trixtah: (Default)
So, there was a thread on dot_poly_snark over on LJ, where someone got snarked when they went all bawwwwww about their coming out to one friend who didn't immediately do the happy dance about the good news. And justifiably so.

But one person commented by saying in part, "But then generally, I don't get the whole "coming out" process for poly people. Just live your life and the people will either figure it out or they won't."

Obviously I'm just a big old queer with a chip on my shoulder, because this really irked me. And I had to rant in reply:

Mmmnh, so why would anyone bother coming out at all. Ok, I'm very slightly beyond "Queer Nation" myself, but if everyone chooses to remain invisible, society as a whole will certainly choose to continue ignoring you. I look as dykey as dykey can be, but it still irks the fuck out of me when people obviously decide not to "figure it out" and then force me to decide whether they are going to roll out the overt bigotry thing on me if I make it clear what my relationship status is, or just do the awkward why-are-you-making-me-deal-with-shit-outside-my-comfort-zone silence.

I know you're not precisely saying you are remaining invisible, but it's the more open people who ensure that we aren't ignored as a whole. Because being ignored is actually not that many steps away from being marginalised, excluded from the usual set of social rights, and then to outright persecution. No thanks, it's not long ago when I had no right to expect fair treatment in terms of retaining my job or accommodation.

I do however agree that people who get shocked and amazed when they give acquaintances confronting information that is not immediately welcomed with open arms are precious in the extreme. Not to wah on about privilege, but it's fascinating when (mostly) het white middle-class people realise that others will always consider them to be second-class citizens because of their "lifestyle choices".

I dunno, maybe I got a bit into lecture mode, but "letting people figure it out for themselves" is only a useful strategy when you're coming from a fairly secure base to begin with. I still don't overtly out myself at work, except to a selected few people, sometimes. Maybe I'm still paranoid, but fuck, we only got "rights" in NZ the year I officially came out. And given the whole gay marriage debacle, we still aren't fully equal citizens, according to most - I'm still not in favour of marriage as a whole, but this willful discrimination just serves to show we don't have "real" relationships and we're not "equal" in some fundamental ways. It's fucked up.

And I'm still fucking angry with Gillard, to give it some Australian context. Not that I can vote here, so it's all a bit moot.

trixtah: (Default)
I need a holiday. I've been having twinges of existential angst this weekend - why am I here? Is this the kind of job I want to do? Is there any point continuing study in this field? What the fuck am I expecting to achieve?

And then there was a fun one this afternoon - I had a few moments of seriously wishing I weren't poly. It's interesting - I've never had a problem with internalised homophobia, not even when I saw the first softcore porno when I was 16 with an MFF scene in it (I was like "holy fuck, I'm not straight!"), or self-hatred in general. But I struggled with being non-monogamous all throughout my 20s, and there are relationships that ended simply because of that fact. As well as the fact I was in denial (I like commitment, in an extremely independent kind of way) and totally mishandled things as a result. But the dating pool for poly dykes is pretty minuscule. I most certainly don't want to get entangled with someone who wants to do the U-Haul thing; conversely, I don't want casual shags. Hah, despite my wibbles about social events in general, I have no doubts about my abilities to pick someone up for a shag, if I get that desperate. I'm just not that desperate; I happen to prefer shagging people I like.

I also don't know why I'm thinking about all that when I'm not actually interested in getting entangled in general at the moment (unless it's a clearly defined FWB-type thing). I don't have the emotional space. But, yeah, the wanting to get rid of something that's just part of me, fuzzy boundaries and all (in one sense), and which, after acknowledging, has allowed me to have the most functional relationships of my entire life, was a bit strange.

Perhaps it's mid-life crisis time. Heh.

Anyways, it's nothing bad, per se. Mid-winter mehness is probably the predominant driver, general energy drain, and the need for a decent break and some positive vibes.

On a completely irrelevant note, the sky and light late this afternoon looked like Millais's picture of Autumn Leaves. Very evocative.
trixtah: (Default)
Just because you're poly, it does not make you a speshul snowflake. All relationships require negotiation, all relationships should have a reasonably clear set of expectations. All the people you deal with deserve respect and consideration.

Like any other relationship, there will be conflicts because of misunderstandings (or acting out). Issues like one person getting upset when "check in with me when you shag someone new" was done after the event rather than before are not that different to one person getting upset because "a few drinks after work" should not imply rolling in at 3am completely drunk.

Ok, poly gives you a few new and creative ways to misunderstand and cock up - or be malicious and cause drama - but strictly mono couples still manage to have very similar issues.

