The journey to myself

Tinwen

Active member
I like the mutuality of my love with Idealist. I know it is safe to reach out and I will hardly ever be rejected. And I will hardly ever reject him. Sure, there won't be always time to meet, but it is safe to express how much I miss him, and I know I can ask to call - he will as soon as possible, and he will be happy to. Even if it's often 2-3 times a day. Sometimes we would say goodbye on the phone, and then nobody wants to hand up, so we just have a laugh and admit that we don't want to end the call. We kind of read off and follow each others moods very often, even if separated. We do get tired of each other sometimes, but even that is mostly mutual. It's actually funny.
I don't think I had this level of emotional understanding in any of my previous relationship.
 

Spork

New member
Feeling absurd.
Men on kinky dating sites just so often want to discuss sex so early, like... imediatelly. I mean, I get the purpose of knowing overall kink compatibility before getting involved, but - I don't want to tell my preferences, let alone details, to someone whom I haven't even met, isn't it obvious?
I so often I get the feeling that men are there to discuss sexual details, and not to get know people.
Sigh.

I don't necessarily mind this, but...yes and no.

I like to talk about these details. I like having these conversations. I do not want to be random "wank fodder" for some random dude I don't even know. If I wanted to do that, I'd post porn of myself and save myself considerable time, now wouldn't I?

On the other hand, I have a friend I am very, very fond of, who has been flirting super outrageously with me for a while, and I actually don't think I want to have sex with him because my gut instincts are just saying, "no new partners" right now. No better explanation than that. I'm pretty saturated. So I like having the very naughty talk we have sometimes, but I hope it's JUST "wank fodder" for him or amusement for an otherwise boring day or whatever...because actually, while I dig him a lot, I...hope I don't actually have to REJECT him. *sigh* Shit is complicated you know?
 

Tinwen

Active member
Thou shalt not discuss difficult relationship topics with me while I'm trying to get something done fast. Sigh.
 
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Tinwen

Active member
I don't necessarily mind this, but...yes and no.

I like to talk about these details. I like having these conversations. I do not want to be random "wank fodder" for some random dude I don't even know. If I wanted to do that, I'd post porn of myself and save myself considerable time, now wouldn't I?
Exactly, I don't want someone who's not even seen me in person make up fantasies about me.

At what point do you get comfortable talking about details? I really don't like talking about the details. Like, even in an established relationship it might be easier to do some things then talk about them; and I have problems if I'm asked about my own fantasies or if I would like something new or not.
I have no problems sharing that I love shibari, that I'm a masochist (sometimes) and do spanking too. Those are things i do even publicly. It's more complicated to talk about the DS stuff, but I can do that too with someone I might be interested in. I think this should be enough for a general idea. I simply don't get why would anyone reasonable ask me, like, about my pubic hair.

Shit is complicated you know?
I know ;)
 

Spork

New member
Exactly, I don't want someone who's not even seen me in person make up fantasies about me.

At what point do you get comfortable talking about details? I really don't like talking about the details. Like, even in an established relationship it might be easier to do some things then talk about them; and I have problems if I'm asked about my own fantasies or if I would like something new or not.
I have no problems sharing that I love shibari, that I'm a masochist (sometimes) and do spanking too. Those are things i do even publicly. It's more complicated to talk about the DS stuff, but I can do that too with someone I might be interested in. I think this should be enough for a general idea. I simply don't get why would anyone reasonable ask me, like, about my pubic hair.


I know ;)

LOL! Yeah...well, you know I'm not terribly shy and I'm kind of an open book. So if it's online/in text...I don't mind discussing such things with a man if I'm interested and I think sex might happen at some point. I've been known to really show all of my cards in fairly early stages, if I feel "likely" about somebody.

To be really honest...my friend that I flirt with, some days I think I would have sex with him. Some days I think it would be an awful idea. But even on those days, it's not because I lack interest or am not tempted...it's because I have a gut instinct that is telling me "you should keep this friendship safe and drama free" mostly. And he's got a very damn good idea of how I like my sex, right down to some serious details, and vice versa. But we don't talk about...lol...hair. He's seen me nude, I've bottomed for fire with him topping before.

What IS awkward, as in, INTENSELY awkward, for me is speaking about these things out loud. Especially to my partners. Fire just loves to make me talk about my fantasies to her, she likes to watch me squirm I think. It's a form of play almost, nudging my psychological boundaries.
 

