Author Archives: Rainbow Penguin
Normally, I love to know people’s backgrounds. Where they came from helps me figure out why they are who they are. I don’t often ask questions, but usually let things come out organically, only asking questions to supplement that.
My partner Trydaen is, well, fairly closed up about his past – not that I think that it is an on purpose, to spite me thing. It seems to me that he doesn’t find it terribly relevant to the present – which is almost exactly opposite of how I see the past, but I can understand it fairly well. I’ve found that the more time I spend with him, the more little tidbits come out about his childhood through his 20s – including about his marriage.
He was technically married (but separated) when I met him and several years later when we started to date, but I never met her – I know nothing about her, short of the little bit I have gleaned from stories/context from him. It seems that she was not relevant anymore to his relationships at that point in time, so why bother? This has bothered me more and more over time – this was clearly someone he cared about enough to say yes to marriage when she proposed it and spent a large chunk of time with. Why? What happened there to sour him to notion of ever doing it again? It clearly didn’t sour her – she was remarried six months after the divorce was finalized.
But I have never known how to ask about that. How do I treat it? As I would, with all the curiosity I have? Cautiously? I don’t actually know whether it is a sore spot for him or whether it is simply no longer relevant, so no longer worth speaking about?
So I am trying. And I am proud of myself for that. When we were watching an episode of Bones a few weeks ago and (spoiler alert) Booth and Bones get married and Bones’ dad gives her away (after a speech from her about how it is just to make him happy and not a symbol of the passing of bride from father to husband) I got up the courage to ask whether his ex-wife had been given away by her father. He didn’t remember – didn’t think she had, but didn’t remember.
So that’s one thing. But what other questions can I ask to get to the why?
I remember, I remember, I remember…
I am friends with a former lover and his wife on Facebook. I have never met her, but I have talked to her directly several times and through her many more times. She likes to post pictures of what their family is up to: her, her husband, their son (who looks like he will be every bit the looker that his dad is), and their daughter, who was born while my former lover and I were still together (near the very end). Their daughter was born November 2009, though I don’t remember what day. I met/saw his daughter once in June 2010, when she was a sleeping babe in arms–he brought her to a presentation that I was holding. She will never remember me, but I have watched some of her growing up through her mother’s pictures. I feel blessed in a small way, that I get to do this.
1. I am a strong woman and a good girl (generally).
2. I am super picky about purses and shoes, but still adore them.
3. I have more Earl Grey tea in my house than any other tea, and it isn’t even my favorite kind.
4. I found out today that one of the sweetest co-workers I ever had died of cancer. He was only in his 30s (by my calculations).
5. I strongly prefer the smell of well-mixed essential oils over perfume/cologne.
6. I love my Dr. Bonner’s soap.
7. My ears are naturally symmetrical.
8. I am a Trekkie and a Whovian and I am not ashamed.
9. I love cheese more than any lactose intolerant person ought to.
10. It takes me a long time to fall in love with someone and even longer for it to fade into nostalgic love once the connection is gone.
11. I am a library junkie.
12. I have only had a handful of crushes in my life, none of which turned into relationships.
13. One of the best indicators that I love a book is that I will put it in a friend’s hands and tell them that they must read it.
14. I love the ocean, even if I am perpetually cold when I am there.
15. I like wearing hats.
16. I check my email on my phone way more often than I do on my computer.
17. One of my favorite possessions is my wall clock that I bought at Goodwill for $4.
18. I am happy with the way my body looks, but would still like to lose weight.
19. I am very good at suppressing my inclination towards hypochondria.
20. I am mildly dyslexic.
21. I adore my scars.
22. I recently discovered that I like sweet potatoes and many different kinds of nuts after a lifetime of avoiding them because I thought I didn’t like them.
23. My ideal house would have one room just for all my books and a comfy chair to read them in.
24. I am not sure how well I would live without my phone.
25. Despite having a very well-adjusted childhood, I draw more strength from my family of choice than my family of birth.
Note: The information contained in this post is no longer accurate. It was originally written more than a year ago when my situation was different. I’m reposting it as I thought the concept was worth keeping in mind.
