M: We are.
L: I have been hmmm…well part of it is I’ve been hanging out just with a lot of friends and that’s gonna be kind of what we talk about today. So the other thing is that I have been trying to get back into yoga, which seems like such like a basic kind of like, the thing that comes up first on the list of self-care is like yoga, meditation, bubble baths. But I feel like yoga really does work best if it’s a practice that is somewhat regular and when I was sick I just couldn’t get the practice going because then all of sudden i would feel like awful and not want to be in my body. So yeah, it’s kind of a way to get back into my body.
M: That’s good. I saw your post on Instagram.
M: I love that.
L: Thank you. I, yeah, it’s been a good thing. I’m doing it, trying to get my kiddo to do it too but she’s wild about it and she just rolls around on the mat like while she tries to do ten other things but
L: you know. (laughs)
M: (coughs) Shit. Okay.
L: Okay. Hi. Hey Megan. What are you doing to take care of yourself this week?
M: I joined a bipolar support group on Facebook.
M: And that has been really, really helpful because I’ve been talking about it since June when I was diagnosed we’ve talked about it a lot and at first I was not interested in reading about it.
M: My psychiatrist told me not to
M: and I for once listened.
M: But now after starting meds and then stopping and now I’m back on again, which I don’t think- I think last time I wasn’t
M: but now I’m back.
L: You’re back. Yeah.
M: I have wanted to understand it more. So it’s been really helpful to join this group. And I don’t usually listen to our recordings afterwards unless I have to for editing
L: Uh huh.
M: but I do read the transcripts and one thing I noticed about me talking about this is that I sound very confusing because I’ve said that I never felt as bad until I was on meds. But then I’ve also said like how meds, I found the perfect combination.
M: So it made me think about like what a confusing journey this has been. And really someone said something in the bipolar support group that totally like opened my mind and it made me sad like it made me want to cry. So I just want to say that I hope that I didn’t sound like anti-meds. I know I’ve told people don’t do what I do.
M: You know, do what works for you. But I think what I meant was that I was really grieving like me when I have hypomania is probably like my favorite self.
L: Okay, sure.
M: So to not have that anymore, it’s been really hard and sad and so I think that’s why it’s easy to say I’ve never felt worse. Because when you have such high highs,
M: then you don’t it anymore, it’s really upsetting. And I used to get so much done and like I’m not camming at all or doing any sex work anymore.
M: And that was such a big part of my identity. And I don’t- It’s not all because of being on medication. But it definitely changed my schedule so much. And when I used to make the most money and when I used to be able to focus the most was like, I would stay up all night doing it.
M: And now, well also my living situation, but I go to bed like pretty early.
M: And in the daytime is just not the same for me. So it’s been confusing. But anyways, what the person said was, I was telling them quite honestly about my feelings with meds and how I felt like a failure for taking them again. And they were saying, “Megan, you’re just grieving your old self, but why don’t learn to love the new you on meds?” And I was like, “Oh my gosh.”
L: That’s really sweet.
M: And I thought, “Yeah, that’s true. There is a lot of good stuff about me now, you know, being stable and balanced and not wanting to die all the time”
M: “is great.” (laughs) So I just have to find the fun parts of my personality and I remember the first time I was on meds, there was a day when I heard a song on Spotify and I was like, “I really love this song.” And I felt like emotional about it.
M: And I thought like, “Okay. I feel myself coming back again.”
L: Of course.
M: And then stopping the meds and going through that whole rollercoaster where I think I reached out to you ’cause I really do, whenever something’s going really good or really bad you’re one of the first people I talk to.
M: So I was like, “Leigh, I can’t do this anymore.” (laughs)
M: I had this like horrible night and I just was like, “I’m gonna get on the meds. I will do anything. I will never get off the meds again. I will do anything to feel better.” And it’s been- I heard that if you were on the meds and then stop and then start again, it doesn’t take as long
L: Okay, that makes sense.
M: to get readjusted.
L: ‘Cause it’s still, some is still in your system maybe.
M: Yeah. So I don’t know.
L: I’m not a doctor.
M: I definitely felt better quicker.
M: And I already have that feeling. See? I’m getting teary eyed talking about it. I already have the feelings of like, “Okay. I feel like myself”
M: “a little bit more.” And starting to like keep track of my feelings.
M: And I’ve noticed, and someone else brought it up in the support group on Facebook, that when you’re getting your period, you could have like rapid cycling, like the worst times.
M: So I’ve noticed that too.
L: There’s another thing similar to, not to like give you a diagnosis or anything,
M: Uh huh.
