A Post About Reason

Harmful Comment or Compliment: You Decide

After nearly a decade of living, researching, and blogging about non-monogamy, I decided it was high time to share a little bit of what I have learnt with the masses.  And thus, I am creating a series on Medium.com whereby I am writing a how to “non-monogamy” guide.  It is an exciting endeavour and so far, the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.  And, if you’re thinking that I am going to rant about a negative review, have I got a surprise for you!  No, this post is about something that surfaced when I queried a local Facebook group for input on future articles. (Which if you would like to add some suggestions I would love to read them!)  And after I go off on my side of things, I am going to show a completely different perspective of the same events, and then I am going ask you to decide where you sit on the issue. No, it’s not a test, and you don’t have to publicly share your answer.  Instead, I want you think about how your intentions are coming across on social media, especially in light of the #metoo movement, because for better or worse, it has changed the tone of how we relate to each other, and more importantly our ability to reason. 

So without further ado, I present harmful comment, or compliment: You Decide!

Yesterday, I was asking a group of lifestyle people on Facebook for their suggestions on future articles in my non-monogamous how to series.  A female member of the group requested that I write a piece for a male audience, and when I asked further what she meant, it turns out that she has troubles opening or even saying hi to a person in the lifestyle.  In short, she explained that she was looking for more of a how to guide with starting conversations with other people in non-monogamy, and agreed this would be beneficial for both sexes.  I graciously thanked her, as this was exactly the sort of thing that should be included in a series like this.  Now, here is the point of contention, a male commented with the following using our thread:

I think all you would need to do is say “hi”. Pretty sure it would get your point across if he’s from a LS group.

My Side

While I kept my reply fairly mundane, in my head I was reeling, and I rushed to type out all of my thoughts. Firstly, a female asked me for help.  It was specific to my article, and yes, although it was a public forum and everyone is welcome to add their input, we were in the middle of a question and answer thread.  In short, a guy butted into a place that added zero value.

Second, she specifically said she was having troubles just saying hi.  So random guy ignores that, and just suggests that she say hi anyways?  What point does saying “hi” ubiquitously get across, even on a lifestyle site?  Hi, is not consent, negotiation, or really anything other than a pleasantry.  And listen, if a “hi” on a LS club is like some secret handshake, then honestly, there needs to be a very bright neon warning sign for all of us who were unaware of this fact.

Third, this woman was a very good looking brunette, and my Spidey senses went off in a flash of an objectifying nature. She asked for help, and the guy turned around saying, no, you don’t need to do anything but show up and all is good.

This in general, is why, I reasoned that women have difficulty asking for help publicly where men are, and why so many of us have private groups for sharing our thoughts and expressing ourselves.  I hate writing pieces with such a strong gender bias, but in the social media realm world this exists all the time and the word mansplaining had to be coined. 

NoMoreWetSpot.com
One less thing to fight about if no one has to sleep on the wet spot (affiliate link)

Flip Side

But now, let’s flip perspective. Let’s remove my biases, and just try and put ourselves into the male writers, or readers shoes.

Firstly, the guy was just trying to give a compliment.  He saw a woman asking for help, thought to himself, nah, she doesn’t need that, look at her! She is already amazing, and he wants to tell her so.  Completely benign, harmless, and ripe with good intent.

Second, he honestly thought offering her words of encouragement would make her feel better, and boost her ego.  Ergo, he was being helpful, and thoughtful.  At the end of the day, he is a really great guy, and wanted to tell her that in a way that has worked for decades, the negging method. 

Third, he is being completely honest in that he imagined receiving a message from her, and was expressing that truthfully, no further work was needed beyond the initial interaction.  He would take it from there. A woman just saying hi, is hot, confident, and should be encouraged.  That’s just what he was trying to do.  No ill intent meant, and he would be happy to take the lead, after her initial interest.

