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Open Thread for Personal Stuff, Part Deux

Hugs if you want them.
Hugs if you want them.

An open thread to discuss personal stuff, continued from here.

No trolls, no arguments.

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BlackBloc (@XBlackBlocX)

>>>The other thing to remember about “real” poly relationships that the openness is all about negotiating times, places, people and commitments and I get the impression your friend would really not be comfortable with discussing her friend’s intentions to sleep with someone else.

I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “negotiating times, places, people and commitments”. It seems like an overrestrictive arrangement that does qualify as poly but does not define all or the majority of poly relationships. Some are way more hands-off, to the point of “I explicitly don’t want to hear about your other relationships” being the primary operative constraint. In others it’s more of an “I don’t care either way if you talk about your other partners or not”.

I’ll be honest, my definition of poly is poly-*amory*. You can have an open relationship that is not poly, in that you are only having a loving relationship with one partner but have sexual encounters outside that relationship. To me, polyamory implies some sort of emotional attachment to multiple partners (at the very least a close friendship with benefits), and I’m really not sure that’s what the prospective boyfriend of BigMomma’s friend is asking for.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Yeah, it really seems like “please define your terms” should be step one here.

kittehserf
7 years ago

LBT – way to go! Let ’em read it and do a slow burn.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Also, given that this is a man requesting an open relationship from a woman who I guess he knows doesn’t have any experience with that, I’d want to check that he really means open for both parties and not just “you stay faithful to me, I get to sleep with whoever I want”.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Didn’t BigMomma say her friend was thinking about poly after breaking up from her twelve-year relationship?

My two cents: it seems maybe a bad place to come from to start that sort of radical change.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

I thought it was the prospective partner who was suggesting it?

kittehserf
7 years ago

You’re right, I read again and see I’d misunderstood it. I’d thought Friend was open to the idea before meeting Guy.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Is anyone else finding WordPress is bouncing back to the previous page of comments after posting one? As in, the page before the page one was reading and replying to?

Ally S
7 years ago

I’m noticing that sometimes, and it’s annoying. X_X

kittehserf
7 years ago

Even weirder, it’s doing it on this thread but not others. Flips back to the top of the previous page. Stupid WordPress.

Ally S
7 years ago

@LBT

Hmmm. Well, speaking for myself, I’d really like to see class issues addressed more in general. A lot of the queer/trans shit I read comes from a VERY middle-class perspective; these are folks who went to college, read their literature, and know about the statistics of homelessness and such among queers and trans folk, but don’t actually have it in their own lives.

Also, just the way shit can stack. Being homeless was pretty bad… but mental illness compounded it, because it meant I couldn’t get a job and had no hope of pulling myself out of the homelessness hole, until disability came in. (And I knew the moment I started that it’d be at least a year. A year can be a long, LONG time when you’re living in a closet filled with rotten fiberglass and rusty nails.) Being trans stacked with being mentally ill, in that our parents thought that it was just a symptom of us being crazy, rather than a different thing in its own right. And so on and so forth.

Thanks for the suggestions! I think you’re right about class issues not being addressed often enough. In fact, I’ve made that mistake myself – I guess that’s because sexism and cissexism affect me in ways that I’m much more conscious of than anything else, including my own privileges (I’ve always been a little bit lower than middle class, which is still privileged of course). That also explains why I write about those two axes of oppression almost exclusively.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

First question for herself should be more like if she can actually handle the idea of him sleeping with other people or is going to be jealous // etc, because it’s perfectly reasonable if she can’t // doesn’t want to.

First question for him should indeed be terms and conditions (mine are usually “don’t tell me details and CONDOMS” [who’s surprised that I insist on condoms? Bueller?]). And whether she can, if she so chooses, have other partners.

Other considerations — the STD risk goes way up the more people involved, so they have to be clear that anyone’s partner tests positive for anything then everyone gets tested (and treated) before further sexytimes commence.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: comment scan back

Oh, WordPress does that with all comments when the ‘most recent’ comments bar goes over a couple pages–you know, Ally posts the last comment on page 2, CassandraSays comments next and becomes the first on page 3, and so on. Apparently WordPress isn’t sophisticated enough to be able to keep track of that smoothly, but once the ‘most recent’ comments bar has them all on the same page, the problem stops, and since Manboobz moves so quick, it generally doesn’t last long.

