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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. Are we star- Oh, we didn’t decide who was going first
M: (laughs) I’ll ask you first.
M: What are you doing to take care of your lovely self?
L: I bought myself a weed pen. I occasionally smoke weed for anxiety and also somewhat recreationally. But somehow in my adult life, people just give it to me. And so I’ve never, like it hasn’t made sense to spend money on it, especially the more therapeutic way. I have quite a bit of weed. But it’s also not practical to like pack a bowl and take two hits and it hurts my throat and so finally I decided to buy one of those. This is not an ad for Dosist but I bought a Dosist pen.
M: If they wanna sponsor us though. (laughs)
L: But if you want it to be an ad, that would be cool too. I got it at MedMen, which this is also not an ad for, but if they wanna sponsor us… Have you been to MedMen?
L: It’s like the Apple Store of weed, like it’s set up just like an Apple Store.
M: Where is it?
L: There’s like four of ’em. This was in Beverly Hills so it was ridiculous. But basically they make pens for different like ailments or whatever and so this one is called Calm and it is, it’s 10:1 CBD to THC.
M: Uh huh.
L: So it doesn’t, it’s not really supposed to get you high. It’s just like a calming thing and it seems to be helpful. I like it. I can just kind of do it anywhere real quickly. They’re pre-measured doses so you just suck on the little vape pen until it vibrates and that’s how you know you’ve had a dose. Yeah! I like it. The funny story about getting it is that, so I bought it and I came home and I was going to go on a first date type thing. And when I got home, it was like a few hours before we were supposed to meet. It was just like a Sunday night meet for coffee kind of thing. And several hours before I just like, “Oh I got a new toy. I should pull it out and take a hit.” Maybe not several hours, like one hour before. So I took a hit and then I was like, “Oh fuck, I’m high.”
L: Like I wasn’t supposed to get high. And I, as a former like, just as an adult person and also like a former alcoholic, like I do not drive altered in any way. And so I was sitting around like, “Oh fuck. I don’t want to cancel.” ‘Cause it’s so, with anxiety and with all the other things, it is so easy for me to cancel dates. Like my first instinct is always cancel. So I didn’t want to cancel the date but I was like, “I should not drive.” And it’s like fifteen minutes away, the place we were gonna meet. And I was like, “This is stupid. I can’t, I shouldn’t drive.” So, I’m like, “I’m gonna have to call a fucking Lyft to like go get coffee.” So I did and I got there and I got there a little bit early and like ordered a coffee and so by the time I sat down… She was late like, not really late. She was like a few minutes late. But the amount of time meant that like I wasn’t high anymore. So it was fine and it didn’t come up. But then when we were leaving, she’s like, “Oh, my car’s over here. Where’s your car?” And I was like… I think she said that, or maybe I was like, just immediately, was like, “Okay, confession.”
L: “I got too high to drive, accidentally, and so you can drive me home if you want to, but also I could call a Lyft.” And so she drove me home. But it just felt very silly to be like (laughs)
M: That’s funny.
L: I can’t.
M: Was that the last date you went on?
L: So I have been on one date type thing, which is, and I’m saying date type thing, which will probably just like translate into what we’re gonna talk about later, but we’ll just leave it at that for now. But it was good. So Megan, what have you been doing to take care of yourself since we last spoke?
M: Shit. I never know, I never like, I don’t have an answer anymore. (laughs) What have I been doing?
L: You’ve been, well, can I tell you what you’ve been doing?
L: You’ve been talking a lot about setting boundaries.
M: Oh, yes. (laughs)
L: So I’m gonna say that what I have noticed you doing
L: is working on boundaries. But maybe that’s not accurate.
M: Yes, I have been. But it’s really hard to even describe that. Over the last, maybe two months already- I don’t know, it seems like we, ’cause we haven’t been releasing that much, so it feels like time is passing so quick by the time we talk about something.
L: Oh totally.
M: But like two episodes ago I was talking about dating
M: and everything was new and like, “Yay! Fun! Dating! It’s a new year, new me!” And now March, I’m already, like, “Nope, back to my old ways and not dating.” But, and this doesn’t necessarily have to do with the self-care part, but it all works together, that I when I was dating someone new
M: I had all this energy and everything was great and then I came crashing down and had like a bad mental health month
M: and was kind of like, “I can’t date anymore right now. It’s just too much. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want-” Not that that stuff has to go with dating, but you know what I mean.
L: Yeah, totally.
M: We’d already been there and I just, it was hard. So I said, “No. I don’t want to do this anymore, for now.”
M: And in the past, I have had a really hard time being friends with people after dating
M: and even most of my exes I’m not friends with.
M: So with this person, and they have told me I can talk about them, so I’m pretty sure, I could even say their name. That might help me to be able to tell the story. And their name is Sam. So, with Sam, they were very understanding and kind of like, “Hey, we can be in each other’s lives without dating.”
M: You know, just because we did, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. And it’s just showed me that I’ve had to let go of some of the expectations. Like I’m the one who’s always like, “I need labels. I need this kind of commitment. I need this and this and this.” And then I’m always the one that ends up backing out of it because I can’t handle the expectation when I’m already overwhelmed with mental health stuff.
M: So then I get frustrated and then I’m like, “How am I ever gonna date? How am I ever gonna do this?” And so just being honest and saying that this thing is not working for me, and it has nothing to do with them, because the way that I felt, I still do. I just can’t handle the other parts, if that makes sense.
L: Yeah, sure.
M: So doing that I felt really proud of myself ’cause it’s a hard conversation to have.
M: And in the past, I don’t think I’ve handled it so well with people. So having them be very understanding and kind of open to like, you know, things change, so
M: maybe we were dating and now we’re really close friends. And I, when we were having the conversation, I said, “I miss talking to you about every little thing.” But the reason I wasn’t is because I had this very overwhelming feeling that I felt like, “Oh, if I- we’re not gonna be able to have that if we stop dating.”
M: And it’s not true. We still, you know… That’s been really, really hard and confusing for me, and this is why I’m 31 but I feel like I have a lot of emotional maturity to catch up on
M: because of, you know, having a very traumatic early adult life
L: Yeah, sure.
