Just One Of those Things—The Ethics Of Hope & Denial

A friend of mine that enjoys challenging me with writing topics sent me this, and I’ve been mulling it over a while.

I have a friend. When he starts dating someone, they are literally engaged to be married by the third date. Yet he has never been married, these relationships always fall apart before that happens. His friends point out that perhaps he should take things slower; he is unmoved, and says he has to be all in.

I don’t know him to be kinky, but in kink terms he has a fetish for falling in love. To make that work, clearly he has to tell himself that things will be different this time every time he starts a relationship. Basically he has to lie to himself. People lie to themselves all the time, so that in itself isn’t so shocking. The problem of course is by extension he has to lie to his partner.

My question for you is this. How many times can he have an engagement fall apart before it becomes unethical to put another person in this situation? How many times can a person get divorced before it becomes unethical to promise to be with someone forever? How many times can you cheat on someone before it becomes unethical to make commitments of monogamy?

I don’t know the answer to those questions. Believing things can be different is the definition of hope. Believing you can do the same thing and get different results is the definition of stupidity.

I had to think on this for while.

Because ethics in this case are dependent on whether the person in question (repeating patterns over and over) is self-aware enough to realize they are heading down the same path again.

Do they sincerely hope and quite possibly believe that THIS TIME will be different?

And if not, the ethics can be quite convoluted.

It’s my position that as long as this person is 100% honest (and that means honest as they can be, considering the force of their denial) with their new partners, they are being ethical.

Thing is, no matter how ethical they are, people can be hurt.

Which is why I suggest that everyone take their time and get to know people, even if it feels fuckballs amazing right from the get go.

Ask questions about previous relationships.

Not because you think your relationship will be the same. All relationships have the potential to be unique and different.

But for two reasons:

  1. To spot patterns from previous relationships when they start to happen with you.
  2. To learn how they have processed and grown from the previous relationships in how they talk about them and in how they interact with you.

And maybe one more reason:

  1. To determine whether the person who has these sorts of issues is one you want to continue building a relationship with.

That last one may get me some flak, and I’m ready for it.

EVERYONE has a right to choose who they want to engage with, and that includes people with specific past relationship issue that they may have been hurt by before, or that they just don’t feel they are compatible with.

I always think it’s a good idea to ask these questions BEFORE you have gotten in too deep.

But that’s me.

And I could be wrong.

On all of this.

What do you think?

Do you think that anyone can be ethically held accountable for things they may not even be aware of themselves? For how their relationship patterns play out (assuming no actual abuse), or the things they have denied as issues?

I bet you can come up with examples that would be “yeses.”

I bet you can also see where there are many examples where the answer is a resounding “no.”

I look forward to your thoughts.

“Others Have It Worse…”

That.

Never.*

Helps.

Someone once said to me:

“She doesn’t have it as bad as she makes out. A lot of people have it a lot worse.”

“A lot of people have it a lot worse.” is a crappy thing to say or think to anyone except yourself. Because everyone has a different level of strength and tolerance, different levels of ability to deal.

And when you’re in the middle of your own situation, your own overwhelm, it’s bad enough, whether others might be starving or beat up, or whatever…YOU are still in pain. Now.

And someone saying that to you… well, it’s shitty.

Saying it to yourself to put things in perspective, sure. That’s OK. As long as you don’t beat yourself up with it. It’s a perspective tool, not a specialized bat designed to knock the feels out of you.

And as they say:

“Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else may have it better.”

For example, I’m ASPD. For me, it’s MUCH more difficult than many to connect with people, because I was born without the usual capacity empathy. It’s something I had to learn, and I’ve had to cultivate compassion every day of my life.

My Pet, however, connects naturally. It comes effortlessly to him.

On the other hand, I am more intellectual than he is. And better with technology and willpower.

So, we could compare our challenges all day long, saying that I have it worse, or he does, or someone else. But that still leaves us with our own challenges that can seem overwhelming sometimes—even when we’ve been through worse ourselves.

So, perhaps better to help lift our friends when we can, give them the support and love we can, and not compare them with others.

Just a thought.

*smiles*

* Sure, I’m sure someone will have that anecdote about another person saying to them, “At least you’re not starving, chased by a rebel army, and shot in the gut like I was back in ’63,” and it waking them up to exactly how good they have it now that their wife left them with their truck and their dog died—all on their birthday. That’s statistically irrelevant for the purposes of this post.