Tinwen

Active member
FWB and boundaries

So yesterday a friend from another city came overnight. We got sexual, so I might as well give him a nickname ;) ... except I don't want to.
I hope this friend won't mind too much that I write it out here, if he ever finds this forum.

Anyway, my friend and his gf have recently opened their relationship. I was a little surprised when he expressed some erotic interest in me the last time he was here. I kind of put the breaks on. We had a discussion about expectations (preferably none from his side) and we ended with some petting.

I have a hard time deciding if I want intimacy to happen with someone, and navigating the waters. I only had intercourse with two partners in my whole life. There seem to be all those questions attached... Does being sexual now mean we have "a"/a different relationship now? Will I get attached? Will I get too vulnerable? Will he have expectations from me? What can I expect from him? How and when do I communicate boundaries? How close is too close? What if I want touch, but don't really want to go far? Which activities do I leave out because I could contract a disease?
Actually I would like to sleep with men, but in my mind all of those are landmines I can stumble upon.

Above that, I had a hard time deciding if I want anything to happen with this friend or not. I know he's kinky and I am/was curious. I don't have that kind of attraction that would go like "mm, this man is sexy" or even make me crave contact. I don't get that often. However it was nice to dance with him. And I'm curious. But it's a long term friendship, what if I spoil it... you know what I mean?
So yesterday... I was ready to tell him that there would be no continuation. I knew it might be a little hard because of the time of my cycle (and because Idealist is out of town, so I am hungry for touch), but I wanted to keep my life simple. So I did tell him that I didn't want to get sexual, AAAND it was a little weird. And then we had a several hours long metaphysical discussion, not only about relationships. And then it was 4am and we touched each other to finally say good night, and... the touch felt nice and I let myself go with the flow. The only boundary I kept was no intercourse... I'm not ready for that at all.

I feel fine about the encounter... I guess. It had some energy to it. I know the point when I decided to "allow" it happen.
I am observing the ensuing feelings of attachment. When I was saying goodbye to my friend in the morning, he seemed more physically attractive to me then the day before. Almost like he had a little golden cloud around him... but I'm not going to get caught into that. I've also got some fear, but overall, I'm more then ok.

I would like to get better with the initial stages. How the hack do people sort out expectations without the situation getting all weird? Like it's not quite comfortable to say "wait wait, your touching me, do you intend to make this sex? If so, I'd like to tell you I don't do intercourse, I may need emotional aftercare and I do/don't want this to become a romantic relationship... " ;)
Do you overthink intimacy like I do, or do you just let it happen?
 
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Tinwen

Active member
A question about motivation and productivity at work

Long. Those who don't want to read the blog part can skip towards the end...

So, I'm anxious and mildly depressed this week. Last week has been hard, because Idealist was gone and I missed him (I didn't feel the need to break up just because of that ... yai, progress!), yet this seems more like a part of some weird mood cycle. I'm getting those minor depressions, where I go without being able to savour joy for a few days to a few weeks, going from jittery and anxious to siply hurting and numb, for at least the last six years. I do get somewhat better at managing depression; but it's a Hydra impossible to slay.

Anyway, as so many times before, my ability to work went down the drain. Come to work late, just sit there, procrastinate on the internet... I usually have a problem to spend my work hours productivelly (If I manage more then 4 hours of real concentration than that's been like an extremely good day), but today... I arranged 4 equations into the article I am supposed to be writing. Oh great. (I wrote much more text on this forum - that's so much easier!)
No, I've worked fulltime only a few months starting march, but I've certainly had this during my studies. Actually it was worse, because now 1) I am expected to be there, although I am free to decide on my own hours, 2) I have a co-worker I can talk to a little so I'm not alone all day and 3) I am not nearly under as much stress as I have been. (yet?)

I'm a theoretical physicist. I'm supposed to be the tough one when it comes to thinking ;) I'm supposed to be independent and creative and endlessly curious. I'm not supposed to have concentration problems or shy away from difficulties as I do at times.