M: and then being in a very toxic marriage for, well three years, but six years in total.
M: But I was 27 when I left that.
M: So it’s been four years of kind of relearning everything
L: Oh god, totally.
M: and then adding polyamory into that, it’s like, sometimes I’m just a mess. And so that’s been really nice and it reminded me of Janet talking and I don’t know, maybe it was two episodes ago, saying how people come into your life and it’s not always, it’s not always what you think it’s gonna be
M: and just kind of being open. And she’s told me that in person before and I’ve always been, “No. I can’t wrap my head around that. I need to know like I’m dating someone or whatever.” And now, with this experience, it’s also inspired me to be open myself with other people in my life who I’ve either dated or… I don’t know, like queer relationships can be so challenging. Like maybe the term dating was never used, but it felt like we were closer than just friends.
M: I’ve looked at other relationships that I’ve had last year, and I’ve just been able to reach out for support from people. ‘Cause people that have dated me in the past have said one of the bad things about me is that I have these expectations and wants, but I won’t tell people what they are, so how can I get them met if I don’t tell
people. And it is true, and I will get like resentful or mad that people aren’t doing what I want but I won’t tell them what I want.
L: That they’re not reading your mind.
M: It’s kind of like, “Well you should know.”
L: No, totally.
M: And I hate that ’cause I feel like I’m mature like I’m not like that. But then no, I think deep down I still have a lot of that in me. So I’ve been trying to reach out to people that I used to be friends with and be more open-minded about like, just because, you know, we used to have a certain connection and we don’t anymore, it doesn’t mean that they need to be completely out of my life. And with that comes a lot of like, “Oh, shit. But now boundaries.” Because how much do I want to know about what the person is doing now, if that makes sense, like with their love life and…
L: No, it totally makes sense. I think that was, that idea of like transitioning relationships into something different that can still be meaningful is like I think is very much a queer thing and very much a poly thing.
L: And my instinct is like, “No. Set it all on fire.” You know ?
L: Like I’m very like, “Clean break. Never speak again.”
M: Yes. That’s me. (laughs)
L: Like, “Set the fire. Don’t turn around.” Like, ” Keep walking. ”
L: I don’t know. And so like that feeling, like knowing you don’t have to do that is really nice. The last two relationships that I was in that ended both ended really pleasantly. One just sort of moved really naturally from something that was like really warm and casual but now is no longer sexual but still has like warm feelings.
L: And then the other, like I mean it was a hard breakup in the sense that breakups are hard, and it’s a person I care about a lot. But the things that were working in our relationship, which was just like that I like respect her a lot and I enjoy talking to her a lot and I enjoy her company a lot and all these things. Like they didn’t have to go away
L: which is really nice. Like there’s this like, it’s weird to be like- It’s easier for me to be like, “Oh. When I was dating this person-” than to be like, “My ex whoever.”
L: Because I don’t know. Like it’s nice to have people you used to date that are like part of your community and don’t feel like an ex in that negative way.
M: Yeah, and Sam is a really supportive friend. They’re actually the one that transcribes this podcast so hey Sam.
L: Hey Sam. Thank you.
[Transcriptionist’s note: Cheers, queers!]
M: And it’s really funny. I don’t know why all the sudden I’m comfortable using people’s names. I’ve had a lot of people say, “I don’t care if you use my name,” and I won’t.
M: Even on social media. And I just started, like I don’t know what’s happening, but (laughs)
L: I don’t use anyone’s name. I could use my partner’s name because she’s super fine with everything. So we’ll see.
L: Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.
M: It’s like whenever you just all of a sudden, you’re like, “‘Kay I’m ready now.”
M: It’s weird.
L: Yeah, yeah.
M: But all of that long story to say that last year I had a reading, a Zodiac reading or some astrology reading and it was so spot on.
L: Oh nice.
M: And she told me, ” You’re gonna keep repeating these patterns in relationships until next year, but then once you realize it and you’re done, you’ll never do it again. ”
L: Oh cool.
M: And I think it’s very true and I know you as a sex coach, and I just announced that I’m in sex coach training on Instagram, which I’ve never done before, but I also haven’t finished any of the things in like four months. (laughs)
L: Uh huh. That’s awesome.
M: So I’m still not very far into it.
L: That’s okay.
M: But I know that there’s a lot of differing opinions on sex addicts and love addicts.
L: Yes, of course.
M: But in the past, I have felt a lot like a love addict and I realize now that it’s carrying into friendships. It just depends on where my mental health is.
M: And I’ve talked to that with Sam and my other friends now that even with someone just as a friend who I’m very close with, I will have these like feelings of, “I need to be connected at all times and I need to-” It’s almost like it defines me. Like these relationships with people, I can let it define me
M: and that’s not good.
M: So now as a more healthy person than four years ago, I’m just now starting to date and even open up to friendship, which feels a lot like dating.
M: So we were talking about that before recording, about feeling, me feeling rejected in friendships hurts even worse for me.
M: And just all these weird really intense feelings. And Metamour Day just happened.
L: It did.
M: And I was feeling very emotional that day, even though technically I don’t have any metamours right now. But Dawn and I, that’s my other friend who says I can use her name,
M: we talk every day all the time, and she was saying, just because you’re not in a relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean that they’re really, you know, that they’re not really close to you.
L: Oh, you mean like really, just because you’re not in a sexual relationship, right?
M: Yes, yes. Just because I’m not in a sexual relationship- Because I was saying I feel like some of my friends’ partners are metamours, but I guess I can’t say that. And she was like, “No, just it’s the same. It’s a very deep connection. Just because it’s not a sexual connection…”
L: My best friend and I have a very close relationship to the point that I think of her as a type of partner,
L: and we have a very like emotionally intimate relationship, and I think of her and my partner as metamours
L: in some ways to each other. But we do not have a romantic or sexual relationship. So like, but she feels like a core partner in my life.
L: Like decisions, we make about the future like matter to each other, you know. So I definitely get that.
M: Yes. So with a former love junkie going into all these new relationships, whatever they are, I have had to think a lot about boundaries.
