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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Okay more poly/relationship thoughts! 
26th-Sep-2012 02:10 pm
Figuring shit out
Through this stressful time, there have been a lot of conversations; everyone in my relationship dynamic processes things by talking a lot, so there are multi-hour processing sessions, and by the end of them we are exhausted and punchy. So punchy that we collapse into hysterical laughter at every successive epiphany.

Like, one issue has been that, in this touchy-feely crowd, Judah gets groped a lot. Sometimes this is fine - there are people we have that kind of friendship with. Sometimes it's not; usually when it's not, it's a respect issue.

Another thing I can't believe I have to spell out sometimes: Show respect for the partners of the people you want to get in bed. If you don't show me respect, good luck making time with Judah. If you don't show Adam and Judah respect, I really won't even give you the time of day.

What do I mean by "show respect"? Don't worry, this is not a Godfather thing. There are no rituals of supplication. It's basic human decency. If, say, you wedge yourself between me and my partner, turning your back to me to indicate that I am out of this conversation, and do your flirty hair-flipping feeling-up thing to my partner - I think we can all agree that that is not respectful.

Yes, this has happened. Do not be that person. I'm trying to steer clear of generalizing in these post, but I really feel like that is pretty universal! Do not be rude! Like, to anyone, but especially not to the beloved partner of the person you're trying to get in bed. I really can't see how that's a good idea.

A side note on this: I want to be friendly with my partners' partners. We don't have to be best friends. We don't even have to hang out on our own. But for the health of everyone, we should get along. Like, it shouldn't be awkward and territorial for us to all be at the same party. Our personal ideal is that we all carpool to the party and have a blast. (Our true ideal is that then my partner's partner comes home with us. And also that I get to play. Look, I'm bi, Judah and I are interested in a lot of the same types of people, we already know we like sharing. This part isn't a necessity, so if, when we open up, you are interested in Judah and not me, don't let that keep you from expressing interest. I'm just as happy to have friends. Judah feels the same re: people being interested exclusively in me.)

So anyway. Judah gets groped a lot. Sometimes Judah gets groped and hit on by people who do the ignoring-thing or who are just hyperaggressive in their attentions. Based on that or on past experience with said people, I will tell Judah that that one's a lion, or that I'm getting some kind of red flag on their behavior, or that that one is Cuckoo Poly.

(I think I got the term Cuckoo Poly from felisdemens? It is a very specific thing in which the new partner immediately does everything they can to push all of their target's other partners out of the nest.)

(I am full of animal slang, it seems!)

An unfortunate byproduct of this is that Judah has been feeling like he is a lion magnet. That only lions are into him. I have tried time and again to reassure him that this is so not the case, that there are many women who are totally interested in him. It's just that, like me, they don't hump people within five minutes of meeting them. They are getting to know him and will express interest at some point. It only seems like he only attracts lions because it does take most people more than five minutes to take action. We haven't been out and about much, so people getting to know him has been a slow process.

So, shortly after he had an epiphany that had him cracking up, I was in the middle of trying to communicate this to him again, and I started cracking up. "What?" he said. "WHAT?"

"Oh, Judah! The reason only lions are humping you? Is because only lions don't respect boundaries. We are closed! That is why the decent people haven't been all up on you! They're respecting our boundaries!"

Oh, finally! Finally he really realized it.

So really, to reassure him, I would love to find some way of making it cool for people to express interest in him. Without actually formally opening the relationship, because we can't handle that many people jumping on his dick simultaneously. Seriously, we don't want any injuries. But I think it would help him to know that he is found attractive by people who don't have giant neon red flags dancing over their heads.

You can, by the way, always let us know that you're interested. As I said here a while ago, it takes me a while to shift into seeing someone as a dating option, so letting me know well in advance that you have an interest is good for me; it means that when we do open up, I'll have pondered my options in advance. Just, y'know, tell us once. If you tell me every damn week, I will feel a bit harangued. And please do not tell either of us with a tongue down our throats. USE YOUR WORDS. (Yes, both of these things have happened. And surprise kisses are doubleplusungood for me because if you've eaten gluten recently, you will get me sick!)

I do hope that I'm making sense. Poor sleep lately due to stress, and my grandmother had to be taken to the ER last night; the cancer is obstructing her bowels. Waiting for more news on that. Writing these posts has been very cathartic for me in purging the situation from this weekend and other related annoyances, and it's also a good distraction from the situation with my grandmother. It's good for me to do them, and I thank those of you who've said that they've helped.
Comments 
26th-Sep-2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
It's GOOD that you all talk this over and also that you put it out there. No room for misunderstanding or excuses on the part of the public. Comfort and assurance for yourselves.
26th-Sep-2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
I'm all about removing plausible deniability!
26th-Sep-2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
It's really quite odd how well timed these posts are for my personal life. Thank you for sharing!

