emotional boundaries

FA 066 Shame 3: Direct to VHS

We open this week's episode with a discussion on monogamy and polyamory. We look at an article recently published on CNN's website that discusses polyamory in a mostly positive light. We go over the highlights, the minor issues, and why articles like this are important in the long run.

Our main topic this week is the conclusion of our series on shame. We talk about the common missteps and conflicts that can prohibit you from finding true independence from a shameful existence, like fear of abandonment or betrayal. We then get to the light at the end of the tunnel and go over the steps and actions you must take in order to live a life of genuine self-validation, and how to communicate with your current partners about the path that you feel you must take.

We close out the show with a question on long distance relationships and cheating. Our questioner's boyfriend claims that his multiple-personality-disorder is causing him to have an affair, and the questioner wants to know if this passes our smell test.

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 056 Rebuilding Trust (After Betrayal)

We open this week's show with a discussion on poppers and eyesight damage. No, we're not talking about jalapeño poppers, but the kind of poppers you huff (if you huff jalapeño poppers please let us know). Known as VCR Cleaner, Tape Cleaner, or Leather Cleaner, this is a commonly encountered additive to sex that many people enjoy, and it is not well researched in terms of consequences to your long-term health. We look at one investigation that links damage to your vision to the usage of poppers and add another reason to consider carefully your choice to include them in your play.

Our main topic is on rebuilding trust in a relationship after a betrayal, cheating, or a rule violation. Relationships are never perfect and mistakes happen, but how to move beyond that mistake is not often discussed and it is consistently one of our more commonly asked questions. We look into this area of relationship healing and offer advice to both the offender and the hurt, as well as provide looks into our lives when we have been put on either side of this situation.

We close out this week's show with a discussion on love. What is love? Am I in love? What's love got to do with it? These are questions that singers and sages have asked for years but have yet to provide an answer. We hope to help one of our listeners figure out whether or not they are in love with their best friend and, if so, should they pop the question. 

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 054 All Questions Show Vol. 3

On this week’s show we open with a discussion about a recent study on whether or not testing for herpes should be included in the standard STD panel. We look into research and advisements that show that testing for herpes on a regular basis may not be as effective, despite the best of intentions.

Our topic today is our third all questions show! We take a trip through our backlog of questions, ranging from fitness to long distance relationships to dating friends. Several of these questions are longer and, as always, we invite you to offer your feedback on the questions and offer advice of your own, especially if you think we missed something or got it wrong.

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 052 Commitment vs. Autonomy

We open this week's show with a discussion on how self-control is just you empathizing with your future self. We look at an article that discusses your brain (with words that Metriko barely can pronounce) and how empathy and self-control are merely two sides of the same coin. It's an interesting lead in because-

Our main topic is commitment vs. autonomy in a relationship. As a relationship develops and becomes long-term, partners often struggle with balancing how to maintain their independence without sacrificing intimacy in the relationship. We discuss the definitions, pitfalls, and tribulations that are often encountered in such encounters, and ways that you can work to help stabilize your relationship. It's a real romp of a topic and one to get 2017 off with a running start!

Our closing question is from a bisexual guy who has issues emotionally connecting with ladies and problems performing anal sex with men. Is he doomed to be a straight player or is this just latent homophobia? We unpack this question and offer some less accusatory answers to his questions.

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 042 Empathy

We open this week's show with a discussion on ways to make your polyamorous relationship more sustainable. When couples make the switch from a monogamous to a polyamorous relationship, many face feelings of fear, jealousy, and anger. We discuss an article written by one such individual and the ways that he and his partners worked through those feelings to find relationship stability and bliss.

Our main topic is on empathy. Much like our previous episode on Envy versus Jealousy, many people often use sympathy and empathy interchangeably. We discuss the differences between the two before diving into why empathy matters in your life and your relationship. Empathy forms one of the core foundations upon which a relationship stands-- too much and you find yourself burning out, too little and your partner might seek elsewhere to find emotional support. We look into how you can use empathy in a way to resolve conflicts in a non-violent fashion, and how empathy can reinforce your emotional boundaries and integrity. We also discuss the levels of empathy that we experience and ways that we have had to either raise or lower that level to keep our relationship going. 

We close this week with a question about the appropriate speed one should explore their sexual interests, especially if they are experiencing their "gay teens" later on in life. We talk safety, responsibility, and how to keep Grindr from becoming more important than your friends. 

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 040 Boundaries vs Rules

On this week's show we open with a discussion of an article Debra Soh wrote on common misconceptions people make about polyamorous relationships. We use science to debunk mistakes: it's almost as if one of the hosts is a scientist! 

Our main topic is on Boundaries versus Rules (featuring Ultimatums). We go into the differences between these ideas, why they are not interchangeable, and why you might need to change how you think about your relationship terms. 

