Why I Don’t Use DM

Serenity Now! No DM’s!

I will tell you straight up I am writing this post, so I don’t have to type this same message over and over again.  And if you feel the same way and are tired of getting inundated with strangers in your private messages, feel free to save the link, and share it with those inbox invaders!  Simply, if we have never interacted, I will not respond to your DM (private message, direct message, basically anything in my inbox).  If we are friends, please disregard this post. 

Why? Initially I took this stance because I was tired of getting Dick Pictures.  But it has since evolved into so much more. 

Business accounts use auto DM bots to help sell their products.  This is impersonal, and whenever I receive these, I unfollow the account immediately.  Take the time to personalize a message, after we have interacted.  If you have your product clearly on your profile, and I am following you, guess what?  I am already interested in what you are selling, so please don’t push that potential sale away, by basically being a used car salesman.

Social Media as a Dating App, bleh!  I use social media as a way to learn new things, engage with other’s, and share what I have learned.  I use dating apps for dating.  For me, these two do not mix.  I want my social media engagement to be a safe place, where I can say what I choose, without the risk of constantly being hit on.  If I want to flirt with you, guess what?  I will tell you!  Consent matters.  So please don’t send me a DM in hopes of getting to know me.  Want to pay me a compliment?  Do it publicly or jump onto my Patreon and buy me a beer!  Want to say hi?  Do it publicly by engaging in my tweets, and all those groovy accounts I follow in the incredible sex positive community.

Simple rule of thumb, if you don’t feel you can say something on my wall, I guarantee I don’t want to read it! 

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Time Management, is the newest one for me.  Quite honestly, I love engaging with people on social media.  I enjoy a good conversation, being challenged, and the back and forth fun of questions and answers.  Taking the time to like, respond, or send a GIF to each and everyone who takes the time to interact on social media matters to me.  Adding responses to every single DM on top of that?  No thank you! 

The One Exception to my no DM rule is when I ask to DM, or when you publicly ask if we can DM.  It’s all about consent, and sometimes I will ask for various things that I know people will be more honest via DM.  That being said, in this case, I am asking you to DM, or you are asking me.  It’s this whole consent thing, and I don’t feel obligated to send the same cut and paste message of “thanks for the message, but I don’t use DM”.

Do you have a reason you don’t use DM?  I would love to hear it, publicly of course on Twitter or Facebook!

Beware of the Nice Guy

The Only Nice Guy I Trust!

I can be an intense, and passionate person.  I articulate my thoughts and feelings in a way that for most new people in my life seems attractive, confident, and refreshing.  I approach people and their relationships in a thoughtful, attentive, and what comes across as a well-balanced way that gives off the impression that it just comes naturally to me.  The truth is, it took me decades to reach this point.  To understand myself, and articulate my thoughts and feelings in such a way that I know exactly when to ask for a hug, ask for space, or just break down and say I have no idea what I need and require help or support. 

Now, having this personality is refreshing to people.  I blossom in one on one conversations, and usually, I can get a persons life story or deepest secrets within a first meeting.  And the range of people I meet this way is fascinating and incredible.  But for purposes of this post, I need to shed light on a specific personality type that has plagued me, over and over again, the nice guy.

When I meet a nice guy I usually steer clear of them, because I will admit, I know the pattern our friendship will take, and I never like the final outcome.  First, we will become super fast friends.  He will feel an incredible high knowing I shared something intimate about my life, and will cling onto that.  He will share, what he feels is similar information and create this overly powerful bond in his head.  Instead of feeling that we are equals, he will start to idolize or fantasize that what we have is special and unique.  And it is.  But… there is a catch.  Men like this, do not recognize that the are getting a high from this.  And that they crave this feeling of being special.  So they start asking more intimate questions.  They start to delve deeper into your world, in an almost invasive way.  Not out of malice but to re-play that initial feeling.  And they poke, and prod into your relationship looking for cracks and dirt so that they can “return the favor” and help you solve some monumental moment in your life.

They, in short, feed off of your negative situation and crave it more and more.  They want to feel special, and the problem is that it is not in your accomplishments but in your failures.  That’s where their emotional boost comes through most strongly.  That’s the role they have found in your life, and the experience that they want to relive. 

