Polyamory: My First Steps

So, a while ago I came out as being both bisexual and polyamorous. Today I figured A) I’d actually get back to blogging about stuff and B) I’d write a bit about how my life has been since then.

So, the first thing I want to say is that the way I handled the “coming out” process was stupid and hurtful to people I know and care about. On the one hand I felt like this was my truth to share and no one can tell me how or when to share it. On the other hand, sharing something like that online while in a relationship with someone that is becoming serious, before having spoken to them about it, was clearly stupid and thoughtless.

So, first lesson learned: if you’re like me and needed to commit the words to digital ink in order to compose your thoughts and figure out how you actually feel, DON’T post it where people you know can see it and tie it to you and would be upset that you didn’t let them know first. Save it as a draft or write it on screamintothevoid.com or something.

The way I handled that was stupid but, realistically, it didn’t make the discussion with my then partner (we’ll call her S) any harder or easier. She couldn’t get past the idea of not wanting to “share” me and despite her best efforts to find a way to be ok with it we had to eventually admit that there wasn’t a future for us if I wasn’t going to be monogamous and committed to her and so we broke up. That sucked, a lot.

While I do not in any way blame S for feeling how she did that concept of “ownership” or “sharing” really grates on me, I have to admit. I’ll talk about my thoughts on that in a different blog post though.

So, after learning from that mistake, I updated all my social media/dating platforms to explicitly state that I was bisexual and polyamorous and that anyone who wasn’t ok with that would be better served seeking a relationship with someone else. I spoke with a few people on Tagged and OkCupid but eventually happened upon the profile of the wonderful @HelenaHalikias on OkCupid. I didn’t hold out any hope of a favourable response as her profile didn’t seem to be overly in favour of poly/non-monogamy but I messaged her anyway, explaining that that was what I was looking for and I was pleasantly surprised when she responded very favourably and was quite interested in the idea of being polyamorous.

While this online relationship was blossoming, a woman I had met last Christmas on Tagged (let’s call her R) but never actually met up with, read my Invisible (Short Story) and messaged me to say that the erotic subtext at the end of the story had quite aroused her and our subsequent discussion led to a very intense intimate encounter.

Helena and I spent a good bit of time chatting over a period of days and weeks and we become quite close and we seemed to be on really the same page in terms of what our ideas of a good poly relationship were: communication, honesty alongside emotional and sexual freedom. We agreed that with each other as primary, committed partners, there was no reason either one of us couldn’t have fantastic relationships with other people.

Meanwhile, myself and R had met up a few times for more intimate encounters and even a date or two. I had however, after our first encounter, spelled out to her quite clearly that I was bisexual and polyamorous and went through what I meant by polyamorous as she wasn’t familiar with the term. She seemed to have no issue with my description and we were happy to keep meeting up. It was slowly becoming serious, though R was getting a lot more serious than I was and I didn’t realise this until after things came to a head. We’ll get to that in a second.

I’m normally nervous meeting people for the first time, even if I’ve spoken to them online for a while but strangely myself and Helena had none of that nervousness and we got on fantastically. The wrinkle came when Helena had gone back home after we had spent a wonderful weekend together and I mentioned to R that I had had a friend over. A female friend. Yes, we had been intimate. Wait…what? I thought I told you I was polyamorous. I honestly don’t know what happened but R very quickly seemed to do a 180 regarding her opinion on polyamory to the point where some very offensive things were said to me. We had a few interactions online and eventually came to the conclusion that polyamory was really not something R thought could ever be ok and so we went our separate ways.

After Helena and I met up in person a few times and had a lot of wonderful times together we became ‘official’ as a poly couple and we both continued seeking positive relationships with other people online. Conveniently we both had a focus on interacting with same sex people as neither of us had any real experience with being with same sex people in anything other than friendships and so we’ve both been gently nudging each other towards those kinds of scenarios and being just super positive and supportive. We have still at this point yet to consummate any of these scenarios but I think we’ve both got some really great people we’ve grown closer to and it’s likely only a matter of time before those desires become lived experiences and we can both explore ourselves and grow as people.

