Tag Archives: polyamory

Embracing my inner slut

Last year, something happened to me that shook me to my core.

I was slut-shamed.

Someone I loved and trusted took my sexuality and my enjoyment of lots of sex, lots of kinky sex, to be perfectly clear, and used that to hurt me.

And it was such a mind-blowing thing that I didn’t even realize what had happened until later, after the conversation was over, after I’d had a chance to cool down and think about it.

That person and I don’t talk anymore, if you’re curious.

But, as these things do, the event brought out a whole host of other feelings, stuff I’ve been spending the last year processing, especially as I’ve moved further into a Ds relationship and started to explore a few of my other kinks, namely, group and public play.

Almost two years ago, I met my partner N. I didn’t realize it was to be a life-changing meeting. In fact, he and I both meant to keep the relationship casual. He was leaving for Japan within a year. I was not looking for another partner. But, he was (and still is) into rope in a big way. So, after a highly successful first date that included a hot make-out session behind the Bipartisan Cafe, we agreed to a vanilla play date to see how our chemistry was.

It was hot. We fit like hand in glove. I knew I wanted more. So did he. So we set another date, this time for a scene.

Before this, I cheerfully labeled myself as “vanilla with sprinkles”, a term I’ve happily stolen from a former partner of mine. Mostly vanilla, vaguely interested in “the weird stuff” but not enough to build a lifestyle out of it. Jas has always had kink relationships, but it wasn’t something I ever understood, or wanted for myself.

I think I was ashamed.

I didn’t want to feel submissive. I didn’t want to feel dominant. I knew I liked hurting certain partners and seeing their skin bloom purple after a particularly hard bite. But it wasn’t who I was. I thought.

I knew I liked it when Jas spanked me and when we had very rough sex. I knew I liked some role-playing. I knew I liked to be in charge sometimes. I knew sometimes, I wanted someone to be completely in charge of me. But I was unwilling to admit how much it had grabbed my interest.

And I don’t need to go into the gory details here, but that first scene with N was incredible. I still don’t have the words for the feelings we tapped into. I knew, then, that I had a fully submissive side, and I needed to learn about that part of me and how it fit into my life. We likened it, later, to lightning. It was electric and life-changing.

Excited and happy, I told some people about this experience, and how I wanted more. Some people were really happy for me. Some were not.

And, long story short, I got shamed more than once for opening the closet door on this hidden side of myself.

Sex and shame are something I’ve seen go hand-in-hand since I was little. My mom was raised very conservative evangelical Christian. My dad was raised during the Great Depression and carried the Puritan mores of the time. When I first realized that touching myself down there felt really good, I was about eight. Not knowing any shame, yet, I was in the living room, and my dad saw me. He told me I was filthy and dirty and that what I was doing was disgusting and made me wash my hands with strong soap. I never masturbated again until I was 16 or so, and it took years to not feel guilty every time I made myself cum. The first time I had sex, I was 14, and of course my parents found out. Again, I was dirty and shameful and disgusting and they would never stop being disappointed in me. t’s not even go into me liking girls just as much as I like boys…

So, I learned to feel guilty and ashamed when I wanted something sexual. And that was before Jas and I started attending church regularly… Church would serve to compound those feelings. Kink was wrong. Being queer was wrong. And having enough love for many partners was very, very wrong.

I’ve been incredibly lucky this past year to have so much support as I’ve explored my slutty side, my kinky side, this person who was hiding inside me. Later, when we realized we couldn’t actually keep things casual, N collared me. And I knew deep in my core that it wasn’t him choosing me that made me strong; he had chosen me because I was already strong. When I traveled to see him in Tokyo at the beginning of this year, he put a ring on my finger. Collared submissive; cherished wife. Jason’s other partner was there with us, filming, and Jason, left in Portland with the kids, lost a whole night’s sleep because of nerves and because of happiness.

And I know neither of my men chose me in spite of my slutty ways, but because of them. Because I’m learning to love the woman who loves to be beaten. Who loves group sex at the swinger club downtown. Who loves to fuck both men and women, sometimes at the same time. Even knowing this, deep in my core, I will often ask both of them, “are you sure you are ok with this person I am? are you really sure??” because I am holding my breath, waiting for the judgement. Waiting for them to decide, like other partners have, that the idea of me being a slut is only hot in theory and is actually not ok in practice.

Speaking of that swinger’s club, I’ve met some wonderfully open people there. Beautiful souls who love sex as much as I do, who have overcome their own hurdles about their sexuality, and who are proud of the lifestyle they live. Seeing their open, hedonistic joy in the pleasure their body can feel has helped me tremendously as I’ve figured out the simple fact that I’m a slut, one that’s kinky as fuck, actually.

