Start Your 2016 Off Right By Patronizing These Rad People

2015 has been one of the most bullshit years of my life in a lot of ways, but I suppose I'm grateful for the lessons it taught me about asking for help, trusting my gut, and walking away from people who don't give as much as they take.

It also taught me a lot about the importance of community support- I wouldn't be able to pay my rent if it wasn't for Patreon, and I'm grateful to my patrons for supporting me through a bad breakup, being fired, and a lot of emotional distress. Money may not buy happiness, but it can help buy security, and that's just as important.

I wanted to give my readers a roundup of people on Patreon who are doing amazing work and who could use a couple of dollars kicked their way - all of them, as far as I know, use Patreon  to raise funds for their day to day expenses, as the work they put in the world, though awesome, is undervalued by society.

Check them out, see if you like them, link to their work on your own social media, share the wealth. All of these people offer value to my life, and I'm sure they'll offer value to yours as well!

Learn about them out below: 

Myles Jackman - Supporting Myles and his work offering pro bono legal support to queer folks, kinky folks, and sex workers feels to me kind of like paying into insurance. Myles is known as the Obscenity Lawyer, and he does incredible work, often for free, defending us pervs from sex moralism. He's awesome and you should give him money. 

 - An accomplished musician with multiple amazing albums, Unwoman releases cover songs via her Patreon that range from the currently popular "Bad Blood" to the very old "Come Take a Trip On My Airship". Each song features her beautiful cello playing. I've made a porn music video to her cover of "Take Me To Church" because I loved it that much.

Doublecakes - Full disclosure, this is my girlfriend. She's a great writer, the editor for Harlot Magazine, and a killer pinball player. In 2016 I *believe* she's going to be doing ukulele and/or banjo covers of various songs, one a day, and using Patreon to distribute them. Having seen the song list she has planned (including "Giant Woman" from Steven Universe and "Still Alive" from Portal) it's going to be epic.

Cameryn Moore - Cameryn writes some of the best erotica I've ever read. She does custom pieces through her project "Sidewalk Smut" (I'm lucky enough to have one on my wall) but she also writes about her experiences as a phone sex operator, her opinions on some of the worst sex tips, and some beautiful stuff about relationships. I haven't been able to see her perform yet but I look forward to our paths crossing!

Mattie Brice - Mattie is also a writer, critiquing games, play, kink, gentrification, and just so, so much more, as well as being a unique game designer. Everything she's written has led me to think long and hard about how and why I do things, and I am a better person for engaging with her work. You should fund her writing because it's some of the best I've ever read.

Roaring Engines - This is brand new! Thorough and honest reviews of motorcycle equipment that doesn't assume you have lots of money, Roaring Engines is written by a motorcycle enthusiast, Connor, who rides every day. I am not a motorcyclist myself but I know a lot of folks who are, and I know that trying to work out what's worth plopping down serious cash on can be difficult.

Amy Dentata - With her newest game discussing abuse and PTSD, "Trigger", just coming out, Amy is showing her incredible eye for storytelling through the interactive medium of games. She also writes about GLBT issues, mental health, and futurism.

Postmodern Woman - Postmodern Woman is new to me, but I appreciate the ways they discuss various alternative relationship models, as well as their own personal experiences. With subjects like relationship anarchy and non-anarchists, how to manage metamour relationships with they don't get along, and nonmonogamous aromantics, there's a lot of info/insight here that is sorely missing.

Elle Armageddon - I've enjoyed Elle's snarky and right on writing about surveillance, engaging with social media, privacy and more... but I'm particularly in it for her flow charts. Addressing issues like "Should I explain the thing to the lady" and "Is it a compliment or street harassment", Elle has the answers in a way that's fun and honest. Oh yeah, she also provides medical and legal support for protesters!

Toni Rocca - Toni runs GaymerX, one of my all time fave conventions for gaming of all kinds. She's got a patreon to help her fund making her own games and zines in her free time. Toni is brilliant and wants to be able to make it feasible to offer the games she makes/collaborates on with others available for free- you can bet they're going to be awesome, if Read Only Memories is any indication.

Categories: activism, capitalism, causes, community, fake it til you make it, help, holidays, support


Childishness vs Childlike Playfulness

lastyearOn our last date, we were camping. I watched a father and his little girl cycling on the path around the campground. There was a slight hill, so as they came by our camp, the dad would encourage her, saying "pedal, pedal, pedal! There you go! You've got it!" It made me smile.

