Polyamorous Conversations With Monogamous People

My relationship styles have changed consistently over the years, always ebbing and flowing with what I needed, or thought I needed, at the time.  I’ve been monogamous, poly, and even a somewhat interesting combination of the two which I think Facebook has termed something like “It’s complicated”, and right they were.

There are very unique qualities to these types of relationships, where if you haven’t lived as each at some point or another, you really can’t take a step back far enough to be able to say just what those are.  A recent conversation with my sexy running friend really brought this into focus for me last week. We were texting one night, and as most of our conversations go, who knows what it even was really about.  Texts are like highlights of mental processes kept brief for efficiency.  It’s like reading the Cliff’s Notes of a real conversation.  Somehow in the midst of this texting, the subject of this girl who had been none to shy with her advances towards him came up.  Seeing as he didn’t seem to be rebuffing, I asked him if he had designs on fucking her. If I’m going to be fucking someone, I like to know who else will be playing in the pool, and I made that known.

The conversation that followed my query was a very clear example of the uniquenesses between monogamous and polyamorous people.

polyI admit that I can be a judgmental person.  Fuck, we all are.  I think it’s dishonest to not admit that on some level, everyone is, no matter how much they plead otherwise.  This girl is a stripper.  Having known an acquaintance friend who was a stripper, and hearing stories from her and her friends first hand, I know strippers sling ass like diners sling pancakes on a Sunday morning.  That’s cause enough to make me reconsider even jumping in the pool if I know she’ll possibly be sharing too.  For that reason, I asked him to let me know if he did, and I added, that I would offer the same courtesy as well if I have sex with someone else in addition to him.

His response? “lol I don’t mind.  I have no claim on you, and we haven’t done anything yet really”

My response? “It’s not about claim, it’s about health.  Hello? STDs?  You’re already claimed lol”,  to which he replied, “I assume you will be as smart and as safe as possible.  But yeah, if you get an STD, tell me”

Say what? “If” I?  I don’t want to be in that position.

I was really bothered by that, and the more I thought it over, I realized why.  I was trying to have a very normal, run of the mill, polyamorous conversation with a monogamous person, and there in lay my problem. In a polyamorous relationship, when adding lovers to the mix, it’s done with full disclosure to pre-existing partners.  Since I am inches away from dropping my panties, I figured I would ask beforehand.  Polyamory, when done well and right, is about honesty and choice, and how those two meet.  communicate

Now, I am all for multiple partners, but I like to know who the players are.  Too may people in the pool make me uncomfortable, and yes, that is where my choice comes in.  I have ceased being lovers with people in the past when I felt they were sleeping with too many people at the same time, or felt the partners they chose were out of my comfort zone for the same reason. I like being healthy, and would like to stay that way, thank you.  This was, to me, a very basic conversation to have when multiple partners are involved. 

I realize now that this is incredibly hypocritical of me considering I am ready to take a man to bed who is doing so behind the back of the current lover he has.  It’s more than kind of foolish of me to expect honesty from someone who is being dishonest to his own girlfriend.  She isn’t getting the same curtsey, so why should I dare to expect the same?  Perhaps these are questions and quandaries that are unique to a polyamorous mindset.

What I found very interesting too was this idea of “claim”, and how in my wanting to know, or my desire to inform, about additional sexual partners, must be about some sense of ownership.  How does open disclosure equal claim?  It’s not necessarily a uniquely monogamous thought I suppose, seeing as in some poly situations there is the potential for veto power from existing partners, so what then? Why claim? And then it dawned on me, that sometimes monogamy can be confused with control, and in that control, ownership of the individual you share the relationship with.  They are yours and no one elses sexually.  It’s not meant to be, because it’s based on a mutual choice to be  exclusive, but humans by nature are territorial creatures, and sometimes that animal comes out even in the best relationships.

