Episode 24 Transcript- Full Circle

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: Okay, hi.
L: Hiii.
M: Yaaay! We’re recording! It’s like we never do it so when we do it’s like the first time.
L: We’re doing it. It has been awhile. This is the first time we have started off this new way of doing it and now had a problem.
M: Yeah! You’re right!
L: So, cheers for that. Mercury’s been out of retrograde for, like, ten days now.
M: Yes. I was just thinking that. (laughs)
L: Yep.
M: Okay. So let’s start. What have you been doing to take care of yourself this week or for the last few weeks since we’ve chatted?
L: All kinds of things. Well I moved so that’s huge and I’ve been, like, doing house tasks to take care of myself because it’s good for my brain and it’s good for my body ’cause I’m moving around a lot.
M: Mmhm.
L: So I’m doing, like, weird shit, like watering my tomatoes. (laughs)
M: You have tomatoes!
L: And, like, organizing my closet. I have tomatoes! I have all kinds of cool stuff. I have tomatoes and rosemary and I think what’s going to be butternut squash and an orange tree and some mint.
M: Wow!
L: It is, Megan I’m in the suburbs now. It is so quiet out here.
M: Really?
L: I didn’t realize, well, not withstanding the whole, like, you know fireworks because of, like, the cops and sounding like a bomb and all of that shit
M: Mmhm.
L: It’s still, like, I don’t know. There was always, like, some kind of street noise that I’ve just gotten really used to. It is like being in the middle of the countr- I’m not in the middle of the country at all but it is.
M: (laughs)
L: So yeah. I’d say the thing is, you know, like, just getting my house all together. And then the other thing is because I have a yard now I bought myself a two person hammock for my birthday. And it is far
M: That’s amazing.
L: and away the best birthday present that I’ve ever given myself.
M: Happy birthday, by the way.
L: Thank you so much.
M: I did say happy birthday but I never said it on the podcast so happy birthday to you.
L: Thank you so much. I’m another year older.
M: Are you loving the new place?
L: Hm?
M: Are you loving the new place?
L: I’m loving it. Yes. I really am. I’m delighted. Yeah, Megan what have you been doing to take care of yourself this last week or multiple weeks?
M: Oh my gosh. I’m always unprepared for this answer. I have been sleeping a lot
L: That’s great.
M: I have been making schedules for myself, which is always a- Well, it goes back and forth but it’s a lot of the time a form of self-care.
L: Yeah.
M: Making myself a schedule with pretty planners and markers. I’ve been coloring a lot.
L: Oh, fun.
M: And what else? I haven’t been drinking.
L: Okay.
M: Like normally I would have a few drinks during the week
L: Mmhm.
M: and I haven’t been but I am right now. I got a special glass of wine just to record tonight.
L: Oh, that’s nice.
M: But that’s been nice to like, just be in control of that, you know, like, monitoring yourself.
L: Yeah.
M: And I go through periods of not drinking at all and wanting to drink a lot. So I’ve been really trying to work on that like, when I want to drink a lot, I’ve been wondering what’s going on.
L: Mmhm.
M: Or a lot of the time I think like, “What am I trying to get emotional about?” Because I sometimes have a hard time with my emotions.
L: Yeah.
M: Like, I just don’t acknowledge them or it will usually be something about my mom or like a grief thing. And so that’s been nice, kind of journaling and just being more aware of my habits.
L: Yeah.
M: Because I thought I was never gonna drink again when I moved in with Cheryl.
L: Yeah.
M: But we’ve, you know, done- Well, I don’t know if I should say for her, if she’s okay with it. I doubt any of her family is listening, but we smoke weed,
L: Mmhm.
M: which, I was wondering if you ever wanna do that. Because, you know, that whole conversation about, “Are you sober-” I mean, “You’re not sober if you smoke weed.” But I mean, it’s the same…
L: I know. And I am also a sober from alcohol person who smokes weed so yeah.
M: Yeah. She’s a sober from a lot of things person but smokes weed
L: Mmhm.
M: but uses the AA model where it’s like
L: Yes.
M: it can seem if you smoke weed that you will use other drugs and you will die.
L: Mmhm. They do go hard on that.
M: So yeah. Yeah. One day when we’re all set up for guests, we should have her talk about that. Or you guys can talk about- ‘Cause you’ve had a, what is it, a sober, like, journey kind of a thing.
L: Yes! Yeah, that would be great!
M: But she’s really, she’s like, into reading books now about why AA is not the best for some people
L: Mmhm.
M: and just trying to retrain her brain from a lot of the negative things that she’s been holding onto from that. So anyways, one day she should come on and talk with you.
L: That would be awesome. That’s really great.
M: So sorry. That was kind of a long, what-have-I-been-doing.
L: No.
M: But that’s about it. I’m moving. I told the podcast that.
L: You are moving. I was just gonna say. Are we gonna talk about the fact that you’re moving too?
M: Yes! I was supposed to move in December but changed it to September 1. So it’s coming up really soon.
L: Oh my god. That’s so soon.
M: I told everyone,
L: Uh huh.
M: like bosses, so now I can talk about it freely. I’m so excited.
L: Can you tell us where you’re moving?
M: Yes! To Baltimore!
L: Eee! So far away!
