taiWelcome! I’m Tai Scarlet Kulystin, the creatrix of Purveyor of Pleasure. I am a somatic sexuality educator, occultist, professional harlot, and gender & relationships coach. This blog is my personal exploration of gender, sexuality, spirituality, kink, and the pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

I identify as a queer fat genderqueer polyamorous switch and prefer the pronouns ne/nem/nir or they/them. I spend a lot of my time thinking about sacred sexuality, sacred kink, relationships, the body, queer theory, depth psychology, erotic psychology, sexological bodywork, and so much more. I'm in a long-term live-in relationship with my partner Onyx, and I also have a few other relationships and lovers.
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Archive for the ‘a Love: Marla’


What A Year

One year ago I wrote an introduction to Marla. We had already been talking for a few weeks previous to that. In so many ways it doesn’t seem like it has been a year, but in others it seems like it should have been far longer. Everything happened so quickly, she was living with us less than six months after I first introduced her, and then everything split apart just a few months later.

She once asked me if I planned on writing a post to commemorate our anniversary. This isn’t what either of us had in mind.

In some ways it makes me extremely excited for what the next year will bring. Where will I be in March of 2011? What will be happening and what will I be thinking? How will my identities and thoughts and passions have changed and grown and evolved?

In some ways it makes me sad that I have not posted as much this past year as I wanted to or wish I had, but I also know that was a product of the situation. I just couldn’t write about what I was thinking and feeling, for various reasons. I was highly distracted. I know I write about her quite often, but it’s difficult not to write about someone who had such an extreme impact on every aspect of my life as she did.

I will be moving back to Seattle in five short days, hoping that the situation I am coming back to will encourage me to write rather than the opposite, though I also hope to be far more busy so I may have to finally learn how to prioritize (and judging by the half-dozen drafts I have open while writing this that may take a bit to do). I am a different person now than I was a year ago, in so many ways. I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring.

My life is a series of changes, a series of hits and misses, ghosts and corpses. I’ve lost a lot and gained what I’ve taken. This time next year I won’t be this girl anymore, I’ll be something new. I’ll be a new image, a new collage in the making. But no matter who I become next I will always remember the people I’ve been and all the pieces I’ve kept. – We the Living Photography [image]

Reflections and Refractions

Of all the pain and disaster of everything that has happened there have at least been some good things.

I have learned a lot, both about myself and about what I desire in another person. When forced to make a choice between Marla and Onyx I chose neither, and through that choice learned who was truly supportive of me.

I needed time if I was going to be with either of them again, and Marla would not give that to me. The little time that we were still in contact after I broke us up or paused us or whatever she basically constantly brought up her and I being together and how she could not understand how I had not chosen her automatically. She didn’t seem to understand the bond between Onyx and I, and maybe that was my fault for being so unsteady in my relationship with him and confiding in her my questions and unsureness. It seemed that we could not have a conversation without her saying something passive-aggressive or bringing up our possible future.

However, I am not saying she is wholly to blame. I am definitely not without blame. We both needed support at the time, but we needed the opposite of what the other needed. She needed me even more after the triad disbanded, and I needed time to figure things out. I needed her to be happy without me, and she needed me to need her.

Finally things between us got to the breaking point and I knew we could no longer be in contact. I was content still being loosely in contact through social networks and such, just not direct contact, until her mother posted on my Facebook page essentially telling me to remove anyone she was related to and not be in contact with them again. I followed her instructions and took that beyond Facebook to every social media network Marla and I had contact on. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary for us both, I think.

This was before Onyx visited. During and ever since he and I have been in more and more contact. I have been hesitant to say we are in a relationship again, but he has proven time and time again that he is supportive of me and my needs. He had questions after everything that happened too, but was willing to give me the time I needed without pressing the issue or getting in arguments with me.

It has been two months as of today since the triad broke, and twenty one days since I broke all contact with Marla. While I mourn the loss of what we were trying to do and of Marla as a friend and lover I also think everything has turned out for the best. From what I hear she is doing well and is happy, and I am extremely glad for that, she deserves all the happiness in the world.