Love As A House
All through our lives we build foundations. The second we meet someone (in a non-professional capacity), from that first impression we start drawing up blueprints for a relationship. A lot of times, they stay blueprints. When we spend a fair amount of time around that particular person we build foundations for a future relationship with them. With the foundation down, that relationship between those two people can become anything easily.
Foundations can take days, weeks, months, or years to build, depending on the people and the circumstances.
The house that’s built on that foundation is love. It can contain different rooms, each a different kind of love. Romantic love may be the kitchen, dating love the hallway, sexual love the bedroom, friendly love the den, familial love the living room, companionate love the home office, intellectual love the studio, so on and so forth.
A new house may only have one room–friendly love or sexual love, for example. But then as the relationship grows between the people they may add on different rooms–maybe a kitchen or a studio. Some houses, however, will be complete with just one room. Others may have a dozen or more. Sometimes there will be some remodeling done and certain rooms will be added onto others–but that takes time.
The size of each room can change as the relationship develops. Maybe in the beginning sexual love is the most important thing in the relationship, so that one room is the whole house. Then friendly love comes along, starting off as a little closet sized room but becomes just the same size as the sexual love room. The other way around can happen as well–a room can diminish in size to the point where it might just be better to tear down the wall between it and another room. Sometimes the house will become abandoned if there is no love left.
I have been with T for over two years now. I started building my foundations with him the day I met him in 2010. After the basic foundations were laid, which took a couple weeks, the first room added was the bedroom (sexual love). Then the kitchen (romantic love) followed shortly after. It took awhile to start, but now we are building a home office (companionate love). We have a den (friendly love), but it is not as large as the bedroom or kitchen, and that’s okay.
With C, the foundations took more like a month to build, and the first room added was friendly love. Sexual love and romantic love were built about simultaneously. With the issues we were having, sexual love and romantic love shrunk so much that all I have left now is friendly love and that’s not a terribly huge room right now.
Now with CE, the foundations were more than two years in the making before the thought of adding a room was brought up. However, since it was brought up the house has been expanding at quite a rate. First we built the hallway (dating love). Then after about a month we built the bedroom, then about two months later, we’re building the kitchen. KE is concerned mostly about how fast our kitchen is expanding.
For a non-romantic, non-sexual example: I met ME at a party at that poly house about a year ago and started laying foundations as we started to see each other more. We have built a fair sized den (friendly love) over that time period, as well as a very slightly smaller studio (intellectual love). The latest development in that house is that we are building and expanding on a living room (familial love). Some day, if all the pieces come together right, I think we very well could have a home office, but that will take time.
For an example outside of myself, I’d like to use KE and CE’s relationship. Now, I do have to put a caveat on this: I do not know for sure that this is how it happened, but this is my best guess from what I do know. Foundations were built, then the first room added on was sexual love. That had some time to grow before it was joined by dating love, then after months, romantic love. Due to certain work-related circumstances with CS, their home office (companionate love) became extensive. Familial love is growing still, I think. I think their house is a rather pretty house.
Okay, this is also a poly post. Two in one.
The term OSO (in poly lingo), bothers me some times. There are two accepted terms that can be abbreviated to this: Other Significant Other and Other’s Significant Other. The first is the most commonly used and the one that bugs me the most. It seems to to imply a mono sense of things or a hierarchy, that there is one main person and everyone else is “other”, which goes against my personal beliefs. Everyone is a person to me, no one is an “other”. The second one doesn’t bother me as much, as it is simply an easier way of saying “the other significant other of my significant other”, or metamour.
However, the whole term SO bugs me for another reason. The term seems to imply that there are, in fact, insignificant others, which I disagree with. There may be people in the world that I do not really care too much about them, as I do not know them or anything about their lives, but I would never say that they were “insignificant” per se. I can use this term as long as I can remember that it can also mean that these people play a significant part in my life and also that other simply means someone who is not myself.
