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Megan: Welcome to Queers Next Door
Leigh: with your hosts
M: Leigh and Megan. We take the topics you care about:
L: sex, relationships, feminism, kink, social justice, and entertainment,
M: and look at them through a queer as fuck lens.
L: Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @QueersNextDoor
M: and make sure to follow the blog at queersnextdoor.com.
L: Cheers, queers!
M: Okay, hi.
M: I just got shy.
L: You got shy?
M: I did.
L: Well, it has been awhile.
M: It HAS been awhile. We can talk about that.
L: Well, let’s start. What are you doing this week to take care of yourself?
M: I’ve been watching The L Word.
L: Nice. (laughs)
M: Now, looking at it, there’s a lot of problematic things.
L: So much. (laughs)
M: So much. But it was a show that I watched in like 2003 before I graduated high school, and I loved Shane. Looking at it now and being, like, hmmm. We just wanted to watch it and discuss the problematic things. So I’ve been writing them down. So we’ll have to talk about that after I finish the entire season. But the reason that that is helping me take care of myself is because when I have really bad anxiety and I can’t sleep, it’s better for me sometimes to distract myself
L: Oh yeah, definitely.
M: with something. And, it just, I don’t know. I binge on TV shows. (laughs)
L: You know, I would be really interested to watch The L Word again ’cause I also watched it when it was on. I’ve seen every episode but I have not really revisited it. I mean, I know that they’re kinda garbage on gender stuff. I think the biggest lie that The L Word told me though was that there was a queer women’s community in Los Angeles.
L: ‘Cause that’s just not a thing.
L: Like when I moved here I was like, “Where is The Planet?”
M: Where is The Planet? (laughs)
L: There is no Planet. There is- which funny enough I think the film-I think the TV show was shot in Vancouver.
M: It was?
L: Yep, so…
M: How sad.
L: I know.
M: What a lie.
L: So it’s not even kind of in LA. It’s not even like they made the place in LA.
M: Yeah, I’m still on the first season, but already it brought back the fact, ’cause we just talked about, on the first episode, about how we kind of identified different ways. So, I was a lesbian and then I was bisexual and then I was pansexual and now queer. It brought back the fact that in the very first season, like the first few episodes, Alice is bisexual. And everyone’s telling her, “You have to pick a side. Don’t be the dirty bisexual. When are you gonna choose between dick and pussy?”
M: And now it’s like, “Oh my gosh. You know, no wonder we were afraid of bisexuality, and there’s so much biphobia. And they reinforce it and it’s supposed to be a show that is friendly to the queer community.
L: Oh, absolutely, yeah.
M: Outside of The L Word, I also took a break. I didn’t cam for like a week.
M: And that was really good. I’m horrible at pushing myself to do things when I know that it’s not a good time or that I should just take a break and I’ll be so much better. Today I came back camming in my Christmas onesie
M: and it was so much fun and it was just, it was much needed. So I’m trying to remind myself to do that more often with things instead of doing it half-ass and feeling like garbage.
L: Yeah, well that’s
M: ’til it’s too late to take a break. ‘Cause when you’re working for yourself, as you know, sometimes it feels like you don’t deserve any days off. Or, “I’m so broke. I need to make money. What am I gonna do?”
M: and you get into this sad cycle.
L: But that’s also part of like the benefit and the joy of working for yourself, is that you do have the space to do that, and to like take some time off
L: so good for you.
M: Thank you. Yeah, hopefully, I can do that more often. And how’ve you been taking care of yourself?
L: Oooh, all kinds of things. The main thing, like the main actionable thing, is that I called my therapist and decided to start going every week instead of every other week. I’m so pro-therapy. And I also do couples therapy with my partner. And so I was looking at it as kind of like every other week I do either couples or individual. So it wasn’t like too much so I didn’t feel like overloaded. But I’m realizing that two weeks in between my individual therapy, I don’t know. I feel like I’ve really kinda needed it. Like I said, I’m such a huge proponent of therapy. I think, I’m also a huge proponent, even though obviously I’m a sex coach, but I’m also like a big proponent of couples therapy. Because I think what happens, both with couples therapy or like couples sex coaching, is people wait until they’re in crisis, and then it’s like, too late to do anything productive. So like my partner and I are not in crisis, but we’ve got a lot of stuff going on, and so I’m glad we do that. The other things is just that, like, my health has been not awesome. I mentioned last time that I have PMDD, which is premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It essentially means that I have really bad emotional and physical symptoms as much as almost two weeks before my period. My cycle’s been a little wonky lately, which means I’m sure not when it’s coming, and the symptoms have been a lot worse. On top of that I have had really bad allergies, so we also like briefly talked about that last time, because I told you all the story about shooting my EpiPen into my thumb.
L: But since that happened, my allergies have been really out of control. And I feel like I had this, I don’t know, this really positive breakthrough over the last few days, which is that a lot of this stuff that’s going on, like the PMDD being worse and the allergies being worse, probably has anxiety at the root of it. My body’s sensitive and so I feel like it does this thing where, like, “If you’re not gonna pay attention to the cues, then we’re gonna do something super dramatic.” It was almost like, “If you’re not gonna realize that you need to make some changes around anxiety, then we’re gonna make you allergic to fucking dogs and cats and caffiene, which is like the most depressing thing ever. But in that realization, I also was doing a lot of thinking about like positive and negative self-talk. When I talk to clients or talk to friends, I feel like when we’re talking about body positivity we’re talking about the way bodies look, so like positivity around, like, size and appearance. And, for the most part, I’m pretty positive about my own body in that way. So I think I had kind of convinced myself that like, “Oh, I don’t do negative body talk.” Like, I, you know, I am okay with my body. I’m comfortable being naked. I’m comfortable with the way I look in a mirror. Like I’m in a good place. But I didn’t really connect the fact that I also am often talking about how my body works in a really negative way. Like I don’t thank my body for things. I, instead talk about how sick I am and how frustrated I am. And like, part of being, for anyone who has chronic illness, and I know there’s tons of us out there, it is frustrating. And that frustration is super legit and totally okay. But I’m just realizing that I need to maybe reframe it a little bit or find a place to do things that make my body feel good
L: That was a long-winded way of saying that like bringing body positivity into the way my body works, not just the way my body looks, is something I’m really trying to focus on right now. And moving my body. Like that’s been the hardest for me, is getting back into a routine where I’m doing something more physical. And I still don’t know what that looks like. But it might be yoga. It might be, it’s not gonna be running. That’s all I can say.
