Tag Archives: podcast

Little Monsters: On Jealousy

From an illuminated manuscript, (c. 1400)

Illuminated manuscript, (c. 1400)

Last week, I posted this on Tumblr:

“Jealousy isn’t a failure to transcend. It’s a persistent human reality. It requires acknowledgment and compassion and the gentle refusal to let it rule you developed through practice and patience – patience with the situation and, most especially, patience with yourself.”

This was not a random, theoretical musing on my part. It was a reminder, one I wrote to myself years ago – the last time I had a really good, serious bout with jealousy; because while I’m not fantastically prone to it, I still get jealous like anyone else. It’s just rare enough that, when I do, it really gets my attention.

So, why did it flare up? Something innocuous caught me off guard and I found myself slammed by an irrational, makes-no-sense case of the green-eyed monster. But here’s what really fucked me up (far more than the jealousy itself did): the fact that it happened.

I’ve written about non-monogamy before and, after being non-monogamous for a good fifteen years, I’m fairly practiced at dissecting my feelings. Very often, in the case of jealousy, there’s a territorial impulse at the heart of it (I get so impatient with myself over this). Other times it’s envy regarding time and proximity. Sometimes, it’s just old-fashioned insecurity (often stemming from the two things I just mentioned). This time though…this time it was much less clear-cut and, as a result, far more unsettling.

I’ve been sitting with it for a while now and I’ve finally begun to realize that even more than jealousy, frustration and proximal envy (all of which were mixed up in in there too), what really threw me off was the fact that I felt vulnerable quite suddenly, and that’s a frightening thing.

It’s one thing to love someone. It’s another to realize at a deep, cellular level that loving them means they could hurt you, and no one, including my ego-driven self, wants to get hurt. It was realizing how vulnerable I am that rattled me more than anything else.

In a strange confluence of circumstance, this subject has been making the rounds a bit. Rachel Kramer Bussel used a couple of my quotes in her excellent article on polyamory last week, and since then, I’ve had some good conversations with people about non-monogamy, jealousy and how to deal with it in poly relationships. Here’s how I manage, for what it’s worth:

  1. I try not to lash out because I’m having feelings. If possible, I try to understand what’s going on before I express how I feel to anyone else. Unfortunately, this time I dropped the ball and vented, which rattled me even more because it indicated how totally consumed by my feelings I was.
  1. I try to look at the source of my jealousy and figure out why it triggered me. In this case, it wasn’t the trigger so much as the fact that having tangled, jealous feelings made me realize how vulnerable I am.
  1. I try to reframe the issue in a way that puts me in control of those feelings rather than allowing them to rule me. In this case, I could A. shut down, shove my partner away and not feel vulnerable B. double-down on my initial response and make everyone miserable or C. acknowledge that I feel vulnerable and gradually bring myself to a place where that’s okay. For the record, I chose C. because I’ll be goddamned if I let my emotions own me – they are mine, not the other way around.
  1. Finally, I try to talk to my partner. This can be really fucking hard, because to admit to being jealous is, in fact, to admit to being vulnerable. That takes trust and a leap of faith. I was very lucky in that he was great when I told him, and though I’m still getting comfortable with the vulnerability, I don’t feel nearly so rattled anymore. In the context of our relationship, it’s just a fact and I own that because, at a very basic level, loving someone means you might get hurt. It’s just part of the deal. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to connect those dots, but I’m glad I did.

**Note on #4: It’s important that you communicate your feelings to your partner in a productive way, not in a knee-jerk reaction kind of way. That’s why I try to figure out what’s going on before I get anywhere near discussing it. The point of telling your partner is not to make them to stop doing the thing that makes you jealous. The point is to help them understand what’s going on so you don’t accidentally create a wedge in your relationship. It also has the nice side effect of giving them the opportunity to give you a bit of slack while you’re dealing with it.

And that’s the key – you dealing with it. Because your feelings are your feelings and you’re the one who has to deal with them. As Cunning Minx over at the Polyamory Weekly podcast says, it’s all about owning your own shit.

Here’s the bottom line (or, at least, my bottom line specific to this instance). The fact that I feel vulnerable isn’t bad. It’s not something to fear. It’s just a statement of fact. What I have to do is adjust my self-perception to include that vulnerability. Now, thanks to the discomfort of jealousy, I’ve realized that I am vulnerable and I’ve accepted that as part of being with my partner.

Jealousy is only a monster if you let it be monstrous. Like anything else, you can use it – not to change your partner or your relationship, but to better understand yourself. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s legitimately hard, but the alternative is even harder in the long run. I’d rather keep the little monster firmly on its lead.

**NB: I had a lovely conversation with Molly Moore about communicating and receiving admissions of jealousy, and she very correctly pointed out that this is much easier said than done. I’ll be writing a follow-up post or two soon exploring this in more depth.