If anyone's been following the recent discussion on the Polyamory comm, am I barking up the wrong tree? What is it about "I prefer open/multiple relationships" that newbies need educating about (according to some)? (Ok, if you're into orgies, there's some etiquette there.) Is it because some people are so immersed in their environment that they forget that these kinds of issues are well-nigh universal? Or is there some glaring point of difference that I'm missing?

trixtah: (Default)
Just because you're poly, it does not necessarily mean you are happy to see your partner engaging in sexual foreplay with someone else. Yes, for many poly people that's true, but "many loves" is actually not the same as "happy with group sex". I realise that might be surprising to some.

And to state that someone has "deeper issues" with the relationship when she is angry with her husband groping his g/f in front of her, when she has previously asked that he does not, is fucking rude, frankly.

Sure, it might mean that someone has issues with the poly thing or that particular person. So what? It doesn't actually matter, if they're willing to carry on the relationship on the agreed-to basis with no drama. But assuming, without knowing anyone involved, that "issues with the relationship" is the root cause of the dislike for PDAs, is just ridiculous.

trixtah: (Default)
Some of it is good for those of us negotiating open/multiple relationships. But some of the therapy-speak drives me up the wall.

For example, sharing sex. To me, "sharing" something has the connotation of something being doled out. So, I'll have a sex, and you can have a sex, and we'll just share all these seXX0rs. Saying that you're having sex with someone is much more immediate and descriptive of what you're doing. Like a good meal when you're hungry, you're diving in and consuming it together. Nom!

So, why the "sharing" of sex rather than the having of it? Possibly due to the association of "having someone" when referring to less-than-egalitarian sex? Do we avoid certain verbs because they can be used in a negative construction as well as the very positive ones? I'd really love to know how the "sharing sex" locution came about.

Moving onto a more serious topic, there is a discussion about the fact that no-one can make anyone feel anything. This is true. No-one can make me be angry or indifferent or happy. However, the behaviour that someone carries out can have the effect of eliciting a reaction. Depending on what buttons they're pushing (or not) with that behaviour, that reaction may be positive or negative, strong or mild.

Following on from the premise that no-one makes anyone feel anything, no-one is responsible for someone else's feelings. And again, this is true, when it comes down to the essentials. We all own our own feelings, not anyone else.

What they're aiming at here - I think - is the idea that if your partner is jealous, or experiencing some other negative emotion, the best thing you can do is "be there" and listen to them express their feelings, but you're not responsible for what those feelings are. I had one partner who, when she was drunk and when I merely talked to another woman, would fly into a jealous rage. I've had sex with another person in front of another partner, who thought it was great. So, yes, the stimulus most certainly does not necessarily predict the response.

I agree that we should not feel responsible for fixing someone's feelings, or, actually, for how they manifest themselves. But in the need to be groovy and not get into guilt-tripping, I don't think ignoring someone's agency in what feelings they elicit is that constructive either. Other people are going to piss you off, whether by ignorance, indifference or outright malice. With the latter two motivations, there really isn't much point in blame, other than yourself for putting yourself in their path.

But for problems that relate to ignorance or thoughtlessness, I think expressing your displeasure and clearly identifying where you think the problem lies - that behaviour of theirs - is something you should do. Wimpily sitting around and saying "I was upset and felt abandoned when you spent all night shagging girlfriend X" is going to achieve sweet F-A with those who are determined to be obtuse (although with the chronic and wilful obtuse types, DTMFA is the best solution). Saying "I was pissed off that you stayed out all night with X when you said you'd be back by 9. A phone call to let me know what was happening was the least you could do." seems to me to be a constructive approach. Problem, desired solution. And in response, I would not like this kind of thing: "Yes, I hear your anger. I bet you felt abandoned." I'd want to hear acknowledgement (of "responsibility" for the behaviour that upset me?) and a solution. Possibly a request for clarification if they didn't understand why I felt so strongly about something (because maybe my response was disproportionate to the stimulus... or there was a simple misunderstanding). I also think a response of "Get a grip, that curfew was last week due to the fact we were getting up early the next morning - this was my usual stay-over date night with X, and I didn't feel I had to renegotiate" is also perfectly valid!

I agree that blaming individuals tends to be pretty much a zero-sum game. Telling someone they're an irresponsible fucktard is only going to get their backs up without creating a solution (and why waste your energy on an actual irresponsible fucktard). But identifying problematic behaviour - at least what you find problematic, in the context of whatever kind of relationship you have - and expecting those who carry it out to acknowlege their agency seems to be not unreasonable either.

