AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Words on Journeys, Appreciation, and Confidence

Many people have described polyamory to me as a journey. I remember feeling that way when I first started attempting to practice it. It felt like I was setting out into the unknown and my only companion was knowledge; I knew I wanted to have the opportunity to have relationships with multiple people. Polyamory itself has also accompanied me on many journeys such as my month long train trip in the US last year. I went to conferences, talked to people about poly, talked to poly people about their identity, etc. Last week, Patrick, a fellow poly blogger (itsnotaboutthesex.wordpress.com) made a very long journey to see me. A month and a half before or so, we had a skype conversation where he said he wanted to visit me for his 40th birthday. I was taken aback by his decision, but definitely excited. We started corresponding at the end of November through Twitter, then through long emails, and then on skype. Over that time, we became more familiar to each other and the excitement about each other grew. There was some disappointment this weekend, but overall, we had a good time. Patrick was enthralled by Toronto and how open and accepting we are. We went to a few areas of the city, had some great food, and talked a lot. We visited a sex club and watched each other be sexual with others. I actually met someone who I’m going to see again; recently I feel like I have only met people at that sex club who live out of town, so I was happy to meet someone who actually lives in Toronto. I was also glad to see Patrick step out of his comfort zone and eventually feel comfortable being naked in front of others. On Sunday, we decided that we would only be friends, but he is still quite interested in living here and I don’t blame him. Toronto affords so many opportunities when you are poly. As I wrote above, we are very open and accepting, we have sex clubs, etc. It is so nice to be reminded of how good we have it here. Occasionally I forget…

I also wanted to discuss appreciation within poly relationships. Many monogamous people think that if you are poly, it shows that your relationship is faulty; you have to seek things with other people because you are not happy with what you have. This could not be further from the truth. I have observed that poly makes good relationships stronger. This is exactly how I feel right now about Ben and I. Since we are confident in what we have, we are able to have relationships with others. We don’t take each other for granted and we always communicate what is going on, which takes all the jealousy away and we actually get turned on when we talk to each other about what we’ve done with others. We also appreciate each other more because of the variety. For example, we often think the same thing at the same time, and that rarely happens in many relationships. Conversely, poly makes weaker relationships worse. Poly ¬†often brings things to the surface that would cause a breakup in that relationship if they do not get addressed. So, if you are already in a relationship and you want to open things up, make sure you aren’t doing it because something in the relationship is off. There are times when something IS missing like rougher sex, for example, but poly can be a genuine solution to that. There are lots of poly BDSM folks out there.

One last thing- I have been thinking a lot recently about confidence. Personally, I don’t think I could do poly if I wasn’t a confident person. As I said before, jealousy often arises because of insecurities. I know that I’m not a perfect person and there are things about myself I want to improve, but overall, I’m happy with the person I am. In our culture, women are not supposed to be confident and when we show it, it can be threatening. We also aren’t supposed to accept compliments and I do. I often take things literally, so when people compliment me, I feel that they are being genuine. Perhaps they are lying to me, but if they were, why say a nice thing? They could just say nothing at all. I think many people are hard on themselves, but personally, I feel that life is too short for that. You have to work with what you have.

If you have a question or a comment, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca Stay tuned for more blogs!

Away from it All

It is often my belief that if 2 people can survive a trip together, they can probably survive a whole lot else together. Ben and I just got back to southern Ontario from a trip to his hometown, near Ottawa. We were both really in need of a vacation and he happened to have a break, so we headed off. We got into some very interesting conversations both on the road and when we arrived and happily, we both expressed the fact that we feel very comfortable talking to each other, not that we didn’t know that before, but it was even more obvious this time. I have had many relationships with teachers and I realize that I like getting into relationships with people I perceive to be smarter than me because I can just defer to their opinion. Ben and I actually challenge each other to think about why we hold certain opinions. On our way back to Toronto, we actually talked about irritability and if it’s a useful thing. In certain situations, it can be. For myself, it takes a lot to irritate me and very few things do. When something bothers me, I know that it’s really bothersome and that is useful, but as I said to Ben, I think it’s useless to get irritated over things you can’t control. Anyway, we had a really good time. Ben introduced me to many of the people he knows in his hometown and we went to a restaurant he used to work at; the food was delicious. We also went to Ottawa and saw some of our friends there. There was a lot of much needed lounging around as well. We got into a lot of conversations about polyamory as well, which we both enjoyed.

As many of you know, Ben is my first real primary partner since I have become polyamorous. Also, at the moment, I’m not really dating anyone else. Ben has now had 3 dates with someone where he is living (we live 2 hours away from each other). During the trip, we had a skype date with her. She is a very nice person and I can see why Ben likes her. She is really into rocks, a big passion of Ben’s. She has never been in a polyamorous relationship before, but it seems like she isn’t looking for anything serious at the moment and she likes her space, so this situation suits her. She also asked Ben if it was okay if she dated other people and he responded with, of course. I told Ben that I am simultaneously happy for him and somewhat envious and jealous. I would love to be dating someone in Toronto, though right now, I feel like I am done with men, especially with a certain visitor coming to see me (itsnotaboutthesex.wordpress.com); I really want to be dating a woman. Ben and I definitely feel like we will be together for the long haul and we have gotten to a point now where we aren’t scared of losing each other. I do remind myself though that this is still a new situation for me and there’s no sense in negating how I feel. This is in some ways, away from it all…

