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New LJ friends/ job interview/ openmagic etsy for talismans / investing in my art
I'm excited about the friending frenzy that I'm hosting right now. Can't believe it's been 11 years and I hadn't ever done it before! I think my set of questions is great for figuring out if one might get on with someone :D also I've never added so many new people at once so I'm a little overwhelmed! Welcome newbies, please give me a name to call you and also let me know if you want to opt-out of my (rarely used) sextalk filter. I might get confused about who is who for a little while so please be patient with me - it's not lack of care, just ADD-PI at work.
I have an interview for a day job that I think I would both enjoy and be able to live off of (whaaat?!?!!!??) and I have never wanted a job so much! I don't have the qualifications they ask for, but I am overqualified in a way they don't ask for but need, so hopefully it balances out. It also has flexible hours so won't interfere with school or keep me from being able to do crafty parties and intimacy practices. Please please please and thank you, universe.
Also I finished the second run of talismans, took photos of them, and set up shop: OpenMagic. If you can't afford them but feel strongly drawn to one, let me know -- I can't afford to pay for shipping but it is very important to me that these be as accessible as I can make them. I set prices based on the time and materials each took, for those who can afford to pay. They are tiny- I need to make a reference photo to show the size. I hope people take them. I'm also going to offer custom ones, but haven't quite solidified how to create them yet.
I'm also planning on setting up a shop for my fractal prints. Topaz had a great idea for how to market all of my various arts, so once I set up that shop (and get money for printing materials) I'm going to do that. I feel somewhat hopeful, which is a vast improvement over the weeping-with-despair attitude I've had for a long time about anyone valuing anything I make. I gotta use this fragile and melting hope as much as possible while it is here. Topaz also encouraged me to make some earrings with more broad appeal (cutesy stuff) so I'm going to try my hand at that, and hopefully get my jewelry store more traffic so that if there actually is a market for the stuff I really enjoy making, they can find me.
Friending frenzy: find active LJers who write the way you wanna read!
Looking for more active LJ friends? Post about yourself and find new people!
also please spread the word!
I've been doing this with individual recommendations and since I have an active friends list now I thought I'd share the wealth ;-)
poll: what do you like to read and what of mine do you like to read?
Poll #1975398 your fav LJ post types
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 25
What type of LJ posts, in general, do you most enjoy reading?
which of MY usual posts do you like to read the BEST? (please choose only those that honestly tie for favorite)
and which one would you most like to see more of?
Recently: talk w Ace / time w Topaz / Anika visits / Rant Jam / INTENSE Intimacy Practice / dreaming
Last Thursday I talked with my little sister for about 2 hours, which is the longest we've talked in ages. Ze seems to be in a healthy relationship, which is fantastic, but ze is surrounded by terrible people at zir work. I tried as per usual to convince zir to move and live with me, but I don't think that will happen. I hope ze will at least visit.
Friday Topaz came over to help me with the grass but I was feeling ill so ze just did it for me <3 <3 <3 then we went to zir place, picking up fireworks on the way. We built a bonfire and Topaz made silver turtles and lit fireworks and smoke bombs and we drank barefoot bubbly and it was really relaxing and cozy. Then we made talismans together, where I lost track of time and Topaz was super patient. (I thought it took an hour but it took 3)
That night I slept badly (which has been happening almost every night I spend at Topaz' lately, not sure why) and thus slept in. I started freaking out a little about time but Ashe and Anika were running late so once I found that out I got to have cuddles and Topaz made us breakfast and coffee (ze makes the best breakfast sandwiches). Then I went home and whirlwinded through the house, tidying and cleaning, and didn't stop until about 20 minutes after they arrived (hyperfocus sometimes makes me the worst at greeting people). I got to hang out with them for a little while, but Ashe was exhausted and had to leave right as Kei-Won-Tia arrived. Topaz and Zawn and Jeff arrived a little later, and we had some pretty awesome conversation, ranting about evils in the world (which was the purpose of the gather). I got a little drunk and felt super happy about all the interactions, especially since Topaz seemed relaxed. Zawn and Jeff brought pizza, which was a fabulous gift. The gather wasn't what I had pictured but I liked it better than what I had pictured. After Zawn and Jeff left and Anika crashed out, Kei-Won-Tia and Topaz and I played Personalogies, which had some good questions but frankly I could make a deck 47201x better. When they left, I missed them a lot and texted with Topaz for like an hour, because my missing zir got so strong it hurt. I feel really extra deeply in love with zir. I'm also not used to spending time with Topaz that isn't one-on-one or followed by one-on-one, so there's this subconscious expectation of that time and I want it to hurry up and get here.
Sunday I went grocery shopping with Anika and Suzu in the morning and then Kei-Won-Tia, Abby, Heather, Kylei, and Roger arrived for cuddle puddle. I pulled Abby away and talked with zir about zir relationship with Roger because they'd been having a painful time, and I felt upset by it. I was sort of getting up my courage, and then we went back. I told Roger that I felt a need to talk about Abby and Roger's relationship, and asked if ze'd prefer to talk alone or with everyone - ze said no preference so I asked zir to tell me about how ze had experienced the recent troubles. After ze did, I expressed my feelings about it (vague because not sure how much they want private) and I felt that Roger took them in. Even though nothing was really resolved, I felt that I had expressed myself fully to them both and I didn't feel stressed out and divided any more. I don't think I've ever done that before - it felt incredibly awkward and I was quite worried as to how it would go, but I think it was good, and Roger expressed appreciation for being able to talk openly about it. I cuddled Abby during it because ze was vibrating with anxiety. Afterwards we all had early dinner, during which Topaz arrived, and we began intimacy practice. It was super intense and really long and really great, even though we didn't get to everyone (argh we have got to restructure the large ones!). I felt like we all moved a lot closer to each other through this one. I usually feel we are closer afterward but this one was especially bonding. Everyone was so sweet and wonderful and I loved spending the day with everyone! Suzu was really good, interacting with us some but for age 7, being remarkably low-maintenance. This kid is pretty amazing. I want to explore the world with zir to notice what ze observes. So cool.
Topaz stayed a little late for me to take the braids out that Heather spent hours putting in as we were doing IP. Ze lay in my lap and I finger-combed zir hair for a while, which was really, really good for me because the day was so intense and I desperately wanted Topaz cuddles. Next cuddle puddle I'm going to make a nest in my room because the living room made it too linear.
Monday I hung out w Anika and Suzu for a while (Suzu painted several pictures) and then took them to meet Ashe at a coffeehouse. Suzu played with the kids there, expressing upset at the one terrible kid who was mean to insects but otherwise seeming to have a blast. Ashe and Anika and I talked for a while, about what I am not even sure now because my memory is out. We stopped by Ashe's house and ze introduced us to trees and cats and zir spouse, and we got back to my house late. Anika and I had tea and ice cream (rather, the approximations I had on hand) and talked for a good while before going to bed.
Tuesday we just stayed home. We were planning on doing a ritual while Anika was in town, but when one thing after another fell apart, I felt it just wasn't meant to be and cancelled it. I was relieved to relax, because I was getting pretty desperate for down time.
Eeeeeearly Wednesday morning I took them to the airport, came home and tried to nap (which became 8 hours of sleep). Afterwards I went to Topaz', we had dinner and cuddles and went to sleep, where I slept for over 15 hours. Usually I feel guilty and annoyed if I sleep more than 8 hours, but this time I decided it was important and that I needed the processing (because dreams are really good for me in that way). When I got up I got shit done in quick succession, including writing an entry for LJ Idol (which I'm super nervous about). I had dinner with Topaz and helped zir tidy a little and then we cuddled and I went home.
Confessions of previously held hurtful beliefs/actions
As a person who self-identifies as a queer, genderfree, trans, poly, pagan feminist with nuanced views on porn and BDSM (mainstream of both is evil but ethical versions do exist), I've experienced a great number of perspective changes. There was a time when I identified as a woman, a wife, a Christian (exclusively), a Republican, and monogamous.
It occurred to me one day recently that had my previous self come across my current self, I wouldn't have been able to take everything in. There is not just one difference to work through, and with virtually no framework for understanding people different from oneself, so much perspective shift at once is too much to hope for. It took me years to figure out these things for myself, after all.
Considering this and also the constant lament of people who are working on growing as a person and feel that they should have gotten it already, I want to share the things I have believed/done that I now consider wrong and would be ashamed of.
I thought that same-sex sex was morally wrong and that AIDS was caused by people choosing to have sex the wrong way.
I thought that there were only two sexes, and that they were opposite.
I thought that there were inherent qualities based on ones assumed sex.
I thought that capitalism was the best way for people to be responsible and productive.
I thought that it was possible for any person to gain wealth, and that this made it fair for wealthy people to be exploitative hoarders.
I thought that marriage was inherently religious and the government shouldn't be involved in it- and I voted against gay marriage in my state.
I thought that people who only had sex in a committed relationship (as in, made vows to each other) were more trustworthy and caring than those who had sex in other ways.
I thought that people who did drugs or drank were lazy and unimaginative and irresponsible.
I thought women who dressed/groomed as demanded by society were my enemy.
I thought black men were sexually predatory (because my parent literally told me that).
I thought there were inherent differences based on race.
