The NSPP

It’s come to my attention that there was some discussion about me writing about the NSPP.  The NSPP is a rather large poly social group in Seattle with something like a thousand members.  Not all of the members are poly, and not all of the members are great, but there are oodles of trully awesome poly people that attend events or are members of the group.

A long time ago.. about 3 years ago actually… I joined the group and wrote about it in a few blogs.  I got permission from the admins at the time to write about it if I didn’t mention where specific events were or who was in it or any of that.  Awesome.  I totally respect that.

At the time I wrote the blogs I had the unfortunate experience of meeting two jerks in a row that were very involved in the NSPP at the time.  Both jerks were very pushy and both (oddly enough) tried to pressure me to not only have sex with them, but bareback sex without condoms.  They both said that this was okay and me balking at it was crazy because everyone in the NSPP is safe and “everybody knows you don’t need condoms with Nipees”. That’s total bullshit of course.  Nobody is tested or asked anything about their health or sexual practices or STI status to join a poly group. Things were looser then too and lots of people joined that weren’t really vetted in any way.  Later NSPP made lists of rules and bylaws and such and expected that anyone who joined is vouched for by someone.  I knew those guys were idiots then and I know it now and they didn’t then and don’t now speak in any way for the NSPP.

To be honest I stayed away from dating anyone who was super involved with NSPP for a while in part because of the bad taste those guys left in my mouth and in part because of the entangled nature of some poly people who were in the NSPP.  I don’t like to date someone who is dating my friends or lovers.  I just don’t like to do it.  I get along wonderfully with my metamours, or partners partners, but I don’t like to be so super enmeshed. I’m not fucking my metamour and I’m in love with her, as my family and my friend, but it’s a good thing we aren’t having sex.  It’s just so damn complicated.  LOTS of people like that kinda thing, but I don’t. It’s just me. And lots of NSPP attendees feel like enmeshing is great, and lots of them think like me that it isn’t.

Later I became good friends with several people from NSPP and dated a few people here and there that belonged and I’ve learned how many wonderful intelligent fantastic people attend events and on some occasions I go to a thing here or there.  It’s a great social group. I still don’t really treat it like a dating pool and go to most poly events to make friends.  It’s just a style of socializing that I enjoy.  Yay.

So.. revisiting talking about the NSPP, here are some thoughts.

  1. NSPP stands for Nerdy Seattle Poly Posse.  It’s a social group with lots of events.
  2. Like any group of people, especially any large group of people, there are people that are nice and mean and people that are tall and short and funny and dull.  Some NSPP people over the years have violated people’s consent, and some have worked hard to educate themselves and others about consent.  A long time ago I didn’t like the way they did certain parties because it was risky, and there were problems, but they’ve worked very hard to learn and to fix them. However… you should NEVER assume that all the people in any group on Earth are good and safe and trustworthy.
  3. Some people in the NSPP are poly, probably most. But there are people who joined under false pretenses because they thought it’d be a great place to find easy sex.  Some joined for friends who are and are not poly. Some joined for lovers. Some joined because they really like wearing ball gowns with poly or nonpoly people.  Some never have relationships and aren’t open to relationships with anyone or anyone but their spouse really, and some people just look at poly mistakenly as a way to spice up their lives. Some NSPP people aren’t even nerdy.  Don’t assume you know anyone’s motives in any group.
  4. I’ve never read anything that said I can’t disclose what it is or talk about it and I had permission to write about the NSPP from the admins.  I’m a member and I attend events but I do not sponsor people to join and do not disclose the names or locations of any NSPP events or members.  When I get questions I generally send people to the poly community since they have to be in the poly community to meet people and join, if they’re interested.
  5. If you would like to know more about any poly group in Seattle, or polyamory I always recommend blogs (ahem), books, websites, and polyamory meetup groups from meetup.com.  Seattle has two of them, the Seattle Polyamory Meetup Group and the Seattle Poly Professional Group, both located on meetup.com.  I also recommend in some areas to attend kink munches or check in with your local kink clubs as often they know where the poly people are.
  6. To find people to date that are poly I recommend online dating sites, especially OK Cupid.  Yes it takes time to meet people and to find your people, but that’s always true of relationships.
  7. No. Not all polyamorous people fuck tons of people. Just like monogamy, in polyamory people have all kinds of dating styles. Some like group sex and some do not. Some like romance and some don’t. Some like fucking clowns and some like fucking nobody because they are asexual.  People are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, gender queer, gender fluid, cis-gender, love bananas and prefer mangos and every other thing.
  8. How do you ask out poly people? Like you ask out people, because we are in fact people.
  9. How do you join the NSPP or find events? Join the poly community and live your life in the greater Seattle area and we’ll find you.  Don’t live in Seattle? Join your community.  Don’t have a great social group in your area? Start one.
  10. I don’t know. 10 sounded better than 9.

