Love Languages – Nature v. Nurture

It is hard to distinguish which of my love languages (and in what proportion) are actually mine. Actually are me, rather than how I was raised. The primary one is easy – touch – because it does not appear anywhere else in my family.

My mom’s side of the family is big on hugs hello and goodbye (and because of their long time integration with my dad’s side of the family, my dad’s side has become accepting of this as love), but my mom’s primary receiving and giving love language is clearly quality time. Which as a non-neurotypical kid, this was hard to grasp. What is “quality”? How much time is sufficient to count? What makes her happy in this regard has been what I have focused on as an adult. And this seems to be sufficient to count, for her.

My dad’s side of the family does not do the touch thing. I cannot speak with any degree of accuracy about my dad’s siblings, nor my grandparents on that side, but my dad primarily gives acts of service. So, even though it is not my primary (or even secondary) giving or receiving language, I know what it looks like, and I recognize it when I see it. I see the intent, even if it does not easily register in my personal psyche as given “love”. Which is weird, because when I give love, it is definitely the secondary way in which I give it, because I am a caretaker. I cook, I bake, I do dishes, I drive when needed, I fetch things, I feed the cat. It is odd, at least to me, to give a language in a way that receiving it feels very different.

My secondary love language when it comes to receiving is words of affirmation. None of my current partners are good at this. Moss is fairly good at this, although his primary love language is very distinctly acts of service. It is a pain that none of my partners, nor most of my family, can give to me in one of the languages that feels the most natural to me to receive. Words matter to me, and I want those words backed up with actions, however the combination rings most sincere to me.

The best, from a distance, is well-placed/times/combinations of words of affirmation, combined with promises of good/great touch. Tell me what you want to do with me physically (even in a completely platonic sense) and what doing that specifically with me will mean for you and for our relationship and I am fucking sold. In the right mood and mindset, this is why dirty talk really does it for me – it is the combination of words, with the thought of good touch. Very delightful.

The best way for me to know I am loved (from a distance) is to be told (some of that is trauma-informed and I do not know how much, yet). It is the easiest, even from close up. But hug me or cuddle me close, and tell me how much I matter to you? That, that is the bomb.com.

How can I love you best?


The whys of beginning

My therapist seems to be rather curious about my relationship with Moss, possibly because it has been on my mind for the last couple months, trying to resolve what has come up.  So she asks me about the beginning of things – what drew me to him, what the spark was, why I was interested in continuing it.  And I started thinking recently – what about the other folks in my life?

So, roughly in order of when I met them (as I think that’s more relevant to this particular subject), here we go.

Trydaen – I met him about eight years ago and we started dating a bit more than six years ago.  The initial draw was that he was so full of new facts and information and seemed so smart.  The spark was that he was (and is) very passionate and full of enthusiasm and had such an adorable smile.  I want to continue with him because I learn something new every day with him, without fail.  I want to continue with him because I want to see who he becomes as he gets older and I want to be a part of his life for that.  I want to continue with him because we have similar goals in the long term, and have discussed what that means for us.

Moss – I met him about four years ago – I think shortly after Minx’s death.  I’m not sure of the exact timing.  We started dating a bit more than a year ago.  The initial draw was that he seemed very confident – a bit on the cocky side, but not overly so.  The spark was the kisses and the sense that there was something going on under the surface.  We kissed a lot at parties for a long while – nothing more, as the situation was not conducive for a long while.  I want to continue with him because I enjoy finding out what is under the surface – the more I dig, the deeper it seems I can go.  I want to continue with him because I know he’s willing to put in work to be with me.  I want to continue with him because I want to keep exploring where our dynamic will go.

Ember – I met him a bit short of four years ago, but I can’t remember which of two occasions it was.  We started dating about five months ago.  The initial draw was the pretty hair and the shared interests.  The spark was, oddly enough, not getting to kiss him, because, well, relationships are complicated.  I want to continue with him because he’s a good cook.  I want to continue with him because I don’t need to worry about how things are going with us.  I want to continue with him because the cuddles and conversation before and after sex are delightful – he comes from a different place than I have, so I get to see the world from a different perspective.

Lola* – I met her about two and half, maybe three years ago, at a local play party.  I remember complimenting her on her shoulder tattoo and when she turned around and responded, I thought that she had such a pleasant voice and that she looked very sexy in the corset she was wearing.  We started dating about a year and a half ago, but have been in an odd sort of transition phase for the last couple months, so I am uncertain where we will end up.  The initial draw was the tattoo and the curiosity about the person behind it. The spark was a sexy party  – me watching her play DDR with great enthusiasm.  I think, actually, that enthusiasm was the spark.  What I am certain of is that there are reasons I want to continue having her in my life.  The first being her bright energy – she fills up any space she’s in with such light that it is hard to be gloomy there.  The second being that she is great to cuddle with – I love wrapping or draping my arms around, over, and under her.  The third being that there are a lot of places where we complement each other, where we knit well together, even if there are some places that we do not.

