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my tribe is my lifeblood– and i highly encourage you to get one of your own

I suppose I’m extra reflective these days. Something, at any rate, brought this to the forefront of my mind. How sometimes people ask (me) if other people should be polyamorous. Now, before you go, “But why wouldn’t you want to increase your dating pool?,” let me please say:

“God, no!” No, I don’t want you to be polyamorous. I’ve got plenty of people to date. I don’t want you muddying the waters of my rather limited dating pool by forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do.

Because whatever Disney propoganda you’ve heard, we don’t all want the same things in life.

Sure, the idea of having five cakes is awesome to someone who loves cake. And maybe you think because you like the idea of a life partner, you should want more than one. But, wait.

Maybe, for you, one is enough. Or maybe you don’t want any. I happen to have a lot of “relationship desires.” I want all the love and connections. So polyamory works great for me. But that’s just me. And, based on statistics, somewhere less than 4-5% of the population.

But if it’s not what you want? I’ll guarantee you trying to be polyamorous will add a degree of misery to your life.

Just like cake. If you don’t like cake, forcing yourself to eat two slices won’t bring you any pleasure. Yes, cake is tasty (if you like it), but it’s also a lot of work to bake cakes. It especially feels like a lot of work if you resent doing it for something you don’t even want.

So, no. If anything, if you’re questioning whether you want an additional romantic partner, I would say, “No!” I mean, I’d say the same to a woman wavering on motherhood. God, no, don’t have a child just to “see how it changes you.” Spoilers: it won’t change anything about you. It might activate your maternal instincts, but if they aren’t there, you’ll just be stuck with a kid you don’t want to raise (and the child will figure it out one day and then they won’t talk to you and the whole thing will be a total waste on your part.)

But that doesn’t mean you don’t need your tribe.

None of us are meant to do it all, on our own. It’s just not possible. Those of us with less support? WWe don’t find some miraculous way to do more, or even the same, with less resources. We just learn to live with less. Or convince ourselves our needs are somehow lesser.

Whenever I say that people should open themselves to polyamory or learn about it, I don’t mean they should start dating two or three or more people. I don’t think they should start flirting with every piece of female (or male) flesh in sight. What I mean is that I think everyone should nuture more than one relationship in their life. As a confidante, a friend. As another person they can count on.

I want them to learn how to communicate and be there for more than one person on a deep, emotional level. Call it whatever you like. Tribe. Family. Chosen family. Support network. Your people.

Because when the time comes and you need them– if they aren’t there already, they won’t be then.

But I’m just not poly, you cry. No problem, you still need tribe. Perhaps your one friend says its normal to forget when you’re supposed to hang out, to cancel because they have a date. But then your other friend honors your time together. Doesn’t ditch you for her new boyfriend. And you see what’s actually possible when someone puts in the effort.

Because,you see, when relationships are simultaneous, it’s harder to dimiss your concerns about them. And the same applies to friendships. Your friend says it’s normal to blow off plans since you’re “just friends”? Fine, but when your other friend honors the commitments they made to you, perhaps you start to see that the quality of friendship can be rather more impressive than you once thought.

Or maybe you want to go on a spontanous trip, and you’d rather go with someone than alone. There are a million reasons to have a tribe to count on, rather than simply a One Twue Love.

It’s not only romantic others that will be there for you, when you need them.

Everyone needs tribe. Everyone needs a little bit of extra help now and again.

My polycule, by the way, is not the same as my tribe. My tribe is far greater and more extensive than the few I pull into my inner circle of those I’ve partnered my life with– it is everyone with whom I am close and feel a connection.

And if you want to do something alone?

Well, there’s nothing stopping you. I, too, sometimes go off on my own. So do my partners. I like my “me” time as much as anyone. Okay, perhaps less than most, but I still have my hermit mode.

But it’s nice to have the option to go with someone from one’s tribe. From time to time. It’s nice not to do it all on on’s own.

