Category Archives: MY LEARNED RULES

Every woman has her own rules when it comes to dating. These are some of mine.

POLYAMORY CHANGES

It’s been almost two years since I’ve been living a polyamorous love-style, and it has still been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time. When I look back and evaluate what has made living poly so unique, one word comes to mind, change. 

Many things have changed since I’ve begun living poly, and the master change has been my expectations and “rules.” When I was living monogamously, I had expectations that never seemed to be met (at least not by the men that showed interest). There were also many rules I once had that I’ve since dismissed or lessened dramatically since being polyamorous. 

This pandemic threw a flaming monkey wrench into my dating life and plans. I had hoped to build upon the connections I already had. I had hoped to finish my book in the summer and promote it across the country. And lastly, I had hoped to be out of my parent’s home. However, with the city shut down (I live in NYC) and minimal opportunities for inclement weather date-nights, dating expectations became limited and scattered. With cafés, and bookstores closed, my comfort in writing was halted for months. And, since the city shut down, the organizations responsible for construction shut down as well, and my ability to move hit a brick wall. 

All wasn’t lost, though. Sex-positive people never stay without sex for too long, and over the summer, I reconnected with a partner from my past when he asked me to accompany him in a swap. We chatted up and got reacquainted, and he expressed his desire to “get to know me better.” We had planned a date, then the city shut down again (LOL!) Anyway, we’ve been in contact, and he bought my book. When he got to the part where I mentioned my strict “no kids” rule, he was concerned. I had to explain to him, that was a rule I had when I was monogamous. But, now that I’m polyamorous, I’m open to bending it. 

This was my first time really acknowledging that my rules when dating poly had shifted. I am spoiled. I was spoiled then, and I am still spoiled now. I want what I want. When I was dating monogamously, because my partner was the only one, the last-minute adjustments of dating a man with kids were always an issue. Knowing that I had maneuvered my entire day or week to be available for him to cancel or change plans if he had to pick up his kids or whatever, I would get pissed. Monogamy had him as my only target, and all of my expectations rested upon his shoulders, and that wasn’t fair. Being poly and having multiple partners and relationships and my relationship with myself, I never exhaust my options. If a date has to cancel, I may still be a little bit upset, but it’s no longer the house of cards tumbling down it was before. 

Being polyamorous, having multiple partners and relationships (including the one with myself) now allows me to have financially fair relationships as well. Because my primary love languages are gifts and acts of service, I like and want shit! Dates, flowers, candies, trips, and etc. But I’ve always thought of myself as a fair girlfriend. I never wanted or expected so much from a partner that it put a strain on him. Many would say, “it ain’t trickin’ if you got it.” But most of my partners didn’t have it, and I knew it. And since I couldn’t be with someone solely for financial gain, I found myself in many fair or financially imbalanced relationships. 

However, with the above realization, being poly has made space for relationships I may have otherwise turned away. Repeatedly going out at one partner’s expense can be a financial burden. Having multiple partners to date on occasion allows my date bucket to remain full, without the strain. Living poly has also allowed me to re-prioritize and consider myself a fantastic date. 

When I sought monogamous relationships, my alone time was a byproduct of my partner’s cancelation or lack of funds. I was forced to find happiness in being alone. But now, that happiness is genuine and very welcome. Those long hours of being alone allow me time to decompress, zone out, and refocus my energy and goals. I get up, make my way to a restaurant, read a book or listen to a podcast, and go for a nice long walk all by myself. Before poly, what a partner didn’t have would’ve been a huge deal breaker, but in this pool of poly-love, the laser focus is no longer on the perceived negatives. 

The poly changes allow me to see and experience a different kind of love, a love that’s not solely based on what my partner can do for me but how I feel for and with them.

CAN I TRADE IN MY BOX?

As I approached the end of 2020, my vagina was on the fritz. After attending a swinger party in October, having my guts made into soup, and my body contorted beyond its limit, I needed a break. I was ragged, and my old faithful friend BV had come back for a visit. I took my meds and gave my body time to heal. For Thanksgiving, I had sex with my guy and, once again, my pussy was hell on the equator. It didn’t smell, and there wasn’t any visible discharge; it just felt off, and I knew something was up.

I was tired of going back and forth to the GYN and getting the same results. I’d get BV, treat the BV, then the treatment for BV would cause a yeast infection. A big reason I became an advocate for condoms was to try and control my pH balance, but condoms made no difference over the years. My pussy just wanted to be a headache. For years (even when I wasn’t having sex), she gave me problems. But, as of lately, it seemed to be happening more frequently. Needing to find the culprit, I began experimenting with different condoms, different lubes, and various soaps; nothing made a difference.