I thought disabled people were less useful than non-disabled people and that given the chance they would all want to be 'fixed.'
I'm sure there are more that just aren't coming to mind, but this is enough shit to make anyone ashamed. I didn't make any of these things up; I absorbed them from the influences I'd experienced at that time. I am ashamed because I know that whether I chose it deliberately or not, I hurt people. I cannot let my shame at having hurt people cause me to entrench around those hurtful ideas and try to justify them. I was wrong, and those ideas should be destroyed.
recently: art, energy work class, time with lots of people, magic talismans, headache crash
I want to start doing a weekly summary on Mondays (if I can remember). I keep wanting to share things and then forgetting. If you are curious and I miss a Monday, please poke me about it.
Last week I did a shitton of art, editing photos and working with fractals. Last Monday's energy work class was great because we got to practice sensing energies with each other. I have learned some new techniques but so far the thing that has benefited me the most is the shared practice. It's hard to learn by yourself because you don't have anyone to tell you when you're off-base and you can't get a sense for what 'true' feels like as opposed to 'likely'. We practiced looking at energy during an impromptu healing that the instructor gave to someone who came in upset. We also practiced using our hands to sense the edge of people's energetic field.
Arizona was in town this week and I spent Sunday with zir, talking and cuddling and then having dinner with Arizona, Deb, and Jerry. Deb and Jerry are people I feel very very fond of but quite awkward about building a relationship now that I'm not so closely connected to their kids. They feel like family to me which also sets off my "not successful enough, not contributing enough" anxieties. I shared this with Arizona and ze invited me to dinner. The four of us had pretty great conversation and they invited me to visit - I want to get over my anxieties and actually do that. Next meteor shower I'm gonna ask to visit, at least.
Wednesday Arizona and zir partner Sulley came over to hang out with me for a while. It was kinda bittersweet because I miss them and now they live out of state, but it was good to catch up and great to see Sulley so happy: ze's at zir dream job and the contentment just radiates.
Thursday Kei-won-tia came over and we talked for a little while before I mentioned wanting to watch Adventure Time with zir and Kyle. Ze said we could do it now, and I decided to skip oneness blessing and we went to zir place. We had a great time and I felt so cozy there.
Friday the internet went out and I frustratedly tried everything but the modem had crapped out so nothing worked. The only productive thing I did that day was clean out my bettas' (3 gallon) vase.
Saturday I went to Hannahcohn's cat's funeral, which was sad but really perfect, as far as that kind of goodbye goes. There was a lot of love. I felt that my presence was comforting to Hannah, which was why I wanted to go. Hannah loves that cat more than many people love their children and the loss must be so immense. Afterward I realized I was only 15 minutes from Sanctuary (Kei-Won-Tia's house) so I went over and we watched Adventure Time interspersed with very meaningful conversation between me, Kei-Won-Tia, and Kyle. I drank a bit and was leaning towards staying the night, but then I sobered up and realized I didn't have a change of clothes and would wake up feeling super gross, so I went to Topaz's where I went to bed but couldn't sleep for ages (I think I lay in bed for 6 hours before sleep) and eventually got just 4 hours or so.
Sunday I woke up and scurried home, whirlwind cleaned my house for a bit, and then people started arriving for the crafty party. Ashe came over, which was interesting because it is the first time ze's been to my house for years. Ze played piano which I unexpectedly enjoyed (I usually find piano music bothersome because my parents made me play for 4 years). Ze also brought a new friend, Rayne, who is pagan and seems awesome. I felt so awkward but really happy, and I enjoyed both of their company. Then Heather and Heatherby and Taz and Olly showed up, and were surprised by the mellow feel. Kylei and Allison are my bouncy boisterous friends (I'm only like that if I'm drunk or extremely happy) so without them everything's pretty chill. I like for things to be bouncy but I am not invested enough to make it so myself. Bouncy is not a creative energy for me -- when I am creating I get very quiet and focused. Anyway it was a very successful crafty party! I really liked the things people made and I loved my craft. I made magic talismans for the people in my energy work class: I wrote blessings for them (intuiting what I felt to be their need) on tiny slips of paper which I rolled into spirals and placed in a painted plastic bottle cap along with scraps from calendars, glitter, glass, and resin. They turned out amazing and I cannot wait to do more.
Monday I had to be up early for the internet to get fixed but I couldn't sleep until late, so I got another short and interrupted sleep. I went to the last energy work class, which was intense -- we learned a technique that I feel is very good for removing doubt*. At one point we did an exercise where we thought of something unlikely (buying a dinner for two at $200 a plate) and removed doubt until we could see it as possible. When I got to the point where it felt possible, I started crying, not just tearing up but unable-to-speak-and-occasionally-sobbing.
At the end of the class I gave out my talismans along with the blessings written out on post-its so they could have them, and they were welcomed so happily. Five of the people said that they were spot-on (the other did not comment), one person cried, one person thanked me profusedly. Also, as I was leaving one of the students told me that ze had practiced an energy work thing I had suggested and it had helped, which made me feel so happy. The thing I got out of this class more than anything else was coming to trust in my intuition, and to believe that the things that I feel as right often are. The doubt-removing exercise was also very useful and I will definitely be using that.
As I left, this headache that I'd been pushing away for 2 hours finally just crashed in -- it was awful, crushing pain. I started to drive home but the lights from other cars were stabbing me and I didn't feel fully there and I kept feeling like I was going to puke, so I called Topaz and asked if I could come there. Ze said yes and so I did, and by the time I got there all I could do was lay on the floor and whimper. I didn't know if it was lack of sleep or lack of food or dehydration or some terrible combination, but it hurt so much. Topaz pet me and gave me cold compresses and brought me water and saltines and made me soup. Once the nausea faded enough that I could eat, I ate and took ibuprofen and the headache went away over the next hour. We went to sleep early and I slept deeply, finally, though I had strange dreams about the trailer I lived in from ages 2-8.
*You think of a situation and rate its possibility for you on a scale from 1-100, using intuition for the rating and imagination to picture a sliding scale. Then you think of the things that make it not possible, and let them go -- all judgements and etc. Keep checking on the scale and don't stop until you get to a point of 90-95% possibility, when you can just push the slider up with your mind. Then you take a mental picture of the situation and send it outward from you in a ripple. It doesn't sound like much but when you do it, you realize a lot of subconscious things that you believe, that you might be better off if you didn't believe (like "everyone will dislike me if I...").
poll: what are your receiving-comments preferences?
Poll #1973651 comment preferences
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: Friends, participants: 35
if all I can think of to say to an entry is a short expression like 'I feel you' or 'I love this!' would you rather I...
is there a particular kind of post you especially value comments on?
if you especially value comments on particular subjects, what are they?
Please let me know any other commenting preferences you have in comments. Screened for now, I will unscreen unless you request they stay screened.
LJ matchmaking! 2014 part 2!
I chose only people who are currently fairly active and who I feel I can guess at what they would like to see on their friends page. If you want me to recommend someone for you to add, comment and ask and I'll take a stab at it, but it may be random if I don't know you well or don't have an obvious match come to mind. Also, if you have a particular way of friending and don't ever want to be included on this, lemme know.
keiwontia, you requested so you get most recommendations: tangledaxon and ladywind and kmiotutsie and chillychilly22 and hands_cupped
camilleyun meet writing_adrift
kittyfaces meet hands_cupped
aliki meet nucleosides
mac_arthur_park meet wolfteaparty
keypike meet raoin
anrui_ichido meet left_harangue meet fayriekisses (yes I intended to make a triangle)
chillychilly22 meet llama_friendly
antuvschle meet cheshire23
kiwi meet tikva
butterbyitself meet ohelectricshock
I want too many different things to make anything successful / ADD-PI = hyperfocus or distraction
My biggest problem finding 'success' in anything is that I want to do everything. I don't think I fail due to mediocrity. I do everything to my best ability and I always strive to improve. If I only cared about one thing, I would invest all of my time and effort and resources and make it happen. But picking one is not only boring to me, it feels like a betrayal of all the other parts of me. I used to be more able to do that, when I had fewer passions and skills. I never had a taproot and my roots just get more fibrous with time.
This started when I was a kid and I wanted to be a fiction writer, a painter, a choreographer, and a singer (and until I was 12 I wanted to be president). Now I want to write, share my communication skills, educate people on social justice, counsel people, make jewelry, do oracle card readings, do spiritual healing, photograph nature and portraits, organize, facilitate intimacy practices, help people be creative, help people learn to love their bodies, make magical items, make fractals, model, create a consent culture, etc. All of these things are very important to me, so I have invested time and energy in all of them, and I am very skilled at almost all of them. Ideally I would do them all for free and magically be able to live without having to ask for payment. I started a patreon but I feel like it is waaaaayyy too all over the place and I feel pretty overwhelmed at how badly organized it is and I also feel like -- am I really contributing enough to the world to deserve funding? and then I think, but I am only asking to live, surely I give enough to deserve that.