I turned to N and said jokingly "you know, if we ever go cycling together, I might need that level of encouragement as I get back into it..."

He looked at me with such disgust in his eyes.

"I'm not into that daddy stuff."

It was like I had asked him to shit in my mouth.

I was taken aback, because we had talked a lot about how I wasn't into ageplay, after a particularly traumatic couple of experiences with AB/DL exes. Sure, I happen to enjoy a lot of things that are dismissed as childish, like Saturday morning cartoons, cute flannel sheets, sticker charts, dressing up, Christmas, and colouring books. But I've come to a place where play is a part of my life and my self care. Personally, I don't have a little side, I'm not looking for a daddy to keep me in line, I just want to have simple, carefree fun sometimes. Life is fucking hard.

Ultimately though I realized this wasn't even about that stuff. His reaction wasn't ultimately about ageplay, or me being too childish. It's the fact that as a society we tend to emphasize total emotional independence. We're not supposed to ask for help, or reassurance, or acknowledgement. We live in fear of being too needy, afraid of being the person of more interest, worried about any vulnerability. Femmes, especially, are encouraged to be "chill" and "one of the guys", rather than asking for our needs to be acknowledged, never mind actually met. This often feels times a thousandfold when you're nonmonogamous, hence my near constant ranting about the bullshit that is poly libertarianism.

Here's the thing I've been noticing though. While yes, I did often ask for small levels of reassurance on a semi-regular basis, I also did it the adult way- clearly asking for what I needed, acknowledging when I wasn't entirely sure, and doing the emotional labour of figuring out how best my needs could be met, in bullet points we called "action items". I am not a chill person, so I figured that self-management and clarity were important life skills.

It wasn't that N didn't have any need for reassurance, though, on reflection. He just never directly asked for it. Instead, he would construct predicaments where I would have to navigate his spoken feelings, his unspoken feelings, and my feelings, like a really fucked up psychological Crystal Maze. He'd say little wistful asides about other partners, other sexual escapades, keeping me striving to be appealing and desirable and worth his time (which, of course, was often treated as far more precious than my own). In less charitable moments, I wondered bitterly if N just enjoyed having a bunch of women subtly fighting for his attention, while he stood passively in the center of it looking bewildered for plausible deniability.

And that's part of why I was so hurt when he recoiled at my request for his cheerleading during some future bicycling session.  Because in my mind, emotionally freaking out while being unable to communicate why or what would help is far more childish, and yet I was the one being shamed for my immaturity.

Months before, he had asked me what would be "fun" for us to do for a date. I laughed a bit bitterly, because I didn't really know what fun was anymore. I had learned that taking N to events would often end with him not engaging with anyone and me having to apologize for it, so that felt like work. I had learned going on trips together was fun while we weren't sober, but that after 24 hours he would range from being dismissive and cranky to just straight up mean. I learned that I would often be left on my own if we hung out with his friends, and that unless hanging out with my friends involved him being free to fuck other people, that felt like a chore too. So we'd stay in, because anything else felt like even more emotional labour. And work was fun, right? Financial security was fun.

Now I'm beginning to actually have fun again. I'm finding myself excited to dress up, to play games, to go out. I'm seeing friends more often. My libido is slowly coming back, along with my confidence. I'm surrounded by people who don't make me feel bad for enjoying the things I enjoy, no matter how silly. And being able to embrace that childlike sense of wonder and play close is making the adulting easier.

I didn't need a daddy. But goddamn it, I wanted a fucking sticker chart to acknowledge my effort.

Categories: ageplay, anxiety, communication, dating, definitions, love is a dog from hell, male privilege, nonmonogamy, oh ffs, personal


Love Doesn't Have to be Chill

frozen_heart_by_ghonerI was reading an article called "I’m Madly in Love with You, But Don’t Worry, It’s Not a Big Deal", and it made me feel some Feels.

"We’re told “love” is a very important, very valuable word that should be used with extreme caution and frugality. If we felt this feeling for just anybody it wouldn’t be so special, right?" says the author Sara. And I get where she's going with this- that love isn't something restricted to just a soulmate, or even a romantic partner. I'm with her there, love is a multitude of things and comes in lots of different guises and that doesn't mean one is better or more important than another.

"So, the idea of love scarcity prevails. We are tricked into thinking the word “love” will lose it’s value and meaning if it’s shared too many times with too many people," the article continues. And I just had to stop.

