Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bad Touch

What a difference a few weeks make. Just a few weeks ago, I was here approaching my latest slutty-phase while also trying not to hurt people in the process and now i have forsworn dating for the immediate future.

A good percentage of that has been because I would rather spend my time alone, getting the feel of being on my own again after so long, than to spend my time and energy talking to strangers. But I have also run into another issue that has made me take a step back from dating.

I don't want people to touch me.

It's not really an active thing. I don't walk around thinking that I hope no one brushes against me or being terrified of someone trying to shake my hand or hug me. No, it's more that when people are touching me I really wish they weren't and I'm often wondering how much longer they will be touching me and how I can get out of this gracefully, without seeming crazy or frigid, and without hurting the other person's feelings.

At first I just thought it was a dating thing. Or who I was dating to be more precise. I went on a few dates with a vanilla guy and, when we did start to fool around, I felt really uncomfortable and stopped things because it just wasn't turning me on. I just kept wishing it would stop. Or that I would start to feel something. I  thought this was because it wasn't rough or aggressive like I was used to. We talked for a week about what we could do to make it work for both of us but, when it came time to go back to his house, I panicked and went home instead. This was the guy who I really liked otherwise. The most recent guy...well, all i could think of the whole time was how to get rid of him, how to stop him from touching me without being a bitch,  how I was going to wash my face where he'd kissed. I still feel sort of bad about the fact that he was really into me and my instinct was to run away. It's not like he was a gross guy, not like he had poor hygiene or bad breath. Just this thing in my head was going crazy.

But if it was just dates, I could chalk it up to not being in a place for dating, perhaps subconsciously still feeling like I belong to the Professor, or some other thing like that.  But it's not just with near strangers on romantic dates. Last weekend, Moneypenny was in town for some other activity and he managed to make time to hang out with me, to go out to dinner and see my new place. To be honest, I was hoping to cuddle with him. Because of illness and time constraints, I haven't been able to cuddle much with the Professor when I see him. Ginger and I are still working our way back to a platonic cuddly place and haven't seen much of each other either. Moneypenny and I have been able to be well-behaved lately, to not take things to a sexual place, and I've been cuddling with him for what is now almost half my life, so I thought it would be a safe and comforting thing to do. But no. It felt weird too. Thinking about it today, even hugging my folks lately has felt more like work than comfort.

While planning this post,  I kept thinking about how I would know when it's ok again. I have a hard time dealing with situations where I might normally be fine with the touching,  where it might be something I'd like to experience or get to explore, where it's with someone new or fun or interesting. I don't know how to tell the person that my mind might be interested but there's something broken. At first,  I thought it was a lack of attraction, a chemical pheromonal thing. Still a problem I couldn't easily explain but at least it was a problem I felt would be fixed when I met the right person. Now it's pretty much everyone for reasons I don't know. All the sudden I'm that frigid chick I never wanted to be. And forcing myself to keep trying seems like a bad idea.

Of course,  the Professor is the exception to this. *facepalm* I'd like to be getting over by getting some strange but even if I had the patience to deal with strangers I can't imagine enjoying anyone touching me right now. I'm not sure if I'd enjoy playing with someone else right now or not. Usually play for me is always wrapped up in sex and I wouldn't want to play with someone if I didn't also want to have sex with them. But maybe I could do play that didn't involve skin to skin contact. Right now I'm mostly just wondering outloud. I have no idea. I just know I really want to be touched but I really don't.

"It Doesn't Mean My Monkey Doesn't Love You"

I can't believe I'm going to use a song called "My Monkey" but damn does it stir up the feelings, so here goes. Please watch/listen to the video at the end. It's not country.

I just started in the DBT aftercare group last week. The regular DBT group is mostly educational, not process, and is much stricter about "therapy interfering behaviors," so no one else can intentionally or unintentionally sabotage other people in the group. Aftercare is more process and allows people who have been through the educational course several times to discuss how to further use the skills in specific ways in their lives. Of course, I can't divulge anything about what happens in group or even who is in it, but I found myself talking a bit about how I have dealt with anger differently in my relationship with the Professor than I did in previous relationships. In fact, every time I talk about getting angry or upset in this relationship with Moneypenny, he asks me why I couldn't have done that with him. The short answer would just be that I grew up. This post is the longer answer.

