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15 Ways Twitter helped me grow as a person


  1. I joined Twitter just a little over 10 years ago this fall. I can’t remember whether I joined as a fad, as an alternative to LiveJournal, or as a valiant attempt to connect to those I adored. While my time on Twitter hasn’t always been consistent or notable, I have grown to rely on this medium as one of my primary means of engagement, expression, and community. Throughout my life, I’ve utilized technology to connect to people in ways that aren’t always available in real life. I mean, back in my early adolescence I played around on QLink, then AOL – and got a lot of disappointed, angry looks from my dad when I spent more than our paid time. College was more AOL, law school was MySpace and eventually LiveJournal.

    But Twitter is a different animal – it has fluffy content and deep rabbit holes. It has the best (@DanRather) and worst of humanity (He Who Shall Not Be Named). It has gifs & clapbacks, sweet tenderness juxtaposed on the timeline with porn & politics. It takes a strong stomach sometimes, but when you find a community and a group of people worth following, it can be a wonderful experience.

    This week I reached 2500 followers. More than 70% of whom only started following me in the past 3 years. During that same period, I’ve experienced a significant growth in my career, my relationships, my confidence, and my mental health. I think there is something to be said for at least so new people drawn into my orbit since I decided to start healing myself. I have learned from them, created a community with them, and now celebrate all the ways in which that medium, and more importantly, the people who use it, have influenced my world in such a positive way.

    Here are the ways Twitter has influenced my life – in no particular order:  Read the rest of this entry

Updating my old OKCupid profile

I’ve been using OKCupid since around 2005 maybe? It’s been the most Poly-friendly of dating apps for years. In fact, it’s responsible for bringing Warrior into my life (his ex-wife, my former girlfriend, met me from OKC).

My profile is as…thorough…as a profile can be. It’s got a ton of information in it. Enough for any prospective match to know what they’re getting themselves into. This profile has served me well over the years – I can usually judge matches based on how well they read my profile. But…like most things Janet, it says a LOT.

With all the changes they’ve been making recently, presumably for safety, as well as to keep up with the Tinder trend, I find myself updating a really old profile to fit with emerging times. While I disagree with the whole “real name” bandwagon (especially harmful to victims of abuse/stalking, members of marginalized communities and Poly/kinky members of conservative professions), if my name is going to be associated with this, I want to be more strategic in what I say.

I have used a variation of this profile since 2009. And while I have changed and grown as a person, my profile parameters have stayed the same.

Now, as I approach this task, feeling some internalized pressure to pare down what I say about myself, I have trouble letting go. My profile – my description of myself – is a statement of who I am, or at least who I believed myself to be, which is hard to let go of because it feels like saying goodbye to that woman.

So, to encourage me to start fresh on that profile, I’m preserving the original here so I don’t feel like I’m letting go of that past forever. But rather, I’m documenting the journey toward my new self instead. By putting this here, I allow myself to move on, to craft a new narrative of who I am and what experiences will feed my life in the months & years to come.

Saying goodbye to a wordier, more defensive version of myself, to make room for a better reflection of the power I bring to a connection and the path I want to be on today.

Enjoy the last remnants of the old me.

I was trying to pare down my profile to the essence and sadly I was unsuccessful. I admit, I’m not known my brevity, but I’m great at meaningful conversations, so maybe that makes up for it.

The most important thing to know is that I am happily and solidly polyamorous (couldn’t go back to monogamy if I tried). I have two primary partners (legal husband and Poly husband) and a girlfriend. I have two kids–teenagers–who make my life full and amazing. I give my family, including my chosen family, my all.

I am freedom loving, kinky, spiritual, a lover of laughter, liberal, expressive, way too serious, loving, passionate, vulnerable and confident although not usually all at once.

I love to experience that spark that happens between two people with great chemistry. Passion has been a defining part of my life, and it is a trait that is re-emerging after a long period of quiet reflection. I find passionate people, especially fellow geeks and politicos, especially attractive. Chemistry is found in the small moments, the crackle in the air during intense conversation or the overwhelming electricity of a touch or a smile. I just try to follow the connection and let it organically develop into whatever feels right.

I don’t respond well to pressure or uninformed expectations. I value honesty and openness. I tend to be find my deepest bravery and confidence in revealing my vulnerabilities and insecurities, and I’m trying to embrace the rewards of those risks. I celebrate small victories and learn from the crushing defeats; likewise, I tend to blow off small defeats and minimize large accomplishments.

I value thoughtful action, ethical behavior and compassionate communication. I love encountering the differences in one another that define our journeys. I recognize the inherent beauty and power of spirit. I try to be courageous every day and challenge myself to do what is right. I try to be ethical, approachable and understanding.