In summary, he is doing what he has always done on social media.  He has typed a comment based on his gut reaction and impulse.  Perhaps he cares little for how it is interpreted because he is just being himself.  That freedom to do, say, or type whatever you want is what makes online interaction so fun and easy.  He doesn’t see her body language, reaction, or any idicators to show whether it worked or didn’t and this he is going to continue acting in the same manor until he is told otherwise. And if she does respond, but not in the way he wants, no sweat, she doesn’t get him and will move right onto the next person.

Takeaway

I hope you have made it to the end of this post.  Because what I am about to say gets to the real heart of this two perspective issue.  Times have changed.  Our online social interaction is, impacted by the #metoo movement.  We have all felt it, in one way or another.  We have seen even the most innocuous comment get blown way out of proportion, as some of you may think I have done.  We have also seen the flip side, of people using humour, or negging, or just saying absolutely anything to get noticed in an interweb where it often feels like you have no voice and have to shout incredibly loudly to be heard or stand out.  Any attention is good attention right?  Type as fast as you can, and do not spend even a moment to think about how your words will come across because we only have a 3 second attention span, and you need to be noticed above all, good, bad, ugly, it doesn’t matter.  Trolls seem to have more followers and interaction than anyone right?

Wherever you initially were sitting on this little choose your own perspective piece, the main thing I hope you takeaway is, right now, everything you put online is being interpreted from different biases.  We are not in a place where we are just getting along, and existing in bliss amongst a multitude of diversity and opinions. Instead we are clashing, clamoring, and crying out foul whenever our biases are superseded by that which makes humans so unique, our ability to reason. We keep asking How Should We Behave, but we are not actually doing anything to listen to the answers.

So, pause, and think about how your words are going to be viewed and interpreted online.  Decide what your intent is when you type those words on a page, and if they are not received the way you intended, tweak them next time.  Change your tone.  Find a new way to stand out in this new world of social interaction.  Don’t waste the ability to reason and think.  There is more to life than just being right.

If you like this post and want to join in on the conversation, why not follow me on Twitter? Or check out all the behind the scenes content, including my erotic fantasy shorts on my Patreon?

Pet Peeve Time: Play with Me

Pet Peeve

Are you ready for one of my pet peeves?  Ok, mostly I am writing this post so I can better understand why this term sends me into a rage, and hopefully come out more understanding on the other side, though I am not holding my breath.  The term that really has my panties in a bunch is when I get offers to play.  Further, just using the word playing with me, or pleasing me, or really any of the variations such as playtime, looking for a playmate, and new partners to play, just squicks me out!  I am a grown woman who wants to be more than your pleasure toy, or any of the variations these words equate to.  Especially when it comes to strangers.  There is no way, a person can open on an online dating site, with, “hey, I saw you were non-monogamous and I have a friend who is willing to play with us” will EVER work with me. 

Deep audible sigh of frustration has just occurred as I typed that out direct from a recent message.  Why does a phrase that is so common in the lifestyle, swinging community, etc. bug me so much?  The first thing is, I equate sex with intimacy.  Unless we have a strong bond, or intense physical chemistry (in person only), I just will not enjoy sex as just an act.  I have great difficulty with the concept of sex as exercise or just thrusting through the motions.  Sex is so much more to me than just the orgasm.  It is the person, sights, smells, sounds, feelings, etc. that make it something that I adore so much.  So, to just relegate it to playtime?  Ick.

The other thing that bothers me about just playing with people is the whole juvenile aspect of the word play.  I love running around like a kid outside, playing ridiculous games with my friends, and laughing till I cry while playing fetch with my dog as he brings the toys back in every manor of silliness.  This sensation of feeling like a kid again, or being responsibility free, even for a moment is something I strive to achieve as much as possible.  But the line is very clearly visible for me when the clothes come off and there is a possibility of the sensual or intimate to happen.  I just cannot ever envision me saying “Ok hunny, it’s playtime” with the aim of having sex. Or dare I say, asking a stranger to “play with me”. Bleh!

