mental health

FA 065 Shame 2: Electric Boogaloo

On this week's episode Metriko is alone as Viro was stuck on an airplane that wouldn't leave thanks to a few tornadoes. Viro made it to Furry Weekend Atlanta and will be back for next week's episode. With that in mind, this episode is slightly more personal and an intimate discussion with Metriko, so please enjoy!

We open this week with a discussion on sex in America. Studies are showing that we are having less sex now than we were in 1989: could this be due to stress and working more in this shitty economy? Is Netflix and chill a lie and used solely for marketing (seriously though it's only $9.99). We look at why social media might be impacting your sex life.

Our main topic is on shame. Last week we discussed what happens when you grow up with shame and choose to keep that subject secret and hidden from others. This week we discuss what happens when you reveal that shame and live life "openly". Metriko talks about his life when he was outed and how that was not the end of his quest for validation, and what it took for him to realize that he was living a lie. We go on a journey together to discover what it's really for.

We close out the show with some feedback from Snares (one of our friends and Patrons)! He wants to know how our response from the Playboy article was, and if it contrasts at all with the feedback he got when he was interviewed for an article himself! Check out the show notes for a link to his interview. Metriko speaks for the show and reminds everyone that if you would like to have us appear in your publication to get into contact with us.

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 035.5 Flexibility, Love, and Trust

This is a bonus episode where we will start by playing a song written by Rebecca Sugar from the Cartoon Network show, Steven Universe. We will discuss the meaning and importance behind the lyrics, and how they can be used as a mantra to help you find inner peace and strength when you are lost or consumed by emotion. 

We will be discussing this song in a way that will not spoil the plot of the show or reveal character motivations; we will only be discussing the meaning behind the lyrics. Stay tuned after the show for a discussion that goes into detail about the characters and their motivations; we will provide a spoiler warning for those who have not seen the show yet so they can choose to stop listening. We highly recommend watching Steven Universe from the beginning so that the song and the story behind it will have a fuller effect.

 

FA 035 Being Your Own Filter

We open this week's show with a discussion on how your activity on Facebook (and potentially other Social Media) might be a reflection of your true self and what might be happening when your online persona differs drastically from your meatspace reality. 

Our main topic is on being your own filter. The idea of content warnings and trigger warnings have been a discussion now for several years. Unfortunately, there seems to be a disconnect where individuals are equating offense to a trigger, which can limit the ability to communicate honestly and openly. We talk about the important of discussion and how to approach individuals you find offensive, or how to handle topics you take offense to. 

Our question is on transphobia- our questioner is a cisgendered gay man who is being called transphobic for not wanting a relationship with a transwoman. 

We also have some feedback on other ways you might be able to send yourself sex toys without your parents at home opening them by accident. 

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

FA 029 How to be Single and Happy

On tonight's show we talk about how gender-stereotypical genes might play a large role in your attraction towards others in life. Viro talks about a recent study that might show how the stereotypes of gender affect interpersonal attraction. We also point out the problem areas in the study and why this is not yet a universal truth.

Our main topic is on how to be single and happy. For some, it can be difficult to attain both at the same time. We discuss ways and methods you can employ to achieve both without ignoring the fact that you are, in fact, not currently in a relationship. A lot of the methods can play a part even when you are in a relationship, especially if your partner(s) are long distance or prone to travelling often.

Our question this week is on how to handle your feelings of affection, romance, and sexual desire toward a roommate that may not be reciprocated. If you have had sex before you moved into an apartment with someone as a roommate, how do you handle a potential cooling off that might occur.

We have feedback on sounding advice and why, perhaps, our sound advice was a bit unsound. Confused? Sir Arcane, co-host of A Hairy Prone Companion and the President of the Lansing Pups and Handlers takes us to school. 

We also would like to remind everyone to check out our appearance on the Alter Ego podcast. We talk with Athena, the host of the show, about fursonas, why we're furries, and what the fandom means to us. It's a great show and you should give it a listen.

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

FA 028 Resilience

On tonight's show we open with a discussion on how women who are cheated on might win in the long run. While some might say the true victory is not being hitched with a cheating asshole, is it possible that the long-term effects of being cheated on might outweigh the short-term pain?

Our main topic is on resilience. Resilience is the quality to recover quickly from periods of difficulty and strain in your life, and it is a tool that many people lack as it is not innate but learned. Unfortunately, too many people equate resilience with being overly stoic, where you adopt a poker face and never have moments of vulnerability or weakness. In much the same way that bravery is standing in moments of fear, resilience is standing in moments of weakness. We discuss how to become more resilient, the benefits of resiliency, and why all of this is important for your relationships. 

We move on to a listener question on the friend zone. How can you stop being the best friend and become the boyfriend? (Spoiler: the friend zone is a myth). We discuss ways that you can exert your emotional bandwidth and employ direct, sensible communication. We also trash pick up artists a bit and make fun of negging.  

We close out the show with some feedback on whether or not the show should have opposing viewpoints and whether or not we, as hosts, exist in an echo chamber that is howling into the faceless void.

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 019 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

On this week's podcast we open with a discussion on why you might be experiencing poor sleep when you are in a new environment. Is it just anxiety, excitement, or could it be a more primal, feral sensation that your brain is having?

Our main topic is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Distortions. We discuss what the most common cognitive distortions are and how they can affect the way that you perceive the world, as well as interfere with your relationships. We then discuss ways that you can manage these distortions and find a path to a happier, healthier you. 

Cognitive Distortions are a serious issue, especially when you put them in play into a relationship. They allow for negative, self-sabotaging behavior to rear its ugly head and the collateral damage can be incredibly great. While we discuss common methods for coping and resolving these issues, we do want to stress that we are not licensed mental health experts; this podcast does not represent any form of consultation or diagnosis. If you have further questions or want to come up with an action plan for correcting behaviors we discuss in this show, seek help from a licensed professional that specializes in this area.

We close out the episode with a question about how to tell your long-term monogamous partner that you want to give polyamory a try. We talk about communication a lot in our answer.

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

FA 018 Gaslighting

On this week's podcast we open with a discussion on Twitter lists that propagate libelous information. How should you handle a situation when someone is falsely accusing you of doing something potentially illegal?

Our main topic is gaslighting. Gaslighting is when someone maliciously attempts to convince you that your perception of an event is false in order to manipulate you. This can take the form of calling you crazy, saying that you are wrong about something, or making you doubt your own memories. Oftentimes, this method is employed by people close to you, such as a partner, a parent, a teacher, or a boss.

If you are susceptible to these types of suggestions it can be incredibly damaging to your psyche. We discuss how to identify gaslighting and distinguish it from a genuine misunderstanding, then describe ways to defend yourself against gaslighting, including what to do when you realize that you are being gaslit. 

We also answer a listener question about how to tell a partner that you are in love with them, and how to challenge the gender norms that the man in a relationship has to be the first one to offer such a confession. What can a lesbian do?

We end with some feedback concerning our show and the bias that we, as hosts, have as (mostly) gay men. Are we intentionally excluding other genders or relationship styles when we offer advice?

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