As for Onyx and myself, it has come to the point where I cannot deny that we are in a relationship again. It feels very much like a new relationship, however, a new and improved version of us, a fresh start in some ways. The experiences of the past year as well as being apart have combined to rekindle the passion between us, and it is simply amazing.

The positive side of me focusing on my own failures is that it has become easier for me to heal long-held emotional wounds. I have a tendency to hang on to them for as long as possible, and some I was holding on to were a huge hindrance in my relationship with Onyx. I can’t say I have abandoned them one hundred percent, but I have as much as possible and I’m working on releasing the rest.

Essentially we have a second chance for us, something we have been talking about needing for quite some time.

I’m actually quite amazed at the desire we have recovered, and I think having gone through everything we have in the five years that we have been together all will contribute to us being smarter about things in the many more years to come. We hope to avoid the pitfalls we fell into the last time around.

We both have grown a lot since and because of everything that has happened and have talked a lot about what we will and will not do next time we find someone we are interested in either separately or as a couple. We are both, in many ways, different people than we were before and ready to try things again which failed in the past, including rediscovering our D/s roles together.

I’m still staying up in Juneau, and he’s still in Seattle, so we will have time apart for a while to figure out our respective lives before being able to be with each other in the same way we once were, and I think the time apart will help us both immensely.

01.18

2010

Protected: More Honesty

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If I Was Really Honest with Myself…

…what would I say?

This question has been running through my head over and over since everything happened in November. I’m still processing everything, but life must go on in the meantime as much as I want to pause it and analyze and figure things out before continuing I, unfortunately, do not have the ability to do that, so I’m taking everything one step at a time.

Ang just wrote a post on Things People Say about polyamory and what it entails, when she posed this question on twitter “Finish this sentence: “For poly to work, everyone involved must…………..”” I immediately responded “…communicate and be honest, especially with themselves.” These aren’t the only things that are required, but they are what immediately came to mind, specifically because they were our downfalls.

I think honesty was one of the big things missing from the triad. Ultimately, dishonesty is what ended up splitting us so suddenly, but it had been a problem for quite a while, and for all of us to an extent I think. I know there were times when I was dishonest, specifically to myself but through being dishonest with myself I was dishonest with the others. It is so easy for me to deceive myself, though I used to be much better at it than I am now as I’ve purposefully worked at eroding that skill set.

No one is able to be honest with themselves 100 percent of the time because that’s just not the way our brains work. What we think we want in one minute could be wrong, a distraction, or simply part of the process of moving us toward the ultimate realization. Or maybe it is what we want in that moment, we just don’t want it later. Our brains work in convoluted ways and often will not let us know the whole truth that is going on inside us until it is too late.

It’s often difficult to tell the difference between dishonesty and change in some cases as well. There were many times within the triad relationship when I was wondering about things, worried about things, or thinking about things in a way that was contrary to how I ended up feeling. Were those times when I was being dishonest or simply something that changed in me during the course of the trilationship? Probably a little of both.

I will be honest and say that there have been many times lately and in the past when I have wondered if I am still attracted to males. Aside from Onyx there hasn’t been another I have really been attracted to in a long time. Being with a female again reminded me of just how attracted I am to females. On the one hand I don’t want to limit myself, but on the other I find my understanding of my desires evolving as I do.

There was a period of a few weeks after the triad dissolved that I was feeling decidedly asexual, no doubt as part of a coping mechanism to the shock of everything that happened and the need for me to get space and take time. I used that time to evaluate a lot of things about myself and my desires, and realized while my desires have remained fairly constant my ability to articulate them has definitely changed.

For a long time I have called myself intellisexual but maybe not fully embraced the meaning. I’m attracted to intelligence and intellect, to individuals and all the things that make up an individual rather than the body that individual inhabits. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a bit of an indifference to genitals, by which I mean I don’t find genitals in and of themselves sexy or arousing. I can’t look at a picture of a cock or cunt and be that attracted to it without knowing the person behind it. This rang home for me when Onyx visited.

Before the triad split it had been a while since Onyx and I had sex, and the times we did after Marla moved in with us were not only few and far between but also often strange and unpleasant for one reason or another. There were a lot of negative emotions going on and a lot of things coming between our relationship with one another, so our sex as well as our relationship suffered from it dramatically. This was a major factor in my wondering about being attracted to males, I believe, since we weren’t fitting together and he is one of the only males I have any sort of attraction to the conclusion for my brain was to think maybe I should just give up males altogether.