I just want to be able to live while I do these things. I don't need much, but I haven't been able to turn any of these things into something that will allow me to live. The world certainly doesn't reward effort for its own sake. Instead I have to waste my life doing things that are intrinsically worthless (though I can add meaning to them), which not only takes the time that I spend at a job, but also recovery time after, during which I cannot create and give. And I know having had the time to even realize this or do any of those things to the extent which I have is a rare gift and I am grateful. I wouldn't wish away any of my passions. I just wish I could 'make it.' Every time I try and fail I feel like I'm being told that nobody wants what I have to give and I should stop pretending it's important. I usually just avoid thinking about the many failures in my past, and remind myself that I know there are people who feel nourished by my art, my words, what I give. And I have a safety net, which is rare and a huge privilege.
I think the multiplicity of passion is partly a function of my ADD-PI, the part of it that I like, where my brain craves variety and wants to delve into everything with total abandon. For periods of time I can turn on the most determined patient focus you ever saw, and that is how I develop skill in the things I care about. I will be almost crying with frustration sometimes and yet I won't quit, because I just have to find the right way. Today I spent hours trying to figure out how to make new variations work in Apophysis 7x, not because I really needed them or because it would do me a lot of good but because I had started it and I wanted/needed to finish it.
On the other hand, I also spent almost two hours yesterday rating my interest in genres/films on netflix, which I really didn't want to do after the first hour but I just couldn't stop. People tell me to break tasks into small chunks but this just makes me laugh. Maybe that works for people with different brains. But me? If I want it to be done well, it has to be done in a period of hyperfocus, which I cannot get out of, not even when someone is getting angry at me for not stopping (and usually anger at me is a HUGE trigger that overwhelms everything else). I don't have a choice for 'normal focus' -- I get hyperfocus or distracted-diluted-brain, and I pretty much refuse to do anything important with that second kind because I would be incredibly upset to put the worst part of me into something important. And it takes a whole lot of energy stored up to begin hyperfocus, it can never last more than 18 hours, and then the thing I focused on is 'worn-out' in my brain and I have no idea how long it will take for me to have the energy to hyperfocus on it again.
The worst fuckin part is that my meaningless retail jobs require hyperfocus because distracted-diluted won't cut it. So then all I have left for myself is distracted-diluted-brain and I can do nothing important for at least 16 hours after work. Usually for a grand total of less than $40 a day.
why I'm in love with Topaz: the condensed stream-of-consciousness version
I'm so fuckin in love with Topaz. It's super frustrating how hard it is to find words that adequately express the things that I love so much and why I love them. I love how physical zir excitement is -- even though the wild pounding on my arm/shoulder is not actually pleasant, it's adorable in a rude way. I love how ze tucks zirself up against me in hugs or in laying cuddles, filling all the space between. I love how ze is pleased when I teasingly mock zir for being a brat. I love how ze plays with me, I love this so very much. The other day I kissed zir neck in a way that tickled, so ze tried to kiss my neck to tickle me back, and we had a laughing war for a little while. We often have bite wars like that, or Topaz will smack me in response to me teasing zir and I'll smack back and ze'll cry 'ow!' and smack me harder, so I smack harder, and ze's sort of trying to win but only kinda, and laugh and go back and forth until ze calls it off. We laugh so much, cuddle so much. We wrestle, and play tag, and annoy each other just to the point of fun and no further. I brush zir hair a lot, and hold zir and pet zir and kiss zir all the time, and ze hugs me a lot and nuzzles into me. We are sometimes kittens and sometimes other creatures and often communicate without words. I cry when I am moved by music or a concept or a scene, and Topaz looks at me and I can feel zir feeling it with me. Ze says ze loves that I cry because ze has the same feeling and ze can know that I feel it too by looking at me (I'm paraphrasing).
Ze holds my hand when we go to zir garden, almost every time, and I've just realized this is probably in reference to the first time it was cold and dark and Topaz wanted to show me things and I didn't want the discomfort and ze begged and I said that if ze held my hand and led me then it would be an adventure instead of a discomfort and so ze did, delightedly. I love that when we are holding hands in the car and I pull my hand away for something (usually because a turn is coming up and I don't want to be the reason ze doesn't have two hands on the wheel) ze gestures frantically for my hand back as soon as the impetus is over. I love that ze values holding hands and sees it as the most romantic gesture.
I love that ze takes me seriously anytime I want, and doesn't believe small things to be large when I say they are small (as in, if I have a mild desire to go to a place and ze doesn't, ze doesn't think I am minimizing my feelings for zir sake but trusts that I am being frank). I love, love, love, love, that I can ask for anything at all and be SURE that Topaz will not say yes unless ze is a yes. Sometimes ze will have difficulty saying no, but the awkward stop-start-silence is easy to read as a no so it works just as well, I drop the topic and ze brings it up when ze is ready. The lack of feigning agreement is the important thing. I also love that if ze can't talk about it now, ze will remember to bring it up later so I don't have to fret that it is going unresolved. I love that sometimes Topaz will look over my shoulder when I check email or texts, or will ask who texted me or what I am writing (I do not have a privacy setting with anyone that I want to know me who is willing to offer the same openness). I love that ze gets me little presents that show ze was thinking of me -- a dark chocolate and mint bar, or a pretty tea tin, or cinnamon altoids, or a real-ginger ale.
I love that ze is unafraid to express missing me and also doesn't pressure me for more time than I want to give, but rather expresses encouragement to me for doing things that matter to me. I love that ze has devoted so much to learning me that ze can see emotions/motives in me sometimes before I have realized they are there. I love that ze enjoys some of my word idiosyncrasies and uses them also. I love that ze values the things I give to the world and that I don't feel like it's sympathy but instead genuine belief in my art forms and my esoteric gifts. I love that ze values my beliefs even where they differ from zirs and will refer to them spontaneously sometimes -- it bolsters my faith and often happens just when I needed to be reminded. I love that ze loves my body on zir own and refers to it independently, not just when I ask zir to notice it or comment on it.
I've never felt so loved by one person in my life. I think perhaps others have loved me as much, but they did not express it in ways I could feel so deeply and fully and often.
the metamour relationship is the foundation for my understanding/desire of tribe
So I missed this presentation at TBC 2012, and it is a testament to my ADD-PI that I've been intending to watch it since then but haven't gotten around to it until today. I resonated so strongly with it. In case you don't watch it (yet), let me just give you this: a metamour is someone with whom you share a common connection. In other words, the friend of your friend or the lover of your lover.
For me, poly has been about developing metamour relationships probably as much as it has been about being open to simultaneous romantic relationships. And while I don't always seek the additional romance, I have ALWAYS valued and craved metamour relationships. For me, that is the essence of a tribe. If I care about you, I care about whoever is important to you. I want to know them. I want to be bonded with them to the extent that it is possible. And a lot of my important relationships were created as metamour connections: Adi (mutual lover), Heather (mutual lover), Camellia (mutual friend), Aurilion (mutual friend), Ashe (mutual friend), Kylei (mutual community), Hannah (mutual community), Meliae (mutual community), Laura (mutual friend). And the whole reason I began investing was for the sake of the person or community that brought us together -- it wasn't me seeking out that person in particular, it was me valuing the person/thing between us enough to want to invest the time to know the person for themselves. When I tell you I love you, it flows one step further to your people. Even if I feel I have nothing in common with the person you love, I want to build whatever small thing might be possible with them (and I hope for more). And I want your love for me to flow over to the people I love and for you to try to build with them. I feel that I cannot adequately understand you unless I understand your people at least on a basic level.
Not only do I value and seek out these relationships, but I feel a lack and a loss when they do not exist, ESPECIALLY when I feel that two people would really enjoy each other. I get very nervous about trying again when I have encouraged metamour relationships with someone and they have failed, but I never stop wanting to do it even if I stop being brave enough to try. I'm a friendship-matchmaker and I really do just want to smoosh everyone together (in a consensual way). It makes me feel sad and frustrated when people's expectations, assumptions, or situations get in the way but if they could just get over that initial hump they'd both have their lives enriched.
I feel conflicted when I don't know how to talk to a metamour; it just now occurred to me that the metamour of my metamour is my friend, heh, so I could just ask my friend how to connect with their friend. I've done this a little with Kei-Won-Tia because we both value this metamour-nurturing but it never occurred to me to try it in general until just now. Let me just say, if I have expressed love to you and there is a person you love whom I don't have an independent connection with, please do offer whatever you know to help us connect (if that is a thing you would like to happen, obv).
It's been 90 degrees in my house all day. The air conditioner's compression coil is broken, according to the person who looked at it today. Now I have to wait for M to decide it is important enough to spend money on and then for them to fix it. It's painfully hot because I only have a ceiling fan in here and the other fan has to be downstairs to bring some of the cooler air up here (I hope, who even knows if its working). I need this fixed because I feel like I can't breathe and I'm so exhausted just from the heat that I can't get anything done. Even the idea of going out to a place that does have air conditioning sounds like the worst chore, because I'd have to put clothes on my sticky sweaty body. Also I'm out of meds because the wellstar replacement for the KSU office organizer person is crap. I don't know how much of this blarghCAn'T is heat and how much is med-lack. The only reason I've been able to write this entry is that dark brought a temp drop -- it's 82 outside and probably 87 inside. I'm letting all the bugs in so I can blow in some cool air :-[
Oh, and the a/c has been broken for at least 3 weeks. it's just been in the mid-80s instead of 90. I can handle mid-80s pretty well but this is too much. I like heat generally, but I hate it when there is no escape and almost no breeze. I need another fan at least, and now.
