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Archive for the ‘Non-Monogamy’ Category

Tonight, while watching the National News, I almost fell off my chair when they featured a segment exploring the legal rights of consenting adults in polyamorous relationships.   The segment acknowledged that  “at some point we’re going to have a charter challenge much like we saw in 2003 with same-sex marriage.”

This alone is cause for celebration.  You know times are changing and attitudes are changing too when one of Canada’s most respected national news programs presents a segment on the legal rights of polyamorous adults in a non-sensationalized, insightful manner.

The time for a utopian future that positively acknowledges relationships beyond monogamy is nigh!

For the full article, visit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/polyamorous-families-legal-challenges-1.3758621

 

 

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consentToday, I attended a Consent Workshop by The Consent Crew. There were some interesting discussions amongst the attendees and organizers about some great topics.  I want to reiterate some of the points that I feel are most relevant based on my experiences over the past two decades.

IT’S OK TO SAY NO

How many of you are guilty of trying to giggle your way out of an uncomfortable situation just to be polite?  And how many of you have compromised your own boundaries just to wake up the next morning filled with regret?  Western cultural values have taught us to be excessively polite, but that shouldn’t be at the cost of your own personal boundaries.  If somebody is doing something that makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to say no.  And, although you don’t have to justify your reason for saying no, saying it in a way that is polite and respectful will go a long way towards diffusing what could become a confrontational situation over hurt feelings.  Here are some of my favourite ways to say no:

  • No thank you (smile on face).
  • Thanks for offering but not at this time.
  • I’m not into that, but thanks anyway.
  • You seem like a great person but I’m not interested. Thanks anyway.

 

IT’S OK TO HEAR NO

When you hear no, you may feel hurt, rejected and generally bad.  Why?  Because our culture has taught us that “no” is a bad word when in reality, “no” is just somebody’s way of expressing their own personal boundaries.  Usually, the no you are hearing has very little to do with you and everything to do with the person saying it.  Perhaps they are there for a different reason than you.  Maybe the timing is just off.  Or, it could be as simple as they like blonds, and you’re a brunette.  Whatever the reason, remind yourself…“getting a no is no big deal”.   Here are some of my favorite ways to respond gracefully to “no”:

  • I’m not hearing a clear yes so I’ll take that as a no.
  • No problem.
  • Thanks for letting me know. I appreciating knowing your boundary.
  • Thanks anyway.

 

GET CONSENT

Obvious right?  Easier said than done.  Consent is complicated.  Often, expectations surrounding consent are firmly rooted in cultural values, gender values, family values, or even the environment we are in at the time.  At Club Eden, the expectations are framed by the use of signage, marketing, and agreements.  This is a great foundation for consent.  But even with all of this, there is still room for interpretation based on an individual’s unique perspective formed over the course of a lifetime.  This is why it is also important to say no when you feel like your personal boundaries are being compromised.  In my experience, most people want to do the right thing and DON’T want to maliciously or deliberately compromise your boundaries.  They just don’t realize they are doing it.   Here is one of my favorite personal stories to reflect how cultural expectations can create a misalignment between boundaries:

While working in an office environment, one of the long term vendors and friends of the owner approached me saying “it’s nice to finally meet you”.  He then stepped in and gave me a hug and then a kiss on my left and right cheek.   My background is British and back then, I was a bit of a cold fish.  His background is South American and to not step in with a light hug and kiss on the cheeks would be considered an insult.  He didn’t get my consent but conversely, because of his cultural values, he didn’t think he had to.   This illustrates a great example of how easily consent boundaries can be accidentally crossed.

When at Eden, remember these four points to help you navigate consent:

  1. Play within the rules of the framework provided (signs, agreements, marketing messages).
  2. Politely say no when your boundaries are being crossed;
  3. Politely hear/accept no when somebody tells you.
  4. If your no is not being heard, then it’s ok to find the organizer or one of the staff to help you diffuse the situation.

When attending other sex positive events remember to familiarize yourself with their unique framework.

I hope this article helps you find your voice for consent.  Play safe, have fun and respect your own boundaries and the boundaries of others.

Eve, Founder of Club Eden and Co-author of Sex Get Over It

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Flare Magazine…you have been caught with your pants down and I like it.

While waiting to see my hairstylist, I spotted your February, 2016 edition of Flare Magazine boldly advertising “The LOVE & SEX ISSUE”.  Out of bored curiosity, I flipped to page 84 expecting to find typical stories like “What to buy your lover for Valentine’s”, or “How to turn up the heat this Valentine’s with chocolate, satin sheets and erotic massage”.

Instead, you had your eyes wide open covering 50 shades of SEX with stories about pegging (girls with strap-ons doing boys), cock and ball torture, and “Diary of a Poly Girl – a week in the life of my three-way relationship”.

One of your readers, soon to be ex I’m guessing, commented on your “pegging perversion” citing “Again, disgusting material.  I bet he goes gay after he finds out how good pegging feels…”.   Well Melanie, if you don’t like it, don’t read it?  And if you prefer to limit your intimate encounters to strictly bedroom basics then I say…whatever floats your boat.  But for those of us that wish to move beyond the missionary, what gives you the right to judge?

Flare Magazine, I applaud you for having the courage to publish articles on sexuality that most are too uncomfortable to talk about.  Proof that we are entering an era of acceptance and tolerance where piano legs no longer need to be covered, we can serve chicken legs to our dinner guests and yes, women do actually like sex.

Thank you flare magazine!