So.. there you have it.  Here is a little more about the NSPP and a little clarity hopefully.

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!

The Aspiration Gap

***Okay.  This one is long, really really long.  I’m sorry.  I had a bit of a crisis and rethought everything.  Feel free to skim or skip.

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I’m thinking about the aspiration gap. We take our hopes and wishes and expectations and compare them to reality.  The difference between what we want and hope for and what actually exists determines in great part how happy we are, and this is the aspiration gap.  There is a good article here describing this idea in more detail.  The really short version of this is that researchers measured happiness and expectation and found them to have an inverse effect, meaning that when people have reasonable or low expectations they were happier.  It seems that the happiness with what actually happens is less important than how it measures up to what we thought or hoped would happen.  If we expected $100,000 a year and got $90,000 we were less happy than when we expected $50,000 and got $60,000.

This is so damn true.

How many times were you surprised by great little things and tickled by the smallest things and saddened by the rewards that came and were actually great but not really what you’d thought would happen?  I’m just adjusting my expectations and taking stock.  I’m finding that I’m loved and supported, exactly as I want and need, and more, but maybe not how I pictured.  I had some of this wrong.  And you know, fuck judging myself for having feelings about that sometimes.  I am allowed to feel this stuff.  It’s okay to want and need.  I can fuck up.  And I can admit when I’m wrong and apologize.

So this weekend Traveler was talking about all of his plans and such and I was enjoying talking to him about all this, as I do.  And I noticed something I never noticed before.  I wasn’t in his plans.  I don’t think much about that most of the time.  We really aren’t to the “building stuff around each other” place.  But he was talking specifically about his living arrangements and his home.  And he has this like 10 year plan.  And I’m not in any of that.  So I asked.  “How does this look for you.. your future living plans and your.. maybe.. like.. hopes or whatever?  Is there.. other stuff in there?”.  Hemming and hawing ensued.  I was trying to tread lightly.   Eventually I cleared what I was asking and he said he just really hadn’t thought about it.

Shit.

What?what

Continue reading

At the End of the Week

It’s Friday and I’m signing out of my work computer after a pretty epic week of bureaucracy and meetings and creating templates and planning meetings and meetings about meetings and even one incident where I yelled at a Veteran in a therapy group.  Yeah.  It was that sort of week. 

I need kisses..

I need hugs.

I need a drink the size of my head.

west seattle view

I’m off to Traveler and Quinky Girl’s house.  It was the kind of week where we really need to sit with Quinky Girl before our date, with our feet up and her delicious libations in hand, watching the clouds and the breeze and sipping with their music playing behind us and the sun on the water out below.  I need my loves.  I need to slowly unwind the coiled spring in my jaw and to sigh with happiness with my loves. 

Later I’ll spend time with Traveler, catching up since he’s been away this week, getting my fill of pettings and kisses and sweet nothings.  Later still I’ll get my fill of him, but right now.. right now I have to get off of this fucking computer and away from this wretched desk and this exhausting week and drink yummy things with my loves.  Ahhhhhhh.. it’s the weekend.

Yours and Mine

It’s come to my attention that I need to accept the love in my life.  I had life experiences that led me to believe that there is a lot of danger in wanting and loving and trusting and believing.  I have little experience that says this is a good idea.  And it’s time I decided to jump anyway.  I can’t keep living so that I am always prepared to the inevitable fall because it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, but more importantly because living life in fear is no way to live.

