I’m sitting/sweating in my 83* kitchen, with a bowl of orange chicken courtesy of Costco, listening to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious.”

Something deep has shifted for me this summer. Something deep inside has shifted in a way that will never shift back to a “before.” There is only “now” (and the “future,” which I could never predict anyway).

This week I’ve eaten: Chicken burrito. BshelovesmeshelovesmenotBQ kettle chips. A truly insane amount of 85% dark chocolate. Green chile chicken sausages. A disgusting amount of mac ‘n cheese. Malted ice cream. And now the orange chicken. I’m PMSing, to be sure, but also going through the most unique “break up” that I’ve experienced.

Pretty much everyone who cares about me could have (and did) predicted that I’d be here now, three months later, a bit heartbroken and (yes, still) confused as fuck. It was still worth it, and maybe it’s not entirely over. (If she’d text me back, I could get on with that conversation).

Besides feeling heartbreak over someone who didn’t even think of us as “dating,” (despite sleepovers, falling asleep in each other’s arms, kissing, having emotionally and mentally intimate conversations, and being treated like each other’s “daters”- introductions to friends and families and touching lower backs in front of people) this summer has also been a witness to:

-My desire to have my own bedroom. I’m moving up into the attic! J, you can do whatever you want with that front bedroom.

-Conversations with our best friends about them moving into our basement. Communal living has never been more appealing to me.

-My concrete realization that touch and time are too important to me to go without in relationships.

-My sister and her girlfriend becoming engaged, and several other friends getting married or engaged.

-My decision to leave my full time job in lieu of teaching (continuing on with Human Sexuality and adding Women’s Reproductive Health) and dancing and continuing on with school.

-Intense community (dis)engagement in my local sex worker community.

-The closing of Club Sesso in Portland. So so so so much sadness over that.

-Further questioning of what it means to be queer, poly, communicative, assertive, and respectful. Why have I now met so many, and felt the attitude from others, that you can’t really be a woman who loves other women if you also love men? I don’t like it.

-Questioning unhealthy and abusive dynamics in relationships that are close to me.

-Some continued self-acceptance, appreciation, and love for myself and my physical body.

-Questioning of the importance of sex (shocking perhaps- especially if you are a longtime reader of mine). Specifically- witnessing the development of the feeling of romantic love without sex happening in a relationship. I’m still letting that sift through my brain.

-Reading a few books, all of which I would recommend- Janet Mock’s memoir on growing up trans, Redefining Realness; Sarah Katherine Lewis’ memoir on her work in the sex industry, Indecent; and local Sarah Mirk’s Sex From Scratch. I’m also in the middle of both of Brene Brown’s Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly.

-My overhaul of my OKC account. I even bought the stupid A-list membership so I could change my username.

When I opened my computer, I felt excited- I haven’t let myself have this kind of down-time in so long. And enough down-time to where I have the energy and interest in blogging. I want to do it like I used to do it. And maybe I will, but like I said at the beginning, there can never be a “before.” There is only “now,” and for today, right now I am doing this thing that I love.

I hope all of your summers have been rich and full heart-achey and full of learning and longing and love. Hopefully I will see you all soon.

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Much thanks for the nomination! Yay for lifestyle community and celebration!

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I’m learning a new language, one of water and music. Slow movements, a push for growth, return to soft and smooth, back to a rapid dance. We touch fingertips and embrace and then push apart, letting space swirl around our bodies before we are at once pulled back together. Like magnets. 

I have never done a relationship like this before. I have settled into this pattern of listening to subtle intimations and of watching body movements and feeling a cosmic energy that at once makes me feel minuscule and magnificent. We don’t talk directly about what we are “doing” and I don’t ask questions. I have never done this before. It feels strange and gorgeous. Love is strange and gorgeous.

Navigating boundaries is strange in this new space. When do we start talking if either of us is “seeing” anyone else? When will she ask more questions about my relationship with J and when will she feel comfortable and interested in meeting him in a substantial way? Will the sexual part of our relationship (beyond kissing) return? 

Once we both identified that we communicate differently, I’ve noticed that she has also tried to meet me in this new space. There have been spontaneous stories and disclosures, and attempts at asking me questions when all of that seems to come less naturally to her.

It’s beautiful and strange and amazing. I am in awe of continuing to explore how relationships can look and feel, including how I typically approach communication and expressions of love. 

working it out

Clearly, I am in one those phases of just wanting to use my blog as a personal journal, and less of an educational platform. That’s okay, right?