L: but just as something that’s interesting. When I was looking into all the PMDD stuff, there’s something called PME,
L: which is premenstrual exacerbation. And it is, if you have another mental illness, premenstrual period can exacerbate that mental illness.
L: So, like, that makes a ton of sense,
L: whether you call it that or not. Like I’ve noticed that like mine was probably a combo of the two.
M: Yeah. So I think that’s why I wanted to say this for my self-care is that everyone on the support group, we’re just dealing with it. We’re not doctors. We’re just- But it’s so helpful to be like, “Hey. I’m getting my period and the last few months I’ve noticed that on this day, it’s like my worst day of the month. Does anyone else experience that?” And so many people are like, “Yeah.” And then someone else said like, “I have PMDD.” And it made me think of you and, just having like, a group in your pocket of like…
L: Yes. It’s huge.
M: Yeah! And I’ll post a selfie and be like, “I got out of the house today.” And people will be like, “Go you! I love your glasses!” Like, just, (laughs) totally like hyping you up. (laughs)
L: Good. I’m so glad you found that. That’s awesome.
M: So that’s my self-care and also my kind of like, “Sorry I’ve been confusing about bipolar but I’m trying to make sense of it.” And I am totally supportive of whatever people have to do.
L: Of course.
M: I hope it didn’t sound that way. I don’t know.
L: I don’t think it did. I think it sounds like you’ve been talking about your own experience.
L: You know, I’m- Can I say a thing about that? (laughs)
L: It’s interesting ’cause I haven’t thought about this since I’ve like- It’s so weird to say I got better, you know?
L: I always say that. Like it’s just, it’s so confusing ’cause chronic means, like, lifetime, pretty much. So to like, kind of have gotten better from a chronic illness is still something I’m wrapping my head around. But I feel so much better. And obviously some of the feelings, like I’ve talked about have been, you know, I’ve had some hard stuff. I’ve had a lot of grief going on,
L: especially with my breakup during all of this. And so, you know, that’s definitely like running in the background. But the really bad stuff is gone away. And it didn’t occur to me like literally until you just said that, the other part of PMDD that I forgot about, which was right when my period would start, I would get like such a high that I couldn’t tell if it was a form of almost like mania
L: or if it was just I was so low
L: that I would get so up. But I don’t experience that anymore. And I’ve been so focused on not having the terrible that I did forget that like
L: there is this like boost that I’m not getting anymore either,
L: which I don’t miss it because of how bad the other stuff was.
L: But that is like the place where like PMDD kind of look like bipolar, I mean, looks very much like it.
L: That’s why it gets misdiagnosed a lot. And obviously some people have both. But yeah, that’s just interesting ’cause I hadn’t thought about that.
M: Yeah. Some people on the Facebook group have talked about their hypomania or mania not feeling great.
M: But you always hear more about how awesome it is. So I know it must be different for everyone.
M: But yeah, I do miss that. And it’s just, it’s been rough. But I’m trying to find that happy place again and like maybe it won’t look the same,
M: but at least I can feel happy and grateful. And I have energy again. I’ve been waking up with energy, which is so nice.
L: It seems like it. That’s awesome.
M: And I’ve been sleeping which just blows my mind. ‘Cause you know,
L: Oh, sure.
M: from when we first started this, I was sleeping like sometimes three hours a night, sometimes none,
M: and still functioning.
M: And now I think about how like I would have never thought that me going to bed before 11 would ever be a thing. And I’ve been doing that pretty consistently. It feels nice to be.
L: That sounds nice.
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: I’m now not sleeping but that’s I think the main thing I’ve noticed being like post-menopausal
L: is like I’ve totally got that thing where like I can’t fall asleep. But that’s okay. It’s not terrible. I do fall asleep. I’m just up later that I want to be.
L: But before we start, what we want to talk about today. We got the sweetest review on what, on the Apple Podcasts.
L: Is that where we got that?
L: Would you like to read it?
M: I would. It’s the best! It says, it’s by garyanna93 and it’s five stars. Thank you.
M: And it says:
“Yay! They’re Back!
I was so excited to see the first episode of Season 2 today when I opened my podcast app! After nearly 26 years in the closet I finally came out and then shortly after found this podcast and it truly helped me throughout all of the newness of finally embracing my identity! Megan and Leigh have really nailed it with their openness with sexuality, polyamory, mental health, and just their lives and experiences in general and it really created an almost safe space for me. They also make my commute a lot less lonely! I can’t wait for the rest of Season 2!”
L: That’s so sweet.
M: That’s so sweet.
L: Thank you.