Who speaks to my soul w their existence? 1st impressions? How do they inspire?
Prompt from Kei-Won-Tia: Who are the people in your life who speak to your soul with their existence and what was your first impression of them? What qualities in them inspire you to better yourself?
There are a lot of people in that first answer! I'll go chronologicallyish, name then first impression then qualities. Remember these are not characterizations just first impressions!
Allison. first impression: small, bouncy, happy, clever, creative. Ze inspires me to get in touch with my more expressive self, and be unabashedly enthusiastic.
Hannah. first impression: brilliant, careful, compassionate, silly, generous, yearning. Ze inspires me to ask prying questions, to seek a more blunt truthfulness, to embrace my tenderness (used to be very difficult as I prided myself on toughness).
SabR. first impression: fierce, wild, bold about beliefs, generous, welcoming, easily angry, confidently creative. Ze inspires me to put more of myself on the line with my art, to be bolder about sharing vulnerable beliefs, to be wild (like a leopard not like a spring breaker).
Aurilion. first impression: too interested in being seen as more evolved than the next to be really honest about anything, loving, seeking (I didn't connect w zir much at all until we met in person). Ze inspires me to believe in my intuition and to be open to possibilities.
Ashe. first impression: sweet, affectionate, loyal to an extreme (I got annoyed with a girl who was deliberately flirting with our crushes but ze was infuriated/outraged and I'm pretty sure hated that person from then on). Ze inspires me to believe in myself - I think ze was the first person to believe in me, which is a huge damn deal.
Anika. first impression: angry, open, curious, creative, clever. Ze inspires me to share more, to yield less, to grow and learn and be unafraid.
Viv. first impression: anxious, eager to explore, cuddly. Ze inspired me to explore my transness, undo my partnership, reconsider my whole life, take emotional risks with no security.
Vola. first impression: quiet, intense, very thoughtful and thorough, determined. Ze inspires me to think (through zir thoughtful sharing) and to be true to the more analytical, ethereal parts of me. This is kinda rare because people tend to like my sensual, affectionate side more.
Nea. first impression: impossibly kind, compassionate, nonjudgemental. I think Nea is still the most nonjudgemental person I've ever known. Ze inspires me in that way and also by being a person who doesn't share many words and yet is as open-hearted as can be. It makes me see more possibilities in people.
Laura. first impression: honest, creative, loving toward everyone but zirself. Ze died last year but continues to inspire me with zir hope in all things. I want to believe. I miss zir so much, I hate that ze's gone.
Angie. first impression: sweetest, gentlest person I've ever met (that initial impression is still true). Ze inspires me to remember that there are still kind people in the world, even when surrounded by cruelty, not everyone becomes cruel. Ze makes me believe in love.
Lisa. first impression: honest, cheerful, directionless. Ze inspires me because I've seen zir take ownership of zir life and unflinchingly examine where ze can change to bring about the life ze wants, and then just fuckin do it. (Not directionless, obv)
Firekat. first impression: opposite of me, adventurous, risk-taking. Ze inspires me to take risks! I've followed in zir footsteps in a lot of ways (not intentionally, but partly given courage by seeing Kat) and been the better for it.
Ben. first impression: argumentative, stubborn, smart, affectionate. Ben inspires me with zir desire to grow and learn. I almost never see this in someone who passes as a privilege-pinnacle person, and it gives me a little hope for the world.
Arizona. first impression: sharp-minded, open to any new idea, enjoying life, stable and secure in zirself. Ze inspires me to believe in my ability to sense magic. Ze was the first to affirm me in that way (we got together because I dreamed we kissed and then I asked zir out as an act of trusting my intuition).
Kylei. first impression: extremely emotional, creative, impulsive, open, affectionate. Ze inspires me to be more open, honor my feelings, follow my heart.
Heather. first impression: friendliest person ever, totally free and kind. Ze inspires me to share (because ze read my ENTIRE journal even the early parts and still liked me) and to see myself as a relatable person even though I get socially overwhelmed sometimes (if it can be true of the friendliest person ever, I must be relatable too).
Abby. first impression: nervous, creative, generous. Ze inspires me to treat emotions as a shared unfolding of knowledge, a collaborative project, and ze inspires me by sharing new knowledge.
Adi. first impression: bold, honest, unafraid. Ze believed in my goodness at a time when I felt everyone would judge me and it made me feel hope that I could be myself without going way out of my way to explain and still have people see me truly.
Topaz. first impression: capable of listening intently and engagingly, caring about social justice, fierce, free, unavailable, sexy as fuck. Ze inspires me to continue learning and attempting to educate others (because ze also self-educates and agrees and supports me) and to go after what I want (because ze believes in zirself and prioritizes zir needs so I feel I can too).
Camellia. first impression: no idea because it was so long ago and ze was just a kid. Ze inspires me to be welcoming, because ze makes me feel like that part of me is appreciated.
Kei-Won-Tia. first impression: distant, loving, self-deprecating, a bit lost. Ze inspires me to practice gratitude, build intentional connections, trust in people, share what I learn.
There are many others, really.
Also all of the good parents I know: Anika, Jess, Clare and spouse, Christine, Issa and Joshua, Mandy, Brian and Sarah, Ksej, others- people raising their children with love and creativity and understanding and freedom, giving them the chance to flourish instead of squashing them into a mold like most progenitors. I feel this very deeply and personally, as if in doing so they are giving me what I never had. It moves me to tears.
If I loved it as a kid I love it now: the world of tiny, reading, woods, talking, thinking
My idea of fun has changed very little since I was a kid. Even then, I cringed when watching movies where people crashed into things and made a huge mess, and a food fight never sounded like anything but a giant disgusting chore made by selfish brats. The idea of having a monkey as a pet would never have appealed to me because I wouldn't want to clean up after it.
What was fun to me was tiny magical toys, being in the woods, reading, talking, and thinking. I only had one fairy winkle as a child but have since used ebay to build a collection that I then spent upwards of 10 hours building a tree home for. Yes I still sometimes take them out in the woods to play. Trees are even more important to me now that I have learned more about them and become able to connect with them in a mutual way.And books? Even though I don't have unlimited time to read anymore, I have 500+ books now and I still carry a book almost everywhere I go. Talking is still a favorite: not chatting, mind you, but communicating a mutual sharing of meaningful thoughts. Like discussing relationship difficulties or the nature of reality or the possibilities that lie in what we do not know.
And thinking. I don't sink into it as deeply as I did as a kid because the fantasies about my own house and land and snow leopard now have become a little worn, and a little tinged with the sorrow of slim chance. But I am never bored if I can think. If I have to pay attention to something that prevents me thinking, I will nearly die of boredom, but otherwise, my mind is a playground.
I've heard many people express longing for a return to childlike wonder, for the freedom of childhood. I wasn't free as a child, and maybe that's why the things in which I found joy became so deeply a part of me. Or maybe I just experience less shame than most and can embrace these things as much as I ever did. Or maybe because I thought so much about how I was devalued for being a child, I determined that I would never see childish things as lesser, and kept my word to myself.
Playing By Heart screened w new people/ time at Sanctuary/ poly, mono, & friendship
This weekend was very busy with social things but I didn't get overwhelmed and crash! Saturday I got up very late and Topaz made us breakfast (sprouted grain bagels with goat cheese and fresh-picked spinach and grilled bell peppers and egg and chipotle sauce) and we drank coffee together. I had wanted zir to come to the Saturday events (watching my favorite movie followed by Kyle's birthday party) but ze was feeling exhausted and in need of down time so ze chose not to go.
I was disappointed but also happy to realize that I didn't feel like going out and being social on my own would drain me. This is the first time in a very long time that that has been true, and I think the reason for this change is that I feel super safe and cozy with Kei-Won-Tia and Heather, and affectionate toward Kyle, Christo, Kylei, and Brian, who were also coming. Coyote was also going which made me nervous because I feel sure ze dislikes me now that Kylei and I broke up, but I still felt safe.
So we watched Playing By Heart, and I didn't really get a chance to discuss it with anyone, but I got some initial senses about people's reactions. I felt that Kei-Won-Tia resonated with Joan (who is like 90% me) and several other characters. I wasn't sure which parts Kyle and Heather resonated with but I felt like they definitely connected with the core of it. I am unsure about Brian and Christo, but would like to know their thoughts too. Coyote hated Joan, to the point of wishing zir dead, which made me feel incapable of pointing out places where I especially resonated, or saying anything really. I felt disturbed that Kylei (the only one who had seen it before) seemed to be agreeing, because a lot of the things I love about Joan are also true about Kylei. Coyote also seemed to think that one of the love stories was ridiculous because the two didn't interact for much time, which made me see it in a new light. It still makes perfect sense to me though because when you're really looking, it is the easiest thing in the world to fall in love, and all it takes for me to tell if a deep connection is possible is a long hug or long eye contact.
