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[personal profile] stackingfire
I have learned a little about myself and poly in the last few months. Of course, in being with [ profile] isarma, I have had many poly experiences, whether through her, or on my own. I have been dating [ profile] dv8dgrrl for over a year now, with great success as well. I have had an experience lately that has definitely taught me a couple of other things about poly and considerations about the lifestyle.

I recently attempted to get involved in a situation, relationship? I'm not sure of the right word, but it was greatly disappointing. It was a situation where we both had enormous chemistry, but our orbits just never drifted close enough. We'd admitted to it, had kissed on occasion, but nothing other than that and a few short conversations. Things finally did drift close enough, and we had a date. One of the things discussed was our other relationships. She has other relationships as well, and we talked about rights and rules and freedoms. I am quite grateful that [ profile] isarma and I respect each other's decisions about potential partners, and there is no veto power, no 'no list'. Unfortunately, I was reminded that other people, other couples, other houses often don't see things as we do. We talked about how I was currently on a 'no list', but that this was something she felt important to pursue. I felt that it was best for her to talk to the other(s) involved in her relationship about her intentions before we went out again, so everyone could make an informed choice about what she and they wanted to do. She agreed, and we parted ways. I then heard from her few days later about getting together again, and I asked her about is she had the talk. She hadn't, and I reiterated to her about talking to her other partners. In the 2 months since, I haven't heard from her.

There is more behind this story, such as why I was on the 'no list' in the first place, or influences on her decision to not have the talk, or to not contact me again. None of this is based in talking to me, and that hurts. It is also disappointing and hurthful of the level of disrespect about this. I will admit, on the other hand, that I thought this situation a long shot, so I did put myself into this situation by choice, knowing that it might blow up on me. Still, it has hurt, and it has been on my mind. I considered stuffing this, but this past weekend has has several things that hit me on the head for even more reminders.

Wow, posting, huh?

Date: 2006-11-08 04:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know you know this, but obviously, knowing it head is different than knowing it heart or even knowing it cock: I know how you feel. We've both been there before. I'm sure everyone has. Perhaps not this specific thing, but someone who you do have chemistry with, but the ideals and needs are so dissimilar. As we both know, we have a wealth of wonderful people in our lives, already, who are much more compatible and I'm sure many more to come.

And ugh, no lists. If I have to be negotiated off a *no list* you've put me on, yeah, just nevermind. Why would I want to sleep with someone or date someone who put me on some random list before or instead of having a conversation with me...or at all, really. No lists and vetos weird me out. I know you know this, it's just a mini-rant.

Date: 2006-11-08 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am really glad you posted this and happy you didn't stuff it. The 'no-list' thing has been weighing heavily on my mind as well. Especially since I seem to fall on more than one 'no-list'. Yes, it hurts and I am so sorry that you have felt that sting.

I agree with Sarah above that even if negotiated off one, I already feel burnt enough to not want to go there. I don't know which of the two bothers me more.

I just think that making such a list based on information that is either false, rumor or assumed is incredibly limiting and may be cause for some potentially good relationships never to have a chance, and that makes me sad.

Date: 2006-11-08 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, and that it's a *no list* at all is just...I don't know, like junior high. Lists of boys you like and don't like or something. I have no problem with any individual using their communication skills, better judgement and critical thinking skills to make any decision. Good for them. You can't just figure stuff out on a case by case basis? You need a list? Really? I feel the same way about veto. I can understand, "I'm not that into you," "I've got alot on my plate," or whatever and those things can change in time, which is also fine. Yeay! But once you've gone and made a no list, at all, chances are, we're not highly compatible. Once I'm on it...ugh. *skin crawls* What amuses me the most is when person A tells person B, "You're not okay, right now, but maybe you will be someday." as if they're breaking this major thing and person B hasn't even considered sleeping with them. I mean, really, what ego! That's truly fucking funny. It's happened to me. My thought was, "Um, okay, thanks for the information?!" I've seen it happen to others. It's even funnier seeing them attempt a tactful answer.

Date: 2006-11-08 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing that bothers me most, is that because there is generally a lack of communication *beforehand* the no list gets based on info that is possibly false, assumed or rumor. I really have a problem with the whole 'guilt by association' thing that no lists seem to be. Speaking from a hot seat, it is really unfair to place that kind of judgement on someone 1. without their knowledge beforehand and 2. being based on information that at the very best is secondhand.

I would actually be ok with someone communicating their trepidations and then *after* said communication deciding it might not be a good idea, or not good for now.

Date: 2006-11-08 12:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Total agreement.

Date: 2006-11-08 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To be honest, using a no list with me is not a good idea. Not for any highbrow philosophical or moral reason, but because I, apparently, am one of those juvenile people who find forbidden fruit that much more tasty. Show me a person who I never evidenced interest in before and then tell me I am not *allowed* to be interested in them... that person has just become the most fascinating person on earth. Much better to leave me to make up my own mind. I'm a lot more picky if left to my own devices.