After my October visit, I decided to adjust how I cleaned down there. I always had a habit of overcleaning (according to my GYN). I never thought a final pass-over with baby wipes would be a bad thing. But clearly, I was washing away all of my “good bacteria,” and the same went for my aggressive showers. So, I stopped with the baby wipes, and I used less intensity when I cleaned my lady parts in the shower. Wouldn’t you know, when I went back to the GYN in November, my less aggressive cleaning had also backfired on me. I was really beginning to hate my body. 

Not only was there the headache of the discomfort. It had to pay the $50 co-pay to see the GYN and the $30 for prescriptions. Now, multiply that a few times a year. Fixing a broken pussy adds up. I really wanted to trade her in for a new one. But sadly, that’s not how vaginas work. 

Tired of dealing with the headaches, I decided to Force Quit my Pussy, lock her down, and do a total Restart. I made the executive decision to have no sex until all results came back clear. Like most women, I had the habit of going back to having sex once I finished my medication and the symptoms subsided. This time around, I wanted to finish my meds, then go back to make sure EVERYTHING was in the clear before I had sex. I needed to start from square one, and I couldn’t do that if I were fucking all the time. 

Sadly, the same week I decided to lock my pussy down was the same week all my partners called me to link up. I turned down enough partners that I copy and pasted the speech to make it easier on myself. —YES! It’s that good!— I did get push-back from some of my partners, but it was my box and sanity on the line. I had to ignore their desires and focus on my health. My body. My choice.

In January, it had been almost two months since I had sex, but something still felt off. Imagine someone breathing into your pussy; that’s what I was feeling. I went to the GYN and pressed play on the tape recorder that was my vaginal-health-life. The doctor did my exam, and a week later, my results came back negative for everything. SERIOUSLY! WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP WITH MY PUSSY. He concluded that maybe this was my new normal. But, thankfully, a few days later, the pussy-blower disappeared. 

If I’m honest, there is a part of me that dreads what will happen when I return to having sex. And I’m not looking forward to the trials and errors of pleasure. Condoms, no condoms, regular lube, organic lube, coconut oil, it’s all a gamble; and at the end of the day, it’s my body and wallet that has to go through the motions. I just don’t know if I want to go back down that rabbit-hole.

But who am I kidding? I know I enjoy sex too much to stay away from it for too long. However, this time around, it’s essential to listen to my body and pay attention to the signals. If your body keeps responding in a way that waves red flags, it’s necessary to listen and make changes, regardless of how your partners may feel. No one has to live with your discomfort but you, and no one is paying your doctor bills or prescriptions but you. So, put yourself and your health first.­­

LOVE LANGUAGE #5 – WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

MY 5TH LOVE LANGUAGE, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

I’ve reached the final love language—Thank Heaven! 

I’m not surprised that Words of Affirmation is at the bottom of my list, now. But, when I was growing up, I used to crave Words of Affirmation. At a young age, they often mirrored the actions that were being delivered my way. Parents, family, and friends were all walking examples of actions and words that actually matched. But as I got older, things began to change. Naturally, discipline from a parent or an older family member, to a rebellious teenager, did not feel like love; so, when I was told I couldn’t do something, followed by an I love you, I called Bull Shit! And it only got worse as I got older.  

I was picked-on, as a kid. I was picked-on because of my hair, my glasses, and lack of designer clothing. At first, it used to bother me, but with time, the things that separated me from the crowd began to shine. I had a great voice, I was a good artist, and I was decent in sports. As time passed, I started being accepted for qualities and skills that were undeniable, and the teasing stopped. People stopped looking for reasons to not like me, and learned to accept me for who I was. 

When I started dating, the phrase “I love you” was tossed around, like a salad ingredient. The phrase was everywhere; but, like a salad, it lacked sustenance. It was a great side or starter, but it could never fill me up. So, when actions never corresponded with the words, through trial and error, I had to learn that words had no real weight if actions didn’t corroborate them. By the time I graduated high school, I had adapted the concept of ‘love me or hate me’ with the confidence to match. People, more often than not, liked and/or loved me; and once I started to feel the energy that I was sending reciprocated, I no longer needed and/or required words of affirmation. 

Don’t get me wrong– it’s always nice to receive a compliment. I couldn’t see myself being, truly happy, with a person that never said one nice thing to me or about me. And, I totally understand that my partner is doing so because they feel it, and they want to profess it. But, the fact remains, it does not impact me the same way; because I’d rather feel than hear. 

Another reason why Words of Affirmation doesn’t have such a high rank for me, is because, a part of me struggles with accepting compliments. For example: I’ve finished 5 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless other races; I know that it’s no easy feat. However, there are people that run faster, longer, and more frequently than I do; so, with that in the back of my mind, I choose to remain humble in the face of all compliments. 