(affiliate link which fuels BoobsandBeer! Ok, mostly beer)

I am trying, in this moment, to envision a time where sex was playful, funny, and just a complete messy situation that had everyone howling.  And the truth is, I can remember countless times when this has happened.  I even recall a few moments during one of my hottest MFM’s. But the big difference is that these situations happened with people I was very comfortable being intimate with.  This wasn’t just a spontaneous “playtime” that had every stranger giggling.  No, this was intense hilarity with people I trusted implicitly with my body, and my mind. 

Ok, I am beginning to realize my actual dislike of the word and why that is.  I hate when strangers want to play with me.  I despise when a person online wants to be my plaything or vice versa.  And I especially loath when a stranger, offers up, yet another stranger as a way of stringing me along and trying desperately to give me what they think I want, AKA a blatant attempt just to get into my pants.  Playing with me, equates to me feeling objectified specifically when it comes to someone I have never met, and now, will never go out of my way to meet.

So please, do not tell me that you want to play with me, in an effort to get me interested in you. I repeat, I am a grown woman, who does not enjoy the idea of playtime with strangers. While using any sort of sexual context in an opening message will get a swift delete from me, using play will make me gag, and make irrational decisions like reporting and blocking. Don’t put me through that. Be thoughtful, creative, and treat me like a real human!

Well, thank you for sharing in the eye-opening dissection of why this term really turns me off.  Do you have a term that elicits a similar reaction?  Let me know on Twitter or in the comments section.  Or as always, you can chat with me on Patreon, and also see my behind the scenes photo gallery from this and many other posts!

Chemistry is Key… The Couples Quest Continues

Attraction matters, and is often out of our control.

Sad flamingo when the chemistry isn't there.
Chemistry is Key, Poor Flamingo

I started writing this post a few days ago in full story mode.  I plotted out all the details of our first couples date in quite a while, sparing few details of the getting ready, meeting, and the unfortunate conclusion that we came to after an hour or so of conversation.  My intention was to share with you our real life account of what dating couples is actually like, but this morning my fierce editing pen took hold and scrapped the whole idea.  Whether you are monogamous or not, you are fully aware of what happens when you meet someone for drinks and there is just zero chemistry.  I felt that I brought nothing to the table by sharing just one more lackluster date.  So, I began again, with a new focus, chemistry.

So often you have a gut reaction to a person that is far beyond your control.  You are either attracted to them, or you’re not, the chemical reaction of attraction.  I have read quite a few books as of late that talk about that chemistry, Do Gentleman Really Prefer Blonds? and The Natural History of Love to name a few, and they all conclude the same thing, chemistry is out of our conscious control.  Ok, fine, let’s trust the experts on this one.  But if it’s out of our control, then that means trying to find couples that we are attracted to, and want to become physical with becomes a numbers game.  The overwhelming variables that have to line up between 4 people becomes astronomically complex.  So complex in fact, that the headspace I need to be in to even attempt it, is a feat in of itself.  So here I sit, puzzled, and a little overwhelmed by it all.  People and relationships are complex and unique and a big part of what really attracts me to this non-monogamous lifestyle.

NoMoreWetSpot.com
Easy to care for, and amazing for a quick cleanup! And clicking this helps support my blog! Win win!

But in order to get to the fun part, and build connections with people I have to take a step back and re-evaluate the initial process.  I have to take a page out of my partners book and start playing the initial numbers game.  I have to take a risk, and play the odds.  Just go out on a whole bunch of dates.  It’s time to lower the extremely high standards I have and filters that I have so meticulously put in place and just start having some fun meeting new people.  The downsides to this way of thinking of course is the money, scheduling, and time investment.  But if I really think about that, the experience of it all should outweigh the initial sting of just getting out there and being social.  Who cares if on paper the couple doesn’t seem to be a long term fit.  Maybe, just maybe they will surprize me and an amazing opportunity will arise.  Perhaps playing the numbers game, we will find ourselves exposed to new ways of thinking, new groups and a few really sexy adventures. 