M: I know! I know. I’m so excited.
L: I’m so excited for you though.
M: So we were gonna go in December, but my grandparents were saying, “Just talk to your leasing office and see what they say.”
L: Mmhm.
M: “Because it might not be as big of a deal to get out of your lease as you think.”
L: Yep.
M: And we realized everything closed here, all the fun stuff that we wanted to do. Like, she’s never been to Disneyland so I wanted to take her there.
L: Right.
M: We can’t do any of that anyways.
L: Right. Yeah, I mean, you’re gonna be inside so it’s where do you want to be inside?
M: Yeah. And how much rent do you want to pay? (laughs)
L: Yep.
M: You know, just sitting in here. So yeah, we’re moving in September and I can’t wait. I’m so glad that we figured out how to record remotely without Dick having to help us every time.
L: Yes.
M: So now we’re free. We can record all the time, even though we’ll be so far away from each other.
L: Yeah. I’m glad that we have that already figured out too. And we’re gonna- We haven’t like, done full like, planning for season three. ‘Cause this is our last episode of season two! But we’re definitely gonna to have guests. That’s gonna be a big change.
M: Oh my gosh! That’s exciting too!
L: Ahhh! I know! I’m excited.
M: We have to remember what it’s like to talk to other people.
L: I know.
M: And we can do our… What is it called? We’ve had the segment. We’ve just only never done it. The Queer and A!
L: Oh, our Queer and A!
M: Yes!
L: Yeah, it was such a cute idea (laughs)
M: Yeah.
L: that I had.
M: Yeah. (laughs) We’ll be doing that with people other than ourselves.
L: Oh, that’ll be fun.
M: We’ll have people to talk to
L: We do so many like, answering lists of questions. It’ll be nice to have other people answer lists of questions for us,
M: Yeah.
L: with us.
M: So lots of fun things. We’ll be taking a break.
L: We will.
M: So the next time we record I will probably be, or I will definitely be in Baltimore.
L: You’ll definitely be m- in Baltimore! Yeah.
M: So that will be fun!
L: Yeah and right before we started recording I was pointing out it’s been about almost exactly a year since like, we both had a real shitty time (laughs) and we both went through really bad breakups
M: Mmhm.
L: almost exactly a year ago. And so, do a little like, full circle. How you feelin’ this year versus last year?
M: So good. So much better.
L: Amazing.
M: How ’bout you?
L: I mean, so much better. I had hit a point where I often like, dread my birthday. And then last year was like, I kind of feel- I don’t know. I feel a little bit like we recorded on my birthday and things were okay. And then I just wasn’t okay for another year. (laughs)
M: (laughs) Yeah.
L: Not a year. But like six months maybe. Like, it was a lot. You know, I had- I was a few months before surgery this time last year so I was doing the hormone blockers but hadn’t had surgery yet. So I was still feeling like, pretty shitty. My 40th birthday was awful. Yeah, and so this year I did not really plan anything for birthday because I was moving three days after my birthday and also in case we forgot, we’re in the middle of global pandemic. So I didn’t have to plan anything or feel weird not about not planning anything. And so what I ended up doing on my birthday was having a Zoom date with the person I’m dating now, who I have known for a very, very, very long time. And we just reconnected like a month ago. And then she came over. And that was what I did for my birthday. Such a nice birthday.
M: That’s so good.
L: And yeah. Like it wasn’t even like, “Oh, at least it wasn’t bad.” I was like, my best birthday.
M: Your best birthday!
L: It really was. I am like, super psyched.
M: I’m so happy for you.
L: Thanks.
M: I remember how shitty it was last year.
L: Thank you.
M: Oh my gosh. I was at your party last year.
L: Yes. You were eight hours late.
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: You missed all the shitty parts. Right.
M: (laughs)
L: Or no. You showed up right at the shitty part. It doesn’t matter.
M: Even better. I’m great with timing.
L: Oh my god. No, it’s great. It’s fine. You didn’t want to be there. Well, and like, the thing that’s really awesome- I mean, there’s lots of things that are awesome. But it’s obviously like, not an easy time to date, (laughs) ’cause you can’t really get to know someone like, it’s hard to get to know somebody, you know, just through texting or chatting on your phone or anything. It’s possible, but I like- This is different. I’ve known her for a long time. We hadn’t talked or seen each other in eleven years. So yeah.
M: So how did you reconnect?
L: She sent me a message on Facebook.
M: And is this person- Are you in a relationship or are you just dating?
L: We’re dating. We are currently dating.
M: I’m so happy for you!
L: Yeah. Thank you.
M: What a good birthday present.
L: Yeah. Yeah, the last time- ‘Cause, you know, Facebook saves your messages forever.
M: Yes.
L: So the last time we talked was in like, 2009 around this time of year and then, I mean, I won’t tell the whole long story but like, I checked in at one point and we had like, a pleasant exchange (laughs) like maybe five years ago
M: (laughs)
L: but not like a reconnecting per se. And then when she sent me a message we just sort of started talking every day. And then I was like, “Let’s video chat but like, as a date.”
M: I thought you were gonna say, “But like, naked.”
Both: (laugh)
L: No, but… But then yeah we’ve been hanging out and so that’s also been really nice to like, be able to- ‘Cause I was open to, what are we calling this? Like, adding someone to my quarantine pod?