I embrace the term queer to describe my orientation. I am attracted to the whole person, inside and out, whether or not they conform to the gender standards or expressions others try to impose on them. But it’s not just gender…I love people who are equally fluid and open with their sexuality and therefore tend to gravitate toward bi (including curious, homo/hetero-flexible) or queer individuals. I consider myself a safe place for someone to explore and find acceptance for their sexual identity. However, I am not an experiment or a trainer for those new to their sexual exploration.

I crave sincerity in my relationships and reward that with my depth and passion. I am most strongly attracted to authenticity in all its manifestations. Most of all I enjoy being wanted for who I really am and am wary of surface level attraction.

I accept people, their interests, and their past experiences. I try to display the kind of openness I value. I am attracted to people who take personal risks in order to overcome their fears and past. I try to give people a safe place to be themselves without judgment or ridicule. But I’m not tolerant of deceit, manipulation or possessiveness.

I am trying to get back into finding and following connections again. After a very difficult few years where my family needed my full attention, I’m ready to start turning my attention to new people, new experiences. I’m ready for a renewal, a love for the life I want and have.

The Online Goddess: regaining my confidence online


I’m one of the newly named Xennial generation (1977 – 1983). I have been interacting with people online since adolescence. I grew up using chatrooms (Q-Link for the Commodore 128 and AOL with PC) with progressively increased private chats happening as the years went on. Back then we couldn’t (easily) send photos or use a cell phone to text, we arranged times to talk, often turning to phone sex after online chatting became more hot and personal.  I was on this cusp generation that pioneered these emerging technologies, often at the mercy of the parents that allowed us access to them.

I’ve been doing this a long time–since 13 or 14 years old when we got our first equivalent of a modem. I had online access very early in my life that by the time everyone else was getting AOL, I was moving on to the next thing. And for as long as I’ve had access, I’ve had access to online flirting.  So many sexual conversations, flirting online and over the phone. The currency of these exchanges relied on imagination. The more vivid descriptions, the more easily the sexual tension could build. I never kept track of how many of these conversations I had participated in over the years. How many men and the handful of women did I do this with? I’ll probably never know. But it was second nature to me. Witty, sexy, sultry banter was my thing.

The Shameful Barrier

I talk often about the accumulation of shame in my life and how inhibiting it can be. How intimidating it makes what was once second nature to me. I had stopped dating in 2009 for a variety of reasons: a new local relationship (Warrior) that took up much of my attention, a break-up with my Dallas poly husband where I felt like a failure at polyamory, residuals of being outed a few years before and a metamour whose insistence on one-way fluid bonding sent a clear judgment – that I’m somehow dirty.  I was just so ashamed that I just cut off all possibilities, no matter how promising they were. No matter how much I wanted to progress with flirting and communication, it had been used against me so often that I always managed to sour the potential before it could ever take root.

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The Expectations of Performance in Public Spaces 

I woke up feeling heartsick today. Not only did I sleep in beyond what I’m comfortable with–10:30 am–I had bad dreams. Dreams of isolation and emergency. Moving a family out of my home and to safety, avoiding cameras and such along the way so they couldn’t be tracked. These dreams are typical for me…often I’m in a position to protect others, to usher them to something better. But today it just felt different.

It felt like there was this expectation. “This is what you do, Janet, so you better perform as expected.”  It’s an icky feeling actually. What if I don’t feel capable today? What if I have other priorities or responsibilities? What if I get it wrong or don’t do well enough? What if I fail?



My entire life has been dictated by this requirement of established public performance. I am plagued by being a people pleaser–if it will make others happy I will jump into action before thinking of the impact it has on myself. If people -need- me to do something I will sacrifice myself and my own needs to accomplish it.

This is a chronic problem with me. Constantly pushing past my own boundaries, or worse not even recognizing my own boundaries, in order to please others.

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30 things to stop doing to yourself (my take on 1-10)

Re-posted from my personal blog


Everyday I find I am more and more grateful for the fabulous people who have entered my life.  Lately, in particular, I’ve been associating with therapists and social workers.  I have found these friends to be grounded, positive and rather insightful not just into the human condition (which interests me greatly) but about the impact of simplicity on our overall wellbeing as a society.    So when one of them passed along this article to me (one of the many, many great articles he has posted over the few months I’ve known him), I was inspired to pass it along.

