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Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Celibacy was a very curious thing for me. At first it was difficult – not only do I have a pretty active libido, but I also was quite used to sending out a vibe that said “Sex? Yes please!” and stopping myself from doing that proved to be an interesting process. In the end, what I ended up doing was essentially a hermitage – after all, if I am not seeing people, it’s not that hard to NOT fuck them. This wasn’t really my intent per se starting out, or at least, not one I thought of consciously, but it being one of the best pieces of it. Not that being a hermit is a great thing necessarily (and for me can easily be a sign of depression) but it really helped me to break my NEED PEOPLE OMG WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE??? addiction. And that, my friends, is a great thing. More importantly, it is a highly needed thing, especially in that it gave me the time and space to recognize, relinquish, and move on from my ended marriage.

I have always been addicted to the rollercoaster rush of intense emotions in a relationship – particularly a high drama, difficult relationship. This wasn’t exactly a newsflash – it’s fair to say I’ve known this about myself for many years. However, knowing there’s a problem and changing it are two very different things. Now, this issue had already gotten much better with the advent on poly in my life (and, for those that know me well and are raising an eyebrow here, let me just add: you don’t even know the HALF of what it was like BEFORE poly!). There was a time when I would have done anything for this man, and everything I could to get him back when he left. And, to an extent, I was better about that when he left this last time. I knew why it wouldn’t work, and why, although he is a lovely human being, we don;t work well as a couple. At least…I thought I did. But when I went through my celibate, hermitage period and really got away from…everything, including much of my own internal chatter, I had time and space for things to sink in, to become part of my *identity* in a way that they hadn’t before. (See? It all relates!) In fact, my identity was BUILT around my being in that relationship. It was part of my core. And while my relationship with D will *always* be a part of who I am (hell, I’ve known him now more than half my life, and had a relationship with him for longer than I knew my father, who died when I was 13!) I have finally altered how that fits in my idnetity. That me-shaping relationsip helped form me…IN THE PAST. My identity with regards to D has finally settled down into something that is not front and center. And, more importantly, my view of “ideal” romantic relationships has altered a great deal.

I realized a few months ago that D and I have always had a VERY strong sexual connection, as well as a strong emotional connection. And, as befots the societal narrative of One True Love, we tried to fit our relationship into the proscribed box. There’s just one problem with that: we are not compatible as a couple. We make amazing lovers and decent friends, but as a couple, we drive each other batty and easily bring out the very worst in each other. And yet we kept BELIEVING, because, isn’t love supposed to conquer all? The thing is, it doesn’t, and it really isn’t fair to expect it to. I still love D a great deal in many ways, but in no way, shape or form can we live together. And you know what? That’s ok. It is so much easier to accept people for who and what they are to you, than to try and make them fit some definition that doesn’t quite mesh. It’s a lesson I wish I had really “gotten” earlier, but hey, that’s part of the process, right? Part of what I realized is that there are many things I will not “do for love” anymore. I will not give up my identity “for love.” I will not uproot my life “for love.” I will not give up things that I need “in the name of love.” I occasionally fell anti-romantic like this, but it’s worth it, because I feel so much healthier. And happier. Not being plugged into the emotional rollercoaster (“but if you loved me you would change your name”) is less exciting, but does constant nausea really count as excitement? Not anymore, for me.

One thing I didn’t expect at all is that my lust for sex and D/s in specific has cut down to a manageable level. I still miss having a live-in partner (daily sex is AWESOME and someday I’d like me some of that again, thanks) but I’m not clawing at the walls to get my fix either, and that’s a welcome thing. I am thinking about sex more now than over the summer (when my celibacy officially ended), probably because I did have a fairly regular partner at that time and now I mostly don’t (and my free time is going way down for unrelated reasons). With that in mind, I’ve giving thought to attending orgies again ๐Ÿ˜€ mostly because with so little time I’m not too expectant of finding a serious/primary partner and parties = lots of bang for your buck. ๐Ÿ˜‰ On the downside, none of said parties are local to me, so everything involves a fair amount of travel and that kinda sucks.

