Oops! I Read the Comments Section When a Dating Blogger Mentioned an Open Relationship

Am I fooling myself thinking society accepts non-monogamy?

So of course, just when I think people are starting to come around to the acceptance of non-monogamy, I go ahead and read a few words of “wisdom” from the real world.  Ugh!

Let me preface this by saying proudly that I am exuberant over the love, support and acceptance I have found in my real life, and my social media world, look at this amazing sex positive community for example.  I have worked hard to surround myself with educated and loving people, with whom I respect even at moments of disagreement and with whom I have convinced myself that they show the same respect for mine.  But in the last few weeks, I have seen something that takes me back to a time before I found this incredible community and it’s heartbreaking.

There is a dating blogger who is sharing her story about being in her first open relationship (the specifics about committing to this or trying to run away screaming are not really relevant here).  So, I will simply summarize by saying she is sleeping with a man who is polyamorous and engaged to another women, and whatever her actual motivations are, she is sharing this experience on her blog.  And as such, I have been reading and following along, with a bit of nostalgia, going back to when I first met E, and all the ups and downs that I experienced learning about non-monogamy for the first time.  And that was all well and good, up until I saw her comment section explode and I made the horrific mistake of reading a few opinions on the matter.

The majority of the male comments reflect the notion that this guy is a creep and manipulating the dating blogger for sex.  This sentiment is echoed by the female majority saying things like, “run now”, or “I’ve been down this road and it only leads to heartache”, and “why are you wasting your time on someone who could never love you?”.  All in all, it is doom, gloom, judgement and criticism from a monogamous side of the world that I don’t often see. 

How is this possible, you may be asking yourself, given the content of your blog?  Honestly?  I’m not 100 percent sure, so if you want to weigh in on this, please be my guest (in the comment section would be lovely!).  What I do know is that my blog didn’t evolve to non-monogamy, and thus I have never captured this broader monogamous audience.  I have been very open and honest right from the get go about what content lies within.  And whenever I write something controversial, I try to do my research ahead of time, and aim to present a balance of ideas whenever possible.  Again, this really is a point that you, dear readers are welcome to share your rational for coming back week after week.

But back to the comment section of this particular blogger.  You see, she is doing something incredibly tricky, which is to explain a situation to an unwilling audience, and that is what directly challenges their core beliefs about the evils of non-monogamy.  It is so easy to use words like cheater, manipulator and user.  So much so, that I believe if this guy ever found out about her blog, he would end things immediately.  Some perceptions you just cannot come back from regardless of your intentions.  So I sit here, reading comments and feeling heartbreak and shame that this is the world that open, polyamorous and swingers really fear.  This judgemental, and hate filled place, shouting uneducated opinions and all manor of unsympathetic close-minded views really exists.  For you see, this is a place were logic fails, and fear takes over.  This is the black hole of the social media internet that all writers and bloggers fear.  This is the place where your level-headed sanity begins to question things and your resolve wanes in the face of public opinion.

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I want to tell myself that I should never read the comments.  But the reality is that I needed that reminder that the world is not as advanced as I have been leading myself to believe.  My readers are amazing.  My supporters are wonderful.  But there is an entire world out there that is going to judge first and ask questions never.  When I finish writing my first book, this is the world I will be facing.  This is the place I need to be aware exists and this is the land I need to learn to rise above. 

In the meantime, thank you for reading, supporting and doing what you can to build the sex positive community.  I need people like you and I hope on some level you need me too!

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The Latest Gender Debate in the Media – Transgender Actors

I just finished reading an article stating that Scarlett Johansson stepped down from the role she had agreed to play, whereby she was going to portray a transgendered person.  Obviously this has been a media shit storm from the onset, especially when it was announced that she would play this role and not someone who was transgendered themselves.  Now, I have a few thoughts on this.

Firstly, why did she need to step down or decline the role?  Why in the world does the general populous get to dictate what a producer, director, writer, etc wants or can do with their movie and their investments?  If you don’t like something, don’t go see it.  Pretty simple stuff.  And as we all know, social media is a skewed view of what the real world wants or will support.  It’s a platform that works based on the notion that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and might I just add, something I absolutely loath in real life.

Second, are transgendered people actually trying to state that unless you are transgendered yourself, then you are not qualified to understand, empathize or portray what you go through?  Is this group truly preventing actors from acting?  Honestly!  Do you need to be a pirate to actually portray one on the big screen?  No?  Well then, this whole debacle is ridiculous.  Now, if you are saying that this role would have been perfect to award to a qualified transgendered person for exposure, etc, then please understand that this mindset works both ways.  If only a transgendered person could properly fill these shoes, then you open yourselves up to the criticism that transgendered people are only fit for transgendered roles.  And if I am not mistaken, that’s not what acting is about.  It’s actually about portraying someone else, and convincing the audience that your role is authentic and believable.  You know, pretend and make believe, or dare I say, to act?

