Validation: A Human Need

Validation

Over this past weekend, as I was in Jacksonville to teach, a writing of mine popped back up for a spate of attention.

The Needs Hierarchy

Which, interestingly, I was going to talk about in my class that afternoon, and bring up in many classes I teach as an illustrative example.

@James-P commented on the post, about validation, and offered that validation is a basic human need. I asked questions, and the conversation went less than spectacularly, however…

He has a point.

And a good one.

In the original article I did not presume to map out any human needs or wants, as I feel that tends to be innately personal.

However, the idea of validation as a human need is worth writing about, so here I am.

Continue reading “Validation: A Human Need”

The Vulnerability And Scariness Of Pattern Interrupts

The Vulnerability And Scariness Of Pattern Interrupts

A friend reached out yesterday about pattern interrupts, because I’ve been preaching them for years, and they had an ‘Ah-ha!’ they wanted to share. They graciously gave me permission to share the conversation with you, because as we talked, I felt like they touched on parts of the pattern interrupt process that are rarely discussed, and I never thought to bring up.

But first, let’s talk about pattern interrupts.

What are they, and why might they be good?

A pattern interrupt is a technique to change a particular thought, behavior or situation. Behavioral psychology and neuro linguistic programming use this technique to interrupt and change thought patterns and behaviors.

Why a Pattern Interrupt Is Just What You Need, by Helen Roe
Continue reading “The Vulnerability And Scariness Of Pattern Interrupts”

Your ‘But’ Is Showing

Your 'But" Is Showing

Imagine you are with a kinky play partner, lounging around in the afterglow of an amazing scene and they say:

“I really appreciate you as a friend, I am glad we get to spend time together, and I especially like how your kinks and mine are so compatible…,” and then they pause and add “…BUT….”

Or someone says:

“I was really impressed with that scene you did…but…”

“That’s an amazing corset…but…”

“I like your new hairstyle…but…”

Or, one of my favorites:

“You’re right…but…”

When we use the word “but” in the middle of a sentence, it effectively negates everything that goes before it in the mind of others, and tells them the REALLY important bit is coming.

It makes that first dangly bit of words before the conjunction a sort of emotional sop that almost no one believes or takes good from.

In case you didn’t realize.

If you did, well, yay!

Spread the word.

On Gender Inclusive Language: A Request For Your Emotional Labor

On Gender Inclusive Language

CW: trans and potentially transphobic language in use.

I teach a class on anal play. It’s a great class, full of fun and laughter, and it’s a gender inclusive class, because every gender has a butthole.

But, not every body has exactly the same butthole pieces-parts.

Because some bodies have p-spots, and some have g-spots.

And these differences are important when discussing pleasure-giving to people with chocolate starfish.

Because while spear-fishing for poop sharks can be insanely good sexy times for all, the whats, wheres and hows differ on the bodies and their sexual maps.

This weekend, I’m traveling to Gettysburg, PA to Naughty Noel, and I’m presenting that class, and I’m working on The Big Book of Ass (which I’m WAYYYYY behind on, but that may be a good thing, as this writing could help make it better and more inclusive), and I want to make sure that I’m being as clear and as gender inclusive as possible.

My next book…

Which brings us to the reason for this post.

This morning, I received feedback on a recent class I gave, and the quote was:

“I appreciated the attempt to be inclusive of all gender ID’s & sexualities, but it wasn’t entirely effective. For ex: ‘people w/ prostrates’ instead of ‘male bodied people’ etc. The language was a bit bothering at times.”

First, I’d like to say “THANK YOU” to the anonymous person who wrote that, as it gives me a new place to start learning from.

I don’t want to be bothering (although I’m not sure I can be 100% not-bothering to everyone).

I do want to be inclusive, and I do want to be clear.

So, I’m asking for feedback.

I had been lead to believe (several years ago) that when speaking of specifically sexual characteristics, male-bodied and female-bodied was OK.

I read that comment, and went searching the ‘net, and I now know that those terms are considered transphobic and cissexist.

Which I don’t want to be, and don’t feel that I am.

What I am is clueless, and not from lack of trying.

Funny this should happen now, after writing just yesterday on occhiolism, and how I know very little (next to nothing) about being non-cis.

The universe has a way of driving it’s point home, I find.

So, I’m looking for ways to speak specifically about biologically sexual/physical differences in bodies and be gender inclusive.

  • People with prostates (suggested in the feedback) or Gräfenberg spots.
  • People with p-spots or g-spots.
  • P-spot havers or g-spot havers.

Of course, the same for penis-, testicle-, vagina- or clitoris-havers.

What else is right and clear? What else puts trans- or nonbinary-folk at ease and educates?

Maybe that’s all.

If so, that will have to be enough.

As a writer/educator, I’m asking so that I can lead by example when I present, and when I share on FetLife and other sites.

Communication: Conflict Resolution Protocol

Communication: Conflict Resolution Protocol

I’ve been quiet lately. My last writing just over a month ago.

My Fall has been a series of loops and WTFs I didn’t see coming, traveling to teach, flakes, and stress up the wazoo. I’m WAY behind on everything.

I’ve TRIED to keep up with my messages as I can. I have over 91 I’ve not yet read.

BUT… there were I few I worked very hard to stay on top of, and that is those from people who were in my classes over the last few months, because I said they could follow up with me with questions.

Today’s writing is inspired by one of those questions.

Continue reading “Communication: Conflict Resolution Protocol”

The Language of Survival, The Language of Trust

Language of Trust

Each of us has a language of survival that we create as we grow up. We have a language of trust as well. In some, the language of trust has a huge vocabulary, and covers many varied situations.