Date: 2006-11-08 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree with you :)

Date: 2006-11-08 01:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A "no" list within the context of poly seems to be the shortcut of a conversation that needs to be had. I think it's overlooking the opportunity to learn more about your partner by virtue of talking about the potential outside relationships they're interested in pursuing. IMO, the existence of a "no" list indicates an overweening desire for control in addition to avoiding the ownership of what bothers you so much about the blacklisted person that you feel the need to veto.

Date: 2006-11-08 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know... if a group of people are involved, and they have a specific set of rules that they have decided together, it seems like the conversation has been had.

For example, say there's this great group of gay guys, like 5 of them, and they have this Real World looking, fabulous apartment they share in San Francisco. They all love each other and sleep together, and none of them use protection with anyone else in the house. Because they have chosen not to use protection with anyone in the house, they have set up certain rules about people they sleep with outside the house, because obviously it would be a huge issue if one of them fucked someone outside and came home with some kind of funk, and then spread it around the house unwittingly. So one of their rules is that they don't sleep with people who have are known to have crabs, or people who are partners of known crab-carriers. The 5 guys all sat down and discussed this in depth, and decided this was one thing that they should all agree on and stick to. It was a thought-out decision, because they all knew that bringing home crabs would just be an annoying hassle for everyone involved, and it seemed to all of them like the best decision. This doesn't sound outlandish to me, especially at face value.

Now, granted, there's always the question about whether or not the five guys are being realistic in their decision regarding crabs. If they have a hard and fast rule about crab-carriers and people who are fucking crab-carriers, but any of them is neglecting to, say, use toilet seat covers in public restrooms or something that might also give them crabs, then they should probably re-evaluate their approach to crab-prevention. If they are being careful about crabs in all ways, I don't see an issue with what is essentially their "no-list" based on their own personal decision together. I don't see it as some need to control, as it is a group decision, and I don't see it as avoiding ownership. In fact, I see it as radically OWNING the crab issue, rather than half-ass approaching it and dealing with it when it becomes a problem later.

Not that any of this would really be our business anyway. If they decide this is how they want to handle their relationship, then even if we disagree or find flaws in how we think they're doing things, it's still entirely their choice.

Sorry Serge, this really is an overall response, not just to your comment :)

And with all that said, since I brought an STD example into this, I have met very, very few poly people who have an opinion or approach to STDs with which I agree or find completely consistent. I'm just sayin'.

Date: 2006-11-08 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I totally get that view. STDs are nothing to fuck with, of course, but your point encompasses a lot more, and I accept that the activities which place one or more partners at tangible risk for *whatever* are a good reason to have "no" lists. I think my issue is the practice I've seen of some poly groups to use the concept of a "no" list as a blanket veto for issues that are best discussed on a case-by-case basis with *everyone* involved...and, as a clandestine tool to "disqualify" a person one partner happens to be feel threatened by.

There are going to be hard-and-fast sensical rules that don't really require a town meeting...but there are others that need to be revisited on a regular basis as guidelines, *not* rules. Partners taking active responsibility managing their relationships wouldn't hurt, either.

Date: 2006-11-08 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, we completely agree :)

Date: 2006-11-08 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In the fictional case of the 5 guys *giggle* I don't disagree that they've communicated. What I'm talking about is that in the general community, people often make decisions about other people without talking to them and based on alot of assumption. I find this pretty depersonalizing and it would immediately turn me off. And yeah, I think, for me, what you say about consistency is alot of it. To carry your example further, the reality of what's going on in several cases is that the 5 gay men have a stated policy of no crabs that is mostly bullshit. I just don't buy that's the reason if one of the their current lovers has crabs. I mean, really, that's just dumb. Please don't tell me any of us are actually supposed to believe it's about the crabs then, you know?

Date: 2006-11-08 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Or even better than not just being about the crabs... but let's say there is a difference from having the crabs on your pubes versus having them in your mustache. Yanno?

Date: 2006-11-08 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2006-11-08 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I want crabs in my mustache!! DAMMIT, who has that??

Date: 2006-11-08 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't know. I think people have a right to make whatever decision they think is best, regardless of if everyone around them thinks it's grounded in reality or not. I can tell you from a very personal standpoint that I've actually missed out on a potentially decent relationship really recently b/c of STD issues. And even though I think the people who I was going to get involved with were being hugely hypocritical and closed-minded in their decision-making, and that it MAY have been more of a new poly issue than an issue about an STD, it is still entirely up to them to make whatever choices they want based on their perception of reality. I can do what I can do to try to show them the errors in their thinking, but that's all I can do. In the end, I get to make the decision about whether or not to be around people who I think are making dumb, baseless or ignorant decisions, or who I feel like are judging me incorrectly or whatever.

Now with all that said, none of us on this thread have any idea why anyone did or did not make any decisions that they did or did not make. We have no idea if it's a poly issue, a health issue, an issue with how someone snores at night, or what. While I like a good debate or discussion about approaches to polyamory or dating or whatever just as much as anyone, I think it would serve us best to leave the overgeneralization and assumption out of this. If the people involved want to, they should talk about it.