My monkey gets busy sometimes
My monkey's got a lot of stuff he's gotta think about
My monkey gets tired sometimes
My monkey wishes he was something you could live without

Cause every monkey needs alone time
To eat bananas in the sunshine
It's feast or famine it's a fine line
It doesn't mean my monkey doesn't love you

This in part Moneypenny actually taught me while we were dating. I can't say that he actually said these words, but the general picture was "You need to learn how to be on your own. I have friends of my own and things I like to do that don't interest you and I'm going to continue to do them just like I did before we got together and you have to learn to deal with that." Sometimes I think I might have learned that lesson a bit too well because I think it can hinder me in dating but that is a post for another day. 

I like my alone time. At least 25% of my decision to stop dating for the time being is so that I can spend time by myself. I like being able to do whatever it is that I want, at my own pace, or nothing at all. I like being able to choose the show or movie I watch, the food I eat, the music I listen to, or to read a book, without ever having to think about what someone else will want to do or what they will think of me. 

This makes it easier to give other people alone time when they need it. When I was with Moneypenny and we would fight, I couldn't do that. At all. When he'd say that he needed time, I'd give him an hour and I had a difficult time even doing that. I distinctly remember one fight where i kept texting and calling him after he said that he needed time and he told me that "time" at least 24 hours. Oh my gods, that was a fucking eternity at the time. I know that I probably still do not give people as much time as they might need or I have to say "Ok, just so you know, the ball is in your court here" before I wait, but I'm not like I was with Moneypenny. 

But it isn't just during fights that I know people need time and try to give it to them. Yes, when I'm visiting the Professor and I want attention, especially sex, or when I'm texting him to try to find out what is going on, I do bug him when he'd probably rather me not. On the other hand, I could, and still do, leave him to do his own thing. During the first bout of him falling in the hole last fall, he would apologize for not doing more with me and I would shrug it off. Yeah, I'd have been more than happy if he was jumping my bones that whole time or even just talking to me, but I was usually able to keep myself busy. I was an only child after all. I also knew that it had nothing to do with me, which I think is the real key. I knew that there were and are plenty of times when I'm happy to be by myself, which has nothing to do with how much I love the people I don't want to be around, so the same thing is probably at least partially true for the people I love who need alone time. 

My monkey gets frazzled sometimes
My monkey has an ulcer and a stressful time at work
My monkey gets bitter sometimes
My monkey's not the only one who's acting like a jerk

And while he doesn't like to name names
And he's not trying to assign blame
It's hard to focus on his own game
It doesn't mean my monkey doesn't love you

From the first time I heard this song, it just stuck with me. This guy I went on a few dates told me to check out his nerdcore and nerd comedy spotify playlist and most of the music can help put me in a better mood at work, on days when my music is pissing my off for some reason. I kinda think that it could be from the Professor to Ginger and/or me, from Ginger to the Professor and/or to me, and from me to ...well, lots of people. 

When I look back, I think that most of the moments in my life that really changed how I saw the world and how I thought involved it being pointed out how selfish I was being and had it demonstrated how different the other person in the situation experienced things. Couple this with my writer-ly desire to know what is going on in someone's head and I am often trying to see situations from the other viewpoint. It can get much harder when I am arguing with someone because my own anger can overpower my desire to give a shit about their view point or experience but sometimes I can still keep it in mind. 

Two things that men have said stick out in my head. Now, I can't remember what exactly we were talking about, but I remember a conversation a few years ago where Moneypenny told me that he just lets go of about 90% of things in relationships that bother him because to him they aren't a big enough deal to bring up or to fight about. Of course, that means the things he does bring up are actually the most egregious 10% of the things that bother him, so it kinda sucks if the other person does nothing about them or won't budge on any of them. From being the one sitting on the other side and not budging on most of those things, I can say that when he brought up the 10%, I thought they were everything he had a problem with so I wasn't going to give in on everything. The bigger point though was that he didn't bring up every little thing that bothered him and he asserted that this is what most men do.