I find it fascinating how communication works. I can say these things with this body language, and have such a clear internal sense of what it all means, and yet I have absolutely no control over how you filter that through your past experiences and lens of what that communication means. I love the concept this image depicts of the communication loop:


Looking at this diagram, it is so easy to see where communication fails us every day, in every interaction. We all do the best we can. How we offer information is deeply enhanced by meta communication, and how we listen is enhanced by actively asking for clarification to do our best to understand someone’s true meaning. But it’s so hard.

I just am battling with many things (and I had to go all logical first I guess):

How do I reconcile all of the different messages from the past couple of weeks? How does “I miss you” and spending many hours together fit with “the sexual chemistry is off”?

How do I stay true to myself of feeling deeply and quickly without scaring people off?

How do I honor relationships and let them be whatever they want to be, while still honoring how I really feel? Is it possible for me to nurture a friendship when what I really want is that relationship to have romantic elements? Can I do that without tying up my romantic energy (which I did previously with someone who didn’t want to date me but wanted to be friends)? How can I separate the awe I feel for a person from my desires for how I want to feel intimate with that person?

I am humbled by the fact that I have likely spent hours writing out similar questions over and over on this blog.

You know something that I absolutely love about relationships and really getting vulnerable with people and inviting them into your space and getting the privilege of being in theirs? The reciprocity of ideas, specifically of ideas of what makes life amazing. This person in particular has inspired me to be less afraid to sing- so much so that I sang myself hoarse at my BFF’s bachelorette party when we were at a karaoke bar. She has also inspired me to start truly focusing on positive, self motivating talk. (She shared her idea that if it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, then it stands to reason that by spending inordinate amounts of time on telling ourselves we can’t do something or aren’t something, that we essentially become experts at talking ourselves out of things. Pretty magical reasoning.) She has, without knowing it, been part of my healing from my rape. These are deep and powerful things. I can only hope I gave her something special in return.


Lots of feelings right now:

There is a lot of embarrassed, a lot of sadness, a little rejection, quite a bit of loss, confusion, and frustration.

I have many thoughts, like:

How can you say the sex part feels off when we have both done such a poor job talking about sex? If sexual chemistry feels missing, that is one thing to me. But if it’s the way that the sex works, the mechanics of it- I don’t think we ever gave that a fair shot.


I told so many people about how excited I was. The thought of talking about how disappointed I now am is too much.


I haven’t been held or touched that way in a long time. I feel grateful for last week, and just so, so, so sad that it is gone.


The last woman I was interested in and with whom I tried dating also said she wanted to be friends and to have me in her life. That didn’t happen. I feel skeptical that it will in this case. I also don’t know if keeping this relationship at a platonic level feels right to me.


I don’t know why I let myself be so fucking vulnerable with people I don’t even know that well. And I don’t know that I would want to be less vulnerable, either. I just wish that it didn’t hurt so much.


There are just so many parts of this person that I admire so much. Her honesty, her ability to express her feelings and experiences, her smarts about social justice and domestic violence, her snarkiness, her obvious internal strength. I am trying to let of that just be, without being touched by all of the other above thoughts and feelings.

I think all of that can just be summed up with one word right now:


Love & Complications

“There must be something in the water
And there must be something about your daughter
She said our love ain’t nothing but a monster
Our love ain’t nothing but a monster
With 2 HEADS!

I turn to you, you’re all I see
Our love’s a monster with 2 heads and one heartbeat
I turn to you, you’re all I see
Our love’s a monster with 2 heads and one heartbeat
We just got caught up in the moment
Why don’t you call me in the morning instead
Before we turn into a monster
Before we turn into a monster with 2 heads
I hope to god I’ll love you harder
I hope to god I’ll love you longer
If only I could live forever
If only I could hold you longer”

~Coleman Hell, “2 Heads”




Specifically: “Game changers change things. That’s kind of the definition. They upset existing arrangements. People confronted with a game-changing relationship will not be likely to abide by old rules and agreements; the whole point of a game-changing relationship is that it reshuffles priorities and rearranges lives.”


“I now affirm that I can let go of loved ones.”

Those of you who know me well, either through this blog or in person or both, know that I feel my feelings quickly and deeply, and that I am often overwhelmed by them. That is just part of who I am, and luckily, my ability to manage them and talk about them has improved as I have gotten older and acquired more and better skills.

