Under Pressure

Moving. Load out tomorrow. Halfway across the country.

So many goodbyes. So many hellos. So much positive, forward momentum. I’m leaving under such better circumstances this time. I’m moving with my husband towards bright things. Relationships, friends, family, work, events, opportunities. But it’s also such a major change. I’m scared. The last three times I made this move (twice here, once back) were so…painful. Twice I was leaving painful things behind me and once I didn’t really want to move. Wasn’t ready. I am this time, but there’s still so much to do. There’s the packing and the cleaning, and the loading out and the driving 16 hours, the loading in, the unpacking. Pair that with the fact that presenter notifications for one of our events have to go out by Sunday. We leave Monday morning.

It doesn’t help that my stomach has been in knots all day and I can’t digest anything properly.

Lots of pressure. And I’m running into some surprising walls. Some not-me walls.

Because love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And loves dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure

“Under Pressure” – Queen & David Bowie

Apparently, compersion has gone out the window and I’m reduced to a mess of insecurities,  viscerally ugly jealousy that I detest as I struggle to stop it, and Imposter Syndrome who’s brain is rapidly trying to convince me that I suck at my job, everyone I care about is happier with other partners, I’m going to somehow fuck up moving all our stuff 1000 miles away, and I’m going to wind up alone without any of the bright points of connection and love and play and everything else.

It came on so quickly and hard this afternoon after reading something that I know normally would’ve made me really happy. I wound up dropping to my knees, sobbing in physical pain. It’s the severe side of my anxiety disorder that I try to hide from the world. Thankfully, no one was home. I was able to cry it out and meditate a bit in a kneel.

This IS NOT ME. These emotions ARE NOT MINE. I feel like I’ve been hijacked. The only thing I can think of is that it’s technically envy, amplified the fuck up to 11. I’m stressed out, craving play, sensation, sex, to feel…good. Or to feel physical pain that helps me calm down and feel good. To connect with someone. To feel desired. I know my husband cares about me. But we’re both under pressure. It’s been close to a month since we’ve done…anything. I know other people care about me and have helped this week. But they’re all also over 1000 miles away.

I just want a release. So badly. So fucking badly. I don’t begrudge anyone anything. I just want some for myself. But right now…right now, I have more work to do. More packing. More emails. So much more to do before Monday…

Hey, jealousy

So let’s get one thing straight…I’m not.

Ha-ha.

For serious, though, I hate jealousy.

(I know, Queen of the Smooth Transitions, right?)

For as much as I tell people it’s okay to feel it, that it’s normal in non-monogamy (and in monogamy) and it doesn’t mean you care any more or less about someone, that it doesn’t mean you want partners to stop what they’re doing, and it doesn’t mean that you’re broken or bad or wrong…

Can I apply it to myself?

Fuck, no! That would be logical! Who’s got time for that?

I still fucking loathe feeling jealous. I’ve talked to so many people about jealousy over the 15 years I’ve been in ethical non-monogamous relationships. So many. And read so much. And understand that when I’m jealous, it’s likely because I just am craving something or feel a deficit of something I see other people getting. It doesn’t mean that they have to stop or even should stop doing what they’re doing with others. It just means I want some, too. And most times, I can identify this and say something like, “hey, you’re doing X with so and so. Can we schedule some time to do X, too, cause I really like X as well.”

Easy peasy.

Lately? Not so much.

I’m getting frustrated, scared, angry, anxious, and withdrawn when I get jealous lately.

I hate it.

I hate the initial cause of the feeling and after I’ve identified that I’m feeling jealous, I’ll try just about anything to make it go away.

  • Pretend it doesn’t exist and smile through it? Check.
  • Yell at myself for stupid, pointless, unfounded feels? Check.
  • Try to turn it into emotional masochism and just power through? Check.
  • Stop talking and clam up? Check.
  • Cry? Check.
  • Tell myself that I’m going to lose all the awesome people I have in my life because I’m not good enough and the new people that my partners have are better and now that they have them they won’t want me anymore because they’re hotter/sexier/more submissive or something than me? Check, check, checkity check.