M: And we’re so proud of you.
L: Yes! Welcome out and we’re so glad that you’re listening and that’s the sweetest. Thank you so much.
M: We read it before recording and we both had like tears and our faces were both like mushed up, like, “Oh my god! This is the best!” So thank you. We love our reviews.
L: Yeah. We always love to hear from you. If you’re ever like, “Oh, I don’t want to bother people.” Or, “I don’t want to send them a thing.” Like we love it.
L: So feel free.
M: And that is very helpful for us to be seen by other people, like, you know, as far as getting new listeners, but also, a reminder, that we have the new hotline thing, which I made the most emo ad for.
L: It’s so cute.
M: Did you see that? The little sad teddy bear. (laughs)
L: Did anybody- Nobody called us yet, right?
M: I don’t think so. Dick hasn’t said anything. But I’ll just say the number again in case. So I think it would be super fun if people had questions or if they have a funny story like something we’ve talked about that they want to share. The number is 1-631-977-9183.
M: So leave us a voicemail. If you say we can play it, we’ll play it on the air. Or we could just talk about it. I don’t know.
L: Yeah, it would be fun to read, to have, like if you wanted to do your review or your question, that we could actually play you saying it,
L: if you want to.
M: That would be so cool.
L: If you have a cartoon mouse like mine and you don’t want to everyone to know it’s you immediately, we can read it too. That’s fine. But we did, we also, speaking of, I don’t know why I’m hitting my legs to really help the sound
L: quality there. Jesus Christ. We have a Discord…channel? Is that the word? Is that what the kids are calling it?
M: I don’t know if it’s server, channel, who knows.
L: We’ve got the Discords on the Patreons right now.
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: And so you can talk to us, which is, first of all a reminder that there’s lots of extra content on our Patreon for as little as 1 dollar.
M: A month.
L: I will send you. What?
M: A month.
L: A month, yes.
L: But for one month if you want.
L: I will send you a little package with some stickers and goodies and handwritten note and all of that.
M: And you get some Überlube.
L: And you get Überlube, which is awesome. And we also, you can see all our content on our Patreon. So we post our mini episodes called Queer Cuts. (laughs) I just like to watch Megan’s face when I say it.
M: I get so happy every time.
L: I know. And then we post some pictures. We post some things that you’re not gonna get just listening to regular podcast. So we would love for you to join. And you can also chat with us on Discord.
M: Yeah. It’s been really fun. I like to go say. I post selfies there, memes. I just Leigh on there today so now we’re both on there so now we can chat there together.
L: We are both there. And we got a question today that we want to answer and I don’t have it in front of me.
M: Oh, I wrote it down and then I put it away. (laughs)
Lark: Hey. I’m Lark.
Jessie: And I’m Jessie.
Lark: And we’re the hosts of Gayly Prophet, an intersectional, queer, Harry Potter podcast. One reviewer described our show this way: “If you want to queer the way you engage with the witchy world of HP, challenge the systemic problems in that world as well as our own, have your heart in two by seeing the beauty in the what ifs, and laugh so hard it hurts, I urge you give this podcast a listen.”
Jessie: If you love Harry Potter, critical analysis, gay stuff, and laughing really hard (laughs), subscribe to The Gayly Prophet wherever you listen to podcasts.
M: Okay, so we found the question.
L: We found the question. Okay, this is from listener Freddie and the question is, “How can you ask for more oral sex from your partner without sounding like a selfish jerk?” Okay.
M: Great question.
L: It is a great question. I think, the first thought I have is to make sure that you have kind of open communication around sex where there is space for your partner to ask you for things that they might want as well. So I think starting, maybe the compliment sandwich might be the good way to do it, which is start with a compliment, like
L: like, “Hey. I really enjoy having sex with you.” Or, “You’re really great at oral sex and I wanted to make sure that you knew that. Would you be willing to incorporate that into our sex time more often.” Or, that was really awkward wording, but something like that.
M: (laughs) Our sex time. Our sexy time.
L: Our sexing. (laughs)
M: (laughs) Our sexing.
L: Can we, in our sexing… No, but basically, you know, starting from a place of like, “Is it a good time to talk about it?” I don’t think it’s a good time to talk about it when you are naked and about to have sex. I think you should communicate during sex, absolutely, but that’s very vulnerable. And so I’ve noticed that, you know, asking somebody for something where they might be like, “Oh no. Am I doing something wrong?” when they’re like naked and ready to go,
L: can be not best. So I would say when there’s not relationship conflict and things are good and you’re hanging out and you’re not out to dinner, you’re just kind of chilling, would be the best time to say, “Wanted to let you know, I really love when you do this. So would you like to do it more? And also is there something I could do for you that you really like that maybe I’m not doing as much as you would like.”
