Sex and My Mental Health

Is the mischief being managed?

No matter how hard I try to pretend that my sex life is not intrinsically linked to my mental health, I cannot.  When I do not orgasm for a few days, my capacity to handle day to day tasks diminishes.  And when I have not been hugged, kissed, cuddled, or am starved for intimacy for any length of time I flounder.  I want to be better than this.  I want to be independent of my dependency on intimacy, but I just cannot do it.  I can be brave and strong for a while, and then, before my eyes, I see my judgement and basic autonomy over my own emotions faulter.  I see my confidence fade and worse, I begin to make negative correlations such as, my life is this way because I must have done something dreadful in a past life, and other such rhetoric.  And to be clear, I don’t even believe in past lives, so this dialogue makes absolutely zero sense.

I will admit, that I don’t enjoy asking for sex or intimacy.  It is one of those things that I take for granted and usually just falls into my lap (this is not a brag, just a pattern I have noticed).  Or I have developed a dynamic with a person who loves being the instigator and we fall into an incredible thing whereby I never quite know when I’m going to get laid (and I love that!).  But this time around, things feel different.  I’m not sure if it is age sneaking up on me, or what, but I just feel like I am looking for connections in all the wrong places.  And that is making me fail even harder.  I mean, I usually love a great challenge, and the thrill of something forbidden. This works well for me, because up until recently, I have always had something to fall back on.  So coming back from the “hunt” empty handed, was never an issue.  I have never felt this starved before. 

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And it is wearing me down.  I have questioned my self worth, my sex appeal, my value, and basically the whole, do I even deserve to be loved?  I can honestly tell you that being non-monogamous (a post about where I have been in the non-monogamous world for too long) does not make any of these feelings easier.  I feel the same loneliness I would if I was in a partnership with just one person.  Just because I am able to see multiple people does not mean that I am free of feeling this void, this emptiness.  And it would be melodramatic to state that it is even harder, because I am doubly or triply lonely.  That I should already have my tribe and never feel this way.  That somehow the whole point of this expansive relationship norm, should prevent this total collapse into my pity party.  But, I am no different from any other lonely person, figuring life out, and trying to get their needs met, both emotionally, and physically.

I just want to love with my whole being, and be loved the same way in return.  And until I can find a rational, and ethical way to get my physical needs met, I am going to struggle mentally.  I need the orgasmic release of endorphins to get me through this next little while.  I cannot fight this battle as it’s just a part of who I am.  I want to be wanted, and I want to continue going after things that make me feel amazing. And in this, there is no conclusion, simply putting out into the void the rock and hard place I find myself in. 

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Breaking Away: Embracing My Fluid Relationship

Piloting my own life

I am standing on the verge of something that feels completely out of my control, and yet, I know I am responsible for putting everything that is about to happen in motion.  I worked so hard to throw every single ball I could into the air and get things started for me in my personal and career world, I didn’t stop to consider what may happen if I caught more than one of those balls.  Or worse, if I caught none of them.  So to put it more plainly, I am Breaking Away from the comfort I knew, and forging my own way!

I have always believed that the universe starts aligning when you are on the right track.  That you run into more people that you have connections with, that serendipity starts to strike with increased frequency, and just generally, better things start to happen.  I feel that right now.  The balance is being restored because I am taking control of my future.  The problem inherent in this, is I might have taken a little too much control of that future.  So much so, that I am not entirely sure, which of my decisions has begun the domino effect of this shift.  Which is both exciting, and scary.

2018 was a very bleak year for me financially, and personally.  2019 did not start any better.  But here, I find myself seeing some return on the work I have put into not only myself, but my relationship, and recreating a social network of incredible human beings.  I feel a growing confidence to be my authentic self.  To put myself out there in a way, I never have before, by that I mean in the real world, and not just on paper.  The nagging fear that I will end up alone, and with nothing is still there.  But that voice is getting a little softer with each passing day. 