And I’m ok with that. Finally.

PS: I want to write more about all of this, but I think I will do that in later posts. There’s a lot there to unpack.

 

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Good Kids

Last time I wrote  I talked about my doubts about being a good mom.

Then this weekend happened.

I got sick. Really sick. Couldn’t get off the couch or cook dinner or do anything sick.

Let’s backtrack a bit. We had a fun time at Powell’s Books and Voodoo Doughnuts last Wednesday. Thursday, I had my yearly checkup (get your STI screening every 6 months, kiddos!) and did… stuff? I don’t remember. Friday I woke up with allergies. NBD, right? Take my Claritin, and…

Go back to bed. I felt awful. Worse, I was feeling antisocial for no recognizable reason. So, I tried to sleep it off. Let the kids watch TV and play computer games. Somewhere, early in the morning, was a visit from the plumber. And, very early, Jason and his partner left for Kinkfest.

I slept all day. Got up in the late afternoon and ordered pizza for the kids since I had a show I was going to that evening, and I showered and got dressed. Still with a tickle in my throat, I found the theater, and my best friend, and we got seats and cocktails.

That whisky got me through the night. They were taping the show and I was terrified I’d get a coughing fit and ruin it. My group of friends and I went out for dinner, and by the end of my meal, my head was swimming. Not from the watery cocktail…

You know how it is in a dream, when the monster is coming after you? You can see it coming, running you down, but you can’t move to escape it?

That’s how this cold was.

I made it home. Tucked myself into bed with a glass of water and my flask of gin, took an extra strength prescription Sudafed and some ibuprofen. And I stayed there for the night. Got up, ate some oatmeal so I could take my brain drugs, and went back to bed. Jason left again for Kinkfest, and the kids watched TV and played computer games again all day.

I finally made it out to the couch in the late afternoon. I couldn’t even conceive of cooking, so I ordered burgers delivered and texted one of my partners, asking him to tell me I wasn’t a bad mom for ordering takeout two nights in a row. He talked me down from that, I took more drugs and went back to bed.

Sunday, I got up! And sat down on the couch. And watched an entire season of Downton Abbey while crocheting granny blocks. By late in the day, I felt well enough to shower. I got on my local grocery store’s website and figured out how to order delivery and had stuff delivered so the kids could have lunches to take to school the next day. Then we microwaved some leftovers roast beef and ate sandwiches and fruit for dinner.

That night, Daphne tucked me in.

She’s 10. She’s a sweet little soul, and a bit of a mother hen. “Ok, mom,” she said. “Do you have your water bottle? Your stuffed hedgehog and your bunny? Did you take your medicine? Good. You can rest now, and if you can’t sleep you can read or play a game on your tablet. But you need rest to get better.”

Yes, I sleep with stuffies. Don’t judge.

Both kids had spent the weekend mostly on their games and their new books and their anime shows.

But Jacob would bring me Reeses cups and leave them on my bed desk, or the table next to the couch.

Daphne picked me flowers since I was sad that I couldn’t go out.

Both of them would check in and ask if I’d eaten and taken my cold medicine.

So, yeah. I guess I’m doing ok, because I’m raising some damn fine humans there.

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The flowers my lil girl picked for me.


Good enough, I guess

There is something supremely strange about being called a great parent when I feel so clueless, like I am barely scraping by on the best of days.

“You’re a great mom,” Jason texted to me after I told him about adventuring to Powell’s Books with our kids and our son’s girlfriend.

“You’re a terrific momma,” my coworker says after I talk about a day off spent reading and playing board games.

“You’re doing good job, mom,” when someone else hears about my son’s good grades.

And I don’t see it. I see a mostly ok mom with mental and physical illnesses. One who can barely get off the couch some days and who hides in bed with her stuffed animals instead of interacting with the world. I see a mom who has two husbands and other sexual partners and a social life that purposefully excludes my children, sometimes.

I see a mom who is heavily tattooed and is beginning to seriously rock the “aging Portland dyke” aesthetic. Who has taught her kids to swear and make pervy sex jokes and feeds them doughnuts for lunch on days off. I see a mom who would rather day drink than chaperone any field trip, ever, and can only occasionally remember the names of her kids’ teachers. I shelve my lesbian comic books next to their Manga in the living room, and I allow them to read pretty much anything they want. My young daughter is obsessed with Deadpool and wants to be Glamora when she grows up.