M: And it’s a struggle and it’s also a struggle for me to listen to other people’s boundaries, especially as my, when I’m very triggered about like abandonment stuff. And it will be like, I was telling you again earlier, “Okay, I’m not gonna text this person anymore. I’m gonna like leave it alone.” And I like myself. I like to be alone by myself, like why can’t I just have a night to myself without my phone. But I have this need to be like, “No. I’m gonna be connected. I need to know that people are thinking about me.” And it’s really weird and just, I don’t know, I’m not, I realized I’m not good at listening to like my partner K, her boundaries about stuff with me. It’s like I feel like sometimes she owes me like this love and attention, even when she really doesn’t. Like no one owes me anything.
L: Of course. Do her boundaries sometimes feel like personal, like somehow her boundaries are like hurting you in some way?
M: And it’s not.
L: No, totally, but I get that feeling. Like sometimes it feels hurtful to set your own boundaries
L: and I think if that’s the case, then like the reverse is gonna be true also. Like someone setting a boundary with you can feel like a rejection,
L: which is something that I struggle with. Because, yeah, I have a hard t- I’m very clear with boundaries, but I also find that like stressful situations or times when I feel extra needy, especially related to like my chronic and mental illnesses,
L: that like I have…my boundaries feel fuzzier out of a sense of need. And that’s a thing to work on. That’s tough.
L: Are you having a coughing fit.
M: I choked on my own spit.
M: Something always happens.
L: I know.
L: I’m waiting for like something to fall on your head from the ceiling.
L: There’s nothing to fall on your head but- This is completely off any topic, but I was hearing a buzzing sound in my house yesterday and I was just convinced that there was like a fly or something and it was like, I didn’t really pay attention to it and then I just like looked down and there was just a bee like chilling on my floor.
M: Oh my gosh!
L: And so I like put a piece-
M: Isn’t that good luck?
L: I hope so. It was not in good shape, but it wasn’t dead, so I just like put it on a piece of paper, and it just like crawled onto it, and I opened the door and let it outside and it was like, “Alright.” It was a very sluggish like uninterested bee, but I hope it lives `cause
L: I know it’s a bad sign if they, when they all die out. That means we’re next, right?
M: I was gonna say something really dark, and be like well hopefully sooner (laughs) than later.
L: (laughs) I mean…
M: Oh my goodness. Oh! This is something that you will probably, I mean, I know you will understand. Someone said to me that, and it goes back to dating and relationships, if you date someone or are in a relationship with someone in any capacity who has a mental illness or a chronic illness, that it’s very important to seek support or even like therapy just to deal with your partner’s stuff.
M: And my first reaction was kind if like offended. I was like, “People need therapy to deal with me?” (laughs)
M: So again, to me, that just goes back to the whole like boundaries and partners and friends needing support away from me, which is really hard for me.
L: I’m actually like looking at my phone because I feel like I posted a thing the other day and I want to see if I can find it. Do I have an archive of all my stories? How does that work?
M: You do.
L: Where is it? Let’s in real time figure out how to use Instagram. Because it was something I posted yesterday. Like it was somebody else’s but like this is probably a tumblr, from tumblr user silhouttesofmysoul, but I just, I don’t know, this just stuck out to me, because it says, “Here’s a tip. If you start dating a depressed person, don’t be surprised if they’re still depressed while they’re dating you. They’re not depressed because they’re single, and you are not an all-powerful cure for mental illnesses. Just be there for them.”
M: Oh, I saw that. I like that.
L: Which is like a point because I think it is, I mean we could do a whole like episode or a whole series on dating people with mental illness. And this is definitely coming up in my own relationship right now, like a whole bunch. And I guess we’ll decide if we want to talk about that or not. But yeah, I’m immediately like understanding but also resentful of the idea that like it’s challenging to date me.
L: You know? So like sometimes I’m like, low self-esteem says like, “Why would anyone want to date me because it’s so difficult?”
L: And then like resentment is like, “Well, like you knew what you were getting into.” You know?
L: So I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I don’t really have a solution for that.
M: Yeah, it makes me feel, especially after kind of stepping away from things for a while, it’s like, “Oh, why would I ever want to try to date again `cause I’m just challenging and I’m gonna make other people’s lives harder?” And I definitely feel it with K because we live together
M: and that she has to deal with a lot of my stuff about anxiety and agoraphobia stuff and I’m like, “Why would I want to do that to someone else?”
L: Well and it’s interesting because like the language you just used, which is like, “She has to deal with,”
L: is a hundred percent the language I would use if I was saying it,
L: but like outside of it,
L: I’m like, “She chooses to be with you,”
L: She doesn’t “have” to deal with anything. But it’s hard because it feels that way. Like I think if you’re a people pleaser or if you have trauma or if you have mental illness, or all three, then it’s easy to think of yourself as like either too much or not enough
L: all the time and as like a problem to be fixed
L: rather than like a whole person who has challenges and struggles.
M: Oooh, that just wrapped back around to what I was saying about moving between dating to friendship because at first, I felt like too much
M: I’m constantly emoting, that’s the word, right?
M: Expressing myself, telling people everything.
M: And then, on the flip side, when I feel overwhelmed with mental health stuff and work stuff, ’cause that, which we’ll get into on this episode I’m sure, but is like a constant hustle about myself.
L: Yeah, of course, sure.
M: I’m like, “Now I’m not enough,” because now I’m not wanting to hang out as much. I’m not wanting to connect as much. So it’s such a roller coaster between feeling both of those for me.
M: It’s either like too much, not enough, and now wanting to just end things because of that. And so it is nice when you have someone who is like, “Okay, I’m down to stay in your life
M: through all of those things,” because they can understand that, like you said, I’m a whole person. There’s a lot going on,
M: and we all have a lot, I’m sure even people who don’t have mental health stuff probably feel like too much and not enough.
L: I’m confused by people who don’t have mental health stuff.
M: Yeah. Does anyone not?
L: I don’t know. Like I can’t relate in a way that like- And I think, I can’t remember if I said this on the podcast or not, but when I was talking about trying to get back into dating, my therapist and I were trying to figure out like what my fear was and like, I mean fear of rejection is always there, but it’s not like crippling, you know.
