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!

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Opening Up About Not Being Active in Non-Monogamy

Opening Up – Non-Monogamy

I wrote a little while ago on Twitter, that I missed waking up with “random marks on my body from a passionate night of sexy shenanigans from the night before” (My Twitter feed is pretty random if you are not already following me).  It was a random comment that popped into my head as I looked down upon my pale legs, and thinking how strange it was for it to be summer and still without the dings of adventure, be it sexual or otherwise.  Further to this, anyone in a long-term relationship knows that sometimes life just gets in the way and you don’t just drop everything to jump on your partner, forsaking all thoughts of where, when, or how you will look or feel in the morning like you do when things are newer.  Shortly after posting this, I received a comment from a follower saying “this surprises me. I thought you were active”.   This response jarred the shit out of me.  He wasn’t wrong in his thinking based on my blog, and my non-monogamous lifestyle.  But it brought to light something I have been struggling with in my personal life, and that is keeping active in non-monogamy when I feel like my home life is a complete mess (feel free to scroll through some of my recent posts to see a few reasons why).

I firmly believe that I should be in a good dating state of mind, in order to meet someone new, and be ethical about pursuing something beyond a fling.  Please note that these are rules for myself, and myself alone.  I do not ever judge or criticize other humans for how they seek to find happiness.  Again, I don’t personally subscribe to the idea that I want someone to make me better or pull me out of my funk.  Instead, I want to be funky, awesome, and attract a person who see’s that light in me because it’s already glowing.  Not a person who wants to fix me, support me, or hold my hand through the tough times.  I approach that from a place of already having a partner, and if I am honest, when I was single and dating, I always attracted people who reflected my current mood.  It wasn’t until I started getting laid regularly from my incredible fwb, that I was able to meet my current partner.  I needed the sexual confidence and devil-may-care attitude to shine through, rather than the, holy crap, I will jump anything that moves mentality.

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So here I am, admitting, that while a little date here or there during this really rough winter may have boosted my energy and confidence, I just didn’t feel right about it.  Since our Christmas holiday, I think we have only visited the lifestyle club once, and gone on 2 couple’s dates?!?  Those number are really low for us.  And quite indicative of the mindset I have been finding myself in.  I just wanted to keep to myself, focus on breathing, and definitely zero interest in finding anything fun or relaxing.  You know that low, where you just don’t feel you even deserve to be happy or to take a break?  So yeah, obviously I was not keen on meeting new people.  And again, that twitter comment really hit me hard.  Why wasn’t I active?  Why was I stopping myself from having any fun?  How was that possibly helping me feel better?

So here I sit, puzzled over why I felt the need to punish myself.  And why I hold myself up to these incredibly high standards that I always have to be in an amazing place in order to meet people, and have fun.  Looking back on my life, I cannot think of a single time when I was prepared to meet the incredible people that I have closest to me.  They were random, unplanned, and un-calculated.  So, with this post, I am admitting, what many of those in non-monogamy already know, and that is life happens, lows happen, and that shouldn’t make you feel like you need to hand in your open relationship, swinger, polyamory, or all the beautiful relationships variations cards just yet.  I am still an active member of this community of sex positive people, even if my legs don’t show the evidence of all the sexy time’s I wish I was having.

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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! 

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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!

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Imagine a World Where Monogamy Didn’t Exist

 

What if you had never heard the term monogamy?  Instead, you were raised to believe that loving whom you wanted was possible and even encouraged.  That when you fell in lust, you were not shamed, but instead praised and even encouraged to share your good fortune or some sexy stories to an accepting audience.  What if your partnership was enhanced, by for example, morning videos of sexy times that new acquaintances or loved ones shared, and that became a part of your sexual experience?  What if instead of sex shaming, we were a sex positive community that promoted safe sex, and human growth in whatever sexuality made the most sense or was even intriguing in the moment?  What if our sexuality was a guilt free experience?

I was raised in monogamy.  I was raised to feel guilty for not settling down and raising a family at the first chance I got.  I was shamed for ending an engagement and not trying harder to stay with my first love and overcome any and all obstacles together.  I was told that forever was finding a partner and uniting to become you and him against the world.  That was true piece of mind, and the ultimate goal.  Forever, with your soul mate, never having a wandering eye or straying from the one partner you would share your bed with exclusively, forever.  I was raised with the absence of non-monogamy.  I knew nothing about the spectrum outside of a monogamous reality.  And if anything outside creeped into my reality, it was judged, squashed and shamed, so vigorously that I barely had time to give it a second thought.

But after waking up this morning to sexy video of a new couple we are exited to hang out with, I was exuberant in the fact that I could enjoy sex with my partner, and my ongoing fantasies completely shame free.  I felt normal, and healthy and sex positive!  Even now, I feel zero guilt for my imagination running wild with possibilities and what ifs.  And the bonus of being able to share the sexual highs with my partner, or to be on the receiving end of his sexual excitement, sigh, it is exhilarating and liberating.  And I almost wish this had always been my adult reality.

I don’t necessarily regret monogamy, as that is how I was raised, and I accept that.  But I do wonder how much further ahead in life I would be if I had overcome jealousy earlier in life.  How that would have impacted my work and family life.  And more to the fact, how much closer I would have gotten to people sooner.  I lived a very closed life, safely guarded for decades.  And now that I have opened the doors wide to opportunity, closeness and love, I feel this incredible joy.  Hugging people I care about is no longer awkward.  Saying I love you, to a platonic female friend is hard to even put into words.  I am actually stumbling to describe the feeling, other than to say, I sit here with a full heart, and a huge smile on my face just thinking about how great we both felt texting a quick “I love you” after an update on our lives.  I wish, in a very profound way, that I was raised to believe that expressing yourself in a full and complete way, had always been acceptable.

As I write this, I cannot help feeling that speaking my truth will be construed as bragging.  And while blogging in the way I do, has definitely helped to silence the fear I get from naysayers or criticisms, if nothing else by thickening my skin considerably, I still feel this is important to share regardless of the negative opinions of others.  I have found considerable joy in non-monogamy.  And I find it exciting to imagine a world not confined by the social constructs of one man for one women, till death do they part.  We have already seen a huge social uprising, fighting for equality of the sexes and huge exposure of sexuality and gender issues.  It is a remarkable time to be alive.  So much social change is occurring, I am honestly excited for the next generation to be raised free of gender norms, in the same way I feel I was raised free of racial issues.  It’s a step forward, and one that I feel will ultimately bring us closer together.  While multiple love may not work for everyone, at least being tolerant of it, and accepting it in friends and family, in my opinion would be a pretty cool society to live in.  A place that maybe one day, had never even heard of the word monogamy.  Love who you want, when you want, and for however long that you want, so long as it is mutual and brings joy to your life.  In short, the possibility of living in a world where monogamy didn’t exist.

 

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