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.

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C.O.D. Modern Warfare 3 Review

Having read reviews of MW3 and finding a few of them (and a lot of internet people) saying that it was shit because it’s no different than the others I decided I would check it out for myself and try to be objective about it (in so far as that’s possible for an opinionated gamer such as myself).

The first thing I have to say is, yes, it is no different from MW and MW2 and in a lot of ways no different from any other “AAA” FPS in the last 5 years. The story isn’t terribly immersive and the characters, while pithy, tend to spew over-used cliches. It works for the whole ‘action movie’ aspect of the Call of Duty series but it can be a bit grating at times. The other major thing I have to say is shame on Activision and Infinity Ward. The Gaming Liberty‘s review of MW3 says:

“The story is hardly inspiring, the characters are as transparent as ever and it’s just as throwaway as you think it is, but who cares?”

They then go on to give the game a score of 9/10. I’m sorry but the story and characters in a game are worth FAR more than a measly 10%. If the story and characters of a Legend of Zelda game or an Uncharted game or any other game worth spending hours and money on were worth that much then they would not be the great games they are. Story and characters are there to immerse you in the world, without that you are simply working some buttons and levers to achieve some random objective which may or may not be fun. Even cutesy, small-scale games like Patapon and Mad Blocker Alpha have the story and characters being far more than a measly 10% of the entire game as that pretty much IS the game.
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Some Favourites

I figure it’s time for another personal post so this one is just going to be a small group of my Top 5 Somethings.

This post will be my Top 5 Vocalists:
Randy Blythe – Lamb of God
Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid – Soilwork
Rob Halford – Judas Priest
Mikael Åkerfeldt – Opeth
B. Dez Fafara – Devildriver

Bjorn Strid has to take the crown as his range is insane, from wailing heights to make any female gospel singer envious to the crisp, clean depths of utter death metal growling. And yet he never falls prey to the common traps of brutal death metal where everything is guttural and incomprehensible, his growls and screams are all pristine and quite often are paired with delicate and engaging melodies. If I could sing like anyone else it would have to be Bjorn Strid.

Randy Blythe is an extremely close second however as, while he can’t quite match Bjorn’s wide range, he more than makes up for that in fully developed sounds in his lower ranges. He can go from high, punchy throat-wrenching screams all the way down to deep and punishing growls that are drowning in rich bass tones. I’ll never quite reach the full range of Bjorn but I do a mean Randy and Lamb of God are one of my favourites bands to f**k s**t up to!

Rob Halford needs no real description as one of the founding members of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that brought us genre-defining greats such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden which still to this day influence many, many metal bands. While Bjorn has an awesome range, Rob Halford owns hands down in that regard bringing high-pitched to all new heights while maintaining a powerful low-end that brings great flavour to Judas Priest’s palette of sounds. He’s also helped define the metal look of leather and motorbikes and doing all that while being super camp is something you truly have to respect. Something that all youngsters unsure of themselves can look to for support.

B. Dez Fafara is just plain awesome, every song he sings sounds so brutal that you can nearly imagine blood pouring from his tattered throat but he pulls it all off with such skill and colour that I personally listen to so-called “black metal” and come away shaking my head in confusion.

Last, but far from least we have the inimitable Mikael Åkerfeldt who like Bjorn, another Swede, manages to have an astounding range and depth to his voice that gives his clean vocals a passion and emotion that is not always as easy to find as one would imagine and yet his death metal vocals are truly deserving of their name. Treading a finer line between B. Dez and Randy Blythe at their most brutal, Mikael manages to give a classic death metal sound a refreshing upgrade.

So, that’s my Top 5 Vocalists. I know my choice is really limited to the world of metal but given my wide range of musical taste, I personally find that metal vocalists, when they know what they’re doing are truly some of the best vocalists in any genre. The level of skill needed to pull off the sounds that Bjorn, Rob and co. do is really high and it lends itself automatically to any other genre. This is why you end up with bands like Within Temptation, Nightwish and Epica who have highly trained vocalists, even if metal wasn’t where their training was focused.

Peace,
dj357

On The Merits of Being Honestly Intellectual

[This post has been awarded the official badge of mediocrity]

Many people (myself included) will extol the virtues of being intellectually honest, however today I’d like to speak to the merits of being honestly intellectual i.e. being exactly as smart, intelligent and intellectual as you are at (almost) all times.

It’s a common experience both in the real world and in the virtual world of television and film media that there are certain people, generally at least one, in any given circle of friends who are if not actually more intelligent or intellectual than the others they certainly come across that way. Personally, in most of my various circles, that person tends to be me. I’m pedantic (I correct people all the time on spelling, grammar, logic etc…) and I like to use a wide-ranging swathe of my vocabulary most of the time. It speaks to this fact that the level of grammar and vocabulary that I use in this blog (which is generally similar to that which I tend towards in my verbal orations) ranks as “100% Intermediate” in Google’s search based on Reading Level, which would rate it at around a University level of reading but not quite the standard of a Scientific Journal or other academic media.
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Many Thanks!

So I’ve just reached over 3,500 total views on this wee little blog of mine and I’d like to first of all thank everyone who has visited, whether infrequently or regularly, you all make me intellectually satisfied in the knowledge that my inane ramblings, while as coherent as I can make them, are actually interesting for some of you. I never imagined when I started this blog back in June 2008 that I would have received anywhere close to this number of views. Mind you, I would love to see a hell of a lot more comments on my blog and get a bit of discussion going on, but beggars would be hard pushed if they tried to be choosers. Secondly, and I think maybe more importantly, I’d like to ramble on inanely about where the blog came from and how I see myself progressing through the various posts.
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I Like Facebook, and that’s okay

You know there’s a lot of people who decry facebook for being the flagship website that chains us to a digital world and keeps us from actually living our lives.

I agree it is perilously easy in this day and age to live primarily online and not really experience the real world, but that does not mean that facebook is inherently evil.

I like Facebook. It helps me keep in touch with people I haven’t seen for ages or don’t get a chance to regularly interact with on a daily basis. As an atheist, skeptic and general opinion-head it helps me connect with like-minded people and also not-so-like-minded people to stimulate discussion and debate, which is something I love.

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