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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Okay more stuff! 
24th-Sep-2012 03:40 pm
Sugar Bowl
I actually thought of this first one the instant I hit "post" on the last post. I thought about writing it up right then, but my body was like NOOOOOO PUT LUNCH IN ME so I did that. Hi. I'm back.

Why Are You and Judah Closed?
We get this question a lot! (Note: I do not mind being asked this or any question.)

In the beginning, it was because our relationship was so overwhelming in its intensity. We were afraid that adding anyone would dilute that, and we wanted that honeymoon period to last as long as possible.

(It has lasted two years so far!)

Gradually, we realized that we just didn't want to date anyone new. We weren't feeling sparks from new people, and we had a really good balance.

We're at the point now where we're like "Two years! That is super-unusual for both of us!" We're prepared for the possibility that one or both of us might develop interests, and if we do, we'll discuss that. The main factor at this point is time and energy.

Look, both Judah and I like to be super-awesome partners! Neither of us wants to be an eh, okay partner. Being a really good partner takes time and energy, and right now?

You guys.

I post more than he does, so you have a better idea of the demands on me. I'm writing an emotionally harrowing novel as well as a bunch of other stuff, I'll soon be back to volunteering at the rape crisis center, I have a teenage daughter who spent the summer touring colleges and is about to launch into applying to them, I just slowly and wrenchingly lost a beloved pet, my grandmother is actively dying, I'm in the busy time of running the biggest track at the biggest con in the Northeast, et cetera, and I already have two partners and a kid.

I have nothing left for an additional partner right now. And if I added someone, I would become a mediocre partner and parent to the people I'm already committed to.

Judah is no less busy than I am.

It straight-up makes no sense for us to open our relationship at this time, even if we wanted to.

I Reinforce My Boundaries
Because when I was growing up, I was not allowed to have any. My parents are major boundary-tramples, and then also I had the Bad Childhood Shit which led to the Bad Adolescent Shit and me reaching 21 without any idea that I could have a boyfriend who wouldn't hit me, or any idea that I deserved one. I grew up as a beaten dog. I would meekly ask for some boundary that would make me feel safer, or ask to not do something that was making me sick, and I got a decisive "no." No, you don't get to control your body or anything about your interactions. No, you are not allowed to say no.

I spent last weekend in my parents' house. In between visits with my dying grandmother and a few precious hours with enderfem, I wandered the halls, a Ghost of Shira Future. This is the last room I was sexually assaulted in. This is the room where I tried to kill myself twice. This is the room they pulled me out of in the middle of the night to send me to the abusive wilderness survival camp.

Frankly, it took Adam to heal me. It took Adam treating me with dignity and respect to teach me that if I asked to be treated with dignity and respect, someone might listen. And from there I go to and if they don't, fuck them.

The years I've been with Adam have been amazingly powerful and healing. I've gone from shutting down entirely to saying "hell no" and being confident enough to back that "hell no" up. That takes work, especially starting from where I started. Years of hard work.

One thing I said to Judah last night was that I despise the idea of people assuming that I maintain my boundaries because I'm insecure or jealous. No. When I was insecure, I had no boundaries. My boundaries are a sign of my strength and confidence. I know Judah is coming home to me; I am 100% secure in my relationship with him. And part of that security is the knowledge that if I say "X has been really bothering me. I'm not saying don't do X, but if you do, can you also do Y," and he will say yes. Or if he doesn't want to do Y, he'll tell me why, and we'll find something that works.

Because everyone in all of my relationships deserves to feel safe and respected. And everyone in all of my relationships agrees with that.

My Lack of Promiscuity Does Not Make Me a Prude
I'm not a prude. I don't mind kinky hanky-panky - oh, watch the video. It is not worksafe!



