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Posts Tagged ‘Sexuality’

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 😀 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. 😉 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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There is so much on my mind of late that I could prattle on about it for hours, however, I will not do that at the moment 😀

Instead, a lovely girl that I wrote a thank you letter to a while back told me recently that, on a night she was feeling down, she went back and reread her letter, and felt much better. And that reminded me: thank you letters! I’ve stopped writing them!! How could I let that happen?!?

So, without further ado, let the thankfullness resume apace. 🙂
Dear Murphy,

Thank you for sharing with me stories of times past, for trusting me enough to open up to me and discuss things you hardly ever talk about anymore. Thank you for letting me show you four-leaf clovers, for hugs, for talk of magical things. Thank you for the warm, comforting feeling that you carry with you and share so willingly with others. Thank you for your smile. Thank you for understanding when I tell you the struggles I am facing down and sorting out of late. And thank you especially for suspending me, for a sublime moment that inspired me to dance while in the air, for the delicious energy you bring to the scene, so much so that lovely Jacob called it “the sexiest thing he’s ever seen”!!

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Dear Dark,

Thank you for your friendship in these past three years. Thank you for flogging me and talking to me and performing awesome music at my show. Thank you for creating a warm and welcoming environment so that, when I do venture out to one of your famed play parties, I know that I will have a great time, not matter what headspace I am in – that whether I want to play with everyone there or no one, spend my time sex-oriented or conversation-oriented, or even just quiet and watching, there is no pressure and no judgment.

I have valued your advice and your open ear, your willingness to let me babble on about all and sundry. You are one of few people I can discuss D/s with as deeply as I would like. I adore your intellectual and ethical approach to sexuality, the deeply nuanced perspective that you bring to the table. I love that you understand so well that feminism and being a filthy whore 😉 can go together wonderfully. I delight in your ability to be intense in a scene at one moment and laughing (Ma-na-man-a) the next. You throw what is likely the geekist orgy around (where else could a sing-along get started at a sex party, I ask you) and that alone is worth its weight in gold.

Your views on poly have influenced mine a great deal. I often feel that if I had meet you earlier in my life, I would have been poly years ago.

Thank you also for your role as a catalyst in my previous reconciliation with D. 😀 Although that has not lasted, it was due to that catalyst that we explored 24/7 D/s for a year, an experience that taught me a tremendous amount and that I value very highly. You have my gratitude for that.

Most of all, you are an amazing combination of playful, thoughtful, kinky, sexy and devious qualities, and I am blessed to call you a friend.

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I had an interesting exchange with a hot guy I had a date with. We were flirting via text (we had met briefly at a party a few days before – I’ll get more into that in a moment) and he asked “What is it that initially attracted you to me?” Now, in some ways this was a very simple answer: he’s hot! But I gave a slightly more thoughtful reply. I said that first, he just hot so of course that caught my eye, but that really it was the good eye contact that made me pay attention and make a note to find him later (we were in line for the bathroom at the time). When he texted me back, he said it was funny that I had mentioned eye contact, that in the past girls had been unnerved by it and guys upset by it.

This is fascinating to me because in my experience strong eye contact alone can pick up strangers off the street. Now, sure, some of it is because I am a girl, but the experience that was most clear in that respect was one in which I was walking down the street in what can only be described as frumpy clothes, my hair a mess and all. And yet I had a super hot guy with a sixpack turn from walking the other way and follow me into the lobby of a building to get my number! Additionally, on the other side, I have hooked up with a number of people because they caught my eye (literally) and weren’t afraid to hold my gaze.

Strong eye contact indicates confidence, an assurance that you know what you want and are not afraid to let other people know it. It demands that the other person meet your eyes as an equal – and if they look away right away, you’ve clearly made them nervous (or perhaps exceedingly bored – but it should be clear which it is!). Flirting and fighting really aren’t that different in some ways :-). In fact, eye contact that you really refuse to let go of can become very aggresive.

If you find that you always look away, give some thought to why. Girls especially are very prone to looking away (“shyly”) when someone they find attractive is looking directly at them. But there is really no reason to be intimidated by that flirtation (generally – again, you will know the difference!). After all, clearly said guy (or girl) is eyeing you for a reason, right? So go ahead and hold that eye contact for a moment, be confident that YES, you absolutely are on the same level as this person, and maybe smile a bit before you look away. Better yet, if the person flirting with you is across the room, break that eye contact while you gather your drink or whatnot, get up, walk over and say “Hi. I’m ____.” Approaching people yourself (gender nonspecific) is the best way to meet someone new!

