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?

How Empathy Traps Us

Let’s talk about empathy. What is empathy, really?

There are three types of empathy:

  • Emotional
  • Cognitive
  • Compassionate

Empathy is powered mostly by mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are a class of neuron that modulate their activity both when an individual executes a specific motor act and when they observe the same or similar act performed by another individual.

In other words, these little thingys in our brains MIRROR what we see others doing. See people feeling sad? Mirror neurons put on their “feeling sad” pants, and boom! We feel sad, too.

That’s emotional empathy, feeling what others feel, “putting yourself in their shoes.”

Emotional empathy is a super power. It syncs you with others. You can comprehend and feel their pain as your own. Also their joy. WOW!

Emotional empathy is necessary to human evolution and it’s fucking amazing. It can also burn you out: A study by three Australian researchers found that, under stress, emotionally perceptive individuals reported higher levels of depression and hopelessness.

They can feel what others are feeling, and it adds to their own. Absorbing other people’s pain is exhausting, especially in therapeutic or care-taking fields, or in dysfunctional relationships. Over time, it can burn you up.

(I’m missing some function in this area. It’s called ASPD. That’s where I’m “broken.”)

Then, there is cognitive empathy. This is a result of active listening and attention combined with results-oriented observation, leading to more and more accurate insights into what people think and feel.

It’s essentially turning your brain into a database of findings that lead you to more accurate understanding and predictions over time.

I can do this, after years of practice and care.

There is a big difference between the two, though.

Because those who have emotional empathy, especially those who have it strongly, FEEL what others feel, and often don’t know the feelings aren’t theirs.

This is the trap.

Because when those rushes of feelings flood over you, it’s not easy to separate them from your own.

Now, this may not happen to you. Let’s go over a couple of examples:

You’re in a great mood, waiting impatiently for your mate to get home, so you can tell them all about your amazing news.

They get home, and they’re a bit cranky. They listen to your news, and they just don’t get super-excited. In fact, they seem kind of annoyed.

You immediately get annoyed, like really annoyed. How dare they?

You’re walking along on a beautiful sunny day feeling down.

Then, you see a baby laughing and smiling. Suddenly, your whole outlook brightens. You can do this. It doesn’t seem nearly as bad as it did just moments before.

Your partner begins to cry, and your eyes well up.

You suddenly feel sad as well.

Of course, these are simplistic examples.

And even without innate empathy, you might feel shadows of these things: annoyance that your partner did not share your joy; brightening a bit, because babies are cute; feeling sad that your partner is sad.

With innate empathy, though, you will feel what you feel, and feel what they feel. Their feelings may affect your feelings, change your feelings, heighten your feelings, or even drown out your own feelings altogether.

Like when one partner is cranky, and the other picks up on those feelings, and feeds them back, so partner one is now cranky AND annoyed that their partner is being cranky, too, which now affects the second partner, adding to their distress…

And so on.

And that’s the trap.

Trapping us in our feelings with another.

YES, it’s good to know how the people around you feel and care. That’s not a trap. In fact, I view that as a sort of magic that I wish I had WAY more of than I do.

It’s NOT good, however, to feel their feelings as if they were yours, and not know where your feelings begin and theirs end.

Because, not only is it more difficult then to find any sort of solution, with both of you flailing about in emo-land, but your sadness might be mixed with your own experiences and feelings, while theirs is with their own, which could create two terribly different experiences.

I had someone once accuse me of causing shame to someone in public.

I know I can miss such things, and I was horrified. I went to the person, and apologized. They were surprised. They were, indeed feeling shame when I did what I did, but it was at something else, and what I did actually alleviated the issue.

The person making the accusation felt the shame and attributed it to what I was doing, because that would have bothered them, which was totally different from what was happening in the other person’s head.

Which is why I posted this last Friday: When They Lose Their Shit…, about allowing the person’s whose emotions boil over to have their time, and to not react with our own responses, emotions, and such.

Because it’s too easy for someone’s upset to upset us, and a simple issue to become a knock-down-drag-out fight (literally or figuratively), when setting the emotions we feel aside to pay attention can give us the space we need to see and solve.

So, we turn to compassionate empathy.

Compassionate empathy may stem from emotional empathy or cognitive empathy. It’s how we engage with it that matters.

It’s a sort of mild detachment, separating of ourselves from another, and allowing them to fill the “them” part of us with their feelings, while keeping our personal emotional boundaries in place so all those feelings don’t spill over into the “us” parts of us.

Unless of course, we WANT them to fill us with their joy, their love, their desire, their tenderness…

And that’s cool.

However, to take on their despair, their hopelessness, their sorrow? It’s hard to find the way, even together, when both sets of eyes are filled with tears.

So, how do we do this?

When we feel another’s suffering infusing us, we put that in the “them” part of us, and focus on what we can do to help.

Instead of focusing on the suffering, focus on the relief. Instead of feeling hopeless, feel hopeful. Look for the ways to create change, to help, to share your own joy or strength or resoluteness.

Look for a way to pull them out, to offer a hand.

And avoid the trap yourself.

A few more writings on empathy and the desire to help:

When They Lose Their Sh*t…

When They Lose Their Shit...

My ex-husband and I made a lot of mistakes. His BPD and alcoholism in the last 7 years created even more mistakes in an already young and dumb “starter” marriage.

However, in the beginning, we did something brilliantly.

When one person lost their shit, the other immediately set aside their own issues and focused in.