M: It made me think about the relationship check-in, which I think we should do a whole episode on because I am such a communication nerd.
M: And I love that. So maybe we can do that next time or sometime soon.
L: I think that’s a good idea.
M: But I like, without having to go into that too much, if you have a time like once a month, I found it really helpful in polyamorous relationships, but I think you could do it anytime. I want my partner and I to do it even though we’re monogamous.
L: I’ve had monogamous, I’ve had clients who are monogamous do it as well and I think it’s helpful.
M: And I think that’s such a good time to talk about anything because if you tell, if you know as a couple, we have this one date a month where we go out to dinner and I bring a notebook ’cause I’m a dork like that.
L: No. That’s great.
M: And that’s the time where we talk about, you know, and it’s not just a negative thing, you know. We talk about positive, negative, just like a basic check-in. How was the month? And I think that would be a great time.
L: I think that’s awesome. Yeah.
M: Yeah. And I love what you said about it. It doesn’t sound negative. It’s not like, “This is what you’re not doing enough of.” It’s like, “Hey. I really love this. I want more of it.”
M: “What do you want more of?” So, it’s like a reframe.
L: And also if you want to set up like those monthly check-ins. Like we said, we’ll talk about it. But if you want to set up something like that, make sure you’re really clear on what you want to set up and not do the whole like, “Hey, I need to talk to you about something.” Or, “Can we talk about something?”
L: ‘Cause the truth is lots of folks are anxious and that makes anxious folks reeeeeally anxious.
M: Yeah. That’s the worst thing to get.
L: So, please, please, please, never send your partner a text that says, “Can we talk?”
M: I would be like, “She’s breaking up with me.”
L: Uh huh.
M: “And I’m gonna cry now.”
L: “We need-” Or like, “I really need to talk to you.” No. No, no, no. So…
M: We’ll do a whole episode on it and post the link.
M: Send them the link and be like, “Let’s do this.”
L: Why do I feel like we- Have we done this before?
M: I don’t think so.
M: But we could have because I have a horrible memory, but we’ll check.
L: I don’t know. We’ll check and see if we’ve done it before.
M: If we haven’t, we will. If we have, then we’ll just link to that. (laughs)
L: Yeah, we’ll talk about it in a different way. Okay. So, that was a great question though. Another thing can be just like in general doing something like Yes/No/Maybe lists with your partner on like,
L: what are some things you would like to try or things that you want to let them know like, “I like this every time” or, “I like this sometimes” or “I’m not sure about this but I’d like to try it”
L: Yeah. Talk talk talk but not in a way where you’re scaring people.
M: I’m just sitting here burping. Sorry. (laughs)
L: Cool, cool.
M: I don’t think anyone can hear but just so you all know.
L: Well now we all know. Thank you. Thank you for sharing.
M: So thank you so much for the question. And again that was someone on the Discord chat. So, oh, and eventually I have been talking to one of my favorite cam girls, Rebecca Love, who said she could possibly help us learn how to record on Discord, which means…
L: I just hit, it’s my turn.
M: I haven’t been bumping my head. You’ve been bumping your head all the time now.
L: I know. I’ve taken over.
M: Yes. You’re the one that bumps your head now.
M: So that there is a way that we could record so that people who are on the Discord chatroom can listen live
L: That’s awesome.
M: and be a part of it with us.
L: So when we say things like on the air like old timey radio people we’ll sort of be more accurate.
M: Yeah! That’s so fun!
M: So, yes. If you want to join and have access to chatting with us and me sending you snaps and selfies in the chatroom every day. Well, I don’t do it every day, but, you know what I mean.
L: I promise you I will not do it every day,
L: but that doesn’t mean that I won’t get on there and chat ’cause I will.
M: I just love selfies.
L: I think that’s great.
L: Yep. Awesome. So today we wanted to talk about… That sounds very much like I’m about to teach a class. I don’t know.
M: (laughs) I like it.
L: I don’t know where my brain is today. We were gonna talk about queer friendship and like queer platonic intimacy, which is something I don’t know, that I’ve been thinking about a whole lot lately. And I think also like we’ve both had just like a shit year,
L: as you all know. (laughs) And this is a thing that like my friendships have been so like life giving and wonderful that that’s really been the best part of this year for me. You know, even my relationship with Megan is I think how we’re able to do something like, do a show like this.
L: Like we couldn’t do this if we were not friends.
