Public nudity and body positivity

Tonight I went with a friend to the Art Gallery of New South Wales to see Nude Live, a collaboration between Sydney Festival and the Sydney Dance Company. It featured about seven dancers (male and female) totally clothes-free set amongst the Nude: art from the Tate collection exhibit. So not only were the dancers nude, so was all the art. Perfect! Little teaser video below:

To say it was amazing would be doing the show a disservice. The dancers were incredible. The choreography was so beautiful – funny, sad, emotional. There was one piece between a guy and girl where it was like the girl was trying to get the man’s attention and/or affection and he was very listless and unresponsive – it made me think of depression, mental illness or even falling out of love. So many feelings during that piece. My friend actually teared up.

AND to make matters better/worse, there was one session where the audience could go along and get nude. Of course, loving public nudity as much as I do, I was SUPER keen to attend. Jared was a very definite no when I asked him. The first time they advertised it, I couldn’t find anyone to go with and missed out. Then they released two more nude shows. One friend couldn’t afford it so I asked this girl we’ve been on a few dates with and she said yes but, by the time we worked it all out, it was sold out. I nearly cried, I was so upset to miss out again.

Which leads me to today’s point: nudity. Some people are ok with it. Some not. Some are ok in a private setting with someone they’re intimate/comfortable with. Some not even then. And some, like me and a few other people I know, are willing to get their kit off anywhere, anyhow. In fact, with the current heatwave we’re experiencing and me working from home most days, I reckon I’ve spent more time naked than I have clothed… And I couldn’t be happier. Any yes, I do like having pretty adornments (i.e. clothes and shoes) but I’d much rather be naked and I don’t much care who sees (although of course I don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable).

I probably have 3 – 5 other friends that are similarly comfortable naked – although perhaps to varying levels of degrees depending on who’s around. Not to say there’s anything wrong with not wanting to be nude in front of people but it takes a certain level of comfort in your own skin to drop your clothes and be like “ta-da!”. One of our gay friends is always eager to prance around in his undies (or nude). I have one girlfriend that I regularly shower with after we’ve been to the beach or are getting ready to go out. I remember one day when we’d been at the beach and all went back to my shower-friend’s house to get ready. The two of us had a shower together and then my nude-loving gay friend and another female friend hopped in the shower (separately) but then we all sat on the bed nude and chatted and rolled around. My gay friend and I danced around the room – our bits jiggling freely in the breeze (ok, we were inside so there wasn’t a breeze but you get the point).

It was all very innocent and in good fun – not sexual at all, which is what I think a lot of people don’t realise. Nudity doesn’t have to be sexual. Of course, it can be and when it is it’s glorious but the human body isn’t immediately made sexual just by the simple fact it’s nude. The show I saw tonight was a case in point – fantastic but not sexual at all. The dancers had different types of bodies and all of them were beautiful in their own right and they were so comfortable striding around the gallery amongst the fully clothed audience. Goddammit, I’m so devastated to have missed out on nude audience tickets! Aaaargh!!

And you know what, I’m sure there’s a mental health practitioner out there ready to pipe up about there being a fine line between being comfortable with public nudity and being an exhibitionist. And you know what, I’m sure there is. But who cares? How does it hurt anyone? I know people will mumble something about children and consent but why should our bodies be looked at as something to be ashamed of. Naked bodies are normal and, as long as no one’s doing anything indecent/inappropriate, it might actually do people some good to see a normal body ‘in the flesh’ so to speak. 🙂 Which is why I love this shot of the male half of sassycoupleok walking down the driveway to get the mail – in the nude (obviously).  Without a care in the world. If only we all could be so free…

Drive Morning Paper 1a.jpg
Image credit: sassycoupleok (posted with their permission, of course!)

I would be extremely happy for it in this heat – although I suppose I would have to slather myself in a shit tonne of sunscreen everyday. Small price to pay really. 🙂



Big, scary thoughts while reading The Ethical Slut

I started reading The Ethical Slut over the Xmas period. Still going actually. I borrowed it from a friend and it’s literally falling apart in my hands. I’m definitely going to have to buy him a replacement one but that’s neither here nor there really and definitely not what I was planning on making this post about. Me breaking a book apart by accident – there’s a riveting blog post if ever I heard one.

