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Ok I’m just gonna say it. If you don’t want to stick to your 24/7 power exchange unless it’s convenient for you, maybe you shouldn’t agree to one.

You aren’t in a 24/7 power exchange if you say no to everything that you don’t like. That is not you being abused or having no power in your life. This isn’t even about being in consideration, once you have submitted fully you made a commitment. If you need to renegotiate ask to, but sometimes that means the relationship is over and many times that is made clear.

Submissives and slaves negotiate power in their life differently than a vanilla partner would. Sometimes we have vanilla partner privileges and sometimes we don’t. You have to specify if you want that, but it still does not take anything from the fact you chose to submit. You chose/

Whether it is M/s or D/s there are ways around not liking what your Dominant says or wants you to do including doing research and asking a question before agreeing to give a person that much power over your life. Like having a conversation. Like not rushing into it.

Now people can lie, so you have to also be willing to release yourself if needed.

24/7 M/s or D/s requires trust and respect at the foundation.

Also, TPE/TAT does not mean that a submissive or slave has no autonomy or mind of their own. Stop with that shit.

** File this under reasons that I will not enter into a dynamic with a person who has a process that takes less than a year and a half to get to being collared.**

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What being a kinkster and dating has taught me over the years.

There is a big difference between being a polyamorous BDSM lifestyler who is active in the subculture versus a person who likes to play and is kinky.

Both are perfectly acceptable choices. Neither is better than the other, but one is every day, and the other is when you can do it.

I have come to learn that the way that many lifestylers approach the world vanilla and BDSM subculture is different.

I have learned that most people view the way I approach relationships as intense because unless they want to be a secondary partner to my life, they will be around my friends and family. They are all kinky. My family is my chosen family and not a single one of them vanilla ( That just happened because I thought some of my chosen fam was vanilla). We are all lifestylers to whatever extent we practice. Most practice on-going D/s. That means anyone wanting to date me will probably see protocols they don’t like if they don’t to be excluded from part of my life.

They sometimes will opt to bypass these conversations because they are “deep.” We sometimes have to break down consent, needs, ultimate desires. The discussion of feminism as a slave in the BDSM subculture can get incredibly intense. Polyamory and scheduling because I have goals in and outside the lifestyle and sometimes a packed schedule. To them, it is too much and unnecessary.

When I respect their choice, and they finally realize that we should have had those discussions things get very interesting.

  • I’ve had people try to persuade me to change who I am.
  • I’ve had people try to make me feel as if I am crazier than I am.
  • I’ve had people believe that I lack control of anything in my life because they don’t understand my life because they didn’t listen when we agreed to have the discussion.
  • If I am lucky, they will just choose to walk away, but they rarely just do that.

When dating while in the lifestyle I have definitely learned that:

  • Intense is part of the small talk. It is how you get to know parts of me. You aren’t learning my kink, you are learning how I relate. Learning that I am a slave and that is the same as learning that I like to read and prefer bookstore/park dates.
  • That if you don’t listen and feel that I am blocking you from part of my life, it is your burden to hold if you chose to avoid certain conversations.
  • That people sum BDSM up to my sex life and if that is not our relationship they end up not understanding a minimum of 50% of my being and that is not a relationship to me. I don’t do casual relationships. I don’t do partial relationship. That is a secondary partner or friendship for me.
  • That people try to relegate my alternative lifestyles to a vacuum, and that can’t happen.

So yea, I’m going to be intense. I am also going to be 100% okay if you aren’t okay with that because there is a planet full of people out there.

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No escalator please…

The last year and a half to two years have been exceeding difficult for KM and I.

We’ve had a lot happen since 2014, and most of it was swept under the rug because we didn’t have time to deal with it, it was to much emotional labor, or it just wasnt something wanted to be dealt with.

One of the things I’ve learned in life is how important communication is and not just communication, but clarity within it and active listening.

That was one major flaw that my relationship with KM suffered and why I choose a separation all those months ago (we were separated way before I ended our dynamic last year). 

Communication was lacking because of how fucked up and imperfect we are. 

There was also another factor, our completely different personalities and relationship views.