L: Like it’s not, it’s not like something that keeps me home or keeps me from doing things, but I realize that like for me I think it’s more like, fear of explaining myself ’cause I feel like I have all this stuff. And like if I meet a new person I have to tell them all my stuff. And so it’s almost like if somebody else has stuff, I’m like, “Oh good. We’re speaking the same language,”
L: and that’s, you know- I don’t (laughs) wish mental illness or things like that on anyone else, but I also feel like there is a common language there.
M: And that’s like when K’s dad passed away. I have never had a partner who lost their parent while I was with them,
L: Sure. Yeah, I haven’t either.
M: and it was horrible and very sad, but I was also like, like you just said. It’s kinda like, “Okay, you speak this language now with me about grief and parents.”
M: And so that has made us closer
M: in a way, even though it’s horrible. And I think she can understand that a lot more.
M: So that was the longest intro ever (laughs)
L: Oh, is that still our intro?
M: No, I mean, we just kind of move throughout, which is good. It all works,
L: We’re talking about dating today and so I think that’s
L: going on and we’re just kind of peppering it in because this is gonna be a shock, but we don’t script this shit.
L: I make like five notes before we start.
M: Oh, okay! So I got banned from Tinder.
L: Yes, that’s some fucked up shit. Tell us why you got banned.
M: Well, they didn’t say. It just says you went against our guidelines, but I get a lot of messages, on Instagram and other places, however far people want to take it, like all the way to my email or whatever – They’ll find Twitter or Snapchat and the other things – that say, “I found you on Tinder
M: and what are you looking for?” Or, “I found you on Tinder and here’s a selfie” or sometimes even a dick pic.
L: Does your Tinder link to your Instagram?
M: So I usually don’t respond because,
M: and I’ve made videos about this, I say, “If you find me on a place like that, that’s fine that you added my social media.”
M: I mean, I’ve looked at people’s social media from there too.
L: Of course.
M: But don’t message me, and especially expect that I will be like, “Yes, let’s meet up and go on a date.”
M: Because first of all, we didn’t match
M: on the platform,
M: which would show my interest and your interest, like mutual.
M: You just found me and, I get it, I guess, to a certain degree. If people find you on a dating app, they think you want to date.
L: So I disagree. They think you want to date, but that shouldn’t mean you want to date them.
L: There is such basic matching technology that if you do not match on the thing, then you don’t send somebody a message.
M: Yeah. And I don’t go on Tinder a lot
M: so I don’t even know when this happened, but I did go on to check and it was deleted. And, but I get, I see all the messages come in. I don’t ever usually respond.
M: But I did have a guy who found me on Instagram and then added me on Snap[chat] and then right when I added him, he had messaged me right away and was like, “I found you on Tinder. Let’s meet up. I think we’re-” He said, “Are you in this area?” ‘Cause you know, they can see like how many miles away you are, and I didn’t respond, and on Snapchat you can see when it’s opened,
M: but then it immediately goes away. So I usually don’t ever respond even if have something I wanna say ’cause I forget (laughs) what the person messaged me.
L: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
M: So anyway, I saw the message and I went back to like the main screen, and by the time I clicked it again, it was like, “Oh, you’re just being a cunt who’s trying to get clients.”
M: And I was just, I just pressed block.
M: I was like I don’t even have any like, I don’t have the bandwidth to even like
L: Oh, of course.
M: respond to that. But that stuff happens a lot. I mean,
M: not everyone takes it that far. People sometimes won’t say anything. They just get the hint. But it happens kind of frequently. And so I think someone probably reported me,
M: and that Tinder did look at my stuff and realize that it was a cam girl or you know, people looking for other services, and so I think that’s why they deleted me.
L: That’s such bullshit. Yeah, somebody reported you because you didn’t want to go out with them and then Tinder’s like, well you can’t solicit on here
L: even though you’re not. This is my job.
L: Cool. Fuck off Tinder.
M: Yes. (laughs)
L: Tinder is also not a sponsor and
L: probably doesn’t want to be.
M: And I haven’t emailed them yet,
M: ’cause I’m going to. What I’ve heard is that if someone has a big enough following, then they usually will give it back,
M: and I don’t know if mine is big enough, but
L: You have a pretty decent following.
M: but the fact that we’re talking about it too… (laughs)
M: I wanted to e-mail them before today, but of course, in Megan fashion, I did not.
L: We can always edit this out if you’d like. (laughs)
M: (laughs) So I will e-mail them though, and I’m curious to see what they will say back.
M: And I think we talked about it in the last episode. I don’t know if I left it in – I’ll have to listen today – that the reason I would leave, as frustrating as it is, I understand again even the other side of this where people say to me, “If you don’t want people to talk to you like that, why do you include your social media?” Or I’ve had a lot of men say, “If you don’t want to be-” ‘Cause they’ll just start off the conversation with something about like, “Oh, I bet your pussy is nice” or something like that.
M: And I’ll be like, “Ew. Don’t. Ew. Why would you say that to me?”
L: Of course.
M: And then- IF I feel like responding. And then they’ll say, like, “Oh, if you didn’t want people to talk to you like that, why do you have an Instagram like that?” And I’ll say, “This is my job.” But on Tinder I get even like friends who are well-meaning, will be like, “Well just don’t connect your social media. Just don’t talk about that.” And the reason I do is that I want people to see what I do and if someone’s gonna come at me like that and say, “Oh, I bet your pussy’s nice,” I probably don’t want to date them anyway.
L: I think it’s a good filter.
L: Like I think it’s a necessary filter
L: because then what you’re saying is like, “Hey, if you have a problem with sex work, we don’t have to go through all of that.”
L: And if you see somebody does sex work and your immediate reaction is that therefore they owe you something sexually, that’s also someone you don’t want to go out with.
L: So like I, yeah.
M: And how people treat that, I can tell right away, is either like, “Oh, I like- your job looks cool.” You know, the same thing you would say to anyone else. Like, “Oh yeah, it is. I like it.” “Okay cool. So how are you?” You know, “Let’s talk about something else.” Versus something being like, “Oh my god,” you know, having this random reaction, so yeah. That’s why I don’t
L: No, I get that.
