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 and privacy.

 

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…

 

Thank you to all who have liked, shared and followed my journey so far. 

And if you are just clicking for the pictures, why not check out my Patreon page?

Sex Censorship: The Modern Book Burning and The War on Women

Make no mistake, the internet is experiencing a very scary purging of sex content in the form of sexual censorship.  With the closure of Backpage, and Craigslist personals (US only, Canada still seems to be available) sex workers are being put at risk.  And by risk, I mean pushing them out of the safety of the internet and directly onto the streets.  This is terrifying.  And this doesn’t just stop at sex workers.  For example, YouTube is now removing entire channels dedicated to sex education and the cloud has been deleting entire profiles, videos and images specifically targeting escorts and sex workers.  We are moving into the dark ages where we are again running and hiding from the word sex.  We are reaching a critical climax with the technological information purge, or what I feel is the modern book burning.  And if you are thinking you are not affected, please don’t stop reading as there is more!

With SESTA-FOSTA in effect, third party websites are now liable for the content that is written, shared and promoted on them.  While the guise of child endangerment and trafficking pushed it forward, the real victims are sex workers.  They cannot use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Switter etc to promote and screen their businesses and clients, putting them at extreme risk of extortion, their very physical safety, and their means of income as sights like Paypal are liable under this new law as well.  Which ultimately will push these workers back onto the streets or worse.  And yes, pushing out sex workers has a negative effect on all of us.  It’s called the oldest profession for a reason.  History has shown us time and time again that humans will find a way to have their sexual needs and desires met, one way or the other.  To fight this, is futile and recently we were reminded just how dangerous it is which I will touch on shortly.  And with the legal threat of third party liability, sex workers will move to the next safe place to advertise, and that will most likely be on dating apps.  That’s right, dating apps like OK Cupid, and Tinder will be the next targets.  So, do you still think this doesn’t affect you?

This censorship is so far reaching that even taking pictures of sex toys may/will result in discretionary removal, blocking and/or just banned.  And as of today, Twitter will start to remove all nudity that elicits arousal.  Are you freaking kidding me?  This is censorship at its worst because it is subjective.  Is there some big review board somewhere that will review nudity to see if it gets someone hard or wet?  Internet freedom is not under attack, it is no longer a thing.  Again, if you think this doesn’t affect you, you’re just not listening.  If you cannot even take a picture of a sex toy, where does that line end?  Can you not take a picture of condom to promote and educate safe sex?  And honestly, there is no end in sight, and no clear picture of who makes these determinations.

So what’s next?  Where is the internet headed?  Where are we as a society going to end up if we cannot embrace healthy sexual discussion and acceptance.  Oh that’s where it’s headed, straight into fear and outright hatred of sex and women.  Are you ready to read about the real world ramifications of the breakdown of sex positive speech, availability, education and just general knowledge?  Well, ready or not, Toronto women were just attacked by a 25 year old man, on the street, by a van of all things.  And why? Because he was part of a group called the Incel Rebellion, which is short for “involuntary celibate”.  This is a group of violent men, who have slurped up the Kool-aid that women are the enemy.  That we should not have autonomy over our sexual rights and body, and that men have every right to get laid, by whatever means necessary, including rape.  Yes, you read that right.  I will be honest, I have a lot of difficulty researching this group of men, and my stomach turns just thinking that these predators are a part of our society.  It’s bone chilling and I cannot go into more detail without tearing up.  So research this subject with caution.

How can women be feared this much?  Why are we losing our autonomy at such an alarming rate?  How as a society can we attack sex workers, and allow organizations that promote bodily harm to women to continue?  Where is the poison that started this all?  And how the fuck do we fix this?  I want to say that with education and compassion the next generation will be better than us.  But, I don’t think we can, as an equal society wait that long.  Women are dying.  Sex workers, have reached the point of desperation and are taking their own lives.  Men, believing they have “rights” to us as objects has resulted in death, all over North America, and honestly I couldn’t research beyond that.

