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Megan: Welcome to Queers Next Door
Leigh: with your hosts Leigh and Megan.
M: 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 at Queers Next Door
M: and make sure to follow the blog at queersnextdoor.com
L: Cheers, queers!
M: Hi Leigh!
L: Hi Megan!
M: What are you doing to take care of yourself this week? Or the last few weeks I should say (laughs) since we don’t record every week.
L: We don’t record every week because we take care of ourselves.
L: We’ll get there. What have I been doing to take care of myself? I went to my first yoga class in like three years and that was kind of amazing. So I need to make that something I do more. I did a restorative yoga class so it was like super chill and relaxing. And then like two days later every part of my body hurt but in a good way. The other thing I’ve been doing is taking my damn meds. Because I think when we talk about self-care, especially in the sort of like way that gets made fun of a little bit as in like self-care is all bubble baths and fancy massages. We sometimes forget about boring self-care, which I do think we’ve talked about. But I take anti-depressants for anxiety, they help a little bit with the PMDD, not so much, but I also have a prescription to Klonopin to take as needed. And I think somewhere in my mind I just told myself that I need to hold onto it and not take it very often. So the thing I’ve been doing to take of myself is take my medicine when I need to take it and realize that there’s a reason it was prescribed to me and that just because it’s not a take every day, doesn’t mean I could only take it, like, if everything is falling apart. So, yeah, that’s been the main thing. So if you are a person who takes medicine, you know, fuck the stigma around that, and take your medicine. Megan, what have been doing to take care of yourself?
M: It’s perfect that you talked about medicine ’cause I did not have any clue how to answer this, but then I remembered on the way over, I thought about medicine also, in a different way though. I was sick and I’m never sick, like I’m never really, really sick. It never ever happens. Even my partner, K, who I’ve been with for over three years, she was like, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen you like this.”
M: ‘Cause I really, it doesn’t happen. I’m terrified of medicine.
M: And I was thinking about why and there’s a lot of reasons probably, but I will, I refuse to like go to the doctor unless I have to
M: and I know that’s not a good mindset to have. I didn’t end up going to the doctor. But my partner was like, “I think you should probably take this NyQuil” ’cause I don’t sleep.
M: So that was not healthy.
L: Of course.
M: So one night I had a hot toddy and NyQuil and I passed the fuck out. And an hour later I woke up and I was freaked out. I’m like, “did I just sleep? What happened? I’m sweating”
L: Oh no.
M: Like, “this is weird.” I went to the bathroom and I was like, “I’m not gonna fall asleep again. This is horrible.” And I went back to bed and passed out again. (laughs)
M: Then I woke up and I was like, “Wow. That was magic.” But I think it goes back to, you know, like the whole PTSD stuff
M: and the fact that the whole thing with someone breaking into my house when I was sleeping. So sleep is a huge issue. So I hate medicine. I won’t take like sleeping pills. I even get weird about vitamins ’cause sometimes it makes me feel really like uppity.
M: So there’s just all this anxiety. And I don’t take anything for anxiety and depression. I have off and on and one of the those, the conversations that happen with me when I go to therapists, now it’s different. My therapist knows and so she hasn’t really talked about medicine in a while
M: because she thinks that I’m doing okay. But before people would be like, “You have really bad PTSD and depression and anxiety. You could, you should be taking something.” And I would be like, “But I don’t want to. It scares me.” And they were like, “Well that’s part of your anxiety.” You know.
M: And so, I was like, “Yeah, but still.” It gives me anxiety to think about taking the medicine. (laughs) I don’t know. So there’s this whole thing. But I realized that taking the NyQuil really did help. And I did a really dramatic Instagram post about it. I was like, “Well goodbye forever everyone ’cause I’m taking NyQuil. (laughs) (coughs)
L: Is that the time that you texted me when you didn’t know it in the middle of the night?
M: Oh yeah.
L: Or you called me in the middle of the night.
M: I called you at 1:51 in the morning. I was passed out. I’m like, “How did this happen?”
L: I saw it the next morning. I was like, “Oh my god. I hope she didn’t need anything”
L: “but I know she would have texted.”
L: And then you were like, “I somehow was passed out and-”
M: (laughs) called you
L: called me. So thanks. I’m glad that you were thinking of me in your drug-fueled sleep haze.
