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:

motivational-interviewing-9-728

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.

crushed

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.

and

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

and

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.

and

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.

and

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.

and

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:

Ugh.

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”

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

This: https://www.morethantwo.com/gamechanger.html

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.”

inspirational-quotes_15501-0

“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.

peace

Activism and movements

I love how when you sit in a classroom, someone often tries to teach you how to do practical things in the world. The class I took a few years ago on community organizing is just making me laugh out loud now; I just don’t think there is any classroom experience that could really prepare you for what it actually looks like and feels like to try to connect with people to move change forward.

In Oregon, House Bill 3059 would mandate that all entertainment clubs display posters that spell out what rights independent contractor entertainers (strippers, DJs, comedians) have, as well as maintain an anonymous hotline entertainers can call to report violations or seek clarification.

I think it’s a stupid bill, if at least a tiny step forward in spreading accurate information to strippers in Oregon on what their status actually is and how they are actually treated.

I think I have effectively alienated myself from a few people who are staunch supporters of the bill. And more closely aligned myself with other workers who think empowerment and respectability politics is pretty bullshit (as do I). But it’s kind of killing me that there are such divides within the community. That is exactly what dominant culture encourages people of oppressed communities to behave: divide and conquer. Fuckers!

You can’t organize a community that doesn’t want to be. You can’t effectively talk to a community and get a solid read on what it needs or wants if the community isn’t organized.

It honestly feels like a shit show. All of the interpersonal politics and drama and history that shapes and influences the real way policy (organizationally, institutionally, legally, culturally) is created. Some of it is petty and some if it isn’t. Some of it comes down to fundamental differences of opinion that can’t be bridged or glossed over; these differences really matter in building a movement, and yet it is still tough to know- is this the right way to go about pushing for change? Alienation never feels right to me, but maybe it should? How do we “call in” as opposed to “call out” possible supporters and opponents? How do you stay diplomatic while still remaining true to your message?

Integration, Disassociation, Connection

I keep wanting to write, and then feel overwhelmed by my lack of presence. So I’ll just start with where things are now, and the missing pieces from the past several months will filter their way in. Writing and sharing is too therapeutic for me not to do it, so I’m going to try to do it more.

I remember writing a post way-back-when on anal sex, and the hang-ups I have around it. I remember writing about the non-consensual anal sex that my high school boyfriend had with me. That’s called rape, by the way, and I can type it but I can hardly say it out loud (I’ve said it once now). For some reason (I don’t know what the reason is; if I did, I think it might help in processing all of this), this memory and experience bubbled up and had been sitting for the past few weeks, until coming over the edge yesterday.

The part that is getting me the most is the realization that I have been doing the same stuff that most survivors of this kind of trauma do: making excuses for the person, blaming myself, etc. He must have not realized he shoved his cock in the wrong hole. I didn’t tell him to stop. He loved me so he couldn’t have done this. I have been having flashbacks to the day after that incident: I was so terrified that my parents would find out I had been having sex and I spent all of my time trying to prepare to defend my actions. I left myself absolutely no room to feel how I really felt: betrayed, violated, unheard, and hurt.

For some reason, all of my life since that day has just been swimming through me since yesterday, when I had this meltdown. All of the times I haven’t been able to say what I really wanted, how I really wanted it, when I really wanted it, why I really wanted it. Every time with a friend or a partner or a lover or a customer in the club I haven’t been able to speak and hold a boundary of mine. How much I sway to expectation and pressure and history. How often I have put other people before myself.

It’s too overwhelming, frankly.

Somehow, though, after crying on the couch yesterday in the early evening, I managed to get myself showered and dressed and to the club for my shift. I don’t know how I did it, but somehow, I took all of that shit and created this bubble around myself, and I looked at all of the people in the club and just thought: You can’t hurt me. I don’t care what you fucking think. I’m going to have fun, I am going to do my job, and I am going to make the money I came here to make. And it worked. I’m still not sure how, but it did.