This has to STOP!  And it has to stop now.   The war on women must end.  And the book burning of sexual content, information and education has to be eliminated.  And RIGHT NOW!  This is a human crisis.  It’s not men versus women.  It’s a poison that is infiltrating our very ethics and morality, and we need to find the antidote.  Being shocked, silent or dismissive is over.  For my part, I will continue to post nudity on my blog and on my Patreon page, and proudly!  I will continue to blog about sex, relationships, sexuality and non-monogamy.  I will continue to support sex workers and my community of sex positive individuals.  I will not be silent.  And neither should you!  As I tweeted today “Things are not looking good right now for freedom of expression, from the female perspective.  We need to do better.  I hate being right about it getting worse before it gets better… how much more can society fear sex and women?”  Join the conversation on social media.  Talk to your friends and loved ones.  We cannot silently watch women die as our freedoms are ripped from us!

Sometimes My Fears are Ridiculous: Swing Club Edition


Or
My First Fear About Local Swing Clubs Has Come True…
When E and I dipped a toe into the Lifestyle (attending swing clubs) the understanding was that we would not attend any event that was local.  This would be our vacation only experience.  And over the past 4 years we have attended parties in LA and surrounding area.  And at the same time putting a bunch of clubs on our wish list to every city we visit.  Being Canadians we originally picked LA as our first foray to ensure that it was an anonymous venue filled with people that we would never see again.  That was an important aspect for a few reasons. 
The first being, if we made a mistake no one would see us again.  I refer specifically to protocol or the like.  The second was the freedom to do whatever we were comfortable with, and even to take a few chances because we were never going to run into these people again.  And the third, was it was exciting to have events that we would look forward to sometimes up to a year in advance.  But then a funny thing happened.  On our last trip to LA, for our annual New Years Eve adventure we ran into a couple we had chatted with the previous year.  And just like that, the taboo of not knowing anyone was gone.  It was replaced with an element of excitement and a strange comfort at making friends within the lifestyle that we could run into again and again.  So we re-evaluated and decided to try and replicate this sensation in our own backyard.
When we got home we spent a great deal of time finding a local swing club that best suited our needs.  Sure enough we found one, and attended their Valentines Day Party.  It was packed and we knew no one from the outside world.  It was fantastic!  This quickly became our monthly pastime.  We would find a theme that suited us, brainstorm a few costume ideas and get cracking.  We discovered that wearing fantastic or creative costumes was the ideal ice breaker and we love dressing up!  And of course it should go with out saying that once the ice is broken, the clothes can come off!  But here’s the thing, we were still quite anonymous.  We had crossed the hurdle of running into someone a second or third time from the lifestyle, but I was still leery about running into anyone from our vanilla lives.
And then it happened, only four months later.  I was looking at the guest list and sure enough we knew a couple.  And it was a former colleague of E’s.  Someone that we had partied with a bit and he had a very good working relationship with.  Well frick, now what do we do?  Message them, say hi?  Pretend we didn’t notice until the party?  Or just let it ride?  I wanted the latter, just to pretend I had not noticed that they were coming, where by E wanted to send a teasing but friendly message.  As luck would have it, they messaged us first.  Simple, and friendly, “Noticed you are attending on [date] and I’m sure you noticed we are as well. We thought we would reach out and perhaps head off the inevitable awkwardness. 🙂  It’s unexpected to run into someone you know in a situation like this and we just wanted you to know we understand the need for discretion for all involved.  If we don’t get a chance to chat Saturday we hope you have a great time.”  
Even with the kind e-mail I was not comfortable running into them at the party, and part of the reason was the theme.  If the ladies showed up without underwear and proved it, 10 bucks would be taken off the cover charge.  Nothing like running into a person from the outside world without underwear on!  It is almost reminiscent of the advice my grandmother once gave me, “always wear clean underwear just in case you get hit by a bus”.  Underpants allow you to engage in normal society.  You don’t question why, you just get up everyday, put fresh ones on and go and interact with fellow members of society.  So let’s just take them off and run into people you know, it will be swell.
As the title suggests, on the said night of the party we ran into them, said a quick and friendly hello and just like that the bandaid was ripped off.  A situation that prevented me from exploring the lifestyle locally for so many years was absolutely without incident.  We joked about not wearing panties, poured a drink and went our separate ways. E and I laughed about the interaction, and shared a few meeting someone you knew stories with other couples that night and really that was it.   
As I get older, I reflect on all the fears that held me back from new experiences, and I am so grateful that I have overcome such a large number of these.  Including within the non monogamy lifestyle.  I know I have E to thank for a lot of the encouragement, seeing his bravery and the example he sets, and sometimes him just calling me out for being ridiculous.  With age, confidence and wisdom I know there are many more barriers that I will break down, well except for spiders.  Cause fuck spiders!  Bleh!