M: take them- I just generally in my life don’t separate that much. Like I just made an Instagram, a personal Instagram last year
M: because I have family who are under 18
L: Yeah, sure.
M: and they will try to add me and I would just block them and try to say, like, “I’m sorry. This is like a work thing. I can’t-
M: I don’t feel comfortable having you, but you can add me on this Instagram.”
L: Of course.
M: And I just, even then, with family, as much as they can handle, I do tell people as openly as possible everything I do, because that’s just where I’m at in my life.
M: I get a lot of people can’t do that, and I’m fortunate to be able to, but I like to have as much transparency in all of it and if people are gonna act like assholes, then that just lets me know that I don’t need them in my life.
L: Sure, well and when I was still, like I will list that I’m a sex coach on my dating sites, and when I was still dating men, I would get like, I would get a lot of like, “Oh, I don’t know if I need a sex coach but I like having sex.” Or like, just like dumb shit.
L: Like it wasn’t even like, it wasn’t dick pics or anything, but it was just always stuff like, “You can show me how to have sex.”
L: And you’re like, “bleeeh.” But, or the nicer comments, which I get, which are like, “Oh your job sounds really interesting,” like, “What does that look like?” Or, “What got you into it?”
L: So, yeah.
M: And the day after I got banned, Sam got banned on Tinder, nothing to do with sex work, but they said that someone had messaged them like the day before and said, “How could you be they/them if you’re one person?”
And they sent them an article about it, like didn’t even respond, just like sent this post about that. And then the next day they were banned. And so when they looked it up, they said that there’s a lot of people who have said they were banned for being trans or nonbinary.
L: The only thing I can say about that from my experience is that I still see like trans folks or nonbinary folks as I’m swiping and then I did go through and look to see if my partner’s was still on there and it is, but I think you’re right. I think it’s gotta be trolls in that case.
L: And like, not that I even wanna like equivocate this, but like, I guess I can see how on some level if Tinder thinks somebody is trying to solicit for sexual, for sex work, that at least legally they feel like they can shut that down.
L: Even though I don’t think they’re being nuanced about it and I think it’s very like sex-negative and blah blah blah etc. But like, it’s really, I don’t know where they think they can just like straight up discriminate against trans people
L: like just because somebody- Or, are people just being shitty trolls and then are reporting it for something else,
L: Like they’re not reporting, “Oh, this person’s trans.” They’re reporting like, “This person was abusive”
L: to get trans people off of Tinder.
L: I don’t know. It’s shitty, no matter what.
M: I know I’ve heard a lot of sex workers getting banned from Tinder.
L: So stupid.
M: But I don’t know as many people who have said being banned for [being] trans, but like I said, I got a few responses about it, so if anyone
M: has anything to share about that, let us know `cause I am curious and I am gonna e-mail Tinder. I am curious to see – They must have responded to this somewhere – what they say. But like anything else, I know Twitter, all the places, they have a certain number of reports they do before they just automatically remove you usually
M: and I’m sure that’s what happened with Tinder.
M: ‘Cause I’ve been getting these messages for a month, so I’m sure I finally just hit like the maximum number of reports. I don’t know how far they look into it. Maybe it’s only if you try to contest it that they actually go back
M: and see if they should give you your account back. And I’m not sure if since it happened to me that day and then Sam the next day, like maybe they’re just doing one of those massive, like okay let’s just delete everyone who’s gotten this many reports now.
M: So I guess we’ll see what they say.
L: That’s dumb. I feel like, well the problem is too, like, in the same way, all of these things become a monopoly, right? Like there’s only so many choices. Like if you want do social media, you have to, you know, you have to pay into the Zuckerberg
L: machine because it’s impossible not to if you want to get any of your things seen. And then if you want to date online, like you have to use one of a few sites really. Like there is not a lot of choice, especially because both online dating and social media are things where you wanna have reach.
L: Like you know, you want a large enough pool to like, see your stuff, so, I don’t know, it sucks.
M: Yeah. And Tinder is linked to Facebook.
L: Oh, right. Do they own Tinder? They probably do.
M: I don’t know. Probably. Good question.
L: But either way, yes, a lot of them you have to have a Facebook account to even, I think you have to have a Facebook account to have a Tinder, but I might just be making this stuff up right now.
M: Do you have a Tinder?
L: I do.
M: Do you use it?
L: I do.
M: Have you met people from Tinder and like had-
L: I have. I generally don’t like Tinder. I generally use Tinder more as like a video game (laughs)
L: where like, “I’m bored. What if I just swipe through?” Because it has like a neverending amount of people to swipe through, especially because like I don’t, like I said I’m not dating like cishet dudes these days, so since my filters are not set to that, there are just less people to choose from, so OkCupid will very often be like, “We’re all out of matches.”
L: Oh yeah, which is like, it’s like the shittiest thing you can- It’s like when Netflix is like, “Are you still watching this loser?”
L: And you’re like, “Cool. No.” So but Tinder like very rarely runs out and so, sometimes I’ll just like flip through it. I have met people on Tinder, but most of the people that I’ve met on online dating sites who I have either had a relationship with or become friends with have been OkCupid.
M: I’ve met more people from Tinder, but not always positive experiences, and then OkCupid has seemed to be more like positive and long-lasting friendships or dates or whatever.
L: Yeah, yeah.
M: Okay, what else were we gonna talk about with dating?
L: I don’t even know. We were gonna talk about femme4femme dating and just the general idea of like why it’s harder, why is it hard for femmes to date?
M: Yeah, and I have like tweets about it.
M: So when people do tweet, do you think that means you can read them on…
L: Yeah. Absolutely, because they’re public. Like if they send you a private message, I don’t know, but no tweets are, you know people screenshot and post tweets as like memes all the time. I would say that once you’re publicly tweeting, then you are… Do you know that all – I just trailed off on that sentence – but did you know that all tweets all categorized in the Library of Congress.
L: Or the, did I say that right?
L: They’re in the public record basically and I just like hear myself saying the wrong words, but they are all (laughs) saved somewhere.