M: (laughs) That reminds me of Ambien. I have taken Ambien before and I would do weird things in the middle of the night.
L: I have not taken Ambien. But I had a not quite dating flirtation type thing with a person who would travel a lot
L: and when he would travel he would take Ambien and then just send me really weird messages.
L: And one time he sent me this like, this video where he was just like saying nice things to me and it was fine, but like I swear to god he fell asleep like in the middle of the video
M: Oh my god.
L: that he sent to me. And he still sent it to me. It was hilarious.
L: So, yeah.
M: So I’m still coughing a little bit and my voice sounds weird, but I am finally feeling better.
M: And I would have gone to the doctor and I would have taken antibiotics, of course, even though I fight. On the flipside of that, I have had anxiety so much that I think I’m sick and went to the doctors
M: and they’re like, “Nothing’s wrong with you.”
L: That’s a fun one.
M: And I’m like, “No. Give me medicine.” So it’s been a whole fun journey of me and my mental health stuff and the way that it affects my physical body and
L: Of course.
M: feeling sick and stuff. So, I think this year I was really open to medication in any form, like sleeping, I don’t know what the kinds even are. I used to take Klonopin too and I really liked that. But it was only during the murder trial. And I was very adamant, like, “I’m only gonna get this one prescription. I’m never gonna get it again.”
M: And I do wanna say that sometimes it feels like failing if I want to take it.
M: And I know that that’s not true and I think that’s why it’s important, what you said about the stigma and talking about it. And I don’t know where it came from. I don’t really have anyone in my life who’s ever said, “Don’t take this.” You know, or, I don’t know.
L: For me, I think it’s when it’s a medication that you don’t have to take all the time, like I’ve sort of, like gotten around the idea that my other medications- I take Lexapro and Wellbutrin and I take them every day. So it’s just part of a routine, and I take them, you know, I have an old lady pill case and I take my vitamins and my supplements and my antidepressants and I don’t think about it. It’s just part of a routine. But when the power is given to me to choose when to take something, there’s that idea of somehow like, too much or too little.
L: You know like I’m taking it too much. Like I kind of hoard it. You know, it’s like, well if you’ve got thirty of these pills. And I’m like, “Well, how long can I keep them? Just in case.”
L: Instead of like, “Oh I need this so I should be taking it.” Like, “I’m feeling anxious at a place and like I have really bad PMDD symptoms and I feel like I’m gonna burst into tears. I don’t need to go burst into tears in the bathroom.” I’m allowed to take a thing that is in my purse.
L: But, I don’t know. For me, some of the failure stuff, I think comes from the fact that like, you’re giving the anxious person
L: The contr- like the power to decide when to take a thing
L: and that anxious brain is always gonna be like, “Nope. There’s something wrong with you.”
M: Yeah. And I love that, I think us talking about it and I see a lot of people, like even Instagram people post, “There’s nothing wrong with-” I don’t know. I don’t even remember what it was. But like images where it says there’s nothing wrong with taking this thing if your brain doesn’t make it on its own. All of those things.
M: It’s really helpful. I’m really glad that exists. And I hope that me talking about how I feel isn’t shaming anyone, but I know that my attitude about it hasn’t been the best. So, I’m just, I mean, like I said, at this point in my life, I’m open to like, okay, I have felt really, really bad in 2018, and I feel better now.
M: But I know that at any point that can change. And I am open to helping myself
M: a lot more than I used to be. So that’s good.
L: Yeah, totally. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of stuff too. There’s a hashtag, but I don’t know what it is. I mean I think #endthestigma is part of it
L: But I think there’s another one too, where people just show like their handful of meds that they take in the morning. And I like that kind of stuff.
M: Yeah. (coughs)
L: I think it’s important.
M: On my Instagram, I have the hashtag #stigmafighter
L: Oh nice!
M: and you made me think of that. Because there was a, I think it was a magazine called that. And it was about like PTSD and mental health stuff.
L: Oh, cool.
M: So even on the one hand that I’m talking about my mental health all the time, in the middle of my butt and sex stuff.
M: It’s like, “Here’s my mental health update.”
M: Yeah, I still need work with the like, not feeling like medication is a failure. And it’s not for other people. I think it’s great for other people. It’s just myself.
L: Yeah. We’re always hardest on ourselves.
L: Do you have any queer/poly/sex/relationship updates?
