When Group Sex Sucks

For lack of a better word. What I really mean is: boring, uncomfortable, or stressful. My most recent DA post is on this.

These experiences can feel isolating and just plain crappy. Who wants to be the person to put a halt to the fun everyone else seems to be having? But- it’s much better to be this person (in a calm, assertive, and communicative way) than to be the person that holds in insecurities, fears, and needs, resulting in a gross group energy. (been there, done that way too many times) It just takes time to figure out what kind of energies, constellations, and contexts work for you, which means sometimes experiencing less-than-ideal situations. Viewing your experiences as vehicles for personal growth will help you retain a sense of fun, adventure, and love, instead of cutting yourself (and potentially your partner) off from new experiences and people.

I failed to mention in my post for DA how crappy group sex can feel when you or your partner breaks a boundary that was agreed to before the encounter. You may find out about the boundary-breaking during or after the encounter, and I think these instances really do just suck. They can wear down the trust between you and your partner, and take a lot of processing and communicating before apologies are made, forgiveness is felt and given, and you can move forward. Again, I think viewing the experience as a vehicle for personal growth can help facilitate feelings of resolution.

Here is the first part of my post on when group sex sucks (make sure to go read the whole thing!):

“Sometimes group sex experiences are amazing and mind-blowing and way more fun than watching ‘Batman.’

But sometimes they are boring, uncomfortable or stressful.

I’m going to shed some light on some of my experiences. (Make sure to look at some of my awesome threesome experiences, too!)

Most of my negative experiences with group sex have resulted from feeling uncomfortable with something or being left out or threatened and not speaking up about it.

So even though I didn’t say anything verbally, J. could always tell by my energy, body language and facial expressions, which would make him really uncomfortable.

Without communicating properly, assertively and in the moment, I have had several less-than-ideal group sex experiences.

That being said, each and every one has taught me something about myself and what kind of support I need.

These experiences have also given me a chance to reflect on what I want and how I need to communicate it.”

Self Care Questionnaire

In follow up to my post on self-compassion, I wanted to post this self care questionnaire. Filling it out may help you see in what areas you could take care of yourself better.

My areas of improvement include:
-Getting enough sleep
-Taking mini vacations/day trips
-Taking time away from my phone
-Engaging my intelligence through attending cultural events that are new for me
-Re-read favorite books and re-watch favorite movies
-Express my outrage in social action
-Play with children
-Spending more time meditating, praying, singing, and reading inspirational literature

Getting more sleep has been a goal of mine for a long time. My counselor this past week actually gave me some concrete advice and suggested I try to get an extra 30-60 minutes at least one night this week. It has yet to happen, but I set an intention this morning that I would get more sleep tonight. So, I am off to bed soon!

Yay self care!

Recent Tools for Self-Growth

Here are some tools and toys that have been especially inspiring to me in the past week 🙂

The Enneagram: I just love this thing. J took the quiz in college and had to write a paper on his personality type and also had the opportunity to discuss my type in relation to his. It was enlightening then, and even more enlightening for me now. For example, my type (Type 2) goes toward Type 4 during integration and growth, becoming more independent and creative. That process typifies my whole past year since being out of school, being back in counseling, stripping, figuring more out about myself, and engaging in things that I want to do. Cool! I have loved having other friends and family take the test so we can talk about our similarities and differences, too, and how our types work with and (sometimes) against one another.

Feel the Fear… and Then Do It Anyway: I recently started this book. I can’t remember who recommended it to me, and when, but it has been on my “to read” list for a long time. I absolutely love it so far!! Her basic premise is that all fears, whether they are about finding a job or making new friends or intimacy or death, is about the idea that “I can’t (or won’t be able) to handle it.” So, her suggestions and techniques are about boosting your positive self talk, confidence, self esteem, thoughts, and behaviors so you know you can handle whatever it is. I have found it pretty helpful as a framework for applying to open relationship challenges. What might I be afraid of? That J will leave me? That he will love someone else? That he will enjoy amazing, mind-blowing sex with someone else? Using Jeffers’ framework, I would say that my basic fear with all of these things is that I don’t think I can handle any of these things if they were to happen. Thinking about fears this way allows me to say to myself- No, I most certainly can handle that! I’m not going to die, I will keep on living, I’ll keep on loving. I’m not done with the book yet, but so far, it’s been eye-opening and an easy read.