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When I tell my friends (and lovers) that I am choosing to be celibate for a good period of time (until July 2011), they are often perplexed as to why I would choose this. I’m not surprised; it’s a little shocking even to me, and I’m the one making the decision! In case you don’t know, to give a little background, I have LONG been a supporter of positive sexuality, have been polyamorous for quite a few years, and have no qualms about telling people I LOVE sex. So, why give it up then?

It’s a damn fine question. In fact, I have to admit that I didn’t decide to be celibate for a particular set of reasons; rather, I decided it was right for me at this moment, intuitively, and only later set about thinking of what ways this benefits me at this time. And there are numerous ways…I’m sure I’ll miss some but here are a few of the big ones that come to mind:

A great deal has happened this year, and the biggest by far is my separation from (and soon to be divorce from) my exhusband. I have been with him, off and on (on more than off), for the past fourteen years. We started dating when I was sixteen. He was my second boyfriend, and the second person/time I ever had sex. I’ve been fucking him a LOOONG time! Needless to say, my character was greatly influenced by this relationship, and so was my sexuality. In many ways, for both of us, we have no idea who we would be without the influence of the other. I have known D for almost half my life (I’m 31 now) and actually, truly, moving on from that relationship has had a tremendous impact on me.

We had actually separated once in the past, for two years, but we saw each other very frequently during that time, and were physically involved shortly thereafter. This time is different: he lives three hours away and, although he sees the kids every weekend, we hardly see each other for more than 5-10 minutes a week. Getting this distance has been good for both of us, and it has made me see several things clearly that I have ignored/looked over/glazed over in the past. One of the things that has been a constant between us is an extremely powerful physical connection. The force, the gravity, of that connection was overwhelming. It was an addiction. The physical pull towards each other was so strong, and intensified our emotional connection so much, that we both were constantly drawn to each other despite many significant differences in outlook and personality that caused constant strife between us. We have wildly different approaches to finances, to parenting, to housekeeping, to holidays, to family..and those are only the biggies. With the distance we have now, I can see clearly that he does not share ideals that I wish to share with a primary partner. And here is the crux of things: I do wish to have a primary partner again. For a while, I did not. I did not want the entanglement, the stress, the drama that could easily come from such a commitment. But, as time has gone by, I realized I do miss certain things. I miss the feeling of being part of a team, of having someone to snuggle with at the end of the night, someone to coparent with, someone to share resources with, to giggle with over silly little things.

In realizing this, I began to do something I had never done before: I made a list of qualities I need in such a partner. These things are not complicated: a similar parenting style, financially stable, able to budget, poly, preferably kinky. The only one that surprised me was the realization that I want someone who has their own kids: because I am DONE with that part of my life. I enjoyed childbirth very much, both times, but I have no desire to start over with a baby as I would someday like to have MY life again. Anyway, when I made this list, I also saw that it’s important for me to connect with someone strongly in a mental way first, BEFORE any physical connection. Because I am very “boy” that way – if the sex is great, I get distracted, I overlook important, VITAL compatibility issues. And I am simply unwilling to do that anymore. (I find it rather ironic that, far from the “usual” female reason for celibacy in dating, i.e. to be sure the guy wants to be with her ASIDE from sex, I have the opposite problem: I am fully confident that people want much more from me than the sex, but I need to be sure *I* don’t get caught up in the sex and distracted…that is, I need to be sure I want THEM without the sex lol!)

SO that’s one major reason why I feel pulled to this celibacy thing.