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It feels like I am getting my strength back.  That I am less consumed by the what ifs, and more cognizant of the reality that I will survive whatever I am to face.  Well, of course with the exception of being hit by a bus.  I built up a brand, and am starting a career out of nothing but my experiences.  That is real, and it grows more tangible by the day.  While there is so much uncertainty in my current relationship, I am for the first time in months feeling hopeful.  Not in certainty that we will be together forever as I felt before, but rather, that we will both be where we need to be this time next year.  If you love something, set it free.  While many who know me on a personal level may guess at who this refers to, you will be surprised to find out, it’s actually about me.  I am setting myself free to pursue what and who I want on my terms.  I may come home empty handed, but I won’t regret this time of self learning, discovery, and finding a way to pursue some pretty intense dreams of my own. 

I share this in my Breaking away from monogamy blog because I have an amazing support network through you my readers and all those that I love.  I have given a lot of thought to term that I feel is starting to fit my life, and that is having a fluid relationship.  While I don’t like labels per se, I am finding comfort in a term that can grow and evolve with me, my lifestyle, and my relationships.  As I am about to turn 36, I am eager to start exploring a more fluid dynamic in my life.  Breaking away from the regret of not jumping through the right hoops.  And instead cherishing what I have accomplished, while not lamenting what I have lost or was just unable to achieve.  I like many, hate admitting failure.  And these past few years, I have had to come to terms with a lot of my own failures and shortcomings.  But here is to new beginnings, a more realistic outlook for the future, and the certainty that I am putting out my best self for all the sexy new adventures life will be throwing my way!

Did you know it is my birthday this month?  My wish list is simple and short… Beer! Ok, it is actually for a new microphone so I can start up my sex positive podcast again.  If you would like to help, please head on over to my Patreon page.  You can subscribe for a day, week, or even a month at whatever tier you choose (all the rewards are listed on my page)! 

Being Sexual and Laughing It Off

Being Sexual

Recently, I rejected a guy on POF by stating that we were only looking for couples right now.  If you have heard me say this before, it is my standard rejection, and I state looking for couples right on my profile.  As sometimes happens, he got very upset with being told no, and responded with the length of his penis, followed by a picture of it.  True to form, I reported him, blocked him, and then went on to Twitter to vent my frustration and ask the age old question: Why do men still do this

While I received the usual support, I also received a shocking response.  While I am usually pretty level headed about the garbage I get being sex positive online this one got under my skin and rattled me.  A guy responded with “I can honestly not understand how you can be so humourless, yet pretend to be so sexual. And yes, block away”.  Wait a tick, my sexuality is being called into question because I was angry at receiving a non consent based nude image, also known as sexual harassment?   Did you know that in Texas, and possibly soon to come into law in NYC that sending an unsolicited dick picture on an online dating site is actually now illegal

This isn’t me just being a prude here.  This is such a rampant problem, that people are beyond sick and tired of it, and we are taking legal action by demanding laws to protect us.  I don’t think it’s funny to laugh about an unsolicited dick in my inbox.  This is harassment.  It’s not funny.  Unless the thought process is that men want us to start laughing at their penis’ I just do not follow the logic.  How many more posts, podcasts, blocks, and laws do we need to pass to make it clear that this is not funny.

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I recall my mom being exposed to on a c-train about 20 years ago.  The crazy thing about the whole situation is how many people were around her, and did nothing.  They pretended not to see it.  When the cops arrived, there was only one man who came forward as a witness out of nearly 10 people who should have seen something.  My mom pleaded with the woman who was sitting beside her to come forward, but she refused.  Should we as a society just laugh that off?  Should we just laugh it off when someone is rejected by a complete stranger and they lose their shit and send what may or may not be their fully erect penis?  Is complacency the target here? Or worse, making it a joke? 

