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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Fall is Upon Us Once Again

So many people look forward to the springtime, the season of new beginnings and the much anticipated break from the winter.  I, on the other hand, look forward to fall.  Autumn is the season of change, growth and  exciting new beginnings.  Yes, I am biased because my birthday is a few weeks away, so of course this is the full circle for me.   But also, it is the time when a natural schedule sets in, either as a result of school starting or just the days getting shorter and a necessity to plan a bit better.  There is a rhythm that fall brings, a sense of stability after a summer full of random adventures.   Or in my case misadventures and unexplored opportunities.  Le sigh.

I keep telling myself that I will grab every new opportunity that comes my way.  To take the challenge of never saying no.  But my reality is, (if you read my last post I go into a bit more detail), that I am finally comfortable with my opinions.  I have spent years finding my voice, and when even the subtlest red flag presents itself it’s so hard to just ignore and choose adventure.  It’s such a double edged sword.  One that I am not sure how to reconcile.

As far as sexual adventures go, I am 100 percent on board if they involve my partner.  I want us to continue exploring as a team.  But all solo expeditions almost feel selfish right now.  Does that make any sense?  I want us to experience new people together and get to laugh and share stories as a united front.  I don’t want to put in the effort of building up new solo prospects that are just a bunch of going nowhere men.  I know, that sounds super jaded, but if you have seen the state of online dating recently, you may have an ounce of empathy for where I am coming from.  Men who have never heard of non-monogamy just want sex.  Men who have, are really, really difficult to find.  And it becomes too time consuming to even begin a conversation.

But, here I sit, writing with my favorite movie on in the background (Labyrinth) and fall is setting in.  It is the time for a shift in mentality, and perhaps even towards a more positive and hopeful one too.  A season of soft changes, and little waves of chillier weather.  As the leaves fall, perhaps my barriers will do the same.  Maybe there is something just incredible waiting for me under the next leaf pile…

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It’s Calgary’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth Time Again!

Yes, that’s right, it is time for my annual post celebrating everything that I love about Stampede, from the sluts, to the men in tight jeans, and of course the ability to drink without shame at pretty much anytime of the day!  If you are like many of my readers who have yet to experience the Calgary Stampede, I can honestly tell you that it would be worth checking out at least once in your life.  From the rodeo, to the grandstand, rides, live music and parades, there is something for pretty much everyone.  And did I mention the booze?  Because, yes, there is a lot of it!

Now one of the first things you will notice is the daisy dukes and cowboy hats.  Next, you will probably notice that the entire city transforms into a western wonderland, ripe with window painting of horses, chuckwagons and everything that can wear a cowboy hat.  And if you want to sit down for a moment, why not try one of the hay bales found pretty much everywhere?  While you take a seat, enjoy the street performers and more enticing to me is the incredible people watching.  It’s basically one big party, where young and old celebrate this incredible 10 day festival.  I actually tear up the first time I see the rides each year, and smell that intoxicating scent of mini donuts!  Our community comes together, united by western pride, and it is freaking awesome.

Over the years I have written posts about stampede sluts, dress code, and one lamenting the first and only Stampede I have ever missed.  And while I never tire of the Stampede, I have watched so many of my fellow Calgarians poo-poo the Stampede.  They see the gross underbelly of our little festival.  The extreme expense, the same ole thing year after year, and the infuriating influx of tourists on our roadways.  I get it, it can be frustrating.  But, as the eternal optimist, I see the power that the stampede has.  And the incredible way that brings people together.  For nearly a decade every time I went to the grounds I would run into my first childhood friend.  It was never planned, and was equally exciting to both of us each and every time we saw each other.  And if you consider that the grounds can get upwards of 100’000 people per day, it truly is serendipitous that something like that could happen.

I love watching my city transform for those few days.  And I love the sense of pride in seeing my city rally together to celebrate this annual time of year.  And of course, I love the freedom to dress as slutty as I want so long as I have added some sort of western flair.  It’s an outdoor event!  And it’s great… and I love it!  So go, Woop it up!  And give a little Yee Haw to your fellow cowboy or cowgirl.  So, go hog wild, have some fun.  And please, if you hook up with someone new, please practice safe sex, because I don’t want to have to keep writing posts about infidelity and STI’s in the aftermath of Stampede!

