Fanfiction Roundup: Polyamory

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You know what’s nice? Seeing yourself reflected back at you from the media you consume. Happy, healthy depictions of stigmatized persons and lifestyles. Characters that share the parts of me that I can’t share with the world at large. You know where I don’t get that shit? Mainstream media.

This is a big part of what fanfiction is for. It’s the place where I can find characters who are queer and kinky and polyamorous, like me, which are written by authors like me. A big part of fanfiction is a desperate attempt to relate to well-written, interesting mainstream media that completely leaves out people like us. I always advocate for more and better representation, but I also want to be able to enjoy the good content that’s already out there. So here’s a roundup of some of my favorite representations of polyamory in fanfiction.

  1. Welcome Home by Udunie (Teen Wolf): Here’s a classic one shot threesome smut fic, but with extra kink for flavor. Stiles comes home from college and has reunion sex with his two domly boyfriends, Peter and Alan. There is no plot to be found here, just a pre-established kinky triad, chastity, blowjobs and boyfriends excited to be together again.
  2. Six Shots To Go by CourierNinetyTwo (RWBY): This one goes much deeper into character development, which is my favorite. Velvet, Coco, Yatsuhashi, and Fox all end up dating each other, and we get a chapter (and sex scene) for all six couple pairings. I love this one because I think it shows what polyamory is all about: getting to explore different sides of yourself and different dynamics, and supporting your friends and lovers in pursuing what makes them happy.
  3. Masks by Not_You (Watchmen): This Watchmen high school musical theatre AU is just as bizarre and wonderful as it sounds. They’re doing Phantom of the Opera, Walter is the Phantom, Dan is Raoul, and Laurie is Christine. Besides appealing to my musical theatre nerd heart, it’s about teenagers figuring out that they’re allowed to be attracted to multiple genders, and that it’s possible to love multiple humans at the same time. It’s really heartwarming and sweet to watch this verse in which people like me figure everything out and everything goes well and there’s love and happiness all around. Queers want fluffy wish fulfillment sometimes too.
  4.  Odd One Out by thingswithwings (Leverage): I really like this exploration of an OT3 getting together, because it’s messy. Parker and Hardison are dating, and they also want to date Eliot, but Eliot is reluctant and scared of feelings. They try the casual sex thing, and make things awkward- taking one step forward and two steps back, as it were. My favorite part of this is Parker’s conversation with Eliot where she talks about the difference between what we think romance is and what it can be in reality, and the difference between wanting a fantasy of romance and wanting a specific person. Poly is hard and complicated and I love a fic that looks at that honestly.
  5. She Who Must Be Obeyed by Not_You (The Avengers): This is one of my favorite fics of all time. It’s of the “everyone is poly because Avengers” variety. Natasha is a femdom with a whole harem of subs, that starts out with Tony, Pepper, Nick, Thor, and Clint and expands to include Steve, Bucky, and Loki, so there’s a combination of established relationship dynamics and getting together storylines. There’s a lot of femdom porn, as well as various dynamics between other members of the polycule. Also, great character development: Bucky confronts his gay feelings, Steve discovers his dom feelings, and Loki handles out his jealousy feelings, among other things. I love the idea of this big happy poly family all living together in a big house and making it work.

Do y’all have any favorite polyamory fanfics? Let me know in comments!

 

Three Things I Learned From a Year of Non-Monogamy

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About a year ago, my boyfriend at the time and I broke up, ending a pretty serious monogamous relationship. In the year since it happened, I feel like I’ve changed and grown a lot. One of the biggest changes for me was moving to a non-mongamous lifestyle. Non-monogamy has been tremendously fulfilling for me, and in retrospect, I’m very glad I made the switch. Here are three things I learned about myself and how I do polyamory in the past year:

I should only sleep with people I like.

The thing about not really experiencing attraction is that it can be easy to say “hey, why not?” Because we have nothing in common, that’s why not! I don’t tend to enjoy sex with people I’m not that into, so I don’t do that any more. This means that I have fewer partners than I did before, but I have way more fun with the partners I do have. Rejecting monogamy doesn’t mean rejecting selectivity- just because I’m allowed to do something doesn’t mean I have to do it. I’m gonna have way more fun with a fellow kinky nerd who loves high fantasy and musical theatre than I am with some rando I just met with whom I have nothing to talk about.

Time management is crucial.

I do a lot of things: I’m in college, I have a part time job, I run this blog, I’m in a student organization, I have to shower occasionally. I’m also currently dating three people. That’s a lot of commitments to juggle. It can be really tricky for me to make sure that I’m managing my romantic relationships, my platonic relationships, and my self care without letting important things like my education fall by the wayside. For me, what works is making commitments and sticking to them, whether that’s going on dates that I’ve agreed to or honoring the time I’ve set aside for studying. It’s important not to let my academic life steal all my time from my love life, or vice versa.

Romantic time commitments are no morally different from any other time commitment.

One way that I like to frame polyamory is that I respect my partners’ commitments and responsibilities. If they’re working, spending time with their best friend, doing a hobby that they love, repairing their car, whatever it is, I understand that they have a life apart from me. I honor their time doing other things. I don’t think of it as time stolen away from me somehow, because I don’t feel entitled to their entire life. Once I rejected that poisonous lesson propagated by certain schools of thought about monogamy, it was easy for me to incorporate my partners’ partners (my metamours) into that framework. I can also honor my partners’ commitments to their other lovers, and plan around them the way I would plan around their work schedule or their D&D night.

Here’s hoping that the next year brings even more polyamorous happiness and growth for me!