I kind of have the big picture, the big long term motivation. If I didn't, I would have never gotten this far. I apreciate the beauty of mathematics. I've always had that dream that one day I will discover something. I do think an accademic job with both it's freedoms and duties may be suited for me. (Or at least for the still dominating exact part of me.)
And I am really greatful that I got this job. The departenment where I will be doing my phd offered me a contract for the time until my phd funding starts. I was kind of "forced" to change the subject due to those financial considerations, but I got excited about what I do now pretty quickly. It's closer to application. I certainly don't regret, and I've already done the work my advisor asked me to so that we will be able to write a paper now. I'm supposed to write the draft on my own, yai! Except, I'm doing bullshit istead... which of course brings more fear of failure... and shame...

So I think my problem doesn't lie in the fact that I would be doing the wrong thing. Pretty excited about my work, right now at least. There are days when I am really eager, "want to know the answer quicly". But most days, the problem is actually sitting down and doing it, be it studying or writing or running simulations (which is a little easier, because it's dumb work). Both starting and staying at the task are a problem. Also, the eight hours working day just seems so long...

My questions for those of you who work with your head (even for those who don't, but I guess my experience is mostly comparable with IT people, those doing office work,... )
How do you keep your everyday motivation up?
Do your moodswings affect your work?
Have you feared that you are not good enough for this job? How do you manage anxiety?
How many hours a day do you actually manage to concentrate, not just be at work?
What do you need to be most productive in the long run? (I don't want to be productive but stressed, so that I crash into depression afterwards.)
How do you organize your workday? What's an effective break for you?
What helps you being your own boss in time and project managemnt? (I have some work asighned, but it is also expected that I distribute my time between work and study, choose my own topics, acquire a broader overview in my subject...)
Do you procrastinate the difficult subjects? Or is it rather the routine tasks that has to be done? Any tips there?

If this forum can be half as useful with work as with relationships, I'm sure there will be some significant improvement soon ;) Thank you all very much.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Well, I am going for vacation for the next week. I guess I'll repost some of the above for discussion elsewhere (either fireplace, or some different forum) afterwards.
 

Reverie

New member
I actually struggle (sometimes terribly) with similar things. I will write responses soon, but I have been so busy that I can barely update my own blog! :rolleyes:
 

Reverie

New member
My questions for those of you who work with your head (even for those who don't, but I guess my experience is mostly comparable with IT people, those doing office work,... )

1. How do you keep your everyday motivation up?

Honestly, the best way is to schedule things that I like to do outside of work, shortly after work. That puts a fire under my ass because my procrastination and ADD-type problems will often allow work to expand to fill the space available. If I cut down on that space, then I get things done faster.

2. Do your moodswings affect your work?

Yes! I get way less work done when I am hormonal right before my period because I get distracted by emotions. It's tough but I can't think of a way around it yet, other than perhaps going on hormonal birth control.

3. Have you feared that you are not good enough for this job? How do you manage anxiety?

I don't know that I've feared that I'm not good enough for it, but I definitely do beat myself up a TON if I ever make a mistake, especially if that mistake was made because I was rushing due to procrastination. Honestly (and this sounds weird) but I manage anxiety through the use of Wunderlist, with separate lists for short-, medium-, and long-term tasks.

If all my tasks for the day are in one place and I can actually see how much I need to do then a) I procrastinate less, and b) I have less of that swirling anxiety of "did I forget something" and trying to keep it all in my head.

4. How many hours a day do you actually manage to concentrate, not just be at work?

Depending on the amount of urgent work I have to absolutely finish by today or tomorrow, anywhere from all day to about half. I am super guilty of putting off longer-term tasks when they are not yet urgent.

5. What do you need to be most productive in the long run? (I don't want to be productive but stressed, so that I crash into depression afterwards.)

- Force myself to get my required 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Don't drink very much, if at all, during the week.
- Make sure I take some "me time" away from my partner in the evening to get my compulsive writing done, otherwise I end up doing it at work.
- Limit the number of relationships I'm having to as many as can be supported with minimal IMing during the workday (10-15 minutes total).
- Don't eat too much carbs during the day leading to being shaky before lunch (if they are eaten in the morning) or sluggish after lunch (if they are eaten at lunch).
- Bike to work: exercise wakes my brain up.
- Have music/podcasts on during tedious tasks so that my brain is half-occupied by it and therefore I am not tempted to click away from them.