I have added a little Stampede fun on my Patreon page!  There may be a cowboy hat… 😉

Social Media Versus Reality: Gender

I saw a tweet on Father’s Day, that basically asked you not to wish dad’s a happy father’s day if you are not sure of their preferred pronoun.  And well, this got me thinking…

Every time I take a social media break and get out into the real world I am stunned by the dichotomy of the two worlds.  And specifically I am talking about gender.  While I will not claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to all the gender diversity, I am certainly one who likes to have an open mind and always learn more.  I try to write with a less male/female vernacular, and I do attempt to employ the “softer” tones of they or them when it makes the words flow a little more naturally.  I do this, mostly because I want my writing to be relatable.  I want people to seamlessly put themselves in my shoes or gauge a new perspective free of the gender limits.  And while I cannot promise to always get it correct, I am happy to have a broader voice that appeals to more people.

With that in mind, I sometimes forget just how staggeringly different the real world is.  Social media is this idealized bubble of how society should be, mixed with trolls and outliers for a strange balance.  It works in a weird way.  I feel secure in my views and fairly happy that I am surrounded by so many sex positive and open minded individuals, even though I have no clue what many of them look like, (thanks social media).  We get along on a level that is interesting and often educational for me.  And that is in stark contrast to the realities of the offline world.

Take for example washrooms.  The online world makes it seem like genderless washrooms are becoming more and more common place and are an inclusive, amazing steps for businesses, schools and events to start incorporating.  And in the social media bubble, I am all for it.  No one should ever feel shamed for using the restroom.  But then, I get out into the real world and remember that going to the bathroom in front of people is absolutely awful!  I do not like peeing in front of women, so how in the hell could I comfortably do that with all genders in the same space?  Oh, wait… I do.  In many swing clubs, they have a bathroom where both men and women can go together to ensure that partners do not unnecessarily get separated from each other.  So, the reality is I have been doing this for years.  And yet, in the normal day to day setting, it feels uncomfortable and just plain wrong to do.  Especially in the workplace or in educational facilities. But a swing club is like a little invite only bubble, just as social media is.  Maybe in some future reality bodily functions won’t be such a big deal.  But today, in the here and now, I do not enjoy public washrooms!

So, let’s look at another example.  Using social media, I again try to use an inclusive voice.  I work hard to be mindful of my diverse network of people.  And in doing so, I try and catch myself when I call out men or women for bad behaviour.  I make many attempts to broaden my finger pointing and use words like people, or humans or really anything that removes gender.  But, the real world is a stark contrast from this online community.   I won’t lie, it’s so refreshing to sit down with a girlfriend and bitch about all the ways men and women are different.  To talk about gender in the workplace and just how lopsided even something as benign as dress code is.  For you see, the workplace is not an open and genderless environment.  Perhaps someday it will be, but right now, we are not even close to that.  It is polarized.  Men do this, wear this, talk like this, and women have their own rules for behaviour, dress and acceptable language they can use.

Gender exists all around us.  We see men who hold open doors, believe in being chivalrous, and always pay on a first date.  We see women getting dolled up, wearing high beautiful heels, and acting in a way that opens the door for me to take care of them.  If you go to a bar, you see men talking crash and crude, objectifying women.  And you see women gossiping and bitching for hours on end over a few bottles of wine.  Men work the physically challenging roles, and drink beer to unwind.  And the ladies, well, they are the nurses, the teachers and the caregivers.  Will this change?  Of course it will.  We are constantly evolving.  But when you talk on social media forums, it feels like men and women are being shamed for doing things that feel natural to their specific genders.  And we must remember that that is not healthy either.  It takes time to undo decades of gender roles and our socialization.  And truly, I don’t see a problem with maintaining a certain level of division, so long as there is a place to include those who want to break free of their moulds.

We are living in a polarized real world society, with the online community providing us an ideologized space.  There are going to be clashes as we figure this all out.  But if I can offer one peace of advice, just be open, understanding and inclusive wherever possible.  Don’t get too stressed out about calling people him/her/they/them.  Just be kind and respectful if you are ever corrected.  This is going to take time to figure out a system that works for as many people as possible.  We cannot expect language or gender norms like this to change overnight.

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Predators in Direct and Private Messages

Yesterday I tweeted this:

So this is pretty f’d up. Everytime I post something emotional or show I’m vulnerable or struggling my DM’s explode with sliders. Men…stop fucking doing this! Your dick doesn’t look more appealing to me when I’m crying! And it’s not an invitation to get off on my sadness! by K_ghislaine

And I am astounded by the response I received from it.  In fact, I have to say that this has been my most influential post to date, far exceeding the occasional cleavage or sexy picture.  And that tells me that this topic requires more discussion.  Especially after I received a message from a guy who was genuinely shocked I posted this, and asked what men are even allowed to do or say in this #metoo charged environment.  He honestly felt that no interaction was safe anymore and was feeling stifled by the recent changes in response from women.

