Thursday, 14 September 2017

No Means No

I wrote a post in 2012 called, Saying No Can Be Difficult as a Woman, and to date it is in my top 5 list for most popular post.  I received quite a few messages from woman, identifying with my thought process and sharing stories of their own.  It was both encouraging to have dialogue and incredibly depressing that so many have felt this social constraint when it comes to saying no.  We as a gender feel conflicted in many cases, feeling that it is rude or aggressive or just plain not feminine to say no.  As I mentioned woman are socialized to please, to be peacekeepers and to find passive ways to solve issues rather than use the simplicity of no.  And to have it heard, understood and instantly accepted.

As a result, we do not use no effectively.  As controversial as this will sound, when men hear woman say no, often they think we are playing, being coy, or that we just don't truly mean it.  Why? Because we do not use the word with conviction.  We are not used to saying no flat out, so when we do, it is with apprehension, nervousness, or even a touch of ambiguity.  Woman do not practice saying no in the same manor that men do.  Our body language does not always match the words coming out of our mouths.  We do not say no with confidence, we say it with the subtle or emotional mannerisms and  language that we use in our normal social interactions.

I need to be very clear here.  Just because woman are not socialized to use no, or use it without assertion does not mean that men should ever ignore us when we use it.  And there are massive campaigns out there right now, emphasizing that No Means No.  And this is necessary and correct and positive!  Each individual should know without a doubt the meaning of No and Stop.

However, woman, we need to do better.  We need to raise our children to practice the word no, regardless of gender.  We need to emphasize to our teenagers that when you use no, you mean it.  In a perfect world it would effective on its own, but we do not live in perfection.  So we need to incorporate a firm body language, stoic stance, remove playfulness from our voice and say no whenever we need or want to.  And then have it heard, clearly the first time, every time. 

I have written before about the way we are trained to be coy.  And to that end I have worked hard to rise above my old wishy washy way of subtly saying no, and to start to say no the moment I am uncomfortable and to educate, report and block people who cross lines or ignore my use of the word.  If we all work together we can bring back the meaning of no.  By understanding how we educate our children, reinforce these behaviors in our teens, and finally take full and complete ownership of the word as adults we will make this a better place.  End rant.

Friday, 8 September 2017

How Long Have I Been Non-Monogamous?

One of the most common questions I get asked is “How long have you been non-monogamous?”  And the most truthful answer I can give, is “I don’t know”.  You see, I had never heard the phrase until I started dating a man in 2010 who wanted 2 girlfriends at the same time.  And I believed him, in the way that one believes in a dream.  But as things developed and we spent more and more time together, I discovered that open relationships and non monogamy were real.  That this lifestyle was indeed lived by thousands upon thousands of people around the world.  Thus, began my blogging adventure.

If I’m honest, I wrote for the first two years or so, under the guise of exploration and an almost fake it till you make it mentality.  I was reading a lot (and still try to keep up to date) with all the books available on Polyamory, non-monogamy and the origins of humans sexuality.  My early work is based on a premise of questioning, of tiny insights here and there, and basically the wondrous discovery of my non-monogamous acceptance.  As I looked deep inside myself, I came to realize that I had spent much of my early 20’s acting out of a place of non-monogamy, while blanketing myself with an over compensation of strict monogamy and all cheaters were evil mantra.  And my definition of cheating included those who were non-monogamous.  Any extra on the side was a sin, agreed upon or not. 

Knowing who I am now, and where I was 15 years ago in my sexual development I can see that I was struggling with monogamy for a lot longer than I knew.  I put myself in situations whereby if a man wanted he could take advantage of me.  I felt safer knowing that my cheating would be out of my full control and thus placed as much onus on the men around me as possible.  I’m not proud of this.  But perhaps my truth will help someone else out there.  I truly, and deeply wanted someone to have sex with me that wasn’t my partner, and I wanted it to be in a way that I could deny it was my fault.  I’m not saying if it happened I would have denied it, but I needed that out.  I needed a way to explain or rationalize the monogamous demon I was fighting.

