Pondering Polyamory

I used to see polyamory as something “bad” bisexuals do. Which is odd because I have no moral objection to it. As long as everyone is honest, everyone is getting the love/sex/fun they want out of the relationship, and no one is deceiving, pressuring, abusing or using anyone, there’s no problem I can see. And if someone’s not cut out for monogamy, how is this not better than vowing to have sex with only one person and then cheating on them or hurting them in other ways?

Anyway, I thought it was “bad” because that’s what I was told—and the thought of confirming a stereotype (i.e. OMG TEH SEX-CRAZY BISEXUALS!!1) was anathema to me. The weird part is there are also straight, gay and lesbian people involved in poly relationships, but folks don’t tend to go around using it as proof that straight people are sex fiends. Or even, in recent years, gays and lesbians. For some reason, though, if a bi person does it, that makes it super-awful and proof bi folks are terrible people.

Then, I made some friends/acquaintances in poly relationships. None are bad people as far as I see and some are incredibly sweet. Which got me to questioning, “Why is it so bad?” Which further made me wonder if under the right circumstances, it might even be good for me. (more…)


Plurisexual

I ran across a term recently that I really liked: polysexual. If some new term did replace bi as the umbrella “non-mono” (i.e. attraction to more than one gender) sexualities fit under, it looked like it would work. For one thing, it seemed to set aside the whole “But bi means TWO!” thing so we could all hopefully quit arguing over labels and work together. It also seemed to emphasize the very thing that tends to make bi/pan/omni/etc. life uniquely difficult: monosexism. After all, the prefix “poly” falls more directly opposite “mono” than the prefix bi does. It even covered pansexual and all the other labels since there’s no real limit on now many constitutes many.

I also thought it lacked problems I and others have noticed in pansexuality discussion. (The first article is from a nonbinary pansexual person. The most interesting part of the second is the comment from a trans-man after the quoted part.) One is how people frequently use the word pansexual to say they’re “also” attracted to trans* people as if a trans- man or woman is some mysterious third gender, not the gender said man or woman very specifically identifies as. Another is how pansexual is often defined in biphobic ways, either implying or stating outright that if you call yourself bisexual, it means you’re transphobic at worst and ignorant at best. Polysexual seemed less biphobic to me because the word itself, when taken at face value, encompasses bisexuality. After all, two—however you see it—is indeed more than one with no moral judgments attached.

I really wanted to use this word because it felt right. Bisexual for visibility reasons (it’s right in the LGBT acronym, and it’s the word most people know); polysexual in situations where folks might actually know what it means and where, if they didn’t, they’d want to find out. I also simply like the way it sounds.

Then, I looked up the meaning online since I wanted to be sure. I wound up seeing the very same problems that often crop up in discussions about pansexuality: biphobic definitions and third-gendering trans* people. One page even stated outright that calling one’s self polysexual is a way of rejecting bi.

Needless to say, this was… a little disheartening.

Then, I found another word I hadn’t heard before: plurisexual. (It’s towards the end of the article. And the article itself is pretty thought-provoking.) It sounds nice, it captures all the potential I saw in polysexual, and it doesn’t belong to anyone else or have stuff attached to it that makes me, well, sad. I think I’ll use that in addition to bi and hope it catches on.

 
[Note: For anyone having trouble getting past the "Bi means two, so it's binarist" concept, here's an interesting essay which 1)deconstructs some ideas behind that thinking and 2)provides the definition of bisexual most bi people actually use. Basically, the two are "same" and "different", not necessarily "cis male" and "cis female". Also: differences between bi and pan presented in a non-biphobic, non-cissexist way. Bonus: A genderqueer bisexual person's take on the whole label situation.]


So Very Tempting

To put it mildly, my last blog entry was… a hit. Not in terms of lots of replies (and I’d guess that some people weren’t quite sure how to reply), but it roughly quadrupled the usual numbers for traffic for new posts.

Apparently, if I write things with “Sexy” in the title and include the right self-portraits, people are suddenly quite a bit more interested in my blog. Which makes it really tempting to just do that all the time. Oddly, though, I didn’t do that for traffic or attention—even if they did make for welcome side effects. The only reasons for the pictures or the subject were my own catharsis and my own enjoyment, and putting it all out there (ha, ha) felt good. Especially since, ultimately, it showed me there was nothing to fear.

