Processing #2

Had a really good phone talk with Molly. This whole year has been so awful and I crash so frequently, as soon as I think I’m better; so I don’t know if I really am doing better or not…but I think I might be. Some of our topics, not in order:

1)She described her relationship with the 2 partners she’s with now, and I had no idea she wants the things she wants in relationships (actually a lot more traditional than me). I now completely understand how she could say she was in love with me and also not remotely want to be girlfriends with me, ever, and not have even considered it. Wow. I’ve been moping about this for six months! It wasn’t because she doesn’t like me!

2)This should have clicked when she got together with them, but I’m now realizing that the reason she gave for not wanting to play (thinking it would upset me if she had other partners) was…actually true. At the time, she never talked about dating anyone and it felt like she was coming up with random excuses and actually just wasn’t attracted to me anymore (which I tried to accept, but secretly obsessed over, wondering what I did to make her lose interest).

3)One of her partners has C-PTSD and lately Molly has had to learn a lot about it as things got rough. I tried to give advice based on stuff SP and I both deal with, and she seemed to appreciate that (I’ve never been formally diagnosed with any mental illness, and I think his diagnosis is just depression; but we both grew up in abusive families and have a lot of those kinds of traits).

Then Molly started drawing parallels between her partner and me and…it’s a huge relief. Because I’m not diagnosed, even though I do read C-PTSD/BPD/AVPD resources (whatever works), I tend to speak about things rather colloquially–like, I’m spiraling, I’m being crazy right now, or (my personal favorite) I’m getting flushed down the memory toilet. This works okay with friends who are like me, but I don’t think Molly has ever understood how things feel for me, even though I’ve tried to tell her throughout our friendship. Maybe a little in the last year, after we had the relationship talks and things got so bad and we really had to communicate carefully to salvage our friendship; but not before then.

Like, Molly always tries really hard to be polite and respectful, but to a crazy person it ends up sounding cold and making the person feel abandoned/unloved. It’s always been so hard to explain this to her. But I think with her partner, now that Molly’s hearing more technical language and reading books, she actually gets it? And it sounds like they’re having some of the same problems as Molly and me (which is validating).

I just felt touched, and sort of close to her partner, who I don’t even know; because Molly was both saying how things we’d talked about made it easier to navigate this talk with her partner, and because she was bringing me up, telling me she was realizing things about me and our interactions as well. I feel like we’ve both helped the other person’s relationship/friendship with Molly, through our communications with her…it was just nice. I feel like I can talk to Molly about things and she’ll have a basis for understanding them she didn’t have before.

Also, it made me feel less like I’m an incel and Molly’s partner is a chad. She sounds relatable.

4)I talked about my adventures (and anxieties) of the last few weeks, and she was really supportive and gave some advice/experiences. Nothing groundbreaking but helpful.

She told me that even though I’m unusual in literally not being able to kiss people or fake vanilla sex/relationships, she knows lots of people in the community (including herself) who have to do this to be happy, just like I do.

5)Most emotionally for me, I guess, I told her about the relationship anarchy stuff and what I’ve realized about how I want to conduct my friendships. Which with her means, I might ask for things that I used to feel I couldn’t ask for from a friend. Like, time, visits, telling her when my feelings are hurt, etc. She seemed happy! She told me I had always had the right to ask for those things.

I hope it will really be that way. I went to sleep happy, didn’t sleep well and woke up and cried as usual, but it was actually happy crying at the thought that maybe I never lost anything.

This is just a brief (too late) divergence from the real topic of this blog, Monster Mashing. Unfortunately, I got the dgafitude to try and achieve Monster Mashing because being “rejected” by Molly felt so bad…I hope I can still power through now that I feel less rejected.

PS–Molly was describing a specific example she read in the C-PTSD book where a guy spills a glass of water and it leads him down this “emotional flashback” train where he’s like, “I’m so clumsy, I’m going to mess up at work, I’m going to lose my job and partner and become homeless.” I only heard of emotional flashbacks in the last few months, but apparently that is what you call being flushed down the memory toilet, or spiraling.