M: Mmhm. Yes. I’ve heard about that.
L: You know, but like, I didn’t know who and how and what to do and like, you know, she lives alone and so there weren’t just like, extra concerns there. I also had a- I mean, there’s a lot of things to talk about. But like, I just, from a, ’cause it’s a queer podcast- (laughs)
M: That it is.
L: I talked to my parents and said I was dating someone and this is the first time that I jhve just been like, “Oh, I’m dating someone. This is her name.” Like, ever. Because I have either dated men or as those who listen know, my former partner transitioned and my parents were not great about it. But that’s really, she’s really the only one. My ex is really the only one my parents even knew I was dating. But again that didn’t go great. So…
M: So you’ve dated a lot but you’ve never like, told your parents about it because you didn’t tell them about…
L: Because I didn’t tell them much about my personal life in general.
M: Yeah.
L: Also because my longer term relationships were often with men or I was in like, a poly relationship but the primary or first partner was male.
M: Mmhm.
L: And so like, I wasn’t like, “Oh, and now I’m also dating a woman.” You know?
M: Yeah.
L: And then I was, I mean I was married. I was with my ex-husband for almost 12 years. And so even though we were non-monogamous for a lot of that, that wasn’t something they knew. And so I’ve never just like, you know, I’ve been single for a year. And I’ve never been single for a year. And I’m usually not like, “Oh, I started dating someone.” But like, now my kiddo’s eight. It’s not like she’s a baby and she wouldn’t know.
M: Mmhm.
L: And actually it’s a very cute story because my- It was my mom’s birthday and so my parents were coming in town. And in the new house we got a bunk bed for the kiddo. And it is- It has like drawers and stairs and shelves and this shouldn’t be surprising, but I can’t build shit. (laughs) And so it came in like six boxes. And so my mom was gonna come for her birthday but that meant she was gonna have to spend the whole time building like, a bed.
M: Mmhm.
L: I’m worthless when it comes to that stuff as is my dad.
M: (laughs)
L: But the girl I’m dating is good at that stuff. So she came over and built the bed. So that was my way of telling my parents. Because my mom was like, “Wait. The bed’s done?” And I was like, “Yes.”
M: Oh, that’s very cute.
L: “I started dating someone. This is her name. You’re not gonna meet her yet but happy birthday. She built you a bed.” So (laughs)
M: That’s so cute.
L: It was. Yeah.
M: That’s so lesbian-y.
L: It’s- It really is.
M: (laughs)
L: Because she brought over her power tools and built a bed. It’s really gay, yeah. (laughs)
M: Dreamboat.
L: Uh huh.
M: (laughs)
L: For real.
M: That’s really cute. I’m glad you had a good birthday and that things are going good because you deserve it.
L: Thank you.
M: It’s been a rough year.
L: Yeah. Thank you. I was doing a social distance hang with a friend like, last week and she was like, “Is everything in your life going well right now?” And I was like, “Uhh.Yeah.”
M: (laughs)
L: And she said, “What does that feel like?” And I was like, “No idea. Never happened before.”
M: (laughs)
L: And like, that’s for real. Like I say that in a kind of jokey way. Like, I told my therapist this week. I was like, “I don’t think I’ve been happy since like, 2015.” (laughs)
M: Awww.
L: And I was like, “And I know that sounds really depressing.” ‘Cause like, of course, I have. Like, I’m happy maybe not every day. But like, during that time period, I was happy at least every week. But like, sustained like, no drama, no stress. That, I don’t know.
M: So are you having of like, NRE feelings?
L: Oh yeah. Totally. (laughs)
M: ‘Cause I know we’ve talked about that and I’ve said that that’s my favorite part. That was my favorite part of polyamory is the constant or the ability to have constant NRE.
L: Yes.
M: And then you had mentioned that you didn’t really get that that strong aside from your ex, right?
L: I don’t. Yeah. So that’s really nice because- So when I first met her and knew her- We met in either 2007 or 2008. We have mutual friends. And like, it was one of those like, immediately drawn to this person kind of things. And so like, that feels exactly the same. Like, no time has passed and that’s really exciting.
M: Oh my gosh.
L: Yeah.
M: That is.
L: And I didn’t- I mean, and we decided to meet up after like, in the middle of our Zoom date and like, there was no time to plan or be nervous. It’s just like, “Alright, I’ll meet you at the house.” So that was really fun.
M: That is really cute.
L: It was really cute. And I mean, I know that sounds- It has like, it’s so cute that it just sounds like, cheesy. But like honestly felt like no time had passed.
M: That sounds like a movie.
L: I knoooow. I know. So I’m real happy. And I guess the other like, (laughs) the big part of it that maybe would be interesting to talk about since this is also something that you and I have both shifted a lot from where we were in our
M: Mmhm.
L: last relationships is she’s monogamous. So I’m doing that.
M: Ahhhhh! (laughs)
L: I know! You know what’s really funny is it feels really good and totally like, it doesn’t feel like a big deal.
M: Yeah.
L: But I do have this thing of like, “Oh no. What are my friends gonna think?”
M: Yeah. Oh my gosh. When I became- Or I was reading this thing about you could be like both.
