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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Part I: Rejection in the World of Monogamy

Remember that first crush you had as a kid?  And remember that gut wrenching feeling when you discovered they didn’t actually like you the same way you liked them?  It felt like your young heart was broken into a million pieces.  And for a moment you wondered what the point of having feelings for anyone really was, especially when the heartache hurt so badly.  The devastation of putting yourself out there for the first time, and not having the feelings reciprocated sticks with us.  In our monogamous driving society we learn, to avoid or prevent those feelings.  And we do so by putting up barriers, or learning to vet out a person before getting hurt.  We rally our friends to feel out our next love interest, to spare us the face to face humiliation of a “just not interested”, being ignored or worse, laughter!  And if you are anything like me, when you fell in love for the first time, and had that love finally returned you vowed that you would do whatever it took to make it work.  Because you had a glimpse of what rejection felt like, and that was more than enough to make you realize that it should be avoided wherever possible.

There is just no denying that getting rejected sucks!  But the reality is, that no one has the time, resources, attraction or even inclination to give every single person a chance.  And thus, we reject people, avoid the whole situation outright, or the latest fad, we ghost a person.  I could spend an entire post talking or rationalizing all the why’s a person rejects someone else, but the thing is, we have all done it at some point.  It would be impossible to like every single human on the planet, so part of growing up is rejection trial and error.  And for me, I had so many errors early on that I decided not to date until I was out of high school.  Which I attributed to the understanding that no one marries their high school sweetheart and stays happy, so why even bother wasting my time.  Let the e-mails from happily married high school sweethearts flood my inbox as I know there are a few of you out there.  I’m just a realist by nature and figured the chances for me were slim! 

Now once I actually started dating as an adult, I, like so many out there, had my fair share of total and absolute let downs that when that first guy that I could stand to both look at and talk to popped into my life, I clung on!  I had serious illusions that I would be the first monogamous person to fall in love and never experience the pain of heartbreak or rejection.  Blood, sweat and a lot of tears were shed in the quest to ensure that we were going to be married and live happily ever after.  And it was a close call.  A very, scary, close call to the I do’s.  I was fearful of being alone, and I was competitively inclined to make that first relationship succeed.  A life without heartbreak, was an opportunity too tantalizing to ignore.  And then, we broke up.  And I don’t have to relate to any of you just what that feels like.  The tightness in your chest, the inability to get out of bed, and the hiding from the sunlight because that represents the whole world seeing your pain and your failures.  It’s agonizing.  But I survived day by day, and then got back together with the same man.  Only to experience heartbreak again a few years later and finally walk away from him forever.  I had failed. I couldn’t avoid rejection or a broken heart, no matter how hard I tried.

The thing was, back then, I would have done anything to avoid that pain.  Hindsight shows me plainly that I was leaning eerily close to marring the devil I knew, rather than explore my options, to protect myself.  And I know I am not alone.  I guarantee that you know a person, perhaps even well, who got married to someone simply because they were tired and emotionally exhausted from getting their heartbroken.  That person decided to make things work with the next person they dated, simply to prevent any more pain.  It’s self preservation.  We want to be with someone far more than we want to be hurt, so sometimes we sacrifice perfection, in exchange for our mental and emotional well being, and just take what’s there.  Is the relationship perfect?  Of course not, but compatible is the next best thing.  And we humans have survived because once we experience pain we learn and adapt to avoid that same negative stimulus in the future.

And that is a huge benefit to living in the monogamous community and one that I never recognized until becoming non monogamous.  For you see, pair bonding for life, within the comfort of monogamy gives you a real chance to never feel that pain again.  We are told after our first heartache, not to fret, because someday, you will find someone amazing.  And you will fall in love, live happily ever after and you will never feel that loneliness again.  I bought into it, hook line and almost sinker.  I desperately wanted rejection to be something of a trial of youth.  But, here I am to tell you, that things are a little different on the non-monogamous side of the fence.  For you see, rejection is unavoidable and in fact, becomes a necessary skill to hone…

 

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The Ice Queen and Finding Peace

When I was a young girl some not so lovely people started referring to me as the Ice Queen.  It was a nickname born out of my outward coldness and reserved nature.  In short, I built a wall around myself, as many children from broken homes do and I gave off a vibe of isolation and an emotionless demeanor.  This is a persona that haunted me well into my early 20’s.  At the time, I chose to embrace this being, this ice queen.  I used the cold, and calculating comfort that this identity provided me to explain my lack of tears, and my almost holier than thou attitude.  I didn’t have time for foolish games, my young self would decree, I was a queen, and nothing could penetrate my icy heart. Whenever I was feeling down or lonely, I could snap into this character and find a calm sense of power and control.  Queen’s don’t cry, especially in front of the plebs (I lament that I only learned that word recently and never actually got the chance to use it on the playground!).

So why now, when I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, does this painful memory pop into my head?  Because as it turns out, this is my default when something unexpectedly painful arises in my life.  I go into cold, survival mode, and nothing can get in.  My defense mechanism is my Ice Queen identity.

I found out a few days ago that one of my great aunts passed away, quite suddenly.  And while that in of itself is painful, it is not what triggered me.  The catalyst was in fact the text message from my mom, the person I had not had any communication with in more than 4 years.  I cried for my aunt, and my grieving grandparents.  But then, the well of tears just dried right up.  There was a cold, protective shield that went up in light of the message from her.  It was like reading a message from a complete stranger.  You quickly scan, glean the information and then process the information at face value.  It was like she was a messenger pigeon and not the person who helped give me life.

