My Holidays, My Family, My Way

In just a few weeks, my partner and I will pack up our car and begin our annual road trip south for the holidays.  It has become our tradition and something that I just couldn’t imagine not doing.  But when I tell people that we are doing this, the very first question I get asked is, “oh are you going to go visit family?”.  Well, let me just preface this by saying, my partner and I are a family.  For us, Christmas isn’t a time for visiting our family.  It is a time for us.  We go down there because we love it, it gives us a chance to relax, do whatever we want without any obligations and simply to have just a total and complete reset.  It is our Christmas Vacation, on our terms,

It’s funny though the looks you get from friends and acquaintances who just cannot imagine ever not spending the holidays with their family.  It is almost a moral obligation.  We are outsiders, again, straying from the norm.  Here’s a familiar term within my blog, I am once again an outlier in the way I do things.  Just because you have always spent time with your family does not mean that you have to continue to do that.

In my immediate family, the holidays were about obligation, and stress.  It was about dividing time between families, and scheduling dinners, and basically pleasing everyone but myself.  I was informed that I was only allowed to make my own holiday traditions once I had children of my own.  Until then, I was on everybody else’s clock.  And for a while, I was compliant.  I spent my 20’s just driving from house to house, having quick little visits and then heading home craving that celebratory drink, thankful that I survived another year without tears or having huge blowouts with certain family members.  Writing this, I honestly cannot believe I actually tolerated this way of spending the holidays for so long.  Especially knowing what I know now.  The holidays can actually be really fun, relaxing and completely drama and stress free if you choose to do it that way, and you better believe that I do.

I love many things about Christmas.  I love watching movies, baking cookies, and drinking all the Christmas cheer I can get my hands on.  I love getting dressed up for the parties, and wishing happy holidays to strangers on the street, and just the general joy that seems to be in the air.  It has a sense of wonderment and magic that makes me so happy.  But I also appreciate that I can do all those things completely obligation free when I am far away from those that have kept me locked in tradition for so long.

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Last year, we had our entire campground to ourselves for Christmas and spent the morning drinking beer, taking sexy photos and just enjoying each other’s company and the sunshine.  In the evening we got invited to a potluck for all the people who didn’t have family that year, and my goodness it was amazing!  Everyone was so thankful to be there, that Christmas cheer was overflowing.  There was absolutely zero dinner stress.  There was no bickering, no drunk aunt that was going to say something offensive and possibly ruin the rest of the night.  There was no secret sign between partners as to when the appropriate time to make your leave was going to be.  There was absolutely zero, and I mean zero drama or even a hint of it.

That is how I choose to spend my holidays.  That is how I want to celebrate this joyous time of year.  That is why I have zero qualms about driving for nearly 30 hours at a time to arrive at this little peace of tranquil perfection.  I firmly believe that the relationships in your life should enrich you in some way.  We cannot choose our family, but we absolutely have a choice in how we spend our time, and with whom.  Even if you feel the overwhelming obligation or guilt this year, try and remember to take a little time for yourself.  Spend authentic time with those that are important to you this holiday.  And perhaps you will be lucky enough to have the mindset spill over into the rest of the year.

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The Amazing Journey Discovering Members of the Sex Positive Community

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I have been using tag Sex Positive for quite sometime.  In my blogging and networking, it seems to be one of those phrases that unites people and conversation.  Those who use #SexPositive are more likely to interact on a level beyond just simply getting off, and that is where I am most comfortably in my niche.  People who just demand seeing my boobs or like to DM me for jackoff material never seem to last very long in my circle.  And it was after one too many of the latter mentioned that prompted me to change the conversation last week and create my first hashtag, #SexPositiveCommunity.

And here is what happened…

Magic!

An entire community of bloggers, authors, sex educators and those who are happy to live in a sex positive community liked, retweeted and gave props to all their favorite people in the community.  Within 2 days over 15’000 impressions were made.  While that may sound like small potatoes in the age of viral videos reaching a million hits time and time again, this was a seed that planted hope in many of our minds.  It gave a voice and a forum to incredibly well known personalities and reached all the way to  the smallest of us.  It showed love, support and encouragement.  And one of the coolest things was being introduced to a plethora of new creators.