L: Yes!
M: It just depends on the person.
L: Of course.
M: And I thought that was a really interesting take. But when I decided to be in a monogamous relationship, I had to deal with a lot of like, I knew when I told people they were gonna argue with me about it or tell me why that wasn’t- Or why they thought I wasn’t monogamous. You know what I mean?
L: Yeah.
M: I had to defend it. I always felt like I had to defend it,
L: Sure.
M: which is weird because you would think, you know, when you’re polyamorous you have to defend that. But most of the time I didn’t really feel that way. But I also didn’t talk about it that much. Like, I had a primary partner and then so it wasn’t like officially out.
L: Yeah, sure.
M: But I just thought that was a really fascinating part of like, knowing, being involved in the community because I got really involved in going to meetups and stuff and meeting people
L: Yep.
M: but I definitely felt that like, like I was disappointing people or I wasn’t gonna be so cool anymore or I wasn’t gonna- And I thought, “Well, that’s shitty because people don’t want to be judged so why are they judging now that I’m doing, you know, something else?”
L: Did you feel like you were judged though?
M: Yes.
L: You did?
M: Yeah.
L: Yeah. So I haven’t had that experience like, yet. Also it’s very early and obviously we’re not seeing a lot of anybody.
M: Oh yeah. True.
L: But yeah like when- Like, I have been in polyamorous relationships like, I’m polyamorous, that’s where I am, that’s what I’m doing for like, the past six years. And, you know, like a large chunk of nonmonogamy before that as well. And so obviously I think a lot of it comes from like, yes, it’s less common and you’re seeking out people like you, similar to queer community.
M: Mmhm.
L: And so like, everyone I know, everyone I know is either queer or poly and most people are both. I don’t think I know any straight, monogamous people. Is that a thing?
M: Straight monogamous people? Um…
L: Uh huh. Do you know any? I don’t think I know any. (laughs)
M: I don’t think I know any either. Do I? Oh yes. Like work stuff. Oh yeah I do.
L: I mean, sure, I mean that I’m not like, related to, that aren’t family. I don’t think I know any- I probably do. But I really don’t feel like I do so it’s definitely like, not the norm.
M: Well good for you for not though. Like, shit.
L: I mean I’m not complaining about that.
M: Why would you want to? (laughs) That’s so mean.
L: I know. Whatever. I don’t like straight people. So yeah, so that’s like, it’s not like, there was a need because polyamory is still not like, fully accepted, there was a need to have community. And because I spent a lot of time building that community around me, everyone I know or most people I know are polyamorous so I mean, that’s interesting. And that feels like a big deal. But when I think about like, what I’m looking for and what I’ve been processing over the last year and what I talk about in therapy and et cetera, et cetera like, it doesn’t seem weird to me at all.
M: Good.
L: I kind of feel like, like relationship style preference or just relationship style in general can also exist on a spectrum.
M: Mmhm.
L: I fully believe that some people are gonna feel most comfortable always being monogamous, similar to people who are like, totally gay or totally straight.
M: Mmhm.
L: And some people are gonna be like, “No, polyamory is who I am as a person.” And then there’s like a lot in between. I mean, there’s a lot of values of polyamory that are really important to me. But they have less to do with multiple relationships and more to do with, funny enough like, the concepts around relationship anarchy,
M: Mmhm.
L: which is not from like, a sex and relationships place as much as like, from a like, chosen family and, you know, friendships are just as important as romantic relationships. And like, romantic relationships are not like, the end all be all, where you like, isolate with one person. That matters to me. Like, I have a large group of friends and community who mean a lot to me who I love deeply. She also has a large group of friends. Like, we’re both like, people with community and so I’m excited for her to meet people in my community and vice versa and that doesn’t feel like it’s coming from a super mono-normative place
M: Yeah.
L: even though I’m not dating or wanting to date or planning to date anyone else.
M: I think that’s so true. But I keep thinking and I want to say it before I forget,  but why are we the same person? Because when we both went through breakups at the same time.
L: I know.
M: You moved and now I’m moving.
L: Mmhm.
M: Monogamy.
L: Yep.
M: There’s so many other things. It’s like we go through similar things all the time. Right?
L: We’re on a similar like- It’s interesting what-
M: We’re soul siblings. (laughs)
L: Awwww. I love that. I was gonna say, yeah, it’s almost like we’re on like- It’s not even, I mean we do have a lot in common and there’s a lot we don’t have in common. But I think it’s like, we’re on a similar path.
M: Mmhm.
L: Like our journeys are-
M: And you’re a sex coach and I’m in the- Well, it’s not really sex coaching but similar relationship coach/love coach stuff.
L: No, totally.
M: That’s so cool!
L: Yeah, we do have a lot. We’re on a- We’re like travelling the same, similar path.
M: I love that.
L: I don’t know. Yeah, I like it too. And that was kind of why, you know, I thought especially about like, what time of year it is because I don’t know. I like to think we both sort of like, came full circle and
M: Mmhm.
L: and have gotten to or are getting a new start in a lot of different parts in our lives.
M: Yeah. And also just how much we’ve changed since the first time we recorded.
L: Oh my god.
M: I feel like we were innocent little babies then.
