A Few Stumbles Loving Myself

As I continue the uphill battle of falling back in love with myself, I have to keep reminding myself that the only certainty in life is that I will always be with me. Humans will come and go, but at the end of it all, I need to be someone that I can look back upon and just be proud. For decades, I only wanted to be the sunshine in my step dad’s eyes. My raison d’être was making him smile. And, if you have read any of my posts about the gaslighter who use to be in my life, well… that blew up royally in my face. I made that fatal mistake, of living for someone else. And as I mentioned in my last post, I did the same thing over the last year. My motivations were different, and of course, I would do it again in a heartbeat, but now it is time for me.

I have always had a creative mind, that ran parallel with this inane desire to do everything myself. I equated loving myself with being able to do everything on my own. Pride equals hard work, and this weird solo sense of worth. As a person who has only been single for about 6 months her entire adult life, that is a pretty strange thing to say. I have had incredible partners, and yet, I would never let them help me sort out my career, finances, or have any say in who I am as a person (good or bad). And as I sit here, writing alone in my house I have to admit, that this line of thinking is wrong.

I have not done myself a single favour by going alone. I love being an individual, but I cannot help wondering where I would be at if I just let someone in without kicking and screaming. Would that behaviour make me less lovable? Admitting vulnerability? I mean sure, if you follow my twitter, or have read a few of my more intimate posts you know I can open up. I absolutely have it in me. But… it is always on my terms. I deal with what I choose to, when I choose to, and can pretty much keep everything else in nice and neat boxes (the last year of my life not withstanding). However I am only open on my terms, and have never been that bubbly warm soul that everyone wants to be friends with.

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There are so many times that I have wished I could be that person who walks into a room, and just lights it up. My grandmother is genuinely loved by everyone who meets her. She is that rare soul that you just cannot help but adore. Generous, warm, hard working, always smiling, and an amazing cook/baker. The greatest testament to her amazing effect on people is that every breakup my mom went through, I would hear the outed party comment about how much they would miss my grandmother. And I have always admired this quality in her, while also knowing, I could never fill these shoes.

As I spend this summer coming to much more intimate terms with who I am, and what makes me amazing, it is difficult not to fall into an old trap, the desire of being that lady in red. That woman who makes heads turn when she walks into a room, and has an entourage of people laughing at her every word. I, so badly want to please people, while at the same time being true to my independent self.  It’s a balance game I should probably just give up on, because if I have learned anything, it is that I am not able to achieve it.

When I open my mouth, I quickly sense the person that I have offended, or rubbed the wrong way. Call it a gift! Of course I make it worse if I backtrack, or try and dig myself out of those holes. So, I try to say less, and listen more. Which if I am being honest is one of the things I truly love about myself. Being able to listen with compassion has opened up a whole world of new people and possibilities. And this is the foundation of me falling back in love with me. That and of course some amazing sex toys!

Deep down, I know I want people to fall in love with me, when I am in love with myself. I don’t desire anyone to pity me, or feel that they need to help me, solve my problems, or dig me out of endless hole. I have never desired that knight in shining armour to come and rescue me on his noble stead. I can only rescue myself. And that is what I am doing, one day at a time, so I can resume the most sex forward, and positive adventures of my life!

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Falling Back in Love… With Myself

Falling in Love… with me!

As a non-monogamous person, I spend a lot of my time working on relationships. Between strengthening the one I have at home, and the constant quest for new and incredible people, I humbly submit that I should get an A for effort. People are my passion. Relationship building is my forte. But, I will admit, there is a problem with my foundation, with me. While I have overcome many things in the past few years (with this last one being a real rollercoaster), there is something I need to put more focus on, loving me again.

A few months ago, I created a sex positive 30 day challenge, which was probably harder for me, than anyone else who joined in. Having to tell myself “I love me”, in the mirror brought me to tears. I crumbled.  Not because I don’t love myself, but because I wasn’t in love with myself. I had not done anything of late to boost myself up.  I had no new crazy or adventurous stories to tell. I had no new projects that I can excitedly get feedback on or bounce ideas about. I had put my inner passion for my ideas and creativity on the back burner.

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And yes, I did this in on purpose. I finally took that long hard look at myself and realized that I needed to forgive myself for my past, heal up, and take a real break to recharge. Loving half a person is the most difficult journey I have ever endured. And I did it, for the last year (more to come on that in a future post). I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it changed me. As a creative and passionate individual with drive and dreams I would find myself snapping at life in general. Why do I have to do everything? Why can I not take a break, and have someone take care of me for a few moments? Why will these tears just not stop?

The answer? I put myself on hold for another human being. I was living at half my creative capacity, with the other half keeping my human… alive. (Watching a loved one battle depression is anguish.)