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echoism: the quiet sibling of narcissism

A brief definition of the word…

From @-PageTurner

Experiencing echoism in my own life…

I became intrigued at the idea, as I like learning about new ideas. This one struck me in particular– my munchkins being raised by a narcissist, I wanted as much knowledge as possible to help them in the future, should they need a listening ear or a guiding hand. At any rate, it couldn’t help to be more informed.

I didn’t notice echoism so much in the older two. But the youngest? A little. She constantly diminished herself as lesser than others saw her, rather than greater than how others saw her (echoism vs. narcissism). Especially when given direct praise, “You’re so good at X!” “No, I’m not.” Now, I wouldn’t say she praised others at the expense of herself. However, the definition, as expressed in the article, said that children of narcissistic parents are often not allowed to have needs of their own. Since I knew several children of narcissistic parents, I thought it worth pursuing understanding this concept in a more thorough manner.

Of course, the article also stated that psychologists believed it might be an inherited trait, rather than a learned condition. So, maybe this wasn’t the right track for me to go down at all. Still. Might as well dig a little deeper to find out what I really thought about it?

If you’d like to learn more…

I discovered two writings on the subject, a book called “Echoism: The silenced response to narcissism” and an essay entitled “Echoism. a New Diagnosis for Sufferers from Child Abuse.”

Hope you learned something, and thanks to @-PageTurner- for exposing me to a new word!

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dear pretty, mono girl

Fyi, this works in reverse for the “pretty” guys, the tall, handsome Chris Hemsworth look alike searching out their one, true, monogamous submissive love.  Switch genders, or even sexes, as you like:

Dear pretty, monogamous girl in search of her one true dominant,

Remember high school? Maybe you were the pretty head cheerleader who never showed up single to a dance. Maybe you were the nerdy girl in the back of the classroom. Some of my friends wish they could go back to high school, but I’ve never wanted that.

Although some days, it feels like nothing’s changed.

Whatever we like to tell ourselves, K&P is still flooded with Hollywood perfect bodies, perfect curves, long gorgeous locks. We’re still supposed to be curvy, but not overweight. We still have cliques and popular factions that seem to do little but congratulate each other.

But it has changed…

You’ve never been single before, you’ve always known how to play the game. So why are you struggling now? After all, you’re still pretty. Whatever wrinkles you’ve acquired do little more than suggest you’ve gained experience and wisdom. But it doesn’t help.

You can’t even seem to find the guy you want, let alone how to get him once you’ve found him! He’s a little too vanilla.  He’s a little too unavailable.  Him?  He’s worst of all; he’s not monogamous. 

What happened to all the good monogamous doms?  Did they ever exist? Or is this just the latest excuse for the cheating assholes who never could actually do monogamy?

It isn’t so easy to find a good, mature, monogamous dom, as it is to find a good, mature, monogamous boyfriend. 

I know you. There’s a certain kind of dom who is attracted to monogamy only because he’s too insecure to allow you near another penis. And, yes, men will hide behind monogamy to cover up their lack of confidence. And, no, that doesn’t make for a great dom. I know you don’t want that, cause I’ve seen you try to date that, and it didn’t work out very long. Nor should you settle for that!

So, now, it’s a numbers game. Let’s imagine there are X number of emotionally secure, skilled, good male doms out there- this excludes all the men drawn to monogamy for the wrong reasons, including they think that they can get you exclusive to them, while they do whatever they please. These doms, very likely, are not cookie cutter models. They want every shade of relationship under the sun, because they know there is more than one option for them.

It’s fair to say that a minority will ONLY want a sexual, romantic relationship with one submissive. What are the odds, right? Do you think they are better, or worse, than the odds of, say, them liking the same favorite dessert as yourself?

Oh, but none of those poly guys had anything to give, anyway, right?