Continued chakra meditation and practice: I allow these meditations to enter my consciousness several times throughout the day. I breathe in calm and universal energy, and allow my out-breaths to take away any gross, murky, yucky energy that has accumulated in my body. I concentrate on embodying the characteristics of each chakra. I always feel at least a little more relaxed and peaceful afterwards.

Ben-wa balls (I have the Lelo Luna beads): I have been wanting some ben-wa balls for a long, long time. Finally spent the money on them! They have been super fun to play with and leave in during exercise and housework. While I mistakenly bought the classic size (Lelo makes the mini size for women under 30 or for those who have never gone through childbirth), but they seem to fit fine and are not noticeable to me at all once they are in. Yay for working out my pelvic floor! 🙂

Really utilizing the depth and breadth of my social support network: I am so grateful for my amazing partners, my close-knit group of open friends (and especially for my open women friends), the responsive and insightful open community on the interwebs (poly forum, reddit, etc), my super supportive vanilla friends, and my super supportive family members. I have to publicly thank all of these awesome people from time to time for how much love, openness, and support you bring to my life. Thank you 🙂

American Savage

I’ve already mentioned my love and appreciation for Dan Savage’s newest book, American Savage, in this post of mine about Pride month and this one about cheating and ethics. I finished it this evening, and really enjoyed it.

From his essays on coming out and monogamy and cheating to those on the Affordable Care Act and gun violence, I think he put many of my own liberal sentiments on paper (which was quite gratifying to read). Although sometimes he is rant-y, he is generally rant-y and I expected to read some rant-iness.

His epilogue describes his experience getting married in Washington after same-sex marriage was approved by the voters this past November. It about made me cry:

“One hundred and forty-four other couples married at Seattle city hall on that rainy Sunday in early December. Five pop-up wedding chapels had been erected in the lobby of the building, and everywhere you looked you saw couples that had been together five, ten, twenty, even forty years exchanging vows in front of family members and friends. It was impossible to be at city hall that day and not be moved.

But for me the most moving moment came after our ceremony. A huge crowd had gathered on the steps outside city hall. All day long a brass band at the bottom of the steps played wedding marches. The names of each newly married couple were announced to the crowd as they exited the building. Each time the crowd burst into applause and cheers, throwing rice and flower petals. People shouted, ‘Congratulations!’

And almost all of the well-wishers gathered outside city hall on that glorious gray Sunday were straight people.” (p279)

While I haven’t read his other books so can’t compare his previous writing with this one, I do know that it was worth my time to read, contemplate, and talk about with other people in my life. Thanks for the book, Dan! And thanks for signing it 🙂

Self Compassion

In the midst of making mistakes and apologizing and forgiving, I thought I would post some resources on learning about and practicing self compassion.

Here is a questionnaire on self compassion. I found it pretty helpful for reflecting on my internal dialogue when I have made a mistake or feel like a “failure.” I think my results from both times I have taken the survey show I should try to not isolate myself when I have made a mistake; everyone makes mistakes. It’s not an excuse for them, but a simple fact of life. Another area I could make a big improvement on is trying to not over-identify with any pain or suffering I may be experiencing. Trying to simply observe and notice negative feelings and letting them go has always been difficult for me, but I also think it is an area that if I could improve upon, I could make the most difference in feeling more self-compassionate.

This is my favorite exercise (ie, most interesting and engaging) on the same website for practicing self compassion (although perhaps the most difficult, at least for me):


The criticizer, the criticized, and the compassionate observer

This exercise is modeled on the two-chair dialogue studied by Gestalt therapist Leslie Greenberg. In this exercise, clients sit in different chairs to help get in touch with different, often conflicting parts of their selves, experiencing how each aspect feels in the present moment.

To begin, put out three empty chairs, preferably in a triangular arrangement. Next, think about an issue that often troubles you, and that often elicits harsh self-criticism. Designate one chair as the voice of your inner self-critic, one chair as the voice of the part of you that feels judged and criticized, and one chair as the voice of a wise, compassionate observer. You are going to be role-playing all three parts of yourself – you, you, and you. It may feel a bit silly at first, but you may be surprised at what comes out once you really start letting your feelings flow freely.

