Jealousy is useful

I keep reading about how ever feeling jealousy means you’re terrible and unevolved and real poly people never feel jealous and it’s really starting to bug me.

Jealousy, like any other emotion, is just a signal. It’s not bad or good on its own, it’s how you react to it that matters. I mean, anger is supposedly “bad” and “negative” all the time, but it’s also fuel for fighting injustice and a signal that something going on is not okay. Sometimes that signal means that you need to learn to chill the fuck out and sometimes it means that someone is being an asshole to you.

Same with jealousy. Sometimes it means that you need a little extra reassurance from your partner. Sometimes it means you have some serious work to do on yourself. Sometimes it means you need to have a serious talk with your partner about how their actions affect you. And sometimes it means your partner is an asshole.

None of those things are signals you want to ignore! Even if you just need a little extra reassurance, you need to ask for that before that unmet need kills your relationship. Sure, it sounds little, but the little stuff matters. Grand gestures can be exciting and all, but what really matters is how you treat your partner day to day. If you feel unappreciated, that feeling isn’t going to magically go away because you think people who ever feel jealous are bad. It’s going to snowball if you don’t change things, even just a little.

Of course, sometimes jealousy takes more to fix than asking your partner to tell you you’re pretty. If you can’t stand for your partner to have any friends of the gender(s) they’re attracted to (not sure what bi or pan people are supposed to do), for example, there’s absolutely nothing your partner can do to fix that. You need to do some very serious work on yourself if you ever want to be happy. I don’t expect the people who need to do that to listen to me, but in case any of their partners are reading: it’s not you. You cannot love your partner’s insecurity away. They are the only one who can fix that, all you can do in that situation is decide what kind of treatment is okay with you and what means you need to leave.

However, just because sometimes jealousy is sometimes more about you and your own insecurities more than about your partner’s actions doesn’t mean it’s never about their actions. Sometimes jealousy is totally justified, sometimes it really is them. It would be nice if people’s partners were never assholes, but sometimes they really, really are. Read an advice column (I particularly like Captain Awkward), and see how often people ask how they can stop being such jealous assholes when their partners are out late with flimsy excuses and weird charges show up on their credit card bills or when their partner is openly neglecting them or putting them last in favour of a new hobby/friend/job/whatever.

Having feelings about your partner treating you badly doesn’t magically mean you’re wrong. It’s normal to feel angry when someone hurts you and it’s normal to feel jealous when your partner doesn’t make you a priority. In cases like that, jealousy is a sign that you still have some self-esteem, not some sort of personality flaw.

I don’t see “not feeling jealous” as a worthwhile goal at all. Feeling secure is a worthwhile goal, rarely feeling jealous is just a side-effect of that. Communicating well with your partner so you solve problems before they become a big deal is a worthwhile goal, and rarely feeling jealous is just a side-effect of that.  Go for the real goals, don’t mistake the side-effect for what you really want to accomplish.

And for fuck’s sake, don’t beat yourself up for feeling jealous when your partner is being an asshole.

Whisky and kink

I was at a couple of whisky tastings recently, and I noticed some surprising parallels between enjoying whisky and enjoying kink.

First of all, and I freely admit I’ve been very lucky here, at all the tastings I’ve been to the person leading the tasting has told us that what’s important is drinking the whisky you like, the way you like to drink it. If you like the 10 year old version of a whisky better than the 16 year, drink the 10! If you like your whisky with some water or ice, drink it that way!

That definitely carries over to kink. If everyone involved in your scene is having fun, you are doing it right. Who gives a shit if you don’t have a super serious scene or don’t have totally rigid power dynamics or don’t do anything especially flashy? The only thing that really matters is that everyone has a good time (or has a bad time in the way they meant to 🙂 )

In kink, like in whisky, there are certainly snobs out there. Plenty of people will tell you that it’s wrong to put ice in your whisky or to make a cocktail with it. They can all fuck right off, it’s your whisky and your kink and you should do what you like with it. Some people will tell you that you need fancy glassware or whisky stones to really enjoy whisky. I personally drink mine out of a plain old rocks glass. Glencairn glasses are pretty and all, but I enjoy my whisky more if I can stick my face right in the glass and breathe it in.

You’ll run into plenty of people in kink who think you’re not a real kinkster if you don’t have a bunch of expensive toys, as if those matter at all if you aren’t playing with the right person. Toys are fun and I recommend getting a good flogger if you like flogging and can afford one, but it’s not like you can’t have plenty of fun with a few dollars worth of stuff from the dollar store and a little creativity. Plus, if you enjoy reactions it’s awesome to see the look on people’s faces when you pull something totally bizarre out of your toybag 🙂

Just like in kink, there’s actually a huge variety in whisky. Heavily peated whiskies are very different from lighter, smoother whiskies that have been distilled more times are different from whiskies that have been aged in sherry casks are different from whiskies that have been aged in port casks are different from whiskies that have been aged in newer barrels are different from whiskies that have been aged in older barrels and on and on.