So maybe I simply haven't got to the point in the book where people have to own their fuckwittedness as well (and preferably do something about it), or maybe I'm missing the actual point. Maybe we need to evolve different language around things like "responsiblity" for emotional reactions - I do think we are responsible for the triggering (I loathe that term, but oh well) behaviour, even if we aren't directly reponsible for the resulting feelings.

I think that part of being responsible within a relationship is learning as well as one can what behaviours are likely to tweak one's partner... and being responsible for dealing with the consequences. Whether it's to vow to completely change a long-embedded behaviour (ok, I'll put my socks in the laundry basket from now on!), or to tell them to get over it, or all points in between. However, we can't be aware, responsive and responsible all the time, and we all get surprised by what others around us react to. Responsibility for our actions does not have to equal guilt or being accountable for fixing the problem... but I don't think we should dodge the times when we should be accountable for the effects our behaviour may cause. Or maybe we need to think of responsibility as a thing of degrees, not absolutes. Contributing factors? Hm.
trixtah: (Default)
Unless you've been totally ignoring the media, you'll probably be aware that Californian gays have today been given the right to marry. That's very nice. However, this topic has been driving me nuts for the last while that it's been in the media, because I'm not in favour of gay marriage, nor any kind of legally-binding marriage at all, for that matter.

The Polyamorous Misanthrope has nicely pre-empted the rant I was going to do about it sometime this week here:

For myself, I’d like to see a disconnect between the legal institution of marriage and the social behaviors of romance.  We humans are social creatures and I think it’s important for the legal structures to recognize and support the very natural human desire to form partnerships for mutual benefit.  However, the whole romance thing is really muddying a lot of the waters.

I’d like to see cohabitation and parenting contracts that specifically exclude the concept of a romantic relationship, which marriage is presumed to be right now.  (i.e. “I don’t give a damn if it’s Twoo Wuv or not.  The kids need to be taken care of, and the damn bills need to be paid!”)

I don't know about "cohabitation contracts" per se, but I do think creating financial/property contracts or trusteeships should be a matter of registering standardised forms with an authority for a standard fee. So too with guardianships, legal and health powers of attorney, legal next-of-kin/beneficiaries and so on and so forth. At present, other than being het and getting married, the only way you can get such things drawn-up is to pay a lawyer umpteen squillion an hour to get it done on a custom basis.

If people want to re-enact all that stuff about "woman as chattel" or have a religious (or other) ceremony for their relationship, great, go to it. But that ceremony should not be of legal significance, and the partners should still have to specifically assign the rights they want to give to their partners using the standard format.

But you should be able to choose who you want to assign those rights to, no matter how many (except perhaps with powers of attorney, which might require only one individual), what genders, and whether or not you happen to be shagging them.

Some interesting comments in the [ profile] polyamory thread on the post, including [ profile] surelars' opinion that preferring a different partnership model shouldn't preclude being in favour of gay marriage, in terms of aligning the level of rights across the queer/het divide. I personally feel suspicious that fighting so hard to join that particular club might end up meaning that the club way will become the only way - that rights for partners who choose not to get married might end up being eroded. It hasn't appeared to have happened yet in countries that have enacted some kind of gay marriage/domestic partnership scheme, but I'm definitely watching that space.

trixtah: (Default)
I don't run a server of my own, but if I did, it's likely I'd use FreeBSD. I'm quite happy with Ubuntu on my laptop at home. But I did find a very compelling comparison on the merits of BSD vs Linux here.

[My sexism alert wasn't so much tripped due to the relative gender balance on each side. Yes, I'm pathetic.]

And really, there's nothing else I want to report about my week so far. It was long and tiring, and featured CEOs, spam, video conference resource booking fuckups, PMT and Goddess Hatchet Jobs™.

There was nice food last weekend, though. The Bear was finally able to drink her birthday wine after over a month of crappy stomach stuff, so we had to have something suitable to go with. I don't eat red meat, and the CDL isn't much on pork, but I managed to get inspiration for a nice pasta sauce.

I made it with a veal stock (veal chop and mince (tastee doggie treats after!), dried porcini, celery, onion, light garlic, bay leaves, white peppercorns, sea salt and a slosh of red wine - all boiled for about an hour, then strained and defatted after resting a bit), a pile of assorted mushrooms (@200g+ of oyster mushrooms and other weirdnesses) wilted in butter, a bit more fresh garden garlic, some duck breast (yay CDL inspiration) sautéed with olive oil and cherry tomatoes smushed into a pan with a bit of crushed dried chilli. Add the mushrooms to the duck and tomato and a cup or so of stock, a sprig of fresh garden thyme and a bit of chopped Italian parsley, and simmer for about 20 mins, adding more stock to keep it moist and simmering before allowing to reduce to the final sauce consistency (the mushrooms were very tender, but retained their shape). A bit more parsley just before serving, and the sauce went fab over the ricotta ravioli, with yummy salad leaves 'n' light dressing and wood-fired crusty bread on the side, and complemented the Central Otago (I still can't get over Otago as a wine region!) pinot noir beautifully. Of course, now I can't remember the wine-maker. D'oh!