Here are the suggestions from that website with a brief example of how I’ve tried to integrate this into my life  (I’ve only hit on the first 10 of these….but hopefully it gives you some practical insight)

  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people:  For years I was known for not letting anyone leave my life.  I stayed connected with anyone and everyone, even if they hurt me.  Whether they were negative, whether they were cheaters, whether they were abusers or emotional vampires (who are not as bad as everyone makes them out to be).  This is changing.  It’s not just about choosing to spend less time with these kinds of people, it’s about spending less time on them.  At some point along the journey in the past 3 years I learned to separate myself from the problems that my friends and loved ones were encountering.  And at the same time, I redefined which kind of person really made my soul soar with love, joy and fullness and which kind of person made my soul sink with regret, disdain and obligation.   And when I chose to do both simultaneously, suddenly the influence of the “wrong” people lessened and I was feeling less and less hurt.  This enabled me to be able to heal much more easily and much more fluidly.  So it’s not just about stop spending time with the “wrong people” but it’s about spending more time with the “right people”.
  2. Stop running from your problems. I still can’t manage to do this in my financial life (in part because I’m not making any money at all right now and my savings are almost all gone).  But I’ve been employing this in my personal life.  I don’t run away from problems.  I do try to face them head on.  What they don’t tell you is you can face them head on with compassion….both for yourself and for those you might have a problem with.   It takes work and it takes trust, but it is possible.
  3. Stop lying to yourself.  No one else can do this for you.  This isn’t about beating yourself down brutally.  But it’s about seeing yourself fully.  Both your flaws and your strengths.  They make up the whole of who you are.  The sooner you choose to see yourself as a whole and vibrant human being, the sooner you start living your life with authenticity.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.    It’s one of the hardest lessons to learn for those who us who were a) brought up to believe that our needs are selfish and therefore shameful and b) have a natural inclination to give.  Resolving this issue is far more complex than you might think.  However, giving yourself permission to be cared for and to *gasp* receive that care is so vital to the process.  If you find that you have trouble receiving love and self-care, I highly suggest reading The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen.  It has been tremendously influential in my life and shows the balance necessary for those who give and those who receive.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. So hard.  So very hard.  And even for someone who is absolutely adamant that you should never be someone other than Who You Really Are. Anyone who has watched Mad Men knows that one of the central conflicts within the show is the pressure that the characters have not just to conform to what society tells them they are supposed to live like, but to be the ones putting the pressure on the rest of America by feeding them pictures of a perfection that none of them actually experience.  It’s brilliant really.  I wish there could be a movement in this culture for us to live exactly as we are meant to.  To pursue our happiness, to live our lives with authenticity and love.   For inspiration I suggest listening to Frank Sinatra sing “My Way” a couple hundred times.  And frankly if you’re trying to live the life of a happily married monogamous heterosexual life mate and you feel a dissonance in any of these things let me say very clearly….LIFE IS SHORT.  No matter what pain and heartache you may endure, you are entitled, called and indeed destined to live your life with authenticity. And I will guarantee with certainty you will be miserable the longer you keep trying to hold up the mask and hide the beauty of Who You Really Are.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past.  This one has been particularly difficult for me.  I love the past.   I am nostalgic and sentimental.  I love re-living the magical moments of my life.  And yet, it’s kept me tied there in an uncomfortable and limiting way.  I didn’t realize just how much until I encountered my ex over the summer.  While reunions are always tinged with nostalgia, it wasn’t until he was back home that I realized I had been holding him to old expectations of our prior relationship and expecting him to be the same person.  I was feeling pressure to be the same person I once was as well.  We were in a unique place to start something new and learn each other all over again. But holding on to the past also meant holding both of us to the actions, behaviors and ideas of the past as well… let it go and live right where you are in this very moment.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. Amen!  And yet, lookie there…this is hard for me too.   Especially in the past 3 years, I have been terrified to make a mistake.  Even when I decided to leave my old job and start my own business, suddenly the cost of each of my mistakes was going to be squarely on my own shoulders.  I hadn’t expected that.  And yet if you constantly are looking to avoid mistakes, how can you really accomplish anything.  One of the hardest things for me to learn is that the mistakes offer opportunities to do something truly amazing and by avoiding them, I’m avoiding those opportunities as well.  And despite what that voice in the back of your head tells you about what “everybody” is going to think, I can promise that there aren’t a cadre of reporters outside your window ready to report, analyze and criticize your every mistake.  And if your friends and lovers  really do this, then maybe look at #1 again.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes:  Yes, another hard one.  (If this list were easy would it be necessary?) .  I beat myself up for everything.  Even being Catholic and having the opportunity to confess my mistakes and receive forgiveness isn’t enough.  I continue to punish myself.  It wasn’t until I saw my youngest son doing the same thing that I decided enough was enough.  I can’t change the past.  And my past failures and mistakes are a part of me….but they don’t have to define me.  I don’t have to be defined as a “failure” because I didn’t pass the bar exam both times I took it.  Half of the work here is reframing the perceived failure or mistake as something new and controllable.  Because frankly your perception is under your control.  I didn’t fail on the bar exam.  I didn’t have the right frame of mind walking in because I was so conflicted about the legal profession itself.  I have delayed passing the bar exam and i’m glad I did.  I am more mature, more capable and better ready to accept the responsibility it requires of me.  I am not my mistake…I am who grew out of those mistakes…something magical and beautiful in and of itself.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness.  We are told that if we have this kind of home, this kind of car, this kind of equipment, this kind of vacation experience that we will be happy.  I’ve had to choose to stop surrounding myself with things.  Just like the first suggestion above…stop spending time with the wrong people….stop spending your money on the wrong things.  We all desire things, but what will truly make us happy is shifting our perspective about our own selves, our place in this world and our contributions to it.  When you find yourself buying something, make sure it isn’t to fill a hole that one of these other suggestions could better fill for you.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. Oh yes!  But I want to take this a step further.  Your happiness is not in the control of anyone other than you.  If you cast your hopes for happiness on another person you’re fighting a losing battle.  You are investing in their choices so heavily and resting your happiness on whether or not they make the right choices –for you-.  I have made myself crazy doing that.  Caring so deeply for others and expecting them to act in a way that would make –me- happy regardless of whether it was making them happy or whether that choice fit with their experience, desires and ideals.  Fact is, we are all on our own individual journeys.  You don’t know what another person is dealing with or what is fully riding on their choices and decisions, no matter how intimately connected you are with them.  They are their own person and you are yours.  They can’t make your happiness for you.  That’s your job.

