I hope to hear from you in comments or emails or on facebook or twitter or any of the other places.

I’m so excited at this next chapter. Here’s to open love and sex and relationships. Here’s to new blogs.

– Thanks for reading!

Holly

Veto the Veto

Veto power doesn’t really work. I know a lot of us start out wanting to have some kinda failsafe, some kind of pilot eject button for if things get scary or hard or threaten us. A lot of us start out with a veto.  We say we’ll dip our toes in the pool of poly dating, and if things get hairy or go horribly awry, we’ll pull the rip cord and close up shop or cut off an undesirable partner.  Problem is.. we’re dealing with humans here.

I get it. I do. I get being scared. I get wanting to protect a great relationship to a person you love. I really do understand this. When I opened up with my husband of 11 years I wanted a safety valve too. I wanted to know that if we dated other people we’d be okay. I want to know now while Traveler and I date others that we’ll be okay. But you know… love is risky.

I say love is risky not to warn people against poly or something. I say love is risky because it just is. I think there are ways to protect a relationship as you add others to a point. I think we can make agreements and prioritize making sure we get time with our existing partners and nurture those relationships, no matter how crazy in love we get with a new shiny thing. I think existing partnerships can work to make sure they don’t take each other for granted, and set date nights, and keep pursuing interests and hobbies and choose to keep a space for the people that have stood by us.  I think we can take special care to nurture our connection. I think we can communicate well and often. I think we can do many many many good things as we find and fall in love with new partners.

But I don’t think cutting off new partners is a great idea.

  1. Veto sucks because you are choosing for your partner what they can have in their lives and who they can love to suit your selfish jealousy, fear and insecurity. This is a shitty thing to do to someone you love.
  2. You are saying you know better than your partner. Think about this. Do you really think your partner is a dummy? An oaf? A less-than-complete-adult who cannot decide things for themselves?  If so, why are you committed to a relationship with this person?!?!?
  3. Is it possible that your partner has feelings and thoughts and reasons that you don’t necessarily share? Is it possible THEY are having some need met or growing in some way that they are drawn to that you don’t necessarily share?  I’d think long and hard about yourself if you think you are some “better judge” for your partner than they are for themselves. I have to admit I cringe when people say they know their partner better than their partner knows themselves. Or worse… that they know what is best for their partner.  I gotta call bullshit here.  There is ZERO chance you know more about your partner than they do about themselves. You know what you have experienced with your partner and what they told you and what you’ve observed. You don’t know the innermost workings of your partner better than they know themselves. What an ego.
  4. You might break your partner’s heart.  If they love someone and you cut it off, you are hurting them.
  5. If you and your partner actually respect each other and share your thoughts and observations with each other, isn’t it better to let your partner hear your thoughts and input and decide for themselves? If you have a healthy relationship, why wouldn’t you listen to your partner’s input and respect their thoughts? Traveler doesn’t need a veto, because if he leveled with me about a partner I would listen to and respect his input as the intelligent and capable man I know him to be. We do sometimes see things that people in the rush of new love don’t see. This is truth. But that can be a reason to share your insights with your partner so that they make the best decisions possible for themselves.  Right?  Even if it’s not on your time schedule?
  6. There is a reason your partner was drawn to this person. And there is a reason they want this relationship. You cutting that off doesn’t actually answer that.  Sometimes our partners need to learn a painful lesson and sometimes our job is to support them in doing so.
  7. The person you are vetoing is a human being. They matter too. Or they should. Human beings aren’t put here to spice up your marriage or your life. They have feelings and thoughts and they matter.  If you are upset or jealous or hurt, the answer isn’t to run ramshackle over other humans. It’s to figure out what you need and want in your relationship. The answer to “I’m insecure” isn’t “dump that other bitch”.
  8. Breaking my partner’s heart and demanding control over them doesn’t actually make our connection more secure.
  9. Punishing your partner for doing something bad by calling in your veto card to punish them doesn’t make your relationship better.
  10. Did you really think it was okay to weigh in on relationships you aren’t even a member of?  Our relationship will be hurt if I hurt my partner. If they choose to honor my veto, they may resent me. At the very least they know that *I* broke their heart. If they choose not to honor the veto, now what?  I don’t have a magic wand that lets me make the people I love only want the things I want them to have.

