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

The Myth Of Results—At Least Visible/Obvious Ones

Thinking In Bets, by Annie Duke is an amazing read.

Annie is a professional poker player. She’s won millions. And she wrote a book about how to make decisions when you don’t have all the facts.

The biggest take away I had from the book is the idea that the right decision will always lead to the right results is a myth.

Which, of course, we all know.

But, we don’t KNOW it, until we think about it. Like, really know it.

For some reasons, we are stubbornly addicted to the idea that the “right” decisions should get us the “right” results.

Which, as Duke points out, works in chess—a highly logical game with no elements of luck.

Not so much in poker, or in life, where there is luck aplenty.

And as in life, so in kink.

Today’s writing prompt was “Why put in the effort if it’s pointless?” I had a link to a comment that no longer exists on this writing: Hello FetLife Newbies!

While I don’t have the comment, I have experiences of that comment over the years from many people, and I have a pretty clear idea of what I meant to write about.

And it perfectly ties in with the myth of results.

You see, in that writing, I mentioned how to send a “cold” message to someone on FetLife. It takes a bit more effort than “hey wyd?” or copy-pasta. It’s designed to be genuine and make a connection beyond gasp sex.

I usually get two objections:

I only want sex.

Ohhhh-kay then. Keep on wit ya bad self. I got nuttin for you.

But why put in all that effort when I STILL don’t get many replies?

This is the one I’m writing about.

Let me give you a few reasons:

  1. Because those people who might be inclined to interact with strangers are MORE inclined to do so when it seems like the experience will be pleasant.
  2. You don’t get a shitty reputation of messaging every woman in a 100-mile radius the same thing (yes, we do share).
  3. Because it’s the right thing to do. Being a good person is it’s own reward. Just like being a jerk becomes a habit, so does being a genuinely awesome person.

That last bit, that’s important.

Like lifting weights, you probably won’t see results the next day (except negative ones, like stiffness or aching muscles), or event he next week, but over time, you will build your strength and functional ability.

It’s a cumulative process.

It’s the same with putting in effort, being kind and authentic, and striving to do what’s right, even without immediate results. Or, even with immediate negative results.

Face it, some people are going to reply with assholery no matter what you write. Some people aren’t going to reply (they may not even be online). Some people are not going to like you, even if you like them.

But it’s not about a 1:1 ratio of do-right-get-right.

After all, sometimes, you’re going to be the asshole having a bad day, and someone will do right for you and get shit in return, or ask for nothing.

And of course, this isn’t just about connecting with people by Fet message. It’s also about meeting kinky people at munches and sloshes and on other sites. It’s about offering to help out at events.

It’s also about walking down the street, working with people, and, of course, playing poker.

On “Fighting” For My Sub…

A few years back, I wrote a piece, Trying To Steal My Sub, Cunt?, in which I wish said thief good luck in their efforts.

Several people responded that I maybe didn’t show my sub that I wanted them enough, because I refuse to fight for them, because I said, “And, frankly, if you do manage to steal them, I’ll thank you.”

One comment said this:

If they let me go without a fight, then I, too, am glad to be walking away.

There is a difference between fighting to keep a submissive through my actions TO THAT SUBMISSIVE, and fighting another dominant in any way.

I am very happy to say what I want, and do my best by my submissive.

THAT is my fight.

EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Continue reading “On “Fighting” For My Sub…”

There Are No Golden Year Anniversaries In Poly

When I was 11, I was walking with my friend Erica to my house, and I mentioned that John and Sam would be eating over that night.

She said, “Aren’t they ‘funny?'”

“Funny?” I was confused for a moment, and she did the limp wrist. “You mean gay?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, they are.”

“I don’t think I know any gay people.”

I was flabbergasted. “How can you not know gay people? They are everywhere!”

That was my first realization that not everyone lived the way I did.

About ten years ago, when I was talking with some friends about marriage equality, a friend of a friend piped up, and said, “Why would it even be worth it? There are not long-lasting gay relationships.”

I was reminded of that earlier this week when I saw this:

My Aunt Betty (Grandfather’s sister) lived with “Aunt Patty” until she died when I was 26. I visited them in California, played with their dogs, swam in their pool, lost on their Galaga video game, and went to Disneyland with them for the first time when I was 7.

They had been together for 15+ years at that point.

But, hey, no gay relationships last that long, right?