M: Oh, okay. I found my, the Tinder ones, so let’s see. So a trans person says: “I get mass flagged and deleted because of that every so often. Only seems to happen when I disclose I’m trans in the profile and not if I have a new profile without disclosure, even if they are otherwise identical.”
L: Okay, interesting.
M: And that is Kelvin. I mean I guess I could just link the tweets on the blog post.
L: You could. Either way.
M: And then someone else said: “I was banned right after putting my Cash App in my bio after seeing tons of other girls with Cash Apps in their bio and finally being like LOL fuck it.” But the-
L: So like that makes sense though. Like I don’t agree with it,
L: but like it looks like you’re trying to like monetize a free site.
M: Uh huh.
L: Like I’m all for people putting their Cash App, I’m all for like charging like dudes for like dick pics and emotional labor.
L: So I just want to say I’m super behind that, but at least I understand the rationale for banning that.
M: Yes. This person’s name’s Queen. And then she said: “But the line ‘Not here for random hookups with any of you useless dicks’ might have had a little something to do with it too.’ ” (laughs)
L: Well, are we going- I mean, this is kind of going back to the world of like Facebook banning.
L: Like you can, like on Facebook you can say like the most like vile like pro-rape violent shit,
L: but if you’re like, “Men are trash,” they’re like, “Banned!”
L: I’ve seen multiple friends test that out, like be banned for, “Men are trash.”
L: They have an algorithm like searching for it.
M: Yeah there was a cake, right? Someone baked a cake and put like MEN ARE TRASH and they got deleted for hate.
M: Oh, and then my friend Ana, who’s also a sex worker, said she was banned after updating her pictures. Two of them were in a lace bralette. She sent me the pictures so I could see there’s nothing vulgar. “I was banned the next day. It’s equivalent of wearing a crop top or a bikini. You see plenty of thin women doing that and shirtless dudes.” But she got banned, and she’s a BBW.
L: Interesting. I see women, like I see a handful of women in bras, but tons of women in bikinis, and it’s exactly the same thing.
M: Yeah. So we’re discussing a little bit and she said she puts it as a pickup line on OkCupid that she got banned from Tinder,
M: and they ask how and she says, “I tell them it’s because Tinder discriminates against fat women.”
M: So that’s another thing against Tinder.
L: Fuck you Tinder.
M: Okay, so yeah, I was looking- See, I save all this shit in my phone and then I have like so many pictures that I forget. So then I was going back to a tweet that I saved from, I don’t know, this was forever ago, but this goes into the femme stuff.
M: So someone, Gigi Engle, who is a kind of well-known sex
L: I know who that is.
M: what is she a sex coach or something?
M: She put: “Them: If you’re queer, why do you date more men than women?” And then she put: “Me: Oh I have terrible taste.” You know, like a joke.
L: (laughs) Sure.
M: And then someone tweeted that with this response: “But also have you met men? They’re everywhere.
M: You have to climb a mountain, go spelunking
M: Yeah spelunking in a cove
M: and battle a horde of angry pangolins to find a queer girl who wants to date. All you have to do to nab a boy is toss your hair once while standing alone.” And then I was looking through the thread. Someone else said: “Also queer femmes just tell each other they’re pretty over and over
M: and no one is ever really sure if the other is flirting.
M: It’s not an effective system.”
L: Oh my god. Totally.
M: Someone else: “I have no fucking idea how to flirt with femmes or recognize getting it.” So just full of people agreeing with that.
L: No, I mean, you’ve seen like, I think we’ve posted one of these, like the Queer Dating Bingo, like the free space says, “Is this even a date?”
L: which is like, I think, it’s an interesting thing because like sometimes I try to be more like forward if I’m asking someone on a date, I try to use the word date.
L: Like, “Would you like to go on a date?” But then I also think I’m implying maybe that I’m a little more dominant than I am.
M: Uh huh.
L: And so that’s incorrect too. Well and also like, have you heard the theory that like if two women go out on a date, whoever the waiter puts the check in front of, they think is the top.
M: (laughs) No, I haven’t heard that. That’s funny.
L: It’s hilarious. My partner and I are always laughing about that. Like any time we’re leaving, I’m like, “Oh, they think I’m the top today.”
L: No, but like we talked about this a little bit because like I run a discussion group for polyamorous women and nonbinary folks and it’s not queer specific but like most of the people are queer and so we’ve had a lot of discussions about dating women, especially femmes dating femmes and that idea of just this like no one sending the first message, no one making the first move. If you’re very like sensitive and emotionally open and vulnerable then like sometimes you immediately start talking about like your traumas and your childhood and there’s like no room for sexiness.
L: You kind of like bypass that real quick, and I don’t know that there’s like a good solution for that, but I know that you and I have talked a little bit and you said maybe you haven’t had quite the same experience because you generally date folks who are more like butch or masculine of center.
M: Mmhm. Yes. And it’s- I was talking to my partner K about this because she was saying as a masculine woman
M: that she feels like she’s expected to be the one to like make the moves and all that and she’s tired of it.
M: But for me, even when I date masculine women or transmasculine people or, I mean, I feel like I’m usually the one that makes the moves.
M: So I just think, I guess it’s just dependent on the person, right? Like I know the stereotype is there.
M: But in my experience, it hasn’t been that way.
L: And when you say, make the move, do you mean like the first message, first contact, or do you mean like sexually?
M: Usually like the first message and also the first one to like make the move of like kissing
L: Okay, yeah.
M: or holding hands or becoming affectionate.
L: Uh huh.
M: So, and my partner was like, “Oh yeah. I guess, I forgot that.” (laughs) Like, “You did.”
M: But she feels like that expectation is there. But also I don’t date as many femmes and I think the ones that I have, have been like very aggressive and dominant
M: so I haven’t had as much of that. And honestly, I’m gonna say something that sounds bad. But when I hear all these conversations that usually, I’m just like, “Ugh. This is so annoying. I’m tired of this same conversation.”
M: But I get it. And I’m- it is valid. It’s just, it’s not my experience and I also just don’t like the whole, “Oh, I’m not queer enough.” And, “What do I need to do to look queer enough?” and blah blah blah. I’m like, “Ugh.”