And coming from someone who lives nowhere near you, and therefore will never actually meet Judah, I'll share my unbiased opinion that he is indeed gorgeous :)

Thoughts and prayers for you and your grandmother!
26th-Sep-2012 06:28 pm (UTC)
Glad they're helping!

He really is stunningly gorgeous, but he really hasn't wrapped his head around that yet. Long awkward phase in high school and college, and he didn't really find His People til he came to Boston.

Thank you re: Grandma.
26th-Sep-2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
These posts have been excellent and have helped me see my own flavor of poly more clearly. One thing that I know about my boyfriend is that he is oblivious to most flirting (as in when we first started dating he couldn't get that I found him sexy and wanted to have sex with him even after I said so directly). I now point out flirting to him without the flirtee being aware of it and it seems to help. Plus I really enjoy watching his eyes grow wider and the jaw drop when it's someone he thinks is hot but out of his league. We're working on self confidence issues endlessly as we both have them.
26th-Sep-2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Judah is often comically oblivious to it as well. So many times I've said "No, really, she is interested in you!" I have at times recruited friends to corroborate my claims!
(Deleted comment)
26th-Sep-2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
I will happily express that while I have zero interest in having sex with either of you (being a happily married monogamous sort), Judah is a very handsome young man, who definitely has a lot of sex appeal which is very evident in the videos and pics I've seen of him, and were I an entirely different person I'd totally and completely be interested in having sex with him. :P So pass that along to plump his ego a bit. LOL!
26th-Sep-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
Oh my. I didn't read to the end of the post. Good thoughts to your family and for you grandma. <3
26th-Sep-2012 06:43 pm (UTC) - Er ... yeah, no.
I'm sorry to hear that Judah's running into that problem. But yeah, no interest in him that way, he's more a little brother type friend.

Adam is another subject altogether but I always try to respect the fact he is monogamous.
26th-Sep-2012 06:48 pm (UTC) - Re: Er ... yeah, no.
But yeah, no interest in him that way, he's more a little brother type friend.

Oh, we know. :) And you're like a sister-type friend to him. Also good and valuable!

Adam is also extremely wonderful. :)
26th-Sep-2012 06:45 pm (UTC) - On another note
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope the resolution is as painless as possible.
26th-Sep-2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
I have to admit to being inordinately interested in some of Judah's inventions, but I shall try to express that in a more seemly fashion when I have teh monies.

Not sure where that falls on the whole Poly spectrum thing however *Grin*
26th-Sep-2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
Having a crush on his designer-brain is also nifty!
26th-Sep-2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
What do I mean by "show respect"? Don't worry, this is not a Godfather thing. There are no rituals of supplication

Damn. I like ritual. :)
26th-Sep-2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
A side note on this: I want to be friendly with my partners' partners. We don't have to be best friends. We don't even have to hang out on our own. But for the health of everyone, we should get along. Like, it shouldn't be awkward and territorial for us to all be at the same party.

Oh, hello my relationship from 2004-2006. *sigh*
26th-Sep-2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Living in Maryland I have only seen photos of Judah, but you can tell him that from what I've seen he seems very attractive - very pretty hair. I also think it's kind of hot that he designs and builds things.

I'm in a monogamous relationship and and will likely not be making it up to Boston any time soon, so this is purely an appreciation :)

On a more sober note, I'm sorry to hear your grandmother continues to fare worse, and so quickly. Continued good thoughts for you all.
26th-Sep-2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
This is solid stuff and I've really enjoyed reading your writings on this topic. It's useful not just 'cause I can hear about your perspective on polyamory and know what your situation is, it's also a nice reminder to reflect on my own perspective/position.

Since I haven't said it in quite some time, I do still have a crush on you. Like you, however, I am not in a good place to be a serious emotional partner to a new person, even if that were on the table.

As for Judah, I don't think he's my type, but now that I think about it, that might just be the facial hair! XD
26th-Sep-2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
I'm constantly amazed that certain people feel it's appropriate to "grope". On the other hand, because certain people respect boundaries, it's easy to feel unattractive. Since I haven't met either you or your beaus, I can't comment on the physical attractiveness, but from some of the posts I've read, if I do I'll be infatuated. (LC and I crush on smart people!)
26th-Sep-2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
My thoughts are with you and your Grandmother.
26th-Sep-2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
This is less an expression of interest than appreciation, but it seemed like an opportunity place to express it.

I first encountered you when you posted a photograph of yourself in one of theferrett's birthday request threads. (I think that was the occasion. It was a artistic nude, in front of a fireplace, and it was, quite honestly, breathtaking.

I checked out your LJ, and after reading several of your posts, decided you were someone to follow. Since then, your words have often delighted and inspired me, and I'm so glad that I clicked through and discovered you.

The photo was added to my archive of such photography, and it pops up from time to time in my screensaver. It remains breathtaking.

