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.  Aruaguably 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 grap, 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.

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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Comparing Polyamory to Veganism?!?!

Now this is a topic that I find both hilarious and surprisingly widespread.  There is a huge misconception that people who practice polyamory are on a quest to convert you, just as vegans are, to our or their way of thinking respectively.  There is in fact a social justice warrior type movement, especially on the internet that perpetuates this sort of stigma.  In fact, almost every single polyamorous forum or network that I have seen, or been a part of, always seems to digress into this strange dynamic of hierarchy and control.  A strange belief that always seems contrary to the multiple love and acceptance mantra that I personally associate with poly people, and myself.  The bottom line, polyamorists are trying to expose you to their superior, and ultimately more natural and free way of life because they want to fuck you or share with you what enlightenment that they have found in multiple loves.

So, here’s the thing, on the internet, yes, YES this is a thing.  In every forum, the squeaky wheel or the troll makes the loudest fuss and always seems to illicit the most attention.  The resulting perception is that, yes in fact, we want you to join us because we have done all this research and believe that our way of defining relationships is more in tune with nature and ultimately better.  There is no denying that in the beautiful world of social media, this statement holds true.  Bring on any debate or conversation and someone, somewhere will pipe up, and try to bring you over to the glittery side of our relationship spectrum.  The one free from monogamy and the pair bonding that binds you and closes you off to amazing new experiences.  Yes, that is the internet in a nutshell, but thankfully, the real world is much different.

I have many friends with whom I have discovered over the years, have dipped a toe into the swinging world, open relationships, polyamory and everything in between.  They are normal, regular people that I am happy to call my friends.  And the coolest thing is, if it were not for my blog, I would never have found out about their lifestyles.  Why is that?  Because in the real world, we do not just go out there to convert our friends, co workers or every awesome person we meet on the street.  It just isn’t a thing.  Non-monogamy takes a lot of work, amazing communication and a real understanding of who you are and what you want.  This journey, as most can attest, began with a lot of soul searching, research and an intrinsic understanding of your core beliefs.  It is not something that happens over night.  It is rare that a random threesome or orgie (as part of someone’s bucket list for example) will turn into a relationship perception switch.

I truly believe that some people are far better suited for monogamy than others.  And the variety of those relationship norms makes this journey incredibly diverse and interesting.  There is no right way of living.  Some people are vegan due to physical dietary restrictions and have absolutely no choice but to eat things that their body can handle.  And some vegans are on the opposite end of the spectrum, trying to convert everyone to save the animals and do no harm.  They have a mission.  A mandate and an intrinsic belief that they must save humanity, by saving the animals.  Ok, in polyamory, there just simply isn’t just cause for everyone to start falling in love with everyone else.  It just wouldn’t be practical or realistic.  Group love, on an international scale actually seems quite silly, to me anyways.  And perhaps there are in fact radical poly folks who believe their sole purpose in life is to unite the world in loving harmony.  And well, there are radicals in every mindset.  People who take a good idea and push it to the often laughable extremes.  Myself, I just don’t buy into that.  I don’t want my community saturated with people who were just converted for the sake of getting more sex.  It would absolutely spoil my experience.  But hey, that’s just my two cents on the laughable twitter conversation that has a ridiculous number of people coming forward stating just how similar these two groups of people are.  I honestly do not think any of them have met a polyamourous person in the flesh!

 

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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.

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The Swing Club High

Saturday night my partner and I decided that we needed a night out, swing club style.  And yes, it has been a while since we’ve attended a club. So, in direct contrast to this time last year when we were attending once a month, this actually felt like more of a treat or a special event if you will.  One of the things that we are both very good at doing is going in with low expectations (which I do not mean negatively).  And by that I mean, if we attend and get to talk to a few couples throughout the evening and finish the night with just the two of us having sex surrounded by people we call that a great night.  And I know, for anyone who has never attended one that may come as a shock.  So, I will re-iterate for clarity.  If we are able to socialize and then just have sex the two of us, we go home meeting our expectations.

Now with that in mind, this last weekend, was a rush!  And why?  Because we not only chatted with one new couple, but we actually connected with a bunch of really rad people.  There was laughter, mingling and just a general excitement that felt electric.  I mean, we actually met a few couples that we want to see outside of the club.  And that, is truly amazing for us.  Imagine how hard it was for you to find someone when you were single.  Now imagine that the dating pool is only 1% of that, being non-monogamous specifically.  And now we are looking for not one, but two people we get along with!  It’s a teeny tiny mathematical number that if we looked at the odds with a critical mindset, it would probably be better to just not even try.

Thankfully though, I am a near annoying optimist with an unwavering perseverance to keep trying.  And for my partner, well, the rewards far outweigh any risk, by pretty much the positive power of whatever negative we are sitting in right now.  And that is why I am jubilant right now, in knowing that we interacted with a few couples!  I mean, it’s a damn near impossibility and yet, here I sit, trying to calm my mind from racing too far ahead with the fantasy of dating multiple couples at the same time.  So, I am trying to snap myself into a logical, reality based frame.  But, I cannot quite shake this smile.  And to hear my partner daily say how much fun Saturday was, just brings a smile to my face.  It was fun, and we have real opportunity in the future to continue the fun.  And, well, I am just on a little bit of a swing club high right now.

The actual events of Saturday were fabulous, with playtime and touching of new people and the amazing visual stimulus that we keep coming back for.  But, the reality is, I am far more excited for the future us, rather than where the two of us were in that moment just shortly around 1 AM.  It’s easy to get laid in a swing club, especially when you bring your own partner.  What’s tricky, is finding something fun outside of it.  A couple with whom, you are trying to set up a date in the real world.  And if everything lines up the way I am so hopeful for, maybe a few of them?

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