After this we started playing Imaginiff (a board game that I actually like because it's all about asking questions and getting to know people) but Kyle (whose birthday we were celebrating) wasn't into it so we put it away after only a few turns. There was a clash between Kyle and Kei-Won-Tia after which Kei-Won-Tia started feeling ill and went to bed. I felt concerned but not yet comfy enough to barge in without invitation. But the rest of the evening was fun and I felt like Kyle and I connected a lot over the evening; we talked about Douglas Adams and ADD and other things, and I feel like we can be friends. I only interacted a little with Christo but I thought ze was pretty awesome for reacting with good humor to people poking at zir masculinity. I feel safer around people who don't guard their gender aggressively because I feel it means they are less likely to try to police other people in that way.
I went from there to Topaz' and hung out while ze cleaned for a while and then we went on the front porch to be near the rain, and talked about my experiences that evening and somehow moved into talking about poly. I occasionally get hit with a wave of worry that because ze's monogamous, when we break up ze won't be my soulfriend and cuddle buddy any more. Ze's assured me that ze wants that as much as I do, but I still get scared sometimes because I really don't understand rules in relationships and they make me uncomfortable. The idea of two people being in love but not being together for some external rule (a partner says no, or it would endanger their identity, stuff like that) is so horrifically sad to me; that's the entire reason I'm poly. I expressed this and added that with poly people, there's a pretty fine line between friend and lover so I don't feel worried I'll get shut out after a breakup. Ze said this fine line feels to zir like one category so it's either "friends and maybe lovers" or "acquaintances but no closer." I've definitely felt that myself before but I think that not valuing/prioritizing friendship is a problem with poly and mono people alike. (the only people I regularly feel a resonance with on the valuing of friendship are asexual people) Logically, I know Topaz and I will continue to be friends because we both do value friendship highly and we prefer to work shit out rather than avoid. But we haven't broken up before so I still feel the need for reassurance sometimes.
The main reason I'm not even casually looking for another romance is that right now, I have so many relationships that are just budding or in recovery, and I don't want to take time from building those connections to focus on a new romance. I feel like I'm finally recovered enough from depression that it would be possible for me to fall in love with a new person, but that's not what I want right now. I feel so excited and happy about spending more time with my friends and I feel so encouraged about long-term friendships. That's what I want to do with my relational energy.
Sunday was disappointing because everyone cancelled on the crafty party, but like I told Topaz when ze exclaimed at my calm response, at least 90% of my friends have anxiety, depression, physical disability and/or ADD. I expect frequent cancellations because a lot of the time you can't predict what you're going to be up for. Topaz and I crafted and took turns reading "The Mer-Child" to each other, which was adorable and fun. Ze left to watch Cosmos but I was in the zone and kept crafting for another 3.5 hours. I've now finished the tedious part of my new project and the next step is fun ;-) Also, Kylei and Heather offered to come visit and craft with me this week, so I'm looking forward to that.
for assertive/exuberant/forceful people: some notes on avoiding accidental coercion/pressuring
If you have a forceful personality (like me), tend to get very exuberant about things you want, and/or get very down about your disappointments, it can be difficult to keep these tendencies from running over other people's needs, especially if those people are invested in your happiness. Note: if you tend to get your way without negotiating, or if you ever assume that someone should do something that you want, you may be running over other people's needs. My examples are sex but this applies to all interactions; stuff like going to an event, making a shift in your relationship, etc.
My number one suggestion is, if it is something you really want, make a mental habit to double-check when you get your way. This can happen first in your head -- yay they said yes! this means time to double-check. Do they seem as excited as I am about it? If yes, great, move forward! If they are ANY less excited than me, look at how I asked*, look at their body language, look at their phrasing. If it all matches up with go-time**, move forward. If not, open up the chance for them to decline*** by saying something like "you seem a little hesitant, is there something else you want to do right now?" or "what are you feeling?" or even "are you sure? we could always do [alternate choice]!" (that last one you need to say with happiness for it to be useful). If you discuss it and don't end up feeling like they are sure they want it, don't do it. Better to avoid an experience that turns out to be unwanted, even if that sometimes means you mistakenly miss out on an experience that was wanted.
And, frankly, better to only do things when people clearly state that they want it than to have murky communication as the default mode. I know some people would not be able to have sex in this case, but it's not your job to make sure other people have sex, it's your job to make sure you never violate someone's boundaries. If someone wants to have sex but is hesitant about the kind/boundaries/etc, that can be negotiated, but if you want to make sure you don't violate them, you can't have sex with them if they are unsure that they want it to begin with.
*did you ask with an easy way for them to decline? For example, did you say "can we get sexy?/ will you go to this party with me?" or "I'd love to have sex with you tonight / I'd love if you came to this party." The first is a yes/no and it is REALLY hard for many people to give a flat no. So anything that is not a yes or other excited affirmative, treat it as a no. The second is better, in my experience, because people can share their own feelings in return, instead of being pushed into having to do it or say no. Sideways-no is much easier for most people to say.
**go-time body language and phrasing differs for everyone, but some things that in my experience are clear signs of reluctance (thus NOT go-time) are closed-off body (arms or legs crossed, leaning away, toes or shoulders or face pointed away from you, physical barriers like knees or pillows in the way, not making eye contact) or answers like "okay" or "sure" instead of yes/yeah. If you're not good at noting body language, practice and double-check with words, or just use words.
***the more chances you give someone to decline, the more sure you can be that they want what you want.
More in-depth explanation on how to be careful with sexual consent specifically.
poll: what are your privileges? (not a comprehensive list)
no one can see your individual responses but me.
Poll #1970899 privilege checklist, short version
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: None, participants: 43
are you white-passing? (treated as white by most people most of the time)
are you male-passing? (treated as male by most people most of the time)
are you cis-passing? (treated by most people most times as if your assignment at birth and your gender/sex are the same)
are you non-disabled? (not marginalized, discriminated against, stigmatized, or attacked for how your body or mind differ from the average)
are you non-mobility-impaired? (able to perform the average level of mobility without pain/damage/assistance)
are you neurotypical? (able to perform the average level of mental tasks without pain/damage/assistance)
are you financially stable? (able to pay all of your needs and bills on a regular basis)
are you straight? (not institutionally discriminated against for your sexual orientation)
is your gender read correctly (or very close to it) by most people?
are you monogamous? (not marginalized/excluded for the shape and size of your romantic relationships)
are you cis? (do you identify with the sex/gender you were assigned at birth)
are you a citizen of one of the western countries?
do you have regular access to the internet?
are you part of the religion that dominates the area in which you live?
are you college-educated?
are you a sexual person? (not asexual or demisexual)
is your job one that is considered legitimate? (not illegal, considered 'immoral' by the average person, or unpaid)
do you have a body that is NOT considered fat by the average person in your country?
are you able to obtain and consume healthy food without struggle? (there are sources near you and you do not have guilt/shame/pain associated with eating)
are you able to avoid the mental replaying of trauma? (not being triggered by sexual abuse, hate crimes, or other commonly-referenced traumas)
Mine, selected out:
white-passing, cis-passing, non-disabled, non-mobility-impaired, citizen of one of the western countries, have regular access to the internet, college-educated, a sexual person, legitimate job (when I have one), able to obtain and consume healthy food without struggle, able to avoid the mental replaying of trauma.
Those last two privileges I did not have in the past -- if you have always had these privileges, I don't think it is possible to imagine how lacking them overwhelms your life.
Not comprehensive, and I am in no way implying that all of these are 'equal.'
Screening comments in case people want to respond in-depth but not publicly. If you want your comment to STAY screened please mention that.
PSA: teenager bodies are not adult bodies so stop trying to look like a teen if you're an adult
If you ate healthily (as in, 'did not have an eating disorder,' not as in 'ate only salads') and were active when you were 25-26, that's the minimum size of your adult body. Trying to get smaller than that is going to cause your body to suffer. And if you're not yet 26, your body is going to keep on changing because you are not grown up yet. Most humans change shape between adolescence and adulthood (which doesn't start until your mid-twenties!). Please, please stop trying to look like a teenager. That is not seeking health, it is seeking a look at the cost of health. Very few people are naturally the same size from 19 to death. (and those people are not 'lucky' they are just unusual. don't fetishize their bodies)
I no longer believe in an afterlife / beings are composed of memory, we are one consciousness
I used to believe in a self that existed as a whole after death, that moved to another kind of existence in an afterlife. As a tiny child I believed in heaven as envisioned by me -- a huge flat place, mixtures of gardens and clouds, with the occasional gem-encrusted castle and the most bright yet soft light. Later I believed in a more amorphous afterlife where I didn't care about most of it but part of it was a world which I had visited in dreams, a world where people could only come in if I choose to invite them, a world of flatness interrupted by cliffs covered by trees and channeled with rivers and streams, quiet and intensely, vibrantly expectant. I still believe that world exists because when I visited there in dreams it was more real than anything I have experienced in waking life, except for occasional moments with lovers or deep friends. But I no longer believe that it was part of an afterlife. I don't think I will go there when I die, though I hope to go there again in some way or another.
I was talking with Topaz about zir beliefs in what happens when you die and ze described going to be part of the world again in a new way, not as a whole (reincarnation) but split into basic elements and becoming part of many new lives. I suddenly realized that I didn't have an independent support for my belief in an afterlife. I have read a lot of books of people who died and came back, and they have remarkably similar experiences, but I don't want to base my belief on something someone else says, so for me to believe that I need to be able to find roots for it.