6. How do you organize your workday? What's an effective break for you?

I usually allow myself little internet breaks to check Facebook or these forums, but if I am really jamming on something, I don't always do that. Sometimes I work through lunch if I'm super busy. TBH, a lot of times if I don't get my work done at work, I "trade off" by finishing it at home while Rider watches TV or plays music. Yes, I even procrastinate from fun things with work, too. I always want to be doing the opposite of what I should be, it seems.

7. What helps you being your own boss in time and project managemnt? (I have some work asighned, but it is also expected that I distribute my time between work and study, choose my own topics, acquire a broader overview in my subject...)

When I was in grad school and had to deal with this a lot, I usually would force myself to do the most urgent thing and then some pre-set chunk of a further away thing. I would also designate certain days of the week where I would not schedule anything fun or social so that they could be morning-till-night makeup days to cushion me if I'd failed at the first part.

8. Do you procrastinate the difficult subjects? Or is it rather the routine tasks that has to be done? Any tips there?

I procrastinate worst on the things I dislike. Sometimes that may be the difficult thing, sometimes just the routine thing that I am sick of doing. When I am getting really bad about it, I ask myself, forcefully, in my head, "What are you afraid of? What are you dreading about this?" and then I listen to myself. And I respond based on what the answer is. If, as it often is, it's just pure laziness, I try to remind myself how much better I'll feel when it is done and the source of the dread is removed. If it's some other kind of thing, like I am afraid of the boredom of it, I'll negotiate with myself to break it up into chunks where I get a "reward" of doing something fun for a timed period to break up the monotony.

I hope this helps! It's a problem I haven't fully solved yet, but these are my jerry-rigged workarounds that work at least some of the time. Which is better than nothing...
 

Tinwen

Active member
Wow, Reverie, thank you for going through all of this :) I've read it and re-read it, and I may answer more in detail later, but actually there's not much to add. My workarounds seem to be similar in nature; although I seem to be less effective (maybe due to having much less urgent work?). I am doing some of the things you list, some of them I could try.
I'm also going to re-read the blog. I remember reading it a few years ago already (you can't forget Instant Gratification Monkey and the Dark Playground, can you?) but I don't think I took any action on what I've read. Skimming through it now, let me rewrite my storyline...
 

Tinwen

Active member
Going to continue reading the articles I should read into a tearoom today. I have time to work in the evening, and there's no internet. So bad at procrastinating at work.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I just had a look at Redpeppers blog. The new post led me to look a year back
...
Crap.
...
Yet another ilusion of a working polyship destroyed. In a particularly cruel way.

I only had a glance at their writing in old threads now and there, but they seemed to be a shining story of success. Yai, it works for someone!

Nope. The guy claiming to be monogamous cheating to an unbelievable extent. And her heart still damaged and bitter a year later. What a blow.
 

Leetah

Member
Oh Tinwen, her troubles started longer ago than a year, which is why, I think, she is still fighting to recover. I too was among those so comforted by her love for her partners and determination to make things work. When some sort of sociopath gets to the center of someone's life they can really blow it to shards. I like to believe her spirit is too strong to be locked endlessly in general bitterness though.

Leetah
 

Tinwen

Active member
When some sort of sociopath gets to the center of someone's life they can really blow it to shards. I like to believe her spirit is too strong to be locked endlessly in general bitterness though.

Leetah
Thanks, Leetah. I am sure it is, let's cheer on her :)
 

Tinwen

Active member
Contradictions. Let's write them out once more.