M: My partner has been hanging out with other people and talking to people and it’s, I’m having a much easier time this time than ever before.
L: That’s awesome. Why do you think that is? I’m gonna get all therapist on you. I’m like, “Why do you think you feel that way?”
M: I think because I know the people that she’s talking to, even not directly, but through other people, like they’re friends of friends.
M: And before I’ve always thought, both of us have been more like, okay, we’re not gonna ask each other and we’re not gonna tell each other certain things. And we thought that that was the best way to handle it.
M: But now, with new people, in both of our lives, and new friends even, which I talked about last time- and she’s been really good at asking me about like, “Oh, what do you think about if your partner did this?” Like, “How about sleepovers? How are you guys gonna navigate that?”
M: And I’m like, “Oh, holy shit.” Like, you know, made me think about it. And I realize and I told her this, that because she is talking to someone- and I don’t know what’s going to happen if they’re gonna date
M: or ever be together, or what, or just be friends. ‘Cause I think that’s how, you know, we’ve talked a lot about queer relationships. You’re like, “Are we friends? What’s happening here?”
M: So I don’t know, but this is just a good example of how I feel about this new person, is, “Oh, she’s a friend of a friend that I have” so I automatically like her more and trust her more.
L: Well, yeah. It’s a known quantity.
L: It’s not this just, like, we can come up with such, I don’t know, it can be anything if you don’t know what if you don’t know anything about the person. You can just create this vision of them in your head.
M: And I find myself, every day pretty much, being like, “Did you talk to her today? How is she doing? What are you guys doing?”
M: And it doesn’t feel bad and it doesn’t feel, ’cause you know sometimes I’m a little, what’s the word, I was gonna say it in Spanish, but like a nosy, I call it Nosy Rosie.
L: Mmhm. Wait, what is it in Spanish?
M: (laughs) I feel like I don’t speak Spanish. It’s metiche.
L: Okay. I’ve never heard that.
M: (laughs) So someone who’s like always in other people’s business.
M: I have that quality about me, but this is not that. So I’m like, “Aw. It’s ’cause I really genuinely care.” I’m genuinely like, “How is she doing? What is she doing? Did you guys talk today? Did you like remember to say good night?” ‘Cause my partner goes to bed really, really early.
L: Uh huh.
M: We have opposite schedules. So it just, it’s a nice feeling and I don’t know, even with her and friendships if I was ever that supportive with someone who I thought might have the ability to challenge my relationship in a way.
L: Yeah. That’s awesome.
M: So it feels good.
M: I’m like,
L: Personal growth.
M: “Is this compersion?” (laughs)
L: I mean, yeah. When you were saying, like, “What is this feeling?”
L: We have a made up word for it.
M: And then my friend who introduced me to my new friend, and they’re all poly people, was like, “I have such big friend compersion for you right now.”
M: And I’m like, “Awww. All these great feelings.” You know.
L: Let’s pause here
L: For an advertisement
Megan: 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.
M: So we wanted to take this time to read out iTunes reviews. There’s two of them and there are nine star ratings, so yay! There’s mostly five, one four, which I wanted to know why.
M: Let us know how we can please you. (laughs)
L: Let us know how we can turn that four into a five.
L: But we also want to take the opportunity to say that reviews really do matter so if you can please leave us a review on whatever podcast delivery system you are using. Subscribe. Let’s see. Because of Instagram and other things, we get so many nice comments from all of you, so if you, and we want you to keep giving them to us, so thank you. But if you want to turn those into reviews, we would love it!
L: From listener fofinatrix, called Wonderful new podcast:
“Am loving this podcast already, Leigh and Megan provide personal, sex positive, queer positive content infused with humor and heart. A joy to listen to.”
M: Thank you. Okay, the next one is from alabamabadmammajamma. It says:
L: I love it.
M: Love it.
“Megan and Leigh are a delight to listen to, well informed and oozing positivity. This podcast is perfect for anyone who wants to hear more about queer, poly, sex positive, social justice goodness. I look forward to hearing many more episodes.
M: Thank you alabama.
L: Thank you. I think you also wanted to mention a message you got from somebody.
M: Oh, yes. I had a message from someone that said that they listened to episode one with Leigh talking about PMDD and they went to the doctor and said, “I have all these symptoms and I just learned about this” and the doctor was like, “Oh, I would have never thought about that, but yes.” And they are now like, she was diagnosed with it.
