My dear friend (who we’ll call “Samuel” because that’s his name) told me that he’s polyamorous. The thing is that I’m pretty sure he’s European, what should I do? Should I show him his grandparents’ Ellis Island certificates or play along with his delusion that he’s from tropical islands? Help!
Well Samuel, you stupid little twit, the word you’re thinking of is “Polynesian” and that’s quite different from what “Samuel” actually said. So why don’t you grow a pair of ears, you miserable excuse for a human, and sit down so I can explain to you what your friend actually meant.
Considering that your friend and I are the exact same person I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what he was talking about. Your friend is using polyamorous to describe the fact that he can feel romantic and/or sexual attractions to multiple people at the same time. Samuel feels comfortable acting upon his various attractions even if he’s currently involved with other people. You need to understand that Samuel is not cheating as he has not entered into any relationship with the expectation that it will be monogamous. To achieve this Samuel places a premium on constant communication to ensure that all participants are informed and feel safe/comfortable.
Here’s some basic advice:
First of all it is not your place to question the validity of Samuel’s, fuck this I’m going to use first person pronouns, of my relationships. If I am in six relationships (long term relationships with two people, casually hooking up with three, just starting to date one- obviously this is hypothetical because in what universe can I get one date, let alone six) then I am in six relationships that mean as much to me as your one relationship. What I feel for each person is genuine and sincere and it is not your fucking place to tell me otherwise. If we’re close friends and you feel that there’s something wrong with one of my relationships because it just doesn’t seem healthy then please express your concern but the fact that my relationships might look different than yours means jackshit.
You might have some questions with terminology. Who is my boyfriend? Who is my make out buddy? Valid questions and they deserve valid answers: I’ll tell you who is who. If you’re confused then you can ask, “Hey, how do you refer to Steve? Or Belinda?” Be polite and I’ll be polite in return. It’s probably not a big deal but you’ll make it one if you obsess over it.
In trying to answer all the questions that I felt people would want answered I realized that what I really cared about was respect. Please respect my relationships and my feelings. When I act upon my attractions it’s because they’re sincere emotions that I truly feel. Furthermore I do my best to keep communication at the forefront of my relationships. Also, it’s not really your business. I mean, as long as everyone involved is freely consenting and know what’s going on then you can’t really complain. So fuck off?
If you have any questions about polyamory please ask. I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities and provide resources that I’ve come across.
Long time reader, first time caller! Love the blog! It’s great! Quick question- Waiting at the bus stop is becoming horrendous in this cold weather. Any tips, you good-looking son of a bitch?
Love, Samuel Z.
Great question and one I can totally relate to, Samuel!
Winter is here and for those of us living in the colder urban environments this means that standing at the bus stop is really a pain in the tuchus. Of course winter doesn’t just mean cold waits but also inclement weather that can delay buses. What does a delayed bus mean? Longer waits. Whoop-de-fucking-loo. Here are some of my great suggestions:
- Exercises to keep your blood flowing. My favorite is to ride an imaginary bicycle, although with my bad knees I can’t do this for long. Jumping-Jacks are also good.
- Urinating on yourself may seem like a good idea at the time but soon that warm liquid will freeze and then your thighs are frozen shut.
- Use what resources you have. If you’re in a three-sided shelter like we have in Amherst than maximize its efficiency by pushing it over and positioning the entrance away from the oncoming wind.
- The more people waiting for the bus the better. Huddling for warmth is good but get as close to the center as you can. During this time of year I carry a blue permanent marker with me so that in times like this I can color my hands and face and tell people I’ve got hypothermia. Their sympathy means that they’ll put me in the center so that I don’t die.
- Stay positive. Instead of thinking that the bus is late because the universe is punishing you for cheating on your French quiz in Sophomore year, think that it’s late for a good reason. Maybe they ran over someone you really don’t like. Imagine the bus crushing your least favorite celebrity (Jack Nicholson) or relative (Ken).