L: If we didn’t share a kind of partnership that’s not a romantic or sexual partnership but is, I feel like there’s a level of intimacy to a lot of my queer friendships that is not present or hasn’t been present in my other relationships. And I don’t know if that’s something that you recognize as well Megan.
M: I do but I’ve wondered if it’s also because I spent a lot of my younger years in like controlling relationships,
M: where I wasn’t, I didn’t have friends. I would like have a relationship and that’s it.
M: So it’s really only been the last few years. It’s already been like four years, I can’t believe it.
M: But the last four years of my life that I’ve actually had like a group of friends. And it’s really blossomed over the last two specifically.
M: ‘Cause I think I was still going through a lot of changes and transitions and stuff. So I’ve wondered, is it a queer a thing? Is it like a later in life thing? I’ve had all these thoughts about it. So it’s interesting that, you know, to talk about it.
L: And it may not necessarily be a queer thing, but it feels like it is on some level,
L: which is not to say it’s like more than other friendships. But there’s a quality, I think what I’ve noticed is for me that I tend to have a, my history and my background is that I usually have like a partner, a serious partner, and sometimes multiple partners, and then like a best friend, who’s like a partner. And recently had a best friend breakup, which, I don’t even want to go all the way into. But it made me realize that I think at other in times in my life if I didn’t have like a go-to person, you know, which has always been… I’ve always had two options, like a best friend and a partner.
L: And right now I don’t have either of those but I don’t feel a loss or like a level of loneliness that I would have felt in the past because instead of having one or two really important people and then a whole lot of people in that like friendly acquaintance zone, ’cause I used to always say I only have like one or two people I could call if I was really upset but I could get 50 people to come to a party.
L: You know, and so I don’t, that’s not the case anymore. Now there’s a lot of people in the space of not romantic, not sexual, not even like queer platonic life partner, but just like friends that really are more like chosen family and who I can like process things with without feeling like I’m putting it all on one person.
L: I don’t know. Like one example is I alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas with my kiddo’s dad. So she was with him for Thanksgiving and, you know, this is my first Thanksgiving in a while being single. And so I just went with a friend out of town. You know, it’s, with someone who’s not a partner and not my like best and only friend, just a good friend. And we were like, “Fuck it. We don’t want to do family stuff. We don’t want to be in town.” So we just went to Santa Barbara and stayed in an Airbnb.
M: I saw the pictures on that. I was gonna comment that that was such a cool Airbnb
L: It was!
M: and such a good idea.
L: It was lovely! And like I would like to do more stuff like that, you know, where I get out of town with a friend. And/or I have, I don’t know, I just feel like my friendships have been incredibly healing lately and that’s, I don’t know, that’s one example, is like, checking in about things like traditions.
L: And saying like, “What are the traditions I have because I want them and what are the traditions I feel like I should have.” You know? And I don’t, like I know that a lot of us are like, “Oh, you either spend Thanksgiving with your family or if you don’t get along with your family you do a Friendsgiving,”
L: which those are amazing choices, either of those. But I was like, “I don’t really want to do either of those things.”
M: Friendsgiving sounds horrible to me sometimes, not because I don’t love my friends, but because I don’t want to do, I don’t want to have a get together with everyone and food and all that. It’s like a nightmare to clean up. Nope. (laughs)
L: Yeah and the other thing, and also just on a very silly level,
M: I’m the grinch.
L: I don’t eat gluten and I don’t eat dairy and that’s totally fine. But Thanksgiving is the most gluten heavy holiday. So if I’m cooking, then I can work around that. I cooked last year and it was lovely.
L: But if I’m not, I don’t want to be somebody’s tag along friend who also can’t eat anything
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: or like brings my own little, like, I don’t know.
L: I had turkey chili and pie on Thanksgiving and it was-
M: Sounds delish.
L: It was delish. And, yep.
M: That’s such a good idea to get an Airbnb. Those are so affordable.
L: They really can be. And the other nice thing about, you know, it all depends where you live, but the other nice thing about LA is like, it could have been a day trip too, like if we didn’t want to spend the money for an Airbnb, I mean, we could have like, that’s like a two hour drive each way so…
M: I want to go there. I don’t think I’ve been.
L: We should take a trip sometime.
L: There’s a lot of cute little towns. I’ve been, you know I’ve been to Ojai and San Luis Obispo and
M: Okay, I’ve been to Ojai.
L: Idyllwild. They’re all super cute.
M: I love Ojai. The lavender in there, it’s so cute. It’s so pretty.