And now let’s deal with the fact that this random guy on twitter, took the time to comment on my own sexual nature because I didn’t laugh.  I felt publicly shamed.  My sexuality was openly called into question.  How is that OK?  Why did this guy (twitter) who claims he has never sent a dick pic himself still rationalizing that I am somehow in the wrong for standing up for what I believe in.  I think sending a dick picture should be a criminal act just as exposing yourself in public to a stranger.  I do not think that this stance should be a reflection of my sexuality, or my sex positive stance.  That is an asinine correlation and positively disgusts me.  That`s as dumb as saying I asked for it, because I rejected the guy on the online dating site.  NO!  My sex positive nature will not be on trial here.  No, my sensual boasts hold firm.  I have a right to consent to what level of nudity I see in an online world.  That does NOT diminish my sensual nature.  In fact, I think it increases it, because I know what I want, need, and what turns me on!

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How VR Has Impacted My Sex Positive Life

From My First Glimpse of a Penis, to the Incorporation of VR

Breaking Away VR Style

“Can I f*&% you while I watch VR porn?”  Of course I said yes, and you may be thinking that I am the coolest chick ever, but hot damn it took me a long time to get to this place.  Looking back on my interactions with porn, I find I have this OK, ok, ok, then sudden, STOP!  Porn for me is right on the cusp of my emotional control, or lack there of in most situations.  Are you ready for story time, and how VR has impacted my sex positive life?

My very first experience with porn started innocently enough, I was simply looking for a picture of a penis.  I was 14, had just seen my first one on TV and I was super curious.  So I googled “penis”.  Now, you have to understand that this was 20 or so years ago, and Google was not so refined.  If you wanted to search a topic, you didn’t have the tab for image search.  You actually had to land on a webpage that had pictures and go from there.  After looking at a few, and realizing that there was a lot of diversity beyond the sideview I had seen in sex ed class, I needed to figure out a way to see one that stirred more than just a passing intrigue. As luck would have it, I found a site that promised to e-mail you one penis pictures every day.  This blew my mind, and would be my teenage dirty little secret for many years to come.  So I created an “untraceable” e-mail account through Hotmail, and signed myself up under a fake name.

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The next morning, true to the ads claims, I received my first erect penis.  Are you ready for the love hate part?  Well, this seemed exciting at first, because I felt rebellious, and a little dirty.  But the truth was, more often than not, I wouldn’t enjoy seeing the naked dicks.  In fact a few made me feel a little squicky.  So, rather than allow my morning to be ruined, I would stockpile the images for a few weeks at a time in hopes that I would have a better chance of finding one that I liked. The idea was, with a bunch on hand, I could have a little personal playtime.  I would bring my vibrating toy up to the computer room (20 years ago remember?) when no one was home and I would peruse these pictures. If I am honest, I got off as a result of the vibrations, and the fear of getting caught far more often then the dick pictures I was looking at.

And then something changed, I saw an image with two penis’.  I clicked on it, and it turns out that is was a signup for gay porn!  I was instantly intrigued and terrified.  I remember clicking, seeing waaaaaay too much graphic nudity for my young mind, and shutting everything down.  NOOOOOPE!  That was an eyeful.  I didn’t know what any of that meant, or was, or could even process what had just happened.  I was in catholic school, just learning about sex ed, and here I had just witnessed hardcore porn far before what I was prepared for. 

I closed that chapter of my life with a hard bang.  I didn’t use any visual stimulation to get off until I was in a committed relationship, which was 4 or so years later.  Imagine being so terrified that I actually avoided anything porn or nudity related for 4 years?  This was a pattern that would continue off and on with VHS, DVD’s, internet porn, and even my post about just going into sex stores. Watching porn, and getting off on it did not come naturally to me. Even now, I get off more by my own fantasies over that of what others have created either visually or with their words. But hot damn, when my partner says to me, bend over.  And then devilishly, asks me if I would be OK with him watching VR while f*&%ing me, I cannot help but grin and grab the lube. The best of all worlds come together in that moment, he lost in the visual and audio stimulation, and me, with eyes closed feeling the 4D of all my dirty little fantasies that I am finally starting to put onto paper. So far, VR is a welcome addition to my sex life…

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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. 

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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.

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