1) Think about your “issue,” and then sit in the chair of the self-critic. As you take your seat, express out loud what the self-critical part of you is thinking and feeling. For example “I hate that fact that you’re such a whimp and aren’t self-assertive.” Notice the words and tone of voice the self-critical part of you uses, and also how it is feeling. Worried, angry, self-righteous, exasperated? Note what your body posture is like. Strong, rigid, upright? What emotions are coming up for you right now?

2) Take the chair of the criticized aspect of yourself. Try to get in touch with how you feel being criticized in this manner. Then verbalize how you feel, responding directly to your inner critic. For example, “I feel so hurt by you” or “I feel so unsupported.” Just speak whatever comes into your mind. Again, notice the tone of your voice? Is it sad, discouraged, childlike, scared, helpless? What is your body posture like? Are you slumped, downward facing, frowning?

3) Conduct a dialogue between these two parts of yourself for a while, switching back and forth between the chair of the criticizer and the criticized. Really try to experience each aspect of yourself so each knows how the other feels. Allow each to fully express its views and be heard.

4) Now occupy the chair of the compassionate observer. Call upon your deepest wisdom, the wells of your caring concern, and address both the critic and the criticized. What does your compassionate self say to the critic, what insight does it have? For example, “You sound very much like your mother” or, “I see that you’re really scared, and you’re trying to help me so I don’t mess up.” What does your compassionate self say to the criticized part of yourself? For example, “It must be incredibly difficult to hear such harsh judgment day after day. I see that you’re really hurting” or “All you want is to be accepted for who you are.” Try to relax, letting your heart soften and open. What words of compassion naturally spring forth? What is the tone of your voice? Tender, gentle, warm? What is your body posture like – balanced, centered, relaxed?

5) After the dialogue finishes (stop whenever it feels right), reflect upon what just happened. Do you have any new insights into how you treat yourself, where your patterns come from, new ways of thinking about the situation that are more productive and supportive? As you think about what you have learned, set your intention to relate to yourself in a kinder, healthier way in the future. A truce can be called in your inner war. Peace is possible. Your old habits of self-criticism don’t need to rule you forever. What you need to do is listen to the voice that’s already there, even if a bit hidden – your wise, compassionate self. 


One way of intentionally showing myself compassion that has worked for me in the past is engaging in actionable self-care practices. For me, these things include taking epsom salt bubble baths, talking with friends and seeing them regularly, spending quality time with my partners, exercising, meditating, reading a book, blogging, and making and eating good food. 

Another thing that I think is really important (but I think one of the most difficult) is attempting to change the internal dialogue from “You don’t deserve compassion. You really messed up and need to feel really guilty and ashamed of yourself forever” to “You made a mistake. You apologized. Move forward.” The exercise sheet from the self compassion website describes engaging in this process as:


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Changing your critical self-talk

This exercise should be done over several weeks, and will eventually form the blueprint for changing how you relate to yourself long-term. Some people find it useful to work on their inner critic by writing in a journal. Others are more comfortable doing it via internal dialogues. If you are someone who likes to write things down and revisit them later, journaling can be an excellent tool for transformation. If you are someone (like me) who never manages to be consistent with a journal, then do whatever works for you. You can speak aloud to yourself, or think silently.

1) The first step towards changing the way to treat yourself is to notice when you are being self-critical. It may be that – like many of us – your self-critical voice is so common for you that you don’t even notice when it is present. Whenever you’re feeling bad about something, think about what you’ve just said to yourself. Try to be as accurate as possible, noting your inner speech verbatim. What words do you actually use when you’re self-critical? Are there key phrases that come up over and over again? What is the tone of your voice – harsh, cold, angry? Does the voice remind you of any one in your past who was critical of you? You want to be able to get to know the inner self-critic very well, and to become aware of when your inner judge is active. For instance, if you’ve just eaten half a box of Oreo’s, does your inner voice say something like “you’re so disgusting,” “you make me sick,” and so on? Really try to get a clear sense of how you talk to yourself.

2) Make an active effort to soften the self-critical voice, but do so with compassion rather than self-judgment (i.e., don’t say “you’re such a bitch” to your inner critic!). Say something like “I know you’re trying to keep me safe, and to point out ways that I need to improve, but your harsh criticism and judgment is not helping at all. Please stop being so critical, you are causing me unnecessary pain.”

