What Is Love?

(Baby don’t hurt me, no more. There I did the song thing, now I can get it out of my head.)

One of my favorite bloggers has recently been posting on what love means to them (here and here), which got me to thinking. What is love to me?

For me, it depends on the context of that question. I may have a million reasons to love someone in a given moment: the gift they’ve given me, the conversation we’ve had, great sex, emotional bonding moments, amazing cuddling, that look in their eye or in their smile, something that reminds me of a moment we’ve had together that was meaningful to me, etc. But I do try to be careful about saying it for the first time to someone, because it has baggage in our culture.

The love threshold for me is this: Do I want to take on the challenges that come up in the context of our relationship? Do I have space (or can/do I want to make space) for those challenges in my heart? And when I know for certain that the answers to both those questions in unequivocally and enthusiastically “yes”, then I know I’m ready to say that to them.

The great thing about this? It applies equally well for platonic, sexual, romantic, intellectual, and familial love.

I’ve heard arguments that you can’t really know you love a person until you have a fight with them. Which I think is far too specific. I think that simply any challenge that causes an emotional reaction, whether that be annoyance, anger, or sadness, will do just fine (and possibly other emotions as well – I haven’t dived very deeply into that, so I don’t want to speak without knowledge). Moss and I were talking a bit ago, before I had the chance to think about this all, and I mentioned that we’ve never had a fight (which we still haven’t) and how some people use that as a gauge of whether you’re in love. His response was that we’ve had a lot of hard discussions, which is definitely very true. Do I love him? Without a doubt.

When I tell someone I love them, I am telling them that I agree, in that moment, to take on whatever challenges may come and that I will tell them if I don’t think I can, whether that be just for a specific instance, or as a general statement. And this is actually what I ask myself each day – do I think I can take on the challenges for each of my relationships, no matter what comes? And if I don’t have the tools to deal with them in the moment that they come up in, can/will I seek them from within myself, a friend, a partner, or my therapist? And can I honestly admit to myself and to the other person when a challenge is beyond what I can handle, without making it seem like they have any obligation to handle it for me?

This also explains for me why my love for Minx exists in the present tense. The challenge that came and comes for me is/was dealing with her death. That was the final challenge in our relationship. And it took me a long time to realize that I did not have the tools to deal with it, but a therapist and pharmacology might. So I sought those out. And that, combined with a supportive network of friends and the love of Trydaen, is how I got where I am today. Every day I wake up and I try to face the challenge of grief and depression that came with that sudden end. And, 99 times out of 100, I am successful on my own. The rest of the time, I ask for help.

So, to my partners, to my chosen family, to my close friends, and to at least the immediate members of my family of origin – I love you.

(But that song is still stuck in my head. Curses)



So, as you may have noticed, I haven’t written in awhile. It’s not that I haven’t come up with a million awesome ideas for posts, including some awesome ones bragging about the cool people that I know and/or love, but I have been out doing things, doing people, doing work of all sorts. And clearly, not writing.

Depression hit. I struck back by starting light therapy in the mornings and getting more regular about taking Vitamin D. It seems to have died down quite a bit. My anxiety levels are still a bit higher than normal, but depression has mostly abated, giving me some more summer time to make connections and socialize before it gets bad. If it gets bad…. It feels fairly mild this year, honestly. We’ll see, come November through January.

Bit #1

Moss and I had a really tough conversation on this last Monday. I had hyped myself up to catastrophization levels and was sure we were done for. I even talked to my therapist about it pretty extensively – her two big remarks were to be ready to let go of the relationship if my boundaries couldn’t be met (I’m not sure I was, which is what I told him when he asked if I had been) and to talk about the difference between something being urgent and something being important. I talked to him briefly that weekend to nail down plans and asked if I had anything to worry about in regards to the conversation – no, no agenda.

We had a lovely picnic in the Arboretum by the water, first in the sun, then in the shade. We settled into our normal conversational cadence – smooth, easy, flowing, no pressure. Then we talked about the situation at hand, about what our needs were, what we wanted going forward. And my fears were eased – no, no break-up. In fact, I think we came out of the whole situation more solid than we’ve been for a month or so.