Now…it’s not bad to let things out by doing things like crying. And trying to use it as emotional masochism isn’t inherently bad…it just would probably be better if I told whichever particular partner is involved that that was what I was doing and how I felt.

The rest are not really defensible. I know this. Which is why I get frustrated with myself. I also know enough to not get lost in that last one of not being good enough or someone else being better.

Because again, for serious…

  1. love and kink are not goddamned competitions with winners and losers.
  2. I’ve been amazingly blessed with metamours.

With one exception, I’ve liked all of my metamours or potential metamours. And even that one exception is not someone who is terrible…I just…don’t understand their brain patterns. They seem so different and every interaction with them leaves me going, “wtf just happened?” It’s difficult but not illegal or disrespectful or abusive. Those are hard limits. This metamour touches on none of those and the one time they did (with something I thought was disrespectful and unsafe), we talked and rectified it, so really…it’s not that bad. In the grand scheme of things, I either really, really like my metamours – enough to, at one point or another, think maybe I could date and/or play with them (and some I have) or, at the very least, am really glad to make new friends with them. Some metamours who’ve been friends of mine have lasted for years, even after the romantic/kink/sexual relationship that connected us through someone else ended.

So why the fuck do I get so fucking jealous when someone new comes on the scene?! Or of other partners at all, new or not? Why do I keep going back to this annoying-as-fuck, kneejerk reaction of “hnnnggggg, they better! I lose! Sad! Go hide now!” I mean…what the ever-loving fuck?

It likely has increased proportional to stress and fucking hell knows I’m stressed a lot right now. Between moving, work pressure, saying goodbye to everyone here, and then moving back to the East coast where my husband and I had a lot of initial problems early in our marriage and where the Cost of Living is a fuckton more expensive…I’m scared. I’m fucking petrified that we’re going to move out there and the support network I thought I had, the beautiful and magically intricate one of partners, metamours, friends, and co-workers will disappear.

That me and my complicated sexuality, my hunger for more kink and pain, my deep ache for a more consistently intense D/s & M/s connection will drive the people I care about away. And the damn tapes start playing in my head of “if I feel like I’m not getting enough now, and then there are other people, how will I ever get my needs met? I’m just a breath away from being rotated out.”  And I fucking hate that my brain goes there. Because I KNOW that if a partner isn’t feeling the connection with me anymore, I do NOT want to hold them in a relationship they don’t want to be in. So why freak out about it? Why not just enjoy what I have when I have it and maybe that will last for years but maybe it won’t. I go around talking about how I don’t believe that relationship success is measured by longevity and then inside, I’m all like “I hope this lasts forever!”

*sigh*

Where did compersion go? Why do I feel so fucking vulnerable and lonely and lost? I looked at pictures of various types of play I’ve just discovered and started crying. I read a metamour’s account of a scene they had recently, talking about how after it was over, the pain was gone and it felt…wrong that it was gone and I know exactly how that feels and crave my bruises that reminded me of wonderful things with every hug for a whole weekend. I talk to a fantastic person that I’ve wanted to be actual friends with outside of work for a while and we’re getting there and suddenly I’m hyperventilating that they’re hotter, sexier, and going to take everything I’d been hoping for for months away.

My husband tells me it’s okay to feel jealous. To just let myself feel it and let it be and it’ll go away. To not get angry at myself. But right now, I hate it. Loathe. Detest. Do not want.

Urgh.

Is polyamory worth it?