L: (laughing) It’s definitely not gonna be running.
M: Yeah, when you were saying that, I was thinking about how it’s very true for me that body positivity, I’m like, “Yay, I like my body.” Even when I am at my heaviest, which used to be a really horrible thing for me ’cause I struggled with eating disorder stuff. But I don’t have a chronic illness and I don’t have allergies, knock on wood
M: ’cause I guess that could change.
(sound of knocking on wood)
M: So I can’t even imagine what that does to that conversation in your own head.
L: Yeah, it’s a weird place to be. And I guess it’s just a reminder to, like, find space for the things you like about your body, whether they’re physical or emotional or appearance-based to whatever.
M: So there’s more than one aspect, or wait, more than one side of body positivity than-
L: Absolutely, yeah, and I mean, and this, you know, this comes into, of course, for like folks who have any kind of disability. You know
L: Like, that doesn’t mean that there’s not space for body positivity there.
M: Well thank you for sharing that.
L: (laughs) Sure.
M: I know it’s been hard. It’s hard as a friend too`cause I’m like, “I don’t know, how do I try to make her feel better?” When there are things going wrong that you can’t ignore from your body, you know, like, what can you say? ‘Cause it’s not like one of those reassurances, like, “Oh, you look great.” (laughs)
L: Right. No, of course. Well, it is, it’s interesting being, like, a different kind of sick than what we- but and I think folks with mental illness,
L: you know, feel this too, and I’m sure you feel this in other ways too, which is like there are certain kinds of sick where like someone can’t just like give you a hug and bring you some soup.
L: Like we know how to take care of people when they have a cold, but like, it gets dicey when it’s other things going on, especially when the things make you either want to isolate, which is like the PMDD or have to isolate. Because with my jacked up allergies, I haven’t been able to go into a house where there are pets. And like all the queers have pets.
L: Everybody has pets. I love pets. So,
M: Oh my goodness. I thought about that too. I have six pets. So there’s pretty much no way you can come over.
M: Unless you wanna come to a party. We’ll have to walk you through the back. (laughs)
L: Yeah, I mean. Yeah, and like-
M: You’ll just have to come through the side. Avoid- well still no, there would probably be pet stuff all over my yard. Ugh.
L: That’s a bummer. I’m, yeah.
M: Well, we’ll keep, I know, as we keep going, we’ll be updated with what’s going on with that ’cause I know you’ve been trying to find things to help.
L: I have, and I do believe that it’s temporary. I don’t think that like all of my allergies are gonna go away. I’ve always had some version of a cat allergy, but I think this kind of extreme stuff is temporary.
L: I’m holding onto that.
M: This reminded me of- we last recorded in October.
L: Woah, really?
M: Yes. So, since then I was gonna go to Exxxotica and I didn’t go.
M: And when you said something about mental health it made me think of it, that I wanted to bring this up anyway, so I’ll just do it now. I didn’t go to Exxxotica because I had a little panic attack. My sponsor for the trip was Hot Octopuss, and they were really great
M: and totally understanding. But, at that moment, when I was trying, I was on the way to the airport, and I’m like crying and I’m thinking, “Should I just push myself and go or should I stay home?” But my biggest concern was being away from my little support system, being all the way on the other side of the United States. What if I started to feel like I wasn’t gonna be okay. Even though there were people around me that I love and trust. It’s just not the same as, you know, your partner and your little family and friends that you need
M: and the time difference and all kinds of stuff, being away from my therapist so, I didn’t go. You know, as you said, if someone has a broken arm or something, people can’t deny it.
M: And that’s what I told myself as I was trying to console myself after not getting on the plane and realizing, “Holy shit, I just missed it, and I lost a lot of money.” But I knew that this was the time where I could not push myself. Yeah, so shout out to Hot Octopuss for being really understanding, and they were really wonderful about it and just like, “Don’t worry about it, you know. Let’s figure something else out.”
L: That’s great. It’s important that people- because I mean, in any of these things, like yes, it’s a business arrangement, but like we’re dealing with humans
L: and sometimes humans can’t do all the things that we hope to do.
L: So, as a continuation of our first episode where you’re getting to know us, we thought we wanted to talk a little bit more about queer relationships in general and kind of our own relationships specifically. And so part of what we came up with is, you know, as a coach I often work with couples around their relationship communication and so one of the things I like to send out is like a yes/no/maybe list. They’re usually pretty kink-oriented but they can be for anyone and it’s like a list of things, a list of sexual activities. Like do you want to do them? Do you maybe want to do them? Do you never ever want to do them? And then have couples kind of review together and see where they sync up. And especially if they’re like not having as much sex as they want to be having or things are getting really routine. Then they can be like well here are three things that we wanted to try. So, yeah, if you look those up online there are a ton of, like, kink and BDSM ones. My, one of my favorites, especially because it’s very queer focused, is Autostraddle has one called, I don’t remember what the actual thing is called, so we will definitely provide a link with the show notes for this. (Autostraddle Link)
L: so that you can check it out yourself. But, it’s basically a guide to, you know, talking to your partner about sex. And so the way it starts is that kind of yes/no/maybe list idea called What I Want to Do. And so then it gives a list of things and you say if wanna do them and also if you want to do them or have them done to you. So if it’s your giving or topping or receiving or bottoming. So, let’s talk about some things on here. Do you wanna, should we just like take turns. Let’s just take turns reading some of ’em
L: and we both say if we want to do it or not. Do you want me to read some?
