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NRE for the non-existent love: ourselves 

Ever have a crush on someone so bad that you keep imagining the details of a relationship with them? Going through the way you’ll meet and discover the mutuality of your attraction with little electric bursts of twitterpation? And how the first kiss will just lock your souls together? But then reality intrudes and reminds you that either they don’t even know you exist or there is just no possible way to be together? 

  Yeah, I’ve got it bad. Not just one person either. I’ve got crushes on several unattainable people. People that I know well and others who I have barely met or spoken to. But despite the lack of mutuality, I still hold out a tiny sliver of hope, careful not to let it grow to expectation. 

As that emotion smolders, it feels almost almost like NRE, new relationship energy. Not quite the same but still that excitement of newness, the infatuation stage where you see all possibility and no downside. You feel all the passionate kisses instead of the awkwardness of first touch. You want to act on all the primal desires instead of the slow building of trust. 

I had always been hyper vigilant about NRE, even from my first poly relationships. When I feel the first twinges of it, I’d shut it down, always acting like the grown-up, dousing what energy we were creating together in an effort to tame and control it.  The only time I ever truly got carried away was when I first knew Warrior; that relationship completely swept me away (and 8 years later it still does). But getting carried away in that relationship caused me to neglect the partners I already had, creating a lot of hurt and distrust among us. And while I know it wasn’t all NRE, i do blame myself for getting so wrapped up in it without stopping to find balance or to check in with my partners. 

And in true Janet fashion, I shut down everything. Baby out with the bath water mentality.  I stopped dating, stopped even showing interest in others. I stopped flirting. I stopped even imagining being with others. I couldn’t even bring myself to fantasize. 

The past 2-3 months changed that.  Like an awakening. And someday I will write much more about that awakening, but it started essentially the same way that poly did for us. I finally got bold enough to start flirting back. And as I kept doing it, I kept finding my voice. Kept thinking that these people might not all be blind or crazy when they call me gorgeous. Even allowing the still dubious and inaccurate  “milf” or “cougar” title helped me accept that maybe I didn’t have to limit myself so much. 

Oh the attention was so welcome, so needed. I started flirting with some people online and even started a fun experience taking the dominant in me out for a test drive. Embracing the simple matter that:

 a) it doesn’t matter what people think of me; but

 b) if someone takes the effort to call me beautiful or intelligent, I need to honor that there is truth, even a sliver of honesty, in their words

With that and a LOT of meditation, I have started growing into myself again, regaining my confidence and my voice. I have adopted the new archetypes and roles that are fulfilling to me: Queen, writer, teacher, friend, healer, mother. And as I grow into myself I start to gain more insight into my life and the direction I want to be in. As I adopt these  new titles and roles in life I become better aligned with the patterns and energies around me, which is just an increase in my empathy. 

And the more I see of people without my protections and projections, the more I want to know them and for them to know me. The more I look into the world with my heart, the more I trust my intuition. The more I proclaim my space in this world, the more possibilities I see being poured into my life. The more people I meet and understand, the more I see the worthy qualities in myself. 

So even though I have these strong feelings for people I never have a chance with, I think that maybe perhaps NRE is more about seeing the best, happiest, more joyful qualities reflected back to us in the moments of passionate possibility. We start falling back in love with ourselves just a little bit more than we could before.  

The most unattainable relationship we’ve ever known is the love we can and should have for ourselves.  NRE brings out the joyful light, the lovable, sexy, imaginative and witty parts of ourselves that we need to see and embrace fully. And NRE allows us to feel desirable, wanted and lovable. 

And if these “unattainable” crushes (hey! A girl can still hope) can bring me that growing acceptance of myself and my desires then maybe NRE is healthy after all. 

Poverty Battle Royale: a commentary on welfare (Part 1)

Note:  I wrote this post originally in August, before my husband lost his job.  Now that we are on food stamps and Medicaid because of our mutual lack of employment, my reasoning and rationale behind this post is even more personal than it was before. I have added references to my own experience in blue.  This is intended to be a multi-part commentary. Links at the bottom to subsequent posts.
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Sometimes you meet some winners on OKCupid.  Earlier this month I met one the winners out there.  The self-assured, confident guy who is also sensitive, caring and intuitive (putting it lightly).  I have no idea how well that connection will turn out, but I’m willing to let it settle in a bit to see if it moves forward.