BTW, it'd be easy to turn the sauce into a vegetarian rendition. With the stock, omit the veal (of course), use more dried porcini and supplement with a couple of shiitakes (not too many, because they have an overpowering flavour), and maybe a dsp of barley miso. The duck breast was far from being a compulsory ingredient (although it did go beautifully, and we could have had a bit more) - mushrooms, garlic, cherry tomatoes, stock and herbs make a fine sauce.

Yay team cooking and provision-providing efforts, though. It makes for much contentment. :-)


Sep. 1st, 2007 12:11 am
trixtah: (Default)
I wasn't sure whether to put this on [ profile] dot_poly_snark, but it's not that unusual a situation, I suppose. I have a profile on, which I've logged onto for the first time in several months (more to stop it expiring, than anything). Anyways, I had mail, which was interesting since I haven't posted on the forums for even more months. A couple of guys wrote. The first one sounded sane, but the second... oy.

Excerpts from my profile:
Seeking: A Female , FF Couple , Group , Friends , Not Looking

... I'm pretty left-wing in my political beliefs, so if you have a problem with that, don't bother. I'm not a Hot Bi Babe, alas - I'm not particularly girlie, but I'm quite happy if you are!

I initially had M/F couple ticked in the "seeking" box above, but I'm getting fairly clueless messages from people asking me to go off and be a "wife" to a man and a woman, and that concept frankly makes my hair curl. As does being a "wife" to anyone. If you're a woman and you're with a man, I don't care. If you want me to be with you, I expect one-on-one time, with you, the woman. Since I tend to prefer more feminine women, I don't usually have the same tastes in general as my lovers (since to fancy me, you need to fancy butchish women). This means the possibility of my participating in a tightly-interlinked triad/quad/whatever is pretty slim.

(Later on I explicitly say I'm a DYKE, with DYKE on top)

And here's one of the messages I got:
reproduced in its entirety because it can't be beaten )

Methinks someone has been reading too much Heinlein. And I do confess that I actually didn't mention the fact that I have never ever had any desire, ever, to have babies. So maybe I should tell this man, honestly, that unfortunately gumption isn't quite enough, nor the fact that I might have the fabulous opportunity to correspond with a polygamist from Florida, goddammit. Alas, this probably means I won't be having his babies either, but at least he won't have to shell out for a third wife.

I'm still trying to figure out his first para, though. Is he actually saying that being a dyke doesn't matter if I'm willing to breed? How nice of him!

ETA: My reply featured terms like "breeder", "baby factory", "harem" and "underwhelmed" - well, he's a man who appreciates honesty, after all.

I got a reply! )
trixtah: (Fem-uh-nist)
After much anguish over naming, I've finally started up that comm for queers in open relationships, [ profile] queerly_open. It isn't supposed to be another People's Front of Judea in detracting from the aims of the [ profile] polyamory community, but I do think there is a niche for a comm for those of us types who aren't in straight-orientated open relationships (or straight relationships aren't all of our relationships).

Please check out the userinfo and comment if I've made bizarre statements, left anything out, should clarify something, or should stick the goddamned apostrophes in the right places.


Apr. 15th, 2007 07:12 pm
trixtah: (Default)
That Epitome of Efficiency, [ profile] saluqi, has created a new community called [ profile] outdamndspot, which is "for pet owning homemakers who like to keep a clean and/or tidy house, or who aim to anyway.... [it will welcome] discussion and advice about all sorts of things from stain removal to arranging sleeping space and litter trays."

So, for all those people who have critters out there and would like to know which products actually get the stains out, or what do in any pet and household management interface, get over to [ profile] outdamndspot and ask your questions and post your advice. outdamndspot

While I'm on the topic of new communities, I was thinking about starting a polyamory/open relationship-focussed one for queer-identified types. While [ profile] polyamory is fine for general poly issues, I think there could be room for a space where it isn't assumed that the typical set up is a hubby, a wife and their HBB. Of course, the HBB would be welcome to bitch about het assumptions to her heart's content on the proposed group.

