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  #21  
Old 01-08-2010, 05:47 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
This is exactly the kind of response that is making me want to leave. Someone says they feel that X is happening and instead of saying "hey lets figure this out" the immediate response (and Ceioli, I see this often from you) is: That's YOUR interpretation. Provide me with proof of what you think is happening.
I'm not asking for proof, I'm asking for actual examples so that they can be addressed and figured out. It's very difficult to get to the bottom of things if all we're doing is working with people's interpretation of the words rather than the actual words themselves. But you seem to have decided to view everything I say through a confrontational lens and you certainly aren't the only person who feels that. There ain't much I can do about that.

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That's not conducive to understanding. It's a challenge. It's "prove to me that you deserve to feel the way you feel".
Again, no. It's asking a person to be clear about what they are having a problem with so that it can be addressed.

But I'll be honest here, on more than one occasion, you have been known to seriously overreact to things said in various threads in which the statements were not referring to you yet you still took great personal offense as if they were referring directly to you. I think it's more reasonable to ask for clarity about what exactly is offending than to walk on eggshells around unknown triggers.


As for the examples:

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From discussions where it is insisted that relationships where sex is prevalent cannot be considered polyamorous (sexless is fine and dandy)
No one ever said that relationships where sex is prevalent cannot be considered polyamorous. That's a complete distortion of anything anyone has said.
People in that particular thread had been looking to disassociate with the label of polyamory because of the sexual practices of others who share that label. The discussion came from addressing that issue. And in this particular post, she specifically mentioned that her comments came from what she had seen in that particular thread and others on the forum. Even if people felt accused by that statement, perhaps asking her to come up with the specific examples in which she saw that sex negativity would have helped to further the discussion and cleared up any issues of whether or not she was accusing people and whether or not what she said was fair and appropriate. I'm pretty sure Raven wouldn't have been offended to be asked that. Redpepper does a great job of that when issues like that arise, and she did a great job of it in that thread.

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And this:
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A prejudicial view of polyamory which houses a prejudiced view of sex. Sex = negative unless it be purified by the cleansing waters of love. Because love (what is love again? Someone bring me a definition ) is the reason having sex would not be some dirty rank thing. Sex-negative.
No one has said sex without love is "dirty" or "rank" .. just that it's not poly.
Hmm...well, first of all, she challenged a statement that I made. Second it was directed at an idea, not a person. She was speaking to the idea of the need to completely separate sex from poly as mutually exclusive in order to lend it legitimacy in society. It seemed to be more of a comment on society than specific posters on this thread. But again, if you felt an accusation in this, why not ask for her to be more specific about what she was saying rather than assume that she was lambasting particular members of this forum directly or indirectly?


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The accusation of being "sex negative" simply because one sees a difference between casual sex and committed sex is offensive and hurtful. And quite honestly I don't need the heartache of dealing with people who throw out accusations of bias or prejudice or bigotry just because someone disagrees with them.
I'm sorry that you feel offended or hurt by that. However, discussing and challenging views on how sex-positivity and sex-negativity manifest within a poly culture is not the same as specifically accusing people who are poly in a certain way as being sex negative. Just the same as disagreeing with a post and writing another post to spell out why one may disagree isn't telling the other poster what to think or ask. You might benefit from just blocking me because it seems any time I'm going to disagree with you, you're going to be offended by it.
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  #22  
Old 01-09-2010, 03:03 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Sex positive and sex negative labeling of people should be limited to people labeling themselves..

Actually ANY labeling of a person should be limited to them labeling themself.
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2010, 03:51 AM
constlady constlady is offline
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It's very difficult to get to the bottom of things if all we're doing is working with people's interpretation of the words rather than the actual words themselves.
I'm having trouble with this concept. All communication is about interpretation and all of us bring our own filters to every communication we engage in. Words in and of themselves have no meaning, other than what those who use them give to them. A basic agreement as to what words mean allows us to communicate on at least the most rudimentary level but the less concrete the word itself is, the greater the chances for multiple interpretations of it.

That is basically the root of the issue that has produced the various discussions of late: individual interpretations of a word that we all share as one of our self-defined labels.

When I'm told by someone with whom I communicate that my interpretation of the words being used isn't the same as theirs, I try to reframe my communication to meet them as best I can or we no longer have a conversation, we have a monologue.
Expecting another to automatically adapt to my frame of reference is disrespectful at worst and unproductive at best.

To engage in satisfying discussions, that needs to be a two way street.