L: I’ve only been once, for a yoga retreat,
L: like years ago, probably close to like ten years ago.
L: And it was wonderful.
L: They have avocado trees everywhere. And the-
M: Let’s go. Queers Next Door road trip! (laughs)
L: Oh my god. Yeah! That’d be so fun. And there’s also, I don’t know if you’ve been to Idyllwild but the major of Idyllwild, it’s a golden retriever,
L: which is, I’m allergic to dogs
L: but it doesn’t matter. That is the cutest. I mean, like, a mayor that wears a tie and has deputies that are also golden retrievers. If you’re listening to this and you’re like, “What the fuck?” It’s an unincorporated town so it doesn’t have to follow like regular rule.
L: Because it’s unincorporated they don’t need a mayor so they decided that their mayor would be a dog.
M: You have a postcard of the dog, right?
L: I do have a postcard of the dog on my fridge.
M: Because I’ve seen it.
L: Yes. Yes, I can’t remember his name. It’s adorable. So, anyway.
M: I had a thought that came to mind about this, is Broad City.
L: Oh my god, yes. Yes!
M: Because they have such a beautiful queer platonic intimacy relationship.
M: And everyone was so upset, not everyone but a lot of people were upset that they didn’t end up together.
M: And it made me think about how in society we have such an issue with like, if they would have been together, it would have been this legit cool thing. It’s like, no, why can’t friendships be just as important as romantic relationships.
L: Yes, and not a consolation prize.
L: You know, like I, yesterday I had lunch with a close friend and the day before I had like an hour and a half texting conversation with a new friend. And they’re both people that I’ve gone on dates with.
L: And that’s just kind of how it seems to work especially in like smaller communities. So in the queer community is like a lot of the people who are my friends are people that I have met on dating apps
L: or that I have gone on dates with.
L: And instead of feeling like something didn’t work out, I feel instead like, “Look at this friendship. And look at this, like there’s a kind of intimacy just in the things that we talk about that’s, I don’t know, that feels really special.” I think also, and this is a huge generalization, but just a thing I’ve noticed is a lot of the queer folks I know are, tend to be doing a lot of work, like a lot of self-work
L: and like self-improvement type stuff. A lot of folks are in therapy and are really good communicators. A lot of folks are into woo woo shit. (laughs)
L: And that combination, I think lets conversations get a little bit deeper
L: without that feeling of codependency or of like we only reach out when one of us is having a hard time.
L: It’s more like the good parts of processing but spreading that out.
M: Yeah. I have a best friend who I live with now.
M: And I can, she doesn’t care, I can talk about her.
M: So her name’s Tanya.
M: We, speaking of friend breakups, we had a big friend breakup for like a year
M: and I would consider it like a mental health break because, which is another interesting aspect of friendship, is that sometimes, just like family, you find yourself in a place where you’re like, “We need some time away.”
M: But we live together right now and we’ve talked a lot about this because before we actually started off as girlfriends and then became friends. But I live with her and do a lot with her children and so in a way we felt like partners.
L: Yeah. Of course.
M: And so when we weren’t speaking for like a year, it was like, it felt like a breakup. It didn’t feel like-
L: I think we should… Because I was saying this about my friend too. I think we should just say it is a breakup.
L: You know?
M: And I think it, when I say breakup and I feel like I have to correct myself, it goes back to when I was a kid.
M: I remember having friends and saying to my family, “We broke up.” And they’re like, “You didn’t break up. It’s not your girlfriend. It’s not your boyfriend.”
M: So it’s just weird how we have these things that we, you know, that stay with us that we remember. So now that I’ve been back in her life and back with kids, there are things that come up because I mean, I have a girlfriend, but she’s divorced, Tanya’s divorced,
M: is dating, and doesn’t have like one steady partner. I mean, maybe someone she’s dating might turn into that. But so was saying that me and her other roommates feel like family and feel like
M: the people she relies on for emotional support and, you know, we just talk about everything. We know everything that’s happening. So sometimes it will be like, “Oh, this is like the other parent.”
M: (laughs) So when the kids are doing something at school, I have to know about it or I’ll help them too. And then in her kids’ life, they have a dad who lives in another house with a fiance.
M: So they have like a lot of different people in their lives. And Tanya has always been, I admire her ability to like look at the positives of everything. And she’s always been like, “My kids are so lucky. They have so much love.” And it’s like, “They have three mothers in one house.”
M: “And then they have a stepmom who’s like another mother. And the more love the better.” And I love that about her. But it’s an interesting way to live. Because people don’t understand it. It’s like I live with my ex-girlfriend who is now my best friend and her kids.