When I was married back when I was 22, my husband insisted that no one else could see me naked.  He went with me to a clothing optional campground, and although everyone else was going in the hot tub and pool naked, he told me I had to wear my bathing suit.  Why? Because I was his.  He didn’t want anyone else but himself to see his wife naked. I’m not sure why this seemed so dangerous to him.  I believe he felt that it was an invitation for others to want me, and the clothing was akin to a lock and a key on something he had captured.  To me nudity is very comfortable, very freeing, and I just don’t see what there was about it that was so disturbing to him for me to be naked in the company of others who were too.  I honestly at the time had no designs on straying, but I can tell you without a doubt that this was the first nail in the coffin of our relationship. I am not a thing to be owned.

I am not something to be controlled or tamed.  I certainly would not wish to inflict this sort of ownership on anyone else either.  This is where all relationships find doom, no matter how many partners are involved.

So monogamous people, please don’t feel I am saying you’re all a bunch of control freaks.  I know this is not the case.  You can have freedom even with commitments.  I know this and have lived this.  And polyamorous people, don’t think I’m saying that somehow you are loftier than monogs because of your honesty and candid disclosure, because I have firsthand experience that is not the case as well.

Thank you every day conversations for brining to light the differences between how people from different relationship styles communicate.

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A Hand In The Bush Is Worth More Than Two Fingers

When I was 18 I had sex with my step brother.  I had just moved to NYC for college, and now that I was “legal”, the opportunity to make something long-flirted around, a reality, was too tempting to pass up.

Even though I had lost my virginity a few years earlier, with two different partners, I really had no real understanding of what good sex was, let alone how to be any “good” at it.  My parents never really talked to me about sex (whose really do), so my sexual education really came from watching soap operas and guessing, watching one porn film and wondering “Why?”, and then filling in the blanks with anything else sexually stereotypical the pre-internet media wanted to share with me.  Like many teenagers, I was just fumbling my way through without the manual.

So here, after just turning 18 two days before, I called up my step brother who lived in Alphabet City at the time, and head over to his place with all sorts of nerves fluttering around in my belly for the long anticipated encounter.

It was horrible.

It was right out of a bad porn film, and I am not free from blame there.  It was a “legs over his shoulders, feet in the air, thrusting like a wayward jackhammer, bad porn girl noises” kind of awful.  No orgasm, not even close…for me at least.  I was so disappointed.  He was 9 years older than me, so I thought I might learn something, but instead as I was getting dressed, I realized I had more questions than answers.  Not wanting to keep feeling as naive and unexperienced, I went for shock value.  As I was buttoning up my shirt, I cocked my head to the side, smiled, and said, “Have you tried fisting?”

Needless to say, I really had no idea what fisting really was.  He was like, “Babe, you are way more hardcore than me”.  So, zing!  I left his apartment not feeling like a totally naieve  nymph.  Still, to this day, I have no clue where I came up with that.  I’m guessing I must have heard it mentioned in some book or movie that had crossed my recent path.

For years, my vision of vaginal fisting was just that: “way hardcore”.  I always envisioned it as something most likely painful, definitely uncomfortable, and not in the least bit pleasurable.  I just imagined some man with a fist up his lover’s pussy, just slamming away.  That was a total visual turn off for me.  And while I love rough sex and sensory play, getting off on pain has never been my thing.

At 27 all my misconceptions about fisting came crashing down in one earth-shattering, g-spot induced, orgasm.

I have always loved being fingered while having my pussy licked.  To be stroked inside, to be penetrated, to revel in the feeling of being filled, has always intensified my pleasure.  Oh, I can come without it, yes, but it just makes the orgasm that much more pleasureable.  It takes it to a whole other level.  It’s the best of both oral and penetrative lovemaking.

I was in a relationship with a lover during that time which was really based on mutually exploring our sexual boundaries.  In the course of talking one evening about things we wanted to try, he brought up fisting.  I had my image in my head, but he assured me it wasn’t what I had been long imagining.  A few weeks later he bought me the book A Hand In The Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting, which I admit I only read a short bit from before I consented to trying it with him.  I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet.