In my experience, belief in love scarcity is not the reason I'm skittish about saying "I love you" to people. It's because love tends to suggest an intensity of feeling that can make the other person feel awkward if it's not reciprocated. It scares people off, because they may have had bad experiences with the term being used not in good faith. Also, it can create tension if feelings of love makes one person feel they may want to renegotiate relationship needs/expectations, not because those things are automatic, but because loving someone is tender and a tender heart often needs a little more care.

I feel like there was a lot of pressure in my last relationship to say my love for my then-lover came without any expectations or needs or desires. It was "just a feeling" and I was perfectly happy feeling it on my own. The problem was that even when we talked about relationship needs/desires, my ex seemingly expected me not to have ANY, ever. Because I fell in love without any needs, why would I have any now? He often implied that expressing that a deepening of intimacy made me feel there was different accountability we should discuss could put our relationship in jeopardy. I felt that the only way it was acceptable to love him was if it "wasn't a big deal".

But it was. My heart is vulnerable and to insist that I should fall in love and it shouldn't be a big deal is setting people, including myself, up for failure. It's ok for love, or other forms of intimacy/vulnerability, to be a big deal. Love may be infinite but energy is not, especially if you're dealing with being differently abled in some capacity. And time is definitely finite. You don't have to be chill about it, folks, ok?

I have a serious issue with the various pieces I've seen that seem to suggest the best way to be nonmonogamous is to be some sort of poly libertarian, taking care of yourself and not worrying about the people around you. Sure, idealistically, everyone would have the same resources and not have any trauma and that would totally work. But we live in the real world, and these sorts of expectations are so often not only unreasonable, but can be used to justify emotional abuse, abandonment, and downright cruelty. My ex definitely enacted some of these traits and it was a sign of his narcissism, not of healthy nonmonogamy. Articles like "It's Not A Big Deal" added to why I thought I was doing poly wrong, or badly, because I wanted my partner to reassure me and give me some form of stability.

Fuck that. It is not a weakness to care about other people. It is not a bad thing to need others. We are social creatures, and the more we try to push that away, the more toxic I see these environments become.

So please, good god, can we just stop with the cynical "I'm too cool for love or feelings or empathy" bullshit? It's really fucking things up.

Categories: abuse, advice, anxiety, assumptions, best of, communication, community, dating, love, nonmonogamy, poly ptsd


Christmas Music for People Who Hate Christmas

Full disclosure- I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I love all the sparkly ornaments and the fun of shopping for the perfect present for the people I care about. I love the saccharine songs and drinking hot toddies while walking around looking at holiday light displays. The whole thing. I'm not religious, but there's something magical for me about the holidays, even with all the stress. I want to cultivate that sense of magic and generosity year round.


A lot of my friends HATE Christmas.  Many of them in particular hate Christmas music, often because they've worked retail and heard the same 10 songs over and over so it's like a reverse Pavlov thing, they start to hyperventilate when they hear Nat King Cole. I totally understand.

These songs are for you, friends.

Some of them hate Christmas itself, others hate the romantic hogwash that seems to be linked all too often with the holidays. Enjoy!

1. Fuck Christmas - FEAR
"Don't despair/Just because it's Christmas"

2. Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) - Miles Davis
"Merry Christmas/I hope yours is a bright one, but for me, it bleeds"

3. This Christmas, I'll burn it to the ground - Set It Off
"Oh my God, it's here, this awful time of year"

4. Hating you For Christmas - Everclear
"I just want to sit in our apartment and hate you/Yes, I will be hating you for Christmas"

5. I Hate You This Christmas - Kate Nash
"All the Christmas lights and the mistletoe/Are only making me feel more alone"

6. Zombie Christmas - Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler
"They don't feel the cold when it's 50 below/You see them sucking brains out in the snow"

7. A Christmas Duel - The Hives vs Cyndi Lauper
"I set your record collection on fire/And said I never knew"

8. Christmas Tree's on Fire - Holly Golightly
"The thing it ain't been watered since I put it in the stand/and I used the fire alarm battery for the flashlight in my van"

9. Xmas Has Been X'ed - NOFX
"St. Nick is dead but we don't grieve/We celebrate the last Christmas Eve"

10. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out - Fall Out Boy
"All I want this year is for you to dedicate your last breath to me/before you bury yourself alive"

11. Ex-Miss - New Found Glory
"Another year, this time I'll regret/That I spent too much time and money on you"

12. Christmas Night of Zombies - MxPx
"Christmas night of the living dead/My face is green and the snow is red"

13. Christmas With the Devil - Spinal Tap
"The sugar plums are rancid/And the stockings are in flames"

Categories: holidays, mixtape, music


Review: the Njoy Fun Wand from Good Vibrations

I have been a huge fan of the whole nJoy product line ever since I was introduced to it years and years ago. I started off with a Pure Plug, then the Eleven, and finally the Pure Wand, which is one of my absolute favourite must have toys. The graceful (and effective) curves coupled with the weight of the metal is one of my cunt's most loved experiences.

But I hadn't gotten to try to Fun Wand yet, so when Good Vibrations asked me what I wanted to review, of course I asked for that!

This double ended toy is pretty much ideal for both gspot stimulation and a little anal play. One side is mostly smooth, with one bulb at the end perfectly curved to caress the gspot just right.  The other has three bulbs graduating in size like a set of stiff anal beads, making for a fun experience anally if that's more to your/your partner's taste. Being metal, this toy is sterilizable, and you can make it nice and cold by putting it in the fridge for a few minutes, or warm it up in some water for a different sensation. Also, you can use any lube with it! Handy.

Weighing in at 11 ounces, it's not a light toy, but not the heaviest either (the Pure Wand weighs almost double as much). It's almost 8" long, and the bulb on the gspot-focused side is about 1" in diameter. This worked decently well for my body, though I do find the Pure Wand reaches my gspot with a bit more ease, so if you prefer a slightly larger toy or more depth, that may be more your speed. I didn't experiment as much with the anal side as I didn't find it the easiest for me to use on myself (I have a big ass that gets in the way ;) ) but the little I did try made me think it would be really fun to use with a partner. I'm still a little nervous around anal play but I found this toy to offer a really nice sensation.

All in all, I think this is a good choice if you're looking for a double duty toy, or something a little lighter to use. It looks a lot less like a weapon than the Eleven, which is massive, and it feels like a more recognizable shape than the Pure Wand, which takes a bit of getting used to.

Still, while this was a fun toy to experiment with, the Pure Wand has my heart when it comes to endless squirting. If you want a toy that's less intimidating, has multiple sensations available, and is a little cheaper? Sure, go for the Fun Wand! If you want something more ergodynamic that will make you squirt bucketloads, though, I'd stick to the Pure Wand.

You can get both toys at Good Vibrations, who provided me with a Fun Wand in exchange for an honest review! Don't miss out on their holiday sales when stuffing your stocking! ;)

Fun Wand

Pure Wand

Categories: dildo, Good Vibrations, review


When Feminism Is a Brand

We need to talk about the ever increasing number of men like James Deen who utilize feminism as a marketable identity to cover up their abusive behavior.

When performer and writer Stoya tweeted that her ex, porn darling James Deen, had ignored her safewords and raped her, I have to admit I was not terribly surprised. As someone in the industry, I had heard rumors that he was not necessarily safe to work with, something that made me raise my eyebrow at his work around consent, but nothing specific I could point to. Another ex girlfriend, Joanna Angel, tweeted in support of Stoya, who has not returned to Twitter since her statement. Deen and his PR team have been notably silent.

Her two tweets gave rise to the hashtag #solidaritywithstoya, and a flurry of people expressing disappointment, shock, and a sense of betrayal. He was supposed to be “one of the good guys”- after all, Deen has spent some time cultivating a brand as a male feminist in the porn industry. He’s been actively a part of Project Consent, even. He’s mad about racism in the industry. He’s been called “the acceptable face of porn” and hailed as being a male porn star women can feel good about watching because he’s just so ethical.


Some people are already using this situation as proof that porn is abusive. I do believe that we need to discuss how the intersection of capitalism, patriarchy, and white supremacy entwine to create a particularly toxic environment in the sex industry, one of the only industries where an entry level “position” will usually pay women a much higher rate than men. People in the industry who have experienced rape, abuse, and coercion tend to stay silent for fear of losing work (such as was seen with Kink.com a couple years ago). People who do speak up are often harassed, victim-blamed, and blown off as being “drama”. Production companies and directors, including many cool “feminist” ones, have the policy that if it didn’t happen on set, it’s not their problem. This is absolutely an issue and one that needs to be discussed and addressed seriously, not just for ethical reasons (though that should be good enough) but for workers rights reasons.

Expand this out to “sex positivity” in general and I can tell you that when I was taking stories for Consent Culture about abuse in BDSM, many of the repeat offenders were “pillars of the community”, leaders, workshop presenters, party hosts. As long as only cis white men have the power to have sex without consequence, and as long as we ignore the impact of privilege on sexual capital and agency, I believe that the misuse of the term “sex positivity” has the potential to be a shield that protects abusers from being held accountable.

However, I do not want us to forget that we have seen this behavior before, in environments that have nothing to do with the sex industry, or even with sex at all. Remember Hugo Schwyzer? Or Hart Noecker? Or Kyle Payne? All supposed and self-identified male feminists, allies, social justice writers and activists. All accused of rape and/or abuse of women behind closed doors.

This is not about sex. This is about power. And that power, mixed with toxic masculinity, is a poison that affects all aspects of life, not just the sex industry. While the sex industry cannot and should not ignore this, and need to stop pretending that porn is not political, the underlying issue is far more widespread.

I want to add that this is also, in my opinion, about how much we value and encourage narcissism when we talk about how men should behave. These men all seemingly share narcissistic tendencies, whether they are diagnosable as such or not. Many of them (if not all) refuse to give up their space to signal boost voices more marginalized than theirs, something that would demonstrate them acting as allies. And many of them make a point of how vulnerable they are, how troubled, in order to ensure that caregivers are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. They can feed off of a caregiver’s empathy while ensuring that caregiver (most often a woman) doubts her own mind when she begins to worry that maybe she’s being manipulated.

Thinking about my own dating history, some of my most fucked up relationships were with men who talked the talk. The ex who threw me down a flight of stairs and terrorized me (and his mother) by throwing plates was heavily invested in feminist activism, spending most of his time volunteering for feminist spaces. The ex who used his sexual capital to keep his (often less privileged) lovers feeling insecure and unstable, who then gaslit and neglected them when confronted? He said all the right things about institutionalized racism and sexism. I stayed in these relationships because I believed they were invested in fighting oppression, excused their manipulations and their emotional abuse as their mental health issues I just needed to be patient with. Perhaps they were trying to redress the imbalances of their privilege… but they certainly leaned heavily enough on it when it served them.

In one situation I was encouraged to be “careful” about what I said, because he was “more private” than I am. In the other I was threatened if I spoke out. Men who center social justice as part of their core identity can become very dangerously defensive if their actions are critiqued. They become dependent on the women in their lives to cover for them so they don’t lose their feminist cred- and so they demand our silence. Dare I say, they depend on our own understanding of the failures of the prison industrial complex, the ways in which patriarchy hurts men, to keep us from shattering their facade. To speak out anyway is terrifying and necessary, and I hope that Stoya has all the support she needs to speak her truth and begin to heal.

As for you men- want to do something about it? Talk to other men. Listen to marginalized people and their experiences, even if (perhaps especially when) the man accused “seems like a nice guy” or “is a friend”. You need to confront each other. You need to speak up when you see street harassment. You need to shut down rape jokes. You need to tell other men that talking about women like we’re sexual prizes to be won is not ok.

Don’t call yourself an ally. Be one.

Want to help me write more? Support me on Patreon!

Categories: angry, best of, consent, feminism, male privilege, oh ffs, personal, porn, rant, rape culture, stigma, whores are people



It's weird the things you can't stand to look at after a breakup. Some of it is pretty normal- the card from minigolf, the selfies from camping, the Christmas card. But some of it took me by surprise. There was a period there where certain clothes I had made me cry, because I had worn them for special events with my ex and they felt so linked that even looking at them caused me to break down.

I'm lucky in that my ex never expressed much interest in helping me decorate my apartment. He helped me put my bed together but other than that this room has been decorated and made into my home by femmes. We rarely slept here, so it didn't smell like him. It had been months since he left me a teeshirt that smelled of his sweat. He never left anything other than a toothbrush, and even that was something I bought for him. I threw it away after I dumped him, and my housemate graciously used it to clean the toilet.

He also didn't give me much in the way of gifts that I felt I had to put away for a while. Some socks, a sticker book, some shoelaces and a sweater, that was pretty much it. Nothing too intimate, nothing too personal. He just wasn't romantic, I would tell myself, but I think it was more that he wasn't really present. I should be grateful, though, as it's been easier with this breakup to wipe him clean from my life in part because I've realized he was never that invested in it. He didn't leave a trace. Most of what he left me were memories, good and painful.

It's also weird, though, the things that I miss. The tea I drank at his place. The games we'd play. Replaceable things, granted, things I can buy for myself and enjoy with other people, associate those memories with someone else. Hopefully they won't sting at some point. Detoxing is hard, and I want to grasp for things that are familiar, the last tendrils of things that were good about him, about us. But there's not a lot to hold onto, and that was the whole problem all along.

I bought myself a heated mattress cover and I've had multiple friends and lovers sleep over the last couple weeks, and that's helped me not miss our spooning. I still feel pangs about our silly pillow talks, but more often than not the last few months those ended in discomfort and tears, not laughter and kisses. Each fond memory is overlaid with something painful, and it hurts, so much, but that pain is making it easier not to get sucked back in.

He told me I was burning bridges with him. I told him that if that was the case, it was only because the bridge was rotten and he had supplied me with the matches.

If anything this process has affirmed my worry that he had one foot out the door. I suppose I did too- I didn't leave much at his place, either, and was slowly gathering my things back over a couple of months before the split. It amazes me that he told other people that we were doing better while I could see we were pulling apart at the seams. But he used that reassurance, not for me, but for people he wanted to fuck. Realizing that gave me the feeling I had been kicked in the gut but I needed it. Sometimes you need that level of shitty truth to sever the bond.

Honestly, late at night I still feel regret, sometimes. Did I jump too quickly to end things? Was I letting my triggers make my decisions for me? But boundaries are something I knew I needed, and I didn't feel safe expressing. And while I may be missing some things, the gain of those boundaries, and the slowly returning capacity to negotiate what I want and need, is worth it. I wish he had been more open to those boundaries and negotiations, but if wishes were horses...

Categories: breakups, dating, fake it til you make it, loss, love is a dog from hell, male privilege


When Your Ex's Ex is Your Best Ally

I probably would have stayed if I hadn't talked to his ex girlfriend.

He was so good at making me feel uncertain of myself, like I was misremembering his words, my words, our actions and agreements. It got to a point where I insisted we write everything down, so that we didn't get tangled up in confusion. I didn't realize that he may have been pulling the strings on purpose to trip me up.

When I first met her, they were still dating. She seemed possessive- when she kissed him in front of me it felt like a pointed gesture, but I figured they had been dating for longer and it was fair for her to feel uncomfortable. I didn't think much of it. I may have said something about it to him, and he shrugged it off, so I did too.

I made a point of hanging out with her one on one to get to know her and to reassure her that I wasn't intending to steal him away. It took a few times, but a few beers in we were confessing some of the issues we had with him to each other, asking for support. We both quickly realized that we needed each other to know we were being heard, that we weren't crazy, that he WAS behaving poorly and it wasn't personal. It was a pattern.

It took months before she confessed to me that he had actively volunteered information on the sex we were having to her, sex acts that she didn't feel comfortable with and he was glowing about. He had told her that he would feel more sexual desire for her if she gained weight and dressed differently... more like me, in other words. I was gobsmacked. He so rarely complimented me, but here he was comparing his other lover to me as if she was being found wanting. No wonder she was so cagey around me at first!

I knew she was going to dump him months before he did. We would get together and rant, text each other "omg you'd never believe what just happened" until we both realized that yes, we could believe it. She texted me right after she dumped him so I would be prepared for the emotional fallout we both thought was inevitable. He didn't throw a tantrum or seem particularly upset. At least, I didn't notice.

But then, slowly, his behaviour with me got worse and worse. I began to see some of the same issues she had complained about, him ignoring me, gaslighting me, "forgetting" plans and not looking at me when we fucked. I cried on her shoulder, wishing I was strong enough to leave. She'd hug me and tell me I was strong for staying, if that's what I wanted. I began to realize that maybe this WASN'T what I wanted, not at all. That he was treating me badly, and this was a pattern, and it wasn't going to get better. Any grievance I brought to him was summarily dismissed as just my problem.

When I dumped him, it was his ex I sent the email to for proofreading. She guided me through the process, the negotiations and the flailing. When he threatened to call the police on me, it was her house I hid out at. She knew his ways, his words, how he would keep someone on edge trying to please him, and she gently but firmly told me when that was happening. It was with her holding my hand that i was able to leave him, to see what was happening as emotional abuse mixed with narcissism. We agreed it wasn't likely intentional, but it was still harmful, and the unconscious way in which he'd harm us was almost worse than if he was being malicious.

Through this process, I realized how it could've been if we had done that thing that women are encouraged to do when fucking the same guy. We could've been suspicious of each other, we could've competed, we could've been distant. But instead we had solidarity, and trust, and support, and through that we were both able to get out of a relationship with a man who wanted an audience, not a lover.

Sometimes your ex's ex is your best ally.

Categories: boundaries, breakups, communication, community, dating, femme, love is a dog from hell, nonmonogamy, personal


Intimacy Level Up



Ok with that out of the way...

I have a funny story to tell, which will become a more complete piece at some point.

My ex was my primary sexual partner, and we maybe hooked up once a week. It's been a little while since I got laid and I've been hella stressed with all this bullshit going on. I was, perhaps, a little pent up.

Well I've been seeing this super cute couple (C & R) that I've been kind of falling for (we're taking it slow so the breakup doesn't fuck with our dynamic). I go on dates with them together and individually and they're just the sweetest. It's been an amazing counterpoint and reminder of what dating can be like. R is a hot fat femme who is both powerful and gentle and makes amazing art, and C is this adorable, eager to please nerd who likes shooting guns and riding motorcycles. They're amazing.

I had a date set up with C for last night and he asked what I wanted to do. Feeling a bit bold I was like "I really need to bang please" and he was down. So I brought over my hitachi and we put down a bunch of towels and went at it.

One of the things I knew I was going to mourn the most with my ex is how readily I felt safe losing control. He was a great fuck, even if he was often a poor romantic partner for me, and I didn't feel ashamed of relaxing enough that maybe I farted when I came or whatever. Bodies do gross things and he didn't make me feel bad or weird about it. That's astoundingly hard to find, especially alongside sex that makes me orgasm. My clit and my gspot are pretty finicky.

Well, C has whatever that thing is that works for me. And I came, multiple times, really hard.

Too hard.

We were cuddling and I got up to use the bathroom when I realized, to my horror, that I had orgasmed so hard I actually pooped. Not, like, tons, but enough to be noticeable and humiliating and oh my god. So I grabbed up the towel trying to be suave and ran to the bathroom downstairs where I realized with ever increasing embarrassment that I had poop all over my butt, and it was smeared all over the towel.

I washed the towel in the sink in a panic and tried to clean myself up as I tried to figure out what on earth you say to a relatively new lover when you've had intimacy suddenly level up, like, a lot. Had he noticed? Oh god oh god oh god what if he never wants to see me again omg I'm so gross whyyyyyyyyyyy

I faced him and blurted out "so, apparently I came so hard I shat myself. On the plus side no one has ever made that happen before. On the con side we should probably do laundry like now also I need a shower".

Thankfully we laughed and laughed and drank some scotch and I smoked a cigarette and tried not to blush for the rest of my LIVING DAYS. But you know what was awesome? It was ok. Everything was fine. It ended up being a hilarious story and not the source of neverending anxiety. And I kinda fell in love with him a bit more because of it.

I will say my second thought after "DID THIS ACTUALLY HAPPEN WHY OMG" was "I have got to write about this". So here we are. :)

Categories: body stuff, boys, communication, dating, fail at life, fake it til you make it, intimacy, love, mistakes were made, personal, sexyfuntime, silly


Breakup Self Help Books Are the Devil

I’ve been reading some breakup self help books as I go through one that feels particularly heartbreaking and sad. Not as much one for watching sad chick flicks and eating pints of ice cream, I find these sorts of situations leave me navel gazing and obsessively checking and double checking my behaviour to figure out what I did wrong and what I should do better next time. During a breakup I am a creature of pain and regret and determination and evolution, and I like to reach out to as many sources as possible to figure out what steps to take next on my journey of self-discovery and learning how to heal my various traumas.

I had no idea how fucking toxic so many self help books are when it comes to breakups. Holy shit, people. I noticed books on this topic rarely acknowledge that you, the consumer, assumed female and heterosexual, may have initiated the breakup. I can attest that you can initiate a breakup, be very sure it was the right thing to do, have confirmation it was the right thing to do, and still have a lot of fucked up mixed up feelings about it.

There were a fair number of books I encountered that I felt crossed the line from a bit of playful angry fantasy to straight up joking about doing stuff that’s actively harmful. One suggested you make sure to talk to your ex’s family about the breakup first to “get them on your side so you can use them as spies”. Seriously? This is really not good advice (and how did they get a book deal while I’m still waiting? SIGH)

So I’m going to challenge of the most common advice things I uncovered, from my experience as someone who has both broken up with and been broken up with, and is friends with most of my exes. Not to say I’m perfect at breakups- far from it, I have been vengeful, self-destructive, depressed for months, carelessly promiscuous, all over the board. The fact that so many of my exes still talk to me I think is a reflection not only of my ability to take ownership but their ability to take the love we shared and adapt to something new. I’m really writing this to remind myself of this shit, and so I stop reading these damn books that sound a lot more like self harm than self help.