It’s been a long standing joke in my family (both blood and chosen) that my life is anything but simple. I’m kind of the black sheep, tending to gravitate towards experiences, interests, and people that are complex. I’m the one who taught my very vanilla sister about the separate subjects of furries (which was great, because she was able to be a safe person to talk to when she found out one of her co-workers was a furry), polyamory, and kink (and how no, the latter is not always about sex and for me it very seldomly is about sex at all, and no, my kink does not involve being a lamppost. True conversations.) I’m the one who broadened my dad’s world when I handed him an invitation to my poly wedding (two coming outs in one awkward card, as he didn’t know I was poly or pansexual!) I have this blog where I write publicly about being kinky, being poly, taking my clothes off in front of strangers, body image, sex, random cum stains in the shape of Pacman that amuse me and how that related to a happy compersion poly moment, and openly admit to being a cuckquean.

Sometimes…okay a lot of times, and especially over the past few months, being the black sheep and not able to just do or feel uncomplicated things hurts. When you don’t fall under the umbrella of social expectation, you kind of have to navigate your own way around instead of relying on what society in general tells you. While this touches on all parts of my life, from my job(s), to my kink drive, to the way I dress, and so much more, it’s never so apparent to me as when I consider love.

Recently, I may or may not’ve wound up driving and crying with my sister because while she’s vanilla as hell, she loves me and listens unconditionally. And the last two months or so have been…hard. Through a combination of life and work stressors, issues with metamours, and feeling unable to find support and connection with the certain people I either usually do or was hoping to, I’ve been a bit upset and floundering. Ever since May, it feels like I’ve leveled up in life, but with that comes an entirely new world that I’m unfamiliar with. There’s some advanced/complicated poly stuff going on, in addition to navigating a cross country move for work, in addition to my submissive and Domme sides resurfacing again in major ways and it’s all been really, really hard to deal with sometimes.

And during this drive with my sister that may or may not’ve happened, she asked me a very pointed question:

“Are you sure polyamory is worth all this pain?”

I could tell she wasn’t just asking about my current situation. She knows what I went through in my triad marriage and when it ended, in addition to my other poly relationships. To her, a woman who’s been married to the same man for 20 years, what I was going through seemed so foreign and complex. A simple choice could fix it. I paused, tears streaming down my face, nose running, heart aching, and gave the question its due even while my core was screaming its answer.

But before I get to my answer, though, let me reference a post Ferrett recently wrote that made me tear up. He talked about driving three hours to hold his girlfriend’s hand before she went into surgery. And how when the medical staff asked who she had waiting for her, she replied honestly that it was her husband…AND her boyfriend. Which flummoxed the staff to the point where, instead of continually repeating herself, she just wound up summarizing with “‘Look, I lead an alternative lifestyle, all right?'”

This hit him hard, as evidenced by the entirety of the post. It, in turn, had a pretty big impact on me. Because he goes on to talk about all the times we don’t talk about these alternative choices, especially, if you’re poly or kinky or both, who we love.

These paragraphs, specifically, were what brought me to tears:

Yet my girlfriend did not give a fuck. She was exhausted, and tired, and when she was stripped raw the last thing she wanted to give up was to acknowledge the love that was sitting out there in that lobby for her and fuck, I’m crying now.

But it’s a moment. It’s a moment where her don’t-give-a-fuck punched a hole through to another world where I saw what it might be like not to have really good reasons not to just be buried under a tide of assumptions, and in that moment our love felt realer than it ever had before, this thing where yeah, we don’t live together and we’re never going to get married and we’ll never have once-a-week dates and all the traditional pathways designated as “serious about each other” somehow didn’t fucking matter.

We don’t call each other, but I’ll drive out to hold her hand when she needs me.

We only get to see each other once every couple of months, but she’ll fucking face down a bunch of surgeons in the place of her to tell them, Give that man respect for what he is.

Between that post and the post he wrote called “Yes, of course” about his wife’s reaction to him driving three hours out to be with his girlfriend when she went into surgery, I just…felt a recognition. I know what my answer is. I’ve always known. And recently, despite or maybe even because of the pain I’ve been going through, I feel I finally found where I want to be with relationships.

Yes, it’s fucking worth it.