L: Okay, masturbation. I think we’re all a yes on that.
L: Holding hands.
L: Necking is cute.
M: Aww that is cute. That’s a fun word too.
L: It is because it’s funny here that it actually says here, parentheses, kissing on the neck, because like I knew that, but whenever I hear the word necking, I think of like giraffes
L: Like touching necks together. That makes more sense. I’m a yes on all of these things too.
Activities that leave marks?
M: I like marks on my butt and thighs but that’s about it.
L: Are you like an anti-hickey, like any neck or chest or whatever
M: Yes, I’m around family and kids and stuff and I just would prefer not to have any marks and, you know, camming and stuff. I mean if I go to an event or some kink stuff and I come back with like spank marks and stuff on my butt and thighs, that’s okay, and I’ll kind of like talk about it. But to just have ’em on my neck and chest, I don’t really like how it looks anymore.
L: I don’t mind my chest or like legs or my ass or anything like that, but same. Like I don’t, I feel like I’m too old to have like hickeys on my neck. And like-
M: When I was 15…
L: Drop my kid off at school.
M: Yes. When I was 15 I would have them all the time. I was constantly-
L: Oh, that’s hilarious. Did you wear turtlenecks?
M: Yes, and I wore big sweaters and I constantly had like the chapstick lids and you know how you like, circle them over the mark? That’s supposed to make them go away.
L: Oooh, no I didn’t know that.
M: So yeah, I would spend a lot of time doing that ’cause my mom would’ve whooped my butt.
L: Okay, tickling.
M: No, I’m not a fan of tickling.
L: I’m also not a fan of tickling. I, no, I just find it unpleasant.
L: Wrestling or play fighting.
M: I really haven’t done much of that but it sounds like a lot of fun.
L: I like that.
M: I feel like I would really enjoy it.
L: That’s something I like. I think it’s fun. I like restraints in a way of being sort of like held down. So if I get to like, fight, while I’m doing it, I think that’s fun.
M: Oh, that reminds me. The next episode is with Janet and Ted
L: Uh huh.
M: They are lovely. You’re gonna hear them and one of the things they did when we were there recording at Thunder in the Mountains. This was all the way back in (laughing) July.
M: They are very well known for their wrestling play.
L: Oh, cute.
M: People will watch them They love to watch them, they say, because of, just because of that. And it was really fun to watch. And I think that’s why I had an interest because it was so much fun to like, to see the way they aggravate each other and like push each other’s buttons and then, I don’t know, I just loved it.
L: It’s got a playfulness to it that some things don’t as much.
L: Yeah, I totally get that.
M: Dry humping.
M: I haven’t done that in so long, but it does sound fun.
M: (laughs) Reminds me again of being younger.
L: It, like, it seems like a making out on the couch
L: kind of activity.
M: Tribadism. Is that how you say it?
M: Which is scissoring, rubbing naked genitals together with a partner. Yes! Although I think it’s a lot harder to accomplish than people might think when they make that, you know, the little hand gesture.
M: It’s like, well it’s kinda not that easy. (laughs)
L: I also feel like a little bit, like it’s a little more of a- like I don’t- like when we’re talking about safer sex stuff, I don’t use barriers for like oral sex or fingering with people with vulvas.
L: But it does get a little into the like safe sex concerns.
L: So I think that’s why, like that doesn’t come up as much for me, even though, sure, I like it. But, like, I’d have to be like fluid bonded
L: with a partner to do that. Even though like doing other things, I don’t need to be
L: For my own personal, like, safe sex rules. Side note, it took me a long time to be able to say the word fluid bonding because I just think it’s gross. Like not the concept of it, just like the phrase of it
M: Uh huh.
L: Remember, we talked about words we don’t like?
M: Yeah, that’s a good one.
L: I really only encountered fluid bonding when I got into the polyamorous community.
M: Uh huh.
L: And I get it and it’s an important thing to talk about it, right, and you know what it means?
L: Well, and if you don’t know what it means, it just means someone that you don’t use barriers with because you have both been tested and made agreements about who else you’re having sex with. So yeah, I don’t think there’s a better word for it, but like it still kind of squiggs me out. I think it’s just fluid.
M: It reminds me of like a dental phrase.
M: I don’t know, but I hate the dentist, so, it’s not my favorite thing, but I actually don’t say it much. Fluid bonding, ugh.
L: I mean, I say it in safer sex discussions
L: Like are you fluid bonded with like if they’re fluid bonded with a certain partner.
M: Yeah. And you know why I probably don’t is because I have not been really dating this year and no new relationships.
M: I realize that I have had no new sex partners this year.
L: Oh wow.
L: Like this calendar year?
L: Like in 2018?
M: And I keep trying to think, like, no I had to have. Let me think, nope. Isn’t that wild? (laughs)
L: That is wild. And so now I gotta do the thing. New sex partners, are in someone you were not having sex with before this year
M: Uh huh.
L: in what, in 2018.
L: I’ve had two, which is like, all numbers are normal numbers
L: But that’s lower for me over the last several years.
M: I think it was a rough year.
L: It’s been a rough year for everybody
M: (laughing) A really rough year.
L: It really has.
M: The next one. Masturbating in front of a partner. I love this. This is my favorite.
L: I also love this.
M: I don’t really need sex a lot. Shocker.
L: Mmmhmm. And by sex you mean like- What do you mean by sex when you say sex there?
M: Well, to me it’s anything, like anything sexual at all.