That being said, I'm really particular about who I have sex with and when and how. If you ask five people for a definition of poly, you'll get six answers, y'know. But the way I do poly is that I have committed relationships that usually grow gradually out of friendships. Sometimes they're more casual and not capital-R Relationships. But I have to know someone pretty well before I get sexually intimate with them.

There are people who fuck people the day they meet them. I'm not one of those people! And I do not judge those people - if that's what you like, and everyone involved is cool with it, go ahead, have fun.

But don't try to prude-shame me for my choices.

As I said last night, in bitter exasperation, "I am sluttier than like 90% of America! Why all of this prude-shaming bullshit?!" I'm bi, poly, and kinky. My number? Pretty up there. Because I like having sex with my friends. Just not right now. Which, according to some, makes me prudish and unenlightened.

I DON'T GET IT EITHER.

Look. I am choosing to only have the sex I want to have, and only with the people I want to have it with. I am not going to apologize for that. My choice is as valid as anyone else's. And I cannot imagine a valid reason for anyone to have a problem with that. It is some bullshit is what it is, this idea that I am somehow not poly enough because there are people with pulses who I have yet to have sex with.



How Will I Know?
I have also been made aware more than once that people have thought that/wondered if I am trying to get them in bed.

Most people who have had sex with me are probably laughing right now.

Want to know how to tell if I want to have sex with you?

I will say "I would like to have sex with you!"

Look, I feel like sex is a thing that people should not be in any way ambiguous about. I operate on the enthusiastic consent + lots of discussion model. I will ask you if you'd like to have sex! (Or you can ask me!) Then we will move to a discussion of how to optimize our sexy funtimes! Maybe you really hate having your neck touched. Maybe you want a little buttplay. Personally, I hate being tickled. I feel like communicating about our desires and turnoffs is a really important part of this whole process. I'm not going to try to beam these things at you telepathically, or try to read your mind. I really need to hear, out loud, clearly, that you really want to have sex, and what specifically you would like. I need you to need the same from me. This is no time for guessing games, y'all! The best sex, IMO, comes after open and honest communication.

My way sounds awkward, but it makes people laugh. (Side note: I like to laugh in bed, too. But I promise I won't point.)

Related: I had an excellent conversation with a friend I'm really flirty with. She asked if it was just flirtiness, or if it was flirtiness With Intent - if it was heading somewhere, like to the bedroom.

THIS IS AN AWESOME QUESTION. If this is a thing you are curious about, please ask me this question!

I said that Judah and I were still closed, so not at this time, but hey! We are youngish and have our lives ahead of us. At some point my relationship may open. And we can reevaluate then. She was cool with that, and we're back to being ridiculously flirty for flirtiness's sake. Because flirting is fun! But absolutely everyone should be on the same page!

My brain is running out. Coffee time. Let me know if you have any questions! Also, I've tried to cover Adam and Judah's perspectives only on topics that I'm 100% confident in covering and that they have no problem with me talking about. Obviously I cannot know their every thought, so view this through the lens of my personal experience.
Comments 
24th-Sep-2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
*stands up clapping and cheering!!*
And I would like to add this "Are you just flirting or flirting with intent?" line. It is very nice, compact, easy to say and I LIKES IT, IT MAKES ME FEEL SAFE. So thank you for this post and your insights.

And fuck anyone who doesn't think your choices on who to fuck, when, where, etc. are valid.
That shit just pisses me off like whoa.

24th-Sep-2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yes. The difference between flirting for sport and flirting with intent is *very* important.
24th-Sep-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Agreed, and I think I've been too long and either wordy or putting off (or ignoring) broaching that with folks in the past. I like easy, succinct, not-uncomfortable-making ways of putting things. That fits my bill.

25th-Sep-2012 03:53 am (UTC)
I do like simply phrasing it as "Are you flirting with intent".

Mind you, I would say that much of the time in the early "I just met you and am flirting with you" stage, I think the most honest answer is "I am flirting with the intent of figuring out if it would be fun to flirt with intent."
24th-Sep-2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
+1ing the hell out of this whole post (and the one before).
Especially that part.
24th-Sep-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Look. I am choosing to only have the sex I want to have, and only with the people I want to have it with.