Another one has to do with sex and my libido. When D moved out in May, it hit me hard. I missed the sex something fierce, and I wasn’t really enjoying sex so much with other people. In large part, that is due to the fact that the D/s in our relationship was so predominant, and I really don’t sub to anyone else. So I missed the submission tremendously, and it had a dampening effect on everything else. However, I know myself very well, and *because* I was craving submission so strongly, I knew I could not trust myself to navigate a scene wisely…so I abstained totally from D/s. It sucked, but it was the best thing for me. Meanwhile, my libido continued to be nonexistant. I continued to have sex on a fairly regular basis, but it was mainly driven by other people’s desire. That is, if THEY wanted to, I was fine with it, but if someone else didn’t make a first more, I would have gone the whole night just snuggling. It’s very easy for me to adopt a “why not?” attitude with sex. I don’t have to be lusting after it like crazy to decide “sure” when someone else is interested. I do enjoy it in the moment, I do cum, but the *motivation* to make it happen wasn’t in ME. So a good portion of this celibacy choice is to address that as well. I feel that, to solve the Case of My Missing Libido, being very selfish with my body and allowing ME to feel desire for someone first – and to let that desire build over a LONG period – was a necessary thing. When July rolls around, I WANT to be going completely nuts wanting sex. That would be exactly according to plan LOL! Because this “me not wanting sex” thing? Is weird, and freaks me out, honestly.

OK, so those are some of my main reasons. The “rules” are simple: no sex until July. Dates are fine, kissing is okay, that’s all. Exact date in July to be determined, and hey, I will likely throw a party to celebrate! :p

Questions? Please throw them at me! The more I explain it to others, the more I understand it myself…

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Dear Victor, Alexzandra, Dexter, Lulu, Joe, Raven, Jose, Jimmy, Samm, Seth, Kittie, Sen, Irshad, Elena, Mark, Louisa, Jaime, Hope, Captain Scorpio, Xae and the Other Seth,

Thank you all so very VERY much for coming out and making my birthday celebration FUCKING AWESOME. Thank you Seth for squeezing in dinner despite plans later; Raven and Jose for squeezing in dinner despite plans upon plans before AND after!; Alexzandra for the chance to meet you in person; Dexter for the *lovely* jewelry (and the thankless task of sorting the bill); Victor for making it after all; Louisa & Jaime (& Other Seth) for giving me the chance to see such a darling woman that I see much too infrequently (and YUMMY chocolate!); Joe & Lulu for being fabulous (and all-natural bodycare products for the win!) and on such short acquaintance too :-D; Kittie & Sen for being my amazing partners (and without whom my life would be a bit less joyful); Jimmy & Samm for making it all the way through to the end of the night (AND giving me a ride home…plus the chance to get to know Samm better, a definite bonus!); Irshad for your wonderfully geeky presence and your photography prowess; Elena & Mark for making it all the way from Queens (and yet another woman I don’t see nearly enough of!!) and :coughs: not minding when I flashed Mark by accident :p; Hope for the chance to reconnect with a beautiful woman (and for giving us the Quote of the Night!!); Captain Scorpio for making it to burlesque (and looking damn snazzy to boot); and last but far from least, Xae for making it at last-minute notice (and for trusting me that HyperGender Burlesque did not mean he’d be seeing nothing but boys!).

I love you all, this is hands down the best birthday celebration I’ve had! In February or March I will definitely have another Ginger Munch (TM)…

And thanks especially to Madangsui for being incredibly gracious about our constantly expanding party for three hours LOL!

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Dear F,

More than likely I’ll have to print this for you to have you read it, but that’s okay. For you, always.

I don’t think you have any idea the impact that you have had on me. You taught me that it is okay to take care of *ME*, to reserve some energy and even money to pamper myself, that in fact it was important to take care of myself in order to take care of others, especially my children. When I would visit you, it was a time for me, precious and lovely. Being with you, and in your peaceful home, refreshed me for the week ahead. And when I was home doing my chores, and would talk to you while cleaning up, gosh that made me happy. It is so easy to get lonely cleaning up by yourself, kids asleep, and even when D and I were “together”, he was always busy in his own space once the kids were in bed. Talking to you was a lifeline, a way to feel connected and chat even when I was in fact quite alone.