Then you meet some true assholes.  In fact, I’ve held off responding to most messages in the past few years because frankly I just don’t want to spend much time slogging through the waste of messages that I get on a daily basis. There was a time I replied to each and every one of the stupid messages I got, but now I’m much more comfortable with the delete and block feature.  First impressions count.  I put a lot of thought into how I approach someone before I rattle something off to them in the hopes they will reply back.  And if it doesn’t seem to fit, it’s not a biggie.  It means we likely weren’t going to hit it off in the first place.

However, every now and then, a message arrives and sometimes you have no choice but to relentlessly make fun of it.  I’m not normally a fan of mocking someone’s effort to find a special love, but sometimes the approach is so filled with hubris and presumptions that it begs to be publicized so we can point to it and make an example of it.

And in this case, this message from…let’s call him Timmy6917 (apologies to anyone with that username) was so arrogant, misguided and off-the-mark, that I felt obligated to spend a day researching my response which is posted below.

See, Timmy made three very crucial errors:

  1. He never once introduced himself, asked a question or even pointed to some commonality that might explain why he contacted me;
  2. He trotted out a lazy, conservative trope about welfare to a woman who is very clearly far left of center politically;
  3. He describes himself as “intelligent” and “sharp” in his profile, which sort of begs the question–who is he really trying to convince?

I needed to make sense of the rage I felt when I read his messages so I researched and I wrote.  I wrote 8 pages and could keep on going.  Writing out my thoughts on an issue that deals squarely with poverty and policy “suggestions” that rely on prevailing myths about poverty, I felt the need to expand even my own privileged horizons on this topic.  It was more cathartic than I ever thought it would be, or so I tell myself to justify the full day of work and sleep that I lost to this project.  It brought me back to a sense of pride for my political prowess.  All knowledge is worth having, I suppose. 

Disclaimer:  I did not actually send the following message to Mr. Timmy as he forever shall be known.  No, instead, I posted it as information for myself and my Facebook followers, many of whom know this subject far better than I can hope to emulate.  What Mr. Timmy got in reply was a curt notice that he failed to state an argument with his conclusion and that anyone who hopes to be a partner with me must demonstrate a minimal amount of kindness, respect and humanity.  I told him blatantly that the problem is not abuse of the welfare system, but rather limited and narrow viewpoints that shame those who live in poverty.  I have since gotten a reply from him, but haven’t read it because…well, I’ve already wasted enough time on someone that I never, ever want to meet much less fuck.  

Dear T,

Let me start off by saying that I’m not entirely sure what your basis is for the conclusions you’ve drawn.  You say Medicaid “is easily one of the most abused programs available”.  Okay?  Abused in what way?  Is it abused by the administrators of the program, those who receive benefits or the doctors/companies providing services?  And by cash programs, it would depend on which cash program (I’m going to assume Federal) that you’re talking about.  TANF? Unemployment?  WIC? Disability? Is your beef with the federal program itself or the state administration of these programs?  Or is it a state program you have an issue with?

But I hope to god that you’re not basing any of these broad opinions on the oft-debunked yet relentlessly persistent myth of the “welfare queen”.

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Scared to date

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So, it is says anything about the gravity of this topic, this subject line has been sitting here since October of 2011.

Hello. My name is Bella. I’m polyamorous and I’m afraid to date.

Hello Bella

Is there a support group for people like me? I have been polyamorous for almost 9 years now and for the past 4 years I have been afraid to date. I have been avoiding discussing why for a very long time, but like most things if I don’t just delve in and say it publicly, it will never get parsed out and thus never truly change.