I had the overwhelming feeling I do sometimes, when I can’t hold a thought or a feeling back – that it is overwhelming my mouth and I can’t but speak its name and nature. And so I did – I told him that I loved him. In the five seconds that followed my brain did an amazing thing – Anxiety hyped me up “What if he doesn’t love me, what if that makes or breaks things, what if it is too big a feeling to handle?”, but Reason stepped in and said “So what? You’ll figure it out with him, you’ll communicate about it, everything will be fine”. And everything was fine. Everything was more than fine. And yes, not going to keep you in suspense – the feeling was very mutual.

So far things have been going well enough with Eve on his end, even after talking with her about the situation and what he and I had talked about together. It gives me great hope!

Bit #2

So, I’ve been trying the casual dating thing with a few people, each of which has been going very differently, but each has some continuing potential. In order of first dates:

#1: He’s super fun to talk about politics and the local poly community with. Decent kisser. Some sexual chemistry, but unsure where I want to go with that. Even if we just ended up as friends (maybe as friends who fuck? I don’t know where this is going, really), that would be a good thing.

#2: We knew each other through a local lunch group that I organized awhile back, so we’ve had opportunities to chat before. Quiet, but worth the listening to. He’s a bit hard for me to read, so I’m not 100% sure of the level of mutual interest, but he seems to keep wanting to see me and he spoke well of me to Lola at an event they both attended. Even if it only ends up being a friends who go out to things thing, it would be fun.

#3: We’ve known each other for a couple years, but yeah, life can be complicated, especially when it comes to poly. I always thought he was cute and enjoyed when I’d see him at events. He is actually one of the cutest poly stories I have – we were in the hot tub at a party together and we had been talking for a bit, flirting for a bit, and he leans over to whisper in my ear that he would really like to kiss me right then, but things were too complicated at the moment. A couple years later, let me tell you – that kiss was fabulous, if a bit delayed. Also, I was thinking about this later, but he’s the first person I’ve fucked on the first date (not counting people I fucked before the first date and people for whom there was never a date). So yeah… fun stuff. I will be glad to see where this goes.

Each of these has at least had second dates and has a third scheduled.

Bit #3

Inspired by my therapist I’ve been turning over in my head if I want to try to actually get a travelling notary public business off the ground. At my last session/my first session in awhile she had asked me about my work stuff and had suggested marketing my skills, as a paralegal and my notary public license, to GRSM (Gender, Relationship, and Sexual Minority) people, particularly the LGBTQ community, as having someone who is one of them around could be a big mark in my favor.

I would have to do a few things to even have a chance of getting it off the ground – stop procrastinating on getting my notary stamp/seal, look into getting a business license, get a phone number independent of my personal cell number, set up a separate email address and basic website, set up bank account stuff, and I am absolutely sure I am missing something – but I looked at the market in my area and it seems like there is space for more notaries before the saturation point is reached.

There is plenty of space for expanding services in different directions once I get stuff off the ground, but this seems like a possible and doable thing for me.

Bit #4

Things seem to have stabilized on the gender front, a bit – it tends to be fluid, but a lot of the time my gender ends up manifesting as, “Do I really have to pick a gender?” or as “Not today, thank you” or something ridiculous, like “fuck your binary gendered”. I am getting a bit more finicky about having people use my correct pronouns and am starting to go on mini-tirades in my head when I am in a situation where I am forced to pick one (bathrooms being my most common example). But yeah, I think this, like everything else about me, is going to remain fluid.

Bit #5

The woman who took care of me from basically birth to kindergarten and occasionally after, is dying of cancer. She probably doesn’t have much longer. The common impression seems to be that we’re talking maybe double digit weeks, if not a few months, but soon. On Sunday there was a party in her honor held at the home/complex she’s living at – a “celebration of life” thing. So I drove about an hour and a half to get to see her, probably for the last time. It amazed me how small and frail she looked, like I could almost break her, but her mind and sense of humor were still as sharp as a tack.

The whole event gave me some perspective on how far life has taken me away from my early days. Her son, who is somewhere around a decade older than me always seemed so tall to me when I was a kid (and looking at the old pictures). But he is actually around my height, probably an inch or so shorter (and I am 5′ 3.5″), It left me wondering how much of who I am is because of this woman, and losing that will be a blow.

I’m still doing a fair amount of processing on this and probably will be, off and on, for awhile. But that’s what I have for now.

So yeah. I will try to write more often, but because we’re heading into winter I can’t exactly promise that.


For Whom Is the Sea?