- Super cold? Fake a heart-attack so an ambulance is called. Once they’ve picked you up tell the paramedics that you left your health insurance information at your apartment. They’ll pull up at your apartment, you run inside to “get your health insurance information” and then you lock the door. Free ride home!
- Take this opportunity to learn new things about your body. If there’s a willing partner you two can stay warm by engaging in a frisky exploration of the other’s body. Why limit it to just you two? Invite everyone waiting with you to join in! (This is how my Great-Aunt Hortensia met her second-, third-, and sixth-husband.)
Stay warm out there!
Well that’s all I’ve got. Anyone got anything to add? Leave a comment below. And if you’d like me to answer a question from someone who isn’t me feel free to e-mail it to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
So I’ve always wanted to be an Agony Aunt. Like Dear Abby, Dame Edna and Mistress Maeve before me* I have a strong interest in helping people answer their life questions. Am I qualified? Fuck no, I’m just your average busybody who likes to talk with people.
I’d really love to move into Agony Aunt-ing (see my blog’s title, after all) but I can’t really do that without questions to respond to. So please, if you want my advice feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. All questions will be edited to preserve anonymity and if you don’t provide a pseudonym then I’ll give you a highly embarrassing nickname.
What will I answer questions about? Medical, romantic, fashion,sexual, political, familial, home decorating advice will all be dispensed but I will never give out advice that I shouldn’t be giving out.
*Fine, the Dame and Mistress are still alive but I like the sound of the phrase.
I’ve been involved with a variety of queer communities throughout my life and so I’ve been around for a fair number of conversations about coming out to family members. Some conversations have been general theoretical conversations about hypothetical comings outs (I don’t know how to make that plural so I just winged it) while others have been personal conversations with friends who are seriously considering whether or not to come out. One thing that fascinates me is that in almost every single conversation I’ve participated is someone will say something along the lines of, “If you come out to your parents [or family in general] it’ll be tough but they love you because they’re your family.” The thing is, I have mixed feelings about this piece of advice.
Whenever I’m talking about coming out my first thought is always to safety. I was lucky in that my coming out process has been, for the most part, relatively straight forward. It was not, however, perfect or painless and I am uncomfortable with people who advocate all people to come out while claiming that, “It’s always the best option available.” The fact is that I’m not convinced that this is the truth. I advocate for a safety-first coming out policy that focuses on the safety of the person coming out. This is something that I want to write more about in future posts but I’d also be interested in engaging with people in the comments of this post.
The part of the “Just come out, it’ll be great because your parents love and accept you because they’re your parents”-advice that I’d like to take apart in this post is the “love and accept” section. There’s an idea floating around that love and acceptance are automatically bundled together but I’m not entirely sold on that one. (I’m not even sold on the idea that a parent’s love is unconditional.) When coming out be prepared for love and acceptance not to come hand-in-hand. Parents are from a different generation, a different culture even, and while they may feel love the acceptance might be a bit more difficult. Acceptance requires a level of comfort and understanding before it can reached.
Because love and acceptance are so often bundled together in our culture under the name of “love” we don’t always realize that one is missing. Speaking from my own experience it can be painful trying to sort out why the love you feel from your family isn’t complete. The two are linked together and when one of the two pieces isn’t there then the “love” feels empty.
I encourage those who are thinking of coming out, or even those who have already come out, to consider what I’ve written. This may not apply to your situation but I hope that it might provide a useful thought to mull over.
Note Bene- This post was harder than I expected to write. I’m still coming to terms with my own coming out and I’d like to thank my homeopathic anti-anxiety tablets for getting me through today (It took me a day to write 567 words, that’s just sad). If anyone wants to talk with me in the comment section or on Twitter (or even e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) I’d really enjoy hearing other thoughts. Alright, I’m going to schedule this post and go watch porn. (Too much information? Sorry, just trying to get my serotonin levels up.)