L: With a partner.
M: Yeah, with a partner.
L: Uh huh.
M: And my primary partner, K, since I live with her and I really haven’t been dating much at all this year or doing anything, it’s just been me and her. And she wants sex a lot more than I do. One of the ways we compromise is that I will masturbate in front of her and I will also watch her. And she loves it and, you know, there’s that whole, is it sex without penetration? I struggled with that for a long time.
M: And now I know. I’m like sex is everything. (laughs)
L: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
M: It can feel like if there’s not a finger or a dildo penetrating you is it really sex? And now both of us have had to like work through that, and we’re like, oh yeah, this still is sex. This is sexual intimacy that she requires. It doesn’t have to be her fingering me. So that has been a really fun thing for both of us. Masturbating in front of each other works. It feels just as good as something else.
L: Well, yeah, and you have a sense of control like you know what can make, you know, you know what works for you, but then it also had the added intimacy of like, someone else is there. I don’t think masturbating in front of a partner is the same as masturbating by myself.
L: Like I enjoy both of those things, but there is a difference.
L: In like a positive way.
M: And you can be like, okay, help me, and now stop.
M: Now just watch. Okay, now help me again. So there’s that fun element…
L: Or I like to be able to even just like kiss my partner like while I’m using a vibrator.
L: You know, and like, like I’m happy to do all the like hand work there
L: But still like some touch and some, like, just like making out even.
L: Super fun.
M: Hands or fingers on strap on.
L: I mean, sure.
M: I think that’s super hot. And the reason that I, that this year, I had a lot more of that is from filming stuff
L: Oh sure.
M: and from camming. Because I don’t cam with anyone and I don’t film with anyone, so I’ve had to learn to use toys.
M: And it’s been really fun. Also CrashPadSeries porn, which we are gonna review.
M: I love it. They- there’s a lot of that. There’s a lot of going down on the strap on and touching it and I was just like wow this is really hot and something that I never really got into for a lot of my life.
L: Yeah, it’s awesome, it’s awesome for people who are having any kind of gender feels
L: around like wanting to have more of a cock or a penis, but also for people who just want to have that feeling
L: That isn’t usually part of their sex life, yeah. Yay strap ons.
L: Basically the idea of this is just like different ways to talk to your partner about sex, like about what you like, what words you want and don’t want. Some of the stuff on here has a feel of like, like a scene negotiation
L: which is another thing, kind of coming from the kink world of like, you know, how do you tell me that you do like something or you don’t like something. How do you communicate that you want to stop or you want more?
M: Something interesting that just happened last week, kind of goes into the whole last part of this survey, is I logged into FetLife for the first time in over a year.
L: Oh, FetLife.
M: (laughs) Oh, FetLife.
L: The MySpace of sex websites.
M: (laughs) I locked myself out of it because I just got irritated with it and didn’t go on. It was like three years ago I took that BDSM test, which we’ll have to link it in this blog post too ’cause it’s really fascinating. And the first time I took it three years ago, my first result was 95% submissive.
M: And I always thought of myself as a submissive person and that’s how I would want to play. And now I took it again and this time the first result was 100% switch.
M: And I thought, it’s so true. And it’s funny because I’ve started to take submissive out of all of my descriptions
L: Uh huh.
M: Because there was a time when that was really fun for me and one of the tags I would always use was “Yes Daddy”
M: which I love how women like to be called Daddy. All genders can be called Daddy. Like that blew my mind at first. I was like, “Oh, my god. This changes the way I can play.”
M: Just because it’s something that I was so used to thinking like this cis male dude, like super in charge
M: I don’t know. It just like opened up all these doors and I was like, “Ugh, I love that.” I still love the Yes, Daddy kink. But I get a lot of people who will come into the cam room like, “Spit on your tits for Daddy,” and it’s like, “No, I can’t play like this anymore” with people unless I know them. And so, I’m taking it off. And I thought, wow, it’s- and I mean we know how much we can change, but it’s funny to see it in a way like that, the BDSM test.
L: Yeah, I’d be interested to take it again too.
M: Yeah, you should.
L: I think kink is one of those things that, ’cause I used to put that I was kinky on all my dating profiles and all that stuff. And now I kind of change it to kind of like kinky-ish.
L: I think kink, more than like a lot of other things, like is so dependent on where you are in your life. Because there’s more, I mean not for everyone, but like at least for me, there’s more of an emotional component there.
L: And, ’cause, like, same way. I mean I don’t know that I, I mean I don’t identify as a switch but I used to identify like as a heavy sub. I mean, I worked as a professional, like, heavy pain submissive for like six months. But like I don’t think I could do that now. And, so, but I’m not uninterested in kink stuff. So, yeah, that would be an interesting one to see where I would fall on the spectrum of things.
M: I scored really high vanilla
M: which I didn’t the first time. And I laughed because, at this point, which you know I’m sure we’ll go into more with our own relationships, I’m not really into dating so much this year. I’m not even playing with new people really. I’m just not doing any of it. And so my life feels a lot more vanilla.
M: And, when I am, kink used to be super important, like that’s what I want from someone else. And now, I’m like, if it happens, then yes. I just want the emotional connection. So it’s just weird how much we change. Like I’m not, I think I am pretty vanilla right now.
L: Yeah, and that’s okay, you know, like
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: I think, I think when we get into like a sex-positive like community or space, there’s this little bit of like, it’s kind of the opposite of like the regular world, where there’s a lot of kink shaming and it’s like, “Oh no. I’m vanilla.”
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: Like it’s like a bad word.
M: Yeah, and I know it’s not bad.
L: So yeah, we will add a link to that.
M: Yes, lots of fun links for you to go find out more about yourself or your relationship.