I’ve heard this before. That a non monogamous partner can’t possibly give as much as a monogamous partner, right?  So you’re only losing the ones that wouldn’t be offering much to begin with. Supposedly.

Surprisingly, a poly partner is perfectly capable of giving you MORE than enough to make your relationship incredible.  You REALLY want to tell me you can do MORE for your dom, than @Rainbow_Kitten7 does for her husband?  For her family? For her other partners? Plus, what she does to take care of herself, mentally and physically. Allow me to reiterate this point:

There are many, many fucking amazing girlfriends, wives, partners out there! 

We’re everywhere.  Wanna know a secret?  We don’t even have to be polyamorous! We might be monogamous, polyamorous, or anywhere in between.  There are women who offer a kind of life the dominant has never even known existed, let alone believed they could have for themselves.  Women with special talents.  Women with an ability to juggle life in ways nobody believes possible.

Because by the time someone is experienced enough to be a good dom, they very likely met other, wonderful women. That they don’t want to give up, not just for you. That they shouldn’t be asked to give up, to choose between loving you and loving them.

All things being equal, what do you think is his reasonable response when one woman says, “I will give you everything— if you give up all the other women (and men) in your life.”  And the other woman simply says, “I will give you everything.”

I know you are great and amazing and all— but, as much self esteem as I have, I know I am not better than the entire fucking population of women combined. 

Oh, but you promise to mean it?

That you won’t ever cheat on them, that you will be that perfect girlfriend for them that never breaks their heart?

Sorry. Not cheating is not enough.  Maybe it used to be seen as rare and accomplished to remain faithful to your partner.  When monogamy wasn’t just a choice, it was a serious badge of honor.  Women would say, “Well, he wasn’t [insert moral or physical failing], but, hey, he NEVER cheated on me!” 

Those stupid memes bragging about how some celebrity stayed faithful for FIFTY YEARS, well, that just makes a lot of us roll their eyes. He made a promise and he actually KEPT it?  Yeah, every one of our current, multiple partners does that for us today. What else you got?

Life is different in the kinky world.  

Say what you like about “all men.” But please don’t say silly things to me. “Well, there just aren’t any good doms.” “All men cheat.”  “Nobody sees me for who I am.”  “They just aren’t attracted to me.” Self pity is an attractive quality on nobody. Doms who want polyamory are not just seeking an excuse to cheat.

I’ve met plenty amazing doms and masters.  They don’t care whether you are monogamous, non monogamous, or polyamorous.  But they do expect you to be honest with them as a bare minimum.  They do want a girlfriend with whom they feel safe and loved.  And who meets their insatiable sex demands, of course!  

Good masters appreciate a woman who shows off her body and curves in tight, translucent dresses as much as anyone else (not everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but some).  Good doms seek out someone who balances with their life, their desires, their wants– knowing that they must be just as good for their submissive as the sub is for them.

Some will be monogamous, some will not. The good ones don’t worry about how many submissives or slaves they own, it’s not about that. They worry if they are treating their submissives well. Lovingly or roughly as the situation demands.

If all you show someone is your desire for monogamy, your fantastic body, and your pretty face— that isn’t enough to even gain the attention of the good doms, let alone their lasting commitment. 

Sexual exclusivity is a perfectly reasonable want to have, but it’s not a value. It doesn’t make you better. It’s just a thing that you want. But every thing you want comes with a cost.

Trust me, please, when I met my first partner that I could see myself living with for the rest of my life, that I didn’t find the “perfect man” that met all of my ideas and expectations– and that is okay. I did meet the perfect man, well, at least a perfect man, for me. I had to consider what was important to me and what was not. Turned out he already had a love in his life, but that didn’t preclude a place for myself in it. Worked out quite well that I wanted many loves, too, but I didn’t need poly to “benefit” me. Not when it came to him. I just needed him to treat me well and to love me and to support me. I stopped worrying about the rest.

When I met my girlfriend, he supported me just as much. It wasn’t about him. It was about her and me.

