Forgiving, In Order To Be Forgiven

A friend of mine sent me this writing prompt to ponder:

I think everyone agrees that it’s bad to hold onto past hurts, and bring them up in arguments years later. But how about if you flip it around?

I remember my dad telling me once, after my mother did something that annoyed him, that you don’t want to be too hard on your spouse, because some day you’re going to be the one in the wrong. It stuck with me. I always try to be gracious when people fuck things up (or even fuck me over) because I hope they will be gracious with me when the situation is flipped.

So my question for you, is are those things different? Is expecting someone to be forgiving because you were forgiving, different than hanging onto hurts from the past?

I reacted to this when I read it, but I wasn’t sure exactly what my reaction was, so I sat on it a bit.

And today, much sooner than I expected, I have an answer—or at least something I can start to answer with.

Yes, it is different, I believe. Not just because the immediate results are different, but because of the intention.

That said, there is a potential shadiness in this that I think my friend was catching on to that was likely not at all intended by his father.

It’s worth exploring.

To me, forgiving to be forgiven is a form of covert contract:

The I-was-so-forgiving-therefore-you-need-to-recognize form of covert contract.

UNLESS it’s spoken. Aloud. Clearly. And agreed to.

Let me explain.

I think we can all agree that buying someone dinner in the expectations that it will lead to sex without negotiating that is a covert contract and pretty gross.

In the same vein, so is forgiving someone now to use as a get out of jail free card in the future.

Both are trading something for something else without the agreement of both parties.

If we flip this, though, it’s OK: “I’m forgiving you, and really, barely even need to do that, because you’ve always been so understanding when I’ve made boneheaded moves…”

THAT is always OK.

But that is coming from a place of thanks and gratitude, rather than from a place of expectation.

Or, even, “I forgive you. I mean, I’ve done enough boneheaded shit in my life that I get it. I certainly hope that when I’m an idiot, you’ll also forgive me, deal?”

Which is a good option, but not a great one.

Because this may be a boneheaded move to you, but what you want forgiveness for in the future may feel like more than that, and you’re deposits into the forgiveness account may not be enough. If that happens, will you then be entitled? Or feel OK?

I can’t answer that for you. You may not be able to answer that for yourself, until it happens.

That’s why I suggest living a No Regrets philosophy, and choosing your actions at any time by what is right for you NOW, not what you hope to get out of your decision.

What are your thoughts?

I could be way off base here. I don’t think I am, obviously. However, I’m still testing this thought process, and I’m open to your thoughts and ideas about what I’m getting right (if anything) or wrong (also if anything).

I ONLY Say “No,” Because You Don’t Give Me Something Worth Saying “FUCK Yeah!” To.

I wrote in February about rejecting actions online, not YOU as a person. After all, I don’t know you as a person. i just know how you behave in your interactions with me.

@Grafinya said:

“women saying NO so often is simply because we aren’t being offered something worth saying yes to.”

THIS.

Exactly this.

Continue reading “I ONLY Say “No,” Because You Don’t Give Me Something Worth Saying “FUCK Yeah!” To.”

Poly Is Not Less (Poly Is Not, Part XVIII)

Not inherently so, anyway.

Let me explain.

Also, before I explain, let me say that I am not proselytizing. I have no desire to convert you to the cult of poly. IDGAF if you are poly or mono or decidedly alone. I post these “Poly Is Not” writings to combat some group-think and stereotypes that often hold little basis in reality. If you are completely unwilling to share a partner’s sexuality and love, that’s fine. You do you.

Ok, that all said, let me say clearly: Poly is not necessarily less of someone than monogamy.

Because in polyamory or monogamy, you could be with a partner who you adore in every way. Who is responsive to you, who meshes with you wonderfully in non-sexual ways.

They could be naturally monogamous, and not open to other options.

You could have the same partner, who is open to sharing, and enjoying time with others.

In either case, you could ruin the potential because you would “want more,” rather than enjoying what you and they have, and taking pleasure as it comes to you.

