Dominance and Intimidating Masculine Types

12347968_1661322980824185_9008758983403969630_n

Society does not always respond very well to dominant women. We are often seen as rude, bossy, unnatural, or a challenge to be put back in our “rightful place”. I loved being in a military cadet program in high school because it was the one place where my dominant side was applauded and nurtured instead of squashed. But even there, I was still usually under the authority of men who outranked me.

When I became more dominant and confident in my opinions and attitudes, people from my religious past called me hateful, rude, and inappropriate. We were raised to be sweet and accommodating, and to only ruffle feathers when we were promoting the church’s ideas (which were usually decided by men). Basically the message we got was “don’t think for yourself, just channel your passion into roles that WE set out for you.” One man told me that I could disagree with him but only if my opinions didn’t contradict scripture. And who decided what contradicted scripture? We both knew he felt that was his job.

I eventually called bullshit. Ohmigod how horrible, a woman who thinks for herself and won’t do as she’s told! (gasp) THE WORLD IS ENDING! GRAB YOUR DICKS, THE DOMINANT WOMEN ARE COMING TO DESTROY YOUR MASCULINITY!

download

Being a dominant woman means my dating pool has shrunk greatly. Many mainstream men are intimidated by me now, and not in a submissive way but more of a “your dominance makes me insecure in my masculinity so the problem must be with you!” kind of way, and that’s not a good fit for anyone in a relationship. And many of the men who are interested in my dominance are interested in it as a fetish, because of what they want from me sexually or emotionally. That’s fine in some contexts, such as my pro domme work, but it’s not really what I want in a loving dating relationship. I’m a person with needs and desires of my own, not just a kink goddess that will service their fetishes.

Not only must I look for emotional maturity, reliability and good chemistry, but now I must also look for partners who are not turned off by the fact that I may be more dominant as a femme than they are as a masculine type. Instead of letting a man always lead and teach like I was raised, I’m not afraid to jump in and take the reigns myself. Not everyone is cool with that.

Fortunately in the kink community there are many awesome masculine types who love my dominance without overly focusing on it as a fetish. It’s one of the many reasons why I don’t bother with vanilla dating anymore; it would take so much work to become compatible with a vanilla guy that it doesn’t seem worthwhile for me in most cases.

20ffee25c74c2a3faa17616772952d42

As with most of my writings, this may easily apply to people of other genders not mentioned here.

Advertisements

Gossip vs Vetting and Other Necessary Communication 

When does talking about somebody else cease to be necessary or helpful and become gossip?

In our community, vetting is an essential part of our community safety. If we don’t share some relevant information with each other, that can potentially put others at risk for being harmed or manipulated. But where do we draw the line? I think there are some criteria to consider.

  • Would the lack of this information potentially cause harm or distress to the person you’re talking to? 
  • Are they directly involved in the situation that’s being discussed? Are you directly involved? 
  • Are they trying to ascertain someone’s safety or trustworthiness, or what the person’s community reputation is, and you have firsthand or other reliable knowledge that would help them make a more accurate decision? 
  • Is the purpose of the conversation to help someone be informed about things that could directly affect them, or is the goal to unfairly discredit or belittle someone for the speaker’s own personal agenda? 
  • Is the person upset because someone else has harmed or distressed them, and they are trying to process what happened by talking to a trusted friend? 

I think the answers to these questions aren’t always going to be black and white, but I think they may be a good place to start. I think motive and relevance has a lot to do with what makes something gossip versus necessary communication, but it’s sometimes very difficult to judge these motives in others or even in ourselves.  

Human communication is pretty screwed up at the best of times. Add in BDSM and LGBTQ issues, mental health complications, emotional responses, past abuse and triggers, and it gets really hard to navigate communication issues. 

I think what’s important is to actively try to make our communication methods as helpful and ethical as possible. But, it’s important to note that we are almost certain to disagree with others on what is helpful and ethical and what is not. I think giving each other the benefit of the doubt, while also standing up for ourselves and others when needed, is important too. 

I welcome respectful dialogue on this. I’m trying to improve my own communication methods and this topic is something I’d like to be better educated on. What do you think makes something unhelpful and gossip? What kind of shared information is ethical and necessary given the risks and intensity of BDSM involvement? 

2 years since I came out as LGBTQ!

(BTW check out my super hot extra short haircut!!)

15826146_2191015651123607_6682319430337458835_n

Facebook memories reminded me that I officially came out as bisexual (now pansexual) two years ago today.

I’ve never regretted coming out as LGBT and supporting equality, even though I’ve dealt with a lot of judgment and abandonment for it, and society can be a very scary place for us sometimes.

I’m so much happier now that I can just be myself, without feeling terrified that these feelings for people other than men somehow made me “broken” or “disgusting” or unworthy of being treated with respect and admiration. I used to be so scared and humiliated to even admit these feelings to myself because I thought they made me a bad person. I also had the fear of Hell when I was religious.

Trying to convince myself that I was “normal” resulted in even more anxiety and depression. Coming out of the closet, and getting involved in a community that adores and respects me just as I am, has helped me SO much.