Ok, let’s talk about this.  9 or so years ago, I was seduced by a private message.  And it was so hot!  Within a few hours of the initial message, this guy was on my doorstep for what was to become a very regular and incredible booty call buddy.  He opened with a sexy tease, I responded in kind, and the flirtation ramped up exceedingly quickly.  He was the first guy who randomly messaged me and was in my bed that day.  Totally success case, and an inspiration to men everywhere right?  But here’s the thing, that’s not the whole story.  There were a few key things that occurred prior to this message that ensured its success for the both of us.

First, we were already friends.  Yup, that whole friendzone thing is bullshit in my opinion and maybe I will touch on that in a future post.  For now though, we had established a bit of a rapport and some trust.  To be clear, we had never flirted previously, we were truly, just friends.  Second thing that happened, I posted online that I was lonely and looking to have a little fun.  Yes, that’s right, I playfully put my intentions out there, I opened the door to have someone on my friends list message me, and take the bait.  I gave consent and permission to be flirted with using my words.  I used more than just a sexy picture (are you seeing a pattern forming yet?).  And thirdly, he was a emotionally stable and mature man, who was playful and listened to all my boundaries without any push-back or manipulation.  It was a fully consensual pairing that turned into something incredibly hot and satisfying.  And looking back, this was actually more like a 1 in 100 success rate for me, perhaps even closer to 1 in 1000.

With that story in mind, let’s get back to my tweet that started this post.  I have been struggling as of late with where I want my future career to take me.  And it sometimes feels good to just vent a little, especially on twitter because I really appreciate all the people that I interact with, and their perspectives.  I feel better just putting some words out into the universe.  It helps focus me, and well, it’s why I blog.  So on Sunday, I did just that, I wrote a little tweet stating that I was having a rough time, and I was hopeful that Monday would be better.  And publicly, there was a lot of love.  But privately, some men showed their disturbing colours.  And it sucked having my vulnerability preyed on like that.  And I do not want to mince words here, what those two men specifically did was predatory.  Offering me a kind ear, getting me smiling and then rapidly ramping up their sexual intentions without any warning or any previous DM history.  And I, like so many women who responded to my tweet were outraged.  Doing that, is NOT OK.

And guess what?  We as past victims, are onto you.  We are onto you all!  Being empathetic or sympathetic does not give you the right to proceed with your ulterior motives.  That is not consent on our parts, and we are tired of feeling weak for showing our emotional vulnerabilities and getting sexually propositioned as a result.  If I want sexual interaction I will ask for it.  And crying is not asking for it by any insane stretch of the imagination.

That being said, let me get back to the guys concern that he no longer knows how to treat women. To that, I say good.  Stop what you’ve always done in the past, and listen to the women you approach.  Watch their body language, listen to their words and ask for feedback.  Do better as a whole.  If you have always had positive “hell yes I want to sleep with you” or “OMG I love when you touch me” then guess what, what you’re doing is most likely amazing.  But, if you have ever felt a lukewarm reception to your advances, or heard the word no, or even just uncertainty, it’s time to stop and check yourself.  And as I am completely honest, I will fully admit that when I was younger, I never asked permission to touch men or women.  I lived by the assumption that every person I touched would be flattered that a decent looking female was touching them.  But you know what?  I grew up.  I realized that I preferred a fully consensual yes you absolutely can touch me, to the initial shocked and often uncomfortable looks I would get in my early 20’s.  It’s hotter for me not having uncertainty in interaction.  I can be so much more intimate and intense that way.  And guess what?  You can too!

In summary, the jig is up.  We see what you’re doing and do not like it.  The guys who are successful have a backstory that you don’t see.  Approaching a person who is vulnerable with your ulterior motives needs to stop.  And if you’ve ever become turned on by helping someone, or having a girl cry on your shoulder, keep it to yourself.  Show self control and DO NOT try and act on it.  It is not the time, nor the place.  Instead, build up a friendship.  Get to know a wide variety of people in and out of your comfort zone.  Listen, read a book or a blog and get interesting.  Only predators go after people who are weak and vulnerable.  It’s time to break that cycle!

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