M: And then again maybe, like I had said to you, maybe it’s my privilege, which you had said like, “Is anything queer privilege?”
M: But I do think because when I go to- I’ve, I identified as a lesbian for a long time, and when I go to bars and places, even though I don’t “look,” you know, again we know that’s not true, but people don’t look at me and just automatically assume that I’m gay.
M: But I don’t ever really question like, “Do I have the right to be here?”
M: I just feel, maybe it’s from years of going to those spaces and I’ve been hit on and I’ve done the hitting on and I’ve been on dates and I’ve been the one to make the move and also not the one to make the move. So maybe because I’ve had all these experiences, I just don’t have those same struggles anymore. And I generally find people to date kind of easily, even feminine women.
M: Although I don’t do it as much. I haven’t been like, “Oh man. I wish I had one and I can’t seem to find one anywhere.”
M: I was wondering if it’s also because we’re in Southern California/Los Angeles area. I don’t know where those people are.
L: No, totally. I mean I think, I wonder about that too. Well and I do think there is a, I mean there is like a hierarchy of privilege in queerness.
L: Like if you are, if you are white and cis and gender conforming
L: you do have more privilege. But it’s different than like, but there’s still like some sort of marginalized status
L: to queer folks. It’s just, you know, I think in the same way that like white passing folks of color experience less discrimination,
L: straight passing queer folks experience less. It is how people see you more than like who you are.
L: Yeah, and it’s a weird thing too ’cause like I feel like there’s a lot of stuff this idea of like femme4femme dating. Femme is an interesting word to me because like I don’t identify as a femme.
L: But I understand that I am seen as femme
L: Like as a descriptor, it’s probably accurate.
L: But I also like, I think there’s sort of a whole idea and culture and whatever about a femme that like doesn’t feel like it fits for me. I like to say I am, ’cause I’m definitely not masculine of center, but I like to think I’m masculine of femme. (laughs)
L: So like whatever that is, that’s like less femme than femme but not masculine.
M: Have you seen Transparent? I know I’ve asked you, but I don’t remember.
L: Yes! But not the most recent season.
M: So there was an episode where Ali was saying she wanted to be high femme
M: and her friend was like, “I’m low femme.” And she said, “I think you’re Middle Earth femme.” (laughs)
L: See, low femme works really well.
L: I like that. I like low femme. I’ve also like, I also like the idea of like tomboy femme
M: Oh yeah.
L: or like dapper femme. But I only feel like that’s accurate if I am like dressed up. Like I would say that sometimes maybe I dress that way, but yeah, low femme is a good one. Like I wear makeup and I have longish hair, but I only sometimes wear makeup
L: and I don’t like to wear dresses and I hardly do any more at all and I don’t wear heels and like a lot of that stuff.
L: So I don’t know.
M: I don’t identify as femme either, but I agree that it kind of makes sense when people use it to describe me
M: and I think there’s like a lack of descriptive words that we have
M: (laughs) because I mean, if you think about it, there’s like girly girl,
M: and you know, people use that all the time for girls who are like super
M: girly and I don’t know, we just don’t have that many terms for it. But I also just don’t really like the word femme and, I don’t know, but like I said, I get it, that people use it to describe me.
L: Yeah, and like I also think that I am like often attracted to femmes, but not exclusively. Like my queerness does not mean I am just attracted to femme or feminine presenting
L: or whatever folks. I would say like, there’s probably a tendency, if you just show me a picture of like 20 people, like if you’re looking at my swiping behavior, I probably tend to be more drawn to femmes, but I wouldn’t say that that’s like a strict preference at all.
M: Yeah. Well I recently started to have a little bit more of those feelings about like, “Oh, is this a date? Or what what are we?” Or talking to more feminine women about like oh maybe one day dating in the future and it seems really confusing to me how it would go from like friends to dating.
M: But again, I think it’s that, I think it’s typical of me with any relationship.
M: But it feels more like I guess I am more comfortable dating more masculine people and I don’t know why. Like if I’m the one who makes the moves with masculine people, I don’t know why I would have a hard time with feminine people.
L: That makes sense.
M: But (laughs) I don’t know.
L: Well yeah, the stereotype isn’t really there for you,
L: which is the, like it’s easier to date masc folks because they make the first move. Like that’s not really your experience.
L: I mean, it was definitely easier for me to date men, like cis men, because sex seemed quicker
L: and easier and it was more like emotional intimacy got harder. I don’t know. And like I don’t know if I’ll date men again, but that’s definitely not a thing I’m interested in right now.
M: I haven’t dated men in a long time and I still feel like sex is easier.
M: It’s just something. It could be a lot quicker like you said. It’s like, I pretty much know what’s gonna happen here.
M: And with non cis men, I’m like, “Oh, there’s a lot of things, there’s a lot of ways this could go.”
M: There’s a lot of places that might not be comfortable to touch, and of course I know how to communicate better now, but
L: Of course.
M: but in my younger queer days, it was, I’ve noticed now looking back, I dated a lot of women who didn’t want to be touched in areas like boobs and stuff.
L: Uh huh.
M: And I think back then, it was what, only like 10 years ago, or no. Yeah, like 10 or 11 years ago, I don’t think we even had the terms in Los Angeles, where I lived, no one was talking about nonbinary and trans stuff.
M: And I’m wondering now if back, you know, if we would’ve known more about that, if it would have been easier from them, `cause they always felt kind of like, “Oh, I don’t want to be touched.” And then I would take it personally because I’m like, “Why don’t they like me and they don’t want to be touched?”
L: Right. They don’t want me to touch them ’cause they think I’m not gonna do a good job. I mean, the older term for that, before, not before – Obviously, trans people and nonbinary people have been around forever –
L: but like the term in the lesbian community was like stone butch,
L: Which is like a more masculine woman who is like the top, like is the giver not receiver.
L: So like the kind of woman’s who’s like, definitely a woman and uses like she pronouns, but like you don’t touch below her waist
L: kind of thing.
M: See, I hadn’t- I’ve hadn’t heard that term either
L: Studs another word for that, which tends to be more in like communities of color, but not always,
L: for like masculine women who like, yeah, is a giver not a receiver.