When we were talking about him visiting I was nervous because of this, I didn’t know if I was going to be attracted to him again, I didn’t know if it was going to be a farewell visit or a reconciliation. After the split and before he visited there were instances when I was masturbating and he came to mind without my conscious invoking of him, which made me more secure in his coming up here. I figured one way or another something would be determined by his visit.

I still look at images of cocks and cunts and have very little attraction, but when he was here I was definitely attracted to him. There was a spark between us that I hadn’t felt in many years, since way before we moved to Seattle. We had amazing chemistry once upon a time, but the pressure we put on ourselves, getting used to each other, and getting to the point of taking each other for granted definitely changed our interactions for the worse. That chemistry was back full-force as the weight of the triad had been lifted from both of us and we both have been focusing on ourselves since everything happened. It was amazing once again.

For the moment I’m still sticking with the needing to be alone idea. We are pausing our relationship in a way right now in that we are separated by many miles, but still keeping in touch and planning on visiting each other regularly. For some people this would be a long-distance relationship, but that’s not what I’m comfortable terming it at the moment. I am taking time to figure out my life as well as analyze and discover aspects of myself long since forgotten, and I believe he is doing the same. We’re both working on rethinking the way we both approach our relationship so that we do not fall into the same traps and end up getting into a rut the way we have before.

We got too stuck in the idea of a relationship as the focal point of life rather than a support system or another person to create home together. We both need focuses outside the relationship more than we were getting before, and that is what we’re getting now being so far apart and not living together. He has been my home for so long, but we were going about it the wrong way. Instead of going off and having our own adventures so that we could come back together, share what we experienced and learned, and be stronger for it we got way too wrapped up in each other over the course of our relationship, especially moving to a new place together where I had trouble finding a job or an outside focus.

There was a long while when we talked a lot about needing to get out of our isolationist funk but we were having trouble doing it, which is when Marla came along and seemed to fill that need so perfectly. She seemed to fit in with us so well and came right at the perfect time, and although everything crumbled in the end the experience was extraordinarily valuable. Among many other things it showed me just how strong my bond with Onyx is, that I haven’t been willing to give him up despite the opportunity, which, quite honestly, surprised me.

There are still a lot of things to figure out, and for that I’m glad we have lots of time and space to work on everything. I’m glad to keep as many options open as possible, and do wish that things had happened differently, but I think everything has worked out for the best.

Home Sweet Heartache

juneau
Taken by me winter of 2007

Everything is worse in the single digit hours when she should be sleeping but her brain won’t turn off. She instead reminds herself of how frost crystals can look like diamonds shining in streetlights and marvels at how many stars she can see when there are no lights. She watches as the sun rises in the crisp Alaskan mornings and the light floods the room that was never hers but she calls home for now.

Sometimes she wakes up sobbing, her pillow already damp from her tears, her body curling into itself. Sometimes she can only remember the good times and curses herself even though she knows she did everything she could. When you don’t have much to work with it’s difficult to hold on for long.

She wonders what the point of it all is if good love can turn so sour.

Her heart buckled from the force of being torn in two directions for too long and eventually shattered when she realized she wasn’t getting what she needed and probably never would. She hadn’t been getting what she needed for a long time. The weight of her decision makes the single digit hours drag on when all she really wants is to be held and told everything will be okay.

She wonders how she can live without being touched.

The chemical dependency she cultivated over the many months and years (respectively) has left her hollow and yearning. Unfortunately the only sources are hundreds and thousands of miles away. Her need translates itself easily into skin hunger, but she doesn’t have a way to sate it.

She doubts she will sate her skin hunger soon, but will go on as she did before in the town she couldn’t wait to escape from. She would be happy to turn everything into a distant memory, but her thoughts won’t allow her to do that. She doesn’t know when she will be able to let herself love or trust again as she works on picking up the bloody pieces of her heart, finding the self she locked away.

She wonders what the future will bring.

Life is less complicated here. It would be peaceful if she could sleep, but instead she fills her time with meaningless things to distract her from the emptyness she feels without them. The more she stares at the sky and mountains she is amazed at the beauty found where she grew up but never felt at home.