I would like to propose a new term, which has become relevant for me as of late: SSO, which stands for “shared significant other”. I am in a triad and a couple vees that share points with the triad. In my triad, I have a boyfriend (CE) and a girlfriend (KE), and they are that to each other (and have been for longer than I have known them). To KE I would refer to CE as “our SSO”, rather than using the term “our boyfriend”. With CE I would refer to KE as “our SSO”, rather than using the term “our girlfriend”. My other boyfriend could, in conversation with either CE or KE, refer to me as “our SSO”. And so on and so forth
I feel like it is a cop-out to say this, but I will: be an informed voter. I will make sure that my ballot makes it to whatever address I am at and I fill it out fully (and remember to mail it, of course). I will research the candidates and issues thoroughly, so I know that I am choosing people who will represent my interests. If in doubt, I will consult websites and voter guides that I trust. I will also question any statement that seems unclear and I will, in the end, think for myself when I vote. I will give my ballot the full extent of my attention until I am finished filling it out.
If a particular candidate gets my attention by their actions for or against choice, I will be sure to note that, and write on it if it has not gotten sufficient media coverage already. I will make sure that my friends know my stance on these candidates, whether it be for or against. If I get the chance I will do any meet and greets I can with local politicians to see if their in-person persona matches their political, public persona.
I happen to be in two relationships right now that have D/s components in them and, since this is an important part of my life, I feel that it is worth writing on them. I’m going to try to do themed posts regarding bits and pieces of these relationships and kink as a whole under this header, but some times they may be less organized than others.
First relationship: My first boyfriend, whom I have been with just short of 20 months at this point in time. We have been playing around with kink since basically the beginning of our sexual relationship, with a few mishaps along the way. He primarily bottoms to me, and I top him. Sometimes this borders on submission and domination, depending on how we’re playing.
Second relationship: My second boyfriend, whom I have been submissive to for a little over six months. We have various other anniversaries; we have only officially been bf/gf for a little more than a month now. Our relationship started out as purely D/s. Well, that’s the basic story at least. The big surprise was that we fell for each other–not really expected by either side, to be honest. We’ve had our little roller coasters, but nothing too seriously damaging.
I am cross-posting this on my livejournal (because I think it’s relevant).
There are very few people who see me who would think me a slut. I wear tee-shirts and jeans when I go out. I tend to be fairly unassuming.
But people might read what I do and how I behave, without seeing me, without knowing me and perhaps assume that I am a “slut” or one those nasty words that society uses to describe women it doesn’t like or thinks might have “too much sex”. Despite the fact that no one every defines what “too much” is. My guess is that too much is more than the listener has had.
The average American woman has four sexual partners in her lifetime and the average American man has six to eight, according to the Kinsey Institute. Would too much be more than that? I guess I’ve still had more than too much for a woman–I’m looking at eight right now at 23. Now granted, that’s not a lot compared to some people (a friend recounted her total and came up with around 48 and she’s about four years older than I am). But it is more than a few people I know (many of my guy friends). Who’s counting?
Is frequency what counts? Well, geez, I guess I fit into that category too. Only 7.5% of partnered women my age have sex more than four times a week (same source).
Is it when first intercourse occurred? There’s another category in which I look like a slut to the statistics, though not by much: 16.6 compared to the average American female’s 17.4 (same source again).
But who’s counting, really?
The fact that I am a bisexual queer poly woman, with large-ish breasts would be enough for some people to judge me a slut based on stereotypes, even without knowing the numbers. Not that the numbers matter.
What matters is one thing: I do not define myself as a slut, therefore I am not. Period. End of sentence.
It’s an odd phenomenon, at least in my mind.
One of the best ways to know that someone has wormed their way into my life in a significant way (usually some combination of sexually, emotionally, and intellectually–two of three is typical) is that I find myself missing them. It’s rarely at any obvious time–it’s usually just something that washes over me when my mind is not otherwise occupied. Or when I have a dream about them. Or if they come up in my News Feed.
Just going to put this out in the universe and see what pops up: if you think you might be someone I’m missing, please send me a message–there are more than a couple of you out there.