L: I know. But we were sad little babies.
M: Yeah, we were.
L: We were such sad babies.
M: (laughs)
L: That’s what we should have named the podcast. Sad babies.
Both: (laugh)
M: And now we’re mildly happy babies. (laughs)
L: Now we are!
M: No we’re mildly happy old queers. That’s what we’re talking about today.
L: We are elder queers. Elder queers.
M: Elder queers. (laughs)
L: I can’t remember if I talked about- Did I talk about this on the podcast, the fact that there’s an account that I follow on Instagram and they were connecting like, elder queers and younger queers?
M: No! I don’t think you’ve talked about that.
L: This is the cutest thing ever. There’s an Instagram account @gendersauce. Have you- You’ve probably seen it. It’s just a really good account. There happened to be a post one day, I don’t know, sometime in the last month or so. Time has no meaning. It was like, kind of like big kid/little kid matchup and it doesn’t have to do with your age but more like, you know, if you’ve been around the block or you’ve been out for a long time and somebody’s like kind of new like,
M: That’s the sweetest.
L: meet up in the comments. Make friends. What?
M: That’s the sweetest.
L: Okay, yeah, right?
M: I want to mentor a baby gay.
L: Oh my god. You should. So I was not gonna read all like hundred comments. But I just like, did a scan to see if anything stuck out and there was this person and they were like, I mean they’re not like, super young. Now I forget how old they are ’cause I’m terrib- Like, they’re in their late 20s, I think. But they were like, “Oh my god. I just realized that there are like, no elder queers in my life. Like, I don’t know- I don’t have any queers in their 40s and 50s in my life and that just like, really feels like something that’s missing.” And I was like, “I just turned-” Or, “I’m turning 41 next week. What’s up?” (laughs) So now I have like, a friend and we message each other on Instagram and like, same. Like we have a very similar like, way of looking at our sexuality and our gender and like, similar like, paths. Like, they’ve, they’re in a place very similar to where I was like, you know, like 10, 12 years ago.
M: Mmhm.
L: And it’s a delight. It makes me feel good about being older.
M: That’s very sweet.
L: Thank you. Yeah.
M: I want to sign up.
L: You should. I mean, I don’t know if they’re still doing it. It was just in like, a certain post.
M: Awww, yeah. That’s cute.
L: But I mean, you could a hundred percent read the post and comment or send a DM to somebody. I just kicked something.
M: That’s okay. My stomach. I’m having gas. Hopefully no one can hear.
L: Well now we all know.
M: Yeah. (laughs)
L: You’re like, “Don’t tell anybody.”
M: It’s a secret. (laughs)
L: When is your birthday? Your birthday’s soon.
M: August 15. And by the way it’s Leo season now. Woohoo!
L: I know it’s Leo season.
M: So exciting. I’m very glad I don’t have to plan anything this year.
L: Yeah.
M: Oh no, no. That’s not true. I have a little pod that I see. It’s my family. My nana, my grandpa, my brother, his girlfriend, and my partner and my dog.
L: Yeah.
M: That’s my pod
L: Are you gonna do something?
M: and we are going to have macaroni and cheese and cheesecake,
L: Oh my god.
M: two of my favorite things that I asked for.
L: Amazing.
M: And we’re going to have a little birthday party for me with those I just mentioned.
L: Yeah.
M: And it’s going to be very bittersweet because then I’m moving and I’m not gonna be-
L: Oh sure. Like a going away party.
M: Yeah! I’m not gonna be here like I usually am for Christmas
L: Yeah.
M: and Thanksgiving and like, that stuff hasn’t hit me yet.
L: You’re gonna come visit us though, right?
M: Yes! Of course. And like my job is still located in Southern California and I’ll have to come back for, you know,
L: Yeah.
M: every few months or so. So I’ll be around here a lot. And I was thinking about this today, in the shower, for some reason. Because I knew we were recording today. Like, “Oh. If we ever have to record an in-person show with an audience or something, I’ll be down here a lot.”
L: Yeah.
M: (laughs)
L: That sounds fun.
M: Yeah. Even though I would be terrified.
L: Would you?
M: I think so. I’m just nervous but I do like, my partner was telling me how good I am with talking to people and like, talking.
L: You are.
M: And I’ve been doing podcasts for years and I know, we’ve been guests, I’ve been a guest on podcasts, like where I had to go to a studio and stuff and it’s really not that scary but then I- So I think I would be fine once it starts. But the anxiety of like, leading up to it.
L: I totally get that. I think mine is more about like, a kind of stage fright that goes with having to perform.
M: Mmhm.
L: That’s why I never wanted to act or like, or the idea of like memorizing something and then having lights on you and having to remember it all. That makes me terrified.
M: Yeah.
L: But if I can run my mouth for however long
M: (laughs)
L: or like, answer people’s questions, I can do that for days. I don’t know if anybody wants to hear it but I can definitely do it.
M: I was just telling Cheryl when I grow up I want to be a comedian.
L: Oh my god. That’s cute.
M: And I was laughing at how horrible I would be at it because it’s kind of similar to what you said. To think about having to memorize something and then stand there in front of people and do it seems terrible. But I don’t know, for some reason, like, I read a comedy book and I just- So I start myself a comedy journal,
L: Ooohh.