M: And we all go places as a unit and people must look at us and be like, “Oh, they’re a couple and that’s their two kids.” (laughs)
L: Of course.
M: But there’s a lot intimacy in that relationship that’s not physical. So, yeah. It’s been, that’s been a learning experience to have, as an adult, to live with someone that way.
M: It’s like not conventional. People don’t understand it.
L: No, absolutely. I mean, my kiddo has three moms and a dad
L: and a lot of aunts and uncles that are not blood related. And I don’t think of it as weird anymore.
L: But one of her friend’s parents was asking me about my Thanksgiving plans and didn’t know my partner and I had broken up because we were together with them on Halloween
L: because we’re friends and we co-parent. And so when I said we weren’t spending it together, I, that was like one part that I had to explain. And then it was like, “Oh, well, also well she’s out of town with her partner.” And then I had to explain polyamory and
L: you know, it was like, it was a whole thing, but what I was just thinking is that we tend to think that romantic relationships break up and have to be over.
L: And we tend to think that like friends have fights and get back together.
L: And I’m noticing that like, you know, with my former partner, we’ve, you know, we still go to therapy together. We’re in a really good place and because we, there is something about that like I think that we will have a type of queer platonic intimacy for the rest of our lives,
L: no matter what that looks like. And part of that is around like, she’s someone I wasn’t married to but she’s my daughter mom still,
L: and what that means and what that like, that’s very confusing to my ex-husband, because it’s like, “Well, why are calling her her stepmom? You guys broke up.” And it’s like… (makes exasperated noise)
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: That’s a whole ‘nother thing. But I think there is a certain heteronormative something to that. But on the other side, my ex best friend, I don’t think that we will get back together.
L: I don’t. But that doesn’t- But I think in the past, that would have felt like a grudge or something to me. Instead I can say like that relationship meant so much to me and was meaningful. And I think it needed to end because
M: Aww, yeah.
L: she didn’t reach out and do the work
L: and want to talk through it, you know. She basically broke me through e-mail.
L: Like it was all the things you think of as like a bad dating relationship.
M: Don’t do that, yeah.
L: She ghosted me and then broke up with me through e-mail.
L: And that just doesn’t work for me at this point in my life and that’s okay. I don’t like the way it happened but just the realization that like, relationships can transition in different ways.
L: And sometimes the way that they transition is that they end and that’s okay too.
L: But again, like that’s, you could also look at that as, you know, both of those breakups happened in the last four months. That’s a lot of loss but again, because of the closeness that I’m still working through with my ex and all like the friends who are kind of like holding me up, it just doesn’t feel that way.
L: And that’s, I don’t know. That’s just really lovely.
M: I’ve seen a lot of people who say, “it’s so hard to find friends as an adult. How do I find them? How do I find this group? Especially queer people who feel like they don’t have one.” It’s like, “How do I get this? What do I do?” And I think, for me, and I again, I’m not saying like this is the solution, but when I became polyamorous, I think it was so much something that I needed to overcome being with controlling people and the way that like my whole brain was wired.
M: I had a hard time getting close to people as friends because I was used to like, “You’re not allowed to be too close to certain people. That’s like cheating.”
M: “Even emotional intimacy is cheating.”
L: That. Yes. Yes. Yes.
M: So when I was polyamorous, I was like, “I’m allowed to be friends with people.” And so I met people on dating sites who turned into best friends.
L: Mmhm. Same.
M: And I think I wouldn’t have had that opportunity if I was monogamous, especially… I mean, I shouldn’t say that. That’s not true. But the way that my brain was then versus now. And I don’t think I was allowed… I didn’t allow myself, but because of things that I had like learned along the way, to view friendships as important as your romantic relationships.
M: And now it’s totally changed that for me.
L: You know, that just gave me like a little lightbulb moment
L: because I am polyamorous and that’s, you know, it’s part of who I am. I, so I don’t struggle with that like, oh if I’m not dating multiple people, am I really polyamorous, like, nuh uh, that’s-
L: No, I’m very aware that that’s who I am. But I am not actively dating anyone. And I’m definitely not looking to date multiple people right now because I’m not, I don’t know where I am. But I feel like even though I’m going about dating, like, kind of slowly and kind of seeing what’s happening, doing it from a poly mindset is so important, even if I’m not like, looking for multiple partners.
L: Like being in that community and having like, yeah, and having that kind of intimacy. Like, I’m thinking of like, I have a, like most of my friends are poly, not all of them, but most. I’m thinking like, you know, I had like a sleepover with a friend where we cuddled but like we’re not in a relationship, you know.