And boy, were you a great sounding board. You were SO supportive of my marriage, always the voice of reason, reminding me that my husband was in fact a great guy, pushing me to look at my own faults in whatever argument we had had, and advising me to give him time “to come around” as you were so certain he would. And you were right, every time. Perhaps if I had talked to you when things went badly, it would have been better LOL! Patience is so difficult for me when I sense something amiss, and it was always your counsel to be patient.

When you found someone you wanted to be monogamous with, it was a difficult lesson for me, one we both knew was coming from the start. I was, and am, very happy for you, and you have yet again helped teach me something: how to let go with grace.

Thank you, for so much that I cannot explain; for loving me, for taking care of me, for being there when I needed someone to cry to. Thank you for your open mind, your surprising kinkiness, your trust and your heart. I love you.

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When I started this blog, I wanted to choose a topic. I wanted to write about things that had a great relevance to my life, that meant something to me, things I am passionate about. Sexuality was an oft-proposed topic. I am very positive-sexuality oriented and a number of people were on my case to write from that perspective, and about my experiences with poly, with bdsm, etc. How could you work kink and parenting, who did you tell about your multiple relationships, all sorts of things. And yes, this was something I could go on about at length (as anyone who’s ever got me started about poly knows LOL!) But thinking about kink and parenting got me thinking about parenting, about cosleeping and natural childbirth, about breastfeeding, “extended” nursing, babywearing (aka slings), cooking for kids, free-range kids, all things I am wildly interested in as well (as anyone who’s heard Eva’s birth story on their first date with me can attest…) Thinking about feeding kids got me pondering cooking from scratch, essential spices in the pantry, “un”cooking aka raw food and green smoothies. That brought me to Craig Ballantyne and Turbulence Training and the Transformation Contest (all of which I learned about through Stumptuous, AMAZING site), which in turn got my mind on changing habits and routines and Flylady and housekeeping. Which links right back into everything else.

So in the end, I chose the title “Easier Than You Think” because I want to write about all these things which, in my mind, are so connected and which generally I feel get a bad rap as being “hard” when, well, they don’t have to be. Some of these things I grew up with and so didn’t struggle with overly, but for the most part they are all things I have changed about myself, my perspective and my approach to life over the years. So I know from experience that it’s not as hard, as daunting, as it can seem, and that even the stuff I am currently in mighty combat to change :p will in fact look pretty simple when I look back on it.

Which brings me to what’s on my mind today. These things all go together; teasing out “where to start” in a :LIFE: is not only silly but is pretty much impossible – a starting point can be anywhere. It’s all connected. For me, things fall apart first in my home, if something is not quite right in my mental state. Why is this? Well, probably because I grew up in a VERY messy household. Intelligence, curiosity, integrity, all sorts of things were valued…but cleanliness? Just wasn’t really high up on the list. Things suffered even more when my father – the homemaker, a quite unusual thing for the time, died unexpectedly when I was thirteen and my sister was ten, leaving my mother suddenly widowed with a new house we’d been in less than a year that she had no real idea how to care for, landlady responsibilities she had never signed up for, and OH did I mention my sister and I went through puberty the year after that…at the same time? (I apologize to my mother upon occasion for the whole puberty thing…) The house was atrocious, terribly horribly bad. But it was what I was used to, and though it may seem intuitive if you’ve grown up with it that way, there is “learning” in how to keep a house neat. Not just how to CLEAN it – that I excelled at, I could take the worst, most terrifying room, and get it spotless through an insane amount of work…I just couldn’t maintain it, I couldn’t KEEP it neat.

Over the years, I lived in my own place (sort of) with two roommates, and we battled over dishes and such. I discovered Flylady and overthought it instead of taking baby steps, I just wasn’t grokking the reason yet why you can’t fix everything in on fell swoop. I got married (to one of my former roommates), moved in with my inlaws for 9 insanely difficult months (suffice it to say, my mother-in-law grew up in EXACTLY the opposite situation as I did, cleanliness-wise, and even for that, it remarkably anal), and then my husband and new baby daughter and I moved to our own, totally independent place.