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Now, as I mentioned, I avoid these people whenever possible because the reality for me, is I hate having the confrontations with these people.  A few more noteworthy ones include, telling a guy exactly what he has been doing and watching him just melt.  It was gut wrenching and I couldn’t handle it.  Or the guy who got so angry that he called me a tease, and bitch, and well… it got really messy.  Then there was the guy that I tried to coach and deal with more gently.  For this particular guy I ended up having to finally end the friendship because I got so sick and tired of calling out his bad behaviour because he was incapable of breaking this cycle.  And the more I write these the reactions the more I solidify why I just am not equipped to handle this personality type.  It’s icky for me, and I would rather just close the door from the onset.

But, here I sit, realizing that there are situations that I cannot avoid.  Co-workers, mutual friends, and the worst of them all, the men who I thought were normal friends, but see opportunity in something I shared and basically preditorially pounce, thereby changing the entire relationship dynamic, the wolf in sheep’s clothing, feigning as the nice guy to get closer to me. 

So, let me be clear, I believe that the majority of people can change their behaviour once they recognize it for what it is and actually see value in overcoming it.  I’m an optimist and do see overall good in individuals.  From what I have seen, people are mostly devastated when I point out this energy cycle to them, and honestly, I don’t enjoy crushing people like that, because I do not have the energy, expertise, or drive to help anyone like this fix themselves.  This is a hard limit for me.  And why, whenever I have full control, I give a hard NOPE to this particular negative thriving person (again, I know it’s not on purpose, but that doesn’t make it better!).  So, what then do I do with the unavoidable nice guys?  What do I say to them?  Why do I constantly have to be clear, put them in their place, or worse, re draw lines in our friendship to ensure I don’t become prey to their need to “just help me”?  I am not someone who wants pity.  I just want equality in my friendships and authentic communication.  I want to be free to vent about another person in my life without having a reaction of judgment, and the horrible “if I were you” or the life draining sentiment of “ I would never treat you like that”.

Can we just be there for each other during the rough times, and build each other up on the day to day?  Can we find a way to communicate without putting others down?  Or better yet, realize that humans have a great capacity to hold more than one soul dear in their lives.  We don’t need to always vie for that one coveted spot of primary or best friend, or any other of these titles.  Just be a good friend, a good person, and stop the cycle of feeding off of negativity!

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The Friendzone is Bullshit!

Body language matters and the friendzone is bullshit!

I have toyed with a post explaining why I believe the word friendzone is bullshit for over 5 years.  I have outlines, ideas, and just random thoughts peppering my work in progress document and nothing I wrote ever could quite get past the whole “I don’t like the label and it’s implications”.  Until recently, I felt writing this post would be irresponsible and give people the wrong impression about me (by that I mean, I didn’t want men who felt they were in the friendzone to start pushing boundaries). But I write this now because there is something bubbling beneath the surface of the word that I think needs to be addressed here.  With a few beers in me, I wrote this in reply to a comment on my Predators blog post: I have tried numerous times to write a post on the friendzone, however I stop myself in light of this very context. Until there is a clear understanding of consent, and boundaries, there are certain men that should just stay believing in the friendzone for the sake of the women they are in essence pushing boundaries with…. OK, maybe this should turn into a post.

Any guesses where I am going with this yet?  The friendzone is a word, that I have always felt, was a copout.  We use it to place a person who we may or make not actually like, but definitely do not want anything physical to happen with (at that particular moment).  And as we are still trying to figure out what role they play in our lives, we relegate them into this so called “friendzone”.  The implications of that zone, are that the person will take the hint, and therefor understand that they are to stop being flirty, or expect that the person who placed them there will ever sleep with them.  Basically, it’s code for “just give up already”. 

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So, there are two parts that I will touch on here to explain why I think the friendzone is bullshit

The first, is why do we allow, or even encourage people to place labels like this on other human beings.  It’s often cruel.  If a person likes you, man up, and have the conversation that says you are tired of them doing such and such behaviour, and would like it to stop for the friendship to continue.  Then set a clear expectation, for example, this is what will happen if you don’t.  Off the top of my head you could threaten that the friendship will be over if they continue to push your boundaries.  Of you could simply state where you are at in the moment and call out the persons bad behaviour as it happens.