3) Reframe the observations made by your inner critic in a friendly, positive way. If you’re having trouble thinking of what words to use, you might want to imagine what a very compassionate friend would say to you in this situation. It might help to use a term of endearment that strengthens expressed feelings of warmth and care (but only if it feels natural rather than schmaltzy.) For instance, you can say something like “Darling, I know you ate that bag of cookies because you’re feeling really sad right now and you thought it would cheer you up. But you feel even worse and are not feeling good in your body. I want you to be happy, so why don’t you take a long walk so you feel better?” While engaging in this supportive self-talk, you might want to try gently stroking your arm, or holding your face tenderly in your hands (as long as no one’s looking). Physical gestures of warmth can tap into the caregiving system even if you’re having trouble calling up emotions of kindness at first, releasing oxytocin that will help change your bio-chemistry. The important thing is that you start acting kindly, and feelings of true warmth and caring will eventually follow.


Following that line of thought, the next exercise also seems equally helpful:


Self-compassion journal

Try keeping a daily self-compassion journal for one week (or longer if you like.) Journaling is an effective way to express emotions, and has been found to enhance both mental and physical well-being. At some point during the evening when you have a few quiet moments, review the day’s events. In your journal, write down anything that you felt bad about, anything you judged yourself for, or any difficult experience that caused you pain. (For instance, perhaps you got angry at a waitress at lunch because she took forever to bring the check. You made a rude comment and stormed off without leaving a tip. Afterwards, you felt ashamed and embarrassed.) For each event, use mindfulness, a sense of common humanity, and kindness to process the event in a self-compassionate way.

Mindfulness. This will mainly involve bring awareness to the painful emotions that arose due to your self-judgment or difficult circumstances. Write about how you felt: sad, ashamed, frightened, stressed, and so on. As you write, try to be accepting and non-judgmental of your experience, not belittling it nor making it overly dramatic. (For example, “I was frustrated because she was being so slow. I got angry, over-reacted, and felt foolish afterwards.”)

Common Humanity. Write down the ways in which your experience was connected to the larger human experience. This might include acknowledging that being human means being imperfect, and that all people have these sorts of painful experiences. (“Everyone over-reacts sometimes, it’s only human.”) You might also want to think about the various causes and conditions underlying the painful event. (“My frustration was exacerbated by the fact that I was late for my doctor’s appointment across town and there was a lot of traffic that day. If the circumstances had been different my reaction probably would have been different.”)

Self-Kindness. Write yourself some kind, understanding, words of comfort. Let yourself know that you care about yourself, adopting a gentle, reassuring tone. (It’s okay. You messed up but it wasn’t the end of the world. I understand how frustrated you were and you just lost it. Maybe you can try being extra patient and generous to any wait-staff this week…”)

Practicing the three components of self-compassion with this writing exercise will help organize your thoughts and emotions, while helping to encode them in your memory. If you keep a journal regularly, your self-compassion practice will become even stronger and translate more easily into daily life. 


That’s all I’ve got for now. 🙂 Peace and compassion to everyone!

#Threesome #Advanced

Just sayin’. We’re pros.

[Spoiler Alert!!] Simultaneous orgasms. With three people. Hot!

Also, it was the Summer Solstice- which is why we planned a hot threesome in the first place. What better way to celebrate summer than with a pagan, super witchy sex ritual??

And!!! It was Happy 3 Months to M and I! So that was super special! So much to celebrate.

M and I started the evening with hanging out and some quickies (yes, the blinds in our bedroom were open; my favorite). M and J needed to study (my life supporting two super busy students) and I worked out. We freshened up and hung out a little more (after M and I successfully maneuvered our first real miscommunication, apology, and forgiveness process- yay for healthy relationships!), and then M and I went up to New Seasons to get picnic-y foods for dinner. We enjoyed meat and cheese and veggie chips and wine, and then the three of us went out for delicious dessert. We talked about our families and other relationships and the Enneagram (love that thing). By the time we got back it was after 12am. 

M had requested threesome porn, so we quickly put that on for background. I was (surprisingly) the last one to get naked this time; I liked mixing it up! (Ha). I remember so much skin, so much oral sex, feeling so much love and connection to these two wonderful people. Two of us spoiling the third and then switching around, daisy chain-ing, sometimes a third just watching the other two. 

