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Polyamorous and sex-positive essayist, poet, and over-thinker.

But the reality of opening myself to a new way to love is even better than my fantasy

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When I first entered into polyamory, it was a largely intuitive act. As I began to learn about the lifestyle, I did my best to understand what I wanted from it and to put those dreams into words.

This is what I came up with: I’d meet another man, fall madly in love, get everything I needed from my two boyfriends, and live happily ever after.

Sometimes, as a writer, I fall into the trap of trying to put words to something I don’t yet understand, but sometimes words just end up creating limitations.

This is to say, there is…

Redefining love, romance, and sex

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So then what then drives us, if not romance, if not that hope of something more beautiful, more powerful than we can fathom? What keeps us going?

Do you have a story that turns romance on its head and redefines it?

A story that challenges the way you were taught you should do relationships? A story that, instead, empowers you and your partner(s) to do things in a way that feels true and right for all those involved?

“If Not Romance” is now accepting submissions from writers who are changing the definition of romance, sex, and love. …

It’s all about the balance of playfulness and checking in with each other

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My desire to slap during sex hasn’t always been pleasurable. Before I met Shay, the impulse would emerge from a self-protective space, and any time I couldn’t control it, I followed my action with profuse apologies. The whole experience was far from sexy.

But when I slapped Shay for the first time, I felt in control.

I placed my hand on his face and, looking deeply into his eyes, waited for his nod of consent.

As soon as he gave it, I realized this could be fun.

What followed was a relationship in which slapping and other seemingly violent acts…

Writing Prompt

Bisexual. Kinky. Asexual. When did you know you were different than you once thought you were?

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When I asked my friend Claire how she first knew she liked women — specifically having sex with women — she said, “I just knew! It was super fun!”

She went on to tell me that after having sex with a woman for the first time, she was afraid she wasn’t into men any more.

“But then I went home and my husband was looking pretty cute and I was relieved to see that I was still into him,” she added.

(Claire, by the way, is polyamorous, so her romp in the sheets with a woman was totally consensual.)

It wasn’t until our next hang that she told me what exactly “fun” meant to her.


Freedom is the ability to carry your true self into challenging environments

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

We spend the day out in nature sharing our stories and listening to each other — really listening. We listen to learn, and to give the speaker the gift of being heard.

As the sky darkens, we stand and face the nearly full moon, inviting in its feminine energy, our arms raised, hands forming the shapes of crescents.

We sit around the fire and read aloud from “Women Who Run With the Wolves.” The section is about a “disembodied voice” that calls a woman home to herself, to her truth.

The section ends with this paragraph:

“For many modern women…

No matter how meaningless you think it is, there’s always a story

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My first time having casual sex was when I lived in Paris at the age of 23. Before that, I had resisted whatever sexual desire I felt, doing my best to be “good,” until I felt sure I was in love and in a lasting relationship. And yet, the relationships I’d been in hadn’t all been good.

I knew I only had a year in Paris, so I decided I was not going to spend any of it in an unfulfilling relationship. …

Dancing until 3 AM, casual sex, and a prude French mother — what I learned from giving shame the middle finger for a year

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My favorite definition of shame is a quote from Anais Nin:

“Shame is a lie someone told you about yourself.”

In a single, seven-hour flight across the ocean to Paris at the age of 22, nearly fifteen years ago, I shucked all the lies about how I should behave, which I had gathered from my midwestern upbringing, and embarked on a year without shame.

I didn’t go to Paris because I was supposed to. I didn’t go because it would be good for my future, or because someone else thought it would be good for me. I went because I…

Erotica Challenge

The sensual pleasure of group romance

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We send photos of our guys to each other, showing off their sexiest qualities.

Neither man has a porn star body, but each is beautiful in the way they show themselves to us, and allow us to share the images with each other.

It’s a group chat, but mostly she and I send the photos, the guys acting as our willing models.

Ivy sends me a photo of Paul, a towel wrapped around his waist, held in place loosely by his tanned hand. …

Four tips you can follow for a mindful, blissful experience

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The first time I had group sex was about five years ago. My partner Drake and I were exploring ways to embrace our sexualities more and decided to try dating other people… together… with the intention of eventually having group sex.

Drake had experienced group sex before. In fact, that was how he’d lost his virginity — with a small group of friends, all playing around and experimenting together. Instead of this being a crazy thing to try back then, he described it as a more comfortable way to have sex for the first time.

Perhaps for him, having group…

We started couples counseling from an otherwise solid place to find out

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Yesterday, Drake and I met with a new couple’s therapist for the first time. We’ve gone to couple’s therapy on and off throughout our ten-plus years together, and it’s always helped with some element of our relationship. This time, it’s about sex.

Our therapist, John, seemed surprised but pleased that the two of us are overall good together.

We are polyamorous, and so lack of sex isn’t necessarily a make-it or break-it piece. But still…

“You have a strong foundation on which to build,” he said. “There isn’t much we need to take away.” …

Anne Shark

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