L: That’s amazing.
M: And they’re gonna start doing, I don’t know, stuff to try to help the symptoms.
L: Yeah. And when I say that’s amazing, it also super sucks. But as I’ve said, PMDD is a hard thing to diagnose and it’s often misdiagnosed, so I know how much of, even though there isn’t a cure, how much of a relief it is just to like know what’s going on.
L: So that makes me feel really good. If anyone else feels like this stuff resonates with them and you have questions, you can reach out to me. Also, we’re going to do an episode soon where we read some Ask Sex Coach Leigh questions so continue to send those in. We’re keeping the name Ask Sex Coach Leigh, but it’ll be both of us
L: answering together. So, yeah, if you have any questions really about sex, relationships, polyamory, queerness, identity, we got you.
M: Yes. Don’t forget to send those in. We have to advertise that more on Insta.
L: Yeah. So you can send us, whatever’s easiest. You can send us a DM on Instagram or at our email, which is email@example.com.
M: Okay, so this episode, episode four, is a continuation of episode three, which we recorded, or I recorded at Thunder in the Mountains with Janet and Ted. So this episode, the last one was really long, so we cut it in two and we’re gonna title it, Claiming Queerness. So in this episode, we talk about what it means to be queer to Janet and Ted and feeling like queerness is a title that needs to be earned. And then Janet and Ted go into a little bit about queerness and BDSM and how the leather community has grown out of queerness.
M: So it’s really interesting. It’s only about thirty minutes long, so I did an introduction for each of them in the last episode, but I’ll just kind of recap really quickly. Janet is a consent and sex educator, legalista and advocate, chicana, geek mom, polyamorous, bisexual. She brings a trauma informed lens to relationships, public policy, and geekdom. And Ted is a crisis psychotherapist turned coach looking to help others on their journey to success and confidence. He also actively competes in Brajillion (laughs)
L: Wait, wait
M: Brazillian Ju-Jitsu.
L: I was waiting because I was like obviously you misspoke, but I literally have no idea what word you’re trying to say
L: And it was really exciting to see what it was.
M: Well, it says, I wrote BJJ.
M: And then I was like (laughs)
L: That’s a different sport.
M: (laughs) So, yeah. So we got really good feedback about them. I love them and I’m glad that everyone else did too. So we hope you enjoy episode four
M: Claiming Queerness! (laughs)
Megan: We talked a little bit today in a coffee shop before recording about how all three of us have had experiences with the word queer and whether or not we like that as a term we identify with and why and not feeling queer enough.
M: And I joke that I have my little rainbow tattoo and I’ll show my tattoo and be like, “No, look! I am queer. See?”
M: I have proof
M: But I wanted to see if you any experiences to talk about with that or not feeling like you fit into the community or…
Ted: I can say right after I got together with my ex-wife – We’re going back like 13, 14 years – I lost a lot of my gay friends. Because it was kind of like, “Oh, well, he’s doing that now, so, probably won’t see much of him anymore.” And it wasn’t like that. We did make efforts to hang out with all of my former friends while we were making, you know, doing social things with her friends, things that couples do, they merge their friend groups.
A lot of my people had dropped off at that point. They just, they didn’t want to be around. It was like, “Oh, well. That’s that.” Or, you know, passing comments, like, you’re just hanging out, having drinks with your friends. You may say you’re bisexual and you’ll get a response like, “Oh, well, we’ll fix that in no time.”
J: Oh yeah.
T: And, you know, you probably won’t.
T: And it also shows that you don’t really understand what you’re talking about.
T: You know, a lot of these things are said in jest, but you know, at the end of the day, they’re not that funny and I think we’re just now starting to realize, it’s not cute, it’s not funny. This is my life you’re talking about. And for that to come from someone who was probably discriminated against at some point, because they were gay, the irony of this is not lost on me, and I’ll leave it at that.