**NB 6/1/15: As part of the lovely conversation I mentioned above, Molly Moore invited me onto her podcast, the KissCast to talk about jealousy in more depth. You can listen to that episode HERE.

Jade & Malin Talk 50 Shades

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Hello everyone! I’ve got a bit of a departure for you today. Over the week-end my lovely partner in crime and platonic valentine, Jade A. Waters, and I saw The Movie. We got to talking about it over lunch, (of course), and decided that, in the face of so many proper reviews and opinions, we’d skip writing anything truly critical and record an off-the-cuff conversation instead. We meandered, we drifted, we laughed a lot, (we might have even snorted). Most of all, we had a lot of fun making this recording. A few notes before you press play:

1. We went into this with a particular context in mind – that FSoG is a formula romance, and the kink / BDSM elements were going to be geared for a primarily vanilla, mainstream audience. Also, R rating.

2. We tried to consider it through the lens of the audience it’s intended for, (rather than our own erotica writer / kinky person perspective)

3. The most pornographic moment in this film was the opening credits with Christian Grey’s wardrobe. See #1 on context and rating.

4. We get kind of loud at points so apologies if we laugh you out of your earbuds.

5. There are outtakes at the end! Listen on through if you can!

And now, without further ado, Jade and I talk 50 Shades. Thanks for joining us – we hope you enjoy the conversation at least half as much as we did.

xx.M

The (It Girl. Rag Doll) Podcast

It Girl Rag DollSometimes I get to do really cool, unexpected things. Most the time, these things are fairly small, like having lovely, frank conversations about sex or writing or life. But every once in a while, the thing is bigger, like having a lovely, frank conversation about sex, writing and life on a freaking fantastic podcast. This was the case three weeks ago when I sat down to Skype with the lovely Harper Eliot and her amazing partner in crime, Molly Moore, of Molly’s Daily Kiss, for the (It Girl. Rag Doll) podcast.

By way of a small confession, talking about myself for any great length of time isn’t easy. I’m a writer who depends heavily on revisions and edits – speaking off the cuff has never been one of my great strengths. I’m a natural listener / question asker so, while I was thrilled and honored to be asked on the show, I was also a bit nervous. That said, I shouldn’t have been. Molly and Harper made it so painless and easy that, when the hour was up, I wanted nothing more than to climb through my computer screen and continue the conversation with them.

Click HERE to have a listen.

We talked about everything from writing and words, (please don’t call a lady’s cunt her “va-jay-jay”), to kink and non-monogamy. Even better, I left the experience full of ideas and thoughts, one of the biggest indicators, for me, of a wonderful conversation. In fact, I have no doubt that at least two follow-on posts are going to result from that conversation.

Sadly, the IRGD podcast is winding down and will finish at the end of the year. Luckily, Molly Moore will be striking out with a podcast of her own starting in 2015, and there will still be an archive of excellence to listen to at the IRGD website. Click on over to have a listen to episodes on transgression, flashers and peeping Toms, fucking sculptures and much, much more. While you’re there, check out their newest episode, in which I get to talk to these two excellent, intelligent women.

The KMQ: Bound / Unbound

KMQ Bound-Unbound I’ve been listening to The Kiss Me Quick’s erotica podcast for roughly five months, and in that time, I’ve heard Rose Caraway read everything from the dark and unsettling to the most joyfully pornographic smut you could ever hope to come across. It’s a wonderful podcast, both in content and execution, which is why I was honored when Ms. Caraway asked me if I wanted to write a piece for an episode. The answer was an immediate hell yes.

The piece I ended up writing, a dark bondage fantasy called Bound / Unbound surprised me. I’d been toying with the idea for about 9 years but it never went anywhere. I even had an extremely shitty, ancient first draft, but I gave it up shortly after writing it because I felt unequal to the task, (I was a newbie then and in desperate need of skill and confidence). Even as a concept, it was unruly and stubborn, but when the KMQ came up, something made me dig it out.

Writing a piece to be read is different than writing a piece to be performed – it has to be a little tighter, a little leaner. It has to have a certain efficiency and punch because the ear can only process so much at one time. These limitations ended up imposing an additional structure on the work – one based on practical concerns like pacing, (there’s kick-ass interstitial music), and tension. Those limitations, plus having a specific audience, (KMQ’s Lurid Listeners), were the key.

You can listen to Rose Caraway’s reading of Bound / Unbound here. There’s even a fabulous short, “The Massage” by Lady Cheeky” from The Big Book of Orgasms to sweeten the deal, so check it out.

And finally, on a personal note, I just want to say thank you to Rose Caraway and the KMQ. I would never have guessed that 9 years later, my first rough, unformed little bit of erotica would be performed as an episode of one of the classiest productions there is. And if you aren’t already heard the KMQ, get on over there and have a listen. You’ll be happy you did.