*high five*

THAT IS HOW IT SHOULD BE. THE END.
24th-Sep-2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
But seriously, can I be you when I grow up?
24th-Sep-2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
Again with the sense-making.
P.s.: I only know you trough your public LJ (thank you autocorrect, but I'm pretty sure I didn't mean LJUBLJANA (WTF? Pretty sure I've never typed that)), but that is plenty for me to believe: You. Are. Awesome.
24th-Sep-2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that well-timed post. I'm in the end of putting myself back together after my first attempt at a poly relationship, which went to hell almost immediately because of insecurities and communication issues. I'm trying to establish boundaries and a different kind of friendship with these two people, who I still love dearly, and just reading "No. When I was insecure, I had no boundaries. My boundaries are a sign of my strength and confidence." - This is what I'm doing right now. I didn't stand up for myself, because I was so grateful for their attention and so afraid it would go away. I'm having to insist boundaries now, because I am the only person in charge of my mental health.

So, thank you.
26th-Sep-2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Good luck!
24th-Sep-2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
This post is made of so much YES!
24th-Sep-2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Look, I feel like sex is a thing that people should not be in any way ambiguous about. I operate on the enthusiastic consent + lots of discussion model. I will ask you if you'd like to have sex! (Or you can ask me!) Then we will move to a discussion of how to optimize our sexy funtimes!

Yes, exactly this.

Earlier this year, I was hanging out in the lobby at a con when someone I know (but not particularly well) walked up to me and said "There's really no better way I can come up with to say this: I would like to have sex with you." In this particular case, the not-knowing-particularly-well factor meant that my response was "I'm quite flattered, but I don't think I'm comfortable with that right now. I'll let you know if that changes."

And since I was talking to an actual mature person, that was accepted at face value! No "are you sure?", no boundary pushing...which would have tripped my "and that will now NEVER EVER CHANGE" alert system. Lion.
25th-Sep-2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Would you explain the relation between the word "Lion" and the rest of your comment? I'm confused, and it's important to me to understand you, and I'm asking here instead of in IM in case someone else is confused too.
25th-Sep-2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
Never mind--I'd have seen the reference already if I were reading LJ in chronological order like usual. :-)

Edited at 2012-09-25 07:57 pm (UTC)
24th-Sep-2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
Please forgive me, but...

"I am sluttier than like 90% of America! Why all of this prude-shaming bullshit?!"

Not like I want this to happen to anyone, much less someone I like, but leave it to you to find a really funny way to talk about a craptastic thing.

Oh, and the answer? A time-honored tradition: The sexual equivalent of "You're chicken, I double-dawg dare ya." Yup. The taunting of children, plus naughty bits. Some people never really grow up.
25th-Sep-2012 03:50 am (UTC)
That whole last paragraph. Thumbs up.
24th-Sep-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
The only question I have is "why the hell does anyone have a problem with any of this?"

Though, really, the answer's obvious.



They get so angry
Like pouty children
Denied their candy
I laugh right at them


except that you, unlike the narrator of the song, are not duplicitous. But they still pout.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could tag the ones like that so you'd know in advance?
24th-Sep-2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, how I have missed your posts! So many feels (as they say) about this one and the last one!!!
26th-Sep-2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
It feels good to be back to posting here!
24th-Sep-2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
These were really fun entries (this and the last). You and Adam and Judah seem like you have an awesome relationship.
26th-Sep-2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
We do! It's not usually so dramatic. Usually it's the three of us plus Elayna curled up on the couch watching Doctor Who while I knit, or going to Shakespeare plays together, or goofing off in the kitchen. Quiet camaraderie.
25th-Sep-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
God, I love that video...the "toes flossed w/warm liver" resulted in me cringing and laughing simultaneously, which is no mean feat.