I have friends who are in their mid 30’s like me, who are still battling this demon.  It is not easy to have sexual conflict within yourself, especially for those of us who were raised with religion (Go Catholic school girl upbringing).  I know quite a few people, male and female, who have cheated, lied to themselves about what really happened and put on a brave face to the world afterwards.  They will do it again, and again.  For one main reason, because they have not faced the demon.  They have not faced the fear that monogamy is a choice.  It does not make you good, bad or anything in between.  It is simply a different way of relating sexually with those around you.  Once you face it, you have every opportunity to decide if monogamy makes you happy and thus you will work hard to cage your urges.  Or you can take a path that I chose.  One of education, self exploration and sexual discovery and experimentation.  There is no judgement from me either way.  The cool thing about autonomy is that you can live life the way you choose, as long as you do not cause pain or bodily harm to those around you. 

There are of course moments along the way that I struggled, and my blog is a testament to that.  But I found peace in myself, once I accepted who I was.  And further found ways that I could feed my urges in a plethora of sex positive and healthy ways.  For example FWB's, dating couples, swinging and of course just loving the man that I am with.

Now here is my PSA: If anyone out there is struggling with monogamy, please reach out.  I am happy to lend an ear, help you, do what I can to share my story or even just give you a hug.  Please though, whatever you do, stop the cycle of cheating, or calling sexual assault or even the word rape if find yourself in a situation that is outside of monogamy.  These terms are incredibly serious, and should only be used when necessary and NEVER as a cover up.  We all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Foursome in the Woods Sounded Like Such a Hot Idea

And yet this was probably not one of my most well thought out plans.  The fantasy of being in a secluded campground, four people, naked and sweaty in a tent made for 8, I had all the ingredients for sexy times ahead.  We had the whole thing planned, hike in the mountains, then throw some disk golf and finish the flirting with a bbq and some beers.  The tent filled with air mattresses and pillows would look so inviting that things should start picking up right after a few bites.  I even considered that because we were already hot and sweaty from being outdoors, that the smooth transition to the tent activities would be even easier.  And I was so wrong!

It’s funny how being hot and sweaty with your partner can be a huge turn-on, but expecting the same from 2 new people that you have not yet seen naked, well not so much. You see, it brings out a bunch of insecurities and awkwardness.  And for me, the biggest turn off, is the smells.  The last thing I want to think about when getting it on with a new person is "Eep! I am not fresh as a daisy".  I don’t want to have to pull a hand away from an area, or prevent a face from going down, because I cannot honestly remember the last time I scrubbed.  Or the prickles.  I stopped waxing years ago, so I am at the mercy of a razor, and now I have 2 days maximum without a quick trim.  And without it that stubble is rough!  There is something so seductive about sliding a hand on a smooth leg, rather than a prickly minefield that may or may not be caked on with bug spray. 

Speaking of bugs, have any of you had the pleasure of a mosquito bite in your butt crack?  Well I do now.  It's one of the dangers of peeing in the woods as a girl I suppose.  The pants have to come down far enough to expose the tushie and long enough that those little brats can be in and out before your even finished peeing.  I can only imagine that conversation.  A new hand exploring all the little cracks and crevices of your body and then a hand runs over what should be a smooth area, and boom, not only do they feel an unexpected bump that you assured them shouldn’t be there, but now you have to stop things to scratch.  Yup, in the middle of foreplay, you pause and are just laying there scratching your butt.  What a turn on!  

Yes, we did originally plan on heading to the showers right after disk golf to freshen up.  But camping has a mind of its own.  We all decided to skip the disk golf and go straight for the BBQ.  You are relaxed, want to do as little driving as possible and quite honestly once the first beer can is opened it becomes rather difficult to say, "let's all stop at one, so we are sober enough to drive 20 minutes away to hop in the showers".   And then drive all the way back to the camp ground to resume the flirting.  Everything seems like it is in slow motion, that you have all the time in the world, and you just enjoy the moment.  You forget responsibilities like pets waiting at home, water intake and of course hygiene.  