While most of the issues are similar no matter what the orientation of the participants, we can have extra hassles due to our societal and legal status, and we have already done the "questioning our identity" thing once... and I think it's easier on subsequent occasions. I, for one, am tired of some het people's tone of "OMG, I'm suddenly being oppressed! WAHHHH". I hope to at least avoid some of that entitlement-puncturing - although, of course, we'll get the "OMG, my formerly accepting of everything friends and family won't accept this" cries for help.

As an additonal distinction from the main [ profile] polyamory group, I want to make the comm orientated towards all kinds of open relationship configurations. I'm also tired of the "swingers vs poly" debates. WTFevah. I mean, ok, I'm poly myself, but I don't think the two things are necessarily exclusive of each other.

So, does anyone else think there could be a niche for such a group? And, any inspiration for names would be appreciated - "openly_queer" seems just a wee bit twee for my taste, but maybe it's not as bad as I think.


Mar. 29th, 2007 08:48 pm
trixtah: (Tattoo)
After some (gentle) nagging by some friends, I had dinner with my mother and my youngest sister (still living at home... at age 28) while I was still in NZ.

My mother is pretty good. She's very laissez faire, proud of me, and not neurotic. However, she has some behaviours that drive me up the wall, and if I wasn't related to her, she wouldn't be a person I'd spend much time with. Not that a few hours a year is much time anyway. *cough*

Ok, you may have gathered from reading this L/J that I'm fairly opinionated. And easily irritated. My mother is much worse than me with the opinionatedness. Yes, I know, it's hard to believe. The thing is, she tends to keep her mouth shut better, and she's much more phlegmatic than I am. But while I'm intolerant of and irritated by gratuitous ignorance, my mother is just intolerant.

For once, we didn't get onto the topic of the Maaaaaries (Maoris) and how they're screwing up NZ. No. This time, my mother explained how she "doesn't believe" in global warming. Doesn't believe?! Global warming isn't like "believing" in little blue fairies at the bottom of the garden, or god, or UFOs. It's like not believing in gravity, or that the earth is round, or that genetics influence our bodies, or other scientifically proven facts. I frothed on about all that for about 5 minutes, while my mother maintained that stony silence that means "You're talking absolute rubbish, but I won't say anything because then you'll keep going for longer".

This, thank goodness, was after I finally told my mother about the CDL... and that I'm still with the OGF. Her entire response was, "Oh." Did she want to know anything about this other person in my life? No. It's kind of on the principle of "If we don't discuss it, perhaps it will go away". I must add that she doesn't do it in a rejecting kind of a way - it's more of that complete not-understanding, and not wanting to get into something that isn't understood. And I don't want to sit there and point out that monogamy hasn't exactly worked out well for her either (if we're going to get into passing judgements).

Well, I'm just hoping that the test of time will help improve her understanding. None of this stuff is a flash in the pan for me, nor are the people concerned.

First day back at work was fun in a completely not fun kind of way. At least one of our systems waited until today to run out of space. Thank god for virtual machines, and the ability to add whole new disk volumes to a box within five minutes of remembering it isn't a physical host (after a couple of hours of trying every other possible way of reducing the size of a database... which is interesting when the mailboxes in it take up less than 10MB in total, and the database as a whole has somehow grown to 10GB - don't ask me what's going on there either). More fun tomorrow trying to get to the bottom of it, but at least I'm not there right now trying to get it running again.
trixtah: (Default)
I have two fantastic women in my life. They don't need to do anything special to make me grateful for their presence, other than being who they are. Yay.

[This post brought to you by Happy Poly Moments, ™ & ®   [ profile] polyamory¹ ]

¹ Irony, kiddos, irony
² The first para of the post is not ironic. :-)


Nov. 21st, 2006 03:33 pm
trixtah: (Default)
This is why, when people lazily equate polyamory with polygamy, I want to puke.

Yes, I realise it's an extreme example, but it represents the mindset of the polygamists I know of, no matter how many people want to weasel-word and say "polygamy" only means multiple marriage. That's only true in the strict anthropological sense - otherwise, there are still a whole raft of other associations with the concept, especially to do with religion.

On a tangentially-related note, Laurie R. King wrote a recent blog demanding an end to tolerance:

I’m sick of tolerance. We don’t need to “tolerate” gays or blacks or Hispanics or women in politics or people in wheelchairs, any more than we need to tolerate the sky above or trees in the forest or our own left foot. They’re here, they’re as much a part of us as our left foot, they’re not going to go away, so as the old gay rights chant has it, get used to it. Instead of begrudging them their existence, “tolerating” them because the law says we have to, we need to learn to look at their differences—OUR differences—as a part of the texture of life. ...
We don’t have room for mere tolerance in this crowded world. Instead, we need to celebrate the richness of the humanity God has created. We need to turn a disbelieving eye on any thug who uses God as an excuse for his actions.