Anyway, I’ve found a lot of The Ethical Slut to be common sense yet other bits have been quite enlightening. I especially like how the authors tell you to give yourself (and your partner) permission to fuck up. You’re entering uncharted territory (for yourself at least) so it’s unrealistic to expect it to work perfectly 100% of the time. You’re both going to make mistakes. You’re both going to unintentionally (I hope) get hurt.

The most important thing is that you talk about what went wrong and get it out in the open. Don’t let it fester. That’s what ruins things. (I’m actually queen of this. It takes me a long time to figure out how to say stuff in my head and, in the meantime, I’m working myself up into a state generally about not all that much.) So long as the mistakes aren’t malicious and they’re not repeated over and over again even after they’re discussed, then anything (I think) is resolvable as long as you’re more sensible than me and actually pipe up. As simple and obvious as this may sound, it felt nice to hear two people experienced in these matters say you should expect things to go south. Just don’t give up and run for the hills.

As I get further and further into the book (less than 100 pages to go, might try and finish it this weekend), the more I think about whether trying to find one person we can ‘share’ is really the right thing to do. The initial purpose of us opening up our relationship was that, as a bisexual woman, I’d never been in a relationship with another woman and I wanted to experience this. At the time, it seemed natural (and yes safer) to explore this together. But is it really a full relationship with a woman when there’s always a man present? Well, not always but you understand what I mean. When we would discuss seeing people separately, the eventual agreement not to seemed, to me, very much based on fear (my own as well).

But now I feel differently. I feel that if we really want to do this, if we really want to say we’re ‘poly’, as we have been, we need to at least seriously consider opening ourselves up seeing people separately. Of course, we would always inform anyone up front what our situation was. In my mind, the goal would be that, if you were going to see this person regularly (we would need to define whether that was twice or however many times), we would always meet the other person that either of us was seeing, even if they didn’t want to sleep with the other partner. We would at least need to all get along so we could hang out socially and they could be part of our social group (if they wanted to be a part of that, I suppose).

I would want Jared to tell me if he had met someone in one of his bars and was going home with them (so I wouldn’t wake up and worry). We would of course tell each other what we were doing and how our relationships were progressing (if they were progressing separately). In my mind, I have already resigned myself to being the person who would be less ‘active’ because I’m naturally less social and don’t gel with as many people as he does. Despite being a raging slut in my single days, I have mellowed hugely and have so far always been the one that wants to put the brakes on thing. I don’t know if this would continue to be the case but it’s what I think would happen, knowing both of us and how we’ve each behaved over the past close to two years. He has been attracted to many, many more people than I have and I would expect that to grow quite a bit if he was left to his own devices without me saying, ‘No, I’m not into her’ all the time and without him having to say to women on Tinder, etc. that we’re a package deal. Although, perhaps I would also have more ‘bites’, if it was just me (at least sexually/romantically/in the beginning). Who knows really?

Me ‘saying this all out loud’ (i.e. typing it on my computer) doesn’t mean I’m not terrified by it. I am. I definitely am. But if I honestly believe that Jared can love me and still pursue other relationships with other women, then why do I feel the need to limit him to only pursuing those relationships when I’m there/involved? And even though The Ethical Slut doesn’t necessarily agree with me (it says the agreements or rules you make are totally up to what each person is comfortable with, i.e. you make your own ‘poly’), it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t want to be ruled by the fear of ‘what if’. I want to trust that our relationship is about more than just who we fuck and that just because we fuck, like or eventually love other people, doesn’t mean we love each other any less.

And yes, if we went ahead with it and Jared went home with women and on dates, etc., I would expect to have moments when I felt felt jealous and miserable. But I would hope that I’d remember what I read and know that I need to look for the real reason I’m feeling that way. Am I feeling left out? Do I feel like I’m losing him? And then, once I know what’s going on, to then ask for what I need. Perhaps a date night with just the two of us or some attention and reassurance that he does still love and want me. Even after nearly 11 years, I can’t expect him to read my mind and anticipate my feelings (surely someone’s working on a mind reading app though, right?).

God, as I write this I’m actually wondering if I’m fucking crazy. Why would I want to do this to my relationship? The flip side is that obviously I get to see other people as well but is that really what I want? I suppose I do but, more than that, I want to be true to the lifestyle that we’ve subscribed to. I want us to give ourselves the chance to experience the richness of life that I believe comes from having multiple partners and a network of people all intimately connected whether directly or indirectly. A big, weird family, of sorts. And yes, of course there are going to be some fucks up – some major, some minor – and I’m sure there will be many, many tears and arguments and times when I’ll think back on this post and hate myself for even considering such a thing. But then again… what if?