It’s taken me nearly 15 years to get to a place of polyamory that’s basically relationship anarchy/fluid (not to imply that it’s more evolved, it’s just that it’s where I evolved to) and yes, it’s fucking worth it. I want and actively chose this support network of complex ties and feelings and yes, love, in its many shapes and forms. I don’t always have to know how to define a particular relationship, but I sure as hell know when I love someone and all the tears are worth being able to say it and hear it back.

The feeling of making a new connection and exploring it and finding and developing another piece of myself with another person is totally worth the half a box of tissues I went through that night.

When I get on a plane, there are about five or six people that know when I take off and when I land and those people also are told that I love them. I’m not “in a relationship” with all of them, and I don’t even know how the hell to define all of them, but I know they are important to me and I to them and if I’m staring down mortality, I want that to be known. I want love to be the thing I focus on, not fear. And it’s actually been part of what helps me get over some residual anxiety when it comes to flying. That’s totally worth frustrating interactions with a metamour.

The poly and kinky support network I’ve built over the years that spans nearly ten different states and a fuckton of people, the books and articles I’ve read, the conversations I’ve had sorting through my own shit or helping someone else sort through theirs is totally worth the pain of break ups, of sifting through complex emotions, or being stood up.

I mean, it’s not the structure itself that causes the hurt. When I got divorced from my poly triad, I was asked why I would continue to be polyamorous after all that pain and I replied that polyamory wasn’t to blame for my relationship ending any more or less than monogamy is the reason for monogamous divorces. It’s not the relationship style, it’s the people involved. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s universal. No relationship style that I know of is immune to…humanity and its wondrous variety.

And on the flip side are moments like my husband texting me today that he thinks the person at the deli where he ate lunch is totally my type. Or the compersion of seeing someone I care about twitterpated with NRE over a connection with someone new. Or when my husband came home today and I told him that I had spent some of my day negotiating to do a needle scene at GKENE and he made up a little song to the tune of “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5. However for him, since he doesn’t like needle play, it went more like this (complete with chair dance choreography and him spinning me in my desk chair):

You and I must make a pact, when he’s putting needles in your back
When that’s happening, I won’t be there…

That freedom to explore who I am, who I love, and what I want at my own pace, at my own comfort level, with the people I choose to, and the beautifully complex tapestry of people and experiences that ensue, including impromptu chair dances, are totally fucking worth it.

Polyamory (and so much more!) in Pictures

(Book review #5 – original post @ Cannonball Read 8)

KimchiCuddles-AskMeAboutPolyamory

Fair warning: I’m going to pepper this review with a few actual strips from Kimchi Cuddles, because pictures are awesome and I love being able to use the actual author/artist’s art to drive a point home. 

That being said, here; have a comic!

Kimchi Cuddles #300 - "The Scandalous Truth" from KimchiCuddles.com

Kimchi Cuddles #300 – “The Scandalous Truth” from KimchiCuddles.com

Yup. Welcome to polyamory. I’ve been a practicing polyamorist for close to 15 years now and this might just be my favorite book on the subject. And that’s saying something because while there aren’t nearly as many books on the subject as I wish there were, there are still a goodly amount and I’ve read most of them. This is not an easy relationships style and while it is incredibly rewarding and wonderful, it also, in my humble opinion, takes a lot of self-awareness, communication, and emotional maturity. I’m working on ’em. It’ll likely be an ongoing quest, but I’m glad to have people like Tikva Wolf to help with the journey for the past few years.

I’ve been following Kimchi Cuddles as an internet comic strip for a while; her semi-autobiographical strips sometimes make me laugh and sometimes chop a clear path of understanding right through a problem that I was having trouble with, and sometimes, just make me feel not quite so alone. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can be polyamorous and feel alone or lonely. You can totally be polyamorous, have multiple partners, and still feel really alone and lonely sometimes. It’s kind of like how you can be going through the sadness of a breakup but also be happily married. Oh hey, btw, there’s a comic about that:

Kimchi Cuddles #301 "Sci Fi Marathon Time" - from KimchiCuddles.com

Kimchi Cuddles #301 – “Sci Fi Marathon Time” from KimchiCuddles.com (another thing I love about this is the note on Facebook when this was posted was that the author/artist likes to watch “Hedwig & the Angry Inch” after breakups. All Of The YES.)