One night, as he was nestled with his face deep between my thighs he slid a finger inside my pussy, and then a second…still encircling my clit with his tongue, along my hot slit, and I was on fire for him as usual.  He pushed in a third.  He had nice thick fingers.  I loved the way they felt filling me. He stroked me deep inside, traced his passion with each strong finger on my inner walls, and I tightened around him like a glove.  It was like he was making me his instrument, and my sighs and moans were our music.  My thighs were quivering with this intense pleasure that was racing though every inch of my skin. And when he inserted a 4th finger, it was such a insatiable desire flowing through me that I didn’t even realize we had reached that.

It was so primal, so deeply intense.  It was a feeling I had never experienced to that magnitude before. It’s a g-spot orgasm that is like a full-body earthquake that’s an 8.5 on the Richter Scale!   Imagine ladies (or gents) your most intense orgasm, and then multiply that by 100, maybe 1000.  Imagine that, and you might come close to the sensations I was experincing from being filled by his hand.

Photo courtesy COSMOS Magazine

Photo courtesy COSMOS Magazine

We got up to 4 that time before the intensity scared me, and I felt a twinge of pain which I feared was me tearing, but really was the unfortunate nick of a fingernail that wasn’t filed down well enough.  He pulled his hand out slowly, and I would have sworn he was wrist deep inside me.

Rule #1 of good fisting experiences – trim your nails down so no edges can be felt at all!

See, that’s just it.  Fisting isn’t about making a fist and shoving it into your partner’s vagina like a plow. If you Google images of it, that’s all you’ll see; a bunch of hands and forearms stuffed into vaginas, but it really gives a false impression to a seriously delightful experience.

Rule #2 – Slow and steady wins the race!

Be patient and take your time.  It’s slow, it’s sensual, it’s deeply intimate.  If done right, you’re not inserting a fist, but rather slowly making a fist inside your partner’s pussy.  That it what naturally will happen as the fingers  curl the more you progress, once you get past the hardest part, which is the wide part of the man’s hand near the lowest thumb knuckle.  The key to being able to get more fingers in, and inevitably the whole hand,  is that you’re relaxed, and the best way for you for us ladies to be relaxed is to not feel pressured.  Don’t be set on the end goal, enjoy every moment of the ride.

I have to tell you that even in the many times he and I explored this way, his hand was just too wide to fully get past that widened area of his hand.  We were very close one time, very, but then he started licking my asshole that I lost all control, and I came so hard and so fast that it merited a place on the calendar. It has been known since as “BOOML” December 23, 2008.  Otherwise known as “Best Orgasm Of My Life”.  Let it just be said that I am by no means a quiet lover, so I am pretty sure everyone within a 50 mile radius heard me that day too.  Everybody celebrate!  Sorry neighbors.

Rule #3 – No matter how wet you get, use lube!

I get very wet naturally, very, so we didn’t need extra lube (or so we thought), but if you’re going to try this for the first time with a lover, I suggest definitely using a good lube.  And even as juicy as I get, a little extra lube is never a bad thing.  Plus, vaginas are very delicate places, so this will help prevent anything unpleasant like tearing from happening.  Speaking from my first time experience, it really pulled me right off my pleasure high rather quickly.

Photo Courtesy Weheartit.com

Photo Courtesy Weheartit.com

And lastly, Rule #4 – Don’t be afraid to try something new

If I hadn’t have been open to trying this, I would have missed out on a height of sexual ecstasy that I would have not believed was possible.  Be open to pushing your own boundaries, safely that is, you never know what pleasures await you.

Men, I’ll use this moment to say that having a woman stroke your  prostrate with one, or more, fingers can be just as pleasurable for you.  Want to amplify that pleasure?  Have her suck your cock while she does it.  And I promise, it won’t make you gay (haha – Seriously, why are straight men still so fearful of some equal opportunity loving’ here?)  Personally, I find it very sexy to touch a lover this way, but as much as you guys love are asses, you play hard to get with us with your own  Unfair I tell you, unfair!