You might never want a second love. But please stop dismissing the idea of you being anything but monogamous by telling people “I prefer not to share my toys.” (Well, I’m not a toy, I’m a human being, so that’s cool.)  “I am too jealous.” (Like poly folk never experience jealousy?) “I’m territorial.” (I don’t even know what that means.) Tell me, instead, what qualities you desire most in your partner.

And remember, that -just- because someone is monogamous doesn’t mean they don’t have other loves. Perhaps not romantic, love of my life loves, but still loves. Perhaps that man who is polyamorous is not so different than anyone else who is open, loving, and kind, regardless of their label.

Perhaps the trouble isn’t what you want, but how you are looking for it.

Suppose you had a good friend. He tells you he met the submissive of his dreams, willing to give him everything he needs to be happy, but she thinks she might want to play with another dominant some day. What would you say to him? Would you tell him to leave her, because she likes to play with other toys?

You’re searching for a unicorn, pretty, mono girl. You’re not the only one; there’s the couple wanting that perfect bi girlfriend. The dominant who isn’t willing to go to munches, but randomly sends demands to women online, because, sure, one of those women is definitely going to submit to him.

Oh, nothing is impossible. Perhaps that man exists for you, but if he does, how long are you willing to wait to find him? And will he have room for you in his life, once you do?

Pretty, mono girl, I wish you the best of luck. 

When you step out into the dating world, pretty mono girl, you are absolutely free to say, “I like chocolate and I don’t think that will ever change,”  but please understand that if a different woman offers him Neopolitan, he has every right to accept that.  Love doesn’t always have to be sacrifice. It doesn’t have to be only one flavor of ice cream until death do you part. It just might be enough for you. That’s ok.

Although I wish you’d at least consider whether maybe your Prince Charming isn’t a knight on a white horse, but secretly three smoking hot redheaded goddesses in a trench coat.  Or maybe you end up with only one smoking hot redheaded goddess. That isn’t so bad, either, is it?

It’s your happiness at stake.  I’ve spoken with friends, older and, sometimes, wiser than myself. Who wish someone had told them more of the truth when they were twenty something, rather than painfully finding more and more out at forty something…and fifty something. Not that we aren’t always learning, but, still…

What is finding more of that happiness, perhaps a decade earlier, worth to you?

Part 1 of the 3 Part Series: “Whatever Happened to Monogamy?”

Coming up:

Part 2:

“Where Have All the Good (Mono) Doms Gone?

* While I do rather believe in a “perfect man” for myself, please understand that not every woman feels the same and many desire multiple male partners, but, in my case, yes, that concept exists for me.

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the more I water and care for my garden, the more it produces

I find a certain peace in watering my plants. Early in the morning, when the hummingbirds spin round, before the heat of the day sucks the moisture from my body.

I prefer sturdy plants that don’t require a great deal of water, so I don’t stress about killing them. I may not have the greenest of green thumbs. But I do my best. I think I do it fairly compentently. I’ve kept a basil plant alive for weeks! It isn’t only the act of watering the plants that brings me satisfaction, however.

It’s the bounty it produces.

The colorful blooms and bright red tomatoes. I love popping a cherry tomato off the vine and its flavor bursting in my mouth. You see…

…the tomato plant can’t produce anything if it doesn’t have water.

Yes, I have many partners. More than that, I have many friends. Many family members, both blood and chosen. Some people say the poly life is overwhelming because of this— but let me tell you a little secret…ssshhh, come closer!

The more I give to my partners, the more they give back to me.

How do I manage not to allow myself to get drained? Truth is that my own cup is overflowing all the time. It’s all I can do to make sure I return the favor to all the special people in my life! I’d hate for someone to give me so much, and me give too little in return.

There’s this silly idea out there that each relationship must be a drain on me— and maybe all your experiences with relationships have been that they take and take and never give. But I refuse to be with someone who takes everything without contributing. As much as I might love you or think you are a good person, I won’t allow myself to be sucked dry.