This kind of thing is what makes polyamory so magical. Honoring the complexity of life and feelings and actively celebrating it all with people. Through polyamory, I’ve been able to grow more than I ever thought possible, come (mostly) to terms with anger, be a better communicator, open my heart to uncertainty and loving outside of social norms. And Kimchi Cuddles has helped me navigate all that. Tikva Wolf has a very open, nurturing way of handling the myriad challenges of polyamory and even when she’s struggling with her own demons, she helps others by sharing that struggle through her art. And as you may’ve guessed, there is a comic for that, too:

Kimchi Cuddles #326 - "Appearing Perfect" from KimchiCuddles.com

Kimchi Cuddles #326 – “Appearing Perfect” from KimchiCuddles.com

Being out of the closet is important to me, too, as is being able to write about my life. And I love being able to support artists and authors and musicians who help me along my path, so when I found out there was a kickstarter for the first compilation of Kimchi Cuddles comics in physical book form, I was SO on board. And so grateful I had the money to support this fantastic endeavor.

Random note: This book smells really good. I admit it; I love to open a book and stick my nose in center and inhale. I embrace my weirdness. Therefore, this comic seems appropriate:

Kimchi Cuddles #274 - "Queers" from KimchiCuddles.com

Kimchi Cuddles #274 – “Queers” from KimchiCuddles.com

What’s even more nifty about this comic, as you might be able to tell from above, is that it doesn’t just talk address poly issues. The book is divided into six sections (parenthetical notes are mine):

  • I. Discovery Polyamory (All Poly, All The Time)
  • II. Practical Living (the practicality of poly including family dynamics, sleeping woes any triad or quad (or more) poly person will recognize, and something I like to call “eating habits: you just can’t win with that many diverse people”)
  • III. Successful Relationships (I love this section because there’s so much relationship advice. It asks the big question: What makes a relationship successful? It also deals with metamours, love, intimacy, openness, support, and encourages discovery)
  • IV. Troubleshooting, Transitions, Taking Care of Yourself (a rougher chapter to get through, but so worth it. Touches on difficult things like jealousy, misogyny, relationship transitions, conflict, compersion, and fear)
  • V. Dating Scene (fantastic chapter about poly dating, NRE, labels or the lack thereof, LDR, Mono/Poly, Cowboys, and Unicorns. A very fascinating chapter, indeed.)
  • VI. Identities (Including: Trans, Genderqueer/fluid, Asexual and Sexual, Queers, and Pride!)

One of the most important things I’ve learned from Kimchi Cuddles is that there are a plethora of ways to love. I mean, I kinda knew that going in to reading this comic, as I’d been polyamorous for over ten years by the time I first encountered this comic. But I was still very enmeshed in hierarchical modes of thinking and feeling about love. Kimchi Cuddles helped me deconstruct that and see the fear that has been living underneath. By asking (and attempting to answer) questions like “what makes a relationship successful” and “what does love mean to you”, I’ve been asking myself those things and coming up with some surprising answers. And it’s cool to see characters in the strip go through a similar growth process as they seek the answers to questions like this and more. When I read books, the ones that stay with me often are the ones where I can relate to the characters and feel like in a parallel world, they’d be real. Characters I’d want to talk with, date, be friends with, get into arguments with, cuddle with, admire. This is what the cast of characters in Kimchi Cuddles is like for me. What’s even more brilliant is I may or may not know some of the characters that the people in the strip are based on. Cause it’s a small world, after all.