L: Like that, just those kind of things
L: where that just feels, I don’t know. That just feels nice.
M: Yeah. I’m really thankful for my polyamorous time. I don’t think I am. But it was like something that I had to go through to learn. But it helped me evaluate myself as a partner.
M: Like I have my person that I’m with romantically. And I mean, that’s not even… You don’t have to have a romantic or sexual partner
M: to be, you know, as important or whatever. But I have that and then I have my friends and myself. And it’s like all of them need equal time and balance and in my life I don’t think I would have learned that if I hadn’t dated multiple people and like, at the same time, and went through that. So that has helped me a lot with intimacy in general. I remember I used to, when I had you as a sex coach, I was really struggling with touch and with
M: connecting to people. And it’s all hel- Over the last year, I’ve had so much improvement.
L: That’s amazing.
M: Yeah. So basically, hire Leigh as your sex coach.
: Are you feeling stuck in your relationship? Are low libido, orgasm difficulties, or body image getting in the way of an awesome sex life? Are you looking for a safe space to explore kink, nonmonogamy, gender or sexual identity? Sex Coach Leigh works with individuals or couples via Skype or phone to address whatever is blocking you from your ideal sexuality. She is sex positive, body positive, queer, and polyamorous. Let her help you discover the most authentic version of yourself. Contact Leigh at sexcoachleigh.com
. That’s L-E-I-G-H, and mention Queers Next Door for 20% off your first session.
L: So we were think a little about the fact, you know, also, we are going into the holiday season, especially in the United States. That just made me think of something I want to talk about for two seconds. I got a message. I posted something on my personal, on my Sex Coach Leigh account
L: that was like, re-posting a thing that like, it didn’t even say Thanksgiving, it just said this week might be hard for some folks and then it said these really nice affirming things, so here’s some things to think about. And somebody got really mad at me because they said not everyone’s in the United States. And I was like, yeah, no, I know, but this is a business account, and most of my clients are in the United States.
L: And so, not everything has to apply to you but thanks for listening.
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: It was weird. It was a weird like.
M: I saw that.
L: It was weird, right?
L: I don’t know.
M: And it was from an account that I wouldn’t assume would leave a comment like that.
L: No. Same. But anyway, so, yes, of course, we love it if you’re not in the United States. We tend to talk about our own experiences
L: because that’s what we know about, while being open to other people’s. So going into the holidays, this kind of comes back to the idea of friends, which is, you know, if you are in a non-supportive family, if you are newly out or closeted or polyamorous but you can’t bring multiple partners to your holiday things, remember, hopefully, I would love for you to remember that a lot of us are in that situation and to look to see what your friends are doing or to find things going on in your, you know, in your local queer community because a lot of us have gone through that feeling of not belonging and there’s a lot of messages around what family supposed to look like and relationships are supposed to look like at this time of year. So just, you know, give yourself permission to step outside of that and do the things that bring you joy, whether or not they qualify as what you feel like you’re supposed to be doing for the holidays. And on a positive note, we did this last year. You can talk about it Megan ’cause you remembered it. I don’t remember anything.
M: I don’t know how I thought about it but we did a hashtag #queerfortheholidays and last year we said to tag us in your holiday posts, like let us know what you’re doing.
M: And I think that will be a fun idea. I really appreciated seeing what folks were up to last year. And I remember mine was, I went to a kink potluck,
M: a Christmas kink potluck.
L: Oh yeah!
M: And that was my #queerfortheholidays post.
L: I love it.
M: And yours, I remember too.
L: What was it?
M: It was like a family post.
L: Oh yeah! When I did stuff with like my extended people last year.
M: So that’s a fun thing if you want to tag us in your #queerfortheholidays. It could be, you know, a more conventional situation or you and your three partners at an Airbnb like (laughs)
M: Whatever it is!
L: So if you want to, and if you tag us and do #queerfortheholidays, we’ll repost it and share it with everybody if you would like that. It’d be great to see what everyone’s doing to celebrate in their own special queer way,
L: no matter what you celebrate. So it, AHHHH!
M: We’re done.
L: I just made that sound.
L: I don’t know what’s going on with me. I’m looking at you like somebody’s gonna be like, “Aaaand, we’re done!” So…
M: We’re right at 45 minutes.
L: Look at that.
M: We’re doing- We’re having a good day today.
L: We are having a good day. We’re being efficient. And I don’t think we know what to do with that, sooooo…
M: (laughs) We’re like, what’s going to go wrong now?
L: Okay. Cool. Byyye!
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