And it should be noted, it is ok to not enjoy something.  You may try fisting and not have the same experience as me.  It may just not butter your muffins like it does mine, but at least you will know because you gave yourself permission to explore and experience it.

I am still waiting to explore fisting again with a new lover, and hopefully, finally be able to experience the sensation of a whole hand inside me.  It’s not something I would do with every lover and it’s probably not something on every man’s sexual menu, but thanks to that one lover, it is forever on mine.

In Praise of Vanilla: Sexual Expression and Acceptance

Things on here have been seriously heavy on the kink side lately, so I think it’s time to dial it back a notch, and give some equal share time to the other tasty aspects of sexuality.  When I started this blog I didn’t want to focus on just the kinky aspects alone, because my sexuality has really run the gamut, and all of it has been a delicious and valid.  Actually, I think experiencing various forms of kink has made vanilla even better.  Maybe this is because my vanilla isn’t really vanilla, but who is to say for sure.  Sometimes vanilla gets a bad rap in the kink community, and I think unfairly so.  If we can hold space for everyone to have and enjoy their own personal kink of choice without judgement, then why can we not extend that same acceptance to those for whom vanilla is their lovestyle of choice?

Photo Courtesy of Make Better Food

I’m the kind of gal who likes to sample all the flavors, and my tastes are continually changing.  I find it difficult to pick a “favorite” anything.  I have certain things I enjoy more than others, and just what that “flavor” may be, vacillates depending on any number of variables.  I think it’s fair to say that the majority of us are also not static creatures; our desires and tastes ebb and flow, grow and change as we do as individuals.  I don’t experience and express my sexuality the same way I did as a teenager, or even as I did throughout my 20’s, because I’m just not the same person I was then that I am now.  What I think of as vanilla sex now, is definitely not even close to what I once might have defined it as, but that doesn’t mean that one is any less valid than the other.  My sexuality at each stage was congruent to who I was as a person, and where I was along my own path of growth.

As we move through our lives, we continually meet people who will alter the person we know ourselves to be currently. Through our intimate connections with others, whether emotional or physical, or a combination thereof, we are transformed.  With the addition of each interaction, and the intensity and depth of the connection, we are inextricably changed.  Whether this change is conscious or unconscious, by choice or consequence, it is impossible to remain a constant in the wake of such forces.

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical
substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed”  – Carl Jung, psychiatrist (1875-1961)

I think those of us who have been involved with either the kink community, or even just exploring kink privately, feel like we have been so unfairly judged, and wrongfully dismissed, by those who are purely vanilla, that there is some residual anger and resentment there.  We’re a little raw from being called “weird” or “wrong” by those who have a more closed-minded, color inside the lines idea of what sexual expression is, and so we tend to transfer all of those feelings of being rejected and sullied, onto the entire vanilla lovestyle.  Unfortunately, that’s a blanket judgement made about an entire group of people, when perhaps only a percentage of that group feels that way.  In reality, this is just as unfair to those who practice vanilla sex solely, as it is to those of us who are unfairly labeled for exploring and enjoying kink.  Those of us that do so are only perpetuating that same rigidity.  And that means that those of us who think we are somehow more open-minded, more advanced in our being because of this, are in actuality, hypocrites.

While I have been using the terms of “vanilla” vs. “kink” speaking about the expression of sexuality as if it were these two areas were polar opposites, it’s important to remember and acknowledge that there is a lot of gray area here in both.  It brings to mind the Kinsey Scale of Sexual Orientation in which Kinsey proposed that only a small minority of us are actually completely straight or gay, and that most of us are on a varying scale of degrees of bisexuality.