“Hi! I’m Nookie. My Pronouns Are She/Hers.”

It’s that simple to put people at ease. In just a few words, you can offer someone the opening to tell you about themselves and their gender identity in a (presumably) safe way.

On December 4 of last year, I responded to someone asking a question about pronouns:

@The_Dom_Father Just ask. It’s simple.

“Hi! What’s your name, and what are your preferred pronouns?”

And I was told (the information had not yet made it to me) that asking after “preferred” pronouns suggests that they are not “real” or “true” pronouns.

And it was suggested that we also offer our own.

I admit, it’s a habit I’m still getting into. I’m one of those people who have a hard time creating new habits, so it takes a lot of conscious effort for me.

Especially when, as in this case, I have the privilege of there being no major consequences to me when I forget or slip up.

But I still work on it.

Because I like the feeling of offering people the safe space of my company by showing them in a few words that their gender (whatever it is) is welcome in conversation with me.

Oh, I know that many of you think this is utter BS. Far too many people in the world thick the Earth is flat for my tastes. But you know what? That’s your choice.

It’s just a shitty choice that erases other human beings.

My choice is to not only not erase people, but honor us in all our wonderful variety.

The Value Of A Single Thought And A Small Possibility

This weekend, I was at a costume party, in conversation with some friends, when one said (I’m paraphrasing), “I don’t always agree with what you write, I often don’t. You do make me think, though.”

I replied that that’s all I want from any writing I post. Is that people stop and think. That whether they agree or disagree, that it’s done with thought, with intention, not simply progressing habitually.

I never discount the value of a single thought or a small possibility.

Not that I’m saying the majority of people (who are not already living or trying to live whatever topic I’m writing about) will immediately change their ways. I’m not.

After all, I haven’t convinced many of the people I’ve sparred with in comments over the years.

However, my writings become thoughts for everyone who reads them.

For some (very few, maybe one), a writing will be a BIG MOOD, and they will mull it over and think it through and begin to practice the skill or the action I offer, a single read moving them from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence.

(Four Stages of Competence)

Of course, that’s just an ideal.

For more, though, it’s simply a step from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence.

They now have an idea of something they have not been practicing. They know it is there.

An idea.

A way of thinking.

Many will not be able to help noticing others living in the same way, or possibly in exactly the opposite way, and that will, in turn, shed a small light on their own lives.

MOST readers will forget it. Maybe forever.

Some will forget, but it will work in the back of their minds and pop back up at a better time in the future.

But that’s all it takes to change a life, sometimes.

A single thought. A very real, however small, possibility.

Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

I Teach That Communication Is Not The Words You Say, But Every Action, Every Moment Until The End of Time

Back in April, I wrote That ONE Thing You Didn’t Do, which sparked some good debate from both sides, in agreement and against.

After all, who hasn’t known the pain of giving something that was not at all appreciated, and who hasn’t also had people give them things they didn’t want, and say they were ungrateful?

I think we’ve all been in both pairs of shoes.

@UnicornHusbandry said something perfectly in a comment, that I’d like to share and expound upon.

It should be a lot more simple than it is. The issue seems almost childish. But it’s such a common problem in relationships, isn’t it?

What we give to another person, in time, affection or gifts, all indicates who we believe them to be. Do we see them as our property? Do we see them as our student or child who must be instructed? Do we see them as our parent who must offer us unlimited support and affection?

For example, big-scary-thing-in-life happens. How do you treat your partner?

  • Command them in what to do? (property)
  • Give them ideas and suggestions and teach them? (student or child)
  • Cower behind them and expect them to save us? (parent)
  • Offer support and say, “I know you’ve got this, and I’m here, always, if you need or want anything.” (capable adult)

How we engage with others communicates clearly how we view them.

Over time.

I wrote this in 2014: How Do I Say…?

It still guides my relationship with my Pet every moment.

It still guides me in my relationships throughout my life.

It’s a reminder that showing appreciation for those around me is not a once in a while thing, but an ongoing series of actions from now until the end of time.

Which written out like that, seems pretty heavy.