She looks forward to summer, rediscovering the trails of her youth and trying to learn to love the city she once knew. She hopes her despair will melt with winter and her new scenery and potential for a life here will grow and blossom in spring.

Unfortunately spring is still far away, and for now she has to wait for the single digit hours to tick on until she is tired enough to fall asleep. In the meantime she takes all she can from the beauty of winter, from the frost crystals and clean Alaskan air, from the darkness that envelops her and caresses her while she waits.

Rights and Responsibilities

I had never broken up with someone before, but now I’ve essentially had to do it twice in the span of a week or so. I feel like I don’t have the right to mourn or be sad because I was the one who said it’s over. In reality I know that is nonsense, I have just as much right as anyone to be sad about the ending of the relationships I worked hard on and put so much energy into the past months to years, but it’s difficult not to feel like I should not feel the way I do.

My heart aches for both of them every day. I have dreams about them and talk about them all the time. While I seem to be able to maintain a friendship with Onyx the possibility of that with Marla is extremely unlikely, next to impossible at this point really. I’m still somewhat in shock from everything that has happened, still very numb, still haven’t processed everything, and still don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know if I can stay here in Alaska or if I have another option at this point.

Their relationship wasn’t as deep as the ones I had with each of them. This is the longest Onyx and I have been away from each other in four years, and that alone would be enough to cripple me but that combined with being so far from Marla and knowing that I have and continue to hurt her just makes everything unbearable, to the point I have a hard time getting out of bed a lot of days. My motivation is shot and I’m just generally down.

While I was the one who called it quits, it wasn’t because I don’t want to be with either of them, if anything it’s because I want to be with both of them but had to make a choice. I love them both very much and will continue to love them, but the circumstances are such that I can’t be with either of them right now. I have high hopes for the future, and I feel like I survived one of the worst poly situations possible (not the only bad one, of course, and probably not the worst) so that’s something at least.

One of the biggest lessons that I learned from everything that has happened is I cannot be responsible for the emotions or emotional well being of others. It is something I have always done and probably will continue to do, but it is something I am working on. While this doesn’t mean I don’t care about the emotions of others or that I would stop empathizing or anything it does mean that I need to accept I cannot change their emotions or even help if they will not let me and that it is not responsibility to hold back my own feelings for the sake of someone elses (I’m still working on that last part).

I guess it’s self-explanatory to an extent, but for as long as I can remember I’ve taken on the responsibility of making sure everyone around me is happy, often to the detriment of my own happiness and well-being. I can’t say this will stop, but at least I’m going to be more aware of it. I also don’t think that wanting the people you love to be happy is a bad thing, but there is a point where it can be taken too far, especially if those around you are not willing or not wanting to change.

I am responsible, however, to my reactions to new relationship energy (NRE). I love NRE. I love the feeling of a new relationship, the excitement, the passion, the discovery, everything. This is dangerous, and something I want to go into more depth in another post, and I think this is the reason why we moved so quickly into everything.

It is easy for me to get caught up in a new relationship, I have discovered, and I also have a tendency to be a bit of a chameleon, changing myself to fit my partner’s desires without any conscious intent or effort on my part. This doesn’t work well when multiple partners with vastly different desires come into play.

So, I’m working on discovering myself outside of relationships, focusing on what I want and what I need both here and now and in the future. I have been so aimless since I graduated that I have lost sight of a lot of things, and it’s time to get that back.

In the Middle

I started the draft of this post with this title months ago and had the intention to write about the juxtaposition of how wonderful it was to lay between the two of them and how horrible it was to be between them when something was going wrong. Of course the title takes on even more meaning now that they have severed all ties to each other but they both still want to be with me.

I was constantly in the middle when we were all living together, not just physically. At first I would play messenger between them when things weren’t going well, they wouldn’t talk to each other like they would to me. Some point after I stopped playing messenger our communication simply got worse, we all felt trapped and simply shut down. We all agreed something needed to change, but didn’t have the means or the drive to change it.

I can see both sides now. I still love them both very much and I still want to be with them both, just as they both want to be with me. I do not do well with making decisions when I have to choose between two things I want. Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer “all” to “one.” I’m torn and do not know how to make a choice like this.