If I am trying to shift my focus from the magnitude of the situation and break it down into a numbers games, I might end up in a place whereby I am not emotional about it, just practical.  And the only way to make this numbers game a viable option is to boil the whole thing down to one common denominator, is there any chemistry?  Going out into the wild, with a commonality, having some fun in an attempt to asses if there chemistry with strangers.  If there is a spark the possibilities are endless.  And if there isn’t, we finish our beers and move to the next opportunity.  So, there I have it, the breaking down of the couples quest and the over whelming magnitude of it all into one bite sized and achievable test, is their a spark?  Now to begin the messages… stay tuned.

If you’re wondering where all the behind scenes photos go, why not check out my members only photo gallery?

Is it Ethical to Date the Monogamous When You Are Non-Monogamous?

Another question in my non-monogamous journey.

Oh yes, I am definitely going there, and I truly hope that we get some discussion or debate rather than just the very easy like or block.  Why is that?  Because this is a subject that I personally have flip flopped a few times on in my non-monogamous exploration and believe is something that should be part of our dialogue when deciding to explore relationships outside of your primary one.  So let me clarify a few considerations that went into me deciding if this is ethical or not for my own life, and share with you the actual thought process that I went through to reach my current leanings.

First, I think it is very fair to hypothesize that the current generation of people we are interacting with were raised monogamous.  With that assumption in mind, being that we all started believing monogamy was the only relationship norms, then it follows suit that at one point we were all dating someone non-monogamous when we ourselves were of a monogamous mindset.  And were in fact converted, enlightened, or had an experience that made us want to run away from monogamy forever! 

Have your own thoughts you are ready to share with the world? Why not create a website of your own? Let’s help each other build our dreams!

Second, the point about disclosure.  If we assume that we were all monogamous at one point, then the real point of discussion lies in the realm of disclosure.  At when point do you tell a monogamous person that you are of a non-monogamous persuasion? Here, I believe it is a little different depending on the gender or the goal that you have in non-monogamy.  For me, and for my safety and sanity, I disclose before I ever meet someone.  My reasoning is, that I prefer to have the, no my lifestyle does not make me a slut, and no in fact, taking me out for a beer is not a guarantee of an easy lay, before meeting someone. Whereas, for my partner, it is much easier for him to have the non-monogamy conversation in person to feel out the person that he is meeting for the first time.  He has been burned many times by women who claim they are curious or OK with non-monogamy and then turn out to be complete liars on this point.  The only way for him to be sure, is to read their body language with a face to face conversation.

The take away? Disclosure within the first meeting or prior makes dating a non-monogamous person ethical for me.  While I would never try and force non-monogamy, polyamory or open relationships on anyone, I do feel that a monogamous person should be given the same opportunity to explore a world outside of there raised standard that I was.  I would never have met my partner if his rule was to ignore all monogamous women. While for me, I have been a lot more successful sticking to already exposed non-monogamous men, I have certainly had much more fulfilling conversations with those who are monogamous. 

As a tiny little aside to this statement, men who are non-monogamous, primarily want to discuss sex, fetishes, and all their kinks with me on a very first meeting. It’s like they are beyond pent up and just erupt with overshare the moment they meet me.  Yes, I find this intensely distasteful. I do not discuss sex with anyone within a first meeting. Get to know me as a person first!  Whereas with monogamous men, I find they are much more keen to get to know me, ask questions and share their reservations or interest level in a far less sexualized context.  I feel like more of a person on a monogamous date, which is something I hope changes in the next few years, because honestly non-monogamous dudes, you are ruining your chances by this behaviour!!! 

Ok, back to the topic at hand.  Yes, I feel dating a monogamous person is completely ethical so long as you disclose right away. This is based on a few things, including my own personal experience, the fact that the non-monogamous pool is far too tiny to stick to, and currently, the men in that pool are not at a level that I find them attractive (with the exception of dating couples which is currently my preference).

Will this opinion change?  Perhaps, especially if the trend of non-monogamy keeps growing at the current rate.  In 20 years, it is possible that everyone will have been exposed to non-monogamy in some form or another and will have already made their fully educated choice on the matter.  And at that point, it would be silly to date someone who had already made their monogamous choice, and open you up to intense heartache!  But for now, it really is the only way to meet new people and have some great conversations and experiences!