I woke up today, though, feeling low, and my mood has only really gone down today. I feel this weight on me, and I don’t know what to do or where to go or who to talk to. Nobody can fix that experience, no one or anything can make it better.

One of my friends, who happens to be a sex worker, maintains that she hates white straight cis men because they haven’t experienced oppression. I get what she means- it’s hard to feel understood by someone who hasn’t directly experienced being oppressed. I don’t hate men. I hate the system that has been created, and while many men (and other people) perpetuate it in many ways, I don’t think individuals are to blame. Especially, and at least, people who are at least aware of the privileges they embody and do their best to mitigate how they operate in the world. I also don’t think someone needs to have an experience themselves in order to to offer genuine support and empathy.

But I also just keep feeling this sense of utter violation, simply because I have this receptive sexual and reproductive system. I can’t penetrate anyone in the way that someone with a penis can penetrate me. I’m suddenly shocked by the deep sense of trust I grant, pretty freely, to male bodied sexual partners to penetrate my body. And how insanely lucky I am that I have had just the one experience that left me feeling totally violated. (And what a fucked up thing that I feel “lucky.” It should be the standard to not be violated.) Just that one experience is now rendering me depressed and numb. And overwhelmed.

The idea of creating feminist relationships also keeps creeping up as I spin in circles about this. How do two or more people create a relationship that truly takes into account the needs and desires of each person, while making sure that boundaries and agreements are equitable and fair? I want to surround myself with people who want to make space for everyone in the room, not just in their hearts but with their body language and the way they talk and the way they offer themselves.

I also want and hope that I continue to use all of this to my advantage when I go to work in the club. This mixture of anger and despair, I hope, can help me to be extra clear about my boundaries: It’s about the money. It’s a job. No, I won’t go on a date with you. No, you can’t have my number. You can’t talk to me about how you hate Black people or gay people or any other oppressed group. Fuck you, with a smile.

My birthday is this week. And I am praying that come Friday, I can get dressed up and have a snazzy fun time at our favorite place, and that come Saturday, I can dance the night away while people pay to see my pussy and tits. And furthermore, I hope that when my people come to see me dance, from my full time work and my school and my friends, they see me as the whole person that I am. Lastly, I hope I can see that myself soon, hurt and healing and all.

Happy NEW Year

Long time, no talk friends! I didn’t bring anything with me to do on the bus, so I figured I should use the opportunity to get back on here. (I apologize for any unsightly typos)

Sex sex sex
Love love love
Fullness, growth, challenges

It feels overwhelming for me to recap the past few months, but I’m going to do my best. In no particular order:

Still dancing, still lovin’ it. Worked Xmas eve and the eve of Xmas day. Profitable and crazy. I was in the strip industry mag in November, posing for an ad for my club. Super, super fun!

Biggest news on my mind: Teaching an online section of human sexuality this term. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Winter term started today. I’m pretty terrified… and THRILLED. I have 52 students. Three jobs? Apparently I don’t think that’s an issue? (What’s up with me?) Putting together my syllabus felt like a dream come true.

I/we adopted a second dog. I realized it was largely because I’ve been pretty lonely since J and I work such different schedules. I dont know if the little guy is a good long term fit for us because of his bad separation anxiety, but he’s adorable. We talk about my loneliness. Trying to schedule weekly date times to help with it. And I’m trying to see friends when I can.

Both J and I hopped back on OKC recently. That’s been entertaining, fun, and thought provoking.

Had a threesome with two sweet friends of mine (a lesbian couple). It was a tasty experience!!

There is legislation being pushed forward this term, atrempting to improve the working conditions of strip clubs in Oregon. It’s pretty disappointing (understatement) how little the bill is touching on.

My sex worker support group has taken off more! I’m happy for that.

My full time work has been engaging, largely because I’m in meetings all the  now. School has been fine.

What’s new in your world? I’ll try to better on here in the weeks and months to come :)

Xoxo
K