My entire life is crumbling around me and the two people who have been central to my life are at odds and I am unable to confide in either of them fully or find the support in them that I am used to. This is difficult on all of us for different reasons, and it seems we each think we have it the worst when in reality there is no “worse” in this situation.

I have been asked many times why can’t I just continue to be with both of them, why must I make a choice. While I was told by one of them that me being with both of them might be okay as long as I don’t live with the other person I was told by the other that due to everything that happened it would be extremely difficult. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice: thinking I can have both of them and having that end with none of us happy or getting what we need.

This evening Marla mentioned fearing that no matter who I chose I would end up resenting them for making me choose. I am trying to prevent this by taking the time to figure out what I need above all else. I love them both, I want them both, I don’t know how to choose but I know that rushing into a decision will end up with me and/or everyone unhappy.

At the same time I know that taking too long or indecision is a decision all in and of itself. I’m trying to find the balance there, but maybe I’ve already taken too long. By trying to avoid hurting one of them I will probably end up hurting both of them.

The other option, of course, is to choose neither. One of the things I fear the most is hurting someone that I love, and in this situation I would be hurting both of the people who I desperately want to spend my life with, this seems like the worst solution because of that. This isn’t to say this option isn’t tempting, it bypasses me having to favor one over the other, but it guarantees that we all will be hurting more than we already are. On the flip side, if I make a choice two of us will be hurting over a choice and the other will still be hurting over the rest of the situation.

All I can do is try to figure out what is best for me, and that’s what I’m trying to encourage them both to do as well. I am not used to putting myself first in any situation, but I am working on how to do that. I’m trying not to take too long as to drive both of them away but to take long enough that I know I am making the right decision, or at least as much as I am able to know that.

11.20

2009

Broken

As of two days ago the triad we have been working so hard on the last six months or so ended. The state of my individual relationships within the triad is unknown at this point but we are all certain that Marla and Onyx’s relationship is no more.

If you follow me on twitter you already know this.

Two days ago Onyx went to work and shortly after Marla and I woke up to text messages from him telling us that Marla had to be out of the apartment by the time he got back. This was at 6am and he would be back around 7pm. This came as an extreme shock to us as things had actually been going better for a while, at least I thought they had. He told me that our relationship was over and that I might want to find a relative or someone to stay with.

This sounds extreme, and it really was. Marla and I talked with our families and ended up getting tickets to head home to where we grew up, I’m currently writing this from Juneau, Alaska.

We were not able to get flights until the next day, so (like the wonderfully sweet and amazing person she is) Coy Pink and her husband put us up at their place for the night, she even drove us to the airport the next day and everything, I’m still blown away by her willingness to help us, especially after having not seen me in months and never having met Marla.

Back to the beginning, though. The reason why everything changed so quickly was because Onyx snooped and read Marla’s private journal and discovered horrible things written there about him, bad enough that he never wants to see her again. I have not read what she wrote and I’m not sure I would want to even if given the chance.

I can understand him needing to read it and him wanting her out based on what she’s told me, though I also understand that what she wrote is not what she feels all the time and that it was an outpouring of raw emotion which was never to be read by anyone, especially not the person it was mostly about. I’m in Juneau figuring out what the next step for me is, what I need, who I can be with. I still love them both very much, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to break one or both of their hearts at this point.

Onyx has since said that he never intended to kick me out. He was delirious with anger and sadness and he assumed I wouldn’t want to stay with him if he kicked Marla out. He also assumed at first that I knew more about what she had written down than I did. Although twelve hours to pack up and leave is rather unreasonable he became more lenient once he started thinking rationally. We did leave before he got home, taking as much as we could, and he agreed to send the rest as we requested.

This is extremely hard on all of us, and I don’t really blame either of them for what has happened, although maybe I should. I can see both sides and knowing that they both still want a relationship with me in a way makes it all that much more difficult. I am no good at making decisions, especially when a situation changes from an “and” to an “either/or” and so that’s what I’m working on doing up here in Alaska.

How long I’ll stay is up in the air right now, all my stuff is still in Seattle along with my kitties but I don’t really have a job tying me there. I’m allowing myself time to sort through everything and figure out what’s best for me.