Like those ads that we see around Christmas about not getting a puppy as a present. A relationship may be a lifetime commitment—every moment of every day.

Of course, there are many relationships: friends, lovers, children, bosses, coworkers.

And we communicate with all of them with our actions.

And when we act unthinkingly with those around us, we communicate that we are not thinking of them.

When we treat people as we see them…

We may be communicating that we see them more clearly than anyone—or that we don’t see them at all.

Sure, there are days when I am distracted, and I don’t pay the people around me as much attention as they may want.

I’m human.

However, over time, my people know I’m here for them, in nearly anything, from needing an ear for a rant, to being the place they flee to when their latest relationship ends and they have no place to live that isn’t full of broken hearts.

And that’s what I want to communicate to them. So, I make sure I AM there for them, because that’s the best way to make that clear.

Seems simple, right?

Then why do we so often get it wrong?

The Arc Of An Online Relationship In 9 Hours

22 hours ago:

Thank you for accepting my friend request.

Did you write these books?

21 hours ago:

Hi there. I took a look at “Dating Kinky.” It’s a good web site. I own a marketing company, so I know good work when I see it. Nice work!

18 hours ago:

Thank you for accepting my friend request. I am looking forward to reading your kinky books.

14 hours ago:

Hi There. Do you ever come to Washington? I see on your profile you belong to a DC BDSM group.

Hi again. Do you still want to chat?

are you there?

13 hours ago:

I said you have a sexy tummy and cute panties

Hi There Again. Thank you for accepting my friend requests. I have had a look at your books. It’s a cool web site.

when is your next book coming out?

did you read my profile? You can learn some things about me there.

12 hours ago:

Hi. I give up. Good bye.

You can’t respond to this conversation because UserName has deactivated their account, you’ve blocked them, or they’ve blocked you.

These messages came in multiple threads over 9 hours. In the middle of a weekday.

Continue reading “The Arc Of An Online Relationship In 9 Hours”

Polyamory: Respect & Metamours—A Question

“How do you gain respect from those who are courting your partner? Kinda done being treated like a speed bump on the way to my spouse.

Asking an outside party because I am done bugging him about it.

Thanks.”

You don’t worry about it. They will or won’t, eventually. Although how they see your partner treat you matters.

It’s up to your partner to determine whether they are OK with people who don’t respect you being in their life.

And how your partner treats you.

Image by 1388843 from Pixabay

Oops! I Did It (Lied) Again!

You’re welcome for the earworm.

smiles

I don’t lie. Or, at least, I try not to. After all, I’ve been a liar in my life, and I’ve found that the truth, even when it sucks, leads me to living a better life.

So, when I lie, even unintentionally, I need to call myself on my bullshit.

That’s what I’m doing here.

My lie: I respond to every message I get.

It used to be true.

It still is my intention.

But it’s not the actual truth, and I know this because I have right now 280 social media messages I’ve not yet responded to.

One year ago, I cleared my inbox every day, and was horrified at the idea of having outstanding contacts.

I fell behind.

And this is WITH connecting with/answering dozens of people every day, I am still behind. And I’m struggling with the person I feel I am (answers my messages) and that reality (hasn’t answered 280 messages, probably 281 by now).

I’m not posting this with any sort of meta message. Or for pity or sympathy. Maybe for a bit of empathy…

Because we all know people who lie not because they mean to, but because they can’t keep up with their promises or because their hope is greater than their abilities.

Maybe you are one of us as well, sometimes, in some ways.

  • Maybe you promised to spend more time with your partner, but work is crushing you.
  • Maybe you told yourself that this time, this relationship would be different.
  • Maybe you assured someone that the work would get done on time.

So, I’mma be kind to myself and create a plan to tackle my lie.

Now that I’ve called me out on my bullshit.

If you have something you’re not doing or haven’t done that you said you would/could, feel free to join me.

Feel free to self-identify and share, if you’d like. Feel free to make a plan, and work it.

Or not.

This is really about me and what I have to do to live up to the me standards I set for myself.

Healthy Boundaries: Understanding Rejection

Last night, I was at the slosh with a friend of mine. We were talking with someone I’d just met about all manner of random shit, and the topic of my writing came up.

I mentioned that I’d written about this friend of mine. That I’d referred to him as my crush. I actually referred to our conversation, and said that I was “twitterpated.”