I felt confused.  Really, seriously out of sorts.  How was it possible that this person had become a complete stranger to me?  Is this what happens to normal people when they have a falling out?  Do they just become acquaintances or less?  And what’s more, was I guilty that this had happened?  What was my next move, if any?

And then, just as quickly as my brain started to wind up, it calmed (with the help of my sister of course).  The wave of uncertainty was replaced by something wondrous.  Something I didn’t know was even possible.  It was peace.  Simple, calm, elegant peace.  I’m left knowing that there is no right or wrong, or regret or lament, or really anything else.  I made a decision that brought me peace and comfort.  And the ability to live my life to the fullest, without an anchor judging, shaming or holding me back in any way.  I am free.  I am also grateful, to the Ice Queen inside of me.  I recognize now, that in the face of uncertainty she will be there, she will not let me fall apart.  She will keep me whole in the face of adversity.  I can count on her years of strength and support when I could very easily be overcome with emotion and lose control.  The fear, that used to give me pause, is gone.  And while I am grateful for the calm reminder that the Ice Queen will always be a part of me, I am hopeful that I will not have to rely on her for many years to come.

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Talking Publicly About Your Sex Life


Last week I wrote a post about expressing my fantasies, and how it is an area of my life that I would like to improve upon.  I have difficulty expressing my fantasies, but I have absolutely no trouble with talking about my amazing sex life.  I could go on and on about the incredible foursome that I experienced very recently, but there is a problem, who can I tell? 

When it comes to social media there are certain societal norms that we tend to follow.  One of the main ones, is that you do not brag about your sex life on facebook, or other such social forums where your family or friends reside.  You cannot post that incredibly hot picture that you took in the mirror while doggy style, or share the picture taken in the hot tub just before the clothes started to fall off.  Exhibitionism is taboo for social media.  And if you do decide to Instagram, Snapchat or Tweet those pictures you may get some very nasty name calling and labels from those you know.  Sure, people say they want to see the images from time to time, but the general population just does not want to see a person they know in the throes of passion.  The consensus seems to be that those images are not necessarily bad, but any sort of in your face boasting is scandalous.

All of this is fine, and I am not trying to change this particular social climate, but there are days that I just want to brag to someone about how sexy I feel, or how amazing my most recent orgasm was.  And guess what?  Not even my best friends want to get that text.  If I try out of the blue to talk about that incredible connection at the swing club I get crickets from my nearest and dearest.  And I know I would get blocked or unfriended on facebook for sharing that the best start to the morning is a quickie before work, and I am speaking from direct experience ;).

Now interestingly enough, if I posted that same status on an anonymous forum like twitter, I would get likes and retweets for days.  A stranger can appreciate the sexiness, but friends and family cannot.  Why does this happen?  I suppose one parallel could be when we unfollow people who constantly update about their fitness journey, or Instagram every meal they eat.  We are just not geared to be supportive of peoples braggadocio behavior.  We cringe at anything in excess.  So therefor no one wants to see constant updates about orgasm after orgasm.  There is a very thick line in the sand in regards to sex and daily interaction with your peers.  It is not something to publicly discuss with your friends, period.

There is a nearly 80 study at Harvard that directly links overall happiness to your sense of community, and the line that is key to my point is this, “Researchers also found that those with strong social support experienced less mental deterioration as they aged.”  So here is the crux of my post, if sexual relationships are important to you, but you cannot talk about them with any of your peers, are we actually doing a disservice to our long term mental health and fitness?  Yes I am aware that I have used the term bragging and not just status updates, but aren’t those the most memorable points in our lives that go on social media?  We celebrate engagement, educational triumphs, births, and parties.  But we do not talk about sex publicly.  We do not celebrate threesomes, or orgasms or loss of virginity.  Speaking of, does anyone else remember that Clone High Episode where a congrats card is sent when one of the guys loses his virginity on prom night?  Funny in a cartoon, but oh the horror and social outrage in real life.

I believe that my sex life is key to my overall happiness.  While studies show that a strong sense of community is the most important factor in a person’s overall happiness level.  And yet we live in social constraints where these two aspects of life must stay far, far away from each other.  Is this reasonable?  Is this necessary?  Would talking publicly about sexual health, appetite, kinks or preferences make you a happier person?  Do you seek information about sex on the internet or find support groups and counseling to facilitate a safe place to discuss socially taboo topics?  Does sex have to remain in the world of the internet or books or simply within your partnership?

We are human, and curious about sex, sometimes even about the sex lives of our friends.  But we are not willing to admit that to each other.  And yes we all are, every single one of us at one time or another.   And don’t try to tell me that when you hear on the news a report on the latest sexual study that you are above comparing yourself to it; for example a certain study about average sexual encounters per week for married couples.  Hell, reading this blog is a perfect example of human curiosity.  But I highly doubt any of you discuss the contents openly with one another.

We have restrictions on what good behavior or socially tolerated subjects are.  And although it is unlikely to change in future, I personally think it is important to give thought to why that is.  And perhaps ask yourself if your sex life or overall well being would be positively or even negatively affected by being able to openly talk about sex?  Just some food for thought, some societal foreplay if you will…