L: Yeah, if you’re single, do these too
L: because these are a great tool to compare where you are with your partner or partners, but if
you’re single it’s really helpful because once you, when you do get in a relationship, you have a better, you have better language for what you’re into or not into and like what you need and what’s a boundary and what, you know, I think we don’t always talk about. I hear a lot of people who don’t talk in bed or don’t use dirty talk but their main reason is they say, “Well, I don’t know what I want.”
L: And so that’s where I say I think this stuff can be helpful. It can be like- I don’t know, sometimes it’s easier to look through a list and be like, “This list says fisting and water sports.”
L: “Okay, I’m actually into those things,” than to just out of the blue have somebody be like, “What are you into?” Like, “I don’t, I don’t know, sex.” So like just seeing it on a piece of paper or on your computer screen, I don’t know, kind of validates that other people are into the thing.
M: Yeah. The survey that we’re gonna talk about next – this is perfect – leads right into it. I haven’t used that What I Want To Do list with people, but I have used the Queer Relationship Survey. To me, it’s like, it’s an icebreaker.
M: You can’t, when you’re on dates, it’s hard, you know it takes time to get to know someone but also to talk about really important things before they happen
M: sometimes instead of putting yourself in a spot where you don’t know what to do for someone which happens a lot, I think, in queer relationships that might not happen in other relationships.
L: I know my experience has been in relationships with queer folks versus relationships with like cis het guys, that with, and some of this might just be the timing of when stuff happened, but that my relationships with like dudes have tended to start with sex, and the sex stays kind of the same all the way through.Where with queer partners it maybe takes a little longer to get to sex, but then there’s better communication about it.
M: Mmhm. Yeah.
L: That’s a huge generalization. Hashtag, not all men.
L: So, oh, to talk a little bit about like what this thing is: I spoke at two conferences last year in Los Angeles, CatalystCon and SexPos Con, with a friend and colleague of mine who I’ll give a shout out to, Sam Silverman,
M: Woooo! I love Sam!
L: Sam’s great! Sam’s a therapist. And so we did presentations on queer and trans relationships, and so, some of the stuff we’re talking about now. But one of the things we put together, and I credit Sam with most of this, is a queer and trans relationship template. And it’s a list of questions to ask a new or potential partner that’s very, basically orientation, identity, and gender inclusive. So again we will link to that, but-
M: You should do it! You should do it at Sex Down South.
L: Oh! That’s not a bad idea.
M: That’s one that I reeeaally wanna go to. If anyone wants to go to a sex conference, Woodhull is good, but Sex Down South was really, really great. And that is gonna be next August in Atlanta
M: so there’s plenty of time, but
L: I don’t get to the south very much. I wouldn’t mind. I’m from the midwest.
M: It would be so fun to go.
L: I like the south. I’ll aim for that. I can plan for that.
M: Yeah. And it was such a good class honestly,
M: not just because you’re my friend,
M: I sat there and I took so many notes and I was like, “Wow, I love this.” And it has really helped me.
L: That’s awesome. Well I know that there was one question on there that, like, you told me you used in real life, if you wanna
L: you wanna tell us about that.
M: Yes. The one that was super helpful to me, okay, it’s number 11. I have numbers.
L: Megan has numbered a list that doesn’t have numbers on it
L: which is pretty amazing. You are, you get this later, and you’re like, “Where’s number 11?”
M: Yeah, that’s right. I make my own numbers where there are no numbers. (laughs) That’s just how I am. I typed it even though I have a copy machine. I’m always adding extra steps to complicate things. Okay, 11,
M: which means nothing to anyone else except me: If someone misgenders me, I would like you to ________.
L: This is so dependent on the person. Some people are way more comfortable letting that moment pass, and just not acknowledging it ’cause, I mean, it’s shitty to get misgendered.
L: And so, to kind of- and most trans and nonbinary/gender noncomforming folks get misgendered all the fuckin time
L: and so sometimes if you’ve had a whole day of being misgendered, then…
M: Burping (laughs)
L: I was like what is this face you’re making
M: I was trying to burp away from the (laughs)
L: You totally made a face like you smelled something weird and I was like
M: I was trying not to let it make noise on here.
L: No, I made it a whole thing.
L: So, you can decide if you want to cut that out or not.
L: My room smells a lot like weed so I was like, “Are you smelling the weed?”
M: I love that smell.
L: No, it’s not bad.
L: So, yeah, some people if they’ve had kind of microaggressions all day, are like, just ignore it. Other people are really tired of having to defend themselves, but would love if someone else would be like, for example, yeah, like, “Don’t call us ladies.” That’s where I feel like I get in a situation where I’m with like a, like a transmasculine person and we get like “ladies’d,” which is, which is gross.
L: So yeah, you asked a part-, you asked somebody about this, right?
M: I asked, actually so far I’ve asked three people.
L: That’s awesome.
M: People either that I was on a date with, friends with, and I actually asked my partner, because she gets misgendered sometimes
M: and the three answers were all so different.
M: My partner, K, was like, “It’s not a big deal,” ’cause she gets called like we’ll be out somewhere and they’ll be like, “Oh, thanks dude” or “Thanks, bro” and oh, they’ll say, “him”
L: Uh huh.
M: Or some- and she just said, “It doesn’t really bother me. It’s, you know, most of the time they’re just being friendly, like ‘thanks, bro,’ no big deal.”
M: And it doesn’t bother her at all.
L: For context, she’s a cis woman
L: who is somewhat more like androgynous presenting.
L: Would that be accurate?
M: Yes. I asked someone else, and they said, “Just get me out of the situation.
L: Uh huh.
M: Don’t really bring it up, because it’s just gonna make it worse.
M: Just kind of try to find a way to get me out.”
M: And then the third person, said, “If you can, you can say something to the person.” And when I actually did say something, it was exactly what you said. They get misgendered all the time. We were having a lovely conversation at dinner, and then the person was, I don’t remember if they said, like, “ladies,” “Can I help you ladies?” and you could just see that their face changed.