M: which has like nothing written in it.
L: I love it!
M: But I saw this thing about like, normalize finding love in your 30s and 40s and 50s
L: Yep.
M: and finding your passion and I don’t think comedy’s my passion. Don’t get me wrong. I do think it’s- like, I would have fun with it.
L: Yeah!
M: And I want to take an improv class and stuff. I don’t think it’s my passion.
L: Yeah.
M: But I love that. I love the idea of like, you know, just because I’m getting older and I’m settled into like, things with my career and my life, I still can find new hobbies and fun things and I just love that.
L: You absolutely can.
M: And I just thought that would be perfect to mention since we were kind of gonna talk a little bit about being like elder queer, kind of, in a way. I mean I still feel like I’m 18 most of the time but I know I’ve had a lot of life experience.
L: Of course. You’re also like, significantly younger than I am.
M: I’m still old.
L: How old are you turning?
M: 33.
L: (scoffs)
M: (laughs)
L: Hush. No, I mean, I get it. You’re into your 30s. It’s not old. But I know what you’re saying.
M: It’s not 21 anymore. (laughs)
L: It’s sure not. It’s sure now. (laughs)
M: Like, people say getting into your 30s was so much better than your 20s and I agree it is but there’s a lot of things they don’t tell you about like getting hairs on your chin or like, how-
L: Well just wait ’til you’re 41.
M: I was just talking about having gas. Like, it’s for real, it’s like harder to hold it in.
L: Yeah.
M: And I don’t even have kids yet which I’ve heard changes that game too so-
L: Drink some more water.
M: (laughs)
L: That’s my helpful elder queer advice. Drink some more water. No, I mean, it is like, so I was about to say like five different things at the same time. My mind went completely blank. On the comedy thing, I always think that would be fun too. I don’t think I could ever do like a comedy set.
M: Mmhm.
L: But I do feel like I could do like, tell a funny story. Like, story telling I’m comfortable with. But I’m not comfortable with telling jokes. I don’t know. But the other thing is that like, I mean I keep older pictures but like, not really. I do this obnoxious thing where I just like black out whole chunks of my life.
M: (laughs) Same.
L: Thanks alcohol and trauma. But so this gal I’m dating, like I said, I knew her a long time ago. I knew her before I quit drinking. And there was this party that she had. And I’ve seen pictures from the party here and there. Like I said, we weren’t connected for a long time. We didn’t have each other blocked or anything but like, we weren’t friends on Facebook. And there’s a few pictures from the party that like, pop up every now and then. But like, she has all the pictures. (laughs) Oh my gosh. First of all, seeing pictures of myself drunk is hilarious.
M: Does it make you feel bad or weird or can you just laugh at it?
L: No! It’s just funny. And like, it’s also funny because I, in some ways, I look at the pictures and I’m like, “Oh my god. I’m such a baby here.” But I was 29, you know.
M: Yeah.
L: It’s not like I was like 20. Like, that part’s- That’s an interesting part of aging to be able to look back and be like, “Oh, that was a long time ago and I’m not super young.”
M: Yeah. That’s- I think when I was 29 that wasn’t even that long ago but I feel like a baby then. I was- I feel like a baby yesterday. Like, I’m always learning new things
L: (laughs) Yeeeah!
M: and I’m just like, “Wow. I change so much.”
L: Yeah. It’s nice though. I think the other thing that’s really nice that like, because I do that like, what I call like a scorched earth policy.
M: Mmhm.
L: I’m like, “We’re not friends anymore. I will talk to none of you ever again because I don’t want to feel anymore hurt than I already feel or anymore guilt.” It’s either I’m either hurt by somebody or I feel like a lot of shame about the way I acted and it’s like, shut it the fuck down. And the like, compartmentalize that whole part of my life unless I’m telling funny stories on a podcast. And so I think I’ve sort of internalized this idea that like, “back then,” – I’m putting that in air quotes – like I was just sort of a garbage person. And so to like, reconnect with somebody who like, knew me back then and still wants to see me feels really grounding.
M: Mmhm.
L: Does that make sense?
M: Yeah. That’s lovely.
L: Like, it’s not like, some things can like come back around or go in different directions. Like, it adds more of a circle to it. I don’t know what hippie shit I’m talking about today.
M: (laughs)
L: (laughing) Rather than it being like
M: No, it makes sense.
L: this linear thing where I’m just like, welp, that’s over at this day or this month or this time. And that feels nice. It makes me feel like, more connected like, also to my past.
M: Mmhm. Oh, I love that.
(commercial starts)
L: Decadent Devices aims to provide the latest and safest toys and products for sexual wellness and pleasure. Whether alone or together, everyone and every body, regardless of size, shape, gender, or sexuality, deserves to enjoy sex. Decadent devices strives to empower as many people as possible to find their sexual liberation, especially those from marginalized communities. Our goal is to create a space for all genders and orientations to take control and ownership over their sexuality. Decadent Devices is Black, queer, and woman owned. Owner Amani has spent time as a buyer and co-manager of an upscale sex shop in Philadelphia and as the communications manager of the largest purveyor of fetish and BDSM entertainment in the world. With that said, Amani isn’t a sexologist, but she is passionate about spreading the word to help people make well-informed choices when it comes to the objects they decide to use on their bodies. Queers Next Door listeners can use the coupon code queersnextdoor for 20% off. Thanks.