M: I think that the jokes that we would have in my little lesbian community back then was that I was a pillow princess
M: and a lot of other femmes
M: were pillow princesses, but I think it was kind of like a deflection onto like, “We’re not gonna talk about why we’re uncomfortable with receiving.”
M: It was more like, “Haha, you guys are pillow princesses.” And I’ve created I think this whole complex about it that still affects me because it’s a fear of rejection because I’ve had a lot of, in my early, in my early queer days (laughs), I had a lot of rejection
M: around like, “Okay, I’m not gonna touch them ’cause I don’t know how,” even though it wasn’t about knowing how. It was just like they weren’t comfortable with it.
L: It was about knowing what they were comfortable with.
M: Yes. And so now even when I date and have sex with people, it’s, I am comfortable being the giver, but it takes me a lot longer.
M: I like to start, and I think it’s also because, another thing with me and boundaries is I’m pretty much like, “I’ll just do whatever the other person wants and I’ll just take it.” And that’s how I will learn about them.
M: And now I’m also like, “Well that’s probably not the healthiest.” So now, again, that’s another reason why dating is hard for me, is like, “Fuck. I have to learn emotional boundaries. I have to learn physical boundaries.” Like I don’t even know what that’s all like, so
L: I will say that like as a person who like, you know, leans more on the submissive side, I am comfortable being the one who’s like, “Can I kiss you?”
L: Because, but I have to have like a thousand signs pointing to yes, you know. I definitely need like, there’s literally no way this person’s gonna say no. (laughs)
L: But I will be the one to ask and I’m comfortable with that and I’m comfortable with like initiating something but I still, I’m very similar in that like, “Well, I don’t know what this person’s into, so if they do stuff to me first, then I’m like, ‘Alright, I know what you’re doing. That’s probably what you want to do too. Now I’m cool. Now I’m in.'”
L: Like sometimes it’s harder for me to start the like the sexual part of things.
L: I don’t know.
L: I’m trying to remember if that was true for me in relationships with men or if it was just like, “This is gonna go, like, in this kind of like pretty basic scripted way, so like I know what role I’m supposed to be playing here.”
L: I don’t know.
M: Yeah. Well, we’ve been all over the place.
L: All over.
M: So if anyone has any other, anything they want us to discuss or comments or questions, we’d love to read about your dating experiences and other areas besides Los Angeles and
M: just how it’s been femme4femme dating for other people. But before we go, this is something again, like we could talk so much about everything, we should do another episode, and one day we’ll have guests joining us again.
L: We promise.
M: But I know Transparent now since it comes out about him, the main person…
M: First of all, they should have used a trans actor
M: and I didn’t even think about that for a long time, which was horrible of me.
M: But also like the whole Me Too stuff that he did, right?
M: With one of the…actresses?
L: Both an actress and someone who worked on the show, yeah.
M: Ugh. And that’s horrible because I loved that show so much and it really, really, watching it, it brought up so much for me, like I became so emotional so many times. And one of the things that, I started thinking about this because I talked about Ali, and her journey through femme and nonbinary was so beautiful to me.
M: And I think it really helped me to bring up some of the anger about why I don’t like femme. But one of the things I watched that made me cry, and I could probably even cry talking about it how, was, she was gonna have sex with someone, and I think the other person was more masculine or nonbinary or trans. I don’t remember for sure. But the other person said, right away, like, “Don’t touch me here. I’m not gonna take off my sports bra.” And Ali was like, “Oh. I didn’t even know like, that’s an option.” You know?
M: And the other person was like, “Oh yeah! If you don’t, you know, if you don’t want to be touched there, like don’t. You can leave this on. We can do whatever.” And Ali had this whole reaction of like, “Wow, I never thought that I had that option.”
M: And it really, it like, it also makes me emotional now
M: because I was like, “How different would sex have been for a lot of my life if I thought that having sex, you owe someone like every part of you.”
M: Versus being like, “Oh, I’m not comfortable being touched here and I’m gonna leave this on.” And I just was like, “Wow.” And it was, she had a lot of gender feels, where she was like, “I want to be high femme this day,” and then the next day was kind of like, you know, “I’ve never fit into this like, feminine box.” So,
M: watching her was, I don’t know, I just loved her journey through all of that.
L: That’s awesome. No, there are a lot of really positive things about that show. Sometimes, as like a person with anxiety, with like a sort of stressful family, the show stresses me out
M: Uh huh. (laughs)
L: (laughs) like in a way that’s too real.
L: But I like it a lot. One of the things I also think that they did like early on like amazingly well was, it’s the only time I’ve seen a portrayal of like real kink,
L: real paid kink.
M: Mmhm. Oh, that was really good.
L: When what’s her face, the sister, (laughs) I don’t remember anyone’s names,
L: when Jiz Lee was on it
L: with Sarah. That was sooo, and like, I used to work in a dungeon, and like that was, I mean the least realistic part is we always had gross guys come in (laughs), not like hot women,
L: but that was such a realistic like, normalizing way to look at both kink, queer kink – It’s not both; I’m gonna say three things – and like consensual sex work
L: that I was just like, “Oh, thank god!”
L: I don’t know. It made me really happy.
M: Yeah, and Ali also has her little kink stuff and Daddy stuff,
L: Okay, I haven’t gotten that far.
M: and that’s another queer kink.
M: So there was a lot of good from the show. I was really upset to find out that that happened on that show and, but also, like they probably can’t keep going from here.
L: They fired him, though, right?
L: Like they’re doing it without him, aren’t they? Or did they just do one- I’m behind
M: I don’t know.
L: on all my shows.
M: I don’t know.
L: Yeah, so coming up. I think Megan and I will have an offline discussion about what we’re gonna do for our next one and then maybe after the next one. So this is episode six,
L: So maybe by episode eight, we’ll try to have a guest on,
L: because we have had interest, and it’s logistical, really more than anything else, because I would love to chat with someone else,
L: so we’ll talk about it.
M: Yes. We plan on it. One day. (laughs) Okay, bye.
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 fanclub 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!
Listen to Episode 6 Here!