Reading that last thought, over and over again, I am not sure if using past or present tense is more accurate. That being said, I didn’t make excuses to type this morning. I simply poured my coffee, and started to type.  And that, is a huge step. I didn’t feel obligated, instead I felt calm enough to start sharing. And that means I am feeling the fruits of the recharge. The drive is coming back, and you better believe that passion is too. I am starting to fall back in love with myself, because let’s face it, a whole human being is far sexier than half a soul right?

I will be challenging myself to post more photos on my Patreon page this month in the spirit of accepting and loving my body for the here and now instead of lamenting that it is not what it was, and I am grateful for all the support in this endeavour. 

Non-Monogamy is Not a Luxury

Non-monogamy is NOT a luxury

As much as I adore when people discover that there is a world outside of monogamy, I equally loath the stuff that comes out of their mouths (especially from those who have done zero research!). While I have ranted before on the judge first, ask questions later, this post is about people who claim that non-monogamy is merely a luxury. In fact, there was a person lurking on R/nonmonogamy who made a comment to this point and went on to say it should be easy to just discard it when faced with obstacles (like the current pandemic). And I feel that we are finally deep enough inside this year of hell, that I can talk about this subject without accidentally encouraging people to race out and have sex with a bunch of random people. My main message is still clear, non-monogamy must stay on hold.  But, when it comes to people trying to just brand these relationships as a luxury, I, have many thoughts… AKA this post. So join me as I try and process everything that makes me cringe about this line of thinking.

Non-monogamy takes an insane amount of work.  Yes, maybe you could draw a correlation that luxury items are expensive, therefore take a lot of money and effort to get, and non-monogamy has similar parallels. However, the truth is this is a correlation vs causation fallacy.  Non-monogamy, while on the surface may seem like something unnecessary, the fact of the matter is that for many (myself included) it is an essential extension of who we are as sexual and social beings. There is no luxury to be found. Rarely do you get to just sit back and marvel at your new toy.  Nope, you are constantly working, scheduling, talking, flirting, co-ordinating, and compromising. Sure, you have the incredible afterglow of a first meeting, sexy session, or incredible flirtation, but let me tell you, it is more like a full-time job, than an item we lust over.

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Now, perhaps you think that it is selfish to be non-monogamous, as many luxury items often are. Why you ask, can you not just settle down with one person.  One person is rational, level headed, but to seek more than that… sheesh? And I say to you… NO!  What if you were in a sexless marriage?  What if you loved your partner so much that you wanted to help them live out their fantasy?  What if you believed in free love?  What if you were just inherently polyamorous and recognized that loving more than one person was the most natural thing in the world to you? Would any of these questions be akin to a luxury item? Definitely not.  So, whereas luxury items are not necessary, non-monogamy often is.

Having to pause a part of who you are for the greater good is not easy. I am a social person, who thrives around people and with physical touch and intimacy. That being said, I would never put myself, or my partner in jeopardy to fullfill these urges. And while the original person who got me riled up went onto explain how amazing it was getting back to monogamy, calling out everyone who swings, is poly, or practices any level of non-monogamy as a trifle want really pissed me off. I have had to close off a part of who I am, and how I engage with other people, for the greater good. This isn’t like giving up an extravagant trip to that upscale steakhouse, that I crave all the time. Or cancelling that yacht vacation that you had been saving up for all year. No non-monogamy is much more than that for me. And having people just dismiss it hurts.

There is one more thing that I will add. Luxury items are in essence a way to splurge, brag, or are simply an extravagance that enhance a moment, goal, or express a want. For me embracing non-monogamy has made me a better person. I am more open to situations, and far more loving.  And if I am completely honest have become a much more passionate and expressive soul as a result of not having to hold anything back. While I cherish a few rings, and that bottle of champagne I hope to open this year, they are far removed from making me a better soul. And who out there can say the same about that fancy diamond?

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We Are in the Darkest Timeline…

And When We Need Empathy the Most, It Doesn’t Seem to be Working

Let us start at the beginning, what does empathy really mean?

It is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”

I have always thought of myself as an empathetic person.  Putting myself in other people’s shoes is something I do without thinking. Perspective is everything, and I love having the capacity to experience and understand more about the human experience through this skill-set. Using this mindset it feels valid for me to claim that I am an open-minded sex positive individual and in turn coach and help those who are struggling with various aspects of their non-monogamous relationships. It’s difficult to write this, without appearing like I am bragging, but the honest truth is developing empathy was how I survived a difficult childhood. As an only child, moving every 3 years, I had to efficiently learn skills to fit into new situations quickly and without any previous frame of reference.  And if you believe in such things, I am a libra, and I have been told this brings a natural balance to my perspective. 