Basically, the situation with Molly has been like…a cosmic glass of water infinitely spilling on me for 6 months! This person seemed to really want to play with me, and then abruptly stopped wanting that–>this is a punishment for something I did wrong, I asked for too much love and attention, even my own parents didn’t love me so how could I think anyone else would, etc. etc./I have no value to this person who really matters to me, I have nothing to give her if she doesn’t want to play with me, I feel like my strings have been cut and I’m floating in a black hole, etc., etc./Why did she stop wanting me so suddenly and dramatically, it must be because she realized how evil and broken I am, etc.

I was trying to power through. And I would have powered through. But the fact that I understand a little more now, and it doesn’t seem so abrupt, and it doesn’t seem like it was about her not wanting me anymore…it feels like my glass of water has been unspilled, and that’s such a gift, not having to fight through it anymore.

I hope this view of the situation lasts, anyway. I wrote all this down to try to keep it.

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Monster Mashing #1!

I went to the group. It turned out to mostly be an info session/class where two people from a kink organization explained things and it was really exhaustive and good. I had the sense to text Fred earlier and he turned out to be going and saved a seat for me, which is good because I was late.

I left right after which probably is bad. I know this is NOT a good reaction for me to have but even though it was really cool, I didn’t feel super…relatable about most of the people like I wanted to make friends. But I probably was just distracted because…

Aaron was there!! He’s not one of my very best friends and we’ve never talked about sex much (even though he knows about me because I’m open with my friends) but I’ve known him for 11 years and I had no idea! So I spent the entire time being really curious, and also worrying about making him uncomfortable. Afterwards I looked at my phone and saw he had sent me a text as soon as I walked in asking if I was uncomfortable and he should leave!

My problematic reaction is omg, I’ve always had SUCH a crush on him…nope, not going there, no matter what.

Now it’s four hours later. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep so I stayed up all night digging up my old abandoned fetlife accounts (one from 8 years ago, one from 2 years ago when I had my ~epiphany) and restarting one of them.

I friended Fred and was looking at other people who had been at the group I’d just been to. Of course, I started looking at someone’s profile and reading his description of himself and thinking I liked his writing style and he sounded hot and trying to figure out which person he was aaaand…it’s Aaron of course. Frantic backbuttoning. I have plans with him in two days and he said he’s fine talking about it with me but like…help!

I guess this might be the point where this blog becomes really officially secret forever. I think I’ve had a fantasy that someday, when I’m on the other side, I could link this blog somewhere and it would inspire people to see that even the biggest loser ever can find happiness…okay that wasn’t a very well-thought-out fantasy, who would want to read the archives of this blog but me, but anyway. If I end up talking with Aaron more and writing about what we talk about, that’s the point where I wouldn’t want anyone who knows me to see it because they could figure out who he is.

The thing that bothered me was, there was a really big focus on impact play which I don’t want to do. I wrote a note asking if you’re trying to meet someone to do psychological play, how do you get to know them and bond with them (it wasn’t quite as badly phrased as that) and the person’s response was basically, “Of course you only would do psychological play with someone you’re dating or very close friends, you wouldn’t just walk up to someone! There’s no shortcut for that.”

Um I KNOW there’s no shortcut and I don’t want to fucking WALK UP TO SOMEONE but like…I guess I wrote my question badly but that doesn’t help at all. I assume she didn’t mean it like this but if the answer is just, “Date someone or make friends and then try to play with them,” is there any reason for me to even be in the community or be doing any of this? That’s exactly like the rest of the world!

Also I want someone who actually is really into it, geez.

I guess my question was supposed to be, like, let’s say I specifically look for people who share my interests and I find someone who on paper seems really compatible with me but we don’t know each other so…obviously…the comfort and familiarity isn’t there to play. Like?? How long is it normal to need…?? Ugh this question was stupid.

I might ask Molly what she and her friends think.

I can’t believe Aaron is secretly hot!!

I guess I have a basic idea of how I’d proceed in trying to get to know someone well enough to play. I’ve done it before–I forget if I mentioned it on here because it was the worst experience I’ve ever had, but I think that was mostly down to getting bad vibes from her and thirstily forging ahead. We played once and never again because she didn’t communicate with me and then made me CRY by telling me I was too wimpy (because she didn’t communicate)! But I do think the system I used at the time did help me get to know her and get a basic idea of how she might like to play.