Not only do we both suffer from our own mental health issues each, but KM chose to be with a poly person who had never believed in monogamy nor understood his version of relationships and marriage. I asked questions and I still didnt get it. Like, how does government marraige mean anything more than a piece of paper?

I state my definitions and negotiate all relationships even before BDSM was a part of my world view. 

He however thought I just need to sow my wild oats.

I don’t change for people I simply renegotiate. He, however, does what he can to get the person he thinks he wants.

I notice things about people and bring them up so we can work through the negative impact and I invite others to do the same in regards to me. 

He hates criticism as much as any person I know.

We couldn’t find common ground in a relationship built on lies, especially after the power dynamic was involved.

And so I asked him to make a choice. And he made it and went back on it multiple times as our close friends will surely know. 

But the lesson that I wanted him and others to remember is that it is always ok for relationships to change and shift. 

That escalator in vanilla and D/s is not for everyone and sometimes it is, but only if you add your flair to it.

Its hard being in subcultures when there are so many people who tell you things must be a certain way.

But always remember “structures not boxes”. In every societal breakdown there are basic foundations and layouts for how relationships and interactions work; but what you must remember is that people are different and your intimate relationship are even more so.

All that matters is that you are ok with what you are doing and if not communicate it in some way to your others. 

Not by hints.

Not by half discussions that get dropped because its too hard.

But with clarity (which happens to be our family’s Emotional Literacy Skill of the Week). 

You are not obligated to be anyone other than who you are.

There are no expectations, just negotiations, contracts, emotions, expressions. In most cases, it can all be worked out, just maybe from a different perspective.

KM and I have been friends for 10 years. We have been lovers going into our seventh year. And I was his property for over 4 of those years. I absolutely loved and still love being his property and even if we cannot be in a dynamic will still in some ways see myself as his.

We had so many avenues to work things out, but got stuck. It happens. I hold no ill will or blame. We are barely away from being babies in all honesty. I’m 25 next week and he’s almost 27. Babies y’all.

I made a choice in an effort to save us both from disasters that yet again only our close friends truly understand.

But we are still here, still kicking and still best friends.

Happy 3 years of legally recognized marriage. Merry 5 years of being bound (We never severed the cord). And a blessed future for HH.

For we are forged in fire and moonlight.

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You aren’t bad Dominant if you chose not to engage with a sub who has a mental illness. It’s probably safer to chose to do so if you know you can’t handle it. It sounds romantic to push through, but sometimes you need to be logical about what you can handle and the support you can give.

If you don’t have the patience, time, knowledge or willingness to learn, and understanding, you may do more harm depending on the illness involved.

Mental illnesses are real things. For those of use who struggle with it is a tangible thing.

You have to be willing to listen and compromise on bad days and ready to switch back to y’alls version of normal on good days.

You also have to understand those bad days doesn’t mean go vanilla. Pay attention to your negotiations and make sure that you are reinforcing a safe space environment for your person to continuously be clear about their mental health.

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Slave Bullet Journal

 

I really love bullet journals so I designed my slave journal based on that concept.

I am only sharing some of the less “private” parts as an example of how versatile this can be.

My honest opinion is that everyone should have some type of journal for there personal processing.

My journal includes:
-a penciled description list of who I am in my view.
-my gratitude log
-my service education goals (because I am a service oriented submissive type).
-Total Power Exchange/Authority Transfer quotes I like.
-my weekly reflections spread
-a place to rant
-Check-in notes.
-Potential Blog topics
-My slave code of ethics
– my personal goals a a slave
-currently reading
-my self care go to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hierarchy Is Not A Bad Word.

I’d like to take a moment to reiterate that hierarchy is not a bad word.

I will posit that the polyamorous community, in general, has misconstrued the term. I believe that this is due to a lack of knowledge about the types of non-monogamy, ignorance about polyamory and the many ways that it presents itself, a lack of knowledge of the fact relationships are negotiation which we have no presets in non-monogamy, and a lack of self knowledge.

Hierarchy is not about abuse and unhealthy behaviours, as polyamory in general is not, but unhealthy and abusive people can use it.