What happens, though, when you kiss someone that has, until that point, felt unreachable, and it feels both magnetic and explosive, and the electricity courses through your core out to your fingers and toes? What does that mean?

These are truths: I have not truly and deeply wanted to spend the night with anyone else since J and I opened up, until now. Spending the night with someone has always felt very intimate to me, and not an activity I take lightly, and I am now noticing that I want this. I have been very busy lately. And yet time opens up when something like this happens. I prioritize my limited time with J; it is sacred. And yet I have chosen to spend some of that time with someone else.

Doesn’t that all point to feeling very connected to this person?

Is it possible that their reality is so very different than mine? Can one person be experiencing this rush while the other is lounging back, enjoying a medium-level attraction and sense of fun? The whole situation is making me feel crazy.

My very first date with J, I remember these very thoughts: I am done dating. I am in love. This is it.

And in part, I was wrong: I wasn’t done dating (I didn’t know it then). But those intense and deep feelings of connection, intimacy, trust, and love were very real and very immediate.

I generally trust my gut. I know when I like people and when I can trust them and when I love.

I’m not sure what it is that is causing all of the upset, all of the back-and-forth inside. I think it is partly due to the spontaneity of this connection, the total unexpectedness of it. I don’t know how to express myself anymore, or act like myself. I’m a quivering, nervous mess.

A pattern of mine, that opening up certainly has challenged and helped me to reshape, is to identify people with whom I want to be close, whether it is a friend or potential partner, and to grab on so fucking tight. There is still a part of me that is just deeply afraid that if I don’t grab on, I will be left. If I don’t grab on, this thing will disappear. The connection will be lost. Logically, I know that nothing could be further from the truth and I have been working all week to breathe and relax and enjoy whatever the heck this is.

She told me last night that she had an expectation that I’ve “done” this before, that there was some prescribed model she would just sort of slip into, that it was just a very safe thing for her to explore because it was so clear-cut, that she would just learn a whole bunch from casually dating a married chick.

It is just so interesting to me. How can any one experience or relationship be prescribed in that way? We don’t expect friendships to all be the same. They are shaped by the people in them; every connection is unique. I can understand for someone pretty unfamiliar with polyamory, and unfamiliar with J and I’s stamp on poly, it would be confusing to understand. I also don’t know where she got the idea from that I’ve “done” this a whole bunch before, especially when I consider that chemistry isn’t a dime a dozen- that shit is unique, at least in my life. Having sex and staying the night with someone that I have that intense of chemistry with- that is special.

Help me.

J has been amazingly wonderful and supportive, giving me ample space to enjoy this, to see her even during times we would otherwise spend together, to process my feelings in the ways that I have needed to. It has been incredibly weird to explore all of this new relationship energy. While I have had a handful of intense crushes on women the past few years, this is the first it has manifested into something right in front of me. I have had a lot of practice fantasizing and dreaming and thinking of hypotheticals… Now I am getting to practice how I hold all of these things: my commitment to J and the stability and longevity of our partnership, with this whole ball of crazy emotions for someone new. It feels strange. Not undoable, just new and strange.

This whole thing could blow over- especially because I am afraid my feelings and their depth may have weirded her out (but why would I want to see someone who is weirded out by my feelings, anyway?). Or maybe it won’t. Either way, how grateful I am for the experience runs deep.

I love the love.

birth day

writing last week was intense.

I went to counseling. J and I had sex. I talked with a few close people about my initial realizations. I coped so I could get through my work week. I took some time off.

I felt off on my birthday but not so off I couldn’t enjoy it. We soaked in a hot tub, went out for fancy dinner, and then to our club. It was good, solid.

Saturday night, though, dang. It’s like my body and soul come alive when I dance naked. What is that? I’m in love with the world, even as I feel shitty. It’s just like none of it matters. And even better, I got to share myself in that space with so many of my best people. That felt like my birthday. That night has carried me through the first part of the week. Also strawberry cake is yummy and also makes a difference.

As has the fact that spring makes people come alive, and so I am now talking with a handful of new ladies online and have a couple of dates set up. And a crush of mine saw me dance on Saturday and I just love a good crush. Even as I am coping with thinking about rape, I feel enlivened and whole, energetic and happy.

Thanks for all of the positive vibes. I felt them last week.