Recently, I was listening to the afternoon radio djs where I live, both married men, and they were discussing the recent study from Rutgers and University of Michigan that said that a husband's general happiness was directly related to how happy their wife was in the marriage. While researchers said this might be in part because a wife happy in the marriage might do more for a husband, the quoted researcher said "Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives." The older of the two djs definitely agreed with this, talking about how rarely he brought up things about the relationship that upset him, while his wife generally will and it feels like to him it is almost always what she thinks he is doing wrong. And here's what he said that stuck with me the most: "Who wants to hear nothing but what they are doing wrong all the time?" That was another one of those slap in the face moments for me. I'm pretty aware of a good deal of my shortcomings and I sure as hell don't want to hear it. That really got me thinking about how the things I say when bringing up problems either are what's wrong with the other person or could be perceived as such and how often that is the conversation instead of something positive about them.

When I was with Moneypenny, we had several arguments that lasted until dawn. I couldn't sleep on my anger. I couldn't keep my mouth shut. Hell, with him, I often still can't. Early on, probably from observation and trying to do things differently this time, and in large part just because Ginger allowed me to benefit from her years of experience, I learned that attacking the Professor head on just made him retreat. He wouldn't fight you back but he also wouldn't come back for quite awhile. Now, I won't even claim to fully understand why this is, though I can guess that some of it has to do with how he was raised, but I knew that what I had done before wouldn't work. At first, it was the roles that kept me in check. And sometimes the desire to be able to discuss things without being so angry I would cry, since somehow me crying means that people tend not to listen to my words. Through trial and error, I've learned that sometimes I need to do a "reasonable mind" activity, dishes worked well when I lived with the Professor, to bring me out of emotional mind, or to just sleep on it. What these things really give me is enough space to calm down, let my mind process everything and figure out what was justified, and then find a better time to bring things up. After all that, usually I can say it in a better way, hopefully one that is about the situation or about how I feel and not about him. 

A few weeks ago, over text, the Professor and I got bitchy at each other about the weekend plans and how we were going to plan out things going forward. Finally, I said that I thought that at least one of us was cranky and needed a nap (he said probably both of us) so I was going to go and I would talk to him later. When we talked about it two or three days later, the discussion looked more like "I'm worried about how this is going to go. Knowing the things we know now, what can we do to make this work better for everyone going forward?" 

My monkey gets angry sometimes
My monkey says a lot of things he doesn't really mean
My monkey gets lucky sometimes
My monkey thinks that you're the bestest girl he's ever seen

He says he'll stay with you for always
It doesn't matter what the job pays
Cause everybody has their bad days
It doesn't mean my monkey doesn't love you

One day I came home from a short morning shift and Ginger said, "You should be really glad you had to work this morning and you weren't home because I thought the Professor and I were going to have it out." Apparently, the Professor got up, all grumpy and cranky, like he is when he first wakes up. When he went into the kitchen to get himself a cup of coffee, she heard him yell, "Goddamn it, who the fuck left the bag of coffee open?" [There are a few things that drive the Professor crazy and Ginger doing forgetful things is one of them. Ginger thinks, and not wrongly IMO, that she ignores alot from him so he can just deal. I'm sure you can guess who left the coffee bag open when she kindly made me coffee before i left for work.] Ginger was cranky and tired after working all night and her, quite uncharacteristic, response was to yell back "It's just the coffee. If you're going to be a dick today, I'm just going in my room to read." When the Professor's unreasonable anger is met with anger, he tends to be taken aback and reevaluate the situation. This was no different. After her response, it was no longer such a big deal. Sometimes we say stupid shit in the heat of the moment, not always even big stupid shit, but just little stupid shit.  

When sleeping on it doesn't work and I end up playing out all day in my head all the pieces of my mind I'm going to give the Professor when I see him next, I tend to have one final thing to help me not act like a complete bitch- seeing him. This probably sounds like sappy honeymoon phase shit, and maybe it is, but it still works. When I see him, it is much harder to be mad at him. Mostly because I'm trying to figure out how to maneuver things so that he'll be taking my clothes off and being a bitch can backfire spectacularly for getting me that goal. hehe. But seriously, it feels like the anger is a fog that is burned off by the appearance of the sun. 

When they got together, the Professor needed a place to stay and Ginger made him promise to stick around for a year, though she was somehow surprised several months later when he called him her boyfriend. She told me that at first they'd have blow-outs every couple of months, but that those had gotten farther and farther apart, until it's more like once a year. It was a release valve on the relationship and in the end, they would both say that they cared more about the relationship than about not being vulnerable. 

For both of them, being vulnerable is a much bigger deal that it is to me. Most days I still feel like I'm a walking open wound. Less than I used to, but more than most people, I think. While neither of them have said directly to me that our relationships, even the different ones we have now, are more important than being vulnerable, I think that they've shown it. Right about the time we started talking again, Ginger wrote a post on Fet about her shortcomings in relationships, that she wants a lot and thinks in the moment that it's possible but often has to retreat when it gets overwhelming, because she doesn't realize that things might not be working until it is already overwhelming. While she didn't write that post just for me, I know she laid bare things about herself that aren't pretty in a place where I would be sure to see, so that I might understand. She made herself vulnerable. Things with the Professor ended as a primary relationship when he flat out said "Yes, all the things you say you expect this to be are valid and justified and what I promised and what you deserve, but I can't give them to you." Just the fact that he said that outright was a big deal for him, given his history. That honestly could have been the end of it. But when I came to get my stuff, he cried with me, admitted that he didn't know what it would be possible for us to have but he didn't not want me in his life. Recently, as we tried to talk about what we wanted in this iteration of our relationship, we admitted that this 'breakup' was different because usually we kinda hate our partners by the time we decide to end it. Usually his relationships end with him being either mean or distant, "but I still have alot of love for you and I'm trying to do things differently this time." Once again, I can't judge things based on how vulnerable that would feel for me. Things work much better for me when I focus on what that feels like for them, where that comes from, how difficult that might be for them. 

Now, of course, all this about how well I deal with conflict with my partners is in comparison to a me that was 15-12 yrs younger, differently medicated, and much more still an impulsive teenager. This is also mostly a Moneypenny vs the Professor comparison as I am still rather clueless about handling conflict with Ginger and, oh man, don't even get me started on how poorly I handle conflict with TyRoy. I largely attempt to avoid conflict with both of them, though I think that method would still be preferable to Moneypenny. Sometimes, I think that I'm just too tired to fight anymore, at least like I did with Moneypenny. I have a long list of things I'm supposed to do, half of which I don't get to, and nowhere on it does it say "fight with the Professor." When I walk out of rooms instead of fight, it's not so someone will run after me, though I have to say checking on me after awhile is appreciated. No, it's because I don't want to have the fight right then and I need to get my shit together. It's about me acting right. Generally, I think the biggest difference in the fights are about me acting right, instead of just acting on how I feel at the moment. 

So here's the full song for Jonathan Coulton's "My Monkey"

Ok, and now for the funny geeky shit- For PAX, Jonathan Coulton changed "My Monkey" to "Wil Wheaton." This video has shots of Wil Wheaton cracking up too.

Friday, September 12, 2014

This Is What Happens When You Give People A Chance

So I'm trying not be so overly picky that I end up never dating ever. If you read regularly, you know that I don't necessarily feel like I'm ready to date and I have a set of guideline, but I'm also trying not to use either as an excuse to be closed off. This is especially true because I'm still seeing/fucking/playing with the Professor, but I'm trying to keep in mind that it is an on the side thing.

I have a profile up on a free dating site that says pretty much what my profile & writing on fet does. Last weekend I got a very thoughtful and honest response from a (cute but in my looks - range) man who wants an open relationship and is trying new things after just getting out of a sexually unadventurous marriage. He's from the same hometown I am, likes music I like too, blah blah blah. His message was so much different from what i usually get that I read it immediately to the Professor. Before we even looked at the profile, he said,"You have to message this guy."

We've had one date, gonna have another on Saturday. I had asked him at some poibt about his "sexual bucket list" and last night he shared stuff, though in a tit for tat way. Mostly it ended up being him saying that he'd like to do x and me saying that I had done it a bunch. I had mentioned the fetish list on fetlife. He's not on fet so last night i just copy & pasted my fetish and curious about lists to him. His response? "With the exclusion of polyamory, all the stuff that you're curious about I would say I'm not curious about at this point. And half the stuff you're into I'm only curious about. Things like whipping and impact play may be beyond me, but they don't color my opinion of you."

This is the danger in giving people chances. So far the guys who would be willing to have a LTRR either don't have much experience or think they're "not vanilla" because they like nipple clamps and want to try anal sex and the guys who seem like they just might know what they're doing and have a good deal of experience don't want LTRR or a kid. This is why i don't want to give people chances. By the time i realize how much they don't fit, i kinda like them. At least enough to not want to stomp on their hearts.

Monday, September 08, 2014

I Feel a Slutty Wind A'blowing

And it's strange
They're all basically the same
So I don't ask names anymore. 
-Death Cab for Cutie

When I took BT to my grandparents' house, my mother was dismissive of his presence. When my grandma was pointing out his flaws, my mom just waved her hand. "They never last long. I hardly ever meet any of them anyway. It doesn't matter. He'll be gone soon enough." My grandma disagreed, said that this one was going to stick around awhile. She was right. I married him within the week and, though he was deployed for much of that time and we never truly lived together, we were married for a year and a half.

Of course, my mom couldn't have known that known that this one would be different from the others. Once I finally came out of my shell after the end of my LTRR with Moneypenny, I really hit the ground running. I was dealing with the beginning of the illnesses in my family, which was stressing me out and provoking the crazy, which I hadn't really developed effective coping skills for. And Mon Parrain had opened my eyes to the fact that I could easily and openly fuck without having to have a LTRR with the person. So I was doing quite a bit of that. There were many people my mom never even knew I had seen. Of those she did, they weren't usually anything serious and they faded away within a few weeks.

I have found that it isn't uncommon for the rebound process to involve a brief but intensely slutty period. Even if you wanted to start a new LTRR, you still have too many feelings for your ex to turn it on to a new person, especially for monogamous people or people looking to find a new primary partner. On the other hand, you want to feel wanted by someone new. You want to feel like you are desirable to someone other than your ex, who obviously doesn't find you as attractive anymore. You want to meet new and different kinds of people. You probably feel like you've spent the last bit of your previous relationship pushing down or ignoring parts of yourself, so you want to let that out to run wild, whether that be eating at places your ex didn't like, working on hobbies you might have ignored, or fucking in ways that your ex didn't like. And hell, you're just lonely. You had this partner for quite awhile and you were used to having someone to do things with. Now you're alone. "There's an art to life's distractions. Somehow escapes the burning weight, the art of scraping through. Some like to imagine the dark caress of someone else I guess any thrill will do."

But there's something more. Maybe it's the crazy. Maybe it's the way I'm wired. Maybe I've just been lucky enough to have this many people be interested in me when maybe others don't. No matter what it is though, I can have a bit of a fickle heart. It's a small part of why I prefer open relationships. (Note I'm not saying polyamorous.) I know that most infatuations are just that and won't last very long, so most bits of strange are just that, a little bit of strange. "Don't take this the wrong way. You knew who I was every step that I ran to you. Only blue or black days, electing strange perfections in any stranger I choose." Sadly, when I'm looking for a relationship I only date other people who are looking for relationships and I have hurt people with that fickleness, despite my attempts to tell them who I am and keep a bit of a distance. I get all wrapped up in this new person and their new-ness and that they like me. It can come off as me liking them more than I end up liking them, because I truly do think I like them more in the beginning.