See, if you couldn't tell, I find polygamists personally distasteful. But if those concerned are entering into such arrangements with full awareness, the ability to get out if they want, and it is their choice, well, yes, hooray for diversity. I just wish I believed that polygamists who refuse to let the "sisterwives" touch each other had that viewpoint as well. Or that their version of God did.
trixtah: (Servalan)
So, there have been a run of horribly saccharine posts in [ profile] polyamory lately (ok, one or two were sweet, but these ones took the cake. And this one sporked them really nicely. Heh.), but after the 1000th "we're so speshul" post, the sheen wears off a bit.

One person asked nicely if they could be posted in some of the other poly communities (like [ profile] compersion), or *gasp* even in one thread, because, you know, that's what those quaint things like threads are for... but the admin just dealt the smackdown saying "I like them, so there". Fair enough, it's her comm, but *eyeroll*.

I'll be back in my curmudgeonly corner, with my vom-bucket at the ready.
trixtah: (Tattoo)
I had a really nice evening with the OGF last night, thank god. It consisted of kid-wrangling, cooking my own dinner (since I have vowed never to eat spag bol with mince, ever again), drinking 1/2 a glass of wine, watching a movie while the baby refused to go to sleep, and then giving the OGF a shoulder rub until she passed out on me. I seem to have this effect on women, heh. Except babies.

But, we talked. And it was nice. She's having four new people move into her house. Her hubbies have gotten involved with another woman, and she and her husband and their two children are officially moving in this weekend. Dear lord - five adults and five children, all in the same (admittedly large) space. I'm just relieved I can visit.

Due to the fact that all of these rumptions had been going on while I hadn't spent any quality time with her in literally months, I was feeling a certain degree of insecurity about the whole thing, but she made a couple of observations that were reassuring. Firstly, it appears that there are limits to Puppy Pile Polyamory, at least for her. She doesn't want to majorly bond with the two new additions, especially the "other woman". Of course, the (well, my) definition of PPP is that you want to snuggle up with all your loved ones. These two additions are not her loved ones. Yay boundaries. Secondly, she said this morning that she doesn't have mental or emotional room at all for another woman. This is the first time in her life that that's been the case, since she's apparently always had at least a couple on the go up until I came along. But it seems that I take up as much mental space as any two other women.

Regarding that last, I'm a little unsure what to think. The reason I'm happy she's not all "boots in" with the new additions is time. She and I don't have enough time as it is, and I was quite wibbly about the idea that someone else was going to make it shrink even further (rampaging orgies would be fine, since, you know, that wouldn't impinge on our quality time; emotional investment would be something else). I said that I don't know how I take up so much "mental space", since we hardly see each other, but I apparently "just do". Actually, I do know what she means in terms of thinking about loved ones constantly - I certainly do nearly all the time - and I think that's pretty much what she was meaning. I didn't want to pursue the topic too much, and sound all neurotically demanding about "What exactly do you mean?", so I think I'll ruminate on it a bit further myself.

Why is this niggling at me a wee bit? It's because I tend to get involved with ambitious, go-getting and busy women. And since I'm not particularly those things myself, I like to take on a nurturing and "cheerleading" (if you like) role where I can. [How butch am I? Hah.] And if I'm taking up someone's mental energy, am I being more a drain than not? Because I cannot bear to feel that that might be the case. I'm actually quite sure I'm not, on a gut-instinct basis. All I need to do is sort out in my head what the implications are, and I'll be groovy.

And this is really the point of the post. While I don't think I tend to intellectualise my (and others') emotions much, I obviously do have to make logical sense of them - as much as possible - before I trust my instincts. I'm surprised as to how much it makes a difference to my inner feeling of security - and it's something I wish I'd realised about myself a lot earlier. I might be fairly trusting on an emotional basis, but my poor brane needs some assistance, evidently.

ETA: And I forgot to mention Mistress Matisse's latest column on poly in The Stranger. Leaving aside the primary/secondary terminology, I think it should just about be required reading. Especially, "When you say, "it's fine," really mean that it's fine." And, "Don't stick your dick in crazy."
I liked her thoughts about queerness in relation to poly as well - mainly because it's exactly what I think.

Le weekend

Oct. 2nd, 2006 10:36 pm
trixtah: (Default)
[I have a theory about speaking French - pick nearly any English word that's three syllables or longer, and it's a real word in French (as long as you say it with a French accent, of course). "Le weekend" is an exception, but that's because the French borrowed the word directly from English, rather than the other way round (those Normans... and all those Renaissance latinate constructions). It's a shame that most verbs are short, because you could get away with a lot as an English-speaker.]

