I dislike recipe posts that, before you get anywhere near the list of ingredients, tell you what feels like the entire life story of the author and their family.
“Every morning my mother would warm up the stove, and this was a wood-fired stove back in the day, and make these. We lived in Minnosota…” I don’t care. I can’t begin to tell you how much I don’t care. Just tell me how to make the damn muffins ‘cos the picture’s got me drooling.
This is different. This is the latest and so-far only exception. This, I care about:
When we moved into a house of our own, I bought us a tea kettle that whistled in harmony when it boiled. Rent was cheap, and we were happy. Those were the days of sweet potato hash, wilted kale, and increasingly exotic baked goods. There was the Me-Making-You-Tea-in-the-Morning-Because-You-Hated-Mornings Phase, but also the You-Making-Me-Tea-in-the-Morning-Because-You-Went-to-Work-at-5am Phase.
Lucy tells a story so rich and personal about her and her wife’s experience of life, cohabitation, food, and the beauty of everyday life. I haven’t even read the recipe for The Eggs, even though it sounds pretty delicious.
Over the years I’ve found words for people who have done what we’re doing now, but I’ve also found a deeper truth: our queer community doesn’t demand a definition. They know that chili oil can change a life just as much as a marriage. That love is in the making and unmaking of beds. The candlelit baths. The laughter. The proffered feast that nourishes.
Queerness makes room within it for these relationships, or rather: queerness spirals outward. It blooms and embraces. That is the process by which we broaden our palates, welcoming what might seem new to us, but which is actually older than we know.
It’s a great reminder about focussing on what’s important. About the value of an ally whether the world’s working with you or against you. And, of course, about how every relationship, no matter what shape, size, or form, can enjoy a little more queering once in a while. Go read it.
Great to see somebody finally setting the record straight on bioluminescence and the 50/50 horse-myth. Come on people, it’s 2021!
Dr. Doe’s latest Sexplanations vlog is on polyamorous language, and despite being – or, perhaps, because I’m – a bit of a long-toothed polyamorist these days, fully a quarter or more of the terms she introduced were new to me! Fascinating!
Sara’s back! You might remember a couple of years ago she’d shared with us a comic on her first year in a polyamory! We’re happy to have her back with a slice of life and a frank n’ real conversation about having kids in her Poly Triad relationship.
This sort of wholesome loving chat is just the thing we need for the start of 2021.
Start your year with a delightful comic about the author negotiating possible future children in a queer polyamorous triad, published via Oh Joy Sex Toy. Sara previously published a great polyamory-themed comic via OJST too, which is also worth a look.
That’s great. Prior to 2011 men who’d ever had sex with men, as well as women who’d had sex with such a man within the last 6 months, were banned from donating blood. That rule clearly spun out of the AIDS hysteria of the 1980s and generally entrenched homophobia. It probably did little to protect the recipients of blood, and certainly did a lot to increase the stigma experienced by non-straight men.
The 2011 change permitted donation by men who’d previously had sex with men… so long as they hadn’t done so within the last year. Which opened the doors to donation by a lot of men: e.g. bisexual men who’d been in relationships exclusively with women, gay men who’d been celibate for a period, etc. It still wasn’t great, but it was a step in the right direction.
So when I saw that the rules were changing to better target only risky behaviours, rather than behaviours that are so broad-brush as to target identities, I was initially delighted. Evidence-based medicine, you say? For the win.
But… it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The new rules prohibit blood donation regardless of gender by people who’ve had sex with more than one person in the last three months.
So if for example if there’s a V-shaped relationship consisting of three men, who only have sex within their thruple… two of them are now allowed to give blood but the third isn’t? (This isn’t a contrived example. I know such a thruple.)
Stranger still: if you swap Brandon in the diagram above for a woman then you get a polycule that’s a lot like mine, but the woman in the middle used to be allowed to give blood… and now can’t! My partner Ruth is in exactly the position: her situation hasn’t changed, but because she’s been in a long-term relationship with exactly two people she’s now not allowed to give blood. Wot?