And there I struggled. My husband, having grown up in such a different way, was always on my case about the house, or so it seemed. I was working, and he was the one at home with the baby (no longer quite so unusual a choice), and even with that, I wasn’t keeping things clean enough for him (despite that he did most of the work). This caused so much tension that it led to our separation – he left me while I was pregnant with our second child. Now, the house was nowhere NEAR as crazy as it was when I grew up, but the constant fighting finally got to be too much for him. For my side, I couldn’t figure out what his issue was. I mean, he told me, but it didn’t make any sense. Meanwhile he wasn’t stellar either – among other things, he would splurge money that wasn’t “his” to spend, often putting us in difficult financial situations that should have been easily avoided.

We were separated for two years. How we got to a point of reconciling after that is a long story, and one worth telling in its own right, but a big part of it is that I finally figured out WHY he was upset. I finally understood one of his favorite sayings, one I just never :got: before: “A room is like a mind.”

He would say this, and I would nod, maybe smile, and thought I got it. But I didn’t.

Living on my own, with only a 2-year-old, left me no one to blame for things being out of place, and no one to clean up except myself. I was well and determined to prove him wrong, very motivated to show him that FUCK YOU I can do everything you can do, and BETTER, and a whole lot else besides. I wasn’t doing it in a mean way really, but I was absolutely certain that, his naysaying aside, I COULD change, and I WOULD dammit. And so I returned to Flylady.

This time, I read the whole thing, I let it sink in, and I started small. I kept my sink shiny, and I read the emails daily, and what do you know, my house started to come together. And as my house came together, I felt better. When I wanted to make something, I could find the materials I needed. When I woke up in the morning and walked into the kitchen, I wasn’t overwhelmed at the dishes needing to be done. In fact, my shiny sink positively HUGGED me. It made me smile, giggle even, every single morning. It was AMAZING. I could think clearer, I could relax, and I WASN’T cleaning all the time. In fact quite the opposite. I felt like I wasn’t doing much “work” at all. What made the difference, what finally taught me not how to clean but how to KEEP things clean, was routines.

At the end of every night, after putting Ana to bed, I would pick up any stray items in the living room and kitchen and put them away. This was the work of only a few minutes. (It helped that I got in the habit of, whenever moving from one room to another through the day, asking myself “is there anything here I can take where I am going and out away?”) Then I would sweep the carpet (again, tops 3 minutes) and HEY the living room was now pretty much spotless. Moving into the kitchen, I would wipe down the counter, stove and table (maybe 5 minutes…if I was slow), do the dishes (usually 15) and sweep (2 minutes). Then I would mop (something I used to dread but realizing it actually took very little time helped a great deal!) All in all, I’d be done with the main rooms in less than half an hour, and WOW did it look good after. And I felt great. Instead of tiring me out, having the house clean gave me energy.

And somewhere in all that, I finally understood. When the room is cluttered, your mind is cluttered. Your energy is all tangled up and everything is hard. Finding things (in room or mind) is difficult, it takes lots of work, and often ends up in needless duplication (anyone who’s ever bought a 2nd, or 4th, pair of scissors when you couldn’t find the first (or third) knows what I mean here…). When the room was clear, my ENERGY was clear. I could relax. Nothing whispered at the back of my mind, telling me “look at those dishes, you’ll have to do that soon”, or reminding me for the umpteenth time that “you’d better mop up, it’s getting downright sticky in there.” When I relaxed, I was truly relaxed. Nothing needed doing because everything urgent was DONE. “A room is like a mind.”

And oh, what a difference it made to understand that.I finally understood that THIS is where we had been crossing wires, this more than anything else. When the room was messy and the kid just gone done for a nap, *I* had seen two hours to spend with my husband, precious minutes to catch up, to talk, to fuck, to snuggle. I didn’t want to CLEAN, that was WORK, and kept me from that vaunted couple-time. But for him…the subconscious message he got if I pushed him to chill with me was “she doesn’t care if I can relax”…pretty much the complete opposite of what I wanted him to feel. We both wanted the same thing – enjoyable, pleasant time as a couple – we just crossed wires in understanding how to get there.