For the past month or two, I've dealt first with not having much of a sex drive at all (except for with The Professor because, well, what can I say? He does strange things to me) and then with my sex drive coming back but really only wanting to have sex or play with him. A big part of it has been the comfort and trust factors. With play, I obviously haven't developed that kind of relationship with anyone. With all of that in general, I just haven't had an interest in anyone long enough to get there. But I'm trying to stay open to new people. I do want a new primary, ideally one who will also be my new Dom/Master as well as primary boyfriend, or even husband, and baby daddy. I can't do that if I never give anyone a chance. I don't have the time or stamina to give everyone who crosses my path a go, but the right people, the people who interest me, the people who seem to be a good 80% of what I'm looking for, should be given a chance.

But as I start to talk to more people, have more dates, explore new relationships, I do worry about my fickle heart, especially since it is also rebounding. This song has been playing in my head for days now, makes me want to dance around, even if that does seem like too much of a celebration of what is really dickish behavior. Anyway, I thought I'd share.

Someone New- Hozier
Don't take this the wrong way
You knew who I was every step that I ran to you
Only blue or black day
Electing strange perfections in any stranger I choose

Would things be easier if there was a right way
Honey there is no right way

And so I fall in love just a little ol' little bit
Every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new

There's an art to life's distractions
Somehow escapes the burning weight,
the art of scraping through
Some like to imagine
The dark caress of someone else
I guess any thrill will do

Would things be easier if there was a right way
Honey there is no right way

And so I fall in love just a little ol' little bit
Every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new

I wake at the first cringe of morning
And my heart's already sinned.
How pure, how sweet the love and you would pray for him

Cos God knows I fall in love just a little ol' little bit
Every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new
I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new

Love with every stranger the stranger the better
Love with every stranger the stranger the better
Love with every stranger the stranger the better
Love with every stranger the stranger the better
Love with every stranger the stranger the better
Love with every stranger the stranger the better

I fall in love just a little ol' little bit every day with someone new


First part was written Friday 9/5/14
It's amazing how easily people will ignore when you are crying.  It doesn't matter how large or small the group, people will still chose to ignore when there are tears in your eyes. Or rolling down your face. 

You're all alone.

I cry alot for a person. Alot. Alot alot. It often gets ignored.

The second greatest gift I got from being with Ginger and the Professor was that I had to decide to take on my share, and maybe even a little bit more, if I wanted to be with them. I had always been in relationships where, at least at some point, my partner was gonna be able to shoulder the financial burdens, so I could let the crazy debilitate me if I wanted to and the bills would be paid. (I'm not particularly proud of that and it isn't fair, but it is honest.) But in this particular relationship, I was gonna have to keep my shit together to a certain extent and pull my weight. Once I decided to do that, even when I wasn't with them in that way anymore, and I was once again back to just having me to answer to, me who would be out on the street, I still kept that mindset.

But even more than that, I realized I was on my own. When I was with them, I was on my own to make enough to contribute. But also, they were already a couple. Maybe it was me that never fully let go enough to be three together. Maybe they are just too solitarily paired to be three. Either way, I was always still a bit on the outside. It had been my biggest fear going into the relationship and, self-fulfilling prophecy or not, I stayed a bit on the outside and I'm alone now. Looking around my apartment last night, my cute, safe, comfy, little hobbit hole, it hit me again how alone I was. That if I was gonna do this, I was gonna have to do this alone. The Professor and I might be lovers and/or play partners and I'll still be close friends with both of them. My folks will help out with money when needed or practical things when possible.  TyRoy helped me move. Moneypenny listens to me. But in the day to day, I am on my own. No Daddy or Master or boyfriend or girlfriend. Just me. 

Addendum written just before posting:
The day after I wrote this, I told the Professor about my very bad night and all these feelings I had about being alone. I hope that I was able to convey that I wasn't trying to make him feel bad or make him do anything, just that I was explaining to him how I felt. I've since had two realizations about this. 

First, doing this myself also has an upside, namely that it is ME that is doing this, that I can be proud of what I'm doing and what I've done, and that it is my fuck-ups that only effect me. 

Second, I'm not actually doing this alone, because I have the help and support of those people I listed, and then some, but I still feel alone. Maybe I'm always going to feel alone. While the point I was making was about it feels much more alone to be doing this without a partner, while many things might be easier if I had a partner to do this with, someone all in with me 24/7, maybe I would still feel alone on some level.