Which, is, of course your right. Especially if you are monogamous.

Continue reading “Poly Is Not Less (Poly Is Not, Part XVIII)”

Lies Of Omission And Lies Of Temporary Truth

In 2016, I pissed a metric fuckton of kinksters off with this writing:

Why Lying Is Submissive Behavior

While people made some good points about why I’m wrong, I still stand by what I wrote, and continue to discuss it when it’s an appropriate topic for conversation.

I also posted it in the Masterful Lover forums I’ve been a member of since 2007, and today, a new member found it, and asked the following:

To what extent does the “circle of lies” fall, which IF I understand correctly, includes not volunteering information?

Which got me going about lies and types of lies and some thoughts I’d not yet put into words.

1. OF COURSE we don’t tell everyone everything all of the time. That would be ridiculous.

I’m a very open person. The opposite of many, in that I am willing to share about 80% of my life with anyone who asks, and that left over 20% of me is incredibly private.

Most people are more wary, and the opposite. Sharing 20% of surface or superficial details, and keeping that 80% back.

In either case, though, it’s the same situation: You share whatever level you feel comfortable with whomever has earned that level of sharing by also sharing with you and by receiving your shares in a way you feel appropriate.

AND, when you don’t feel it’s right to share, simply say, “I’m not ready to share that information right now,” or, “Nunya.”

Simple.

2. As I said in Lies of Omission…, it’s a lie when omit the full truth when you know it’s pertinent to the other person, and you do it to avoid consequences.

“I won’t tell ___ because it will upset them.” “If I say ___ it will start a fight.”

And so on.

These phrases and ones like them are justifications for lying.

To go back to the quote I love so much from David Shade (paraphrased a bit):

“Don’t act out of fear, and don’t fail to act out of fear.”

THIS is a simple guide.

Do you FEAR telling this truth? Then you’re in danger of being disingenuous and lying.

Are you comfortable with your truth and just not yet ready to share with that person, because they have not proven themselves, AND you are willing to say so if they ask?

Then you are being truthful AND setting healthy boundaries.

3. Are you SURE your truth is TRUE?

This is where we often get tripped up. Sometimes we lie as much when we are attempting to tell our truths as when we cover things up.

Because we don’t THINK.

Because in the heat of the moment, we say things we don’t mean.

Because we have a knee-jerk reaction to a threat to our ego.

Think of an argument, when you say hurtful things to another.

Do you WANT to hurt them? Maybe in the moment.

But is that your TRUTH? You’re hurting. Do you really want the person you love to hurt, too?

Probably not.

Then that’s not your TRUTH.

So, you’re lying—or at least not communicating your truth.

Not intentionally, I’m sure. Heat of the moment, just blurted it out, and all that.

But effectively.

And you’re damaging yourself. And your relationship. And setting up something that may never be undone.

So don’t lie in defense. Or in reaction. Or in spite.

Think on what you want to say, then say it clearly and with the kind of love/compassion you feel for others—and that you would want them to use with you on any touchy subject.


Just a few thoughts on a Saturday morning. smiles

What are you thoughts on these or any other types of lying or reasons to lie?

Communication Is NOT The Most Important Part Of A Relationship—Kinky Or Otherwise

And this is coming from someone who teaches communication classes.

So, what’s the most important thing in a relationship?

Appreciating your partner. Truly. Deeply. Wonderfully.

Appreciate who they are as people.

Appreciate what they do for you.

Appreciate their character and drive.

Appreciate their quirks and foibles.

Because without that appreciation, you will run into communication killers—those things that will make your conversations into arguments and your collaborations into battles.

You’ll lose the benefit of the doubt to get you through stressful times, hurtful times.

You’ll try to make them over or run their lives or create rules like you might for a child, and well, that rarely goes over well.

And it shouldn’t.

And it’s not just appreciation for your partner.

You must have appreciation for you. Because unless you feel strength and contribution and the ability to make good choices, you will have a hard time truly appreciating your partner.