We close out the show with a Patreon shoutout to Snares (seriously go and give money to this comic), a reminder to see our episode of Culturally F'd!, and a question on changing the expectations of a poly relationship when locations and living circumstances change. 

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 027 Body Image and Self-Love

We open our show with our Anthrocon interview with Nuka, from the International Anthropomorphic Research Program. It's about 25 minutes long and super fascinating and touches on topics ranging from Gender, Sexuality, and Relationships in the furry fandom. If you would like to read a transcript, please refer to our Transcript in our Advice Column. Thanks again, Nuka, and we look forward to your upcoming papers!

Our main topic is on Body Image and Self-Love. This can be an incredibly difficult area for a lot of people, especially furries. We get told that we are either too thin, too fat, too muscular, or in some cases too short or tall to take seriously. While furry has been able to fetishize a lot of what makes us different and our bodies unique, when it comes to interactions in person there can be a lot of self-consciousness about how we look. 

A lot of people find they are not their 'ideal' body size, and for some they struggle to change this. As a podcast with someone who is chubby, someone who was once chubby, and someone who has been told is too thin, we wanted to express how you can love yourself regardless of the size. We go into the health side, the mental side, and ways you can work to lose weight, gain weight, and stand tall when people make fun of you for your size. 

As always, we are not medical professionals and, before embarking on a health adventure, take the time to consult a doctor to ensure your plan will be sustainable for you. Also, you're amazing, no matter your size, shape, or anything else. 

We close out the show with a question on pet play, polyamory, and the renegotiation period in a D/s relationship. What can a pup do when they struggle with jealousy?

For more information, including a list of topics, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 017 Emotional Blackmail

We begin this week's podcast with a discussion on "ghosting" furry conventions: What exactly is ghosting, what are the ethics of con attendance, and who is ghosting really hurting (spoiler: everyone).

For our main topic this week, we kick off our Mental Health Month by talking about emotional blackmail. We here at Feral Attraction believe that emotional blackmail can be one of the most insidious poisons in a relationship, and as we have mentioned it in the past, we wanted to dedicate an entire episode to it.

Emotional Blackmail can take many forms, and everyone is vulnerable to it — whether you are the child of a passive aggressive parent, or the dom in your D/s relationship. The good news is that there are warning signs of emotional blackmail that you can look out for, and ways to de-escalate and resolve these situations without them turning into a relationship cold war. 

We do discuss some topics relating to abuse and self-harm in this episode, so please be advised of this content. We also would like to reiterate that if you find yourself in an abusive relationship, please seek the appropriate level of care and assistance to get you safely out of that situation.

After our main topic, we take a listener question that is in response to our STI Prevention and Risk Mitigation episode, pertaining to anxiety after being informed of a partner's STI status. Though the asker understands the low risk associated with his partner's STI, he is still a bit nervous when it comes to having a full-blown sex life with his partner. What should he do?

Finally, we close the show with some feedback in which a listener shares resources that may be helpful to the non-monogamous community, focusing on one of our favorite books, More Than Two.

For more information, including a list of topics by timestamp, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 016 Communication Styles

This week we lead off with a discussion about a recent study showing that DNA may influence your sex life. Check out the Show Notes for a link to the study.

Our main topic is about communication. What different styles are there and what are the pros and cons of each? Healthy communication in a relationship is what nourishes the love that grows. Developing communication skills and habits can be incredibly difficult, especially if you grew up in an environment that did not foster such growth. We discuss all of this, as well as how to identify and avoid the pitfalls of communication styles and how to work with your partner to ensure that there are fewer misunderstandings in your relationship. 

We also have a listener question about what to do if you are involuntarily celibate. This can have a long-lasting impact on the health and well being of an individual and, for some, it is a real struggle. 

For more information, including a list of topics by timestamp, see our Show Notes for this episode.

FA 015 Lovecast Appearance and Trust

This week we lead off with a clip of our Second Opinion segment from Episode 495 of the Savage Lovecast, "Furries and Cheeseheads." Thanks again to Dan Savage and his producer Nancy Hartunian for the gracious invitation as well as granting permission to share the clip in full. 

Our main topic is about trust, which is all too often misunderstood. Trust is the other side of Integrity, and both serve as the foundation on which a relationship either stands firm or crumbles. We discuss what exactly trust is as well as how to develop and maintain trust in yourself and others. We also discuss how to handle breaches of trust and what you can do to recover trust once it has been broken. Spoiler: sometimes that just isn't possible. 

We also take a listener question about how to handle feelings of jealousy in an open relationship that you realized, after the fact, you wished was a closed relationship. 

For more information, including a list of topics by timestamp, see our Show Notes for this episode.