Does an afterlife make sense, given my sense of the universe as a sentient whole, and my understanding of living beings as being composed of memory? The being-composed-of-memory is a fairly new (to me) understanding of consciousness. I believe in a universal sentience and a shared universal memory, because this explains so many otherwise-unexplained things. I think it is possible to communicate with beings who lived in the past not because they still exist as a singular whole, but because their consciousness has been 'uploaded.' I don't know if that happens during life or after death, but considering that many people see a life review soon after they are technically dead, perhaps that is when the upload happens. Perhaps we have some control over it and can upload bits and pieces as we go? I think maybe the reason that people who die and come back become more compassionate is that they have a memory of all memories. If you were to take in another human's entire memory set, you could not help but feel utter compassion for them, I am convinced. This on a broader scale? obviously wouldn't fit into a single brain BUT the emotional memory of that overwhelming compassion WOULD remain. And would make you a better person. Perhaps this emotional memory is present in us when we have a new physical consciousness but it gets washed out as we age. Perhaps animals exhibit compassion (often better than humans) because they still have this emotional memory, even though some of them may not have the reasoning capabilities of humans. Maybe as very young kids we know how to connect to the universal memory? That would explain the often uncanny knowledge of children, and how they speak of life before their birth.
I'm not sure what will happen when I die; perhaps enough of my energy signature will remain together that I could feel myself as an individual, and communicate. I would love to do that, and it is my intention that if I can, I will communicate with people who are still in these forms before the next step. I know that I am not currently a singular whole, that this is an illusion and I contain multitudes of living beings. I am a planet for microbes, who have significant impact on my thinking and desires. What happens when we are separated in the death of my body? what parts of me are microbe and what parts are human? I am unsure of the in-between part but I feel that eventually, my physical and non-physical parts will be reabsorbed and scattered and I will become new things. I feel this has happened over and over and perhaps the reason I feel such a bond with some people is that parts of us were the same tree, or cat, or dolphin, or moss, a few cycles ago. Maybe the people I feel lesser connections with are people I haven't shared a body with in a very long time, and I have less access to memory of them.
why I use LJ and what I love about how it works
In response to LJ-feedback's questions:
What are the main reasons you use LiveJournal?
1) It is a community of people who share their thoughts and feelings in a deep and meaningful way.
2) the LJ culture encourages reaching out to strangers. Not just in communities, but generally as well. I have always felt that to offer LJ friendship is to give a compliment, because for many people that is a key to their inner world. (my journal is public so I just leave the door open)
3) I have years of history here and love LJ for the way it has changed my life for the better, and I have a fantastic and fairly prolific flist.
4) see ALL of the reasons listed below also.
What are the things you love best about us? What are the features you like most? What makes LiveJournal special to you? In your opinion, what do we have that other places don't?
These are all kinda the same question so I'm going to answer this from the perspective of "what functional parts does LJ offer that others do not?"
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2 intimacy practices (Heather, Ariana, Anika, me, Abby, Kylei, Topaz, Camellia, Kei-Won-Tia, Roger)
We had two intimacy practices this week. Tuesday, Heather and Ariana and Anika and I had a small one (Topaz was there at the start but was feeling migrainey so had to go home). It was Ariana's first and Anika's 3rd, I think? Anyway the four of us talked about lots of things as per usual but the part that stuck out the most to me was the common thread of spirituality; during truth-or-truth I asked Heather and Ariana some questions and someone else asked Anika a question that also led to discussion of spirituality. I felt very resonant with Ariana when we talked about plants and the energy of the four of us was very... soft and mighty, like moss on a giant tree. I felt really connected to everyone and like I learned a lot about Ariana in a short time.
Then tonight we had another, with me and Abby, Anika, Kylei, Topaz, Camellia, Kei-Won-Tia, Roger, and of course me. This one felt so magical, partly because I got to cuddle with Topaz and Kei-Won-Tia and Camellia (really close cuddles that felt very open, which was new between me and Kei-Won-Tia and Camellia), and partly because I felt really in sync with Topaz and Kei-Won-Tia and Anika. The truth or truth was the best it has ever been, I think, with each question opening up the questionee and a really good balance of timing. At one point I was asked to reflect out loud on the new people in my life and I did, and then felt a burst of intensified connection, and at another point there was a resonance between Kei-Won-Tia and Topaz that I also felt (to a lesser extent) which made me feel so close, and loving, and appreciative of the sharing that allowed it. Sadly Kylei started feeling ill and had to go, which meant Roger did too as they were Kylei's ride, and Anika had to go to take care of the baby, and Topaz had to leave for Cosmos. That was sad to miss, but the second half was still great and people asked me questions that made me consider things I hadn't before, which is something I treasure.
Also, Kei-Won-Tia got confused about the date for another event and so showed up early, then kept me company as I cleaned lots. Since cleaning alone is hard for me this was a wondrous (if accidental) gift <3
reading spiritual book daily / sharing spirituality esp. w Topaz / doing more art / feeling stagnant
Since I determined to read part of a spiritual book everyday (and set a timer on my phone because that is the only way I can remember), I have actually been keeping up with it and it has been very good for me. I feel like I need daily doses of magic I can sit in for at least 10 minutes (instead of passing magic that lasts a minute or less, which is far easier to find). I feel more connected to my spirituality, more able to be aware. I feel like, if I keep this up, it will not be as daunting a task to sit and meditate. Annnd reading a little bit every day instead of devouring the book in one sitting means that it fills my consciousness longer.
I also feel more able to share my spirituality since Topaz shared with me that ze was actively desiring to host a ritual (but feels the need to clean zir entire house first); I feel like that made me feel confident that Topaz wasn't just being empathetic and curious but had zir own motivation for expressing spirituality, which is new and exciting. It has been a long time since I was fully connected to someone who was spiritual in practice. I have a lot of people in my life who are spiritual, but not any who are active enough to create a ritual in which I can participate but am not necessary for it to exist. I'm just starting to get to the point where I have the confidence to do that myself.
I've also been doing more art: two fractals in the past two days (which is pretty much as fast as you can go because they take like 2 hours to make and then 12+ hours to render), and before that I did makeup and self-portraits (I want to replace a bunch of my old icons and I want my faces for certain expressions that I don't have icons for, like skepticism and awkwardness). Also I had a friend come over this week and craft with me, which was great because I did all of these plasticine clay beads and pendants. I feel closer to being able to make the wands (so intimidated by that project though). In answer to Vola's question, I don't have specific intent to work with Sekhmet more, because it just depends on whether or not ze visits and/or communicates with me again. After two experiences I tend to feel that the connection is more than a random gift (because they happened to be paying attention / in the area), and will try to find ways to honor and appreciate them.
Even though looking at this I can see that it is not true, at the same time as all this I've been feeling stagnant, in part because I haven't been able to motivate to tidy (though I did two loads of laundry! finally! after meaning to do it every day for a week) because it has been body-squishingly hot at my house (the air conditioner broke and I can't even open the windows because the dehumidifier is already pulling like 2 gallons of water a day) and I've been spending more time at Topaz'. I really need to do a whirlwind tidy session but it is hard to do alone :-p
meta-journalling / do not mind your own business in the face of suffering / bystanders are worse
I didn't do that bad this month with posting every day, but I missed 8 days so I didn't do great either. I really want to share daily, so I'm going to share little bits and pieces on purpose, instead of just as filler. Here's something I wrote in response to someone claiming that when it comes to oppression, they mind their own business and put on a happy mindset:
The problem is that minding your own business is at least half of the reason that evil continues. If people minded their own business, there would be no child labor laws, no true citizenry for anyone other than white landowning men, and it would still be legal to for a man to rape a woman so long as he had the proper document (slave papers, marriage license). And there are widespread horrific problems today, like the prison industrial complex that is basically a new form of slavery. To mind one's own business while others suffer is to condone the evil that makes them suffer. So we have to learn, and we have to pay attention to people other than ourselves, find out what is needed to stop the suffering. If you are not the one suffering you can't figure out how to fix it: only those with the experience can tell you what will work.Along the same lines, I feel if you watch someone suffer and do nothing, you are WORSE than the perpetrator. I say this because I felt far more betrayed by those who saw and did nothing than I did by the people who actually sexually abused me. Bystanders should absolutely be prosecuted as accessories to any violent crime, unless there is reasonable fear for their own safety. In a crowd of bystanders saying nothing and doing nothing while watching one person assault another without a weapon, all those pieces of shit should be thrown in prosecuted as much as the one who did it. Make that a law and there would be far fewer shitty people condoning rape and other hate crimes.
I've been doing a whole lot of interacting on facebook and that feels rather like screaming into a void, because those threads happen and are buried and forgotten. I want to be more consistent about saving my comments and putting them in my LJ.
on commenting: my ideal, what I dislike / how I comment / LJ is making changes, willy-nilly
My ideal comment is interactive: where you engage with what I've written. This can be through sharing something about yourself that my entry made you reflect on (#1 favorite), or sharing your emotional response to the post, or disagreeing with something I've said, or asking for clarification about something, or asking a question that delves deeper into what I've written (not all of my posts are worthy of interactive comments, heh). Expressing your care for me is always wonderful too. I do appreciate any comment that you take the time to make, because it lets me know that you are reading and you value my words. I do not expect comments on my posts or replies to comments I leave: they're a bonus. So please never feel guilty or anything for not commenting, and if I commented something that you don't feel a desire to respond to, feel free to skip it.