On the topic of approaching people, if you’ve gotten a clear vibe that they’re interested (say you’re at a party and you’ve walked up to said guy and asked “So, do you have a girlfriend?” and he says “No.” with a smile – a clear sign here, folks) go ahead and say what’s on your mind! In this particular case for me, after I said that to the guy (and to keep it light, I replied “Good, neither do I!”, which allowed me to cover the poly info quickly since he then asked about a boyfriend), several women came up and were touchy feely with him. He clearly knew them previously, and I backed off some in case he was trying to hook up with any of them. Towards the end of the party, I was sitting behind him on a bed and just decided, well, fuck it, he said he doesn’t have a girlfriend, so I starting running my nails down his back. When that got a good response from him (hands on my leg, etc.) but I still was not sure if he might be headed home with someone else that night, I leaned over and said “So, I would LOVE to fuck you tonight, but if that isn’t going to happen let me know, and I will leave now while I have someone to travel with.” He replied with a simple “Tonight is no good, what about tomorrow?”, we settled on Wednesday, and I left the party with a solid date and an awesome experience.

He loved that I was so forward and just said what I wanted. Actually, when you think about it, when people talk about women being “forward” does that mean that being otherwise is being “backward”? I think yes. Additionally, saying what I want is how I pretty much always get it. A win in my book!

When you think it over, and maybe say “Oh, but I could never do that!”, keep this in mind: What was the worst that would happen? Worst case scenario, he would say, Look, I’m really not interested, sorry. Most people do try to be polite about rejection, y’know, so it’s really not that bad. (Now, if your “worst case scenario” includes something like “I will get sued for sexual harassment”, obviously that is different! Know your situation and judge accordingly.)

Do you have a favorite flirting/pickup story? Do share!

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Positive sexuality is a term I use a lot. I’m sure other people use it elsewhere, but I pretty much made it up for myself to describe my view of sex and sexuality, and so I am sure that how I define it versus how others do is different.

One of the main reasons I started using that term is because sexuality for so many people by default carries a lot of negatives. People are raised to feel guilty and shameful of their desires and their bodies, and this to my mind is not only sucky in general but also potentially harmful.

One of the things that I think is vital to have a positive, healthy sexuality is to know your own desires *and accept them*. This doesn’t mean that you have to shout your preferences from the rooftops (your mom has no real reason to know you like being whipped unless you want her to), does mean letting go of shame that you hold onto regarding any of your sexual impulses. Caveat: if you are dealing with fantasies that involve nonconsent, this may not apply to you. I am NOT advocating nonconsent of any form – those of you who practice consensual nonconsent know I am not talking about you 🙂 since there is consent at some point in the process.

Ooookay, caveat aside, most kinks and desires can be expressed in a positive way, and finding that way is important to your sexuality and your relationships.

I was speaking recently with two friends who each have an issue with sex that they haven’t really come to terms with. In both cases, because of this basic level of discord that they have regarding sex, they are limiting themselves in attracting partners. It sounds very “New Age-y” but it really is true that what you put out there is what you will find. I like to use the term “vibration”, and not just ’cause I’m kinky like that. :-p Basically, if you are on a level that is full of drama and wants sex but feels bad about it, well, those are the kind of people you will be attracting in your life.

Back to my friends: One enjoys sex with men upon occasion, but is very unwilling to identify himself as bi (he definitely loves girls more), the other mostly has sex with guys (and he doesn’t like to be defined as gay OR bi for that matter, but that is not a problem, he just doesn’t like being labelled) and his issue is that he REALLY dislikes condoms. In both cases, they harbor a lot of shame, and because of this they get into difficult and at time dangerous situations. But in reality, it doesn’t need to be that way.

So what holds them back? Boy 1 has a lot of guy friends from childhood, old school kinda guys that don’t even get his kinkiness with girls – he shudders to think how they might react to his enjoying the occasional cock. However, he’s gotten onto fetlife, he’s gone to a TES meeting or two, and now that he’s starting to meet more people who are very open and accepting of sexuality of any sort, he’s starting to feel a bit more comfortable with his own sexuality. I talked to him a lot about it the last time we hung out because it’s clear that until he gets it together on this he will not meet the kind of people he wants to get into relationships with (we were talking about how you find poly people to date).