They/we are the lucky ones.

CW: mentions of abuse

In some, the language of survival is the strongest, most nuanced, and pervasive language they understand.

Language of Trust

This conversation clearly shows the deleterious effects of languages of survival.

And as newvagabond points out, even knowing intellectually that they are safe is not enough.

The language of trust in their head is too small to overpower the survival mechanisms they’ve developed.

And if you live and love, you will meet these people. Perhaps you are these people.

And you could, if you choose, help them create their language of trust, by offering your own to them, and being a safe space.

Here are a few ways:

  • Validate. This does not always mean saying, “you’re right,” instead showing that they have the right to feel they way they feel. This means accepting and loving them for their fears as well as for their strengths.
  • Reassure. Speak to them of your OK-ness with their concerns.
  • Offer touch. Often, touch is as compelling, sometimes more, than the words. MAKE SURE THEY CONSENT. For those for whom touch is a part of their trauma, touch without consent can make things MUCH worse.
  • Be patient. Don’t speak the words, but project the opposite. Actually be patient. We all have things to learn. You may be an expert at trust and being not-afraid. Great! Use that with them. As with any language, it may take years to become fluent in trust with you and with others… or like me and Russian, they may never get it. That’s OK, too.
  • Understand this is not personal. It’s not YOU. It’s survival reactions to past lived-experiences. Also understand that as you hold your space safe for them, you are creating a language of trust with them as well. They KNOW/HOPE they are safe with you, or they would not choose to be with you, to put themselves in harms way. Their survival brain, though, doesn’t feel it. Like when you are safe at home, and a pan drops suddenly in the kitchen,a nd you jump, because WTF!?!? and it takes a while for your heart to slow down…instinct. It’s a bitch.

Last year, I wrote a piece about communication breakdowns when partners aren’t safe. I think that’s also a good reference to read. That one is also how we can add to their language of survival, often, even, without realizing the damage we’re doing.

How do you create your language of trust with your partners?

Or… on the other side, how does your language of survival affect you and your relationships long after the original behaviors that created it have past?

What You Say Versus How You Say It…Matters

What You Say Versus How You Say It

Last year, I wrote a piece about consent. This morning, I got a comment on FetLife on that piece saying: 

“…the type of consent you’re describing:

‘Do you like when I do this? Would you like more? What if I move lower? May I touch you here?’

Would be a boring turnoff to everyone I’ve ever played with who I can think of. That’s service topping, which is fine, but plenty of people don’t want service topping.”

SirDudeTheBrutal on FetLife

The conversation has continued. You can see it in this thread, if you’re curious: https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/4759575

There is a Huge difference between:

And this:

Because HOW we speak words matters.

Now, maybe neither of those audios really do it for you, or the consent idea is not your thing.

And that’s OK. I’m not out to be appealing to everyone in the world. (I don’t have the energy to fight y’all off, anyway! LOL!)

This is really about how we communicate.

Here’s another example I’ve used before:

I’m Your Man, Michael Bublé

Versus:

I’m You Man, Bill Pritchard

I was SUPER excited when I found out Michael was releasing a version of “I’m Your Man,” because I LOVED Bill Pritchard’s version from “I’m Your Fan.”

Unfortunately, I found Michael’s version felt whiny and entitled to me, while Bill Pritchard’s version feels like surrender from a place of strength…

Same words.

Different ways of saying them.

What you say matters.

How you say it also matters.

Writing A Great Rejection In Four Easy Steps (And Two Are Optional!)

A cartoon girl holding hands out in front of herself, with an angry look of rejection.

Well, if any rejection can be great.

Maybe the title should be, “Writing A Rejection That Doesn’t Sting Any More Than It Has To To Get The Point Across In  Four Easy Steps (And Two Are Optional!),” but that’s reallllllly long, so I’mma stick with what I have.

I wrote a bit about rejection in my upcoming book, Dating Kinky.

Because, of course, rejection is a part of dating, and knowing how to both give it and take it more effectively makes dating sooooo much more pleasant.

You have a right to reject anyone for any reason.

Period.

Full stop.

Your life. Your rules. Continue reading “Writing A Great Rejection In Four Easy Steps (And Two Are Optional!)”

Ask Your Friends When They Want You To Lie To Them

The words: Ask Culture V. Guess Culture

Have you ever done this?

I mean, in kink, we ask near-strangers which pronouns they want us to use, or what gets them off, but the things we assume FAR outweigh the things we get concrete information for.

On my calendar for today was a topic about “Ask” versus “Guess” cultural behavior, and as I followed my referenced links (one of my own and one to a comment on a writing that had, in turn been linked to in a comment on one of my writings), I was reminded of a conversation I was having yesterday.

Continue reading “Ask Your Friends When They Want You To Lie To Them”

The Missed Benefits Of Argument…

Two men arguing.

I feel like people have lost the art of argument.

Or maybe many just never had it at all.

It’s not about convincing others or forcing them to your will, for me. Never has been.

Sometimes, it’s about being there for those who are watching, especially online.

But for me, a lot of the time argument/discussion helps me figure out if my opinions are any good.

If I can defend my thoughts, back them up, support them, counter others’ points… then I have a clue that it’s well thought out and possibly accurate.

So many people consider any disagreement with their opinions as some sort of personal attack or offense, instead of a valuable service provided free of charge by the world to help them become better people.

I tell people all the time that I LOVE when people disagree with me, as it allows me to see new ways of thinking, believing and understanding the world (even when I think they are wrong). It makes me a better person for knowing and makes my own arguments (for myself and with others) stronger.

Just some food for thought this morning.

Do you welcome arguments as a way to grow? Or do you avoid them or take offense?