The Sex Trap

x-posted from Poly-Land – find the entire entry here – https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/53057088/posts/1505955683

To monogamous people, polyamory must look like it’s all about sex. I mean, surely having multiple romantic relationships translates into constant sex.

Right?

Why else would we bother if we weren’t getting laid all the time

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But They’ve Always Been Nice To Me!

Inevitably, when someone reports a predator, manipulator, or otherwise toxic person, there are hordes of people just waiting to pounce and assure everyone of the accused person’s innocence.

“But they’ve never done anything to me,” they’ll exclaim. Or, “They always seemed so nice – I can’t believe it!”

As if their experiences trump those of the people who have been hurt. As if someone’s good deeds makes up for their rotten ones.

It doesn’t work that way. Or, at the very least, it shouldn’t.

But acknowledging that a person can be both awful to one person and kind to another is to acknowledge that people are complicated. That we do not live in a black and white world. It’s much easier to place people in the “good guy” or”bad guy” categories and never think about why they are there or whether they belong.

For me, most people exist in both categories at once. There are very few people I consider wholly good or wholly bad. I can disagree with something they do and still like them. I can love one side of them and not another.

And while that may sound as if I’m constantly keeping score on everyone in my life, I promise I’m not. But I do notice patterns and these patterns have helped me change my mind about people – for good and bad.

Recently, at work, I came up against this situation first hand. An attorney who I’ve always gotten along with, lost his assistant and I volunteered to take her over her job. It didn’t come to pass, but there were people who were surprised that anyone would want to work for him.

Turns out, he’s not well liked by most of the office. And while I knew some of the reasons, I hadn’t been aware of all of them or their extent. Now, I look at him more objectively. I see the cracks in his façade.

Just because I’ve never had a problem working with him doesn’t mean he’s not a problem.

Do I need to repeat that for those in the back? Did you hear me? Your experiences are not the end of the story. Neither are mine. We need to be willing to listen to each other and believe each other.

Sure, we all know people who have made up stories and gotten away with it. But the majority of people do not. And when you choose to invalidate another person’s experience, just because it is different from yours, it makes it that much harder for someone else to trust you or feel safe with you.

And it makes it nearly impossible for the someone else to speak up.

If we’re going to think of ourselves as a safe community – and this applies to all communities, not just kink ones  – we have to be a community where people are allowed to speak up.

We have to listen.

We have to avoid victim blaming and gaslighting.

We all – each of us – has to do better.

 

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Dying for Kink

“Are you ready to die tonight?” she whispered. I could feel her breath on my neck. Her tone was pleasant, calm, almost musical. If not for the actual words, she would have sounded like she was asking me what I wanted for dinner.

From my third book. Find it here – An Offsuited Pair (The Gambler Series) (Volume 3) https://www.amazon.com/dp/154551092X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_8cMszbFGS823W

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The Right Fit

When I was younger, I assumed that when clothes didn’t fit correctly, even though I had the “right” size, that it was my fault. I was too fat, too curvy in the wrong places, too tall, not tall enough.

For god’s sake, some of that stuff isn’t even in my control.

My ex-husband was amazed to discover how many sizes were in my closet, that a 16 in one brand might not fit me in another. After all, men’s pants are sized in inches. If you’re a 34 inseam, you’re a 34 inseam. End of story.

Yes, yes, I know there are different cuts that fit men differently as well. But it’s not nearly as bad as it is for women.

For most of my adult life, I have found myself stuck somewhere in the middle when it comes to sizing. I’m big enough that standard department stores don’t always carry sizes big enough for me. But I am small enough that clothes at plus-sized stores are often too big. Same with bra sizes. The cute ones are never big enough in department stores. In plus-sized stores, the sizing starts around my size so the options are still limited.

I am tall and leggy. So “average” sized pants can be too short. But “tall” sizes are usually too long. The good news is that I love maxi skirts and dresses. They fit me really well. But I can’t help wondering who else they fit.

The other good news is that I have an hourglass figure. I am proportional, even if the proportions aren’t what most designers have in mind. But I have several friends who aren’t and lament that models never look like them, that they can’t trust sizing charts because they are pear-shaped, not busty enough, etc.

And yet, we continue to settle for clothes that mostly fit. Or we find that one style that works for us and wear the hell out of it.

