Struggling with Bi-Curious Curiosity

Clarity from Yoga

I really want to start talking about being bi-curious and non-monogamous a bit more, but I am struggling to do so.  Why is that?  Two-fold.  I am not prepared for the creepy backlash, and I am terrified of kissing a girl and not liking it.  What if the fantasy doesn’t meet up to the expectation?  Then what?  Am I now one of those women who became a cock tease (or the equivalent non gender specific)?  And what if I do like it? Am I suddenly expected to hook every partner up with threesomes?  Is my intimacy now on public display?  It is overwhelming all the cons, and basically, it is because of how men have conditioned me.  And I take full responsibility for that, I am an adult after all.  But any sort of female exploration has always come with “can I watch?”  “Can you bring her home” “this can be our treat” or any other exploitative things I have heard over my many sexual years.  Why the fuck would my exploration have to include anyone else?  And further, why do men constantly ask the most invasive questions?  Do they not know how it makes us feel, how it makes me feel?  How it destroys us, little by little?

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No, they don’t.  Because we don’t tell them.  And if by the off chance we have had enough, and do, then we are bitches and worse.  Men and women struggle to communicate because men push too hard, and women fold too often.  But I digress, with all the cons, there is a real struggle, in that, I don’t know if I am ready to go on a date with a woman.  What can I offer her?  My confusion?  My trepidation?  My insecurities?  I know first hand that that is not attractive!  And it does not lend well to small talk, necessary to going out on that first date.  Women are bolder online than they are in person (huge generalization but based on personal experience).  A female will ask straight up, what are your intentions online.  And I balk at my answer, of, I don’t have a clue.  I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, but I also want to get out there and see.

Will writing this post get me out there?  I have no clue.  Has it helped me solidify what I want?  Not even close.  This was simply putting out into the universe that I am currently confused.  I am searching for something, but don’t quite know what that is.  I love the idea of dating couples with my partner, but the reality is that is lacking right now.  So, do I venture out there, alone?  I ponder this, as I slowly sip my beer and write more erotica than ever before…

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Exploring Fluidity Through Erotica Fantasy Writing

Gender Fluid

When I made the decision to start focusing on writing as more than just a hobby, I quickly realized that I needed to have creative outlet which is where my Patreon tier Breaking Away After Dark was born.  Here I have been able to flex a few of my more erotic tales, and fully realize a fantasy or two.  Whenever I am feeling a bit of writers block coming on, or have the desire to take a little “me time” break, I pull up my in progress fantasy document and add a few brainstorms.  It has been a very fun ride, that, well, if you have read any of my tweets as I try and write down a new one, comes with numerous “breaks”!   When I go back to edit these brainstorming sessions for actually submitting to the public, I have noticed an interesting thing, the person I am writing about, is usually without a fixed gender or orientation.

As I explore my own fluidity in relationships, and break away with the norms of he said/she said, my subliminal mind is writing in a fluid and undefined way.  When I go back and edit a piece, I will add in a gender and descriptors for clarity. Or as in my last piece, I was all over the place with who this fantasy person was that I was describing, I was actually able to pull out two very distinct sexual fantasies, one was FF and the other was FM.  I would write things like a silhouette of your curvaceous body, and then in the next paragraph describe the full formed shoulders and biceps.  It’s as if my brain flips who is giving me pleasure based on the sexual act or touch I am describing.

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I mean, obviously I need more threesomes or foursomes in my life, that much is clear.  But what is a little deeper under the surface, is how the definition of my “straightness” identity is clearly in flux.  While I recognize that I am becoming for fluid in life, less regimented in my thinking, and growing more open-minded in my day to day life, I was not expecting the same to be true of my creative writing and brainstorming.  I thought that my subconscious mind would instead revert back to the structured definitions I was raised with.  I truly thought that when brainstorming my mind would default to the MF dynamics that it has been defined by for 35 years.  When you shut your brain off and going into brainstorming mode, aren’t you supposed to go into autopilot?

Which of course leads me to question if my straight orientation was the façade this whole time.  Perhaps I established myself as this strictly straight being for some unbeknownst reason.  Perhaps this fantasy writing is allowing me to share my true default of “it just doesn’t matter”.  Or more to the core, that I am attracted to individuals and not genders.  Just as I am looking for fluidity in my relationships, I am pretty sure that is extending to a more fluid perception of who is on the other end of that intimacy. 

