Episode 047 - Explaining Relationships to Family 11/30
Kinks, Sex, and Safety
A force of positivity in the pup community, as well as in the world at large, unfortunately passed away last week. While his accidental death is tragic, and we extend our deepest condolences to everyone whose life he touched, we do want to take a moment to touch on a few things.
Sex is amazing. Kinky sex is awesome. It is important that when it comes to kink and fetish play that you apply the safe/sane/consensual clause to group play, coupled play, and solo play.
When it comes to high risk activities, the two that top the list for long term damage for us would be autoerotic asphyxiation and blood choking.
Autoerotic Asphyxiation works to increase pleasure by decreasing the amount of oxygen to the brain and allows for the accumulation of carbon dioxide. This causes a head rush that can lead to giddiness, lightheadness, and incredible pleasure
The issue with this, especially in solo play, is if something goes wrong, there is often not enough time to reverse course
Accidents happen, but it is important to not equate the person to the accident. Take time to mourn the loss of a great community member: a mentor, an entertainer, a boyfriend, and a sex positivity advocate that spread joy and love to everyone he encountered. Build a monument to him with these in mind, and take up his legacy to continue spreading these qualities in the world around you. He may no longer be here physically but as long as you continue sharing his legacy with those in your lives he will never be forgotten.
Know Yourself, Know Your Audience
Make sure that you are comfortable with yourself and your relationship
Part of explaining your relationship to people is that you are exposing your vulnerabilities
Understand that your family or friends might get heated, and it’s important to game out how you react.
Never yell, even if everyone is yelling at you
Don’t be timid/fearful
If someone threatens physical violence, leave as quickly and safely as possible
Maintain your integrity and emotional boundaries-- family and friends are also subject to relationship rules
Know that an attack on a relationship may not be an attack on you
Some people only know the stereotypes; be prepared to educate if there are questions
It might seem as if the roles between parent/child is reversed, where your parents look to you for advice and direction. Welcome that, even if it is awkward for a time.
Know the general stereotypes of the relationship you are explaining to your parents/friends
Also know the health risks involved, especially for same-sex relationships, as this will often be the first question that comes out of a parent’s mouth
Decide your comfort level on discussing your sexual health and activities with your parents, as they might ask the question of “How can you be sure if you haven’t had sex already?”
Be sure you know what you’re talking about before you say something; just because you believe someone is ignorant on a topic doesn’t mean they are
If you explain that you are in a poly relationship, be willing to explain what that means and what it means for you
Game out how the admission might play out
If you are still financially dependent on your parents, game out what will happen if you lose your financial backing/housing
It’s helpful if you can find a family member who is understanding, as having allies within the family can be incredibly helpful
Hope for the best, plan for the worst
Try to have a safety net (savings in an account in your own name, friends who would be okay if you need to stay with them, etc…) before coming out in a potentially hostile environment
Time, Place, Occasion
Make sure you’re sharing appropriate information at the appropriate time and place
Don’t tell your mother about your gay marriage when you’re at church
Don’t tell your grandmother about your polycule when she asks you to pass the mashed potatoes
Make a decision if you want to tell everyone at once, or if you want to tell people one at a time
You can also opt to use “National Coming Out Day”, or updating your social media profile, to update people en masse
Don’t feel pressured to “come out”
You will feel anxious, and that is okay. Breathe. Practice mindful meditation. Ask yourself if telling people who you are is going to be the end of you.
Think about the positives to coming out-- the ability to express yourself and to have everyone on the same page. It can be quite liberating!
Come out to less-important friends first to “warm up”
There is no necessary time frame, especially if you are financially dependent on others who might reject you
Come out when you feel most comfortable (mentally, emotionally, physically, financially)
If you live in a country where being LGBTQ or in a poly relationship is against the law, heavily weigh your options before coming out
Don’t “out” others against their own wishes
Be patient with your family / friends, especially if you want to keep them in your life
Set a time limit (a week, a month, a year) for them to question or be upset with you. Once that time limit is over, enforce your emotional boundaries and do not allow for them to express discontent
Metriko- I generally advise on giving others the same amount of time it took you to be comfortable with yourself, within reason
Never decline the opportunity to answer a question: the more that they ask, the more they want to be involved in your life. Take time to reinforce the bridges you have with those in your life.
Most people realize they would rather have a gay/poly/furry/trans person in their life than not have that person in their life at all
Recognize there is no set way that this experience will be, and that just because it goes better (or worse!) than you anticipated that you are still valid, you are still worthy of love, and that you are still in full control of your life and the choices you make
Again, having a safety net can help cushion the blow in some worst case scenarios
Never forget to keep your head up high.
If you lose friends or family, mourn them, don’t hate them. They might come around in time, but for the time being you can’t hold on to negativity. Life is in the future, not in the past, and it is now up to you to determine the right course of action to take.
I originally was in a monogamous relationship, but through a somewhat long story, we decided to make an exception. It's working out great for being long distance for one of the triad (he's going to be moving back within the next year though). So my dilemma is this, the telling of my friends and family of it. I've told my mother of our triad relationship, and her reception on it was conflicting. She's okay with me being in a triad, but she wants to keep it a secret from everyone else; just lie to everyone that I only have one. Her reason being is that we as a family will be subject to gossip and humiliation from friends and family. I feel this is demeaning to the value of our relationship as if it's just a phase, like getting a nose piercing; yet my mother also feels this will be a blemish to our reputation. I wish she would stand by me more proudly, as this has been the happiest I've ever been in my life, but how do I go about this?
Received via email
Next week’s topic: Pack house dynamics
NON-MONOGAMOUS FURRY RELATIONSHIPS 101 PANEL @ MFF 2016
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