Just thought you'd like to know.
26th-Sep-2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Yep, I am responsible for that one. This is an interesting series!

Best to your grandmother.
27th-Sep-2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
26th-Sep-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
First, only having casually meet Judah at a few cons, he's a total ball of cute, thoughtful, soulfulness. His hair is obvious, his eyes are not… and they're deep. He is, however it must be said, a late bloomer. You can tell him from me (51) that for him life only gets better from here on out. Try to say that to the high school football quarterback at your next reunion; early bloomers are done in their 20s.

The whole set of stuff you're writing could be a users guide to the poly geek relationship disclosure form (PGRDF) ~ look it up if you're unfamiliar. If you ever want a casual project that would help the poly community this would be it…</p>

I'm glad you visited your grandmother. I know it was hard being in The Land of the Boundary-less, but letting her know you care is the best gift you can give. I'm sorry she's nearing the end of the mortal journey's end, but we're all on the same train. It is one reason I keep a Momento Mori on my desk. Alas, poor Yorick. (virtual non-invasive emotionally supportive non-tickling hug-like thoughts)

26th-Sep-2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Listing the signs of lionhood that I should have paid attention to in my failed relationship:

1) Hitting on me even though she and her husband had already discussed the possibility and dismissed it due to her insecurity issues, and then conveniently forgetting that she'd already had that discussion when I brought up the possibility of a relationship after she hit on me.
2) Telling me she keeps messing up relationships by pushing boundaries and being insecure.
3) Telling me that in her darker moments, she keeps thinking of ways to manipulate the situation to be as awful as possible.
4) Not letting me know when she was being triggered, much less talking to me about it, but being extremely affectionate when things were good.
5) Telling me that she was so insecure and upset one night, her husband offered to stop talking to me.
6) After breaking things off because she didn't like her husband paying attention to me and not her, telling me that it was probably better because she had started being so intimate with me that she was starting to feel like she was unfaithful to her husband.
7) Her requesting that we not tell anyone in our social group about what was going on until it became something official.
8) When I finally asked her why she hit on me when she'd already had that conversation with her husband, she told me, "I wanted what I wanted."
9) Her hitting on me indirectly and through subtext, rather than coming out and having a discussion.

...

So, in my defense, I was really in love. And I can't recall any warning signs of lionhood before I brought up the possibility of a relationship, at which point I was pretty much wrapped around both of their little fingers. I'm not going to say I didn't make any mistakes.

But right now I'm looking at this list and wondering what the hell I was thinking.
26th-Sep-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
So I have a question kind of (but I think not really) on topic, but it's rather personal and I'd like permission before I ask it.

Yes I know that was weirdly worded; I can't do any better, other than to say I'd love if you'd do an "ask me anything" post.
26th-Sep-2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Being monogamous (albeit single) and straight, this is all strictly theoretical, but I think you're both perfectly attractive people, physically and psychically. Does that make sense?

Sending good thoughts to you, and to your grandmother that her passing be peaceful...
27th-Sep-2012 12:00 am (UTC)
I'm glad you were able to explain the otherwise-mysterious preponderance of lions to Judah!

My best wishes to your grandmother, and strength to you.
27th-Sep-2012 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh, also? I don't live anywhere near you, never met either of you, am in a happy monogamous relationship and would respect your closed relationship even if all those things weren't true, but from pics I have seen, I think you're both very attractive.
27th-Sep-2012 02:55 am (UTC)
I am thoroughly pegged over at Kinsey 7 or so, but even I can tell that Judah is a very aesthetically-pleasing man for them as may like that sort of thing. And I don't tend to hug men I don't know, but I was totally fine getting a hug from him at WisCon, so he certainly pings positively on the gut-instinct scale. If that means anything. :}

And OMG thank you and felisdemens for "Cuckoo Poly". It is the PERFECT phrase to describe a relationship we were in some years ago.

Best thoughts to you and your grandmother, and great hopes that her illness after this is as pain-free as medical science can make it.
(Deleted comment)
27th-Sep-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
Well, the streak of these posts impressing me continues. You seem to do poly very much like I'd like to do poly if I ever get the chance to do poly. heh
28th-Sep-2012 01:12 am (UTC)
(raises hand)

So, speaking as one who isn't poly but is cool with the idea, and apparently isn't as familiar with poly slang as he thought, and is also a little concerned about how his younger brother is doing...

What's a "Lion" in this context?

28th-Sep-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
It was defined a couple of posts ago: http://shadesong.livejournal.com/4411009.html

This is not lack of familiarity with poly slang; this was just me-and-Judah slang. :)

(Shit went down but things are okay. It was the kind of shit where the epic nature of it was actually a really good thing, because it led to so much productive discussion. Actually ended up relieving a lot of low- to mid-grade stressors that had been building up over these massively hectic few months. Hence me finally talking about all of these things that had been on the back burner...and I'm talking so much because people are finding it helpful.)
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