The end was just glorious. I was laying on my back. M was straddling me. We were making out. J started fucking M, and there isn’t much else that comes as close for me as watching J with another women. I kept coming and coming, with my finger, and then nothing, touching my clit. I got to kiss M and rub her breasts, and I got squeeze J’s sexy legs. I could feel the energy pulsating, almost in a straight line, connecting all of us together. I could feel it. I was about to come so hard. And then, surprising I think all of us, we all came at the same time. So so so hot. Magical.

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to be honest with J, cuddly with both M and J, and emotionally intimate with M. All of that completely wrapped up a beautiful evening. (And then about 30 minutes later, J was ready for round 2, so we took care of that!)

I have a blog post for DA in the pipeline (already written, just hasn’t been published yet) about positive threesome experiences. This one takes the cake over all of those I previously wrote about.

Factors that made it sizzle:
Love. Compersion. Honesty. Emotional intimacy. Porn. Realizing Fantasies. A simultaneous orgasm with three people (have I mentioned that already?)

#Threesome #Advanced

Chakras & Applications

I recently read David Pond’s Chakras for Beginners (thanks M!), and loved it. Specifically, I loved the new metaphor (new to me) for thinking about my intentionality, energy, and manifestations of thoughts into behaviors.

I have, since last summer, focused on rebuilding my power- speaking up for what I need, articulating what I believe, and working on putting those thoughts and ideas into action. I often use a visualization exercise where I imagine my center and core turning gold and growing larger and larger. Little did I know (consciously; I am sure chakra-like messages and images have seeped into my sub-conscious throughout my life) that the third chakra is located in your abdomen, associated with the color yellow, and is the one associated with power.

Reading about the ideas behind the other chakras was enlightening. Here is my (super) basic recap:

Root chakra: associated with security, base of tailbone, red
Second chakra: associated with pursuit of pleasure, groin, orange
Third chakra: associated with power, core, yellow
Fourth chakra: associated with love, heart, green and pink
Fifth chakra: associated with creativity and speaking up, throat, sky blue
Sixth chakra: associated with intuition, third eye, indigo
Seventh chakra: associated with spirituality, crown of head, violet and white

My favorite part of this book were the meditations and visualization exercises included at the end. They basically guide you to imagine white, cosmic energy running through your body, activating each chakra. You breathe in the pure, white energy, and let out any toxic, muddy energy from each chakra. You focus on what each chakra means and concentrate on gaining balance in each chakra. All of the meditations have allowed me to feel more centered, grounded, energized, and ready to work on whatever is in front of me in the moment.

The main thread throughout the book (balancing your energy), was helpful for me in reflecting on where in my life I could put more of my self-growth work. It was also helpful to consider how if any of the lower chakras are unbalanced, all of those above it will be out of whack, too (and the unbalanced lower chakra will manifest in issues in the chakras above it. For example, [according to Pond] if you feel insecure in your root chakra, like you can’t secure your physical environment, it is likely you will feel jealous [a manifestation of imbalance] when engaging in your pursuits of pleasure. Interesting for me to consider. I have been trying to really focus the past week on simply feeling secure in myself physically, financially, emotionally. Like an entirely whole person who has her shit together and isn’t going anywhere. Like no matter what else is happening around me, I will remain whole, healthy, and happy. Like no matter who I am partnered to or where I am living or what I am working on, I will remain whole, healthy, and happy. I like the feeling this focus gives me.). And, I really liked the idea that the first three chakras are about the ego, while the top three are about the interdependent and cosmic nature of life. Both of these energies converge in the heart. It has been surprisingly helpful to focus my energy on my heart chakra when I think I might be experiencing jealousy- I recognize the negative emotion, how it is associated with my ego feeling insecure/threatened/etc, and move my attention to a higher point in my body (my heart; when I feel negative emotions I tend to focus all of my energy on how it physically feels, and those emotions tend to manifest in my stomach and abdomen. Moving my attention to my chest and heart is really refreshing) and focus on feeling compassionate and universal love. I have been truly surprised with how much more open-hearted I feel from this exercise. Since finishing the book, I have been using a visualization exercise for areas that need special attention right now- my root chakra and my heart chakra. I think the focus and meditation I gave to each helped me get through a rough few days (maybe why I didn’t feel a sense of impending doom when J and I were in conflict?). This week also gave me great opportunity to focus on mobilizing my throat chakra (speaking my mind, coming up with creative solutions to challenges).

Great read, loved it, plan on reading more on chakras! 🙂