When the communication is occuring with someone for whom there are deeply connected feelings, it's much easier to acknowledge our different frames of reference and to take great care that we both express ourselves as clearly as possible and attempt to explain what our words mean to us since there is much on the line. We don't expect the other to change their interpretations, but to try to understand and accept the differences so we can reach a mutually beneficial discourse.

Extending a similar process to all communications would benefit many a discussion.

Last edited by constlady; 01-09-2010 at 03:52 AM. Reason: typo
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2010, 04:11 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Sex positive and sex negative labeling of people should be limited to people labeling themselves..

Actually ANY labeling of a person should be limited to them labeling themself.
Nobody was labeling anybody as sex positive or sex negative. However there are certainly ideas which can be considered sex positive and sex negative and all of us would benefit from discussions on such things.
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  #25  
Old 01-09-2010, 04:13 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by constlady View Post
When I'm told by someone with whom I communicate that my interpretation of the words being used isn't the same as theirs, I try to reframe my communication to meet them as best I can or we no longer have a conversation, we have a monologue.
Expecting another to automatically adapt to my frame of reference is disrespectful at worst and unproductive at best.
Asking for a person to be more specific in what they are referring to in a discussion is not expecting them to automatically adapt their frame of reference.

I find it interesting that these issues of communication most often come up when one person says something that another person doesn't want to hear.
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  #26  
Old 01-09-2010, 07:31 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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So to get back to sex...

I don't know which way I would fall if I were to identify. So I choose not to at this point. I understand sex positive to mean that expressing ones sexuality is good for everyone and healthy. I understand sex negative to mean that not all porn stars are lovin' the life, that people are exploited because of the pervasive view that our modern sex culture is geared towards male fantasy.

I think that there has been a lot of sex positive stuff out there that has contributed greatly to sex being acceptable to talk about, teach and to practice more freely. Authors such as Carol Queen come to mind.

Sex positive feminists come to mind also such as Susie Bright. She rocks! There is also the fact that sex positive beliefs have made natural child birth and breastfeeding to transgenderism more tolerable in the mainstream and continue to be more so. There is a debate about what sex positive really is amongst feminists that both authors and others examine.

There is some stuff that worries me also such as the development of "raunch culture" or "slut culture." This is where I tend to identify with sex negative. Some sex negative definitions seem very Victorian and old school in terms of sexual expression but some of the beliefs really jive with me. Sex can empower women for sure, but also disempower them. In "raunch culture," women are more objectified and oppressed because the sexuality of women is geared more toward male fantasy than around what female sexual energy and power is... in this way women are not more liberated, rather they are more free to shake their booty for men to see and take advantage of. That to me isn't liberation and we preach this attitude to young girls in advertising, magazines EVERYWHERE in the media and sometimes in their own home and friend environments. Hugh Hefner would not agree with me or sex negative feminists on this one!

It was the definition or "raunch culture" and sex negative attitudes in this way that made me decide not to swing anymore. It went against my kind of feminism. I felt used and ashamed of myself for allowing myself to believe that I had been empowered. I realize that I was in a situation whereby I was not empowered as a woman and that is not every swinging situation... just to clarify, but it had been my experience. It has also been my reading of "raunch culture" that has made me feel a need to be more dominant in my BDSM life. I think I have a need to bring back to myself what I have lost... also to choose a more polyfi relationship with my men and to accept the bounds of that in terms of allowing good men to remind me to remember that my body is sacred and a gift. Not that they own it, but that I should choose carefully who I show it to and share it with. It is precious and should not be shared with everyone, but of whom I choose and for ME as much as them...

I try to remember all this when deciding which events to go to, what situations to be in, who I spend my intimate time with and how I behave in sexually charged social situations and with my loves. I have a very high standard of relationship now, not because I am sex negative or sex positive identified, but because a culmination of the two means they cancel each other out somehow for me. The definitions of them mix together for me. I have taken what I need from each understanding of both.
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  #27  
Old 01-09-2010, 03:59 PM
constlady constlady is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
Asking for a person to be more specific in what they are referring to in a discussion is not expecting them to automatically adapt their frame of reference.
But after the specifics have been given, to be told their interpretation of the words is the problem is expecting them to adapt and that was the point that I was trying to make.

The post I quoted was one where a couple of other posts had been presented as specific examples of the topic after the request was made for them; the response wasn't to engage in a discussion about the examples but to state that the words had been mis-interpreted.

It feels a bit like running in a circle to have these kinds of discussions.