It was Labour Day today, so we had a three-day weekend. I've been finding it hard to get to sleep at a reasonable hour lately, and really, it hasn't improved. At least I've been able to sleep in to "catch up".

But I had a nice day today. I spent it with the CDL and her Bear and their pooches. There was interesting conversation, dog-show politics, cute dogs, picnic lunch, and tired-but-cosy takeaway dinner. I managed to help sink a bottle of wine without it touching the edges at all (unlike me).

I'm enjoying this whole thing a lot. This is my first foray into successful polyamory, and probably due to the quality of people involved, it's good. I like astute people. I like people who have had to think about their sexuality in ways other than just poly, because it gives more depth to their considerations about the whole thing, and a shared history of queer issues. I like it that there is no angst, no dramas, no boundary-pushing. I like the fact that those boundaries are clear and reasonable. I like it that there is an appropriate amount of flexibility and give-and-take if needed. I like the fact that everyone deals with each other considerately. I really really like it that we all get on and enjoy each other's company. Fucking yay.


Aug. 14th, 2006 07:27 pm
trixtah: (Default)
There's just been a fairly frank exchange of views over on the polyamoryaustralia list about the old chestnut of ranking relationships as to primary/secondary/tertiary ...and not. The original discussion was sparked by Mistress Matisse's article on the very same topic, which I rolled my eyes at and disregarded, as I normally do when that subject rears its ugly head.

I briefly said onlist that I was "allergic" to my relationships being defined that way, and that it made me "foam at the mouth" when people used heirarchical language to describe my situation. Well, apparently I didn't acknowlege the fact that relationship heirarchies exist (goodness!), that it's dishonest not to admit that, and that obviously people who believe they don't have such a heirarchy want to live in some hippy utopia.

I got a little cross at this point, hee!, but I didn't use any swearwords in any of my responses! But what it boiled down to for that and at least one other person onlist (the proto-fascist wanker) was that the labels help describe where everyone stands in a relationship structure.

And this got me thinking of the wider issue of people conflating heirarchy with structure. There is a reason these words are not synonyms in English - they are not the same. But many people appear to conflate the two, or say that without the one, the other doesn't exist. Bollocks.

I personally like structure. I'm naturally a very lazy person. If I didn't have to get up and go to work in the morning, I wouldn't. I'd doss around the house all day on the Internet and would generally do sweet F-A. I like to pay my bills so that I continue to get supplied with shelter, food and fun. I like the fact that those organisations I pay money to to supply these things are in fact obliged to do so. I carry out my own obligations (virtually all of the time), and I like people's obligations to me to be fulfilled. All that requires structure, both for the delivery mechanism and for the expectation that things will be carried out as arranged.

A heirarchy is a model for defining inter-personal relationships in any structure that involves people. You know your place, and your boss knows their place, and their boss does theirs... and so it goes. It's a way of assigning authority and obligations. I have authority over the email systems. I'm obliged to my boss. He has authority over 6 staff and the email and storage systems, and is obliged to his boss and his financial reporting. It's very clear as to what place in the structure we're in. We know the rules for each of our positions.

What that doesn't confer, however, is certainty or security. And I think that most people who enjoy heirarchies believe those things are precisely what you get from "knowing the rules". If you're in the military, someone tells you where to point your gun. You don't have any moral dilemmas (well, they're trained out of you), because that is someone else's responsibility. You know you're doing the right thing, because you're following orders. The trouble is, when the orders are wrong, things can fuck up in a bad way. Or they're not applicable. You can't go around saluting people at a cocktail party.

It seems that people who rely on certain kinds of external structures for certainty and security get really fucked-up when they lose them. So, why do some people insist on them, while others are "eh, that's all there is" and others again are strongly allergic? Perhaps there's a genetic component. Heh.

I strongly believe that heirarchies are the 4th Form maths of interpersonal relationships. You have a simple equation, and when you know that x = 5, it's very easy to solve y = (2x + 1)². What if you don't know the value of x? What if it's i? Bugger.

And really, personal relationships are all about i, as far as I can tell, leaving aside other kinds of relationships. Which means there is a limit to how well rules and heirarchies can model what you should do and how you should do it. IMO, of course. :-)
trixtah: (Default)
I was just reflecting on the fact that I've been unusually diffident in pursuing my lust objects these last few years. I burbled on about that here quite recently. Since I am most certainly more confident and sure of I want in a lover, I started to wonder just why that has been the case lately.