J: I think, for me, the idea of being queer enough is just something- well, first of all, my idea of the word queer I think is a little bit different that how it’s being used right now. Because I grew up during a time that yes, queer was definitely a very pejorative term, and a lot of people still find it to be very pejorative. So I really understand that and I understand that you’re walking kind of a fine line when you self-identify as queer. And for a very long time, I was identifying as queer, you know, between that point where I finally felt like, “Yay! I can finally call myself bisexual!” And a few years after that, I think I started very consciously switching to the term queer. But for me, growing up with that term, and as people were reclaiming that, I felt like I wasn’t entitled to reclaim that. I didn’t feel like I was entitled to claim that at all, period, much less reclaim it on behalf on the community, in whatever respect. The people that I knew and respected who were reclaiming that term as queer were folks who were very visibly huge advocates within the community. They were the ones putting themselves on that front line to make the changes that we see now.
T: And for me, if I could interject really quickly, I want to agree with that. You know, when I hear the word queer, when I was growing up, it was like the guys who were doing the Act [Up] stuff on the White House steps, you know, just making themselves known without a doubt, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that, “We are here and you will acknowledge us and you will help us.”
J: Mmhm. Yeah, and for me, these were the activists. So I felt like I was never activist enough to be able to own that word and to be able to use that word to describe myself. And I felt like I needed permission from the community in order to say that, which is ironic, because, you know, in my coming out story about being bi, I also felt like I had to sort of have the skins on the wall in order to be able to call myself bisexual. Like how can I possibly call myself bisexual when I haven’t even had a sex with a woman yet. And so very similar kind of viewpoint when it comes to the word queer, of how can I possibly call myself queer when I don’t have the skins on the wall to prove what I’ve done to contribute to the queer community, to improve lives for everyone. And it’s not that I haven’t done anything. It’s like I’m just, you know, sitting around just, you know, watching the world go by. But I just felt like I was not ever that visible of an advocate to be able to own that title. And so I do remember a very rousing discussion on FetLife about this several years ago with some of my friends in the local community, who are, they’re here this weekend. And they’re like, “No, we give you permission.” Like, “No, you get to call yourself queer. We invite you to do that.” And I really did feel that is something that has to be invited, that has to be earned. It’s a title that has to be earned. Just like, you know, and since we’re at Thunder, since, you know, all these honorifics that people have; Sir and Master and Mistress and whatever else. That is shit that you earn. That is not shit that you declare upon yourself. And I think the kink community, you know, has very much been informed very directly by the queer community. And so that, we have grown out of that. The leather community has grown out of queerness. We haven’t outgrown it (laughs) just to be very clear. But we have grown out of this community and we have to honor that root and where we come from. And so, when someone just slaps a title on themselves of, “I am Sir Master Doms-a-lot,” which I actually did know someone who did call himself that, out of complete fucking irony, because of the fact that you’re gonna walk around and see people’s badges, saying, you know, Sir Pyrotechnic, you know, Mister Electric, you know (laughs). I mean, I could make up names all day long.
T: Master Robocop, or cock, was one of my favorites.
J: (laughs) But that, these are titles that earned. These are titles that earned between you and your submissive or you and your community. We actually, this afternoon, we actually watched a capping ceremony. And that may not even be the right term for it. That’s what I call it. But it’s basically when a Master has earned his cap, his leather cap. And it was actually a very emotional ceremony. A lot of people I knew were involved in it. And I don’t, I’m not even that familiar or that close to this man. But it was wonderful to see the sense of community bestowed upon him and saying, “You are an important member of our community.” And that’s kind of what I feel about queerness, is that this is a community and if you’re gonna accept that term for yourself, then back it up with your actions and be sure that your actions match your words with that. I did also make a very conscious effort, I think maybe my OKCupid profile still says I’m queer. But I have actually made a very conscious effort in the last few years to really be very visibly bisexual. I don’t believe in a gender binary. I’m not attracted to only binary. I really ascribe to bi plus being sort of one of those terms. But I feel that that is still very inclusive of queerness and I really do care very deeply about the queer leather community. But if you see my walking down the street, you’re not ever going to peg me as queer. I think pretty recently, I had a