I prefer the latter option, but it takes so much experimentation. So much money to figure out that a certain cut, or a certain brand doesn’t actually work for you. That just because it looks okay in the store doesn’t mean it will be right out in the real world with all the moving around, sitting and standing that we do all day.

It’s a never ending nightmare, it really is. My only comfort is that we all have these issues. Seriously, get any group of women together and start this topic. We will go for days about our complaints.

My answer? Wear what you like. I used to make an effort to buy different colored clothes because it seemed wrong to wear black all the time. At some point, I quit caring about what anyone else thought.

If I find something I like that fits. You’re damn right I’m going to wear the hell out of it.

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Starting Out on the Wrong Foot

When my first kinky relationship ended, plenty of people expressed surprise. We had been together more than a year, were both in leadership, and attended lots of events together. We were something of a niche celebrity couple.

But the surprise wasn’t because we had broken up. It was that we had been together in the first place.

This shocked me.

If we had been so wrong for each other – and looking back, there was no shortage of issues – why hadn’t anyone said anything sooner? These were good friends, friends who fully supported me in the aftermath, and helped me heal.

Because I wouldn’t have believed them.

I’ve seen it since. And it sucks to watch someone be with someone you know isn’t right for them. But the truth is, you don’t know what’s really going on between them. I went on to watch my ex date people far different from me. I assumed they were compatible in ways we hadn’t been. I told myself they must have been a better fit for him that I was.

And then I watched the patterns play out. I watched him treat others the exact same way he had treated me. Even as mutual friends told me, “Oh, but he’s changed so much,” I couldn’t jump on the bandwagon. “Maybe so,” I told them. “But he has to prove it to me.”

He hasn’t. In fact, he’s become infinitely worse. But that’s a completely different topic for a day that may never come.

My point is that some lessons need to be learned the hard way. Some truths have to be seen firsthand. Because we will always make excuses for those we love. We will rationalize anything because how could we possibly love a bad person?

It happens all the time. And when you’re out of that situation, you berate yourself for having been in it in the first place. But who would you have believed? What could anyone have said to make it more real?

Find your family. Find your support and learn to move on. Because, to one degree or another, we’ve all been there.

 

 

 

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Maybe You’re Just Not Poly

My first foray into the wonderful, exciting world of polyamory was…well, it wasn’t a disaster, but it didn’t end well. Actually, I learned quite a lot about what I was okay with and what I wasn’t. What I could accept and what was a hard limit.

Because of our differences, my partner at the time often suggested that maybe I simply wasn’t poly. After all, if I was unhappy with how he did it, if I had the audacity to disagree with him – someone who’d supposedly been poly his entire life – I must be doing it wrong.

Right?

No. He and I were incompatible for all sorts of reasons. Our differing approaches to having multiple romantic relationships was just one of them. Eventually, I would find myself grateful that I had gotten away from him when I did.

But I digress.

Soon after he and I ended, I started three new relationships at the same time. One with a married couple (both of them) and another with a man I’d been friendly with for a while. I learned how to manage time and energy. They each gave me the space to grow and learn about myself. We talked constantly.

You know what the first guy and I didn’t do much of? Talk. Mostly, he thought he could dictate terms and I would follow him. I was new to everything – new to being publically kinky, new to poly, new to power exchanges. And I was supposed to be good at it all immediately.

And just like kink, there’s no one way to do poly. There are no quick answers. You have to figure it out for yourself. You’re going to run into people who think you’re doing it wrong. But also like kink, communication and consent are key.

The rest is up to you.

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The Secret Life of Kinky Play Parties

Most of us remember our first time at a play party. We know what it’s like to look around wide eyed with curiosity, unsure of what you’re going to encounter. Will it be like the books? Will people be there to recruit us into a super secret network of masters and slaves a la The Marketplace?

No. No they will not.

Sure, there will be screams and moans of pleasure associated with various kinky activities. Some people will get tied up. Others will get beaten and immediately want to show off their bruises.

Pro-tip – these people are called masochists.

Someone might get set on fire. Others may get poked with needles. Still others may sit for an intense energy exchange scene. It may not look like they’re doing much, but they are.  Honestly, it all depends on who is in attendance and what they feel like doing that night.

You know what else people do? They talk.

On my first night, I made a friend because we shared a love of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. God knows now how it came up. Several weeks ago, I spent more than an hour talking to a friend about an actor we’re both crushing on. Even more recently, I spent most of the night in a sort of round table where we talked about some of our favorite obscure movies, and what our fantasy movie marathons would look like.