For whom are we allowed to mourn,
To wet our faces and be forlorn?
Is it law alone to have that bond,
Or be also by extension fond?
Are friends and lovers to be set out,
Apart from the saddened devout?
We grasp some memory's last straw,
About one caught in death's true final awe.
Set adrift on some grey and forlorn sea,
Please recognize among the crying be,
Some people whom you cannot see.


What I mean by “love”

So, I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time, even before I wrote the last one, but I’ve been refining it – pulling it out of its box, mulling it over, shoving it back in the box, over and over – and finally I think I may be ready to write it.  So here we go…



Every morning I wake up at my own house I tell Trydaen that I love him.  Usually before I leave for work in the morning.  Yes, it’s a routine, a very well worn one, but it’s a routine that has meaning for me.  I want him to know that, no matter what else happens, that I do love him.  And I know it’s reciprocated.  I know he won’t say it if he’s not feeling loving towards me and vice versa.

In those cases I usually mean something along the lines of: I’m glad for your continued presence in my life, for you being you, and I want you to know this in case anything goes wrong today.  In other moments it can mean: I desire you, I appreciate your willingness to cuddle with me even when you’re too warm, I am thankful that you are a steady presence in my life, I am thankful for your honesty, I am happy with the food you made…and so on, etc.

I’ve asked him a handful of times over the years why he loves and what it is about me that he loves and it seems, from what he says, that there is no solid answer, that it varies and is not always vocalizable.  And that’s fine.


Background: I always get really nervous for awhile when I’m desiring to tell someone I love them for the first time, even if we’ve been open about our emotions, doesn’t seem to matter.  My brain just goes into stress-out mode.

So, somehow in that mess, I figured it would probably be best to tell Diplomat in the moment that felt right, and stop trying to plan it.  I also resolved to be clear about my terms.

So I did – I said “I love you” (in one breath) and then followed it up with “…and by that I mean…” and out came a messy jumble of words that summed up what I was feeling for him at the moment.  And he reciprocated, without any hesitation.  This warmed my heart practically to the point of boiling.  So this is how we do it.  Saying “I love you” is just the first step in the journey – there’s so much more to go!

I’ve only said it a few times since – not because I’ve stopped having those feelings whatsoever, nor because I am less committed to that idea.  It’s simply that I realized that what we have takes on a different form than what I have with Trydaen.  I don’t need to say or hear it as often because I feel it in what we do and say with each other – saying/hearing it feels like an extra scoop of ice cream on top of an already delicious cone.

Right now, if I were to say it, I’d mean that: I really enjoyed yesterday, really loved cuddling with you this morning, am very thankful for your openness with me, I am looking forward to doing the fancy date thing with you next weekend, I am glad of all the things you do for your partners/my metas, and I hope you have fun this weekend.  Other times it might mean: I desire you, I am happy to be involved with you, I am brimming with joy to see all the lovely people in your life, I am thankful for your support, I really love talking with you, I am looking forward to where we go with our relationship…etc.


Yes, we did date for awhile, but that’s not what this is about.  This is not about romantic love.  If that was ever a thing, it passed away a long time ago.

Right now, if I were to tell Butterfly that I love her, it would mean: I am glad for your presence in my life, I am thankful you chose to invite me to your house almost 7 years ago to meet your family and friends, I think you’re lovely inside and out, I wish you only the best and brightest.  At other times it might mean: I am thankful that you wanted to play that game with me, I appreciate your curiosity, I appreciate you sharing your tea collection with me, I am thankful that you still occasionally want to do things with me, I am thankful for your honesty, I love your work stories…etc.


And so many others, some with just simple reasons, simple meanings like: I enjoy your company, I look fondly on the past we had together, I am glad to see you happy with the person/people you’re with, I’m glad you’ve found peace, I am grateful for their honesty, I appreciate their support in my journey, that I am looking forward to sharing future journeys, that I am looking forward to getting closer to them, and I am glad that I have known them so long and that that hasn’t faded.

Polyamory taught me that all kinds of love are possible and how to open my heart to whatever kinds are out there.


Processing out of love


Warning:  This is a lot of brain spillage, just getting my thoughts out at this point in time.  It does not necessarily represent my feelings in the future.

Here is the truth – I don’t know what happened here with Grey Sky.

I don’t know why I only got four days to process, to have an opinion of the situation – one that did change over that time, and would have, I suspect, been satisfactory if I’d had the chance to present the final edition – but I did not get that chance.