Being Sex Positive is important.  It goes beyond porn and sex.  It means education of Safe Sex, of safety in the world of play, of allowing kinks and fetishes to have a place in the community and of course encourage gender equality.  Sex is a part of our history, present and future.  It is important that we understand and embrace it, rather than fear or control it.  It is a way of connecting with other human beings on a level much deeper and incredible than our day to day interactions.

So thank you so much to all the people who participated, and helped to lift another member of the community up!  You were heard, and you absolutely made a positive impact on someone’s day!

If you want to join the conversation or be part of the next wave of #SexPositiveCommunity building follow me on Twitter and take a look at some of the amazing contributors listed in this chain.

What to Tolerate as a Sex Positive Blogger?

As I went through my comment feed today (on the blog and twitter) I was struck by a strange feeling that I have become desensitized to a lot of the crappy comments I have to deal with, and I really don’t know how to feel about that. I am on a personal mission to share my experiences in non-monogamy and the communication growth that I have gained during this time. I share things about my life, my experiences, perspectives, and even the sex positive body image that I feel more often than not. I put myself out there, not to brag or gain notoriety, but instead to work through my thoughts and feelings while at the same time earnestly trying to help others going through something similar. But the thing of it is, whenever you post something online you are opening yourself up to the good, bad and the ugly.

And today, I was struck by just how unimportant the trolling has become to me. Even 6 months ago, I recall talking to @huntergash on gtfo about how much the trolls were basically ruining the online experience. I remember feeling enraged, and passionate about the subject. And now? I feel almost numb. As if, I no longer care about trying to educate or enlighten these trolling and aggressive anonymous beings. And it feels incredibly weird.

With everything going on politically right now, I guess it’s almost fitting that I feel less like my voice matters or will be heard with the correct people. As much as I try and funnel those who just want to look and not glean anything from my writing to the appropriate channels (Patreon), I still get a barrage of inappropriate comments on a seemingly daily basis. And I find myself lazily muting, or blocking them, rather that responding. Is that in part because I am much busier with life than I was 6 months ago? Or perhaps are they “winning” so speak, in that I am accepting their presence as part of publicly posting? Or is there something else that I haven’t quite thought of or just won’t admit to myself quite yet. Maybe, just maybe, it is too daunting a task to educate strangers.

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Case and point. Have you ever known someone who has been overly aggressive or sexual in person, only to find that on social media they brag about how they have never been that guy and are disgusted by the men who belittle women? And did you feel helpless to call them out? Or a gut wrenching conflict to out their behaviour thereby stooping to a level they may understand? Or did you just ignore and reconsider if your memory of past behaviour was even accurate? I ask these questions publicly because I am struggling to define my role right now. I feel like my voice is falling on deaf ears. There is no educating new readers, rather, people skim and agree with the parts they like and ignore the parts they don’t. No one wants to question themselves or ask the tough questions. Have I in the past behaved inappropriately and am I willing to admit that and grow, change or even just asking questions?

I love blogging, and being public. But the reality is that it feels less important than it did in the past. It feels like the conversation is over, and people read what they like and dismiss the rest. There is no challenge of opinions or desire to better ourselves. Should I go back to scolding strangers who violate my trust and sex positive outlook? Or do I continue my latest trend of just ignoring? Honestly, it feels so challenging right now to continue the dialogue of a sex positive nature and balance the outright stupid comments with those of my incredible resources, fellow sex positive bloggers and fans.