Obviously, I am a work in progress, questioning every step of the way.  And who knows where my next erotic piece will take me, or even where my next sexual adventure will.  In the meantime, I am trying to keep myself open minded, and happy with just knowing that at this point, anything is possible, and that optimism keeps me going day in, and day out. 

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The Continuing Saga of The Nice Guy

Workplace Edition

Only puppy kisses are allowed in the workplace!

When two people spend a lot of time together, for instance, working together, it is common for a few lines to get blurry.  People in close connection to each other develop a rhythm, a way of speaking, joshing around, and often times a set of inside jokes that perplex the outsiders.  Human’s make connections, it’s what we do.  We bond, and create social order out of chaos, which if any of you are currently working have had experience with at least one job that needed a sane shoulder to lean on to get you through your days.  As a result, the bond you create with this comrade in arms, often grows beyond the friendly co-worker stage and into this hazy, maybe not quite on the up and up territory. 

Now here is the thing about this, if this type of relationship is mutual, then by all means, you do you and love it.  I personally know a great many people with whom this pair bonding extended far beyond the workplace and into lifelong friendships, and in a few cases, incredibly strong, full on, relationships.  While many may judge a sexual relationship developing in the workplace, the reality is, it happens, and let me tell you first hand, the majority of them work so well that you have no idea they are even happening.  However, that is not what this post is about.  I want to discuss what happens when one party is not on board with anything happening outside of the workplace, and in fact, wants to put the brakes on the intensity of the workplace bond.

It took me years to learn how to be my assertive, and defined self.  It was not how I was raised, and I fought hard to find the balance between being a bitch, knowing what I want, and finally figuring out to say no, in a way that made me comfortable.  If you read my post about The Nice Guy, you already know that this type of dynamic really throws me for a loop.  Having an adult man cry because I asserted myself is a feeling that can leave me feeling drained, and horrible.  It also makes me question if I am borderline bitchy, which is not a sensation I enjoy.  As a result, I have more than once, been in a position where I have to walk this fine line because I have a co-worker who is crossing that line.

In regards to this post, the so called Nice Guy, is showing the true colours that I knew were going to come out.  Since my last post, I have told him no.  I have texted him (so he has in writing in case he forgets) that talking about personal stuff, touching me, or sharing feelings at work is completely out of question and I do not want any part of it.  And yet, he reverts back to the same behaviour after only a few days of “trying” not to be that creepy, touchy, feely dude.

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How do you explain to a boss, that someone just makes you uncomfortable?  How do you get through to an individual who has a lifetime of feeding off the negative feedback loop of rejection, poor me, and ultimately tears?  How do I ensure that I am worth keeping at the job, and not just one of those troublemakers who is complaining about feelings, rather than tangible violations of policy or procedure?  Why am I writing this post?  Because it is something that I have faced at every single job I have ever had, even when working with an all female staff (Yup, this is not a gender specific problem, but for the sake of clarity in this post I have written it that way).  It is something that countless women have faced in their workplaces.  It is a question that we all ask, and more often than not, choose to keep our feelings to ourselves, and try to find ways to work around the uncomfortable situation.  In short, we enable the problem.  We do not call the individuals to task, and we get creative in how to avoid the person, overcome our emotional discomfort, or worse, our denial hacks away at our self worth because if there is no evidence maybe it is all about perception and just in our heads.

Men, if you are reading this, and you feel like a female co-worker is avoiding you, I want you to pause a minute.  Or if you have notice a co-worker that you used to feel close to has changed the dynamic and frequency of being near you, breath, and reflect.  Could it be possible that you have made them uncomfortable?  Have you perhaps over stepped your boundaries?  Have you at some point made a personal question there financial security at work?  By that, I mean, are you aware of processes and procedures that a personal can comfortably use if they felt that something was making them uncomfortable?  If you were ever called into HR, how would you react?  Would you be in shock?  Defensive?  Would you lash out, and destroy that person’s career?  For you see, that is what I have feared in the past.  Losing my livelihood over something without tangible proof.  Something that made me not want to even go into work, and yet, I couldn’t prove happened.  Could it be merely a misunderstanding?  Did that invite for drinks, or brush of my butt, or lingering look that just squicked me out be all in my head?  Was it all accidental?

