Your Kink is Not My Kink, but Your Words Fucking Matter

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.”

I’ll just wait here for those fumes to settle down.

If I were to have asked that question in earnest, then I imagine that the fumes would still not have settled down.  I imagine this because yesterday, someone asked the question regarding “playing at monogamy” and when asked to clarify what they meant by that, they said, “You know, like, when you pretend to get really jealous over a text your partner receives and then have a big fight and then great make up sex.”

Now, I get it. I get that in dominant culture, polyamory is put down, oppressed, and those who practice any form of ethical non-monogamy are frequently met with disdain and derision (unless they’re Hugh Hefner, then they get a TV deal).

So I do get that when you’re in a closed group of mostly people who, like you, practice some form of ethical non-monogamy, it’s really easy to point fingers and laugh at those unenlightened monogamists.  Those poor, pitiful, one-on-one relationship having neanderthals.

Yeah. Except some of us are in relationships with some of y’all.

And even if we weren’t, the implication that “monogamy” is interchangeable with the concepts of jealousy and toxicity in a relationship is about as insulting and offensive as the implication that anybody who identifies as polyamorous is into selfish promiscuity.

But you know what?  It’s not so much that someone asked this question in an offensive manner that really bothered me. I mean, it bothered me, but I probably could have just rolled my eyes and let it go as the myopic word-vomit of an insignificant person.  In fact, many of the other group members, including those who are actively polyamorous, stepped in and made comments supporting the premise that the choice of the word “monogamy” to describe what amounted to a “cheating” fetish was problematic.

(Nobody was questioning the validity of the fetish itself, just the language used to describe it).

What *really* bothered me is that the group admins allowed it, and continues to allow that language to stand. They agreed that the OP was flippant, dismissive, and condescending to those of us who questioned their word choice, but made no request for OP to modify their post. What *really* bothered me is that the third rule in this group’s list of rules includes language against “Comments that deride any relationship structure, including monogamy or polygamy.”

I waited 24 hours, fuming, before I made the decision to leave that group.   I kept hoping the admins would step in and address the issue, to (as I’d seen them do in many posts with problematic language) request that the OP modify their question to remove the implication that monogamy equals jealousy and fighting.

But instead, they defended it.

And so, they won’t see me there any longer.

Let adults be adult (rant)

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?

#LetAdultsbeAdult

Open Relationships; Closed Minds (a rant)

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.

Continuing Education: A Delicate Rant

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, I’m the first to tell you that what inconsequential people think about me is inconsequential to me. But they were talking to someone I do care about, and trying to imply something negative about me that I don’t believe is true.

Anymore.

Also, (because I’m hormonal right now and things that normally don’t piss me off are pissing me off), I had a damned good reason for being that way in the past.

I don’t want to get into details here, so I’m gonna go with a metaphor.

Let us suppose that I got into a car accident two years ago and injured my leg. Because of this injury, I limp for a long time. Anyone who met me could visibly see the limp as I did not try to mask it. In fact, ’cause it’s me – I regularly blogged about my experience in the accident and my struggles with the pain in my leg.

But I go to physical therapy. I work on strengthening the muscles in my leg, and though once in a while I might get a bit of sciatica, I manage quite well at walking without limping after two years.

And then a good friend of mine asks me to join their team for a 5K charity run. I’m not a huge fan of sports and running, but it’s for a good cause and I decide it’s worth my time and energy to train for this event. I’m committed to this challenge and I’m training every day without complaint.

Another teammate is discussing my participation with a friend of theirs (who isn’t running in the 5K at all, by the way). My teammate is asked, “Wait. Phi? I know Phi. Doesn’t she limp like a motherfucker and hate exercise?”

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?

Maybe not the worst thing. But it’s a rude thing and a bothersome thing. I spent most of the day yesterday trying to remember that someone’s misrepresented opinions about me are not my problem.

And I’ll get back there. I’m almost there, actually. But I won’t pretend that I didn’t spend a solid couple hours of my day yesterday feeling very put-off by it.

I’m reminded of the concept of “continuing education.” A doctor can go to medical school and become Board Certified, and an insurance agent can get their license to practice insurance sales; but, in order to maintain their good standing in their field they are required to participate in a minimum number of hours of continuing education, or they lose the right to practice under the guise of being “licensed” or “certified.”

Someone who was my friend two years ago or six months ago that has not had any meaningful conversation with me in the last three months doesn’t get to claim that they “know” me anymore. At least, not in the sense of being able to make a qualified judgment on my character, my motivations, or my qualifications to run in a 5K (that’s still a metaphor). A lot has changed in that time.

So, I mean, I don’t know. Do I have to lay down a disclaimer here? I wasn’t feeling great yesterday. My mood was sour and I’m mostly over that, and today I’m also feeling a little bit on edge emotionally (probably because of imminent bleeding).

But three weeks from now, if you go around telling someone that I’m a sourpuss moody bitch and you know this because you read this blog, I’m gonna fucking cut you.

Got it?