There’s Not Always a Jerk

a set of various shades of grey via overlapping circles
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

As it happens, I was bopping around the Internet the other day, not exactly minding my own business but instead throwing open every door I came across and rifling through for treasures, a bit like a video game protagonist looking for stray gold coins in NPC closets. You know, what people used to call “surfing the web.”  » Read more

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Why It’s Hard to Get Advice When You’re Looking for Validation

an ice cream cone that has been dropped on the ground
Image by Steve Snodgrass / CC BY

After a protracted period of soul searching and agonizing, I decided to share my feelings with him. I thought about how to phrase it. And then I went for it.

And in response he offered, “For one, you feel like that with me, too, and still isn’t true there. For two, not much I could help with except to say that most people like that you’re a bit pushy with your feelings.  » Read more

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Why It Can Be Difficult to Trust People, Even When They Believe What They Say

The worth "truth" with a magnifying glass placed over the U in the word, showing that if you look closer, there are many "lies" underneath
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

The more you know about bias and how deeply it’s entrenched in our brains, the more it becomes truly difficult to trust other people. How they will treat us. If what they say to us is true…

Unfortunately, we’re all capable of saying untrue things, regardless of any moral commitment to truthfulness. Contrary to what a lot of people think,  » Read more

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Good Conversation and Good Communication Are Different Things

a dog holding a purple tennis ball in its mouth
Image by Sadie Hart / CC BY

“I don’t know that we communicate well,” I say to him.

“This is news to me,” he replies.

“Really?”

“Really,” he says. “I love talking to you.”

“I do, too,” I say. “We have good conversations.”

“But you just…”

I sigh. “Just because we have good conversations doesn’t mean that we communicate well.”  » Read more

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How to Follow Your Gut Ethically

A circular yellow sign that says "neighbourhood watch" on it. In the middle of the sign is an image of 4 people
Image by Mark Morgan / CC BY

Every so often, an unpleasant cycle repeats. Someone new hits my local kink and/or poly circles, someone that I’ll meet and instantly have a bad feeling about.

Exactly why I’ll get that hinky feeling will change each time. Maybe this new person is a little too insistent and seems prone to pushing past people’s non-sexual boundaries.  » Read more

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When You’re Good at Providing Reassurance, Some People Don’t Even Know You’re Doing It

closeup of a blooming cactus
Image by Renee Grayson / CC BY

“I really worry about you,” she said. “You’re so insecure. So in need of reassurance. So weak.”

I blinked my eyes twice in slow motion, feeling a wave of shock wash over me. True, I’ve always been a sensitive person. This wasn’t the first time in my life someone had said something like this to me.  » Read more

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This Yankee Needs to Find Her Yeehaw… and Soon

a closeup of an array of black and brown cowboy boots
Image by Marco Verch / CC BY

We’re stopped at a Subway in Kentucky. On our way to Georgia, to a large conference called Frolicon, due to land later that evening.

My husband, who grew up in rural Michigan, is suddenly talking like a cowboy. “Yes, ma’am, no ma’am, thank you kindly.” It’s appropriate given the context but jarring. He code switches like it’s no big deal.  » Read more

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