A Fear of Non Monogamy: Overcome

When I began my blogging and personal journey about exploring non monogamy I wrote a post about some of my underlying fears .  I was in a place of passive relationship status rather than an active one.  I had a genuine fear of uncomfortable or without warning, meeting women that E had slept with.  It actually would keep me up some nights, going over in my head how I would react in countless situations.  Drama filled scenes plagued my dreams.  Stress, apprehension and the like or even an occasional cat fight would play out in both my sleeping and waking imagination.

And funnily enough, I have not had this thought cross my mind in what feels like years.  My relationship has shifted from passive to active control.  I have a direction and am steering my life the way I feel suits me best.  I am no longer just a watcher, experiencing things through E with curiosity and naïve or plain false concepts in my mind.  Instead, I am confident and have put certain notions behind me.  This nightmare is one of the most vivid examples I can think of. 

People talk about jealousy and how to overcome it.  That is a massive concept that takes years, and one that my side projects involve dealing with.  For the day to day, being able to come across experiences in my own writing and realize I have evolved past them is such an incredible high.  The fear was real, and it was sound.  However it was based in a place of insecurity and lack of trust in my partner and my relationship.  Our foundation was not strong enough at the time for us to tackle my fear together.  I guess that is one of the downsides to having a first time open experience with a partner who had explored it previously.  I took much longer to come around to critical thinking, and ultimately learn to embrace with strong self esteem, issues like this.


Fear is based on surviving.  And I feel that perhaps I was in survival mode when E and I first started dating.  I was in a place whereby every aspect of my life was changing and it felt great and overwhelming all at the same time.  I literally threw all the balls of my life in the air over a period of about 2 and a half years and then systematically picked up each one and put it where I wanted.  And I threw out all the ones that were not to my liking, just like this insecurity that kept nagging at me.  One day, it was just gone.  My fear, overcome.

Seeing a Gut Reaction

Sometimes I forget that the content I write about is not for everyone.  That the views I have, and how I live my life illicit reactions from people that are less than desirable.  Writing this blog is freedom of expression, but also allows me to build a protective bubble of tolerance.  What I mean by that, is I see my stats grow week by week, regular and new readers alike and it becomes easier to say that what I am doing is starting to become accepted.  That perhaps I am somehow making a difference or at the very least breaking down a few walls of the unknown.

And then I say something to a friend about being open, or make some reference to dating while being in a relationship and I am slapped in the face with reality.  I see the discomfort on the persons face who has known me for years.  I see the uncomfortable stirring in the seat.  And worse than that, I see a form of pain cross their eyes as they internalize what I have said, and they intuitively put themselves in my shoes and are scared.

I write this blog for me.  But there is a massive downside to it.  I do not ever get to see a persons reaction when they read a post I wrote for the first time.  I miss out on the initial gut impact that a few of my more poignant posts have given.  I watch page views rise quickly with my internal musings and slower with my more controversial subjects.  Yet over time, the controversial ones remain stronger and get more repeat views.  I honestly do not know why.

I remember as a young teenager playing the Penis Game.  The rules are, someone in a public place quietly says `penis`.  Then the person beside repeats the word, but a little louder.  This continues until you are basically screaming the word PENIS.  The game ends when you cannot stop laughing or you have been asked to shut up by the poor innocent passerby’s.  I used to hate playing that game.  I would watch parents give dirty looks, professional`s glare with that hint of humiliation, and some senior just look onwards with a deep knowing almost reminiscent face.  It was the reactions that stuck with me.  That variance of emotions that at the time made me want to sink as low as possible and disappear.

I felt that talking with this friend about being in an open relationship.  We are so close, that she could not remove herself from the situation.  I saw firsthand a gut reaction.  I don`t think I would have been able to write for so long had there been a medium available that would have show the looks on peoples faces as they read each word I typed.  I am much happier in the world of tolerance I have created for myself within this blog.  I love the freedom and release I get each time I press publish. Not being able to see your faces allows me to keep this organic and about what I really think, and feel without censoring myself or curbing my views to appeal to masses.  It is a double edged sword I realize, but with great value in the long run for me.