I was reminded of being in my early twenties... not sure what the rules were and not knowing how to put myself forward. Since I'm now in my late 30s, and actually, I think I do have a reasonably decent grasp of those two things (when I am consciously out to impress someone), it seemed odd and back-slidery.

So, just now (ruminating on stuff when you're trying to sleep is silly, really), I got it. Claiming the poly label is a relatively new thing for me. I really don't suffer jealousy myself, and I also think I have a pretty good set of boundaries when it comes to handling my relationships. However. All the people I've been interested in over the last few years in the poly context have been involved with someone else. And that's my sticking point.

Even when I was trying the mono thing, and yet still having stupid affairs (which caused breakups, since I am not a liar in that sense), there was no way in hell I went after someone who had a partner. The one time I did sleep with someone who was still involved with someone else, I felt as sick as hell when I found out. And that was a boundary I was extremely vigorous in policing. There is an ex of mine I still find attactive, and again, I feel guilty about that because she is with someone else. The biggest thing for me to get over the poly sense has been just that; that it is ok to be with someone who has another partner.

Well, I thought that having identified that issue, I was alright with it. However, I just twigged that I haven't just suddenly lost my knack of taking the initiative in the last 3 years - one person in particular I had no problems making a pass at, but, hahah!, she wasn't involved elsewhere. So, there you go, there is some wierd guilt thing still operating on the subconscious level somewhere. Once I've gotten over the "yeah, I fancy you too" hump, and it's all on, I'm fine. It's an odd place to have residue, though.
trixtah: (Default)
When talking about poly stuff, a lot of people like to slot their relationship styles into little boxes: triad, quad, poly-fi, network, polygamy, One Big Happy Family, primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary (j/k!)... blah, blah, blah.

Really, I think there are two categories that count: the puppy-pile polys - those whose aim in life to end up in a big snuggly puppy pile with all their lovely partners - and those who aren't. That's not say that never the twain shall meet; my OGF is pretty much a PPP, while I and the CDL are not. But yep, I think that really is the most fundamental division in poly styles. :-)

Anyone else? Heh.

While I'm on the topic, I'd like to pimp a new Yahoo group for all the Australian poly-type people out there. (It may not be on Yahoo forever, but that's where it's starting). My OGF has started a group called polyamoryaustralia, which has been up and running a couple of months, and has had some decent discussion going on lately.

A few PolyOz (that was a mailing list that I had the shortest ever sub to - 10 days?) types tried to bring some old business across, and they were promptly squelched. A few of them have even stayed around to post about polyamory. So, that should indicate a different kind of culture there. The Melbourne and Sydney poly social groups organise their regular meets on the list, and the OGF is in the process of organising something similar for here in Canberra.
trixtah: (Default)
Well, I was hoping to have a nice cheerful post for you all by today. I went home - to Auckland - for a few days, and it was fab. The sun shone, I got to see a ton of my friends and have excellent quality time with them all. I squoze three babies, who are just all cute. I had nice meals and great coffee. I attended the con for people who subscribe to the alt.polyamory newsgroup with the CDL and that was wonderfully unstressful and fun. I had some excellent quality time with the CDL as well, which was wonderful after a fairly otherwise-occupied few weeks, and which featured one of the best dinners I've ever had. She's a fantastic person to be around on so many levels, and was a great travelling companion on the way back. Getting home was no stress given the fact her Bear came and picked us both up from the airport, thus removing the need for stupid taxis.

But instead of feeling the usual degree of recharged and happy and loved-by-my-loved-ones and less homesick and all that after being in NZ, I have another cold. I had yesterday off work, and spent most of today in the office feeling like The Return of the Living Dead. Everything has been difficult, and while I think I'd be coping better if it were just normal being sick, coming after a big emotional high, my energy isn't where it should be. And that just feels wrong. I should be bouncing around the place going "Yippee!", or, as would be normal in these circs, "I'm toooodally mellow, man", and for that not to be the case is disappointing.

Instead, stupidity like a senior manager telling us to remove Firefox from our PCs at work because of "security reasons" (hang on while I spit) is just typical of some of the things that were pinging me today on just the trivial work level. I don't even feel irritated by it, just flattened. Not good.

Actually, disappointment and feeling snuffly and tired just isn't the best combination all round, so I think I should stop thinking about it and make some miso soup. At least I was able to find some kombu in the Asian shop on the way home from work, so I can make some proper dashi from scratch rather than use the instant stuff that has MSG as its second ingredient.

I promise a more positive post once I've got my emotional equilibrium back in its usual place. There're a lot of nice things to talk about.


trixtah: (Default)

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