Who knows if this will happen? I’m actually quite scared to date on my own. Having him there means we can share the conversation load. I don’t have to worry about filling in all the silences because he loves to talk. But, that being said, it’s definitely a little seed that’s taken hold in my brain and I’m kind of hoping it flowers.

New Year nerves (and just general nerves as well)

I haven’t slept well the past two nights – for two reasons, I think.

  1. I’m getting a tattoo today; my biggest one so far (could take up to four hours I’m told). So that’s been freaking me out a bit even though she says we can just do the outline and do the colouring in another time. Still, my brain has taken this opportunity to throw me some of the weirdest dreams and just generally freak me out
  2. My husband and me both wanted to do different things for New Year. I was ok with us to separating and each doing what we want to do but he didn’t want to do that so we compromised. As it stands, we’re spending NYE and NYD down south with an eclectic bunch of randoms and a few people we know (his plan) then back coming up and spending 2 Jan  – 7 Jan on the Northern Beaches with some of our friends (my plan). The problem here is that I hate being in big groups where I only know a few people plus there’s one person I really don’t want to be around, which is making me super anxious. It’s only two nights but I’m really, really, really not looking forward to it.

So yeah, my nerves are stretched pretty taut at the moment. I don’t want to use the word ‘panic’ but whatever this is feels pretty fucking awful. To top that off, I feel like I got eaten alive by mosquitoes last night. Either that or I was just dreaming that I was. If it was real, I suppose that makes three things that kept me up last night. Fun times.

I think once I get this tattoo over and done with (appointment is at 10am – it’s 8.50am now so I’ll need to leave soon), I’ll be in a better place to judge how I’m really feeling. But I know I’m not going to be excited about this first part of our NY’s plans. It’s just not a situation I ever enjoy without getting myself super drunk and/or high. I know everyone says NY is a massive shit show but I’ve been lucky enough to have some fun NYs over the past few years. This is the first one in a while that I’m not sure about and definitely the first one in ages where I’m downright anxious. We’ll see… I know it’s just another day of the year.

And now, to make things that little bit more interesting, public transport (mainly a bus in this case, although I suppose a train could also do me in) has failed me so now I get to add not quite running late but definitely cutting it fine to my list of worries. I wanted to have time to find something to eat (we have nothing at home) but that’ll definitely need to be done on the run now. Fuuuuuuuck these next few days but Happy New Year to everyone else! 😉

A whole month, they say

WordPress tells me it’s been a month since my last post and my only excuse is: I’ve been busy. Busy with my new job. Busy with uni. Busy with life getting away from me and/or getting in the way. I suppose if nothing was happening I wouldn’t have anything to write about so perhaps it’s good to have a lot going on. Still, not having anything to write about looks exactly the same as not writing anything so go figure. I need to make time for these things, I suppose.

Ok, so… we’ve had a few contenders roll in and out of play over the last month. There’s a chick we know who we’ve slept with a few times (twice, I think) but I don’t see that going any further, to be honest. Although she is very nice and does seem to enjoy having sex with us. We had a date with another girl (a primary school teacher that I matched with on Tinder) but we didn’t really connect with her. There was another Tinder match of mine who we were meant to meet end November but had to cancel at the last minute (can’t remember why) and only recently got back to her to reschedule. Unsurprisingly, she hasn’t responded as yet.

And, finally, Jared matched with a chick on Happn (if that’s the right terminology for that app, I’m not sure, I don’t have it). We met her on Saturday and the banter was good. She was very talkative (Jared thinks she was just nervous but I think she’s quite chatty normally but probably even more so due to nerves). Regardless, it went well. We have similar lifestyles and interests (she likes swingers clubs, maybe she can help convince Jared to go to one with me by making him feel like the prude of the group ;)). I’m guessing we’ll tee up another date at some point as we all agreed we clicked so I suppose it’ll just come down to when everyone’s available.