Although I still have anxiety and depression, it’s getting better every day, and I know that being able to openly be myself has been a huge part of it. So thank you to everyone who has supported me as LGBTQ, and who has supported LGBTQ equality, because you guys have helped me a lot these past couple years. I needed your support and acceptance while I was figuring myself out and healing from life traumas, and you came through for me.

I’m still quite stressed about some money stuff, but even that is getting better and my anxiety has been manageable despite it. Some days I feel almost giddy because my cheerful happy creative self is back, and I’m slowly regaining my physical strength as well.

2017 is going to be a fantastic year. I have decided. It shall be full of music, art, kinky shenanigans, geeky everything, and hopefully healthy friendships and relationships. And lots of kitty snuggles. And probably copious amounts of chocolate.

Don’t compliment me by putting down other girls.

Compliments that put down other women aren’t the kind that I want to receive.

“You’re not like other girls.” Why is this a good thing? Why are other girls so unworthy of your attention?

“You’re so much prettier than most other girls.” Are you saying they are all ugly? Why should I respect you for that comment?

“I don’t like basic girls, they’re so boring and bad in bed. You’re interesting.” Um…

“Most girls look bad in makeup and wear too much of it, but you make it look good.” Ahhh!!! No!!!

“I’m so glad you’re not like other girls that dress like a (insert “prude” or “immodest worldly woman” comment here).” How a woman dresses does not determine her self-respect, morality, or ability to be good in bed.

Why do we think that putting other girls down is a good way to build up someone else? It’s not, and yet people on both ends of the modesty/body exposure spectrum do it to us all the time. Either we are called prudes for covering up, or we are shamed for showing off our body when we finally overcome our body image issues enough to be proud of how we look.

All women have beauty. All women are worthy of love and respect, no matter what we wear or how pretty we are or how “basic” we are.

So if your compliments involve putting down other women to make your partner feel good, then may I suggest that perhaps there is a level of disrespect and judgment towards women in your mindset? And perhaps, just maybe, it’s ok to compliment the women in your life while still acknowledging the value of other women?

I’d like to hear compliments that DON’T involve comparison. Things like:

“You look so beautiful in that dress, I just want to look at you all day.”

“I love that you are just as beautiful whether you wear makeup or not.”

“I’m amazed by your compassion and intelligence.”

“Your commitment to personal growth is so admirable.”

“You worked really hard today. Thank you.”

“Damn girl, your ass is looking FINE today. I’d tap that. With your consent, of course.”

“I’m so glad that our personal values and interests are compatible. Thank you for being someone I can relate to and confide in.”

Do you see the difference? Instead of putting other girls down for not being like your girl, or for not being a good match for you, why not just focus on what makes her amazing to you personally?

Note: This also applies to other genders, not just women.

Poly Groups are Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

Over the past few years of observing dozens of kinds of polyamorous relationships and talking to people about what they’ve also observed in their circles, I’ve come to the conclusion that poly groups (or Relationship Anarchist groups) are only as healthy as the people in them. Unhealthy-minded people tend to be in unhealthy poly groups that are either very dysfunctional or do not last long.

What makes someone a weak poly link? I don’t think it has anything to do with physical strength, self confidence, or even being free from mental or physical illness. I think that “poly weakness” comes down to a person’s inability or refusal to improve their communication skills, and a lack of motivation to learn from their mistakes and change their behavior. It also involves a lack of willingness to compromise and increase their empathy for all the people involved.

Regardless of how connected metamours may or may not be to each other, polyamory is always a team effort. If one partner is wearing out the shared partner with their unhealthy relationship practices that they refuse to change, then the shared partner will not have much energy or time left to be emotionally supportive for their other partners. If one partner is influencing the shared partner to give into bad habits and stop pursuing personal growth, that will always affect the other partners. One unhealthy-minded person, even on the fringes of a poly group, can have devastating effects on the entire group if it’s left unchecked.

Even the most fucked up people in the world can, and do, have wonderful healthy poly relationships. I see it all the time, and it warms my heart to see imperfect people supporting each other and growing as a group. But the thing they all seem to have in common is that they try really hard to communicate effectively, and they strive to learn and grow from each mistake. Those who don’t communicate and don’t learn from their mistakes tend to lose their relationship stability very quickly because poly is intense and complicated, and there’s no place for intentional emotional immaturity.

Poly is hard work, and it requires focused effort from all the participants in order to keep it healthy. Things that people could get away with in monogamy can’t be ignored in polyamory because poly requires such a healthy foundation and teamwork for it to function. Unhealthy relationship practices and mindsets must be dragged out of our dark corners and worked on until they are more compatible with a healthy poly situation. This is brutally uncomfortable sometimes, and I inwardly groan every time I have to face my weaknesses in communication, conflict resolution, and mental health management, but facing these weaknesses is absolutely vital to becoming a healthier poly partner.

The point is that we try, and we never stop trying. We learn and grow as a team, and that’s how we thrive.