And that small world, even with all the love in it, and all the possibilities, can get scary. Love is the ultimate emotional vulnerability and it can be hard to navigate that with one person, let alone many. In the end, though, I’m learning to embrace the uncertainty, open my heart, and allow love in in whatever form it takes without trying to obsess over labels (though I still maintain they have their place and can help understanding, when applied judiciously). I’ve come to much of this new found understanding and peace with the help of Kimchi Cuddles, and for that, I’m entirely grateful. And with that, I leave you with one more comic in the author/artist’s words and pictures:

Kimchi Cuddles #93 - "Ask Kimchi from KimchiCuddles.com

Kimchi Cuddles #93 – “Ask Kimchi from KimchiCuddles.com

Tilling the “fertile chaos”

So this horoscope for the week just happened by Rob Brezsny:
You have cosmic clearance to fantasize of participating in orgies where you’re intoxicated and free of your inhibitions. It’s probably not a good idea to attend a literal orgy, however. All the cleansing revelry and cathartic rapture you need for now can be obtained through the wild stories and outrageous scenes that unfold in your imagination. Giving yourself the gift of pretend immersions in fertile chaos could recharge your spiritual batteries in just the right ways.

“Fertile chaos” is probably the absolute best description of what my brain feels like after the past week. From the time we flew in on Wednesday to now, I’ve been bombarded with sensation, expectation, experience, people, desire, growth, hugs, changes, fires, anger, joy, pride, pushing myself outside my comfort zone, and so much more. Intense doesn’t even begin to describe it.

There are many lessons I learned throughout the course of this week, too. Things like:

1. I can perform with two of my exes, we just simply don’t have to speak to each other. It’s not what I prefer, but it’s their choice and I respect that.

2. Thankfully, with other exes, I’m lucky to still have a strong connection and playdate possibilities…if only I could find the time. In fact, there were two people there I was hoping to play with or even just spend more time with, and it just didn’t happen. Way too busy. I’m crossing fingers for the GKEs, as I’m not foolish enough to think anything can happen at SPWF, unless it’s Thursday or Sunday. During the event? Not bloody likely.

3. Gin & Tonic should be sipped not chugged, no matter how flummoxed I am. Thankfully, both times came when I was off shift and had finished my performance.

4. I need to do more burlesque. It was exhilarating and felt like I was home. It was the most normal, perfect feeling in the world stepping on that stage again. And fuck, I missed being backstage.

5. The people I work with are incredible and took amazingly good care of me while I was in a compromised state of G&T haze. From the guided imagery massages, to the full on knee-in-my back, to the escort to the bathroom, I was loved and cared for throughout. People also checked in on me the next day and just overall were awesome.

6. The energy from this event was just so overwhelmingly GOOD. From the people I worked & performed with to the attendees to the hotel to weather, to the support I personally got..it was all incredible.

7. I’m able to see where I’ve grown. For instance, in the past, the way I spent Thursday night would’ve be difficult for me. This time? Only a little, but for unrelated reasons. I’m learning how to work with compersion even when it’s complicated and I love that.

8. I’m able to see where I haven’t grown. I finally feel confident in my job and like I have my mojo back for performing, but when it comes to lining up play, even with people I know and like, or figuring out why seeing someone in a new light shocked the fuck out of me, and I’m a fucking basketcase of raw nerves. Or, apparently, fertile chaos. It’s just trying to decide what to plant in this land. How to get the sensation and submission I’m craving without freaking out about it or just pushing it down and pretending it doesn’t exist.

9. I’m able to embrace the wild serendipity, most of the time, at events. Like thinking I need to talk to someone and three seconds later, they come around the corner. Or walking right into someone I thought wasn’t coming but really wanted to who wound up being able to drop by just on one day and I managed to cross paths with them in that brief pocket. AND not only getting a wonderful hug, but also a clarification that he’d like a cuddle date with me at the next event we’re both at, to which I very enthusiastically agreed and am SO looking forward to.

So all of this and more is swimming in my head. New burlesque numbers to choreograph, scenes I want to have, sadness that this was the last Wicked Faire, fear of pursuing new possibilities or making myself look like a moron, better strategies for drinking, how to get my needs met, awesome people and experiences and feedback. Fertile chaos, indeed.

Just how ‘open’ do you wanna be…?