M: And it was like, we were having this great conversation, and then that happened, and it’s from so many times of it happening. And so, since I knew it was okay, then I said something to the waiter after about, “Oh, just so you know, they are nonbinary and so, ladies doesn’t work for them.”
M: And I, he was really horrified, you could tell. He was like, “Oh, my god. I’m so sorry.”
M: I think sometimes, like for the other person who said, “Just get me out of there,” sometimes doing that will make it worse for them. When we left I was like, “Hopefully, the waiter won’t do that again,” you know.
L: Well, and I think that’s where it’s helpful, is the person could be like, “Oh wait. I shouldn’t try to assume people’s gender by just saying ‘ladies.’ Maybe I should just say, ‘folks’ or ‘friends’
L: or whatever.” Even though I hate the like, the “ladies” thing, there’s like the other side of it, because my partner is a trans woman. And she does get misgendered sometimes, so, when we- but not that often. And, or well, that’s not true. I think all trans people get misgendered that often I guess, and I’m more speaking from my experience of, not that often when we’re out together.
L: Doesn’t mean that she doesn’t deal with it all the time. When we get like, “Hi ladies,” it’s really nice because, so it’s this thing that like, I don’t like to be called “lady” anyway
L: and I definitely like feel for it, like my transmasculine friends of nonbinary friends, that they don’t want to hear it. But then when I’m out with my partner, it feels very affirming. It’s like, “Oh, this person sees you for who you are.” And so then it’s very like warm and fuzzy.
L: I still wish they’d say “folks” but there is something about like “ladies” that is affirming.
M: I still, I say “guys.” I try not to, but it just flies out of my mouth. I’ve gotten better.
L: It took me awhile to unlearn that. I say “y’all.”
M: I love “y’all.”
L: I feel like I can pull off “y’all,” (laughs) but I know some people are not comfortable with that, just like, just like they don’t say it as naturally.
M: Hey “y’all. There was, I saw something on Twitter. They were asking for formal greetings. How do you do a formal greeting for a room?
M: And someone said, you could do, “Welcome ladies, gentlemen, and people beyond the binary.”
L: Oh, that’s nice.
M: And I thought it was nice, and I think I asked a few people how they felt and they were like, “Oh yeah. That’s cool.”
L: To plug the blog, I think we put an Ask Sex Coach Leigh on there about gendered language. So if you’re looking for some other ways to avoid using gendered language in your everyday
L: check out queersnextdoor.com
L: Ask Sex Coach Leigh
M: Another thing that I had talked about before with someone that was nonbinary is, for me, girlfriend has for some reason, been a super important title.
M: And that’s fine, ’cause it’s me. People are like, “Okay, whatever. That’s what you like.”
M: But for someone who doesn’t, you know, want to be a boyfriend of a girlfriend, we talked about Person. You could be my Person. There’s also babefriend, all kinds of stuff.
M: Cutie. I love cutie.
L: Yeah, I’ve also noticed I’ve started referring to people like as my people, in my, kind of like a way to refer to like really close friends and partners and people, like metamours, and people in my polycule, as sort of like my people
L: which, I don’t know, chosen family. They’re all sort of the same concept. Some of the other things on here, where:
L: What is most important to me in a relationship?
M: Do you want me to answer it?
L: Yeah. I do.
M: What is most important to me in a romantic or sexual relationship right now
M: is, I guess ultimately is just communication. I think it’s another question that I was gonna answer here, bit it also goes into things that make me feel secure and safe so I’ll just do that now too
L: Yeah. Yeah.
M: is to know when we’re gonna speak.
M: I don’t have any other partners at the moment than K, but I have people who are out of town who come in and out of my life. We are flirty friends and if I do end up seeing them, we’ll hang out and maybe date and, you know, things might happen. And that’s a little different because we just know we’re always there if we need each other, but we just don’t check in every day. But for people that I’ve tried to date that live close to me, it’s been a really hard balance for me with like the time. How often am I gonna see you? How often are we gonna talk?
M: One of the things that makes me feel secure is to know, and even just a message of like, “Hey, I’m thinking about you,” but not expecting me to like full on respond.
L: Yeah, like that you have the same expectations
L: around those things is really important.
M: When I say it, it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it’s been really hard. So that is the most important thing to me. So, I guess, like what is that? So I guess like good communication. (laughs)
L: Yeah. Yeah.
M: Good communication and understanding
L: Or like having aligning expectations.
M: Mmhm. Yes. I noticed for sure that when I try to date someone new, or when someone’s interested in me, I can feel the expectation
M: and it just makes me want to shut down.
M: And it doesn’t mean that I don’t wanna date anyone. I do want to. It just has to be aligned really well, as you said, and it has to be the understanding. I don’t want anyone to feel like, “Why don’t you care about me?” and “You don’t do enough to show me that,”
M: which is super hard, ’cause like I’m super sensitive, so I get it.
M: But yeah, that was a really long answer. (laughs)
L: No, that totally made sense. Another one is, that I think is especially relevant to polyamory is like: What does your ideal schedule look like? For work, play, multiple partners, etc. And I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about that a little bit lately because even if you’re not like in a hierarchical poly relationship, meaning like a primary partner and secondary partners. Like I wouldn’t consider my relationship like I don’t do relationship hierarchy, but obviously like my relationship with my longest term partner is very close and very intertwined and very committed, even though there’s not a hierarchy to it. But also just realizing what other things in our life becomes almost like a partner
L: that like- there was a guy I dated for awhile, and who had- who’s still a close friend, but who had a primary partner, but then his work was his other primary partner.
L: Like even though he was only with one other person, it was really hard for him to find physical time for me.