“Males/Females do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.” – Kinsey, (1948)

These kinds of dichotomies can often be witnessed in other areas related to sexuality and relationships, such as in the great debate that exists between those who are monogamous vs. polyamorous.  The Poly community, while professing a more progressive stance on love and relationship, discounts those who would consider themselves monogamous, as people who are somehow emotionally or spiritually stunted in their understanding and expression of love.  The monogamy community, while not wanting to be discounted and belittled for their choice of a single partner relationship, condemns those who choose Polyamory (multiple-partner relationships with full disclosure), as unscrupulous and promiscuous heathens, who only seek pleasure for pleasure’s sake, at the cost of experiencing real emotional depth and connection.  Essentially, both communities want the same thing: to both be seen as valid and acceptable relationship choices, with neither one or the other being the superior choice.  Regardless, the argument between them still remains despite this, with both sides failing to understand that by invalidating the other, they also invalidate their own position as well.  It is imperative that both sides understand this in order to move past this impasse, and grow.

Photo Courtesy of The Cut AboveI do not ascribe my lovemaking to any singular definition. The expression of my sexuality is fluid, and without the confines of a if “this, than “that”” mentality.  I am neither vanilla or kink solely.  It may seem trite to say, but I am much more a connoisseur of “swirl”, when faced with the choice of either vanilla or chocolate.  I want the freedom to choose what I want sexually in the moment, instead of feeling like I have somehow backslid in my personal evolution because I don’t always want sex to include some level of BD/SM or kink play.  Sometimes, just two naked people, physically and emotionally, is pretty damn hot.  And sometimes two people with some wrists restraints, a spreader bar, and a paddle is too.  Both are equally capable of producing mind-blowing, ecstatically juicy results!

It’s important that we all recognize that sexuality and relationship born of consent, is an individual expression, and that no one’s personal expression of it is any more valid than any other.  We all bring to our sexuality a unique bouquet of biology, background, and experience, and that these are often in relation to who we are in that moment; no more or less progressive or evolved than another.  Embrace each others differences, respect each others boundaries, and be open to the possibility that sexuality is more than just how you experience it as an individual.

Everyone Has Layers, I Too, Am A Parfait

I’m human, and as sex-positive as I am, I still feel the occasional bout of guilt or tinge of shame from allowing myself to be open and vulnerable, written or verbally spoken,  about all the various places my explorations in my sexuality have taken me.  Recently, as I have been sharing these details of times waned, and those waxing in my erotic life, I’ve noticed a recoil within myself; a judgement, or a fear of judgement, about the kind of person I am, by the people I know, and those I hope to know in the future.

All of what you will read here in this blog are true life experiences.  I am not telling you stories, or simply recanting fantasies that have crossed my mind.  This is me.  This has been my life so far, and the posts you read from here on out will share what appears on the horizon of the future.  Speaking as someone who considers herself to be an open person, I can still share with you that this openness, this vulnerability, does not come without some reservation deep down inside.  I worry, “If they know the real me, the more forbidden places I have been, will they still like me?  Will they still love me?  Will I still love me?” (writing this sentence has literally welled my eyes up with tears, and this keyboard is getting difficult to make out through the blurred vision).  There must be something there for me in that thought right there, some nugget to bring into the light, that maybe, just maybe, I need to love myself more thoroughly.

If you know me in real life, you would say I was a fairly average person as people go.  I live my life in suburban normalcy; raising a teenage daughter as a single parent, working, and participating in various social circles and events that are completely unrelated to these facets of myself, and I like it this way.  I want my day-to-day life, and those in it, to be stable and rewarding.  That doesn’t mean that I want a boring and uneventful life, or one so riddled with routine that there is no joy found in the living of it.  I guess you could say that I want to be, and am, an “unconventional conventionalist” (Thank you, Rocky Horror Picture Show for that term).