I do want monogamy.
BUT
I cannot promis exclusivity.​
Makes no sense at all. Try again
I want a lifelong partnership.
BUT
I want the freedom to change my mind.​
That's actually a little better. There's no one who could deny me that freedom, is there? Even with marriage. Except I feel it like a contradiction, and I also fear that if I tell this any potential he will either take it as an excuse not to commit or run for the hills.
(Also, why get married if you want to keep your options open... hmm... seems there's some reframing to be done to see marriage as a statement of intention and not an actual lifelong 'contract'.)
I want a partner to go down the traditional path with.
BUT
I don't feel like giving up on all other men (lifelong).​
What do I mean by 'traditional path'? Basically, the escalator. Dating and partnership. Trust and respect, love. Hold together no matter what. Prioritize each other, even if it means living abroad or carring in sickness. Family. Grow old.
Not sure on the family thing actually. But yes, probably yes. And I realize I desperatelly want 'the' partner to be my safety net, as I feel very insecure standing on my two feet all alone.
I do realize this is something people try to resolve with poly. But it's mainly a question of attachment and commitment. If I meet other men, I will necessarily get attached. I will probably want to view them as partners too. And if I say 'hold together no matter what', how the hack could I promis this to more then one man? (And what if I get more attached to the new one, wouldn't that be kind of unfair? What if I can't love more then one and just shift my focus?)
This 'hold together no matter what' question is weird. I really, really feel like I want that. But maybe it's from fairy-tale land. I haven't really felt it with any of my boyfriends yet, the commitment to go with him through any crisis.
More directly:
I want to find a life partner.
BUT
I want to be with Idealist.​
I don't think I've actually got time and energy for two partners. Like, nearly. If I dial down the relationship with Idealist a little perhaps (don't know if it would still work then). As long as I really try, which I don't know how long I could keep up.
Well, that's one problem, the second one - how do you find someone poly-friendly enough to respect Idealist and monogamous enough to want to focus on one primary partner? For I don't want my life-partner to do some kind of free non-hierarchical poly where he tells me eventually that he's living half-time with metamour. Then there's no focus. Oh well.
And the third and maybe biggest problem with this is, I am not really looking when already in a relationship. I mean, I do look around sometimes, but I don't know how to start relationship if I don't fall for that person. And I fall for boys who express interrest in me - which didn't happen. (I'm out with Idealist and it must be a turn-off for many.) Oh well.

So those are my perceived contradictions. I wonder how this will settle. I hope it will. But I'm starting to be impatient with the process...
 

Tinwen

Active member
I've written this and I am sad as it's an accurate description.
While Idealist is all about being non-hierarchical with his partners, Meta is monogamous. Poly friendly, but the 'spend time with whomever you want to as long as you come home every night night, thank you very much' kind. So they are not on the same page. I respect her and I am sure she respects me in her own way, since she's put up with way more then originally intended - we've just had a weeks vacation now. But there's a misalignment of need and wants and I've sure found her manipulative at times. Heck, I've found myself passive aggressive at times (or maybe more often then not). I'm trying to avoid her outside of social events, since the whole situation and some of her personality traits are getting on my nerves, but that's not at all in alignment with Idealist's wants, so I do visit sometimes. It's hard, but sometimes/often it's useful, since I get opportunities to really see what's going on.

It's been a struggle and a conflict and compromising is hard on all parties I believe.
As great as my relationship with Idealist has been for the most part of it, the misalignment just makes it incredibly hard. Non of us knew in the beginning the relationship was going to become this serious. So we're dancing on the border of... doable.
I don't get the "I would break up if I only could" thoughts I had in the NRE phase even a few months ago any more. I know it's more my fondness of him as my dom then anything else that's holding me back. Yeah, there's some fear of the pain to, fear that I am not gonna be able to function for weeks or months. That I'll miss him for the rest of my life.
Idealist still thinks this can work out long term (heck, it has been long-term already, but not stable). Without this firm belief of his the relationship probably wouldn't have survived long ago. You see where he got his nickname?
He says we need to be nice to each other (and we try, I know she tries, she's doing nice practical stuff for me sometimes - and I suck at it), and that I need to be patient. It's true that things have become more equal over time. Well, especially after I distanced myself last Autumn, and decided I would not obey any rules just because she was there first. I'm much more assertive in stating my needs then I used to be (with him, not her that much, as there is still very little direct communication going on except on superficial topics). Overnights happen like every other week. In some areas I get priority. We've been on vacation together and we have two 3-days shibari workshops planned.
I don't know if there's a 'future'. When I imagine having his child - sure, Meta would be opposed, but she probably wouldn't leave because of that, rather play auntie - under the current arrangement I would be effectively a single mom. Or at least half-time. Yes, priorities might change, I would probably get financial support, he'd be there... sometimes. He has a full life, Meta or not. I don't want that.
A wise friend told me, when I was pretty unhappy recently, not to focus on this far away problem. And he was right, the cause was feeling neglected here and now and not the missing 'future'. I guess that is the way - make things work moment by moment. Or observe how they don't work if they don't and then I'll slowly accept I have to move on.
Unless it can be too late then. Aaaand I don't want to. Breaking up really is quite frightening. I want some other way.
 
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Tinwen

Active member
Anyway, I'm leaving for a tournament to Belgium tonight. Looking forward to read any comments when I come back next week...
 
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