There is only one kind of comment I actively dislike, and that is unrequested advice. Please, never say "you should do ___" because it will make me feel disrespected, like you think that you can make better choices for me than I can. Feel free to tell me about similar experiences, but don't assume that I haven't already tried the thing you're thinking of. Also, if I ever give you unrequested advice, feel free to tell me off about it -- I won't get defensive, I'll just apologize and try to do better. I try not to give unrequested advice, but sometimes I yield to the impulse! which is why I understand when others do it, even though I don't like it.
On other people's posts, I tend to comment only if I have something to say, so if all I can think of is "I see" or "I agree" or "huh, interesting" then I probably won't comment. But I do read, carefully. On comments on my journal, I always INTEND to comment back but it tends to not happen in any kind of timely manner, and once it's old enough I don't do it at all. I want to get better at this because some of the comments I REALLY want to respond to. I need to let myself skip some comments instead of being fixated on doing them in order. I very much read and appreciate your responses though!
LJ is asking for feedback about a potential 'like'ing system. My response: people who have something to say will still comment. This allows people to show that they read it even if they don't have anything meaningful to add. I would much appreciate this and I think my friends list would too. and I think you should call it a "nod." That's the emotional feel of it.
I would love to get 'nods' on my post to let me know who read it and appreciated it. LOVE LOVE. I used to have a tracker that I could sorta kinda use that way but this would be much more accurate. If you agree please go over there and add your voice -- they put this post up YESTERDAY but the first commenters were negative so they're scrapping the idea, wtf.
(there is also a place to give feedback on the site redesign -- which they are planning on forcing! switching back is only because it is in beta! please tell them NO.)
the Belenen survey, updated to be even more gloriously nosy and thought-provoking
Please comment with your answers! Do 'em all or pick and choose. All comments are screened but I will unscreen unless you ask for them to stay private.
Note: most people have to split their survey into multiple comments because of LJ's character limit. And actually, if it doesn't take you at least 2 comments, ur doin it rong.
01. what is the name you go by among friends? is it self-chosen or was it given by someone else?
02. what's the story behind your username?
03. age and sign of the zodiac (sun, rising, and moon if you know them):
04. what are your self-labels?
05. around which core values do you structure your morality?
06. what makes you cry actual tears of joy? what makes you cry actual tears of sorrow?
07. what qualities are you currently working on developing in yourself?
08. do you consider yourself anti-prejudice and anti-oppression? if so, in what ways do you help to create equality in the world?
09. If you could have three wishes granted, what would they be?
10. have you changed gender and/or sex? That is, did you once consider yourself a gender and/or sex that you no longer identify with?
11. Describe your sexuality: whether or not you like sex, how you like to have sex, what your best sexual experiences have been like, the elements that need to be present for you to enjoy sex, etc.
12. what's your preferred relationship structure: monogamous, polyamorous, polyfidelitous, other? Do you have/want (a) marriage-type life partner(s)?
13. how do you feel about fat? that is, how do you feel about the fat of your body and the fat of others' bodies?
14. how do you feel about 'little white lies'?
15. Who are the people you choose to spend the most time with/for, and why do they matter to you?
16. how do you feel about nudity (do you like being nude / being around others who are nude)?
17. how often do you push yourself to share thoughts and feelings that make you vulnerable to others?
18. do you often cuddle with friends (not just lovers) or would you if you had cuddly friends?
19. are you concerned with how humans treat the earth (and its creatures)? if so, what do you do to protect/restore it?
20. do you have a strong affinity with any particular part of the earth (a certain type of animal, plant, water body, landscape, and/or a particular place)?
21. do you consider yourself a spiritual person? if so, in what ways do you express this? do you worship, pray, do ritual, meditate, other? do you have a deity(-ies)? do you identify with a particular religion?
22. what do you believe about the parts of a person? are we just mind and body or is there more? if you believe in more, what do you call it?
23. where do you plan to spend most of your life? do you like to travel?
24. what sort of creative things do you like to do?
25. if someone made a deluxe action figure based on you, what 3 props and 3 outfits would they have? also, what would the deluxe playset look like?
26. if you could know everything about one subject, what would it be?
27. if you didn't need to earn money and you could have free training in anything as long as you were willing to give the time, what would you want to do with your life?
28. do you read for fun? if so, what're your favorite genre(s), favorite author(s) and favorite book(s)?
29. favorite color (be specific -- not just green, mint or lime or emerald):
30. favorite musical genre(s) / artists:
31. favorite movie(s) / show(s):
32. what activities make it easiest for you to connect with other people in a deep and intimate way?
33. Sum up your life philosophy in 8 words or less!
bonus: why do you read my journal (or, if you're new, what drew you to my journal)?
For copy-paste ease:
If you want to re-post this, that's fine, but please comment me a link so I can read your answers!
discussing w Topaz my recent upsetness / finally progressing, processing old stuff / heaviness ahead
The realization about magic and fatness happened this weekend at the end of a long day, and Topaz listened as I talked it out. I cried the whole time and had difficulty with words, because it was a new realization that I didn't have in my conscious fully. Then we went to try and see meteors (an hour later than Topaz wanted) and Topaz had no luck and was really crushed about it, we were both utterly wiped and went to sleep, woke up to finish the conversation. Topaz was hurt because ze felt like I didn't trust zir to see me fully, and I explained that it wasn't that, but just an expression of my feelings on a broad scale, and I do trust zir. We talked about the disappointment of the night and how Topaz wanted to relax, and having a clash was exhausting. I felt torn because Topaz wants to be there for me when I am upset, but I might be upset more often than ze can handle, and ze has a stressful life and needs to be able to take joy when it comes around, and not take on every negative thing that pops up. I am okay going off and dealing with it by myself for the most part, but that would make Topaz sad, so it's like well, stress Topaz out in this way or the other? There's no best option. And we'd gotten so raw, and had so little true relaxation, that we were reacting really defensively to each other and having a hard time taking things calmly. I felt like there was some stuck bit that was making everything twice as hard as it should be. Topaz started talking about the past few weeks, referencing a pattern that I did not see of me being upset a lot. I say it is not a pattern because while I have been pretty emotional a few times this month, I feel it has been in proportion to the causes, and I've been handling things in a very productive way. Like my parents coming in town -- I was upset by that, but I processed it and because of that, my tribe is starting to come together in a way it never has before. And I had an intense crash over the lack of hope for a better world, from which I realized I need to make more spiritual movement in my life, which lead to a really intense and wonderful spiritual experience. And this latest realization is something that affects my sense of self in a huge way and I feel when I finish processing it I will be much better off.
As I was thinking out loud about this I realized that the stuff that has been coming up this month is not new -- especially not the belonging/tribe thing -- but that for at least two years I simply haven't had whatever it took to deal with old or overlooked shit. I feel like I'm in a period of upheaval and transition but it is a good kind, where I feel satisfied and accomplished afterward, not the bad kind where I feel worse and less able to cope after. When I said this to Topaz I could feel a wave of relief wash out from zir and ze hugged me. I asked if ze had been afraid that I was getting depressed again and ze said yes, that it hadn't seemed quite true but ze didn't have any other explanation for the recent upsetnesses. Ze said this fear had made it much harder to handle when I was upset. (and I think zir migraines made it all kind of blend together and seem larger because of dropped in-between memories)
So, let me just say, I think this will probably mean that a lot of my entries are going to be self-reflective and perhaps sad or upset, for a while. I noticed that I've been feeling a bit guilty when I process difficult or upsetting things without useful or happy things in between and I'm pushing back against that. I may be repetitive, I may seem complainy; if you want to unfriend I won't mind. If you choose to stay, let me feel how I'm feeling (don't try to cheer me up); I'm very good at working my way through without pushes.
glamour, movement, magic, fat, perception double mirrored
Now that I am fat (by most assessments) I feel that people don't see my glamour, my unearthly ethereal magic, anymore. I realized this when watching The L Word again and seeing so many of my movements in Jenny -- the way ze puts hands on hips, or gestures, or tilts zir head, or moves zir eyes, or touches others, or responds to touch. I feel a strong resonance with that character for a lot of reasons, but I hadn't thought about the fact that a big part of that feeling is in the glamour that Jenny carries (at least in the second season). And I realized that most people see fat as the opposite of magic, and in the same way that some of my relatives can't see my grandmother's features reproduced SO CLEARLY in my cousin's face because of a different eye shape and skin color, fat is just such a dominating feature to the average person that they couldn't see similarities between me and Jenny even if we were exactly alike except for fat and hairstyle.
This hurts because my glamour (and I'm using this word in the fae sense not the fashion sense) is a vital part of me. I know that it has not decreased; if anything it is more than it used to be, yet people don't react to it. I used to feel people notice it, interact with me as though I wore it like a cloak. I could sense them enjoying it, or being mystified by it, or feeling drawn to it, or being scared of it. But then again, these were always fleeting feelings. Most of the time I did not feel that people sensed it at all. I think there was really just one short bit of time where I felt my magic was treated as a vital and omnipresent part of me on a regular basis, and that was the summer and early fall when I lived at Serendipity. I think it was because deliberately interacting with magic was important to everyone who was close to me at that time.