My father once described me perfectly.  He said that as liberal as one might believe me to be, that I really am quite conservative.  He’s right.  I want a fairly traditional life.  I want to be married, in a monogamous relationship, but I “don’t want to be married to some dolt”.  I wasn’t always certain that this was what I wanted, but after exploring various relationship configurations, I am certain of it now.  I want to be married to someone who wants that stability and consistency of the everyday, but who is not a totally rigid and conventional being.  I want someone who is open and expansive in their mind, heart, and way of being.  I want life to have some adventure, vibrancy, and exploration with it.  At some point my father also said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t be mediocre”.

The Jesus picture my Mom has on her dresser

Photo Courtesy of: Today’s Catholic News

I was raised Catholic, but from a very early age challenged that belief system.  I just knew that somehow, it didn’t fit me.  I assume though, that as much as I didn’t resonate with that religion, I couldn’t help but not only absorb it’s core values, which are inherently pretty good (love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you would have done to you, etc), but also, it’s core flaws (guilt, shame, and basic emotional flagellation for anything remotely associated with sexual expression, especially so as a girl/woman).  Plus, I had a really hard time imagining that God was only a man, seeing as most everything around had a masculine and feminine duality.

When you’re raised in any religion, no matter how much you might not fully believe or resonate with it, it’s still very difficult to fully revoke the power of the framework that was laid.  It’s hard to unlearn that programming.  I’m not saying “programming” like as in brainwashing, but rather in learned behavior or belief as programming.  And honestly, not all of it is bad, so it’s like I have to pick and choose what fits and what doesn’t, and go from there, but then you have to reconcile within yourself why certain parts work, if certain parts don’t.

So when you learn from a young age that certain ways of thinking, feeling, or being, are considered bad or wrong, it can’t help but stay with you, and affect how you move through not only the world around you, but your own inner world as well.  I know even as much as I don’t consciously believe it affects me, that it still does.  Yes, what you have heard about Catholic guilt, is true!  It’s all true!

Photo Courtesy of: The Magic Farmhouse

Coloring outside the prescribed lines is not always easy, or effortless.  When the majority of people run in one direction, and you choose the other, there is bound to be some conflict.  Society, as a whole, doesn’t really jive well with differentiations from the “norm” as well as it likes to think it does.  This can be easily seen in any group that thinks it’s all fringey and unconventional, like say “goths” or “emo” kids, when their way of being different often looks the exact same on all of them.  Don’t worry, I have been guilty of this too, so it’s not a judgement.  Yep, celebrate non-conformity with conformity! LOL

I get a kick out of the kids that give me judgmental sneers when I shop in Hot Topic for band shirts, and I’m wearing a plain tank top and a pair of shorts, and basically look like a Gap ad.  I once had multi-color hair and mismatched vintage clothes, and I’m still as unconventional now as I was back then, except now I can count on being gainfully employable.  I actually think it makes me less of a poser than they think I am, because all of my unconventional tendencies are cleverly disguised in this nice, unassuming package.  Or, like my ex-husband who wants everyone to think he’s so avant-garde with the way he dresses or expresses his views, but is really a well-package conservative Republican.

So, although I am a person who is extremely comfortable in her own skin, I still do have the occasional fears that not all of the myriad of layers I have will be palatable to the people I want them to be.  I don’t want to be written into one category because someone assumes something of me, just because I express myself a certain way, or believe as I do.  I guess what I want most out of this blogging experience is for people to realize that I am, and on the grander scale, we as women and men are, simply not one thing or the other.  Life is not black and white.  There are a million shades of grey (not just 50, sorry E. L.)  There is no, “if this, than that”.  Being one way does not mean that we ascribe to all the attributes that one would assume we would, based solely on one way of being.  I am not to be pigeon-holed.

I am not bad, wrong, slutty, easy, loose, whorish, or less than because I embrace my sexuality, and all the intricate workings of figuring out just what that means to me and looks like, personally.

I am a good, loving, intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, kind, quirky, unconventionally conventional woman, and I hope you will take the time to know the real, all-encompassing, me before judging me.