And yes, why is it anyone else's business what you're doing sexually and with whom, and trying to convince you that it's not enough somehow? How about "my body, my business"? Are they hoping that if they make you feel bad enough you'll say "oh, all right..." and let them fuck you? Or is this just some kind of head game for them to feel superior somehow? Gee, I was always under the impression that real sexual freedom included the right to not be sexual unless you decided that was really what you wanted to do, but apparently Those Wiser Than Me think otherwise. /snark

25th-Sep-2012 01:50 am (UTC)
I'm not going to try to beam these things at you telepathically, or try to read your mind.

Not that there's anything wrong with those of us for whom this is an integral part to romantic partnering... ;)
25th-Sep-2012 03:39 am (UTC)
One thing I said to Judah last night was that I despise the idea of people assuming that I maintain my boundaries because I'm insecure or jealous. No. When I was insecure, I had no boundaries. My boundaries are a sign of my strength and confidence.

:nod:

See, my boundaries change if I am feeling insecure or jealous, because I place boundaries around things that matter to me. But *enforced*? They are damn well *enforced* when I am strong and confident just as much, if not MORE so than when I am feeling insecure.
26th-Sep-2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
Exactly! If I'm not feeling secure, I'm not as good at maintaining them.
26th-Sep-2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
Indeed.
25th-Sep-2012 03:50 am (UTC)
Look. I am choosing to only have the sex I want to have, and only with the people I want to have it with. I am not going to apologize for that.

Nor should you, because that is how it is done. That people say that makes you bad poly is one of the reasons I don't call myself poly.

As you may know, I am the king of happily dancing along the flirt wave with or without intent.

I am not nearly as forward as you early concerning "Do you want to have sex with me?" Part of that, I feel, is the general level of whether I feel remotely desirable. (I spend most of my life being largely invisible sexually.) But a fair amount of it also has to do with being male, I suspect. I think there's a great deal of societal pressure that comes with a man asking for sex from a woman. Way to much pressure to be "nice" and way too much expectation that a no means I will freak out/be hurt/sulk/get abusive/etc. I am not trusted to take a no well, at least not until people get to know me much better. (And even then.) Once the subject is up and being talked about, though, I'm all for lots of fun conversation about it.
25th-Sep-2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
I am not nearly as forward as you early concerning "Do you want to have sex with me?" Part of that, I feel, is the general level of whether I feel remotely desirable.

I never do! Which is why I ask in such a formal way, with a big grin; it's not all seductive because I am so not a seductive person. I am a silly person who sometimes uses cartoonish formality as a very thin shield.

But a fair amount of it also has to do with being male, I suspect. I think there's a great deal of societal pressure that comes with a man asking for sex from a woman.

Also very true.
25th-Sep-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
"I'm so not a seductive person." That made me chuckle with recognition. :) I'm sexy and approachable and cuddly and all that good stuff, but I don't think I could seduce someone even if they begged me to!

*funny* Thanks for that.

(and also, *wonderful* post)
26th-Sep-2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
Which is why I ask in such a formal way, with a big grin; it's not all seductive because I am so not a seductive person

How in the hells is "asking formally with a big grin" *not* considered seductive?
25th-Sep-2012 03:54 am (UTC)
I wanted to comment on the last one because the whole thing is absolutely wonderful. You sum up so many things very precisely how I view my poly/sex life. There are a few things that differ but you have excellent disclaimers about how it won't work for everyone. Brava!

The part about laughing in bed is the a big part for me. I think it shows that you feel secure with your sexuality. I had to learn that from a friend that just turns into a giggling mess when he orgasms. He showed me that being able to do that opens you to so many more possibilities in the bedroom.
26th-Sep-2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
I just can't take sex to seriously. I mean, the disease-prevention aspects? Serious as the grave. But sex itself, as an act? All the silly noises! There is squelching! Yeah, I laugh. :)
25th-Sep-2012 04:27 am (UTC)
I find the concept of prude shaming you to be **hilarious**, 'cause I more or less look at you as some kind of sexual superhero. I'm like, "that's 'Song, she's amazing, she can sex all the things!". I don't even know if that sentence is English, but there's my brainspew for you.