“But what about when you’re not around? How do you keep them fulfilled when you aren’t there?”

Hmmm. Thanks for the stroke to my ego, but my partners are quite fulfilled. With or without me sitting next to them, staring into their eyes like a demonic presence.

I don’t think my partners are only happy when they’re with me, but, yes, sometimes they miss me. Sometimes I miss them. But that’s life. You miss people in real life.

It’s okay, though, because they have their own lives. I am not always a part of that. It’s okay to keep one’s independence AND simultaneously be near codependent in your relationship with another. It’s not always easy, but the more people you have in your life, the more support you have, too. It’s an upward spiral. Perhaps Stephanie isn’t available to help you deal with losing your job– but Amanda is, and her words are just as comforting, if in a different way. Poly is, in many ways, about appreciating what you have in the moment.

“Well, what about self care? How do you tend for yourself?”

That’s one of the beauties of having so much love and support. While I am never going to not need self care, at the moment, I don’t really need that much. I’m pretty happy. I find a few moments here and there, and that’s plenty. I can always find SOMETHING, even if it’s not much. A hot bath at the end of the day. Indulging in chats with one of my online groups.

Sure, I can fall behind. With myself. With someone in my family. With a friend or a partner. But life isn’t about keeping score. You forgive yourself, and you work to do something nice the next day.

Besides, what about yourself?

It’s not always about the romance. I bet that you have at least as many “relationships” going on in your own life. You just don’t call them relationships. But—

— think of all the relationships YOU maintain. Your four children, your elderly parents, your best friend who lives two states away, your social group, your volleyball team? You probably are doing just as much as I am doing, without even realizing (and if you don’t, that’s okay, too). Life, after all, isn’t just about boyfriends and girlfriends.

…be honest. How do YOU do it?

How many relationships are YOU nurturing in your life? Romantic, platonic, familial, professional?

Like other analogies? This one might help!

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[sub] drop IS an actual thing, thanks

Note: It’s possible that doms can experience a form of drop, but this is really about sub drop.

I’ve read, time and time again, about sub drop. Which is great that we talk about it. But also— we kinda talk about it like it’s something we indulge in simply because we feel like it.

“I had a great scene yesterday. And then today I dropped— because why not?”

Like sub drop is some silly CHOICE one makes. A choice for which we have to playfully apologize.

Nope.  Drop IS real.

Not just a “valid feeling,” either, though nothing wrong with other things being valid feelings.  But sub drop?  Is a physical reality.  It’s in our minds, yes, but it isn’t something we created from nothing. It’s a drop in the happy chemicals that actually make us FEEL happy.  By in our minds, I mean, how our brains function.

I’ll use a drug that interferes with how our brain feels happiness to help illustrate.  Ecstasy.

Here’s how it works:

MDMA causes greater release of serotonin and norepinephrine than of dopamine.91 Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep, pain, appetite, and other behaviors. The excess release of serotonin by MDMA likely causes the mood-elevating effects people experience.

By releasing large amounts of serotonin, MDMA causes the brain to become significantly depleted of this important neurotransmitter, contributing to the negative psychological aftereffects that people may experience for several days after taking MDMA.…

Basically, the drug artificially forces your brain to produce happy chemicals. But because it produces so much, it gets burned out. So— a day or so later— it’s still not where it would be naturally. And it’s fucking difficult to feel happy. Heaven forbid something bad happen, and you spin into a negative cycle and THEN try to make yourself feel happy with your brain screaming at you that IT CAN’T DO ANYTHING AND WHY ARE YOU BEING SO MEAN TO IT???

Orgasms produce the same happy chemicals. My partner wrote this which gets more into a description of those chemicals. If you push and push your body and brain past what it can handle (like in a really amazing scene), you’re going to end up depleting those resources.