Hierarchy is a description of the organization of an individual’s or a units resources.

Yes, there are people who have to really focus on how they place their resources like time, energy, and money.

Outside of the concepts that bore the BDSM subculture or the concepts that model BDSM power exchange, whether used in lifestyle or not, hierarchy is often misidentified, misused, and really damn unhealthy.

Hierarchy is not about one person’s importance over another in terms of value. In D/s, hierarchy is based on consequence. The decision makers, the ones who take responsibility for outcomes as negotiated.

And there is that word agained.

Negotiated.

Hierarchy is not a excuse to exert couples privelege. It is not an excuse to be abusive. It is not an excuse to ignore consent.

Couples let me make it clear that I am not standing up for abusive practices you may exhibit.

There is no hierarchy if there is no negotiation. You don’t decide if there is hierarchy and push it on others any more than you decide for your partners that the poly group practices parallel or kitchen table style poly. It is a GROUP choice.

It is consent.

It is autonomy as individuals.

It is you not having the right to impose anything on another person without their permission.

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Emotional Literacy is Important. Seriously Learn it.

Cross posted on My main poly blog

General disclaimer: I’m not a psychologist. I just like studying self-knowledge and becoming self-aware. While I am going to school for this stuff, I’m not an expert.

What is emotional literacy anyways?

To summarize the key points of emotional literacy, it is a form of self-awareness that allows us to communicate and take responsibility for our emotions and feel secure doing so.

I like Claude Steiner’s (1997) breakdown of the parts of emotional literacy.

  1. Knowing your feelings.
  2. Having a sense of empathy.
  3. Learning to manage your emotions.
  4. Repairing emotional problems.
  5. Putting it all together or emotional interactivity.

Because I appreciate the structure of this breakdown this post will follow its example for this discussion.

Knowing your feelings means you understand that there is an entire language to describe the sense of experience or relation to the chemical reactions from a stimulus that is usually but not always outside of yourself.  Our language for emotions is very diverse. There is an entire spectrum of emotions and the lack of knowledge of these emotions unintentionally forces us to be dishonest with ourselves. What most of us fail to realize is that this spectrum is umbrella-ed to further explain the root emotion we are feeling, but there are degrees that we don’t necessarily understand and thus incorrectly express or communicate our emotions.

Below are two charts I absolutely adore in the context of relationships and emotional literacy.

The first is the feelings wheel which shows you the many emotions you can experience that are rooted in six base emotions.

The second chart is one that helps to give you a view that our emotions have various intensities which produce similar, yet different emotional responses.

I feel like the charts are great visual aids in assisting with Emotions 101 of developing your emotional intelligence.

For example, according to the feelings wheel jealousy is actually in selfishness which is an extension just being mad about something. Do you realize how differently many people would handle their jealousy if they understood that their jealousy is a valid yet negative emotion that stems from their anger over a situation? And we also know that there are fear and sadness involved from further discussion and study of this, but finding your roots of your reactions is profoundly useful when relating to other.s

There are many other types of emotion breakdowns including the Plutchik model, so study up.

Having a sense of empathy in relationships, in general, is a useful tool. Or at least being able to acknowledge and communicate your lack of empathy is. When your partner is upset if you lack empathy you may not be able to understand what they are feeling or communicate effectively with them.

We should also be aware that there are factors that impact empathy levels like mental health and experience, as well as different types of empathy. Like I don’t really experience emotional empathy and I experience limited compassionate empathy. That make my relationships super hard and requires far more emotional processing to make sure that I am understanding what my partners are communicating to me. It is exhausting. I’m more of a cognitive empathetic person. This is partially to do with my mental disorders which is why I have to do so much work on mindfulness and self-awareness in relationships. I am aware of how badly I can ruin someone, just from the fact that I only have certain empathetic responses.

Learning to manage your emotions is hell in a hand basket y’all. Well, at least it is for me. I have baggage, but my baggage is in the form of PTSD from abuse and assault and just general mental health disorder related issues. See, knowing your feelings is only part of the battle because once you know what is up, you have to figure out how to not project your feelings onto another person. Your emotions are your own reaction to a stimulus and sometimes we end up projecting because in reality we were not wronged, we just were not fond of what was said or done personally.