If you don’t like heavily peated whisky, that doesn’t mean whisky just isn’t for you. There’s lots of other stuff you can try that might be more your style. Same with kink – not everybody wants a hardcore impact play scene, and if that’s not your thing there are only about a zillion other things you can try. You’re not any less a whisky drinker or a kinkster if you know what you like and stick with that.

Whisky, like kink, can be pretty intense. I’ve been drinking it for a while and cask strength whiskies still mostly taste like burning to me. It took me a while to learn to appreciate the differences between even normal strength (~40% alcohol) whiskies. If it takes you a while to get into it or to find the thing you like, that doesn’t mean you’re not a real whisky drinker. I know of one person who didn’t enjoy whisky until she tried pairing it with chocolate, which helped her make sense of what she was tasting.

If it takes you a while to get into kink, that doesn’t mean you’re not a real kinkster. If you only like some things, or only like them in certain combinations (for example, it’s really common to only like pain when you’re already turned on), all that means is that you figured out what you like. Good on you for figuring that out, you can’t very well tell people what you want if you don’t know yourself.

Go forth and enjoy your kink and your whisky however you damn well want!

Of course you can be a good sub and have limits

Not so long ago I saw a discussion where the original poster asked if it was possible for him to have limits and still be a good sub. On one hand I can understand how someone would come to think that was a question he needed to ask but on the other hand HOW IS THIS A QUESTION?!!!

Having anything even vaguely resembling a survival instinct is still in, I promise you. Aside from really obvious limits about serious bodily harm, what on earth is supposed to be attractive about not having the sense to know that not every kink is your kink? Or the profound self-absorption to think that no woman will ever be into kinks that you’re not? For god’s sake knock that shit off.

Even leaving aside the blatant misogyny of assuming dominant women couldn’t possibly exist for any reason other than to service your boner and the willful and carefully maintained ignorance it takes to deliberately avoid finding out that kinks that turn you off exist, the idea that good s-types never say no is deeply, deeply fucked up.

First of all, it’s damaging to the people we supposedly care for as dominants. Believing that a good sub never says no leads people to force themselves to tolerate things that are bad for them because they want so badly to be “good.” Now obviously that’s dumb and a dom who wouldn’t  want to know about it if they were harming their sub is trash you should run from as fast as you can, but people don’t deserve to be harmed just for being naive and kind of dumb.

Second, it’s insulting as hell to d-types to assume we’re such fragile flowers we can’t ever handle being told no. I am a grownup and I want to know if my idea is terrible or if I’m about to do something stupid. And yes, it’s possible to disagree respectfully. If you can’t understand the difference between telling me “Stabbity, I think that’s a bad idea because of x and y” and “That’s stupid, do it this way,” come back when you grow up. You’re not ready for kink if your communication skills are that bad.

Come to think of it, not understanding the difference between a respectful and disrespectful no may be a big part of why people get the idea that good s-types just don’t say no at all. If you don’t realise it’s possible to say no and still be respectful, of course you’d think it’s not okay for s-types to say no. Not recognising a respectful no or a soft no as a no could also screw up your ideas about whether it’s okay to say no.

If you’re not sure how to say no respectfully, I recommend looking at articles about how to say no to your boss. If you read a few of them, you’ll see a common theme of explaining why you can’t do the thing they want and asking how they want to handle it. The conversation part may be another reason s-types don’t feel like they should say no. If you think of “saying no” as a single, blunt “Nope, not gonna happen” instead of a conversation, of course that seems disrespectful.

If there’s just one thing you take away from this post, take this: it is always okay to say no. It doesn’t make you a bad sub, it makes you a person who has the sense to look after their own well being.

Shoutout to everyone who has a tough time with mother’s day

Supposedly Mother’s Day is a wonderful happy day when loving families get together to celebrate the mothers in their families. It doesn’t pan out that way for all of us.

If your mother died and Mother’s Day is an agonizing reminder, I see you. If you are trying to become a mother but feel like a failure because your body isn’t cooperating, I see you. If god forbid your child died I see you. If you’re read as a woman but don’t identify as one and feel dysphoric or erased on Mother’s Day, I see you. If you’re a trans woman who wishes she could give birth one day, I see you. If you are a mother but don’t know where your child is or if they’re safe, I see you (and don’t judge you, it’s impossible to love a mental illness or addiction away). If you have a hard time with Mother’s Day for any reason, I see you.

Most of all, if your mother doesn’t love you, I see you. If ignorant jerks are appalled that you aren’t going to call or visit your mother, I see you. If you do visit and hate it, I see you. If self-centered assclowns won’t drop the fucking subject when you try to talk about something else, I see you. If you feel like an unlovable monster, I see you.