And to my readers…please support Flare Magazine’s style by reading some of these articles…

Adventures in Pegging

Diary of a Polyamorous Relationship

Six Women Confess Their Secret Kinks

 

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Swinging Tips and Advice For Beginners http://www.lelo.com/theblog/swinging-tips-advice-beginners/ via @Lelo_Official

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HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world today.  There are over 100 different types of the virus. Over 40 are sexually transmitted and responsible for genital and anal warts.  15 high risk types can cause pre-cancerous lesions, cervical cancer as well as anal cancer and other genital cancers.

While condoms are a good start to protecting you from STIs, they’re not bulletproof.  HPV is highly contagious and can spread through direct skin to skin contact.  Condoms only offer protection over the areas that are covered.

In 2006, the HPV vaccination was introduced for women up to age 26.  By 2011, the use of Gardasil in women was studied and approved for women up to age 45. It was found that the vaccine helped protect against infection and disease from the HPV types contained in the vaccine provided they had not been previously infected.

Good news for women aged 26-45.  Even better news for those in a non-monogamous relationship.  Don’t you owe it to yourself to play safe?  Call your doctor and get vaccinated today! Protection from genital warts and cancers below the waist is just a prick away.

Eve, http://www.clubeden.ca

Sources:

FIGO endorses HPV vaccination

Cancer.org

Public Health Agency Canada

HPVinfo.ca

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If you’re considering ANY type of open relationship, or are already knee deep in one, Opening Up – A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino is a must read.  The book gives clarity on the different styles of open relationships from partnered non-monogamy to swinging to polyamourous to mono/poly combinations and everything in between.

You’ll learn how to design your open relationship, strategies for survival, how to overcome common challenges, tips for coping with jealousy and and other itense feelings, and you’ll read about the experiences of other couples along the way.

Although this book is not a step by step how to guide, it will give you great insight into the bigger picture complete with lots of “aha” moments and “ohhh…that makes sense” realizations.  By the time you’re done this book, you’ll be armed with all the terminology and insight you need to map out your journey.  You’ll have a better understanding of what makes an open relationship work, what doesn’t and potential pitfalls to avoid.  But of course, given the nature of the content, this book is best read together.

Buy now from Chapters.ca.

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ASK Eve
Hi Eve,
I have been looking online for information about swinging, etc. I am in a relationship and have been for over 2 years, our sex life is good.. we both have a high sex drive and little inhibition.

Prior to being involved in my current relationship, I had been involved in one threesome with 2 guys early in my sex life. Although it was a turn on, I have felt guilty about it all my life. I have also been with more men then I can count and have experienced a lot of guilt about this over the years as well. My current partner is really turned on by these stories, which I had never talked much about to anyone else.. I was called a “slut by my ex-husband of 17 years (I was faithful all of these years) because I told him (out of guilt) about the numbers of men I had been with.

My current partner knows a couple who are involved in the swinging scene… and we have “connected” with them a couple of times… although I drank so heavily and don’t remember any of it. I have realized that I also have a drinking problem.. I drink to hide behind my pain/guilt, etc. I have since gone to AA and have not had a drink in 2 months. But I am still curious about swinging, and my partner (although he wouldn’t pressure me) also would like to try.

My questions to you are: How do I know if I really want to… the idea really does excite me completely, but the guilt I have felt over the years really holds me back. I have this idea in the back of my head that only “strange” people do these things, and that they probably fool around on the side if they do…. I am being totally honest with you, I know my thoughts are not right, but they are there. I also am very VERY insecure and jealous… how do I get beyond that? I know he is willing to be in a threesome with only me and other men… but, I don’t think that is very fair to him.

Where can I read about real people and their experiences and thoughts on their sexuality… and get to a place that I believe that it is ok to do these things without guilt? if that is possible. I am also seeing a counselor and he supports whatever I truly want for myself… but part of the problem is knowing if I really do… or not???

Confused

Dear confused:

The first thing I want to know when people ask me if I think they’re ready (context swinging) is “ready for what exactly?”. Too many couples make the assumption that venturing into the world of swinging means throwing their keys into the “orgy” bowl and putting the pedal to the metal…0 to 60 in one fowl swoop. They take a renegade “Thelma and Louise” approach, driving recklessly along a desolate stretch of highway, and soon after their relationship takes a header into the canyon.

Unbeknownst to many, there is a scenic route with a lot of amazing, satisfying, fun and adventurous pit stops along the way. Slow down. Smell the roses. Take in the sights. In other words, enjoy the ride and don’t be in such a hurry to arrive at the “final destination”.

Start by printing off the Sugar, Spice and Sex Advice “swinger’s checklist” and comparing fantasies with your partner. Pick one or two of the adventures that scored five (5) for both of you and take them for a test drive. Assess (aka COMMUNICATE). Tweak and repeat. Taking this approach means you don’t have to be “ready” to jump into the deep end of swinging. You can take baby steps to get there and evaluate along the way. And when the time is right, not only will you know you’re ready, but you’ll also be far better equipped to consider and cope with any challenges you face along the way including issues of jealousy and insecurities.

As for whether only “strange” people do these things, according to the Great Canadian Sex Survey, over 30% of Canadians believe that it is ok to have sexual encounters with people other than their partner as long as they have consent. So, in theory, three out of every 10 people you know may actually be swingers, or swingers at heart. But alas, does that mean 30% of Canadians are “strange”? Perhaps. But that’s a story for another day.

And finally, if you want to learn about real people and their experiences on sexuality, and swinging, do a search for swingers in your local region. Join a swingers dating site/social networking community or even a swingers club. You may just be pleasantly surprised that many of the members are just like you and some of the more experienced members will be more than happy to share their experiences and offer a helping hand along the way.

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