On the whole, this rule change is an improvement. We’re getting closer to a perfect answer. But it’s amusing to see where the policy misses again and excludes donors who would otherwise be perfectly viable.
Update: as this is attracting a lot of attention I just wanted to remind people that the whole discussion is, of course, a lot
more complicated than can be summarised in a single, short, opinionated blog post. Take a look at the FAIR steering
group’s recommendations and compare to the government’s press release.
Update #2: justifying choice of words – “AIDS hysteria”
refers specifically to the media (and to a lesser extent the policy) reactions to the (very real, very devastating) pandemic. For a while there it was perfectly normal to see (often
misguided, sometimes homophobic) scaremongering news coverage suggesting that everybody was at enormous risk from HIV.
For the first episode of the Human Tapestry, I talked to Dan, a bisexual man who lives in Oxford, England, with his partner and her husband in what he describes as a “polyamorous V-shaped thingy”. Listen as we talk about relationships, identities, the “bi-cycle”, and various forms of vegetarianism.
Fellow Automattician Mike has just launched his new podcast, exploring the diversity of human experience of relationships, sexuality, attraction, identity, gender, and all that jazz. Earlier this year, I volunteered myself as an interviewee, but I had no idea that I’d feature in the opening episode! If hearing people in your ears is something you like to do, and you’re interested in my journey so-far of polyamory and bisexuality, have a listen. And if you’re not: it might still be worth bookmarking the show for a listen later on – it could be an interesting ride.
Possibly SFW, depending on your work. Specific warnings:
- Some swearing, including use of a homophobic slur (while describing the experience of being a victim of homophobia)
- Frank discussion of my relationship history (although with greater anonymity than appears elsewhere on this blog)
- Annoying squeaky chair sounds in the background (I’ve replaced that chair, now)
- Skimming-over-the-details of specific events, resulting in an incomplete picture (with apologies to anybody misrepresented as a result)
Caveats aside, I think it came out moderately well; Mike’s an experienced interviewer with a good focus on potentially interesting details. He’s also looking for more guests, if you’d like to join him. He says it best, perhaps, with his very broad description of what the show’s about:
If you have a gender, have attractions (or non-attractions) to certain humans (or all humans), or have certain practices (or non-practices) in the bedroom (or elsewhere), we’d love to talk to you!
Go listen over there or right here.
Last week I happened to be at an unveiling/premiere event for the new Renault Clio. That’s a coincidence: I was actually there to see the new Zoe, because we’re hoping to be among the first people to get the right-hand-drive version of the new model when it starts rolling off the production line in 2020.
But I’ll tell you what, if they’d have shown me this video instead of showing me the advertising stuff they did, last week, I’d have been all: sure thing, Clio it is, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! I’ve watched this ad four times now and seen more things in it every single time. (I even managed to not-cry at it on the fourth watch-through, too; hurrah!).
My 17 year old daughter generously sat down with me to talk about consent — her personal experiences with it, humor of it, nonverbal versions, and how to respond to rejection. We talked about her thoughts on the Dear Boy Who Likes My Daughter episode, how she perceives my romantic relationships, what makes a good cuddle partner, and being resourceful after trauma. There’s laughing and crying and lots of proud mama.
I’ve been gradually catching up on Dr. Doe‘s Sexplanations podcast; I’m up into the 30-somethings now but my favourite so far might have been episode 25, which presents a very authentic and raw look at Lindsey and her daughter Des’s thoughts on sex, romance, and consent. Adorable.
My 12th favourite and my 27th favourite YouTubers just did a collaboration and it’s brilliant. Also: I totally knew seven out of the twelve terms Dr Doe brought to the table and would have been able to guess at least one more (as well as, of course, knowing what TomSka meant by his British slang), so this video made me feel clever.
I don’t know if this is genius or insanity, but either way it’s pretty remarkable. Lost my shit at “pop girl”. Lost it again at “I can poke the nipple”.
It takes a true engineer to think to themselves, “Hey, I wonder if I could use technology to tell me when I’m feeling aroused? That sounds like a useful project.” I love it.