Today, words of affirmation sound nice, but they hold no weight in the grand scheme of my life. Over the years, I’ve become head-strong, resilient, and confident.  When I set my mind to do something, nothing can stand in my way. So, as much as it feels good to hear someone say, “good job,” subconsciously, I already know that. I didn’t need to hear it; but, since saying the words made the say-er feel better, I happily accept their support and encouragement.  

Writing on the 5 Love Languages has been quite a journey. Writing this series has allowed me to dive deeper into my past to understand my present. I never set out to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. I just wanted to vent a little, talk about sex, break some stigmas, and maybe gain a fan or two that could relate to my problems. There were many times, during the love languages posts, that I wanted to just stop and change course; but, by sticking with it, I learned so much more about myself. I opened up memories I was certain didn’t exist, and I was able to process why I felt the way I did about things. I encourage you all to read or audio-book the 5 Love Languages, and to take the quiz. Once you have your results, take the time to process what they mean for you and why they rank as they do.  

LOVE LANGUAGE #4 – PHYSICAL TOUCH

People often assume that sexual touch and physical touch are the same thing. Another common assumption is that, a sexual person must also enjoy being touched. For much of my life, I made these assumptions as well. I loved having sex so much, that I was sure Physical Touch would be my top love language. I was certain that, with all the kissing, caressing, and humping; it would be my number one -How could it not be? While doing the test, I was surprised to see that so many of my answers proved otherwise. With Physical Touch coming in at number 4, I reflected back to some instances where I was being touched, but I didn’t feel loved. 

I remember a time, years ago, when I was lying beside my boyfriend. We were both naked, as we just finished having sex; his arm was draped over my body, and my head was nestled underneath his chin on his chest. All was right with the world, until he started rubbing my arm, up and down. The feeling of his hand against my skin had changed. The caressing of his hand that had just ignited our 30-minute love making session, suddenly felt like a catheter, stopping my blood flow. I remember wanting him to stop, but because I didn’t want to sound mean – I said nothing. Recently, I was on the sofa with my guy, as we watched Netflix. He was sitting up and I was resting my head on his lap. In that position I felt safe, secured, and precious; I could’ve stayed in that position forever. When his hands moved from around my waist and started to rub on my breasts; those feelings began to fade. I tried ignoring it at first, because I knew that he was happy touching me in that way; eventually it was all I could focus on. It went from being something I could ignore to annoying. Again, I didn’t want to come across as unaffectionate; so, I placed my hands over his to stop the motion.  

On both occasions, a person that I loved was delivering love to me, but it was in the form that best suited them. It wasn’t the first time those actions had taken place, but it was the first time I had processed them that way. I needed to find some reason or logic as to why, in those moments, I shut down and, in a way felt slightly offended.  

For centuries, a woman’s body was the property of her father, and after marriage it became the property of her husband. It’s still common to hear women relinquish their bodies to their husbands on demand (I was exhausted, but when my man wants it, I give it!). It’s been instilled in women that a wife’s duty is to see to it that her husband was satisfied. For a time, if he wanted to have sex and she did not, he was within the full rights of the law, to use his male-domination to either convince his wife and/or dominate her into submission. Even though there are laws that exist against these acts today (depending on where you are in the world and if violence is involved), many women still believe that their bodies are not their own. Sure, if a stranger touched me, I could handle the situation quite abruptly and without hesitation. But when love is involved the once clear line begins to blur. 

From birth, it’s easy to overlook all the times when a person’s body is not their own. We’ve all seen the child writhing and screeching, as their being passed around like a dessert plate for people to “ooh” and “ahh” at them – We’ve all been this child at least once. Try counting how many times your parents or family told you to give a hug or a kiss to someone that you didn’t want to – If you could even remember, you would lose count. When we’re in school, if a classmate hit us, or invaded our personal space, we were told to be nice, shake hands, and hug. Once out of the womb, we were repeatedly forced to lower our bodily-boundaries for people that we knew and loved. The roads run parallel for both sexes until approximately puberty. After puberty, boys were taught to take power and control of their bodies, while girls are taught to protect bodies, but only for the later use of a man (Don’t you want to be perfect for your husband on your wedding night?). With this rhetoric it’s no wonder why I had issues declaring my body as my own. 

I first had to learn that my body was my own; entering into a relationship did not give my partner rights to my body. The second thing I had to learn was, not wanting to be touched did not mean a lack of love. There are certain touches the register certain emotions, and those emotions control how I feel in my relationships. I’m a sexual being that likes sex, writes about sex, and I get a lot of sexual attention from strangers; it’s imperative that, in my relationship, I feel loved. I prefer hand holding to random ass-slaps while walking down the street, innocent kisses over childish grabs and/or pokes at my breasts, and standing big-spoon cuddles over fingers poking at my holes. One touch says I love and cherish you, the other says I want to fuck you, I want to possess you, to own you, and that your body is not yours, it’s mine. 