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Sharing the goodness

A long time ago when I first started blogging I used to follow someone who would make a daily post identifying the new things he was discovering out there on the internet.  He’d compile it all into one post and call it “Sharing the Goodness”.  Usually with some catchy, awesome title to draw in his (mostly female) readership.  I always loved that concept, sharing the things that interested us whether they be kinky, geeky, sexy, raunchy or just plain beautiful.  So here is my contribution to the Goodness for one day.  This may become a semi-regular feature on this blog.  We’ll see.

  1. First is a local blogger that I only discovered today named QueerRadical who won the Westword award for best activist blog. Only one day into the posts and I’m impressed.  I like the queer-friendly advice that is given and the intelligent look at books, politics and media.
  2. I was quite pleased to find this website today called 25 Things about My Sexuality which is a fascinating read.  It may take me a while to get through all these different posts, but so far I love the candidness of the revelations.  Gotta say there is some freedom in anonymity and yet, a lot of those posts are so similar to what I would say about my sexuality.   Shows we have more in common than we might think in both our heartbreaks and our triumphs.
  3. The folks over at never fail to entertain.  This article about 5 Ridiculous Sex Myths from History (you probably believe) is fucking priceless.  Not just because it’s entertaining, but because it’s illuminating about the arrogance of later generations to think we are the most sexual of history.
  4. A great event for a great cause, check out the Build-a-Bear fundraiser hosted by the Denver boys of Leather.  Something about hot men in leather with cuddly bears that makes me all gooey and happy.
  5. Lately I’ve been dismayed by the number of people who have been treating relationships with disdain and cynicism (in fact, I’ve been so disillusioned by cynics that I’ve added them to the limit list).  But I love this view of marriage brought to us by Neale Donald Walsch (author of Conversations with God).  Yes, I am an unabashed fan of Mr. Walsch and his vision for humanity, but I was honestly moved to tears by this particular writing, which encourages us to view marriage and/or long-term commitment in a relationship as an act of witnessing for that person.It’s about having someone there to witness our full selves, our story, our ups and downs and to affirm our value and existence.  That is what my marriages are about…and something I hope to share with you.

And I can’t say that I’ll be posting these things very often. I’m finding it difficult to use the WordPress dashboard and would welcome any different tool for blogging that might be available.

Trolling and exposing the “truth”

Okay, I know the last thing I should be doing is linking to an article written by daft, biased “reporters” for the organization Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality, but the following is just so fucking ridiculous that I had to make my response, snarky though it is.  Yes, it is feeding the trolls, but in some ways I feel it is my responsibility to publicly state some of my own truths and expose the opinions masquerading as facts meant to scare vanillas.

My comments are in red italics

A link to the article

AFTAH Writer Is Grossed Out by ‘International Mr. Leather’ Perversion-fest Hosted by Hyatt Regency Chicago

Already we can tell this will be a highly informative, perfectly balanced and well-researched article.  The use of the term “grossed out” is particularly useful in relating facts and “truth”.

WARNING: Highly Offensive and Graphic Images and Subject Matter

I have taken the liberty of removing the images, but not the subject matter.

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