So, yes, aftercare is great.  But it won’t stop your drop, unless your Dom(me) can rewire your brain.

Replenishing water and salt from all the sweat loss helps you feel better. Being held afterwards to soothe hurt bodies and feelings— yeah, we might love to be degraded and abused, but a lot of us need sweet words after that to make us feel like we’re okay— helps a lot (skin to skin touch produces oxytocin, but that might be burnt out, too, I’m not entirely sure how oxytocin works). 

No amount of aftercare is going to change the fact that you’re worn out your mind and body— and you WILL feel a drop if you’ve pushed yourself that far.  It isn’t a silly choice or a flaw. It’s physiology. Unless you have a brain that works differently than every other humans.

The first time I depleted my brain completely of those chemicals, I didn’t know what was happening.

I felt absurdly happy as I shot a load of chemicals through my brain. It’s like floating. And I experienced slight ups and downs, afterward, as my body adjusted.

Then about 48 hours later, I felt something weird.  I thought whatever I would feel would happen maybe a day after, the crash people warned me about.  But it took me two days.  Seemingly out of nowhere, the “drop” happened.

I felt empty.

I felt like nothing mattered. That the world was empty, too. I knew things weren’t that bad, logically. I hadn’t lost all sense of everything. I could recite the good things in my life, no problem. But I had no serotonin. None. I couldn’t even feel bad, I didn’t feel at all. I felt…cold? Lukewarm.

Sub “drop” doesn’t happen after every scene.  Sure, most (cough, all) times I play with my master, or anyone, I need a little comfort afterwards.  It’s not really comfort, though, but more that I need that feeling of someone’s body against mine.  And I like the reassure, after I’ve been humilated and degraded (something I absolutely love) of being told that I am sweet and loved and beautiful and all the mean words were just said in fun, because of how my body responds.

But sometimes it truly is a drop.

It happened to me, again, after this amazing, fantastic weekend with a former lover of mine and M’s.  I didn’t feel good, after she left, and it wasn’t because I didn’t like having her with us or because I missed her.  I just felt…bad.  I didn’t even want physical intimacy and I couldn’t figure out why.

Until, I don’t know if we talked it through or I remembered, or he did.  At any rate, we figured out that after the extreme pleasure I’d put my body through, I needed a break.  That my brain needed time to replenish.  That I got so much from both of them, but now, having only one person beside me somehow felt lacking.  Of course, I felt fine later and the one on one time became just as intense as ever.  Still, I needed to remember what drop felt like and give myself time to recover.

Don’t forget, that unlike a pill, sub drop involves a heightened (and relaxed) emotional experience.

Whatever I felt with the pill, it was intensified with the experience with my unicorn.  Because feelings were involved.  Not only are you feeling a lack of love and happiness— there are also a million different emotional aspects.

Maybe the person who used you— I’m assuming in a good way here— isn’t really there for you enough. Not through any negligence, but they just aren’t that available. Maybe you pushed yourself too quickly with someone you didn’t trust. Maybe you know they are going to travel for a long time.

Whatever the reason, it is very likely that it will exacerbate the strain that you’re already feeling from the lack of the chemicals that you NEED to even be ABLE to feel good.

So, in conclusion,

YES we experience drop (especially as the sub who experiences the orgasm, although I won’t say that a dom COULDN’T do the same thing). YES, it’s real. And NO, we can’t do anything about it, except to nurture ourselves through it until our bodies heal.

And what to do about it? We can’t choose when it happens or where. We shouldn’t feel bad that it hits us “too late” or at at an inconvenient time. We can learn our bodies and estimate when it might hit us— but that’s probably not a realistic goal. We can try to have someone around to hold or or at least talk to us, while we feel cold and frustrated and unable to do anything about it.

But can we please stop feeling bad about feeling bad? Kthxbye!


If you’d like to read more:

My friend, @White_Asian2, wrote a piece about happy chemicals and drop!