When I allow my partner(s) to explore my body as their momentary playground, it’s with much love, excitement, and sensuality. But when the sun sets, and the park closes, so does the playground inside of it. When my partner(s) continue playing after the park closes, it’s a direct disrespect of the rules and boundaries that were set in place. 

Maintaining control is of the utmost importance for me, and understanding that Physical Touch is not the same for everyone.  

LOVE LANGUAGE #3 – ACTS OF SERVICE

It’s makes sense that this love language lays, smack dab, in the middle; because the first thing I have to do is be open to receiving the act as something genuine. I can fully acknowledge that I battle with seeing a partner’s act of service as fully genuine. Don’t get me wrong, a good deed is a good deed, I simply wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind the act.  

I grew up hearing “men only want one thing” or “he did this because he wants that”. So, it only made sense that whenever I dated a guy, if he did something (without me asking for it, first) I would quietly question, why did he do it? I used to believe that if people did something nice for me it was because they genuinely wanted to do it, I was 8 years old; today, life and dating has since delivered me some very rude awakenings.  

The most important one being that; no one does anything without receiving something in return. Sir Isaac Newton’s third law states that; “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. However, that reaction isn’t always visible. For example: A business man on the train gives a dollar to a homeless man. It may appear that the businessman is receiving nothing in return; but if you allow yourself to consider not every exchange has to be tangible; you’ll see that the reaction is emotional. It felt good for the businessman to give that dollar, and that’s why he did it (in addition to it being a good deed). 

With the above being understood; sadly, there is always an internal tug-of-war between my mind and my heart. On one side, my heart wants to receive the act with no questions asked; while my mind is scanning for an ulterior motive.  

In the average relationship, when people perform acts of service, it’s because they’re working to maintain their relationship and to get to that ‘Happily Ever After’. All the deeds one did to show love and care appear to be totally self-less, until the relationship is over. When the relationship ends, all those ‘self-less acts’ turn into sacrifices made. The once, “this is for you my love” turns into “I sacrificed this for you”. A self-less act rapidly transitions and becomes something that was actually a bargaining chip in disguise. I hate to admit it, but I did the above to an ex and I’ve had it done to me. 

In a past relationship, I financially supported my partner. I paid his phone bill, his metro card, and when we went out- I often paid. We met online, while he was in Trinidad. He was a runner, but was in recovery from an injury. He had an opportunity to come to the U.S. to train with a special coach, and to be with me; but he first had to buy himself out of his contract, which left him with very little money when he finally arrived. I felt that he had made a sacrifice for me; so, for a while I did what I could to support him. The only problem was, every time we got into an argument, he would threaten to leave and I would weaponize what I did for him. He would say “I should’ve gone to Jamaica to train instead…” and I would say “Really? with all that I’m doing for you!” I was by no means rich, so helping my partner out while I was only making $30K (before taxes) at the time was a real financial burden. But I had convinced myself that it would only be temporary; he would land an athletic contract, we would move out and live together, and everything would have been worth it. As time passed and that fantasy drifted farther and farther away, I grew to resent him and all that I had done for him. I blamed him for my financial struggles, and when I finally ended the relationship, I declared that I would never make the same mistake again. In my mind, I was supporting my man because I wanted what was best for him; but my subconscious knew that if and when the tide finally turned, I wanted to be there to ride the wave of success with him. I wanted him to see me and all that I had sacrificed for him and declare that I was worthy to go on the journey with him. I later learned that was not a truly genuine act of service. 

Those feelings and lessons learned in that relationship still fuel my perspective today. As much I love it when a partner does something nice for me; being who I am, and knowing my history, I worry that one day their acts of service will be thrown in my face, if things don’t go the way they intended. In previous posts I stress the importance of being selfish and, with my feet firmly rooted in the dirt, I stand by that. I like to think that I am fair in how I choose to date. I never ask a partner’s income, but I take note of what they say to get a general idea. A while back, I had a partner offer to help me out financially, although the situation wasn’t yet a reality, I declined the offer. I knew that their desire to help me would only further hurt them; the same way me financially helping my ex hurt my abilities to save and get financially stable for myself. I firmly feel that if helping someone today has the risk of turning into something sacrificed later, don’t do it! That’s like doing someone doing a favor and then holding it over their head in arguments; you either want to do it or you don’t. There will always be a looming question of an ulterior motive. Why are you here? Why are you doing it?  

 
As I’m learning and growing with love, I’m learning to work on aligning my brain and heart, and to trust the actions of those that I love; it’s not easy, but I’m working on it.