RE: Ally

It’s very annoying! The only time I see class really talked about much in the circles I run in are with the disabled folk–and that’s because a lot of them are living on SSI and such and have practically nothing. And even then, there’s a difference between being disabled and coming from a poor family. I might be destitute now, but I came from a middle-class childhood, which gave me access and a strong platform for things that someone coming from a poor childhood wouldn’t have. It’s rather complex.

Plus I just find the classism endemic to a lot of tumblr-style activist talk to be really, really annoying. (Looking at YOU, “educate yourself” meme!)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Seriously, you’d think after being asked the same annoying “educate me!” quesiton enough times you’d just bookmark a “go here and read this” link(s).

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: Argenti

Depends. I actually DREAD the people who are too afraid to ask me for multi references, because it means they’ll end up with a kludge of DID/False Memory Syndrome shit. Like, sure, I made my comics and site so I could just link or hand them over… but I’d still rather do just that, rather than send strangers Googling on their own. It’s one thing for shit like gayness, where there’s crap all over the Internet, but there isn’t really much multi shit I feel comfy recommending that I didn’t make myself, and ALL of it is hard to find if you don’t know the language already. I feel that refusing to share those links and forcing some poor time-starved sot to search for everything themselves using language they don’t know would just be douchey.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Seriously, send me a hundred poor ignorants asking me the same stupid questions than one irritating know-it-all who took a couple Psych courses in college and think they know more about multi than me. (“Ohoho, I see you say you’re multi, but you said you became multi at the age of twelve, when Kluft SPECIFICALLY says that you can’t become multi after the age of seven! OHOHO WHAT NOW FAKER???”)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I think you may’ve misunderstood, or I misspoke, as my point was exactly what you are saying — at least hand out decent links. Because yeah, the internet can be a vast scary place!

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Ohhhh, I see. Sorry, I was obviously out to lunch. (To be fair, Sneak and Gigs dragged me off to a Let’s Play of some horror game, and it was Showdown Time when I was making the comment.)

Yeah, I’m also pretty biased because my first exposure to real-life trans people (as opposed to random bit characters in fiction) was a drag king convention in my home city. I went, hoping to learn something (this was a few months before we realized we existed) and it turned out that everyone was from out-of-town, had already made their own friends, and were talking about high-level gender discourse shit that sure, I know it now six years later, but totally left me in the dust as a wee thing. And I didn’t dare ask because the one time I stopped discussion for any question (“what’s a grill?”) everyone just stared at me like I’d shat in the punchbowl.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel like I was at home there. I felt like some socially stunted Martian anthropologist, at best. It definitely wasn’t the kind of place that made me feel, “Gee, I sure would like to come back!” even now that I have the appropriate jargon in my back pocket.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Yeah, there’s a big difference between telling trolls to go jump ‘cos this isn’t a 101 space, but people actually wanting to learn AFK about stuff that affects them, and being given the condescending shit? Not cool.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Hell, even the trolls tend to get directed to feminism 101

kittehserf
7 years ago

I wonder if it’d be a good idea to ask Dave to put a Feminism 101 link in the sidebar? It’d be cool to be able to point people asking in good faith, or JAQers-off, to it. Sort of “This isn’t a feminism 101 site, but these are!”

cloudiah
7 years ago

Needless to say, I didn’t feel like I was at home there. I felt like some socially stunted Martian anthropologist, at best. It definitely wasn’t the kind of place that made me feel, “Gee, I sure would like to come back!” even now that I have the appropriate jargon in my back pocket.

It kills me that even spaces where marginalized people gather themselves have practices that marginalize others. I guess it’s sort of how we learn to do it. I was part of an organization that was majority white and consciously trying to transition into a majority POC space (because that reflected the base we represented). A shit ton of the more important things we did were less about having the correct theoretical position, and more about making people feel welcome, letting them know how to get things done, and answering their questions without making them feel stupid.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Back to the poly question: “And whether she can, if she so chooses, have other partners.”

THIS. If he wants other partners for himself but balks at her doing the same, HUGE red flag. That’s not poly, that’s good old double standards.

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

Kittehserf brings up an important point. “Rules for thee, but not for me” is almost always a bad sign.

I personally get irritated with describing all non-monogamous relationships as “poly” in shorthand, but it seems to have stuck. As has been said, they come in all shapes and sizes and styles, and figuring out what works for her is pretty much the only way it works. I pretty much second what tenya said. About the only thing I would add extra weight to is that she really should be fine with being not fine with things. Questioning her preconceptions to try something new and see if she’s ok with it is fine. But if she’s not, then she’s not, and that’s what’s right for her. Don’t let people start Poly Douchebag Maneuver Alpha and start up with how she’s “closed minded” or “prudish” or “still thinks of people as possessions” or “not transcended her jealousy yet”. Anyone who starts with any of that should be kicked to the curb post-haste.

kittehserf
7 years ago

lightcastle – I want to quote ALL your second paragraph, in bold, with flashing lights, for truth!