Do Not Set Your Ex’s House on Fire.

You would think this is really obvious, but I have read a lot of advice, in print, suggesting that you should somehow “get even” with your ex by acting out and destroying their stuff, their friendships, or their lives. This is intensely unhelpful. I’m all for women getting in touch with their anger, as I feel we’re so often told to silence and stifle it, but I do not feel that reacting to a hurtful situation by being abusive is appropriate, including when I have done it myself in moments of weakness and pain. Anger is not a root emotion, it is almost always a hard shell protecting us from fear or hurt. I think that rather than demonizing your ex and then spend all your energy summoning him over and over just to tell him off, it’s better to focus on yourself and your needs.

It’s OK To Grieve. And It Might Take A While.

I’ve read suggestions that you can only cry for 24 hours, or 48 hours, or maybe, MAYBE a week, but then you need to pick yourself up and drag yourself out. The death of a relationship and the heartache that follows is a real pain (one you can apparently take aspirin for, who knew) and it’s perfectly fine to give that time to heal. Pushing yourself to push those feelings away because the incredibly short amount of time is up can lead to more unhealthy and unreflective behaviour down the line. I feel like this suggestion of containing your grief is in line with a culture that doesn’t like people to take sick days, resents paid vacations and medicates in any way possible to continue to be a successful worker bee. Your pain will likely come in waves, and it’s ok to take some time out to hold space for it- in fact I feel like if you do make space for it, you’ll be better able to wipe your eyes and move on with your day than if you try to bury it.

Exes *Can* Be Friends.

I’ve read a lot of well-meaning advice that you can’t be friends with an ex. I can understand it. I’ve had lovers that, when the intimacy of sex was gone, accessing any other type of intimacy felt awkward, painful, less shiny. Breakups are often messy and feelings get hurt and you have to know your boundaries and be able to communicate really well in order to transition from being partners to being friends. But I also don’t understand the edict that you must banish an ex from your life, no matter what, that the only way to move on is to wipe all memories. When I’m close to someone, even when there’s been a lot of hurt, I still hold a desire to heal that hurt and retain some sense of community. I don’t let many people that close to me. I have personally often found that it’s worth the investment to keep the people I do let into my inner sanctum close, and that the pain of renegotiating our relationship is ultimately less painful than losing them forever in my life. Your mileage may vary, and it totally depends on the ex, why you broke up, whether everyone involved can own their shit. It’s possible though, and I just don’t believe it means you’re inevitably trying to win them back or at the very least fuck them again.

Staying Busy is Good, But Avoidance Isn’t.

One thing that a lot of people suggest you do is stay busy, and in some ways it makes a lot of sense. I know that sitting around dwelling overmuch on what could’ve gone differently isn’t usually helpful, so keeping your hands and mind busy is a good idea. However, I think that it can also be tempting to “stay busy” by becoming a workaholic, overexercising, going on nights out as a way of avoiding any real reflection on yourself or your needs. I think this is especially true for femmes, where relationship expectations often rely on our emotional labour for someone else. When the relationship is gone, we throw our time and energy into some other project, not giving ourselves a chance to mend, to breathe, to take up space. Self care is important. Sitting with your feelings? Also important. Don’t burn yourself out in an attempt to sidestep personal growth… and also remember that while sometimes personal growth is useful, sometimes it’s a form of self abuse. It’s ok to take some time out for indulgence and rest, too.

Don’t Use Other People- Get Informed Consent.

Finally, a piece of advice I came across multiple times suggested getting over one person by getting under someone else. While that’s absolutely useful for some folks, I also think it’s important to remember that the person you’re banging to get over your ex is a person, with their own needs, wants, dealbreakers. You really shouldn’t just use them as a stepping stone to your personal growth, not just for their sake, but for your own. At least, I would say don’t do this without informed consent. Some folks, if you tell them you’re looking for a rebound, and the expected parameters of that for you, will be happy to oblige, and great! But I don’t think it’s really ethical to heal your broken heart by breaking someone else’s. Don’t be mean, respect their boundaries and needs, even when it’s a one night stand.

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Categories: abuse, boundaries, breakups, communication, dating, loss, love is a dog from hell, mistakes were made, personal, pop culture