It’s okay to be kinky

Being kinky doesn’t mean you’re a broken person, but it’s also okay to feel broken and be kinky.

Being kinky doesn’t mean you’re damaged in some way, but it’s also okay to feel like you’ve been damaged and be kinky.

Not all people are kinky because they’ve been traumatized, but some people are. And that can be okay too.

It’s okay to be proud of your kinky feelings and to flaunt it, and it’s also okay to keep that part of you private.

It’s not wrong to be kinky. You can be kinky and be mentally healthy. You can be kinky and be mentally ill. Kink can be an expression of empowerment and of self love, no matter what your experiences have been.

The only thing that’s wrong is to use kink as a way to practice hate, towards yourself or a partner. But it’s up to an individual and the people who know them best to decide what that looks like, not for outsiders to make judgments about.

Fixing me

I am desperate to find the thing that will fix me.

Over and over again, I think I have found it. I run in circles- this time I have found the answer- this one is the secret key!

It is my routine, it is the meditation, it is staying close to home, it is doing all my chores. Now I will never feel this dread again.

Every time I think this is it: the last puzzle piece. The final answer. A completed me.

It is the forest, it is the roots of the giant trees, it is the whisper of magic stones, it is the cast of the right spell. Now I will never feel this terror again.

I agonize over myself. I reflect endlessly. What will pull me out from inside of myself- that will leave me free but grounded?

It is letting everything go, it is a new city, it is a new home, it is different lovers, it is different friends. Now I will never feel this fear again.

There is always another question. There is always another layer.

It is staying with you, it is giving myself to you forever, it is never leaving your side. Now I will never feel this misery again.

But it is never the final answer. There is always something more. There is no certainty. There is no end.

Fear is the greatest saboteur

Fear is the greatest saboteur. The more that beauty seeps into my life, the more deeply and harshly I feel my worst insecurities swelling up inside me. The happier I am day to day, the more I feel unsure that I am truly satisfied and fulfilled. I know why it happens- when people are belittled and minimized and made to be invisible their whole lives and then start to grow and blossom and thrive- fear takes over and they start to break down. The fear comes because we realize everything we thought about ourselves our whole lives isn’t true. Because the world the way we knew it starts to crumble around us. We realize that the ways we have been abused, devalued, and ignored- and we recognize that it was not deserved. We see that we have been the victims of cruelty- that we have suffered unnecessarily. That we have had unjust, unfair things done to us. That our previous rationalizations of these experiences and the self hatred that followed was more of the same, circling inside of ourselves over and over like a swarm of eager fish.

Now there are a thousand emotions finding their way to the surface of my body. I’m angry. I’m angry at those who have mistreated me. I’m angry at this toxic culture I was born within. I’m angry at my family. I’m angry at men. I’m angry at people who have tried to consume me- who have tried to exploit me. I’m angry at myself for taking so long to accept that I can find the things I deserve.

I’m broken hearted. I’m saddened that people hurt those more naive than them- or that have less power than them. I’m saddened that there is anything for me to heal from at all. I’m saddened that I didn’t know how to push people away who harmed me. I’m sad that I let so many things happen to my body that I did not want.

Most deeply I am scared. I am terrified. I’m so afraid of losing the things I have now- that I wanted for so long but did not believe I could ever find, or that deserved to find. I’m terrified that I will push away the things I now know I can want- the things I now know I can have. Fear is the greatest saboteur- I am so afraid of going back to the way things were- that is exactly what I will create for myself unless I am gentle with myself, unless I am firm with others, unless I am softened with acceptance for this moment.

Authenticity vs. Manipulation in Polyamory

In trying to cultivate healthy relationships, I’ve thought a lot about underhanded messaging. There is a difference between what we say, and what we convey underneath the words. We need to think about both parts of our communication to cultivate healthy relationships. I think engaging with this issue is important in all relationships, but in polyamorous relationships there is particular risk of becoming manipulative or coercive.
The majority of manipulative polyamorous relationships that I’ve witnessed or been involved in are due to this kind of covert messaging. People will negotiate rules and boundaries with each other and agree to them- and yet one partner will emotionally punish another partner for following the rules that they set together.
This can be very subtle and difficult for the manipulated partner to decipher. A couple might agree that they are comfortable pursuing other relationships or going on dates with other people. They might agree that these actions fall within the boundaries of their negotiated relationship. However, when one partner actually engages in these behaviors, although they are simply abiding by previously agreed on boundaries, they receive some kind of emotional punishment from their partner as a result. It may be either the tone in their partner’s voice, the look in their eyes, the subtle word choices in how they refer to it after the fact, or just being otherwise emotionally withrawn towards their partner in the days to come. These cues tell their partner something very different than the previous verbal communication did. It tells them that they can’t actually trust or rely on what their partner says. It creates a generalized feeling of guilt and a sense of “walking on eggshells”- like they never know what is going to upset their partner and what will actually be acceptable. Because these cues are mostly nonverbal, it is often very difficult to decipher that what is happening is actually emotional manipulation.
It is important to be authentic and real to your partners about when you are struggling with jealousy or insecurity. It is important to be able to express these feelings in a real and honest way. It is important to always be open to renegotiation. The problem is not having anxiety or jealousy in your relationships. The problem is when your verbal report and non verbal message don’t match up. It is manipulative to agree to a boundary, and then create an atmosphere of guilt and emotional punishment when your partner behaves according to that boundary. It requires self reflection and self awareness to recognize what you are actually comfortable with, and what kind of relationships you can actually manage through your own self care and reasonable requests for reassurance from your partners. The self reflection required in deciphering these boundaries for yourself can take a lot of work. But the possible emotional damage that can occur as a result of not doing this work makes it your duty as a romantic partner to be constantly asking yourself: Are what I say and what I don’t say lining up?