L: Like he was emotionally available and not physically available, which is an interesting- and like I have a kid. That is like having another partner, ya know.
L: But when I’m dating like someone new or getting to know someone else, I always- I feel like if a relationship’s going to grow, like, past a casual place, which not all relationships need to, then I need to see the person at least once a week.
L: But I don’t know. Like I’m kind of a routine person. Like I kind of like expectations. I think I like expectations too. So like I don’t need to see somebody on the same day every week, but I just need to know that we’re in constant communication about like when we’re gonna see each other
L: or how we’re feeling. Even if it, ’cause like life happens, even if it means we don’t see each other for a few weeks.
L: It’s the making your intentions clear and then kind of backing those up.
M: Yeah. I think definitely my work stuff is like a partner for me.
M: And I think it’s tough for people who are trying to get to know me, and they feel like I don’t have a lot of time, but they see my social media, or they see me going on cam
M: and it’s super easy, I think, for people to forget that it’s a job
M: and that it’s kind of a persona, even though I am- I mean I use my real name. I am very much myself when people ask me questions I do answer, because my real life is so out there anyways, you know, they already know. They can see it on my blog. I don’t have like, “Oh, I’m this other person entirely.” I’m not. But it is a different persona.
L: You’re still performing.
M: Social media is a great way to see what’s going on with me, but it’s also challenging, I think when people are like, “Oh, you don’t have time to talk to me, but you have time to post five Instagram photos that day.” But it’s like I have to kind of keep up with social media or I will no longer have people pay me for things
L: Of course.
M: so that’s been hard.
L: I also, like, I’m an introvert, so I need like alone time, and that almost qualifies, like I’m another partner of mine too.
L: Ya know?
M: Oh, I love that. That’s so true.
L: Like I did something social. I met a friend for dinner on Friday night and then I spent time with somebody during the day on Saturday. And, but both of these nights, like after the dinner and then Saturday night, I spent by myself. My partner was out of town with her other partner. And like I had a blast. But I listened to podcasts and colored and like had some edibles like
L: I date myself in that way. Ya know?
L: And it was great! I didn’t feel- like if I had not seen people the rest of the day like I would have started to feel lonely, but because I had like that social time at other points of the day, I like had plenty of recharge time too.
L: So I could see somebody the same way, you spend a lot of time by yourself though.
L: That’s free time. It’s not though. It’s me time.
L: I’m just gonna keep saying expectations over and over again, because
L: that’s what it is, right? It’s just setting expectations with different partners. Like this is what my other relationships look like and this is what I’m open to this one looking like. Or, and if there’s a limit to that, just like, that’s okay too. You just let the person know up front.
M: Yeah. Oh, and the other thing I thought about when we were talking about relationships a few weeks ago that I wanted to discuss is that I do think that we are both very like polite and happy and proper, which we just are. And I think I hear a lot about polyamory that way. And I was telling someone that I still struggle with jealousy and my partner, K, is also really not dating right now
M: so I haven’t really dealt with it in a long time, but there was a time, this year actually, that she went on a date, that everyone’s like, “Compersion, yay! Everything’s great! This is so cool!” And she picked up- I didn’t realize that she was gonna be picking up the girl.
L: Uh huh.
M: And she got home and I- the first date she went on I was a mess. But the second one, I was like, “Okay, this is fine.” I went and did something. And she came home and I realized, I’m like, “Did you pick her up in our car?”
M: And she was like, “Yes?” And it was horrible. I don’t even know if I want to put it out there. But I was like, “I don’t want that bitch in my car.”
L: Oh yeah. You just-
L: That thing just turns on sometimes.
M: And it just- and I thought, and I felt so bad immediately. Like she looked at me. Her eyes got wide. And I was like, “Oh my god. I’m so sorry. She’s probabaly- she’s a lovely person I’m sure. I don’t know who she is and I’m really sorry that I called her a bitch.”
M: But that’s like my natural reaction. And I was like, “Holy shit. I still have so much of this like toxic-” I don’t know
M: toxic monogamy inside. And I don’t think monogamy is always toxic, like people get defensive about that term.
L: No, no, but that idea of monogamy
L: is tox-I think that’s what that means.
L: Not that monogamy is toxic.
L: But the idea of it like, someone’s like invading your space
L: and they’re like, a bitch, is very like-
M: So I still have that in me. So just in case people- I think one of the reasons I wanted to bring that up is because when people, the most common thing I hear is like, “Don’t you get jealous? I could never do that.”
L: Of course.
M: because you see people who are handling it very well.
M: And that’s because in life we share the rose (laughing) colored filter of things.
M: And so it’s not that, I mean, not everyone has to be polyamorous. but if it’s something you want and you feel it would work well in your relationship, just because you have those jealous feelings, just because you might want to call that person a bitch (laughs), doesn’t mean you’ll stay in that (laughs), ya know.
L: Oh, I, yeah. Well, and I think, I totally have that persona too, because I, you know, I work with people all the time on polyarmory
L: I talk about it. I’ve given, like, presentations on it. I talk about it here. I’ve been like actively poly for like almost five years and was nonmonogamous for like another stint before that, but like, of course, I still get jealous. Jealousy is a feeling. Like I have feelings.
L: And I have a reactional feeling sometimes too
L: and like the goal, there is just to identify like, “What is this feeling saying to me?” Right?
L: I saw, I posted a thing on my @sexcoachleigh Instagram the other day that was like, what triggered me? And then it was a whole list of
M: Oh yeah.
L: statements. I think that that’s, I used that recently with my partner to talk through something. It’s a really good way to look at it. Because if like if you’re feeling jealous, what was the trigger? Was it, like, a fear of being replaced? Was it insecurity? Was it like loneliness? Like there’s a feeling behind that jealousy.
M: I just have to be able to be heard. I’ve had partners in the past who were like, “I don’t do jealousy.”