Because when someone goes into crisis mode, they need to be heard and seen. They need to feel like their partner is there for them, NOT simply waiting to retort with their own frustrations and anger.

“Oh yeah? Well, what about that time you ______? Huh?”

If you weren’t pissed enough about ‘that time they ______,’ to lose your shit before now, the moment after they lose theirs is NOT THE TIME.

Your time may come in the future.

It’s NOT NOW.

When your partner loses their shit, give them your attention and care.

It’s the best and easiest thing to do.

Deal with it.

Now.

Calmly.

With love.

Feeling pissy? Shut it.

Feeling hurt? Shut it.

Feeling spiteful? Fucking shut it.

Let them have their moment. Let them get it all out. Let them drain the festering boil, and be a REAL partner there with them while they do it.

Help them:

Partner 1 (in crisis): LOSES THEIR SHIT.
Partner 2 (immediate full attention): “Tell me more. I want to know.”

P1: “Tells more.”
P2: “This is what I’m hearing, [repeats it in their own words], is that right?”

P1: “Yes,” or “No.”
(make sure you’re getting it right)
P2: “Ok. Thank you. Is there more?”

P1: “Offers more.”
P2: “This is what I’m hearing, [repeats in their own words], is that right?”

P1: “Yes,” or “No.”
(make sure you’re getting it right)
P2: “Ok. Thank you. Is there more?”

(repeat as necessary)

P1: “No, that’s it.”
P2: “What can I do to help?”

Listen and do it. Or negotiate doing it. Or find others to help you do it. Or cuddle them, because some things can’t be fixed. Or accept that they KNOW it can’t be fixed, and they just needed to lose their shit and have you listen and be pissy for a while.

Or whatever.

If you’re upset or hurt (and let’s face it, if they are REALLY losing their shit and doing it at you, you probably will be, at least a little), it’s ok.

Still, shut it.

YOUR time comes later. I like to keep at least 24-48 hours between, if it’s urgent. A week or more if it’s not.

This still works for me. With or without others’ buy-in.

Generally, if someone in my life is upset, I give them this attention, utterly and totally. I set my hurts aside.

I want them to have their time and feel heard and seen and validated. I want to help if I can, and listen if that’s all I can offer.

This, to me, is being a dominant (whether I am THEIR dominant or not), is providing the safe space they need, and is honoring their place in my life.

It’s also being a friend, a lover, and a considerate and caring human.

AND… I’ve found that most people, when offered this kind of care, lose their shit far less frequently and far less spectacularly.

After all, it can be hard to really get a good scream going for terribly long at someone who is genuinely there for you, ready to listen, to see, and to help in any way they can.

Even when you’re spoiling for a fight.

It just is.

(Well, for most folks.)

And they often find it in themselves to begin offering this to others. Often without even realizing what they are doing. It just feels right to do so.

Because modeling loving behavior works in more ways than one.

Even when they lose their shit.

Image by SAFA TUNCEL from Pixabay

An Analogy Of The Submissive As A Car…

An Analogy Of The Submissive As A Car...

I got this piece of drivel as part of a longer conversation with a submissive telling me that as a dominant, I’m DOIN’ IT RONG.

Here are my thoughts.

“With regard to restrictions, it is pretty well accepted that when someone owns something, say a car, that the owner may do what she wishes with her property.”

You’re right. In fact, I have often compared owning a submissive to having a car or a dog that I love and that I’m proud of, and that I enjoy sharing with the world.

Want to pet my dog? Please! He loves being petted and licking your face (I don’t let him lick mine), and feels so filled up and proud when you’re done.

Like my new convertible? Want to drive it? Do it! I love it, too, and the joy I get is reflected back on me in the joy you get.

But that’s not QUITE the same as “doing whatever I wish with my property.”

A Submissive As A Car

I may CHOOSE not to change my oil. However, that will not keep my vehicle in the optimal shape for me to continue to use for as long as I wish.

I could CHOOSE to let it fall into various stages of disrepair and use it up and throw it out (or park it in my front yard to rust for a few years), as well.

However, that doesn’t really benefit me.

If I neglect my car, it will break down on me when I need it.

Worse, it may fail, and hurt someone.

And a car cannot speak to me with reason, or emotional nuance.

So, No, A Submissive Is Not A Car

People are not cars, they are people.

And even poor treatment of a car results in consequences that any outsider could see and understand that the owner is not a good one.

  • Rust spots
  • Dark smoke
  • Rattling noises
  • Noxious Fumes

By suggesting that the dominant never take into account what the submissive partner wants and responds to for optimal living, you are suggesting abuse, pure and simple.

Which may be your thing.

It’s not mine.

For my submissives, or my cars.

Image by Lynn Greyling from Pixabay

Healthy Boundaries: You Can Never Have Too Many Friends

Too Many Friends?

Ummm. Yes, yes you can.

Just like in poly, there is a thing as friendship saturation, when you find yourself without time for everyone in your life. And you’re just not able to maintain self-care and your boundaries along with everyone else’s needs.

Also, there are people that we sometimes call friends who aren’t. Or aren’t anymore, even if they were at one point. And they step on our boundaries.

To suggest that “you can never have too many friends,” is suggesting that even low-value friends are worth the time and effort. I don’t agree.

I’ve said many times that a successful relationship is two people feeling like they get WAY more (like lots and lots more) out of the relationship than they put in.

Friendship is a relationship.

Friendship is giving within healthy boundaries and getting filled back up in return.

THAT is my standard.

So, yeah, you can have too many friends.

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay