Friendzoning Ordinances

I have some pretty cute and sexy friends with benefits. The benefits are varied- some of them can cook, others really enjoy going to cheesy kids movies, others will record stories for me to listen to when I fall asleep. And yeah, sure, some of them I have sex with, but I've been learning that as benefits go, that is, for me, one of the least important.

See, I am a big fan of the friendzone. I have a large circle of acquaintances- my friendzone is probably the most permissive zone, and the widest net. It's filled with people from "folks I get together with regularly for activities" to "folks with whom I share my most personal self, and who share that with me". Maybe it's a holdover from my Livejournal days, but I like having different friend groups with different levels of disclosure, so I can have different discussions and gain insight from a range of perceptions.

Living in the Bay, I have sometimes felt weird about my choice to have a very solid friendzoning policy. It seems like the cultural norm is to say, "well if I get along somewhat with them and there's any spark at all, why not fuck instead of platonically hanging out?" When I first moved here, I felt much the same. Especially as a fat woman, I was quickly made aware that if I wanted to have any social or sexual capital, the best way to gain it was through sluttery. I hadn't had a lot of experience being desired in any way, so I wholeheartedly threw myself into what I believed to be sex positivity- I went to loads of play parties, experimented with various roles, and slept with anyone who didn't turn me off. I had a lot of dates (I looked back at my LJ and saw some weeks I had a date for every day!), and for a time, that felt like closeness, and friendship, and community.

Eventually, though, I realized I was limiting myself when the only intimacy I trusted these friends with was sexual. And, worse, I felt lonely all the time. I didn't feel like I had anyone I could call when I was having headweasels, because to talk to these casual lovers about unsexy things might ruin the seduction. Unless a party I was going to involved sex, the likelihood that I wouldn't see these new "friends" was pretty high- and because of that I didn't always feel like I was valued outside of being an available potential sexual partner. Or, sometimes, a logistical manager, someone with useful resources who would do it for free because I was naive and thought our friendship went both ways. I began to have a sinking feeling that the people I was calling my friends did not feel the same about me when they never reached out. "They're just busy" started to ring false when years went by without them even initiating a Facebook poke.

It was incredibly rough, for a while. I withdrew from the various communities I was a part of. I lost myself in relationships instead. I went to parties but found myself dissatisfied with the small talk and the lies of "we should hang out sometime". I felt lost.

I moved to London, and felt isolated for about 6 months. I didn't know how to make friends if I wasn't fucking them, but I also knew that I didn't want to keep trying to forge friendships using a method that had left me so disappointed. Trying to figure out what to do, I gravitated, again, to the kink and sex party communities. But this time, the people I bonded with shared other interests- queer studies, feminism, performance, sex work politics, really weird porn, pop culture, the history of medicine. And the people who became my friends, who I still consider some of my deepest friends now, were just that- friends. People I could count on. With a couple of them, we'd try making out, just to see. Often we'd end up laughing and saying "nope, definitely not"  and continuing to be friends. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a community... and they were all happily in the friendzone.

It was WEIRD. For a while. But when I moved back to California, I knew I wanted my friendships to be different. I had tasted the joy of being around people who really SAW me as a complete and flawed person, not some sort of sexy persona or potential conquest. Strangely, in the stiff upper lip culture of the Brits, I had learned how to embrace my tender, vulnerable self. I knew, then, that I needed to totally change my approach.

"You make time for what you care about", an ex said to me a long while back. I repeat that to myself now, when looking at my schedule, or making plans with lovers.  I now make sure to balance time spent with sexual partners with time spent with friends. I've made quality time with people I'm not fucking more of a priority, having tea or putting together craft days or playing minigolf. If I feel like going to a sex party will be a chore, I no longer feel pushed to go because it's the only time I'll see my "friends". I no longer invest significant energy in the projects of people who never step up for my work. I've learned, as Maya Angelou would say, to "never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option".

I have learned to be grateful for my friendzone. While I enjoy my friends with benefits, too, valuing the friendship over the sex has been incredibly healing for me. Sometimes it still feels like a rarity in the Bay, to have people close to you that you get along with and think are attractive and don't have sex with regardless- but while my bed may be empty most of the week, my heart is fuller than it's ever been.

Categories: best of, boundaries, community, intimacy, parties, personal


Review: The Uncut #1 Dildo from Tantus

Living in the UK for years, I gained an appreciation for uncircumcised penises, eventually preferring them for multiple reasons over circumcised ones. But almost every dildo that's penis shaped is cut, something that I grew to reluctantly accept even if it wasn't exactly my taste.

As soon as I saw the photos of the Uncut dildos Tantus was making, I was obsessed.

There are two designs currently, the #1, which is almost 7 1/2" of insertable length, but a reasonable thickness at 1 3/4" diameter, and the #2, which is almost an inch shorter at just under 6 1/2" and just a teensy bit more slender at 1.6" around.

Here I review the #1, because as a fat woman the extra inch is particularly useful for strap on play and I had a date with a new sexy friend who wanted to give it a go!

First, mine is named Big Tom. I can't explain the Tom part, but it is definitely big. Not in terms of width (and if anything I hope Tantus makes a wider version of this length!) but it's definitely a dick that will hang out the bottom of your short shorts. I found it to be a little slim for my cunt, but am imagining that in my slow working up to anal play, this may well be my perfect toy for it when the time comes!

The Uncuts are dual density, which means they have a solid core but a slightly softer outside. This was a godsend for me, as I found the head of the cock to actually feel nice against my cervix as opposed to trying to batter a hole into it. It also made it really really fun to have in my mouth! The base felt good and was sturdy enough for some solid fucking without either slipping out or bruising my pelvis.

They're silicone, so sterilizable, which is great of course. And the Uncut plays nicely with water based lubes- if you wash it decently afterwards you could also likely use a water/silicone mix without too much trouble. It's available in 3 colours- cream, cocoa, and mocha.

I really enjoyed my Uncut #1 and can't wait for more in this series! Thank you Tantus for sending me this dream dick in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Categories: dildo, review, sex, strap ons, Tantus, toys


Anxiety Manifest: My Skin Picking Problem

So anyone who's followed my blog for any length of time knows that I have an anxiety disorder. This has manifested in a few different ways in my life- I've come out about my jealousy issues, my ongoing eating disorder struggles and other difficulties with food, my fight against hoarding. I plan to write more extensively about my experiences with medication, having been medicated for depression most of my life and really only in the last 3 years realizing that my diagnosis was likely off. I like to be open about what I've discovered along the way in the hopes it helps others.

But there's one thing I've felt really uncomfortable sharing about, as a sometime professional pretty person-

I am a really, really chronic skin picker.

I've always been a cuticle biter, to the point where I have had infections and other major problems. In fact even while writing this I've had to stop myself multiple times from worrying at any little bits of dry skin. It's unconscious, but it's constant. It's why I keep my nails painted most of the time, because then at least I don't want to mess up my polish. No amount of gross tasting formulas have been able to stop me.

For most of my life I've been blessed with pretty clear skin, so my enjoyment of popping pimples and squeezing out blackheads happened on other people, usually tolerant partners who would let me groom them. I'm even one of those freaks who would watch those gross skin channels on Youtube for particularly bad blackheads. There was something soothing and satisfying about seeing the blockages cleared.

Now in my 30s I'm getting a lot more whiteheads and pimples, and it SUUUUUCKS. I have such a hard time leaving them alone! And as I don't actually know much about foundation or coverup, I end up slapping on a fair amount of makeup to hide the redness I leave behind with my anxious fussing, which then clogs my skin and makes more blemishes. I got a set of tools supposedly for helping clear up these things, but I don't know how to use them yet. So in the meantime I'm just using my nails and ending up with overly rosy cheeks and irritated skin.

I often feel as a fat woman that there's a lot of pressure to look on point whenever I leave the house. I rarely go out without my makeup done, and almost never in leggings and a shirt- not because I don't want to, but because I am deeply self conscious of looking like a "slob". Having any kind of facial blemish, then, makes me excessively anxious, because I associate acne with grease and grease with fatty foods and even though there's little logic to it, I begin to feel even more ashamed of my body and how other people perceive me. I pick at my skin obsessively, trying to get every little bump to flatten. I powder my skin like a French aristocrat to hide the redness. My quest to be a pretty fat person ends up being a lot of pressure to not let down the side. Which makes me more anxious. Which makes me pick more.

I'm still trying to figure out the best ways to manage my anxiety.  I don't want to peel my own skin off when I'm feeling stressed. A lot of anxiety meds have bad side effects though, things like brain zaps or losing my libido. It took me YEARS to get my libido even halfway recovered from years of SSRIs, and I'll be damned if I give it up now! So for now, I just try to breathe through it, eat decently well, and be mindful of what I'm doing. It's really difficult, though, and frankly I still feel a lot of anxiety being seen in a no-makeup selfie on the Internet. Do be kind, please!

I'm hoping that coming out about this issue I can not only help others feel less alone but be held accountable to being kind to my skin so I can break this harmful habit before I end up scarring myself! Do you have trouble with skin picking or nail biting? How do you manage it?

Categories: anxiety, body stuff, fake it til you make it, fat is fit, femme, makeup, personal


Primaries and Priorities

With this post, I am founding a new category- it's the poly PTSD category, yessir! Because I have a lot of trigger points around poly and it seems like when I talk about it on social media, many people I know seem to nod their heads wildly in agreement.

Terminology is important to a good number of people. I've seen all the posts declaring that we should all move beyond labels, but I find that to be bullshit- labels are useful in many ways, labels give us some idea of what's going on,  labels are shorthand communication. I am pro-labels. I don't think they should be used instead of clear negotiation, but they're a decent starting place.

I have found labels to be a sticking point in relationships I'm in, in the past. Labels I've been deemed inappropriate for include  "family friendly", "long term relationship material", "pretty", "girlfriend", and "primary". I've thought for a long time about how I could push past the desire to be labeled these things, because whatever, it's not the labels that matter, it's the behaviour, right? I've made myself pretty sad by trying to force myself into apathy and telling myself that I don't mind that I'm always the girlfriend experience, rarely the girlfriend.

I've been a lot of people's secret.  And I used to pretend I was ok with it, but I'm not. It's some deep seated emotional shit and it's eating away at me.

It hurts to see friends with their lovers, being introduced to new folks as a partner. I'm mostly referred to by name. I see them in photos together while they're out and about and I'm envious. My lovers don't tend to ask for selfies with me. I've had people tell me they didn't know one of my partners was, in fact, my partner, and it's been a full year. I'm usually not introduced to family or friends, or if it does happen it's incidental, not something they're excited to manifest, just something that might happen if it comes up. I try not to mind, I know I'm more demonstrative and public than other people... but it makes me feel invisible.

When people call you a unicorn, it shouldn't mean that you don't exist.

And when your lovers don't refer to you as their girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever, people assume that you don't have "that" kind of relationship. Because yes, yes it's a label, but it's a label that means something to most people. Maybe you've managed your non-hierarchical poly feels but the rest of the world puts "girlfriend" over "casual sex partner" and when you don't differentiate I'm left trying to decide if I'm going to speak up for myself so I get seen, or if I should just spend the night struggling with feeling like a fling.

Usually discussions about non-hierarchical poly are about protecting partners that might otherwise be called "secondaries". For me, non-hierarchical poly has so often been used as a way to shy away from offering me any stability or anything special that is just between me and my partner. And my desire for that feels like a failure, because if I was good at poly, I would feel compersion when I see another lover's panties on the floor, right?

Spoiler alert: most of the time, I don't. I just feel hurt that I didn't even warrant cleaning up between sexcapades.

I remember the boyfriend who never introduced me to his friends or family, because he was ashamed of me. He barely even hid it. I loved him, so I forgave him, and even hated myself for not being the kind of woman he wanted to introduce around. I remember the boyfriend who ran off with one of the friends I had introduced him to, saying that we weren't primaries so I should be happy for him, not upset. When we broke up I discovered he had been having condomeless sex with three of us. I remember the girlfriend who confessed that she had showed her friends a photo of a much younger me, because I had gained weight and she was embarrassed. I have been a secret more than I'd like to admit... and I accepted it, because I didn't think I could get any better.

Frankly, I am terrified to ask for what I want, because I have been taught and had it reinforced so often that my desires are always secondary. I have tried so hard to mold myself into the person my partners have wanted, crushing myself in the process as I try to conform to what makes them the most comfortable. I've questioned whether or not I'm made for this, or if I'm just easily triggered because I've been treated as disposable before. And while yes, I know none of this is a competition, I also know that there are spaces where I am just not as welcome as someone else. If you want to have casual moresomes at a play party, you're not going to score with the fat political chick dragging you down. If you want to be recognized as an expert in a particular area, you don't bring the girlfriend who knows nothing about the topic keeping the conversation at bay.

Now I can safely say, this all drives me crazy. Sure, I'd like to think that I don't need a primary, I just need to feel like a priority, like someone who inspires romance and PDA. I'm questioning if I'm capable of that more and more, though. Asking to feel like a priority isn't really a clear label, while primary has a lot of preconceived notions I could lean on. Instead, I have to be vulnerable, over and over, as I say what made me sad this time, or what I need now. It makes me feel difficult and demanding and needy. And I feel like I hold my partners back, even if they say I don't.

I think what it comes down to is- I want to feel like I'm with people who are proud of me, and are excited to introduce me as a partner, not just a personality. I don't want to be someone's novelty, ever again, as a fat girl, as a porn performer, as an activist. I don't want to be someone's hedonistic quick fix or their good deed. I don't want to be their mythological beast. I want to be a real girl, and a girlfriend, not just playing at the GFE.

I'm tired of feeling like I always have to be the one to set the record straight. But where does one go from here?

Categories: anxiety, best of, boundaries, communication, dating, fake it til you make it, gfe, intimacy, personal, poly ptsd, sexuality, sweeties


In Defense of Casual Romance

I'm not exactly new to the world of internet dating or casual sex hookups. I'm on OKCupid. I've been on PlentyofFish, and Match, and Alt, and all the rest of them. Shit, I was kicked off of eHarmony, in part because I had a very different understanding of the watersports question.

Even though I have a lot of experience and typically have had an easy enough time meeting friends through online posts,  I do a terrible job meeting casual sex partners. There's a lot I have to say and have said in the past about desirable bodies, what people want vs what they're willing to be witnessed wanting, how it's acceptable to treat fat people as "desperate", etc. So there's a lot of that at play, of course, in who gets responded to and who gets left out. But really, I suspect this is because what I want often comes off as confusing. I know what I want from a casual experience, but it's not what people normally consider casual.

See, I was told that the reason my queer cruising ad failed was because I was asking for "dating stuff". In it, I said I was hoping for more like a one month stand than a one nighter, that I wanted something semi-romantic and sweet, that I wanted the kind of person who would buy me roses then beat me with them. Frankly, I want a partner who likes to top but also will tell me I'm pretty and will pet my hair, not just use my cunt and then disappear. Apparently that's too much like "relationship" stuff for a casual sex ad?

I have to admit, I just don't understand. Is it impossible to have more of a seduction or even a little romance in a casual fling? If anything I feel like they're ideal for it- you can just enjoy the moment with no expectations! I love the fluttery feeling of having a crush, but the stone cold reality of building that crush into a relationship takes a lot of energy, trust, desire and work on both sides. I just don't have space for more of that in my life right now. But that doesn't mean I can't still want to be romanced, right? 

It's also a little bit hurtful. If you ask me, I think it's kind of more fucked up that it's totally fine to hook up in a dirty bathroom sort of way but not in a "spank me with a bouquet of roses" sort of way. That seems like some femmephobic bullshittery. It goes along with how I resent the way in my local group of friends and acquaintances, we celebrate Steak and Blowjob Day but scorn Valentine's Day, like that isn't, at least in part, gendered.

So fuck it. I think we should make casual romance a Thing if it isn't already. I wanna see more casual makeout sessions, more hand holding dates, more looking into each others eyes and just giggling, more gifting each other things like flowers or doing small acts of service like a snack tray for a hookup. I resent and reject the idea that because I want these things I just want to date more people.

I feel like in our desire to liberate our sexualities, we haven't spent a lot of time focusing on liberating our feelings and making space for that. I've bemoaned how romance often seems to be calculated or dead, though I've learned to see the sweet gesture in things like wrapping my micro usb cord so it won't get ruined in my purse or getting me a candle that looks like a rococo butt plug. I've tried to kill my desire for outward displays of affection and seduction, because I've been afraid I don't deserve it or won't get it. But fuck that. I do deserve it. I am a lovely person who works really hard to be enjoyable to be around and if I want to be showered in flower petals once in a while I don't think that's bad. And I don't think I should only get to ask for that from people I'm dating long term.

Now yes, not everyone wants casual sex to be anything beyond meeting, fucking, parting ways, maybe even with no names exchanged. I've been there, kittens, I get it. I'm just saying that one of the most incredible impulsive once-ever experiences I had involved a lot of kissing and eye contact and giggling and holding hands. We didn't exchange names. He ejaculated on my chest in a glass elevator and it was hot as hell. But what made it transcendent and memorable for me was that in that moment we just really connected, and cared about each other, and that mutual respect and yeah, little touches like passionately making out in doorways while rain sprinkled down, and how he held an umbrella over my head while we did that, made it go from "hot" to "fiery hot passion". I feel it was extremely casual, and also romantic, and I want more of that in my life.

So here's to casual romances, to summer flings and perfect first (and only) dates. The heart wants what it wants, and it is a-ok to want loving and fleeting expressions of affection and being Seen just as it's ok for your junk to want a good hard pounding in the backseat of your car.

Categories: advice, assumptions, best of, boundaries, communication, dating, don't tell me how to live, femme, love, musing, reflection, sex, sexuality


Learning How To Fight Fair

"She said I don't know if I've ever been good enough
I'm a little bit rusty
And I think my head is caving in
And I don't know if I've ever been really loved
By a hand that's touched me, well I feel like something's
Gonna give
And I'm a little bit angry"
-Matchbox 20, Push

I always thought I was an argumentative, fiery tempered person. I thought it was just in my nature, something I couldn't really help but could only manage. A lot of my time was spent trying to avoid saying something really mean, because I was very good at finding someone's buttons and pressing them in just the right way when I wanted a reaction.  I did a lot of anger management work, and quickly found myself redirecting much of it away from individuals and more at systems, which was slightly more futile but also less volatile in the day to day.

Now I'm in relationships where we don't really yell at each other at all and it's kind of weird, if I'm honest. I haven't slammed a door in a long, long time. I think today was the first time I had ever sworn vaguely at one particular partner during an intense discussion. Most of the time, our conversations that might lead to argument happen via text, email and chat. I think this helps me somewhat, because writing is a communication skillset I get on well with, and the distance of not being right in front of each other is also safer feeling. It's a lot easier for me to take some time to find compassion when I can be away from the keyboard for a few minutes before I respond!

I've realized that I'm sad and hurt more than I'm angry, and that I am at a stage in my life where I'm more of a flight person than a fight person.  It takes a lot of my energy to not say something passive aggressive and just flounce away. It is really, really hard to delve into those areas of hurt while they're hurting and say "here's what I need or want from you". I'm so scared my needs are too overwhelming, that stating them is to draw lines in sand that no one will ever want to cross. I worry that by stating my boundaries I'm trampling other people's, because I've been told that in the past (particularly by my ex.) And more than anything else, I'm scared of being too intense, too much, that I am not meant to be a girlfriend or a friend but free therapy and life coaching.

I can't count the number of lovers who have gone on to meet their perfect soulmate after me. And it's hard when I see so many people around me getting fan art, notes of encouragement, writing offers, indicators of worthiness. It's disheartening to always be the girl who gets called to do the pragmatic stuff.

But I'm trying to practice being radically vulnerable in spite of all that, letting those walls come down. By saying where I'm actually at, even when it's illogical or feels embarrassing to admit, and offering what action points I want to see that might relieve some of the pain, I've actually been able to silence some of my anxiety. I've gotten what I've advocated to get, which has led me to move away from passive aggressive statements as I'll likely get what I ask for. I've learned to accept there will be a period of defensiveness as our fur raises, but after some time, if we haven't stormed away from each other and practice patience, more often than not a resolution happens that makes us feel better.

I still feel hypervigilant. I worry that if I don't maintain near constant control over my emotions and communication, I will end up sabotaging my relationships in times of duress. It may surprise you all (not really) to know that I am a control freak about things like schedules and plans and things fitting neatly as much as possible. And I work hard at compartmentalizing my feelings into easily digestible chunks. As I grow to trust people, I'm sure I'll not feel this weight in my gut like I'm about to be stabbed constantly while I'm awake... maybe I'll learn how to relax a little. I think trying to remind myself that people are typically not trying to hurt me, and those who are generally make it really obvious, has been useful in this process. It reminds me to keep my defenses lowered, because I want diplomacy, not war.

As each argument comes and goes, and as I abandon feeling angry all the time to accepting my wounded self and communicate that tenderness rather than protective rage, I feel a little more honest and a little more relieved. I still have a long way to go but for now, just practicing compassion even when I'm upset is a huge step.

Some things I've read about arguing compassionately/dealing with feelings that have been helpful:

Captain Awkward- How do I fight with my partner without ruining everything?

Captain Awkward- How to train your rageasaurus

Ask Polly: How do I make my boyfriend listen?

Ask Polly: My anxiety is ruining my life

Medium: Against Chill

Categories: advice, angry, anxiety, assumptions, best of, communication, dating, love, love is a dog from hell


Help Courtney Trouble Go To Art School!

I remember when I lost my contract writing marketing posts for Canadian cop show Rookie Blue, a job that was a large part of my survival. I was freaking out about how hard it was for me to find another gig outside of my writing, which wasn't sustainable yet. Then Courtney Trouble offered I start working for them doing social media, marketing newsletters, and mailouts.

Soon they began training me on how to set up lights on set, how to work a camera, how to edit photos and upload to the FTP and make animated gifs. I began to come in twice a week and take more hours working from home. I bought my own camera so I could start filming my own porn, and Courtney patiently began to teach me how to edit my shoots. I began to shoot my own ideas, had a gallery show at Sidequest Gallery, conceptualized Ban This Sick Filth, and am now wrapping up my first DVD, "Here Kitty Kitty".

I never identified as an artist. I don't know if I do even now, honestly, but Courtney taught me to trust in my vision as well as how to manage the pragmatic side of the company. Now, I'm the programming and production manager for TROUBLEfilms while Courtney is in grad school, learning tons of new skills that will be useful for me for the rest of my life. I am so lucky to call Courtney not just my coworker but my friend. If you like the work I do, give Courtney a thank you, because they've helped build me up into the person I am today. They have given me the stability I desperately needed, and a career I can feel truly proud of.

I owe a lot to Courtney. If you can donate a little something to their fundraiser, you're not only helping them move away from porn production, and me move into porn production, but also TROUBLEfilms as we continue to move forward on making the company a place that funds budding directors realizing their visions.

Courtney has 5 days left to make $8000- totally doable, but only with your help!

Categories: activism, community, personal, support


The Ideal Lover List


I'm listening to 90s music (currently "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star) and going through my livejournal while piecing together a confessional entry on threesomes. Having had an amazing one this last weekend (which you'll hear more about later) I wanted to reflect on the experiences from my past, and what hurt me, and why. Revisiting my blog is usually an intense experience, so I expected to be taken aback by some of what I found, but this was particularly interesting: a list of what I wanted in a partner, circa 2008.

-accepts polyamory in my relationships
-accepts kinkiness (either is kinky or accepts me playing with others)
-queer friendly
-cat friendly
-intelligent (book smart or street smart, preferably a bit of both)
-enjoys sexuality in an open minded way
-not dependent on drugs to cope
-playful (likes to wear costumes, roleplay, be silly)
-utilizes safer sex practices/pro abortion
-emotionally self aware/deals with baggage/introspective
-financially stable
-accepting of paganism
-politically aware
-takes care of self and environment
-somewhat patient

-always curious/critical thinker/asks "why?"
-enjoys travel
-reading > TV
-queer (or queer curious)
-enjoys various sexual expressions (3somes, gender play, exhibitionism, etc)
-not in a monotheistic religion
-good taste in music/movies"

This was written while I was in London, after years of men and women who had broken my heart into a million pieces and stomped them into dust. Thumbing through my Livejournal, I see the time I was dragged to a stranger's house for a threesome because my date wanted to fuck him and dealing with a spanking I didn't want because I wanted to be "cool". I see myself reassuring myself that this boy, who wandered all over California and couldn't commit to a phone call, much less me, really did like me, because he said so once. I see myself feeling uncomfortable with how delighted I was to have a lover who bought me dinner and surprised me with presents, because I didn't want my affection to be bought, but I did want to be recognized.

I can see that I had multiple relationships because none of them were present for me, not really, and so with 5 of them maybe I would have a full relationship. I've realized that the concept of dating multiple people because one person can't meet all your needs doesn't mean you should compartmentalize all those needs or that it's not ok to have higher standards for who you spend time with.

I think what I find most startling is that my tastes haven't changed that dramatically. In fact, strangely, I think the only thing I don't care for anymore is being a Burner, as I find other types of art/creation generally more satisfactory. And I think being queer is pretty important. But I'm really amazed that my current lovers fulfill most if not all of these things on my list. I guess I did end up deciding I'd rather be alone than with multiple people who made me feel lonely and didn't make me a priority.

I have uneasy feelings about the trend I see, my fear of being clingy but my lovers not being willing/able to commit to me, where I need reassurance constantly because I am afraid constantly. I see in my past partners vanishing for months at a time, and then reappearing to be offended that I was dating someone else while expecting me to embrace their new lovers. They often ran away with those new lovers, proving what I thought was poly for a long time was really serial monogamy. And god, no wonder group sex freaks me out, the number of times I woke up next to my boyfriend fucking someone else or was kicked out of bed so they could cuddle...! I think I need to try to heal that scarred history, but I'm not sure entirely how.

I've also noticed that I used to fall in love quickly, but fell out of love about as quickly. Does that say something for the stability of my relationships now, where the feelings were slow but have been pretty steady? I'm not sure, but it's interesting to look back and see how highly I valued feeling safe and secure within a relationship, and I've instead given up on the idea of a relationship providing security. (Ironically the song that started here was "Push" by Matchbox 20). I suspect not really letting myself lose control over my heart prevented me from falling too deeply in love. And here I am, falling ever deeper in love with every day, losing that white knuckle grip and letting myself be naked and raw and vulnerable and unstable. God, I worry about it being a terrible mistake, but I keep falling, because what else could I do?

I feel like it'll all be ok. The lovers I have now satisfy so many of my needs, just just as a compilation, but individually. I feel respected as well as loved, and heard, and that's all so important.

Haven't I felt like that before, though?

Categories: ah youth, anxiety, best of, boys, breakups, communication, compare/contrast, dating, fake it til you make it, love, love is a dog from hell, memories, mistakes were made


Review: Cordless Magic Wand Courtesy of Maxiwand

"It's just like the original Hitachi Magic Wand, but more powerful and also cordless!" the glowing reviews exclaimed. "You can have all of the power and none of the need to be by a socket!"

I'll admit, I was suspicious. Many wand style vibrators have made such a claim and failed me in my moment of need. I've tried the LELO Smart Wand, the rechargeable Bodywand, the Wand Essentials version... I've given them all a shot, often more than one, but at the end of the day I come back to my corded, old standard Hitachi. I've felt them overheat against my clit, the motor rumbling in protest. I've had them spark, almost set my flat on fire, and die mid-wank. With the original design becoming harder and harder to find, it was time to find a substitute, the next generation if you will.

Luckily for me, Maxiwand sent me an email as if reading my mind. "Want to review a Magic Wand? We've run out of the originals, but could send you a cordless one", they said, and I jumped at the chance. I don't go to a lot of sex parties anymore, but I do travel, and being able to jerk off without worrying about which side of the bed has the closest outlet would be a luxury.

Not only does this beauty have 4 speeds instead of the 2 we had to work with before (high, and holy fuck my clit is numb), they go a bit lower and a little bit higher. Redhead Bedhead broke it down on her review:

Original Magic Wand: 1- 5000rpms ; 2- 6000rpms – Remember it had two speeds.
Rechargeable Magic Wand: 1- 2,700rpms; 2- 3,800rpms; 3- 5,400rpms; 4- 6,300rpms 

That's a nice change of pace, especially if you're like me and were worried that you were going to have to make do with a jackhammer soon enough. There's a little more flexibility, which is what I was hoping for when I originally hooked my original Hitachi into one of those dial doodads. Having this all in one, and without a cord to boot, is a serious plus. There's also the option of having pulsing patterns, but I don't really care for those. I was glad those choices were controlled by a different button and therefore could be entirely ignored.

There's a silicone head, which, thank FUCK! This means you can actually sterilize the head, which you couldn't before. Obviously, don't dunk the whole thing underwater or boil it, but you can bleach the silicone bit and then wipe that off to make it safe to use between partners or use toy cleaner. Simple.

That said, my one complaint about this vibrator is the buttons. I liked the simplicity of the switch on the old model- the press buttons on this one are easy to confuse when you're holding it to your junk. There were a couple of times I pressed the wrong button and found myself having to start over thanks to the pulsations.  I'm not super keen on the fact it shuts itself off after 20 minutes, either, but considering the issues I've had with overheating, and the fact this gets me off faster than the original, I can work with its shorter "staying power". You can also totally turn it back on and not let it rest, but I can imagine that being frustrating for some folks.

All in all, I found this to be completely comparable to the original Magic Wand for power, with additional perks like cordlessness and two more speeds. Do I recommend it? Absolutely! To be completely confident in my recommendation, I'd probably want to try it out on a couple more sets of junk, so, in the name of science, I'll get back to you on that front. ;) But at least on my genitals, the cordless Magic Wand is well worth the money and stands up to its reputation.

US and Canada readers, you can pick up the original Magic Wand if you want to stick to the classics, or try out the rechargeable cordless one over at Maxiwand!

OR if you're in the UK, check out UK Wand for an high-powered alternative that works in your high powered outlets (wish I had one of these when I lived out there, I blew out way too many outlets!) And if you're in Europe, the Euro Wand Massager is an alternative to the Hitachi magic wand and has 4 sites in various European languages:

http://eurowand.de    (German)
http://eurowand.fr     (French)

Thank you Maxiwand for offering me this product in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Categories: #wankwednesday, genitalia, review, silicone, toys, toys for boys, vibrator


Perchance to Dream

"I can almost touch the soil beneath your whisper
I can almost feel the hopes you left behind
I can almost touch the soil beneath your whisper
I can almost feel the hopes you left behind
Words that fall like distant rain
Words that echo with your eyes"
-Nostalgia, Nitin Sawhney

I am haunted by some terrible dreams. I wake up from them like falling, my pillow sometimes wet with tears, sometimes with sweat. Sometimes I have been locked onto a hospital gurney and am waiting for the medics to come and drug me while I scream that I'm not crazy. Sometimes all my teeth have fallen out, and I am worried about how I'm going to afford the care. My dreams are filled with navigating bureaucracy, having emotional crises, and trying to balance my finances. I'm not always sure if it was, in fact, just a dream.

I wish I had dreams of flying like normal people do, but when I fly in dreams it is always an escape. I am frantically trying to learn how to control my flight so I don't crash and burn, or get captured, or something unspoken but dreaded in my gut. Even in my dreams I can't give up control, I still have the sinking feeling that there's things I need to do, that people are depending on me to behave correctly.

My family, I think, has the impression that I'm a wild child, partying it up a lot and generally reckless. Little do they know, really KNOW, how much of my time is spent carefully calculating next steps for myself, balancing my checkbook, or frozen in place on my bed because a wrong move could mean a total lack of stability. For all that I give the impression of being devil may care, I spend a lot of my time trying to overcome emotionally exhausting amounts of severe anxiety. I am so accustomed to sitting, feeling bile rise into my throat and my gut clenching tight, without any particular reason, that it's just part of daily life and not a medical concern anymore.

I am reasonably good at juggling responsibilities, and capable of survival under some pretty rough circumstances, but god, how I wish I could just let go sometimes. I wish I could give up all these feelings, all this compassion, all this heart pain I carry around. I long to have control taken from me, but am too wounded to give it up. I don't really know how to relax, even when asleep. I'm always doing something, always frantically trying to hold my shit together.

Last night I dreamed that my lover dumped me and got back together with an ex. I tried my damnedest to smile and be gracious, happy for them, even though I felt like I was being ripped apart by wolves on the inside. In the dream we lived in the same apartment complex, and seeing them together was unavoidable… so I spent much of my dream in my tiny studio, fixing the plumbing which kept bursting over and over again, a lump in my throat.

I didn’t cry in the dream but I woke up teary and sad. It was just a dream, I knew it was just a dream, and yet I still felt shaken and lost and abandoned. And it was hard to let it go. I FELT it, so strongly, the loss, the strain to feel compersion that someone I loved was happy, my own disappointment in myself for just not having the strength.

I feel so flooded with feelings. I want sleep to be restful but I don't know how to turn my brain off even then. Why does my subconscious feel the need to force me to confront such dark yet mundane fears every night, leaving me tossing and turning? It's frustrating, especially after a particularly heartwrenching night when I can't find myself capable of leaving my room because cobwebs of the night before are holding me back. I worry it impacts my relationships, that these horrible processing sessions lead me to miss ex lovers who were toxic, or to suspect current lovers who have done nothing wrong.

I don't have any stability in my life, not really. I suspect that's part of why I'm so haunted by the past and the possible futures... if I drop one plate, the impact on the rest of my life could be devastating. I am afraid, always, that sometime I'll misstep and everything will come crashing down. I want to cling to something, like a barnacle, while the floods of emotions crash around me- I could weather them then- but to cling to a person is codependent, and to cling to a job is absurd in this climate. I feel like I live my life as honestly and as vulnerably as I can, but sometimes I feel laid bare, still alive as ravens peck at my entrails. But I don't know how else to be.

So instead, I drift, both awake and asleep, unsettled, unprepared, ungrounded. I hope that one day I will find some safe space to curl up in, even just for a night, where my mind and heart can be at rest. Sometimes I just want to be loved, and love, and for it to be easy for a minute, for me not to feel like I have to fight or run. I wonder if I will feel lonely until I die, but then isn't that human existence?

I just want to trust and I worry that I may never really again.

It has been a day, and a lifetime, of too many feelings, and I am tired. I am afraid of being tired, of admitting my weariness, because being present is what I'm good at, being a place of stability for so many others is what I do, and to admit I feel lost is perhaps the dropping of that first plate.

But I want to lay this burden down. And I am falling asleep alone tonight, and wish I wasn't.

Categories: anxiety, dreams, fake it til you make it, not feeling well, personal, psychology, self care