User Manual

The idea of user manuals for each person to give to those people that they are dating is courtesy of the blogger/podcaster Cunning Minx.  I have had a great deal of difficulty tracking down the podcast/blog entry that first presented this idea, but I wanted to give her credit.

I was introduced to the concept of user manuals awhile ago, I believe through the podcast Sex Is Fun (which is, alas, no more.  Sad faces all around.).  Then I when I first started dating Minx, she sent me hers, which, now that’s she’s gone, is one of the largest and most concrete ways I have of remembering her.  When she sent me hers, I decided it was time for me to write my own, so I did.  I will own up to the fact that I have not updated mine in about six months, but I think there is plenty I could do right now to fix that.

How she structured hers: She started out with a general description of some of her characteristics, then had a little bit more structured format.  The structure looked a little like this: Background/History (where she talks about her family growing up, her relationships, and her triggers and relationship styles), Care and Feeding (what she likes in a relationship and what gets her motors running, and keeps them running), Cheat Codes (easy turn-ons and kinks), Boss Level (sex), Damage Rolls/Possible Ragequits (turn-offs and boundary breakers), and Vetoes (her policy on vetoes).

Rereading her manual reminds me how much I miss her. 😦

How I structured mine: Mine’s a bit more tightly structured with more categories and less in each category.  The structure looks like this: Background (which covers my growing up and my family), My Quirks (little odd things about me — I pulled a portion of this section off my OkCupid profile), Spiritual Beliefs, Food Preferences, My Daily Life, Dating History and Preferences (which could use a little updating, especially to include Minx’s passing, which is significant and thus needs to be noted), Dating Me (date suggestions and social cues for dealing with me in public places), Sexual History and Preferences (contexts for sex), Kink/BDSM (basic things I like, nothing in too much detail), Emotional (how I express emotion and a bit of background; also needs to be updated), Mental (a bit of how my brain works and my mental conditions), and Physical (what I look like, in case it needs to be said).

Personally, I do like the way she structured hers, because it suited her personality – light-hearted and funny, but still serious.  I’d like to think mine suits my personality, but I am not such an objective viewer.  I think the important thing though, is to make your user manual suit your personality, rather than a pre-existing format.


It’s Not All About The Sex, but…

NSFW.  I do not intend for this to be pornographic, per se, but hey, I liked it, so if you do good for you.

As the tag line of one of my favorite poly podcasts goes, poly isn’t all about the sex.  But sometimes that is a bonus part of it.

Overall, I value a diversity of sexual partners, for each of them has unique skills, characteristics, and personalities to bring to the table.  At some points in time I will value the familiarity of a certain partner over the acquiring of new experiences.  It can be comforting to have someone who knows what I like and to have a rough idea how things are going to go with them.  Sometimes I like the novelty, seeking out the new experiences and people over the familiar – there’s a certain thrill to learning about someone and what makes them tick sexually all over again.  In the middle, which seems to be currently my state of mind, I like branching out from the familiar, seeking new dynamics, new experiences that I would not necessarily have with a central partner, but having that familiarity behind me, supporting me in a sense, to grow and travel.

Sometimes these correspond with relationship stages.  Generally I seek novelty over anything else when I have no one else, or my partner is beginning a relationship elsewhere and I am not the recipient of a majority of their attention.  I seek familiarity when I have no one else, when I am in a brand new other relationship (a desire to strengthen the original one(s) before I drift into NRE, I think), and when I am having issues with another relationship.  I spend most of my time in the middle, leaning to one side or the other generally.  I know I am in the middle right now because I know that I am still not emotionally strong enough to out and out pursue new things to their fullest extent, but I am curious enough about what’s out there to poke at new opportunities over the short term, but perhaps not pursue them to the furthest degree.

There are certain things I am more likely to want to pursue at any given time.  If I am in relationships with mostly men, I am more likely to pursue opportunities with women – it is due to no fault on the part of my male partners, but there are certain things about play and sex with women that cannot be obtained through sex with men – opportunities for breast play (yes, men have breasts, but much less so), vaginal fisting/fingering (not so if that particular man has a vagina, but so far none of my male partners have), double penetration, and there is something very different about mens’ and womens’ skins – there’s a softness to women’s skins (in general) that is very pleasing.

If am in relationships with mostly vanilla people, I am more likely to want to pursue my kinky interests.  If I am in relationships with mostly masochistic/bottoming people, then I am going to want to pursue opportunities to appease my own masochistic/bottoming desires.  Vice versa goes for sadistic/topping.

I am am not sure whether this is the same for other pansexual/bisexual switchy people, but after a time of not being able to engage with a side of my desires (or not being able to engage enough) – men, women, sadism/topping, masochism/bottoming, I tend to feel an emptiness that cannot be filled otherwise, a lack of a certain kind of dynamic or energy.