Separate from all the dating activity, it’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster in other ways. I’ve decided on two things:

  1. I’ve found it hard to be ok with what I perceive as Jared’s prioritisation of our poly dates over our own dates. I’ve always maintained that our relationship needs to be strong and I need to feel connected before I can commit to looking for a third person and, when I feel like we hardly see each other, I, perhaps selfishly, don’t want to give up any of that time to meet someone new. When we find someone who becomes a more permanent fixture that will of course change but for now we’re just going on first dates and, in my mind, that can wait.
  2. I’ve decided that I can no longer participate in any threesomes or group sex activities while drunk or high. Tipsy, fine, but not wasted in any sense of the word. I can’t remember things, I can’t really understand the gravity of what I’m agreeing to and I can’t, in good conscience, make the best decision for my own mental health while under the influence. Yes, it might take some of the ‘fun’ and ‘spontaneity’ out of things but too bad. It’s something that makes me feel out of control and I always find myself regretting something so I’d rather not put myself in that situation anymore. Also, I feel I should state that I don’t need to be drunk or high when doing these things, it’s just that, to date, that’s when it all occurs; usually spontaneously when we’re out on weekends and everyone comes back to our place. Also, it will help me feel more invested in the people we’re seeing. Usually, Jared’s the only person pursuing anyone in these settings as I’m generally not that interested in sex when drunk/high. This has lead to me feeling like who we see has been decided exclusively by him and is no longer about “us” anymore. Of course, he asks me beforehand but, as I said, I don’t think I can make the right decision for myself in that state.

Personally, I don’t think these are such drastic changes. Yes, they will change how we interact with people but I think it will be for the better. We will feel more connected. The sex will be better. Everyone will feel better about what happened afterwards. There will be less regret, less embarrassment. I don’t know if there’s all that much of this going on for Jared or these other women but I know I would be a much better participant if I was clear headed (or at least more clear headed ;)).

So there you have it. The developments over the last month. I will try to write more often, if anyone cares to read them. Just got to get back into the habit, I suppose!

I prefer the company of men

Ever since I hit my teens, I’ve found that I’ve gotten along better with guys than girls. I’m not talking sexually here (although I’ve had more experience with there them too) but purely on a friendship basis. I hung out with the boys a lot in school. I was a bit of a tomboy and a smart arse so I enjoyed the banter that existed in the groups of boys on the playground. My best friend in high school was a guy. As an adult, one of my oldest and best friends is a guy (he was also maid of honour at my wedding) and I generally get along better with and enjoy the (platonic) company of men more than women.

Jared often says I should have more female friends or develop closer female relationships but I’m not sure I agree. I do have close friendships with women – I have a few women that I would consider very close to me and I have other female friendships that are maybe not so close but that also exist on a one-on-one basis (as someone that considers themselves an introvert, one on one friendships are the most valuable to me). But overall, I click more easily with guys. It’s the easy going, constantly-giving-one-another-shit nature, the lack of drama, the ‘got your back-ness’ of the mateship you see between men that appeals to me.

Or perhaps this says more about the types of friendships I’ve had with women. Lord knows I’ve known a lot of unstable women yet I’m sure there are just as many men cutting around who are shit friends. The thing is I know there are rock solid female friendships out there, I even have a few of my own but they exist as anomalies for me. I feel that the women that are close to me are that close because they’re not your typical women (or not what I consider typical for a female friendship). That’s why we get along so well. I’m not a girly girl and I find I have very little in common with the types of girls that are.

But it’s not even so much the friendship, it’s the company. If I’m in a room and there’s a group of girls and a group of guys, I’m going to gravitate to the guys, even if it gets me dirty looks from the women’s side of the room. A girls’ night out would have to be one of my worst nightmares. I think a lot of people are deeply suspicious of this kind of transgression of the perceived ‘friendship gender divide’. I’m sure many people have suspected me of being more than friends with many of my guy friends because, deep down, we think women should be friends with women and men with men. Why are they so damn close if they’re not fucking or working up to it (or at least one of them is)? We don’t think men and women can be friends without sex entering the picture at some point. Full disclosure, I did sleep with my high school best friend but frankly I just went along with it because to turn him down would’ve been too much trouble and doing it didn’t bother me that much.

For me, I take friendship as it comes. If I click with someone, I click with them and it doesn’t matter what gender they are. I’m fully aware that I’m a prickly enough person, a “tough nut” as a few of my bridal party mentioned in their speeches at our wedding, to not hit it off with all that many people so, when I do, I take notice. To be able to say I have super close friendships, to my mind, is the most important thing and it doesn’t matter to me whether they’re guys or girls. It matters that they’re real friends; the type of friends I can rely on to make me feel better after a shit day or have deep and pointless conversations with about everything and nothing. And if it’s a guy that’s on the other end of that text message instead of a girl, well so be it. I’m more than ok with it.