Trust, Privacy, and Openness

For all my openness and blogging and social media, I am at the core, a private person.  I have trusted many, and been burned just as often.  It hasn’t make me more cynical or guarded, just more aware of those around me.  I don’t let people in easily and when I do, well, I still maintain a bit of coldness from time to time.  It is sincerely not a trait I am conscious of, but upon the days interactions and reflections I can see moments that I wish I had been a little more inviting.  Overall, I know I have the largest inner circle of my entire life, and I have truly incredible people with whom I love dearly.  And what’s more they are people I have chosen, and am lucky enough that they have chosen me.  But let’s get on track here, I find it difficult to navigate between trust, privacy, and openness.

 

I keep many aspects of my personal life under lock and key, especially things that I have struggled with, or currently am struggling with.  And to be a little more specific, I tend not to discuss things that really suck but are out of my control.  I don’t want to whine, or bitch about my very absent family.  I don’t want to lament the fact that my step dad is now visibly absent from my life.  And I certainly do not want to go on and on about how I just don’t have the income that I feel is proper for where I want to be in life.  Instead, I keep these things to myself, and just keep picking away at them.  I work on my perceptions, my reactions to these nagging voices, and I keep doing what I love, which is writing.

 

Is the outside perception that I am fake or cold because I don’t talk about my problems?  Perhaps, but the thing of it is, I just don’t know where that line should be.  I am find sharing about 2 minutes of my problems with my friends and loved ones, but then I just want to move on.  I want desperately to discuss adventure, and all the wonderful things about our lives.  I don’t want to dwell on what cannot be immediately changed or fixed.  I have my problems, as I know those around me do.  I work hard at fixing them, little by little and just don’t find talking about them will ever solve the issues.  Because there are things that cannot be fixed by words or actions.  There are many things that are out of our control and it’s more important to learn to cope, accept or even just not sweat it when push comes to shove.

 

But again, there is a nagging voice in me that wonders if people think I’m phoney for not bitching about my life.  If perhaps, I have set a standard that they feel uncomfortable getting real with me, until I get real with them.  Is this all in my imagination?  Am I simply rationalizing a fear that is all in my head?  Honestly, I just don’t know.  So I am putting this out into the world with earnest hope that the percolation process will help me find calm, or even acceptance to a shortcoming of mine that I often fear.  That real, terrifying fear that when people learn everything about me, they will leave…

 

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Fall is Upon Us Once Again

So many people look forward to the springtime, the season of new beginnings and the much anticipated break from the winter.  I, on the other hand, look forward to fall.  Autumn is the season of change, growth and  exciting new beginnings.  Yes, I am biased because my birthday is a few weeks away, so of course this is the full circle for me.   But also, it is the time when a natural schedule sets in, either as a result of school starting or just the days getting shorter and a necessity to plan a bit better.  There is a rhythm that fall brings, a sense of stability after a summer full of random adventures.   Or in my case misadventures and unexplored opportunities.  Le sigh.

I keep telling myself that I will grab every new opportunity that comes my way.  To take the challenge of never saying no.  But my reality is, (if you read my last post I go into a bit more detail), that I am finally comfortable with my opinions.  I have spent years finding my voice, and when even the subtlest red flag presents itself it’s so hard to just ignore and choose adventure.  It’s such a double edged sword.  One that I am not sure how to reconcile.

As far as sexual adventures go, I am 100 percent on board if they involve my partner.  I want us to continue exploring as a team.  But all solo expeditions almost feel selfish right now.  Does that make any sense?  I want us to experience new people together and get to laugh and share stories as a united front.  I don’t want to put in the effort of building up new solo prospects that are just a bunch of going nowhere men.  I know, that sounds super jaded, but if you have seen the state of online dating recently, you may have an ounce of empathy for where I am coming from.  Men who have never heard of non-monogamy just want sex.  Men who have, are really, really difficult to find.  And it becomes too time consuming to even begin a conversation.

But, here I sit, writing with my favorite movie on in the background (Labyrinth) and fall is setting in.  It is the time for a shift in mentality, and perhaps even towards a more positive and hopeful one too.  A season of soft changes, and little waves of chillier weather.  As the leaves fall, perhaps my barriers will do the same.  Maybe there is something just incredible waiting for me under the next leaf pile…

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