The Friendzone is Bullshit!

Body language matters and the friendzone is bullshit!

I have toyed with a post explaining why I believe the word friendzone is bullshit for over 5 years.  I have outlines, ideas, and just random thoughts peppering my work in progress document and nothing I wrote ever could quite get past the whole “I don’t like the label and it’s implications”.  Until recently, I felt writing this post would be irresponsible and give people the wrong impression about me (by that I mean, I didn’t want men who felt they were in the friendzone to start pushing boundaries). But I write this now because there is something bubbling beneath the surface of the word that I think needs to be addressed here.  With a few beers in me, I wrote this in reply to a comment on my Predators blog post: I have tried numerous times to write a post on the friendzone, however I stop myself in light of this very context. Until there is a clear understanding of consent, and boundaries, there are certain men that should just stay believing in the friendzone for the sake of the women they are in essence pushing boundaries with…. OK, maybe this should turn into a post.

Any guesses where I am going with this yet?  The friendzone is a word, that I have always felt, was a copout.  We use it to place a person who we may or make not actually like, but definitely do not want anything physical to happen with (at that particular moment).  And as we are still trying to figure out what role they play in our lives, we relegate them into this so called “friendzone”.  The implications of that zone, are that the person will take the hint, and therefor understand that they are to stop being flirty, or expect that the person who placed them there will ever sleep with them.  Basically, it’s code for “just give up already”. 

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So, there are two parts that I will touch on here to explain why I think the friendzone is bullshit

The first, is why do we allow, or even encourage people to place labels like this on other human beings.  It’s often cruel.  If a person likes you, man up, and have the conversation that says you are tired of them doing such and such behaviour, and would like it to stop for the friendship to continue.  Then set a clear expectation, for example, this is what will happen if you don’t.  Off the top of my head you could threaten that the friendship will be over if they continue to push your boundaries.  Of you could simply state where you are at in the moment and call out the persons bad behaviour as it happens.

Perhaps you would like an example from my colourful past?  Ok, here is a little story time…Once upon a time when I was in a long term monogamous relationship, I had a friend who would constantly try to buy me drinks, text me cute pet names, and when he got drunk he would meow at me.  I really appreciated all the free stuff I was getting, and when we texted it was playful, it was fun, and quite flattering being on someone’s mind like that.  However, when he got drunk, he repeatedly tried to cross the line, would hold his hugs just a little too long, and the weird meowing turned into this creepy cat-like howl. To be clear I had zero attraction for him, and was in a completely monogamous relationship that he was fully aware of.  He was a teddy bear in the day time with whom I always hugged when I saw him, was a great listener, and overall I loved the boost he gave my ego.  So, I, without realizing it, was letting him ride in that weird friendzone territory, while I sorted out my feelings and tried to rationalize where he was in my life. 

But then, I grew up.  Ok, the truth was, I got sick and tired of his drunken behaviour and watched it start to spill into our sober text messages.  So, I gave him a choice.  Either stop crossing the line with me when you’re drunk and allow me to trust you 100% of the time, or you will not be in my life.  And guess what?  After two strikes, he was no longer in my life.  I won’t lie, I missed the attention, but ultimately, the ego boost just wasn’t worth having someone like that in my life.

Ok, so now let’s talk about the other side of it.  Why people find themselves in the friendzone.  I’m not going to mince words here, if you have ever found yourself in the friendzone it is because you do not have the social skills to handle the situation that you are in and you are the problem.  See what I did there?  I told you what was wrong in a direct manor.  Let me explain, if you’re sitting there, shell shocked, or feeling like you want to start defending yourself, take pause and hear me out.  If you are attracted to someone, and the feelings are not returned in the same manor that you are wishing they would, there are a few things going on.  First, you have picked a target way out of your league and you are either too shy, under confident, or socially awkward to overcome that hurdle so you tell yourself, just being close to this person is enough.  Guess what? It’s not, it’s weird, and you need to start learning how to build your confidence. 

Second, you have this person in your life who keeps telling you no, but you have decided, that they are wrong, and you are going to keep trying.  Guess what?  That makes you an asshole and you have violated the whole consent thing.  Maybe this person is just being too nice, doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, or is just genuinely trying to figure things out.  That shouldn’t matter to you though. If you hear the word no, it’s time to back off immediately.  Perhaps they will miss you, and come around.  Or more likely, they will realize their gut was right, and they just were one of those genuinely amazing souls who are nice to everyone, and are so relieved that they don’t have to feel awkward around you anymore.  Either way, respect the word no, and back off!