Perhaps you would like an example from my colourful past?  Ok, here is a little story time…Once upon a time when I was in a long term monogamous relationship, I had a friend who would constantly try to buy me drinks, text me cute pet names, and when he got drunk he would meow at me.  I really appreciated all the free stuff I was getting, and when we texted it was playful, it was fun, and quite flattering being on someone’s mind like that.  However, when he got drunk, he repeatedly tried to cross the line, would hold his hugs just a little too long, and the weird meowing turned into this creepy cat-like howl. To be clear I had zero attraction for him, and was in a completely monogamous relationship that he was fully aware of.  He was a teddy bear in the day time with whom I always hugged when I saw him, was a great listener, and overall I loved the boost he gave my ego.  So, I, without realizing it, was letting him ride in that weird friendzone territory, while I sorted out my feelings and tried to rationalize where he was in my life. 

But then, I grew up.  Ok, the truth was, I got sick and tired of his drunken behaviour and watched it start to spill into our sober text messages.  So, I gave him a choice.  Either stop crossing the line with me when you’re drunk and allow me to trust you 100% of the time, or you will not be in my life.  And guess what?  After two strikes, he was no longer in my life.  I won’t lie, I missed the attention, but ultimately, the ego boost just wasn’t worth having someone like that in my life.

Ok, so now let’s talk about the other side of it.  Why people find themselves in the friendzone.  I’m not going to mince words here, if you have ever found yourself in the friendzone it is because you do not have the social skills to handle the situation that you are in and you are the problem.  See what I did there?  I told you what was wrong in a direct manor.  Let me explain, if you’re sitting there, shell shocked, or feeling like you want to start defending yourself, take pause and hear me out.  If you are attracted to someone, and the feelings are not returned in the same manor that you are wishing they would, there are a few things going on.  First, you have picked a target way out of your league and you are either too shy, under confident, or socially awkward to overcome that hurdle so you tell yourself, just being close to this person is enough.  Guess what? It’s not, it’s weird, and you need to start learning how to build your confidence. 

Second, you have this person in your life who keeps telling you no, but you have decided, that they are wrong, and you are going to keep trying.  Guess what?  That makes you an asshole and you have violated the whole consent thing.  Maybe this person is just being too nice, doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, or is just genuinely trying to figure things out.  That shouldn’t matter to you though. If you hear the word no, it’s time to back off immediately.  Perhaps they will miss you, and come around.  Or more likely, they will realize their gut was right, and they just were one of those genuinely amazing souls who are nice to everyone, and are so relieved that they don’t have to feel awkward around you anymore.  Either way, respect the word no, and back off!

The friendzone is not healthy, for anyone.  The friendzone is a bullshit place to be, and equally to put someone in while you figure things out.  I propose that we remove this silly label from our vocabulary and start actually communicating with people.  You don’t have to use black and white labels.  We are blessed with a whole range of words, body language, and clear methods of expressing ourselves.  So, start building those skills.  And did you know that you can always change your mind about a person too?  If you tell a person you aren’t into them, and then realize you were wrong you can go and talk to them and share your feelings?  Crazy, I know!  But it’s far better than playing this whole in the friendzone, out of the friendzone charade.  So take these new and improved communication skills you have learned here, and go have meaningful conversations with people you like.  And always remember, if they say no, for the love of everything, respect that, and do NOT keep trying!

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Trust, Privacy, and Openness

For all my openness and blogging and social media, I am at the core, a private person.  I have trusted many, and been burned just as often.  It hasn’t make me more cynical or guarded, just more aware of those around me.  I don’t let people in easily and when I do, well, I still maintain a bit of coldness from time to time.  It is sincerely not a trait I am conscious of, but upon the days interactions and reflections I can see moments that I wish I had been a little more inviting.  Overall, I know I have the largest inner circle of my entire life, and I have truly incredible people with whom I love dearly.  And what’s more they are people I have chosen, and am lucky enough that they have chosen me.  But let’s get on track here, I find it difficult to navigate between trust, privacy, and openness.

 

I keep many aspects of my personal life under lock and key, especially things that I have struggled with, or currently am struggling with.  And to be a little more specific, I tend not to discuss things that really suck but are out of my control.  I don’t want to whine, or bitch about my very absent family.  I don’t want to lament the fact that my step dad is now visibly absent from my life.  And I certainly do not want to go on and on about how I just don’t have the income that I feel is proper for where I want to be in life.  Instead, I keep these things to myself, and just keep picking away at them.  I work on my perceptions, my reactions to these nagging voices, and I keep doing what I love, which is writing.