So here I was, thinking about the view, the seclusion and the amazing sex in the woods story that would result from inviting a new couple to meet us for some camping fun.  But instead, we just had the vanilla camping experience.  We all laughed, drank some beer and agreed to reschedule in the city, at their home, after we were all showered, shaved and smelling our best.  Here's hoping a much hotter story will be coming out soon...

Friday, 25 August 2017

A Post About Abortion: Because It Matters

Right now, I have a friend who is making one of the most challenging decisions of her life.  The decision to choose what is best for her, when faced with the unexpected news that she is pregnant.  And I guarantee that you probably do too and just don't know it.  This is not an easy subject to write about, nor is it a comfortable one for you to read about.  However it is an issue that affects each and every one of us in one way or another.  If you have ever been in this position, you know the roller coaster of emotions.  You know the feeling of wanting it one second, and hating it the next.  The gut wrenching pain of feeling like your a monster for even considering termination and then the overwhelming selfish feeling when you decide to put yourself first, even for a moment.

Every single reader of mine knows someone who has been through this decision process.  Every single pregnancy comes with it, the dreaded doubt, even if for a second.  These decisions do not come lightly and they are further influenced by a range of hormones that catch every single female off guard.  This is again something that affects each and every one of us, male or female, with or without a designated gender.  As a species we have survived because we can procreate.  And as a female, we have been equally shamed and praised for this gift depending on race, culture and/or religion.

The female of our species has the often magical and incredible ability to create new life, right inside our own bodies.  And because of this females are often raised with the notion that this is our most important life goal, to create new life.  It is our gift to humanity, and in many places around the world and throughout our evolution, our singular purpose.  With the immense weight on our consciousness, do not think for even a second that the decision to terminate can ever be the easy way out.  It is not and it never will be.  But very often, it can be the only decision and in some small instances the ethically correct one.  I go into the reasons in more depth here, so I won't repeat myself.

Now I know I wrote a few months ago about how stifling it was that social taboo dictated I could not publicly talk about my sex life, slightly in jest.  But here I have found a much bigger issue.  When woman are at their most vulnerable and need support the most, we do not have a way to reach out.  We cannot make a public calling asking for love and support when we find ourselves in an unexpected situation like this.  The network of support is firmly closed for us.  As women we become isolated, and almost castrated from our social and family circles.  Even the woman who find anonymous forums for support, risk the wrath of trolls.  Those cruel and uneducated souls, who believe it is their mission to stir up the status quo, or worse, preach their own religious crusades and verbally harass woman.  In many places around the world keeping or adopting is the only solution that is acceptable, or even legal, and that needs to change.  We have an ethical responsibility to ensure that each individual has equal access to health care that is sanitary, regulated and wherever possible free.

So what can and what should you do as loving, caring and ethical member of the society that we live in?  Remember first and foremost, that all humans should have a right to do with their own bodies  what they choose and live the way they see fit.  If your belief system is one that forces you to publicly shame other human beings, for making their own decisions about their life, then you need to reevaluate your religion and personal values.  It is not up to every member of our society to have to rationalize their behaviors or actions to strangers so long as they impact only themselves.  And finally, if you know anyone in this situation, listen to them.  Give them a hug, and let them feel free to express the vast range of emotions they are going through.  Each member of our society has value, and no one should be ostracized for doing what they feel is right or best for them at the time.  You do not have to agree with the difficult decision to abort, but you do have to accept that if the decision is made, the woman is still human and deserves autonomy, safety and care, free of public judgement and shame.  As each woman knows, we judge ourselves enough and do not need any help from anyone else.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Online Dating: Do and Do Not Top 5 List

Online dating has been and remains a large part of how I find new people to interact with.  I have been using various sites for over 8 years, and while I have changed what I am looking for (couples only at the moment) I have created for myself a list of Do's and Don't s.  Now I acknowledge I can be a little on the picky side, however I have 3 fundamental items that time and time again I will not waver on. 