Now, to the post at hand. There is a lot going on in the world. People are justifiably angry with, well, pretty much everything. From being forced to isolate, to the disgusting murder of a black man by people of authority, to the fact that it is supposed to be pride month, and quite frankly we have very little to celebrate. All in all 2020, has sucked so far. And being a person with a platform (no matter how small), I believe it is my duty to speak out and show support for all the people who are suffering. But there is a huge problem with this, empathy doesn’t seem to be working.

In all my years of blogging, and being active on social media, never have I felt this total chaos.  And by chaos, I mean this completely helpless feeling where everything I do is wrong. Empathy, up until now has always been a strength and has helped me be an ally to the people who truly need it. Now though, people are just so damn angry I am at a loss of how to help. Being silent is never OK, but when I am called out for being “obtuse” due to asking what black charities small businesses can donate to in my local community, it is obvious that anger is at the boiling point. Again, I want to make it clear, that I have complete empathy and want to learn, help, and ensure that racism is extinct from out future. But, I have to say again, I am at a loss of how to do this.

One theme I keep seeing is that activists are exhausted from providing lists, resources, and links to those among us who keep asking what we can do. The frustration seems to be that it is far more important for the white ally to just do some research to find the best charity etc. on their own, thereby taking a more active approach. But I hope you understand, there are many of us who just don’t want to make anymore mistakes or make things worse. I for one, have always been taught never to use race as a means of dividing people. So it goes against everything I know to do a specific Google search for black owned/run companies or charities. It feels, like I am doing something wrong. Why should it matter what race/orientation/ etc. a company is run by? That is the preconception I go into this with. And the confusion doesn’t end there.

When one person says that they don’t want to see any white person use #blacklivesmatter, and another says that “silence in white people is supporting white supremacy” or that unless you have experienced racism you should just shut up and let black people talk, it becomes less and less clear how not to mess this up. I am at a complete loss as to how to be an effective ally. Racism needs to end. All humans should have fair access to healthcare, education, and due process under the law. Equality for all needs to be fought tooth and nail to achieve. So I ask again, please, tell me how I can help?

I would love to boost black authors, sex positive educators, and support in anyway I can. However, I don’t want it to seem like I am just pandering for the here and now. I want desperately for these actions to be meaningful, insight real change, rather than a temporary increase of exposure, unless that’s all you want me to do. I’ve seen call outs for specific contributors, and I am going to be brutally honest, looking for one specific voice has always made me uncomfortable. Again, my bias has always been an open space where anyone should feel comfortable commenting, interacting, or even reading. And if this is not appropriate at this time, I need to know.

Empathy used to be enough. The complete willingness to learn, support, and stand up for what is right has always worked for me, as I said, until now. I’m not rich and famous. I don’t have a lot of resources at my disposal, but I do have my words.  I don’t want to remain passive, but I cannot constantly fight for a cause I very much believe in, if I keep getting told I am wrong by the very people I am trying to fight for. Help me learn, do better, and above all, be the ally you need. 

If you have a resource or book that you think would help me, and others, please link it in the comments or on social media.

Breaking Away from Monogamy Check-In

Check-In

I have a bunch of blog posts, articles, pictures, and projects on the verge of being shared, but before I do that, I want to ask one thing: How are you doing?

For me, it has been 6 weeks of my partner and I against the world.  We alternate going grocery shopping every 10 days or so, and go out to pick up a new keg of beer every two weeks.  The sunshine has been shining for the last 2 days which as certainly helped, but let me be completely honest, I now have days in a row where I do nothing.  I love my projects, and my writing grounds me, but for one reason or another, I just do nothing!  Many days I feel just like I am in a state of limbo.  That’s me, now, how are you doing? Feel free to answer in the comments, social media, or even share a post you have written about your current state of mind.

Check-In’s are important.  At the end of this isolation, having a strong network of support will make shifting out easier.  We had no say as to when the distancing would begin, and that can be incredibly challenging for many of us.  Being told what to do is not an easy thing.  We are adults after all, with autonomy, and yet, here we all sit choosing the collective good of society, rather than our own selfish needs. And that needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.  I thank each and everyone of you who are doing your part to distance, and minimize contact with your fellow humans.  Again though, this is not easy, so, how are you doing?

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If you are not Ok, please comment.  Reach out!  Let us all help each other get through this. Alternatively, if there is something that you are doing that is working really well, could you please share?  Maybe something as simple as smiling at yourself in the mirror, or taking 5 minutes to stretch your whole body helps.  Wherever you are with this check in, let us work together by helping, or sharing.  The whole social media community has a real opportunity to prove its real value in our society.  So, let us pause, reflect, and use the tools we have on hand.

Today, I am doing OK.  How are you?