Imagine if I were to ask if anybody else out there has a kink of “playing poly.” When asked to explain what I mean by “playing at poly,” I described it as “you know, like when you pretend to sleep with everyone indiscriminately and not give a shit about what your partners think.”
About two years ago, the adult industry was under attack. By banks. They were shutting down accounts of known adult performers. Last year, my local dungeon had to go cash only for a night because their credit card processing account had been shut down, despite it being a registered charitable organization. Why? ‘Cause of the adult activities going on.
Look, I’m gonna show my bias here. When he was alive, my husband was a high-level executive in the adult industry and a multiple award-winning adult filmmaker for many years. So, yes, during a non-zero portion of my life, I indirectly benefited financially from the adult industry.
But even if that weren’t the case, I’d still be biased. I’d be a biased adult.
Over the past few days, several fundraising campaigns created by an adult with adult interests for a cause that provides support to countless animal rescue organizations around the world were shut down.
This isn’t a rant about the people who reported the campaigns. You had your reasons, whatever they were. Other people are gonna rail on you.
This is about a system that gave a shit about those reports. A system that says “Oh no, we can’t help starving animals if the people who are helping them donaughty things in their bedrooms at night!”
That’s ridiculous. It’s RIDICULOUS.
I’ve got another bias. I work in the fundraising sector. I have for many, many years. Several years ago, my two worlds collided. At an adult convention, one of the owners of a toy company who’d heard that I do fundraising for a living told me they were having trouble finding organizations that would be willing to accept contributions from an adult toy manufacturer.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Like, my mom is the most prudish, naive and conservative woman I know and even she had a vibrator growing up. She might be the only woman in America who used it for her back, but STILL. She HAD one.
So I went back to work, where they knew what industry my husband worked in, and I asked…”Hey, so this company wants to do a fundraiser and give us the money. Are we okay with accepting it?”
And my boss wasn’t sure. I mean, part of her wanted to say yes but then she was all worried about what the other donors would think. So finally she said, “Only if can treat them as an anonymous donor.”
I wish I could have stood up to her then. I wish I could have convinced her that a legitimate, tax-paying business that wanted to show philanthropic spirit and give back to ANY cause should be WELCOMED to do so and not shoved under the rug.
So what if they make dildos?
We’ve come a long way as a society. Even though it was an atrocity, the fact is a book about kinky shit was a bestseller and turned into a major motion picture. People know this stuff happens, and they’ve KNOWN for a long time.
We’re all adults. I don’t see why we have to pretend we don’t care about animals or the environment or cancer or education or hunger.
If I want to donate $25 so that a reputable 501(c)3 can go out and save a whale, or clean up a beach, or give medicine to people with AIDS, then why the fuck is the financial sector telling me I can’t because I like it when my boyfriend spanks my ass before he sticks his cock in it?
Fucking hell. When is the world gonna grow up already?
Note: This is a rant about something I experienced today. I do not think ALL poly people are this way. Not even ALL the poly people in the chatroom where this happened felt this way. Just the very vocal ones. But I’m upset by it and I need to vent, so…boom: blog post.
I asked a question in a poly chatroom today. It was a curiosity, really. I wanted to know how poly people handle reading about very intimate details between their partners and their other partners. It came up because I’ve seen several posts on Fetlife recently where people are chronicling their sex lives in erotica-like detail, and then seeing other people who I know have been intimately involved with the star of said story write thinly-veiled expressions of discomfort and upset.
I tend to keep my smut to the imagined or the long-ago for some similar reasons, and also because writing about current happenings in my sex life means I’m writing about someone else’s sex life and maybe he doesn’t want 2000 strangers knowing what he’s up to on Friday nights, know what I mean?
I talked about this with one of my metamours once, who said they would not be too upset by reading about my latest escapades, and yet, I still don’t post it. Not on FetLife, anyway. Some of it ends up here where I suppose they can opt-in if they want to.
What ended up happening in that chatroom got me all riled up and upset, though. Because most of the polyfolk (there was one who actually agreed with me) started seeing my query as a cry for help. They started trying to solve my “problem.”
The problem was, there WASN’T a problem.
I’m not sitting here wringing my hands ’cause I can’t post about that time he did this thing with that thing and then we both did that other thing. The “no posting about current events” mantra has been a rule of mine since before I was in a relationship.
And it’s not like my metamours are sitting there feeling left out of the conversation because I won’t share all these sexy details with them. I’m sure they don’t feel a pressing need to know. And if they do, I suppose they could ask me.
So again….it wasn’t advice I was after. Just information. An informal poll of the collected polyfolk online at the time.
And what I ended up participating in was very distressing, to be honest. A bunch of people telling me that my way of thinking was “wrong,” despite my repeatedly reminding them that I wasn’t complaining and that I am asking them how they view these things as poly people because I am not poly.
I finally told one of my friends who had been one of the ones trying to “solve” the Problem That Wasn’t a Problem and said, “I feel like the fact that I am monogamous isn’t being respected in the same way that I respect that all of you are poly.”
It felt preachy. It felt like I was being told that my not wanting to know just how hard he thrusts or how far into his other partners’ throats he gets meant that I was doing relationships all wrong. I mean, would I be upset to learn that they went to the ice cream store and got a watermelon sorbet? (This is literally one of the comparisons drawn.)
And somehow it got from “I don’t want to know details about their intimacies” to “I don’t want to know ANYTHING about their relationships.”
Hi….I need to just…
WHAT THE FUCK, PEOPLE?
I get it. You don’t “get” monogamy. Fine. I get that you don’t GET it.
And yet, I still have an open enough mind to GET your relationship preference.
I still have an open enough mind to understand how YOU process love.
And yet, I still want to educate myself on how you see other things differently than I do by ASKING you how you view something in particular that I view in another way.
But no….No, no. I’m not allowed to have a different point of view. Because you just don’t GET it.
For people in such open relationships, I really was astounded at the closed minds I was exposed to this afternoon.
Yesterday, Ferrett tweeted “#wip I think the worst thing a person can do to someone is to overlook how they’ve changed.”
#wip “I think the worst thing a person can do to someone is to overlook how they’ve changed.”
— Ferrett Steinmetz (@ferretthimself) February 16, 2016
It was a timely message because I’d been affected by recently learning that there is someone out there making assumptions about my character without really knowing me. Worse, this person (and I don’t know who it is, nor do I want to know) hinted at having some sort of credibility because they read some of my blogs once and maybe talked to me a few times so, they knew me.
Now, was it the “worst” thing a person could do? To negate nearly a year of self-work to overcome my totally-reasonable limp? To actively attempt to devalue or cause my friend and teammate to question my participation on their team? To suggest that because mystery person met me a few times and saw me walking funny six months ago that they know me?