More on the “company” promised in the last post

So in my last post I mentioned that we had some “company” during our honeymoon. That company was Marie who we’ve been off and on trying to seduce for over a year now. We’d had some success but, in the end, the kibosh was put on it all because she was the ex of one of Jared’s bartenders and she didn’t want to make it weird. However, he no longer works for Jared (and it was ages ago) so when we asked her on a date, about a week before the wedding, she accepted and we had a very lovely yet very innocent dinner. At the end of the night, we made plans to catch up when we were back from the wedding.

After the nuptials, we had a few nights booked in an Airbnb on the Northern beaches of Sydney. This place had all the essentials: pool, epic bath tub, lots of tanning space, good kitchen. We suntanned, cooked every night and drank wine, had lots of baths and read our books. It was glorious. And it only got better when Marie agreed to come up and visit us on our last day. We drank mimosas in the sun until it clouded over. Jared made us lunch and we had an impromptu bikini-clad to topless photo shoot (well, all topless for me considering I never wear a bikini top) on this weird psychedelic My Little Pony-esque papier-mache sculpture the guy had in the house. I’m not even kidding you – that is an honest to god factual description of this thing.

Then we ventured upstairs and Marie and I hopped in the bath. Marie is going through a self proclaimed “70s phase” so she was sporting the first full bush I have seen in a looooooong time. Not to say it was bad, it was just very novel. It wasn’t long before Jared climbed in (after a random burping contest between Jared and Marie for which we found no clear winner because we all got ‘distracted’) and then we all rolled into bed. I will say that she is very skilled with her tongue. She made me come in record time. And watching her and Jared together and Jared and me and all of us entwined as always is a hugely erotic experience.

I think we were all a little star struck with one another because it was such a long time in the making. We played around in bed until dinner time (Jared cooked again – what a good husband he’s turning out to be) and then had icy poles and got back into bed again and played around some more. She stayed over (probably because we were so far away from her home) but slept in a different room because she has insomnia and couldn’t take her usual medication because she’d been drinking. In the morning, Jared made us french toast and we all drove home.

We’re in the process of making plans to see her again but in the meantime we’re still chatting to a few people on Tinder, Bumble, etc.

On a separate note: I’m conscious that my sex writing has dropped off somewhat (read: a lot) and I definitely didn’t do this story justice. I’m going to do my best to get back to writing less self consciously about this, both for my fiction and non-fiction. Work in progress over here, folks! I’ll get better, I promise.

Confession: I’m not a jealous wife but I am a jealous friend

I’m going to admit to something pretty ridiculous now, something that makes absolutely zero fucking sense when you consider that I call myself polyamorous. Are you ready for it? Here it goes:

I’m scared that if my really good friends meet my other really good friends, they’ll all become friends and won’t be my friends anymore.

How fucked up is this?

I’m fine sharing my boyfriend (who is now my husband) with other women (and men, if he was into it – damn him and his straightness!) with no (ok, very little real fear) that I’ll lose him but my friends… nope, they can’t possibly like me and all those other people as well. They only have so much capacity for friendship and, despite knowing and loving me for however many years, they’re going to drop me because these new people have come along and are so much more fun. Or they’re all going to become better friends. Or they’re going to do stuff without me and I’ll feel left out.

I’m not jealous at all when my husband flirts with and fucks other women but I’m insanely jealous and insecure when one of my best friends hits it off with my other friends. My wedding was an actual nightmare for this. While I was super happy everyone got along and loved one another and exclaimed about how awesome our friends were, a tiny, mean part of me was busy ruining everything by telling me that my friends wouldn’t like me as much after this. I feel horrible and stupid and so unbelievably, unhealthily insecure. I have such weird issues with friendship despite having many super close, long term friends whose friendship I have absolutely no reason to doubt.

This is definitely something I’m going to raise with my therapist, although sadly I’m not seeing her until the first week of December (might have to move that forward). It’s had me in a kind of mild panic/worried state for the past two weeks and shows no signs of abating, especially considering some of them went out last night while we were on our mini-moon. Part of me was filled with FOMO and desperate to return so that I wasn’t left out but we had “company” (more on that later) so it wasn’t really a viable option. I was at least somewhat appeased by the fact that they all messaged us and asked us to come back and party with them so at least I didn’t feel excluded, even if I couldn’t join in.

So yeah, we all have our shit to deal with, right? It’s just that some of us have real problems and some of us make up stupid shit like this to stress ourselves out with. You can guess which category I fall into (*whispers* the second one).