The friendzone is not healthy, for anyone.  The friendzone is a bullshit place to be, and equally to put someone in while you figure things out.  I propose that we remove this silly label from our vocabulary and start actually communicating with people.  You don’t have to use black and white labels.  We are blessed with a whole range of words, body language, and clear methods of expressing ourselves.  So, start building those skills.  And did you know that you can always change your mind about a person too?  If you tell a person you aren’t into them, and then realize you were wrong you can go and talk to them and share your feelings?  Crazy, I know!  But it’s far better than playing this whole in the friendzone, out of the friendzone charade.  So take these new and improved communication skills you have learned here, and go have meaningful conversations with people you like.  And always remember, if they say no, for the love of everything, respect that, and do NOT keep trying!

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Non-Monogamy and Popping Cherries

In my monogamous upbringing, I was taught, like many of us were, that losing ones virginity was basically the pinnacle of sexual exploration and maturity.  There was zero conversation in regards to what milestones existed beyond the “popping of one’s cherry”.  It was simply a goal of everyone to lose virginity either in the confines of marriage, or as a pubescent race to experience this physical milestone as fast as possible.  Arguably these are the two main schools of thought, and obviously in our sex positive narrative, wrought with misconceptions and at times even a dangerous quest, as I’m sure you are well aware.  If you, did not experience this as part of your sexual education then I am indeed envious.

But lamenting the past is something I want to do as little as possible in this post.  Instead, I want to celebrate something truly amazing.  The opening of my non-monogamous eyes to the new and exciting world of cherry popping in all it’s vast and wondrous forms, that are far reaching and almost limitless if you use a little bit more of your sexual arsenal, creativity, and perhaps an extra hand or two.

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Last weekend, a couple remarked that we popped their cherry in regards to a very sexy, same room sexual encounter.  It was more of an exhibitionist focused tryst, but a real cherry was popped none the less.  This was a first for the couple and they left recharged with sexual energy that was amazingly contagious.  And that my friends got my mind racing.  During my non-monogamous journey I have experienced what feels like a lifetime of new, and amazing sexual firsts.  I have had my cherry popped in so many different ways, that I blush just to think how long that list is getting.  It is an incredible world of firsts, and newness, and well, the heart races just a little bit when I recall my first threesome or my first time reaching an orgasm with strangers watching, or… I better stop while I am ahead here and still able to type.

But the thing of it is, in monogamy, I would not have come even close to being able to list the things I have.  And this is not because I would not have been able to experience many of these things via role playing, dirty talk, fantasy, etc, but because the conversation was halted at the loss of losing your virginity.  In my monogamous life, that was pretty much it.  You had one milestone that you could talk about with your friends, and then, you either had sex regularly or you were on the quest to find someone who would.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, just a completely different way of looking at the world.  I now see possibilities and new experiences that I  yearn to try, and I can share them, talk about them, and even plan new adventures in this freeing lifestyle.  Whereas in monogamy, I just cannot envision me saying to a friend even half of the things that I am able to express  in this blog for example.

Viewing new experiences in the light of “cherry popping” goes beyond just a sexual bucket list.  It is, for me, the embracing of new experiences as an exciting bonus of the lifestyle.  The addage that you don’t know if you like something unless you try it, sort of mentality.  It’s a freeing concept that is fueled by the many positive experiences that I am having, and works to push out the limiting and often impulsive word “no” from my vocabulary, which has more far reaching benefits in my day to day life as well.  While I am still not quite at the enthusiastic “hell yes” phase, when it comes to new people and adventures, I am definitely heading in the right direction.  So thank you to all who have helped me pop a cherry or two, and a very special thank you to those that allowed us to be a part of your firsts!  Cheers to many, many more sex positive adventures!

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Money and Relationships

AKA The Adage of Never Mix Business with Pleasure: Relationship Edition

I doubt there is a person out there who has never heard the warnings against mixing business with pleasure.  Announcing plans on going into a financial partnership with your best friend will elicit gasps, dire warnings, and a whole barrage of “never do that” anecdotes.  It’s a very simple concept to grasp, when finances are involved the relationship will suffer at one point or another, and very often erupt into irreconcilable differences that sever the friendship.  Ok, so we all agree that this adage is well known, and is ripe with a million and one examples?

Then how the hell are relationships supposed to survive this very thing.  Mixing sex, love, a partnership with the obvious financial merging of two people is supposed to be taboo (never sleep with a coworker as an example).  Something that we are supposed to avoid in friends but have zero choice about in long term relationships.  Does anyone else find this mind-numbingly insane?  Instead of teaching partners on any level about how to do this legally or otherwise we completely and almost universally clam up about this.  It’s almost as if society seems grateful that two people can share financial difficulties as a unit and solidly behind closed doors.  It takes the public pressure off of this glaring deficit in our societal norms.  There is no medium for dealing with these things.  Instead we completely remove finances from the public discourse, very similarly to the way we avoid talking about sex in public.  And the bottom line for me is that the subject of money is my weakest link.