My sister, aside from chastising me for my handling of the “coming out” process (given that S is a great friend of hers) was worried that being poly and bisexual was exposing me to a lot of potential emotional hurt. I took a bit of offence to this as while I know I can be stupid and while I know I can be thoughtless, emotional strength is something I feel I have mastered. She half-jokingly threw my experience with being married at 19 and divorced at 22 in my face as an example of my emotional immaturity but the other half of that joke where she was genuinely concerned for my emotional wellbeing, while appreciated, still felt like a bit of a slap in the face. I’m not good at keeping in contact with my friends and family and I’m not always very talkative about my emotions and feelings (that’s what a blog is for, in my head) so I know she was coming from a caring place and she didn’t have much frame of reference for my negative response but that experience she threw in my face is one of the major reasons why I feel I’m so strong emotionally. That experience taught me so much about myself and with each subsequent relationship that I have had I have become more and more of the forthright person who knows who and what he wants. This last year has been a further deepening of that process as I’ve acknowledged that being bisexual and poly is the best way for me to go about my personal and romantic life.

If I wasn’t that strong person I believe myself to be R’s confessed love for me could have stifled my resolve and I could have ended up in a relationship that wasn’t a good fit. If I wasn’t that strong person I believe myself to be, I wouldn’t have come out as polyamorous to S and I could have ended up in a relationship that wasn’t a good fit. If I wasn’t that strong person I believe myself to be I wouldn’t have the courage to stand up and advocate for my rights and the rights of others and my life would be full of unfulfilled relationships and unmet needs. I wouldn’t have the fantastic and supportive relationship that I have now. I wouldn’t be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy.

Invisible – Short Story

Copyright Darragh Jennings (C) 2015 – All Rights Reserved

She sat on the bed with her knees folded beneath her and her chin resting on the big blue pillow she held to her chest.

He stood beside the bed, wrestling with his thoughts. He took a breath, opened his mouth to speak and then his gaze met hers and he stopped short.

‘What?’ she asked.

He swallowed. ‘I…I just… I just feel guilty, I guess,’ he said.

‘Guilty? Guilty about what?’ she asked.

‘Well, I mean, if I hadn’t stumbled across your, you know, your gift… I never would have taken the time to get to know you, and, well, that makes me feel like shit.’ He stared at his hands, awkwardly trying to avoid her gaze for fear of the judgement he might see in her eyes.

‘Why does that make you feel like shit?’ she asked.

‘Because, when it comes down to it, it means I’m a shallow person,’ he said.

‘You know, Tommy, it takes a lot of maturity to be able to admit something like that, and it’s that emotional maturity and intelligence that kept me from trying to lie and run away from you,’ she said.

She waited for him to finally raise his eyes and look at her and then patted the space on the bed beside her. He came and sat beside her and they sat in silence for a time.

‘Where would you have run to?’ he asked eventually.

‘Really? That’s your question? Aren’t you pissed that I could have lied to you?’

‘Well… I mean, you didn’t lie, right?’ he asked, risking a glance in her direction, as if to gauge her reaction.

She took a moment to compose her thoughts and formulate her response. ‘No, I didn’t lie, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have secrets,’ she said.

He uttered a short laugh. ‘It’s not like I can hold that against you, even if I wanted to. Everybody has secrets,’ he said.

‘Even you?’ she asked, with a wry smile.

He tried to steel himself before responding but ruined it by blurting out ‘I really, really like you, Nat.’

Her smile became a grin as she said ‘Nice try, Tommy, but that’s not a secret.’

For the first time all evening, he looked directly at her, the surprise evident on his face. ‘Shit… seriously?’ he asked. As if realising he was staring, he diverted his gaze again and said ‘Umm, how long have you known?’

‘Since last week. You forget that I can still see you when I disappear. That goofy grin on your face was all the evidence I needed,’ she said, grinning as she relived the moment in her head.

‘Now I really feel like shit. I’m sorry, I should probably -’

‘Tommy…’ she said, as she took his hand.

The surprise of her touch overrode his nervousness and he turned to look at her. She pulled his hand towards her, forcing him to lean in and as he did so she moved with him and their lips met in a kiss.

When their lips parted, her smile widened and she said ‘See? The feeling is mutual.’