See my post on Reddit here, trying to figure out how to resolve things.

I do not know why I was punished for doing as I promised – being honest about my feelings.

I do not know what went on in his head.  I do not know why he didn’t think to talk to me in the middle of things, so I could help sort things out, rather than at the end.  It sounds a bit like I’m trying to say this retroactively, to make it sound like I am a better person than it might otherwise appear, but I did actually come to the conclusion that I could be okay with the situation as is.

But here’s the thing – I know I did ask a lot at the beginning – time that wasn’t available, especially.  But it was only ever a problem at the very beginning and once when plans were cancelled last minute.  I am afraid that light-hearted teasing about the subject was taken far more seriously than it was intended.

When the conversation was good, when we talked – one or two days for in person visiting was just fine.  Trydaen is my anchor partner and I enjoy spending most of my free partner time with him, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get attached to the notion of spending time with others who seem to genuinely enjoy me for me, especially comfortable time in home settings.

I could choose to be vindictive, to strike out physically or emotionally.

But I don’t have it in me – I didn’t have it in me to bad-mouth Asa, to reveal their faults, then or now, because there’s a history there that I wanted to value.  So I made my discomfort with the situation seem to be about my feelings, rather than about any real concerns with her, to the extent of masking them.  I don’t know whether this was a mistake on my part.

I know that at some point in time Grey Sky cared for and trusted me enough to reveal some secrets, some more hidden things.  I want him to know that these are safe with me, regardless of what our relationship status is – I have no desire to strike out in fear or sadness.  To him I say – if you do not choose to do the same, I can’t say I would feel good about it, but there is nothing there that I cannot deal with the world knowing.  I hope he does not choose to, out of malice or any other reason – I trust that this will never come up.

To address what came up, I would have to know what went into it.  What thoughts motivated it, what was not shared.

But from what I know here is what I can address (in no particular order, because my memory is shoddy):

  1. I do not believe that our relationship is/was unhealthy for either of us.  I do not know where this notion came from, where its roots lie.  I wish I had had the chance to address whatever it is that’s driving this.  Yes, it was one-sided – I offered to remedy this, but I don’t think my suggestion was heard with sincerity – it was something I was genuinely offering.  I didn’t see any point in offering up what I had come to in the situation regarding Asa because it felt too late anyways.
  2. I genuinely have no idea why you would need to protect your child or family from me – I remember that I used the word unsafe, but that was not what he said exactly.  They all seemed to like me – especially the kid.  Yes, I am a sadist, but like his submission, that does not extend outside the bedroom (not a secret to much of anyone).  I have made extra careful to make sure this is the case.  If it was a matter of pressure to out himself – I will admit that I did push this a bit hard at the beginning – but the truth was, it was never a dealbreaker, just a concern.
  3. Yes, I did beg.  I begged because the relationship was worth a lot to me, because I thought it a thing worth working to save.  I am sorry that he did not seem to think so – I wish this had been addressed earlier, so things didn’t blow up in our faces.
  4. As to whether the two days a month would have worked, was working – at the beginning it was not quite what I was used to, so that raised some flags for me, but by two months, three months, it was something that I felt I could live happily with for awhile – whether he believes that or not.
  5. Yes, I do think our expectations of the relationship were very different.  I think maybe we should have addressed this at the beginning – things might have been a bit more flexible, a bit more loose, if we could have outlined this.  If we ever get back together, this is something that we will need to address as a prerequisite.
  6. If there is love left there for me, I hope that he chooses to consider the good things more than as just memories, but reasons to choose to go on, to consider the idea of repair.  We made such grand plans, even if there was not the time ever to make them come true (this is something that I realized a very short time in – did not make them any less fun to make).

To Asa:

I do not know how much of this you knew beforehand.  And do not think I blame you for it – there was so much there beforehand that really needed to be addressed before you came in, and that was what the fuss was about, at least in my eyes.  Out of my love for you, and for what is, was, and will be – I can offer “I’m sorry” and I hope you decide to talk to me again.  I will not put our mutual friends in the middle of things, so I hope, for the sake of our pre-existing friendship, that we can talk in the end.  I cannot deny that I think this situation will change things for us, but I hope that we can see through this.