Nonetheless, that got me to thinking how easy it would be if I always posted SEXY pictures and talked about SEXY things all the time, preferably in plenty of super HOT AND SEXY detail sure to shock and titillate the masses. Or even if I went back to video-based game reviews and instead of including my “cuteness” as a bonus, I made it the main feature, plus a healthy dose of innuendo and flirtation. Maybe I’d even change my name to SEXY Gaming Pixie to go with the new gimmick! Surely, my site would be popular in no time!

Then I remembered I’m just not that cynical. Neither am I that devoted to drawing attention to myself. Besides, if I did do that, I would end up hating myself—for legit reasons this time. It’s one of the ironies of my milquetoast existence: I’m not good at doing things just to be popular, especially things that are shallow. Maybe that whole “introvert” thing makes it seem like too much effort and a bit too silly.

Sexy stuff or otherwise, anything I put here is done because I feel like it, for my own self-expression and/or self-exploration. I also hope my creative stuff and exercises in public therapy might give some interest/encouragement/ideas/etc. to other people since I like being of help. Changing my motives would mean changing me, and it wouldn’t be for the better.

But the extra traffic would be nice. ;p


Sex[y Picture] Therapy

[Note: Includes sexy pictures.]

Recently, I was involved with someone who taught me many things. No; it’s more he helped me find what was already there. He’s not really part of my life anymore, but I’m grateful he was. He helped me to sort things out in a few months that might otherwise have taken years.

He saw me a certain way–as this sexy, vibrant creature just bubbling with sensuality. Secretly, that was the way I wished to see myself.

(more…)


“What Will People Say?”

It seems my whole life has been governed by this deep-down mortal terror of what other people might say. What they would think. How they would see me. How not to be misunderstood and cast aside as a Bad Person. I’ve twisted myself in all sorts of ways, trying to fit this image of what others want to see or show whatever qualities I think are going to please them.

When I was a little girl, there was time in a restaurant when a waiter was so surprised when he heard me speak. For an itty-bitty girl, I fairly mature voice—relatively deep and clear-spoken. He said, “Wow, I was expecting this cute little voice….” And it stuck with me. From that day on, I tried to sound cuter. Because it was what people expected, you see, and I thought it would make them happy. I’m trying to train myself out of that now and speak—always—like I think I would’ve if I hadn’t tried to change myself.

When I was a teenager, I became a Jehovah’s Witness because I was desperate for a place to belong and the reassurance of knowing I was a Good Person who was doing The Right Thing. (more…)


In Defense of: Sucker Punch – Conclusion

“As Real as Any Pain”

[Note: There are ending spoilers here.]

Beyond thematic elements (and some really great music and visuals), I have personal reasons for my fondness for this film. In one of the early asylum scenes, Dr. Gorski is counseling Baby Doll and tells her this:

“It’s like we talked about, you control this world. Let the pain go. Let the hurt go. Let the guilt go. What you are imagining right now, that world you control…. That place can be as real as any pain.” (more…)


In Defense Of: Sucker Punch — Part 3

About That Ending… and Feminism, Too.

 

[Warning: This part contains HUGE spoilers, including ENDING SPOILERS for both the theatrical release and the director's cut.]

The ending of Sucker Punch is among its most controversial elements. Except for Sweet Pea, all of Baby Doll’s friends have been killed in the brothel-reality. (In the film, it’s left ambiguous whether they died in the real world. It’s possible they were lobotomized or taken/confined to some other part of the facility.) Sweet Pea and Baby Doll have made it outside brothel and are on their way to freedom… except there are scores of men waiting outside who’d catch them in an instant.

Baby Doll tells Sweet Pea to go

“You’re the only one of us who ever had a chance out there.”

This is when Baby Doll remembers her plan needs “one more thing.” As mentioned by the wise man who sent her on her quest, this One Thing will be “A deep sacrifice—and a perfect victory.” That’s when it finally dawns on her: she needs to sacrifice herself so Sweet Pea, who Baby Doll sees as “the strongest” of the girls and “the only one of us who had a chance out there”, can go free. In the real world, this means causing a distraction and ultimately letting herself be lobotomized. How it goes in the brothel fantasy depends on which version you’re watching. (more…)