updates and poly musings

It’s 4:52 in the morning, and I’m still wide awake… sometimes the energy of teaching keeps me up for hours after a workshop is over, and that seems to be what’s happened today. This post will be a somewhat random collection of bits as a result.

First of all, greetings to all the new folks reading. For some reason in the last week or two, there’s been a massive spike in hits on this here blog. For all I know it’s a really persistent would-be spammer or two, but on the off chance there are fresh readers… thanks for stopping by!

Second, a few follow-up items and bits of good news.

The All in the Family Pride literary night went smashingly well. Fantastic readings from Nairne Holtz, Chris DiRaddo, Barry Webster and more… we’ve got a relatively small queer lit scene in this town (English at least), and it’s truly delightful to sit back and drink in the talents of others in a friendly space. And it was a relief and pleasure for me to note that my tale, “The Butch, the Boy and Me,” about a butch gal who seeks out and experiences her first encounter with a man, did not result in the city’s first Pride-related lynching. In fact, more than one flush-faced short-haired gal approached me later to say they really got into the story. Woo-hoo! Yay for open minds (among other things).

The “Getting Your Girl” workshop I gave on Tuesday evening seems to be bearing some unexpected fruit… several of the women present are in the process of founding a new group in Montreal for bisexual, bi-curious and questioning women. Very exciting! I will definitely post news about that once they iron out the details. I’m stoked to see that there’s a growing amount of community organizing energy out there, and super-excited that this particular manifestation of it started right under my very eyes. Sweet!

The Censored Festival is in full swing, and… well, I was going to encourage you to go check out the art exhibit, but I realize upon looking at the website that it’s in fact over as of tonight. Bummer! There was a lot of stuff worth checking out. They took over a large space on the third floor of the Just for Laughs Museum and turned it into an art exhibit hall / vending area / performance space, and it was really fucking cool. There was erotic art on display all over the room, including sculptures, photographs, paintings and more… There was a series of four paintings which, if I were rich and had a lot of wall space, I’d buy in a second. I wish I could recall the artist’s name. Suffice it to say, it provides an intriguing perspective on how women’s bodies have been viewed over the past 150 years or so.

My “Body Play” workshop tonight was a lot of fun too – always excellent to see newbies to the kink world start to get their bearings. Whee!

And now, some musings about polyamory, the nature of scarcity and the fear of loss.

I think that one of the problems that crops up often among poly people is simply that a lot of people are scared of scarcity and of losing love. The theory of poly, which many do find appealing, is wonderful because it implies such riches. But the reality of it is much more frightening for many people because it brings them face-to-face with the possibility that it’s not just about the potential of receiving of all kinds of love. They are simultaneously in a position of having to share, and risk loss in that sharing. It’s very safe and secure to be on the receiving end of love from multiple people, but the flipside is a lot harder to deal with: when your sweetie is also giving love to others… then perhaps they’ll be tempted to leave in favour of those others.

And thus, the point when one person finds a new partner is often that at which the other person chooses to leave. No matter how painful in the moment, it’s often much easier to walk away from a beautiful thing than to risk it walking away from you – though of course that implies that one is looking at poly in terms of its inherent risk first and foremost. It’s a lot of work and a lot of trust to make poly functional, and that trust needs to extend way past the immediate partner.

We each also must trust the other’s ability to choose partners who will leave room for us as existing loves, and further, we must then trust those partners to actually do that leaving of room. In other words – a poly person is placed in a position of having to trust their partner, their partner’s choices, and their partner’s partners. With this logic, you can see why I’m biased towards wanting to meet my partners’ partners… I have a much easier time trusting an acquaintance than a stranger, and all the more so if the acquaintance can be grown into a friend.

4 thoughts on “updates and poly musings

  1. Um, yeah, hi. That spike in hits was partially me. Dendritejungle pointed me in your direction.

    Re: poly and trust: I’m just sitting here nodding. It’s hard work, but it’s definitely worth it. (And I’m with you on wanting (in my case, needing) to know my partner’s partners. It’s an emotional safety thing for me, plus the fear of the unknown.)

  2. Um, hi, me too 🙂 I tagged you with a meme (now there’s a phrase that would never have pre-existed the blogosphere!) : I wandered over here from Pepper Mint’s, liked your blog, it’s sitting happily in my blogroll and… well, I needed eight taggees, and I thought your ‘eight random facts’ might be fun! Feel free not to play, of course, but I thought you might want to know! 🙂

  3. Nice to meet you, Neeuqdrazil and WildlyParenthetical. Glad you’re here. I love encountering like-minded not-entirely-random strangers in pixellated form. Whee!

  4. Wait a minute, I think I know neeuqdrazil.

    Concerning poly and trust and scarcity. I do agree, of course. I also think a lot of how much you need to trust the people in the ever-growing concentric circle depends a lot on how much space/intimacy the given lover takes in your life.

    And while I am biased towards meeting lovers, too, and I also want friendly relations with them, I think there is a weird bias that sometimes crops up in poly circles that all members of an extended network should be best of friends, not just friendly.

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