To Grey Sky:

I hope you eventually see this as a blip, rather than something permanent – something we can resolve, whoever “we” ends up being.  In the meantime – know that I hold a light in my heart for you and for your dearest.  I still want to see where we can go – I think we have further adventures to go on if we can figure out our issues and communicate.  I hope you find the help you need, find that therapist you were talking about.  I wish I could recommend mine, but I don’t know what insurance she takes and I think that there might be a conflict of interest anyways, but she has been very helpful.

I miss talking to you.  I love you.



Different Love

The idea in poly that we could love people the same is rather silly.  I do not love anyone the same as anyone else.

I love my parents because I honestly believe that they did the best job they knew how to do to raise my sister and me.  They have been supportive even when they had no idea how to handle an introverted bi poly kid.  I appreciate that.  They have both tried to have an adult relationship with my sister and I and respect, generally, that they raised two very independent minded children.

I emphatically love some of my friends.  It’s mostly because they’ve been around when I’ve needed people around and chose to stay in my life and bond with me.  Some of them I want to have sex with, some I’d consider, some I have.  It may have an effect on how I love them.  It may not.  I’m not sure,  and for each it is different.

I love Grey Sky.  I fell in love with him (for lack of a more preferred pronoun) very early on in things, not sure why so early, may be a matter of leaving my heart open.  He is very sweet and I know he tries to be the best partner he can, given the limited opportunities to physically express it.  Grey Sky gives me ammunition to love myself and in doing so, is far more lovable.  I want to convey  that to him – whatever he brings to the table, I will love him for it.  I want to grow my Dom/top self with him, give him chances to know a part of me that I don’t often show.  And I hope he feels comfortable enough to show the same.

I have been with Trydaen for near on four years.  My love for him has blossomed and metamorphosed through that time.  I love him because he folded himself into my life very well,  because he gives me new mysteries every day, because he chose to stick with me even when it was not an easy thing to do, because he touches me even when that is not an easy/comfortable thing for him to do.  We both are strong-willed, so when we fight, we really do, but it never escalates into abusive patterns.  I like that he is willing to stand up to me.


Body Love

Like many other female bodied/AFAB (remember – I identify as GQ) people I was taught to hate my body at a young age.  My body was the enemy, to be reduced, enhanced, made to look slim and perky, made to conform.  My mother was always trying to diet away the weight she gained after carrying my sister and I.  Never taught to appreciate what genetics gave me in the way of planes and curves.  The ones that were passed down from my mother, her mother, my dad’s mother, and all their mothers before then, many years back.  What a waste of love.  What a waste of words.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned it was possible to love your body.  Even if I want to lose weight.  Even if I have insecurities about bits that stick out.  I saw women who were bigger than me, smaller than me completely naked like it was the most normal thing in the world.  And it is.

When I started fucking women I began to see and love in them the things I had learned to hate in myself.  Then I realized how silly that was.  Why was that scar, that curve of the hip, that rounded stomach so attractive on her, but I couldn’t see it on me?  The light bulb starts to blink on.

When I got my first tattoo, I had been designing it for years.  I saw how pretty it was, how much it enhanced my look.  Then I got two more on my wrists, little ones.  Then my lower back piece – so simple and colorful, a memorial piece.  One that reminds me of Minx and her delightful curved hips (rounded out from bearing and giving life to two children, which I always admired), long curved abdominal scar (from a tummy tuck after weight loss), sensitive breasts, and a cunt so full of life.  This one reminds me that love of all is not out of reach.

My partners, past and present, male, female, and everywhere in between have given me a wonderful gift in this regard.  They remind me of all the great pleasure my body can give to another, through sight, sound, smell, and touch.  Their imaginations bring me to life and lust in ways that I could have never thought.  They show me, through their enthusiasm for what my body looks like and what it can do and what it can take, how fantastic it is.

I am not still completely in love with my body.  But I have come to appreciate the curve and solidness of my thighs, the ones that help carry me to the tops of mountains, and wrap so sensually around the hips or waist or head of my lover.  The extra pudge on the outside of them that won’t go away – my mom and sister both have that, and it ties me to them.  And my breasts still get in the way in clothing, but are a source of great joy to me, and to others.  My waist, more trim now than before because I weight lifted and made it that way, is still my great source of bodily anxiety.

But all said, my body is what carries me through this life and gives form to my thoughts and ambitions.  For that I am thankful.


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?