‘So, I see,’ he said, smiling back at her.

She rose from the bed to stand in front of him, the blue pillow still firmly in her grasp. He met her gaze and had just enough time to see her give him a mischievous look before she and the pillow disappeared into thin air.

He heard her disembodied voice a few moments later as she said ‘Come find me!’

He laughed as he looked around the room for any sign of her, though he knew he would find none until she reappeared. When he felt something soft and light hit the back of his head he was half-expecting to find she had thrown the pillow at his head. He was quite surprised to find instead she had instead thrown her shirt at him. As he heard the shower being turned on he rose from the bed to go find her.

The moral dilemma of the The Purge

I know I have a lot of other topics I plan to talk about but I just say “The Purge” (Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey) last night and I couldn’t get the moral dilemma of the film out of my head last night or this morning.

SPOILERS THROUGHOUT THIS POST – if you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend you do before reading this piece

So, the key moral dilemma, ignoring the subtextual discussion of whether the Purge is actually a good thing or not, is when a hunted man finds himself in the family’s house and his hunters demand the family release him or they will break in and kill everyone inside and the father has to decide whether or not he will willingly give up this apparently innocent man to the hands of those who will kill him in order to spare the lives of himself and his family.

I can understand how their natural human empathy kicked in when they tried to tie up and give up the wanted man but is it just me or is it really quite strange to see them flip from effectively saying “no, we cannot let this one person die to save ourselves” to saying “we are going to kill as many of those people outside as we can to save ourselves and this one person”….?

Let’s look at the outcomes of both decisions, assuming the hunters stay true to their word and do not harm anyone inside when the hunted man is given up:

  1. Give up the hunted man
    1. 1 person dies: the hunted man
  2. Protect the hunted man
    1. 11 people die: the father of the family, the hunter leader killed by the hunted man, one of the family’s neighbours killed by the hunted man, 4 hunters killed by the father, another 4 hunters killed by the neighbours

Is it truly ridiculous to think that option 1 is by far the best option? I understand it’s a tense drama film and so it has to be option 2, but in a realistic scenario, which option would you choose….?

Peace, dj357

A portent of things to come…

I don’t quite have the motivation to commit to it right now, but there are a number of topics I would dearly love to confabulate about so I figured I would catalogue them here (primarily for my benefit when trying to remember what it was I wanted to blab on about):

  • The trivialisation of trans existence *
  • Behind every trans woman, there’s a trans man getting no recognition for their struggles *
  • Being Bisexual, not “Bi Now, Gay Later” *
  • The problem of American Racism / contrasted with the problem of Irish Racism
  • Forays into Polyamory and Poly meets Online Dating
  • #FreeSafeLegal Abortion In Ireland *
  • Immunisation
  • ProAm Pornography (a response to #HotGirlsWanted) *
  • Same-sex Marriage

* (as discussed by a white cis male)

So, look forward to hearing me faff on about these topics and more in the near future.

Peace, dj357

Some Pressing Thoughts

*** DISCLAIMER: This one’s going to be a bit rambly ***

It’s funny, or in this case perpetually infuriating, how I go through these phases of not caring/not having enough time to post and/or rant and/or blog and/or vlog. This blog hadn’t seen any love in 2 years, my YouTube channel hasn’t seen much activity in the last 10 months, and even that slowly moved from gaming videos to vlogs/rants that only lasted 4 episodes before I gave up.

This perpetual state of ping-ponging (granted it’s over a matter of many months) between this project or that project is endemic to my nature but it is, as I said, thoroughly infuriating. Infuriating, in large part, because I can be in the middle of one thing and suddenly a wild and inspiring thought will occur to me that pulls me off in a different direction and I’m off on another wild goose chase that results in, you guessed it: No Goose. This is why I tried to start a Games Development company that went nowhere, because I had lots of ideas for games that went nowhere because I never finished them. This is why I have lots of in-progress (read: some sketchy notes and some half-arsed dialogue) stories/novels that I would love to work on that I have never finished. Although that last is due to my waning inspiration. My writing, whether it’s prose or poetry or music or lyrics is another very much phase-oriented thing whereby I was able to write a whole album of songs years ago, a whole book of (angsty, terrible) poetry years ago, write the music and lyrics for 2 different EPs for my now defunct metal band and begin world building and short story writing for a large fantasy novel series I’ve had in the works for years – all with very long bouts of intervening time devoid of any kind of inspiration or motivation. It’s like I wax and wane like the moon between a content consumption phase and a content creation phase.

