non-violent communication

FA 091 Communication / NVC ability Mismatches

We open this week's show with a discussion of a recent article in the New York Times concerning the rise of anxiety amongst American youth. We look at recent studies done that try to explain the sources of anxiety that we face in the modern day, as well as ways we can work to counteract it in our everyday lives.

Our main topic is on Communication Mismatches. After a discussion in our Telegram group concerning relationships where communication styles are not complementary (especially in regard to Nonviolent Communication), we wanted to go over this in more detail. What are the more common types of communication styles, how can they be improved on, and what do you do in a relationship where the communication styles are so different the relationship turns combative more often than not.

We close out the show with a question on breaking up. A younger questioner is blocked from talking to his boyfriend by potentially homophobic parents. Should he break up or not? 

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

FA 067 Sexuality and Gender Expression Ft. Debra Soh

We open this week with a discussion on disclosure when dating. A recent study shows that sexual stimuli inspire people to be more vulnerable and forthcoming on themselves and their desires and interests in a partner when it comes to dating and long-term relationships. We discuss this phenomenon and go through why sex may not be as bad on a first date.

Our main topic is a discussion on Sexuality and Gender Expression with Debra Soh! Debra is a sex researcher and neuroscientist who writes a weekly column for Playboy and has been published in several other outlets, from Scientific American to the LA Times to the Globe and Mail. You can read a separate interview that Debra had in Quillette earlier this year if you are more interested in her background and areas of focus.

As a sexologist, Debra focuses on why people have the sexual interests they have and if there is cause, neurologically, for there to be a predisposition (or even if these paraphilias are hard-wired into the brain). She discusses recent research and findings in these areas, as well as whether this applied to gender identity. We also discuss some of the more taboo paraphilias, including "cub" attraction within the fandom. 

Debra invites all listeners that have questions for her, or if you want to keep up with her recent publications, to visit her Twitter page, @debra_soh. We would like to thank Debra for coming on and sharing her expertise in this. 

We close out the show a question from a listener who is in a long distance relationship with someone who is entirely incompatible in physical appearance, fetishes, and sexual roles. Do two tops make a bottom, or should the listener break up? Debra helps us out on this involved question.

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 046 Monogamy

We open this week with a discussion on how to have the best headspace for making important decisions in your life. All too often we make choices in our life when we're in an emotional state (breaking up when you're having an argument, agreeing to plans when you're in a good mood, etc...) that end up backfiring on us. We discuss some research on how to make the best, rational decisions for yourself and your life. Remember-- never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach!

Our main topic is on monogamy. While Feral Attraction exists primarily as a podcast to detain non-traditional and non-monogamous relationships and lifestyles, monogamy is still the relationship style of choice for much of the public. While the furry fandom might be uniquely enriched with individuals exploring alternatives to monogamy, we did want to dedicate an episode to monogamy as it does carry its own unique challenges and difficulties to prosper.

We discuss the benefits of monogamy and why many people choose (or never deviate from the cultural norm) to be monogamous. We also discuss some of the challenges and pitfalls that people who are monogamous might experience, both in their relationships in general and in the fandom at large. 

We also have two questions this week, one on whether or not it's a good idea to invite a third into the bedroom, and another on what to do if you find yourself falling for your Master/Dom/Domme in a D/s relationship. Buckle in-- it's a long ride this week with Metriko and Viro! 

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 041 Locker Room Talk

We open this week's show with a discussion on HIV disclosure and witch hunts. Should you "name and shame" people on the internet that you believe are not disclosing their status with their potential partners? We look into why this might be more counterproductive than it might appear at face value. 

Our main topic is on Locker Room Talk. What is Locker Room Talk, and why is Donald Trump using it as an excuse for his language? We give a history of the term and go into how it differs from dirty talk and when it is and is not appropriate. We also call Donald Trump a douchebag for trying to disguise sexual assault as "boys being boys". 

Our question this week asks how to tell your best friend that you're in love with them. It's a topic that hits close to home for most people- your hosts included. We go into the possible outcomes and the best way to minimize the risk of losing your connection if the feelings are not mutual.  

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 037 Sex Toys 101

On this week's show we open with a discussion on whether or not your friends actually like you. In the day and age of social media how many of your friends are actually friends?

Our main topic is on sex toys! Join Metriko and Viro on a whirlwind tour of sex toys, from butt plugs to strap ons, what to look for, and what you should avoid. Try not to blush as you listen!

We close out with a series of questions from our backlog and some feedback on integrating sex toys into your bedroom with a partner.

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

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 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.

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.

FA 012 Collie's Follies and Metriko's Mistakes

This week we go into the past and talk about our lives. What mistakes in life and relationships have we made, and how did we move forward from these negative situations? How have we handled some of the lowest moments of our life and what did we learn from this? 

We also take a question about whether or not you should sacrifice your relationship for employment.

Please note that this episode contains some sensitive material and covers some topics that some listeners might view as being disturbing. Please review our show notes for timestamps in order to prevent any emotional or mental issues that you might experience. 

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

FA 011 Online and Long Distance Relationships

Online Relationships and Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) have become a staple of the fandom due to our massive presence online. Most furries will, at one point or another, enter into some kind of a relationship that is non-local. 

How do you begin such a relationship, or maintain it once it is underway? What is the difference between an Online Relationship and a Long Distance Relationship? How do you set reasonable expectations for the relationship? What is the best way to keep intimacy regular when you might be continents apart? 

We also answer the question of whether you need a primary partner in order to be polyamorous. 

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

FA 010 The Campsite Rule

Today we discuss the Campsite Rule, a concept that deals with intergenerational relationships (or relationships with drastic experience differences). How can you be in a relationship ethically when you are with a partner who is much younger than you, or much less experienced at relationships / sex / intimacy than you? We also talk about whether or not you should have sex with an ex, especially after you've just broken up.

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

FA 006 Breakups

Breakups suck. But how can they suck less? When should you call it quits and how should you breakup without causing drama in the fandom? Also, how do you handle jealousy from a mate that is not in the fandom?

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

CONTENT WARNING: We discuss abuse and physical assault in this episode. Please see the show notes for time stamps if you would rather avoid those topics!!

FA 005 Integrity

This week we talk about Integrity. While much of what we say is, again, common sense, it is important to discuss the ethics of the furry community and how we, as a fandom, can be better to each other. Also, we answer the question of what it is like to live in a Pack House. 

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