Now, this isn’t a blanket claim, however, that all emotions are not impacted by others. People can literally wrong you or hurt you. Managing your emotions comes in part from being able to separate whether or not what you think actually happened, happened and to communicate your consent to the situation.

There are five ways that you can manage your emotions that I do recommend experimenting with either by yourself or with your therapist.

  1. Choosing the situations in which you put yourself. This one I personally do myself. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and some days the world scares me so much that I can not leave my house aside from work. I will cancel plans if I have to. I will tell friends and partners I can’t go certain places because I am not sure what the emotional response I will have to the environment will be. Some people who don’t get it assume that I just let my fear overtake me, but in reality, I am managing situation that could go bad and make everyone unhappy, uncomfortable, or endangered. I go out, I have fun, I live, on my terms because I know what I can handle.
  2. Changing your perception or expectations of the situation. I personally still struggle with the ability to adjust my expectations when things start going wrong in some situations. This is greatly rooted in your ability to adjust to change or go with the flow. I personally can only do so much of that at a time.
  3. Change your focus. I also have OCD. I literally have to force myself to find a new focus so I don’t obsess and spiral into an overemotional ball of panic. My SO also has a tendency to hyper focus and that exacerbates his anxiety response to the point of physical illness that has resulted in a tendency to try to avoid dealing with anything that he feels will trigger that — so heavy emotions in a relationship where he feels he has caused anger or disappointment. I use these as an example to understand why the focus may need to be shifted. It is not to avoid the situation, but to allow you time to get your initial response under control so that you may address it.
  4. This, in the end, allows you to change your thoughts about the situations which 7411272_originvolve our ability to be mindful of the situation and move forward from that
  5. so that your responses will be adapted. Adjusting the first four help to manage things highly associated with anxiety-like symptoms or anger or even your sadness response. Yea, this reads easy, but it takes a lot of time, effort and support to change these.

Above I mentioned that I have baggage. Baggage in this discussion is a reference to unresolved emotional issues and trauma that affect your interaction in and outside the relationship. Part of becoming emotionally literate is being able to identify your baggage so that you can begin to deconstruct it. One thing that people often forget is that this is an incredibly uncomfortable experience and that is normal for this kind of self-discovery and rewiring.

E.B Resources: X X X X X

Once you have learned how to do these things you will be engaging in emotional interactivity for yourself and it will greatly help you in your relationships, to communicate, to relate, and to respect your partner(s) reactions and deal with them. It is also really helpful in identifying when your partner is projecting or just not able to communicate a problem to you. It improves your ability to read a situation

In polyamory, this can be our greatest help or hindrance.  You have to be able to see where your partner is coming from no matter where you are on your journey and learn how to healthily compromise. You have to be able to negotiate your boundaries and discuss protocols for handling situations in healthier ways. All of this is unique to the individuals involved.

I notice that a lot of times in subcultures that emphasize DIY and designer relationships we forget that any self-help that is available is a template. You have to change it up and make it unique to you. This is why people often advise others to visit therapist whether alone or in a group to find ways to address issues unique to their situation.

I’m urging everyone to start working on their emotional literacy to help improve their quality of life and quality of interaction. It can only benefit you in the end and improve your journey of self-authenticity and awareness.

Resource list:

http://hprc-online.org/family-relationships/families/managing-emotions

http://ong.ohio.gov/frg/FRGresources/emotional_intellegence_13-18.pdf

https://www.cognitivehealing.com/depression/learn-how-to-identify-and-express-your-feelings/

http://eqi.org/elit.htm

http://www.6seconds.org/2013/03/07/enhance-emotional-literacy/

http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic522933.files/Rose%20Wongsarnpigoon%20Portfolio.pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/emotional-intelligence
https://www.cnvc.org/sites/default/files/feelings_inventory_0.pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/great-kids-great-parents/201703/dealing-feelings

http://ed-psych.utah.edu/school-psych/_documents/grants/autism-training-grant/3-degrees-emotions.pdf