Third, if this media shit storm strikes the movie or project hard enough, it could lose investors and never be made at all.  And then guess what, you just lost an amazing opportunity to bring a role like this into the mainstream dialogue.  The exposure you risk losing, cannot possibly be worth this much fuss, can it?  This seems like simple math.  Would you like something, or nothing?

Fourth and finally, if you truly believe that only a transgendered person is qualified to act out this very important part, then guess what?  You have failed to portray to the public exactly how you feel as an outsider in society.  And not to put too fine a point on it, but you will remain a victim and an outsider.  Not every member of society will be able to understand exactly what your pain is.  But know that each of us have our own unique pain, and it is empathy that allows us to work together as a society to accept and love one another.  And you do not need to wear every single human beings shoes to accomplish that.  It is time to learn how to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a more effective way and stop playing the poor me card.  We all try that as young children, and guess what?  It does not fly in the adult world.  So time to pick a different tactic!

And honestly, these arguments I have put forward can be substituted for a long list of social justice warrior causes that are currently in the media.  Stop giving grease to the squeaky wheel, just because we don’t want to hear it squeak anymore.  Instead lets try to get to the root cause of the problem and try to fix that.

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Cheating: Creative Ways Humans Detect It

Yesterday, while listening to CBC, I heard an advertisement that left me speechless.  In Spain, where the rate of adultery averages 2.5 affairs per year per household, they have come up with a new revolutionary new product.  A mattress, that notifies your smartphone when it is being used suspiciously, and they call it the Smartress .  If you cannot trust your mattress to keep your dirty secrets, I mean, who can you trust?  Let’s not even deal with the issue of how you explain the purchase of said mattress, or the logistics of getting updates from your bed.  What if you have a dog that jumps up and down on it?  Or your kid playing hookie from school and the bed catches them… wait… that could be added value right there.  But back on point, you suspect that your partner is cheating, so you discreetly purchase a new bed to catch them in the act?

A few years ago, an app came out that would send you outgoing message notifications from your partners cell phone.   Basically a nanny cam for a cell phone also known as actual spyware.  To me it just seemed like click bait, so I honestly did not research how the actual device or software works. I just know for a while, every second ad online was screaming ‘do you know who your spouse is texting right now?’   It seemed obsessive, and ironically supported in part by Ashely Madison.  So here we are, still in a culture where we do not trust our partner’s so we sink to levels as low as them, to catch them doing something we feel is worse.   

We all know the black and white movies where a lady in a trench coat seeks out the office door that has ‘private investigator’ painted on it.  We know exactly what she is there seeking, confirmation of her worst fears, her husbands unfaithful behavior.  We all know what that next scene will depict, the private investigator stalking a spouse, hoping to catch them doing the nasty and them provide photographic proof that devastates a family.  We rationally know the P I is slimy, but the suspicious wife?  Never!  She is the angel, who seeks out aid, under cloak and dagger in desperation.  Only to be driven mad, when her worst fears are realized in that manila envelope of proof.  Ok, sometimes that damsel in distress dies a gruesome death, but hey, that’s just to keep you on your toes.  The point is, we sensationalize the methodology for catching the partner cheating, in media and in our daily lives.

And now, your mattress can send you a text.  The further technology advances, the further we get from one on one human interaction.  Or being able to have adult conversations about serious issues, needs and wants.  It honestly would be so much easier to get that text message, go home, pack your bags and then just copy and paste the notification to your spouse.  No mess, no fuss, and full validation without ever having to say a word to one another. Peace of mind, from the item that gives you a good nights rest. It was just as sexy in the past to leave the envelope of dirty pictures on the husbands desk and leave in the middle of the night, never saying another word.

Let’s not deal with why, in the macho and poverty stricken Spain, the infidelity rate is spiking alarmingly.  Let us instead, spend nearly $2000 on a new mattress, a couple hundred bucks on a Private Dick, or download a free app.  Humans, constantly finding new and creative ways to catch a spouse in the act.  Ah good ole cheaters.