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Saturday Afternoon Noodlings

So I promised myself that i would make more of an effort to keep this blog updated.  The writing is good for me, even if it’s just mundane shit like my day is today.  Warrior prefers to call the random internet browsing and whatnot “noodling” so I guess that’s what I’ve been doing today.  Noodling.  Here is a small summary:

  • My phone died earlier this week.  Well, more like the right side of my screen died and was unresponsive.  So instead of giving me a deal on my upgrade, Verizon sent me a new version of the same crappy phone that I’ve had to replace twice already.  So here we go again with all the updating…all for a phone I’m only going to have for about a month or so.  You know, starting Angry Birds…again.  Setting the ringtones I had on the last phone back in….again.  Putting in all my passwords and syncing up my contacts…again.  So today i’m making the most of a lazy Saturday afternoon to do all of this stuff …again.
  • Backing up all of my photos to my laptop is another chore.  I have over 7000 pictures.  Several thousand of which are actually pictures stored on my phone for various apps.  But others are pictures that I took for lovers in the past that bring back some warm, fond memories.
  • This week I tried playing around on a new site called Lifestyle Tonight.  While it is meant to be for all lifestyles (it’s been described to me as Facebook for the sex-positive community), I will probably be drafting an email to the people who run the site on how it can be more inclusive.  My sense is that it started with the swingers community and tried to broaden its reach to others in the kink and poly communities.  None of this is bad, I just would like to see more options than “bisexual” or “bi-curious” to be more inclusive of those of us who identify as queer or pan or gender fluid.  But my initial impressions is that it reminds me a little of the old Alt.com back before it was overrun by bots. Feel free to try it out (or send me a message for an invite) and see what you think. Meanwhile I’m going to revive the old bondage.com and alt.com profiles and see how utterly silly I was back in 2006 when I last updated them.
  • Meanwhile on another site I’ve been toying with the membership features of X-Tube.  It’s a porn site.  Pure and simple.  And instead of keeping links to the clips I like on my bookmark list, I decided to try this one out.  In only 3 days of having the profile (with just a picture of my covered boobs on the profile pic), I’ve had 5 offers to play online or in person (one wanted to role-play piss play over skype) and over 100 friend requests, 465 views of my pics and 3 ratings. Only three days.  I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.  My friend request page is overfull of pictures of cock that I’m quickly becoming bored of so much cock.  In some ways I wish I had been doing this for actual research to see what the patterns are with the people who are friending me and why.  Of course it’s not friending for realsies–more like fandom perhaps.  It’s a little…overwhelming.  Of course I may toy with some of the ones who can actually spell “photo” or give me more than some “I’ll treat you like a queen” sort of statement.  Just because i’m looking at porn doesn’t mean I’m lacking anything.
  • That said, I’m enjoying some of the gay porn on that site.  I’ve been turned off by a lot of straight porn lately.  Most of the women in straight porn don’t look like me–or act like me, so it’s not really a turn on for me.  And when I watch BBW porn, I get very turned on to all the horrid comments left by men who actually chose to watch it too much less the descriptions that make the woman sound gross and desperate–which they aren’t.  So, I tend to go with gay porn most of the time.  Men fucking men makes me hot.  Yup, yup.
  • And I just finished five class descriptions for presentations I might be giving in the very near future for a conference on the east coast this spring. I’m excited.  I haven’t been chosen to give those presentations, but yesterday I had a wild flurry of inspiration that told me, “yes, you do have enough knowledge to be able to teach!”.  So I went with it!

Tonight we have our choice of seeing a friend do artistic bondage set to live piano, go to a holiday belly dance show or to see SkyFall.  Not a bad choice for the night.

Turn-offs: pushiness

Maybe this will be an ongoing topic, but its worth stating that as I approach 8 years of being poly I have grown and developed and learned quite a bit about myself.

And today it has been reinforced that one of my biggest turn-offs is pushiness. I hate it.  No, I don’t want to webcam with you.  No, I don’t want to see you.  No, I cannot meet with you tonight just because you are lonely. No, I will not send you a pic. 

For future reference if you have to beg, cajole and push me into doing something in electronic communication it is pretty clear that the up close and personal experience will likewise be lacking in clear respect for my stated boundaries. If you cannot take no for an answer online, I thoroughly do not trust your ability to do so in person.

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