Because you won’t be sure you picked the right one. And doubts will eat at you and erode what you’d built.

And you won’t trust.

And communication (which IS critically important) won’t happen.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Dick Is Cheap

In January, I offered up the debate about which gender has the power, and Grafinya said:

“dick is cheap”

And she’s right.

It is.

Now YOUR dick might not be cheap.

Hell, none of mine are, since they are all medical grade silicone, and I am pretty choosey about where I put them and who I put them in.

But dick, as a basic commodity, is cheap.

Sure, some people may have a harder time getting dick than others.

Thing is, it’s not just cheap, it’s free. Offered regularly without really any effort on my part.

And I’m a fan of free and cheap. I love getting bargains. I love free stuff. I love thrifting.

I’m also a fan of Marie Kondo’s saying:

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle. The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: Does this spark joy?

And even free and cheap things (maybe especially free and cheap things) must spark joy.

Grafinya also said:

“A guy showing up offering nothing but dick is cheap. A guy offering good dick + a desire to please his partner, intelligent conversation, good social skills, common interest and life goals is expensive and hard to find. Or as Flannery O’Connor put it, A good MAN is hard to find.”

I might say, a good human with a dick sparks joy, whether free, cheap, or easy.

I ask you…

What are your priorities in the people you meet and spend time with?

What is cheap to you? Dick? Pussy? Flattery? Small talk? Dates?

What is dear to you? What sparks joy? Friendship? Connection? Thoughtfulness?

What makes something more than cheap to you?

How I Poly…

A friend of mine is visiting, and this morning, we were talking about how poly groups come together because we poly folk want to sometimes be around and talk with people who aren’t monogamous.

Oh.

Wait.

Let me rephrase that.

Poly groups come together most often because they want people WHO THINK LIKE THEM.

In fact, one of the hallmarks of poly groups, like kink groups, religious groups, political groups, hell, even dog breed groups, is that people join them because they want to hear their own ideas and thoughts echoed back to them.

Because they want to be around people LIKE THEM.

And in poly groups, this means that depending on the makeup of the leadership and majority of members (or in-power cliques) the poly that is tacitly approved of is often a very specific form of poly that tsk-tsks at others for not being as “enlightened.”

Someone once wrote this:

“You guys would save yourselves a lot of time and trouble if you would say, ‘One of my tests of a woman is going to be to examine whether I am comfortable opening myself up to her emotionally. And I am going to sleep only with women who pass that test.’”

And this is pretty much how I poly, with few exceptions.

And I mentioned this this morning (in my own words without realizing that it was on my schedule to write today) in response to a discussion about poly people who get pissy about others in don’t-ask-don’t-tell relationships, or anyone who doesn’t want kitchen table poly, or solo poly people, or whatever…

And that’s OK.

Except that, the way I see it is that when you shame people for doing things their own way, the way that makes them happy, you are becoming the people you’re avoiding by creating such a group.

You are becoming the bullies.

So, while I like the way I poly, I don’t require it for anyone else. Not even those I relationship with, in most cases.

As long as what we do together works for us, I’m good.

What about you?

Attention—Like That’s A BAD Thing?

I’ll start off by saying that as an only child of two only children, perhaps I’m not the least biased writer on the topic of attention. I like attention. Love it.

When I choose, as I choose, and blah blah blah.

Hell, half of my dominance is the idea that catching attention and desire from people I admire is hot as fuck.

That’s my disclaimer.

However, over the years, as I’ve studied human nature and specifically how we interact in love, sex, and romance, I’ve learned a bit about attention aside from, “GIMME!”

For example, Dr. John Gottman of The Gottman Institute credits attention as the primary deciding factor in whether newlywed couples will stay together (and be happy) six years later.

The basic currency here were “bids” for attention, and attention.

He found that those who stayed together and thrived in their relationships responded to bids with attention 86% of the time, while those who failed in their relationships averaged only 33% attention response. (source)

Continue reading “Attention—Like That’s A BAD Thing?”