These are both cases of people not being able to imagine that others live the same kind of amazing, wonderful, fucked up complex lives that they do, but with different beliefs, orientations, and physical attributes.

And the same thing happened two days ago, when someone says, “There are no Golden Year anniversaries in poly.”

Except that that’s not provable, is it?

Since poly has been kept mostly on the DL for so long. Who knows who has been poly for their 50-year marriage, except those close to them (and maybe not even them)?

The bigger key is, though, who cares?

Does a 50 year marriage mean that your relationship is then somehow valid?

Does the 26 years that a poly couple I know spent together not matter for another 24? Is their joy and happiness together negated by their lack of longevity? Would it make a difference if they hadn’t met until they were in their 30s? Or if one of them was a widower?

What about two of my dear friends who’ve been together for more than 20 years and are not only poly, but active in the local kink community?

I’ll be sure to tell them their love doesn’t matters, because they have nearly 30 years to go before poly certification.

Some relationships are best not lasting 50 years.

And while relationship commitment can be measured by longevity, I don’t believe that is necessarily an indicator of quality.

I was with my ex-husband for 15 years. At the time, that was nearly half of my life. My relationship of 6+ years now is of a FAR higher quality than that was at it’s best.

If it ended tomorrow, that would still be true.

A Challenge

Can anyone prove that there are NO 50-year anniversaries between poly people?

Can anyone prove that there is at least one 50-year anniversary between poly people?

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Dear Poly Partner…

I need to get something off my chest.

I told you not to cancel with [YOUR OTHER PARTNER] because I never want to be resented for forcing your hand. Because I don’t want [YOUR OTHER PARTNER] to feel like I do when I get second place on a double booking.

Not because I don’t want to be put first on this very important occasion, or to be given the priority when an error is made. I do. Oh, god. I do.

That’s not my decision to make.

It’s yours. It will always be. I want you to do what you need to do.

Either way you choose, it will be tough on you. And I’m sorry for that. If you stick with [YOUR OTHER PARTNER] for that date, please don’t leave me hanging wondering what you’re thinking or how this might be fixed.

Two possible suggestions:

  1. I get [SPECIAL OCCASION DAY]. We do something special. I’m happy to offer such-and-such day(s) for you to make up for the change in plans with [YOUR OTHER PARTNER].
  2. [YOUR OTHER PARTNER] keeps [SPECIAL OCCASION DAY]. I get such-and-such day(s) and events together with you and we celebrate in [WAYS THAT WILL FILL ME UP].

Whatever you choose, I will be OK with. Because I know that double booking sucks for everyone, and I totally get that things can’t always work perfectly.

But maybe, we can work together and make it perfectly imperfect, and a time to remember, even if it’s not on [SPECIAL OCCASION DAY].

That will go a long way for me. That we get through this as a team, and communicate together, and it will help me heal.

I love you.

I love us.

Nookie

Is Love Learned Or Innate?

“You have to love yourself before you can love others.”

“The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. The capacity to love cannot be built in isolation.”

There is truth in both of these statements. And there is a lot misleading in both of them as well.

I believe love is naturally occurring in humans and animals (and what I’ve read backs me up in this). Love for others. And it grows out of need and desire. From the moment we are born.

Our first self-love is modeled after how others love us. And if that’s shitty, then our love for ourselves is also probably shitty.

Continue reading “Is Love Learned Or Innate?”

When Good People Snap

I spent 22 years working with dogs as an enthusiastic amateur dog trainer. I worked in obedience, Rally, Agility, showing, rescue and rehab.

I did it for fun, and because I loved dogs.

And it made me a better human, too.

In fact, I learned a lot about humans from dogs and dog training. One thing I learned from Jean Donaldson in her book The Culture Clash, was about “The Bite Threshold.”

The idea is that even good dogs bite when pushed far enough.

And as people with dogs, it’s our responsibility to learn to see when “far enough” is coming too near.

To learn our dogs’ stress levels, and what adds to those levels, and see when it’s piling on and becoming too much.

For some dogs, their stress tolerance level is fairly low.

For others, it’s quite high.

However, add up enough stress, and dogs will hit the red zone where they are highly likely to bite. They may not. They may growl, or raise their hackles, or run and hide, or do ANYTHING except bite. Or they may not. Especially if running is not an option, or cowering is not making the stressor go away.

Continue reading “When Good People Snap”