L: (stifles a laugh) Yeah.
M: And I’m like, “Mmm well, that means that I can’t talk to you about feelings that I’m gonna have, and that sucks.” so…
L: Well, and that’s, that’s such a like fucked up statement ’cause that’s like saying like, “I don’t do happy.”
M: Yes. (laughs)
L: Or, “I don’t do anger.” You know like it’s a feeling. You don’t do it or not do it. You could say like, “I don’t get caught up in jealousy” or like, “I’ve found ways to manage my jealousy.”
L: But like, I don’t, it’s just, we all feel jealous at some point. If your jealousy is overwhelming and it’s destructive, then I don’t think nonmonogamy is like, the right thing for you at the moment. How capable are you of doing that work, either like alone or with someone else?
M: I’ve been thinking of that for a while so I’m glad that I finally brought it up. I’m like, “One day I need to tell that story.” And now my partner and I, we can be out and people are fighting about jealousy stuff and I’m like, “Aww. Remember those days?” And she’s like, “Yeah, it wasn’t that long ago.” (laughs)
M: (laughing) When we got together, if I knew that her ex got her something, I would make her throw it in the trash. Like, I was bad.
L: Oh yeah.
M: I was bad. And those things still come up, but as I said, it will happen and I’m like, “Oh, I don’t really need to feel that.” Because I do think a lot about, “What am I worried about?” It’s just, and it’s mostly for me just a pattern.
M: I’ve had a lot of really jealous partners, and I’m just like doing what I always do.
L: So it’s triggered that in you
L: Jealousy is okay. It is natural. It is normal. Feelings are feelings.
M: Oh, I had a thought. That would be a good one for the survey, or the questionnaire, is, “What would we- How do we handle jealousy or what we do when you feel jealous?” Or something like that.
L: Yeah. Also, like there’s a good of way of like how you address, like, negative feelings with a partner. And it comes from the idea of nonviolent communication
L: but they also talk about it in like the kind of poly bible, More Than Two, which I’m gonna review for the blog ’cause I just finished reading it for the second time, and it’s real great. But it’s the idea of like, if you’re feeling jealous, like what to say to your partner is like, “When you do x, I feel y.”
L: “I’m asking you to do Z.” So instead of just saying, like, “You let that bitch in my car.”
L: We’ll use that as an example. Instead, you can say like, “When someone else rides in your car, I feel replaced.”
L: “And I’m asking you to give me a head’s up beforehand next time.”
L: For example.
L: I always like that.
M: Which she probably didn’t, ’cause she thought I would be like, “No.” (laughs)
L: Well right. And then that’s where you, then you have to decide, right? Are you asking for something you actually want.
L: ‘Cause if you’re like, “Oh, but even if you do give me a heads up, I’m still gonna be pissed.”
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: Then, like, I don’t know, there’s other stuff to work on.
M: “You can ask me, but I’m gonna say no.” (laughs)
L: (laughs) Right. “I’d like you to ask me so I can say no.”
L: So we’re just about finishing up. I had this thought, ’cause we are going into the holidays. We’re recording right now at the beginning of December, so we’re in full holiday zone. And there was some talk online about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, like the old one. And a lot of like funny jokes and stuff about it and just like, you know, memes and whatever, about how it’s kind of like the worst message. There’s like a lot of stuff about bullying, and there’s the idea that like, you know, being different is only okay if it’s exploitable, like terrible.
L: But the one thing that I’m kind of obsessed with about that movie- First of all, have you seen it? The old, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
M: Yes. The clay one or whatever it was?
L: They’re claymation looking.
M: Uh huh.
L: So there’s Rudolph and he’s different ’cause of his fucking nose and then there’s the elf who is, wants to be a dentist and not an elf.
L: And like I’m obsessed with the fact that that’s clearly just coded for gay.
M: Uh huh.
L: And like
M: Oh my gosh. I have to rewatch it.
L: Yeah, because he’s like, like everybody, he’s like, you know, he’s kind of characterized, as sort of flamboyant.
M: Uh huh.
L: And it’s also like about how everyone else is just being the same and making toys and he’s like, “I just want to be a dentist.” You know, and I just feel like he, like everything about it, if you just sub in like, “I’m really gay”
L: is like exactly what’s going on there. And I think that’s really funny that no one mentioned that, and maybe this is all in my head.
L: But I think Rudolph is different because of his nose, and the elf is different because he wants to be a gay dentist.
M: I have to watch it now so I can give you my input. That’s funny.
L: So if anyone wants to weigh in on that, we would love to hear what you think.
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: And then, speaking of the holidays, holidays can be tough for queer folks. We will not unpack that huge idea right now, but just to say that like, a lot of us have found our own new traditions. So some of us are great with our families of origin, and some of us have chosen family and some of us have community and there are all kinds of different ways to be queer for the holidays. And so what we would love is for you to tell us what yours are. Tell us what your holiday traditions are, whether they’re new or old. You can let us know on Instagram. You can tag us. You can also use the hashtag #queerfortheholidays.
M: Yes. I was just looking at it right now.
L: And let us know how you’re gonna be celebrating. Or if you’re not celebrating, what you’re gonna do instead.
M: Take a picture with your little group or by yourself, whatever you’re doing. Let us know.
L: Awesome. So yeah, you can tag us at @queersnextdoor on Instagram.
M: Then maybe we can discuss it.
L: Right. We’d love to hear what you have to say and we’ll talk about it more.
L: Thanks for listening to Queers Next Door. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to follow, subscribe, and leave a review, wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you like what we’re doing, join the Queers Next Door fan club at Patreon.com/QueersNexrDoor, to receive all of our exclusive content, and we’ll mail you a fun little surprise. You can find the link on our blog, queersnextdoors.com. Cheers, queers!