That brings me to today. Three years after we reconciled, we are apart again. For some of the same reasons and some different ones, but on the whole a very friendly separation. It’s been four months since we broke up, and while I am doing quite well in a number of ways, I realize some things definitely suffered. And chief among them has been my routines. Now, to be fair, my routines had suffered a great deal before we separated, and so the structure for them was already crumbling. As I mentioned, keeping my house neat is one of the easiest things for me to lose, even though it gives me so much benefit. Still, changing such entrenched habits and mind-processes IS difficult. Or rather, not difficult, but one must respect the process, the fact that it takes TIME to create new pathways in your brain, and moreso, to program those new pathways to take precedence over the old ones that have been carved in.

I forgive myself for the fact that the house has been pretty bad. This is important – if I don’t forgive myself then I can’t move forward – and, that said, I have been getting back to Flylady and my routines. One of my favorite sayings of hers is “You are never behind. Just jump in where you are.” and that’s what I have been doing. I’ve pulled out my timer, and in 15-minutes bursts I’ve made a goodly amount of progress over the past week. The most important thing is that I have KEPT the progress I have made, because I have not just been cleaning but also doing my morning and evening routines. THAT is the important part.

A room is like a mind…and I am ready to let mine be clear again.

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Dear Kittie,

Where to even begin? In the year and a half that I have known you, I have only begun to understand how truly special you are. Your intelligence and skepticism push me to examine things further, to question my own biases, and to accept that not everyone who supports gun ownership and the military is an idiot :-p.

In a number of ways, being involved with you has helped me with my understanding of drama-free relationships and poly commitments. I have been happily surprised to find that the D/s that we fall so easily into has not hindered your ability to be fiercely independent, nor has it been difficult for me to recognize when I need to allow you space and when I should step in. You are the second person that I have found I can fall deeply in love with *without* it being a consuming force, and that connection does not have to veer into obsession.

You inspire me to be more “girly”ย in my selfcare (who would’ve thunk I’d EVER *file my nails*, yeesh!) and more ambitious in my decorating LOL! Because of you I have put “gun range” on my to-do list, along with bringing the kids camping, teaching them home repair (well, with assistance!) and the proper care and ownership of a knife (though not quite yet…).

Your willingness to be skeptical even of your own skepticism makes me smile every time. Watching you wonder at tarot is a special memory. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Speaking of watching, seeing you teach the kids how to saw is one of my most treasured memories. Watching the look in your eyes when you drop is still the best though…

And of course I appreciate your fabulous taste in books!

Thank you for giving me your love, and for accepting mine.

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About a year ago, I was at the dinner table with my kids when my younger daughter, then three, taught me a valuable lesson.

ย To give a little background, my kids are very eager to get taller. They have a wall marked with measurements and they love to check it. My sister (their primary caregiver) had begun telling them that they “need food, water and sleep to grow”, in part to encourage them to nap – after all, it helps you grow! So, at this particular dinner, my two daughters were talking with their father and myself and the youngest one pipes up, rather randomly, “I need food, and water, and…and sleep to grow, right?!?” Before I can reply, their dad jumps in quickly with “And love!” which of course made me smile. My daughter however didn’t miss a beat: She replied “Oh, I HAVE love! I love Mommy, and Daddy, and Ana and Connie and Nanen and Grandma and Grandpa…” and on she lists all the people she loves, while I struggle not to burst into laughter. That wasn’t what Daddy meant at all!

But later I got to thinking about it. And I realized…she was right, and we were wrong. You don’t need the love coming from others to you. What you NEED is to have love in YOUR heart for others (and for yourself, but that is another story…)

The more time went on, the more I realized what an insight this truly was. When you’re feeling lonely, or upset, or afraid, just look into your heart and realize, love keeps you warm. Not the love coming in from others, but the love you radiate out into the world.

How many people do you love?

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