(commercial ends)
L: We were talking about being old and now we can’t remember what we were talking about
M: Yeah.
L: is what’s going on right now.
M: Well I’m happy to know that you are sliding into monogamy the way that I have.
L: Yeah. Did you have any- Well, that’s a good thing. I mean, did you have any- What are your thoughts on that? Like when you kind of transitioned into monogamy. Did you- Taking aside or putting aside what other people think.
M: Mmhm.
L: Like, how did you feel about it?
M: I felt like I was super happy for all the things I’ve learned from being polyamorous
L: Mmhm.
M: for like, five years. The biggest thing being how important other things are besides your relationship,
L: Yeah.
M: which is still something I struggle with because
L: Yeah.
M: I think I was used to being in very controlling relationships and a mildly abusive one
L: Mmhm.
M: where I was isolated from a lot of things except the relationship. So that just became normal to me.
L: Yep.
M: And like, being discouraged from having close friends or people that you can tell things to. Or, you know, having someone who just thinks if they’re your partner then you can only tell them everything and doing anything else is like a betrayal. So I learned how to have friendships and to like, foster these really amazing friendships where before I would have been discouraged or it would have been like, you know, there’s a whole other layer to it because if I was with like, for instance, my ex-husband, then he always would say like, “You’re just a lesbian.” So if I was friends with a woman that was like, threatening.
L: (sighs in disgust) Ugh.
M: So, you know, just being in this really free thing helped me to learn. Or not free thing, free relationships, helped me to learn how to have friends and like, not be afraid to cross boundaries that I would have had if I had like, a monogamous partner at that time.
L: Yeah.
M: And now learning that that’s not how monogamy has to be.
L: Yeah.
M: And I’m so thankful because my partner, she has a lot of friends and she really values her friendship to the point where- And I’ve said this before, even as a polyamorous person, that I always felt like a jealous kind of a person.
L: Yeah.
M: And that- It helped me to face that a lot.
L: Mmhm.
M: But even still I find myself going back to those very heteronormative kind of, scripted relationships where I’m like, “Are you- You love your friends too much.” Like, “You’re flirting with them.”
L: Oh.
M: And I know it’s being so ridiculous
L: Yeah.
M: but it’s just like it’s still in me. But she will like tell her friends she loves them and
L: Mmhm.
M: me. And I love that about her. She’s very friendly and sweet and just like, so loving to her friends. But there are still parts of me that are like, “Oh. Well, that should only- You should only be doing that with me.”
L: Yep.
M: And that’s horrible. But I’ve had to like, face a lot of those feelings before and that’s helped and to just kind of recognize it and to be like, “That’s just me being jealous for no reason.” And to talk about. And I’ll go through, like, my fears. Like what-if. Like, well, and it’s so silly. It makes me realize I’m just being ridiculous. And that’s helped me to want to be nicer and closer to my own friends, to realize that, if that makes sense.
L: It totally makes sense. Yeah. I mean, and like, I think for me it’s being trying to unpack like, let’s take away, you know, what we’re calling anything and just like, being single for pretty much the last year has given me a chance to like, spend a lot of time thinking about what I want in relationships.
M: Mmhm.
L: So instead of just being like, “Am I monogamous? Am I polyamorous?” It’s more like, “What am I looking for in a partner? What do I want?” Like, “What do I not want?” And that was- It just feels like a good fit.
M: Mmhm.
L: The other thing is that like, you know, especially like, as a sex coach who works with a lot of non-monogamous folks, part of what I like to do is to make sure that, you know, I’m showing up for people who can come to me with problems in their polyamorous relationships.
M: Mmhm.
L: And I’m not going to immediately be like, “Polyamory is the problem.” Right?
M: Yeah.
L: Super important. I’m thrilled that, like, I’ve had therapists who’ve also, like, seen things that way. But I don’t want to swing so far in the other direction to say that like, nothing that was wrong in my relationship had to do with polyamory.
M: Mmhm.
L: Because of course it did. That doesn’t mean that- It doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t have been polyamorous. It doesn’t mean that I’m like, that’s why I’m monogamous now. But it’s just like, when I’m unpacking what didn’t work for me, it’s okay to like, acknowledge what parts of that had to do with the relationship structure.
M: Mmhm.
L: Yeah.
M: Yeah. I’ve felt like, for awhile I felt like I should have just never been polyamorous, but I don’t feel like that really.
L: Mmhm.
M: I just, I think I was meant to go through everything and it happened the way it should have.
L: Totally.
M: But it started to feel like- This is what when I was talking about having polyamorous friends who kind of like, judge you or tell you why you shouldn’t be monogamous.
L: Yes.
M: We were going through it and I felt like I had like, defend my choices. But I was saying that I feel like, for me, I felt like I was cheating.
L: Mm. Mmhm.
M: And so that created like, a barrier between me and the person I was with. So it just auto- It just made it harder.
L: Yeah.
M: Not everyone feels that way. A lot of people don’t feel that way at all. And so maybe it just wasn’t- It’s not the right thing for me.
L: Yeah.
M: But I still support that for everyone else.
