Love For All Seasons

if your fingertips
were rivulets of rain
roping down my chest,
i would close my umbrella.

if your lips
brushed my ear like the
faintest flutter of a butterfly wing,
i would sow milkweed,
fructified by delighted moans.

if you sang me
the verse of your true name,
i would memorize every note
until i hummed it in the shower
and heard it in my dreams.

i will never know how to ask
without shattering fine glass,
so silently,
i entreat you:

be the summer storm
my humidity breaks upon,
whose first peal of thunder
is met with welcome gasps.

be the crisp breeze
between my autumn leaves,
sending branches trembling
with every gust.

be the fireplace
that warms me from top to toes
when winter’s gale is too icy
to untangle our bodies.

be the rivulets of rain
that rope down my chest,
that wash away my anxieties,
and spread me open to greet the spring.

Non-Monogamy For Snowflakes

In 2015 my wife and I decided to experiment with non-monogamy. Through a series of comical and confounding miscommunications, we both labeled ourselves polyamorous and found ourselves back on OKCupid. If you’ve read any of my posts about online dating before, I’m sure you can anticipate how much I was dreading this. Putting yourself out there on any dating site for the first time can be intimidating when you don’t know what to expect, but once you DO know what to expect it’s intimidating for a different reason. Have you ever had a dog that freaks out whenever you tell them it’s time to go to the vet? My brain is that dog, and dating websites are the vet, except it’s debatable whether the vet will help me in any way.

Here’s something I didn’t count on: it was way harder to find a partner in my area on OKCupid as a married polyamorous person than as a single person. We weren’t unicorn-hunting, it was just super difficult to find non-monogamous people. Since we live in a rural town in the mountains of North Carolina, it’s also a lot harder to find queer and kinky folks in general, and your dating pool shrinks significantly if you’re only looking for non-monogamous people in those categories.

Another thing that sucked was that it also fostered a weird competitive undercurrent in our relationship. I don’t think either of us was consciously thinking in competitive terms, but my wife wasn’t getting as many messages as I was, and it seemed difficult for that not to discourage her. Whether we liked it or not, the mean parts of her brain compared our numbers. I knew this was because she was presenting male on a dating website.

If you appear female on a dating website, you’ll get a barrage of messages from horny dudes whether you’re married or not. They’re not usually polyamorous, they’re usually assholes who are just looking for no-strings-attached sex. (NSA sex isn’t why they’re assholes.) This actually ruins the chances for perfectly decent male-presenting humans, because this is a driving force that governs how we interact with messages and other people in general. When I considered myself monogamous, I would have been skeptical of a married man messaging me and saying he wanted to hook up or date, so I have a firsthand understanding of how wary someone might be when they get an OKCupid message from a married person.

When this happened, we didn’t know much about dating websites geared toward non-monogamous or kinky folks, like Swingtowns. In recent years more businesses like this are becoming publicly visible, and that’s a total relief. No longer will non-monogamous people have to spend hours straining monogamous people out of their dating pool!

We ended up adopting a different relationship structure a few months later, and part of what helped us make the decision to change it was how incredibly fucking stressful trying to meet people online was. There is a certain degree of time and effort involved in actively hunting for new partners that can be exhausting, especially when you’re fishing in the wrong pond. The other part of our decision was that we weren’t particularly romantically available to others, which wasn’t going to make meeting people any easier. Now I interpret us as being more monogam-ish than monogamous or polyamorous. This arrangement works for our relationship so much better than feeling like we have to commit to one label or the other and much more accurately describes the flexibility and intentions of our agreement.

If you’re discussing opening your relationship for the first time, consider talking more about what the experiences and flexibility you desire are before you try to label it. There is no one-size-fits-all style of non-monogamy – each relationship is like a snowflake: unique, complex, nuanced, and beautiful.

 

This post was sponsored, but all opinions and experiences shared are my own.

I Know What Boys Like

Gang, I’m so fucking sick of hearing about what men want.

Video not particularly related.

Seriously, every time I look at media aimed at women it tells them two things: impress men and look pretty (presumably to impress the men that they missed the first go around). Don’t believe me? Have a look at all these magazine covers. Take your time. I’ll wait.

If you’ve found the common thread you win a cookie.

I’m not even going to begin to scratch the surface of all the problematic shit on these magazine covers. (Gender binary, fat blasting, “Could Your Man Be Gay?” Uh, fuck off?) All I’m here to say is that I’m sick of the assumption that a woman’s life revolves entirely around a man, and I’m sick of it for a couple reasons:

  1. To all of my nonbinary fam and female-identified queer and lesbian sisters – I see you. I know you’re being erased by this cissexist heteronormative bullshit. Erasure sucks, and it’s super damn annoying to pick up a Cosmo for some fashion tips and to have to bypass a quarter of the magazine because it’s telling you how to appeal to the male hivemind.
  2. Even people who are into men have more to our lives than men.

In retrospect how many times in my life, even when I was convinced that I was a hosebeast doomed to die alone, did I sit around wondering what men wanted and how I could make myself more appealing to them? Honestly?  Not nearly as many as most of you would expect.

Maybe this is because I have never viewed men as unattainable aliens from the planet Boner who use 1,052 different inflections of the word “bro” to communicate in lieu of the English language. Maybe it’s because I grew up with so many male friends that their minds were never particularly mysterious to me because they were constantly telling me what they were thinking. Maybe it’s because I have spent a lot of time feeling like a man, or wishing that I was a man rather than wishing that I had a man.