1. Do NOT send a dick picture when online dating...EVER!  This rule is hard and fast without any exceptions.  Do not have one in your profile, and do not use your dick as an ice breaker or conversation piece EVER!  No one wants to see your random junk.  And I like many out there have written a piece or too begging guys to stop this deviant and deplorable behavior, so if you still don't understand please read this for further insight.  (Please note that I love the cock and I appreciate seeing it within the bounds of my relationship.  This advice is for online dating and is to be applied until you are in a relationship or have been explicitly asked for one, and even then, I would double check prior to sending a photo of your dick!)

2. I want to see your eyes in at least one photo.  If you have your eyes covered in every single photo I will never meet you, EVER.  This is a lesson that I have learned via trial and error.  I have given a few guys the benefit of the doubt over the years and have always come home disappointed.  Eyes are the most important image to have on your profile, and I have talked to numerous people of all genders and looking for statuses who say the same.  Eyes tell a lot about a person and I want to see them before I start chatting and long before I sit down to coffee or a beer.

3. Please for the love of my sanity do NOT have your children, or any child in your profile picture.  I don't care if you are holding them or if they are so adorable that you feature them with you off in the background.  Whatever your intent, it is a bad idea.  Online dating is for adults.  Your children did not give consent to help you get laid, and I could go on and on about the creep factors associated with this particular picture choice.  No matter how important they are in your life, online dating is about you and meeting another person.  You would never bring a kid on a first date, so do not use them lure someone in.  Just, stop it!

Now here is where I need your help readers.  My title for this post says top 5, and I have only written 3.  I want to hear from you, your must haves, complete hates, whatever is most important to you in the world of online dating. You can tweet me, @K_Ghislaine, DM me, facebook msg, comment on the bottom of this post or even text me your suggestions (if you know me), that one thing that you will not sway on.  I will update this post accordingly and the intention is to improve peoples online dating success!

I have a few suggestions to help get the juices flowing, from not having a profile picture at all, or perhaps you are tired of seeing all those damn dead fish shots.  Either way, I would love to hear from you to help me finish this list!

***Thank you for the feedback! And without further ado, may I present number 4 and 5 for the completion of the do and do not online dating list***

4. Cropping out your ex or scribbling out her face is bad form.  Do not do this!  If your best picture is of you with your ex, pick up that handy little cell phone in your pocket and take a new one.  Better yet, take a shower, get dressed up and get a friend to take a brand spanking new photo of you.  But do not have a photo where we can see a ladies arm, or some crappy smiley face pasted over your old partners face.  You can do better!

5.  Group shots as your profile picture is one of the worst ideas to use.  Here's what happens when I see this.  I guess who you are, then I scroll to the next photo, and see yet another group shot.  So I guess again and then I scroll only to finally see who you are.  And low and behold I am disappointed.  Either I guessed wrong, and I dislike losing.  Or I see who you are and I am not impressed because my time has been wasted.  Is our first meeting going to be with a group of your bros?  No?  Then put your own photo up first.  Do not waste my energy guessing who you are.  It won't end well for you, or increase your status.  And really ladies, I must pick on you here too.  Your group shots are far worse than any I have seen on a man's profile.  And did you get permission from every lady in the group to post that ridiculous shot of you having so much fun that one time 10 years ago at the club?  No?  Then just take it down!

And an honorable mention goes to snap chat or filters.  It should go without saying that we wanna see you.  Not some adorable faun with bubbles that looks oh so delicious.  It's lame and makes you look incredibly immature and just tad dumb.  So, be real.  Be authentic.  And ask yourself how you would react to the photo's you put up before you activate your profile.  Would you want to meet you?