Most of the time, we are geeky as fuck. “Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? Oh man, you have to!” “What about Guardians 2?” “Can you believe who’s going to be in the next Thor?”

Yeah, this is all typical. And honestly? Some nights, it’s more prevalent than the beatings.

And when I look back at my favorite experiences in dungeons, these are the ones I tend to go back to. It’s how we connect. It’s how we find common ground. It’s how we catch up on each other’s lives.

Dare I say it? The dungeon is the origin story of many a wonderful friendship.

Go for the beatings. Stay for the conversation.

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Basic Kink or Kink Basics?

When I was very new to my local kink community, I was at a New Year’s Eve get together where someone asked us all to name the most extreme activity they’d participated in that year.

Even then, I had trouble figuring out how to define extreme in this context. That is, if I got set on fire multiple times, is that more hardcore than someone who only had needles stuck in them? Or is needle play more extreme? What about suspension? Canings?

Where is the line?

The person asking the question never did clarify, and I’m still not sure. Maybe extreme is measured in bruises. If so, I’ve had scenes that left marks for weeks. But it was only impact play, and I also know people who can take far worse beatings than I ever will.

Maybe it’s measured by one’s power exchange. Does identifying as a slave make one more extreme than someone who is “only” a submissive? And is someone who is a submissive 24/7 more extreme than someone who only gives over control in the bedroom during sex?

You know what? It turns out I don’t actually care.

Extreme is however you define it. The term “edge play” gets tossed around a lot. And there are those who want to define it as only referring to obviously extreme activities – needle suspensions and hook pulls, crucifixions, waterboarding. To these people, blindfolds and floggers are unlikely to qualify.

But my definition is different. To me, edge play is whatever your edge is that day. For some, that’s going to be attending a play party or a munch for the first time. For others, it’s going to the party you’ve been to 100 times and trying something you never thought you’d do. Maybe it’s trusting someone new. Maybe it’s pushing past a long-held fear.

My point is, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not edgy enough. Not extreme enough. Maybe you just aren’t extreme enough for them. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I remember attending my first weekend event. There was a man there who I found very attractive. And just about the time I started to consider whether I should approach him…he started an intense humiliation scene with his partner. He did and said things to her that I knew I was never going to want to experience.

I walked away and found people I was more compatible with. I’ve never felt like my life was diminished for it. Instead, I learned about what I wanted and what I didn’t. What I could handle and what I couldn’t.

I’m glad I did. Because I’m still learning. And while what I consider edgy may change regularly, I don’t feel like I’m in competition with anyone.

I don’t need to prove myself. And neither do you.

 

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Without A Trace

They’ve taken your picture down at your old job. The one that captured that great big smile so well. That one that made me think maybe you were still here and keeping watch over us all.

I wonder whose idea it was, and if that woman you fought with so much had even wanted it up in the first place. And then I wonder why people are so quick to put a time limit on grieving.

Because I still miss you. I still miss that face and your “hello friend” greeting. I can’t walk by that stand and not think of you. I can’t even look at Facebook memories without being reminded that you always liked my statuses. All of them. And for some reason, you were always the last to do so, so your name is now listed first.

Fucking Facebook. In a couple of months, it will remind me of a far darker day, and the wound will be fresh all over again.

I dedicated a book to you. Did you know that? Can you finally see how much you were loved?

I’m sorry I didn’t show it well enough when you were here. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you as much as I should have been. I feel like we all failed you and I would like a do over.

You were important. You were real. And you are remembered.

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A Different Voice

Usually when I’m writing, I think in the voice of my female lead, Lucy. We have a lot in common, she and I. We are both sarcastic with dry senses of humor. We’re both masochists with a submissive streak that only shows itself for the right person. Her voice is basically my voice.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking in Seth’s voice. And it’s a little unsettling. He’s bolder, more confident, more logical, more fearless, more serious. And he smokes. He smokes a lot. Like, I’ve never had a cigarette in my life and I’ve seriously considered starting lately.

But I like this voice. I like this attitude. I probably should have adopted this long ago.

It’s a strange fit, this new skin. There are alterations to be made, some necessary stretching here and there. But I think I might just be adaptable to this. It’s certainly an interesting experiment and I’m curious how long it’s going to last.

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