The past few months have brought me to the crux of an interesting quandary. The title of the post says, or rather, asks it all. Just how “open” do I wanna be? About my life. My path, proclivities, feelings, loves, desires.

Years ago, after the first Susie Bright book I read (Full Exposure – OMG, go read it), I felt positive I wanted to be like her. Around that time, I offered to and wound up giving a talk on polyamory at a friend’s local convention. I was green beyond belief but I was, as Linda Ronstadt sang, “Willin'”.

Willin’ to walk into a space with people I (mostly) didn’t know and talk about the fact that I didn’t think there was anything wrong with loving (and potentially sleeping) with more than one person. In fact, if I remember correctly, I was there with my then boyfriend and girlfriend. (Now ex-husband and ex-wife, but hey, that’s for another day.) And not only was I there to talk about how there wasn’t anything wrong with it, but ways to do it, books about it, conflicts that might come up (Hey, Jealousy…apparently, I’m writing in song titles tonight), compersion, etc. I was terrified to do it, but also high as a muthafucking kite when I was done. I was a poly activist! I was fighting the good fight and spreading the word about opening up relationships.

*sigh*

I was so young.

My heart was in the right place(s), though. A few people came up to me after the “class” to thank me. Ask questions. And while I did my best to answer them or point them in a good direction, I never really went anywhere with it. Or my dreams to write.

I did write a book way back in 2007. (Paperback Writer…I wish. More like Still Editing and Once You’re Done Maybe If You’re Lucky You’ll Be a Paperback Writer…The Beatles were SO right to go with the title that actually pops.) As the parenthetical says, I’m “still working on it.” I’ve done other things. Wrote a non-fic polyamory piece about how the Sims 2 was NOT a poly-friendly game. (Srsly. For short: it’s basically considered cheating if you take up with anyone who’s not your steady person and then, a FUCKING 6′ TALL BUNNY appears OUT OF NOWHERE, that ONLY YOU CAN SEE to prove you’ve gone insane from crying at the betrayal. That’s NOT OKAY, MAXIS.) for a close friend/mentor’s event magazine.

Tried my hand at the YA short story game after I wound up being introduced to an incredible person/now colleague and (most importantly) friend. Published six short stories, commissioned and paid for and everything. It in no way paid the bills, but it was totally the first time I’d ever been paid to write things that meant something to me. Lesbian polyamory. Asexuality. Internalized misogyny. YA pregnancy. Coping with a parent’s alcohol addiction. (Man, the tags on this post are turning into word salad.) I suppose this can all be considered “building my portfolio”, but it’s never really felt even that cohesive or important when I think about them all individually. After all, I wasn’t

  1. being offered a publishing contract
  2. in print, (beyond a non-circulating event magazine that doubled as the Playbill for the event)
  3. writing regularly
  4. making enough to earn a living from it.
  5. remotely famous

Amanda Palmer, in preparation for writing her book, (The Art of Asking – another OMG just go read it and then go read this article/interview about it from Brain Pickings by Maria Popova) I think, asked people how they knew they were successful. How/when they felt like “real” artists/writers/singers/actors/creators. It got written into her book like this:

There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to university, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.

It’s so simple and true and yet…and yet I still felt that thrill the first time I was in print, yet without pay. And then when my writing was liked by people. And then when I was paid for online writing. And most recently when the online writing I was asked to do was liked by people AND I was published in print and given a contract for my short story. It was like a beacon to forge ahead with those dreams. To do those things that I’ve been aching to do for years now but just never really knew how.