Touch Is Not My Love Language, But It Is My Core

Anyway, the conversation turned to how cute it was that I was crushing on my friend, and I played along saying that he was my crush, and that he’d broken my heart by dropping contact with me like a hot potato for reasons of his own, and there was some joshing about how OK with it I was.

So, when today’s topic popped up on my calendar, I was immediately reminded of that conversation.

You see, I enjoy crushing. Even when it’s not going to be returned. I enjoy the feelings of FEELING twitterpated, gobsmacked, smitten, love struck, keen, entranced and infatuated.

And sure, sometimes it’s with people who will never return the favor.

I’m OK with that.

As I said last night, it’s not about them, it’s about me, and enjoying who I am and what I like.

And really, I KNOW there are people out there who crush on me that I will not return the favor for. And so one.

AND, really, if I crushed only on people who conformed to my will, I’d not be crushing on THEM so much as crushing on their ability to give me things and feelings, which is kinda ick.

How does this have anything to do with healthy boundaries?

People with healthy boundaries enjoy and respect their own thoughts and feelings, and give themselves space to experience them.

This may be like in my example, loving the feelings of being bewitched by an amazing person. Or, it may be recognizing and honoring their anger or jealousy, and listening to what it’s telling them. It may be sitting quietly with their need for some time alone, even if they don’t know exactly why they need it.

Too Hard Boundaries In Rejection

In contrast, people with rigid boundaries will keep other at a distance to avoid feeling things that they don’t want to feel.

Like rejection. Or sadness. Or even happiness, because they know the “other shoe is gonna drop,” and they don’t want that in their lives.

You’ll see a lot of this online especially, by people who put a lot of time and effort into being mean and nasty for seemingly no reason. They’ve already decided it’s better to go on the offensive and keep people away than risk rejection and hurt.

Too Soft Boundaries In Rejection

And people with soft boundaries go the opposite way, and cleave to others, trying to avoid their own feelings and needs, so that they are not rejected by others for being themselves.

They tend to not speak up a lot with their own opinions, in fact, they mostly stay quiet, except in support/mimicry of the people whose approval they crave. They will give up their own time and space and needs for others over and over, and will eventually feel used and taken advantage of—even when they made those choices for themselves.

What are your thoughts?

Do you see yourself in any of these examples?

None of us are perfectly balanced in everything. We may find that we are mostly healthy with our boundaries, while still feeling a bit of “oof” from one of the imbalances. Maybe even both, sometimes.

What’s been your experience?

Image by Lisa Redfern from Pixabay

Sneaky Needs

He’s fucking sexy, this new guy. Reminds me of Warrick Brown from the original CSI (RAWR!), except instead of greenish grey eyes, his are bluish grey, and delightfully wicked.

We were having tea on Saturday. A spontaneous thing. I had some time, and I asked him (on Tinder) would he like to meet.

A bit more than two hours of conversation ensued.

And during that conversation, I asked him what he was looking for on Tinder (always a moment of truth), and I looked him in the eyes.

He looked away, looked back, laughed a bit (not nervously, more self-deprecatingly, as I interpreted it), and said:

“Well, I like to fuck.”

If my panties didn’t fall to the ground in that instant, it’s only because my jeans were in the way.

Not because of the fucking. After at least 90 minutes of discussing sex and kink and whatever came to mind, I “knew” him as a sexual being.

It was that he told his truth. Simply. Clearly. Without shame.

He said what he wanted, and he owned it.

Which makes it so much easier to respond to, negotiate, and fulfill. Or not.

I’ve written about Nice Guys/Girls (NGs) before, and covert contracts.

NGs’ real crime is not that they have needs, but that they are so afraid of their needs that they are super sneaky about them—even to themselves.

NGs try to force everyone to guess what they want in return for “being nice,” for listening, for that steak dinner—as if these things are commodities for trade, which is another thing they make us guess at—and thereby make themselves impossible to please, because no one is a mind reader.

And sure, I’m guessing saying that you’re on Tinder to fuck will get more than a few “Nos,” but the “Yeses” you get will be 100% authentic, because there is no guessing what’s up.

It’s right there, clear as day, and up for negotiation.

Which is sexy AF.

Anyone disagree?