I don't really know. Even when I dress to my fullest self, in a way that I feel makes my magic very obvious, people notice my fat first and feel embarrassed for me, like I "don't know better" than to wear things that neither smush nor hide me. If I wore the same style of things as a thin person, people would understand that my choices are deliberate and they might think I am very weird but they wouldn't see me as clownish or failing to be something else. People see my body and either make me invisible or project their shame onto me.
Obviously all of this could be entirely wrong, as it is my perception of other people's perception of me. But the point is that I feel that my fat obscures my magic and grace for many people, and that makes it hard for me to connect with it.
interrupting the connection between dislike/discomfort and judgement
I'm often taken as judgmental, yet I consider myself one of the least judgmental* people I know. I think this is because of the connection between dislike/discomfort and judgement. For most, the first leads to the second with almost no separation. "I don't like that style of relationship so it's bad and people who live it are bad. I don't like that sex act so it's bad and people who do it are bad. I don't like that school so it's bad and the people who go there are lesser." Etc. But it is possible to separate one's dislike from judgement; it's just a hard habit to develop.
When one's dislike doesn't line up with a social judgement, it is easier for people to take words at face value. If I say cauliflower is gross and I don't want it anywhere near me, and people around me like cauliflower, they may feel disagreement with me or disappointment that we do not share a like for this kind of food, but they probably won't assume that I think they are a bad person for liking cauliflower. But if I express the same sentiment about scat play and they engage in that, they may assume that I do think they are a bad person for liking that, because my dislike** lines up with a social judgement against less common forms of bodily interactions.
I've learned that when I have a dislike that lines up with a social judgement, it may actually be an expression of that social judgement and not my own feelings at all, and I need to check. I used to think it was gross for some people to have armpit hair, and it wasn't until I consciously separated the social judgement I had absorbed from my actual thoughts that I realized I like it on everybody. I used to think that buying any non-necessity as a poor person was irresponsible and wrong, until I consciously separated it from the social judgement I had absorbed and realized that it was oppressive to say that only the wealthy deserve any fun or rest.
This also affects how I interpret other people's words. Sometimes someone will say something that initially sounds to me like they are judging me; but if I trust the person, then instead of taking that next step and assuming that the expression equals a judgement, I will ask them to rephrase or clarify, and if I am still unsure, I will say, "it sounds to me like you are judging me in this way, is that true?" 99% of the time, I am misinterpreting. I know how distant and unloved I used to feel when I just absorbed 'judgements' without checking to see if that is what they were and I would have ended relationships that I now cherish if I hadn't consciously worked on this skill.
So if I ever say to you something like "I feel like you are saying I am a shitty person for doing this thing," I'm not assuming you are actually saying that, or that it is even a possibility within your character. I am not making ANY assumptions as to your intent or true meaning. I'm just expressing my visceral reaction and opening the possibility of ending my discomfort.
There are a few things I judge: supporting oppressions, selfishness, violating consent. If I say that I judge something you do as bad, that does NOT mean I am judging YOU as bad. I don't speak up in order to try to help you be a 'better' person; that would be a waste of our time because you have to do that on your own. I speak up because for me, not objecting*** to the things I judge as wrong would be a violation of my ethics. My fight is with memes; you're just a bystander.
*if I do not state a judgement in the most blunt way possible, you can safely assume I am not making one.
**my first response is ick. But if I had a lover who was into it, I'd be down to try it, at least.
***which I do sometimes, because I haven't infinite time or energy.
intuition and syncronicity / healing session with new spiritual presence (Sekhmet?) / many yeses
I made plans to have coffee with a friend this Tuesday, and the day and time I suggested was serendipitous because ze was going to be right near the coffeeshop to take someone to and from an appointment and would have about 50 minutes to kill. I chose Tuesday because meeting up with someone is the only reliable way to get me out of the house and I wanted to make sure I would go to the free energy healing held at Horizon Intuitive Center. The conversation was short but weighty, and I feel hopeful that I will get to be great friends with zir. After ze left I read a book for two hours and then drove over to the center.
This center is a place I had been once before for an open ritual (where we did a releasing ceremony and a gratitude ritual); I feel like it is a place that is, wonder of wonders, spiritual without being classist or (as far as I can tell) otherwise reinforcing of oppression. I hadn't been to an energy healing there but since the crash this weekend I feel very clear on the fact that I need to put more effort into spiritual things, and I also feel that I am in need of healing. I got out of the habit of realizing when I need spiritual healing after breaking up with Kylei -- one of the things we used to do was regularly check in and cleanse each other. Right now I feel pretty fragile so I am seeking as many sources as possible.
I went in and sat down, and after a little rest, a person came over and began to do energy work on me. I closed my eyes and consciously accepted the healing. The healer circled me and then focused on particular areas, including my feet and knees. When ze was in front of me, another person came over and stood behind me. I could feel healing energy coming from them, stronger than what I felt from the first person. The second person floated their hands above my shoulders, and I could feel the heat from them. Then the first person tapped me on one shoulder and that felt very strange, I was confused, maybe the second person moved their hand very fast? but it felt like the tap went through the hand. I could feel the second person still working though so I kept my eyes closed, but I felt pretty sure at this point that the second person was not a physical presence. They kept their hand on my left shoulder and I felt an urge, a tug almost, to stretch out my left wing (my energetic self has wings sometimes but I don't often feel them), so I did. Then they wrapped their left arm around my waist and put their right hand over my right shoulder and on my heart, with their head on my left shoulder. I felt this as heat-presence but not as physical (there was no weight to any of the touch), and I kept trying to feel out who it was. I felt laughter, fierceness and teeth, very strong very amber warm gold lemon fire energy, certainty that it wasn't any being I had previously felt, and I still wasn't sure but I thought perhaps Sekhmet? Eventually I felt zir urge me to open my left hand, so I did, and ze put two grey bone/stone/horn sticks into it, like fat chopsticks with markings on all four sides, not tapering very much. I wondered what they were and felt they were divination rods. I was urged to close my hand around them so I did. Shortly after, I opened my eyes and talked with the first healer, asking if ze was the only one working on me and ze said yes -- then hesitated -- then said "the only physical person working on you." Ze mentioned zir guides but I don't think it was one of them unless ze has a relationship with Sekhmet. I was still feeling the presence, like a warmth at my back and along my left arm and wing. If they had not been closing up soon after, I would have sat silently for much longer, absorbing the energy. At one point during the healing, I thought of the idea of reading part of a spiritual book each day, to keep in daily practice which is my goal, and that feels much more attainable than meditating each day.
The rods I felt were important -- I have no idea how I would use them, but I feel the need to make them. Not as they were in my minds eye when they were put into my hand (I feel that image was just the only one in my head for 'divination rod'), but in a way that is both me and this presence that I'm currently interpreting as Sekhmet. So I went straight from there to the new age store and bought stones, which felt both foolish financially and very important spiritually. I had the idea of using wire and sculpey to weave them into rods, so on the way home I stopped at a craft store, went to the correct section and the only thing on sale (half off!) on that aisle was the exact blocks of sculpey I was getting. I felt this as another synchronicity telling me that I was making the right choice.
Later that evening I had another strong intuitional moment when Topaz accidentally got e-cig juice on zir lip and had nicotine poisoning but couldn't leave work and couldn't focus long enough to search the internet for a cure (ze kept feeling like puking and dizzy). I looked and first couldn't find anything, asked Topaz if ze wanted me to call poison control and ze said no. I felt Topaz was done looking but I felt an urge to look again and found that sugar helps (because apparently nicotine messes up your insulin) and also lots of water, and told Topaz, and it helped, just in time for the crunch time at zir job.
masturbation -- how often do you do it? what's fun for you? (poll and my answers)
Only I can see these answers and I won't tell anyone ;-)
Poll #1969031 masturbation
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: None, participants: 41
How often do you masturbate?
I masturbate about once every 1-4 months, usually to make menstrual cramps go away, occasionally to bring my period on faster. It's very rare that I masturbate for its own sake. The sensation of an orgasm is pleasant, but the actual masturbation is boring, and it only takes like 5 minutes so it doesn't feel worth the trouble. I find even ethical porn (that rare, rare creature) to be full of tropes I don't like (and I would need to go to the trouble of contacting the actors to ask their consent for me to get off using their image anyway), so that doesn't work for me. Thinking about my lover(s) makes me want to have sex with them, which makes me frustrated with the lack of connection in masturbation. (phone sex counts as sex, but if they are less than an hour away that is just frustrating too) I've tried using a mirror, which is better than nothing for connection but still not that interesting.
The only thing that reliably turns me on and makes masturbation fun is physical difficulty; using a vibrator while balancing on an exercise ball without touching anything, or while in a yoga pose (bound angle, cow face, camel, cat, chair), while standing, etc. I can go hands free because my thighs hold it in place very well. I guess it works for me because my body is an active participant so it gives me that sense of connection through a constant communication with my muscles.