Attention Seeking Behaviour

For those of you who know me, you know I like attention. I remember having a conversation with a cousin last year about how being the younger child (I have an older sister) can breed a desire to attract attention. That cousin of mine is also the youngest among her siblings and she somewhat agreed with me. As a teenager, I started going to an arts camp and performing and I loved it. In high school, I took dance and drama. I performed in a few one act plays in Grade 11 and then in Grade 12, my dance teacher started a competitive hip hop team and we went to competitions. The thrill of being on stage was amazing. I love how the adrenalin pushes me to do well. In university, I performed at the festival of dance and then I joined a dance group and we put on shows every year. I am in that group again now and we are leading up to our show next month, which I’m very much looking forward to.

With regards to relationships, I have often felt the desire to impress my partner. I usually date very smart people and I feel I need to show how smart I am. Intelligence is such a turn on! At the end of my longest relationship, I felt somewhat neglected. My ex was feeling neglected as well because a year before we broke up, I met the person who basically made me polyamorous; he and I were in touch a lot. That person made me realize that something was lacking with my ex and he knew he was giving me attention I needed. I know now that one of the reasons I became poly was to continue getting that attention. Also, my parents divorced when I was young and I grew up with my mother and sister, so my theory is that now I crave male attention and I have certainly gotten it. So much so that I am a bit tired of men now. Ben is an amazing partner and I will meet this person aka compersionator (http://itsnotaboutthesex.wordpress.com/) next week, so I am getting plenty of male attention. I should also say that when I was growing up, I went to a horrible Jewish private school. I didn’t have a real friend until I was 13. That experience taught me 2 things: being yourself is priceless but being left out can be awful. I told Ben recently that when we’ve been in group sex situations, I sometimes feel left out when I’m not the one being sexual with him. I realize that this reminds me of being left out as a child. This gives me an opportunity to confront those feelings from childhood and from the end of my monogamous relationship. Polyamory definitely allows for growth…

As mentioned above, I’m meeting the compersionator next week. He will arrive next Friday. We had a conversation on Sunday and we both agreed that we are now more excited than nervous. I look forward to finally meeting him after several months of exchanging emails and I like showing off my hometown. I hope he likes it. He seems to relish the idea of living here, assuming things go well. The attention seeker in me would love to live with him and Ben…

Under My Influence

I saw a friend a couple of nights ago who often reminds me of the power I apparently wield. She said that people do things under the influence of Miriam and the past week has had evidence of that. Last Thursday I went to a sex club with someone I met there about a year ago. I wasn’t sure if that was going to go anywhere and indeed it did not- it did with other people, though. My friend and I were in the hot tub and in walked a couple. I told my friend I was interested in the woman and he encouraged me to talk to her. I’m still somewhat inexperienced with women and I’m sometimes scared of coming across in a creepy way, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to say. I was sitting at the bar having some water and the couple approached; we started talking. It was actually their first time at a sex club and they were very new to non-monogamous things in general. We had a nice conversation and agreed to go upstairs. I showed them around and then we sat down on one of the “beds.” The woman sat in the middle between her husband and I and said to me very plainly, do we kiss now? I thought that was adorable. We started kissing and I kissed her husband, which was all very pleasant. Her husband and I pleasured her a bit and then she said, I don’t have to be the one in the middle, so I went in the middle and they both fingered me. In addition to it being their first time at the sex club, it was actually their first threesome. I enjoyed it.¬†

More firsts: on the weekend, Ben visited again and we went to a party on Saturday night. We had gone to a party the previous weekend and met a couple there who invited us to their party. At the party this past weekend, we played board games and danced a bit. Many of my friends were there and it was a good night all around. At the very end of the night, it was just Ben and I and the couple hosting the party. They showed us around their house and invited us to cuddle in their bed. Ben and I started kissing and then he went to the bathroom. By the time he came back, the couple was in the bed as well and we all started cuddling and making out. There wasn’t really any explicit discussion about all 4 of us doing things together, but I did ask the couple about their STI history and they inquired about ours. They told us that this was their first foursome and it was my first as well, in the sense of couple swapping. I was somewhat interested in the guy, but at that particular time, I was not that horny. We all just went with the relaxed vibe. Ben pleasured the woman and she pleasured him; I really enjoyed watching that. The guy was slightly rough with me, which I do enjoy from time to time. Ben is usually very gentle with me, so vive le difference! Ben and I ended up walking home at 4am and passed a man shovelling snow who asked us how our night was; we laughed. We had a good talk on the way home about these sorts of situations. Ben and I have been in a couple of group situations and I enjoy them while they are happening, but afterward, something feels off. I realize that I feel a bit excluded because I want to be the one doing things with or to Ben. When I was a kid, I was often left out and those emotions were coming back. We resolved that we would make each other feel more included and come up with some sort of code word to remind each other how we strongly we feel about the other. We did see the couple from that night 2 nights later and told them about all of this. There’s a chance of this happening again, but we don’t think it will be planned; the spontaneity makes it more fun in a way.

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