Diplomat – I met him about two and a half years ago for the first time (which, sadly I have very little memory of), but re-met a bit short of two years ago.  He is, oddly enough, the only person on this list that I didn’t know for more than a year before we went out on a first date.  We started dating one year and ten months ago.  What drew me to him was a mutual nerdiness about Shakespeare and the willingness to do that in public.  The spark was having touch as a mutual love language – I hadn’t realized how much I missed touch until we spent time touching.  I want to continue with him because I love seeing where he has grown and changed in the time we’ve been together and I want to see where that goes, but that’s only half of that equation.  The other half is his encouragement of my own growth.  I want to continue with him because I want to see more of that goddamned smile.  I want to continue with because there are so many places for us to travel to, to take in together.

I hope none of these come as a surprise to the named folks who do even occasionally visit my blog.  Or if they do, I hope it’s a pleasant one.

None of these are all-inclusive.  It would be the height of foolishness to even think I could capture all of a relationship and what I value with a person in a single paragraph.  There is so much more to each of these stories, more than even I have words for.

* I am including Lola because she is still a part of my life even if we are trying to figure out how that will work out for us, if it can.  And because I love her and that will continue to be the case even if things don’t work out at all between us.


Fluid Bonding – Initial Decision Making

So I was reading the polyamory subreddit earlier today, like I often do, and came across someone asking this question: What were some questions about polyamory you wish you’d asked in the beginning?

Someone posted that the question they would have asked would be: “How do I navigate fluid bonding networks when I don’t have hierarchy in my relationships?”
(potentially NSFW, after the break)

Continue reading


My anchor

Trydaen is my anchor partner.  In a few short days we will have been together four years.  Considering I’ve never made it past three before, this leads me to pondering what is different with this one?


I call him my anchor because that’s the term that fits best for me – he has been who I can go back to and cry to when times are rough with my other relationships, who keeps me from becoming unhinged, who challenges me to be a better and kinder person.  This is not to say he is without faults, because that is, like with everyone, not true.  He can make me so mad when he tries to out-stubborn me or raises his voice at me.
Our relationship started out, like most do, with a period of great passion and chemistry.  For me that lasted a long time.  But what happened then is what I think matters more to the big question.  We figured out how to live with each other’s faults and how to negotiate with each other.  And this has been an ongoing process.
Of the many times I’ve asked why he loves me, I’ve never gotten an answer.  He says he doesn’t know why, just that he does.  Recently the question has become “I’ve been/am a depressed mess.  Why are you still with me?”  The answer is always something along the lines of: Because you make me happy far more often than not.  The one that truly touched me was that he said he misses me when I do not stay with him.  After four years, I think that might mean more to me than “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.


I Don’t Know Where to Begin…

About two months ago, I started flirting with a guy at a party – playing with the snappy buttons on his shirt.  I had been drinking.  We had talked a little bit earlier, he had asked me whether I was going to this particular party.  I said yes, because, well, I was.  He said he looked forward to seeing me – nice, but not going in any particular direction.  We talked a little bit and I asked if I could play with his buttons.  “Sure.”  So for the next hour or so I did, much to the amusement of everyone else at the party.  We ended up making out downstairs, me pushing him against the wall.  Lovely subby boy.

We ended up deciding to take it further – checked in about the necessary safer sex stuff, asked about a room, found one.  And oh my the sparks flew.  We played for about an hour the first time – biting, fingering, touching all over.  He made me cum more times than I could count before he even put a condom on and slide his cock in me.  And a couple more times before he finished.  Afterwards we just lay there and talked and touched.

Got up, then ended up going outside to sit in the hot tub with the people still left at the party (it was late), flirting with each other, and playing around with the other folks in the hot tub.  I sat on his lap most of the time.  We ended up going back in.  And repeating the events of earlier with much enthusiasm.

Eventually we ended up going to bed on an inflatable mattress – he fell asleep, I got cold so I couldn’t.  At some point during the night he woke up and saw I was cold, pulled me in close to share his warmth.  I fell asleep right there, so I got a few hours that night.  We showered together the next morning, left with phone numbers and a promise to get together again soon.  And we did.  And have several times since.