And I’ve been judged for a number of things. My kids swear and know about sex and drugs. They listen to Irish punk music and hardcore gansta rap in the car with me. We have deep conversations about atheism and other forms of belief, and I’ve told them it’s ok to not believe in a god, unless gramma asks. If she asks, they believe in Christianity and so do I. I’ve been in front with them about my mental illnesses and how I have to take prescription drugs to make my head work correctly and how I had my tubes tied because I had rough pregnancies and couldn’t bear the thought of having another child. I make jokes about the kink lifestyle in front of them. I lean on them a lot. They do a lot of the chores around the house, since all the adults work full time and my mother is an invalid and needs a lot of help. I get judged for working, for not volunteering at the school, for being home too much, for being home too little, for having kids, for not having kids… the list goes on and on.

But my son is the kind of guy who, in front of a half-dozen gamer teen boys, tells his girlfriend he loves her. He’ll hug me in public, and bring me peanut butter cups on my couch nest days. My daughter will fight anyone who says her life is unnatural and goes on long rants about sexism and why don’t girls’ pants have pockets. They both value nature and bring home good enough grades, and apparently both add “a unique perspective to any class discussion.”

So, maybe I’m doing ok. I still don’t feel like a good mom. But maybe, I’m good enough.


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Doughnuts are totally a healthy lunch, right?

I’ve had the last seven weeks off. It’s been very, very strange.

I’m not used to being off work anymore. I’m used to working full time and being a mom full time and being a partner full time and… and… and…

And, since my surgery, I’ve been on medical leave. And it’s put me back in the place where I was when I first started writing this blog. Home all the time. Only this time, I’m earning money while I do it, thanks to my short-term disability payments.

I’ve been incredibly thankful for this time. There was a lot to process from my trip to Japan. I’ve been reading  a lot of books on Zen and Buddhism. A lot. Something about the ancient temples 5000 miles away from home touched me very deeply, and I’m trying to find the answers. Or at least find peace with the lack of answers.

I had my partner N home for two weeks. This was a treat, even if the reason was sad. I wasn’t expecting to see him again til after my birthday in August. I learned a lot about us from that visit. He had a family emergency that brought him home. Seeing the mechanics of our pod get him from one side of the ocean to the other within 36 hours was a magnificent thing to behold. He used my car, since I still wasn’t driving much, and was home almost every night for dinner, and slept with me every night, and put up with my silly stoned self while I tried to piece my Self back together. We saw each other at our very worst, we even got into a fight, and we came through it allright. He went home wearing my ring, a lovely band with a braided design to remind him that we are stronger bound together, and that I am always at his side.

I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping. First, in the warm glow of opiates and prescription Ibuprofen, later, as I healed, in the haze of fatigue.

I started working out again, and hired a fitness coach. I want to get back to the fitness level I was at before the endometriosis started ruling my life, and that seemed like a good place to start. I’m getting my strength and stamina back and it’s an incredible feeling.

I’ve reconnected with a few play partners that I haven’t seen since before Thanksgiving. It will be interesting to see where this leads…  remind me to tell you all, sometime, of the accidental orgy some months ago.

I’ve crocheted 2 shawls and knitted one hat. I’ve saved dozens of patterns on Pinterest, and watched 3 seasons of Downton Abbey. I deep cleaned my bathrooms, but only because of a septic line backup. Ew.

The kids are on spring break this week, and it’s been a treat to be off with them. Today we went to Powell’s Books and to Voodoo Doughnuts. Life is good. The last 2 months have been filled with introspection and spring cleaning, both physically as I’ve gotten stronger, and emotionally as I’ve had much time to reflect.

I’m torn, I love this easy pace but I dearly miss the bustle of a busy store and the friendship of my coworkers. It will be good to be back in a couple weeks.

 


No More Vacancy

So, I’ve just used up a bunch of my writing time to try and figure out how to embed a gif. Now I’m going to give up and leave this fancy internet shit to the youngins, because I am obviously too old to figure it out and I kinda feel like I need a nap now.

And really, all I was doing was coming here to talk about my hysterectomy and how well I’m healing up and how I oddly can’t wait to go back to work in two weeks.

For a bit of hysterectomy history, I’ve always had pretty evil cycles. This got considerably worse after I gave birth to my daughter. That was when the doctor who delivered her said something to me that really stuck. He mentioned that the C-section was difficult, because I had significant scarring.

Mind you, I was drugged at the time, and in that post birth haze where everything is glowy and weird. “Oh, like from my C-section 5 years ago?”

And he gave me a weird look and said the scarring was from endometriosis and he was surprised I didn’t know I had it and then left. And, being stoned on Percoset and mom hormones, I didn’t think about it. I continued to not think about it in the weeks that followed, since I had a newborn and my whole family caught the death by vomiting flu one week after I got out of the hospital. And, since I breast fed my daughter for about four months before my milk decided it wasn’t needed anymore, I didn’t have periods again until sometime in mid-2008. And when they came back, they were brutal.

I remember telling my doctor at the time something was different. Wrong. That something had changed. That my body was not ok.

He said I was post-partum. That having a baby can’t change your cycles. He said I was fat, and insinuated that I was lazy. He recommended weight watchers and a nutritionist and portion control.

I found a new doctor. And I loved her. She took good care of me until she left the practice and then I found another doctor who takes fantastic care of me and I really don’t think it’s a coincidence that these two doctors are both women.

Here’s the thing, though. It took me years to mention to another doctor that my periods were weird. Because I had internalized the idea that that stupid male doctor knew, somehow, better than I did about my body. That I was always going to hurt, and go through at least one or more boxes of tampons every month. I believed that it was just my lot to hurt so badly and feel so awful every 26 days.

Social conditioning is a bitch.

My mom believes in the “curse of eve” where it is somehow one mythical woman’s fault for our “monthly discomfort” because she pissed off god 6000 years ago. Combining that with an unhealthy dose of “suck it up and deal with it”  which is our family legacy, and I was set for another 20 or 30 years of misery.

Then about two or three years ago it started to reach an unbearable point. This is when I started my Cymbalta. This is when I started sorting out the difference between the pain of my mental illness and the pain of my physical maladies. The Cymbalta took away the  myalgia that depression was causing. It did not take away the pain from my cycles.

Hesitantly, I brought this up to my doctor at my 2016 pap smear and STI screening. She was dismissive; to be fair though, I didn’t really try hard. I’ll spare you the gory details, but my cycles got worse. More painful, more irregular, longer, heavier, just awful. I was in pain almost all the time. So at my 2017 checkup, I brought it up again, more insistently. She ordered an ultrasound to look for fibroids. I had that test done, and everything was clear.

Then my world fell apart. My mom nearly died and her health issues eclipsed my own as I moved into survival mode. And as she healed, I felt worse. Finally, the pain in my lower back was a constant companion and I was missing work, or unable to do a good job leading my team when I was there.

When I started thinking I would rather die than have to live with it much longer, I returned to Dr Monica and begged for help. A year of fighting for my mother’s health care rights had stripped me of my reticence around doctors. When my doctor said she’d order an ultrasound, I stiffly told her we’d done one of those already and I needed another option. She said that it was out of her realm and sent me to a specialist.

The specialist was a kind older woman… I could see her from another time, Coming down off the mountain to birth babies and getting paid in chicken eggs and fresh vegetables. She examined me and heard my history and said I would likely need a hysterectomy to treat what sounded like endometriosis. The catch was she wasn’t a surgical OB/GYN. And that had to be approved by my insurance. Two months of waiting later, and bumping right up on the holidays and my trip to Tokyo, I was in Dr Tan’s office. He approved the surgery, we set a date, and I cried tears of relief on the way home.

My surgery was February 7th at one of the big Portland Hospitals. I’d been experiencing immobilizing lower back pain, recurring vaginal and urinary tract infections, as well as digestive upset and extreme fatigue for months. I had powered through all of this for my Tokyo trip, living on Advil and having stashed a spare bottle of antibiotics in my luggage, just in case. I worked right up until the day before my surgery, although I know that last week or two I was pretty useless. I’d have to stop and rest often, and I’m still not sure if  was finally just feeling how badly I was doing because there was an end in sight, or if I was steadily getting worse.

And after all this lead-up, it almost feels anti-climactic. Jas drove me to the hospital in the morning and sat with my grumpy self (I was sooooo hungry) while they prepped me for surgery. A nice fellow wheeled me into the OR, put a mask over my face, and a few seconds later, I woke up in a dim room with a chubby nurse asking how I felt. I hurt pretty badly and they gave my oxy and, eventually, gabapentin. I drifted through that night at the hospital, texting with N all night since it was his daytime, and playing Bubble Witch on my tablet. The first week of recovery was both easy and awful, as my family rallied around to keep me down on the couch and resting. The drugs I was on made everything hazy and weird around the edges.

Then, N came home on an emergency basis, and I spent two weeks with him home. He got to go with me to my 3 week checkup, which is where I learned that my uterus was twice the size it should have been, and I had significant endometrial scarring. I felt triumphant and justified; there really had been something wrong. There was a reason that I hurt so badly and it was something that had been brewing inside for a long time.

The comment I hear a lot is that I look rested. Another friend has said that the pain lines are gone from my face. And it’s true. I simply don’t hurt like I used to. My back is sore as the muscles recover from years of abuse. My incisions itch and twinge and feel weird. But I’m doing much better than I have in several years. Finally.