Boy 2 has what seems at first glance to be a more difficult problem. But really, it doesn’t have to be. Is it safe to go without a condom, especially with anal? No, of course not. BUT, you can minimize the risk if you make it clear to your potential partners from the beginning, and both get tested – and of course casual sex is not a good idea in this case. Part of what holds him back from dealing with this desire in a healthy manner is the guilt that was drummed into him for years, that this Is Not Safe…and, since he was going to do it anyway, well that must just make him bad for wanting it right? Except that is doesn’t. If this came about from, say, having a latex allergy (and no options), would he feel as bad about it? Not likely – since that wouldn’t be a “choice”, and thus couldn’t be “his fault”.

So how does this relate to you? What secret things are you not quite willing to accept about yourself because they are just “so bad”? Drag them out into the light – you’ll find most things really aren’t so bad as you think. Barring necrophilia or child molestation, you’re pretty much guaranteed it’s not so horrible. 🙂 And when you think about it, what is really so bad about “fill in kink here”? Most of them…nada.

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A friend of mine who is new to poly recently asked for some advice from me. It made me think about how many things I take for granted as “givens” in a relationship, and how sometimes those givens are not there on my partner’s side, and thus we need to discuss those assumptions and come to a comfortable place on them. I’m thinking of things like: the assumption that my lover will talk to their primary partner about me; that if something big happens between us we will both discuss it with our primary partners and possibly other lovers depending on the situation; that we are on the same page as far as what “safer sex” consists of; that my new partner will respect and understand my priorities with regards to scheduling; and many many more.

I have a lot of thoughts on many of these topics, and I will be writing about it all in more depth shortly, but for now I thought I would share the questions that my friend asked me and my responses. To give a little context, I do have a primary partner (my husband) and have a lovely sub boyfriend (who has a primary partner of his own) as well as several friends who are lovers. Please let me know if you have anything you’d like me to address!

1) Have you ever been in a situation where a lover hasn’t told their primary about you? Is that something you would be comfortable with?

No, or rather, if I find out that is the case then that gets resolved in one of two ways: my partner tells his/her primary, or I end the sexual aspect of that relationship. However, I generally have spoken extensively enough with my new partner that I know everything is on the up and up. I am not comfortable being involved in someone else’s lies.

2) Do you think in poly that it is an assumption that everyone will tell all their partners or is that something that must be negotiated at the get go?

To me it IS a given, however usually conversation beforehand as I am getting to know the person clarifies that. I have been in situations where my sub’s primary was aware of me, but had not been told to my satisfaction when we exchanged the L word. (Communication in their relationship has turned out to be a BIG issue, and this was one of many signposts along the way to their current troubles – and we had had the same issue with his wife who at the time was dating/being dommed by my husband. For my husband and I this was a HUGE deal that had to be resolved.)

3) How do you balance the needs of your primary partner with any other partners need/desires? I need to have a discussion with a lover about my priorities (that he is not my primary and probably never will be…I want him in my life very much, but am not in love with him. I am with this one guy I’ve been seeing) and am concerned about not hurting him (more than necessary).

This is a tricky one at times, but honesty is your best policy here. I find that because I am extremely clear from the very beginning with new partners on what extent of my life they can expect to occupy, I don’t have very many issues with people wanting more from me than I can give. When in doubt, I frame it as a “kids” issue, which it often is. It helps that I make clear to all of my partners and lovers that they are dear to me and I care about them muchly, even if I don’t have time for them – I do have space in my heart.

4) On a slightly separate note, how do you deal with occasional jealousy (if you feel it), when a partner is with another lover?

I try and figure out what – to use a new favorite term here – my particular brain weasels are. Is it that I feel I am not seeing enough of said partner? Is it that although I do see her, she doesn’t pay me any “romantic” attention, e.g. flirting and silly gifts or notes? Is it that I am frightened that the “other” person is sexier/hotter/smarter/cooler than I am? Sometimes it is many things, and sometimes only one, but each is different and requires a different reaction/solution from me. Almost always (but not totally!) they are issues strictly to be dealt with in my own head that, though I may discuss them with my partner, really are MY issues and not HIS fault. Sometimes there IS something that said partner needs to work on though. Depends on the situation.

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