My recent post baring my soul and my particular thoughts and interests caught a certain important somebody very off guard (primarily because I was a total idiot in terms of how that was handled) but in any event those are all things that are still very much at the forefront of my mind. I’ve spent a lot of time on Twitter recently (another phase I go through), in part due to that certain important someone reviving my latent civic pride (for want of a better phrase) and reminding me of the then upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland. To that end I have been following my many different civil rights passions through the medium of Twitter, sharing important calls to action, cool and progressive news stories and all manner of content whether simply interesting or directly related to one of my many civil rights passions. I’ll get to those passions in a later post as I want to talk through those various items in respect to how far we’ve come and how much further we still have to go etc… (you get the picture)

Anyway, that’s enough self-aggrandising via the medium of self-deprecation. Talk to you all next time!

Just Like Riding A Bicycle

Hello people of the interwebz! I have decided that in order to get my creative writing juices flowing again (more on that shortly) it would be a good idea to return to the world of blogging as I always found it a great way to get words and thoughts out of my head and onto the page, which is part of my major writing block at present.

So, there are a few things I want to say in my first post after 2 years of silence.

  • I’m bisexual. Can’t remember if I ever spoke about that here before (and I’m far too lazy to check!) However I have only ever had hetero relationships thus far so it’s still a side of myself that I have yet to fully explore.
  • I’ve been feeling like I’m poly for quite some time (it never made sense to me that one could only love one person at a time) and recently I have found that poly is something I really want to explore.
  • I am currently in a hetero relationship. It’s only 2 months in, we haven’t discussed the poly thing yet and we haven’t discussed exclusivity so I’m doing the ethical thing and assuming exclusivity until my primary partner tells me otherwise.
  • I have a particular attraction to trans women. I anonymously discussed this with another blogger a few years ago (SexyTofu, who is dormant since Feb this year and whose post on me appears missing)

Given my attraction to trans women and being bisexual, I wonder if I would be better off identifying as “pansexual”…?

In any event, I look forward to writing more and hopefully I will have something to say that interests but, FAIR WARNING: I’m now using this blog for my own benefit, not for readership as it was never something I had a lot of and is no longer a focus of mine. I have a lot of creative writing that I want to get finished and I am hoping that blogging will help me do that.

That being said, I would love any feedback from readers on anything I post whether they’re queries, disagreements or practically anything other than spam.

So, thanks for your time and I’ll talk to you next time!

Peace, dj357

(p.s. thanks to @sharmander_says for putting the idea of returning to blogging in my head)

The Tension Pt.4 [Short Story]

The tension was disturbing. Initially Joseph had thought he might be having a heart attack or maybe he was getting winded so quickly because of the joint he had tried last weekend with his girlfriend but when it didn’t get worse and he didn’t, as he feared, collapse and fall off his bike, he kept pedaling along the street. Weaving in and out of the stationary traffic, his headphones blaring some Bon Jovi-esque rock ballad from the 90s, it wasn’t until he passed through the second set of traffic lights that he realised the traffic was at a stand-still in all directions and most pedestrians were standing around on the sidewalk simply staring around in bewilderment. He slowed to a stop and dismounted his bike beside a father and son who were holding hands and staring into space. The bike toppled over as he removed his headphones to try to talk to them.

Prudence watched the bike clatter to the ground beside the bike messenger from the lone window in her corner of the office. She had gotten up to head to the bathroom but the vacant stares and the lack of response from the other office staff had disturbed her enough that she banished herself back to her cubicle. She was awkward enough in normal social situations but when people around her started acting strangely she simply bolted. Her curiosity had been piqued though and after a minute or two of hiding she slowly made her way to the window to look upon the world at large. Her social anxiety and awkwardness meant she viewed the world as a hotspot of lunacy anyway but what she saw outside made her far more anxious and scared than she had ever known.