Sure, I had a few secret blogs that I thought I would just see if they “took off”. There are also a few secret blogs I kept secret and locked for reasons or to specific people. There’s also a not-so-secret other social networking site that I’ve been on and writing on for years. But recently, I’ve begun to tire of this cloak and dagger game of hiding who and what I am. Of being ashamed of my evolving sexuality and desires. Fuck, we’re living in the 50 Shades of Grey era. The good Christian housewives and stylists in the Southern salon where I had my hair did earlier this year were talking about kink and sex, for fuck’s sake. So when someone I’ve worked with as my gig doing programming for Jeff Mach Events asked if I’d be up for doing a guest blog post on kinkyasexuals.wordpress.com about being in the asexual spectrum and being into D/s, I thought, FUCK YES I’LL DO THAT THING. The next thought, when she asked if I had a blog or website I wanted to link up to the post was, FUCK YES I NEED A BLOG OR WEBSITE TO DO THAT THING. (BTW, you can read that post right here on my blog now, too!)

So I looked at all the myriad tried and failed attempts at making something of my dreams and realized they were either too specific and not what I wanted to do or behind barriers I couldn’t open up myself, so I set up this blog to blow open my own barriered writing. I started rebranding a lot of my social media presence (“presence”…if it can be called that…I mean, I’m not Jen Lancaster, The Bloggess, Amanda Palmer, Tristan Taormino, Lori Duron, Cecilia Tan, Dossie Easton, Janet Hardy, or Susie Bright, but they’re the stars I see in my eyes I look up for guidance of who I want to be and what I want to do. A little piece here and a little piece there…more on that later) to fit who I am and what I want to write about and stand up for.

And now, here I am, with a newly published short story in the First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology, a guest blog, and my own brandy new blog with some new stuff and some relevant writings from the past few years that I posted other places.

I’m terrified and excited all at once. This puts many things I’ve only begun talking about exploring (demisexuality, cuckqueandom), mixes it with things I’ve been doing for 15+ years (poly and kinkery) and sees what happens.

It’s scary to think about being this open because things start happening like my dad calling me to congratulate me on my newly published story. My newly published, kinky, cuckqueanarific short story. I had that moment of panic thinking he’d actually read it when I realized that one of my sisters, who’s on Facebook, where I talk about things in a slightly more controlled manner, must’ve seen me being over the moon about the anthology (and subsequently terrified before the first public reading I did of it…but that’s also another story) and then told me dad. *exhale and graciously accept congrats.

Then there’s the conversation I had with my ex-mother-in-law-turned-dear-motherlyfriend (and yet another story for another time) who is…fairly conservative. But she did eventually know about and support her son’s relationship with two women. But still, fairly conservative. But as my new husband said when he joined us for lunch a few weeks ago (srsly, that WILL be another story for another time) she’s also delightful and loves me and when I decided to take the plunge and tell her about the short story being published…in the vaguest of terms…she was elated for me and asked where to find the book. I hedged and told her she might not want to read it since it’s erotica. To which she replied, “oh, please. We’re all adults. I’ve read 50 Shades of Grey.” I damn near fell over on the spot. But it just went to show me that maybe I wouldn’t lose the people I loved if I was out and proud and me. And, um, wrote about it.

There will, inevitably, come a day when someone calls me a slut for sharing these things. For loving more than one person and having an open relationship, for liking the thought of my husband fucking other people, for enjoying consensual pain and sensation play, and, ironically, for favoring all of these above random and/or casual sexual encounters. I dearly hope I won’t lose vanilla connections. But like the above-mentioned nine women I mentioned, I have to write about what I know. So there will be some (a lot of) poly in here. There’s some (a way whole bunch of) kink. Some art and music. Some gender issues. Some geekery. Some geographic, socioeconomic snark. Some mental health issues but finding the humor in it all with brilliant humanity and a lot of spunk and snark.

Those are my goals. Those are the pieces that touch me deeply so I hope writing about them will be able to touch others deeply. The art and music may come in the form of burlesque, the gender issues may not quite be a gender-evolving child, and I know nothing of Lululemon, but it’s the spirit of it all that I want to share. And here’s where I start finding my own little corner of that sky. (Cause BAM, I hadn’t thrown in a song title in a while. Oh, did I mention I’m kinda obsessed with music and musicals? Yup, that’s a passionate thing, too.)

Welcome to our world. Thank you for being here. ❤