 

Is the outside perception that I am fake or cold because I don’t talk about my problems?  Perhaps, but the thing of it is, I just don’t know where that line should be.  I am find sharing about 2 minutes of my problems with my friends and loved ones, but then I just want to move on.  I want desperately to discuss adventure, and all the wonderful things about our lives.  I don’t want to dwell on what cannot be immediately changed or fixed.  I have my problems, as I know those around me do.  I work hard at fixing them, little by little and just don’t find talking about them will ever solve the issues.  Because there are things that cannot be fixed by words or actions.  There are many things that are out of our control and it’s more important to learn to cope, accept or even just not sweat it when push comes to shove.

 

But again, there is a nagging voice in me that wonders if people think I’m phoney for not bitching about my life.  If perhaps, I have set a standard that they feel uncomfortable getting real with me, until I get real with them.  Is this all in my imagination?  Am I simply rationalizing a fear that is all in my head?  Honestly, I just don’t know.  So I am putting this out into the world with earnest hope that the percolation process will help me find calm, or even acceptance to a shortcoming of mine that I often fear.  That real, terrifying fear that when people learn everything about me, they will leave…

 

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Sharing My Opinions and the Current Radio Silence

The first few years of non-monogamy, I felt unsure.  I had zero clue what I was doing, wanted, and therefor no voice.  I made mistakes, and when I would try and write about them, it just came out fuzzy and convoluted.  I wrote as a girl experiencing something new for the first time, but with a fragile and timid voice.  Sitting here now, writing the “big” story for the first time, I realize, with complete humility, that I found my voice.  The writing style has progressed and that scared and timid girl is no longer a part of me.  It is so crazy looking back and seeing the complete change in identity and voice that I have found.  It almost feels like I was searching for my strength and identity through my blog for so many years that I barely noticed when I switched from it being my safety net, to a real part of my identity.  And this goes beyond my writing, because in the past few months, I have actively shared my opinions and views that I did not first test out in writing.  And I was doing it without even realizing it.  I have gained a voice beyond my blog, and it is as exhilarating as it is a little strange, to be sharing my opinion on non-monogamy.

Why though does this matter?  Why am I writing about finding my voice?  Well, simply put, there has arisen an interesting reaction or rather, a radio silence.  Some people in my life, are extremely off put by me having opinions.  It was one thing for me to just write about my journey, and question the things going on around me.  As it turns out, it is quite another for me to voice my opinions about societal changes, or my views on relationships.  I’m accepted if I am just a wanderer questioning and exploring, but hot damn, coming to conclusions of my own is polarizing for my readers.  It’s a pill that cannot easily be swallowed.  And rather than just talking to me about things, asking questions or even engaging in a little discourse, it’s much easier to just run away or ignore me.

When did our society get so scared of conflict or a difference of opinions?  If you don’t like a particular subject or opinion of someone, do you just block and ignore them altogether?  Can we not reconcile a way to engage with a person who thinks a little differently than us?  It seems we are so afraid of offending others that we are losing the ability to actually communicate.  Yes, it is easier to just close a tab when you read something you don’t like, but guess what?  There is nothing gained, or learned by just walking away.  There is everything to learn by asking yourself why are you offended or uncomfortable.  Is it due to your preconceptions, biases, or perhaps even a word just sets you off?

I don’t love the feeling of being scoffed or shamed, but it feels much worse, when I am ignored and cut out because I share an opinion.  It’s not a very inspiring feeling.  But, unfortunately that is a part of our social climate right now, that I have to come to terms with.  If someone disagrees, the chances of me hearing about it are sitting at about 2 percent.  Whereas when I began my blog over 7 years ago, I was sitting at about 20 percent of people who were willing to have a conversation with me or engage and share a different perspective.  And as a writer it is little lonely having all this radio silence.

I move forward, knowing that I have earned my opinions, of which I know I have many.  And when I share them, I am not looking for validation or even really like minded souls to engage with, but I do very much appreciate the brave souls who are willing to at the very least think about what I have said.  But this is merely an assumption that I make based on the readership and clicks, because beyond that, I hear crickets on my end.  Perhaps this is something that I will just have to mentally prepare myself for when my book comes out.  I no longer believe that no news is good news, because as I am learning, no news often means that people just don’t have the capacity to disagree or engage.  We are afraid of offending and it is paralyzing our ability to communicate.

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