For me, the worst part of Mother’s Day is the assumption that all mothers love their children and that everyone is delighted to celebrate with their mothers. It’s technically not impossible that my mother loved me in the “I feel a feeling!” (that post is mostly about romantic love but the basic idea of “I feel a feeling!” love versus the real love of actions that make a person feel loved still applies) sense, but who really gives a shit when I spent my entire childhood wondering if this was the day she’d start hitting me too. That’s not love.

My life is better without that woman in it, but dates like her birthday and Mother’s Day still kinda suck for me. I’ve been estranged from her for a long time and I’m largely over it, but the Mother’s Day barrage makes me feel like everyone’s mother loves them except mine. The societal programming that says you have to do certain things on those days is also a real pain in the ass to root out even when you know that you can’t have contact with your mother and be happy.

Try to take care of yourself. You have this random internet asshole’s official permission to hide in your home all day and not interact with the outside world if that helps (either the permission or the hiding). It’s okay to have a rough time, it’s okay to excuse yourself, it’s okay to change the subject, and it is definitely okay to give people an extended icy glare and/or extremely blunt statement that you don’t want to talk about it if they decide to be prying assholes.

You are not alone. You are not weird. You are not broken (heads up, that link includes a story from someone whose mother loved her before she died young). You are not unlovable. Your mother not loving you is not about you and never has been, it’s about her.

Finally, here’s how to not be an asshole to people who have a hard time with Mother’s Day for any reason:

  • Stop fucking assuming everyone loves Mother’s Day.
  • Stop fucking assuming that everyone has a mother. Sometimes people die tragically young.
  • Stop fucking assuming that everyone’s mother loved them.
  • Don’t directly ask what someone did for Mother’s Day unless you know they have a good relationship with their mother/kids. Just ask how their weekend was, they’ll tell you about what they did for Mother’s Day if they damn well feel like it.
  • If you do ask someone what they did for Mother’s Day and they change the subject, for fuck’s sake let it stay changed. Don’t be a pushy asshole.
  • If you find out someone is estranged from their mother, do not ask why unless you are very, very close. There is no happy answer to that question, you prying fuck.

If you have a mother who loves you and are looking forward to Mother’s Day, that’s great and I’m genuinely happy for you. Just don’t be an asshole to people who aren’t as lucky are you are. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones, I hope this post gives you something to hang on to – that’s why I’m publishing it early.

Moderation note: I had to turn on moderation for all comments because my spam filter has been having issues lately so comments may be slow to appear. This should go without saying, but if you decide to be an asshole in the comments for this of all posts, you will be permanently banned. Do not tell me or anyone else that their mother loved them when she clearly fucking didn’t.

You literally can’t include everyone


One of many, many things that irritates the shit out of me is when lazy assclown community leaders say that they don’t exclude anyone from their events. Yes you fucking do you lying sacks of shit. What you actually mean is that you can’t be fucking bothered to kick out assholes so you stick your fingers in your ears and shout “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” whenever anyone tells you there’s a problem. And then you slap the bandaid of “inclusivity” on top of the open sewer you’re building and pretend that everything is fine.

When I say you can’t include everyone, I mean that in the most literal possible way. if you make assholes feel welcome, you’ve CHOSEN to make me unwelcome. You are saying that my safety and comfort does not matter. OWN WHAT YOU ARE DOING you lazy sacks of shit. It is okay to have an event where I’m not welcome. For example gay men’s events, queer spaces, trans spaces, submissive only spaces, people of colour only spaces, survivors of sexual assault only spaces, littles only spaces, swingers/casual sex spaces, etc, etc. It is okay to have an event that only for certain people! It’s sad as fuck to pretend that you can invite total assholes, and me, and assume that’s inclusive. It’s NOT. Why the fuck would I hang around with assholes and event organizer who don’t give a shit about me when I could be doing anything else?

By saying “we don’t exclude anyone!” what you’re saying is “we don’t care that people are sometimes complete fucking assholes who need a good excluding.” If you’re going to give me that message, grow some fucking balls and tell me to go fuck myself like a fucking grownup you pathetic fucking child. if you want to run a community you need to make tough choices sometimes. I’m not saying it’s fun or painless to exclude anyone. We’ve all been the weird kid who got picked last during gym class, we know how much it sucks to be excluded and we don’t want to do it to anyone else. But here’s the thing: that doesn’t fucking work. No matter what you do, someone will be excluded. Your choices are to deliberately exclude assholes or implicitly exclude people who don’t want to hang out with assholes, but there is literally no option whatsofuckingever where you can possibly include everyone.

Include assholes if you want to, but for fucks sake admit that’s what you’re doing. You’re not fucking kidding anyone anyway.

PS, if you’d like to read basically the same idea with fewer swearwords, check out Ferret’s Choose Carefully Who You’re Kind To.