If I say no, to anything sexual happening in the workplace, or even discussing my personal life while on the clock, I want that to be the end of it.  Graciously accept my assertiveness and NEVER cross the line again.  Don’t plot, how to get me alone, or plan ways for us to hang out after work.  Just be a co-worker, who respects your job, and much as you respect your fellow employees.  If you have a cutie in the workplace, just appreciate that you have a little eye candy on the job, and move on.  Do not obsess over the fact, because I guarantee that the person on the other end can tell!  As someone who frequently crushes over co-workers, I assure you, it can be done in a healthy, sex positive way, that does NOT turn you into a creep.  

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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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The Question on Everyone’s Mind “How Should Men Behave?”

This time last year I wrote about An Unbalanced Gender Culture, and how things were rapidly coming to a head (which I encourage you to read before continuing), with regards to uncertainty within our standard gender roles and how we relate to each other.  I have been blogging and tweeting about Baby It’s Cold Outside and the #MeToo movement with concern about what effect this is having on our perceptions.  And the problem being that we are ignoring the underlying issue about the roles changing between men and women, and more importantly how we are perceiving these changes.  And this is bringing up a multitude of questions, including, “where is the new line?”

Just yesterday, I was bartending, and one of my regulars told me with sincerity, that he no longer knows how to talk to women because of the #MeToo movement.  The last thing he wants to do is offend anyone, but the reality is, he is a newly divorced 50 year old man, and he wants to get out dating and flirting again, but the old ways don’t seem acceptable anymore.  He is completely open to changing his ways, but he also feels too old to walk on eggshells and not be authentic or truthful.  I think his challenges are completely relatable to almost everyone.  The world is changing, and what’s super scary is that we are trying to go back in time and retroactively punish people, media, etc with our currently unclear new world view.

Now let me be clear here, that this statement is not meant to scold the brave women for standing up against Weinstein or any rapist or abuser.  That, I need to be clear going forward, has always been wrong, and will continue to be wrong.  That isn’t hindsight.  That is bravery on the part of these women for finding the courage to say something, even years later.  There is a very clear difference between knowing something is wrong, or that gut wrenching action that made you feel horrible at the time, and what I am discussing here with regards to using todays new cloudy lens then seeking out situations from our past that, probably would not be acceptable by todays standards.  This is the key problem we are currently facing, we are focusing on digging up past situations instead of finding solutions for the current world view or thinking about what we want our future to look like.

So, with that in mind, let’s ask the question, how should men today, flirt and interact with women that they are interested in?  Where is the new line between coy, flirty and fun, versus rude, crude and inappropriate?  The answer, and I am really, really sorry about this, but… there isn’t one.  This is a grey area.  We do not have a solution yet.  So far, we can all agree that we have to start listening to the word no, and further we have to start using the word no in a more responsible and in a firm manor.  It cannot be said with a playful or coy intonation, and whenever used in that context it has to be taken at face value (precisely the reason why Baby It’s Cold Outside cannot be viewed with today’s new standards, no was used in a playful manor).  But aside from that, I struggle to find any other all encompassing rule that can help guide us in a sex positive behavioural direction.  Or in a less wordy way, to help us all get our flirt on and feel good about ourselves later.  Things remain really fuzzy and this is why I suggest we start with the simplest question first, where is your line?

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I know where my lines and limits are, and just to give you a little insight or help point you in the right direction I will share or overshare as is often the case; I don’t enjoy flirting with strangers.  I like getting to know someone, and them in turn getting to know me.  Even just a coffee or two in a completely platonic way helps bring my guard down.  After that, flirting becomes fun and an enjoyable action, and I feel free to make dirty jokes, touch, and even drive things towards a much more physical setting.  So for this reason, online dating has never been an effective way to date.  Instead, it’s a way to find someone for a first meeting and then go from there.  I just don’t get off flirting or sexting with strangers.  And this is only an example of what works for me.  This insight will not work for every person out there, not even close.  As there are many women who won’t waste their time meeting someone if they haven’t been told they are attractive or have caught the eye of a stranger.  Expressing desire goes a long way for many, hell it even goes a long way for me, but again, never in an opening message or before an in person conversation (again just my opinion and will not work for everyone which is why I am asking you where your own line is).

My earnest hope in you reading or listening to this post is that you take a little comfort in knowing you are not alone.  And that you don’t give up, or go to the other extreme, which I hope I don’t need to spell out here.  We will find a solution, and we will get out of this grey area together.  Flirting will be fun again!  Mistakes will once again be allowed to be made without witch hunts, and we will again find the humanity in our sexuality, and even our sensuality.  It will just take time, education, asking tough questions and of course accepting a few more stumbles and growing pains.

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