Experienced poly people, especially ones who have been doing this for a long time, what tips do you have for people looking to start their own poly groups or improve their existing ones? What pitfalls have you personally observed in poly groups? Do you agree with my thoughts or think I’m way off? Respectful dialogue is welcome. 🙂

Better to be uncomfortable than stagnant.

Growth is hard. Personal development is often uncomfortable and exhausting. Becoming a better version of myself, and healing from past traumas and hurts, requires constant vigilance and self-reflection. Some days I get frustrated because I see how often I could have done better, while other days make me smile because I see how far I’ve come over the years, especially this past year. I’ve had to analyze myself so much out of necessity that I’ve become painfully aware of my shortcomings and weaknesses. Facing my fears has become a natural part of life for me. And it SUCKS most of the time. Most people don’t really like having to face their demons and closet skeletons, after all.

But it’s ok. It’s good, even. This is life; this is how we grow and change for the better. The important thing is that we are constantly trying to become the best possible versions of ourselves, and to find better ways of handling what life throws at us. I would rather be painfully aware of my weak areas, but also be confident in my ability to slowly remedy them, than to pretend I’m perfect and never make progress in improving myself.

I used to fear traumas and hurtful people. I still do, but now what I fear most is not growing.

Growing is what helps me survive and find happiness again.

Growing is what makes me more capable of handling scary traumas and hurtful people.

Growing is what takes my past traumas and fears and helps to turn them into compassion for others instead of hatred.

Personal growth is the biggest, badass life weapon I’ve got, and I don’t ever want to put it down. It becomes rather addictive after a while; it kinda feels like a superpower. : P

I’ve heard it said that the only person we should want to be better than is the person we were yesterday. I couldn’t agree more.

I hope that 2017 is a year of unprecedented personal growth for all of us. May we all become better, happier versions of ourselves this coming year. : )

Acceptance is a Hard Limit.

One of the lessons I’ve learned in the kink and LGBTQ communities is that not everyone here is accepting of others. In fact, some people here are just as judgmental and belittling as vanilla people often are.

While I don’t expect everyone to personally understand or relate to every aspect of my life and I value diversity of opinion, there are some levels of non-acceptance that I will no longer tolerate from people who want to be actively in my life. I consider these my hard limits for relationships of any kind, even friends. These hard limits are also my personal standard for how I accept others.

My quirky interests.

I don’t care if you don’t also like cats or Star Wars or Disney movies, just don’t imply that I’m stupid or annoying for having these interests. My methods of expressing my quirky interests may need adjustment at times, but not the interests themselves.

My kink.

“Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is ok.” As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult with a reasonable knowledge of what they are consenting to, there should be no judgment about it. It’s cool if you’re not personally into rape fantasies or kitten play, but don’t put other people down for getting off on them.

My gender identity.

You don’t have to understand why calling myself genderqueer is important to me. Just accept it, and cherish me as I am. Don’t put me down for it or act like it’s an attack on your own gender identity (it’s really, truly not!)

My sexual orientation.

No one should ever be made to feel less-than for who they love. I’ve been put down for being bi/pansexual by other LGBTQ people who said I couldn’t make up my mind about being straight or gay. I’ve been denied access to certain queer groups offering support for women who like women because I don’t ONLY like women. Nope, not ok. My sexual orientation is just as valid as anyone else’s.

My personal beliefs about religion.

While I’m always striving to improve my communication and methods of expressing my ideas, and I admit I may need educating to accurately understand what other people believe, my beliefs are precious to me and I expect the people in my life to respect me as I am.

My mental health and traumas.

This is probably the most important one on this list for me.

I can’t help having anxiety and depression, or having lived through so many major life traumas that have made my mental illnesses worse. I didn’t choose to have ADD. The only choice I had was to get counselling, start meds under my doctor’s supervision, and to take personal responsibility to constantly work on these areas of my life to improve my ability to cope with them.

While I am open to respectful, caring assistance from my friends, and I will sometimes seek or accept advice from people I trust on these matters, I have been crushed and humiliated at how some people have treated my mental illnesses. Being called childish or weak for being triggered, or implying that my therapist and doctor’s glowing reports are wrong and I’m still a failure at managing my mental health, is incredibly discouraging.

People who haven’t lived with severe mental illness do not understand how devastating these comments and non-supportive attitudes are to the mentally ill. But even other mentally ill people do this. Some judge others for not coping like they do, or for experiencing mental illness differently.

If you don’t have something kind and supportive to say about someone’s mental illness, please keep your opinions to yourself. You’re just causing them more pain and may actually set them back even farther in their recovery by dashing their self esteem that they’ve worked so hard to build up. If they’re already getting treatment and you can see that they’re working on themselves, be supportive! Or be quiet and let them recover at their own speed! But don’t play doctor with them when they haven’t asked for your help. Just offer your support when you can, put up boundaries if you need to for your own mental health, and respectfully direct them to mental health resources and professionals if they’re truly falling apart on their own.

In summary:

Don’t be unaccepting under the guise of expressing your opinions. If your opinion says that someone else is wrong or foolish just because they are different than you, and they aren’t hurting you with their differences, then I recommend this old saying:

“If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”