"I feel X when someone says Y"
"Show me examples when someone said Y"
"Here are some examples when I felt X when someone said Y"
"Y was not said, that was just your interpretation of the words"

A more productive discussion might change the last response to something like, "Oh, I don't interpret Y in that way, I interpret it in this way. How do you interpret Y? OP, how did you intend to use Y?" which allows for everyone involved to feel heard and tends to encourage further discussion on the original topic, rather than discourage it.

And I personally find the prevalence of communication problems to occur less when hearing what I don't want to hear and more when I'm not feeling heard in return.


Now back to the sex again

redpepper, you've stated very eloquently your journey to discovering and claiming your sexuality for yourself - thank you!

Much of what you said resonates with me, though I've had a much more simplified way of expressing it.

I've often said my sexuality feels like a double-edged sword at times.
Balancing healthy and empowering sexual encounters against the ones that don't feel so good and figuring out how to ensure that they are all healthy ones has been a process for me as well.

That sort of journey is a very individual thing and not one that easily lends itself to generalizations or even common paths.
Perhaps that's one of the reasons that the concepts of sex positive and sex negative can be so tricky to define.
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  #28  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:08 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by constlady View Post
But after the specifics have been given, to be told their interpretation of the words is the problem is expecting them to adapt and that was the point that I was trying to make.

The post I quoted was one where a couple of other posts had been presented as specific examples of the topic after the request was made for them; the response wasn't to engage in a discussion about the examples but to state that the words had been mis-interpreted.

It feels a bit like running in a circle to have these kinds of discussions.

"I feel X when someone says Y"
"Show me examples when someone said Y"
"Here are some examples when I felt X when someone said Y"
"Y was not said, that was just your interpretation of the words"
By that reasoning, anyone not only has the right to be offended by something that was said, but has the right to expect everything to be worded only the way they want it to be worded.

The fact is, everyone has the right to be offended, but that does not give a person the right to expect everyone else to edit themselves around them.


Quote:
A more productive discussion might change the last response to something like, "Oh, I don't interpret Y in that way, I interpret it in this way. How do you interpret Y? OP, how did you intend to use Y?" which allows for everyone involved to feel heard and tends to encourage further discussion on the original topic, rather than discourage it.
Funny but I felt that that's what I did. But funnily enough, I wasn't really being heard, but interpreted as being hostile. Anyway, I now get the sense that there wasn't much good faith to start that kind of a discussion with this thread, but rather to be validated in your feelings of offense. Either way, I certainly see that we'll get nowhere with it with such expectations in place. And I'm sure you'll put that as being all my fault.
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  #29  
Old 01-09-2010, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
We (both of us) feel that sexuality should be as much of a non-issue as choice in food ! Period.
Wow, GS, I'm surprised you forgot about the tensions between, say, ethically motivated vegetarians and the more omnivorous among us! And then there are the environmentalists who insist that, e.g., we should not be eating shrimp -- because most of it comes from "fish farming" practices which are extremely destructive to endangered mangrove forests.

"http://www.mangroveactionproject.org/get-involved/pledge-to-avoid-imported-shrimp/pledge-to-avoid-imported-shrimp"
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2010, 12:06 AM
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crisare crisare is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
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A more productive discussion might change the last response to something like, "Oh, I don't interpret Y in that way, I interpret it in this way. How do you interpret Y? OP, how did you intend to use Y?" which allows for everyone involved to feel heard and tends to encourage further discussion on the original topic, rather than discourage it.
Funny but I felt that that's what I did. But funnily enough, I wasn't really being heard, but interpreted as being hostile.
Isn't this interesting. Because when I used almost that EXACT terminology with dakid over the definition of a lover vs. a fuckbuddy, you jumped all over me for expecting people to adhere to my definitions.

I specifically said to her "I would call what you described a lover. How do you define a lover then?" and I got raked over the coals for making someone define things on my terms.

So .. I see a huge level of hypocrisy in what you say in threads like this Ceoli.

You say I should block you because I am going to get offended just because you disagree with me. I don't necessarily disagree with many of your points and I don't care that you disagree with me. If we all thought alike, the world would be boring. However, I find your attitude on the board to be boarderline bullying of those who disagree with you, which is what I find offensive. I find that you use your psychological training and ability with words to back people into corners, then you follow that up with saying you are a victim of tactics you yourself use on others.

Finally:
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I'm sorry that you feel offended or hurt by that.
"I'm sorry that you feel ... " is a lame cop-out apology. It's a passive-aggressive way of denying responsibility for your own words. If you're sorry you offended me, then say so. If you're not sorry, then don't "apologize" to me for my own feelings. We are all entitled to our feelings and opinions and don't need someone else to apologize on our behalves.

Last edited by crisare; 01-10-2010 at 12:10 AM.
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