The whole concept of limitations = insecurity/jealousy is such bullshit. That may apply A LITTLE BIT to people new to poly & just opening their relationships, but mostly it seems to stem from people who've still got the poly > monogamy mentality. Feh. I've been poly for nearly half of my life now, and with the exception of when I've been with unsafe partners, (tho not realizing that until later on) my limitations/boundaries have always been about practicalities -- time, STD prevention, etc. boundaries and limitations are AWESOME - they mean that someone has taken the time to THINK about what they want and DISCUSS it with their other partners AND ME. I don't have to play a freakin guessing game! It's GREAT.

26th-Sep-2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
I more or less look at you as some kind of sexual superhero. I'm like, "that's 'Song, she's amazing, she can sex all the things!"

That just cracked me the hell up, man. :)

but mostly it seems to stem from people who've still got the poly > monogamy mentality

"But poly is superior to monogamy and monogamous people are less evolved!"

Yeahno.

26th-Sep-2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
*grin* glad I could make you smile.

As to the later, it's not so much evolution, (omg do i get tired of hearing this one, too much heinlein &fluffy whitelightism in their youths) but usually a sign that someone has consciously thought about their relationship styles, which IMO tends (TENDS, certainly not always) to a greater probability of emotional maturity. Often. Though I can decidedly think of numerous counter examples.
25th-Sep-2012 11:02 am (UTC)
While I'm interested and this was all really great stuff to read, it does suck that you had to do it in the first place.

Two quotes that come to mind, "prudes are people who won't have sex with you, sluts are people who have sex with everyone else *but* you" and from Obama, this one I heard on NPR the other day and am paraphrasing, "the things people say about me says more about them than it does about me".
25th-Sep-2012 11:17 am (UTC)
I like to laugh in bed, too. But I promise I won't point.

The whole post is great, but this line is just the icing on the icing of the cake! (It helps that I am pretty much the same way)
26th-Sep-2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Ditto. But I have had to ban spouse from muppet voices in bed. Much, much too disturbing. :)

Huh. Wait, I think I told you guys this already...
25th-Sep-2012 12:59 pm (UTC)
I'm tempted to ask WHO the hell is lack-of-slut-shaming you, so I can make sure to never get into a relationship with him or her.

And, yeah, lack-of-slut-shaming is every bit as wrong as slut-shaming, and for exactly the same reasons.
25th-Sep-2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
It's a no-win situation. You put out, you're a slut, and that's bad. You don't put out, you're a prude, and that's bad. People are weird.
25th-Sep-2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
But I have to know someone pretty well before I get sexually intimate with them.

This.

The rule of thumb I use for myself (and have recommended to others on the rare occasions my advice is asked for) is that I have to know someone well enough that I feel I can predict how they'd react to a major sex related surprise, like a pregnancy or an STD. And of course that prediction has to be a reaction I want from someone I'm involved with.

And all of that comes after realizing I'm attracted to them physically and mentally and enjoy spending time with them in general.

My list of partners (past and present) is short, but there isn't anyone on it that I regret.
25th-Sep-2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
So much "yes". So, so much.

Reading this, for me, comes on the heels of figuring out some things about how I need/want my polyamory to work. Many thinky-thoughts. Thank you for posting this.
28th-Sep-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
I am monogamous, but I LOVE to flirt. However, it's not fun anymore when people get the Wrong Idea.

I am into recreational flirting, only. it won't go anywhere. it's just FUN.
2nd-Oct-2012 12:45 am (UTC)
Yes! When everyone's on the same page, flirting is awesome.
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