falling out with a friend pretty recently, who very queer, very visibly queer, like very much that activist, and they were attracted to me. They were wanting to date me. I was very much in a kind of, I just kind of don’t want to get that involved with somebody right now. But I was also talking with a submissive male and playing around with a submissive male for a little bit. And they got super jealous of it. Like, “Well, you have time for a man but you don’t have time for a woman.” And very much this, you know, “How dare you call yourself bisexual when you won’t acknowledge that, you know, that the woman in front of you who wants you.” It’s sort of like, “Prove that you’re bisexual enough by dating me.” And, even though I had a girlfriend (laughs), even though I have had a history of girlfriends, I also knew that getting into a relationship with this person would take a lot more of my time and effort and quality than I had to give, whereas playing with a submissive male… He was kind of a blank slate and someone that I could experiment with. And so it didn’t matter whether the submissive was a male or a female. It just happened to be this person presented himself to me to play around with a little bit. And as I grow a little bit more accustomed to myself as a top, or as a Mistress or a Queen, or whatever the hell you want to call me this week. I prefer Goddess. (laughs) But as I get more and more comfortable with that part of my role as a switch, I need safe places to do that, and frankly, I have more experience with men than I do with women. And so that’s going to be a little bit easier sometimes for me to break into because even if it had been a female submissive, I still needed that permission to, for this to be kind of a light, experimental sort of relationship. And so the fact that it just happened to be a male, made it pretty easy for me to kind of slip into that role and be able to work with that and I know how to tease a guy much easier than I know how to tease a girl. It became this point of contention with that friendship, of, “How dare you choose a man? And obviously your primary partners are only ever men.” And it’s like, “No, I’ve offered primary relationships to women before.” And I would actually argue that even Ted’s ex-wife was one of those people, who was kind of in that primary little circle of mine. And so, it’s not that women are never going to be my primaries. It’s just that THAT woman was never gonna be my primary. And so, but they take rejection to be very, you know, evidence of the fact that we’re not really queer enough, and we’re not really bi enough. And it doesn’t matter whether I never date a woman. I’m still fucking bi.
T: And let’s maybe just call that sour grapes.
T: You don’t get the answer you want.
T: So you make a blanket condemnation of what you think somebody is simply because you may or may not have been rejected at a given point. Doesn’t make it accurate. That’s more of a personal reaction.
T: But again, you want to be mindful of what you say to people because you might be in a bad, you might be angry ’cause you didn’t hear what you wanted to hear so you say some stuff maybe you don’t mean. But be sensitive to that, you know. It’s slightly off topic, but I think it’s something everybody can relate to when they’re dating.
J: (laughs) Yes. Very good conflict resolution sort of practices there. (laughs) Yes, I am the mediator. But those types of situations you can’t mediate. And it’s funny ’cause I’ll look on twitter and I’ll see someone say, “Well, you know, she dropped me for a man, you know, I should have fucking known.” And that’s just really damaging. And it’s, you know, yeah, I think a lot of it tends to be much more associated with that personal rejection, of, “I’m gonna lash out at something that I had absolutely no control over, that it couldn’t possibly have been the fact that I’m a narcissistic, you know, asshole. It had to have been because she wasn’t really bi or he wasn’t really bi or he wasn’t really, you know, into men” or whatever. And so, I think that most, the number of times that I see that, are when someone’s been rejected. And they try to excuse it in a way with, “It wasn’t me. It was them and some flaw in them.” And when you say that stuff out loud, just like I was saying at the beginning of this, you know, once you manifest this into words, that becomes really powerful.
T: And I think unfortunately if you’re bisexual, that kind of being bisexual almost lends itself to that, whereas say if you were just a regular straight couple and things went south, you know, you get together with your friends, well, you know, “She was a bitch because she was a bitch. I should have known she was a bitch. You told me she was a bitch, so that’s the way it went.” Accurate, no, probably not. There are two sides to every story. But it’s sometimes easier to get thrown under the bus if somebody just doesn’t feel comfortable with the way you are and your lifestyle. You’re not in any one camp. You’re not in their camp. You’re not even in the opposite camp. You’re up there in this third camp over here and nobody really knows what you guys do, so I don’t, we can’t trust you guys and you’re proof of that. So I mean, it’s ridiculous and if people would just think about their person to person skills, about their relationship skills
T: things wouldn’t go south so quickly. Things wouldn’t become personal so quickly.