L: Of course.
M: And yeah. It’s just been such a big learning experience. And then I find myself thinking like, and it’s not true, but it’s easy when you’re into something else, you feel like, “Oh. This is so much better.” But I feel like, “Oh. This is so much easier.” But it’s not that monogamy is easy. But I think a lot of the things I stressed myself out just way too much about because it didn’t really fit naturally for me.
L: Yeah.
M: So it feels easy in a lot of way. But monogamy’s not easy either. I think no relationships are really easy. All relationships take work.
L: No. I’ve definitely, at least for me, I do not believe there’s on that is like easier than the other
M: Mmhm.
L: or better or anything like that. I think I just feel really lucky that like, I think one of the negative things that I’ve done in the past, and not even in my last relationship but way back is I needed to, I don’t know, have like a consensus from everyone in my life
M: Mmhm.
L: about every decision I made. And therefore have to spend a lot of time defending the decisons I made.
M: Yeah.
L: So like, I could see that, at another point at my life, if I had been in polyamorous relationships for multiple years and then, not, really feeling like I needed to defend myself.
M: Mmhm.
L: And I am just like, not in a place in my life where I feel like I need to defend my choices to people.
M: That’s good.
L: Yeah. It feels great.
Both: (laugh)
M: Yeah.
(both talking at the same time)
M: Oh, sorry.
L: (laughs) Sorry.
M: I already forgot what I was gonna say. Oh, but when I said that last part. When I would say that I felt like I was cheating and I felt like it made me not as close to my partner and all that then most of the time people would be like, “Okay, maybe it’s not for you.” And I would be like, “Thank you.” (laughs) You know?
L: Right.
M: Thank you for agreeing with me now.
L: ‘Cause that’s- The point is not that it is or isn’t like, cheating. The point is that that’s how it made you feel. And that doesn’t feel good. And that’s what you listen to, right?
M: Yeah.
L: What makes you feel good
M: Yeah.
L: or safe or like, securely attached? You know?
M: Mmhm.
L: Like, I know that when I feel safe with somebody and I feel like my attachment is secure that like, certain things like, don’t bother me that have bothered me in relationships where I didn’t feel like things were solid.
M: Yeah.
L: That’s really vague but I think that makes sense. I’m not gonna give an example.
Both: (laugh)
L: How long have we been recording?
M: It’s been 53 minutes.
L: Amazing. ‘Cause I’ve got a date tonight.
M: Oh, you do!?! How exciting!
L: I do. She’s gonna come over. I’m not trying to like get us off. Do we- Do you have anything else that you want to talk about?
M: I don’t think so. I just wanted to say thanks for everyone for listening to us for two whole seasons.
L: Oh my god. Thank you so much. Yeah. We love doing this, even if you can’t tell sometimes ’cause we forget to record.
M: (laughs)
L: And we love you all. Please remember-
M: And we can still do some Patreon stuff.
L: Yes! I was gonna say, please remember that we still have a Patreon and we have mini episodes called Queer Cuts on there and lots of extra stuff and if you pledge as little as a dollar a month I will send you a cute little like, card and little pack of things like stickers and stuff and so that would be awesome if, you know, you are able. I know it’s, they’re about to get rid of extra unemployment right now so we understand if that’s not feasible for you right now.
M: Let’s do a quick. I’m gonna do a quick thank you to our Patreons.
L: Amazing. Yes. Please.
M: There’s 23 of you. So thank you so much Allison, Christine, Kelly, Karina, Katie, Jill, Rebecca, Crystal, Marina, Kayla, Keely, Amber, Matt, Brandon, Bella, Bettie, Red, notmycupoftea, Jozi, Eric, wiseeyes, and Sam. Thank you so much!
L: Thank you! Thank you!
M: We haven’t done that in awhile.
L: Thank you so much. I recognize a lot of those names in there.
M: Thank you so much for all of your support.
L: Yes.
M: We couldn’t do it without you. And we’re gonna keep creating content for you even during our break.
L: Absolutely. Thank you everyone.
Both: (laugh)
L: Thank you as always to Sam for doing our transcription and being awesome on our Facebook group and just generally…
M: Yes, and Tosh! Tosh always posts on Facebook so thanks Tosh.
L: And yes! And thank you to Tosh for being, giving all kinds of good content on our Facebook group too. Join our Facebook group where they are doing a better job than we are.
M: Yeah. (laughs) We haven’t been on.
L: But we’re there.
M: In season three we’ll be, we got this. We’ll be much more active and we can do a book club again in the future.
L: Uh, yeah. We definitely can.
M: Because we’ve done one now, not necessarily in private, but on our own with a little group and that was really fun.
L: It was! And we can definitely do that again.
M: And have guests!
L: Yeah! We love you all. Black Lives Matter. Fuck the Police.
M: Yes. I love when you say that. (laughs) Alright everyone. We will see you next time. Thanks for listening. And take care of yourselves and have a good weekend.
L: Yay!
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.
M: If you like what we’re doing, join the Queers Next Door fan club at patreon.com/queersnextdoor to receive all of our exclusive content, and we’ll mail you a fun little surprise. You can find the link on our blog queersnextdoor.com. Cheers, queers!

About Queers Next Door

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