Calendaring

Can feel incredibly difficult at times. Here’s a little window:

“We have one night off together in the next two weeks? Can we have date night then? Or are your seeing your other person? If you can’t see her another night I’ll come home early a different night. I think I’ll see my other person Tuesday- can you come home early Wednesday? Oh wait, never mind- he has a kink night. Can we switch our night to Wednesday? Are you sure?”

I think we can all feel more irritated trying to schedule time with each other, rather than excited. Eventually, once the dust has settled and time is blocked on the calendar, I feel everyone in my little polycule relax into themselves and each other and time becomes a huge gift. We have space carved out just for us to to do whatever we want- talk, watch TV, exercise, fuck, shower, cuddle, walk the dogs, drink, hot tub, fight, make up, kiss, and love each other. 

Poly folks often joke that Google Calendar must have been created by someone poly, and I’d agree. It’s an invaluable tool (as long as it’s used effectively and well). I love being able to see my various date times scheduled, even if it’s just a day or two ahead of time. I feel secure and relaxed, knowing that spending time with me is important to my partners and that we value spending time together. It goes a ways in preventing scheduling conflict (again, as long as it’s used well) and hurt feelings.

Cheers to time management! And using a calendar! And love!

My Framily

For the second time in my life, I am in a class requiring me to create a genogram- essentially a family tree that uses symbols to denote characteristics like gender identity, family ties, marriages, divorces, family secrets, miscarriages and abortions, pets, sexual orientation, mental health diagnoses, substance abuse, and any other applicable dynamics. In mine, I also include domestic violence, poly relationships, education, and geography.

A few years ago, I discussed creating a critical sexual genogram, which is a variation on the traditional method that I totally love.

The last time I made one for class, I created it based on family ties and marriages. This time, I decided to include my framily- those friends of mine who have, over time, become family to me. 

Especially right now, when the world seems like total shit, it is extremely strengthening and heartening to me to see, on paper, the people who rely on me and who I rely upon, who I trust and love and care about. Who I know are genuinely kind and compassionate people, who are all doing their best in their own ways, of making the world a better place.

I talked to my sister on the phone tonight, and she was asking me, How do I not let the stress I’m experiencing from all of The Shit get to me? There’s only so much I can do! I have to work and I can’t know everything about everything, and there’s so little in my control.

I feel you, sis. Making my genogram tonight was so helpful though- people matter. People doing their best to be kind MATTER. Small actions matter. It can be hard to remember that, especially when we have been watching such big, destructive things happening so quickly. Creating community, building authentic relationships, continually striving to be more compassionate and loving people- that all matters, and it does make a difference.

Cheers to small actions, kind deeds, and the people who make the world brighter. I love you all, FramBam. You help me keep the hope that things, eventually, will be better for everyone. 

Superstitious

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.

Roller Coaster

The past couple of weeks have been so full and so good.

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I was offered my supervisor’s job last week and I’m doin’ it! I start officially in a week! Pay raise, more stuff to do… it’s going to be great.

We got our floors done in our house and they’re gorgeous and we moved our furniture in!! It feels like we are living in a house instead of camping in a crummy structure! I’m in love. I don’t like feeling “in love” with stuff, but after so much time and work, I feel in love with the labor and end result.

I love the summer and the beach and baking cookies every week and sexting with new sexy friends and snuggling and skin and sun and my puppy dog and starting a new program in the fall. I love that my mom is coming to visit this weekend and that my little sis started med school and that one sister in law is starting rotations and the other just finished residency. I love that J takes care of himself by calling in sick when he needs a day off and that he is so meticulous and thorough and energized when it comes to doing house projects and up for having fun outdoors and indoors with friends. I’m just really loving my network and my life right now. Being on the upswing of things feels damn good. Remembering my upswings is helpful for the downswings- it always changes.

Relationship and sex wise… The night J and I moved all of our furniture in we had really hot, raunchy sex. It’s like the psychic space cleared up once our physical environment felt in order. I loved it! And it totally re-emphasized to me the importance of physical space and energy as a barrier or supporter of mental clarity and sexual energy… A new friend has been making my heart race which is delicious! 😉 And other new friends are fun and bubbly and make us both smile. I’m excited to continue to explore all of these.

Life. Is. Good.

Another Anniversary to Celebrate

Today marks one year since J and I celebrated our relationship with a fantastic ceremony and party. I can’t believe a whole year has passed- again. Time flies when you are having fun- it’s so, so true. I want to keep our September anniversary as our first date anniversary, and I love having our April 1 opening up anniversary. And it’s really fun to have a wedding anniversary and an anniversary to celebrate when we got legally married.

Truly, we could be celebrating every day over some milestone that has happened for our relationship. And for that, I am so grateful.

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I absolutely love having J in my life and getting to share my life with someone so intimately. I love building a home and waking up next to him and finding new sexy friends to explore things with and going to the nude beach and walking our dog and trying a new fitness video with him- and so much more. I love living with my life partner, and I feel so joyful in my current relationship circumstances with him. Thank you J for another great year. You are my rock and I love you so much!

In thinking about long term relationships, what is important to you? Do you prefer to live with your partners? Do you want to combine finances, share benefits, plan for vacations away together? Do you prefer to sleep every night with them in the same bed? Do you want to get legally married? Do you ever want to have a ceremony with friends and family? How much separateness and closeness sounds ideal to you? Do you want weekly date nights? How do you share love and affection? How will continue to give appreciation for a partner that feels so familiar? How will you negotiate the inevitability of being attracted to others?

May we all continue to negotiate our intimate and long term relationships with honesty, grace, peace, and love.

Twitterpated

I asked J one day last week: “Have you ever experienced new relationship energy with two people at the same time?” I was trying to wrack my brain for past experiences that fit this idea. “I don’t think so,” he replied. I know that for myself, when I am really into someone, that energy and high and walking-on-clouds feeling permeates my life; it can permeate my other relationships, too, and infuse those relationships with more bounciness and happiness. But experiencing NRE with multiple people at the same time? I don’t think that has ever happened for me.

And can it? I don’t know. It seems like, from my experience, the tunnel vision for one person is part of what makes NRE, NRE: you only have eyes for that one person. Within poly relationships, this gets tricky since it requires the twitterpated person to be very mindful and conscious of how they are interacting with existing partners. There is a ton out there on not letting NRE completely cloud out one’s existing relationships, not making major decisions until the NRE has dissipated quite a bit, and how to interact with a partner experiencing NRE with someone else. It takes conscientiousness, grace, flexibility, and deep trust. With monogamous relationships, this is far less of a concern. NRE encourages exclusive behavior, and while friends and family may not enjoy being left for a new-found love temporarily, I think in general this kind of behavior pattern is expected.

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I brought this question to my women’s group this past week as well, and I heard from a couple of people that they have in fact experienced NRE with different people at the same time. And that they think it takes particular conscientiousness on the part of the twitterpated person to stay attuned to existing relationships, including new ones in which they are experiencing NRE.

How about you? Have you experienced NRE for different people at the same time? Does NRE for one person spill over and help fuel NRE for another? How do you ensure that you continue to give time and attention to your existing relationships?