Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vows (on keeping the monogamy out of our wedding)

When Danny first found me on OkCupid, the first line of my profile read, “If you are looking for monogamy, I am not your girl.” He, obviously, liked this (and my references to Princess Bride, Doctor Who, and Vonnegut), and sent me a message. I sent him one back, we talked, then met in person at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where, three years later, we were married.

In those three years, I had people ask me on several occasions if we would become monogamous when we “got serious” and decided to get married. Well, no, that isn’t really how it works. We were serious about each other when we moved in together, we were serious about each other when he got offered a job across the country and we moved our lives, and we would still be just as serious about each other if we never decided to get married.

Marriage ≠ monogamy, at least not for us.

Over the course of our relationship, we have definitely hit some non-monogamy speed bumps, but at no time did we even entertain the idea of being monogamous, so when we were planning our wedding, we wanted to make sure there was no hint of, “forsaking all others.” The ceremony had to be authentically us, though not so obvious as to shock the more conservative members of our families.

First, the rings. Danny was adamant that he wanted titanium bands to symbolize our relationship and its extremely strong yet very light nature. We chose matching bands with three inset gemstones—sapphire in the middle, and two green garnets on the sides to represent nature and the colors of our eyes.

The wedding party was made up of people we loved, some of whom we have played with, one of whom is my girlfriend.

We chose two readings for the ceremony: Gibran’s On Marriage, and a Victor Hugo/Walt Whitman mash-up that we created because we could. The Gibran reading was particularly important because it said everything we felt about the nature of couplehood:

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

After this, we both read our statements of love to one another (awwwww!).

Then the vows—very short, very to the point, and very, very us:

Do you promise…

To respect and cherish each other as partners and equals, and to honor each other as individuals?

To laugh together in the good times and comfort each other in times of struggle?

To take the adventurous road in pursuit of one another’s dreams and to delight in what you know of each other and trust what is yet undiscovered?

We did, and we do—and we look forward to many, many years of wedded, non-monogamous bliss.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

You don't need my permission to fuck my husband...

...or talk to him, or have coffee/dinner/drinks with him. You need his permission--period.

Really, that is it. Granted, he and I do have strict rules about STI testing and putting one's dick in crazy, so he isn't exactly waving said dick around hoping it will land in someone, but if the conditions of our relationship are met, and all appropriate consents are in place, he can have sex with whomever he likes. He can also kiss whomever he likes, , play with whomever he likes, and generally spend time with whomever he likes (all three of which are much more likely to happen than actual sex!).

I have written several times about how much it pisses me off when people ask him for permission to do anything to my body (see exhibits A and B), so it would be hypocritical of me to expect permission about his body and/or time to be asked of me.

Do we discuss time we are going to spend with others? Of course. Do we discuss any potential sex or any possible play outside of a party? Absolutely. But the reality is that we do not give each other "permission" in anything but the larger sense.

Do I want basic courtesy from anyone with whom he is involved? Yes, yes I do. They need to know I exist, and they need to be respectful of my time and relationship. But, they are not under any obligation to run anything past me.

He is the one who has to check with me, to make sure I am okay, to see if I have any reservations. He is in this relationship and so owes that to me as the other person in the relationship (as he owes it to anyone else he may be in a serious relationship with).

I generally feel the same way about anyone I am going to play with, though if their partner would like to talk to me first I certainly respect that. My basic feeling is that we are all adults, and I trust if someone is going to play with me they have whatever their version of permission is for said play.

I do tend to thank their partners after the play as a gesture of community and niceness and all-around good feeling, and I like it when someone does the same with me--but, to me, that is not the same as asking for permission. That is acknowledging that another person shared their time and energy (in the form of their lover) with me, and the openness is appreciated.

Friday, July 3, 2015

You had one job!

If you are a county clerk and you disapprove of an 80-year-old man marrying a 20-year-old woman, you have to issue the marriage license. If you disapprove of an Hispanic man marrying an African-American woman, you have to issue the marriage license. If you disapprove of Jane from your neighborhood marrying Joe the asshole from the next town over--you have to issue the marriage license. And yes, if you disapprove of two men or two women getting married--you have to issue the marriage license! Your opinions are not important.

This is not a matter of religious freedom, it is the job you signed up for--put on your big girl (or boy, or somewhere else on the spectrum) panties and deal with it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Feminist as fuck

Yes, that is me--and yes, it should be you.

If you say you are not a feminist you are either saying that you do not believe that females are equal to males, or you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what feminism means. I am guessing, and hoping, that the latter is the case. So--here is a tutorial...

A feminist is: A person, regardless of sex or gender identification, who believes in "social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men." Thank you, dictionary.com.

Pretty simple, right?

Now, I do understand that some people associate the term feminist with butch women who don't shave their armpits and want to castrate all men (and, for the record, I am a fan of butch women who do not shave their armpits--though I do draw the line at castration). Or they equate it with women who spend a lot of time telling other women how to be women (no, you cannot be a housewife, or enjoy submitting to a man, because patriarchy!).

Sure, there are women in the world who hate men, and there are women whose sole mission in life is to bring down the patriarchy by whatever means necessary--and there are women in the world who fight the patriarchy in subtler ways, and women who are pretty damn meh about the whole thing.

The thing is, though, that people are making the mistake of associating any individual, or group of individuals, with a much larger societal concept, and by using such a narrowly defined definition of feminist they are distancing themselves from a movement which is, sadly, still very necessary.

So--in case you are still unsure--here is a little quiz to help you figure out if you are indeed a feminist or not: Are you a feminist?

And, just because he is awesome, Mark Ruffalo on feminism