I’m going to exaggerate this to make my point.  When some kind of disappointment happens I jump to feeling stupid.  I jump to tell myself “well.. there it is.  You are a big dummy to fall in love like this.. see… see.. here is the proof of some terrible thing.  You are dumb.  He doesn’t love you.  She will walk away like everyone else.  You are a fool.”  Obviously it’s not this obvious, because I’d never tolerate such a thing and I’m actually kinda smart.  No.. it’s subtle.  It’s the way I interpret some action and have this tinge to my perceptions.  Time and time again I’ve have some occurrence, imagined the worst, spun, and then talked about it or got more info and felt silly because of course I know he’s not like that or she would never do that.  Why do I jump to cruel intentions and self flagellation?  I’m not a glass is half empty kind of girl.  I’m the girl seeing the silver lining in everything.  So, what’s up with the incredibly negative slant I have here sometimes? Continue reading

Talk about Sex? Who'd a Thunk It?

Movie title for Young Visiters from http://ia.media-imdb.com

Movie title for Young Visiters from http://ia.media-imdb.com

One of the nice things about living openly is that my old friend coming into town means I get to have fun introducing him to the people in my life without worry.  All of them have asked me “Is it okay to talk freely?”, “Are there things.. ahem.. he shouldn’t know?”.  Nope.  I had to laugh too because people have asked if he’d delicate, or if he’d judge them because they were going through something, or if they should “behave around him”.  Heh.

The idea that I’d be close friends with someone for 13 years and they’d be delicate or easily offended makes me laugh.

Ph.D, my friend, visited from Colorado.  He came to this academic conference and to see me and have a good time.  He is not, in fact, delicate nor easily offended.  And I told everyone when they asked to speak freely.  I’m not sure what would shock or offend my dear Ph.D, but I’m quite sure my friends and loves would have to struggle mightily to find it.  On the flip side, he asked and I let him know that he could talk to my loves and my friends about anything.  Hell, a few people at my work know a little bit about my life and if others found out I’d be relieved.  When I began my job 5 years ago I was a very happily married monogamous woman.

We opened up, and a couple of years later broke up (not directly related) and it’s hard to figure out how to say “by the way I’m in love with a man I’ve been dating almost 2 years, some of which was when I was married to my husband”.  Well.. actually that kinda answers that.  You say something like that I guess.  Or maybe you just leave off the dates.  Maybe you just say you’re in an open relationship with these two guys and it’s working.  I’m going to do exactly that eventually.  When we talk about what we all did on the weekend, or plans, I mention that I did this with a man I’m dating.  I know they assume I’m either not dating these men very seriously, or that the more relationship stuff is all the same man.  Whatever.  If I ever have good reason I’m fine with outing myself at work.  I sort of think (like a friend says) that poly people have a responsibility to out themselves in casual situations.  I think this is how acceptance starts, with familiarity.

Earnest looking character from "The Young Visiters" (yes spelled that way) from http://www.movie-roulette.com

Earnest looking character from “The Young Visiters” (yes spelled that way) from http://www.movie-roulette.com

So, yep.. good visit with Ph.D.  I was going to write a much longer and more in depth post about this, but well.. I’m not.  The visit was wonderful.  I loved having my friend here and loved some time with him.  Oh?  You hear a but?  Yeah.  There is a but. Continue reading

If You Were an Ass

luck clover“If you were an asshole, it wouldn’t be because of bad luck that you have no friends”.  This was Ph.D’s answer to my agreeing that I am ridiculously lucky with the people in my life.  He said, “It’s not just luck that you’ve created a circle of people who love you that are awesome.  You’re awesome and you picked good people and treated them well and they love you”.  Sweet, no?

Ph.D. has been visiting from Colorado for the last 5 days or so and we’ve done a whirlwind Seattle and meeting with the murder and friends kinda deal.  We’ve been crazy booked and just having the nicest times.  We played games with Cleveland and his wife, Quinky Girl, Traveler and Peaches, and we met up with my friends Tex and Fishnet, and went camping with Chicago and Chicago Boy.  We’ve have wonderful meals and lovely conversations and it was fun to show my loves and friends off to him and him off to my loves and friends.  He’s totally smitten with my whole family and circle, and it was fun to see them all through his eyes too.

You know that feeling when you share something you like with someone and they experience it and you sort of vicariously see it new through them?  It was like that.   Continue reading