So you’re sitting here going, “Well you’re married to a man, you’ve got it all figured out, it’s not relevant to you.” I am married, but I have nothing figured out and I am, presumably, still a relevant demographic to Cosmopolitan. And you know what? I am more concerned about what appeals to my cat than I am concerned about what appeals to men. Even if the “male mind” were completely different from the “female mind” I simply would not give two shits about what was inside it. 

So sure, maybe it’s because men aren’t mysterious to me… or maybe it’s because I have always known that am not the problem that needs to change.

Smile followed me!

“Smile because men like positive girls.”
Let me get right on that.

Woe to the unsuspecting person that tells me to do something because men like it. And apparently they want it both ways! If I’m not smiling, strange (inevitably cis) men on the street tell me to smile, and then when I’m holding their severed testes in my hand and grinning manically they keep yelling for me to stop smiling. Make up your minds, gents.

The female-identified and female-perceived do not need the guidance of men to be attractive. Women don’t need men to tell them what “sexy” is. The female-identified and female-perceived do not exist for your gaze. Women don’t need to change who they are to be more palatable to men. I don’t need to appeal to a demographic of people to own my sexuality, and this just in: neither do you, so stop thinking you do.

You are hot, handsome, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, powerful, whatever you want to be, and you just are that way. You are that way because of what you do, who you are, and who you want to be. Don’t spend your life trying to please someone else or change your body and mind to become more attractive to the masses.

Women: stop giving a fuck about what men think of you.

Why is there this overarching assumption that women must aspire to be in a relationship (with a man) and it should be of the utmost focus?

Do you know what many women I know are dealing with right now? They’ve finished finals and they’re walking the stage at their college graduations. They’re on month 14 of a frenzied job hunt. They’re nursing their newborns. They’re finding child care for the summer. They’re closing deals and signing contracts. They’re making pitches and presentations. They’re writing novels, essays, articles, blogs, and letters to the editor. They’re programming apps. They’re making pottery. They’re welding pipes. They’re saving lives. They’re nurturing their friendships. They’re binge-watching Orange is the New Black in preparation for season three.

They aren’t doing these things because they care about what men want, and I think it’s time for the world to recognize that. Everyone has a life outside of their relationships, and more importantly: women have lives outside of what men want!

"I don't give a fuck about what men think! Neither should you. Because we don't need to have sexy defined for us."

P.S. As much shit as I gave Glamour for the Jake incident, Google image searches reveal that they’re actually not nearly as bad about this as other magazines aimed at women. Good on you, Glamour.

GetLusty For Couples

In early January I was approached by Erica Grigg about writing some posts for GetLusty For Couples, a website that focuses on five pillars that support an outstanding sexual relationship: communication, sexual technique, health, dates, and adventures.  GetLusty offers articles on how to live a more passionate life, recommends merchants that cater to your sexual and romantic needs (and frequently offers discount codes for those merchants), and highlights events (currently only those based in Chicago) that focus on relationships and sex.  GetLusty also runs regular giveaways.  The most recent giveaways I’ve seen have been for Uberlube, and some porn, and they’re currently running a giveaway for a book of erotica.  These giveaways are highlighted on their Facebook page, so they’re worth checking out.

I support GetLusty‘s mission (enhancing relationships), and I’m happy to write for them to help encourage and educate the site’s readers.  While GetLusty is currently largely cis-and-hetero-normative/centric, I think it has a lot of potential for growth and possibly future inclusion, and some of the informative articles and ideas aren’t limited to use in heterosexual relationships.

To read articles on GetLusty, you’re required to sign up, either via Facebook or with an e-mail address.  Sign up is free, and you’re encouraged to sign up with your partner.  GetLusty has a points system that allows you to access more content as you gain more points, and you and your partner can pool your points together.

If you’re interested in reading my work for GetLusty, here are five of my most recent articles:

Kink Safety 101: What You Need to Know

Bondage 101: What You Need to Know

Fetish! Rubber 101

Phone Sex 101: Keep Your Partner Hanging on Every Word

An Erotic Night on the Town! 5 Kinky Date Ideas
Happy reading!

Oh… and speaking of Facebook pages, have you liked mine yet?

https://www.facebook.com/Sugarc.ntWrites

 

 

Monogamy, Mythology, and a Smidgeon of Economics.

“We believe it’s okay to have sex with anybody you love, and we believe in loving everybody.”

– D. Eaton & J. Hardy, The Ethical Slut

Still no sexy posts, you guys.  Believe it or not, even when my visible sex organs are being constantly stimulated, I insist on writing about what goes on in the one in my head.  Shame on me for thinking!  Jack Hutson would be so disappointed.

I ruminate a lot on the monogamy myth.  It actually leans heavily on another myth, which is the myth of the “incomplete person,” and it also leans on (American) economics.  (I live here, so I can’t address international situations.)  Keep in mind that once I start talking about the economy, I might be missing something, because I don’t study economics by any means – these are just economic “necessities” that I have seen influence relationships.

Let’s break the title down.  If I lose you, just smile and nod like you normally do when you read my posts and I start to wax verbose.  If I don’t lose you, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Continue reading “Monogamy, Mythology, and a Smidgeon of Economics.”