Date: 2006-11-08 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, of course people get to do what they want. So do I. I get to say it's dumb and hypocritical;). FWIW, I'm generally fine with it, because I think it's an excellent ruling out process as I prefer to date people who are generally consistent in their critical thinking skills. I don't think it's making assumptions if my opinions of why these decisions were made are based on conversations had with the people that made them. And when it really comes down it, it effects me little 'cause I'm not interested in dating or having sex with any of the 5 gay men. I just know how it feels, 'cause I have been there. I can speak from experience and say it's just as well, but I know it hurts in the moment, especially when you weren't really treated with consideration through the process. That's alot of the complaint, I think. Not the decisions made, but how very cold the whole thing felt. That I completely understand.

I'm sorry to hear you possibly missed out on something good. So did they, babe.

Date: 2006-11-08 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not entirely sorry I missed out on it, because sort of like what you're saying, it's a good ruling out process in my opinion too. In my particular situation, the hypocracy was really, really evident, and I have no patience for that.

Anyway, thanks :)

Date: 2006-11-08 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now I'm all curious. I'll put it on my list of things to talk to you about. That and my baby shower story:)

Date: 2006-11-08 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're going to end up asking me about things and I'm going to have forgotten what in the world I was talking about in the first place :)

Date: 2006-11-08 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hahaha...I know just what you mean. I'm bad about making mental notes and forgetting. I'm going to email you the shower story, to stop hijacking the thread here and feel free to reciprocate if you like.

Date: 2006-11-09 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm, trying to get the image of 5 Guys with Crabs out of my head aside; clarify for me please "No List"?
Is this a list that one's primary partner makes of people/criterion they wish you Not to become in volved with?
Or is it a list a behaviors you yourself are "not Supposed" to engage in?
Or both? (though both seems dodgey to me, as it seems that allowable activities increase with length of involvement inmany cases)

My guess is that said person already violated some no-no on her list, and was too craven to just say "sorry, I made a mistake and we can't be involved" which means IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU or anything you did. Sounds like you were upfront with her, which is as good as a person can get.

Date: 2006-11-09 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A no list is a poly faux pas. No lists mean I say who you can and cannot have sex/a relationship with, because I am paranoid afraid of catching something, or don't like your choice of lover, or are simply a jealous person. I feel this way without benefit of having all the information, or having talked to said potential lover about (insert condition/issue/disease/rumor) to understand and make an informed decision on my own, therby trusting you enough to make your own informed decision. Does that make sense? I think I made sense.

Date: 2006-11-09 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ackphhhht! "No List" is a beasty I have not used, not have encountered ( that I know of, and if I'm on someone's no list, don't know, don't care) I wonder if these folks print up the List on t-shirts, or little leaflets and hand them out to prospectives at Cons.
Me, I have preferences, boundaries, but usually governing my own behavior. My only needs are to be informed, adapt and discuss. I have recently discovered that finding out second hand/rumours/after the fact pushes my anxiety button, but that's MY button, and have been working that out between all parties involved.

You obviously have, and have found, good mates in your life; despite the NoNo's discouragement, you're being yourself. Hope you find many more!

Date: 2006-11-09 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I totally giggling about the t-shirts thing. At one point, folks in the community were passing out these cards that were basically signed "Permission to Play" slips. Ewww! They even had space for boundaries. I'm guessing for things like no anal! or latex for everything. I once joked that they should come with a penlight, so you could reference them during orgasms to make sure you crossed no boundaries.

Date: 2006-11-09 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*snickers* did this result in:

"pssssst, hey , I'll trade you your 2 partners' "No Anal" cards for one " 4 Finger Please Ma'am! and a "My Safe Word is Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious"

or :
"oooowww, it said no more than 2 Fingers!!!"
"oops sorry, the third objects the light up pen"'re hilarious!

Date: 2006-11-09 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, no. It took those stupid cards a long time to become unpopular and several people got offended that we didn't think they were awesome! My main problems with them:
1) Why the hell would you fuck someone who you don't trust enough to be honest with you about something as simple as whether or not someone will want to kick your ass the next morning?
2) Are you so dumb that you don't realize they can just forge it. Srsly.

Date: 2006-11-09 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have to laugh about the penlight comment. I once gave someone I was dating a penlight.

The reason, he would use his phone everynight when he got into bed as a flashlight to not have to turn a bigger light on. His phone would call me...and all I got was snoring...LOL.

I hated those cards. Any type of paper that was ever given to me as a permission to play was usually laughed at and handed back. I have a hard time taking a potential partner seriously after I am handed a piece of paper. Pretty much removes the potential, yanno?

Date: 2007-02-14 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi! I noticed you'd added me. You seem really cool, but how did you find me?

Date: 2007-02-14 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't remember which of my flists I may have seen you on, but I added you from there after perusing your page and really liking what I read. Good to meet you. My name is Brian.

Date: 2007-02-14 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm Katie :)
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