 

 

 

Pink B.O.B. Bliss Rechargeable Wand Review

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Hello lovelies! This week I’m reviewing the Pink B.O.B. Bliss Rechargeable Wand, a wand vibrator that was sent to me by the lovely folks at Too Timid. My love for wand vibrators is well known- I love the broad stimulation and sheer power- so I was super excited to try out the Bliss Rechargeable Wand.

First off, I’m afraid I have to address the name: “B.O.B.” stands for “battery operated boyfriend,” which I find to be a painfully inaccurate term for vibrators. Sex toys are not replacements for partners. That’s not how this works. I can’t see how this name does anything other than contribute to stigmatizing myths about sex toys. Also, not everyone who uses your products wants a boyfriend. I am fully opposed to this term.

Now that that’s out of the way, I can move on to the actual vibrator in question, which I actually quite like.

The Bliss Wand is significantly smaller than the Magic Wand Rechargeable, and extremely lightweight in comparison, which makes it much easier to maneuver and carry around in my purse. Although the head is also proportionately smaller, in use I didn’t really register a size difference because it’s still plenty broad enough for me. The copy on the website really hypes up the curved handle but it made no difference for me: in use I really couldn’t tell it was there because I tend to hold my wands further down.

The Bliss Wand did not come with an instruction manual, which I find quite odd. Partially because of the lack of instruction manual, I have absolutely no idea how long it takes to charge. I can’t tell when it’s done charging because the light which turns on when you plug it in just glows red forever. The Bliss Wand retails from the Pink B.O.B. website for about $50 cheaper than MWR, which is awesome. As a Broke College Kid, I totally appreciate the difference $50 can make in terms of someone’s ability to buy a good sex toy.

The buttons are in the opposite order of the MWR, which took some getting used to, but I fully admit that’s purely a personal problem. Also as a matter of preference: this wand has lots of patterns, but I don’t like patterns, so I don’t use them. The patterns button is separate from the intensities button, making the patterns easy to avoid, which I really appreciate.

There are 8 intensities that go from high to low and back again for some strange reason. I prefer the very lowest setting because it’s the most rumbly, so I always have to click all the way through the settings to find it.

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Personally, I definitely need the lowest, rumbliest setting, and I prefer to use it through blankets or clothing. This thing is intensely powerful, and is reminiscent of the Original Magic Wand on its highest settings- which is not my jam, but is unquestionably some people’s.

Because it’s not as rumbly, I was able to keep it on my clit the whole time I was having an orgasm. This is actually really nice. With the MWR I almost always have to pull it away as soon as I come because it’s so intense- it’s really overstimulating during my hypersensitive period right after orgasm. With the Bliss Wand, it can kind of work me through the aftershocks, which is lovely.

On the lowest settings, it’s not nearly buzzy enough to put me off- my clit does sometimes feel a little bit rubbed raw from repeated or prolonged use, but it didn’t give me any numbness or itching that cheap battery-operated vibes always do.

The Bliss Wand is rather loud- it’s a bit more noisy than my MWR. The sound is almost completely muffled when pressure is applied, like when it’s on my bits. This seems odd to me, but I am clearly not an expert in vibrator engineering, and I appreciate the muffling effect.

Overall, I think the Bliss Wand is worth its price tag. You would probably like the Bliss Wand if you like broad stimulation, enjoy powerful mid-line rumbly/buzzy vibrations, need something lightweight, or are looking for a rechargeable wand for a bargain. You can pick one up here!

I was sent the Pink B.O.B. Bliss Rechargeable Wand in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Thanks, Too Timid!

 

How Do I Be Friends With Men?

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I feel like I don’t know how to be friends with men. This must be a personal failing of mine, because I firmly believe men and women can be friends. They can be friends, and remain platonic, and nobody needs to be secretly harboring crush feelings or pants feelings, or be strictly gay. So why can’t I seem to be platonic friends with the men in my life?

How do you interact with men without assessing the romantic potential of the relationship? I do this thing where when I like someone, I ask myself “Is this a friend like or a sexy like?” I don’t think that’s too weird, especially since I don’t generally experience burning attractions. I have to think about it for a bit. But I admit that I only sometimes do this with women, and I feel like I always, always do it with men. I don’t know how to interact with men without feeling like I’m constantly reading the tea leaves.

My friendships with men, historically, tend to turn into more than that. I never learned how to be friends with men. I learned how to flirt with them. I learned how to make myself marketable to them. I learned how to avoid them, how to attract them. How to give them a soft “no” so they won’t kill you. How to please them. How to take care of them. How to make myself into something they want. How to date them. How to kiss them. How to fuck them. How to love them. But never how to be friends with them.

When I was a kid, I sometimes did that thing where I decided to have crushes on boys. (Lots of young afab queers do that.) I just picked a boy and went “I’m supposed to have crushes on boys, therefore I have a crush on that one.” I learned how to perform heterosexuality the way my culture wanted it performed. That did not involve befriending men.

I’ve gotten a lot better in recent years. I think part of it has to do with seeing men as people, and with being seen as a person by them. Our culture sets men and women up as diametrically opposed opposites, and rationally, I know that’s absolute baloney. But those sorts of lessons can be hard to let go of. It’s hard to stop seeing men as some terrifying or glorious other. I think the key here, as in so many things, is understanding other people as truly and fully human. It can be so hard, though, when the world has been divided up into categories and certain behaviors and values have been assigned to those categories.

I still have a lot of personal learning to do. There’s a lot of messages for me to unlearn, and new  lessons for me to replace them with. I wish my culture had taught me the right lessons in the first place. But I do believe that I can learn them, and I hope my culture can too.