Coming Out

I’ve never really had to come out before. Until I met Onyx I was heavily involved in queer activism, which isn’t to say there aren’t straight queer activists because there are, but people assumed I was queer instead of the other way around. I had to come out as in a relationship with a man on many occasions after Onyx and I got together, which was weird in and of itself, but I got used to it. I’ve come out as queer a few times while living with Onyx, but usually it was to queers or queer allies and involved musing about the circumstance of being queer while in a heterosexual (though not straight) relationship.

Now that Marla and I are together, however, I am realizing coming out in a way I’ve never really had to before.

I recently started a new job (hooray!) and I haven’t officially come out to my co-workers. While I do sport my newest rendition of a super short awesome fauxhawky hairdo I also wear skirts and generally have fun bluring gender lines as much as possible. I don’t really make it a habit to talk about my personal life with coworkers, but the one time I referred to Marla in a conversation I called her my roommate. It was odd, and I’m not sure why I did it.

For the record, I’m not upset that I said “roommate,” and Marla isn’t mad about it or anything as that is what she called me for the first few weeks at her job, more than anything I’m curious as to why I said it and why I didn’t just say “girlfriend” or “partner” or something like that, and I’m interested at this new position I’m in to actually come out to co-workers in a fairly uncomplicated way.

I know the store I work at is queer friendly, as there are plenty of other queers that work there, and I think part of it has to do with my position of having not just a girlfriend but also a boyfriend and not wanting to get into the whole poly business with people I barely know and may or may not get to know much better in the future.

I have a feeling part of it is because of the temporary position of my job. While I’ve worked with many of the people multiple times I haven’t yet been offered a permanent position despite applying for various different ones. I think in some ways I don’t see the need to be open and honest about it with people I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be seeing again. Then again, I can’t tell if that’s even a reasonable reason, or if any of this really matters that much.

From the way I look and the way I dress now I think I’m much more visibly queer than I used to be. I also have a rainbow bracelet that I wear which Marla made for me and am sure that is a tip off for those who actually care.

Maybe that’s part of it too, though, those who actually care. If they care they would probe and it’s not as big of a deal to me as it used to be, it’s part of life but not something I feel the need to shout to everyone like I used to when I was in high school and would wear my shirt that says “I kiss girls” in rainbow letters. Maybe it’s not as big of a deal anymore because it is how it is and these aren’t people who would really care if I have a girlfriend or a boyfriend or both, as the case may be.

09.15

2009

Cut Glass, Carelessly Handled

I’m highly surprised at how little I’ve been writing on here lately. I have so many drafts in the works but so little desire to finish them most of the time. I’m still feeling similar to what I wrote about in my disconnected post, and I just got a temp job (hoping it will turn permanent) working at the University Bookstore which helps as far as money issues that I’ve been having (though not a lot).

In some ways I feel like I can’t authentically express everything that is going on in my head and heart and so therefore I don’t feel like expressing any of it. At the same time I’ve got a build-up of emotions that really just needs to be let loose. Remember those days when I was posting every day? I kind of miss that a lot. I want to get back to it, but I’m not sure how.

I’m at once ecstatically happy and extremely depressed with my current living situation. Onyx and Marla are both amazing and I love them both very much but nothing is working the way any of us planned or wanted. I went into it knowing that things change and there was the possibility of just about anything but I never expected things to work out the way they have.

They each act differently around me than they do around each other and so often I feel closed off from one or both of them when the three of us are together. I’m not sure how they interact with each other when I’m not there (obviously) so I don’t know if this happens only when the three of us are together or if it is the nature of their relationship, though I think it’s probably the latter. This makes it difficult for me, and when the three of us are together we feel like three roommates instead of three lovers.

Not too long ago Sinclair talked about differing needs within relationships, that the relationship itself has needs in addition to the people within it. I’ve mentioned before that within our triad there are four relationships: mine and Onyx’s, mine and Marla’s, Marla and Onyx’s, and the three of us together, when you add in the fact that each of those relationships have needs and the three of us have needs that’s a whole lot of needs going on there. I really wonder if any of the seven different needs are actually getting met.

More later?