Anyway good for me being brave but I’m still lying awake at 3 AM feeling reasonably sad and lonely and caring way too much that Aaron is secretly hot.

ETA next day: I feel incredibly horrible, have been crying a bunch, etc. I really need to spread things out more. It’s awful.

I feel a bit better now but I was just getting upset about how excited/curious I was to talk to Aaron about what’s gotten him into this, and how much I don’t like talking to strangers about these things. It just feels so awful to talk to strangers about it.

Fred makes me a bit uncomfortable and I don’t know if his behavior is creepy, or normal in context.

Molly gave me some advice but I continued to privately spiral and think that if I hadn’t done whatever I did that made her stop wanting to play with me, I could have the opportunity for that in my future, instead of horrible experiences with randos who doesn’t like me. Also, she keeps canceling when we’re planning to talk and she has good reasons but it really upsets me.

ETA: okay it’s the NEXT day and now I feel fine…my mood swings have been so intense over the last six months, it’s really difficult and I might try to see if I can get back in to see my old therapist if I explain how intense things have gotten (crying and not sleeping). But it all doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Fred is continuing to be a bit overly helpful towards me in a way I don’t really like; I’m not sure what I should do, but no need to risk alienating the only friend I’ve made so far.

Also I got over my fears that I might accidentally become infatuated with Aaron and ruin our friendship. He’s always been super hot and I can deal with that and feel pretty normal towards him, I think (now that I’ve evened out from my post-class mood swings).

ETA: Aaron doesn’t think he’s kinky, he was just curious! He told me this at Spider-Man and I realized how intensely relieved I am that between crying about Molly and crying about my horrible kink community adventures, I can just spend time with people who make me feel normal, and who I don’t have a huge crush on. I really like watching Aaron watch movies because he has such a cartoony, reactive face*, but especially this time, I was just gazing at him and feeling so relieved and happy that I don’t have to deal with him being kinky.

*(I have to say, this is one reason he would be really hot if he was submissive)

Also, Molly was telling me about some problems in her relationships and…it was really sad because her girlfriend is dealing with a lot of mental health stuff (somewhat similar to mine) and it sounds very painful for her and her partners. But hearing about it kind of helps me, because it makes it hard to fall into the “Molly doesn’t like me because I’m crazy” spiral. No, Molly doesn’t have a problem with people who are crazy.

Intro to Monster Mashing pt. 6

I got a belated response to my reddit post, which was exciting because it’s from a woman (I’ve only heard from men up until now). But I don’t think I will answer. She lives pretty far away and just isn’t in the same boat as I am, illustrated by the baffling sentence, “I haven’t explored kink because I’ve only been in super vanilla relationships.”

The total privacy of this blog means I can be as awful as I want. Of course there’s nothing wrong with being interested in kink and being able to (at the very least) tolerate a vanilla relationship. A person like that can be just as sincerely interested in kink.

But I’m so…well, jealous, first of all, of people who can tolerate that, because they’ve had a whole life of normal dating experiences and I am 30 going on 13. But it also makes me feel really alienated to think that that might be the typical person who’s new to kink.

I think when I was daydreaming about the kink community as a teenager, I thought there were lots of people like me who were exclusively into kink, but I worry that I’m not the norm at all. Which also makes me feel like my shyness and misery wouldn’t be the norm either, because I’d be one of the only people who is exploring this stuff because I have to, not because I’m adventurous or something.

But anyway, I have some huge news. I’M AT THE BDSM COFFEE SHOP.

Let’s rewind and give some context. When I was 23 and planning to move to my current city, a friend told me, “It’s such a cool city! There’s a kinky coffee shop!” And I basically recoiled. “Kink isn’t a public thing for me! It’s not a ‘scene’ or a hobby! It’s who I am. I don’t want to go to a coffee shop about it.”

And that was that. As my attitude changed–or, at least, when I realized that my attitude should change (I was telling Molly that I remind myself of Sandman, i.e. change or die is a no-brainer)–I knew that I should want to go to the kinky coffee shop, but come on, I’m not made of steel. It was way too scary.

Last year when I was 29, I was whining as usual when my therapist lit up and said, “Oh I know! You should go to [coffee shop]! That’s my assignment for you, you should go there!”

“NO I WILL NOT. I CAN’T DO THAT!!! I’M NOT READY TO GO THERE!!! WHY DOES EVERYONE ALWAYS WANT ME TO GO TO [COFFEE SHOP] WHEN I JUST CAAAAN’T????” I wailed.

My poor therapist backed off. “Okay, I take it back, I won’t try to get you to go to [coffee shop.]”

But now look at me! I’ve made (extremely minor and unimpressive) progress and am now sitting in the terrifying coffee shop. The newcomers’ group is here tomorrow, and I figured if I wanted to go to it I should come here the day before, so at least the location won’t be totally new.

I am drinking Italian soda at a table that’s decorated with bondage pictures from comics, including–and I take this as a sign–the objectively BEST Y the Last Man cover, which I was just admiring at a bookstore today:

Since I’m totally glued to my phone writing this post, I’m not doing the thing that would actually be useful, which is people-watching. I am hearing, though, and you wouldn’t believe what a stereotypical BDSM coffee shop this is! A person has tried a paddle on another person (the coffee shop also sells toys), and I think another person was telling her friend how to wash…idk, floggers or rope or something…while the friend self-deprecatingly talked about how she just couldn’t figure out how to wash them no matter what she did!

Also, I’m pretty sure they have a playlist of kink-themed pop songs.

It’s the kind of coffee shop I like, punk and divey; and the people are generally in line with my stereotypes in a positive way. I’m saying they’re goth okay.

The only thing is, I’m not sure I can identify where the “back room” is where the group will be tomorrow. What if I can’t find it tomorrow and have to ask staff where it is? I will actually die, chicken out, and leave, just like Sandman!

A very unpolished post about relationship anarchy

I was thinking of going to a beginners’ class with Fred this weekend, but I think it’s not realistic given where my comfort level is. Besides, the newcomers’ discussion group is only a few days later. Going to that is a better goal.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about monogamy, polyamory, and relationship anarchy. My goal with Monster Mashing isn’t to find a relationship, but I do hope it will become possible. So I’ve been spending some time navel-gazing about what my ideal relationship would be like.

This is my fourth time trying to write this post because it’s such a complicated subject and I keep getting bogged down in tangents. I will try to stick to the main idea.

I’ve considered myself monogamous for most of my life, because when I was a teenager I tried having a boyfriend and girlfriend at the same time and it just felt wrong for me on a conceptual level. Like the mental/emotional space of “romantic partner” could only hold one person. After that I never questioned that I was monogamous, but I think that’s partly down to the fact that I’ve spent very little of my life in a relationship.

I used to think that TP’s jealousy about my friendships was just part of her being abusive, but I’ve started to realize that her attitude wasn’t as extreme as I thought. A lot of people see friendships as secondary to romantic relationships, and think that if your romantic partner doesn’t automatically get more closeness, time, or affection than everyone else, you’re doing something wrong. I found out about the concept of “emotional cheating” a while ago, and reading about it feels like listening to TP. (Basically, the idea is you can cheat on your partner by liking your friends too much.)

I recently started reading about polyamory, hoping it would fit my ideals better. Even though I only want one romantic partner, I have been accused of treating my friends like romantic partners. I figured maybe I could relate to the model with romantic partner : friend as primary partner : secondary partner.

It turns out that hierarchal polyamory is not to my liking at all–rather than there being an unexamined assumption that the romantic partner is more important than friends, people explicitly say that the primary partner is more important and they’re allowed to tell their partner what to do with the secondary partners, and even end the relationship. It actually seems even worse than monogamy.

There’s non-hierarchal poly, but that’s where I have to admit that calling my close friends boyfriends and girlfriends doesn’t make sense to me. They are just as important, primary, and affectionate as a girlfriend, but…I just don’t see them that way. I would feel like I’m saying something that’s not accurate.

Plus, I’m sure my best friend wouldn’t like being called my boyfriend; and his girlfriend wouldn’t like it at all, even though she’s supportive of how close we are. To at least the three of us, the word means something specific even if it’s hard to pin down. For what it’s worth, I (tentatively) feel the same way in that I don’t think I would want my girlfriend-identified-person to call someone else her girlfriend/boyfriend, yet I would be pleased if she has friends as close as mine.

I posted about this on a forum but some of the responses made me feel bad; people were saying that I must be seeking a casual relationship because I don’t want to make rules about my partner’s sex life with other people, or their closeness and time with their friends, and because I’m not looking for a partner to live with.

I don’t see what I want as casual. I want a romantic relationship with someone I’m also close friends with, someone who would become one of the most important people in my life; I just don’t want either of us to have to organize our life around it, just because it’s romantic instead of platonic.

Maybe it’s just because I have spent most of my life single, but I have my own way of doing things and I already know what’s most important to me in life. Why would I give up all of that just because I fall in love? Alternatively, why would I require that a potential partner shares all my goals and is a good roommate for me, when I’d rather focus on attraction, d/s compatibility, friendship, and kindness?

After googling, I eventually realized my view of things is in line with “relationship anarchy.” I knew this term but wasn’t interested because I associated it with a)being poly, b)making people repress their needs/boundaries. However, when I actually read writing by relationship anarchists I mostly found it validating, and their descriptions of their relationships were super romantic. (Like: you can love your relationship and think it’s great, without promising to be together forever, or doing anything together that you don’t want to do!)

I guess acquiring this label doesn’t mean much in practical terms, but it is nice to read writing I can relate to; and I’ve found some potential new forums to post on.

Null

I was just thinking about how tough it can be to have the kind of sexuality that I do (or rather, to not have the kind of sexuality I don’t). I feel stupid when I think about how much it has damaged me, but I guess humans are pretty fragile.

It can be politically incorrect to say so, but just the experience of being part of a group that society considers unfuckable or unlovable can really mess someone up. It’s minor in the grand scheme of problems a person can have–it’s not like being abused, or being in a car wreck, or something–but it really has an impact over time.

It’s partly awkward to talk about because of incels and their predecessor, Nice Guys. But even aside from those phenomena, any person who’s internalized those ideas can act really horrible. Tyrion Lannister’s a good fictional example; so is the protagonist of Adrian Tomine’s Shortcomings.

In my experience, a lot of people dealing with this end up condemning individuals who they see as perpetuating the problem–bisexual women, white women who date black men, cis lesbians who don’t date trans women, etc. It’s wrong to place a moral judgment on which adults another adult wants to date/fuck, and it goes to an awful place when you’re telling a specific person they should have picked someone else (which some people do). And I think because the extremes of this can be so nasty, it becomes “bad optics” to admit that feeling systematically devalued because you’re a black woman, trans woman, Asian guy, disabled person, etc., IS really upsetting and affects not only you, but actual partners who are attracted to you and experience the effects of this through you, and through the way people treat them when they’re with you.

But, like, just in terms of how it affects the “devalued” person (let’s say a disabled person because I have the most experience of that) there’s so much junk: feeling like your partner’s not attracted to you, like they’re just with you out of pity, like they are attracted to you but wouldn’t want people to see you together, like they’re going to leave you as soon as they get the opportunity to be with someone who’s not disabled, etc.

I’ve been messed up by things like that before and I think I’ve also experienced a subtle, long-term messing up because I’m repulsed by kissing and vanilla sex, and have not really sought romantic relationships for most of my life.

Like, I’ve both learned that I’m not as important to people I love as their romantic partners are, and that someone like me can’t be a romantic partner (because romantic connection = kissing and even though some of the things I can do are sexy, they’re not traditionally considered romantic). The thing is there are tons of people who don’t see relationships and friendships this way, of course, but it’s always the times when this did happen that stick with me and inform my worldview. It makes me feel so worthless.

It’s hard to think about because it feels so unrealistic, but I crave the experience of being a Real Girlfriend who doesn’t like to be kissed or touched; having a partner who’s genuinely in love with me and wants to marry me, and expresses that by sucking on my ankles. (I’m not actually sure if I want to get married or if I’d use that kind of language even if I got married for practical reasons; but I sure don’t like feeling like I’m “not marriage material.”)

Intro to Monster Mash pt. 5

I met up with the guy (let’s call him Fred) and it was neat!! He has gone to four things and seems to have a pretty good system for how to make friends beforehand (messaging people on fetlife who have put that they’re “maybe” going to a munch, for example). He described in a lot of detail what the things he went to were like, and what the people were like, and he even described the layout (i.e. where in the coffee shop the munch is and what the room looks like) which particularly helps me with anxiety. But in general the detailed stories helped, and gave me a model for how to approach people to be buddies. (And as a woman I’m sure I’d have an easier time doing that, too.)

Unfortunately there isn’t another new person munch for a few weeks, even though I am raring to go now. I may go to the orientation for the bigger BDSM organization, but we’ll see.

I really should be working on digging up my ~10 year old fetlife profile that lists me as living across the country and has a picture of me when I was skinny and blond. At least I’m not as conventionally pretty anymore so maybe I won’t get weird messages when I update with either a normal picture or a little doodle of myself. Fred said that many women put their age and location as 98 and Antarctica to avoid getting skeevy messages.

I just realized I haven’t eaten anything today except a muffin and I’ve smoked a lot, and that is probably why I feel so sick right now! I hope I get back to the city and can eat soon.

Gosh, I am such a badass!

In general I’ve been really really tired and low energy lately, which is impacting everything. Dipping my toes into this stuff feels like a luxury I maybe shouldn’t be spending my energy on, but whatever. I hope to reap pretty handsome rewards from it one day, once I can get through the tough stuff.

ETA: Then this evening I fell into a puddle of Molly angst. Then my phone broke. I am such a baby but I’m so frustrated by everything all the time.

I’m afraid I’ll always be the type of person who feels really sad after anything exciting, which is such an irritating way to be.

ETA 2: I’m not going to go to anything until the new person munch in a few weeks. I don’t have to do everything at once and I’m exhausted.

Intro to Monster Mash pt. 4

All these intros to Monster Mash, yet no actual Monster Mashing. I’m wishing Molly hadn’t said those nice things to me the other day, because I can feel the whole stupid “burrow and hide in one person” drive picking up. Instead of being brave and meeting new people and doing anything difficult, why not just settle in and enjoy the sometimes very intermittent rewards of pining for Molly and only Molly for the rest of my days?

Is it hard to guess that today is the day I’m going to ride a train for hours to meet up with a potential new friend in a coffee shop? I’m really really not looking forward to it and I have about 50 reasons why this was an awful idea (it was MY idea, natch).

Obviously I’m the one who’s inconveniencing myself to meet up, so I shouldn’t have this feeling of being indebted to the guy. But it does feel like he’s doing this to be kind; he has managed to get himself to munches and events on his own, so he doesn’t need a buddy as badly as I do.

I guess my anxiety is something like I meet up with this guy, I don’t end up particularly clicking with him or having much in common with him, but I end up somehow obligated into having to go to the things he wants to go to even though we don’t like the same things.

Which is a bit overextended and stupid. I guess the best case scenario would be if we can make a pact to both go to munches and that pact will encourage us both to go when we’re not feeling it. Well, second best–the best would be if we really liked each other and became genuine friends, not just friends of convenience, but that’s not something that needs to happen.

I’m glad he is twice my age because since turning 30 I’ve had this background spiral about how my life is over. This was probably set off by reading fucking incel memes out of morbid curiosity–I’m not even into men, for heaven’s sake, much less incels, but they had this whole chart about how women are not attractive and might as well be dead after age 30. Even if people thought that, I look about 11 years old so it wouldn’t affect me–but there’s just this part of me that feels like I’ve wasted too much of my life and it’s too late to be happy or find love, or even sex. I think I’ll be well served by meeting a guy in his 60s who is exploring a community and a side of himself that’s new to him. You are not really dead until you’re dead.

I don’t know what we’ll talk about, though. I’m the one who put the ad up so I should have thought of this before.