J: Well, and this actually brings up something that is a little bit relevant to Thunder and the fact that both Ted and I are switches. So a switch is someone who likes being both top and bottom in their BDSM play and their D/s dynamic. And so, you know, I spent a lot of time more on the submissive end of things. But as I started really getting more and more comfortable with myself and more and more comfortable with play I really felt and knew that I was much more a switch. I also really am a very horribly bad slave. I will not follow orders. I do not like being told what to do. Fuck you if you’re telling me that, you know, I need to- I actually had a Dom tell me that I had to lose weight. And I’m like, “Fuck you, it’s not gonna happen. I’m not here to please you.” And that wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear so, yeah, I’m much more comfortable as a switch. And it was funny ’cause Ted and I were playing last night after you came upstairs and someone came by and I had said something, I had told Ted, “You know, use the vampire gloves.” And he leaned in really close, so he said, “Say please.” And I just busted out laughing. And I’m like, “ha ha ha, whatever.” (laughs) And, of course, he went and got the vampire gloves anyway, because that’s not the basis of our dynamic, and someone was walking by, one of the DMs was walking by, like, “Are you gonna let her laugh at you like that?” And, it’s like, “This is what we do.” And everything that we do when we play is very joyful. It’s very soulful.
J: And earlier in the night I had a bit of a breakdown and a bit of a trigger and this was after the trigger had happened. And so me laughing was actually the healthiest thing
J: for our dynamic. And so it brings me kind of to this point, where when we’re at an event like this, just let people be. Just let them be who they’re gonna be. If they’re going to… someone was in the puppy pit last night who was dressed as a Pokemon. Fuck yeah! I love that! That was so amazing to see. There was someone who was a squirrel too, which actually reminds us of one of our friends who’s in the community, who really loves to call himself Squirrel, all the time. So that’s the beauty of an event like this. And the fact that it’s not just one gender. It’s not just one gender expression. One of our friends who’s actually one of the presenters here, Levi Otter, was in full femme mode last he night. He was like in a nègligè, in heels and everything. And, you know, we’re used to this because he’s been a part of our lives for a really long time. But I know he, you know, he gets very provocative reactions out of people when he does something like this. This is just normal Levi for us. But this is, you know, we love being able to play with these things and play with these presentations and play with our identities and our own self-expression and however that expression manifests, it’s beautiful and it’s valid. Stop trying to shoehorn us into one thing or another. I’m not ever going to be in a Master/slave relationship. I am just not built for it. But I’m gonna respect other people’s so long as the consent is being, you know, there’s good consent practices and whatever else, from what I can observe. That’s the only thing I care about. I care about whether people are safe or not. I don’t care whether I’m the Domme or I’m the top and I don’t care about who’s in what role at any given time. But I do think there’s something to be said for the fact that Ted and I straddle a lot of different communities. And we’ve actually kind of carved out a space for ourself in this community where people just let us be. They know that we’re gonna do what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna fight. We’re gonna get primal. We’re going to wrestle. I’m gonna hit him. I’m gonna giggle. I’m gonna laugh. And it’s gonna get-
T: I’m gonna laugh harder.
J: (laughs) And then I’m going to, you know, we’re gonna wrestle for control until one of us finally gives in, which is usually me, because I’m the one who usually needs to give in more. So that’s just how our dynamic is and again it’s just about letting people be who they’re going to be and giving them space and safety and support to be themselves.
T: You know, and that’s really the essence, I would say that’s at least a pillar of, you know, Thunder in the Mountains. People come here once a year. They do what they wanna do. And there’s a very wide variety of activities going on here this weekend. And there always is. But to apply a set of norms to something that we’ll agree probably isn’t mainstream normal, it’s kind of a waste of time.
T: I like to say I’m not the white picket fence guy anymore. I’m in a hotel with hundreds of people who probably don’t even know what a white picket fence looks like.
T: So, let’s be good to each other and just accept each other. That’s really nothin’ else to it. We overcomplicate things by too many categories.
M: Well, thank you so much
M: for sharing all of this. Yeah, this is my first time here and I love it, so I’ll have to come back every year.
M: And I definitely feel very accepted as, you know, just who I am as an individual, and being there, of course. And I’ve been in another dungeon, but it wasn’t as large, so I feel like here, you feel representation all over. It doesn’t matter how you identify. You could be a horse. You could be a puppy. You could be a sub,
M: Dom/me. You could play with your knives. Whatever you want to do
M: and no one really bothers you. At least that’s been my experience. And I’m really thankful to be here. And thank you for being the first guests.
T: Thank you Megan. We appreciate it.
J: And we want you back here all the time.
M: Yes! So we’ll have to do another one next year.
M: And probably before that.
J: Yes! Yes! Always! Always! Always!
M: I’m sure I’ll be back before that.
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