Polyamory gives me the opportunity to pursue what I want/need to fill me – love, sex, kinky play, whatever it is, while retaining stability and familiarity, with the informed consent of all involved.  And that makes me happy.


Where I Want To Grow

I have had a lot of time to think about where I am at and where I want to be in polyland over the last few months.

I am a poly person, who, to the outside world, looks monogamous because I only have one partner.  Even more conformist, he’s male.  So I look heterosexual and monogamous.  Hmmm…

I want to, at some point in the future, have more partners.  I don’t think this will happen in the next six months to a year, mostly because I need that time to put myself back together and having the stability of sticking to existing relationships will be necessary to do that.  I am very glad that Trydaen is in the picture; he can be a good leaning post when I need one and I love growing from him and with him.

I want to take this opportunity to explore those aspects of my sexuality beyond what I have experience with.  I want to build on my voyeurism, watch people loving and fucking and playing, feel how satisfying it can be for me without even being sexed.  I want to build on the big/little aspect of my relationship with Trydaen, because I think that has the possibility of going interesting places.  I want to learn how to be a rope and flogging top, and spend more time in my dominant headspace – it is very confidence building.  I want to spend more times in groups.  I want to kiss, makeout, and touch more people without the expectation that it will lead to sex of any kind, but be more okay with talking to Trydaen when I think I want it to go there.

I want to work on being a more loving and open person, being able to express clearly and without hesitation what I want in any given situation. I want to write more, to put more thoughts down on digital paper, to share more of what I am thinking with the rest of the world.  I want to be able to take more time for myself when I need it and remember to nurture my relationship with myself.  I want to think more carefully through the defense mechanisms, alterations to my behavior, and ways I think about the world because of my disabilities, and remember not to use my disabilities as excuses, only possible explanations.

I want to travel, to pay my own way around the world, starting small and expanding further and further the more opportunities I have to do so.  I especially want to travel with people I love, and if the only person available that I love is me, then to be okay with that.

I want to grow, love, fuck, travel, and learn.  What more could a person ask for?



Relationship: Metamour (former, technically, but the bond that was there while Minx was alive still exists, in a changed way for sure, but still significant)

How long:  A few months.  I first met him about a month before Minx died.

How we met originally:  Minx was having a bad week, so Baron asked Raven and I if we’d like to do a special dinner for her to cheer her up.  We all got together at Raven and Minx’s new house and we had a bbq dinner and watched Doctor Who together.

What I like:  His ability to be vulnerable.  The dedication he showed towards Minx.

What I don’t like:  That I didn’t get more opportunities to spend time like that dinner.

What our relationship is like:  We’re Facebook friends.  We talk occasionally, we see each other occasionally.

What I have learned from this relationship: That having someone by your side while experiencing deep things can be a binding experience.  That everyone gets something slightly different from Doctor Who, and that’s awesome.

Random tidbits:  I don’t really have much to add to this section, unfortunately.  We bump into each other occasionally, as we run in the same circles and I don’t anticipate that changing any time soon.  It is what it is, and I am glad to have him as my metamour.



Relationship: Friend, metamour (former, technically, but the bond that was there while Minx was alive still exists, in a changed way for sure, but still significant)

How long:  To be honest, I’m really not sure.  I know I have at least known him as long as Minx, but I also know for sure that it has been longer.

How we met originally:  He says that we met a couple years ago at one of the parties at the PDC.  I don’t doubt him, but I have no recollection of this (probably because I was drunk at the time).

What I like:  His honesty.  His very open way of addressing the world.  The chin dimple (it is adorable).  His voyeurism.  His brains – I like picking at them.  What the joys and trials of parenthood can look like.

What I don’t like:  That he lives so far away.  The stubble (all stubble is scratchy on my skin).

What our relationship is like:  It is very in between right now.  We get along well, but the whole busy thing means that we don’t get to spend a lot of time together, which is a bummer.  I like picking his brains about things and I love that he picks my brains about things too.  I think we will always have the shared bond of losing a partner and that, that is something I don’t seem to have words for.

What I have learned from this relationship: That having someone by your side while experiencing deep things can be a binding experience.  Lots about food science and cooking – way more than I thought there ever was to know (you can caffeinate marshmallows and they are amazingly delicious).  That sometimes loving does mean leaning and sometimes it means being a steady pillar to lean on.

Random tidbits:  I am glad that he and Minx were legally married when she passed, because it meant that she had someone very capable and very sane handling those difficult decisions when it came to the end of her life.  I will always admire his ability to remain calm and serene in difficult situations, also, his ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime.  He does beautiful chainmail work.