So.. what do I do if my partner is with someone I don’t want to accept or can’t accept?

I share my thoughts with my partner and let them make decisions for themselves. I can stay with them and help them pick up the pieces when they learn this lesson. Or I can choose not to be with my partner if I can’t trust their decisions or deal with the results of them living as they choose to live. I can choose for myself what I am willing to experience.  But I can’t really choose for you. Even if I have a veto and FEEL like I can choose for you, I can’t. And that’s why veto’s don’t work.

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Harder and Harder

It gets harder and harder to be without you for a day or a few days or a week.  Some funny thing will happen in my day, or I’ll want to tell you something.  Sometimes I send a text but usually I don’t.  I know your time with them is important and precious, just as your time with me is.  We try not to intrude on your time with each other, and so usually I wait.  I’ll see you tomorrow or the day after that, and I’ll tell you all the funny things and the news then.  But I miss her too, so sometimes I text her, not every time I want to or every time I miss her either, because her attention needs to be with you too.

It gets harder to not have you here and I know it’s harder on you, missing that home when you are here and this home when you are there.  Nobody tells you when you’re entering poly how much time you’ll spend missing people.  But they also don’t tell you that it’s a little easier when you think of this family you have made being happy.

When I think of you being loved as you should be… when I think of you happy and cared for and cherished, the ache is less.  I’m happier then, thinking of you happy and loved.  But I still kinda wish there were a few more of you to go around.

Fun Too.

Traveler and I have a lot of work we need to do on our projects but this weekend he wanted to take a little break from them.  I felt bad at first and hoped I hadn’t made him feel I wouldn’t want to help him with renovations and yard work and all the things we partners help each other with.  He’s been working so hard at work and at home and I know he needs the help.

He asked me to help with a list of things that I have some knowledge with, and told me he’s been struggling a little and stressed out about it.  This week he ended up having to put in an electrical repair that would have been a lot easier with help.  All the work is sort of dangling over his head and there’s just SO MUCH to do on the project at his house.  I know he hated to ask for my help and doesn’t like admitting that he needs it, but it made me feel good and loved and necessary, and I love being able to support him and Quinky on this project with all of the little things Traveler and I can work together on to contribute.

I can’t help with the really stressful stuff, the planning and the paying for it and the living in a reno zone, but I can make a really valuable contribution and help Traveler with the construction and labor and electric stuff and take a teeny bit of that burden off of his shoulders.  He would have to do a bunch of it alone otherwise, and there’s already soooo much on his plate.  and I love it.  I love working with him.  It’s a huge part of our relationship, this way we work together and us having our little projects.  I’m not happy Traveler has so much to worry about, but I am happy I can help.  So often it was him or Quinky helping me that it makes me feel better to give back.  And sometimes they spoil me with awesome food or whatever for the efforts.  Win/Win.

But, even with all of the things Traveler has to worry about on this project, today he just wanted to go and have fun.  We are headed to Woodinville to pick up his wine from a club and to try a few places, just for a few hours before an art meeting.  And then we have some frisky plans.  🙂  God I love frisky plans!  We had hoped to meet a new unicorn for a drink, but it didn’t pan out.  Sadly Yarn Hooker met a great guy and is getting monogamous.  We’re thrilled to death for her and nobody deserves it more though.

So next weekend we really really really have to do some work.  We got derailed last week and we are missing this week.  But tonight it’s just us and our little plans and designs for fun and friskiness.  And then there are fun plans in the morning too.  I love working with Traveler and will happily do it for all the weekends to come, but it’s nice to just kick up our heels, even with the crushing list of things to do and even with his project falling a little behind waiting on us.  When your man says he needs a break and wants to do fun and naughty things with you, who isn’t a little giddy?  To be wanted and needed and loved…To have a partnership that really supports each other…And to have the man you love tell you he just needs to be with you and wants to have a little fun!? …Fabulous!