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

But if she’s not, then she’s not, and that’s what’s right for her. Don’t let people start Poly Douchebag Maneuver Alpha and start up with how she’s “closed minded” or “prudish” or “still thinks of people as possessions” or “not transcended her jealousy yet”. Anyone who starts with any of that should be kicked to the curb post-haste.

That!

kittehserf
7 years ago

Am I the only person seeing a parrot every time Pol[l]y is on the screen now?

Probably Raucous Douchebag Pirate Polly, too.

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

It totally took me a second to process that, kittehserf. I was all, “Is there someone with a user name “Pirate Poly” whose gravatar is a parrot?”

It is possible I am very tired and my brain has gone squishy.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

All this talk is making me realize that while my friends seem to be more and more non-monogamous these days, I really don’t know very much about the specifics regarding MAKING a poly relationship. So this is educational for me!

kittehserf
7 years ago

It totally took me a second to process that, kittehserf. I was all, “Is there someone with a user name “Pirate Poly” whose gravatar is a parrot?”

You mean like this?

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
7 years ago

I have a story from tonight. Sorry I have nothing to contribute about poly, but I am reading and learning from everyone else’s posts.

Anyway, tonight I attended a political meeting at a bar. Some guy at the bar was just staring at me for a long time and making me uncomfortable. I tried not to notice, but the other people in my group noticed. Anyway, I got my food wrapped up to go while everyone else paid their tabs. I sent my tab and money with the bartender while everyone left. I still had to wait to get change and give a tip. So the guy walks over to me and says “So, missy, are you all alone now?” I thought that was a creepy line and I told him “I am LEAVING RIGHT NOW” in the most assertive voice I could give. I ran over to the bartender, gave the tip, and got out of there.

Is that some kind of new PUA tactic, to scare women or something?

kittehserf
7 years ago

Oh, fuck, thebionicmommy, what a total creep. “How to sound like a predator in one easy lesson.”

cloudiah
7 years ago

Totally creepy. Ick.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

Guys. Guys, I have a really embarrassing story.

For the last week or so I’ve been having some “lady symptoms” (don’t mean to be prudish but I know some people get squicked easy and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s dinner) and took myself to the health centre today to get it checked out. I was sure it was BV and I needed some antibiotics. Upon examination, my hypothesis was rejected. There was a forgotten tampon lodged behind my cervix.

And yeah, enough of the poly supremacists claiming they’re more evolved than monogamously oriented people.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Ow, ow, eek!

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

1) The Pirate Kitty is a fine Pirate Kitty.
2) That guy was super creepy.
3) I did not know a forgotten tampon could be a thing.

As for open relationships, while I am King of the “Poly People Can Be Annoying” Parade, I am all in favour of structuring your relationships in whatever way works for you and the people you’re involved with. Are you happy? Are your needs being met? Are you respecting the people you’re involved with and treating them as people who have their own boundaries and needs rather than as adjuncts to your wants, needs, and ideas of a relationship? Yay! You’re doing it right, as far as I’m concerned. (No matter how many people may or may not be involved.)

kittehserf
7 years ago

lightcastle – it’s the old evangelism thing, isn’t it? It’s not enough for some people who’re fine and happy with their arrangements (whether we’re talking relationships or tastes in food or whatever), they have to tell everyone who does it differently and is also fine and happy and not imposing on anyone that they’re doin’ it RONG.

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

Yup. The Evangelism thing bugs me no end. (Poly or Kink, which are the two groups that have probably annoyed me the most with it.)

kittehserf
7 years ago

I’m really glad the only people I know involved in either are Manboobzers, because nobody here does that evangelism thing. Apart from the general principle, being pushed wrt those matters just gives me squick-rage.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
7 years ago

Random – today I saw a young woman with the coolest tattoo ever. It was a lower back tattoo, but quite unlike any I’ve ever seen there before. Basically it was of a hand holding up the middle finger, and the text above it said “Fuck You”. Now there’s a clear, concise answer to any dude who’s ever referred to tattoos in that area as “tramp stamps”.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

You’re in the wrong thread, that’s utterly on topic in the newest one (no, really, please post it there?)

kittehserf
7 years ago

Health update!

I got the results of the second inflammation blood test today. From being 76 a couple-three weeks back (normal range is 5-25), it was down to 7 today. Yes, seven. I can only guess it was so damn high purely because of the referred pain and consequent inflammation from my knee.

But, since this sort of thing is never straightforward, the GGT reading (to do with liver enzymes) has doubled. So, now I have to get a liver ultrasound.

Had a laugh though: in the referral letter my doc says I “do not dirnk alcohol”. Which is perfectly true. I’ve never dirnked alcohol in my life. I wouldn’t know how to dirnk alcohol.

(I don’t drink it, either.)

Fi
Fi
7 years ago

Congratulations… and commiserations. It’s always swings and bloody roundabouts with medical stuff, ain’t it?

Dirnking sounds like dirty dunking or something. Like when you try the Tim Tam trick but the whole thing dissolves in your cup. Or some weird party trick the kids are all supposed to be doing and the olds are all freaked out about.

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

hi guys, thanks for all your comments, i passed the link to this page to my friend and she was very touched by all the time you took to comment. what you had to say…it really connected with how she was feeling and validated her gut reactions. she has actually told The Guy it’s over and I think she means it. She didn’t dump him because of what you said, it happened before I passed on the link, but your advice has made her feel like she made the right decision.

@lightcastle, I’ m sorry for lumping non-monogamous in with poly, i knew the 2 were different but was unsure of where my friend’s relationship was heading. Apologies.

kittehserf
7 years ago

That’s good news, BigMomma!

Fi – LOL or it could be “durn king” if I was having a folksy swear at Louis. 😛

Ah, the Tim Tam Slam. Only saw that once, when I told my then-boss about it and he tried it.

He dirnked his biscuit.

Say, if you know about that, does that mean you’re a fellow Aussie or New Zealander?

BigMomma
BigMomma
7 years ago

i was introduced to the Tim Tam Slam soon after we got here. Once was enough

kittehserf
7 years ago

More fun to watch than try, I think!

lightcastle
lightcastle
7 years ago

@BigMomma
Good news (I will assume good news until otherwise told.)

As for the non-monogamous vs poly thing, no worries. It’s kind of a personal bugaboo for me, but most people just find it easier to use as short-hand. And, to be fair, people don’t like defining themselves by what they are not; most far prefer to claim an identity. (Hell, I sometimes distinguish between “poly” – small p – as a descriptor and “Poly” – capital P – as the identity/philosophical position/etc.)

If you ever want to read up on this sort of thing, I am fond of “Opening Up” by Tristan Taormino, which basically just surveyed the many different ways people construct relationships. (Poly and Swinger being the 2 800-pound gorillas in the room that tend to swallow up everyone else’s identities.)

kittehserf
7 years ago

I want to know who identifies as Roly Poly. It sounds more fun than getting squished by gorillas.

I liked Rogan’s “uber mono” description yesterday. That’s pretty much me, too. Total mono, single-target, no-sorry-he’s-the-living-one-and-youse-might-as-well-be-ghosts-pantsfeelingwise, him-directed … all of the above. 🙂

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
7 years ago

This is kind of trivial but I was wondering others’ opinions. The other day, the Globe had a story about Tracy Lawrence writing a song in tribute of Joplin, called Butterfly. If you want to hear him describe the back story and sing it a bit, here is the link

I know this might sound nitpicky of me, but he got some facts wrong and I don’t know if that’s tacky of him or not. For instance, he said “Joplin tornadoes” even though there was only one, as long as we’re talking just about May 22 and not the one that happened way back in 1971. He also said it had a path “two miles wide”, but really it ranged from 3/4 a mile to one mile wide max. The one in El Reno was 2 miles wide, but not Joplin. I don’t know. I think when he’s writing about it, he could have at least looked up the basic facts on wikipedia first. It only takes ten minutes to do some Internet research.

And the other thing I wonder is tacky is he never mentions donating any proceeds to long term recovery or the public works projects, like rebuilding our schools or anything. I understand if an artist wants to make money off of his song, but I think that if he makes a song based on an event, it looks better to give a little back to the people whose tragedy inspired the song. Or donate some money to the next disaster victims that need help.

Tracy Lawrence wrote the song himself, and he seems heartfelt about caring about Joplin, so I’m not trying to bash him or anything. He was a big star in the early 90’s and now he’s trying to do a comeback so I honestly hope he can be successful. I just wonder if he could have done it in a better way.