I want to hear your thoughts ethically dating when non-monogamous, so join the conversation on Twitter, or show your support on my Patreon!

Drama Free on Non-Monogamous Profiles

Oh for the love of… just stop!  Using drama free as a tagline or whatever in your online dating profile especially on the non-monogamous ones is just bad from!  My stance on this should not be any surprise if you have read any of my online dating tips and tricks (feel free to search them out in my sidebar).  And I would love to just leave this one alone, but as the non-monogamous dating pool is super tiny, I figure this particular topic needs its very own post.  When I see that someone or a couple wants “drama free” in their non- monogamous profile, it the opposite of what I assume is the desired effect for the author.  For me, it is a huge red flag, so much so that I am actually turned off.  And as I see it so frequently, let me tell you a few reasons why I feel you should remove it from your profile if you are currently using it.

First up, it is such an unnecessary thing to write, in fact it borders on just being a ridiculous statement.  Does anyone actually seek out drama, and if so, are those people really ones you want to hang around with?  To put another way, have you ever noticed that the people in your life that are super concerned about avoiding drama are the ones who have the most of it?  Yes? No? Maybe? Well, look around.  Drama, is surprisingly enough very easy to avoid.  Simply put, don’t get involved in other people’s shit, especially when it has nothing whatsoever to do with you.  Because the reality is you probably have enough going on in your own life without putting your nose in other people’s business.  Life is complicated, relationships are complicated, play on your own turf!  And trust me, your life will be so much simpler and calmer if you focus on your own problems, and leave other adults to do the same, unless they ask for your help or advice.

Next up, what does “no drama” really mean?  Well, my first impression is usually that you are just looking for no strings attached sex (or NSA).  But rather than putting that you want NSA on your profile, like a mature human who knows what they want, you instead choose to sugar coat it with an over encompassing buzz word.  And it’s almost brilliant because if any feelings develop, or you get into a situation that you are not emotionally able to handle you can use the clever excuse that you said “drama free” right from the start.  And therefor you absolve yourself from having to deal with anything above and beyond intercourse.  You are soooooooo clever.

Third, part of being non-monogamous in an ethical and mature manor is knowing how to communicate.  And if you have been in the lifestyle for any length of time, you have probably stumbled with your partner and realized that you truly had no clue what good communication really was, is, and everything in between.  So for the people who believe that drama free is the ideal in the lifestyle, I have to ask you to take a picture of the view from your glass house and then send it to me.  If you are not able to ask a couple out, politely decline an invitation for sex, breakup with a couple or even talk about safe sex and the dreaded we made a mistake (STI, STD, or breach of trust) then you have no business being in any relationship outside of monogamy.  And based on what I see on online forums there are a great many people out there who believe that one form or another of the above list constitutes as drama and something that they do not have time in their lives to deal with.  Here’s a new flash, humans are complicated and fallible.  If you honestly think you can avoid dealing with all the so-called drama, then you are going to CRASH AND BURN!  Again, humans make mistakes, and you cannot completely isolate yourself from the emotions of others.  And if my understanding of the word drama is accurate, emotions could definitely constitute as a deal breaker or something you are trying to avoid.

So, let’s be clear here, people who seek out drama are not fun to be around.  People who avoid drama are equally as bad because honestly, I need to trust that if shit hits the fan, you can deal with it like a grown up!  If that is not the case, you are not getting near my body!  On a side note, that’s why people at clubs who get a little too intoxicated really turn me off.  I don’t find volatility sexy, especially because I have worked so freaking hard on my own emotional control, I know that if I can learn to control myself, you can too.  So please, remove “drama free” from your profile.  It’s sending the wrong message.  We are all trying to find our own brand of fun.  And if there is something specific you don’t want to encounter, say that.  Stop using all encompassing buzz words that do not convey accurately the type of relationship or interaction that you seek.

Did you know I post behind the scenes pictures on my Patreon?  Definitely worth a little look…

Affiliate link, sign up today and start earning real cash and prizes!