Nope to Romantic Comedies

I hate romantic comedies.  More to the point, I hate how I feel while watching them, and the empty horrible feeling when they are over.  I am very imaginative and a dreamer by nature so one of the things I love most about movies is just shutting off my brain and getting lost in the fantasy world that is created on the screen.  I get swept up in the music, the action, the dialogue, everything about a good movie, and the occasional bad movie makes me really happy.  With the exception of the so called Rom-com’s that is.  I find these movies almost painful to get lost in because everyone looks so damn happy on screen finding that one perfect someone to get lost with.  The journey of little surprises, followed by a huge fight whereby both people learn they can never be apart, followed by the big romantic gesture where in they live happily ever after.
I watch these movies and almost without fail I either cry, or I get angry.  Angry that this romantic ploy still generates revenue and lets little girls believe this fantasy, and angry that I constantly fall in love with men who will not settle down.  Angry that adventure drives me, and men with goals, hopes and dreams make me happy.  And of course the down side that the men I fall in love with are selfish about meeting their needs, just as I am selfish about meeting my needs which is almost always a great thing.  Except as I said when I feel vulnerable after watching one of these stupid movies.  I would not love the idea of happy ever after, but these movies go through a very concise checklist; do you have breasts? Check! Do you get your period?  Check! Do you sometimes act irrationally and emotional? Check! Well then baby you are a normal woman and you deserve to be swept off your feet as there is some guy out there equally as damaged and crazy as you are who will compliment your every flaw perfectly.
In my mind romantic comedies are a cruel trick on my psyche.  They perpetuate false hopes and then make me feel a guilty empty feeling because this is not happening in my life, and if it was I would probably dump the guy for being a dreamer and not a doer.  I just cannot see my way into getting lost in emotions.  It has never once helped me getting lost there, and I always need someone to help guide me out when I am overwhelmed by emotion so I cannot even fathom how woman can possibly watch these movies when they are single.  I have asked a few of my female friends why they enjoy these movies and the answer is always the same, they enjoy the emotional ride, the laughs, tears and happy endings make them feel really good.  So clearly I am broken because I always feel really, really terrible after watching these films.  So back to my avoidance strategy of avoiding things that make me sad, and seeking out only the things that give me joy and happiness.

Monogamy Seems Much Less Normal Now

I grew up in an environment where I was outside of the norm.  The majority of my friends lived with their mother and their father, where as I lived with my mother and my step dad.  The natural inquiry was always to ask where my real dad was.  And I would answer that I lived with my dad, and I did not know where my biological was.  It made a complex situation a little clearer, as the idea of having two male figures was not accepted by either my friends, and sometimes even my family. It was not until my grad banquet from high school that I even officially “came out” so to speak as to having two fathers.  And I did it in a symbolic way, by dancing with both of them together during the father daughter dance.  It was not the most co-ordinated dancing, more of a ring around the rosy time event, but it certainly made an impression on many of the catholic parents that were watching.
But in my mind, growing up, I always felt like an outsider.  That my family was just not like everybody else’s and that I needed to keep quiet about what my home life was really like.  As I do more and more research into different relationships types it is becoming clear that monogamy has a mystical quality to it.  Monogamy is more of an illusion rather than a natural norm.  It is a pedestal that humans really do not ever get to stand on and yet publicly most say that they do.  But what if more of us became brave and started questioning what monogamy has really done for us.  What real benefits does it provide?  Are you happier having to stifle and suppress your mutual lust for that person you see every year at that convention?  What is normal about containing feelings of happiness in order to fit into society and keep sex for only one person until the day you die?
I think there is a trick that we play on our minds to reward us when we stay away from temptation.  That conviction that we are better and stronger for avoiding that amazing piece of strange, and somehow overcome our baser instincts for even a moment.  I do not mean to imply that you should sleep with everything that gives you a second glance, but I am saying that the feelings of guilt that arise from temptations are just not healthy.  I was a victim of this mentality for a very long time, in fact I took monogamy so seriously that it would even play a role in my fantasy life.  If I was thinking about sleeping with someone other than my ex D, I would actually have to first create a premise whereby he died, or somehow gave me permission to fulfill my fantasy.  There were monogamous restrictions within my own mind, and daydream world.  How can that possibly be healthy?  Or the other extreme whereby you can think and do any number of sordid things in your imagination, so much so that you are not really present when having that vanilla sex that you deem acceptable to society.
I struggle to understand why our society tries to tell us that feelings that are good are bad, and feelings of suppression and submissiveness are good.  The idea that our base instincts are thing that need to be overcome, rather than enjoyed and explored.  Media is constantly persecuting celebrities and people in power for having affairs, and trysts outside of their marriages.  These people are publicly shamed for having consensual sex, and families are destroyed in the wake.  I have yet to see a wife stand up and say that they were in an open relationship and she has some strange on the side too.  When that day happens some real ground will be made.  And there will be a positive movement to breaking the restrictions and guilt that coincide with monogamy.  Monogamy is a freedom, and should be mutually decided by two people, and not the expectation.