Fuck No, I STILL Will Not Compromise And Neither Should You!

Actually, you can do whatever you want and makes you happy. It’s none of my business.

You see, I’ve written a bit about compromise in the past—to mixed results.

Some people just “get it,” or want to, because what I’m saying feels right.

Others, reject the idea in toto. They take offense at my way of relationshipping and my explaining it in writings, as if that means that their way is wrong.

Just like ethical non-monogamy is right for me right now, monogamy can be right for you—or not. Or swinging, slutting, or being totally alone…it’s none of my business what you and your potential partner(s) choose for your own life.

In the just over two years since I wrote, Fuck NO, I Will NOT Compromise!, I’ve discussed the idea with hundreds of people from many different angles, and I’ve refined my thoughts.

I’d like to present those to you, not to convince you—there will always be many ways of living love—but to show you one more of those many ways, and this one MAY be what some of you have been searching for.

Or not. Like I said, none of my business, really.

Continue reading “Fuck No, I STILL Will Not Compromise And Neither Should You!”

“All We Need Is Just A Little Patience…” (Sing It With Me!)

My Inner Veruca Salt

And because if you’re anything like me, you now have that delirium-inducing whine in your head:

smiles

Last week, for the umpteenth time, someone said to me, “You’re more patient than I am.”

And I said, as I often do, “I’m Not Patient. I’m Curious.” I went on to explain that it doesn’t take patience for me to deal with people most of the time, because I have an insatiable curiosity for what people will say and do, how they think, what they desire, their beliefs and more.

And yet…

Something tugged at me, and made me do some research.

And I’ve been wrong all this time.

Well, at least partly so.

I am patient.

patient

2 : manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain

Merrium Webster

You see, when I say I’m not patient, I’m using this definition, which by it’s very words requires provocation or strain.

Rarely do the words people throw at me online (inspiring the “you’re so patient…” points) provoke me or strain me.

Because of the aforementioned curiosity.

And yet, there is this definition (admittedly, the FIRST one that came up when I decided to research patience):

patient

the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Google Dictionary

And I have to admit, I am a patient person.

Or, as I like to say, “I’m not at a patient person, but I play one in real life.”

I don’t FEEL patient.

I want what I want NOW. I don’t want to wait.

My inner toddler is throwing themselves on the ground yelling and kicking and screaming about not getting her way IMMEDIATAMENTE (as they par-lay on Frawn-says).

Like, now.

RIGHT NOW.

But I don’t show that. Because it’s rude to act that way at 45 (nearly 46), and frankly, it won’t do me any damn good, and actually might hinder me getting there.

So I don’t.

And frankly, it’s not that hard. It’s second nature to me now to overrule my inner Veruca Salt and simply be calm and peaceful, and well, patient.

Which, honestly, I never really thought much about.

Because inside I don’t feel that way.

At all.

So, I don’t FEEL patient.

But on the outside, in my actions, in my behaviors, I’m cool as a cucumber. Or at least a slightly warmed summer peach.

I don’t flip my lid.

Not often.

Maybe 2x a year? I don’t know. It’s rare.

So, I guess I am patient. And I consider that a good thing.

However, the point I’ve been making all along is equally important. Perhaps more so.

When it comes to dealing with people, specifically, rather than cultivate patience, I find it easier to cultivate a lack of provocation and strain.

I rarely take it personally.

I am rarely offended.

I find people fascinating (even when I disagree with them or find their views repugnant).

And these things add up to not needing to exercise patience, but instead trying to connect with people more often in more ways, and experiencing their ideas and words and insights in ways I never could if I were provoked and strained and practiced patience.

So, I was wrong (and ya’ll were right).

And I was right (ya’ll weren’t wrong).

And I’m not only good with this, I’ve learned more about the world and how we all navigate it.

What are your thoughts?

How do you experience patience (if at all)?

Have you always been patient (or impatient)? Is it something that has changed for you over the years? How has it helped/harmed you?