I, feel great shame talking about debt.  I feel even worse feeling like a financial burden on my partner and would love to continue just avoiding the whole conversation.  And yet, there is simply no way to separate the money from the relationship for any length of time.  It’s impossible.

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And it freaking sucks!  Money should not be the cause of such a high divorce rate in our culture.  And there should not be a gender gap when it comes to income earning and I could honestly just go on and on about all the crappy reasons and excuses that I can to explain why I feel so lost and helpless at this very moment.  I’m struggling to understand how two people, who are supposed to be partners can survive if there is financial disparity.  Is it up to one to be burdened by the guilt of the other?  Are the two just supposed to accept the past mistakes and help each other move forward?  Or as in my case, is my extreme stubbornness to fix my own mistakes and problems going to be the detriment of the most amazing relationship that I have ever had?

These aren’t easy questions to ask, and even harder to answer.  But ultimately that’s where you end up when things in your culture, society or even household are taboo.  You end up in what feels like a no-win scenario.  Wishing you could fix things with the snap of a finger or press the magic reset button that will allow you to move forward without having to face the music head on.  I’m talking about money and relationships because it is hard and scary, especially for me.  I am clawing my way up from debt one day at a time.  That is my mission and mandate.  And most importantly, my promise to myself.  And someday, I hope that this small step forward will lead me to be able to more openly discuss my finances, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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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.

My Sexiness Conundrum

Aka – Celebrating my mid 30’s

Can I confess something to you?  Well, here goes, I just celebrated a milestone birthday, aka, reaching my mid 30’s.  And here’s the thing, for the first time, I am struggling with it, because I am really feeling my age.  Not in the aches and pain sort of way, but rather, in the realization that youth is fleeting (which is in striking contrast to what I felt when I wrote this).  While I fully accept my body just the way it is, I am suddenly coming to terms with the reality that others may not.  And while, I know this sounds incredibly superficial, being regarded as attractive matters to me.

I wish so badly that it didn’t.  I wish that I could just go out into the world not giving a damn what people think 100 percent of the time, but honestly, I do care.  Every so often, this weird feeling overtakes me where I am not sure how I am portraying myself to my friends or even those around me.  Again, I want so badly to spout off about how looks don’t matter, and it’s what’s inside that really counts.  But if I’m being honest, first impressions do matter.  How you look, smell, smile, or even just carry yourself can make a lasting imprint on a person.  And I cannot help but worry that as I age, I may have to put more effort into ensuring that I project the image that I want.  That statement alone puzzles me, with deep conflicting emotions of wanting a devil may care attitude, but also, craving a little bit of attention from time to time.

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Take for example, an event that happened on my birthday, which might better illuminate where I am at right now.  I have a friend that I find quite attractive (OK I actually have quite a few because honestly I love my inner circle to pieces), but for this story let`’s just focus on the one.  He`’s a man that I would find myself quite attracted to if things were a little different, ie valuing the friendship far more than incorporating anything sexual.  Yes, that is a mutual thing, and not some cheesy friendzone nonsense.  For me, a friendship with this guy just makes complete sense and anything physical just wouldn`’t.  But in a moment of drunkenness, he mentioned something off the cuff about me being gorgeous, as an almost afterthought during a conversation where I was trying to figure out which of the fine ladies at our table he was most interested in so I could encourage him.

Booze was a factor, and we have never talked about attractiveness prior to this, so while I could completely be missing the mark about context here, those words were uttered.  And without rhyme or reason I found myself awash with this complete wave of relief.  Sweet, a friend I find attractive thinks I am attractive too.  That`’s awesome, quick mental high five, and I happily went on with my night.  But days later that`’s where I find myself in a bit of a conundrum.  Why was just being friends with this guy not enough?  Why did it take him telling me I was attractive to give me that additional validation of our friendship?  Why did I feel that incredible wave of relief?

Again, this isn’t one of those posts where I really want to sleep with the guy.  This has nothing to do with sexual chemistry, but instead everything to do with some innate desire to be viewed as sexy by those around me.  I guess it’s just startling that I have not yet grown out of that phase of my life.  I genuinely wanted to be the lady in red, when I was in my early 20’s.  That woman who would walk into a room and turn everyone’s head.  Why? I just cannot describe exactly why, because the reality is, if that ever happened I would turn beet red, be overcome with emotion and either start giggling or crying.  But again, reaching 35, I sincerely wonder, if I have missed my chance to turn all the heads in a room.  Was that a mere fantasy of youth?  Are these moments of feeling sexy going to become less frequent?  Am I seriously going to have to start doing yoga and taking care of my body on a daily base now?  Do I just have to accept that I am always going to have this superficial urge to wow people from time to time and that’s just part of who I am?  Perhaps though putting a little extra effort in now isn’t this horrible beast of an idea…?  Oh how I wish my looks didn’t matter on the level they do.

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