We have talked every day since via text – more than two months, for a bit of that across states.  We are officially together – he is my boyfriend, my boy.

I think the rest is worth discussion later.

But for now, meet Grey Sky.



Relationship: Girlfriend/partner (deceased)

How long:  I had known her since about June 2012 (online perhaps before then), and we started dating in February 2013.  She passed away on August 4th, 2013.

How we met originally:  She was one of the hosts for Polystrip 2012 and I had been, for lack of a better term, heckling the hosts for the show before then.  I got volunteered because of my vocalness to be the first person on the Meat Market (dating thingy).  She asked me questions about what I wanted out a person and I stuttered, because, at the time, I wasn’t really looking for anyone to date.  When I was asked about age range, I had no idea how to answer, so I think I put a cap of 32, to which she replied that that was too bad.  I said something about making an exception for the right person.  I am glad that I did make that exception.

What I liked: Her smile, kindness, general optimism, openness, and masochism.

What I didn’t like: Other than answering the obvious (she died too early), I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to answer this question objectively.

What our relationship was like:  It was still very new, so full of light and excitement.  I know, from how she acted and what her other partners have told me, that she was so full of love and energy for me and that makes me happy.  I am glad that I got over my chicken-shitedness and managed to tell her that I loved her (right at the end of a Doctor Who burlesque show she and Raven and I were attending), but I will always regret that that was only a week before her death when I felt it so much earlier.  I am certainly glad I didn’t wait until she was going to say it when she was going to give me a present, because she never had the opportunity to give it to me — I only got it from Raven about a month ago.  She was planning a life with me and I found myself loved and included in a very special way by that action.  I would have loved to have the opportunity to have a wedding or a commitment ceremony with this woman, honoring that unique and precious bond.

What I have learned from this relationship:  Never be afraid to tell someone that you love them because if you don’t, you may regret it later.  Act out of kindness and always be loving to those around you, even when they irk you.  It was through falling in love with this woman that I reinforced my queer identity — not bi or pan, but queer.  Be open about what you want; you won’t get it any other way.  That I am truly a sadomasochist — I love sadism and masochism for entirely different reasons.  That sex can be amazing, even if I am just giving and not being touched at all.

Random tidbits:  We shared a love of Doctor Who.  I attended her wedding with Raven and I felt very happy and compersionate and nothing else.  After her passing, I put aside my plans for a tattoo that I had been thinking about for a long while to get the next tattoo she was going to get (a circle of rainbow hearts — shown after this paragraph).  I found out with her how really amazing fisting can be for the fister; being female it was the first time I got to penetrate a partner with a very touch sensitive portion of my anatomy, feel their heartbeat, feel encompassed by them and it was astonishingly satisfying.  We never really had a first date — the closest was an afternoon where we had lunch at The Armory and spent time at the SciFi Museum in downtown Seattle, but we had been together for a couple months at that point.



Relationship: Boyfriend/partner (my preferred term)

How long:  Have known him since August 2009, have been dating since February 2011.

How we met originally:  Through Butterfly.  I met her on OkCupid and she invited me to their house.  He was her partner at the time.

What I like:  His sense of humor, cute butt, honesty, and intelligence.

What I don’t like: Snoring, issues with expressing attraction/desire, occasionally the only person I can hear from a floor away when I’m trying to sleep.

What our relationship is like:  There’s a phrase I’ve heard about romantic relationships that tends to be fairly true: first year forming, second year storming, third year norming.  We are definitely in our second year, but we are alway still learning new things about each other and discovering the depth of our love.  I am still as desirous of him as I was the first year we were together, but I think there’s more depth to it now.  We have sex fairly regularly, a little less often than I would like, but nothing worth a fuss.  I am definitely the higher libido partner, which is quite a change for me.

What I have learned from this relationship:  Attraction can be sustained through more than just NRE.  How to express specifically what I want, when I want it, instead of just expecting someone to know what I want (still working on this).  How to listen well.  That sometimes love just cannot be explained using words – still don’t know why, just that it can.  That humor is endearing to me.  How drunk someone can get and still not seem like it.  How to be more understanding of people whose brains work differently from mine.

Random tidbits: We were born about eight years and ten months apart (he is older).  He is an aspie.  When I first met him he had hair that was past his shoulders.  He is divorced, as of 2012 – I never met his wife (even though we started dating before the divorce was finalized), but I have seen her in an old video.  He has pretty blue eyes.  He gets into obsessions with video games for months on end.  Our first date was to a conveyor belt sushi place and I was so nervous, even though I had known him for a couple years, and we had been getting cuddly and friendly for a couple months before.